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A LARK SINGING IN THE BLACK She orders him to go and come,
And he obeys her as of course.
Are not such liberty and ease
Three tiny restless elves hath Jack, To where the spring indeed is spring ;
Of whom he is exceeding proud ; Where the “live murmur” may be heard
By Jove, my ears they soon would crack, Of all the woodland's quickening powers,
Their squalls are so exceeding loud! Roused from the winter sleep by April
But in my wifeless, childless nest,
Peace is a constant visitor, showers ; Or where, beneath blue heavens unblurr'd
A blessing surely of the best, By smoke, young wheatfields spread
And well worth living single for. Their carpet green; or where thro' the Two, and potential more, afford rich soil so red,
An easy mark to fortune's aim ; That knows not coal, the ploughman drives Misfortune here the fitter word his laboring team ;
Maybe, the meaning is the same ; Or where the clear, cool stream
Man solus — hard to hit is he
By any stroke of fortune, or
The wight before the altar who
“I wed thee” says, with fateful breath,
Hath little to look forward to Yet churl am I to call thee fool ;
In order of events but death ; For thee methinks that God hath sent, While he whose bolt is still unshot So to forbid our discontent,
Hath hope and chances yet galore ; Our dullard hearts to school,
In short, a prospect - hath he not ? And teach that joy can live though verdure That's well worth living single for. die,
WOODBURN. And hope beam bright beneath a darkened
And yet once more the sweet flowers blow,
As if in truth they did not know
How all that made their beauty dear
With her lies darkling down below.
Have they forgotten, then, how well
Clorinda loved to keep in spring Yet wedlock may be not all sweet,
Calendar of their blossoming, And e'en the humble bachelor
From the first primrose of the dell In unthought ways a joy may meet
Until the rose in June was king ? That's well worth living single for.
Have they forgotten how she'ld place A trait it is of envious man
Great pansies in her garden-plot, To think his share of blessing less,
With curious tulips in a knot, If in another's lot he scan
And bid the daffodils do grace Some part which he does not possess ;
Gold-crowned in many a shady spot ? But, rightly viewed, my Celebs yoke
Yes, they forget, and thou, O Earth, May be a state superior
An irresponsive mistress art, To that of double-harnessed folk,
That never for a breaking heart And well worth living single for.
Still'st the mad music of thy mirth, 'Tis clear that in the case of Tom
Nor in our tears hast any part. The grey mare is the better horse ;
Academy, EDMUND K, CHAMBERS
From The National Review. When this stage has been concluded, SOME ANGLO-FRENCH PROBLEMS.
the unfortunate Warina incident, when It will be found upon examination Captain Lendy and Lieutenant Maritz that the more important questions be- were killed, will be ripe for solution. tweeu the French government and our It is not the intention of this article own have arisen in connection with the lo recall all the points of dispute within delimitation of frontiers in Africa and the scope of the review which is now in Asia, and that the difficulties with proceeding. It will be sufficient to which the two governments have to indicate in outline the most important contend are in great measure due to of them. the absence of reliable knowledge of the geographical conditions prevailing
THE NILE VALLEY. in the remote regions in which the two The debate in the House of Com. cmpires meet. The map of Africa, in mons on the 28th March respecting the fact, requires re-editing month by position of Great Britain and of France month. The geographical and ethno- in Central Africa, and the speech which graphical knowledge which we possess was delivered on that occasion by Sir of that continent is amplified, where it Edward Grey, have attracted a good is not contradicted, by the stores of in- deal of attention both in this country formation which each returning trav- and in France, an attention which the eller brings, and nowadays their name subject matter fully deserves, not only is legion. Since the times of Cameron by reason of its immediate interest, but and of Stanley, of Monteil and of also by reason of the serious conseBinger, our information of Africa has quences which, in certain eventualities, increased by leaps and bounds. The might ensue in the relations existing consequence is, that as fast as our gov- between the French nation and ourernments draw imaginary lines upon selves. The immediate cause of the the bl spaces of our maps, fresh debate was an uneasy feeling on the knowledge reaches them materially part of a portion of the public that an altering or qualifying the information attempt was being made by France to which they thought they possessed, and establish herself upon the banks of the compelling a reconsideration of many Upper Nile by means of a secret expoints, which were thought to have pedition, which was supposed to be been disposed of.
