VOL. 1 NOVEMBER 4, 1897. NO. 52
Copyright, 1897, by THE GREAT ROUND WORLD Publishing Company.
The situation in Cuba remains much the same.
The noteworthy event of the past week has been a sad and unfortunate shipwreck which occurred on October 16th.
On that day a Spanish steamer was wrecked off the coast of Pinar del Rio, while making the trip from Havana to Bahia Honda.
The Triton, as the steamer was called, was carrying soldiers' ammunition, money, and mules to be used against the Cubans in Pinar del Rio.
According to all accounts the steamer was so heavily laden that when she started her decks were only a few feet above the level of the water.
It was a very black and stormy night, and many sailors on the dock expressed fears that the vessel could not weather a storm in her heavily laden condition.
The trip she had to make was merely a matter of four hours, and the captain declared himself confident of bringing his vessel safely to port.
All went well till the Triton was within a few miles of her destination; when off the coast of Pinar del Rio she ran aground.
Those on board who were saved from the wreck said that the vessel was so heavily loaded that she was not able to take her usual course, and, because so much deeper in the water, ran aground on a bank that in her ordinary trips she could pass over without difficulty.
As long as the vessel had been cutting her way through the water, the heavy lading had caused little inconvenience, but when she grounded the waves began to wash over her decks, and cause much alarm to the passengers.
While the vessel was in great danger, she might still have been saved if it had not been for the mules. These beasts, becoming panic-stricken as the waves swept over the deck, stampeded to one side of the vessel, causing it to list over so much that the cargo shifted.
This is one of the most terrible accidents that can happen to a vessel.
The loading of a cargo is a very important thing, and is a business of itself. The men who direct it must understand just how to distribute the weight evenly in the hold, and how to pack the boxes and bales and barrels so tightly together that they cannot move, because if a cargo should shift it is liable to throw the ship out of her balance, and she is in danger of overturning and sinking.
This is what happened to the Triton. The mules and the shifted cargo together made such a heavy weight on one side that she keeled over, and within fifteen minutes of the time she first struck the bank she sank, carrying down with her one hundred and fifty of the passengers and crew.
The accident happened in the early dawn, when many of the people were asleep in their berths, and though the captain had them roused, and lowered the boats to try and take them off the sinking ship, the seas ran so high that the small boats were swamped, and it was impossible to save the unfortunate passengers.
The ship went down in one hundred and twenty fathoms of water, so it is not likely that her valuable cargo of arms and money will ever be recovered. The loss is a serious one to Spain at this moment, when she needs every penny she has to help her out of her many difficulties.
* * * * *
There are disquieting rumors that the Carlists are smuggling large quantities of arms into Spain from France, and it is thought that the long-deferred rising will occur very shortly.
Eleven thousand rifles are said to have been purchased in Belgium by the Carlist agents during the month of September.
* * * * *
There is a vague rumor that the Queen Regent and her new Prime Minister have arrived at the conclusion that the only possible end to the Cuban war will be to let the Cubans purchase the island.
There are a good many complications in the way of this action at present, because the European financiers, about whom we have spoken to you before, have advanced a great deal of money to Spain, the sugar and tobacco being taken as security for the return of their money. These people must first be reckoned with before any agreement to free Cuba can be made, but it is hinted by people close to the Government that the Queen and Senor Sagasta are considering a plan whereby they can allow Cuba to purchase her freedom without making bad friends with the financiers, or offending the pride of Spain.
It would seem that Senor Sagasta's policy is to put an end to foreign wars, and gather the strength of the Spanish army around the throne of Spain, so that it shall be well protected against the Carlist attack that will undoubtedly be made ere long.
A report has been received that the Spanish general in the Philippine Islands is treating with the insurgents for peace.
This report is published in one of the reliable Spanish papers, and it states that General Primo de Rivera has been discussing terms of peace with Emilio Aguinaldo, the insurgent leader.
The rebels have been so successful that they are not willing to make peace unless they get very good terms, and so they ask that all who have taken part in the revolt shall be given a free pardon, that three million pesetas (a peseta is worth about twenty cents) shall be paid to the insurgent chiefs, that the Philippine Islands shall be represented in the Spanish Cortes, and that half the government offices in the islands shall be held by natives. The insurgents also demand that the power of the priests shall be lessened, as the rebellion was really caused by the disagreements between the friars and the people.
* * * * *
An amusing filibustering incident has occurred during the week.
