Where does Nabokov say his "first english friends" come from in Speak, Memory? What were the author's impressions about them?

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Vladimir Nabokov met his first English friends in his grammar studies—they were characters in the lessons. He explains that his family revered English products and that he actually learned English before he learned Russian. The boys were named Ben, Dan, Sam, and Ned. Nabakov says that a lot of the lessons focused on where the boys were and who they were. For example, it might say that Sam was in bed. Another example was the sentence that said: "He is Dan."

He pictured them as large and pale, and he observed that they were proud of silly things—like owning a specific tool. Ben, for example, had an axe. He didn't picture them as being particularly intelligent. His impressions of them faded as he got older. However, he says that they still drift in the back of his memories.

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