VOL. 1 OCTOBER 14, 1897. NO. 49
Copyright, 1897, by THE GREAT ROUND WORLD Publishing Company.
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There was a very disquieting rumor last week to the effect that England had refused to take part in the Seal Conference.
The reason given for her refusal was that she could not join in the discussion if Russia and Japan were admitted to it.
At the British Foreign Office, which is the department of the Government that has the charge of such matters, the officials refused to say positively whether Great Britain had declined to take part in the conference, but they let it be understood that Canada was at the bottom of the trouble.
The Canadian Government was most unwilling to have Great Britain join in the conference, and asked that the mother country should withdraw, and leave the settlement of the matter to the colony that was most interested in it.
It was thought that Canada feared that Japan and Russia might look at the sealing question from the same point of view that we do, and so persuaded England to object to them, and thus draw out of the conference.
That England should say she would not join because of Russia and Japan, was a great surprise to the officials in Washington.
When Mr. Foster was in London last July, he told the British officials that he had just returned from St. Petersburg, having obtained the consent of the Czar to send a representative to the meeting. England consenting to join the conference soon after this, it was thought that the consent of the two other countries had influenced her to come to a like decision.
In the same month of July, our ambassador in England wrote to Lord Salisbury, told him of the arrangements that had been made, and asked whether Great Britain would surely be represented.
The Prime Minister kept this note unanswered until September, and then said he could not possibly take part in any discussion to which Japan and Russia were also to be admitted.
Every one wondered what this refusal could mean, and it caused a very bad impression, as it came right after the publication by the Foreign Office of a book in which the letters and despatches which had passed between the two countries in the seal dispute had been printed.
This book contained some very unfriendly remarks about the United States. Among other things it was said that we ought not to be making such a fuss about the kind of sealing that is now being carried on, because in 1832 we practised the same methods ourselves in the South Atlantic Ocean.
This accusation is absolutely true, but Mr. Chamberlain, in his book, did not add that bitter experience in the south had taught us our lesson, and that it is because of the destruction we had worked to the southern herd that we are so anxious to take better care of the northern.
So important does the protection of the seals seem to our Government, that when the news came that England might not join in the conference if Japan and Russia were represented there, it was decided to hold the meeting, whether Great Britain joined or not. But, being anxious to keep on the best of terms with our English cousins, the Government sent a most pressing invitation to England, begging her to attend the conference, and hear what the scientists had to say about the seal herd, even if she would not take any part in the discussion.
In view of this, England has consented to attend the meetings, but will not say whether she will take any part in the proceedings.
The English papers say they cannot see what interest the Russians and Japanese have in the Bering Sea dispute. The United States is, however, extremely anxious that these two countries should be at the meeting to give their opinion about the proper manner and season in which to hunt seals.
It is intended that several scientists who have studied the habits of the seals shall appear before the members of the conference, and give their views about the condition of the herd. Professor D'Arcy Thompson for England, and Professor David Starr Jordan for America, will be among the number.
Russian and Japanese experts are also to make statements on the subject; but a report from Canada says that the Canadian representative intends to ask that these gentlemen shall not be allowed to speak, as she does not think they are sufficiently well acquainted with the life and habits of the seals to be able to offer an expert opinion.
Up to the moment of receiving Great Britain's refusal to treat with us, every one supposed that it was only necessary to explain to England the damage that was being done to the herd, for her to join us in making arrangements to protect them.
Now every one is feeling uncertain what the result of the conference will be.
We told you the cause of this difference of opinion between the two countries was the careless and wasteful way in which the hunters have killed the seals.
Instead of waiting till the animals have reached their feeding-grounds, they have killed many in the open sea; this is called pelagic sealing, and is against the law. In addition to this they have killed them in an unlawful way at their feeding-grounds. Instead of separating and killing the young bachelor seals, who are tiresome fellows, and hang round the colonies annoying and fighting the father seals who are trying to bring up their families, the sealers have entered the colonies or rookeries themselves, and slaughtered the mothers, leaving hundreds and thousands of motherless puppies behind to die for want of proper care (see p. 736).
Because of this the seal herd has been decreasing so rapidly that fear has arisen that it will disappear if the seals are not properly cared for.
