Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist - Charles Brockden Brown - Страница 1 из 91


MEMOIRS OF CARWIN THE BILOQUIST
[A fragment]
By 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 fancy teemed
with visions of the future, and my attention fastened upon every thing
mysterious or unknown.
My father intended that my knowledge should keep pace with that of my
brother, but conceived that all beyond the mere capacity to write and
read was useless or pernicious. He took as much pains to keep me within
these limits, as to make the acquisitions of my brother come up to them,
but his efforts were not equally successful in both cases. The most


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