Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

6 articles on this Page

IMPERIAL PARLIAMENT. »

CATTLE IN THE METROPOLIS.

A POOB GIRL IN SEARCH OF "BUSTLE…

[No title]

- THE HALL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES.

News
Cite
Share

THE HALL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES. LAYING OF THE FOUNDATION STONE BY HER MAJESTY. The Queen on Monday morning laid the first stone of the new Hall of Arts and Sciences at South Kensington. The conception is a great one, in respect at least to the size of the building, and was due, in its primary form, to the late Prince Consort. It appears that soon after the closing of the Great Exi-iibitioii of 1851-from which it may be remembered there were large surplus funds representations were made to the Commissioners of that Exhibition, on the part of chambers of commerce, learned societies, and other bodies of persons in- terested in science or the arts, of the want that was felt throughout England, and especially in the chief commercial cities, of a central institution in London for the promotion of scientific and artistic knowledge as applicable to productive industry." The Commissioners, ol whom the i rince (Jonsort was president, devoted their surplus funds to the purchase of an estate at South Kensington, "with the view of providing a common centre of union for the various departments of science and art connected with industrial education." Plans were then drawn out directed towards the object in view, and in these plans the central hall, now about to be erected, "formed a prominent and essential feature." The death of the Prince Consort for a time put an end to the project; but the idea of a central hall is now revived. The management of the hall will rest with" a governing body, acting under the authority of a Royal Charter." The hall will be available for national and international congresses, concerts, distributions of prizes, art conversaziones, exhibitions of works of art and indus- -is try, and of agricultural and horticultural products and, which is a very comprehensive clause indeeed, any other purposes connected with science and art." The Commissioners of the 1851 Exhibition have granted a site for the hall at a nominal rent for a term of 999 years, and have further guaranteed one-fourth of the cost of the hall (which is put at £ 200,000) in addition to advancing < £ 2,000 for the preliminary ex- penses. The public have subscribed the remaining Y,150,000, receiving in return for their money certain perpetual privileges of admission to boxes, stalls, or area, in proportion to the amount contributed. The hall is intended to hold comfortably about 5,600 per- sons, but on an emergency some 9,000 persons could be squeezed into the building. The preparations for the ceremonial of the laying the corner stone of the building were on a scale commen- surate with the importance of the occasion. A spacious temporary erection, covered with canvas, and about 190 feet long by 186 feet wide, afforded chairs for nearly 7,000 spectators. At the northern end ,t platform was constructed around a space left open for the foundation stone. This platform was richly carpeted, and a few feet further in the rear was a raised dais covered with crimson cloth, on which a throne of crimson velvet, magnificently embroidered and emblazoned with the Royal arms, was placed. Immediately at the back of the throne-which was the one that was used at the inaugural ceremony of the opening of the Great Exhibition of 1851—a pair of crimsen velvet cur- tains were drawn aside, disclosing an elegant canopy, communicating with the northern entrance in the Ken- sington-road, where her Majesty was received on her arrival. A space was set apart on the right of the lower platform for her Majesty's Ministers and high officers of state, similar accommodation being afforded on the opposite side for the foreign ambassadors and suites; whilst the space in front was reserved for the Lord Mayor of London, and the civic dignitaries of the provincial corporations, who had been invited to the ceremony, and immediately in their rear was placed the grand orchestra, consisting of the band and chorus from the Royal Italian Opera, under the direction of M. Costa. The remaining portion of the space was occupied by chairs placed on raised steps, ex-' tending back to the extreme southern end, and also rising on the right and left side of the building. The decorations were recherche. The summit of each pillar was ornamented with groupings of the flags of different nations, skilfully arranged in numerous ingenious styles and devices, the Royal Standard being of course con- spicuous amongst others, whilst stands of splendid flowers, which were artistically arranged near the throne and platform, lent an additional charm and elegance to the general effect produced by the embellishments. Amongst the earlier arrivals were the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of Winchester, the Right Hon. S. H. Walpole, Lord Halifax, Sir John Pakington, Lord Cardigan, Earl Russell, Lord John Manners, the Duke of Buckingham, Sir Stafford Northcote, Colonel French, the Marquis of Donegal, Sir William Hayter, Colonel De Bathe, Earl Granville, the Right Hon. H. E. Bruce, the Right Hon. H. L. Corrie, Colonel Sykes, the Earl and Countess of Derby (who were loudly cheered on their entering the building), Mr. Gathorne Hardy, the Chan- cellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Robert Lowe, M.P., Lord Stanley (who was received with applause), the Duke of Malmesbury, the