Imágenes de páginas



too, which warriors and statesmen have looked up to, as an accumulation of their glory. Why, then, should not I, a plain and humble citizen of Birmingham, plodding my calm but steady way through the weary and dangerous course of politics, feel more than usual exultation and gratitude at the receiving of such an honour ?" No sooner was Birmingham invested by the Reform Bill with the elective franchise, than Mr. Attwood was singled out by the people he had led on to victory, as their first representative in the Reformed House of Commons. The election took place on the 12th of December, 1832, when Mr. Attwood, having been proposed by Thomas Wright Hill, Esq., and seconded by John Betts, Esq., (two old and staunch reformers) was elected by a unanimous vote of the crowded assembly who had met for that purpose-and Joshua Scholefield, Esq., the respected vice-chairman of the Union, was at the same time elected as Mr. Attwood's colleague, on the nomination of G. F. Muntz, Esq., seconded by Thomas Clark, Esq. The chairing of the two members took place on the 17th of the same month, and a memorable day it was for Birmingham. Under the direction of the committee of management, a magnificent car of the most elegant shape was made for the occasion, and the populous district of which Birmingham forms the centre, poured forth its tens of thousands of happy beings to do him honour. It is described to have been a spectacle of surpassing interest; and not only was every window and roof thronged with admiring spectators, but every street through which it passed presented a dense mass of human beings, all seeming to be animated with one common feeling—that of unbounded joy and gratulation.

It were needless to attempt an outline of Mr. Attwood's parliamentary career, the cordial and enthusiastic manner with which his re-appearance among his constituents was always greeted, sufficiently attests the degree of estimation in which his valuable services were held; and but for his resignation, it is probable he would have been again and again returned at every succeeding general election, so long as his life, health, and faculties had been spared. It was from the island of Jersey, whither he had gone for the recovery of his health, that Mr. Attwood, on the 9th of December, 1839, transmitted to Birmingham a formal resignation of his seat in Parliament, to the unspeakable regret of the large and intelligent constituency whose esteem and regard he had so completely won by his uniform endeavours to promote their interest in every possible way. In this highly interesting document, which occupied several columns in the newspapers of the day, he gives a masterly and comprehensive view of the existing state of affairs, and of his motives for withdrawing from public life, concluding his address as follows:-"Injured in my health, and mortified to the very heart at the state of things which I have described, both domestic and foreign, both in Parliament and out of Parliament, I now retire from political labour. Standing on the rocks of Jersey, or wandering over its most beautiful and happy vallies, I have had leisure to reflect upon the course which duty requires, and I am satisfied that no further sacrifices can justly or beneficially be required of me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your long continued and well-tried confidence in me. I have never solicited the vote of any of you, and I know not that I have ever thanked any one of you, individually, for his vote. Your own virtue and public spirit, and your own, too friendly, I fear, appreciation of me and of my character and disposition, have been my only passports to Parliament. You have selected me with a noble and high-minded patriotism. I have had no honours and no emoluments to offer you, and no hopes to allure you. The seat which you gave me I have always held at your command- at the command of the electors or of the non-electors of Birmingham.' I now retire from your service, exhausted, disappointed, and mortified, but rejoicing in the reflection that I have never sold you, nor betrayed you, nor deceived you. I do most sincerely hope, that in the choice which now devolves upon you, you will succeed in finding a representative, who, with equal honesty of purpose, will be more successful than I have been in relieving the distress of the people, and averting the doom which overhangs our country.

[ocr errors]

In reference to Mr. Attwood's retirement, a contemporary writer has well remarked, that, "He carries with him into his retirement a name without stain, without reproach, without suspicion. Of honour unquestioned, of intentions pure and disinterested, of temper and deportment mild, benevolent and conciliatory, he has



contrived during a long life, both in and out of Parliament, to attract more of the kindness and good-will of all parties, than has often fallen to the share of one whose opinions harmonised so indifferently with those of the men by whom he was commonly surrounded. We believe that there is not an individual among his townsmen whose hearty good wishes do not accompany our own,-that as his publie life has been one course of uprightness, so may the private life, on which he has now entered, be crowned with comfort and peace."

