the 11.30 Express will be forninst ye,
and Mister Corning will have to pay
for ye the full price of a well man with
two legs. Begone ! sare ! " This was
too much for " Old Central ; " he yield-
ed the track for the 11.30 Express, and
sent a reward and commendation to
the faithful watchman, who had never
COMMERCIAL AND BUSINESS ANECDOTES.
once suspected the name or position of
that " stumbling high-binder."
A Deep Design.
A PLAN is about to be carried out by
some enterprising London capitalists
for passing an electric telegraph under
the streets of that city. That walls have
ears has been heard by all ; but this is
a plain matter-of-fact sort of scheme for
giving tongues to the streets, which will
enable them to rival the celebrated
stones that were nearly rising up to
remonstrate, in a certain exigency, to
say nothing of those stones of the poet,
in which he assures us there are ser-
mons. It is presumed that an under-
tone will be best adapted to this sub-
It has been decided that this tele-
graph, when completed, shall be let
out to the whole public at so much a
message. This plan will do very well,
unless the whole population wants, as
usual, to talk at once, when the effect
would be most extraordinary. Nor is
any statement made, as yet, to prevent
the wrong people from receiving the
messages that are thus sent by the tele-
graph. It would be very awkward if
a somewhat general observation should
arrive at a station, for there would be
a difficulty in finding an owner for
remark of such a common-place
The project seems a good one, but it
will require much modification to ren-
der it effectual. One regulation pro-
vides that ladies who avail themselves
of the telegraph shall be charged by
the length of the message, an immense
revenue being calculated from this
source alone ; in order, however, that
all may share the benefits of such an
enterprise, no one female is to be al-
lowed to monopolize the use of the
subterranean tongue for a longer time
at once than thirteen hours.
Unsociable Travelling- Companion.
A RARE incident occurred in an Eng-
lish stage-coach, on a certain occasion,
before railroads came into vogue. Two
passengers, one a merchant, set out
from a London inn early on a Decem-
ber morning. It was dark as pitch ;
and one of them, not being sleepy, and
wishing for a little conversation, en-
deavored, in the usual travelling mode,
to stimulate his companion to discourse.
" A very dark morn, sir. Shocking
cold weather for travelling ! Slow
going in the heavy roads, sir." None
of these very civil observations pro-
ducing a word in response, the sociable
merchant made one more effort. He
stretched out his hand and feeling the
other's habit, exclaimed, " What a very
comfortable coat, sir, you have got to
travel in ! " No answer was made, and
the merchant, fatigued and disgusted,
fell into a sound nap, nor awoke until
the brightest rays of a winter's sun ac-
counted to him for the taciturnity of
his comrade, by presenting to his as-
tonished view a huge bear (luckily for
him muzzled and confined) in a sitting
Decoration of Bailroad Depots.
AT one of our railway stations, a pas-
senger on looking round saw the bill
announcing the arrival and departure
of the train, and by its side was posted
with most innocent candor on the
part of the directors another bill, ad-
vising him, in the most alluring terms,
to insure his life. Of course the two
things thus placed in juxtaposition, put
him in a reflecting mood.
Railway companies might improve
on this system of starting trains of se-
rious thought. They should illuminate
the walls of their waiting-rooms with
moral sentences, expressive of the un-
certainty of human existence, such as
Memento Mori, Mors Janua Vita?, &c. ;
which, executed in appropriate char-
BUSINESS TRANSIT AND COMMUNICATION.
acters, might be made to have a pic-
turesque and pleasing, as well as profit-
able effect. The intermixture with
these legends, of tombstone cherubs,
skulls, and femoral bones, and views in
cemeteries well painted, would be very
suitable ; and to these aesthetic decora-
tions might be added the figure of old
Time with his scythe and hourglass.
It may be mentioned, as a matter not
unrelated to these suggestions, that
some of the newspapers have adopted
the plan of inserting their " Kailway
Intelligence " next to the " Obituary."
Puncli's Own Kailway.
THIS snug little suburban line (says
its proprietor) occasionally makes a
mild demand on public attention, by a
sort of popgun- like proceeding, known
as the issuing of its annual report,
which is usually accompanied with a
very little smoke, and somewhat less
fire. Everything is on the smallest
possible scale; and the rolling stock
includes a garden roller, which is kept
for the purpose of rolling the gravel
walks by the side of those cabbage
beds which form the vegetable wealth
of the company. The property of the
railway is understood to have some-
what increased ; but there has been a
loss of one engine and two buffers, the
former being the moral engine which
the company once possessed in the sup-
port of a now apathetic press ; and the
latter consisting of two old buffers who
have got better places, after having
been for some years in the service of
the line as gardeners.
