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ASIATIC COURAGE.

Among the many ideas

which ness as well as of fear, and the Arab, mislead Europeans in dealing with Asi- though much more sensitive, and there. atics, few are more inveterate than the fore more liable to panic, is, at least, as belief that they are generally wanting careless of death or physical pain. He in courage. They are not exactly con- has never, that we recollect in modern sidered cowards, that would be too ab- times, fought with Europeans in Asia, surd, but their courage is held to be, but his half-brother, the Soudanese, has in some way, of an inferior quality. extorted respect even from disrespectThey can never, it is supposed, face ful "Tommy.” An army of Dervishes Europeans, however inferior in num- led by English officers would, it is bers, and never succeed against them acknowledged, face most armies with unless under the inspiration of some success. The Persian is a laughing sol. religious emotion, which is then de- dier, very like a Frenchman, who has nounced as “fanaticism."

An excep

done in quite recent times heroic deeds, tion is sometimes made in favor of and who avoids battle, when he avoids the Turk, who, when not an officer, is it, rather from a sort of selfishness considered a manly fellow, but the re- than from fear. The Indians, Benmaining inhabitants of a continent galees, and some classes of Madrassees which contains considerably more than excepted, are quite singularly free from half the human race are classed to- cowardice. That is acknowledged gether as rather feeble folk, who, if the when the Indian is the Sikh or the white soldiers will only advance, are Ghoorka, or in a less degree any vasure to run away from want of pluck. riety of drilled man, but it is true also Arabs or Tartars, Persians or Chinese, of the undrilled. The ambulance man they are all lumped together, and all and the kind of camp follower of believed to be, as Pyrrhus said, the whom Rudyard Kipling writes as womankind of humanity. That de “Gunga Din"-a nearly impossible scription is true enough in some ways; name, by the way-is taken almost but it is not true as regards the posses- haphazard from the population, and sion of individual bravery. There is faces the shot quite as coolly as the one race in Asia-the Bengalee—which average European, while if the shot openly acknowledges that it has not overtakes him and his hour arrives he the heart to fight, though when in ex- is less complaining. The Indo-Chinese pectation of any form of non-conten- are not soldiers, and as a rule have not tious death it is more serene than the the soldierly instincts, but the Burmese European; but the immense majority “dacoits,” that is, “klephts,” half-paof the remaining seven hundred mil- triots, half-brigands, who so grievously lions are personally brave men. We worried us during the first four years do not say they are quite equal to of the conquest, constantly died like Englishmen or to Germans, or to the heroes, while the Roman Catholic conpicked soldiers of any European coun- verts of Annam accepted martyrdom try, but they are equal to any Southern- in thousands with the tranquil coners, or to the average militia of any stancy of the early Christians. They land. The Asiatic Turk is a born sol- were only asked for the most part to dier, usually quite devoid of nervous- destroy their temples, give up their pas

aware

a

tors and be quiet, and they accepted heroism than theirs, or to require them death in preference. Of the Siamese to die in heaps when victory is imposwe know little except that they fought sible. Another reason is that we judge their way to empire; but Chinese have them too exclusively by their conduct contended with each other like heroes, when opposed to Europeans, of whom the Mahommedan Chinese having faced they have an instinctive awe, not deextermination, and the Taepings, who rived from physical fear at all, but as were undrilled, having died in scores patent in civil life as on the field. The of thousands while battling with their only Asiatics quite free of this feeling drilled fellow-countrymen under Gor- are the Arabs, and if we ever meet don. To the coolness with which the them in the field on equal terms we Chinese meet death all observers bear shall be surprised at the magnitude of witness, while their kinsfolk, the Tar- the death-list. They know, too, their tars, overran the world, and fought like own inferiority in war considered as heroes, though well

that a science, and expect to be beaten by an wounded man had little chance except intelligence they scarcely understand. of death by torture or starvation. That But the grand reason-we write this great difference between their position on the evidence of great experts—is when fighting and that of Europeans is

want of confidence in their leaders, in common to all Asiatics, and has never their ability, in their fidelity, in their been allowed for. Their armies are un- care for them. They recognize with accompanied by hospitals. There is, the keenest insight that selfishness of moreover, one admitted fact which cer- the prosperous which they know to be tainly makes heavily against the charge

latent in themselves, and at the first of cowardice. European officers will check expect desertion, or betrayal, or take Asiatics of almost any kind, and neglect. So in certain moods do Frenchby a few months of drill and training men, Spaniards, or Italians, who, like in arms will make of them good regi. all Asiatics, are liable to be the dupes ments, equal most of them, though they of wild imaginings such as the Northhave not the incentive of patriotism, or

erner is too stolid to entertain. That any tradition of honor, to battle on

is the reason why in an Asiatic army fair terms with Europeans. Drill is a

the death of the King or the Comgrand education, but you cannot edu

mander-in-Chief is so invariably fatal. cate a coward into valor.

