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comfort or convenience of the public, or of the Company's servants, or for the completion of the line upon some indefinite principle. The process of construction appears, indeed, to be interminable, and as the Government is often more disposed to accept than to controvert the proposals of the railway officers, the delicate and invidious task of economy is thrown upon
the London Boards, and demands their untiring vigilance. On them devolves the labour of raising new capital for these additions, which the public are more eager to offer than the shareholders are to accept. The final decision of the question of augmenting the capital rests with the shareholders, even after the Secretary of State has authorised it by his guarantee, and they have a reasonable apprehension that every addition to it tends to diminish their chance of a higher dividend than five per cent. This check on the increase of capital, though it may sometimes be capriciously exercised by a small knot of shareholders at the half-yearly meetings, as in the case of the Hooghly bridge, is on the whole salutary. Judging from the remarks frequently made at these meetings, the proprietors of stock appear to have little, if any, idea of the incessant endeavours of the Board to prevent this increase. We learn from Mr. Danvers's report that the East Indian Railway, alarmed at the demands for further capital expenditure which reached them with scarcely the exception of a mail, .... and determined to put a stop to it till they were satisfied that the real necessities and interests of the Company demanded it, deputed their consulting engineer, Mr. Rendel, to India, at the close of last year, to investigate the subject in connexion with the officers of the establishment;' and with regard to works under construction or in contemplation, to consider whether they should be proceeded with or stopped.' It is understood that the result of his visit has been a saving of half-amillion to the Company, if not of a much larger sum.
Under the system of guarantees the general control of the expenditure in India is vested in the Governor-General in Council, while the immediate supervision of it is committed to the Governors and Lieutenant-Governors of the provinces through which the railways run, and is exercised by their respective consulting engineers. These are, without exception, military officers, whose knowledge of railway economy and practice has been acquired in India, and whose opinions can scarcely fail in some instances to clash with those of the professional civil engineers sent out from England. But the friction which this anomaly might have been expected to create has been removed by the greater permanence which is now given to the appointment of Government engineers, and which enables them to acquire a large fund of experience.
No sum can be expended in construction, maintenance, or working without the consent of Government, and even the quantity of grease to be allowed every six months for the axles requires official authorisation. The control of the State extends to every department and every operation, and appears to be as complete as if the rail were a purely Government establishment. “Mr. Crawford's letter to Sir Stafford Northcote gives us a view of the management of the line in India by the officers of the Company. It is placed under the direction of a Board of Agency, consisting of the agent on a salary of 30001, a year, the deputy agent, and the chief engineer. This Board meets weekly for the transaction of business, and its secretary records its proceedings and resolutions and transmits them to the Board of Directors in London. An official meeting is held once a week, which is attended also by the Government consulting engineer, who gives his sanction to the proceedings of the agency, which saves the mischievous delays and impediments inseparable from the system of correspondence, which in Bengal is interminable. On questions which involve a leading principle or a heavy expenditure, a reference is made to the Governor-General in Council. In case of any serious difference of opinion between the Government of India and the Board of Agency, the question is sent home to the Secretary of State, and finally disposed of in communication with the Board of Directors. The whole line is constantly visited, at uncertain intervals, by the travelling inspector of the Company, and a salutary control is thus established over the station staff. An officer of high standing is also deputed by Government, once a quarter, to visit every station and report on its condition and upon every matter connected with the comfort and accommodation of the passengers. One of the most important arrangements connected with this line is the establishment of an audit department, under the management of a chief auditor—one of the most highly-paid officers of the Company—who is altogether independent of the agency, and responsible only to the London Board, with whom he is in direct correspondence. His duties are to ascertain that the authorisation of Government has been obtained for every demand before it is paid, to verify the payments by vouchers, and to see that they have all been duly brought to account. It is likewise his province to audit the whole of the traffic receipts, the stock and share registry, and to regulate the periodical stocktaking. The revenue account for the half year is made up by him in communication with the Government accountant-general, and becomes the basis of the ultimate settlement between the Secretary of State and the Company. The accounts are also most rigidly audited at short intervals by the officers of Government, and it is scarcely possible that any irregularity can evade this double scrutiny.
The system of management organised by Lord Dalhousie for the guaranteed railways, and thus matured by the experience of fifteen years, has proved to be sound and beneficial. The control placed in the hands of the engineer officers of the State over the movements and proposals of the officers of the Companies has not been without some drawbacks; but they have gradually disappeared by the exercise of a spirit of mutual consideration. The control vested in Government does not appear to interfere with the authority of the agents of the different Companies, or to weaken their responsibilities, or to repress their energies. The advantages connected with it, on the other hand, have been various and substantial. It has in many cases been instrumental in promoting the economical working of the lines. The control of the London Boards is in a great measure enfeebled by their distance from the scene of operations, and the active supervision of official authority on the spot is therefore of no small value in checking that tendency to waste and extravagance which is inseparable from the handling of large sums, and from which railway undertakings are by no means exempt. The officers of Government have moreover enjoyed opportunities of comparing the expenditure of one railway with that of another, and of suggesting the general adoption of measures of retrenchment which have been devised on any particular line. On the whole, there can be no hesitation in stating that the Indian system of railways would not have presented the same satisfactory appearance if it had been left to the uncontrolled agency of private Companies, or if it had been worked by Government officers as a department of the State. It is the combined action of the Government and the Boards, and the healthy influence it creates, which has produced the present results, and to which we must look for future improvement.
