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

left are the "lumps" of flint-glass he is to
use. He pushes forward one at a time into
the heat before the fire, that it may be
warming for its work. With his left hand lie
holds the rod, on the end of which is the
"lump" he is using; and in his right is the
mould in which the drops are to be formed.
He melts his lump, and lays a yellow trail
into his mould, and shuts down the lid upon
it. Out comes the drop, three-sided, rough,
and attached to the lump. He knocks it off,
pushes it on one side, and begins another.
When he comes near the end of his lump, he
makes smaller drops and "spangles," until
only enough remains to fasten on the new lump
which has been roasting in preparation. The
place is lighted only by the furnace fires.
The glare is intense to the workman on his
stool; and his sight would suffer if the daylight
were mixed with it: so he darkens the

We find women at work in the next place
we enter. Wheels are whirling and whizzing,
and the drops are first ground smooth, and
then polished. The most wonderful thing is,
the skill with which the facets of a drop or
spangle are ground by the eye. Ridges meet
at the top; planes slope away to the side, with
a regularity truly mysterious to the novice.
Out come the drops, smooth in their edges,
polished in their sides, and with the obtuse
angles at their ends all without a fault. It is
a wonderful education of eye and touch.

In the moulding of the pendants, holes
were made, by wires standing up in the
mould. Hooks and eyes have to be inserted
in these holes, and in the plates to which they
are to hang. Girls insert these, and put the
parts together.

There is a long and peopled apartment,
called the metal-room, where the metallic
parts of chandeliers, &c., are prepared. But
more interesting, because more unlike other
manufactures, is the glass-cutting, which proceeds
in a vast right-angled room, where
whole rows of iron mills, as they are called,
are at work. Above each wheel or "mill"
is a funnel, which drops sand and water on
the edge of the wheel. It is, in fact, the sand
which cuts the patternthe mill being the
means of applying it. Down dribbles and
drips the sand; whizz goes the wheel; the
glass held to the edge vibrates and seethes;
and, after being dipped in the tub of water
at each man's elbow, it shows the desired
form and pattern; the curve, or the facet;
the star, or the Greek border, or the flower
and leaf garland. To save some kinds of
articles which are slender, or much curved,
from too strong a vibration, clay is plastered
into hollows or angles. Some of the work is,
necessarily, "underhand," though everybody
prefers the "overhand" process: that is, it is
more convenient and easy, and catches more
sand, to hold the article to the upper part of
the wheel, than to the under. In the one
case, the glass is thrust against the wheel; in
the other, it is lifted against it, which involves
the holding the whole weight of the
article, while much less sand finds its way to
the right place. The work is both laborious
and anxious. One article may require a succession
of mills; and it may be spoiled in any one
stage of the manufacture. Here is the anxiety
of the case. In metal-working, all is pretty
secure when once the model is obtained, and
the first casting is found to succeed. In the
glass manufacture, each article must stand on
its own merits, and the thousandth reqiiires
as much pains as the first. Those pains have
their reward, however, as some of our readers
may be aware, if they have overheard remarks
on the collection of graceful and brilliant glassware,
in the Messrs. Osler's rooms in London.
Another kind of tribute arrived lately from a
very distant place. The Messrs. Osler had sent
to Egypt, by order of the Viceroy, two pairs
of crystal glass candelabra, ten feet high.
The Viceroy is so delighted with them, that
he has sent themwho would guess where?—
to the tomb of the Prophet, at Medina; where,
as his Highness's Secretary observes, they
will be the admiration of hundreds of thousands
of pilgrim worshippers. It is a singular
destination of Birmingham productsto keep
watch over the pair of genii, who are keeping
watch over the Prophet in his tomb; reminding
him of his good and evil deeds, and balancing
the account which his resurrection is to
settle. How very far have they travelled
over sea and land, to stand within those iron
rails, and under the charge of the forty
eunuchs who keep guard there! It is a
symbolic incident, indicating the spread of
British arts among the remotest regions, and
the strangest races and faiths on earth.


EXCEPTING Hungary and Poland, the most
numerous crowd of nobles in the world is to
be found in Spain; and here, again, the crowd
is thicker in Castile and in the Basque provinces,
especially in Alava, than elsewhere.
In the last-mentioned district, indeed, almost
every peasant is Hijo de Algo (the son of
something), or, in short, Hidalgo.

In what are called everywhere the good
old times, the Spanish nobility possessed many
privileges, and among others was one which
still exists; viz., they do not stand up to be
hanged for any crime, but have the right of
taking a chair, and being strangled in a
comfortable manner. This punishment is called
"El Garrote noble." The nobles claim a
right to be addressed as "Tu" (thou) by the
sovereign, signifying that they are thus
acknowledged as his peers. They are divided
into three ranks. In the first come the
Grandees, who claim equality by birth with
the king, and derive their origin, at some time
or other, from one of the reigning families;