« VorigeDoorgaan »
of a deep cutting before we got to the We were off early next morning. The next station. Judging from past experi. small drift we stuck in the night before ences, this was sure to be full like the cost us no effort to cut through at full rest, and to present an insurmountable speed, but the nearer we got to the mounobstacle for that day at least. It was de- tains, the more formidable did the scene terniined to see what could be done with of Doddridge's exploration over-night apthe remaining daylight, so again we re. pear. After some consultation, it was tired for our final run at the bank from decided to clear away all obstacles up to which we had just been extricated. We the great drist, and then take a grand run got through all right, and were hoping we at it at full speed, to see how far they should make a few more miles before could get in at the first attempt. It was dark, when alas! a quarter of a mile from obvious that many runs and dig.outs the last bank we came on another. It would be required to clear it altogether. was smaller than many we had success. The cars were now all taken off, and the fully negotiated when going at full speed, engines proceeded to clear the line of the but the finish of the last drist had so taken smaller banks which lay on the two miles the pace out of us that we lacked power, of line, which were all that remained beand for the third time that day we stuck tween us and the big drift. On this occa: fast. This was very disheartening. Itsion I was allowed to sit in the cab of was nearly dark; the men were tired, and the leading engine, to see the modus opedid not relish having to turn out of their randi, and, riding through the last of warm caboose again so soon; but there these drifts, we pulled up at the edge of was no belp for it. We decided that after the cutting. This was the deepest on the digging out this time we would go back for branch; the rock cutting itself was fifteen the night to Shoshone, so as to give the to twenty feet deep, and on the leeward side men a good night's rest, and start them of it rose a pile of fantastic rocks. The fresh in the inorning. While the digging snow, drifting over the plain, bad encoun. was proceeding, Doddridge took it into tered these rocks and piled itself up in his head to explore ahead, and in long front of them. There had probably been jack-boots, with a lantern, and accom- about ten feet on the top of the cutting, panied by his second in command, he set when it was freshly fallen, but the thaw of off to look at the dreaded rock-cutting the last few days had reduced this to We consoled ourselves with cigars, tea, about five or six, and at the same time and whist, and after two hours Doddridge made it as solid as a loaf of sugar, so that returned quite tired out. He told us he we could walk and stamp upon it without had walked on through deep snow about danger of falling through the crust. The two miles ahead, and had found a tremen- officials all said they had never seen such dous cutting about half a mile long and a drift. quite sull; how deep it was no one could There was no object in riding with the say, but men who knew the line put it at engines merely to stick in the snow, so we from twenty to thirty feet - a most serious all perched ourselves on the top of the matter, and much too big a job to tackle ridge of rocks to watch the run. From that night, so the dig.out being by this this point we could see in the clear moun. time completed, we began backing down tain air all the movements of the plow and to Shoshone again in company with the her satellites, as they retired for about a passenger train. We did not arrive there mile and a half, and set to work to stoke up altogether without mishap. On our way and raise every pound of steam they could. up we had, of course, cleared only the line At last they were ready, and with a suc. itself; no sidings were available, so we cession of piercing shrieks they started. could not get an engine in front, and the I never shall forget the sensation of these train had to be backed down coaches fore three great engines coming towards us at most. In one deep cutting some of the about sixty miles an hour right for the snow had fallen back on to the line, and drift. To think of the men on them, and in the dark the rear coach was forced on what the result might be in a very few sec. to it and nearly thrown off the line. For onds! On they come, faster and faster; tunately it was not quite so serious as as they approach the drift the snow begins that, or we should have had to spend the to fly in huge clouds, thrown far into the night there; but once more the tired gang air on each side; and with another yell had to turn out and clear the cutting by they plunge into the drift. A few seconds lantern light. At last we got off again, more and the snow is all round them, even and, going with great caution, reached over them, and yet they go ploughing in, Shoshone about midnight.
till great blocks of snow as big as billiard
tables are upheaved as if by an earth. But it was evident that even with a new quake, and the engines actually go on plow it would be madness to run full at burrowing underneath them like some the drift in its present condition; so, after gigantic mole. The effort was mighty, extricating the engines, the snow.gang but it was doomed to come to an end at were ordered to spend the remainder of last, and in a few seconds more the rush the day “cross-cutting.” This operation of steam from the safety-valve told us it consists of digging out trenches two feet
We all cheered heartily, for wide across the track right down to the we felt it was a splendid effort, and in rails, with intervals of four feet between volved no small amount of courage on the each trench. By this means the plow, inpart of the drivers. We scrambled down stead of running into a solid bank, has over the blocks of snow, Doddridge call. only to encounter a series of blocks, which, ing to the men to see if they were all having a space behind them, break up right, which happily proved to be the case, more readily, and do not offer nearly the and the snow.gang' then resumed their same resistance. Having given ihese labors. The engines were more com. orders, we had nothing more to do but to pletely buried than ever, and it was a ter- steam back to Shoshone, and wait for the ribly long job to get them out; when that fresh plow. We had to encounter a good was accomplished, we had evidence of deal of good-natured chaff, for we had ex. the tremendous force of the impact. The ultingly told our friends the first day we plow was crushed and bent out of all hoped to sleep at Bellevue, whereas this recognition ; the iron plates twisted like was now the second time we had returned. crumpled paper, and great stays and Next day the new plow arrived, and we braces as thick as a man's arm broken went up with it. Before the first run we short off like twigs, in fact a broken end went to look at what had been done. An of gre of them was found within an inch enormous amount of snow had been taken or two of the side of the boiler. Had it out of the cross cuts, and we now realized pierced the plate, a serious explosion must what the task was that we had before us. have ensued.
