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they would become the great and ultimately
only medium on land. Mr. Smiles says in
depreciation of Gray, that he never got beyond
Blenkinsop's engine and cog-wheels; it is sufficient
to observe, as he has remarked, that Gray
was no engineer. That was his misfortune. Had
he been so, he would have come in for a share of
the good things which his plans soon scattered
among engineers. But Gray built the whole
of his system on the certainty that engines
and everything belonging to it would receive
yet unconceived and unlimited improvements.
Mr. Smiles, in the quotation from his Life of
Stephenson just given, cites Gray's own words
on this head: " The incitement given to all
our artisans by the success of their ingenuity,
would still prompt the further progress in this
useful art." Mr. Smiles says also, that if Gray's
steam train, as given in an engraving in his
book, were once in practice, it could never have
been brought up, but must have ensured its own
destruction. He forgets that he himself says
that this engraving was an accurate copy of
Blenkinsop's engine and train which had already
been safely running for ten years.

Truly, when Mr. Smiles says that Stephenson
was the creator of the railway system, and not
Gray, we must answer yes, exactly as the builder
of St. Paul's was the creator of it, and not Sir
Christopher Wren. The builder creates
practically what the architect had created before.
Gray and Stephenson have each his peculiar
and substantive merits. The one worked out
practically and unconsciously to himself what
the other had planned, demonstrated, and
energetically recommended to the nation through a
course of years. Stephenson had his reward,
and Gray had his:—the reward of nearly all
great projectorsabuse to begin with, and
ingratitude to end with.

There are many things in this curious book
of Thomas Gray's which deserve notice. We will
only instance two; the extreme slowness with
which new ideas advance; and the humanity of
one of Gray's motives for recommending a general
system of railroads.

The idea of railroads, though not of
locomotives, is very old. They were used in the
Newcastle collieries in 1602, and soon became
general all over the kingdom, yet notwithstanding
the ease and rapidity with which carriages
could be drawn on them, it seems never to
have suggested their adoption on highways for
coaches and goods waggons. Not till 1804 was
the idea of attaching locomotives to railroad
waggons, realised by Richard Trevethick at
Merthyr Tydvil, in South Wales. It failed
from the unscientific construction of the tramwway.
Thus it required from 1602 to 1825, that is,
two hundred and twenty-three years, to bring
railroads, in England, to a condition fitted for the
public service. But, one of the most earnest
motives of Thomas Gray for the introduction of
a general system of railroads with steam trains,
and it does him the highest honour, was to put
an end to the horrible and unremitting cruelty
inflicted on horses in runninor our stage-coaches.

According to a parliamentary report, it
appeared that in 1819 not less than two hundred
thousand horses were employed in stage-coaches
and post-chaises only. That the whole of these
horses were worn out in from two to four years,
and had to be replaced at a cost of half a million
annually; the wear and tear of the roads on
which they ran, costing two millions annually.
Of these horses, Mr. Waterhouse, of the Swan
with Two Necks, kept four hundred; Mr.
Horne, of Charing-cross, four hundred; Mr.
Eames, of Fetter-lane, three hundred. These
gentlemen gave evidence that the roads near
London killed them all off in three years; and
that the loose gravel on the London roads " tore
the horses' throats out." The Yorkshire Gazette,
of December, 1821, stated that " the extra
demand of horses for coaches arises out of the new
regulations of the Post-office, which cause the
death of two horses on an average of three
journeys of two hundred miles. Since they have
tried to cope with the mails, and run ten miles
an hour, instead of seven and eight, according
to the new Post-office regulations, several horses
have had their legs snapped in two on the road,
while others have dropped dead from the effect
of a ruptured blood-vessel, or a heart broken in
efforts to obey the whip." It adds, " We cannot
conceive this system can last long."

It was high time that railroads were introduced.
The incessant demands for swift travelling
and postal communication had thus driven
the horses to the climax of their speed, and they
could do no more; their legs snapped off, or
their hearts burst; and they perished in stage-
coaches by upwards of thirty thousand a year!
If Thomas Gray had done nothing more than
project, and successfully advocate, a system
which put an end to this monstrous national
barbarity, he would have deserved well of his
country. It would still be a graceful national
act if some substantial testimonial of his services
were made to his widow and daughters, who
subsist by teaching a small school at Exeter. To
the government, or to the proprietors of railways,
or to the millions who now so comfortably speed
on the even railway to every quarter of Europe,
such a token of grateful remembrance would be
the easiest of acts.





THE appeal case of Ross v. Davis was
indeed, at last, ripe for hearing. After
being tried by " intelligent" jurors, argued
by careful counsel, tried by " upright and
learned" judges, and tested by the grand
principles of British lawafter being " heard" by
twelve or thirteen trained judgessagacious,
clever, and the very abstractions of sense and
wisdomit was now to be submitted to the
highest tribunal of the land.

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