VOL. 1 DECEMBER 9, 1897. NO. 57
Copyright, 1897, by THE GREAT ROUND WORLD Publishing Company.
Germany is furnishing us with some interesting news this week.
She has successfully accomplished something which, to simple folks who are not diplomatists, seems like a plain, every-day case of robbery.
Here is the story of it, and you can judge for yourselves.
Some German missionaries have been killed in China, and Germany has seized a Chinese port in revenge.
Missionaries are, as you know, holy and devoted men who go to far countries to spread the knowledge of the Gospel among heathen and unenlightened people.
These good men have always suffered much for their faith. They go wherever their duty calls, and even carry their message of peace to the terrible cannibals who kill and eat men.
In the early annals of our own country we have records of the terrible sufferings endured by these good men in their missionary work among the redskins.
Missionaries count their perils and their privations as nothing if they can but do the work of God.
Every government is particularly careful to do all that it can to protect its missionaries, and if ignorant savages do them harm, an attempt is always made to punish the wrongdoers, to teach them that these servants of God are well protected.
The German Catholic Church some time ago established a mission in Shantung Province, China. Recently the sad news was received in Berlin that the mission at Yen Chu Fu had been attacked, and two missionaries killed.
The shameful deed was at first attributed to pirates, but later it was found that it had been planned by the governor of the province in revenge for some old grievance.
Following this outrage came news that the captain of a German gunboat had been attacked by a Chinese mob, which also insulted the German flag by throwing stones at it.
The Government was extremely angry at this, and immediately demanded an explanation from China.
The Chinese Government expressed its sorrow for the occurrence, and sent orders to the governor of Shantung to arrest and punish the offenders.
Germany was informed of the action taken by the Chinese Government, which, it is said, used all possible diligence and haste to bring the offenders to justice; so much diligence, in fact, that on the 15th of the month the governor of Shantung telegraphed that he had arrested four of the culprits.
Germany, however, went right ahead in her own way, without paying any heed to the efforts China was making to appease her; and to the intense surprise of the world, simultaneously with the news of the arrests came word that Germany had seized one of the Chinese harbors in the Yellow Sea.
The Yellow Sea is on the east of China, and is formed by the peninsula of Korea. Shantung, where the missionaries were killed, is a province bordering on the Yellow Sea, and the fortified bay captured by the Germans is called Kiao Chou, and is an excellent harbor on the Shantung Coast, with the town of Kiao lying at its head.
This harbor was guarded by three forts, which were manned by fifteen hundred Chinese soldiers.
Without word or warning the German admiral entered the bay, steamed up opposite the forts, and ranged his ships in line of battle. He then sent word to the Chinese commander that the three forts must be vacated within three hours or he would bombard them.
The Chinese commander made no answer, so the German admiral proceeded to land a force of men to take possession of the place.
The Chinamen watched the proceedings without making any demonstration, and allowed the Germans to land six hundred soldiers and several guns without making an effort to prevent them.
As soon, however, as the force began to march upon the forts, the Chinese became panic-stricken, and fled helter-skelter to the hills.
The Germans marched into the forts in good order, and took possession of them without striking a blow. They then hauled down the Chinese flag and ran up their own in its place.
It was found that the Chinese commander and his family had not fled with the rest of the garrison, and as these people promptly placed themselves under the protection of Germany, there was no trouble with them.
The German soldiers proceeded to man the forts, and Germany is now in possession of them. It is believed that she means to keep them.
China is justly indignant at this act on the part of Germany, and fully realizes that she has good cause to declare war; but she is so weak in military and naval force that she is not able to resent the outrage, and the robbers are likely to be able to hold their prize.
Europe is astonished that Germany should have committed such a daring act. It has been understood by all the European nations that when savages misbehave, the only way to teach them manners is to step in and seize their lands; but China is not a savage country, and the Chinese cannot be treated like ignorant barbarians. Every one is wondering what the outcome will be.
Germany evidently expects war, and is preparing for it. She has withdrawn her troops from Crete, and has sent them to the East, it is supposed to Kiao Chou.
You remember, of course, that when the Powers occupied Crete, each nation in the combination landed a certain number of soldiers on the island to help preserve peace.
Some of these soldiers have been at Crete ever since, and some have been withdrawn. England called hers away some time since, and now Germany, having use for her soldiers in China, has ordered hers to other duty.
