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debted to the New American Cyclopedia:
IN connection with an admirable like- Europe. He had already, in a Göttingen ness of this eminent historian, which we vacation, seen Dresden, its galleries and give in this number, a brief sketch of his principal men, and had made the acquaintlife is added, for which we are mainly in-ance of Goethe at Jena. At Heidelberg he was several hours every day with the historian Schlosser, discussing history and poetry, especially Dante, and read with him several Greek tragedies. In Paris he became acquainted with Cousin, and Alexander von Humboldt, and particularly with Benjamin Constant, passed a month in England, and returned to the continent to travel on foot through Switzerland. He spent eight months in Italy, formed an acquaintance with Manzoni at Milan, and a friendship for life with Chevalier Bunsen at Rome, where he also knew Niebuhr. His time in Italy was also thoroughly employed in studying the ecclesiastical government, and in seeing pictures, churches, statues, and ruins. He returned to America in 1822, and 'accepted for one year the office of tutor of Greek in Harvard University. During his year of tutorship, he preached several sermons, yet he seems not long to have entertained the thought of entering the clerical profession. In 1823, in conjunction with Dr. Joseph G. Cogswell, he established the Round Hill school at Northampton, in which some of the most learned young men of Germany were employed as teachers. The standard as a preparatory school was too high for the standard of collegiate instruction in this country, yet much was done by this institution toward introducing a better system of study and of class-books. He published at this time his translation of Heeren's Politics of Ancient Greece, and a small volume of poems bore witness to the enthusiasm with which he observed the scenery of Switzerland and the ruins of ancient art in Italy. He was also busily meditating and collecting materials for a history of the United States. In 1834 appeared the first volume of his History of the United States, the mature fruit of a long-cherished purpose. He removed in 1835 to Springfield, where he resided three years, and completed the second volume of his history. In 1838 he was appointed by President Van Buren
GEORGE BANCROFT was born at Worcester, Mass., October 3, 1800. He was the son of a Massachusetts clergyman. He entered Harvard College in 1813 and graduated in 1817, and then, with an extensive scheme of study, embracing hardly less than the whole circle of sacred and profane, ancient and modern literature, started for the universities of Germany. At Göttingen, where he remained for two years, he studied German literature under Benecke, French and Italian literature under Artaud and Bunsen, the oriental languages and the interpretation of the Scriptures under Eichhorn, ecclesiastical and the more recent ancient history under Planck and Heeren, natural history under Blumenbach, and especially the antiquities and literature of Greece and Rome under Dissen, an enthusiastic admirer of Plato, with whom he went through a thorough course of Greek philosophy, and read in the Greek nearly every one of the writings of Plato. At this time he selected history as his special branch, giving as one of his reasons the desire to see if facts would not clear up theories and assist in getting out the true one. Having received at Göttingen in 1820 the degree of doctor of philosophy, he repaired to Berlin, where he heard the lectures of Wolf, the renowned editor of Homer, of Schleiermacher, and of Hegel. He was a herald to these professors of their fame in the New World, and his ardor and accomplishments gained for him a welcome reception. He was intimate in the houses of Schleiermacher, Wilhelm von Humboldt, the great lawyer Savigny, Lappenberg, the future historian of England, Varnhagen von Ense, and other famed literary persons. He availed himself of his stay in Berlin to observe the administration of the Prussian government in many of its departments. In the spring of 1821 he began a journey through Germany and other parts of
