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RUSSIA AND- PERSIA.
Muscovite Intriguers Are Planning a Momentous Coup. flow the Cznr Propose* to Absorb the Shah’s Dominions—The Kusslnn Advance Toward the Bor ders of India. [Special Correspondence.] THE most important internation al topic of the day is the hold which Russia has within the last few months gained in ancient Persia. England is so occupied at present with the Boers that she is giving less than her usual attention to her eastern af fairs and has left Herat, considered the hey to the territory bordering on her East Indian possessions, exposed to danger from a Russian invasion. ■This city has figured prominently in TWO PERSIAN SOLDIERS. •the history of the world from the time of Alexander to the present, and has withstood many sieges. It is four sided and surrounded by mud walls 30 feet high, each less than a mile in length. If held by trained soldiers any native attack could be repulsed, but it could offer very little resistance to the guns of a civilized foe. Its posses sion has caused two wars for England, one with Persia and one with Afghan istan. The territory surrounding it is the only region in Afghanistan in which the soil repays the labor of till ing, and from its earliest history Herat has been th • point of supply for all the adjoining territories. Because of the physical features of the country, which is very mountainous, Herat is the natural center from which the roads of southern Asia radiate and its position is of the utmost importance from a strategic point of view. It is now principally interesting, however, because it is the only gateway through which India could be attacked by Rus sia. The only route by which a large army could be despatched is via Herat, Farah, Girishk and Kandahar. Forty years ago Russia’s boundary was hun dreds of miles away, and her pledges to keep her proper distance were read ily accepted, as any hostile move could be easily repulsed. Russian acquisitions since that time have given her .a fort within 60 miles of Herat. Her troops are being massed on the Persian border, and while two marches would enable them to sur round the cit 3 -, it would take the Brit ish soldiers, 530 miles distant, a month to reach Herat, which is garrisoned by only four cavalry and five infantry regiments, with 35 old-fashioned can non on the walls. The attention of the British government has been re peatedly called to the importance of securing this city against Russia. The ameers of Afghanistan have, again and again, received pledges from the English that their country would be preserved independent of Russian en- J . GATE TO A PERSIAN CITY. •croachments. For this reason Fnglish •counsels have been allowed to dom inate Afghan affairs. But if Russia should conclude to march against Herat how will it be possible to thwart her designs when a movement of British troops in that di rection now would probably precipi tate an attack? Plausible Russia is still talking pacifically, as usual, to hold the general attention as much as possible away from the moves she is making, for her conversation is seldom in accord with her deeds. It is a well-known fact that for years Russia has coveted Persia, not only that it is valuable in itself, but because of the advantages which would accrue from possessing its frontier. It is pretty generally believed that the recent loan of 11,000,000 rubles to Persia, secured by a mortgage on the -customs and a concession to lay rail ways over the country, while seem ing innocent enough, covers a scheme very different from what appears on the surface. The watchfulness of Eng land has alone prevented Russia from absorbing Persia long ago, hence the Muscovite government has been com pelled to satisfy itself by obtaining bits of the eastern and northern front* iers, more by intrigue than war. Dazzling stories have i hvays been told of the wealth of Persia. During the last reign there.was such an ac cumulation as could not have been so soon dissipated. When M azafar-ed- Deen, the present shah, was crown prince, his residence was near the Rus sian frontier. His older brother, Ze lee Sultan, desired the throne, and it is thought the prince agreed to be a vas sal to Russia if the czar would make his rule assured. The loan is probably intended to deceive the world to which the true condition of affairs will be come gradually apparent. Russian of ficers have drilled the Persian army, and the troops are accustomed to act under their orders. Doubtless, if Persia passes, in time, entirely under Russian rule, both countries will be benefited. Persia by more rapid prog ress in civilization and improved fa cilities (for the Persian