The Spaniards obtained information that the Cubans were fitting out a large expedition with arms and men for the insurgents. They had engaged a ship called the Premier for this purpose, and were making their preparations with all possible haste and secrecy.
The Spaniards gave information to our Government, and requested that the expedition be stopped.
But the Cubans have as many spies around as the Spaniards, and it was soon learned that the Premier expedition was known to the authorities. Without appearing to change their plans about the Premier, the Cubans made a secret arrangement with another ship called the Silver Heels, and prepared her to take their cargo instead of the Premier.
The watchful Spaniards soon found out about the new vessel, and even learned the hour and dock at which she was to receive her cargo.
Our Government was warned, and a revenue cutter got ready to intercept the Silver Heels as soon as she should really have started on her voyage.
The Cubans were attempting to load and despatch their vessel from the port of New York, and so it was expected that, with all the police boats and cutters available here, it would be an easy matter to catch and convict all concerned in the expedition.
A detective was sent to watch the dock at which the Silver Heels was to be loaded. Sure enough, the vessel slipped up to the pier as soon as night had fallen, and the detective watched suspicious-looking cases being hastily put on board, and suspicious-looking characters taking passage in her. He became convinced that a filibustering expedition was indeed being sent out. To make quite sure, he watched until the last of her load was put on board. The last man had reached the deck, and the vessel, in tow of a river tug, had once more pulled out of the dock.
He then hurried down to the Battery and told what he had seen, and with several other officers got on board the cutter and started to intercept the Silver Heels as she came down the Bay on her way to sea.
To you who do not know New York Harbor, it may be as well to explain that New York, or Manhattan, Island lies between the Hudson River and the Sound, an arm of the sea which is called the East River as it flows by New York.
This East River which, as it widens, becomes Long Island Sound, separates Manhattan Island from Long Island, which, as its name suggests, is a long strip of land stretching along the coast for miles above and below New York city, forming the beautiful New York Bay and Harbor below the city, and the equally lovely Long Island Sound above the city.
The Atlantic Ocean washes the outer shore of Long Island, and ships leaving the port of New York can reach the sea either by going above the city through Hell Gate and Long Island Sound, or below the city down the Harbor and Bay, and out through the Narrows, past Sandy Hook and Fire Island.
The route to Cuba is down the Bay. To attempt to make the journey by the Sound route is to go a good day's journey out of the way, so it never entered the heads of the officers on the cutter that the Silver Heels would start for Cuba by any such out-of-the-way route.
Putting off from the Battery, which is the extreme lower point of New York city, they steamed up and down the Bay, looking out for their prize.
The Silver Heels did not put in an appearance, however, and after waiting about three hours, the officers decided to go up the East River, and intercept the vessel while she was still in the river.
The night was dark, and the river full of shipping, but every craft that approached was carefully inspected, and still no Silver Heels was discovered.
After several tedious hours of waiting had been passed, the officers decided to steam up to the wharf and find out what had happened to the ship.
On reaching the pier it was learned, to the consternation of the marshals, that the Silver Heels had cleared nearly four hours before, and had been towed up the Sound, instead of down the Bay.
With such a start as that it was felt to be useless to attempt to overtake her, and the marshals left the cutter, and returned to their homes, wiser but sadder men.
* * * * *
The young Cuban, Miss Evangelina Cisneros, about whom we told you last week, has lost no time in putting herself under the protection of our flag.
The very morning of her arrival she went down to the County Court-House in City Hall Park, and there declared her intention of becoming an American citizen.
It is a very unusual thing for foreign-born women to become naturalized Americans. They rarely do so unless they wish to hold property in this country, for, having no vote or voice in the conduct of the Government, it is not so necessary for them to become citizens of their adopted country. When a woman marries she assumes the nationality of her husband, and can hold any property by right of her marriage, and the fact that all foreign women who marry Americans become Americans by their marriage is another reason why it is rarely necessary for women to take out their naturalization papers.
Miss Cisneros was, however, afraid that the Spanish Government might insist that the United States should send her back to her prison in Cuba, and so she hastened to give up her allegiance to Spain, and shelter herself under the protection of the American Government.
* * * * *
For some time past there has been a terrible epidemic of yellow fever in the South.
An epidemic means a disease that affects a large number of people at the same time and is widely spread.
The disease was first noticed in a little summer watering-place not far from New Orleans. It was not recognized as yellow fever, the doctors thinking it a harmless little summer fever, of which the symptoms are very similar.