The balance at the banker's had been
augmented by a few pounds, and the
goods traffic is nearly eight ounces
more this year than it was last an in-
crease which, considering the level of
former times, may be considered fever-
ish. Of coal, there is a skuttle more in
the company's cellars than there was
last year ; and the directors propose
that this surplus shall not be disturbed,
but that it shall be added to the " rest,"
and carried over to the credit the
very great credit, of the company.
The engineer of the line has inspect-
ed the boilers, and reports that " the
concern is not yet out of hot water, nor
likely to be for some time to come,"
nor have the law proceedings been
brought to a termination. Thanks
were voted to the chairman, who had
lent a Bath chair for a visit of the resi-
dent director to the terminus.
Stage Coach Experience of two Mer-
" ONE of the very pleasantest episodes
to be found in the range of mercantile
travelling experience, is that of the in-
terview between Vincent Nolte, the
great merchant of two hemispheres,
and John McNeil, a Liverpool mer-
chant of celebrity. It is one of those
"happenings" which do not need to
be read of more than once, as one read-
ing will serve the memory ever after.
It is almost worth the full price of Nol-
te's Autobiography, an admirable trans-
lation of which, from the German, has
been published in this country. Mr.
I took a place, at five o'clock in the
morning, in the Birmingham coach, the
best conveyance then between Liver-
pool and London. It was a troubled,
misty, unpleasant morning. In the cor-
ner of the coach opposite me, wrapped
in his cloak, sat a gloomy looking per-
son, besides myself the only passenger.
More than two hours elapsed before the
spirit moved us to any conversation.
At length my companion roused him-
self, and brought forward the subject
which always opens a conversation in
England the weather.
" We have a very nasty, disagreeable
day before us, I fear," he remarked.
"Whereupon I asked him if he were
going all the way to London.
" No, no," he answered, " I will get
out at a pottery near Wolverhampton,
where I have to buy some hundred
COMMERCIAL AND BUSINESS ANECDOTES.
baskets of crockery for my ship, the
< Peter Ellis.' "
" In order to send it to New Orleans,
I suppose," said I.
" Certainly," he said, " but I beg
your pardon, how did you know that ? "
" I did not know it," I replied, " I
only guessed it. I have seen the ship
several times in New Orleans. She was
consigned to my friends, Denistoun,
Hill & Co."
" Oh, ho," said he, " so you have
been in New Orleans."
" Very often," said I.
" How is the credit of the firm ? "
was his next question.
" Admirable," said I ; Mr. Hill is a
man much esteemed and beloved."
" So I have always thought," he re-
" Those gentlemen," I continued,
"very often have ships to their address
for instance, the Liverpool brig ' The
Brothers,' the ship * Mary Wood,' and
others. The Liverpool ship * Ottawa,'
was in other hands (namely, in ours),
as well as many others."
" You appear to know our vessels
well," said he, " and also most of the
English houses in New Orleans."
" Oh, yes," I said ; " I know nearly
all the houses of any position there,
" I am glad to hear it," said my
companion, and then our dialogue con-
" Do you know Munro, Milne & Co. ?
How do they stand ? "
' " Very well. They are the estab-
lished correspondents of James Finley
& Co., of Glasgow."
" Do you know P. W. & Co. ? How
do they stand ? "
" So, so, no general credit."
" Do you know G., F. & Co. ? "
" G. is a clever business man, and F.
is a windbag, who, however, has thrown
into the firm a large capital inherited
from his aunt."
" The devil ! " quoth my interlocu-
tor ; "you appear to know them all.
You must have lived some years in New
" Yes, several."
" Do you know Vincent Nolte ? "
" As well as he knows himself."
" What sort of a man is he ? "
" Well," said I, he has many friends,
and perhaps quite as many foes ; take
him all in all, however, I believe he is
a good sort of a fellow, with whom
folks like to deal."
" Yes," he said, " our captains like
him very much. He was prompt and
expeditious, and when he had freight-
ed a vessel, the goods came down as
fast as they could be received on board."
