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to prevent further disaffection among the Dutch colonists. With the exception of the relief of Mafeking he accomplished these objects in a masterly style with the materials he had at hand, and he then took the time he could well afford to take in order to fully equip himself for future operations. During the past month he has attempted nothing but preparation and we can judge how well he has done this only when he moves forward again. To the impatient British public the delay has been long and wearing, and the heedlessness of subordinate officers, which caused the minor disasters at Mealispruit and Reddersburg, has been most irritating. To Lord Roberts, we may be sure, all this has been no less trying, and the confident self-restraint he has manifested is, perhaps, a better evidence of his capacity than anything he has yet done.
perience in this war should have taught them to be. They are evidences, too, of the reviving spirit of the Boers and are sources of fresh encouragement. General Joubert's death is certainly a loss to the Boer cause. It would seem that he was not so popular among his countrymen as some of the other generals, but this may be a tribute to his wisdom, for he probably restrained their rashness. He was undoubtedly an able leader, and won the respect of his enemies as no other Boer has ever done. The comments of the British press at the time of his death were thoroughly appreciative, and were notable, inasmuch as they showed that the British people is big enough to grant due merit to a foeman.
In these circumstances only a few isolated events bearing on the situation need be noticed. Mafeking has neither been relieved nor captured. Colonel Plumer has been checked on the north, and nothing is known, this side of the press censor, of the force that it is hoped is approaching from the south. As no report has come from Pretoria of the defeat of such a force, it is only too probable that it has not yet been despatched. A British advance detachment, under Colonel Broadwood, finding Thaba Nchu untenable, fell back towards Bloemfontein and walked into an ambush in a most melodramatic fashion. If it had been planned as a part of field-day exercises it could hardly have been a more complete success. At Reddersburg a small British force was surrounded and captured after it had expended all its ammunition. General Gatacre was apparently held responsible for leaving it unsupported, for he has been sent back to England. These, however, are mere incidents, and are important only as further testimony that British officers are not all either so competent as they ought to be, or so careful as their ex
Of more general concern than these events were the announcements of the finding of the arbitrators in the Delagoa Bay Railway dispute and of the arrangement between Britain and Portugal by which British troops could be transported from Beira across Portuguese territory into Rhodesia. The history of the Delagoa Bay Railway case was given in this department in February. The award to the claimants of only a little over $3,000,000 was far below expectations. To a certain extent this is a private matter, but it had international bearings. If the award had been greater Portugal would have had difficulty in raising it, and would probably have been persuaded to sell Delagoa Bay to Britain. This was the outcome hoped for by the British people and feared by the Transvaal, and by the unfriendly. foreign powers. Britain was waiting for the award before definitely securing a route to the Transvaal from the east. The promptness with which the Beira arrangement was concluded and announced shows that alternatives had been considered and all preliminaries arranged. When the whole truth is known, perhaps it will be found that Beira is to remain British. Portugal cannot well refuse Britain anything, because she can continue to exist only through Britain's support. Just what
COMING DOWN FROM HIS PEDESTAL.
How the cartoonist of the Chicago Tribune regards Admiral Dewey's decision to seek the nomination as Democratic candidate for presidential honours.
and in the years to come prove an even more dangerous menace to peace than they have in the past. The Transvaal is much exercised over this new arrangement and France and Russia are far from pleased; but the strong British fleet in African waters was not despatched there solely as a hint that it would be unsafe to attempt to interfere with the transports.
