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[310] went to his task, bright, and cheery, and brave; he
Chap. LX.} 1776. Feb.
was the hammer and not the anvil; and it was for others to fear his prowess and to shrink under his blows. His courage was unflinching in debate and everywhere else; he never knew what fear is; and had he gone into the army as he once longed to do, he would have taken there the virtues of temperance, decision, and intrepidity. To his latest old age his spirit was robust, buoyant, and joyous; he saw ten times as much pleasure as pain in the world; and after his arm quivered and his eye grew dim, he was ready to begin life anew and fight its battle over again.

In his youth he fell among sceptics, read Bolingbroke's works five times through, and accustomed himself to reason freely and think boldly; he esteemed himself a profound metaphysician, but only skimmed the speculations of others; though at first destined to be a minister, he became a rebel to Calvinism, and never had any very fixed religious creed; but for all that he was a stanch man of New England, and his fond partiality to its people, its institutions, its social condition, and its laws, followed him into congress and its committees, and social life, tinctured his judgment, and clinched his prepossessions; but the elements in New England that he loved most, were those which were eminently friendly to universal culture and republican equality. A poor farmer's son, bent on making his way in the world, at twenty years old beginning to earn his own bread, pinched and starved as master of a stingy country school, he formed early habits of order and frugality, and steadily advanced to fortune; but though exact in his accounts, there was nothing niggardly in his thrift,

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