- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
- size: 572MB
"Anything might happen," the Clockwork man continued, plaintively, "I feel as though I might slip again, you knowslip back another thousand years or so." He turned again. "I've got to get worse before I get[Pg 159] better," he sighed, and then stopped to examine the rows of bottles arranged along the shelves.
I said I knew and went on gathering sweet-pea blossoms.So! I honestly wished myself back in my old rags, until I reflected that my handsome mount was enough to get me all the damage these wretches could offer. Still I thought it safest to show an overbearing frown.
"We can travel by rail almost anywhere," said he, "and needn't come away from America to do so. Now, instead of going to Osaka by rail, which wouldn't be anything remarkable, suppose we go by a Japanese junk. I have been asking the hotel-keeper about it, and he says it is perfectly easy to do so, and that we can sail there with a fair wind in a few hours.""Why so?" the Doctor asked.
She broke off, and the trouble cleared from her face, as she looked up at him smiling.The Japanese lacquer of the present time is not so highly prized as that of the last or the previous century. It is not so well made, partly for the reason that the workmen have lost their skill in the art, and partly because labor is much more expensive now than formerly. The prices obtained for some of the specimens of this kind of work have been very high, but they are not enough to meet the advance that has been made in wages in the past few years. The manufacturers are anxious to turn their money as rapidly as possible, and consequently they do not allow their productions to dry thoroughly. To be properly prepared, a piece of lacquer should dry very slowly; and it used to be said that the best lacquer was dried under water, so that the process should not be too rapid. The article, whatever it may be, is first shaped from wood or papier-mach, and then covered with successive coatings of varnish or lacquer; this is made from the gum of a tree, or, rather, from the juice, and it is said to have the peculiar property of turning black from exposure to the air, though it is of a milky whiteness when it exudes from the tree. It can be made to assume various colors by the addition of pigments; and while it is in a fresh condition coatings of gold-leaf are laid on in such a way as to form the figures that the artist has designed. Every coating must be dried before the next is laid on; and the more elaborate and costly the work, the more numerous are the coatings. Sometimes[Pg 251] there may be a dozen or more of them, and pieces are in existence that are said to have received no less than fifty applications of lacquer. A box may thus require several years for its completion, as the drying process should never be hastened, lest the lacquer crack and peel when exposed to the air, and especially to heat. Good lacquer can be put into hot water without the least injury; but this is not the case with the ordinary article.
Our travellers were not obliged to bargain for their conveyance, as they went ashore in the boat belonging to the hotel where they intended to stay. The runner of the hotel took charge of their baggage and placed it in the boat; and when all was ready, they shook hands with the captain and purser of the steamer, and wished them prosperous voyages in future. Several other passengers went ashore at the same time. Among them was Captain Spofford, who was anxious to compare the Yokohama of to-day with the one he had visited twenty years before.But I do mind that. It was idiotic of me, and it was ungrateful of me. I should have known you better than that.