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[192] fresh trade-winds as they had ever done within the walls of Alma Mater. History, navigation, mercantile law, and bookkeeping took their turns with modern languages, poetry, light literature, and chess. Hooper kept up his rifle and pistol practice and his drawing, and also spent a good deal of time in studying and devising models for boats and ships. He applied himself, moreover, to practical seamanship, and, as usual with him, was not satisfied until he had proved to himself that he could do with his own hands the work of which he understood the theory. So, after spending a month very pleasantly in California, partly at San Francisco and partly in the mining regions, he shipped regularly as third mate of the Courser for her voyage across the Pacific. The experiment was successful; and after satisfying himself that he could hold on to the yard-arm in a typhoon, he was willing to return to his passenger-life for the homeward trip from China. He reached home by the end of 1852, spent the rest of the winter in Boston, took a trip in the spring to the Southern States and Cuba (a journey which he had taken once before, while in college), attended the Law School in Cambridge during May and June, and went to Europe with his family in July, 1853. He made the tour of Great Britain and the Continent, saw everything and admired what he saw, but found nothing to overturn his love for America. ‘Those fellows,’ he writes, ‘who come home full of Europe, and abusing America, are entirely wrong. I am getting more certain of it every day.’ And again, to a friend who had rallied him on his ebullitions of patriotism, ‘What do you suppose there is here to cool one's patriotism? I am ten times more proud of my country than I ever was before.’

His studies abroad were principally in the modern languages and in drawing. The winter of 1853-54, spent in Rome, was especially valuable in developing the artistic taste which he had always shown. His skill in drawing was something better than a mere mechanical accomplishment; and his love and talent for art were in later years a source of much pleasure and recreation amid the graver cares of business.

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