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DIAZ AND MEXICO.
THAT Porfirio Diaz, the present Presi-. dent of Mexico, has won a place among the great statesmen and leaders of our day is evident to all who read the history of that country. He has been a prominent figure in his native land for over 50 years, rising from the ranks to the highest position within the gift of his people. His great firmness of character and his unflinching determination to free Mexico from the galling yoke of imperialism are virtues so highly developed in him as to excite the admiration even of his enemies.
President Diaz is now 76 years of age, and is serving his seventh consecutive term in the Presidential chair. Understanding as we do how averse to modern advancement are the natives of Spanish-American countries we marvel all the more at Diaz's
Mr. Arthur Howard Noll, in the Sewanee Review for October, tells of some of the marvelous accomplishments of President Diaz during the 30 years he has occupied the chief executive seat of Mexico.
In 1888 he funded the national debt at 41⁄2 per same in gold that the credit of the nation was cent. and made such arrangements for paying the restored and the bonds sold above par. He has fostered the development of its resources and has thus helped to build up vast manufacturing interests. He has maintained peace and caused the brigands of former days into rurales or milithe day of the revolution to pass. By converting tary constabulary, he has made Mexico the safest country in the world to live or to travel in.
He has fostered education, and has made the common schools in Mexico second to none. ico is the best supplied nation in this line in He has promoted railway building, so that Mexthe world, in proportion to its size. He has purified official life, greatly improved every branch of government service and has taught Mexicans the important lesson of self government. In a word, he is the maker of modern Mexico; and modern Mexico is a very different thing from the Mexico that existed between 1810 and 1876.
The man who has done all this was the son of an innkeeper in the town of Oaxaca, the capital of the state of the same name. He was born in September, 1830. His parents endeavored to make a priest of him, but he revolted and became a student of law. His one great ambition from youth up, however, seems to have been for a military caIn 1856 he was given an opportunity to gratify this desire; he was made commander of a battalion of Oaxaca militia. In 1860 he was elevated to a colonelcy. His reputation as a soldier after the War of Reform was one of which he might well feel proud. In his 13 engagements he made a record both for bravery and skill.
He showed remarkable staying qualities in his achievements during the battle which he waged with the French Army of Intervention, in 1862, and especially in the repulse of the invaders at Puebla on May 5th, which is the greatest event chronicled in Mexican history. Though constantly put to the test, he was stanch in his loyalty and in his fidelity to republican principles. In 1871 he issued his "Plan de Noria," which proposed a reorganized government along constitutional lines. The death of President Jaurez, who had been enjoying his third term of the Presidency, quashed this movement. Sebastian Lerdo de Tejeda, president of the Supreme Court of Justice, succeeded to the office. He created many constitutional reforms, pleasing the Liberals thereby, but failed to become generally popular. Diaz was elected to the national Congress. Lerdo proscribed him
A MUSICAL EVENING AT THE HOME OF THE LATE RUSSIAN ART CRITIC, STASSOV, IN ST. PETERSBURG. (Among those present were the composers Rimski-Korsakov and Cui, the vocalists Chaliapine and Blumenthal and the actress Savina.)
MOST of the Russian papers and periodi
cals note with great sympathy the deaths of three prominent Russian public men,-Stassov, Spasovich, and Vesilovski.
The most remarkable Russian art critic, Vladimir Vasilyevich Stassov, who died October 23, was born in 1824, graduated from the national law school in 1843, and chose a journalistic career, in which he was especially prolific as an art critic during the three decades from 1860 to 1890, although he continued his literary activity until a few days before his death. From a number of periodicals we gather these facts:
Since 1857 he occupied the position of curator of the art department of the Imperial Public Library. Most of his numerous journalistic contributions dealing with the entire domain of art were published in 1886 in three large volumes of 5500 pages. A fourth volume, dealing exclusively with Tolstoi's "What Is Art"? was published shortly before his death. With unfor national realism in art in its broadest sense. paralleled polemical ardor and faith he stood To him as a realist a work of art had to possess real intrinsic worth, an underlying idea and reproduction of life at close range; treatment the next place, to be national had to respond and technique was a secondary matter. Art, in effectively to the vital and mature artistic demands springing up in a given epoch among a
given people. He upheld in music the new Russian school (Rimski-Korsakov and others); in painting, Vereschagin, Kramskoi, and the traveling exhibitors in general, and in sculpture, Antokolski. The same preference for national realism he shows in architecture, although Berlioz and Schumann in music, as well as Armenian, Hebrew, and Oriental ornamentation equally claimed his attention. His range of work included ethnography, archeology, and other scientific fields having any bearing on art. His original research and indefatigable work gave the world the rich biographical material and complete "lives" of Russian artists from Glinka to Vereschagin.
