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The Record and guide: v. 36, no. 911: August 29, 1885

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August 29, 1885 The Record and Guide. 947 THE RECORD AND GUIDE, Publuihed ei^ery Saturday. 191 Broadwav, 1^. "^T. Our Teleplioue Call is.....JOHN 370. TERMS: ONE TEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS. Communications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway. J. T. LINDSEY, Busmess Manager. Vol. XXXVI. AUGUST 29, 1885. No. 911 The action of Attorney-General Cassidy, of Pennsylvania, in moving to prevent the consummation of the contract by which the South Pennsylvania and the Beach Creek roads were to have been absorbed by the Pennsylvania Railroad, changes materially the rail¬ way situation. It was hardly to be expected that the arrangement between the roads, so far as it etfected the railroads in Pennsyl¬ vania, could be completed without resistance. Many men were doubtless building high hopes of fortune on the unnumbered mil¬ lions which were being invested in the new roads, and they could not be expected to meet their disappointment without a protest of some sort, and a determined etfort to defeat the measure if possible. Well, if the constitutionof Pennsylvania prevents both the purchase and the lease of the new roads by the Pennsylvania road, we can see but one way through which the people of that State can be protected against the spoliation and wrong contemplated by the railroad man¬ agers. The rails, ties, and all the material of the unfinished roads may be removed beyond the boundaries of Pennsylvania, and either sold for second-hand material or used for repairing the Vander¬ bilt roads in this State. Considerable money in this event will have been wasted in grading, etc., and it may be possible that the constitution of Pennsylvania will require the filling in of all the deep cuts and the removal of the embankments. But we doubt if the constitution tiukersof the State have been long headed enough to provide for the emergency. It seems like great folly for any man to put money in railroads in a State that provides for partial confiscation of the property in advance. It is pleasant to be reminded that the Canadians also have their Niagara Park Commissioners, and that there is even a possibility that at some day, not very remote, another park opening ceremo¬ nial will take place on the west side of the Falls. But, to say truth, these commissioners are moving with a remarkable degree of cau¬ tion. They have only just met to acquaint themselves with the land to be taken, preparatory to making their preliminary report to the Ontario Government. But it is safe to predict that the Canadians also will have their Niagara Park, now that the State of New York has led off in the work of beautifying the surroundings of the great waterfall. It is not a merely local question. The improvements must be made by local legislatures it is true, but the eyes of the people in all civilized couotries are turned towards Niagara Falls, and the Canadians cannot aff.>rd, by comparison, to appear sordid and uncultured. They will build their park, and then a friendly rivalry should spring up to see which side of the river shall be made most attractive. To confess the truth, their conservative delay has given the Canadians something of an advantage. They are now enabled to take the measure of possibil¬ ities in our new park, and to plan their own improvement on a grander scale. ---------«-----.—- The recent cartoon in Puck, caricaturing the public statues of New York in behalf of some other kind of monument to the late General Grant, was not altogether well conceived. Some of the statues represented in the picture of our funny contemporary deserve caricaturing, or, rather, they do not need it. A true drawing, truer than Puck gave, would have been sufficient for all the purposes of caricature. But among the number were several good works by sculptors of ability, and they are worthy memorials of their subjects. There is nothing in bad taste in portrait statues when^they are well done; and they are especiallj" in keeping with the practical character of the American people. Still, we have no objection to some other kind of monument to General Grant, pro¬ viding it is appropriate in its conception. But you would not think of building an astronomical observatory to commemorate the services of a distinguished geologist. Considering the figure Grant has made in the history of the United States a historical institution of some kind might be appropriate. But we have usually left monuments of a literary, scientific or artistic character, tobe erected by Individuals who wished to benefit their fellows, and thereby raise a monument to themselves. The Cooper Union is a monument of this character, We see uothing that needs reform in the traditional manner of commemorating the services of eminent military men by statues in marble or bronze. If we are to build a monument to Grant to cost a million dollars we shall have an opportunity to give a whole history of his career in