The object of the conference is to decide whether the seal herd is really decreasing, and if so, to make strict laws to protect the mother seals and their poor helpless little puppies.
A British war-ship, the Wild Swan, which is stationed in the Bering Sea to protect the sealing interests of Great Britain, has just arrived at Victoria, British Columbia.
The officers state that the seal herd is undoubtedly very much smaller this year; so small indeed that there is the gravest reason to fear that the seals are really dying out.
The Englishmen lay the blame of the smallness of the herd on the shoulders of Professor Jordan, and declare that it is due to the branding of the seals.
They insist that the seals who were branded last year were so badly frightened that they will not venture into the same waters again. Instead of coming to the Pribylov Islands, the officers say that they have made their way to some other islands north of Japan, and that the Japanese are reaping the benefit of Professor Jordan's experiment.
The British officers also say that the electric apparatus which Dr. Jordan took with him this year has proved to be a failure, and that the branding has had to be done with hot irons as usual. Trouble with the apparatus caused considerable delay, and according to the story told by the officers of the Wild Swan, only a few pups have been branded.
This news makes the conference all the more necessary. If there are no means of marking the female seals without frightening the herd away from their feeding-grounds, the different countries interested in the sealing trade should lose no time in coming to an understanding, that the herd may be preserved.
The Japanese and Russian representatives are already on their way here, but the meeting cannot be held until the beginning of November, as Sir Julian Pauncefote, who will attend the conference on behalf of England, cannot arrive here before that time.
We shall, in all probability, gain much interesting information about seals and seal life from this convention.
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Several fresh meetings have been held in Athens to protest against the treaty of peace with Turkey. It is said that the people are becoming more violent, and are calling upon the King of Greece to continue the war.
At one of the meetings the other day, angry things were said about the King and the Crown Prince, the people blaming them for the unfortunate results of the war.
The cabinet ministers and the more thoughtful people in Greece are, however, of opinion that the best thing to be done is to bear, as best they may, the burdens which it puts on the country.
The Russian Minister in Athens has laid the treaty officially before the Greek minister of foreign affairs, and now all the necessary formalities have been gone through, and it only remains for the Greek parliament to accept or refuse the terms offered.
The Russian minister sent a note with the treaty, saying that the Sultan considered the Powers had done all that they could to restore peace, and he now waited for Greece to send her ministers to Constantinople to arrange the final document which will bind the two countries. The Russian minister also stated that the Powers offered to assist at the meetings, in case any fresh difficulties should arise.
You must not imagine from this that there are to be two treaties of peace. There will of course be but one; however, lest you should be confused as to how it is that the Powers, having arranged a treaty which was signed by Turkey, are now conveying a message to Greece asking her to send her ministers to arrange another treaty, it is best to explain the matter to you.
The business of the Powers was to find out on what terms the Sultan was willing to make peace with Greece. They had no right to promise that Greece would accept the terms Turkey offered; they could only use their influence to have the terms as easy as possible.
The terms of peace being agreed upon between the Sultan and the Powers, they signed their names to the document, to show that they meant to keep their promises.
The signing of this paper does not necessarily mean that the final treaty of peace is to be exactly like it, but merely that the Sultan is willing to agree that the frontier shall be laid out as has been agreed upon with the Powers, the Greeks to pay not less than a certain sum, and Thessaly to be evacuated (the Turkish troops withdrawn from it) not later than a certain date.
On this basis Turkey and Greece will meet, and draw up the final treaty, which both sovereigns will sign, and which will bind them to carry out all it provides.
The Boule, the Greek parliament, will have met in a few days, and will have to decide whether the terms offered by Turkey shall be accepted or not.
It is reported that the Greek Government will resign. None of the ministers wish to remain in power, and be held responsible for accepting the treaty.
It is supposed that the Boule will vote to accept the peace offer, and that the excitement among the people will gradually die out. It would of course be madness for King George to try and continue the war, because he has neither soldiers, generals, nor the necessary money.
The Turkish people are as jubilant and happy as the Greeks are angry and depressed.
