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take to Theodorus his due reward. And thus, having ended his long recital, Timarion bids his friend good night.

Such this satire, that gives us the conception formed of Hades by the temperate and learned phantasy of a Byzantine sophist or doctor of the twelfth century-for one or the other of these the author must, in all probability, have been. The treatise itself bears for us much the same relation as a satire upon homœopathy, hydropathy, or any fashionable medical regimen might have for the traditional New Zealander. The pith of the whole lies in certain medical, or, more properly speaking, physiological dogmas connected with Empedocles' doctrine of the four elemental properties, which Hippokrates brought over into animal physiology, whence pathology drew the conclusions posted up in Hades. These, to judge from this MS., gave rise at that period to learned discussions and differences, and attracted much attention in Constantinople. The idea that the death of a patient should be declared invalid upon his reclamation and sufficient showing that it is against the rules of a system held as irrefragable, is certainly original. The satire is not elegant, but it is very biting in parts, while its occasionally scurrilous tone recalls Rabelais. The language of Timarion resembles that of the Church fathers. In Mazaris it has already fallen into barbarism. Both are interesting to philologists-but that theme transcends our powers.




N November 1878 an attempt was made in the columns of this magazine to throw some light on the general question of the economy of speed in transport; a subject which, it was then stated, had never yet been thoroughly investigated in Great Britain.' The immediate object of the inquiry carried on at that date was to destroy the fallacy that it is more economical to run slow trains than quick trains on railways, an assumption which accurate analysis wholly disproves. But the question of the cost of speed by railway is only one of the elements of the general problem of internal transport. A few years ago it was denied that any such problem existed. The remarks that we made in April 1877 on the loss experienced by the neglect of the waterways of the United Kingdom were thought at the time, by many persons, to be visionary. The manager of the London and North-Western Railway, in his evidence, given so late as July 14, 1881, before the Select Committee on Railways, said: "There is a very intelligent gentleman, who is a member of the Institute of Civil Engineers, who has discussed that point until we are tired of it, and has written many interesting accounts in one of the magazines as to the advisability of it, and has gone to a great deal of trouble to show that certain traffics carried by railways are unprofitable; but it is all theory; there is nothing in it.' But at the very moment when one of the first of the English 'practical' men gave this information to the Committee, the river valleys of France were bristling with picks and shovels; and a well-considered and systematic completion of the inland waterways of that country was in active progress, involving an outlay which was originally estimated at forty millions sterling, but which is now calculated as likely very far to exceed that amount. The language of M. Krantz, the author of most of the able reports on the strength of which the French Legislature decided on that large outlay, reads in strange contrast with that above cited from Mr. Findlay. Thank God,' writes the French reporter, 'we are far from the epoch when, carried away by an unreflecting enthusiasm, we readily admitted that roads and canals had had their day, and that the former should be left untouched and the latter filled up, and that the locomotive would take the place of all the ancient means of transport. Time has done justice to these exaggerations; it has shown that while the circulation on our roads has been modified in its details, it has increased in its sum; and that, in spite of their defective organisation, our navigable waterways hold their own against the railways, and assure, wherever they exist, a low price for trans

port. . . . The very eagerness and persistence with which the railway companies have incessantly carried on the war against canals, ought to be enough to show the vitality and the importance of this discredited mode of communication.'

So far, then, are the French Government, with the full support of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, from assenting to the statement of the English railway manager, with regard to the national loss incurred by sending by rail traffic which can be far more cheaply carried by water, that there is nothing in it,' that they are backing the opposite view with the whole financial power of France. We cited in April last the estimate of M. Varroy to the effect that the completion of the plan of M. de Freycinet, including not only canals, but ports, harbours, and railways, 'will soon reach, or even surpass, the total of seven milliards, or 280,000,000l.' So much, in the opinion of France, for there being nothing in it.'


In this country the awakening has been long deferred, but it has come at last; and that with a rapidity probably without example. To this we have an undeniable testimony in the 1,200 pages of the Report and Evidence (in two parts) of the Select Committee on Railways, communicated from the Commons to the Lords (1881, 226 and 226 I.). Unable to prepare a report in the Session of 1881, the Committee recommended their reappointment in the present Session; reporting, however, that a revised classification of goods and merchandise ought to be adopted by the railway companies, and that a locus standi before a special tribunal should be given to chambers of commerce and agriculture, and similar associations of traders or agriculturists, with reference to the rights and duties of railway companies in their relation to the trade and traffic of the country.' On being, according to the above recommendation, reappointed, the Committee sat during the Session of 1882 until June 17, when they met to consider the report. Two drafts were presented to the Committee, the main part of each of which was devoted to the question of the exaction of preferential or exceptional charges; a matter with which we have, at this moment, no immediate concern. But both drafts agreed as to the necessity of giving powers to the Railway Commission to fix and enforce through rates on canals, and to put a stop to that throttling of the inland navigation by the prepotency of the railway companies, of which we gave some examples in 1877 (No. 88, p. 428), and of which some of the witnesses before the Committee so bitterly complained. So this Committee also failed to find that there was nothing in it.'

