VOL. 1 NOVEMBER 25, 1897. NO. 55
Copyright, 1897, by THE GREAT ROUND WORLD Publishing Company.
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This has been an exciting week for Cuban matters.
We told you that we might expect to hear more from Mr. Taylor's article on Cuba in The North American Review.
We were quite right in our supposition.
The Madrid papers took the matter up indignantly, and it has been the main point of interest during the last few days.
If you remember, we told you that Mr. Taylor said, in his article, that Spain did not seem able to settle the difficult Cuban question, and that in his opinion it was clearly our duty to interfere.
One of the Spanish Senators, Senor Salvani, wrote an angry letter to the Madrid papers, in which he said that when Mr. Taylor was minister to Spain he appeared most anxious to preserve the friendliest relations between the two countries, and that he repeatedly declared that there was no fear that the United States would interfere with Cuba.
On seeing this letter, Mr. Taylor wrote one on his own account to the American papers.
In it he said that his experience had been that the Spanish authorities were unreliable, and according to his way of thinking the only way to put an end to the war, which was costing this country so much from destruction to commerce, was for the Government to take a firm stand with Spain, and insist that if the war wasn't ended by a certain fixed date we would end it for her.
To prove the truth of his assertion that Spain was unreliable, he stated that during the term of his official service in Madrid he had become convinced that Cuba would never yield, but would fight till her last drop of blood had been spilled.
Thinking it a great pity to allow such a valuable property as Cuba to be allowed to go to ruin, he decided to make an effort to bring the war to a close.
He was acquainted with Senor Castelar, who was a close friend of Canovas, the late Premier. Senor Castelar was President of Spain when it was a republic, before the young King's father was put on the throne by the aid of Canovas. At an informal dinner-party at Senor Castelar's, Mr. Taylor begged the Senor to talk to Canovas, and convince him that the war in Cuba was only a cruel waste of life and useless waste of money, as the Cubans would not submit. He asked Senor Castelar to suggest to Canovas that an attempt to pacify the island should be made by offering them liberal Home Rule.
Senor Castelar agreed with Mr. Taylor, and promised to speak to Canovas.
A few days later he sent word to Mr. Taylor that he had brought Canovas around to his way of thinking, and that Cuba was to be given Home Rule.
Mr. Taylor was very happy over the result of his efforts, and shortly after an offer of Home Rule was made to the Cubans.
It proved, however, to be Home Rule only in name. Spain was to keep control of the army, the navy, and the courts; the only privilege given to the Cubans was to be that of paying taxes to support the Government.
This offer was not acceptable to Cuba, and nothing further came of it.
When Mr. Taylor found that this was all the Home Rule Spain meant to offer the Cubans, he became discouraged, and concluded that Spain did not mean to do anything for Cuba, and that the offer was not sincerely made, but merely to gain time in the hope that the Cubans would run short of ammunition and be obliged to surrender.
Mr. Taylor has been severely criticised for making these statements.
The Government in Washington feared that serious trouble might result therefrom. What Mr. Taylor knew of the matter was learned while he was acting as an officer of the Government, and it has been thought that he should not have made his knowledge public.
The most alarming rumors grew out of the disclosures. People feared that war would be the result, and for a few hours there was a war scare. Prices of stocks fell, and one enterprising paper got out a "special," stating that war had been declared, because Spain had claimed the right to search American vessels on the high seas for arms, or what is called contraband of war.
The spread of the alarm was increased by a report that the Chamber of Commerce had once again issued a warning to the Government that the harbor defences of New York city were not strong enough, and had asked that they be strengthened.
Twice before in the history of our country that body has warned Congress: once before the outbreak of the Revolution, and again just before the Civil War.
As the members of the Chamber of Commerce had been right on both of the previous occasions, the people looked on them as prophets, and a war scare spread over the country, which caused the greatest uneasiness.
The feelings of the people were, however, calmed by an announcement from Washington that there was not the slightest cause for alarm. The governments in Washington and Madrid understood each other perfectly, and President McKinley intended to allow the promised reforms time to take effect before he even considered the idea of interference. In the announcement it was added that the warning from the Chamber of Commerce would be taken into consideration, but that there was in it nothing to throw the country into a panic.
The sudden fall in stocks was declared to be a trick on the part of some Wall Street speculators, and to mean nothing more serious than that a few sharp men had made money out of a good many foolish ones.
