en-es  The Story of Abraham Lincoln: by James Baldwin, Part 4+5
Escuela y libros.

No mucho después de esto, la gente del vecindario decidió que debían tener una escuela. Y así, un día después de la cosecha, los hombres se reunieron, talaron árboles, y construyeron una pequeña cabaña de troncos con techo bajo para que sirviera para ese fin.

Si pudieras ver esa cabaña, pensarías que es un tipo de escuela extraña . No había suelo. Solo había una ventana, y en ella había tiras de papel engrasado pegadas, en vez de vidrio. No había pupitres, sino solo bancos ásperos hechos de troncos divididos por la mitad. En un extremo de la sala había una gran chimenea; en el otro extremo estaba la pequeña puerta.

El primer maestro era un hombre llamado Azel Dorsey. La duración de la escuela era muy corta; porque los colonos no podían permitirse pagarle mucho. Fue a mediados de invierno, porque entonces no había trabajo para los chicos grandes en casa.

Y los chicos grandes, como las chicas y los chicos más pequeños, desde millas a la redonda, vinieron para aprender lo que podían de Azel Dorsey. La mayoría de los niños estudiaron solo la ortografía; pero algunos de los más grandes aprendieron a leer y escribir y aritmética.

No había muchos académicos, porque las casas de ese nuevo asentamiento eran escasas y distantes. La escuela empezaba temprano en la mañana, y no cerraba hasta que se ponía el sol.

Cómo era exactamente Abraham Lincoln es sus clases no lo sé; pero tengo que creer que estudiaba mucho y hacía las cosas lo mejor que podía. En la aritmética que utilizaba escribió estas líneas: "Abraham Lincoln, Su mano y su lápiz, Él será bueno, Pero Dios sabe cuándo".
En unas pocas semanas la escuela de Azel Dorsey llegó a su término; y Abraham Lincoln estuvo de nuevo tan ocupado como siempre con la granja de su padre. Después de eso asistió a la escuela solo por dos o tres períodos cortos. Si se pusieran juntos todos sus días de escuela no llegarían a doce meses.

Pero él continuó leyendo y estudiando en casa. Su madrastra dijo de él: "Leía todo lo que pudiera caer en sus manos. Cuando llegaba a un pasaje que le impactaba, lo escribía en tablas, si no tenía papel, y lo guardaba hasta que conseguía papel. Entonces lo copiaba, lo miraba, lo memorizaba y lo repetía".

Entre los libros que leyó estaban la Biblia, El progreso del peregrino, y los poemas de Robert Burns. Un día hizo un largo camino para tomar prestado un libro de un granjero. Este libro era La vida de Washington de Weems. Leyó todo lo que pudo volviendo a casa.

Para entonces estaba oscuro, así que se sentó junto a la chimenea y leyó a la luz de la hoguera hasta la hora de ir a la cama. Entonces llevó el libro consigo a la cama en la buhardilla y leyó a la luz de una vela de sebo.

En una hora la vela se consumió. Colocó el libro en una ranura entre los troncos de la cabaña, de forma que pudiera comenzar a leer de nuevo en cuanto fuera de día.

Pero por la noche se levantó una tormenta. La lluvia entró dentro y el libro estaba completamente mojado.

Por la mañana, cuando Abraham despertó, vio lo que había ocurrido. Secó las hojas lo mejor que pudo y entonces acabó de leer el libro.

Tan pronto como hubo desayunado, se apresuró a llevar el libro a su proprietario. Explicó como había pasado el accidente.

"Sr. Crawford ", dijo," estoy dispuesto a pagarle el libro. No tengo dinero; pero, si me lo permite, trabajaré para usted hasta que haya alcanzado su precio".

El Sr. Crawford pensó que el libro valía setenta y cinco centavos, y que el trabajo de Abraham valdría veinticinco centavos por día. Y así el muchacho ayudó al granjero a recoger maíz durante tres días, y con ello se convirtió en el dueño del precioso libro.

