Page images

now striking at private life, and now at that of
the Emperor himself-has resulted in a condition
of things which has attracted the attention of
many to whom the internal affairs of Russia
were previously as unknown and uncared-for as
the domestic economy of the Ainos. And this
desire for knowledge, this enlightened curiosity,
as to things Russian, has been met by the issue of
books on almost every conceivable aspect of
Russian life. The Germans have been exceed-
ingly active in this work; and a translation of
one of their volumes, Russia Past and Present,
has recently been issued in this country by the
Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge.
The historial accuracy of the work on which this
translation is based, may be estimated by the
fact that it has been added to the libraries of all
the Russian military seminaries, for the use of the
pupils in the higher classes. It treats, in succes-
sive chapters, of the early inhabitants of Russia,
its formation as an empire, its extent, population,
configuration, products, manufactures, climate, and
the like. There are also chapters on the
local capacities; on the constitution of the army
ment of the country, both in its imperial and
and navy; on the state of trade, commerce, and



Ir not unfrequently happens that we know less of our contemporaries than we know of the generations that have preceded us. Most people could tell you more about Chaucer and Milton than they can of Tennyson or Mrs Oliphant; and until very recently we knew as little of George agriculture; along with a description of the Eliot and Thomas Carlyle as we do of Shak-chief towns and chief districts of the country. speare or the author of Piers Plowman. Any The religious observances and popular customs book, therefore, which throws light upon the described, especially the latter, are many of them personal surroundings of our more popular living very curious; and for those who wish to acquire authors, must always be welcome at many firesides. Of this nature is a recent work from the in Russia, we do not know a more agreeable and an intelligent conception of life and government pen of Mr Henry Morley, entitled, English serviceable volume than this. Literature in the Reign of Victoria (London: Sampson Low & Co.), and forming the two-thousandth volume of the well-known Tauchnitz Collection of English Authors. The author does not restrict himself entirely to the reign of our present sovereign; he gives by way of introduction a review of English literature from the beginning of the reign of Elizabeth down to that of Victoria. This portion of the work is contained in three chapters, and necessarily deals with this important period in English letters in a somewhat hasty manner. Yet withal, the survey is by one who has a thorough knowledge of his subject, and it forms a fitting prelude to the notices of the authors who have flourished during the present reign. Many of the personal details thus given, though in all cases briefly, are of much interest, and have the fascination which somehow or other belongs to all literature which tells us, in a clever and agreeable manner, something about the more conspicuous men and women of our own day, especially those of them whose works are in our hands, and with whose opinions we may be familiar, while of their personality we know next to nothing. This little work is further rendered interesting by its presenting us with hundred and fifty fac-similes of autographs of British authors of the present reign.

above one


the more modern buildings in the fortress have been used as a depository for military stores; and it is found that the woodwork of many of the floors has become so rotten as to be unable to support the weight which they are required to bear. In the meantime, the ancient parts of the Tower defy the ravages of time, and seem to be as strong as when first built. The modern buildings are now to be removed, and certain parts of the old work which they superseded are to be restored. When this work is completed, Londoners will once more see the old place as it was known to their forefathers. But they will have the satisfaction of remembering that the religious intolerance and political intrigues which have stained its walls with the blood of so many just men, have passed away for ever.

Perhaps there is no European country which is so rapidly gaining upon public attention, as is Russia at the present time, both with respect to its political and social development. The fierce




Ir might be expected that the titles borne by our aristocracy would generally be derived from the lands actually held by them; but this, as we learn from a return made by a contemporary, is far from being the case. The Duke of Devonshire, the Marquis of Hertford, the Earl of Derby, and Lord Leicester, have, for instance, not an acre of land in the counties from which their titles emanate. The Duke of Devonshire owns eighty thousand acres in Derbyshire, but none in Devon; Lord Derby has some fifty thousand acres in Lancashire, but nothing in Derby; while Lord Leicester's estates are not in the shire of that name, but in Norfolk, where he has over forty thousand acres. The Duke of Norfolk has but four thousand acres in Norfolk, whilst Sussex and York have some thirty-five thousand acres in his ownership. Earls Carnarvon, Suffolk, Westmoreland, Cardigan, Pembroke, Radnor, and Denbigh, derive their large incomes from counties other than those that give them their titles.

