Monuments and Dust
London Times: 2 May 1851
The Opening of the Great Exhibition.
"Early in the morning" is an indefinite term. The Covent-garden waggoner thinks it means 1 or 2 o'clock a.m., -- the London exquisite interprets it as signifying a few hours before the afternoon; and, therefore, it would be of no use to attempt giving an idea of the time at which London was stirring yesterday by indulging in a phrase so convenient, but so ambiguous. Certain it is that people who had never before seen the sun rise, except through a ballroom window, were in full activity soon after dawn, impelled by the impulse which seemed to lend life and energy to the whole substance of the great and somewhat lethargic metropolis. Through the regions of Belgravia arose the clatter of horses' feet and carriage wheels, just as early as the donkey-carts and pony-chaises rattled through the narrow streets of Clerkenwell and Lambeth. The arteries of the great city, surcharged with life, beat full and strong under the pressure of a great and hitherto unknown excitement. Never before was so vast a multitude collected together within the memory of man. The struggles of great nations in battle, the levies of whole races, never called forth such an array as thronged the streets of London on the 1st of May. When swarms of people poured from the loins of the north in a fierce migration, or when all the hosts of Asia were spread broadcast over the plains of Europe, their largest masses were not more numerous than the peaceful crowds who congregated around the great Temple of Industry and the avenues which commanded a view of a new royal procession. The march of conquerors, and all the ceremonials that men have delighted to honour, left something bitter behind them in many a heart. The welling fount of glory has been too deeply tinged with the waters of sorrow to be drunk in self-contentment; but here was an occasion which might be celebrated by the whole human race without one pang of regret, envy, or national hate. Not London alone, but the large contingents furnished to its teeming population by every people under the sun, came out into the streets, the citizens leaving their dear household gods, Change, business, wharfs, counters, and shops, to make universal holiday and our foreign friends aiding and abetting the apostacy with the most zealous good humour. If a man ventured in the Strand or Holborn at 8 o'clock, with the intent to see the show, he felt half inclined to turn back with the idea that it would be useless to go where "all the world" would be before him. Down the cross streets -- from Lincoln's-inn-fields, Camden-town, Kensington, Biyswater, Kennington, Islington, the City, Southwark, from the most remote suburb, by train, omnibus, cab, horse, and foot, teemed those crowds some are fond of calling the masses, but in a spirit far different from that which their nomenclators ascribe to them. Coroneted carriages of all the species that Long-acre gives birth to, whatever runneth upon wheels, drove in continuous succession down unfrequented thoroughfares, or added to the natural obstructions so very properly devised, as appropriate to the season, by the Commissioners of Sewers, the various gas and water-companies, and other public-spirited and publicly offensive bodies, in the most favourite highways. The tramp of men, with wives and daughters on their arms, resounded from the pavement as they all trudged westwards with contented and happy faces. Those honest English workmen in their round fustian jackets and glazed caps, felt they had a right to take part in the honours of the day, and to have an honest pride in the result of their own and their brethren's labours, and they walked, contentedly and happily, amid prancing horses and gaudy liveries. Strange-looking foreigners (not as many as might have been expected) passed along in the stream without the note and comment in which we are too wont to indulge at any deviation in costume or appearance from the mode prescribed at the time by popular taste. Every variety of beard, moustache, hat, coat, and trouser was permitted for the day, and Chinamen were not nearly so much stared at as the little red-coated shoe-blacks who have been established just as the dirty season is over by some philanthropic but not very weatherwise individuals. There was a dearth of Turks and turbans, and even Fez caps were not common, but the supply of beard, imperial, sallow faces, and eccentric head-gear was liberal, though not unlimited. The sky looked rather ominous. Some ugly clouds floated about heavily, -- now shining whitely, like great ales of wool in the sunshine -- now darkening beneath its obscured light into heaps, threatening wet and discomfort to the sightseers. But they did not bate one jot of hope, for even Easter Monday had not intimidated them and all flowed onwards to the parks in spite of passing showers. Numerous as were the people, in the space of the park, and in their own accommodating spirit, they found plenty of room, and with comparative comfort they advanced in wave after wave, and carried on towards Kensington, or halted before Buckingham Palace. Here two lines of police were formed which extended to Hyde Park, along Rotten-tow, to the Exhibition, leaving a broad drive for carriages with a good margin for pedestrians. They were reinforced by the Life Guards, stationed two and two at long intervals, but those very effective line-keepers, their horses' heels, did not come much into request throughout the day. However, the glancing of sword-blades, the flashing of helmet and cuirass in the sun, and the glare of the scarlet was pleasant to look upon, and served as a fine relief to the plain blue of the constabulary, and the plainer hues of those behind them. The crowd at the Palace was very dense, but thinned away up Constitution-hill, most people preferring a grand struggle and doubtful vision in Hyde Park to a quiet and certain view in St. James's. On coming out from under his Grace of Wellington's statue the placidity and regularity of the good-tempered tributary monarch who was going so loyally to see his Queen to the best advantage was somewhat disturbed by a violent rush of carriages down Piccadilly, notwithstanding the efforts of constables, who appeared determined on taking all the horses into custody. As the rush seemed perpetual, however, "the source of all legitimate power" evaded it as best he might, and with great agility dodged broughams and chariots, horsemen and men on horses, till he got into the Park, where at last he had room enough to breathe. But he was scarcely of that opinion not content with spreading himself many feet deep on both sides of Rotten-row, with perching on seats, mounting on precarious platforms, getting up ladders, and running up the remotest eminences, he roosted in trees, invaded the roofs of the houses at Hudson's Straits and the Gore, and manned boats on the Serpentine, from which the view of the top of the Palace must have been uninterrupted and unlimited. Here was one of the finest points of view. Terminating a long vista through lines of trees walled in by human beings, with the grass, fresh from the late rains, stretching away in fine sheets of green, except where it was patched and blotted by great moving masses of citizens of the world, dressed in every garb from that of young France to that of old Gael, "the blazing arch of lucid glass" with the bright hot sun flaming on its polished ribs and sides shone like the Koh-i-Noor itself. Little flags fluttered cheerily along its entire