It is openly said that the Sultan has been so successful about the peace negotiations that there is very little doubt that he will be able to arrange the matter of Crete in a manner that will be pleasing to all his subjects.
This may be only idle talk, or it may be, as we told you last week, that the Sultan does not intend to keep his word about Crete. It looks as if the island, for which Greece sacrificed herself, will not get home rule after all, but will be forced back into the old state of slavery from which King George tried to rescue her.
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From India we hear the good news that the British forces have captured the camp and village which formed the headquarters of the Haddah Mullah, and that the Mullah had to flee before the approach of the English.
Some people think that this defeat of the Mullah will have the effect of bringing the insurrection to a close, but it is as well not to put too much faith in this idea. We had a report a few days ago that the rebellion was over, and the very next week the British met with a severe repulse.
It is certain that the capture of the Mullah's camp has had a good effect on the natives.
The British were so confident that good results would follow it, that they ordered a two-days' armistice; that is to say, they stopped fighting the rebels for two days, to give them an opportunity to submit.
The Mohmands did take advantage of the chance offered them, and the British think they are entirely subdued. The Afridis and Orakzais are, however, as rebellious as ever.
These tribes refused to submit to the British, and instead sent messengers to the Ameer of Afghanistan, asking him to help them.
They have spread a report among the hill tribes that the Ameer has asked hostages from them, and will help them if the hostages are given.
A hostage is a person given and held under the laws of war, as a pledge.
For instance, if this report is true about the Ameer, it means that he has asked that they shall give into his hands certain important leaders of tribes, whose lives and liberty are very precious to the Afridis. These people to be held by him until the war is over, as a guarantee that he will receive his compensation for helping them to fight the British.
Hostages are always persons of high rank, and persons whose lives are so precious that their people will not allow them to be sacrificed.
The giving of hostages is therefore considered the most binding form of agreement between savage peoples.
In this instance, however, the story that the Ameer demanded hostages does not appear to be true.
A later despatch says that the messengers sent by the Afridis and Orakzais were turned back at Jelalabad, and ordered to leave the country.
The principal request they had to make of the Ameer was that he would give them ammunition; bullets, gunpowder, and cartridges.
The fact that the Ameer sent them back without granting them an audience has convinced the British that he is sincere in declaring himself friendly to that nation.
The mullahs, or priests, have been persuading the people that the Ameer would help them as soon as the revolution was firmly established. It is these same mullahs who are responsible for the suspicions the English had of the Ameer.
It is said that the tribesmen are just beginning to understand that the Ameer does not mean to help them, and that they have only themselves to look to, to support their rebellion against England.
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There is a report from Cuba that the Spaniards have reconquered the town of Las Tunas. This, however, seems hard to believe. Only last week reliable information was sent to us, that, owing to the impossibility of sparing enough men to guard the town, the Cubans had decided to destroy it, and had accordingly burnt it to the ground.
The Carlists are daily assuming a more threatening attitude.
In the hope of quieting the people, who have become fearful lest a civil war should break out, the Government spread a report that Don Carlos had given up his claim to the throne of Spain, and that there was no fear that he would cause any trouble.
Don Carlos, however, caused a letter to be published throughout Spain, in which he denied the story, and said he was only waiting until the proper time arrived to come forward. He added that one hundred thousand volunteers were ready to take up arms for him at his call.
Side by side with this unwelcome announcement comes the news that there is fresh trouble in the Spanish Cabinet.
Senor Reverter, the Spanish minister of finance, that is to say, the minister who has charge of the money affairs of Spain, has been excommunicated by the Church of Rome.
This minister has had a very hard battle to fight against the poverty of his country, and her pressing need for money.
In his anxiety to help her he committed the unwarrantable act of seizing money belonging to one of the churches, and using it for the Government.
The Church protested against this robbery, but the minister declared that the Government must have the money she needed, and, in spite of the indignation of the churchmen, proceeded to take it.
Finding that they could get no help from the Government, the members of the church appealed to the Bishop who had charge of the district in which the plundered church was situated.
The anger of this bishop knew no bounds. He would not allow the Church to be so shamefully robbed, and sent an angry demand to the minister that he refund the money instantly.
Senor Reverter declined to do so, saying that the country had need of it, and upon his refusal the Bishop, without more ado, excommunicated him.
