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[p. 75] one's fingers with the masterly precision which characterized Mr. Magoun's handling of the ruler. I don't think I learned much while at Mr. Magoun's school, except to draw a ship and a horse—the latter with both fore-feet off the ground and a monstrous redundancy of tail. But yet these were accomplishments not to be despised.

Afterwards I attended school in the old brick schoolhouse behind the Unitarian Church. It was kept by Mr. Benj. F. Tweed, afterwards professor of rhetoric in Tufts College, and a supervisor of schools in Boston. He was an excellent teacher and did the best that could be done with the incongruous elements of which his school was made up. Here I learned something of geography, arithmetic, and grammar—not much of grammar except to commit the definitions to heart—as ‘A verb is a word which signifies to be, to do, and to suffer.’ Only Kant and Hegel could gain any information from that definition. I attended this school during the last two years of Mr. Tweed's incumbency, when he was succeeded by Mr. Foster,—an excellent teacher and a good man. I attended his school for a year, and was then admitted to the High School, being twelve years old. Of course I was very imperfectly qualified for such an advancement, but the conditions for admission to the school were not so severe as they are now. I was a tolerable reader, but a very bad speller. It was with extreme difficulty that I have learned to spell since; in fact I haven't. Of English grammar, like most graduates from grammar schools of that date, I knew absolutely nothing, for I had studied only in the formal way of which I have already spoken just long enough to gain an ‘acquired ignorance’ of the whole subject. My best hold was on mathematics, for which I had some natural aptitude. A year after entering the school I entered upon the study of Latin, and then the darkness which hung over English grammar was lifted, for Latin is an inflected language,

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Benjamin F. Tweed (2)
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