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the addition or detachment of carriages, has
made a sensible difference in the motion of
the train. One engine (or engine-driver, it
may be) jolts and jerks and swings you about;
another comes on, and you go along smoothly.
Why cannot we always go along smoothly?

Habitual travellers on the London and North-
Western Railway are apt to say that the journey
from Euston to Lime-street presents no features
of interest. Now, my experience warrants me in
saying that there is at least one feature which
never fails to interest the traveller. There are
places on the line whose names are household
words, places associated with great names and
great deeds. Here is Harrow, for example,
where so many famous poets and illustrious
statesmen went to school; Rugby, another
famous seat of learning; Mugby, also, known
to the world for its stale buns. The names of
Oxford, Tamworth, and Chester might awaken
historical thoughts to beguile the tedium of the
journey. But the place of interest, par excellence,
is none of these. The magic name which
rouses every traveller when it is uttered, which
even engages his mind before it comes in sight,
is RUGELEY. I have travelled very many times
between London and Liverpool, but I never
once passed this place without thinking, or being
reminded, of it. Second class invariably points
to the square-towered church in the distance,
and says, "Yonder's Rugeley, where Palmer
murdered Cook." First class, being more
dignified and less communicative, is not betrayed
into any remark; but as the train approaches
the place you see that he is watching for
something. Going towards Liverpool it is always
"eyes left" in passing Rugeley. Second class
moralises aloud; first class moralises in thought:

"I wonder if he ever went to that church;
if he prayed there when he was giving Cook the
poison. What must have been his feelings
when the clergyman said, 'Thou shalt do no
murder;' when he came to say, 'From battle
and murder and sudden death, good Lord, deliver

"Here's the station," continues second class.
"I dare say he and Cook have often stood there
together, waiting for the train to Doncaster

"Ah," says another second class, "many's
the time they've taken a glass together in that

"And here's Stafford, where he was tried and

And then comes up the controversy as to
whether or not it was strychnine he used.

There is nothing which interests mankind so
deeply as a murder. It is mere cant in
superior people to deplore the predilection of
the lower classes for that part of the
newspaper which contains the record of crime.
Superior people are quite as eager as their
inferiors to turn to the history of dark deeds.
It is not surprising. Murder is the most awful
of all crimes. The most vulgar deed of this
kind derives importance from the sacredness
which we all attach to human life. The
commonest outcast, whose throat is cut darkly
and mysteriously in some low lodging-house,
receives from the awful circumstance of the crime
something of the halo which surrounds the
martyr. Nothing else that could happen to such
a person could ever elevate him to the importance
which he receives from being murdered. The
murder of Mr. O'Connor by Mrs. Manning is by
no means a burlesque of the murder of King
Duncan by Lady Macbeth. It is the same thing.
The vulgar surroundings of the cellar at Bermondsey
do not render the deed less awful or less
tragic. In both cases it is the violent taking of
a sacred life. There is something solemn in
the very sound of the words, "the murdered
man." Solemnity falls upon the voice when we
say "the dead man;" but "murdered" takes a
deeper, graver tone. No places are so well
remembered as those where murders have been
committed. Our travelling guide never fails to
point out the murder-spots, and no one ever
forgets those spots. They burn themselves into
the mind the instant we see them. We forget
all else that we have seen during the day, though
we may have gazed on things the like of which
we have never set eyes upon before. The
murder-spotthough but a mean room, a heap of
stones, or the root of a treeremains as vivid as

No wonder then that Rugeley church should
arouse so much interest, since it suggests a
subject which so nearly concerns all mankind.
The train of thought here is shunted upon rails
which carry it back to the gates of Paradise, the
scene of the first murder.

And so we come to Luyton, the little station
outside Liverpool, where the train always stops
when Lord Derby is in it, and where a cheerful
gentleman, fresh from an eight miles' ride, comes
in to allay your nervousness by telling you that,
in going down the tunnel, the train once broke
the rope, dashed through the station wall,
rushed across Lime-street, and ran full butt
against St. George's Hall, Liverpool. What a
relief to arrive without running full butt! How
brave and jolly you become the moment you
step on the platform! How well you feel!
what an appetite you have! You forget to write
to the Times about the jolting, and swinging,
and the madness of the engine.


Two youthful schoolmates, blithe and free,
Wander'd together by the sea.

Said one, "My hopes are high as heaven;
To me the Future shall be given."

Said his companion, "I will stand
Among the foremost of the land.

"My fame shall thread the maze of men,
And lightnings quiver from my pen."

They met again in forty years,
And told their boyish hopes and fears.

The one had set his heart on gold,
And found itgrowing frail and old.