He, and he alone, must, his followers

think, desire victory, and he once gone Why, then, are they so often, we authority ends, the officer having none might almost say so invariably beaten except as derived from him, and the by Europeans? There are many rea

soldiers become a mob of individuals, sons. One very little noticed is the in

each intent, not so much on his own feriority of their weapons, of which,

safety, as on abandoning that particubeing nervous and suspicious men not lar and hopeless transaction. Add that, made oblivious by drink, they are sen

except the Chinaman, no Asiatic is sitively aware. Hardly any troops will

without the belief that defeat reveals face artillery when without artillery

the will of the gods, and we shall un. themselves, and Austrian soldiers who derstand why he will not, or at any are as brave as any in the world, posi

rate does not, stand up under military tively refused after a short experience adversity like his rival, and why the to encounter the needle-gun while effect of a lost pitched battle spreads armed only with the musket. It is a

so suddenly and so far, so that occalittle unfair to expect of Asiatics more sionally a whole country submits when less than ten thousand have been killed. makes them brave, but there have been It is not physical fear which moves Asiatic leaders whose genius or whose them, but the influence of an imagina- cruelty has had all the effect of traintion always far stronger in an Asiatic ing. Chaka, the Zulu organizer of than a European, and almost always armies, was no better obeyed than pessimistic.

Jenghiz Khan, and in times nearer our But we shall be asked, if the Asiatic own Hyder Ali and the Mahratta as a result of the feelings stated readily founders of dynasties made heroes of runs away, is he not as a man governed their horsemen. It is the possibility of by those feelings the equivalent of a this sudden change, this precipitation coward? Not exactly. There is al- of the something which makes Asiatic ways the chance of something, be it re- courage feeble, that renders every inligious emotion, be it an emotion of surrection so formidable, and compels pride, be it confidence in a leader or all who would hold dominion in Asia dread of him, or be it much experience to keep the sword perpetually of victory, mastering his distrust alike sheathed. If something, be it hate of in himself and his officers, and then the foreigner, or dread of the Empress, he becomes in all but science a danger- or terror of the powers above, induces ous fighting man. If he thinks it worth the Chinaman to fight, he has no physiwhile to go forward he is not afraid cal fear to stop him. Kill a third of either of death or wounds, and occa- the Wei-hai-wei regiment with bullets, sionally he will go forward in the way and it will still roll forward, and the which surprised, and indeed appalled, impulse which drill has given to its the French in their fight with Chinese recruits may come from one of many “pirates” on the border of Tonquin. other sources. We all concede that European training The Spectator.

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SONNET.

As mist along the verdant valley steals,

And veils the view of fertile fields from sight-
As gathering dark the moon's soft ray conceals,

And distant stars are lost in shades of night,
As silent streams lie deep beneath the hill,

Nor storms nor summer suns can set them free
As seed in earth lies buried cold and still-

As buds unclose when there are none to see-
So in the heart lie hidden, fold on fold,

Thoughts deep and sweet, but never breathed-untold
Even to those its pulses hold most dear.

The depths are never sounded-none may know
What hoards of treasure moulder there below;

The doors are closed-gates barred-as if in fear.
The Argosy.

C. E. Meetkerk?.

A NOVELIST OF THE UNKNOWN.*

Everyone knows that Mr. Wells, as a more than this: that in both he is novelist, has two fields of vision. breaking fresh ground, in both he is Broadly speaking, one is stellar, the an explorer. Not in Mars and not in other mundane. In the one he looks Clapham has he stepped in another for big things that may be, in the oth- man's tracks. Hoopdriver, with his er for little things that are. He must pins and aspirations, was as much to be a singular reader who is not struck seek, really, as Graham and his flying by the divergencies of power which ioachine. So far, then, Mr. Wells is have given us the Time Machine and revealed as the most enterprising of Mr. Hoopdriver's bicycle; which have novelists, exploiting a planet and a shown us the Martians devastating draper's shop as calmly as Cinquevalli London, and Mr. Lewisham devastated tosses a cannon ball with a pea. But by love. Yet we would remark that the simile-like every simile-calls for the distance between these two fields correction, There are profound literais more than obviously great. For ry differences to be named and considwhenever Mr. Wells returns-we had cred. We deny in toto (to use a loved almost written "homeward plods his phrase of Smithers in “Love and Mr. weary way" from Mars, or from the Lewisham") that Mr. Wells's stellar forward abysms of Time, to this dull novels are to be compared with his little nineteenth-century Earth,

he inundane novels. That seems a strong straightway throws off the trappings view, but it is our view. We hear an of distances and æons and sits down opponent blurt: "Consider the imaginato depict suburban matters.

