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tical motor bicycle, and the more general adoption of motor carriages in certain parts of the country where the roads have been improved. Meanwhile the bicycle now in common use will hold its way, with such improvements in detail, and perhaps in form, as will add to its usefulness, and to the comfort, convenience, and security of the rider.
BICYCLES AS RAILWAY BAGGAGE.
«THE bicycle is a vehicle,» say the railway lawyers, "and cannot therefore be baggage.» This somewhat captivating but superficial form of argument is having its brief day. The contest over the passage of the Armstrong Law, compelling New York railways to carry bicycles as baggage, might well have been avoided. It began in November, 1895, when the chief consul of the New York State division of the League of American Wheelmen wrote a letter to the Trunk-line Association of Railways, and invited a friendly conference for the purpose of establishing some common and equitable rule that should govern the transportation of cyclists and their wheels. This request was denied, and the wheelmen made the most of their alternative in procuring the enactment of the new law, which is working smoothly and equitably. Radical as this new statute may have appeared, it is doubtful if any substantial right is thereby secured which was not already guaranteed to the traveling cyclist by a fair interpretation of the common law. Many years ago, in England, Lord Chief Justice Cockburn reviewed with great care the question of what might and might not be properly and lawfully taken by a passenger as luggage on his journey by rail, and laid down a rule which has since been many times quoted with approval by the courts of England and
America. It is this:
Whatever the passenger takes with him for his personal use or convenience, according to the habits or wants of the particular class to which he belongs, either with reference to the immediate necessities or the ultimate purpose of the journey, must be considered personal luggage.
This would include not only all articles of apparel, whether for use or ornament, but also the gun-case or fishing apparatus of the sportsman, the easel of the artist on a sketching tour, or the books of the student, and other articles of an analogous character, the use of which is personal to the traveler, and the taking of which has arisen from the fact of his journeying.
In discussing the law of this case, counsel for the railway company (Mr. Digby) made
use of the following declaration, the correctness of which most wheelmen are quite willing to concede:
It is difficult to define passengers' luggage, but the articles a man takes with him as his pernected with locomotion, and not merely those sonal luggage must be such articles as are conwhich he wants to transport from one place to another. All such things as are required and are necessary for the personal use of the passenger in the course of his journey, without regard to the object for which the journey was undertaken, would be ordinary luggage.
The New York Court of Appeals, in the case of Merrill versus Grinnell (30 New York, 594), has declared its judgment to be exactly in accord with that expressed in the English cases. In the case just cited the court said:
Baggage is defined by Webster to mean the clothing and other conveniences which a traveler carries with him on a journey.» It is, of course, impossible to enumerate the articles that constitute what is called in the definition «clothing,» and it is still more difficult to specify what shall pass under the name of «other conveniences.>> Again, the baggage must be such as is necessary for the particular journey that the passenger is, at the time of the employment of the carrier, actually making; . . . the articles that will pass under various as the tastes, occupations, and habits of the denomination of other conveniences » are as travelers. The sportsman who sets out on an excursion for amusement in his department of pleasure needs, in addition to his clothing, his gun and fishing apparatus; the musician, his favorite instrument; the man of letters, his books; the mechanic, his tools. In all these cases, and in a vast number of others unnecessary to enumerate, the articles carried are necessary in one sense to the use of the passenger. He cannot attain the object he is in pursuit of without them, and the object of his journey would be lost unless he was permitted to
carry them with him.
The language and intent of these decisions would seem to be unmistakable. They clearly, and in the most direct terms, point out the propriety of including in the term "baggage the bicycle, which the touring cyclist takes with him as a part of his personal property essential to his journey.
