+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

in the highest state of perfection, their skins
as smooth as satin, and every muscle almost
distinctly perceptible. I had a cockney idea
that race-horses were generally bad
tempered, and objected to what they called
being "taken notice of," but from my
experience of Mr. Scott's stable, I am inclined
to believe that this is a mistaken idea, and
the thorough-breds at Whitewall certainly
permitted as great an amount of familiarity
as most ordinary hacks of my acquaintance.
One magnificent animal, standing over
sixteen hands high, splendid in his girth and
muscle, stood in his loose-box (the sides of
which, padded some four feet high, gave
me an odd reminiscence of a visit which I
had paid not long ago to Colney Hatch),
and seemed to understand and glory in the
encomiastic remarks which I and those
with me showered upon him. On the top
of a corn-bin in a corner of the box lay
a perfectly beautiful French cat, and I
understood that the horse is never happier
than when his feline companion is nestled
on his back or gambolling around him.

If the Whitewall establishment were
taken up bodily by one of our old friends
the genii of the Arabian Nights, and set
down in the interior of Africa, no one
connected with it would have the least occasion
to complain. For, it is complete in
itself; there is a brewhouse, a bakehouse,
a ham and bacon room, with enormous
flitches, making your mouth water,
pendent from the ceiling, a blacksmith's forge,
a carpenter's shop, a series of out-houses
for carts, and of stabling for cart-horses, the
different agricultural departments of the
farm, and a mess-room and sleeping apartments
for the boys. Only if this deportation
to Africa were to take place, England
would miss what she could ill afford, the
presence in her midst of one of her most
characteristic inmates, an honest, cheery,
bright British yeoman, one of a race which
is very nearly extinct, but whose memory
should be handed down amongst us as
not the least valuable of our possessions.


REGULAR artists, men of veritable ability
and recognised position, do not depart much
from a certain conventional routine in the
choice of substances to work upon, and
materials to work with. They study
laboriously, obtain a mastery over the
technicalities of their profession, and keep
each one pretty steadily in his own path.
The painter applies his colours mostly on
canvas, panel, dry plaster, fresco plaster, and
drawing-paper; the sculptor has chiefly to
do with one kind of stone (marble) and
one kind of metal (bronze). And no doubt
there is reason for this limitation, when
the chief attraction is the creative genius
of the artist rather than the quality of the
substances he employs.

Yet there are odd pictures produced now
and then, and sometimes with very
considerable effect. Take marble, stone, enamel,
and glass, as instances; when tiny cubes of
these substances, coloured to the proper
tints, are laid in juxtaposition, in accordance
with a device drawn on a cartoon or
pattern, a mosaic picture results. Every
one knows what these mosaics look like;
for examples are to be seen at some of our
public exhibitions, and in a few of our large
buildings. If examined too closely, the
patchwork structure becomes apparent, seeing
that there cannot be such a definite
shading and gradation of tints in this work
as in painting; but, viewed from a proper
distance, a well-executed mosaic may form
a very good picture, while the colours are
almost imperishable. A black-and-white
marble pavement may become a mosaic
picture on a large scale, if an artistic device
instead of a mere geometric pattern be
chosen; and that terra-cotta tiles may
form a mosaic picture we have ample
evidence in the numerous Roman pavements
brought to light from time to time in the
older parts of the City.

Some years ago a Frenchman introduced
thin slabs of marble as substitutes for
ivory tablets in miniature painting. The
slabs were cut from a block of fine-grained
marble, ground with fine sand to remove
the saw-marks, and polished with
whetstone or calcined bone. If cut too thin to
possess the requisite strength, they were
backed up with thin wood or cardboard.
Miniature painters' colours were used, as
for painting on ivory, with the addition
of certain other ingredients according to
the fineness or coarseness of the grain of
the marble. The advantages claimed for
marble over ivory were these: that marble
becomes less quickly tinged or tarnished
with yellow; that the light tints are less
likely to be affected by differences in the
degree of whiteness underneath; that
marble can be obtained in slabs of larger
size than ivory; that marble is not subject
to the peeling or scaling which sometimes
affects ivory in hot weather; that it does
not suffer so much from dew and damp in