Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

ment, and from which option is ex- a statesman more experienced than an cluded.

ex-Indian official in the mode in which Of course there was nothing left but English party warfare is conducted, urgently to press the home government and less habituated to decide on his for reinforcements. His own position course from purely local considerations, was weakened by what had occurred; might possibly have appreciated that but resignation of his office, in spite of the state of affairs in England, as well appeals from home and in the colony, as political complications in Europe was out of the question. Sir Garnet and Asia, rendered a South African Wolseley was sent in the summer of war most imprudent at that particular 1879 to supersede Lord Chelmsford in moment, even in the interests of the the command of the army, and Frere, colonists themselves. For no sooner “ for the time,” as high commissioner, was it undertaken, with its first fruits so far as the Transvaal, Natal, and of failure, than the whole force of the other portions of the territory subject Opposition at home, exasperated by its to him were concerned. This division exclusion from office, and by the growof authority was not a move in the di- ing authority and reputation of Lord rection of union and confederation, but Beaconsfield, spent itself in a chorus rather of separation and disintegration, of condemnation. No moderation was and seems to us to point a convenient observed. Not merely was the war opportunity for Sir Bartle Frere to re- denounced as wrongful and unnecessign. He decided, however, to remain, sary, and its disasters imputed to gross and his relations with Sir Garnet do not inefficiency, but sympathy with the appear to have been very satisfactory, Boers was loudly proclaimed, and a nor even with the home government, demand put forward in the name of which was desirous of transferring to sound Liberal policy and justice that Sir Garnet part of the emoluments of the annexation of the Transvaal should Frere's office. In the following year be reversed. Sir Garnet was succeeded in his portion Mr. Gladstone sounded no note of of the high commissionership by Sir opposition to that annexation when it George Colley.

was first proclaimed. The leading It is interesting to note that Frere Boers bad themselves acquiesced in its never wavered as to the soundness of necessity, and encouraged and conhis policy. In September, 1879, we sented to it - urged thereto by their find him writing that the more the Zulu and fivancial difficulties. But no facts were considered, the more clearly sooner did South African difficulties it would appear that the war was inev- provide an opportunity for making itable and righteous, the only way of party capital than Mr. Gladstone dispreventing bloody Zulu inroads into covered it to have resulted from “the British territory, and a simultaneous invasion of a free people.” The TransBoer rebellion in the Transvaal ; and vaal was described as a country where that an overwhelming majority of the we had insanely placed ourselves in colonists, of whatever race or origin, the strange predicament of the free declared that he had gained their subjects of a monarchy going to coerce warmest approbation.

the free subjects of a republic, and to There does not seem to be any proof compel them to accept a citizenship that the war was necessary to prevent which they decline and refuse. The Zulu ivroads ; while the Boer rebellion Boers took up their cue, and begged broke out in spite of it, and terminated, that “the injustice done to the Transafter a series of events most disastrous vaal might find redress.” a

When the to British reputation, in their regaining Mid-Lothian orator came into office he independence. It is not the least to very soon discovered that it was easier the discredit of Sir Bartle Frere that to kindle a flame than to quench a fire. the actual course of events was entirely His colonial secretary, Lord Kimberley, excluded from his coutemplation. But' might anuounce at his leisure, and

[ocr errors]

