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long the Pacific and the Atlantic bid fair to flow into one another through a canal communication, while there seems every probability that an interoceanic railway will at some point or other be carried across, to develop still further the means of transit."
TELEGRAPH EXTENSION -"Taking Great Britain as the central station, routes have been explored eastward from the Mediterranean along the Euphrates valley and thus to India; while the soundings taken between this country and America, along what is now called the telegraphic plateau, show that there are no insuperable difficulties to the fulfilment of this gigantic project of connecting the Old with the New World. The arrangements have been carried so far that the telegraphic wire is contracted for completion by the 1st of May next."
FRENCH ACADEMY RÉCOMPENSES.'-"On the 2nd of this month, the Académie des Sciences of France held its annual public meeting, under the presidency of M. Isidore Géoffroy Saint Hilaire. M. Flourens, one of the secretaries, announced the different récompenses' which had been decreed by the Academy for the year 1856, and indicated the subjects of the prizes now proposed. Amongst the prizes awarded we may name the following:-the Lalande Astronomical prize has been divided between Chacornac, Goldschmidt, and Pogson: the first having discovered the planets Leda and Lætitia, at Paris, on the 12th of January and the 8th of February; Harmonia and Daphne being the discovery of the second, on the 31st of March and the 22nd of May; while Isis was discovered by Mr. Pogson, at Oxford, on the 23rd of May. The prize relative to the Insalubrious Arts was given to M. Schrotter, for his discovery of the red phosphorus, by which the dreadful disease, produced by the ordinary phosphorus, in the makers of lucifer-matches, is prevented. The Cuvier prize has been awarded to Prof. Richard Owen, 'for having for more than twenty years, by labours the most continuous and of the most elevated order, enlarged the fields of research in comparative anatomy and paleontology.' The prizes offered for scientific investigations in future years embrace the mathematical and physical sciences, geology, and physiology."
AMERICAN COAST SURVEY.-"During the past year, the United States Coast Survey has been carried on in all the States and Territories of the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific Coast. The Survey is more than halffinished on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. Prof. Bache estimates that from ten to twelve years will find the field-work essentially completed in all the sections but two, which have been recently commenced. A general hydrographic reconnaissance has been made of the coast of California and Oregon. Every harbour has been surveyed in the Washington territory. The area of the great inland lakes has also been correctly ascertained. Their total length is 1,534 miles, and they cover an area of 90,000 square miles. Lake Superior at its greatest length is 355 miles; its greatest breadth, 160 miles; main depth, 988 feet; elevation above the sea, 672 feet; area, 32,000 square miles. Lake Michigan is 360 miles long; greatest breadth, 108 miles; main depth, 900 feet; elevation, 687 feet; area, 20,000 square miles. Lake Huron, greatest length, 200 miles; greatest breadth, 160 miles; main depth, 300 feet; elevation, 574 feet; area, 20,000 square miles. Lake Erie, greatest length, 250 miles; greatest breadth, 80 miles; main depth, 200 feet; elevation, 555 feet; area, 6,000 square miles. Lake Ontario, greatest length, 180 miles; breadth, 65 miles; main depth, 500 feet; elevation, 262 feet; area, 6,000 square miles."
RUINS OF CARTHAGE.-"Accounts from Tunis announce that Mr. Davis, a gentleman who a few months ago obtained from the Bey permission to explore the ruins of Carthage under certain conditions, and who has been engaged during the last two months excavating in that locality under the auspices of the British Government and the Museum, has made some valuable discoveries. An Arab having found a piece of elegant mosaic, Mr. Davis was induced to push his excavations in that spot, and his labours were rewarded by the discovery of the remains of an ancient temple, which is believed to be that of Dido. After cutting through two layers of flooring, which must have been laid down at lengthened intervals, he came on a most splendid piece of mosaic of many square yards in area, and in which were delineated two heads, each three feet high, supposed to be those of Dido and Juno, besides several graceful Eastern figures, and a number of highly elegant devices and ornaments, equal, it is alleged, to the most beautiful specimens of the art yet brought to light. Mr. Davis has taken every precaution to guard the_mosaic from the influence of the weather. It is supposed that the British Government will despatch a yessel to convey it to England, as well as other objects of interest which he has discovered."—Athenæum.