But from the railway standpoint the most encouraging and satisfactory reason for carrying bicycles as baggage is found in the fact, every day more apparent, that the practice is not only lawful, but profitable. All wheelmen know this, and many railway companies are fast finding it out. More than one hundred and forty American railways are to-day carrying bicycles as baggage, without extra
WILL CYCLING REVIVE THE OLD STAGE-
THAT the bicycle, and the horseless carriage
charge; and the concurrent testimony of all sive railroad manager need be told that bread railway officials who have studied the subject is usually buttered only on one side. shows that true business policy will encourage the rule. Thousands of wheelmen ride into the country from populous centers on Sundays and public holidays, and with many of these the matter of expense is sure to be considered. It is often a question between an eighty-mile trip and home by rail, or a forty-mile trip and return by wheel. Thousands of wheelmen travel in all directions to attend meets, conventions, and assemblies at all times of the year, and by a rule of their own they favor the railways which are known to be friendly. Thousands of others, in their business as merchants, manufacturers, shippers, and commercial travelers, are constantly directing the shipment of goods in such manner as to give preference to lines whose policy toward the wheelmen is known to be equitable. As between two prominent railways running westward from New York city, it is estimated that in the year 1895 upward of $100,000 was, in this manner, added to the income of the one whose friendly attitude toward cyclists is well known, while the tendency of wheelmen to avoid at all times the road pursuing the opposite policy is growing from day to day. It may be said that this practice of discrimination is not altogether right, but argument will not change it. When people have money to spend, they are likely to be a trifle independent in selecting the objects of their patronage, and in their minds a wholesome grudge will give no place to ethics. To the railroad companies the fact alone would seem to be the important thing, and if the reason for it should appear obnoxious, it is quite within their own power to change the conditions for which they are themselves mainly responsible. There are probably 2,500,000 bicycle-riders in the United States, and it is estimated that a million wheels will be sold during the present year. Take into account 250 bicycle-factories, 24 tire-makers, and 600 concerns dealing in bicycle sundries, all representing a combined investment of $75,000,000, and the bicycle question seems to gain proportions. Add the number and value of repair-shops, racetracks, and club-houses, and the aggregate leaps again. Consider the fact that this country contains about 30,000 retail bicycledealers and about 60,000 persons employed in the sundry » factories, and that these numbers are every day growing apace, and the importance of the bicycle business to the common carrier becomes suggestive-so suggestive, indeed, that no prudent or progres
A few days ago Mr. Edison was quoted in a daily newspaper as saying that within the next decade horseless carriages will be the rule. It may be, therefore, that, with the general improvement in road vehicles, and the general improvement of the public roads, without which no vehicle can become really efficient, the volume of road travel will be so increased as to bring to life the old inn of early days, but not, I think, the primitive and picturesque type that marked the stoppingplaces of the old stage-coach which, in the years following the Revolution, used to make the distance between Boston and New York in six days. Nor will the rejuvenated inn bring back the old-time back-log festivals at which the Knickerbockers and Quakers so often came together when the fast coach known as the «Flying Machine » whirled its passengers between New York and Philadelphia in the astonishing space of two full days. The railway has largely superseded common road travel, and our swift business methods will give the preference to railway travel until a swifter means shall take its place. But though the great majority will travel by rail, it must be borne in mind that the great and growing body of cyclists who travel by road is not greatly less in point of numbers than the entire population of the colonies when the old inns were in vogue; and the marked effort on the part of hotel proprietors to secure the patronage of the wheelmen shows how fully the value of this new element is being appreciated. About 7000 official League hotels have been selected and granted official certificates by the League of American Wheelmen within the last five years. The proprietor of each of these hotels is required to sign a contract in which he undertakes to supply good food and clean, comfortable lodgings to all travelers, and to accord a certain percentage of discount or rebate from regular prices to all members of the League of American Wheelmen on presentation of membership tickets for the current year. In exchange for this concession, the League publishes a list of all official hotels in the road books, tour books, and hotel books issued for the use of wheel
men; and in this manner the patronage of the hotels is encouraged, the wheelmen are brought together at common stopping-places, and a direct benefit is secured to the organization. Wheelmen are quick to discern and to appreciate the comfort of a well-kept inn, and are not slow to condemn the slovenly attempts of an incompetent host. And so it is that the fittest will survive, and badly kept hotels will inevitably lose the cyclists' patronage. From day to day appointments of official hotels by the League of American Wheelmen are canceled, and new contracts made in accordance with new information and to fit new conditions. Within a radius of fifty miles about each of the large cities will be found, on any pleasant afternoon in summer, groups of wheelmen sitting beneath the shade-trees and awnings of favorite country inns; and among the wheel clubs the rule has become general to add to the announcement of weekly runs the names of certain hotels which are known to supply a good quality of rest and refreshment.
