I WAS sent to a private school on York Street, Monday, 4 October 1868; I was three years old; I am not sure whether it was then called a kindergarten; I have no recollection of hearing that word until many years later. The teacher, a Miss Morse, was kind. My father used to come for me at the end of the morning session. Once, as we walked home through a tremendous snowstorm, I was curiously interested in the spectacle of two men on the sidewalk, who were so drunk that they kept falling down. It seemed to me they were doing it for our entertainment, and I thought it was rather nice of them.
From the age of three to the age of five I attended Miss Morse's private school. When I was five I entered the regular public district Grammar School, called after the famous lexicographer, Webster School. I was the youngest and smallest boy in the establishment, and was in daily fear of the Irish lads, whom we called Micks. The boys and girls in this school represented every layer of society in New Haven; for on Crown Street dwelt many families of considerable affluence, while Oak Street and Morocco Street belonged to the slums.
The small boy is naturally a dirty little animal; I can say truthfully that although I have frequently been disgusted, I have never been shocked since I was nine years old. Dostoevski says the average schoolboy uses language that would make a drunken sailor blush, which describes accurately the daily talk I heard during recess and after hours in
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Publication information: Book title: Autobiography, with Letters. Contributors: William Lyon Phelps - Author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1939. Page number: 12.
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