In regard to the threatened searching of American vessels—an action which would certainly oblige us to declare war on Spain—it was stated by those in authority that Spain does not contemplate any such course.
American vessels have a perfect right to carry arms to Cuba and fulfil any orders they may receive for such goods, as long as Spain persists in saying that war does not exist in the island. It is only when men accompany the arms that Spain has a right to protest; otherwise it is a mere carrying of merchandise from one port to another.
It is felt that while Spain has cause for anger against the American sympathisers who have sent over so many filibusters, she has none against the United States Government, which has done everything in its power to prevent the despatching of these unlawful expeditions.
* * * * *
Before he left Havana Weyler made a speech in which he is reported to have made remarks which have annoyed the Spanish Government. This appears to have created trouble for him.
The Spanish ministers have talked the matter over, and decided to demand an explanation from the ex-Captain-General.
The commanders of each of the ports in the Spanish kingdom have been instructed to ask the General what these remarks were the moment he sets his foot on Spanish soil, wherever that may be. If his statement agrees with the reports of his speech, he will immediately be arrested and tried by court-martial.
The particular remark reported which so offended the Government was in reference to his being certain that no other minister would keep him in office after the death of Canovas.
General Blanco is endeavoring to establish his government in Havana.
He is not having an easy time of it, however. The Spanish ministers were led to believe that there were a great number of Cubans who were desirous of seeing Home Rule established, and who would come to the assistance of Spain if she attempted to do this.
One of the proposed changes was that certain of the offices should be filled by Cubans. From the accounts given. General Blanco expected to find no difficulty in getting the Cubans to serve under him.
To his dismay he has found that the reported strong Home Rule party does not exist, and that the Cubans decline the honors offered them. He had to threaten one man with banishment from Cuba before he could persuade him to take any part in the establishment of the reforms.
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The war is being actively pursued all over the island. General Garcia has, it is said, captured Holguin and Mayari in Santiago de Cuba.
At Pinar del Rio City the insurgents defeated the Spanish troops and took from them some guns and a large store of ammunition.
It is said that a million dollars, sent over to pay the Spanish army, has mysteriously disappeared from Havana's treasury, and the soldiers are extremely indignant over it.
The desperate want of money among the troops is leading to some very reprehensible acts, if we are to believe what we hear.
It seems that some soldiers brought their colonel word that they knew where they could lay hands on $14,000, and they said that if they were allowed to go and seize it they would bring it to the colonel to pay the regiment, which otherwise would mutiny.
The colonel allowed his men to set off on their shameful expedition, and learned that sure enough they had obtained the money. What was his surprise and indignation to find that, instead of bringing it to him, they had deserted to the Cubans with their booty.
While the promised reforms are being put into practice without delay, the new Captain-General is, it is said, making active preparations for war. The winter campaign against the rebels is to begin at once, and it is believed that severe fighting is ahead.
It remains to be seen whether the soldiers will do better under General Blanco's leadership than they did under Weyler.
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You will be interested to know that the trial of the Competitor prisoners takes place in Havana this week.
The Spanish Government evidently wishes to settle this matter, which has been a grave source of difficulty between Madrid and Washington.
Under General Weyler's rule it was impossible to get these men tried, but Blanco has brought orders that they be tried immediately, and it is rumored that if they are found guilty they will be pardoned on condition that they leave Cuba and never return to it.
The Competitor case was explained to you in No. 40 of THE GREAT ROUND WORLD. Briefly, she was a schooner engaged in a filibustering expedition, and was overhauled and captured by the Spaniards. All the persons on board escaped but five, three of whom were sailing the ship, and claimed to be American citizens.
The defence made by these men was that the filibustering party had taken passage for Florida, and had given no indication of being engaged in any unlawful pursuit till the vessel was out of sight of land, when they took possession of her, and forced the captain to carry them over to Cuba.
This defence was not believed, and the men were sentenced to death. Our Government interfered on account of their being American citizens. A protest was sent to Spain, and a new trial was ordered. This was over a year ago, but by one means or another Weyler always contrived to prevent it.
It is reported that this Competitor case was one of the main objects of General Woodford's mission, and that the pardon of these unfortunate prisoners is in response to the President's request.
If all we hear is true, the Competitor prisoners will only be a few of the many persons whom General Blanco has been authorized to pardon. It is said that all persons prosecuted for rebellion, and all rebels accused of other crimes, are to be pardoned by the new Captain-General.
