VOL. 1 DECEMBER 16, 1897. NO. 58
Copyright, 1897, by THE GREAT ROUND WORLD Publishing Company.
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When we take up our history books and read the accounts of the great deeds that have been done, we are very apt to wonder how the people felt in those times, and if it was not much more exciting to live history than it is to learn it.
We have an opportunity of judging for ourselves how it feels, for we are now living through a very important chapter of history.
Cuba, Turkey, Haiti, and Hawaii are all making history for us that will make very stirring reading for the scholars that come after us, and now Austria has joined in the procession, and is giving us an episode that will make one of the most exciting pages in that country's history.
The present occurrences in Austria are of the utmost importance to the world. They show that the time has passed when kings can rule as absolute monarchs, and that the voice of the people must be listened to.
We told you of the anger of the Austrian people against Count Badeni and his Government, and how the Emperor approved of him and his work, and was determined to uphold him in spite of the opposition.
We also told you that there is a clause in the Austrian constitution which gives the Emperor power to act on his own authority without consulting the people, in case of emergency.
But Francis Joseph, Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, backed by this powerful clause, has not been strong enough to protect his Prime Minister, and in the face of the anger of the people has not dared to use the privilege which the constitution gives him.
This is a great chapter in history. It all happened in this way:
We told you in the last number how the Government rushed a resolution through the Reichsrath, which gave the President of the House the power to suspend unruly members and prevent them from entering the chamber.
As soon as the Reichsrath reassembled, it became evident to the opposition that the Government considered the resolution legally passed, and intended to act on it.
This so enraged the deputies that no sooner was the sitting declared open than they rushed to the President's tribune, seized the papers on his desk, tore them, and scattered them over the house.
The attendants had not been prepared for this rush, and had allowed some of the angry members to pass through the gate which had been made in the fence around the tribune.
As soon as they realized what was passing, they fought and buffeted the intruders, until they had expelled them from the enclosure, and the President declared the sitting adjourned.
This had no effect on the furious mob with which the chamber was filled.
One of the members again made a rush for the tribune. The gate had been closed, but, climbing over the fence, he made a dash for the President's bell and portfolio.
The President, amazed at this daring, pushed him away. In an instant a crowd of his friends, howling and shouting, swarmed over the fence, and a regular fight began on the tribune itself.
The deputies had by this time lost control of themselves, and proceeded with blows and kicks to drive the President and Vice-Presidents of the Reichsrath off the tribune, or raised platform, on which the President sits.
One of the Vice-Presidents was knocked down and trampled on, and one account of the affray said that the President was so roughly handled that he fainted.
Finally, the deputies drove the representatives of the Government from the tribune, and took possession of it themselves.
What new deed of violence they might have attempted it is impossible to say, but at this moment a door at the end of the chamber opened, and in marched a force of sixty policemen.
In their trim uniforms and their spiked steel helmets, they presented a very formidable appearance, and the effect on the house was magical.
The members were astounded that the Government should dare to infringe on their rights and privileges by sending police into the chamber that was sacred to the liberties of the people.
The Commissioner of Police was not in the least embarrassed. He treated the deputies as he would any other disorderly mob, and, marching his men to the foot of the tribune, ordered the deputies to come down from it.
The deputies firmly refused to do any such thing, whereupon the Commissioner took one man by the shoulder and ordered him off.
The deputy resisted, and was seized by six stalwart policemen, and carried bodily out of the chamber.
Five others who refused to obey the Commissioner were treated in the same unceremonious way.
Dr. Wolff, who up to this moment had been dumb with amazement, now called on the ministers to remove the police.
Order having been partially restored, the President returned and reopened the session. His appearance was greeted with a storm of whistles, shouts, beating and slamming of desk-lids, and the usual uproar, led by Dr. Wolff, who, too exhausted to do anything noisier, contented himself with blowing a shrill cab whistle.
It was impossible to restore order, for even the friends of the Government were indignant at the introduction of the police into the chamber.
Relying on their privileges as members of the Reichsrath, the deputies had for days behaved in a shameful and unmanly manner. The people were indignant that their representatives should so disgrace them, and the sympathy was all with the Government. The calling in of the police changed the situation. The Government had interfered with the rights of the people, and every lover of liberty was in arms against the outrage. The riotous deputies now became heroes and martyrs instead of noisy, foolish men, not fit to be intrusted with parliamentary privileges.
