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XI.-SUMMARY OF PUBLIC PETITIONS.

Session 18 and 19 Victoriæ.
1. Parliamentary.

Petitions

Total

No. of signed Officially or Number.

Signaunder Senl.

tures. Ballot, for adoption

42 7,025 Other petitions on parliamentary subjects

91 II. Ecclesiastical. Book of Common Prayer, for revision . 14 1,000 Cambridge University Bill, for alteration

43 1,726 Carlisle Canonries Bill, in favour . .

2,149 Church Rates, for abolition . .

90 1,599 149,512 Lord’s Day, against opening places of public amusement thereon . . . .

12,236

21 10,052 Marriage Law Amendment Bill, against . 39 125 3,008

in favour

301 76,794 Maynooth College Act, against repeal .

2,030 -- for repeal . . 104 1,713 317,482 Public Houses and Beer Shops, for closing

on Sunday . . . . . . 1 24 2,066 Religious Equality, for establishment .

2,900 Roman Catholic Soldiers and Sailors, for enjoying benefits of their religion .

3,963 Sunday 'Trading (Metropolis) Bill, against

32, 302 for alteration

29 5,692 in favour .

66 69,331 Other petitions on ecclesiastical subjects. 35 109 6,623

III. Colonial. Iudian Territories, for improved government

11,355 Other petitions relating to colonial subjects

10 977

IV. Taxes. Licences (Public Houses, &c.), against throwing open the trade.

21,438 for alteration of system .

9,986 Newspaper, &c., Bill, in favour

156 11,289 against ..

47 1,187 Newspaper, for repeal of Duty

88 23,090 Rating of Mines Bill, against .

1,704 -- for alteration ..

2,899 Stage Carriages, for alteration of duties

137 1,128 Other petitions relating to taxes ..

311 5,280 V. Miscellancous. Affirmations (Scotland) Bill, in favour .

2,242 Army, for using Arnica in cure of wounds

1.734 Bleaching, &c., Works Bill, in favour ..

108 11,219 Copyholders (Hanley and Shelton), complaining of grievances .

1,657 Decimal Coinage, for adoption

68 8,126 Education (Scotland) Bill, against . . 139 4 79 33,552

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Petitions

No. of signed Total Omally or Number,

Signa. under Scal.

tures. Education (Scotland) Bill, for alteration .

391 21,553 - in favour

36

151 12,293 Evictions (Galway), complaining of

1

1,417 Fisheries (British Islands and France) Bill, against . . . . . .

1,389 Free Schools Bill, in favour.

13,798 Friendly Societies Bill, for alteration .

54 5,767 in favour ..

143 6,619 Grain, for prohibiting use in manufacture of intoxicating drinks . .

22,327 Inland Revenue (Excise Department), for alteration of system of removes

1,152 Intoxicating Liquors, for prohibiting sale

12,664 - for prohibiting sale on Sunday

628 153,358 Landlord and Tenant (Ireland), for alteration of Law . : : :

21 15,900 Malt Liquors, for preventing adulteration.

5,905 Medical Officers (Navy), for improving their position . .

1,478 Metropolis Local Management Bill, for alteration . . . . .

1,123 Metropolis Roads, complaining of tolls.

1,046 Nuisances Removal Bill, against .

17 1,13+ - for alteration .

19 1,371 Public Houses (Scotland) Act, for extension to Ireland . .

114 14,593 Public Libraries Bill, for alteration .

2,226 -- in favour ,

4,884 Real Estates, for alteration of law .

2,124 Sale of Beer Act (1854), against repeal .

3,205 - for alteration .

13,066 - for repeal

443,572 - against repeal, and for prohibiting sale on Sunday.

5,313 Schools (Scotland) Bill, against .

32

3,282 for alteration

12

3+ 1,067 - in favour :

136

26,747 Secretary of State for Scotland, for appointment . .

2,421 Smoke Nuisance Act, for alteration.