The Marquis of Bristol's estate is in Suffolk; the Marquis of Bath's is in Wiltshire. The Marquis of Salisbury's rent-roll is derived from and not from Wilts; the of Hertford derives his from Warwick, and not from Herts; the Marquis of Exeter has nothing in Devonshire; and Lord Southampton's name is absent in Hampshire. The great Duke of Rutland

different counties other than the one from which he derives his title. Notts and Lincoln claim the Duke of St Albans, instead of Herts; and the Duke of Richmond's estates are in Sussex and Scotland, and not in Surrey or Yorkshire. The Duke of Manchester lives in Huntingdon, and does not trouble Lancashire; whilst the Earl of Huntingdon's estates are in Ireland, instead of the English county that bears his name. The Duke of Cleveland would be supposed to draw his enormous income from the Vale of Cleveland, which is in Yorkshire; yet it is not so, his estates being in Durham and Sussex. The Duke of Portland by some is supposed to be the owner of that island in which so many, unwillingly, practically learn the art of building breakwaters and fortifications, and which supplies all England with that beautiful hard stone that bears his name. But the fact is the Duke does not own an acre of land in all Dorsetshire; his immense income being mainly derived from his estates in Notts, Derby, Northumberland, and London. The Marquis of Ailesbury is not known as a landowner in Bucks; Wilts and York having that honour. The Duke of Wellington takes his title from a small town in Somerset, in which county he owns but five hundred and twenty acres, whilst in Hampshire he owns sixteen thousand acres. The Duke of Marlborough takes his title from a small town in Wilts, where his Grace has only one thousand acres, whilst Blenheim, with twenty-two thousand acres of the Duke's property, is in Oxford.

DISCOVERY AS TO PULMONARY CONSUMPTION. Considerable interest has been caused in medical circles by the publication of an address which was delivered by Dr Koch before the Physiological Society of Berlin, on the 24th of March this year. The address dealt with what is called the Etiology-that is, causes-of Tubercular Disease, under which term is included the terrible scourge of pulmonary consumption; and the experiments therein detailed went to show beyond dispute that the spread of tubercular forms of disease is due to the existence of a minute, rod-shaped parasite, or bacillus, only discoverable by the microscope. Dr Koch, who has enunciated this discovery, first made himself known by the cleverness and thoroughness of his researches on the contagion of splenic fever, his investigations in regard to which received such public recognition that the young physician was forthwith transferred from a modest country practice, in the neighbourhood of Breslau, to the post of Government Adviser in the Imperial Health Department of Berlin. He has now done with respect to the disease of consumption what he formerly accomplished in the case of splenic fever. The chief value of the discovery lies in two things-first, that a specific and determinable

discovered the parasite that was the active agent in splenic fever, Pasteur in France inaugurated that series of wonderful experiments which went to show satisfactorily that animals inoculated with the virus of splenic fever are protected in this way against renewed attacks of that fever. It is open to be discovered whether mankind cannot be made proof against the fearful malady of consumption by a similar process of inoculation, just as mankind has been rendered proof in the case of smallpox. The further results of the experiments we have alluded to will be watched for with great anxiety, not only by physicians, but by the many who have suffered or are liable to suffer from the terrible ravages of consumption.


OUTSIDE the Bar, amid the breaking surges,
By mighty winds capriciously misled;
Toy of the tempest-god who madly urges

The ship towards yon reef that lies ahead;
Beset by Night, whose darkling clouds are driven '
Across a sky that shows no friendly star,
With rudder broken, and with canvas riven,

How will she reach her goal within the Bar?

Outside the Bar, like some great soul in sorrow,

The labouring barque bemoans the bitter hour; And her brave crew, with longings for the morrow,

Toil through the night against the tempest's power. Ah! can she conquer when each giant billow Has roused itself man's handiwork to mar? Their angry crests afford no restful pillow

To one who longs for peace within the Bar.

Outside the Bar the storm-fiends, wildly mocking
At human weakness, rave in accents rude;
While in their ruthless grasp the ship is rocking,
A prey to every demon's changeful mood.
The way to port is through those breakers standing
Like foeman-sentinels in time of war,
Their iron-clad and hostile forms commanding
The haven of her hopes within the Bar.

Outside the Bar the ocean-voices thunder,

And Night bends over all her deathly frown: Within the Bar some tender hearts do wonder

If ships will find their refuge near the town. Now, for the sake of those our spirits cherish, Who toss upon tempestuous seas afar, Pray that the barque beleaguered may not perish, But anchor safely yet within the Bar.


