I removed thither my father's foot-lathe, to which I had previously added an excellent slide-rest of my own making. I also added a "slow motion," which enabled me to turn cast-iron and cast-steel portions of my great Maudslay lathe. I soon had the latter complete and in action. Its first child was a planing machine capable of executing surfaces in the most perfect style -- of 3 feet long by 1 foot 8 inches wide. Armed with these two most important and generally useful tools, and by some special additions, such as boring machines and drilling machines, I soon had a progeny of legitimate descendants crowded about my little workshop, so that I often did not know which way to turn.

My temporary workshop at Edinburgh

I had one labourer to drive the wheel which gave motion to my big lathe; but I was very much in want of some one else to help me. One day a young hearty fellow called upon me. He had come from the Shotts Iron Company's Works in Edinburgh. Having heard of what I was about, he offered his services. When he told me that he had been bred as a millwright, and that he could handle the plane and the saw as well as the chisel and the file, I closed with him at once. He was to have fifteen shillings a week. I liked the young man very much -- he was so hearty and cheerful. His name was Archibald Torry, or " Archie," as he was generally called during the twenty years that he remained in my service I obtained another assistant in the person of a young man whose father wished him to get an insight into practical engineering. I was offered a premium of £50 for twelve months' experience in my workshop. I arranged to take the young man, and to initiate him in the general principles and practice of engineering. The £50 premium was a very useful help to me, especially as I had engaged the millwright. It enabled me to pay Torry's wages during the time that he remained with me in Edinburgh. I found it necessary, however, to take in some work in the regular way of business, in order to supply me with the means of completing my proper supply of tools.

The chief of these extraneous and, I may say, disturbing jobs, was that of constructing a rotary steam- engine. Mr. Robert Steen had contrived and patented an engine of this sort. He was a dangerously enthusiastic man, and entertained the most visionary ideas as to steam power. He was of opinion that his own contrivance was more compact and simple, and possessed of more capability of producing power from the consumption of a given quantity of fuel, than the best steam-engines then in use. I warned him of his error; but nothing but an actual proof would satisfy him. He urgently requested me to execute his order.He made me a liberal and tempting offer of weekly payments for my work during the progress of his engine. He only required that I should give his invention the benefit of my careful workmanship. He considered that this would be sufficient to substantiate all his enthusiastic expectations. I was thus seduced to accept his order.

I made the requisite drawings, and proceeded with the work. At the same time my own machine tools were in progress, though at a retarded pace. The weekly payments we're regularly made, and I was kept in a sort of financial ease. After three months the rotary engine was finished to the inventor's complete satisfaction. But when the power it gave out was compared with that of a good ordinary steam-engine, the verdict as to consumption of fuel was against the new rotary engine. Nevertheless, the enthusiastic projector, "tho' vanquished he would argue still," insisted that the merits of his contrivance would sooner or later cause it to be a most formidable rival to the crank steam-engines. As he was pleased with its performances, I had no reason to be dissatisfied. I had done my part in the matter, and Mr. Steen had done his. His punctual weekly payments had assisted me in the completion of my tools; and after a few months more labour I had everything ready for starting business on my own account.

My choice lay between Liverpool and Manchester. I had seen both of these cities while on my visit to Lancashire to witness the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. I now proceeded to visit them again. I was fortified with valuable introductions to leading men in both places. I was received by them with great kindness and hospitality. I have heard a great deal about the ingratitude and selfishness of the world. It may have been my good fortune, but I have never experienced either of those unfeeling conditions. On the whole I have found a great deal of unselfish kindness among my fellow-beings. They

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