en-de  The Story of Abraham Lincoln: by James Baldwin, Part 4+5 Easy
Schule und Bücher

Nicht sehr lange danach entschieden die Menschen in der Gegend, dass sie eine Schule haben müssten. Und so kamen einen Tag nach der Ernte die Männer zusammen und fällten Bäume und bauten zu diesem Zweck eine kleine, niedrig gedeckte Blockhütte.

Wenn Sie die Hütte sehen könnten, würden Sie sie für ein eigenartiges Schulhaus halten. Es gab keinen Fußboden. Es gab nur ein Fensteröffnung und anstelle von Glas waren Streifen aus gefettetem Papier darüber geklebt. Es gab keine Schreibpulte, sondern nur rohe Bänke, die aus in Hälften gespalteten Rundhölzern bestanden. In einem Ende des Raumes war eine große Feuerstelle; am anderen Ende befand sich der niedrige Eingang.

Der erste Lehrer war ein Mann, dessen Name Azel Dorsey war. Die Unterrichtszeit dauerte nur ein Trimester, denn die Siedler konnten es sich nicht leisten, ihm viel zu zahlen. Sie war mitten im Winter, denn dann gab es zu Hause keine Arbeit für die großen Jungen.

Und die großen Jungen, wie auch die Mädchen und die kleineren Jungen, kamen von weither, um von Azel Dorsey zu lernen, was sie konnten. Die meisten Kinder lernten nur das Buchstabieren; aber einige von den größeren lernten das Lesen und Schreiben und Arithmetik.

Es gab nicht sehr viele Schüler, denn die Häuser in dieser neuen Siedlung waren spärlich und weit auseinander gelegen. Die Schule begann morgens zu einer frühen Stunde und endete nicht, bevor die Sonne untergegangen war.

Nur wie Abraham Lincoln in seiner Klasse stand, weiß ich nicht, aber ich muss glauben, dass er fleißig lernte und alles tat, so gut er es konnte. In das Rechenbuch, das er benutzte, schrieb er diese Zeilen: "Abraham Lincoln, Seine Hand und sein Stift, Er wird gut sein, Aber Gott weiß wann."
In wenigen Wochen war die Schule zu Ende und Abraham Lincoln war wieder so beschäftigt wie immer auf der Farm seines Vaters. Danach besuchte er die Schule nur für zwei oder drei kurze Zeiten. Wenn alle seine Schultage zusammengelegt werden, würden sie kein Zwölftel des Monats ausmachen.

Aber er las weiter und lernte zu Hause. Seine Stiefmutter sagte von ihm: "Er liest alles, was er in die Hände bekommt. Wenn ihm eine Passage begegnete, die ihn bewegte, würde er sie auf Tafeln schreiben, wenn er kein Papier hätte und sie behalten, bis er Papier bekommen hätte. Dann würde er sie abschreiben, darauf schauen, sich einprägen und es wiederholen."

Unter den Büchern, die er las, war die Bibel, der Pilgerfortschritt und die Gedichte von Robert Burns. Eines Tages ging er einen weiten Weg, um sich von einem Farmer ein Buch zu leihen. Dieses Buch war das 'Leben des Washington' von Weems. Während er nach Hause ging, las er so viel er konnte.

Zu diesem Zeitpunkt war es dunkel, und so setzte er sich an den Kamin und las beim Feuerschein bis zur Schlafenszeit. Dann nahm er das Buch mit ins Bett auf den Dachboden und las beim Licht einer Talgkerze.

In einer Stunde brannte die Kerze ab. Er legte das Buch in einen Spalt zwischen zwei Blöcken der Hütte, so dass er wieder lesen könnte, sobald Tageslicht war.

Aber in der Nacht kam ein Sturm auf. Der Regen wurde hereingeblasen, und das Buch war durch und durch nass.

Am Morgen, als Abraham erwachte, sah er, was passiert war. Er trocknete die Blätter so gut er konnte und beendete das Buch.

Sobald er sein Frühstück gegessen hatte, beeilte er sich, das Buch zu seinem Besitzer zu bringen. Er erklärte, wie das Unglück passiert war.

"Mr. Crawford", sagte er, " ich bin bereit, Ihnen das Buch zu bezahlen. Ich habe kein Geld; aber, wenn Sie wollen, will ich für Sie arbeiten, bis es abbezahlt ist."

Mr. Crawford meinte, das Buch sei 75 Cent wert und Abrahams Arbeit 25 Cent pro Tag. Und so half der Bursche dem Farmer drei Tage lang Getreide zu ernten und auf diese Weise zum Besitzer des entzückenden Buches zu werden.

Er las die Geschichte Washingtons viele Male. Er trug das Buchh auf dem Feld bei sich und las es, während er dem Pflug folgte.

