STATE SECRBTS. I The reports which have reached us from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, remind us of the difficulty which is experienced in all countries in preserving official secrets. During the past few years a great London paper has found many opportunities of publishing the general effect of reports before they were presented to Parliament, and although no action has been taken in the matter, yet reference has, on several occasions, been made to it in the House of Commons. Perhaps the majority of hon. members reflected that the premature pub- lication did not do very much harm; but the case is otherwise with regard to such momentous questions as those which have been before the Peace Conference, and in tour own country there have been one or two occasions when the peace of Europe was endangered by the publication of a State secret. The most conspicuous example was that of the publication of an agree- ment between Britain and Russia, just prior to the Berlin Congress, the document having been entrusted to a temporary copyist, earning lOd. an hour, who com- municated its contents to an evening paper. On the other hand we have a case referred to by Sir Algernon West, where a Civil Service official had learned, before the matter was communicated to the public, that it had been resolved to dissolve Parlia- ment. On his way home, he met a friend who was standing for Parliament, but, in ignorance of the approaching election, was just about to start for the continent. The information would, of course, have been most useful to the candidate, especially as he was a comparatively poor man, but the civil servant conceived that it was his duty to remain silent and suffered him to depart.
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THE COTTON INDUSTRY. It is gratifying to know that the crisis in the cotton industry has been avoided, at any rate for the present. It would, no doubt, have been more satisfactory if a settlement had been arrived at, rather than an armistice, but there is great force in the view entertained by the Lord Mayor of Manchester that a temporary settlement is infinitely better than none. As the French Archbishop said There are so many ac- cidents, and one is sufficient to save us." When a strike or lock-out has actually begun it is a great difficulty to restore peace, in the same way that, as we have found out of late, it is no easy thing to bring to an end a war which is actually in progress. But so long as hostilities have not commenced there is always hope of some such accident as that which the Archbishop contemplated, and the longer .a conflict is averted the more likely it is that circumstances may arise which will afford the material for a permanent peace. In any event it was wisely said that suffi- cient unto the day is the evil thereof.
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THE ADVANTAGES OF COUNTRY LIFE. I The publicity which has been given to Sir J. Crichton-Browne's address on this subject, is in itself a confirmation of his remark that health questions are exciting a larger amount of interest than has been displayed in them at any previous time. In discussing this subject he quoted some statistics which showed very convincingly that people have a much better chance of living healthy lives in the country than in the towns, but at the same time he ap- peared to recognise that it is not sufficient to impress this fact upon the people who will migrate to the towns if they think— rightly or wrongly-that they will be able to earn more money there than in the rural districts. While advocating the construc- tion of sanitary, comfortable cottages, as an inducement to country people to remain where they are, Sir J. Crichton-Browne pointed out that much could be done to relieve the congestion in towns by the pro- vision of cheap, easy, and rapid means of transit. This is an aspect of the question which is obtaining increasing attention, and there can be no doubt that the pro- gress which is being made will contribute still further to the reduction in the mortality from, tubercular diseases, to which the speaker referred as having made already a most gratifying progress. 0
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The Powers and Morocco. I However defective the information of the Sultan of Morocco may be on some questions, his Majesty appears to have followed with some care the course of events in South Eastern Europe, and to have profited by what he has read on the subject. He has observed, evidently, that the jealousies and dissensions of the European Powers have enabled his co-religionist, the Sultan of Turkey, to do very much as he pleased, and he appears to cherish the hope that the same good fortune will befall himself. It would be interesting to hear what Abdul Hamid would say on the subject. Very likely he would declare that his brother ruler was but a feeble imitator of the methods of the Sublime Porte, and he did not understand the art which he was at- tempting to practise, and might possibly cut himself badly in playing with edged tools. The most recent reports from Tangier certainly give us the impression that the Sultan is creating I AN INTOLERABLE SITUATION, I as for example, when he claimed the right to treat all Mussulmans resident in his country as subjects of his own. As Captain Brinkley has remarked, it has always been considered expedient that the subjects and citizens of occidental Christian States, when visiting or inhabiting oriental coun- tries which are not Christian, should be exempted from the penalties and pro- cedure prescribed by the criminal law of the latter," that they should, in short, continue to enjoy the privilege of being 