16 OCTOBER 1880, Page 2

The news from the Cape is worse than ever. According

to the correspondent of the Standard, who telegraphs on Wednes- day, the Basutos have assumed the offensive, and have sur- rounded Colonel Bayly in Maseru, and Colonel Carrington in Mafeteng. The former had been despatched to protect the town, but on the Basutos descending from the neighbouring hill, about 600 yards away, he found it necessary to abandon the buildings, the Government house, barracks, houses and shops, and retreat into the newly erected fort. He himself set fire to the hospital, in order to light the ground outside, and the Basutos burned the remaining structures. The town is therefore destroyed. The Basutos' attack on the fort was unsuccessful, and they retired ; but Colonel Bayly with his force remain prisoners, closely watched from the hill. Colonel Carrington is also besieged at Mafeteng, and has commenced eating his horses. A force of 1,000 men, under General Clarke, will start on the 17th inst. from the Orange Free State to relies e Mafeteng; but the distance is considerable, and there is great alarm lest he should not arrive in time. It is believed that the capture either of Mafeteng or Maseru would bring the Pondos into the field ; and the Tambookies, 98,000 strong, have already rebelled. Under these circumstances, an appeal for Imperial troops cannot be much longer postponed, or the flame may spread far and wide. The Cape Government has either over-rated its own strength, or has relied upon the undoubted fact that it can compel the mother-country to go to war, whether she likes or no. That is the natural result of the impunity with which Sir Bartle Frere was allowed to disobey orders.