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ing me of his presence, and that he must knew what was the matter. Going up have his share.
stairs my father put his arms under him, In January of 1872 one evening Cap I behind, and we brought him down. had gone for his walk; my sister pass- There he lay, and could not bear to have ing through the hall heard a faint rap, us leave him, growing worse all the time, and going to the door, Cap came in and but responding to our caresses by a wag up stairs. Noticing something strange in of the tail-less and less-till the very his walk, she called father, who came last, when only an inch moved ; the rest out of the library and spoke. Cap hear of the body being quite stiff and rigid, ing his voice, ran to the stairs, and on and as the day left us, su did Captain. attempting to descend fell headlong, and Macmillan's Magazine. only stopped at the landing. We all
DRESDEN CHINA AND ITS MANUFACTORY AT MEISSEN, SAXONY.
To most people the very name of very coarsely painted plaster figures rep“ Dresden china" has a magical charm; resenting Saxon sovereigns, with gilt and though “old Dresden" is supposed crowns, and what, it must be confessed, by some people to be priceless and the appeared to us a very diabolical grin on thing to have, while “modern Dresden" their red faces. is held to be of small account, we con
We asked for the recess where the fess we were delighted to find that the flames of purgatory are said to be heard, manufactory at Meissen, where all Dres- and putting in our heads we heard a peden china is made, was only one hour culiar and melancholy noise, made by by rail from Dresden, where we were; the wind. One could quite understand that it was the easiest thing in the world a little imagination and ignorance conto go and see it; and that an enthusiastic verting this sound into the roaring of German friend-a connoisseur in china- flames. Our guide said, very gravely, was not only willing but charmed to ac- that when the wind was high the noise company us.
was "truly terrifying." The town of Meissen is a quaint, but From the platform outside, the view is not very interesting, old town built on a very extensive and pretty, with the Elbe hill, with a castle and cathedral joined winding along as far as the eye could together at its summit; and as the train see; in one direction the blue hills of arrived at Meissen at twelve, and we Saxon Switzerland broke the line of the were advised to be at the manufactory at horizon, and the flat and uninteresting two (when the workmen resume work country between Meissen and Dresden after dinner), we spent the intervening gained all that enchantment which distime, first in eating a very indifferent and lance is supposed to lend. greasy luncheon under the shade of some Two o'clock found us in a suburb of oleanders in front of the best hotel, and Meissen, and in front of the large and then, in climbing an exceedingly steep substantial building which is the manustreet, and in going to the cathedral and factory, and which looks much more like castle.
an overgrown German country-house. Both buildings are extremely plain, There is a great deal of building behind and have no pretensions of any kind to it, and it covers altogether a large space their names.
The castle, dark and old, of ground. with endless storeys and innumerable On entering we went into the huge windows, gained a certain liveliness of show-rooms down-stairs to wait for the appearance from being used as a barrack; guide, for whose services we each paid and as the day was hot, every window one mark (about one shilling). was filled with lounging, smoking, little These rooms contained an enormous Saxon soldiers evidently enjoying them- amount of china of every description. selves.
From floor to ceiling, shelves, tables, and The cathedral consists of one aisle; wide counters (not to speak of the floor its one picture was being "restored;" itself) were loaded with articles, from but on either side of the altar were some the most fragile and costly tea-cups to
huge animals; and ranging in price from flowers are made and arranged on each small salt-spoons price sixpence, to vases vase or jug or basket. and candelabras valued at many hundred There is no moulding here. The most pounds. Judging from what we saw, his delicate leaves are rolled at the point of Majesty of Saxony must find china pay. the accomplished fingers ; leaf is added Our guide arrived, and we went with him to leaf, every bit of the smallest rose is first through the buildings on the ground- curled, patted into shape, and stuck into floor to see everything from the begin- its place, till it grows before you into a ning. The clay from which the china perfect rose. The tiniest petal of each derives its fineness and delicacy is found diminutive forget-me-not is made by about an hour's journey from Meissen. itself and put in its place by the aid of When it arrives it is sifted and pulverised daintily-held pincers, that might belong several times till nothing but the finest to fairy-land. The miniature flowers and purest part remains; in this state it on the lap of a dancing-girl are all made looks like very fine flour with a slightly in the same way: and seeing the time yellow tinge. It is then mixed with taken, and the care required, it made feldspatz (a kind of fint)—which is one understand why “raised china” cost ground to powder-gypsum, and water, so much. . made into huge balls, and kept in zinc The perforated edges of plates and lined boxes, to be served out as occa baskets are marked in the moulds, and sion requires.
