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quartz lodes by Mr. O'Neil. It does not
appear to have been worked until, in
eighteen hundred and forty-three, Mr. Arthur
Dean discovered gold at Cwm Eisen, an
account of which he gave to the British
Association. In this communication Mr.
Dean stated, "that a complete system of
auriferous veins exists throughout the whole
of the Snowdonian, or Lower Silurian
formations of North Wales." The gold was found
either in veins of quartz, or disseminated
through lead-lodes. Mr. Dean's statement is
as follows:—"Some of the gold ores produce
from three pennyweights to sixty ounces of
gold per ton of ore as broken, and some
of the washed sulphurets of lead contain
lead, seventy-five per cent.; silver, forty
ounces; gold, from two to twenty ounces per

Judging from examples which we have
seen, we have no doubt that Mr. Arthur
Dean made a correct statement; but it
applies only to small sections of either the
quartz or the lead-lodes. Cwn Eisen mine
has been several times worked and
abandoned; up to the present time no profit has
been realised. Professor Ramsay, in a paper
read before the Geological Society (eighteen
hundred and fifty-four), says, "From that
date" (eighteen hundred and forty-four) "to
this time no one has attempted to work any
mines in North Wales for gold, except that
at Cwn Eisen; nor have I ever met with any
miner who has seen any gold of the alleged
auriferous veins, with many of which I am
well acquainted." Professor Ramsay, in
continuation, says, in speaking of the gold
mine at Dol-y-frwynog, "On examining a
heap of quartz which lay at the mouth of the
shaft, and turning over a few pieces, I readily
saw, with the naked eye, gold in small flakes
and grains, irregularly disseminated through
the quartz. In a more select heap of quartz,
on all the pieces it was distinctly visible to
the unassisted eye; and one mass in
particular, heavier than a strong man could lift,
was literally spangled all across its surfaces
with glittering gold." We desire to state
this matter fairly and fully, gold has been
detected in the matrix of the copper-bearing
lodes a mile to the south of Dol-y-frwynog;
discoveries of gold have been made at Clogau
on the hills north of the Dolgelly and Barmouth
road, and at Penmaen. The existence
of gold in North Wales is undoubted, but it is
extremely diifused where it does occur, and
its occurrence is very irregular. Within the
last two or three years several individuals,
and companies, have sought to develop the
auriferous treasures of these English gold
rocks. Thousands have been expended; the
best appliances of modern mechanics and
chemistry adopted; yet the gold discovered
has not been sufficient to pay working
expenses. In truth, there are few metals more
widely spread over the earth's surface than
gold, but it is only in a few isolated spots
that the precious metal is accumulated in
such quantities as to render the search, for
it at all remunerative.


IN the year one thousand eight hundred
and thirty-four, having completed my education
at an academy near Harrow, wherein I
had spent six years of the sixteen to which I
I had attained, I returned to my native village,
and declared my wish to be an engineer.
We lived in a remote corner of the county
of Hertford. Everywhere railways were
almost untried innovations, therefore, my
worthy guardian, when I told him that I
meant to be an engineer, said that he pitied
me from his heart, and begged that I would
banish the thought instantly.

I did not heed his counsel. In the
autumn previous to my leaving the school,
situated, as I said, near Harrow, the works of
the London and Birmingham Railway had
been commenced close to its academic groves.
Opportunity had thus directed my attention
towards engineering works. Even a little
knowledge was thus gained which had
become the stimulus to further acquisitions; so
that I bought for myself Grier's Mechanics'
Calculator, and Jones on Levelling, studied
them in leisure hours, made fresh observations
as to the progress of the works whenever
I could manage to climb over the play-
ground wall; and when I returned home, had
got so far that I could keep a field-book,
reduce levels, compute gradients, and calculate
earthworks with tolerable accuracy. I
left school resolved to be an engineer.

My guardian was equally resolved that I
should not have my own way in the matter;
so I rose early one morning in the month
of March, eighteen hundred and thirty-five,
packed up a change of linen and an extra pair
of trousers, with my Grier in a handkerchief,
and with but a few shillings in my
pocket, set off for the nearest railway works.
There I hoped to obtain employment, and,
by beginning at the beginning, to follow upon,
their own road the Smeatons, Stevensons,
and Brunels. I tramped, therefore, to Boxmoor;
and reaching the unfinished embankment
at that place, after a walk of some
thirty miles, footsore and weary, I went
boldly upon the ground and asked for work.
I don't know what the menthe gaffers, as
they were called, thought of me. One told
me that, "I looked too much like a hap'porth
of soap after a hard day's wash to be fit
for much;" another asked me whether I
had made up my mind not to scratch an old
head; but at last my perseverance in application
was rewarded with a driver's job, at
twelve shillings a-week wages. I was to
drive a horse and truck full of earth along
the temporary rails of the embankment to
the end of it, where the truck was tipped, and

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