light-heartedly in his suburban study ereign in all description that counts for when he is liable to find himself at din- literature. With genius and the poet's ner with a lady on his right who shoots imagination a hint of Hakluyt or Humher own bears, and a lady on his left boldt will bear fruit an hundredfold; who flogs her own niggers. And the without it you may travel hundreds of consequence is that romancers have miles, and fill hundreds of note-books, been reduced to making expeditions on and for all your pains be never a whit purpose to study their local color. The nearer to the truth that maketh alive. press is full of paragraphs of what is It is because his imagination is torpid euphemistically called literary gossip, and mechanical, that the hack-romancer informing an astonished world how one is reduced to these laborious researches popular novelist is in Iceland studying after local color and reliance upon his local color for his next Saga, while an- reporter's faculty. We call it, in our other has taken his yacht to the Medi- solemn, modern way, sometimes, sciterranean to lay in local color for his ence, and sometimes art; we might with next Biblical romance. So business- almost equal justice call it Woodenlike has the practice become that an in- headedness. genious novelist lately deducted the Given genius and the poetic imaginatravelling expenses incurred in procur- tion the true school, and, so far as I can ing his local color from his income-tax see, the only true school for that intiassessment; and Somerset House, mate and accurate local color which the aghast, asked how the queen's govern- times demand is the instinctive obserment was to be carried on. I confess to vation of youth and adolescence, the being sceptical as to the value of the unconscious or half unconscious ab local color crammed for the occasion. I sorption of impression during the early have little faith in the Zolaistic “docu- formative years. Compare, for exment,” nor much more in the advertised ample, the Scotch novels with “Ivanpreparatory tours of our own ro- hoe" or "The Talisman;" compare mancers. You may pick up a few pic- George Eliot's English Midlands with turesque details in your fortnight in the the Florence of her “Romola;" compare Eternal City, or your six weeks in Hawthorne's New England with the Syria, but that is about as much as Rome of his “Transformation;" comyou will get of any value.

pare Mr. Kipling's India with his LonAn amusing incident, by the way, in don. The moral is, I think, the same in the career of a realist in search of local each case; and it is the moral of the color occurred in the composition of comparison SO unfortunately chalM. Zola's “Rome.” M. Zola was origi- lenged by Flaubert between “Sanally most anxious to draw his pope lammbo" and the Bible. If knowledge from the life, and for that purpose was is to be fruitful, it must be the knowlbent upon penetrating the sacred en- edge of familiarity, so thoroughly asclosure of the Vatican. His Holiness, similated as to be subservient to the however, courteously but firmly de imagination. clined to sit for his portrait to the But what criticism has chiefly to bear French novelist. Whereupon, our arch- in mind about local color is that the realist discovers straightway that the phrase has been used at different times limitations of this particular pontiff and on different lips to signify two diswould only have hampered his imagina- tinct and almost opposite things. It tion, and he is confident that he can has been used on the one hand to sig. make a better pope out of his own head. nify the magic of the unfamiliar, the roHabemus confitentem; the allegiance to mance of the unknown regions "over the lordship of the imagination is from the hills and far away;" it is used, on an unfavorable quarter, but for what the other hand, to signify the intimate it is worth it is a witness to the truth. touch of familiarity, the harvest of the For I take it to be an axiom of sound quiet eye and loving spirit in their own criticism, that the imagination is sov- little corner of earth.



From The Fortnightly Review.

