페이지 이미지

the author's closing words of loyalty to his adopted country, have called out two criticisms. Some, to whom Christiaan Rudolf De Wet has been not only an ideal cavalry leader and strategist, but also in unbending Boer loyalty an ideal hero, declare that he must have somehow sold himself, that the book with its dedication represents the first step in his preferment by Great Britain, and hint that by such means the British Government may finally have ended a war which was draining the best blood and treasure of England and her colonies. Others, however, pro-Boer as well as pro-British, feel, in our author's words, that " loyalty pays best in the end, and loyalty alone is worthy of a nation which has shed its blood for Freedom."

Before considering General De Wet's treatment of the war it is well to consider General De Wet himself. His portrait by Mr. Sargent, the frontispiece of the volume, tells us at a glance much about the man. No better delineator of the human face could have been chosen for this purpose than our foremost American portrait-painter; in his work we see the '• slim " Boer—that shrewd, alert, clever, calculating, indomitable something which has distinguished the best as well as the worst Boers, which was as evident in a Joubert as in a Kruger. The portrait is one which remains impressed on the mind; long after we have closed the pages of this volume we see the man's face before us at every turn; and his face gives a double impact to his words.

Those words are both descriptive and critical. As to description, they do not narrate what the author himself has not seen. In this respect the " Three Years' War" is a soldier's story, first-hand and unpadded, in many respects worthy to stand alongside two accounts by great soldiersof their own experiences—General Grant's " Autobiography " and Lord Roberts's " Forty-one Years in India." While there is not a page of the description which is not readable, perhaps the most interesting are those pages which give us a new realization of the staggering blow to Boer enthusiasm dealt by Lord Roberts's victory at Paardeberg—the turningpoint of the war—involving the defeat and capture of General Cronje. That Boer officer, by his obstinacy in maintain

ing a hopeless position, General De Wet thinks, really brought the defeat upon himself, whereas he might have sought to make good his escape in a night attack upon the beleaguering forces. "If I presume to criticise his conduct on this occasion," says our author, " it is only because I believe that he ought to have sacrificed his own ideas for the good of the nation, and that he should not have been courageous at the expense of his country's independence, to which he was as fiercely attached as I." Intrepid soldier that he was, General Cronje evidently thought that to abandon his linger was quite too much for De Wet or any one else to ask; at all events, the latter says that, while Cronje's view was either to stand or fall with the laager, he did not consider the certain consequence of a possible fall, namely, an "indescribable panic throughout not only all the laagers on the veldt, but even those of Colesberg, Stormberg, and Ladysmith." For "if Cronje were captured, how could any ordinary burgher be expected to continue his resistance?" To the contention of the Cronje party that, had the attempt been made which De Wet urged, the Boers would have been pursued and overtaken by Lord Roberts's forces, our author replies:

The English at that time did f ot enii oy as scouts Kaffirs and Hottentots, who could lead them by nijjht as well as by day; moreover, with the reinforcements I had received, I had about sixteen hundred men under me, and they would have been very useful in holding back the enemy until Cronje had mads his escape. No words can describe my feelings when I saw that Cronje had surrendered and noticed the result which this had on the burghers. Depression and discouragement were written on every face. The effects of this blow, it is not too much to say, made themselves apparent to the very end uf the war.

After this surrender De Wet immediately set about doing what he could to allay the panic which had seized upon the Boers. Feeling that Lord Roberts's troops must remain for some time at Bloemfontein in order to obtain needed rest, De Wet decided to take advantage of the expected circumstance; for, in his opinion, there was but one way to restore Boer prestige—to let his soldiers go home, and there to weed out all of the incapables, or discouraged, or traitors; then, with those who were willing to fight to the end, to make another stand. De Wet felt sure that the best fighters would return in full number. His confidence was ultimately well justified. General Joubert, who had come from the Transvaal into the Free State hoping to be able there to discover some method for checking Lord Roberts's advance, was anything but pleased to hear of the De Wet plan, and exclaimed:

"Do you mean to tell me that you are going to give the English a free hand, whilst your men take their holiday?"

'• I cannot catch a hare, General, with unwilling dogs," 1 made reply. But this did not satisfy the old warrior at all. At last I said:

"You know the Afrikanders as well as 1 do, General. It is not our fault that they don't know what discipline means. Whatever I might have said or done, the burghers would have gone home; but I'll give you my word that those who come back will light with renewed courage." I knew very well that there were some who would not return, but I preferred to command ten men who were willing to fight rather than a hundred who shirked their duties.

