The Story of Glass
THE THRONG OF MOVING WORKMEN
The Story of Glass
SARA WARE BASSETT
"The Story of Lumber"
"The Story of Wool"
"The Story of Leather"
"The Story of Sugar"
C. P. GRAY
THE PENN PUBLISHING COMPANY
THE PENN PUBLISHING COMPANY
To G. C.
a patient listener and a helpful critic I inscribe
this book as a reminder of many happy hours
which we spent together in the Old World
S. W. B.
A Friendly Feud9
Jean Has a Surprise and Gives One27
Giusippe Tells a Story50
Uncle Bob Enlarges His Party66
Giusippe Encounters an Old Friend83
Uncle Bob as Story Teller99
America Once More121
Jean Threatens to Steal Giusippe's Trade140
Two Uncles and a New Home182
Jean's Telegram and What It Said208
Jean and Giusippe Each Find a Niche in Life220
The Throng of Moving WorkmenFrontispiece
"Every One Knows Me at the Glass Works"47
"I Knew Her in Venice"95
"It is Shaped to the Form Required"160
"The Melt is Poured Out on an Iron Table"202
"I Want These Orders Filled"223
THE STORY OF GLASS
A FRIENDLY FEUD
"lived around." She did not live around because nobody wanted her,
however; on the contrary, she lived around because so many people
wanted her. Both her father and mother had died when Jean was a baby
and so until she was twelve years old she had been brought up by a
cousin of her mother's. Then the cousin had married a missionary and
had gone to teach the children in China, and China, as you will agree,
was no place for an American girl to go to school. Therefore Jean was
sent to Boston and put in charge of her uncle, Mr. Robert Cabot. Uncle
Bob was delighted with the arrangement, for they were great friends,
Jean and this boy-uncle of hers.
But no sooner did she arrive in Boston and settle down to live on
Beacon Hill than up rose Uncle Tom Curtis, Jean's other uncle, who
lived in Pittsburgh. He made a dreadful fuss because Jean had gone to
Uncle Bob's to live.
wanted her out in Pittsburgh, and he wrote that Fräulein Decker,
who was his housekeeper, and had been governess to Jean's own mother,
wanted her too.
That started Hannah, Uncle Bob's housekeeper.
"The very idea," she said, "of that German woman thinking they want
Jean in Pittsburgh as much as we want her here in Boston. Didn't I
bring up Jean's father, I'd like to know; and her Uncle Bob as well? I
guess I can be trusted to bring up another Cabot. It's
ridiculous—that's what it is—perfectly
ree-diculous!" That was Hannah's favorite
expression—"Ree-diculous!" "I'd like my job," went on Hannah, "sending
that precious child to Pittsburgh where her white dresses would get all
grimed up with coal soot."
But Hannah's scorn of Pittsburgh did not settle the matter.
Instead Mr. Carleton, Uncle Tom Curtis's lawyer, came to Boston as
fast as he could get there and one afternoon presented himself at Uncle
Bob's house on Beacon Hill. Uncle Bob was in the library when he
arrived and the two men sat down before the fire, for it was a chilly
day in early spring. After they had said a few pleasant things about
the weather, and Uncle Bob had inquired for Uncle Tom, they really got
started on what they wanted to say and my—how they did talk! It was all
good-natured talk, for Uncle Bob liked Uncle Tom Curtis very much;
nevertheless Uncle Bob and Uncle Tom's lawyer did talk pretty hard and
pretty fast, for they had lots of things to say.
At last Uncle Bob Cabot rose from his leather chair and going to the fireplace gave the blazing logs a vicious little poke.
He was becoming nettled. Anybody could see that.
"The Curtises have not a whit more title to the child than I have,"
he burst out. "You are a lawyer, Carleton, and you know that. I am just
as much Jean's uncle as Tom Curtis is; in fact I think I am more her
uncle because I am her father's own brother. I'm a Cabot, and so is
Jean. I should think that ought to be enough. Who would she live with,
if not with the Cabots?"
Mr. Carleton cleared his throat.
"You certainly have a strong claim to the little girl," he agreed.
"But you see my other client puts up an equally convincing story. In
fact, he uses almost your identical words. He says he is Jean's
mother's own brother, and argues no one can have a closer right than
"But what does he know about bringing up a little girl? Isn't he an old bachelor?"
"You are not married yourself, Mr. Cabot."
"Well, no. So I'm not. However, that's neither here nor there. Tom
Curtis is fifty if he's a day. He is too old to bring up a child,
"He complains that you are only thirty, and too young."
Mr. Robert Cabot, who was walking excitedly about the room, turned quickly.
"But I have Hannah. You do not know Hannah or you would feel
differently. It is hard to tell you what Hannah is. You just have to
know her. She is the mainspring of my household. Not only does she
cook, clean, mend, and market for me; she does a score of things
besides. Why, I couldn't live without her. She is one of those motherly
souls whose wisdom is of the sages. She has been in our family since I
was a baby. Most of my bringing up, in fact, was due to her and," he
added whimsically, "behold the work of her hands!"
Mr. Carleton smiled.
"I cannot deny the product is good, Mr. Cabot. But again, all these
arguments you put forth Mr. Tom Curtis also reëchoes in behalf of his
German Fräulein. She too has been for years in the Curtis family and
brought up their children, and Mr. Curtis feels that since she trained
Jean's mother she is eminently the person to train Jean."
"The claims seem about equal."
"No, they're not. That's where you are wrong. Allowing everything
else to be equal even you must grant that there is one serious
objection of which you have not spoken. Mr. Tom Curtis lives in
Pittsburgh! That is enough to overthrow the whole thing.
Pittsburgh! Think of bringing up a child in Pittsburgh when she could
be brought up in Boston. Boston, my good man, is intellectually—well,
of course I do not wish to appear prejudiced, but you will, I am sure,
admit that Boston——"
Mr. Bob Cabot dropped helplessly into his chair, leaving the
sentence unfinished. There seemed to be no words in the English
language adequate to express what, in Mr. Bob Cabot's estimation,
Boston actually was.
Mr. Carleton started to laugh, but after glancing furtively at Mr. Bob Cabot he changed his mind and coughed instead.
"We all grant Boston is without an intellectual peer," he answered
with a grave inclination of his head. "Even I, who was born in Indiana,
grant that, although out in my state we think we run you a close
second. Boston moreover has a background of which we in the West cannot
boast—history, you know, and all that sort of thing. It would be a
great privilege for little Miss Jean Cabot to receive a home and an
education in Boston. There are, however, many fine things in
Pittsburgh; it is not all soot, or panting factories."
"I suppose not. Jean's mother was a Pittsburgh girl, and certainly
she was a wonderful type of woman. Yet you cannot tell what result a
Boston environment might have had on such a nature as hers. She might
have been even nearer perfection. Yet after all she was quite fine
enough for human clay, Carleton, quite fine enough. And the little girl
promises to be like her—an uncommonly sweet, gentle child, and pretty,
too—very pretty. To send her to Pittsburgh—hang it all! Why must Tom
Curtis live in Pittsburgh?"
"Mr. Curtis, as you seem to have forgotten, Mr. Cabot, is the owner
of one of the largest plate glass factories in the country. He has
built up a fortune by his business and he is no more ready to hurl his
life's work to the winds and come to Boston to live than you are to
toss aside your own business and move to Pittsburgh. And by the way,
speaking of business, Mr. Cabot, if it does not seem an impertinent
question, what is
"My business? Well, for a good many years my chief business seemed
to be getting over a bad knee I got when playing tackle on the Harvard
football eleven. We wiped up the ground with Yale, though, so it was
worth it. Of late I spend more or less time in seeing that Hannah does
not feed me too well and starve herself. Part of my business, too, is
to argue with disagreeable old lawyers like yourself, Carleton." Mr.
Bob Cabot chuckled. "When I am not doing some of these things and have
the surplus time I am incidentally an interior decorator. Oh, I do not
go out papering and painting; oh dear, no! I just tell other people how
to spend a fortune furnishing their houses. I advise brocade hangings,
Italian marbles and every sort of rare and beautiful thing, and since I
do not have these luxuries to pay for I find my vocation a tremendously
"You have set a worthy example in your own house," observed Mr. Carleton, glancing about with admiration.
"Oh, I've done a little—not much. I like the old landscape paper in
this library; some of my antique furniture, too, is rather nice. I
picked up many of the best pieces in the South. The house itself came
to me from my father, and I have altered it very little, as I was
anxious to keep its old colonial atmosphere. Hannah and I live here
most peacefully with a waitress and inside man to help us. With Jean
added to the household we shall have just the touch of young life that
we need. I am very fond of children, and——"
"You seem very certain that Jean is to settle with you, Mr. Cabot.
Now let me own up to something; although Mr. Tom Curtis sent me to have
this talk with you and pave the way, it chances—no, chance is not the
right word—on the contrary it is an intentional fact that Mr. Tom
Curtis is at this very moment here in Boston."
Mr. Bob Cabot started.
"Tom Curtis here!"
"Yes. He is putting up at the University Club, and he wanted me to
ask you if you would be so good as to dine there with him to-night."
"So he has come over to enter the fray himself, has he? Well, well!
Why didn't he come right here? Of course I'll join him. I always liked
Tom Curtis. The only things I have against him are that he
live in Pittsburgh—and that he wants Jean."
Mr. Carleton rose with satisfaction. At least part of his mission
had been successfully accomplished. He could afford to overlook the
slur on Pittsburgh which, as it happened, was his home as well as that
of Mr. Tom Curtis.
"Then I'll call up Mr. Curtis," he said, "and tell him he may expect you. Will seven o'clock be all right?"
"Certainly. I suppose I shall not see you again, Carleton?"
Mr. Carleton hesitated.
"It is just possible that I may drop in on you and Mr. Curtis after dinner."
"Oh, I see. A plot."
"Not at all. I have some business to settle with Mr. Curtis before I return to Pittsburgh."
"Going back to that grimy coal hole, are you?" blustered Mr. Bob
Cabot. "How you fellows can live there when you might spend your days
The door slammed.
Mr. Carleton was gone.
Shrugging his shoulders Mr. Bob Cabot glanced at the clock. He had
just about time to dash off a necessary letter, dress, and get to the
"Hannah!" he called.
A small dark-haired woman appeared in the doorway. She had sharp
little black eyes that twinkled a great deal, and she had a mouth that
turned up at the corners; furthermore she had a plump figure neatly
dressed in gray, and a white apron tied behind in an enormous and very
"Yes, Mr. Bob."
"Hannah, Mr. Tom Curtis is in town with a rascal of a lawyer. They have come to see about taking Jean to live in Pittsburgh."
"Pittsburgh! My soul, Mr. Bob! You'll not let her go, of course. Pittsburgh, indeed! Don't we know that Boston——"
"We certainly do, Hannah. Nobody knows what Boston is better than we
do. But Mr. Tom Curtis unfortunately was not born in Boston."
"More's the pity! Still, I suppose he cannot be blamed for that. It wasn't really his fault."
Mr. Bob Cabot laughed and dropped a big, kindly hand on the shoulder of the woman beside him.
"I will try and impress upon him all that he has missed when I see
him to-night. I am to dine with him at the University Club at seven."
"You're not dining out!" ejaculated Hannah in dismay.
"I'm afraid so."
"Oh, Mr. Bob! And fried chicken for dinner—just the way you like it, too."
"I'm sorry, Hannah."
"And me browning all those sweet potatoes!"
"I'm lots more disappointed than you are—truly I am. It can't be
helped, though. Now let me finish this letter and you go and lay out my
dress shirt and studs and things, or I'll be late."
Hannah darted from the room.
"I made you a Brown Betty pudding, too, Mr. Bob!" she called over
her shoulder. "But no matter. There is no evil without some good; your
trousers are freshly pressed and handsome as pictures—if I do say it as
shouldn't. I'll lay 'em out for you, and your dinner coat as well. But
to think of that pudding! Why couldn't Mr. Curtis have invited you the
night the beef stew was scorched."
Promptly on the stroke of seven Uncle Bob Cabot presented himself at
the University Club, where Uncle Tom Curtis was waiting for him, and
the two men grasped hands cordially. How big Uncle Tom Curtis looked
and, despite Hannah's remarks, how rosy and how clean! And what a nice
smile he had! The dinner was extraordinarily good. The filet was done
to a turn, and there was just enough seasoning on the mushrooms. As for
the grilled potatoes, even Hannah herself couldn't have improved upon
them. An old Harvard "grad" came over from the next table and greeted
Uncle Tom Curtis, telling him he did not look a day older than when he
was in college, and in spite of his gray hairs Uncle Tom Curtis seemed
to believe it. Then they talked of the last Harvard boat race; the
winning eleven; the D. K. E. with its initiation pranks; and the old
professors. And after the other man had left the waiter brought coffee
which was deliciously hot and cheese that was exactly ripe enough.
Uncle Tom Curtis seemed to have no end of stories at which Uncle Bob
Cabot laughed until he was very red in the face, and afterward Uncle
Bob told some stories and Uncle Tom Curtis sat back in his chair and
laughed and wiped his eyes and mopped his forehead. Then Uncle Bob said
that of course the Club was all very well, but he should insist on
Uncle Tom's tossing his things into his grip and coming over to Beacon
Hill with him to finish up his Boston visit.
They did not talk about Jean any more that night, but the next
morning after breakfast they went at the discussion and were just in
the midst of it when who should walk in but Jean herself. She had been
spending two or three days with a friend of her mother who lived in the
"Uncle Bob!" she called as she dashed her hat and muff down upon the
settle in the hall. "Uncle Bob! Oh, I had a perfectly lovely time. And
what do you think! Mrs. Chandler has three darling Irish terrier
puppies, and she is going to give me one if you are willing that I
should have it. You do like puppies, don't you? I know you'd like these
anyway; they are so blinky, and fat, and little."
Tossing her coat on top of the hat and muff she ran up the front stairs and into the library.
"Why, Uncle Tom Curtis!" she cried. "Whatever brought you here?"
Fluttering to the big man's side she gave him a prodigious hug and
at the same time dropped a butterfly kiss on the top of his shiny bald
head. The next instant she was perched on the arm of Uncle Bob's chair,
eyeing her two uncles expectantly.
"You both look so hot and so—well, almost cross, you know. What is the matter?"
"We are talking about you, honey," ventured Uncle Bob after a short, uneasy silence.
me! And it makes you look as solemn and ruffled up as this?
Whatever have I done? Did Mrs. Chandler telephone you about the puppy?
Don't worry. I do not mind if I don't have it—really I don't."
"No, dear, it wasn't the puppy. You shall have all the puppies you
want so far as I'm concerned," Uncle Bob answered, stroking the tiny
hand that nestled in his. "No, your Uncle Tom and I were talking about
where you are to live."
"But I thought I was to live here."
"I thought so too," agreed Uncle Bob. "Uncle Tom, though, is not
satisfied with that arrangement. He says he wants you to come and live
"But I couldn't leave you, Uncle Bob—you know that; at least, not
for all the time. If there were only two of me and I could live with
each of you how nice it would be. Of course I'd love to be with Uncle
Tom sometimes. Why couldn't I live with one of you part of the time and
with the other the rest of the year? I'd rather be here in the summer,
though, I think, because it's near the ocean."
How simple the great tangle over which the two men had argued suddenly seemed!
"Jean has settled it herself!" Uncle Tom exclaimed. "It shall be
Pittsburgh winters and Boston summers. I wonder we didn't solve it that
way in the beginning."
So everybody was pleased. Even Hannah admitted that if that was the
best that could be done she would put up with it; but she made Uncle
Tom Curtis promise to lay in a big supply of soap.
"You must scrub her face and hands three times a day, and at least
once between meals if she is to live in Pittsburgh," remarked she. "And
please remember to have the grime soaked out of her white dresses, Mr.
Curtis. Borax and a little ammonia will do it," she concluded
"We will wash not only the clothes in ammonia water, but Jean if you say so, Hannah," promised Uncle Tom.
At this everybody laughed.
Then by and by they had luncheon, and Uncle Tom Curtis said it was a
much better meal than he had had at the Club the night before; and
Hannah said that maybe Pittsburgh was not so black as it was painted;
and Uncle Bob said he'd send the inside man to the Chandlers' to get
the puppy that very afternoon. And he did. And the puppy came, and he
was very small, and very fat, and very wobbly. His head was much too
large for him and so were his feet.
"You must name him Beacon Hill and call him Beacon for short, Jean,"
said Uncle Tom Curtis—which, coming from Uncle Tom Curtis, who thought
there was no place on earth like Pittsburgh, was a generous
JEAN HAS A SURPRISE AND GIVES ONE
NCLE TOM CURTIS
returned to Pittsburgh the next day, leaving Jean and Beacon to
stay with Uncle Bob until October. It was now April, and on the Common
and Public Garden the trees, which were beginning to break into
delicate foliage, were invaded by scores of scampering gray squirrels
so tame that they would eat out of one's hand. Often in the morning
when Jean walked to the office with Uncle Bob she would stop to feed
these hungry little creatures and also the flocks of friendly pigeons
clustering along the walks. Of course Beacon had to be left behind when
the family went on such strolls, for he was far too fond of chasing
everything he saw; afternoon was his gala time. Then, while Jean flew
on roller skates along the broad asphalt Esplanade bordering the
Charles River, Beacon would race up and down dodging the skaters,
playing with the children, and nearly tripping up the throngs of
nurse-maids who trundled their wee charges in the bright sunshine.
How quickly the days passed!
Already the Beacon Hill house had become a real home, and Uncle Bob dearer each moment she stayed in it.
"You know, Uncle Bob, you would be really perfect if only you liked dolls and could tie hair ribbons," said Jean teasingly.
Uncle Bob shook his head ruefully.
"I never could care for sawdust people," said he, "when there were
so many interesting real ones in the world. As for the hair ribbons,
perhaps I might learn to tie those in time, although I doubt if I ever
could make as perky a bow as Hannah does. I like the
but I haven't the faintest idea how to get it."
She and her uncle had many a joke together.
"He is better at a joke than Uncle Tom is," confided Jean to Hannah.
In fact Uncle Bob joked so much that it was hard to tell when he was
serious, and so one day when he came into the library where Jean was
and swept all the dolls on the couch over into the corner, laughingly
demanding how Jean would like to go to Europe, she paid no attention to
"Seems to me you are not a very enthusiastic or grateful young
woman," said he at last tweaking a curl that hung low on her cheek.
"Here I am inviting you to tour the world with me and all you say is:
'I'll think about it!' How's that for gratitude?"
"If you had any intention of taking me I might be more grateful,"
Jean answered, fastening the gown of the doll she was dressing, and
holding her at arm's length to enjoy the effect.
"But I am entirely serious, my young friend; I never was more so. I
am imploring you to go to Italy, for go I must, and I have no mind to
leave you behind."
"To Italy? To real Italy, Uncle Bob? Do you mean it?"
"I surely do, dear child. Behold me, solemn as an owl. Ah, now you
begin to listen. It would serve you right if I should refuse to take
such an ungrateful lady. What say you? Should you like to go?"
"Like it! I'd love it! I've never been on an ocean trip in all my life."
"You may not care to go on another after you've been on this one,"
chuckled Uncle Bob. "However, the fact remains that we are going. I
have charge of decorating a very beautiful house in the suburbs and I
am going over to Florence to order some marble stairways and
fireplaces. That is my excuse. Incidentally we can make a pleasant trip
out of it and see many places besides Italy."
"Could we go to Venice?" burst out Jean. "Venice is in Italy, isn't
it? I'd like of all places to see Venice with its water streets and its
"Yes, honey, you certainly shall see Venice and ride in all the gondolas you like."
"Splendid!" cried Jean, clapping her hands. "When can we start?
Let's go right away," and springing up from the couch she whirled
toward the door.
"Slowly, slowly!" protested Uncle Bob. "Come back here to me a
moment, you flyaway. Many things must be decided before we sail for
Italy. In the first place there is Hannah; what shall we do with her?"
"Oh, Hannah must come along with us," Jean answered. "She'll have
to. We never could think of going to Europe and leaving good old
Hannah, who is so kind to both of us, now could we? Besides, she has to
fix my hair every morning, and mend my clothes. I'd be coming to pieces
all over Europe if Hannah didn't go."
"Well, then, that settles it. Hannah goes. I never could consent to
escort a young lady who might drop to pieces at any moment and strew
her belongings all along the route from Italy to Scotland. Now about
Esther, the waitress. She wants to go West and visit her brother; this
will be just the chance. Suppose we tie a long string to her and let
her go. Then we come to Beacon."
"Beacon would go with us, of course," Jean replied quickly. "You may
be sure I'd never leave Beacon at home. I'd rather not go myself."
"But, girlie, we couldn't very well——"
"Why, Uncle Bob! You don't mean to say you thought of leaving
Beacon! If you did I simply sha'n't go. That's all there is about it. I
shall never, never be parted from Beacon—never!"
"Listen, dear. Beacon wouldn't enjoy going. We could not get for him
the food to which he is accustomed, nor would they admit him to the
picture galleries which we shall visit. I doubt if he would even care
for the gondolas."
"No, I'm sure he would not like the gondolas," admitted Jean smiling
faintly, "because Hannah and I tried him on the swan-boats in the
Public Garden and he hated them; he just barked and snarled all the
time, and wriggled about so in my arms that he nearly went overboard
and carried me with him."
"That's just it! That is precisely the way he would feel on
shipboard. Now my plan is this. We'll send him out to Pittsburgh for
Uncle Tom to take care of until you get back. Then when you go out
there in October your doggie will be nicely settled in his other home
and waiting for you. In fact," confessed Uncle Bob a little sheepishly,
"I wrote Uncle Tom and asked how he would feel about adding a puppy to
his household. This is his answer:
"'European plan excellent. Send Beacon. Next best thing to Jean.'"
