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---<>---BRYN MAWR. I





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- c ,fnr;ncrj' Column. o

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BENEFIT SOCIETIES — hue following letter has been published in the Ti.nrs:—I trust that tbe recent letters in your paper on hendit societies may be the means of bringing this important subject prominently before the public, wi h a vie." to its d scus-ion, and of thus even- tually arriv ng at some satisfactory coielu-ion on a roafer that would at present appear to be but little un- derstood. The importance of the qa.stion to the com- munity at 1 irge cannot well be overrated viiien it is known that the corn. u jd number of members of all the societies is not less than 3/(50 000, n-hile the amount of their annual contributions is I's'm a t c,j at £ 4 98b01X), and their accumulated capital at t! I 36 ,O0 The greater portion of .'(uss societies are declared by jfessra. Neison, Scratchier and 1ratt to be actually in. SOiye.it, and incapable eventually of meet- g their lia- P'C -V°nr c:'rri"pondonts would-lppear to !11 actuar* 's certificate as to the s uiii'dness of of each of tho societies would prove an in- fallible remedy for the wide-spread evil. As there are 5 00 uncert fied societies, and a an actuary's certificate the expense of v. guinea and a periodical fee of :0 guineas for overlooking tne accounts p rmitme, prior to this heavy o.rlay. to question the soundness of this panacea by facts toat are unfortunately within my own experi- nee. Tea Jdl"- -.ince I was actively engaged in the formation of a beio 5: socie y in ibis part of \Var- wickshire bad be> n certifh-d by three different actuaries, and yet these very tardes have been subsequently de- nounced as in part only sound by a fourth actuary and as actually unsound by a fifth. Two years Hnce I forwarded the financial balance-sh-et to the original certifying ac- tuary, f>t;d atu inioruied i,naf, uot *it!.stau<Jiii^ tire prog- nostication1 ot bis br rher predessors, he is certain that our tables are sound, and that the balance now existing is more than sufficient to ni?»t every future obligation. The fact is uuwitUsta.id.ng Via recorded iniilio is of figures t,m. are Known iu regard to the sickness and mortality ot ir.euiiiy societies, scarcely two actuaries art found to agree 011 ihe tables that may be safely adep ed. By what pioce s an.f at hat period this much to be d. <ired asree- r!;?'0; ^P'mon wili be obtained it wou.d >.e difficult, 1- »Y ° prec*lct- take, recent c lar.ge of opinion, bp to is p^eseut date no actuary would c r ify to sick tao cs nil.ess 'lie payments proceeded 0:1 a graduated eui. sole, year by >_ear, up to the age of 05. The ..ublic are now told tout this sy-tem is and u-eless, and 'or the different ages between 15 and (JO the e need be but four, inste -d of 45 different rates of payment. For ten years I have laboured hard as secret ry t an exten- sive benefit socie'y that has uow a balance of £ 1,000, and have been the means of inducing numbers to enrol who would otherwise h; vo stood aloof. I feel most deeply the responsibility that rest- upon me ear the ad- vice 1 have Riven, and am perplexed and disheartened by the conflicting opinions of those on vvheoe judgment 1 would viliingly rely. THE SPEAKER'S NEW HESIDSNCE. — The official palace—buih by tbe coan.ry, not only for this, but all succeeding Speakers of the House of Commons, and occupying a fair proportion of -hat suburb of palaces known :s the New Homes of Pariiam, n*, is now witlnu a very short time of c< rnpletion. The lung line of the new Houses lie river front is broken by four towHs-if we may so call thcm-twoal. each end. The two next >\ estminster bridge are dc-tincd for the Ser- jeant-at-Arms and the Sneaker; those at the Vatiihall t-uu tor the L sht-r ol ihe Btach-rod and Lord?' Libra- rian. i ue entrance to the Speaker's hcu.-e is under the archways from Palace-yard, which open at once upon archways from Palace-yard, which open at once upon the Speaker's Court, a broad enclo-ure, on tlie south side of which a canopied entrance elaborately carved marks where the first commoner in the land will dwell, sur- rounded with all the accessories of princely state The appearance of the house from the couriv ird is not very imposing, aud few would be inclined to believe that it is one of the most spacious modern buildings recently ou; t-larger than the Carlton Club,and having upwards of 70 noble rooms in it from top to bottom. The en- trance porch is large enough to accommodate even all the servants that attend their master on Speaker's night- Its gothic windows are filled with richly stained glass, and the arms of the Speakers shine with glowing colours from tbe panels in tbe ceiling. The entrance-hall is s ill more ricii and spacious the floor is paved wi h Miuton's beautiful tile, while Gothic orna- uieiHs in brass, or still more richly elaborated stone panels, fill every si .ie. The st urease, wide and ample, aud carvod at every step, parses up tbe centre of this to tlie first lauding, where it branches off on either side, and encloses the entire Inll. Tbe balustrades, of fine designs^ in brasuwork rtchly gilt, and the stipe: b Gothic I cbandeiiers, each 10 feet high, upon the landings, give to this entrance an air of grandi ur and niagn iieence that is most imposing. Blank shields to b sculptured on with the arms of the most celebrated Speakers of tile House of Commons, form the cornice of this ball, the gilt and painted armorial bta i gs of Eng- land on the first landing servhg as a great centre to ail of them. A door on bis landing leads through the spacious audience-room to tlie spacious cieis'ers, which form the chief ornament ol tbe whole building. These are formed-in the inner part of the buildinir, over the servant a offices, so as to extend aiong t- e four interior sides of the house. Each c eister is 40 feet long, by eight broad and iO feet high. The roof i- covered with the delicate tracirv of the fan-gioinrd arches, ^hich sp.ead over it like a netw rk of stone, giving the most exquisite effects of light and shade, while four lanterns in each cloister, light with a soft mellow rich. ntss that becomes the place and its associations. The sine of each cloister looking on the inner quadrangle is e itirer quail foitned by canopied Gothic windows, fided in wi'h stained gias% each pane containing the name arms, and da e of tiecdon of every Speaker since Parliament first th,- ,,uilai,ce of those iiigl,. efriec,s. Of the whole iod Speakers only 15 have been elevated to the Peerage. In old t im es clevalioils to the Upper House occurring at very rare intervals Liu latterly, all Speaker, en retire- ment fiom the Commons get their titles as a matter of course. These storied cloisters lead at once to the prin- cipal floor, where the ::)t¡¡,te dining-room, drawing, dining morning, and waiting rooms, are situated. These He all noble apartments, most richly decorated in the Gothic s yh, and emblazoned with ornaments after the manner of the House of Peers. Every part of the house will be fitted up and furnished in tbe most magni- ficent Sl) Ie, entirely at the expense of the Government, so that any hon. member on being elected to fill the chair may at once occupy his official residence without trouble or delay.

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