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“ MY DEAR SIR:—For a less familiar commencement would but ill agree with the warmth of my affectionate respect and admiration,-Some time
of C— Park, informed me that you had said of me, in a communication to her, "I know little of him, but his tales; may he live long, and never leave off telling them. For this friendly remark let me very heartily thank you.
“It is almost thirty years since, being in Sheffield, I purchased a few volumes of poetry, (your's and Cowper's,) in furtherance of the hope of being enabled to take you by the hand. This privilege I enjoyed; and since then, though familiar with your mind and your muse, I have not personally seen you.
“ If the amount of satisfaction derived by reader from an author be the measure of his obligation, then am I indeed your debtor; for few have been more interested, excited, and influenced, than myself, by your manifold, talented, and Christianhearted productions. I am sure that they have made me wiser, I believe they have made me better, than I should have been without them.
“ At my time of life, it is more befitting that I should put up a prayer for you, than praise you. Indeed, if praise were acceptable, you must, I should think, have received it almost to satiety. “I too with words of praise could ring the chimes, And blot a foolscap page with tinkling rhymes, If this poor pen of mine could thus impart The honest homage of a grateful heart;
Grateful to thee, my worldly joys among, For many a revel in transporting song, To see thee now in reverent age appear A Christian warrior resting on thy spear, That thou hast wielded well, in bloodless fight, For God and man, with majesty and might. Deign then, dear bard, in friendly mood to share My kindly thoughts, my blessing, and my prayer. No tyro I, in troublo's stormy strife; No stripling in the battle-field of life: Like thee, far-travelled on my pilgrim way, I need repose. Like thine, my hairs are gray. Accept—alas! in this poor world below How little can the warmest heart bestow !Accept this truth, deep, ardent, and sincere, In youth I loved thee, and in age revere.” During the visits of Old Humphrey to Hastings, to recruit his health, he was accustomed to pay a morning visit to a hairdresser, not far from AllSaints church, to complete his morning toilet; but during his last illness, when unable to walk to the shop, he was waited upon by the hairdresser. During the usual operation, the worthy man would entertain his customer by recounting the news of the day, and other matters which he thought of importance to be known. “I have lately been reading," said he, on one occasion, "a very interesting book. I can't read prosy works, but this one was quite to my taste; it is an excellent one. It is called “Old Humphrey's Addresses.' He then went on to expatiate on the merits of “The Toppers,” and other well-known pieces in the volume;
concluding by expressing his regret that his little daughter, who had borrowed it from her school library, was obliged to return it before he had completed its perusal. Mr. Mogridge quietly enjoyed his friend's recital. It was just the kind of incident to bring out the natural amiability of his heart. A copy of the work was obtained in the town, and at the next interview Mr. Mogridge placed it in his hands, having previously recorded, in his own trembling penmanship, that it was “a gift from the author to Mr. -" The disconcerted and delighted hairdresser, on receiving the neat-looking volume, could scarcely believe that he had been unwittingly extolling the book to its author's facehis own customer, too!and that the author's own hands had presented to him the valued work, to be kept as a memorial of a pious interest in his welfare.
Equally pleasing proofs of the usefulness and popularity of his little books, also at various times came under his notice. Once, when passing through a crowded London street, Mr. Mogridge saw a man elevated chair, about to address a throng around him. Curiosity led him, during a pause in the proceedings, to make his way almost up to the chair on which the orator stood, when, to his surprise and confusion, the man suddenly broke out, in a loud voice, looking at the startled author
“Where have you been wandering about, Thomas Brown,
In your jacket so out of repair ?" Old Humphrey would have gladly escaped, to recover his self-possession and gravity, but he found himself encompassed by the people, who seemed to him looking directly in his face. “I felt,” he said, “ almost as much ashamed as if I had been detected in inadvertently passing a bad shilling."
Among the tracts in verse, the one entitled « Ten Thousand Bright Guineas of Gold” has been found very acceptable. A gentleman laid a copy of it on his study table. An old friend called on him, who was rich in this world, but a stranger to the “unsearchable riches of Christ.” Finding that the title attracted the interest of his moneyed friend, he proposed to read it to him; this was done, and produced a visible impression on the rich man. He left the house, but could not forget the words he had heard. He became anxious about his soul; attended the means of grace, searched the Scriptures, and prayed for heavenly guidance; and there is good reason to conclude that he was led savingly to the knowledge of the divine Redeemer.
Mr. Mogridge was very happy and effective in writing little children's books-published at a halfpenny or a farthing each. Some of them are equal to any thing that came froin his
and were not without evidence of the divine blessing resting upon them. A copy of one of them, entitled, “The
Cloud; or, Look beyond It,"'* came into the hands of a worthy clergyman in Yorkshire, on Christmas day. He was at the time in a depressed state of mind, fearing that the labours of years had been in vain. He took up this small book, and was pleased with the recommendation contained in its title" Look beyond the cloud.” He read it, and its simple and pleasing advice cheered his mind, prepared him for the happy discharge of the duties of the day, and produced much subsequent comfort.
A gentleman in London experienced a great disappointment, the effect of which was to throw him into such desponding views as to threaten the most fearful consequences. A friend enclosed in an envelope the same book, “ The Cloud," but without knowing the state of the gentleman's mind, and requested him to give it to his little boy. On going home, he opened the envelope to see the book it contained. He read it, and experienced such relief in his distress of mind, that he wrote a letter to the gentleman who sent it, expressing his thankfulness for the benefit which he had received.
As the versatile pen of Old Humphrey necessitated that he should assume different characters, he wrote various volumes and children's books, for the Religious Tract Society, under other names. Hence he appeared as “Grandfather Gregory,"'* " Amos
* Published by the American inday-school Union.