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affair, pre-eminently characterised by specialisation. In the olden times every man raised his own requirements: he bred his meat, grew his breadstuffs, and wore his homespun. But the division of labour has changed all this. This new method of working gives us an article so much superior, and yet so much cheaper, that the producer has long since ceased to work up his own produce. He sells it instead, and with the proceeds he supplies his own wants. The raw material passes from the farm to the factory, and the grower draws his supplies from a thousand sources. But this involves transport. For the scenes of their labours, the farmer selects the rich valley, the grazier the broad plains, and the miner the metalbearing hills, while the smoke of the factory rises wherever water, fuel, and labour are cheap. The site that suits the one is often useless to the other; each industry has its home, and these are frequently far apart. How, then, is the raw product to reach the mill, and the finished article the consumer? It is only by means of cheap freights. If freights are dear, profitable interchange is impossible, and trade is either not attempted at all, or if the attempt be made, it is speedily relinquished; industries cannot start, labour starves, capital goes elsewhere, railroads become idle, and a whole colony poor. Therefore, cheap freights have become a necessity of modern existence—a far greater one than cheap land: and this fact our farmers are about the first to find out. Tempted to go forth and select, what is their position? Their crops lie rotting, their fields go untilled, and their creditors foreclose, because the freights are such as to present an almost insuperable barrier between them and their customers. Tons of potatoes were recently spoiling at Gordons-a district only about one hundred miles from Melbourne. In town 25s. per ton could have been got for them, but the grower would have had to pay 14s. for freight and 10s. 6d. for other charges. The transaction would leave the railway with a profit of about 6s. 9d., and the grower with a loss. But if this profit be made by the carrier, it is made but once, while a lesser charge might have left the farmer sufficient encouragement to plant again and again, and so to create a scene of perpetual
Mr. Patterson refuses to reduce the freight to one penny per ton per mile, on the ground that the department would be a loser at that rate. But as the actual cost of transport is about three-farthings per mile, one-penny would leave a profit of one farthing. How then does the Minister make out the loss? If the goods must, and will, go by rail, whether the concession be granted
or refused, then, of course, the argument holds good, not else. But in this case, the potatoes cannot travel next year, for the simple reason that it does not pay the farmer to plant them while the present freight is charged. So that if the Department will not accept the smaller profit, it will not get any. Mr. Patterson defends the Victorian railway tariff, on the ground that where cheaper rates rule, the railways can afford the lower charge, because their goods trains travel at night, and at very slow speeds. But this is not an
Our farmers will be satisfied to let their produce travel under the same restrictions provided the charge be proportionately reduced. We are inclined to think that the real difficulty is a different one. In truth, our Department cannot afford cheap freight, because it cannot afford slow trains. Its equipment is too scanty. The trains must be pressed to keep abreast of the traffic; more fuel is burnt than would be consumed at low speeds, and the heavy goods trains thundering along the lines to keep down the accumulating freight, cause excessive wear and tear, especially on the light lines. For, on these the pressure of work tells with redoubled effect. Constructed to carry light engines, and light loads, at low speeds, the exigencies of the service compel them to carry any vehicles that may be available, whether light or heavy, and these are drawn at a speed which is regulated by the demand for rolling-stock, and not by the capacity. of the road. Let the equipment be increased; with adequate rollingstock, slow trains would be possible, and with low speeds, lessened working expenses, reduced wear and tear, and Cheap Freights.
Our need of these is the greater, when we remember that we have no great natural advantages to compensate for a high railway tariff. Our lands are poor, our rainfall is precarious, and labour is dear. No extensive river system carries our harvests at a nominal charge; the cost of living and working is artificially enhanced; our Dear customers are limited in numbers, and our large ones are separated from us by an ocean; while, above all, we have the New World competing against us in the markets of the Old.
What can we do without Cheap Freights?
GEORGE S. GRIFFITHS.
TURKEY AND THE TURKS.
BY A CORRESPONDENT.
