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180 WILLIAM THOM, THE WEAVER POET.
Thorn's life became known and he was treated as a literary phenomenon. He was taken on a holiday trip to London by Mr. Gordon, and introduced to the leaders of the Scottish colony there, who made much of him, and on his return he was given a public dinner in Aberdeen. Demands for his verses came upon him from various periodicals, and he was enabled to establish a custom weaving shop in Inverury for himself. The next three years, while he was thus engaged, were the happiest and the only comfortable ones of his life. He refused other offers of employment, and asked no patronage except the purchase of his home-made clothes. He was the head of a little circle of local bards, who looked up to him, and sought his critical approval and patronage for their verses. His fame was increasing and reached a national knowledge in the publication of the volume of his poems, in 1844, by a leading London firm. In an evil hour he was persuaded to give up his business of weaving and establish himself in London as an agent for the sale of weaver's cloth. He was without business knowledge or business habits, lived recklessly and extravagantly, keeping an open house for Chartist agitators and wandering Scottish poets. His inspiration failed him; he wrote little or nothing, and lost his head completely in the whirl of excitement and social dissipation. After three