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September 26, 1885
The Kecord and uuide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday.
IQl Broad.V7eiv, IST. ^jT.
Our Telephone Call i......JOHN 370.
ONE TEAR, In advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should be addcessed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
Vol. XXXVI. SEPTEMBER 26, 1885.
In an Antwerp letter published in these columns last week a pre¬
diction was made that the war would probably break out iu Europe
next spring. Our correspondent seemed to be of the opinion tbat
Germany would probably be the aggressor and Russia the victim
in the war ; but, according to the news that has reached us during
the past week, it is the Czar who seems to be the aggressor. The
revolt of West Roumelia against the Porte was clearly instigated by
agents of the Russian government. It is hardly likely, however,
that actual hostilities will break out this fall. European wars that
amount to anything are begun early in the year. Campaignmg
would be very difficult in the Balkan Mountains during mid-winter.
There is a world of explossve material in Europe to-day, and a war
is certain to take place in the not distant future.
success of 8ut;h mammoth establishments as the Bon Marche and
the Louvre of Paris and similar establishments in London and
Berlin. This method of doing business is to the advantage of the
ret; il buyer, but is often disastrous to the retail dealer.
The nomination of Governor Hill to succeed himself by the Sara¬
toga Convention does not seem to have been a wise move on the
part of the Democrats. It has given an excuse for the ** Mug¬
wump" journals, such as the Times and Evening Post, to return to
their old party affiliations. The Democrats could not have elected
Mr. Cleveland without the aid of the Independent Republicans who
were a desirable element to keep permanently attached to the
Democratic party, but the leaders of the latter organization, in their
hot hunt for office and bitter antagonism to civil service reform, have
thrown the Mugwumps overboard, at least in this State. If the
election were held right away there would be little doubt of the
return of the ticket headed by Ira Davenport. But elections in this
country in off years are always uncertain. A comparatively
small vote will be cast this fall, and then the prohibition
issue may draw a great many votes away from the Republicans.
The party platforms are discreditable to those who drew them and
the conventions which endorsed them. They are full of dema-
goguism. It is an open secret that Mr. Cleveland, though he did
not directly interfere, did not desire the nomination of Governor
Hill. His pronounced civil service letter, addressed to Dorman B.
Eaton, was furnished in advance to the local Saratoga papers. It
did not appear that morning either in the Troy or Albany papers,
but the Convention did not take the hint. The attitude of the
President on civil service reform notwithstanding does him credit.
If the business outlook continues to be as good in October and
November as it has been in September, it will greatly advantage the
administration in the fall elections. Prosperous times always help
existing governments. This ought to surprise President Cleveland
himself, for he placed himself on record, before he took his seat as
chief magistrate, when he predicted there would bo a financial
convulsion if the sUver coinage acts were not repealed. He failed
to make any impression upon the majority of his own party in
Congress, the coinage act was not repealed and the business out¬
look was never bo promising.
Itis singular how political theories wiU warp the judgment of
otherwise sound business men even when they % in the face of all
past experience. A free-trader will say that the way to bring about
good times is to reduce import duties. A protectionist is certain
that the only way to revive business is to make the tariff still more
stringent. Yet trade has been good and bad the world over, with¬
out reference to the different local revenue systems. The recent
depression is true of bus iness^g^ro tec tive France as of free trade
England. There is a current impression in certain business cix-cles
in New York that if the coinage of the silver dollar would stop
there would be an immediate revival of commercial activity. YeC
the most prosperous period within the memory of the present gen¬
eration was that succeeding the enactment of the Silver Coinage BiU
in 1878. The ^resent revival in business has come in spite of the
silver dollar, aad the longest heads in Wall street say that one of
the greatest factors iu a buil market, should we have one, would
be an abundance of currency, which, as the uxerest tyro knows, has
been the result of the issue of silver certificates.