" I believe," said I, " that this praise
is not undeserved. It was always his
custom to do quickly whatever he un-
Thereupon our conversation ended ;
and in half an hour the coach stopped
before a large pottery belonging to
Baker, Bourne & Baker. As he got
out, my companion gave me his card
" John McNeil, Liverpool," saying :
" I have found so much pleasure in
your conversation, that you must prom-
ise to pay me a visit when you return
to Liverpool. I will present you to my
two daughters, and we will all receive
you with pleasure."
I was of course obliged to give him
my card in exchange. He glanced at
it twice, and in a doubtful sort of way
read it over.
" Vincent N-o-ble!"
"No, sir," I said; "Vincent Nolte,
the very gentleman you were inquiring
" Ah ! so, so," he said. " Well, sir,
glad to have had a sight of you. Do
not fail to call when you come to Liv-
erpool again. Farewell, sir ! "
And so the coach rolled on.
An Interesting- Consignment.
ONE of the most interesting consign-
ments at least in an historical point
of view of which there is any record,
BUSINESS TRANSIT AND COMMUNICATION.
is that which was received from Lon-
don, by Mr. Jacob Barker, of New
York, viz., the first steam engine ever
in successful operation for propelling
vessels. It was made by Messrs. Bol-
ton and Watts, celebrated for construct-
ing steam machinery in that day. Af-
ter its arrival it remained in Mr. Bar-
ker's store in South street many months
before Mr. Fulton could raise the funds
to pay for it. This engine was placed
on the first steamboat that navigated
the Hudson, and Mr. Barker thinks
that she attained the speed of four
miles an hour. Little did he then
think that this discovery of the im-
mortal Fulton would in less than half
a century regulate the commerce of the
whole world, saving time and shorten-
ing space to such a degree that to be
deprived of its use would be univer-
sally considered a calamity of the first
Squelching a Director's Impertinence.
THE plenary indulgence conceded to
Mr. Hudson, the English railway mon-
arch, by which his will was made law
all complaints of those who natural-
ly esteemed themselves not fairly dealt
with in various operations being silenc-
ed by his mere beck cannot be better
comprehended than in an anecdote of
Mr. H. in his palmy days ; being a cir-
cumstance which occurred at the board
meeting of a certain line. The honor-
able gentleman had allotted to himself
six hundred shares, and to another
member of the board, two hundred.
These shares having risen to five
pounds premium, the latter gentle-
man thought he ought to have a lar-
ger number, and accordingly intimated
his opinion to Mr. Hudson. " I have
been accustomed, Mr. ," replied the
dictator, " to have gentlemen with
whom I am associated, satisfied with
my arrangements ; and if you are not,
I'll retire and leave the affairs in your
custody, which I dare say you'll man-
age better than I do, as I have so much
other business on my hands." " Oh,
certainly not ; by no means, Mr. Hud-
son," bowingly responded the crest-fal-
len director ; " I am sure all you do is
right, and I am quite satisfied with
your arrangement." It is pretty cer-
tain that no further complaint was
made by any of George's colleagues at
that board !
Bare Passeng-er in an Omnibus.
JOHN McDoNOGH, of New Orleans,
was one of those who rarely spent ten-
pence for an omnibus ride, his habit
being to economize to the last extremi-
ty in these minor as well as in larger
things. He was an untiring pedestrian,
being ever on foot, on some errand per-
taining to his vast money concern. Sud-
denly, one day, while pursuing so eager-
ly his imaginary goal, he was seized
with faintness on the street. Other
men would have taken a cab, and rid-
den home, or at least to a physician's ;
but when did John McDonogh turn
aside from business to relieve any weak-
ness or want ? ' He had an important
document to file in court. It must be
done that day. He is too weak to
walk. There is the omnibus ; the fare
is only a dime but that dime is so
much taken from the poor, for John
McDonogh is only an agent for the
poor, so appointed and called of God.
Such were the reflections, probably,
that passed through his mind before he
could be induced to perpetrate this se-
rious violation of the settled rules of a
life this single blot and stain on a ca-
reer of unbroken self-abnegation. With
a sigh he took his seat in the omnibus.
It was his last ride.
First Ship at St. Petersburg.