It is said that the Emperor William has long desired to own a port in China, and that he has used the murder of the missionaries as a pretext to help him gain his ends.
We told you last week of his desire to increase the German navy. To accomplish this, it will be necessary for him to do as other nations do, that is, have ports all over the world where he can coal and repair his ships. He has therefore looked with longing eyes on Kiao Chou.
This harbor is one of the best along the coast; so good, indeed, is it, that Russia has been making offers to buy it. It has a great advantage in being far away from the British and Russian ports, thereby diminishing the chances of interference.
The Chinese have protested against Germany's unlawful act, and asked her when she proposes to withdraw her troops, as they have secured the offenders, and removed all cause of offence. Germany has made no reply, so China fears she means to keep the harbor she has taken.
Many people believe that some such act has long been contemplated by the Emperor.
China has, however, appealed to Russia for help, and as France and England are equally interested in the matter, serious trouble may ensue.
Russia has more than doubled her fleet in the Yellow Sea, and has now thirty-eight vessels in the neighborhood. England, France, and America have also sent ships thither.
From the news as we know it, it seems as if Germany had committed a very shameful act; but when we hear both sides of the question, we may find that she has only done the right thing for the preservation of her national honor.
* * * * *
The Sultan of Turkey has been getting into trouble again. Both Russia and Austria have been making things unpleasant for him.
Since his successes in the war he has begun to think himself a very important sovereign, and both Russia and Austria decided that if he were not checked he might become a very dangerous neighbor, so they met in consultation, and laid their plans for checking his ambition.
They first incited Bulgaria to rebel.
Bulgaria is a small principality on the north of Turkey, which is under the sovereignty of Turkey. Bulgaria enjoys home rule, and is governed by a prince elected by the people; the prince must not, however, be a member of any of the reigning families of Europe. Bulgaria is, however, a tributary state, and has to contribute toward the support of Turkey.
Instigated by Austria and Russia, Bulgaria demanded several small favors from the Sultan, insolently adding that if they were not granted she would declare her independence and throw off the yoke of Turkey.
Now until the peace with Greece is absolutely signed and sealed, the Sultan of Turkey cannot afford to quarrel with anybody, so he was obliged to give in, and grant Bulgaria's demands; but her independence made him feel somewhat uneasy and so he sent a number of soldiers to the Bulgarian frontier, to make sure that the Bulgarians behaved.
This was exactly what Austria and Russia desired. With her troops scattered, and uneasy nations on her borders, Turkey is much less dangerous.
The Bulgarian matter had hardly been settled when Austria discovered a new means of checking Turkey.
The Turkish officials in Asia Minor ill-treated an Austrian subject. He was the agent of the Austrian Lloyd's Steamship Company at Mersina, and had been summarily expelled from the city by order of the officials.
The Austrian consul at once interfered, and was grossly insulted by the Mutessarif, who is a sort of mayor, and also by the Vali, or governor, of Adana, in which province Mersina is situated. Adana is one of the Turkish provinces on the Mediterranean Sea, and Mersina is one of its chief seaport towns.
The incident being exactly what Austria had been wishing for, a great deal was made of it. The Austrian ambassador at Constantinople sent word that his flag had been insulted, and demanded that Turkey should formally salute the Austrian flag, that both of the offending officials must be immediately dismissed, and the agent given money damages.
The ambassador informed the Sultan that, in case of refusal, he should leave Constantinople, and sever all diplomatic relations with Turkey, and that warships should proceed to Mersina and bombard it.
The Sultan did not like to be treated in this way, and took time to decide what he should do.
The ambassador sent a second letter, when he had waited as long as he thought right for an answer to his first, with the added demand that Turkey should also pay the claims of the Oriental Railroad Company, and that the matter should be decided inside of eight days.
The claim of this railroad company was for carrying troops during the war, and the bill for this service had not been paid.
Now the Oriental Railroad Company is not owned by Austria, but by Austrian citizens, and it was an unheard-of thing for a government to seek to collect the private debts of her citizens at the cannon's mouth. Europe has, however, been doing remarkable things to Turkey for many years past.
The Sultan dared not refuse Austria, any more than Bulgaria, until the peace with Greece was signed, and so was forced to agree to all of Austria's demands.