[ocr errors]

The Conductors of CHAMBERS'S JOURNAL beg to direct

the attention of CONTRIBUTORS to the following notice: 1st. All communications should be addressed to the 'Editor, 339 High Street, Edinburgh.'

2d. To insure return in case of ineligibility, postagestamps should accompany every manuscript. 3d. MANUSCRIPTS should bear the author's full Christian name, surname, and address, legibly written; and


Fourth Series


No. 962.-VOL XIX.





POSSESSORS of small capital complain that they receive less and less from their investments. A generation ago, three or four thousand pounds returned an interest that enabled its owner to live in modest comfort. Now, if it is funded in firstclass securities, it yields a mere pittance. And not only does interest tend to decline, but the cost of living tends to increase. When this latter first began to hamper people of small fortune, many sought relief in continental countries where living was cheap. To-day, Switzerland, Germany, France, and Italy are relatively dearer places than England. Save in countries almost barbarous, the expenses of the household are continuously rising. The French rentier, the British fundholder, the Swiss house-owner, the American farmer, are all affected by a similar tightening of the financial screw, diverse as their sources of revenue may be. Why is this? Will it continue? In short, what is the prospect before capital?

In discussing this question, it cannot be overlooked that the past half-century has witnessed a commercial and industrial activity so extraordinary, that did we read of it in the history of the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, or other ancient traders, we should deem the recital a wild exaggeration. Living in the midst of this great time, and doing each our individual share to accomplish its marvels, we are to a certain extent blinded to its real magnitude, and unable to comprehend its whole consequences. In the incalculable accumulations of capital, and the strangely varied manner in which its profits are divided, lies the explanation of the reduced returns from investments.


ance with the ascertained state of foreign markets. Importations are similarly controlled. Commodities are bought that will find ready sale. They are not stored in warehouses, as in olden times; the object is to hold little and sell much. Hence, produce and manufactures pass with the least possible delay from importers to consumers, and capital is kept in continual movement.

With a diminution of the hazards that arise from delay and storage deterioration, there have disappeared those greater mercantile risks which made international commerce often as incalculable as roulette. From the earliest times down to the age of steamships, pirates levied tariffs upon Neptune's highway. They did more harm by terrifying trade, than by the barbarities and plunder they inflicted upon those who fell into their hands. In cutting for itself a path to the remotest ends of the earth, commerce has made the loneliest parts of the ocean as free from sea-robbers as the Thames and the Mersey. A few are left in Chinese waters; but their depredations grow daily less, and will soon cease. Steam, long-range guns, the consensus of nations, make successful piracy impossible; and the reformed buccaneer, finding that honesty is the best policy on sea, as it is on shore, ranges himself on the side of capital. So with wreckers. These latter were almost as injurious to primitive commerce as pirates. They were even more cruel; for they preyed upon the trade of their fellow-countrymen as remorselessly as upon that of foreigners. At present, the Coastguard service precludes the possibility of crimes that once were rife on every shore.

Besides destroying predatory men, capital is fettering the savagery of Nature herself. Lighthouses gleam on every dangerous point; lifeboats and other apparatus for rescuing imperilled men and treasure, place a chain of safeguards upon the tracks of trade. The arts of ship-building and navigation never cease to advance, and the laws of storms are being slowly yet surely under

Capital has been fertile as it never was before, because everything has favoured its increase. Business has attained something of scientific exactitude. It loses daily its former aspect of adventure, and its calculations become more strictly based upon facts. Few merchants now

mischief lessens with expanding commerce; and this adds to the growth of wealth and inter

national confidence.

It is to the decline of war, however, that the increase of the world's capital is mostly due. Notwithstanding the frightful military expenditure of the past half-century, and the oppressive burden it yet is to Europeans, the tranquillity of the period is greater than ever was enjoyed before. Military brigandage has been the standing occupation of man during his recorded history. Besides fighting his foes abroad, he has rent his own society by turbulent factions, equally fatal to the growth of capital. But now that human energy is turned from the war-path to paths of peace by the resistless might of universal industry, it follows that creation, not destruction, will be the business of mankind. Instead of capital being annihilated, it will be conserved and


With the decadence of strife between nations, there come kindlier relationships within nations; fellow-citizens quarrel less, and help each other more. When England was aggressive towards the external world, every man was armed, and disputes were settled by the sword. Duelling is now impracticable, even among military men. Judicial combats diminish; and law-courts are less disposed to wrangle than in past times. In all debatable matters, the rights of neighbours are being conceded; and individuality, instead of being treated as an abhorrent contumacy, is now regarded with deference and respect. In religion, in politics, in science, in business, people are permitted to think, judge, and act as they please. What a vast lessening of social friction does this effect! How enormously does it add to the economical progress of mankind! Co-operation, not combat, is becoming the rule of life. As we know from our daily experience, however, the world is yet far from a conceivable state of goodness. Wrong, oppression, greed, and chicanery abound; but not as aforetime. The proof is incontestable, for it lies in the general accumulation of wealth and the public morality which protects it.