This clemency does not, however, meet with the approval of the Cubans. The pardon states that it is extended to all those whose crimes are against the state, but not to those criminals who should be punished by military law. It therefore amounts to little more than the releasing of the prisoners who are in the jails; the insurgents who have taken up arms against Spain have all been declared outlaws, and their crimes are punishable by military law, so the pardon does not apply to the soldiers who are or have been fighting in the war, and they are liable to be put to death for outlawry whenever caught.
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Reference was made, in THE GREAT ROUND WORLD No. 49, to the disgraceful proceedings which were taking place in the Austrian Parliament.
Unfortunately the members of that legislature have not yet seen the shame of their conduct, but have continued to grow more violent and add to their scandalous behavior in every possible way.
The use of the Czech and Magyar languages by the officials in Bohemia and Hungary has again been under discussion, and the scenes that have occurred in the Austrian Parliament day after day are almost beyond belief.
Instead of discussing the matter in hand, the deputies fell to calling each other names like a lot of vulgar street-boys, and would eventually have fought if a few of the cooler-headed members had not forcibly restrained them.
When the din would reach its highest point, the President would adjourn the meetings; but frequently the uproar was so great that the deputies did not know that he had done so.
These scenes have continued for over a week. On one occasion when a member rose to speak on the Austro-Hungarian compact, which is also unpopular in the House, Herr Wolff, the young Bohemian who recently fought a duel with Count Badeni, the Prime Minister, began to pound loudly on the lid of his desk, and calling his friends to aid him, sang, shouted, and read from the newspaper at the top of his voice, until, after an hour and a half of confusion, the member who was trying to speak gave up the attempt in despair.
At the present moment there are three important matters which have to be considered by the Parliament, all of which have their bitter opponents. One is the language question, another the calling to account of the Prime Minister for the various acts which have displeased the people, and the third is the important question of renewing the Austro-Hungarian compact.
We told you in an earlier number that this was an agreement by which Hungary paid thirty per cent. of the money needed by the Government, and Austria the remaining seventy per cent.
Before we go any further into this matter, we had perhaps better explain to you the government that binds Austria and Hungary together.
The two countries are united under the rule of one monarch, who is known as Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary.
The two countries are linked together by certain common interests, but each is governed by its own constitution, which is in both cases a limited monarchy. This means that the power of the sovereign is limited by certain rules and laws laid down for him in the constitution.
Austria and Hungary each have their separate parliaments, and the decisions of both these legislatures require the consent of the Emperor and King before they can be made laws.
Each country has its own Premier and Cabinet, and to manage the affairs common to both countries there is a third parliament, as it were, composed of members from Hungary and Austria.
This body is appointed for a year, and meets alternately at Vienna, the capital of Austria, and Buda Pesth, the twin capital of Hungary, a city which lies half on one bank of the Danube and half on the other. It is the duty of these lawgivers to consider the matters that concern the affairs of both countries equally.
There are three state departments, whose officers are responsible for their work to the Delegations, as the third body of lawgivers is called.
These officers are the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Whole Monarchy, the Minister of War for the Whole Monarchy, and the Minister of Finance for the Whole Monarchy.
These facts may seem a little hard and uninteresting to you, but it is as well to try to master them. It looks as if we were going to hear a great deal about Austria this winter, and it will be so much easier for us to understand the events as they happen if we have mastered the peculiar form of government under which these two peoples are joined.
It might perhaps simplify the subject to you if you realize that this government is really somewhat like our own. Austria and Hungary might be any two of our own States—say Pennsylvania and New York, for instance. The Emperor, the two parliaments, and the third body which regulates the matters in common for both countries, might be our President, the state legislatures, and Congress. Of course there are points of difference between the two governments, but to take this as a general plan will help you to form an idea of what the Government of Austro-Hungary is.
On page 1012 of THE GREAT ROUND WORLD we told you about Turkey and Austria fighting for Hungary, and how since 1527 Hungary had been a part of the possessions of the House of Habsburg.[A]
[Footnote A: This is often written Hapsburg, probably because the b is pronounced very shortly and sharply, giving it much the sound of p. Habsburg is, however, correct, as the name is derived from Habicht, a hawk, and was originally Habichtsburg, the Hawk's Castle, from which the family derived its name.]