merchants are shrewd money makers and care little who governs them so long as their business prospers), and Russia by the acquisition of a half million square miles of desirable territory, 3,000,000. of new subjects, the advancement of her frontier and a coast with ports from which India is easily accessible. Russia has always manipulated af fairs so that other nations have never been able to obtaim railway conces sions in Persia. Now she will cover the country with a complete network of railroads. They will develop its re sources, but the advantage will belong to Russia, although doubtless Ameri can engineers will construct them. The merchant fleets of Russia have sailed the Caspian sea for years, bul since the treaty of Turkomantchai no I’ersian has been allowed to display the flag of his country there, nor have Eu ropean goods for a long time been al lowed transit to Persia. Traders have been compelled to go around through Turkish Armenia. Thus has a market for Russian manufactures been se cured in Persia, One great reason for the seizure of Africa by Great Britain is the necessity for depending on the Suez canal tor the quick transport of goods to India. England must have independent ports south of Suez for means of easy com munication* The safety of her mer chant marine is also the reason for her anxiety to prevent Russian ships com ing from the Black sea to threaten Suez. But all previous precautions for the protection of India will avail little if Russia obtains control of the Per sian gulf and seaports, almost at the Indian border. Great Britain will bo compelled to maintain vast fleets for the protection of her merchant ships. The fleets of Russia could attack the coast of India and cooperate with r.’vA w OLD PERSIAN PRAYING TOWER. armies transported by means of Rus sian control of Herat to that portion of the border where the mountain passes are not severe. England could never feel secure, because while Rus sia is making the most | .‘ific promises she is stealthily but firmly advancing most in her agressions. Russian ships are being constructed in our yards which have no superiors either in size or equipment. The des tinieS~oTall nations are likely to be in fluenced by the events of the next four months. If England succeeds in tho Transvaal, the Russian bear will prob ably keep his claws concealed for thq present, and bide his time. If not, wo shall see what we shall sec. Asa nation, we are on very friendly terms with Russia, hut we have a long coast line, unfortified, and should our interests clash with hers, we may wish that England had taken a little better care of Herat and that the civilized world had done something to prevent Russian encroachment on Persia, to which history, both sacred and pro fane, is so much indebted. This was the country of Cyrus and Darius, of Artaxerxes, Sapor and Chosroes, tho country from whence, in all ages, have come most wonderful tales which can never be disproved. To Persia we aro first indebted for Saracenic architec ture. The northern part of the prov ince along the Caspian sea is covered by dense ancient forests in which are ruins of cities famed in history, where hunters may now seek tigers and other large game. Near and plainly visible from Teheran, tower Demarend, a mountain peak SO.OOO ieet high. Min eral supplies are abundant. The prov ince of Azerbaijan produces quantities of all kinds of grain and fruits. North of the Persian gulf vast table lands of sand and salt can, by irrigation, be made very productive. The country furnishes opium, tobacco, rice and ex cellent wines. Palms grow in the south. The Persians are a laughter-loving people, intelligent and brilliant in con versation. Under Russian rule their old re ligions would be allowed to stand or ba only slightly modified. A large major ity of the people are Mohammedans, while there are Jews, Armenians and still a few Parsecs. The Babees are the only religious sect likely to causa trouble to new rulers. EDWARD JULIAN. The black jaguar of Central Amer ica will attack any man by night or day whom he finds lying down. SOCIETY AT WASHINGTON. Dr. Urliitol, Pastor of the President, Snj * Social Atmosphere Tliere Is Sveet and Wholesome. Dr. F. M. Bristol, President McKin ley’s pastor, contributes to the New York World a paper on “Degeneracy of American Society,” in which he says: “I protest against the applica tion of the term ‘society’ to that little set. of fools who contribute nothing but scandal to the annals of a com munity. True society of America, com posed of the brains and virtue of her typical men and women, to be found in Washington. New York, Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and in every city and town and village of this country, is worthy of all honor and re spect. Husbands never had more vir tuous wives nor wives truer husbands: sons never had sweeter, purer mothers, COL. ROBERT STEPHENSON SMITH BADEN-POWELL. This gallant British officer Is now universally spoken of as the "hero of Mate- Ring." With scarcely more than 2,OiK) men he has managed to defy aI a fro he* sieging force of Boers, commanded at one linn- by Cronje himself. The siege be gan October 15. 