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ment of the whole room, and Paddy Green in particular, who never offered to interrupt him.

It was a good thing to see Evans's some forty years ago at the time of the cattle show. The farmers took possession of the place; and to see their jolly round red faces on the broad grin over some decidedly broad ballad, or nudging one another when anything particularly racy caught their ears, was to the student of mankind a treat. But all this kind of thing is quite over now. The Cider Cellars have long ago emptied their last barrel, and Evans's, instead of dying game-qualis erat-like its contemporary, degenerated into something little better than a music-hall. In spite of the undesirable quality of the songs with which Mr Sharp, or Mr Ross, or Mr Moody were requested to oblige the company, we have a kindly feeling for these old taverns still, where, as Lady Agnes Foker said, you met "all the wits and authors, people who are not in society, you know, but whom it is a great privilege and pleasure for Harry to meet." For Lady Agnes was of the same period as Major Pendennis, in whose time, as he expressed himself, "poetry and genius and all that kind of thing were devilish disreputable." So they took refuge at the Cave of Harmony.

In our notice of Fleet Street taverns we have as yet said nothing of the Rainbow. This was originally one of the old coffee-houses, and is mentioned

by Macaulay in his account of them at the time of the Revolution. In the 16th No. of the 'Spectator,' written by Addison, there is mention of the Rainbow, but the allusions to it in the eighteenth-century essayists are extremely rare, and its career as a modern dininghouse dates from 1820.

We have found Mr Callow's a useful book of reference; but, as might be expected, there are some omissions in it, and it is rather a handbook like Peter Cunningham's than any account of tavern life. But it is very well done, and should henceforth be the standard work upon the subject. We fear, however, that the rising generation, nurtured in clubs, and "wallowing,"

as Thackeray

says, in easy-chairs, will not retain much interest in the old convivial world of which we have here given a few glimpses. All the more reason why this should be done while there are still some survivors who can appreciate them. With the old tavern life have disappeared its riotous Bohemianism and reckless orgies: "the gipsy and the Mohawk" have vanished from the literary profession; the punch-bowl and the dicebox are seldom either seen or heard in a house of public entertainment; but with these evils have disappeared also a good deal of hearty good-fellowship, of frank sociability and fearless originality, on whose grave, while we welcome the salutary change, "one human tear may drop and be forgiven." HARE COURT.

THE WAR OPERATIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA.-II.

BY A MILITARY CONTRIBUTOR.

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It had been apparent from the first that the strategy of the campaign would move in this direction. Cape Town was the first port of call for the transports; there was direct railway communication between it and Kimberley or Pretoria, which, although it was certain to be interrupted the farther it was from Cape Town, would still be available from thence to within almost striking distance of the Transvaal-say, for 500 miles.

The mountains which enclose the Free State on the east are left behind. The only obstacle then between Cape Colony and the Free State is the Orange river, a mighty flood at times, now low, flowing through several snag-encumbered channels, between great banks of sand and mud, spanned by substantial bridges which, if they were found to have been destroyed, could soon be rendered passable for troops.

The country through which the Orange river flows is flat, stony veldt, with numerous scat

tered koppjes: it has been compared with the Soudan, the chief difference being that the one is stony sand, the other stony veldt. Farms are scattered widely, each house substantially built, surrounded by gum-trees. From the southern boundary of the Free State, as far north as Pretoria, the veldt is well adapted for the movements of a British force provided with cavalry and field artillery: the transport, which would be mules and oxen drawing light waggons, could move parallel to the column almost everywhere, and subsistence for the cattle is invariably to be found by the wayside. It is, on the other hand, unsuited to Boer tactics, which depend largely on the existence of boulders. advance through the Free State would be self-supporting to a large extent: the farms there are larger and better stocked than are those in the northwest of Cape Colony or in the Transvaal. Again, from a strategic point, an advance from the west, threatening Bloemfontein, would be almost certain to detach a large number of Boers round Ladysmith; for with Bloemfontein in our hands we should be on the direct line to Pretoria, 250 miles distant, and in a position to cut the communications with their base, the country before us being level and open, with no obstacle except the

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Vaal river, which is crossed by many "drifts."

