countryside delivering bread to the farmers and cottagers, or in occasional visits to his parents' relations. He daily took his turn behind the shop counter, reading, writing, or drawing in the interval of waiting for customers. He trained himself to read or do his school lessons as readily in a roomful of romping children as in the quiet of the bedroom. It has been said that he never knew an idle moment from the day of his birth onwards, and his was such an indomitable and persevering energy that the remark is no exaggeration. But the pathway to greatness was made specially smooth for James Simpson. He was set upon it, and protected in his childhood, and guided in his youth, with the one definite object always in view. The Simpson family as well as the whole Bathgate community, took it for granted that eminence was to be his in whatever walk of life he entered seriously upon. His sister Mary and his brother Alexander looked upon him as a special care; the former watched over him as a mother, and the latter h
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