Seit dieser Zeit war Washington der einzige große Held, den er bewunderte. Warum konnte er sein eigenes Leben nicht nach dem von Washington ausrichten? Warum konnte er nicht auch ein Macher großartiger Dinge für sein Land sein?

Leben in den entlegenen Waldgebieten.

Abraham Lincoln machte sich nun mit dem Willen an die Arbeit, sich selbst fortzubilden. Sein Vater dachte, dass er nichts mehr lernen müsste. Er konnte nicht erkennen, dass es irgendetwas Gutes an Bücherweisheit gab. Wenn ein Mann lesen und schreiben konnte und mit Zahlen umgehen, was sonst war noch nötig?

Aber die gute Stiefmutter war anderer Meinung; und als in dem kleinen Blogschulhaus ein weiteres kurzes Semester anfing, waren alle sechs Kinder aus der Lincolnhütte unter den Schülern.

Nach wenigen Wochen hatte die Schule allerdings geschlossen; und die drei Jungen arbeiteten wieder hart und hackten und rodeten in Mr. Lincolns Lichtungen. Sie waren gutmütige, ausgelassene junge Leute, und sie machten sich mit so manchem Witz und neckischen Schabernack die Arbeit leichter.

Vieles waren Schwänke, mit denen Abraham seine beiden Gefährten amüsierte. Viele waren verblüffende Fragen, die er stellte. Manchmal am Abend, mit den anderen fünf Kindern um ihn herum, deklamierte er ein Stück, das er gelernt hatte, oder er hielt eine selbst verfasste Rede zu einem Thema, das alle interessierte.

Wenn man ihn so sehen könnte, wie er damals wirkte, würde man kaum glauben, dass so ein Junge jemals einer der berühmtesten Männer der Geschichte werden sollte. Auf seinem Kopf trug er eine Mütze aus dem Fell eines Eichhörnchens oder eines Waschbären. Anstelle von Stoffhosen trug er Breeches aus Hirschleder, deren Beine viel zu kurz waren. Sein Hemd war im Winter aus Hirschleder und im Sommer aus selbst gesponnenem Flachs. Strümpfe hatte er nicht. Seine Schuhe waren aus schwerem Rindsleder und wurden nur sonntags oder bei sehr kaltem Wetter getragen.

Die Familie lebte so, dass sie sehr wenig Geld brauchte. Ihr Brot wurde aus Maismehl gemacht. Ihr Fleisch war hauptsächlich das Fleisch von Wild, das sie im Wald jagten.

Zinnteller und hölzerne Schneidebretter wurden auf dem Tisch benutzt. Die Tee- und Kaffeetassen waren von bemalten Zinn. Es gab keinen Ofen und das gesamte Kochen wurde auf dem Feuer eines großen Kamins erledigt.

Aber Armut war für Abraham Lincoln kein Hindernis. Er fuhr mit seinem Lesen und Studien so gut er konnte fort . Manchmal ging er in die nahegelegene, kleine Stadt Gentryville, um dort einen Abend zu verbringen. Er erzählte so viele Witze und viele lustige Geschichten, dass sich alle Leute um ihn versammelten und ihm zuhörten.

Als er sechzehn Jahre alt war, ging er einen Tag lang nach Booneville, fünfzehn Meilen entfernt, um an einem Prozess am Gericht teilzunehmen. Er war nie zuvor in einem Gericht gewesen. Er hörte mit großer Aufmerksamkeit allem zu, was gesagt wurde.. Als der Anwalt der Verteidigung seine Rede hielt, war der Jugendliche so voller Freude, dass er sie nicht verbergen konnte.

Er stand von seinem Sitz auf, ging quer durch den Gerichtssaal und schüttelte dem Anwalt die Hände. "Das war die beste Rede, die ich je gehört habe", sagte er.

Er war groß und sehr schlank; er trug einen Jeans-Mantel und eine Wildlederhose; seine Füße waren nackt. Es muss ein seltsamer Anblick gewesen sein, ihn so zu sehen, wie er einem alten und praktizierten Anwalt Komplimente macht.

Von dieser Zeit an schien ein Ziel seine Gedanken zu beseelen. Er wollte Anwalt werden und große Reden vor Gericht halten. Er lief barfüßig zwölf Meilen, um sich eine Kopie der Indiengesetze auszuleihen. Tag und Nacht las und lernte er.