length, their varied colours catching new splendour from the glittering surface, and never did the most fanciful of poets image a more glorious palace than plain, prosaic England, offered to the admiration of the world -- the Hall of Eblis without its tortures. On the way to it the people were collected as closely as they could pack by the railings, but there was so much space they did not seem so resolved on suicide and manslaughter as they generally are on state occasions under less favourable circumstances. The display of activity was wonderful; any tree in the Park could have furnished a staff of "acrobats," "lofty tumblers," and "inimitable bottle-imps," to the most exigent of managers, and next to their feats of agility the thing most to be admired was the endurance and tenacity of even the feeblest-looking twigs, which appeared to have been gifted with supernatural powers of endurance for that day only. About a quarter past 11 o'clock the sky lowered most unpleasantly, and a smart shower followed very speedily. This was succeeded by drizzling snatches of rain which never damped the good spirits and cheerful mood of the people, or drove even the best bonnet from its post; but the clouds swept away after a time, and the sun came out between whiles; withdrawing speedily again, so as to make it uncertain whether he would not retire altogether. Just before 12 o'clock however, the sun broke out steadily for a few minutes, the rain ceased altogether, and soon afterwards a vision of waving plumes and bright steel came scouring up the row, to which the change of atmosphere gave a strange appearance. The heat of the sun, acting on the moist ground, produced a fluctuating haze or mist, through which the procession appeared in the same shifting uncertain light that you see in the magic lantern, and added an air of unreality to the scene, which its splendour was well calculated to encourage. Its reality was soon tested, for a line of carriages swept past, and then came a troop of Life Guards at the trot, and the voices of the people hailed the Queen again and again with hearty cheers, as she came by bowing kindly and graciously. As the cortge drove up to the Palace, the reception of Her Majesty was enthusiastic, and she entered the building amid a burst of genuine good feeling from the people outside, -- the poor fellows in the trees taking it up and repeating it as though their lives depended on its force, -- more grateful than the Royal flourish of trumpets and the rolling of drums which announced her arrival. The Queen seemed full of emotion at the greatness of the occasion and at the welcome, but she was soon lost within the walls of the Palace, and nothing was left to those outside but to amuse themselves as best they might by sham battles in the Park, indulging in faecti with individuals of some offensive peculiarity or attire, or broad invective against the most bland looking of the police. Presently loud cheers came fro the interiour of the building; then the strains of "God save the Queen" leaked out through its glass walls, and were repeated by a few of the people; then solemn silence -- again a fine burst of voices and again a song of praise, then the roar of cannon from the Serpentine, the murmuring voices of the vast hordes that crowded its shores, the national Anthem again, the cheers repeated, and, after a visit of an hour, the Queen reappeared at the threshold of the Exhibition again with the Prince by her side, full of pride and happiness, and drove off amid the warm demonstrations of her subjects to the palace.
Soon after she arrived there Her Majesty made her appearance at one of the windows with the Royal children before the immense multitude, an act of condescension which gave them the highest gratification and which could not have failed to cause pleasure to Her Majesty from the way in which it was acknowledged. As to the carriages, who shall compute their number? Any attempt to guess at the amount of people would have been ridiculous, unless one went up in the balloon which was floated up very majestically from some place to us unknown soon after the Queen's departure. The arrangements were admirable. No serious accidents that we heard of occurred during the day, and the temper and behaviour of the people cannot be too highly praised.
The pageant of the State opening within the Crystal Palace is over, and it remains for us to describe it as best we can. That imposing ceremony was witnessed by some 25,000 spectators, who will each have his own account to give, his own tale to tell of its wonders. The same objects looked at from different points of view present different appearances, and the narratives of what took place on this memorable occasion must vary considerably, according to the position in which each historian of the event found himself. Yet, however dissimilar they may be, we venture to assert that no one could have witnessed that extraordinary display without emotions of awe and solemnity. The anticipation of the Prince Consort has been fully realized, and the first impression which the State opening creates is "that of deep thankfulness to the Almighty for the blessings which He has bestowed upon us already here below." The moral grandeur of yesterday's inauguration raises it far beyond the level of all ordinary pageants, and with the recollection of it full upon us we hardly find courage to enter on a description which must necessarily fall so much short of the reality. Written words are powerless and weak in presence of that real muster of worldly magnificence -- that stupendous act of homage to industry and the peaceful arts. Yet the task must be attempted. The vast area of the Exhibition, great as is the amount of accommodation it afforded, still leaves an immense margin of public curiosity to satisfy. When we left the interiour on Wednesday afternoon the exhibitors had completed their part of the work, and though, as far as the display of contributions was concerned, all that was necessary for a successful opening had been accomplished, a very formidable extent of preparations remained unfinished. The whole area was still rough and incumbered with the signs of recent labour, nor was it fitting that in such a state the Royalty of England should appear on the scene. All night long, without intermission, Messrs. Fox and Henderson were busily engaged, and of the many tasks which they have accomplished since the work began perhaps this last was the greatest. At an early hour yesterday morning all was in readiness. Exhibitors had not been cleared out of the building until the afternoon of Wednesday, and yet yesterday morning before 8 o'clock the centre of the transept and the approach from the north had been covered with red cloth. The route of the Royal procession had matting laid down over its entire length. Precautions had been taken to keep off the pressure of the crowd. The seats for ladies below and in the galleries were arranged. A robing room, most tastefully decorated, was run up with really magical speed by Messrs. Jackson and Graham, and the same firm also erected over the throne, at a height of 30 feet, a silken canopy, the magnificence and effect of which formed a subject of general admiration. At 8 o'clock, when we entered the interior, everything was in order. A profound stillness reigned over the vast area, and the eye rested with delight upon that charming variety of colours and those harmonious proportions which give to this palace of industry so remarkable and fairylike a character. The public had not yet been