In six days he had made up his mind, and a polite message was sent by the Porte (the Turkish Government) to Austria, that the ill-treatment of the Austrian citizen was a matter of deep regret, and that the Porte would pay the required money damages, would discharge the offending officials, and send warships to salute the Austrian flag; and last, but not least, the Porte would pay the railroad company's bill, which amounted to the nice little sum of $1,250,000.
The letter concluded by stating that the Sultan desired the good will of the Emperor of Austria, and hoped that nothing might intervene to endanger it.
By this little action Austria and Russia succeeded in weakening Turkey still more through her treasury; but even then they were not satisfied.
Russia had found out that the Sultan intended to spend part of the indemnity Turkey was to obtain from Greece in strengthening his navy; in fact, with Germany's help he meant to have the finest navy in the world.
This did not suit Russia at all. It became known that Germany had arranged to supply Turkey with a perfectly equipped navy—guns, equipment, and all complete—for one-quarter of the money coming from Greece.
Turkey has been bankrupt for many years, and owes money to most of the nations of Europe, so when Russia learned of this dangerous activity on her part, she took advantage of the old debts to prevent it.
She sent word that if Turkey was in a position to buy a navy, she must be also in a position to pay her debts, and therefore Russia would like to have the old account of 1878 settled.
This is a war debt which Turkey owes Russia because of the last war between them.
This debt is an extremely heavy one, and the Porte, becoming frightened lest Russia should insist on its payment, hastened to inform the Czar that nothing definite had been arranged about the navy.
Russia replied that the moment Turkey shall attempt to build up her navy or increase her war supplies, she will insist on the payment of this debt.
After a few days of reflection, the Porte informed the Russian ambassador that Turkey had decided not to make any changes in her navy for the present.
Between them, Austria and Russia have succeeded in crushing the Sultan's ambition for the present.
* * * * *
These are, however, not all of Abdul Hamid's troubles.
Crete, which he had begun to regard as his rightful property, has once more become a thorn in his side.
Confident of his power, he has been assuming a haughty tone with the Greek ambassador sent to settle the treaty, and insisted that he accept the terms as they were without venturing on any changes. He has also kept his soldiers in Crete, and sent a Turk as governor of the island despite the protests of the Powers.
He has, in fact, been doing pretty much as he pleased, believing that Europe was afraid of him, and that he was master of the situation.
Now the Powers have combined to teach him the difference. They have joined together, and in round terms bidden him obey them or take the consequences.
You remember that home rule was promised to Crete, and that (after the peace negotiations were signed) the Sultan announced that he would see about the reforms later.
The Powers have now sent word to him that home rule must be granted to the island at once, the Turkish troops instantly withdrawn, and a Christian governor appointed.
Word has been sent to Turkey that if she oppose the Powers they will blockade Constantinople.
With all these different complications to harass him, Abdul Hamid cannot be a very happy man.
* * * * *
It is generally understood by those who make a study of such matters, that the arrival of Weyler in Spain will be followed by serious trouble for the Government.
It is well known that he is opposed to Sagasta's rule, and so the Carlists, who would like to see Don Carlos on the throne, the Republicans, who would like to abolish the throne altogether, and several other lesser parties are approaching Weyler in the hope of attaching him to their cause.
He has arrived in Barcelona, where he will remain for a few days, and will then go on to Majorca, his birthplace.
Barcelona is known to be the headquarters of the Carlist revolution, and though Weyler has implied that he belongs to neither Carlist nor Republican party, his sojourn in Barcelona will give him ample time to see how the land lies, and find out what profit there may be for him if he joins the Carlists.
It is reported that he desires to form a party of his own, which shall oppose home rule in Cuba, and uphold the kind of warfare that he waged as the only means of saving the colony for Spain.
This is a clever idea of his, for he is likely to find many adherents among the merchants, who are dissatisfied with Sagasta's plan for home rule, and for giving the Cuban legislature the right to fix the tariff on all goods sent into Cuba.
The merchants want the tariff arranged by Spain as it always has been, and they want it so fixed that Cubans will be obliged to buy their goods in Spain.
One of Cuba's greatest causes of complaint was the high tariff which Spain imposed on all goods entering Cuba except those of Spanish manufacture. This tariff made it impossible for Cubans to buy their goods in any of the European markets, and compelled them to take the class and quality of goods which Spain chose to send them, and to pay whatever price Spain demanded for them.
