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THE PRUSSIAN GOVERNMENT AND THE POLISH
THE strike begun last August in the ele
mentary schools of Prussian Poland against the substitution of German for Polish as the language of instruction in religion not only continues, but is constantly growing. The children who have once declared against German, persist in resistance; and the boycott has extended from the Grand Duchy of Posen to Prussia's other Polish provinces, West Prussia, East Prussia, and Silesia. The agitation for instruction in Polish religions has already reached some gymnasia and even some Lutheran schools.
Step by step the Prussian authorities had ejected the Polish language as the language of instruction in the schools of Prussian Poland until it remained in only the lowest grade of a few schools, and this merely in religious instruction. For the quicker Germanization of the Polish population, the school authorities of the Grand Duchy of Posen decided, last year, to abolish this remnant of Polish teaching in the Prussian public schools, and now even the six-year-old child in Poland under Prussian dominion is required to recite his prayers in German and to learn religion in German.
RESISTANCE TO GERMAN INSTRUCTION.
No resistance was expected of the Polish community to this attempted extirpation of Polish teaching. The authorities were disappointed in their calculations, however. The Polish children themselves have made a stubborn resistance to the use of the German tongue in the only study in which hitherto in school they had used the language of the home. In a number of schools, at the beginning of the present season, the children refused under any condition to recite prayers in German or to receive religious instruction in German, and returned to the teachers the German catechisms and Bible histories which had been given them.
The teachers immediately resorted to their usual disciplinary expedient, violence, punishing the boys and girls with a school arrest of one hour in the forenoon and two hours in the afternoon; with flogging; with a reduction of from one to three classes; with the abolition of certain school holidays, etc. Some teachers have simply lost their heads and, according to reports in the Polish papers, are committing acts opposed to the most elementary requirements not only of
(The Polish mother comforting her child of Posen, according to the conception of the painter Stanislas Kaczor-Batowski, reproduced in the Tygodnik Illustrowany, of Warsaw.)
pedagogy, but also of ethics and decency. with a revolver, which he places ostentatiously At Ojrzanowo a teacher comes to school daily on his desk, while at Chelmce, near Inowroclaw, a teacher in the presence of the pupils vilifies their parents as "fools" and "rebels." Amazed at the heroic resistance of the Polish children, the school authorities try to gain their object by another means; they tell the parents of resisting children that the latter will be kept in school beyond the fourteenth year,-namely, to the sixin which there is a school strike are threatened teenth or the seventeenth year,-while communes with the revocation of the governmental subvention for the maintenance of the school, which,
of course, will increase enormously the school
tax of the commune.
As all the efforts of the local authorities to break the school strike, the penalties imposed on the children and the intimidation of the parents and communes,-proved ineffectual, Berlin sent a ministerial councilor to Posen to investigate the matter and to demand of Archbishop Stablewski, of the Gnesen-Posen diocese, that he break the resistance of the children. Stablewski, how
ever, not only replied that, as it was not he who was answerable for what is happening in Prussian Poland, but the present school system, he must leave the suppression of the conflict to those who provoked it; but he also issued a circular letter, (which was read in all the churches of his diocese on October 14) in which he said that he had ever defended the principle that only by religious instruction imparted in the mother tongue can the youths acquire the knowledge and love of God. This principle he would maintain as long as he lived.
guage of the pupils. The "Allegemeine Bestimmungen," issued by Minister of Public Worship Falk in 1872, direct that the Catholic religion is to be taught in the public schools according to the regulations issued by the ecclesiastical authority in the local dioceses. The order issued in 1873 by the Chief President of the Province of Posen directs that religious instruction in the public schools shall remain Polish for the Polish children until they acquire sufficient German to understand German teaching, when the German language shall be introduced in reThe Berlin government now resorted to ligious instruction also. For this there is Rome to induce the Vatican to compel needed, however, the consent of the ecclesiasStablewski to end the school strike. tical authority, which also has a voice in the Tschirschky, of the Prussian Ministry of matter of religious instruction. Foreign Affairs, and Cardinal Kopp, of Breslau, Silesia, held several conferences with the Vatican authorities. Knowing that under the influence of the strife in France between Up to the present the struggle has not the the State and the Church the Vatican is character of an action distinctly illegal, for seeking compensation in closer relations with the introduction of the German language in Germany, the Poles have not been surprised religious instruction in the public schools of to learn that Cardinal Kopp, who has long Prussian Poland does not rest on a legal been conspicuous as a Polonophobe in the basis. But there is no doubt, declares the Prusso-Polish province of Silesia, has suc- Warsaw Mysl Polska (Polish Thought), ceeded in convincing the Pope that Ger- that the Polish community of Prussian Pomany's policy is not directed against "the land is ready to continue the resistance to the Catholic religion, religious teaching in Ger- teaching of religion in German even though man being insisted on by the Prussian author- the government should "legalize" its action. ities only in the case of children who know Life is more powerful," says the Mys! that language. Therefore, the conflict ceases Polska, "than political dogmas and proto be religious and becomes political." grams.'
