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chamber over the entrance, and the laboratory in its top story. The lecture-rooms occupy the curtains of building on either side; the official residence, the extreme wing farthest in our view; and the library (originally built for a chapel), that which is nearest. The distinctive characters of these various buildings are externally very well preserved, and form a balanced whole, not uniform but approximately so, as much so as might be without affectation or mask-work, in this respect quite iinitating the spirit of the old collegiate buildings. The fewness of unnecessary features also gives this building a bold and broad effect of light and shade; the unbroken lines and surfaces are so disposed as to give the utmost value to every dimension; and the decoration, both mechanical and carved, is (if we except the too numerous grotesque figures) very good of its style, careful, interestingly varied, and well concentrated in the proper places, leaving plenty of repose but no poverty or appearance of a break-down. In all these particulars, this small building presents a direct contrast (we might say antagonism of spirit) to the great Palace of Westminster; and the comparison of the two is recommended to the reader as well worthy of some thought.
This New College has been erected in consequence of the amalgamation of the colleges formerly existing at Homerton and Highbury, and Coward's Academy at Torrington Square. Its purpose is to educate students for the Ministry of the Congregational Denomination of Dissenters. The course of study extends over five years—a literary course of two years, and a theological course of three years ; and each student, before admission, is required to undergo a matriculation examination in English Grammar; the Greek and Latin Grammars, with translations; the outlines of Greek, Roman, and English History; the practice and principles of Arithmetic; and the first book of Euclid's Elements. Fifty of the students are to hold College Exhibitions ; of which twenty-five are of £40 per annum, fifteen of £30, and ten of £20. These are granted only to students whose means are wholly or partially inadequate to their support, and are only held from year to year. An examination in each class is held at the end of every session, and a general examination in the subjects studied while attending the college at the end of the course, on passing which certificates are granted of their fitness for the work of the ministry.
4. BUILDINGS FOR PUBLIC PURPOSES.
The opening of the new House of Commons, in its intended permanent form (see engraving), is an important step in the great work last mentioned, and chiefly interesting as the last of a series of experiments throwing light on the difficult problem of the best form for rooms in which a speaker from any part indifferently is required to be heard by all the occupants. The simplest induction would seem to suggest such a plan as, when holding a given number, brings the farthest of them as near together as possible. This plan
is the circle, but as experience shows that all concave curved surfaces give, in proportion to their extent, a confusing reverberation, the mediæval artists seem to have learnt, after trying and rejecting various forms, to combine in their apartments for this purpose (Chapter-Houses) the advantage of straight walls with a near approach to the circular plan, and thus the octagon or decagon became, in the great times of Gothic architecture, the settled type of those exquisitely beautiful discussion-rooms, in one of the noblest and most ornate of which, the House of Commons itself sat for nearly three centuries after its foundation. Since its removal, however, just 300 years ago, from a chapter-house (built expressly for debating assemhlies) to a chapel (built for no such purpose), this expedient, with all its concomitant shifts, has established such a force of precedent as to outweigh all the former precedent, and all considerations of fitness and scientific design; so that Mr. Barry was no more allowed to plan his House of Commons with primary reference to its uses, than modern church-builders are their churches. St. Stephen's and its makeshifts regulated the plan and shell,-common sense and real precedent has affected only the fitting, re-modifying, afterbotching thereof, to render it available,-as far as a hall twice as long as its breadth could be made so, for a purpose plainly requiring such different proportions. In his expedient for this (which had previously succeeded so well in remedying precisely the same unfitness at the temporary House) Dr. Reid has plainly been led to the very same treatment of the section of the building, which the mediæral builders practised in its plan. He lowers the ceiling, and makes it, with the walls, form an approximation to a circular or waggon-vault shape; yet avoiding all curved surface by breaking the ceiling into three planes ; which, in fact, taken with the side walls, correspond in position to five sides of a polygon (a duodecagon) - as if we had half a chapter-house laid on its side ; because the inflexible walls (regulated by reverence for the destroyed St. Stephen's, and imitation of that venerable makeshift) will allow no nearer approach to the fittest form.
The addition to the south end of Westminster Hall, called “St. Stephen's Porch," is nearly finished, and begins to show internally the grand effect aimed at in this splendid public vestibule to the great pile. (See Engraving.) The exterior, however, which has lately been laid open by pulling down the old and temporary buildings, greatly excels the interior in grandeur of effect. It has the proportions and much of the character of the Town Hall at Louvain, supposing the projecting balconies of that fabric removed, and a sort of quasi-transept intersecting its centre, and ending, on the south side, with the immense window removed from the end of the Hall. The whole composition has a very fine effect from Poet's Corner (the only place whence its entire form can be seen), and its character of decoration combines well with Henry VII.'s chapel, and does not suffer by the comparison.
All the public and decorated parts of the interior of this great work are now complete. The little elaborate cloister of St. Stephen's, built by Henry VIII., is also entirely restored, but will, we