VOL. 1 NOVEMBER 18, 1897. NO. 54
Copyright, 1897, by THE GREAT ROUND WORLD Publishing Company.
* * * * *
The mayor of the city of Greater New York is Judge Robert A. Van Wyck.
New York city has just been passing through the most exciting election that has fallen to her lot since she became a city.
This being the first election since the passing of the charter which made New York the second largest city in the world, each political party has been trying to get a man in for mayor who represented its own especial way of thinking.
You will remember our telling you about the passing of the charter last spring, and remarking that the man who would be made mayor of this great city would have to rule over nearly three and a half millions of people. He will also have to appoint officers of the government whose salaries will amount to five hundred thousand dollars a year, and to control New York's yearly income, which will amount to more than sixty millions of the people's money.
On January 1st, 1898, Greater New York will embrace Staten Island, the whole of Brooklyn as far down the Bay as Rockaway Beach, extend as far north as Yonkers, and stretch across the country to the Sound, which it will cross to take in Queens County on Long Island.
In the recent election one of the principal candidates for the mayoralty was Mr. Seth Low, the president of Columbia University, who was mayor of the city of Brooklyn in 1881, and was re-elected to the same office in 1883. Besides Mr. Low there were Gen. Benjamin F. Tracy, who was Secretary of the Navy under President Harrison in 1889, Robert A. Van Wyck, chief judge of the city court, and Mr. Henry George.
The contest was a very lively one, and each man who thus offered his services to his city had to endure a severe course of the abuse which it is the fashion nowadays to heap on any man who puts himself before the public gaze.
Accusations have been brought by each party against the others, until, to the unprejudiced outsider, it has seemed as if none of the candidates selected was fit to hold office at all.
Judge Van Wyck and General Tracy have been accused of being so much under the rule of their party leaders that they could not possibly give New York honest government. Mr. Seth Low has been declared to be such an autocrat that he would rule the city according to his own ideas, were they good or bad. Mr. George was called a visionary person, who would turn the world upside down if ever he came into power. These were, of course, the opinions of the candidates' enemies. To their friends each of them was felt to be the one man for whom the city had been waiting, and whose election would insure the best possible government at the lowest possible cost to the people.
You may judge for yourselves that all these opinions could not possibly be true; and that therefore the candidates, as well as their parties, must have had their good sides and their bad sides. We can only hope that Judge Van Wyck, who was elected to the position by a very large majority, may prove to be the best man for the place.
A very sad and painful turn was given to the election by the sudden death of Mr. Henry George, one of the candidates.
Mr. George was a man who had made a world-wide reputation for himself as the originator of the Single-Tax system.
The Single Tax is rather a hard matter for you to understand.
In brief, it was Mr. George's belief that poverty could be done away with, and every man placed in a position where he could earn a comfortable income, by abolishing all taxes upon industry and the products of industry, and substituting one single tax on land. The land-owners would then be the only persons taxed, and, according to Mr. George's theory, the land tax would be so heavy that it would prevent the men who do not want to use the land from keeping it out of the hands of the many who would like to have it for homes or raising crops. There being no longer any other taxes, the cost of living would be greatly lessened, and every man would be able to earn enough to support his family in comfort—and poverty would be at an end.
It is claimed for Mr. George's theory that no one has been able to find an argument which disproves it; but at the same time it has not yet been proved by practical use, and to many people it seems only a wonderful idea which can never be brought into working order.
Be that as it may, Henry George was one of the really great men of our century; and while the troubles between labor and capital exist, he can never be forgotten.
Mr. George did not go into the campaign from any desire of personal gain or profit. He felt that it was a critical moment in the history of the city, and he ran for the mayoralty of Greater New York because he thought he was needed by the people whom he so greatly loved.
The cause of the people was ever nearest his heart, and to benefit them he willingly gave up the comfort of his quiet home, and the labor in which he found his greatest pleasure, the writing of a book on the "Science of Political Economy," which he had hoped would prove a greater work than his famous "Progress and Poverty."
Mr. George was not, however, strong enough to stand the strain and worry of a political campaign. His health gave way under it.
The night before his death he overtaxed his strength by speaking in several different places, making several tiring speeches on the same evening, and hurrying from one meeting to be in time for the next. Worn out by the burdens which he was not strong enough to bear, he passed away in his sleep, stricken with apoplexy.
