THE GREAT ROUND WORLD
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VOL. 1 APRIL 15, 1897. NO. 23
It is said that the unfortunate Princess Charlotte of Belgium is to be taken over to Mexico, in the hope that a visit to the scenes of her former happiness may restore her reason.
Her story brings back to memory a very sad and interesting page of our modern history.
Princess Charlotte, the daughter of Leopold I., King of the Belgians, was the most accomplished and beautiful princess of her time. She was the only daughter of the king. While she was still quite young he found she had a great talent for statecraft, and so he had her admitted to all the councils of state, and from her earliest childhood she was familiar with the ways and arts of diplomacy.
A brilliant future was expected for her, but when she was seventeen she married, for love, the young Archduke Maximilian, brother of the Emperor of Austria.
There was no expectation that Maximilian would ever come to a throne, and so it seemed as if the young princess' talents were to be thrown away when she settled down with her husband, and became the happiest young wife in Europe.
For seven years these two young folks were a model happy couple; then, one fatal day, Napoleon III. of France offered Maximilian the crown of Mexico.
Europe thought that Mexico needed a wise and clever ruler to straighten out the tangle into which its affairs had fallen, and it was supposed that Maximilian, backed by his beautiful and clever wife, would be just the man for the post. As Mexican affairs were in a very turbulent state, Napoleon promised Maximilian that he would keep a number of French troops in the country, and support him with an armed force, until the people of Mexico had learned to love and trust him, and he could rule them without danger.
Under these conditions Maximilian accepted, and the young couple became Emperor and Empress of Mexico, and, setting forth to their new land, bade farewell to Europe and happiness.
At that time Mexico was in the most terrible condition, as you will understand when you learn that within a period of forty-seven years there were three hundred revolutions, some successful, some the reverse. During this time the government was changed ten times, and over fifty persons succeeded each other as presidents, dictators, and emperors.
The throne of such an uneasy kingdom as this was by no means a pleasant one to occupy.
During these frequent revolutions it is easy to understand that many treaties were broken, and much property was seized.
The foreign residents in particular found Mexico a dangerous country to live in, and within a few years Spain, England, and France were making heavy claims against the country for damage done to their citizens.
The claims of England and Spain were satisfied, and they withdrew the troops they had sent to Mexico to enforce their demands.
France, however, could get no satisfaction, and so she remained, and carried on war against the Mexicans until she succeeded in getting a little the best of them.
It was at this moment that Louis Napoleon made up his mind that an Emperor was what Mexico needed, and sent out the unfortunate Archduke Maximilian to rule a wild, boisterous, and only half-conquered people.
The Mexicans, ever pleased with a change, welcomed the Emperor very kindly; the beauty and charity of the Empress made many friends for her, and for a time all went well.
With the aid of the French troops, Maximilian completed the conquest of the rebellious Mexicans, and was at the height of his popularity, when, in an evil moment, he made a proclamation that all the rebels who had fought against the government should be regarded as bandits, and punished as such.
The people were furious at this. These bandits were many of them of their own families and friends, and revolutions were so common in the country, that they could not see why these men should be hanged and shot by a foreign prince, whom they had never invited to come and govern them.
From that moment they began to conspire against him, and his position was becoming very unsafe, when Napoleon ordered his French soldiers to return from Mexico.
Maximilian would not allow this; he reminded Napoleon that he had only accepted the throne on the condition that the French soldiers were left to protect him; but Napoleon III. paid no attention to his protest, nor to the assurance that he would not be safe if the French soldiers were withdrawn.
The orders to return to France were repeated.
Both Maximilian and Charlotte were fearful of the result of this rash act; and as the Empress had been very successful in managing several difficult affairs in the government of Mexico, it was thought best that she should go to Napoleon and explain things to him, and get the order for the soldiers to remain in Mexico.
She started on her long voyage, hopeful of success; but when she reached France, Napoleon managed to avoid seeing her for months, and when at last she was admitted to his presence, she found him cold, hard, and determined to follow out his own plans.
