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The Boyhood of Great Men | by John G. Edgar



That a peculiar interest attaches to the boyhood of great men will hardly be denied by any one who has given the slightest attention to the subject. The early exploits and aspirations of those who have performed memorable services to their country and their species, led mighty armies into the field, advanced the progress of humanity and civilisation, achieved important triumphs in literature and science, or associated their names honourably and indissolubly with some great profession, are matters fraught with instruction to the young, and with interest to all. The object of the following pages is to place before the reader brief narratives of the career of those who have fought their way to eminence and distinction in various walks of life; and thus to develope in the mind of youth noble tastes and high principles, as well as to inspire and sustain that spirit of industry, which is essential to the attainment of any position worth striving for. Youth is the season of generous impulses and high resolves; the career of the boy usually foreshadows that of the man; no day passes without experiences which will lead to good or evil, just as they are neglected or profited by; and the importance of directing the attention to laudable pursuits, by actual examples, at an age when the heart and mind are peculiarly susceptible of lasting impressions, can scarcely be questioned.

TitleThe Boyhood of Great Men
AuthorJohn G. Edgar
PublisherGeorge Routledge And Sons
Year1854
Copyright1854, John G. Edgar
AmazonThe boyhood of great men: Intended as an example to youth

Book Cover: The Boyhood of Great Men

The Boyhood of Great Men

Intended As An Example To Youth

John G. Edgar

Author Of "Footprints Of Famous Men," "History For Boys," Etc.

