Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/317

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303
THE REMEDIES OF NATURE.

earnings, expenses, and profits, are all clearly tabulated, as the book-keeping of all the companies is on a uniform and simple plan. The tariffs of the roads are accessible to the commission, which is a bureau where complaints of unjust discrimination can be lodged for inquiry and for correction, as far as its powers admit. These powers the commission believes might be advantageously extended, for the abstract rights of the public without legal remedies are very apt to be disregarded. The authority of the board, however, extends to enforcing for public safety the proper strength, breadth, and height of bridges and tunnels, and such guarding of crossings and employment of mechanical appliances as experience suggests for adoption. All serious and fatal accidents are investigated, and the "Annual Report" of the board is a document which might serve as a model of a business-like State paper.

A system of State commissioners patterned after the Massachusetts board, with a national center of reference, is as much in the way of legislation and public supervision as the leading railroad minds of the country deem advisable at present. The chiefs of the greatest commercial interest of America are quite prepared to accept legislation; all that they ask is that it be intelligent.

The public must not, however, expect too much from enactment, for, with business morality as it is, why should ideal justice prevail in railroad transactions more than in any other? The fact which on the broad stage of railroading is odious discrimination, less recognizably pervades the smaller circles of trade where employés permit personal interest or personal friendship to jolt the sacred scales. The view that railroading is a special and public service, in a sense which entitles the people to control it, is not a view which the facts of American politics favor as yielding any practical suggestion.

 
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THE REMEDIES OF NATURE.
By FELIX L. OSWALD, M. D.

DYSPEPSIA.

BEFORE our ancestors colonized the colder latitudes of this planet, the equatorial regions had for ages been inhabited by men or man-like four-handers. The influence of this long abode in the tropics still asserts itself in many peculiarities of our physical constitution. We are but half acclimatized. Wolves are weather-proof; bears and badgers have managed to inure themselves to the miasma of their winter dens: but the primates of the animal kingdom can neither endure cold nor breathe impure air with perfect impunity; and of most of our civilized fellow-men, as well as of savages and all the species of our