Quotation by Rutherford Birchard Hayes

I have just returned from home where I spent the holidays frolicking with the girls and laughing almost constantly either at my own folly or that of others. Like most youngsters whose time has been spent at school where we have little society of any kind, and none of the ladies, I am quite bashful when in company, and of course very awkward. This, instead of causing me mortification, affords me an infinite deal of amusement. I know my deficiency and, instead of lamenting over it, I make it a subject of sport both for myself and others who observe it. In this way I avoid all of those painful feelings which torture "the bashful man," and while counterfeiting an indifference to the opinions of others which I do not feel, I often find that I have overcome the embarrassment which at first oppressed me.
Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822–1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. I, p. 82, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Diary (January 6, 1842).

Written while a senior at Kenyon College.
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