0 tried by judges of their own race. In pursuance of that rule, the Powers insisted for many years that foreigners in Japan should be tried in the Consular Courts, and although the Japanese were striving all the time to qualify themselves for the exercise of judicial autonomy, still it was not until six years ago that the Powers conceded to Japanese tribunals a jurisdiction over foreigners. The liberty which was so hardly won by Japan, by far the most civilised and enlightened of non-Christian races, the Sultan of Morocco has attempted to arrogate to himself by the arrest of a French Algerian subject. Such a claim, of course, cannot be conceded for one moment, and France would have been wanting in her duty towards her Algerian subjects if she had overlooked such an occurrence, which, according to European ideas, is something 0 very like an outrage. At the same time, we receive news from Tangier that two French tourists had been STONED AND ROBBED while walking in the neighbourhood of the city. It must be obvious to the most super- ficial observer that such incidents as these, taken in conjunction with the attitude of the German Emperor towards Moroccan affairs, constitute a serious menace to the peace of Europe. In 1867-8, Britain sent a force of 37.000 men into Abyssinia to enforce the release of a few Englishmen who had been imprisoned ty the Emperor Theodore. A nation which has made such sacrifices to such an end could not refuse its sympathy to its friends if they found it necessary to take a similar course for the protection of their fellow subjects, and it is tolerably safe to assume that in such circumstances the public opinion of the greater part of Europe would be on the side of France. But the Kaiser, who has already adopted a position which seems not a little high- handed, would scarcely be likely to regard such operations in silence, and in view of the fact that France would not find herself friendless there would be grave danger of a conflagration. It is very much to be hoped that all such peril will be removed by the approaching conference, but, meanwhile, it is a little puzzling that the German Emperor should concern himself so in- timately in Moroccan affairs. According to British ideas the cause of France in this matter is THE CAUSE OF CIVILISATION, I and the three countries most concerned, Britain, France, and Spain, are at one in considering that France should be permitted to do for Morocco what she has done for Algeria, and what Britain has done for Egypt. If the objection came from Italy there might be some force in it, because Italy has a strong interest in the Mediter- ranean, but Italy presents no obstacles to the extension of French influence in Morocco, and it is somewhat anomalous that all the trouble should be caused by a Power which has no special interest in the Medi- terranean, and no territory bordering upon it.
Literature. I Leng's Football Handbook. Season 1905.6 is a marvellous pennyworth, fall of U facts, fixtures, and fan." There are close upon a hundred pages of matter, reminiscent of international and inter- club games, biographical notice*, fixture lists, and, in fact, a atora of interesting information for lovers of football under both codes.
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Library Politics. I This was the title of a paper read by Mr John Ballinger, chief librarian of the Cardiff Public Libraries, at the conference of the Library As- sociation, at Cambridge, on Wednesday The paper set forth a scheme for a series of conferences at different centres in London and the provinces, with a view to getting members of local governing bodies interested in proposals for the improvement of the libraries. The main lines of development to be aimed at, and the in- ternal reforms necessary to better adapt the libraries to the requirements of the public, would be the chief subjects for discussion at such conferences-the question, for instance, of the differentiation in the loan of books to the casual person who read for amusement and those engaged in reading for the benefit of the public, like college professors and teachers of all grades, clergy and ministers, lecturers, jour- nalists, and others, who stored their minds with knowledge to be used for the common good. Why should they be restricted to one book, which might be kept fourteen days, with penal ties for detention if not renewed ? Why should a responsible citizen be restricted when he might use to advantage five or six books for a few hours, a few days, or a few months ? Such provision had already been made in a few towns in favour of school-teachers, and might well be extended to all the other teaching classes, jour- nalists, and so on. By such means the know- ledge stored in the libraries would be communicated to many more people, but this result would never be achieved so long as illib- eral methods of lending books were persisted in. It was not every man who could find leisure or could bring himself to do this work in a reference library. The majority of readers found it easier to work at home or in the office, and it was the duty of those engaged in library administration to consider these facts, and, if possible, to provide greater facilities under less irksome conditions. Other points to be con- sidered at the present time were the extension of the Public Libraries Acts to counties, to en- able county councils to provide libraries as well as technical instruction, and the relations be- tween public libraries and public education. Mr Ballinger's police was generally approved, and it was resolved to arrange meetings in various towns with a view to securing closer co-operation between the library and education committees.
