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Owen and. Ol a.-P
"A CHILD GATHERING PEBBLES ON
AUTHOR OF THE "WONDERS OF SCIENCE.
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS,
THE BROADWAY, LUDGATE.
NEW YORK: 416, BROOME STREET.
BRAIDBRY, AGNEW, & CO., PRINTERS, WHITEFRIARS.
IN THE HOPE THAT IN AFTER YEARS IT MAY BE TEIB
SOURCE OF SOME KNOWLEDGE AND
HAPPINESS TO HIM,
AND INSPIRE HIM WITH A TASTE FOR THE STUDIES OF
WHICH IT TREATS
UBY HikIS FATHERi
BY HIS FATHER.
THs book, though founded on the early life of
Ferguson, makes no attempt at re-presenting either
the circumstances or scenery amid which the
"Shepherd boy" passed his youth. To have done
this, would have been to have written a biography
of the young astronomer, in which the character
and incidents must have been literally followed.
Such a work faithfully executed would doubtlessly
have been sufficiently interesting and instructive,
but it would have involved a more intimate know-
ledge of the facts of Ferguson's boyhood than the
materials left us could possibly have supplied.
Moreover, the object of the author was not so
strictly to teach, as to create in youth a taste for
learning-it was to appetize rather than to cram,"
-to excite a craving that would stir the young
mind to seek its own food, instead of accustoming
it to be, as it were, "stall fed."
It has long appeared to the author of the present
vi PL FACE.
work that the prevailing system of education in-
duces merely the same state of obesity intellect-
ually, as the modern bucolic mode of feeding does
physically-those who win the prizes at our Univer-
sities being generally as remarkable for the enor-
mous capacity and inactivity of their minds as the
competitors at Baker-street are for those of their
bodies; the one gorged with learning, the other
with oil cake, but each alike ponderous and power-
less, and both having little or no health or vigour
The entire art of teaching lies in the excitation
of attention to the subject to be taught; but there
are two distinct kinds of attention, and according
as one or the other of these is appealed to, so does
the mind become vigorous or enervated. We can
attend to a subject either passively or actively. In
the former case, the mind is put into a state of
dream, by the excitement of some vivid emotion, or
"interest" as it is called, in connexion with a cer-
tain subject, and is so thrown into a disposition to
receive such ideas and facts as one may wish to im-
press upon it. This co.-ltitutes, so to speak, the
dramatic art of teaching, and the power of the
novelist and the playwright often affords us striking
instances of it; for, by such means, hundreds of
diverse minds and natures are frequently held
enchained as it were, for several hours, to the same
subject, and the trains of thought made to flow on
continuously, in one and the same direction, among
a, number of different individuals.
Bishop Butler (in his Sermons on Human Na-
ture"), and many others after him, have long since
remarked, and speculated as to the causes, concern-
ing the ill effects which arise from an inordinate habit
of indulging in what is termed sentimental literature.
The philosophic preacher at the Rolls Chapel" refers
the injury done to the mind by continually reading
romances and "love stories," to a breach of the
moral law which connects the exercise of charity
with the excitation of a feeling sympathy in our
natures. The author of the present work, however,
believes the harm done in such cases proceeds more
from an intellectual defect than a moral one-viz.,
by inducing a habit of mere passive attention, or,
in other words, encouraging a state of constant
dreaming, and thus incapacitating the mind for the
least exertion on its own part; so that the intel-
lectual faculties become ab length enervated and
sickly (for such is the invariable effect of a want of
exercise-mentally as well as corporeally), and when
the individual has to study any subject that requires
some effort in order to be comprehended, the sense
of labour involved in the task is either so repulsive
that he shuns it altogether, or else, in attempting it,
he is overpowered by fatigue after two or three
Moments of continuous attention.
The faculty of passive attention is that of mere
receptivity -.or acquisitiveness, as contradistin-
guished from that of inquisitiveness; and such is
the capacity of some minds in this respect, that they
may be crammed with any amount of knowledge,
though, after all, they will be learned rather than
wise, lacking the power to apply their information
with any profit to themselves or others, and being
only intellectually corpulent instead of intellectually
The faculty of active attention, however, gives
widely .different results. It is this faculty which
distinguishes our dreaming from our waking mo-
ments. In sleep, the mind can only follow the train
of fancies induced in it-for it has not the power to
guide or stop them,-so that no person reproaches
himself for his impulses or thoughts at such times.
When we are awake, on the contrary, we are con-
scious of the ability to direct the current of our ideas
as we choose; we know we can single out, from the
crowd of conceptions that are continually hurrying
through our brain, any one that pleases us,--that
we can detain it while we examine its several rela-
tions, and that we can induce a long train of other
conceptions in connexion with it. In a word, we
are aware that in our waking moments we can be
the masters of our natures, rather than the slaves of
them, as we are forced to be while dreaming. To
doubt the existence of the faculty of active atten-
tion, would be to doubt our own consciousness; for
we feel, when we read a difficult problem in Euclid,
that each step requires a severe mental effort to
prevent our thoughts rambling from the reasoning,
and of this effort we have the same sense,-there
being the same feeling of fatigue connected with it,
when long protracted,-as when we voluntarily
exert our muscular strength.
Now the misfortune is, that the sense of mental
effort connected with the exercise of active attention
is often so irksome to naturally weak or young
minds, (for the faculty does not appear to be
developed till the, age of fifteen years), that the
study of such matters as require the intellect to be
exerted for their comprehension, becomes uninviting
and tiresome to the student. So beautifully, how-
ever, is the mental machinery arranged, that this
feeling of tiresomeness is only experienced at the
first exertion of the faculty; for after a time, the
wonderful mental principle of habit comes into play,
by which, acts that were originally irksome, become,
by the frequent and regular repetition of them, not
only pleasant to us, but positively irksome if not in-
dulged in. Hence the educational problem is, how
is a habit of active attention to be engendered in
the mind; or rather, how can the feeling of irksome-
ness which ensues on the first exertion of the
intellect be so far removed that the youth may not,
by the dread of the labour, be repelled from the
study of those subjects, the comprehension of which
is not alone necessary for the expansion of the mental
faculties, but a source of much refined pleasure, as
well as being likely to prove of considerable benefit
to the student, and perhaps to mankind in general.
There are several ways of attaining this end.
Those generally practised are of an artificial cha-
racter, and consist in attaching either some extrinsic
reward or punishment to the performance or non-
performance of the task. The natural and intrinsic
method, however, appears to be by far the most easy
and sure. This consists in exciting the taste of the
youth towards the subject to which the attention is
required to be given. By a taste for a particular
pursuit,-we mean solely a permanent desire to attend
continuously to the same subject; so that the tastes
of an individual are, as it were, the mental forces
that move and direct the current of his thoughts
into a particular channel.
To create a taste for a certain pursuit, it seems to
be essential that the individual should be made to
experience a vivid sense of pleasure in connexion
with it. Sometimes this pleasure appears to be due
to some delicate organic arrangement, as in persons
having a natural "turn," as it is termed, for music.
It often, however, proceeds from the excitation of
the feeling of wonder and admiration in the mind.
:uch was the case with the boy Ferguson, on seeing
his father raise the roof of his cottage by means of
a lever. This was the cause of that taste foi
mechanics which marked the Shepherd's" whole
life. So again with Chatterton, who, we are told,
could not be made to learn his letters till the illu-
minated characters of an old manuscript had taken
his fancy, and excited that taste for ancient litera-
ture which never left him in after years. Many
other such instances might be cited to show that the
excitation of a vivid feeling of delight in connexion
with a particular subject, has shaped the thoughts
for an entire existence.
Taste is indeed always self-educational; once
developed, the trouble of tuition is saved us, for
then the mind is bent on acquiring the knowledge
for itself, instead of having to be crammed with it
by others. Moreover, the analysis of our own
emotions teaches us that the feeling of curiosity,
or the desire for knowledge in connexion with any
subject, is but the consequence of that state of per-
plexity or mental uneasiness which arise. in the
mind whenever anything strange or wonderful has
been brought under our notice, and we are unable
to divine either the cause or the nature of it. This
feeling of curiosity-the craving for information,
which thus comes upon us,-may be but of short
duration, but, on the other hand, the emotion of
beauty (if associated with the wonderment) tends to
give considerable permanence to the desire. Admi-
ration necessarily causes the mind to dwell upon the
object exciting it-the natural tendency of the
emotion being to detain the thoughts and fix the
attention to one point, so that the entire train of
ideas which rises afterwards is governed by it, and
everything that subsequently forces itself on the
notice, serves only to suggest some conception in
connexion with that which originally induced the
The excitement of the taste, then, is not only the
first and easiest, but it is likewise the most natural
and enduring guide to knowledge. To excite a
taste in youths for natural science, by means of the
feelings of wonder and admiration, is the main
object of the present book. It has not been a work
lightly undertaken or arranged without delibera-
tion; and the author while seeking to impress boys
after leaving school with a love of natural philo-
sophy, has striven to impress them also with a
sense of some of the higher truths that lie beyond
the province of mere "physics." As an instance, he
would direct attention to the chapter entitled "The
First and Last Law," observing, that the arguments
there employed concerning the eternal duration of
the spiritual force, are, to the best of the writer's
belief, so employed for the first time.
t y9. 21.
THE FIRST GLEAM OF 1GHT . . . . 1
THE BOY-PHILOSOPHER'S FIRST EXPERIMENTS . . 27
I'HE BOY VISITS THE MINISTER. WHAT COMES Of
THROWING STONES . . .. . 66
THE BOY TRIES TO MAKE A CLOOK, AND HAS A TALK
WITH THE MASTER OF THE MILL ABOUT CLOCK-
WORK . . . 109
OWEN'S DIAL . . . 0 . 148
THE BOY-MECHANIO MAKES A WATCH, AND THE BOY-
BLACKSMITH BREAKS IT . . . . 171
HOW THE PARSON'S DAUGHTERS TURNED THE HEART OF
THE iUNAWAY . . . . 197
THE BOY HAS A TALK WITH THE OLD SAILOR ABOUT
THE 'LOG" . . . . 213
THE BOY LEARNS HOW TO TELL THE SHAPE AND MEA-
SURE THE SIZE C(F THE EARTH . . . 244
THE BOY AND HIS ORANGE WORLD . . . 269
HOW PEOPLE TRAVEL WHERE THERE ARE NO ROADS, FIND
THEIR WAY WHERE THERE ARE NO SIGN-POSTS, AND
KNOW HOW FAR THEY HAVE JOURNEYED WHERE THERE
ARE NO MILE-STONES . . . .
TKA SELLING AT THE RATE OF A THOUSAND MILES AN
Hou R .* . . . .323
TIE SHEPHERD-BOY AND THE TARS . . . 86
THE BOY TAKES HIS STAR-PAPERS TO THE ODD OLD
SQUIRE AT THE OBSERVATORY . . .. 408
THE MODERN JACOB'S LADDER . . . . 421
TH I ONSTER-EYE . . . . . 460
TH-I BOY LOSES HIS BEST FRIEND . . . 47
THE FIRST AND LAST LAW . . . 472
CONCLUP1ON .. o . 482
THE FIRST GLEAM OF LIGHT.
IT was a busy day at Davy Evans's. Little Owen
-the younger of his two sons-was up betimes, for
he had heard his father sar that he meant to lift the
roof of his cottage that morning, and the boy h ad
been wondering half the night through how such a
feat were possible.
His father-the lad had thought to himself as
he lay in his bed, with his eyes fixed on the stars
that twinkled through the lattice-his father was
not a young man; he'd been grey as long as he
could remember him. Nor was he near so strong
sw Job J arman, the blacksmith; and not even he-
no, nor ten like him-could raise the thatch ct
2 THE SHEPHERD-BOY PHILOSOPHER.
their cottage "the least scrap "-Owen was sure oi
Often-mused the thoughtful boy in the depth
of the night (it was long past midnight, he knew, for
he had heard the heavy wagon go rumbling along
the road on its way to town)-often, when he had
been up among the rafters watching the martins fly
in and out to feed their young, had he noticed that
the beams were as thick as his body; besides, there
was such a number of them running lengthways and
sideways under the thatch, o that how could his
father ever lift them all ?
Why, sometimes-so ran the current of his wake-
ful dreams-he had carried his father's dinner for
him to the spruce plantation, when he had gone
there to fell some of the tall trees for the squire,
and the two of them together had been forced
to use a handspike to move even the smallest of the
trunks along the ground.
"How, then," Owen would ask himself again and
again, can it be possible for father to lift the trunks
of so many trees as there are in the rafters of our
But, though Owen kept on doubting, half the
night through, the ability of his parent to execute
the task he had set himself, the idea of doubting
that his father intended to try and do as he had said
never for a moment entered the lad's brain.
