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AND BUILDERS* GUIDE.
Vol. X. ■ [NEW YOEK, SATURDAY, DECExMBER 21, 1872.
Published Weeklu l)v%l
THE REAL ESTATB RECORD ASSOCIATION.
One year, in advance......................$6 CO
All communications should he addressed to
-7 AND 9 WAURKN' STRHHT.
No receipt for money due the Rv^at, EsT/VTR Record
will he acknowledged unless signed hy one oF our rej,'nlar
collectors. Henhy D. S.mitii or Tho.mas F. CaMiMiNG.'^.
All bills for collection will be sent from the olhoe on a regu¬
larly printed form.
LIFE INSURANCE GAMBLING.! f
!" After, proving conclusively that life insur¬
ance rates -were twenty per cent, higher than
they should be, the Mutual backs down from its
proposal to adopt an honest rate and agrees to
continue to please its customers for the benefit
of tbe small semi-bankrupt concerns wMcb are
its rivals. This action is very remarkable from
a business point of view. A. T. Stewart, for
instance, is enabled by his immense capital and
the admirable organization of his business to
sell his goods twenty per cent, cheaper than any
of his feebler rivals in the dry-goods trade,
making a good profit where they would net a
loss. Now suppose these rivals, instead of going
out of tbe business, in the proper course of
trade, should combiae, and rush, into print to
denounce the great establishment which offered
to serve the community by cheapening neces.
sary articles of wear. Such action would be
preposterous, and Mr. Stewart would be justi¬
fied iu paying no beed to the clamor. As a mat¬
ter of fact his house is full of employes who
tried to be Ms rivals, but, not being able to sell
as cheaply.as he, they failed. The sfcruggle for
Ufe the weakest going to the wall, is a law of
nature and obtains in trade and society as well
as in the organic world about us.
Let it be understood then, hereafter, that all
who deal with the Mutual and allied companies
pay, according to their own actuaries and of¬
ficers, twenty per cent, more than is necessar5^
Of course the real loss to the customers of these
companies is very much greater. Indeed, as a
matter of fact, the life insurance companies
take three dollars out of the community for
every one they return to the heurs of their cus¬
tomers. - ■ ■
Api'opos of an article on Life Insurance last
week we have received the following note:—
IIVall sxkeet, Dec. 14, 1872.
To THE Editob of The Real Estate Record.
Tour article on '' Life Insurance " is splendid
—jolly from beginning to end. By Jove, if
you -wall now and then dig into those robbers,
you wUl do a big thing.
The thieves are, as you say, the meanest kind
of pickpockets, for they steal, not from Jay
■Gould, Dan Drew, or others of our crowd, but
from the orphan and widow. Those compa¬
nies have more ribs yet; punch every damned
one of them. Tours truly.
One op tiie Eobbers.
There is many a true word said in jest, and
though the above came to us unsigned, we have
no doubt it is from an officer of one of the
Life companies who is aware of the fraudulent
character of the whole business. It is indeed
the meanest and most treacherous kind of gam¬
bling, in which the companies play with stocked
cards and loaded dice; their victims in every
case being the widows and orphans of the
poor and struggling.
Of course we do not wish to be understood
as impugning the characters of all who are en¬
gaged in life insurance. No doubt the great
majority of officers and managers mean to be
as honest as the law allows and circumstances
permit, but the whole conception and conduct
of the business is necessarily demoralizing.
The individual stakes his money and his L'fe
against a certain sum to be paid his heirs. No
sentimental considerations can make anything
out of this but gambling in its most horrible
and offensive form. The players on both sides
take their chances with the odds heavily in
favor of the "bank." Indeed, the companies
which represent, the latter, even the best of
them, play a '' skinning" game. Morrissey and
Chamberlain give twice the show to their cus¬
tomers that the Mutual and Equitable do to
Of course this villanous business will go on
until the ruin which follows all fraud super¬
venes. In marvelling at the wealth of the of¬
ficers of these companies, we must bear in mind
that the same Providence which created foxes
also ordained geese.
A Correction.—An architectural friend, to
whose opinions we attach the highest value,
has drawn our attention to an error in the re¬
marks we recently made concerning the new
Collegiate Reformed Protestant Dutch Church ;
in which we stated that the muUions of the
windows ■ are of wood, whereas they are of
stone. He also thinks that the natural ten¬
dency of those remarks is to bring discred¬
it upon the talents and capacity of the archi.
tect of the building.
The error which we made respecting the
windows we have much pleasure in rectifying,
and have only to add, that if the remarks merit¬
ed the interpretation imputed to them, nothing
could have been farther from ouir thought and
intention. So far were we, indeed, from wish¬
ing to attribute any lack of capacity or talent
to the architect—of this church — that wc
distinctly said, one reason why the peculiarities
to which we objected in this building were" to
be more than usuaUy regretted, was because
every portion of it showed an amount of skUl
and study in the designer which could easUy
have afforded to dispense" with the prevailing
fashion of striving after meretricious novelty.
Among the many wretched platitudes with
which downright ignorance has defaced the
city, under the pretended name of Gothic
architecture, it is so refreshing to meet with
a building which, as in this case, exhibits thor¬
ough knowledge, motive, and earnest thought
in the designer, that v/e should be veiy sorry
to do it injustice. With aU its peculiarities,
it is so immeasurably superior to the gen-
eraUty of churches hitherto erected in New
Tork, that the author of it may be fairly
ranked among the very few architects in our
midst to whom we can look for anything like
progress in art. With all the boldness, ear¬
nestness of thought, originality and inventive
faculty which it exhibits, this edifice has failed
in being a perfect model of Gothic architec¬
ture only because the designer of it allowed his
love of eccentricity to misapply, in manifold
instances, the very beauties of which he has
been evidently so dUigent and successful a
THE METROPOLITAN MTTSEUM OF NEW
This excellent institution—stUl so young that
many New Torkers are probably not even aware
of its establishment among us—bids fair, by the
energy and judgment displayed at the com¬
mencement of its management, to speedily com¬
pete with some of its most reno-vvned European
cotemporaries. A purchase has recently been
made of General di Cernola's celebrated collec¬
tion, which excites no Uttle envious comment
among our cousins across the water. It ap¬
pears that this same coUection had been previ¬
ously offered to the British Museum at a price
far below its actual value ; but, either through
misapprehension of its preciousness or mistaken
economy, the offer was neglected which has
been so wisely accepted by the managers of our
Museum. Now that the oversight is past re¬
demption, the authorities of the British Museum
are severely censured by the press for their re¬
missness, and the London Athenceum, whUe con¬
gratulating New Tork upon its great bargain,
confesses that the EngUsh have lost what they
should have bought at any reasonable price.
So far has this censure gone, that Mr. Newton,
of the British Museum, is actuaUy about to pub¬
lish what may be called an apology for the ac¬
tion of the Museum authorities. The Athenamm,
in commenting upon this rare coUection of an¬
tiquities, thus describes them :
"There are many specimens of Greek glass,
such as lachrymatories, jars, vases, bottles, etc.
Although rarely remarkable for size, these ex-