Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

14 erthygl ar y dudalen hon






TRURSDA V, AUGUST 22, 1895. N qtes¥COAI^E^5 Onu of the greatest of the social ques- tions that are stetid;ly creeping to the front is that of pensions for the aged poor, I and a very important contribution to the literature on the matter is to-day puUUhed from Mr. Louis Tyler, the chairman of the Finance Committee of thB South Wales Miners' Provident Society, who estimates that a payment of ] !d. per week by the 70,000 members, plus manage- ment expenses, would provide at the end of five years, and for ever afterwards, pensions of five shillings per week for all who reach t).) years cf age. Rut ill. order to make the fund absolutely cafe, he proposes that everv year pensions should be granted up u, exactly the amount contributed. An eminent actuary has approved the lin i.c j of the scheme but sufficient stress, is not, we think, laLl upeIl the indispensable con- dition that tho young members of the ..ociety innst join it at once. How they can be induced to do so if they will be en- titled to benefit at 65 after being members o dy fu e years, is a. question to which the answer is not clear. The subject of old age pensions is bound. to come up for settlement soon, for the workhorse is not what British working men will long regard peaceably as their resting-place and any .propositi, such as that of Mr. Tylor's, which helps to solve the problefltl of how to provide such pensions without doing i. injustice to the thrifty is of value at this stage. I Niagara has been tapped. To talk in rcuuded phrase. of the immensity of powor that is pouring to waste over the stupendous Falls has been tho fashion for many years, and innumerable schemes for utilising that power have been sketched by engineers and speculators. Indeed, less than ton years ago factories were springing up on the banks of the mighty river in the neignbourhood of the Falls like mushrooms on a warm autumn night in some old meadow, but an immense sum was paid down by the State of Now York in order to restore to the scene the pristine beauty upon which the red man gazed in centuries gene by. The desire for gain, however, has giveu to industry another chance, and once more the thing has been accomplished. This time the highest engineering and scientific skill has been called into play, and the vast water- fall has been made to yield up lo,000 horse power without the eye of the artist being offended, or the sensibilities of the lover of nature being outraged. A tunnel through the rock above the falls has been constructed by the removal of upwards of a quarter of a million tons of stone, and gigantic water-wheels placed therein now drive electric generators which produce power that is used twentv miles away, and by-anil-bye will be used 200 miles off. When it is said that the 11 .1 •. j- Aiis tnenigeives represent six millious of' horse-power it will be recognised that 1D,000 can be stolen from them, and no mere spectator be aware of the fact that Niagara is not exactly what it always has been. The litigation to which the Rio Tinto Copper Works Company have recently been a party ro doubt brought to the n(in:]s of many of our roadeis tho prophesy of tie old Welsh soothsayer, "When the grass refuses to see the sun not far from Swansea, then Wales will begin to grow r en. We may be pardoned for belllg a tr.file sceptical as to the author and age of the prophecy; yet it is generally believed that the Druids were divmsra in the same sense that a few individuals nowadays pro- less to find water by the use of a hazel twig. less to find water by the use of a hazel twig. If so, why should they not "divine" the presence of minerals as well as liquids 21 Alyrddin, the soothsayer of Carmarthen, is said to have been a great diviner, and had in his possession the thirteen curious I u SU!Ils Y triarddeg cywreindiws"—each of great power. And there are accounts written by Giraldus of the power of the diviners of Pembrokeshire, who, by the aid of divining bonas," were able to test the faithfulness of spouses. In some parts of the Principality these tales have such a hold on the people that divining bones are htdl used by anxious prospective parents to determine of what sux the first- born will be. Among the gems said to have been owned by Merlyn were some which would be far more valuabie than any philosopher's stone. There was Arthur's veii," which would make the person wearing it invisible; Brangaled's Horn," which would provide any kind of wine: a chair, which would convey the sitter anywhere a basket, in which the food of one man became sufficient for a hundred: and a dish, wh:ch Irpeare(i o i(led with any food required. One of the most remarkable of these treasures was, however, the Chess- board," with men of silver, which moved automatically. Those who have seen a great chess tournament played with living figures can, perhaps, imagine a concourse of people looking on at old Merlyn's play- thing. Truly, as long as these things are talked of and, no doubt, credited by some, the age of romance will not entirely have passed away. The eyes of the travelling world are at present directed to the great race between the West Coast and East Coast expresses from London to Aberdeen, and the fierce competition and extraordinary sooed achieved are looked upon with mingled leelings. Records are being busted like those of the cycling track, and the timid are already beginning to cry out. But they have not much to shout abuut. It mav be that the running of a heavy train a dis- tance of 540 miles in as many minutes may seem to be going a little bJvond what we have hitherto been led to look upon as reasonable, but it is idle to expect im- 'I provement in railway stock to cease. Locomotives aro far more powerful now than tluv used to be, rolling stock is botter built and balanced, and the permanent way is vastly improved. All these things go towards demonstrating the safety with which an extra r-lto of spued can be put on. It is ouly the con- tinuous run that is frightening the timorous. Every day during many years we have trains running as fast though not over long distance: and no one has grumbled because the timorous did not know it. To such a state of per- fection has everything bean brought now, that it only needs a clear line, and the exercise of reasonable cara in traversing curves, and less easy stretches, for the rate of a mile a minute to become an everyday occurrence on all the main lines in the kingdom.


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