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Locked in a Safe. On Wednesday at Cotton Hall, Barton.on.Trent, i a locksmith and his son were called in to examine a safe, and the son went inside the safe to observe the lock's workings, when the door accidentally closed, shutting him in. The father struggled for nearly half an hour before he succeeded in re-openiim g the door. He found his sou in a state of collapse. The young man had made violent efforts to get out, and was almost suffocated when released.
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Monmouthshire's Cricket Record. I From the record of the Monmouthshire County team, it will be seen that SilTerlcck once more heads the batting averages, with the remarkable average of 82.60 for fourteen innings (four times not out). E. S. Phillips oomes next with 53.36 for thirteen innings (twice not out). Nine centuries have been scored for the county-four by Silverlock, three by E. S. Phillips, one by Diver, and one by L. Robotham. The general record of nine matches played, fire won, three drawn and one lost, with nineteen points out of a possible twenty- four, in the Minor Counties Championship, i. one that has never been approached by the county before. Steeples has a fine bowling average--73 wickets at 9.76 each. In the Minor Counties Championship competition Monmouthshire beat Glamorgan by an innings and 16 runs away, and beat Glamorgan on the first innings by 66 runs at home beat Berkshire by ten wickets away, and by an innings and 22 runs at home; beat Cornwall by 207 runs away, and by 192 runs at home lost to Devon by 151 runs away and beat Devon on the first innings by 319 runs at home. — a ■
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The. Solar Eclipse. I The grandest sight in nature is surely an eclipse of the sun, and it is to be hoped, therefore, that the weather will be favorable on Wednesday next, when we shall, in that event, have an opportunity of observing the largest solar eclipse which has been visible in the British Isles for a generation. It is very rarely that a total eclipse is to be seen in this country, but we shall have the next best thing on Wednesday, when three- fourths of the sun's surface will be obscured. The time, as well as the magnitude of the eclipse, varies in different parts of the United Kingdom, but at Greenwich the first contact will be at 11.49 a.m., the greatest phase at 1.4 p.m., and the last contact at 2.15 p.m. At Edinburgh and Dublin the times will be a little earlier. In these days astronomers are able to compute an eclipse with WONDERFUL EXACTNESS, I even without such stimulus as was applied by the Chinese Emperor, Hoang-Ti, who directed his Mathematical Tribunal that whether the instant of the occurrence of any celestial phenomenon was erroneously assigned, or the phenomenon itself not foreseen or predicted, either negligence should be punished with death." Not long afterwards, we are told, the two Imperial astronomers, Ho and Hi, suffered death on the ground that an eclipse had occurred which they had not foreseen. Hoang-Ti's edict is said to have been published about the year 2600 B.C., but the Chinese claim to have attained to some knowledge of astronomy prior to that date. It is scarcely necessary to say that while the Chinese had some knowledge of astronomy before pro- gress is known to have been made with the science in Europe, at the same time all the claims of the Celestial Empire in this respect are not admitted by the astronomers of our day. Passing over the Chinese annals as of uncertain value, we find recorded on Assyrian tablets a total eclipse of the sun, which was observed at Nineveh, and, count- ing back by means of the modern tables, astronomers have been able to fix the date as June, 763, B.C. Then there was I THE MUCH-DISCUSSED ECLIPSE I which was observed by Thales, one of the wise men of Greece, on May 28th, 586, B.C. The story is well known of how a battle between the Medea and the Lydians was interrupted by a total eclipse of the sun, which made such a powerful impression upon the minds of the combatants that they ceased fighting and inaugurated a lasting peace. That there was such an eclipse is undoubted, but Herodotus states that Thales had foretold the eclipse and fixed the year in which it would take place. That is the point upon which controversy has been focussed, it being objected that Thales could not have predicted the eclipse without having at his command certain facts which were not entertained until long after his death. On the other hand, the contem- porary evidence that Thales did predict an eclipse in that particulor year is almost overwhelming, and the achievement, as it was believed to be, brought him great fame. In later times we find in that in- valuable record, the Saxon Chronicle, reference to partial and total eclipses of the sun occurring in England from the year A.D. 538, to 1191, and the dates therein given have been confirmed from the tables. In recent years, lists have been published of all the eclipses which have occurred from very early times until the present day, and no pains have been spared to add to our knowledge of these phenomena by means of expeditions to those parts of the world where I TOTAL ECLIPSES OF THE SUIT I have been visible. On this occasion, the eclipse will be total in Canada, Spain, and North Africa, and the most complete ar- rangements have been made for observing the phenomena, Britain being represented by the Astronomer Royal, and other eminent scientists. There will be total eclipses of the sun in 1907 and 1908, but none visible in England until June 29th, 1927, when a barely total eclipse will be seen soon after sunrise in the northern counties near the Scottish border. From that time there will be no opportunity for stay-at-home people in these islands to see another total eclipse until August I ith, 1999, when a part of Cornwall will be within the region swept by the shadow. No doubt, there will, on that occasion, be many cheap excursions to Land's End, but it is scarcely likely that any considerable number of persons now living will be there to see it.
