The old Crystal Palace has not yet been quite removed from Hyde Park, but a new one is already rising at Sydenham. On Thursday a gay and distinguished company left London by special train, alighted at An- nerley station, and walked thence to the beautiful park wherein the new glass palace will be built. They were met and welcomed by the directors. About two o'clock, the ladies forming a front rank and the gentlemen fall- ing in behind them, marshalled themselves round the spot where the first pillar was to be be planted. Then a procession marched up, headed by six workmen bearing a banner inscribed " Success to the palace of the people." These were followed by Mr. Laing and the directors. First a bottle containing coins, and a paper with the following inscription, were placed under the pillar— "This column, the first support of the Crystal Palace, a building of purely English architecture, destined to the recreation and instruction of the mil- lion, was erected on the 5th day of August 1852, in the sixteenth year of the reign of her Majesty Queen Victoria, by Samuel Laing, Esq., M.P., Chairman of the Crystal Palace Company. The original structure, of which this column forms a part, was built, after the design of Sir Joseph Paxton, by Messrs. Fox, Henderson, and Co. ; and stood in Hyde Park, where it received the contributions of all nations, at the World's Exhibition, in the year of our Lord 1851. '1, your glass,
Will modestly discover to yourself
That of yourself which yet you know not of.' "
The pillar was screwed down by Mr. Laing ; who then, American fashion, made a speech, reciting the glories of the evaniahed Crystal Palm, and anticipating the splendours of the renascent ; also showing that, while the late palace owed its rise to the patronage of the Court, the present was rising under the patronage of the people. At the close of the speech, a royal salute was fired, the select crowd vociferously cheered, and bands of music struck up the :national anthem. After this performance, all the guests took their places in a spacious tent, and pro- ceeded to • refresh themselves after their great exertions. Toasts, of course, followed the repast; with speeches from Mr. Scott Russell, Mr. -Peto, M.P., Sir Charles Lyell, Sir Joseph Paxton, Mr. Owen Jones, and Mr. Digby Wyatt. These matters being concluded to everybody's satis- faction, the ladies and gentlemen returned to town.
During the fete, a model of the structure was exhibited, with various plans and designs ; which warrant the expectation of a higher artistic effect than that obtained in the strictly utilitarian building in Hyde Park. The roofing of the whole nave, as well as of the transepts, will be arched ; the height of the transept will be increased'y some sixty feet ; towers will be added, terraces, and vast arched embrasures ; the general effect
• being greatly improved by festoons of vegetation and flowers hanging -from the roof and trailed along the pillars.
On Thursday. and Friday, Holland Park was the scene of what is called the "Scottish Fete" ; although it is remarked that, except for the ap- p ririFrw lof lie in Highland costume and performers on the bag-
mpe, it - i be called an English or a French fete. The fact the manly gam of the three countries are practised on the green of Holland • Thus there were the "caber," and the "High- " and the "ei Callum," superbly danced by a young man were English wrestling, quarter-stag and a
very picturesque dance round the maypole - there were single-stick, by Life Guardsmen, and jumping in sacks; and there were French acrobats, and combatants with the canne. The games on Thursday opened with a Highland reel, and wound up with a very "mock-tournament " indeed.
At the Guildhall, on Tuesday, Mr. Benjamin Chandler junior was elected Sheriff of Middlesex, to serve with Mr. Alderman Carter, as Mr. John Hulbert had refused to accept the office, and we suppose he will be visited with the customary fine. Mr. Chandler was nominated by Mr. Deputy Hale, and seconded by Mr. Bennoch. The election was cha- racterized by a proposal that a committee of Liverymen should be ap. pointed to superintend matters connected with the shrievalty, and that 2001. a year should be granted to them out of the City funds for their expenses. This was proposed by Mr. Finley, and seconded by Mr. Deputy Lott; but it was negatived.