Perhaps you will find this a little hard to understand, so we will try to make it a little clearer to you.
All countries are anxious to find markets for the goods they produce. It is for this reason that we have passed our present tariff bill.
The United States wishes to make a market for the goods manufactured here, and so she has laid a heavy tariff or duty on all goods brought into this country that are similar to those that we make here. A certain fixed number of cents has to be paid for every pound, gallon, or yard of such goods before they can be brought into the country.
The importers cannot, of course, afford to lose this money, and so they have to add it to the price of the goods, which thus become more expensive than the same class of articles manufactured here. It is therefore to the housekeeper's advantage to buy home-made goods in preference to foreign, and thus a market is made for the home products.
Spain considers her colonies her rightful market, and therefore has placed a high duty on foreign goods. The Cuban housewives therefore found it to their advantage to buy Spanish goods. Cuba is of course too small an island to manufacture many things for herself.
This seemed fair enough, but unfortunately, the Spanish goods thus forced on the Cubans were not satisfactory to them, and were, moreover, sold at prices much too high for their value. The Cubans found that were they allowed to go to the world's markets for their supplies, they could live for half what it cost them under Spanish rule, and rebelled against the power that was treating them so unfairly.
The question of tariff is said to be the most serious stumbling-block in the way of home rule for Cuba. It has been said by both Spanish and Cuban diplomats that, if it is enforced, the Spanish merchants will rise in rebellion against the Government.
The Spanish ministers are, however, determined to carry home rule through. The plan is now completed, and has been approved by the ministers, received the Queen's signature, and become a law.
* * * * *
The reassembling of Congress and the President's Message are drawing near again.
People are speculating as to the course the President will recommend in regard to Cuba and Hawaii.
It is thought that he will suggest patience toward Spain until the promised reforms have had time to be put in effect, and that if these reforms seem wise and just we shall not uphold the island in her rebellion.
As to Hawaii, it seems a foregone conclusion that annexation will be recommended, and will be an accomplished fact in a short space of time.
* * * * *
The Competitor prisoners have just landed in this country. The stories they tell of the hardships they endured and the cruelties practised on them are heartrending.
They declare that they were condemned to death without a hearing, and were forced to choose a Spaniard to defend them at the mockery of a trial which they were given.
This man laughed when they told him they were not guilty, and never opened his lips to plead for them, or to ask that they be allowed to make their own statements.
When they had been adjudged guilty he offered a half-hearted plea for mercy.
They were so shockingly treated and so badly fed while in jail that they have come back mere shadows of their former selves, and weak, lame, and maimed.
* * * * *
The result of the Cuban election has at last been made known, but we find that the new president is not Capote after all, but Bartolome Maso.
The election should have taken place on the 2d of September, but owing to the absence of several delegates it did not occur until early in November.
Senor Mendez Capote presided over the meetings, and it was probably this which made people think that he had been elected president.
The election was very orderly. Maso was elected president by a large majority, and Capote vice-president. Maximo Gomez was made commander-in-chief of the Cuban forces.
The fact that the election had been accomplished in such a peaceful manner is considered a proof of the great strength of the revolution, and has made a good impression on the world generally.
* * * * *
Those dreadful Austrian deputies are still quarrelling!
The Reichsrath reassembled a few days ago, and continued to indulge in a mild form of misbehavior, which suddenly developed into the most shocking riot that has as yet occurred.
The old language question came up.
A number of petitions had been presented to the Parliament against the decree making it necessary for officials in Bohemia to understand both the German and Czech languages.
It was proposed, as these petitions were nearly all alike, that one would be chosen from them and read to the House, and the others merely accepted as reiterations of the same sentiments.
This project raised a most fearful outcry from the opposition, and was the signal for such a scene of violence that the very visitors in the galleries leaned over the railings and called shame on the deputies.
The President suspended the sitting, and then had to fly for his life, for the deputies, angry that he should attempt to control them, made a rush for his desk, calling him all the unpleasant names they could think of.
The Bohemian deputy, Dr. Wolff, at once assumed the lead. He was the first to reach the tribune or raised platform on which the President sits, and seizing the bell which was placed on the table, he swung it to and fro, shouting and screaming to make himself heard.
