Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/607
great corporations, having their interest connected with wider and more extended territory, have broader views in their management, and are guided by policies which tend more to the healthful and permanent development of their properties and the territories which they depend upon for their revenue. The facts, in America as well as in Europe, fully confirm the statement of the Parliamentary Committee of Great Britain, that amalgamations result in furnishing better service, lower rates, and higher dividends—a benefit to all alike.
In the popular mind, the solution of the railroad problem is based upon the fundamental misconception that the so-called railroad "monopolies" raise the tariffs at their pleasure, are controlled only by their own wills, and so, influenced alone by selfish interests, they maintain unreasonably high or extortionate rates. Yet, it will always be found that, in seeking to advance their own interests, they are absolutely controlled by those general economic laws through the operation of which every one is seeking his own good, under terms as nearly equal as is allowed by nature itself; and their interests can only be advanced by advancing also the interests of their patrons. Freight will only be shipped when its transportation results in a profit to the shipper. The greater this profit, or the more it is extended to all articles of trade, the greater is the traffic; and the greater the traffic of the railroads, the greater is their profit. Under the operation of natural laws, each, in seeking its own interests, must advance also the interests of the other; this result can only be changed when the laws of nature are suspended by the legislation of man.
The railroad, heretofore generally untrammeled by restrictive legislation, has been productive of more beneficent results to the country at large than the most sanguine enthusiast of a generation ago would have dreamed. As it is a human institution, it has contained also the faults common to humanity. These, experience and interest will in time reduce to a minimum; and, guided by the same laws which in the past have produced so favorable results, its future operations must constantly work toward the greatest good of the greatest number.
By FELIX L. OSWALD, M.D.
OUR nearest relatives in the large family of the animal kingdom are undoubtedly the frugivorous four-handers, with some of their nocturnal congeners, but it would be difficult to classify the quadru-
- This article is made up from the text of Oswald's "Zoölogical Sketches" (noticed in our pages last month), by permission of the publishers of the volume, Messrs. J. B. Lippincott & Co., of Philadelphia, to whose courtesy we are also indebted for the accom-panying illustrations. Eds. P.S.M.