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ing a majority, be it ever so small, in both Houses of the Cape Parliament, this majority is bound to increase steadily. It will include financial intelligence, the key to the outer world. The Bond will never be able to withstand this long, especially once they have lost their secret service funds, the absence of which will help more than anything else to bring to reason the Dutch farmer, who, after all, is not more disinterested than the rest of the world, and he will not grudge any longer his support to the power under whose rule he sees his way to prosperity. Once a group of these Dutch go over to the English side, and recognize the advantages of Imperialism, the spell of the Bond will be broken, the more easily because one of the greatest factors in Cape politics, which, strange to say, has been much overlooked, will have disappeared, too. I mean President Krüger, who up to now has dragooned the Bond (and this for years has meant the Government). Krüger hated the British, and persecuted Mr. Rhodes openly; he required his followers to do likewise, which they did without hesitating, and they have shown themselves as disloyal to Imperialism as it has been judicious for them to be. Their loyalty was in the interest of rebellion, and that was all Krüger expected of them, until the fateful day when he was ready and England was not. But once his influence is removed, nothing will be left for the Afrikander but to accept the situation, and recognize Mr. Rhodes in his true light, that of the greatest Imperialist of his time, and they will naturally expect him to help them in their difficulties. He will be, and he is, the only man in South Africa capable of enforcing a reasonable settlement, in which the rights of every private individual will be respected, but at the same time where there will be no maudlin attempt to patch up peace and buy loyalty by Imperial concessions. One must have a clean slate, clean to the best interests of Imperialism. In a country like South Africa, with only a million whites, there is no need for five cantankerous states; there has been already too much of home rule and race hatred; the sections must be politically united.
People in England make the great mistake of judging the situation from a general point of view; they have but one great interest at heart, namely, the settlement of the question according to their ideas. They ignore Cape politics, and they will not admit that these politics are also a factor which must not be disregarded.
In the Cape Colony, and especially in Natal, they make precisely the same mistake, though, from the opposite point of view, and they will insist on the settlement being made according to their own local opinions. This unexpressed but very real conflict is bound to have an influence on the course of events, and an unfavorable one, too. It is to be hoped that the Government will show itself wiser than either its friends or its foes, and, whilst giving satisfaction to the just claims of loyal colonists, will try also not to overlook the political side of the question at the Cape, or the men who are bound up with it, and in whose hands the fate of the country will have to be left, more or less, in the future.
When I said "the men," I ought to have said "the man.” Mr. Rhodes is the only one who can in assuming power really wield it, independently of political parties, or of ministers with whom he may be obliged to associate and work. The English public must not mistake on that point; the English Government must not think, as I believe it is led to do, that the prestige of Mr. Rhodes is as much shaken in South Africa as it is in London, where he was only made much of whilst people hoped to make money through him and did so. The inhabitants of South Africa know what they owe to the Colossus. They are well aware that his generosity has always helped those who applied to it, that his ambitions have never been for himself, that his work was always entered into for the good of his country or the benefits of civilization in general. They know that it is to his big mind alone that is due the great idea and principle of an Imperial Government gathering round it and under its rule the whole of South Africa, uniting its two white races, protecting its black and colored ones, and giving to this great Dark Continent the benefit of its justice and its laws, the shield of its flag and the respect of the world, which, while it envies and bitterly attacks England and its politics, yet bows before its power and might.
The time for writing in detail the history of the siege of Kimberley has not yet come. Besides, it would not do to touch upon certain incidents of it. But whoever has been there and gone through these weary months of anxiety, distress and privations of all kinds, whoever has been locked up in the Diamond City, far away from all he or she loved and cared for in this world, bears witness to Mr. Rhodes's admirable conduct during that interminable siege, to his kindness and thoughtfulness for others. His
presence there sustained the courage of all the inhabitants, who felt themselves safe whilst he was sharing their dangers, caring for their sick and wounded, always ready to do all he could for the welfare of his beloved Kimberley. He found work for the natives locked up in the compounds; ine manufactured shells; his own resources, as well as those of De Beers, were devoted to the benefit of the besieged town, and in comparison with those services, what are the few small quarrels he may or may not have had with Colonel Kekewich?
I quite understand that the military authorities did not agree with Mr. Rhodes, whose vast mind could not grasp all the red tape which up to now has been paramount in all the war operations. They would not forgive the Colossus his independence, the iron will with which he swept away every obstacle which came in his path. But, at the same time, this dislike ought not to have taken the form of attacks such as that in the NORTII AMERICAN REVIEW. They do not argue well, either for their authors or for those who inspired them. I will say more—they overreach themselves, and, instead of harming Mr. Rhodes, simply destroy the prestige of those in whose hands the supreme command of the army lay, and whose paramount duty was to exercise that command, and not to allow a private individual to interfere with "the only sound plan of campaign,” if the abandonment of Kimberley to its fate meant such a thing.
