THE GREAT ROUND WORLD
AND WHAT IS GOING ON IN IT
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VOL. 1 MARCH 25, 1897. NO. 20
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A Committee has been appointed by the English Parliament to inquire about the raid made by Dr. Jameson into the Transvaal in December, 1895.
All London is deeply interested in this matter, so much so that a number of the great English peers are present at the meetings, even the Prince of Wales having attended several of them.
These meetings are held in Westminster Hall, which is one of the most interesting buildings in London.
It was begun by King William Rufus, about 1090, and was used by the early English Kings as a banqueting hall.
All the Kings and Queens of England until the time of George IV. were crowned in Westminster Hall, and in this same building Charles I. was condemned to death, and Oliver Cromwell was declared Protector of England, and here the first Parliaments sat.
Westminster Hall after a while became part of the King's palace of Westminster, where the famous Henry VIII. lived. This palace was destroyed by fire except the grand old Hall, which was left standing alone until the new Houses of Parliament were built on the ground where the palace had once stood, and the Hall became a part of the Houses of Parliament.
This grand old building with its wonderful arched roof has seen many great assemblies in its 800 years of life, but this inquiry into the affairs of the Transvaal is by no means the least interesting of them.
If you take your map, you will see that the southern part of Africa is divided into several states and colonies.
Cape Colony, the most southerly of all, belongs to England. Then comes the Orange Free State, and then the South African Republic, or the Transvaal, as it is called. You will notice that the English possessions creep up the coast in front of the Transvaal, and also form its western or land boundary.
The Transvaal is a Republic originally settled by the Dutch. Its inhabitants are called Boers, and they are a race of sturdy farmers. It is from their employment that they get their name of Boer. In the Dutch language boer means a peasant, a farmer, or a tiller of the soil. It is the same word as the German Bauer, a peasant.
These Boers are governed by a clever old man named Paul Krueger,—Oom (or Uncle) Paul, as his people call him.
England, as you will see by your map, owns vast tracts of land in South Africa, and according to her regular practice she is trying to enlarge her possessions still further. Wherever England establishes a colony, she reaches out on either side of her, and takes, if possible, a little piece of land here, and another little scrap there, until by and by she has laid hold of the greater part of the land around her.
She has been following her usual custom in South Africa.
But the Boers are not fond of the English, and they have been trying with all their power to keep these neighbors of theirs as far away from them as possible. As the English have advanced, the Boers have retreated, even giving up the diamond mines of Kimberly in the process of moving.
One day, however, rich gold-fields were discovered on the Witwaters Rand. A Rand is the high land on either side of a river valley.
This settled matters for the Boers. From the moment gold-fields were discovered, Englishmen poured into the Transvaal.
The Boers, who, as we have said, are a quiet farming people, were not pleased with this invasion of foreigners. They christened them Uitlanders, which means outsiders, and they are decidedly not in love with them.
The capital of the Transvaal is a town called Pretoria. It is the seat of the government, and is a simple, unpretentious town, situated in the centre of the little Republic.
When the Uitlanders poured over the borders into the gold-fields, they desired to have a town somewhat nearer to the Rand and the gold-fields than Pretoria was, so they founded Johannesburg.
This town flourished amazingly, and soon far outstripped Pretoria in size and importance, just as the Uitlanders had outstripped the Boers in point of numbers and wealth.
The native population of the Transvaal is very scattered. They are a nation of farmers, and at the present time there are only about 15,000 Boer men in the whole territory, while of the English-speaking Uitlanders there are more than five times that number.
No sooner did Johannesburg grow to be a powerful city, than the Uitlanders, her citizens, demanded that they should have a voice in the government of the country.
They complained that they were hardly used by the Boers, and made to pay heavy taxes.
The taxes are certainly heavy, but they are levied upon the gold miners, who have come to the Transvaal for the sole purpose of making fortunes out of the gold deposits; these fortunes they wish to carry away with them to their own country.
The Boers, very naturally, think that some portion of these riches should be paid to the country which gave them, and they cannot see by what right these foreign gold-hunters expect to have a voice in the government.
One of the great grievances of the Uitlanders is that the Boers will not have English taught in the schools, and that their children are obliged to learn the language of the country if they go to the public schools.
These demands of the Uitlanders will seem all the more absurd when it is understood that they do not ask for a voice in the government as citizens of the country. None of these English-speaking people have so much as offered to become citizens of the Transvaal. They are not even willing to be. They wish to keep their right of citizenship in their own country, that they may have the protection of England, and be able to return there as soon as they have made their fortunes.
However, while they are in the Transvaal, digging their gold out of its soil, they want to be able to govern the country in their own way, and are loud in their outcries against the Boers for preventing them from doing so.
Under the laws of the Transvaal it is very easy to become a citizen.
A man has only to live there two years before he can become a citizen, and have all the share in the government that he is entitled to.
But this the Uitlanders are not willing to do. They want everything for nothing.
Does not their request seem outrageous?
The Uitlanders kept up their demands for a share in the government, and the Boers steadily refused them.
Then the population of Johannesburg began to arm itself, and the Boers quietly watched them.
At last, word was sent to Dr. Jameson from the leading Uitlanders in Johannesburg that the Boers were up in arms, and that the people of Johannesburg were in danger of their lives.
They begged Dr. Jameson to come to their aid, in the name of humanity.
Dr. Jameson did not send this appeal on to his superiors, and wait for orders, as he should have done, but thinking that he was doing a glorious deed, he gathered a little force of eight hundred men together, and cutting down the telegraph wires behind him, so that no orders could reach him and stop him, he dashed into the Transvaal to the relief of Johannesburg.
Almost within sight of Johannesburg he was met by the Boers, under their leader, General Joubert.
Here a dastardly thing happened.
The Uitlanders, who had sent for this brave but foolish man, did not raise a finger to help him, but stayed like cowards within the walls of their city, while the little body of men, worn out with their long march, were cut to pieces by their enemy.
At last, when all hope was at an end, and but a hundred and fifty were left of his party, Dr. Jameson surrendered, and he and the remnant of his men were taken prisoner and conveyed to Pretoria.
Great excitement was felt in both Cape Colony and England. Nobody wanted to take the blame for the raid, but every one felt that if Dr. Jameson had succeeded instead of having failed, England would have added the Transvaal to her possessions, and said as little about it as possible.
Dr. Jameson having failed, matters were very different.
President Krueger demanded to know why England had allowed an armed force to enter the territory of a country with which she was at peace, and wished to know by whose authority the raid was made.
England at once declared that she had had no hand in the matter, and asked that Dr. Jameson and the rest of the prisoners might be sent to her, to be dealt with according to her laws.
After some delay President Krueger agreed to do this, and the remnant of the famous raiders was shipped to England.
On their arrival they were tried for breaking the laws, and the officers and Dr. Jameson were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment, varying from five to fifteen months.
This ended the matter as far as Dr. Jameson was concerned—but not for the Government.
The Boers presented a claim to the British Government for damages sustained by them from the raid. Their claim is for $8,000,000.
They ask three millions for material damage, which means the cost of the men and arms they used to defeat the raiders, and five millions for "moral and intellectual damage," which means wounded feelings and general annoyance.
There was much amusement in the British Parliament when the claim was made, and the members laughed heartily at the idea of moral and intellectual damage.