"Eines Tages werde ich Präsident der Vereinigten Staaten sein", sagte er zu einigen seiner jungen Freunde. Und das sagte er nicht als Scherz, sondern in dem festen Glauben, dass es sich bewahrheiten würde.
unit 1
School and Books.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 4
If you could see that cabin you would think it a queer kind of school-house.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 5
There was no floor.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 6
There was only one window, and in it were strips of greased paper pasted across, instead of glass.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 7
There were no desks, but only rough benches made of logs split in halves.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 8
In one end of the room was a huge fireplace; at the other end was the low doorway.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 9
The first teacher was a man whose name was Azel Dorsey.
1 Translations, 5 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 10
The term of school was very short; for the settlers could not afford to pay him much.
2 Translations, 7 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 11
It was in mid-winter, for then there was no work for the big boys to do at home.
2 Translations, 5 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 14
There were not very many scholars, for the houses in that new settlement were few and far apart.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 15
School began at an early hour in the morning, and did not close until the sun was down.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 19
After that he attended school only two or three short terms.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 20
If all his school-days were put together they would not make a twelve-month.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 21
But he kept on reading and studying at home.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 22
His step-mother said of him: "He read everything he could lay his hands on.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 24
Then he would copy it, look at it, commit it to memory, and repeat it."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 25
Among the books that he read were the Bible, the Pilgrims Progress, and the poems of Robert Burns.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 26
One day he walked a long distance to borrow a book of a farmer.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 27
This book was Weems's Life of Washington.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 28
He read as much as he could while walking home.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 29
By that time it was dark, and so he sat down by the chimney and read by firelight until bedtime.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 30
Then he took the book to bed with him in the loft, and read by the light of a tallow candle.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 31
In an hour the candle burned out.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 33
But in the night a storm came up.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 34
The rain was blown in, and the book was wet through and through.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 35
In the morning, when Abraham awoke, he saw what had happened.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 36
He dried the leaves as well as he could, and then finished reading the book.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 37
As soon as he had eaten his breakfast, he hurried to carry the book to its owner.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 38
He explained how the accident had happened.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 39
"Mr. Crawford," he said, "I am willing to pay you for the book.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 40
I have no money; but, if you will let me, I will work for you until I have made its price."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 43
He read the story of Washington many times over.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 44
He carried the book with him to the field, and read it while he was following the plow.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 45
From that time, Washington was the one great hero whom he admired.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 46
Why could not he model his own life after that of Washington?
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 47
Why could not he also be a doer of great things for his country?
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 48
Life in the Backwoods.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 49
Abraham Lincoln now set to work with a will to educate himself.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 50
His father thought that he did not need to learn anything more.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 51
He did not see that there was any good in book-learning.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 52
If a man could read and write and cipher, what more was needed?
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 56
Many were the droll stories with which Abraham amused his two companions.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 57
Many were the puzzling questions that he asked.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 60
On his head he wore a cap made from the skin of a squirrel or a raccoon.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 61
unit 62
His shirt was of deerskin in the winter, and of homespun tow in the summer.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 63
Stockings he had none.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 64
His shoes were of heavy cowhide, and were worn only on Sundays or in very cold weather.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 65
The family lived in such a way as to need very little money.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 66
Their bread was made of corn meal.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 67
Their meat was chiefly the flesh of wild game found in the forest.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 68
Pewter plates and wooden trenchers were used on the table.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 69
The tea and coffee cups were of painted tin.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 70
There was no stove, and all the cooking was done on the hearth of the big fireplace.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 71
But poverty was no hindrance to Abraham Lincoln.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 72
He kept on with his reading and his studies as best he could.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 73
Sometimes he would go to the little village of Gentryville, near by, to spend an evening.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 76
He had never been in court before.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 77
He listened with great attention to all that was said.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 79
He arose from his seat, walked across the courtroom, and shook hands with the lawyer.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 80
"That was the best speech I ever heard," he said.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 81
He was tall and very slim; he was dressed in a jeans coat and buckskin trousers; his feet were bare.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 82
It must have been a strange sight to see him thus complimenting an old and practiced lawyer.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 83
From that time, one ambition seemed to fill his mind.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 84
He wanted to be a lawyer and make great speeches in court.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 85
He walked twelve miles barefooted, to borrow a copy of the laws of Indiana.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 86
Day and night he read and studied.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 87
"Some day I shall be President of the United States," he said to some of his young friends.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 88
And this he said not as a joke, but in the firm belief that it would prove to be true.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 8 months, 2 weeks ago
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School and Books.

Not very long after this, the people of the neighborhood made up their minds that they must have a school-house. And so, one day after harvest, the men met together and chopped down trees, and built a little low-roofed log cabin to serve for that purpose.

If you could see that cabin you would think it a queer kind of school-house. There was no floor. There was only one window, and in it were strips of greased paper pasted across, instead of glass. There were no desks, but only rough benches made of logs split in halves. In one end of the room was a huge fireplace; at the other end was the low doorway.

The first teacher was a man whose name was Azel Dorsey. The term of school was very short; for the settlers could not afford to pay him much. It was in mid-winter, for then there was no work for the big boys to do at home.

And the big boys, as well as the girls and the smaller boys, for miles around, came in to learn what they could from Azel Dorsey. The most of the children studied only spelling; but some of the larger ones learned reading and writing and arithmetic.