"Dear Uncle Tom! He is awfully good, isn't he?"
"Yes, he is. I fancy he will decide so, too, when he finds all his
sofa cushions torn, and his shoes chewed up," chuckled Uncle Bob. "Let
him take his turn at it."
Beacon provided for, the remainder of the European plan seemed
simple enough. To be sure there was Hannah, who at first flatly refused
to be separated from the golden dome of the State House or from the
Boston "Evening Transcript." At last, however, after much persuasion
she consented to suffer these deprivations for the common good, and
brought herself to purchasing the necessary clothing for Jean and
herself. To these she added French, German and Italian dictionaries
because, as she explained: "We might get lost or parted from your Uncle
Bob somehow, and you never can tell what will happen in those heathen
countries where the poor people cannot speak English. How men and women
can live in places where they talk those dreadful languages and use
that queer money when they might come over here to Boston——"
"That's right, Hannah," agreed Uncle Bob, playfully urging her on.
"And all that strange weather! Why, I read only the other day that
in Italy they just have summer all the year round. So foolish! They
never get any snow at all—think of that! It is such a slack and lazy
way to do always to be wearing one set of things and never getting out
any winter flannels. I shouldn't know where I was if I didn't chalk off
the seasons by my house cleaning, preserving, getting out the furs, and
putting them away. I just know those Italians live without any system.
How could they be expected to have any when it's summer all the time?"
She sniffed scornfully.
In fact Hannah sniffed a good many times before the great ship which
was carrying them to Naples docked beneath the shadow of Vesuvius. The
staterooms she termed little coops, and the berths nothing more nor
less than shelves.
"When I go to bed, Mr. Bob, I feel exactly as if I was a sheet put away in the linen closet."
Uncle Bob and Jean both laughed. Hannah kept them royally entertained.
"As for these clocks that strike every hour but the right one—I've
nothing to say," she went on. "If the captain prefers to ring two when
he means nine, well and good. He runs the ship and it is his lookout,
although I will say it is hard on the rest of us. He explains that it
has something to do with the watch—whose watch I don't know; his own, I
suppose. Evidently he has some queer way of telling time, some theory
he is free to work out when he is here in the middle of the ocean away
from land. Be glad, Jean, that you learned to tell time properly, and
that you live with people who are content to use the old method and do
not set themselves up to invent a system that is a puzzle to every one
Thus Hannah measured every new experience, applying to it the Beacon
Hill standard. If it conformed to what was done in Boston it was quite
correct, but if it varied in the least it was condemned as
To Jean, on the contrary, the voyage was one of unending delight.
She proved herself an excellent sailor, and was never tired of playing
shuffle-board on the deck or pacing to and fro with Uncle Bob in the
fresh breeze. And when at last Gibraltar was reached and she actually
beheld the coasts of Spain, Africa and Italy, her wonder grew until she
said she had to pinch herself to be sure she was alive and not
dreaming. It was a journey of marvels.
"I feel exactly as if I had gone down the rabbit hole with Alice,"
she exclaimed, squeezing Uncle Bob's arm as they were disembarking at
Uncle Bob was in such a hurry to reach Florence that the travelers
did not stay long in Naples—only long enough to visit the famous
Aquarium with its myriad of strange sea creatures, and to take a flying
glimpse of the Museum. It was at the latter place that Jean saw the
celebrated Naples Vase which, Uncle Bob told her, was found over a
hundred years ago in a tomb in Pompeii.
"It probably was made by very skilful Grecian workmen about the year 70
Think how wonderful it is that there were artists living many
thousands of years ago who knew how to make such a beautiful thing.
Look closely at it, Jean, for it is one of the art treasures of the
The vase, scarcely more than a foot in height, was of dark blue
glass, and had upon it in white a design of delicate Grecian figures.
"It was first made with a coating of white opaque glass entirely
over the blue," Uncle Bob explained. "Then the artist with extreme care
and some sharp instrument cut this beautiful picture of the harvest
gatherers. Notice, too, how the pattern is repeated on the handles. It
is a pity the base or foot of the vase is missing; it was probably of
gold and was doubtless stolen at some time. There is now made in
England a kind of pottery called Wedgwood, which has much this same
effect although, of course, it is far less perfectly fashioned."
"I'm glad I do not have this thing to dust," Hannah observed grimly.
"Well you may be, Hannah," Uncle Bob retorted, "for the vase is
worth thousands of dollars. There are in the world several very famous
glass vases—this is one; the Auldjo Vase, also from Pompeii and now in
the British Museum, is another; and the Portland Vase, which is there
too, makes a third. The design on the Portland Vase is considered even
finer than this. We shall see it and I will tell you its history when
we get to London."
What weren't they to see!
Jean's head was a jumble of fairy anticipations—of Crown Jewels,
palaces, gondolas, famous pictures, and scenes of undreamed of beauty.
The Tower of London merged itself with visions of Napoleon's Tomb,
while in and out of her mind flitted fragmentary pictures of Notre Dame
and the Vatican. Everything seemed so old!
"At first I stood with my mouth open when I was told things were
built, or dug up, or made hundreds of years ago," laughed Jean. "But
now I find I am growing fussy, and unless a thing is thousands of years
old it scarcely seems worth looking at. How horribly new they must
think us in America! Even Bunker Hill and the State House, Hannah, are
very modern," she added teasingly.
"Now, Jean, if this trip to Europe is going to make you turn up your
nose at your native land the best thing you can do is to face round and
go straight back home," was Hannah's severe reply.
"There, there, you dear old thing! Don't worry. I love my America,
but you should have learned by this time that I never can resist seeing
you bristle. But even you, bigoted as you are, must admit that a great
deal seems to have happened in the world before we on the other side of
the sea were alive at all."
"Much of it," observed Hannah with dignity, "was nothing to be proud
of, and it's as well they kept it on this side of the ocean."
From Naples Uncle Bob whirled his bewildered charges to Rome and
then to Florence, and while he was busy transacting business Hannah and
Jean were put in charge of a courier and taken to see so many pictures
and churches that Hannah begged never to be shown another masterpiece
or another spire so long as she lived.
"Bless your heart, Mr. Bob, if you were to lean the Sistine Madonna
right up against the table in my room I wouldn't turn my head to look
at it. And as for churches—I wouldn't accept Westminster Abbey as a
gift. Tell 'em not to urge it on me, for I wouldn't take it even if I
could get it through the customs free of duty. The things I'd like best
at this very minute would be an east wind and some baked beans."
But when they reached Venice and saw their first gondola even Hannah
was forced to admit that it far outshone the Boston swan-boats. The
travelers arrived late at night, and on passing through the station
came out on a broad platform where, instead of cabs and cars,
numberless gondolas floated, illumined by twinkling lights.
"Oh!" murmured Jean in a hushed whisper.
It was indeed a beautiful sight. Before them a stretch of water
flooded by the full moon wandered off into a multitude of tiny canals
shut in on either side by murky dwellings of stone or brick. In and out
of these dim little avenues plied boatmen who shouted a warning in
shrill Italian as they rounded the turns.
Uncle Bob lost no time in summoning a gondolier, and soon the party
were being swept along by the sturdy strokes of a swarthy Venetian who,
Hannah declared in an undertone, looked like nothing so much as a
full-fledged brigand. She could not be persuaded to take her hand off
her luggage, but sat clutching it with all her strength until she
arrived at the hotel. Jean, on the other hand, was too excited by the
novelty of the scene to know or care what the boatman looked like. Her
one fear seemed to be that if she went to bed and allowed herself to
fall asleep the wonderful water streets might vanish forever. It took
all Uncle Bob's pleading to make her close her eyes. At last, however,
she did and when she opened them in the morning her very first thought
was to fly to the window and see if the canals were still there.
No, it was not a dream!
There were the moving gondolas, the narrow water streets, and the
glorious dome of Del Salute directly opposite across the sparkling
expanse of the Grand Canal.
Jean suppressed a cry of delight, and scurried into her clothes.
"Now, Uncle Bob," she announced at breakfast, "I want to go straight
out in a gondola the minute I have finished my chocolate and rolls. I
think I am pretty good to stop for them at all. I want to go and stay
until noon. May I?"
"Well, let me think a second, little girl," replied Uncle Bob. "I am
afraid I must run over to the bankers' directly after breakfast, so I
won't be able to start right away; I can, however, take you later."
Then as he saw Jean's face fall he added, "You and Hannah may go early
if you like and come back for me at eleven. How will that do?"
"It will do beautifully only I wish you could be with us. How shall
we know how to get a boatman, or tell him where to take us? I am sure I
couldn't, and Hannah's Italian is not very good, although," with a
mischievous smile, "I suppose she could use her dictionary."
"I will arrange everything with a gondolier before I leave for the
bankers'," Uncle Bob answered. "Now I must be running along. Suppose
the gondola is here at half-past nine."
"The earlier the better," cried Jean.
Promptly at the hour set the gondola glided up to the steps of the
Grand Canal Hotel where Jean and Hannah were waiting. It was an
unusually beautiful gondola, with scarlet curtains and a gilded prow
carved in the shape of a woman's head.
Jean sprang forward, all eagerness, her eyes on the magic
apparition. Then suddenly her foot slipped on the slime left by the
tide on the marble step, and she would have fallen into the water had
not a young boy, with rare presence of mind, leaped forward and caught
Another moment and Hannah, white with fright, had the girl in her arms.
"Oh, my dear child!" she wailed. "My precious lamb! Thank goodness,
you are safe. Think if you'd been drowned before you had had a chance
to see Venice at all! But you are quite safe now, honey. Don't be
frightened. Young man," and she turned to the boy, "that was a good
deed of yours. What is your name? But there—how silly to be asking him
when he can't understand a word I'm saying. I forgot no one could
understand anything in this queer, upside-down town where the streets
are water when they ought to be land."
To her utter astonishment, however, the boy answered in English, which, although slightly broken, was perfectly intelligible.
"My name is Giusippe Cicone."
"Say it again," demanded Hannah. "Say it more slowly."
"Giusippe," echoed Hannah, "Giusippe Cicone. There! Giusippe Cicone.
I got it better that time. Giusippe Cicone. Now I have it! Well, Master
Giusippe Cicone, it was very good of you to save this little lady from
a ducking in your canal which, if I may be permitted to say so, is not
as clean as it might be. We are very much obliged to you, and here is
some money to pay you for being so quick."
The boy shook his head.
"I could not take money for saving the señorita from the water,"
protested he proudly. "I was glad to do it. I could not take pay."
"Well, I thank you very much," Jean ventured shyly.
He helped Hannah and the girl into the waiting gondola and then
stood on the steps shading his eyes with his brown hand as the
gondolier made his way to the oar.
"Perhaps you can tell us where we can find you if we should want to
see you again," called Hannah as the distance between them widened.
"Certainly. I am at Murano." He pointed across the lagoon to a distant island.
"Yes, I work there. Every one knows me at the glass works."
"EVERY ONE KNOWS ME AT THE GLASS WORKS"
He waved his hand and was soon lost to sight.
"I do wonder who he is," speculated Jean, who had now quite
recovered from her fright and could smile at the memory of the episode.
"And how strange that he understood English!"
"I don't call it strange," Hannah responded. "English is the only
sensible language, and probably this boy realizes it. I think it speaks
well for his discrimination."
"Anyway, he was a gentleman not to take the money; and yet he looked poor," reflected the girl.
"One may be a gentleman despite poverty, thank goodness," Hannah
said. "Your uncle will probably insist upon hunting him up and thanking
him. I can't see, Jean, how you came to slip that way. Wasn't the
boatman holding on to you?" and for the tenth time every detail of the
disaster had to be gone over.
"Well, all I can say is that if anything had happened to you I never
should have dared show my face to your Uncle Bob. And think of your
Uncle Tom at home—he would have things to say! They would both blame me
even if it was not my fault," sighed Hannah.
"Of course it wasn't your fault. How could you possibly be to blame
if I was so heedless as to rush ahead without looking where I was
going? I'm always doing that, Hannah; you know I am. I am always in
such a hurry to enjoy the things I like that I never can wait a moment.
This is a good lesson for me. I just hope the salt water won't spoil my
new tan shoes. Come! Let us talk of something pleasanter. Isn't it too
perfectly lovely out here? Look back at the shore and see how St.
Mark's and the Campanile stand out. I know those already, because I
remember seeing pictures of them in my geography. Oh, I am so glad we
are here! I am sure we shall have a wonderful time in Venice even if I
did begin by nearly drowning myself in the canal."
"It is all very well to laugh about it now," Hannah answered
solemnly, "but it was no laughing matter when it happened—no laughing
GIUSIPPE TELLS A STORY
Uncle Bob heard of Jean's adventure he lost no time, you may be
sure, in hunting up Giusippe Cicone. A note was sent to Murano asking
that the lad call at the hotel; and as the following day chanced to be
a festa day the glass works were closed and Giusippe presented himself
directly after breakfast. He was neatly although poorly clothed, and
had he had no other claim to Mr. Cabot's good will than his frank face
that would have won him a welcome. Perhaps added to Uncle Bob's
gratitude there was, too, a measure of the artist's joy in the
beautiful; for Giusippe was handsome. Thick brown hair clustered about
the well-formed head; his eyes were of soft hazel; and into his round
olive cheek was steeped the rich crimson of the southern sun. More than
all this, he was a well bred lad—manly, courteous, and proud. When Mr.
Cabot began to thank him for his service to Jean the boy made light of
what he had done and once more refused to accept any reward.
Uncle Bob's curiosity was aroused.
Never before had he met an Italian who would not take money when it was offered him.
"Perhaps you would be willing, young man, to tell us more about
yourself," said he at last. "You work in the glass factory, you say.
Have you been long there?"
Giusippe smiled, showing two rows of dazzling white teeth.
"So long, señor, that I cannot remember when I was not there. And
before me was my father, and my grandfather; and before that his
father; and so on back for years and years. There was always a Cicone
at Murano. For you must know, señor, that glass-making has ever been
the great art of Venice. When paintings began to take the place of the
glass mosaics then came the height of fame for Venetian glass. For you
will remember that for many years before artists could paint people
made pictures out of bits of glass, and in this way represented to
those who had no books scenes from the Bible or from history. Then
wonderful painters were born in Italy and they crowded out the mosaic
makers, who had previously decorated the churches, palaces, and public
buildings. The making of glass mosaics died out and it was then that
the Venetian artisans turned their attention and their skill to the
making of other glass things—beads, mirrors, drinking cups, and
ornaments. In fact," went on Giusippe, "there soon became so many glass
houses in Venice that the Great Council feared a terrible fire might
sweep the island, and in 1291, with the exception of a few factories
for small articles, all the glass houses were banished to the island of
Murano a mile distant where, if fire came, no destruction could be done
to the city of Venice itself. Those factories which were allowed to
remain had to have a space of fifteen paces around them. By the decree
of the Council the other glass houses were torn down."
"And it was thus that your great-great-great-great-great-grandfather was driven to Murano, was it?" queried Mr. Cabot.
"Yes. He was a member of the guild of bead-makers. For you know,
señor, that in those days workmen were banded together in guilds, and
kept the mysteries of their trade to themselves. The precious secret
was handed down from father to son. So it was with my
Giusippe drew himself up.
"Oh, it was a grand thing to be a glass-maker in those days, señor!"
continued the boy, his eyes glowing. "The members of the guilds were so
honored in Venice that they were considered equal in birth to the
noblest families. They were gentlemen. A titled woman felt only pride
in uniting herself with a glass-maker's family."
"Perhaps that is what your great-great-great-great-great-grandmother did," Jean said, half aloud.
"Yes, señorita," was Giusippe's simple answer. "And they say, too, she was beautiful. My ancestor was of the
pater-nostereri; he was a maker of beads for rosaries. Then there were the
margaritai, who made small beads; and the
fuppialume, who made large blown beads. Each man was a skilled artist, you see, and did some one special thing. The
made vases, cups, and glass for windows; the
optical glass; and the
mirrors. No strangers were allowed to visit the glass works, and
all apprentices must pass a rigid examination not only as to their
skill, but as to their previous personal history. In 1495 the glass
houses at Murano extended for a mile along a single street and the
great furnaces roared night and day, so you can imagine how much glass
was made on the island."
"My!" gasped Jean breathlessly.
"Absolute loyalty to the art was demanded of every man engaged in
it," Giusippe said. "And you can see, señor, that this was necessary.
Any workman carrying the secrets elsewhere was first warned to return
to Venice; then, if he refused, his nearest relative was imprisoned; if
he still refused to obey he was tracked down and killed. Often
glass-makers were found in Padua, Ravenna, and other places stabbed
through the heart, and the word
was fastened to the dagger."
"Do not tremble, señorita," Giusippe said. "It was a just
punishment. You see the Council of Ten felt that the prosperity of the
Venetians depended upon keeping their art away from all the outside
world which was so eager to learn it. All knew the penalty for
disloyalty. The decree read:
"'If any workman conveys his art to a strange country to the
detriment of the Republic he shall be sent an order to return to
Venice. Failing to obey his nearest of kin shall be imprisoned. If he
still persists in remaining abroad and plying his art an emissary shall
be charged to kill him.'
"In this way the secrets of glass-making were kept in Venice and the
Republic soon became famous and prosperous. As the reputation of the
Venetian glass-makers spread an immense trade was established. My
grandfather has often told me of the great numbers of beads which were
sent everywhere throughout the East—sometimes to Africa and even to
India. In 1764 twenty-two great furnaces were kept busy supplying the
beads that were demanded. Frequently, they say, as many as forty-four
thousand barrels were turned out in a single week."
"Why, I should think that everybody in the world would have been covered with beads!" Jean exclaimed, smiling.
"Ah, I can tell you something stranger than that, señorita. So
popular did Venetian glass of every variety become that a foreign
prince created a great sensation by appearing in Paris with curls of
finely spun black glass."
Jean and Uncle Bob laughed merrily.
"I think myself he was silly," Giusippe declared, echoing their
amusement. "He, however, was not alone in his admiration for the
beautiful and ingenious workmanship of the people of my country, for
even as far back as 1400 Richard the Second of England gave permission
to our Venetian merchants to sell glass aboard their galleys, duty
free; and King Henry the Eighth owned as many as four or five hundred
Venetian drinking goblets, vases, dishes, and plates, some of which,
they say, are still in the British Museum."
"We must see them when we go to London, mustn't we, Uncle Bob?" cried Jean eagerly.
"We surely must. All this is very interesting, Giusippe. You do well
to remember so much of your country's history," said Mr. Cabot.
"I am proud of it, señor. Besides I have heard it many, many times.
My people were never tired of telling over and over the story of the
old days; the golden days of Venice, my father called them. The
Republic might have retained its fame much longer had not some of our
countrymen been persuaded to go to other lands and sell their secrets
for gold. It was thus that the art of making mirrors was taken into
France and Germany."
"Tell us about it, Giusippe," pleaded Jean.
"Why, as I think I told you, the Venetians began to make mirrors as
early as 1300. Of course, señorita, they were crude affairs—not at all
like the fine ones of to-day, but to people who had nothing better they
were marvels. And indeed they were both clever and beautiful. For you
must remember that ages ago there was no such thing as a looking-glass.
Men and women could only see their reflections in streams, pools, and
fountains. Then the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans began to make mirrors
of burnished metal, using bits of brass or bronze often beautifully
decorated on the back with classic Grecian figures. Rich women carried
such mirrors fastened to their girdles or sometimes instead had them
fitted into small, shallow boxes of carved ivory; sometimes too the
mirror was set in a case of gold, silver, enamel, or ebony with
intricate decoration on the outside. That was the first of
"Later the Venetians experimented and began backing pieces of glass
with mercury or tin. The surface was first covered with tinfoil and
then rubbed down until smooth; then the whole was coated with
quicksilver, which formed an amalgam with the tin. It does no harm to
tell you about it now, señorita," added Giusippe a little sadly, "for
every one knows. This process was slow and unsatisfactory, but it was
the best the workmen then knew. These mirrors they set in elaborate
frames of glass, silver, carved wood, mother-of-pearl, coral, tarsi, or
into frames of painted wood. Some of them were sent by Venetian nobles
as gifts to kings and queens of other countries; often they were
purchased by royalties themselves. You can see many in the museums of
France, Germany, or England."
"We will hunt them up, Jean," Uncle Bob declared.
"I'd love to see them," replied the girl.
"My father has told me that there were frequent quarrels between the
glass-makers and the mirror-framers because, you see, the framers
wanted to learn the secret of making the mirrors, and the mirror-makers
were jealous of the skill of the framers and feared the frame would be
more beautiful than the mirror itself and so overshadow it. Then in
1600 the French stole from our people the secret of mirror-making and
began turning out mirrors not only as good, but in some respects better
than the Venetian ones."
"Oh, Giusippe, how did they steal the secret?" Jean cried. "How dreadful!"
"It was through the treachery of our own countrymen, señorita,"
Giusippe confessed. "Yes, sorry as I am to say so, it was our own
fault. The French, you see, as well as the Venetians, had long been
experimenting with glass-making and since it was considered there, as
here, an art, many penniless Huguenot gentlemen who had lost their
fortunes took it up; for one might be a glass-maker and still retain
his noble rank. Such was Bernard Palissy——"
"The potter!" interrupted Jean. "I learned all about him in my history."
"So? Then you know how he struggled for years to solve the secret of
making the enamel he had seen on a Saracen cup. Palissy also made some
fine old stained glass, although few people seem to know this. Many
another Frenchman tried to discover the Venetian's great secret. They
sought to bribe our people to tell the process, but without success.
Then Colbert, the chief minister under Louis the Fourteenth, wrote the
French ambassador at Venice that he must obtain for France some
Venetian workmen. The ambassador was upset enough, as you may imagine,
when he received the order. He said he could not do it. He dared not.
