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The railway calamities produced a panic regard- || payment of £100, not accounted for. The two ing the state of accounts in the various com- last charges are rubbish. Mr. Hudson's misappli. panies-a demand for statements, investigations, cation of sixpence belonging to the company would and committees. Many of these statements have be erroneous and culpable ; but it is not probable not been of a gratifying character. We gave in the that he wilfully misapplied £100.
The charge last number a tabular list of eighteen railway com- for brokerage appears to have been customary, panies, whose half-yearly meetings had occurred although the company had a special arrangeduring the preceding month, and on whose shares, | ment with their broker ; but it is obvious that if sold at present prices, a loss of thirty millions such entries might have been often made without sterling would be incurred. Reasons exist, there- || the immediate consent or active concurrence of fore, for the bad humour of the shareholders; Mr. Hudson, This gentleman must employ a although these reasons have been partially created secretary, and, probably, two or three clerks, by by their own necessities or timidity. The meeting whom the odds and ends of business—brokerage of the York, Newcastle, and Berwick line occurred and travelling expenses-are, doubtless, charged. in February last. The shareholding mind of Eng-In strict justice and impartiality, we are bound to land was, ere then, tinged with suspicion. Divi- say that the two last charges, whether right or dends, prospects, and reports, were never absolutely wrong, cannot, from their amount and character, satisfactory. The monarch of railways who pre- || be taken to implicate Mr. Hudson in any fraudulent sided was attacked on his throne. A committee was design to benefit himself and injure the company, appointed to inquire into the proceedings of the di- || The committee allege that Mr. Hudson acted in rectors. This committee called witnesses, examined the capacity of trustee for the company : that he them, and published a report, which is not cha- | was instructed to deal as their buyer : that he racterised by apparent good-will towards their purchased the shares in the Great North of Eng. chairman and his cabinet of directors, yet the reportland a few days only previous to his transfer of itself is not nearly so bad as the rumours by which them to the York Company, and that the latter it was preceded. The charges alleged against Mr. || transaction should have been done at prime cost, Hudson relate to the purchase by him of Great and not the market value. North of England stock, and its subsequent sale Mr. Hudson's answer strikes us as satisfactory. to the company, at a profit over the current He denies the trusteeship, and the understanding market price or quotations at the day of sale. that he was to buy for the company, of which no The stock sold by Mr. Hudson to the company minute exists. He states that he voluntarily rewas valued at £130,597. The overcharge made signed, in favour of the York Company, an annual is said to be £7,185; of which £2,874 has been income of far higher value than the sum disputed. subsequently repaid, on the discovery by Mr. Hud-He reminds the shareholders that the agreement to son that the account was erroneousy drawn. The buy the Great North of England stock was wellbalance claimed by the committee is, therefore, known to the public, and the terms specified in an £4,311-a small sum upon a transaction of this act of parliament, obtained in July 1846, and four magnitude. The York, Newcastle, and Berwick months previously to his sale of shares. He Railway arranged to purchase the stock of the acknowledges the existence of an agreement at Great North of England line, at £250 per £100 the York Company's Board to purchase stock if of paid capital; and the smaller shares-for the it could be done on terms which would be ad. shares consisted of three classes—at corresponding vantageous to them. They were bound, by prices. The transaction is an example of the great July, 1851, to take all the stock of the Great profits occasionally made by railway companies, at North of England at a stated, and, as we think, a the public cost. The general understanding on high price. They could easily reckon the value of the concession of railway bills by Parliament was, | the stock to them at any previous date, and, deductthat the dividends should not exceed 10 per cent.; | ing interest, ascertain what advantage, if any, but when they went over that sum the public were, would remain to them from purchases. They had in some way, to obtain a benefit by the increase. the figures cast, and scales ed, at which they The Government and the