The French soldiers should leave Mexico at all cost.
The poor young Empress had lived long enough in Mexico to fear the worst for her husband if he were left to the tender mercies of the Mexicans. Heartbroken at Napoleon's refusal, she determined to seek the Pope, and see if he would not help her.
The Pope received her with the greatest kindness, but soon convinced her that, no matter how good his will, he had no power to aid her.
When Charlotte realized this, and that her long journey had been of no use, and that she had only separated herself from her beloved husband in his hour of need, her mind gave way, and she became insane.
Poor Maximilian, waiting anxiously for news of her success, received word that his troubles had driven his wife insane, and from that moment he cared little what became of him or of Mexico.
A few months after Napoleon had so treacherously withdrawn his troops, the people once more rose against their ruler.
The Emperor led his army of loyal Mexicans against the rebels, but after a few weeks was defeated, taken prisoner, and condemned to be shot.
So ended the career of these two unfortunate young people.
It is thought that the Empress to this hour does not know the fate that befell her husband.
The whole sad tragedy happened thirty years ago, and in all that time she has never had a glimmering of reason. She is gentle, kindly, and interested in the simple country life of the estate on which she lives. Her madness has never taken a violent form, and it is said that she lives in constant expectation of her husband's return.
Of late her mind has become slightly clearer, and her doctors have decided that it is possible that her reason may be restored if she once more visits Mexico.
This decision seems hardly a kindly one. If it be true that the poor Empress, who is now a woman of fifty-seven, does not know the full force of the sorrows that fell upon her, it would seem kinder to leave her in ignorance of them, than to restore her reason, and allow her to suffer for griefs that are now thirty years old.
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Europe has again been shocked by the news of Christian Powers firing on the Greeks, and endeavoring to prevent them from freeing themselves from the rule of the hated heathen Turk.
The feeling in England is very strong on this point. So much so that the old statesman, Mr. Gladstone, who is to England what Bismarck has been to Germany, has published a very fine letter on the subject.
In the strongest kind of language, Mr. Gladstone calls the Powers to account for the action they are taking. He declares that they are listening to the advice of two ambitious young rulers, the Emperor of Germany and the Czar of Russia, and allowing themselves to be guided by the desires of these young men, instead of listening to the voice of the people, which is decidedly against their actions.
He speaks in no friendly terms of Turkey, her massacres and her misrule, and says that Greece has done a great service for the world in helping Crete to throw off the yoke of such a sovereign as the Sultan.
He hopes that the people of Europe may be allowed to say what they think in the matter, and feels confident that Greece will then no longer be interfered with. He thinks the only true way to settle the difficulty, is to let the Cretans have their own government under the rule of Greece, and pay tribute to Turkey.
Every one is wondering whether these bold words of Mr. Gladstone will have an effect on the situation.
The so-called Concert of the Powers does not seem to exist any longer. The six powers are divided among themselves. Great Britain and Italy hold together in not wanting harsh measures used with Greece; Germany and Russia think force ought to be used, and France and Austria are undecided.
Some of the foreign papers are saying that it is quite impossible for the Powers ever to come to an understanding.
Some people are thinking that Mr. Gladstone's letter has already had an effect, for a private telegram from Paris states that the Sultan of Turkey has sent word to the Powers that he is willing to let King George of Greece occupy the island of Crete, and govern it, provided that he pays tribute for it.
This is so exactly Mr. Gladstone's suggestion, that, if the report is true, the Sultan would seem to have been influenced by him.
Mr. Gladstone in his letter showed clearly how such an arrangement would be of benefit to all concerned, and spoke of the island of Cyprus as an example. Cyprus was once under the rule of Turkey, but is now governed by the Queen of England, and pays a tribute to Turkey.
It is to be hoped that this telegram is true, but we must remember that it is only news, and not history, and therefore we must be quite prepared to have it contradicted next week.
