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The purposes for writing a description of one's life are very diverse, and, therefore, also require quite different methods of execution. In the present case it's up to me to bequeath as a legacy to a school, whose influence I owe the greatest and most characteristic part of my intellectual education, a picture of precisely this intellectual education; written at the time when I'm about toby leaving an old, familiar organization and through the acclimatization of my mind to wider and higher educational circlesprescribe new trails and, with them, to begin a new development.1
Of the turning points that up to now have divided my life into parts, I mention two in particular: the death of my father,2 the country pastor of Röcken near Lützen, which made us move our family to Naumburg, an event that concluded the first five years of my life. Thereupon my transfer from the Naumburg Gymnasium to Pforta, which happened in my fourteenth year. I know little about the earliest period my childhood; what I have been told about it, I do not like to repeat. I certainly had excellent parents; and I am convinced that the death of such a splendid father, on the one hand, really deprived me of paternal help and guidance for later on in life, while on the other planted the seeds of seriousness and contemplation in my soul.
Perhaps it was just a drawback that my entire development from then on was not under the eye of any male supervison, but that [....]