Legislature, with far more might buy with profit from time to time. They culpable neglect of the public interests than Mr. did not, apparently, pay Mr. Hudson more than Hudson has shown towards those of the York, New- this fixed price, which still left the process adcastle, and Berwick line, adopted no proper precau- || vantageous to the company. The transaction aptions against the cleverness of companies in expend-pears to have been perfected, not with Mr. Hud. ing money, and their theory has been universally son alone, but with that gentleman and other evaded. The York, Newcastle, and Berwick may parties. He appears, indeed, to have been connever divide ten per cent. on their outlay; but nected in what may be styled a share-jobbing more than ten per cent. on the original cost is business with partners ; and a stricter commercial probable. The shareholders of companies are at morality than the rule with railway dealers hitherto present excited and quarrelsome on the topic of would alone prevent himself and partners from their dividends, but they may be assured that the dealing in the stock of a company which he served non-shareholding public are the aggrieved parties, || in the capacity of director or chairman, A high and the latter may yet deem their committee ne- sense of honour may seem to require some such cessary The anti-Hudson committee of the York | arrangement as the self-denying clause imposed Company also discovered a charge of £984 for || upon their members, by Scotch Town Councils and brokerage, which they consider erroneous, and a || Poor-law Boards occasionally; but it would render
the aid of directors personally conversant with || tised on the previous 4th January, and had inade railways difficult to obtain. If Mr. Hudson was payable on the previous 30th of that 'inonth. Tho appointed buyer to the Company, he should have committee allege that this dividend was adopted been paid for his services ; but the shareholders even without the knowledge of the current halfappear not to have considered that point. If he year's revenue, for the period only closed upon the was not appointed in that capacity, he was 10th of January, whereas the dividend was decided justified in purchasing for himself, and in sell- on the 22d of December, and advertised on the 4th ing again to the company, if the directors were of January, willing to buy, at prices not exceeding the fixed We are astonished to find intelligent proprietors Falue to their constituents. Mr. Hudson and his in the company, who should have been perfectly friends could readily have arranged to retain the conversant with the dates on the receipt of this shares until the date when the company, by their dividend, only professing now to discover an irreguAct of Parliament, were compelled to purchase and larity for which all the directors were responsible,
They are said to have been charged and all the shareholders more or less liable. The above the prices quoted in the share lists, but the rapid increase, from 3s. to Is., might have raised circumstance, even if correctly stated, is uncon- suspicion, and directed attention to the circumnected with the question. The price quoted on stances; and the date at which the half-year's acthe share list was obviously nominal, if complete count expired should have been known to all the reliance can be placed on the engagements of large shareholders ; but they were glad to take the the company, bound by statute to purchase at a money, asking no questions, and would have asked fixed price in two years ; for nobody would sell a none, if the same policy had been pursued and the stock in these circumstances, since the necessary payments had been continued. advances could easily be obtained on its security ; The Comunittee, in their report, say farther, that but if complete reliance could not be placed on the since Mr. Hudson's acceptance of the office of York, Newcastle, and Berwick Company, then chairman, the dividends have been invariably made Mr. Hudson was not less entitled than any other higher than the revenue fairly permitted. The person to a small profit on the risk he adopted ; l amount of what may be termed payments, in adand the profit paid was not a large per centage. It vance of revenue, is £115,278 8s. 5d. The imis stated, indeed, that he had a cheque for £80,000, propriety of this course is clear, although it cannot while he had only advanced a common deposit on be deemed fraudulent, and yet may be made subthe shares ; but he had evidently to pay a much servient to fraud. The shareholders have got the larger sum within a few days from the receipt money, and, in this respect, can have no complaint of the cheque-and long before his claim was to make. In another, they have been systematically finally settled.