Little by little the disease gained headway, until by the time its true character was understood it had taken a hold on the people and had become difficult to stamp out.
The strictest quarantine regulations were enforced as soon as the sickness was proved to be true yellow fever, even the passengers on the trains being inspected and closely watched before they were allowed to pass from infected districts to those which were free from the dreaded disease. With all the care it continued to increase, and has not yet been controlled.
On such occasions the scientists are always very busy. While some of the doctors are trying to cure the disease, others are busy preventing the sick persons from carrying the contagion to other places, and others again are occupied in trying to find the cause of the epidemic, and how to prevent it in future.
One of the scientists who have been working to prevent the disease has discovered the microbe which causes yellow fever, and claims that an epidemic can in future be prevented by inoculating people with it in the same way that they are now vaccinated for small-pox.
Small-pox was at one time a scourge throughout the world, and fearful outbreaks of this plague would occur wherever numbers of people were gathered together.
About the year 1718 an English lady travelling in Turkey noticed that inoculation was practised in that country with the greatest success, and that epidemics were greatly prevented thereby.
This lady, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, introduced the practice into England.
The idea was to introduce into the blood the germs of the dreaded disease, practically giving the patient a slight attack of small-pox, which made him proof against another attack.
Inoculation was, however, objected to, because sometimes the person operated on took the disease in its violent form, and died from the results.
The fact, however, remained that people who had been inoculated were not liable to take the disease again, and so much good resulted that the physicians were constantly seeking a means of inoculating that would insure only a mild form of the disease.
The problem was at last solved by the great English physician, Edward Jenner, in 1798.
He found that a form of small-pox was prevalent among cows, and that by taking the germs of this disease, which was called cow-pox, and putting them into the blood of human beings, he could produce a mild form of small-pox, which never assumed a dangerous character, and yet prevented the person treated from taking the real deadly small-pox.
From this experiment vaccination, as we know it to-day, resulted. The practice was given this name in France; the word is derived from vacca, the Latin for cow.
Since vaccination became general, the decrease in the rate of deaths from small-pox has been wonderful, and there has not been one serious epidemic where the practice has been followed.
Yellow fever is a much worse enemy to all people who live in warm climates than small-pox. It is a terrible disease, and often kills its victims in a few hours. All sailors and travellers in southern countries have to meet with the scourge, the sailors calling it familiarly "Yellow Jack."
If it is indeed true that by inoculation people can be made proof against this awful disease, it will be one of the greatest blessings this wonderful century has given to man.
As we have said, yellow fever visits our southern shores every year, though happily not often in an epidemic form. The Government has therefore sent an expert down to the affected districts to discover, if possible, where this disease comes from, and ascertain the best means of preventing it.
Dr. John Guiteras was chosen as the best man to send, and he reports that it is from Cuba that this unwelcome visitor makes its yearly call on us.
The doctor declares that the sanitary conditions in Cuba are dreadful. He says that nothing is done to keep the cities clean or healthy. The drainage in Havana is of the worst possible description, and in times of epidemic no attempt is made to prevent the spread of disease.
There is such constant communication between Cuba and the United States that our Government has been obliged to keep three health officers in the island to report on the state of things and enforce quarantine regulations when necessary.
Yellow fever breaks out regularly every year in Cuba, and the doctor declares that it would be an excellent thing for us if the Cubans were allowed to purchase their freedom under our protection, as we might then be able to induce them to put their country in a properly healthy condition, and save ourselves the trouble and cost of yellow-fever epidemics.
* * * * *
Prince Mavrocordato, the Greek minister who has been sent to Turkey to arrange the peace, has arrived in Constantinople, but, if all reports are true, he has not been received with the respect that he considered his due.
Some little annoyance at the custom-house put him so terribly out of temper that he was on the point of turning back and refusing to enter into any negotiations with Turkey at all. He was, however, pacified, and is now in the Turkish capital, ready to begin work.
The Sultan has announced positively that he does not intend to remove his troops from Thessaly until he has something surer to rely upon than a promise to pay the indemnity.
He has sent supplies of winter clothing to the army, and will keep his soldiers where they are until Greece has so arranged her affairs that he can feel sure of being paid.
Considering that the Powers are to take charge of the Greek treasury until he has been paid, this conduct seems rather extraordinary, but the Sultan is such an untrustworthy person himself that it is not to be wondered at that he has no faith in promises or honor.
