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IV. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION.
I have let it be seen plainly what I consider to be the cure for the disorders of which the Transvaal—no, not so much the Transvaal, but Paul Krüger alone—is the cause.
The duty of our Government is Intervention. Once before, when the Transvaal had shown itself a danger to South Africa, we did not hesitate to intervene; and we were right. But now the case for intervention is threefold more powerful than then. Before, the Boers had been weak, but not corrupt. Before, they had not denied to a great body of our countrymen the ordinary rights of civilised human beings. Before, they had broken no trust, and had infringed no Convention.
Now, as then, they are a danger to the whole country; but a danger immensely more serious and threatening
The real ultimatum has been sent—the ultimatum of the English people; but now the definite verbal one should follow. Let President Krüger be given a time by which a Bill, granting the franchise without restriction to all Uitlanders who have lived five years in the country, shall go through the Raad and become law. The time need not be far distant. The Raad is a small chamber, and can discuss its Bills quickly. An important piece of legislation has, before now, been carried through it within the space of twenty minutes. Nay; even a simple resolution of the Volksraad will suffice; for itself has enacted that such resolutions are to be the law of the land as surely as measures regularly passed.
Should President Krüger declare that his burghers would not permit the Act, then his word would be false; for his burghers never have opposed any measures for the wider enfranchisement of the Uitlanders. It is but lately that they acquiesced unhesitatingly in any such proposals as he might choose to make, though never referred to them.
If, by a given date, this ultimatum be not obeyed, then, in God's name let us end the matter once and for all.
As I have no wish to imitate the hypocrisy which I have so frankly condemned in the Boer President, I do not fear to speak of
On the contrary, I scorn these foolish babblers who prate of peace when there is no peace. Is it for nothing that we expend fifty millions of money every year on our legions of men at arms on land and sea ? If these men be kept for usage, what higher pur
pose can they have, than to liberate a great body of their own countrymen, and to bring peace and unity to half a continent ?
But let there be no more Majuba Hills. Let us arm ourselves for the conflict with wisdom in every point and detail. There must be no more of the ghastly blundering which wrecked our little forces in 1881. Since shooting is the word, let our soldiers know how to shoot. I hope there will be no relying on mere masses. Our soldiers should expect to be outnumbered by their adversaries on every occasion; so long as they are in capable hands, and under calculating but daring leaders, it may safely be left to them to prove that an Englishman is a man of better mettle than a Boer.
The Boers are brave men, and they use the rifle well ; but they have no principles of cohesion. Their armies should, in every way, be outmarched, outmanæuvred, outgeneralled by the English. It will be seen then that these over-confident enemies of ours will weaken rapidly, as their like have ever weakened, under series of engagements, for them inconclusive or disastrous. When the fight shall begin to go against them, and the war proves no mere triumphant succession of victories, then they will bethink them of the homesteads they have left, of the cattle ill-tended, and of the crops that are rotting in the ground. Then, too, they will have time to reflect that it is Paul Krüger who has brought them to this trouble, and who, with his corrupt supporters at Johannesburg, urges them to lay down their lives that the corruption may continue.
But, on the English side, we shall see that our men gain strength and wisdom from ill success; that the less easy becomes the work the more stubborn are they in prosecuting their labours. They will not soon cry out that they have had their bellyful of fighting; it is the lack of fighting, the inertia, the disciplined monotony of peace, of which they ever complain. Neither better nor worse than their fathers, they have the hearts of bulldogs; and, once they have set their teeth in the Transvaal, no power on earth will shake them loose from it.
Soldiers of the Empire !-brave Englishmen, Irishmen, Scotsmen, Colonials—into your hands will be given the task of subjugating this iniquitous ruler. Well may you go into this fight, from which many
you shall never issue alive, with a firm heart and a clear conscience. Never in the history of the world did Englishmen fight in a better cause. You will set forth to the relief of men and women of your own blood and race-men and women who have sent up a last despairing appeal for your help.
