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to be almost engrained into his nature, and to be in painful inconsistency with its better elements :
Like that relentless soul—a shaded flame
Of thankless Florence.' We hope that he is still in time to wrestle with the foul fiend of such evil thoughts, and overcome it. What is to become of a society, whose different classes are extreme to mark what is done amiss, and to fly to arms in jealous hatred of each other;-where the very men who by their talents and virtues ought to be the peacemakers, think it a duty to blow into a flame the sparks, which, more or less, must always be at hand ? Suppose that the higher and middling orders were to take Mr Elliott's intense antipathy to be a correct representation of the sentiments of the Tower, and were to be provoked into something of re-action. At present, we are certain, that if any one were to venture to give the public a picture of the poor, as distorted in its outline and as false in its colouring, as Mr Elliott has here given us of the rich, no poetical merit could protect it from being put down by general indignation and contempt. These feelings on our part, strong as they are, do not prevent us from making those allowances for Mr Elliott, which a poet of caste and cant certainly would not receive from us. We honestly think that his works will stand this double test. The more carefully they are read, the more will their poetical merit be recognised, and the more will the personal character, which is exhibited in them, be admired. Every Englishman that takes an interest in a mechanic, who, leading a humble and laborious life, has yet impressed upon it the several distinct excellences of a beautiful poet, a patriotic citizen, and a virtuous parent, must heartily join in the Poet's prayer.'
Almighty Father ! let thy lowly child,
ART. VI.-1. Minutes of Evidence before a Select Committee of the
House of Commons on the London and Birmingham Railway Bill. London : 1833. 2. On the Importance and advantages of Railways. London: 1833. 3. Seven Annual Reports of the President and Directors to the Stockholders of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company. Baltimore : 1833. 4. The American Railroad Journal. New York : 1832, 1834.
to the great advancement which had been made in the art of applying steam-power to the important purposes of inland transport. We then foretold the rapid extension of this great instrument of social improvement; and subsequent events have amply verified our predictions. Railroad undertakings have been entered into with an avidity to satisfy the most ardent, and to create alarm in the more timid and cautious. In our own country, however, the number of checks on such schemes are sufficient to prevent the public from rushing into them with undue precipitation; and the danger rather is, that private and local interests may act as too great a drag on public enterprise, than that the latter principle should receive undue scope. A considerable portion of the property of the country, and more especially of that in land, has, in many instances, opposed serious obstructions to parties seeking legislative sanction for projected lines of railroad ; and although, in some cases, such opposition has proceeded from sinister motives, or such as would not bear an open avowal, yet we must suppose that in the majority, the ostensible objections have been seriously and sincerely, though erroneously, entertained. In the present article, we shall endeavour to show, not only that the principal objections so urged are unfounded in themselves, but that they are in direct opposition to the results of experience, and as much opposed to the real interests of the objectors as to the public good. We shall also briefly advert to the principal lines of communication recently undertaken, and to those which are in progress in other parts of Europe, and in America.
The opposition which railway companies experience in obtaining the necessary legislative sanction, proceeds, in the majority of cases, from the landholders, through whose lands the projected lines are to pass. Nevertheless it is demonstrable, that there exists no class of persons whose interests are more likely to be promoted by such improvements than those of the local proprietors. One ground of objection assumed by proprietors resident in the vicinity of projected lines of railroad, is the apprehended nuisance of the noise and smoke of the engines, and of the exposure of their premises to the intrusion of large numbers of passengers. The evidence produced before the Committee of the House of Commous, on the London and Birmingham railroad, will show how unfounded are such objections.
Mr Hardman Earle, a Liverpool merchant, was one of the most determined opponents of the Liverpool and Manchester railroad. His family had, at the cost of above L.12,000, built a house, and laid out pleasure-grounds, through which the line of railway passes; and their opposition was founded partly on the apprehended injury and inconvenience arising from this circumstance. Mr Earle, therefore, was very properly summoned as witness before this Committee, and the following is a part of his testimony.
· Have you experienced any inconvenience since the railway was constructed ? —No inconvenience whatever has been experienced.
• Are the grounds infested by the people in consequence of the passage of the locomotive engine 2-No.
Is there any thing offensive in it ?- Nothing whatever. • Is there any smoke ?- None whatever.
• Is there any noise ?-No; it is rather an object of interest to persons residing there.
Are you able to say whether the inhabitants of other houses are annoyed?-I am enabled to say they do not consider them a nuisance.
