Review of Reviews,  10 (1894), 3–15.

The Progress of the World



Regular Feature, Editorial, News-Commentary


Mining, Accidents, Bacteriology, Disease, Sanitation, Imagination

    Reports a 'frightful colliery explosion in South Wales, which cost the lives of some 250 miners', although acknowledging that 'in coal mines there exist a certain number of explosive elements. Against these we must take such precautions as science and experience suggest, but it seems to be only too certain that what ever we do there are sure to be flaws now and then, and [...] colliery explosions, will occasionally take place'. Indeed, the actual 'miners regard the risk of explosion' with a creditably 'vigilant nonchalance' and 'cool-headedness'. (7) Following the murder of the French president Marie F S Carnot by an Italian anarchist, suggests that the 'risk that rulers run from the microbe of assassination is increasing, but it is still comparatively infinitesimal compared with the risk they face unconcernedly from the microbe bred in the sewers. If anyone doubt it, let him ask any insurance office the difference between the premium which they would charge for insuring M. Casimir-Périer [the new president] against assassination and against zymotic disease. Assassination impresses the imagination more than typhoid fever, but it is not half so deadly' (9).

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