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maritime conferences, which would give more uniformity of system throughout the world, to the aids, usages, and practices of navigation?
There is one economy imposed on our establishment which we think is no longer commendable. A law of 1823 still limits the annual salaries of keepers to an average of $400. This no longer suffices to command the services of men really fitted for so responsible a trust. When we remember that keepers are mostly stationed on lonely ocean out-posts, subjected to inclemencies of weather, and often called upon to expose life in saving the wrecked, an increase of pay, proportionate to the depreciation of money since 1828, seems clearly their due, and we cannot doubt that it would, in the end, prove a true economy to add at least $100 to the annual average. Inadequate compensation drives them to collateral and injurious modes of eking out a subsistence. Fishing, farming, keeping boarders, etc., by consuming time needed in the keeper's proper duties, are among the greatest enemies to a faithful keepership of lights; and we can scarcely vanquish them, or procure the needed grade of intelligence under our venerable, and hence inadequate, rate of pay. As our lights, unlike a large proportion of foreign ones, have but one keeper, the proper care of lighting apparatus, the police, cleaning, improvement and custody of the buildings and grounds require his full services. It is of little use freely to consume oil, if the lenses, reflectors, and lanternpanes are soiled and smoked; if the lamps are out of adjustment, or badly trimmed; if the glass is frosted; if the revolving clock-work is not kept in order; or if the proper hours of lighting are not observed. The inspectors have a difficult and responsible task in ferreting out and correcting such neglects and abuses; in enforcing the economical but efficient use of supplies; in maintaining accountability, and in encouraging fidelity. They are entitled to the means for these ends, and chief among these is such a rate of pay as will secure the entire time of intelligent keepers. We hope, and we believe, that the atrocity of basing appointments and removals of keepers on political grounds is permanently corrected; and we feel sure that a detected unfaithful keeper would now be summarily and ignominiVOL. VII.-42
ously ejected, without the question of his orthodoxy once being mooted. The man who puts obstructions on a railroad is hardly more criminal than the keeper whose neglect of trust provides for and breeds shipwreck. It would be as impertinent for a keeper to plead politics in such a case, as for an indieted incendiary to urge right voting as an offset for his crine.
In conclusion, we will recapitulate the main points, of light-house finance. In 1825, $84.036 were expended in light-house building operations, and $53,063 in maintaining 101 lights; in 1830, in building. $43.922, and in maintenance, $151,657 for 161 lights: in 1839, $260.412 in building, and $456639 in maintaining 242 lights. In 1847, $501,250 were appropriated for balding purposes. The amount expended in building light-houses, etc., in the year ending June 30, 1853, was $225,975, and for support and maintenance of lights, $615, 638. The same items, in the year ending June 30, 1954, were respectively $556,098, and $758.354 and, for the year ending June 30, 1855, $843,686, and $1,002,124 for 471 Pghts. We ought here to remark that the regular charge for maintenance of lights has, since 1852, been estimated for by applying the previous rate pro rata to the old and new lights, and that, from the amounts thus determined, enough has been saved to purchase the great number of new lenses of the three smaller orders since added. The proper expenses of maintenance are actually undergoing a rapid reduction, pro rata. counting all the lights, and the limit is by no means yet reached. With the growth of the establishment, the expenditures have necessarily increased at a rapid rate. The extensive operations of repair now going on, and the numerous new constructions, greatly increase the current aggregates, but are, in fact, mainly of the character of permanent investments. It is, undoubtedly, true economy to make all the light-house structures so durable as to stanch the ceaseless outlays for repairs. This demands large present expenditures. A considerable expenditure is now being incurred for lenses; but when the 511 lights, now authorized, are thus fitted, an annual saving. of $126,562, for oil alone, will be effected. Among the most costly constructions are those on the Pacific
coast, which our sudden commercial development in that region had made of primary importance.