Leyó muchas veces la historia de Washington. Llevaba el libro al campo y lo leía mientras siguía el arado.

Desde eso tiempo, Washington fue el gran héroe que admiraba. ¿Porque no podría modelar su vida según la de Washington? Porque no podría también ser un hacedor de grandes cosas por su país?

La vida en el lugar rústico.

Abraham Lincoln ahora se puso a trabajar con la voluntad de educarse. Su padre pensaba que no necesitaba aprender más. No veía que hubiera nada bueno en el aprendizaje de los libros. SI un hombre podía leer y escribir y entendía los números, ¿qué más necesitaba?

Pero la buena madrastra pensaba de otra forma; y cuando comenzó otro corto período escolar en la pequeña escuela de madera, los seis niños de la cabaña de Lincoln estaban entre los alumnos.

En unas pocas semanas, sin embargo, la escuela había cerrado; y los tres niños estaban de nuevo trabajando duramente, talando y cavando en los espacios abiertos de Mr. Lincoln. Eran buenos chicos alegres y hacían su labor más ligera con muchos chistes y bromas divertidas.

Eran muchas las historias graciosas con que Abraham divertía a sus dos compañeros. Muchas eran las preguntas enigmáticas que les hacía. A veces, por la noche, con los otros cinco niños alrededor de él, declamaba algún fragmento que había aprendido; o daba un discurso de su cosecha sobre algún tema de interés general.

Si se le pudiera ver como era entonces, difícilmente se podría pensar que un chico así se convertiría alguna vez en uno de los hombres más famosos de la historia. En la cabeza llevaba una gorra hecha de la piel de una ardilla o un mapache. En lugar de pantalones de tela, llevaba bombachos de ante, cuyas perneras le quedaban cortas por muchos centímetros. Su camisa era de ante en invierno y de estopa hecha en casa en verano. Medias no tenía. Sus zapatos eran de cuero pesado y solo los calzaba los domingos o cuando hacía mucho frío.

La familia vivía de tal manera para necesitar muy poco dinero. Su pan estaba hecho de harina de maíz. Su carne era principalmente la carne de caza salvaje que se encuentra en el bosque.

En la mesa se usaban platos de estaño y tabla de trinchar de madera. Las tazas de té y café eran de hojalata pintada. No había horno, y toda la comida se hacía en el fuego de la gran chimenea.

Pero la pobreza no fue un obstáculo para Abraham Lincoln. Continuó con sus lecturas y sus estudios lo mejor que pudo. Algunas veces iba al pequeño pueblo de Gentryville, cerca, para pasar la noche. Contaba tantos chistes y tantas historias divertidas, que toda la gente quería reunirse a su alrededor para escuchar.

Cuando alcanzó la edad de dieciséis años, fue un día a Booneville, a unas quince millas, para asistir a un juicio en el tribunal. Nunca había estado en el tribunal anteriormente. Escuchaba con mucha atención todo lo que se dijo. Cuando el abogado defensor hizo su discurso, el joven estaba tan entusiasmado que no se pudo contener.

Se levantó de su asiento, atravesó la sala del tribunal y le dio la mano al abogado. "Ese fue el mejor discurso que he oído en mi vida", dijo.

Era alto y muy delgado; iba vestido con una chaqueta vaquera y pantalones de ante; estaba descalzo. Así que tuvo que haber sido un extraño espectáculo verlo felicitar a un anciano abogado con experiencia.

Desde ese momento una ambición parecía llenar su mente. Quería ser abogado y dar grandes discursos en el tribunal. Caminó doce millas descalzo para tomar prestada una copia de las leyes de Indiana. Día y noche leía y estudiaba.

