Make money on the Internet is true

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The remains were taken over to America in her Majesty’s turret-ship, the Monarch.

The late Mr. A. T. Stewart, dry-goods merchant of New York, has left a curious monument of his administrative skill in the great Working Women’s Hotel, recently completed in that city. As a large employer of labour, male as well as female, Mr. Stewart became impressed with the difficulty that working-folk have in finding lodgings even in comparatively new cities. In swiftly-growing New York, the constantly increasing demand for business premises has pushed the population higher and higher up the island, until one fashionable street after another has been converted into stores and offices, and people fairly well off have built themselves handsome dwellings further afield. This has been by no means an unprofitable change for house-owners; for the compensation received for a house “down town,” more than suffices to build and furnish a handsome dwelling in that part of the city still devoted to private residences; but to the poorer classes of inhabitants, rapid change and development of this kind have been not a little oppressive. Far more swiftly and suddenly than in London, the working-people have found themselves thrust from the space previously occupied by them, but grown too valuable to be covered by their humble homes. Like their brethren in London, they have either retired to the suburbs and find a tiresome morning and evening journey added to the miseries of life, or have taken refuge in large houses let out in tenements and built expressly for the accommodation of artisan families. Both English and American experiments in this latter direction have been very successful. Practice has taught the proper principle of constructing large p. 63tenement houses as well as artisans’ and labourers’ cottages, and the working family is probably not less commodiously, and is certainly more healthily, lodged than it has been at any preceding period. The single man, too, is cared for; but the single woman has hitherto been under certain disadvantages. It is obvious that a house almost always contains more space than she wants, and costs more money than she can afford; and it is equally clear that in cooking her own meals separately she is wasting time, food, and fuel. Some of these objections might, perhaps, be got over by four or five women clubbing together; but their general feeling has never been strongly manifested in favour of divided rule or responsibility. It is subjecting human nature to a severe test to ask people to “room together,” as it is called in America, the ordinary result being that the temporary “chums” never speak again to each other for the rest of their lives. It was to obviate this strain on human sympathy that Mr. Stewart projected the Working Women’s Hotel, the completion of which he did not live to see.

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“Judging from the prices charged,” says a writer in the Daily News, “and the regulations enforced, the working women for whom the great hotel at New York has been constructed, are of a class somewhat above that of the factory or work-girl proper. Seven dollars a-week for board and a separate room, or six dollars a-head if two persons occupy the same room, is a price that would absorb an ordinary workwoman’s entire earnings. When it is recollected that the value of a paper dollar is now within a fraction of that of a gold one, and that wages and other things have fallen in price with the contraction of the currency since the civil war, it is not easy to see from what class of actual workwomen the hotel is to draw its customers. Women working at trades clearly cannot aspire to the comforts provided for seven dollars a-week, and it is doubtful whether those in a position to pay that sum will submit to the restrictions imposed upon boarders. For the sum asked they can, at the present moment, obtain board easily elsewhere, and enjoy perfect liberty. It is very likely that the food and accommodation provided at the hotel are much superior to those offered at the smaller boarding-houses with which the outer edges of New York, Brooklyn, and Jersey City are thickly studded; but mere eating and sleeping seem to be regarded p. 64by women, in America at least, in a far less serious light than by men. The code of regulations at the Working Women’s Hotel affords an amusing instance of the severity which comes over the American when called to the lofty and important position of keeping an hotel. In other walks of life he is easy and good-natured, but when impelled by destiny to ‘run’ an hotel, he undergoes a sudden transformation into a despot. The guests at the new hotel are informed that eight large parlours have been provided for the reception of visitors, who will not be allowed in other rooms or parlours except by express permission of the manager. The eight parlours specified correspond, in fact, to the strangers’ rooms at a club. It is furthermore provided that no visiting to a room will be allowed except by consent of all the occupants; that no washing of clothes will be permitted in the rooms, and that no sewing-machines or working apparatus shall be brought into them. This last regulation may appear severe, but it is probably intended to protect those who do not sew from annoyance. A sewing-machine is an unpleasant neighbour, it is true; but so is a rocking-chair; yet it may be doubted whether even the despot who reigns over this last new ‘institution’ will prove equal to the task of tabooing that pestilent article of furniture. Animals will be rigidly excluded. No dogs, cats, birds, or other pet creatures will be suffered; meals will be served at fixed hours; the gas will be turned off and the hotel closed at half-past eleven. Whether this code will be submitted to by American working-women capable of paying from 24s. to 28s. weekly for board and lodging remains to be seen. The upper lady-clerk in a store is, as a rule, gifted with great strength of character, and as a fairly educated, self-reliant, and hardworking member of society, is perfectly entitled to display her sense of independence. She will be quick to perceive the advantages offered by the new hotel, but it is at least probable that she will be equally quick to resent the restrictions which it is sought to impose upon her sovereign will and pleasure.”

