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Strike, but Hear. By a SINECURE FELLOW .. .. .
Two Homes. A Sonnet. By A. L. .. .. . ... ....... 53
Fart III. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Contributors to this Volume.
GREEN, J. R.
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A WEEK IN THE WEST.
FROM A VAGABOND'S NOTE-BOOK.
name the lords, as surely as it yields
women. I can't say I like your hotel. We were due at Chicago at 7 A.M., but clerk form.” were not destined to be “on time.” “What do you say then to the youngThat hour had already passed when we sters who volunteered to officer black came to a dead stop, still a considerable regiments, knowing that they would get distance short of Lake Michigan. My no quarter if taken ; and to the men fellow-countrymen were of course off at and women who organized and worked once to see what was the matter. The our Sanitary commission, and Christian natives generally retained their seats, commission, in the war ?" tranquilly chewing, or eating pop-corn. “Yes; that's a form of nobility to There is a fatalism about the Americans which I take off my hat with pleasure. at home which fills me with respect as No nation can show purer nobles than a vagabond. In travelling in their own these ; we must pass the rest for their country they take all manner of breaks sakes.” down, delays, bursting of boilers, and “ Well, I reckon they're strong the like, as well as all manner of imposi- enough to carry the shoddy aristocracy, tion, insolence, ill-usage of luggage, and and all the rest, on their backs yet heartless indifference on the part of awhile." officials, as a dispensation of Providence At first I had resolved to hold on which is to be accepted as part of the philosophically like my neighbours, but play, and not to be resented or struggled my patience gave way after a quarter of with by any self-respecting citizen, an hour, and I followed my friends to “ They are our aristocracy," the poten- discover the cause of the delay, I found tate jocosely explained to us, “these them in the midst of a small group officials, especially the clerks in the big which had gathered round the hind hotels : the only class here that toil wheel of one of the Pullman cars, into not, neither do they spin. You don't the wheel-box of which a grim, silent expect your lords to behave like common mechanic was driving an iron spoke. folk, you know."
Again and again it refused to hold, and “Surely not," answered the optimist, leapt out at the last stroke. The poten“ nor like lilies of the field. So these tate, who stood by, speculated ominously are your lords ! I remember Emerson, on the future of these luxurious Pullin his chapter on Aristocracy in the man's cars, which have been introduced * English Traits,' says that a race yields on all the main lines. They are constantly a nobility in some form, however you breaking down, it would seem, owing to
No. 145.—YOL. XXV.
their enormous weight; and the wear and tear to the permanent way which they cause is enormous. No doubt Mr. Pallman, or rather the company which represents him, will be found equal to the occasion, and, with the usual inventiveness of his nation, will place some car on the rails which shall still offer the Luxuries of a good hotel to all travellers ready to pay for them, while it meets the requirements of the railway powers as to weight. At last the Pullman was sufficiently doctored to proceed, but it was nearly three hours after our appointed time when we struck Lake Michigan, and ran along the southern and western shore, on which a very respectable sea was breaking. We were rapidly nearing the first, if not the greatest, wonder of the West, and be came aware of the neighbourhood of Chicago by the number of fine villas and carefully tended gardens which skirted the line. Suddenly we ran out into the lake, and did our last two miles or so on a good sound permanent way supported on piles. On our left, between us and the beach before the town, lay a strip of lake, averaging, I should guess, a hundred and fifty yards in breadth, “a first-rate course for a sculling match,” the struggler remarked to me in passing, as it certainly would be, for the piles and girders of the line break the force of the waves, and leave the surface of this inner strip smooth enough for the lightest outrigger. On our right was the great lake, glistening in the morning sun, with the new waterworks which supply the city standing up out of it at three miles' distance, and nothing else but some fine screw steamers, and merchant brigs and schooners plying their trade, between us and the horizon. This approach to Chicago is eminently characteristic of the place. The city had already risen into solid blocks, four or five stories high, and was selling by the Bquare foot at fabulous prices, before railways were strong or sagacious enough to get a footing in the best quarters. No place was left for a great depôt near the centre of business, and most of the companies were content to establish them
selves in the outskirts. But such a “onehorse” policy did not suit the views of the promoters of the Illinois Central, amongst whom one is proud to number several Englishmen, including Mr. Cobden. Into the heart of the city they were resolved to come ; so, as underground railways had not been invented, and other access by land was out of the question, they entered by water, and shares standing at a premium, and dividends at ten per cent., have rewarded their enterprise. One great railway depôt is much like another, and Americans differ from English only in the greater freedom which is allowed to every one to do as he pleases (taking the responsibilities of going by the wrong trains, being left behind, or run over, on his own shoulders), and in the tolling of the great bells which the engines carry. The horrible shriek of the English locomotive is happily unknown in the New World; a soft, low note, which is heard as far, being substituted for it. And the shriek means nothing after all, being emitted quite as often when the engine is standing still as when it is in motion, whereas the engine bell does really warn all concerned. It begins to toll as soon as the American engine moves, or whenever it approaches a station, or crossing. “Look out for the engine when the bell tolls,” inscribed on a board, is all the protection given to the public at half the railway crossings, even in New England. In the West even this warning is omitted. However, in our five minutes' stop at the great central depôt of Chicago, I was certainly struck by one thing. In a conspicuous place on the platform was a noticeboard, and on the board the following,
NOTICE. PASSENGERS ARE CAUTIONED NOT TO LEND
MONEY TO STRANGERS. The optimist was staring at it in blank astonishment when I joined him. We looked at one another, and then again at the notice, and then burst out laughing.
“What the deuse does it mean ?” he asked.