Immediately afterwards, it seems to me I was sent to live with my eldest brother Vernon, ten years older than myself, who was in lodgings with friends in Galway while going to the College.
There I spent the next five years, which passed leaving a blank. I learned nothing in those years except how to play "tig", "hide and seek", "footer" and ball. I was merely a healthy, strong, little animal without an ache or pain or trace of thought.
Then I remember an interlude at Belfast where Vernon and I lodged with an old Methodist who used to force me to go to church with him and drew on a little black skullcap during the Service, which filled me with shame and made me hate him. There is a period in life when every thing peculiar or individual, excites dislike and is in itself an offense.
I learned here to "mitch" and lie simply to avoid school and to play, till my brother found I was coughing and having sent for a doctor, was informed that I had congestion of the lungs; the truth being that I played all day and never came home for dinner, seldom indeed before seven o'clock, when I knew Vernon would be back. I mention this incident because, while confined to the house, I discovered under the old Methodist's bed, a set of doctor's books with colored plates of the insides and the pudenda of men and women. I devoured all the volumes and bits of knowledge from them stuck to me for many a year. But curiously enough the main sex fact was not. revealed to me then; but in talks a little later with boys of my own age.
I learned nothing in Belfast but rules of games and athletics. My brother Vernon used to go to a gymnasium every evening and exercise and box. To my astonishment he was not among the best; so while he was boxing I began practicing this and that, draw-