27 JULY 1850, Page 15


ACCORDING to a passenger by one of the excursion-trains of the 18th instant on the South-western Railway, the accounts which have reached the public are softened to the extent of being falsi- fied. He states "a few plain facts," for which half-a-dozen of his neighbours will vouch.

"I proceeded with the first down-train; it was composed of about thirty carriages and one engine, which appeared wholly inadequate to draw the weight, every carriage being crowded, and was pushed up behind by the se- cond train when rising on an incline, and dro ped when descending. When near Basingstoke'' on the top of a high emban ent, I saw the guard of our train beckon the driver of the second train to push us up as before. He obey- ed the signal with a vengeance ! I saw from the speed at which the last train was coming that a collision was inevitable, and called out, Hold hard ! she is driving into us !' I caught firm hold of the top rail of the carriage, and those about me instinctively took some precaution; but although we expected and were prepared for a shock, we were thrown violently from our seats. One man in our carriage, who was standing on the floor, holding on by the top rail, was knocked over on the coupling-iron, to which he hung. The fright was extreme, the passengers being thrown one on the other, and the screams of the women heightened the confusion ; one lady had her eye blackened ; my Mend's knee is much injured and his clothes torn ; three persons in all were thrown out of the train, one of whom had his head cut off ! My first im- pression was that we were off the rail, as I felt the carriage give two or three Jumps, but I found that it was caused by the wheels passing over the unfor- tunate deceased. On getting out of the carriage, I found the line strewn with the hats of the passengers; some of which were afterwards taken to the sta- tion and distributed to the owners. The train was delayed for three hours, arriving at Southampton after two o'clock instead of eleven. "In conclusion, my opinion is, the accident was owing to the reckless driving of the second train, and there not being sufficient power to convey the first. The passengers could well observe the anxiety of the railway of- ficials to keep the extent of the truth from the public."

We have before noticed, amongst the offices of the railway, at first thought so prosaic, that of keeping our over-civilized society in a state of familiarity with danger; but perhaps a little im- ement might be effected without impairing the utility of that function. It is evident that the chivalry- of our day is to centre in the railway; but let it be conducted chivalrously. The gallant fellows who brave the perils of the rail ought not to be obliged thus to expose also women and children to slaughter ; the helpless and gentle should at least be got of the way. The manly love of danger and blood might then be satiated, without disturbance or stint.

On the whole, too, we would suggest that excursion-trains are not the best of bodies to carry on this honorary warfare which might be limited to encounters between express-trains and goods-trains. But perhaps it would be best of all if commerce as well as gentle- ness were allowed to travel unassailed, and the affrays of the rail- way were reserved for special occasions. Why not appoint regular railway joustings ? Let some great railway proclaim a tournament, open. to all engine-drivers at home and abroad; and let the prize for the victor be the daughter of the princely chairman. Let North-western try the prowess of their gallant men, the force of their engines, the strength of their trains, against others, at some place near London.

What a magnificent spectacle that would be, the joust of two trains dashing together at full speed! How the crash of armies would be outdeafened.; how metal and men would fly up into the air, like shields and lances of old ; how the back-driven trains would shiver and rumble along the shaken earth ; how the specta- tors would shout; and how the victor would dash onward over the mangled remains of the vanquished ! The lovers of railway sports might find some innocent pleasure in this: for surely it would be a less cruel mode of indulging their favourite pastime than their present mode of snatching an indulgence in the midst of women and children—keeping the boiler at half-cock in order to let fly into an excursion-train of tender holyday-makers. No, we say ; do not thwart the inextinguishable propensity for manly sports, but let the gallant fellows conduct their knightaberrantry in a chivalrous way.

There is a report this week that Mr. Newman is to be created Roman Bishop of Westmmster, and not Dr. Wiseman; the latter, it is said, being wanted at Rome, where he is to be made a Cardinal, and afterwards sent over to London as the Pope's Legate at the Court of St. James's. It is be- lieved there is truth in the report. Mr. Newman is not only considered to be entitled to that distinction, but he has already acquired a degree of in- fluence over the Romig' priesthood in the Metropolis only inferior to that of Dr. Wiseman himself.—London Correspondent of the Oxford Herald.