admitted, and the members and officers of the executive, the contractors and their leading assistants, were, besides a few policemen and a stray red-coated Sapper, the only occupants of the building. During the short hour of calm and quiet which succeeded we made a hurried survey of the interior, to ascertain how far things were in order, how each foreign country presented itself at the nave in honour of the occasion, and how the different sections of our native industry that line the centre aisle on either side were arranged for this Royal opening. The survey was, on the whole, most satisfactory. Our own half of the building was thoroughly well arranged, and if some of the foreign compartments were behindhand, they had managed to neutralize the injury to the coup d'oeil thus arising in the most skillful manner. No general ever covered a desperate retreat with more tact, for none but a practised eye could detect where the confusion existed. And now 9 o'clock came, and with it the opening of the Exhibition doors and the rush of visitors. They burst like great pent up tides into the building, and for a time swept everything before them. The placid calm of the interior -- the decorative triumphs of Owen Jones -- the ethereal lightness of construction -- the mathematical proportions -- the long rows of columns -- the sweep of the galleries -- the endless varieties of attractive objects collected in the nave -- all these matters which one had time before to ponder over and admire now disappeared as if by the wave of an enchanter's wand, and in their stead was only to be seen a rushing stream of spectators, mad with excitement, and desperately bent on getting the best possible seats. At a very early hour they had bestirred themselves, determined to be in time, and the consequence was that long before 9 o'clock all the doors of the Exhibition were besieged by a mob of ladies and gentlemen, who of course rushed in with immense eagerness when at last allowed to do so. The crowd kept flowing in for more than an hour in such dense columns, that temporary barriers placed by the Executive Committee to protect the space round the throne, were in part swept away, and the entire space of the nave seemed to be permanently in possession of the spectators. In this emergency Colonel Reid called out a party of Sappers, who soon restored order, and thus added one additional service to the many others which they have contributed for months past within the walls of the Exhibition. During all this time were occurring many curious episodes of individual distress. Gentlemen might be seen distracted about places for their wives and daughters, who added to their excitement by asking explanations of police passes which could not be explained, and by urgent intreaties to take up positions which were clearly not tenable. The longest lane has a turning, however, and the greatest confusion, with temper and management, soon subsides. About 10 o'clock the police, materially assisted by the Sappers, succeeded in establishing order. Spectators gradually took up their places, and every proper and reasonable facility was afforded for the Royal progress round the nave of the building.
That the ceremonial of the opening may be distinctly understood, let us sketch as rapidly as possible the appearance of the interior about half-past 11 o'clock, when the doors closed and admission ceased. In the north half of the transept and grouped around the throne, were assembled the Royal Commission, Her Majesty's Ministers, the Executive Committee, the Diplomatic Corps, the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs, and Aldermen of the City, the Commissioners of Foreign Powers, the Special Commissioners, Dr. Lyon Playfair and Colonel Lloyd, the architect, Mr. Paxton, the contractors, Messrs. Fox and Henderson, and the principal officers of the Executive, including Mr. Digby Wyatt, Mr. Owen Jones, and Mr. C. H. Wild. A list of the great and distinguished persons present would only be a repetition to the public of names with which they are familiar, and we, who have watched from the commencement the progress of this great undertaking, think it only justice, in describing an event such as that which occurred yesterday, that those who by their energy and skill have contributed to the success which has been accomplished should chiefly be remembered. Let us look at that assemblage for a few minutes and see what meaning we can gather from their movements. They are nearly all in Court Dresses, and in some instances the experienced eye can detect the awkwardness of manner which such unwonted habiliments superinduce. While they chat together other characters appear on the scene. The Heralds come -- a curious mixture of the ancient and the modern; one half of their personnelle strictly la mode, the rest a tabard covered with medieval escutcheons and devices. Notwithstanding recent retrenchments, the beef-eaters showed themselves yesterday in great strength, health, and corpulence; and some of them for size, might bear comparison with the giant porter of "Queen Bess." Officers of the Household troops appeared at the scene at an early hour, their showy uniforms brightening the effect and giving brilliancy to the whole assemblage. The galleries which run along the northern half of the transept had been to some extent reserved for choristers and for families of distinction. Almost the first person who arrived here was the Duke of Devonshire. His name is closely connected with the design and progress of the Exhibition, and his presence was recognised by a large number of persons. The next arrival that attracted any interest was that of the Duke of Wellington. It was his 82d birthday. As usual, he came early, and the loud cheers which announced his coming outside were enthusiastic and protracted as he took his place in the north-eastern gallery of the transept. Thence, after a short interval, he descended to the area below, and again his presence was hailed with repeated acclamations. After conversing for some time with the marquis of Anglesey he turned his attention to the practical men to whose well-directed skill and energy the magnificent display before him must be attributed. He complimented Mr. Fox and Mr. Paxton, and talked with them both for some time. He then conversed with Mr. Cobden, and was engaged in close confabulation with the Marquis of Anglesey when, to the immense amusement of everybody, a Chinese mandarin, with a tail of fabulous length, appeared before them. He saluted them both in the Oriental style, and though he did not venture to exchange one observation with them he hovered around their chairs for some time, expressing by his looks the interest which he felt in the presence of persons so distinguished. This live importation from the Celestial empire managed to render himself extremely conspicuous, and one could not help admiring the perfect composure and nonchalance of manner which distinguished him. He talked with nobody, yet he seemed perfectly at home, and on the most friendly terms with all. The great variety of uniforms and costumes worn by the assemblage collected in the space around the throne, and the remarkable manner in which the proportions and decorative arrangements of the building brought out their position, rendered the spectacle which the north side of the transept presented a very imposing one. Seated apart from the throng, and accompanied by his chaplains, might be observed the Archbishop of Canterbury, and not far off the Bishop of Winchester, who, in the absence of the