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CURRENCY OF CHINA
SILVER COIN NEAT AND CONVEN IENT. AN OLD PAPER MONEY Issued by the Imperial Government In the Ninth Century—lllicit Melting of Copper Once in Vogue—Advantageous Ways Celes tials Have of Doing Business. The currency of China is a confus ing riddle. At first glance, however, it seems to be straightforward sort of decimal system of coinage, similar to that adopted by the United States; but as soon as true value and standard weights are considered the mystery of the celestial monetary system appears in all its complicacy. The currency is based on silver and copper cash;the former at its intrinsic value and the latter approximately so. While the copper cash, a small, base coin, is the one most commonly used in China, silver is the basis of exchange. Fluctuations in the rate of silver ex change, together with the total lack of uniformity in coinage, as well as the absence of a government bank, or a public bureau of finance, says the Los Angeles Times, all combine to, form the confusing elements involving the subject of Chinese currency and finance. The Chinese Empire possess ed a system of coinage at the begin ning of the Christian era. Many of their most ancient coins were cast in curious and quaint designs, some fash ioned after the pattern of knives, wedges, oblongs and other objects, namoless and apparently meaningless. These rare old specimens are occa sionlly met with in influential Chinese families, where they are treasured as amulets against evil spirits. Base and not precious metal has been the principal medium of exchange in the Chinese empire. About the I ninth century this imperial govern ment issued a paper money; so we find the Chinese justly deserve the credit of the invention and priority in use of paper money, along with the hundreds of other useful and necessary inventions that the world owes to them. The use of paper money was continued at intervals down to the fifteenth century, when it disappeared from use. However, promissory notes have been in constant use, and have kept the Chinese familiar with a paper currency that made it practicable for the government to sanction banks to be opened for the circulation of a paper currency. The banks of to-day are private institutions, where each man or company is allowed to issue his or their own paper bills iu ex change for cash and silver, the bank bills being redeemable on sight. While these banks are numerous in all large cities, there is no estauiism. government bank, and this forms out of the curious omissions in the busi ness status of this strange empire, one of the first in tiie banking world and yet one of the last to have a bank. The monetary system of China at the present day is arranged on the principal of weight, the foundation or standard being the tael, 'ibis weight is divided into decimal divisions called ma.ee, eandareeu and cash, or tsieu, fa.u and it. The tael being the recognized stand ard of value throughout the kingdom for the reckoning of bullion, gems, drugs, etc., one would think that the weight would be uniform; but such is not the case. The customs, or haik wan, tael is the commercial standard, and is an imaginary weight in silver of about i' l ounces, or equal to about 72 cents gold in American money. However, this fluctuates almost daily with the price of silver. Besides the haikwau tael there are various others in use; the most notable arc tlio Ra ping or treasury tael, the kuaiping or Shanghai, and the Hankow tael. The latter is 3 per cent in value above the Shanghai, while there is 10 per cent difference between the oilier three. rhis variation in weight of the ac cepted standard of value destroys all business foundation and acco.u There are live different weights in currencies in circulation in the short distance between Peking and Tieu-tsin. only about eighty miles. The railway fare from Poking i'ien-tsin last year was $1.40; but from Tien-tsin to Pe king it was $1.30. Such ridiculous dis crepancies in currency are a harmful hindrance to trade. There are no less than nine different silver dollars current in China, five of which are minted in the country. The one most extensively used is the Mex ican scale dollar, minted in Mexico. Next to this is the Japanese yen, then the Spanish Carolus dollar and then the French republican dollar. Others find their way there, but are not so extensively used as those mentioned. There are government mints for the Chinese silver dollar at Tien-tsiu ar senal at Kiaugnan, in Kwang-tung Prvince, in Hupeh and Auhui provin ces. Other small silver coins are min ted at some of these mints, and also in the Fookien Province. There are 5-ceut, 10-cent, 25-cent and 50-cent pieces. A Kwang-tung silver silver coin is graceful and ex ceedingly pretty. A coiled dragon occupies the center of the obverse side, with the word “Kwang-tung Pro vince, 1 mace 4.4 candareens" around the margin, while the reverse has the emperor’s name, the province and a mount. in Chinese characters. This piece of money corresponds to our 20- cent piece, now no longer issued. Their 10-cent silver pieces are half the size and weight, and differ only in the amounts stamped upon them. The amount of the 10-ccnt piece is 7.2 can dareens, and the 5-cent piece 3.6 can dareens. Their table of gold and sil ver runs, 10 cash equal one candareen. 