deceived regarding the value of their property, and The meeting of the Eastern Counties occurred may have been induced by the deception to abstain after that of the York, Newcastle, and Berwick.from reductions and measures that were necessary. Mr. Hudson resigned, by letter, his office as chair. It involved notoriously bad book-keeping, to which man, and his station, necessarily, as director; but honest men should not have submitted. Tho he did not appear at tho meeting, although tele- second charge is still more serious, for it appears graphed for by his partner in the management, that a sum of £205,294 7s. has been paid in diviMr. Waddington. The dividend to be proposeddends, which should have been charged on current was far beneath the baffled monarch’s promises and expenses, instead of on the permanent capital acprophecies. He foresaw the coming storm, and, for counts. The shareholders, during the period named, once, he saw correctly into futurity; but he had have received in dividends, £545,714 8s. 4d., while not courage to meet the dooin, even like such a they should only have been paid £225,141 12s. 6d. king as Charles Albert, but made a commercial A third charge is that a sum of £7,606 17s. 6d, is imitation of the late Emperor of Austria, and shut debited as parliamentary expenses, for which no himself up in his Olmutz.
vouchers are produced, because their appearance The committee of the Eastern Counties have now is considered to be inconvenient. The directors reported, and the report assumes a most unfa-| had, in other words, a secret-service-money fund, vourable tone towards their late chairman; yet of which the shareholders obtain no explanation. the errors committed by him, though unjustifiable, | Did they bribe Members of Parliament-or how are common, we fear, in similar accounts. These was the money, averaging very nearly £2,000 per errors are shared with the other directors, and some annum, expended? A sum of £2,000, under the of them with all tbe shareholders. The previous eccentric head “extensions,'' has been paid to directory, in August, 1845, paid a dividend of 35. Mr. Waddington, the chairman of the traffic comper share. The proprietary were dissatisfied, and mitteo, for extraordinary duties. This payınent pressed Mr. Hudson into their service. Mr. Hudson bears some relation to what is termed "good serentered the company, and, along with Mr. Wad-vice money,” and is voted, possibly, by the recipient dington, appears to have taken almost the ex- to the receiver. The third charge does pot affect clusive management of their affairs. At the sub- || Mr. IIudson particularly, as the payments seem sequent half-yearly meeting to that mentioned, to have been made by Messrs. Waddington and namely, in February, 1846, the shareholders had Duncan, for whatever purpose the first sum of merely to express themselves grateful for a divi- || £7,606 17s. 64. was expended. dend of 9s. per share, which the directors had deter- The misplacement of debits, in the second, and mined on the previous 220 December, had adver-| the drafts on future revenue, in the first charge,
VOL. XVI-XO. CLXXIV.
were made at Mr. Hudson's request. We have House of Commons since these investigations be. reason to fear similar complaints in other com- gan ; evincing his own feelings of honour in the panies; and, although they are caused by errone- || matter, or his belief that they were to yield grave ous conduct, yet it is possible that this course may and overwhelming results. have been dictated by a desire to promote the inte- His conduct has been violently attacked in the rests of the shareholders. The country was pass- || Times, and other newspapers. Even his commer. ing over a period of depression, and the directors | cial credit has been assailed. “ The bubble," it was may have expected, s'absequently, to make goodsaid, “had burst.” These censures and assaults the over-drafts on revenue; and even the misplace- during an investigation are intolerably unjust ; and ment of debits—although the latter may be an the equanimity with which they have been apparenterror committed in carelessness or ignorance. This ly met, proves a conviction of either great weak. plan may have been adopted to preserve the price ness or great strength ; for a man who, in Mincing. of their stock from updue depression. It is an un- lane phraseology, would be described as “fair med. wise eating into capital that becomes sometimes a dling,” must have resented them. necessary evil, in the case of a private trader, but We can suppose a fraudulent solution of all the never should be followed by a public company statements in the Eastern Counties report. Mr without full and clear explanation, and is an evil | Hudson had friends with whom he acted. They in every possible case.
