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back the Lake. This over the long points that jut volume, by the way, opened from the lake - shore. The of its own accord at a page doctor fired off 150 cartridges whereon were inscribed the in a couple of hours last fall. names of a Spaniard, a Belgian, The prairie chicken are very and a German-all nobles of plentiful, and the fact that the high degree, who had spent a Dominion Government has denight here last September on cided to make the Duck and their way to the moose and Riding Mountains a permanent wapiti country in the North- timber reserve, and that the West. We, who had met them vast unorganised territory lying in Winnipeg, chuckled at the to the west of Lake Winniidea of their first experience of pegosis is mostly unfit for roughing it in Winnipegosis, cultivation, will prevent the but the inhabitants assured us game from being driven out
for that they had taken it all smil- many a year to come.
The ing, and they had evidently game-laws now, quite rightly, convinced the natives that all forbid duck - shooting in the the good sportsmen are not spring, so that we had to necessarily of Anglo-Saxon confine ourselves to fishing; stock. Then the doctor ap- but we left with the full inpeared, with an invitation to tention of returning, if possible, spend the evening trolling for in the autumn and engaging pickerel in the Mossy River; the services of some of our and we jumped at the chance, Saulteaux friends on the Pine paddling the canoe for three or Creek Reserve. four miles between low grassy Dauphin, with its hotels, banks thick with willow and fire-hall, churches, barbers' alder, portaging her past a log shops, and public park, seemed boom, and pulling out pickerel to be a centre of civilisation of two or three pounds' weight, after Winnipegosis. In 1896 and then throwing them back the "field" on which the town again. We landed at a minia- now stands produced 35 bushels ture rapid, and fished from the to the acre, and during the rocks on the shore till the mos- previous year crops of 40 and quitoes drove us back to open 45 bushels were not uncommon. water, and then we drifted The land is a rich dark clay home lazily in the moonlight. loam, and one breaking of the
There will be more names on new soil is quite enough to prethe register of the little hotel pare it for a crop, no baoksetin a year or so, when sportsmen ting being required. Hitherto at home realise what a paradise the great plain of 100 miles by they have within ten or twelve 30, that lies to the south and days of Liverpool. Besides the west, has been thinly settled, moose and wapiti and bear but the opening up of now that abound in the forests, you railways is rapidly adding to can shoot duoks and geese to the population. The principal your heart's content as they fly timber is oak, ash, elm, poplar, to and from their feeding-places and tamarao, and the uncleared
bush is thick with ash, maple, another train off the track cherry, and saskatoon. We behind us, and we found drove for hours in the after third in similar plight at the noon through park - like place where the first accident country that melted away had occurred the previous day. into a low range of distant Here our engine left us in quest hills. The Winnipeg train was of a flat car full of sleepers to seven hours late, having been mend the roadway, and we got “ditched ” 100 miles away in a off to inspect damages.
The soft place on the track, but we rails had been sprinkled with only caught the fringe of the fresh sand, and the ties were storm here, and the evening scored deep for fifty yards or was hot, with the crystalline more where the derailed cars clearness that comes after rain. had ploughed their way along
The two of us strolled out them. There was a little group across the little valley of the of hand-cars which had brought Vermilion River, which winds up the wrecking-gang, and the along a grassy stretch of oak men were working for their and elm, with green paths be- lives, maddened by the swarms tween the trees, that looked as of hungry mosquitoes from the if they led to some old English marsh adjoining. For twenty manor-house beyond; and we years, said the “rear-flag,” he both suffered from that strange had never seen them so bad; phase of nostalgia which occa and it is an actual fact that sionally attacks all exiles, I two of the hands broke down suppose, and which makes you and cried helplessly, tortured shake yourself to make sure out of their manhood by the that your present life is not all heat and the flies. Luckily we a dream, from which you will were only delayed for a couple wake up to find yourself at of hours, and then we steamed home, on the hillside, with a smoothly home-past lush restgun on your shoulder. We sat ful marshes, from which the on the embankment and looked long lazy bitterns fluttered along the rails that stretched gawkily up; past leagues and away, dark red, with the colour leagues of fresh young wheat of long-spilled blood, towards that rippled in the sunlight; the western sky. There were past tiny stations where brownstill pools of surface-water along legged children waved frantic the track, stained with the hues salutes from the wooden steps of the sunset; and the white of the "general store"; through arms of the crossing-posts stood jungles of tangled bush and out clear against a background juicy green poplars;
poplars; and of vaporous gold and rose that through country that was as foamed up into billowy snow,
trim and formal as a Dutch and then gloomed into dove landscape; till we slowed up colour and purple as the sun at last abovo a fleet of steamsank behind the grey slaty hills. launches and
We left " on time” the next Red River. morning, though there was CHAS. HANBURY-WILLIAMS.
