Letters From An American Farmer By Hector St. John De Crevecoeur



















































































































































 -  The boy was well enough brought up, but without more
than the attention that his birth gave him the right - Page 3
Letters From An American Farmer By Hector St. John De Crevecoeur - Page 3 of 291 - First - Home

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The Boy Was Well Enough Brought Up, But Without More Than The Attention That His Birth Gave Him The Right To Expect; He Divided The Years Of His Boyhood Between Caen, Where His Father's Town-House Stood, And The College Du Mont, Where The Jesuits Gave Him His Education.

A letter dated 1785 and addressed to his children tells us all that we know of his school-days; though it is said, too, that he distinguished himself in mathematics.

"If you only knew," the reminiscent father of a family exclaims in this letter, "in what shabby lodging, in what a dark and chilly closet, I was mewed up at your age; with what severity I was treated; how I was fed and dressed!" Already his powers of observation, that were so to distinguish him, were quickened by his old-world milieu.

"From my earliest youth," he wrote in 1803, "I had a passion for taking in all the antiques that I met with: moth-eaten furniture, tapestries, family portraits, Gothic manuscripts (that I had learned how to decipher), had for me an indefinable charm. A little later on, I loved to walk in the solitude of cemeteries; to examine the tombs and to trace out their mossy epitaphs. I knew most of the churches of the canton, the date of their foundation, and what they contained of interest in the way of pictures and sculptures."

The boy's gift of accurate and keen observation was to be tested soon by a very different class of objects:

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