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HE Anglo-Boer pot continues to sim- structions are put in their path, to take
mer on the diplomatic fire, and the railway southward across the Vaal
any hour its steaming waters may and Orange rivers to Cape Town. At be expected to boil over.
Pretoria the feeling among the Boers is cannot be for long, since England is now hot for war, and especially so since rapidly pouring her troops into South the Orange Free State has decided, in Africa, while armed bodies of the Trans- the event of hostilities, to stand by their vaal burghers are concentrating on the kinsmen in the Transvaal. Thus are the borders of Natal and on the Bechuana- elements all stirred up for a collision land frontier, in the vicinity of Vryburg. which is certain to arouse bitter race feelAt the same time the families of the Out- ing throughout the whole of South Africa, landers are fleeing from Johannesburg and may infect the natives with restlessand the mines of the Witwatersrand in ness and perhaps excite some of them to the direction of Mafeking, there, if no ob- uprising.
As we write, the tension increases and under the provisions of the Convention the situation becomes less conciliatory which conditionally gave the Boers back and more warlike. In England jingo im- the internal independence of their State. patience with the long and irritating ne- Nor is the imperial country now likely to gotiations is more outspoken, and now abate her demands for relief and redress demands the sending of an ultimatum to on behalf of the Outlanders when the Pretoria that will set forth unmistakably Boer oligarchy has acted so shufflingly the political reforms which England in- and contumaciously throughout the negosists upon on behalf of the Outlanders, tiations, and, moreover, now repudiates with guarantees that they will not after- and defies the suzerainty. Still less likely wards be either abridged or annulled. On are we to see her conciliatory after being the Boers' reply to this, if their hot-head- put to the great expense involved in sendedness does not lead them meanwhile ing out her military forces to Natal and the to precipitate a conflict, the issues of war Cape, not to speak of the loss which the or peace will depend. If it is unfavorable Outlanders must suffer in having to or equivocal, then an end will be put to abandon their homes and properties in farther parley, and England will proceed the imminence of war in the Transvaal to hostilities, and that with a clear con- and in the Free State of her neighboring science.
ally. The ultimatum she is about to forThat the situation is most critical may ward will doubtless take note of these be gathered from the combative attitude matters, and possibly will found upon now assumed by President Kruger and them claims much more onerous than the Boer Executive, which is not only ex- those she has hitherto preferred. Nor can ceedingly antagonistic, but threatening this be said to be unduly harsh on the and defiant, even to the repudiating of part of England when we consider the British paramountcy. If the Transvaal is grievances of her subjects and her longfoolish enough to maintain that hostile suffering in the efforts she has made to position and refuses to concede the Brit- avert hostilities, in addition to the menace ish demands, then the alternative must to imperial interests in South Africa by be strife, possibly precipitated by the inciting the whole Dutch community to more inflamed among the Boers.
disaffection. This is the menace which Whatever hope there has hitherto been England feels it incumbent upon her to of averting hostilities, we regret to say, guard against in the interests of the now passes, and the step must be a whole country; and she rightly addresses short one to a state of war. Even before herself to the duty, whatever unfounded these words meet the reader's eye the suspicions the course creates in President tocsin may have sounded and the era of Kruger's breast as to England's hostile strife be begun. There is, of course, still designs against the independence of the a chance that England's ultimatum, when
South African Republic. In pursuance of it is forwarded, may have its deterrent this duty, now urgently pressed upon her, effect on the phlegmatic Boer mind, aided she may naturally be expected to insist by the moral pressure exerted by the sight on the settlement once for all of the quesof Britain's forces actually in the field. tions raised by the hard lot of the OutYet we can hardly hope that at this late landers in the Transvaal. These will hour this may be the case; while we may doubtless include the demand for a shortbe sure that the door is closed to further ened franchise; for representation in the parley, at least of any controversial, Volksraad; for the independence of the shifty, and indecisive kind.
Nor can judiciary; for municipal self-government there really be any ground left for prac- at Johannesburg, with removal of the tical pacific debate, since the Boer Repub- forts that menace the city; for the teachlic appears to have withdrawn its offer of ing of English in the Johannesburg schools; a five years' retrospective franchise, and and the abolition of the infamous dynawith it the consent it was understood to mite monopoly. That the Boers will have given to the suggestion of a joint make a wry face at these demands, and inquiry. England, on the other hand, in- probably will refuse utterly to consider sists upon these franchise concessions, them, is more than likely, especially at which she rightly deems vital to the in- this late stage when moderate counsels terests of her subjects in the Transvaal, are discarded and war impends. In this as well as legally and morally their due case the bridge of retreat will be closed
for the Boers, and, however regrettable Britain has or will immediately have in the circumstance, war can hardly fail to the country a like numerical strength, be the resort.