The question naturally arises, whether our light-house establishment is to grow indefinitely in the cost of maintenance, by a perpetual addition of new lights? Its answer is unmistakably indicated by the nature of the case, and by European experience. For a considerable time, France and England have been adding, relatively, very few new lights, and they have nearly reached the limit of aids which navigation along their coasts can ever need. We are still far off from this result; for, along our immense extent of coast, commerce is rapidly penetrating inlets and harbors, hitherto unfrequented. Nature has obviously shaped us for the greatest commercial nation, and, with this preeminence, we must accept the incidental burdens. Should we no further enlarge our borders, an end to the new lights needed is a clearly apprehensible result. The older portions of our coast have already approached the limit of their needs, in number, though not in quality, of lights. The remainder are still in the course of construction, and many years must pass before our entire seaboard reaches the period of simple maintenance. By virtue of the measures now in progress, various items of the cost of maintenance are undergoing a permanent curtailment at the expense of enlarged current aggregates. Let us have all our lights once supplied with Fresnel lenses, and all our lightship illuminating apparatus properly renovated, and a great permanent reduction in the cost of illumination will follow. Let our towers and keepers' dwellings once be properly and durably built, and the immense outlay for repairs will ever after be curtailed. Let our light-house foundations and grounds once be properly arranged and protected, and we shall not have a new tinker's bill after every storm. Till the entire material of the establishment is, once for all, in durable condition, we must expect maintenance to be a word suggestive of alarming amounts. Good constructions, the best apparatus, well-trained and faithful keepers, a rigid accountability, and the best possible general administration, while they are undeniably due to our immense commerce, are the only
certain retrenchers of maintenance expenses, and the only conjoiners of economy and efficiency.
In the fiscal year ending June 30, 1855, the U. S. revenue from customs was $53,025,794. In that year our imports were $261,468,520, and our exports were $275,156,846. Our total ocean tonnage, registered and licensed, is 5,212,001 tons. In the census of 1850, our domestic manufactures for the year were valued at $1,055,595,899, and our agricultural products at $956,924,640. At least one-half of these immense aggregates may fairly be presumed to have been transported past some of our lights, beacons, and buoys, either in the coasting-trade, on the lakes, or on our lighted rivers. If the cost of a thorough system of aids to navigation should, at any time, seem to us a heavy burden, we need but look to these inconceivably grand movements of import, export, coasting, lake, river, and harbor commerce, all using these aids, fully to realize that even the pecuniary interests of navigation form much too vast a stake to be wisely ventured on any petty economies. An unsafe navigation can never be economy for us, and no amount, supposable in the case, is too much to pay for a policy of insurance on an annual commerce of fifteen hundred millions. As an argument for light-house efficiency, this consideration is overwhelming; but it affords no palliation for extravagance, reckless expenditure, or easy fiscal responsibility.
Our commerce, already so immense, appears to be only beginning; its future magnitude, who can conceive? To promote its security we have already erected more than twice as many lights as illuminate the shores of the British Islands, and near one-third as many as all other nations combined. What though we should soon outnumber the aggregate of all foreign shores, this would but be a token of our continued growth. Nearly four-fifths of our national income is now levied on imports across the seas, and, of this income, less than one-thirtieth, even in this period of general renovation and growth, is applied to the construction, support, and maintenance of aids to navigation. In the future, we see nothing to fear, and much to hope from our present enlarged policy.
THE WORLD OF NEW YORK.
SUMMER at last! And so-just as our city squares begin to look green and warm, and just as the sky begins to smile overhead, and the delicious atmosphere converts our daily business-walk into a pleasant promenade, and the sunlight makes our homes cheery all day, and the moonlight makes the streets romantic all night-off we must go, and leave the empty town to the million or so of people who remain after "everybody has departed."
What a thoroughly modern phenomenon it is, this practice of "emptying" the town! But a few years ago, you might have counted upon your fingers the families which habitually "went into the country,” every summer, from any of our great cities. Real invalids used to toddle off to the Springs, or down to the sea-shore; adventurous young people made up parties to explore the Hudson, or visit the Falls; but the great multitude, and the most respectable and flourishing citizens of Boston and Philadelphia, New York and Baltimore, kept themselves as cool as they could in their city houses; darkening the windows by day, and wandering about in the moonlight by night, in search of ice-creams.
Now all this has been changed. The Baltimoreans follow their orioles northwards, or vanish in the direction of the watering-places which are said to exist in the interior of Maryland and the south of Pennsylvania. Saratoga and Newport, Sharon and Rockaway, grow familiar with the flat sound of the letter a, and with the subdued toilette which marks the perfect Philadelphian. Our own citizens, like the influences of their city, disperse themselves throughout the land; elbow the Bostonians in their own Nalant; outclimb the natives up the New Hampshire hills; criticise the fortifications of Quebec, and ride tournaments, with the chivalry, at the Virginia Springs. What comes of all this wandering, is a question most fit to be asked, but not very easily to be answered.
