RAILWAT ACCIDZNTS IN 1890. — The general tem is progressing, and in England at least report to the Board of Trade upon the acci- little more remains to be done in this direc. dents that have occurred on the railways of tion; bat when the orders made upon the the United Kingdom during the year 1890, railway companies ander the Regulation of drawn up by Mr. Courtenay Boyle, of the Railways Act, 1989, come into fall force the Railway Department, was recently published. absolute block and interlocking systems will It shows that the namber of persons retamed have to be generally adopted. Generally to the Board as having been killed in the speaking, the year 1890, favorable as it is, working of the railways during the year was would have shown a still better record, and 1976, and the number of injured 4721. Of that in spite of abnormal fogs, but for the these 118 persons killed and 1361 injured serious collision at Norton Fitzwarren sta. were passengers, but of this number only 18 tion, on the Great Western Railway on No. were killed and 496 injured in consequence vember 11th, by which ten passengers were of accidents to or collisions between trains. killed and nine others severely injured. Of the remainder, 499 killed and 3122 injured

MEASURING STRAINS IN BRIDGES.-A new were officers or servants of the railway com- method for accurately measuring the strains papies or of contractors, and these figures im.

in iron and steel bridges has been invented ply a further increase. Of saicides there

by a prominent French engineer, and is dewere 77 ; of trespassers 252 were killed and scribed as follows: Two brackets are attached 123 injured ; of persons passing over the rail

. to the beam to be tested at some distance way at level crossings 83 were killed and 35 apart, on one of which is placed a water chaminjared ; and from miscellaneous causes 17 ber, closing by a flexible diaphragm, and conpersons were killed and 80 injured. The nected with an open tube, which serves to total number of passenger journeys, exclusive

register by the height of the tube any pres. of journeys by season ticket-holders, was

sure that may be made on this diaphragm. 817,744,046 for the year 1890, or 42,560,973

One end of a pointed rod is connected with more than in the previous year. Calculated

this metal covering to the water chamber, on these figures the proportions of passengers while the other is joined to the other bracket. killed and injured during the year 1890 from The most important item of the invention is all causes were one in 6,930,034 killed and one that any motion of the beam, it will be readily in 600,840 injured. In 1889 the proportions

seen, will set the diaphragm in motion, and were one in 4,236,000 killed and one in 423,280 cause the water in the fine tube to fall. This injured. But the comparative safety of rail. is a first-rate apparatus, as we are all familiar way travel is indicated still more clearly by with the great numbers of railroad accidents the proportion of passengers killed and in that are constantly occarring, and in many jored from causes beyond their own control,

cases originate from an unsafe, shaky bridge. The total under this head for the year is 18

- English Mechanic. killed and 496 injured, and the proportion to the number of journeys is one in 45,430,224 NATURAL GLASS.-A mineral discovery of killed and one in 1,648,677 injured. This re- unusual value is reported from Kamooraska, sult shows an improvement on every year in Lower Canada. It is stated that an entire since 1874. The total pamber of accidents mountain, composed of] silicates, otherwise inquired into was 53, the lowest previous rec. known as vitrifiable stone, of a purity certi. ord from the year 1875 being 58 in 1887. Of fied by the provincial engineer to average 98 these, as in previous years, the most common per cent, (has been found. This material is cause was collisions within fixed signals at used for the manufacture of the finest glass, stations or sidings, 24, or nearly half the and it is believed to exist nowhere else on the total, falling under this single classification, American continent in such purity. The The report proceeds to deal with the accidents provincial Government has been asked by a serialim, showing how each occurred and where deputation to guarantee 4 per cent interest the blame lay. Among the various companies for ten years on £20,000, if a local company the London and South Western with six acci- subscribes that amount, to develop the new dents, the North British with five, and the industry, and has promised to consider the Great Eastern with four head the list. The request if the principal municipality concerned work of interlocking signals and points and is prepared to take a fair share of the risk.of extending the absolute block telegraph sys. Iron.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

On the 31st December, 1888, about six and have passed many painful hours. My months after his accession to the throne, heart is as sorrowful as if I had again lost my William II. of Germany addressed his by God; and it has to be borne, even though

grandfather! But it is so appointed to me Chancellor, Prince Bismarck, a telegram I should fall under the burden. The post of as follows :

officer of the watch on the ship of State has

fallen to my lot. Her course remains the Dear Prince,—The year which has brought same : so now full steam ahead !'' us such severe afflictions and irreparable losses is drawing to a close. The thought

