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Jonas Hanway, about the same time, called attention to the way in which this protective legislation was being set at nought.
Spermont, in the course of this memorial, sets forth that, being a silversmith by profession and having casual acquaintance with a chemist who had some special knowledge of porcelain-making, he was tempted to a trial, and, upon the progress he made, he was encouraged to pursue it with great labour and expense. Furthermore, he states that the manufacture employs one hundred persons, and "a nursery of thirty lads from the parishes and charity schools were bred to designing and painting.” Notwithstanding the opposition of smuggled Dresden, business seems to have been good at the time the memorial was sent in, for the previous winter's sales were stated at more than £3,500.
Doubtless the fact that, under Spermont's judicious rule, Chelsea had become a training-ground for designers and painters, induced Josiah Wedgwood to move his enamelling works here in 1769, about the time that the old Chelsea Porcelain Works showed signs of breaking up.
The building in which the Chelsea manufacture was carried on was an aggregation of old timber houses which stood at the corner of Justice Walk, an avenue of stately lime trees leading from Church Street to Laurence Street. Wedgwood & Bentley's new works were started not far off in Little Cheyne Row, where Mr. Bentley took up his residence, his partner looking after the interests of his more important establishment at Burslem.
The Chelsea Porcelain Works were sold in 1769 to Mr. Duesbury, who had established a successful manufacture of porcelain at Derby in 1751. For some years he carried on the manufacture at both places simultaneously, until in 1784 he decided to dismantle the Chelsea Works altogether, and transfer the seat of his business to Derby. Mr. Duesbury, who had bought the Bow Porcelain Works in 1775 or 1776, had already carried out the same arrangement with respect to that once celebrated Pottery ; so that, from this date, these two great London manufactories became merged in the stillexisting Crown Derby Porcelain Works.
The last that we hear of Mr. Spermont, or Sprimont, is the advertisement of a sale by Christie, in March 1771, of “the pictures of the late proprietor of the Chelsea Porcelain Works, who is retired into the country, brought from his houses at Richmond and Chelsea.”
The works at Bow, called New Canton, are said to have had their origin about 1730, when some samples of china clay were
brought from Virginia and made the subject of a patent by Mr. Edward Heylin. In 1749 Thomas Frye took out his patent for making porcelain. It is probably superfluous to add that Thomas Frye was described in his epitaph as “the inventor and first manufacturer of porcelain in England.” Frye, if we may trust his monumental inscription, must have been a remarkable man.
He was a painter originally, and executed a portrait of Frederick Prince of Wales, and when he weakened his health by too much hanging about his kilns he took to art again to such effect that his tombstone assures us that “he had the correctness of Van Dyck and the colouring of Rubens,” while “in miniature painting he equalled, if not excelled, the famous Cooper."
One of Frye's daughters, Mrs. Catherine Willcox, who married unfortunately, became a clever china painter, and worked for Wedgwood & Bentley, at Chelsea. The Bow Works passed into the possession of Weatherby & Crowther, by whom a considerable business was done for several years, the old books of the firm showing a return of £10,000 to £11,000 a year up to 1765. Weatherby being dead, John Crowther, the other partner, who also carried on the business of a china-man in Cornhill, became bankrupt in 1763. After a long struggle to carry on the works they were eventually sold to Mr. Duesbury, of Derby, as already stated, and the separate existence of the Bow Porcelain Works came to an end.
Accompanying an old Bow punch-bowl in the British Museum is a curious and somewhat pathetic document, which deserves to be quoted in extenso : “This bowl was made at the Bow China Manufactory at Stratford-le-Bow, Essex, about the year 1760, and painted there by me, Thomas Craft-my cipher is in the bottom : it is painted in what we used to call the old Japan taste, a taste at that time much esteemed by the late Duke of Argyle. There is nearly two pennyweight of gold, about 155. I had it in hand at different times about three months ; about two weeks time was bestowed upon it. It could not have been manufactured, &c., for less than £4. There is not its similitude. I took it in a box to Kentish Town, and had it burned there in Mr. Gyles's kiln; cost me 3s.; it was cracked the first time of using it. Miss Nancy Sha. (sic), a daughter of the late Mr. Patrick Blake, was christened with it. I never used it but in particular respect to my company, and I desire my legatee (as mentioned in my will) to do the same. Perhaps it may be thought I have said too much about this trifling toy. A reflection steals in upon my mind that this said bowl may meet with the same fate that the manufactory where it was made has done, and like the famous
cities of Troy, Carthage, &c., and similar to Shakespeare's cloud-cap't towers, &c.
“The above manufactory was carried on for many years under the firm of Messrs. Crowther & Weatherby, whose names were known almost over the world; they employed 300 persons; about 90 painters (of whom I was one) and about 200 turners, throwers, &c., were employed under one roof. The model of the building was taken from that at Canton, in China. The whole was heated by two stoves on the outside of the building and conveyed through flues or pipes and warmed the whole, sometimes to an intense heat-unbearable in winter. It now wears a miserable aspect, being a manufactory for turpentine, and small tenements, and like Shakespeare's baseless fabric, &c. Mr. Weatherby has been dead many years ; Mr. Crowther is in Morden College, Blackheath, and I am the only person, of all those employed there, who annually visit him.—T. CRAFT, 1790.”
