Page:Abraham Lincoln, A Story and a Play.djvu/21

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15
THE STORY

reading. Abraham's stepmother soon discovered that he had a bright mind and she encouraged him to study. She loved him dearly, for he was as thoughtful and kindhearted and truthful as he was eager to learn.

"Abe never gave me a cross word or look. I must say Abe was the best boy I ever saw or expect to see," she said afterwards.

When Abraham was fourteen years old he went for a short time to another school, and again when he was nearly seventeen. This last was four or five miles away, but it was better than any of the others. Here the boy had a chance to use pen and ink, and was given a copy-book in which to write.

The teacher had been "out in the world." So, with the other studies, he taught these backwood pupils what he called "manners." He showed them how to enter a room filled with people. He trained the boys in taking off their hats and bowing politely to the girls when they met them.

"How much our teacher knows I" thought the pupils, and though they were awkward, they tried their best to follow the master's directions. When Abraham afterwards left his country home and went to live in a city, he was probably very