2 DECEMBER 1899, Page 38

SOUTH Ararasst Booxs.—Several books dealing with the subject which at

this moment occupies the largest space in the thoughts of Englishmen may be mentioned together. These are :—In the series of "The Story of the Nations" (T. Fisher Unwin, 5s. per vol.), South Africa, by George McCall Theal. This is a fourth edition, not the less valuable to the reader of to-day because it represents conclusions which have not been modified by the stress of recent events.—Majuba, Bronkerspruit, ctc. By Hamish Hendry. (Grant Richards. 29.) —"A vivid and concise record of our former fights with the Boers." Nothing could be more seasonable. It is at once a grief and a pleasure to see that we have learnt something from the past. The mistakes of our early dealings with the Boers seem now almost incredibly foolish.—Of a similar character is The Transvaal Boers, by Africanus (H. Marshall and Son, is. net),—an "historical sketch," illustrated by a map. We have already re- ferred to the work of Africanus in these columns, and will only say here that it is both impartial and full of knowledge, and deserves the close attention of all who are interested in the Transvaal crisis.—The History of the Great Boer Trek. By the late Hon. Henry Cloete, LL.D. Edited by his Grandson, W. Brodrick Cloete, M.A. (John Murray. 18.6d. and 18.)—This is a seasonable republication. The writer was High Commissioner for Natal at the time of the foundation of that Colony, and he gave the substance of this book in lectures which he delivered in the years 1852-55 at Natal. It is a story of weakness and mistake, but also of a distinct desire to do right on the part of the British Government, and of lawlessness and oppressive conduct on the part of the Boers. The bare truth is that the Dutch standard of right and wrong in dealing with native races is not our standard, but something much lower, and that the Boer standard cannot be compared favourably even with the Dutch.