If found out he would be thrown into the sea."
"He ought to have been!" Jean cried. "He would have deserved it."
"I think so too," Uncle Bob agreed.
"It would have been far better for Venice had he been drowned in the
Adriatic," Giusippe answered slowly. "But he wasn't. Instead he began
cautiously to look about. There are always in the world, señor, men who
have no pride in their fatherland and can be bought with money. The
next year the ambassador succeeded in bribing eighteen glass-makers to
go to France and make mirrors for Versailles, the palace of the French
king. And no sooner had these men got well to work and passed the
mystery on to the French than Colbert forbade the French people to
import any more mirrors from Venice, as mirrors could now be made at
home. Some of these early French mirrors are now in the Cluny Museum in
France, my father told me. In consequence of the treachery of these
workmen Germany also soon learned how to make mirrors, and the fame of
the Venetian artisans declined just as the Council had predicted it
would. But it will be long before any other country can equal mine in
the making of filigree or spun glass. You will, señorita, see much of
this beautiful work while you are here in Venice."
"I want to, Giusippe; and I want to get some to take home. May I, Uncle Bob?"
Mr. Cabot nodded.
"Your story is like a fairy tale, Giusippe," said he.
The boy smiled with pleasure.
"It is a wonderful story to me because it is the story of my people.
And, señor, there is much more to tell, but I must not weary you. Some
of our filigree glass, it is true, became too elaborate to be
beautiful. It is simply interesting because it is wonderful that out of
glass could be fashioned ships, flowers, fruits, fish, and decorations
of all kinds. It shows most delicate workmanship. But the drinking
glasses with their fragile stems are really beautiful; and so are the
vases and tazzas from white glass with enamel work or filigree of
delicately blended colors. It was the Venetians, too, who invented
engraved glass, where a design is scratched or cut into the surface
with a diamond or steel point of a file. And our mille-fiori glass,
which came to us way back from the Egyptians, is another famous
variety. This is made from the ends of fancy colored sticks of glass
cut off and arranged in a pattern. You will see it in the shops here."
"I think you Venetians are wonderful!" Jean exclaimed.
"Ah, señorita, you have yet to see one of the finest things we have
done," was Giusippe's grave reply. "You have to see the San Marco with
"Yes, we surely want to go there," put in Mr. Cabot. "Do you think you could be our guide, Giusippe?"
"I could go to-morrow, señor; because of the festa I am free from
work. I would like to show you San Marco, of all things, because I love
"I am sure no one could do it better," replied Mr. Cabot, well
pleased. "To-morrow at nine, then. We will be ready promptly. You shall
tell us the rest of your fascinating Venetian history and make
Venetians of us."
"I will come, señor."
"You shall be paid for your time, my boy."
"Alas, señor! That would spoil it all. I could not then show it to
you. Forgive me and do not think me ungrateful. But my San Marco is to
me the place I love. I show it to you because I love it. I have played
about it and wandered in and out its doors since I was a very little
child. I am proud that you should see it, señor."
"As you will. To-morrow then."
Another moment and Giusippe was gone.
"A remarkable boy! A most remarkable boy!" ejaculated Mr. Cabot. "He
knows his country's history as I fancy few others know it. Could you
pass as good an examination on yours, Jean?"
Jean hung her head.
"I'm afraid not."
"Nor I," Uncle Bob remarked, patting her curls kindly.
UNCLE BOB ENLARGES HIS PARTY
accordance with his promise Giusippe came promptly the next
morning and the four set out for the San Marco. It was a beautiful June
day. The piazza was warm with sunshine, and as groups of tourists
loitered through it the pigeons circled greedily about their feet
"Why, Uncle Bob, these pigeons are exactly like the ones at home—just as pretty and just as hungry," Jean said.
"Should you like to stop a moment and feed them, little girl?"
"Oh, do! It will make Hannah think of Boston," begged Jean. "But we have nothing to give them," she added in dismay.
"I will find you something, señorita," Giusippe declared.
Darting up to an old Italian who was standing near he soon returned with a small paper cornucopia filled with grain.
"The pigeons of St. Mark's are very tame. See!"
He put some kernels of corn on the top of his hat, and holding more
in his outstretched hands stood motionless. There was a whirr of wings,
and in an instant the boy was quite hidden beneath an eager multitude
of fluttering whiteness.
"I never saw so many pigeons," Jean whispered. "You have many more than we do at home."
"We Venetians are very fond of the birds," was Giusippe's reply.
"So, too, are the tourists who come to Venice, for they never seem to
be tired of having their pictures taken surrounded by flocks of
"Doesn't this make you think of Boston Common, Hannah?" asked Uncle Bob.
"Yes, a little. But I should feel more as if I were in Massachusetts
if there were not such a babel of foreign tongues about me." Then
turning to Giusippe she demanded: "How did you come to speak English,
"I have been expecting you would ask me that," smiled Giusippe. "You
see, I have an uncle who went to America; yes, to Pennsylvania, to seek
his fortune. He stayed there five years and in that time he learned to
speak English well. When he came back he taught me all he knew. Then he
returned with his wife to the United States, and I got books and
studied. When they found at Murano that I could speak English they
often called on me to show tourists over the glass works. In this way I
picked up many words and their pronunciation. Since then I have found
that I could sometimes serve as interpreter for English or American
travelers if I watched for the chance. I was eager for such
opportunities, for it gave me practice, and I often learned new words."
"And why are you so anxious to learn English, Giusippe?" Jean questioned.
"I hope, señorita, to go some day to the United States. My uncle
told me what a wonderful country it is, and I desire to see it. Perhaps
in that beautiful great land where everything is in abundance I might
grow rich. I now have nothing to keep me here; my parents are dead and
I have no other kinsmen. I want to join my uncle in Pennsylvania as
soon as I have enough money. Part of my passage I have already saved."
"Yes, señorita, I am in earnest. It is lonely here in Venice now
that I have no people. And Murano is not what it was in the golden days
of my ancestors. I am sure I could find work in your country if I
should go there. Do you not think I could, señor?" He turned to Mr.
"It is possible," was Uncle Bob's thoughtful answer. "Especially
since you speak English so well. What sort of thing would you like to
"I know my trade of glass-making," was Giusippe's modest answer. "I
know, too, much of coloring stained glass and of mosaic making. These
things I have known from my babyhood up. There must be such work for
persons going to the United States. Perhaps my uncle, who is in
Pittsburgh with a large glass company, could get me something to do
"Pittsburgh!" exclaimed the other three in a breath.
"Yes. My uncle is with the company of a Señor Thomas Curtis, who has been very kind to him."
"Uncle Tom! It's Uncle Tom!" Jean cried, laying her hand impulsively
on his arm. "Mr. Curtis is my uncle, Giusippe. Did you ever hear
anything so wonderful!"
"It certainly is a strange coincidence," agreed Mr. Cabot. "But why
did your uncle come back, Giusippe, after he once got over there?"
"Ah, it was this way. He went first alone, expecting when he had
enough money to send it back so that the young girl he loved could
follow him, and they could be married. But when at last he had the
money saved her parents became sick. They were old people. She could
not leave them to die here alone, señor. Therefore she refused to go to
America, and so much did my uncle love Anita that he would not stay
there without her. Back he came and worked once more at Murano. Then
the father and mother died, and my uncle and Anita were married and
went to the United States. They wanted to take me, but I pretended that
I would rather remain here. This I did because I feared that if I went
with them and did not find work I might be a burden. All this was
several years ago. My uncle is now a superintendent in one of the
Curtis glass factories, and is happy and prosperous. Still, there are
children, and I could not let him pay my fare to America. As I said, it
will not take me much longer to save the rest of my passage money. Then
I shall go and perhaps become rich. Who knows, señor!" Giusippe broke
into a ringing laugh.
Mr. Cabot made no reply.
He was thinking.
Fearing that he had offended, Giusippe changed the subject.
"But I weary you with my affairs, señor. Pardon. Shall we go on to St. Mark's?"
It was but a few steps across the piazza, and they were soon inside the church. Then for the first time Mr. Cabot spoke.
"This church, Jean," said he, "is the link between the old art of
the Mohammedans and the Gothic art of the Christian era. It was planned
as a Byzantine church, and in it one can see many things suggesting St.
Sofia's at Constantinople. When St. Mark's at Alexandria was destroyed
by the Mohammedans many of its treasures fell into the hands of the
Doge of Venice, who promptly proclaimed St. Mark the new patron saint
in place of St. Theodore and set about building a cathedral in which to
put all the beautiful things he had acquired. Some parts of this
ancient cathedral remain, but most of the church was built by Doge
Contarini between 1063 and 1071. To the next Doge, Domenico Selvo, fell
the task of decorating it. You see, over here the building of churches
takes longer than it does at home."
"I should think it did," answered Jean. "Why, we think it is awful if our churches are not all done in two years."
"Ah, we build not that way here, señorita," he said. "Three
centuries did our people spend in building into St. Mark's the marble
carvings brought from the East; erecting the altars; and adorning the
walls. These mosaics alone it took workmen two hundred and fifty years
to fashion. Venice was a rich Republic, you see, and could well afford
to put into this cathedral the money she might have spent on war. Above
the slabs of marble are the mosaics, señorita. So it was in St. Sofia,
my father told me; the slabs of marble near the ground and the
decoration above. This whole cathedral of ours is covered on all the
walls with mosaics—pictures made from bits of glass put together to
form scenes from the Bible or from history. Even the most ignorant
people who had had no schooling could read such stories, could they
She was dazzled by the beauty of the place—by the soft light; the
walls rich in gold and color; by the many wonderful things there were
to be seen. She was interested, too, in the smoothly worn, uneven floor
which showed where the piles beneath the church had settled.
"Mosaic makers, you know, Jean, began crude attempts at making
pictures in glass thousands of years ago, for glass-making was familiar
to the Egyptians as well as to the Phœnicans and Syrians. The Greeks
and Romans, too, were great glass-makers. So glass-making came down
through the ages. The Byzantine churches usually were lighted by a row
of tiny glass windows round the base of the dome. Some of this ancient
glass still remains in St. Sofia. The common way of making such windows
was to cut a design in a slab of marble or plaster, and then insert
small pieces of colored glass. Sometimes, too, a pattern for wall
decoration was worked out by sticking fragments of glass into soft
stucco. So the first mosaic work began. We can see some of it in the
museums of England."
"There seems to be a great deal to see in those London museums, Uncle Bob," Jean gasped.
"I am afraid you will be more convinced of that fact than ever when
you get there," chuckled Uncle Bob. "But to return to Giusippe's
mosaics. You may remember, perhaps, that when the Mohammedans invaded
Constantinople and found how important a part the glass-makers played
in decorating the churches, they at once handed the artisans over to
the caliphs, that they might be set to work adorning their mosques. Now
the Mohammedans believed it a crime to make a copy of either man or
woman in a picture, a carving, or a statue. It was punishable to pay
reverence to sacred figures; therefore all decoration in their churches
took the form of flowers, fruit, or conventional designs. So no great
mosaic pictures with figures such as these were made. Between the
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries Damascus became the center of
glass-making, and there are in existence in some of the museums old
Arab lamps which hung in the mosques with inscriptions from the Koran
engraved upon them. It is Giusippe's St. Mark's which revived the art
of mosaic making, and served as the bridge between those Pagan days and
the days when with Christianity the arts revived and mosaic makers
began to represent in glass figures of Christ and the saints."
"And then the painters came, as Giusippe has said," put in Jean.
"Yes, the great artists were born, and from that time pictures on
canvas instead of pictures of glass decorated the churches. But the
mosaic makers did an important service to art, for it was they who
indirectly gave to the world the idea of making stained-glass windows.
And in Venice those who ceased to make mosaics made instead the
beautiful Venetian glass of which Giusippe has told us."
"And are there no mosaics made now, Uncle Bob?" asked Jean.
"Yes. When in 1858 it became necessary to restore some of the
mosaics in St. Mark's, a descendant of one of the old Murano glass
workers named Radi, together with a Dr. Salviati, started a factory on
the Grand Canal, where they gradually revived some of the past glory of
Venice. They copied the old time glass products, making Arab lamps such
as hung in the mosques; cameo work similar to the Naples and Portland
vases; and pictures in mosaic. It was they who did The Last Supper for
Westminster Abbey, and the mosaics for Albert Memorial Hall in London."
"But Salviati's mosaics were not like those here, señor," put in
Giusippe, "because the San Marco mosaics were constructed upon the
walls, small cubes of glass being pressed into the moist cement to make
the picture. This gave a rough, irregular surface which artists say is
far more artistic than is Salviati's smooth, glassy work. When Salviati
sent mosaics away he made them here, and then backed them with cement
so they could be placed on a slab of solid material and transported
great distances from Venice. His pictures, it is true, were far more
perfectly done than were the old mosaics—too perfectly, I have heard
glass experts say."
"Undoubtedly they are right, Giusippe, for the roughness in the
ancient mosaics would, of course, break up the great plain surfaces and
make them more interesting. But Salviati did Venice a service,
nevertheless, in reviving the art. And there is, too, another virtue
about mosaics, and that is that they will endure far longer than
paintings. Had it not been for the foresight of Pope Urban, who between
1600 and 1700 had many of the famous pictures of the Vatican copied in
mosaic, these masterpieces would have been lost to the world."
"I have been told that the church in Ravenna has some fine mosaics, but I never have seen them," Giusippe ventured.
"I have. They are beautiful, and I hope you may see them some time.
Then there are others scattered through the various churches of Sicily
and Rome; and there are also many beautiful inlays of mosaic decorating
the old churches and palaces of European cities. When we visit
Westminster Abbey, Jean, I must show you the crude early mosaic work on
the tomb of Edward the Confessor. It is very curious, for it is made of
pieces of colored glass set in grooves of marble."
"How much you are to see, señorita," observed Giusippe wistfully.
Mr. Cabot fixed his eyes attentively on the boy.
"Should you, too, like to see all these wonders, Giusippe?" he asked half playfully and half in earnest.
But Giusippe, who did not catch the banter in his tone, answered seriously:
"Should I? Ah, señor, it is not for me to envy or be unhappy about
that which I may not have. Some day, perhaps, when I have made my
fortune in your country I can return to the old world and see its
marvels. I must have a little patience, that is all."
The mingling of sadness and longing in the reply touched Uncle Bob;
Jean and the young Venetian chattered on, but Mr. Cabot walked silently
ahead, deep in thought.
"Did I understand you to say, Giusippe," he asked at last turning abruptly, "that you have no relatives in Venice?"
"None in all the world with the exception of the uncle in America of whom I told you, señor."
Again there was a pause.
"Suppose I were to take you with us."
"Take you with us now, when we leave Venice."
"I do not understand."
"Suppose I asked you to go with us to France and England, and then across to America."
"But I have not enough money, señor."
"I haven't much, either," Mr. Cabot answered, smiling kindly into
the boy's puzzled eyes. "Still, I think I could get together a
sufficient sum to pay your way until you got to the United States and
"To go—to go with you now, do you mean, señor?"
"Yes. We leave Venice next week for France. You see, I like you,
Giusippe; we all do. And in addition to that you have done us a
service. But more than anything else I feel that, once started, you are
capable of making your way and doing well in life; all you need is a
chance. I have perfect faith that if I took you to America you would
make good. It would cost very little more were you to join us, and no
doubt you could help in many little ways during the trip. Do you speak
French at all?"
"Yes, some; but more German. It is nothing. Many travelers come to
Venice, and one must talk to them. Then, too, here it is not unusual to
speak several languages, because the countries lie near together, and
the people come and go from place to place. With you it is different; a
mighty sea divides you from the rest of the world."
"Despite all your excuses for us, Giusippe, it is quite true that we
Americans are as a rule pitiably ignorant about languages. Here is this
boy, Jean, who knows not only his mother tongue but French, German and
English besides. Isn't that a rebuke to us, with our fine schools and
our college educations? It makes me ashamed of myself. Do you, little
girl, try and do better than I have. Well, young man, what do you say
to my proposition? Will you come with us to America?"
"Señor! Oh, señor! How can I ever——"
"Well, then, that settles it," interrupted Mr. Cabot, cutting him
short. "I will arrange everything. But there is just one condition to
be made, my youthful Venetian patriot. If by chance we see any of those
old mirrors made by the early Frenchmen who stole your art from Murano
you are not to smash them. Remember!"
GIUSIPPE ENCOUNTERS AN OLD FRIEND
was scarcely a reality to Jean, to Hannah, or to Giusippe himself
when Uncle Bob actually set forth for France with the young Venetian as
a member of the party. Yet every one was pleased: Hannah because she
would not now need her foreign dictionaries; Jean because it was jolly
to have a companion her own age; and Giusippe because he felt that at
last he had friends who were to guide for him the future which had
loomed so darkly and so vaguely before him. Not a full week of the trip
to Paris had passed before Mr. Cabot declared that how he had
previously got on without that boy he did not understand. Giusippe had
such a wonderful way of making himself useful; not only did he see what
needed to be done, but he was quick to do it.
"His enthusiasm alone is worth the money I am paying for his railroad fares and hotel bills!" ejaculated Uncle Bob to Hannah.
There certainly never was such a boy to take in everything around
him, and to remember what he saw. With mind alert for all that was to
be learned he tagged along at Mr. Cabot's heels drinking in and storing
away every scrap of history and of beauty which came across his path.
And in Paris he found much of both. The Invalides with the tomb of
Napoleon; Notre Dame with its odd gargoyles; the Arc de Triomphe; the
Bois; and the Champs-Elysees shaded by pink horse-chestnut trees—all
these sights were new and marvelous to the Italian lad. But it was
Versailles with its gardens that charmed him and Jean most.
The travelers arrived there on a Sunday, when the fountains were
playing, flowers blooming everywhere, and a gay crowd of sightseers
thronging the walks. It was like fairy-land. The great Neptune fountain
sent into the air a sheet of spray which was quickly caught up by the
sunlight and transformed into a misty rainbow. Within the palace, amid
old tapestries of battles and hunting scenes, and surrounded by
paintings and statues, were the famous early French mirrors of which
Giusippe had previously spoken.
Mr. Cabot pointed them out, half playfully, half seriously.
"Perhaps on further consideration I will leave them," returned the
boy, falling in with the spirit of the elder man's mood. "They seem to
fit the spaces, and I doubt if even our Venetian mirrors could look
"I think it might be just as well," answered Mr. Cabot. "Besides,
you must remember that those mirrors were not the only sort of glass
the French made. There were many enamel workers at Provençe as early as
1520, and later much cast glass instead of that which is blown came
from France. In fact, up to a hundred years ago the French held the
plate glass monopoly. Then England took up glass-making and cut into
the French market—the same old story of stealing the trade, you see. In
addition to other varieties of glass-making some of the finest and most
interesting of the old stained glass was made by the French people, and
can now be seen in the church of St. Denis, just out of Paris, and at
Sainte Chapelle which is within the city itself. Fortunately the glass
at St. Denis escaped the fury of the French revolutionists, as it might
not have done had it not been at a little distance from Paris. There is
also glass of much the same sort at Poitiers, Bourges, and Rheims.
Amiens, too, has wonderful glass windows. I hope before we leave for
home we shall have a peep at some if not all of these."
"Isn't much beautiful French glass now made at Nancy, Mr. Cabot?" Giusippe inquired.
"Yes, some of the finest comes from there."
"But didn't any other people beside the Venetians and the French make glass, Uncle Bob?" asked Jean, much interested.
"Oh, yes. Almost every European nation has tried its hand at
glass-making. It is curious, too, to notice how each differs from the
others. The Bohemians, for instance, were famous glass-makers, and
their work, which primarily imitated that of the Venetians, is known
the world over."
"What sort of glass is it? Could I tell it if I should see it?"
"Well, for one thing they make beautiful wine glasses and goblets,
having stems of enclosed white and colored enamel tubes twisted
together with transparent glass, which look as if they had delicate
threads of color running through them. Then the Bohemians and the
Austrians make many great beakers or drinking glasses, steins, and
bowls with decorative coats of arms upon them in gold or in colored
"Oh, I have seen things like that," Jean replied.
"Yes, we have some of those ornamental goblets at home in the
dining-room. They are very rich and handsome. Beside these varieties
the Bohemians have of late revived the making of old white opaque glass
with colored enamel figures on it. But engraved glass is one of the
kinds for which Bohemia is chiefly celebrated. Even very skilful glass
engravers can be had there for little money. They cut fine, delicate
designs upon the glass with a lathe. Some of this is white, but much of
it is of deep red or blue with the pattern engraved on it in white.
Such glass is made in two layers, the outer one being cut away so to
leave the design upon the surface underneath."
"Wasn't it the Bohemians who invented cut glass?" Giusippe asked.
"No. Sometimes people say so, but this is not true. The fact is that
there chanced to be a glass cutter so skilful that he was appointed
lapidary to Rudolph the Second; he had a workshop at Prague, but though
he did some very wonderful glass cutting, which gained him much fame,
he did not invent the art. It was, by the way, one of his workmen who
later migrated to Nuremburg and carried the secret of glass-cutting to
"Isn't it queer how one country learned of another?" reflected Jean.
"Yes, and it is especially interesting when we see how hard each
tried not to teach his neighbor anything. There always was somebody,
just as there always is now, who could not keep still and went and
told," Mr. Cabot said. "And while we are speaking of the different
kinds of glass we must not forget to mention the dark red ruby glass
perfected in 1680 by Kunckel, the director of the Potsdam glass works,
for it is a very ingenious invention. The deep color is obtained by
putting a thin layer of gold between the white glass and the coating of
"What else did the Germans make?" queried Giusippe.