The blockade of Crete is now complete. No ships are allowed to enter the ports that bring supplies to the Cretans or Greeks.
But the Greeks are not submitting tamely to the blockade.
There are two forts that guard the entrance to Canea, and both of them are being vigorously besieged by the insurgents, with the intention of establishing a blockade of Canea on the landward side, and so keeping the troops of the Powers enclosed where they can do little harm.
A late despatch from Crete says that the Cretans have forced the Turks to flee from Malaxa, and have killed the garrison.
During the fight over Malaxa, the Turkish warships in the Bay of Suda opened fire on the Cretans, with the hope of dislodging them from the heights around Malaxa. The Powers have had the grace to be very much disturbed at this, and have sent word to the admirals in command of the fleets at Crete, that they may use their own best judgment about ordering the Turkish warships to leave Crete.
The admirals decided that the forts of Malaxa and Keratide must be kept out of the hands of the Cretans, and so they sent word to the insurgents that the Powers forbade them to attack either fort.
The Cretans did not take the slightest notice of this order, but continued the attack, and drove the Turks out. The allied warships in the Bay of Suda at once opened fire on the Cretans, who withstood the fire bravely.
The result of the whole matter has been that, though the insurgents gained a decided victory over the Turks, the foreign Powers have stepped in between them and their prize, and are occupying the town of Malaxa.
The Cretans must heartily wish that the Powers would go away and mind their own business, and leave them to settle their own affairs.
If it were not so sad and so serious, it would be amusing to watch the double game that Turkey is playing with the Powers, and how she is laughing in her sleeve at the whole of Europe.
After months of conferences, and diplomatic fussing over plans of mighty reforms which the Sultan was to make for the unfortunate Armenians, the "unspeakable Turk" has not made one single effort to improve the condition of these unhappy people. He has waited until the Powers of Europe have so tangled themselves up over him, that he finds them befriending him, and firing on brother Christians for his sweet sake, while he is still at liberty to have a few more Armenians massacred without the fear of any consequences.
News has just come that there has been another slaughter of Armenians, seven hundred of these unfortunate people having fallen victims to the Turks. If the Powers have any conscience left, this news must have made them thoroughly ashamed of their ridiculous position.
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The week's news from Cuba is still of the same hopeful character for the Cubans.
It is stated on the best authority that the Cubans are in absolute possession of the eastern end of the island, the whole province of Santiago de Cuba being in the hands of the insurgents.
It is stated that this province is really Cuba Libre, or "Free Cuba." The government is being carried on there, and the peasants are able to sow their fields and gather their crops in peace and safety.
The Cubans assert that if we would only recognize that they were engaged in a real war, and give them the right to fit out a navy for themselves, the war would be over in a very short time. They have now no fear but that they will gain their liberty; they say, however, that with the Spanish navy guarding the coast, and preventing the landing of help and supplies, the war will last a good deal longer than it ought.
The Spaniards are very uneasy, and Havana is greatly alarmed over the last expedition of General Weyler. The Spanish general has determined to force a battle on General Gomez, and to make one great effort to subdue him.
It is reported that General Gomez is in Santa Clara, and Weyler has gone thither with all the troops he can mass together to meet him.
All Cuba has, however, learned by this time that the whereabouts of Gomez and his army are never to be relied on. The Spaniards go out to fight them in a certain place, and when they reach the spot where they expect the enemy to be, they find that the Cubans have made a forced march and escaped them, and are making war in quite a fresh section of the country. The Cubans have accomplished some of the most wonderful marches in the history of war, and have won many of their advantages by stealing past the enemy that was advancing to fight them, and capturing towns and stores left unprotected in the enemy's rear.
It is therefore not to be wondered at that there is a report in Havana that Gomez has slipped past Weyler, and is advancing upon the city to capture it.
If Gomez feels himself strong enough to fight a real battle with Weyler, it may perhaps be the decisive battle of the war.
All the Cuban generals have had good luck lately, but the most successful and brilliant work has been done by General Calixto Garcia in Santiago.
