Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

As a

nearly double that between Dover and Calais. Mediterranean and other seas, has undertaken The length of the cable is 64 miles, and the to complete it in two months. May its first time of laying it down was 18 hours. message convey to Lord Raglan and General

The next great submarine enterprise, under Canrobert the gratifying intelligence that the direction of the Submarine Telegraph they have conquered a secure and honorable Company, was that of uniting Dover with peace. Ostend, a distance of 70 miles. This gi- We have already mentioned the contemgantic cable, also the work of Messrs. Newall plated line from Natchez to San Franzisco in and Company, cost £33,000, and was laid California, which will connect the Pacific down on the 4th of May. On the 6th of with the Atlantic, and even with St. John's May it was the bearer of a friendly message in Newfoundland, which is only five days' from Belgium to London.

passage from Galway, and which would then The Magnetic Telegraph Company and the connect the Pacific with Europe. But why British Telegraph Company, have, according may we not contemplate the union of Newlo Dr. Lardner, laid down cables of the same foundland with Europe by a submarine cable kind from Portpatrick to Donaghadee, a spe- which has been already proposed ? cies of rivalry which Parliament ought not to work of art it is doubtless practicable, and have permitted. The first of these Com- the European powers might contribute the panies have established upwards of 2,000 means of thus uniting the two hemispheres miles (many of them under ground) of tele of the globe.

. graphic lines, and have 13,000 miles of wire A new principle of telegraphic communiin active operation, connecting England and cation, if it shall prove of practical value, Scotland with the principal towns in Ireland. may render such an enterprise within the

A Company, entitled the European and reach even of the western states of Europe. Electric Telegraph Company, which acts in The idea of what may provisionally be called common with the two Submarine Companies, a transmarine telegraph has been recently now united, was established in order to con- brought forward by Mr. Lindsay of Dundee. nect the cables of those Companies with the This plan is to send the electric current metropolis, and with Birmingham, Liverpool through great distances of water by means and Manchester.

of long lines of wire stretching along the Our limits will not permit us to give any opposite shores. These lines communicate farther details respecting these submarine with a powerful battery, and their four terestablishments. The most important facts minations dip into the sea, so that the elecconcerning all those which are yet completed, tric currents flow in two different directions or in progress, are contained in the following across the ocean. Mr. Lindsay had made table given by Dr. Lardner:

experiments on a small scale in Scotland, which so far confirmed his views; but he repeated them on a larger scale last summer

at Portsmouth, where he sent messages Dover and Calais,

through a mile of water, though there were Holyhead and Howth,

many ships in the interventing space, and Port Patrick and Donaghadee

many of them with coppered bottoms. In Magnetic Teicgraph Corn

this experiment the length of the lateral Dilo," do. British Telegraph

wires was less than half a mile. We underCompany, Ortordness and the Hague,

1

stand that a patent has been secured by a Across the Great Belt, Den

company who intend in spring to make exAcross the Mississippi,

periments on a great scale. Across the Zuyder Zee,

Although it would be a work of superEdward's Island,

erogation to point out to our readers the Spezzia and Corsica, Corsica and Sardinia,

various uses of the Electric Telegraph, yet

there are some of them so little known, and A submarine line of much greater length others of so remarkable a nature, that they than any of the preceding, and of high tem- deserve the widest circulation. Among these porary interest, is about to be laid down by uses, those of a scientific nature may claim order of Government from Varna to Cape the first place. The beautiful arrangement Chersonese or Balaklava. The length will which we owe to Mr. Airy, the Astronomerbe 300 miles, and Mr. Liddell, the engineer Royal, of transmitting to the most distant or the new Litchfield and Hitchin Railway, telegraphic regions the true time of Greenwho has already laid down cables in the wicb, is one of inestimable value. The diffi. VOL. XXXIV.--NO. IV.

31

10 12 12

1 6

25
70
70

8 1 7

Dover and Ostend,

pany,

6

12

25

7

6
1

12
10

27 135

7 2

8 10

[ocr errors]

5
2
7%

mark

3
1

6 Newfoundland and Prince

1 6 6

[blocks in formation]

culty of obtaining correct time for the accurate | efficiency of the system, and the security of record of astronomical and atmospherical the passengers. This can not be better shown phenomena, has been experienced by all who than by the following table, given by Mr. do not possess astronomical instruments. Walker, which shows the number of messages This may, however, be completely removed; sent along the South-Eastern Company's and even with ordinary house-clocks we may Railway in three months. record our observations with a degree of accuracy sufficiently correct for those which can be made by private individuals. Mr. Airy, however, has gone much farther than this. By having the Royal Observatory at Greenwich connected with the submarine cables at Brussels and Paris, he has been able to determine the correct latitudes and longitudes of their observatories, and the same process will doubtless be extended to every place in the telegraphic world. Geography will thus participate in the same advantages with astronomy, and the difficult and expensive operation of national surveys will be carried on with greater facility and

2.