after Cabinet consideration, that “the accordingly Lord Carnarvon's project sovereignty of the queen over the was indetinitely postponed. Frere acTransvaal could not be relinquished ; cordiugly quitted South Africa, and that he hoped for the speedy accom- bad at least the satisfaction of carrying plishment of confederation, which with him the cordial approbation and would enable free institutions to be gratitude of all the European colonists. given to the Transvaal and Natal as It cannot be denied that his career already proposed.” But the Boers had ended in failure. The policy of conbeen encouraged to very different federation which he was specially apviews, and being dissatisfied with the pointed to promote was eliminated results of the annexation to which they from the field of practical politics. had conscnted, moved heaven and The Boers were on the eve of cancelearth to repeal it. They sent their ling the Transvaal annexation. The emissaries to Cape Town to hinder affairs of the Cape were in confusion, confederation, and rekindle animosity and he himself was overwhelmed by between Dutch and English. The the sequence of events which had been Aborigines Protection Society was ushered in by a war which he had started in London, which interfered undertaken without authority from between natives and whites in South home. It was a terrible retribution for Africa with the confidence of ignorance the one blunder of his life, and it and partisanship. A Basuto war was ought to be remembered in his favor stirred up, in which the government at that he was a man of unblemished home evaded responsibility, while Rad- integrity, who had vindicated during a ical members of Parliament were said long career a character for courage and to be encouraging Boer leaders and the capacity. He was a man of high aims Cape Town opposition. Even as regards and unyielding will, keen to maintain the Zulus themselves, our recent oppo- the imperial authority, and to enforce nents in a sanguinary war, Mr. Glad- justice as between races. Anglostone had shown his hostility to his Indians at all events have no reason to countrymen and colonists (who had no doubt but that in his view the domivotes to give him) by speaking of that vant race had its rights and privileges war as “the record of ten thousand as well as its responsibilities. Zulus slain for no other offence than After Sir Bartle Frere left the Cape, their attempt to defend against your events quickly developed themselves. artillery with their naked bodies their Their origin may be traced to the invahearths and homes, their wives and sion of Zululand and the contemporafamilies." An influential memorial was neous dissatisfaction occasioned to the presented to the same statesman as Boers by their own cession of their prime minister, to the effect that the re- territory in expectation of favors which call of Sir Bartle Frere would conduce they never obtained. For Boer grievto the unity of the party and redeem ances Frere was not responsible, nor their pledges to constituents. It cer- for the consequences of the policy purtainly seems a very extraordinary thing sued towards the Transvaal and Zuluthat Frere should have persisted in land after Sir Garnet Wolseley arrived retaining his office under such circum- to supersede him in July, 1879. The stances, and in waiting till he was for- Boer leaders began to prepare for mally recalled in August, 1880, on the armed rebellion before Frere's recall. ground of divergence between his views Sir George Colley, on his arrival, deand those of the new government at clined to see them, and treated their home, and that no prospect remained of projected resistance as a matter of small his being able to forward the policy of importance. On the 16th December, confederation. The Cape Parliament, 1880, they issued a proclamation declarit seems, had recently refused to take ing the re-establishment of their repubeven the preliminary step of a confer- lic. Hostilities ensued, the insurrection ence with a view to that policy, and drawing its forces from the Orange

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Free State and elsewhere, as well as I ernment of 1880–85. Their leader had from the Transvaal. Sir George Colley the satisfaction of pointing to speeches entered upon the campaign with forces in which, long after the event, and at so inadequate that the British troops a favorable moment for party purposes, were repulsed on three separate occa- he had denounced the acquisition of sions, on the last of which – viz., at the Transvaal as valueless and dishonMajuba Hill — he lost his life, and a orable. But that sentiment, even if complete surrender was made by the justified, did not excuse the subsequent crown to successful rebels of British surrender, regardless of all the engageterritory and British good faith.