Lest you should feel confused when hearing of so many generals, and so many provinces, it is perhaps as well to explain something about the formation of the island of Cuba.
It is a narrow, mountainous strip of land, 760 miles long and in some parts only 28 miles wide, the very broadest part being 127 miles.[A]
You can readily see that no one general could control the whole of such a country.
The Cuban army has been divided into three parts:
The Eastern Division, under General Calixto Garcia, which is fighting in and has brought peace to Santiago de Cuba, the most eastern part of the island.
The Central Division, under the leadership of General Maximo Gomez, against which Weyler has set out, and which is supposed to be in Santa Clara.
The Western division, consisting of the bands that have been raiding the suburbs of Havana, and making so much trouble in Pinar del Rio, the most westerly province of the island.
The brilliant feat that General Garcia has accomplished is that he has made a force of nearly three thousand Spanish soldiers come out to meet him, and after pretending to fall back before them until he had lured them to a certain place, he has turned upon them, and chased them into the mountains, until he has finally forced them into the Algones Valley.
In this valley they are completely cut off from their friends, and he has them at his mercy. News is hourly expected that the entire Spanish force has either surrendered or been killed.
If this is true, it will be a very severe blow to Spain.
Reliable news has come that another part of Gomez's force has captured the town of Holguin, an important town in Santiago de Cuba, and one of the few strong-holds the Spanish still held in that province. It is said that quantities of stores and ammunition fell into the Cubans' hands.
A telegram from Havana says that Fondeviella, now a lieutenant-colonel, has been made Chief of Police in Havana. The Spaniards must certainly approve of this horrible man's conduct, and Havana is likely to feel still more uneasy with such a person in power. A later telegram reports the capture of General Ruis Rivera, who was in command of the Western Division. If this is true it will be a sad check to the Cuban successes.
[Footnote A: A very good map of Cuba may be purchased on news-stands for 10 cents.]
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Reports have come that the dynamite-gun, of which the Cubans were so proud, has proved a failure.
The various nations, all over the world, are watching the trial of this gun with the greatest interest. It can be so easily handled, can be carried by ten men, and put together and made ready for firing two minutes after it is unloaded, that other nations are anxious to see if it is really the valuable weapon it is claimed to be.
Besides the advantages of being light and easy to handle, it can be fired without noise or smoke, and therefore its whereabouts are not easily discovered by an enemy; and moreover, if it has to be abandoned in a retreat, it can be disabled with one sharp blow of a stone, so that it can never be turned on its fleeing owners by a victorious enemy.
If the report about it is true, it has one fault, that is so serious that it outweighs all the virtues. This fault is that the dynamite-gun has a habit of going off at both ends; that is to say, it is liable to explode both at the breech and the muzzle. It may therefore be quite as destructive to the army firing it, as to the enemy at which it is fired.
Of course this will render the gun very unpopular, if it is true; but people who understand the weapon declare that the fault lies, not in the gun, but with the climate of the West Indies.
The three tubes of this gun (which we described fully in Number 6 of THE GREAT ROUND WORLD) are fastened together at the breech with a clasp which holds the whole mechanism of the gun in place.
The climate of the West Indies is so moist that metal rusts in an amazingly short space of time, and it is difficult to keep anything bright and polished.
It is supposed by those who understand the gun that, having been constantly exposed to the moist air, it has rusted, and that the important clasp has become so rusty that it can no longer be pushed fully home, and so the gun is not secure.
In their opinion the failure of the dynamite-gun has not been proved; it may be necessary to make some alterations to fit it for service in swampy countries, but that as a weapon it is still a success.
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Terrible floods are reported from the Mississippi Valley. A section of the country equal in size to the whole State of Missouri is now under water, and steamboats are hurrying over what were once farm lands, rescuing the unfortunate families who have been caught by the floods.
The Mississippi, the largest river on our continent, flows through what is known as the Gulf Coast Plain.