The recipient of this note was variously that you still stand faithful at my side, and supposed, at the time, to be either the enter the New Year in vigorous strength, fills Einperor's relative, the Grand Duke of me with joy and comfort. From the bottom Weimar, or Admiral Bartsch ; but the ings, and, above all, lasting health, and pray Daval imagery employed in the telegram Heaven that I may long be permitted to work (for His Majesty can be all things to all with you for the welfare and greatness of our men) seems to settle the point in favor of Fatherland,

the Admiral, who, by the way, was at one Within fifteen months of the date of time expected to succeed to Prince Bisthis complimentary message the young months of his addressing a fervent hope

marck. Well, then, within fifteen short Emperor had con March 22, 1890) tele- for continued co-operation between himself graphed to a friend in Weimar :

and bis political Palinurus, who had “Many thanks for your friendly letter. I guided the ship of State through so many have indeed gone through bitter experiences, storms and perils, the Emperor had sud

NEW SERIES.—Vol. LIV., No. 5. 37

denly dropped bis pilot” (nor was any with a will stronger than his own. Of one, as I happen to know, more impressed the old Emperor, Bismarck once said to by Punch's cartoon on the subject than the late Lord Ampthill, “ Mein alter Herr Ilis Majesty limself), and taken bis own ist stets ueberredet wenn nicht ueberzeugt stand on the bridge, shouting out his or- gewesen :" “ I have always been able to ders to the man at the wheel, and to all talk over if not convince my old master ;'! else, in a firm and lusty voice. The fall and, indeed, numerous cases might be of Prince Bismarck was and is still felt by quoted, the war of 1866 included, to show all to be one of the wonders of the cen- that William I. often based his decisions, tury ; and assuredly no more unexpected in relation to his Chancellor, on the reevent ever happened, though the French, versed order of conviction and consent. it is true, will have it that nothing is so But his grandson, who had the advantage certain as the unexpected. Cloyed as it of inberiting bis English mother's strength is with the taste of manifold sensations, of will with his mother's mental force and the palate of the European public was perspicacity, soon displayed a tendency to tickled, as it had never been before, by rebel against the submission of his judgthe revelation that even a Bismarck was ment to any authority save that of his own not at all deemed indispensable to the instincts and intelligence; and in doing continued welfare of his country, and so, as is thought by many well-qualified that a young and inexperienced ruler like heads in Berlin, he rendered—though at the Emperor William had been capable of no slight risk—a very considerable service so supreme an act of courage as to dis to the monarchical principle in Prussia pense —and rather brusquely too—with and Germany, for which his successors The services of a man who had been the will give him credit. making of his nation. “If our young There can be little doubt that, in the Emperor," said people in Berlin," has course of his long and magnificent career, the daring to do a thing like this, what Prince Bismarck had insensibly come to will he not yet have the audacity to do ?” establish a kind of personal imperium in Of a truth his courage and capacity are imperio within the limits of the Prussian great ; and if his life is long enough, and Crown. No one had fought more desopportunity offers, some successor of his, perately than he to save the rights of this using the words uttered by Frederick the crown from the curtailing scissors of a Great over the ashes of the great Elector, Constitution, as no one had been a more may also point to his tomb, and exclaim, jealous defender of these rights after they “ Messieurs, Der hat viel gethan.

had at last been liniited and reduced to It is not the object of the present article charter-form by the revolutionary moveto discuss the causes which led the new ment of '48. Yet, if the truth must be Emperor to part with the old Chancellor. told, this very same Bismarck had grad. Those causes, which were set forth with ually, and perhaps even unconsciously, more or less fulness and accuracy at the ended by absorbing into his own person

