Page images

bill would make it impossible for a foreign author to acquire copyright in the United States unless through assigning his interest to a United States citizen. The British feeling is that such a demand would involve an indignity and an injustice.

The powerful flying squadron, whose going into commission last January (p. 63) was by some conjectured as a menace to the United States regarding Venezuela, and by others as a menace to Germany regarding the Transvaal, was disbanded in May. The object of its formation was not officially published by the government.

The warship Hannibal, 15,048 tons, said to be the heaviest tonnage afloat, a mate to the Majestic, was launched at Pembroke, April 28.

The new little ship Desperate of the British navy is now declared the swiftest of all vessels, her record being more than thirty-one knots, or about thirty-six miles, an hour. In the contracts for her successors, the admiralty are said to be demanding thirty-three knots, or about thirty-eight miles, an hour.

One of the chief events of the English twelve-month, the Derby day on Epsom Downs, received this year an added lustre the winning horse being "Persimmon," owned by the Prince of Wales.

The Prince of Wales was installed with high ceremony in the office of chancellor of the University of Wales at Aberystwith, June 26. The Princess of Wales received from the university the degree of Doctor of Music.

The Princess Beatrice (Princess Henry of Battenberg), daughter of the queen, has been appointed governor of the Isle of Wight.

In the conferring of birthday honors this year, the Marquis of Granby, Mr. Edward Heneage, and Colonel Wingfield Malcolm, are raised to the peerage. Mr. Robert Uniacke Penrose Fitzgerald and Mr. Lewis McIver are made baronets. Professor Max Müller, distinguished Oriental scholar, professor of comparative philology at Oxford, was appointed to be sworn of the privy council.

A new order of knighthood, the Victorian Order, was announced in the London Gazette. It is to rank next after the Order of the Indian Empire, and will resemble more than does any existing order the "family orders" under other monarchies. It will be conferred on persons of British or other nationalities whom the queen wishes to recognize with high distinction for their services to herself. Its first class, greatly restricted, will include few persons in Britain besides the royal princes.

The final refusal by the British government of the persistent French demand for extradition of Dr. Herz, gives general satisfaction. This extraordinary case is a lingering echo of the Panama fraud explosion of more than three years ago, and has been frequently before the public. All evidence that can be gathered is now declared to show that Dr. Herz was singled out as a convenient victim to appease the public wrath for that great interlace of thefts. Political antagonism also seems to have been active. The French mob of radicals, extreme socialists, Jew-baiters, etc., eagerly took up the charge against him and insisted that the government should allow no escape. The French officials first summoned him merely as a witness; then lodged against him a criminal charge unsupported by proofs or sworn evidence, and on the strength of this charge demanded his extradition. The British government immediately put him under arrest, but delayed sending him across the channel on the formal remonstrance by four physicians that his health was such as to endanger a fatal result. The government soon sent down a physician of their own selection: he confirmed the remonstrance. Two months later the government sent Sir Andrew Clark and three other physicians, who more than confirmed it. Three months afterward the French government was allowed to send over two physicians, who, without warning, came to his bedside at midnight, but only to add confirmation. Finally, two physicians sent from France thought it possible to remove Dr. Herz. The French government, in default of his extradition, tried him, convicted him, and imposed a severe sentence. At last, the British government, having been by special act enabled to hold a preliminary investigation of the charges at the place where the patient had been three and a-half years under technical arrest, were able thereafter to dispose finally of the case by a trial at Bow Street in Dr. Herz's absence-the result being a refusal of the extradition. The account is here given merely as presenting a most extraordinary and questionable procedure, and not as asserting the defendant's innocence or guilt.

Dr. W. Playfair withdrew in April his appeal from the judgment of the court which gave verdict for £12,000 against him in Mrs. Kitson's action for slander and defamation (p. 186). The terms of his settlement with the successful plaintiff were not made public.

The suit of the London Times against the Central News, charging that the dispatches supplied by the de

Vol. 6.-28.

fendant during the Chino-Japanese war were unduly expanded, was ended on April 14. The defendant consented to a verdict for the Times of £5, with costs-the Times having withdrawn all charges of fraud. It was testified by the manager of the Times that "expansion," such as was complained of, was customary with various foreign news agencies.

The librarian at Birkenhead near Liverpool recently made a noticeable "find." Among some books discarded from a lawyer's shelves, he found, to his astonishment, an old volume in black-letter bound in at the end of another old book. It was illustrated with many beautiful Caxton wood-cuts. At first he thought that his good fortune had brought to him a pure Caxton; but afterward he discovered. it to be even a greater rarity-so rare indeed that for some days he was unable to identify it. Research among authorities showed it to be a copy of Bonaventure's Speculum Vite Christi (so spelled in the original), and of the edition printed by Wynkyn de Worde in 1494, in which year he returned to the use of Caxton's types.