In the same way that we manage these matters in our Senate, the affair was referred to a committee.
This committee has to inquire into the matter, see if the claim is a just one, and whether England ought really to pay money to the South African Republic.
It is this committee which is sitting in Westminster Hall.
All London was interested when Mr. Cecil Rhodes was called before it and put on the stand as a witness. Mr. Rhodes was the Prime Minister of Cape Colony, and resigned his position when the trouble came about the Raid.
He is perhaps the most important man in all South Africa. It is his desire to bring the whole of this territory under English rule, and it is thought that this ambition was at the root of the Jameson Raid, and that Cecil Rhodes is really the person who is responsible for it.
It is also whispered that the English Government looks favorably upon his plans, and that the Raid was only a part of a deep-laid scheme to overthrow the Boer Government, and seize the Transvaal for England.
The Boers evidently believe this side of the story, for at the opening of their Parliament the other day, Oom Paul, the valiant old President, stated that it was the object of the enemy to destroy the Republic, but that the Boers must rely upon the help of God. He closed his speech with the solemn words:
"The Lord will not forsake His people!"
Mr. Cecil Rhodes has been asked by the Committee of Inquiry to explain the trouble in South Africa, and he has done so at great length.
His explanation is, however, a trifle funny to fair-minded persons who believe that the old maxim, "What is mine is mine, and what is thine is thine," should be strictly obeyed.
Mr. Rhodes has made a long complaint against the Boers for not allowing strangers and foreigners to help them govern their own country. He has pictured the woes of the Uitlanders because they are not allowed to govern, and because their children are not taught English in the schools, and moreover, because they are made to pay heavy taxes for the gold they mine and carry away. They have still another grievance. Any favor that the Boers show at all is shown to Germans, and not to Englishmen. The Boers will not allow any of the products of Cape Colony within their borders, but prefer to do their trading with Germany. A dreadful offence truly, that they choose their own markets!
The Commission has heard Mr. Rhodes with great seriousness and a good deal of sympathy.
So far, strange to say, it does not seem to have occurred to any member of the august assembly which is making the inquiry, that the Uitlanders are mere squatters in the Transvaal, and that if they don't like the ways of the country they are visiting, there is nothing to prevent them from packing up their traps, and going back whence they came.
Mr. Cecil Rhodes has not attempted to hide the fact that he did his best to stir up the uneasy feeling in Johannesburg that led to the Jameson Raid.
He admits that he sent Dr. Jameson to the borders of the Transvaal with orders to hold himself in readiness for an emergency.
He does not allow that he is responsible for the actual raid itself, because Dr. Jameson acted without orders when making it.
He does not deny, however, that he hoped to overthrow the Boer Government, and President Krueger.
One of the members of the committee asked him if he meant to make himself President in the place of Oom Paul, but he denied that he had any such idea.
He gave, as a final reason why the cause of the Uitlanders was a just cause, that "no body of Englishmen will ever remain in any place for any period, without insisting on their civil rights."
There is quite a sprinkling of Americans among the Uitlanders, but it is to be hoped that they understand the duties of citizenship too well to be among the discontents who demand its privileges without being willing to undertake its penalties.
The Boer Parliament has, since the sitting of the committee in London, refused the Uitlanders' last appeal for a voice in the government, and it is thought that England will refuse to pay the money damages claimed by the Republic.
It is thought that the result of the matter will be a war with the Boers, in which England will struggle to overthrow the other South African governments, and secure the control of the whole of that vast territory for herself.
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Matters in Greece are growing more serious. Much has happened within the last few days.
On further consideration of the offers of the Powers, Greece refused home rule for Crete, and declared her intention of carrying out her plan of reunion with the island.
She boldly defied the Powers, and declared that she would yield only to superior force.
In replying to the note from the Powers ordering her to withdraw her troops from Crete, her Prime Minister, Delyannis, said that while Greece would not leave Crete, there should be no fighting with the Turks unless an attempt was made by them to carry the war into Greece itself. Unless the Turks invade Greece, the Greek army would only remain in Crete to protect the Christians there. If, however, the Powers made matters too difficult for Greece in Crete, she would of course have to protect herself.
This reply put Europe in a very difficult quandary. Greece says she is ready to fight the whole of Europe rather than leave her brothers in Crete in the power of the Turks.
The Powers, having threatened to make her obey if she refused to comply with their wishes, are now aghast at the prospect of having to fight with the heathen Turks against the Christian Greeks, or else steam back to their respective countries, snubbed and ridiculous.
They have long been conferring together to prevent any further misrule in Turkey, and to efface this monarchy, which is a disgrace to Europe, and they find that, by their too hasty interference, they have put themselves in the position of having to uphold the Turkish misrule against their own convictions.
The Turks are so convinced that Europe is going to stand by them, that large bodies of them are parading the streets of Canea, crying for the blood of the Christian "dogs," as they call them, and apparently expecting that the Powers are going to help them in a general massacre of the Greeks.
This state of affairs is particularly dreadful, because, at the time of the massacre of the Armenians by the Turks, not one of the European Powers fired a shot to prevent it. All that was done was accomplished by talks and conferences with the Ambassadors.
Now, when Greece tries to free her Christian brothers from the grasp of the Turks, these same Powers train their guns on the Greeks, and lend the Turks their aid to force the Christians back under the control of the murdering Turks!
It is a monstrous situation, and one that makes every honest man hate the diplomacy and politics of nations that make such things possible and necessary.
When Greece sent her defiant answer to the Powers, they had a long conference, and after much talk, decided to send their Ultimatum to Greece.
An Ultimatum means a final condition, which, if refused, will break off all attempts at settling matters peaceably.
The Ultimatum of the Powers was written in two separate letters.
The first requested Greece to withdraw her ships and soldiers within six days.
This has been presented.
In case Greece refuses to withdraw, the second note will be given her. This states that the Powers will immediately use force to make her do as they desire. This of course means that war will be declared.
It is said that the Greeks are not likely to obey the wishes of the Powers, and that the King of Greece intends to refuse, and then to take his own course.
It is said that King George has declared himself quite ready for a war with Turkey, and that he does not intend to allow the Powers to tell him what he is to do.
Greece is making preparations for war, has called out her army reserves, and is massing her troops all along the Turkish frontier, expecting that the war will be on the mainland, and not on the island of Crete. Greece expects that should war be declared Turkey will at once try to cross her borders and conquer her. If Turkey does not attempt this, Greece will cross into Turkish territory, and endeavor to reconquer the various ancient Greek provinces which are now under the rule of Turkey. The Servians, Bulgarians, and Montenegrins are also arming and rising, and will side with Greece in case the war breaks out.
If you look these little countries up on the map, you will find that they lie on the Northern side of European Turkey, while Greece is on the Southern side. If these countries do really come to the aid of Greece, Turkey will find herself between two enemies, and will have a difficult war to fight.
It is not true that Russia is at the bottom of this Cretan trouble.
She has evidently been acting sincerely this time. She has warned Greece to stop her quarrel with Turkey, has sent word to her that she very much disapproves of the way she is behaving, and as Greece has not listened to her protests, she has finally broken off all diplomatic relations with her. This, you remember as in the case of Venezuela, means that Russia and Greece are no longer on speaking terms.