10 candareen equal 1 mace, 10 mace equal 1 1 tael, 1 tael equals 579.S grains troy silver. Taxes and duties are paid in ingots of silver bullion, which are called “shoes of sycoe,” from the Chinese word si-sz, meaning“fine floss.” They vary in weight from 5 mace to 50 taels. This silver is the condemned foreign silver dollars that have been so repeatedly stamped and mutilated that they are of no further use as coins. They are principally the ones imported from Mexico and California and stamped by the merchants pay ing them out. They are melted and refined, and the silver rates about 08 per cent fineness. They are molded in the form of a shoe, and hence the name of “shoes of sycee.” Gold is cast in small bars, about the size of a cake of India ink, or sometimes it is flattened into thin leaves to avoid de ception and dishonesty, and these are fastened together by the hundreds and used in commercial exchange as gold bar. Counterfeiters fairly infest China. Not infrequently do the mint masters connive at the fraud and boldly assist the counterfeiters. Counterfeiting has become so marked a feature in the currency of China that a regular line of business of inspecting silver has been established, and the detectors, called “shroffs,” are so expert that they can detect the slightest alloy just from the color of the coin or in got. When the English first establish ed themselves in Canton each Chinese merchant carried his own private money scales and made change en tirely by weight. If he had no small coins wherewith to make exact change, he simply chipped a piece from off another coin. All the small chips were preserved as change, without specified value. Within the last five or six years sil ver has been extensively coined in China, and has superseded the copper cash, the only purely Chinese coin, up to the advent of the foreigners. This copper piece, called Tsien, originally weighed a mace or about one-tenth of a tael. It was a circular coin a lit tle more than an inch in diameter and had a square hole in the center for convenience in carrying it on a string. The coin has been so reduced in size and debased in value that instead of weighing 57.98 grains troy, or 1 mace, it weighs generally about 30 grains. At present the coin is about the size of our 25-cent piece and about one-halt the thickness. It has two Chinese words on the obverse side, “pao,” or “current,” and the name of the pro vince in which it is coined. On the re verse side there are four words a free translation of which is “money” cur rent during the reign of Taukwang,” or whatever the emperor’s name in whose reign the coin was issued. The normal value of the copper cash to-day ranges from- 900 to 1,800 to the silver dollar, or about one-tenth of a cent; a decided decrease in value from that of the original coin. Copper cash is minted by the government and put in circulation through the payment of soldiers and government officials. Mints are established in each pro vincial capital, under the direction o! the board of revenue. There is a government standard of copper alloy, 50; zinc, lead, 6%, and tin, 2. But the government itself is so dis honest that even this cheap coin has been debased by the introduction of iron, without legal recognition. The exchange between copper cash and sil ver is determined by the quantity of copper cash in circulation. This va ries in tho different provinces; as, for instance, in IS9B in Peking 550 large cash could be obtained for 1 Kung Fa tael, while 1,170 Shanghai cash could be purchased for the same amount and in Wuhu 1,320 was ob tainable, while in Shantung 1,210 could be purchased. Copper cash has in creased in value since the closing of the India mints, and their im ortance as a coin has been supersede by the subsidiary silver coinage issued by C.iemints at Tien-tsin, Nuchang, Foo chow and Canton. The silver coins are neat and con venient. and but for the lluctuating value that makes the monetary basis of China as unstable as all else con nected with this intricate kingdom, the system of coinage would be most satisfactory. In ISSI to 1861 the Emperor Hien Fung issued a copper coin equal in value to 10 copper