the classics, and ancient history; was acquainted with geography; could draw; learnt fencing, riding, and other necessary exercises.
My religion was Lutheran; but morality was taught me by my father, and by the worthy man to whose care he committed the forming of my heart, whose memory I shall ever hold in veneration. While a boy, I was enterprising in all the tricks of boys, and exercised my wit in crafty excuses; the warmth of my passions gave a satiric, biting cast to my writings, whence it has been imagined, by those who knew but little of me, I was a dangerous man; though, I am conscious, this was a false judgment.
A soldier himself, my father would have all his sons the same; thus, when we quarrelled, we terminated our disputes with wooden sabres, and, brandishing these, contested by blows for victory, while our father sat laughing, pleased at our valour and address. This practice, and the praises he bestowed, encouraged a disposition which ought to have been counteracted.
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