SHAKSPEARE'S HOUSE AT STRATFORD —“A meeting of the trustees of Shakspeare's house had been held at Stratford-upon-Avon, when several tenders were received for the demolition of the houses and cottages which surround the birthplace of the poet; and that the tender of Mr. William Holton was accepted, and a contract entered into for the removal of the premises within one month. It is to be hoped that the trustees are advised by an architect, or much irreparable harm may be done."
EXHIBITION OF THE SOCIETY OF ARTS.—“Monday, the 23rd of March next, has been fixed by the Council of the Society of Arts for the opening of the Ninth Annual Exhibition of Recent Inventions. Ladies were invited to the first soirée of the Society of Arts this season, on February 21. A second soirée will be held in the society's rooms on Wednesday, May 8, at which gentlemen alone will attend."
OBITUARY.-"Smith, Dr. Eli, the superintendent of the American mission at Bayrout. Dr. Smith was the companion of Dr. Robinson in his tour of exploration in Palestine, and his long residence in these regions has enabled him to render valuable aid to other eastern travellers, many of whom have acknowledged his service with gratitude in their works. At the time of his death, Dr. Smith was engaged in translating the Scriptures into Arabic, and had completed various portions of the work.
"Smith, Rev. J. T., M. A., author of the Divine Drama of History and Civilization,' and editor of the Family Herald, on the 29th of January, while on a visit for health in Glasgow.
"Taylor, Mr. James, antiquarian bookseller, on the 27th of January, at Fletching, Sussex. Mr. Taylor was born at Ware, in Hertfordshire, on the 17th of May, 1778, and began his career as an antiquarian bookseller when a very, young man. His house in the Blackfriars was visited by most of the bookworms of that period. Mr. Taylor's catalogues were much prized."
ON ENGAGING ASSISTANT-TEACHERS.
We wish to call the attention of Principals of schools to the following letter on "False Characters to Servants", which appeared in The Times newspaper last week. The facts there stated would well apply to a certain class of School Assistants who flock to the London School Agencies at the close of every half-year; and worse things than are there related of servants could be exposed among assistants. A burglar was last year brought before one of our courts for entering a room with false keys and stealing a time-piece: it came out in his examination that he had during the year filled the post of Teacher in three different schools, in each of which it was clear he had committed many acts of pilfering, though the masters would not appear against him. One naturally asks how did this young man get satisfactory testimonials, and pass himself off for an efficient and well conducted teacher? There are such things done as changing names, selling testimonials (and even degrees). Are principals aware that there are in London notorious places of rendezvous for these worthies? Do they know likewise that if a master applies to a school-agent or advertises for a teacher, there is a sort of espionage to find out name, nature of situation, amount of salary, general character, etc.? Why, we ask, do respectable members of our profession continue to countenance a system so vicious? Our pages have shown them a sure and inexpensive course.
To the Editor of The Times.
SIR,- Will you permit me, in reply to your article of to-day, to state, after many years' experience the result of giving honestly to servants the characters those servants may deserve; of calling things by their right names—thus, a thief a thief, a drunkard a drunkard, and so on?
The better as well as the worst class of servants hang to their own order; they have their clubs, their places of meeting, the public house, which they frequent, in which besides matters effecting the cloth, the characters, and private affairs of their masters are discussed; everything is known and the certain penalty for refusing a character or giving a true one to a dishonest or incompetent servant; and thus honestly doing your duty, is, that unless you give a higher rate of wages than the market easily commands, none but the refuse will enter your service. These worthies combine,-why should not their masters?
A society on the principle of the Mendicity Society, the business of whose officers should be to seek for and obtain any information required by the members about to engage servants; who should also keep books in which the results of those inquiries are registered and recorded, with an officer whose special duty it should be to prosecute those masters who might be convicted of giving false characters to their servants, would in the course of a few years greatly improve the breed of domestics, and remedy what you justly call "one of the miseries of civilized life."
WYAND, SON, & Co., Printers, Rutland-str., St. Pancras.