The intention to move a column by this western route was carefully concealed from the public, until it leaked out that a relief column had arrived at Orange River Station on the 8th November, and that Gough had found the Boers in force, with some guns, in a strong position seven miles east of Belmont; and having gained a knowledge of their strength and dispositions, had retired to Orange River Station with the loss of Colonel Keith - Falconer, who was shot while making a sketch, three officers and three privates killed or wounded. Orange River Station commands many points of strategical importance besides the bridge over the Orange river, and had been gradually formed into a military camp which may be considered the key of the western border.

On the 12th November General Methuen arrived, and on the 21st inst. moved out with a light flying column, to effect the relief of Kimberley, seventy-five miles north. No tinned rations were carried, fresh meat being relied upon during the march, which usually began at 3 A.M., breakfast on cocoa, pitch camp near the best water, and dine when the transport arrived. It was this column that was destined to exercise a considerable influence on coming events.

The night of 21st they slept at Witteputs, eight miles from Orange river, and continued the next morning in the direction of Belmont.

At an early hour on the 23rd inst. the division moved off towards the Boer position, and after a five-mile nightmarch, the Guards Brigade, which was leading, came upon it. They found the Boers on a line of koppjes, a few miles east of Belmont Station, and attacked at once the Scots and Grenadier Guards had advanced to within fifty yards when the Boers opened a scathing rifle-fire which staggered them, forcing them to take cover, and much independent fire took place till day broke, and our artillery were able to come into action. The Guards then climbed the koppje, still under a heavy fire which the Boers had reserved, and at 4.10 A.M. the position was captured. Immediately in rear of it was another line of koppjes, which was defended in the same determined manner. Then the Coldstream Guards, with the 1st Northumberland and 2nd Northampton regiments in support, under a fierce cross-fire, rushed up this second ridge, and with the assistance of the artillery, urged forward by loud cheers, carried it, the Boers flying in confusion, when a third ridge in rear again gave them the opportunity for a final stand; a rush was made and the position carried-the Naval Brigade coming into action for the first time with four guns. The 9th Lancers were sent in pursuit, but were not able to account for many of the fugitives, owing to the rocky nature of the ground to which the Boers clung with tenacity. Their laager, with stores, horses, and

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cattle, 50 prisoners, including a Commandant and 6 fieldcornets, remained with us, who lost 226 killed and wounded, the Grenadier Guards losing 85 of that total. A fresh case of the treacherous abuse of the white flag is reported: Lieutenant Willoughby, seeing it hoisted, rose to receive it, and was shot down.

This action was the first instance of the purely offensive on our part, and though the assault of so strong a position is terribly costly in the lives of officers and men, its moral effect on the enemy should be far greater than that of the tactical success. It becomes yet another lesson that the British soldier is no longer a thing to despise, a man who runs away before Boer valour; that he can and does stand up to his enemy in a resolute, cheery way, which no amount of gallantry, fine shooting, and carefully chosen positions can intimidate.

It is a matter for reflection and regret that each hardly fought victory which our men have won was not followed by the absolute rout and surrender of the beaten foe,-that our soldiers did not reap a better reward for their hard-earned

bravery. In every case the Boers have escaped with little loss after the actual assault. Now, it is laid down that the defeated enemy must not be allowed a moment's breathingtime if the defeat is to be turned into a disaster: he must be pursued with relentless vigour, without pause or rest, be ridden down, harried with continual shocks, and, with the aid of

horse artillery, persecuted till he drops. Yet with this maxim before us we find the Boers after Talana Hill escaped in masses, disorganised for the moment, but with sufficient cohesion left to rejoin the columns which were moving up to join in the fight. At Elandslaagte darkness helped them, but not before sufficient use had been made of the white flag; and at Belmont we hear of a badly beaten foe retreating with their wounded to another position in rear, where they can attempt a fresh stand.

That this has happened is not the fault of our mounted men: the reasons for it are not far to seek. First, The cavalry and horse artillery were in too small a proportion to the other arms. Secondly, The country that the Boers clung to was most unsuited to mounted action. Thirdly, Our officers and men were continually deceived by tricks which lent themselves to escape, both treacherous and dastardly.

After Dundee, when in full flight, the Boers, under cover of a white flag, obtained an armistice, and then shelled the 18th Hussars, who had in consequence checked their pursuit, -a manœuvre which led to the capture of the squadron and the escape of forty prisoners who were in its custody; at the same time the guns which we had got into a position which commanded the Boer line of retreat ceased firing because of this armistice imposture, and the enemy escaped annihilation. At Elandslaagte the white flag was raised on three occasions, and under its

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