THE Nineteenth Century is full of articles of practical sugges-
tion. With the most striking of these Sir Robert Anderson's "How to Put an End to Professional Crime "—we deal in another column, but there remain four or five others, of which we may specially note Sir Henry Meysey-Thompson's on" Light-Weights to Finish the War." The average weight of menwhen stripped, in a troop serving last March, was list. 21b. the total weight carried by the horses 20 st. 11 lb. Sir Henry Meysey-Thompson comments on this:—" The man is the chief offender, averaging 11 st. 2 lb. stripped. Now I have been urging ever since the war began that we should endeavour to get a corps of men who would not average more than 9 st. 2 lb.
stripped What I want to do is to place the Boers between the upper and the nether millstone, between the nether millstone of our strong, brave, patient, but slow- moving troops, and the upper millstone of a few corps of light, active, quick-moving troops who could outride and out- last them, and who would be more fitted for guerilla warfare than they are themselves." Such corps, he further con- tends, ought to be permanently maintained as the best means of putting down risings after the close of the war.—.Another article of suggestion is that of Mr. Francis Stevenson on ,` Child Settlers for South Africa." Distrusting the plan of planting town-bred adults on the veld, Mr. Stevenson pro_ pounds a scheme, on the model of that followed by Dr_ Barnard° in Canada, for transferring as many as possible of our destitute and neglected children who are physically fitted and of suitable age to several specially founded " homes " or settlements in South Africa, there to be educated and trained for Colonial life.—Mr. Justice Grantham retorts on Six- Henry Fowler's condemnation of the circuit syLem with au amount of righteous indignation not unmingled with genial egotism that renders a dry subject positively engaging. We take it, however, that there is a great deal of truth in what Mr. Justice Grantham says, and says very eloquently, about the confidence of the local suitor in the Red Judge. —Mr. George Macaulay Trevelyan has been moved by the perusal of the "Letters from John China- man" to warn his compatriots against a more terrible danger than the Yellow Peril,—the White Peril. What he means is best set forth in his own words :—" Into every corner of our island, into every corner of the world, ugliness, vulgarity, mate- rialism, the insipid negation of everything that has been accounted good in the past history of man= post o'er land
All that is good in the and ocean without rest.'
world is threatened. Art, literature, religious leadership, political common sense, have in our island gone down before the tide in one generation." The chief cause of this bar- barism of taste and materialism of spirit is the printing press, which, in Mr. Trevelyan's view, has degenerated into a machine for the production of unlimited garbage. We have only space to test the value of Mr. Trevelyan's indictment by one crucial instance : "The greatestwriter of our age, who embodies its spirit with no mean ingenuity, is Mr. Rudyard Kipling. Whatever his own intentions may be, his works spread the doctrine that force is the only means, national wealth the only end, courage and application the only human virtues." Mr. Trevelyan would have done well to read Kim and study the character of the Lama before he launched this comprehensive libel at the head of Mr. Kipling. If he has not time for that, let him at least glance at Captain Mahan's article in the National Review. The best that can be said for this article is that it is not a "gloating jeremiad "—to quote a happy phrase from the Daily Chronicle—over the deterioration of Great Britain. Mr. Trevelyan, who writes with the omniscience of his great-uncle's schoolboy, is evidently sincerely distressed by the state of the Press and the music- halls, and the fatty degeneration of the heart of the great public, and it is notorio us that there is no pes- simist like a young pessimist. —Mr. W. H. Mallock in ‘U New Light on the Bacon-Shakespeare Cypher" gives *what may be called a modified adhesion to the Baconian view of the authorship of Shakespeare's plays as revealed by the hi-literal cypher applied by Mrs. Gallup. In the last _pages of his article Mr. Mallock, if he does not hedge, at any rate guards his conversion with some judicious reservations, and winds up on a somewhat ironical note. But his conces- sions are so considerable that he will be doubtless claimed as 4i recruit by the Baconians. Mr. Mallock is a very able man of letters, yet certainly not abler than Dr. Johnson, who, for .a while at any rate, believed in the integrity of Psalmanaazaar. As for the literary quality of the deciphered passage quoted by Mr. Mallock on the last page of his article, we are quite unable to share his enthusiasm. It is at best a very good 'specimen of the pseudo-archaic style affected by Mrs. Hodgson Burnett.