Bishop of London, appeared as senior suffragan of the province. The Lord Chancellor was also conspicuous in the assemblage, and our civic dignitaries, in their flaunting scarlet robes, enjoyed their full share of public attention. A chair selected from the Indian collection, and over which a magnificent scarlet velvet elephant cloth, richly brocaded, was placed as a covering, served as a Throne. In front of the raised dais on which it was placed rose the splendid crystal fountain of Mr. Osler, the appropriate centrepiece of a palace of glass. This object had previously been concealed from public view, and its beauty and artistic design captivated everybody. It is 27 feet high, contains four tons of crystal, and is a work of which its exhibitor may well be proud. In the presence of more important matter, we cannot enter into a minute description of it, but we shall take the earliest opportunity of directing public attention to its classical design and finished workmanship. And now let us turn from the scene which the area of the north transept presented to the aspect of the building generally. After all, there is no decoration which a building can possess which equals that presented by a vast and well arranged assemblage of people. Living masses convey to a great structure a character of animation which no inanimate objects, however beautiful, can supply. The long lines of faces, lighted up with excitement, the varieties of expression, the diversities of dress and ornament, of themselves furnish subjects for inexhaustible reflection; and when these are so disposed that the fairer portions of humanity have the precedence and occupy the first rank, the scene presented appeals directly to the gallantry and enthusiasm of the spectator. So it was yesterday. The seats which on either side lined the nave and its galleries were reserved exclusively for ladies; and thus, standing in the centre of the building, one could see stretching from that point east and west, north and south, long lines of elegantly dressed women, the verge and binding of an assemblage which comprised not less than 25,000 people.
It was originally contemplated that the centre of the nave should remain entirely unoccupied but, as we anticipated, this arrangement was found, at the last moment, impracticable; and thus Her Majesty and the State procession were left to make their progress between living walls of loyal subjects and admiring foreigners, extending in long lines from one end of the building to the other. The hour hands of the clocks with which the Crystal Palace is decorated were approaching 12 when the faint huzzahs of crowds outside announced that the Queen had arrived; the booming sound of a royal salute from across the Serpentine struck faintly on the car, and then a loud flourish of trumpets from the north gallery of the transept told that Her Majesty had entered the building. She was conducted at once to the robing room, of which we have already spoken. Thence, after a short pause and attended by her court, she proceeded between flower stands and tropical plants, past the Colebrook-dale gates, and the fountains and statuary with which that part of the edifice is adorned, to the throne in the centre. On her appearance the vast assemblage rose to welcome her, a burst of enthusiastic cheering broke forth from every side -- ladies waved their handkerchiefs, gentlemen their hats, and the whole scene presented was one of unusual splendour. The sun, too, for a moment emerged from the envious clouds that for some time previously had dimmed his lustre, and a flood of light pouring in through the glittering dome of the transept illuminated this imposing spectacle of loyalty. When Her Majesty ascended the throne, attended by the Royal family and the distinguished visitors of her Court, the organ of Messrs. Gray and Davison pealed forth the nots of the National Anthem, and the immense choir collected for the occasion accompanied the strain. This produced a grand effect, and not a heart present could remain unmoved at a scene so touching and so sublime. His Royal Highness Prince Albert, when the music had ceased, joined the Royal commissioners, who drew near to the throne and read to Her Majesty the following report of the proceedings of the Commission: --
"May it please your Majesty, -- We, the commissioners appointed by your Majesty's Royal warrant of the 3d of January, 1850, for the promotion of the Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations, and subsequently incorporated by your Majesty's Royal charter of the 15th of August in the same year, humbly beg leave, on the occasion of your Majesty's auspicious visit at the opening of the Exhibition, to lay before you a brief statement of our proceedings to the present time."
"By virtue of the authority graciously committed to us by your Majesty, we have made diligent inquiry into the matters which your Majesty was pleased to refer to us -- namely, into the best mode of introducing the productions of your Majesty's colonies and of foreign countries into this kingdom, the selection of the most suitable site for the Exhibition, the general conduct of the undertaking, and the proper method of determining the nature of the prizes and of securing the most impartial distribution of them."
"In the prosecution of these inquiries, and in the discharge of the duties assigned to us by your Majesty's Royal Charter of Incorporation, we have held constant meetings of our whole body, and have, moreover, referred numerous questions connected with a great variety of subjects to committees composed partly of our own members and partly of individuals distinguished in the several departments of science and the arts, who have cordially responded to our applications for their assistance at a great sacrifice of their valuable time."
"Among the earliest questions brought before us was the important one as to the terms upon which articles offered for exhibition should be admitted into the building. We considered that it was a main characteristic of the national undertaking in which we were engaged that it should depend wholly upon the voluntary contributions of the people of this country for its success; and we therefore decided, without hesitation, that no charge whatever should be made on the admission of such goods. We considered, also, that the office of selecting the articles to be sent should be intrusted in the first instance to local committees to be established in every foreign country, and in various districts of your Majesty's dominions; a general power of control being reserved to the commission."
"We have now the gratification of stating that our anticipations of support in this course have in all respects been fully realized. Your Majesty's most gracious donation to the funds of the Exhibition was the signal for voluntary contributions from all, even the humblest classes of your subjects, and the funds which have thus been placed at our disposal amount at present to about 65,000l. Local committees, from which we have uniformly received the most zealous co-operation, were formed in all parts of the United Kingdom, in many of your Majesty's colonies, and in the territories of the Hon. East India Company. The most energetic support has also been received from the Governments of nearly all the countries of the world, in most of which commissions have been appointed for the special purpose of promoting the objects of an Exhibition justly characterised in your Majesty's royal warrant as an Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations."