Owen had never in his life thought of questioning
THE FIRST GLEAM OF LIGHT. 3
hZ4 parent's word, for he was instinct with that con-
fiding faith which is one of the marked charac-
teristics of the young. Indeed, Davy Evans had
taken especial pains to impart in the minds of all
his children, from their earliest age, a high reverence
for truth. It was one of the honest man's chief
delights to point out to his lads how all men-even
the wisest-knew more things by faith than they
could ever acquire for themselves by experience.
Suppose," he would argue to his boys, "that we
had doubted all men's words, what a world of mis-
trust and suspicion it would have been, and how
little progress could we have made in anything. The
greater part of our lives then would have been
taken up in procuring evidence of the truth of
what was said to us. Why," he would say, "we
should have had to travel over the whole world
before we could have put trust even in a simple
book upon geography. We should have had to
visit every foreign land before we could have credited
its existence. But now, by the principle of faith,
we sit at home by our fireside, and by our reliance
on the words of others have the same assurance
of the reality of countries thousands of miles away
from us as if we had visited them ourselves."
Think," he would add, "of the vast amount of
faith that is exercised by people in the reading of an
ordinary newspaper. What a multiplicity of events
are there recorded. Why, to cre dit the history of a
4 THE SHEPHERD-BOY PHILOSOPHER.
single week, or even a day, now, requires as gref4. a
stretch of belief as does the history of past centuries.
So true is it that man depends more upon faith for
the cultivation of his intellect and affections, than
perhaps upon any other principle of his nature."
"Now, faith," Davy Evans would conclude, "de-
pends upon truth-speaking. Had all men, or even
the greater number of men, indulged habitually in
falsity, we should have been as generally distrustful
as we are now confiding. He, therefore, who tells a
lie attempts to undermine this principle of trust in
men's words, and so to deprive us of a means of
knowledge and a source of happiness without which
we should be worse than savages."
Davy Evans was a man essentially of good com-
mon-sense; indeed, he had no other guide in all he
did or said, for such faculties as he possessed had.
never received the least development from the educa-
tion of others. All he knew he had taught himself.
Davy was precisely one of those minds which
are termed ingenious. He could do almost any-
thing for himself. Though a mere day-labourer,
he was a bit of a blacksmith-a tolerable carpenter
"1--and sufficient of a mason to build a rough gar-
den-wall, or a cow house for his neighbours. He
could cobble his own boots, and mend his donkey's
harness, and use the needle well enough to patch
his own clothes. iHe could solder a bit too, (the
saucepans, the tea-kettle, and the bright tins over
THE FIRST GLEAM OF LIGHT. 5
the mantelpiece, all bore evidence of his handiwork);
and he had fitted up an old turning-lathe in a shed
he had built beside the pig-sty, where he delighted
to fashion tobacco-stoppers for his friends, and
nine-pins and wooden dolls for the little ones in
There was scarcely a trade, indeed, to which
Davy could not turn his hand. To be sure, he
excelled in none; but that was hardly to be won-
dered at; and, to say the truth, though Davy's
mind was sufficiently quick to acquire a slight
knowledge of almost anything, it was not suffi-
ciently patient and persevering to arrive at perfec-
tion in any one subject or handicraft whatever.
Had it been otherwise, Davy would have been
a great man rather than a clever one.
The best friend Davy had met w'th was Mr.
Wynn, the minister of the little parish of Llan-
vach. From this gentleman Davy had the loan
of all the books with which he had made himself
acquainted. The living of Llanvach, however, was.
not sufficiently lucrative to admit of its minister's
library being very extensive. But luckily for
Davy, it contained, among a very few books of
a secular character, an old copy of Rees' Cyclo-
paedia; this, giving as it did a short though
antiquated account of almost every point of know-
ledge, exactly suited the inquisitive mind of Davy
Evans; and thus the self-taught day-labourer had,
6 THE SHEPHERD-BOY PHILOSOPHER.
in his leisure, informed himself with what is termed
a "smattering" of facts on an infinite variety of
Owen had such confidence in Davy Evans' powers,
that, boy like, he thought his father could do almost
anything. He had stood beside him at the lathe
for hours, and with his eyes riveted to the mandril,
watched him turn the ugliest and roughest pieces
of wood into the most beautiful forms. He had
blown the bellows of the blacksmith's forge for his
father when he had got leave to use it for an hour
or two after his day's work was over, and he had
seen him with the sparks playing about him like
a fountain of fire, fashion a pair of shoes for old
Jack (their donkey), out of some rusty, broken door-
bolt. He had sat on a stool at his father's feet,
and looked up at him all the while he mended the
bellows of some toy poodle-dog he had to make bark
again, or repaired some pasteboard tumbler, worked
by sand, for the little Squire Williams, on the other
side of the river.
These, and a hundred other such instances of
skill, together with the character Davy had
throughout the village of being the handiest man
for miles round, had impressed the lad with a
notion that his father was sufficiently clever to
accomplish anything he chose to undertake.
"Your father ain't so clever as mine," he would
say to the other boys of the village, as they
TIE FIRST GLEAM OF LIGHT. 7
stood in a cluster looking over the little bridge
beside the water-mill, bragging of the deeds of
their several families.
There was, therefore, no reason for Owen to
doubt Davy's lifting the roof, save and except that
he couldn't understand it; and it was simply
because the boy was inwardly convinced that his
father would lift it, and because he couldn't, for
the life of him, comprehend by what means he
was to do so, that the lad had been tossing about
in his bed half the night through, cudgelling his
brains in the vain hope of discovering the process
by which the wonderful feat was to be achieved.
Well, as we have said, Owen was up betimes.
There was not a creature to be seen abroad, as the
boy thrust back the iron-frame of his little lattice,
and stretching out his neck, looked up and down
the straggling double row of cottages beside the
river Wye, that made up the little village of Llan-
vach. Not a living thing was to be seen save old
Jack," the donkey, posted beside the doorway, with
his head hanging down almost to his knees, waiting
patiently for the bit of bread that was always
handed out to him at breakfast-time; and as the
knowing brute heard the metal frame jingle while
Owen hooked it back, he raised his head and ears,
and saluted the boy with a bray of delight.
Owen knew it was early, for though he thrust his
8 THE SHEPHERD-BOY PHILOSOPHER.
head far out and put his hand beside his ears, he
could not catch the sound of the throbbing of the
neighboring clothier's water-wheel. All he could
hear was the hum of the distant falls of the river,
which was still pinky with the first rays of the
morning sun, and steaming with the mists that went
winding round the base of the opposite -mountain,
and floating wavily upwards, like a thin white
scarf, in the breeze. Then, as he cast his eyes aloft
to the peak of "Garth," as it was called, he beheld
its verdant sides glitter on the higher rays of the
sun, green and golden, like a peacock's back.
Presently the boy darted off to the window at
the other end of the room, and as he peeped out
towards the common that sloped high up behind the
house, he knew by the round black clouds of smoke
that came rolling thick and fast from the chimney
of the blacksmith's forge, that young Jarman was
stirring; so, seizing his cap, he hurried down stairs,
with his boots in his hand, lest he should disturb
his father before the time of rising.
As the lad undid the fastenings, and drew back
the upper half of the little parlour door that opened
into the road, the donkey, roused once more by the
grating of the bolts, thrust his head over the hatch,
and stretching his neck as far as possible into the
tiny room, rubbed his soft velvety nose against the
cheeks of his young master, whilst the boy was
busy, down on one knee, lacing his boots.
THE FIRST GLEAM OF LIGHT. 9
But Owen's mind was too full to notice the affec-
tionate beast otherwise than by an instinctive pat or
two, so he stayed not to hug him and chatter to
him as was his wont, but hurried off towards the
blacksmith's with old Jack capering playfully after
him, more like a huge dog than a creature with hoofs
to his heels.
It was not long before Owen had communicated
to the blacksmith's boy the feat that was about to
be accomplished at their cottage that morning, but
young Jarman, who was the biggest of all the boys
in the village, and consequently a small oracle, as
well as a bit of a despot among them, no sooner heard
the news than he turned on his heel and commenced
patting down the fire of the forge he had left to
listen to Owen's tale. Presently, seizing the handle
of the bellows, he said, as he made the fire roar
again with his strokes, and the red hot coal-dust
spurt up like a miniature volcano, while the cheeks
of the boys and the beams and walls of the building
grew suddenly crimson with the glow,-"Oh, ah, I
dare say! your father's so clever he can do any-
thing-you think he can! But he an't half so
strong as my father. Why, I've seed mine bend a
poker across his arm, and lift that there hammer-
just you feel the weight of it now-up in his teeth.
And yet he'd never be such a silly as to go and try
and lift a roof."
Then suddenly the bent cow's horn that served for
10 THE SIIEPHERD-BO Y PHILOSOPHER.
a handle to the lever of the bellows, flew upwards,
released from his hand, and the grimy boy seated
himself on the anvil and commenced swinging his
legs backwards and forwards as he looked knowingly
in Owen's face. "Better come with us fishing,
Owey," he exclaimed; father knows where there's
such a jolly salmon-such a whopper-he says as he
thinks it's this year's fish. He seed him yesterday
lying under a shelf of rocks, a goodish bit up above
the ferry. He's a going to make a spear, afore he
starts this morning, so that if the thing wont rise to
the fly, he'll have him that way anyhow. You'd
much better come now!" and then putting his legs
straight out, and rolling his long, dirty leather
apron round his waist, the young blacksmith gave
himself two or three twists round on the bright
smooth top of the anvil.
Oh, I say, Owen!" he cried, as he stopped short,
" if you'll only come now, I'll show you such a
plummy blackbird's nest, chock full of young uns,
and just ready to fly. It's all on our way home,
and I don't mind shinning up the tree to get it.
You shall go halves if you'll come with us,-there
now. I've had my eye on that there nest ever since
it was first built. The mother's as big and black as
a crow. If I hadn't a shinned up the tree when I
watched her off the nest, and seed as she'd got four
eggs of her own, I should have picked her off a
long while since with my crossbow. Ah, an't that a
THE FIRST GLEAM OF LIGHT. 11
beauty of a bow if you like; your father, Owen,
don't make you such things as that, though he is so
clever as you say. Oh, what do you think, Owen ?"
cried the rough-headed lad, as he began balancing the
heavy sledge hammer on the palm of his hand; I
shot such a bouncing bat with my bow, in the dingle,
last night. You wait there, and I'll run and fetch it
Young Jarman jumped from the anvil, and coming
over to his little visitor (who stood, still leaning
against the door-post, with his cheek pillowed on his
palm), put his bare, smudgy arm round the boy's neck,
as if to make friends with him-for he could see the
lad was vexed at the taunts he had uttered about his
father; and he said, as he leant his head on Owen's
shoulder and looked in his face, "You'll come with
us, Owey, won't you now ? Oh, it'll be so prime
with you there! Father's going to take a lot of
bread and cheese and beer, and we're to have our
dinner on the rocks with some of the young chives
that's just coming up there. Don't you like 'em,
Owen? Don't I just-that's all !" and the youthful
Jarman drew his breath in between his teeth, and rub-
bed his tawny hand up and down his leather apron.
"Say you'll come, now, there's a good old cock,"
he continued, in a coaxing tone, as he patted Owen
on the cheek. "And oh, I'll tell you what-there's
some gipsies on the other side of the river, just past
the ferry. Shouldn't I like to be off with them for
12 THE SIIEPIHERD-BOY PHILOSOPHER.
a month. Or, I say, Owen, if you'd only go with
us, wouldn't I cut right away to sea, that's all. I
can't abear this beastly life-a broiling over this
here filthy forge all day-and I won't stand it
much longer, neither-not I."
During this speech, the young blacksmith had
instinctively picked up a piece of rusty iron, and, as
he came to the latter part of it, he vented his in-
dignation by jerking the heavy piece of metal at the
ribs of the donkey that stood waiting for his young
master at some little distance outside the forge.
This was more than poor Owen could bear. He
had long been burning with rage, the blood tingling
in his ears, and his hands and teeth clenched tight
with suppressed passion to hear his father sneered at
by the young blacksmith; but when he saw the
poor beast whom he loved with all the ardour of a
gentle-hearted youth for some pet animal, scamper
off, writhing with the pain of the heavy blow, he
lost all thought of the difference between the ages
of himself and young Jarman, and, seizing one of
the smaller hammers that lay on the ground at his
feet, he flew towards the tormentor of th4 patient
brute, half mad with fury and revenge, and eager to
deal on him a heavier blow than he had inflicted on
the unoffending animal.