It is a melancholy picture that these last lines conjure up-a dismantled works, a lost trade, and two old men crooning together in an almshouse over the things that have been.
Marshall's emery mills and Bell & Black's match factory stand where Bow porcelain was once made. Some years ago, in digging a drain eight or ten feet below the surface, the ruins of one of the kilns were laid bare and a quantity of broken débris was found, which proved of great value in illustrating the different descriptions of ware made, and identifying the paste, glaze, and method of ornamentation. Some of these fragments are illustrated in both Mr. Chaffers' and Mr. Jewitt's books. Those whose interest is not technical, and who do not care for fragments, may go gaze at the fine examples included in the Schreiber collection at South Kensington. And while they
Gloat o'er the glaze and the mark
heave a sigh over the departed glories of those art industries of old London, that, as the old potter's painter has it, have become even as "Shakespeare's baseless fabric, &c.”
THE BOOKS OF RUDYARD KIPLING.
OW two beings lived in one world. And the name of the one
was Man; and the name of the other, Woman. And writers by the battalion came along and inspected the two. And they said, “Lo ! Man is a normal type ; there is nothing strange about him. He offers no field for investigation. Woman is a ort. We are not sure that she is not a fabulous monster. Assuredly there is much copy to be made out of this extraordinary creature. Let us therefore devote our attention to Woman.” And they did. They pulled her into little bits, they moralised about her, they ran her down, they cracked her up, they stuck epigrams into her till her name became a weariness to the flesh of them that read; and they fled to treasureislands and wolf caverns, if haply for a season they might forget her and find amusement. And there appeared on the scene a young editor-a Mere Boy. And he made oration to the writers, who were mostly engaged with incorrect monographs, of the most entire cocksureness, on the usual subject ; and to the readers, who were all crying out for something new. And he said, “You are a set of blatant idiots. You have spilt ink and blood about Woman for several thousand years, and you are not greatly nearer the solving of her riddle than when you began. I, myself, have tried my hand at her, and have done vastly better than most of you ; because I acknowledged that I should never know more than a very little of her life. She is not the only section of humanity worth studying. I have lived and toiled with Men. I speak of what I know. Listen to me, and
you shall hear, not realism, but reality. I will show you such defiant courage, such dogged endurance, such savagery, such chivalry, such piteousness as you know not of. I will draw for you the lives of your countrymen in a desolate land of lurking horror. I will make you realise the vast mystery of the world, as no one ever did before. I will tell you stories to make you laugh, to make you swear, to stir your blood like a bugle-call. You need not believe any of them unless
. And of the readers many have listened to Rudyard Kipling and
reported right good entertainment. But the writers and the critics are, though by no means slow to patronise, very slow to praise. For they keep sacredly to the rule of withholding from a man his rightful status so long as he continues to live—that is to say, as long as it can do him any possible good. Especially do they not approve of a genius under thirty, and far better acquainted with Browning than with Homer. So they do not usually go greater lengths than to remark that he seems really a clever young chap, and does as well as can be expected of anyone alive in '92. They call him abrupt : he whose work is polished and clean cut as the Crown diamonds. They call him illiterate, because he thinks more about the live present than the dead past. They accuse him of giving prominence to the seamy side ; more commendable conduct than ineffectual lying about its existence. They sometimes say he is coarse, and the firm of Grundy & Podsnap have proved as eager as usual to take up the cry. Verily they are consistent, these good folk! The Young Person finds commended to her attention “Paradise Lost”; a lively time would be in store for her were she discovered reading "Under the Deodars.” Time and pains enormous do they expend in whitewashing certain early heroes. Let any unlucky wight venture a word on behalf of John Holden or Otis Yeere, and he will encounter epithets that are not pretty.
Of course the man from India has received a great deal of praise. From all quarters the “Soldiers Three” have been hailed as revelations of the most marvellous freshness and fidelity. It is impossible to deny the crisp go of “Plain Tales from the Hills.” The sketches of native life insure popularity through many qualities-absolute novelty to begin with. But critics are very slow to admit that any work of this young man's deserves to take its place in Literature with a big L. Likewise the stodgier part of the British public. As a matter of fact, they consider him too off-hand and too exciting. Standard works, the leather-bound and gilt-edged tribes, do not in general err in either of these directions. Reviewers hail “ The Naulahka” with joy, because it is long enough to be praised with some semblance of orthodoxy. Now Rudyard Kipling in his most characteristic mood is not orthodox. One cannot claim respectability for the average Early Gothic gargoyle or stringing-course ornament; and his power in the region of the grotesque rivals that of a twelfth-century stone-carver. This in itself suffices to raise suspicion. Again, te possesses far too much decision for many people's taste. He never exhibits the slightest haziness or hesitation, either in manner or matter. The curt direct sentences move with