great favourites. When the Gavotte began, the children
I might point out that Mr. Nasmyth's narrative has a strong bearing upon popular education; not only as regards economical use of time, careful observation, close attention to details, but as respects the uses of Drawing. The observations which he makes as to the accurate knowledge of this art are very important. In this matter he concurs with Mr. Herbert Spencer in his work on Education. "It is very strange," Mr. Nasmyth said some years ago, "that amidst all our vaunted improvements in education, the faculty of comparison by sight, or what may be commonly called the correctness of eye, has been so little attended to" He accordingly urges the teaching of rudimentary drawing in all public schools. "Drawing is," he says, "the Education of the Eye. It is more interesting than words. It is graphic language."
The illustrations given in the course of the following book will serve to show his own mastery of drawing whether as respects Mechanical details, the Moon's surface, or the fairyland of Landscape. It is perhaps not saying too much to aver that had he not devoted his business life to Mechanics, he would, like his father, his brother Patrick, and his sisters, have taken a high position as an artist. In the following Memoir we have only been able to introduce a few specimens of his drawings; but "The Fairies," "The Antiquary," and others, will give the reader a good idea of Mr. Nasmyth's artistic ability. Since his retirement from business life, at the age of forty-eight, Mr. Nasmyth's principal pursuit has been Astronomy. His Monograph on "The Moon," published in 1874, exhibits his ardent and philosophic love for science in one of its sublimest aspects. His splendid astronomical instruments, for the most part made entirely by his own hands, have enabled him to detect the "willow leaf-shaped" objects which form the structural element of the Sun's luminous surface. The discovery was shortly after verified by Sir John Herschel and other astronomers, and is now a received fact in astronomical science.
A Chronological List of some of Mr. Nasmyth's contrivances and inventions is given at the end of the volume, which shows, so far, what he has been enabled to accomplish during his mechanical career. These begin at a very early age, and were continued for about thirty years of a busy and active life. Very few of them were patented; many of them, though widely adopted, are unacknowledged as his invention. They, nevertheless, did much to advance the mechanical arts, and still continue to do excellent service in the engineering world.
The chapter relating to the origin of the Cuneiform Character, and of the Pyramid or Sun-worship in its relation to Egyptian Architecture, is placed at the end, so as not to interrupt the personal narrative. That chapter, it is believed, will be found very interesting, illustrated, as it is, by Mr. Nasmyth's drawings.
CHAPTER 1 My Ancestry Sentiment of Ancestry Origin of the name of Naesmyth Naesmyth of Posso Naesmyth of Netherton Battle of Bothwell Brig Estate confiscated Elspeth Naesmyth Michael Naesmyth builder and architect Fort at Inversnaid Naesmyth family tomb Former masters and men Michael Naesmyth's son New Edinburgh Grandmother Naesmyth Uncle Michael
CHAPTER 2 Alexander Nasmyth Born 1758--Grassmarket Edinburgh--Education The Bibler's Seat The brothers Erskine Apprenticed to a coachbuilder The Trustees' Academy Huguenot artisans Alexander Runciman Copy of "The Laocoon" Assistant to Allan Ramsay Faculty of resourcefulness Begins as portrait painter Friendship with Miller of Dalswinton Miller and the first steamboat Visit to Italy Marriage to Barbara Foulis Burns the poet Edinburgh clubs Landscape beauty Abandons portrait for landscape painting David Roberts, R.A. Dean Bridge St. Bernard's Well Nelson's Monument Bow-and-string bridges Sunday rivet
CHAPTER 3 An Artist's Family Sir James Hall Geology of Edinburgh Friends of the family Henry Raeburn Evenings at home Society of artists "Caller Aon" Management of the household The family Education of six sisters The Nasmyth classes Pencil drawing Excursions round Edinburgh Graphic memoranda Patrick Nasmyth, sketch of his life Removes to London Visit to Hampshire Original prices of his works His friends His death
CHAPTER 4 My Early Years Born 1808 Mary Peterkin The brilliant red poppies Left-handed Patrick's birthday Vocal performance A wonderful escape Events of the war The French prisoners Entry of the 42d into Edinburgh Bleaching "claes" on the Calton The Greenside workshops The chimes of St. Giles' The Edinburgh Market The caddies The fishwives The "floore" Traditional fondness for cats A Nasmyth prayer
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