Jarman no sooner saw Owen stoop to raise the
weapon than he fled round the shop, pursued by the
boy; and round and round they ran, till Owen, tired
THE FIRST GLEAM OF LIGHT. 13
with the chase, and his passion half-spent in the
energy of his own exertions, flung the hammer
from him and darted from the place, saying, as he
shook his fist at the blacksmith's boy, "You shall
be sorry for this, still, John Jarman."
Owen hastened as fast as his remaining strength
could carry him to the top of the hill whither the
poor old Jack had fled, and there he found him,
striving to lick the blood that streamed from the
wound in his side.
The generous boy no sooner caught the poor brute
in his arms than he hugged him fondly to him, the
tears streaming the while from his eyes; and as
Jack lifted his head and rubbed it against his young
master's cheeks, Owen vowed silently he'd so excel
young Jarman for the future, that in after life the
fellow should hear his praises sounded by every one.
"Some," inwardly resolved the lad, "shall tell him
how clever I am; some shall talk to him of my
goodness. And oh! if I only could make my name
known all over the world the same as those great
men I've heard father read about-and many of them
have been at first nothing but poor boys like me-
then go where he would he'd hear some one speak
well of me. Father says nobody knows what they
can do till they try. And I will try-yes, that I
will, Jack," he said, talking to the donkey. "I'll
learn and learn, and then, if John Jarman's bigger
than I am now, I shall one day be his master in
14 THE SHEPHERD-BOY PHILOSOPHER.
everything. Who knows but I may be a fine gen-
tleman, while he's only a poor man still."*
The reverie of the youth was interrupted by the
struggles of old Jack to get his head back to the
wound in his side, for Owen had still his arms
clasped round the animal's neck, and his head resting
on his mane. "Poor old thing," he exclaimed; I
forgot you were in pain all this while. Come along
to the hedge-side," he continued, talking to the
donkey as usual, as if. he understood every word he
said. "We'll get some water there, old fellow, and
wash the wound nicely for you. Come along, Jack!
When Owen had led the animal to the little
mountain stream, he knelt down on the logs that
served for a foot-bridge across it, and, stationing the
donkey by his side, commenced scooping up the
"* The reader is referred to an incident of a similar kind to
the above in the life of Sir I. Newton :-"An accident, we
are told, first fired him to strive for distinction among his
companions at school. The boy who was immediately above
him in the class, after treating him with a tyranny hard to
bear, was cruel enough to kick him in the stomach with a
severity that caused great pain. Newton resolved to have his
revenge; but of such a kind as was natural to his reasoning
mind even at that early age. He determined to excel his
oppressor in his studies and lessons; and setting himself to the
task with zeal and diligence, he never halted in his course till
he had found his way to the top of the class."-THE BOYHOOD
OF GREAT MEN.
THE FIRST GLEAM OF LIGHT. 15
water in the palm of his hand, and bathing the
wound for the grateful brute, the lad chattering all
the while to him.
"There, isn't that nice ?" he said, "isn't that nice,
old boy ? What a shame to hurt a good, kind old
thing like you! Father often says you're more
knowing than a good many people in the world.
Ah, you're a cunning old rascal, Master Jack, that
you are Who, when he goes to market, will only
go into town one way, so as to pass the chemist's
shop, and get some peppermint-drops given to him ?
Never was there such a fellow for peppermint-drops
as you Jack And ain't you a knowing old thing
about breakfast-time ? Why, when it's pitch-dark
in the winter, and we're having our meal by candle-
light, afore father goes to work, you know when it's
six o'clock, you do, you rogue! as well as if you had
got a silver watch round your neck, like young
Squire Williams, over at the Court, there. Then
you're so sly, you are, rubbing your old nose first
against the window panes, and then banging your
hoofs against the door, to let us know you're outside.
Catch you going away without your couple of slices
of bread-and who likes treacle, you old rascal, eh?
Don't you rub your head up and down me finely, if
I give you a bit? Oh, you're a deep old gentleman,
you are, Jack! Why, I believe you'd know the
sound of father's and my foot anywhere. Look when
father's out late working, and we come down the
16 THE SHEPHERD-BOY PHILOSOPHER.
common sometimes when it's so pitch-dark you
can't see your hand afore you,-why, you're sure
to begin braying directly we get to the chapel.
"There's old Jack,' father will say. Ah, and if you
only knew how glad I've been to hear your voice,
Jack, after being out all day with father, and a long
trudge home across the mountains-with the rain
blowing in your face all the way, may-be, till it
made you smart again-yes, Jack, when I've heard
you begin braying then, I've thought you the nicest
and fondest old creature in all the world. I knew
I was close at home as soon as I caught sound of
you; and ain't that beautiful, old boy, when you're
so tired you're ready to drop? Oh, you're a good,
dear old thing, and it's a wicked shame for any one
to hurt you, it is. No wonder you won't let John
Jarman ride you, when he's so cruel to you. I don't
think, if he was to beat you to death, you'd stir a
step with him, Jack. No, you'll do nothing but roll
in the dust with him on your back, will you, old
fellow ? Ah! you've got a precious spirit of your
own, you have, you rascal! Catch you being made
to do anything you don't think right! But come,
Jack," cried the boy, suddenly starting to his feet,
"they'll have done breakfast afore we get home.
Look, here's the dandelion wide open, I declare, and
it must be six o'clock, at least, by that; for father
says it's always time for a labouring man to be at
his work when the leaves of the dandelion are un-
THE FIRST GLEAM OF LIC;I-T. 37
folded, just the same as when there's any of the
yellow goat's-beard near where he's at work, he
always knows, by the closing of the flowers, when
it's time to leave off and go to dinner."
Owen and his pet brute jogged along towards the
village, the boy with his arm still resting on Jack's
neck, and talking to him kindly and fondly as he
went-now playfully speaking of his tricks-and
then promising him a large slice of bread-and-treacle
for his breakfast when they got to the cottage.
But scarcely were they half-way down the com-
mon, when Owen could see (as they turned the
angle of the road), by the crowd of children and
villagers clustered outside his father's cottage, that
the work of raising the roof was about to begin.
The sight immediately revived all the lad's
thoughts and wondering of the previous night;
and he hurried on, half forgetful, for the moment,
of the cruelty of the young blacksmith, or the suf.
ferings of the animal by his side.
Owen was too full of excitement to sit down
quietly to the breakfast that had been put aside for
him; so, having given the greater part of his bread
to old Jack, he darted out with the remainder in
his hand, and munched it as he stood in the crowd,
looking up, with wondering eyes, at the roof his
father was preparing to lift.
The cottage of Davy Evans had very little that
was peculiar or picturesque about it, excepting that
18 THE SHEPHERD-BOY PHiILOSOPIHER.
it was much longer than it was high. Built close
against the road that sloped down towards the little
bridge in the middle of the street which constituted
the village, its walls were considerably higher at
one end than at the other. At each extremity was
a door (as if the building had originally formed
two dwellings); the one giving into the kitchen,
and the other opening immediately into the par-
lour; to enter the former, you had to descend some
few steps, and the latter, to ascend the same
number. Like the generality of Welsh cottages,
the walls were so intensely white that the sun
shining upon them glistened as it does upon snow,
making the little diamond-shaped panes of the lat-
ticed window look even of a darker green, and more
like bottle-glass, than they were naturally. The
roof seemed out of harmony with the walls, which,
from their whiteness, appeared almost new; for the
thatch was worn and green in parts, with rain, and
all but black in others, with velvety patches of
moss; while the long line formed by the ridge of
the roof at the top bellied downwards as if its back
Davy had deferred the repairs of this part of the
building from month to month, and, indeed, year
to year; for it was one of those matters that he
thought did not press, and admitted of being put
off, day after day, for more important work. But
the last March winds had shaken it fearfully; and
THE FIRST GLEAM OF LIGHT. 19
when the Wye had overflowed its banks, and laid
the whole village under water, and the family had
been forced to take refuge among the rafters, Davy
had discovered, while imprisoned there, that some
of the beams were as soft as rushes with the dry-
rot. Ever since that time he had slept in fear of the
roof giving way in the first storm, and smothering
them all, as they lay in their beds; so he had made
up his mind that the next spare day or two he had,
he would devote to the repairs of it.
At first he thought the whole of the rafters must
come down, but on a more minute examination he
found that the beams at the base were alone un-
sound, so he determined to raise the entire mass
above and wedge it up, in order that he might be
able to insert some new beams beneath.
As we said, the whole of the little village of
Llanvach was gathered outside the cottage, eager to
see the wonderful feat performed. There was Evan
Griffith of the "public," and Jim Gam, the bow-
legged ostler; and there was Toom Price, the preacher
of the shop, and all the little Prices, with pretty
Lyddy Powell, their servant girl (she had just run
out from her work, and had her linsey-wolsey skirt
still tucked in a bunch at her back); and Roger
"Wilkins of the mill was there in his brown paper-
cap,ywith his tall wife in her large white dimity one;
and old Betty Watkin, the lame pauper, and Davy
20 THE SHEPHERD-BOY PHILOSOPHER.
Priclard, the labourer, from the common, with his
tools over his shoulder, ready to start on his way to
the fields; and Mr. Lloyd, the retired horse.dealer,
who lived in the large stone house at the end of the
village, with his buxom daughter showing off the
newparasol she had lately bought at the market town.
On the other side of the road, too, close against the
meadow, was old Captain Jones-his long, white
hair streaming over his shoulders-seated in his
Bath-chair, with the warm sun shining full upon
him, and his tidy housekeeper knitting stockings by
his side; and looking backward from the bridge
stood John Jarman, the blacksmith, with the fish-
basket at his back and his long rod dangling over
his shoulder like a huge cart-whip, and his boy close
behind him carrying the salmon spear and the little
keg of beer, slung at his side-both on their way to
the ferry to take the "that year's fish" the black-
smith had noted lying under the shelf of rocks, and
marked as his prey.
Yes, all the little village was there, for Llanvach
numbered among its population none but the families
we have mentioned. Neither butcher nor baker
was to be found in the place; and even Shoon, of
the Falls," who did the little tailoring the villagers
required, lived some five miles away, and eked out
his living partly by keeping hives and brewing
'mead" from the honey '(he was celebrated for it
half the country round), and partly by acting as
THE FIRST GLEAM OF LIGHT. 21
"cunning man" to the simple folk of the neighbour-
hood, and guessing at the thief when any of their
little property happened to be missing.
In front of the rustic group might be seen
Davy Evans busy rolling a round clump of wood
before the walls of the cottage, and seated on the
long stout beam that lay on the pathway was little
Owen himself, with his head stretched back and his
eyes fixed on the roof, wondering what the clump his
father was rolling had to do with the lifting of the
thatch. And so rapt was the boy in his own
musings that Davy had to call to him some two or
three times, whenever he wanted him to fetch any
tool from the shed.
But Owen had not long to remain in suspense,
for the clump having been placed some short dis-
tance from the walls, the beam was soon "canted"
on to the top of it so that one end was much longer
than the other, projecting far into the roadway.
Then the boy beheld his father mount the ladder
placed against the cottage, while his elder brother,
assisted by two or three of the stoutest villagers,
hoisted up against the wall an upright spar, the
upper end of which was placed underneath the
eaves, while the lower was made to rest on the
shorter arm of the beam.
Yet even now though Owen saw the beam poised
upon the clump, with the short end of it thrust un-
demreath the spar that reached to the edge of the
22 THE SHEPHERD-BOY PHILOSOPHER.
roof, and the long end protruding half across the
road, he could not, for the life of him, understand
how all these beams and spars could enable his
father to accomplish the object he had in view. To
him they seemed rather to increase the weight to be
raised than lighten it.
But now camb the exciting moment The little
crowd, with Owen amongst the number, were
driven back lest either of the beams should fail or the
walls give way and injure any of the group. Owen
however, all impatience, wriggled himself into the
foremost rank, and when he saw the ladder removed
he scarcely breathed, so great was his anxiety.
Presently his father advanced towards the ex-
treme end of the beam, and leaning across it, raised
his feet from the ground, so that the whole force of
his weight might be brought to bear upon it.
"Does it move ?" he cried.
All eyes were strained towards the roof, but none
could see the least motion in it.
Owen could have burst into tears as he heard the
people shout "No !" No 1" and he turned his head
towards the bridge to see if young Jarman still
stood looking on. But when the lad found the
blacksmith had gone, he smiled faintly, for he did
not so much care about the disappointment now
that Master John was not there to glory in it.
"Hugh Hugh !" shouted the father, calling to
his elder son, and, as the stout lad came running
THE FIRST GLEAM OF LIGHT. 23
towards him, he cried, "bear on, bear on! it wants
Owen as he heard this, half laughed with delight
to find there was still a chance of his father succeed-
ing in his object after all.