The President of the Reichsrath, having gone so far, was determined, if possible, to end the disturbance at once and for all. When the noisy demonstrations recommenced, he ordered Dr. Wolff to leave the house, suspending him for three days—that is to say, forbidding him to re-enter the Reichsrath for that space of time.
Wolff, of course, refused to obey, and the aid of the police was called for. A shameful struggle ensued, in which the deputy's chair and desk were smashed to pieces.
Twelve other members were seized by the police and turned out of the chamber.
While this was going on inside the house, excited crowds had gathered outside. As the torn and dishevelled members were expelled, the people, regarding them as martyrs in the cause of liberty, began to murmur against the Government, and finally grew so violent that a strong force of police had to be fetched to disperse them.
Forgetting that the foolish conduct of these deputies had blocked all legislation, and brought the Government and country to such a pass that the dissolution of the bond with Hungary was likely to occur at any moment, the people only realized that their liberties had been interfered with, and their rights had been taken from them.
The people do not brook interference in their rights.
In the days of King John of England, the people allowed the vicious king to get to a certain point, and then with their hands on their swords, ready to rebel if he resisted, they forced him to sign the great charter, Magna Charta, which has secured to Englishmen their rights from that day to this.
It was signed by King John at Runnymede, near Windsor, in 1215.
So in France, five hundred years later, when the people had stood all they could from their kings, they rose against Louis XVI., and were not satisfied until both the King and the Queen, Marie Antoinette, had paid the forfeit of their lives for their folly and arrogance. This happened in 1793.
When the anger of the people is roused, there is trouble for the Government.
In Vienna, though the Government had so far won a victory in turning the turbulent members out of the chamber, they felt there was danger in the air when the students surrounded Dr. Wolff as he was thrown out of the Reichsrath, and marched with him to his home, honoring him as a hero.
Later, matters began to grow still more serious. Masses of workingmen left their work, and began to parade the streets, crying out against the government that had usurped their rights.
Soldiers were called out to guard the principal buildings, especially the house of Count Badeni, the unpopular Prime Minister. Squads of soldiers appeared in every street, forcing the crowds to move and disperse.
It was an almost impossible task. The crowd that was driven around one corner would reappear at the next. The soldiers would disperse the mob in front of them, and it would re-form at their heels.
It seemed as if Austria were on the verge of a revolution.
Realizing that nothing could stop the trouble but the resignation of Count Badeni, several members of the Reichsrath hurried to his home, and begged him to put an end to the disturbance.
The Minister would not yield. His sovereign had confidence in him, and he would not be driven out by an ignorant mob.
Another meeting of the Reichsrath was held, at which more violent scenes occurred. Dr. Wolff presented himself in the chamber and tried to take his place, whereupon he was seized and taken to prison.
The feeling among the people grew stronger, and at last one of the town officials, Burgomaster Luegers, waited on Count Badeni, and informed him that the people were now so excited that there would be bloodshed if he did not resign.
Hearing this, the Prime Minister went to the Emperor and resigned his office.
It is reported that the Emperor at first refused to accept the resignation, whereupon Badeni informed him that he would not undertake the responsibility of holding office longer, as he had been informed that the people were ready to rise.
The Emperor then accepted the resignation, and it soon became evident that the action had only just been taken in time.
Crowds had assembled outside the Reichsrath, waiting for it to open, and the attitude of the mob had become so threatening that the hussars had to draw their sabres and charge the crowd to keep it in check. Several people were killed and many wounded.
This roused the mob to fury, and matters were just developing into a serious riot when Burgomaster Luegers appeared on the scene.
Driving through the streets at full speed, forcing his horses through the crowds, he hurried from mob to mob, shouting the good news that Badeni had resigned.
The anger of the crowd at once melted away. The people who had assembled with rage in their hearts soon became quiet. The night, which might have been one of bloodshed and murder, was turned into a fete, laughter and song succeeded the angry murmurs, and the danger was over.
The next day it was announced that Baron Gautsch von Frankenthurn, a man who is a great favorite with the people, had been appointed Prime Minister in the place of Badeni.