Then another deputy, deciding that he would like to have the bell, fell upon Dr. Wolff, and a free fight began.
The deputies struck one another, tore one another's clothes, and at last got out their pocket-knives and began to use them as daggers.
Some of the spectators rushed out for the police, and a few of the members went in pursuit of the President, insisting that he should return and quell the disturbance.
After much trouble he succeeded in restoring order, just as the police appeared on the scene.
Dr. Wolff defied everybody and everything, and announced his intention of coming to the next session with revolvers in his pockets.
A Cabinet council was called in the evening, and the idea of dissolving the Parliament was openly discussed.
Even this did not frighten the crazy ruffians who form the Austrian Parliament.
At the next session, doors had been erected and passages blocked, so that the President could not be attacked on the tribune, and an attempt made to get on with business.
The Government had been busy in the interval, and had prepared a motion that all persons guilty of disorderly conduct in the Reichsrath should be suspended for a certain number of days, and deprived of their pay for that time.
The President read the motion, amid the howls of Wolff and his party. It is said that the whole affair must have been arranged beforehand, for not a word of the motion could be heard in the house. But all the same, as the President ceased to speak, the supporters of the Government rose as one man, and accepted the resolution.
You hardly need to be told what followed.
The ridiculous Dr. Wolff had been standing in front of the tribune with a cab-whistle at his lips, on which he blew incessantly during the reading of the resolution. When it was read and passed despite him, his rage knew no bounds; he started to clamber over the obstructions, and made for the President, followed by several other equally infuriated members.
The President did not wait for them to reach him, but, seizing his bell, fled in hot haste.
Count Badeni, who had been present, was also forced to flee, as the mob of angry men sought to do him injury.
After an interval the President returned and adjourned the meeting, and immediately on his withdrawal carpenters entered the hall and began to build a high and strong fence around the unfortunate man's tribune.
Despite the rioting, the Government feels that it has at last got the best of the unruly members. From now on they can be fined and suspended and excluded from the Reichsrath until the sentence has expired.
It is to be hoped that the idiotic Dr. Wolff will be given a recess of several weeks. He seems to need rest from his Parliamentary duties.
The unruly party, which is opposed to the Government, is infuriated at the passing of the resolution.
They declare that it was a violation of their constitutional rights, and a meeting was held to decide what they should do about it. Nothing was, however, decided upon.
* * * * *
A terrible fire has occurred in London during the past week.
It is the worst fire that has visited the city since the Great Fire in 1666, when the whole heart of the city was burned.
This fire, though it consumed 13,000 houses and laid waste 400 streets, compelling 200,000 persons to camp out in the country, has always been regarded as one of the greatest blessings London ever knew.
London had been visited by a terrible plague, and the city was built with such cramped and narrow streets, the upper stories of the houses projecting and nearly touching one another, that the infection was borne from house to house, and it did not seem possible to stamp out the disease, because there was no means of properly airing and purifying the city.
The horrible disease would seem to have passed away, when suddenly there would be a fresh outbreak, carrying off hundreds of victims, and bringing terror into every heart again.
Then the great fire broke out. For four days it raged and consumed everything in its path, but at the same time it so thoroughly purified the city that the plague was stamped out for good and all.
The present fire occurred in the most crowded part of the city, in the heart of the business quarter.
London is not laid out like an American city, in blocks and squares, with broad straight avenues running for miles, crossed at regular intervals with wide and open streets.
It is, in the older part, a network of narrow roadways, with courts and alleys lying back of them. The streets turn and bend and twist and go in every direction, and leading out of them are other little winding streets. These side turnings are delightful for those who know London well, because you can turn down here and up there, and cut off corners this way and save miles that way, by threading through these strange byways that lead in and out of the highways.
In case of fire, these time-saving lanes and alleys are most dangerous to the welfare of the city, for they are very narrow, with houses on either side, and flames can easily reach from one side of the street to the other.
This is precisely what happened at the recent fire. It sprang from side to side of these narrow ways, until much of the business portion of London was in flames.
There has been a good deal of talk about this fire, because the first engine did not reach the scene of the disaster until fifteen minutes after the call had been sent, and it has been said that the English firemen are not nearly so expert as the American.
