Page:Letters of Life.djvu/307

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Samuel, the second son, was a beautiful boy, uniting sprightliness with a thoughtful temperament. He often attracted my attention among the group of playmates who came to visit Charles, our eldest son, and pursue their sports upon the grounds.

Having once received from some person the rather questionable gift of a pistol, he seated himself in a contemplative manner under a tree, and, taking it entirely to pieces, and laying each part in order by his side, restored and reunited them all perfectly again. Was not this a shadowing forth of the machinery he was to construct, and the armories he should build?

His mechanical genius, which was early developed, did not gain immediate appreciation. Foreign climes made the first true estimate of his extraordinary inventive powers. England, France, Russia, Turkey, and other realms of the older world, discovered, under an exterior wholly devoid of ostentation, and revealed to his birth-land, his scientific skill and indomitable energy. Though a Wisdom that never errs has pointed out the tendency of the human mind to undervalue that which is ever within its reach, yet our country, which, more visibly than any other on the globe, has been uplifted by her self-made men, and is not obtuse to the principles of loss and gain, is unwise to overlook those talents which reflect distinction upon herself. Yet the obstacles which, in early life, Colonel Colt encountered and overcame, deepened his sympathies