The Poles do not delude themselves with the hope that the government will yield easily. On the contrary, they judge that Prussia will redouble her Germanizing efforts. But, as the Lemberg Slowo Polskie (The Polish Word), observes, "The Poles are sure that the granite rock' of the Prussian system will crumble before the constancy and persistence of the Polish people will be exhausted." In this struggle with Prussia and her gendarmes for the native language the Polish community of Prussian Poland acts as one man;-peasants and nobles, workmen and merchants, children and adults,-all
THE LAW IN THE MATTER.
The Polish citizens of Prussia claim that the school strike in Prussian Poland rests on a legal basis and that it is designed solely to compel the government to a strict observance of the law. They point out that, according to the law, religious instruction in the Province of Posen is to be imparted in the lan
POSSIBILITY OF A CHANGE IN POLISH
The Polish community of Prussian Poland has now found itself in the struggle with Germanization on a road which may lead it to abandon the dogmas of legality to which it had hitherto adhered loyally in all its social strata and political camps. Menaced in one of its most important citadels, in the language of the communion of the child's soul with God, in the language of the apprehension of the truths of itself with the entire power of the instinct of religion, the Polish consciousness had to arm self-preservation and go forth to a combat for its existence. The resistance of the Polish children to prayer and religious instruction in the German tongue is not merely a feeling of antipathy to the tones of a hateful tongue. The
national instinct of the children and of the popular masses correctly apprehended in these new Germanizing regulations the entire menace to the Polish national consciousness of the coming generations. Those generations becoming addicted to communion with God in the German tongue, to the expression of the most subtle feelings of the soul in an alien language, would have to lose the consciousness of their national separateness. On the other hand, the Germanizing system, which long ago had taken under its control the entire school education, was obliged in the pursuit of its aspirations to attack the
soul of the Polish child in those foundations English, French, and German journals which are deeper than the strictly intellectual have published an open letter" to Emperor functions. The Germanizing system was compelled to reach those recesses of the soul of the Polish William in the matter of the school strike child where the religious feelings are bound up in Prussian Poland, written by the eminent with the national consciousness. The Polish Polish writer, Henry Sienkiewicz, who concommunity was menaced, therefore, at one of cludes his letter with the following impresthose positions from which it is not possible for sive words: it to retire. Hence, it accepted the battle.
On the altar of the Prusso-Polish strife, in which at present over 50,000 "little martyrs are suffering pro patria et fide, one souloffering has already been made." On November 25, Florian Alexander Stablewski, Archbishop of Gnesen and Posen (born on October 16, 1841), died of heart failure caused by the difficulty of his position.
Your Imperial Majesty's ancestors waged just or unjust in the eyes of history, but hard numerous wars, successful and unsuccessful, and great wars. In the present times, there appears as the greatest war only this war of the entire state, of the entire Prussian Power, with children. The arms used in this war are, on one Verily, the greater the victory of the state the side, jails and rods; on the other, tears! greater will be the disgrace.
THE AUTOMOBILE IN THE BRITISH ARMY.
THE automobile artillery wagon is now a she used trains armed with cannon and mifixed fact. The British Government, trailleuses, which did excellent service. They having experimented with an automobile were the forerunners of the armed automowagon armed with a Maxim gun, has or- bile or the automobile-cannon, as it is called. dered a large number of armed automobiles Even when the English first armed their for use in the colonies, and the admiralty trains in Egypt the idea was not new. In will give a number of the same engines to 1871, at the close of the siege of Paris, just the navy. such locomotives were in use, forming a sort of circulating fort running on the eastern and northern railways. They were used for reconnoitering the works of the approaching armies of Prussia and its fortifications.
The experiments were made at Whale Island some months ago. The idea is not a new one, says a writer in Nature (Paris). Ever since the time when power was given to the locomotive by an arrangement of ex- Long before 1871 the first horseless artilplosives men interested in military technics lery appeared. Grimm's memoirs say that have seen the importance of the part to be about 135 years ago a fire machine" which played by automobiles in the transportation was adapted to a wagon was tried for the of war material. Long ago self-moving quick transportation of artillery. It was wagons were used by generals of the army called a "fardier" (burden-bearer) and was directing maneuvers and by ordnance officers the invention of a French engineer, Cugnot. of the army staff and the different lesser It was the direct ancestor of the automobile staffs. This application was followed by of to-day.
more practical and more important ap- Toward the year 1870 engineers were tryplications of the same idea. Automobile ing to draw the locomotive into military manufacturers really began by furnishing work. Cugnot experimented with the first mechanical delivery wagons. The wagons type of automobile carriage, and was paid used in the army are specially constructed $20,000 livres for constructing a second and for military use, and are to be used in better one, which was never tried. To-day the artillery and by the engineer corps. the war automobile is on the minds of army In time of war the nations need a special engineers of several countries, in Europe and railway service for the transportation of America. troops, war material, etc., and before long, electricity, steam, or alcohol will drive horses from the road and mechanical traction will be the only method recognized. We have not seen the last of horses, but the time is at hand when they will be very scarce.