THE AFRICAN COLONY.
THERE are more than suffi of the evolution of South Africa cient reasons why this book 1 as it now is. He can at most should find readers in our own indicate some of the forces that country at this time. We are have gone to the making of it, only on the threshold of a great and trace in the merest outtask in South Africa, and we line the shadowy figures which have neither learned as yet the loom out of the stories of entergreatness of that task nor how prise, and struggle, and failure to disentangle its leading fea- that have passed across the tures amidst the tangled maze stage for five centuries, and of party struggles and recrimi- have left, each of them, some nation, nor how to separate the episode of tragedy, to the scene central principles which can as it now lies before us. He guide us from that "continuous attempts no narrative of recent stream of incidents”-a stream developments, and studiously mean and muddy in its source avoids discussions as to the and in its issue—from which it network of complicated poli is the desire of some of our Par cies and the webs of negotiation liamentary legislators to draw that issued in the late war. the sustenance on which their Such a narrative and such disfactious energy may live and cussions would only divert our thrive. Under the mass of con attention from the problems flicting evidence, amidst the which he desires to place before baffling variety of testimony us, and on which, as citizens of which reaches us from men too an empire now brought face to much occupied with the grim face with them, we are bound realities of their daily task to to exercise our own judgment. have time to take a calm sur. That judgment of Imperial citivey of the whole horizon, it is zenship—how often it is shirked, difficult to form a worthy esti- with how much factious venom mate of the leading principles it is perverted, and with what which must decide the fate of imbecile futility its conclusions South Africa. But it is just this are often formed ! estimate which Mr Buchan's The drama of the past of volume helps us to essay, and South Africa is picturesque we earnestly desire that it may enough. But over by far the obtain the attention which his greater part of it an impenework merits, and the careful trable curtain of oblivion has study which, for its full under- fallen, which no historical restanding, it demands.
search will ever draw back. Mr Buchan does not profess We cannot trace the evolution to give any historical account of the native races, nor the dire
1 The African Colony : Studies in the Reconstruction. By John Buchan. William Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh and London. 1903.
struggles through which they exist as master, and as master emerged into the present tribes, only. As Mr Buchan lightly which are clearly enough graded says, “Concubinage is bad, but and distinguished, although legitimate marriage with halfthey preserve no certain marks castes is infinitely worse for the of their relationship. We see morale of a people.”