Bishop of Cork, Lord Naas, Mr. Alder- man Salomons, M.P., Mr. C. Gilpin, M.P., Mr. Headlam, M.P., Mr. C. Foster, M.P., Mr. G. W. Hunt, M.P., Mr. W. E. Treveleyan, M.P., the Hon. Mr. Egerton, &c. &c. Amongst the foreign ambassadors were M. van de Weyer, Count Kielmansegge, Prince de la Tour d'Auvergne, M. De Musurus, &c. Soon after eleven o'clock his Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge arrived, accompanied by the Grand Duke and Duchess of Mecklenburg Strelitz and Prince Adolphus, and was followed, after a short interval, by his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, attired in full uniform as a general of the army his Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, attired in naval uniform and his Royal Highness Prince Arthur, attired in cadet uniform. Their Royal Highnesses were attended by General Knollvs, Colonel Teesdale, and Mr. Herbert Fisher. The Royal party were greeted with warm cheers, and the Prince of Wales shook hands warmly with the Duke of Cambridge and party, and other dis- tinguished personages who were present. ARRIVAL OF HER MAJESTY. At half-past ten o'clock on Monday morning her Majesty left Windsor Castle in semi-state to lay the foundation-stone of the_hall. Their Royal Highnesses Prince and Princess Christian were the first to arrive at the Windsor station, and after a short interval her Majesty (who wore half- mourning), with Princesses Louise and Beatrice and Prince Leopold, reached the station. The two Princesses were very richly attired, while Prince Leopold wore a II Highland costume. Her Majesty was received on her arrival at the Paddington station of the Great Western Railway by Mr. Sanders, the secretary of the company, and several of the directors and the Royal party and suite at once entered the carriages provided for them, and proceeded, attended by an escort of the 1st Life Guards, by way of London-street, Oxford-terrace, Sussex-gardens, Westbourne-street, and the Uxbridge-road, to Hyde-park, which was entered at the Victoria-gate. The line of procession across the park was by way of Kensington-bridge, and was kept by the Royal Horse Guards Blue, the band of which regiment was stationed at th'e Queen's-gate, and played I the National Anthem as her Majesty passed out of the park into the Kensington-road, and thence to the site for the new building, where a guard of honour, composed of the first battalion of the Cold- stream Guards, was drawn up inside the en- closure, and immediately in front of the en- trance to the building, who received her Majesty with a Royal salute, the band of the regiment at the same time playing the National Anthem. The Royal party and suite occupied four carriages, and along the whole line of route they. were warmly received, more particularly in their progress across the park, at the gates of entrance and exit, and upon their arrival in front of the building. The Queen appeared in excellent health and spirits, and repeatedly acknowledged with gracious and pleasant smiles the salutations of the crowds who had turned out to do honour to their sovereign. 'RECEPTION OF HER MAJESTY'S MINISTERS AND OTHERS. At the end of the marquee nearest the Ivensington- Boadi, and approached by a covered flight of steps, was a dais, in front of which was the stone, together with all f I the paraphernalia and means of lowering it to its requi- site position. The main part of the arena was occupied by the orchestra and choral body, and the most advan- tageous divisions of the amphitheatre were apportioned to the Houses of Parliament and to the box and seat- holders. These were accommodated with chairs to the left of the platform, the Peers being to the r ,i and the Commons next beyond, the far emi. <<■ tlie ellipse being given up to the general public, or so many as had been fortunate enough to secure ticket %of admission. Lord Derby was greeted with a volley of cheers, which bespoke the personal popularity of the noble earl; while the Chancellor of the Exchequer, ac- companied by Mrs. Disraeli, passed to his seat compara- tively unnoticed. Lord Stanley, again, was heartily re- ceived nor could the present able Minister for Foreign Affairs have affected to mistake the demonstrations as he walked along the passage in company with the Earl of Malmesbury. The other Ministers of State present with their ladies were Sir J. Pakington, Lord J. Manners, the Duke of Buckingham, Sir Stafford Northcote, Mr. Corry, Mr. Walpole, and Mr. G. Hardy. Among the distin- guished company were Lord Russell, Lord Halifax, Earl Granville, Bishop of Winchester, Bishop of Cork, Mar- quis of Donegall, Lord Cardigan, the Right Hon. Robert Lowe, and others. Conspicuous amongst the foreign ambassadors were M. Van de Weyer, the Belgian repre- sentative, and M. de Musurus, the Turkish ambassador. The Prince of Wales arrived at about a quarter past eleven, in company with his brother, the Duke of Edin- burgh and as a matter of course they were received with every mark of respect. Neither of the Princes looked the worse for having travelled all night fromParis. The Grand Duke and Duchess of Mesklenburg-Strelitz, with their son, Prince Adolphus, had been, by-the-bye, the first Royal personages to arrive. The Duke of Cam- bridge shortly afterwards followed, but neither the Prin- cess Mary nor the Prince Teck was present. It is worthy of note that the members of the Royal family assisted to the number of 14. At half-past eleven came her Majesty the Queen, in an open carriage drawn by six horses, without riders. Her children accompanying her had