cash. This is one of the coins sought after by collectors, as are also specimens of the iron cash issued about the same time. It was at first received as of equal value with the copper cash;but it was soon extensively counterfeited, and also be came rusty and quickly depreciated in value. It became unpopular, and was recalled by the government. In ISSS from 18,00 to 20,000 iron cash could be bought for the value of sl. A few years ago when copper cash was so depreciated in value, the peo ple secretly melted coins into metal and manufactured domestic utensils from it rather than purchase the pure metal, as the metal in the cash was worth more than the monetary value of the coin. This illicit melting of copper cash was one cause of the in crease in the value of the coin. The Chinese have many interesting and advantageous ways of conducting business. They have a brotherly way of mutually benefiting one another that is quite enticing. One man needs money but does not wish to pay the exorbitant rate of interest asked by the money lender. He interests an other man to assist him in procuring the coveted loan from his personal friends. Having prepared a number of red envelopes, each containing a small sum of money, he calls upon his relatives and friends who are able and he thinks would be willing to en ter into such a club, and explains to I them his desire. Those who are will | ing to enter into the club accept the i httle envelope of money as a sort of bargain money, and no other compact is formed. The club is frequently call ed a •'shakiln club,” from the tossing of dice by its members and they gen erally number from ten to twenty, according to the amount of money de sired. If the originator wants a loan of 100,000 cash there would probably be ten members, each responsible for 10,- 000 cash. If the payments are quar terly, and there are ten payments, the club exists for the period of two and one-half years. The business is con ducted by the head man and his assist ant, and it is customary for him to entertain the members at a banquet at the first meeting, when he has received his 100,000 cash. He really receives but 90,000, as he is supposed to pay 10,000 himself. No dice are thrown at the first meeting, as it is understood who is to receive the money, but at the second and all subsequent meetings dice are thrown to determine who is to receive the 10,000 cash. The mem ber throwing the highest number re ceives the money, and so on. until each man is repaid his 10,000 cash invested. It is generally conceded that the assist ant receives the money, without appeal to the dice, at a third meeting. Those who have received their money do not enter the dice tossing. A small sum is contributed by each member, excepting the head man, at each meeting after the first one, in or der to defray the expenses of refresh ments. If any sum of money is left at the tenth meeting it belongs to the man who received the last 10,000 cash. In this manner each man has paid into the club 10,000 cash and received back the same amount, thus assisting his comrade or relative, who has had the benefit of 100,000 cash at one time to invest for himself. THE LITTLE LADY OF PEKIN. From the Chinamen’s Point of View His Empress is Perfection. The Chinese empress does not meet completely the Anglo-Saxon demand for female beauty, but then the China man is not wholly satisfied with our type, and, on sound democratic prin ciples, the celestial has some color for his opinion, seeing he is one of our four hundred millions, while our ideal represents but seventy-five millions. Personally, it is hard for me to appre ciate beauty in one who is short and fat; whose feet are the size of salt cellars; whose flesh has the modeling of a bolster; whose eyes are oblique, and whose natural skin is overlaid with white and red paste. Yet what 1 am pleased to consider my taste is from the Chinaman’s point of view, merely outlandish prejudice; and on the standards prevailing in Pekin the dowager empress is easily one of the handsomest women, exercising a per sonal fascination which entitles her to rank with such heroines as Cathe rine of Russia or Queen Louise of Germany. And as to antiquity of ped igree, the Romanoffs and Hohenzoll erns are mere upstarts in dynastic enterprise, compared with the power in Pekin, which draws its authority directly from celestial sources in pre historic eras. Let us then admit at the outset that in the matter of birth, beauty and pol itical power, the dowager empress of China eclipses not merely anything of its kind in Europe, but throws into the shade anything dreamed of in this fair country of ours, whose boast it is that we have set the standard for ‘sovereign woman.’ The China man in general is completely convin ced that in all that constitutes higher civilization he is the superior of the white man. He has invented more different kinds of mechanical improve ments than all the rest of the world put together; his wise men were mas ters of science when Europe was a howling wilderness; no other country has held together so long as this huge empire, and its subjects not unnatu rally conclude that such grand results must have sprung from institutions whose excellence is unrivalled else where. Of these institutions the high est exponent is the dowager empress and her party.—Poultney Bigelow in Woman’s Home Companion. COUNTESS WALDER3EE. Countess von Waldersee, wife of the German field marshal who is to be commander-in-chief of the allies in China, has been frequently spoken of as having been the morganatic wife of the late Prince Frederic of Scheleswig- Holstein. She was not. Prince Fred eric fell in love with Miss Mary Lee, an American, and founu himself con fronted with these conditions: If he retained his royal rank he could not marry- Miss Lee, except morganati rally; and morganatic marriage Miss Lee would not accept. He thereupon put royalty aside and became Prince Frederic von Noer; and, as such, he married Miss Lee with full ceremony. Prince Frederic von Noer died the next year . As the widowed Princess von Noer, the former New York girl was wooed by the Count von Walder see in 1874 and is now his wife. —New York Paper. JIGGERMERIGS. While others are thundering anathe mas against the masculine shirtwaist Rev. Father Reis thunders against the open-work female shirtwaist. “The young ladies of the sodality,” he ful minates, “will have to quit wearing those ‘jiggermerig ’ waists with the funny business around the arms and shoulders.” It is not at all strange that the announcement follows that the young ladies of that sodality are up in arms and threaten to go to some other church. It is to be hoped that they will. Come to our church, ladies. We are not too good to worship in the same house with a girl because she has a pretty shirtwaist and chooses to make it prettier with an artistic combination with a pretty neck. If a sodality girl can’t wear a jiggermerig shirtwaist, then what is the use of all this talk about the Declaration of Independence 0 According to some good people the greatest mistake of creation was the making of the pretty girl at all. Bui these good people would not be satisfied if every pretty girl were required to dress in soldered sheet-iron instead of open-work jiggermerigs, and they may be left out of all consideration It is the nature of pretty girls to jigger merig, and it is the nature of the lovers of the beautiful be jigger meriged. That is the end of it, and ail the Reverend Reises cannot make it any different. —Louisville Courier- Journal. While reversing his engine to pre vent it crashing into a Fond du Lac street car. Engineer George Martin of the Wisconsin Central road pulled so hard that h broke his arm. LIHIS MAKK. v * < * V • t • : I > - - ' *'■" J ’ s V ■■ - i' -Ift' i ; >-> <- .. T % . ( .)> ft m? ...,u ... - $ t / -T- .„ ‘ •< * : o o _ / _ The illustration herewith is a Chi nese passport, signed by Li Hung Chang, greatest of oriental statesmen, who may be a virtual prisoner of the admirals of the allies. The docu ment reads from right to left, and the BIBLE IN SCOTCH DIALECT. A Publication That Few Probably Can Understand. The Scriptures have been translated into Scotch —to speak accurately, the New Testament, for the experiment is to extend only to that now. Such a translation must be one of two things: It must be either in a dialect that is impure and unliterary, or in a dialect that is no longer familiar to the mul titude. As we learn from the publisher. Alex. Gardner, Paisley, the experiment is to be in the latter, in the Scotch of the early century, that is tosay: Interviewed on the point on behalf of the Loudon Leader, Mr. Gardner said his Testament in the braid Scotch —or braid Scots as the pedant has it —which is still only in manuscript, would not be in the Glasgow or Pais ley Scotch of the present day, but would more resemble Burns. It would not be archaic, but neither would it be corrupt. ‘‘Here, for instance, is the Lord’s Prayer,” said Mr. Gardner; ‘’Father o’ usa’, bidin’ Aboon! Thy name be holie! Lat Thy reign begin! Lat Thy wull be dune, haith in Yirth and Heevin! Gie us ilka day oor need fu’ feedin’. And forgie us a’ oor ill deeds, as we sen forgae thae wha did us ill and lat us no be sifut; but save us frae the 111-Ane; for the croon Is Thine aiu; and the micht and the glorie, of evir and evir. Amen.” ‘‘Presumably the author is a Scots man?” Mr. Gardner was asked. ‘‘He is a Scotsman, but a Scotsman resident in Canada, who has acquired his knowledge of Scotch