"Well, the Germans, like the other nations, turned out glass which
was suggestive of their people. And that, by the by, is a fact you must
notice when seeing the work of so many different countries. Observe how
the art of each reflects the characteristics of those who made it.
Italy gave us fragile, dainty glass famous for its airy beauty and
delicacy; Germany, on the other hand, fashions a far more massive,
rough, and heavier product—large flasks, steins and goblets, some of
which are even clumsy; all are substantial and useful, however, and
have the big cordial spirit of fellowship so characteristic of the
German people. These glasses are decorated in large flat designs less
choice, perhaps, than are the Bohemian. The shape of the German goblets
and drinking glasses differs, too, from those made in Italy. They are
less graceful, less dainty. Instead you will find throughout Germany
tall cylindrical shafts, tankards, and steins adorned with massive
eagles or colored coats of arms; often, moreover, both the Bohemians
and the Germans use pictorial designs showing processions of soldiers,
battle scenes, or cavalry charges such as would appeal to nations whose
military life has long been one of the leading interests of their
"Tell me, Mr. Cabot," inquired Giusippe eagerly, "did you ever see one of the German puzzle cups?"
"Yes, several of them. In the British Museum there are several of the windmill variety."
"What is a puzzle cup, Uncle Bob?" demanded Jean.
"Why, a puzzle or wager cup, as they are sometimes called, was an
ingenious invention of the Germans during their early days of
glass-making. The kind I speak of is a large inverted goblet which has
on top a small silver windmill. The wager was to set the fans
revolving, turn the glass right side up, and then fill and drain it
before the mill stopped turning. Such wagers were very popular in those
olden days and are interesting as relics of a mediæval and far-away
period in history."
So intently had Mr. Cabot and the others been talking that they had
stopped in the center of the room and it was while they were standing
there that a party of tourists entered from the hallway. Foremost among
them was an American girl who carried in her hand a much worn Baedeker.
As her eye swept over the tapestries covering the walls her glance fell
Instantly she started and with parted lips stepped forward; then she paused.
"It cannot be!" Mr. Cabot heard her murmur.
At the same moment, however, Giusippe had seen her.
"The beautiful señorita!" he cried. "My lady of Venice!"
He was beside her in an instant.
"Giusippe! Giusippe!" exclaimed the girl. "Can it really be you?"
"Yes, yes, señorita! It is I. Ah, that I should see you again! What
a joy it is. Surely four or five years must have passed since first you
came to paint in Venice."
"Fully that, my little Giusippe. It is five years this June. You have a good memory."
"How could I forget you, señorita; and the pictures, and your
kindness! But I have left Venice, you see. Yes. Even now I am on my way
"To America? Oh, Giusippe, Giusippe! And that is why you have
discarded your faded blouse, and the red tie which you wore knotted
round your throat. Alas! I am almost sorry. And yet you look very
nice," she added kindly. "But to leave Venice!"
"It is best," Giusippe explained gently. "I have my way to make, and I can do it better in your country, my señorita."
"Perhaps. Still, I am sorry to have you leave your home. It is like taking sea shells away from the sands of the shore."
"And yet you would want me to be a man and succeed in life. Think how you yourself worked for success."
"I know. And it was you who brought it to me, Giusippe. The portrait
I painted of you was exhibited in America and when I later sold it to
an art dealer there it brought me a little fortune; but the fame it
brought was best of all." The girl put her hand softly on the lad's
"Oh, señorita, how glad I am!"
"I had a feeling that you would bring me luck the morning when I
first saw you in the square near St. Mark's. Do you remember? And how
you stood watching me paint? Do you recall how we got to talking and
how I asked if I might do the portrait of you? You laughed when I
suggested it! And then you came to the hotel evenings when you were
free, and I sketched in the picture. It seems but yesterday. In the
meantime you entertained me by telling me of Venice and its history.
What a little fellow you were to know so much!" The girl smiled down at
him. "And now let me hear of yourself. What of your parents?"
"Alas, señorita, they have died. I am now quite alone in the world.
It is for that that I felt I must leave Venice. It is sad to be alone,
"So it is, Giusippe. No one knows that better than I." Impulsively
she slipped a hand into the small Venetian's. "But I must not take you
from your friends. See, we have kept them waiting a long time."
"I want you to meet them, señorita. They are from your country, and they have been kind to me."
"Then surely I must meet them."
With a shy gesture the boy led her forward.
"Miss Cartright is from New York, Mr. Cabot," said Giusippe simply.
"Long ago when I was a little lad I knew her in Venice, and she was
good to me and to my parents."
"I KNEW HER IN VENICE"
"It was five years ago," added Miss Cartright. "I went there to paint."
"And little Giusippe, perhaps, made your stay as delightful as he has made ours," Mr. Cabot said.
"Yes. I was all by myself, and knew no one in Venice. Furthermore, I
spoke only a word or two of Italian. Giusippe was a great comfort. He
kept me from being lonesome."
"And you are now staying in Paris?" questioned Mr. Cabot.
"Yes, I have been here with friends studying for nearly a year; but
I am soon to return home. And now, before I leave you, I want to hear
all about Giusippe's plans. What is he to do?"
Little by little the story was told. Mr. Cabot began it and
continued it until Giusippe, who thought him too modest, finished the
"You see, señorita, Mr. Cabot, Miss Jean, and good Hannah will not
themselves tell you how kind they have been, so I myself must tell it,"
said the boy. "And now I go with them to find a position in America
that by hard work I may some time be able to repay them for their
goodness to me."
Miss Cartright nodded thoughtfully.
At last she said:
"If you should come to New York I want to see you, Giusippe. There
might be something I could do to help you. Anyway, I should want to
have a glimpse of you. And if you do not come and Mr. Cabot does,
perhaps, since he knows how fond of you I am and how much I am
interested in your welfare, he will come and tell me how you are
She drew from her purse a card which she handed to the lad.
"Perhaps I'd better take it, Giusippe," Mr. Cabot said in a low tone. "It might get lost."
Then there was a confusion of farewells, and the girl rejoined her friends, who had gone through into the next room.
It was not until she was well out of ear-shot that any one spoke.
Then Jean, who had been silent throughout the entire interview,
"Oh, isn't she beautiful! Isn't she the very loveliest lady you ever saw, Giusippe?"
And Giusippe, answering in voluble English mixed with Italian, extolled not only the fairness but the goodness of his goddess.
Even Hannah agreed that the American girl was charming, but regretted that she had not come from Boston instead of New York.
Uncle Bob alone was silent. Turning the white card in his fingers he
stood absently looking at the door through which Miss Ethel Cartright
UNCLE BOB AS STORY TELLER
and his party remained in France several weeks, and during that
time visited the old French cathedrals with their interesting windows;
and saw in the Louvre much glass of early French make as well as many
beautiful Venetian mirrors with all sorts of unique histories. One
mirror was that famous seventeenth century possession of Marie de
Medici, a looking-glass set in a frame which represented a fortune of
over thirty thousand dollars. This mirror was of rock crystal combined
with cut and polished agates, and around it was a network of enameled
gold. Outside this inner frame was a larger one formed entirely of
precious stones. Three large emeralds as well as smaller diamonds and
rubies adorned it.
"Probably," said Mr. Cabot, "this is but one of many such examples
of ancient luxury. Unfortunately, however, most of these extravagant
affairs have been melted up by avaricious monarchs who coveted the gems
and gold. Such ornate mirrors are a relic of the Renaissance when each
object made was considered an art work on which every means of
enrichment was lavished. I do not know that I think it any handsomer
than are the simpler mirrors with their Venetian frames of exquisitely
carved wood, of which there are many fine specimens in the Louvre."
"Is the mirror that was given by the Republic of Venice to Henry the Third in the Louvre?" asked Giusippe.
"No, that is in the Cluny Museum. You have heard of it, then?"
"Oh, yes; often in Venice. I have seen pictures of it, too," Giusippe replied.
"We must see it before we leave France," declared Mr. Cabot. "It
was, as you already know, presented to Henry the Third on his return
from Poland. It is set in a wonderfully designed frame of colored and
white beveled glass, and the decoration is of alternating fleur-de-lis
and palm leaves, which are fastened to the frame by a series of screws.
It is quite a different sort of mirror from that of Marie de Medici."
"I should like to see it," Jean said.
"You certainly shall."
How rich France was in beautiful things! One never could see them all.
One of the sights that especially interested Jean and Hannah was the
imitation gems displayed in the Paris jewelry shops. These exquisite
stones, Uncle Bob told them, were made in laboratories by workmen so
skilful that only an expert could distinguish the manufactured gems
from the real, the stones conforming to almost every test applied to
genuine jewels. They were not manufactured, however, for the purpose of
deceiving people, but rather to be sold to those who either could not
afford valuable stones or did not wish the care of them. The imitation
pearls were especially fine, and by no means cheap either, as Hannah
soon found out when she attempted to purchase a small string.
But many as were the wonderful sights in France, the continent had
soon to be left behind, and almost before the travelers realized it the
Channel had been crossed and they stood upon English soil. As Uncle
Bob's time was limited they went direct to London, and when once there
one of the first things that Giusippe wished to see were the mosaics in
St. Paul's Cathedral of which he had heard so much. So they set out. On
reaching the church Giusippe regarded it with awe. How unlike it was to
his well loved St. Mark's. And yet how beautiful!
"These mosaics, like the ones we shall see at the Houses of
Parliament, were not first made and then put up on the walls as were
those such as Salviati and other Venetians shipped from Venice,"
explained Mr. Cabot. "No, these were made directly upon the walls, the
pieces of glass being pressed into prepared areas of cement spread
thickly upon the brickwork of the building. The designs are simple,
large and effective figures being preferred to smaller and more
intricate patterns. Millions of pieces have been used to make the
pictures, and if you will notice carefully you will see that they have
the rough surface which catches the light as do all the early Venetian
"There must also be some fine old glass windows in London," he speculated. "Aren't there, Mr. Cabot?"
"Yes, some varieties that you did not have in Venice, too," declared
Uncle Bob. "You see other people did invent something, Giusippe. Here
in England in some of the older houses there are windows made of tiny
pieces of white glass leaded together; people were not able at that
time to get large sheets of glass such as we now use, and I am not sure
that these windows made of small leaded panes were not prettier. Then
you will find other windows made from what we call bull's eye glass.
These bull's eyes were the centers or waste from large discs of crown
glass after all the big pieces possible had been cut away. As most
glass comes now in sheets crown glass is little made, and therefore we
find bull's eyes rare unless manufactured expressly to imitate the
"Of course there is lots of old stained glass in England, isn't there, Uncle Bob?" Jean ventured.
"Yes, indeed. I am sorry to say, however, that much of it has been
destroyed before the public realized its value. At Salisbury Cathedral,
for instance, some of the fine old glass was taken down and beaten to
pieces in order that the lead might be used. At Oxford rare Gothic
windows were removed and broken up to give room for the more modern
work of the Renaissance. But you will still find at Canterbury and in
many other of the English churches stained glass which has escaped
destruction and come down to us through hundreds of years. And speaking
of how such things have been preserved I must tell you the wonderful
story of the east window in St. Margaret's Chapel at Westminster."
"Oh, do tell us!" begged Jean. "I love stories."
"This story is almost like a fairy tale, when one considers that it
is the history of such a fragile thing as a glass window," Mr. Cabot
began. "This window of which I am telling you was Flemish in design,
and is said to have been ordered by Ferdinand and Isabella when their
daughter Catherine was engaged to Arthur, the Prince of Wales. But for
some reason it was not delivered, and a Dutch magistrate later decided
to present it to King Henry the Seventh. Unfortunately the king died
before the gift arrived and it came into the hands of the Abbot of
Waltham. Now these were very troublous times for a stained glass window
to be traveling about the land; Cromwell was in power and his followers
believed it right to destroy everything which existed merely because of
its beauty. So the old abbot was afraid his treasure would be wrecked,
and to insure its safety he buried it."
"Yes, wasn't it?"
"What happened then?"
"After the Restoration one of the loyal generals of the Crown had
the window dug up and placed in a chapel on his estate. But the house
changed hands and as its new owner did not like the window he offered
it to Wadham College. The college authorities, alas, did not care for
it, so it remained cased up for many years. Then by and by along came
an Englishman who had the courage to buy it and have it set up in his
"Was that the end of it?" queried Giusippe.
"No, indeed. This person died, and his son took down the stained
glass heirloom and in 1758 sold it to a committee which was at that
time busy decorating St. Margaret's Chapel. Here at last it was set up
and here one cannot but hope it will remain. Certainly it has earned a
"Shouldn't you think it would have been broken in all that time?" ejaculated Jean.
"One would certainly have thought so," Uncle Bob agreed. "It seemed
to possess a charmed life. Most of that early glass was made by Flemish
refugees who had fled to England to escape religious persecution. Some
was designed for English monasteries. Houses, you know, did not have
glass windows at that time but depended for protection upon oiled paper
and skins. Glass was considered a luxury, and it was many, many years
before window glass or table glass was in use. Rich English families
bought glass dishes from galleys which, as Giusippe has told us, came
laden from Venice. Sometimes this Venetian glass was mounted in gold or
silver. There was, it is true, a little glass of English make, but no
one thought it worth using; in fact when the stained glass windows were
put into Beauchamp Chapel at Warwick it was expressly stated that no
English glass was to be used."
"How did glass ever come to be made here, then?" inquired Jean.
"Well, in time more Flemish Protestants fled to England and began
making stained glass at London, Stourbridge, and Newcastle-on-Tyne. In
1589 there were fifteen glass-houses in England. Then, because so much
wood had been used in the iron foundries, the supply became exhausted
and sea or pit coal had to be used instead. People were forced to try,
in consequence, a different kind of melting pot for their glass and a
new mixture of material; in this way they stumbled upon a heavy,
brilliant, white crystal metal which the French called 'the most
beautiful glassy substance known.' It was the pure white flint, or
crystal glass, for which England has since become famous. Immediately
it began to be used for all sorts of things. In 1637 the Duke of
Buckingham had flint glass windows for his coach, and he had some
Venetian workmen make mirrors out of it. So it went. A great many more
mirrors were made, great pier glasses with beveled edges. It is said
that some of those very mirrors are even now at Hampton Court. In the
course of time the English became more and more skilful at
glass-making, and when Queen Victoria came to the throne they were
manufacturing enormous cut glass ornaments and bowls, and decorating
their palaces and theaters with glass chandeliers which had myriads of
heavy, sparkling prisms dangling from them. You will remember that in
Venice you saw some glass chandeliers; and you may recall how
delicately fashioned they were and how their twisted branches were
covered with glass flowers in the center of which candles could be set.
But the English chandeliers were far more massive affairs than those.
And no sooner did English workmen find what they could do with this new
material than they went mad over glass-making. Why, in 1851 they
actually built for the first International Exhibit a Crystal Palace
with a big glass fountain in it. Its builder was James Paxton, and he
was knighted for doing it."
"I should think he deserved to be!" Jean said. "Who ever would have thought of making a palace of glass!"
"This one attracted much attention, I assure you," said Uncle Bob.
"Later it was reconstructed at Sydenham and to this day there it
stands. England now makes the finest crystal glass of any country in
the world; but to-morrow I intend to take you to the British Museum and
show you that in spite of all that European nations have done there
were other very skilful glass-makers in the world before any of them
made glass at all."
"Before the time of the Greeks and Romans—before the people who made the Naples Vase?" Jean asked.
"Yes, centuries before."
"Who were they?" demanded both Jean and Giusippe in the same breath.
"The Egyptians first; and after them the Phœnicians and Syrians. All
these peoples lived where they could easily get plenty of the fine
white sand necessary for glass-making. In some of the old tombs glass
beads, cups, drinking-vessels, and curiously shaped vials have been
found, many of them very beautiful in color. Some of this color is due
to the action of the soil and the atmosphere, for science tells us that
after glass has been buried in the earth many centuries and is then
exposed to the air it begins to decay and its color often changes. We
have in our museums many pieces of ancient glass which have changed
color in this way and have become far more beautiful than they
originally were. How these races that lived in the remote ages found
out how to make glass no one knows; but certain it is that the
Egyptians could fashion imitation gems, crude mosaics and various glass
vessels. Later the Phœnicians improved the art and afterward, as you
have seen, the Greeks and Romans took it up. There is a strange tale of
how, during the reign of Tiberius, a glass-maker discovered how to make
a kind of glass which would not break. It was a sort of malleable
"Oh, tell us about it, please, Uncle Bob."
"Certainly, if you would like to hear. This glass-maker made a cup
for the Emperor and tried a long time to get an audience at which to
present his new invention. Then at last the chance came, and thinking
to make himself famous the artisan contrived, as he passed the flagon
to his sovereign, to drop it on the marble floor. Of course every one
thought the glass was broken, and that is precisely what the
glass-maker wanted them to think. He picked it up, smoothed out with
his hammer the dent made in its side, and passed it once more expecting
to receive praise for his wonderful deed. Tiberius eyed him silently.
Then he asked; 'Does any one else know how to make glass like this?'
"'No one,' answered the glass-maker.
"'Off with his head at once!' cried the enraged monarch. 'If glass
dishes and flasks do not break they will soon become as valuable as my
gold and silver ones!'
"Despite his protests the poor glass-maker was dragged off and
beheaded. The rulers of those days were not very fair-minded, you see."
With so many interesting stories, and so many things to see, you may
be sure that neither Jean nor Giusippe found sightseeing dull. And the
next day Uncle Bob was as good as his word, and took the young people
to the British Museum, where he showed them some of the old Egyptian
and Græco-Syrian glass. There were little vases, cups, and flasks of
wonderful iridescent color, as well as many glass beads that had been
found upon Egyptian mummies.
"Now, Uncle Bob," Jean said, after they had looked at these strange
old bits of glass for some time, "you must take us to see the Portland
Vase. You promised you would, you know."
"Sure enough; so I did. I should have forgotten it, too, had you not mentioned it."
Accordingly they hunted up the Gold Room where the vase stood.
Jean was very proud that she was able to point it out before she had been told which one it was.
"You see," explained she shyly, "it is so much like the Naples Vase that I recognized it right off."
It was indeed of the same dark blue transparent glass, and had on it the same sort of delicate white cameo figures.
"This vase," Mr. Cabot said, "was found about the middle of the
sixteenth century enclosed in a marble sarcophagus in an underground
chamber which was located two and a half miles out of Rome. It was
taken to the Barbarini Palace, but later the princess of that noble
family, wishing to raise money, sold it to Sir William Hamilton, who
chanced to be at that time the English ambassador to Naples. From him
it passed to the Duchess of Portland, and at her death was sold at
auction to the new Duke of Portland. That is the way it got its name.
Now the Duke, desirous of putting his precious purchase in a safe
place, and also wishing to allow others to enjoy it, lent it to the
British Museum. Imagine his horror and that of the Museum authorities
when in 1845 a lunatic named Lloyd, who saw it, viciously smashed it to
His hearers gasped.
"To see it you would not dream that it had ever been broken, would
you? Yes, it has been so carefully mended that no one could tell the
difference. It was this vase which the English potter, Wedgwood,
coveted so intensely that he bid a thousand pounds for it; the Duke of
Portland outbid him by just twenty-nine pounds. He was, however, a
generous man, and when at last the vase was his he allowed Wedgwood to
copy it. This took a year's time, and even then the copy was far less
beautiful than was the original. Many copies of it have been made
since, but never has any one succeeded in making anything to equal the
vase itself. You will see copies of it in almost all our American
"I mean to see when I get home if there is a copy of it in Boston," Jean remarked.
"You will find one at the Art Museum. And now while we are here
there is still that other famous vase which I mentioned once before and
which I should like to have you see. It is not, perhaps, as fine as the
Naples or the Portland, but it is nevertheless one celebrated the world
over. Like the Naples Vase it came from Pompeii, and like the Portland
Vase it has been skilfully mended. It is called the Auldjo Vase."
Uncle Bob was not long in finding where this treasure stood. It was
small—not more than nine inches in height, and like the other two was
of the familiar blue transparent glass with a white cameo design cut
upon it. Instead of having a Grecian decoration, however, the pattern
was of vines, leaves, and clusters of grapes.
"The Portland Vase, as I have already told you, was perfect when it
was unearthed," Mr. Cabot said. "And the Naples Vase you will remember
was also whole except that its base, or foot, which was probably of
gold, was missing. But the Auldjo Vase was in pieces, and it was only a
single one of these fragments that was bequeathed to the British Museum
by Miss Auldjo. Now when the Museum committee saw this single piece
nothing would do but they must have the others. They therefore bought
the rest, had the vase mended, and set it up here where people can see
it. It cost a great deal of money to purchase it."
"I think it is splendid of museums and of rich people to buy such
things and put them where every one can look at them!" exclaimed Jean.
"None of us could afford to and if those who owned them just kept them
in their own houses we should never see them at all."
"Yes. Remember that, too, in this day when there are so many persons
who begrudge the rich their fortunes. Remember if there were not
individuals in the world who possessed fortunes the poor would have far
less opportunity to see art treasures of every sort. And that is one
way in which those who are rich and generous can serve their country.
There are many different methods of being a good citizen, you see."
Mr. Cabot took out his watch and glanced at it thoughtfully.
"I think we shall have time to see just one thing more, and then we
must go back to the hotel. We have examined all kinds of glass
objects—so many, in fact, that it would seem as if there was no other
purpose for which glass could be used. And yet I can show you something
of which, I will wager, you have not thought."
"What is it?" questioned the two young people breathlessly.
Full of curiosity, Uncle Bob led them through several corridors
until he came to a large room that they had not visited. He conducted
them to its farther end and paused before a large sand glass.
"Before the days of clocks and watches," he began, "such glasses as
these were much in use for telling the time. Throughout the sixteenth
and seventeenth centuries they had them in almost all the churches,
that the officiating clergyman might be able to measure the length of
"I wish they had them now," she declared mischievously.