Since Mr. Attwood's retirement, a meeting of his late constituents has been held for the purpose of testifying their gratitude to him for past services, when, Joshua Scholefield, Esq., M.P., being called to the chair, the two following resolutions were unanimously carried, amidst the most enthusiastic cheering:-1st. "That the exemplary devotion shown by Thomas Attwood, Esq., to the welfare of the commercial and trading classes of the community, during the long course of thirty years-his eminent political services during the struggle for Parliamentary Reform, so successfully crowned by the great act of 1832, and his zeal and integrity, as a member of the Reformed House of Commons, for seven successive sessions, entitle him to the warm and lasting gratitude of the country at large, and in a special manner, to that of his fellow townsmen, the inhabitants of Birmingham.” 2nd. "That in the opinion of this meeting, such gratitude ought to be recorded by some public and permanent monument, which shall be at once worthy of the merits of Mr. Attwood, and of the high character for liberality and intelligence, of this great and populous town."

It is manifestly impossible, within the limits of this brief memoir, to go at large into the merits of Mr. Attwood. As a public speaker, his distinguishing characteristic has ever been a fearless and open exposure of the truth, to all persons and upon all occasions, whether combining the lower and middle classes of the people in Political Unions, or contending with their opponents in the House of Commons. Nothing, it may confidently be affirmed, was ever farther from his thoughts than the practice of "misrepresentation and delusion" (with which he has been charged), unless, perhaps, the desire of promoting violence, or discord, or misery among the people.

The Mirror







[ocr errors]

HEAP Literature being the order of the day, cheap Art also deserves attention. A better proof of its uninterrupted progress cannot be furnished than in the extraordinary publication (its price borne in mind) now prepared for the patrons of this miscellany; and as many correspondents have written for minute information on the subject, we are anxious to meet their wishes by giving a copiously-illustrated exposition of the art itself, as well as of the means used to make it available.

To reflect objects of interest peculiar to the present time is the proper office of 'THE MIRROR.' It has therefore been resolved in the present instance to depart from the course which has usually been pursued at the completion of a volume, by giving, instead of the biography of a distinguished individual, a fuller account than has yet been offered of the new process of Glyphography, which has furnished many of the embellishments of the following pages, which is likely to produce important effects in periodical literature, and generally in connexion with the Pictorial Art.

It is hoped the readers of 'THE MIRROR' will derive no common gratification from the splendid specimens now submitted. Some description of the art of Glyphography will be found in the article on 'Lambeth Palace,' which appeared in September last. Since that period, through the persevering labours of Mr Palmer, it has made gigantic advances towards perfection, and countenanced as it is by many distinguished artists, its importance must continue to increase.

The illustrations we are about to give will convince the most sceptical that effects have already been produced by Glyphography equal to the best specimens of wood engraving. In proof of this, we refer to the beautiful representation of Milton composing his 'Paradise Lost,' which appears as our frontispiece. Its merits are so striking that to comment on them is almost superfluous. It is taken from Messrs Tilt and Bogue's beautiful illustrated edition of Milton's Poetical Works,' and is a fac simile copy of the original engraving on wood from the drawing of Mr Harvey.

The antiquarians of the present day, like their curious predecessors from the time of Leland, and probably from a much earlier period, are very pathetic on the rapidity with which old buildings, and other memorials of former ages, are vanishing from the face of the metropolis and its environs. Truth to say, their alarm is not groundless; for the march of brick and mortar has been so onward, and so expeditious, that many of the old land marks, as they were considered, have been lost to the view as com

pletely as the old houses on London Bridge, London Bridge itself, and London Wall. But the Leland or the Grose of a future day may be for this in some degree consoled, as the pencil is now so industriously plied, that not only will most buildings of importance be faithfully delineated, but the events identified with them will also be pictured; and the attitudes of the actors seized upon by the artist, as well as the more enduring edifice.

Nor is this all, persons of the most exalted station we will not affirm create memorable incidents in order to furnish pictures for those who come after them, but we may say, when it is known that such must occur, they are careful not to let them pass away without sending the presence of some skilful votary of the pencil, that if a stern necessity forbids them to do more than "wear those glories for a day," that, at least, it shall be known to future ages what they were. Thus, the Duke of Wellington has not forbidden a painter to be in attendance at the Waterloo banquet; Queen Victoria allowed the artist a place at her coronation and marriage; and Louis Philippe took especial care that one should not be wanting at the famous Royal interview at Treport.

This being the case, and the taste of the public calling more and more for such gratification, the art of which we are now treating becomes the more important, mingling, as it is likely to do, in all the most animated passages of contemporary history.

In 'THE MIRROR' of September 30, a brief description of this novel art was given, and the manner of conducting the process. That need not be here repeated, but the following rules for drawing may be acceptable. It is to be observed―

1. That every stroke, dot, or mark of any kind, made on the plate with the view to its ultimate appearance on paper, must be made quite through the white ground, so that the blackened surface of the copper be distinctly seen either through a glass or with the naked eye; although if, peradventure, the black be removed also, and the bright metal appear, the drawing will be in no way deteriorated thereby; but the artist should observe that all such parts will print as dark as though the black were not removed.