cut out with a penknife afterwards, then There was nothing in the moulding of carefully rounded and smoothed by the the commoner forms, or in the whirling inevitable agate tools. Indeed in all of plates and bowls, &c., in any way cases the mould gives the forms very differing from the ordinary method pur- roughly, and much more skilled labor sued in every china manufactory in this is required than we had imagined—850 country, and this is therefore not worth people being the regular staff, which describing. In a very long gallery- does not include artists, sometimes round two sides of a square, and into specially engaged to undertake the paintwhich opened the various work-rooms- ing of particular orders. we saw the most extraordinary collection When the china is ready, 'it is taken of moulds--bodies guiltless of heads, to be baked again, then glazed, then legs, or arms; right legs, left legs, with painted, then baked again, in some cases and without shoes; birds, animals, and being baked no less than six times, and fishes,-ready to be filled at will. breaking to pieces in the sixth baking:
In a large and well-lighted room sat a These accidents, however, are much less perfect army of workmen, to whom the frequent than formerly, as the degree contents of these moulds were given, after and distribution of heat are all much one baking, and while the clay is still better understood now. plastic. Taking a body, they joined The ovens are built in circular chamarms and legs and head with inconceiv bers, and we stood in the centre of one, able rapidity, passing a camel's hair finding the heat less than we had exbrush dipped in water to make the pected. All round were recesses, in members stick on. With small agate which trays of lovely china were placed ; tools each began to bring these moulded and in the lower, and, as we supposed, figures to perfection. The workman the hottest ovens, moulds (looking in gave the eyes expression; he deepened their closed form exactly like so many an eyelid, softened the cheek, rounded Stilton cheeses of all sizes) were dean arm, marked the finger-nails, patted it posited. The apparently careless way in on one side, then on the other, till it stood which the workmen moved about with before us a shepherdess complete. Noth- tray-loads of exquisite china made one a ing was more marvellous than the gen little breathless-no baker's boy, with a tleness and dexterity with which the batch of rolls, could have looked less fragile thing was handled, and the won- anxious than they did; but we were derful quickness with which he manipu assured that an accident hardly ever oclated each smallest detail.
curs; and the china after one baking is Next to this room in point of interest so brittle, that on my admiring a basket, was the one where the raised fruits and and wishing in my ignorance to buy
one, the superintendent, with a smile of plate or cup, when powdered cobalt is superiority, put it into my hands where shaken over it, out of a thing exactly it crumbled to bits immediately.
like a small pepper-box. This leaves The only part of the manufacture they the pattern marked, and lads, with a fine would not explain thoroughly was the brush and a little water, stipple in the glazing-tub, into which everything is dip- color. It is then baked and glazed. ped; and our German friend said that Some of the old shapes with perforated some improvement in this glaze or enamel edges were quite beautiful. is thought to be a secret.
When the china is examined by the When the glaze is hard, the china is superintendent, and he considers it pertaken to the various painting-rooms; and fect, he affixes on every piece the wellas most people in these days know, the known crossed swords before the last colors then are but dingy and often false baking. Every bit with the slightest imto their after-appearance, the gold, which perfection in pattern, shape, or transis a dull dark brown on going into the parency, is marked imperfect, and sold oven, comes out looking much the same, for less than half-price either at the and the china is then taken to the bur- manufactory, or, more frequently, at a nishing-room, where a great many women small shop in Dresden near the Frauen and girls sit with agate tools of various Kirche, which goes by the name of “the shapes, and quick friction turns this rejected shop." dark and dusky brown to gold that glit- This mark of imperfection is simply ters. In the room devoted to the finest a small white line drawn through the painting, we were introduced to an old crossed swords. Frenchman, with two pairs of spectacles The perfect china is finally put on the
He was celebrated for his child list, and passes on to the packing-case figures, and was painting groups in the or to the show-rooms. centres of a set of dessert-plates, ordered There was something, apart from the by one of the Imperial family of Prussia. prettiness of the manufacture, that was Children guiltless of clothes were swim- very taking. The quantity of light, the ming, bathing, making flower-wreaths, great space and cleanliness, the ventilariding goats, catching butterflies, &c. tion of all the rooms, and the well-to-do
Each group was different, and the look of the “hands,” gave one a very grace and beauty of the figures were per- cheerful impression. The wages were fectly wonderful. He had painted there good-half-a-crown a-day being the lowfor years, but had never learned Ger- est to ordinary hands (young lads and man; he had never tried, he said, with girls), and £3 a-week and upwards to a little shrug. He also told us he sel- those with any particular skill. As in dom painted flowers. Any one can do the buildings in Saxony many Italians are that,” he said, with a fine sense of his employed, so in this factory many Ital. own unrivalled talent; but looking at the ians sat. The three best flower-makers flowers, we could not agree with him. were Italians; and their long dark hair, It is not given to “any one” to paint flashing eyes, and peculiar slender finsuch flowers.