It is said that as soon as the new cabinet is formed, Baron Gautsch will endeavor to bring about a meeting between the heads of the two parties which are so violently opposed to each other on the language question, and see if he cannot arrive at some understanding with them.
It is also said that Baron Banffy, the Hungarian Prime Minister, insists that the Reichsrath must agree to the renewal of the Austro-Hungarian contract for one year, else Hungary will act independently of Austria, and a separation of the two monarchies may follow.
After the news of Badeni's resignation there were still angry demonstrations in Vienna, but after the police had released Dr. Wolff peace gradually settled down on the city.
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Turkey does not seem to have taken Russia seriously about the old war debt.
In spite of her assurance that she had no intention of increasing her navy or enlarging her store of war materials, she has placed an order for one hundred and fifty large cannon with Krupp, the famous German gun-maker.
These cannons will cost a large sum of money, and the various European Powers are watching with much interest to see what Russia will have to say to it.
It is rumored that the Turks look upon Germany as their most powerful friend, and are willing to defy Russia or any other nation so long as Germany shows a disposition to stand by them.
This winter is likely to give us some more interesting chapters in European history.
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The Sultan of Turkey has fresh worries. The Albanians are now rebelling against him.
Albania is on the western border of European Turkey; its shores are washed by the Adriatic Sea.
It is a mountainous country, inhabited by a war-like race of people, who are much given to robbery and brigandage.
The Albanians are a curious people. They claim to be descended from the Pelasgians, who were a people of Greece, supposed to be the most ancient race in Europe.
They arrived and settled in Europe centuries before men began to keep records of the events that occurred, and so their origin is unknown. It is supposed they came from Asia, and probably from India.
The Albanians base their claim to Pelasgian origin on their language, which differs from any known tongue, and cannot clearly be connected with any of the mother tongues. These mother tongues were the original languages from which the various modern languages are derived.
More than one thousand languages are spoken on the globe, and these are so different that each is unintelligible to the speakers of the other.
The study of these languages is an especial science. Students of this science, philologists, as they are called, have traced, classed, and grouped these thousand languages, until they have divided them into six main groups, or mother tongues.
The formations of the verbs, the plurals, and the declensions are the main guides to the identification of a language.
The study of philology is an intensely interesting one, and while it is very difficult, its pleasures are easily within the reach of every young scholar who is beginning the study of Latin, French, and German.
Our own English language is one of the most interesting with which to begin the study.
The ancient Britons were Celts, and spoke Celtic; when they were conquered by the Romans, Latin words crept into the tongue; and as Romans gave place to the Saxons, and the Saxons to the Danes, words from the German and Norse tongues were added to the language. Finally, came the Norman Conquest, and with it a flood of French words. The English we speak to-day is a mixture of Celtic, Latin, Saxon, Danish, and French.
As you learn your foreign languages you will be interested to find how many Latin words and forms you are using every day; and as for German and French, there are so many words in these languages resembling our own that you are constantly meeting old friends in the course of your new studies.
ENGLISH. FRENCH. ENGLISH. GERMAN.
Papa Papa Father Vater Mamma Maman Mother Mutter Table Table Brother Bruder Chair Chaise Sister Schwester Boot Bottine Hat Hut
Some of these words have a common Latin root. The word "table," for instance, is derived from the Latin word "tabula."
If the Albanians do indeed speak a tongue that cannot be closely connected with any of the known languages, it is more than probable that they are a remnant of some ancient and world-forgotten people.
Albania is under Turkish rule, but the Albanians do not seem a very pleasant people to govern.
If they are not satisfied with those who are set in authority over them, their fierce qualities rise to the surface, and they are apt to do violent things.
The last governor of Albania made himself so objectionable to the people, and they in turn made things so unpleasant for him, that he sought safety in flight.
A new governor was appointed, but he in turn found no greater favor with these mountaineers than his predecessor. Annoyed that they should have had two obnoxious officials sent to them one after the other, the Albanians have become restless and are threatening to revolt.
A Turkish commissioner has been sent to try and calm them, but further trouble is feared.
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The Haitian matter, about which we told you last week, promises to arrive at a peaceful settlement.
At first, however, it assumed such a threatening aspect that it seemed as if serious trouble must follow.
The Haitian Government was very much disturbed when it was learned that a German warship was to be sent to bombard the capital city, Port-au-Prince, in case the indemnity, or damages, demanded for Herr Emil Lueders was not paid.