The Gulf Coast Plain is formed by the valley lying between the great mountain ranges which make the framework of our country.
The Mississippi with its tributaries drains the whole of the enormous tract of land lying between these three main mountain ranges.
This great river forms the highway for the interior of our country, and winds through the plain for about a thousand miles. Every year when the heavy spring rains fall, and the snows melt in the north, the river overflows its bed, and floods the lowlands around it.
To keep the river within its bounds, mounds of earth, called levees, have been built for hundreds of miles along the banks. The Mississippi floods are only dangerous when the thaws are very sudden, or the rains so heavy that the river swells in size to such an extent that the levees are broken down, and the water, bursting its bounds, rushes with an angry flood over the surrounding country, destroying everything in its path.
As a usual thing the spring floods are beneficial to the country, for the Mississippi is a very muddy river, and when it overflows it spreads this mud over the country, in much the same fashion that the Nile does, and with the same result of fertilizing and enriching the soil.
All swift waters wash away some portion of their bed in their flow, and carry it along with them in their journey to the sea.
The Mississippi in its thousand-mile course carries a vast amount of this stolen earth, so much indeed that every year it deposits in the Gulf of Mexico an amount of mud which would make a pile one mile square and 268 feet high.
This enormous yearly deposit is literally filling up the Gulf, and in the ages to come dry land and a new country will be found where the waters of the Gulf now lie.
Every year the Mississippi brings down enough earth with it to help it move its mouth 338 feet farther out into the sea, and every year it builds on to its delta, which now contains thousands of square miles!
You can understand that the angry flood of such a powerful river as this must be a very serious matter. For a distance of nearly twenty miles in Arkansas, levees have given way, and thousands of acres of land have been flooded; the waters sweeping away the homes, drowning the cattle, and compelling the people to seek the points above the angry waters, and wait in the hope of relief-boats coming to save them.
In other parts of the country through which the river flows, special trains loaded with sacks are being run to points near the river banks. The sacks are filled with earth, and thrown upon the levees to strengthen them. The men of that country are working night and day to shore up the levees until the floods subside.
This is the worst flood that has been known for many years, and people along the banks of the Mississippi have been ruined through the damage done by the waters.
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March 22d was celebrated throughout Germany as a national holiday, for it was on this day one hundred years ago that Emperor William I. was born.
The old Emperor was the man who, with the help of Bismarck, united all the various States and Principalities of Germany under one rule, and raised Germany from the dust into which Napoleon had thrown her, to the glorious position she holds to-day.
The day was celebrated in Berlin by the unveiling of a magnificent monument to the old Emperor.
The statue of William I. shows him seated on horseback, with winged figures representing Victory standing on the pedestal beneath him, and the Goddess of Peace holding the bridle of his horse.
On the base of the pedestal is carved:
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . WILLIAM THE GREAT, . . . . German Emperor—King of Prussia, . . . . 1861-1888. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
And on the back:
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . With gratitude and faithful love, . . . . The German People. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The Emperor unveiled the monument in the presence of a great number of German Princes and nobles, all of whom laid wreaths at the foot of the monument.
In consequence of the recent troubles over his "revelations," Prince Bismarck was not invited to take part in the ceremonies. Many people thought the young Emperor should have invited him in spite of everything; but the people of Germany did not forget the man who had done so much for them, and throughout the entire day telegrams and messages were showered upon the old Iron Chancellor, by those who appreciated all he had done for their country.
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The New York Zoological Society has been presented with a tract of land containing 261 acres, for the making of a Zoological Garden, which it is intended shall be the finest in the world. The land presented to the Society is in Bronx Park.
The Zoo is to be finished within three years, and to be free to the public at least four days of the week, including Sundays and all half holidays; it is to be open not less than seven hours every day.
Work is to be begun this spring, and the Vice-President of the Society promises to have a part of the garden ready to open to the public next spring.
The Society agrees to prepare the park grounds, and erect such buildings as are necessary to house the animals, and the City agrees to take care of the animals and grounds after they are ready.