A poor rich man, not long since, died at Cincinnati, leaving property worth considerably more than half a million sterling. He lived up an alley in one small room, dressed in rags, and looked like a penniless tramp, and yet he owned more than 100,000 acres of land. Another citizen of Cincinnati also offered to present to the city his valuable art-collection, p. 65worth £40,000, on condition that a fire-proof building should be erected in which to store it.

It is said that Peter Cooper, of New York, who has now (1878) entered his eighty-eighth year, is worth £2,000,000. He began life as a coachmaker’s apprentice; but having invented a superior kind of glue, which came into general use, he rapidly made an immense fortune.

The last illustration of getting on in America may be found in the case of Carl Schurz, now (1878) one of the Secretaries of State in America.

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The history of Carl Schurz reads like a romance, for the wandering Ulysses himself, restricted to narrower limits by the imperfect geographical knowledge of his day, never had a tenth part of his modern imitator’s advantages in “observant straying” over different lands, and amidst diverse languages, nor “noting the manners and their climes” of widely separated races. Born near Cologne in 1829, and educated first at its gymnasium, and subsequently at the University of Bonn, Carl Schurz enjoyed superior educational advantages, by which, naturally studious, he greatly profited. When but nineteen years of age, under the influence of his professor, Kinkel, he became a Revolutionist in his sentiments; and in the year 1848, memorable for the revolutionary tide that swept over Europe, established, in conjunction with his professor, a journal to advocate those principles. Of this journal he was for a time sole editor. When, in, the spring of 1849, the abortive insurrectionary effort was made at Bonn, in which both he and the professor took a part, they fled together to the Palatinate. Here our young student joined the revolutionary army as adjutant, and aided in the defence of Rastadt against the government troops. On the surrender of that place he escaped to Switzerland, but soon returned to deliver his friend Professor Kinkel from the fortress of Spandau. In this effort he was successful. In 1851, we find the young revolutionist at Paris, as correspondent of German journals, and a little later at London, for a year giving lessons in German. But the exile wearied of Europe, and his fancy drove him to America, where he arrived ignorant of the language, and, it is to be presumed, short of cash. But he proceeded to grapple resolutely with both difficulties. Three years he spent in the quiet Quaker city of Philadelphia, teaching, and learning, p. 66and writing—for there is a large German population In Pennsylvania. Then he drifted westwards; first to Wisconsin, where he commenced his career as a political partisan making speeches in German, during the presidential canvass of 1856, on the Republican side. He was also an unsuccessful candidate for the lieutenant-governorship of Wisconsin that year—fast work for one but four years in the country. The first public speech he delivered in the English language was in 1858, about which time he commenced the practice of law. In 1859, he made a lecture tour through the New England States, speaking English, as I have been informed by an auditor, very imperfectly. Now he speaks the language with perfect purity, and a scarcely perceptible accent. In 1860, he was an influential member of the National Republican Convention, and one of the chief speakers during the canvass that resulted in the election of Lincoln to the presidency. Appointed by Mr. Lincoln minister to Spain, he soon resigned that office to return home and take part in the civil war—the Germans forming a large portion of the military contingent in the Federal army, the great bulk of the German immigration having settled in the North and North-western States; very few indeed at the South. It was a curious sequel to a revolutionary career at home that Mr. Schurz should have been so soon engaged in suppressing a rebellion in his adopted country. He rose to the rank of major-general in the Federal service, and took part in the battle of the second Bull Run, and where Stonewall Jackson defeated the Federals at Chancellorsville. He was also at Chattanooga and Gettysburg fights. At the close of the war he returned to the practice of the law, and connected himself with the newspaper press in different parts of the country as a Washington correspondent.