from books only. He is a retired minister. Mr. Smith his name is, and he is over 80 years of age.” “Do you really think Scotch people will understand it, Mr. Gardner?” “Those who know their Burns per fectly will; other may be puzzled by it.” “And English people?” “I showed it to an English minister the ether day and he was greatly tickled. His knowledge of the Script ures aided him a little, but even at that he was beaten to read it- intelli gently.” “You don’t count, then, on any great demand for a book of this kind!” “Not in the sense that there is any desire for it,” said Mr. Gardner. “There is no need for such a Scotch Testament, as for a Gaelic one; and you can guess whether it will ever be' used or recognized by the churches. But it will be an interesting and curious book, and on that account raayj have some vogue.” In answer to a! further question Mr. Gardner mention ed that the publication would probably come in the autumn. Asked if the Scotch rendering of the scriptures was in any way ludicrous, Mr. Gardner remarked that that would depend on the reader and his know ledge of the dialect. “I’ll show you the manuscript,” he said, “and you can judge for yourself.” FROM MANY SOURCES. Australian bushmen are being of fered farms free of cost in Raodesia. Like the bonito, the kingfisher's, colors dull after death. No one who; has seen only the stuffed bird can I form any idea of the brilliance of its plumage when alive. Plants, like animals, are continually wandering to fresh fields and pastures new. Prof. Kellerman finds that of the present flora of Ohio no less than 430 are immigrants. Almost all are from Europe. Hawks have been seen to follow the wake of a moving railway train, to swoop down on small birds that were suddenly disturbed and frightened by the noise, and therefore for the mo ment were off their guard. The Chinese began to write books before they migrated from the region south of the Caspian sea. Two of their greatest literary productions are a dictionary in 5,020 volumes and an encyclopedia in 22,937 volumes. The flotation of brewery companies in England at present has almost ceased. Only £1,648.400 of new securities were issued by the various companies, and of this amount £l,- 022.500 was authorized by one concern alone. The ostrich has long been laughed at for pushing his head into a uush when hunted. It is really far the wisest thing the bird could do, for its long neck is by far the most easily seen part of it. Its body-plumage harmonizes perfectly the desert sand. All things that grow out of the ground, such as peas, corn, and the like, must be planted in the increase of the moon, from new to full; all things that mature in the ground, like pota toes. must be planted in the decrease or waste of the moon, from full to new. It has been planned to establish a service of traction engines and wagons across the desert of China to compete with the carrying business done by means of camels. Fifty engines and 3.000 wagons would have been at work within a year but for the present troubles. column of characters on the opposite side from the seal represents the name and titles of the officer by whom it was issued. This very interesting doc ument is reproduced by courtesy of The Little Chronicle of Chicago. Military uniforms were not orignally especially splenaiu. It was the Prus sian army, and then Napoleon, who set the example of adorning the soldiers’ dress all over with fur, gold lace, and so on. The Napoleonic armies suffered from a perfect mania for showy trappings. People of this country who are an noyed by flies should remember that clusters of the red clover, if hung in the room and left to dry and shea its faint, fragrant perfume through the air, will drive away more flies than sticky saucers of molasses and other flytraps and flypapers can ever collect. Rhubarb and raspberries can be pre served with cold water. Fill the jar to the top with rhubarb cut fine, or berries, and pour cold water into it slowly until there is no sign of an air bubble to be found; then cover quickly, and set away. The berries will keep perfectly, and retain much of their natural flavor DIVISION OF FLORIDA. An Impracticable Question, Declares a Local Paper. Alluding to the action of the Young Men’s Business League of Pensacola in passing resolutions favoring the an nexation of that part of Florida west of the Apalachicola river to Alabama, the Jacksonville Times-Union in a leading editorial says ’■ The subject has been much dis cussed in west Florida and Alabama of late years, and it may be added that no question so impractical has ever received more serious attention, We characterize the project as impracti cal because it will depend for its suc cess on the support of so many sec tions. It cannot be done