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chief engineer, and evinced his determination to prosecute the work with all practicable expedition. In the mean time, the works of private companies are advancing, with various degrees of energy, to meet the points indicated in the acts above cited. The Georgia Rail-road and Banking Company has begun its line of rail-road at the city of Augusta, with what is called the Union Rail-road, extending westward from that city. A distance of seventy-six miles is under contract for the grading, besides a branch of seven miles in length to Greensborough, and part of a branch to Athens. Fifty miles on the line from Augusta are ready for laying the rails, and the iron is ready at Augusta and Savannah. In a similar spirit, though not so much in advance, the Central Rail-road and Banking Company are prosecuting their work, to connect the city of Savannah with another of the points named for the termination of the State work, near the town of Macon. The selection of the line of the State work is made with special reference to its connexion with a system of works in Tennessee. It is to terminate on the Tennessee line, five miles from Ross's Landing, on the Mississippi River, to which point it will be extended by the Hiwassee Rail-road Company, incorporated in Tennessee, already organized, and waiting only for the movements of Georgia. It will thus have access, through the navigation of the Tennessee River and its tributaries, to the trade of East Tennessee, and a part of North Carolina and Western Virginia, and to the Charleston and Cincinnati Rail-road, the right of doing which is reserved by the legislature of Tennessee, in its act of concurrence in the incorporation of the company for establishing that road.
These are the great lines of rail-road communication which are projected, and most of which are in active progress, for uniting the East and the West, for traversing that supposed eternal barrier, by which nature had separated them, and bringing the commerce of the Mississippi valley, in direct lines, to the shores of the Atlantic. Two others are projected, to unite the ports of the Atlantic with those of the Gulf of Mexico, one leading from Brunswick, in Georgia, to the Appalachicola River, and the other from Jacksonville, on the St. Johns, to St. Marks. The latter, called the East Florida Rail-road, is actually located, in nearly a direct line, over a level country, the distance being a hundred and sixty miles.
We must defer to another occasion some notice of the extensive works which are projected and in progress for extending the intercourse between the Western States, and of some of the almost innumerable works which occupy the attention of the people of nearly every State. We cannot close this notice, without offering our testimony to the very creditable manner in which M. Poussin has executed this first History of the Rail-roads of America. It embraces not only the bistory, but a full and satisfactory description, evidently founded on the most authentic documents, of the principal works which form the subject of bis volume. We hope that he will follow up the progress of these improvements, and thus furnish not only to France and Europe, but to our own countrymen, the best evidences of American perseverance and enterprise.
Longfellow. Hy washa Art. VII. -- The Great Metropolis. By the Author of
6 Random Recollections of the Lords and Commons." 2 vols. 12mo. New York ; Saunders and Otley. 1837.
“Any amusement which is innocent,” says Paley, “is better than none ; as the writing of a book, the building of a house, the laying out of a garden, the digging of a fish-pond, even the raising of a cucumber.” If these are all the pastimes which the author of “ The Great Metropolis” has within his reach, our opinion is, that, when he is next in want of innocent amusement, he had better raise a cucumber. His “ Random Recollections " we have never seen. We rest our opinion on the book before us. There is a coarseness and vulgarity in its siyle, which is repulsive. No strength; no dignity ; no grace; no refinement. In a word, the book has very bad manners. In reading it, you feel that you are walking through London, with a man who wears a “shocking bad hat”; and when your walk is at an end, though you cannot but thank him for the information he has given you, nevertheless you commend him in future to the raising of cucumbers, or the digging of fish-ponds ; for you see, that he is “of the earth, earthy.
To us, however, the title of the book is attractive. We have an affection for a great city. We feel safe in the neighbourhood of man, and enjoy the sweet security of streets."
“ VOL. XLIV. - NO. 95.
The excitement of the crowd is pleasant to us. We find sermons in the stones of side-walks. In the continuous sound of voices, and wheels, and footsteps, we hear "the sad music of humanity.” We feel that life is not a dream, but an earnest reality ; that the beings around us are not the insects of a day, but the pilgrims of an eternity ; they are our fellowcreatures, each with bis history of thousandfold occurrences, insignificant it may be to us, but all-important to himself; each with a human heart, whose fibres are woven into the great web of human sympathies ; and none so small, that, when he dies, some of the mysterious meshes are not broken. earth, and the air, and the sea, all living and all lifeless things, preach unto us the gospel of a great and good providence ; but most of all does man, in his crowded cities, and in his manifold powers, and wants, and passions, and deeds, preach this same gospel. He is the great evangelist. And though oftentimes, unconscious of his mission, or reluctant to fulfil it, he leads others astray, even then to the thoughtful mind he preaches. We are in love with Nature, and most of all with human nature. The face of man is a benediction to us. The greatest works of his handicraft delight us hardly less than the greatest works of Nature. They are “the masterpieces of her own masterpiece.” Architecture, and painting, and sculpture, and music, and epic poems, and all the forms of art, wherein the hand of genius is visible, please us evermore, for they conduct us into the fellowship of great minds. And thus our sympathies are with men, and streets, and city-gates, and towers from which the great bells sound solemnly and slow, and cathedral doors, where venerable statues, holding books in their hands, look down like sentinels upon the church-going multitude, and the birds of the air come and build their nests in the arms of saints and apostles. And more than all this, in great cities we learn to look the world in the face. We shake hands with stern realities. We see ourselves in others. We become acquainted with the motley, many-sided life of man ; and finally learn, if we are wise, to “look upon a metropolis as a collection of villages ; a village as some blind alley in a metropolis ; fame as the talk of neighbours at the street door ; a library as a learned conversation ; joy as a second ; sorrow as a minute ; life as a day; and three things as all in all, God, Creation, Virtue.” *
* Jean Paul.