Among British Generals, General Knox occupies most space in the book. Lords Roberts and Kitchener seem to have comparatively scant consideration. The author's most interesting reference, however, is to General Buller. He says that "whatever his own people have to say to his discredit, Sir Redvers had to operate against stronger positions than any other British General." Concerning his own achievements, the best of the war, the most brilliant leader that any recent war has produced is, as we should expect, modest, and extremely concise in language, especially in describing the battle at Sanna's Post, where the hitherto littleknown burgher administered such a crushing defeat to Colonel Broadwood that no less than 350 Englishmen were killed or wounded, and 480 prisoners, 7 cannon, and 117 wagons captured. A few days later, with only 800 men, near Reddersburg, facing three times that number of English, De Wetinflicted a similar defeat —a defeat, however, characterized, according to our author, by treachery on the part of the British. They had hoisted the white flag, and De Wet with his men galloped towards them, but before they reached them the British again began to shoot, killing a Boer officer.

This treacherous act enraged our burghers, who at. once commenced to fire with deadly effect Soon the white flag appeared above almost every stone behind which an Englishman lay, but our men did not at once cease

firing. Indeed, I had the greatest difficulty in calming them and in inducing them to stop, for they were, as may well be imagined, furious at the misuse of the white flag. Strewn everywhere about on the ground lay the English killed and wounded. According to the official statement, they had a hundred casualties, the commanding officer himself being among the killed. We took four hundred and seventy prisoners of war.

While there are undoubtedly two sides to this story (the misuse of the white flag is said to have characterized the Boers more than the British), there is one feature of the Boer conflict—the horrors of the war as affecting women and children— which justifies vigorous language. Before Lord Roberts left South Africa he had issued proclamations prescribing that any building within ten miles of the railway where the Boers had broken up the railway line should be burnt down.

This was also carried out, not only within the specified radius, but also everywhere throughout the State. Everywhere houses were burnt down, or destroyed with dynamite; and, worse still, the furniture itself and the grain were burned, and the sheep, catde, and horses carried off. Nor was it iong before horses were shot down in heaps and the sheep killed by thousands by the Kaffirs and the national scouts, or run through by the troops with the bayonets. The devastation became worse and worse from day to day. And the Boer women—did they lose courage, with this before their eyes? By no means. As when the capturing of women (or rather the war against them and against the possessions of the Boers) commenced, they took to bitter flight, to remain at least out of the hands of the enemy. In order to keep something for themselves and their children, they loaded the carriages with grain and with the most indispensable furniture. When then a column approached a farm, even at night, in all sorts of weather, many a young daughter had to take hold of the leading-rope of the team of oxen and the mother the whip, or vice versa. Many a smart, well-bred daughter rode on horseback and urged the cattle on, in order to keep out of the hands of the pursuers as long as at all possible, and not to be carried away to the concentration camps, which the British called refugee camps (camps of refuge). How incorrect indeed! Could any one ever have thought before the war that the twentieth century could show such barbarities? No! Any one knows that in war cruelties more horrible than murder can take place, but that such direct and indirect murder should have been committed against defenseless women and children is a thing which I should have staked my head could never have happened in a war waged by the civilized British nation. And yet it happened. Laagers containing no one but women and children and decrepit old men were fired upon with cannon and rifles. ... I could append now hundreds of declarations in proof of what I say.

It is, however, when General De Wet comes to speak of something to him still more incredible, the treachery of his own men, under the work of national (Boer) scouts used by the British, that his language becomes more forceful:

England's great power was pitted against twolitde Republics which, in comparison with European countries, were nearly uninhabited. The mighty empire employed against us, besides its own English, Scotch, and Irish soldiers, volunteers from the Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, and South African colonies, hired against us both black and white aations, and, what is worst of all, national scouts from our own nation, sent out against us. ... If there had been no national scouts and no Kaffirs, in all human probability matters would have taken another turn. . . The English oniy learned the art of scouting during the latter period of the war, when they made use of Boer deserters. . . . The English, we admitted, had a perfect right to have such sweepings and to use them against us, but we utterly despised them (the deserters) for allowing themselves to be hired. We felt that their motive was not to obtain the franchise of the Uitlanders, but—five shillings a day! And if it should by any chance happen that any one of them should find his grave there—well, the generation to come would not be very proud of that grave. No! it would be regarded with horror as the grave of an Afrikander who had helped to bring his brother Afrikanders to their downfall. . . . Such men, alas! there have always been, since in the first days of the human race Cain killed his brother Abel. ... It was far easier to fight against the great English army than against treachery among my own people, and an iron will was required to fight against both. If only our orders had been carried out a little more strictly, and if only the most elementary rules of strategy had been observed in our efforts to break the British lines of communication, Lord Roberts and

his thousands of troops would have found themselves shut up in Pretoria, where they would have perished of hunger. . . . Had not so many of our burghers proved false to their own colors, England, as the great Bismarck foretold, would have found her grave in South Africa.

