National Geographic : 1903 Feb
THE GREAT TURK AND His LOST PROVINCES tary. Every young man must serve five years in the army. At eighteen he en ters the active service for two years, and then serves for three years in the reserve corps, which is mobilized for two or three weeks annually for drill and in struction ; but no Bosnian soldier serves in his own country. He is sent to Austria or Hungary and stationed in some large town, where he can have an opportunity to rub up against the people and learn by imitation what he cannot be taught at home. If he marries an Austrian girl, he is allowed double pay, is exempt from certain guard duty, his wife is permitted to live in the barracks with him, and is employed as a cook or laundress or in some other capacity. Thus a great majority of the young men who leave Bosnia for military serv ice return with Austrian wives and settle down as valuable citizens in the old towns. On the other hand, all military duty in Bosnia is performed by Austrian soldiers, who are offered similar induce ments to marry Bosnian girls, and if they settle down in the province per manently, the government gives them farms or homes. Thus the country is not only being settled by an excellent class of young people, but the ties of relationship are linking it more closely to Austria every year. One of the most interesting towns is Jajce, where St Luke is believed to have lived and died and to have been buried. Helena, the daughter of the last of the ancient kings of Bosnia, was given the remains of the apostle as a part of her dowry, and when Jajce was captured by the Turks, she escaped by a miracle and carried them with her to a convent at Padua, Italy. BULGARIA Bulgaria is about the size and shape of Pennsylvania, with nearly the same population, and its forests and rivers, the mountain ranges and rich valleys that lie between them remind one of the Quaker state. The Danube River forms the northern boundary and car ries most of the commerce of the coun try, and along its banks are some fine old Roman ruins. Three-fourths of the population are engaged in agriculture and pastoral pursuits, cultivating little farms and following flocks and herds which graze at large. Theoretically all of the land belongs to the state, and those who occupy it pay one-fourth of all their produce for rent and taxes. The principal products are wheat, wool, and the oil of roses, which comes from the provinces bordering on the Black Sea. Philippopolis, a famous old town founded by Philip of Macedon 350 B.C., the second city in population and im portance, is the center of the industry, and from that point eastward the entire kingdom is a rose garden. Roses are cultivated like grapes in France and Italy, so that all of the strength of the sap may go into the flowers, and in the summer women pluck the flowers as they reach maturity. Thousands of tons of rose leaves are gathered annu ally. The petals are carefully removed and the oil extracted from them by distillation. The oil sells from $50 to $1oo a pound, according to its purity and specific gravity. A single drop will perfume a two-ounce bottle of alcohol. The peasants of Bulgaria are indus trious, ingenious, and intelligent. Both men and women are of fine physique, capable of great endurance, and few are idle, intemperate, or vicious. I saw but three or four beggars all the time I was in Bulgaria, and they were crip ples. The women do their share of work on the farms, and never seem to be idle a moment. They spin as they walk along the highways and as they sit behind piles of fruit and vegetables in the markets. Most of the shepherds you see from the highways are women and children. The large herds in the mountains are kept by well-grown boys, 5'