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had a little architectural and engineering work, in designing and superintending the erection of warehouses with powerful cranes, which gave me some insight into practical building. To assist in making working drawings and specifications, my brother had purchased a well-known work, Bartholomew's "Specifications for Practical Architecture.” This book, though mainly on a very dry and technical subject, contained an introduction on the principles of Gothic architecture which gave me ideas upon the subject of the greatest interest and value, and which have enabled me often to form an independent judgment on modern imitations of Gothic or of any other styles. Bartholomew was an enthusiast for Gothic, which he maintained was the only true and scientific system of architectural construction in existence. He showed how all the most striking and ornamental features of Gothic architecture are essential to the stability of a large stone-built structure-the lofty nave with its clerestory w. ws and arched roof; the lateral aisles at a lower level, also with arched roofs; the outer thrust of these arches supported by deep buttresses on the ground, with arched or flying buttresses above; and these again rendered more secure by being weighted down with rows of pinnacles, which add so much to the beauty of Gothic buildings. He rendered his argument more clear by giving a generalized cross-section of a cathedral, and drawing within the buttresses the figure of a man, with outstretched arms pushing against the upper arches to resist their outward thrust, and being kept more steady by a heavy load upon his head and shoulders representing the pinnacle. This section and figure illuminated the whole construction of the masterpieces of the old architects so clearly and forcibly, that though I have not seen the book since, I have never forgotten it. It has furnished me with a standard by which to judge all architecture, and has guided my taste in such a small matter as the use of stone slabs over window openings in brick buildings, thus concealing the structural brick arch, and using stone as a beam, a purpose for which iron or wood are better suited. It also made me a very severe critic of modern imitations of Gothic in which we often
see buttresses and pinnacles for ornament alone, when the roof is wholly of wood and there is no outward thrust to be guarded against; while in some cases we see useless gargoyles, which in the old buildings stretched out to carry the water clear of the walls, but which are still sometimes imitated when the water is carried into drains by iron gutters and water pipes. I also learnt to appreciate the beautiful tracery of the large circular or pointed windows, whose harmonies and well-balanced curves and infinitely varied designs are a delight to the eye; while in most modern structures the attempts at imitating them are deplorable failures, being usually clumsy, unbalanced, and monotonous. One of the very few modern Gothic buildings in which the architect has caught the spirit of the old work is Barry's Houses of Parliament, which, whether in general effect or in its beautifully designed details, is a delight to the true lover of Gothic architecture. My brother had seen the exhibition of the competing designs, and he used always to speak of the unmistakable superiority of Barry over all the others.
Among our few intellectual friends here was the late Mr. Charles Hayward, a member of the Society of Friends (commonly called Quakers), as were Mr. Price of Neath Abbey, and our temporary landlord, Mr. Osgood. Mr. Hayward had a bookseller's shop in the town combined with that of a chemist and druggist, but he himself lived in a pretty cottage about half a mile out of the town, where he had two or three acres of land, kept a cow, and experimented in agriculture on a small scale; while his partner, Mr. Hunt, lived at the shop. A year or two later these gentlemen gave up the business and took a farm from Mr. Talbot of Margam Abbey, which they farmed successfully for some years, their chemical knowledge enabling them to purchase refuse materials from some of the manufacturers in the district which served as valuable manures. Later, Mr. Hayward took a larger farm near Dartmouth, where I had the pleasure of visiting him after my return from the East. A good many years later, when I lived at Godalming, he was again my neighbour, as after the death of his wife he came to live with his nephew, C. F. Hayward, Esq., a well-known London architect, who had a country house close by my cottage. Mr. Hayward began life with nothing but a good education, industry, and a love of knowledge. He is an example of the possibility of success in farming without early training and with very scanty capital. Of course, the period was a good one for farmers, but it was not every one who could have made even a bare living under such unfavourable conditions. After he came to live at Godalming, when over seventy years of age, he began to exercise his hitherto dormant faculty of water-colour drawing. For this he made most of his own colours from natural pigments, earthy or vegetable, and executed a number of bold and effective landscapes, showing that if he had had early training he might have excelled in this beautiful art. Mr. Hayward was among my oldest and most esteemed friends.
During the larger portion of my residence at Neath we had very little to do, and my brother was often away, either seeking employment or engaged upon small matters of business in various parts of the country. I was thus left a good deal to my own devices, and having no friends of my own age I occupied myself with various pursuits in which I had begun to take an interest. Having learnt the use of the sextant in surveying, and my brother having a book on Nautical Astronomy, I practised a few of the simpler observations. Among these were determining the meridian by equal altitudes of the sun, and also by the pole-star at its upper or lower culmination ; finding the latitude by the meridian altitude of the sun, or of some of the principal stars; and making a rude sundial by erecting a gnomon towards the pole. For these simple calculations I had Hannay and Dietrichsen's Almanac, a copious publication which gave all the important data in the Nautical Almanac, besides much other interesting matter, useful for the astronomical amateur or the ordinary navigator. I also tried to make a telescope by purchasing a lens of about two feet focus at an optician's in Swansea, fixing it in a paper tube and using the eye-piece of a small opera glass. With it I was able to
observe the moon and Jupiter's satellites, and some of the larger star-clusters; but, of course, very imperfectly. Yet it served to increase my interest in astronomy, and to induce me to study with some care the various methods of construction of the more important astronomical instruments; and it also led me throughout my life to be deeply interested in the grand onward march of astronomical discovery.
But what occupied me chiefly and became more and more the solace and delight of my lonely rambles among the moors and mountains, was my first introduction to the variety, the beauty, and the mystery of nature as manifested in the vegetable kingdom.
I have already mentioned the chance remark which gave me the wish to know something about wild flowers, but nothing came of it till 1841, when I heard of and obtained a shilling paper-covered book published by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, the title of which I forget, but which contained an outline of the structure of plants and a short description of their various parts and organs; and also a good description of about a dozen of the most common of the natural orders of British plants. Among these were the Cruciferæ, Caryophylleæ, Leguminosæ, Rosaceæ, Umbelliferæ, Compositæ, Scrophularineæ, Labiatæ, Orchideæ, and Glumaceæ. This little book was a revelation to me, and for a year was my constant companion. On Sundays I would stroll in the fields and woods, learning the various parts and organs of any flowers I could gather, and then trying how many of them belonged to any of the orders described in my book. Great was my delight when I found that I could identify a Crucifer, an Umbellifer, and a Labiate; and as one after another the different orders were recognized, I began to realize for the first time the order that underlay all the variety of nature. When my brother was away and there was no work to do, I would spend the greater part of the day wandering over the hills or by the streams gathering flowers, and either determining their position from my book, or coming to the conclusion that they belonged to other orders of which I knew nothing, and as time went on I found that