Biography of self-taught men [by B. B. Edwards and S. G. Bagley].

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T. Nelson and Sons, 1869 - 288 pages
 

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Page 159 - Appeared the rough initials of my name, Cut forty years before ! The same old clock Struck the same bell, and gave my heart a shock I never can forget. A short breeze sprung, And while a sigh was trembling on my tongue, Caught the old dangling almanacs behind, And up they flew like banners in the wind ; Then gently, singly, down, down, down they went, And told of twenty years that I had spent Far from my native land. That instant came A robin on the threshold ; though so tame, At first he looked...
Page 164 - Shipwreck. Pallas and Plato are forgotten, in the recollection of Falconer and Campbell : — " Here in the dead of night by Lonna's steep, The seaman's cry was heard along the deep.
Page 229 - Two days afterwards, while the editor was sitting with some company after dinner, a sound was heard at a distance like that of the whistling of a tempest through the torn rigging of the vessel which scuds before it. The sounds increased as they approached more near; and Leyden (to the great astonishment of such of the guests as did not know him) burst into the room, chanting the desiderated ballad with the most enthusiastic...
Page 125 - That he should have been minutely and extensively skilled in chemistry and the arts, and in most of the branches of physical science, might perhaps have been conjectured ; but it could not have been inferred from his usual occupations, and probably is not generally known, that he was curiously learned in many branches of antiquity, metaphysics, medicine, and etymology, and perfectly at home in all the details of architecture, music, and law.
Page 125 - It has increased indefinitely the mass of human comforts and enjoyments, and rendered cheap and accessible, all over the world, the materials of wealth and prosperity. It has armed the feeble hand of man, in short, with a power to which no limits can be assigned; completed the dominion of mind over the most refractory qualities of matter; and laid a sure foundation for all those future miracles of mechanic power which are to aid and reward the labours of after generations.
Page 125 - Independently of his great attainments in mechanics, Mr. Watt was an extraordinary, and in many respects a wonderful man. Perhaps no individual in his age possessed so much and such varied and exact information, had read so much, or remembered what he had read so accurately and so well. He had infinite quickness of apprehension, a prodigious memory, and a certain rectifying and methodising power of understanding, which extracted something precious out of all that was presented to it.
Page 168 - The vessel, while the dread event draws nigh, Seems more impatient o'er the waves to fly : Fate spurs her on : — thus issuing from afar, Advances to the sun some blazing star ; And, as it feels th' attraction's kindling force, Springs onward with accelerated course.
Page 152 - Paradise Lost,' and some novels. These books he lent to Robert ; who spent all his leisure hours in reading the 'Seasons,' which he was now capable of reading. I never heard him give so much praise to any book as to that.
Page 173 - Had he," proceeds his biographer, " in the commencement of his career been furnished with all those appliances which he enjoyed at a later period, it is more than probable that he might never have acquired that wonderful tact of manipulation, that ability of suggesting expedients, and of contriving apparatus so as to meet and surmount the difficulties which must constantly arise during the progress of the philosopher through the unbeaten tracks and unexplored regions of science. In this art Davy...
Page 126 - He had a certain quiet and grave humour, which ran through most of his conversation, and a vein of temperate jocularity, which gave infinite zest and effect to the condensed and inexhaustible information which formed its main staple and characteristic. There was a little air of affected testiness, and a tone of pretended rebuke and contradiction, with which he used to...

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