"We have also to acknowledge the great readiness with which persons of all classes have come forward as exhibitors. And here again it becomes our duty to return our humble thanks to our Majesty for the most gracious manner in which your Majesty has condescended to associate yourself with your subjects by yourself contributing some most valuable and interesting articles to the Exhibition."
"The number of exhibitors whose productions it has been found possible to accommodate is about 15,000, of whom nearly one-half are British. The remainder represent the productions of more than 40 foreign countries, comprising almost the whole of the civilized nations of the globe. In arranging the space to be allotted to each, we have taken into consideration both the nature of its productions and the facilities of access to this country afforded by it geographical position. Your Majesty will find the productions of your Majesty's dominions arranged in the western portion of the building, and those of foreign countries in the eastern. The Exhibition is divided into the four great classes of -- 1. Raw materials; 2. Machinery; 3. Manufactures; and 4. Sculpture and the Fine Arts. A further division has been made according to the geographical position of the countries represented; those which lie within the warmer latitudes being placed near the centre of the building, and the colder countries at the extremities."
"Your Majesty having been graciously pleased to grant a site in this our Royal park for the purposes of the Exhibition, the first column of the structure now honoured by your Majesty's presence was fixed on the 26th of September last. Within the short period, therefore, of seven months, owing to the energy of the contractors and the active industry of the workmen employed by them, a building has been erected, entirely novel in its construction, covering a space of more than 18 acres, measuring 1,851 feet in length, and 456 feet in extreme breadth, capable of containing 40,000 visitors, and affording a frontage for the exhibition of goods to the extent of more than 10 miles. For the original suggestion of the principle of this structure the commissioners are indebted to Mr. Joseph Paxton, to whom they feel their acknowledgments to be justly due for this interesting feature of their undertaking."
"With regard to the distribution of rewards to deserving exhibitors, we have decided that they should be given in the form of medals, not with references to merely individual competition, but as rewards for excellence in whatever shape it may present itself. The selection of the persons to be so rewarded has been intrusted to juries equally composed of British subjects and of foreigners, the former having been selected by the commission from the recommendations made by the local committees, and the latter by the Governments of the foreign nations the productions of which are exhibited. The names of these jurors, comprising as they do many of European celebrity, afford the best guarantee of the impartiality with which the rewards will be assigned."
"It affords much gratification that, notwithstanding the magnitude of this undertaking, and the great distances from which many of the articles now exhibited have had to be collected, the day on which your majesty has been graciously pleased to be present at the inauguration of the Exhibition is the same day that was originally named for its opening, thus affording a proof of what may, under god's blessing, be accomplished by goodwill and cordial co-operation among nations, aided by the means that modern science has placed at our command."
"Having thus briefly laid before your Majesty the results of our labours, it now only remains for us to convey to our Majesty our dutiful and loyal acknowledgments of the support and encouragement which we have derived throughout this extensive and laborious task from the gracious favour and countenance of your Majesty. It is our heartfelt prayer that this undertaking, which has for its end the promotion of all branches of human industry and the strengthening of the bonds of peace and friendship among all nations of the earth, may, be the blessing of Divine Providence, conduce to the welfare of our Majesty's people, and be long remembered among the brightest circumstances of your majesty's peaceful and happy reign."
His Royal Highness handed to Her Majesty a copy of the report, accompanied by a catalogue of the articles exhibited.
Her Majesty returned the following gracious answer: --
"I receive with the greatest satisfaction the address which you have presented to me on the opening of this Exhibition."
"I have observed with a warm and increasing interest the progress of your proceedings in the execution of the duties intrusted to you by the Royal Commission, and it affords me sincere gratification to witness the successful result of your judicious and unremitting exertions in the splendid spectacle by which I am this day surrounded."
"I cordially concur with you in the prayer, that by God's blessing this undertaking may conduce to the welfare of my people and to the common interests of the human race, by encouraging the arts of peace and industry, strengthening the bonds of union among the nations of the earth, and promoting a friendly and honourable rivalry in the useful exercise of those faculties which have been conferred by a beneficent Providence for the good and the happiness of mankind."
His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury then approached the throne, and with great fervency of manner offered up the following prayer, invoking God's blessing on the undertaking: --
"Almighty and everlasting God, who dost govern all things both in Heaven and in earth, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy, accept, we beseech Thee, the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, and receive these our prayers which we offer up unto thee this day on behalf of the kingdom and people of this land. We acknowledge, O Lord, that Thou hast multiplied on us blessings which Thou mightest most justly have withheld. We acknowledge that it is not because of works of righteousness which we have done, but of Thy great mercy, that we are permitted to come before Thee with the voice of thanksgiving, and that instead of humbling us for our offences Thou hast given us cause to thank Thee for Thine abundant goodness. And now, O Lord, we beseech Thee to bless the work which Thou hast enabled us to begin, and to regard with Thy favour our purpose of knitting together in the bonds of peace and concord the different nations of the earth; for with Thee, O Lord, is the preparation of the heart in man. Of Thee it cometh that violence is not heard in our land, wasting nor destruction within its borders. It is of Thee, O Lord, that nations do not lift up the sword against each other nor learn war any more; it is of Thee that peace is within our walls and plenteousness within our palaces; it is of Thee that knowledge is increased throughout the world, for the spirit of man is from Thee, and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth him understanding. Therefore, O Lord, not unto us, not unto us, but unto Thy name be all the praise. While we survey the works of art and industry, which surround us, let not our hearts be lifted up that we forget the Lord our God, as if our own power and the might of our hands had gotten in this wealth. Teach us ever to remember that all this store which we have prepared cometh of thine hand and all Thine own. Both riches and honour come of Thee, and Thou reignest over all. In Thine hand it is to make great and to give strength unto all. Now, therefore, O God, we thank Thee; we praise Thee and intreat Thee so to overrule this assembly of many nations that it may tend to the advancement of Thy glory, to the diffusion of Thy holy word, to the Increase of general prosperity, by promoting peace and goodwill among the different races of mankind. Let the many mercies which we receive from Thee dispose our hearts to serve Thee more faithfully, who art the author and giver of them all. And finally, O Lord, teach us so to use those earthly blessings which Thou givest us richly to enjoy, that they may not withdraw our affections from those heavenly things which thou hast prepared for those that love and serve Thee, through the merits and mediation of Thy son Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with Thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory."
