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ing more than three hundred kinds of trial-pieces, there was one among those pieces which was melted within four hours after it had been placed in the furnace, which trial turned out white and polished in a way that caused me such joy, as made me think I was a new creature; and I thought that from that time I had the full perfection of the white enamel, but I was very far from having what I thought."
Pallissy had indeed, after six anxious years, achieved a grand discovery; but this was rather the commencement, than the conclusion of his labours. He had not been brought up as a potter. He had no knowledge of clay, had never seen earth baked, or been inside a pottery before he took his trial-pieces to the furnace. He must start from the very beginning, and gain every fresh step for himself, amid failure and disappointment.
For seven months after the discovery of the enamel, he was occupied in moulding vessels of clay. This done, he proceeded to build a furnace with his own hands, being obliged to carry every brick upon his back from the brickfield, for he was too poor to pay for a cart to carry them to his premises. He was his own mason, and his own hodman; but the furnace was built.
The vessels, which were already prepared, were soon coated with the enamel, and he began to heat his furnace. Much fuel was required, for the furnace must be as hot as those used in glass-houses. Wood was scarce and costly, but Pallissy did not spare it. For a day and for a night he sat by, heaping fuel upon the fire. The enamel did not melt. His children brought him his scanty meals, for he would
not leave his post. Another day and night were gone, and the enamel was not melted. Thus passed six days and six nights. Pallissy still sat by, heaping fuel upon the fire-but the enamel did not melt.
He now believed that there was some defect in his mixture of the enamel. The cups and vases which had cost him seven months' labour were spoilt. So he bought fresh drugs and began again to pound and grind. He covered with the new compound some common earthenware, which he bought ready-made, and in three weeks was ready for a fresh experiment. All this time, in the midst of his preparation of the enamel, he had kept up his fire, lest the furnace should cool. The vessels were now put in, but fuel failed, and he had no money to purchase more wood. All depended upon his keeping up his fire. pulled down the palings of his garden-he broke in pieces his tables and chairs-he even tore up the floors of his rooms to feed the all-consuming fire. His neighbours cried out that he was a madman; but he persisted, regardless of their clamours, and was rewarded at last by drawing out his vessels from the furnace covered beautifully with white enamel.
His more pressing wants being thus relieved, he employed a potter to work under his directions, whom he had to pay in part with some of his clothes. The vessels moulded by the potter were placed in a new furnace which Pallissy built with his own hands, better, as he hoped, than the first. The enamel melted beautifully; but alas! some flints he had used in the mortar were split by the heat, and covered his fine white ware with grit and stone. The work was ruined, and though some neighbours offered to
purchase the disfigured vessels for a small sum, yet he would not, even in the depth of his poverty, let his ware go forth with discredit, but broke them all, and cheerfully set to work again.
Another batch, when drawn out, was spoilt by ashes from the furnace. He invented a kind of lantern to protect his work, and began afresh.
But he was now fully master of the secret of enamel-making; he patiently rectified his previous mistakes, and his next batch was sufficiently successful to afford him some remuneration and more encouragement. He was now able to proceed steadily with his work; but new difficulties and new trials were still to be overcome, and it was sixteen years from the time when he first saw the Italian cup, before Pallissy brought his art to anything like perfection.
He did succeed at last, though to the end of his life he was constantly striving after further improvement. But his name became known, and his ware famous, and he was employed by nobles and kings to adorn the most magnificent palaces in the land.
Professing, as he had always done, boldly and faithfully, the principles of the Reformed Church, at a time when French Reformers were subject to the most cruel persecution, his life was saved by his art, when hundreds of every rank fell victims to their faith. It was felt that no one could supply his place, and none dared to harm or molest the Queen's Potter. It is melancholy to add, that in extreme old age he was imprisoned on account of his religious opinions, and died in prison, having lived to be more than eighty years old.
He has left behind him a reputation more honourable than that of the princes among whom he lived -a reputation acquired by untiring energy and unflinching perseverance, exercised in subordination to Him, to Whose name he gave the praise for his success, and Whom, through a long and laborious life, he never ceased faithfully to serve and honour.
BLOW, blow, thou winter-wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude!
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As friend remember'd not.
SOME labourers are paid higher than others. carpenter earns more than a ploughman, and a watchmaker more than either; and yet this is not from the one working harder than the other.
And it is the same with the labour of the mind as with that of the body. A banker's clerk, who has to work hard at keeping accounts, is not paid so high as a lawyer or a physician.
You see from this that the rate of wages does not depend on the hardness of the labour, but on the value of the work done.
But on what does the value of the work depend?
The value of each kind of work is like the value of all other things; it is greater or less, according to the limitation of the supply—that is, the difficulty of procuring them. If there were no more expense, time, and trouble in procuring a pound of gold than a pound of copper, then would gold be of no more value than copper.
But why should the supply of watchmakers and surgeons be more limited than of carpenters and ploughmen? That is, why is it more difficult to make a man a watchmaker than a ploughman?
The chief reason is, that the education required costs a great deal more. A long time must be spent in learning the business of a watchmaker or a surgeon before a man can acquire enough skill to practise; so that unless you have enough to support you all this time, and also to pay your master for teaching you the art, you cannot become a watchmaker or a surgeon; and no father would go to the expense of bringing up a son as a surgeon or watchmaker, even though he could well afford it, if he did not expect him to earn more than a carpenter, whose education costs much less. But sometimes a father is disappointed in his expectation. If the son should turn out stupid or idle, he would not acquire skill enough to maintain