There have been many revolts and uprisings in Hungary against the Austrian rule, and in 1867 the present arrangement was made, whereby Hungary paid thirty per cent. of the joint expenses of government. The compact, as it is called, was made for ten years. In 1877 and 1887 it was renewed for another period of ten years. Now in 1897 it must be renewed again.
Austria thinks Hungary is now in a position to pay a larger proportion of the expenses, but Hungary cannot see the force of this at all. She is, however, willing to make a fresh compact for one year, during which time the whole matter can be thoroughly discussed.
The attempt to get the compact arranged for the one year offered has been one of the causes of the trouble in the Reichsrath, or Parliament.
The Austrians do not want to renew the agreement unless they can get better terms, the Hungarians will not pay any more, and the Bohemians are opposed to every motion that is made, because they insist that their own grievance about the language shall be settled before any other business is done.
In consequence of this, the Austrian Parliament has become a bear-garden.
Mr. Clemens (Mark Twain), who happened to be in Vienna during these uproarious sittings of Parliament, and witnessed one of them, declared that the nearest approach to such a riot in his experience was the lynching of a man out West for stealing a horse—but even that was a mild scene compared to the proceedings of the Parliament.
While Mr. Clemens was watching, an Austrian member tried to speak on the Hungarian question; whereupon Mr. Wolff, the Bohemian member, began to slam the lid of his desk and then pound it with a ruler. A scuffle ensued in the attempt to wrench off the lid of the desk, during all of which the Austrian member continued to speak, it being utterly impossible to hear one word of what he was saying, because of the uproar made by the rest of these dignified lawgivers.
The haughty Hungarians have naturally become highly indignant over this conduct, and there have been stormy times in the Hungarian Parliament.
Francis Kossuth, a son of Louis Kossuth, the famous Hungarian patriot, is a member of the Lower House of the Hungarian Parliament. He created a sensation by demanding that Hungary should cut herself free from Austria and once more become an independent kingdom, as Austria did not seem to desire the renewal of the compact.
Baron Banffy, the Hungarian Premier, at once replied that the union of Austria and Hungary was complete, and a separation was impossible, and even were it not so, he could not contemplate the idea of turning Austria's troubles to the advantage of Hungary.
While the Austrian Parliament behaves in such a scandalous manner, no business can be transacted, and the matters of vital importance to the welfare of the country have to be laid aside because of the disorderly conduct of the Parliament.
The Emperor, Francis Joseph, is so disgusted with the way in which the deputies are abusing the privilege of helping to govern their country, that he threatens to suspend the constitution and act without the Parliament.
At present, it being a limited monarchy, he can only make laws by the will and consent of the people.
There is, however, a clause in the Austrian Constitution, an emergency clause, known as Article XIV., which in case of need gives the Emperor the right to suspend the constitution and act on his own responsibility.
The necessity of coming to a decision on the Hungarian question has become so great that the ministers are of the opinion that the Emperor will have to use this privilege. The Minister of Finance therefore uttered a warning to the members of the Parliament, telling them that they had better not drive the Government too far, as there was the gravest danger of the Emperor insisting upon exercising this right.
The latest despatches say that the published reports give but a slight idea of the grave trouble that is underlying this matter. It is feared that a revolution may be the result, and that martial law will have to be proclaimed in Bohemia this winter to quell the language riots.
There was great indignation in the Parliament when the warning of the Minister of Finance was announced; and grave as it seems thus to deprive the people of their rights, something must soon be done to bring the deputies to their senses. The warring factions in the Reichsrath have learned that if they cannot obtain the laws they wish to have for themselves, they can at least prevent laws from being made for others, and so they have brought the affairs of Parliament to a deadlock.
The latest news is that the House has been adjourned for a period of four days. If the members continue to act as before when the House reassembles, the probabilities are that the Emperor will suspend the constitution and take from the people the right of making laws until they prove worthy of the privilege.
While this course may bring the Austrian Parliament to order, it is likely to throw the Hungarians into still greater disorder.
Francis Kossuth, on hearing of the Emperor's intentions, announced that he would fight to the death rather than allow Hungary to accept a compact made with the Emperor alone, and without the consent of the Austrian Parliament.
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You will be glad to know that Japan and Hawaii are likely to come to a friendly settlement of their differences.
You will remember that it was suggested that the matter of the exclusion of the emigrants should be decided by arbitration.
When, however, the time came for Japan to state the points she was willing to submit to arbitration, she refused to allow the possession of the $50 to be discussed.