consisting of the varied branches of the We have spoken of the dynamite mo- service, under the most eminent and wellnopoly and its grinding exactions levied tried commanders. To this strength a upon the British mining companies in the further army corps, of about 10,000 men, is Transvaal by a friend of President Kruger. to be at once added, composed of the The injustice of this impost may be gath- élite of the English army, with possible ered from the statement that the British contingents drawn from the British coloworkers in the gold mines have had to nies. Such of the force as is already in pay as high as $37.50 a case for the dyna- South Africa is stationed at strategic points mite used by them,- four times its value in Cape Colony, in Natal, and in Rhodesia. in the open market; while at that price To it important additions, of infantry, (subsequently reduced to $18.75 a case) the artillery, and cavalry, are now currently quality has been poor and ineffective for arriving at Cape Town and Durban from the uses for which it was required. But England, from the Mediterranean, and the injustice does not end here; the wrong from India; while strong reserves is intensified by the fact that no one can under orders to proceed to the Cape, as import the commodity save through the as Parliament meets, to be piaced President's friend, who enjoys the sole under the chief command of Sir Redvers monopoly of importation, and no one, Buller, an officer of great distinction, who moreover, is permited to manufacture it has moreover the advantage of knowing in the Republic. The grievance is one of the country. many which the British residents in the On the score of military efficiency and Transvaal have to suffer at the hands of the technical training of a soldier, the the Boer government, and the monopoly superiority must largely lie with the Britis said, with truth we believe, to be the ish. We say this without disparagement means of personally enriching the Presi- to the known excellence of the Boers in dent and his closest friends. The extent marksmanship, and to that quality which of the enrichment is seen when it is stated distinguishes them as mounted infantry or that about 250,000 cases of dynamite are guerillas, with a genius for taking cover. used in the mines every year, yielding in Herein lies their chief strength, added to clear profit to the Transvaal monopolist their intimate knowledge of the country fully $2,000,000 annually. The sum, it and the advantage they must have in may be said, is a comparatively small choosing the strong natural posts of demulct in face of the gold yield of the fence. For fighting in the open they have mines, which at the present rate of pro- no liking, while they are said to be afraid duction amounts to about $70,000,000 a of the sabre and the bayonet and chary year. That, however, is not the point: of close contact with cold steel. The the point is the existence of the unjust im- lesson of 1881 has, on the other hand, not post (against which many of the influential been lost on the British; they, too, have burghers of the Republic have strongly learned the use of mounted infantry and protested), and the questionable use made of irregular corps of horse; while even the of the gains of the monopoly, which do linesmen now take advantage of cover and not benefit the Boer State, but, as stated are expert at skirmishing and skilful in above, go into the pockets of President the use of the rifle. Kruger and a few of his personal friends, One material drawback from which the with a moiety expended on the govern- British must suffer is, as we have hinted, ment's secret service mission.
in not knowing the country as the Boers With the outbreak of hostilities, which, know it, while they will, no doubt, be at a as we write, appears perilously imminent, disadvantage in finding the enemy enit will be interesting to glance at what is sconced in the naturally strong defensive known of the fighting strength of the two positions rather than on the open veldt. Boer Republics, and of the composition They must also be at much disadvantage and character of the forces they are likely in the extended area over which the fightto be able to put in the field. The com
ing is likely to range, with vast frontier bined strength which England will have lines to guard or invade, and immense against her is estimated at from 25,000 to distances to cover from the several bases 30,000 men of all ages. To oppose them, of support and supply. But these are matters upon which it is perhaps prema- its gold, and who are constantly being inture to speculate. If the war comes, how- flamed by the jingo war fever. They of ever, there is no question that it will be a course deem war both unjust and unnegrim though probably brief contest, and, cessary and aver that there is no cause on both sides, a stubborn test of race en- for England's interference. Some even durance and hardihood.
