156 ENGLISH MEN OF SCIENCE. [CHAP.
taken to see . . ., and so, with the help of
Brewster's Optics ' and a glazier's diamond, I worked at polarization of light, cutting crystals, tempering glass, &c. I should naturally have become an advocate by profession, with scientific proclivities, but the existence of exclusively
scientific men, and in particular, of , convinced my father and myself that a profession was not necessary to a useful life." (a, e, f )
(17) "My taste for mathematics appears innate. As a boy, I delighted in sums. I trace the origin of my interest in general science to my acquaintance with which dates from the time when I was about 15 years of age. I taught myself in mathematics and chemistry during my apprenticeship to a civil engineer and land surveyor, and subsequently studied . . . . [abroad]. My scientific tastes were largely developed through my first going [to the continent] with . . . ." (a, f)
(18) "An early taste for arithmetic, and in particular for long division sums." (a)