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strife toward such as have the charge of them) are worst ot all bestowed in mine opinion, because their peeces do turn unto no profit. If the philosopher's stone were once found, and one part hereof mixed with forty of molten glass, it would induce such a metallicall toughness thereunto, that a fall should nothing hurt in such manner: yet it might perad venture bunch or batter it; nevertheless that inconvenience were quickelie to be redressed by the hammer. But whither am I slipped ?"—Holinshed, Description of England.
During the reign of the sapient James, the use of glass vessels became still more extensive ; but the art of making them still remained matter of wonderment to Englishmen. In a letter written to his brother from Venice, and dated JAW, 1621, James Howell saith,
"The art of glass-making here is very highly valued, for whosoever be of that profession are gentlemen ipso facto; and it is not without reason, it being a rare kind of knowledge and chymistry to transmute dust and sand (for they are the only main ingredients) to such a diaphonous pellucid dainty body as you see a crystal glass is, which hath this property above gold, or silver, or any ,other mineral, to admit no poison ;* as also, that it never wastes or loses a whit of its first weight, tho' you use it never so long. When I saw so many sorts of curious glasses made here, I thought upon the compliment which a gentleman put upon a lady in England, who, having five or six comely daughters, said, He never saw in his life such a dainty cupboard of crystal glasses. The compliment proceeds, it seems, from a saying they have here, That the first handsome woman that ever was made, was made of Venice glass; which implies beauty, but brittleness withal (and Venice is not unfurnished with some of that mould, for no place abounds more with lasses and glasses). * » * But when I pry'd into the materials,
* A superstitious notion long prevailed that a pure Venetian glass would crack or burst to pieces if poison were put into it. This was a good way of keeping up their price ,when poisoning was common.
and observed the furnaces and calcinations, the transubstantiations, the liquefactions that are incident to this art, my thoughts were rais'd to a higher speculation; that if this small furnace fire hath virtue to convert such a small lump of dark dust and sand into such a precious clear body as crystal, surely that grand universal fire which shall happen at the day of judgement, may, by its violent ardour vitrify and turn to one lump of crystal the whole body of the earth; nor am I the first that fell U|K>n this conceit.
In another letter, addressed to " Dr. Fr. Mansell, at All Souls in Oxford," Howell again alludes to the glasstrade at Venice, into which it appears one of King James's courtiers had entered as a speculator.
"Your honourable uncle Sir Robert Mansell, who is now in the Mediterranean, hath been very notable to me, and I shall ever acknowledge a good part of my education from him. He hath melted vast sums of money in the glass-business, a business indeed more proper for a merchant than a courtier. I heard the king should say, That he wondered Robin Mansell, being a seaman, whereby he hath got so much honour, should fall from water to tamper with fire, which are two contrary elements. My father fears that this glass employment will be too brittle a foundation for me to build a fortune upon." — Epistolce Ho-Eliamx.
The Queen of the Adriatic, that now purchases glass from Germany, Bohemia, and England, supplied all Europe with the superior kinds of that commodity in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
XCII. EXTRACTS FROM THE DIARY OF A LEARNED DIVINE AND ANTIQUARY OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.
June 25th, 1766.—Foggy. My beautiful parrot died at ten at night, without knowing the cause of his illness, he being very well last night.
Feb. 1. Saturday.—Fine day and cold. Will Wood junior carried three or four loads of dung into the clay-pit close. Baptised William, the son of William Grace, blacksmith, who I married about six months before.
March 3. Monday.—I baptised Sarah, the bastard daughter of the widow Smallwood of Eton, aged near 50, whose husband died above a year ago.
6. Thursday.—Very fine weather. My man was blooded. I sent a loin of pork and a spare-rib to Mr. Cartwright in London.
8. Saturday.—Very fine weather, and Mr. Cartwright brought me a quarter of house-lamb from London.
27. Thursday.—I sent my two French wigs to my London barber to alter them, they being made so miserably I could not wear them.
June 17. Tuesday.—Windy, cold, and rainy. I went to our new archdeacon's visitation at Newport-Pagnel. I took young H. Travel with me, in order that he might hear the organ at Newport, he being a great psalm-singer Mr. Tanquerary, rector of Bow-Brick-Hill, preached the sermon before the archdeacon, who gave a charge. The most numerous appearance of clergy that I remember: forty-four dined with the archdeacon, and, what is extraordinary, not one smoked tobacco. My new coachhorse very ungain.
Aug 16th. Saturday.—Cool day. Tom reaped for Joe Holdom. I cudgelled Jem for staying so long on at errand at Newton Longueville."
The Rev. William Cole, author of ' Athenae Cantabrigienses,' (for our diarist was no less a personage) was at this time, we believe, vicar of Burnham in Buckinghamshire. He was not at all in the dotage of age (as might indeed bepresumed from his vigour in cudgelling), being only fifty-two years old. He was a favourite companion and correspondent and intimate friend of the fastidious Horace Walpole, of the poet Gray, and other distinguished men of the period. He left to the British Museum one hundred folio volumes of MSS., all neatly written with his own hand; enjoining that they were not to be opened till twenty years after his death.
Thomas Cortat's story about the use of forks in Italy, and his introduction of those cleanly and convenient implements into England, whereby, and "for no other cause," he obtained the nickname of Furcij'er, is very generally known. The following description of fans by the same odd, fantastic traveller, which goes to prove that paper fans were not used in England at the time of his tour (1608), and that we borrowed them as well as forks from the Italians, has been less noticed.
"Here I will mention a thing, that altho' perhaps it will seeme but frivolous to divers readers that have already travelled in Italy, yet because unto many that neither have beene there, nor ever intend to go thither while they live, it will be a meere novelty, I will not let it passe unmentioned. The first Italian fannes that I saw in Italy did I observe in this space betwixt Pizighiton and Cremona; but afterwards I observed them common in most places of Italy where I travelled. These fannes both men and women of the country doe carry, to coole themselves withall in the time of heat, by the often fanning of their faces. Most of them are very elegant and pretty things. For whereas the fanne consisteth of a painted piece of paper and a little wooden handle; the paper, which is fastened into the top, is on both sides most curiously adorned with excellent pictures, either of amorous things tending to dalliance, having some witty
Italian verses or fine emblems written under them; or of some notable Italian city, with a briefe description thereof added thereunto. These fans are of a meane price, for a man may buy one of the fairest of them for so much money as countervailed our English groate."— Coryafs Crudities.
In the south of Italy men still continue to use the fan, and in hot weather one may often see a captain of dragoons, moustached and " bearded like the pard," fanning himself with all the graces and dexterity of a young coquette. The fans in general use are not such " elegant and pretty things" as Coryat found; but such as they are, an active trade is carried on in them by old men and little boys, who hawk them about the streets, and always take their stand by the doors of the theatres anil cottee-houses when the evening is particularly close and melting.
London: Printed Tiy W. Clowe? and Sons, Stamford Street.