POPULAR LITERATURE AND SCIENCE.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1878,
by J. B. Lippincott & Co., in the Office of the
Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
SOME ASPECTS OF CONTEMPORARY ART.
A SPANISH STORY-TELLER
THROUGH WINDING WAYS.
DAWN IN THE CITY.
THE PARIS EXPOSITION OF 1878.
THE COLONEL'S SENTENCE: AN ALGERIAN STORY.
THE GREAT EARTHQUAKE OF 1878 IN VENEZUELA.
OUR MONTHLY GOSSIP.
LITERATURE OF THE DAY.
COSTUMES AT PESTH.
If it were not for the people, the journey by steamer from Belgrade to Pesth would be rather unromantic. When the Servian capital is reached in ascending the great stream from Galatz and Rustchuk, the picturesque cliffs, the mighty forests, the moss-grown ruins overhanging the rushing waters, are all left behind. Belgrade is not very imposing. It lies along a low line of hills bordering the Sava and the Danube, and contains only a few edifices which are worthy even of the epithet creditable. The white pinnacle from which it takes its name—for the city grouped around the fort was once called Beograd ("white city")—now looks grimy and gloomy. The Servians have placed the cannon which they took from the Turks in the recent war on the ramparts, and have become so extravagantly vain in view of their exploits that their conceit is quite painful to contemplate. Yet it is impossible to avoid sympathizing to some extent with this little people, whose lot has been so hard and whose final emancipation has been so long in arriving. The intense affection which the Servian manifests for his native land is doubtless the result of the struggles and the sacrifices which he has been compelled to make in order to remain in possession of it. One day he has been threatened by the Austrian or the jealous and unreasonable Hungarian: another he has received news that the Turks were marching across his borders, burning, plundering and devastating. There is something peculiarly pathetic in the lot of these small Danubian states. Nearly every one of them has been the cause of combats in which its inhabitants have shed rivers of blood before they could obtain even a fragment of such liberty and peace as have long been the possessions of Switzerland and Belgium. It is not surprising that the small countries which once formed part of Turkey-in-Europe are anxious to grow larger and stronger by annexation of territory and consolidation of populations. They are tired of being feeble: it is not amusing. Servia once expected that she would be allowed to gain a considerable portion of Bosnia, her neighbor province, but the Austrians are there, and would speedily send forces to Belgrade if it were for a moment imagined that Prince Milan and his counsellors were still greedy for Serapevo and other fat towns of the beautiful Bosnian lands. Now and then, when a Servian burgher has had an extra flask of Negotin, he vapors about meeting the Austrians face to face and driving them into the Sava; but he never mentions it when he is in a normal condition.
The country which Servia has won from the Turks in the neighborhood of Nisch, and the quaint old city of Nisch itself, were no meagre prizes, and ought to content the ambition of the young prince for some time. It was righteous that the Servians should possess Nisch, and that the Turks should be driven out by violence. The cruel and vindictive barbarian had done everything that he could to make himself feared and loathed by the Servians. To this day, not far from one of the principal gates of the city, on the Pirot road, stands the "Skull Tower," in the existence of which, I suppose, an English Tory would refuse to believe, just as he denied his credence to the story of the atrocities at Batak. The four sides of this tower are completely covered, as with a barbarous mosaic, with the skulls of Servians slain by their oppressors in the great combat of 1809. The Turks placed here but a few of their trophies, for they slaughtered thousands, while the tower's sides could accommodate only nine hundred and fifty-two skulls. It is much to the credit of the Servians that when they took Nisch in 1877 they wreaked no vengeance on the Mussulman population, but simply compelled them to give up their arms, and informed them that they could return to their labors. The presence of the Servians at Nisch has already been productive of good: decent roads from that point to Sophia are already in process of construction, and the innumerable brigands who swarmed along the country-side have been banished or killed. Sophia still lies basking in the mellow sunlight, lazily refusing to be cleansed or improved.