V. D. Spasovich, Russia's most famous and most brilliant barrister and publicist, was born in 1829 in the government of Minsk, of noble Polish family. During 1857-1861 he held the chair of criminal law at the St. Petersburg University. Finding his professorship incompatible with his social and political views, he resigned and devoted the rest of his life to jurisprudence, the bar, and journalistic activity.
Besides his vast erudition and his valuable contributions to criminology ("Theory of Evidence in Criminal Court Procedure," and other works), he distinguished himself as an unparalleled pleader in criminal cases. He brought about acquittals by his specific gift and method, giving the jury a psychological life portrait of the defendants. Russian and Polish history of literature claimed his attention next. He wrote a history of Polish literature and collaborated with Pypin in the history of Slavonic literature, and interpreted Shakespeare and Byron in his
essays on Mickiewicz and Pushkin. Politically he held aloof, although a Pole, from the nationalistic movement, and rather leaned toward the Russian moderate liberalism as voiced by the Vyestnik-Yevropy and his own short-lived Polish paper Krai. He acquiesced to the status quo as regards Poland and harmonious co-operation with Russian bourgeois liberalism for mutual cultural growth of the two nations.
A. D. Vesilovski, the academician and celebrated philologist and historian, was born in Moscow in 1838, graduating from the historico-philological faculty of the Moscow University in 1860. He traveled extensively in Spain and the rest of Europe, becoming a polyglot linguist.
Prague, and especially in Italy, contributing to From 1862 to 1869 he studied again in Berlin, Italian periodicals. In 1870 he published his "Villa Albert" new materials for the characterization of social and literary life in Italy in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, whereupon he accepted a chair at the St. Petersburg University. In 1881 he was elected ordinary academician and later chairman of the department of Russian. He was also corresponding member of many foreign universities and learned societies. His research work had a wide range, Sanscrit, mythology, classic folklore, medieval, and Byzantine legends; Slavonic literature, mythology, and folklore; Russian epics and philology proper.
He is noted for his startling and farreaching comparisons and parallels between a widely divergent and remote field of philological and mythological folklore research.
MAGNETS FOR LIFTING PURPOSES.
FEW of our industrial plants to-day could be conducted with more than a reasonable degree of despatch without the use of some kind of hoisting tackle. The loading and unloading of material, together with the frequent removal or transfer of heavy objects, are essential to almost every type of industry, and the plants which manufacture our steel and iron products would be completely paralyzed by a breakdown of their derricks or hoisting cranes. Any improve ments, therefore, which increase the efficiency and safety of this department of operation are of vital interest and value to every industrial employer.
The latest improvement in this direction is the use of the electro-magnet along with the hoisting tackle. The electro-magnet itself dates back to 1820, when Oersted discovered that the neighborhood of a conductor
conveying an electric current possesses magnetic properties. This principle is responsible for the telegraph, the electric motor, and the telephone of to-day, the only difference being that with the lifting magnet the load or weight to be raised takes the place of the armature. Though its use for lifting purposes is comparatively recent, it has received world-wide recognition, the Imperial Shipyards of Yokohama, Japan, having adopted it. The latest improvements in the magnet are the invention of Arthus C. Eastwood, who has contributed in Cassier's Magazine for December an interesting article replete with photographs illustrating its various uses.
The present state of efficiency of the lifting magnet has been reached only by careful experimenting. A pioneer along this line was S. T. Wellman, one of the first manufacturers of open-hearth steel in America.
The lifting and moving of long steel plates had always been tedious and slow. Not infrequently would the hooks or slings slip, and accidents were common.
To Mr. Wellman's mind, the electro-magnet offered an ideal remedy for these difficulties.
What could be more ideal than to attach an electro-magnet to the hoisting tackle of the crane, lower the magnet upon the plate to be lifted, grasp it by the simple closure of an electric switch, convey it to the desired spot, and release it by simply opening the switch.
LIFTING SEVEN KEGS OF NAILS.
Many of the Wellman magnets are still doing good service, but they lack in power to adjust themselves to all kinds of material, whether it be steel ingots, scraps, or pig iron, which last presents a very uneven surface, with large air gaps between adjacent pigs.
An attempt was made by Mr. S. Piek to improve the efficiency of the magnet by providing movable pole pieces which would au
tomatically adjust themselves to the more or less irregular surface of the pile or load to be lifted. A magnet was constructed with seven central and twelve outer pole pieces, which were held together in such a manner as to adjust themselves vertically to the load to be lifted; yet there was a large leakage, and the shorter pole pieces were found to give better effects.
Mr. Eastwood then conceived the idea of having the central pole, instead of being adjusted toward the load to be lifted, to be adjusted away from the load. The idea seems paradoxical, and was pronounced idiotic even, but the results have demonstrated the correctness of this theory. As many as two dozen pigs can be easily picked up from an indiscriminate pile. Indeed, the attraction is such that they will jump from 4 to 6 inches to meet the magnet; so that the construction has to be of the stanchest kind in order to withstand the daily hammering of 800 tons of iron.