The place of honour in the Contemporary is given to a Sery long and able paper on "Militarism in Politics and Lord Roberts' Army Reorganisation Scheme," by M. Jean de Bloch. Anything from the pen of M. de Bloch is worth attentive study. He is unquestionably one of the ablest civilian critics living; he writes with manifest goodwill to England, and witha laudable freedom from violence or personalities. But 'we cannot help feeling that in his attack on the tyranny of the military caste he misconceives the state of affairs in this country, 'while his denunciation of the "political" is not borne out by the facts of the case in our Empire. Speaking from our own knowledge, we can say that in the main the so-called " arm- -chair " criticism of the Spectator has been taken by our military readers in excellent part, with perfect courtesy, and an admirable readiness to discuss the points at issue fairly and dispassionately. But M. de Bloch himself admits that -" in no other country would it be possible for an outsider to receive an invitation to lecture before naval and military 'officers such as I had the honour to receive from the United Service Institution." We might add that in no other pro- fession in England but the Army would severe criticism be taken with so much good temper and good feeling. The Law and Medicine are far more easily irritated by criticism. For the rest, M. de Bloch's paper resolves itself into a reiteration of his well-known view, reinforced in his opinion by the lessons of the South African War, that great wars must be indecisive, and little ones intolerably costly, but that the pre- ponderance of the military caste and their blind refusal to admit these conclusions interpose an insuperable obstacle to their international recognition.—Canon Hensley Henson in
Our Unhappy Divisions : a Plea for the Recognition of Non-Episcopal Churches" pleads boldly and eloquently for the admission to the Lord's Supper in the Church of England of communicant members of the non-episcopal Churches. "The formal barrier is the rigid interpretation of a single Rubric; the real barrier is the doctrine of Apostolic succession as taught by the Tractarians, and now paramount in the National Church." He contends that the frank recognition by English Churchmen of the non-episcopal ministries involves rather the recovery of a liberty that has been lost than the winning of a novel franchise; and that there are cogent reasons why the comparatively tolerant doc- trine of the older Anglicans should now replace the rigorous exclusiveness of the Tractarians.—Mr. Bolton King in an optimistic survey of "The New Reign in Italy" pays a notable tribute to the young King's capacity and sincerity. His support of the Zanardelli Cabinet, in Mr. Bolton King's view, has been only leas valuable than the backing of the Extreme Left —Dr. Raymond Maxwell, an English doctor who took charge of a Boer ambulance under the Red Cross during the war, sends the diary that he kept during the Natal Campaign from September 28th, 1899, to February 20th, 1900. It is a curiously dispassionate record of events and Boer opinions, enlivened by some humorous and pathetic touches. Thus we read how a wounded Dublin Fusilier, when asked if he had seen many dead Boers on Talana Hill, replied, Begorra, Sorr, but the hill was alive wid 'em." Perhaps the most poignant passage in this painful narrative is the following, written on the night of the battle of Colenso:—
"The Boer victory has been complete in every way, and con- sidering his groat success one of the easiest-won victories that
has ever been gained. All he had to do was to sit tight, and let the other side make a fool of himself. Five wounded 'Tommie.' were brought to my tent to be dressed, and one grey-haired sergeant, who said he had seen 21 years' service, fairly broke down and wept after talking to me for a bit. He said General Buller was in charge; that their orders were to start marching before daylight, and reach Ladysmith before dark ; that all their waggons were packed and ready to trek directly behind the troops ; that they were told that there was only 2 ft. of water in the Tugela. At last I asked him what he thought of their attack. 'Brute force and b— ignorance, and we poor Tommies have to do the brute force part,' was his answer."
The most important article in the Fortnightly is "The Crisis with Germany," by" Calchas." The main contention is the one that has been so often urged in the Spectator,—namely, that we can come to an understanding with Russia about many things which are vital to her but not to us. Also the converse, that what Germany wants it is impossible for us to give up,—that is, control of the sea and leadership in trade. "Celebes" points out that the pivot of the situation is the Persian Gulf: Russia is bound to make for the water there, and we should decide 'whether we are to oppose this or not. If we deter- mine not to oppose to the extent of war, it is foolish to oppose at all, making Russia agree to compromises which it is not in human nature that she will adhere to,—in fact, repeating the old mistakes as to a fleet in the Black Sea and the fortification of her Manchurian ports. The policy of Germany has naturally been to keep us apart from Russia, and thereby France also. She encouraged us to consolidate our power in Egypt and annoy France, and would hail the opportunity of war between us and the Dual Alliance as a means of making herself the workshop of Europe. Germany always fears the armies drawn up on her French and Russian frontiers :—
"To avoid war in Europe, which, whatever the result, would be an inconceivable catastrophe for the industrial Germany created since 1870, must continue to be the supreme object of Teutonic statesmanship. To secure that end the cultivation of amicable relations with Russia and France is indispensable. This can only be done effectually by promoting the theory of European solidarity against the two great Anglo-Saxon powers who are outside the Continental area—England and the United States. War at ECM, however hazardous, would be beyond com- parison preferable for Germany to a death-grapple with her great neighbours in the heart of Europe. If it were war against England waged in concert with Russia, Germany would lack neither food for her people nor a market for her products. The land route to Asia would be open to her troops, and compensation might be found there to any extent for the probable loss of the compazatively insignificant colonies she at present possesses."