One of the causes of the apparent decline in the returns of invested capital is that the habit of saving and investing is becoming general. Until recently, such poor people as could save, kept their money in a hoard. Ages of injustice, pillage, and political uncertainty had cruelly taught the weak and the humble that only by hiding their money could they keep it safely. At present, more than a hundred millions sterling belonging to the British workingclasses are mingled with the prodigious national capital. Instead of lying in the shape of inert metal in holes and corners, it is fructifying on the owners' behalf and that of mankind generally. Security for their capital and the profits it bears, have given a huge impulse to the sparing habits of the poor, besides widening their intelligence and sympathy. How powerfully the possession of securely-placed capital enlarges the mental horizon of men, is seen in the French peasantry. When the Revolution permitted them to buy land, their hoards were converted into fertile fields; dead capital was endowed with life.

Wealth grew so mightily that it could not be contained in France, and the peasants' economies had to overflow into foreign enterprises. Thus was the Suez Canal partially due to the sous and francs of French labourers. The Canal over the Isthmus of Panama is also being largely constructed with the capital of humble French people, and also by that of Spanish and Italian peasants, who likewise are sharing in the general enrichment and confidence of the age. Nay, so allembracing is the passion for accumulation, that Irish farmers and labourers, notwithstanding the impoverishment and dismay now prevailing, find means to place money in the savings-banks. Even the negroes of the United States, who for the past two or three years have been hoarding all the gold they could save, are now beginning to place it in various commercial and agricultural enterprises.

Clearly, man is a thrifty being, if he has a fair chance; with the universally extending area of commerce and industry, the chance has come. No wonder, therefore, that the economisers of twenty and thirty years ago find that investments do not yield so prolifically as before. Competition brings down the price of all things. The extraordinary increase of investors, and the multiplication of capital by its accelerated overturn, are producing great changes in the financial position of all people. A new race of powerful capitalists have come into existence, and the progressive inclusion of all the productive parts of the earth adds hourly to their wealth. In thirty years, Australia and New Zealand have passed from almost worthless wildernesses into first-class contributaries of trade; so have the Western and Pacific states of America. British capital has made railways, docks, harbours, tramways, and telegraph communications all over the world. It has opened some of the richest mining districts of the earth; it has peopled deserts and converted savage wilds into fruitful regions. No less than sixty millions sterling is received as the interest each year upon British investments abroad.

Money, we know, makes money; and it is curious to observe that as accumulation goes on, its profits are less wasted. Rich men de not live in the lavish style of former days. Great nobles do not expend their revenues in stately magnificence, as their ancestors did. The love of pageantry, display, and luxurious show, is not now so universally prevalent Royalty goes abroad unassumingly in a park phaeton; princely territorialists seek to enhance their fortunes by trade and manufactures, like ordinary men of business. A spendthrift aristocrat is despised by his own class, and contemned by humble folks; prodigality is under a ban. Having made wealth or inherited it, the possessor is constrained by the spirit of the age to take care of it-nay more, to increase it. Penny-banks and the Post-office invite the poor to save their odd coppers and put them into the mighty ocean of productive capital; even young children are taught to defer the joy that lies in a halfpenny, until they have laid up a store of many halfpennies.

The increase of work-people's capital is not the whole sum of their financial uprise. Economy rules the operations of their lives more and more. Health is better cared for; more comforts are

1 11

steam, and may beat its rival out of the world, as steam overthrew its adversaries.

sought; pleasures recreate more and excite less; the training of children is improved; in a word, Social energy is conserved. All this means diminished expenditure, and increase of wealth actually and potentially. The rising generation will not only inherit more capital, but will be disciplined to take care of it and to augment it as a prime duty.