"Sometimes I do," smiled Uncle Bob. "It is said the glasses were
originally invented in Egypt. Wherever they came from, they certainly
were a great convenience to those who had no other means of telling the
time. Charlemagne, I have read, had a sand glass so large that it
needed to be turned only once in twelve hours. Fancy how large it must
have been. At the South Kensington Museum is a set of four large sand
glasses evidently made to go together. Of course you have seen, even in
our day, hour, quarter-hour, and minute glasses."
"I used to practice by an hour glass," Jean replied quickly. "At
least it was a quarter-of-an-hour glass, and I had to turn it four
"It would be strange not to have clocks and watches, wouldn't it?" reflected Giusippe as they walked back to the hotel.
"I guess it would!" Hannah returned emphatically. "The meals would never be on time."
"One advantage in that, my good Hannah, would be that nobody would
ever be scolded because he was late," retorted Mr. Cabot humorously.
The three weeks allotted for the London visit passed only too
quickly, and surprisingly soon came the day when the travelers found
themselves aboard ship and homeward bound.
Perhaps after all they were not altogether sorry, for despite the
marvels of the old world there is no place like home. Hannah was eager
to open the Boston house and air it; Jean rejoiced that each throb of
the engine brought her nearer to her beloved doggie; Uncle Bob's
fingers itched to be setting in place the Italian marbles he had
ordered for the new house; and Giusippe waited almost with bated breath
for his first sight of America, the country of his dreams.
But a great surprise was in store for every one of these persons as
the mighty steamer left her moorings and put out of Liverpool harbor.
Across the deck came a vision, an apparition so unexpected that Jean
and Giusippe cried out, and even Uncle Bob muttered to himself
something which nobody could hear. The figure was that of a girl—a girl
with wind-tossed hair who, with head thrown back, stopped a moment and
looked full into the sunset.
It was Miss Ethel Cartright of New York, Giusippe's beautiful lady of Venice!
AMERICA ONCE MORE
voyage from Liverpool to Boston was thoroughly interesting to
Giusippe. In the first place there was the wonder of the great blue
sea—a sea so vast that the Italian boy, who had never before ventured
beyond the canals of the Adriatic, was bewildered when day after day
the giant ship plowed onward and still, despite her speed, failed to
reach the land. Sunlight flooded the water, twilight settled into
darkness, and yet on every hand tossed that mighty expanse of waves.
Would a haven ever be reached, the lad asked himself; and how, amid
that pathless ocean, could the captain be so sure that eventually he
would make the port for which he was aiming? It was all wonderful.
Fortunately the crossing was a smooth one, and accordingly every
moment of the voyage was a delight. What happy days our travelers
passed together! Miss Cartright was the jolliest of companions. She
dressed dolls for Jean—dressed them in such gowns as never were seen,
dainty French little frocks which converted the plainest china creature
into a wee Parisian; she read aloud; she told stories; she played
games. Hannah surrendered unconditionally when, one morning after they
had been comparing notes on housekeeping, the fact leaked out that Miss
Cartright's mother had been a New Englander. That was enough!
"She has had the proper sort of bringing up," remarked Hannah, with
a sigh of satisfaction. "She knows exactly how to pack away blankets
and how to clean house as it should be done. She is a very unusual
Coming from Hannah such praise was phenomenal.
Mr. Cabot seemed to think, too, that Miss Cartright possessed many virtues.
At any rate he enjoyed talking with her, and every evening when the
full moon touched with iridescent beauty the wide, pulsing sea he would
tuck the girl into her steamer chair and the two would stay up on deck
until the clear golden ball of light had climbed high into the heaven.
So passed the voyage.
Then as America came nearer Giusippe witnessed all the strange
sights that heralded the approach to the new continent; he saw the
lights dotting the coast; he watched steamers which were outward bound
for the old world he had left behind; he strained his eyes to catch,
through a telescope, the murky outlines of the land.
"Here is still another use to which glass is put, Giusippe," said
Mr. Cabot indicating with a gesture the red flash-light of a beacon far
against the horizon. "Without the powerful reflectors, lenses, and
prisms which are in use in our lighthouses many a vessel would be
wrecked. For not only must a lighthouse have a strong light; it must
also have a means of throwing that light out, and thereby increasing
its effectiveness. Scientists have discovered just how to arrange
prisms, lenses, and reflectors so the light will travel to the farthest
possible distance. At Navasink, on the highlands south of New York
harbor, stands the most powerful coast light in the United States. It
equals about sixty million candle-power, and its beam can be seen
seventy nautical miles away. The carrying of the light to such a
tremendous distance is due to the strong reflectors employed in
conjunction with the light itself. The largest lens, however, under
control of the United States is on the headlands of the Hawaiian
Islands. This is eight and three-quarters feet in diameter and is made
from the most carefully polished glass. And by the way, among other
uses that science makes of glass are telescopes, microscopes, and
field-glasses, which are all constructed from flawlessly ground lenses.
Often it takes a whole year, and sometimes even longer, to polish a
large telescope lens. Without this magnifying agency we should have no
astronomy, and fewer scientific discoveries than we now have. The
glasses people wear all have to be ground and polished in much the same
fashion; opera glasses, magic lanterns, and every contrivance for
bringing distant objects nearer or making them larger are dependent for
their power upon glass lenses."
"Even when making glass I never dreamed it could be used for so many different purposes," answered Giusippe.
"I wish we had counted up, as we went along, how many things it is used for," Jean put in.
"We might have done so, only I am afraid you would have become very
tired had we attempted it," laughed Uncle Bob. "In addition to optical
glass there are still other branches of science that could not go on
without glass in its various forms. Take, for instance, electricity. It
would not be safe to employ this strange force without the protection
of glass barriers to hedge in its dangerous current. Glass, as you
probably know, is a non-conductor of electricity, and whenever we wish
to confine its power and prevent it from doing harm we place a layer of
glass between it and the thing to be protected. The glass checks the
progress of the current. In all chemical laboratories, too, no end of
glass test-tubes, thermometers, and crucibles are in demand for
furthering research work. Science would be greatly hampered in its
usefulness had it not recourse to glass in its manifold forms."
"What a wonderful material it is!" ejaculated Jean. "I never shall
see anything made of glass again without thinking of all it does for
"Be grateful, too, Jean, to the men who have discovered how to use
it," replied Mr. Cabot gravely. "Certainly our mariners many a time owe
their safety to just such warning beacons as the one ahead. We must ask
the captain what light that is. Just think—to-morrow morning we shall
wake up in Boston harbor and be at home again."
A hush fell on the party.
"I shall be dreadfully sorry to have Miss Cartright leave us and go
to New York; sha'n't you, Uncle Bob?" said Jean at last, slipping her
hand into that of the older woman who stood beside her. "Wouldn't it be
nice, Miss Cartright, if you lived in Boston? Then I'd see you all the
time—at least I would when I wasn't in Pittsburgh, and then Uncle Bob
could see you, and that would be almost as good."
"Almost," echoed Uncle Bob.
"But you are coming to New York to see me some time, Jean dear," the
girl said with her eyes far on the horizon. "You know your uncle has
promised that when you go to Pittsburgh both you and Giusippe are to
stop and visit me for a few days."
"Yes, I have not forgotten; it will be lovely, too," replied Jean.
"Still that is not like having you live where you can dress dolls all
the time. Why don't you move to Boston? I am sure you would like it. We
have the loveliest squirrels on the Common!"
"I have been trying to tell Miss Cartright what a very nice place Boston is to live in," added Mr. Cabot softly.
"Well, we all will keep on telling her, and then maybe she'll be convinced," Jean declared.
So they parted for the night.
With the morning came the bustle and confusion of landing. Much of
Uncle Bob's time was taken up with the inspection of trunks, and with
helping Giusippe sign papers and answer the questions necessary for his
admission to the United States. Then came the parting. They bade a
hurried good-bye to Miss Cartright, whom Uncle Bob was to put aboard
the New York train, and into a cab bundled Hannah, Giusippe, and Jean,
in which equipage, almost smothered in luggage, they were rolled off to
Nothing could exceed Giusippe's interest in these first glimpses of
the new country to which he had come. For the next few weeks he went
about as if in a trance, struggling to adjust himself to life in an
American city. How different it was from his beloved Venice! How sharp
the September days with their early frost! How he missed the golden
warmth of the sunny Adriatic and the familiar sights of home! During
his journey through France and England the constant change of travel
had carried with it sufficient excitement to keep him from being
homesick; but now that he was settled for a time in Boston he got his
first taste of what life in the United States was to be like. Not that
he was disappointed; it was only that he felt such a stranger to all
about him. The automobiles, subways, elevated roads, all confused his
brain, and the dusty streets made his throat smart with dryness.
Daily, however, he became more and more accustomed to his
surroundings, and when at last he ventured out alone and discovered
that he could find his way back again his courage rose. Then he began
going on errands for Hannah, and was proud and glad to be of use. He
accompanied Uncle Bob to his office and arrived home alone in safety.
Gradually the strangeness of his new home wore away. Every novel sight
he beheld, every custom which was surprising to him, everything that he
did not understand he asked a score of questions about. It was
why, from morning until night. His questions, fortunately,
were intelligent ones, and as he remembered with accuracy the answers
given him and applied the knowledge thus gained to future conditions he
made amazing headway in becoming Americanized. He got books and read
them; he visited the churches, Library, and Art Museum. And when he saw
how much of its beauty the New World had borrowed from the Old he no
longer felt cut off from his Italian home.
Uncle Bob, in the meantime, had been forced to plunge so deeply into
business that he had had little opportunity to aid his protégé in these
explorations. But one Saturday noon he came home and announced that he
was to treat himself to a half holiday.
"I am not going back to the office to-day," he declared. "Instead I
intend to carry off you two young persons and show you something very
beautiful, the like of which you will see nowhere else in all the
"What is it?" cried Jean and Giusippe.
"Oh, I'm not telling. Just you be ready directly after luncheon to go with me to Cambridge."
"Cambridge! Oh, I know. It is the University, Mr. Cabot. It is Harvard!" exclaimed Giusippe, very proud of his knowledge.
"Not quite," Mr. Cabot said, shaking his head, "although, being a
Harvard man, I naturally feel that the equal of my Alma Mater cannot be
found elsewhere. But you are on the right track. It is something which
is out at Harvard. Guess again."
"I don't know," confessed Giusippe.
"Well, you may be excused because you have not been in this country
long enough to be acquainted with all its marvels. But Jean should
know. Where are you, young lady? You at least should be able to tell
what treasures America possesses."
"I am afraid I can't."
"Then we must excuse you also; you are so young. I see plainly that
we must appeal to Hannah. She who is ever extolling Boston can of
course tell us what it is that Harvard University possesses which is
unsurpassed in any other part of the world."
Hannah looked chagrined.
"You do not know?" went on Uncle Bob teasingly. "Oh, for shame! And
you such an ardent Bostonian! Well, so far as I can see there is
nothing for it but for me to take you all three to Cambridge as fast as
ever we can get there. Such ignorance is deplorable."
You may be very sure that during the ride out from the city every
means was employed to get Uncle Bob to tell what particular wonder he
was to display. At last, driven to desperation by Jean's persistent
questions, he answered:
"I will tell you just one fact. The things we are going to see are made of glass."
"Glass! But we have already seen everything that ever could be made from glass, Uncle Bob," cried Jean in dismay.
"No, we haven't."
"Is it stained glass windows?"
"What is it, Uncle Bob?"
"Never you mind. You would never guess if you guessed a lifetime. You better give it up," was Mr. Cabot's smiling answer.
Cambridge was soon reached, and after a walk through the College
Yard that Giusippe might have a peep at Holworthy, where Uncle Bob had
spent his student days, the sightseers entered a quiet old brick
building and were led by Mr. Cabot into a room where stood case after
case of blooming flowers. There were garden blossoms of every variety,
wild flowers, tropical plants, all fresh and green as if growing. And
yet they were not growing; instead they lay singly or in clusters, each
bloom as perfect as if just cut from the stalk.
"How beautiful! Oh, Uncle Bob, it is like a big greenhouse!" exclaimed Jean.
"This is what I brought you to see."
"But you said we were coming to see something made of glass," objected Giusippe.
"You did say so, Uncle Bob."
"Behold, even as I said!"
"Bu-u-t, these flowers are not glass. What do you mean?"
"On the contrary, my unbelieving friends, glass is precisely what
they are made of. Every blossom, every leaf, every bud, every seed here
is the work of an expert glass-maker."
Mr. Cabot watched their faces, enjoying their incredulity.
"Even so. Shall I tell you about it?"
"This collection of flowers is called the Ware Collection, the name
being bestowed out of compliment to Mrs. and Miss Ware, who generously
donated much of the money for which to pay for it. Sometimes, too, it
is known as the Blaschka Collection of Glass Flower Models, for the
making was done by Leopold Blaschka and his son Rudolph, both of whom
were Bohemians. It happened that several years ago Harvard University
wished to equip its Botanical Department with flower specimens which
might be used for study by the students. The question at once arose how
this was to be done. Real flowers would of course fade, and wax flowers
would melt or break. What could be used? There seemed to be no such
thing as imperishable flowers."
Mr. Cabot paused a moment while the others waited expectantly.
"There were, however, in the Zoölogical Department some wonderfully
accurate glass models of animals made by a Bohemian scientist named
Blaschka, who was a rather remarkable combination of scholar and
glass-maker. Accordingly when it became necessary to have fadeless
flowers one of the professors wondered if this same Bohemian could not
reproduce them. So he set out for Blaschka's home at Hosterwirtz, near
Dresden, to see."
"Did he have to go way to Germany to find out?"
"Yes, because in the first place he did not know that Blaschka could
make flowers at all; and if he could he was not certain that he could
make them perfectly enough to render them satisfactory for such a
purpose. So he traveled to Germany and found the house where lived the
famous glass-maker; and it was while waiting alone in the parlor that
he saw on a shelf a vase containing what seemed to be a very beautiful
"It was made of glass!" Jean declared, leaping at the truth.
"Yes; and it was so perfect that the Harvard professor could hardly
believe his eyes. At that moment the scientist entered. He confessed
that he had made the flower for his wife; indeed, he had made many
glass orchids—one collection of some sixty varieties which had been
ordered by Prince Camille de Rohan, but which had later been destroyed
when the Natural History Museum at Liège had been burned. Since then,
Blaschka explained, he had given all his attention to making models of
animals. He said that his son Rudolph helped him, and that they two
alone knew how the work was done. It was their knowledge of zoölogy and
of botany added to their skill at glass-making which enabled them to
turn out such correct copies of real objects."
"Of course the Harvard professor was delighted," Jean ventured.
"Indeed he was! Before he left he won a promise from Blaschka and
his son to send to Cambridge a few flowers to serve as specimens of
what they could do. Now you may fancy the rage of the Harvard
authorities when on the arrival of the cases of flowers they found that
almost all of them had been broken to bits in the New York Custom
House. There was, however, enough left of the consignment to give to
the Cambridge professors the assurance that the two Bohemians were well
equal to the task demanded of them. Those who saw the shattered
blossoms were most enthusiastic, and Mrs. Ware and her daughter told
the authorities to order a limited number as a gift to the University.
This second lot came safely and were so beautiful that Harvard at once
arranged that the two Blaschkas send over to America all the flowers
they could make for the next ten years."
"Yes, that seems a great many, doesn't it?" Mr. Cabot assented,
nodding to Jean. "But after all, it was not so tremendous as it sounds.
You see Harvard needed a copy of every American flower, plant, and
fruit. The making of them would take a great deal of time. Of course
unless the collection was complete it would be of little use to
students. So the Blaschkas began their work, and for a few years
averaged a hundred sets of flowers a year. Then the father died and
Rudolph was left to finish the work alone. You remember I told you that
in true mediæval fashion they had kept the secret of their art to
themselves; as a consequence there now was no one to aid the son in his
undertaking. Twice he came to our country to get copies of flowers from
which to work, toiling bravely on in order to finish the task his
father had begun. He said he considered it a sort of monument or
memorial to the elder man's genius. There you have the story,"
concluded Mr. Cabot. "No other such collection exists anywhere else in
the world. Even with a microscope it is impossible to distinguish
between the real flower and the glass copy."
"How were they made?" Giusippe demanded. "Was the glass blown?"
"No; the flowers were modeled. That is all I can tell you. The
brittle glass was in some way made plastic so it could be shaped by
hand or by instruments. Some of the coloring was put on while the
material was hot; some while it was cooling; and some after it was
cold. It all depended upon the result desired. But one thing is
evident—the Blaschkas worked very quickly and with marvelous scientific
"It is simply wonderful," said Giusippe. "Even at Murano there is nothing to equal this."
"I thought you, who knew so much of glass-making, would appreciate
what such a collection represents in knowledge, toil, and skill.
Furthermore it is beautiful, and for that reason alone is well worth
seeing," answered Mr. Cabot.
"It is wonderful!" repeated the Italian lad.
All the way home the young Venetian was peculiarly silent. His
national pride had received a blow. Bohemia had surpassed Venice at its
own trade, the art of glass-making!
JEAN THREATENS TO STEAL GIUSIPPE'S TRADE
was the next morning while Mr. Cabot and Giusippe were still
discussing the Blaschka glass flowers that the Italian lad remarked:
"I have wondered and wondered ever since we went out to Harvard how
those fragile flower models were annealed without breaking. It must
have been very difficult."
"What is annealing?" inquired Jean, holding at arm's length a doll's hat and straightening a feather at one side of it.
"Annealing? Why, the gradual cooling of the glass after it has been heated."
"What do they heat it for?"
"Don't you know how glass is made?" Giusippe asked in surprise.
Jean shook her head.
"No. How should I?"
"Why—but I thought every one knew that!"
"I don't see why. How could a girl know about the work you men do
unless you take the trouble to tell her?" Jean dimpled. "All through
Europe you and Uncle Bob have talked glass, glass, glass—nothing but
glass, and as you both seemed to understand what you were talking about
I did not like to interrupt and ask questions; but I had no more idea
than the man in the moon what you meant sometimes."
"Do you mean to say you know nothing at all about the process of glass-making, Jean?" asked Mr. Cabot.
"Not a thing."
"Well, well, well! You have been a very patient little lady, that is
all I can say. Giusippe and I have been both rude and remiss, haven't
we, Giusippe? I thought of course you understood; and yet it is not at
all strange that you did not. As you say, how could you? Why didn't you
ask us, dear?"
"Oh, I didn't like to. I hate to seem stupid and be a bother."
"You are neither of those things, dear child. Is she, Giusippe?"
"I should say not."
"Well then, if it is all the same to you, I do wish somebody would
tell me whether glass is dug up out of the earth or is made of things
mixed together like a pudding," said Jean.
Both Giusippe and Uncle Bob laughed.
"The pudding idea is the nearer correct. Glass is made from
ingredients which are mixed together, boiled, baked, and set away to
cool. Isn't that about it, Giusippe?"
"I think the best remedy we can administer to this young lady, as
well as the most fitting penance for our own discourtesy to her, is to
escort her through a glass factory and let her, with her own eyes,
behold the process. What do you say, Giusippe?"
"A capital idea, señor. Then I, too, should have the chance to visit
an American factory and compare the process you use here with our
Italian method. I should like it above everything else."
"That is precisely what we will do then," declared Mr. Cabot. "On my
first leisure day we will go, and in the meantime I will hunt up the
location of the most satisfactory and nearest glass works."
Not more than a week passed before Uncle Bob fulfilled his promise.
"Make yourselves ready, oh ye glass-makers," said he one morning at
breakfast. "I find after telephoning to the office that I am not needed
to-day; therefore, the moment we have swallowed these estimable griddle
cakes of Hannah's we will hie us forth to instruct Jean in the art of
manufacturing vases, bottles, tumblers and the various sorts of
The two young people greeted the suggestion with pleasure.
"Can you really get away to-day, Uncle Bob?" cried Jean. "What fun we'll have!"
"I think it will be fun. We must, however, make Giusippe captain of
the expedition for he is the one who really knows glass-making from
beginning to end, and can answer all our questions."
"I think I might in Murano," returned the Venetian modestly, "but
that is no sign that I can do it here; your process may differ from the
one we use at home."
"Oh, I do not believe so—at least, not in essentials," Mr. Cabot answered.
So they started out, and before they had proceeded any distance at
all they got into a spirited debate over the tiny lights of glass set
in the top of the electric car. The panes were of ground glass dotted
with an all-over pattern of small stars which had been left
"How did they make the stars on that glass?" was Jean's innocent
question. "Did they scratch off the thick surface and leave the design
of clear glass?"
"No indeed," Mr. Cabot replied. "On the contrary they started with the stars and then made the background cloudy."
"But I don't see how they could."
"Do you, Giusippe?"
"I am afraid not, señor."
"Good! At last there is one fact about glass-making that I can
impart to you. This sort of glass is known as sand-blast glass, and the
art of making it, they say, chanced to be discovered near the seashore.
It was found that when the strong winds rose and blew the sand against
glass window-panes of the houses the small particles, being sharp, cut
into the glass surface, and before long wore it to a cloudy white
through which it was impossible to see out. Often the glass fronts of
lighthouses were injured in this way and the lights dimmed. Finally
some man came along who said: 'See here! Why not turn this grinding
effect of the sand to some purpose? Why not apply it to transparent
glass and make it frosted so one can get light but not see through it?
Often such glass would be a convenience.' Therefore this inventor set
his brain to the task. Strong currents or streams of sand were directed
against a clear glass surface with such force that they cut and ground
it until it was no longer transparent. They called the product thus
made sand-blast glass. Later they improved upon it by laying a stencil
over it so that a desired design was covered and remained protected
from the sand blast. The result was a pattern such as you see—clear
figures set in a background of clouded glass."