We have tried to conciliate Germany in hopes that she will help us against Russia. Have we succeeded? Had we not better try to arrive at an understanding with the Power to whom we can offer things she wants and which we do not Mr. Stephen Gwynn's account of the late performances in Dublin of Irish literary dramas is interesting. Under the auspices of the Gaelic League, Mr. Benson and his company produced a tragedy written by Mr. W. B. Yeats and Mr- George Moore, and a company of amateurs acted a comedy by Dr. Hyde in Gaelic. Mr. Gwynn tells us that the uneducated portion of the audience understood and thoroughly appreciated the work. "In the entr'actes, a man up in the gallery with a fine voice, sang song after song in Irish, the gallery joining in chorus, and an attentive house applauding at the end. One began to realise what the Gaelic League was doing—and one felt a good deal out in the cold because one had to rely on the translation." Mr. Gwynn considers that the attempt to create an indigenous drama in Ireland is by no means negligible," but his national enthu- siasm does not prevent him criticising the results achieved, or the capabilities of some of the authors.—In "A Few More French Facts" Mr. Richard Davey discusses Freemasonry, old and new, in France, and rinintains that the root of French, and indeed Latin, Masonry is antagonism to religion in general, and Catholicism in particular. The historical part of the article is interesting, but the author seems to have secret societies on his nerves, and would have us believe that the present French Government is the tool of a small body of Masons, at whose dictation was undertaken the present campaign against the religious Orders. The
salvation of France, of course, is to be obtained only by sending for one of the Pretenders, and in this instance we are told that hope lies in the Bonapartist Prince Victor. It is the old story,—France is in the hands of a small gang at
ruffians, and a saviour of society is only waiting to be called in.—Mr. Boulger heads his article on Li Hung Chang with the question,—" Statesman or Impostor ? " His answer seems to be that he was both, but that his statesmanship consisted in retaining, or recapturing, his own position by secretly giving pledges to Russia; and being the only great official who understood much of European ways, he was able to make the Chinese Government carry out what he had pro- mised. But his diplomacy was so short-sighted and con- tradictory that he brought disaster on his country on more than one occasion.—Sir Charles Dillre is decidedly dis- appointing in his "Guerilla and Counter-Guerilla." He sets forth to tell us the secret of French successes in Mexico, but it turns out to be only what we and others have advocated for some time past,—picked men with extreme mobility.
Undoubtedly the article in the current National Review that will attract most attention is Captain Mahan's inquiry into "The Influence of the South African War upon the Prestige of the British Empire." Captain Mahan is no official apolo- gist. For example, he declares that the impression produced by the numerous surprises and some surrenders is "that of a proportion of incompetency in the grades of subordinate officers too large to be creditably accounted for." But his general conclusions are fairly reassuring. "Upon the whole, while I can see abundant room for criticism of detail, I do not in the military record find cause to warrant loss of prestige." Captain Malian, we may add, pronounces strongly for the official proscription of the Boer language.—The authors of the article on "British Foreign Policy" in the November Wire of the National contribute a supplementary paper on "Some Possible Consequences of an Anglo-Russian Under- standing," commenting on the reception of their views on the Continent. We cordially endorse their summary of England's attitude in the past on this question :— " We are as keenly alive as any of our countrymen to the dubious aspects of Russian policy; but has British policy been free from failings ? On the contrary, our dealings with Russia have been conspicuously marked by a vacillation which is largely responsible for the acts on her part which we have most resented. She has rarely been able to ascertain what we really wanted, or why we wanted it, while time after time she has seen us give way tinder pressure. A policy compounded of an apparent desire to wound, and a no less evident fear to strike, is hardly calculated to command respect. Our main desire is that, in the interests of the general peace and the well-being of the British and Russian Empires, both sides should carefully analyse and define their interests."