Standing at the edge of the trenches was As the men dug down, and the serious like looking down a well, and we could damage to the plow became more and hardly believe that even this relief would more apparent, the faces of the officials be sufficient, seeing the enormous blocks lengthened. This was quite a new expe of caked snow that were still left. And rience in “snow bucking.”. Had the so it proved. A run was made at the snowfall been on the main line, such a drift; again the same scene was enacted, drift never could have accumulated at all, and the engines plunged in; but this time, for during the winter the snow.plows are to save the plow, only one engine ran be. kept constantly running, and thus all drifts hind instead of two. The effect of the are cleared while they are soft, but this cross-cutting now became apparent, for, outlying braoch having been left for a notwithstanding the reduced power, the week, it was like running at a wall, and two engines made more progress than the hence the damage. Moreover on a main three had done before ; but still damage line such a cutting as this would have had was done, and the plow, though not in. a shed built over it, which would have jured like the last, had some braces broken, saved it. Doddridge's dismay was great, and had to return to Shoshone for repairs. and be fully determined to send in a It now became evident that the bulk of requisition for a shed at once, for fear it the snow must be dug out, so the next should be forgotten before the following day, while the plow was being repaired, a winter. This, however, would not solve gang of over a hundred men was taken up the existing problem, which was how to to dig the whole drift out down to within get through to Hailey. Notwithstanding four feet of the rails, thus giving the plow the tremendous effori and the great dam- an easier task. Some idea of the work age, we had not penetrated more than involved in this operation may be formed fifty or sixty yards into the cutting, and from the fact that in the middle portion of of course by far the more formidable por. the drift for some distance it took four tion had yet to be dealt with. Further tiers of men, one above the other, to lift operations with our crippled plow were the snow out. The passage thus cleared impossible, so Doddridge cut the tele. was certainly over twenty-five feet deep in graph wire, attached his private instru- the worst part, but it was completed at ment (which he always carries in his car) last, and the following day we had the to it, and ordered another from headquar- satisfaction of witnessing from our old lers to be at Shoshone the oext morning. I position on the top of the rocks the final clearance. The last run was nearly as We are now seeking to understand, oot well worth seeing as the first, for the en. to make war upon, the promiscuous ex: gines rushed past us at great speed, the pression of our time. The loss of digni. plow throwing up its snow fountains tied reserve, like almost every other loss, nearly as high as where we sat, fifteen or may be minimized by being made contwenty feet above the top of the cutting. scious. Whatever it be that makes life After this, the remaining cuttings offered so much more unclothed than it was in but little resistance; work had been done the time of our fathers, it is worth under: upon them by gangs sent out from the standing, even if it be something that oiher end, and we only had one more dig. must be simply accepted; for it concerns out before we reached the plain on which the whole of life, and modifies almost the terminus is situated. When this last every feeling which is stirred by the inter. obstacle was cleared away, I got into the course of man with man. cab of the plow-engine and rode the last It is the result of two important move. ten or fifteen miles on it at about fifty ments of our day; of its rapid progress miles an hour with Hank de Land. We towards democracy, and of its increasing thus reached our journey's end, to the interest in physical science. Bui, indeed, unspeakable satisfaction of all concerned, truly considered, these two things are one. especially the railway officials, who all Democracy is triumphant everywhere, and agreed that they had had a severe lesson, its triumph in the world of education which must not be repeated. The com- means the substitution of scientific for lite pany will, no doubt, take care to listen to erary interest. The old ideal of education Mr. Doddridge's recommendations as to was aristocratic. It said: “ All knowledge precautions to be taken against a recur- is good, but all knowledge is not, io the rence of the disaster; for the cost to than same degree, educating. One study has during that week in labor, damage, and this educating influence in a peculiar dewear and tear of machinery must have far gree that which is called literature;
and exceeded the expense which would have one class of literature has it in a peculiar been incurred in properly protecting the degree - that to which the consent of lipe.
