NEW SUPREME COURT BUILDING.
We hare from time to time noticed the pro- J gress towards completion of this superb and massive edifice since our publication of the detailed description of the designs and the commencement of its erection. The contract for the construction of the building, by Messrs. Amos and Taylor, has been completed some four months, when the contract for finishing the structure— the plastering, woodwork, &o. — amounting to £2,800, was taken and entered upon by Messrs. Matthews and Bartley, who will have completed their undertaking in two or three weeks hence. On entering the principal entrance at the southern end is noticeable a Gothic balustrading gallery, 45 feet by 6 feet, constructed of kauri wood, with a cedar handrail. Ascending a staircase to the right, access is obtained to the inner gallery in the Courtroom, 30 feet by 12 feet. It has a highly ornamental Gothic front, with richly- carved figureheads and bosses, and column caps. It will be set apart for the accommodation of Grand Jurors, ladies, and other visitors. There are five massive doors leading into the Courtroom, whiofc. will be hung on centre swing-hinges, so as to open from within or without. The interior of the Courtroom ia panelled 6 feet high with heavy framework and figured kauri panels, supporting a heavy battlemented cornice. The offices and other apartments on the ground-floor are fitted up so as to harmonise with the architectural features of the building, and the window fittings and other details are oarefully and admirably carried out. In all these rooms there are handsome chimney-pieces of Bath stone, of varied designs. There is a passage in the basement storey through which the prisoner for trial will be brought, when he will ascend a staircase leading to the dock, so that he will not be observed until he stands before the Court for arraignment. This will obviate the inconvenience of prisoners passing through the Court on their way to the dock. The walls throughout the building have been oemented and finished in imitation of Bath stone. Before this tf as done we were afraid the Court-room would be insufficiently lighted, but now that the walls are finished of a light colour, the spacious room appears to be amply lighted from the lanterndomed roof. Messrs. Matthews and Bartley are carrying out their contract in a painstaking and creditable manner, the workmanship displayed being fully equal to anything we have seen in any public building in the colonies. The contract for the internal fittings is being carried out by Mr. W. H. Skinner, contractor, and was taken at £448. On entering the Courtroom there is a space of 30 feet by 16 feet, to be allotted to the public, which will be shut off with a " bar" of heavy cedar wood, from Sydney, with kauri standards. There is a seat 20 feet long attached in front of the " bar," and one on each side. The dock is erected at a distance of three feet, in two compartments — one leading down to the cells in the basement storey, and the other occupied by the prisoner during the trial. In front of the dock there is a passage 4 feet 6 inches wide running parallel with the "bar," and communicating with the suite of offices on each side of the building. There is to be a raised seat for the representatives of the Press, 20 feet in length, and also a table. Nextto the reporters' accommodation there are to be three tables for the gentlemen of the legal profession, around which will be placed^ a number of chairs. All the tables will be inlaid with leather. The space allotted to the Bar and the Press is 13 feet by 10 feet. On either side are the jury-boxes— the one on the right of the building on entering for the jury when sworn, and the opposite one for the jury in waiting. The jury-boxes will terminate in standards, with richly carved foliated tops. We have not seen a finer specimen of sculpture in wood at the antipodes than that which ornaments these standards. At the further extremity of the jury-boxes are two circular boxes for witnesses. The Crier will occupy the space between the witness-box and jury-box. The Registrar's desk, which is 6 feet 6 inches by 4 feet 3 inches, is, of course, in front of the bench, and will be fitted with a plain desk. The bench is raised about 2 feet 6 inches from the floor, and will occupy a space inside of 7 feet 3 inches by 15 feet. It will also be fitted with a plain desk. At the back of the bench is an ornamental screen 16 feet 6 inches by 12 feet, consisting of five bays or panels. The front of the bench consists of twenty-three arcades, enriched with carved columns and bosses. The elaborate design of the screen has been much curtailed, as the Government could not afford the expense of carrying it out as originally designed. There was also to have been a canopy, which would have added to the appearance of the bench, and in a Court-room of such dimensions is much required. A sounding board must be erected, as a substitute ; otherwise it will be almost impossible to hear any observations addressed from the bench. The panelling of the entire fittings is of mottled kauri. The outside of the fittings, in which there is a good deal of carved work, will be French -polished, and the inside varnished. The remark we made in reference to the other contractors is equally applicable to Mr. Skinner, as the workmanship is of a superior and artistic character, and will be seen to greater advantage when the work is completed. This ornamental and substantial structure will be entirely finished and ready for opening at the March criminal sessions — we trust by his Honor Cbief Justice Arney — and will in every respect.be a credit to Auckland, as one of the finest public buildings which adorn the city.
A Yorkshireman who had attended a meeting of the Anthropological Society, was asked by a friend what the learned gentlemen had been saying. " Well, I don't exactly know," he replied : " there are many things Ido not understand ; bn. fcuere was one thing I thowt I made out ; they believe we have come from monkeys, and I thowt as how they were fast getting back again- to where they came from." Archbishop- Whately once puzzled a number of clever men in whose company he was by asking this question, " How ia it that white sheep eat more than black ?" Some were not aware of the curious fact : others set to work and tried to give learned and long reasons; but all were anxious to know the real oause: After keeping them wondering for loma time, he said, "The reason i» t „ tjecauae there are more o£ them/ ' ' '