This, as you will recollect, was the whole point of the disagreement.
Hawaii refused to accept the immigrants because it came to her knowledge that the steamship company furnished them with contracts, and loaned them the $50 required by law to enable them to pass the custom-house. The contracts were worthless, and the $50 was returned immediately on landing.
The Japanese Government in Tokio has come to the very wise and pleasant decision that the proper thing for it to do is to submit the whole case to the arbitrators and not enter into any conflict with Hawaii.
Up to the present time the letters sent by the Japanese Government have been of such a nature that they warranted the belief that Japan was ready to declare war on us on account of Hawaii.
In the present communications, however, the entire tone has changed. They are friendly and pleasant, and appear to desire to preserve friendly relations with us.
This should be especially pleasing, for the Japanese are a fine, vigorous race of people, whom we cannot but admire for their spirited conduct in their war with China. It would be a pity if we were forced to regard them in an unfriendly light.
It is reported that the reason for the change is that the Government has discovered that the information forwarded to it was misleading and calculated to give a wrong impression.
It is hinted that the Japanese minister in this country is the innocent cause of the trouble. It seems that he became very intimate with the son of Claus Spreckels, the Hawaiian Sugar King.
Young Mr. Spreckels had of course his own ideas about Hawaiian matters, and told them to the Japanese minister. This official felt that Mr. Spreckels must be thoroughly well acquainted with Sandwich Island affairs, and accepted all that he said as fact without attempting to investigate for himself.
He should not have done this, because, hard though it is for us to realize it sometimes, there are always two sides to every question, and all of us, even the fairest-minded, find it difficult to see both sides with equal clearness and justice.
With the best intentions it was impossible for Mr. Spreckels to look at matters from a disinterested standpoint, and the minister should have grasped this fact, instead of sending as facts to his Government statements that were merely the views of an interested party.
As it was, the Government in Tokio was told that there was not the slightest fear of the United States annexing Hawaii, that it was all talk and would never amount to anything, and that Japan could go ahead and force her immigrants on Hawaii without interference.
As a matter of fact, it now appears that Japan had no hostile plans in sending her immigrants to Hawaii.
While it is true that many of these men were soldiers, it is stated by those who have studied the matter that they were not soldiers in the regular Japanese army, but men who had fought in the war with China.
The enormous strides which Japan has made since the war, and which have roused the admiration of all her sister nations, cannot have been accomplished without changes in the thoughts and habits of the Japanese people.
It seems that the progressive spirit which the war awakened made the Japanese restless; the soldiers who had been serving in the field could not readily settle down to the old ways of life. They wanted fresh worlds to conquer.
The Government, realizing that something must be done with this restless element, instituted and encouraged the idea of emigration. There appeared to be a great demand for such people in Hawaii, and therefore the emigration to the Sandwich Islands was commenced. It would perhaps have been wiser to send the people to the recently acquired island of Formosa, but the march of progress had not yet reached this island, while the Americanized Hawaiian Islands offered inducements which the newly awakened Japanese ambition craved for.
Be that as it may, it now seems certain that there was no more serious motive in sending emigrants to Hawaii than the endeavor of Japan to find occupation for her surplus population.
The determined stand taken by the Hawaiian Government, and the absolute certainty that the United States would uphold it, finally opened the eyes of the Japanese to their mistake. The minister was recalled after inquiries had been instituted, and the attitude of the Japanese representatives in Hawaii was changed from haughty displeasure to the utmost friendliness.
The outcome of the whole matter has been a pleasantly worded letter from Japan, in which she consents to submit the whole immigration question—contract, $50, and all—to arbitration.
It is extremely gratifying to all lovers of peace to find that one more national misunderstanding has been settled without resorting to the horrors and cruelties of war.
* * * * *
News comes that the month of reflection given to the Manchester cotton-workers, before the reduction of wages was to go into effect, has borne good fruit.
Instead of going on strike and causing distress to themselves and disaster to the masters, the workmen have decided to submit the matter to arbitration.
If it is proved to their satisfaction that the masters are really paying higher wages than the state of the business permits, they will submit to the reduction.
They want to be assured that the masters are telling them the truth, and for this no one can blame them. Five per cent. of their earnings is too much to be given up unless it is absolutely necessary.
This settlement is another triumph for arbitration.
* * * * *
The treaty entered into by the Russian, Japanese, and United States sealing commissioners has been signed.