Rich and poor alike mourn the loss of this great man. On the Sunday after his death his body lay in state in New York that the people whom he had loved so well might bid good-by to their friend. For hours they passed by his bier; rich and poor, young and old followed each other in the long line.
At the funeral services which were held later, many ministers of different sects and religions combined in the praise of the great and good man who had passed away in the act of doing his duty.
* * * * *
The establishing of Home Rule in Cuba does not seem as near as the Spaniards would have us believe. An official who understands the ins and outs of Spanish policy declares that it will be fully a year before the proposed reforms can be put into working order.
At the present moment there is a general election taking place in Spain, and until this is settled nothing will be done in regard to Cuban reforms.
As soon as the elections are over, the Colonial Minister will prepare the bill which will give Home Rule to Cuba. The bill will then be sent to the Cortes, where it must be discussed by both the Upper and Lower Houses before it can become a law. It may take many months before the members can agree on such an important measure as this will be.
When it has finally passed the Cortes, it must be sent to the Queen, who will look it over at her leisure, and sign it if she thinks fit.
Even after her signature is affixed the Cortes has the power to lay the measure aside and prevent its ever becoming a law.
It is therefore hinted in Cuba that the offers of reform may after all mean nothing but an endeavor to gain time, and prevent the United States from going to the assistance of Cuba.
The reforms offered are not at all acceptable to Cubans, because they find that they will be expected to pay the whole of the debt caused by the war, which now amounts to nearly six hundred million dollars. Furthermore, the captain-general who will rule over the island as governor will have the right to veto every act of the legislature. The Cubans therefore feel that the Home Rule offered is not a genuine reform which will bring them relief from the abuses from which they rebelled against Spain, but a sort of game, invented to keep them good tempered, which is as unlike real Home Rule as playing with a doll is unlike nursing a real baby.
It is stated that the Cuban people in the field and in the cities do not believe in the offered Home Rule, and are determined not to accept it.
A proclamation to that effect has come from Cuba. It is signed by Calixto Garcia, Maximo Gomez, and Domingo Mendez Capote,—which, by the way, looks as if the report was true that Garcia had been elected commander-in-chief of the army, Gomez, minister of war, and Capote, president of Cuba; else why should they sign the proclamation, which is an official document?
General Gomez has also issued another statement in which he says that the change in the Spanish Government will not affect the Cuban plans in the least. The Cubans, he says, are fighting for liberty, and liberty they will have. They scornfully refuse the Spanish offers of Home Rule, believing them to be insincere and misleading.
Gomez further declares that the army has been making great preparations for the coming winter campaign, and expects to show the mother-country, by force of arms, that Cuba will have nothing from her but freedom.
* * * * *
General Weyler has left Cuba, and General Ramon Blanco has taken command in his place.
The demonstrations so much feared by the Americans and Cubans in Havana occurred in spite of all the efforts to prevent them, but, happily such excellent precautions were taken that no rioting ensued.
There were a few cries of "Death to the Americans," but a strong guard had been placed over our consulate, and so no attack was made on it.
A report was circulated that the American cruiser Montgomery was outside the harbor, and so the Americans were not interfered with. They wisely kept within doors during the whole day, and everything passed off peaceably.
The city itself went wild over its beloved General. The stores were closed, the streets decorated, rockets were fired, and immense crowds gathered round the palace to bid Weyler farewell. The General went from the palace to the wharf on foot, the crowds pressing round him, shaking his hand, and even kissing him, cheering him to the echo as he embarked.
The Government in Spain sincerely wished to prevent the demonstration. The ministry desired to give the impression that Weyler had been recalled from Cuba because his rule had not been satisfactory to Spain. The Prime Minister therefore feared that if the Spaniards in Cuba gathered round Weyler and praised his rule—which had been so bloodthirsty and savage,—the Cubans would be still more enraged against Spain, and less inclined to believe that she really meant to give them the promised reforms.
To prevent any show of feeling, word was cabled from Spain that Weyler was on no account to leave the island until General Blanco arrived.
Weyler must have thought this to mean that Blanco had orders to forbid any demonstration, and so, in direct defiance to the orders he had received, he decided to embark the day that Blanco was expected.
By this means he was able to permit the demonstration which was so pleasing to his vanity, and also to make trouble for his successor.