Hugh no sooner threw his body on the beam, than
"It's moving! it's moving !" and as he said so, the
boy, half mad with joy, jumped up and clapped his
hands, for he had caught a glimpse of a silver thread
of light shining beneath the dark eaves.
"I knew I should be the first to see it rise if ever
it did so," he inwardly exclaimed, as he swung his
arms about, and glanced round exultingly at all the
villagers as much as to say, Look how clever my
"It's going, it's going! Well done, Davy, boy !"
cried the neighbours, one and all; and two or three
of the most enthusiastic threw their caps in the air.
"Hurrah!" shouted some.
"Hurra-a-ah !" echoed Owen, swelling the cheer,
on the chance that young Jarman might still be near
enough to catch it; and, as he did so, he turned round
once more towards the bridge, hoping that he might
have been mistaken before, and that the blacksmith's
boy might yet be there to witness the triumph.
"Here, Prichard, good lad," cried Davy Evans,
as with his boy he weighed down the long arm of the
beam, "run you and slip yon prop under t'other end."
24 THE SHEPHERD BOY PHILOSOPHER.
It was but the work of a minute for the sturdy
labourer to do as Davy Evans had requested, and
the beam once secure in its position, the good man
removed his weight from it and hastened to wedge
the spar firmly up.
"There," cried Davy, as he drew back and looked
exultingly at .his handiwork, I call that a pretty
tidy job. It wont take long to get the new rafters
under the roof now, and then the old thing will be
as sound and strong as when it was first up."
What do you think of that, lad ?" he asked, as he
turned to Owen, and patted the delighted boy on
the head. "You see it's not so very difficult for a
man to lift a roof after all."
"Not for a man," replied Owen, looking up at
his father as if to measure his height and strength.
"No! nor for a boy either, for the matter of
that," replied Davy Evans.
Could I have done it, father," timidly inquired
To be sure you could, Owen, if the other end of
the beam had only oeen long enough."
The words sank deep into the little fellow's soul;
he could think of nothing else, but that he, a child,
could lift a heavy mass like that he had just seen his
"I could have done it!" murmured he, over and
over again to himself; "yes, father said so. I could
THE FIRST GLEAM OF LIGHT. 25
have done what he did-big man as he is-If the
other end of the beam had only been long enough."
The thought took such possession of the boy's
mind that he no longer saw the things around him,
and the crowd of neighbours, who still stood round
gossiping, in little groups, about the wonder, was all
a mist to him. He neither heard what they said,
nor felt them, as some pushed by him to join the
"If the other end of the beam had only been
long enough," he repeated to himself, as he strolled
pensively towards the meadow that led to the water-
"Hurrah!" shouted the villagers in one voice, as
they gave their last cheer at Davy's handiwork,
before going to their labour.
The cry woke the boy from his reverie. As he
wandered through the meadow, and could see far
away up the river, he caught sight of the square
punt crossing the ferry, and he knew by the long
fishing-rod carried by one of the passengers, that
the blacksmith and his boy were in the boat.
Young Jarman must have heard that, thank
goodness!" said Owen, full of glory; and as he
strayed along to the water's edge he kept his eyes
fixed on the ferry-boat until it reached the opposite
Then dismissing the blacksmith's boy from his
26 THE SHEPHELD-BOY PHILOSOPHER.
mind and once more recalling his father's words,
Owen stretched himself at full length on the bank,
and, with his hands clasped on the crown of his head,
said over and over again, I could have done it if
the other end of the beam had only been long
enough. What could father mean ? What- difference
could that have made? If the other end of the beam
had only been long enough "
THE BOY-PHILOSOPHER'S FIRST EXPERIMENTS.
flow small a spark will fire a train of thought in a
young mind 1
The boy-poet, Chatterton, could not be made to
learn his letters until he happened one day to be
struck by the quaint-looking old English characters
on one of his mother's thread-papers.
The genius of the illustrious mechanician, Vau-
canson, might, perhaps, have been lost to the world
had not his father confined him, when a lad, by way
of punishment, in a spare room; and the child
amused himself by pulling to pieces an old clock
that was in it.
And even the great Newton was, as has been
before stated, first incited to study by a feeling of
revenge that made him resolve to excel a senior boy
at school who had severely ill-treated him.
Thus it was with little Owen Evans! Had it not
been for the wonder begotten in him by his father's
28 THE BOY-PHILOSOPHER'S
raising the roof of their cottage, he might, perhaps,
have never troubled his brain concerning the laws of
What difference could it have made if the other
arm of the beam had been longer?" he asked him-
self. "How could a yard or two, added to- the end
of a log, have given me the force of a man and even
of a giant ? What power has a foot or two of wood
to make me lift a weight more than enough to crush
Such were the inquiries that crossed the boy's
mnind as he lay on his back, with his eyes fixed
vacantly on the clouds that flitted across the sky
like breath upon a mirror.
Presently he started to his feet, for a sudden
thought had struck him.
A short distance from where he lay stood a huge
block of stone-a lump of the adjacent rock, torn
off by the floods, carried down the stream, and de-
posited at the edge of the river.
Owen went towards it, and placing his hands
against the block, pushed with all his might to see
if he could move it.
The effort was vain. The mass was as firm as if
it were set deep in the earth.
Then having satisfied himself that he had not
power even to shake it, much more to raise it, he
turned away, and began hunting among the trees
that grew by the water-side.
FIRST EXPERIMENTS. g,
He did not wander far before he came to the
stump of an oak-the one, he remembered, Davy
Prichard had felled some days previously-and
round about it were strewn a heap of the smaller
Selecting the stoutest and the strongest, he re-
turned with it to the heavy block of stone.
"Now," said the boy to himself, "we shall soon
see whether a foot or two of wood will give me
power to move a mass like this."
Owen worked the end of the branch far under
the lump of rock, and having rolled a heavy stone
towards it, rested the branch upon it as he had seen
his father do with the beam that morning; then
placing his hands at the further end of the branch
he bore down upon it with all his weight.
To the intense delight of the youth he beheld the
heavy block vibrate to and fro with each exertion
of his strength.
"Oh, most wonderful !" he cried, "that a mere
bit of wood should give me strength to move a
weight a-horse could scarcely stir."
"Father said if the arm of the beam were longer
it would give more power still." Musing thus, the
boy withdrew the branch as far as he possibly could
from beneath the rock, and allowed the end merely
to rest under the edge of it.
Then once more placing his hands at the further
80 THE BOY-PHILOSOPHER'S
extremity of the bough, he found that he could stix
the heavy mass as easily again.
Owen's mind was filled with astonishment, for
now he discovered he could move the solid mass even
with one hand; and his delight and wonder rose
higher and higher, as he beheld the immense block
lean over on its side more and more, in answer to his
At length the lad grew so excited with the feat,
that exerting his whole force, he pressed the end of
the bough violently to the ground, and saw, to his
terror and amazement, the huge and heavy lump
topple over into the stream, making the water fly
high into the air as it did so; while the branch, sud-
denly released from the weight that held it, darted
from his hand and whirled upward with a power
that to Owen's simple mind seemed something super-
Frightened almost out of his wits, the boy in-
stinctively fled from the spot; and as he darted in
and out the trees, his bewildered imagination saw
in the shadows of the foliage playing on the ground,
a troop of figures hurrying at his heels.
But when he was once more in the broad day-
light of the open meadow, his fears soon left him,
and as he turned round and discovered that there
was nobody behind him, he laughed inwardly as
ho thought how silly his alarm had been.
FIRST EXPERIMENTS. 31
At first he felt inclined to return to the water.
side and repeat the experiment he had made. Then
he stood still for a minute, and asked himself Where
was the good of that ?" He had satisfied himself that
he had power to move a weight heavy enough to crush
him. No! he would go home and see what he
could find in the tool-shed that would help him to
understand something more about the strange dis-
covery he had made.
As he sauntered across the meadow, he specu-
lated as he went.
What can there be in a mere beam that should
render me so much stronger than I am, and why
should my force be made greater merely by making
one end of a log of wood longer than the other?
It's very strange! It's easier to break a long stick
than a short one; so I should have thought the
longer the end of the beam was made, the weaker it
would have been. But it isn't so; or else I could
never have moved that stone. I'll find it all out,
I'm determined! I wont say a word to father, I'll
do it every bit myself, and when I know all about
it, I'll make a machine that will lift anything-ay!
even a mountain, if I wish it. What will John
Jarman say to that, I should like to know ? How
savage he'll be when he finds I can do more than he
can? Yes, I wont rest till I have done it;" and
the boy walked quicker as the thought fired him.
"Won't father be pleased, too! Perhaps he'll
32 THE BOY-PHILOSOPHER'S
think I'm clever enough to go out to work, and
then I shall be able to earn some pocket-money for
myself, like Hugh does. And young Jarman will
find that other boys can do something besides him-
self. I'm sure I don't see anything so very grand
in being able to make the holes in a horse-shoe."
Amusing himself thus by speculating-now upon
the delight he was to give his father, and then upon
the vexation he would cause the young blacksmith,
Owen reached the cottage, and making his way
quickly to the tool-shed at the back, he began rum-
maging among the many odd things stored there, to
discover what he could render subservient to his
First he looked up at the roof, and cast his eyes
along the strange medley of old lumber that dangled
from the rafters-the donkey's ragged collar, and
the battered horn-lanthorn, and the bill-hook. For
a moment he thought he would have that down,
but no! hanging close beside it, he caught sight of
the long-handled shears for clipping the hedges, and
these, he fancied, would do much better.
Owen was about to mount the little ladder, when
it struck him, as he stood on the first step, that he
might find something more suitable still. So he
went up another step or two, in order that he might
take a good survey of the roof, and then he glanced
from the spoutless kettles and leaky saucepans-that
hung there waiting to be mended-to the hen-
FIRST EXPERIMENTS. 83
coop his father had made out of the old cradle, and
then to the mason's square and plummet-and the
old flail-and the many-jointed broom Davy Evans
had contrived for sweeping the chimneys-and an
infinity of odds and ends besides. But none of
them seemed to suit the boy's fancy.
Descending, therefore, from his perch, he began to
search in all the corners of the queer building.
First he took up the scythe that was stowed away
(its blade wrapped round with straw) against the
wall. Then he looked at the spades and pick-
axes, but not one was to his mind; so he turned
towards the rough carpenter's bench, and began
playing with the loose handle of the large wooden
screw in front of it.
Suddenly a new notion seized him, and he darted
over to the discarded pigeon-house that was nailed
against the opposite wall, and now did duty as his
father's tool-box. From one of the pigeon holes in
vhich the brads and screws were stored, he took a
long nail; then returning to the bench, he got the
hammer, that lay at one end of it, and drove the
nail tight into the wall before him; he had no
sooner done this than he proceeded, by means of the
same instrument, to draw it out again.
As Owen held the end of the wooden handle, and
felt the nail gradually forced from its hold by the
iron claw that grasped it, he said to himself, "I
could not have pulled that nail out with my fingers.
34 THE BOY-PHILOSOPHER'S
The handle here, then, gives me the same power as
the branch did with the rock."
After this he tried to draw another nail that he
found driven into the bench; and now he placed
his hand at the other end of the handle, close
against the head, but then, strive as he would, he
could not stir it; so he slid his hand a few inches
higher up the shaft, and then found that, by using
all his strength, he could just loosen the nail.
Directly, however, he raised his hand to the far end,
he could remove it with the greatest ease.
It's every bit the same as with the beam," he
cried; "the longer the handle, the greater the
strength it gives me."
Suddenly his eye lighted upon the treadle under-
neath the lathe, and throwing down the hammer, he
hastened towards it. He placed his foot close
against the rod that connected the treadle with the
axle above it, and pressing on the board, he easily
set the wheels in motion. Next, he drew his foot
backwards along the treadle, and found that he
could scarcely stir it, until at last when he trod
right at the end of the board, though he balanced
himself on one leg, so as to let the whole of his
weight bear upon it, it was impossible for him to
give the wheel the least motion.
"How strange!" the boy inwardly exclaimed.
"I've seen father work at this lathe a hundred
times, and I myself have made it spin round over
FIRST EXPERIMENTS. 35
and over again, and yet I never noticed this bef )re!
It's all as father said, I can move anything, if the
beam is only long enough."
Owen paused for awhile, and then murmured as
he mused again, "Though it's all the same-though
the power comes in the same way in every one of
these things, yet how different each one is from
Then he got a bit of chalk from one of the
pigeon-holes, and began to draw on the bench rude
outlines of the several instruments.
Look !" he cried, still talking to himself, "the
hammer is like that-
"And the treadle is like this:-
"And the branch I moved the rock with was so.
