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ivory throughout the world, to make it worthless. The making of the ivory trade a Government monopoly, moreover, in this or that portion of the continent, in itself has little or no effect on the general question. Any country to be newly developed must have exportsand there are very few readymade articles of export in Central Africa. Ivory is the chief of these, and upon this alone many districts have for generations past depended for their imports. West Africa has palmoil, rubber, and other staple products.
South and North Africa have many exports, but ivory has hitherto been almost the only export of Central Africa. It would therefore not be advisable to put an end to that trade or to make it a worthless one until, at any rate, there is something to take its place. If possible, it would obviously be far better to so regulate it that it may become a permanent trade. There is, I think, a way in which it would be possible to prevent the slaughter of small elephants, and to regulate the ivory trade in such a manner that it will not eventually become extinct.
If all the Powers and States holding territory in Africa would agree to strictly prohibit the export of tusks under a certain weight-say 14 lb.-(or portions of such tusks), and would faithfully carry out such agreement, all small ivory would become valueless to the owners. African does not like to waste his powder he would soon cease slaughtering the small and undersized elephants. Not
many cow tusks exceed 12 lb. in weight; and one result of this prohibition would be, that in course of time, as soon as the news had spread throughout tropical Africa that small tusks were no longer of any value, neither cow elephants nor undersized beasts would be shot for their ivory. It might be expedient even to go a step further,to make it a criminal offence to be in possession of tusks under 14 lb. in weight.
There can, I think, be little doubt that if such a course were agreed upon and carried out, the result would be that the present indiscriminate slaughter of small elephants and cows would before long cease.
Unanimous agreement would be necessary. It would have little effect for only one or two Powers to prohibit the export of small ivory: the inevitable result would be, that small tusks, which at present reach a market through such territories, would find a new channel through territories of other Powers who might have no prohibition in force, and thus the trade of the prohibiting Powers would suffer to the gain of others. It would be essential that such agreement should be universal throughout the continent of Africa.
Whether it will ever be found possible to catch and tame African elephants and to make them of practical use, as in India, seems doubtful: not that the African elephant, when caught, would prove more difficult to tame than the Indian, but because, owing to the very different conditions prevailing in Africa, it would probably be
found impossible to obtain them in any quantities; and, when obtained, the nature of the African native unfits him for work requiring steady care and patience. The habits of African elephants are not altogether similar to those of the Indian. Whereas in India elephants are found in thick jungle, in the greater part of the eastern portion of Central Africa there is very little of what could be called jungle, and elephants are found in much more open country, sometimes in swamps and plains; at others, in the park-like, somewhat sparsely wooded country which covers such vast areas north of the Zambesi. Through all this bush country annual fires run, with the result that there is no thick jungle. Elephants in this country are so constantly harassed by native hunters that they never remain in one locality for more than a few hours, and a day later are perhaps twenty miles away. Thus keddahs would be out of the
With an Indian population in Africa, possibly the elephant might be tamed and used.
At the present date various regulations dealing with elephants and the ivory question are in force in different territories of Central, West, and East Africa. In most cases licences, involving the payment of fees of varying amounts, have to be taken out by those wishing to shoot elephants. To all intents and purposes, however, all these regulations when in operation only affect Europeans. In the British Central Africa Protectorate, during a period of seven years not halfa-dozen licences have been taken out. What is wanted, therefore, is some method of dealing with the elephant question which will affect the African native.
And any measures
taken which do not reach the native himself throughout all the limits of Central Africa will fail to have much effect.
MONTROSE AND ARGYLL IN FICTION.
THE uncompromising student of history is seldom interested in historical romances unless he adventure among them with the intention of pulling them to pieces. And it will hardly be denied that he may spend a busy holiday in the pastime. The ignorance which the general reader is not ashamed to confess may not be the reason why so many authors are so eager to parade their historical acquirements; but at least it promises them immunity from the hostile criticism of those more ignorant than themselves. There are some who maintain that in historical romances the accuracy of the author is of very secondary importance, and that no story should be condemned for its historical deficiencies, if in other respects it fulfils the requirements of the best fiction. This is as much as to say that an author may recreate the historic dead in any guise he may choose, so long as he gives them the similitude of life, and makes them consistent with themselves and their surroundings. You are reminded of certain historical romances wherein the details are a miracle of research and industry, but the romance lifeless, colourless, and unreadable. By the intuition of genius many an author has persuaded himself that he can catch the spirit of past ages without being careful that his puppets should wear the costumes or exhibit the habits proper to their time and