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A Distinguished Red Cross Nurse. Mrs Teresa Richardson, wife of the late Colonel John Crow Riohardson, Carmarthenshire, who for fifteen months worked as Red Cross nurse in the Japanese Hospitals among the wounded soldiers, arrived at Liverpool on Saturday from Japan. The Mikado has conferred upon her the highest distinc- tion for ladies in Japan, and the Red Cross Society awarded her the order of Merit, and she also received two medals.
Protection of Wild Birds. I In the "London G zette" of Tuesday a notice regarding the protection of wild birdti in Monmouth- shire appears. The ki ling or taking 0' the king- fisher or goldfinch is prohibited, a* well as the taking or de3 rOJing of the e^g-i'of th I," wo birds named.
Sad Death of a well-known Veterinary Surgeon. About a week ago at Mr Frank William Carlesa (32), veterinary surgeon of Hereford, was driving home from Fawlev Court, his horse became restive at Much Birch and bolted. Mr Carleas was alight- ing to quiet the animal, when he slipped off the step and broke his right leg. A few days afterwards pneumonia developed, and death resulted. At the inquest Dr. Lane said death was due to septic pneumonia, and a verdict was returned accordingly. The deceased had acted in a professional oapacity for a number of agricultural institutions.
Markets. I USK, OATTLB, Monday.—Comparatively small supply. Good attendance; dull trade. Quota- tions:—Beef—best quality 6d to 6id per lb, seconds 5!d to 6d; wether mutton 7id to 8d, ewe ditto 6id to 7d lamb, 7td to 8d; veal, 6id to 7d porkers-heavy weights 9s 6d, light-weights 10s per score. CHEPSTOW, CATTLB, Tuesday.—Large supply of sheep and lambs, and good prices were realised, best wethers making 8d to Sid per lb, and ewes 6id to 7d, according to quality. Fat lambs made 8d to 9d, and rougher quality about 8d. Good supply of store lambs, some of which fetched as much as 35 each. Poor supply of fat cattle, best quality making 6ld to 7d, and inferior 6d. The store cattle trade was not so good, there being a drop of from £ 1 to 30a, as compared with the previous market, due to the shortness of grass. Porkers realised 9s to 9s 6d, best quality. NBWPORT, OORN, Wednesday.—The market here to-day had a quiet tone all round, with the usual attendance. Wheat is unchanged. Barley is 3d per quarter easier and in favour of buyers. Maize is held firmly at last week's prices. New English wheat is being more freely offered at 38 6d per bushel of 621b. Flour (fines), 24s 6d per sack. NBWPOBT, CATTLB, Wednesday.—About an average number of cattle were on offer at this market to-day. Lambs were plentiful, but sheep rather scarce. The high standard of business was well maintained and the attendance continues to keep up well. Quotations Best beef 6-id per lb, secondary qualities 6d to Gid, fat cows 5id to 51cl beat wether mutton 8d to Sid, ewe 6kd to 7d lamb, Rid to 9d calves, 6id to 7id; pigs- 4 porkers 10s to 10s 3d per score. NBWPOBT, CHBEBB, Wednesday.—A supply of eight tons was pitched at the cheese market here to-day. Business was dull, notwithstanding the fact that there was a comparatively good attendance. Quotations Caerphillys, 46s to 54s per cwt; fancy dairies, 55s to 56s; truckles, 588 to 60s Derbys, 58s to 60s; doubles, 48s.
WHEN DOES OLD AGE BEGIN. An interesting meeting will be held shortly in London for the discussion of the question What period of life should be termed old age ? That is a subject which has always presented a certain amount of fascination, and no dount it was debated by a good many people before it inspired Cicero to produce one of the most famous of the classics. But there was an essential difference between the Latin author and the men who are to discuss the question on October 13th. Cicero, who wrote so de- lightfully on old age, died at sixty-three, but the gentlemen who are to contribute to the approaching debate are all between eighty and ninety years of age, and it is stated that they are still actively engaged in literary, medical, or other work. Such an assembly ought to be able to give us some useful hints. The meeting is to be held under the auspices of the London Vegetarian Association, but if the speakers are to be vegetarians it is to be hoped they will not ride their hobby too keenly. As they know, the great majority of people are not vegetarians, and, although they may regret that fact, yet it would be well for them to take humanity as it is rather than as they think it should be.
