Page:Letters of Life.djvu/201

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Consolatory was it to my chastened vanity that they were of the highest and most wealthy families among us. Cousins were they, both bearing the aristocratic name of Lathrop. Very happy was I with these plastic and lovely beings. Six hours of five days in the week, besides three on Saturday, did I sedulously devote to them, questioning, simplifying, illustrating, and impressing various departments of knowledge, as though a large class were auditors. A young lady from Massachusetts, of the name of Bliss, being in town for a short time, also joined us during that interval, to pursue drawing, and painting in water-colors. At the close of our term, or quarter as it was then called, was an elaborate examination in all the studies, with which the invited guests signified their entire approbation.

It might be supposed that this experience of the actual labor of teaching, without éclat or pecuniary gain, might have checked my enthusiasm in that department. Not a whit. It was a love which stood the test, as the sapling strikes deeper from the trials of its first season. I only sought another opportunity of renewing the toil. And it came.

The father of my most intimate friend had sustained a reverse of fortune. She meditated how to aid him, as he had no son, and was past the prime of days. The office of a teacher seemed the only feasible channel. Our intellectual sympathies had been long in unison;