When, in 1866, after the assassination of President Lincoln, Andrew Johnson was acting President of the United States, he appointed Carl Schurz as special commissioner to visit and report on the actual condition of the southern country, then under process of reconstruction. On his return from this mission our German Ulysses migrated to Detroit in Michigan, where he founded a newspaper. The ensuing year he moved again to the city of St. Louis, in Missouri, where he founded a German newspaper, took an active part for General Grant in both languages in 1868, p. 67and in 1869 was elected United States senator for six years’ term from Missouri. Disagreeing with General Grant’s policy and mode of conducting public affairs, Mr. Schurz passed over to the Opposition to his administration, and, in conjunction with Horace Greeley—like himself an Abolitionist and Republican—sought to establish a reform party of Liberal Republicans, as opposed to the Spoils party of Grant. Mr. Schurz was the presiding officer in the Cincinnati Republican Convention, which nominated Horace Greeley for the presidency, and since then his career has been one of unmitigated success.

In the new States, as well as in the old, these American money-makers flourish. As I write, I hear that Mark Hopkins, the great Californian railway millionaire, has died with upwards of £3,000,000, and his will cannot be found. In the absence of a will his widow takes two-thirds of the fortune, and his two brothers the remainder. Money-making, it may be said, is the chief characteristic of Brother Jonathan and his numerous and pushing tribe.

The life of a self-made man is at all times a deeply interesting study. We like to see how he mastered surrounding circumstances, with what bravery he met adverse fate, and how he fared when he had triumphed and become strong. Such a man is not always a model to be held up for admiration. Often there is a hardness and coarseness about him which is undesirable, and an assumption of greatness on account of pecuniary success, which, in good society at any rate, will be resented. When the late Mr. Peabody was honoured with a statue under the shadow of the Royal Exchange, and within the heart of the City, it was said by some ill-natured Yankee, that if England wished to erect statues to such men, there were plenty of rich men America could supply us with for that purpose; and certainly it is not in the true interests of humanity that we should get into the habit of paying too much homage to worshippers of the Golden Calf. Undoubtedly it will be much to be deprecated if that be the worship of the future; but it is a danger in these levelling days, when democracy is coming more and more to the front, against which the preacher and the moralist must ever guard the nation. At all times the tone of public thought must be pitched low, and when rank has lost its prestige, the danger of being swamped by vulgar plutocrats is immensely increased. As was to be expected, Mrs. O’Connell is very proud of her father, and, as was also to be expected, the father was very proud of himself. He was a very illiterate man. He even could not spell the word money properly; but no man knew better what it meant, and no man could have ever anticipated that he would have secured so much of it as he did. As a boy he had the reputation of being stupid, and also wild; and p. 69it seems to have been with the view of getting rid of him that his father sent him from his home in the Lombard Highlands, in company with one Andrea Faroni, to England, where he was to learn to become a dealer in prints, barometers, and eye-glasses. It was a fortunate thing for Charles Bianconi that Favoni brought him instead to Ireland. In London—the great cold world of London—it would have fared hard with the poor Italian lad. In Dublin and the country round, the good-looking foreigner, with his bright eyes and his civil tongue, met with a warm reception—a reception all the more warm, inasmuch as he was of the Irish faith; but even then it is strange how he prospered as he did. Without knowing a word of the language, and with fourpence in his pocket to pay expenses, he was sent out into the country on the Monday morning with two pounds’ worth of prints to sell, and with the understanding that he was to be back by Saturday night; but the lad had made up his mind to be a somebody, and he was as good as his word; and he had not been long in Ireland before he hit on the idea which led him to fame and fortune.

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One of his first lessons in Ireland was, he tells us, the great difference between the pedlar doomed to tramp on foot, and his more fortunate fellow who could post or ride on horseback. When he became a small shopkeeper at Carrick, the need of equestrian conveyance was brought home to him in a still more forcible manner. “I supplied,” he writes, “my Carrick shop with gold-leaf from Waterford, going down in Tom Mahony’s boat to buy it. Carrick-on-Suir is twelve or thirteen miles from Waterford by land, but the windings of the river make it twenty-four by water. This boat, then, was the only public conveyance. The time of its departure had to depend upon the tide, and it took four or five hours to make the journey.” One day, going to Waterford by the boat, Bianconi got sodden with the wet, and was laid up with cold and pleurisy for a couple of months. This Irish experience was putting him in the right track; and in 1815, when good horses were to be had cheap, in consequence of the peace, he had the courage to start his cars, running at first between Carrick and Clonmel, a distance of some twelve miles. At first Bianconi only contemplated carrying the poorer people. There was the aristocratic mail-coach for the people of quality; but greatness was thrust upon him. p. 70In 1830 he carried the mails direct from the post-office, and had bought up some leading coaching lines. In his latter years he had 1,400 horses at work, and daily covered 3,800 miles. Still further, to give the reader an idea of the extent of his business, we may note there were 140 stations for the change of horses, and that these latter consumed from 3,000 to 4,000 tons of hay, and from 30,000 to 40,000 barrels of oats annually. In England Bianconi could never have made his fortune in this way. In Ireland he appeared at the right time, and was the right man in the right place.

