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paying every expense contingent on the cheap traffic, including, of course, the wear and tear of rails.
When the receipts from all sources of traffic attain the figure of from 4,000l. to 5,000l. per mile per annum, the conveyance of a mixed traffic becomes a source of considerable danger, and the necessity of laying new lines to relieve the traffic begins to become apparent. The question then arises how far it is remunerative to lay additional lines, or, in other words, to construct trunk railways, for the exclusive conveyance of mineral traffic.
In regarding this part of the problem we have to bear in mind the fact that the rate at which sea-borne coal can be delivered in the Thames must always control the freight which can be demanded for railway-borne coal, and that fairly remunerative freights by rail are thus out of the question.
Then we have to remember that the capacity for gross earning on a passenger line is shown by experience to be more than seven times as much as that on a mineral line, and that the earning power of passenger rolling stock is more than three times that of mineral rolling stock, for equal amounts of capital.
As to the net profit, the details above given show that, at equal speeds, the cost of conveying a passenger is rather less than one-fifth of that of conveying a ton of minerals, supposing the carriages to be full. If they are half full, five passengers can be conveyed for the cost of two tons of minerals. Thus if the mineral freight be equal to the passenger fare, the net profit of the latter traffic will be not only two and a half times as much as that of the mineral traffic, in proportion to the gross receipts, but will be equal to from two and a half to five times the gross charge per mineral ton, less the cost of conveying that ton of minerals.
It may seem almost neglectful of the supreme importance of human life to lay so much stress on the question of the financial value of that traffic which, when mixed with passenger traffic, is so serious a cause of danger. But it is not as against safety that we would poise economy. The two elements weigh on the same side of the scale; and, human nature being what it is, we have reason to anticipate that the danger to human life involved in the conduct of a heavy mixed traffic is not less likely to be seriously contemplated, from a knowledge of the fact that-practically, if not necessarily the same kind of traffic is decidedly hostile to the interests of the pocket. F. R. CONDER.
ONE DAISY AND TWO VIOLETS.
(SENT FROM THE GRAVE OF KEATS, ROME, 1880.)
ONE daisy and two violets
Mix and mingle their faint sweets,
On the grave of English Keats,
Meet me with their tender look,
Like a pool in summer brook
Came and took me by the hand,
Of that wondrous pagan land
One light finger touch'd my heart,
And as fairy clouds arise
Shapes of beauty, and their feet
As those melodies so sweet
Shadows that the dim woods keep;
Such as those love who will reap
Glimpses into high abodes
Where the winds have never sound,
Lying half asleep, and crown'd
A VISIT TO THE OLDEST STATE IN EUROPE.
HAT the smallest and the oldest of European governments should be combined in one is in itself a curious fact; that this government should be engulfed, so to speak, in the middle of Italy, with principalities, duchies, and kingdoms whirling around it like leaves driven by a winter's storm, adds force to this political phenomenon ; but that so little is known and so little veneration paid to this Methuselah amongst States is perhaps the most extraordinary feature in its existence amongst us in the nineteenth century.
For this is a community whose authentic history dates from the days of Pepin, father of Charlemagne, and whose legendary history carries us back to the days when the persecutions of the Roman Emperor Diocletian drove a pious anchorite to the mountains in the neighbourhood of Rimini, there to form a semi-ecclesiastical community, which still retains its primitive simplicity both in constitution and customs.
San Marino is the name of this Liliputian State; it has a population of eight thousand souls, an area of sixteen square miles; it is governed by two Captains, it has Secretaries of State for home and foreign affairs, and above all it has a most exemplary Chancellor of its limited Exchequer, who has invariably an annual balance to place at his country's disposition.
Here, indeed, is a field for a modern Gulliver; the whole atmosphere of the place is, politically speaking, Liliputian, and one longs to people the solitary mountain which occupies almost the whole of the Republic with dwarfs and beings of another world. Strange to say, in Roman days this mountain was known as the Titanic rock;' here, amongst the upheaval of strata and yawning chasms of tufa, the ancients conjured up a race of giants, ambitious in their greatness to overthrow the King of Heaven; whilst now we find existing on this very spot the most pigmy of States. As the scene of a fairy tale San Marino would offer the facilities of a Brobdingnag and a Liliput all in one.
Curiosity led me to this mountain Republic, curiosity led me to examine its history and its constitution, and my curiosity was rewarded by the discovery of a unique instance of medieval statecraft, the sole survivor of the countless republics which once dotted Italy, still governed by institutions which were hoary with age when Cæsar Borgia endeavoured to add it to his dominions, and which Napoleon the Great respected and Garibaldi treated with decorum. Let those who feel disposed visit with me this tiny State and discuss its peculiarities, only alluding to its constitution and history with Napoleonic respect when occasion may require.
After a drive of a few hours from Rimini our vetturino made us aware that we were crossing the frontier of the Republic, where the road which leads to the little commercial village at the foot of the Titanic rock traversed a stream which formed the eastern boundary, and Gulliver found himself amongst the ever free' Liliputians. And indeed there are not wanting numerous signs of this much vaunted liberty which the eight thousand Liliputians enjoy. The word Libertà is chalked up in large letters against every second house; their motto of Libertas is forced on your notice at every turn; it adorns their stamps, their coins, their flag; it is engraven over each of the city portals; and before a few days' residence amongst them had expired, the very notion of liberty became irksome in the extreme. I went to the theatre and was greeted by a drop scene representing almost naked Liberty. I mounted up to the piazza and found a white marble statue representing the same personage. I ascended still higher to the parish church, and lo! the patron saint stood over the high altar, with a scroll in his right hand on which was written Liberty!
Nevertheless it was satisfactory to learn that this liberty ended not in a display of the simple word, and this boast of fifteen centuries' standing is still genuine in all its branches. Taxation here is reduced to a mere nothing; the voice of the people governs everything. The officials are sufficiently paid by the honour conferred upon them, and receive a mere nominal salary. Property, hence, as compared with Italy, is of enormous value, and a law has been passed enacting that no foreigner can hold land within the narrow precincts of the Republic unless he has spent six consecutive years as a citizen within its boundaries, and during this period has conducted himself as a moral and exemplary citizen should.
Very simple-minded are these Republicans; their requirements are but few, and the luxuries they can offer to visitors are exceedingly limited, so that to one anxious to reside amongst them for any length of time the accommodation offered by the little inn in the Borgo or commercial centre at the foot of the rock, will be looked upon with blank dismay. Ankle-deep we sank in mire as we crossed the threshold, to be accosted by every stench with which an Italian pothouse is redolent; the bedroom looked alive with discomforts, and, though breathing an air of freedom far older than any we could find elsewhere, we heaved a sigh, and wished it could be less impure.
Before, however, we decided on establishing ourselves in these quarters, I determined to issue forth and see if the little town, the centre of government, built upon a cliff a thousand feet above the centre of commerce, could offer us a more inviting resting place. I was fortified in my search by a letter of introduction to a leading Republican, Domenico Fattori by name, no less a personage than the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and brother of a most learned citizen, who had printed a little story of his country's liberties which was exhi