The Cubans, as Spain feared, were shocked that the Spaniards should make an idol of their bitterest enemy, and immediately began to doubt the truth of the Home Rule stories.
Weyler went aboard his ship in great state on Friday afternoon, but by Saturday the fickle people of Havana were laughing at the man whom they had praised and embraced the day before.
Weyler had expected that Blanco would arrive an hour or two after his departure, but, unfortunately, soon after he had embarked he learned that Blanco's ship could not reach Cuba till Sunday morning, and as the Montserrat, on which Weyler had taken passage, had orders not to leave Havana till Blanco arrived, the great Weyler was cooped up on board ship the whole of Saturday, waiting with what patience he might for the arrival of General Blanco.
At about six o'clock on Sunday morning, October 31st, Blanco reached the port of Havana. Almost immediately Weyler visited him on board his ship, turned over his command, and in the afternoon sailed away from the shores of the beautiful little island which he has laid waste and ravaged with fire and sword.
Now that he has gone, the Spanish papers are beginning to condemn him and examine a little more closely into his accounts.
It is possible that trouble may await him when he reaches Spain.
One paper asks that he explain a problem in mathematics which you young folks should find interesting.
On May 18th, 1897, General Weyler announced that there were only 1,300 insurgents in Cuba, and that these were mostly unarmed.
On September 16th, 1897, he stated that of these (1,300) insurgents (mostly unarmed), 1,716 had surrendered with arms in their hands, 4,619 had surrendered without arms, 1,007 had been killed in Pinar del Rio, 536 in Havana, 430 in Matanzas, and 966 in Las Villas.
Out of 1,300 insurgents, 6,335 had surrendered and 2,942 had been killed.
Any one who can make these statements agree will receive a handsome prize from THE GREAT ROUND WORLD.
* * * * *
It is said that one of the first measures to be taken by General Blanco will be to suppress the barbarous decree made by Weyler which drove the country people away from their homes, and forced them to herd and starve in the cities.
These unfortunate people are now to be turned loose again, and given the right to go back to their homes and their farms.
This seems a very humane thing to do, but it will hardly bring the Spaniards the popularity they expect.
Since Weyler drove the peasants into the cities their lands and farms have been laid waste, their houses burned, their cattle stolen. They will be turned out of the cities penniless and homeless, and exchange the certainty of dying of hunger in the crowded city for the equal certainty of dying of hunger in the desolate wasted country.
Added to this, it is uncertain whether General Blanco can induce the country folks to leave the cities unless he drives them out at the point of the bayonet.
You probably remember our telling you that when first these people were forced into the cities, and began to feel the pangs of hunger, they begged the authorities to give them permission to go back to their farms, and gather in the crops that were rotting in the fields, that they might have food to save themselves from starving.
You will also remember that permission was given some of these poor fellows, and that they started out full of energy and hope, only to be shot down and killed by the Spanish soldiers as soon as they were outside the city limits.
The country people have not forgotten this, and it will be hard to make them believe that this order to leave the city is intended for anything else than a general massacre. Blanco will find it no easy task to make the people believe he means well by them.
Immediately on taking charge of affairs, the new Captain-General issued a proclamation to the people, in which he said that Spain had sent him to bring peace and prosperity to Cuba, and to extend her forgiveness to those who were willing to seek the protection of her flag.
He stated that he had been ordered by the Queen to govern the island with kindness and generosity, but added that the rebellion must be brought to an end. He declared that while Spain would show mercy to all who submitted to her rule, she would punish with the utmost severity those who still remained in arms against her.
* * * * *
In the mean while the Cubans are going right ahead. The important town of Bayamo, in Santiago de Cuba, is being besieged by the insurgents, and the monthly supply-train from Havana has again been captured by the rebels.
The condition of the Spanish troops is something pitiable.
The true state of affairs in Cuba is becoming so well known in Spain that the soldiers there are unwilling to go out to poor pay, poor food, and a certainty of becoming the prey of some awful pestilence.
Many of the soldiers who have been sent home have died on the voyage, and those who have reached Spain are so broken down in health that the fresh soldiers are afraid to go to Cuba.
There have been several mutinies among the troops which were ordered out with General Blanco.
A mutiny means that the soldiers refuse to obey the orders of their officers, and is practically a strike among soldiers.
In this instance the men have refused to embark for Cuba. In spite of their remonstrance they have been forced to obey, and the ringleaders severely punished.
