Let us examine them, not so much for the jovial humour and wonderful variety of feature exhibited in these darling countenances as for the engraver's part of the work. See the infinite delicate cross lines and hatchings which he is obliged to render; let him go, not a hair's breadth, but the hundredth part of a hair's breadth, beyond the given line, and the feeling of it is ruined. He receives these little dots and specks, and fantastical quirks of the pencil, and cuts away with a little knife round each nor too much nor too little. Antonio's pound of flesh did not puzzle the Jew so much; and so well does the engraver succeed at last, that we never remember to have met with a single artist who did not vow that the wood-cutter had utterly ruined his design.
Of Messrs Thompson and Williams we have spoken as the first engravers in point of rank; however, the regulations of professional precedence are certainly very difficult, and the rest of their brethren we shall not endeavour to class. Why should the artists who executed the cuts of the admirable ' Three Courses ' yield the pas to any one ? If the reader will turn back to the second cut in p. 28, he will agree with us that it is a very brilliant and faithful imitation of the artist's manner, and admire the pretty glimpse of landscape and the manner in which it is rendered; the oyster cut is likewise very delicately engraved, and indeed we should be puzzled, were there no signatures, to assign the prize at all.
Here for instance is an engraving by Mr Landells, nearly as good in our opinion as the very best woodcut that ever was made after Cruikshank, and curiously happy in rendering the artist's