THE first ship which entered the port
of St. Petersburg, was a Dutch vessel,
the same in which Peter the Great ac-
quired in Holland a practical knowl-
COMMERCIAL AND BUSINESS ANECDOTES.
edge of seamanship. She was received
with extraordinary rejoicings and fes-
tivities, and whatever she might at any
future period bring into the country
was sacredly exempted from duty.
This privilege she enjoyed until the
end of the last century, when she was
obliged to discontinue her trips, be-
cause it was found impossible to patch
her up any longer so as to be seawor-
thy. The first ship that arrives in May,
like the swallow proclaiming the return
of spring, is still greeted with unusual
demonstrations of joy, and has various
favors granted her.
Proposed Line from. England to China.
IN consequence of the extreme diffi-
culty at present experienced in making
the voyage to China and India, togeth-
er with the delay and chances of ship-
wreck, it has been proposed by gentle-
men connected with the London Punch
under the advice of an eminent en-
gineer to construct a railway direct
from that city to the Celestial Empire.
The plan suggested 13 the very feasi-
ble one of penetrating the bowels of
the earth, through the medium of a suit-
able tunnel from London to Canton,
passing through the centre of the globe,
thus obviating altogether the enor-
mous expense usually incurred in the
purchase of land, and avoiding the op-
position likely to be encountered from
From the Report made to the Com-
mittee by Sinko Shaft, Esq., the engi-
neer, who has descended some of the
deepest wells and sewers in and about
the metropolis, and has sounded the
earth in various places at the outskirts,
there is every reason to believe that the
centre of the globe consists of a mass of
softest soil, except where intersected by
solid rocks of gold and silver, and
caverns of precious stones ; and that,
from his examination, there is no reason
whatever to believe, as some have con-
jectured, that the earth is a mere crust,
filled in the interior with nothing at all
a state of things which would natu-
rally have rendered the cutting of a tun-
nel through it an expedient of some
difficulty. As it is, however, the cut-
ting will be exceedingly easy, except
where the masses of precious metals and
jewels interpose an obstacle ; but inas-
much as this material, when removed,
will be immensely valuable, and, accor-
ding to the most moderate calculations
of the engineer, will be many hundred
times more than sufficient to cover the
entire expense of the undertaking, but
little fear need be apprehended upon
It is intended that the terminus in
England shall be at what is now the
building known as St. Paul's Cathedral,
London, which for the purposes of this
line is to undergo the necessary architec-
tural alterations, after permission has
been obtained from the metropolitan
The journey by this route will, it is
calculated, be accomplished as soon as
the passengers get from one terminus to
another. And as the railway will pass
immediately under Mount Vesuvius, a
station will be erected there, at which
trains will stop for the purpose of tak-
ing in coals and lava, or blacksmiths,
should there be any residing in those
parts. Another stoppage will be made
immediately under the Mediterranean,
with a view of getting a supply of wa-
ter conveniently drawn down through
a pipe from the sea above.
As regards the intermediate traffic be-
tween the two termini, there is, from
the recent investigations into the sub-
ject by the learned members of the
University Nhowbere, strong reason for
believing that the population swallow-
ed up at various periods by earth-
quakes, as at Lisbon, Port Royal, etc.,
etc., have only disappeared from the
surface of the globe to colonize and
people the interior. Should this be
proved to be the case the most interest-
ing results are likely to follow upon
BUSINESS TRANSIT AND COMMUNICATION.
the establishment of this undertaking
which indeed may be the means at
once of opening an immense market for
manufactures and a passage for the in-
habitants of the interior regions of the
earth of the most profitable and ad-
vantageous description. In addition to
this it is confidently expected that most
of the Continental nations will establish
branch tunnels running into that of the
parent Company, which will be both a
most lucrative source of revenue, and be
the means of opening an immense field to
Assuming the Responsibility.
HUDSON, the railway king, knew well
how to make steady, gradual, and
permanent encroachments in the con-
duct of those vast undertakings of
which he was the body and soul, so as to
compel others to concede to him the
absolute influence necessary for that
free individual action on which he felt
the very existence of the organizations
he brought about, and the success of
the negotiations into which he entered,
depended. He further knew how to
make capital out of the feelings of
reverence and admiration he excited.