* * * * *
It seems that our chances of being drawn into a war with Spain have not been greatly lessened by the answer to General Woodford's message.
Every one is waiting anxiously to know what the President will say at the opening of Congress, for it looks as if the time had come when we must take sides with Cuba.
The former minister to Spain, Mr. Hannis Taylor, has published an article in The North American Review, in which he gives it as his opinion that as Spain seems unable to put an end to the war, it is our duty to interfere, and tell the Spaniards that the war must cease by a certain date or we will have to take a hand and put an end to it ourselves.
This article has stirred up a great deal of feeling, and we shall probably hear more of it.
In the mean while Spain has sent a note to the various powers, asking what they would be prepared to do if she should declare war on the United States.
It is said that the European governments have given Spain to understand that if such an event occurs she will receive nothing stronger than diplomatic support from them.
* * * * *
The cruiser Montgomery and the gunboat Annapolis have been sent in search of the Silver Heels, but have returned to port without finding any traces of her.
The number of patrol vessels on our coasts has been doubled, and every possible precaution is being taken to prevent another affair of the kind; but, in the mean while, the filibuster has got safely away.
Cuban filibustering has, however, received a severe blow from England.
Information was received by the magistrate of Andros Island that the Cubans had established a depot on one of the Bahamas Islands, of which Andros is the largest.
These islands lie on the north and east of Cuba, and are a large group of coral islands, which are formed by those great coral reefs which are known as the Bahama Banks. Twenty of them are uninhabited, and many of them are mere reefs or keys.
These islands are very interesting from the fact that they have all been built by the coral insects. Each of these tiny creatures gathers lime from the water in which it lives or the food which it eats, and develops from this a skeleton, which is the coral. They live in masses or colonies, and throw out buds above them which form fresh coral insects.
These buds immediately set to work and gather lime to build up their own skeletons. In time the old coral insects below die, leaving behind them the hard limestone frame which they have built. The younger coral above lives on, sending forth buds which in turn do their share of the building, and in time,—in countless ages of time,—reefs and islands rise out of the mighty depths of the sea, built by the untiring energy of these marvellous little insects.
This rock building is still going on in the Bahama group, and some geologists think that in ages to come the coral insects which are at work on the Bahamas and those that are so busy on the Florida reefs will build up a vast country where it is now sea, and that ages and ages hence the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, and perhaps even the West Indian Islands may be a part of the main land. While this is only a theory, it should be interesting to you in making you realize that the building of the world is going on now, from day to day, as steadily as it did in the days when the bed of the Niagara River was carved out, and the wonders of the Yellowstone Park were being created by the gradual working of the waters. The forces of nature are building up and destroying to-day just as steadily as when the world first began.
But to return to the Bahamas. It was learned that the Cubans had taken possession of one of these uninhabited islands, and had made it their headquarters for receiving supplies from the filibustering expeditions. These supplies they would carry to Cuba when opportunity offered.
No sooner did the English learn this than a gunboat was sent to the island.
A large supply of arms and ammunition and a number of Cubans were captured.
The loss will be keenly felt by the Cubans because this depot was also used as a means of communication with friends in New York, and many of them escaped to America by this route.
It is not known what will be done with the prisoners taken. At present they are being held in quarantine for fear of yellow fever.
* * * * *
The British in India are advancing into the heart of the Afridis territory, and are now within thirteen miles of the Afghan frontier.
They have gained another victory over the tribesmen, and have secured from them two important mountain passes.
The hillsmen are fleeing before the British advance, and representatives of the Afridi and Orakzai tribes have sought the Ameer of Afghanistan and asked him to help them.
The Ameer has therefore sent word to the English agent at Kabul that the tribes are full of repentance and alarm, and have begged him to tell the British Government for them how truly sorry they are for their misconduct, and to ask on what terms they can be pardoned.
The Ameer writes on his own account that he is trying to arrest the Haddah Mullah, the mad priest who stirred up all the trouble, and he promises that if he can only succeed in finding him, he will exile him from Afghanistan.
It is not certain that the British are at liberty to make terms with the Afridis.
With savage and semi-savage people it is always necessary to keep strictly to your word, else they lose respect, and are apt to think that their adversaries are not powerful enough to do what they have threatened to do. The quality of mercy enters very little into their calculations. To threaten to do a thing, and then not to do it when it comes to the point, does not mean to them that their adversary is kind and good, but that he is weak and foolish.