If the object of it all were health-health of mind as well as of body! But is it so? It is a good thing to escape the heat of the city; but then the city heats the spirit as well as the flesh-and it is the fever of the soul which makes the most and the worst victims and it is to be feared, that of the
hurrying thousands, whom the rushing, screaming trains, and the swift-gliding steamers, bear into all the recesses of the rural world, and all the nooks of the surfbeaten shore, a goodly number carry the winter's giant with them into the summer's retreat. Mere change of air is wholesome, no doubt, but that complex creature, man, does not live by air alone; he breathes a double atmosphere; and all the pure oxygen the Newport breezes bring, will hardly chase the weariness and weakness from his heart, if the human world about him teem still with the deadly azote of an artificial society. Monotony is the mother of all manner of mischiefs; but you cannot escape from monotony by a mere change of scenes, without a change of pursuits. The growth of the spirit is dependent upon the expansion of the mind's horizon. If the same people-a people of the same sort, the same interests, or analogous interests— surround a man in June, that surrounded him in January, it is of slight importance, comparatively, whether he stands under a gray sky or a blue, in the slush of the city streets, or on the sand of the shining beaches. It is because cobblers, in general, have not gone beyond their lasts, that a cobbler who does go beyond his last seems ridiculous. If all cobblers made a practice of going beyond their lasts, at convenient seasons, they would be better men, brighter talkers, and, probably, not the worse cobblers.
And, certainly, if the men and women of the world would avail themselves of the genial invitations of nature, who is "at home" in so many lovely places through the pleasant season now begun; if they would throw themselves somewhat out of their habitual associations. and see new faces, and think new thoughts, and aim at new objects, they would find life considerably more rich than we fancy it will seem to them at the end of another three months of monotonous excitements and familiar adventures. From which text, we shall preach a longer sermon at another day. Those who need the sermon, to be sure, need it most now, at the beginning of the season; but precisely for that reason, we know that they will not attend to it now. It is only the bitterly repent
ant who understand and appreciate the value of good advice, and few will be saints till they have learned how very dreary a thing it is to be sinners. So our revelers must run their old race-chase the old vanities-weep the old tears, and then come back to us-contrite, because disappointed, and penitent, because they have been so sadly bored-and listen to wisdom, when it is too late to be wise, and approve of exhortations which they can no longer improve!
To the few, already wise, who welcome the summer as the bringer of peace and quiet, and cheerful variety, and healthful stimulus-the few who will find the pleasure they seek, and bring back the sunshine of the sky, and the beauty of a thousand scenes in their hearts and minds, we have no sermons to make. Them we cordially congratulate on the advent of this opening month of the annual villeggiatura. Jane has come, and in June, you know, the poets tell us
"If ever, come perfect days."
And what gift of God is more divine, to a wise and genial human soul, than the gift of a perfect day?
We habitually undervalue the sky and the air; and few of us think how much of the good and the evil in ourselves must be traced to the atmosphere. In fact, there is not a small number of worthy persons who consider it a lowering of their human dig nity, to admit that the weather has any influence on their moods.
We knew such a person once: a schoolmistress of eminent gravity, who used to snub her scholars for looking solemn in November, and for smiling in May. Perhaps the schoolmistress was right, but we hardly think so. We lean to the belief, that Providence meant that the body of man should have some influence upon his soul; and though it may be very "creditable to be jolly under the circumstances" of a London fog, we think it is very discreditable not to be slightly intoxicated with delight, when every breath we breathe is soft and sweet, and every sight we see is gay and glancing. We pity the man who can preserve the dull equilibrium of his ordinary decorum, when heaven sends him one of our prize-days-such days as come to us in this lovely month of June, and shame the very tropics, and make dim
our dreams of Italy. For though we cannot claim the highest praises for our climate, we do aver, that nowhere on earth can certain days of our year be surpassed; luminous constant days,
When the genius of God doth flow;
Such days, when they come, are to be received as roses are, and music heard at midnight, welcomed like the sail
"That brings a friend up from the underworld,"
with a joy that is religious in its depth, and child-like in its exuberance.
Such days may well make us happy, even in the city; and, in fact, it is just possible that one may get more health out of a June day, heartily enjoyed on the Battery, or even in Broadway, than the same twenty-four hours would yield, if they were passed under the supervision of polite enemies, and in the skirmishes of social warfare, amid the loveliest scenes of all the land.
In which some consolation may be found by the millions who must remain in New York after "everybody" has departed.