"They're not a bit alike," he exclaimed, as he
surveyed the rough sketches he had made. They
all turn on ditlerent points. See here!" he went
36 TIlE BOY-PIILOSOPIIHR'
on, "the hammer turns on the head; and the long
arm," he said, as he pointed to the line which indi-
cated the handle, "is not in the same direction as
the short arm;" and he put his finger on the curved
end that stood for the claw of the instrument.
"Now, the branch," he proceeded, "-turned on
the stone that I set close against the rock, and
the short and the long arms were both in the same
"IBut the treadle, again, is different from either,
for it turns on the end, and has but one arm
instead of two. And yet they're all alike still-for
the same thing holds good in every one of them-
the longer the beam the greater the strength."
Owen, however, was fat from satisfied with the
knowledge he had gained. He saw that he was
not a whit nearer to the solution of the puzzle-
how comes it that the power depends on the length
of beam ?
Seating himself upon the bench, he began think-
ing what means there were at hand to enable him
to clear up the mystery, swinging his legs back-
wards and forwards as he pondered over the matter.
Suddenly he sprang to the ground, for the pair
of scales that dangled against the opposite wall had
just caught his eye.
As he snatched them from the hook, he wondered
how he could have been there so long without
seeing them. They were the very things he wanted
FIRST EXPERIMENTS. 37
all the while, he knew, and yet for the life ot
him he couldn't think of them. He could clear it
all up now; yes, he could !-he felt he could !"-and
the boy half danced with delight.
Owen was so impatient to come at the result
that he would hardly give himself time to suspend
the balance from the rafters in the shed. Accord-
ingly, he had to mount the ladder some two or
three times before he could get the beam of the
scales to hang as he wished. First, the nail was
loose; next, the string was too short-then it was
all of a tangle.
At length, however, he grew more calm, and in a
few minutes the scale beam was properly suspended
from the roof. Then he placed in each of the
pans an equal weight, and he was delighted to see
that the one exactly balanced the other.
It is just as it should be !" he exclaimed. Of
course there can be no power gained when the
two sides of the beam are of equal lengths, as they
seem to be here."
To make sure of the fact, however, he took his
father's foot-rule and measured the distance from
each extremity to the point on which the beam
turned as its centre.
"It is as I thought," he ejaculated, "it's just ten
inches on each side."
Now, then, I'll soon have it!" he chuckled, as
he losened the scales from the strings, and laying
88 THE BOY-PHILOSOPHER'S
the beam down on the bench, drew, with the aid of
the foot-rule, a chalk line straight along it. This
he then marked off into inches, so that the beam
was scored with chalk somewhat after this fashion-
Having proceeded thus far, he lifted the beam
back to its former place, and tied the string round
it just at the first mark from the end, so that when
suspended from the rafter it hung all on one side,
Owen drew back a few paces to
have a good look at the balance,
and he stamped his foot on the
ground impatiently, as he beheld it
all askew, saying to himself the
while, "That will never do. I must
make it swing straight somehow."
Presently he remembered his
father had a bag of shot. Yes, he
knew where he had seen it; so he
skipped over to the pigeon-house,
and thrusting his hand into one
of the holes withdrew a small canvas
FIRST EXPERIMENTS. 39
bag. As he did so a heavy shower of bullets that
he had dislodged from one of the corners fell
rattling about his feet.
"This is capital," he cried, as he stooped to pick
them up; "they're as good again as the ounce
weights, and will save me a lot of trouble."
It took some little time for Owen to balance
the scales by means of the shot. Having sus-
pended the bag from the upper end of the beam,
first it was too heavy-then it was too light-
and he had to tie it up and pull it down many
times; now taking some out, then putting a little
more in, until the impatient lad grew so fidgety
over the work that he could hardly stand still to
At length, however, the balance was fairly poised,
and Owen-his fingers tingling with delight at the
certainty of the experiment he was about to make-
dropped one of the bullets into the scale-pan that
dangled from the longer arm.
Now then," he exclaimed, as he beheld the scale
descend, "I shall see how many bullets that one
Accordingly the enraptured boy proceeded to
throw first one bullet into the scale-pan, suspended
from the upper and shorter end of the beam.
"Ah," he cried, as he rubbed his hands with
glee, one doesn't make the least difference, of course.
I knew it would lift that quite easily."
40 T;IE BOY-PIIILOSOPHER'S
Then he dropped another in-half timidly-for
he almost expected to perceive the upper scale-pan
sink beneath the increased weight, as he did so.
"No !" he said. "It doesn't fall yet. It lifts
twice its weight, that's certain;" and the little fellow
jumped again for joy.
Next he drew another bullet from the pocket
where he had stored them, and slid it, as gently as
possible, down the side of the scale-pan, holding his
breath the while, for he made sure the balance
would turn this time.
But when he saw it remain steady as ever in the
air and that the one bullet supported three others, he
clapped his hands again and again, and shouted, "I
only wish young Jarman could only see what I've
"Well, another must drive it down anyhow," he
said, when his excitement had slightly abated, and
he was calm enough to proceed with the experiment.
"I don't so much care if it does, either," headed,
as he let a fourth bullet fall into the scale.
"I declare it's as still as before," he whispered
to himself; "I do really believe it will take another
yet. Ay! that it will!" he continued, as he placed
his finger on the edge of the pan, to ascertain what
power it required to force the beam down. "Yes,
and two more, I shouldn't wonder."
Accordingly Owen dropped a fifth bullet in, and
finding the beam showed no tendency to descend,
FIRST EXPERIMENTS. 41
he grew bold now that the first excitement of the
trial had passed, and tossed a sixth among the
Well, I never saw such a thing I do believe it's
bewitched !" he ejaculated, as he flung one more into
That makes seven 1" he murmured, as he tossed
his head in wonder at the fixedness of the beam.
"Well, you shall have another, old fellow, if you
want it," he said, laughing and talking to the balance,
"I've a lot more in my pocket here."
Still no effect was produced. The one bullet
supported the whole eight.
"Yes! and another still, if you like.
"Ay, and another after that."
The beam, however, hung as slanting as ever,
with the pan holding the ten bullets poised high in
the air, while that with the one in it remained
"Oh there must be something wrong! The
beam has stuck fast, I'm sure," and so saying the
boy-experimentalist approached the scales, and once
more tried to force down the upper pan.
"No !" he tittered, as he found it yield to his
pressure. "There's nothing the matter, it only
wants a lot more, that's all," and he rubbed his
hands with delight at the seeming incongruity of
the matter. "But that difficulty is soon got over,"
so he threw another bullet into the upper Dan.
42 THE BOY-PHILOSOPHER'S
There goes eleven, I beg to say!" he remarked.
Twelve !" he counted, as another dropped from
"c Thirteen !
Owen paused once more, for he could hardly
credit what he saw. "If father had told me as
much, I really don't think I should have believed
it," the lad soliloquized. But there must be an end
to it shortly, so I'll put in two this time.
"Now, sir, that makes seventeen you've had !"
he went on, still talking to the scales, while he threw
in the brace of bullets.
And two more will be nineteen." Another
couple were added to the number.
But scarcely had the second brace fallen from
his fingers than the upper pan descended beneath
the increased weight.
I've put in too many," shouted Owen, as he saw
the beam go down. No I haven't," he cried, when
he beheld it rise again, and continue vibrating less
and less each time.
"No !-no!-- no!" he half whispered, as he
watched the space through which it rose and fell
become gradually shorter and shorter, until at last,
when he saw the two pans equally balanced, Owen
danced and capered about, and threw his cap up in
the air, half wild with joy.
FIRST EXPERIMENTS. 43
The excitement over, the boy returned to the
scales, and withdrew one bullet from the nineteen.
To his astonishment, he beheld the one in the pan
suspended from the long end of the beam lift the
whole of the eighteen in the other.
Then he replaced the nineteenth bullet as gently
as possible, and finding that it brought the beam
back exactly to a balance, he took one of the small
shot he had emptied from the bag, and depositing
it in the pan with the one bullet, found to his in-
tense glee that the one, with the least weight added
to it, would raise the whole of the nineteen others.
"No wonder then," he thought to himself, "that
the branch made me move the rock, for that was
much longer than the beam is here, and father said
the power depended on the length of the arm."
The idea no sooner struck him, than he set to
work to ascertain how much longer the one arm of
the scale-beam was than the other. Whereupon he
proceeded to count the chalk marks on either side of
the string by which the balance was suspended.
To his great joy, he discovered that there were
nineteen inches chalked on the long arm of the
beam, and only one on the short arm.
"Ah now I see!" he ejaculated, "I see it all;
the one arm is nineteen times longer than the other,
and therefore it can lift a weight nineteen times
heavier than its own. Yes, it's as plain as the
' Garth' yonder. There are nineteen inches on one
44 TIE BOY-PHILOSOPHER'S
side, and only one on the other; and there's one
bullet in this pan, and nineteen in that."
He paused for a moment to consider, and then
returning to the scales, he said, I'll soon see whe-
ther that's the reason of it, for I'll hang the balance
from the second inch here;" and as Owen said the
words, he proceeded to tie the string tight round
the second chalk mark from the end.
When he had done this he paced up and down
the shed, muttering to himself as he went, Now,
there are two chalk marks on the one side, and
eighteen on the other. I wonder if I can find out
what weight the long end should lift this time.
Oh! I have it," he cried, "if I count how many
two inches there are contained in the eighteen
inches marked on the other end of the beam, that
will tell me how many times the one end is longer
than the other.
"It's just nine times longer," he ejaculated,
chuckling as he made the discovery, and therefore
one bullet, and a little bit, placed in the pan at the
long end should be able to lift nine bullets in
the other pan.
"Now, I'll see if I'm right !"
Owen was not many minutes in loading the pan at
the short end with the requisite nine bullets, and
then, with a trembling hand, he dropped the one
bullet and the shot into the opposite scale, fixing
his eye the while on the beam above.
FIRST EXPERIMENTS. 45
As the bullet slipped from his fingers, Owen was
overjoyed to see the scale descend, and the pan con-
taining the heavier weight gradually rise in the air.
"Yes, I'm right I'm right !" he shouted, "It is
as I thought. As much longer as the one end of
the beam is than the other, so much the greater
weight will it balance.
"I should like to try it once more though. Oh!
I never felt so happy in all my life. I would give
up anything to be able to find out things like this
every day. Ha! and I've done it all myself-
that's what pleases me. Won't father be glad. I
wonder what he will say when he hears it. He
always told us we did not know what we could
do till we tried, and I'm sure if I hadn't tried I
should never have known what I do now. Yes, I'll
try once more, to make sure. I'll Lie the string
round at the fourth chalk mark from the end now,
and see if I can guess how many bullets one bullet
will raise then."
Having shifted the string to the stated point, he
counted the marks on the long end.
"Now there are sixteen marks on one side, and
four on the other," observed the boy. Next he
reckoned how many four marks were contained in
the sixteen-counting first one four, then two fours,
and so on, as he had previously done with the twos;
for the little fellow was but slightly skilled in
46 THE BOY-PHILOSOPHER'S
Having finished the calculation, he remarked that
the one was now only four times as long as the other,
consequently the least bit more than one bullet in
the pan at the long end should lift four bullets at
The point was soon settled, and the boy was once
more charmed to find the result turn out as he had
It's all the same, try it any way I will!" he
cried. Just as much longer as one arm of the beam
is than the other, so much the greater weight will it
balance; yes, that's it. I understand it all now."
Then Owen vaulted on to the bench, and sat for
a minute or two considering, playing the while
vacantly with the stick inserted in the large head of
the wooden screw in front of it.
"No I don't understand it at all-not a bit of
it," he suddenly burst out. "How stupid I am," he
exclaimed, for-mere boy as he was-he could see,
though he could not express it, that he had dis-
covered only the rule and not the reason of the
Why should one arm of the beam," he went or
ruminating, "merely because it's longer than the
other, be able to lift a greater weight ? That's what
I want to know. How silly of me to fancy I had
found it out all in a minute.
Dear dear I don't see how I am ever to get at
FIRST EXPERIMENTS. 47
that," he added, after a few moments' considera-
tion. "I wish there was some one I could ask--
just to put me in the way, you know. And yet I
shouldn't like, either," he continued; "it's so nice
after you have found it out, to feel you've done it
all yourself, without a bit of assistance from any
one. Oh! no, no! I'll try on still! There's
nothing like trying, as father says. But how to set
about it-that's what puzzles me."
The boy lapsed into another reverie, and at
length growing restless at his inability to hit upon
any plan that would help him, he jumped down from
the bench and began pacing the shed again. But
it was all in vain.
Accordingly, after a few turns up and down, he
stopped before the scales that were still hanging
suspended by the string from the rafters, and loaded
with the bullets as he had left them. For want of
thought, Owen struck the beam with his finger and
made it vibrate up and down.