without the consent of Alabama, of Florida at large and of the people of that portion of the state that would be annexed to Alabama if the plan were carried out. “Ihere is no doubt of the approval of Alabama, though Mobile would doubtless oppose the proposition. If it would benefit Pensacola, as it might to a very slight extent, it would be so at the expense of Mobile. Its benefit to Pensacola and injury to Mobile, however, is doubtful, and would be of small amount, for transportation lines care little for state pride. They will ship through the port which offers the best facilities, and tne exporters of Alabama products are not apt to make ic a condition with the transportation company offering the lowest rates that the products be exported through an Alabama port. Much of the iron of Alabama is already shipped through Pensacola, in spite of the state line, and it is not certain nor even probable that appreciably more would be shipped through that port if Pensacola were an Alabama city. “But while the hope of gain in busi ness, however remote and uncertain, might influence a number of business men in Pensacola to throw state pride away and consent to annexation to another state, no such motive would apply to the remainder of west Flor ida. The state pride of the people of that section would cause them to op pose the preposition and they would have no motive for favoring it. But even if west Florida were will ing the balance of the state would cer tainly not be, and the majority against the measure in the state as a whole would be large. No state has ever yet given up thickly settled territory, and there is no reason to believe that Flor ida will take the lead in a movement for the readjustment of State lines. The talk of removing the capital from Tallahassee has added something to the little vitality that was already in the movement, but it has not added enough to make it at all probable that it will ever amount to anything more than talk.” AN UNCONSCIOUS DISCIPLE. Trotter —It’s a favorite amusement among the eastern fakirs to twist themselves into some muscle-straining, nerve-racking, bone-cracking posture, and Miss Rivalton—lsn’t it funny how those odd oriental ideas find disciples here? Trotter —What do you mean? Miss Rivalton—Really, haven’t you ever seen Maud Wayuppe play golf.— Harper’s Bazar. LIFE IS A MASQUERADE. Oh, life is a masauerade; Its span is a fleeting breath; We act out the wild charade. And only unmask at death. Few doff the disguise ere then. Or break from the gay parade; Pride hideth the heart from view— Oh, life is a masauerade. —Philadelphia North American. The “national party,” at a slimly at tended convention in New York city, nominated Donelson Caffery of Louisi ana, for president of the United States and Archibald M. Howe of Cambridge. Mas*., for vice-president. TIMBER SACRIFICE FAMOUS REDWOOD OF CALIFOR NIA DISAPPEARING. FOREST RESERVE URGED Legging Operation Threaten Destruct ion to the Largest and Oldest Liv ing Things—Thirty-two Persons Abie to Stand on a Single Stump, and Musicians There Too. The last of the big trees—the giant redwoods of the Pacific coast —are threatened with destruction, and con gress is to be asked to save a few of them at all hazard. It is proposed by the forester of the United States, Gifford Pinchot, who is urging the matter, that the famous Calaveras grove, in California, shall be purchas ed from its present owner and set a side as a government reservation. Thus a few of these botanical wonders may be preserved for the admiration of future generations. They are the largest of all living things on the earth to-day, says the Detroit Free Press. They are the oldest of all living things. Some of the redwoods now rearing their lofty domes of fol iage on the Pacific coast were flourish ing young trees when the pyramids of Egypt were built —a fact which has been ascertained with positiveness by counting the rings of annual growth in the several trunks of individuals of equal size. They are of great scienti fic interest, inasmuch as they repre sent a surviving prehistoric genus of trees that once grew widely over the globe. Before the glacial period the genus of big trees, called sequoia, flourished widely in the temperate zones of three continents. There are many species, and Europe, Asia and Africa each had a share. But when the ice fields mov ed down from the north the luxuriant vegetation of the age declined and with it these multitudes of trees. One after another the different kinds suc cumbed, and when the ice receded only two species, the big tree and the red- w r ood, survived. Both grew in Cal ifornia, each separate from the other, and each occupying, in comparison to its former territory, a mere island of space. As we know them now, the