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them. All the Boer army cannot hood; meanwhile false attacks take Ladysmith; and Baden- are delivered along the river's Powell with 600 Colonials keeps course, to deceive as to the true them out of Mafeking. Gen- point of crossing; a few men eral French at Arundel is the get across, and a footing is only one of us who has learned established at the opposite bank how to “conform” to the Boer under cover of the guns, and the tactics, and he beats them. passage will be accomplished.
If it cannot be done in this
way, try another-don't try the A cloud of despondency sledge-hammer again. But the lowered
guns; we lost eleven! the mail brought news of At Modder river, when Colreverse
after reverse. Men onel Codrington led his gallant had watched Buller's initial score of Coldstreams across the strategy, and said it was the river, was there no relief of Kimberley and of the general's staff who saw it Ladysmith which made the and could have hinted to him subdivision of his army neces- the fact, and that if he could sary: they had waited patient- send some
to support ly all the time he had placed them the Boers would not like himself on the Tugela, while it—they would begin to melt the Boers were rendering them- away, as they did when the selves impregnable, and said Highlanders got across on the the delay was only to make left? There were plenty of the blow more crushing when men lying
ose under cover : it came.
They had watched if he had sent some of these, Lord Methuen deal blow after the Guards need not have made blow with sledge - hammer that fatal rush for an impospower, but with a display of sible bridge, and he would have tactics such as might be caught many Boers who got expected from a conscientious away to fight another day at navvy; and lastly, to crown Magersfontein. all, they saw the
Have we not tried this nightwhom all their trust reposed attack once too often? A burnt attempt to cross a river in Boer dreads the fire, and he is the face of a strongly in- on the look-out about dawn for trenched
and lose the bayonets that have tried eleven guns in the attempt. that game before. Sir Garnet Here was the sledge-hammer Wolseley made successful with a vengeance. To force a night-attack on Tel-el-Kebir, river-line in face of a strongly and caught Arabi napping. intrenched
enemy is a very Would he have succeeded a costly matter, if our men's lives second time if that Egyptian are to count. To force a river had taken up another position ? is essentially a matter of tactics. The place of crossing is selected, the troops that are to pass, At breakfast when we read secretly, got into the neighbour- in our morning paper of yesterVOL. CLXVII.—NO. YXI.
day's fight the whole scene is other. All the long night till · before us: the stony koppje, the moon shines out to stare the climbing dots of khaki in upon the tragedy; then the amongst the stones, the bearded first streak of grey, with the men peering through the cran- inevitable bullet : there will be nies up above, the puffs of more soon, but they are better smoke, and those tell-tale thuds than the everlasting darkness. when the men in khaki lie down It will be one more day scored suddenly; another scramble, a off towards home, and there precipice in front, a fire in their will be a cup of coffee soonfaces like the blast of a furnace, hot! All this is left out of the one more rush, a catching of picture which we see at the short breaths, a gasp, a yell, breakfast-table. and the top is won with a wild Officers who are intrusted cheer, and the black-bearded with the command of men
are streaming down the would do well to remember other side. How brave! how that a soldier is a man as themglorious! what noble soldiers ! selves : under his red coat beats and the glory of the men out the same heart, are the same there seems to reflect back on hopes, the same fears, the same ourselves—a little of it. But resolute will to succeed, the we do not see the afterpiece, the same lack of physical strength thunderstorm; when the soldier- to endure after a given point. atoms lie crouching, cold and To push men into railway-trucks shivering, on the sodden ground, under a broiling sun for some the rocks they cling to for some hours, to crowd them along a shelter, a blaze of unholy light, mountain road in the darkness the lightning like steel knives for many more, when they are that stab and glitter, the thun- carrying their arms with an der crashing through the deluge extra supply of ammunition, and the darkness. Curl to- and with little or no food to gether, men! Get warmth some- sustain themselves, is to reach how, for there is none here; cold that point : the fight that is to and wet and soaked, with a come is beyond it, and human junk of “bully - beef” inside endurance throws up the and death and deluge on the sponge.
Note. — By an oversight in our account last month of the storming of Talana Hill, the 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers were inadvertently omitted. The hill was stormed by 1st Royal Rifles, 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, and 2nd Dublin Fusiliers, with the 1st Leicestershire Regiment in reserve.
BRITISH POLICY IN SOUTH AFRICA.
It has been very satisfactory out the length and breadth of to see how the whole country the two republics. It is more sprang to arms the moment than ever necessary for those that three reverses to whose personal lot is cast outgenerals in a single week, all side this sphere of strife and from the same cause, marching misery, of splendid achievement straight into an ambush, became and of mental and physical known. And also to find that suffering, to formulate in their the Government, without own minds a clear idea of what hour of hesitation, summoned is the policy behind it, what is to its aid its two most suc- the ultimate end and aim which cessful generals, Lord Roberts this portentous struggle is inand Lord Kitchener, and de- tended to secure. spatched them with suitable Public opinion, which, since reinforcements to the
the of action, there to take the su- German Emperor's telegram, preme command. Both circum- fastened with tenacious stances show that the national grasp on the South African peril is duly appreciated, as problem, has come with rare also the momentous nature of unanimity to the decision that the issue raised by this war, the misgovernment, oppression, which has now been in pro- and corruption of the Boer gress for nearly a quarter Government, headed by PresiIt has been san- dent Kruger and dominated
guinary and marked by a by his Hollander clique, shall succession of strenuous
Its existence counters, which have served to standing menace to the peace display the marked and well- of South Africa, and was inknown characteristics both of tended and came to be genBriton and Boer. All of us erally recognised as anticipated some reverses at tinued defiance to British the outset. Those which have power. Unless that travesty befallen us are serious, and of human government is cleared bring home to all of us the perils off the stage of the world's of the position, and the serious drama, this war will have failed nature of the efforts which may in its object. It will not have be necessary to redeem it, and re-established British power; bring the war to a successful it will not have conciliated the conclusion.
