DIORAMA OF THE OLD PARLIAMENT HOUSES.
AN exhibition of four dioramic views of the exteriors and inte- riors of the late Houses of Lords and Commons, showing also the burning and the ruins, painted by Mr. MEADOWS, has been this week opened in Regent Street. The pictures, or scenes rather, are transparent ; and the effects of light are produced by gas instead of daylight. They are not equal in execution or power of illusion to the Diorama paintings ; but they are sufficiently illusory to convey a very vivid idea of the places represented. The sunlight in the interiors of the two Houses is agreeably warm; but in the scene of the ruin§ of St. Stephen's it is too glowing for the wintry season. The represen- tation of the fire, as seen from the opposite bank of the river, is very successful. The ascending masses of flame and the drifting smoke are imitated in a most ingenious manner. Should Mr. MEADOWS adopt the suggestion made to him of adding views of the interiors of the two temporary Chambers, the attraction of the exhibition will be greatly increased to the London public. As it is, however, it will repay them a visit: and visiters from the country cannot fail of being gratified.
We must not let this ooeasion pass without reprehending a practice which bas of late come in vogue among exhibiters, of spreading a table for those who attend at the private view. In so far as the press is con- cerned, there can be but one object on the part of those exhibiters who incur this expense. What would be counted liberal hospitality in the ease of private friends, becomes something very different in the in- stance of those who attend as reporters. For ourselves, we can say that it has an effect directly the contrary to what is intended. Where we have had previous notice of the bait, we have avoided the trap. Our first movement on entering unawares an exhibition-room where refreshments are laid out, is to the door : but courtesy has restrained us hitherto, and we have endured the clatter of plates and forks pa- tiently. In future, however, we shall leave the task of noticing exhi- bitions with culinary garnishing to those who swallow the bait. Cri- tiques a-la-fourchette would surely be out of place in the Spectator.