bas or alto relief, and to pro¬ duce in all respects a very attractive work of art. And true art is worth producing for itself. ' There can be little question under the terms of the new building law of the authority of Mr. D'Oench to order brick proscenium walls constructed in all theatres not already protected against the spread of fire by such devices. There can be little question either that the improvement is universally desirable; for audiances in theatres should not only be rendered as secure as possible against fire, but they should be made to feel secure as a protection against a disaster worse even than a fire sometimes in its consequences—a panic. But there is also very little ((uestion that the time selected for enforcing the regulation is inopoprtune. During the past two or three months most of the theatres have been closed, and the desired improvements could have been made at small loss. Now, when they have either opened or made all their dates and arrangements for the fall season, the order of Mr. D'Oench, if enforced immediately, will work very considerable embarrassment. It is all very well to say that the managers have only themselves to blame. This may be very true, but they are not the only ones to suffer. Dramatic enterprises of con¬ siderable pith and moment are concerned. We do not say that the improvements ought not to be made, and made now. But if so, they should have been peremptorily ordered earlier in the summer. The ravages of cholera in Spain, where the death roll of a few weeks amounts to almost one-fourth the number of those slain in battle during our four years of civil war, reminds us that the viru¬ lence of that plague has not yet abated. Physicians have been claim¬ ing a clearer understanding of cholera than thoy possessed at the time of its first invasion of Europe, but the justice of the claim is doubtful. It seems to go where it will, small cities and towns bemg about as subject to its ravages as great and densely populated cities, and it was never more destructive than now when compar¬ ing the number of cases with the number of deaths. About the only thing known is that good sanitary conditions and good habits will check the ravages of cholera, in common with every other disease. This much admitted, we have a clear perception of our duties. Our health authorities, from this time forward until the disease again disappears, must be unremitting in their watchful¬ ness over local causes for infection. This course will not merely aid us in preventing a visit from the cholera, but it will shorten the death lists from other complaints, and give us, it is to be hoped, permanently improved habits of cleanliness. A question has been raised in relation to our laws against the importation of paupers, but it seems to be rather a quibble than a valid objection. The law applies, it is said, only to immigrants landed from ships; and in the case of paupers entering the country overland, from Canada, for instance, they are at liberty to come as they please. But it seems that the intent of the law is the first thing to consiier. It was the purpose to exclude all immigrants who might become a taxjupon the public, and it could not be held that paupers who must not be landed at New York could be landed at Montreal and then suffered to New York. The law may be defective, since it provides no way for returning objectional immigrants who have reached this country on steamship lines that sail beyond our jurisdiction; but it can hardly be interpreted so as to furnish an open gate for whoever may choose to come by the way of Canada or Mexico. The hearing before the Quarantine Commissioners about the dis¬ infection of imported rags was a more important matter than one would suppose from reading the daily papers. The truth must be confessed that even owners of newspapers are human. Moreover, owners of morning papers in this city are selling their wares at a price that leaves a very small margin of profit. This margin would be wiped out altogether by a slight advance in the price of white paper. In fact, the reductions in the price of newspapers two years ago were possible only on account of the unusual cheapness of printing paper at that time. It appears that the importers of rags have satisfied the owners of newspapers that any obstacle put in the way of importing rags, clean or filthy, harmless or pestiferous, will increase the cost of paper. So the papers have nothing to say against the rags. The Health officer of the port may not be over¬ burdened with scientific knowledge, but he is evidently trying to do his duty and keep out the cholera, and he gets very little help from the press or the public. The counsel for the ragmen, in the case heard by the Quarantine Commissioners, asked the Health ofiicer, inasmuch as the rags were destined for Norwich, Conn., and were not to be unbaled until they got there, why he, the doctor, should not " let Norwich take care of itself." Such a remark is disgraceful to the man who utters it. It is at the ports of the country, and principally at the port of New York, that th© cholera