In the handling of steel plates, a half dozen or more can be lifted at once. By opening the switch which controls the magnet the lowermost plate will drop first; and if the switch be then closed the remaining pieces will again be secure. Plates of different sizes and descriptions can thus be lifted and distributed at the will of the operator.
Kegs of nails securely coopered and ready for shipment can be picked up a dozen at a time as easily and quickly as a jackknife. Wire and metal scrap of the sharpest and most tangled description can be picked up with the ease of iron pins by a toy magnet. Immense steel safes weighing 5 and 6 tons are picked up without a scratch or mar to the paint, and conveyed to any place within the area of the crane.
One of the difficulties in steel shipbuilding has been to lift the plates from the ground and hold them in proper position while being attached to the vertical sides of the ship. But by the use of the electromagnets, which can be attached to the smooth and even slippery sides of the plate, any desired position can be secured, and the saving in time and labor is considerable.
Not least of the valuable uses of this new magnet is in the lifting and releasing of the "skull-crackers." The "skulls" are the metal which clings to the lining of the ladles. These, together with imperfect castings and other scraps, must be broken before they can be sent to the furnace for remelting. The "skull-cracker" is raised to considerable
height above the pile and then allowed to drop, being released by a latch which is tripped by means of a rope. Not infrequently, however, the ball glances after striking, and the latch cannot be attached without righting the ball, "and the prying up of a more or less spherical ball, weighing from 10,000 to 20,000 pounds, requires much labor." By the use of the magnet all this is changed. Even the castings to be broken are placed in position by the magnet, and the ball is picked up in whatever position it may
rest, is hoisted, and allowed to drop again.
The superior advantages of this kind of a magnet are evident. Its almost universal use in the handling of iron and steel products will be only a matter of time. The reduction in labor cost is large, almost no ground work being necessary. And, further, the increased speed at which material can be handled by the crane will mean an increase in the product of the plant, and this with no expense save to attach an electric magnet to the hoisting tackle.
A SPANISH VIEW OF WHY WE HAVE "FAILED" IN THE PHILIPPINES.
Filipino independence, he continues, if granted now, would "only invite a partition of the islands among the different powers.
IN Na recent number of Nuestro Tiempo passions, and in the end a nursery of corruption (Madrid), Señor P. Sincero discusses the for the Americans. present status of the Philippine question. The article, although tinged with Spanish prejudice, is of interest to American readers, giving, as it does, the views of one who is thoroughly familiar with his subject from a temperamental as well as scholastic standpoint.
After a brief summary of the facts in regard to our relations with the Filipinos since the outbreak of the Spanish war, the writer
It must be confessed that, in spite of their experience, the American politicians who have visited the islands have been slow to understand how pretentious and false is the social life of the Filipinos. They have been too easily carried away by enthusiasm when, at some little banquet where only a half dozen persons understood what they were saying, they addressed the Filipino people just as they would have addressed the American people in speaking before an American audience. In the latter case a hundred re
Without a strong government to watch over and control them, the Filipinos would become the prey of puerile discords, which, among other internal disorders, would lead to attacks upon the foreign residents. Self-government for this people would be its ruin, since they are not in the least prepared for it. Antonio Luna, the only real military leader of the insurrection, said to me two years before the outbreak of hostilities, and shortly after his arrival from Europe: "My country is too uncivilized to think of a war for independence."
When we see, upon cold analysis, how feeble, not to say nonexistent, is the intellectual force generated by Filipino mentality, and note the grotesque efforts and ridiculous imitations of its social orders, it is impossible to suppose that. out of such elements a real nation and government can ever be constructed.
This writer remarks the lack of literary porters would have hastened forth at once to activity among the Filipinos and thinks that, spread the words of the orator broadcast through could this state of things be attributable to the 45 States, and in a few hours the speaker's Spanish rule, there should be now, after seven ideas would be studied and discussed by millions of citizens interested in the public welfare. years of the new régime, some signs of a Among the Filipinos, on the other hand, change for the better. He continues: there is no middle class and hence no intelligent public opinion at all.
This Spanish writer suggests that we "have not yet lost the chance of abandoning the islands."
I should look upon the transfer or sale of the Archipelago as the most prudent course which could be taken by the American Government for the future and well-being of the nation. As yet there are no important interests to be sacrificed, and I cannot see anything unreasonable in the idea, for it seems certain that these possessions will only prove a cause for the display of evil
In the heat of revolutionary and political passions we would also have remarked that intellectual growth which is produced by the ferment of ardent desires and noble sentiments. But the atmosphere of liberty and the laisser faire policy of the Americans will no longer produce by means of repression any internal agitation in the subconsciousness of the tribes; for among peoples of rudimentary civilization it is not this atmosphere of political liberty that most favors development.
The writer admits that we are making strenuous and, in the main, successful efforts to educate the natives.