CHAPTER XIV. NEW YORK.
As I progress in my work I feel that duty will call upon me to write a separate chapter on hotels in general, and I will not, therefore, here say much about those in New York. I am inclined to think that few towns in the world, if any, afford on the whole better accommodation, but there are many in which the accommodation is cheaper. Of the railways also I ought to say something. The fact respecting them, which is most remarkable, is that of their being continued into the center of the town through the streets. The cars are not dragged through the city by locomotive engines, but by horses; the pace therefore is slow, but the convenience to travelers in being brought nearer to the center of trade must be much felt. It is as though passengers from Liverpool and passengers from Bristol were carried on from Euston Square and Paddington along the New Road, Portland Place, and Regent Street to Pall Mall, or up the City Road to the Bank. As a general rule, however, the railways, railway cars, and all about them are ill managed. They are monopolies, and the public, through the press, has no restraining power upon them as it has in England. A parcel sent by express over a distance of forty miles will not be delivered within twenty-four hours. I once made my plaint on this subject at the bar or office of a hotel, and was told that no remonstrance was of avail. "It is a monopoly," the man told me, "and if we say anything, we are told that if we do not like it we need not use it." In railway matters and postal matters time and punctuality are not valued in the States as they are with us, and the public seem to acknowledge that they must put up with defects - that they must grin and bear them in America, as the public no doubt do in Austria, where such affairs are managed by a government bureau.
In the beginning of this chapter I spoke of the population of New York, and I cannot end it without remarking that out of that population more than one-eighth is composed of Germans. It is, I believe, computed that there are about 120,000 Germans in the city, and that only two other German cities in the world, Vienna and Berlin have a larger German population than New York. The Germans are good citizens and thriving men, and are to be found prospering all over the Northern and Western parts of the Union. It seems that they are excellently well adapted to colonization, though they have in no instance become the dominant people in a colony, or carried with them their own language or their own laws. The French have done so in Algeria, in some of the West India islands, and quite as essentially into Lower Canada, where their language and laws still prevail. And yet it is, I think, beyond doubt that the French are not good colonists, as are the Germans.
Of the ultimate destiny of New York as one of the ruling commercial cities of the world, it is, I think, impossible to doubt. Whether or no it will ever equal London in population I will not pretend to say; even should it do so, should its numbers so increase as to enable it to say that it had done so, the question could not very well be settled. When it comes to pass that an assemblage of men in one so-called city have to be counted by millions, there arises the impossibility of defining the limits of that city, and of saying who belong to it and who do not. An arbitrary line may be drawn, but that arbitrary line, though perhaps false when drawn as including too much, soon becomes more false as including too little. Ealing, Acton, Fulham, Putney, Norwood, Sydenham, Blackheath, Woolwich, Greenwich, Stratford, Highgate, and Hampstead are, in truth, component parts of London, and very shortly Brighton will be as much so.