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who is personally known to a member, and is a fit and proper person to join such a club, can easily find admittance to honorary membership for a month and to ordinary membership for a year. Those who are settled and reside in any British colony or dependency are also eligible for the like privilege ; while foreigners who have resided in this country for three years, and who are in sympathy with the Liberal party, are eligible to become ordinary members for life.
Several changes bave been made in the mode of electing members during the half-century of the club's existence. The number of members has also been altered. Sixteen of the original members still survive, and they must be more struck with such changes and alterations than any of those who are solely acquainted with things as they are.
At the outset the members numbered one thousand, exclusive of members of either House of Parliament and foreigners of distinction. At that time candidates who were members of Parliament were elected by the committee, while other candidates were elected by a general ballot of the club. Later, it was resolved that the total number of members should be fourteen hundred, that all candidates should be elected by the club, but that members of either House of Parliament should have precedence. Twenty years ago a council of forty elected candidates, and this was the practice for three years. It is noteworthy that the Reform is the only political club in London on either side of politics in which the election of candidates is not entrusted to a committee.
The Reform was originally managed by a committee of thirty.' The only surviving member of this committee is the venerable Viscount Eversley. Now, in addition to four trustees, there is a committee of fifteen to manage the general concerns of the club;' a political committee of fifty to manage the political affairs of the club, and a library committee of five to whom the management of the library is referred. I shall dispel a widespread delusion when I state that the political committee distribute no money and act merely as a board of conciliation and arbitration, their efforts being directed to promote harmony amongst the sections and members of the Liberal party, and to give good advice when asked.
The names of the first trustees and of the first committee were thoroughly representative; it may interest some persons to read them. The trustees were—the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl of Mulgrave, the Earl of Durham, the Right Hon. Edward Ellice, M.P., and General Sir R. Ferguson, M.P. The committee consisted of H. A. Aglionby, M.P., Alexander Bannerman, M.P., Walter Campbell, M.P., William Clay, M.P., John Crawford, M.P., Edward Divett, M.P., Viscount Ebrington, M.P., Edward Ellice, George Grote, M.P., Joseph Hume, M.P., Henry Kingscote, M.P., Charles Shaw Lefevre, M.P., Henry Shaw Lefevre, Denis Le Marchant, William Marshall, M.P., Sir William Molesworth, Bart., M.P., James Morrison, M.P., Daniel O'Connell, M.P., O'Connor Don, M.P., Barry O'Meara, Hon. C. A. Pelham, M.P., Edward Pendarves, M.P., Edward Romilly, Sutton Sharpe, E.J. Stanley, M.P., Robert Steuart, M.P., Edward Strutt, M.P., Henry Warburton, M.P., H. G. Ward, M.P.
. After flourishing for fifty years the Reform has amply fulfilled the design of its founders. It has now many rivals, but it is still, what it was at the beginning, one of the best clubs in London, if not in the world. As a club-house it remains a masterpiece. Foreign as well as home critics are at one on that point. The plans were so highly valued that they were reproduced in the French Revue de l'Architecture in 1857, and they were commended to the close attention and serious study of French architects. In an artistic sense the French writer's praise is just and discerning, but his acquaintance with localities is peculiar. After stating that Piccadilly is nearly as familiar to French readers as the Palais Royal, he says that the chief London clubs are situated in Piccadilly and that the Reform is the principal ornament of that street.
A handsome and deserved tribute to Barry as the architect of the Reform club-house was paid to him by Digby Wyatt, on the 21st of May, 1860, before the Institute of British Architects, when he said that the Reform exemplified how the most minute attention to comfort and the satisfactory working of utilitarian necessities, are compatible with the exercise of the most delicate sense of refinement and the hardihood of genius.'
Every original member of the Reform who has survived till its jubilee can appreciate the completeness of the architect's design far better than those who saw it immediately after the doors of the clubhouse were first thrown open for their reception. In this building, as in an Italian palace, the sculptor and the painter were expected to adorn and perfect the architect's design. Year after year since the building of the club-house the places appointed by Barry for the purpose have been filled with the busts or portraits of members of the club who were notable reformers. · On entering the club-house the most conspicuous object, as I have already stated, is the marble bust of the Queen as she appeared to gladden the eyes of her people at the beginning of her memorable reign. To the right, when looking towards this charming bust, is the portrait of Palmerston when he was prime minister, and on the left is that of Earl Russell when well advanced in years. Turning one's back upon these portraits, one sees on the opposite side facing Palmerston the portrait of the Marquis of Westminster wearing the robes and insignia of a Knight of the Garter, while a portrait of Daniel O'Connell faces that of Earl Russell. One of tbe other two sides is graced with portraits of Lord Saye and Sele and Mr. Denison, and between them, on a high pedestal, is a marble bust of Mr. Gladstone. On the opposite side, the portrait of Macaulay faces that of Lord Saye and Sele, and the portrait of the Right Hon. C. P. Villiers faces that of Mr. Denison. The bust of Mr. Gladstone and the portrait of Mr. Villiers have been specially exempted from the rule that no member of the club is to be honoured with a place in
its gallery of busts and portraits during his lifetime. Within the hall proper and at each of its four corners are the marble busts of Cromwell and Brougham, of Cobden and Palmerston, the bust of Palmerston representing him as he appeared at that stage in his career when he bore without objection or repining the nickname of • Cupid.
