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New-York tribune. (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, December 23, 1900, Image 29

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The decline of the tropical regions of America
•»•• of late years lieen a fruitful topic of discus
sion. Well provided as the public has been with
statistics as to the condition of those once fa
vored countries, no one who has not seen with
hi* eyes the present state of affairs can fully
realize the change. In a land where nature Is
so prodigal that almost the casual thrusting of
a branch into the earth insures a tree, desola
tion and poverty are everywhere found. The
reason is plain enough; it is only the remedy
that has remained a problem. The products of
the tropics are fruits, and the exportation of
these involves a greater risk and a larger
knowledge of the subject than has been at the
command of these countries. On every side
there is a waste of food fairly maddening to the
student of economics; but how to utilize this
superabundance, how to convey it In proper
shape to the millions who win only a bare sus
tenance from overworked soils in other coun
tries, is the great and hitherto unsolved prob
lem. ;
The solution now suggested is one which has
the sanction of Australia, and this means more
than appears on the surface. Whether it be be
cause Australia has fewer lives to care' for and
finds them more precious, or because the au
thorities have less to do, cannot be now debated;
but the fact is that Australians are not permit
ted to poison themselves with adulterated food,
as is the glorious privilege of free citizens in
this country. The Government watches with a
never sleeping eye the food which supplies the
tables of the people. When, therefore, the Aus
tralian Government indorses a process and gives
it medals galore, it means that science has set
her seal on it. The system of fruit preservation
which is now being introduced into the West
Indies and Central America has for some years
been successfully tried in the countries of Aus
The new system is one of evaporation, but the
process differs from others in that it is quickly
done and insures absolute cleanliness. The fruit
and vegetables are not dried on the ground for
days together, like figs, prunes and similar pre
serves. Five or six hours is all that is required
Is change fresh fruit into an article which will
keep for months and years, and still preserve
the original flavor — in some cases actually im
prove it. It is not, however, so much the me
chanical process as the effect on the tropics
which interests the ordinary observer, and it is
In this direction that it is at present being de
There is no fruit in the world so easy and
cheap to raise as the banana, or which contains
more nutriment and can be served in a greater
variety of ways. Yet there is no fruit which is
so carelessly exported and the general value of
which is so little understood. The banana is
th •• main object of attack under the new evap
oration system. The exporting companies use
only the largest bananas, and every year thou
sands and thousands of hunches rot on the plan
tations in the tropics. The new evaporation
process takes these smaller bananas and makes
them into a dozen different marketable com
modities. There is banana flour, to begin with,
a delicacy which is used for the making of
cakes, fritters and the like. There is banana
prepared as a substitute (an excellent one) for
citron and raisins in fruit cake. It also makes
a delightful preserve not unlike and quite as
delicate as figs and prunes. Banana butter is
another product; this is a sort of jam, which is
not unknown in tropical countries as a great
delicacy rather difficult to make by the old
fashioned process. All these products can now
be marketed at a small cost. Th« machinery is
not elaborate, and the original cost of the fruit
is almost nothing. It is estimated that the
banana butter, for instance, can be put on the
European market and sold there at less than
half the price of any native condiment. To the
poor of Europe, whose list of delicacies is so
limited, this will be no small blessing.
The banana Is not the only tropical fruit which
la being treated by the new process. Any one
who has lived in tropical countries knows that
th negroes who are out of the track of civiliza
tion make from the cassava a kind of flour
which is extremely wholesome and cheap. This
la also being put up for exportation. The ex
trt-mely nutritious okra (the value of which is
fally realized in the tropics, where it Is con
stantly used as a food for invalids) is being
prepared in quantities for exportation. In its
canned form the okra necessarily fails to retain
all its value as a food, but the evaporated vege
table lias been proved by analysis to contain all
the nutriment. The man who makes okra soup
a standard food among the poor of any country
is bestowing a permanent l»eneflt. Sweet i»o
tato flour is also made for exportation.
The British Government is just now unusually
keen as to the condition of its West Indian pos
sessions. Am long as fruit is the chief product
II I LSI KA II I) SliMMi >S i NI .
Sunday. i>i;n:.MKi:K -s.\. mini.
of those countries, and as long as old methods
of exportation prevail, so lons will the decline
of the West Indies continue. Once save the
enormous waste by finding a market for the in
numerable products of the South, and the islands
will regain their old prestige. The Government
of Jamaica has been interested in the evapora
tion question, and a favorable outcome seems
probable. In Central America the process is
now fully appreciated. Frpm Santa Tomas.
