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Is it any
about three miles east of Jacobs- the position of our troops was dal, where the horses rested, - Lord Roberts and HeadGeneral French sending patrols quarters with the 7th Division on towards the town to ascer- at Jacobsdal-Lord Methuen's tain if it was held in any force division at Modder river camp by the enemy, as well as to re- - General Colville with the port if the 6th Division was Guard's brigade holding the coming up:
Few Boers were Boer position at Magersfontein, found in the town, so he con- which they had hastily abantinued his ride by the road which doned the previous nightruns easterly towards Blauw- General French and cavalry bosch, so as to cross the Modder division in Kimberley assisted well outside the Boer patrols, by the garrison, which was making for Klip drift, which he posted on the north-west corner reached just before midnight, to watch for any Boers who capturing three of the enemy's might try to steal out that way laagers, while a brigade made-the 6th Division with the a feint on Rondeval drift, four Highland Brigade at Klip drift. miles west. This was seized, This strategy, with a loss of also a second drift higher up, about twenty men, had accomtogether with two more laagers. plished what tactics, with the
As soon as Klip drift was loss of the Highland Brigade, occupied a 12 - pounder naval had failed to do.
hauled up by the blue- wonder that Continental critics jackets on to a koppje which should exclaim when our gencommanded the passage and erals abandoned sound strategy both banks of the river. This for indifferent tactics ? The done, on the afternoon of the fault was not altogether theirs 15th he left the drift in charge —a workman cannot work of the 6th Division, which had without tools: to attempt to just arrived, and rode rapidly carry out a campaign on a on towards Beaconsfield in spite single line of rails many hunof the fire of some Boers who dred miles in length is to play occupied a large koppje on the into the enemy's hands. river's bank, and who were in Cronje had now the choice of strength about 1000, soon after- two alternatives—to fight or to wards themselves shelled out retreat; the entire British force by the 12-pounder on the south of 30,000 men had placed itself bank. A few miles south of between his camp and his base Kimberley some troops of the at Bloemfontein; so, like garrison in an outlying Boer Boer that he is, he chose the redoubt, which they had cap- latter. The retreat began on tured not long ago, gave him the night of the 15th inst., , the first greeting, while the when the trenches at Magerscavalry with him rode fontein were evacuated in hot through the night which had haste, — Cronje himself, with now fallen and entered the 10,000 men and an enormous town: the relief of Kimberley line of waggons, made off with was accomplished !
all speed for
for Bloemfontein. On the night of the 16th inst. The 6th Division on the 16th
captured seventy-eight waggons mounted troops. At 9 A.M. laden with stores, two with General Lyttelton's brigade apMauser rifles, eight boxes of proached the hills and drove shells, ten barrels explosives, back the Boers under cover of and a large quantity of stores, our guns and howitzers; they which had lagged behind. replied by shells from
batLord Kitchener, who had teries hidden behind the rocks now arrived, took command of and bush : whenever they were the column in pursuit of the silenced they changed position flying Boers, consisting of the and opened fire again, till at Cavalry and the 6th Divisions, sunset our troops held the the Highland, and later on the position, on which they enGuards’, Brigade, and at once camped for the night, having attacked the laager which they suffered slight loss. On the were forced to make owing to 18th inst. General Hildyard's the exhausted state of their brigade assaulted and took the
On the 19th the railway southern end of Monte Cristo, to Kimberley was opened, and the 4th Brigade taking the Lord Methuen was sent on with western. The Royal Welsh reinforcements. Lord Roberts Fusiliers, supported by the rest issued a proclamation to the of the 6th Brigade, assaulted Free Staters warning them to the eastern flank of the enemy's desist from further hostilities, position, while the cavalry on assuring them of protection if the extreme right drove back they do so, and declaring that those of them trying to escape their property will be respected that way. Suffering from by the British troops.
artillery fire on their front and flank, and attacked on their
flank and rear, the enemy made The news of the defeat of the slight resistance, and abandonBoers' Western Army musting their strong position, were have reached those round Lady- driven across the Tugela, leavsmith with great speed, for on ing behind their camps, amthe 16th inst, an unusual activity munition, stores, and .
few prevailed: it appeared as if they prisoners. Next day the Fusiwere moving off some of their lier Brigade took Hlangwane guns with considerable parties hill, the right of the enemy's to accompany them. On fore
On fore- position commanding Colenso. seeing this, General Buller, on On the 20th the whole force the 14th inst., moved out of advanced towards the Tugela, Chieveley with the whole of to find the Boers had withhis force with the exception of drawn behind the river; GenGeneral Hart's brigade, and eral Hart occupied Colenso, attacked the hills south of the and at once sent his advanceTugela which the Boers had for guard across to follow up the so long occupied. The advance Boers, who seemed to be in full was directed upon the low-lying retreat: casualties throughout slopes under Monto Cristo, appeared to have been few. which is two miles south of The relief of Ladysmith was Hlangwane, covered by the thus practically assured.
THE ADDRESS AND ITS LESSONS.