redwood lives only in a narrow strip of the coast ranges ten to twenty miles wide, extending from the south ern border of Washington to the Bay* of Monterey, while the big tree is found only in small groves scattered along the west slope of the • Sierra Nevada Mountains, from the middle fork *of the American River to the head of Deer Creek, 260 miles. The utmost search reveals but ten main groups, and the total number of siz able trees in those groups is limited to figures in the thousands. All the specimens remarkable for size do not exceed 500. The big tree is unique in the world. It. is the largest, oldest and most ma jestically graceful of all trees. Scarc est of all known tree species it is the best living representative of a former geologic age. It has come down through the ages simply by reason of its supurb powers of defense against hostile conditions. The bark is sometimes as much as two feet thick, and is almost noncombustible. The oldest specimens felled are still sound to the heart. Yet, with all its advantages, the big trees do not seem to have increased their range since the glasial epoch. They have only just managed to hold their own on a little strip of country where the climate was locally favorable. At the present time the only grove really safe from destruction is the Mariposa, which is by no means the most interesting. Most of the others are either in process of or in danger of being logged. The very finest of all, the Calaveras grove, with the biggest and tallest trees and the most uncontaminated surroundings, has re cently been purchased by a lumber man. The Sequoia and General Grant National park, which are supposed to embrace and give security to a large part of the remaining big trees, are eaten into by a sawmill each and by private timber claims. The rest of the scanty patches of these forest mon arches are in a fair way to disap pear—in Calaveras, Tuolumne, Fresno and Tulare counties they are now dis appearing—by the ax. ludeed, a ma jority of the big trees of California, certainly the best of them, are owned by people who have every right, and in many cases every intention, to cut them into lumber. The Calaveras grove was the first grove of big trees discovered, and the story is that a hunter named Dowd came across it by accident in the spring of 1852. This man was employed by a company to supply fresh meet to gangs of workmen engaged in the con struction of a canal. Chancing to wound a grizzly bear, he pursued the animal and came upon one of the im mense trees. When he returned to camp and told about the wonder he had seen, he was laughed at, his tale being taken for a hunter’s yarn. In the following year, however, this same tree was cut down, and, after the bark had been removed, its diameter across the solid w00d,6 feet above ground, was found to be 25 feet. Of this tree J. M. Hutchins speaks in his Heart of the Sierras. He says; ‘•lncredible as it may appear, July 4, 1854, the writer formed one of a cotil ' lon party of thirty-two persons danc j ing on a stump; in addition to whom were seventeen musicians and lookers on, making a total of forty-nine oc cupants of its surface at one time. The tree was 302 feet high, and at the ground it measured 90 feet in circum ference. To chop it down was consid ered an impossibility, so it was bore off with pump-augurs, the job occupy ing five men twenty-two days. After the stem had thus been severed from the stump, it could not be overthrown, and two and a half days were spent in inserting wedges and driving them. Then opportunely, a gust of wind came and blew the tree over, the earth trem bling at its fall as if with an earth quake. Careful count of the rings showed that this giant was already a centuary oid when Christ was born. The Calaveras grove occupies a belt 3,200 feet long by 700 feet wide, in a depression between two slopes. There are just 101 trees of large size and a considerable number or small ones. Several have fallen since the grove was discovered, one has been cut down and the bark has been stripped from another up to the hight of 116 feet. This bark was formed into a room at the Sydenham Crystal Palace, and was lost in the fire there a few years ago. The two trees thus destroyed were the finest in the grove. The tallest one now standing is the ‘Keystone State” and the largest and finest is the “Em pire State.” The tree stripped of its bark has long been known as the “mother of the forest.” Without the bark it measures 69 feet in circumference at a height of 20 feet from the base. Seventy feet from the ground it is 43Va feet in girth. Its height is 241 feet; the vertical distance to the first branch is 137 feet, and it is estimated to contain 527,000 feet of sound inch lumber. Near by lies prostrate the “father of the forest," which was even larger, measuring over 400 feet in height, with a circumference of 110 feet at the base. Another notable tree in this grove is known as "Smits's Cabin,” and was for years the home of an old trapper named Andrew Jackson Smith, its burnt-out hollow trunk providing him with a room 21 by 16 feet. Some years before he occupied this natural shelter a tremendous storm blow down the “father of the forest,” and in falling this noble monarch struck “old Her cules,” and old-time rival, shivering the upper part of the latter. Fire has eaten out the heart of the “father of the forest,” so that one can ride erect on horseback through the trunk for a distance of eighty-one feet. The dis tance from the base of the trunk to the first branch is nearly 200 feet. “Old Hercules” was the largest stand ing tree in the grove in 1862, being 325 feet high and measuring ninety-five feet in circumference at the ground. He too was blown down in a storm. “Old Goliath” succumbed to the same storm that overthrew “Old Hercules,” and both catastrophes were witnessed by Andrew Jackson Smith, who was living in “Smith s Cabin” at the time. He was rather surprised, indeed, that his own shelter was not demolished. “Old Goliath” has a circumference of over 100 feet at the base, and one of his limbs was over eleven feet in di ameter. In the southern part of Cal veras grove is the “tree of refuge,” so called because ten cattle sought shelter in it one severe winter. They found protection from the storm, but perish ed of starvation,and their bones re main there to this day to tell the tale. Late in autumn the big tree bursts into bloom, myriads of cones crowd ing the ends of the slender sprays of brownishy-ellow foliage and giving color to the whole tree while the ground beneath is dusted with golden pollen. The fertile cones are bright grass green, two inches long, and made up of scales densely packed, with from five to eight at the base of each scale. One cone, therefore, contains from 200 to 300 seeds. No other Sierra conifer produces nearly so many seeds, millions being ripened annually by a single tree. Few of them germinate, however, and those which do sprout rarely survive. The sequoia has been introduced in Europe and is now widely cultivated there, but the climate doos not seem to suit it very well. Occasionally it has been induced to survive in the eastern part of the United States, and at Rochester there are two big trees thirty-five feet in height. In Califor nia the southern groves show some re production, through which there is hope of perpetuating the species, but in the northern groves it hardly ao.ds its own. There are now only t a iso lated patches of these trees in exist ence, and forty mills and 1 gging camps are attacking those for ti.uber. Unfortunately, the lumbering of the big trees is done by such methods thet more than half of the material is wasted. Often the huge logs are bro ken up with gunpowder as a prelim inary to moving them. The trees stand in forests of many other spe cies, and the destruction followed by the fall of their enormous trunks Is great. But the principal source of damage is the immense amount of de bris left on the ground, composed of broken benches, trunks and bark, often five or six feet in depth—a cer tain cause of fierce fires. The devas tation that follows such lumbering is complete and deplorable, and as a rule has not even the advantage of being profitable. The forestry division of the Depart ment of Agriculture, which has fur nished the material of this article, es timates a growth of one inch in diam eter for every twelve years in the life of a big tree. This would make a 25-foot tree 3,600 years old. Probably these forest giants sometimes live 5,000 years, or even more. Unless de stroyed by man, they survive Indefi nitely, until burned, smashed by lightning or cast down by storm. The wiping out of the few remaining sur vivors of the species would be noth ing less than a botanical tragedy, and it is to be hoped that congress will step in to prevent such a misfortune. WHAT TO EAT IN SUMMER. Three months of vegetarianism would do every one good, but since we are not ail inclined to such radical changes there is left to us the sensible change to lighter meats, which proves as delightful as beneficial. Lamb, veal, poultry, boiled and broiled ham, bacon, and, above all, fish, give a wide range of choice. For hot weather breakfasts there should always be one dish that has a ‘’snap” to it, a something to provoke an appetite. This is just the role for delicately pre pared salt-fish dishes (prominently among them haddie), for curries, and other highly seasoned dishes that are left off the breakfast menu. —Ella Morris Kretschmar in Woman s Home Companion.