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In spite of hospitalities so numerous and so exhaust-. ing that several Premiers were compelled temporarily to seek retirement, the Conference has organized the movement of which it is an expression, so as to consolidate and perpetuate it. The general trend of the organization is perhaps indicated by the change of title from the Colonial to the Imperial Conference. The meeting of the Prime Ministers of the Colonies with the Prime Minister of the Home Government is to be held every four years; it is to be presided over by the British Prime Minister, who is to be ex-officio President of the Conference; the Premiers of self-governing colonies and the British Colonial Secretary are to be ex-officio members; and other members are to be appointed by the respective Governments. Each Government is to have one vote, and every discussion is to be conducted by not more than two representatives of each Government. In order to keep the various Governments well informed of one another's movements during the intervals of the Conferences, a permanent secretarial staff is to be established under the direction of the Colonial Secretary, the duty of which shall be to obtain information for the use of the Conference, conduct its correspondence, and attend to the carrying out of its resolutions. Subsidiary conferences are to be held between the representatives of the different Governments when matters of importance cannot be postponed until the next general Conference. This is a long step toward binding the colonies in closer relations with the Home Government, and bringing into co-operation the different parts of the British Empire.
The outside world is not yet as conscious as it should be of the profound change which has taken place in Persia. It is not that a new Shah is ruling, for the most important changes took place before the death of his predecessor and had already resulted in the calling of an anjuman, or Parliament, representative
of the people. The significant fact is that the new Parliament is vigorously at work. It has indefinitely postponed the proposed loan from England guaranteed by Russia--a proposition regarded as the first fruit of the new understanding between those two Powers-and has substituted the establishment of its own native bank, which will issue an internal loan. The present Shah has been fairly well educated in the ideas of representative government. While heir apparent he resided in Tabriz, the second city of Persia, where the people forced him to grant a local anjuman or provincial council. Even before the death of his father he was forced to sign the new national Constitution and to guarantee the rights of a national Parliament. It is not surprising, then, to learn that the influence of the Tabriz council and of the national anjuman has now caused a local council to be formed in almost every Persian province. Thus a new patriotism has taken the place of the old cynicism. While criticism of existing customs is sharper than ever, the motive is different. This is seen in the establishment of new schools and the strengthening of the existing mosque schools (in which the rudiments of reading and writing are taught), and the increase of Mohammedan pupils in the missionary schools. It is especially seen in the sudden increase in the number and quality of newspapers; free publication of papers and books being, for the first time, allowed. It is interesting to note the confidence of the leaders of the new movement in the authority to govern given to them by the law of Mohammedanism itself. It comprises civil and criminal law as well as religious, and these leaders include many of the clergy. This seems at first surprising, for the fiercest extreme of fanaticism is found in that class; but, contrary to the general supposition, so is the extreme of liberalism. The Mohammedan clergy in Persia do not constitute an organized body; they are a large body of men of every shade and opinion, coming directly from the people and never out of touch with them. Thus the liberal clergy become the natural leaders of any popular movement. In this Persian democratization of old governmental forms, as
also in certain movements in India, we detect the influence of the example of Japan. If the Japanese now lead the Far East, so the Persians may in time lead the Near East.
A Crisis in
King Leopold, of whom it
has been said that he has
Belgium the best manners and the worst morals of any European ruler, has been under a heavy fire from a large part of the civilized world for months past, and has probably been very indifferent to it. The things he has done or permitted to be done in the Congo, with his general attitude in face of an outraged world, seem to indicate that he would have flourished in Italy in the days of the Renaissance, when the strong man often succeeded by virtue of a powerful intellect, a resolute will, and an entire absence of moral scruples. But the King of the Belgians is now getting a kind of criticism which may bring him to terms; it has brought him home from his vacation on the Mediter ranean to face a growing discontent in Belgium and an acute Cabinet crisis. The Smet de Nayer Ministry, which went into power in August, 1899, has been compelled to resign. It was defeated on the question of the law fixing the hours of labor in mines, which was adopted by a vote of 94 to 32. The Government party has been divided for some time on questions of labor legislation; some of its members taking a liberal stand in these matters, and others favoring liberal legislation as the only way of keeping in touch with the Socialists and the laboring classes. But the Government would probably not have fallen on this issue alone.