18119. Col. Baden-Powell made occasional sorties, but ids force was 100 small and his weapons too ineffective to make headway against the Boers. The town was bombarded almost dally, food was high in price and poor In quality, but through it all the brave commander succeeded in keeping his men enthusi astic and the hearts of the civilians full of hope. nor mothers nobler, cleaner sons; brothers never had more chaste, intelli gent sisters, nor sisters more heroic, chivalrous, high-minded brothers than they have to-day and in our own Amer ica. “I am bound to say that the highest standard of American society may be foundat thenational capital. The social atmosphere of Washington is sweet and wholesome. It was never more so. No social scandals tarnish the purit.v of our oflicial or congressional life. Finer specimens of moral, intellectual and patriotic womanhood cannot be found in this country or in the world than are to be met at the social func tions of the beautiful capital, where the best traditions of republican purity and democratic simplicity are pre served and exemplified in the domestic virtue, affection and happiness of the first home of the land. “Surely the American people may justly felicitate themselves on the high THE LAST OF "OLD MOSE.” “Old Mose," a veteran grizzly that Inhabited the Sierra Mad re mountains In southern for a number of years, bus Ju.st been slaughtered by a couple of wood choppers. For years this animal has been the terror of the (Jte Indian braves and the white settlers. It made (lerce attacks on men and cattle and de fied the wiliest hunters. The two wood choppers came across Mose by accident, and dispatched him by strategy, lie proved a veritable mountain of flesh, weigh ing about 1,100 pounds, and his pelt was ulna feel six Inches long and over seven feet In width. and unsullied record of that first home of the land from the glorious day o' Martha Washington t< the good and happy day of Ida McKinley.” Almost iim llnd iin Urecley’N. Among 111 in;; statesmen. Mr. Go sehen writes probably the worst hand. His figures are fairly clear, as one would expect from so eminent a finan cial authority, hut some of his corre spondence would eclipse Dean Stan ley’s letters for being indecipherable. Mr. Goschen took up one of his own memoranda the other day, and, being very short-sighted, exclaimed: “A man who writes like that ought not to be in the public service!” Kiiueatrlnn Travel. At the commencement of Berea col lege, in Madison county, Ky., 1,500 sad dle horses weie picketed on the grounds. RIFLES FOR SHARPSHOOTERS. The I’resenf Infantry Weapon I* Not Well Designed fur 1.0 ■■ g linage. The Napoleonic maxim that “fire is everything''’ is truer in these days of | smokeless powder and long-range weapons than ever before, says Cus sier's. An expert shot is no longer ; blinded by bis comrade’s smoke; nor is ids position revealed by his own smoke when firing from cover. Ton sharpshooters nowadays are worth I more than 50 bunglers with tlie rilie. The present infantry weapon, how ever, is not well designed for sharp shooters. If the sharpshooter is required to use regular infantry ammunition his rifle should differ from a common musket in the following particulars: Its barrel should be thick through- out, tapering slowly toward the muz zle. On a telescope-sighted gun it need not be over 24 inches long. This restricted length, together with the amount of metal in the barrel, would give it stiffness, would keep it from excessive heating, would neu tralize recoil, and would enable the man to hold steadily when shooting from hip rest, which is the steadiest of all offhand positions and as prac tical in the field as on the range. * * * It is a mistake to use high powers in a rifle telescope. They re strict the field vision, lessen the illu mination and magnify errors of hold ing. So far ns aiming is concerned, a ]lower of four diameters draws a man 1,000 yards distant to within 250 yards of the shooter, and this is close enough for murderous accuracy. The Animal Kliiadoni. Die Nat nr gives statistics of the num ber of species of animals now known to exist o:i land and sea, the total be ing placed at 400,000, while there arc 150,000 