countrymen improved upon his labours, till the art extended to other nations. The value of the precious metal to which it is applied, confines its use principally to miniatures, snuff-boxes, rings, watch-cases, &c.

AUGUSTA. I have a fine miniature of my mother, which is thought a great resemblance: will you please to look at it, and tell me whe ther it is painted in enamel.

MRS. HARCOURT. It bears a strong likeness to the features of my beloved friend, and recalls many tender emotions to my mind; but it is painted in the common manner, with water-colours, on ivory.

CECILIA. Are miniatures always painted either in enamel or on ivory?

MRS, HARCOURT. Sometimes they are done upon vellum, or even paper; but it is necessary to strengthen the paper with singlass size, thickened with pearl white. A coat of starch, of moderate thickness, with a little isinglass infused in it, is useful to render common paper more capable of bearing the colours. It should be laid on very smoothly with a brush, and when the paper is almost

dry, it should be pressed between boards. Two sheets of paper cemented together with this mixture, make a suitable substance for this species of painting, which consists of dots, or fine strokes of the pencil. It is an elegant art, and well adapted to vary the amusements of young women who have leisure and taste to pursue it. The capacity of representing a lively image of a flower or a bird, may be ranked amongst the higher accomplishments; but the power of delineating the human countenance is very much superior to it; particularly that branch of design, which enables the artist to convey to the ivory or canvass the resemblance of an individual endeared by friendship. My dear girls, you have already attained a tolerable degree of excellence in the use of the pencil: it will be easy for you to rise higher, and adorn my closet with the likenesses of those friends that are dearest to us.

SOPHIA. It will give me great pleasure to learn to paint miniatures; and I have no doubt that it will be equally agreeable to Augusta and my sister. The last time you

indulged us with visiting Mr. Wedgwood's warehouses, I remember to have observed some vases of black porcelain, painted after antique designs, but without any glazing: I am at a loss to know how this difference arose.

MRS. HARCOURT. The ingenious and indefatigable Mr. Wedgwood, ever desirous of improving the different branches of porcelain to their utmost perfection, after many experiments, and much reflection, invented a set of encaustic colours, that imitated the Etruscan vases, having beauty and durability, without the defect of a varnished or glassy surface. The encaustic paintings of the ancients were done in wax, and afterwards melted before a fire. The vases you remarked were painted in this revived method.

CHARLES. I admire the genius and talents of Mr. Wedgwood, and think he has rendered more essential service to his country than some of the warriors whose tombs are in Westminster Abbey.

MR. HARCOURT. He was indeed a useful member of the community; and at the same time that he improved the manufactures of

his country, he enriched himself. But remark, that it was not by idle indulgence, or inattentive levity, that he attained these advantages: industry, perseverance, and talents, united to form his character, which may fairly be held forth for imitation.

HENRY. To what uses did the ancients apply vases? In our days they only serve for ornaments, or to hold flowers.

MR. HARCOURT. They were used in their sacrifices, to hold the incense. After burning the dead bodies of their relations, they deposited the ashes in an urn, which is a vase of a lower, flatter form, than those applied to other purposes. Before long we will repeat our visit to Mr. Wedgwood's warehouses. The collection of ornamental works affords a curious example of the various vessels in use in former ages; and whilst they increase our knowledge of the customs and domestic manners of the ancients, they contribute to establish a taste for that which is truly beautiful and elegant.

CHARLES. I have heard that, of late, a great deal of our common china-ware has been

printed with copper-plates, and that this method is far more expeditious than painting it. Before we separate, give me leave, father, to remind you of your promise of taking me to see the decoy-ponds to-morrow.

MR. HARCOURT. I am glad you mentioned it. In the multiplicity of my concerns, it might have passed my memory. It is now time to retire, that we may be disposed to rise early, and pursue our walk in good time.



CECILIA. The only amends you can make, Charles, for depriving us of my father's company to-day, is by telling us what you saw at the decoy-ponds.

CHARLES. The account will afford you so much diversion, that I do not doubt being forgiven, for the sake of the entertainment our walk will produce.

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