Caroline: Or, The Care And Handling Of Young Ladies, And Of Older Beauties In Their Prime

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My brother was besides obliged to be absent for a week or ten days for the purpose of bringing home the metal of the cracked thirty-foot mirror, and the remaining materials from his work-room. Before the furnace was taken down at Bath, a second twenty-foot mirror, twelve-inch diameter, was cast, which happened to be very fortunate, for on the 1st of January, , a very fine one cracked by frost in the tube.

Caroline: or The Care and Handling of Young Ladies, And of Older Beauties in Their Prime

In my brother's absence from home, I was of course left solely to amuse myself with my own thoughts, which were anything but cheerful. I found I was to be trained for an assistant-astronomer, and by way of encouragement a telescope adapted for "sweeping," consisting of a tube with two glasses, such as are commonly used in a "finder," was given me.

I was "to sweep for comets," and I see by my journal that I began August 22nd, , to write down and describe all remarkable appearances I saw in my "sweeps," which were horizontal. But it was not till the last two months of the same year that I felt the least encouragement to spend the star-light nights on a grass-plot covered with dew or hoar frost, without a human being near enough to be within call.

I knew too little of the real heavens to be able to point out every object so as to find it again without losing too much time by consulting the Atlas. Besides this, the twelve-inch speculum was perfected before the spring, and many hours were spent at the turning bench, as not a night clear enough for observing ever passed but that some improvements were planned for perfecting the mounting and motions of the various instruments then in use, or some trials were made of new constructed eye-pieces, which were mostly executed by my brother's own hands.

Wishing to save his time, he began to have some work of that kind done by a watchmaker who had retired from business and lived on Datchet Common, but the work was so bad, and the charges so unreasonable, that he could not be employed. It was not till some time afterwards in his frequent visits to the meetings of the Royal Society made in moonlight nights , that he had an opportunity of looking about for mathematical workmen, opticians, and founders.

But the work seldom answered expectation, and it was kept to be executed with improvements by Alexander during the few months he spent with us.

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The summer months passed in the most active preparation for getting the large twenty-foot ready against the next winter. The carpenters and smiths of Datchet were in daily requisition, and as soon as patterns for tools and mirrors were ready, my brother went to town to have them cast, and during the three or four months Alexander could be absent from Bath, the mirrors and optical parts were nearly completed. But that the nights after a day of toil were not given to rest, may be seen by the observations on Mars, of which a paper, dated December 1, , was given to the Royal Society.

Some trouble also was often thrown away during those nights in the attempt to teach me to re-measure double stars with the same micrometers with which former measures had been taken, and the small twenty-foot was given me for that purpose I had also to ascertain their places by a transit instrument lent for that purpose by Mr. Dalrymple, but after many fruitless attempts it was seen that the instrument was perhaps as much in fault as my observations. July 8. In the beginning of December I became entirely attached to the writing-desk, and had seldom an opportunity after that time of using my newly-acquired instrument.

My brother began his series of sweeps when the instrument was yet in a very unfinished state, and my feelings were not very comfortable when every moment I was alarmed by a crack or fall, knowing him to be elevated fifteen feet or more on a temporary cross-beam instead of a safe gallery. The ladders had not even their braces at the bottom; and one night, in a very high wind, he had hardly touched the ground before the whole apparatus came down. Some labouring men were called up to help in extricating the mirror, which was fortunately uninjured, but much work was cut out for carpenters next day.

That my fears of danger and accidents were not wholly imaginary, I had an unlucky proof on the night of the 31st December. The evening had been cloudy, but about ten o'clock a few stars became visible, and in the greatest hurry all was got ready for observing. My brother, at the front of the telescope, directed me to make some alteration in the lateral motion, which was done by machinery, on which the point of support of the tube and mirror rested. At each end of the machine or trough was an iron hook, such as butchers use for hanging their joints upon, and having to run in the dark on ground covered a foot deep with melting snow, I fell on one of these hooks, which entered my right leg above the knee.

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My brother's call, "Make haste! The workman's wife was called, but was afraid to do anything, and I was obliged to be my own surgeon by applying aquabusade and tying a kerchief about it for some days, till Dr. Lind, hearing of my accident, brought me ointment and lint, and told me how to use them. At the end of six weeks I began to have some fears about my poor limb, and asked again for Dr. Lind's opinion: he said if a soldier had met with such a hurt he would have been entitled to six weeks' nursing in a hospital.

I had, however, the comfort to know that my brother was no loser through this accident, for the remainder of the night was cloudy, and several nights afterwards afforded only a few short intervals favourable for sweeping, and until the 16th January there was no necessity for my exposing myself for a whole night to the severity of the season.

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I could give a pretty long list of accidents which were near proving fatal to my brother as well as myself. To make observations with such large machinery, where all around is in darkness, is not unattended with danger, especially when personal safety is the last thing with which the mind is occupied; even poor Piazzi 11 did not go home without getting broken shins by falling over the rack-bar, which projects in high altitudes in front of the telescope, when in the hurry the cap had been forgotten to be put over it.

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Susan waited by his side, hands clasped in supplication. In addition to these occupations, she was called upon to make herself useful when the fastidious Jacob honoured the humble table with his presence, "and poor I got many a whipping for being awkward at supplying the place of footman or waiter. This book is printed on demand. He'd gone so far as to start work on a script. Fans rocked his trailer so hard that he tried to get back to the stage.

In the long days of the summer months many ten- and seven-foot mirrors were finished; there was nothing but grinding and polishing to be seen. For ten-foot several had been cast with ribbed backs by way of experiment to reduce the weight in large mirrors. In my leisure hours I ground seven-foot and plain mirrors from rough to fining down, and was indulged with polishing and the last finishing of a very beautiful mirror for Sir William Watson.

It seemed to be supposed that enough had been done when my brother was enabled to leave his profession that he might have time to make and sell telescopes. The King ordered four ten-foot himself, and many seven-foot besides had been bespoke, and much time had already been expended on polishing the mirrors for the same.

But all this was only retarding the work of a thirty or forty-foot instrument, which it was my brother's chief object to obtain as soon as possible; for he was then on the wrong side of forty-five, and felt how great an injustice he would be doing to himself and to the cause of Astronomy by giving up his time to making telescopes for other observers.

Sir William Watson, who often in the lifetime of his father came to make some stay with us at Datchet, saw my brother's difficulties, and expressed great dissatisfaction. On his return to Bath he met among the visitors there several belonging to the Court among the rest Mde. Schwellenberg , to whom he gave his opinion concerning his friend and his situation very freely. In consequence of this my brother had soon after, through Sir J.

Immediately every preparation for beginning the great work commenced. A very ingenious smith Campion , who was seeking employment, was secured by my brother, and a temporary forge erected in an upstairs room. It soon became evident that the big, tumble-down old house, which had been taken possession of with such eagerness, would not do: the rain came through the ceilings; the damp situation brought on ague, and in June the brother and sister left it for a place called Clay Hall, Old Windsor.

But here again unlooked-for troubles arose in consequence of the landlady being a "litigious woman," who refused to be bound to reasonable terms, and at length, on the 3rd of April, , the house and garden at S LOUGH were taken, and all the apparatus and machinery immediately removed there. And here I must remember that among all this hurrying business, every moment after daylight was allotted to observing. The last night at Clay Hall was spent in sweeping till daylight, and by the next evening the telescope stood ready for observation at Slough A workman for the brass and optical parts was engaged, and two smiths were at work throughout the summer on different parts for the forty-foot telescope, and a whole troop of labourers were engaged in grinding the iron tools to a proper shape for the mirror to be ground on the polishing and grinding by machines was not begun till about the end of These heavy articles were cast in town, and caused my brother frequent journeys to London, they were brought by water as far as Windsor At Slough no steady out-of-door workman for the sweeping handle could be met with, and a man-servant was engaged as soon as one could be found fit for the purpose.

Meanwhile Campion assisted, but many memorandums were put down: "Lost a neb. The smith, meanwhile, was converting a washhouse into a forge, and manufacturing complete sets of tools required for the work he was to enter upon. Many expensive tools also were furnished by the ironmongers in Windsor, as well for the forge as for the turner and brass man.

In short, the place was at one time a complete workshop for making optical instruments, and it was a pleasure to go into it to see how attentively the men listened to and executed their master's orders; I had frequent opportunities for doing this when I was obliged to run to him with my papers or slate, when stopped in my work by some doubt or other.

I cannot leave this subject without regretting, even twenty years after, that so much labour and expense should have been thrown away on a swarm of pilfering work-people, both men and women, with which Slough, I believe, was particularly infested. For at last everything that could be carried away was gone, and nothing but rubbish left. Even tables for the use of workrooms vanished: one in particular I remember, the drawer of which was filled was slips of experiments made on the rays of light and heat, was lost out of the room in which the women had been ironing.

This could not but produce the greatest disorder and inconvenience in the library and in the room into which the apparatus for observing had been moved, when the observatory was wanted for some other purpose; they were at last so encumbered by stores and tools of all sorts that no room for a desk or an Atlas remained.

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It required my utmost exertion to rescue the manuscripts in hand from destruction by falling into unhallowed hands or being devoured by mice. Before he left Slough on July 3rd, the stand of the forty-foot telescope stood on two circular walls capped with Portland stone which, cracking by frost, were afterwards covered with oak ready to receive the tube. The smith was left to continue to work at the tube, which was sufficient employment cut out for him before he would want farther direction. The mirror was also pretty far advanced, and ready for the polish, for I remember to have seen twelve or fourteen men daily employed in grinding or polishing. To give a description of the task or rather tasks which fell to my share, the readiest way I think will be to transcribe out of a day-book which I began to keep at that time, and called "Book of work done. July 3. By way of not suffering too much by sadness, I began with bustling work. I cleaned all the brass-work for seven and ten-foot telescopes, and put curtains before the shelves to hinder the dust from settling upon them again. In the afternoon went with Mrs. Herschel to Windsor. We chose the hours from two to six for shopping and other business, to be from home at the time most unlikely for any persons to call, but there had been four foreign gentlemen looking at the instruments in the garden, they had not left their names.

In the evening Dr. Kelly Mr. Dollond's daughter and Mr. Gordon came to see me. By July 23rd the whole Catalogue was completed all but writing it in the clear, which at that time was a very necessary provision, as it was not till the year that Wollaston's Catalogue made its appearance. Herschel at Mrs. We met Dr.

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Maskelyne and Dr. Kelly and Mrs. Ramsden Dollond's sister called this evening. I tried to sweep, but it is cloudy, and the moon rises at half-past ten. I had a message from the King to show them the instruments. I had intended to go on with my Diary till my brother's return, but it would be tedious, so of the rest I shall give only a summary account, and will mention in this place that all what follows would but be the same thing over again; for the advantage of being quietly at work in the presence of my brother to whom I could apply for information the moment a doubt occurred, never returned again, and often have I been racking my poor brains through a day and a night to very little purpose.

I found it necessary to continue my memoranda of "work done" to the last day I had the care of my brother's MS. Lord Mulgrave called this evening Finished calculating for Flamsteed's Catalogue.

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The two following short letters were carefully preserved, and, though they contain nothing of importance, they are of interest as being of the very few from the same pen which are not on scientific subjects. This morning we arrived safely at Hanover. We are a little tired, but perfectly well in health.

We travelled extra post all the way through very bad roads. The post is going out in a very little time, so that I write in a hurry that you might hear from us so much sooner. Mamma is perfectly well and looks well. Jacob looks a little older, but not nearly so much as I expected. In Sophy [Mrs.