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[88] the effect, as is sometimes the case, of giving an appearance of clumsiness to the upper part of his body. There was but little superfluous flesh about him, and he combined strength and activity in unusual proportion.

In his countenance there was a severe gravity, which gave him the appearance of being older than he really was. Though not in the least misanthropic, he seldom laughed or smiled. There was a certain dignity in his manner, which, while it inspired respect, forbade any undue familiarity, and his intimate friends were comparatively few. He had a high idea of the military virtue of subordination, and was always obedient and respectful to his superiors in command; but this deference was purely of a soldierly character. As a man, he felt himself the equal of any one.

He could not rest satisfied with anything done indifferently or even moderately well, but always aimed at perfection. For this he spared himself no labor or pains. It was incomprehensible to some how he could devote himself with such energy and become so completely absorbed in matters not of the highest importance. This intense, grave earnestness with which he threw his whole soul into every work that he undertook gained for him among some of his companions of the Harvard crew the sobriquet of ‘Crazy Abbott.’ But his madness was that which inspires heroic souls, and stimulates them to great actions.

He could do nothing by indirection, but proceeded to everything in the most direct and straightforward manner. He was born to command by sheer force of nature, and not by any arts of conciliation. He never sought popularity. He was of an ardent, impetuous nature, with strong likes and dislikes; but he abhorred deceit of every kind, and was somewhat fastidious in his tastes. Moreover, he was absorbed in his own pursuits, and self-relying to a remarkable degree.

In the last letter he ever wrote to his father, just a week before his death, he thus concludes: ‘I wish to tell you how deeply affected I feel by your kindness in this and all other matters; and I promise you that, with God's help, I will never ’

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