AFER READING IT, GUESS WHO WROTE IT. (THE ANSWER IS IN COMMENTS.)
WE SHOULD ALL ENDEAVOR TO HAVE THE EFFECT THIS TEACHER HAD ON HIS PUPIL ON THOSE AROUND US, AND TO EXPRESS OUR GRATITUDE TO THOSE WHO HAVE HELPED US JUST AS FORTHRIGHTLY.
Dear [TEACHER'S NAME],
I let the commotion around me these days subside a bit before speaking to you from the bottom of my heart.
I have just been given far too great an honor, one I neither sought nor solicited. But when I heard the news, my first thought, after my mother, was of you.
Without you, without the affectionate hand you extended to the small poor child that I was, without your teaching, and your example, none of all this would have happened.
I don't make too much of this sort of honor. But at least it gives me an opportunity to tell you what you have been and still are for me, and to assure you that your efforts, your work, and the generous heart you put into it still live in one of your little schoolboys who, despite the years, has never stopped being your grateful pupil. I embrace you with all my heart.