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 Benney'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