CONSTANT BIRDS. The married life of most birds could be taken for a model even by members of the human family. There is, for instance, the staid, digni- fied, and homely baldheaded eagle, the glorious emblem of the American Republic. He mates but once, and lives with his one mate until he or she dies. If left a widower—even a young widower-the baldheaded eagle never mates again. He remains alone and disconsolate in the nest on the rock crag or in the branches of of a tall pine that formed his domicile while his mats was alive. No other female eagle can tempt him to forsake his disconsolate life. With him, once a widower always a widower. The golden woodpeckers live in a happy married ,state, mating but once. If the male dies his mato's grief is lasting, and she lives a widowed bird the rest of her life. So, too, the male woodpecker never seeks another mate after tho death of his own. He taps on a tree beside their nest day and night, trying to recall her; then at length, discouraged and hopeless, he be- comea silent, and never recovers his gaiety.
TUB TERBACB GIOST. The Terrace of the House, which, during the session, is devoted to tea-parties, and is famous for its strawberries and cream, is specially honoured by ghosts, says Household Words. "For many years it has been haunted by the apparition of a tall woman, clad in dripping wet clothes, as if she had just emerged from the river. This ghost usually walks on foggy nights, and, after pointing with outstretched arm to the illuminated chamber where the nation's legislators are busily engaged, gives an unearthly scream, and vanishes, apparently into the river. In 1878, an attendant, named Ralph, was frightened almost to death by this apparition."
CRUDCR DRUMS. The bell in the steeple has not always been the means of summoning the worshipper to church. In America drums used to be employed for the pur- pose; and at Flamborough, in Yorkshire, prior to 1860, a woman went round the village with a hand- bell, giving vocal announcement of the services.
THB NORWEGIAN DRINK CUBE. There are few places in the world where the war against alcohol has been carried on so persistently as in Norway, not only by private associations, but by the established authorities as well. In that country drunkards are treated as invalids, and every kind of drink cure has been tried. It is interesting to learn that the most successful treat- ment has been found to be the cure of drink by drink. The patient is placed upon a diet of wine- soaked food; at first he likes it, but after a day or two disgust sets in, and he begins to detest the taste and smell of drink. It is stated that the most obdurate dipsomaniac can be cured by this treat- ment in less than a week. The plan is an old one, but, as already stated, it has been found the most effective of all, as far as Scandinavia is concerned. It is held to be better than the gold cure, though perhaps a strict trial would shew that the apple cure (in which the patients are fed on apples) is just as effective, and infinitely pleasanter.
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Japan's Demands. New York, Friday. It is officially announced that the- Japanese demand is 120 million pounds sterling, and one half of'- Saghalien Island.
No Signs of a Compromise. There are no present signs of any compromise. The Czar's- decision has not yet lbeea, V OM received.
The Cure of Consumption. New York, Friday. Dr John Russell publishes ?& statement to-day that he has cured 11 consumptives after six months' treatment.
w- Holbein's Failure, Holbein gave up his swim owing- to the strong southerly wind,lwhich. retarded progress.
Lord Mayor as Parliamentary Candidate. Sir Daniel Dixon, iLord Mayor- of Belfast, and a prominent ship- owner, has been selected ass Unionist candidate for North Belfast, +
The Alleged Plot to Murder. The case against Mr Hugh Watt, was resumed to-day, when two of Detective Marshall's employees gave corroborative evidence. Defendant laughed as witnesses testified.
0 I The Weather. iktm- -Opwmbdum Fair weather predicted in I East and North; ^changeable elsewhere. L
Crieket. Essex, out, 521. Australia, out, 403. Lancashire, out, 191. Worcester, out, 367.
Stocks. Stocks quiet. Printed and Published by "THE COUNTY OBSEItYRIt," NEWSPAPER and PRINTING COMPANY, Limited, by JAMES HBNRY CLARK, at their Offices, Bridge Street, Usk, in the County of Monmouth, Saturday August 26th, 1905.