Russia is very angry with Greece for refusing her advice, and Greece feels very bitterly toward Russia for helping in the bombardment of the Greeks at Akrotiri.
So deep is the feeling between them, that when the Russian court sent the appointment of Honorary Admiral of the Russian Navy, as a compliment, to Queen Olga of Greece, she returned it indignantly, saying she could not hold any rank in a navy that had fired upon Greeks and Cretans.
Europe is still looking around for some one on whom to cast the blame for the Cretan muddle. The present idea is that England is the guilty party. This last report may not have any more truth in it than that about Russia, but it is now, said that England is bent upon conquering the Transvaal, and securing South Africa for herself, and that she has stirred up all this Cretan mischief, so that Germany and the other European Powers may be too busy at home to look after her abroad.
Whoever is to blame, the Greeks are going steadily ahead. Fighting continues, the Greek arms being mainly successful.
Turkey has tried to send fresh troops to Crete, but has been prevented by the Powers.
The ports of Crete are closely blockaded, and the island is running short of food.
There is a story that when the Greek fleet was ordered to leave Cretan waters by the Powers, its commander, Commodore Reinecke, replied that he would only obey the orders of his own government, and that, though the Powers sank his ship, he would not move until he had his country's orders to do so.
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Good has come out of evil.
The cruel death of the unfortunate Dr. Ruiz in Cuba has aroused and alarmed the government into looking more closely after our citizens there.
For one reason or another, Mr. Olney chose to disbelieve the stories from Cuba, and tried to throw discredit on General Lee, declaring that his action in the Ruiz matter had been hasty and unwarranted, and that things were not so bad in Cuba as he stated them to be.
Mr. Cleveland and the Senate refused to be satisfied with this statement, and demanded that all the papers relating to our citizens who are imprisoned in Cuba should be laid before them.
At the same time, Senator Morgan offered a joint resolution, demanding the immediate release of General Julio Sanguily.
General Sanguily, who was a famous Cuban general in the previous war against Spain, has been many months in Cuban prisons, and was at one time condemned to penal servitude at the Spanish settlement in South Africa.
Through the representations of our government a new trial was secured for him, and he was finally set free.
The manner of freeing him was very Spanish. Word was sent to him that if he would declare himself guilty of treason against Spain he would be given his liberty. This he refused to do. He had not very much faith in the Spaniards, and he was not sure that it might not be a trap which they were setting for him. He feared that if he declared himself guilty, they would make it a pretext for putting him to death.
Mr. Olney however, persuaded him to do as Spain wished, Minister de Lome having explained to him that Spain would graciously pardon General Sanguily if he acknowledged his guilt.
So the farce was played according to Spain's wishes, and the innocent Sanguily declared himself guilty, that he might he pardoned for an offence which he had never committed. He was thereupon set free, and made the best of his way over to America and security.
This Sanguily farce has been made to answer another purpose.
Spain is very tired of Weyler, and the complete failure of the great campaign in which he was going "to eat up the Cubans at his leisure," has made Spain lose faith in him.
The constant battles in the provinces which he had declared pacified, the ease with which Gomez crossed the Trocha which had cost Spain so much money, and the repeated defeats of the Spanish arms, settled the business, and it was decided that Weyler must be removed from Cuba.
For some unknown reason, Spain does not want to disgrace Weyler, in spite of his failures, so they have allowed him to use the release of Sanguily as a pretext for disagreeing with the government, and resigning his position in Cuba. The Spaniards seem to be most careful of their friends' feelings, and most polite in all their dealings with one another. It is a pity that this very delicate code of honor does not prevent them from murdering helpless prisoners, and insulting defenceless women.
The release of Sanguily has aroused some very bitter feeling in Havana, and the Spaniards are saying that Spain ought not to submit to it, nor to General Lee's conduct in regard to the murder of Ruiz.
These murmurs are so loud and threatening, that all the Americans who can do so are leaving the island with all possible speed.
Should the Spanish attack them, they have no means of defence; the Consulate is an unprotected building, and Consul Lee has no men at his disposal to protect them.
Gomez appears to be advancing toward Havana.
From the last reports a large body of insurgents was seen at Cienfuegos. They mustered about 5,000 men, and were supposed to be commanded by General Gomez himself. The news was brought by bands of Spanish soldiers who had fled at his approach.
They said the army was marching in long lines, two foot-soldiers abreast, with the cavalry covering them on the two sides, one horseman behind the other.
Cienfuegos is about two hundred miles from Arroyo Blanco, where Gomez won his great fight. To reach this place he has crossed the great Eastern Trocha, and is now but a hundred and fifty miles from Havana.
It is reported that General Weyler came back to Havana suddenly and unexpectedly, and it may have been in consequence of the approach of Gomez.
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The filibusters are busy again.
Word was sent to the Treasury Department the other day, that a large steamer, supposed to be carrying arms and men to Cuba, had left Barnegat, on the Jersey Coast.
It was reported that this steamer was the Laurada, the famous filibuster, about which we spoke in Numbers 6 and 9 of THE GREAT ROUND WORLD.
The Laurada came back from her Spanish trip, and appeared to be conducting herself like a good, peaceable steamer; but, if reports are true, she has suddenly commenced her tricks again.
She took on coal and provisions at Baltimore, pretending she was going to Philadelphia, but she has not yet been heard of at that port.
A steamer answering to her description has appeared off Barnegat, taken on quantities of arms and ammunition, and about a hundred men, among whom it is supposed was General Carlos Roloff, the insurgent Minister of War.
The little revenue cutter Manhattan was ordered out of New York Harbor, to arrest her; and loaded with arms, and with four United States Deputy Marshals, she hurried off in chase of the naughty steamer.
She made all haste to Barnegat, having to make her way through heavy seas that tried the nerves and the stomachs of the passengers.
When she arrived, there was no Laurada in sight; that saucy vessel had made the most of her opportunities, and was a hundred and fifty miles down the coast. The marshals got nothing for their trouble but a chilly trip and a bad attack of sea-sickness.
It seems that the secret of the expedition was ferreted out by some Pinkerton detectives, who are in the employ of the Spanish.
These worthies heard about the expedition, and hired a boat and went out after the Laurada. They came up with her as she was taking on her cargo, but she was far enough away from the coast to be what is termed "on the high seas," too far out for interference from anything but a man-of-war or a revenue cutter.
The story goes, that the tug which carried the Pinkerton men circled round the Laurada several times, and saw the men being transferred from the barge to the steamer. These men, in their pleasure at having outwitted the Spanish detectives, beguiled the moments of waiting by making ugly faces at the Pinkerton men, and calling them various foreign names, until the detectives finally steamed off to give information, and get revenge.
There are rumors that two other expeditions have sailed for Cuba, or are about sailing. The South Portland is supposed to be already on her way, and the Bermuda to be waiting off Long Island for a large party.
It is supposed that the filibusters hope the change in the Administration may have made things a little easier for them. They appear to have waited for President McKinley's election to try once more to help their friends.
It remains to be seen what action our new President will take in the matter.
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The case of the Three Friends has been up in courts again.
You remember how she was seized, and the case against her was dismissed because Judge Locke decided that, as President Cleveland had declared there was no state of war in Cuba, the vessel could not be breaking any laws in carrying merchandise to Cuba.
This decision was appealed against, and was taken into the higher courts for further consideration.
