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great number of artists in the same laboratory. One paints nothing but borders; another traces out flowers, and gives them to one of his fellow-labourers to lay on the shades; waters and mountains alone employ a fourth hand; birds and other animals a fifth; whilst the human figure is reserved for the work of a particular person. There are porcelains made of all colours, both with respect to the grounds and the representations upon them. Some are simple, consisting of one colour, as blue; others composed of a variety of tints; and others again are heightened with gold. This multiplicity of workmen is found, by experience, to forward rather than retard the work, not only in this, but in all manufactures where various operations are necessary. Each workman, by continual application to the same object, acquires dexterity and facility in that branch of the art; and not only performs his part more expeditiously, but better, by frequent repetition.
CHARLES. How few accommodations can a man possess who lives in a state of solitude!
He must be totally incapable of bringing any thing to perfection, much more the numberless conveniences required to render civilized life comfortable.
MRS. HARCOURT. Perhaps it is impossible for a man to subsist, any considerable time, entirely independent of his fellow-creatures. Those who approach the nearest it, afford specimens of the wretched effects of the want of society, and those interests that are connected with it: indolence and ignorance mark their characters, and the superiority of intellectual capacity is sunk into the sensual wants of the brute. The principal objects that occupy the mind of a mere savage, are, to provide food for present subsistence, and, when he has satiated his appetite with his precarious meal, to lie down free from apprehension for the wants of the morrow.
MR. HARCOURT. The blessings that result from the mutual assistance we receive from others, and give in return, should teach us humility, and kindness to every one; remembering, that the proudest and the greatest would be destitute and wretched, without the
good offices of many of the meanest of mankind.
AUGUSTA. I blush at recollecting the contempt with which I formerly treated those whom I considered as my inferiors. I owe my change of sentiment and behaviour to the instruction I have received from our evening lectures, which have taught me to know, that every worthy individual is valuable to the community.
SOPHIA. The formation of a common teacup engages a great many hands, as you will perceive, when I have related the particulars. The potter, who has the management of the wheel, gives the cup its form, height, and diameter. A second workman fits it to its base. A third receives it from him, and applies it to a mould, to bring it to its true form. A fourth polishes the cup with a chisel, especially about the edges, and reduces it to the proper thinness. Another workman turns it upon a mould, to smooth its inside; the handles or ornaments in relievo, are added by different hands; and lastly, the foot is rounded and hollowed on the inside with a chisel,
by a workman whose peculiar office it is. When arrived at this degree of maturity, it has still many operations to undergo, which require the skill of various artists. It must yet be painted, varnished, baked, and glazed.
HENRY. The trouble that it costs to make a tea-cup, will teach me to be careful how I break one.
CECILIA. Fire does not crack all kinds of earthen-ware. Mrs. Hervey has a set of saucepans made of a peculiar kind; and, what is still more extraordinary, a stove of the same substance.
MR. HARCOURT. The manufacture you speak of is carried on at Chelsea. When we are in London, an afternoon might be pleasantly passed in observing the works. It shall be one of our first excursions.
MRS. HARCOURT. Before this subject is dismissed, allow me to pay a just tribute of praise to the abilities and taste of our late countryman, Mr. Wedgwood, who has extended and encouraged the manufacture of stone-ware to a vast variety of curious compositions, subservient not only to the common
purposes of life, but also to the arts, antiquities, history, &c. The utility and elegance of his inventions have diminished the use of foreign china, and substituted in its stead a ware that supplies the domestic wants of our own country, and, by its excellence and cheapness, is in general esteem in most of the nations of Europe.
AUGUSTA. Does not enamel resemble china? . MR. HARCOURT. Charles, it is not long since we went together to Mr. Spencer's the jeweller, to see some pieces of clock-work that were to be sent to the East Indies: if you can recollect what passed on the composition of enamel, it will form an agreeable sequel to Sophia's information.
CHARLES. A mixture of glass with metallic calces, composes the substance called enamel. The general basis of the different kinds consists of an equal proportion of the finest lead and tin calcined, or burned together in a kiln, and then sifted to a powder, which is boiled in several waters, pouring off the water carefully each time. This operation is repeated as long as any part of the calx passes off with