Provided, that is, always, that our municipal authorities do not dash this and all other consolations from our lips, by invit ing pestilence to come, when fashion goes. Are we to have our "days of June" one season of horror and fear, more dreadful to anticipate, more fatal in its devastations, than these terrible "days of June" which Paris shall never forget?
It will not be very easy for our grandchildren (at least, let us hope so) to believe that, in the year of our Lord 1856, the citizens and the government of the first city in America, having been well and frequently advised of the imminent danger of such a plague as had wasted two sister cities, in the year before, and plunged a mighty commonwealth into mourning, took no steps to avert the impending catastrophe, but calmly succumbing to the majesty of dirt and disorder, awaited the stroke of fate with a more than Constantinopolitan composure. Is it not a crying scandal, that a people who profess to govern themselves, should not take such common precautions to protect their city from pestilence, as an imbecile old bachelor would take to save him
self from a catarrh? Perhaps the pestilence will not come, you say. Perhaps not; but is the prosperity of a great communityare the lives of thousands of human beings to have no better protection than a “perhaps?"
We have no desire to propagate a panic; but the shameful indifference which our authorities have shown to the welfare of the public, ought to provoke the mildestmannered mortals into energetic speech. We have allowed our functionaries to spend their time over punch and politics, while our streets went uncleaned of snow, and our business was interrupted, and our pleasures were converted into perils; we have made no stir while every week swelled the calendar of crime, and the monthly returns of "wounded and missing" from among our population exceeded the average annual casualties of a South American war; we have laughed over the details of disgraceful trials, in which our civic authorities were implicated, by turns, as witnesses and as criminals; we have watched, with silent sorrow, the gradual elongation of our tax-bills, till by contrast with the least of them, an undertaker's face, at the funeral of a millionaire, seems short, and fat, and jovial. Is there no limit to our comfortable complacency-to our dangerous good-nature? Are we to shrug our shoulders, and submit to the decimation of our population?
It is long now since a true pestilence ravaged New York. We have been visited by the cholera in recent time, it is true, and severely visited; but even the cholera, in its wrath, laid not so terrible a scourge upon us as the malignant fever, which this year menaces the Northern cities, has wielded over the seaboard towns of the South. The horrors of the Crimean campaign made all the world shudder-but what are the horrors of a Crimean campaign, to those of a visitation which sweeps away, in a few weeks, one-third of the citizens of a prosperous city, involving in one indiscriminate ruin the rich and the poor, the old and the young, parents and children, the strength of the present generation, and the hope of the generation to come? War brings mourning into many a home-but pestilence blots out the home itself from the earth; the scythe of war cuts down the stalk of the flower-but the poison of pestilence full often reaches the root itself. It cannot be
that we really mean to leave all the avenues of approach to our homes unguarded before the march of an enemy so fearful. That his banners have been seen within a few hundred miles of our city, should be reason enough for arming ourselves, and throwing up defenses against him.
Instead of thus preparing ourselves, however, we are really giving him aid and comfort, and insisting upon the favor of a visit from his devastating hordes.
As one of our contemporaries has well expressed it, we hold out the promise of his favorite food to the malignant demon. We suffer all manner of foulness and filth to accumulate in our streets, that he may have wherewithal to make merry when he comes to us. We permit whole flocks of tenement houses to stand unswept, uncleansed, teeming with a diseased and neglected population, in the midst of garbage and refuse without measure, as without a name." And yet if the scourge should fall upon us, we shall hear the good people declaiming solemnly upon the "mysterious dispensation of Providence which has laid waste our city." Do you think it a mysterious dispensation that your bed should burn up when you leave a lighted candle beside the curtains?
We are more knowing than our ancestors, perhaps, but, after all, not very much wiser than they-for a man's wisdom is rather to be seen in his manner of using his opportunities and his materials, than in the abundance of opportunities and of materials which he may enjoy. At least, if our forefathers had no very intelligent notions of the origin of their disasters, they acted resolutely upon such notions as they had. It was neither very philosophical, nor very humane in the good people of Germany to imagine that the "black death," which swept Europe in the fourteenth century, was a consequence of the toleration impiously shown to the Jews. That the average number of Hebrews assassinated or kicked to death in the streets of the imperial cities had for years been steadily decreasing, was a fact upon which no true believer could look without dismay and disgust. Every right-minded and religious person of these times, whenever in his walks he met a Jew who bore no marks of a very recent flagellation, whose counte nance was undisfigured, and whose robes were whole, must have anticipated mis