The treaty prohibits deep-sea sealing in waters controlled by them.
The treaty does not apply (so far as Great Britain is concerned) to the Bering Sea. By the treaty of Paris this sea was declared to be an open sea, free to all at a certain distance from the coast; therefore Great Britain can indulge in deep-sea sealing in those waters if she pleases.
It is hoped, however, that England's love of justice will convince her that there must be some truth in the statement about the decrease of the seal herd, and not wishing to be the only country engaged in improper sealing, she will eventually add her signature to the treaty.
This seems the more likely as it is reported that at the sealing conference with Great Britain, which follows the Russo-Japanese conference, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the Canadian Premier, will endeavor to settle the disputed matters satisfactorily.
The Canadian Premier has always desired to maintain the most friendly relations with us, and though he has given no hint of his intentions on the sealing question, it is understood that he means to reach an amicable understanding with us.
It is also said that he intends to see the President while he is in Washington, and if possible clear away all the existing difficulties between Canada and the United States.
The sealing trouble is only one of the matters which need arranging. There is the Kootenay affair, the Klondike question, and a number of other fishery and tariff differences.
* * * * *
Our Government will soon have an opportunity of testing the value of the reindeer which have been imported into Alaska.
A number of whaling-vessels are fast in the ice off the coast of Alaska, and it is necessary to send food to the sailors on them to save them from starvation.
These ships went up through the Bering Sea this summer to ply their dangerous trade as usual. The winter set in earlier than usual, and eight of them have been caught in the ice off Point Barrow, which is on the north of Alaska, jutting out into the Arctic Ocean.
There are about two hundred and seventy-five men on these vessels. Not expecting to spend the winter in the Arctic Ocean, they were not prepared for such an emergency, and none of them carried more than a three-months' supply of food. The gravest fears are entertained lest they die of starvation.
The matter was brought to the attention of the President, who immediately called a Cabinet council, at which it was decided to send a relief expedition to these men.
The plan is to charter a steam-whaler, the Thrasher, which is now at San Francisco, and send her with provisions and clothing to Port Clarence, which you will find marked just below Cape Prince of Wales, the most easterly point of our continent, which bounds the Bering Straits on the American side.
If it is impossible to get so far north as this, it is proposed to put in at Norton Sound, on which St. Michaels is situated, the port which has come into so much prominence lately through the discovery of gold on the Klondike.
Whichever of these points can be reached, it is purposed to send the provisions across Alaska to Point Barrow by reindeer.
There is a reindeer station at Point Clarence, and so it would be better to reach this spot if possible; but the captain of the revenue-cutter Bear, which cruises in Alaskan waters, says that there is too much ice already for it to be possible to reach either Port Clarence or St. Michaels.
The reindeer will, however, be used when other means of travelling are impossible, and they will bring the supplies to the imprisoned whalers.
There are at present eleven hundred head of deer in Alaska, all in a healthy and thriving condition.
Last December, the superintendent of the reindeer station at Port Clarence thought he would try and see just how useful these beasts could be made, and whether it would be possible, by their aid, to establish communication between Arctic Alaska and civilization.
He took with him nine sleds, seventeen reindeer, and two Lapp teamsters.
Here is his description of the trip:
"The journey was a very difficult one. Barren mountains whose sides had been swept bare by blizzards, and ravines which held deep snowdrifts, had to be crossed. The icy waters of mountain torrents had to be forded; sometimes a way had to be cut with axes through tangled undergrowth. The cold was intense, sometimes 73 deg. below zero."
Though reindeer moss was found in sufficient quantities throughout the entire trip, at one time the party was storm-bound on the mountains, and the animals were thirty-six hours without food.
The hardy creatures suffered no permanent injury from this long fast, and their skins, thickly covered with long hair, were sufficient to protect them from the icy blasts.
With servants such as these to do its bidding, there is every hope that the Government may be able to send provisions to the unfortunate whalers before they begin to suffer the pangs of hunger.
Cheering news has been received from the captain of the whaling-steamer Devall and the captain of the revenue-cutter Bear, who state that there are between three hundred and four hundred barrels of flour at the Point Barrow refuge-station, probably within reach of the men.
The Bear, which is now at Seattle, has been ordered to prepare for another Arctic trip, and be ready to push on through the Straits as soon as the spring conies, and go round to Point Barrow to rescue the whalers, in case the packing of the ice has crushed and wrecked their vessels.
