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[175] many of the boys in our class are lazy; and if one boy does n't know his lesson, the teacher makes the whole class do it over the next day; and so we've been on this lesson since Tuesday, and it is now Saturday evening. I wish you would send me a barrel of apples when they are ripe. The teacher scolded me because I wrote two exercises on one piece of paper, and he did n't tell me not to. I wish he'd go on a little faster.


One might suppose, from the foregoing letters, that the life of this little man was upon the whole very miserable, but this was far from being the case. This constant habit of writing to his parents all his little troubles made many of his letters rather lugubrious in their tone; but there were some of a more cheerful character.

October 20.

Dear mother,—I received your note this afternoon. I did n't expect a watch when I was fifteen, if I did n't smoke, because I thought father had forgotten all about it; besides, I don't care for one, and only put that in my letter because I had nothing else to say. But I don't know but when I was writing I thought I would like to have one. I am beginning to draw now more than I used to; and in study time, when I have done my exercises, I usually draw. I am going to try to sketch from pictures now. You know I never used to, except from my own mind. This boat is the first one I ever drew from a picture, except the one in that big “Homer's Iliad,” where Achilles is trailing Hector behind his chariot, and is only in outline. I wish you would send me that book you were reading when you were here. It was the life of that man who went to a school where the master used to have fits of absence. I hope Rover and Argus are well. I am reading a book by Washington Irving, and it is very funny. It has a story in which he tells the origin of putting your thumb to your nose and moving your fingers, the way boys do to each other, as a sign of contempt.

I should like to have you give me a strong and pretty large knife, for I have none.

Your affectionate and loving son.


Four months later, to his great joy, he sailed for Europe with all the family. After passing a happy summer in Switzerland, he was left at the school of M. Roulet, in Neuchatel, where he remained two years. During this time he was very

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