The higher court has decided that as it was known that troubles of a warlike nature were going on, the Three Friends was guilty of breaking the laws, and should never have been set free. Chief Justice Fuller therefore decided that a new trial must be held, and the steamer once more taken into custody.
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News comes from Siam that the government there has agreed to arbitrate the Cheek Teakwood claim, in the endeavor to settle which our Vice-Consul, Mr. Kellett, was wounded, as we told you in Numbers 16 and 17 of THE GREAT ROUND WORLD.
The Siamese government has also agreed to look into the matter of the assault on Mr. Kellett, and punish the guilty persons.
As you will see in Number 17, Mr. Olney hinted that Consul-General Barrett had been over-hasty, and that the Siamese were not to blame.
He made similar remarks about General Lee in Cuba.
He does not seem to want our Consuls to protect our citizens in foreign countries, and it is perhaps a good thing for the nation that he has no longer the power to hinder them in the performance of their duties.
Consul-General Barrett's claim proves to have been just and right, by the action of the Siamese government.
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Blondin, the celebrated tight-rope walker, has just died in London, at the age of seventy-three.
The performance which made him famous was the crossing of Niagara Falls on the tight-rope.
Blondin was a Frenchman, his father having been one of Napoleon's soldiers.
A story is told of him that when he was five years old he saw an acrobat performing on a tight-rope.
He was so pleased with what he saw, that when he got home he stretched a rope between two posts, and, as soon as his mother was out of the way, took his father's fishing-rod, and, using it as a balancing pole, made his first appearance as a tight-rope walker.
He was trained for an acrobat and tight-rope walking, and came to this country with a troup of pantomimists.
While here he visited Niagara Falls, and the idea at once struck him that, if he dared to cross those terrible waters on a rope, his fortune would be made. He made up his mind to try it, and stayed in the village of Niagara for weeks, until he had learned just how it would be possible for him to perform the feat.
Then he set about getting the scheme well advertised, and securing plenty of money for himself if he succeeded in accomplishing it.
On August 17th, 1859, he made the trip across the Falls in the presence of 50,000 spectators.
His rope was 175 feet above the waters.
He was not satisfied with merely walking across; he crossed again blindfolded, and then carrying a man on his back, and once again wheeling a barrow before him.
In the summer of 1860 he crossed once more in the presence of the Prince of Wales, and carried a man on his back, whom he set down on the rope six times, while he rested.
* * * * *
News has reached us that a great avalanche of snow has fallen upon the Monastery of St. Bernard, and has destroyed the left wing of the building, though happily without costing any lives.
The Great St. Bernard is a mountain pass in the Swiss Alps, and the monastery was built in the year 963 by a nobleman named Bernard de Menthon, for the use of pilgrims on their way to Rome.
As the years have passed away, the pilgrims have become tourists, but still the monastery's doors have been open for all who asked for shelter there. There is sleeping accommodation for one hundred people, but in bad weather as many as six hundred guests have been sheltered at one time.
Snow avalanches like the one which has destroyed the wing of the monastery are of frequent occurrence there. An avalanche is a mass of snow, which, getting loosened from the mountain heights, falls down to the valley, often bearing masses of rock and earth with it. As it sweeps down the mountain side it carries all before it, and when it is finally checked in its course, it smothers everything around in its mantle of white.
It has always been a part of the monks' duties, after one of these dreadful avalanches has passed over, to go out into the mountains and search for travellers who may have been buried by it.
To help them in this work they keep a number of the St. Bernard dogs, which we all know and love so well.
The monks usually go out each day in couples, taking dogs and servants with them.
The dogs can scent out any poor creature who may lie buried in the snow, and they run around, sniffing and seeking, seeming thoroughly to understand what is expected of them. When they find any one, they howl, and scratch at the snow till their masters come to them.
They are so clever that they often show the monks the way home, when all traces of the road are shut out by the snow.
Sometimes, when the storm is so bad that the monks dare not venture, the dogs are sent out alone, each with a little keg of brandy tied round his neck. They find the travellers, and show them the way to the monastery.
One of these wonderful dogs, named Barri, saved twenty persons from a horrible death.
GENIE H. ROSENFELD.
We stated, in regard to Oscar of Sweden, that the Prince Oscar who married Lady Ebba Munck was the eldest son of King Oscar.
We should have said the second son.
LETTERS FROM OUR YOUNG FRIENDS.
The Editor has much pleasure in acknowledging letters from Robertson B., Grace K., and M.T.W.
We are very glad to know that the trees that were moved are alive and doing well.
DEAR MR. EDITOR:
I read THE GREAT ROUND WORLD and I think it very nice. I am glad to read in the number for February 25th about the moving of Katonah, for I live in Katonah myself.
The people of Katonah do not want to have it thought that New York city has made them move because they are careless about their drainage. It is because the city is going to make a new reservoir where the old village of Katonah now stands. Katonah has three churches, a public library and reading-room, a village improvement association, and a graded school, and was proud of itself.
We hope the new village will be even nicer than the old one. The trees that were moved are living and doing well.
Yours truly, ROBERTSON B. (Age 11). KATONAH, N.Y., March 2d, 1897.
I have been reading THE GREAT ROUND WORLD for three or four months, and like it very much. I am particularly interested in the Cubans, and hope they will soon gain their freedom.
I have just finished "Little Women," and perhaps the other little girls and boys have read it, too. I think it is splendid.
I am eleven years old, and this is my first letter, so I hope you will publish it.
Wishing THE GREAT ROUND WORLD continued success, I am
Yours truly, GRACE K. GREENSBORO, N.C., Feb. 27th, 1897.
DEAR MR. EDITOR:
My teacher subscribes for your paper for children, so that I learn a great deal. I liked the account about the Nicaragua Canal very much last week, as I know little about it.
I look every week with pleasure for the coming of THE GREAT ROUND WORLD, as I am so interested in all the news you give us. Wishing your paper great success, I am
Your little reader, M.T.W. (Age 9). NEW YORK, March 3d, 1897.
INVENTION AND DISCOVERY.
A new paper doll has been invented by a Brooklyn woman.
It is so arranged that the arms and legs are fastened on movable discs, and Miss Dolly, instead of being the flat, uninteresting thing that most paper dolls are, can move her arms and legs, and attend tea parties, and take refreshments, just as any well brought-up stuffed dolly can.
She is to wear a great many beautiful dresses, which will take on and off easily, and will be a very nice companion for the little women who live in apartments, and have not much room for their dollies.
* * * * *
Scissors or shears.
This is a very useful invention for a boy's tool-box or for mamma's work-table.
It is a combination affair. In the first place, it looks like an ordinary pair of scissors. But when you open them to cut anything, you get the first surprise: one of the blades is marked off in inches, half-inches, quarters, eighths, and sixteenths.
Then when you are prepared for the wonders these shears have to show, you find that on one handle is a hammer-head, and that they can be used as a hammer. Close to the hammer-head a screw-driver is arranged. At the point of the shears is an awl for boring holes; and, most practical of all, the scissors when they are opened out form a perfect carpenter's square.
This wonderful tool was invented by Benjamin Ford, of Newcastle, Maine. Any boy who has such a pair of shears, and a paper of screws in his pocket, can build and make to his heart's content, and the happy mother who has this tool on her work-table is done forever with breaking her back over the tool-chest, to find some particularly elusive screw-driver or gimlet.