Are Russia and Japan on the eve of war? Relations between these countries are more strained, but war is hardly probable just now, chiefly because neither power feels ready to fight the other. The latest cause of friction is Russia's recent demands upon Corea. The most important of these demands is that Corea shall not alienate to any other power, in any form, the island of Kojedo or any portion thereof. Thisis diplomatic language for a demand that Corea shall alienate this island to Russia as soon as Russia thinks the way is clear to take possession. But this island.commands the Corean Straits, and across the straits lies the kingdom of Japan. If Japan controls the Corean Straits Russia will have no free ocean route between Vladivostock and Port Arthur; and if Russia controls them Japan will always be open to attack. A less serious conflict of interests has often produced war. In other respects, too, Russia is extending her influence. in Corea. This, in itself, must always be resented by Japan, which has strong sentimental as well as practical relations with that country. Japan fought China over Corea, and was then de
part the troops being sent in by this route are intended to play in the war remains to be seen. As soon as they reach Bulawayo the railway will be open to them down to the point now held by Colonel Plumer, and they may be entrusted with the relief of Mafeking, as a first object, and may then co-operate in the attack on Pretoria; or it may be that a portion of the force will be left along the northern border of the Transvaal to prevent another trek of the Boers. It is not too much to believe that the Boers have entertained, as a last resort, the idea of a trek northward to the regions beyond effective British occupation, where they might come into touch with the German or Belgian spheres of influence
prived of the fruits of victory by the intervention of Russia; and in the distant past the intellectual and social bonds between the two countries were close. The Balkan states are always more or less disturbed, and trouble will arise in that quarter at some time. Servia and Bulgaria have both been making preparations, but for what no one seems to know. Of other foreign
happenings perhaps the most pleasing was the debate in the French Senate, during the course of which M. Delcasse, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, made a speech on the relations between Britain and France which was both sane and friendly. The apprehension with regard to Britain's designs, which seized upon France a few weeks ago, is rapidly disappearing.
Admiral Dewey is willing to become
a candidate for the Presidency of the United States. He is taking himself seriously in the matter, but that is not a sufficient reason for considering him a serious factor. It is hard to see, after all that has occurred, how his chances of election can be good. However, the game played for the Presidency this year promises to be very interesting.
Within the Empire nothing has attracted wider interest than the Queen's visit to Ireland. It was a happy inspiration that prompted this visit and the special favours to Irish soldiers; but the results can by no means be predicted with certainty. What was done was what a woman can do better than a man. The Queen's death will be a greater loss to the Empire than is now realized.
NATURAL VS. ARTIFICIAL.
AMES RUSSELL LOWELL did not sympathize very strongly with Thoreau's constant cry of "Back to Nature," and stated that he looked upon modern sentimentalism about nature as a mark of liver complaint; yet he thought enough of the hermit of Walden Pond to say of him :
"His whole life was a rebuke of the waste and aimlessness of our American luxury which is an abject enslavement to tawdry upholstery."
The manager of a summer resort on the Hudson River, N. Y., dedicates his descriptive pamphlet in the following words:
To those Sensible American People who seek Comfort Without Waste and Elegance Without Ostentation.
A modern protest against tawdriness has been made by Elbert Hubbard, the Roycrofter. His work in the Roycroft shops has been intended to show
people that they should have fewer things and have them better. Thoreau advised people to go and live in the woods where communion might be held with the mink and the woodchuck. Mr. Hubbard accepts the people's books and houses, but says: Let us have better books, more simple furniture and a life which is devoid of sham and false glitter.
I have heard Canadian citizens remark upon the lack of display in the equipages in which the wives of rich Canadians are wont to go calling and shopping. One brougham lacked a footman; another had a footman, but his top boots were not up-to-date ; another lacked a monogram upon the door panel. These critics desired to. see more display. I have heard Canadians complain, that our hotels are too plain and too modest and do not charge enough for their service. The air is full of protest against our simplicity and love of genuine comfort. Most Canadians are unconscious dis
ciples of Ruskin, Thoreau, Tolstoi and Hubbard; yet their more ambitious brethren find them worthy only of condemnation, having little appreciation for simplicity of taste and natural refinement.
Many actors and actresses gather praise from people who possess false ideas of beauty and artistic effect. So, much of so-called society rests on the elevated plane created by those who think glitter is elegance and audacity is breeding.
I recently spent an evening at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, the greatest hotel in a great city. The street about it was domed by an iron structure dotted with hundreds of incandescent lights, making the approaches a gilded pathway. The liveried menial swung the huge door, and we were ushered into high-ceilinged and well-paved corridors which led to the various rooms which occupy the ground floor. The outer corridors were dotted with groups of wellgroomed men discussing business and politics; while the inner were more daintily decorated and furnished, and boasted a fair sprinkling of wellgowned women of fashion and society. In the smoking-room men and women sat together at tables or played billiards at the magnificent tables. The dining rooms and supper rooms were radiant with electric lights, artificial palms, gilded candelabra, polished woods and cut glass. The furnishings were the most costly, the decorations the most brilliant, the service the most complete. The rooms were generous in size and appointment. But over it all was the atmosphere of artificiality. The ladies' eyebrows, complexions, movements and gar
ments alike exhibited a lack of natural grace. The air was full of hollowness, mockery and sensuousness. Indulged human nature that cried for stimulant, more stimulant, found here its last meal. When tired of this, there was an end of satisfaction.