As the lad stood listlessly watching the oscilla-
tions, he suddenly exclaimed, "Look! how much
larger a sweep the long arm, as it moves up and
down, makes than the short one. The one arm is
four times as long as the other," he said, and as
well as I can judge, it seems to go about four
times as far. There may be something in that !"
48 THE BOY-PHILOSOPHER S
"1 know what I'll do; I'll find out how much
farther it really does go, and then I'll see whether
that will help me."
Here arose a fresh difficulty. How was this to
be done? there was no means of measuring, with
any precision, the space that either arm moved
through, in the position that the beam then occu-
At first Owen thought he would take the balance
down, and removing the scale-pans from the ends of
the beam lay it on the bench, and there chalk
down the lines it described as it moved.
But when he had untied the string it struck him
that, even if he did as he .had proposed, it would be
impossible to make the beam turn on any point but
the middle, for there were no holes through it in any
He knew what he would do! He could easily
cut out a beam in wood. There were some nice
laths handy in the corner.
The notion had no sooner entered his head than
the busy lad set to work to carry out his project,
and it was not long before he had fashioned for
himself a wooden beam of, exactly the same dimen-
sions as the iron one from which the scales had
depended. Then having chalked the inches all
along it, as he had done with the metal-beam, he bored
a hole with the brad-awl at the first inch mark from
FIRST EXPERIMENTS. 49
one end, and after that another hole at the second
which mark, and lastly, one at the fourth.
Next he placed the wooden beam on the bench
before him, and driving a small nail through the first
hole from the end, proceeded, by means of a piece
of chalk held at each extremity, to mark out the
lines that both ends of the beam described as it
turned upon the nail.
Afterwards he removed the beam to another part
oi the bench, and having driven the nail this time
through the second hole from the end, went through
the same operation.
Finally, he repeated the process a second time, but
then he took the fourth hole for ;he centre.
VYhen the work was done, the chalk lines described
on the bench were as follows, with the exception oi
being considerably longer, and they had then none
of the ticks" placed at the side of them.
Owen paused for a moment to contemplate the
various lengths of the curved lines.
"It seems to be as I thought," he murmured-
"but I'll soon make sure of that."
31) THE BOY-PHILOSOPHEi'S
So saying, the boy took some string, and cutting
a piece precisely the length of the smaller curve in
the first figure, proceeded to ascertain how many
times it was contained in the larger curve, chalking
off the lengths as he went.
That's all right !" he cried, as he summed up
the number of chalk marks. The one arm here
is just nineteen times as long as the other, and there-
fore it goes through, as it moves up and down, pre-
cisely nineteen times as great a space as the short one
Measuring then the second figure in the same
rude manner, the delighted boy found a similar pro-.
portion between the lengths of the curves and the
lengths of the arms; the one end of the beam in
this case being nine times as long as the other,
and the space described by the long end being con-
sequently nine times as great as the short one.
Nor was it in any way different with the third
figure, for here the one curve was four times as long
as the other, and the length of each arm in precisely
the same proportion.
"Come!" said Owen, as he pondered over the re-
sult with no little satisfaction; I've found out two
wonderful things to-day-that just as many times
longer as the one arm is than the other, so many
times greater the weight that it will balance, and so
many times greater the space that it passes through,
as it moves up and down."
FIRST EXPERIMENTS. 51
Still," he observed, after a few minutes' thought,
what I want to know is, the reason why it does
all this. Let me see!" he mused, as he fixed
his eyes intently on the figures chalked on the
bench. "If the long end passes through a greater
space than the short end, and both ends move
up and down in the same time, then the one must
go quicker than the other. Yes, to be sure it
must-just as much longer as the one arm is than
the other, so much the swifter must its weight
travel-that's quite clear."
But would this make any difference?" he went
on. "Can a weight have more power merely because
it moves more quickly? It's strange, indeed, if it has."
Then Owen hung the scales up once more, still
talking as he did so. But this time he attached
the string immediately above the tongue in the
middle of the balance. Having done this, he flung a
bullet into each pan, and as he made the beam
vibrate with his finger, he said-his eyes rivetted
upon it the whil-" Here the weights are equal, and
the spaces gone through, at every turn, by each end
of the beam are equal too; so that it is clear one
bullet, with the least atom over, in falling through
so much space, in such and such a time, will lift
another bullet of its own weight just as far, in the
Now," he continued, in the case where the ono
bullet and a little bit lifted nineteen others, the one
2 TH'IE BOY-PHILOSOPHER'S
travelled nineteen times as far, and nineteen times
as fast as the others did; therefore it is plain-since
the one bullet lifted every one of the nineteen, just
the nineteenth part of its own distance-if we add
these nineteen parts together, the whole nineteen
bullets must have passed through the same space, in
the same time as the one did. There can be no
doubt of it," said he, "for look! the long arm fell
nineteen inches while the short arm rose one inch;
as then every one of the nineteen bullets was lifted
one inch, it is as clear as can be, the whole of the
nineteen together must have gone through nineteen
inches, and that in the same time as did the one
bullet by itself."
Owen, however, was not yet convinced that he
understood the matter thoroughly, and the boy bit
his lips with perplexity at the difficulty of the
"But if the spaces described are equal," he mut-
tered, still in doubt, "it's impossible to make out
that the weights are the same, any way."
Then, having considered for awhile, he exclaimed,
"No it isn't, either, for as the one bullet falls
through nineteen times the greater space, and is
always, as it falls, acting on the others, it is evident
that it must be one bullet acting nineteen times
over. For suppose," he argued to himself, "the
ends of the beam had been both of the same length,
and the one bullet, and a little bit, had lifted the
FIRST EXPERIMENTS. 53
nineteen others through an inch space, one by one
instead of all together. Then, of course, by the time
the one bullet had raised the whole of the others
one inch each, it would not only have fallen through
nineteen separate inches, but, have acted as nineteen
separate bullets; so that, when one arm of the beam
is nineteen times as long as the other, the one bullet
does merely the same thing all at once, and conse-
quently has nineteen times the power."
The knot once cut in this case, there was no
longer any difficulty in comprehending the others.
Where the one bullet raised nine, it was now easy to
see that the long end of the beam travelled nine
times as quick and nine times as far as the short
end; and, consequently, that a weight suspended at
the longer end had the power to balance nine times
as much at the shorter one. While, in the instance
where the one end of the balance was four times as
long as the other, it was evident, that the long end
moved four times as quickly, and therefore had four
times the power of the opposite one.
So then!" ejaculated Owen, "at last I do
understand it all. It is beyond a doubt that the
power of every weight is greater the quicker it moves,
so that the lightest body, if it could be made to
travel fast enough, might have the same power
given it as the heaviest-even one of these small
shots have the force of a cannon ball, pro-
vided the shot travelled as much quicker than the
54 THE BOY-PHILOSOPHER'S
cannon ball as the ball was heavier than the shot.
Oh, yes! it isn't the weight merely that makes the
power of a'thing. How stupid I've been! No; it's
the weight, together with the speed with which it
moves. I see the reason now, why I was able to stir
that heavy rock. My weight at the end of the
beam moved as many times quicker as I was lighter
than it-that was the reason. I remember hearing
father say once, that some great man he had read
about, had declared if he could only get a place to
rest a beam upon, he would lift the whole world with
a straw. Ay, and so he might, to be sure," added
the delighted lad-" with a feather, for the matter of
that-if, as father said this morning, the other end
of the beam were only long enough."
By this time the brain of the little fellow was
wearied almost to exhaustion, so by way of recreation
he passed over to the lathe and began working the
treadle with his foot, pleased to find how easily now
he could increase the power at will. Then he made
the wheel spin round violently, and having done so,
he retired a few paces to contemplate the rapidity
of the motion.
As the wheel slackened its pace, and the spokes
became more and more visible, Owen could not help,
now that he was somewhat -recruited, lapsing into
his former train of thought.
"It seems to me," he whispered, "as if those
spokes there were only so many levers. I should
FIRST EXPERIMENTS 55
just like to find that out, and then I'd have
done for to-day. Oh! I see how to do it," he ex-
claimed; "it wont take me long, now I know so
much as I do."
Accordingly Owen proceeded to unhook the
treadle-rod from the crank and to remove the strap
from the fly-wheel; then he set off into the cottage
to fetch the tape measure his father used when
Returning quickly with it, he proceeded to take
the dimensions round the rim of the wheel, and
after that to ascertain the length of the circumference
of the axle. Next he measured how many times
the one was greater than the other, and finding it
to be eight-and-twenty times, he said, "Now, if
I'm right, the least bit more than a pound weight
at the outside of this wheel should be able to lift
as many as eight-and-twenty pounds at the axle;
for as the axle," he added, "must turn round once
every time the wheel does, a weight fastened to
the rim of the wheel would go through eight-and-
twenty times as great a space as one hanging from
It did not take long to put so simple a matter to
the proof. Having tied a pound weight to one
end of a piece of string, he fastened the other end to
the rim of the wheel, and then proceeded to attach
to the axle, by means of a stout cord, the quarter of
a hundredweight he had borrowed, for the purpose
56 THE BOY-PHILOSOPIIERS
from Roger Wilkins, the clothier hard by. Next
he added a slight extra weight to the pound, so as
to give it a sufficient preponderance to start the
wheel, and was overjoyed to see the heavy weight
rise as the lighter one fell.
"This is beautiful !" he cried, as he repeated the
experiment over and over again. "I could tell
now what power was wanted to lift any weight if I
only knew the size of the wheel and axle, or the
length of the two ends of the beam.
The words had no sooner escaped him, than
springing up from the ground where he had been
kneeling to watch the wheel of the lathe revolve,
he shouted : "I know what I'll do! I'll be off to the
draw-well,-that's just the thing for me! There's
a wheel and axle there, and I'll soon find out now
what gain there is in the power with it.
The well to which Owen alluded was at the top
of the common. It was not utterly unpicturesque
in appearance. Round the mouth of it a stone
wall was raised breast high; this was nearly black in
the inside, and had a moist green look, while the
outside was half hidden by weeds and brambles,
excepting where the bright worn handle of the
winch projected, and there the. ground was bald, as it
were, and the grass for some little distance worn and
trampled by the many comers. Above the axle
was a little roof to protect the cords from the wet,
FIST EXPERIMENTS. 67
and the thatch of this was partly covered with thick
clumps of bright green moss.
The well itself was noted for miles round for its
depth and the purity of the water; though as you
craned your neck over the edge of the wall, and
peeped down the long dark perpendicular tunnel, the
water looked more like ink as it lay shimmering
there in the darkness at the bottom.
Owen having come prepared with his tape
measure to take the circumference of the axle, was
not long in satisfying himself as to its dimensions,
and then ascertaining the length of the winch, he
described a circle on the ground by means of the same
measure tied to a bit of st ick, and thus obtained the
length of the space passed through by the winch at
each revolution it made.
Then, after a long cogitation, he found how many
times the circumference of the circle, described by
the winch as it revolved, was greater than the cir-
cumference of the axle; and so at length discovered
exactly how much more easily a man was enabled to
raise water by such means than he could without it.
By this time the energies of the little philosopher
were fairly spent. He had never thought so much
in all his life before, and now that the excitement
was over, and he had solved the riddle that puzzled
58 THE BOY-PHILOSOPHER'S
him, he felt as tired as if he had walked with his
father to Builth market and back.
Insensibly the little fellow fell asleep beside the
circle he had described on the ground; for what
with his restlessness the night before, and the men-
tal labour he had gone through that morning, he
was utterly overpowered, and slumbered on with-
out a dream to.ruffle his rest.
At length old Jack, who had returned to his
quarters on the common, strolled on, as he nibbled the
short herbage, to the brow of the hill, and dis-
covering his young master stretched at full length
on the ground, began rubbing his nose, as was his
wont, against the lad's cheeks.
Owen, roused by the animal, smiled as he opened
his eyes, and found his pet brute at his side.
What, Jacky, are you there ? Is it you, you
old rascal? You're sure to find me out, you are !"
he cried, as he started to his feet, and shook the
donkey playfully by his long, furry ear. Then, still
full of the discoveries he had made, he said, "Ah,
Jack, you little know what I've found out. I wish
I could tell you, old fellow, for then you'd be as happy
as I am-I know you would. Why, I've found out,
Jacky, the way to make you move any weight, and
that without tiring you at all, too. I'll tell you what
I mean to do, old fellow, when I grow up, and get to
have some money of my own. I mean to build a
large mill, and make you turn it, Jack; but I shall
I9TrST EXPERIMENTS. .9
have the beam so long, that you will be able to push
it round almost without knowing it. Then I shall
be rich; and then sha'n't you be fat, sir-ah, that
you shall! You shall be as fat as Mrs. Williams's
lap-dog, over at the Court, yonder. And I'll always
have my pockets full of lumps of sugar and apples
for you then, old beauty. Ah! who tore my Sunday
coat, last Christmas-tide, trying to get at the apples
in my pocket, you wicked old thing, you." And the
boy hugged the pet brute as he upbraided him.
