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Reopening of an Old Route into Siberia.—Fully three hundred years ago the Russians carried on an extensive trade between Archangel and the settlements on the Obi and Yenisei. About the . same period the Kara Sea was navigated by English and Dutch mariners, in search of a northeast passage to Japan. The Russians employed wretched flat-bottomed boats, called kotchkies, and in these they braved all the dangers of navigating the stormy Kara Sea. But, till quite lately, this route to the interior of Siberia was abandoned, and the belief was generally entertained that the existence of ice in the Kara Sea presented an insuperable obstacle to navigation. Recent expeditions to the mouths of the Obi and Yenisei, and up those rivers for hundreds of miles, have demonstrated the entire feasibility of this route to the interior of Siberia. The influence of the Gulf Stream and equatorial currents on the temperature of the Kara Sea is apparent from the fact that its waters are as much as 18° or 20° warmer than the waters in the same latitudes off the east coast of Greenland or in Davis's Strait. Of Siberia, the country to be opened up to commerce by the navigation of the Kara Sea, M. de Lesseps declares that it is the richest country in the whole world as regards its vegetable, mineral, and animal products. The great rivers of Siberia flow from the south to the north, forming a vast fan which widens in the interior of the country, to the great advantage both of vegetation and of commerce. The Obi, with its confluent the Irtish, affords a navigable highway into China.
The Art of the Farrier.—It is with regret that we are forced by want of space to present to our readers, in the unsatisfactory shape of a synopsis, a valuable article on "The Art of the Farrier," by Dr. D. D. Slade, published in the Bulletin of the Bussy Institution, vol. ii., Part I. In the state of Nature, we are there told, the growth and wear of the horse's hoof are in perfect equilibrium; in the domesticated state wear exceeds growth, and some means of protection must be devised. But this again destroys the balance, and growth is in excess. This excess must be removed either by natural wear of the bare hoof or by artificial means. The farrier's art consists in removing this excessive growth. The hoof of the young animal, before it has been shod, needs little or no preparation from the farrier's hands. The foot that has already been shod must have the nails extracted, and its ground surface cut down to the proper level. The growth is greatest at the toe; in leveling the wall, reduce the hoof at the toe to a level with the unpared heel. The shoe must not remain on the hoof more than one month at a time.
The heel seldom needs paring away, being usually worn away by the motion between the iron of the shoe and the horn. The process of "opening up" the heel destroys that portion of the foot which was designed by Nature as a defense against its contraction; this defense should never be mutilated. The practice of paring the sole and destroying the bars is to be condemned so long as the parts are healthy; it exposes the sensitive portions beneath to injury. The frog should be retained in its integrity. Rasping the wall after the application of the shoe cannot be too strongly condemned; it destroys the polish of the external layer of horn which protects the layers beneath, rendering the crust brittle.
The shoe ought to present a concave surface to the ground, and a plane surface to the foot. But, where the sole has been mu-