fam- confidence either of white colilies in Great Britain have been onists or the native races; it plunged in sorrow and mourn- will not have impressed the
can scarcely colonial Dutch, either north realise the concentrated misery or south, with the sense of of desolation which must have British paramount authority. already been wrought through- The terms of the ultimatum
of a year.
addressed to this country last house to India, and having October by the Transvaal defeated the latter, obtained Boers distinctly raised that the permanent sovereignty by issue, Shall the British forces a formal cession of it from be driven into the sea and Holland in exchange for an British authority be excluded equivalent. That cession of from the Cape, or shall the sovereignty involved the transtwo Dutch republics cease to fer of allegiance by the resident exist as States possessing or Dutch to the British Governclaiming national independ- ment, which had already twice ence? Although those terms conquered them, and was remust in fairness be taken cum garded as hostile.
garded as hostile. But nearly grano salis, as coming from an a century has passed away ignorant and fanatical group since then.
since then. Some of the Boers of men intoxicated by the pos- trekked
away from time to session of enormous and recent- time from British rule, while ly acquired military strength, others were absorbed into Cape nevertheless they must be taken
taken Colony as loyal British subjects. seriously. The whole course of The trekkers had a rooted disthe war has shown that they taste to the restraints and were seriously meant; and habits of civilised life: they their very extravagance shows preferred to open up new counhow utterly disastrous to the tries with the rifle and the peace, order, happiness, and plough, to drive back the savgood government of Boer and ages, and clear the way for that Briton, white and black, it is very civilisation which followed that executive power should be in their wake; but to which, as vested in men who are at once it overtook them, they were so desperate and so incapable bitterly opposed. Though the of appreciating the far-reaching British Government was Tess consequences of either decision arbitrary and oppressive than of the issue which they raise. the Dutch Government had
But is there anything in the been, it was far from being past history of the Transvaal either mild or paternal. republic, in the character and The Boers had many grievconduct of President Kruger ances. They fled from them in and his immediate associates, or order to live in what has been in the probable results of the called a pastoral, patriarchal overthrow of their Government, way, moulded on the records of which ought in the slightest the Bible,—a way of life which
? degree to relax British deter- is often referred to in their mination to repel the claims of favour, but which the natives the Boers? As for the history found oppressive to the point of the relations between British of extermination, and they and Dutch, it is not necessary
themselves found to be an into go farther back than 1814, superable bar to progress. The when the former, having occu- last exodus, in which President pied the Cape during the Nap- Kruger, then a boy, took part, oleonic wars a half - way was in 1836. The British
Government, however, did not from British rule, their status renounce, but occasionally as- as British subjects remaining, serted, its right to treat them and where necessary actively as British subjects. The Boers enforced. Then in 1852 came repudiated this claim, and con- the Sand river convention, by sidered that the sovereignty which the Transvaal Boers obwas territorial, from which they tained rights tantamount to a could escape by trekking. Their grant of conditional indepenfirst conflict was for the
dence. And in 1853-54 came sion of Port Natal and the ter- the voluntary abandonment by ritories adjacent. They were Lord Aberdeen's Government of defeated, and Natal was con- the Orange sovereignty, and the stituted a British colony in establishment by convention at 1845.
Bloemfontein of a free and Some of the Boers remained independent republic, which, in it as British subjects: the down to the present time, has majority, including the fiercer successfully and
peaceably spirits, trekked again, but cut managed its affairs on sound off apparently for ever from principles borrowed from the access to the sea, the command adjacent colonies. of the coast being a vital part The Transvaalers, on the of British policy, however re- other hand, were distracted by luctant we were at that time internal feuds, and involved in to extend the responsibilities almost incessant strife with the for government. The Trans- natives. Their independence vaal, and possibly the Orange collapsed in 1877 from bankBoers, were those who refused ruptcy, and to escape annihilato settle in Natal. As for the tion at the hands of Kaffirs and Transvaalers, they shot down Zulus. Their annexation to the Matabele who were in posses- England was their own doing sion and without firearms. They to escape a worse fate. But thus established themselves and with Boer cunning they manbecame practically independent; aged to preserve, by a collusive but a proclamation in 1845 re- protest, a loophole of escape served the right of the Crown from it, to be availed of after to treat them as still its sub- their liberation from the worse jects. Some sort of republics evils which were then impendwere set up in the Transvaal; ing. The marvellous resuscitabut as there was no govern- tion of their independence, subment at all south of the Vaal, ject to suzerainty, which was the British sent troops to effected in 1881, is written in Bloemfontein to keep order, characters which will never be and in 1848 established the effaced, in the ordinary history Orange river sovereignty, which of this country. It must in was asserted against Boer hos- fairness be admitted that there tility in 1848 by Governor Sir is nothing in these antecedents Harry Smith. So far the only which renders it inequitable to trace of Boer independence re- enforce that forfeiture of indesulted from their trekking away pendence which results from