collector of Boston, and the intelligence in 1849, and took up his residence in Newand vigor with which he performed the York, and began to prepare for the press labors of this office won the applause of the fourth and fifth volumes of his history, his political opponents. In 1840 the third which were published in 1852. The apvolume of his history was published, upon plause which had followed the publication which he had diligently labored amid of his preceding volumes was heightened many other engagements. After the ac- upon the appearance of the new and longcession of Mr. Polk to the presidency, in expected volumes. In 1854 the sixth vol1845, Mr. Bancroft entered the cabinet as ume was issued, the seventh in 1858, and secretary of the navy. He signalized his the eighth in 1860. Mr. Bancroft is emiadministration by the establishment of the nently a philosophical historian. He brings naval school at Annapolis. He was also the wealth of a most varied learning in influential in obtaining additional appro- systems of thought, and in the political priations for the Washington Observatory, and moral history of mankind, to illustrate and in introducing some new professors the early experiences of his country. He of great merit into the corps of instruc- catalogues events in a manner which shows A reform in the system of promo- the procession of ideas, and not only detion in the naval service was desired by scribes popular movements picturesquely, many, and he planned a method by which but also analyzes them and reveals their promotion should depend not on age alone, spiritual significance. The early populabut also on experience and capacity. His tion of this country having been largely scheme, however, was never fully devel- formed by the emigration from the varioped or applied. In 1846 Mr. Bancroft ous states of Europe of men who brought exchanged his position in the cabinet for with them the ideas and habits in which the office of minister plenipotentiary to they had been educated, the historian has Great Britain. The experience which he much to do with the course of European had had as collector pointed out to him history, and the chapters in which he eluthe inconvenience from which American cidates the great political and religious navigation suffered by the British restric- movements of the Old World are valuable tive laws of navigation. The American contributions to the philosophy of modern laws were at that time much the more history. The work of Mr. Bancroft may liberal; and he urged the subject on the be considered as a copious philosophical attention of the British ministry till he had treatise, tracing the growth of the idea of the satisfaction of seeing the British sys- liberty in a country designed by Provitem not only equal ours in liberality, but dence for its development. It is written also go beyond it. During his residence in a style marked by singular elaboratein England he was in the most friendly ness, compactness, and scholarly grace. relations with the ministry and the men It is a great national work, and increases of letters of that country. In 1849 the in the vigor and elegance of its narrative University of Oxford made him a doctor of with each additional volume. The author civil law, and he had before been chosen has carried the art of historical representacorrespondent of the Royal Academy of tion to a higher degree of perfection than Berlin, and also of the French Institute. any living English writer, or than any He used the opportunity of his resi- American author. The philosophy of the dence in Europe to perfect his collections work, too, deepens, and becomes more on American history. He made several comprehensive, with the progress of his visits to Paris, to study the archives studies. It has been several times repuband libraries of that city, being aided in lished abroad and translated into foreign his researches by Guizot, Mignet, Lam- languages, the German version having artine, and De Tocqueville. In England already passed through four editions. Mr. the ministry opened to him the records of Bancroft has published various public adthe state paper office, embracing a vast dresses, and has collected a volume of array of military and civil correspondence; Miscellanies, chiefly upon historical and and also the records of the treasury, with philosophical topics, including a copious its series of minutes and letter-books. In survey of German literature, selected from the British Museum, also, and in the pri- his numerous contributions to different vate collections of many noble families, reviews. In this volume is contained the he found valuable and interesting manu- masterly discourse upon "The Necessity, scripts. He returned to the United States the Reality, and the Promise of the Prog
VOL. LXIII.-NO. 2
ress of the Human Race," which he de- | ecuting his historical labor, passing the livered before the New-York Historical winter in the city of New-York, and the Society, at the celebration of its fiftieth summer by the sea-side, at Newport. anniversary. He is now vigorously pros
From the Saturday Review.