"Algún día seré el presidente de los Estados Unidos", dijo a algunos de sus jóvenes amigos. Y esto no lo dijo como una broma, sino en la firme creencia de que se confirmaría como verdadero.
unit 1
School and Books.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 4
If you could see that cabin you would think it a queer kind of school-house.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 5
There was no floor.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 6
There was only one window, and in it were strips of greased paper pasted across, instead of glass.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 7
There were no desks, but only rough benches made of logs split in halves.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 8
In one end of the room was a huge fireplace; at the other end was the low doorway.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 9
The first teacher was a man whose name was Azel Dorsey.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 7 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 10
The term of school was very short; for the settlers could not afford to pay him much.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 11
It was in mid-winter, for then there was no work for the big boys to do at home.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 14
There were not very many scholars, for the houses in that new settlement were few and far apart.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 15
School began at an early hour in the morning, and did not close until the sun was down.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 19
After that he attended school only two or three short terms.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 20
If all his school-days were put together they would not make a twelve-month.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 21
But he kept on reading and studying at home.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 22
His step-mother said of him: "He read everything he could lay his hands on.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 24
Then he would copy it, look at it, commit it to memory, and repeat it."
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 25
Among the books that he read were the Bible, the Pilgrims Progress, and the poems of Robert Burns.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 26
One day he walked a long distance to borrow a book of a farmer.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 27
This book was Weems's Life of Washington.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 28
He read as much as he could while walking home.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 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, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 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, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 31
In an hour the candle burned out.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 33
But in the night a storm came up.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 34
The rain was blown in, and the book was wet through and through.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 35
In the morning, when Abraham awoke, he saw what had happened.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 36
He dried the leaves as well as he could, and then finished reading the book.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 37
As soon as he had eaten his breakfast, he hurried to carry the book to its owner.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 38
He explained how the accident had happened.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 39
"Mr. Crawford," he said, "I am willing to pay you for the book.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 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 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 43
He read the story of Washington many times over.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 44
He carried the book with him to the field, and read it while he was following the plow.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 45
From that time, Washington was the one great hero whom he admired.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 46
Why could not he model his own life after that of Washington?
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 47
Why could not he also be a doer of great things for his country?
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 48
Life in the Backwoods.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 49
Abraham Lincoln now set to work with a will to educate himself.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 50
His father thought that he did not need to learn anything more.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 51
He did not see that there was any good in book-learning.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 52
If a man could read and write and cipher, what more was needed?
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 56
Many were the droll stories with which Abraham amused his two companions.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 57
Many were the puzzling questions that he asked.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 60
On his head he wore a cap made from the skin of a squirrel or a raccoon.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 61
unit 62
His shirt was of deerskin in the winter, and of homespun tow in the summer.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 63
Stockings he had none.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 64
His shoes were of heavy cowhide, and were worn only on Sundays or in very cold weather.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 65
The family lived in such a way as to need very little money.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 66
Their bread was made of corn meal.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 67
Their meat was chiefly the flesh of wild game found in the forest.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 68
Pewter plates and wooden trenchers were used on the table.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 69
The tea and coffee cups were of painted tin.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 70
There was no stove, and all the cooking was done on the hearth of the big fireplace.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 71
But poverty was no hindrance to Abraham Lincoln.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 72
He kept on with his reading and his studies as best he could.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 73
Sometimes he would go to the little village of Gentryville, near by, to spend an evening.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 76
He had never been in court before.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 77
He listened with great attention to all that was said.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 79
He arose from his seat, walked across the courtroom, and shook hands with the lawyer.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 80
"That was the best speech I ever heard," he said.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 81
He was tall and very slim; he was dressed in a jeans coat and buckskin trousers; his feet were bare.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 82
It must have been a strange sight to see him thus complimenting an old and practiced lawyer.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 83
From that time, one ambition seemed to fill his mind.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 84
He wanted to be a lawyer and make great speeches in court.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 85
He walked twelve miles barefooted, to borrow a copy of the laws of Indiana.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 86
Day and night he read and studied.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 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, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 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, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 3 weeks ago
carme2222 • 6300  commented on  unit 44  7 months, 3 weeks ago
terehola • 6017  commented on  unit 10  7 months, 3 weeks ago
terehola • 6017  commented on  unit 10  7 months, 3 weeks ago

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.