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Page 117 - An' now the main eccentrics start their quarrel on the sheaves : Her time, her own appointed time, the rocking linkhead bides, Till — hear that note? — the rod's return whings glimmerin' through the guides. They're all awa' ! True beat, full power, the clangin' chorus goes Clear to the tunnel where they sit, my purrin
Page 241 - Turn him to any cause of policy, The Gordian knot of it he will unloose, Familiar as his garter ; that, when he speaks, The air, a charter'd libertine, is still, And the mute wonder lurketh in men's ears, To steal his sweet and honey'd sentences...
Page 239 - This potent commander of the elements, this abridger of time and space, this magician, whose cloudy machinery has produced a change in the world, the effects of which, extraordinary as they are, are perhaps only now beginning to be felt, was not only the most profound man of science, the most successful combiner of powers and calculator of numbers as adapted to practical purposes, was not only one of the most generally well-informed, but one of the best and kindest of human beings.
Page 116 - Lord, send a man like Robbie Burns to sing the Song o' Steam! To match wi' Scotia's noblest speech yon orchestra sublime Whaurto - uplifted like the Just - the tail-rods mark the time. The crank-throws give the double-bass, the feed-pump sobs an
Page 236 - 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 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 237 - ... instructive in no ordinary degree ; but it was, if possible, still more pleasing than wise, and had all the charms of familiarity, with all the substantial treasures of knowledge. No man could be more social in his spirit, less assuming or fastidious in his manners, or more kind and indulgent towards all who approached him. He rather liked to talk, at least in his latter years ; but though he took a considerable share of the conversation, he rarely suggested the topics on which it was to turn,...
Page 116 - I'd been doon that morn to see what ailed the throws, Manholin', on my back - the cranks three inches off my nose. Romance ! Those first-class passengers they like it very well, Printed an' bound in little books ; but why don't poets tell ? I'm sick of all their quirks an' turns - the loves an' doves they dream Lord, send a man like Robbie Burns to sing the Song o
Page 239 - ... his happiest days. His friends in this part of the country never saw him more full of intellectual vigour and colloquial animation, never more delightful or more instructive, than in his last visit to Scotland in autumn, 1817. Indeed, it was after that time that he applied himself, with all the ardour of early life, to the invention of a machine for mechanically copying all sorts of sculpture and statuary, and distributed among his friends some of its earliest performances, as the productions...
Page 229 - It can engrave a seal, and crush masses of obdurate metal before it — draw out, without breaking, a thread as fine as gossamer, and lift a ship of war like a bauble in. the air. It can embroider muslin and forge anchors — cut steel into ribands, and impel loaded vessels against the fury of the winds and waves.
Page 240 - His talents and fancy overflowed on every subject. One gentleman was a deep philologist — he talked with him on the origin of the alphabet as if he had been coeval with Cadmus ; another a celebrated critic — you would have said the old man had studied political economy and belleslettres all his life : of science it is unnecessary to speak ; it was his own distinguished walk.