educated men are perhaps the only ones to notice, can be traced pretty directly to this lack of preliminary intellectual drill.
His academical career having been thus suddenly cut short, he entered in a little while upon one better suited to his adventurous nature. Boys are sent to sea, he tells us in one of his later novels, for the cure of their ethical ailings. This renovating influence of ocean life he had at any rate a speedy opportunity to try. It was decided that he should enter the navy. The position of his father, who had been for several years a representative in Congress, and was a leading member of the Federalist party, naturally held out assurances that the son would receive all the advancement to which he would be legitimately entitled. At that time no naval school existed. It was the custom, in consequence, for boys purposing to fit themselves for the position of officers to serve a sort of apprenticeship in the merchant marine. Accordingly in the autumn of 1806, Cooper was placed on bo
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