At the close of this prayer the choir joined in singing the Hallelujah Chorus and the effect of this performance may be estimated from the fact that the chapel royal, St. Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and St. George's chapel, Windsor, contributed their entire vocal strength, while there were also present pupils of the Royal Academy of Music, part of the band of the Sacred Harmonic Society, and many other performers, both foreign and English. The vast area of the building left free scope for the volume of sound poured forth, and the assembled multitudes, their feelings already elevated by the grandeur of the spectacle before them, listened with becoming reverence to the triumphant music of the great German composer. It was at this stage of the proceedings that the Chinaman, already referred to, and whom we discover to be no less a person than the Mandarin Hesing of the Chinese junk, unable any longer to control his feelings, made his way through foreign diplomatists, Ministers of State, and the distinguished circle with which Court etiquette had surrounded the throne, and, advancing close to Her Majesty, saluted her by a grand salaam, which she most graciously acknowledged. The procession then formed in the following order : --
Contractor: Mr. Henderson. Architect: Joseph Paxton, Esq. Contractor: Mr. Fox.
Superintendents of the Works, C. H. Wild, Esq. Owen Jones, Esq.
Financial Officer, F. H. Carpenter, Esq.
Members of the Building Committee, I. K. Brunel, Esq. Professor Donaldson. Charles Cockerell, Esq.
Members of the Finance Committee, Samuel Peto, Esq. Sir Alexander Spearman, Bart.
Treasurers, Baron Lionel de Rothschild. Sir John William Lubbock, Bt. William Cotton, Esq. Arthur Kett Barclay, Esq.
Secretary to the Executive Committee, Matthew Digby Wyatt, Esq.
Executive Committee, George Drew, Esq. Francis Fuller, Esq. C. W. Dilke, jun., Esq. Henry Cole, Esq. Lieut.-Colonel William Reid, royal Engineers, C.B.
Foreign Acting Commissioners, Austria. -- M. C. Buschek and Chevalier de Burg. Russia. -- M. Gabriel Kamensky. Bavaria. -- Professor Dr. Schafhault, M. Theobald Boehm, M. Schiedmayer, and M. Haindl. Sardinia. -- Chevalier Lencisa. Belgium. -- M. Charles Caylits and M. de Brouckere. Saxony. -- Dr. Seyffarth, LL.D., and M. Gustavus Dorstling. Denmark.-- Regnar Westenholx. Spain. -- M. Manuel de Ysasi, M. Ramon de la Sagra, and M. Ramon de Echevarria. Egypt. -- Captain Abdul Hamid. Sweden and Norway. -- M. Charles Tottie. France. -- M. Sallendrouze de Lamornaix. Switzerland. -- Dr. Bolley and M. Eichhoiser. Grand Duchy of Hesse. -- M. Resler. Tunis. -- Sig. Hamda Elm-kaddem, M. Santillana Interpreter and Secretary. Hanse Towns. -- M. Piglheim. Turkey.-- M. Edward Zohrab. Holland. -- M. Goothens, and M. J. Dudok van Hal. Tuscany. -- Dr. Corridi. Northern Germany. -- M. Noback. United States. -- Mr. Edward Riddle. Mr. N. S. Dodge Secretary. Portugal. -- M. F. J. Vanzeller, and M. Antonio Valdez. Wurtenburg. -- Mr. C. Brand. Prussia. -- Baron Hebeler. Zollverein. -- M. Banrath Stein. Rome.-- Sig. Carlo Tribbi.
Secretaries to the Royal Commission, Edgar A. Bowring, Esq. Sir Stafford H. Northcote, Bart. J. Scott Russell, Esq.
Special Commissioners, Dr. Lyon Playfair. Sir Stafford H. Northcote, Bart. J. Scott Russell, Esq.
Her Majesty's Commissioners, Mr. Alderman Thompson. John Sheppard, Esq. R. Stephenson, Esq. Philip Pusey, Esq. William Hopkins, Esq. John Gott, Esq. T. F. Gibson, Esq. William Cubitt, Esq. Richard Cobden, Esq. Thomas Baxley, Esq. Charles Barry, Esq. Thomas Baring, Esq. Sir Charles Lyell. Sir C. L. Eastlake. Sir R. Westmacott. Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone. Right Hon. Henry Labouchere. Lord John Russell. Lord Overstone. Lord Stanley. Earl Granville. Earl of Ellesmere. Earl of Rosse. Duke of Bucclouch.
Her Majesty's Master of the Ceremonies, Foreign Ambassadors and Ministers, F. M. the Duke of Wellington, K.G., Commander-in-Chief. F. M. the Marquis of Anglesey, K.G., Master-General of the Ordinance.
Her Majesty's Ministers. The Bishop of Winchester. His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury.
White Wands; viz., Controller of the Household. Treasurer of the Household. Vice-Chamberlain. Lord Steward. Garter. Lord Chamberlain. Principal King at Arms.
His Royal Highness, PRINCE ALBERT, leading her Royal Highness the Princess Royal. The QUEEN, leading his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. His Royal Highness the Prince of Prussia. Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent. His Royal Highness Prince Henry of the Netherlands. Her Royal Highness the Princess of Prussia. His Royal Highness Prince Frederick William of Prussia. Her Royal Highness Princess Mary of Cambridge. His Serene Highness Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar. His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge.