Excommunication is a terrible punishment to inflict on any one. It means that the sinner cannot enjoy any of the privileges of the Church, and that he is forbidden all its comforts and blessings. Further than that, it almost amounts to boycotting (see p. 998), for all churchmen who do business with an excommunicated man, or serve him, are put under the ban of the Church, and become outcasts with him. So that at one blow a man loses friends and servants, and even has difficulty in getting food and clothing.
It is said that the Pope was extremely angry with the bishop for having taken such a serious step without first consulting him.
This power of the Church is very rarely exercised, and while a bishop has the right to inflict this punishment on a member of his flock, he is not supposed to do so without first consulting with the Pope, especially when important personages are involved.
His Holiness was therefore most exasperated to find that the bishop of Majorca had ventured on such a step without his permission. He has, however, no ground for refusing to uphold the bishop, so the sentence will have to stand, but it is rumored that he intends to show his displeasure by removing the bishop to another diocese where the work will be harder, and the income not so large.
Napoleon Bonaparte was excommunicated by Pope Pius VII. in 1809, but since that time the punishment has hardly ever been inflicted, and it is thought that at the present time, when Spain is in so much trouble, the bishop should have sought some less severe measure to bring the minister to terms.
It is of course a terrible thing for Spain that one of her highest ministers should be so punished and disgraced.
It was hoped that Senor Reverter would resign his office, and so save the Government any further trouble. This, however, he refuses to do, and the members of his department are in sympathy with his defiance of the Church.
It is said that friends are trying to persuade the bishop to forgive the minister, and withdraw the sentence, if he consents to resign at the end of the year.
The bishop is not willing to do anything of the kind. He thinks that if the Government is allowed to plunder one church without punishment, all the wealth belonging to the Church will soon be seized and taken possession of by the crown.
This unfortunate affair has brought fresh trouble on poor Queen Christina.
The Government, which has been in a very uncertain condition since the death of Canovas, has been unable to oppose the excommunication of Senor Reverter.
General Azcarraga, the Prime Minister, has offered his resignation to the Queen, and asked her to form a fresh Cabinet. He says he is no longer able to control the affairs of state.
This is the worst thing that could have happened at this moment. The only man who seems fit to lead the Government is Senor Sagasta, but, as we have told you before, he has very liberal views about Cuba.
If he comes into office there is little doubt but that he will recall General Weyler, and offer home rule to the island, if he does not accept our offer of arranging terms whereby Cuba can purchase the island for herself.
While this policy is very pleasing to the friends of Cuba, the majority of the Spaniards are unwilling to give up the island unless it is taken from them by force.
Don Carlos knows this, and so has declared himself in favor of keeping General Weyler where he is, and pressing the war still more severely till the rebels are forced to give in.
The chances are that if Senor Sagasta comes to power there will be a Carlist rising, and the young King Alphonse will lose his throne.
On the other hand, there seems to be no leader, strong enough to guide the country, who believes in carrying out Canovas' policy, and as far as the poor harassed Queen can see, the speedy subduing of Cuba is the only policy that will please the people and keep her boy on the throne.
A number of Spanish war-ships have been sent to Cuban waters. It is said that they are there to help moor the floating dock in some place of safety until it can be brought into Havana Bay.
The dock, however, has not yet arrived in Cuba, and it is whispered that the real object of the visit of these ships is to be in readiness in case war is declared between the United States and Spain.
The Spaniards are very angry with us just now, and the Madrid papers publish statements which assert that there is no possibility of avoiding the war.
They think that we sympathize with the Cubans, and would be so glad to see Cuba free that we are helping the insurgents to defy them.
They will not believe that General Woodford's mission to Spain is peaceful and kindly meant. In spite of the statement made by the Duke of Tetuan about the friendliness of the meeting, the Madrid papers insist that the United States sent an ultimatum to Spain, which means that she sent a message, that either the war must be immediately brought to a close, or we would fight her.
There are rumors that Austria will join with Spain, in case such a war should break out. The Queen Regent was an Austrian princess before she became Queen of Spain, and therefore the Spaniards think that Austria would be certain to help them.
