"Let us see what 'his lordship' is at."
They approached stealthily, and, looking through a window, saw the inventor standing with his arms folded, and his eyes bent on a grinder at his work: the man was pressing down a six-feet saw on a grindstone with all his might and Little was looking on, with a face compounded of pity, contempt, and lofty contemplation.
"That is the game now, sir," whispered Bayne: "always in the clouds, or else above 'em. A penny for your thoughts, sir!"
Henry started, as men do who are roused from deep contemplation; however, he soon recovered himself, and, with a sort of rude wit of his own, he held out his hand for the penny.
Amboyne fumbled in his pocket, and gave him a stamp.
Little seized it, and delivered himself as follows: "My thoughts, gentlemen, were general and particular. I was making a reflection how contented people are to go bungling on, doing a thing the wrong way, when the right way is obvious: and my particular observation was--that these long saws are ground in a way which offends the grammar of mechanics. Here's a piece of steel six feet long, but not so wide as the grindstone:--what can be plainer than that such a strip ought to be ground lengthwise? then the whole saw would receive the grindstone in a few seconds. Instead of that, on they go, year after year, grinding them obliquely, and with a violent exertion that horrifies a fellow like me, who goes in for economy of labor, and have done all my life. Look at that fellow working. What a waste of muscle! Now, if you will come to my studio, I think I can show you how long saws WILL be ground in the days of civilization."
His eye, which had been turned inward during his reverie, dullish and somewhat fish-like, now sparkled like a hot coal, and he led the way eagerly.
"Pray humor him, sir," said Bayne, compassionately.