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donned his slippers, refreshed his inner man with a cordial, and

over the heaving shoulder of his "spouse," who lies dissolved upon

his martial bosom, he is taking the spectators into his confidence

with a wink worthy of the late Mr. Buckstone.  Nothing more genuine,

more heartily laughable, than this set of designs has appeared in

our day.  And Mr. Caldecott has few limitations.  Not only does he

draw human nature admirably, but he draws animals and landscapes

equally well, so one may praise him without reserve.  Though not

children's books, mention should here be made of his "Bracebridge

Hall," and "Old Christmas," the illustrations to which are the

nearest approach to that beau-ideal, perfect sympathy between the

artist and the author, with which the writer is acquainted.  The cut

on page 173 is from the former of these works.

Many of the books above mentioned are printed in colours by various

processes, and they are not always engraved on wood.  But--to close

the account of modern wood-engraving--some brief reference must be

made to what is styled the "new American School," as exhibited for

the most part in "Scribner's" and other Transatlantic magazines.

Authorities, it is reported, shake their heads over these

performances. "C'est magnifique, mais ce nest pas la gravure," they

whisper.  Into the matter in dispute, it is perhaps presumptuous for

an "atechnic" to adventure himself.  But to the outsider it would

certainly seem as if the chief ground of complaint is that the new

comers do not play the game according to the old rules, and that

this (alleged) irregular mode of procedure tends to lessen the

status of the engraver as an artist.  False or true, this, it may

fairly be advanced, has nothing whatever to do with the matter, as

far, at least, as the public are concerned.  For them the question

is, simply and solely--What is the result obtained?  The new school,

availing themselves largely of the assistance of photography, are

able to dispense, in a great measure, with the old tedious method of

drawing on the block, and to leave the artist to choose what medium

he prefers for his design--be it oil, water-colour, or black and

white--concerning themselves only to reproduce its characteristics

on the wood.  This is, of course, a deviation from the method of

Bewick.  But would Bewick have adhered to his method in these days?

Even in his last hours he was seeking for new processes.  What we

want is to get nearest to the artist himself with the least amount

of interpretation or intermediation on the part of the engraver.  Is

engraving on copper to be reproduced, we want a facsimile if

possible, and not a rendering into something which is supposed to be

the orthodox utterance of wood-engraving.  Take, for example, the

copy of Schiavonetti's engraving of Blake's Death's Door in

"Scribner's Magazine" for June 1880, or the cut from the same source

at page 131 of this book.  These are faithful line for line

transcriptions, as far as wood can give them, of the original

copper-plates; and, this being the case, it is not to be wondered at

that the public, who, for a few pence can have practical facsimiles

of Blake, of Cruikshank, or of Whistler, are loud in their

appreciation of the "new American School."  Nor are its successes

confined to reproduction in facsimile.  Those who look at the

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