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r near where Professor Horsford's active imagination has established the Lief's booths of the Norse legends. There have been few moments in life which ever gave a sense of conquest and achievement so delicious as when I first clearly made my way through water beyond my depth, from one sedgy bank to another. Skating was learned on Craigie's Pond, now drained, and afterwards practiced on the beautiful black ice of Fresh Pond. We played baseball and football, and a modified cricket, and on Saturdays made our way to the tenpin alleys at Fresh Pond or Porter's Tavern. My father had an old white pony which patiently ambled under me, and I was occasionally allowed to borrow Dr. Webster's donkey, the only donkey I had ever seen. Sometimes we were taken to Nahant for a day by the seaside, and watched there the swallows actually building their nests in Swallows' Cave, whence they have long since vanished. Perhaps we drove down over the interminable beach, but we oftener went in the steamb
before he is two years old; but he himself said, later, of this precocious teaching that it was sad stuff, and that by haste to make him a clever fellow he had very nearly become a stupid one. My mother made a memorandum in regard to my elder sister, She knows all her letters at three, and of me that at four I had already read a good many books. I still preserve a penciled note from a little playmate, the daughter of a professor, saying, I am glad you are six years old. I shall be four in March. My own daughter could not have written that note when she was seven, and yet she learned to read and write at that age almost without conscious effort. I cannot see that my contemporaries either gained or lost anything by this precocious instruction; and perhaps, in the total development of a child's mind, the actual reading of books plays a much smaller part than we imagine. Probably the thing of most importance, even with books, as an experienced Boston teacher once said, is to have be
April 8th, 1815 AD (search for this): chapter 3
She had, in all, ten children of her own, of whom I was the youngest. But before my birth the whole scene had suddenly changed. My father's whole fortune went when Jefferson's embargo came; his numerous vessels were captured or valueless. He retired into the country, living on a beautiful sheep-farm in Bolton, Massachusetts, placed at his disposal by a more fortunate friend, Mr. S. V. S. Wilder. There lies before me my mother's diary at this farm, which begins thus: On Saturday, the 8th April, 1815, we left our home, endeared to us by a long and happy residence and by the society of many dear and kind friends, to make trial of new scenes, new cares, and new duties; but though by this change we make some sacrifices and have some painful regrets, we are still experiencing the same goodness and mercy which have hitherto crowned our lives with happiness. I always awake, she adds, calm and serene. My children occupy my mind and my heart, and fill it with affection and gratitude. The
December 22nd (search for this): chapter 3
ily transportable, since you can pile the few supreme authors of the world in a little corner of the smallest log cabin. The Cambridge of my boyhood--two or three thousand peopleafforded me, it now seems, all that human heart could ask for its elementary training. Those who doubt it might, perchance, have been the gainers if they had shared it. He despises me, said Ben Jonson, because I live in an alley. Tell him his soul lives in an alley. I was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on December 22,--1823, in a house built by my father at the head of what was then called Professors' Row, and is now Kirkland Street, --the street down which the provincial troops marched to the battle of Bunker Hill, after halting for prayer at the gambrel-roofed house where Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes was born. My father's house — now occupied by Mrs. F. L. Batchelder--was begun in 1818, when the land was bought from Harvard College, whose official he had just become. Already the Scientific School an
eived, both by her husband's relatives and her own, with all the warmth that might have been expected — that is, with none at all. Yet she had sweet and winning qualities which finally triumphed over all obstacles; and her married life, though full of vicissitudes, was, on the whole, happy. They dwelt in England, in Jamaica, in St. Andrews, in Campobello, then in Jamaica again, Captain Storrow having in the meantime resigned his commission, and having died at sea on his passage to Boston, in 1795. My mother, Louisa Storrow, had been born, meanwhile, at St. Andrews, in 1786. Among my mother's most vivid childish recollections was that of being led, a weeping child of nine, at the stately funeral of her father, who was buried in Boston with military and Masonic honors. After his death his young widow opened a private school in Hingham, Massachusetts, and through the influence of kind friends in Boston, had boarding pupils from that city, only twenty miles away, thus laying for my m
ortable, since you can pile the few supreme authors of the world in a little corner of the smallest log cabin. The Cambridge of my boyhood--two or three thousand peopleafforded me, it now seems, all that human heart could ask for its elementary training. Those who doubt it might, perchance, have been the gainers if they had shared it. He despises me, said Ben Jonson, because I live in an alley. Tell him his soul lives in an alley. I was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on December 22,--1823, in a house built by my father at the head of what was then called Professors' Row, and is now Kirkland Street, --the street down which the provincial troops marched to the battle of Bunker Hill, after halting for prayer at the gambrel-roofed house where Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes was born. My father's house — now occupied by Mrs. F. L. Batchelder--was begun in 1818, when the land was bought from Harvard College, whose official he had just become. Already the Scientific School and the Hemen
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