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[39] Richards. His father was James Richardson, of Dedham, a man who had been a good deal in public life, and was in his old age quite an interesting relic of the stern Federalist days. I remember his fighting his battles over by the fireside, and telling me anecdotes of my grandfather, a warm Federalist like himself. The old man and his son seemed as intimate with each other as two school-boys, and it was easy to see whence the latter had inherited some of his marked qualities.

In his autobiography in the Class Book, he says:—

The earliest event of importance, in my mental and spiritual education, was the death of a mother, when I was but three years old. An epidemic had swept through the little village of Dedham, and three of our family, including myself, became its subjects. My mother and baby brother fell its victims; and though I survived, my constitution has not yet wholly regained its former healthy tone. The death of a mother at this tender age, when I most required her guarding love, was a circumstance of almost incalculable injury to me. Her form and features are indelibly impressed upon my mind; and the remembrance of her teachings in the holy quiet of the Sabbath mornings, when my heart was fresh in innocence and warm in happiness, even now oft fills my eyes with blissful tears. From her I inherited the love of harmonious sounds; and before I could utter articulate words, do I remember catching from her lips the notes of some simple melodies.

After my mother's death, on account of my father's frequent absences on business connected with different public offices, I was left almost wholly to the care of a nurse and other family domestics, who governed me only by fear, and who rewarded me only with tales of murder, bloody-bones, ghosts, and hobgoblins. The best influence of such treatment was to excite the love of the marvellous to an undue degree of action.

To my father . . . . I owe the cultivation of my imagination and my love of the beautiful. Added to his fine poetical taste was a deep love of nature; and after my fifth year my frequent rambles with him, especially on Sabbath evenings, imbued me, in some small degree, with his own spirit. The sports and games which boyhood so generally pursues had no interest for me. I loved to roam the fields, to commune with Nature in her sublimity and in her beauty, in her strength and in her cunning. I would sit for hours gazing upon the mountain rock, the giant oak, the leaping, dancing streamlet,

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