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visit these wonders of the West Riding, and Daniel accompanied them with a delight such as he never experienced on any other occasion.
But the author in whom he delighted most was Plutarch, of whose works he was lucky enough to possess the worthier half: if the other had perished Plutarch would not have been a popular writer, but he would have held a higher place in the estimation of the judicious. Daniel could have posed a candidate for university honors, and perhaps the examiner too, with some of the odd learning which he had stored up in his memory from these great repositories of ancient knowledge. Refusing all reward for such services, the strangers to whom he officiated as a guide, though they perceived that he was an extraordinary person, were little aware how much information he had acquired, and of how strange a kind. His talk with them did not go beyond the subjects which the scenes they came to visit naturally suggested, and they wondered more at the questions he asked, than at any thing which he advanced himself. For his disposition was naturally shy, and that which had been bashfulness in youth assumed the appearance of reserve as he advanced in life ; for having none to communicate with upon his favorite studies he lived in an intellectual world of his own, a mental solitude as complete as that of Alexander Selkirk or Robinson Crusoe. Even to the curate his conversation, if he had touched upon his books, would have been heathen Greek; and to speak the truth plainly, without knowing a letter of that language, he knew more about the Greeks, than nine-tenths of the clergy at that time, including all the dissenters, and than nine-tenths of the schoolmasters also.
Our good Daniel had none of that confidence which so usually and so unpleasantly characterizes self-taught men. In fact he was by no means aware of the extent of his acquirements, all that he knew in this kind having been acquired for amusement not for use. He had never attempted to teach himself any thing. These books had lain in his way in boyhood, or fallen in it afterwards, and the perusal of them intently as it was followed,was always accounted by him to be nothing more than recreation. None of his daily business had ever been neglected for it; he cultivated his fields and his garden, repaired his walls, looked to the stable, tended his cows and salved his sheep, as diligently and as contentedly as if he had possessed neither capacity nor inclination for any higher employments. Yet Daniel was one of those men, who, if disposition and aptitude were not over-ruled by circumstances, would have grown pale with study, instead of being bronzed and hardened by sun and wind and rain. There were in him undeveloped talents which might have raised him to distinction as an antiquary, a virtuoso of the Royal Society, a poet, or a theologian, to which ever course the bias in his ball of fortune had inclined. But he had not a particle of envy in his composition. He thought indeed that if he had had grammar learning in his youth like the curate, he would have made more use of it; but there was nothing either of the sourness or bitterness (call it which you please) of repining in this natural reflection.
it had pleased God to call him. And well he might be so, for no man ever passed through the world with less to disquiet or to sour him. Bred up
in habits which secured the continuance of that humble but sure independance to which he was born, he had never known what it was to be anxious for the future. At the age of twenty-five he had brought home a wife, the daughter of a little landholder like himself, with
а fifteen pounds for her portion: and the truelove of his youth proved to him a faithful helpmate in those years when the dream of life is over, and we live in its realities. If at any time there had been some alloy in his happiness it was when there appeared reason to suppose that in him his family would be extinct; for though no man knows what parental feelings are till he has experienced them, and Daniel therefore knew not the whole value of that which he had never enjoyed, the desire of progeny
is natural to the heart of man; and though Daniel had neither large estates, nor an illustrious name to transmit, it was an unwelcome thought that the little portion of the earth which
had belonged to his fathers time out of mind, should pass into the possession of some stranger, who would tread on their graves and his own without any regard to the dust that lay beneath. That uneasy apprehension was removed after he had been married fifteen years, when to the great joy of both parents, because they had long ceased to entertain any hope of such an event, their wishes were fulfilled in the birth of a son. This their only child was healthy, apt and docile, to all appearance as happily disposed in mind and body as a father's heart could wish. If they had fine weather for winning their hay or shearing their corn, they thanked God for it; if the season proved unfavourable, the labour was only a little the more and the crop a little the worse.
Their stations secured them from want, and they had no wish beyond it. What more had Daniel to desire ?
The following passage in the divine Du Bartas he used to read with peculiar satisfaction, applying it to himself:
O thrice, thrice happy he, who shuns the cares