THE EFFECT OF CYCLING ON OTHER
BRANCHES OF TRADE.
MILLIONS of dollars are annually invested in bicycles and in the purchase of sundries appurtenant to the sport. The diverting of this money into a new channel must necessarily affect expenditure in other directions. The enthusiastic cyclist must often economize in his all-round disbursements in order to gratify his special taste, and the great number of wheels sold on the instalment plan is perhaps the best evidence of the tendency of people of moderate means to spend their money for cycling, to the exclusion of things which might otherwise make drafts upon the purse. Perhaps the carriage trade, more than any other, has suffered by the increase of cycling. During the last two years complaints to this effect have been numerous in the columns of the carriage-trade journals, and their advertising columns reveal the fact that many of the carriage-dealers and -manufacturers are trying to avail themselves of the new conditions by making and selling wheels as an adjunct to their established business. Liverymen in all the cities and towns complain bitterly of the great falling off in the number of customers who formerly indulged in carriage-rides on Sundays and holidays, and in many cases livery stables have been sold out or closed by discouraged proprietors. Tailors, hatters, and jewelers
are likewise affected, though perhaps in a less degree; and some of the labor societies and trades-unions have declared against the bicycle because of the evident falling off in the demand for work and materials in their particular lines which the use of the wheel is supposed to have induced. Of course these trade conditions will adjust themselves in due time, and they have a consoling feature in the fact that what is lost in one direction is gained in another, by the increased demand for labor in all branches of industry connected with the manufacture and sale of bicycles and cycling goods and materials.
THE TAXATION OF BICYCLES.
IN New York, Philadelphia, Rochester, and Chicago certain city officials have lately proposed, in apparent good faith, that bicycles should be made the subject of a special tax. The enormous number of bicycles in the country, and the millions of value which they represent, suggest with some force a subject for taxation which is not likely to be overlooked by the scrupulous assessor. The sound principle that all property should contribute to the support of the State that defends it should, of course, apply to bicycles, as to other forms of personal property; and our present tax laws provide so clearly for such taxation that the justice of a second levy which this proposed special tax would entail may well be inquired into. The bicycle is noiseless, clean, and a non-consumer. It does not herald its own approach by a nervewearing ding-dong on the hard stone pavement, nor does it wear out or soil the streets, or occupy an undue amount of space in the thoroughfare. Just why it should be made the subject of a special tax, from the operation of which other forms of vehicles are exempt, is a question which no one has yet attempted to answer. Such a tax would certainly be unpopular, and would probably be illegal as well. That it would be unjust goes without saying. The cycling citizens of the United States are already heavy taxpayers, and under our general laws are exempt from no species of tax to which other citizens are compelled to respond. It would be quite as wise, and fully as equitable, to declare a special assessment on sewing-machines and type-writers as upon bicycles, or upon any other useful thing in which citizens generally have acquired an ownership. The bicycle tax as a specialty will, I think, never become a fixture in the tax laws of this country.
Isaac B. Potter.
TOPICS OF THE TIME
The Services of Art to the Public.