It seems hardly fair to criticise the English firemen without knowing the difficulties they had to contend with. Some of the streets through which they had to drive are hardly wide enough for two vehicles to pass, and the fire occurring at midday, all these ways were blocked with carts.
The English firemen cannot drive as rapidly and recklessly as our firemen do on our wide avenues, for any attempt at such driving would mean certain destruction to engine and apparatus.
The English alarm system does not appear to be so perfect as ours, but otherwise the same engines are used, and the department is finely organized. The arrangement of the city is all that prevents them from doing the quick and effective work that we can accomplish.
When a fire breaks out here, it is the duty of the person discovering it to run to the nearest fire-alarm box, and, opening the box, pull down the hook he will see inside. This causes a signal-number to appear on the key-board in front of the operator at headquarters.
The number tells him the district in which the fire has occurred, and with one touch of a telegraphic key he sends out an alarm to the thirty-odd engine-houses in the neighborhood of the fire.
The pressure on the key at headquarters releases the horses in the stalls of the various engine-houses. Instantly these clever beasts dash out of their boxes and place themselves at the shafts, the collar clasps around their necks and harnesses them to the engine; the men slide down the poles to their places, the gates swing open, and the engine is out and dashing along the road in less time than it takes to tell about it.
By the use of regularly appointed signals, the first fireman who arrives at the fire can inform headquarters just how serious the fire is, and whether more engines should be sent.
On one occasion a great fire broke out in the busy part of New York city. It was a serious fire; and according to the records at headquarters, in less than four minutes the first batch of engines had arrived and three extra calls had been sent out, which were speeding half the engines in the city to the scene of the fire.
It will interest you to know that the fire department of the city of New York has reached such a degree of excellence that the risk of serious damage and loss by fire has been greatly reduced, and, in consequence, the insurance companies have lowered the rate of insurance; that is to say, they do not charge people as much money to insure their property this year as they did last year and have done for many years past.
* * * * *
The anxiety about Professor Andree has increased. The steamer which left Tromso, Norway, in search of the explorer has returned, and reports that no traces of him could be found. Search parties were sent out in every direction, but nothing could be discovered.
The vessel sailed on November 5th and returned on the 21st, and her crew declare that a most vigilant search was made.
The vessel was sent in consequence of the report brought in by the wrecked whalers that they had heard cries for help.
* * * * *
A strange freak of nature is reported from Kansas.
The railroad station of Rozel, eighteen miles from Larned, has been swallowed up.
When the people in the neighborhood went to bed at night, the station was in its usual place; in the morning the station, two or three small elevators, and a few other small buildings had disappeared.
Investigation proved that they had been swallowed up, and had disappeared in a chasm.
The depth of this rent in the earth cannot be determined. The hole is said to be about an acre in extent, of oblong shape, with walls reaching straight down for seventy feet, at which depth the hole is filled with dark, stagnant water, into which anything that is thrown immediately sinks.
No lives were lost, as no one remains at the station over night.
The interest of the surrounding country is intense, and many theories are advanced as to the cause of the catastrophe.
Some think that the station dropped into an immense cave, and others that it was caused by the underflow of the Arkansas River, which is overflowing its banks at the present time. Others think that this section of Kansas is over an immense underground river or sea.
A similar accident occurred in Meade County, Kansas, ten years ago. A section of land crossed by a public road disappeared in a single night, leaving a chasm which is a notable landmark to-day.
* * * * *
The plans for the Bronx Park Zooelogical Gardens in New York city have been perfected, and are now before the Park Board for acceptance.
From all accounts, the new Zoo will be one of the finest animal gardens in the world.
It will cover two hundred and sixty-one acres of land, and is to combine picturesque scenery for the pleasure of the visitor, with roomy quarters and as nearly natural conditions as possible for the animals.
The buffaloes are to have a huge field appropriated to their use, where they can roam at will. The visitors who wish to see them must climb a wooded hill, from which they can view the beasts without disturbing them.
The lions and tigers are to have open cages, where they can romp and play.
It is proposed to paint the walls that divide these cages one from another with African landscapes, so that the captives may feel as much at home as possible.
The monkeys in the new Zoo are to be accommodated with a little artificial forest, where they can roam freely. The birds are to have a huge tree-grown aviary, with bathing-ponds and every desired luxury.
The gardens being so large, and the extent of the domain of each class of animals so spacious, it has been found necessary to arrange a means for the visitors to see all the beauties of the Zoo without undue fatigue.
