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XI. INVENTION OF THE SPINNING-JENNY.
1. The Spinning-Jenny was invented by a Lancashire weaver, named JAMES IIARGREAVES, who was a neighbor and associate of the grandfather of Sir Robert Peel.
2. Hargreaves was a hard-working and industrious man. His wife, Jenny, was at the time confined to her bed by illness, though, when well, she materially assisted him in his labors, and was reckoned such an extraordinary spinner for diligence and speed, that people called her “Spinning Jenny."
3. At about the same period, the elder Peel had obtained, through one Harry Garland, a wild young “chapman," information upon which he commenced his first essays in calico printing, and late on the evening the occurrence detailed below took place, one of his sons— the father of the late baronet- went out to the moor in the moonlight to gather a handful of bilberry leaves, or other foliage, which might be copied as a design for printing. Passing near the house of Hargreaves, he saw a light in the window, and a shadow moving. He halted a moment, and that moment revealed enough to detain him half an hour.
4. What he saw will be comprehended by a perusal of the foilowing extract, the opening scene of which is located at a public house in the neighborhood, whither Hargreaves had accompanied Harry Garland, the young chapman before referred to.
5. They both joined the chapman from Blackburn, and were soon in a merry mood. Joe Pilkington was ready with a song at any time. Perhaps they would have sat later than the usually sober hours of James Hargreaves, had not an incident occurred which disconcerted Garland, and suggested to Hargreaves to go home.
6. Harry seated himself beside Charlotte Marsden, where she was spinning at the farther end of the spacious kitchen. In this apartment the company were assembled. Some, who knew the lofty spirit of the beautiful Charlotte, offered to wager with Garland that he could not kiss her. The forward youth attempted the rash act without hesitation, upon which she called him an impudent moth, and rising indignantly, overturned her spinning-wheel. It fell backward. The spindle, which before had been horizontal, the point towards the maiden's left hand, stood upright. The wheel, which had been upright,
and turned by her right hand, its band turning the spindle, was now horizontal. It continued to revolve in that position, and to turn the spindle.
7. In a moment, a thought-an inspiration of thought-fixed the eye of Hargreaves upon it. Garland pursued the indignant Charlotte out of the apartment. The company followed, urging him to the renewal of his rudeness, which, the more he tried to succeed in, the more he seemed to be baffled and humiliated. In their absence, James Hargreaves turned the wheel with his right hand, it still lying as it fell, and drawing the roving of cotton with his left, saw that the spindle made as good a thread standing vertically as it had done horizontally. “Then why,” this inspiration of thought suggested, “should not many spindles, all standing upright, all moved by a band crossing them from the wheel, like this single spindle, each with a bobbin on it, and a roving of cotton attached, and something like the finger and thumb, which now take hold of the one roving, to lay hold of them all, and draw them backwards from the spindles into attenuated threads ? Why should not many spindles be moved and threads be spun by the same wheel and band which now spin only one ??
8. Ilearing the company return, some saying the young chapman had succeeded in snatching a kiss from Charlotte, others denying it, James Hargreaves lifted the wheel to its feet, placed the roving in its right place, and said : “Sit thee down, Charlotte. Let him see thee spin. Who can tell what may come of this ?” Then, after a pause, and a reflection that he should retain his new ideas as secrets of his own at present, he continued—“Thou may be his wife ; more unlikely things have happened. It will be a fine thing to be a lady of all that owed Billy Garland may leave some day.”
9. “Wife, indeed!” interjected the vexed maiden. The moth! Wife, indeed! Who would be wife to it?” “Weel,” said James, be that as it may; but I mun go whoam. My wife thinks whoam the best place for me, and I think so mysen.'
10. Remarks were made as to why he was going so soon. But Harry Garland had lost spirit after the conflict, and felt the scorn of the maiden more keenly than any reproof which had ever fallen upon his impudence before. He was not in a humor to solicit James Hargreaves to remain; so they parted.
11. James had reached home two or three hours before young Robert Peel observed the light in his window. On the lad approaching the window, the weaver was standing motionless. Suddenly he dropped upon his knees, and rolled on the stone floor at full length. He lay with his face towards the floor, and made lines and circles with the end of a burned stick. and went to the fire to burn his stick.. He took hold of his bristly hair with one hand, and rubbed his forehead and nose with the other and the blackened stick. Then he sat upon a chair and placed his head between his hands, his elbows on his knees, and gazed intently on the floor.
12. Then he sprang to his feet and replied to some feeble question of his wife by a loud assurance that he had it ; and, taking her in his sturdy arms, in the blankets, the baby in her arms, he lifted her out, and held her over the black drawings on the floor. These he explained, and she joined a small, hopeful, happy laugh with his high-toned assurance that she should never again toil at the spinning-wheel—that he should never again “play,” and have his loom standing for want of weft.
13. She asked some questions, which he answered, after seating her in the arm-chair, by