15 MAY 1852, Page 13


IF Sir Harry Smith had been a cunning master of rhetoric, which he is not, he could not have devised a more bitter rejoinder to the despatch of Earl Grey notifying his recall, than the one which is published in the Gazette this week. Failing in his Colonial Policy, badgered about this Caffre war, determined to confess or cone nothing, Lord Grey turned round upon his servant in the colony, dismissed him, and in a scolding despatch upbraided him for his deficiencies.

Sir Harry Smith replies, by acknowledging the receipt of a de- spatch "intimating to me that her Majesty's Government had deemed it an unavoidable duty to relieve me from my present po- sition; that my Sovereign had approved of the measure, and that my successor was immediately to leave England." The eloquent dignity of this simple acknowledgment is enhanced by the sequel. No sudden throwing-up of a duty so suddenly withdrawn : his "sense of duty" made him persevere in the expulsion of the rebels from their strongholds ; and, still under the 'ban of disgrace, he realized a striking success—probably the greatest of the war.

Disgraced, told to bear the whole burden of the failure, the veteran seeks no vent for spleen, no transfer of blame, by scolding his subordinates. On the contrary, although accused of hyperbole before, in praising his officers and men, with a cordial obstinacy he now insists that the praise had been fairly and hardly earned ; and he clenches it with repetition. We can imagine the feel- ings of the late Colonial Secretary on reading this passage, in which Sir Harry vindicates the justice of giving the soldier his meed of applause : "he does his duty, but human nature renders even the soldier's intrepid heart sensible of the approbation of his superior." The reproof is complete.