England should, after years “of having RUSSIA ON THE BOSPHORUS.

money on the wrong horse," 1 be practiFrom time to time I have been privi- cally bolstering up the Ottoman Emleged to draw attention to the Eastern pire. question in the pages of the Fortnightly That Russia is absolutely certain to Review from that standpoint which it possess Constantinople within a few is the custom of those who un- years is admitted by all persons living equipped with any contrary argument in the Levant. Every ordinarily wellto dub Little Englandism. The Little informed person in Constantinople, Englandism which I have persistently Smyrna, Salonica, or even in Athens, advocated for upwards of seventeen not being in official touch with an emyears (ever since the war of 1877-78) bassy, which, of course, excludes the is now not only clearly within the necessary premiss, is of that opinion. range of practical politics, but is within The shadow (or the light, it may be) measurable distance of being the only of Russian domination in the Bospolicy which this country can pursue, phorus is one of those clearly-foreseen if it wishes to avoid some vast and ir- events which foilow anything in this remediable blunder. It is impossible to world with the regularity of cause and contradict the fact that, since the days effect. And if any one doubted this when I was generally belabored as a

before the present Cretan trouble, a madman, or held up to ridicule as a very little insight into the real worknaval man sufficiently unpatriotic to ings of the childish comedy which has wish to see Russia at Constantinople, been going on in Constantinople under an enormous number of perfectly ra

the farcial title of the action of the tional persons, in and out of Parlia- combined ambassadors (unparalleled ment and of every shade of political in its transparent silliness, except by opinion, have come to hold the same the somewhat analogous "joint action" view. It is safe assert that these of the admirals) would effectuall views are certainly entertained by all vince him. I happen to know, on very those who have studied the Eastern high authority, that M. Nelidoff came question with reference to its bearing very near persuading the sultan, some on the responsibilities, yearly growing few weeks back, to hand over the pain immensity, with which the British cification and the eventual government Empire is burdened as apart from the oi Crete to Russia alone. Whilst this lesser consideration of our supremacy perfectly sensible arrangement was bein the single sea of the Mediterranean. irg negotiated M. Cambon (the strongNot, en passant, that it is admitted that est and ablest diplomatist in Constanour supremacy in those waters is vir- tinople) got wind of it. He called on tually destroyed by the presence of M. Nelidoff and proposed a counter Russia on the Bosphorus (for such is scheme, to wit, that if Russia were not the case), but that, conceding the placed in this position, France should greater difficulty we should have in as- be allowed to occupy either Smyrna or serting our power in those waters, the Beyrout. England was left entirely question forces itself on us that, with out of the whole affair-out in the cold the rapid increase of foreign navies -and there is not a shadow of doubt which is taking place all over the that had not the calculations of these world, we shall have a good deal more two strong men (Cambon and Nelidoff) to do outside the Mediterranean than been upset by the incalculabe power can be managed by our existing sea which lurks in stupidity and shortstrength, in the event of some powerful sight, such as that now being exhibited European coalition against us. Apart by King George of Greece, the arrangefrom sentiment, and that still more ment would have been carried out. It deadly mistake of continuing to do a was known that England would not thing because it has become a tradition, it is impossible to discover why 1 Lord Salisbury is my authority for this.


fire a shot to prevent it; and that it pieces, William II. would have to do could be done without actual blood- something more than sulk in his tents. shed. But as soon as the position was England, and England alone, would be taken up by Greece of determining to the only power which would not be remain in Crete at all hazards, thereby affected by the pendulum swinging that rendering active steps necessary, the way. Nay, I would go further, and myaffair became impracticable.

