Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 30.djvu/326

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

men of character and integrity, and only such men, the problem is solved. If this be not practicable, it would seem as if the only alternative is to go on from bad to worse, until the whole municipal system breaks down under the weight of evils which are inseparably connected with its present organic form, and makes way for some new system of governmental control.

And this brings us to the consideration of the ways and means of correcting and preventing the evils which have been referred to, as well as the long, long list of other evils which from time to time force themselves upon the attention of the public.

[To be continued.]

 

A SCIENTIFIC MISSION TO CAMBODIA.
By M. MAUREL.

THE countries now known as Cochin-China, Annam, Cambodia, Laos, and Siam, and probably the whole Indo-Chinese Peninsula, were occupied primitively by a dark-colored race, remnants of which are still to be found in the mountains, on whom their conquerors, all having the same feeling toward them, have imposed names which in their several languages mean savages. At a period in the past which probably answered to the beginning of the Christian era, two conquering peoples took possession of the richer parts of the country and drove these tribes back into the mountains. They established the kingdom of Thiampa in the south, and that of Cambodia in the central region. Cambodia, now small in extent and weak, was formerly a powerful empire, and held under its allegiance, either directly or as tributary states, more than half of the Indo-Chinese Peninsula. Its splendor is attested by its numerous monuments of grand dimensions and beautiful architecture. Yet this Khmer people, which has left such admirable traces of its power and civilization, is an enigma to the world. We know very little of its origin, and hardly more of the period of its power. Its history, as we have it, prevents various phases of struggle and alliance with its neighbors, China, Siam, Thiampa, and Tonquin. It is supposed to have attained its highest state of splendor in the arts in the eleventh century. At the beginning of the eighteenth century it divided Thiampa with Annam and Tonquin. From that time on it suffered a succession of losses of territory till, in 1863, Norodom, its king, placed it under the protectorate of France.

Cambodia is situated between 10° 30' and 14° north latitude and 100° 30' and 104° 30' east longitude, and has an area of about 100,000 square kilometres, and a population of 1,200,000 souls, of whom 700,000 are Khmers. It is traversed by the great river Me-Kong, which rises on the eastern skirts of the Thibetan table-land, crosses