The common hippopotamus (also called the hippo) once ranged over much of Europe, the British Isles and Africa, but it is now restricted to a portion of the African continent, north of Zululand. As civilization advances and more and more areas are settled, the hippo becomes a problem because of the damage it does to crops. As a result, it is mercilessly hunted and its numbers have been greatly reduced.
The hippopotamus is the second largest land-living animal, by weight, in the world. The average specimen weighs about four tons; some individuals, as much as five. The massive head alone may weigh a ton. The animal is from twelve to fourteen feet in length and stands about four and a half feet at the shoulder. The huge, barrel-shaped body is supported by short, pillar-like legs. The hippo can open its huge mouth wider than any other animal, except the whales. The skin is very thick over most parts of the body, reaching a maximum thickness of two inches over some of the upper areas.
Ever since there have been organized armies, there have been infantry soldiers. Infantrymen are foot soldiers. Throughout the many wars of history, they have been in the thick of the fighting.
Infantry soldiers carry their own weapons, ammunition, food, and other supplies. For centuries they have marched into battle. In modern times they have often been carried to the scene of action in trucks or planes. Most infantrymen in World War II, however, had to move on foot as soldiers have done for centuries.
Foot soldiers must keep in good physical condition. They must be able to march many miles carrying many pounds of equipment. They must be able to live out of doors in all kinds of weather.
Often in the past it has been said that the newest weapons would do away with the need for infantry soldiers in war. This was said when gunpowder was developed. It was said again when airplanes were developed, and again when the atom bomb came into use. But every nation that has an army still trains most of its men as foot soldiers.
Franz Grillparzer (1791-1872) was an Austrian playwright, born in Vienna. After studying law, he entered the civil service (1813) and in 1832 was made director of archives. His first important play, Die Ahnfrau (1817), was a gloomy "fate tragedy" in the manner of the German romanticists. In his later Vforks—Sappho (1819), The Golden Fleece (1821), King Ottokar's Fortune and Fate (1825), The Waves of the Sea and of Love (1831), and The Dream of Life (1834)— he became increasingly realistic in his treatment of character and motivation, and abandoned the vague, derivative pessimism of his youth for a gospel of heroic renunciation and self-effacement. Among his other plays are Woe to Him Who Lies (1838), a serio-comic counterpart to Die Ahnfrau, and the posthumous tragedies The Quarrel of the Brothers in Hapsburg, The Jewess of Toledo, and Libussa.
Now accepted as his country's greatest playwright, Grillparzer, during the greater part of his career, was the victim of unsympathetic audiences and of a general intellectual repression exemplified in the antagonism of the Austrian censors who banned his King Ottokar and later removed all his plays from the official repertory. However, during the liberal era that followed the Austrian Revolution he was nationally honored, being elected to the Academy of Sciences and the Austrian house of peers.