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sent for him and his son, when railroads were projected in his kingdom under his encouragement. The consequence was, that all the frightful Parliamentary expenses were avoided, the whole capital was remunerative, and the Belgians obtained the full advantages of railways at less than one half the average cost of those in England. For his eminent assistance to the Belgian system of roads, the king created Mr. Stephenson a Knight of the Order of Leopold in 1838, and in 1841 a like honor was conferred
Mr. Stephenson also visited Spain, to examine the merits of a proposed line, the Royal North of Spain Railway,' which, however, did not meet his approbation.
At Tapton he sought repose after the fatigues of a hard life; but he was always busy, and entered into the enjoyment of nature as heartily as he had labored on his locomotive. He built melon-houses, pineries, and graperies of great extent; his fruits became well known far and wide, and since his death his pines and grapes have taken the first prize in a competition open to all England, and this even over the famous products of Chatsworth. His early affection for birds and animals revived: he had favorite breeds of dogs, cows, horses, and rabbits, and not a bird's nest on his grounds escaped his attention. He had no love of in-door life; he read very little; but he delighted in intelligent conversation, and acquired a vast
a vast deal of knowledge from the superior minds with which he came in contact.
As in youth he was prudent and frugal, so in his prosperity he was open-hearted and liberal. He dispensed elegant hospitality at Tapton, and his friends always readily accepted invitations to visit him. He
delighted to fight his battles over again; nor did he ever display the least false shame of his humble origin, or treat with coldness one of his early friends. He was several times offered knighthood by the Prime Minister; but he always refused it, and made no use of his Belgian title. He frequently invited to his house the humble companions of his youth, talked over the past and present with them, and generally concluded by opening his purse and forcing upon them some solid token, of his kindness. When he visited Newcastle, he invariably went his rounds to discover old acquaintances; and if they were retiring and shrank into their cottages, he followed them, striking on the floor with his stick, and holding his noble person upright, while he asked kindly, “Well, and how's all here to-day?"
His forehead was large and high, projecting over the eyes, and of massive breadth across the lower part. The eyes were gray and keen, the mouth strongly chiselled, while a benignant expression was stamped upon his fair, clear, ruddy face. His hair became gray at an early age, and at the close of his life it was white and silken. His manners and deportment always at once arrested attention, and marked the gentleman; he appeared to advantage in the most distinguished society, and was frequently remarked of him by thorough-bred aristocrats, that he was one of nature's noblemen.
His health had already begun to decline, from the period of an attack of pleurisy soon after his return from Spain. In July, 1848, he was seized with intermittent fever, from which he seemed to be recovering, when a sudden effusion of blood from the lungs terminated his life on the 12th of August, in the sixty-seventh
year of his age. His funeral procession was headed by the corporation of the town of Chesterfield, and followed by a large body of his work-people and many of the neighboring gentry. His remains were buried under Trinity Church, Chesterfield, where a simple tablet marks the last resting-place of a good and great man.
The fame and fortune of Stephenson were due solely to his perfect knowledge of the value of time, united with his unswerving rectitude of purpose. He loved truth himself, and exacted it from others. He scorned cant; he hated humbug. He was always ready to aid young men, either through mechanics' institutes, in which he was deeply interested, or when they sought his advice singly. He could tolerate dulness if coupled with industry, but with witless affectation he had no patience. His life-motto was, Persevere. He had always as a humble workman carefully preserved his own self-respect; and afterward, when visiting Sir Robert Peel at Tamworth, in company with the most distinguished society in the kingdom, he made his mark and maintained his position.
When England shall come to estimate the triumphs of her soldiers of peace, as meet for the rewards which she lavishes on her heroes whose swords have won them fame,—when she shall spread broad before the nations the scroll whereon is written the list of her mighty public benefactors, and shall point to it with the pride she now feels in her “meteor flag,” which has
"" braved a thousand years
The battle and the breeze," among those names not one will shine with purer lustre than that of George Stephenson, the Railway Engineer.
THE MODERN RUSSIAN DRAMA. *)
[Edinburgh Review, July, 1868.]
VERY few of the travellers who every year flit through St. Petersburg and Moscow take the trouble to visit the theatres devoted in those cities to the national drama. And those whom curiosity does lead there seldom stay long; a few minutes are sufficient to give them a general idea of the actors and the audience, and they are soon glad to get away.
Nor is it to be wondered at that the Russian stage excites in them so little interest, for it is difficult even for the most sympathetic spectator to enjoy a play written in a language of which he does not understand a single word, and there is something excessively annoying to a stranger in the midst of an audience melted to tears by sorrows which he cannot comprehend, or convulsed with laughter at jokes which for him have not the slightest meaning. Consequently we know very little in England about the merits of the Russian dramatists, and, indeed, most Englishmen are unaware that the Russians can boast of anything like a national drama. Yet that is the case, and the plays which are produced at Moscow, for the benefit of an exclusively Russian *) Sochineniya A. N. Ostrovskago. The Works of A. N.
OSTROVSKY. 4 vols. St. Petersburg: 1859–67. English Essays III.
audience, would well repay a stranger who understood the language in which they are written for the time and trouble it cost him to become familiar with them.
They are, for the most part, thoroughly national, founded upon the actual experiences of their writers, and devoted to the illustration of that kind of life which is led at home by the majority of those who come to see them. Much, therefore, is to be learnt from them with respect not only to the habits and customs of the Russians of the present day, but also to their thoughts and feelings. And it is only by means of writings of this or of a kindred class, that a foreigner who does not reside in the country has a chance of forming a correct idea of what the great bulk of the people are like. Representatives of the upper classes in Russia are to be found at every European capital or watering-place, and it is not difficult to form at least an approximate idea of their characters. But middle-class Russians, with few exceptions, can only be seen at home; and as they, for the most part, speak no language but their own, it is almost impossible for a foreigner who does not live among them to form
idea of the views they take of life, or of the trains of thought which pass through their minds. It has often been said that in Russia there is no middle class, and it is perfectly true that in the country no such middle class as we can boast of divides the landed proprietors from the peasants. But in the towns there is of course a middle class and one to which its wealth gives no slight importance. To it belong all who are engaged in commerce, as well as most of the government officials. They and their families form in each city a little world of their own, one which is well