But the cost of living will be greater than it is now. Here arises an apparent paradox. With greater wealth, greater funded capital, systematised economy, and all that goes to make life less of a struggle, yet the effort to exist is harder than it was for small capitalists and humble toilers, and promises to be harder still. The explanation is in the growing diameter of individual and national life. We are of greater intellectual and moral stature than our fathers; and our children will be taller than ourselves. The augmented tastes, desires, and employments, which make us so different from our rude sires, entail an expense that has to be met by all but the lowest amongst us. Increase of income, mental or monetary, is followed by a superior style of living. The artisan promoted to a foremanship, leaves a poor dwelling for a better; the foreman risen to a successful employer, goes into a higher social region. So in like manner, a nation like our own, under the persistent leverage of thrift, ascends en masse in the scale of being. Gurth the swineherd lived in a condition but little removed from that of the beasts he herded. Gurth's present descendant is housed more comfortably than Cedric was, and is much more lord of his person and fortune than was the Saxon thane. The rising tide of British and other capital has elevated Gurth junior to the position he enjoys. He finds, however, that his accessions of dignity, right, and freedom have to be paid for. Hence the increased cost of the workman's household. While wasteful ostentation is disappearing among patricians, and millionaires are rebuked for thrusting their metallic superiority under our noses, the toilers of the fields, the forge, and the factory are compelled to live in a style never known to the sons of labour before. Dignity needs substance for its manifestation; thus the workman demands wages adequate to his exalted sphere. Houserents increase, food is dearer, education is a growing tax, amusements and holidays dip deeper into our pockets. Limited income frequently means unlimited anxiety in making both ends The pressure of obdurate circumstances compels further economy, or further efforts to increase income, and whichever mode of relief is sought, the result is to augment capital.

In the competition between barbarians and Europeans, the cheap production of wealth underlies all other contentions. Economy really decides who shall be masters of America, Africa, Australia, and India. Had the Red man, the Negro, and the Hindu been more skilful in turning the elementary wealth of their respective fatherlands to good account than Europeans, permanent conquest of those countries would have been impossible. Invasive races hold colonies and settlements on the tenure of superior economy; for economical law is fundamental, and governs the universe. The stupendous enrichment of the human family now going on is inevitable. Instead of decrying the accumulation of wealth, as some do, it is better to ponder the changed circumstances of the human family, which make capital so abundant and so safe. By so doing, much of the bitterness obtaining among men would pass away, and further facilities arise for bettering the condition of those who complain of getting so little of the vast wealth of the epoch. Although a few persons possess enormous capital, while the multitude has individually very little, yet the tendency is ever towards a more equitable division. Let us remember, that if poor people do not directly own much of the world's gear, they participate in the benefits of those great achievements of civilisation in which the capital of nations is sunk. The parks and promenades, the libraries and museums, the telegraphs, the railways, and other swift modes of communication, are all at their disposal. Workmen's trains and tramservices add to the profits of labour. Carried to the neighbourhood of his employment, the workman arrives with mental and physical vigour intact. This makes him of increased value as an industrial unit, and accounts partly for the higher wages paid than formerly. The workman's capital lies in his muscles and skill, and all the great advances of monetary capital generally make the workman's more valuable.


But the most striking of all the participations in the world's accumulated funds which is possessed by the sons of toil, is in the enlarged leisure of our time. Though we are not prepared to admit that there is no harm in much leisure, it is a significant fact that the hours of labour have diminished by nearly twenty-five per cent. in the past fifty years. This is one of the outstanding facts revealed by the growth of capital, and is of marked significance. Next to making efficient provision for their children or others dependent upon them, the object of those who strive to gain a competency is to enjoy a life of leisure; that is, to do what is most agreeable. Workmen now have two or three hours' daily leisure that their fathers were denied by the small capital of their time. Without some leisure, the higher and broader education of to-day would be almost useless, as would the many aids to social and personal improvement. The English workman enjoys more leisure than any other workman abolishing sailing-ships. Cabs in the world, except the Australian; and this is drove out sedan-chairs, and now tram-cars are owing to the magnitude of English capital, to its supplementing Cabs. Bicycles and tricycles are security and productiveness.

Such appears to be the outcome of the commercial period now spreading over the world. Willingly or unwillingly, we are obliged to contribute to the funded resources of mankind. In warlike ages, men were forced to fight or be enslaved. Now, the conflict is for economical freedom. We see this going on everywhere. In civilised countries, mechanical devices have superseded human muscles in all the great industries. Railways have supplanted beasts of burden; steamships are

arrayed against

« PreviousContinue »