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roof, and the long ranges of its uninhabited and uninhabitable apartments, presented to the mind in strong, though gloomy colours, a correct picture of those dilapidated castles, the haunts of spectres and residence of magicians and murderers, that have, since the period to which I allude, made such a figure in romance.” *
The present building called SOMERSET Place, is cer- Extra tainly the greatest national structure of the eighteenth cen. Pistes tury, and the last work of Sir William Chambers, comp
41 troller-general of his majesty's works, who died in 1796. The design is still incomplete; the exigencies of govern.'' during the last and present war, having diverted to otherchannels 25,000l. annually voted for finishing the whole.
The entrance to the internal square, is under a grand arcade; and the first object in the middle of the view is the Exha statue of his majesty George III. under whose auspices this tatu noble fabric was carried into exécution. Before the pedestal is a recumbent figure of the Thames. Both are the performances of the late John Bacon, R. A. This square, which is appropriated for the navy, victualling, stamp, and other offices, is of stone, with stately frouts, deco. rated with pillars and pediments, which ornament the east and west sides: the only objects offensive to the eye are the mean turrets, and the superstructure terminated by the pediment and dome at the extremity of the view, which are not of sufficient importance for their situation.
66 When a pediment,” says Mr. Malton, “ is introduced in a building, it should always be a striking feature in the composition, and if it was thought necessary to construct one in this place, it ought to have extended over the whole of the central projection."'+
Facing the Thames is a grand terrace, to which there is Eafia an entrance under an arch equal to the basement, strong, Pater supporting an open colonade. The view from this terrace either way, presents a scene highly interesting and grand. At the back of the square, on the east and west sides, are handsome dwellings for the principal officers belonging to • Moser's Vestiges. + Picturesque Tour, p. 50.
the state establishments within the building. Underneath the terrace is an arcade, through which light is conveyed to the apartments of subordinate persons belonging to the various offices, a barge house, and other appropriate
The front of Somerset Place, next the Strand, has been appointed by his majesty to the use and accommodation of literature and the sciences; and is occupied by The Royal and ANTIQUARIAN SOCIETIES, and the ROYAL ACADEMY.
The Royal Society was begun in the chambers of bishop Wilkins, then no more than a member of Wadham College, Oxon, about the year 1650; in 1658, the members hired an apartment in Gresham College, and formed themselves into a body, under lord Brounker, their first president. Their reputation was so well established at the Restoration, that king Charles II. incorporated them by a charter, in which luis majesty was pleased to stile himself their founder, patron, and companion ; which gave them the name of the Royal Society. By that charter the corporation was to consist of a president, a council of twentyfour, and as tseny fellows as should be found worthy of admission : with a treasurer, secretary, curators, &c. From this time benefactions flowed in
them: three thousand two bundred and eighty-seven printed books in most languages and faculties, chiefly the first editions after the invention of printing, and five hundred and fifty-four vohumes of MS. in Hebrew, Greck, Torkish, and Latin, part of the library. of the once kings of Hungary, and purchased by the earl of Arundel, ambassador at Vienna, were given to the society's library in 1666, by the honourable Henry Howard, afterwards duke of Norfolk. In 1715, this library was augmented with three thousand six hundred books, chiefly in natural and experimental philosophy, by Francis Aster, Esq. &c. A museum was founded by Daniel Colwall, Esq. in 1677, containing an excellent collection of natural and artificial curiosities : which has been considerably increased by generous benefactions. In the year 1711 the society remoyed from Gresham College to Crane Court,
In the year 1725 king George I. enabled the Royal So. ciety, by letters patent, to purchase 1000l. in mortmain. And in the number of their members appear king George II. and many of the greatest princes in Europe.
The officers chosen from among the members are, the PRESIDENT, TREASURER, and two SECRETARIES. The cu. rators have the charge of making experiments, &c.
Every person to be elected a fellow of the Royal Society, must be propounded and recommended at a meeting of the society, by three or more members; who must then deliver to one of the secretaries a paper signed by them. selves with their own names, specifying the name, addition, profession, occupation, and chief qualifications; the inventions, discoveries, works, writings, or other productions of the candidate for election : as also notifying the usual place of his abode, and recommending him on their own personal knowledge. A fair copy of which paper, with the date of the day when delivered, shall be fixed up in the common meeting room of the society, at ten several ordinary meetings, before the nomination of the candidate shall be put to the ballot : but it shall be free for every one of his majesty's subjects, who is a peer, or the son of a peer, of Great Britain or Ireland, and for every one of his majesty's privy council of either of the said kingdoms, and for every foreign prince or ambassador, to be propounded by any single person, and to be put to the ballot for election on the same day, there being present a competent number for making elections. And at every such ballot, unless two-thirds at least of the members present give their bills in favour of the candidate, he cannot be elected a 'fellow of the Royal Society; nor can any candidate be ballotted for, unless twenty-one members at least be present.
After a candidate has been elected, he may at that, or the next meeting of the society, be introduced and solemnly admitted by the president, after having previously subscribed the obligation, whereby he promises, “ That he will endeavour to promote the good of the Royal Society of London, for the improvement of natural knowledge." Vol. IV. No. 84.