The situation is this:
When Sir William Lockhart took command of the force which was sent out to punish the Afridis, he issued a proclamation ordering the tribesmen to submit immediately, stating that he would severely punish any attempt to oppose the advance of his army.
Now the Afridis have opposed his advance, and opposed it very severely, and they have not submitted to him.
It is a question whether he will not be obliged to disregard the Ameer's request for peace, and punish the Afridis, so that they may show more respect for the British rule in the future.
The complaint of the Government against the Afridis is so serious that they ought not to be allowed to escape without a severe lesson.
Wishing to live at peace with this tribe, England made an agreement some time ago with them whereby some of the British forts in the hill country were put under the care of the Afridis. Money was paid to the tribe, and arms given out to the men, so that they might be strong enough to protect the British interests.
In defiance of this agreement the Afridis broke their alliance with the English, and attacked and destroyed forts which they had agreed to guard.
The present indications are that the war in India will soon be over.
It is said that this will not put an end to England's troubles in Hindustan, as the expense of the war, combined with the money spent to stamp out the plague, has so exhausted the treasury of India that funds will have to be supplied very soon to keep the country going.
The council of India is considering the best means to raise the money needed.
* * * * *
The Sultan of Turkey has once more been heard from on the subject of Crete.
This time he is objecting to the commissioner appointed by the Powers to take charge of Cretan affairs.
It is said that the German Government is in sympathy with the Sultan in this matter, and has also signified its disapproval of the commissioner.
The uneasy feeling in regard to Turkey is increasing, and trouble is expected before the winter is over.
* * * * *
The news of Andree brought by the whalers turns out to be somewhat indefinite.
They say that they sighted an object which they are quite sure was the great balloon.
They state further that they heard strange cries coming across the ice-fields, which sounded to them like human voices, and they believe that Andree and his party are stranded somewhere on an ice-floe.
Captain Sverdrup, who commanded the Fram, in which Dr. Nansen made his famous Arctic voyage, says that it is his belief that the sounds heard were made by birds or else by the packing of the ice.
In the hope that Andree may still be alive, a relief expedition has started off from the northern coast of Norway in search of the adventurer and his companions.
There is a very interesting article in this month's Scribner's Magazine, which tells about the starting of the balloon. You should read it.
* * * * *
The fur seal conference has been in session in Washington for nearly two weeks.
England's representative, of course, was not present. You will remember that after several refusals and acceptances she finally decided to meet the United States in a conference to be held separately from the one which is now taking place.
Russia and Japan are well represented in this conference. Out of compliment to Mr. Foster, of the United States, who travelled to England, Russia, and Japan to obtain the consent of these various countries to the meeting, the attending delegates made him chairman of the conference.
The result of the discussions so far has been most gratifying to this country.
The Russian and Japanese commissioners are as fully convinced that the seal herd is decreasing as the Americans are, and all three countries have come to an agreement on the matter.
It has been decided to draw up a treaty between the three countries mentioned, whereby each agrees to prevent her own hunters and those of other nations from indulging in deep-sea sealing.
As soon as this document is fully prepared the conference will adjourn.
The result of the forthcoming British conference is awaited with considerable interest.
It is openly stated that there would be no trouble at all with England if it were not for the interference of Canada and the determination of the mother country to bow to the wishes of her colony.
It is indeed reported that Lord Salisbury has at last been convinced that the seals are diminishing.
Last week he sent for several of the leading fur merchants in London, and asked them to tell him the true state of the case.
According to the accounts that have reached us, one and all of these men assured him that the reports of Dr. Jordan were strictly correct, and that beyond any doubt the seals were being killed off.
Even then the Prime Minister doubted, and thinking that the merchants might be in league with the Americans, he asked suspiciously:
"If this is true, how is it that the price of sealskin is no higher now than it was when the supply of seals was abundant?"
It was not till he had been convinced that sealskin was no longer the fashionable fur, and that astrakhan had largely taken its place, that he was willing to believe them.
It is reported that Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the Premier of Canada, is coming here to be present at the next conference.
It is to be hoped that Lord Salisbury's eyes may now be opened to the true state of the case, and that he may be able to convince Sir Wilfrid that common sense demands that England and Canada shall make a similar agreement with us to that which is just being prepared with Russia and Japan.