the occasion rather than the cause of its defeat. The cause was the failure to deal radically with the situation in the Congo. M. Smet de Nayer found himself in the position of having to choose between two masters, the King and the people, with no compromise possible; and he chose the easiest way out of the dilemma. The outrages committed, or permitted to be committed, in the Congo by the King of the Belgians have at last come to the knowledge of the Belgian people, and they are rising in protest
against this modern infamy. The debate has become very outspoken. At a general council of the Workmen's party speeches were made urging the establishment of a republic, and the King was denounced as the chief obstacle to the
bettering of the condition of the working classes. A general strike may be one of the weapons used if the King proves obdurate; but the possibilities of the situation are manifold.
The Hudson Bay Route
While American farmers in the West are complaining of car shortage, and railway companies are studying how to solve the problem of transportation in such a way that facilities may always be equal to an evergrowing demand, it is interesting to note that Canada likewise is confronted with a similar problem. As regards its Northwest probably an even more urgent situation presents itself than that which confronts shippers in the United States. In many cases the wheat-growers of Manitoba and Canada's new provinces find themselves unable to ship one crop of wheat before another is harvested. As settlers are usually not prepared to hold their crops a year before marketing, the lack of railway transportation not only works a hardship upon the farmer, but acts directly as a stay upon the development of the new lands now awaiting settlement. It is not surprising, therefore, in view of such a situation, that the Dominion Parliament has discussed the need for an early realization of the long-talked-of and longplanned railway to Hudson Bay to provide an outlet for the new provinces which are settling up so rapidly. The contingency now presented has long been foreseen. As a matter of fact, as Premier Laurier said in his speech upon the subject, there has been upon the statute-book for the last twenty or twentyfive years a subsidy provision proposing to give in aid of the construction of such a railway 12,000 acres of land per mile. This offer, so liberal in its provisions, has not, however, tempted any railway company to enter upon the work of construction. In the natural sequence of the settlement of new lands railways fol
low rather than precede populations, and it requires extraordinary inducements, such as Canada has always shown herself willing to offer, to induce railway companies to depart from this rule. The time now is ripe, even from the view of railway promoters, for this venture northward, as there is now a considerable population in part of the region to be traversed and the tide of migration is setting that way. There are, moreover, no special engineering difficulties in the way, though the climate is hard upon the roadbed and rails. It is true that the value of the sea route by way of Hudson Bay, open for only a few months in the year, is another factor that cannot be said to be definitely ascertained. The Hudson's Bay Company for hundreds of years brought in its supplies by that route, but the dimensions of this trade would bear but an insignificant ratio to that for which Canada is now seeking an outlet by rail and water. The feasibility of the sea route via Hudson Bay for at least three or four months of the year has been settled by recent Government surveys, and the tone of the discussion in Parliament, and especially of the utterances of Premier Laurier, shows that unless the railway companies soon decide to accept the long-offered subsidy, the Government may come forward and construct the road itself. Canada is no longer, as it was formerly regarded,merely a narrow strip of territory along the American border. Prospering provinces have been organized in the far Northwest, and Manitoba is no longer seen to be the limit of Canadian progress. The country north of the Laurentian Mountains is now being opened up; excellent wheat, barley, and potatoes have been grown in the valley of the Yukon, and the time is evidently at hand when the new great transcontinental railway now in process of construction should be supplemented, as originally planned, by a railway route to Hudson Bay.
