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We had some distance before us, and Mike
didn't like the idea of driving in the dark; so at
last we determined on starting in the midst of
it, Mike undertaking to return the old cloaks
we borrowed of the landlady.

By the time we had got comfortably wet
through, a glorious sunset dispersed the heavy
clouds, and made the sky brilliant with many
colours. On we went, through forests of tall
trees as straight as poplars, joining their foliage
at top, and so forming canopies to pass under.
A dray full of large pumpkins, drawn by six
lazy bullocks plodding on, we quickly left
behind. Then we met immense herds of cattle
with drovers in a horrible state of excitement,
swearing and smacking long whips, and halloaing
to dogs, which were barking furiously,
and rushing here and there after oxen that
had run off in quest of water. A few miles
farther, the air seemed infected by a horrible
effluvia. "We'll see summut prisintly," said
Mike, "whin we come to the crass roads."
And sure enough we did then, and a wretched
sight it was, toothe carcase of a poor bullock
that had dropped in the middle of the road,
from drought and fatigue; the sun had shrunk
its skin, so that its skeleton could plainly be seen
in many parts. Insects had already consumed
most of its flesh, though it had lain there but a
few days.

The sun had now sunk beneath the horizon.
We yet had many miles to travel, and Mike
openly expressed his dread of the darkness
overtaking him; for then his horses might chance
to stumble over thim confounded stumps of
trees that would stick up just in the centre of
the road where they oughtn't. We were
journeying on at a snail's pace, when suddenly in
the distance there appeared the light of a lamp.
Mike joyfully whipped his horses. "The Lord
be thanked!" he said, "we're all roight now;
we've passed that owld chasim where I made
sure I'd upset you."

In a few short moments we were at the hotel
in Singleton, taking off our drenched garments
in a pretty room decorated with white muslin
curtains looped up with pink silk ribbons, while
the handsome good-natured landlady was making
tea for us in the room adjoining.

There was the delightful fragrance of fresh
lemons everywhere, which was accounted for
when I opened my bedroom window next morning.
In the lovely garden beneath, stood a row
of lemon-trees, as big as apple-trees in England,
covered with ripe fruit, diffusing refreshing
odours. The sun was rising in the west, making
the air sultry with his mighty beams: while
every flower, bush, and tiny twig, was sparkling
with rain-drops.


A COUPLE of months ago the English railway
companies were mustering and joining their
strength for an attack upon Lord Campbell's
Act, which makes them liable for compensation
to the nearest relatives of persons killed by
accident arising from neglect upon their lines.
Within those months there has been terrible
slaughtering of passengers upon the Brighton
and the Hampstead Junction Railways,
slaughtering that would in each case clearly
have been averted by a proper caution in the
management. At any rate, therefore, the
Brighton and the North-Western Companies
will come before Parliament almost with wet
blood on their hands if they join next session
in the threatened appeal against an act that
denies to them (and to all men, whatever their
calling) a right to escape, when they cause death
by carelessness, the penalty they have to pay
when they cause only a wound.

Nearly coincident with Lord Campbell's
lamented death was the award by a jury of
heavy damages against the Great Northern
Company to the widow of a Hertfordshire
magistrate, killed by a fault upon their line.
The author of the Act and its most powerful
defender being for ever silent, the railway
companies eagerly fastened upon an opportunity to
set on foot an agitation which we trust was
among the things crushed lately at Kentish-
town and in the Clayton tunnel. But as we
sincerely hope that the late railway massacres
will be found very costly indeed to those
answerable for them, so we fear that when the
smart endured by the mangled victims has had
its faint after-twinge in the pockets of directors,
there will be revived and strengthened the
desire of railway companies for the murder or
mutilation of Lord Campbell's Act, so that it
may again be, in all their disasters, cheapest of
all to kill a passenger outright. Let us, therefore,
be upon our guard; this railway risk, at
any rate, the public itself has the power of

We will set down in a few words the true
state of the case. The act in question is so
short that its whole contents are to be told in
a few paragraphs. Before it passedin the
year 'forty-sixcoach proprietors, railway
proprietors, any persons or person, in fact, through
whose negligence injury was caused to another,
became liable to an action at law for money
compensation, fairly proportionate to the money
injury sustained. But if death were caused, the
question was one of manslaughter, or homicide,
and though the bread winner might have been
taken from his children, though the most helpless,
who are most in need of compensation,
might have been deprived of their one support,
there was no claim in law for money compensation.
If a man's power of supporting his family
had been, by the carelessness of another, and
by no fault of his own, crippled, then the person
in fault was required, as far as possible, to pay
what would make good his loss of means; it
was only when the man's power of support was,
by the killing of him, withdrawn altogether,
that there was an end of the matter, and his
children might go to the wall.

This injustice was met, thanks to the late
Lord Campbell, by a law. Dated the twenty-
sixth of August, eighteen forty-six, it is called

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