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THE BOYHOOD OF HUGH MILLER.
1. Hugh Miller is an example to every boy of the happy results of steady industry.
2. His father was the master of a small sloop, which was lost with all on board in a fearful tempest. Hugh was only five years old when this occurred, and his mother was unable to make him understand that his father would return home no
3. He would visit the little harbour daily, watching the ships as they came in, and looking anxiously for the return of his father's vessel, which was to him such a season of joy.
4. When the weather was clear, he would climb a grassy hill at the back of his mother's house, which commanded a wide view of the Moray Firth. There he would watch for hours for the sight of the little sloop, with its stripes of white, and two square top sails. But he never saw it or his father again.
5. When a very small lad, his greatest delight was to sit and listen to stories, when he could get any one to relate them to him. He had an uncle named Sandy, who had been a sailor, and had fought in the French wars. Uncle Sandy was often in request to take the little fellow on his knees, to fight his battles over again, and show how they were won.
6. Hugh was sent to a dame school just before his father's death, and in the course of his sixth year learned to read. At that early age he made his first great discovery “that the art of reading is the art of finding stories in books." No one ever made a discovery with greater delight. A new world seemed opened out to him. He had no need now to ask his friends to relate their tales. He could hold converse with books.
7. True, his reading was not very deep; it was mostly nursery tales. Jack the Giant Killer, Robinson Crusoe, and the Pilgrim's Progress were the chief, and these gave him infinite delight. He would walk up and down by the sea-shore and fancy himself one of the heroes of these tales. His mother and uncle could not make him out.
8. When he could read fairly well, he was promoted to the parish school, and found himself one amongst some hundred and fifty boys and girls. As there was only one teacher for this large number, Hugh was left to do in school pretty much what he liked.
9. He tells us himself that he spent much of his time in play, and the rest in composing pieces of poetry. He would wander for hours by the sea-side quite alone, and recite aloud to himself pieces of poetry about sea-fights and shipwrecks, which were sooner said than they were forgotten.
10. He now began to manifest a great love for tales of the sea. His books were the travels of Captains Cook and Anson. Their voyages round the world filled him with wonder, and gave him a great desire to become a sailor. He would spend much of his time at the harbour prying into the shipping, and
talking to the sailors about the sights they had seen in foreign lands.
11. One of his favourite amusements was to get some old maps, and trace on them with a pencil, the path taken by ships going to and from the foreign countries, visited by his father and Uncle Sandy.
12. Although now in his tenth year, he was considered a dunce at school. Yet he had stored his mind with all the poetry he could lay his hands upon. One day at school, in an idle moment, he related to the boy who sat next to him, the story of Sir William Wallace. The boy was so delighted that he told his school fellows. After this, Hugh might often be seen in the centre of a group of listeners in some quiet nook in the play-ground, or in a shady cove by the sea-shore, relating to them stories of Cook and Anson.
13. When he had told all these, he would compose stories of his own about sea-fights, storms, savages, and desert islands, such as would hold his hearers spell-bound, until he had finished them.
14. He now began to collect a library for himselfa good example for every school-boy to follow. At first a little birch box, about nine inches square, held all that belonged to him.
15. Hugh was very fond of nature, and of rambles by the sea-side. He would wander with his Uncle Sandy upon the beach, when the tide was out, and when the rays of the setting sun lit all up with a golden hue, and devour with interest every word that fell from his mouth. He would collect shells and sea-weeds, taking them home with as much pleasure as if they had been the pearls and gold he had read of in his fairy tales. relate, tell.
recite, say discovery, finding out. Cook and Anson, two converse, conversation. celebrated navigators that, infinite, very great.
sailed round the world. delighted, pleased. prying, peering into. for-eign ex-am-ple for-got-ten
list-en-ers col-lect in-dus-try fa-vour-ite de-light-ed de-vour use-ful-ness a-muse-ments in-ter-est sto-ries com-pos-ing re-lat-ed fin-ish-ed
What was the occupation of Hugh Miller's father? What became of him? Where was Hugh fond of going to look out for his father? What tales did his uncle Sandy tell him? At what age was he sent to school? What discovery did he make? Name some of the books he was fond of reading. Where did he walk to recite his poetry? What tales of the sea was he fond of reading? Who was Cook? Who was Anson? What good use did Hugh often make of some old maps? What was the story that he related to a boy in school? What did he now collect? Where was he fond of wandering with his uncle Sandy? What did he gather on the sands?
THE BOYHOOD OF HUGH MILLER.
1. When Hugh was twelve years old, an event happened to him, which he afterwards described. One day, wandering by the sea side with a boy younger than himself, he came to a cave in the rocks. Here was a splendid place to find shells and mosses. The two determined to explore it. Hugh relates that he told his playmate tales of giants who lived in caves; that this cave had been a hiding place for Wallace; and that it was haunted by smugglers.
2. As night was coming on, they thought it time to leave and to return home. On going to the mouth of the cave they found the tide coming rapidly in. There was no way of escape from drowning, except by retiring to the farthest corner of this dark cave.
The little boy began to cry. “What