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The cones of the Nantgarw pottery did in the Vale of Nautgarw; there is may still be seen from the Taft Valley something of April in the ware and all Railway as you travel from Cardiff of June in the rose. With what delight, northward, and the eyes of the illumi- with what pride and zest, the artist in nati rest on them with pity and sympa- the man would set to work on what the thy, for it was at Nantgarw that Bil- potter in him had produced! Seven lingsley cast his last throws against “Nantgarw" plates of Billingsley's Fate and definitely lost the game. He painting were recently sold for 971., was a persistent idealist, and for per- and one of these poems in porcelain sistency and idealism which end in suc- has been bought for as much as cess there is never a lack of applause; twenty-six guineas. But when the but also
ware was new it failed to hold the mar
ket. The compost was brittle, and tears to buman suffering are due,
"nine-tenths of the articles were either And mortal hopes defeated and o'erthrown.
shivered or injured in shape" by the
heat of the kiln. Nantgarw table-ware Billingsley approached Nantgarw the turned out to be "too bright and good second time with two hundred and fifty for human nature's daily food," and pounds in his fob. Shilling by shilling the purely ornamental pieces cost much the precious little capital had been to make and were rarely sold. Writgathered together. Sarah Billingsley-- ing himself. “William Beeley," the arSarah Walker she was by this-would tist-potter memorialized the Government lament that none of this almost fabu- for patronage, but that was no better lous store of wealth should be spent on a time for national subsidies to the arts bringing the mother to the wedding than is our own. Within six months and the common life of the family the tiny pottery at Nantgarw had used again; but that is ever your inventor's up the tiny capital, and a partner had way. Mrs. Billingsley might weep like to be found. The partner brought in a Hecuba at Derby, but what was 6001.; but after a while “the concern Hecuba to bim? Neither Hecuba nor was again in danger of sinking, when the great doings of Wellington in Spain an agreement was entered into with just then would occupy Billingsley's tbe proprietor of the Swansea pottery, mind a minute; for him the engrossing and the work was removed there." thing was at Nantgarw to mix and fire The proprietor of the "Cambrian Potthe porcelain of his dreams.
tery" at Swansea was Mr. L. W. DillHe mixed and fired the nearest thing wyn, “a botanist of some note and an to his ideal porcelain at last. The author of some repute in natural hispaste and glaze of Nantgarw china tory subjects"; one sees him welcome a have been compared with falling snow, fellow-idealist in Billingsley. So now a clarified silvery fluid just crystallized for a time the kilns at Nantgarw stand Santgarw ware was made of fusible cold, and “can this beautiful white glass mixed in with just as much finely- compost be strengthened and hardpowdered non-fusible white matter as ened?" is the problem at Swansea. But the glass would take up and hold; and again the experiments failed. Beno porcelain so thin and shining, so tween the trial and re-trial firings Bilblanched and translucent, has ever lingsley painted and taught to paint; been made elsewhere. The wander- there is a special impasto in the enamel er's porcelain inspired his brush again, of the Swansea "Billingsley” rose. But and the Billingsley roses never flowered the perfect porcelain was still the chief more beautifully eglantine than they aim, and "Another try, sir-a little more money?" would be Billingsley's con- for a living, as a "hand” again. Mr. stant appeal. Maybe he was on the John Rose, of the china works there, edge of success the day the thunder- had promised that at Coalport his rebolt came, through the post. “While vised and re-revised recipe for the perendeavoring to strengthen and improve fect porcelain should be tried. Tried it this beautiful body,” Mr. Dillwyn re- was, but again it failed, in its last lated afterwards, "I was surprised at chance; and thenceforward the beautireceiving a notice from Messrs. Flight ful Billingsley china, no more renewed, and Barr of Worcester, charging the was to waste and lessen in quantity by parties calling themselves Walker and kitchen breakages, and only out of long Beeley with having clandestinely left an neglect and suppression win at last to engagement at their works, and forbid- a niche beside the treasured "Chelsea" ding me to employ them. Flight and ware itself. Billingsley did not live to Barr in the most gentlemanly way con- see that triumph, and bitter it must vinced me that this granular body"- have been for him to know that at Coalsoft china has a granular fracture, like port, and at Swansea also, his recipes lump sugar-"could never be made any were modifying pastes which were not use, and as it was not worth their to be associated with his name. But while to prosecute them, the runaways his brush remained to him: I think he went back to Nantgarw.".