As Owen jogged down the common talking to the
donkey about the many fine things he was to do
when he had invented this same grand machine,
he caught the sound of the throbbing of the water-
mill at the clothier's in the village below, and this
started a new train of thought in his mind.
Many and many a time have I leant over the
little bridge yonder," he murmured, as the memories
bubbled up in his brain, "and seen the water come
pouring down the sluice all of a foam, from the dam
beside it, and watched the large black shiny wheel
roll round and round, as the troughs filled one after
another, while the water dripping from them sparkled
in the sun, with a thousand colours-for all the world
like the crystal drops to the Squire's chandelier
-and the stream beneath was all of a lather, and
white as drifting snow. Oh! I think it's the
prettiest sight in all the world!" he exclaimed.
"I've lain for hours along the coping-stone of the
60 TIH BOY-PHILOSOPHER'S
bridge, and gazed at it all-the little fall with the
water streaming over the dam, like a sheet of glass,
and the large feathery drooping willow growing from
out the high red rock on one side, with the slender
branches hanging down, and the tips of them just
dipping in the water, and the green reflection of
its form showing in the pool below, all zig-zaggy,
as the current danced along. Ah, many a time
I've sat watching all this, and, as I heard the clatter
of the wheels within, mingling with the hum of the
falls, I've wondered and wondered how it was that
a few buckets-full of water could ever have such
power. But now it's as clear as daylight to me. Isn't
a bucket-full of water too heavy for me to lift?
What, then, must be the power of ten or twelve of
these always at work at the edge of a wheel that is
as high as our cottage ? Why, it must have force
enough to do anything. It would tear up oaks as
easily as I could pull a rush from a pond.
"I understand it all-I understand it all!" he
added; "and now I'll go home, but I wont say a
word to anybody about what I've found out till
I've written it all down,' and then I'll show it
to father. I wonder what he'll say when he sees
it-whether he'll think me as clever as he was
at my age? I've heard him say he used to make
his own kites and things. If he's very pleased,
I'll get him to teach me to turn at the lathe, and
then I can make a lot of wheels, and try a number
FIRST EXPERIMENT TS. 61
of things for myself. Oh, yes, I dare say he will, if
I ask him, for he's so good to us-yes, very good to
us indeed-ever since poor mother died. He isn't
like John Jarman's father, always coming home
tipsy from the public ot a night, and beating
his boy about, till his cries sometimes can be heard
all over the village. No, father's quite different to
that. Why, when he comes home after his work,
he sits down to teach us, for he would have given
the world, he says, to have had any one to instruct
him when he was a youngster. I wonder whether
he'll be as glad this time as he was when he found out
that I'd learnt myself to read. He said I wasn't old
enough, and that there was no use bothering me with
such things afore my time-ha! ha! but I used to run
round to old Betty Watkin, and get her to teach me
my letters out of the sampler, with the funny red
worsted trees worked at the bottom of it, that she
did when she was a little girl of nine, and that's just
sixty-two year ago,' the poor old thing used to
say. Oh, yes; I wonder if father'll be as pleased
now as he was then ?"
Early the next day Owen was busy preparing for
the execution of his plan. Having broken his little
earthenware money-box, he took out the new six-
pence Squire Williams had given him when he
carried home the young Squire's toy poodle dog
after Davy had mended it. With this money, ano
62 THE BOY-PHILOSOPHER'S
a halfpenny added to it, the boy purchased a copy-
book and a new pen at the little village shop that
was at once the chandler's, mercer's, ironmonger's,
stationer's, and, indeed, the repository of almost
everything for the neighboring population.
He then shut himself up in his little room, and
proceeded to give an account, in his own boyish way,
of the several experiments he had made; these
he illustrated with rude sketches of the lever, and
the wheel, and axle, showing whence arose the in-
crease of power derived from such mechanical
It took the lad some days to complete all this,
and many an experiment, had he to try in order to
perfect it. But when it was done, it was, perhaps,
though Owen himself was unconscious of the fact,
the greatest marvel ever wrought by boyish in-
Still, delighted as the lad was with the little trea-
tise he had written, he was half afraid to show it
to his father, and he put off doing so from day to
day, though every morning he made up his mind
"* This is no fiction; the boy' Ferguson achieved the same
wonderful task when he was "about seven or eight years of
age;" and the incident of lifting the roof, which has here
been made to give rise to Owen's discovery, is merely an
elaboration of the event which originally incited Ferguson to
the study of mechanics.-See FE GUSON's AUTOBIOGRAPHY,
prefixed to his Lectures.
FIRST EXPERIMENTS. G3
that he would let him see it that evening after his
work was over.
At length, one night, as the timid boy sat twist-
ing the copy book round and round, his father,
noticing the fidgetiness of the lad, demanded to
know what Owen was fumbling about there.
It was not in Owen's nature to prevaricate, so he
told him, "It was merely a little book he had
written," and then jumping up and throwing his arms
round Davy Evans' neck, the nervous boy hid his
head as he kissed his father, and confessed that he
wanted him to look over it, but did not like to
Davy embraced his boy in return, and Owen,
gaining confidence, placed the roll of paper in his
"I Hem !" exclaimed the good man, half laughing
with pride as he glanced over the pages, and
minutely examined the penmanship, saying--" Yes,
Owey, it's very nicely written indeed for you!
The letters are formed well enough, and, if you
only take pains, you'll get into a good hand by and
"But-a-a-but it wasn't the writing, father,
that I wanted you to look at," stammered the
bashful lad; I-I-I-wanted you to read what
it was about."
Oh," said his father, I see it's all about levers
64 THE BOY-PHILOSOPIIER'S
and mechanical powers; but I'm tired now, Ower
Doy; ll look at it another time. What book did
you copy it out of, lad?"
Owen blushed red to the roots of his hair-" I
didn't copy it out of any book, father," he answered,
nervously, "I did it all out of my own head."
Davy Evans drew himself up in his chair, and
looking his boy sternly in the face, said-" Owen,
you never told me a falsehood yet."
The little fellow lost all fear in a minute, and
angry at his father's doubt, he returned his glance
proudly, as he said-" Nor do I tell you a story
now, sir !"
The courage, however, that fired the lad lasted but
for a moment, and then poor Owen burst into a
flood of tears, saying, as he buried his head on
Davy's shoulder-" Oh, father, father, you have told
me I should not doubt your word, then why
should you doubt mine? You never did so before !"
and the little lad sobbed aloud as if his heart would
The old man clutched his boy to his bosom, and
hugging him fondly, exclaimed--"I was wrong, lad!
I was wrong But come, now, come! wipe your
eyes, and tell me what all this is about."
Owen then narrated to him the several experi-
ments, and told his father how those words of his,
"if the beam had only been long enough," had so
fastened upon his mind, that he could not rest until
FIRST EXPERIMENTS. 65
he had discovered why a greater length of beam
should give greater power.
To the infinite joy of the lad, he beheld his pa-
rent, when the tale was ended, open the book, and
though tired, as Owen knew him to be, he read
every page from beginning to end. As he did
so, Owen never took his eyes from the good man's
face, but watched every smile and nod of approba-
tion he gave, the boy's blood tingling the while
through his veins.
"Very good, Owey! very well done, indeed !"
cried Davy, patting him on the head, as he came to
the end of the little treatise; "and a wonderful
discovery it would have been had no one ever
done it before you."
"Done it before!" echoed Owen, as his father's
words went through his brain like a pistol shot.
"Yes, lad! if you'll go to Parson Wynn's and ask
him to let you see that big book of his, which I used
to have reading, you'll find it all printed there, and
a great deal more beside.'
The words had no sooner been uttered by his
father, and Owen learnt that what he imagined he
had been the first to discover had already been
found out by another, than he dropped into his chair
almost broken-spirited with the intelligence.
TIHE BOY VISITS TIIE MINISTER.-WHAT COMES OF
OWEN was broken spirited.
For a time he sat moodily in his chair, ashamed
to cry, and yet ready to burst into tears. All the
bright hopes he had raised had been suddenly
destroyed. For days he had buoyed himself up by
imagining the delight his father would feel on seeing
what he had done, and wondering whether his parent
would think him as clever as he himself had been
when a boy. His chief pride, too, had been that
the work was entirely his own, for he could not con-
ceive the possibility of any one having done it before
Accordingly when he heard his father say that some
one had forestalled him in the discovery, the words
came upon him with the force of a heavy blow. All
his calculations and contrivances seemed to have
been wasted; he had been puzzling his brain for
THE BOY VISITS THE MINISTER, EiT. 67
days to find out that which he might have learned
from a book with little or no trouble.
At first he felt so disgusted with the worthless-
ness of what he had written, that had his father not
been present, he would have torn the copybook to
atoms. Then what was worse than all, his father
seemed to slight his work, and this was almost more
than Owen could bear; so he sat silently brooding
over his bitter disappointment until Davy Evans,
noticing the lad's dejection, inquired what was the
matter, saying, "Come, Owey, boy, don't be down-
"I think you're not pleased with me, father,"
cried the little fellow, starting up and throwing his
arms round Davy Evans's neck so that he should
not see his tears.
"Yes, I am, Owey," replied Davy, as he patted
his boy, encouragingly, on the back.
"No! but you are not so pleased as I fancied you
would have been," sobbed Owen; "I thought you
would have kissed me as much as you did when you
discovered I had taught myself to read, and I am
sure what I've done now was much harder to find
out by myself than the alphabet was. But all
you say at present is, 'that some one has done it
before,' and you ask me what book I copied it out
of; but what hurt me more than all was, you de-
clared I was telling you a story. Oh, it's very
68 THE BOY VISITS THE MINISTER-
cruel of you," he cried; the tears gushing from the
poor lad's eyes as he summed up his grievances.
The good man smiled as he heard the boy upbraid
him for his want of encouragement; and as he
clasped him to his bosom, he said, "Well, well, lad,
perhaps I haven't been so kind to you as I ought,
and didn't praise you for what you had done so
much as I should, if I had only thought for a
moment, Owen, how soon you take a thing to heart.
There, don't fret, boy! I think it very clever, I'm
sure; and there are few men that could have done
what you have. Now, does that please you ?"
Owen laughed outright through his sobs, and
answered, Yes, father, it does please me-it makes
me feel so happy, I can't tell you. I could do any-
thing to hear you talk so to me, for then I think I
am getting a big man, and shall soon be able to
work for myself. Do you think I shall ever be as
clever as you are, father he inquired.
Yes, Owey," chuckled the labourer, "and a
deal cleverer, too. Remember, I had nobody to
teach me when I was a youngster, for there wasn't a
man nor a woman in the village then as could read.
Old Squire Williams's father, to be sure, they used to
say, was a great 'scholard,' but he was always out
fox hunting, or shooting, or fishing, or something
of that kind; and there were no Sunday-schools
neither in them days. Besides, I was put out to a
mason when I was five year old, and had to be off
WHAT COMES OF THROWING STONES. 69
with him at six in the morning-sometimes to go
ever so many miles to the work, and obligated to run
all the way there, too, for my little legs couldn't keep
up with his long ones. There was no learning to
read in such times as them, Owen; and I was a
grown-up man afore I felt the want of it. It wasn't
till I married your mother (rest her soul!) that T
got to know my letters. She were obligated to be a
bit of a scholard, for her father, you know, kept the
Bronllys turnpike, and she had to take the tickets
sometimes. I wouldn't let her teach me, though; I
was proud-spirited, you see, and liked to do every-
thing for myself; so she just put me in the way
like, and I wasn't long afore I got hold of the
whole of it. When I found the help it was to
me, I used to tell her that our children shouldn't
be brought up without any learning, if I starved
"It was very good of you, father," said Owen.
"Poor mother used to teach Hugh, I remember, and
look what a clever scholar he is. Why, he can tell
how much timber there is in a tree merely by mea-
And so will you, boy," answered Davy, "if you
go on in this way. You'll be able to do much finer
things than that if you'll only strive, for there are
wonderful matters to be learnt, Owen. I am sure,
when I used to read in that big Cyclopoedy of
Parson Wynn's, the astonishing things that had
70 THE BOY VISITS THE MINISTER-
been found out, I've thanked God over and over
again that I've lived to know so much of his good-
ness and glory. Often and often I've wished I were
a gentleman, with nothing to do but to study such
matters and teach them to you, my lad. Some day,
Owey, you'll get to read about the stars, and learn
how every one of the little tiny specks of light you
see in the heavens are great big worlds, and how
they are millions and millions of miles away; and
you will see, then, how clever men have measured
the. size of them, and weighed them, and told how
far distant they are."
