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sided in the neighbourhood, soon after, also made him a present of a few shillings, to buy materials for painting; and these were the first public patrons of the artist. Well-exerted genius is sure to find friends; and the example of West was a proof of this assertion. As his paintings increased in excellence, his popularity, friends, and patrons, increased also; and he, whose first compositions had sold for a dollar or two, in time produced such as were considered worth more than one thousand pounds! In the course of a few years he visited Europe; where his paintings received universal admiration, and his talents secured for him the approbation and patronage of every friend to the Arts. I must now refer you to the Life and Memoirs of Mr. West, if you wish for further particulars respecting him. He was appointed President of the Royal Academy, in London, where he died, at an advanced age, in 1820, much esteemed and regretted.

128

CHAP. XI.

WILLIAM FRIEND DURANT.

Henry. WELL, mamma, we are quite ready for another account, and hope you are prepared to gratify us.

Louisa. Although I have been busily employed almost all day, I could not help wishing for evening, in the hope of hearing one of mamma's very entertaining histories; for spring is coming, and I fear we shall not have many more of these long, delightful winter evenings. Much as I enjoy spring, and summer, and autumn, I really think that winter is pleasanter than either of the other seasons.

Henry. You, Louisa! you, who watch

with such delight for the first crocuses and snowdrops in your little garden ;you! who so love to wander in the hayfield, in summer, and to pluck the wild roses and woodbines that grow in the hedges;-you! who are so fond of gleaning in the fields in harvest-time, and of looking at the yellow corn as it rustles in its sheaves:- do you really like winter better than either of the other seasons? · Louisa. Ah, Henry, you have quite puzzled me! When I said I liked winter better than any other time, I was only thinking of the long evenings, and of mamma's interesting accounts, which I so much enjoy hearing,

Mamma. I consider it as a happy circumstance, that each season presents new charms in its turn, and that the one present, always seems, at the time, the most agreeable. I confess I am of Louisa's opinion, that these long winter evenings are periods peculiarly devoted to domestic

pleasures, and am willing, with my favourite Cowper,

“ To crown, as king of intimate delights, Fire-side enjoyments, home-born happiness."

Henry. Now, mamma, will you begin your history?

Mamma. I think you will be pleased with some account of the childhood of William Friend Durant, a young man of high intellectual attainments, who died, in 1821, in his nineteenth year, while completing his studies in the University of Glasgow, and whose name will long be dear to those acquainted with his talents and virtue.

Louisa. Then he was amiable and clever, mamma?

Mamma. Yes, my dear little girl, he was amiable and clever, in the most expressive sense in which those words can be used. His excellent parents, aware of the importance of the charge that had devolved upon them, devoted themselves,

almost entirely, to the cultivation of the mind of their little darling, and taught him, at a very early age, to feel that religion is the basis of all happiness. The sentiment, thus early implanted in his bosom, remained with him through the whole of his short but well-spent life: it cast a sacred lustre over his actions; it convinced him that his talents were the gift of God, and that they consequently ought to be appropriated to him; it taught him to receive the commendation and praise which his abilities produced, with singular humility and modesty; and, above all, it supported him on the bed of death, when every earthly help failed him, and when his pure and enlightened spirit was about to be removed to a higher state of existence.

Henry. Will you begin your account regularly, mamma, and tell us when and where he lived ?

Mamma. William Friend Durant was born at Poole, in 1803; and never was a

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