* * * * *
Photographs in relief.
A new plan in regard to photographs has been invented.
It is to take a photograph, similar to the one that is to be embossed, and, after cutting it in a certain way, press the portions outward that it is desired shall stand in relief.
An open mask of the same shape as the photograph is then used, and the two photographs are dampened and pressed tightly together until the face and figure stand out from the card, and the picture looks as if it had been carved in wood.
This is a very ingenious invention, but the work is very difficult, and can only be done by people who are regularly trained to do it.
* * * * *
FIRST BOUND VOLUMES
The Great Round World
Containing Nos. 1 to 15
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FOUR FAMOUS BOOKS
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1. Foods and Beverages, by E.A. BEAL, M.D. Contains reading lessons on the various kinds of Foods and their hygienic values; on Grains, Fruits, and useful Plants, with elementary botanical instruction relating thereto; and on other common subjects of interest and importance to all, old and young. 281 pages. Cloth, 60 cents.
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3. Man and Materials, by WM. G. PARKER, M.E. Shows how man has raised himself from savagery to civilization by utilizing the raw material of the earth. Brings for the first time the wonderful natural resources of the United States to the notice of American children. The progress of the Metal-Working arts simply described and very attractively illustrated. 323 pages. Cloth, 60 cents.
4. Modern Industries and Commerce, by ROBERT LOUIS, PH.D. Treats of commerce and the different means of conveyance used in different eras. Highways, Canals. Tunnels, Railroads, and the Steam Engine are discussed in an entertaining way. Other subjects are Paper Manufacture, Newspapers, Electric Light, Atlantic Cable, the Telephone, and the principal newer commercial applications of Electricity, etc. 329 pages. Cloth, 60 cents.
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Natural History Readers.
By the REV. J.G. WOOD, M.A.,
Author of "Homes without Hands," etc.
First Reader. Short and simple stories about Common Domestic Animals 25 cts.
Second Reader. Short and simple stories about Animals of the Fields, Birds, etc. 36 cts.
Third Reader. Descriptive of Familiar Animals and some of their wild relations 50 cts.
Fourth Reader. The Monkey Tribe, the Bat Tribe, the Mole, Ox, Horse, Elephant, etc 65 cts.
Fifth Reader. Birds, Reptiles, Fishes, etc. 65 cts.
Sixth Reader. Mollusks, Crustacea, Spiders, Insects, Corals, Jelly Fish, Sponges, etc. 65 cts.
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WILLIAM BEVERLEY HARISON 3 & 5 West 18th Street, - - - - NEW YORK
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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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Great Round World Polisher
Will take rust off your wheel, will polish your skates, your gun, your fishing-reel—any and every polished metal surface can be kept clean with it. .. .. .. .. .. ..
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It will polish knives—can be used as a knife sharpener. Put up in small packages convenient to carry in your bicycle tool-bag; full directions with each package.
BEWARE OF IMITATIONS. THIS POLISHER IS FULLY WARRANTED BY "THE GREAT ROUND WORLD." If it does not do all that we say, and a great deal more, we will refund amount paid at any time. CHEAP AND DURABLE—will remain good until last morsel is used up. NON-POISONOUS!!
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WILLIAM BEVERLEY HARISON, 5 West 18th Street, New York City.
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VOL. 1 MARCH 25, 1897. NO. 20
* * * * *
ABOUT GREECE AND CRETE.
Do you know, my dear young friends, that you and I ought to be very glad and grateful that we are Americans?
Does it ever occur to you that while millions of people in other lands are to-day suffering unspeakably from cruelty and oppression, it is your happy lot to live under a government which makes such wrongs impossible?
You have seen what Cuba is willing to suffer, if she can only get away from the oppression of Spain. You have seen that she considers no sacrifices too great, that she will surrender fortune, happiness, and life itself, will endure lingering tortures and death in solitary dungeons; and all this, just that she may secure the very freedom which you and I enjoy so carelessly!
And now, from the Southeastern end of Europe, there has come another supplicating voice, from another island.
The little island of Crete, in the grasp of a hand infinitely more cruel than Spain's, has declared she would rather perish than remain longer at the mercy of the Turk.
What could such a little atom of a country do alone? One can only wonder that she ever dared to dream of freedom! But a desire for freedom makes frail, weak bodies marvellously strong sometimes. She resolved that she would not longer endure the Turkish yoke; and she called to her old kinsmen in Greece to come and take her into their Christian kingdom. She said: "We are the same in race and in religion, let us become one in country, too."
This is not the first despairing cry that has come from the Sultan's dominions. Again and again have they rung through Europe in the last century.
The rule of the Ottoman Empire (or Turkey) is the most corrupt, cruel, and degrading in the world. We have seen that Spain is grasping, avaricious, and a hard mother to her distant Colonies, which she treats like slaves rather than children. But for all that Spain is brave and chivalric. She has a sense of honor and of justice, even if she violates it, and—she is Christian.
But Turkey—Mohammedan Turkey, has not one of these qualities. She has no conscience, no shame, no remorse for terrible deeds done; indeed, the murder of Christians is the surest and swiftest passport to her heaven! Thousands and thousands of Christians perish by the sword every year in the Ottoman Empire, and awful cruelties are committed every day upon the living.
Now you ask why the Christian nations of Europe permit these things to be; and you naturally suppose it goes on because they cannot help it. Not at all.
Any one of the great nations of Europe could sweep the decaying old Mohammedan Empire out of existence in one campaign; and the six combined Powers, England, Russia, Austria, Germany, France, and Italy, could do it in six hours! Then why do they not?
Simply because Turkey occupies the most important and valuable strategical position on the earth. And each of these great nations is in mortal fear that some of the others will get possession of it.
I have already told you about the immense importance of these "strategic points" in the great game of European politics or diplomacy, and how eagerly the nations are all the time watching for opportunities to secure them.
If you will look at your map, you will see that Turkey lies at the gateway which separates the Eastern world from the Western. The vast and beautiful region ruled by the Sultan, and known as the "Ottoman Empire," lies partly in Asia, partly in Europe, and partly in Africa.
Stretching over a vast expanse behind the Sultan is India—that India, which has been for centuries the coveted treasure-house of the world. With his back turned upon this marvellous India, the Sultan's face is turned toward Europe, where six great Empires are looking with eager and longing eyes at the golden prize behind him in the East; and each glaring suspiciously and defiantly at the other at the slightest move toward the coveted land, to which the Ottoman Empire bars the way.
So you can see that disturbing the Turk while he is butchering Christians might be dangerous business for these Great Powers.
England knows that Russia is watching her opportunity to slip in at the first opening, and may get to the prize first. And Russia, and Germany, and the rest all alike fear the same thing of each other. If any one of them alone should make a move against the Turk,—the rest, like a pack of wolves, would be at her throat in an hour.
So the Powers must all act together or in concert. And this is what is known as the "Concert of Europe."
And this much talked-of Concert of Europe has for its chief object the preservation of the balance of power. That is, not permitting any one of the European States to become very much more powerful than it already is, and thus disturb the equilibrium of the whole.
This delicate condition of affairs regarding Turkey is known as the "Eastern Question." And it is considered so important because, more than any other, it threatens the "balance of power."