Having entered into some arrangements
for the famous Midland Company
which he had not vouchsafed to disclose
to the board of directors, these gentle-
man, after having vainly endeavored,
to worm out the coveted secret, screw-
ed up their courage one day to demand
it. They accordingly met much earlier
one day than usual, and when their supe-
rior arrived, they were all exceedingly
"How now, gentlemen," said Mr.
Hudson, " has anything happened ? "
" Only," replied one, " that we being
equally responsible with yourself for
what is done, are desirous of know-
ing the nature of your future plans."
" You are, are you ? " rejoined the
premier ; " then you will not ! " And
the business of the board proceeded.
Rothchild's Omnibus Fare.
THERE is a good story told of Baron
Rothschild, which shows that it is not
only money which'makes the mare go,"
or horses either, as in this case, but
ready money, " unlimited, credit " to
the contrary notwithstanding. On a
very wet and disagreeable day, the Bar-
ron took a Parisian omnibus, on his way
to the Bourse or Exchange, near which
the nabob of finance alighted, and waa
going away without paying. The dri-
ver stopped him, and demanded his fare.
Rothschild felt in his pocket, but he
had not a " red cent " of change. The
driver was very wroth :
" What did you get in for, if you
could not pay ? You must have known
that you had no money ! "
" I am Baron Rothschild," exclaimed
the great capitalist, u and there is my
card ! "
The driver threw the card into
" Never heard of you before," said
Jehu, " and don't want to hear of you
again. But I want my fare and I
must Tiave it."
The great banker was in haste : " I
have only an order for a million," he said ;
" give me change ? " and he proffered a
" coupon" for fifty thousand francs. The
conductor stared, and the passengers set
up a horse laugh. Just then an " agent
de change " came by, and Baron Roths-
child borrowed of him the six sous.
The driver was now seized with a kind
of remorseful respect ; and turning to
the money-king, he said
" If you want ten francs, sir, I don't
mind lending them to you on my own
Great North Pole Railway.
THERE is a railway enterprise on foot,
which, according to the prospectus, is
to literally rise above everything in the
line of that class of transit undertak-
ings. It is styled, with that modesty
of terms which distinguishes all real
COMMERCIAL AND BUSINESS ANECDOTES.
enterprises from those which are merely
chimerical, the " Great North Pole Kail-
way, forming a junction with the Equi-
noctial Line, with a branch to the ho-
rizon. Capital, two hundred millions.
Deposit, three pence." The directors
named for the North Pole terminus are
J. Frost, Esq., chairman of the northwest
passage ; and Baron Iceberg, keeper of
the great seal on the Northern Ocean.
Director for the horizon, Hugh de Rain-
bow admiral of the red, blue, and
orange, etc., etc. And in addition to these
are Simon Scamp, Esq, chairman of the
East Jericho Junction Railway ; Thomas
Trapper, Esq., manager of the Gener-
al Aerial Navigation Company ; and Sir
Edward Alias, non-resident director of
the Equitable Coal and Slate Associa-
tion ; with power to add to their num-
ber, by " taking in " as many as possible.
The proposed line will take the hori-
zon for its point of departure, and, pass-
ing near the equator, will terminate at
the North Pole, which will be the prin-
cipal station of the company.
It is calculated that sunbeams may
be conveyed along the line by a new
process, which Professor Twaddle has
been employed by the provisional com-
mittee to discover ; and the professor's
report will be laid before the subscri-
bers at the very earliest opportunity.
By bringing the Equator within a
week of the North Pole, and cooperat-
ing with the proprietors of the Great
Equinoctial Line (long so vigorous in its
operations), the advantages to the share-
holders will be so obvious, that it is
hardly necessary to allude to them.
It is estimated that the mere luggage
traffic, in bringing up ice from the
North Pole to the readiest market, will
return a profit of sixty-five per cent.
on the capital.
Should any unforeseen circumstance
occur to prevent the Railway being car-
ried out, the deposit will be returned, on
application to Messrs. Walker, Gammon
& Co. (Solicitors to the Company), at
their temporary offices in Leg Alley.
Protective Costume for Travellers.
IT is in contemplation to provide, at
all the stations on a certain western
railway, a dress adapted for travellers
along that celebrated line, by which it
is thought they will be secured from the
chances of injury by the collisions that
are continually happening.
Considering that padding is not un-
fre'quently resorted to, for the purpose
of improving the figure, it "has been
thought quite reasonable that the
fashion should be extended to the pur-
pose of protecting the limbs as well as