1. Concerning ordinary trains,
do. Special trains,
do.
sheds, &c..

3.

do.

[ocr errors]

4.

5.

6.

7.

Company's servants,
Engines,

do.

do.

do.
other stations

Messages.

1468

429

Carriages, trucks, goods,

Miscellaneous matters,
Messages
forwarded

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

to

795

607

150

162

499

correctness.

In meteorology, the Electric Telegraph will be found of singular utility. The frequenters of the Crystal Palace will recollect that the weather at the leading ports and cities of England was daily exhibited to them, a kind of information of great value to shipowners, and to the Royal and merchant navy. When the telegraph announces a storm upon our shores, the sea-faring traveller may remain at home with his friends till it has expended its fury.

But the telegraph may do more than this. When these violent convulsions of the atmosphere, in the form of tornadoes and hurricanes, advance along a line of coast, as they do in America, they move much less slowly than the electric message, and therefore preparation may be made for resisting them when we can not disarm their fury. Ships about to sail, trains about to start, travellers about to drive, to ride, or to walk, may all receive a salutary warning to remain till the destructive agent has passed. If we ever shall be able to predict the phenomena of the weather, as we do those of the heavens, the simultaneous state of the atmosphere, over extensive regions of the globe, must be previously observed and generalized.

In conducting the business of Railways, especially in the central region of England, where they are almost jostling each other, the telegraph is indispensable, both for the

* The beautiful application of electricity for recording observations, invented by Mr. Bond of the United States, has been carried into effect with great improvements, by Mr. Airy at Greenwich.

Total

4110

or about 16,400 in a year, or about fifty per day! "If," says Mr. Walker, "the trains are late, the cause is known; if they are in distress, help is soon at hand; if they are heavy, and progress but slowly, they ask and receive more locomotive power, either sent to them or prepared at their arrival; if there is anything unusual in the line they are forewarned of it, and so forearmed; if overdue, the old plan of sending an engine to look after them has become obsolete a few deflections of the needle obtain all the information that is required." All this information used to be obtained by pilot-engines, but Mr. Walker informs us that the expense of maintaining and working a single pilot-engine, was greater than what is required for maintaining the entire staff of telegraph clerks, and the mechanics and laborers employed in cleaning and repairing the instruments, and keeping up the wires of the line. With regard to the safety of the passengers, we can not resist repeating, in the words of Elihu Burrit, the following story: "During a storm and violent gale, the long railway bridge across the Connecticut was lifted up by the wind and thrown into the river beneath, 200 yards in breadth, which an unusual flood of rain had swelled to a dreadful height. The line is here crossed by a bridge fifty feet above the river. The passengers in the train are congratulating themselves on their comfortable position, thinking of the blessed homes and the firesides which they soon expected to reach. On flew the train-the engine blowing off its head of steam, breasting its way nobly against the gale, which almost threatened to check its progress, the hot iron hissing furiously in the falling rain. No one knew that the bridge was gone. For two years, by day and night, the trains had passed and repassed, and obliterated the

|

thought of even the possibility of danger; but no bridge was there to receive them; and the long train, with its precious freight, rushed on towards the precipice of destruction. It was not customary to stop at this place excepting to check the speed for the landing of passengers; but the people there had learned through the instrumentality of the telegraph, the loss of the bridge, and kept a sharp look-out for the approaching train. It came the word is given, and they are safe. Every heart leapt from its place, and the head swam giddily with fear, as the thought came of that fearful leap in the dark; and long will the passengers remember that dreadful road and the friendly yet fearful cry, 'THE BRIDGge is gone.'

999*

Had not our space been exhausted, we should have drawn the attention of our readers to the great advantages which must ac crue to individuals as well as to society at large from the introduction of telegraphic communication, and should have attempted to indicate some of those great social ameliorations which are yet to be derived from the reduction of its tariffs, and the universal application for its aid. We look forward with faith to a time not very distant, when every village in the empire shall express its wants and receive its intelligence in telegraphic despatches, and when dumb and intellectual life shall no longer sink under burdens which can be borne by so many pounds of coal and so many buckets of water.

Omitting, therefore, all that the telegraph has done for the interests of trade, commerce, humanity, and justice, and all that it might be expected to do even for other interests, we shall content ourselves with noticing the advantages which have accrued to the State from the general extension of the telegraphic system. Kings were once said to have long hands, but now they have long tongues and loud voices. Their will can, in a few minutes, reach the extremities of the empire, and all the powers of administrative government can be instantaneously summoned into action to revive patriotism or to repress crime. The approach of a hostile fleet would now be rung in the ears of the Admiralty before the hulls of the ships had surmounted the convexity of the globe; and the Horse Guards would be roused at midnight before an invading army could quit the beach on which it had disembarked.