* * * * *
The engineers' strike in England has not yet come to an end.
A special cablegram reports that the situation is unchanged. The Society of Engineers insists on the eight-hour day, and the masters refuse to discuss the subject until this point has been abandoned.
The chances of reaching an understanding are more remote than ever.
In the mean while there is trouble in the cotton trade.
The state of the cotton market is such that the manufacturers can no longer pay the wages they have been paying, and they have had to give notice to their hands that they must either close their mills or reduce wages.
At first it was decided that ten per cent. must be taken off the pay of the workers.
The trades unions discussed the matter with the employers, and refused to listen to such a reduction of wages.
The masters then declared that they could not continue to pay the present rate, as they would be losing money. They finally decided to give their workers a month's notice that they were going to reduce their wages five per cent.
Every one is anxiously waiting to see what the factory hands will do at the end of the month.
It is hoped that the time that will intervene before the reduction takes place will give them an opportunity to think matters over, and so avoid a strike.
Should the cotton-workers decide to strike, two hundred thousand operatives may be thrown out of work.
The manufacture of cotton goods in one of the greatest of the English industries.
Over a million men, women, and children are employed in Great Britain and Ireland, and nearly five million people are dependent for their daily bread on the wages earned in the factories.
The centre of this great industry is the city of Manchester. Here the greatest number of factories are built, and all matters concerning the cotton market are discussed and settled. Manchester—dirty, smoky Manchester, with its forest of tall chimneys pouring forth volumes of black, sulphurous smoke, holds the fate of the cotton trade in its hands.
It is quite a sight to see the Manchester factory hands rushing out of the mills, hundreds strong, at the noon hour.
Our own factory hands are, as you well know, neat, tidy, and well dressed girls. As soon as they turn off from the stream of their fellow-workers, as they leave the mills, it is hardly possible to tell whether they are factory girls, shop girls, servants, or young ladies.
The English mill girls are quite different.
They have a distinct dress which points out their occupation wherever they may be.
To begin with, they never by any chance wear hats. Winter and summer they go bareheaded.
They one and all wear short skirts which reach to the tops of their boots; these skirts are always made of cotton goods, and their boots are thick, clumpy, laced affairs, heavier than those worn by the workmen in this country—very often they have wooden soles. As you may imagine, the appearance of these girls' feet is something appalling.
The factory girl's costume is completed by an apron and a small square shawl of bright plaid, which is worn over the shoulders, or shifted to cover the head in wet weather.
They are picturesque-looking women, but the majority of them are so big and brawny and their manners are so rough that you would rather trust yourself to the mercies of a mad bull than to a crowd of angry factory girls.
On one occasion in Manchester, the agent of a patent washing-machine, wishing to advertise his goods, stationed himself outside one of the mill gates, and offered to wash the girls' greasy, oily aprons as they came out from work at noon.
Some of the girls took their aprons off, and a large crowd gathered round the machine to see what was going to be done.
The man put the garments into the machine, turned the crank, and in a minute the black and dirt were all out of the aprons.
The girls were highly pleased.
They signified their approval as the man wrung out the suds with his machine, and watched him with great interest as he carefully folded each apron, and then put them through a couple of rollers which were attached to the machine and intended to act as a mangle.
Clean, smooth, and neatly pressed, he handed each apron back to its owner and waited for their thanks. The whole business had not taken more than five minutes, and he expected to do a thriving trade in washing-machines on the spot.
He was disappointed.
No sooner did the girls get back their aprons than the trouble began.
In their ignorance they had expected that the garments would be returned to them dry as well as clean, and when they found that they were wringing wet and could not be used again for several hours, their rage knew no bounds.
They beat the man, tore his clothes, broke his machine, and ill-treated him until the men and boys from the mill, who had been watching the riot with laughter, thought it was time to interfere, and rescued the agent from the angry women.
There is nothing gentle or feminine about the English factory girl.
* * * * *
The Sultan of Turkey has sent a demand to the powers that the ten thousand rifles seized on board a Greek ship shall be turned over to him. These arms were taken during the early part of the blockade of Crete, and have been held by the powers.
Abdul Hamid has also issued a protest against the trial of a number of his subjects in the courts of Crete. He demands that they shall be sent over to Turkish courts and tried by Turkish judges instead of by the representatives of the powers.
He seems to be beginning his interference in Cretan matters.