THE parliamentary session of before them, they scarcely, it the year 1900 opened under cir- was thought, seemed conscious of cumstances to which no parallel its existence. Of the Opposition, is to be found in our parliamen- on the other hand, it can hardly tary history for more than be said that the attitude was forty years. Yet events move disappointing. We had, indeed, so rapidly, and assume such a tried to persuade ourselves that variety of aspects from day to on this occasion history would day, that the great debate to not repeat itself, and that the which only a month ago we faction exhibited by the anceswere all looking forward with tors of the present Opposition such intense interest is already would not be renewed by their more than half forgotten. Still, descendants. But we cannot regarded as a whole, and apart say we were surprised to find from its gladiatorial character, ourselves mistaken. . There is, it was at once so instructive however, something to be said and so suggestive that some of both for the Government and its lessons at least, and some the Opposition, and now that of its indications, deserve to time has been allowed for rebe extracted from the mass of flection, and we have seen the verbiage in which they lie em- end of the debate as well as the bedded, and placed on record beginning, the public may be in some more distinct and con- ready to allow that the discise form than they necessarily content excited by the earlier present either in the columns speeches, though in some reof a newspaper or the pages of spects quite justifiable, was perHansard.
haps in some others a little It will be remembered that precipitate. considerable disappointment was We thought at the time, and caused by the speeches of Lord we think still, that both the Salisbury and Mr Balfour, who Prime Minister and his lieuwere charged with being in- tenant in the House of Commons sensible to the gravity of the showed themselves less responsituation, and with postponing sive to, and less in sympathy to party and personal consid- with, public opinion on the suberations what was due to the ject of the war than was suitable relief of a widespread national to the occasion. It is very well anxiety — forgetting that the to deprecate panic, and despise outside public were expecting clamour. But there is a time to hear from their rulers some- when both, if they exist, are thing more closely in harmony more likely to be encouraged with their own highly strung than allayed by any seeming feelings. So far from rising to indifference on the part of the the height of the great argument Government to what the public
think a real danger. Nobody ing of some other Government conversant with public life twenty years before ? Charges would dream of imputing to and counter - charges going either Lord Salisbury or Mr back to 1881 and Majuba Hill, Balfour any real disposition to and throwing the blame for underrate the present crisis. what has happened the But their speeches on the 30th Ministry of Mr Gladstone, of January conveyed the im- only accentuated the party pression that they were looking tone which Lord Kimberley “ too near the ground,” and and Sir H. Campbell-Bannerwere picking up pins, when man brought into the
dethey ought to have been bate. References to the British studying the heavens. Mr constitution and its inferiority Chamberlain and Mr Wynd- to other forms of government ham gave the right tone to for military purposes, though the debate.
But the country they pointed to a truth to had to wait a whole week for it, which we shall presently return, and it is a pity that the keynote were, we venture to say, a was not struck at once by the third mistake-out of place in Prime Minister and the Leader a debate on a crisis of excepof the House of Commons. tional urgency calling for imThe Minister of a free country, mediate action. Spartam nactus governed by popular institu- es, hanc orna, was the proper tions, must be willing at times
Lord Salisbury to make himself unus multorum, when he tried to make the and, without abdicating his national institutions answerright to lead and instruct public able for our want of preparaopinion, show that he can sym- tion. But there is unfortunpathise with the feelings of the ately too much truth in Lord people on any great national Salisbury's statements, however emergency, and appreciate their inopportune when uttered, to estimate of its magnitude, even admit of their being passed by though it be a trifle exagger- in silence, especially when noated, which in this case it body can tell how soon their certainly was not.
significance may be put to a A second mistake was made, fresh test. When we add that we think, in the tu quoque style his lordship’s mode of expressto which both the Conservative ing himself was occasionally too leaders had
Those colloquial to suit the dignity of who adopt this mode of argu- the subject, we have said all ment never seem to understand that it is necessary to say of how little effect it produces on adverse criticism either on himany except themselves. self or Mr Balfour, to whose Who cares? What does it speech similar objections were matter to the great body of taken. the nation, when the Govern- On the other hand, a great ment has met with a disaster, deal too much has been said of that it is due to the blunder- the Ministerial reply. It could
hardly be expected that any If we turn to the Opposibody of statesmen loaded with tion, there is no doubt that such heavy accusations as had their attitude from the beginbeen heaped upon the Minis- ning has given even greater try continuously throughout offence to the public than the the winter should sit tamely want of insight and sympathy down under them without any manifested by the Government. attempt at self - defence; or Yet it does seem to us that Sir confess themselves guilty of Charles Dilke's amendment has faults of which, rightly or met with more abuse than it wrongly, they believed them- deserves. Constituted as selves innocent. The Ministry parliamentary and party system only did what they had a now is, we hardly see how the perfect right to do, and what Opposition could have kept in fact they were bound to silence; and the amendment do, in answering certain def- only repeated in Parliament inite charges brought against what everybody was saying outthem. They had to speak to the side of it. It would have been Amendment. This seems to have better if Sir Charles had withbeen overlooked. Whether their drawn his amendment after the reply was entirely satisfactory question had been exhaustively or not, is a different question. discussed. But that something What they said had a certain of the kind was naturally to be degree of weight and truth in expected from the Opposition, it--and it had to be said by and that a perfectly legitimate somebody. When Mr Wynd
When Mr Wynd- debate might have been raised ham and Mr Chamberlain spoke on the amendment, we hold to this task had been performed, be indisputable. Where the the Amendment had been an- Opposition went so grievously swered, and they were at lib- wrong was in abusing their erty to lift the debate on to opportunity, and carrying the a higher level. Mr Wyndham, discussion far beyond the scope indeed, hardly spoke to the of the amendment into the Amendment at all.
whole question of our antecedent tremely able and comprehen- relations with the Transvaal. sive statement scarcely touched They dealt in recrimination far the questions raised by Sir more largely than the GovernCharles Dilke; and it was left ment, and seemed anxious—at to the Secretary for the Colonies least the leaders did—to pin it to take his stand exclusively down to that level. . Sir Wilon the great Imperial principle liam Harcourt was one of the now at issue. His eloquent worst offenders. For the sake address went home at once to of a blow at Mr Chamberlain, the heart of the country, and which the Colonial Secretary whatever discouragement had had no difficulty in parrying, been caused by previous short- he asserted that complete indecomings disappeared before it pendence should have been relike frost before the fire. stored to the Boers in 1881,