My first visit to school was when I was seven. A strapping girl of fifteen, in the customary sunbonnet and calico dress, asked me if I used tobaccomeaning did I chew it. I said no. It roused her scorn. She reported me to all the crowd and said:
Here is a boy seven years old who cant chaw tobacco.
By the looks and comments which this produced I realized that I was a degraded object; I was cruelly ashamed of myself. I determined to reform. But I only made myself sick; I was not able to learn to chew tobacco. I learned to smoke fairly well but that did not conciliate anybody and I remained a poor thing and characterless. I longed to be respected but I never was able to rise. Children have but little charity for one anothers defects.Mark Twain, Autobiography, posthumous