The running of the first train from the Florida mainland to Key Largo marked the beginning of the operation of what may fairly be designated as a novelty
among railways. We have become accustomed to roads that climb mountains, dive under rivers, and span chasms of abysmal depth, but it has remained for Mr. Henry M. Flagler to construct the first seagoing railway in extending his Florida East Coast system. The line runs from Miami on the mainland to Key West, a distance of approximately one hundred and fifty miles, and on account of the difficulties of construction it is estimated that its cost will be about $15,000,000, or upward of $100,000 a mile. Less than half the new road will be built on natural foundation. Skirting along the curve of the eastern coast of the State for twenty-eight miles below Miami, it then crosses to Key Largo, the longest of the small coral islands that are strung out in a curved line off the Florida shore, terminating with Key West. course between these two points the road touches nearly thirty of these diminutive islets. Between these specks of land rock embankments will be built wherever the water is sufficiently shallow to permit. Across the deeper portions and those exposed to storms the line will be carried by concrete arch viaducts. These viaducts vary from one to two miles in length, and in places the traveler on the new road will have the unusual sensation of voyaging over ocean waves in a luxurious railway coach. The construction of the road presents many unusual engineering problems, though none, it is declared, that have not been solved successfully. The materials of construction, including not only the rails, but also the timbers for ties and piling, the concrete and rock for filling, and even the drinkingwater consumed by the laborers who are building the road, are transported long distances. Although the water along the line of the road is in few places more than thirty feet in depth, a vast quantity of piling is used on account of the exposure of the line to violent storms, and the concrete piers of the foundation will be firmly anchored to the bed rock. One of the minor problems to be met has been that of feeding and housing the laborers. This has been solved by the establishment of camps on several of the keys, and by the construction of numer ous house-boats or floating dormitories,
in which the men live and which are moved forward along with the dredges, pile-drivers, and other machinery, keep ing pace with the progress of the road to the southward. In connection with the construction of the new road extensive docks and terminals are being built at Key West. Although this is to be the end of the rail line, the real terminus of the road is to be Havana, for huge car-ferries are to be built to convey trains direct to the Cuban capital. It is expected that the road will be completed within three years, and at the end of that time it will be possible to enter a through train in New York, Chicago, or other Northern cities, and to proceed without change direct to Cuba. The economic importance of the road, in addition to extending the territory which Mr. Flagler's operations have opened heretofore to sportsmen and pleasure-seekers for their winter holidays, will be considerable. By uniting Key West to the mainland it will relieve the isolation of that island city, and upon the completion of the Panama Canal will probably result in making it a port of considerable importance. The line will provide quick passenger and express-freight service to Cuba.
The poems, novels, and André Theuriet dramas of André Theuriet, who died last week, belong to the mildly romantic order. While this Frenchman was notable in these three literary fields, he has been probably most widely known as a novelist. He was simple and straightforward both in conception of life and in grasp of character. His records of the bourgeoisie and of provincial existence are thus uncommonplace. But they are so in a special sense. The subject of illicit love seems almost commonplace in French literature; one is grateful to that writer whose main work is not to elaborate and over-emphasize this feature of life. Not every Theuriet romance, it is true, is to be recommended for general reading, but, as a whole, they are distinguished in being distasteful to those naturalists who would have in all novels the crass and ugly virility of a Zola. Ten years ago
Theuriet defeated Zola at an Academy election. To Theuriet life was no sea of corruption with but one or two strong swimmers able to withstand the maelstrom. While his emotionalism, it must be owned, is rarely intense, it is patently sincere. His note, never shrill, seldom thrilling, rings true, for it suggests the autobiographic. Theuriet wrote many novels, but his characteristic aspects are perhaps best revealed in "Le Mariage de Gérard," ""Sous Bois," "L'Abbé Daniel," "Raymonde." In developing the plots and characters of these romances, such contemporaries as MM. Coppée, Bourget, Anatole France, all happily still living, would have been at once more realistic and more minutely psychological. But in matter they would very likely have been less wholesome and in manner less gentle, graceful, harmonious, light in touch, unaffected, yet sensitive to the "mood of words." These qualities, too, are all evident in what to some constitutes Theuriet's chief claim to fame, his exquisite descriptions of nature, faithful, not flamboyant.