The benefit conferred on the Government of India by the introduction of the rail it would be difficult to overrate. It is no small advantage that the transmission of the public despatches has been accelerated three and four fold, and additional vigour communicated to the machine of the State. The GovernorGeneral is now enabled to perform journeys, together with his establishments, in as many days as it required months in the administration of Lord Wellesley and Lord Hastings; and this economy of official time cannot but be regarded as a national benefit. He has likewise the means of visiting every portion of the empire with rapidity and ease, and of obtaining a knowledge of its condition and its wants from personal observation. But
it is in the immense increase of security which railways have given to our widely-extended empire that their importance is most conspicuous. The Romans never considered a province fully conquered till they had constructed a highway through it. But what was the political and military utility of their magnificent roads compared with that of our railways in the facilities they afford for the rapid concentration of troops and the material of war on any point where a revolt may break out. No one will controvert the fact, that if we had possessed, as we now do, 3500 miles of rail at the period of the Sepoy mutiny, it would have been extinguished in a few months. All those apprehensions which were formerly entertained, even by eminent statesmen, that every extension of the empire diminished its stability and hastened its dissolution, have been dissipated by the genius of George Stephenson. The remotest provinces are as accessible as the nearest ; and the garrison of Peshawur, 1500 miles from Calcutta, can be relieved and strengthened with greater certainty and speed than places only a tenth of that distance thirty years ago.
The empire is safer with 50,000 European troops and the rail, than it could be with double that number and no rail. It is the simple truth that no dominion of such magnitude has ever been held by a foreign power, ancient or modern, at such a distance from the seat of authority under circumstances which give such confidence in its durability and permanence. Nor should the effect of the rail on the native mind be overlooked. The feeling of acquiescence in a government which, though alien, is not in any sense oppressive, and in many ways beneficent, grows stronger with the lapse of time, which abates the desire for change. This feeling is abundantly strengthened in India by the marvels of scientific skill we have introduced, than which not one is more calculated to strike the native understanding with wonder and awe than the rail. As it sweeps day by day, from province to province, it presents to prince and peasant an ever-recurring token of the extent of our dominion, the ubiquity of our power, and the magnitude of our resources.
In a still higher sense may the rail be considered beneficial to the interests of the British Government in India, inasmuch as it promotes the highest object of its solicitude, its very raison d'étre, the improvement of the country and the well-being of its inhabitants. By providing a rapid and cheap mode of conveying the produce of the country from one province to another, and to the seaports, it serves to develop the agricultural resources of the country, to multiply articles of cultivation, and to give a new impulse to the pursuits of industry. As far as its influence extends, it mitigates the horrors of famine.
It has a strong tendency to foster the spirit of commercial enterprise, and thereby lessen the fondness for military adventure which was formerly the chief source of national excitement. It tends to weaken the despotism of caste. It breaks up the old habits of isolation and opens new circles of social and domestic intercourse. By enlarging the sphere of observation it creates new desires and new wants. It is gradually arousing the native mind from the lethargy of centuries and throwing a new element of energy into native society, and it will eventually be found to have introduced a greater and more beneficial change in the thoughts, feelings, and habits of the people than has been brought about by any of the political changes of the last eight hundred years.
ART. III.-The Poems of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Edited by
Derwent and Sara Coleridge. A New Edition. London, 1854. N Coleridge as a philosopher much has been written, and
, and that little has not, as a rule, been remarkable for either subtle appreciation or accurate discrimination. Should we be far wrong if we went further and said that the poetry of Coleridge is in reality not much read at all? Those who confine their attention to the Ancient Mariner' and `Christabel' will probably think that we are in error. But we judge by this fact, among others, that in a late edition of his works the whole series of poems written in later life, containing some of his most exquisite and characteristic pieces, is unceremoniously omitted.
The first point which strikes us in Coleridge's character, and which has not, we think, been sufficiently observed, is his ambitious temper, which led him to plan so much more than he or any man could accomplish. It is true that all men who make a great figure in the world must have a share of ambition, a desire for power and for the estimation of power, larger than is found among their fellow men. But in most it is overlaid and hidden by other feelings. Thus in Wordsworth it was overlaid by pride and a certain narrowness of intellect; in Byron it was in a great measure quenched by the admiration which was so early poured upon him, so that for the rest of his life he alternated between vanity, the complacent satisfaction at this admiration, and cynicism, which is the satiety of it; in Shelley there was not enough of definite aim to render