may have bought on his and their account shares The rapid revulsion of feeling towards Mr. Hud- | at the low figures before he went into the company son by his former flatterers, slaves, and worshippers, or its chair ; but when the negotiations for that illustrates old maxims, and revolts common sense. | arrangement were in progress, he may have erroLord Stanley is said to have turned the coldneously sustained the dividends for the present, at shoulder towards his future official. York, New- the cost of the future; until their speculation castle, and Berwick threaten to make the coming turned round and the profits were in cash. Government weaker, by a man with a good name. This is the most uncharitable supposition which Lord Stanley's pride has come to aid his honour can be made. The case admits nothing worse. in this instance. He hates the heads of young But a man is not to be treated as guilty until the houses. Even Mr D’Israeli will scarcely be safe, || crime be established. Strong reasons exist for diswith all his Arabic descent, from the haughty owning the suspicion, and the alternative is merely blood of Derby. Mr. Hudson is No. 1 of his family; that Mr. Hudson was not a better man of business and Lord Stanley wants no members of the House than thousands who are pleased to condemn his conof Commons short of No. 3, and that is very low. || duct. The commercial events of the last seven One of his qualifications regards the standing in the years have yet to be elaborately examined. They world of a man's grandfather. “ To be come of will display a history with which the nation has honest forbears” will not satisfy the petted Master little reason to be gratified. The transactions in of Stanley, for he prefers a little dishonesty, or shares and in other stocks have not been calculated robbery even, in ones ancestors to the want of to improve mercantile morality or precision in ae notoriety. Sir James Graham passes muster, be-counts. Mr. Hudson has been probably a fair er. cause, doubtless, the gallant Grahams slaughtered || ample of successful speculation in his time, but he men and “drove cattle” in abundance. Sir Robert should not be immeasurably condemned for taking Peel is hardly to be borne ; for the Peels, we fear, the common path ; and still less, by the thousands were Saxon serfs.
who accompanied or preceded him to ruin or forMr. Hudson has not, we believe, attended the tune, “step by step."
THE SPIRIT'S FLIGHT.
SUGGESTED BY THE DEATH OF A VERY BEAUTIFUL AND VERY PIOUS YOUNG LADY.
We may not grieve the spirit's flight
Her's was that hope, and her's that faith
COLIN RAX BROWN.
'Tis May; and, like a golden veil, the sun
Spreads o'er the earth, as if an angel smiled ! Even flowers in lonely churchyards have begun
To ope forgotten buds serenely mild ;
Alike they grace the mother and the child,
And thus the mourners have their grief beguiled
And all is glad, except the soul within
Ruled still hy want, or woe, or hideons sin.
How fresh the landscape, even near the town,
Just like a youthful bride for Hymen dress’d; The stains of commerce have made nothing brown;
The solar rays have not yet warmly press'd
The juicy sprouts within their scorching breast,
And, looking from the eastward to the west,
The opening lips of every fragile flower,
And give high odour at meridian hour.
STANZAS TO NIAGARA,
Her many-coloured hues, and spanned
Thy gorge with triple bow - 1
Emblem of peace !--God's handiwork
Traced on thine hoary brow!
Within His temple, day and night,
His praise thou soundest far-
'Bove peal of Heaven's artillery, Earth's noblest sons come near.
Or crash of demon war!
From yawning gulf-mysterious !
Aloft, in azure sky,
Like incense-cloud, thy spray ascends
In wild sublimity!
More wondrous still thy mystic frown
Strikes dumb, in human breast,
Those passions ever warring there,
Incapable of rest.
'Twere well if man-poor, transient thing !How long thy voice was hushed
Taming unhallowed ire,
Would calm pursue his chequered way
Till age quench Nature's fire,
Waiting that consummation dread,
Decreed long since by Heaven,
When, by fierce elements let loose,
This orb, asunder riven,
In Inrid flames shall burst, no more
Will thy proud, thundering wave
Then shake the earth, but darkness brood
O’er Niagara's grave!