one in touch with the progress of art in the United States can fail to note the evidences of a new and widespread movement of late, which recognizes the good influence of art as an offset to the materializing tendencies of the age. When Mr. Millet, as chief of decoration at the World's Fair, in 1893, obtained from the board of directors commissions for pictorial decoration in some of the principal buildings at the great exhibition, and visitors saw how capable our painters are in this field when an opportunity is given them, the plainest proof of the ability of native talent was afforded. Taken together with the excellent sculptural work and the architectural triumphs at the exhibition, it was seen that, unknown to the general public, certain American artists had attained to a high degree of proficiency in decorative work, and only required such a chance as was offered at Chicago to convince the layman of the expediency of spending money for purely esthetic purposes. Private enterprise quickly recognized it, and various hotels and residences recently erected in New York and elsewhere exhibit on their walls and ceilings further evidences of the merit and capability of the American artist as a decorator in the true sense of the word. The organization of the Municipal Art Society of New York, in the spring of 1893, the object of which is to provide adequate sculptural and pictorial decoration for the public buildings and parks of the city, by devoting the funds obtained from its membership fees to the execution of artistic projects determined by competition or direct commission, owes its origin in part to the «revelation at Chicago. This society has already presented to the city, as custodian for the State, the beautiful decorations by Edward Simmons, in the room occupied by the criminal branch of the Supreme Court, and has other work in hand. The architects of the Boston Public Library, acting with the public-spirited trustees of that institution, have succeeded in obtaining for their noble building mural decoration by such artists as Puvis de Chavannes, John S. Sargent, and Edwin A. Abbey, and sculpture by Augustus and Louis St. Gaudens. Finally, as the most conspicuous instance, the United States government has given commissions to two score or more of our best-known artists, both painters and sculptors, to decorate the new Congressional Library at Washington. These works are now well under way, and at the present time there is a feeling which amounts to conviction that we are not far from such general recognition of the value of art as a factor in our civilization as has existed for centuries in Europe, and finds its best expression in our day in the liberal provisions made by the French governmental authorities, not only for the artistic embellishment of France's splendid capital, but for all its historic towns and industrial centers.
The bill recently introduced in Congress, under the auspices of the Public Art League of the United States, creating a United States Commission, which shall pass upon the artistic merits of all plans for important public buildings and of all works of art that the government may propose to purchase or order, marks another step in the right direction. How far the good intentions of the bill, if it becomes a law, may be thwarted by the machinations of « practical politics » remains to be seen.
The conclusion must not be drawn that it is all plain sailing ahead for those who wish to see art occupy its proper place among us, and none but capable men intrusted with the duty of giving it in its best forms to the world. One has to note in New York City alone the contest between its citizens and the then Board of Park Commissioners over the Harlem River speedway; the indefensible decision of a better board, who succeeded them, in the matter of a site for the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, directly contrary to the recommendations contained in an excellent and thoughtfully considered report on the question submitted by the Fine Arts Federation, which spoke for all the societies of painters, sculptors, and architects of the city; and the determination of certain excellent citizens, through the Board of Aldermen, to force upon the city an unsatisfactory work in the shape of the Heine Memorial Fountain. However, the obstinate procedure in the last instance brought forth the enactment of a law providing for a competent commission, the approval of which is necessary before a work of art can be accepted for the city by the Board of Aldermen, or anybody else. The evils of the apparently fair, open-competition system meantime are still with us.
In the National domain an obstacle to artistic progress has been found in the results of the Sherman Statue competition. But such mistakes are merely obstacles on the upward path. The good influences will ultimately outweigh the bad, and the American people may be congratulated on the prospect before them in the near future, when public taste, and the standard of public criticism, will be lifted by the presence of good art in public places.
The Defacement of Natural Scenery.
CARLYLE'S famous explosion, in «Sartor Resartus,» against what he called «view-hunting,» meaning the delight in nature for its own sake, like a good many more of his utterances, represented nothing but a temporary irritation. At Craigenputtoch he had plenty of scenery, but he lacked other things that he seemed to require more. Having nothing but the «mountain solitudes and the state of his digestion to take the place of society, it is no wonder that he should have issued his Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous
Regiment of the Picturesque. It is satisfactory to remark that, later in life, even he attained a saner view. The pages of the «Reminiscences » that may be read with the least mixed pleasure are those in which he paints the scenery of which, in his early days, he became so impatient.
Whether Carlyle was right or not in attributing the revival of << view-hunting » to the influence of Goethe in particular, there can be no question that it was contemporaneous with the Romantic movement in literature, to which Walter Scott and Wordsworth, in their several ways, so powerfully contributed. The Romantic movement was in itself a return to nature, and it was inevitable that there should attend it an increase of interest in the external aspects of nature.
At any rate, there is no need now of arguing in favor of the love of nature. We all know that it is one of the greatest helps, if not to what used to be called « grace,» to what is now called culture, denoting spirituality as well as refinement. An indifference to natural scenery all cultivated persons look upon as a pitiable or blamable insensibility, and the wanton defacement of it as a misdemeanor. Our urban parks, simulating wild or cultivated nature, are the most cherished of our municipal possessions, and show that a democracy may be trusted to supply itself with this kind of public possession, as well as the aristocracy, the maintenance of whose own << seats,» in part for the public benefit, is in older countries justly regarded as one of its most valuable functions.