As a benefactor to Ireland it is almost impossible to overestimate Bianconi’s usefulness. The farmer who formerly drove spent three days in making his market; when the cars came into operation one day was sufficient, thereby saving two clear days and expense of his horse. Another good object gained was the opening up the resources of the interior of the country. And lastly, there was the civilising effects of the intercommunion created among classes of the country, by means of travelling together on one or other of the Bianconi cars. The way in which the system was organised ensured its success, “I take my drivers,” said Mr. Bianconi at the Cork meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, “from the lowest grade of the establishment. They are progressively advanced, according to their respective merits, as opportunity offers, and they know that nothing can deprive them of these rewards, and also of a pension of their full wages in cases of old age or accident, unless it be their own wilful and improper conduct.” The whole establishment must have had a beneficial influence over a large area. Any man found guilty of uttering a falsehood, however venial, was instantly dismissed, and this consequently insured truth, accuracy, and punctuality. It must be remembered, too, at the time in which Mr. Bianconi commenced his career, the county of Tipperary was much disorganised, owing to the maladministration of the laws, and to the almost total severance of the bond which ought to have united the upper and humble classes of society. At that time the Catholics were generally looked down upon as beings of an inferior race. A Catholic was not permitted to buy or become possessed of land. In his very short autobiography, Mr. Bianconi thus describes the grievances of the Roman Catholics:—

“One of the injustices of which the Catholics used to tell p. 71me, was the unfair way in which the Catholics were treated in Clonmel. Amongst others, they relate a practice then in existence. The Protestant shopkeepers, upon a certain day, used to go about the town levying a tax upon their Catholic neighbours who attempted to open shops within the town walls of Clonmel. They used to wring from each individual from two to four guineas, which they called intrusion money. My informants especially praised an old Mrs. Ryan, now dead, who boldly refused to comply with their demands. The tax-makers, therefore, seized her goods. She afterwards recovered them at law, and her spirited conduct led to the abolition of this toll. We Catholics had at one time to pay a tax upon all bought merchandise, while our more favoured Protestant and Dissenting fellow-townsmen were saved not only from a needless expenditure, but from the galling contact with such a class as the toll-gatherers. In the house, 112, Main Street, was the news-room, which I joined. I was greatly struck by the loud and consequential talk constantly going on between a Mr. Jephson and a Sir Richard Jones, and two more of their set, whereas I and my fellow-Papists were not allowed to speak above a whisper. This I resolved not to submit to; for I could see no reason why, when I had paid my money in a public place, I should not share all equal rights. Others followed my example; and as we all, Protestants and Papists, indulged in equally noisy declamation, a stranger entering our news-room would have been puzzled to say which party were the privileged administrators of the penal code.”

Irish like, Mr. Bianconi managed now and then to have his joke. One day, when he was sending home in a large wooden case a very superior looking-glass, an old lady asked what was in the box thus carefully conveyed. “The Repeal of the union,” was Bianconi’s reply. The old woman’s delight and astonishment knew no bounds. She knelt down on her knees in the middle of the road, to thank God for having preserved her so long, that at last, in her old days, she should have seen the Repeal of the union. As another illustration, we quote the story of the opposition car:—

“His first attempt he thought was going to be a failure; scarcely anybody went by car. People were used to trudging along on foot, and they continued to do, thus saving their money, which was more valuable than their time. Another p. 72man would have abandoned the speculation; but Mr. Bianconi did nothing of the kind. He started an opposition car, at a cheaper rate, which was not known to be his—not even by the rival drivers, who raced against each other for the foremost place. The excitement of the contest, the cheapness of the fare, the occasional free lifts given to passengers, soon began to attract a paying public, and before very long both the cars every day came in full. He had bought a great, strong, yellow horse, as he called him, to run in the opposition car; he gave, he said, £20 for the animal. One evening his own recognised driver came to him in great pride and excitement. ‘You know the great, big, yallah horse under the opposition car? Well, sir, he’ll never run another yard. I broke his heart this night. I raced him from beyant Moore-o’-Barns, and he’ll never thravel agin.’ Mr. Bianconi told me he was obliged to show the greatest gratification at the loss of his beast; but it gave him enough of the opposition car, which there and then came to an end, like the poor horse. The habit of travelling on a car increased among a people when they had become alive to its advantage.”