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interest on our national debt), a little less than
one-half of which came from passengers and the
mails, and the rest, or largest half, from goods.
The expenditure of the companies was about
forty-seven per cent of the gross receipts, leaving
millions and a half sterling as the net
receipts. The compensation paid for accidents
and losses amounted to a little over one hundred
and eighty-one thousand pounds. The rolling
stock comprised five thousand eight hundred
locomotives, over fifteen thousand passenger
engines, and nearly one hundred and eighty-one
thousand waggons for goods. Comparing 1860
with 1859, the passengers (or journeys) were
increased nearly fourteen millions, the minerals
nearly nine millions of tons, the receipts more
than two millions sterling, and the miles
travelled nearly nine millions. The trains run in
the course of last year were upwards of ten
thousand a day.

The inland roads of Great Britain, however,
can never lose their importance as great feeding
arteries of towns, even under any possible extension
of railways. They have been chiefly made
what they are by the greatest engineers, and
some of the works of Rennie and Telford of this
kind need not hide their heads by the side of the
famous Alpine Simplon. Leaving the railway
behind us, at any point, we may find much to be
proud of amongst our monuments of road-making
on the hills and in the valleys of our country.
What we have got, however, should not blind
us to what we have not got, and while six
bridges, practically closed by a toll, are spanning
the river Thames between Chelsea and Southwark,
we ought not to consider our road-making
thoroughly finished.


IN the highlands of Bavaria, shut out from
the rest of the world by rocky crags and
inaccessible hills, lies the dark and gloomy valley of
the Sitte, a valley which, in olden times, was
held to be haunted by evil spirits, and doomed
to all forms of sinful sorrow, but which, to
modern understanding, would only betoken
disease and madness, and the crimes springing
naturally from poverty, ignorance, and isolation.
The inhabitants were, for the most part, of the
very lowest class; for, save the priest and
magistrate, not an educated man of good social
condition lived in the shadow of those gloomy
hills to give his better thoughts and a brighter
example to the poorer and less instructed.
Consequently, the people were rough and ignorant,
sunk in superstition, narrow-minded and bigoted,
holding to all the prejudices of a worn-out
time, and making their very religion but the
cause of strife and delusion. They had
abandoned the more innocent and picturesque
deceptions of the ancient church to adopt in their
stead the wildest canons of the "devil-creed,"
and they mixed up the idea of sorcery and
magic and witchcraft with everything unaccustomed
in man or ungenial in nature. There
were not half a dozen people in this lonely
Bavarian valley who did not believe in man's
direct dealings with the devil.

Excepting the two officials already spoken of,
the chief man of the district was Frederic of the
Black Mill, commonly called the Black Miller of
Sittenthal. He was a man of some understanding
and considerable property, but of the worst
possible reputation. A bad son, a bad husband,
and a bad father, unsocial as a neighbour, hard
and tyrannical as a master, he had not fulfilled
one of the relations of life with credit or esteem.
Cruel to his dependents and insolent to his
superiors, a man so fierce and arbitrary that
none but the stoutest-hearted dare oppose him,
he found himself master in a world of slavesa
master who had never known ruth or justice.
His father, the old miller, had long lived in
daily dread of some murderous violence from
him; and even yet were to be seen the blood-
stains on the oaken floor, and the deep dents on
the wall, where once the Black Miller had struck
the old man with an axe, and very nearly sent
him to the world beyond the grave ere his time
was come. And still remained on the massive
doors the heavy bolts and bars, and locks and
chains, by which the father had sought to
protect himself against his son's madness and
revenge. Indeed, there were not wanting
witnesses to swear that when he lay sick and failing,
his son had dragged him from his bed, and
flung him down the stone steps in front of the
mill; saying that he had lived long enough, and
what room was there in the world for such a
worn-out old wretch as he? So that when he
died, a few days later, the ghastly shadow of
parricide and murder had flitted through the
house, but none were bold enough to seize that
shadow, and give it the bodily form of accusation
and evidence. The stern savage went on employing
all his energies and invention in torturing
the victims dependent on him.

The "house-mother," Barbara, a gentle,
timid, weak-minded woman, patient and saintly
enough, but without even a slave's faculty of
self-assertion or defence, was his chief victim;
and he did not spare her. He never spoke to
her save by the most insulting names and
epithets; he beat her daily, with or without
provocation, and ever without intentional
offence; and not only beat her, as any ill-
tempered man might have beaten an unloved wife,
but carried his violence to the very limits of
murder. Indeed, he would have murdered her,
and that more than once, had she not been
defended by her sons, whose love for their poor
down-trodden, broken-spirited mother was the
most pathetic thing in all this mournful tragedy.
Once he struck her so brutally on her head that
she was rendered unconscious for many weeks,
and indeed never quite recovered the use of her
small brain; and once he broke her arm with a
blow from the back of an axe: besides cutting
and wounding her with knives, hatchets, sharp-
pointed stones, or anything else dangerous and
handy. And not content with this more active
manner of ill usage, the Black Miller went
into other and even more humiliating details.

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