As every body is, or is supposed to be, just now a railway traveler, and as the never-failing topic of light interesting railway talk-the one safe subject and common ground for strangers to make conversation about—is the rail itself, with its wonders, its dangers, its comforts and discomforts, we are not sorry to have the means of furnishing talkers with some solid railway facts to talk about. We may as well explain at the outset that we have got all our information where it is no joke to delve for it—namely, first, from a Parliamentary paper, a return to an order of the House of Lords asking every conceivable, not to say impertinent, question of the railway companies about their traffic, expenses, capital, profits, and things in general; and, secondly, from the report of an instructive but very tedious debate on railway accidents, held two years ago -though the report itself is only just published by the Institution of Civil Engi
In these publications we find the stupendous balance-sheet of the extant British railway system. People guess and gabble about it, and wonder what it has all cost, where the money has come from, and where it has gone. We have all heard something of contractors' fortunes, and engineers' fortunes, and railway kings, and counsel's fees; and those who are old enough can go back, some with a sigh and some with a smile, to the good old days when it was necessary to buy off the local opposition of land-owners to undertakings which have doubled the value of their property. And it is strange to hear in these times-when the local traffic between Sludgely and Blackthorpe, two important villages with a joint population of 500, is about to be developed by a
branch line of those legends, which happen to be quite true, of the dangers which beset Mr. George Stephenson's clerks when they plotted the Birmingham line furtively and by night. And then every body says, The railways must have paid if they had not cost so plaguy dear. Well, what have they cost? The authorized capital of all the railways in England, Scotland, and Ireland, up to December 31 last, amounts to the trifling sum of £474,999,545; and of this little total as much as £404,215,802 has actually been paid up as capital, inclusive of debenture loans outstanding at that date. That is to say, in less than thirty years, a sum very nearly equal to one half of the national debt has been invested in earth-works, rails, rolling stock, and the other constituent elements of the vast aggregate known as railway property. From the investment in railways we now proceed to the profits of railways. What the interest of the national debt is every body knows; how does the iron king pay its creditors? What is the total amount of net profits available for distribution in the shape of interest on paid up capital - including ordinary stock or shares, with preference stock, loans, and debentures? After deducting the outlay on-1. Maintenance of way and works; 2. Locomotive power; 3. Repairs and renewals of carriages; 4. Traffic charges; 5. Rates and taxes; 6. Government duty; 7. Compensation for personal injuries; 8. Compensation for losses and damage of goods; 9. Legal expenses; 10. Miscellaneous-there remain of net profits on all the railways of Great Britain and Ireland, earned in the year 1863, £16,048,931. This, on an invested capital, as we have seen, of £404,215,802, is as nearly as possible 4 per cent. These
profits are, of course, very unequally distributed. On one line, the West Cornwall, the dividend on the original capital is On the High Peak line it only reaches 28. 8d. per cent; while the Whitehaven line returns 134, and the Aberdare 10 per cent. on ordinary capital. The total annual receipts for 1883 on this capital of four hundred millions being thirty-one millions, and the net profits being sixteen millions, the total working expenditure is fifteen millions; or, in other words, the expenditure swallows up 48 per cent. of the total receipts of the railway business of the country.
It is useful to get the whole thing under this summary view, because it explains the general policy of railway management. Shareholders have but one cry: "Diminish your working expenses, and our dividends will of course rise. We are the residuary legatees. On us rests the whole risk of the trade. Preference shares, loans, mortgages-all these things are a fixed quantity; our dividends rise or fall as the shop answers or not." The railway trade is like all other trades. It may be conducted on the bold principle of extended business, which means small profits on large returns; or it may be conducted safely and economically, on the principle of starving the plant and diminishing the working expenses. The former was the favorite policy in other days, the latter seems to be now in the ascendant; for whilst, as we have seen, the working expenses in the year 1863 were in the proportion of 48 per cent. on the gross receipts, in the year 1862 they were 49 per cent. Without a very minute investigation of the special heads of expenditure on which a saving has been effected, we can scarcely arrive at an answer to the question, which is of paramount importance to the public, whether economy