No people have ever waged so many wars as you and your ancestors; yet of all the battles which you and they have fought, three-fourths have been gloriously won; not one in a hundred has been a dishonourable defeat. Mark this! That in all your long
series of engagements, never has one so disgracefully ended as that of Majuba Hill. In other battles your hopes have been cast down ; in this dreadful affair your honour itself was—if only to be at last regained-lost, shamefully lost. And what is a soldier without honour? To men like you it must and does ever come before life itself! You have been taunted by a German woman, the mouthpiece of President Krüger, in this crisis, as hirelings, whose mercenary feet contaminate the South African soil. It was well that, from such a source, a taunt so vile should proceed. In such lips the lying, base name of hireling is well applied—to men who fight for their native land alone, and for one-quarter of the wage which is given to artificers and labourers. I know you well, for I have many friends among you; and I know how that for eighteen years every man of you, from general to private, has hoped for the day when the name of Majuba Hill, as a word of disgrace, should be sponged from the records of the British army. Many times, many times, have men wearing your glorious uniform driven others doggedly from the tops of hills and mountains; but, oh! not before have there lived enemies who could say that they have swarmed up a hillside and flung you from the top-you, English soldiers ! But all dishonours and reproaches can be expiated; as the reproach of KHARTOUM was, a little time ago, expiated by your brave companions and their allies under General Kitchener; and you shall expiate even this. I say to you: Remember Majuba Hill!
Rulers of England! The great body of Englishmen are with me, when I pray you to put a manlike end to the tyranny, the broken faith, and the craft of this Paul Krüger, whose Government has defied and insulted you so long. When you waited, and were patient, we supported you, because we believed that, when the hour should come, your deeds would be those of wise and unflinching statesmen, lovers and protectors of their country. The hour has at last arrived. Your waiting has been almost perilously long; wait, then, no longer! Take the right, firm steps to set our countrymen free, and our grateful hearts will be with you.
Englishmen-citizens of the Empire !—support your rulers in this course, and in none other! Let your spirits be united, and your voices be raised for justice; so that the nations of the world shall respect once more the steadfast front of Englishmen, without regard to sect, or religion, or party, in the cause of right and liberty; so that all the inhabitants of the earth shall reverence the name, the counsels, and the acts of the Parliament and the English People.
Englishwomen!—be with your men in this struggle! I know your tenderness, your love, and your self-sacrifice. And I know that, as the honour and courage of your fathers, husbands, brothers,
and sons is the most loved possession of your heart, you will be brave as they, for the sake of your country. If this war come and I see not how it can be avoided-give your soldiers the word of the ancient Greek and Roman matrons, Return from this war with honour, or return not at all ! ” Dreadful and desolating as war may be, the weakness and cowardice of Englishmen would be more dreadful and desolating still.
Think of the long weary years through which your countrymen and countrywomen in the Transvaal have looked back yearningly to England," and have wondered if ever the might of their native land should be put forward to save them. Think of that day when the people of Johannesburg, having suffered much for their love of liberty, shall weep with tumultuous joy to see in the streets and market-places of their town the faces of their countrymen who have come to set them free! Even now their despair is vanishing, and wild hopes are rising in their hearts ! Even now they seem to hear, dimly and afar off-as the beleagured men and women of Lucknow heard faintly, in the distance, the skirling of the pipers of Havelock —the eager tramp and the fiery shout of English soldiers making
Pray, English women, that rank injustice shall continue no longer, and that God's right at last shall conquer ! Pray in the words of Isaiah, the old prophet, who had seen many wrongs flourish boldly for a space, to wither in the end and sink, hated and ignominious, into the dust, that your soldiers shall be a power loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free.”
As for you, PAUL KRUGER!-ruinous, ruined leader of a vainglorious and oppressive people—know this! that our sweet England is set up in the world as a towering rock, to be a refuge for the distressed and overburdened, and a strong fort for the foes and haters of iniquity. And, God being with it, no power on earth shall prevail against its might; for in defence of justice it is unconquered and impregnable. And know this, rash, stiff-necked men, who seem about to take up arms against it, that your madness shall be your own destruction; for “WHOSOEVER SHALL FALL UPON THAT ROCK SHALL BE BROKEN; BUT ON WHOMSOEVER IT SHALL FALL, IT SHALL GRIND HIM TO POWDER!"