Guatemala, the British army is now receiving
supplies of evaporated food. The republics of
Central America have all indorsed the process
and are beginning to experiment on their own
account. From a trade point of view the inno
vation is important. Fruit authorities think
that it is likely to revolutionize the tropical
fruit trade. Be this as it may, there is great in
terest in watching the attempt to give to dwell
ers in the comparatively unproductive North
some of the blessings of the prodigal South.
Table tennis is the name of a new game which
was introduced in England a short time ago.
and has already become one of the most popu
lar of indoor amusements. It is the came
of lawn tennis in miniature, played on an or
dinary dining table. The net is a tiny one, made
of gauxe stretched between two uprights, which
rest on a bar laid across the table. The balls
are made of the thinnest kind of pyroxyline ma
terial, and are consequently very light. The
racquet has a slender handle and a blade with
a frame about one-half inch thick, which Is cov
ered on both sides with thin drumhead Material.
The play and counting are practically the satn<?
as in lawn tennis, but, according to the rules,
'•the player serving must not put his racquet
over the table nor have it above his wrist." That
is, he must serve underhand and never over
hand, but after service he may hit the ball as he
likes, but he most not volley.
The contact of the light ball with the drum
head racquet produces a pleasant sound, and
because of this sound th(» game received the
name "pompom."
Among the rules for playing the game are the
No faults are allowed: if a fault is served.
that is, the ball does not go over the net or goes
off the table without touching the opposite side
to the server, a |M>int is counted to the non
If the net is touched by the l»all. and the ball
goes over, and otherwise the service is correct,
it is a let. and counU nothing to either side.
If a volley is taken a point is counted against
the person roUeytas-
I.WSHOUM.'S I'Ehl.F.li WrHsTOll.
THK lU:M.\KK.\ItI.K POtnCDKB "I" A IJR" -I KS*l-
From The London Chronicle.
Though he is one of the richest nea in Par
liament, and has a house in Park Lane worth
a fabulous sum, the new Foreign Secretary is,
or ought to be. a man of stron ; human sympa
thies. He owes his title and estates to a pedler.
who was so poor that he lived in Paris for
three weeks entirely on walnuts. Managing to
earn an honest penny, he took out a patent for a
letter copying machine, wrote on art and sci
ence, practised chemistry and physics, sum
moned the first meeting of the Royal Society at
his lodgings, was appointed an army physician,
invented a double bottomed ship to sail against
wind and tide, founded iron works and opened
l^ad mines, began a fishery and timber trade,
and left a fortune to his sons. Such was the
founder of the house of Lansdowne.
Whether his podl^r ancestor's will has influ
enced lAird Lansdowne in taking the Foreign
Secretaryship or not we do not know, but in a
remarkable will thai he Jeft behind the founder
of the house conjured all his successors to "labor
in public works" at their peril. "As for legacies
for the poor." said the testator. "I am at a
stand; as for beggars !•>' trade and election. I
give them nothins: as for impotents by the hand
of God. the public ought to maintain them; as
for those who have been bred t.> no calling nor
estate, they should be put upon their kindred;
. . . wherefore I am contented that I have
assisted all my poor relations, and put many
into a way of fretting their own bread; have la
bored in public works, and by inventions have
sought out r.-al objects of charity, and 1 do
hereby conjure all who partake of my estate,
from time to time, to do the same at their peril.
Nevertheless, to answer custom, and to take the
-idler side, I give £38 to the most wanting of the
parish wherein I die."
From Th • London Chronicle.
It is announced that the heads of the House
of Bonaparte. Prince Victor Napoleon and
Prince Louis Napoleon, of the Russian army,
:>re in England visiting the Empress Eugenic at
Farnborough These princes are thirty-eight
and thirty-six years old respectively, and both
are bachelors. This is doubtless due to their
position as Pretenders; a Pretender cannot af
ford to make a bad match, and exalted ladies
look askance on a Pretender he arrives.
Napoleon 111 did not marry until he had at
tained the throne and the age of forty-four.