The Bear has a noteworthy Arctic record. It was this vessel which was sent in search of, and was successful in finding, the Greely expedition.
* * * * *
There is a good deal of discussion on the subject of football just now.
The fatal accidents which have befallen the players already this season have led people to think it a brutal sport, and many are setting their faces against it.
The legislature of Georgia has forbidden football within the state limits, and all the prominent colleges in the country are discussing the idea of prohibiting it.
Chicago has come to the front as bravely as it did in the crusade against the high hats in theatres.
The same alderman who offered the resolution to suppress the hats has evolved a new one which will make him famous.
It reads: "An Ordinance to Prohibit the Playing of Football."
While football is a fine, manly sport, the objectors have good reason on their side for wishing to suppress it.
A good many young fellows seem to forget the true sporting spirit in which they should play the game, and to use it as a means for paying off old grudges.
If they cannot rise above their own feelings in the game, the sooner it is forbidden the better.
A statement from a noted Harvard Right Tackle has appeared, which is so shocking to all true sportsmen that they can but feel that Georgia's example cannot too soon be followed by the other States.
This statement is in reference to a famous game played in 1889. It says that in the rival team was a man who had been the Right Tackle's unsuccessful rival at a preparatory college. In the course of the game this man walked deliberately up to the Right Tackle, kicked him severely, then limping off to the umpire, complained that the Harvard man had kicked him. The Harvard man was ruled out of the game, and as he left the field his rival again approached him, and said: "I've got even for that old grudge at —— College." The Harvard man knocked him down, and that ended the matter.
It seems incredible that men calling themselves gentlemen should not only do such things, but speak of them unconcernedly afterward.
In England, which is the home of football, the game is rough enough, but kicking or "hacking," as it is called, is not allowed, and the man who would deliberately strike or seek to injure another in the course of a game on account of a private grudge would be forced to leave college and hounded out of society. The love of sport for sport's sake is so well developed in England that a man would be disgraced for life who would so far forget himself as to permit any such exhibition as the one quoted above.
WORD-BUILDING PRIZE CONTEST.
The Great Round World, 3 and 5 West 18th St., N.Y.
GENTLEMEN: I am in receipt of the kodak camera won as a prize in the recent contest, and wish to thank you most heartily for it. It is a gratification to win anything by the exercise of one's wits, and I shall highly prize the kodak and appreciate your generosity as well.
Very cordially yours, HANNAH K. PECK. MERIDEN, CONN., Nov. 12th, 1897.
The Great Round World, 3 and 5 West 18th St., N.Y.
GENTLEMEN: My daughter begs to acknowledge with many thanks the receipt of the pocket kodak, being the second prize in the recent contest....
Very truly yours, ELEANOR DU BOIS. By CORNELIUS DU BOIS. Nov. 13th, 1897.
There has been so much interest manifested in the Prize Contests that we are going to continue them, and one is begun this week which should be very interesting to all our readers.
See the advertising pages for details and list of prizes, of which, there are many more than in the other contests.
INVENTION AND DISCOVERY.
ELECTRIC HAIR-DRYER.—This is an idea that will find favor with all women who have long hair and dread the long, tedious process of drying, and the misery and tangles that are a part of the first combing after the hair is dry.
It is an electric hair-dryer, partly comb and partly brush. It is connected with an electric wire which heats a sliding plate in the inside. The dryer is passed over the hair, smoothing it and removing the tangles, and drying it at the same time by means of the heated plate inside.
It can be easily adapted to every house where electricity is used, as a small wire attached to the lights will do the work required.
The hair-dryer is carefully insulated, and there is no danger of the user receiving an electric shock.
The dryer should become a favorite toilet article. The softness and silkiness of the hair is greatly enhanced by constant washing, and yet there are many women to whom the dangling of damp locks means a sure cold in the head and sore throat.
HAMMER.—Any one who has tried to pull nails with the claw of a hammer will appreciate this little device which has just been patented.
The claw end of the hammer is provided with a number of grooves, into which a little bar fits and locks.
When you go to draw a nail, instead of the half-dozen hit-or-miss slips that are the usual fate of such attempts, the bar falls down in front of the nail as the claw grips it from the back. The nail is held in a vise and must come out willy-nilly.
This new hammer is likely to save amateur carpenters more worry and wounded fingers than any contemporary invention.