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of John Ross, of London Grove, of the same county. She was a diffident but intelligent woman; an active, cheerful Christian, enjoying uninterrupted good health; and with her courage and counsel upheld her husband when in the course of his arduous duties his spirits failed. Upon her devolved, in an especial manner, the care of the family. To her the children were accustomed to turn for every want. Under her direction they worked or played, while the father, visiting his parishioners, or preparing his sermons, came among them only at stated seasons to speak the words of approbation or reproof, or to minister to their spiritual wants.

William's very delicate constitution, rendered him a constant source of anxiety to his parents. He was reared and watched like a pet flower. The germs of disease were stified in the bud. The tenderest precautions ever surrounded him. As he grew older, his health improved, and from the time he was twelve years of age, continued unimpaired. As a child, his amiability of temper and liveliness of talent, secured to himself the warm attachment of his whole family. His elder sister says, “ Though fond of play and very active at times, he was decidedly a quiet child, and always fond of reading. He used to steal into Papa’s study to get rid of noise and interruption. Oh how plainly can I hear · William' called, and called in vain; then hear the reply, · You might know he is in Papa's study.' And when there were gentlemen staying with us, I can remember how he would noiselessly sit in a corner of the room, listening to every word ; until my father would often say playfully to him, “You little rogue, you hear too much.'»

At this period, in company with his brothers, he attended

a country school near his father's residence, and continued to do so until the autumn of 1828. When a little over ten years of age, he entered New London academy.

This institution, justly celebrated for having been one of the earliest of its kind in our country, and for having trained many of its most distinguished and worthy men for usefulness, had been neglected, and at the period of which we are speaking, had long been closed. The Rev. Mr. Graham feeling a father's anxiety for the education of his numerous sons, by his strenuous efforts partially revived the school. He was appointed nominally its principal, and authorized to procure a teacher. This he did, and on its being again organized, among the first scholars was found the subject of our memoir.

The day on which, for the first time, William rode by his father's side to this academy, was an era never forgotten. Over and over again, in the hours when, free from care, he would commence one of those long talks which made the happiest moments of our married life, would he revert to this day, and describe his childish delight, his curiosity to see what an “academy” was like, his thousand questions, his father's teasing and stimulating answers, and his own aroused ambition. The scene is before me now in all the vividness of reality which his eloquent and poetical description could give.

His fondness for poetry early developed itself. His first tes in the academy, a young man of the same name, of prepossessing appearance and cultivated mind, took a deep interest in the instruction of his gifted but delicate looking pupil, and lent him, with some prose works, Pollock's Course

ever seen,

of Time. This was the first book of poetry that William had

He seized upon it with avidity, and retiring to å spot secure from interruption, pored over it with delight. Pope's works next laid claim to his admiration. The measured strains of this poet were conned over and over, and with a most retentive memory, stored away for future use. He also attempted imitations of the style of Pope, which for rhythm and metre would have done credit to maturer years. But the early efforts of his genius were rather crushed than cultivated. Unlike the course pursued by Mrs. Davidson, with her gifted daughters, the elder Mr. Graham discouraged by every means in his power, save absolute command, these “flashings of poetic fire,” and advising such studies and pursuits as would tend to strengthen his judgment and regulate his sensibilities, sought to impress upon the mind of his son a contempt for the lighter pursuits of literature, and to subject him alone to the stern discipline necessary to make a scholar. By constantly presenting before him examples of wasted talent, perverted morals and unhappy lives, the result, as he esteemed it, of an over indulged imagination, he sought to win him from what he considered a dangerous and timewasting pursuit. Whether the course thus adopted be a wise one, in all cases, may admit of a question, but it is certain, that its effect upon William's character was good. It did not check his writing entirely, but by its restrictions, preserved the healthy tone of his mind, and kept him free from any tinge of that sickly sentimentality, too apt to abound in the early productions of a “boy of genius." Although this course could not destroy his love of reading and rhyming, it influenced him sufficiently to cause the destruction of all the pieces written at this period,

The father of Mr. Graham, like most ministers of country congregations, derived the means of supporting his family, in part, from a farm which his sons assisted in cultivating. From a share of these labours William was not exempted. He performed his duties with cheerfulness, but it was very evident that his books were the objects of his deepest interest. As time passed on, the love of study that he displayed, became a source of pride and pleasure to his family, and his health still continuing delicate, his regular walk to school was seldom interrupted by duties at home, and a morning and evening look after the horses became his only care. In his after life, he often referred to this daily walk to and from school, and the simple dinner carried in his pocket, as the cause of the decided improvement in his health, and the power

of abstinence from food, which characterized his ma

turer years.

Up to this time he had manifested no particular interest in the subject of religion. He was regular in his attendance upon public worship, giving his undivided attention to the services of the sanctuary, and exhibiting many of the outward traits of the Christian character. A very enthusiastic and devoted Christian, whose light shone brightly wherever she moved, and which soon after was perfected in heaven, visiting at his father's house, remarked to his sister, “I do fear so much for your brother William; he reminds me constantly of the young man in the gospel, he is so lovely. I can talk to most non-professors, but for some reason I cannot find words to suit him, and I constantly feel that he is better than myself-profession and all.” But the prayers of his father had found acceptance at the mercy seat, and the Spirit

of God had begun a good work in his heart. Ever silent upon any subject in which his feelings were deeply interested, his family suspected not the state of his mind, until his father, going into the stable one morning, found hid in the rack the following paper:


In the morning when I awake, having silently returned thanks to the Lord for my preservation through the night, and asked him in mercy to keep me from all evil through the day, I will rise, and having washed myself and done my work, I will return to my room and read a chapter in the Bible, and contemplate the truths therein contained; then kneeling down, I will pray to my Father' who seeth in secret, believing that I shall be rewarded openly.

I will then address myself to my lesson, and endeavour never to go to school in the morning until I know it perfectly, and having eaten my breakfast, I will go to school.

In the evening, when I return from school, I will immediately attend to my work, and then retire to my room, where, if it be light enough, I will read a chapter in the Testament, (and if not, omit it,) and having considered its meaning, I will think over all I have done this day, and

pray for pardon wherein I have erred, and grace to enable me to do so no more. Having finished my prayer, I will join my studies. If supper be ready when I come home, I will defer these duties, or rather privileges, until after it.

At noon—I will read a chapter in the Testament, and if an opportunity offers, I will kneel down to prayer, but if not, I must be content to pray in my heart.

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