With Illustrations By Birket Foster

London

George Routledge And Sons

Broadway, Ludgate Hill New york: 9 lafayette place

-Preface
That a peculiar interest attaches to the boyhood of great men will hardly be denied by any one who has given the slightest attention to the subject. The early exploits and aspirations of those who hav...
-Chapter I. Poets. Boyhood Of Sir Walter Scott
The time-honoured saying, that a poet is born, not made, may he quite true so far as it goes; hut that he will soar and sing, like the lark, irrespective of the influences to which he is subjected, an...
-Boyhood Of Sir Walter Scott. Part 2
About this time Scott's father was recommended to send him to Bath, the waters of which, it was suggested, would prove beneficial to his weak limb. Accompanied, therefore, by his aunt, in his fourth y...
-Boyhood Of Sir Walter Scott. Part 3
During this visit to Kelso, he awoke to that feeling of pleasure derived from the contemplation of those natural objects of which he had so fine a perception, and rejoiced over Percy's Ballads with ...
-Boyhood Of Wordsworth
This great and estimable man must have entertained for his high calling an affection hardly ever equalled, in pureness and intensity, by any who have pursued it; and apparently in his boyish days, ami...
-Chapter II. Historians. Boyhood of Gibbon
Among the immortals of literature, Gibbon occupies a very high and conspicuous position; and his fame rests on such a noble basis, that it must endure as long as the language in which his mighty wor...
-Boyhood of Sir James Mackintosh
The entrance upon boyhood of Sir James Mackintosh was not made under circumstances favourable to the acquirement of the enormous amount of historical learning by which he was distinguished; nor was he...
-Chapter III. Critics. Boyhood Of Dr. Johnson
Johnson's boyhood and youth were passed amid severe struggles and hardships not easily endured; but, by the exercise of the great talents with which he was gifted, he secured comfort and ease in his d...
-Boyhood Of Dr. Johnson. Continued
At length it was determined that he should go to Oxford, in October 1738, a gentleman of Shropshire promising aid in regard to the expense, which his father had not the means of defraying. On the eve ...
-Boyhood Of Lord Jeffrey
The very distinguished critic, Francis Jeffrey, was first introduced to the world, in which he was to enact so conspicuous and influential a part, on the 23d of October, 1773. His birthplace was Edin-...
-Chapter IV. Statesmen. Boyhood Of Canning
This illustrious and patriotic statesman, whose rise shook hostile parties to their centre, and whose name deservedly occupies so brilliant a space in the political history of the country, was bom on ...
-Boyhood Of Canning. Continued
The friendships he now formed led to an enterprise laudably characterised by spirit, courage, and ambition. This was the publication of the famous boy-periodical called the Microcosm, projected by t...
-Boyhood Of Daniel Webster
This remarkable man, whose loss Europe and America have recently been called upon to deplore, is stated to have been of Scottish descent; hut it is believed that his family, a collateral branch of whi...
-Chapter V. Lawyers. Boyhood Of Lord Mansfield
Of the men who, in England, have profited by, and contributed to, the grandeur of the law, hardly one has exercised more influence, or radiated with greater brilliancy, than the silver-tongued Mansfi...
-Boyhood Of Lord Mansfield. Continued
Resuming his way, the young hero reached Gretna Green, probably with as mixed emotions as many who have since halted there to enact in haste a scene to be repented of at leisure. Here he stayed for th...
-Boyhood 0f Lord Eldon
An Englishman of strong and independent nature, who. without unduly courting the powerful, has by unceasing industry raised himself to honour and distinction in the state, is ever regarded by posterit...
-Boyhood 0f Lord Eldon. Continued
Nevertheless, ere long he was again engaged in orchard-breaking with two of his companions. This time the matter assumed a more serious aspect; they were taken before a magistrate, who, for the offenc...
-Chapter VI. Philanthropists. Boyhood Of Wilberforce
The family to which this illustrious philanthropist belonged claim to have been settled, as early as the reign of Henry the Second, at Wilberfoss, in the county of York, where they enjoyed considerabl...
-Boyhood Of Wilberforce. Continued
Soon after this he was placed at the grammar-school of Pocklington, the master of which, a man of easy and polished manners, and an elegant, if not profound scholar, treated Wilberforce with un-usual ...
-Boyhood Of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton
This worthy and wonderful man, whose career well merits the serious attention and study of all who look to raising themselves in the world by the intellect and capacity with which Providence has bless...
-Boyhood Of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton. Continued
Her aim was to give her sons a manly and vigorous character. She impressed upon them, from childhood, the duty of benevolence, and set before them the idea of taking up and advocating some great cause...
-Chapter VII. Astronomers. Boyhood Of Galileo
While the memory of those who were instrumental in the persecution of this great man is regarded with pity, contempt, or hatred, it is acknowledged that there is no one to whom physical science is mor...
-Boyhood Of Galileo. Continued
Galileo's first essay in science was a paper on the hydrostatic balance, which fell into the hands of Guido Ubaldi. That learned Pisan was so much taken with the originality of thought and patienc...
-Boyhood Of Ferguson
The noblesse of Florence furnished the illustrious astronomer whose boyhood has been briefly sketched; the peasantry of Scotland, a class which enjoys the ennobling distinction of having given the poe...
-Boyhood Of Ferguson. Continued
Happening one day to he sent on an errand to the minister of Keith, who had known him from infancy, Ferguson took his star papers with him. He found the reverend gentleman poring over a number of ma...
-Chapter VIII. Natural Philosophers. Boyhood Of Sir Isaac Newton
The name of this great English philosopher is one of the most illustrious that history presents. The immortal discoveries his genius effected, the height of fame he reached, and the meekness and humil...
-Boyhood Of Sir Isaac Newton. Part 2
It was under such circumstances that his uncle, who was rector of the adjoining parish, found him one day seated under a hedge with a book, which so completely absorbed his attention that he was total...
-Boyhood Of Sir Isaac Newton. Part 3
It is well, and may be not unprofitable, to reflect that many of the great qualities which excite our admiration in the career of this great philosopher may be. imitated by those who cannot hope to vi...
-Boyhood Of Sir Isaac Newton. Part 4