See the Guide to the Electric Telegraph, p. 39, by Charles Maybury Archer; and his Anecdotes of the Electric Telegraph.

The telegraph of planks and spars which formerly puzzled the provincial visitor of the Metropolis, and which had gloriously announced the achievements of the Peninsular war, was erected and maintained at the expense of the nation; but not a single wire of the million which, like a web of gossamer, cover the map of England, has been erected either with its funds or under its patronage. When the Messrs. Bretts Brothers, the original projectors of our Submarine Telegraphs, offered for £20,000 to lay down their wires across the Irish Channel, and to give the free use of them to the State, this boon to Ireland and blessing to England, was peremptorily refused by the Government.

Baffled in this purely British undertaking, these enterprising engineers addressed their next scheme of crossing the English Channel to the French and Belgian Governments. An exclusive privilege was instantly conceded, and the British Government concurred, on the condition of giving nothing, but of taking the use of the submarine cable. The idio. syncrasy of a Chancellor of the Exchequer, whose feelings and intelligence is tied up in his money-bags, may be some excuse for the meanness of the Government of which he is the organ, but no apology can be offered for the heads of successive administrationsthe dispensers of cheap rewards of laurels which they gather for their underlings, and plait for themselves. That the services of Mr. Cooke and Mr. Ricardo, to whom England unquestionably owes the introduction of the Electric Telegraph, and all its blessings, should never have been recognized by any mark of public gratitude, or Royal favor, is one of the facts in the history of England which may speedily excite a more general sympathy.

The nation now sees, and, we fear, will see more of the false consequences of this utter discouragement of theoretical and practical science. The horrors of the Crimean war-the tears of the noblest and gentlest of our families-the blood of the bravest of the brave, all cry out for wisdom in our councils, and for science in our fleets and in our camps. It is science which teaches the gigantic shell to discharge its fatal contents,

-W

which speeds the rocket on its incendiary errand, and which guides the rifle ball to the seat of life. It is science which constructs and impels our floating bulwarks,—which places its lanterns beside the Scillas and Charybdises of the deep,-and which teaches us to predict and evade the hurricane and the storm. Law, Divinity, and Medicine,

|

professions justly rewarded and honored by, the State, can neither equip armies nor reduce strongholds, nor supply the soldier with the instruments and materials of his art. It is the science of matter and of motion alone, which can create and perfect all the appliances of offensive and defensive war. It is in this department of science that our Enemy, and our Ally, have so signally and so pain

fully surpassed us; and if England shall ever be compelled again to send her brave legions to a distant battle-field, or even to secure her Island hearths against foreign invasion, she must enlist in her service, and dignify with her honors, the theoretical and practical science of the philosopher and the engineer.*

From the Leisure Hour.

JANE DE MONTFORT.

Ir it be true that great events call forth correspondent abilities, it is no less a reality, that to certain characters decided adversity presents the congenial, in fact the vital atmosphere, denied by ordinary circumstances. Opposition is like a magnet to human nature it attracts all the iron and force of our will; but it is only in occasional instances that a temperament is encountered which prefers the storms of fate to a serene sky, and can behold one hope after another shattered and abandoned, yet rise superior to the wreck, resolutely looking onward, to plot and scheme again.

Jane of Flanders (to quote the words of Froissart) possessed "the courage of a man, and the heart of a lion." One of the most beautiful women of her time, the indomitable energy and courage of her physical endowment were second only to the rare qualifications of her mind. A skilful diplomatist, no covert policy could take her by surprise: eloquent, the inherent womanly gift of enthusiasm added additional weight to her words, results of solid and discriminating thought. "She was above her sex," says Père Morice, (a Benedictine monk and celebrated Breton chronicler,) "and yielded to

no one in courage or military virtues: no adversity could crush her."

Comparatively unknown previously, but scanty information subsists respecting Jane's life up to the time of her husband's (the Count de Montfort's) imprisonment and threatened execution. This prince, who had, upon the demise of John, Duke of Bretagne, taken possession of the duchy, by prompt and skilful strategy, fell into the hands of his opponent, Charles de Blois, through treachery. He was conducted a prisoner to Paris, and shut up in the tower of the Louvre. Thus incarcerated, no obstacle remained to the claims of his rival, who had engaged the sympathies of Philip, King of France, while those of Edward of England had been given on terms of mutual accommodation, to the Count de Montfort.