In spite the successive footmarks of of all the ravings of Exeter races of a far higher civilisation Hall, it needs only a very small even in the remote past. Eth- acquaintance with the real probnological science and archæolo- lems of South Africa to burn into gical research may hazard con- the conviction of any one not jectures as to the sources of that besotted with sentimental folly civilisation, and may some day the absolute truth of these supply us with some plausible words. Justice, fair dealing, theories. As yet the Zimbabwe that toleration which is of the ruins are only grim monuments, very essence of real mastery, which have something of the all these must be enforced; but mystery and remoteness of the slightest tendency towards Nature, and which mock the a flaccid intermixture of equalinquiries of the palæographist. ity is the fruit only of feebleIn the centuries that lie com ness and infatuation, and that paratively near us we see the way ruin lies. The Englishgreat epopee of Portuguese man owes his success as enterprise gradually dwindling colonist to the fact that he into inefficiency and decay. can be described, in words From no part of South African quoted by Mr Buchan from history can a lesson of sterner Emerson, as one of “a people significance be drawn for us scattered by their wars and than that which is conveyed affairs over the whole earth, by the history of Portuguese and home-sick to a failure; and Mr Buchan points Emerson hardly understood the that lesson in some graphic significance of his own words; pages. It teaches us the diverse but in them lies the secret of errors that may mar colonial our colonial empire. We have enterprise — errors which the “decentralised our energy”; we genius of our race has taught could not be true colonists if us how to avoid. France fails we wholly decentralised our as a colonising Power because sentiments and our memories. the Frenchman never can forget We have largely borrowed Paris and her boulevards; "he from Mr Buchan's own words is for ever
an exile, not to describe this defect of the settler.” Portugal failed from Portuguese enterprise, with all precisely the opposite defect. its romance and heroism, and The Portuguese colonisation to enforce the lesson which it broke down because the Portu- has for us. Of the Dutch guese forgot Portugal. “The colonisation and of its colliwhite man's pride died in their sions with our own, it is no hearts.” They sank towards part of Mr Buchan's scheme to the level of the natives, with give us a historical account. whom the white man can co What he attempts to portray
are only the salient features of under a firm rule : inthe character of the Boers, whom veterate intriguer in the face it is the task of future adminis- of vacillation and weakness. tration to weld into one nation There is no unfriendliness in with ourselves. Mr Buchan Mr Buchan's final verdict. oschews both sentiment and
"If the Boer is once won to our rancour in his description. The side we shall bave secured one of Boer character presents
the greatest colonising forces in the strange amalgam. In spite of world. We can ask for no better
If the all the dulness and lack of im. dwellers upon a frontier. agination; the strange pervers. African possessions are to be per,
plateaux of our Central and East ity that is so apt to turn to manently held by the white man, I obstinate lawlessness; the per. believe it will be by this people who verted moral sense that com
have never turned their back upon a bines mendacity with a sincere country which seemed to promise good
pasture-land. Other races send forth stubbornness of religious con casual pioneers, who return and report viction ; in spite of an occasional and then go elsewhere ; but the Boer ruthlessness of cruelty, which takes his wife and family and all his seems almost borrowed from belongings, and in a decade is part of
the soil. In the midst of any savcontact with savagery, - Mr
agery he will plant his rude domesticBuchan gives to the Boers ity, and the land is won. With all full credit for that strength her colonising activity, Britain can of will which made them
ill afford to lose from her flag a force "present an admirable front so masterful, persistent, and sure.” to savage nature." The Boer After the history of South suffers from no such delusions Africa, traced in outline from as are indulged in by those the murky shadows of the past, Exeter Hall friends of his with Mr Buchan naturally passes to whom political exigencies have the description of the country brought him into a comical
as it presents itself to the travalliance. He is subject to no eller to-day. No scene eludes sentimentalities about a Kaffir so easily and with such consumbrotherhood. If he suffers such mate indifference the
of the sentimentalities to be discussed literary landscape-painter, and in his presence without evincing yet none fixes its impression on the most emphatic disgust, it us with such indelible marks. is only because there are no This is not due to any persistbounds to the facile adaptive- ent monotony of tone. On the ness of his diplomatic astute- contrary, it would be hard to
If he lacks imagination, equal the variety that strikes he is also superior to any of its the traveller in the forty-eight delusions. If he is stubborn, hours' journey from Capetown he also knows how to respect to Johannesburg. We pass, in firmness in others. No fan a few hours, from the green tastio Utopia will ever attract foliage that skirts the sea him : and no doctrinaire poli- under the majestic slopes of tical abstractions will Table Mountain, and are lost make him risk his practical amid the gaunt cliffs and towerwellbeing. Such a character ing heights of the Hex River makes a man a good citizen Mountains and the Draken