There is little foundation for all this wild talk. We do not want a war with Spain, nor, for the matter of that, with any other nation. We would prefer to live in peace with all men. We cannot, however, see the struggle in Cuba without suffering grief and pain, and trying to do what we can to bring it to an end.
Both President McKinley and President Cleveland were most careful to keep on good terms with Spain, and the mission of General Woodford has been undertaken with the desire of being helpful to both Cuba and Spain.
All our friendship for one party or the other cannot blind us to the fact that Spain is losing ground in Cuba.
Despite our care, and the watchfulness of the gunboats stationed along the coast, expeditions are constantly leaving our shores and taking supplies to the rebels from their friends over here. The cause seems stronger than ever, and it seems merely a waste of men and money to prolong the struggle.
Our President, understanding this, and seeing how Spain is harassed in other ways with the Carlists, and the Government, and the war in the Philippine Islands, thinks this is a good time to try and make peace.
It is quite sure that General Woodford has said nothing to anger Spain, but it has not been thought advisable to publish the note which he presented, and so it is not possible to tell you just what he did say.
It is supposed, however, that the note contained an offer to make peace between the combatants on the ground of the purchase of Cuba by the Cubans, the United States to guarantee the payment of the sum of money agreed upon.
General Woodford has cabled to the State Department asking permission to publish the contents of the note he gave the Duke of Tetuan.
The President is considering the matter, and will probably call a Cabinet council to discuss it before anything is decided.
In the mean time, the Spanish are in such an excited state that the Government of Spain fears for the safety of our minister. A special guard was therefore ordered to accompany him from San Sebastian to Madrid.
On his arrival at Madrid, the guard, which had travelled with him on the train, again took him in charge, and conducted him safely to the American legation.
It is to be hoped that this angry feeling will soon subside, and that the Spaniards may allow the United States to show that her only wish in the matter of Cuba is to do what is just and right for all parties concerned.
The resignation of the Spanish ministry will of course delay the answer to our letter, as it would be wrong for the Government to press for an answer while affairs are so unsettled in Spain.
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Austria has been having her share of excitement during the past week.
On the opening of the parliament in Vienna, a disgraceful scene was made by the members of the lower house.
The session was to be opened by the Premier, Count Badeni. When he entered the hall he was greeted with howls and hisses, and cries of derision.
For certain reasons, which we will explain later, the Premier is at present very unpopular with the parliament, and so the members greeted him in this shameful manner, and finally one of the members, becoming more excited than the others, advanced toward the Premier, and began calling him names.
The result has been a duel between the member, Dr. Wolff, and the Premier, and the occurrence has raised a storm throughout the country, for that a Prime Minister should fight a duel with another member of the Government is an unheard-of thing.
Austria is a very difficult nation to govern, and the position of premier is by no means a bed of roses.
The reason of the difficulty is that Austria is composed of so many different states which have very little in common with each other.
In all, there are three great divisions: the Austrians proper, who are Germans in their leaning and language; the Hungarians, or Magyars, who are a haughty, fierce people, speaking their own tongue, proud of their traditions, and who look down on the more modern Austrians as upstarts. Besides these there are the Bohemians or Czechs (cheks), who speak still another language, and are a wild and quickly irritated people, obstinate, and as a rule slow-witted.
It is but natural that one or other of these people should be constantly offended at the course of the Government, and see in every new law an attempt to rob them of their rights and privileges.
The great trouble at present is the variety of the languages spoken. An attempt has been made by the Government to enforce the speaking of German throughout Austria. A law was passed making German the language in which all official business must be carried on; but to make it perfectly fair for the Hungarians and Bohemians as well as for the Austrians, the law provided that all officers of the Government who were stationed in districts where Czech or Magyar was spoken must be able to speak these tongues as well as German.
This law is intensely unpopular.
The Austrians want one language throughout the country, and are indignant at having to learn the Czech and Magyar, which are both frightfully difficult; some people laughingly declare that Czech is as hard to learn as Chinese. The Bohemians and Hungarians, on the other hand, do not wish their languages to die out, and they think that it would be only right to allow them to use their own tongue for official business throughout Bohemia and Hungary.