be reduced to one succinct ex. the exercise of some of those rights which planation-incompatibility of age and tem- appertained exclusively to his Sovereign. per. How was it possible,” remarked He would doubtless be the first to protest à German diplomatist when discussing against this view ; but if he can fully acthe subject with me, “for a clear-sighted count for his dismissal from office on any and self-willed young Emperor of thirty other general theory, there are thousands to continue running in the same leash (so of his most candid and intelligent countryto speak) with an autocratic Chancellor of men who would be grateful for the exover seventy ?An agreeable person, planation. says one of Lord Beaconsfield's characters, With the accession of the young Emis a person who agrees with you ; and peror authority within the Empire had beBismarck, in the eyes of his new master, come divided and contested, as it had also had ceased to fulfil this definition of the come to be under Ferdinand and Wallenterm. The differences which soon sprang stein. The analogy is not perfect; but up between them were partly personal and there is a clear similarity of a certain kind partly political ; and for once in his life between the two cases, though it has curiBismarck found, to his great astonish- ously enough escaped the notice of Germent, that the world contained a man man writers; and Bismarck, too, accord

time, may

ing to his own avowal (for who does not splendid achievements, he committed some remember the veiled reproaches against a stupendous mistakes—his bootless combat certain statesman-colleague with which he with invincible Rome included—in the began his lamentations and recriminations course of his life ; but, perhaps, his at Friedrichsruh ?), found his native But- crowning error of judgment was his mislers, his Devereux, his Leslies, and his conception of the moment when Germany, Gordons. He suffered the inevitable pen- through his efforts, might now be said to alty of all who have ever risen to tran- be firmly seated in the saddle and be left scendent heights of influence and power. to ride of herself.

to ride of herself. Bismarck has freIn the course of his table-talk, during the quently expressed himself an admirer of French war, the ex-Chancellor once re the character of George Washington, marked that, though the Prussian people boasting that Prussia was the first Eurohuzza'd and beclapped their great Freder- pean State to recognize the great Republic ick when alive, they secretly rubbed their of his creating ; but his admiration would hands in glee when finally the old tyrant have assumed a much more flattering form had breathed his last. And the same re

had he ben careful to select the proper mark applies, to some extent, to Bis- time for imitating the Cincinnatus of the marck's own official death, which cer West. Nor is it too much to assert that tainly excited surprise throughout Ger- his grand historical figure would have gone many, and sentimental sorrow, but com down to posterity in more majestic and paratively little real regret and no great unmutilated shape had be, like Ariel, recapprehension for the future. As a finan- ognized when his “ task was fairly done,' cial journal well expressed it at the time, and voluntarily surrendered the 'helin of

even the aspen-leaves of the Bourse never the ship of State into other hands, reso much as quivered at the news of the solved to spend the evening of his life in mighty Chancellor's fall.” His country- dignity and silence. men adored him, vowing to be eternally There is no reason to doubt that, when grateful for the great things he had done, penning the telegram before quoted with and were intensely proud of him as part reference to his assumption of the post of of their national greatness ; but, to speak officer of the watch on this ship, the Emthe honest truth, they were beginning to peror was perfectly sincere in saying that, groan under the weight of his personal in parting with Bismarck, he had suffered authority and will, which overshadowed as much as if he had again lost his grandevery walk of their public life ; and this father. Yet there is just as little reason was more especially the case with his col- to doubt that, from a particular date, it leagues and immediate subordinates, with was His Majesty's fixed purpose to effect whom the Iron Chancellor enjoyed as lit a divorce between himself and his Chantle official popularity as was inspired by cellor, even as it was the set determination Wellington in the hearts of the troops of Nelson to get rid of his own wife after whom he so often led to victorious battle. he had become infatuatedly attached to Every one felt that Bismarck's life-work Lady Hamilton. Not that Lady Nelson was done, and that there would now be had ceased to command the respect and no great danger—nay : that there would even the love of her husband. On the be a positive advantage—in his leaving contrary,” said her capricious lord, " I the further pursuit and development of call God to witness, there is nothing in his task to younger and fresher hands. you, or your conduct, that I wish otherIn the oft-quoted words of Schiller, - wise.” And so it was pretty much with

the maker of the German Empire, who " Der Mohr hat seine Schuldigkeit gethan, Der Mohr kann gehen."

