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Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 429 - Volume 17, New Series, March 20, 1852 by Various
page 2 of 72 (02%)
prospects of the next twenty years--a long enough space for a man to
look forward to in anything else than a dream. War, it is true, may
intervene, or some other terrible catastrophe; but we shall not admit
this into our hypothesis, which proceeds on the assumption, that
although people may wrangle here and there, and here and there fly at
each other's throats, still the bulk of civilised mankind will go on
tranquilly enough to present no direct barrier to the advancing tide.
Here is a list of a few trifles in expectation.

A line of communication by railway from England to the principal
cities in India, interrupted only by narrow sea-channels, and these
bridged by steamboats. It will then be possible to travel from London
to Calcutta in a week.

At the same time, there will be railways to other parts of
Asia--Ispahan, Bagdad, Damascus, and Jerusalem. From the
last-mentioned city, a line will probably proceed through the land of
Edom, to Suez and Cairo; thence to Alexandria. This last portion is
already in hand. Think of a railway station in the Valley of
Jehoshaphat! As the course of the Jordan presents few 'engineering
difficulties,' there might be a single line all the way from Nazareth
to the Dead Sea, on which a steamer might take passengers to the
neighbourhood of Petra. At a point near the shore of that mysterious
sheet of water, a late traveller indicates the spot where Lot's wife
was transformed into a pillar of salt. How interesting it would be to
make this a stopping-place for tourists to view the adjacent
scenery--rocky, wild, and scorched, as if fresh from the wondrous work
of devastation!

It cannot be doubted that in a period much short of twenty years,
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