"Yes, isn't it? As is true of so many other of our most clever
inventions nature first showed man the path. Ground glass in its
modified forms is used for many purposes now; and yet I venture to say
few persons know how it came to be discovered."
Just at this point the car stopped with a sudden jerk, and beckoning
Jean and Giusippe to follow, Mr. Cabot got out and entered a large
brick building that stood close at hand. Evidently he was expected, for
a man came forward to greet him.
"Mr. Cabot?" he asked.
"Yes. I received your note this morning, so I brought my young
charges out at once. It is very good of you to allow us to go through
"We are always glad to see visitors. I will put you in the hands of
one of our foremen who will take you about and tell you everything you
may want to know."
He touched a bell.
"Show Mr. Cabot and his friends down-stairs," said he to the boy who
answered his call, "and introduce them to Mr. Wyman. Tell him he is to
conduct them over the works."
Mr. Wyman welcomed them cordially.
"We see many visitors here, sir," said he, "and are always glad to
have them come. Although glass-making is an old story to us scarce a
day passes that some one does not visit us to whom the process is
entirely new; and it certainly is interesting if a person has never
seen it. Suppose we begin at the very beginning. In this bin, or
trough, you will see the mixture or batch of which the glass is made.
It is composed of red lead and the finest of white beach sand. The lead
is what gives the inside of the trough its vermilion color. The sand
comes from abroad, and before it can be used it must be sifted and
sifted through a series of closely woven cloths until it is smooth and
fine as powder. Before we put the mixture into the melting pots we heat
it to a given temperature so that it will be less likely to chill the
clay pots and break them."
"Do you really make glass by melting up that stuff?" asked Jean incredulously.
The man smiled.
"But isn't it all red?"
"The red comes out in the melting. We have to be very careful,
however, in weighing out the ingredients, for much of our success
depends on the accurate proportions of the materials combined in the
batch. Of course the chemical composition differs some for different
sorts of glass. It all depends on what kind of glass is to be made.
Then too the conditions of the furnaces vary at times, the draughts
being better at some seasons than at others. We take a test or proof of
every fresh melt, and you would be surprised to see how little these
differ. Careful mixing of the raw materials is the first important item
of successful glass-making; the second is the fusion by heat of the
"The batch is next melted, Jean," explained Giusippe, as they
followed Mr. Wyman into the great brick-paved room where the furnaces
Here indeed was a picturesque scene. Numberless men were hurrying
hither and thither, some whirling in the air glowing masses of molten
glass; others standing before the furnace doors gathering balls of it
on the end of long iron blow-pipes which were from six to nine feet in
length. Everybody was scurrying. As soon as a ball of red-hot glass had
been collected on the end of a blow-pipe it was rushed off to the
blower before it cooled. In and out of the throng of moving workmen
young boys, or carriers, swung along bearing to the annealing ovens on
charred wooden trays or forks newly completed vases or pitchers.
Jean glanced about, fascinated by the bustling crowd.
"Here are the furnaces," the foreman said. "Each one has twelve
openings and is built with a low dome to keep in the heat. The flues or
chimneys are in the sides of the furnace. Within, and just beneath the
openings or working-holes, stand the great clay pots of molten batch.
These pots are made for us from New Jersey clay; formerly we used to
make them ourselves, but it was a great deal of trouble, and we now
find it simpler to buy them. They vary in cost from thirty to
seventy-five dollars, according to their size."
"And they are liable to break the first time they are used," whispered Giusippe in a jesting undertone.
Mr. Wyman caught his words.
"Ah, you know something of glass-making then, my young man?"
"The pots are, as you say, a great lottery. Sometimes one will be in
constant use three months or longer, and do good service; on the other
hand a pot may break the first time using and let all the melt into the
furnace. Then we have a lively time, I can tell you, ladling it out,
and taking care in the meantime that none of the other pots are upset."
Giusippe nodded appreciatively.
Many a day just such a catastrophe had occurred when he had been
working; vividly he recalled how all the men had been forced to come to
"Are the pots filled to the top with batch?" asked Mr. Cabot.
"Yes, we charge them pretty solid; but the raw material loses bulk
in melting, so they have to be filled in as the melt settles. At the
end of ten or twelve hours we have a refilling or
topping out, as we call it; usually this is enough. The first
fill must become fluid and its gases must escape before any more
material is added; we also have to be sure when we put the pots in the
furnace that the temperature is high enough to melt the batch
immediately, or the glass will go bad."
"What do you use for fuel?"
"Crude oil. In the West they can get natural gas, and there they
often melt the batch in tanks instead of pots. But we find crude oil
quite satisfactory. You can readily understand that we cannot burn any
fuel that gives off a waste product such as coal dust or cinders,
because if we did such matter would get into the melt and speck the
glass, causing it to be imperfect. Much of the work done by the
earliest glass-makers was specked in this way, and in fact the
genuineness of old glass is sometimes determined from these very
"I see," Mr. Cabot nodded.
"After the melt is in a fluid state it throws to the top, provided
the heat is sufficient, many impurities such as bubbles and scum. These
are, of course, skimmed off—a process called plaining. Afterward the
hot material has to be cooled before it can be worked, and reduced from
fluid to a thicker consistency. This we call
"How long does it take to melt the batch and get it ready to use?"
"About three days. We run a relay of furnaces—three of them—and plan
so that a melt will be ready to be worked every other day; in that way
we keep plenty of usable material on hand."
"Then we are ready to go ahead and blow it. We make nothing but the
better grades of blown glass here; that is, no window glass or cheap
pressed ware. Of course there are some patterns, such as fluted designs
and their like, which cannot be entirely fashioned by the blower;
therefore these are first blown as nearly the required size as possible
and are then made into the desired form by shutting them inside iron
moulds and squeezing them into the proper shape. You shall see it done
He now led them up to where a gatherer stood at one of the working-holes of the furnace.
"This man," explained Mr. Wyman, "is collecting on his blow-pipe
enough glass to make a pitcher. He uses his judgment as to the amount
necessary, but so often has he estimated it that he seldom gets either
too much or too little. He will next carry it to the blower, who will
blow it into a long, pear-shaped cylinder the size he wants the pitcher
They followed, and with much interest watched a great Swede fill his
lungs and blow into the smaller end of the iron pipe with all his
strength; immediately the ball of soft, red-hot glass began to take
form. With incredible speed the blower flattened its base upon a marver
or table topped with sheet iron. A short iron rod or pontil was next
fastened to the middle of the bottom of the pitcher in order that the
blower might hold it, and after this had been done the blow-pipe was
detached. The glass-maker sat in a sort of backless chair which had
long, flat, metal-covered arms at either side, and as he worked he
rolled the rod with its plastic material back and forth along one of
these iron arms to shape it. He then took his shears and, making an
incision at the middle of the back of the jug, he began to cut the top
into the shape he wanted it, depending entirely on his eye for the
outline. Then quick as a flash he seized a bit of round metal not
unlike a beet in shape and, pressing it inside the soft glass, made the
depression for the nose. All this was done in much less time than it
takes to tell it. A small boy, or carrier, now bobbed up at just the
proper moment and taking the pitcher on his wooden fork carried it off
to a small furnace where it was reheated at the opening or "glory
hole." This little furnace, Mr. Wyman said, was used only for the
purpose of softening glass objects which became chilled in the modeling
and began to be hard and less pliable. As soon as the boy brought the
pitcher back another lad, as if calculating by magic the precise moment
at which to appear, approached with a small mass of molten glass at the
end of his gathering-iron. This he stuck firmly against the pitcher at
the correct spot to form the base of the handle; the modeler snipped
off with his shears as much of the soft glass as he thought necessary,
turned it up, and in the twinkling of an eye fastened the upper end of
the handle in place. Then he surveyed his handiwork an instant to make
sure that it was symmetrical, straightened it just a shade with his
battledore of charred wood, and passed it over to the carrier, who bore
it off to be baked.
"Why do they use so much charred wood for the shaping?" inquired Jean.
"Metal things are liable to mark the glass, leaving upon it a print,
scratch, or other imperfection; charred wood, when worn down, is
absolutely smooth and cannot mar the material."
"Oh, yes, I see. And where have they taken the pitcher now?"
"We will follow it," replied the foreman.
Escorting them across the room he showed them a low oven or kiln.
The door of it was open, and inside they could see all sorts of
glassware which had just been finished.
"Here is where your pitcher will remain for the next three days,"
said he. "We build a fire, put the completed glass in the oven, and
leave it there until the fire goes out and the oven gradually cools; we
call the process annealing. It prevents the glass from breaking when
exposed to friction or to the atmosphere. Glass is very brittle, and
extremely sensitive to heat and cold. If it were not annealed it would
not be strong, and would snap to pieces the moment it came in contact
with the outer air. Now it is very difficult to anneal glass, the
trouble being that all hollow ware is one temperature on the inside and
another on the outside. Hence, when heated, the inside takes longer to
cool. Any current of cold air that strikes it will fracture it. So, as
you can readily see, an annealing kiln or oven must be arranged in such
a way that it will allow the two surfaces to cool simultaneously."
"I think I understand," answered Jean. "And you say these things must stay in the kiln about three days?"
"Yes, the kiln takes about that time. It is a slow process, because
we have practically no way of regulating its heat. A lehr does the work
much quicker. Over here you will see one. It is a long arch or oven
open at both ends. The glassware travels in iron pans along a moving
surface from the hot oven, or receiving end, to the cool, or
discharging end. The temperature of the lehr can be scientifically
tested and regulated, and this is very necessary, because the heavy
glass intended for cutting can stand a greater heat than can ordinary
hollow ware such as vials and table glass. We regulate the oven
according to what we are annealing in it. It does not take so long to
anneal glass in a lehr as in a kiln, and therefore in many factories
only lehrs are used. If you will come around to the cool end you can
see some of the finished pieces being taken out. Each object is made by
a certain set or gang of workmen—a shop, we call it. The work of each
shop when taken from the lehr is put in a box by itself and is then
counted up, and the men paid according to the number of perfect objects
finished. It is piece work. For instance, one shop makes only pitchers,
another wine-glasses, another vases, and so on. Every group has its
specialty, and each workman in the team understands exactly what his
part is in the whole. The common interest of turning out as many
perfect pieces as possible spurs each man to work as rapidly, well, and
helpfully as he can."
"Just like a football squad, Uncle Bob," laughed Jean.
"Exactly," nodded Mr. Wyman. "After the finished glass is taken from
the kiln or lehr it goes to the examining room, where girls dip it in
clear water and hold it to the light to test it for imperfections; then
it is sorted, packed, and shipped."
"And vases, sugar-bowls, tumblers, and most of the hollow glassware is made in the same way?" inquired Mr. Cabot.
"Yes, practically so. The general scheme is the same. As I told you,
there are some difficult designs which must be squeezed into shape in
moulds. These are of iron, and for the convenience of the blowers are
set in holes in the floor. They are made in two parts joined by a
hinge. The molten glass is blown to the approximate size and then a boy
shuts it inside the mould and the blower blows into it until it has
entirely filled out the mould in which it is confined. When released it
is shaped to the form required."
"IT IS SHAPED TO THE FORM REQUIRED"
"But doesn't it stick to the mould?"
"Seldom. The moulds are painted over on the inside with a preparation which prevents the glass from sticking."
"Do you cut any glass here?"
"Oh, yes. Cut glass is made from the heavier crystal variety. The
design is roughly outlined upon it in white and then the cutter places
the part to be cut against an emery-wheel, which grinds out the grooves
and figures and makes the pattern. Just above each cutter's revolving
wheel is suspended a funnel of wet sand, and this drops at intervals
upon the turning disc and cools it; otherwise it would become so hot
from the friction that it could not be used. After the design has been
cut on the emery-wheel all its rough edges are smoothed off on a stone
of much finer grain. I can show you our glass cutters at work if you
would care to see them."
"Oh, do let's see them, Uncle Bob," begged Jean.
"All right; but only for a few moments. We have already taken too
much of Mr. Wyman's time, I fear. And besides, I must be back in town
for luncheon," answered Mr. Cabot.
Accordingly they went on into the next room, where Jean became so
fascinated by the whirring wheels and the men whose steady hands guided
them that it was with difficulty she could be persuaded to leave and
start for home.
"Do you think, little lady, that when you get back to Boston you can
mix up some glass for us and bake it in Hannah's oven?" questioned
Uncle Bob of her when they were at last in the car.
"I am not sure," replied the girl with a bright smile. "But
certainly I have a much clearer idea how to do it than I had before I
went out to the factory. In future when you and Giusippe talk
glass-making I can at least be a bit more intelligent. I think, too, I
appreciate now how wonderful it was that the Egyptians, Persians, and
Syrians discovered in those far-off days how to make glass. I am not at
all sure, Giusippe, that when we go to Pittsburgh I shall not steal
your trade and apply to Uncle Tom for a place in his factory."
Mr. Cabot pinched her cheek playfully.
"I guess you'd better stick to dressing dolls," he said.
length all too soon for Uncle Bob and Hannah, and indeed far
sooner than Jean and Giusippe had realized, October came, and the time
for starting for Pittsburgh was at hand. To the young people their
departure was not without its anticipations. Jean longed to see Beacon
and Uncle Tom, and Giusippe burned with eagerness to take up the
position his uncle had secured for him at Mr. Curtis's factory.
"How odd it is, Giusippe," Jean mused one day, "that we each have an
uncle waiting for us. And besides that you have an aunt, too, haven't
you? I wish I had. I'd love to have an aunt! As it is I have only
"Maybe you'll have one some day," was Giusippe's vaguely consoling
answer. "But anyway I shouldn't think you would care much. You have
Miss Cartright, and she is almost as good as an aunt."
"I suppose she is something like one," admitted Jean, "only, you
see, she doesn't live where I do, so I can't see her very often. Of
course she has sent me nice letters since she got home to New York and
sometimes she writes Uncle Bob, too; but it isn't really like seeing
her. When I think that the day after to-morrow she is to meet us in New
York it seems too good to be true. Won't it be fun? I love Miss
Cartright! Do you suppose she looks just the same as she did when she
was with us on the steamer?"
"I suppose so. Your uncle said she did when he saw her in New York."
"I know it. He has had lots of chances to see her because he has
been over there so many times on business trips. I wish we had. But we
shall see her now, anyway. Oh, I am so glad!" Jean whirled
enthusiastically round the room. "I think we are to have a pretty nice
visit in New York if we do all the things Uncle Bob is planning to. He
says he is going to take us to the studio of one of his friends and
show us how stained glass windows are made. I shall like to see that,
So the boy and girl chattered on little dreaming, in the delight of
the pleasures in store for them, how lonely at heart were Mr. Cabot and
"If it wasn't that Jean is coming back in the spring I should be
completely inconsolable," lamented Hannah. "I cannot bear to part with
the child. But she will surely be back again, won't she, Mr. Bob? There
won't be any other plan made? You'll certainly insist that Mr. Curtis
send her home to us in May, won't you?"
"There, there, Hannah, dry your eyes. Of course Jean will be back. I
have no more mind to lose her than you have. No one knows how I love
that child! I'd no more let her leave my home than I would cut off my
right hand," was Mr. Cabot's vehement reply.
"The boy is a splendid fellow, too," Hannah went on. "He has the makings of a fine man, Mr. Bob."
"Yes. Giusippe is a very unusual lad. As time goes on I am more and
more convinced that we made no mistake in bringing him to America. I am
sure that we are adding a good citizen to the country. I have a feeling
that Mr. Curtis will be much interested in him."
"I wish he'd be sufficiently interested to adopt him and send Jean
home to us," suggested Hannah, smoothing out the edge of an apron she
"I am afraid such a scheme as that would be too good to be true,"
laughed Mr. Cabot. "If, however, he helps place Giusippe in a fine
business position I shall be satisfied. That is all I shall ask."
Nevertheless, brave as Uncle Bob tried to be, he was very solemn the
morning he saw the trunks brought down-stairs and strapped on the back
of the waiting cab.
"Cheer up, Hannah!" he called from the sidewalk. "Why, bless my
soul, if you're not crying! Come, come, this will never do! May will be
here before you know it, and the child will be back again. She is only
going on a visit—remember that. Her home is here. Say good-bye to
Hannah, you young scamps. She somehow seems to have the notion you are
never to return. Tell her she is not to get off so easily. Before many
moons she will find you two in the pantry raiding the cookie jar just
as you robbed it yesterday—you bandits!"
And so with a gaiety he did not feel Mr. Cabot hustled his charges into the carriage and slammed the door.
The trip to New York was a blur of new impressions and the city
itself, when they reached it, another blur—a confusion of madly rushing
throngs; giant sky-scrapers; racing taxicabs; and clanging bells. To
the children it seemed a maelstrom of horror. Their one thought was to
get safely out of the crowd, have something to eat, and go to bed. But
with the morning light New York took on quite a different aspect. It
proved to be not such a bad place after all. The solitary fact that it
harbored Miss Cartright was quite enough to redeem it in their eyes.
Then there was so much to see which was new and strange! Directly after
breakfast Uncle Bob took them out for a stroll and after a walk in the
brisk air he led them into Tiffany's.
"While we have time and are right here I want to show you one of the
most wonderful glass products of America," said he. "It is called
Favril glass and is made at Coronna, Long Island. Just how, I do not
know. The process is a secret one. You remember, don't you, the
marvelous iridescent colors of the ancient Egyptian glass we saw in the
British Museum? And you recall how exquisite was the turquoise glaze on
some of the old pieces? Well, the Tiffany people have tried to imitate
that, and so well have they succeeded that they have received many
medals in recognition of their skill. Museums all over the world from
Tokio to Christiania have purchased collections of the glass that it
may be exhibited and enjoyed by young and old. I am going to show you
some of it now."
Up in an elevator they sped, and alighting at one of the upper
floors Uncle Bob led the way into a room rich with silken hangings and
rare oriental rugs; all about this room were vases, plates,
lamp-shades, and ornaments of beautiful hues. There were great golden
glass bowls glinting with elusive lights of violet, blue, and yellow;
there were vases opalescent with burning flecks of orange and copper;
there were green glass plates and globes which shaded into tones of
blue as delicate as mother-of-pearl.
"Oh!" sighed Jean rapturously, "I never saw anything so lovely! Look
at these plates, Uncle Bob, do look at them. How ever did they get the
color? It is like a sunset."
"The Tiffanys, like Blaschka the flower modeler, are not telling the
world how they get their results. Rest assured, however, many and many
hours must have been spent in experiments before such artistic products
could be obtained."
"Think of the struggles with color and with firing," Giusippe murmured.
"And the pieces that must have been spoiled!" put in Jean.
"But think of the triumph of at last taking from the lehrs such gems
as these! The results which air, soil, and age have by chance produced
in the ancient Egyptian and Græco-Syrian glass the Tiffanys have
created in a modern ware. It is a great achievement, and a royal
contribution to the art of the world."
The children would have been glad to linger for a much longer time
in the vast shop had not the chime of a clock warned them that the noon
hour, when they were to meet Miss Cartright, was approaching. She had
promised to lunch with them all at the Holland House.
Yes, she looked just the same, "only prettier," Jean whispered to
Giusippe. Certainly there was an added glow of beauty on her cheek and
a new sweetness in her smile. How glad she was to see them! And how
glad, glad, glad they were to see her. Miraculously from somewhere
Uncle Bob produced a great bunch of violets which she fastened in her
gown and then amid a confusion of merry chatter and laughter they went
in to luncheon.
It was indeed a royal luncheon!
Uncle Bob seemed inclined to order everything on the menu, and it
was not until Miss Cartright protested that not only the young people
but she herself would be ill, that he was to be stayed. And what a joke
it was when the waiter bent down and asked her if both her son and
daughter would take some of the hot chocolate!
Oh, it was a jolly luncheon!
And after it was finished and they all had declared that not until
next Thanksgiving could they think of eating anything more, off they
shot in a taxicab to the studio of Uncle Bob's friend, Mr. Norcross,
who had promised over the telephone to show them the window he was
making for a church in Chicago.
They found the studio at the top of one of New York's high
buildings, and it was flooded with light from the west and south; on
one side of the room was an open space large enough to allow an immense
stained glass window to be set up.
Mr. Norcross, who was an old college friend of Uncle Bob's, greeted
them cordially and when Miss Cartright remarked on the airiness of his
workshop he answered:
"Yes, I have plenty of air up here; of course I enjoy it, too. But
air, after all, is not the important factor which I consider. My stock
in trade is light. Without it I could do nothing. Through the medium of
strong sunlight I must test my work, for stained glass is beautiful
chiefly as the light plays through it. It is not a tapestry nor a
picture—it is primarily a window. Its colors must be rich in the light
but not glaring; and its design must be so thoughtfully executed that
the telling figures will stand forth when there is a strong sunset, for
instance, behind them."
"Of course, then, you must take care that the colors you use do not
prove too powerful and overshadow your central figures," said Miss
"Ah, you paint?"
"Yes, but not as I want to," was the wistful answer. "I do
portraits. So I can readily see that your problem is a unique, and far
more difficult one than mine. I have only a changeless color scheme to
consider, while your colors shift with every cloud that passes across
Mr. Norcross nodded with pleasure at her instant appreciation of his difficulties.
"Have you ever seen stained glass in the making?" he asked.
She shook her head.
"Neither have any of the rest of us, Norcross," put in Mr. Cabot.
"That is what we came for. I have been toting these two youthful
friends of mine all over the world and together we have investigated
almost every known form of glass, from the Naples Vase down to an
American lamp chimney."
Mr. Norcross smiled.
"So you see," Uncle Bob went on, "I wanted them to witness this phase of glass-making."
"They certainly shall. How did you chance to be so interested in the making of glass?" inquired the artist, turning to Giusippe.