Whether Russia, or England, or Germany would be richer after an upset in Turkey, no one can tell. But it is pretty certain that new maps would have to take the place of your old ones, with the familiar outlines of some of the European States much altered.
So the Christian Powers have been for a century trying not to hear the cries of anguish and terror coming from the Ottoman Empire, because European diplomacy has decided that the only safe course is to let the "unspeakable Turk" stay where he is; and the Sultan, secure in his foul, crime-stained old Empire, which is tottering and crumbling under his feet, laughs softly, and rubs his hands in pleasant satisfaction, and the butchery goes on.
But recently the cries from Armenia became so piercing, so heartrending, and so prolonged, that the Christian people in Europe would stand it no longer. They demanded that, come what would, the Powers must put a stop to the wholesale slaughter of Armenian Christians.
So the six Ambassadors of the six Great European States came together and gravely discussed what should be done.
One of the ways of diplomacy is to act very slowly. This gives time for things to come right again of themselves, and also time for the people to cool down, and not disturb the game by foolish outbursts of sentiment.
And another of the ways of diplomacy in this Eastern Question has been, with great show of indignation, to threaten the Sultan with destruction unless—he promises certain reforms for the future.
This, of course, he is perfectly willing to do. He solemnly pledges protection to the Christians, and punishment to their persecutors, without the slightest intention of carrying out the promised reforms. Indeed, he knows that he could not do it even if he wanted to. And the Powers know it too, just as well as they know they would not carry out their threat to destroy his rickety throne.
But all this talk gives time, and two or three more years are thus gained for the Sultan and for the Powers, too; and in the mean time the people are pacified, because they think something is being done toward wiping out the great iniquity in the East.
But as I said, the Ambassadors of the six Powers not long ago came together, and under instructions from their various governments talked over the Armenian atrocities. Just as they were cautiously and solemnly preparing their decision, or ultimatum, as it is called (which was the old threat to the Sultan if the Christians were not protected), something unexpected happened.
It was not a part of the diplomatic game at all; and it was the act of an insignificant Kingdom, which had nothing whatever to say in the great European Concert.
The name of this insignificant Kingdom is the most splendid and renowned in the history of the world.
For two thousand years people in all other lands have been trying to do things as well as they did. But no such pictures, no such statues, no such architecture as theirs has ever been produced. No men have talked and thought as wisely upon great subjects. No poets have excelled theirs in grandeur. No women have been more perfect types of beauty and refinement; and no men more liberty-loving, grand, and heroic.
Now, do you know the name of this people? They were the Ancient Greeks. And the brave little Kingdom which has just upset all the calculations of the Great Powers is Modern Greece.
Since the days of her ancient splendor, poor Greece, shorn of all her glory, has been terribly humiliated.
First, the Romans broke her power; then the Venetians tore her from the Romans; and then, worse than all, she became a slave to the Turk. For a Christian nation, that means all possible suffering. And for five hundred years she was scourged and insulted by her Mohammedan master.
In the year 1820 the Greeks on the little peninsula resolved to be free, or to perish.
Like Cuba, they struggled. For nine long years Europe looked calmly on. Then people began to wonder at the invincible spirit of these new Greeks, and finally the world rang with praises of their valor, and there was an outburst of popular sympathy. Men from England and other lands volunteered to help them in their splendid fight for liberty. And Lord Byron, the great English poet, laid down his life in their cause.
At last the Great Powers began to think it would not be a bad thing to have a Christian race ruling the classic peninsula. And England, France, and Russia decided to help to put the little kingdom on its feet, and appointed its ruler.
They first selected Prince Alfred, Victoria's second son. But this did not give satisfaction. Finally, Otho, son of the King of Bavaria, was chosen, and then elected by the people, first king of Greece.
That was in 1835. In 1863, Otho was deposed, and a new king had to be found. The selection has proved to be a very wise one. King George was the son of Christian IX. of Denmark, and is therefore the brother of the Princess of Wales. During his reign of thirty-four years, Greece has steadily improved.
But all of the Greek Christians were not freed by this heroic struggle. There still remained several millions of their race in Macedonia and other parts of the Ottoman Empire. These people have looked on enviously at the prosperity and freedom of their kinsmen in Greece, and are always planning and hoping for the time when they, too, may break the Turkish yoke.
Twenty thousand of these Greeks live on the island of Crete, where they suffer unspeakably; not alone from the cruel oppression of Ottoman rule, but from the persecutions and daily conflicts with the Mohammedans who live with them on the island.
If you will examine a map of Europe, you will see the Greek peninsula, looking as if it had been broken into fragments and half devoured by the sea. Just south of its ragged edge lies this little island of Crete, of which all the world is talking to-day.
It looks as if one of the fragments of Greece had broken off and floated away a short distance, and was waiting for the tide to come some day and carry it back to its old home.
And that is just what happened long, long ago; and it seems now as if the tide had set in, which is going to float it back to its old moorings by its motherland.
The island of Crete originally belonged to Greece. It is one of the most classic spots in the world. For there, on and about Mount Ida, Jupiter, the great god of Greek mythology, is supposed to have spent his boy-hood. And Homer sung about this island, too. And he has described its ninety cities—which surprises us very much when we reflect that the island is a narrow strip of land only one hundred and fifty miles long; so that the ninety cities must have been set close together, like a string of beads!
However this may be, it has just three towns now, which are making history for Europe in a very remarkable fashion; and are more talked about to-day than London, Paris, and St. Petersburg.
Ever since the Greeks struggled into freedom, seventy-five years ago, and became an independent kingdom, it has been the dream of the Cretans to get back to their mother country. Recently their sufferings have been past endurance, and at last, in their helpless wretchedness, they cried out to Greece to come and take them under her protection. They said: "We are one with you in race and in religion. We speak your language; you are our natural rulers. Let us be a part of your Christian kingdom."
With splendid daring and enthusiasm Greece responded to the appeal.
King George sent men and arms and ships, and his brave young son Prince George as Admiral of the fleet, and declared his determination at all hazards to take the island under his protection. Not only would he fight the Turks in Crete or in Greece, but he would carry the war into the Ottoman Empire itself, if necessary.
The Powers were aghast. Fight the Turk! Was that not the very thing they had for a century been trying not to do? Disturb the Sultan in those dominions of which he was the only safe and harmless occupant! Tear away the barrier between Europe and Asia, and let the torrent rush through—the prizes going to the strongest! What madness—what folly! What impertinence for this King George to assume such a responsibility, and to invite such a crisis!
But King George never wavered in his purpose. The Powers sent demands, and then threats, but all were met firmly by the reply, that he should not withdraw his troops from Crete.
What made it more difficult and exasperating was that the people—the people, who are always giving their rulers so much trouble, and making it so hard for them—were wildly applauding King George and the Greeks for the firm stand they had taken, and saying that the old fire which burned at Marathon and Thermopylae had not been extinguished; that the modern Greeks were the worthy sons of a great race!
In England, France, and Italy, public opinion has to be listened to, if their Governments would stand! When the Ambassadors and the Ministers of these three countries read the papers and the telegrams, they began to go very slowly and cautiously. But Germany and Russia, although bound, as I have already told you, by close family relationships to the King of Greece, were in hot indignation that he should have audaciously raised such a storm. He must be stopped at once in a course which might embroil Europe in a war with Turkey; and more than that, he must be punished.
