en name was Rachel Withers, was, he tells us himself:[A]
"A slender brunette of an emotional and energetic temperament, and possessed of the most piercing black eyes I ever saw in a woman's head. With no more education than other women of the middle classes in her day, she had an excellent mental capacity. Her most distinguishing characteristic, however, was rapidity of thought. If one ventured to suggest she had not taken much time to arrive at any conclusion, she would say, 'I cannot help it. Things flash across me.' That peculiarity has been passed on to me in full strength: it has often stood me in good stead: it has sometimes played me sad tricks, and it has always been a danger. But, after all, if my time were to come over again there is nothing I would less willingly part with than my inheritance of 'mother wit.'"
From his father he thinks that he inherited little except an inborn capacity for drawing, "a hot temper, and that amount