Europe has accorded the epithet of classi. GREVILLE PALMER. cal, and which the intellect of Europe has
for centuries been employed in fashioning into ao implemeat of education. Let there be, therefore, a certain stamp of catholic
approval on the knowledge of the two lao. From The Spectator.
guages containing this literature, which is SILENCE IS GOLD.
accorded to no other knowledge; dignify. It is the curious fate of the great man ing it with the title of cultivation, and thus whose memoirs have been occupying the raisiog it on a kind of platform, above the reading world for the last few years, to promiscuous crowd of claimants on intel. teach, almost as eloquently by his conduct lectual attention.” Thus it has arisen as by his utterance, the lesson of our text. that this particular knowledge has a kind Carlyle's sermons on the duty of self- of prestige shared by no other. For a control in expression, like the sermons of man to say that he is ignorant of chemismany another preacher, have received try is to avow a mere idiosyncrasy; to their most forcible illustration from his make the same avowal about Greek'is to
His wordy wailings have to give up all claim to a liberal education. some extent concealed his character. And then, again, the same distinction Never was there a case in which it was holds good as to the ignorance respec. truer that half is more than the whole. tively of Latin and of German. A certain There is a surplusage of expression which division of literature, is literature par eris all the more misleading because it re. cellence. It is not that Latin is a casket fers to facts; and many an error of detail of more valuable thought than German is. is less important than the loss of propor. Quite the reverse. No great nation was tion which is inevitable when the biogra. ever so little original as the one whose pher unveils all he sees. We know more records reach us in that language; it about our great men than we did in the would be difficult to cite from them a days before it was the fashion to paint single striking thought. But the student them naked, we do not know them better. of Latin literature lives in select society: But this is a theme we have urged before, The student of German must pick and and to repeat the hopeless protest would choose for himself. When Europe acbe indeed to illustrate our own waroing. cepted as its educational instrument a
study of the two languages to which the indirectly. Re-read Cicero's literary mas. word classical is given, on the ground terpieces, do you find any light thrown on that they offer nothing which is not clas- the problems of life, do you gain a single sical, a sanction was given to the princi- idea that from the point of view of science, ple of aristocracy in knowledge, and its taking that word in its largest significainfluence still holds to a considerable ex. tion, has any value whatever? Not one. tent, for its roots went deep. But it is If you look at these productions in that fading under the influence of a rival the light, they are exceedingly commonplace. ory. "No thoughtful persons would at any But the lightness of touch, which is gone time suppose that the sole business of as we feel it, just supplies that suggestion, education is the imparting of knowledge; so faint and yet so distinct, which in its but the premiss of the old school was that power of reviving individual memories, certain knowledge is education in a pecul seems to rouse within us the very feelings iar sense, in opposition to the modern theit describes. A word more, and the spell ory that the pupil is to have his faculties is broken. What we value is more what trained to the work of acquiring knowl. is not said than what is said. The words edge, and left to decide for himself what themselves are not striking, what is strik. knowledge he requires. The aristocracy ing is the quick passing on from a sug: of knowledge is to be done away with. gestion that leaves room for memory and
The proclamation of liberty and equality imagination to rush in and fill the blank in the world of study appears only to do with visions which great genius perhaps away with the favored position of litera. could not translate into language. This ture. But, in fact, it concedes that posi- classic ideal of self-restraint passed into tion to physical science. Equality is an the very life-blood of European literature, unstable condition; as the obliteration of and is manifest in those who did not imrank brings out the preponderance of bibe it at first hand. It is exhibited nowealth, so the dethronement of literature where with more distinctness than in the means the enthronement of science. All work of one who, in her recently published practical pursuits stand in immediate rela- letters, prettily describes herself as the tion to physical science; the moment you most ignorant writer who ever handled a try to make all studies equal, you make a pen, - Miss Austen. An article on this supreme. This change has many kinds “Style,” in one of the reviews for Decem. of iofluence; we are concerned with only ber, quotes from her a sentence which one. While there was this precedence seems to us a perfect example of this self. given to literature, every one, whether he restraint in expression. " Their union,” cared for literature or not, was reminded she says in describing an ideal constancy more or less of the existence of a great perhaps modelled on some actual feeling, world of expression, in which silence had “could not any more divide her from other its proper domain.“ By what he omits, men than their final separation." Dilute show me the master in style.” Some that idea as it would be diluted by a writer works which are not at all literary might of our own day, and it becomes trite. be made so by mere excision. A great Nothing is more commonplace than the writer, while adding not a single idea, and idea of a devotion irrespective of all rehardly a word of his own, might some quital, whatever the fact may be, and times make of an unreadable book a con. oothing can be more tedious ihan most tribution to literature, merely by removing descriptions of it. What gives power and what had better be left out. We have meaning to a sentence which makes us all some experience, some gleam of in- fcel merely what every novel-writer tries spiration, even some thought, which, if we to make us feel is its exceeding reticence. could express that and nothing besides, Describing a strength of feeling wonder. would be in its degree poetic. But the fully rare in life, and naturally suggesting very power to separate what should be superlatives, it takes a negative form, and unexpressed from what should be ex- uses the very fewest and faintest words in pressed is a part of the literary instinct; which the idea can be expressed. Though and those who lack it may possess the ore Jane Austen knew not a line of Latin and to some amount, but have no smelting Greek, she shows classic influence in that furnace. And this is the condition of or reticence, And, just as the influence of dinary humanity.