gers, formed a strong contrast to the The blue and white china, called par type of their Saxon neighbors. excellence “ Meissen china," is of course When at length we drove away, we also made here. The difference between had the unusual and comfortable feelit and Dresden china consists in its being ing of having seen a beautiful art propainted in cobalt before it is glazed, and duced under the happiest conditions, it is not baked so often.
instead of having, as is sometimes the Besides the reproduction of beautiful case, to pity the work-people, and to old shapes in the finest clay, this Meissen regret that hard necessity compels one china is made more coarsely and strongly portion of humanity to injure their conin commoner shapes, when it is much stitutions in order to supply the other cheaper and very strong. It is also portion with articles either of use or hand-painted, but is very quickly done, ornament.--Blackwood's Magazine, by means of a perforated paper laid over
Though we have not the slightest plasm, is an inherent quantity not to be conception of what life is in itself, and heedlessly wasted; and this truth beconsequently could not define it, we may, comes more apparent the older we grow. for the sake of convenience, think of it Why is one man greater, in the sense of in this paper as some kind of force. being more powerful than another? Be
'In the wonderful story,' says Profes cause he knows how to get out of himsor Huxley in his Lay Sermons, 'of the self a greater amount of work with less Peau de Chagrin, the hero becomes pos- waste of life-force. sessed of a magical wild ass's skin, which We see from experience that the more yields him the means of gratifying all his men have to do the more they can do. wishes. But its surface represents the And this paradox is only reasonable, for duration of the proprietor's life; and for it is the necessity of great work that every satisfied desire, the skin shrinks in forces upon us systematic habits, and proportion to the intensity of fruition, teaches us to economise the power that until at length life and the last hand- is in us. With the cares of an empire on breadth of the peau de chagrin disappear their shoulders, prime-ministers can make with the gratification of a last wish. time to write novels, Homeric studies, Protoplasm or the physical basis of life anti-papal pamphlets. It is the busy-idle is a veritable peau de chagrin, and for man who never loses an opportunity of asevery vital act it is somewhat the smaller. suring you that 'he has not a moment in All work implies waste, and the work of the day to himself, and that really he life results, directly or indirectly, in the has no time to look round him.' Of waste of protoplasm. Every word ut course idle people have no time to spare, tered by a speaker costs him some physi because they have never learned how to cal loss; and in the strictest sense, he save the odd minutes of the day, and burns that others may have light--so because their vital energy is expended in much eloquence, so much of his body re- fuss rather than in work. solved into carbonic acid, water, and He hath no leisure,' says George Herurea. It is clear that this process of ex- bert, 'who useth it not;' that is to say, penditure cannot go on for ever. But he who does not save time for his work happily, the protoplasmic peau de chagrin when he can, is always in a hurry. One differs in its capacity of being repaired of the most sublime conceptions of the and brought back to its full size, after Deity we can form is that He is never every exertion. For example, this pres- idle, and never in a hurry. ent lecture is conceivably expressible by The following words from a newspathe number of grains of protoplasm and per description of the sublime calmness other bodily substance wasted in main- of power manifested by the huge hytaining my vital processes during its de- draulic crane used to lift Fraser's celelivery. My peau de chagrin will be dis- brated eighty-one ton gun, we take tinctly smaller at the end of the dis as our type of the powerful man who course than it was at the beginning. By knows how to economise his vital force and by I shall have recourse to the sub- instead of wasting it by fussing: 'Is stance commonly called mutton, for the there not something sublime in a hypurpose of stretching it back to its origi- draulic crane which lifts a Titanic ennal size.'
