2 DECEMBER 1899, Page 17


THE military situation is distinctly more favourable than it was a week ago. We will take the position in Natal first. When we wrote last Friday the tide of Boer raiders was apparently flowing all over the country between Culenso and Howick—not far from Maritzburg—and Est- court, Mooi River, and Nottingham Road were standing out like islands in the flood. Now we can record that the Boers have retreated across the Tugela almost as quickly as they came; that Mod i River, Estcourt, and our other positions are no longer " contained " or invested ; that Sir Redvers Buller has got a large force as far as Frere—between Colenso and Eatcourt—and that any moment we may hear of a regular advance upon Ladysmith. Meantime, we have excellent news from General White's command. The troops there are in the best possible spirits, have plenty of supplies, and have suffered singularly little from the bombardment, the effects, or rather non-effects, of which are graphically described by Mr. Steevens in some despatches he has con- trived to get through to Friday's Daily Mail. They might be summarised in the words used by Wellington during the Mahratta cannonade at Assaye,—‘ They make a great deal of noise but don't seem to do much harm.'