catalogued kinds of plants. The insects alone furnish 208,000 spe cies, of which 120,000 are colcoptcra, with lepidoptcro, 50,000, and hymen opteru, 38.000. The birds number 13,- 000, 1 lie fiili 12,000 and reptiles 8,300, of which 1,040 are serpents, 300 being venomous. The amphibians are 1,300 in number, spiders, 20,000; mollunks, 50,000; worms, 8,000; cchinoderms, 3,- 000. The Museum of Natural History at Ilerlin contains 200,000 species, the collection numbering 1,800,000 speci mens. A lilt Ijisy. One—Have you any idea of 1 be hour? The Other No. I have killed so much time lately that I am ashamed to look a clock in the face. Indian apolis Press. THE CHILDREN IN THE DARK. Why should the little children be afraid to go to bed, When night has kindly spread its sable curtain overhead. To help the little lashes shield the tired and drowsy eyes. And guard them from tho staring light that in the sunshine lies? Go watch the little blrdlings calmly sleep In forests dark, Where all the night there comes no light In tiniest speck nor spark. Who over hoard of animals who pucker lips and bawl And with the shrill shrieks of terror their mammas loudly call, Because when God has spread Ills veil of velvet overhead They fear because 'fls dark to shut their eyes and go to bed? Why. they enjoy the silence and tho rest fulness which seems To pave their easy pathway to the pleas ure-land of dreams. The night Is just as safe as any burning. staring day: The stars as good ns sunheama, Just ns beautiful and gay: The softness and the silence help the little folks to sleep, And gentle angels o'er their loving vigils keep. Those little birds and animals should not be braver far Than little human urchins in the night and darkness are. Go watch the quiet slumber of the tiny red papoose; Tlie animals, from elephants to gopher and mongoose; Tho blrdlings, with their feather 1 ds worn snugly on each form, And all, from moles to monkeys, fearless, cuddlesome and warm. Our hardy boys and girls should be ashamed to kick and growl. With every little visage warped info a wicked scowl. Night is the time for sleeping, fur nesting snug and close, Not for a rebel uproar, and acid face, mo rose ; Consider velvet darkt oss a wrap which God has sent To shut you out from trouble and make yon more content. A civilized young urchin should tongue nnd temper keep, Thank God for sheltering darkness and contented go to sleep. —Trained Motherhood. SERVES AS A CLOCK. Kan nan I'nrincr linn n Ilniilnm Itoost rr That Ih ;i It cl in hie aw Any Timepiece. Dennis Keefe, who lives three miles southeast of Newton, Kan., has a three year-old bantam rooster which, in one direction at least, shows more than human intelligence. Every day, exact ly at 12:30 o'clock, it comes in from the fields, leaving the other chickens behind it, and pecks on the kitchen door until it is admitted, repeating the performance at six o’clock every evening. It never fails to be on time jm. AS GOOD AS A CLOCK. and is quite as accurate as tin* kitchen clock. In fact, Mr. Keefe says he could get along fairly' well without any timepiece simply by watching the bantam. it was the only chick hatched out of a selling by a hen of ordinary size, which promptly de serted its insignificant offspring. Mr. Keefe then took the forlorn chick into the house and raised it by hand, feed ing it daily at 12:30 and (1 o'clock. Once, after it had grown up and was running about the yard, he forgot to feed it. It promptly let, its wants be known by peeking on the kitchen door. Since then it has never failed lo make its calls twice a day, and always at exactly the same hour, lltol* Art of n >1 ini*r. A mine on ( tear creek, Utah, caught tire and the men rushed out, all but one, who was working deep in the mine beyond where the tire was rag ing. The foreman called for volun teers to go into the mine to rescue (lie man, and several attempts were made, but the men were driven back by the flames, and the cry of “Powder!” Fin ally a young man named Franklin said: “I will go." He fought his way through smoke and flame an a found the miner, working away all uncon scious of his peril. The return jour ney was fully as dangerous, but the two men succeeded in getting out of the mine, although badly scorched. Ten minutes more of lost time and the miner could not have escaped alive. Ufliclit of (lie lliimnii llmln. The weight of the brain bears little or no relation to the ability of its possessor. The brains of two idiots weighed, respectively, 07.7 and 59.9 ounces, while that of (iambetla weighed less than that of the average boy of seven. A weak-minded man had a brain weighing 70.0, while a dwarfted Indian squaw possessed one of 73.6 