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globe, which was smooth and entire; that anything added to it might augment its size, but would never add to the perfection of its rotundity; while anything taken from it would be destructive of its globular form, and so far of its perfection. “I remember,’ he said, “as well as if it was but yesterday, how I leaned upon a rail as I stood on some steps at Fulneck, and deeply and silently mused in my mind on the commotion which would be produced upon the public by the appearance of this round poem.”

Montgomery's first poetical efforts were imitations of the rude ungrammatical old Moravian hymns. By the time he was thirteen, he had filled a book with these. His instructors carefully guarded their pupils from contact with books which they regarded as improper. So vigilant were they, that the father of one of the boys having sent to the school a volume of selections from Milton, Thomson, and Young, consisting, as he supposed, of some of their finest moral and religious sentiments, it was carefully examined, and pruned of its unprofitable passages, before the masters suffered it to fall into the hands of the boys. And on reaching them, it was found seriously mutilated, many leaves cut out, and others in a mangled state. The usual result followed from this extreme severity of discipline. Montgomery fell in with an extract from Hamlet :

We were of course prohibited from reading the entire play; and that very prohibition created in me the most ardent desire to see the whole; nor did I ever rest till I had read it.

The ten years Montgomery lived at Fulneck were spent in monastic seclusion from the world. “I do not recollect,” he says “having once during all that time conversed for ten minutes with any person whatever, except my companions, our masters, and occasional. Moravian visitors.” There seems to have been much simple piety among the children; an amusing example is given :—

It was customary for the boys of different classes to take tea with each other. One day the beverage was changed; and when the boys had all partaken, they formed a circle hand in hand, and sung a hymn. One of the least was then placed in the centre of the ring, to officiate in prayer. He knelt down and said, “O Lord, bless us little children, and make us very good. We thank thee for what we have received. O bless this good chocolate to us, and give us more of it !”

Notwithstanding the prohibitions of his superiors, Montgomery gradually became acquainted with many of the English poets. Poetry was his passion thus early. Cowper was the first ‘whole poet’ he had seen; but he did not care for Cowper's poetry; he ‘thought he could do better himself.” Before he was fourteen, he wrote a mock-heroic poem of Iooo lines. He began a poem called The World, which he intended should outvie Milton on his own domain : and contemplated a long work on the history of Alfred, in a series of Pindaric odes. An event which occurred at this time made a great impression on his mind, and was often recurred to by him in after years. The eccentric Lord Monboddo, on visiting Fulneck, was taken by the Moravian bishop to the school, and the names of several boys mentioned to him. The old judge paid little attention till the bishop said, “Here, my Lord, is one of your countrymen.” On this Monboddo started, and flourishing a large horsewhip over Montgomery's head, cried out, “I hope he will take care that his country shall never be ashamed of him.” ‘This,” said Montgomery, ‘I never forgot; nor shall I forget it while I live: I have, indeed, endeavoured so to act that my country might never have cause to be ashamed of me.’ The poetic boy became silent and abstracted, to the great annoyance of the good Brethren, who had hoped to have made him a Moravian minister. The school diary contains several unsatisfactory entries about him : Under May 2nd, 1787, we find, ‘Complaints that J. M. was not using proper diligence in his studies, and was admonished on the subject;’ and on July 3rd, “As J. M., notwithstanding repeated admonitions, has not been more attentive, it was resolved to put him to a business, at least for a time.” J. M. was accordingly placed with a small shopkeeper at Mirfield, near Fulneck. He remained behind the counter for a year and a half, writing poetry and composing music; and finally, on Sunday morning, the 19th June, 1789, he ran away, with three-and-sixpence in his pocket. “I had just got,' he tells us, ‘a new suit of clothes, but as I had only been a short time with my good master, I did not think my little services had earned them. I therefore left him in my old ones.’ And thus, at the age of sixteen, set out James Montgomery to begin the world. On the evening of the second day he reached the hamlet of Wentworth; and here he conceived a plan for recruiting his lessening finances. He knew that Earl Fitzwilliam's residence was near. Having fairly copied out a little poem he had composed, he proceeded to Wentworth Park, and after waiting a while, espied his lordship riding through his domain. With great agitation he presented his poem to the kind-hearted nobleman, who read it upon the spot, and forthwith presented a golden guinea to the gratified author. In a few days Montgomery was established as shopman to Mr. Hunt, who kept ‘a general store’ at the pretty village of Wath, near Rotherham, where he sold ‘flour, shoes, cloth, groceries, and almost every description of hard and soft ware.” The kind brethren at Fulneck sought to persuade the prodigal to return to them, but Montgomery was resolute, and at Wath he remained a year, “remarkably grave, serious, and silent,”—“a slender youth, shrinking from the cold, and still more from contact with the villagers generally, who regarded him with a mysterious interest, as being sure “no vulgar boy.””

A. Wath, Montgomery became acquainted with a neighbouring bookseller, who encouraged his taste for literature. At the end of a year he sent a volume of manuscript poetry to Mr. Harrison, the publisher, of Paternoster Row, and a week after followed in person. We have no particulars of his first journey to London, but we are told that Mr. Harrison gave Montgomery a situation in his shop, though he declined to print the young poet's volume. Montgomery retained his quiet disposition. While in London he never entered a theatre, nor ever visited the British Museum ; “he had no curiosity,” he tells us, “for such things.’ He first saw himself in print in an Edinburgh weekly publica

tion, entitled The Bee, where, in November, 1791, appeared a tale by him, called The Chimera, of little merit. He next wrote a novel, in imitation of Fielding, which he offered to Mr. Lane, the publisher. Lane read the work, and offered Montgomery twenty pounds for it, provided he would re-write it: ‘for,” said Lane, “you swear so shockingly, that I dare not publish the work as it is.’ ‘This,” said Montgomery, long after, “was like a dagger to my heart, for I never swore an oath in my life, nor did I till that moment perceive the impropriety of making fictitious characters swear in print, as they do in Fielding and Smollett.” The novel was again offered to Lane long afterwards, and refused; and in after life its author often expressed his thankfulness that things were so ordered. But in the meantime the disappointment was a bitter one, and Montgomery resolved to return to Yorkshire. He accordingly entered once more upon his shopman life at Wath. Meanwhile, in 1790, his mother died at Tobago, and was followed in a few months by his father. They had been conducting the Moravian Mission there for seven years. Their simplicity and piety appear to have been beyond all praise, and there is something very touching in the way in which the good missionary wrote to the Brethren of Fulneck, recording the death of his wife, whom he was so soon to follow. On November Ioth, 1790, he wrote:–

With a heart deeply affected, I must inform you that it has pleased the Lord to take my dear wife home to eternal rest, on the 23rd of October. Her illness was a fever, which lasted seven days. In the beginning no danger was apprehended; but on the

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