They have become so violently opposed to the law, that they have been making a great effort to revive their language, and have established a literature of their own, and are having the Czech language taught in the schools. In Prague and many of the cities of Bohemia, no other language is spoken.
Now Count Badeni, who has the difficult task of handling all these fiery people, has got into disgrace all around.
The Austrians are angry with him because in a certain place, and for a certain occasion, he allowed the Bohemians to use their own language for official business. The Bohemians are angry with him for having forbidden a certain public meeting; and others are again incensed against the Prime Minister for having offended them in various, apparently unimportant ways.
It was on account of his unpopularity and the various quarrels with him that he was so badly treated by the members of the parliament, and was finally so exasperated that he determined to fight a duel.
In Austria it is a criminal offence to fight a duel, and all the persons engaged in an affair of the kind can be imprisoned for from one to five years.
The Prime Minister, however, felt that he had been so terribly insulted that nothing but a duel could satisfy his sense of honor.
He therefore telegraphed to the Emperor, asking his permission to fight.
Duelling used to be a very common practice in Europe, and was considered the only means of avenging an insult. It was, however, carried to such an extent, that men would call one another out, as it was termed, for the most trifling offence. So many good and brave men were killed in this unreasonable manner, that one country after another began to make laws forbidding the practice. These laws have only been in force for a very few years, and in cases where men are terribly provoked, they still turn to duelling as a means of settling their disputes.
The Emperor of Austria, when he learnt of the shameful things that had been said to the Count, felt that, were he in the Premier's place, nothing but a duel could satisfy his honor, and so he gave his permission, and the duel took place.
Count Badeni was shot in the arm, and severely wounded; Dr. Wolff escaped unhurt.
Immediately the duel had taken place the Premier's enemies seized upon it as a means of disgracing him.
They raised a tumult about it, and declared that a man who would break the law by fighting a duel was not fit to manage the affairs of Government, and begged that the Count be dismissed from office, and arrested.
The Premier was, however, well aware of the serious nature of the act he contemplated, and that duelling was not a becoming occupation for a Prime Minister, so, when he asked the Emperor's permission to fight, he also sent in his resignation as Prime Minister.
The Emperor of Austria appears to be a very fair-minded man. Having given his permission for the duel, he was not going to desert the Count.
He refused to accept the Count's resignation, and, as a reply to the enemies of his Prime Minister, issued a decree forbidding the courts from prosecuting the Count for breaking the law.
Such a decree would not do for us in America, where the law is the highest power in the state, and even the President is bound to obey it; but in Austria, where such a thing was possible, it was certainly very considerate of the Emperor to stand so bravely by his minister.
Duelling is also against the laws of the Church, and the Count might have got into fresh trouble with his bishop if kind friends had not helped him in this direction also.
His case was represented to the Pope, who also recognized that he had been terribly tried and provoked, and graciously pardoned him.
Despite the efforts of his enemies, he has been able to make peace with both his emperor and his bishop, and though he will not have a pleasant time of it with such a parliament against him, he ought to be able to overcome his difficulties with two such powerful friends behind him.
* * * * *
There was a delightful celebration the other afternoon in New York at East River and Twenty-fourth Street.
It was the occasion of the opening of a new Recreation Pier, and the children were out in force to take possession of their newly acquired property.
When the present dock commissioners came into office they found an old law on the books of the city which had never been put in force.
It provided that the dock commissioners could build an upper deck to any of the piers which jutted out into the river, and arrange it for the use of the people as a recreation pier, a place where the children could walk and run and romp and play, and the mothers could take the babies for a breath of fresh air on the summer nights, when their work was done.
Finding the law on the books, these kindly men determined to carry it out, and so they built the pier at the foot of Third Street; and, when that was finished, began work on the one at East Twenty-fourth Street, which was opened the other day.
There are to be five of these piers in all—two on the west side, and three on the east.
The pier was opened by the Mayor, amid much merry music and general good feeling.
At the head of the pier a wooden band-stand had been erected. This was gaily decked with flags, and filled with chairs for the city fathers, who were to come and make speeches and give the pier to the people.
