Moncure Daniel Conway, Autobiography, Memories and Experiences of Moncure Daniel Conway (2 vols; Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1904), 1: 49-50.
Transcription adapted from Autobiography, Memories and Experiences of Moncure Daniel Conway, (1904)
Adapted by Rebecca Solnit, Dickinson College
The following transcript has been adapted from Autobiography, memories, and experiences of Moncure Daniel Conway.
Baird, the youngest of the Faculty, was the beloved professor and the ideal student. He was beautiful and also manly; all that was finest in the forms he explained to us seemed to be represented in the man. He possessed the art of getting knowledge into the dullest pupil. So fine was his spirit that his explanations of all the organs and functions of the various species were an instruction also in refinement of mind. Nothing unclean could approach him. One main charm of spring's approach was that then would begin our weekly rambles in field, meadow, wood, where Baird introduced us to his intimates. About some of these - especially snakes - most of us had indiscriminate superstitions. Occasionally he would capture some pretty and harmless snakes, and show us with pencillings their difference from the poisonous ones. He even persuaded the bolder among us to handle them. He kept a small barrel of these pretty reptiles in his house, and his little daughter used to play with them, till once some lady entering the room gave a scream. After that, so ran the story, the child bad the usual horror of snakes.