2,861 Tenants’ Improvements Compensation (Ireland) Bill, against ..

- for alteration
.

2,244 :

1 64 12, 260 - in favour . .

45 19,613 Wages, against stoppages for fines, &c. .

57 39,419 War, for administrative reform .

10,627 for inquiry into causes of disasters, &c. 12

3,678 for restoration of Poland, &c. . .

44 8,789 for speedy termination i .

44 1,722 - for vigorous prosecution.

10 1,917 Other petitions on miscellaneous subjects. 330 855 17,931

Total Numbers . . 1,473 10,036 1,781,790

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XII.--ARCIIITECTURE AND PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS.

1. GENERAL PROGRESS :-ART AND BUILDINGS. Tue increasing difficulty which there is in noticing, adequately, the important works of the year—we might say the impossibility now, of presenting even a catalogue of names-- iš to ourselves really one of the best pieces of testimony that could be afforded, of the widelyextending growth of art and science in architecture and public improvements. It is true that there are causes for dissatisfaction about popular views on architectural art; there are cliques amongst professors and students; and researches and theories are sometimes directly productive of error, and only indirectly herald advancement. The real point, of excellence, the Art, the design, the work of mind, is too frequently not detected by the public. And undoubtedly, the art of our time has not kept pace with the progress of mechanical invention and general science. Even in the very application of science to sanitary economy, it must, we feat, be allowed that some of the chief questions have not been cleared up;

d that, with long arrears to be made good, yet with disaster waiting upon delay, the actual circumstances of the moment are not unalarming.

Still, we say, many works of merit, and others of great public necessity, have been accomplished-so many, that we can quote but a sinall number as illustrations of the state of art and science in relation to a subject, the general nature of which chiefly we would set forth ; not, however, without the feeling of a new difficulty, that which awaits every effort to grasp the character, or even many of the facts, of an existing time. However, a somewhat close observation of facts as they arise, and an attentive study of the later history of taste, we believe justifies a conclusion very different to that which is too frequently suggested in the tone of writers of a certain class. Without doubting the necessity in reference to art, for that institution of “ police,” to which critics are held to belong, it should never be assumed primarily that the object of the office is to “convict;” and it should never be forgotten that the real aim of art is to produce an effect upon the public, and that effect one of a pleasurable nature. The office of the judge is to be exercised without fear or favour,—but we venture to think, that whoever approaches the responsible office in any other spirit than that which we here have in view, may succeed in weaving a tangled web of sophistry, but will not contribute to the advancement of art. Into such meshes it is easy to fall, where, as in art, the subtleties of thought får transcend the resources of language;, and it is the more necessary for those who have pretensions, to guard against dogmatism, because this leads to imitation-until at length whenever a work of art is presented to one of the public, the emotion, which was the object, is found subordinate to the desire for showing off assumed knowledge.

Yet with all the sectarian prejudice which remains, we can discover the growth of a better era, in which the principles of taste which are becoming elucidated, the models of all ages and nations which are dug up, and the great mechanical resources of the cen. tury, will each contribute to withdraw the last ground for detraction of our age as compared with any glorious epoch of art. Peradventure then, no architect will seek the teeming soil of Italy, and returning, print the boast that he systematically shut his eyes to any class of models, the work of men of high endowments, or at some time esteemed in Europe. Then the antiquarian ardour of our day will be valued only for its results; and the pursuit of Mediæval art, instead of remaining the abnegation of the powers of mind, will have given that which its revival came to effect, namely, not the imposition of its forms, but the correction of its better principles to a cycle of effete styles or undeveloped experiments. We may then avoid the two dangers, by one of which art-works in our time are often wrecked,—the error imputed by one school, of forgetting the especial characteristic of architecture and its subordinate artsthe constant recognition of an use-of the virtue of sincerity and truth, and the other error, that of mistaking for beauty the mere expression of use, forgetting that the mere beautiful is a legitimate and requisite object for attainment, and the highest of utilities." ;

