his intimates to be, in the language of one of them—‘a darned smart fellow, in spite of his looks’—who was utterly blameless in all his ways, and works, and words—who had not, and could not have had, an enemy, because nature, by leaving out of his composition the diabolic element, had made it impossible for him to be
The few occurrences of the boy's life, which, in addition to these general reminiscences of his character, have chanced to escape oblivion, may as well be narrated here.
As an instance of his nervous timidity, a lady mentions; that when he was about eleven years old, he came to her house one evening on some errand, and staid till after dark.
He started for home, at length, but had not been gone many minutes before he burst into the house again, in great agitation, saying he had seen a wolf; by the side of the road.
There had been rumors of wolves in the neighborhood.
Horace declared he had seen the eyes of one glaring upon him as he passed, and he was so overcome with terror, that two of the elder girls of the family accompanied him home.
They saw no wolf, nor were there any—wolves about at the time; the mistake probably arose from some phosphorescent wood, or some other bright object.
A Vermont boy of that period, as a general thing, cared little more for a wolf than a New York boy does for a cat, and could have faced a pack of wolves with far less dread than a company of strangers.
Horace was never abashed by an audience; but two glaring eye-balls among the brush-wood sent him flying with terror.
In nothing are mortals more wise than in their fears.
That which we stigmatize as cowardice—what is it but nature's kindly warning to her children, not to confront what they cannot master, and not to undertake what their strength is unequal to Horace was a match
for a rustic auditory, and he feared it not. He was not a match for a wild beast; so he ran away.
Horace, all through his boyhood, kept his object of becoming a printer, steadily in view; and soon after coming to Vermont
, about his eleventh year, he began to think it time for him to take a step towards the fulfilment of his intention.
He talked to his father on the subject, but received no encouragement from him. His father said, and very truly, that no one would take an apprentice so young.
But the boy was not satisfied; and, one morning, he trudged off to