Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

on the whole, a very imposing ap- be fatal to the agricultural world pearance.

of the former, where prices are In connection with the geological even now at a minimum. expeditions that have also been at To obviate this, a proposal was work on behalf of the railway, laid before the Committee of the some excellent results have been Trans-Siberian Railway to join by obtained. Hitherto the fuel used rail the basins of the Ob and northhas been wood, and a recent dis ern Dwina. The projected line covery of coal at Pavlodar had was to start from Perm, and, passnot been regarded with any great ing through Viatka, to strike the interest. More lately, however, Dwina near the village of Kotlass, in the Mid-Siberian district, there whence a run of 649 versts down have been two remarkable dis- the river would bring one to Archcoveries of anthracite or stone coal, angel. At the present moment but of very good quality, at points there are upwards of seventy steam within 20 versts of the railway craft plying on that stretch of the Also in Trans - Baikalia, in the river. It has been estimated that valley of the Selenga and other the cost of delivery of grain carplaces, valuable deposits have been goes in London would be about 11 found, some of the seams averag to 24 kopecks the pood cheaper from ing 35 feet in thickness.

Tiumen, and 31 to 61 kopecks from In its relation to Russia, it is Barnaul through Archangel, than obvious that the new railway as through St Petersburg. In time, an exporting agency may not be with the improvement of the navaltogether an unmixed blessing. igable condition of the Dwina and A prominent official told me that other rivers, as also by the lowerit will probably involve a radical ing of the freights, it is supposed change in the administration of that this difference would yet be this matter. The route from more increased to the advantage Europe to Siberia through the of Archangel. The cheapening Kara Sea is still too uncertain a of grain in the Archangel market course to come into anything like will mean the fall of prices on general usage. Meantime an expe- all the White Sea coast, and dition is engaged in hydrographical will provide the possibility in the work in these regions; and the widest measure of increasing the lapse of a few years may make a sea industry, which is now declingreat change in the point of view ing year by year, and passing into from which this passage is re the hands of the Norwegians. The garded at the present moment. estimated cost of this railway is But Siberia requires some cheap 55 million roubles (£5,500,000). convenient way

now by A commencement was made in which to export her produce. 1895, and in time the line will The yearly excess of grain avail. be brought into direct connection able for export is 9 to 12 million with the other branches of the poods (pood = 36 lb. Eng.) A mo- Russian railway system. Such, at ment's thought will serve to show least, is Prince Khilkoff's dream, how the great railway, mainly in which many, however, loudly proits function of populating the coun- phesy will result in failure, ascribtry, will soon augment this large ing it to what they deem to be his quantity. At the same time, to over-eagerness in Russian railway food the already crowded Russian extension. markets with Siberian corn would One feature about the ruilway

even

working the saw downwards to each of which is held in position another man below. Then in the by two little pegs of wood. construction of any high embank Evidences of the railway accomment the supporting piles are panied us so far as we went. The driven in by a primitive contriv- clearing through the Taiga now ance, also of wood, in the form of extends throughout its length, a giant tripod, from the top of and at different points one comes which there hangs a pulley. Over on the embankment in varying this runs a rope, to one end of stages of development. Commons which is attached a heavy stone, ly, it is still disconnected where with level base, while the other end rivers break across its course; but is led on to a wheel at the side, the magnificent bridge over the by means of which the weight is Selenga, in the neighbourhood of raised. This arrangement is fixed Verchni-Udinsk, is now in process over each pile in turn, so that the of construction. descending stone may strike it ; It was impossible to see the thus after a generation the pile is progress of the work round the driven home to the required depth. south end of the Baikal Lake, as

One other point may be briefly the direct route leads one naturally touched upon. Siberia, with one to traverse it by steamboat. This or two exceptions, is not in the part will involve considerable diffipossession of good roads—at least, culty, and, as it may not be ready such as could be counted on for for some time, a steamer of 4000 the transport of rails, fixed or tons is being constructed for the rolling stock. The natural course purpose of transporting the train was therefore to employ her splen- bodily across the lake. A model did waterways, and one of the first of this boat was on view at the acts of the Committee of the Trans- Nijni-Novgorod Exhibition of last Siberian Railway was to authorise summer. It is intended that it the expenditure of over a million shall make its own way across roubles on the improvement of the ice-bound lake; but instead of water-communication on the rivers working on the American principle of Western Siberia, and on explora- of, as it were, climbing up on the tion of the Amur. How much ice and so breaking it down by was necessary to be done in the sheer weight, in accordance with way of deepening channels, cutting the idea of a Russian engineer the down trees which threatened to model represents the vessel as profall into the water, retaining rivers vided with a screw in the bow, in their beds, and marking danger- which, by its action near the surous places, can only be understood face of the water, might be supby those who have seen it for posed to weaken the ice. Captain themselves. How much has been Wiggins meanwhile condemns this done is only in keeping with the scheme, for however well it may really remarkable speed at which succeed with a foot of ice, it seems this whole enterprise is being car to be a very inefficient method of ried through.

