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lowing year, the last of his attendance, the second prize at the first class.
When it is remembered, that he was only thirteen years of age when he left school, it will not appear surprising, notwithstanding his future eminence, that I have nothing of sufficient importance to mention during this period of his life. He was remarkably lively and good tempered, when a boy; and enjoyed, I believe, the general good-will and affection of his school-fellows. As he acquired every thing with great facility, study was in general no labor to him. But during the last part of his attendance on Mr. Moncur's classes, he was very diligent; as he frequently rose at four or five o'clock in the morning, to prepare the lesson for the day. I forget how many books of Virgil he professed, besides other things, at the last examination; but I know the number was considerable. Though the ardor, or rather enthusiasm, of Mr. Moncur, in inspiring his pupils with the loftiest ambition of classical eminence, was extraordinary, and the effects of it, on the students, wonderful, John acquitted himself so well, that he carried off the second prize. The best account I can give of his progress, and of the esteem in which he was held by those who knew him, at this time, has been furnished me by his intimate friend, Mr. Alexander Duff, who was his associate in study for several years, in Perth, and during all the time he spent at St. Andrew's. It confirms my own statement, which was written previously to receiving it. He writes me as follows:
"I first became acquainted with John Urquhart in the year 1820, at the Grammar School, of Perth. Early in the year 1821, I entered into
habits of the most intimate friendship with him, and scarcely a day passed without our being in each other's company for several hours, till the vacation of the school in the end of July. We generally prepared our lessons together; and thus, I had fullopportunity of marking the dawn of that intellectual superiority which he afterwards exhibited. With almost intuitive perception could he discern the truth of many a proposition, which, to an ordinary mind, is the result of painful and laborious investigation. And finely could he discriminate between the truth and falsehood of many a statement which was embellished with all the alluring drapery of a poet's fancy. With singular acuteness could he estimate the real weight and value of an argument: and with an ease and readiness, far beyond ordinary, could he unravel the intricacies and discover the true meaning of a difficult and disputed passage in the classics. The ingenuity of some of his conjectures regarding the import of a sentence, and the derivation of certain words, was, I distinctly remember, highly applauded by his teacher. With a mind thus richly endowed by nature, he prosecuted his classical studies with the greatest fervor and perseverance; and though far inferior to the majority of his class-fellows in years, he uniformly appeared among the foremost in the race of distinction. During the summer of 1821, he was regularly active. For the most part, he rose every morning between three and four o'clock, and directly issued forth to enjoy its sweets. And should you, at any time, during the course of the morning, cast your eyes along that beautiful extensive green, the North Inch, of Perth, you could not fail to observe, in the distance, this interesting youth moving along the surface like a
shadow wholly unbound to it;-sometimes in the attitude of deepest meditation, and sometimes perusing the strains of the Mantuan bard, which afforded him peculiar pleasure. Some of the fruits of these earthly perambulations, when most of his school-mates were enjoying the slumbers of repose, appeared in his having committed entirely to memory, four of the largest books of the Eneid. He was highly esteemed by all who attended the school. For, while his superior intellectual attainments commanded their admiration, that amiable simplicity and guileless innocence, which formed such predominating features in his character, necessarily commanded their love. You never heard him utter a harsh or unbecoming expression;--you never saw him break forth into violent passion;--you never had to reprove him for associating with bad companions, nor for engaging in improper amusements. In every innocent pastime for promoting the health, in every playful expedient for whetting the mental powers, none more active than he: but in all the little brawls and turmoils that usually agitate youthful associations, there was one whom you might safely reckon upon not having any share. And, yet with all his talents, and amiableness, and simplicity, I cannot venture positively to affirm, that there appeared, at that time, any thing like a decided appearance of vital Christianity in the heart. One thing I can affirm, that, in our daily and long-continued conversations, religious topics did not form a considerable, or rather, any part of them. The love of what was good, and abhorrence of what was evil, had been so habitually inculcated from childhood, that the cherishing of these feelings might seem to have acquired the strength of a con
stitutional tendency; and the abandonment of them would have been like the violent breaking up of an established habit: still at this very time, the hand of God might have been silently, though efficaciously working. It is not for us to decide on those secret things that belong to the Lord. But, at whatever period the life of faith truly commenced, I believe it to be the fact, that his progress in it was so gradual and imperceptible as to elude observation."
Being still too young to be trusted alone at a university, and at a distance from his father's house, it became a question, how to dispose of his time for at least a year longer. After consulting with other friends and myself, his father determined on sending him to the Perth Academy for one session. Here, under the instruction of Mr. Adam Anderson, a gentleman well known for his high scientific attainments, and Mr. Forbes, now the successor of the Rev. Dr. Gordon, in Hope Park Chapel, Edinburgh, he prosecuted those studies in the mathematics, in natural philosophy, chemistry, and other branches which have been long and successfully taught at that respectable seminary. He received at the end of the session, the first prize in the second class; and another prize for the best constructed maps.
This last circumstance induces me to mention that there was great neatness in every thing which was done by my young friend. He possessed the love of order and elegance in a very remarkable degree. It appeared in the arrangement of his little library, in the keeping of his things, in attention to his person; and, in short, in all that was capable of evincing the possession of a mind
perspicacious, well balanced, and sensitively alive to every thing ridiculous or offensive.
Hitherto no serious impressions on his mind had become apparent That he was not altogether without them, appears from references made to this period of his history at a future time. His constant association with religious people, the preaching of the Gospel which he regularly attended, in connexion with his peculiarly impressible mind, must have subjected him to occasional convictions, which, though not permanent, prepared him in a measure for the deep impressions which were afterwards made upon him. The death of Mr. Moncur, the Master of the Grammar School, under exceedingly painful circumstances, appears also to have deeply affected him. But the time had not yet come, when the full view of his own character, and of the grace and power of the Gospel, were to be experienced.
Few persons have been placed in the same circumstances with young Urquhart, without feeling certain religious emotions; though, alas, in a vast majority, those feelings are subsequently entirely erased, or only remain in a very faint and inefficient remembrance. Association with the world; the pursuits of business or pleasure;er, what the Scriptures admirably denominate, "The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life," cause many a fair "blossom to go up as dust," and destroy hopes of the most flattering nature. But when it pleases God to cause these early convictions to take root, and ripen, the future life of the individual is often remarkably blessed. His earliest and best years are devoted to the enjoyment and service of Christ; if cut off soon, it must be matter of re