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most strongly attached. He then retired to a farm on the banks of Loch Lomond, where, for several years, he enjoyed the calm pleasures of a rural life, with uninterrupted felicity to himself and his family. But having lost a considerable sum of money by the failure of one friend, and become involved in a lawsuit, in consequence of having been security for another, the latter part of his life was darkened by misfortune. An opulent relation in Bristol, having paid Captain Macneill a visit during his distresses, took a fancy for his little namesake, Hector, and promised to provide for him. Accordingly, after two years' preparatory education at a public seminary, the youth was sent, at the age of fourteen, to Bristol. The cousin, to whose charge he was committed, had been the Captain of a West India trader, and finally realized a considerable fortune, by various mercantile occupations. He was pleased with the diligence and ability of his ward, and determined that, like himself, he should become a merchant and a seaman. It was at first intended that he should be sent on a 'trying voyage to the coast of Guinea, in a slave-ship: but this plan was laid aside, and Hector Macneill was entered on board the Ruby, Captain Henderson, bound to St. Christophers and Antigua, as ordinary, but was birthed with the second mate, gunner, and carpenter, in the steerage. If he liked the sea, something was to be done for him on his returning to port; if not, his cousin gave him introductory letters to some of his particular friends, in St. Christophers, together with one for his son, who had the charge of his father's store-houses in that island.

The voyage to St. Christophers completely sickened young Macneill with the sea, and after a year's unsatisfactory residence on that island with his pa. tron's son, he sailed for Guadaloupe, on an engagement of three years, in the employ of a merchant there, which had been represented to him as in all respects highly eligible. In this situation he met with nothing but insults and bad treatment, and Guadaloupe having been, in virtue of the treaty of peace between England and France, restored to the latter, the merchant with whom he lived de. parted for America, and left him, at the age of seventeen, to shift for himself, with only eight or ten pistoles in his pocket, and not a single friend who cared for him in the island. After many difficulties, he contrived to get a passage to St. John's, Antigua, where he found the cousin with whom he had parted at St. Kitt's, and immediately began to assist him as a clerk. Finding, however, that this person expected him to work day and night without any salary, he quitted his employment, and found himself once more set adrift, and at the mercy of the waves of fortune. It was not long, however, till he was recommended by a friend to the Provost-Marshal of Grenada, as a person qualified, by his general talents, and more particularly by his knowledge of the French language, to assist in his office,-and being chosen to the situation, he soon afterwards arrived at St. George's Town in that island. Here he lived happily and usefully for three years, discharging the duties of his office with great credit, and respected by all. Here too, had he been of a money-making disposition, he might have realized some fortune, but unluckily for himself, he was not, and after six year's residence in the West Indies, his sole property was an unblemished reputation. At this time he beard that bis mother and sister were dead, and upbraid. ing himself for having allowed his family to remain so long ignorant of his fate in life, he resolved to l'eturn to his father's house, and see what prospects might open up for bim in his native country.

About eighteen months after Hector's return to Scotland, his father died, leaving him but a very Vol. XXXIX,


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slender patrimony. This he was advised to sink in an annuity! and for several years he contrived, on 80 per a inum, not only to support himself, but also three other persons who had unfortunately become dependent on his justice and humanity. He had, fatally for his happiness and respectability, yet from circumstances originating in romantic generosity, formed a connexion which he found it impossible for him to break off; and it was not till the failure of the person from whom he had purchased his annuity startled him from his indolent and delusive life, that he saw the necessity of tearing himself away from his luckless family ties, and of getting into some employment to ward off the immediate approach of poverty and depend. ence. Through the interest of a friend in London, he was received as an assistant into the Secretary's office, in the Victory, Admiral Geary's flag-ship, at that time commanded by the celebrated Captain Kempenfeldt, and made two cruizes with the grand fleet, during which nothing of importance occur. red; but seeing no prospect of advancement in a profession most uncongenial with his habits and dispositions, he gave up his equivocal and unproductive situation, and again turned his face towards Scotland. In Liverpool he was induced to remain for some months, by his friendship with Messrs. Currie and Roscoe, (men who afterwards became so illustrious,) and with the benevolent and wise Rathbone, who most affectionately loved him; and while there, he received intelligence of his being appointed to the same kind of situation which he had formerly held, on board the flag-ship of Sir Richard Bickerton, appointed to take the chief command of the naval power in India, in the room of Sir Edward Hughes. After three years absence from Britain-during which he was in the last un. decisive action with Suffrein, and encountered most of the difficulties and dangers incident to a

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sea-faring life--Hector Macneill returned as poor a man as before, fortune having never once smiled upon him-and that promotion which his acknowledged good conduct and excellent talents deserved, having been constantly retarded by some inauspicious event or other, till at last all prospect of ultimate success was finally closed. In this seemingly hopeless situation he again revisited Scotland ; and having raised a few hundred pounds on the security, such as it was, of his annuity, be retired to a farm-house near Stirling, and for a year or two gave bimself up entirely to literary pursuits, and more especially to the study of poetry, for which he had in early life shewn both inclination and genius, although the hardships and vicissitudes of fortune had left him but little opportunity of cultivating those powers, and enjoying those pleasures in manhood, which had been the delight and ornament of his early youth. In this retirement he seems to have enjoyed much happiness ; for he possessed an elasticity and buoyancy of mind which kept hiin elate and cheerful under circumstances that would have clepressed most men into utter despondency. It was then that he made his first appearance before the public as a poet; but, though his poem, which was purely descriptive of local scenery, gained him some reputation among his own friends, and with the inhabitants of the beauti. ful country therein described, this his first attempt was considered by the public as almost a complete failure, and sunkát once into oblivion. Perceiving that poetry was not likely to be a gainful trade, he once more resolved to enter into active life ; and having procured some letters of introduction, to opulent and powerful persons in Jamaica, he set sail for that island, on a voyage of adventure, being now in his thirty-eighth year, and as unprovided for as when he first embarked on the troubled sea of life.

On his arrival at Kingston, Hector Macneill be. came an assistant to the Collector of the Customs, a gentleman with whom he had formed acquaintance during the voyage. This worthy person, however, took the first opportunity that occurred of getting rid of him, as soon as he found that he could transact the business of his office without his assistance, and Macneill found himself once more, not only totally destitute of present, but hopeless of future employment. The letters of introduction, which he had brought to some eminent persons, were of no use to him; and in his emergency, he had no other resource than to accept, for a time, of the hospitality of a medical friend, at whose house, situated in a beautiful valley, he took up his temporary abode. He soon afterwards discovered that two of the dearest companions of his boyhood were settled in Jamaica, and from their friendship he received every kind of aid that his situation required, and promises, afterwards fully realized, of future encouragement and support, in case of the failure of those schemes which he was about to carry into execution. These, it would appear, were somewhat vague and indefinite; and a favourable opportunity having soon occurred of return. ing to Britain, Hector Macneill was prevailed on to embrace it, and to try his chance once more in his native country. Before he quitted Jamaica, he had the satisfaction of seeing his two boys, who had been sent out by a generous friend, comfortably settled; and baving, through the interest of the Governor's secretary, received a small sum of money as the pay of an inland ensigncy, now con. ferred on bim, but antedated, he set sail in good spirit, and in a few months found himself once more in Scotland.

During his homeward voyage, Macneill had finished a poem, which he had begun before he last left Scotland, and he now published it, under the

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