immense monster, writhing and foaming in its deep rock-bound * In the language of the Indian tribes of North America, | channel, as if suffering intense agony. The width of the river the word Niagara signifies " fierce, roaring, tearing” river! In above the Falls is from one-and-a-half to two miles, while at the many cases the language of the “red man” is elevated and de- || whirlpool, three miles below the cascade, it is contracted to seriptive in the highest degree. How beautifully appropriate, three hundred feet. Here the noise is terrific, and the current for instance, is the term “Mississippi,” signifying the “Father so awfully rapid that it is elevated, in the middle, ten feet above
the level of its edge. † The celebrated Falls of Niagara occur on the river of that | The rays of the sun falling on the spray, which rises pernane, nearly half-way between Lakes Erie and Ontario. Flowing | petually from the gulph of the cataract, forms generally no less from Lake Erie, it drains the great inland seas of North America, than three beautifully-defined rainbows, the highest of which and the immense backgrounds extending thousands of miles be- assumes the picturesque form of an arch broken in the centre, pond. The distance between the two lakes is thirty-seven miles. | caused by the intervention of Goat Island; the next in entire The level of Lake Erie, above Lake Ontario, is said to be 335 || brilliancy and form spans the gorge of the Horse-Shoe Fall, fet, forming the whole descent of the river. At Queenstown, resting on Table Rock and Goat Island ; the lowest
, in golden seien miles above Lake Ontario, and an eqnal distance below the splendour founds one extremity of its visionary fabric on the Falls, where the northern terrace or mountain ridge crosses the walls of the chasm, while the other dances in fairy brightness course of the river, the height of the bank is about 310 feet. on the blue mass of the mighty waterfall, forming a combination The Falls
, by many scientific men, are supposed to have been at of the sublime and beautiful which language cannot describe. one time as far down as the brow of this terrace, and must have Several severe engagements during the last war, 1812, took Worn their way gradually through the rocks up to their present place on the banks of the Niagara, between the British and the situation. A celebrated geologist has affirmed recently that a Americans. At the battle on Queenstown heights, where Geneperiod of several hundred thousand years must have elapsed be- ral Brocke fell, many of the American troops were driven by a fore this could have been accomplished through the agency at bayonet charge over the awful precipice into the boiling flood present in operation. The awful chasni of Niagara is about below; and some were shot and bayoneted as they held on by seven miles in length, and from half-a-mile to one-eighth in the trees to save themselves from the terrible fate which speedily breadth, and from 200 to 300 feet in depth—the river, like an overtook them!
ALLEGED DEFECTS OF LIFE ASSURANCE. Some time since, we published a number of articles on the next page, and we quote it, in the mean. on Life Assurance. The series was stopped by the time, without remarks:French Revolution, and other heavy matters inciden- “By the policy, the assured undertakes to pay the pretal to the past year, which occupied ourpages. Articles mium regularly, and the company to pay the stipulated on Life Assurance are necessarily heavy and dull, || that every statement, declaration, and all testimonials and
sum, three months after the death of the assured; provided for the public are only beginning to feel an interest documents addressed to, or deposited with the company, in in the subject, while periodicals of limited space relation to the assurance, shall be found to be in all respects
true.' It is further declared that these statements shall be can only devote a certain number of pages to topics held as warranted, and taken as the basis of the contract
, of this character. One object was, however, so far and that the policy sball be void, if any important inforsuccessful, for a number of individuals were induced matirn has been omitted.'
“ The effect of these clauses, and the important conseto examine the system of Life Assurance, and to quences resulting from them, have been determined by adopt its benefits. By gradual steps only can these decisions of the courts of law; and it is now settled, as we advantages be generally brought into use; and yet | Writers, and authors of repute that if in the statements rewe believe the time is not distant when the number ferred to, and which are declared to be the basis of the of lives on which insurances shall be effected will contract, and to form matters of warranty, any fact, whether greatly exceed the expectations now of the most san
material or immaterial, has been erroneously stated, whether
intentionally or not; or if any information considered imguine. We have always mentioned difficulties in the portant has been omitted to be communicated, although way of its universal adoption that might and should be party applied to for, information did not consider the be removed. To them we are not at present to revert, coid; and all premiums paid become
forfeited to the combut our attention has been directed to a pamphlet, | pany. We shall find that it is not enough that the written which contains several direct and important charges proposal and declaration made by the assured, are unob, against the practice of some societies, and thejectionable. The friend's report and that of the medical
referee, and all statements made by the person whose life is general form of policies. The pamphlet, entitled the subject of assurance, are regarded in the eye of law as “ Defects of Life Assurances,” is published by statements of the assured party, although he neither wrote Messrs. Orr and Co., of London; and has been them, nor had an opportunity of seeing them. The policy
is so prepared that the assured enters into a positive en written with the obvious purpose of promoting the gagement that all these statements are in point of fact objects of one society; but these objects may be strictly and literally true, whether he was aware of them of laudable. The writer gives a short history of Life
Such an engagement being, in legal language, a war.