The Haitian Government immediately asked the United States to use its good offices, and endeavor to bring about a peaceful settlement with Germany.
Our Government began to make inquiries into the matter, and learned the Haitian side of the story.
It seems that Lueders is not a German citizen, after all. He is the son of a German father and a Haitian mother, was born on Haitian soil, and is, according to the laws of the country, a citizen of Haiti.
He had, therefore, no right to appeal to Germany for protection, and President Simon Sam will not listen to Germany's protest.
In addition to this, it seems that Lueders is a tiresome fellow, and that this is the second time he has been arrested for resisting and attacking officers in the performance of their duty.
The Haitian ministry looks upon this demand from Germany as a mere cloak to enable her to seize some territory, and establish a German colony in the West Indies.
With this belief in mind, Haiti has appealed to the United States to interfere and protect them, on the ground of the Monroe Doctrine.
We told you about this in the supplement following page 210. It says that the United States shall forcibly resist any attempt to extend the European political systems in America.
Our Government was in a slight quandary over this appeal from Haiti.
We have no quarrel with Germany, and we do not want to have one, but still it was clearly our duty to do what we could to assist a weaker sister republic.
After much consultation and thought, the heads of the Government decided that our ambassador in Berlin, Mr. White, should be instructed to ask what Germany's intentions were in the matter.
It was cabled back that the German minister had given a satisfactory reply to Mr. White, and so the United States has decided not to interfere actively in the matter unless Germany attempts to seize territory.
In the mean while, Haiti has sent a very dignified letter to Germany.
The republic declares itself willing to discuss the matter with Germany, but objects to the German method of judging and settling the whole affair without first inquiring as to both sides of the trouble.
The demands of Germany are considered excessive, and in any case Haiti will not consent to pay any such sums as those asked.
In her answer, Haiti complains of the conduct of Count Schwerin, the German representative in Port-au-Prince.
It declares that he forced himself into the presence of President Simon Sam, and in an angry and insulting manner demanded Lueders' release, threatening many things if Haiti dared to oppose him.
Because of these circumstances, President Simon Sam refuses to have anything more to do with Count Schwerin, and declares that the further discussion of the matter must take place in Berlin.
The latest news says that Germany has changed her mind about sending a warship to Port-au-Prince, and that the vessel intended for Haiti will go to China. Two German school-ships are to call at the West Indies during the winter, and to them will be intrusted the settlement of the Lueders matter.
It is probable, however, that the whole matter will be settled by arbitration.
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From the fact that an extra ship is to be sent into Chinese waters, it would seem that the Germans do not intend to give up the Bay of Kiao Chou.
Telegrams from China have given us further details.
It seems that the German minister to China has presented a string of claims to the Chinese Government which are so absurdly large in comparison to the amount of damage done, that people do not scruple to say that they are only offered as a means of enabling the Kaiser to keep the territory he has seized.
Here are the damages demanded by Germany for the murder of her two missionaries:
The murderers must be discovered and punished.
The officials concerned in the murder must be punished.
The mission buildings which were destroyed must be rebuilt.
The sum of six hundred thousand taels must be paid to the relations of the dead missionaries. A tael is worth $1.40, so you can see for yourselves what a big sum this is.
A heavy sum of money must be paid to defray the expenses of the German naval expedition to China, and money must be paid to keep the German force in the Bay of Kiao Chou, which they have seized.
The Chinese Government, on hearing these demands, said that the Bay of Kiao Chou must be given up before they could even be discussed.
The German minister replied that Germany would not give up Kiao Chou, and there the matter rests.
The representatives of the other foreign powers think these terms are unreasonable, and that China shall not think of accepting them.
China has expressed her willingness to rebuild the mission-houses and punish the criminals. She hopes to be able to settle the difficulty by diplomacy, as she is not in a position to go to war.
The cowardly governor who gave up the forts without firing a shot has been condemned to death.
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The Queen Regent has signed the decree giving home rule to Cuba.
The plan, in brief, is that the island shall be governed by the Captain-General (who is to represent the mother country) and two chambers of Congress, the Council Chamber and the House of Representatives.
There will be thirty-five members in the Council Chamber, eighteen of whom will be appointed by the crown, and the other seventeen elected by the people. All of the members of the House of Representatives will be elected by the people.