—Sir Godfrey Lushington writes at considerable length and with full mastery of the subject on the recent decision of the House of Lords, as the ultimate Court of Appeal, with regard to the rights of Trade-Unions. There is no hesitancy as to his own conclusion. He regrets that the law as it now stands should be Judge-made law,
and not law emanating direct from Parliament. But none the less, he holds it to be just and salutary law. "It will be a great protection to the public, perhaps the chief sufferers; to the employers it will secure some portion of that redress to which they are entitled, but which it is illusory for them to seek by sueing Trade-Union officers personally; and even to Trade-Unions themselves it should be a blessing in disguise. To any man, or body of men, immunity to commit wrongs is not a privilege, but a lowering condition."—Mr. Maurice Low in his monthly American letter dwells on the defeat of Tammany, which he considers should be as much a matter of rejoicing to Englishmen as it is to the decent element in New York. A propos of the great growth of expenditure on the American Navy, Mr. Low offers some suggestive remarks on the efficiency of that Service. It spends more money on gunnery practice than any other Navy in the world, but in addition to this-
" There is probably no other service in the world where favouritism cuts such a small figure. It is a comparatively easy smatter for a lad to secure a nomination to the Naval Academy at Annapolis, but he must be better educated and all-round smarter than the average lad of his age to pass the stiff entrance examination. The navy being a profession, just like the bar or any other profession, men go into it to make it their life work, and they are expected to show their fitness if they hope to suc- ceed. Influence occasionally helps a man to secure a desirable assignment, but it does not jump a man over the head of his associates. In the American navy the rich man is an exception, and most officers have to live off their salaries and support their families, which is often a difficult thing to do, as the pay of naval officers is not extravagant. But it has its compensations. Hen devote themselves to their profession : they make it the serious affair of their lives; and they spend more time in the study or naval problems than they do on the distractions of society. The result is a body of officers highly trained and extremely efficient."
We should like nothing better than to see these principles applied to the reform of the British Army.—We can only call attention to an able apologia for the movement in favour of excluding aliens and undesirables from Australasia by the Hon. W. P. Reeves, the Agent-General for New Zealand; to, Miss Gertrude Lowthian Bell's charming paper on her climb- ing experiences in the Bernese Oberland; and to the Hon_ Algernon Grosvenor's enthusiastic rhapsody on the delights of indoor skating.
"Magic Mirrors and Crystal-Gazing" is the subject of Mr. Andrew Lang's article in the Monthly Review. He says : "My own position, let me repeat, is the opinion that crystal-gazing, in my experience, has yielded apparent traces of the existence of unexplored regions of human faculty." Apparently it is not the imaginative person who sees crystal pictures, but the person who by nature can visualise, though not all good visualisers can see crystal pictures. The idea that accidental reflections suggest the picture is disproved by experiments made by a friend of Mr. Lang's, who covered his. bead up from light and looked into a black funnel. He there saw the same pictures he saw in a crystal,—he was a person who never dreamed. This points to the theory of a separate faculty, but allied to visualising. The gazer seems sometimes to see things which are being thought about by a person present at the time, but the gazer never becomes hypnotised, nor are the possessors of the faculty neurotic people. Mr.. Lang made his experiments on healthy British athletes and salmon-fishers.—An unsigned article on the loss of the 'Cobra' examines the possibility of the disaster having been caused by the ship striking a shoal or a wreck, and not by the collapse of the structure of the destroyer itself. The author questions the finding of the Court-Martial, and says "They held the ship met with no obstruction,. when the only search made to discover an obstruc- tion did not discover the after part of the 'Cobra,' which is certainly sunk wherever the ship is lost"— " Francis Gordon : a Study," by Mr. G. S. Street, has interest from the fact that the character studied is not an uncommon one,—a man of capabilities and enthusiasm who wants to do. things, but never does anything because he always sees the objections to everything. The power of destructive criticism takes away the possibility of action. A strong belief that reform is wanted in many directions never leads him to take a side and be a reformer, because he 'sees that the possible reform is only a readjustment and not an ideally perfect new departure. The character here imagined is, of course, a caricature ; but there are many people whose life is barren not from want of head or heart, but from the existence of too much power of destructive criticism.
The best article in Blackwood is " Day " by" Linesman." The reason of its excellence we take to be this. Many able writers have chronicled for us small and great events in South Africa, but " Linesman " is able by force of imagination to see the springs of action on both sides in the events he records. The result is that his story of a surprise of a picket that failed, but which led to a complicated series of counter-surprises, all im very quick succession, is striking far beyond the ordinary accounts of such things. Facts, however accurately recited, will never make us understand and feel as we do when the recital is warmed by imaginative force such as "Linesman's." A very curious incident happened after the fight. A woman on horseback appeared, speaking with the accent of America,. looted an English prisoner's boots, and disappeared into the veld.—Mr. G. S. Street writes of Byron, and in seeking to show that the poet was not so bad as people made him out,. has to stir up a considerable muck-heap, which he admits to be really there. The author regrets that Byron did not live to return to England and take a commanding place in politics. From government by vain, dissolute poets, the heavens deliver us !—Mr. Alexander Michie is inclined to take a much more favourable view of Li Hung Chang than does Mr. Boulger in the Fortnightly ; which view is nearer the truth it would be a bold thing to decide.