go the length of saying that the English To those who, like ourselves, have been Foreign Secretary is in league with Mr. hoping for peace, it must have been a Cecil Rhodes and his imperialist friends matter of regret to learn that the ties of in seeking to overthrow Republican inconsanguinity had induced the Orange stitutions in the Transvaal and subvert Free State to espouse the cause of the Dutch rule. This, however, is not the Boers in the Transvaal. We especially attitude of the Liberals as a whole: regret this decision of the President and many of them, indeed, are not only with Volksraad at Bloemfontein, since England the government in insisting that Presihas no quarrel with the Free State, which dent Kruger shall respect England's suzehas always been friendly to her, as well rain rights, but are sick of his narrow as reasonable and just toward aliens intolerance and his impudent trifling with within her borders. Our regret is the the imperial Power, which he has the keener since, in joining hands with the hardihood to accuse of unscrupulous agDutch in the Transvaal, the Free State grandizement and characteristic bad faith. runs the risk of losing her own independ- They of course do not wish to see hostili. ence, while adding to the area of hostility ties, but will not weakly shirk them where and race disaffection. To Britain the England's cause is, as they properly deem, action of the Free State must have come good, and while the Outlanders' grievwith surprise, for its Executive, in ques- ances go unredressed. They do not care to tions between the Transvaal and England, haggle with the Boer oligarchy over the has always counselled submission to the term “suzerain,” but they want recogniless intelligent and more bigoted burghers tion of the bargain made with England in the neighboring State, and has hitherto when she gave them the internal indejoined with their Dutch brethren in Cape pendence of the State,- the admission of Colony in expressing a desire for justice the Outlanders to equal political rights
The crisis evidently, how- with the Dutch burghers. They feel, it is ever, has been too disturbing for Presi- true, that if this is resisted it is hardly a dent Steyn's “sweet reasonableness, and m er to fight over, in the case of a big its effect can only be to arouse England to Power in its dealings with a weak one. more determined action, however loth she But what is to be done when not merely may be to exercise it, to suppress disaffec- local but vast imperial interests are at tion and protect in South Africa the inter- stake, and when a great historic principle ests of her widespread imperial power. is involved, of “no taxation without repre
A still later development of the situ- sentation » ? This is the dilemma in which ation is the cabled dispatch from Eng- the fair-minded Liberals, in common with land, to the effect that the army reserves the government and the nation, find themin the United Kingdom have been called selves; and, though they do not love Mr. out and that Parliament has been sum- Rhodes and barely trust Mr. Chambermoned. In the reassembling of the im- lain, they remember that they are Engperial legislature the English Liberals - lishmen and are neither weaklings nor some of the leaders of which have been poltroons. A few days now must settle stoutly opposed to war - hope to keep the the matter, either for peace or for war. country from a conflict, and if possible In the meantime delay is favorable to force the government, even at the last Britain in enabling her to mass her forces hour, to open the way to an agreement. at the Cape, while it must be disadvanThey still speak very volubly of the Boers tageous to the Boers and put severely to being goaded into fighting by Mr. Cham- the test the resources of their commis. berlain's hectoring, behind which they sariat and transportation services. profess to see only the Rhodesian mining
G. MERCER ADAM. speculators, who covet the Transvaal for
The Release It must be with a sense of
of Dreyfus relief that our readers see the"affaire Dreyfus” relegated to the limbo of the past. In the poor victim's case truth called for acquittal, not for pardon; but in the condition France has long been in, given over to frenzied hatred of the Jew, to slavish deference to military rank, and to every unreasoning and iniquitous passion, justice was not in that quarter to be looked for. The pardoning act of the French government is, however, to be hailed with some measure of satisfaction, since though it has been suggested merely by expediency, it gets rid, for the time being at least, of an extremely disquieting and disturbing affair as well as a matter of grave national menace to France. The outrage is that though clemency has been shown the accused, it has not exonerated him from the crime with which he was charged; nor does the pardon given him vindicate either justice or the accused's fair name. For both of these, it may be taken for granted, Dreyfus will unremittingly still strive, despite the Minister of War's complacent wish to see the incident closed.” Closed it cannot well be while the victim of these years of exile and physical and mental distress remains still under the aspersion and the double conviction of guilt, and is entitled to acquittal as an innocent and sorely maligned man. Nor can the affair be considered by the Dreyfusards to be ended after all the insult and contumely that have been heaped upon them, while the scoundrels of the army staff, who have lied and intrigued all through the affair, are permitted to come off with flying colors, in spite of their villainies and the depths of moral infamy to which they have descended. Nor closed can the incident be to M. Zola and Colonel Picquart, whose cases have yet to be tried and their brave defence made good of an infamously treated and much calumniated man. Still less can the case be considered closed by the French government, which must be held responsible for the gross perversion of
justice that has taken place, or by the nation at large, that has to bear the dishonor which attaches to the French name for acquiescing in the foul wrong that was committed in the verdict of Rennes. Thankful Captain Dreyfus may himself be that he has at length regained freedom and liberty, with the comfort of reunion with his devoted wife and family. But while he has this boon - and to the poor victim of the caballings and machinations of a military despotism we can well believe it is a great and highly appreciated one - he has as yet no salve for his wounded honor or reparation for the years of torture he suffered in the humiliating garb of a convict. This is fully and righteously his due, and until he has both reparation and vindication no fair-minded man can say that he has had justice; still less can he be expected to acquiesce in the official eagerness to close the incident.”
Whatever theories may be offered in explanation of the extraordinary miscarriage of justice, it is surely madness in a nation of presumably intelligent men to stand by the ipse dixit of a highly prejudiced and unscrupulous military staff, instead of by the manifest truth and the unimpeachable evidence. To maintain the prestige of the army (this is the French contention)" by making a victim of one man rather than sacrifice the interests of all,” is surely a discreditable as well as an ungallant and unpatriotic proceeding. It is upon this ground that we find the judgment of the Rennes courtmartial so boldly and defiantly iniquitous. Upon no hypothesis can the decision of the court be explained, far less be defended. Nor could any valid plea be made for mitigation of the sentence, or even for pardon, on the score, as the court held, of
extenuating circumstances. If Dreyfus is to be deemed guilty, then in the whole history of the case there were no extenuating circumstances, unless perhaps we find such in the lengthened imprisonment already borne by the accused and the