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Strait, to construct a tunnel under the Strait, and to continue the line on the American side until a junction is effected with the American railroad systems. This would enable a Parisian to travel in the same coach from Paris to New York, without any of the unpleasantness and fatigues of an ocean voyage. To be sure, a railroad running through the tundras for nearly 5000 versts (approximately 3300 miles) in the Arctic Zone would cost very great sums of money, and the tunnel would likewise involve enormous expenditures. But to Mr. Loique de Lobele nothing is too precious for Russia. He merely asks our government for a single boon: to grant him for 90 years a strip of territory 8 miles wide on either side of the tracks, with the right to exploit this territory at the surface or under it. This, of course, is a mere bagatelle. Mr. de Lobele was not at first appreciated fully in St. Petersburg society. It was not believed that he was in earnest. It soon became evident, however, that, while he actually has no money of his own, he is the representative of a very solid syndicate of American millionaires, who would not find it at all difficult to advance to our troubled government two or three hundred million rubles. And yet, what justification can there be for an American syndicate to throw away half a billion rubles for the sake of an undertaking that is, on the face of it, absurd? Who will travel over this road? What freight can it carry? How can it compete with the much cheaper transportation by water?
THE UNRULY NEIGHBOR.
(When Russia and America are trying to peacefully exploit Siberia, why should Japan make such a racket?-The Russian words above the door mean America and Russia.)-From Strekosa (St. Petersburg).
Despite all this, the writer in the Tovarishch says, Mr. de Lobele is correct in his views, and the Russian skeptics are wrong. This railroad enterprise, if carried through, promises enormous, almost inexhaustible profit to the American syndicate,-not from the freight transported, but from the economic and perhaps also the political conquest of Russia's northeastern possessions." In 1867 the Americans secured from us all of Alaska for $7,200,000. At present Alaska's production of gold alone amounts to several hundred millions of rubles annually. This "deal" has prompted the Yankees to attempt others. Kamchatka, which is in the neighborhood of Alaska, is, according to some explorers, also rich in mineral resources. It is not impossible that American promoters may have even more accurate information about this province than we have ourselves. Their eyes, at any rate, are directed toward this region. This fact has been
proved by Mr. de Lobele's refusal to run his projected railroad through any other section of our Pacific domain. He finally consented, however, that the work on the road should be carried forward from both ends at once. Who, however, will guarantee to see that the American constructors, having built just so many miles from one end as will permit their exploitation of the region, will not then leave it to us to finish this greatest highway of the world, over which English gentlemen will in future travel on hunting trips after Polar bears, and over which the Russian Government is to transport the partisans of parliamentarism? The conces sion practically accords the right to Mr. de Lobele,-that is, to the American syndicate,-to exploit the entire territory contiguous to the road. Only the other day it was rumored that the government intended to mortgage the stateowned railroads. Is it possible that we are to be compelled to witness the shameful spectacle of our government borrowing, first on its income, then on its real property, and finally, perhaps, turning over its territory as security to foreign bankers who will come and rule over us?
Even this, says the writer of the REVIEW article already referred to, may happen, and sooner than perhaps is anticipated by the Russian periodical just quoted, if the Cadets (Constitutional Democrats) cannot bring to the front able leaders to overthrow the autocratic régime of the Romanovs. St. Petersburg is full of Lobeles, big and little, who are trafficking in railroad concessions, timber and fishing rights, and government mines. Money must be secured at any cost, and the government will get it, even though it may become necessary to "sell Russia in small portions."
CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT IN CHINA.
N the first of September last the Chinese Government issued a monumental proclamation promising the adoption of a constitutional form of government. The most remarkable step ever taken by all the Chinese dynasties, it naturally called forth many divergent criticisms throughout the world. Count Okuma, leader of the Progressive party in Japan, contributed to a recent issue of the Taiyo (Tokio) an article on this question, contradicting the views of those skeptical observers who see in this progressive movement in China nothing but gloomy prospects. At the outset, the Count declares that he has never lost hope, even in the blackest of hours in China, for the ultimate resuscitation of that empire. He points out with some pride that, when the powers were vying with one another to establish
footholds in China as a step toward the break-up of that vast dominion, it was he who, then Foreign Minister of Japan, predicted that such a movement would soon be abandoned. According to this Japanese statesman, the inauguration of a constitutional government is the natural and inevitable outcome of many reforms lately announced by the Empress Dowager.