This great work is being done by some public-spirited citizens, and when we get our Zoo we shall have to thank these good people for it.
The Botanical Garden, which is in course of preparation, will also be in Bronx Park, and many of the same people who are working to get a Zoological Garden for us have also helped to provide New York with its Botanical Garden.
One lady, Mrs. Esther Hermann, gave ten thousand dollars for the Botanical Garden—which, according to the latest report, will be opened this summer.
GENIE H. ROSENFELD.
ROUGHING IT IN A GOLD MINE.
I am not a subscriber to your interesting little paper, THE GREAT ROUND WORLD, but my teacher Miss Margaret Gannon subscribed for this paper and she reads it to us, that is, to the class, when it comes. I was very much interested in the letter "Little Friend" wrote to you. She must be a very kind-hearted little girl. It may be interesting to some of your readers to hear how I went to a gold mine and got out some gold. As I was going to "rough it" I only took my rifle, mackintosh, and boots, and a small valise with my other necessary articles. I got on the train, and it took two hours for me to get to the little station at Cedar Falls, N.C. The mine was two miles from the village. I reached there at five o'clock. The little shanty where we lived while we were there was about twelve feet long by eight feet wide.
The bunks were folded up during the day and unfolded at night.
After hanging up my gun and putting my valise in the corner, I went to the shaft or hole from which the gold ore is taken. After the two men went down the shaft, the men at the top hauled up the bucket, and they put in the tools, which were eight sharp drills, an eight-pound sledge-hammer, and a scraper about three feet long. I got in among the tools, and down I went. It was warm above, but on the way down the shaft, which was thirty feet deep, it became cooler and damper. I stood on one side with a small pick to cut out nuggets, while the men drilled a hole about two inches in diameter and one foot deep, which they afterward filled with dynamite. After sending the tools up, the other man and I went up, while the man we left in the shaft lit the fuse. We all pulled at the windlass, and he was soon at the top. After taking off the bucket we ran up the hill about a hundred yards to watch the result.
With an awful explosion and a tremendous shower of rocks the dynamite blew a big hole in the side of the shaft. After driving out the smoke by dropping large cedar bushes in the shaft, we went down again.
We filled the bucket with rocks, which were drawn up. We soon emptied the shaft in this way. Then we went to the top and assorted the ore. I filled a large box with the richest rocks I could find, and they were shipped the next day.
Besides blasting for the ore, I panned a little, that is, I had a shallow pan with a little of the dust from the shaft and some water. I washed the dust until I had very little dust left; then I took a quill toothpick and picked the small nuggets from the pan and put them into a small gold vial full of water.
After staying at the mine four days, I went home, having had a fine time "roughing it" in a gold mine.
Please send me full particulars of the "Who? When? What? Chart" as soon as you possibly can, and also tell me whether you will send me one of those books which you want criticised. I am eleven years old. I like to read very much—history, travel, and adventure being my favorites. The books I like specially are Oliver Optic's works for travels, and G.A. Henty's works for historical facts and thrilling adventures. I like other books also.
Hoping that I do not inconvenience you, I am respectfully,
JULES W.L., Jr. GREENSBORO, N.C., March 25, 1897.
EXHIBITION OF CHILDREN'S WORK.
There has been a very interesting exhibition, in New York, of sewing done by the children in the public schools.
France, England, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, China, and Japan have all sent exhibits of their work, and so it has been possible to see what kind of sewing is being done all over the world.
It is very much to the credit of America that the home work far outshines that of any of the foreign countries.
This exhibition was not one of fancy work or embroideries, though every country sent some specimens of the special work for which it is celebrated. The work shown was plain sewing, the cutting and making of new garments, and the mending of old ones.
The first principles of sewing were shown on neat little squares of cloth—running, hemming, stitching, gathering, and buttonhole-making. Then there were garments in which all these first steps were applied.
