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of all aristocracies. Their grandeur is their ruin; they survive thanks only to foreign relays, and on an average disappear in three or four centuries. One cannot say “ Væ victis,"but“ Væ victoribus”; everything comes to him who waits.
The Romans did not systematically depopulate Gaul-her submission satisfied them; the distribution of races at the time of the Roman peace did not undergo other changes than those which could operate quite locally, the deporting of a too obstreperous people or colonising by veterans. The Barbarians passed like a torrent, they destroyed much, but they have not made in their campaigns a true colonisation, "ense et aratro” of Marshall Bugeaud. The sword sufficed to assure their domination; to the vanquished — work. They have disappeared, except perhaps in the towns where they crossed with the Gallo-Roman middle class, after having preserved the forms of the imperial administration, for want of knowing and of being able to do better. The Arabs traversed the country but to disappear immediately. It results, once more let it be repeated, that the present distribution of races should faithfully represent to us their ancient distribution, except in places where special economic conditions have been slowly modified, but in a constant manner, by foreign influences.
THE EVOLUTION OF THE CART
IT is a truism that the commonest objects, those that we I see around us every day, usually fail to arouse any interest as to their significance or origin. One of the great benefits of travel is to awaken interest in even the most trivial matters of daily life, and this is usually accomplished through the diversity in their appearance from that which we are accustomed to see at home.
We who live in Britain, for example, see carts every day, but do we ever wonder what has been their history ? We accept the finished product and there leave it, little thinking that in the sister isle there still persist strange survivals from the twilight of history which afford suggestive clues of the forgotten stages in the evolution of our common cart.
In this case no distant travel is necessary; there is no need to go to Asia or Africa, nor even to the remote parts of Europe. At our very door, so to speak, have we the links in the chain of evidence; scarce one is missing. Probably such a sequence cannot be found in any other country in the world.
The history of the cart is one chapter of a much greater study—that of transport. The civilisation of the world and the spread of culture are bound up with facility of transport, including in this term the means of conveyance and porterage, and the routes traversed.
Without doubt the most primitive means of transport was what an American anthropologist has termed “ the human beast of burden." This has always been an important, but it tends to become a diminishing, factor, though it can never be entirely replaced by other means. The absence of any other method of porterage is a sure sign of that low stage of culture which is termed savagery. Its extensive employment in higher grades of culture is due to slavery. Slave raiders load their human chattels with objects of merchandise, to sell ultimately the whole caravan. The great architectural and engineering works of pagan antiquity were possible only through slave or forced labour. It would appear from this that under certain conditions human labour is more economical than beast labour, but sooner or later man has been in most places largely replaced by the beast, and the beast is being replaced by the freight train and other mechanical modes of transport
A professional carrier can carry continuously greater weight than an ordinary man; and fifty, one hundred, two hundred pounds, and even greater weights are on record as usual weights for a day's journey. As soon as man learnt to domesticate animals he found that more could be carried upon their backs than upon his own. So the pack-animal marks the next stage of development.
In some parts of the west of Ireland there are no good roads, and everything has to be carried by human beings, or on packs by horses and asses. Even where the roads are good, as in the islands of Inishbofin and Inishshark, off the coast of Galway, they may be used only for foot traffic, as there are no wheeled vehicles of any description, and all goods are carried either in hampers slung on a person's back (the usual method of taking home potatoes and peats), or in two wicker panniers or cleaves, slung across the back of a pony or donkey.
With the building of good roads the primitive means of transport are being superseded by later methods; but these new means of porterage are examples of the latest mechanical developments, the centuries of slow transition have been skipped, and light railways already, and auto-cars, may in the immediate future follow closely on the heels of the old-time human beast of burden and his dumb companions.
By and by it came to be discovered that an animal could draw considerably greater weights than it could carry. A porter who goes short distances and returns unloaded can carry 135 pounds seven miles a day, but the same man can carry in a wheelbarrow 150 pounds ten miles a day, that is, half as much again.
When the red-skins of America shift camp they trail their tent-poles behind their horses, pack up all their goods and chattels in the skin tent, and tie the bundle on to the poles. They are then free to move wherever they choose. Even the dogs may be employed to carry smaller loads on trailing stakes. This is a natural device, but one wonders how these nomad hunters managed in the horseless pre-Columbian days.
Captain Burt, in his celebrated Letters from a Gentleman in the North of Scotland to his Friend in London (1754), gives an illustration of a vehicle consisting of two poles drawn by a small, ill-kempt pony. The body of the cart is formed by two pieces of wood bent in a semi-circle, the ends of which are fastened to the shafts, the one close behind the pony and the other a little distance behind, and the arches are steadied at the top by a piece of wood running from the one to the other. Thin pieces of wood, osiers perhaps, pass at intervals across the floor and ends of this very primitive contrivance.
Sir Arthur Mitchell found at Strathglass, Kintail, and elsewhere, in the years 1863 and 1864, carts in use without wheels exactly of the kind just described; these are figured by Dr. Mitchell in his suggestive book, The Past in the Present.
If this vehicle has died out in Wales it must have done so very recently; at all events it is still in full use in certain parts of Ireland, notably in the Glens of Antrim.
On looking at the illustrations it will be seen that the Irish slide-car is primitive enough. Two shafts are harnessed
on to a horse, and the ends which drag on the ground are shod with short runners or shoes; sometimes the runners lie their whole length on the ground, or more generally they are tilted up so as to have pretty much the same slant as the shafts (Plate III). These runners, which do not appear in the figures given by Sir Arthur Mitchell, are a useful addition, as they save the lower ends of the shafts from wear and tear. The shafts are kept apart by cross-bars. In one car in Plate III., 2, three holes are seen in the last crossbar, in which upright stakes can be inserted, as in the car in the background of Plate IV., Fig. 1, to retain the corn or the whins (as furze is called in Ireland) from slipping down behind. The lashing of a wicker basker or creel on to the shafts is an obvious step in advance, and these are used to