In the gallery on the first floor the portrait of Earl Grey, the Premier in the first Reform Administration, is flanked by those of the Earl of Durham and of Lord Sydenham and Toronto, the latter being the only English peer who bears a title borrowed from an English colony. In a niche close at hand is a bust of Daniel O'Connell. A bust of Hampden separates the portrait of Edward Ellice, the originator of the club, from that of Cobden, one of its greatest ornaments. The portrait of the Duke of Sussex, the most accomplished and liberal member of the Royal Family, is in the centre of another side of the gallery, while that of the third Lord Holland immediately adjoins it, the Lord Holland upon whom Macaulay passed a splendid eulogium, and whose own noble ambition was to do nothing to disgrace his position as the nephew of Charles James Fox, and the friend of Charles, Earl Grey. The portrait of Brougham fills a space near which there is a vacancy that may soon be filled with the portrait of the lamented W. E. Forster. On the same floor the marble bust of Charles James Fox stands in one room, that of Milton in another, while the portraits of the Earl of Dalhousie and Bernal Osborne hang on the walls of a third. A vacant space between Cobden and the Duke of Sussex could not be more appropriately filled than with the portrait of Mr. John Bright. Returning to the ground floor, the portrait of Thackeray, an early member of the club, hangs on the walls of a room there between the busts of two other esteemed members of the club and ardent reformers, Charles Buller and Sir William Molesworth. Nor have reformers on the other side of the Atlantic been forgotten. In a small reception room there is a large bronze medallion showing the profiles of Washington, Lincoln, and Grant, and below it is a facsimile of the Declaration of Independence. Several omissions may be noted. Chief among them is the absence of a portrait or bust of Viscount Melbourne, who was a member of the club from its foundation till his death, and wbo, as the Queen's first Prime Minister, rendered special service both to her and the State. The philosophical Radical and famous historian George Grote has been forgotten, while Sir William Molesworth, his fellowlabourer in the same field of politics, has been remembered. From the beginning of the club till now it has numbered among its members the principal conductors and editors of the Liberal press in London and throughout the country. No bust or portrait of any of these notable men is to be seen in the club-house, yet some of them, such as the late Mr. Russel of the Scotsman and the late
Mr. Delane of the Times, well merited any posthumous honour which the club can bestow.
The original members of the Reform Club were intensely proud of it, and they laboured diligently to render it attractive in all respects. Their successors have quite as good reason for cherishing the same feeling, and for striving to maintain unimpaired the high and widespread reputation of their magnificent club.
W. FRASER RAE.
WHENCE CAME THE COMETS ?
ALTHOUGH the astronomer has achieved many successes in studying comets, yet these objects still remain outside the surveyed fields of astronomy-now, as in the old days when men spoke of sun and moon, planet and stars, as including all the members of the heavenly host. The two comets now shining in our skies illustrate the present position of cometic astronomy. They have appeared without warning, we know not whence; they have not until now been known to astronomers as travelling on recognised orbits and in definite periods ; and even hereafter, though the astronomer may determine their orbital motions and calculate the time when either should return, he cannot be sure that they will not be dissipated into unrecognisable portions before that time arrives.
I do not propose to remark here upon the probable nature of comets, or upon the possible interpretation of the various phenomena they present. The only circumstance in regard to them which I shall take into account in what follows is that close relationship between comets and meteor-streams which was established in 1866 by the combined labours of Schiaparelli, Adams, and Tempel. I shall treat this kinship between comets and meteors as rendering certain or highly probable the following propositions :
(1) Every meteoric stream follows in the train of some comet large or small, which either exists now or has been dissipated, as Biela's comet was, leaving only its meteoric trail to show where it once travelled.
(2) Every comet is followed or preceded by a train of meteors (this train has nothing to do with the comet's tail), extending over a greater or less portion of the comet's orbit, according to the length of time during which the comet has existed.
(3) All meteoric bodies, from those which exist as the finest dust to the largest meteorites, hundreds of pounds in weight, may be regarded as bodies of the same kind, differing from each other indeed in constitution as they obviously do in mass, just as planets and asteroids do, but all to be interpreted-if they can be interpreted at all-in the same general way.
We may in some degree illustrate the nature of the assumptions here made in the three following assumptions which an insect who