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cable from Suez to Kurrachee, on the simple
condition that each of the three sections
into which it was divided should work for one
month. That, at least, was what the agreement
was found to mean, although the
victims at the Treasury and the parliamentary
public were under the impression that the
month guarantee extended over the whole line,
and, in excusable ignorance, concluded that a
cable that worked for a month might, like the
Dover cable, work for nine years. The dinners,
the balls, the private theatricals, the fireworks
with which, at Kurrachee and Aden, the
hospitable garrison welcomed the presumed
constructors of the cable which was to put London
within a few hours of Calcutta were scarcely
over, when it was discovered that first one link
and then another had failed. Finally, it appeared
that the British tax-payer had to pay thirty-six
thousand pounds per annum for a cable that
had never sent one complete message from Suez
to Kurrachee.

The Red Sea job had the same fatal effect on
the government goose as the Atlantic on the
Stock Exchange gooseno more golden eggs
were to be expected from either until something
that appeared more new and true in submarine
cables could be presented.

Under these circumstances, keenly feeling
every day the need of interchange of electric
messages with India and America, the government
took the wise step of appointing a
committee to examine into the whole question of
submarine cablesa subject up to that period
involved, as far as the non-professional world was
concerned, in hopeless mystery. This committee
included, amongst others, the late Robert Stephenson,
Professor Wheatstone, William Fairbairn,
George P. Bidder, the two ClarksEdwin
and Latimer. Mr. Stephenson died before
the inquiry actually commenced, after having
sketched out the course of proceedings and
suggested the experiments it would be advisable
to make.

A folio Blue-book of three hundred and twenty
pages, two hundred and sixteen questions and
answers, eighteen appendices, and many diagrams,
contains a report of the evidence of
forty-two witnesses of every degree and shade
of commercial, speculative, scientific, mechanical,
chemical, and manufacturing skill
engineers, patentees, sailors, professors, and

The statistics of submarine telegraphs in
April, 1861, stood thus: There had been laid
eleven thousand three hundred and sixty-four
miles of cables, but little more than three
thousand were working. The failures included the
Atlantic, two thousand two hundred; the Red
Sea and India, three thousand four hundred and
ninety-nine; the Sardinia, Malta, and Corfu,
seven hundred; the Singapore and Batavia, five
hundred and fifty milesall, except the last,
being laid in deep seas.

Shallow-water cables are laid in depths down
to about one hundred fathoms, and are liable to
injury from anchors, dredges, and strong
currents. Deep-sea cables are laid out of reach of
all such dangers, at depths beyond a hundred
fathoms, and extending to miles. We have
heard and almost forgotten all the fine things
that were said about the Atlantic cable during
the brief period of its supposed success; a
few figures tell the tale of its actual results.
It cost, from first to last, four hundred and
sixty-two thousand pounds, which includes
seventy-five thousand pounds paid to the
projectors, besides the use of the ships lent by
the English and American governments. It
was worked from the 1st September to the 10th
August, 1858, between Valentia and Newfoundland,
for twenty-one days, and during these
twenty-one days one hundred and twenty-nine
messages were sent, containing one thousand four
hundred and seventy-four words and seven
thousand two hundred and fifty-three letters. From
Newfoundland to Valentia it was worked twenty-three
days, and there were sent two hundred
and seventy-one messages of two thousand eight
hundred and eighty-five words and thirteen
thousand nine hundred and sixty-eight letters.
Besides the exchange of compliments between our
Queen and the President of the United States,
and divers sensation paragraphs, there were
two important official messages sent to Canada
countermanding the sending of two regiments
to England in the following words:

I. "August 31st, 1858. The Military Secretary
of the Commander-in-Chief, Horse Guards,
London, to General Trolloppe, Halifax, Nova
Scotia. The Sixty-seventh Regiment is not to
return to England.'' II. "The Military Secretary,
&c.,to General commanding at Montreal, Canada.
The Thirty-ninth Regiment is not to return to
England." On the 1st September, Valentia
telegraphed C. W. Field, New York: "Please
inform American government we are now in a
position to do best to forward——" There the
message stopped, and no more words were ever
received from Newfoundland. There the great
experiment and speculation ended.

The Red Sea and Indian cable never even
exchanged a compliment between Kurrachee
and Suez. It was laid in two portions: the
first between Suez and Aden, the second
between Aden and Kurrachee, at the mouth
of the Hindus. The portion between Suez
and Aden was laid in three sections: from
Suez to Cosseir, two hundred and fifty-five
nautical miles; from Cosseir to Suakin, four
hundred and seventy-four miles; from Suakin to
Aden, six hundred and twenty-nine miles. This
was completed in May, 1859. The sections on
the Aden and Kurrachee line were: from Aden to
Hallain, seven hundred and eighteen miles; from
Hallain to Muscat, four hundred and eighty-six
miles; from Muscat to Kurrachee, four hundred
and eighty-one miles. A portion of about seventy
miles was laid in depths of from one thousand
nine hundred to two thousand fathoms. The
first portion, between Aden and Suez, was
finished on the 28th of May, 1859; the second
portion was completed in February, 1860.
About the same time, the Aden to Suakin section