The recommendation above cited, to allow a locus standi before a special tribunal to chambers of commerce and agriculture, is due to a movement on the part of those bodies which has been caused by the general apprehension which the principal manufacturers are beginning to entertain of their inability to meet foreign competition

1 Fraser's Magazine, No. 148, p. 434.

unless they are protected from capricious charges on the part of the railway companies. On November 24 last, at a private meeting of traders, held at No. 9 Mincing Lane, London, a scheme for a general association of traders was unanimously adopted; and so hearty was the response to the invitation, that, on February 9 in the present year, a meeting was held at the Westminster Palace Hotel, which resulted in the establishment of the Railway and Canal Traders' Association.' On June 6 this body held its second general meeting at the Cannon Street Hotel, Mr. James Howard, M.P. for Bedford, in the chair; and a committee was then formed, consisting of a large number of the most important manufacturers and traders throughout the country, with the avowed object of assuring that freedom of inland water-carriage which is felt by these practical men to be a necessary element of remunerative industry.


When we consider,' said Mr. Slagg, M.P. for Manchester, to the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, in April 1882, the enormous competition to which we are subjected by foreign nations, and the almost costless canal traffic, extending in France to every market and centre of industry, he thought we should see the necessity of bestirring ourselves to make the best possible use of similar advantages in this country.' 'It is becoming more evident,' says the author of an able pamphlet recently published at Manchester, giving facts and figures in favour of a tidal navigation to Manchester, every day that the industrial interests in this country can no longer afford to neglect the cheap transit problem. There are widespread complaints of the decay, and in some instances total extinction, of important industries; these disastrous effects resulting entirely from the too great cost of carriage between the producing centres and the consuming markets abroad.' The writer continues to urge that the home trade suffers no less than the foreign trade from the high cost of inland carriage. The railway interest has grown to such an extent as to become a great power in the State. So secure in their monopoly do they feel, that, notwithstanding the obvious injury to trade arising from the operation of excessive railway rates, the railway companies have hitherto paid but little attention to the complaints of merchants.' It is not the object of the following pages to formulate any complaint against the railway companies, or to say anything more unfriendly to their welfare than the suggestion that they have long been lamentably blind to their own interests. It is our wish to show impartially what is the real character of the contention between the carrying companies on the one hand, and the producers, distributors, and consumers on the other; and we hope to be able to show that, as in all such questions of debate the national welfare is the first point to be regarded, that welfare is the most thoroughly to be secured by a course which will be to the advantage of all parties. No longer in the character of the mere theorist,' but backed by the practice of France, the outcome of evidence before Parliamentary committees, and the loud clamours of the manufacturing, mercantile,



and mining interests,' we hope to be able rather to compose than to aggravate strife, and to show, not by mere theory,' but as the outcome of accurate knowledge and exhaustive analysis, those true principles on the adoption of which depends not only the welfare of our manufactures and trade, but, implicitly, that also of our railways. It should be pointed out, in the first instance, that in relying upon practice, and despising what they call 'mere theory,' our principal railway managers have not thought it necessary to ascertain the accuracy of some of the statements which they gave in evidence before the Select Committee. Two striking examples of this may be given. They are those of men whose statements would be naturally accepted by a Parliamentary committee as deserving of implicit trust. Yet their inaccuracy is such as it is difficult adequately to characterise in terms that are properly courteous. The witnesses are the Secretary to the Board of Trade, and the General Manager of the London and North-Western Railway Company. And their errors are not brought forward from any wish to carp or to criticise, but as showing under how profound a misapprehension, in matters that lie within the ready purview of the statist, men of such uncontested eminence habitually regard a subject on which they give their opinions.

'I dare say,' said Sir Edward Watkin (for the legal rule as to leading questions does not seem to apply to Parliamentary evidence), 'you have observed in the returns of the Board of Trade that the capital increases pound for pound as the traffic increases?' Certainly,' replied Mr. Farrer, that appears to be so.' This is a definite statement, as to a readily ascertainable fact, made by one of the most prominent railway chairmen, and assented to by the Secretary of the Board of Trade, as referring to the returns of his own board. The preceding question was, I think you would not contradict me that 700,000,000l. of railway capital in 1879 only paid an average dividend of 42 per cent.?' 'I dare say that is so.'

Let us give every latitude to the expression pound for pound," and admit that what both the speakers meant was that the expenditure of capital by the railway companies had to such an extent kept pace with the increase of their traffic, that in their anxiety to provide due accommodation for the public they had stifled the growth of their own dividends. What, however, is the fact?

If anyone will turn to page 5 of 'Railway Returns for England and Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, for the year 1880, presented to both Houses of Parliament by command of Her Majesty,' he will find that, so far from increasing 'pound for pound' during the twenty-six years included in the returns, while the gross income per mile of the railways of the United Kingdom has increased by 40 per cent., the capital cost per mile has increased by only 143 per cent. These are the figures-not our own, but those of the return. From 1854 to 1863 the capital cost per mile declined by 7 per cent., the gross receipts per mile being only 197. more in the latter year than in

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