Many an excerpt might be taken from this interesting volume, full of description —perhaps not always exact enough—and equally full of criticism which spares neither friend nor foe. His foe triumphed in the end. It was an expected triumph, but a quarter-million men were finally* required to bring down such " embattled farmers " as De Wet, Delarey, and Botha. Finally these were brought low. Resistance was no longer possible. They did the manly, the courageous, and what to many seems the impossible thing, they not only submitted to the conqueror, they pledged allegiance to the only Government which thenceforth could rule in South Africa. They had fought for independence and freedom; in losing independence who shall say that they have not gained a greater freedom than any they had yet enjoyed or could enjoy under a Boer oligarchy? It is to be hoped that the magnanimous spirit of General De Wet animates the majority of his countrymen. In impressive words he thus sums up his own position: "There was nothing left for us now but to hope that the Power which had conquered us, a Power to which we were compelled to submit, though it cut us to the heart to do so, and which, by the surrender of our arms, we had accepted as our ruler, would draw us nearer and ever nearer by the strong cords of love."

Bishop Potter on Industrial Duties'

BISHOP POTTER'S Yale lectures consist of two very distinct parts: first, the personal observations of the author regarding the moral side of the industrial relationships of our modern life; and, second, the statistical generalizations which his reading upon the subject has led him to accept. The first of these portions is fortunately much the

1 The Citizen in his Relation to the Industrial Sltttat&n. Yak lectures by Henry Codman Hotter, D.D., LL.D. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York.

larger, for it is incomparably the better. Bishop Potter's incursions into the field of economic statistics seem to have been chiefly confined to the study of such popularizers as Mr. Mallock and Mr. Willey, and his uncritical citation of their views gives this part of the work a capitalistic trend quite at variance with most of Bishop Potter's personal observations. Nothing could seem more capitalistic, for example, than Bishop Potter's apparent approval of Mr. Mallock's citation of Leoni Levi's assertion that the entire rental "of all the land in England, if divided equally among the adult population, would give each man about two pence a day and each woman about three halfpence." Were the statement true, it would be but a hackneyed method of belittling the concentration of wealth; and it has not even the merit of being true. The income of English landlords, as returned by themselves for taxation, is $250,000,000 a year from agricultural land alone, $900,000,000 from city land and houses, and $50,000,000 from mines and quarries—a total of twelve hundred millions, or an average of $150 a year for every family in the pation. If this estimate be cut in two because the tax returns include the rental of houses as well as land, the figure is still treble that indicated by Mr. Mallock. The American figures cited upon the same question of the distribution of wealth are better grounded, but also stand in need of more critical treatment. The money wages of city workmen, it is stated on good authority, rose about 50 per cent between 1860 and the early seventies, and, on the whole, kept this gain during the twenty years of falling prices which followed, so that the purchasing power of wages in 1891 was from 60 to 70 per cent, greater than in 1860. The rate of interest, it is next stated upon no authority, fell from seven per cent, twenty years ago to four or five per cent to-day. Then from these two statements there is deduced the startling conclusion that "the last quarter of a century—to speak in general terms—has brought to the workingman an increase in his earnings of from 60 to 70 per cent., while the same period has cost the capitalist the loss of from 20 to 30 per cent, upon his." This conclusion rests upon a perfect network of unwarranted assumptions. In the first place, it is assumed that the earnings of workmen rose from 60 to 70 per cent, during "the last quarter of a century," whereas the figures cited showed no advance since 1873, except such as came from the fall in prices. If this fall in prices increased the purchasing power of the wages of workmen—who had to meet advancing rents—it also increased the purchasing power of the inteiest of the capitalist, who generally profited by the

advance in rents. Yet no such correction is made in reckoning. the change in the capitalist's income, and the rate of interest he receives is reckoned to have decreased two or three times as rapidly as the census figures show. It is to be regretted that a book which ought to be read so widely as this of Bishop Potter's should contain such one-sided statement: regarding the important subject of the economic separation of classes.

Fortunately, these statements do no indicate the spirit of the book. No rccen writer has brought out more sharply thai does Bishop Potter the separation o classes which the spirit of Christianity i bound to combat. "It is in vain," h> says, "that we endeavor by amiable soph isms ... to obscure to ourselves or t others that tremendous cleavage whicl in our time has come to pass between th rest of human society and those who raak up what we call the working classes. . . Almost the worst enemy to the progres of human society is the spirit of caste; an the tragic element in the constitution c our modern social structure is that, unde forms of government that profess long ag to have renounced and abandoned it, still rears its head in forms more insoki and more mischievous than any that i any age of human history it has assumed

This citation indicates the moral tei per with which Bishop Potter regards tl growing power of the capitalist class. 1 dominant spirit of commercialism is thing utterly hateful to him, and its an gant attitude toward the men who do t work of manual laborers is even mo repellent than the same attitude wh assumed by the heirs of a long line feudal ancestry. There are many prac cal suggestions as to the methods by whi the public can curb aggression on the p of organized wealth, and there are still m< practical suggestions as to how it may up the manhood of the poor by shorten i the hours of labor and granting wages a conditions which permit wholesome livi

