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By Hugh Miller

This memoir is of the schooldays of 1 of the main amazing minds Scotland has produced, Hugh Miller. Miller rose, if no longer from absolute poverty, definitely from a modest heritage, to develop into either a expert within the box of geology and a generalist within the wider literary international, masking, as author and editor, topics as different as poetry, folklore, technology, schooling, faith, historical past and shuttle. In his operating lifestyles he was once a stonemason, banking accountant, journalist, editor, lecturer and defender of Christianity opposed to the evolutionists. by the point of his tragic suicide in 1856, Miller's prodigious output had made him one of the best recognized of Victorian literary figures, favourite by means of Thomas Carlyle, Charles Dickens and John Ruskin. via the latter a part of the nineteenth century, his popularity prolonged internationally - his books have been greatly translated, and in the US, in response to the geologist Sir Archibald Geikie, "They have been to be present in the remotest log huts of the a long way west." In 1879, the good environmentalist John Muir named one of many glaciers of Glacier Bay, Alaska, after the Cromarty stonemason.** [C:\Users\Microsoft\Documents\Calibre Library]

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With what power, and at how early an age, true genius impresses! I saw, even at this immature period, that no other writer could cast a javelin with half the force of Homer. The missiles went whizzing athwart his pages; and I could see the momentary gleam of the steel, ere it buried itself deep in brass and bull-hide. I next succeeded in discovering for myself a child's book, of not less interest than even the Iliad, which might, I was told, be read on Sabbaths, in a magnificent old edition of the "Pilgrim's Progress," printed on coarse whity-brown paper, and charged with numerous woodcuts, each of which occupied an entire page, that, on principles of economy, bore letter-press on the other side.

Her two youthful friends and their mother watched with the widow, now, as it seemed, left alone in the world. The town-clock had struck the hour of midnight, and still she remained as if fixed to her seat, absorbed in silent, stupifying sorrow, when a heavy foot was heard pacing along the now silent street. It passed, and anon returned; ceased for a moment nearly opposite the window; CHAPTER I. 34 then approached the door, where there was a second pause; and then there succeeded a faltering knock, that struck on the very hearts of the inmates within.

Donald Roy was the best club-player in the district; and as King James's "Book of Sports" was not deemed a very bad one in the semi-Celtic parish of Nigg, the games in which Donald took part were usually played on the Sabbath. About the time of the Revolution, however, he was laid hold of by strong religious convictions, heralded, say the traditions of the district, by events that approximated in character to the supernatural; and Donald became the subject of a mighty change. There is a phase of the religious character, which in the south of Scotland belongs to the first two ages of Presbytery, but which disappeared ere its third establishment under William of Nassau, that we find strikingly exemplified in the Welches, Pedens, and Cargills of the times of the persecution, and in which a sort of wild machinery of the supernatural was added to the commoner aspects of a living Christianity.

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