But at the moment when all was given up for lost, to the surprise of her own party and the consternation of the adverse one, the countess, recently become a mother, roused herself from the grief into which the captivity of her lord had thrown her, and eagerly undertook the task of supplying to the troops the general they had lost.

We must again recommend to the reader Dr. Lardner's admirable account of the Electric Telegraph, which occupies a large portion of the third and fourth volumes of his Museum of Science and of Art. It is at once popular and scientific, and such as might be expected from a philosopher of his high

attainments and extensive information.

Bearing her babe in her arms, she presented herself before the assembled inhabitants of Rennes, and in an address, the terms of which history has but scantily left, permitting us to judge of it only by the electric effect it produced, she set forth the claims of the illustrious child, whose father at that moment might have ceased to breathe, and enlisted the hearts of her hearers in the

struggle to support his pretensions. With It would be difficult to overrate the effect the arguments natural to such a position, which this dauntless and personal alacrity with appeals which, in that chivalric age, it produced. “Few men sat a horse better would have been worse than dishonor to hear than this princess; in combat she handled unmoved,-Jane mingled crafty insinuations the sword with as much address and effect respecting the freedom of Brittany, which as the most vigorous warriors.” Nature, she represented as likely to be sacrificed by which had endowed her with an elegant form the rival claimant, if successful, to his pro- and beautiful features, spoke all the louder tector the King of France. From fortress in her cause, when it was seen she knew how to fortress did this heroic woman journey,- to forego the privileges and adventitious pleas encouraging the wavering,-concerting with of her sex, to share the hardships of the the powerful

, arranging and scheming for meanest trooper, while she assumed the enall,—and every where with the same suc- tire responsibility of the camp. Frequent cess. Finally, having spared no exertion to sallies, headed by herself in person, were put her adherents in fair order of defence, made; every one followed, where such a she shut herself within the town of Hen-captain led the way, and were rewarded with nebon, and awaited the approach of the invariable success. On one occasion, having hostile troops.

observed that the assailants, entirely occupied Edward the Third of England had at this elsewhere, had forgotten to guard a distant time more than one daughter, and although post, she hurried forth, accompanied by only the young heir of Bretagne was their junior, iwo hundred horsemen, threw them into disproposals to betroth him to one of them were, order, and, after doing great damage to their in pursuance of the usage of the times, made ranks, set fire to their tents, powder and by the countess, and well received at the baggage. In the enthusiasm of the sortie, English court. The condition upon which she had, however, forgotten that she might this alliance was sought and accepted, was be unable to return in safety ; a considerable immediate aid on King Edward's part in the force now lay between her little band and the civil war now agitating the entire province gates of the town; the inhabitants saw her of Bretagne. One of the De Clissons ar. position with unspeakable dread: but a few rived in England upon this errand, and a moments sufficed to arrange her plans; she large number of soldiers, including several gave the word for her men to disband, and thousand skilful bowmen, embarked as soon to make the best of their way to Brest. Here as practicable upon their errand of assistance she met them at an appointed rendezvous, to the Breton heroine.

bringing with her a collected force of five Meantime, Charles De Blois arrived with bundred more cavalry soldiers, and returning an immense train of adherents at the town at sunrise on the sixth day toward Hennebon, of Rennes, to which he laid siege, and in a broke through the enemy's ranks, and acshort time the countess had the mortification complished her reunion with her disheartened of hearing that it had surrendered to its friends (who had mourned her for lost) unvigorous assailants. Scarcely bad these burt, and in great triumph. She was retidiogs reached her, when they were followed ceived with every token of rejoicing ; trumup by the rapid advance of the French army, pets pealed, and acclamations rent the air, and Jane found herself speedily blockaded disturbing the troops without, who hastily within the walls of her fortress, before which armed themselves, while those inside the the enemy quietly encamped, evidently bent town mounted the walls to defend it. The upon remaining there will herself and her in- contest lasted until past noon : vast numbers fant boy should fall into their hands. of the besiegers were killed, and their leader

This result, however, formed no portion of at length decided upon retiring to invest the her prospects. So well organized were her castle of Auray, leaving Sir Hervé de Léon plans, so well disciplined her soldiers, that to annoy and vex the garrison, for which no advantage, however small, could be gain purpose he sent twelve large machines to ed from without. Riding up and down the cast stones, by which to destroy the castle. streets, the female general, clothed in com- Contrary winds unfortunately detained the plete armor, urged bravery and constancy English reinforcements, and, after some time, upon her hearers, incited all who could hold fears were entertained that the besieged town a sword to the combat, and summoned even would be forced to surrender. The countess those who could take no martial part, women barbored an evemy in the person of the and children, to the fray, employing them in Bishop of Léon, who now threw off the mask, hurling stones and missiles upon the besiegers. I and opposed his arguments to hers with the

« VorigeDoorgaan »