* * * * *
A telegram from Christiania, Norway, states that news of Professor Andree has just been brought from Spitzbergen.
The nature of the news is not given, but it has been brought by the crew of a ship which was wrecked in the Arctic Seas, and who have just made their way to Spitzbergen.
Spitzbergen is one of a group of islands in the Arctic Ocean to the north of Sweden, and east of Greenland.
We may probably soon learn the fate of Andree and his brave followers.
There were so many competitors in the prize contest recently closed that it was impossible to decide who were the winners in time to announce their names in last week's paper. The quotation was, "The Pen is Mightier than the Sword," and Miss H.K. Peck, Crown Street, Meriden, Conn., won the first prize, and Miss E. DuBois, Greenwich, Conn., the second.
Watch for the new contest, which will begin in an early number.
LETTERS FROM OUR YOUNG FRIENDS.
DEAR MR. HARISON:
I have taken great interest in THE GREAT ROUND WORLD. When I was away this summer I showed your paper to a great many people, and they thought it was very nice, and they thought they would subscribe for it.
I have taken great interest in the Klondike affair. I went away this summer to Lake Hopatcong and had a lovely time, but we came home a little while ago.
Hoping your paper the most possible success,
Yours truly, SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. B.F.
DEAR LITTLE FRIEND:
We are very pleased to receive your kind letter.
TO THE EDITOR:
I wish to call your attention to the article printed in last week's GREAT ROUND WORLD about Austria. Your description about the Bohemians, properly called Czechs, is wrong. They are not wild, unruly, nor obstinate. In the United States there are five hundred thousand Czechs, and you never hear of them giving trouble to the Government nor any one else. Everywhere they are known as a quiet, industrious race, doing their business and offending no one. In Europe they have a great many obstacles to overcome. One of them is that the Germans are trying to crush them wherever they can. Every nation loves its tongue and wishes it to live, so do the Czechs. Because they oppose, are they to be called wild, obstinate, and ill-governed? The Czechs' language is not so difficult. I know Americans speaking the Czechs' language as well as Czechs themselves. I do not wish to discuss their rights, but I do feel that where a sad mistake has been made it ought to be rectified. Young readers must be informed correctly; and knowing it to be your aim to inform your readers so, I take the liberty of writing. I hope you will not think me prejudiced, nor that I merely write from a Czech's standpoint. An injustice has been done and ought to be righted if possible. If you wish to gain correct information, I refer you to Mr. Riis, author of "How the Other Half Lives." Also to Dr. Hall, minister of the Presbyterian Church. They have both been to Austria several times, and know a great deal about the Czechs. Hoping you will consider the matter, I remain yours, A.B. BAZATA.
NEW YORK CITY, October 18th, 1897.
We were very pleased to receive your letter.
You have evidently misunderstood the article in question, and also misquoted it.
If you will look back at page 1,390 you will see that we do not say the Bohemians are an unruly people, but that they are wild and quickly irritated—information which you can easily verify for yourself. We had no intention of making any disparaging remarks about the race. We merely stated facts which are so well known in Europe that they have become proverbs.
In reference to the Czech language we must also differ with you. Your argument that you have friends who speak the language does not strike us as very sound. There are numbers of Europeans who have learned Chinese, but that does not alter the fact that Chinese is an abnormally difficult tongue.
If you will read our article through again you will see that your zeal for the Bohemians has made you defend them before they were accused.
We stated that the governing of Austria is a very difficult task in consequence of the three conflicting elements of which it is composed, and explained the nature and grievance of each element.
You must not let your sympathies cloud your judgment.
INVENTION AND DISCOVERY.
By means of slot-boxes one may buy gum or postage-stamps, be weighed, or have his picture taken.
A schoolboy of St. Louis has recently invented a new and practical form of this popular machine.
The Martin paper slot-box is to be used upon street cars and railway trains for the sale of daily papers.
It has separate compartments for each morning daily, with movable name-slips so that the one box may serve for the sale of both morning and evening papers.
Though small and neat, the box will hold forty-five papers.
By inserting a penny and pushing a button, any paper desired may be had. The boxes are so arranged that five cents will be necessary to work the button for Sunday papers.
The patent papers have been received, and the youthful inventor is superintending the making of the boxes. As soon as a sufficient number are ready they are to be given a thorough trial on the leading lines of cars in St. Louis.