There were not very many scholars, for the houses in that new settlement were few and far apart. School began at an early hour in the morning, and did not close until the sun was down.

Just how Abraham Lincoln stood in his classes I do not know; but I must believe that he studied hard and did everything as well as he could. In the arithmetic which he used, he wrote these lines:

"Abraham Lincoln, His hand and pen, He will be good, But God knows when."
In a few weeks, Azel Dorsey's school came to a close; and Abraham Lincoln was again as busy as ever about his father's farm. After that he attended school only two or three short terms. If all his school-days were put together they would not make a twelve-month.

But he kept on reading and studying at home. His step-mother said of him: "He read everything he could lay his hands on. When he came across a passage that struck him, he would write it down on boards, if he had no paper, and keep it until he had got paper. Then he would copy it, look at it, commit it to memory, and repeat it."

Among the books that he read were the Bible, the Pilgrims Progress, and the poems of Robert Burns. One day he walked a long distance to borrow a book of a farmer. This book was Weems's Life of Washington. He read as much as he could while walking home.

By that time it was dark, and so he sat down by the chimney and read by firelight until bedtime. Then he took the book to bed with him in the loft, and read by the light of a tallow candle.

In an hour the candle burned out. He laid the book in a crevice between two of the logs of the cabin, so that he might begin reading again as soon as it was daylight.

But in the night a storm came up. The rain was blown in, and the book was wet through and through.

In the morning, when Abraham awoke, he saw what had happened. He dried the leaves as well as he could, and then finished reading the book.

As soon as he had eaten his breakfast, he hurried to carry the book to its owner. He explained how the accident had happened.

"Mr. Crawford," he said, "I am willing to pay you for the book. I have no money; but, if you will let me, I will work for you until I have made its price."

Mr. Crawford thought that the book was worth seventy-five cents, and that Abraham's work would be worth about twenty-five cents a day. And so the lad helped the farmer gather corn for three days, and thus became the owner of the delightful book.

He read the story of Washington many times over. He carried the book with him to the field, and read it while he was following the plow.

From that time, Washington was the one great hero whom he admired. Why could not he model his own life after that of Washington? Why could not he also be a doer of great things for his country?

Life in the Backwoods.

Abraham Lincoln now set to work with a will to educate himself. His father thought that he did not need to learn anything more. He did not see that there was any good in book-learning. If a man could read and write and cipher, what more was needed?

But the good step-mother thought differently; and when another short term of school began in the little log school-house, all six of the children from the Lincoln cabin were among the scholars.

In a few weeks, however, the school had closed; and the three boys were again hard at work, chopping and grubbing in Mr. Lincoln's clearings. They were good-natured, jolly young fellows, and they lightened their labor with many a joke and playful prank.

Many were the droll stories with which Abraham amused his two companions. Many were the puzzling questions that he asked. Sometimes in the evening, with the other five children around him, he would declaim some piece that he had learned; or he would deliver a speech of his own on some subject of common interest.

If you could see him as he then appeared, you would hardly think that such a boy would ever become one of the most famous men of history. On his head he wore a cap made from the skin of a squirrel or a raccoon. Instead of trousers of cloth, he wore buckskin breeches, the legs of which were many inches too short. His shirt was of deerskin in the winter, and of homespun tow in the summer. Stockings he had none. His shoes were of heavy cowhide, and were worn only on Sundays or in very cold weather.

The family lived in such a way as to need very little money. Their bread was made of corn meal. Their meat was chiefly the flesh of wild game found in the forest.

Pewter plates and wooden trenchers were used on the table. The tea and coffee cups were of painted tin. There was no stove, and all the cooking was done on the hearth of the big fireplace.

But poverty was no hindrance to Abraham Lincoln. He kept on with his reading and his studies as best he could. Sometimes he would go to the little village of Gentryville, near by, to spend an evening. He would tell so many jokes and so many funny stories, that all the people would gather round him to listen.

When he was sixteen years old he went one day to Booneville, fifteen miles away, to attend a trial in court. He had never been in court before. He listened with great attention to all that was said. When the lawyer for the defense made his speech, the youth was so full of delight that he could not contain himself.

He arose from his seat, walked across the courtroom, and shook hands with the lawyer. "That was the best speech I ever heard," he said.

He was tall and very slim; he was dressed in a jeans coat and buckskin trousers; his feet were bare. It must have been a strange sight to see him thus complimenting an old and practiced lawyer.

From that time, one ambition seemed to fill his mind. He wanted to be a lawyer and make great speeches in court. He walked twelve miles barefooted, to borrow a copy of the laws of Indiana. Day and night he read and studied.

"Some day I shall be President of the United States," he said to some of his young friends. And this he said not as a joke, but in the firm belief that it would prove to be true.