The “British Officer” speaks of the responsibilities of Cecil Rhodes. He may be sure of one thing, and that is, that whatever these responsibilities are, there is not a single one the Colossus will refuse to assume, or will not accept with the same courage with which he submitted to all the consequences of the Jameson raid. He will be, and he ought to be, proud of having had the foresight to prepare Kimberley in time for the eventual possibility of a siege. He ought to be proud of having helped to defend this "greatest commercial asset in the world, Her Majesty's flag," as he said himself. And he ought especially to be proud of having won the affection, respect and gratitude of those amongst whom he came to take his place when danger threatened them, and whose anxieties and privations he shared. This affection, respect and gratitude will follow him wherever he goes, and help him to win further laurels in South Africa, in that country to which he belongs, if not by birth, at least by the work of his whole life.
A great future awaits him there, greater than the one Mr. Chamberlain has marked out for himself, and obstinately denied to his friend of by-gone days, perhaps his accomplice in far-fetched and far-seeking schemes. When this war is over, when commercial peace and prosperity are restored to South Africa, when the political life of the country begins again, the world will see that it will fall to Mr. Rhodes to direct the destinies of the new Empire over which Queen Victoria will preside. He will again, by the very force of circumstances, become the leading and paramount power in it; his genius will urge him on to it; the thousands of people who believe now, and will later on believe in him, will carry him to the zenith of political influence. All the small, petty souls who are so glad, at this present juncture, to attack and slander a greatness they cannot even realize—these envious, jealous people will have long been forgotten, whereas Cecil Rhodes's name will force itself to the notice of the entire civilized world, just as much as his railway will attract that of the world of commerce. His great idea, the development and expansion of the North, will make its way as quickly as the engine which will carry, through the wildernesses of Africa to the shores of the Mediterranean, the fame of the man whose ambitions for his country surpassed in immensity the new kingdom he had given her. People will then remember that this giant amongst men was also as kind-hearted as he was colossal, as full of courage as he was of faith in the mission he knew and felt the Almighty had given to him to fulfil. England will then hail him as one of her greatest heroes; South Africa will be proud of him as one of the greatest statesmen the world has produced; foreign nations will submit to his genius, sovereigns will recognize it, and when for the first time he shall travel over that railway which he called into existence, and look back on the past years so full of trouble and anxiety, so embittered by the suspicions, enmity and distrust of his many foes, so saddened by the defection and treachery of his so-called friends, he will then only perhaps realize his own greatness, and feel proud of having won at last the hard battle he had to fight against a prejudiced mob that ever was, and ever will be, an illustration of the untruth of the old Latin saying, "Vox populi vox Dei,” because it only worships success, and, like most women, wants to see strength in the hands of those who govern it.
BRITISH AND RUSSIAN DIPLOMACY.
BY A DIPLOMAT.
THE mad rush of the European Powers for new territories and markets in Africa and Asia is the dominant feature of their external activity in the latter half of our century. In Africa, Great Britain, favored by a start of nearly a hundred years and a matchless capacity for colonial enterprise, has kept ahead of every other nation. To-day the Boers are checking her plans, but as success in her present struggle is a question of life or death to her, we must be prepared to see her eventually win and carry out her scheme of a transcontinental empire or entirely collapse. To state the problem in this way is to solve it. In giving satisfaction to her highest commercial and military ambitions, the monumental creation she has undertaken will allow her to disregard the parallel exertions of competitors, even if crowned with a practical success equal to her own, the possibility of which is more than doubtful. In Asia, Great Britain has developed a career of conquest even more brilliant, distinguished from her achievements in Africa by political and military difficulties, the overcoming of which has been a triumph of the Anglo-Saxon genius worthy of our highest admiration, and by a wealth of gorgeous episode which appeals to the imagination like the chapters of a romance. But in Asia the establishments of England, her possessions and commercial interests, have encountered, within the last twenty years, dangers and obstacles more serious than those with which she is beset in Africa.
It were idle to deny that the feeling of confidence, crossed by temporary annoyance only, experienced by Great Britain in meditating on her destiny in Africa, must make way for one of preoccupation and uneasiness when she considers her position in Asia. English military and commercial circles, the former represented by the