“Always, ma’am, I’ll try to remember you always.” “What a good child,” said she, after his mother was gone, “and of good stock; that child will be true as steel. It was so much more natural that the child should remember the cake than an old woman, that I love his sincerity.” She died on the 7th of Sept., 1833, aged eighty-eight. She was buried in Wrighton churchyard, beneath an old tree which is still flourishing.
You have perhaps heard of Benjamin West, the celebrated artist. I will tell you about his first effort in drawing.
One of his sisters, who had been married some time, came with her babe to spend a few days at her father’s. When the child was asleep in the cradle, Mrs. West invited her daughter to gather flowers in the garden, and told Benjamin to take care of the little child while they were gone; and gave him a fan to flap away the flies from his little charge. After some time the child appeared to smile in its sleep, and it attracted young Benny’s attention. He was so pleased with the smiling, sleeping, babe that he thought he would see what he could do at drawing a portrait of it. He was only in his seventh year; he got some paper, pens, and some red and black ink, and commenced his work, and soon drew the picture of the babe.
Hearing his mother and sister coming in from the garden, he hid his picture; but his mother seeing he was confused, asked him what he was about, and requested him to show her the paper. He obeyed, and entreated her not to be angry. Mrs. West, after looking some time, with much pleasure, said to her daughter, “I declare, he has made a likeness of little Sally,” and kissed him with evident satisfaction. This gave him much encouragement, and he would often draw pictures of flowers which she held in her hand. Here the instinct of his great genius was first awakened. This circumstance occurred in the midst of a Pennsylvania forest, a hundred and four years ago. At the age of eighteen he was fairly established in the city of Philadelphia as an artist.
In the valley between “Longbrigg” and “Highclose,” in the fertile little dale on the left, stands an old cottage, which is truly “a nest in a green place.” The sun shines on the diamond paned windows all through the long afternoons of a summer’s day. It is very large and roomy. Around it is a trim little garden with pleasant flower borders under the low windows. From the cottage is a bright lookout into a distant scene of much variety.