He at once gave evidence of superior talents, a well-balanced mind, and sound judgment. While his mind did not act as rapidly as that of some others, it had unusual symmetry, breadth, and grasp. He did not study for rank, but for the mastery of the subjects which came before him; hence his knowledge of these was often broader and more thorough than that of many whose recitations were prepared merely for the class-room. As might be expected, therefore, when he left the Academy, he had more discipline and more ability to investigate subjects than is usual with students at his stage of education. He excelled as a writer, and was for a time one of the editors of the literary paper conducted by the students of the Academy He was likewise president of the literary society. He was remarkable for purity and simplicity of character, as well as for high moral principle. In his intercourse with his teachers he was a model pupil, securing their entire confidence by a manly and courteous deportment. He had, too, the love and respect of all his fellow-students.His classmates testify that he left behind him the impression of joyousness and purity, with great facility in debate and an especial taste for all the social exercises of the Academy. In College (which he entered in 1859), the same tastes and associations remained; he took great interest in the literary societies. He was once unanimously elected President of the Institute of 1770,—though he declined the post, —and once delivered its annual poem. The following extract will show the earnest spirit of this composition:—
For I believe that each with zealIn College he was a faithful though not a brilliant student. He had always looked forward to the profession of the law, and all his studies tended to prepare him for that. The study of Cicero's pleadings, so tiresome to many, he heartily enjoyed; and his favorite reading was in such works as
May build a broad and solid way,
To summits which his hopes reveal,
By the endeavor of to-day.
Would I might show in proper light
How much there is that ought to woo
Our minds to truth, our hearts to right,
In these fair scenes we travel through.