Resolved to improve his style, Franklin set about the matter with his peculiar energy, and had the good fortune to take for his model one of the best which the literature of England furnishes. This wa...
-Chapter IX. Mathematicians. Boyhood Of Simson
The science of mathematics owes much to the tasteful, vigorous, and indefatigable genius of this extraordinary man. Its progress was considerably furthered and facilitated by his publication of the el...
-Boyhood Of D'Alembert
This distinguished mathematician, whose European fame is stated by Lord Brougham to have been, during his life, greater than that enjoyed by any other man of science in any age, was born in Paris on t...
-Chapter X. Chemists. Boyhood Of Cavendish
About the close of last century an imcomprehensible old gentleman had a mansion close to the British Museum. Few visitors were admitted; but those who found their way across the threshold reported tha...
-Boyhood Of Sir Humphry Davy
Hardly has any one cultivated the science of chemistry with more brilliant success than the inventor of the safety-lamp, who, even in his earliest days, occupied his attention with those pursuits that...
-Chapter XI. Naturalists. Boyhood Of Sir Joseph Banks
This distinguished naturalist, though his name is not associated with any great work, or connected in the minds of men with any memorable discovery, was in reality so energetic, enthusiastic, and succ...
-Boyhood Of Audubon
This great and good man, whose mind combined the vigour and elasticity of youth with the wisdom of philosophic maturity, was one of the most earnest and enthusiastic students of natural history who ev...
-Chapter XII. Sailors. Boyhood Of Lord St. Vincent
This distinguished admiral was early inspired with a strong and invincible love of that service in which he was destined to occupy so high and splendid a position, and with a determination that defied...
-Boyhood Of Nelson
To add to the greatness and glory of his country was ever the highest object of this most renowned hero's ambition; and from his earliest youth he exhibited much of that dauntless spirit which afterwa...
-Chapter XIII. Soldiers. Boyhood Of Buonaparte
When the island of Corsica was invaded by the French, in 1767, a young lawyer of Italian extraction was residing in Ajaccio, its chief town. He laid claim to remote and illustrious lineage; his person...
-Boyhood Of The Duke Of Wellington
However unsatisfactory the omission of the name of England's most illustrious captain from a work of this nature might appear, it is yet quite true that little relating to the boyhood of the greatest ...
-Chapter XIV. Musicians. Boyhood Of Handel
Music, it seems, is an attainment denied to 'well-directed perseverance, and dependent, in a great measure, on certain original qualities, which are not to be acquired; but still application in the ca...
-Boyhood Of Mozart
THIS great musical composer was a wonderful instance of precocious genius. From his earliest years he was devoted to the art, which occupied his attention to the last hours of his life. His displays w...
-Boyhood Of Mozart. Continued
In September, 1762, the Mozart family removed to Vienna, where they received a gracious welcome from their Majesties; and Wolfgang soon became a favourite at the Imperial court, which was quite cha...
-Chapter XV. Painters. Boyhood Of Sir Thomas Lawrence
A poet, with lofty but unrealised aspirations, an innkeeper, with a tantalising habit of deluging his customers with recitations before he supplied them with refreshments, was the father of thi...
-Boyhood Of Sir Thomas Lawrence. Continued
Noble lords and right reverend prelates now came forward to befriend, encourage, and patronise him; while among his lady-patronesses he could number the beautiful and accomplished Duchess of Devonshir...
-Boyhood Of Sir David Wilkie
THERE was little in the circumstances of this cele-brated man's birth likely to lead him into the sphere which was enlarged by the workings of his genius, and adorned with the fruits of his industry. ...
-Boyhood Of Sir David Wilkie. Part 2
It must be confessed that Wilkie seems to have been ready for any other occupation rather than the laborious studies necessary to have qualified him for the church or barthe two professions whi...
-Boyhood Of Sir David Wilkie. Part 3
On leaving the Trustees' Academy in 1804, with the good wishes of all, Wilkie returned to Cults. John Graham, the master of the Academy, at the same time wrote to his father, bestowing on him the h...
-Chapter XVI. Sculptors. Boyhood Of Canova
The little village of Possagne, within the territories of the once wealthy, powerful, and high-flying Republic of Venice, enjoys the distinguished honour of having been the birthplace of this immortal...
-Boyhood Of Canova. Continued
Soon after this Canova made his first essay to represent the human form in marble, in hours not devoted to the more mechanical duties of his profession, and he received the best mark of Toretto's este...
-Boyhood Of Thorwaldsen
Bertel Thorwaldsen was born in the year 1770; but the story of his birth having taken place at sea appears to be altogether fabulous. Though in a lowly sphere during boyhood, and wretched from the pov...
-Chapter XVII Scholars. Boyhood Of Sir William Jones
Dr. Johnson says, that to think in solitude, to read and to hear, to inquire, and to answer inquiries, is the business of a scholar. He wanders about the world without pomp or terror, and is neither ...
-Boyhood Of Dr. Arnold
The boyhood of this great and good man was characterised rather by freedom and honesty, a sanguine temperament, and great capability of growth, than by any such brilliancy as might have been expecte...
-Chapter XVIII. Divines. Boyhood Of Archdeacon Paley
This eminent divine, who alike by talents and ac-quirements did honour to his order and his church, was remarkable for a clear and vigorous intellect, and distinguished by originality of character. Hi...
-Boyhood Of Dr. Chalmers
This famous divine was unquestionably one of the greatest and most powerful pulpit-orators the world has ever seen, and he was also one of the best of men. He is acknowledged by all, whatever their vi...
-Chapter XIX. Surgeons. Boyhood Of John Hunter
This remarkable and eminent man, who enjoys the distinction of having been one of the most accom-plished anatomists that ever lived, was born at Long Calderwood, in the county of Lanark, on the 13th o...
-Boyhood Of Sir Astley Cooper
This most scientific and enterprising surgeon was born at Brooke Hall, an ancient manor-house in the rich county of Norfolk, which has, in these latter times, contributed so fair a share of distinguis...
-Boyhood Of Sir Astley Cooper. Continued
In the autumn of 1784 he took his departure from Norwich, experiencing to the full those feelings of melancholy so natural under the circumstances. However, the anticipation of one day becoming a grea...









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previous page: The Home Cyclopedia Of History and Geography | by Charles Morris
  
page up: History Books
  
next page: Modern England | by Justin McCarthy