Of such reforms, by far the most significant is the abolition of "civil service" examination.
With this hoary institution removed, the abortive study of belles lettres and the canonical books of ancient sages must likewise give way to the more useful study of modern science. The far-reaching effect of this departure is already visible. Tens of thousands of students are going abroad for modern education, schools and colleges after advanced principles have been established throughout the 18 provinces, Japan
(This cartoon is reproduced from the Chinese journal, the Peking Pictorial. Following is a literal translation of the caption which appears on the picture: "The governor of Kan Suh is so afraid that modern learning in China will mean his downfall that he has recently made an effort to exterminate it by burning all western text books. This will have the opposite effect from the one he desires, and is contrary to the will of the throne.")
ing among the masses of the people the gospel of modernism, a sagacious ruler like the Empress Dowager cannot fail to foresee disastrous effects which will surely overtake the empire should the government cling to the old administrative system.
Another potent factor which influenced the Peking court to decide upon inaugurating a constitutional government, Count Okuma believes, is the impecunious condition of the central treasury. Through her diplomatic blunders China has for the past several decades been forced by foreign powers to pay exceedingly heavy indemnities, and the central government is groaning under financial
THE CHINESE SOLDIER OF YESTERDAY AND TO-DAY.
A CHINESE BELLE, OF PEKING-AND LONDON.
strain. The customs revenue has been surrendered to foreign control as the guarantee for the payment of such indemnities, and there is no possibility for floating loans either at home or abroad. The only means with which to rescue the government from the financial deadlock would be to increase taxes, which could be done without difficulty if only the people be made to believe that their government is not that of a few royal personages and high officials, but that of their own. In the opinion of Count Okuma, it is not difficult to raise ten times the existing tax, for, contrary to common belief, the Chinese people are not at present taxed heavily. The inauguration of a constitution is, therefore, of the utmost necessity to allay the financial strain of the central government.
Such a step could be taken, says the Count, without causing discontent among the viceroys and other local functionaries of importance, if the Peking court organizes an advisory board akin to the Japanese Privy Council, to be composed of former local officials of
In order to realize this political reformation, Count Okuma believes it imperative to take back to the central government all the authority which has hitherto been vested with the viceregal governments. In his opinion, administrative centralization is a preliminary step toward the adoption of a constitution. high rank.
THE HISTORY AND RELIGION OF THE SAMARITANS.
priests, who are of the tribe of Levi. According
HE news that Jacob, son of Aaron, high priest of the Samaritans,.had arrived in London, bearing with him some rare ancient scrolls which he purposes offering for sale to the British Museum, has recalled the attention of scholars and religious historians to the very interesting, but little known, story of this ancient people, the Samaritans. In a recent number of the Bibliotheca Sacra is given the history and religion of the Samari- of the first chapter of the book, by Prof. Ab
tans, edited from High Priest Jacob's own story, with an introduction by Dr. William Eleazar Barton. In the introductory note Dr. Barton says that this holy man, whose seat of office is at Nâblus, in Palestine, the ancient biblical Shechem, is now 73 years of age and has been high priest for 58 years. Dr. Barton learned of the book written by the high priest from that functionary himself, who said in a letter that he had prepared it at the request of an eminent Oxford scholar. In the introduction to the book he declares he counts it as his misfortune that the Samaritans are known to the Christians only through their mutual enemies, the Jews. Therefore, since his own feeling toward the Christian world is a kindly one, he has determined to make known the true story of the separation of the Samaritans from the Jews. The manuscript is in Arabic, with Scripture passages quoted in Samaritan text and in the Hebrew language. Says Dr. Barton:
The Jews date the origin of the Samaritans as a people from the importation of foreigners into Northern Syria after the conquest by Sargon in 722 B. C., and the rise of their religion from the time when Manasseh, a young priest who had married a daughter of Sanballat, the Samaritan governor, refused to leave his wife at the command of Nehemiah in 432 B. C. It cannot fail to be noted with interest that the high priest rests his case on no defense of Manasseh, however oppressive the decree of Nehemiah might have been made to appear. According to his argument, which is the historic argument of his sect, the Samaritans are the original Hebrews, descendants of Joseph, except their
The Bibliotheca Sacra gives a translation
Jews, the later chapters dealing almost exclusively with rites and ceremonies.
