25 DECEMBER 1880, Page 2

Most disquieting news has been received from the Cape. The

Boers of the Transvaal have carried out the threat made through Mr. Joubert a month ago, have held a mass meeting at Heidelberg, attended by 5,000 men, and have proclaimed a Re- public. They intend, they say, to defend their rights by force, have opened the mails, and have cut off communication between Heidelberg and Pretoria. They reckon upon the embarrass- ment of the Government with the Basuto war, and upon the scarcity of British troops. Sir G. Colley, Governor of Natal and High Commissioner, has immediately started for Pretoria, and will be able to collect about two thousand British troops, who, however, cannot move rapidly. It is possible that the Boers, who proclaim Mr. Krfiger as their leader, may accept some compromise in the way of self-government, or may decline actual fighting ; but at present affairs look most serious, end the Government has sent out a regiment from Gibraltar, and stands prepared for much larger reinforcements. No one wants to oppress the Boers, who are very ignorant, and anxious only to go their own way ; but if defiances of this kind are not accepted as challenges, the Empire will go to pieces. So far as known, the Boers have no grievance except the loss of their independence, in which, while the Zulus were formidable, they acquiesced.