was involuntarily divorced from the office

which he had held with such distinction But it is a thousand times more easy to for about a quarter of a century, and loaded wean one's self from the love of drink with valedictory honors, including his than from the love of power, and the lat- ducal title, which he has continued to deter was a species of intoxication in which, spise and ignore. as it had been his greatest passion through “ That will never do," the young Emlife, Bismarck desired to revel until the peror is reported to have said to the auday of his death. It is only affirming thor of the “Neue Herr” when attending that he is mortal to say that, with all his a rehearsal of that historical play last win



ter in the Schauspielhaus at Berlin. away from evening parties to revel in the “ Even when a Hohenzollern dismisses one scenes and dialogues of the “ Neue Herr.”' of his ministers be loads him with honors. On the literary merits of this play most You must change all that.” This criti- of the critics were extremely hard, one of cism was said to have been addressed to them--and a very good one, too—charHerr von Wildenbruch, a Foreign Office acterizing it as "eine hyper-loyale Radauclerk—a soit of court poet, or unofficial Comödie,which might be rendered an laureate at Berlin--who might be called ultra-loyal drama of the rowdy-dowdy the would-be Wagner of the heroic rhymed type. But it was agreed by all that the verse drama in Germany. Certainly his author could not possibly feel hurt at plays, dealing by preference with subjects those adverse comments, seeing that the connected with the rise of the Hohen- achievement of political effect more than zollerns, and appealing to the popular of literary excellence must have been his sense of melodramatic patriotism, are primary aimn. Certainly the parting scenes frightfully full of swashbuckler sound and between the Great Elector and his father's sword-clashing ; and nothing would con old Chancellor, Schwarzenberg—who finaltent this aspiring dramatist but that he ly went off in a fit of apoplexy-wer should produce a play entitled the “ Neue felt by all who witnessed the piece to be

or the " New Ruler”—a play, extremely suggestive and painful ; nor strange to say, about which, and the sen was little other than disgust excited by sation it created, the English Correspond. the picture of rude and ranting military ents at Berlin found remarkably litile to nobles, with their repulsive immorality, in report at the time, though in the case of which the piece abounded. But it had at one of them, at least, this omission was least one redeeming scene—as softened simply due to the fact of his being under and touching as it was again suggestive. editorial orders to restrict the field of his This was an apartment in the royal castle observation and his comment. But who, at Berlin, where a wayworn and breaththen, was the “Neue Herr" ? It was less courier, just arrived from distant the young Emperor's own ancestor, the Königsberg, enters, and on bended knee “Great Elector,' one of whose first acts, announces to the Kur-Prinz (i.e., heredion succeeding to the throne, was to dis- tary Prince) the death of his father, and miss from office Adam von Schwarzen- lis consequent succession to the crown. berg, his predecessor's Chancellor, and On being left alone, and after overcoming virtually take all the reins of power into the first shocks of his grief, young Fredhis own reforming hands. This incident erick William (destined to become and be forms one of the main motives in Wilden- called the Great Elector) falls to solilobruch's play ; but who shall say whether quizing on the nature and duties of his the selection of this subject, with its ob- high sovereign office ; but from those revvious parallel between the past and the eries he is speedily aroused by the tumult present, was due to accident or to de- of a myriad-headed multitude of his peo

ple, who, catching wind of the change of Was the dramatist's subject suggested rulers, have already streamed from all to him, or did he select it himself, tak- quarters of the city to the Schloss to acing, perhaps, his “master's humor for a claim their “ Nene Herr.Attracted by warrant”? I know not; but what was the sound, the young Elector (he was only patent to all the world was that the Em- eighteen) goes to the window and becomes peror himself took the very greatest inter a prey to emotion as he gazes down on est in the matter and production of the this surging sea of his subjects-men, piece, that he attended several dress re women, and children, with their weal and hearsals, and directed certain changes to woe all depending on him. The sight of be made (as above referred to), that he them fills him with an almost crushing was foremost among the “ first-nighters,sense of responsibility, and he ends by and after the performance went behind registering holy vows to live for the good the scenes, where he decorated the drama- of his people and for nothing else, to be tist with the Red Eagle, besides showering a model ruler, beloved at home and fearstuds, sleeve-links, breast pins, and other ed abroad, to pull down the proud and selmarks of favor on the principal actors, and fish (Schwarzenberg, the Chan lor, inthat he afterward frequently hastened cluded), to raise up the lowly and op


« VorigeDoorgaan »