Then there were more conferences, which were more solemn than before: three of the Ministers (Salisbury, Hanotaux, and Rudini) not very sure that an indignant people might not even then be planning their overthrow; and the other three, with no such apprehension, urging extreme and severe measures against Greece.
At last they thought they had found a safe compromise.
They would demand that the Sultan should give up Crete, which should have its own government, or autonomy, as it is called, with a ruler whom they, the Powers, should select. Greece must go home with her troops and her ships, and have nothing hereafter to do with the fate of the island.
This was considered a wise solution of the difficulty. It would satisfy public opinion in Europe, while at the same time it properly humiliated Greece, who would be rebuked before all the world.
Again something unexpected happened. The stalwart, stubborn Cretans had their own views and preferences.
They did not want autonomy at all. What they desired was union with Greece; and Greece declared her unaltered and unalterable determination to stand by the island at any cost, and to protect her from being coerced into a political condition she did not desire.
One small, feeble nation dared to stand up and defy the combined power of Europe!
There was indignation and amazement among the Powers, who after further consultation sent an ultimatum to Greece and to Turkey. They must both withdraw from the island of Crete within six days, or the combined fleets of six European States would compel them to do it.
The polite Sultan, who never refuses demands, of course consented at once.
But what do you think was the reply of the Prime Minister of Greece?
They were brave words! He said: "Greece would rather be wiped off the map of Europe than yield to the threat of the Powers!"
There were twenty thousand of her countrymen on the island, helpless, defenceless, among fierce and cruel Mohammedans. Greece had promised them protection. She would not leave them to their fate!
But in the mean time the storm clouds have been gathering in other parts of the sky. The people in England and France and Italy are asking very significantly whether their Governments are expecting them to fire upon a Christian army and the Cross, in defence of the rights of the Mohammedan Empire and the Crescent?
In addition to this, another storm cloud seems to be forming over the Ottoman Empire itself. There are indications of a general uprising where Greek Christians abound.
If the clouds over Turkey and those over Europe should unite—what then? The Powers could fight battalions; but could they stand before a whirlwind of popular sentiment?
Macedonia has no doubt long cherished the hope of a reunion with Greece; and the other Graeco-Turkish provinces too. Perhaps they think the hour is at hand for realizing that hope!
Nor is it strange if Greece also has been long hoping that when the Ottoman Empire did finally crumble—as it must—she might out of the wreck be able to bring together the long-separated fragments of her race.
God grant there may be no conflict between Greece and Europe. But if it does come—and if a general overturning follows, as it might—it is not impossible that Greece may come out of it a new and greater kingdom, by a reunion of the scattered Hellenic (or Greek) peoples.
It is not at all improbable that some such dream of Hellenic unity underlies the extraordinary drama we are witnessing in the East.
Of course, it is wise to try and avert a great European war. And of course, diplomacy and tact are needed in dealing with such a delicate and complicated situation. But there are two opposing parties in England which hold different views as to the policy which should be pursued in this "Eastern Question."
Mr. Gladstone, the great and sagacious statesman, has always insisted that whatever the result, the Christians in Turkey should be protected by Christian Europe; and that the British policy should be a straightforward and resolute dealing with the Sultan. That is, if promised reforms are not carried out in good faith by him, the Powers should fulfil their threats to destroy his authority in his Empire.
About forty years ago the opposite policy was advocated (if not created) by another great leader and statesman, Lord Beaconsfield; and has ever since been the one pursued by Great Britain.
Its main purpose is to keep the wicked old Ottoman Empire undisturbed, and to shield it from the indignation of Europe.
Here and there the Sultan is compelled to loosen his grasp upon some exasperated and suffering province like Crete, which is set up as an autonomous (or self-governing) principality (or kingdom), under a double protection from Turkey and Europe.
This looks kind, and as if the Sultan was being severely dealt with and punished. But at the same time the knowledge of Turkish atrocities is being carefully suppressed; and harrowing stories of cruelties in Bulgaria a few years ago, and in Armenia to-day, are listened to with smiling incredulity; because it is inconvenient to take notice of these things while the situation in the East is critical.
Some people think this is a very crooked and shuffling policy for the great British Empire to pursue. And others, that the Gladstone policy is sentimental and dangerous.
Of course, the policy which has been for years adopted by England is controlled entirely by motives of interest, and has not one lofty purpose in it. But when there was talk of making war upon Greece in defence of the rights of the Sultan, the Government realized it had gone one step too far.
The people would not, and will not permit it. And we are rejoiced to know that the good and gracious Queen herself protests against such an act, and is deeply in sympathy with Greece and the Cretans.
It looks now very much as if the much-talked-of Concert of Europe was about to break in two as cleanly as an orange. Russia, Germany, and Austria in one half; and England, France, and Italy in the other.
The Emperor of Germany is very angry at the desertion of the other three States, and threatens dire and dreadful things.
The young Czar of Russia, with his gentle eyes and delicate face, does not look capable of severity.
But he is a Russian. And he has settled himself in the seat of his ancestors, evidently with a stern purpose of carrying out their despotic policy.
Small matter is it that King George of Greece is his mother's brother. Small matter that the young Admiral of the Greek fleet is his cousin and loved companion, whose quick, strong arm and ready courage saved his life in Japan five years ago.
He will not be swerved by personal influences from the course demanded by Russian interests.
The Emperor of Austria has no family ties, no personal feelings to sway him; and he is the natural ally of despotic Russia and Germany.
With these three men, lies the fate of Greece, Crete, and perhaps the "Eastern Question" to-day.
Will they meet the other three States half-way, and effect a peaceful compromise? Or will they carry out the threat of the German Emperor, and, in the words of her own brave Prime Minister:
"Wipe Greece off the map of Europe"?
Now this is the story of the Greek and Cretan troubles of which every one is talking in Europe and in America.
Some time it will be printed in grave-looking histories, and will perhaps seem very dry and dull to the young people who have to commit to memory the strange names of men and places, and perhaps, the dates of great battles fought!
It is your privilege to read this thrilling story from day to day, as it unfolds.
The European and Cuban despatches which your fathers and brothers eagerly read and talk about at breakfast every morning, are history. Not dried and pressed between the covers of a school-book, with all the life and spirit taken out of it; but history warm and palpitating with life; telling of things which happened yesterday, and are happening to-day, and which we all fear or else long for to-morrow.
Every American with the blood of a patriot in his veins is longing to hear to-morrow that Cuba is free, and that Crete is safely restored to the arms of Greece. This will happily close two of the most thrilling chapters in the history of modern times.
MARY PLATT PARMELE.
Great Round World
AND WHAT IS GOING ON IN IT
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VOL. 1 MARCH 25, 1897. NO. 20
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Juno was the cat. We all knew perfectly well that there never had been such a cat as Juno. Not that she was so fine-looking, or so expensive. She would never have taken a prize at a cat show, unless it might have been the booby prize. She was the very plainest kind of a brindled cat, and she wandered into our house from the street during her early kittenhood and calmly established herself in mother's work-basket.
From that time on Juno had been the friend and playmate of the younger generation. She never seemed like an animal to any of us. Many a time I have heard Ned apologize for having unintentionally hurt Juno, with the exclamation:
"Oh, excuse me, Juno, I didn't mean to do that!"
