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"Old Greek" in the Garden

In the 1830s, a boy in Connecticut named Edward North was exploring the woods around his schoolhouse and absorbing the lessons and the pedagogical styles of a succession of young teachers who seemed to change with the seasons. The young woman, the embodiment of Beautiful Goodness, who left the twelve-year old boy broken-hearted when at the end of a summer term she left to be married. The angry and vengeful young man who succeeded her. And the next young man, as different from his predecessor “as light from darkness, as the milk of human kindness from the gall of vindictive wrath.” In a memoir of his school days, North wrote:   Wholly unselfish, he forgot himself in the great work that was given him to do. Untrammeled by printed text-books, he found a larger library in the ancient forest that surrounded the schoolhouse… [B]y the sorcery of a rare personal magnetism he converted his classes into eager, insatiate searchers after knowledge. He went with them on scientific explorations in t

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