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to five letters; but the public when telegraphing
often suppress the a's, the of's, the the's, the
in's, &c., and thus telegraphic words average
a greater length, especially when such words
as Dampfschifffarbgesellschaft occur, which,
according to telegraph law, is one word all over

A little experiment by the same witness brings
into curious relief the speed power of the
telegraph. In November, 1860, a conversation was
established between London and Odessa. London
first called Berlin, and inquired about the
weather. Berlin answered it is very cold. Have
you any frost in London? We said, No. Then
we asked for St. Petersburg, and put the same
question to him. He replied it was very cold,
and the snow was so deep they were using
sledges. We asked for direct communication
to Odessa. He put us through. The clerk at
Odessa told us that with them flowers were in
full bloom and no frost had appeared. Thus we
had spoken, in one uninterrupted chain, through
Berlin, St. Petersburg, to Odessa.

The effects of the reaction that followed the
miserable failures of the Atlantic and Red Sea
cables, and discouraged all deep-sea and long-
sea submarine projects, are beginning to pass
away, and there are now before the public
several well-considered projects for uniting the
old and new world. A substantial company is
engaged in trying to repair the Red Sea telegraph,
and even if that attempt should fail, there
are sound engineering arguments in favour of
making the connexion on the plan suggested by
a witness already quotedviz. by carrying the
cables in short lengths "of, say, fifty miles in
forty or fifty fathoms of water, along the shores
of the Red Sea, and bringing the ends on shore"
—"a small payment to the Arab chiefs for
protection forming part of the cost of maintenance."
Such a cable would be easily and quickly
repaired, and the longest length of deep water
would be from Muscat to Kurrachee, the rest
being in comparatively shallow water. As our
government always keeps several war steamers
in the Red Sea, it would be easy to have an
engineering staff on board one of them to execute
submarine cable repairs. By this arrangement
the cost of maintaining a steam-boat in those
seas for the special purpose would be saved
no small item where coal costs eighty shillings
a ton.

In July, 1860, Mr. F. C. Webb proposed to
government a line of telegraph from Malta to
Alexandria, on a novel plan. All former
projects had consisted of lines direct between
Malta and Alexandria, thus passing through
eight hundred miles of deep waterin some
places two thousand fathoms. He proposed that
two stout cables should be laid from Malta to
Tripoli, which, following a course shown on his
plans, would not exceed more than two hundred
miles in length, and lie in depths of less than
eighty fathoms, with the exception of a few miles
near Malta, where the depth would be about two
hundred fathoms. From Tripoli to Alexandria,
the line was to be carried along the coast on
poles, the protection of it being ensured by small
subsidies to the Arab sheiks. If at any part of
the route this arrangement proved impracticable,
then the line was to be carried along the coast,
in the sea, by means of short duplicate lengths
of very stout submarine cables, touching on the
coast every fifty miles, thus making repair and
maintenance of the line easy. The project,
having been referred by the Treasury to the
Board of Trade, was approved by several
experienced engineers. Eventually, the government
ordered the cable intended for Rangoon
and Singapore to be laid between Tripoli and
Malta. Unfortunately, although the general
route was adopted, and the cable laid on
the exact line shown on the plans furnished
to the Board of Trade, one of the most
important features of the plan has been ignored
in a very characteristic manner. Instead of
attempting to carry any part of the line by land
wires along the coast, or at any rate by short
sections of stout submarine cables in duplicate,
as detailed in the original proposition, a cable of
inferior strength has been laid in two long
stretches along the coast, from Tripoli to
Alexandria, thus following the proposed route, but
without the precautions indicated for its
maintenance and repair. Thus the author has had
the mortification of seeing government appropriate
and mutilate his printed and detailed plans,
in order to use up a certain length of cable
which the government had in hand, and did not
apparently know how to expendthe latest
illustration of the art of cutting blocks with a razor.

Another project of an English engineer for
making the transatlantic communications by
short lengths, commencing at Gibraltar, and
following the coast of Africa, neglected here,
is now being carried out by the Spanish
government. They propose to carry a cable from
Cadiz to the Canaries, from thence to Cape de
Verde, from thence to the Island of St. Paul,
in the Southern Atlantic Ocean. Thence the
longest stretch would be eight hundred miles,
to the Island of San Fernando de Noronha, and
thence to the Brazilian coast, which is a
comparatively short distance. From the Brazilian
coast the lines will pass along the shores of
British and French Guiana to Trinidad, thence
by the West India Islands to the Spanish possessions
of Porto Rico and Cuba. From Cuba a
line may be carried to Florida, and form a junction
with all the lines of the late United States,
and a branch may also diverge to Panama; while
south from Brazil the system may be conducted
to Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Ayres. Thus, by
a circuitous course, with a number of comparatively
short-sea branches, and with considerable
local traffic, the Americas and Europe may be
united. If this be done, there can be no doubt
that the investment will pay good interest. At
present, the government and Malta and
Alexandria deep-sea line earns an income of six
hundred pounds a week. That there are no
insuperable difficulties in the way of long land
lines through savage countries is proved by the
fact that New York has been connected with