“This is what Father Bentley said in his sermon on ‘Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.’ You remember it?”

“Certainly; and who knows but Father Bentley has engaged Jim to illustrate his doctrine? He preaches, and Jim practices. Nobody in the Eclectic Institute will dispute such a sermon while Jim’s about; you can count on that.” The remark was made jocosely, and, at the same time, a compliment was intended for James.

This conversation discloses the facts about James’s manual labour while connected with the Institute. We have not space for the details of his work with the plane and hammer during the whole period. We can only say, here, once for all, that he continued to add to his money by manual labour to the end of his three years at Hiram. He planed all the siding of the new house that he was shingling when the foregoing conversation took place. His labour was expended upon other buildings, also, in the place, during that period. Several jobs of farming, also, were undertaken at different times. He was laying up money to assist himself in college, in addition to paying his way at the Institute.

When James entered the school his attention was attracted to a class of three in geometry. As he listened to the recitation in this study, which was animated and sharp, he became particularly impressed. Since that time he said, “I regarded teacher and class with reverential awe.” The three persons in the class were William B. Hazen, who became one of our most distinguished major-generals in the late rebellion, and who is now on the Indian frontier; Geo. A. Baker, now a prominent citizen of Cleveland, Ohio; and Miss Almeda A. Booth, a very talented lady of nearly thirty years, who was teaching in the school, and at the same time pursuing her studies in the higher mathematics and classics. As this Miss Booth exerted a more powerful influence upon James than any other teacher, except Dr. Mark Hopkins, of Williams College, we shall speak of her particularly, and her estimate of our hero. She was the daughter of a Methodist preacher, whose circuit extended a thousand miles on the Reserve; a man of marked mental strength, and of great tact and energy. The daughter inherited her father’s intellectual power and force of character, so that when the young man to whom she was betrothed died, she resolved to consecrate herself to higher intellectual culture, that her usefulness might be augmented. This resolution brought her to the Eclectic Institute. She died in 1875, and afterwards General Garfield said of her talents: “When she was twelve years of age she used to puzzle her teachers with questions, and distress them by correcting their mistakes. One of these, a male teacher, who was too proud to acknowledge the corrections of a child, called upon the most learned man in town for help and advice in regard to a point of dispute between them. He was told that he was in error, and that he must acknowledge his mistake. The teacher was manly enough to follow this wise advice, and thereafter made this little girl his friend and helper. It was like her to help him quietly, and without boasting. During her whole life none of her friends ever heard an intimation from her that she had ever achieved an intellectual triumph over anybody in the world.”

It was fortunate for James that this accomplished lady became deeply interested in his progress and welfare.

“The most remarkable young man I ever met,” she said to the principal. “There must be a grand future before him.”

“True, if he does not fall out of the way,” answered the principal.

“I scarcely thought that were possible when I spoke. His Christian purpose is one of the remarkable things about him. His talents, work, everything, appear to be subject to this Christian aim. I feel that he will make a power in the world.”

“I agree with you: such are my feelings in regard to him, notwithstanding the prevalence of temptations that lure and destroy so many of our hopeful young men.” The principal had seen more of the world than Miss Booth, so he spoke with less confidence.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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