ounces. A dehorned bull, we are told, gored a man to death the other day. The Chicago Tribune says that it hap pened, however, In Kansas. THE ANIMATED DUMMY. An Enlrrlnlnmrnt for Yonntt I'ropl* That Will I’ur.rle nml Ueliicht Any Audience. I received a letter the other day which .stated that the writer intended entertaining 1 a small company by the exercise of his favorite pastime- —ven- triloquism. Of course I went. People are always interested in ventriloquism, and, be sides knowing the host had never be fore laid claim to the art, 1 was cu nous as to his first attempt. A good-sized audience had collect ed, and the auditors worn seated in chairs before a small platform. Our host presently stepped forward, and after a few practical remarks regard ing his art, proceeded to give illus trations by talking with someone who was apparently in the ceiling. I thought the elVect marvelously good. The next feature of the enter tainment was a dummy brought in by two attendants and propped up in a chair placed on the platform. It was an outrageous looking affair, with straws sticking out at all the joints. My friend made a few remarks of apology for the dummy (which I cer tainly believed it needed), stating that, after all, he was merely inter ested in his work as an art. and had had no opportunity to procure the regulation figures. He then pro* DUMMY AND VENTRILOQUIST cccded to make tlio figure recite verses, ernek jokes and sing simps in I lie most approved manner of it pro fessional. 1 was utterly bewildered, until (he explanation came where I had le.i f looked for it —our dummy, unpainly in form and bulpinp with straw, suddenly rose and walked from the platform. The effect was tremendous; for a moment, it seemed as thouph we, i the audience, could not believe It—• that the dummy had been a real live boy all the while, and not one of us had guessed it. 'I hen we rose in a body and, amid a storm of applause, sur rounded the clever ventriloquist am) his accomplice. Iweut into the dressing room after it was all over and helped take the uummy apart; so 1 can give a pretty accurate account of how he was made up. In the tlrst place, the boy was enveloped in a suit of clothes very much too large for him, and the ex tra space was tilled in with straw. The ends of the trousers and of the arms were gathered together and held with twine. A large pair of shoes fas tened at different angles made feet which seemed utterly lifeless, and gloves stuffed with cotton took the place of hands. A false face cleverly constructed covered the face, and a red handker chief and large derby completed the deception. The false face was made from t piece of cardboard about eight inches long and seven inches wide, bent into a semicircle. The eyes, nose and mouth were painted in with ink. If desired, the jaw could be easily made to work up and down, in this ease, I lie lower part (lie face must bo covered with some dark material, so that it will not show when the mouth opens. It is not difficult to acquire a small amount of skill in disguising the voice, and, if the attention of (he audience is attracted in a certain direction, it is very ready to believo the sound comes from that direction. A boy lying down in the room over head is a sure mentis of making a voice come from that direction. The success of the dummy will bo assured if it is properly brought in. The boy must remain perfectly limp, ami handle as little as possible like a living thing. Boston Globe. Wluil Mliilii lino' liven. A writer is thus quoted hy the Chi cago News: "I happen to known case which illustrates forcibly how easy an accident might have affected the whole course of history. A few engineers, of whom Sir Itevans Kdwards is the only survivor, composed the party which blow up t he docks at Sebastopol. There was a shaft .'!() feet deep, wit h a gallery running horizontally from if. At tho hot tom of the shaft, just inside the gal lery, stood one Gordon after of China and Khartoum with a lighted enmlta in his hand. The powder was lowered in four barrels and one of these slipped from the slings, fell to the bottom of the shaft and broke up, so that Gor don was left standing up to his knees in gunpowder with a lighted candle in his hand. That there was no prema ture explosion was a miracle, and if that miracle had not been worked th odds tire that a different dynasty would be ruling in China, and that T.ord Kitchener would never have had tho opportunity of making his ftimous march to Khartoum.” A Ml■ lendl ii it Hem. Johnny Old Mr. Skin Hint must b* an awful generous man. Ills Father Why? Johnny The paper says he constant ly keeps a good watch on everybody in his employ.—Jewelers’ Weekly,