ments and liabilities which had grown Frere always believed the outbreak up during its retention. Accordingly, in the Transvaal to be of Irish origiu. the phrase that "it was a question of He had found the real wire-pullers of saving the country from sheer bloodthe Boer Committee to be foreigners of guiltiness” was invented to cover the various nationalities, together with an disgrace of the whole transaction, and Irishman of the name of Aylward, an closed a chapter in our history in ex-Fenian who had been pardoned for which Great Britain was found treating luruing queen's evidence against the with armed rebels to its authority on murderers of the Mauchester police- terms of almost unconditional surrenman, and was now an acknowledged der to them. The only excuse put forleader of the Boers. Money to stir up ward over and above the escape from the insurrection came in from the Irishi“ bloodguiltiness " was that we thereby rebel societies, according to Le Caron's redressed the wrong of the original evidence before the Parnell Commis- annexation. It was cousidered to be sion. The Transvaal was one of the no objection that we at the same time points of attack, says Mr. Martineau, wilfully violated all the engagements of the anarchical plots which had their which that temporary annexation bad headquarters in Ireland and America. involved, and abandoned numbers of The foes of England, those of her own innocent people who had trusted to our household, no doubt, looked on with pledges. exultatiou while British commissioners It was an unfortunate thing for Sir yielded to the demands. of the Boers, Bartle Frere's reputation, and we canwithout even securing satisfaction from not help feeling extremely sorry for those who had murdered their country- him, that he should have been mixed men or otherwise violated the usages up in such a responsible manner with of war. The Transvaal was given a tangle of events so deplorable and back, in spite of repeated pledges by humiliating. His past history did not the British crown that it should be deserve it. Amongst the great heroes retained, on the faith of which hun- of the Indian Mutiny he deservedly dreds of Europeans had settled in the holds a foremost place. He exhibited, country and staked their all, and seven during the whole of that arduous time, hundred thousand natives relied for courage, capacity, and resource in no protection. The pledge had been ordinary degree. While danger was at given, it is said, by three secretaries its thickest, and difficulties seemed to of state, three high commissioners, and be overwhelming, he, like so many of two Houses of Commons. “Thank our countrymen, so far from showing God," said a loyal native, “my chil the least tendency to shrink, was dren are Afrikanders, and need not be prompt and forward to meet them, ashamed of their country!”

recognizing that the only policy was to These transactions, as well as the dare all, and that by daring all we desertion of Gordon, when he was should win all. No other spirit than “hemmed in but not surrounded” at that could have coped successfully with Khartoum, form a melancholy page of the appalling dimensions of that strugEnglish history, and must forever gle on the part of a small island to brand with disgrace the Gladstone gov-l retain empire over a huge continent

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

as

9

separated by a distance of thousands of others would fail to share that view. miles. Even after the suppression of The disaster which ensued was magactual military operations, the rude nified for party purposes, till, in the shake which our power had received, furious exaggeration of contemporary the new light which had burst on the passion, he was denounced the minds both of conquerors and con- destroyer of Dutch freedom, the sanquered as to the difficulty of a handful guinary exterminator of Zulus, the of whites holding down two hundred reckless partisan of a foolish and danmillions of people capable of producing gerous policy. The effect of Mr. competent soldiers, might well have Martineau's biography is to restore hini inspired misgivings as to the possibil to the position which he occupied beity of reorganizing such an empire on fore the Zulu troubles, – that of a man a durable basis. All that is known of who had rendered signal service to Sir Bartle Frere is to the effect that he India for more than a generation, was one of those whose minds never who had displayed during momentous misgave them for an instant, during or events qualities which justified Lord after the crisis. “ Forward” was the Carnarvon in singling him out as the word which characterized both the man statesman best fitted to forward a great and his policy, whether the overwhelm- scheme of imperial coufederation, who ing langers in front of him were mili- continued to display similar qualities tary or political. Such is the stuff of during his colonial administration, but which real heroes are made. Sir Bartle fell a victim to one error of judgment Frere was one of those men who never which at once plunged him into the despair of the republic, for they are abyss of English party passions stimuconstitutionally incapable of doing so; lated to a white-heat by the progress whose conviction that the sure and of a general election. While we recogcertain method of grappling with diffi- nize the error, we feel that the measculty is to spring forward to meet it is ure dealt out to him was hard beyond so deep-seated, that they ignore the re- all fit porportion, and we welcome this straints of calculation ; whose faith in vindication of his career as that of a the imperial destiny of their country man who deserved well of his country, never deserts them for a moment. and of whom England may be proud. Much may be said in favor of his policy of giving battle promptly to Cetewayo; and the disaster of Isandblwana is not decisive against it, especially as the battle of Ulundi in a few months entirely retrieved that disaster and reduced the Zulus to subjection. THE position of Mrs. Tonkin's resThe objections to it in our minds are, idence and the arrangemeut of her that it was unauthorized and even con- kitchen windows are the envy of all trary to orders, and offended against her acquaintance. The principal winprudential considerations on a wider dow, which in most cottages would be scale than the immediate difficulty in the only one, merely looks across the hand. Sir Bartle Frere had the mis- narrow street to the yellow walls, fortune at the most critical and deci- mossy slate roofs, and doors and winsive moment of his life to be placed in dows of the opposite houses, and is, the uncongenial position of being in besides, so crowded with geraniums duty bound to forego decisive measures and primulus that it is of little use, which he believed to be indispensable save for the minor and unimportant in deference to higher exigencies purpose of admitting light. But the which he imperfectly appreciated. house being the corner house of a row, The obligation to go forward was, from and situated on the verge of a kind of his point of view, imperative, and he square or place (known as the Green, could not bring himself to believe that I but innocent of verdure), the ingevious

From The Leisure Hour.
MRS. TONKIN AT HOME.