After which Juno always purred softly, and showed that she had forgiven him.
But the one thing that specially distinguished Juno from all the other cats that I ever knew, was her big-hearted motherhood. If Juno had been a woman, how many desolate orphans she would have cared for! She would have given them summer outings, no doubt, and would have filled their stockings brimful at Christmas time.
Not being a woman, Juno did her best, nevertheless, to make the world a little easier for all the orphans she knew. What a heart must have beaten under that gray fur! Ned and I often talked of it, and were filled with regret that Juno could not understand our language so that we could talk to her and get her views on the subject.
There was the time when she adopted the chicken, for instance. We knew Juno so well that we felt perfectly certain how she looked at those things, and so when the old yellow hen declined to acknowledge the little black chicken as hers, and pecked its head whenever it went near her, we took the helpless and disowned orphan and put it in Juno's bed, between the two kittens.
"There, Juno," said Ned, by way of explanation to her look of astonishment, "there's a child that's been deserted by its unfeeling mother; I wish you'd look after it."
And Juno took the chicken and held it with one paw while she licked it all over, though I am not sure that she liked the taste of the soft down that covered the little stranger. She kept the chicken all that night and every night afterwards until it considered itself big enough to go alone.
How we used to laugh to see Juno walking about the yard with her foster-child chirping after her, or to see the chicken run to her and insist on being hovered!
As time passed the adopted child became independent and needed no further guardianship, yet the friendliest relations existed between the two. Even after the chicken was grown and had chickens of her own they seldom met in their promenades about the place that Juno did not pause to rub her head affectionately against the neck of the orphan that she had brought up.
* * * * *
Juno was about a year older, I think, when there was a death in her family. The one little kitten that she loved with all her mother heart died and left her desolate. It was a very sad occasion, I remember, but we had a great funeral. We dug the grave at the end of the garden. Johnny's express wagon was the hearse, and Johnny drew it, and was very serious indeed. We borrowed Mrs. Martin's baby carriage, and that was the mourning coach. Juno rode in it, with Ned and Gimps walking one on each side and holding her in. I pushed the coach, while a long procession of the neighbors' children came behind, crying with all their might. We sung a hymn at the grave, and did everything we could to soothe Juno's grief.
But Juno would not be reconciled. She drooped around and mewed so pitifully for several days that we could not endure it; so we went to a neighbor's cat that had more kittens than she needed, and borrowed one of them for Juno. Dear me, how proud she was of it, and how she took it in her arms and cuddled it up close to her! The whole family came out to look at her, and the Colonel said:
"And this is only a cat! What great tenderness there should be in the human heart when a poor little animal can be like this!"
And the next day Uncle Dick, who was a great favorite with all of us, rode up to the fence and shouted cheerily:
"Hello, boys! Here is a present for you. I killed a mother fox at the mouth of her hole, and here is one of her babies."
And he reached down into his pocket and drew out a baby fox about as large as an interrogation point, but the funniest and sharpest little thing you ever saw, though its eyes were not open yet.
With one accord we shouted:
"There's a baby for Juno!" and away we ran with it and laid it beside the new kitten.
Juno arose and looked the little stranger over with evident anxiety. She seemed to be troubled with some haunting suspicion that this was not an orthodox cat. The bushy red tail was a special subject of curiosity. She touched it up with her paw and looked at it with her head on one side.
For several dreadful minutes we were afraid that Juno was going to leave an orphan on our hands; but we did not know her, after all. In a few moments she reached the conclusion that the fox was probably a cat of some new and interesting kind, and she lay down again, purring softly, and took the little stranger to her heart.
Such a pair as those two did make! We named the fox Flash, and he was the pride and the delight of the family. In a few days after his adoption Juno came to look on him as quite the most beautiful creature she had ever seen, and she showed a decided partiality for him. When she moved her family from the stable to mother's room, which she did systematically every morning, she always carried Flash in first and laid him on the rug with an air of pride impossible to describe.
"No, no, Juno," mother would say, "he is very pretty, but I can't have him here."
But Juno would run back after the kitten, and, having toiled upstairs with it, would lay it on the rug also and lie down beside it, as though she would say:
"I'd like to see you move me now!"
Within a month Flash could run everywhere, and he was the brightest, the sharpest, the merriest little fellow that ever kept a respectable cat in trouble with his escapades. That sharp nose of his was everywhere at once, it seemed to me, and those bright eyes were peering into every corner in search of mischief. He trotted about the house with a swaggering impudence, and went to bed in one of the Colonel's shoes if he liked, or played hide and seek in father's hat when he found it convenient.
As for the life he led poor Juno, we often wondered why she did not turn grayer than ever, having to deal with this graceless young reprobate. If he found her trying to sleep a little, he would bite her ears and pull at her tail, bracing himself back on all four of his absurd little feet, and sometimes tumbling over in his excitement; and he rolled over her and growled and worried her until she must have been almost on the verge of insomnia! Yet she never boxed his ears once, much as he deserved it.
As the kitten grew older and able to take part in the play, what romps the three used to have! How many times I have seen them rushing through the house in wild pursuit of one another, making as much noise as a drove of horses, mother said, with the fox in the lead, and the cats chasing him, and all the children running to look.
But their favorite playground was in the yard, where the fountain was, with its big circular basin. Around and around this basin they flew, and Flash always gained on his pursuers until he came up with them, vaulted over them, and was in front again, slipping out of sight like a spirit. I suppose most animals enjoy themselves, but I am sure I never saw animals have a better time than Juno and those two children of hers.
And the good times went on without diminution for many a day. Flash grew to be almost as large as his mother, but if he ever realized that he was not a cat we never knew it. He was as familiar in the house as though he owned it. When Ned and I were going to bed in the dark one night, and put out our hands to turn down the bedclothes, we touched something soft and furry, and we had both tumbled half-way down the stairs before we realized that Juno and Flash had gone to sleep in our bed.
And all the time how Juno loved the fox! She scarcely ever came near him without stopping to rub her head against him affectionately, or to lick his sharp little ears. She never did grow indifferent to this child of the forest that she had raised as her own. Perhaps it would have been better if she had not cared so much.
One day a strange dog slipped in at the gate while some one was passing out. The fox had never been hurt in his life, and he felt no fear of anything. He trotted up to the dog with his inquisitive nose in the air, and before any one could speak or move, the dog had seized him and was shaking the life out of him.
I never shall forget how we ran from the sight of it, when the dog was beaten away. But when we stole back after a while, Juno was with Flash, and was licking his face and trying her best to help him. Even the Colonel could not bear to see her, but went away and shut himself up.
As for poor Flash, his day was done, and the merry little heart was still. And a few hours later there was another grave at the foot of the garden.
We tried very hard after that to make Juno forget her loss, but she would not forget. She missed the child that she had loved so tenderly, and broke away from our caresses to go mewing from room to room, or to sit by the fountain, filling the air with disconsolate wails. She would not touch the food we offered her, though we saved her the most tempting morsels.
Of course this could not go on long. One night, a week after the death of Flash, Juno stretched herself out on the rug and died as quietly as though she had fallen to sleep; and we all cried as though our hearts would break.
"And this is only a cat," said the Colonel. "Think what human grief must be when a mere animal could grieve like this!"