self believe that we should be imThat this country would consent to mensely strengthened at sea by having fire a single shot, much less sacrifice our fleet to dispose of elsewhere. Enblood and treasure, to keep the Otto- gland's destiny is to be an oceanic man power intact is only the dream of power; that is, a great empire in which a few fanatics in the House of Com- all our great colonies and South Africa mons, entirely without following in the as well as our Indian Empire, are welded country. The country would not con- into one great confederation. The pettisent to anything of the kind. There fogging quarrels of Europe should fore it becomes a reductio ad absurdum. have no interest for us, and no one We bluster about the integrity of the realizes this so much as those who have Ottoman Empire, and yet we are not travelled and gone abroad out of Euprepared to fire off a pistol to add noise rope. Beyond European confines Ento the bluster. Russia and France are gland confronts the Englishman everyperfectly aware of this, and act accord- where, and he comes back amazed to ingly. Therefore it comes to the old find that practically the whole might of argument, that it is wiser for England this vast empire is utilized to seat or to allow Russia a free hand to the Turk unseat this or that German princeling than to make a show of doing what we on some little throne where he will rule do not intend to do. The contrary is over a country half as big as Queenslike no ordinary common-sense pro- land. The broader views of our great ceeding in ordinary life, yet, neverthe- empire are lost in a labyrinth of foolish less, it has the sanction of that ob- squabbles amongst some half-dozen scure, mysterious, muddle-headed way gentlemen, professional wranglers, liv. of conducting business which is called ing by that trade on the Bosphorus. diplomacy. Where does the diplomacy For England stands in mute attention come in? I repeat again, and would listening for the words that fall from challenge contradiction, that this coun- Yildiz Kiosk with greater interest than try would never permit any minister, for the great voice going up from the no matter how numerically great his vast home of future millions of her sons majority in the House of Commons, in her South African dominions. To and with the House of Lords under his protect the interests of a few wealthy thumb, to embark in a war, with Tur- Jews, be it on the London Stock Exkey as our ally, in order to keep Russia change or the banks of the Nile, is a from the Bosphorus. It is only neces- more sacred cause than to check the sary to state the case to see the entire intolerable insolence of a handful of absurdity of it.

treacherous Boers. Why should these But with Russia given a free hand, things be? Not even England is strong unhampered by English interference, enough to meddle with every trumpery an entirely new order of things arises. European quarrel that crops up, and at It then becomes the paramount interest the same time to do her best for her of France and Austria to see that Rus- distant colonies. No other nation in sian influence does not become all- the world attempts it, and when, in the powerful in the East. To France and course of a few years, the mad compeAustria Russia on the Bosphorus means tition for fleet building has levelled up everything; to England it means very the fleets of the world (as is the case little. The whole balance of power with the armies) the attempt to do so would be shifted, and if the Triple Al- will pass into the region of wanton imliance were not to be allowed to fall to becility. As has been said, England can


withdraw from all European complica- ministry? Is it because they want to tions with perfect honor and with self- see a Reichstag elected which will vote respect if she does so now, when we are a boundless increase in the fleet? Is practically unfettered, save for the un- the defensive power of Germany measholy alliance with the Turk which has ured by the greater or smaller number been bequeathed to us. There is proba- of the ships she possesses? No. That bly no statesman in Europe with the question is only the condition which commanding position now held by Lord decides the limits of the fanciful conSalisbury, and no statesman during this ception of a 'world-wide policy' calcucentury has had such an opportunity as lated to dissipate the resources of Gerhas his lordship of placing England many and imperil the peace of Europe once and for all outside the vicious cir- by transoceanic complications.” cle which former engagements com

Referring to the danger that the pelled us to observe. It is the rare op- legal weapons which the ministry deportunity which is offered once or twice manded would be wielded by more in a century to a great man.

dangerous successors, he proceeded:J. W. GAMBIER, CAPT., R. N.

"Where is the array of new ministers who are to succeed those now in office? Wherever you look there are only pliant and puny courtiers, who adopt every view recommended from

higher quarters. Promoted bureauHERR RICHTER'S GREAT SPEECH. crats or 'smart' Hussar politiciansConsiderations of space prevented that is all the material you can get to me from telegraphing any detailed ac- carry out a policy of this kind-mere count of the speeches delivered yester- tools, in the ordinary