"I am a Venetian, señor. For over six generations my people have been at Murano."
"Oh, then, what wonder! And that accounts for your own personal color scheme."
The artist let his eyes dwell upon the Italian's face intently: then glanced at Miss Cartright.
"I did a portrait of Giusippe," she responded quietly, "when I was
in Venice a few years ago. He did not look so much like an American
"Modern clothing certainly does take the picturesqueness out of some of us," answered Mr. Cabot.
In the meantime Giusippe had wandered off to the distant side of the
studio and now stood before a large glass panel calling excitedly:
"Is this the window you are making, señor? How beautiful! The violet
light behind the woman's head, and that yellow glow on her hair—it is
wonderful! And her white drapery against the background of green!"
Mr. Norcross came to his side, flushing with gratification.
"The mellow tones playing on her hair were hard to get. I spent a
lot of time working at them. It isn't easy to get the results one wants
when making stained glass."
"What did you do first, Mr. Norcross, when you began the window?" asked Jean timidly.
"I will show you every step I have taken in doing it if you would
like to follow the process. In the first place I went to Chicago and
studied the light and the setting which it was to have. Then I made
this small water-color design and submitted it for approval to the
persons who were ordering the window. The drawing accepted, I set about
making a full-sized cartoon which I sketched in with charcoal on this
heavy paper; the black lines represent the leading and the horizontal
stay-bars necessary to hold the glass in place. After that I sliced up
my cartoon into a multitude of small pieces from which the glass could
be cut and the lead lines decided upon. All this done I went to work
planning my color scheme—thinking out what dominating colors I would
use and where I would place my high lights."
"And then you were ready for your glass?" inquired Mr. Cabot.
"Yes. Now selecting the glass is not alone a matter of color; it is
also a problem of thickness. Sometimes a variation in tone can be
obtained merely by using a bit of heavier glass in some one spot. Again
the effect must be obtained by the use of paint."
"What kind of glass do you use, Mr. Norcross?" Giusippe questioned.
"What we call bottle, or Norman, glass. We get it from England, and
strangely enough there is a heavy duty on it in its raw state. One can
import a whole window free of duty because it is listed as an art work;
but the glass out of which an art work is to be constructed costs a
very high price. Odd, isn't it? As soon as I reach the point of using
glass I arrange it on a large plate glass easel, using wax in the
spaces where the lead is to go. Then I experiment and experiment with
my colors. You probably know that in making modern stained glass a
great deal of paint is used in order to get shading and degrees of
color. It was toward the end of the thirteenth century that the old
glass-makers began to introduce the use of paint into their windows.
First came the grisaille glass, as it was called, where instead of
strong reds and blues most of the window was in white painted with
scroll work in which a few bits of brilliant stained glass were set
like jewels. Then with the fourteenth century came those elaborate
painted canopies and borders within which were the main figures of the
window in stained glass. From that time on the combination of stained
and painted glass was used. Accordingly we all work by that method now.
So, as I say, I paint in my glass and afterward it has to be fired, all
the small pieces being laid out on heavy sheets of steel covered with
plaster of paris."
"Do your colors always come out as you mean to have them?" inquired Giusippe, his eyes on the artist's face.
Mr. Norcross shrugged his shoulders.
"You know, don't you, how the firing often changes the tone, and how
you frequently get a color you neither intended nor desired. That is
one of the tribulations of stained glass making. Another is when the
cutters must trim down the glass and put the lead in place. You may not
realize that there are three widths of lead from which to select; it is
not always easy to choose for every part of the design the thickness
which will look the best. For instance, sometimes the leading will be
too strong and overwhelm the picture; again it will be too weak and
render the window characterless."
"It must be a fascinating puzzle to work out," mused Miss Cartright.
"Yes; but it is also a great test of the patience."
"Were the old glass windows made in this same way, do you suppose?" asked Jean after a pause.
"I presume the old glass-makers worked along the same general plan,
although they may not have followed exactly the present-day methods;
certain it is, however, that they knew all the many tricks or devices
for getting color effects—knew them far better than we do now. And they
put endless time and thought into their work, no artist feeling it
beneath his dignity to follow the humblest detail of his conception. He
watched over his art-child until it got to be full-grown. This is the
only way to get fine results. For, you see, there is no set rule for a
glass designer to apply. Each window presents a fresh problem in the
management of light and color. There is no branch of art more elusive
or more difficult than this. I must be able to construct a window which
will be satisfactory as a flat piece of decoration; it must be
sufficiently interesting to give pleasure even when it stands in a dim
light. Then presto—the sun moves round, and my window is transformed!
And in the flood of light that passes through it I must still be able
to find it beautiful."
"I think that I should like to learn to make stained glass,"
declared Giusippe, who had become so absorbed that he had moved close
beside Mr. Norcross.
The artist smiled down kindly at him. "In your country you have many
a fine example of glass. France, too, is rich in rose windows which are
the despair of our modern craftsmen. But we glass-makers are working
hard and earnestly, and who knows but in time we may give to the world
such glass as is at Rheims, Tours, Amiens, and Chartres."
"What sort of paint do you use?" asked Mr. Cabot as he took up a brush and idly examined it in his fingers.
"A kind of opaque enamel containing fusible material which is melted
by heat and thereafter adheres to the surface of the glass. It must,
however, be used carefully, as it possesses so much body that too much
of it will obscure the light—the thing a stained glass window should
never do. We should have many more successful windows if the people
making them would only bear in mind that a window is not a picture, and
should not be treated as one. For my part, I make my window a window. I
join the pieces of glass frankly together, not trying to conceal the
lead that holds them. I cannot say that I get the results either with
colors or lights that I want to get; but I am trying, with the old
masters as my ideal."
"Certainly you are a long way on the road if you can turn out a
window as beautiful as this one promises to be. None of us reaches the
ideal, Mr. Norcross, but in the past is the inspiration that what man
has done man can do. Perhaps not now, but in the future," Miss
Cartright said softly.
"I wish I might try stained glass making," Giusippe said again.
"Perhaps some time you will, my boy," answered Mr. Norcross, "and
perhaps, too, your generation may succeed where mine has failed, and
give to the world another Renaissance. Remember, all the great deeds
haven't been done yet."
TWO UNCLES AND A NEW HOME
NCLE TOM CURTIS
arrived in New York toward the end of the children's visit,
good-byes were said to Miss Cartright and to Uncle Bob, and within the
space of a day Jean and Giusippe were amid new surroundings. Here was
quite a different type of city from Boston—a city with many beautiful
buildings, fine residences, and a swarm of great factories which
belched black smoke up into the blue of the sky. Here, too, were
Giusippe's aunt and uncle with a hearty welcome for him; and here,
furthermore, was the new position which the boy had so eagerly craved
in the glass works. The place given Giusippe, however, did not prove to
be the one his uncle had secured for him after all; for during the
journey from New York Uncle Tom Curtis had had an opportunity to study
the young Italian, and the result of this better acquaintance turned
out to be exactly what Uncle Bob Cabot had predicted; Uncle Tom became
tremendously interested in the Venetian, and before they arrived at
Pittsburgh had decided to put him in quite a different part of the
works from that which he had at first intended.
"Your nephew has splendid stuff in him," explained Mr. Curtis to
Giusippe's uncle. "I mean to start him further up the ladder than most
of the boys who come here. We will give him every chance to rise and
we'll see what use he makes of the opportunity. He is a very
Accordingly, while Jean struggled with French, algebra, drawing,
history, and literature at the new school in which Uncle Tom had
entered her and while she and Fräulein Decker had many a combat with
German, Giusippe began wrestling with the problems of plate glass
The factory was an immense one, covering a vast area in the
manufacturing district of the city; it was a long way from the
residential section where Jean lived, and as the boy and girl had
become great chums they at first missed each other very much. Soon,
however, the rush of work filled in the gaps of loneliness. Each was
far too busy to lament the other, and since Uncle Tom invented all
sorts of attractive plans whereby they could be together on Saturday
afternoons and Sundays the weeks flew swiftly along. There were motor
trips, visits to the museums and churches of the city, and long walks
with Beacon wriggling to escape from the leash which reined him in.
Uncle Tom's home was much more formal than Uncle Bob's. It stood,
one of a row of tall gray stone houses, fronting a broad avenue on
which there was a great deal of driving. It had a large library and a
still larger dining-room in which Jean playfully protested she knew she
should get lost. But stately as the dwelling was it was not so big and
formidable after all if once you got upstairs; on the second floor were
Uncle Tom's rooms and a dainty little bedroom, study, and bath for
Jean. On the floor above a room was set apart for Giusippe, so that he
might stay at the house whenever he chose. Saturday nights and Sundays
he always spent at Uncle Tom's; the rest of the time he lived with his
uncle and aunt.
To Giusippe it was good to be once more with his kin and talk in his
native language; and yet such a transformation had a few months in the
United States made in him that he found that he was less and less
anxious to remain an Italian and more and more eager to become an
American. His uncle, who had made but a poor success of life in Venice,
and who had secured in his foster country prosperity and happiness,
declared there was no land like it. He missed, it is true, the warm,
rich beauty of his birthplace beyond the seas, and many a time talked
of it to his wife and Giusippe; but the lure of the great throbbing
American city gripped him with its fascination. It presented endless
opportunity—the chance to learn, to possess, to win out.
"If you have brains and use them, if you are not afraid of hard
work, there is no limit to what a man may do and become over here," he
told Giusippe. "That is why I like it, and why I never shall go back to
Italy. Just you jump in, youngster, and don't you worry but you'll
bring up somewhere in the end."
There was no need to urge a lad of Giusippe's make-up to "jump in";
on the contrary it might, perhaps, have been wiser advice to caution
him not to take his new work too hard. He toiled early and late, never
sparing himself, never thinking of fatigue. Physically he was a rugged
boy, and to this power was linked the determination to make good.
Before he had been a month in the glass house he was recognized by all
the men as one who would make of each task merely a stepping-stone to
something higher. His uncle was congratulated right and left on having
such a nephew, and very proud indeed he was of Giusippe.
In the meantime Uncle Tom Curtis, although apparently busy with more
important matters, kept his eyes and ears open. Frequent reports
concerning his protégé reached him in his far-away office at the other
end of the works. Indeed the boy would have been not a little surprised
had he known how very well informed about his progress the head of the
firm really was. But Uncle Tom never said much. He did, however, write
Uncle Bob that to bring home a penniless Italian as a souvenir of
Venice was not such a crazy scheme after all as he had at first
supposed it. From Uncle Tom this was rare praise, a complete
vindication, in fact. Uncle Bob chuckled over the letter and showed it
to Hannah, who rubbed her hands and declared things were working out
"Some day, Giusippe," remarked Uncle Tom one evening after dinner,
when together with the young people he was sitting within the crimson
glow of the library lamp, "I propose you take Jean through the works.
It is ridiculous that a niece of mine should acquaint herself with the
history of the glass of all the past ages and never go through her own
uncle's factory. What do you say, missy? Would you like to go?"
"Of course, Uncle Tom, I'd love to. I wrote Uncle Bob only the other
day that I wanted dreadfully to see how plate glass was made and hoped
some time you'd take me. I didn't like to ask you for fear you were too
"I have been a little rushed, I'll admit. We business men," he
slapped Giusippe on the shoulder, "live in a good deal of a whirl—eh,
"I know you do, sir."
"And you? You have nothing to do, I suppose. It chances that I have
heard to the contrary, my lad. You've put in some mighty good work
since you came here, and I am much gratified by the spirit you've
Giusippe glowed. It was not a common thing for Mr. Curtis to commend.
"I didn't know, sir, that you——"
"Knew what you were doing? Didn't any one ever tell you that I have
a search-light and a telescope in my office?" Uncle Tom laughed. "Oh, I
keep track of things even if I do seem to be otherwise occupied. So
look out for yourself! Beware! My eyes may be upon you almost any
"I am not afraid, sir," smiled the boy.
"And you have no cause to be, either, my lad," was Uncle Tom's
serious rejoinder. "Now you and Jean fix up some date to see the works.
Why not to-morrow? It is Saturday, and she will not be at school."
"But I work Saturday mornings, Mr. Curtis."
"Can't somebody else do your work for you?"
"I have never asked that."
"Well, I will. We'll arrange it. Let us say to-morrow then. Take Jean and explain things to her. You can do it, can't you?"
"I think so. Most of the process I understand now, and if there is anything that I need help about I can ask."
"That's right. Just go ahead and complete the girl's education in
glass-making so she can write her Boston uncle that she is now
qualified to superintend any glass works that may require her
Jean laughed merrily.
"I am afraid I should be rather a poor superintendent, Uncle Tom," said she. "There seems to be such a lot to know about glass."
"There is," agreed Mr. Curtis. "Sometimes I feel as if about
everything in the world was made of it. Of course you've seen the ink
erasers made of a cluster of fine glass fibres. Oh, yes; they have
them. And the aigrettes made in the same way and used in ladies'
bonnets. Then there are those beautiful brocades having fine threads of
spun glass woven into them in place of gold and silver; it was a Toledo
firm, by the way, that presented to the Infanta Eulalie of Spain a
dress of satin and glass woven together. To-day came an order from
California for glass to serve yet another purpose; you could never
guess what. The people out there want some of our heaviest polished
plate to make the bottoms of boats."
"Boats," repeated Uncle Tom, nodding.
"But—but why make a glass-bottomed boat?"
"Well, in California, Florida, and many other warm climates boats
with bottoms of glass are much in use. Sightseers go out to where the
water is clear and by looking down through the transparent bottom of
the boat they can see, as they go along, the wonderful plant and animal
life of the ocean. Such reptiles, such fish, such seaweeds as there
are! I have heard that it is as interesting as moving pictures, and
quite as thrilling, too."
"I'd like to do it," said Giusippe.
"I shouldn't," declared Jean with a shudder. "I hate things that
writhe, and squirm, and wriggle. Imagine being so near those hideous
creatures! Why, if I once should see them I should never dare to go in
bathing again. I'd rather not know what's in the sea."
"There is something in that, little lady," Uncle Tom answered,
slipping one of his big hands over the two tiny ones in the girl's lap.
"Giusippe and I will keep the sea monsters out of your path, then; and
the land monsters, too, if we can. Now it is time you children got to
bed, for to-morrow you must make an early start. You'd better telephone
your aunt or uncle that you are going to stay here to-night, Giusippe.
If you do not work to-morrow you will not need to get to the factory
until Jean and I do; it will be much simpler for you to remain here and
go down with us in the car. I'll call up your boss and explain matters.
Good-night, both of you. Now scamper! I want to read my paper."
The next morning the Curtis family was promptly astir, and after
breakfast Uncle Tom with his two charges rolled off to the factory in
the big red limousine.
"Your superintendent says you are welcome to the morning off,
Giusippe," Mr. Curtis remarked as they sped along. "But he did have the
grace to say he should miss you. Now it seems to me that if you are to
give Jean a clear idea of what we do at the works you better begin with
the sheet glass department. That will interest her, I am sure; later
you can show her where you yourself work."
The car pulled up at Mr. Curtis's office, and they all got out.
"Good-bye! Good luck to you," he called as the boy and girl started off.
Jean waved her hand.
"We will be back here and ready to go home with you, Uncle Tom, at one o'clock," she called over her shoulder.
"We won't be late, sir."
"See that you're not. I shall be hungry and shall not want to wait. I guess you'll have an appetite, too, by that time."
"Is sheet glass blown, Giusippe?" inquired Jean, as they went across
the yard. "I hate to ask stupid questions, but you see I do not know
anything about it."
"That isn't a stupid question. Quite the contrary. Yes, sheet glass is blown. You shall see it done, too."
"But I do not understand how they can get it flattened out, if they blow it."
The boy led the way through a low arched door.
Before the furnaces within the great room a number of glass-blowers
were at work. They stood upon wooden stagings, each one of which was
built over a well or pit in the floor, and was just opposite an opening
in the furnace.
"Each of these men has a work-hole of the furnace to himself, so
that he may heat his material any time he needs to do so. The staging
gives him room to swing his heavy mass of glass as he blows it, and the
pit in the floor, which is about ten feet deep, furnishes space for the
big cylinder to run out, or grow longer, as he blows. The gathering for
sheet glass is done much as was that for the smaller pieces. The
gatherer collects a lump on his pipe, cools it a little, and collects
more until he has enough. He then rests it on one of those wooden
blocks such as you see over there; the block is hollowed out so to let
the blower expand the glass to the diameter he wants it."
"But I should think the block would burn when the hot glass is forced inside it."
"It would if it were not first sprinkled with water. Sometimes
hollow metal blocks are used instead. In that case water passes through
to keep them cool, and they are dusted over with charcoal to keep them
from sticking, and from scratching the glass. After a sufficiently
large mass of glass has been gathered and reheated to a workable
condition the blower begins his task. First he swings the great red-hot
lump about so that it will get longer. His aim is to make a long
cylinder and into it he must blow constantly in order to keep it full
of air. Watch that man now at work. See how deft he is, and how strong.
The even thickness of the glass, and the uniformity of its size, depend
entirely upon his skill. If he finds the cylinder running out too fast,
or in other words getting too long, he shifts it up over his head,
always taking care, however, to keep it upright."
How rapidly the man worked with the great mass on his blow-pipe! Now
he blew it far down into the pit beneath, where it hung like a mighty,
elongated soap-bubble; now he swung it to and fro; now lifted it above
his head. And all the time he was blowing into it blasts of air from
his powerful lungs.
"The cylinder doesn't seem to get any bigger round," observed Jean at last.
"No. Its diameter was fixed at the beginning by the wooden block.
That settles its size once and for all; it is the length and thickness
of the cylinder which are governed by the blower. Do you realize how
strong a man has to be to wield such a weight as that lump of metal? It
is no easy matter. Luckily he can suspend it against that wooden rest
if he gets too tired. In England they use a sort of iron frame called
to relieve the blower of the weight of the glass and the device was
also used at one time in Belgium; but the Belgian workmen gradually did
away with it."
For a long time the two children stood there fascinated by the skill of the blowers.
"Suppose we go on now and see the rest of the process," suggested
Giusippe, a little unwillingly. "I could watch these men all day, but
we have much to do, and if we do not hurry we shall not get through."
The next step in the work was opening out the cylinders, and this
was done in two ways. The end of those made of thinner glass was put
into the furnace while at the same time air was forced inside through
the blow-pipe. As a result the air expanded by the heat of the fire,
and burst open the cylinder at its hottest or weakest end. By placing
this opening downward it was widened to the diameter necessary. The
cylinders of thicker glass were opened by fastening to one end a lump
of hot metal, thereby weakening them at this point. When the air was
forced in by the blower it burst open the mass and the break thus made
was enlarged by cutting it round with the scissors.
"Now come on, Jean, and see them flatten it out," said Giusippe.
Upon a wooden rest or chevalet the cylinder was now laid and
detached from the pipe by placing a bit of cold steel against the part
of the glass that still clung to the blow-pipe. At once the neck of the
glass, which was hot, contracted at the touch of the cold metal and
broke away from the pipe. The small end was then taken off by winding
round it a thread of hot glass, and afterward applying cold iron or
steel at any point the thread had covered.
"The cylinder is now finished at top and bottom and is ready to be
split up the side," said Giusippe. "This they do with a rule and a
diamond point mounted in a long handle. The diamond point is drawn
along the inside of the cylinder and opens it out flat. If there are
any imperfections in the glass the cutter plans to have them come as
near the edge of this opening as possible so there will be little
"Now, as you will see, the glass is ready for the flattener. First
he warms it in the flue of his furnace and then, using his croppie or
iron, he puts it on the flattening-stone; if you look carefully you
will see that the top of this stone is covered with a large sheet of
glass. In the heat of the furnace the cylinder with the split uppermost
soon opens out and falls back in a wavy mass. See?"
Jean watched intently as the great roll of glass unfolded and spread
into billows. The moment it was fairly open the flattener took his
polissoir, a rod of iron with a block of wood at one end, and began
smoothing out the uneven sheet of glass into a flat surface. At times
he had to rub it with all his strength to straighten it. This done the
flattening-stone was moved on wheels to a cooler part of the furnace
and the sheet of glass upon it was transferred to a cooling-stone. When
stiff enough it was taken off and placed either flat or on edge in a
rack with other sheets.
So the process went on.
Cylinder after cylinder was blown, opened up, flattened, and
annealed. So quickly did the single sheets of glass cool that it was
not much more than half an hour from the time they entered the
flattening kiln before they came out thoroughly annealed. They were
then carried to the warehouse for inspection and the especially fine
ones were selected to be polished into patent glass. The sheets were
rated as bests, seconds, thirds, and fourths, and their average size
was 48 x 34 or 36 inches, although the foreman said that sometimes
sheets as large as 82 x 42 or 75 x 50 had been made. These, however,
were exceedingly difficult to handle, as they were in constant danger
of being broken. The mass of glass was also very heavy for the blower
"The great advantage of sheet glass over crown glass is that it can
be made in large pieces. Of course it is not as brilliant as crown, but
it is much more useful," added the workman.
"What is crown glass?" whispered Jean to Giusippe.
"It is a variety of glass manufactured by another process," was the
reply. "We do not make it here. Do you remember the bull's eye glass
windows we saw in England? Well, each of those bull's eyes came from
the center of a sheet of crown glass just where a lump of hot glass was
attached so the blower could whirl or spin it from the middle and make
it into a flat disc. But, as you can readily understand, a sheet of
glass with this mark or defect right in the center will never cut to
advantage, and therefore only comparatively small pieces can be got out
of it; there is much waste. Yet, as the man says, it has a wonderfully
brilliant surface. Now I am not going to let you stay here any longer
or we shall not have time to see the part of the factory where I am
working. I'm in the plate glass department, and I intend to drag you
off to the casting hall this very moment."