Mistress of the Robes. Lady of the Bedchamber, Marchioness of Douro. Lady of the Bedchamber in Waiting. Maid of Honour in Waiting. Maid of Honour in Waiting. Bedchamber Woman in Waiting. Lady Superintendent, Lady Caroline Barrington. Foreign Ladies, and Lady in attendance on H. R. H. the Duchess of Kent. Gold Stick in Waiting. Master of the Horse. Groom of the Stole to H. R. H. Prince Albert. Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard. Captain of the Gentlemen at Arms. Master of the Buckhounds. Lord of the Bedchamber to H. R. H. Prince Albert in Waiting. Lord in Waiting upon the Queen. Groom of the Bedchamber to H. R. H. Prince Albert in Waiting. Groom in Waiting upon the Queen.
Clerk Marshal. Equerry to H. R. H. Prince Albert in Waiting. Equerry to the Queen in Waiting.
Gentleman Usher to the Sword of State. Gentleman Usher. Gentleman Usher. Silver Stick in Waiting. Field Officer in Brigade Waiting. The Gentlemen in attendance upon their Royal Highnesses the Duchess of Kent, the Duke of Cambridge, and the Prince and Princess of Prussia.
Turning to the right the procession moved to the west end of the nave on the north side, and as it passed the glazed roof of the building vibrated with enthusiastic cheers. It was most curious to observe the manner in which the usual manifestations of enthusiasm were prolonged and carried forward with the progress of the pageant. Down a deep lane of human beings, full of loyal expectancy, it passed -- Her Majesty and the Prince, preceded by the Lord Steward and the Lord Chamberlain, their faces turned towards the curious movement known only at Courts -- namely, advancing backwards. The coup d'oeil varied at every step, yet was always picturesque and beautiful. The foreign commissioners, whose labours had hitherto confined them to their own department of the Exhibition, gazed with wonder at the development of British industry by which they found themselves surrounded. Even those most acquainted with the objects that lay on either side of the route were surprised by the new and undiscovered attractions which everywhere presented themselves. The Indian and Colonial collections were left behind, the Fine Arts' Court passed, and the procession, cheered incessantly in its progress, moved into the area devoted to our many-featured manufacturing products. Glimpses were caught over the heads of the spectators on the right of the Furniture Court, and the massive forms of the fixed machinery beyond it. On the left of the Colebrook-dale dome, the gigantic statues of Lords Eldon and Stowell, the well known forms of our great dramatist, and the many other objects which adorn the centre aisle, were left behind. Past the furs of bears and other wild animals suspended from many a girder, and carpets lending their brilliant colours to complete the decorations and clothe the narrow lines of the interior, the pageant swept on its way. It reached the western entrance and saw itself, and the unequalled grandeur of the scene whereof it formed the leading feature, reflected in the immense mirror exhibited at this point. Then, wheeling round the model of the Liverpool Docks, it was returning on the south side of the nave, when the gigantic organ by Willis suddenly hurled forth its immense volume of sound. The effect was extremely fine, but there was so much to think of, so many points to observe, and the admiration of all had already been so largely taxed, that each new-telling characteristic of the progress scarcely produced its deserved impression. Wonder had already attainted its maximum and could rise no further. Displays of textile fabrics, of hardware, of cutlery and of furniture, vistas of colours and alleys filled with the richest materials-- objects that at any other time would have been noticed with interest and regard -- hardly claimed a moment's attention in that remarkable progress. Still upon the mind the grand impression left was the magnificence of the general spectacle, the loyalty of the great assemblage, the cordial understanding between the Sovereign and the flower of her people -- above all, the hearty union of all classes in celebrating with becoming pomp this innauguration of a temple dedicated to industry and peace. At length the procession reached the transept, round the south end of which it proceeded, and then swept into the foreign department of the Exhibition. Here immense efforts had been made to prepare for its suitable reception. France had collected the choicest specimens of her manufactures and though only two days ago her division was in confusion and the possibility of her taking a suitable part in the opening pageant doubtful, one could not help admiring the tasteful manner in which her exhibitors had decorated the portion of their collection which was within sight. Other countries, more forward in their preparations, were of course able to make a more satisfactory appearance. The great attention which the industrial communities of Europe bestow on matters of artistic design and on ornamental manufactures enabled them to decorate their divisions of the nave in a manner more effective than we, with our utilitarian tendencies, could hope to achieve. Amid a rare collection of various objects the procession moved forward, received everywhere with loud acclamations. The French organ, by Du Croquet, and that from Erfurt, by Schulze, each in turn poured forth its music and as the pageant rounded the eastern end of the building the bands of the Coldstream and Scots-Fusilier Guards varied the programme by their spirit-stirring strains. The return along the north side of the nave renewed the enthusiasm of the foreigners and visitors assembled there. The cheering and the waving of hats and handkerchiefs went on continuously around the building, and at last, having completed a progress more triumphant in its peacefulness and spirit of goodwill than the proudest warlike pageant that ever ascended the Capitol of Ancient Rome, the Queen returned once more to the position in the transept where her throne was placed. She looked exceedingly well, and bore the excitement of the occasion with a firmness worthy of herself and of the people she governs. The applause of the assemblage was acknowledged both by herself and the Prince in the most gracious manner. His Royal Highness appeared less composed than Her Majesty, and his emotion was visible when the ceremony and the procession had been happily conducted to its close. It was natural that he should feel strongly the termination of a spectacle, the grandest perhaps that the world ever saw, and with which his name and reputation are henceforth inseparably associated. He wore a field-marshal's uniform, and the Prince of Wales the Highland dress. Her Majesty was magnificently attired, but we are not learned enough in such matters to describe her toilet. The Royal children were objects of great attention, and the Prince of Wales received several special cheers from the assemblage.