Calvin's Quadri- the four hundredth year It is proposed to mark since Calvin's birth in 1509 by erecting at Geneva a memorial of the Reformation. It is an international undertaking to commemorate the wide influence of the Reformation as seen in a broad historical view. Not only the great Genevan, but the great men of other lands who have carried on his liberating and uplifting work, will have place in the proposed memorial. A strong committee in Geneva, representing all varieties of opinion, has already raised a subscription averaging a franc from every Protestant in the city. Co operative efforts are being made in France, Germany, Great Britain, and Holland. America will do her share. This was evinced by a meeting recently at Union Theological Seminary. Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Dartmouth, Johns Hopkins, Princeton, were represented there, and stirring addresses in advocacy of the enterprise were made both by Calvinists and anti-Calvinists, as those terms are popularly understood. Presi
dent Patton emphasized Calvin's "Institutes of Theology." President Eliot laid stress on the fact that democracy and liberty were "by-products" of Calvinism. Mr. Edwin D. Mead, another wellknown and honored Unitarian, honored Calvin's insistence on the sovereignty of God. "The modern world," said he, "damns weakness, Calvin damned sin, and sin is the best thing to be damned." A committee of seven was appointed to secure generous co-operation with the Genevan Monument Association, which hopes to raise not less than $200,000. The fact that the Pan-Presbyterian Alliance is to meet in New York in 1909 gives assurance that the great anniversary will be adequately commemorated in this country, with an accentuation of that emphasis which Calvin laid so strongly on social righteousness.
Flower gardens are a novel means which the Chicago Telephone Company has tried for increasing the efficiency of its operators. In such exchanges as had a plot of ground the young women were offered individual patches of ground for flower-beds, and rivalry helped to make the experiment
of Chicago it is obviously impossible to use any ground for growing flowers, although at the downtown as well as outlying exchanges window-boxes of flowers are numerous and are solicitously watched by young women employees. They have had help for all the heavy work, but the inherent love of women for flowers has now an opportunity to grow and to strengthen. The improved equipment and the various comforts the company has furnished to make the operators more alert and cheerful have resulted in reducing the average time of handling calls to four seconds. This began in furnishing rest rooms at exchanges-comfortable rooms full of easy chairs and couches for the rest periods of operators. Later bookshelves were furnished, and books from the Chicago Public Library. It was found that the young women were in better condition to work because of these provisions for their hours of leisure. Then came the lunches, pictures for the rest room walls, and lastly the flower gardens. The expenditure of money in this direction is an interesting recognition of the tangible value to the public of a telephone operator's contentment.
One planted mignonette The Famestown Cele
and vied with another who chose verbena seeds; a third kept a clump of sweet-peas as weedless as her neighbors who had geraniums. The company furnished the seeds and the ground all spaded and ready for planting. A real garden was new to many of the girls. At first they made many mistakes, pulling up plants and carefully leaving sturdy weeds instead. They got down on their knees and dug in the dirt until they grew to be quite proficient gardeners, enjoying it all meanwhile more than had been expected. Some of the operators. of a thrifty bent, grew lettuce. radishes. and strawberries. Their crops more than once were proudly picked by their owners to be served with the noon luncheon which the company furnishes free to its operators at all the exchanges. Roof gardens are said to be a possibility of the future at exchanges where no ground is available. In the downtown district
President Roosevelt opened the Jamestown Tercentennial Exposition on Friday of last week amid the roar of guns, the music of bands, and tumultuous cheers from a vast gathering of people. Off shore could be seen the fleets of Germany, England, France, Austria, and the United States; and the President in his voyage across Hampton Roads moved in a cloud of smoke and amid the thunder of salutes. The Presidential party was met at the Government pier by Mr. Harry St. George Tucker. President of the Exposition, accompanied by the Directors, and the President's carriage was followed by the carriages of the representatives of Congress and diplomatic corps in their most brilliant uniforms and robes. At the opening exercises the pressure of the crowd became so great