mention of it. To any one possessing the faintest spark of intelligence it is plain that labour-saving methods and devices such as those referred to are really productive of more good to the community at large than it is possible to estimate.
There is, however, another aspect of the question to be regarded; and it is that which inspires the doleful wailings, even the maledictions, of the critics to whom I have alluded. The man who can do his daily work in the modern steam factory and take a delight in the labour of his hands—what little labour of the hands there is—defying the enervating, and, artistically speaking, debasing influences of the conditions by which he is governed, must be of a very rare breed indeed; while for the youngster who is placed there to learn thoroughly the craft in all its branches, or even in one branch alone, the case is practically hopeless. Thus we are between the proverbial "two stools." Much might be said, again, on the decline of the apprenticeship system, a decline inevitable with the development of existing conditions, which are responsible for so much; but I must not be tempted to enter upon the discussion of that subject.
So much for the changes that have come about in respect of manufacture. Now let me say a brief word or two on the question of the training of the designer. It will, of course, be contended that the nation spends tens of thousands of pounds in founding and supporting museums, libraries, and technical and art schools and classes, where the young craftsman may learn all he needs and at a nominal expense, if he be so disposed. Are not gold, silver, and bronze medals, and book prizes, awarded annually for the best works submitted in competition ? What then ? Let anyone who would note the outcome of all this expenditure in the direction of school and class founding, instruction, and prize-giving, pay a visit to the annual exhibitions of these competitive works held at the Royal School of Art, South Kensington, and there form his own judgment as to the net result. So far, at all
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