Last week we prepared you for a surprise in regard to the settlement of the affairs in Crete.
His Majesty the Sultan has not kept us long waiting for it.
Forgetting that the Cretans accepted Home Rule from the Powers, and that the matter was supposed to have been settled, Abdul Hamid now comes forward with a little proposal of his own.
He suggests that all the occupants of Crete, Christians and Mussulmans alike, shall be forced to deliver up their weapons to the Turkish soldiers. That he, the Sultan, shall have the power to appoint whom he pleases as governor of Crete, and shall further be empowered to form a body of guards, half soldiers and half police, who shall have the duty of preserving the peace of Crete.
All this means, in so many words, that instead of a Christian governor, Home Rule, and the payment of a yearly tribute to the Turks, the Cretans shall go back to the old state they were in before Greece interposed.
We shall probably hear a good deal more about Crete before the winter is over.
* * * * *
England's conduct in regard to the seal question looks as if she had been playing the old child's game of asking her pinkie finger before she could give us a decided answer.
From Lord Salisbury's conduct in the affair, one would suppose that he had shut himself up in his study, and consulted the oracle:
"Pray, my dear little finger, pray tell me whether I shall join the seal conference or no? Yes—no—yes—no": and so on.
He has said "yes" and "no" so many times that it looks as though he had just come round to the pinkie again at "yes."
After stating that the end of the five years agreed on in Paris was time enough to consider the seal question, his lordship has now sent word to our ambassador that England will join the United States in a conference. The conference is to be held about the same time as the other one, but is to have no connection with it.
It seems a pity that England will not meet the Russian and Japanese delegates, because they may have some interesting information to offer. As we have said before, there was no question of discussing anything else but the decrease of the seal herds, and Japan has expressly stated that she will not enter into any other form of the subject.
It is, however, a point gained that England will discuss any part of the question, and it is to be hoped that this decision is final, and that Lord Salisbury may not set to work to recount his fingers, and make the pinkie come to "no" again.
* * * * *
There seems to be a growing desire for independence in Canada.
The French Canadians of the Province of Quebec are urging the people to demand complete independence from England. They have printed and circulated an appeal to the people to rise and demand their liberty.
We told you some time ago about England's idea of federating her colonies.
If this should be done, the mother country would have the right to demand that the colonies should contribute to her wars, and help her, and stand by her on all occasions. The federating of England and her colonies would bind them together in much the same way that our United States are bound together. They would be under one head and one government, but each portion of the empire would take its share of the profits and losses.
It is this which has roused the Canadians of Quebec.
Here is their complaint: "Canada, more securely chained, will be thrown into the defensive and offensive politics of Great Britain. We will be called upon to contribute toward the military and naval forces of that country. We will have to give our money and our blood to defend the interests of the noble lords who scorn us, the London merchants who exploit us, and the deserts of Africa or the plains of India will be our funeral pyres, where many of our people will sleep."
These fears were aroused when, in the latter part of September, it was announced that the Canadian Government was about to make large purchases of guns and cannon for the defence of Montreal.
These Canadians became afraid that they were to be drawn into some war in which they had neither interest nor concern, and they are now anxious to throw off the English yoke, and be free to make peace or war as they will.
* * * * *
As the winter approaches, the cry of famine is once more being raised in Ireland.
The potato crop appears to have failed entirely, and the grain, beaten down by storms and rain, has not ripened, but lays rotting in the fields where it was planted.
The cry of famine is heard from Ireland with more or less regularity every year, and therefore some people are inclined to doubt whether this is a genuine complaint, but from all one hears it would appear to be only too true.
Mr. John E. Redmund, member of Parliament for Waterford, Ireland, has stated that the present harvest is the worst since 1879, and that there is every reason to fear that a large portion of the Irish population will soon be on the verge of starvation.
To help these unfortunates, sixty-four of the Irish members joined in a petition to ask the Government to call an extra meeting of Parliament to vote money for the relief of the famine sufferers.
The Queen has the right to call the British Parliament into session at any time she deems it necessary, but for a long time it has been the custom for it to assemble in February and remain in session until August.
In reply to the petition from the Irish members, the Government stated that there did not seem to be any necessity for summoning a special parliament to deal with the Irish troubles, as, if the worst fears for Ireland were realized, the Government had power to use funds to relieve the people without waiting for the consent of Parliament.
The Irish members, in addition to asking for a special session of Parliament, entreated the Government to lower the rents of the Irish tenants.
