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[22] easily controlled, taking kindly to instruction, and early showing that love of knowledge which continued in him through life. He was very delicate in his childhood, and he believed it was owing to his mother's devoted care, and a very nourishing diet, that he was reared to man's estate.1 Brought up by parents whose daily occupation had been instructing young persons, it was natural that they should give him the elements of knowledge early. He showed, especially, skill and facility in penmanship; and a copy-book is still preserved, filled by him very creditably when only four and a half years old.

Between him and his father there was the perfect love that casteth out fear. From the first he gave to this wise, good, and kind man his whole heart and full confidence, and was repaid by the most judicious care, the most thoughtful affection, the readiest and most comprehending sympathy. Mr. Ticknor carried with him through life the sweet remembrance of a happy childhood, a blessing the full value of which is only appreciated by those who have never had it.

It has always been deemed to be a sort of moral duty in New England for every one to study some profession or take up some calling. In Mr. Ticknor's youth the church and the bar divided between them the young men of studious habits and literary tastes. Mr. Ticknor's strong religious faith, pure morals, facility in writing, and easy and graceful elocution well qualified him for the sphere of a clergyman; but his thoughts were never turned that way; and, almost as a matter of course, he chose the law.

In due time he was admitted to the bar, opened an office, surrounded himself with a fair library of law-books, supplied by the kindness of his father, and stood for a year at the receipt of professional custom: nor was it a barren year; for the young lawyer

1 When eight or ten years old, he was allowed to get up as early as he pleased, to occupy himself quietly. In the winter he went to the kitchen, opened the fire, which, being of wood, was always covered with ashes the last thing at night, and there he read, or otherwise amused himself. He remembered and told with much amusement, his mortification when, coming down one winter night, with part of his clothes on his arm, he found the servants just preparing to go to bed, and, amidst many jokes, he was ignominiously dismissed to his own.

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