in management can be extended with a due regard to safety in traveling. The figures before us, however, will help us to an ap-line? This is a question of special imporproximate solution of this vital question. tance in the face of the fact of diminished And first, it must be borne in mind that the working expenses. The Parliamentary total mileage of 1863 is more than the return will help us towards answering it. mileage of 1862. But, while the absolute In 1862, 216 persons were killed and 600 outlay under all the heads of working ex- injured, of whom 26 were passengers killed, penses within the last twelvemonth has and 536 passengers injured, from causes from this cause increased, there are many beyond their own control; while in 1863 heads of working expenses which, when only 184 persons were killed and 470 inexamined with reference to the proportion jured, and of these 14 are returned as pasthey bear to the whole expenditure, will sengers killed, and 400 as passengers inbe found to have been diminished. A con- jured, from causes beyond their own considerable saving has been attained in legal, trol. This certainly shows a diminution
including Parliamentary, expenses. This, of course, arises from the comparative paucity of new lines and extensions. But, in other items also, the proportion of particular expenses to the whole working charges shows a diminution, or, in other words, points to parsimony in management. And what is significant is that the cost of compensation for personal injuries has risen from £158,169 in 1862 to £179,565 in 1863, while some important charges for working expenses have fallen. The proportion of the cost of locomotive power in 1862 to the whole working expenses was 27.79 per cent.; in 1863 it falls to 27.62. The proportion of miscellaneous expenses, including, we believe, servants, is for the two years 6.62 and 6.40. These figures, if they do not actually lead to the conclusion that economy in management has been purchased by increased danger to life and limb, seem to point to a suspicion that way. On a mileage increased 400 miles within the twelvemonth there has been à saving of one per cent. on working expenses, but this is purchased at the outlay of more than £21,000 worth of life and limb. The necessity of retrenching working expenses is now a matter of pecuniary life or death to the holders of the original capital stock. On the other hand, the necessity of preventing the starvation of railways by paring down wages and the working staff is a matter of personal life or death to travelers. It is a question, in short, between dividends and the public safety.
We have seen that working expenses are decreasing. Are accidents increasing? This is one question; and it is a question which is not very easy to answer, as a single fatal smash on a large scale may exceptionally affect the annual rate of danger. And are railway accidents of the usual character to be attributed to economical, that is, parsimonious, working of the
in fatal accidents, and may therefore be
1 in 212,000
1 in 257,090
1 in 285,000
The general conclusion from these converging data seems to be in favor of the relative safety of the broad gauge.
On the whole, it can scarcely be concluded that railway accidents are diminishing in severity, whatever their number during a single year may happen to be, at least if we measure their severity by the amount of compensation awarded under Lord Campbell's Act. Capt. Galton, two years ago, in a paper read before the Institute of Engineers, calculated that the Companies paid annually from £100,000 to £120,000 in compensation; whereas we have it now proved, from their own returns, that in 1862 they paid £158,000, and last year as much as nearly £180,000. Some of the more fatal collisions have been tremendously expensive to the Companies. For the Atherstone "accident," in 1860, the North-Western paid nearly £18,000; the King's Cross accident cost the Great Northern £10,000; while the Lewisham collision, in 1857, cost the South-Eastern £27,000, besides the injury to rollingstock. The ugly conclusion at which Captain Galton, addressing the Civil Engineers, arrives, after an elaborate investigation of the accidents returned to the Board of Trade on an average of seven years, is, "that out of 319 collisions only 16 could be attributed to purely accidental causes; and of the 303 remaining only 183 were due to the negligence of inferior servants, while the remaining 120 were entirely attributable to the manner in which the traffic was conducted, and therefore ought not to have occurred." We are obliged to Mr. Brunlees, the engineer, who read a paper at the same meeting, for the information that, in the same seven years, 1041 accidents of different kinds were due in various degrees to mismanagement on the part of the Companies. This mismanagement he classes under the several heads of Defective Permanent Way, Neglected Rolling Stock, and "Management," which accounts for 76 per cent. of the total number of accidents. And by "Management' he means all that belongs to the trafficnamely, speed of trains; irregularity in starting and running them; an inefficient system of telegraph and other signals; ab