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(16) Page viii -
Humanity adorned his character. He felt
for human woe, and the sight of distress, which
wrung his heart, called forth the liberality of his
hand. Misery was never known to apply to him
in vain, and what he had not in his power to re-
move, he did all he could to alleviate.
Though a votary of the muse so early as his
tenth year, he seems, from the fourteenth to about
the twenty-third year of his life, to have neglected
her, or courted her with little solicitude. During
that period, company, or the amusements of youth,
may have engaged his attention. At any rate there
appear almost no traces of poetical composition
during that period. His love of poetry was awaken-
ed on his return from Bolton, by forming a friend-
ship with some musical friends, and he afterwards
continued to pay his addresses to the muse with no
common degree of ardour.
The modesty of his nature confined his ambi-
tion to the approbation of those around. Had he
locked to the more enlarged circle of his country-
men, or still more extensive range of his fellow-
subjectSj he would have been roused to higher ex-
ertions ; for on the opinion entertained of the au-
dience or readers, depends the necessity of pre-

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