Some useful information regarding the Samaritans, from the standpoint of purely secular history, is furnished by the Jerusalem correspondent of the London Graphic:
This once powerful Samaritan people had, about a century ago, dwindled away until they numbered but a few thousand, living in scattered communities in Syria and Egypt. Now their sole representatives are the hundred souls which compose the Nablus community. Their numbers still are decreasing, and they are likely to become extinct at no distant day, as they do not marry outside their own circle, and the number of possible wives and mothers is exceedingly small. It is peculiar to that region of Palestine that, in every nationality, the males outnumber the females. The Samaritans are very poor, their most valuable possessions being some ancient scrolls, one of which is the celebrated Samaritan Pentateuch, which, they claim, was written by the grandson of Aaron, and bears his name. They guard it with jealous care, and seldom permit it to be seen. If travelers are persistent in their requests to look upon this monument of antiquity, they are generally shown another scroll.
In the closing paragraphs of the chapter of the book, as translated in the Bibliotheca Sacra article already referred to, the story
As it was prophesied, they became very few, and the famous cities shall none of them stand, according to his holy Torah in the book of Deuteronomy, twenty-eighth chapter, sixty-second verse; that is. "Ye shall be few in number," and "All shall perish from the land which you shall long to possess." There are many threatenings similar to this which indicate this present condition which came upon this nation, and that is only in order that they may suffer for their guilt and for the guilt of their forefathers, according to His saying (may He be extolled) in the book of Leviticus, twenty-sixth chapter, forty-first verse; that is, "And they shall be made to atone for their guilt." Unto all time, however, this nation will carry out the ancient customs according to the Mosaic law
as well as they can, and have always offered the he might keep them from all harm, misfortune, proper prayers to the God of all creation, that and all violence.
INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATION INDIA'S ONLY HOPE.
FOR a thousand years India has been the land of colossal real and legendary wealth, it has been the prize for which the world's greatest powers have successively struggled. But within the last century a radical change has occurred. Western nations to-day rate India with Persia, Turkey, even China, and this in spite of the fact that a progressive western people is administering the country's destinies. The situation may well puzzle the economist and sociologist, especially as modern India is immensely wealthy and no doubt represents the heart of the British Empire. Why then should India vegetate?" asks Herr Woldemar Schutze, writing in the Gegenwart (Berlin). The answer of this German writer is novel from more than one point of view.
Unlike the mass of foreign critics and unlike also the spokesman of the British political parties, Herr Schutze does not find that the answer to the problem lies either in the department of taxation or in that of an alien government, with the burdens entailed by such a government. Indeed "the essential question is not whether the slice of Indian
The German critic considers that this question is necessarily related to more than one side of Indian economic life, but he thinks that the main point is "the Indian commercial and industrial organization.” And the view defended by Herr Schutze is worthy of note, because it runs counter to the convictions of many persons who are persuaded that the factory and the machine have made for a cheapening and deterioration of the product and the worker, and who believe that the era of the hand worker was the time of true individual wealth as well as of perfect methods and results. It is doubtless true that the factory and the modern commercial régime have their dark side, but it would seem that there is also a bright side, and so bright indeed does the German writer find this other side that he considers Indian pov