of the day in the Imperial Diet on the emer- word. We are living to-day in a fedgency bill introduced and carried by erated state and no longer merely in an overwhelming majority as a reply the realm of Prussia. Let us also to the action of the Prussian ministry bear in mind that the German Empire in laying before the Chamber a reac- as such, has no native dynasty, and tionary measure dealing with the right that the imperial dignity itself is in of public meeting and of association. Germany no older than the Reichstag." One of these speeches, however, de- Here there was extraordinary serves further notice, both because of demonstration, accompanied by clapits outspokenness and because of the ping of hands both in the House and demonstrations by which it was ac- among the strangers, so that the presicompanied and followed. While Herr dent had to interpose and threaten to Richter was speaking yesterday his clear the galleries. sentences were punctuated with loud At an earlier stage of the debate the and continued cheering from the Conservative Herr von Kardorff had whole House except the benches of the declared with sorrow that “since the Conservative minority of 53, and when death of the Emperor Frederick there he sat down a crowd of deputies from had been a grave diminution of the all parties save the Right surrounded fund of loyalty in the country," which him, shaking hands with him and he attributed "not only to the repeal congratulating him on his bold appeal of the Socialist law, but also to the to the rights and liberties of the na- dangerous policy which had injured tion, the Conservatives meanwhile the agricultural interest, and to other maintaining an ominous silence. The matters to which” (in a low tone) "I following were the most important pas- will not here refer." Herr Richter ensages in the Radical leader's stirring dorsed this statement, and concluded peroration. He said:

his speech in the following terms:“What are the reasons of state for "I am no republican, nor do I cherish the course followed by the Prussian political illusions. I am of opinion


that the monarchical system has the quence of the growth of the social prospect of a longer existence in Ger- democracy. It is a result of occurmany than in any other European rences which cannot be mentioned in land, because the monarchy here is parliamentary debate, occurrences closely connected with the develop which provoke criticism not only ment and growth of the state, because among plain citizens, but far into the glory of monarchs of real impor- the ranks of the bureaucracy and of tance and merit is reflected upon thelr the officers of the army. Germany is posterity at the present day. The a land of constitutional monarchy. greater is my regret that Herr von But as for the programme Sic volo sie Kardorff is right in asserting that jubeo and Regis voluntas suprema ler, it monarchical feeling has not increased may still be possible for a time to gorin the last ten years, but that the cap- ern in accordance with it in Russia. ital stock of this sentiment is being The German nation cannot be permaconsumed away in a manner which I nently governed on such principles." should not have considered possible Berlin Correspondence of the London ten years ago. This is not

Times, May 13.





Queen Victoria's Veterans.--One of sixty years ago when they first wore the most interesting incidents which the queen's uniform. It will come as a will take place in this year of jubilee surprise to most people to learn that will be the inspection of veterans rep- there are yet on the active strength of resenting every battle fought during the army, if one may apply wat adjecher Majesty's sixty years of

tive in this regard, two veterans who reignty. This unique event will take enlisted, one in 1837 and the other in place at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, 1838. One of them fills the erstwhile on July 5, when the Prince of Wales, gruesome office of queen's executioner accompanied by the princess, will in. at the Tower. Fortunately for this old :spect the rapidly dwindling remnant of hero, who fought at Gujerat, in the the men who in many lands bore the Indian frontier war, all through the British flag to victory. The idea owes Central Indian campaign, and the Inits origin to Colonel Gildea, chairman dian mutiny, the office of yeoman and treasurer of the Soldiers' and jailer entails lethal function, Sailors' Families Association.

and his headsman's axe rests idle A sketch of the lives of these old by his side. His brother veteran warriors would almost be an epitome fills nominally more grateful of British history during the most glo- office, and he still moves about hale rious reign in the annals of England. and brisk, sporting the ribbon of the Ghuzni, Maharajapore, Aliwal, So- recruiting-sergeant in the queen's good branje, the Crimean battles, the Mu- town of Woolwich. Of the first war of tiny, the two China wars, the Maori the reign, the Ghuzni war of 1838–39, war, the various South African cam- only one man survives to bear its paigns, the rebellion in Canada, medals. He fought in that campaign, Afghanistan, Ashantee, and the Indian and also at Maharajapore in 1843. At frontier campaigns all will be repre- Aliwal three years later he sented. Some of the old heroes have wounded severely, and proudly wears passed by two decades the allotted the medal with the Sobranje clasp.span of human life, but they are now London Daily Telegraph. nearly as full of ardor as they were



« VorigeDoorgaan »