marching in that direction with the In the summer of 1894, the British assent and encouragement of the and French governments entered upon French government, but the exact a review of all African questions at whereabouts of which has not been that time pending between the two hitherto definitely ascertained. Exgovernments, for the purpose of arriv- pression was first given to this feeling ing at a satisfactory adjustment. That by an article which appeared in the review comprised about a dozen ques- Times of 5th March, entitled “ France, tions of more or less importance; it has England, and the Upper Nile.” For been continued up to the present mo- some years a large armed force has ment; it still continues ; and some been collected on the Mobanghi River, time must yet elapse before it can be prepared originally for the purpose of finally disposed of. The only tangible taking action in support of French result which has at present been claims against the Congo Free State, reached, is to be found in the agree- should the dispute between the two ment recently effected, defiving the powers relating to the frontiers of the precise boundaries to the north and to latter in that region reach an acute the east of Sierra Leone, and even this stage. The well-known Colonel Mon. matter cannot be considered to have teil was to have taken command of the been satisfactorily settled until a joint force, and had actually started for the delimitation commission has gone over purpose when he was ordered to prothe ground and fixed the boundaries.'ceed to the western Soudan upon other military employment. France and the Egyptian rights over the said territoCongo Free State have adjusted the ries, which were in suspense. The disputed frontier line. The expedition western sphere was, however, still furhas not returned to the coast, and with ther delimited by the first article of the the knowledge that we possess of the Agreement of 12th May, 1894, between designs upon the Upper Nile of some Great Britain and the Congo Free of the most violent French politicians, State, wherein the frontier was defined a not unnatural anxiety has been felt as as following the 30th meridian east of to the precise destination and where - Greenwich up to its intersection by the abouts of this large armed force. Her watershed between the Nile and the Majesty's government have not been Congo, and thence
thence following this able to throw any light upon the mat- watershed in a northerly and northter.
westerly direction. This was the westIn the House of Commons debate on ern limit of the territory of which the 28th March, Sir Edward Grey, Great Britain granted a lease to King speaking with due deliberation, said : Leopold and his successors under the
The advance of a French expedition, second article of said Agreement. It under secret instructions right through is true that at a subsequent period the from the other side of Africa into a terri- king renounced his rights under the tory over which our claims have been lease to a considerable portion of the known for so long, would be not merely an leased territories. But, so far as Great inconsistent and unexpected act, but it Britain is concerned, a recognition by must be perfectly well known to the French the king of the right of Great Britain to government that it would be an unfriendly lease these territories still remains act, and would be so viewed by England.
valid, notwithstanding the surrender This declaration received the general of his own rights at the instance of a approval of the House of Commons. third party. It is true that up to the
It is somewhat remarkable that M. present we have not sought effectively Hanotaux, speaking in the Senate on to occupy a territory, the right to which 5th April, did not say a word with re- has been acknowledged by Germany, gard to this expedition, when a word Italy, and the Congo Free State. We from him would have relieved the anx-have, however, proclaimed a protectoieties of many people in this country. rate over Uganda. We have also ad
What, then, are our rights, if any, iu vanced to the Albert Nyanza, and the region towards which this expedi- reached Wadelai. It would be a comtion is thought to be directing itself ? paratively easy task to send a small
The British sphere of influence is expedition down the Nile to Lado, or defined by the Agreement between even rther north, and it is one which Great Britain and Germany of the 1st her Majesty's government ought se. July, 1890, and is stated therein to be riously to contemplate in the view of bounded “to the west by the Congo possible eventualities in that region. Free State, and by the Western Water- Public opinion in England would never shed of the basin of the Upper Nile.” permit a foreign power to intervene
By the Agreements of 24th March and establish herself upon the Nile in and 15th April, 1891, between Great such a way as to cut off our access to Britain and Italy, the western fron- Egypt down the river. So long as we tier of the British sphere was not are responsible for the good governspecifically referred to, although the ment of Egypt, the control of the head existence of that sphere was recog- waters of the Nile must remain in our nized. The Agreements dealt more hands. particularly with the eastern boundary Sir Edward Grey, therefore, did not of that sphere, and a line from Ras go too far when he said that we should Kasar on the Red Sea to the Blue Nile, consider as an unfriendly act the misand from the Blue Nile to the river siou of an expedition by France to the Juba, was agreed upon, subject tol Upper Nile water, and indeed it is not
improbable that even stronger language | at a modern map of Africa will reveal has been used, in Downing Street or at vast tracts colored as French and as the Quai d'Orsay, of which the British yet unoccupied by French officials, for public has not been made aware. which it would puzzle French states
The speech of M. Hanotaux on the men to produce any better title-deeds 5th of April upon this point is of a than an occasional convention or agreereasonable and moderate character. ment. In asking France to accept as He points out that the sphere of binding the international agreements British influence has never been de- upon which we rely, we are only doing fined towards the north, and that the what she herself expects us to do in regions in question, if they belong to her own case ; we are only asking her anybody, belong properly to the khe- to do unto us what she expects others dive of Egypt. The former proposi- to do unto her. tion we are prepared to admit, but if we admit the latter, the admission would debar France as well as our- A DIFFICULTY involving questions of selves from establishing a position considerable importance, has ariseu within these territories. Our object, between Great Britain and France, after all, is to safeguard the valley of upon the banks of the Middle Niger. the Nile in the interests of Egypt, and The telegraphic despatch received iu in our own, as trustees for Egypt, as England on the 26th March informed long as we remain there, and provided the public that two French expeditions that France will recognize and accept had suddenly appeared upon the banks this position in any engagement which of the river. One was stated to have may be come to, we shall not be likely reached Bagibo, in Nupe, and to be to quarrel over a few miles more or eucamped on the left or the east bank less upon the summit of the Nile and of the Niger; the other to have Congo water-shed.