2. Every stroke, &c., must be perpendicularly cut out; or, in other words, it must not be underworked so as to leave the edges of the lines projecting over the work. Also that every particle of the ground displaced by the point, &c., must be entirely removed from the edges of the work, and likewise from the plate itself.

3. It must ever be borne in mind that, since the ground in its nature resembles wax, as has been already noticed, it follows that it is very easily affected by change of temperature, so that while on the one hand it would become clammy and clog the point on exposure to a high temperature, it would on the other hand be rendered brittle and liable to crack off from the plate by a great reduction of the same. The two extremes of temperature should, therefore, at all times be guarded against, and a medium temperature (say 65° Fahr.) as far as practicable maintained; but whether or no, when about to be used, the artist would do well to submit it to a severe test by putting a little close cross-hatching on the edge, to see if it chips off; if not, he may proceed with safety, otherwise it is necessary to apply a very moderate degree of heat to its back, but not sufficient to make the ground clammy. And vice versa, in the height of summer, it may sometimes be needful to chill the plate by the application of cold water, air, &c., to the back.

The process is so simple, that in the hands of a clever artist it can be successfully dealt with from the first. We have just seen a beautiful drawing worked by a single tool, in which each object is distinct and true to life, and the eye is charmed with every variety of light and shade.

The manner in which the artist is to proceed is thus described in Mr Palmer's pamphlet :


Any kind of point may be used so that the ground be entirely removed, as described in Rules 1st and 2nd; but, since experience and close observation have taught the writer that which could be learnt in no other way, he may be allowed to make a remark or two relative to the kind of point that has been found to answer best, not only by himself, but by every successful glyphographer. The first idea which seems naturally to present itself to the mind is that of a kind of needlepoint, which, doubtless, answers an etcher's purpose well, seeing that in that art he has no perceptible substance to obstruct his path; but in Glyphography we are obliged to have some substance-a foundation, as it were-from the nature of the after process, although no thicker than tissue-paper. It therefore becomes needful to have something more than a needle-point, which will merely force its way; we must have an edge that will cut out the ground; consequently any point that is made to act on the principle of a gouge will undoubtedly answer best. Those accustomed to the use of the graver will therefore avail themselves thereof with advantage in formal, straightforward work; but the draughtsman must have a tool that he can work with as freely

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

as possible. In order to combine both these objects in one instrument, a piece of steel wire, of the required length, is inserted in one end of a cedar handle resembling a pencil, and bent at right angles; the point is first sharpened like that of a needle, and then an edge formed on the inside at an angle of about 45°, whereby it is rendered capable of being held like a pencil. In using it, it is very necessary to observe that it must be drawn from right to left, and as nearly to the angle above mentioned as may be convenient. This tool will be found applicable to all kinds of shading, tinting, cross-hatching, and for finish generally; and although it has sometimes been objected to at first on account of its awkward form, as some that have never used anything else but a pencil have remarked, yet practice has very soon (perhaps in less than half an hour) familiarized its use.

"A straight pentagonal point is also supplied by the patentee, on account of the freedom with which it is capable of being used; but it should only be employed in light foliage, or in any other kind of free outline work, where it will be found extremely useful If used in crossing, or in any kind of close tinting, &c., it will be found to cut sideways as well as in front, and consequently in such places the small particles of the ground between the lines of a close tinting, &c., will be very liable to crack off; and where a line is crossed with this point it will be seen, on close examination through a magnifying glass (which may be advantageously used to examine fine work), that the angle thus formed is not perfect; this being repeated often in a piece would tend to produce a very disagreeable appearance in the print. It should, moreover, be observed that this, as well as any other sort of straight point that may be found available to the artist's purpose, should be held as nearly perpendicular as possible, to prevent underworking the ground."

By means of Glyphography, many draftsmen will be able to illustrate their own works, which have hitherto been kept in the background. We could name several distinguished artists who are about to take it up, in order to bring out some valuable original sketches which have not yet been suffered to see the light, from an apprehension that justice would not be done to them in wood engraving.


This art is adapted for elaborate and highlyfinished subjects of any size. How capable it is of doing justice to drawings of rural objects will be seen in the accompanying landscape, from an original design by Childs.

Could the pencil be employed with happier effect?

[graphic][ocr errors]

The initial decorations of this article prove the fitness of Glyphography to illumi

« AnteriorContinuar »