The observations made to the well-to classes regarding their industrial dut are by no means confined to the dir employers of labor. Every one who p chases goods, Bishop Potter stron urges, is indirectly an employer of lal and is morally bound to give his or trade to factories and stores which ti aeir employees honorably and well. Nor do our industrial duties end with our rreatment of those who serve us. We all have another and most vital duty in the matter of moderating our demands !or service from others. One of the most dangerous foes of the higher life of our modern communities is the temptation to luiyry. It corrupts, says Bishop Potter. not only the rich who yield to it, but the poor who witness it. "As enervating ci!;iracter, as debauching morals, as threatening—nay, destroying—the purity of the family and the integrity of the individual, there is no other single influence that can surpass it, if there is any that can equal it. Ask any experienced worker among low and outcast women what in the case of young girls has been most productive

in inducing those awful lapses that consist in the prostitution of the human body, and they will tell you what madness seizes upon the young when the lust of personal display is appealed to by a gold brooch or a pair of diamond earrings. . . . The question must needs come home to every man and woman among us: 'If I have wealth, how far am 1 warranted in indulging this craze, in feeding this passion, whether in myself or others, or in using great expenditure in whatever form to promote the creation of a standard by which no good end is served and every bad and base passion inflamed and stimulated ?'" If we would have the community free from materialism, our own lives must not be ruled by its standards.

Books of the Week

This report of current literature is supplemented by fuller reviews of such books as in tke judgment of the editors are of special importance to our readers. Any of these hooks will be sent by the publishers of The Outlook, postpaid, to any address on receipt of the published price, with postage added when the price is marked " net."

Americans in Process: A Settlement Study.

By Residents and Associates of the South End House. Edited bv Robert A. Woods. Houghton, Mifflin & Co.. Boston. 5x7'/i in. 389 pages. J1.50, net. Reserved for later notice.

Birds of God: Angels and Sundry Imaginative Figures from the Pictures of the Masters of the Renaissance. Selected for Children by J. B. Radciine-Whitehead. R. H. Russell, New York. 11x14 in.

An elaborately prepared portfolio of monotint reproductions of many famous pictures, intended to serve as an introduction to artappreciation by children. The title given to the book is singular and not very apt.

Book of Meditations (A). By Edward Howard firiggs. H. W. Huebsch, 150 Nassau Street, New York. 5x7>* in. 226 pages. *1.50. (Postage, 10c.) Under this modest title is found high worth— the observations and reflections of a cultured mind.at home and abroad, at home everywhere that art and books are found, in sympathy with human life in all its experiences, and Nature in all her moods. Professor Griggs's "Meditations" are as many-sided as the world that suggests them, and stimulating to all that is best in thought and conduct. It is a good book to have on the table, convenient for intellectual and moral refreshment in the chance moment of leisure.

Corot and Millet: With Critical Essays by

Gustave Geffrey and Arsene Alexandre. Edited

by Charles Holme. John Lane, New York. 8'/4xlU4

in. *2. net.

There are no more inspiring names in the

history- of modern French painting than those

of Camille Corot and Jean Francois Millet.

We have recently seen in Sir Walter Arm

strong's "Turner" the influence of certain regrettable qualities of personality on the work of a great artist: in this appreciation by MM. Geffroy and Alexandre we have a more encouraging and optimistic impression. As to landscape-painting, not even Turner himself so energized and broadened it as did the more admirable Corot, according to some enthusiasts perhaps the only worthy successor of Claude Lorraine: while as to genre work, what name may be put alongside Millet's? Why these things are so may be appreciated first of all, it must be owned, from such a comprehensive and acutely appreciative biography as Julia Cartwright's "Millet" (a newedition of which has just appeared); such a volume as the present, however, should also be in the hands of every lover of French painting. If the work cannot be read in the original, the American or English reader can take advantage of this sympathetic translation by Mr. Edgar Preston. The text is lavishly illustrated with reproductions of Corot's oil paintings, decorative paintings, charcoal drawings, and etchings, and with reproductions of Millet's crayon studies, pen drawings, drypoints, heliographs, woodcuts, oil paintings, and water-colors.

Correggio. Bv Leader Scott. (Bell's Miniature Series of Painters.) The Macmillan Co., New York. 4x6 in. 68 pages. 31.

Reserved for later notice.

Country Without Strikes (A). By Henry Demarest Lloyd. Doubleday, Page &" Co., New York. 4VaX7Vi in- 183 pages.

A timely cheap edition of the one important

book on compulsory arbitration.

« 이전계속 »