While every country has sent specimens of clothing made by its children, and each exhibits its own system of teaching sewing, none of these systems seem so complete nor the finished garments so perfect as those of our own country.
In foreign countries no particular attention seems to be paid to the cutting, shaping, and ornamenting of garments. The little underclothes from Switzerland and Germany, especially, were made of such coarse cloth, of such a hideous pattern, and so utterly without ornament, that it is not pleasant to think there are really people in the world contented to wear such unsightly clothes.
In the American exhibit, every garment, for rich child or poor child, had its little frill of lace, or its row of feather-stitching, which gave it a finish that was very pretty.
The daintiest set of garments came from the Industrial School for Colored and Indian Children, in Hampton, Va.
The most complete exhibit, which included plain sewing, dress-making, hat-trimming, and fancy work of all kinds, was sent by the Pratt Institute, in Brooklyn. The useful sewing from that school was above the standard of excellence, and the art work fully equal to that of the New York School of Applied Design.
A very interesting part of the exhibit of every American school was the darning and patching. We hear a good deal about people not learning to sew properly nowadays, since the sewing-machine has come into such common use, but the patches and darns shown by the twelve-year-old pupils of our public schools would put the far-famed patching of our grandmothers to shame.
There were square patches, with the patterns matched so exquisitely that you had to feel the edge before you could realize that the patch was there; three-cornered "jags" darned so perfectly with their own threads that they were invisible, and every kind of rent and tear and hole was treated in its own particular way.
The Japanese sent a number of beautiful designs for embroidery, and a case full of queer little Japanese garments, but unfortunately they, too, were made of coarse materials, and looked ugly and uninteresting.
Russia sent Russian lace, and a number of photographs of school children learning to sew. They also sent some lovely Russian embroidery, but no plain sewing.
Mexico had a case full of wonderful drawn work; France some wonderful designs for dresses, and some beautifully finished dress-waists, but the little under-garments were as coarse as those of Switzerland. This was a disappointment, because we always suppose that France sets the fashion for daintiness.
Two very interesting pieces of work had been loaned for the occasion: one, a sofa cushion worked by Martha Washington; and the other a map of England and Wales, done in Berlin wools by George Washington's aunt.
The map was beautifully worked, and was a marvel of neatness, with the counties all outlined in different colors, and their names worked in with very fine stitches.
Of Martha Washington's handiwork it is hard to speak. It was the ugliest sofa cushion you can imagine, worked in browns so that it should not show the dirt, and with such irregular stitches that either Madam Washington must have been losing her sight when she worked it, or else she was a very poor needle-woman.
The American exhibit had one wonderful case of work done by the blind. It consisted of patches with specimens of sewing and running on them, a great many very fairly done buttonholes, and several little dolls' aprons very neatly hemmed, and gathered with fine, even gathers.
It seemed impossible to believe that the hands that did this work had no eyes to guide them. The buttonholes were so well made that they looked like the work of some careful, clever young children.
What a wonderful age we live in! Fancy bringing the art of teaching to such perfection that the blind can be taught to sew! Our young folks ought to be very thankful that they are growing up at a time when teachers endeavor to make learning a pleasure as well as a profit. G.H.R.
We publish the following letter about the "Carved Cartoon":
This book deserves every word of praise given to it by our correspondent. It is one of the most delightful stories written. It treats of the adventures of Grinling Gibson, the famous carver in wood, who carved flowers so delicately that they could absolutely move on their stems. EDITOR.
To the Editor:
DEAR SIR.—Every year the cry for books increases. "Tell us what to read," is the constantly repeated demand, and parents, teachers, and publishers are often at a loss to keep the active brains of our young people supplied with sound, wholesome, and interesting literature.
Science, art, history, and zoology are presented to the little ones in varied and attractive forms, and now THE GREAT ROUND WORLD has come forward to fill a long-felt want by giving the boys and girls clean, healthy, and concise accounts of what is taking place in their own and other countries.