The petition stated that, in consequence of the poor crops, it was hopeless to expect the tenants to pay their full rentals, and to avoid the suffering and bad feeling that arises from evictions, or turning out the people who are behind in their rents, it was begged that the Government would lower the rents by law.
The Government, however, absolutely declined to interfere in the matter, and this will have to be left to the good-will of the landlords.
Should the coming winter turn out as badly as it is feared, the chances are that there will be more bitter feeling between England and Ireland. The cause of the strife will be the money that England is said to owe to Ireland.
Some time ago the Queen appointed a committee to examine the accounts between the two nations, and see just exactly how each country stood on the books of the other.
When the committee handed in its report, every one was absolutely amazed to find that for nearly a hundred years England had been collecting about thirteen million dollars a year from Ireland over and above the sum which she had a right to ask for. It was further shown that the collection of this big tax was in direct violation of a treaty between England and Ireland.
If the horrors of famine overtake the Emerald Isle, the Irish people will certainly demand that this money be returned to them; but the sum is now so enormous that England can never return it in full, and, whatever she does for Ireland, the sister isle is sure to feel defrauded and unhappy.
* * * * *
Last July we told you about a great strike that was going on in London among the engineers. We said that the fight promised to be a long and bitter one, because both masters and men considered themselves in the right, and both had plenty of money to help them to stand by their opinions.
You will be surprised to learn that the strike is still in progress, and grows stronger as time goes by.
When the strike first began, but seventeen thousand men were involved in it; but finding the masters refuse to listen to the demands of the men, the labor unions have decided to call out the workers in thirty other important industries. This will make about four hundred thousand men in all on strike.
The complaint of the men is that they want a working day of eight hours, and do not want to work overtime unless they are paid extra for it.
The engineer's calling is a very hard one; in some branches the men are forced to work around boilers and furnaces where the heat is stifling. They feel that eight hours' labor a day is as much as they should be required to give, and that, if their employers want them to toil longer than their regular hours, they should be willing to pay them liberally for so doing.
The men do not like to work overtime. When their day's work is done they want to be able to go home and rest, and they declare that many of the masters force the men to work after hours without reason.
The contracts for making and building in large enterprises are nearly always what are called time contracts. This means that the contractor agrees to have the work finished by a certain time, and if he fails to keep his part of the bargain he has to pay a heavy forfeit for each day that he is behind time.
When the time for a contract is nearly up, it is often necessary for the men to work overtime to save the master his forfeit.
The men contend that the masters ought to be willing to pay extra for such service. To save them money they are asking the men to toil for them after their full day's work is done, and when they are so tired that it requires an extra effort to do the work.
The leaders of the strike think that overtime is unnecessary if the work is properly handled from the beginning, and they are anxious to make the rate so high that masters will not ask it of their men, unless under very unusual circumstances.
Of late both sides have shown a disposition to settle the strike, because many of the big contracts for work have had to be given out in foreign countries, owing to the duration and strength of the strike; but as neither side seems willing to give in, matters are at a standstill.
The Prince of Wales and Mr. Gladstone have both been asked to arbitrate the strike, but both of these great men have declined to interfere in the matter.
The engineers, however, realize that something must be done, so they are trying to bring the matter to an end by calling out such a number of other workmen that the trade of the country will be brought to a standstill.
There was a rumor that the engineers who work on the steamships would be called out and forced to go on strike. If this should prove true, every kind of business would be interfered with, for no steamers could leave the English ports without properly certificated engineers to run them, and no foreign mail of any sort could be sent out or brought into the country.
The agents of the great lines running between this country and England, which are nearly all owned by English firms, declared that they were not afraid of the strike hurting them. If their engineers should be called out, they asserted that they could find plenty of men to fill their places.
This is all very well from the point of view of the agents seated in their comfortable offices, but very few of us would be willing to trust our lives on the high seas to inexperienced engineers. We do not care to ride on the cars in times of strikes when green hands are put on to keep them running till the trouble is over, and on the cars we can get out any moment we feel afraid. But on the ocean it is altogether a different matter. There is no stopping the car and getting out at the next block, and it would probably pay the steamship companies better to agree to the engineers' terms than to run their ships empty.
* * * * *
The Duchess of Marlborough (formerly Miss Consuelo Vanderbilt) is now the happy mother of a baby son who may one day be the Duke of Marlborough.
