among his old neighbors in Londonderry. Until nine years of age, Robert never saw a school. He was a short time under the tuition of an old British soldier, who had strayed into the settlement after the French war, ‘at which time,’ he says in a letter to a friend, ‘I learned to repeat the shorter and larger catechisms. These, with the Scripture proofs annexed to them, confirmed me in the orthodoxy of my forefathers, and I hope I shall ever remain an evidence of the truth of what the wise man said, “ Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” ’ He afterwards took lessons with one Master Mc-Keen, who used to spend much of his time in hunting squirrels with his pupils. He learned to read and write; and the old man always insisted that he should have done well at ciphering also, had he not fallen in love with Molly Park. At the age of eighteen he enlisted in the Revolutionary army, and was at the battle of Saratoga. On his return he married his fair Molly, settled down as a farmer in Windham, formerly a part of Londonderry, and before he was thirty years of age became an elder in the church, of the creed and observances of which he was always a zealous and resolute defender. From occasional passages in his poems, it is evident that the instructions which he derived from the pulpit were not unlike those which Burns suggested as needful for the unlucky lad whom he was commending to his friend Hamilton:–
Ye'll catechise him ilka quirk,In a humorous poem, entitled Spring's Lament,
Ana shore him weel wia hell.