I.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

builder has seized the opportunity of ment, floored with alternate squares of inserting in the side wall, ou a line red and yellow brick, ceiled with bare, with the fireplace, a subsidiary win- varnished boards, and furnished, as to dow, tall and narrow in shape, which chairs avd tables, in a fashion which not only commands a full view of the calls for no remark. On the walls said Green — a favorite lounging and hang a few colored almanacks and gossiping place – but rakes the main oleographs, and a large and interesting street of the village fore and aft, so to collection of memorial cards neatly speak, for twevty or thirty yards, be- framed in black. By an attentive pesides permitting a fairly comprehensive rusal of these the inquirer may obtain view of the harbor below.

a fund of information concerning Mrs. The advantages this wivdow confers Tonkin's deceased relations — their are as obvious as they are enviable. births, deaths, and virtues. Ou a side Consider for a moment the uufortunate table is piled a small collection of books case of Mrs. Matthews next door, or of -a large gilt family Bible, hymnMrs. Harvey over the way. Possess- books, Methodist tracts, “The Narraing only wiudows of the ordinary kind, tive of Mrs. Hesther Rogers,'

" Foxe's their outlook is so limited that scarcely " Book of Martyrs,” “ Pilgrim's Prog. has the passer-by come within range of ress," “ The Seaman's Manual," and observation than he, or she – which is “ Valentine Vox," a book which lias more important is hidden again, gone far to slake Mrs. Tonkin's belief often before the poor ladies have had in the infallibility of all printed matter. time to look up from their work. At In fact, she does not hesitate to brand the best they are rewarded with the it as “a pack o' lies.” You will also briefest, most tantalizing of glimpses; notice a grandfather's clock, for which, and twenty times a day they must it is whispered, a Plymouth gentleman either interrupt their occupations to once offered Mrs. Tonkin fifty pounds make a hurried rush for the street in vain ; an ostrich egg (which no door, or leave their curiosity unsatis- properly furnished cottage can be fied, and run a terrible risk of missing without); and some mysterious cylinsome interesting paragraph in the daily ders of colored glass, hanging from the history of the town. But with Mrs. ceiling by threads, and regarded as Tonkin it is otherwise. Every living highly ornamental. creature that passes up or down the Opposite the small window a door street comes under the scope of her gives access to the front entry, the observation for something like half a parlor, and the staircase ; and there is minute — time enough for the expe- another door at the back of the room, rienced eye to master every detail of which opens into the " loft.” This is dress and appearance, and to draw a square, paved yard of equal width to therefrom infallible deductions as to the cottage, and quite surrounded by the victim's private affairs. A new neighboring houses, whose upper storibbon at a maiden's throat, the neck ries project considerably over it, so of a bottle protruding from an old that only a small part in the centre is woman's gown pocket, the ragged open to the sky — a kind of impluvium. sleeves of a married woman's jersey - The sheltered portion serves as a storesuch things speak volumes to the dis- place for nets, gear, coals, and the like. cerning mind. Without leaving her In a tub set at one corner of the open “churrs,” Mrs. Tonkin can tell you space grows the pride of Mrs. Tonkin's who is prospering and who is not, who heart, a geranium such as you must in love, who at odds with his wife, who visit Cornwall to see - full ten feet is to have beef for dinner and who high, with a thick, woody stem, and contents himself with salt fish. In bearing every year some hundred clusshort, Mrs. Tonkin is a happy woman, ters of pink blossom. The loft comand all because of the little window. municates with the street by means of

The kitchen itself is a roomy apart-'a dark passage or tunnel running down

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »