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consequently more complete.  Indeed, it may be safely affirmed that

of all the engravers of the present century, none have excelled

Bewick for beauty of black and white, for skilful rendering of

plumage and foliage, and for fidelity of detail and accessory.  The

"Woodcock" (here given), the "Partridge," the "Owl," the "Yellow-

Hammer," the "Yellow-Bunting," the "Willow-Wren," are popular

examples of these qualities.  But there are a hundred others nearly

as good.

Among sundry conventional decorations after the old German fashion

in the first edition of the "Quadrupeds," there are a fair number of

those famous tail-pieces which, to a good many people, constitute

Bewick's chief claim to immortality.  That it is not easy to imitate

them is plain from the failure of Branston's attempts, and from the

inferior character of those by John Thompson in Yarrell's "Fishes."

The genius of Bewick was, in fact, entirely individual and

particular.  He had the humour of a Hogarth in little, as well as

some of his special characteristics,--notably his faculty of telling

a story by suggestive detail.  An instance may be taken at random

from vol. I. of the "Birds."  A man, whose wig and hat have fallen

off, lies asleep with open mouth under some bushes.  He is

manifestly drunk, and the date "4 June," on a neighbouring stone,

gives us the reason and occasion of his catastrophe.  He has been

too loyally celebrating the birthday of his majesty King George III.

Another of Bewick's gifts is his wonderful skill in foreshadowing a

tragedy.  Take as an example, this truly appalling incident from the

"Quadrupeds."  The tottering child, whose nurse is seen in the

background, has strayed into the meadow, and is pulling at the tail

of a vicious-looking colt, with back-turned eye and lifted heel.

Down the garden-steps the mother hurries headlong; but she can

hardly be in time.  And of all this--sufficient, one would say, for

a fairly-sized canvas--the artist has managed to give a vivid

impression in a block of three inches by two!  Then, again, like

Hogarth once more, he rejoices in multiplications of dilemma.  What,

for instance, can be more comically pathetic than the head-piece to

the "Contents" in vol. I. of the "Birds"?  The old horse has been

seized with an invincible fit of stubbornness.  The day is both

windy and rainy.  The rider has broken his stick and lost his hat;

but he is too much encumbered with his cackling and excited stock to

dare to dismount.  Nothing can help him but a Deus ex machina,--of

whom there is no sign.

Besides his humour, Bewick has a delightfully rustic side, of which

Hogarth gives but little indication.  From the starved ewe in the

snow nibbling forlornly at a worn-out broom, to the cow which has

broken through the rail to reach the running water, there are

numberless designs which reveal that faithful lover of the field and

hillside, who, as he said, "would rather be herding sheep on Mickle

bank top" than remain in London to be made premier of England.  He

loved the country and the country-life; and he drew them as one who

loved them.  It is this rural quality which helps to give such a

lasting freshness to his quaint and picturesque fancies; and it is

this which will continue to preserve their popularity, even if they

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