Do not mistake me. I would not banish the artificial from life. What I would counsel is, that the artificial shall be a means, not an end. If we must make sacrifices let us remember that they are sacrifices, never forgetting that Nature is the balm for all wounds. Let us wear our artificiality as a cloak to be thrown off whenever the opportunity offers. If the development of the artificial takes precedence over the development of the natural, then we run a race which can end only in the crushing of body and mind.
To prevent this artificialty developing from the servant into the master, the individual must seek after the nobility that is in the world-nobility of thought, nobility of action, nobility of living. The noblest of thoughts will be found in the records of all great men from the days of the Christ to those in which we are now living. Nobility of action must be cultivated by doing noble deeds-deeds which are unheralded and unadvertised. Nobility of living must be maintained by getting away a portion of each year from the artificial to the natural, from the region of cosmetics, candelabra and footlights to the sweet bowers of nature's creating.
The late Archibald Lampman wrote a poem entitled "Life and Nature." He passes through the gates of the city and hears the murmur of prayer in the churches, and the solemn singing.
A sound of some great burden
That lay on the world's dark breast, Of the old, and the sick, and the lonely, And the weary that cried for rest. Oppressed by the sadness of life in the city he passed out again to the meadows.
Blue, blue was the heaven above me,
John A. Cooper.
OR the success of Miss Mary Johnston's romance, * which has taken so many readers by storm, we need look no farther than the deep-seated fancy that exists in prosaic days for the brave deeds, the marvellous adventures, and the courtly men and women ascribed by imagination to the world of 300 years ago. The unexpected marriage of two persons who are at first strangers, but who at last love one another appeals to the sense of romance in both sexes. Virginia in 1621 is the scene. A ward of King James, who flies to escape a hateful union, who is driven by fate into the arms of a gentleman adventurer in the colony, and who finds in him a chivalrous protector, is the heroine. A series of thrilling escapes and much carnage of pirates and savage Indians enchain the attention. That the hair of every reader rises on end (for bald-headed cynics without romance do not read these books) shows how perfectly the authoress has caught the spirit that produced the early tales of Weyman. One would wish to be young enough to begin life over again with Ralph Percy or the Lady Jocelyn Leigh for a model. But this being impossible, we must take the best substitute, and Miss Johnston provides it.
What one admires in the prose work of Mr. Charles G. D. Roberts is that the charm of poetic finish seems to breathe in all his stories. The latest volume, † containing twelve short tales,
*To Have and to Hold. By Mary Johnston. Toronto: Morang & Co.
+ By the Marshes of Minas. By Chas. G. D. Roberts. Toronto: William Briggs.
has quickly passed to a second edition, and one bears willing testimony to the simplicity and vividness which characterize the style. Mr. Roberts has made the expulsion of the Acadians his own ground in fiction, as Longfellow did in verse. The short episodes here related are all of the place and the period, but several stand out by themselves as excellent examples of Mr. Roberts' skilful art in telling a brief tale of romance and adventure. We have seen none of the stories before, and they form a volume of very considerable attraction and merit.
It is not strange that the short story has become a great favourite among readers of fiction. In the hands of an artist it can be turned to many uses, and Mr. Fairchild, whose writings are not unknown to readers of this Magazinh, has done well in gathering together for republication* ten of those sketches of French Canadian life and character, which show him to be possessed of a quiet humour and a real knowledge of the people among whom he lives. Mr. Fairchild has a special relish for the vicissitudes of country courtship, and the good-humoured way in which he can rally, and at length make happy a pair of lovers, is not the least of his qualities.
Mr. Crockett is at it again, by which we mean with no disrespect, that his astonishing industry and versatility have produced another new novel, a fat volume, in which the author's native humour and a desire to write a
*A Ridiculous Courting, and other Stories of French Canada. By G. M. Fairchild, Jr. Chicago: R. R. Donnelly & Sons Co.
+Joan of the Sword Hand. By S. R. Crockett. Toronto: Copp, Clark Co.