All this, however, we believe is being gradually brought about. If art be in arrear of the progress of science, the fact may be to the credit of the science rather than to the fault of art. New materials are invented before their distinctive physical properties are understood. Thus, whilst there is no law of art more irrefutable than that each material and process should be made to assume the form consistent with its distinctive advantages, the manufacturer, ignorant alike of the law and of the exact property of the material, puts the latter forth in the forms which are in good taste in other materials, but which in the new material betray weak points rather than its advantages. But we know of no feature which could be more hopeful in the works of the last few years, by educated architects—we might allude even to the last twelve months—than the steadily-growing conviction of the importance of this principle, the real value and best use of the resources of the time; and the principle to which we have referred has only to be extended to articles of furniture and household use. Many of the evidences are to be observed in the more consistent treatment of decorative ironwork. - In practical architecture, the material iron is effecting the most important changes. Areas are now spanned over, which would hardly have been encountered with all the resources of scientific carpentry; and facilities for the admission of light can often be obtained, which are of great importance in a crowded city. Doubts have been raised, sometimes, as to the durability of boiler-plate girders, but the latter can be used for lengths of bearing where the adoption of cast-iron would have been the height of temerity. The value as regards internal convenience is obvious, if not also that to art, which should attend the possession of any new resource. But the greatest step which is being made is in the application of cement. It is becoming obvious that the proper artistic use of this material is not in the way of imitating masonry. The employment of brickwork for decorative effect, also is extending; and tiles and glazed bricks are being introduced on many exteriors of a superior character of design. In staircase lights the use of large plates of glass is a resource of great value in such situations; whilst in decoration the material glass is being multiplied into a great number of new forms and colours. The love of decoration in interiors is extending; and the more important works manifest a growing recognition of sound principles,-even if it must be allowed that the majority of others, and private houses especially, still show that much has to be learned there in the way of those principles, which, structural in their origin, should be ever found in what seeks to realize beauty in architecture, and which are the very acquisition of value which we say is gleaned from excursions into the arts of the middle ages.

2. SANITARY IMPROVEMENTS ;-SEWERAGE_WATER SUPPLY

CEMETERIES, &c. During the last Session of Parliament several acts were passed, which are of considerable importance, as to direct bearing upon the buildings and the architecture of the metropolis, and upon sanitary improvement. We refer to the new Buildings Act, the Act for the beiter Local Management of the Metropolis, the Nuisances Removal and Diseases Prevention Act, the House-Drainage Act, and the Labourers' Dwellings Act; whilst the instalment of legislation recognizing the principle of limited liability in partnership, tends towards the removal of what in many cases has been the only impediment to the extinction of the great social evil of the daythe state of dwellings in towns, and especially their condition in London.

Even with attentive perusal of the proceedings of the Commissioners, it is difficult to discover what is the position of the great question of London sewerage. We hear of works of one of the proposed intercepting sewers in progress; whilst the chief points the outfall and the conversion of the sewage-remain wholly unsettled. The very question of sectional area is again matter for acrimonious debate. It is still a difficulty-if the Thames be made the final outlet-at what point the sewage should be ejected, to prevent a return with the tide ; whilst, with regard to the other alternative, it is undecided what form the sewage could be converted into, and distributed in, without injury to health, and with pecuniary return. The real question as to value of sewage is not now its effects upon soils, or the special advantages of this description of manure in many cases; the question is as to cost of carriage, or distribution, over the extended tract of country required in the case of a great capital. But the need of some amended system of drainage is pressing and imperative, and during the summer months the noisome stench of the river has excited unusual attention. On the other hand, cumulative evidence continues to be afforded of the value of improved sanitary provisions where they have been effected. In Macclesfield, whilst during 7 years ending September, 1848, the mortality had been 33 per thousand, and in 5 years following, after certain measures were put in force, 29 per thousand, in

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