It is on the first morning after my arrival at Constantinople, and as I descend from my room in the Hotel d'Angleterre at Pera, that I am accosted in the vestibule by a thin wiry man, who, after looking me full in the face with the penetrating glance of an inquisitor, makes a profound salaam, until his tabouche nearly touches the ground, and I begin to imagine that he is about to • stand on his head preparatory to performing some astounding
acrobatic feat; but, in the twinkling of an eye, he rises straight as an arrow, and then, bending himself gracefully forward in the form of a well-strung bow, takes a puff at his cigarette, and, as the smoke coils like a couple of serpents out of his dilated nostrils, inquires in soft mellifluous accents, and in the most unexceptionable French, whether I require the services of a dragoman to initiate me into the mysteries of this most mysterious of all Oriental cities. It does not take me long to perceive by the outward appearance of my interrogator that he is an offspring of the Hellenic race, for he has a sleek oval face, dark flashing eyes, an aquiline nose, and a bristling moustache, the waxed ends of which curl upwards over a wide but thinly-cut mouth. Stuck jauntily on the side of his closely-cropped head is a scarlet tabouche, with a long pendant blue tassel; the wide open sleeves of his green velvet jacket are richly embroidered with golden cord, and the ends of his baggy trousers of spotless white are thrust into the wide tops of a pair of red morocco boots. A profusion of brass rings encircle his taper fingers, and a heavy watchchain, with an unmistakable "Brummagem” stamp about it, peeps out from beneath the folds of his crimson sash. Taken altogether,
he looks picturesque enough to suggest to the mind of the observer the most poetic attributes of his classic race, while his half-solemn, half-romantic air imparts to him the appearance of one of those ephemeral beings whom you would expect to find batching a conspiracy under the walls of Corinth, or making love among the ruins of the Acropolis. Again he salaams, but this time not so profoundly as before; and now I learn that he answers to the euphonious appellation of Paulo Zagaril; that he has English, French, Italian, Turkish, and a half-dozen other languages at the tip of his tongue; that he knows every lane and alley in Stamboul, every burial ground in Scutari, and every mosque and palace for miles around, besides all the cheap traders in the bazaars, all the dancing dervishes, all the harems and opium dens, and every bright-eyed houri and dark-skinned eunuch, between Seraglio Point and the heights of Pera; and, moreover, he informs me, in a mild insinuating way, as he adjusts his tabouche, rolls his dark eyes around, and knocks the ash from his cigarette with the end of his little finger, that he will be delighted to be my guide, philosopher, and friend, and to show me a thousand curious sights, for the small consideration of thirty piasters per day—a sum equal to about six shillings in English money. There is a pleading earnestness in his manner, which impresses me in his favour; and I forth with accept the assistance of his distinguished services, for I know, in my own mind, that to grope one's way about Constantinople, without a guide of some kind, is almost as heartless a task as entering a dark room with one's eyes shut, to look for a black cat. I have never come across one of my own countrymen yet who had the audacity to assert that he knew Constantinople “by heart.” I have met many men who would tell you that they could go blind folded all over London, that they had Paris at their fingers' ends, and that the streets of Rome, and the water ways of Venice, were as familiar to them as the nose on their face; but just ask the same individuals whether they are acquainted with the intricate windings of Constantinople, and they will always fence with the question by stating that they could draw a plan of Galata, or Pera, but they have no regularly defined idea, either of Stamboul or Scutari, although they may have visited all the principal sights of those places a thousand times over. The dragoman or valet-de-place or cicerone, as he is betimes called, is, therefore, as necessary here as the guide at St. Peter's, or the “ beef-eater" at the Tower. He is one of the many unavoidable evils that have their home in this
hot-bed of polyglot humanity-a kind of social vampire, who sucks the blood of the unsophisticated traveller with a treacherous fascination, and preys upon his gullibility with the callous sang-froid of an incarnate fiend. The majority of the men who follow the occupation of dragomen are Greeks; and with a bland suavity of manner, they combine a talent for refined roguery, which has gained for them the reputation of being the politest and most accomplished villains in the Levant.
To reach Stamboul from Pera, I make my way, under the guidance of Paulo Zagari, by a series of tortuous streets, to the shores of the Golden Horn, and cross the pontoon bridge which forms the main artery of communication between the Frankish and Turkish divisions of the city. The bridge is less than a quarter of a mile long and very narrow, but no less than one hundred thousand people traverse it daily. It is the great central point where all the varied populations of the town converge, and where they all appear to get mixed up hopelessly together; and no matter at what hour of the day you may have occasion to battle your way over it, the same confusion and the same noises, of a thousand voices chattering and shouting in as many tongues, greet the eyes and deafen the ears, from sunrise until the last tocsin sounds. From every part of the “ bridge of boats,” as this floating highway is more familiarly termed, the coup-dæil is magnificent. In front of where we stand is the full sweep of the Golden Horn, with its crowds of shipping, and myriads of gilded caiques, which glide like fairy skiffs between the ponderous ironclads of the Turkish fleet; while above the shining waters of the Bosphorus rise the white houses and minarets of Scutari, backed by a bold range of violet-tinted mountains. On one side the warehouses and arsenals of Galata teem with a busy life, and the splendid palaces of the European ambassadors stand majestically out from the surrounding buildings on the heights of Pera, while on the other is Stamboul, forming hills and valleys of houses, which stretch away to the shores of the Sea of Marmora. The view from this point gives one a good idea of the grandeur of Constantinople, the vast importance of its trade, its unequalled position as a port, and of the enchanting beauty of its surrounding scenery-mountain, plain, valley, hill, and sea--all combining to enhance the sublimity of its unrivalled situation as the capital of a great empire.
Stamboul stands on the same site once occupied by ancient Byzantium, whose hoary monuments still rise up in its midst like