sometimes painted on Bloor china, That was in 1817, and the staggering which would reach him by stage-wagon Billingsley received two other blows from Derby. Certainly at Coalport he that year; in January the faithful Sa- founded a school, and thus through the rah died, and in September died La- influence of that famous pottery he vinia. On the day of this second be- came to transform the styles of chinareavement the father wrote to his wife painting all over England, and even a letter marked by blots and erasures, abroad: so vivid and life-giving is art, that spoke his anguish of mind. “My though "the potter tempering soft sufferings are now arrived at the high- earth" may fail. est pitch of Misery. Our dearest La- In the year 1826 Mrs. Billingsley vinia is taken away from me, the only died: there is no evidence that she prop I had left." He was now "a dis had ever seen her daughters or her tress'd inconsolable mortal never more husband since they fled away, eighteen to be happy. Think, oh think, what years before. In 1828 Billingsley himtroubles I have! But all my other self expired, in a little house "near the troubles are as nothing compared with works at Coalport, on the Shifnal the severe loss of my dearest children, road," and all seemed ended: the Nantwhom no man ador'd more." The note garw kilns stood deserted, the pilgrim of pathos and tragedy sounds through of porcelain was gathered into the great the stilted eighteenth-century style. compost himself. But fame for his
Back at Nantgarw, he made a fresh shade has come, and still in cabinet and heroic endeavor, but three years and gallery, on plate and saucer, cup later he stood midst his cold kilns and and dish, spill-case and vase and bow. the utter ruin of his hopes: two thou- pot, blooms in time-heightened beauty sand pounds of capital, subscribed by and value the incomparable, the in“gentlemen of the County," had been effable, the Billingsley rose. sunk in vain. He went to Coalport
J. H. Yoxall, M.P. Tbe Oornhill Magazine.
MATE IN TWO MOVES.
There is a delusion abroad in the spiel," or hopscotch, takes on the imworld that chess is a game of Per- portance of a sixty-four square comsian origin, but you would do well not plication, and chess is in Altpoppento advance this meagre hypothesis dorf an integral part of the primary in Altpoppendorf. For Altpoppendorf education. When the infants of Altwill have much pleasure in proving poppendorf wend their way of an unto you with hammering gutturals- early morning hour towards the vilwith hammering fists if you are too lage school,-in long hand-linked files, dense—that you have simply con- looking with their light flaxen plaits or founded the two predicative adjectives, close-cropped little round white skulls, Persian and Prussian. The first arti- their china-bull eyes, and their print cle of the Altpoppendorfian “Qui- garments of faint hue, as if their overcumque vult" is, that schach-or chess zealous mothers had scrubbed all the -was invented at Altpoppendorf; and color out of them,-the last question those who make a show of not accept shot from the home door after the reing this clause are unpopular at Alt- treating Hänschen or Gretschen is, poppendorf.
“Hast thou then man's chessboard?" When you go to Altpoppendorf you A child who at eight years of age does can easily acquire and maintain the not know as many openings, is sighed impression that you have walked into over as one who is pitifully backward chessland. The village is set in a with the "Einmaleins"--the "once one shallow saucer of a plain that is de- is one"-of life. A sound theoretical voted to the raising of flowers for seed, and practical knowledge of chess, and up to the close horizon in all di- among other things, is demanded of rections are laid vast glaring squares those who present themselves for the of startling variety of hue. The cubi. degree of confirmation, which in the cal houses, with their white plaster and Fatherland is rather an entrance into black timber 'walls, have the look of this world than a first independent fancy chess pieces set ready for some step towards the next, and may therecompetition of giants. And walking fore without impropriety be accorded in this land of right angles,-the acute as fitly for proficiency in a noble and and obtuse variations are unrecognized highly logical game as for the mechaniin Altpoppendorf,-and influenced by cal repetition of “Vaterunser" and the the "Quicumque vult” of the village, articles of faith. Chess is the Altpopyou would not be greatly surprised to pendorfian's main business of life see a gigantic thumb and forefinger from his cradle, where he endeavors come out of the clouds, take up by its , to suck the color out of a coral pawn, waist the old gray church tower, and to that last tussle with Death, finest set it down with a thunderous "Check!" of combatants, against whom no man in a square of marigolds or hollyhocks, has ever scored so much as a drawn or some other flower that is out of game. And as your skilful player men's minds for the year anywhere stereotypes more and more opening but at Altpoppendorf.
moves, till at the end he can leap over The moral atmosphere is even more fifteen or twenty of these and come richly impregnated than the material without vain preliminaries to the heart with the fine flavor of the noblest of of the matter, so it is with the Altgames. The very childhood's "Hüp- poppendorfian in his social relations. He is chary of words and salutations, birth and ber proud position. As she does not talk about the weather, and reclined in the great guest-chamber, when he has business in a shop, he with her eyes closed and her white walks squarely in (castle move), lays bands folded over the Book of Hours a finger on the article he desires, and on her lap, she was thinking more of names his price. If that is not ac- the cares of office than of its splendor, ceptable, he retires,-by the castle move -as empty of comfort these latter as again,
the brilliants encrusted in the covers Of course Altpoppendorf has its chess of the devotional volume. Of all her legend, which may be said to be com- anxieties, the one that recurred most posed of fact and fancy in about equal persistently to her mind was that conproportions. Here is the legend as I nected with the Graf Albrecht von read it in that old volume of which Regenstein, the most unruly of her the pages are memories and traditions, vassals, who exercised the honorable and the book-markers the centuries. profession of Raubritter,- Gentleman
Brigand as you might say,--and from There was much important bustle his almost impregnable aerie barried about the doors of the Altpoppendorf her tenants, intercepted her revenues, hostelry of the Golden Eagle one spring and laid violent hands on the merafternoon, for the Lady Abbess of chants journeying under her protection Quedlinburg had alighted from her lit between Magdeburg and Halberstadt ter at the inn door and was enjoying and her town of Quedlinburg. You a short repose in the great guest. may still see the nest of this mountain chamber. Things have quieted down eagle or vulture, the Graf von Regenagain by now, for that was some three stein, bis palace hewn out of the hard hundred years ago.
