Wilson, Alexander, 1766-1813. / American ornithology; or The natural history of the birds of the United States
Sketch of the author's life, pp. [ix]-cxcix ff.
LIFE OF WJLSON. undutiful conduct of his, or harsh treatment of hers, I know not; but it may be asserted with truth, that she continued an object of his aversion through life; which was manifest from the circumstance that, in the many letters which he wrote from America to his father, he seldom, if ever, mentioned her name. She is still living, and must, doubtless, feel not a little rejoiced that her predictions with respect to the " lazy weaver," as Sandy was termed at home, who, instead of minding his busi- ness, mispent his time in making verses, were never verified. But, in justice to her character, we must state, that, if she was an unkind stepmother, she nevertheless proved herself to be a faithful and affectionate wife; and supported, by her industry, her husband when he became, by age and infirmities, incapa ble of labour. At an early period of his life Wilson evinced a strong desire for learning; and this was encouraged by a spirit of emulation which prevailed among his youthful acquaintance, who, like himself, happily devoted many of their vacant hours to literary pursuits. He had free access to a collection of magazines and essays, which, by some good luck, his father had become pos- sessed of; and these, as he himself often asserted, "1 were the, first books that gave him a fondness for reading and reflection." This remarkable instance of the beneficial tendency of periodb cal publications we record with pleasure; and it may be ad- duced as an argument in favour of affording patronage, in our young country, to a species of literature so well adapted to the leisure of a commercial people; and which, since the days of Addison, has had so powerful an influence on the taste and morals of the British nation. Caledonia is fruitful of versemen: every village has its poetss and so prevalent is the habit of jingling rhymes, that a scholar is considered as possessing no taste, if he do not attune the Scottish lyre to those themes, which the amorpal/riw, the nap tional pride of a, Scotsman, has identified with his very exa stenew. rThat poetryr woulld attvract the regard ofS Wihunl was to he cx<-
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