his book and made up my mind to venture the very next time I bathed. A little time afterwards I heard him tell this to some of his men friends in Armagh, and they all agreed that it showed extraordinary courage, for I was small for my age and always appeared even younger than I was.
Looking back, I see that many causes combined to strengthen the vanity in me which had already become inordinate and in the future was destined, to shape my life and direct its purposes. Here in Armagh everything conspired to foster my besetting sin. I was put among boys of my age, I think in the lower Fourth, and the form-master finding that I knew no Latin, showed me a Latin grammar and told me I'd have to learn it as quickly as possible, for the class had already begun to read Caesar: he showed me the first declension mensa, as the example, and asked me if I could learn it by the next day. I said I would, and as luck would have it, the Mathematical master passing at the moment, the form-master told him I was backward and should be in a lower form.
"He's very good indeed at figures", the Mathematical master rejoined, "he might be in the Upper Division".
"Really!" exclaimed the Form-master. "See what you can do," he said to me, "you may find it possible to catch up. Here's a Caesar too, you may as well take it with you. We have done only two or three pages".
That evening I sat down to the Latin grammar, and in an hour or so had learned all the declensions and nearly all the adjectives and pronouns. Next day I was trembling with hope of praise and if the form-master had encouraged me or said one word of commendation, I might have distinguished myself