This Congress is to settle all the affairs of the island, with the exception of the foreign policy, the question of relations with other countries, which will be arranged by Spain.
The supreme authority will be vested in the Captain-General, who will have to give his consent to all the acts of the Congress before they can become laws.
The army and navy will be under his sole control and direction.
Congress will have the right, subject to certain restrictions imposed by the home Government, to fix the tariff duties.
The mayor and all the city officials will be elected by the people, and while the Spanish Government keeps to itself the right to the final voice in all decisions, the prospect offered the Cubans seems fair home rule.
Porto Rico, another Spanish possession in the West Indies, is to enjoy the same privileges as Cuba.
The insurgents, however, will have none of this.
Both Gomez and Garcia have published proclamations, so severe in tone, that there can be no doubt that the insurgent leaders are sincere in their declaration that they will have nothing from Spain but independence.
Here is Gomez's proclamation:
"HEADQUARTERS OF THE GENERAL-IN-CHIEF OF THE } CUBAN ARMY, SANCTI-SPIRITUS, NOVEMBER 15th, } 1897, THIRD YEAR OF THE INDEPENDENCE. }
"The news I have received of the establishment of autonomy in Cuba by the Spanish Government compels me to remind the military and civil leaders of the revolution once more that our only aim is independence. Therefore,
"Article 1.—Any military commander of the Cuban army accepting proposals of autonomy from the Spanish Government, or even conferring with Spanish envoys for any arrangement of peace, shall be immediately put under arrest, summarily court-martialled, and, if declared guilty of such acts, sentenced to death as a traitor to his flag.
"Article 2.—Any envoy from the Spanish Government, or from any Spanish or military commander, or from any political party favoring the Spanish dominion in Cuba, who shall approach our lines and confer or try to confer with any military or civil representative of the republic of Cuba, and propose to him the acceptance of autonomy from Spain, shall be immediately put under arrest, summarily court-martialled as a spy, and, if declared guilty, hanged according to our military laws.
"These articles shall be enforced by all the generals and subordinates of the Cuban army in the West and Santa Clara, the general commander of the East already having orders to enforce our laws on the matter. For country and liberty.
It is said that the publication of these proclamations has created a deep impression in Havana.
Under these proclamations, any person who seeks the Cuban lines to offer home rule to the soldiers will be hanged as a spy, and any Cuban listening to such proposals will be shot as a traitor.
The two brave commanders have therefore made it very difficult for Spanish agents to approach their soldiers and corrupt them.
Very few battles are reported from Cuba. It is said that the Spanish troops are massed in such large numbers that the Cubans do not dare to attack them. It is also rumored that the present season being the one in which the supply of vegetables is scarcest in the island, the insurgents are not well enough supplied with food to venture on any long marches.
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The Dauntless has again succeeded in conveying an expedition to Cuba.
She left Jacksonville with a schooner, the Jenny Thomas, in tow. When she reached the mouth of the St. Johns River, she was overhauled by the cruiser Vesuvius. Nothing contraband being found on her, she was allowed to go on her way after an hour's delay.
Unfortunately, it never occurred to the officers to search the vessel in tow, and so the daring little vessel got safely away.
It now appears that the contraband material was on board the schooner, and that after the cruiser was safely passed, the Dauntless cast anchor in some convenient spot, took her forbidden cargo on board, and sailed away to Cuba without further hindrance.
The Spanish authorities are much annoyed over this incident, and think the United States is not showing a proper regard for Spain in allowing filibustering expeditions to leave her shores at a time when Spain is trying to pacify the Cubans with such liberal reforms.
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Don Carlos is said to be showing some activity again.
Realizing that the new decree giving Home Rule to Cuba will be very objectionable to many Spaniards, he has called a consultation of the leaders of his party, and asked them to go about among the people, and rouse them against the Government.
He promises that if he is called to the throne, he will not show any such mercy to the rebellious Cubans, but will compel them, by force of arms, to obey the will of the Spanish sovereign.
The leaders of the Carlist party do not, however, seem to be in any great hurry to act.
Such a revolution as Don Carlos is anxious to begin means life or death to the nobles and men of position who support him. If the rising fails, these men will be regarded as traitors to their country, and shot or exiled. In any case they will lose everything that they own or that the Government can discover and take from them.
