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JOHN JUDSON BAGLEY

BY GEORGE H. HOPKINS
June 7, 1882

Last Christmas he sent a boy a present of Hittell's 'History of Culture, ' and wrote in it, very characteristically, the Persian verse, 'Who learns and learns and acts not what he knows, Is one who plows and plows but never sows. ' "Those who were intimate with John Bagley, remember how he always had an appropriate quotation at hand—usually a few lines of poetry putting much sense in small space. This was a habit his mother strove patiently to form in his early years. She would ask, 'My son, what permanent acquisition to your memory have you made to-day?' Jokingly at his tea table in late years, in memory of his stately mother's question, he would draw from his vest pocket some fine sentence from a speech or lines from a poem cut out of a newspaper during the day, and say, 'Here is my permanent acquisition to my memory to-day. ' "The mother had long been silent but the habit continued to enrich. If that mother had asked her son how much money he had made he might have been only a business man, but he would not have had that well informed mind, and his friends would not through his life have found him a mine of information, refined wit, or been served with the best sayings of the wisest minds. Persons with him were impressed with the largeness of heart and mind, but forgot his wealth or his power. His mother died before he was called to any place of trust, but she had a faith that 'the State will be the better for the lives of my sons. ' "Her faith was to John an inspiration to press on and gain all his mother would want him to be. "

Michigan


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