coping with the thicker Baikal ice. Lastly, one is impressed with There is a twin screw-propeller at the extremely finished nature of the stern: and the bow is modelled the work : thus the side of the to have the same appearance above large brown embankment is water as the stern. Four funnels, covered often with an infinite disposed in corners of an imaginary number of small squares of turf, square, serve to give the steamer,

[graphic]

on the whole, a very imposing ap be fatal to the agricultural world pearance.

of the former, where prices are In connection with the geological even now at a minimum. expeditions that have also been at To obviate this, a proposal was work on behalf of the railway, laid before the Committee of the some excellent results have been Trans-Siberian Railway to join by obtained. Hitherto the fuel used rail the basins of the Ob and northhas been wood, and a recent dis ern Dwina.

The projected line covery of coal at Pavlodar had was to start from Perm, and, passnot been regarded with any great ing through Viatka, to strike the interest. More lately, however, Dwina near the village of Kotlass, in the Mid-Siberian district, there whence a run of 649 versts down have been two remarkable dis the river would bring one to Archcoveries of anthracite or stone coal, angel. At the present moment but of very good quality, at points there are upwards of seventy steam within 20 versts of the railway. craft plying on that stretch of the Also in Trans - Baikalia, in the river. It has been estimated that valley of the Selenga and other the cost of delivery of grain carplaces, valuable deposits have been goes in London would be about 14 found, some of the seams averag- to 24 kopecks the pood cheaper from ing 35 feet in thickness.

Tiumen, and 3 to 6 kopecks from In its relation to Russia, it is Barnaul through Archangel, than obvious that the new railway as through St Petersburg. In time, an exporting agency may not be with the improvement of the navaltogether an unmixed blessing. igable condition of the Dwina and A prominent official told me that other rivers, as also by the lowerit will probably involve a radical ing of the freights, it is supposed change in the administration of that this difference would yet be this matter. The route from more increased to the advantage Europe to Siberia through the of Archangel. The cheapening Kara Sea is still too uncertain a of grain in the Archangel market course to come into anything like will mean the fall of prices on general usage. Meantime an expe- all the White Sea coast, and dition is engaged in hydrographical will provide the possibility in the work in these regions; and the widest measure of increasing the lapse of a few years may make a sea industry, which is now declingreat change in the point of view ing year by year, and passing into from which this passage is re

the hands of the Norwegians. The garded at the present moment. estimated cost of this railway is But Siberia requires some cheap 55 million roubles (£5,500,000). convenient way

even now by A commencement was made in which to export her produce. 1895, and in time the line will The yearly excess of grain avail- be brought into direct connection able for export is 9 to 12 million with the other branches of the poods (pood = 36 lb. Eng.) A mo Russian railway system. Such, at ment's thought will serve to show least, is Prince Khilkoff's dream, how the great railway, mainly in which many, however, loudly proits function of populating the coun- phesy will result in failure, ascribtry, will soon augment this large ing it to what they deem to be his quantity. At the same time, to over-eagerness in Russian railway flood the already crowded Russian extension. markets with Siberian corn would One feature about the railway

21

TWENTY YEARS OF REVIEWING.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

If a person about to deal with not, I think, be predicated nowa-
Reviewing had no further desire days of at least the majority of
than to amuse his readers or his reviewers-and" gots," which is ir.
audience at the least cost to him. relevant and actionable—these two
self

, he could hardly do better sentences from the most ethereal
than make a cento of extracts of great poets and the most prusaic
from authors on the subject of of great prose-writers pretty well
reviewers. There would certainly sum up the general indictment.
be no lack of matter; and as Bribed, shuffling, stupid, malignant
certainly there would be no lack to worth and genius, neglectful of
of piquancy in what there was. it when not malignant. That is
As Mr Pendennis remarked of his what authors (when they are not
uncle and Captain Henchman, that reviewing, which often happens)
he was "sorry to say they disliked say of reviewers.
each other extremely, and sorry to