Seats had been set aside for the children, and the little ones flocked to them in hundreds, seeming to feel that this pier was for their especial benefit. They crowded every entrance, eagerly waiting for the moment when the city should give the new building to the people.
Presently the Mayor, Colonel O'Brien, and several others walked down the pier. Colonel O'Brien is the chief of the dock commissioners who have worked so faithfully to give the people this pleasure.
As the Mayor came down the aisle the little ones cheered and cheered, and the big people joined them, and waved their handkerchiefs, and it was quite an exciting moment.
Then the party mounted the decorated stand, and in a few pleasant words the Mayor presented the gift of the city to the people.
He was followed by several other speakers, among them Mr. John Proctor Clarke, who said some very nice things to the children.
He began by leaving the benches where the guests were seated, and walking across the stand until he was as near to the children as possible, for he said that what he had to say was intended for them, and not for the grown-ups, and so he wanted them to hear him clearly.
"The Mayor," he said, "has given this pier to you; but do not think he has given it as a charity. He has given it to me as well as to you, he has given it to all the people who are here to-day, and all the people in the city of New York, not as a charity to us, but because now that the city has finished it, it belongs to us by right as citizens of this town.
"The city has given us the use of this pier, and promises to keep it swept and clean, and in good repair for us, but it is ours; we own it, it belongs to us as citizens.
"Now what do we do with the things that belong to us? Do we throw them away, or destroy them? We take care of them so that they may last, don't we?
"Yes. Well, that's all I have to say to you about this pier. It is yours. Take care of it."
The new pier is one of the largest of the five that are to surround the city. It is roofed over, so that those who wish to enjoy it are sheltered from the sun.
It is seven hundred and twenty feet long, and fifty feet wide. Plenty large enough for crowds of people to use it in comfort.
The pier juts farther out into the river than any of the neighboring docks, and at its end there is a fine view up and down the river.
Mayor Strong made a suggestion during the ceremonies that met with great favor.
He said that he thought it would be a very nice thing to put glass sides into the pier, and heat it. He thought it would make a grand hall for the people of the district to use for meetings in winter, as well as promenading in summer.
These five recreation piers are likely to prove a great blessing to the city. The people who know most about such things have learned that to keep boys and girls good they must be made happy. One of the easiest ways to make them happy is to give them plenty of places where they can romp and play in the fresh air and sunshine.
INVENTION AND DISCOVERY.
STORM FRONT FOR VEHICLES.—For those who live in the country and do much driving in the winter, this storm front is a capital scheme.
It is made on the same plan as the glass front of the new hansom cabs which have been introduced into this country within the last few years.
The front is made in one solid piece. There are two little glass windows in it, to enable the occupants of the buggy to see out. When it is not in use it is pulled up over the heads of the riders, and when the storm comes on a cord lets it down in front of them.
It is so adjusted that the driver can handle the reins under it, and while it might not be safe to drive a skittish horse with it down, still for the ordinary use in the country it will be a great comfort.
COMBINED PURSE, PARCEL-CARRIER, AND BUCKLE.—This is an ingenious device. Arranged in the form of a buckle for a waist-belt, it answers the several purposes of purse, parcel-carrier, and buckle.
The picture you see represents the back of the buckle; the front being in the form of a pretty butterfly.
From the lower side of the clasp a strong hook is suspended. This hook is a patent hook, opening to catch the strings of parcels, and snapping tightly together again.
A little snap on the under side of one of the wings opens, and the body of the butterfly turns back and reveals a neat little purse, large enough for car fare or railroad tickets.
The buckle is principally intended for the use of bicyclists who need to utilize every scrap of space, but for ordinary wear it is neat and attractive as well as useful. G.H.R.
FIRST PRIZE CONTEST.
It has been difficult to separate carefully the best two lists from among the two hundred and odd received in the FIRST PRIZE COMPETITION. However, a very careful canvass of them has been made, and it has been found that as many as ten were complete lists. Naturally, those who sent in first receive the prizes, and we are pleased to announce that the first prize goes to Miss Marguerite Metivier, Greenwood Ave., Waltham, Mass., and the second prize to Walter L. Solomon, 344 West 145th Street. If they will write us their choice of the prizes, we will send them immediately.