Now of all cities is London the monarch. To us likewise is it the Great Metropolis. We are not cockneys. We were born on this side of the sea. Our family name is not recorded in the Domesday Book. It is doubtful whether our ancestral tree was planted so far back as the Conquest. Nor are we what Sir Philip Sidney calls 6 wry-transformed travellers.” We do not affect a foreign air, nor resemble the merry Friar in the Canterbury Tales, of whom the Prologue says ;
“Somewhat he lisped for his wantonnesse,
To make his English sweet upon his tongue.” Nevertheless to us likewise is London the monarch of cities. The fact, that the English language is spoken in some parts of it, makes us feel at home there, and gives us, as it were, the freedom of the city. Even the associations of childhood connect us with it. We remember it as far back as the happy days, when we loved nursery songs, and “ rode a-horseback on best father's knee.” Whittington and his cat lived there. All our picture-books and our sister's dolls came from there ; and we thought, poor children! that everybody in London sold dolls and picture-books, as the country boy imagined that everybody in Boston sold gingerbread, because his father always brought some home from town on market days. Since those times we have grown wiser. We have been in Saint Paul's church-yard, and know by heart all the green parks and quiet squares of London. And now, finally, for us, grown-up children, appears the New London Cries, this book of The Great Metropolis.
Forty-five miles westward from the North Sea, in the lap of a broad and pleasant valley watered by the Thames, stands the Great Metropolis, as all the world knows. It comprises the City of London and its Liberties, with the City and Liberties of Westminster, the Borough of Southwark, and upwards of thirty of the contiguous villages of Middlesex and Surry, East and west, its greatest length is about eight miles ; norih and south, its greatest breadth about five : its circumference from twenty to thirty. Its population is estimated at two millions. The vast living tide goes thundering through its ten thousand streets in one unbroken roar. The noise of the - great thoroughfares is deafening. But you step aside into a by-lane, and anon you emerge into little green squares half filled with sunshine, balf with shade, where no sound of living thing is heard, save the voice of a bird or a child, and amid
solitude and silence you gaze in wonder at the great trees “growing in the heart of a brick-and-mortar wilderness.” Then there are the three parks, Hyde, Regent's, and St. James's, where you may lose yourself in green alleys, and dream you are in the country ; Westminster Abbey, with its tombs and solemn cloisters, where with the quaint George Herbert you may think, that when the bells do chime, 't is angels' music "; and high above all, half hidden in smoke and vapor, rises the dome of St. Paul's.
These are a few of the more striking features of London. More striking still is the Thames. Above the town, by Richmond Hill and Twickenham, it winds through groves and meadows green, a rural silver stream. The traveller who sees it bere for the first time, can hardly believe, that this is the mighty river which bathes the feet of London. He asks perhaps the coachman, what stream that is ; and the coachman answers with a stare of wonder and pity, “The Tems, sir.” Pleasure boats are gliding back and forth, and stately swans float, like water-lilies, on its bosom. On its banks are villages, and church-towers, beneath which, among the patriarchs of the hamlet, lie many gifted sons of song,
“ In sepulchres unhearsed and green." In and below London the whole scene is changed. view it by night. Lamps are gleaming along shore, and on the bridges, and a full moon rising over the Borough of Southwark. The moonbeams silver the rippling, yellow tide, wherein also fare the shore lamps, with a lambent, flickering gleam. Barges and wherries move to and fro; and heavy-laden luggers are sweeping up stream with the rising tide, swinging sideways, with loose, Happing sails. Both sides of the river are crowded with sea and river craft, whose black hulks lie in shadow, and whose tapering masts rise up into the moonlight like a leafless forest. A distant sound of music floats on the air ; a harp, and a flute, and a horn. It has an unearthly
. sound ; and lo! like a shooting star, a light comes gliding on. It is the signal lamp at the mast-head of a steam-vessel, that flits by, like a cloud above which glides a star. And from all this scene goes up a sound of buman voices,
curses, laughter, and singing, — mingled with the monotonous roar of the city, “ the clashing and careering streams of life, hurrying to lose themselves in the impervious gloom of eternity. And now the midnight is past, and amid the general silence the