And now the last act of the ceremonial remains to be recorded. The Marquis of Breadalbane, in a loud tone of voice, announced that the Queen declared "the Exhibition open." A flourish of trumpets proclaimed the fact to the assembled multitudes. The royal family, attended by the Court, withdrew from the building, the choir once more took up the strain of the National Anthem, the barriers, which had hitherto restrained the spectators within certain limits, were withdrawn, and the long-pent-up masses poured over every part of the building, unrestrained by policemen, and eager to gratify their curiosity.
Such was the State opening of the Great Exhibition -- a pageantry which no one who witnessed it can ever forget, and which is stamped on the history of this age and country in characters which will not easily be effaced. Those who have indulged in sinister predictions of danger arising from this undertaking have at least thus far been false prophets. Nothing could exceed the goodhumour and disposition to be pleased visible over every part of the building. Republicans and anarchists may be made monarchical by such influences as the ceremony of yesterday exerts, but there seems little prospect of any political movement in the opposite direction.
We subjoin the official account of the ceremonial : --
The Queen left Buckingham Palace in state at 20 minutes before 12 o'clock yesterday to open the Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations.
The Royal procession was formed in the following order : --
first carriage, conveying Colonel Sir Ord Honyman, the Field Officer in Waiting, Colonel M'Douall, Silver Stick in Waiting; and Counts Puckler and Goltz, in attendance on the Prince and Princess of Prussia.
The second carriage, conveying Colonel the Hon. Charles Gery, Equerry in Waiting to the Queen; Lieutenant-Colonel F. H. Seymour, Equerry in Waiting to the Prince; Colonel B. Drummond, Groom in Waiting to the Queen; and Liertenant-Colonel Francis Seymour, Groom in Waiting to the Prince.
The third carriage, conveying Lord Marcus Hill, Treasurer of the Household; Lord Waterpark, Lord in Waiting to the Queen; Lord George Lennox, Lord in Waiting to the Prince; and Lord Alfred Paget, Clerk Marshal.
The fourth carriage, conveying Viscount Combermere, Gold Stick in Waiting; Lord Foley, Captain of the Hon. Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms; the Marquis of Donegal, Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard; and the Earl of Besborough, Master of the Buckhounds.
The fifth carriage conveying the Hon. Mrs. Truvor, Bedchamber-woman in Waiting; Hon. Flora Macdonald and the Hon. Mary F. Seymour, Maids of Honour in Waiting; and the Marquis of Abercorn, Groom of the Stole to the Prince.
The sixth carriage, conveying the Countesses Hacke and Oriolla, Ladies in attendance on the Princess of Prussia, Lady Caroline Barrington, Lady Superintendent, and the marquis of Breadalbane, Lord Chamberlain.
The seventh carriage, conveying the Countess of Charlsmont, Lady of the Bedchamber in Waiting; the Marchioness of Douro, Lady of the Bedchamber; the Duke of Norfolk, Master of the Horse; and the Marquis of Westminster, Lord Steward.
The eighth carriage, conveying their royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Prussia, his Royal Highness Prince Frederick William of Prussia, and the Duchess of Sutherland, Mistress of the Robes.
The ninth carriage, drawn by cream-coloured horses, conveying Her Majesty the Queen, his Royal Highness Prince Albert, his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, and her Royal Highness the Princess Royal.
Her Majesty's escort was composed of the Life Guards.
Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent went to the state opening of the Exhibition, accompanied by her Royal Highness the Princess Mary of Cambridge, and attended by Lady Fanny Howard, Sir George Couper, and Lord James Plantagenet Murray. The Princess Mary was attended by Lady Georgiana Bathurst and Baron Knesebeck.
The Queen wore a dress of pink watered silk, brocaded with silver, trimmed with pink ribands and blonde, and ornamented with diamonds. Diamonds and feathers formed the head dress. Her majesty wore the Riband and George of the order of the Garter and the Garter of the order as an armlet.
Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal wore a white satin slip with two skirts of Nottingham lace, and had round her head a wreath of pale pink wild roses.
Her Royal Highness the Princess of Prussia wore a white silk dress, brocaded with silver, and looped up at the bottom with bouquets of feathers, flowers, and diamonds. The head-dress was formed of flowers and diamonds, with feathers. Her Royal Highness wore the decoration of the Louisen Order.
His Royal Highness prince Albert was habited in a Field-marshal's uniform, and wore the ensigns of the Orders of the Garter and Golden Fleece.
His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales wore a Highland dress -- the Rothesay tartan.
His Royal Highness the Prince of Prussia appeared in the uniform of a Prussian General, and Prince Frederick William in that of an officer of the Prussian Foot Guards. Both Princes wore the insignia of the Black Eagle of Prussia.
The Duchess of Sutherland, and the other Ladies in Waiting, were in Court dresses, and all the gentlemen in attendance wore their respective uniforms, the members of orders of Knighthood wearing their different insignia; the Duke of Norfolk and the Marquis of Abercorn those of the Garter; the marquis of Beadalbane that of the Thistle, Viscount Combermere those of the Bath, the Geulphic and the (Portuguese) Tower and Sword, and the Marquis of Donegal that of the Geulphic.
The Duke of Norfolk carried his baton as Earl Marshal of England.
Her Majesty and Prince Albert and the Royal party returned to Buckingham Palace at 25 minutes past 1 o'clock.
A Guard of Honour of the Grenadier Guards, with the band of the 2d Life Guards, was on duty in the quadrangle of the Palace.
His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, attended by Lord William Paulet, and his Serene Highness Prince Victor of Hohenlohe Langenburg, attended by the Master of the Queen's Household, were present at the state opening of the Exhibition yesterday.