gine of destruction weighing eighty-one This explanation may be very philoso- tons to a considerable height above the phical, but it is only a roundabout way pier, with as noiseless a calm and as of saying that, within reasonable bounds, much absence of apparent stress or we can recover the effects of exhaustion strain as if it had been a boy-soldier's by proper food and rest; which, as a pop-gun? When we further read of the fact, people are pretty well acquainted hydraulic monster holding up its terrible with. The error to be avoided is, in burden motionless in mid-air until it is any shape to make such a pull on the photographed, and then lowering it constitution as to be beyond the reach gently and quietly on a sort of extempoof recovery. Life-force, or call it proto- rised cradle without the least appearance
of difficulty, one can readily understand "a fearful fool.'
“a fearful fool.' How silly it seems that the mental impression produced on even to ourselves after cooling, to have the bystanders must have been so sol- acquired a nervous headache, and to emn as to manifest itself in most elo- have become generally done up, stampquent silence.' With the same freedom ing round the room and shewing other from excitement and difficulty does the signs of foolish anger, because the dinstrong man who saves his force for wor ner was five minutes late, or because thy objects, raise up morally and physi- some one's respect for us did not quite cally depressed nations, take cities, or rise to the high standard measured by what is harder to do still, rule his own our egotism ! As if it were not far more spirit. It is the fashion nowadays to say important that we should save our vital that people are killed or turned into energy, and not get into a rage, than that lunatics by overwork, and no doubt the dinner should be served exactly to there is much truth in the complaint. the moment. Nevertheless it would seem that vital One day a friend of Lord Palmerston force is wasted almost as much by the asked him when he considered a man to idle man as by him who overworks him- be in the prime of life; his immediate self at high-pressure for the purpose of reply was 'Seventy-nine. But,' he add
getting on. It is indolence which ex ed with a playful smile, ‘as I have jusi hausts, by allowing the entrance of fret- entered my eightieth year, perhaps I am ful thoughts into the mind ; not action, myself a little past it!' How is it that in which there is health and pleasure. such men work on vigorously to the end? We never knew a man without a profes- Because they treasure their ever-diminishsion who did not seem always to be busy. ing vital force. They studiedly refrain It may be he was occupied in worrying from making a pull on the constitution. about the dinner or the place where he Reaching the borders of seventy years of should spend his holiday-which he did age, they as good as say to themselves : not work for-in correcting his wife, in 'We must now take care what we are inventing pleasures, and abusing them about.' Of course, they make sacrifices, when found, in turning the house upside avoid a number of treacherous gaieties, down by doing little jobs foolishly sup- and living simply, they perhaps give some posed to be useful. And women too, cause of offence, for the world does not when stretched on the rack of a too-easy approve of singularity. But let those chair, are they not forced to confess that laugh who win. They hold the censoihere is as much vital force required to rious observations of critics in derision, enable them to endure the pains and and maintain the even tenor of their way. penalties of idleness,' as would, if rightly In other words, they conserve their vital directed, render them useful, and there- force, and try to keep above ground as fore happy? The fact is there are far long as possible. Blustering natures formore who die of selfishness and idleness getful of the great truth, that'power itthan of overwork, for where men break self hath not one-half the might of gentledown by overwork it is generally from not ness,' miss the ends for which they strive taking care to order their lives and obey just because the force that is in them is the physical laws of health,
not properly economised. Let us consider a few of the many Then as regards temper: any man ways in which we waste the stuff that life who allows that to master him wastes as is made of. It has been well said that much energy as would enable him to 'the habit of looking on the bright side remove the cause of anger or overcome of things is worth far more than a thou- an opponent. The little boy of eight sand pounds a year;' and certainly it is years old who in the country is often a habit that must add many years to seen driving a team of four immense the lives of those who acquire it. Really dray-horses, is one of the innumerable every fit of despondency and every instances of the power of reason over rage take so much out of us, that any mere brute-force, which should induce one who indulges in either without a violent tempers to become calm from great struggle to prevent himself doing policy, if from no higher motive. so should be characterised as little less Many people squander their life's enthan-to use an American expression- crgy by not living enough in the present.