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name so little significant in itself as to be commonly a subject for the vulgar jest, it is enough to say, that they serve to denote the more noble and daring events of a period, distinguished by its spirit, its courage and its passion, for vigorous and stirring performance. It is as one of the master spirits of this period and of modern times, that the subject of our biography challenges the consideration of our people.

JOHN SMITH was born at Willoughby, in the county of Lincolnshire, England, some time in the year 1579. He was descended from an ancient Lancashire family. His father came from the ancient stock of the Smiths of Crudley in that shire; his mother from the Rickards, at Great Heck, Yorkshire. He received his education, such as it was, at the free schools of Louth and Alford. It was, probably, his own fault that his schooling was not better. He was not of a temper to be restrained by schools and tutors. The eager activity of his mind and blood betrayed itself at a very early period. He makes the first exhibition of this activity while at school, and at the early age of thirteen. "Set," even then, according to his own showing, "upon brave adventures," he sold his books and satchel, and was preparing secretly to steal away to sea, when he was arrested by the death of his father. His mother, of whom he does not speak, seems to have died previously. His wandering purpose, arrested by this event, was checked for the moment only. His father left him some little property, which, with himself, was committed to the charge of certain guardians, who proved quite unfaithful to their trust. They were not disposed to waste his substance upon him, and with shameful cupidity winked at that tendency to vagabondism which his early impatience of restraint seemed to promise. Fortune thus, in lessening his domestic ties and sympathies, seemed to

encourage his wandering inclinations. His guardians allowed him much liberty, if they gave him little money. Of the former he soon had enough to enable him to get beyond the sea; but his means were too slender to justify his flight. A little more liberality, at this early period, might have relieved them of all farther annoyance at his hands. Compelled to provide for him at home, they placed him, as an apprentice, with a merchant of Lynn, named Sendall-" the greatest merchant," according to Smith, "of all those parts." But Smith longed for the sea, and Sendall had other uses for him on shore. His apprentice had no taste for these uses, and though his guardians might bind with all the fetters of the law, he was not the lad to reverence such a bondage. The spirit, that already dreamed of doings with the sword, was not to be subdued by indentured parchment. He soon leaped his counter, and never saw his master again until the lapse of eight years rendered it equally unlikely that the latter would recognize or reclaim his fugitive. He thus made himself a freeman with but ten shillings in his pocket. This ten shillings was the liberal allowance of his guardians, "out of his own money," given him, as he tells us, " to get rid of him." His flight from the merchant does not appear to have been withheld from their knowledge. In all probability he fled to them from Sendall, in order to procure the means of getting to sea or passing into foreign countries. These were his favorite ideas. They constituted his passions, and, as the nearest step to their gratification, he found means to enter the service of the sons of the famous Lord Willoughby,* then under tutelage, and about to make the tour of the continent. We are not told in

"The Right Honorable Peregrine, that generous Lord Willoughby, and famous soldier."-Smith's Narrative.

what capacity he attended these young gentlemen-most probably as a page, scarcely as a companion. He was not long in this situation. Within a month or six weeks after entering France, "his service being needless," as he himself tells us, he was dismissed with a liberal allowance of money to take him back to his friends. But such friends as our apprentice had left behind him in London possessed very few attractions. Their bonds were not so very grateful as to move him voluntarily to resume them. He had as yet seen but little of the world. He had but partially gratified the strong curiosity which had carried him abroad. He remembered the ten shillings bounty of his guardians, and the object for which it had been given, and he concluded to linger a while longer in France. He made his way to Paris-a boy of fifteen, without friends or companions-how, he does not tell us, but under what dif ficulties, doubts and dangers, at that early period in his own life, and that unsettled period in the history of the country, through which he went! This very progress illustrates, in some degree, the courage and daring of his mind. At Paris, he made the acquaintance of a Scottish gentleman, named Hume, in whose eyes he soon found favor. Hume replenished his purse, and becoming interested in his grace, spirit and intelligence, furnished him with letters of introduction, couched in terms of liberal commendation, to his friends in Scotland. The idea, which possessed the mind of this gentleman in behalf of his youthful protegé, sufficiently proves the great hopes which he had formed of his endowments, even at that early period. The object of his advice and letters was to make of him a courtier, to procure for him access to the person, and, if possible, employment in the service of King James, the well-known Scottish Solomon. What was the influence of Hume and his friends at court, it would not now be easy to discover.

Looking to the sequel in the career of Smith, it would prove his patron to have been a man of discernment and sagacity. The design certainly proves that Hume beheld in the boy some foreshowings of the future man. We are prepared to see already that he was no ordinary boy-we see that he at least possessed some of those outward accomplishments which compel the regards of older heads. These accomplishments, whatever they may have been, were all certainly of his own acquisition. They did not come from the free schools of Louth and Alford; they scarcely had their foundation behind the counter of the Lynn merchant, and it does not appear that he was much, if anything, indebted to his parents. They were the fruits of a peculiar original endowment. All that was precious in Smith's education came from his experience.

But Smith was still too much of the wayward boy to follow implicitly the directions of his friend. Though at first honestly resolved to do so, his temper was quite too capricious just at that moment to continue in his purposes. There were too many objects in France for his diversion. His mind was too eager for the novel, too impatient of the staid, too wild, too erratic, to remain long at this period in any one way of thinking. And let us not too seriously censure these exhibitions of caprice. It is curious to observe how frequently, not to say inevitably, they attend the career of the young adventurer who carves out his own fame and fortunes. It is in this way that nature prompts to the necessary acquisitions of the performer. The restlessness of mood which we thus witness, leads to constant discovery. The wandering footstep is associated with the keen eye and the scrutinizing judgment; and the mind finds its strength and volume in this seeming caprice and purposeless misdirection, as the muscle of the child grows from the feverish restlessness of its feeble and uncertain

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