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failed; then the Cosseir section, which had a
fault from the first, failed. The Aden to
Kurrachee remained a very short time in working
order, two sections having numerous faults.
Thus each of the separate sections worked for
thirty days, and earned the contractor his
money; but the whole cable never worked for
thirty days.

The committee attributed the failure of the
Atlantic enterprise to the cable being of a faulty
design, manufactured without proper supervision,
and handled without sufficient care. "It
was defective from the first, and practical men
ought to have known of the locality of the

From the evidence, it appears that under the
bargain with the four projectors who received
seventy-five thousand pounds for their concession,
one, as part of the bargain, made himself
engineer chief, not having previously any
experience in marine telegraphs; and another, a
surgeon and amateur, with a theory, became the
electrician of the company. The way in which
the whole business was hurried is shown very
characteristically by Mr. Whitehouse, one of the
scientific witnesses. He said that he wanted
to try some important experiments to test the
capabilities of the cable, which would have
occupied three months. When he had
explained his views, Mr. Cyrus Field, one of the
American commissioners, with his share of
seventy-five thousand pounds in view, and "full
of steam," cried, "Pooh! nonsense. Why, the
whole scheme will be stopped; the scheme will
be put back a twelvemonth; cannot you say now
that you know it will do! We hope you are not
going to stop the ship this way." And so on this
principle the ships went to sea with something
that would do, and did do enough to make Mr.
Field and his fellow promoters great lions for a
brief space.

In the same way the Red Sea cable never
was perfect, and, if perfect, never fit for the
climate. This was not extraordinary, for the
gentleman who obtained the concession, and
sold it to the company, had no experience in
telegraphs, but became engineer to the company
by virtue of his bargain, and as part of the
purchase-money. The government having no
competent, engineering adviser, made a blind
contract for an unconditional guarantee with the
company, and the company, for want of competent
engineering advice, virtually agreed that
the contractors should make the rope and lay
the rope as they pleased. It is not, therefore,
surprising to find that the committee "consider
that the India and Red Sea telegraph failed
because the design of the cable was not suited
to the climate or the bottom of the sea over
which it had to be laid, and because the
contractor was allowed to manufacture and lay it
without proper supervision or control."

We do not dissect these wretched failures
in order to give pain to any one, but to show
that submarine cables in deep seas have not
yet had fair play, and that, so far from there
being any insuperable obstacle to laying them,
there is every reason to believe that, with proper
care, submarine cable and mainland communications
may be eventually established with our
most distant possessions. But to execute such a
task, the peculiarities of climate, the depth and
character of the sea, and its bottom, must be
studied in designing the cable. The cable must
be laid under the orders of men of skill and
experience. Such men are, we are happy to state,
engaged to reinstate the telegraph with India,
by a new company which has arisen out of
the ashes of the Red Sea Telegraph
Company. Advantage must be taken of every
means for shortening the sea route, or the
deep-sea route, as the case may be; and where in
deep waters great risks are inevitable, bargains
should be made with contractors which will
render it their interest that the cables shall
work, not a week or a month, but for as long a
period, and as perfectly, as possible.


DR. HARSNET described thus the "true idea"
of a Bewitching Woman: "An old weather-
beaten crone, having her chin and knees meeting
for age, walking like a bow leaning on a staff,
hollow-eyed, untooth'd, furrow'd on her face,
having her lips trembling with the palsy, going
mumbling in the streets: one that hath forgotten
her pater noster, and yet hath a shrewd tongue
to call a drab a drab. If she hath learn'd of an
old wife in a chimney end Pax, Max, Fax for a
spell; or can say Sir John Grantham's curse for
the miller's eels:

   All ye that have stolen the miller's eelis,
   Laudate Dominum de Cœlis;
   And all they that have consented thereto,
   Benidicamus Domino:

why, then, look about you, my neighbours."

A heartier or more thorough way of making
superstition hateful could not have been found,
than that along which we are led in the
complete series of Witch Stories lately put forth
by Mrs. E. Lynn Linton. Taking the superstition
of Scotland and England each in turn, Mrs.
Linton tells the public the whole story of this
form of credulity in its most cruel and stupid
issues, conquering its monotony, as, out of a
liberal and earnest mind, she pleads the cause of
common sense and wholesome scepticismstill
needing defenders against the sick appetite for
clumsy marvels. The witches of old, who
claimed to be real riders of broomsticks, got as
much sensible help out of the supernatural
master with whom they declared their compact, as
the impostors of our day who swim the air in dark
drawing-rooms, and "run" spirits of Socrates,
Shakespeare, and the late Mrs. Grundy, equally
charged with all the secrets of the solemn
unknown world. There is a change in the form,
of delusion and in the characters and persons
of deluders and deluded; luckily also there
is a change in the treatment of the
superstitious fever: the cold-water cure being
considered preferable to cautery. A pretty thing
it would be if, after enjoying the séance of