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CHAPTER II

imparted, under the eye of a parent, is very conducive to the proficiency of a pupil particularly, if he shows some quickness of parts and a thirst for learning. He has few temptations to idleness; his difficulties may be removed as soon as they occur; the ordinary conversation of his teacher with whom he lives, in some measure, as a companion, has a salutary influence over him; and thus favoured, he cannot but find the acquisition of knowledge easy and pleasant. Young Livingston found it so, while he had the benefit of the instruction and company of Mr. Kent. Speaking of the advantages he enjoyed at this time, in a short memoir written by himself, he says: "I proceeded with delight and success in my studies, during the years 1755 and 1756."

The ensuing year, he was placed in a grammar school at New Milford, in Connecticut, under the direction of the Rev. Mr. N. Taylor; and with this gentleman he continued about a year. Having finished his preparatory studies, in Sept. 1758, when only a little over twelve years old, he was examined and admitted a member of the Freshman class, of Yale College, in New Haven.

[MVD: Rev. Nathaniel Taylor was born in 1722, graduating Yale in 1745. After teaching for a few years, Rev. Taylor was licensed as a preacher, supplementing his salary by farming and taking in young boys preparing for the Yale entrance exams. During the Revolutionary War, Rev. Taylor served as a chaplain for the revolutionary forces.]

The country, at the period referred to, was not distinguished for good literature. Education was

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CHAPTER II

in its infancy, and what was termed a liberal one, comprehended attainments, in certain branches at least, which at the present day, in some of our principal seminaries, would hardly be deemed a sufficient preparation for commencing a collegiate course. The learned men of that day and there were not a few to be found, in every profession, justly entitled to the appellation were less indebted to early advantages than to their own genius and application, for their success in literary pursuits. Classical learning in particular was, in several colleges, lightly esteemed, or comparatively held in contempt; and such appears to have been the fact, in the college at New-Haven, at the time of Mr. Livingston's matriculation though probably, in point of reputation, and real merit indeed, it was not inferior to any similar institution. It was then under the presidency of the Rev. Thomas Clapp, a distinguished mathematician, whose influence rendered the science of mathematics a leading subject of study among his scholars. This they pursued with a degree of enthusiastic ardour; other subjects of equal, if not greater importance, were, it would seem, neglected, or treated by many as scarce deserving attention.

Almost immediately, therefore, upon Mr. Livingston's entrance, he, in common with his associates,






        
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