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Carwin the Biloquist - Charles Brockden Brown

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MEMOIRS OF CARWIN THE BILOQUIST
[A fragment]

Charles Brockden Brown

[1803-1805]

Chapter I.


I was the second son of a farmer, whose place of residence was
a western district of Pennsylvania.  My eldest brother seemed
fitted by nature for the employment to which he was destined.  His
wishes never led him astray from the hay-stack and the furrow.  His
ideas never ranged beyond the sphere of his vision, or suggested
the possibility that to-morrow could differ from to-day.  He could
read and write, because he had no alternative between learning the
lesson prescribed to him, and punishment.  He was diligent, as long
as fear urged him forward, but his exertions ceased with the
cessation of this motive.  The limits of his acquirements consisted
in signing his name, and spelling out a chapter in the bible.

My character was the reverse of his.  My thirst of knowledge
was augmented in proportion as it was supplied with gratification.
The more I heard or read, the more restless and unconquerable my
curiosity became.  My senses were perpetually alive to novelty, my
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