sandstone, and the deep well in which The Abbess was a great lady. She the captive merchants sat waiting for was of high, most transparent, birth, death or remittances. A Biergartenfor her brother was no other than the sweet horticultural development!-now Herzog Adalbert von Gilzum, of whom graces the spot, and where horrors most people have probably never heard, were done or planned, the stout Herr though he was a very considerable per- and Housfrau play the eternal “Skat," son in his way for all that. He could unmindful of the past. But the Lady not have been otherwise; for the Ab Abbess had no such lighter associations bey of Quedlinburg was rich and pow. of the Regenstein rock to cheer her reerful, and the Lady Abbess had sway flections, into which there entered over the rock of Quedlinburg with the rather a vision of her gallows of QuedAbbey and Castle perched on the top of linburg with a Gentleman-Brigand it, over the town crouching humbly dangling thereon. And yet, alas! he at its feet, and over the wide fertile was such a presentable man, this plain that rock and Castle commanded. wicked, troublesome Graf Albrecht von And there can be no doubt that the Regenstein! Herzog Adalbert von Gilzum, who could You have probably conceived of the acquire such an appanage for his sis- Lady Abbess as an aged and venerable ter in the teeth of the fiercest competi- person, weaned by time if not by grace tion, was a potentate of great power from the vanities of earth and royal and influence.
courts, and stopping up with a tardy You must not, however, be too quick zeal the devotional gaps in a long life to envy her Grace the Lady Abbess of frivolity or high politics. If so, you Dorothea von Gilzum her transparent have formed an entirely wrong impres
sion; for, let me tell you, there are in the days before the power of Rome Lady Abbesses and Lady Abbesses, was upset by one Dr. Martin Luther, and Dorothea von Gilzum was still and the Cathedral Canons-the Domyoung, still very fair, and, with that, herren-were powers too. It would gentle and womanly. Her youth was never do to deny his Excellency an au. of course, not against her, for the dience; and, moreover, Dorothea von faculty of command is hereditary; and Gilzum bad a pretty girlish curiosity even if youth is a fault, the Lady to see him, for he had but newly come Abbess made atonement in due course. to the cathedral, and his piety and For she lived to a good age: you can learning were much spoken of. So she see her portrait as a handsome old intimated that he should be introduced, dame in the Installation Room of the meaning to set out on her way in no Castle of Quedlinburg, where the lines later than half an hour, Dr. Heinsius of the marvellous parquet radiate out or no Dr. Heinsius. from the chair of state to figure the The Domherr entered, and the Lady gracious influence that emanated from Abbess had all she could do not to cry its occupant. It brings this great lady out aloud. For she had expected an somewhat nearer to me to know that aged, somewhat decrepid, churchman, she painted in oils as shockingly as I bowed with the weight of years and should do, bad I the mind. In a room, learning, and here was a tall young which a glorious Dutch oven renders priest with the face of an angel-and a worthy of more artistic things, they commanding face—so that she, mistress still show one of her productions. In of life and death in her district of this picture Delilah,-and is it not Quedlinburg, lady paramount of so touching to find the simple young Ab- many vassals, spiritual and temporal, bess illustrating in oils the life of an was silent, and almost confused before extremely improper person ?-Delilah in this young Canon of Halberstadt. fifteenth-century costume is repre- Dr. Heinsius explained that, being sented as shearing most conscientiously on his way back afoot to Halberstadt the head of a very anæmic Samson. from a village where he had bad busiAnd despite its glaring errors of de- ness, he had heard that her Grace was sign and execution, the picture is, for lying at the Golden Eagle of Altpopthe memory of the reverend young ár. pendorf, and had ventured, journeytist, pathetic and lovable.
stained as he was, to turn aside from Some hours before sunset the Lady the field paths to pay his respects to Abbess decided to order her litter and her. The Lady Abbess invited the continue her journey, for she had still Canon to a seat, and they spoke on and a matter of four leagues to cover be on of many things till the sun was near fore she reached her Castle of Quedlin- the horizon. And the Abbess had not burg, and even with an armed escort yet ordered her litter, for the voice of the roads were none too safe, more es- the young Domherr was like the chimpecially in the night and in the neigh- ing across the fields of the tenor bell borhood of a turbulent Albrecht von of Halberstadt, and his face was the Regenstein. The Abbess had just put face of an angel. ber hand to her silver bell when one Then the eyes of Dr. Heinsius of her ladies entered and asked if her chanced on the Abbess's chessboard, Grace would receive his Excellency the without wbich she never stirred,-a Domherr Heinsius of Halberstadt. marvel of silver and ebony, with ivory Now the Bishop of Halberstadt was a pieces, that had come overland from mighty prince, temporal and spiritual, China, and had taken two years in
LIVING AGE. VOL. xxxv. 1820