Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/48

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10
ENGLISH CARICATURISTS.


 Wherefore add this particular rule to your code,
 Let all vehicles take the wrong side of the road,
 And man, woman, and child be left-handed.

 Yet regard not the awkward appearance with doubt,
 But remember how often mere blessings fall out,
 That at first seemed no better than curses:
 So, till things take a turn, live in hope, and depend
 That whatever is wrong will come right in the end,
 And console you for all your reverses.

* * * * *

 But the acid has duly been lower'd and bites
 Only just where the visible metal invites,
 Like a nature inclined to meet troubles;
 And behold as each slender and glittering line
 Effervesces, you trace the completed design
 In an elegant bead-work of bubbles.

* * * * *

 But before with the varnishing brush you proceed.
 Let the plate with cold water be thoroughly freed
 From the other less innocent liquor;
 After which, on whatever you want to protect,
 Put a coat that will act to that very effect,
 Like the black one which hangs on the vicar.

 Then the varnish well dried—urge the biting again,
 But how long, at its meal, the cau forte may remain,
 Time and practice alone can determine:
 But of course not so long that the mountain, and mill,
 The rude bridge, and the figures—whatever you will—
 Are as black as the spots on your ermine.

 It is true, none the less, that a dark looking scrap,
 With a sort of Blackheath and Black Forest, mayhap,
 Is considered as rather Rembrandty;
 And that very black cattle and very black sheep,
 A black dog, and a shepherd as black as a sweep,
 Are the pets of some great dilettante.

* * * * *

 But before your own picture arrives at that pitch,
 While the lights are still light, and the shadows, though rich.
 More transparent than ebony shutters,
 Never minding what Black-Arted critics may say,
 Stop the biting, and pour the green blind away,
 As you please, into bottles or gutters.