With respect to rural scenery, it must be owned that the case is somewhat different. Scarcely any American can fail to recall some rural scene which he might desire to see under the control of a benevolent despot, or, in less majestic language, owned by some rich and refined person, who should have the power and the will to bring out its latent beauty, or at least to protect its patent beauty from defacement. In fact, we, too, have instances to show of the private acquisition for the public benefit of scenes that need to have their natural advantages either developed or protected. There is one fashionable seaside resort at which it is brought to the attention of the visitor, that the smaller cottagers hold that the largest and richest cottager «ought to acquire an island of manifest picturesque possibilities, and even that there is feeling » because he does not both literally and figuratively meet the views of the smaller cottagers and the more numerous boarders. This is, perhaps, an extreme instance of a tendency of which everybody has observed instances less striking.
The sentiment has been embodied in the establishment by law of the reservations at Niagara and in the Adirondacks, great as may be the need of an extension of the law in the latter case, and there is a movement to save the Palisades through the intervention of the general government. To preserve all that we have in the way of natural beauty or sublimity from destruction or defacement is a worthy work for legislators, whether the preservation requires an absolute prohibition of the advertisements which now disfigure so many noble landmarks, or whether it can be attained, as has been. suggested, by a tax on such advertisements in such places. The defacements that are still allowed to vulgarize sublime or beautiful scenes are, however,
more and more the result of an open and conscious defiance of public sentiment. To extend and intensify this sentiment, and to apply it to the cases that come under one's own observation, is a worthy and humanizing work. It is a work in which every farmer, and every farmer's family, and every villager, and every summer sojourner among the rural beauties of our country can be a useful missionary.
In his «Democracy and Liberty,» vol. i, p. 167, Mr. Lecky has a suggestive passage which, though addressed primarily to English readers, applies, also, to our ow country:
The State cannot undertake to guarantee the morals of its citizens, but it ought at least to enable them to pass through the streets without being scandalised. tempted, or molested. The same rule applie also to some things which have no connection with morals: to unnecessary street noises which are the of casion of acute annoyance to numbers; to buildings which destroy the symmetry and deface the beauty of a quarter or darken the atmosphere by floods of unconsumed smoke; to the gigantic advertisements by which private firms and vendors of quack remedies are now suffered to disfigure our public buildings, to de stroy the beauty both of town and country, and to pursue the traveller with a hideous eyesore for hundreds of miles from the metropolis. This great evil has vastly increased in our day, and it urgently requires the interposition of the Legislature.
"The Crime of 1873.»
No assertion in regard to silver has been made more persistently during the past few years than that a "crime" of some kind was committed in 1873 when Congress passed the act discontinuing the coinage of the silver dollar piece as a unit of value, and establishing the gold dollar as the sole unit of value. When first made the charge was that the passage of the act was the work of a «conspiracy » by some English and other foreign bankers, who sent an agent to this country with half a million dollars with which to bribe members of Congress. This was soon abandoned, and in its place was started the charge that the act of 1873 had been passed by stealth.» One silver writer said it went through Congress «like the stealthy tread of a cat. Another said it was passed « surreptitiously,» and a hundred silver advocates echoed the charge. One silver advocate, who is a writer of history, put it into one of his books as a historical fact, that the silver dollar was
silently demonetized.» Others added « secretly to «silently,» or «surreptitiously,» and all accompanied the charge with the assertions that the passage of the act took one half of our money out of circulation, and that remonetization would restore the lost half.
One would think, from reading this charge, that the act in question was before Congress for a very brief time, and that it passed without its meaning and effect being known to more than a few members. That is the only way in which a bill can pass « silently» or « by stealth. Now, what are the facts? The bill was first introduced in April, 1870; was urged upon Congress by the Secretary of the Treasury in a special communication recommending its passage; was subsequently urged by the Secretary in three annual reports-those of 1871, 1872, and 1873; was before Congress for nearly three years, and for five successive sessions; was printed by order thirteen different times; the debates upon it in the