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events, if past experience is good for anything it is to enable us to avoid former mistakes; and we would be glad to see the revival of the institution on the money prize system, eschewing altogether the distribution of engravings, as a useless and very large item of expenditure. This would confine the Art-Union to its strict original intention-for the distribution of engrav ings was an after graft upon the system, the utility of which is very questionable, at least the print publishing trade think it has done them much injury-the real gainers are most probably the frame makers. The Royal Irish Art-Union is at present in the peculiar position of being neither existing nor defunct; if its former managers will not resuscitate it, we would impress upon them the desirableness of a quiet inter ment and winding up of its affairs, so as at least to leave the way open to the establishment of another. We would gladly see it extricated from the Asylum for Distressed Protestants, in Molesworth-street, where it has now taken refuge.

There is another cause contributing to the deserted state of the Academy Exhibition, to which, before concluding, we must allude. In a moment of unfortunate philanthropy, and yielding to an absurd furor about spreading a taste for Art amongst the masses, which was very prevalent a few years ago, and which made captive the judgment of many intelligent and far seeing people-the members of the Academy determined, at the close of the season, to open the Exhibition for the benefit of the operative classes, "at the small charge of one penny." For the first year it worked well-the Art-Union was at the highest point of its prosperity; all "the ladies and gentlemen" who wished to visit the Exhibition had already paid their shillings, and a vast number of "trades people and servants," who never saw an exhibition of pictures before, swelled the coffers of the Academy with their pence; but the next, and following, year made a woful change-for those of the unwashed, who saw the show once, cared not, apparently, to see it again, at all events they never came; but instead came numbers who heretofore paid a shilling, and who now waited until they could gain admittance as the operative classes the consequence followed, that the Exhibitions became more scantily attended, and the Treasurer's receipts fell off amazingly.

If a taste for art is to be encouraged amongst our people generally-and it is highly desirable that it should," for

literary, artistic and musical tastes, are antagonistic to those of the pot house-this is not the manner in which it should be effected a taste for art is of slower growth than such mushroom culture will produce, and must be inculcated in our schools, upon the young generation springing up around us. Drawing, as we before observed, is as necessary a branch of education as any other, and quite as utilitarian. The members of the Mechanic's Institute had always the privilege of obtaining tickets for half price to the Academy Exhibition; and they are the class most likely to derive advantage from visiting an annual exhibition of pictures-which is to say the truth rather an enjoyment for the wealthy, and more educated portion of the community, who have not only some knowledge of the Fine Arts, but the means for its patronage. Music is equally refining why was it not thought requisite for the Philharmonic Society to give penny concerts to the operative classes? We hope the Academy will return to their former respectable procedure; what was intended as a liberal concession has been quite perverted by a class whom it was never meant to include. Some loss will, of necessity, be sustained, as the penny is now expected and waited for; but a sacrifice must be made sooner or later, for the evil has reached a climax.

In writing these remarks we have been unavoidably obliged, in some instances, to assume a deprecatory tone. Leigh Hunt says that, "The danger of the habit of denouncing-of looking at things from the antipathetic instead of the sympathetic side, -is, that a man gets such a love for the pleasure and exaltation of fault-finding, as tempts him, in spite of himself, to make what he finds." We can only hope that such may not be our case. We have written with regret; our sole object is to point out what we believe defective, and to suggest the remedy, knowing that good can only result from truth-telling, and that the system of seeing all excellence in things Irish is inimical to progress. We long for the day when Ireland shall possess a National Gallery-a collection of the works of her own sons, and a saloon where shall be displayed the portraits of those who have been the glory of our Nation in art, in learning, in genius, in eloquence, and in arms, living again in

"-the Painter's pomp of hues, the Sculptor's solemn stone." But this cannot be accomplished by talking, by admiring; it must be the work of earnest men, who will feel that Ireland,

which has erected and gathered her own Exhibition, and which has sent forth those from her shore to whose names the world looks as to the pride of England in all the triumphs of genius, is as worthy as Scotland-worthy even as she undoubtedly is—to a National Gallery, and to all the advantages which spring from the early cultivation of the National taste. The great mass of our people are half educated in the feeling-the aestheticism of art-the religion which they profess prepares the mind to appreciate the emotions which spring from pictorial representations, and the heart of him whose eye gazes with reverence upon some rude symbol of the cross, can quickly learn to feel from the beauty of Art, all the emotions which it formerly experienced through the medium of devotion. We want Art education in this country; our Schools of Design prove our capability in applying Art instruction practically, and a book recently written by Mr. Maguire of Cork shows the pressing claims which this country possesses to such an institution.*

