nearly double that between Dover and Calais. The length of the cable is 64 miles, and the time of laying it down was 18 hours.

The next great submarine enterprise, under the direction of the Submarine Telegraph Company, was that of uniting Dover with Ostend, a distance of 70 miles. This gigantic cable, also the work of Messrs. Newall and Company, cost £33,000, and was laid down on the 4th of May. On the 6th of May it was the bearer of a friendly message from Belgium to London.

The Magnetic Telegraph Company and the British Telegraph Company, have, according to Dr. Lardner, laid down cables of the same kind from Portpatrick to Donaghadee, a species of rivalry which Parliament ought not to have permitted. The first of these Companies have established upwards of 2,000 miles (many of them under ground) of telegraphic lines, and have 13,000 miles of wire in active operation, connecting England and Scotland with the principal towns in Ireland. A Company, entitled the European and Electric Telegraph Company, which acts in common with the two Submarine Companies, now united, was established in order to connect the cables of those Companies with the metropolis, and with Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester.

Our limits will not permit us to give any farther details respecting these submarine establishments. The most important facts concerning all those which are yet completed, or in progress, are contained in the following table given by Dr. Lardner:

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][subsumed][merged small][merged small][subsumed][merged small][merged small][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Mediterranean and other seas, has undertaken to complete it in two months. May its first message convey to Lord Raglan and General Canrobert the gratifying intelligence that they have conquered a secure and honorable peace.

We have already mentioned the contemplated line from Natchez to San Franzisco in California, which will connect the Pacific with the Atlantic, and even with St. John's in Newfoundland, which is only five days' passage from Galway, and which would then connect the Pacific with Europe. But why may we not contemplate the union of Newfoundland with Europe by a submarine cable which has been already proposed? As a work of art it is doubtless practicable, and the European powers might contribute the means of thus uniting the two hemispheres of the globe.

A new principle of telegraphic communication, if it shall prove of practical value, may render such an enterprise within the reach even of the western states of Europe. The idea of what may provisionally be called a transmarine telegraph has been recently brought forward by Mr. Lindsay of Dundee. This plan is to send the electric current through great distances of water by means of long lines of wire stretching along the opposite shores. These lines communicate with a powerful battery, and their four terminations dip into the sea, so that the electric currents flow in two different directions across the ocean. Mr. Lindsay had made 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 through a mile of water, though there were many ships in the interventing space, and many of them with coppered bottoms. In this experiment the length of the lateral wires was less than half a mile. We understand that a patent has been secured by a company who intend in spring to make experiments on a great scale.

Although it would be a work of supererogation to point out to our readers the various uses of the Electric Telegraph, yet there are some of them so little known, and others of so remarkable a nature, that they deserve the widest circulation. Among these uses, those of a scientific nature may claim the first place. The beautiful arrangement which we owe to Mr. Airy, the AstronomerRoyal, of transmitting to the most distant telegraphic regions the true time of Greenwich, is one of inestimable value. The diffi


1. Concerning ordinary trains,
do. Special trains,


Carriages, trucks, goods,

[ocr errors]

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


Company's servants,



sheds, &c..










Miscellaneous matters,
Messages forwarded

other stations






[ocr errors][ocr errors]




[ocr errors][merged small]



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 In meteorology, the Electric Telegraph receive more locomotive power, either sent will be found of singular utility. The fre- to them or prepared at their arrival; if there quenters of the Crystal Palace will recollect is anything unusual in the line they are forethat the weather at the leading ports and warned of it, and so forearmed; if overdue, cities of England was daily exhibited to them, the old plan of sending an engine to look a kind of information of great value to ship- after them has become obsolete a few deowners, and to the Royal and merchant navy.flections of the needle obtain all the informaWhen 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.

tion 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, But the telegraph may do more than this. was greater than what is required for mainWhen these violent convulsions of the atmos-taining the entire staff of telegraph clerks, phere, 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.

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

[ocr errors]

thought of even the possibility of danger; The telegraph of planks and spars which but no bridge was there to receive them; and formerly puzzled the provincial visitor of the the long train, with its precious freight, Metropolis, and which had gloriously anrushed on towards the precipice of destruc- nounced the achievements of the Peninsular tion. It was not customary to stop at this war, was erected and maintained at the explace excepting to check the speed for the | pense of the nation; but not a single wire landing of passengers; but the people there of the million which, like a web of gossamer, had learned through the instrumentality of cover the map of England, has been erected the telegraph, the loss of the bridge, and either with its funds or under its patronage. kept a sharp look-out for the approaching When the Messrs. Bretts Brothers, the origtrain. It came the word is given, and they inal projectors of our Submarine Telegraphs, are safe. Every heart leapt from its place, offered for £20,000 to lay down their wires and the head swam giddily with fear, as the across the Irish Channel, and to give the thought came of that fearful leap in the dark; free use of them to the State, this boon to and long will the passengers remember that Ireland and blessing to England, was. perdreadful road and the friendly yet fearful emptorily refused by the Government. cry, 'THE BRIDge is gone.'

