Biographies of Working Men

Biographies of Working Men

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Excerpt: ...to his country, and my eldest brother would not have looked so high, if they had had a little less learning." Poor, purblind, well-meaning, obstructive old dame Herschel! what a boon to the world that children like yours are sometimes seized with this incomprehensible fancy for "looking too high"! Nevertheless, Carolina managed by rising early to take a few lessons at daybreak from a young woman whose parents lived in the same cottage with hers; and so she got through a little work before the regular daily business of the family began at seven. Imagine her delight then, just as the difficulties after her father's death are making that housemaid's place seem almost inevitable, when she gets a letter from William at Bath, asking her to come over to England and join him at that gay and fashionable city. He would try to prepare her for singing at his concerts; but if after two years' trial she didn't succeed, he would take her back again to Hanover himself. In 1772, indeed, William in person came over to fetch her, and thenceforth the brother and sister worked unceasingly together in all their undertakings to the day of the great astronomer's death. About this time Herschel had been reading Ferguson's "Astronomy," and felt very desirous of seeing for himself the objects in the heavens, invisible to the naked eye, of which he there found descriptions. For this purpose he must of course have a telescope. But how to obtain one? that was the question. There was a small two-and-a-half foot instrument on hire at one of the shops at Bath; and the ambitious organist borrowed this poor little glass for a time, not merely to look through, but to use as a model for constructing one on his own account. Buying was impossible, of course, for telescopes cost much money: but making would not be difficult for a determined mind. He had always been of a mechanical turn, and he was now fired with a desire to build himself a telescope eighteen or twenty feet long. He sent...show more

Product details

  • Paperback
  • 189 x 246 x 3mm | 100g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 123671508X
  • 9781236715081