The new Court of Commissioners of Metropolitan Sewers held a gene- ral meeting on Saturday afternoon, at the chief office in Greek Street. Mr. Jebb presided; and there were present, Sir John Burgoyne, Sir C. Fellowes, Major Dawson, Captain Vetch, Mr. G. Baker, Mr. 7. Hawk- shaw, Mr. W. Hosking, Mr. H. A. Hunt, Mr. L. Redhead, and Mr. G. S. Smith. As this was the first meeting of the new Commission, Major Dawson, who had been a member of the three preceding Commissions, made a statement of their actual position with regard to the work in band. He pointed out that the Commission had nothing to do with ordinary routine matters, or even matters of detail. Their business was to direct their attention to the " accomplishment of a general system of drainage." But as regarded the general drainage of the Metropolis, the public are very nearly in the same state as when the first Commission entered office in 1849. The cause of that non-progress Major Dawson proceeded to detail. Running briefly through the history of the several Commissions, he showed that the "rivalry of the two chief officers" was the great bar to the accomplishment of anything by the first Commission. Being unable to agree to the plans of either, they threw open the consideration of the drainage question to the profession at large; and the consequence was, that 260 plans were sent in. When this dommission was broken up, another, of a " scientific character," was appointed, of which Vis- count Ebrington was a member. These gentlemen caused the 260 plans to be examined by a " chief engineer" of their own selection, and a general plan was prepared ; but they had not sufficient credit to raise the sums necessary to carry out that plan. Several public bodies were willing to lend the money, but they were not satisfied with the security. At this juncture they went to the Government ; and " it was promised to them on the part of the Government, or at least understood by the Commissioners to be so promised, that a bill should be introduced in Parliament to empower the Commissioners to borrow the sums necessary for the execution of the great drainage works." " Up to that time," said Major Dawson, " the Commission had been regu- larly progressing; and, measured on a vertical scale, it might be said to have attained its highest point of elevation, at which, I regret to say, it has remained ever since. And where was the fault of this ? It was certainly not with the Commission. The Commissioners bad done everything they could do. They had gone to the full extent to which the powers given to them by the act enabled them to go. They applied to the Government for additional powers to enable them to proceed further; and those additional powers were never given, for the bill was not introduced into Parliament ; and in an evil hour a proposition hastily made in the House of Commons was inadvertently allowed to pass by the Government without opposition, and the rating-powers of the Commission were reduced from 18. to 3d. in the pound." Soon afterwards the Commission expired. Its successor was compelled to reduce the establishment by 10,0001. ; and when the present Govern- ment took office, the civil engineers resigned, while the military en- gineers remained at their post from a sense of duty. At the end of fast session, Government passed a bill restoring the rating-powers to the ex- tent of 6d. in the pound ; and upon this they had now to work. Major Dawson entered into a calculation showing that the present Commissionis nominally in debt 55,6391. ; but uncollected rates will reduce this sum to 36,0991. 178. 4d. ; the new rates will raise a sum of 181,2301., which will leave a balance of 145,1301. 28. &I. for the year ending 1st July 1853. Deducting the ordinary expense; the sum of 96,6631. 16s. 3d. will be left as "an available balance for extraordinary works at the end of the year" whereas from calculations made by the engineers of the various districts, he found that a sum of 280,0001. would be required for works forming part of the "radii system," but no part of the "great arterial system"— for which the estimate is 1,080,0001. He thought, therefore, that the old rating-powers ought to have been restored for a limited period ; but, as matters stand, he wished the public and the Government should be made aware that they cannot do more than the powers intrusted to them will permit ; and that unless they obtain further powers, it is absolutely im- possible that any great drainage-works, or works of any extraordinary nature, can be carried out, whatever may be their urgency. The other Commissioners concurred in this statement ; and after the transaction of routine business, the Court adjourned. •
At the half-yearly meeting of the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway Company, held on Monday, at the Bridge House Hotel, London Bridge, Mr. Samuel Laing M.P., chairman, made some remarks respect- ing railway " accidents," which are worthy of being recorded.
The Directors "thought it a great hardship that railway companies should be called upon to pay large sums for accidents over which they had no con- trol, and which did not result from any false economy on the part of the company, but purely from accidental causes, over which they could have no more control than they could over the tyre of a wheel flying off, or a flash of lightning striking the train." Railway companies are made insurers for all casualties which happen on their lines ; while steam-packet companies are not. An accident happened a long time ago at New Cross, on a foggy day, in consequence of the man who went down the line showing a green instead of a red flag. A slight collision followed—" so slight" that no one seemed hurt ; yet, twelve months afterwards, compensation was obtained by some persons, "whose nerves, it was stated, had received a shock:" "Compelling a company to pay compensation for accidents over which the directors really have no control, does not prevent the recurrence of these accidents. What he complained of was, that the principle of the Carriers Act was not carried out with regard to passengers. In that act it was provided that a carrier was not held responsible for damage to or loss of valuable goods, gold, silver, silk, &c., unless paid for accordingly. For instance, if an accident were to occur to one of their express-trains conveying half-a-dozen Bishops and the Lord Chancellor, through one of their men making a mistake, it seemed in-
consistent that the Company should have tb pay 20,000/. for the Lord Chan- cellor, although he should pay no more than any other passenger (about 214. per mile)." Mr. Hcrepath concurred in the view taken by Mr. Laing, and thought that the servants through whose carelessness accidents happen ought to be fined and punished as heavily as possible. Mr. Bell, on the contrary, thought the law sufficiently protects the companies ; and that it is only when the judge and jury are satisfied that negligence has been the cause of the accident, that damages are awarded. Whether Mr. Laing's view of accidents met with a general concurrence, we cannot say ; but the cheers of the meeting seemed to imply as much.
