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in the University of Edinburgh.* A knowledge of the way in which he became so distinguished may encourage the young who love learning to make great and persevering efforts to obtain it.
2. He was the son of a shepherd in Scotland; and his father tauglu^him his letters by writing them on the back of an old wool-card, with the end of a stick, burnt black. His next lessons were from the Catechism,f which he was soon able to read; and he amused himself by copying the printed letters on his card.
3. He got by heart many hymns, and also committed to memory large portions of the Bible. When he was about eight years of age, his father sent him among the hills to watch the sheep. He was, however, more fond of books, and of writing on boards with coals, than of tending sheep.
4. There was no school nearer than five miles; and his father was too poor to board him in the village. But one of his uncles offered to send him to school a short time. Here he was ridiculed for his awkwardness; but, notwithstanding this, he was soon at the head of his class.
5. Scarcely three months had passed away before he was obliged to leave the school on account of his health. Again he was sent into the field to tend sheep, and was five years without any instructor. But this did not abate his thirst for learning. Every spare sixpence he got, he expended in purchasing ballads and penny histories.
6. He carried these in his pockets, and read them when sent to look for the herds on the wild hills, and along the banks of Loch Greenock. \ The Bible and these ballads were all he read. From these sources, he got the reputation among the simple people of his native glen of being very
* Ed'in-burgh (ed'in-bur-ruh), the metropolis and capital of Scotland, the most northern division of the island of Great Britain.
t Cat'e-chism, a book of instruction by questions and answers. It here means a little book containing the doctrines and precepts of the Bible, as understood and pre' pared by the Westminster Assembly.
t Loch Green'ock, a small lake in Scotland.
learned; and he often puzzled the deacons of the church with his recitals of Scripture, and discourses about Jerusalem.*'
7. At twelve, he borrowed and read Josephus's f History, and also obtained some knowledge of geography. He learned to copy maps, and to make maps of the fields, and glens of his own neighborhood. He now engaged as a teacher in the families of two neighboring farmers; and, for his services during the winter, he received four dollars.
8. A part of this sum, he immediately expended for books. One of them wag an arithmetic, in whioh he advanced as far as Proportion, without a teacher. About the same time, he borrowed of an acquaintance some old magazines, which he carefully read, and treasured up their contents.
9. His father now removed nearer the village; and he was allowed to go to school three days in a week. It was his custom to be there an hour before the time, that he might read the books belonging to the other children. He seldom joined in any play, but read during intermission. This opportunity, however, lasted only six weeks.
10. When he was fifteen, he attended school again about three months and a .half. Frequently finding quotations from the ancient languages in the books and magazines which he read, he formed the design of learning them.
11. He now began school again, and commenced the study of French and Latin; and, before the vacation, he caught up with an advanced class, which had often ridiculed him for
* Je-ra'sa-lem, anciently the largest and most celebrated city of Palestine, and particularly interesting as the seat of the most important events described in the Bible. It is supposed to have been four or five miles in circumference, was surrounded by a high wall, and is said at one time to have contained 1,000,000 of inhabitants. It H now much less in extent, and contains a stationary population variously estimated from 10,000 to 25,000.
t Jo-se'phus, (Flavius), born at Jerusalem, thirty-seven years after Christ. He was remarkable from boyhood for the promise of those high qualities which he afterward displayed, as a commander, and man of letters. After the destruction of Jerusalem by the army of Titus, he went with that general, whose favor he had obtained, to Rome, where he wrote the History of the Jewish War, of which he had been an eyewitness, in five books. He was also the author of the 11 Jewish Antiquities," In twenty volumes. He died, as is supposed, about the year 95.
being behind them. The intermission he would spend in poring over a schoolmate's Greek Grammar.
12. During the next winter, he obtained a copy of Milton's Paradise Lost,* which he studied with great eagerness, and also read several Latin books. The next summer, he attended school again; and the difficulties which other scholars could scarcely surmount, in getting their Greek and Latin, were mere trifles to him.
13. He now introduced himself to the minister of the place by writing letters to him in Greek and Latin, and obtained from him several classical f works, which he read with avidity. He also got from him a Hebrew Grammar and a Hebrew Bible; the latter of which he read through. In about a year and a half, and with scarcely any instruction, he learned French, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew.
14. The next winter, he was again engaged in teaching; for which he received forty shillings. Every spare hour he devoted to the study of the languages. In one of his books, he found the Anglo-Saxon X alphabet; and this introduced him to the study of the languages of Northern Europe.
15. When he was nineteen years old, a gentleman in Edinburgh became so much interested in him that he sent for him, and introduced him to some literary men, who, surprised at his knowledge of the languages, took measures to have him admitted to the University, where he was soon able to support himself.
16. He became a distinguished clergyman, and a celebrated author; and when he died, he held the office bf Professor of Oriental Languages, to which he was elected by the town council.
* Milton's "Paradise Lost." See note on page 68.
t Clas'sic-al, pertaining principally to the literature of the ancient Greeks and Romans.
X Anglo-Sax'on, that language which, in the fifth century, was transplanted f y the Angles, Saxons, and some other German tribes, into England; and which continues, though much altered, to form the basis of the modern English language.
17. The biography of this man shows what can be done by diligence and perseverance in the midst of the greatest discouragements. The youth who is desirous of an education may learn from it how to obtain so desirable an object.
Questions. — 1. What is here said of Alexander Murray? What is meant by Oriental Languages? 2. Who was Murray? 2-5- What Is said of his early instruction f 6. What is said of him in this paragraph? Wliat is said of Jerusalt T'i? 7. What did Murray do at twelve years of age? What is said of Josephus? 10. What is said of Murray at fifteen? 11,12. What languages did he learn? 13. To wbom did he Introduce himself? What is meant by Anglo-Saxon? 15- What is mid of Murray at nineteen? 16. What did he at last become ? — What is the kind of composition, or diaracter} of this piece 1 What general rule is applicable in reading it t &c, Stc,
1. Num'bers, measures, verses.
2. Earn'est, animated, real, zealous. 4. Tleet'ing, passing swiftly.
4. Muf'fl£d, covered closely, as with cloth, to deaden sound.
5. He'ro, a man of distinguished talor
7. Sue-lime', noble, eminent .
8. For-lorn', helpless, wretched.
8. Main, the sea, or ocean.
9. A-cHiEV'inq, performing, executing
Errors.—Re'ul for re'al; eara'tstybr earn'est; en-joy'munt for en-joy'm«nt; tor rer for sor'roiv; worlz for worWs.
A PSALM OF LIFE. —H. W. Longfellow.
1. Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
2. Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is' not its goal;
8. Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
4. Art is long, and time is fleeting;
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
5. In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac * of life,
6. Trust no future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead past bury its dead 1
7. Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
8. v Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
9. Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Questions. — What is the subject of this piece of poetry? 2. What is here said of life? & What is said to be our destined end or way? 4-6. What is said of time, and the manner of improving it? IVhat is the meaning of bivouac? 7, 8. Of what do the lives of great men remind us? 8. What, then, is our duty ? — To which kind of poetry does this piece belong? How should it be read? See Rule 1, page 134, and Ilule 2, page 112.
* Biv'ouac (bivVak, or, by the poet, bWd-ac), the guard, or watch of a whole army, as in cases of great danger of surprise or attack. It here means a- constant watchfulness over the actions of life, and also its various trials.