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eral literature to a degree that rendered him a prodigy of intelligence.
2. At the age of eighteen, by an intensity of application of which few persons can conceive, he had not only thoughtfully perused all the popular English authors of a later date, but taken an extensive survey of foreign literature. So surprisingly retentive was his memory, that he never forgot what he had once learned, nor did it appear that he ever suffered even an image to be effaced from his mind; whilst the ideas which he had so rapidly accumulated existed in his brain, not as a huge chaos, but as clear and well-organized systems, illustrative of every subject and subservient to every call.
3. In all companies he led the conversation. But in no instance was his superiority oppressive. Calm, attentive, and cheerful, he confuted more gracefully than others compliment; the tone of dogmatism and the smile of contempt were equally unknown to him. His honor was the anxious delicacy of a Christian, who regards his soul as a sacred pledge, that must some time be re-delivered to the Almighty lender; his benevolence a circle, in which self indeed might be the centre, but all that lives was the circumference. This tribute of respect to thy name and virtues, my beloved Henderson, is paid by one who was once proud to call thee tŭtor and friend, and who will do honor to thy memory till his spirit rests with thine! .
4. There are moments in which most persons are susceptible of a transient irritability, but the oldest of Henderson's friends never beheld him otherwise than calm and collected. During his residence at Oxford, a student of a neighboring college was solicitous of a private disputation with the renowned Henderson. Some mutual friends introduced him, and, having chosen his subject, the two conversed for some time with equal candor and moderation ; but at length Henderson's
derson's facer o his position, genta digression
antagonist, perceiving his confutation inevitable, in the height of passion threw a full glass of wine in John Henderson's face. Henderson, without altering his features or changing his position, gently wiped his face, and then coolly replied, “ This, sir, is a digression ; now for the argument.” It is hardly necessary to add, the insult was resented by the company's turning the aggressor out of the room.
5. In a letter from Oxford to my brother Amos, his pupil, John Henderson thus expresses himself: “See that you govern your passions. What should grieve us but our infirmities? What make us angry but our own faults ? A man who knows he is mortal, and that all the world will pass away, and by and by seem only like a tale, – a sinner who knows his sufferings are all less than his sins, and designed to break him from them,one who knows that everything in this world is a seed that will have its fruit in eternity, — that God is the best, the only good friend, - that in Him is all we want, that everything is ordered for the best, so that it could not be better, however we take it, - he who believes this in his heart, is happy.”.
6. Those who were unacquainted with John Henderson's character may naturally ask, “ What test has he left the world of the distinguished talents thus ascribed to him ?” None! He cherished a sentiment, which, whilst it teaches humility to the proud, explains the cause of that silence so generally regretted. Upon my once expressing to him some regret at his not having benefited mankind by the result of his deep and varied investigations, he replied, “ More men become writers from ignorance than from knowledge, not knowing that they have been anticipated by others. Let us decide with caution, and write late.” Thus the vastness and variety of his acquirements, and the diffidence of his own mental maturity, alike prevented him from illuminating mankind, till death called him to graduate in
a sphere more favorable to the range of his soaring and comprehensive mind. He died on a visit to Oxford, in November, 1788, in the thirty-second year of his age.
CXXIX. – TO A SKYLARK.
The skylark, though common in England, is not known in America. Several attempts have been made to introduce the breed here, but as yet without success. The note of this bird is often audible high overhead, when the bird itself is too distant to be seen. The poet's enthusiasm bere runs over in words as beautiful and inspiring as the music of the little creature he celebrates.
See in Index, HYMENEAL, LANGUOR, SHELLEY.
Higher still, and higher, from the earth thou springest
Sound of vernal showers on the twinkling grass,
Teach us, sprite or bird, what sweet thoughts are thine:
IX. What objects are the fountains of thy happy strain ? What fields, or waves, or mountains ? what shapes of sky or
plain? What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of pain ?
With thy clear, keen joyance languor cannot be:
Waking or asleep, thou of death must deem
We look before and after, and pine for what is not :
Yet if we could scorn pride, and hate, and fear;
Better than all measures of delightful sound,
CXXX. — THE FATAL BRAWL.
The following dialogue is founded on an actual occurrence which took place in Scotland, about the year 1625. In the incidents here represented there is hardly any departure from the facts as they are on record.
Pronounce the g in ARGYLE hard (as in go), Lamont, la-mont'.
MACGREGOR, LAMONT, ARGYLE, Ross, LINZIE.
SCENE. — A room in Macgregor's house.
refuge ! Refuge and help! Is no one in the house ? (Soliloquizes.) 'T was a hot chase, — but I have distanced