country, or that they should even correspond in character with their original prototypes. But why should such romances be called historical; or why should the authors of them make any pretence at historical verisimilitude when they have no intention to attain it? Sir Walter Scott was not an accurate historian, as some men count accuracy; but he generally knew so much more than his critics, and so great was his common-sense and sane his judgment, that his inaccuracies were seldom of much account. He wrote in the first place for the amusement of those who read him; but he was intimately acquainted with the history and the colour of the times of which he treated. His knowledge was so curious and so wide, that with perfect ease he re-created the past with what brilliant colouring and spacious humour his genius was capable. Naturally, where Scott has left his mark few have cared to enter into competition with him. Comparisons are unjust, but they are sure to be drawn between authors who select the
same subjects. Lately there have been published two books which treat more or less of the times and scenes depicted in 'A Legend of Montrose.' Mr Neil Munro in his 'John Splendid,' and Mr MacLaren Cobban in his Angel of the Covenant,' deal with different periods of that stupendous struggle between Montrose and Argyll which
makes the history of the times a soldier, and a martyr: the a romance in itself. Neither combination is so all-embracauthor need fear any compari- ing as to suggest exaggeration. son with Sir Walter in the And yet it is the plain truth. matter of their historical pro- Not a great poet, he is yet ficiency. Mr Munro's book is among the immortals, because in some respects a quite unique in a happy moment he succontribution to our knowledge ceeded in putting himself into of the Highlands of Scotland a ballad which must always at that period, a brilliant inter- be quoted as the lyric of the pretation of the Highland char- very Lancelot of Cavaliers. As acter; while Mr Cobban's book, a statesman he had foresight, from the merely historical point judgment, and prudence, alof view, is a careful and lucid though for one so intrepid in presentation of the times and action, Montrose was curiously men of which he treats. temperate in council. He was simple and sincere. The happy faculty was his to give a clear and straight answer to the questions put to him by fate and circumstance; and there you have the admission that he was not subtle-something even wanting, perhaps, in diplomacy. In this Argyll had him at advantage, and pinned him fast. But was the loss with Montrose in the end? Had he been other than he was, would he at this distance of time be the gracious figure he is? For he stands out from among his contemporaries by reason of this simplicity and honesty, quite as much as by his brilliant fame as a soldier. Charles I. could not have had a better counsellor than Montrose; but Charles, though he came to recognise before the end the greatness of this Bayard of the North, with his usual bad luck did not do so in time. so in time. Had it been otherwise, the history of England and Scotland might read very differently to-day. For he was a great soldier as well as a statesman. His campaigns
In his life of Montrose, Mark Napier has drawn a portrait of the Great Marquis which certainly does not err through any lack of appreciation. It is an enthusiastic eulogy, yet its honesty has never been seriously impugned nor its essential accuracy denied. But no historian who is obviously so much in love with his hero could be trusted to give an impartial account of his character and achievements, and at the same time deal justly with the enemies of that hero. To Napier, Montrose was the almost divine hero, and Argyll the villain, mean, treacherous, and contemptible. It is said that the devil is not so black as he is painted; and even Argyll, you may be sure, had some good points. You need not, however, look for them in Napier's life of Montrose. But if you must not go to Napier for an impartial picture of Argyll, you may well be satisfied with his portrait of Montrose. There is not a more winsome and brilliant figure in history. A poet, a statesman,
against the successive armies raised against him by the Covenant have gained for him a unique place in the history of warfare. Reading of them, you are reminded on a small scale of the achievements of Alexander and Napoleon. In all three there was genius, combined with physical energy nothing less than dæmonic, which by a miracle they transmitted to their followers. The forced marches of Montrose will compare with anything of the kind in history. With a handful of Highland caterans and wild Irishmen, whose weapons included bows and arrows, and flinty stones picked from the hillside, he fought and won six battles, against a foe in each instance superior in numbers, cavalry, and artillery. But it was a cruel fortune that fought against Montrose and ruined him in the end. Had not MacDonald and Aboyne forsaken him after the battle of Kilsyth, he must have brought the Covenant to its knees. But it was not to be; and Fate, not Corydon, vanquished him at Philiphaugh. But even had he been able to join forces with the king, it was too late for him then to have rolled back the tide of
hostile scribe noted that it was stately to affectation. And what if it were? From his boyhood he dreamed of doing great deeds, and was a man in everything but years when he was seventeen. He paid fastidious attention to his dress, so that his appearance should always be worthy of himself and of the occasion. Even on the morning of his execution he did not forget what was due to the head which should shortly adorn the Tolbooth of Edinburgh. Such trifles are eloquent of the type of man. He loved women, and art, and flowers: that did not prevent him from being the most brilliant soldier of his time, and a pattern to posterity.
Argyll was not only the enemy, he was the antithesis, of Montrose. His appearance was repellent, and his disposition reserved and furtive. He was of a scholarly habit of mind, and, like many another statesman, his books were his dearest companions, and often his sole consolation. But his party in the State set no store by such literary attainments as he could boast, and posterity knows only by hearsay that Gillespie Gruamach was а student of men and books. His statesmanship has been as bitterly condemned as at one time it was praised. In private life he may have been a paragon of virtue, but as a statesman he was absolutely unscrupulous. His supporters forgave him everything; his enemies forgave him nothing. He did not invent the Covenant, but he used it to further his own ends.
victory that was carrying Cromwell to supreme power. One thing alone is certain, that of all his generals Charles had but one who was Cromwell's match, and they never met. Of his appearance, the various chroniclers are agreed that he was of middle height, and wellproportioned, fair, and with grey eyes. Of his manner, a