It has therefore been decided to use electric motor-carriages throughout the park. Two fine roadways are to be constructed, which are to meander through the gardens, taking in all the buildings, ranges, animal enclosures, and lakes and ponds.
One roadway is for vehicles going in one direction, and the other for carriages going in the opposite way. By this means the visitors will be able to see everything in the gardens without getting tired.
This must be a lesson taught by the World's Fair in Chicago. There you had no choice between walking until you almost dropped from fatigue, or being wheeled about (at ruinous expense) in an invalid-chair by a stripling youth who would pant and perspire until stout and healthy passengers felt in duty bound to get out and walk to save their charioteer's further exertion.
INVENTION AND DISCOVERY.
CURRYCOMB AND BRUSH COMBINED.—This is such a fine article for the comfort of our animal friends that we cannot refrain from telling our young readers about it.
Many of you may have curried a horse, or stood by during the process, and watched him shrug and twitch with pleasure as the little iron teeth scratched his skin, and have seen his coat grow glossy and satiny as the brush was applied as soon as the currying was over.
Now this operation is most delightful to a horse; it is to him what taking a bath is to us; and properly done it makes him feel fresh and vigorous and quite happy to do his master's work.
If it is not well done he feels restless and dirty, and the pores of his skin become clogged, and the good horse gets sick.
Currying a horse is quite hard work, and lazy grooms do not like to do it, and so they have invented a means of shirking the brushing which is very unkind to the horse.
Every owner wishes to see his animals with glossy, shining coats, and so bad grooms, to save the trouble of currying and brushing, will rub the horse over with a cloth, dipped in kerosene. The coat will shine beautifully, but the poor horse is made most uncomfortable.
The currycomb and brush prevents this wicked practice, by making the cleaning of the horse so easy that it is not worth the laziest man's while to oil the horse instead of currying him.
As you will see by the illustration, the currycomb has a dandruff brush attached to its outer edge. As the comb is withdrawn the brush passes over the skin that has been curried, brushes it clean of dandruff, and makes it smooth and glossy. After one good currying with this device the nag is ready for harness, his coat sleek, shiny, and, above all, clean.
You young people who are the happy owners of horses, must always make sure that the gloss on your favorite's coat is the result of health and cleanliness, and not kerosene.
* * * * *
CAR-STEP.—This excellent device is the invention of a young lady of Pittsfield, Illinois.
Every one who has travelled in Pullman cars knows the discomfort of that last step before you reach the ground. It is true that the porter is always waiting with a little wooden stool on which you step from the high car-step above, but for old people or lame people or nervous people there is always the dread that they may miss the little stool, and be tumbled over on the platform.
This invention is to prevent any such difficulty.
The steps of the Pullman cars can only be a certain length, and must not jut out beyond the sides of the car, otherwise they would be liable to be torn off when the oar passes through tunnels or narrow places. It is therefore impossible to have them built any longer than they are at present. The new invention, however, adds a step without going beyond the proper limit.
It is done in this way: The step is made of iron, and is joined to the regular wooden steps by strong rods. When the train is in motion the extra step folds under the car-step. When the train stops the porter touches a lever, and down comes the extra step, making the descent from the car as easy as walking downstairs.
It is a fine invention, and we hope soon to see it used on all Pullman cars.
There has just been published a collection of sketches and essays by Charles Dickens which have hitherto been uncollected and none of which has been reprinted in the United States. This cannot fail to be an extremely interesting book to the great army of admirers of Dickens. His books always bear the unmistakable imprint of the master, novelist's mind—in his fun, satire, and humor going hand in hand, as well as in his sincerity and interest in the poor. Everything that Dickens wrote has upon it the mark of genius, and this book will come as a delight to many.
("Old Lamps for New Ones, and Other Sketches and Essays," by Charles Dickens. The New Amsterdam Book Company: 350 pages, cloth, $1.25.)
Owing to the improper character of many of the prize contests which have recently been offered by many papers and to the criticisms which have been called forth by them, we have decided that it is best to withdraw the contest begun in No. 55. We know that these contests are of great interest to our readers, and hope that we shall be able to renew them in the near future without subjecting ourselves to the risk of criticism which so properly attaches to any of the prize contests being published.