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rumoured that all access or egress is hopeless,
humanity outside having been gathering and
gathering, filling up the halls and passages to
the broad streets outsideand the quays and
the bridges beyond that again—  thoroughfares
impassable for vehicles. But all wait patiently.
Presently, after one hour's expectancy, the
mystic door is seen to open, and the first of the
twelve intelligent burghers appears with his
document. Instant lull of roar of voices,
rampant but an instant before. Agitation swells
and falls, as though it were a palpitating human
breast. Convulsive shrieks for silence, as
Rhadamanthus-in-Chief returns to his green pavilion,
and, standing up, interrogates. Now—  Hark!

We are waiting, crouching in ambuscade as
it were, and as soon as the welcome sentence
has passed his lips we have all—  unclean
humanity, barristerial element, all, for we
have fraternised nowsprung to our feet, and
given a yell, a roar, a shriek, any sound that
could be noisiest. No attempt even at protest
from Deputy Rhadamanthus. There is a cloud
of horsehair in the air: barristerial element
having thrown up its covering frantically. We
are insane temporarily. We are black in the
face with this frightful straining of lungs. We
then battle our way out in the round hall
outside, lighted luridly by a great gas torch in the
hand of a stone figure of Justice, and find there
an insane humanity too, roaring and bellowing
in great billows. Utterly demented, we have to
shake hands with thousands of unclean but
overjoyed hands. We have to give epitomised
versions of the great verdict to groups of the
excited unwashed, who thereupon go off into
insane dances, and bellow frantically. The
barristerial trappings are torn and roughly handled.
Out into the street then where dense population
waits now only for the great heroine of
the night, whose carriage is seen drawn up
within the closed gates, and whom they will
drag home, in a procession fifty thousand strong.


STREET railroads may be said to be at last
in Train with us in England. That is to say;
after our American cousins have enjoyed the
advantages of street tramways for years and
years, their merits are just beginning to be
slowly and timidly admitted by Englishmen.

I fear, if this tardiness to receive good
things because they are new, increase among us,
if this sluggishness to welcome improvements
strengthen, if this Chinese torpor to advance
on better paths because they are untried,
deepen, we shall soon be justly branded by our
enemies as the Confucianists of Europe. Let
us learn, then, ere the full paralysis of Chinese
conservatism and cessation of all growth set in,
that no good institution is really a good institution
if it be incapable of growth, modification,
and development; when the fruit is ripe it
begins to rot, and nothing in nature, whether
flower, cloud, sea, earth, or human being, ever
remains in a fixed and unimprovable condition.

American street railways, so complete, admirable,
pleasant, and adaptive in themselves, are
now being talked of in England as dangerous,
uncertain, experimental, costly in trial, and doubtful
in result. Without tiring my readers with discussions
on T springs, or with diagrams of wheels
and tiresome expositions of the law of forces, I
will briefly describe how simply, perfectly, and
quietly the thing " works," to use an eminently
practical man's technicality, in America.

In Boston, Philadelphia, and New York, street
railroads have long been common. In the first
and third city, less universally than in the second
that marble city of the Quakers—  the city of
Babylonian rectangles, the city meted out like a
chess-board. In all these cities, the street railroad
is a perfect success, which never can be
done away with till air-balloon omnibuses or
steam Hansoms, finally supersede horses and all
other four-legged tractors.

In comparison with the order, method, and
harmony of American streets, the whirlpool and
storm of London is what the confused mind
of a ploughboy is to the regimental organisation
of such a brain as Brougham's. The
American's is the aspect of a wiser order;
it is what our street physiognomy fifty years
hence will be. After our perpetual charges and
polings, our jerking stoppages, our wheel-lockings,
and our breakings down, our delays and our
impatiences, New York is a kind of heaven on
earth. American streets are what London streets
should be and will be soon, if conservative
stupidity, pig-headed bigotry, or unreadiness, are
not allowed to cast all good and new things
into the Slough of Despond. Mr. Buckle
declares that scepticism is the healthiest
condition the intellect can be in; to me it seems
that no national mind can be healthy and growing
which is not rather receptive of than antagonistic
to new truths. New errors let it grind
and crush, but new truths let it embrace and

Let me fancy myself, as in that lost time last
year, a wanderer in New York, a trampler of the
pavement, a " loafer," walking out ground plans
of the sea-side city, as if, like a certain ancient
Roman, I had been offered as much land as I
could set my footprints on in a day.

What does it matter where I have last come
from? Perhaps from Baltimore by railway, and
then across from New Jersey, by steam ferry, with
breezy wave and churn of froth—  perhaps from
the half German town of Hoboken, where I have
been playing cricket with the English residents,
and talking of English ways and manners
perhaps from the sulphur springs in Virginia, or
from Saratoga ball-rooms—  perhaps from some
village on the beautiful Hudson, thinking of
Washington Irving's old Dutch legends, or talking
to some poor Delaware Indian crone under a
wayside tree—  perhaps from the trim wooded
dells that take away all painful sense of death,
in Greenwood Cemetery—  perhaps from watching
the landings of Irish emigrants, or from
observing the gyrations of trotting spider waggons
in the magnificent drives of the Central Park.