received the addition to their number of Prince Arthur, who wore his uniform as a Woolwich cadet. A royal salute was fired as the Queen entered the pavilion, and her Majesty was received by the Prince of Wales, as chair- man, by the Earl of Derby, Earl Granville, the Duke of Buccleuch, and the provisional committee. The Prince presented his mother with a beautiful bouquet, and con- ducted her to the throne, while God save the Queen was sung by a chorus selected from the Royal Italian Opera and the Sacred Harmonic Society, accompanied by a band similarly chosen and led by Mr. Costa. The solos were sung by Madame Rudersdorff and Madame Sainton-Dolby and, on the conclusion of the National Anthem, the brilliant crowd in front and on either side of the dais broke into cheers that shook the hanging colours of the tent, if they did not shake the tent itself. The Prince of Wales then stepped forward, and handed to her Majesty a parchment scroll, on which was written a lengthened description of the intended building. His Royal Highness then read an appropriate address to the Queen, to which her Majesty gave a gracious reply. LAYING THE STONE. After her Majesty's reply to the address had been read, the ceremony of laying the stone was proceeded with in the usual formal manner, the coins and inscrip- tion being handed to the Queen by the Earl of Derby, while Earl Granville presented the glass vessel in which they were to be placed. Her Majesty then received from Mr. Lucas, the builder, the gold trowel, and from Lieut.-Colonel Scott, the director of the works, the line and plummet. After the spreading of the mortar and the lowering of the stone had been accomplished, to the sound of a flourish of trumpets and a Royal salute fired in Hyde-park, the Archbishop of Canterbury read, in a very distinct voice, an appropriate prayer. Mr. Costa then gave the signal, and the orchestra sounded the first chord of the late Prince Consort's Invocazione all' armonia." The band, consisting of the players whom Mr. Costa is accustomed to lead at the Royal Italian Opera, and the chorus singers, also professional, were placed immediately behind the civic dignitaries, and were not far removed from the platform. The late Prince is known to have been a composer, no less than an enthusiastic lover of music, and it was a graceful idea to consecrate a building, designed to commemorate his goodness as well as to promote the cultivation of all the arts, by a tribute of his own to the power of a science that he studied so deeply and worshipped so well. Several of his compo- sitions are in the hands of the public. There is, for instance, a collection of German songs which testify to the literary taste and to the strong feeling of the late accom- plished Prince, as well as to his musician-like skill. The poems set by him are either by his brother, Prince Ernest, or else by some writer of well-known fame. Among them will be found the names of Eichendorff, whose Miihlrad'' is so well known, Michel Beer, author of the Struen- see," for which his brother, the famous Meyerbeer, wrote incidental music, and Friedrich Riickert. Some of the Prince's psalms, for instance, With glory clad, with strength arrayed," are also widely known and thoroughly appreciated. Many of his compositions, however, have never been published, and among these is the" Invocazione all' armonia," performed on Monday. It is a simply written and perfectly unpretentious composition, but it thoroughly fulfils its object of cele- brating the might of music. The cantata, if we may apply so grandiose a title to so unambitious a work, opens with a very short but impressive allegro marziale, which gives place to an allegretto in three-four time, the simple well-worked melody of which seizes at once upon the general ear. There arc episodes. for soprano solo, 1 y with florid singable passages, for bass chorus, on a duly weighty subject, and for tenor and contralto solo. But these are separated by the constantly recurring waltz-like melody and this same theme, as easy and unassuming as the subject of the wonderful Ode to Joy," in Beethoven's ninth symphony, brings the work to an emphatic conclusion. The solos were allotted to Madame Rudersdorff, whose untiring energy and enthu- siasm enable her to shine to conspicuous advantage on such occasions to Signor Mario, whose voice and tem- perament are less well adapted to morning celebrations of this nature and to Madame Sainton-Dolby, at all times artistic, dignified, earnest, and effective. TERMINATION OF THE CEREMONY. The swelling notes of music had scarcely ceased, when the Queen was conducted by the Prince of Wales and the provisional committee through the north-east exit of the tent to the conservatory of the Royal Horticultural Society, and on her passage from the dais her Majesty thanked Mr. Costa and Signor Mario for the manner in which the composition of the Prince had been executed. j The Queen was received at the east door of the con- servatory by the council of the Horticultural Society, and was graciously pleased to accept a very beautiful bouquet, the third she had taken in hand that morning, which had been made for the occasion under the direc- tion of Mr. Eyles. Her Majesty stopped to admire several of the rare plants exhibited in the alcoves. The weather was fine during the stay of the Royal party; and the crowded assembly in the gardens appeared bent on enjoying the fete but soon after the Queen had been conducted to her carriage the rain began to fall, and continued incessantly for the rest of I the day. I

[No title]