When it came time to christen the infant, the Prince of Wales sent word that he would act as godfather to the noble baby.
The child has just been christened, and a grand ceremony was made of the affair in the Chapel Royal, St. James' Palace, which, by the way, is the same church in which Queen Victoria was married.
According to the Church of England, three sponsors are necessary to the christening of a baby. If it is a boy there must be two godfathers and one godmother; if a girl, two godmothers and one godfather.
It was therefore necessary to have two godfathers for this infant, who, as eldest son of the Duke of Marlborough, is known by the title of Marquis of Blandford.
The Prince of Wales was one godfather and the other was Mr. W.K. Vanderbilt, the grandfather of the baby.
The christening was a very grand affair, and after it was over the Prince of Wales presented the infant with a golden cup engraved with his own name and coat of arms, and the baby's name, John Albert Edward William, and the family coat of arms.
It seems that the young gentleman has good manners even at this early age, for when he was handed to his royal godfather for inspection he never whimpered, but, seeming to realize the honor that was being done to him, behaved with perfect propriety.
* * * * *
It may interest you to know that the Princess Kaiulani has arrived in this country.
The Princess is the daughter of Liliuokalani's sister, who married a Hawaiian gentleman named Cleghorn. Kaiulani, who is known as Miss Victoria Cleghorn, is said to be a very charming girl, highly educated and amiable. She is said to be quite pretty, and to look like a Spaniard or Cuban.
She is passing through this country on her way to Honolulu.
Because of the fact which we told you a little while ago that Liliuokalani was talking of abdicating in favor of Kaiulani, every one was anxious to find out from the young princess whether her visit to the Sandwich Islands had anything to do with the proposed annexation.
The young lady refused to speak on the subject. She said that she was simply going there to visit some old friends.
Her father, Mr. Cleghorn, who was taking her to Honolulu, declared himself opposed to annexation, but stated positively that the trip to Hawaii was merely a return home for his daughter, who had been finishing her education abroad.
* * * * *
Affairs in Guatemala continue in an unsettled condition.
While the Government continues to gain the upper hand, and the insurgent leaders are being defeated and obliged to flee the country, the condition of affairs is most distressing.
The rebel cause was so strong that none doubted that it would succeed. Numbers of the best people in the country sided with the rebels, and felt so sure of their ultimate success that they did not scruple to let it be known where their sympathies lay.
Now that the Government and Barrios have gained the victory, there is a panic throughout the country.
It is felt that the dictator will deal out a heavy punishment to all who have revolted against his rule, and in all parts of the country people are fleeing from his wrath, leaving their houses and plantations to go to rack and ruin.
Our Government fears that the lives and property of our citizens in Guatemala may be endangered in the general confusion, and therefore the cruiser Detroit has been sent down to the Gulf coast of Guatemala to protect the interests of our citizens.
* * * * *
We are sorry to tell you that the forest fires are still increasing in New York State.
Half of the people of the town of Huron have been engaged for three weeks in fighting the fires, but have made little or no headway.
Forest fires are also raging on the Alleghany Mountains, and word comes that the town of Altoona, Pa., is so shrouded in smoke from the fires that the sun at noonday is almost invisible.
Better news, however, comes from Nebraska. Rain has fallen there, and the terrible drought appears to be over. The farmers are using every moment of daylight to plough their fields and get them ready for the fall planting.
Showers have fallen almost daily over the State since the drought was broken, and, in the few days that have passed, the grass that was so terribly burned and parched has sprung up anew, until it looks quite fresh and green again.
The farmers are now feeling more hopeful.
* * * * *
We told you about a wonderful roller-boat that was being built in Toronto.
It was given its first trial on Saturday, and Mr. Knapp, its inventor, declared it to be a great success.
People who were on board this strange craft on its trial trip said that when the machinery was put in motion the sensation was anything but pleasant. According to their description, it seemed as if the whole ship was being lifted into the air, and tilted to such angle that it was bound to go over. When they, were half frightened out of their senses by the tilting, there came a noise as if all the machinery was bursting at the same moment, and when they had made up their minds that the whole affair was going to pieces, the vessel began to move through the water.
As soon as it was found that the ship really did move, and that nothing was going to blow up, everybody began to praise her, and the trial was pronounced a great success.
Although at the trial the boat proved very slow, the builder is so enthusiastic about her that he says he is confident she will be able to move through the water at the rate of sixty miles an hour.