It has always seemed strange to me that so few parents place in their children's hands that beautiful story entitled the "Carved Cartoon." It is a book of breathless interest, containing the adventures of a young artist and a boy musician during the great London plague and fire.
The story is founded on fact, and the author's pen holds the reader entranced as it vividly pictures the stirring scenes of those thrilling years.
The noble character and brilliant talents of the young hero shine star-like through the surrounding darkness of greed, avarice, and poverty.
Trusting that no boy or girl will let an opportunity to read this fascinating book slip by, I am very cordially your interested reader,
ELEANOR MAUD C——.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
DEAR MR. EDITOR:
Would you kindly tell me what books to read? I am eleven years old, and the books I like best are Miss Alcott's "Little Men," "Jack and Jill," "Eight Cousins," and "Under the Lilacs," and Miss Sydney's "Five Little Peppers," and I like books of that style. I remain,
Your devoted reader, WALTER L.S.
P.S.—I read "Jack and Jill" six times.
NEW YORK, March 20, 1897.
"Beautiful Joe: the Autobiography of a Dog," by Marshall Saunders; "Black Beauty," by Sewell; "The Wonder-Book" and "Tanglewood Tales," by Hawthorne; "Greek Heroes and Greek Fairy Tales," by Kingsley; "Jackanapes," by Mrs. Ewing; "Ten Boys Who Lived on the Road from Long Ago," by Jane Andrews.
This list has been made for you by two very nice little girls named Clare and Eleanor. They have read and liked all the books in the list.
I like THE GREAT ROUND WORLD very much, and have just finished reading it. I would like to ask a few questions.
Do you think that Cuba will ever be free?
Do you think that the United States will help Cuba?
I was very much interested reading about the Inauguration.
I was very sorry about Dr. Ricardo Ruiz being killed in Cuba.
I was very much interested in the article about wheels.
I must now stop, and success to your paper.
Your affectionate reader, TOM M.A. March 20, 1897.
MY DEAR TOM:
Thank you for your nice letter. In answer to your questions: We do think that Cuba will be free, and that she will gain her freedom before very long. We do not think that this country will help Cuba. It hardly seems necessary now that we should help; the Spaniards are losing ground every day, and it will probably be best for the United States to wait until the brave little island has fought her last battle, and then let Uncle Sam come forward and help Cuba to re-establish her commerce.
I enjoy THE GREAT ROUND WORLD very much indeed, and wish the dreadful war with Cuba would stop; but I do not want the Cubans to give up; it is just like the Revolutionary War with us; we did not give up, and I hope Cuba won't.
I have a little black and tan dog, and call him Jack. He is very cunning indeed, he has a hard rubber ball he plays with. There also is another black and tan dog in the house whose name is Gipsy; she, also, is very cunning.
I remain your affectionate reader, HELEN A.S. NEW YORK, MARCH 20, 1897.
Many thanks, dear Helen, for your letter. We are quite of your opinion, and hope most sincerely that Cuba will not give up until she has won her freedom.
* * * * *
THE GREAT ROUND WORLD
A Series of True Stories
JULIA TRUITT BISHOP.
Attractively Illustrated by Barnes.
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These stories will be issued in parts. Price, 10 cents each. Subscription price (12 numbers), $1.00. Part 1. issued as supplement to GREAT ROUND WORLD. 19.
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The stories published in this little volume have been issued from time to time in the Philadelphia Times, and it is at the request of many readers that they now greet the world in more enduring form. They have been written as occasion suggested, during several years; and they commemorate to me many of the friends I have known and loved in the animal world. "Shep" and "Dr. Jim," "Abdallah" and "Brownie," "Little Dryad" and "Peek-a-Boo." I have been fast friends with every one, and have watched them with such loving interest that I knew all their ways and could almost read their thoughts. I send them on to other lovers of dumb animals, hoping that the stories of these friends of mine will carry pleasure to young and old.
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WILLIAM BEVERLEY HARISON,
3 & 5 West 18th Street.
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