+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

papers for Paris circulation; 20,000 copies
scarcely sufficing for the supply.

This was the concluding sight in my visit
to a Paris Newspaper-Office.


[From an Unpublished Autograph.]
The days of Infancy are all a dream,
How fair, but oh! how short they seem
    'Tis Life's sweet opening SPRING!

The days of Youth advance:
The bounding limb, the ardent glance,
    The kindling soul they bring
It is Life's burning SUMMER time.

   Manhoodmatured with wisdom's fruit,
   Reward of Learning's deep pursuit
Succeeds, as AUTUMN follows Summer's prime.

   And that, and that, alas! goes by;
   And what ensues? The languid eye,
   The failing frame, the soul o'ercast;
   'Tis WINTER'S sickening, withering blast,
Life s blessed seasonfor it is the last.



THAT little neck of land which lies between
the head of the Red Sea and the Gulph of
Gaza, in the Mediterranean, is the cause of
merchandise circumnavigating the two longest
sides of the triangular continent of Africa on
its way to the East; instead of making the
short cut which is available for passengers by
what is called the 'overland route.' If a
water-way were opened across the Isthmus,
the highway for the goods traffic as well as
for the passenger traffic of Europe, India,
China, and Australia, will be along the
Mediterranean and Red Seas and the Indian Ocean.
And that highway will be so thronged, that
the expense of travelling by it will be reduced
to a minimum, and the accommodations for
travellers at intermediate stations raised to a
maximum of comfort.

This state of affairsanalogous to that
which occurs in the intercourse of two towns
where there is a round-about road for carts
and carriages, and a footpath across the
meadows for foot-passengers onlyis attended
by great inconveniences. Letters relating to
mercantile transactions are forwarded by the
short cut; the merchandise to which they
relate follows tardily by the round-about road.
The advantageous bargain concluded now may
have a very different aspect when the goods
come to be delivered three or four months
hence. The seven-league-boot expedition of
letters, and the tardy progress of goods,
convert all transactions between England and
India into a game of chance. This fosters that
spirit of gambling speculation already too rife
among us.

Again, so long as the route for passengers
continues to be something different and apart
from the route for merchandise, the travelling
charges will be kept higher, and the accommodations
for travellers less comfortable than
they would otherwise be. Railways, in
arranging their tariff of fares, venture to reduce
the charge for passengers (in the hope of
augmenting their number) when they can rely
upon the returns from the goods traffic to
make up deficiencies. If merchandise, as well
as travellers and letters, could be carried by
what is called the overland route (of which
scarcely two hundred miles are travelled by
land), the passengers' fares would admit of
great reduction; and as that route would thus
become the great highway, frequented by
greater crowds, the accommodation of
travellers could be better cared for. Travellers
in carriages rarely reflect how much the amount
of charges at inns depends upon the landlords
having a profitable run of business among less
distinguished guests.

As we remarked, when descanting on the
Panama route, physical obstacles to the opening
of short cuts are of much less consequence
than those which originate in financial
difficulties. Almost any physical obstacles may
be overcome, if money can be profitably
invested in the undertaking, and if money can
be got for such investment.

Were we projectors of companies, and engaged
in preparing an attractive prospectus,
we might boldly declare that the obstacles in
the construction of a ship canal at Suez are
trifling, and that the work would prove amply
remunerative. But being only impartial
spectators, we are obliged to confess that our
information respecting the nature of the
country is lamentably defective, and that what
we do know does not warrant any sanguine
expectation. Public attention has been
industriously directed from the true line of a
ship canal across the Isthmus of Suez. The
late Mehemet Alipeace to his ashes!—was
a humbug of the first water, and he knew
how to avail himself of the services of kindred
spirits. He understood enough of European
whims and sentiments to know what tone
of language he must adopt in order to
persuade Europeans he was subserving their
views, while he was, in reality, promoting his
own. He talked, therefore, of facilitating the
intercourse between India and Europe, but
he thought of making that intercourse pass
through his dominions by the longest route,
and in the way which would oblige travellers
to leave the greatest possible amount of
money behind them; and to attain his ends he
retained in his service a motley group of
Europeansthe vain, the ignorant, and the
jobbing, who did his spiriting after a fashion
that bears conclusive testimony to his
judgment and tact in selecting them.

What is really wanted for the commerce of
Europe and India, is a ship canal across the
Isthmus of Suez, by the shortest and least
difficult route. What Mehemet Ali conceded
was a land passage through his dominions
by the longest possible route. The natural
course of a ship canal is, in a straight line,