ranty; and the effect of a warranty being to render the Assurance, attacks the proprietary societies, and facts alleged in it
, a condition precedent of the assurer's rethen proceeds to the primary object of his pamph-Isponsibility, it follows that the obligation undertaken by
the office is only effectual, 'if,' and 'in the event that,' cach let. He states:
of the many statements, wheiher material or of no impor“The progress of Life Assurance has unfortunately been tance, is literally as it has been represented.” much retarded by disputes and lawsuits. Vexatious delays in the settlement of claims, extorted compromises, and
The author quotes a number of legal authorities protracted litigations, have had the effect of deterring many and of decisions in support of this view, which he persons from resorting to Life Policies as provisions for establishes on too valid grounds. The injustice of families, or as securities in pecuniary trasactions; and it is tho object of the following observations to point out the rendering an insurer liable for the statements of risks to which the assured are exposed, by the present his referees and medical adviser, as he is presumed method of conducting Life Assurance business, and an ade
never to see them, and in honour, never should dequale remedy. And for that purpose, it is necessary to consider the terms and nature of the contract or policy, between
sire to see or to know the terms of their answers, is the assuring parties and the assured, as heretofore prepared apparent. The probability of wilful fraud in life and acted upon."
insurance is certainly small, for few men are so After describing the mode of proceeding, he thoroughly hardened as to plan deliberately the adds:-
means of robbery after their death, and of commit. “ These several documents-viz., the proposal, the re- || ting fraud even in the grave. The probability of ports of the private medical adviser, and friend, the state
such events is so small, that we scarcely can perment made to the company's medical adviser, and his report, generally contain upwards of two hundred interroga- || ceive the propriety of retaining this clause against tories and answers : many of them being repetitions of the fraud. The companies can make inquiries before same question ; some of them relating to matters of fact of wbich the parties are cognisant ; most of them to circum
the policy is issued ; they can make their own stances of which the persons applied to can have obtained terms in every respect ; but when they have aca knowledge only by hearsay or collateral evidence; and cepted money, and permitted arrangements to be many of them are mere matters of opioion, as to which dif- formed on an engagement of this character, ther ferent persons may have different notions; and to the ques. tions relating to such matters, it may be expected that the should not be allowed the power of opening the answers from the several persons, the proposer, the friend, transaction, unless against obvious fraud. the medical attendant, and the company's medical examiner, will not all be in unison. These papers being com
We believe the conduct of insurance companies pleted, and the preinium paid, the policy is granted, and the is generally honourable. The interest of many assurance is supposed to be complete.
companies consists with the punctual settlement “There is a variety of expression to be found in the policies of different offices, and while, in some, the whole im.
of claims upon them; and the inconvenience report of the agreement between the assuring and assured, sulting from the clauses of contract objected to by mon practice to make reference in tbe policy to the origi-| the pamphleteer, has not made a deep impression nal proposal and other documents. There is, however,
on the public mind. After stating his authorities, little or no difference, as to the legal construction to be put || he says: upon policies, as prepared by different offices."
"The obvious effect of the preceding doctrine of law, when The most serious part of the pamphlet stands'' applied to Life Policies, as these documents are now framed,