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which would accrue to Russia from Burnes down to Vambéry, proves her occupation of Persia : I have that there has ever been an abunshown that such an occupation dance of horses among the Turkoffers no difficulties; that, com- man tribes : horses ready to do the pared with an attack on India, it work of the desert, hardy, stoutis the merest child's-play; and that hearted, full of endurance. No: it will be attempted as soon as in those nomadic countries it is opportunity offers, certainly long safe to assert that history repeats before the more difficult enterprise itself. From the earliest days, is even thought of. And yet this from Mahmoud of Ghazni down to Fortnightly Reviewer, who pro- Nadir Shah, the Turkman cavalry fesses to expose all the designs of have invariably taken service with Russia, to give in detail all her the conqueror of their desert homes, means of operating against British more especially when they have interests in Asia, and discusses the realised the fact that that conchances of success of an attempt to queror desires to lead them to pasinvade British India, avoids all tures rich in booty.
As light reference to the subject, which is cavalry they can scarcely be surfar more prominent in inner Rus- passed ; they are accustomed to sian politics than an attack on Eastern warfare ; they make war India—which has prompted the re support war. With such men cent movements of the Russian Russia could ill dispense, and we troops in Asia-and to
cover may be sure that she has not diswhich, demonstrations are inces- pensed with them. There are, at santly made against the frontiers this moment, not hundreds, but of Afghanistan. Neglecting the thousands, of them at the beck and substance, the Reviewer has ex- call of Russia. hausted all his energies to combat Again, the Reviewer adds: “ But the shadow.
above all, I think that Russia But this is not all. Even when would have, for a great number he refers to the chances of success of years to come, far more diffiof an invasion of India by Russia, culty in finding the enormous the Reviewer greatly underrates train which would be necessary the advantages at the disposal of for marching 100,000 men across the latter Power. He says, for from Herat to Kandahar, than we instance, that he doubts “ whether should find difficulty in supplying the Russians have more than a few an army of 80,000 men at Kanhundred Turcoman cavalry ready dahar.” Is the writer, then, igfor a long march.” What then, I norant of the marvelous fertility may ask, has become of the sur- of the valley of the Herirud; vivors of the defeat of Geok Tépé that its natural productions alone in January 1881 ? Of the many fit it to become the base of operathousand Turkmans who fought, tions for an army second to none some thousands at least submitted. in the world ? It may be that the What, too, has become of the Turk- irrigation works which fostered mans of Merv? The whole of the natural fertility of the valley these yielded without striking a are in a state of disrepair; but a blow, and we may be sure that conqueror
such as Russia, who Russia did not slaughter them in never makes a step except to gain cold blood. It cannot be that they ground towards a predetermined have no trained horses. The tes- goal, could in a very brief space of timony of many travellers, from time repair those damages, and restore to the “granary and gar- in the 'St James's Gazette,' “could den of Central Asia" the prosper- be assembled on the western border ity which procured for it that to confront a European foe? For significant title. Then, once of the above totals but 1,275,000 more, the distance to Kandahar, men, with 2982 guns, are available what is it? Under 370 miles. for this purpose, and 400,000 are The first 160 miles and the last reserve divisions with their artil75 present but few difficulties tolery, whose formation would rean army, Between the points quire considerable time. The best reached by these two lines—that judges opine that nothing approachis, between Farrah and Girishk - ing a million could be brought into the road is not easy, and there is the field against a western enemy." a scarcity of water.
But a great
Whence, then, does the Reviewer Power like Russia, which should obtain his four millions, a host have had time to settle in its new which is to eat up Austria-Hunbase on the Herirud, — and it gary, and the contemplation of would not take long, — would which makes even Bismarck tremmake light of such difficulties. It ble? Not more than nine or ten seems probable, indeed, that she years have elapsed since the whole will have a line of rail to Girishk might of Russia, aided by Roubefore England has one to Kan- mania, was brought into the field dahar. And then, on whose side to crush Turkey. Not only did would the difficulties be the she accomplish her self-imposed greater? When the Russian line task with great difficulty, but unis open to Sarakhs, it will not, less she had corrupted more than under the altered circumstances of one Turkish general, she would the day, long stop short of Herat. have failed altogether to accomplish And after that, it will go on, by it. Is it possible that she has easy stages, to Sabzwar, to Farrah, grown so much within the last ten to Girishk. Between that place years as to be able now to meet in and Kandahar, or, possibly on the the field, without a pang, the comHelmand, not far from Girishk, bined armies of Germany and Auswill occur, in some future time, tria-Hungary—this nation which the inevitable conflict.