• At the commencement of the undertaking were you a determined opponent to the measure ?-Yes; my mother was a petitioner against the bill, and I appeared as evidence against it.
• From all that you have since seen you would no longer oppose the construction of railroads ?--Certainly not; from what I have seen my opinion is entirely changed.'
In fact the fuel burned is coke, which produces no smoke. The smoothness of the road, and its freedom from those asperities which exist on the best constructed turnpike roads, are such that the wheels move with comparatively little noise. But, in addition to this, the speed being almost three times that of common coaches, and more than seven times that of waggons, the noise is almost momentary. A train of waggons or coaches shoots past with the speed of the wind, and the noise is scarcely perceived before it ceases ; it cannot be heard on a still day at a greater distance than one hundred yards.
Another ground of objection, urged by landlords, is the apprehended depreciation of the value of the adjacent land. The facility of communication with the metropolis and populous towns is so obvious an advantage, that we cannot help expressing our astonishment that such an apprehension should for a moment be entertained. As those who could entertain an objection so unfounded are little likely to be accessible to the reasoning by which it might be refuted, we shall here confine ourselves to facts, and show that in every case, without a single exception, which has come under enquiry, the value of land adjacent to a successful line of railway has been considerably increased.
Mr Pease, M. P., a director of the Stockton and Darlington railway, stated, in his evidence, that he had been for ten years a director of that company, during seven years of which the railroad had been in practical operation; that he had closely observed its effects on landed property through which it passed, or which was adjacent to it, and that he had been privy to all the negotiations which had taken place between the railroad company and the proprietors from whom they had made purchases. . Do
you know whether the advertisements for letting farms or selling estates, contain any thing relating to the railroad ?— It is invariably stated, either that the railroad passes through the estate or near to it ; they consider it as an enhancement of the value of the property.
• Are you a landholder yourself in the neighbourhood of the railroad ?--I have one small estate, which it intersects into two equal parts nearly. It passes through the enclosure in which the homestead stands.
· Have you been benefited by the railroad passing through it?-I have; the cuttings are available as drains ; the rent of the property is increased one-fifth. I let the farm, subject to its being given up on the railroad being made, and I have since received one-fifth additional rent. « Do you know
instance of the reduction of rent, in consequence of a railroad passing through a farm ?-I have made enquiries, but have not been able to meet with such an instance.'
The Stockton and Darlington railway was originally intended to be a single line ; but after its formation the company found, from the extent of traffic upon it, that a double line would be necessary. Having originally purchased no more land than was necessary for the single line, they were obliged to treat with the same proprietors for an additional tract to widen the road, so as to receive the second line of railway. Nothing can more conclusively decide the question of the effect of the railway on the value of land than this circumstance. Here was a portion of land, purchased before any railway had been constructed ; and
an equal quantity, in precisely the same place, was subsequently purchased from the same parties by the same company, after the formation of the single line of railway. Mr Pease was examined as to the terms on which the second portion of land was purchased.
· Have you paid on those (second) treaties, an increased value upon the land beyond what you paid before the line was established ?-Invariably.
• Can you say to what amount ?-I should say that we have never objected to pay an advanced price of 50 per cent.
Was this in consequence of the increase of value arising from the railroad ? -We were quite aware of the increased value to the owner, and made no objection to the advance.'
Mr Thomas Lee, a surveyor and agent to several landed gentlemen in the neighbourhood of the Liverpool and Manchester railroad, was examined as to the effect of the railroad upon the value of land in that neighbourhood.
• Can you tell the committee whether in an agricultural point of view, property has been improved or deteriorated by the railroad passing through it? It has been improved.
• Have the farmers been benefited by it ?- They have.
• Have Colonel Lee and Mr Trafford obtained higher rents in consequence of it ?— They have. . Have
you taken land yourself at an increased rent ?-At double the original rent.
Mr Hardman Earle, before mentioned, was examined to the same point. 3 Do you know
any instance in which the value of land has been affected by the railway ?-I think the Chat Moss was an instance of that kind. They bring manure from Manchester to Chat Moss; and wherever a station is formed, the value of the land is improved. You see advertisements recommending a site, because the railroad runs near or through it. « Do you know of
instances by which land has been depreciated by it?– I think I can say positively that there is not an instance on the Manchester line. .
Do you know of any persons quitting their dwelling-houses in consequence of it?-I do not know of one. I should be glad to purchase land on the line, to build for myself.' We may
here state that the Chat Moss is an extensive district of bog and morass, over which the railroad was carried at incredible labour and expense. It was of course previously altogether VOL. LX, NO, CXXI.