Mr. Cobbett, who has been confined more than thirteen years for an al- leged contempt of the Court of Chancery, was discharged by the Lord Chan- cellor on Saturday last. Having looked through the papers, Lord St. Leonards found that Mr. Cobbett has not been imprisoned for contempt, but for non-payment of costs ! Mr. Oldfield, to whom the costs were due, con- sented to the discharge.
Montague and Tripe were reexamined at the Mansionhouse on Saturday. Mr. Jones gave further evidence respecting the payment of money to the " Australian Gold Mining and Emigration Company." When he paid a sum on account of his passage, besides Montague and Tripe, " a fat man " was present ; he believed he was one of the "directors" : he should like to see that fat man before the Alderman. When Jones was told that a lord was on the direction, he thought it was all right. Jones wanted the passage- money reduced ; but the " fat fellow " objected to so much as 3/. being de- ducted. Mr. Finch stated that he had paid, through his agent, 71. 108. towards the pride of his passage. Montague had agreed, on behalf of " the company," to allow Mr. Finch one pound commission for each customer he should bring. Mr. George Hodson paid 221. 108. as part of the passage- money for himself and wife. When Mr. Hodson's father went to the office of the company to complain of their proceedings, he said to Tripe, that it was "all a fraud and swindle from beginning to end" : to which Tripe re- plied, " No doubt of it; it has been a fraud and a swindle." Alderman Carden had the names of the "directors" called in court, but no one an- swered.
On Wednesday, Montague and Tripe were reexamined. Major A. Hawkes, Mr. Charles Brown, and Mr. John Lutwyche, who were set down in the pro- spectus as directors, with Captain Edward Smith, who was called the secre- tary, appeared. Mr. R. Reed was again in attendance; but as he had ad- vertised that he had no connexion with the company so soon as he knew he was called a "director," Alderman Carden said he was not bound to attend. James Barker deposed to paying money for his own and his brother's pas- sage. He paid it to Tripe, in the presence of Mr. Greenwood ; whom he re- cognized in the court, and who was the "fat fellow" before spoken of. Tripe and Greenwood consulted together. Thorne, a lad who was engaged as clerk, but was only paid two weeks' wages, identified Greenwood as a fre- quenter of the office. He had seen Mr. Brown there; also Captain Smith, and Major Hawker. Sometimes twelve gentlemen attended on a board-day. Mr. Lutwyche he had not seen, but had heard him spoken of. The inquiry, which is now conducted by the City Solicitor, was again adjourned. Yesterday, Tripe and Montague were committed for trial.
Collins, the pawner of portraits of "eminent" people, has been again re- manded by the Westminster Magistrate ; who has announced that he shall eventually commit him for larceny in one case.
The boiler at Mr. Tomkins's saw-mills, Old Gravel Lane, Wapping, ex- ploded at mid-day on Monday, rending the boiler-house to pieces, and showering timber, bricks, and metal, for a long distance around. Fortunately, most of the workmen had left the place to take their dinners. Charles Varrail, a bricklayer, was at work on a roof near the boiler-house, and he suffered dreadfully ; he was alive when got out of the ruins, but died in two hours.
The Jury impanelled to inquire into the cause of the explosion and death returned the following verdict—" Accidental death, by the explosion of an engine-boiler, situated at Green Bank Saw Mills, Wapping : and the Jury wish to add, they consider great neglect is attributable to Mr. Mark J. Tom- kins, for allowing the boiler to be used after being repeatedly informed by the engine-driver of its unsound state ; and they also exonerate the engine- driver from all blame."