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DISTRESS-OUTRAGES—EXHIBITION OF 1862.
he did not deny his responsibility as chancellor that time he seemed to have but a small horiof the exchequer, but it was not quite so exten- zon, his views were not extensive enough for sive as the honourable baronet had represented a chancellor of the exchequer who had to conit. He was not responsible for the estimates in pete with Gladstone, but he had a certain every department of the government. If he determination of manner, and was a clear finwere, the heads of those departments might be ancial critic, in fact was much more skilled in abolished altogether. His duty was to see minute anatomy of an opponent's statements that there was no lavish expenditure of the than in constructing any broad and effective public money when he had it in his power to scheme of his own. In 1861 Sir Stafford prevent it. He had never denied the respon- Northcote was returned for North Devon, sibility of the house or the government. On and by that time he had completely gained the contrary, he had always asserted it. The the respect of the house no less for his honourcomplaints out of doors about taxation were able integrity than for the practical ability so great that the question required the serious which he afterwards had an opportunity of attention of Parliament. To this Mr. Glad- displaying as secretary for the Board of Trade. stone adıled that he had to provide £70,000,000 in a time of peace, and he believed that when Notwithstanding the distress which had the right honourable gentleman (Sir Statford been felt in London in the previous year, and Northcote), or the right honourable gentleman which was still prevailing in the cotton manuby his side (Mr. Disraeli), took his place they facturing districts, and in spite of some of would be able to do it.
those signs of want and discontent which Sir Stafford Northcote, who was acknow- took the ultimate form of outrages by those ledged by competent judges to be the rising men who sought to carry out the decisions man, steadily climbing upward to the future of trades-unions by physical force, the dechancellorship of the exchequer, had been, as struction of machinery, and dangerous or we have seen, private secretary to Mr. Glad- even murderous assaults upon fellow-labourers stone when that gentleman was president of the who chose to work without the control of Board of Trade under Sir Robert Peel in their society; the general prosperity of the 1843-45. Hisancestor was Sir John Northcote, country was promising. The death of the who wrote certain notes on the Long Parlia- Prince Consort hård, as we have seen, cast a ment. Sir Stafford entered the house as mem- gloom upon the project for repeating in 1862 ber for Dudley in 1855, but in 1857 did not the experiment of a great international exhiventure to oppose the numbers who had evi- bition similar to that of 1851; but the scheme dently determined to vote for Mr. Henry Brins- was not suffered to fall through, and his valuley Sheridan the Radical candidate, and so va- able aid bad at least been secured for its incated his seat, to be returned in the following ception and the settlement of many of the year for Stamford. He came to Parliament primary arrangements. Early in 1861 the with a reputation already established, and in site of tlie building had been chosen. It was 1859 he was appointed financial secretary to a large space of ground in front of and inclosthe treasury. Associated with several philan- ing the grounds of the Horticultural Society, thropic and educational movements and justly ' and upon the Kensington Gore estate, which regarded as eminently trustworthy, he pos- was purchased out of the funds arising from the sessed both taste and aptitude for figures, and first exhibition. The ground was bounded by his friends were not slow in assigning to him four roads: Cromwell Road forming its souththe chancellorship of the future. It was said ern limit, Exhibition Road its eastern, Kenby others that he was more fitted for an ac- sington Road its northern, and Prince Alfred tuary or manager of a great bank. These Road its western. The area was much larger underrateil his abilities, probably because than that of the former building in Hyde he was a monotonous and prosaic speaker, Park. The length of the space under glass though he was ready and even fuent. At there was 18-18 feet and its breadth 108, with
43 feet additional for machinery, or, with the galleries, about 1,000,000 feet of flooring space. The building of 1862 was about half as large again, and this increase was rendered necessary, not only because of the expectation of increased exhibits from various parts of Eng. land, but in view of the applications likely to be made by France and our colonies.
The design of the building as furnished by Captain Fowke, R.E., differed essentially from those of the former “Crystal Palace." The main walls were of brick up to 60 feet, and though iron and glass formed a considerable portion of the structure, much of the lighting was by means of clerestories through a solid and compact roof. This was necessarily the case in the fine art department, as it had been found that the iron and glass roofs did not give complete security against damp, and as loan collections of valuable paintings, including some of the art treasures from the Manchester exhibition of the previous year, and a number of priceless examples of the works of the great painters of the century, from all countries, were to be included, it was necessary to adopt adequate means for their protection. Five noblemen and gentlemen were appointed under the original patent of incorporation to take the direction; namely, Earl Granville, Mr. Wentworth Dilke, the Marquis of Chandos, Mr. Thomas Baring, M.P., and Mr. Thomas Fairbairn, and they were left to seek efficient advice and assistauce in carrying out the work.