Mr. Kay, in his work, The Social Condition of the People, explains that all continental countries make art instruction a branch of the regular education of those who may exhibit a taste for its pursuit. We claim such instruction for Ireland, we claim a National Gallery for her, and then, presuming ignorance can no longer ape the critic. The Irish Rogues and Rapparees, Pastorini's Prophecies, and Don Belianis of Greece, which formed the library of Captain Rock, have given place to the National School books; why should not the wretched pictures which now deface the wall of the poor man's cottage, be cast aside for works of art such as one sees in the humble houses of Germany? why should not our people learn to appreciate paintings as subjects of love rather than of wonder? why should the peasant or the artisan, who shows with pride the noble landscape stretching from his door, be incapable of appreciating the painted beauties of other lands? Because he is ignorant, he cannot experience those feelings now,-the highest branch of art he may have seen is one of the clever scenes placed before him at the Theatre; but give him art training-his National Gallery, and he will no longer walk open-mouthed and listless through the halls of our Academy.

See the preceding paper in our present number. ED.

THE

IRISH QUARTERLY REVIEW.

No. XII. DECEMBER, 1853.

ART. I.-LIMITED LIABILITY IN PARTNERSHIPS.

1. Report on the Law of Partnership, together with the Appendix containing Communications to the Board of Trade respecting the Law of Partnership. Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed, 14th July, 1837. 2. Report from the Select Committee on the Law of Partnership, together with the Proceedings of the Committee, Minutes of Evidence, Appendix and Index. Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed, 8th July, 1851. 3. An Inquiry as to the Policy of Limited Liability in Partnerships. By Henry Colles, Esq., Barrister-at-Law. Dublin: J. M'Glashan, 1853.

4. Observations on the Law of Partnership.

By P. J. M'Kenna, Esq. Barrister-at-Law. Dublin: Hodges and Smith. 1853.

THE haste of our legislators in rushing upon ill considered and dangerous changes, when pressed by the expression of public opinion, is only equalled by their tardiness in introducing such changes as would be obviously of the most important advantage to the community. No more striking instance of this neglect is presented than by the long called for ameliorations in the existing laws of partnership in these countries. We have under this law, as it at present exists, a clear, almost an insuperable, obstacle to small local improvements-we have a drag placed upon enterprise and industry, and one of the most formidable barriers that could be devised presented to the developement of the trade and manufactures

VOL. III.-NO. XII.

52

of the nation. This subject has for many years attracted public attention, and we have had more than one Parliamentary Committee inquiring into the evils of the present system, and the propriety of changes in the existing law. Yet an overwhelming mass of authority is to be found in favor of a change: political economists and merchants, traders and offcials, theorists and practical men, have given evidence against the present system-and all persons of intelligence who are disinterested on the point must rise from the perusal of these reports and evidences, agreed as to the expediency of a modification of this law, and indignant at the gross negligence of the legislature. The entire question resolves itself into thisshould we have limited or unlimited liability in our partnerships? Should we continue as at present to make every man who has any share in the profits of a concern, liable for the debts of the firm to his last shilling and last acre; or should we, as in France, in Germany, in Holland, in America, in Spain, limit that liability, and say, so far, to such an amount only, shall you be liable? Nothing can be shorter or more explicit than the definition that may be given of the present law of partnership, as to what constitutes a partner. Every person, whether contributing capital or labor to a firm or to a business, and who receives in return a share of the profits, is a partner with all the rights, and subject to all the liabilities of a partner, and as such answerable to the creditors of the

concern.

:

We shall now take a few instances of the working of these laws instances not rare or uncommon, but such as will strike every man, whether actually engaged in business or not, as of very frequent occurrence. Amongst the most obvious, and concerning equally the individual and the public, is the case of small local improvements, as Waterworks, Gas Works, Market-halls. The undertaking is one which would be of great service to the community, and presents a reasonable prospect of giving a fair, perhaps more than ordinary, return for the money invested. The sum usually required to obtain a private act of incorporation (the only means at present of limiting the liability of shareholders) would perhaps equal the entire fund necessary for the work, and would certainly take away such a disproportionate amount as would render it out of question to look for an Act of Parliament. There are possibly a few large capitalists who would be able, unassisted, to com

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