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wish for further particulars, I must refer you to the memoirs published after her decease; for, when only in the seventeenth year of her age, this lovely and promising girl, possessed of every virtue that can adorn the female character, was removed to the “gardens above;" but great as was this trial to her fond and affectionate parents, they had, and must ever have, the sweet and consoling assurance of their Caroline's eternal happiness.

103

CHAP. IX.

BENJAMIN WEST.

Henry. I have finished my wind-mill, mamma; and the next time I draw a picture I intend to paint it: perhaps you will allow me to use the colours in your paint-box.

Mamma. Most willingly, my dear boy. I am always glad to give you pleasure, and to see you anxious to improve yourself in any way. And as you are a little painter yourself, I think you may like to hear some account, of the childhood and juvenile efforts of Benjamin West, this evening, whose name as an artist stands in the first rank. · Henry. Thank you, mamma: this will

be delightful. You know I have seen some of Mr. West's pictures in London; and I am sure I shall like to know what he did when he was a little boy, and whether he was as fond of painting as I am.

Mamma. Benjamin West was a native of America. He was born at Springfield, in the state of Pennsylvania, in 1738. He made his first attempt at drawing when only six years old, and perhaps you will not easily guess what formed the sụbject of his pencil.

Henry. Indeed, mamma, I cannot tell. Will you inform me?

Mamma. It was not a cottage, nor yet a wind-mill, but an infant asleep in its cradle. Benjamin had several sisters much older than himself, one of whom (who had been married some time before, and who had a daughter,) came with her infant to spend a few days at her father's. When the child was asleep in the cradle, one morning, its mother, accompanied by Mrs. West, went into the garden to ga

ther some flowers, and left little Benjamin to take care of the infant during their absence, giving him a fan to flap away the flies from molesting his little charge. After some time the child happened to smile in its sleep, and its beauty attracted his attention. He gazed upon it with delight; and observing some paper on a table, together with pens and red and black ink, he seized them with agitation, and endeavoured to make a portrait, although, at this period, he had never seen an engraving or a picture, and was only in the seventh year of his age. · Louisa. And was it like the baby, mamma?

Mamma. On hearing the approach of his mother and sister, he endeavoured to conceal what he had been doing; but the former, observing his confusion, enquired what he was about, and requested him to show her the paper. He blushed, and complied with her wish. Mrs. West, after looking some time at the drawing,

said to her daughter, “I declare he has made a likeness of little Sally;" and kissed him with all the fondness of an affectionate mother.

Louisa. That was a reward, I suppose, for his ingenuity. You know you often kiss me, mamma, as a recompence for saying my lessons correctly.

Mamma. Benjamin, encouraged by this kindness, told her that if it would give her any pleasure, he would make pictures of the flowers which she held in her hand; for his genius was excited, and he felt that he could imitate whatever he pleased.

Henry. I cannot easily imagine how he could form so good a likeness, with nothing more than pens and ink. Why did not his mother give him some pencils and paint, mamma?

Mamma. They lived in a retired part of the country, and I do not know that it ever occurred to her to furnish him with better materials. As to the little artist

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