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his early romances by what Major Longbow
himself would have called "an everlasting
long chalk."  Within that year, seventy
railroads, constructed at an outlay of sixty
millions sterling, conveyed twenty-five millions
of passengers three hundred and thirty millions
of miles, at an average cost of one penny and
three quarters per mile, and an average speed
of twenty-four miles per hour, with but one
fatal accident.

But if our parent of railway proprietors
were astonished at what happened in 1843,
with what inconceivable amazement he must
peruse the details of 1849! We should like
to see the expression of his countenance while
conning the report of Her Majesty's
Commissioners of Railways for last year. At the
end of every sentence he would be sure to
exclaim, ''Who would have thought it?"

From this unimpeachable record of scarcely
credible statistics, it appears that at the end of
1849 there were, in Great Britain and Ireland,
five thousand five hundred and ninety-six
miles of railway in active operation; upwards
of four thousand five hundred and fifty-six of
which are in England, eight hundred and
forty six in Scotland, and four hundred and
ninety-four in Ireland. Besides this, the
number of miles which have been authorised
by Parliament, and still remain to be finished
is six thousand and thirty; so that, if all
the lines were completed, the three kingdoms
would be intersected by a net-work
of railroad measuring twelve thousand miles:
but of this there is only a remote probability,
the number of miles in course of active
construction being no more than one thousand
five hundred, so that by the end of the present
year it is calculated that the length of finished
and operative railway may be about seven
thousand four hundred miles, or as many as
lie between Great Britain and the Cape of
Good Hope, with a thousand miles to spare.
The number of persons employed on the 30th
of June, 1849, in the operative railways was
fifty-four thousand; on the unopened lines,
one hundred and four thousand.

When the schemer of the infancy of the giant
railway system turns to the passenger-account
for the year 1849, he declares lie is fairly
'knocked over."  He finds that the railway
passengers are put down at sixty-three million
eight hundred thousand; nearly three times the
number returned for 1843, and a hundred times
as many as took to the road in the days of
stage-coaches. The passengers of 1849, actually
double the sum of the entire population of
the three kingdoms.

The statement of capital which the six
thousand miles now being hourly travelled
over represents, will require the reader to
draw a long breath;—it is one hundred and
ninety-seven and a-half millions of pounds
sterling. Add to this the cash being disbursed
for the lines in progress, the total rises to two
hundred and twenty millions! The average
cost of each mile of railway, including engines,
carriages, stations, &c., (technically called
"plant,") is thirty-three thousand pounds.

Has this outlay proved remunerative? The
Commissioners tell us, that the gross receipts
from all the railways in 1849 amounted to
eleven millions, eight hundred and six thousand
pounds; from which, if the working expenses
be deducted at the rate of forty-three per cent,
(being about an average taken from the
published statements of a number of the principal
companies), there remains a net available
profit of about six millions seven hundred
and twenty-nine thousand four hundred and
twenty pounds to remunerate the holders of
property to the amount of one hundred and
ninety-seven millions and a-half; or at the
rate, within a fraction, of three and a-half
per cent. Here our parent of railway
prospectuses chuckles. He promised twenty per
cent, per annum.

In short, in everything except the dividends,
our scheming friend finds that recent
fact has outstripped his early fictions. He
told the nervous old ladies and shaky "half-
pays" on his projected line, that Railways
were quite as safe as stage-coaches. What
say the grave records of 1849? The lives of
five passengers were lost during that year and
those by one accidenta cause, of course,
beyond the control of the victims; eighteen
more casualties took place, for which the
sufferers had themselves alone to blame. Five
lives lost by official mismanagement, out of
sixty-four millions of risks, is no very
outrageous proportion; especially when we
reflect that, taking as a basis the calculations
of 1843, the number of miles travelled over
per rail during last year, may be set down at
eight hundred and forty-five millions; or nine
times the distance between the earth and the sun.

Such are the Railway wonders of the year
of grace, one thousand eight hundred and
forty-nine.

THE WATER-DROPS.
A FAIRY TALE.

CHAPTER THE FIRST.
The Suitors of Cirrha, and the young Lady; with a
reference to her Papa.

FAR in the west there is a land mountainous,
and bright of hue, wherein the rivers
run with liquid light; the soil is all of yellow
gold; the grass and foliage are of resplendent
crimson; where the atmosphere is partly of a
soft green tint, and partly azure. Sometimes
on summer evenings we see this land, and
then, because our ignorance must refer all
things that we see, to something that we
know, we say it is a mass of clouds made
beautiful by sunset colours. We account for
it by principles of Meteorology. The fact has
been omitted from the works of Kaemtz or
Daniell; but, notwithstanding this neglect, it
is well known in many nurseries, that the
bright land we speak of, is a world inhabited
by fairies. Few among fairies take more
interest in man's affairs than the good Cloud

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