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347, et seg.
It has been well observed, by one* who took a profound view of human nature, that there are three very different orbits in which great men move and shine, and that each sphere of greatness has its respective admirers. There are those who, as heroes, fill the world with their exploits : they are grected by the acclamations of the multitude; they are ennobled whilst living, and their names descend with lustre to posterity. Others there are who, by the brilliancy oj their imagination, or the vigour of their intellect, at: tain to honour of a purer and a higher kind; the fame of these is confined to a. more select number; all have not a discriminating sense of their merit. third description there is, distinct from both the for mer, and far more exalted than either; whose excellence consists in a renunciation of themselves, and a compassionate love for mankind. In this order the Saviour of the world was pleased to appear--and those persons obtain the highest rank in it, who, by his grace, are enabled most closely to imitate his example.
Henny Martyn, the subject of this memoir, was born at Truro, in the county of Cornwall, on the 18th of February, 1781-and appears, with his family in general, to have inherited a weak constitution; as of many children, four only, two sons and two daughters, survived their father, Mr. John Martyn, and all of them, within a short period, followed him to the grave. Of these Henry was the third. His father was originally in a very humble situation of life, having been a labourer in the mines of Gwenap, the place of his nativity. With no education but such as a country reading school afforded, he was compelled for his daily support, to engage in an employment, which, dreary and unhealthy as it was, offered some advantages, of which he most meritoriously availed himself. The miners, it seems, are in the habit of working and resting alternately every four hours; and the periods of relaxation from manual labour, they frequently devote to mental improvement. In these intervals of cessation from toil, John Martyn acquired a complete knowledge of arithmetic, and some acquaintance also with mathematics ; and no sooner had he gathered these valuable and substantial fruits of persevering diligence, in a soil most unfriendly to their growth, than he was raised from a state of poverty and depression, to one of comparative ease and comfort: admitted into the office of Mr. Daniel, a merchant at Truro, he lived there as chief clerk piously and respectably, enjoying considerably more than a competency. At the grammar-school in this town, the master of which was the Rev. Cornelius Cardew, D.D. a gentleman of learning and talents, Henry was placed by his father in Midsummer 1788, being then between seven and eight years of age. Of his childhood, previous to this period, little or nothing can be ascertained; but those who knew him considered him a boy of promising abilities. Upon his first entering the school, Dr. Cardew ob
he did not fail to answer the expectations that had been formed of him; his proficiency in the classics exceeded that of most of his school-fellows; yet there were boys who made a more rapid progress, not perhaps that their abilities were superior, but their
application greater, for he was of a lively cheer
ful temper, and as I have been told by those who sat near him, appeared to be the idlest among them, and was frequently known to go up to his lesson with little or no preparation, as if he had learned it by intuition."
In all schools there are boys, it is well known, who from natural softness of spirits, inferiority in point of bodily strength, or an unusual thirst for literary acquirements, become much secluded from the rest, and such boys are generally exposed to the ridicule and oppression of their associates. Henry Martyn, though not at that time eminently studious, was one of this class; he seldom joined the other boys in their pastimes, in which he was not an adept, and he often suffered from the tyranny of those older or stronger than himself.
“ Little Harry Martyn," for by that name he usually went, says one of his earliest friends and companions, was in a manner proverbial among his schoolfellows for a peculiar tenderness and inoffensiveness of spirit, which exposed bim to the ill offices of many overbearing boys; and as there was at times some peevishness in his manner when attacked, he was of ten unkindly treated. That he might receive assistance in his lessons, he was placed near one of the upper boys, with whom he contracted a friendship which lasted through life, and whose imagination readily recals the position in which he used to sit, the thankful expression of his affectionate countenance, when he happened to be helped out of some difficulty. and a thousand little incidents of his boyish days. Besides assisting him in his exercises, his friend, it is added, " had often the happiness of rescuing him from the grasp of oppressors, and has never seen more feeling gratitude than was shown by him on those occasions."
At this school, under the same excellent tuition, Henry remained till he was between fourteen and fifteen years of
age; at which period he was induced to offer himself as a candidate for a vacant scholarship: