The refreshments were excellent, the supper capital; and the dancing was kept up with great spirit till day-light warned us to depart. The next day, I started for Guelph with the Yankee mill-wright, whom I found a clever, shrewd man.
The next effort to make a craftsman of me was in my tenth year. I was put under the hands of a mill-wright. He set up the machinery of saw and grist mills and repaired them when out of order. He had a saw mill and shingle mill of his own, but he was often away from home, especially in winter, and then I ran the saw mill alone.
Then there were eight axe-men, a house- carpenter, a mason, and a mill-wright. These, with Captain Willoughby, and an invalid sergeant, of the name of Joyce, composed the party. Our adventurers made most of their journey by water.
The rapid waters of the Maitland form the southern and western boundary of this charming spot, then not a little enhanced by the merry groups which dotted the surface of the meadow, and woke its lone echoes with music and song. I was much amused by a Yankee mill-wright, who had contracted to build a large grist-mill for the Company, both in Guelph and Goderich.
His father's earnings during many laborious years of his life did not exceed sixteen shillings a week. He had been bred to the trade of a mill-wright, and was for some time in the employment of Dr. Roebuck as an engine-wright at his colliery near Boroughstoness. He was next employed in a like capacity by Mr. Beaumont, the mineral-manager of the collieries of Mrs.
Such has always been my experience in regard to writing which I have admired, and thought I could do as well until I tried. Thus passed two happy summers and two lonely impatient winters; then I was ill with a fever and came to the doors of death. I never resumed my apprenticeship to the mill-wright.
I was about four year old when I took my first start in the nautical way; and p'r'aps ye won't believe it, but it's a fact, I launched my first ship myself; owned her; commanded and navigated her, and was wrecked on my first voyage. It happened this way; my father was a mill-wright, he was, and lived near a small lake, where I used to splutter about a good deal.
Brindley, the famous canal engineer, who was brought up to the business of a mill-wright; he told me, that he had more than once seen the experiment of a man extending himself across the large stone of a corn-mill, and that by gradually letting the stone whirl, the man fell asleep, before the stone had gained its full velocity, and he supposed would have died without pain by the continuance or increase of the motion.
He also explained the different kinds of saws the ripping saw, and the cross-cut saw, and the circular saw, and the eccentric saw just as if his mother were an embryo mill-wright, for he felt that she took a deep interest in it all, and Mrs Frog listened with the profound attention of a civil engineer, and remarked on everything with such comments as oh! indeed! ah! well now! ain't it wonderful? amazin'! an' you made it all too!
The labours of the farm being fairly over for the year, the mill had been shut down for hasty repairs, which Alec McQuhirr had come down from Ironmacannie to superintend. He was, so they said, the best mill-wright in the half-dozen counties of the south and west. He had, however, the one fault common to all his tribe, that of dilatoriness.