With so much at stake it is but natural that the nobles should wish to be sure that their reward in case of success will be as great as their punishment in case of failure.
They are therefore anxious to secure certain pledges from Don Carlos, before they openly join themselves to an enterprise so full of peril.
Don Carlos does not seem willing to give these assurances, and so the rebellion is at a standstill at present.
* * * * *
There was a little excitement during the past week over the announcement that the English and French armies had met in battle in West Africa.
The story was not, however, believed, because the English Government had given orders to her soldiers that they were to avoid any conflict with the French, and the same directions had been given to the French by their Government.
It is, however, felt that trouble is pretty sure to come ere long, and so England has been sending more soldiers to the Niger territory, and now has a force of four thousand men there.
A commission was appointed to examine into this vexed boundary question, and it has been sitting in Paris for many weeks.
Unfortunately, neither party seems willing to wait until the commission has finished its work.
The French, maintaining that they have a right to seize any city or land that is not occupied by an armed force belonging to any other nation, have been sending out armed parties to take possession of any territory they can get. They have already taken possession of several places that England has long looked upon as her property.
The British are naturally not going to submit to this, and so they, in their turn, are trying to seize land wherever possible.
It is feared that in some of their various raids the British and French may meet, and a serious conflict ensue.
* * * * *
From India it is reported that the Ameer of Afghanistan has refused to listen to the envoys from the Afridi tribes, and that they are about to submit to the English rule.
They will be forced to give up the rifles and plunder they have taken, and hostages will be demanded of them as a guarantee of further good behavior.
The allowance made by the English Government to the Afridis will be stopped. The Khyber Pass, which was held by them, will be reopened, and matters will proceed much the same as if no rising had occurred.
A state durbar will shortly be held, at which the chiefs of the Afridis will do homage, and submit to the English rule.
A durbar is, as you no doubt remember, a levee or reception.
It is rumored that the results of this campaign are very unsatisfactory to the English people. The hill-fighting, however, turned out to be so much more severe than the English expected, and the tribesmen proved such formidable foes, that they were glad to make peace on whatever terms they could.
To punish the natives as they had intended would have taken such a large sum of money, and employed such a number of troops, that the Government finally decided that the wisest thing was to put a speedy end to the difficulty.
* * * * *
The Soudan campaign has also been brought to a close.
The English people are also indignant about this.
They think that the Government ought not to have allowed such a good opportunity for punishing the Mahdists to slip through its fingers.
With a little more perseverance, the lower Soudan would have been opened up to the world and Gordon avenged.
As it was, no decisive battle was fought; the Mahdists, under Osman Digna, steadily retreated before the advance of the British.
After the brilliant reconnoitring trip to Khartoum, and the shelling of the city by the two little gunboats, it was expected that something decisive was about to be done. But no advance has been made by the main army, and now it is positively stated that no further steps will be taken until January.
People are wondering why the soldiers were sent to the Soudan, if they are only to camp on the banks of the Nile and contemplate the Mahdists from a distance.
After building their railroad, and making such excellent preparations for a brilliant campaign, it seems astonishing that the troops should be allowed to sit down and wait, without striking a blow.
It is, however, rumored that the English Government does not wish to spend more money pushing the campaign further, and that more troops are needed to bring the campaign to a successful termination.
Whatever the reason, nothing more is likely to be done in the Soudan for the present.
* * * * *
The committee which was appointed to find out just how much it would cost to make armor-plate, has sent in a report which will be presented to Congress at the earliest opportunity.
It appears that it will cost over three and a half million dollars to build an armor-plate factory capable of making the amount of armor required by the Government.
It has not yet been decided whether the factory shall be built, but the Secretary of the Navy is going to advertise for offers to build it so that he can lay the whole matter before Congress at one time.
The Carnegie and Bethlehem steel companies have not been idle while the Government has been making its inquiries.
Krupp, the German gun-maker, has recently invented a process for manufacturing armor-plate which is said to make a plate that is still more durable and better than that manufactured by the Harvey process.
The Carnegie and Bethlehem companies no sooner heard of the Krupp process, than they sent experts to examine it, and finding it to be all that was represented, they purchased the sole right to use the process in this country.