then, though ably supported by But if the Reviewer has under- allies, was but just able to cope rated the power of Russia for mis with Turkey ? Common-sense forchief, and misconceived her im- bids one to think so. The historimediate aims, in Central Asia, he cal conscience of every man who has, on the other hand, enormously has studied the European question exaggerated her striking capability repels the idea. It cannot be, it in Europe. His estimate of the is not, true. total mobilised army, amounting to One word more, and it is a word four millions, is absurd. In the personal to myself. The Fortadmirable article on the Russian nightly Reviewer singles out for army which appeared in • Maga' attack an idea I propounded a for last month the correct figures short time ago, to the effect that are given. These figures, which in the event of a war for existence are confirmed by Colonel Vogt's between England and Russia it • Die Europäischen Heeren der would be a wise policy to land a Gegenwart,' reduce the Reviewer's combined army of English and numbers by one-half. “How many Turkish troops on the isthmus of these," pertinently asks a writer which separates the Black Sea from the Caspian, and thus to sever the would go to make up the invading communications between Russia army of Persia or of India. What and her Asiatic army. I had not an opportunity for England to reput forward this idea without much cover her lost influence in the forthought, or without the conviction mer country! that superficial critics would run I have now concluded my critifoul of it. I am, however, spared cisms. If, in many points, I have the trouble of defending it in these differed from the Fortnightly Repages, for this Reviewer, whilst viewer, there are at all events some attacking it in one place, com- on which we are at perfect accord. pletely justifies it in another. I desire here publicly to thank him Whilst, in page 342, he calls it for his protest against the gratui“mere map-maker's warfare," he tous unwise surrender of Port admits, in page 344, “that the Hamilton, the reduction of the Russians themselves think that we Horse Artillery, and the timorous could harm them in the Caucasus policy regarding the New Hebrides: and keep them out of Asia Minor I wish to acknowledge the patriotic by cutting their maritime supply- tone of his article, and to welcome line across the Black Sea." Fur- his conviction, which I share, that ther, in page 346, he allows that whenever the tremendous battle the very presence of an English between England and her colossal fleet in the Black Sea would force antagonist shall occur, England, if the Russians “to keep in the Cau- true to herself, will ultimately win. casus a vast force which would The conviction that an Englishman otherwise be available for service cannot be beaten has stood our in Afghanistan or Persia.” Surely, countrymen in great stead on many if the presence in the Black Sea of a hard-contested field; but never a British fleet alone would lock up has it been more necessary that "a vast force" in the Caucasus, such a conviction should be firmly the dread of the landing in those held than it will be in the coming regions of a combined British and struggle between the Anglo-Saxon Turkish army would retain there and the Russ. all the troops which otherwise
“Vivos voco; mortuos plango: suigura frango."
Firmly walled up in the earth
The mould is set of well-hurnt clay ;
Hotly from the brow
The sweat must trickle now,
With our grave task were fitly blended
A grave and serious word or two: If 'tis by goodly talk attended,
Then toil goes light and briskly through. So let us now contemplate duly
What's shaped by our weak hands and thews; The man is despicable truly,
Who ne'er his handiwork reviews. 'Tis this, that man's especial grace is,
For this was reason given, that he Within his heart and soul retraces
The things his hand has made to be.
Logs of pine now have them ready,
Dry and seasoned well belike,
The copper's fluxed; now in
Quickly throw the tin;
What in the pit there, darkly glooming,
Our hands with help of fire shall frame, High in the belfry turret booming,
Our doings loudly shall proclaim. On many an ear, on many a morrow,
'Twill vibrate on to distant time, Will with the heavy-hearted sorrow,
And with the hymnal chorus chime.
What to earth's sons, to wound or quicken,
The fitful change of fate may bring, Upon its rim metallic stricken, Shall far a pregnant moral ring. See ! white bubbles now rise thickly!
Good! the mass is fluxing fast. Stir in the potash thoroughly, quickly, Then 'twill soon be ripe to cast !
From all scum, too, free,
Must the mixture be;
From the pure metal then resound.
It greets him with a festal strain,
His earliest step in life is ta’en.
Years arrowy-swift sweep on amain.
With fiery heart is bent to roam ; Through distant lands he storms, returning
A stranger to his parents' home. And now, youth's glorious light arrayed in,
As if from heaven the vision came, Before him stands the ripened maiden,
Her cheeks with modest blush aflame. Anon, with nameless yearnings hidden
Deep in his heart, alone he strays; Tears to his eyes rise up unbidden,
He shuns his rough companions' gaze. Blushing he haunts her steps, her glance is
A joy to him all joys above,
To make sweet posies for his love.
Our first love's golden time!
The heart is lapped in ecstacy.