The experiments made at the English artillery school on Whale Island have been most satisfactorily conclusive. The Maxim gun-automobile has been tried and improved for more than a year.
The wagon is very light, and it will be espeWhen England was at war with Egypt cially useful in explorations and for reconnoiter
From the Scientific American.
ing. But, excellent as it is, it is not a new invention. It is nothing but a Maxim gun or a mitrailleuse gun mounted upon a peculiarly constructed vehicle made for the purpose of carrying it. About the gun there is nothing new and nothing special. The vehicle is the principal factor of this tool of war. By its use cannon can be drawn forward and fired with great rapidity, then drawn back out of harm's way, loaded, and advanced to the front again with equal rapidity. The machine is capable of making a speed of 25 miles per hour. It is run by
three men, a noncommissioned officer, a gunner, and a man who does nothing but pass the am
munition to the gunner. The gunner loads and fires; the officer, who is in command of the automobile-gun equipage, drives the motor and gives orders, running as fast or as slow as he sees fit.
This Whale Island gun can be fired either when the machine is going at full speed or when it is motionless. There is very little spring of the carriage when the gun is fired, and if fired when moving the firing has no effect on the rate of speed. This gun's chief advantage is its light weight.
WATERWAY DEFENSES OF THE ATLANTIC COAST.
A COMMON and natural objection to the expenditure of large amounts of money on war vessels is the short life of these huge monsters of the deep. Some new invention, the application of some new principle in their construction, their speed, or their armament renders them "obsolete," and a new type of boat is demanded. Indeed military men would have us believe that we are now building ships, "all vastly the superiors of those famous ships, the Iowa, the Oregon, the Brooklyn, and the rest, that so quickly sent the steel-clad hulls of Spain upon the
shoals of the Carribean Sea." Any suggestion, therefore, that naval defenses can be constructed which will not become obsolete in 10 years will be welcomed by every one. In line with this idea, Mr. William J. Roe has written interestingly in the December number of the Popular Science Monthly on a system of waterway defenses which will be of lasting value.
Mr. Roe advocates the completion of the remaining links of an inland waterway which, with few interruptions, extends from Cape Cod to the coast of Florida. The first
of the suggested links would connect Cape Cod and Buzzard's bays. Next comes similar water connection between New Bedford and Fall River, and then another canal between Narragansett Bay and a point near Stonington on Long Island Sound. In case of a naval attack on Boston, warships could then easily and quickly come up from New Bedford, or even from New York; and in an attack on New York, boats from Boston harbor would have safe passage inland to the Sound.
An enlargement of the Delaware-Raritan Canal would connect New York with Philadelphia and the Delaware Bay. Less than 20 miles of canal would unite or connect the Delaware and Chesapeake bays. A 30-mile canal through the Dis
mal Swamp from Nor
In every condition of battle, and especially having reference to our own defense on the Atlantic coast from a powerful adversary on the sea, two great principles assert themselves as
folk to Albemarle Sound would connect the Sassafras, or Southern, route is preferred with the Pamlico Sound beyond; and thence by military men. The advantages in conon "by almost continuous lagoons behind necting these two bays are given as follows: the Sea-Islands of North and South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, . thus completing a chain of channels and artificial canals, awaiting only enlargement, and in some cases adequate or extra fortification, to render the entire seacoast, if not impregnable, at least defensible to an extent to which military men have long been alive." A final link "at a trivial cost" would connect it with the Gulf: a canal across Florida from Jacksonville to and down the Suwanee River.
CONNECTING DELAWARE AND CHESAPEAKE
The most important of these proposed canals for military and perhaps commercial purposes as well would be the one connecting the Delaware and Chesapeake bays. Of the two canal routes proposed for this purpose,
essential first is the establishment of defensive relations, by both fortifications and squadrons; and, second, the ability to concentrate swiftly and effectively at any threatened point the full measure of naval effectiveness at our command.
In the words of Gen. William P. Craighill, former chief of engineers, U. S. A.:
The disadvantage to the attacking party is obvious, while the defending vessels could concentrate at either outlet, and breaking the blockade at one point would open both ports and render the blockade useless at the other outlet. Some of the most important points would thus be kept open, and communication between Washington and the naval stations of Philadelphia and Norfolk would be more secure,