His ges

tion of "The War of Worlds.'" But tures no longer connote measureless the word "imagination" does not satether, or a fifth sense. He does not isfy us here. Four-fifths of what pass. even call the nations into his study, es for "imagination" in Mr. Wells's like Mr. Kipling, or desire, with Steven- scientific novels is not essential imagison, to dwell in the uttermost parts of nation; it is rather the skilful—the abthe sea and be the Ariel of Literature. solutely daring and decorative—use of Unspoiled by the influences of the Ple- science. It is science in purple; science iades, he dissects the mind of a Ken producing her "effects”—the glory and sington draper's-assistant; unblinded smoke of the "experiment"; science reby visions of Science in her glory, he hearsing what she will be. When Mr. tells us how a student jilted science for Wells appears to be soaring, he is reala poor girl in Clapham.

ly only calculating generously; when Now there is one description which he seems to be creating, he is only applies to Mr. Wells in both these playing behind the professor's back; characters. To discover it would be and the ladder by which he climbs, imsomething of a feat if it were anything measurately aerial though it seems, is

an extension ladder taken from the * The Time Machine. By H.G. Wells. (1895.)

laboratory cupboard. Science, taking The War of the Worlds. By H. G. Wells

tbe bit between her teeth, can run (1898.)

The Wheels of Chance: A Holiday Adven- gloriously amok among the ture. By H. G. Wells. (1896.)

principalities and powers; but Love and Mr. Lewisham. By H. G. Wells.

the Phaeton who (Harper, 1900.)

gives her

one

her head is not exercising his imagina- tility, who cajoled and lied and bluntion-he is merely having a lark. We dered toward higher things, was clerhave a deeper objection to scientific er, then assuredly it was a higher quall'ovels. It is that their subject-matter ity that saved “The Wheels of Chance" is outside literature, and is, indeed, as from being

long humorous noxious to literature as we feel that butchery of Hoopdriver. It is spiritualism is to life. We have the indeed alive with humor, and strongest conviction that scientific an- Hoopdriver is not spared a single ticipations of the future of man and shaft of ridicule that a good man may of the universe, even when, like Mr. give or take. But there is one thing Wells's, they are brilliantly conceived, that Mr. Wells never does, or allows his have no more to do with the art of the reader to do, and that is to doubt the r.ovel than “The Battle of Dorking." essential manhood, dignity, and native

These our troubles pass like a sum. sweetness of the man who cannot help mer cloud when we turn to Mr. Wells's sticking pins in his lapels. You have two novels of human life, “The Wheels the queerest feelings of regret as you of Chance" (1898) and his new novel, see Hoopdriver's back disappear with "Love and Mr. Lewisham." Here Mr. his bicycle into the stable yard atWells is doing really fine work, and tached to Messrs. Antrobus's emporium we use the word in a sense far beyond in Kensington-his holiday, his dream clever. To call such novels as these of culture, his worship of a beautiful "clever" is the first infirmity of ignoble girl, all to be settled and adjusted in critics. Clever they are; and, if one the intervals of "Hoopdriver, Formust dabble in the word, we are pre- ward!” pared to rant with Laertes, and pile In "Love and Mr. Lewisham" Mr. Pelions of proof on Ossas of assertion Wells's qualities appear to even greatthat Mr. Wells is clever. But we dis- er advantage. For one thing, this norlike the word, and we resent its appli- el is a higher organism than “The cation to a fine novelist. “Clever" in Wheels of Chance." In “The Wheels of äealing with flesh and blood! Clever in Chance" the incidents of a bicycle tracing tears to their springs in the hu- chase through several counties supply man heart! Clever in justifying the a kind of material or mechanical interways of God to men or men to God! est—the easy interest of every chase. No. The great novelists cannot be The analysis of character triumphs, thought of as clever. They are saga- but somewhat by emergence. In “Love cious, charitable, wise, and tender. Was and Mr. Lewisham" character is all; Scott clever, or Cervantes, or Sterne, or Mr. Wells is doing his best work all Dickens? No one would use so base along. We are not going to describe a word. It is just a suspicion of clev- the story in any detail. When we meet erness which causes a few minds to Mr. Lewisham he is a very young massee an everlasting ghostly mark of in- ter-in fact, eighteen-at Whortley's terrogation at the end of every procla- Proprietary School, Whortley, Sussex. mation of the genius of Thackeray. It There he “hears his years before him, is precisely because we see in Mr. Wells all the tumult of his life"; sees it every those greater things—the sympathy of morning as his head comes through his one who knows and the big hand of shirt, and his eyes fall on the magnifione who loves—that we feel eager cent schema of study which he has about his work. If the analysis of the pinned on the bedroom wall of his mind of Hoopdriver, the Kensington humble lodging. draper's-assistant who longed for gen- Chance-wise he meets Ethel Hen

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