During the latter part of the time that the building was approaching completion, and even at the opening ceremony and for a little while after the exhibition was inaugurated, the scheme met with considerable disparagement. There were constant objections to the site, to the style of the building, and to the supposed inferiority of its contents to those of the first great “world's fair" of 1851. People shook their heads sagaciously to emphasize the opinion that one can never repeat a great success. Others said the structure resembled a factory or a gigantic warehouse, and prophesied that its contents could not be properly exhibited even if they were worth seeing. Again during the first days of imper
fect arrangement it was currently declared that the place was only a gigantic bazaar for the display of the goods of enterprising, or rather advertising, tradesmen.
The commissioners might well have been daunted; but the money was forthcoming, the building was completed by the stipulated time, and though the unpromising prospects of its success seemed likely to be confirmed because of the mourning into which the queen was plunged by the death of the prince, whose name and prestige it was believed would carry it into public favour, and the opening ceremony was unattended by the pomp and celebration of a royal inauguration, the truth at last dawned upon the public mind that as a real international exhibition it was superior to its predecessor not only in the variety of the display, but in the evidences which it contained of the progress made in arts, manufactures, and inveutions during the eleven years that had elapsed.
Unfortunately there were small quarrels and jealousies among the proposed directors of the musical performance at the opening ceremony, and Mr. Costa having objected to conduct the cantata, or whatever it was called, composed by Professor Bennett to the words of the poet laureate, went off in a sulk, and Mr. Sainton was invited to take his place. The following were the words: Uplift a thousand voices, full and street,
In this wide hall with earth's inventions stored,
And praise th' invisible universal Lord,
Where Science, Art, and Labour have outpour'd
The world-compelling plan was thine,
LANCASHIRE DISTRESS-MR. LINCOLN'S MESSAGE.
Brought from under every star,
several new gold-fields, with a proportionate Blown from over every main,
development of the colonies; the opening of And mixt, as life is mixt with pain, 'The works of peace with works of war.
China and Japan; the example of the ManO ye, the wise who think, the wise who reign, chester exhibition, leading to our new pictureFrom growing commerce loose her latest chain,
gallery; the addition of Rome and Naples to And let the fair white-winged peacemaker fly To happy havens under all the sky,
the list of exhibitors; a greatly increased And mix the seasons and the golden hours,
rivalry in glass, in porcelain, in iron, in paper, Till each man finds his own in all men's good,
in furniture, in jewelry, and many other And all men work in noble brotherhood, Breaking their mailed fleets and armed towers, things. Onyx marble has been discovered. And ruling by obeying nature's powers,
Machinery has been applied to many purAnd gathering all the fruits of peace and crown'd
poses hitherto left to unassisted hand labour. with all her flowers.
Mediæval architecture has fairly taken root On the 1st of Jay the exhibition was in the national niind. Our ships of war are opened, and though her majesty was not pre-doubling their tonnage, fining their lines, and sent an imposing pageant passed in procession thickening their iron coats. Photography, the through the building, consisting of civic dig- electric telegraph, and instruments for meanitaries, foreign ambassadors, including the suring and recording meteorological changes Japanese envoys, and her majesty's ministers, have made a great start. All the nations of who met to receive the commissioners, who the earth are interchanging their productions presented an address to the Duke of Cam- much more freely than eleven years ago. Corn, bridge. His royal highness represented the wine, and oil are more abundant, and come queen on the occasion, and after the formal
here in greater varieties. The wealth of the procession declared the exhibition open in her world has increased, and the exhibitors have majesty's name.
better hope of turning their pains to good It may be mentioned here that it remained account than they had eleven years ago. All open until the 1st of November, when it was these differences in the comparison of the two computed that the total number of visitors periods have told on the exbibition), and made had been 6,117,450, or about 50,000 fewer it in all respects vastly larger and more than the gross number of visitors to the ex- beautiful than that of 1851. It has suffered hibition of 1851; but it must be remenı bered some sad blows, but they are from without that the condition of the people in some of rather than within. The loss of its great our large centres of industry accounted for patron and promoter seemed at first hardly some falling off, and probably there were possible to get over. A still deeper wound fewer foreigu visitors, though the foreign has been struck at its success by the distress exhibitors numbered 16,456 against 6566 in of the manufacturing districts. But whoever 1851. A contemporary account of the build- can visit it, even at a cost of time and money ing and its contents, touching upon the evi- somewhat beyond his wont, will find that he dences of progress witnessed in the various has no reason to regret an expenditure which departments, remarked :
teaches him more than books and companions, “* It is only eleven years since the last ex- and places him, as it were, in the front rank hibition,' some people may say; •and eleven of the world's material progress and outward years hence there will be still more to see.' civilization." When there will be another exhibition is a The distress in Lancashire had indeed bequestion which depends upon persons and come very serious long before the Great Industhings far beyond our ken or control; but if trial Exhibition was closed, and it continued time be measured by improvement or by for a long time afterwards; but the attitude mere change, then these last eleven years of the suffering cotton operatives was one of have been twenty-two. Since the last exhi- courageous endurance, such as elicited the bition there have come up the Armstrong admiration not only of their countrymen, but gun, the Enfield rifle, and iron-plated ships; l of all Europe and of the Americans themselves.