cannot reached Boussa, a town of some imsubmit to the French sphere being car- portance on the banks of the Middle ried across from Senegal on the Atlan- Niger, and the capital of the kingdom tic to Obok on the Indian Ocean. Such of that name. The territory of Nupe a stretch of country would be useless has been considered to be within the to France except as a spoke in our sphere of British influence ever since Egyptian wheel. If, as appears from March, 1885, when the emir of Nupe M. Hapotaux's speech, exception is signed a treaty with the National taken to the western frontier of the African Company, which subsequently British sphere of influence, the views became the Royal Niger Company. of France could and would be met in a The same year also witnessed the sigfriendly spirit, provided that no at- nature of a treaty between the emir tempt be made to drive in a wedge of Borgu or Boussa, and the Niger between the southern limit of the Company ; whilst five years later, in Egyptian sphere and the northern limit January, 1890, a fuller
treaty of our own. As for the taunt that signed between the emir and chiefs of after all our rights are only paper Borgu or Boussa, with the Niger Comrights, and that France may jump pany, which confirmed the treaty of through them, as a columbine jumps 1885, and granted to the Niger Comthrough the paper hoops at a circus, it pany “complete jurisdiction over all does not lie in the mouth of France, or persons within the territories, who are of any of the great powers which have not our native-born subjects.” The competed in the scramble for Africa, treaty also contained a clause to the to utter such reproaches. Are none of effect that the native chiefs would not the rights which France undoubtedly enter ivto any agreement or treaty with has in Africa “paper" rights ? Are any foreign governments, except with all her rights due to, and based solely the consent of the company, or of her upon, effective occupation ? A glance Majesty the queen of Great Britain.
These treaties have all been submitted | mercial results very successful, seeing to the Foreign Office, and have re- that they will have to compete with a ceived the assent of the secretary of large and old-established trading constate. These regions are also included cern in the shape of the Niger Comin the proclamation of the British Pro- pany. If, however, these expeditions tectorate over the Niger districts, have in the course of their wanderings which was made on the 18th October, been making a series of treaties with 1887, and which included “all terri- the chiefs, whose territories they have tories in the basin of the Niger and its traversed, the matter becomes more affluents, which are, or may be subject serious, and some further explanation to the government of the Royal Niger beyond that vouchsafed by M. HanoCompany, in accordance with the pro- taux may fairly be demanded by Great visions of the charter.” It is difficult Britain, and ought in justice to be to understand upon what ground given by France. France can base any claims to acquire The statement of M. Hanotaux, that influence or possessions in this portion several questions relating to the rights of the Middle Niger. It may be true of the Niger Company are at present that the exact frontiers of uch king- the subject of dis ission between Great doms as Boussa and Nupe are not ac- Britain and France, is not sufficient, curately ascertained or delimited, but, and is no excuse for sending espehowever that may be, it is perfectly ditions into the British Protectorate, clear that no expedition has a right to pending the completion of the negotia. penetrate as far as the Niger without lions in question. the assent of the Niger Company, which is charged with the administration of these countries. These expedi- The difficulties which have arisen tions, presumably, must have come between Great Britain and France in from Dahomey, a country which did not Siam relate to two matters differing in fall into the possession of France until character and of unequal importance. 1893, eight years subsequent to the The one is concerned with a delimitadates of the treaties with Nupe and tion of boundaries, intended to be perBoussa.
manent; the other with the cessation In the interpellation of the 5th April of the occupation of a port, originally in the French Senate, M. Hanotaux of a temporary character. gave no explanation as to the origin or By the Franco-Siamese Treaty of the the object of these expeditions, but 3rd October, 1893, Siam undertook to contented himself with challenging the renounce all claim to the whole of the supposed claim of the Niger Company territories on the left bank of the Meto monopolize trade within the districts kong, and thereupon the portion of the more or less effectively occupied by it, province of Luang-Prabang, situated and to forbid all transit contrary to the on the left bank of the river, passed Act of Berlin. Upon this point there under the dominion of France. But, can be no difference of opinion be- in addition to Luang Prabang, Siam tween the British and French govern- was exercising exclusive jurisdiction ments. The Act of Berlin laid down a over the province of Chieng-Kheng, series of propositions relating to the which lies astride of the Upper Menavigation of the Niger, which Great kong, under an arrangement entered Britain is prepared to carry out, and to into between Siam and Great Britain. enforce upon the Niger Company. If This arrangement included a provision these expeditions are purely of a com- for the retrocession of this province 10 mercial and trading character their Great Britain in the event of Siam conadvent within the British Protectorate templating its abandonment. of the Niger districts need not cause us The Franco-Siamese Treaty has now much alarm. Their stay is not likely brought France, by virtue of her posto be very prolonged, nor their com- 1 session of a portion of Luang.Prabaug,