"Before you go, though, you must understand that plate glass is
quite a different thing from these others. It is not blown at all.
Instead the melt is poured out on an iron table just as molasses candy
is turned out of a pan to cool. You'll see how it is done."
They crossed the yard and entered another part of the works; Giusippe gave the foreman a word of greeting as they went in.
On each side of the great room were the annealing ovens, and down
the center of the hall on a track moved a casting table which rolled
along on wheels. The pots of molten glass or metal were first taken
from the furnaces and carried on trucks to this casting table. Here
they were lifted by a crane, suspended above the table, and then tilted
over, and the glass poured out.
"THE MELT IS POURED OUT ON AN IRON TABLE"
"For all the world like a pan of fudge!" declared Jean.
"I guess you would find it the stickiest, heaviest fudge you ever tried to manage," said he.
The instant the mass of soft metal was on the table a roller of
cast-iron was passed very swiftly back and forth over it, spreading it
to uniform thickness, and at the same time flattening it.
"The thickness of the glass is gauged by the strips of iron on which
the roller moves," explained Giusippe to Jean. "These can be adjusted
to any thickness. Notice how rapidly the men have to work. The glass
must be finished while it is hot, or there will be flaws in it. It is a
rushing job, I can tell you."
"But—but you don't call this stuff plate glass, do you?" inquired
the girl in dismay. "It does not look like it—at least not like any I
ever saw used as shop windows or for mirrors."
"Oh, it is not done yet. But it is what we call rough plate. That's
the kind that is used where light and not transparency is needed. You
often see it in office doors or in skylights of buildings. To get the
beautiful polished plate glass that you are talking about this rough
plate must be polished over and over again. But before it can be
polished it must first be annealed as rough plate. It goes into the
annealing ovens right from this table and comes out all irregular—full
of pits and imperfections. No matter how flat the casting table is, or
how much care is taken, the surface of the glass after annealing is
always bad. If it is to be made into polished plate it must be ground
down first with sand and water; then ground smoother still with a
coarse kind of emery stone and water; next ground again with water and
powdered emery stone. After that comes the smoothing process done with
a finer sort of emery and water. Last of all the sheet is bedded, as we
call it, and each side is polished with rouge, or red oxide, between
moving pads of felt."
"Goodness!" ejaculated Jean. "Do you mean to say they have to go through all that with every sheet of plate glass?"
"Every sheet of
plate," corrected Giusippe. "Rough plate does not need to be
polished or ground down much. It is made merely for use and not for
beauty. Sometimes to add strength, and help support the weight of large
sheets, wire netting is embedded in them. Wired glass like this was the
invention of an American named Schuman and it is used a great deal; the
wire not only relieves the weight of the glass but serves the double
purpose of holding the pieces should any break off and start to fall.
Often, too, insurance companies specify that it shall be used as a
matter of fire protection."
"But I should think if plate glass—I mean polished plate," Jean
hurriedly corrected her error, "has to be ground down so much there
wouldn't be anything left of it. It must come out dreadfully thin."
"The casters have to consider that and allow for it," answered the
Italian. "They expect part of the glass will have to be ground away, so
they cast it thicker in the first place. A large, perfect sheet of
polished plate is quite an achievement. From beginning to end it
requires the greatest care, and if spoiled it is a big loss not only in
actual labor but because of the amount of material required to make it.
Even at the very last it may be injured in the warehouse either by
scratching or breaking. It is there that it is cut in the size pieces
"With a rule and diamond point just such as is used for cutting
sheet glass. The surface is scratched to give the line of fracture and
then it is split evenly."
"I should hate to have the responsibility of cutting or handling it when it is all done," Jean observed with a little shiver.
"Well you might. Only men of the greatest skill and experience are
allowed to touch the big, heavy sheets. The risk is too great. They
turn only the best workmen into the plate glass department."
"But you work here, don't you, Giusippe?"
"I? Oh, I—I'm just learning," was the boy's modest reply.
"You seem to have learned pretty well," said a voice at his elbow.
Turning the lad was astonished to find Mr. Curtis standing just behind him.
"I must own up to being an eavesdropper," laughed the older man. "I
couldn't resist knowing whether you were instructing Jean as she should
be instructed, Giusippe. Don't worry. I have no fault to find. I
couldn't have explained it better myself. You shall have your diploma
on plate glass making any time you want it."
Then as the superintendent advanced to speak to him, Mr. Curtis added:
"You had given your pupil a good bringing up, Mr. Hines. He does you credit."
JEAN'S TELEGRAM AND WHAT IT SAID
winter in Pittsburgh passed rapidly. For Jean it was a happy year
despite much hard work at school, German lessons with Fräulein, and
long hours of piano practising. It seemed as if the scales and finger
exercises were endless and sometimes the girl wondered which had the
more miserable fate—she who was forced to drum the same old things over
and over, or poor Uncle Tom who had to listen when she was doing it.
And yet as she looked back over her busy days she realized that she
neither studied nor practised all the time. No, there was many a good
time interspersed in her routine. For example, there was the
Shakespeare play at the school, a performance of "As You Like It," in
which Jean herself took the part of "Rosalind." This was an excitement
indeed! Uncle Tom became so interested that he got out his book and
spent several evenings coaching the leading lady, as he called the
girl; one night he even went so far as to impersonate "Orlando," and he
and Jean gave a dress rehearsal in the library, greatly to Giusippe's
delight and amusement. This set them all to reading Shakespeare aloud,
and going to a number of presentations of the dramas then being given
in the city. To the young people all this was new and wonderful, for up
to the present they had been little to the theater.
In the meantime Giusippe was also having his struggles. It was a
rushing season at the factory, there being many large orders to fill;
the mill hummed night and day and in consequence the scores of
glass-makers looked happy and prosperous. No one was out of employment
or on half pay, and none of the workmen dreaded Christmas because there
was nothing to put in the kiddies' stockings.
With Christmas came Uncle Bob and oh, what a holiday there was then!
Was ever a Christmas tree so beautiful, or a Christmas dinner so
delicious? Giusippe brought his aunt and uncle to the great house, and
in the evening there was a dance for Jean and some of her school
friends. Uncle Bob, who was in the gayest of spirits, danced with all
the girls; introduced everybody to everybody; and brought heaping
plates of salad to the dancers. There seemed to be nothing he could not
do from putting up Christmas greens to playing the piano until the
belated musicians arrived. The party could never had been given without
him, that was certain. It was a Christmas long to be remembered!
And when he left the next morning it was with the understanding that
Jean should return to Boston the first of May. Uncle Tom looked pretty
grave when he was reminded that the days of his niece's stay with him
were numbered; and it was amusing to hear him use the very arguments
that Uncle Bob had voiced when Jean had left Boston for Pittsburgh
"It isn't as if the child was never coming back," he told Giusippe.
"Her home is here; she is only going to Boston for her vacation. We
should be selfish indeed to grudge her a few weeks at the seashore.
Pittsburgh is rather warm in summer."
Thus Uncle Tom consoled himself, and as the days flew past tried to put out of his mind the inevitable day of parting.
Then came May and with it a very unexpected happening. Jean's trunk
was packed, and she was all ready to leave for the East, when Uncle Tom
was taken sick.
"I doubt if it is anything but overwork and fatigue," said the
doctor. "Mr. Curtis has, I find, been carrying a great deal of care
this winter. It is good to do a rushing business, of course, but when
one has to rush along with it the wear and tear on the nerves is pretty
"You don't think he will be ill long, do you?" questioned Jean anxiously.
"I cannot tell. Such cases are uncertain. He just needs rest—to give
up work for a while and stay at home. Recreation, diversion,
amusement—that's what he wants. Read to him; motor with him; walk with
him; keep him entertained. Things like that will do far more good than
"But—but—I'm—I'm going away to-morrow for the rest of the summer," stammered Jean.
"Away? Humph! That's unfortunate."
"Why, you don't really think I am any use here, do you? Enough use
to remain, I mean," the girl inquired in surprise. "Uncle Tom
doesn't—you don't mean that he
me; that I could do good by staying?"
A flush overspread her face. That any one should need her! And most
of all such a big strong man as Uncle Tom. The idea was unbelievable.
Hitherto life had been a matter of what others should do for her. She
had been a child with no obligations save to do as she was told. Her
two uncles whom she loved so much had discussed her fate and decided
between them what her course should be. Now, all at once, there was no
pilot at the wheel. The directing of the ship fell to her guidance. In
the space of those few moments, as if by a miracle, Jean Cabot ceased
to be a child and became a woman.
"Mr. Curtis is very fond of you, isn't he?" asked the physician. "He
will miss you if you are not here, I am afraid. Who else is there in
the house to be a companion for him?"
"No one but Fräulein, and of course she is getting older and is not very strong."
"Unfortunate!" repeated the doctor.
"It is not at all necessary for me to go to-morrow," Jean said
quickly. "I can postpone it and stay here just as well as not, and I
think it would be much better if I did." She spoke with deepening
conviction. "I'll telegraph my uncle in Boston and explain to him that
I cannot leave just now."
What a deal of dignity stole into that single word "cannot."
At last there was a duty to fulfil toward some one else—some one who
really needed her. Jean repeated the amazing fact over and over to
herself. She had a place to fill. She and Uncle Tom had reversed their
obligations; he was now the weak one, she the strong.
With a happy heart the girl went back up-stairs.
Uncle Tom was lying very still in bed, his face turned away from the door; but he heard her light step and put out his hand.
"My little girl," he whispered.
Jean slipped her soft palm into his.
"Did I wake you?"
"No, dear. I was not asleep. I cannot sleep these days. Last night I
heard the clock strike almost every hour. It has been so right along. I
cannot recall when I have had a full night's rest. No sooner do I go to
bed than my mind travels like a whirlwind over everything I've done
through the day. There is no peace, no stopping it."
"We will stop it, dear. Don't worry, Uncle Tom. The doctor says you
are just a little tired, and he is going to give you some medicine that
will help you to feel better. Then you are to stay at home and rest for
a while. To-morrow you shall have your breakfast in bed and later, when
it is sunny and warm, I shall take you for a nice motor ride."
"But—but you forget, girlie, that to-morrow you won't be here."
"Oh, yes I shall. I'm going to stay. There is no law against my changing my mind and not going to Boston, is there?"
Jean smiled down at him.
"I've wired Uncle Bob that I am going to postpone my visit," she added.
A light came into the man's eyes.
"Did the doctor——?"
"No, he didn't. I decided it myself. Do you suppose for a moment I'd
leave you just when you are going to be here at home and have some time
to entertain me? Indeed, no! Lately you've been so busy that you
couldn't take me anywhere. Now you are to desert the office and be
under my orders for a while. Oh, we'll do lots of nice things. We'll go
off in the motor and see all sorts of places I've wanted to see; and
we'll walk; and we'll read some of those books we have been trying to
get time to read together. We shall have great fun."
Mr. Curtis looked keenly at the girl for a few seconds.
"Perhaps," he remarked at last, "it won't make much difference to Uncle Bob if you do postpone your visit for a week or two."
"I am sure it won't."
There was a deep sigh of satisfaction from the invalid.
"I'm glad you've decided to stay, little girl. Somehow it would be
about the last straw to have you leave now. I'd miss you in any case,
of course; but if I have got to be home here and round the house it
does not seem as if I could stand it to have you gone."
"I wouldn't think of going and leaving you, dear. Put your mind at
rest. I intend to stay right here until you are quite well again."
She bent down and gently kissed her uncle's forehead.
It seemed as if that kiss smoothed every wrinkle of worry from the man's brow.
Quietly Jean tiptoed across the room and drew down the shade; then
she dropped into a chair beside the bed and took up a book. For some
time she sat very still, her eyes intent upon the page. Then at last
she glanced up. Uncle Tom's head had fallen back on the pillows and for
the first time in many days he slept.
So did Jean Cabot find her summer planned for her. Instead of
joining Uncle Bob and enjoying months of bathing and sailing on the
North Shore she helped nurse Uncle Tom Curtis back to health. For the
breakdown proved to be of much longer duration than any of them had
foreseen. The exhausted system was slow in reacting and it was weeks
before the turning point toward recovery was reached. During those
tedious hours of waiting Jean was the sole person who could bring a
smile to the sick man's face or rouse in him a shadow of interest in
what was going on about him. "Her price was above rubies," the doctor
said. She was better than sunshine or fresh air; she was, in fact, the
only hope of bringing the invalid back to his normal self.
And when those grim days passed and Uncle Tom began to be better,
how he clung to the girl—clung to her with an affection which neither
of them had felt before. It was the realization of his dependence that
made Jean send to Uncle Bob that letter, the last lines of which read:
"I feel more strongly than I can tell you, dear Uncle Bob, that for
the present my place is here. Uncle Tom needs me and cannot do without
me. You have Hannah to help you keep house and you can get on; but he
has nobody but me. When he is quite strong again I will come to Boston,
but until I do I am sure you'll understand that although I cannot be
with you, I love you just the same.
A reply came back by wire.
"Goodness!" exclaimed Jean as she opened the long telegram. "I hope
nothing is the matter. Uncle Bob never sends telegrams. He must have
been reckless to spend his money on such a long message as this."
"You are doing just right. Stay as long as needed, but remember
Boston home waits whenever you wish to come. Hannah has proved
inadequate housekeeper. Have new one. Miss Cartright and I were married
in New York to-day.
Jean's reading stopped with a jerk. She was speechless. So great was
her joy, her surprise, that not a word would come to her tongue.
Then Uncle Tom remarked dryly:
"I guess your Uncle Bob was a bit reckless about the time he sent
that wire. The only wonder is the telegram wasn't twice as long."
Giusippe was the next to find his voice.
"Well!" he ejaculated. "And we never even dreamed it! At last, Jean, you've got your wish. Your good fairy has given you an
"And such an aunt!" Jean added.
JEAN AND GIUSIPPE EACH FIND A NICHE IN LIFE
Uncle Tom's illness and slow recovery Giusippe became the
messenger between Mr. Curtis's residence and his office. It was,
however, weeks before there was any link connecting the two. But as
health returned there came to the invalid a gradual revival of interest
in affairs at the glass works. Nevertheless the doctor was a cautious
man and at first permitted only the slightest allusions to be made to
business. Later, as strength increased, Mr. Curtis was allowed to look
over at home mail, papers, and specifications and put his signature to
a few important documents, and since Giusippe was almost constantly at
the house what was more natural than that he should become the
go-between? Mr. Curtis dropped into explaining to the boy from time to
time many confidential matters and directing him as to what he wished
done regarding them. The young Italian, as his employer soon found, was
quick to grasp a situation and could be relied upon to fulfil
instructions to the letter and without blundering. Such a person was of
inestimable value during those days of convalescence.
So it came about that Giusippe spent less and less of his time in
his own department in the glass works and more and more in Mr. Curtis's
private office. Before long, boy though he was, he had quite a complete
comprehension of the older man's affairs and proved himself most useful
to the head of the firm who was fighting his way back to health. It was
so easy to say:
"Regarding this letter, I wish, Giusippe, you would see that such
and such a reply is sent. Look it over yourself before it goes out to
be sure that the stenographer has correctly caught my idea."
"Go and tell Levin of the sheet glass department that I want these
orders filled before any others are shipped. Attend to it yourself, and
make certain he clearly understands."
"I WANT THESE ORDERS FILLED"
To drop any portion of the detail of his mighty business upon
younger shoulders, or in fact upon any shoulders at all was a thing
which, but a short time before, Mr. Curtis would have considered
impossible. But now, to his surprise, he found himself actually doing
it to an amazing extent, and discovered that no calamity resulted in
consequence. On the contrary it was a positive relief to have a bright,
strong, eager boy lift a part of the burden which had become so heavy
for the older man to bear alone. For Giusippe possessed that rare gift
seldom found in the young and often lacking, even, in elder persons—he
could hold his tongue. He never prattled of Mr. Curtis's affairs; never
boasted of his knowledge of the innermost workings of the firm. He did
as he was told, gave his opinion when asked, and kept whatever
information was doled out to him entirely to himself.
Hence it followed naturally that when Uncle Tom began going to the
works for a few hours each day he took Giusippe with him, and when he
came home left the boy to see carried out the instructions he gave.
Slowly the office force began to defer to the youthful Italian.
"Did Mr. Curtis say anything about this matter or that?"
"Was such and such a price the one Mr. Curtis wished quoted?"
Having discussed many of these very matters with his employer
Giusippe was usually ready with an answer or he could get one. For it
was he alone who was sure to receive a telephone reply from the Curtis
residence; he was the only one who knew at just what time of day Mr.
Curtis could be reached, and whether he was well enough that morning to
be disturbed. Men desiring interviews with the head of the firm soon
found themselves inquiring for Mr. Cicone and asking him if possible to
arrange things so they could have a few words with Mr. Curtis. Giusippe
was the recognized buffer, the go-between who guarded the capitalist
from annoyance and intrusion of every sort.
"You talk with this fellow, Giusippe," Mr. Curtis would often say.
"Tell him—well, you know—get him out of the office. You can do it
politely. Tell him I'll give him a hundred dollars toward his hospital,
but keep him out of my way."
Then Giusippe would laugh.
He had begun to understand that the life of a rich man was no easy one.
Scores of persons came to see Mr. Curtis: persons applying for
business positions; persons begging money for various good causes;
customers; salesmen; men wanting newspaper interviews. From morning
until night the throng filed in and out of the office. Up to the
present Mr. Curtis had been content to remain in the security of his
inner domain and rely on his stenographer to fill many of the gaps. But
with illness a change had come and it was to Giusippe that most of
these duties fell.
And yet, strangely enough, nothing had been further from the older
man's original plan than to transform this foreign-born lad into his
private secretary. But so it came about.
"I seem to just need you all the time, Giusippe," he declared one
day. "When you leave the house and return to your uncle's I am always
discovering something I meant to ask you and having to send the car
after you; and the moment you go back to your own job in the casting
department, without fail some matter comes up and you have to be
telephoned for. It is no use to try to get on without you. I need you
all the time. I need you here at home and I need you at the office."
"I'm glad if I can be of help to you, sir."
"You are of help; you are more than that—you are—— See here, what do
you say to throwing up your position at the works and coming into my
private office as my—well, as my general utility man? I've never had a
secretary—I've never wanted one; and if I had I never before have seen
the chap I'd trust with the job. But you are different. You're one of
the family, to begin with. Moreover, you've proved that you can be
trusted, and that you have some common sense. What would you take to
move into your room up-stairs for good and all, and live here where I
can get hold of you when I want you? Are you so wedded to your aunt and
uncle or to your work in the factory that you would be unwilling to
make the change?"
A flush suffused the boy's face.
"If you really think that I could do for you what you want done, Mr. Curtis——"
"I don't think, I know!"
"Then I'd like to come, sir."
"That's right! It will be a weight off my mind. The doctor says that
for some months I must still go easy. You can save both my time and my
strength. I like you and I believe you like me; that is half the battle
in working with any one. We will send to your uncle's for your trunk
and whatever else you have."
"There isn't much else but some books," answered Giusippe. "I have been buying a few from time to time as I could afford them."
"Box them up and send them over. Send everything. This is to be your
future home, you understand. And by the by, we'll give you that other
room adjoining your bedroom. You will need a bit more space. I will
have a desk and some book-shelves put in there."
"Thank you, sir."
"We'll call that settled, then. It is going to be very helpful to
have you right here on the spot. It is the person who aims to be of
service who is really valuable in the world. Look at Jean. In her way
she has been doing the same thing that you have. When she found I was
in a hole and needed her she gave up her vacation in the East without a
murmur. I sha'n't forget it, either. Come in, missy. I'm talking about
Jean, who had paused on the threshold of the room, entered smiling.
"You caught me at just the right moment, little lady. I was
slandering you," went on Mr. Curtis. "I was saying to Giusippe that I
never again can get on without you two young persons. Why, this old
house was quiet as the grave before you came into it. I cannot imagine
how I ever existed here alone all these years. The piano wasn't opened
from one end of the year to the other, and when I unlocked the door and
came in there wasn't a single sound anywhere. As I look back on it I
guess I spent about all my time at the Club. But since you came it has
been different. I've liked it a whole lot better, too. Now I feel as if
I really had a home."
Jean bent down and kissed him.
"When I get older," she said, "I mean that you shall have even a
nicer home. Fräulein will be an old lady soon, Uncle Tom, and will not
be able to take care of things as she does now. Then I'm going to ask
her to teach me to market and to keep house. If you are to make
Giusippe your secretary it is only fair that you should give me a
position, too. I'll be your housekeeper. You'll see what a good one I
shall make after I've learned how. I should love to do it. A girl—a
really, truly girl, Uncle Tom, can't help wanting to keep house for
"No more she can, dear, and she ought to want to, too. It is her
work in the world to be a homemaker—the one who touches with comfort
and with beauty the lives of those about her. You shall be housekeeper
for Giusippe and me, little girl, and shall make out of these four
walls a real home. That is what your new Aunt Ethel is to do for your
"I know it," answered Jean softly. "Even Uncle Bob couldn't get on without some one to look after him, could he?"
"No," answered Mr. Curtis, "and it is fortunate he has found some
one if you are to be my housekeeper. If he makes any trouble we'll just
remind him that it was only your summers that you were to spend with
him. Your winters belong to me."
"I don't believe he will quarrel about it," was Jean's answer. "He won't need me now, and he will understand that you do."
"I sure do," replied Uncle Tom, drawing the girl to his side. "I need both of you—my boy and my girl."
The stories in this series are:
THE STORY OF COTTON
THE STORY OF GOLD AND SILVER
THE STORY OF LUMBER
THE STORY OF WOOL
THE STORY OF IRON
THE STORY OF LEATHER
THE STORY OF GLASS
THE STORY OF SUGAR