If this feat is accomplished, the three thousand miles of sea that divide us from Europe will be crossed in two days and two hours.
LETTERS FROM OUR YOUNG FRIENDS.
Editor GREAT ROUND WORLD.
DEAR SIR: Can you tell me more about the map-holder mentioned in No. 47? W.J.B.
If you refer to the map-holder for bicycles, we would suggest that you apply to A.G. Spalding & Co., Broadway, New York. EDITOR.
Will you please explain in the next issue of THE GREAT ROUND WORLD who are eligible to seats in the House of Lords and in the House of Commons? By thus doing you will greatly oblige one who is very much interested in your paper.
Respectfully yours, N.R. MORRISTOWN, N.J.
The House of Peers (or House of Lords) is composed of all the peers of the United Kingdom, the representative Scottish peers, the Irish representative peers, and the lords spiritual.
A peer is the holder of one of the five degrees of nobility,—duke, marquis, earl, viscount, or baron. These men have their seats in the House of Lords by right of birth, and take possession of them when they come of age.
The House of Peers takes its origin from the body of lords and barons who were summoned to the king's councils in olden times. Besides the peers who sit in the House of Lords by right, and who are distinguished as the lords temporal, there are twenty-six other lords who also form a part of this body, and who are known as the lords spiritual. These are the two English archbishops and twenty-four bishops.
The House of Commons is composed entirely of men who are elected by the vote of the people.
There are no restrictions whatever of birth, education, or religion. Any freeman who is elected can sit in the House. At one time an endeavor was made to exclude a man who had been elected because he refused to take the oath which is administered to all members of Parliament before they can take their seats. This was Charles Bradlaugh. He said he did not believe in an oath, but offered to affirm, or give his word instead. The House of Commons refused to accept this, and Mr. Bradlaugh was not allowed to take his seat. He afterward stated that he was willing to take the oath as a matter of form, but this was again objected to. For six years he struggled for his seat, and at last was allowed to take it, after going through the form of the oath.
A cobbler has sat in the House of Commons and helped make laws for the people, and the members of Parliament are of all ranks and ages.
In England, however, men of fortune and family take more interest in the affairs of the nation than they do with us, and the majority of the members of the House of Commons are wealthy land-owners, baronets, and knights, who have large interests at stake, and young men of good family who have been educated with the express idea of going into Parliament as soon as they were able to find an opening.
I am one of your subscribers, and think THE GREAT ROUND WORLD a very interesting little paper. Do you think the man that went up in the balloon will succeed in finding the North Pole? I hope he will, and when he comes back give us a good history of it. And do you think that Cuba will get its freedom? I hope it will.
Yours truly, NEW PHILADELPHIA PA., LAURA G.
Great fears are entertained that Professor Andree has fallen a victim to his love for science, and is one more of the unfortunate men who have lost their lives in their search for the Pole.
In regard to Cuba—unless Spain really gives the Cubans liberal home rule that they can be happy under, they will certainly fight until they are free.
We have received a batch of delightful letters from a school in Foxboro, Mass. We take great pleasure in printing the three following. EDITOR.
Your paper came this week. As we read the notes I thought they were quite interesting. I should like to see one of those meteorites you told us about. I shall be very glad when your next paper comes, so I can read about Lieutenant Peary. The school is going to write to you and tell you how we liked your paper.
Yours truly, FOXBORO, MASS. C. IRENE B.
We received our paper this morning. We have only read two stories, but we think we shall like it. Our teacher read us about Lieutenant Peary, and about the meteorites he got from Greenland, and about the Tennessee bicycle. Each one in the school wrote a letter. We are going to select the best ones and send them to you. Yours truly,
RALPH E. FOXBORO, MASS.
We received our paper to-day. I think we shall like THE GREAT ROUND WORLD very much. Our teacher read about the meteorites and the bicycles. Each one of us is writing a letter. Yours truly,
P.S.—I have hurt my right fingers and can't write very well, but am learning to use my left hand.
Every one ought to learn to write with their left hand. In England boys and girls are taught to write with both hands. There is a book published explaining the method. EDITOR.
Can you give me further information relative to condensed food described on page 1267 of THE GREAT ROUND WORLD? What the probable cost will be; where can it be obtained; how soon before it can be bought; and any other facts you may know relative thereto, and greatly oblige,
Yours truly, E.A.H.
For further information about the condensed food, we would suggest that you address the New York Condensed Food Co., New York. EDITOR.