With the late Prince Jerome Napoleon and his
cnildren Bonapartism assumed a new phase, as
they are connected with the old reigning fami
lies of Europe, which no other branch of the
family was. The princes now in England are
lescehded from a sister of George 111. and there
lore from our Stuarts Tudors and Planiagenets.
from the Kings of Italy and Wiirtemberg. and
are. in fact, cousins of nearly every reigning
New-York University, to which. in its new
home on Morris Heights, so much public at
tention has lan ly been attracted by the pro
jected Hall of Fame, has now brought the mag
nificent work of its great library almost to com
pletion. Except for the placing of a few table*
and chairs and the installation of the electric
lighting apparatus, the whole library bßtldtlM
may be considered as ready for the uses for
which it is destined. It is true that the number
of volumes actually stored in the various w.i.l
shelves, stackrooms and seminars does not ex
ceed thirty-seven thousand, but the process if
tilling all these spaces to their almost capacity
of one million volumes must, of course, he re
garded as something to be left to the eaterprlsa
of future generations.
Even in this age of enormous educational un
dertakings, the erection of a library building to
store and provide facilities for the use of one
million volumes is no small affair. The govern
ing body of the university has realized this. as. 1
through Stanford White, the architect, ha*
given adequate aesthetic expression to the dii;
nity of the work. The library building ta
octagonal in its general plan, the reading room
forming a circular space about which the other
rooms are arranged symmetrically and with ad
mirably compact effect. This circular readiri :
room is approached from the entrance to th*
building by a magnificent flight of steps con
structed and walled in Indian i limestone, th
effect enriched by panels of veined Italian mar
ble. The room itself is seventy-three feet hhjh,
measuring from the floor to the inner skylight >f
the dome. Sixteen columns of dark green Con
nemara marble, with composite capitals in
white, support the inner entablature. The li
ameter of the room, measured from the centres
of these great columns, is seventy -three feet.
and the shafts themselves are three feet tiv<*
Inches in thickness at their bases. This leaves
a further between the columns and th«
wall from the top of which the semicircula; __
dome springs. This wall te filled alternately
with the shelves of the reference library and
smaller columns and doors in bronze, with *
fine green patina, extending to the height of
th(» first small gailery overhead. A circulat
light, flush with the tesselated pavement of the
room, about fifteen feet in diameter, covers the
centre of the room, and transmits the daylight
from the dome to the auditorium, which occu
pies the floor below tht reading room. The gen
eral effect of reposeful richness and solidity pro
duced by the combination of subdued greens in
the structural marble and bronze work of the
room is relieved by the dead white of the
domed ceiling and its entablature, and by »
liberal use of bold Roman lettering in inscrip
tions and many great names of literature ap
plied on the panellings beneath the bookcase.*.
The lower entablature above the great volumna
bears in bronze letters on a ground of greea
"favrile" mosaic the words from Milton's invoca
tion in "Paradise Lost": "And chiefly, Thou, <)
Spirit, that dost prefer before all temples th»
uprisht heart and pure, instruct me; for Thow
knowest. What in me is dark, illumine; what U
' low. raise and support." On the higher entabla
ture is an inscription from the Book of Joh
The loan desk, where students have books le
livered to them for outside use. bears on it*
I front a gigantic bronze tablet with the salutary
| admonition of Seneca. "Multoque satius esl
I paucis te anrtorlbu tradere guam per multoa
| errare" <"It is much better to give yourself >ver
to a few authors than to wander about over
Everything in the arrangement of the reading
| room is studiously designed for the attainment
1 of the highest possible practical efficiency in re
gard to its primary purpose, so that, in spite of
all the splendor of effect, one cannot forget that
! the place is. first and foremost, an intellectual
' workshop. This idea is carried out even to th«
! furnishing of rubber tips to the legs of the
! chairs to prevent screeching, and the require*
1 mt-nt that the library attendants shall weac
rubber heeled shoes. It is seen elsewhere in th«
subsidiary apartments. The librarian's office. •
splendid example of joiner's work in white ma»
hogany, and th° chancellor's private room, with
oiled maple floor and San Domingo mahogany
panelled wainscoting both represent the last
development of progress in material aptitude
for their purposes.
The amphitheatre arrangement of seats in the
auditorium, which occupies the space below the
reading room, and the seats themselves are
models of comfort. Of the floors above the mala
floor, extending around the great central space
of the reading room, the first gives access to a
smaller gallery provided with shelves, while the
rest of its apace is utilized tor stackrooms.
where some of the difference between thirty
seven thousand and one million volumes will
eventually be stored. Above this, again is an*
other floor communicating with a second gallery
and containing, besides other stackrooms. a
number of rooms to be devoted to the special
study of diilcreut subjects, each subject or d>

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