But it is not all that is said.
add that it was very amusing to Persons, sometimes really impar-
hear them speak of each other," so tial, sometimes affecting impar-
may it be said of authors and tiality, and, at any rate, not
reviewers. Indeed the comparison merely abusive or indignant, ask
is more than usually appropriate, what is the good of reviewing;
for as Captain Henchman and whether any man who has real
Major Pendennis belonged after knowledge and talent would not
all to the same class, so also do be much better employed in crea
reviewers and authors.

tive, or at any rate substantive,
However, it is not my present work, than in simply commenting
purpose to compile in this fashion, on the work of others ; whether
and we may content ourselves with the habit of reading reviews does
two key-notes uttered in harmony not provide an unhealthy substi-
by perhaps the two most dissimilar tute for the habit of reading the
writers of genius in England in books themselves; whether the
the early years of this century — diversity of equipment to begin
William Cobbett and Percy Bysshe with, and the diversity of verdict
Shelley. Cobbett, in triumphant in the end, do not make reviews
comment on his own 'English almost impossible as instruments
Grammar,' asserts that fifty thou- of instruction or edification of any
sand copies of it have been sold, kind? I have even known odder
“ without its ever having been charges than these made, and com-
mentioned by those old shuffling plaints raised that the reviewer,
bribed sots

, the reviewers.” And by extracting (yet, on the other
Shelley, in one of the cancelled hand, one meets with complaints
sentences of the preface to 'Adon- that he does not extract), spoils
ais -sentences cancelled, not out the author's market, and in fact
of repentance, but because he pre- violates his copyright. In fact,
ferred to put the thing differently the reviewer is in even worse case
– informs us that « Reviewers, than a celebrated heroine of one
with some rare exceptions, are á of the poets, who hated reviewers
most stupid and malignant race." worst in his own peculiar fashion,

Putting aside "old"-which can and who, to do him justice, had no

TWENTY YEARS OF REVIEWING.

If a person about to deal with not, I think, be predicated nowaReviewing had no further desire days of at least the majority of than to amuse his readers or his reviewers—and "sots,” which is iraudience at the least cost to him- relevant and actionable—these two self, he could hardly do better sentences from the most ethereal than make a cento of extracts of great poets and the most prosaic from authors on the subject of of great prose-writers pretty well reviewers. There would certainly sum up the general indictment. be no lack of matter; and as Bribed, shuffling, stupid, malignant certainly there would be no lack to worth and genius, neglectful of of piquancy in what there was. it when not malignant. That is As Mr Pendennis remarked of his what authors (when they are not uncle and Captain Henchman, that reviewing, which often happens) he was "sorry to say they disliked say of reviewers. each other extremely, and sorry to But it is not all that is said. add that it was very amusing to Persons, sometimes really imparhear them speak of each other,” so tial, sometimes affecting imparmay it be said of authors and tiality, and, at any rate, not reviewers. Indeed the comparison merely abusive or indignant, ask is more than usually appropriate, what is the good of reviewing; for as Captain Henchman and whether any man who has real Major Pendennis belonged after knowledge and talent would not all to the same class, so also do be much better employed in creareviewers and authors.

tive, or at any rate substantive, However, it is not my present work, than in simply commenting purpose to compile in this fashion, on the work of others; whether and we may content ourselves with the habit of reading reviews does two key-notes uttered in harmony not provide an unhealthy substiby perhaps the two most dissimilar tute for the habit of reading the writers of genius in England in books themselves; whether the the early years of this century, diversity of equipment to begin William Cobbett and Percy Bysshe with, and the diversity of verdict Shelley. Cobbett, in triumphant in the end, do not make reviews comment on his own 'English

own 'English almost impossible as instruments Grammar,' asserts that fifty thou- of instruction or edification of any sand copies of it have been sold, kind? I have even known odder “without its ever having been charges than these made, and commentioned by those old shuffling plaints raised that the reviewer, bribed sots, the reviewers." And by extracting (yet, on the other Shelley, in one of the cancelled hand, one meets with complaints sentences of the preface to 'Adon that he does not extract), spoils ais '-sentences cancelled, not out the author's market, and in fact of repentance, but because he pre- violates his copyright. In fact, ferred to put the thing differently the reviewer is in even worse case - informs us that “Reviewers, than a celebrated heroine of one with some rare exceptions, are a of the poets, who hated reviewers most stupid and malignant race.” worst in his own peculiar fashion, Putting aside "old" —which can- and who, to do him justice, had no

« AnteriorContinuar »