"Oh! father," cried the boy, his mind almost
overpowered with wonder, as the flood of new
thoughts swept through his brain, "who could
ever do that? Why the stars are too far away
for any one to get to measure them, as I've seen
Hugh do with the trees; and if they are so big
as you say, how would they ever be got into a pair
of scales to weigh them ? I always thought they
were like those 'jack-o'-lanthorns' one sees after
dark, floating about in the air over the marshes.
Oh, I should like, father, to learn about the
"All in good time, lad," returned Davy, laying
his hand on Owen's head; "you've got more than
twenty years the start of me, and besides you are
well on the right road now. So go you up to the
Parson's to-morrow, and learn all about what you've
WHAT COMES OF THROWING STONES. 71
been doing-they call it the laws of motion, I think
-and directly you know them, you can set to work
about the stars as soon as you please."
Early the next morning the little fellow set off
delighted on his road to the minister's, and as he
went, he called at the mill to return the weight he had
borrowed of Roger Wilkins a day or two before.
The water-mill of Llanvach was one of those little
old-fashioned factories, studded throughout the
country, where the work-people consist merely of the
owner's family, and the farmers for miles round bring
the produce of the last year's shearing to be made up
into cloth for their coats, or linsey-wolsey for their
dame' gowns, and where, when the work is slack,
the weaver occupies himself by making up a small
roll of Welsh flannel to take to market on his own
account. On entering the little factory, Owen was
half-bewildered by the clatter of the machinery, the
whirling of the wheels, and the hurrying to and fro of
the long leather straps that extended from one end
of the shed to the other. On one side of the building
stood the carding machine with one of the Wilkins
boys feeding it with wool, the white flocks clinging
to his dark hair and eyebrows like gossamer to the
bushes. At the end of the building was the wife in
a huge long pinafore, tending the spinning machine;
while on the other side was the loom at which Roger
Wilkins himself was seated, with the threads like
cobweb stretching before him, and the shuttles
72 TIE BOY VISITS THE MINISTER-
darting in and out between them like bats flitting
in the dusk among the branches.
Roger Wilkins knew sufficient of mechanics to
be able to direct the repairs of his own mill; so
when Owen showed him the little book he had
written, with all its ingenious experiments concern-
ing levers, and wheels, and axles, the clothier,
pleased with the boy's tastes and the cleverness he
had displayed, "knocked off" working for awhile,
and took Owen round the mill to explain to him
the uses of its several parts. He showed him
how one cogged wheel with fifty teeth to it
working into another that had only ten teeth,
caused the second to make five revolutions in the
same time as the first made one, and how the
power of the second was, consequently, five times
less, for, said he, "every machine is merely an
instrument for changing the direction of a force, or
for increasing either its power or velocity."
You see here," said the weaver, in this mill,
the direction of the force of the water is entirely
changed. The stream, you know, Owen, is running
on in a straight line outside, and here we have the
force twisting round and round in this carding
machine, and moving up and down in that loom."
Then lRoger Wilkins reminded Owen that a
windmill was a machine that changed the direct
course of the wind into a circular one, causing the
stones to revolve, and so to grind the corn.
"Indeed, this change of the direction of a force,"
WHAT COMES OF THROWING STONES. 73
he added, "is one of the main objects of every
machine, but," continued he, "another object is to
increase either the power of the force that drives
the machine, or else its rate of travelling."
"When the power is increased, Roger told the boy
it was always done at the expense of time, saying,
"Just as much stronger as the machine makes the
force, so much the slower does it travel."
"And when the rate of travelling is increased,"
he added, "it is always done at the expense of the
original force; for just as much quicker as the
machine moves than the force, so much the weaker
is its power."
"Look, Owen!" he went on, "these wheels here
travel many times quicker than the water-wheel;
that is, while the water-wheel goes round once, they
go round some hundred times, and therefore the
force in them is more than a hundred times less
than it is in the large wheel outside."
"It is precisely the same in a clock," he added.
"See, lad !" the weaver said, as he drew Owen
towards the large wooden timepiece that hung
against the wall, this is the weight that sets the
whole in motion. Just feel the heft of it !"
The little fellow placed his palm beneath the
mass of lead, and found it was almost more than he
could sustain with one hand.
"Now," proceeded the weaver, "mount them
steps, and touch the top wheel, and then see how
easily you can stop the whole. Do you observe, my
74 THE BOY VISITS THE MINISTER-
little man, you can prevent this heavy weight falling
with the mere force of your finger ?"
Owen descended the ladder, delighted with the
experiment he had made; the more pleased to find
that everything he saw and heard confirmed the
truth of his own discovery.
"Look you, boy !" continued Roger Wilkins,
"that wheel you touched is the one that moves the
pendulum of the clock, and goes round once in about
half a minute, while the minute-hand, which is
driven by the weight here, goes round once only in
an hour; consequently it travels something like one
hundred times as quick as the minute-hand, and
so takes a hundred times less force than would be
needed at the axis of the minute-hand to prevent
the weight falling."
After this, Roger showed the lad how easy it was
(upon the same principle) to stop the mill, though
the water-wheel itself, he said, had power to crush
either of them.
"But there are many machines just the reverse
of these," the weaver went on to say. and where
the power is increased by the rate of travelling
being decreased; such are cranes, where a man is
made to lift as great a weight as twenty or even a
hundred men could raise without any such instru-
ment; but in all such cases the machine causes the
weight to travel as many times slower than the power
as the power is rendered greater by it. The wheel and
axle at the well is only another instance of the same
WHAT COMES OF THROWING STON-S. 75
kind ; so that you see, Owen," he added, "there are
but two things a machine can do-the first is to
change the direction of a force, and the second either
to increase its power by decreasing its speed, or to
increase its speed by decreasing its power. Or to
put the matter more clearly, we may say it is im-
possible to augment both the power and speed of a
force at one and the same time; for just as many
times as the one is made greater, must the other
When the weaver had finished his little lecture on
mechanics, he patted the boy kindly on his shoulder,
and bade him come in to see them whenever he
wanted, assuring the little fellow he would always be
glad to help him in any way he could. Roger
only wished that his lads were half as handy as
Owen blushed again, and thanked Roger Wilkins
kindly for all he had told and shown him, saying,
"I can't tell you, Mr. Wilkins, what a deal I've
learnt from you;" and then adding, that "he was
going up to Parson Wynn's, to read there in the big
book his father had learnt out of," the boy put on
his cap, and was about to depart.
Here! Owen, Owen!" shouted the weaver, as he
sat down again to his loom; "I've got something for
you. I didn't think of it till it caught my eye here."
Owen Evans hastened back to the weaver, and
found him in the act of taking down some dusty
looking curiosity from the top of the loom.
76 THE BOY VISITS THE MINISTER-
"Look here, lad, this'll just do for you," said
SRoger Wilkins, as he puffed a cloud of dust from
the crannies of the wood-work, and disclosed a little
model of a water-mill. It's an over-shot wheel,
just like the one here, and all done to scale, too.
It's many years ago since I made it. I was up at
Llanelly then. There, take it with you, lad, it'll be
a nice toy for such a boy as you. My lads would
only break it in a week; they've no taste for such
Oh! thank you, sir," cried Owen; thank you,
and the enraptured boy turned the model round and
round again, as he greedily eyed every part of it.
"Did you cut it out with a knife, sir?"
Ay, I'll tell you all about it when you come in
another time," answered the weaver, impatient to
get to his work again. "And I'll tell you, my boy,
nice stories about Arkwright, the poor penny barber,
who invented one of our best spinning machines,
and made no end of money by it-died the richest
man in the kingdom. I'll tell you, too, how his wife
in a passion broke the model of the machine when
he had finished it, vowing it would bring them to
ruin, and that he'd much better keep to his penny
shaving. Ha! ha! ha!" roared the weaver, tickled
at the recollection.
"No, did she though!" exclaimed the simple-
minded boy; it was very cruel of her."
"Yes, lad, it was. There, there, you go now I
WHAT COMES OF THROWING STONES. 77
haven't time to talk, for I must finish this cut' afore
nightfall," responded the weaver. "When you
come again, I'll have thought ol a lot of stories for
you, about people that have invented things.
There's poor William Lee-that's very pretty-the
scholard of Cambridge, who invented the stocking-
frame-a wonderful thing that !-he did it from
watching the motion of his wife's fingers whilst she
was knitting a pair of stockings, as she rocked the
cradle with her baby in it, when they were very
poor. But there! there! you must go, Owen, or I
shall stop chattering to you all day and get no
Clank, clank, went the loom again, and the little
factory rattled once more with the motions of its
"Mind you come again soon, Owen," roared the
weaver, through the noise. "Such nice stories!"
Owen nodded, as he smiled at the weaver, and
then lifting the latch, took his departure with the
little model under his arm.
As the door slammed back, the weaver stopped
his loom -for a moment, and shouted to his wife,
"That little lad will live to be somebody, take my
word for it, girl."
Little Owen, having left the model at home,
went jogging merrily on his way to Parson Wynn's,
thinking over the while how kind Roger Wilkins
78 THE BOY VISITS THE MINISTER-
had been to him, and how much he should like
to hear the stories the weaver had promised
to tell him about the great men who had invented
the wonderful machinery for spinning and weaving.
"Then the lad fell into a reverie concerning the poor
penny barber, and wondered how one-so poor
could ever have learnt enough to become se clever.
This kindled in the boy a hope that, poor as he was,
"still, by striving, he one day might find out some-
thing which would bring his father "a goodish bit of
money," and that would be very nice, for then the
old man needn't work any more, and he (Owen)
would no longer be a burden to him.
When the little fellow had exhausted this part of
the subject, and had mentally made everybody in
the village happy and comfortable with his imaginary
riches, he amused himself by contemplating the
immense amount of knowledge he fancied himself
the possessor of. He repeated, over and over again, to
himself what the weaver had told him was the two-
fold object of all machines, saying, as he sauntered
on, and strove to impress the fact on his memory,
"Every machine has only two uses; the first use is,
to alter the direction of a force, and the second-let
me see! what was the second? I remember the first
well enough, for Mr. Wilkins said the force of the
water outside his mill was in a straight line, and in-
side it was made to turn round and round, and so
to card the wool and spin the threads. But how
WHAT COMES OF THROWING STONES. 79
stupid of me to forget the second use. Oh! I know it
now !" he said, as the memory flashed across his mind;
"the second use was either to increase the power by
decreasing the speed of the original force, or else to in-
crease the speed of the force by decreasing its power.
Yes, that's it!" exclaimed the excited boy, striking
the palms of his hands together as he went; I know
it all! and I'm sure I could tell now what was the
gain or loss of power in any machine I saw. I should
only have to calculate how many times quicker or
slower the machine went at the end where the work
was done, than it did at the beginning, where the
force was set to drive the wheels, to find out exactly
how much stronger or weaker it had become. Oh!
isn't it beautiful to know all this. Whenever I see
a windmill or a watermill again, I shall understand
all about it, and I shall be able to tell any one how
the force of the wind or the water is made to move
round and round inside the mill, instead of going on
in a straight line as it does outside of it."
All this, Owen, as we have said, repeated to him-
self again and again, so that he might be perfect in
the matter by the time he got to Parson Wynn's,
for the boy was anxious to let the minister see
how much he knew on the subject, and then, per-
haps, Mr. Wynn would let him have the big book
by and by to read by himself.
Thus occupied on the way, Owen at .length
reached the residence of Parson Wynn. It was
80 THE BOY VISITS THE MINISTER-
a moderate sized cottage, built sideways to the
road, and all that could be seen on approaching
it was its white gable end, for the front was half
hidden by the trees of the small orchard that grew
in the meadow before it. The only point at all
remarkable in the exterior, was the two huge flat
stones placed slanting over the door-way, so as to
form a rude kind of porch.
Within the door (that stood always open) might
be seen the bright white tins and yellow brass candle-
sticks shining over the mantelpiece, while ranged
beside the ample fire-place appeared the minister's
large hooded bee-hive chair, with a brown ham
or two dangling from the rafters above it; and
stowed away in the far corner the eye caught sight
of the large cask of cyder-the produce of the last
year's crop of apples from the little orchard without,
The room thus seen served not only for the
kitchen and sitting-room of the minister and his
daughters, but it also formed the work-room of the
two girls, who were the milliners and dressmakers to
the surrounding villages; and generally the little
table by the window was littered with some bright-
coloured cotton print that "the Misses Wynn"
were busy making up, according to the last Brecon
fashions, for one of the neighboring farmers'
The minister himself was far more peculiar than
the cottage in which he lived. Had it not been