workmanship of the coats of mail. The iron links extended from the covering of the head to the end of the arms, and from the shoulders down to the hips, in one linked iron fabric. The beauty and exactness with which this chain-armour had been forged and built up were truly wonderful. There must have been "giants in those days." This grand style of armour was in use from the time of the Conquest, and was most effective in the way of protection, as it was fitted by its flexibility to give full play to the energetic action of the wearer. It was infinitely superior to the senseless plate-armour that was used, at a subsequent period, to encase soldiers like lobsters. The chain-armour I saw at Carron left a deep impression on my mind. I never see a bit of it, or of its representation in the figures on our grand tombs of the thirteenth century, but I think of my first sight of it at Carron and of the tremendous conflict at Bannockburn.

Remembering, also, the impressive sight of the picturesque fire-lit halls, and the terrible-looking, cumbrous machinery which I first beheld on a grand scale at Carron, I have often regretted that some of our artists do not follow up the example set them by that admirable painter, Wright of Derby, and treat us to the pictures of some of our great ironworks. They not only abound with the elements of the picturesque in its highest sense, but also set forth the glory of the useful arts in such a way as would worthily call forth the highest power of our artists.

To return to my life at Edinburgh. I was now seventeen years old. I had acquired a considerable amount of practical knowledge as to the use and handling of mechanical tools, and I desired to turn it to some account. I was able to construct working models of steam-engines and other apparatus required for the illustration of mechanical subjects. I began with making a small working steam engine for the purpose of grinding the oil-colours used by my father in his artistic work. The result was quite satisfactory. Many persons came to see my active little steam-engine at work, and they were so pleased with it that I received several orders for small workshop engines, and also for some models of steam-engines to illustrate the subjects taught at Mechanics' Institutions.

Sectional model of condensing steam-engine. By James Nasmyth

I contrived a sectional model of a complete condensing steam-engine of the beam and parallel motion construction. The model, as seen from one side, exhibited every external detail in full and due action when the flywheel was moved round by hand; while, on the other or sectional side, every detail of the interior was seen, with the steam-valves and air-pump, as well as the motion of the piston in the cylinder, with the construction of the piston and the stuffing box, together with the slide-valve and steam passages, all in due position and relative movement.

The first of these sectional models of the steam-engine was made for the Edinburgh School of Arts, where its uses in instructing mechanics and others in the application of steam were highly appreciated. The second was made for Professor Leslie, of the Edinburgh University, for use in his lectures on Natural Philosophy. The professor had, at his own private cost, provided a complete and excellent set of apparatus, which, for excellent workmanship and admirable utility, had never, I believe, been provided for the service of any university. He was so pleased with my addition to his class-room apparatus, that, besides expressing his great thanks for my services, he most handsomely presented me with a free ticket to his Natural Philosophy class as a regular student, so long as it suited me to make use of his instruction. But far beyond this, as a reward for my earnest endeavours to satisfy this truly great philosopher, was the kindly manner in which he on all occasions communicated to me conversationally his original and masterly views on the great fundamental principles of Natural Philosophy -- especially as regarded the principles of Dynamics and the Philosophy of Mechanics. The clear views which he communicated in his conversation, as well as in his admirable lectures, vividly illustrated by the experiments which he had originated, proved of great advantage to me; and I had every reason to consider his friendship and his teaching as amongst the most important elements in my future success as a practical engineer.

Having referred to the Edinburgh School of Arts, I feel it necessary to say something about the origin of that excellent institution. A committee of the most distinguished citizens of Edinburgh was formed for the purpose of instituting a college in which working men and mechanics might possess the advantages of

  By PanEris using Melati.

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