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than sufficient for the breakfast of two or three persons.

It has long been a subject of reproach to the ostrich that she was wanting in affection for her progeny.

She was looked on as a striking example of a hard-hearted mother.

All these accusations are quite unfounded. She sits on her eggs during the night only, the burning heat of the sun during the day being sufficient to maintain the necessary degree of warmth; but she does not abandon her eggs, neither does she desert her young, although they are well covered at their birth with a thick, warm down, and can from the first run about and provide for their own wants. On the contrary, she keeps them near her until they are almost fullgrown, and defends them against every enemy. Mr Cumming came suddenly one day on a dozen young ostriches, no larger than a full-grown grouse. “The mother,” he says, “tried all she could to deceive us, just like a wild duck : first she ran away, extending her wings ; then she threw herself on the ground, as if she was wounded; whilst the male bird, cunningly enough, conducted the young ones in an opposite direction."

In spite of its great strength, perhaps even on account of it, the ostrich, when unmolested, is the most peaceable creature in the world, and readily becomes domesticated. If captured young, they can be tamed in a very short time. In the district of Sennaar they are reared as we do fowls; they are left to wander about as they choose, and one of them attempting to escape is a thing quite unheard of. They accompany the herd to pasture, and return again to their home at meal-times. Kindness and caresses are sufficient to attach them to any one, but care must be taken never to strike them. They have but one fault, which arises from their voracity—they are dreadful thieves, and devour everything they can steal. The Arabs, therefore, always look out when they are counting their money, otherwise the ostriches might snatch some of the coin,

In all ages the feathers of the ostrich have been the object of considerable trade : the birds are hunted and reared in a domestic state, not so much for their flesh, grease, or eggs, as for their plumes. Each bird produces about half a pound of white feathers, and three pounds of black are found on the tail and wings. The shells of ostrich eggs, which are very hard, are also made useful ; they are made into beautiful cups, which much resemble vases of ivory.

Figuier.

65.—JOSIAH WEDGEWOOD.

earth-en-ware

por-ce-lain ap-pren-tice-ship chem-ist-ry e-vent-u-al-ly

par-lia-ment

pot-ter-y
sti-mu-lat-ing
in-ef-fi-cient

Down to the middle of last century, England was behind most other nations in Europe in respect of skilled industry. Although there

Although there were many potters in Staffordshire, their productions were of the rudest kind, for the most part only plain brown ware, with the patterns scratched in while the clay was wet. The principal supply of the better articles of earthenware came from Delft, in Holland, and some from Cologne. Two foreign potters from Nuremberg settled for a time in Staffordshire, and introduced an improved manufacture; but they shortly after removed to Chelsea, where they confined themselves to the manufacture of ornamental pieces. No porcelain capable of resisting a scratch with a hard point had yet been made in England; and for a long time the 66 white ware

made in Staffordshire was not white, but of a dirty cream-colour.

Such was the condition of the pottery manufacture when Josiah Wedgewood was born at Burslem in 1730. He was the youngest of a family of thirteen children. His grandfather and grand-uncle were both potters, as was also his father, who died when he was a boy, leaving him a fortune of twenty pounds. He had learned to read and write at the village school; but on the death of his father he was taken from it, and set to work in a small pottery carried on by his elder brother. There he began life, his working life, to use his own words, “ on the lowest round of the ladder," when only eleven years old.

When he had completed his apprenticeship with his brother, Josiah formed partnership with another workman, and carried on a small business; but he made comparatively little progress until he began business on his own account at

Burslem in the year 1759. There he diligently pursued his calling, introducing new articles to the trade, and gradually extending his business. What he chiefly aimed at was to manufacture creamcoloured ware of a better quality than was then produced in Staffordshire, as regarded shape, colour, glaze, and durability. To understand the subject

the subject thoroughly, he devoted his leisure to the study of chemistry, and he made numerous experiments with the various materials employed. Wedgewood was for some time much troubled by his furnaces, and he only overcame his difficulties by repeated experiments and unfaltering perseverance. His first attempts at making porcelain for table use, were a succession of disastrous failures — the labours of months often being destroyed in a day. It was only after a long series of trials, in the course of which he lost time, money, and labour, that he arrived at the proper sort of glaze to be used; but he would not be denied, and at last he conquered success through patience.

The improvement of pottery became his passion, and was never lost sight of for a moment. Even when he had mastered his difficulties, and become a prosperous man-manufacturing white stoneware and cream-coloured ware in large quantities for home and foreign use—he went forward perfecting his manufactures, until, his example extending in all directions, the action of the entire district was stimulated, and a great branch of British industry was eventually established on firm foundations. He aimed throughout at the highest excellence, declaring his determination " to give over manufacturing any article, whatsoever it might be, rather than to degrade it." Wedgewood made for Queen Charlotte the first royal table service of English manufacture, of the kind afterwards called “ Queen's-ware," and was appointed Royal Potter, a title which he prized more than if he had been made a baron. He found out the sculptor Flaxman when a youth, who made for him a large number of beautiful designs for his pottery and porcelain ; and by careful experiments and study he re-discovered the art of painting on porcelain, or earthenware vases, an art which had been lost. The reputation he gained was such that his works at Burslem, and afterwards those at Etruria which he founded and built, became the points of attraction to distinguished visitors from all parts of Europe.

The result of Wedgewood's labours was, that the manufacture of pottery, which he found in the very lowest condition, became one of the staples of England; and instead of importing what we needed for home use from abroad, we became able to send large quantities to other countries, notwithstanding the large duties they were forced to pay for importing articles of British produce. Wedgewood gave evidence as to his manufactures before Parliament thirty years after he began his work, from which it appeared that instead of, as formerly, providing occasional employment to a small num

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