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worth while to protect these men from the
weather; and even now, since the introduction
of the weather board, the simple and
excellent plan adopted on the Caledonian and
a few other railways, of a sloping board
attached to it, at an easy angle overhead, is,
it would seem, too simple and useful a
contrivance to meet with the approbation of our
large railway companies; but if the chairman
of directors were to turn driver for a week
in winter, he might possibly be convinced
of the utility of other boards besides that
over which he presides.

It is not so much comfort, however, as
safety that is desired; and, until we introduce
a better system of signals than the one at
present in use, this desirable object can
never be attained. The late deplorable
accident at Church Fenton, when the lives of
several passengers were sacrificed to the
carelessness of a lad of fifteen, is sufficient to
show the faultiness of the present economy.
The plan at present in use we all know is,
that a driver shall assume everything to be
right until he is told by signal that it is
wrong, thus virtually placing his life and the
lives of the public in the hands of the signal-
man. What I would suggest is, that the
driver shall assume everything to be wrong
until he is told by signal that everything
is right; thus allowing the public to have
the vigilance of two men in the place
of one as a guarantee for their protection.
For the sake of example, let us imagine an
express train starting from King's Cross
down the Great Northern. On approaching
Colney Hatch station, the driver sees the
signal for him to stopthe danger signal, in
fact, exhibited. He sounds his whistle
interrogatively, and immediately the signal is
changed into one which signifies all right;
and, without pausing on his journey, he has
the satisfaction of knowing that the signal-
man is at his post and attending to his duty.
Should there be no alteration made in the
signal, his alternative would of course be to
stop; and, if it should appear that this arose
from the inattention of the signal-man, the
fact might be reported to head-quarters.
The passengers in the train would know at
the same time that the driver is attending to
his duty.

That the greatest number of accidents
arise from the neglect of the signal-man, and
not of the driver, anyone who reads the
statistics of these occurrences may satisfy
himself. That they occur in too many
instances from a false economy on the part of
the railway companies. The plan I have
proposed, then, of what might be termed affirmative
signalling, will not only be acceptable to
the companies for its economyfor then, with
the experience of the driver to fall back
upon, they may safely entrust the signal to
boysbut will satisfy the public that their
safety is not entrusted solely to the vigilance
of one individual.

P.S. Since writing the above I have seen
the same system in extenso advocated in the


     IT is a dreary evening;
        The shadows rise and fall;
     With strange and ghostly changes,
        They flicker on the wall.

     Make the charred logs burn brighter;
        I will show you, by their blaze,
     The half-forgotten record
        Of bygone things and days.

     Bring here the ancient volume;
        The clasp is old and worn,
     The gold is dim and tarnished,
        And the faded leaves are torn.

     The dust has gathered on it
        There are so few who care
     To read what Time has written
        Of joy and sorrow there.

     Look at the first fair pages;
        Yes,—I remember all;
     The joys now seem so trivial,
        The griefs so poor and small.

     Let us read the dreams of glory
        That childish fancy made;
     Turn to the next few pages,
        And see how soon they fade.

     Here, where still waiting, dreaming,
        For some ideal Life,
     The young heart all unconscious
        Had entered on the strife,

     See how the page is blotted.
        Whatcould those tears be mine?
     How coolly I can read you,
        Each blurred and trembling line.

     Now I can reason calmly,
        And looking back again,
     Can see divinest meaning
        Threading each separate pain.

     Here strong resolve how broken,
        Rash hope, and foolish fear,
     And prayers, which God in pity
        Refused to grant or hear.

     NayI will turn the pages
        To where the tale is told
     Of how a dawn diviner
        Flushed the dark clouds with gold.

     And see, that light has gilded
        The storynor shall set,
     And, though in mist and shadow,
        You know I see it yet;

     Herewell, it does not matter,
        I promised to read all;
     I know not why I falter,
        Or why my tears should fall;

     You see each grief is noted;
        Yet it was better so
     I ran rejoice to-daythe pain
        Was over, long ago.

     I readmy voice is failing,
        But you can understand
     How the heart beat that guided
         This weak and trembling hand.

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