The exceptional rarity of this volume is that it is a copy of the only work in which Caxton's "No. 7" type was ever used. The great authorities on Caxton say that only one other copy is knownthe one belonging to the Earl of Leicester, which is so precious that it has never been exhibited nor put into the hands of experts for examination and description. Four leaves of another copy are guarded among the most precious relics in the library of the archbishop at Lambeth. These four leaves, with a copy of an "Indulgence" pre served at Dublin University, supplied the proof which ended a dispute of many years among bibliographs concerning the "No. 7" type. This book is considered the rarest in the world, as only two copies are known. The Birkenhead copy, which has a value of several hundred pounds, had been partly used for a children's scrapbook.


The Co-operative Congress.-The twenty-eighth congress of the English Co-operative Union was held at Woolwich May 25-27, being attended by about 1,000 delegates from all parts of the country. An exhibition was held, simultaneously, of specimens of work from fifty-eight co-operative manufacturing societies, such as watches, gas engines, cycles, sewing silks, boots, woolen and merino goods, pianos, china and earthenware, galvanized goods, needles, and dressgoods. It is claimed by the manufacturing societies that they are able to supply their retail centres with everything that can be required at a price that allows good wages to the workmen, a fair percentage on capital, and a certain bonus at the end of the year to the consumer.

In delivering the inaugural address, the Earl of Winchilsea gave statistics showing the growth and present importance of the co-operative movement.

The number of societies has grown from 850 in 1865 to 1,750 in 1895; their membership, from 150,000 to over 1,000,000 in the same period; and their capital, from $5,000,000 to $75,000,000. Their turnover has increased from $15,000,000 to $250,000,000. Their profits, we learn on the same authority, were only $1,350,000 thirty years ago, while now they amount to $25,000,000. In other words, a million workingmen are engaged in trade; their average capital is $75; and upon that capital they make an average profit of $25 per annum, or at the rate of 33 1-3 per cent.

Among the resolutions of the congress was one in favor of a permanent arbitration tribunal for Great Britain and the United States.

The Miners' Congress.-The international miners' congress in session at Aix-la-Chapelle during the last week in May, was dominated by the radical or "new unionist" wing of the socialists, as distinguished from the conservative holders of mere trades-unionist views. The English delegates headed by "Ben" Pickard, the labor leader and M. P. for Yorkshire (West Riding), Thomas Burt, M. P. for Morpeth, and other exponents of trades-unionism, were borne down by the French and Belgian socialist votes on questions of approving the nationalization of mines, state guarantees, miners' sick and superannuation funds, a fixed minimum of wages, etc. Resolutions were voted in favor of establishing a legal eight-hour day, and in favor of prohibiting women from working in and about


May Day Demonstrations.-May day passed with few demonstrations of disorder in Europe. The most serious seems to have been that in the Prater at Vienna, where an unruly mob turned on the police and drove them away. Troops were called out, and the rioters dispersed after fifteen of their number had been injured and many arrested.

On May day, and for some time afterward, unruly labor assemblies were frequent at Reichenberg, Bohemia. On May 21 the gendarmes fired upon a mob of 1,000 rioters, killing two and wounding five.

Strikes. A miners' strike-the first strike to occur in Greece-began April at Kamitza. The offices of the French company which works the mines were burnt; and, in a conflict with the police, three miners were killed and several wounded. The police being unable to cope with the trouble, troops were sent from Athens, and tranquil

lity was soon restored, the company being willing to meet the demands of the miners. The chief complaint of the men was that they were paid irregularly by the contractors working under the company.

A serious strike of dock laborers, involving 6,000 men, occurred at Rotterdam, Holland, in the middle of May, because of a reduction in wages.

About the middle of June a strike began among the factory operatives in St. Petersburg, Russia; and many cotton mills were obliged to stop work. A large number of the strikers were women. They were joined shortly by about 3,000 cigarette-makers; and the men at the machine and locomotive factories of the Nicholas railway also struck. The demand of the strikers was for a reduction of the working day from fourteen to twelve hours, more time for the midday meal, and extra pay.

During 1895 there were 405 strikes in France, with 45,801 strikers. There were four lockouts, and 617,469 workers' days were lost. Twenty-four per cent of the strikes were successful, and forty-six per cent unsuccessful, the remainder ending in a compromise. There were twentynine strikes settled by committees of conciliation or by arbitration.



Duelling. A further outcome of the famous anonymous letter scandals which disturbed court circles in 1894 and 1895 (Vol. 4, pp. 417, 661; Vol. 5, p. 437), was a duel with pistols fought at ten paces, April 10, between Von Kotze, formerly court chamberlain, and Baron von Schrader, master of ceremonies of the Prussian court. Schrader was fatally wounded, dying the following day. Efforts had been made, even by the emperor, to prevent the encounter; but a court of honor, composed of officers of the army, had decided that Von Kotze must fight or cease to be an officer; and the strength of sentiment in aristocratic circles finally forced the fight.

The fatal issue has greatly intensified public feeling in Germany against the code, especially among the middle and lower classes; and even among the nobility there seems to be a growing sentiment against continuance of this survival of medieval barbarism. At a congress of nobles on April 11, a resolution was passed declaring it no dishonor for a nobleman to refuse to fight a duel if he can refuse on honorable grounds; and it was also agreed to appoint a court of honor to settle differences without resort to duel

« PreviousContinue »