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JAMES BARRY.

JAMES BARRY was born in Cork, on the 11th of October, 1741. His mother's maiden name was Juliana Roerden; her ancestors had lost large estates in the county Cork, through rebellions and revolutions; “and his father, whose name was John,” says one of his biographers, “had no occasion to blush at his pedigree, if it be true, that he was of a collateral branch of the family, which has been honoured with the Earldom of Barrymore.” Whatever his remote ancestors were, we are certain that John Barry was bred a builder; that his want of success drove him to the sea; that, for many years, he commanded a vessel which traded between the Cove of Cork and England; and that he was fortunate in none of his pursuits. Of the early education of James Barry we have but an imperfect account; but it must have been watched over with no common care, for, in afterlife, when learning was wanted, no one found him deficient. When very young his father took him to sea; but to be pent up in a floating prison— to see the same monotonous scene setting upon him at night, and opening upon him every day, and to drudge and become familiar with the severe duties of a mariner's life, were not for one on whose mind art had already dawned. In the first place

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he ran away, and was with difficulty found and brought back; and secondly, instead of handing ropes and adjusting sails, it was his pleasure to make sketches of the coast along which he sailed, or to draw groups and single figures upon the deck, to the amusement of the sailors and the vexation of his father. It was idle to contend against the determined disposition of this wilful boy; his father sent him back to his mother, and he resumed his books and crayons. In the happier moments of his manhood he has been heard to allude jocularly to his marine apprenticeship. Painting was the natural rather than the accidental direction of his mind—he sketched and drew at an earlier age than his sister, who long survived him, could name. When the father returned and saw his son's colossal outlines in black and red chalk, on walls, floors, and furniture, the rough sailor spoke with great bitterness, and said, the boy had abandoned a trade which produced daily bread, for wild and unprofitable nonsense. He sought shelter behind his mother's chair, who protected him, and encouraged him in his pursuits. On leaving the sea he was sent to school— where his quickness of parts, and his stubborn and solitary disposition attracted notice. During the hours of leisure he read or drew. Whole mights, his sister said, were taken from sleep; he spent all his pocket money on pencils and candles; and when, alarmed for his health, the servants, in arranging his room, secreted his candles, he would not allow them to go there any more, but locked the door and made the bed for himself. His bed became hard and uncomfortable—his mother wished to render it softer, and to introduce order into his apartment—but he resisted her also; even in these early days he exhibited a spirit intractable and capricious, and declared his love for those ascetic and self-denying habits which assume the name of virtues in the legends of the Romish church. He sometimes, however, mingled in school-boy amusements; and on one of those occasions, wishing to conceal himself from his companions in the favourite game called “Hide and Seek,” he entered a ruinous house in an obscure lane, which had neither doors nor windows, and was said to be haunted. On running up the half-rotten stairs. and entering an upper room, he saw two old and withered figures sitting in rags and wretchedness beside a handful of expiring embers, tearing each other's faces, and accompanying every tug with grimaces which demons might have envied. They heeded him not, but tore away, and he retired, making, he said, two reflections on what he had seen—“That man is malicious in proportion as he is impotent,” and “that age and want add to their inherent miseries evils all their own.” The moral inference which he seeks to draw from this sad scene is unjust to human nature. The evils, indeed, of weakness and want are not little; they are an ill-matched pair, though often seen together; but weakness of body is frequently accompanied by great benevolence of mind, and there is a philosophic or devout spirit of endurance in those afflicted with poverty and old age, which Barry might have discovered wherever he went on the earth. But from his earliest years he indulged in curious

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