Retail trade in New York, it is claimed, is not as profitable just
now as it has been in former years. As we have repeatedly pointed
out in these columns, the price of real estate has been kept up in
this city by the large profits of the dealers aud their disposition to
purchase the property in which they had made so much money.
The shrinkage in the wholesale prices for a long time benefited no
one but the retailers, who continued to charge the retailers the
prices that were current when trade was prosperous. But when a
general liquidation is under way it finally affects all classes of
traders, aud the retailers are now beginning to feel the pinch. Our
consumers have been paying too much for their groceries, loaves
of bread and all kinds of meat, but the unnatural profits of the
dealers have brought into existence rivals who threaten, temporarily
at least, to bring down prices below the profitable point. But this
cajmot continue long. NewYork is a rapidly growing city, and,
in the long run. its storekeepers are certain to make a good
What has hurt many of the minor dealers in this city is the
concentration of business in large establishments. Places like
Macy's and Ridley's are very often mere clearuig-houses for large
manufacturers. Great producing concerns in want of ready
money, or with a surplus stock on hand, often send goods to these
great stores and sell them to the public for less than they do to
their own regular customers. This, indeed, is the secret of the
The New Y'ork Times is delighted. The nomination of Hill by
the Democrats gives it a chance to return to the Republican party,
which, had it consulted its own interest as a RepubUcan paper, it
would never have left. A newspaper cannot afford to go back on
its own history or its clientele. It always makes a mistake when it
neglects to cater to the good sense of its patrons. Editors and pro¬
prietors who use the journals in their charge to air their personal
whims or private dislikes always come to grief.
The police in all the great cities of the world have taken great
delight in cracking the skulls of the socialists and communists
whenever the latter hold public meetings. In every case it
is the police who break the peace. So universal is the detesta¬
tion felt for these agitators that the ruling classes and the
business public have never taken exception to these violations of
the law by the police. The latter have been as belligerent and as
unreasoning in New Y^ork as in London, Paris. Vienna or Berlm.
But the recent attack in London upon a peaceable gathering of
socfalists, headed by a poet and artist so well known as Robert
Morris and men like him, has met with a very different recep¬
tion from the press and the public. Our own as well as
the London newspapers are tolerably unanimous in saying
that it is time enough for the police to commence club¬
bing the socialists when the latter break the peace, but not
before. Governments have not dealt wisely with these mal¬
contents. In persecuting them unjustly they have often
given them a hold on popular sympathy that is often unde¬
served. Herr Most was constantly imprisoned in Germany and
England, but he has been allowed to air his folly in this country
unmolested, and no harm has come of it. It is the police and the
reporters who have made Justus Schwab so conspicuous a per¬
sonage. As a matter of fact, the man can neither write nor speak,
and is merely a very harmless beer-seller. The way to meet social¬
istic folly is not to club or imprison the agitators without provo¬
cation, but to deal wisely with social problems, and in every way
remove aU the real grievances of the working classes.
There was a grain of real interest at the bottom of the ridiculous
hubbub raised by the press over the races of the Genesta and the
Puritan. The question of what is the best model for a sailing ves¬
sel is an important question, in spite of the supremacy of steam.
Natural forces that can be applied directly will always be employed,
as water power for mechanical operations and wind power for
transportation. The newspapers, with all their columns of rubbish
about the races, have paid no intelligent attention to this matter.
So far as the question of speed goes, the races showed that there
was very little to choose between a vessel which owed her sail-carry¬
ing power to the natural stability given by her form, and one the
stability of which was almost wholly artificial and supplied by bal¬
last. But as regards safety and comfort the sail of the Genesta to
Newport and back showed that the deep, narrow and loaded cutter
is a very bad type of sea boat. She does not ride the waves but
plunges into them, taking whole seas aboard. It was a matter of
luck that the Genesta did not drown half-a-dozen of her crew. For
this reason sensible American yachtsmen will be more likely to fol¬
low the model of the Puritan than that of the Genesta,