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half over, his companions are already all asleep. "If ever I become a poet," is his secret whispering to himself, "I will write something like this." Like the child born inland, whom Wordsworth describes as listening to the shell's low murmuring sound of its native sea, it seems as if on that summer day, whilst the future poet sits beneath the shade of that hedge, the music of the spheres is awakening for the first time the kindred harmonies of his genius.

Books are his daily, hourly joy. The forbidden, however, rather than the sanctioned and authorised, are chiefly coveted. "All mankind," we find him writing, "are made of the same clay my curiosity is insatiate; and the pains which are taken to con ceal certain things from us, only makes us more anxious to explore them." The favorites, in those stolen interviews, are the great English poets. With these, up to the age of thirteen, he is almost entirely unacquainted-though he has already filled a little. volume with his own sacred rhymes. A habit is contracted in those school-days, which remains with him to old age. He will frequently retire to rest with a half-finished poem on his mind, resolving not to close his eyes till it is completed. This wakefulness, he tells us, so grew upon him, that for many years he never enjoyed one peaceful night.

At the age of fifteen, he conceives the idea of an epic poem, to be entitled "Alfred;" commencing with the Anglo-Saxon hero in his disguise of a peasant in the Isle of Athelney, and proceeding to

exhibit a scene in heaven-the Almighty upon a throne looking down in pity on the ruins of England, when suddenly there appear in His presence the spirits of a host of Englishmen who have just perished in battle, bewailing the condition of their country, and imploring God to deliver it. The idea is truly a "boyish daring; but it is the daring of a boy of genius." The epic, however, is not executed; for, whilst his soaring wing is trimming itself for such flights, his heart will be arrested by such words as these, in the Moravian Litany"Keep us, our dear Lord and God, from untimely projects, from all loss of our glory in Thee, from unhappily becoming great."

CHAPTER II.

"Away! "Tis time my journey were begun."

"Whether is it better with the many to follow a beaten track, Or by eccentric wanderings to cull unheeded sweets ?"

The setting out-" A business"-The village inn-The visitor-Wentworth-The "store"-"No vulgar boy"-The missionary-Life's battle-London-Goldsmith-"The Row"-The " sixpenny volume" -The presentiment.

It is the desire of the Brethren that young Montgomery shall devote himself to the ministry; but a habit of abstraction, gradually withdrawing him from exact studies into that excursive freedom through which minds like his are ordinarily ushered into their future, at length induces his teachers to seek for him some other line of service. Accordingly, it is resolved to "put him to a buisiness, at least for a time." For a year and a half, he stands behind the counter of a "Fine-Bread Baker" in Mirfield, a village near Fulnec-feeling, like Foster at the loom, "a stranger in the place," but dissevered finally from that sacred calling to which his parents, ten years before, had devoted him. With little to occupy him, and craving, like some pent-up flower, another ele

ment of life-he breaks loose one morning, determined

"To view

The world, which yet by fame alone he knew." With three shillings and sixpence in his pocket, and with a suit of old clothes on his person (for, though he has just got a new suit from his master, he leaves them behind, not thinking his services have merited them), and with a single change of linen-here he is, at the age of sixteen, with the world all before him, and his spirit at last free.

That night he rests at Doncaster, and the next in a village near Wentworth, the seat of Earl Fitzwilliam. As he sits in the humble inn, wearied and downcast, a lad comes in, and, seeing him with his little bundle, enters into friendly converse. "My father," says he, "keeps an establishment at a village not far off; and as he is wanting an assistant just now, probably you may suit him." The wanderer is thankful; and the next day he repairs to Wath, and engages himself to this new master. Writing to his friends at Fulnec, and also to his late employer at Mirfield, he obtains a warm recommendation from them, coupled with an affectionate entreaty on the part of the latter to return to his service. Meanwhile he ventures into Wentworth Park with the hope of meeting its noble owner, and of presenting to him a copy of his verses. Scarcely has he entered the domain, when Lord Fitzwilliam comes up on horseback, and, affably accepting the proffered gift, and reading the verses on the

spot, presents their author with a guinea-the first patronage and the first profit which his poetry has yet received. At a future day, he is to be welcomed there as the honored Christian poet.

Behind the counter in a "General Store" in the rustic village of Wath, is to be seen a slender youth, about the age of eighteen, serving with a scrupulous fidelity from morning to night the simple villagers, who find in that universal repository the flour, the sugar, the tea, the cloth, the shoes, the hardware, the all of their humble homes. But there is something about the lad which even their eye can detect—a certain grave thoughtfulness which, as he paces the street on some business-errand, will suggest the whisper-"Surely he is no vulgar boy." Of an evening, he saunters to a neighboring village, where the stationer's shop of the district finds in the youthful poet a stated visitor. Into no other ear can his longing spirit pour its irrepressible aspirations.

But though at Wath he meets no mental sympathy, his heart is too full of the love of Jesus not to spread abroad in his humble dwelling the fragrance of His name. A prayer remains which he wrote for his master's sick wife, and which indicates indirectly and very affectingly the tone of his own inner life. "O Father of Eternity!" is one of its impressive sentences, "we adore thy undeserved love in giving up thine only Son out of thy bosom to be a sacrifice for us, when we were aliens to God and rebels against our Creator. We thank thee for His hard, uncomfort

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