The Government, of course, wants the best possible armor for its ships, and if the Krupp is the best, they must have Krupp armor-plate.
The cleverness of these two firms has, however, made it impossible for the Government to manufacture this kind of armor for itself. If it is to be used, it must be bought from the Carnegie or Bethlehem people.
The Secretary of the Navy does not approve of the Government spending so much money in building a factory of its own. It is said that when he lays the matter before Congress, he will recommend that the armor be bought of the Carnegie or Bethlehem firms.
It is stated that he expects to get the armor for $425 a ton.
The Carnegie Company are, however, masters of the situation. With the Bethlehem works, they own the right to manufacture this new and excellent armor, and if the Government must have it for its ships, the company will ask what price they please. Their excuse will no doubt be that they have had to pay so much money for the right that they are obliged to make the price high.
WANTED—A RECIPE FOR A BOOK.
Your editor had an interesting talk a few days ago with one of our best-known naturalists, who said: "Boys and girls are the keenest observers, if they are interested in anything. We naturalists get much of our most valuable information through their quick eyes and minds."
"And," he added, "the more they see, the more they want to see and know, and they are constantly coming to me for facts, asking me why I do not write good books."
"Well, why don't you?"
"I'll tell you why. It is because I want to write a book which will tell them just what they want to know, and I do not know what our boys and girls are interested in. If I write about pets, what kind of pets are they most interested in—dogs or cats, horses or birds, squirrels or fishes? If I write about wild animals, must it be about their homes and what they do, or about the best ways to hunt and trap them? Then, again, I am not sure if they are not more interested in hunting for beautiful and curious things on the seashore—shells, crabs, sea-anemones, and such things."
Your editor believes in asking the boys and girls to say for themselves what they want, and then to give that to them in the best possible way. Therefore he answered: "Ask the boys and girls what they want. Do not ask one or two, but just ask one or two thousand, and give them just what they ask for—no more and no less." As he cannot write a letter to you all, will you not, each one of you, write a letter addressed to "Naturalist, care of Editor of GREAT ROUND WORLD, 5 West 18th Street," and in this letter say just what you would like: a book about birds, pets, bees, wild animals, shells, fishes, or snakes—for he knows all about these things, and can write a book on any or all of these subjects, or, indeed, anything that has to do with woods, fields, or ocean, and the wonderful and interesting things found in them. We hope that our promise to this naturalist, that our boys and girls can and will tell him what he wants to know, will not lead to a disappointment.
INVENTION AND DISCOVERY.
If any of our boys and girls have found their bicycle saddles as uncomfortable as your editor has found his, they will be delighted to learn that there is to be had a sensible as well as most comfortable saddle. The pleasure of riding your wheel for miles without feeling your saddle can only be appreciated by those who happen to have a saddle which fits; the great trouble is that very few people fit the average saddle; and as the saddle cannot be adjusted, perfect comfort is not obtainable. With this new saddle the case is different, for it can be adjusted to fit a large or small person exactly. It also has a contrivance which permits the parts to move up and down so that there is no friction whatever. Our attention was called to it by one of the officers of the navy, who has proved himself an expert in wheel contrivances, and a careful test bears out all of his statements. The saddle is well made and inexpensive ($3.50).
We have received a very attractive little book called "Uncle Robert's Visit," which is the third part of the series of books called "Uncle Robert's Geography." It is published by the Messrs. Appleton in their series of Home-Reading Books, and presents nature study and geographical knowledge in the most attractive form, being woven in a story of "Uncle Robert's Visit" to the farm. This particular uncle, like some others we have known, was a fund of information and a source of delight to the nephews and nieces. He went about with them in the fields and woods, and, without forcing it on them in any way, so ordered the conversation that they learned much of nature on each trip. These uncles are treasures, and to those who cannot have them always with them, to read of some one else's uncle in this attractive form is charming.
The book is well made, a handy size, with a colored frontispiece showing the farmhouse; it is illustrated throughout in a practical way which cannot fail to interest children.
("Uncle Robert's Visit," Home Reading Books: D. Appleton & Co., 1897; 50 cents.)
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We wish to acknowledge the receipt of a new and illustrated edition of the old favorite, "Gypsy Year at the Golden Crescent," by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, illustrated by Mary Fairman Clarke.
(Dodd, Mead & Co., $1.50.)