classic training is felt in the writing of This self-restraint, this intellectual tem those who know nothing of the classics, perance, is the special characteristic of so the influence of literary training is felt classical literature, and of all literature in the behavior of those who know noth. that has been much influenced by it even ing of literature. It is the principal part
of what we mean by breeding. A man of that seeks to unfold character has a dou the world who yawns over a novel or a ble principle of rejection, both halves of newspaper shows some trace of inherited which are unknown to science. It rejects cultivation in the criticisms on his neigh. / whatever is trivial, and then, again, it re. bors which he keeps to himself; and even jects whatever is misleading. Do not tell so highly cultivated a man as Carlyle, us your hero's favorite dish; do not de. perhaps, exhibits the lack of that influence scribe at any length his bodily ailments; in remarks which would seem to us less do not dwell on his personal appearance. ill-natured, if we remembered his peasant and further, do not tell us of some inex. blood.
plicable lapse from the kindness, the hon. Now science, whatever else it may en or, or the purity which almost invariably force, certainly drops the literary disci. distinguished him. Not because you will pline of reticence. It concerns that about hurt the feelings of his children, not bewhich the more facts are koown the nearer cause you will impair the loyalty of his we get to the truth, in which it is specially disciples - these are not motives that important not to neglect the trivial and should weigh with a biographer .but be. the imperfect, and in which the mislead. cause you are not, in so doing, helping us ing cannot be said to exist. A study of to know him. In his life this strange ex. which this is true manifestly encourages ception was probably the result of some all expression. Not that it is satisfied combination of circumstances hopelessly with expression. A man of science is beyond our recovery, and hopelessly bevery far from accepting language as an wildering to our attention if it could be adequate vehicle for his study; he would recovered. To our mind it would, from say, indeed, that those who know it only its very straogeness, be the chief thing through the medium of language, do not we should remember about him. Now, know it at all. But still he would allow in any scientific account, the exceptional that the more fully the truth of science is is exactly what it would be most impor. put into words the better. It is no exag. tant to record. To mention the fact that geration to say that the less fully the a man of genius and virtue was once truth of literature is put into words the found drunk would be the same kind of better. Of poetry this is eminently true, mistake as to conceal the fact that a highly and it is in poetry that we see this op- respectable comet failed to keep its apposition at its beight. You may agree pointment. Science founded a theory of or disagree with a scientific writer, but the universe on the exception. Litera. if two persons of average intellect, after ture would find it a mere source of confu. reading him attentively, differ as to his sion. Where literature is silent, science meaning, he must have expressed him becomes emplatic. self badly. But poetry guarded against This principle is essential to literature, any varying interpretation by different but is not confined to it. That person is minds would cease to be poetry. We wonderfully fortunate who has not learned sometimes see the divergent ideals exhib- by actual experience that the most accuited in the development of a single mind. rately recorded fact on his lips may be. As time goes on, a man of science is apt come the most hopelessly false theory in to be dissatisfied with all expression that his hearers' ears. “The public,” it is rather suggests than exhausts its subject true, does not distort true fact into false matter. He is surprised at his own loss theory quite so much as an individual of literary taste. He turns back to the does, and not quite in the same way. But poems scored by pencil marks of his youth, human characier, and the events which and wonders to find their charm is fied, unfold and result from it, are never adaptand that he even fails to "understand "ed to complete expression, in the same them, as he calls it, which, in his sense, is way that all other events are. “ Action,” what nobody does. His attention has says the great writer whose works preach grown rusty in a certain posture, and be the lesson as forcibly as his biography cannot change its focus. He is expecting exhibits the danger of neglecting it, to carry away from incomplete expression tion is solid, narrative is lincar." Car. the same kind of intellectual satisfaction Tyle's weighty sentences are almost suffi. that he habitually gains from complete ciently numerous to win oblivion for his expression. He is looking for the accu. unwise utterances; but among them all, racy of science where that kind of accu. and indeed in all literature, we hardly racy is inconipatible with the truth of know a warning so pregnant with truth poetry. And biography in this respect for all time as that implied in those words. should approach poetry. All narrative For all time, but especially for our own.