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


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.

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, -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.


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 enof 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

*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.

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.

[ocr errors]

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.

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 the arguments natural to such a position, with appeals which, in that chivalric age, it would have been worse than dishonor to hear unmoved,―Jane mingled crafty insinuations respecting the freedom of Brittany, which she represented as likely to be sacrificed by the rival claimant, if successful, to his protector the King of France. From fortress to fortress did this heroic woman journey, encouraging the wavering,-concerting with the powerful, arranging and scheming for all, and every where with the same success. Finally, having spared no exertion to put her adherents in fair order of defence, she shut herself within the town of Hennebon, and awaited the approach of the hostile troops.

Edward the Third of England had at this time more than one daughter, and although the young heir of Bretagne was their junior, proposals to betroth him to one of them were, in pursuance of the usage of the times, made by the countess, and well received at the English court. The condition upon which this alliance was sought and accepted, was immediate aid on King Edward's part in the civil war now agitating the entire province of Bretagne. One of the De Clissons arrived in England upon this errand, and a large number of soldiers, including several thousand skilful bowmen, embarked as soon as practicable upon their errand of assistance to the Breton heroine.

Meantime, Charles De Blois arrived with an immense train of adherents at the town of Rennes, to which he laid siege, and in a short time the countess had the mortification of hearing that it had surrendered to its vigorous assailants. Scarcely had these tidings reached her, when they were followed up by the rapid advance of the French army, and Jane found herself speedily blockaded within the walls of her fortress, before which the enemy quietly encamped, evidently bent upon remaining there till herself and her infant boy should fall into their hands.

This result, however, formed no portion of her prospects. So well organized were her plans, so well disciplined her soldiers, that no advantage, however small, could be gained from without. Riding up and down the streets, the female general, clothed in complete armor, urged bravery and constancy upon her hearers, incited all who could hold a sword to the combat, and summoned even those who could take no martial part, women and children, to the fray, employing them in hurling stones and missiles upon the besiegers.

It would be difficult to overrate the effect which this dauntless and personal alacrity produced. "Few men sat a horse better than this princess; in combat she handled the sword with as much address and effect as the most vigorous warriors." Nature, which had endowed her with an elegant form and beautiful features, spoke all the louder in her cause, when it was seen she knew how to forego the privileges and adventitious pleas of her sex, to share the hardships of the meanest trooper, while she assumed the entire responsibility of the camp. Frequent sallies, headed by herself in person, were made; every one followed, where such a captain led the way, and were rewarded with invariable success. On one occasion, having observed that the assailants, entirely occupied elsewhere, had forgotten to guard a distant post, she hurried forth, accompanied by only two hundred horsemen, threw them into disorder, and, after doing great damage to their ranks, set fire to their tents, powder and baggage. In the enthusiasm of the sortie, she had, however, forgotten that she might be unable to return in safety; a considerable force now lay between her little band and the gates of the town; the inhabitants saw her position with unspeakable dread: but a few moments sufficed to arrange her plans; she gave the word for her men to disband, and to make the best of their way to Brest. Here she met them at an appointed rendezvous, bringing with her a collected force of five hundred more cavalry soldiers, and returning at sunrise on the sixth day toward Hennebon, broke through the enemy's ranks, and accomplished her reunion with her disheartened friends (who had mourned her for lost) unburt, and in great triumph. She was received with every token of rejoicing; trumpets pealed, and acclamations rent the air, disturbing the troops without, who hastily armed themselves, while those inside the town mounted the walls to defend it. The contest lasted until past noon: vast numbers of the besiegers were killed, and their leader at length decided upon retiring to invest the castle of Auray, leaving Sir Hervé de Léon to annoy and vex the garrison, for which purpose he sent twelve large machines to cast stones, by which to destroy the castle.

Contrary winds unfortunately detained the English reinforcements, and, after some time, fears were entertained that the besieged town would be forced to surrender. The countess barbored an enemy in the person of the Bishop of Léon, who now threw off the mask, and opposed his arguments to hers with the

« VorigeDoorgaan »