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found impossible to obtain them question. With
Indian in any quantities; and, when population in Africa, possibly obtained, the nature of the the elephant might be tamed African native unfits him for and used. work requiring steady care and At the present date various patience. The habits of African regulations dealing with eleelephants are not altogether phants and the ivory question similar to those of the Indian. are in force in different terriWhereas in India elephants are tories of Central, West, and found in thick jungle, in the East Africa. In most cases greater part of the eastern por- licences, involving the payment tion of Central Africa there is of fees of varying amounts, very little of what could be have to be taken out by those called jungle, and elephants wishing to shoot elephants. To are found in much more open all intents and purposes, howcountry,--sometimes in swamps ever, all these regulations when and plains; at others, in the in operation only affect Europark - like, somewhat sparsely peans. In the British Central wooded country which covers Africa Protectorate, during a such vast areas north of the period of seven years not halfZambesi. Through all this a-dozen licences have been taken bush country annual fires run, out. What is wanted, therewith the result that there is fore, is some method of dealing no thick jungle. Elephants in with the elephant question this country are so constantly which will affect the African harassed by native hunters that native. they never remain in one local- taken which do not reach the ity for more than a few hours, native himself throughout all and a day later are perhaps the limits of Central Africa will twenty miles away. Thus fail to have much effect. keddahs would be out of the
MONTROSE AND ARGYLL IN FICTION.
THE uncompromising student country, or that they should of history is seldom interested even correspond in character in historical romances unless he with their original prototypes. adventure among them with the But why should such romances intention of pulling them to be called historical; or why pieces. And it will hardly be should the authors of them denied that he may spend a make any pretence at historibusy holiday in the pastime. cal verisimilitude when they The ignorance which the general have no intention to attain it? reader is not ashamed to con- Sir Walter Scott was not an fess may not be the reason why accurate historian, as some men so many authors are so eager count accuracy; but he generto parade their historical ac- ally knew so much more than quirements; but at least it his critics, and so great was promises them immunity from his common-sense and sane his the hostile criticism of those judgment, that his inaccuracies more ignorant than themselves. were seldom of much account. There are some who maintain He wrote in the first place for that in historical romances the the amusement of those who accuracy of the author is of
read him; but he was intimvery secondary importance, and ately acquainted with the histhat no story should be con- tory and the colour of the times demned for its historical defici- of which he treated. His knowencies, if in other respects it ledge was so curious and so fulfils the requirements of the wide, that with perfect ease he best fiction. This is as much as re-created the past with what to say that an author may re- brilliant colouring and spacious create the historic dead in any humour his genius was capable. guise he may choose, so long as Naturally, where Scott has left he gives them the similitude of his mark few have cared to life, and makes them consistent enter into competition with him. with themselves and their sur- Comparisons are unjust, but roundings. You are reminded they are sure to be drawn beof certain historical romances tween authors who select the wherein the details are a mir- same subjects. Lately there acle of research and industry, have been published two books but the romance lifeless, colour- which treat more or less of the less, and unreadable. By the times and scenes depicted in 'A intuition of genius many an Legend of Montrose. Mr Neil author has persuaded himself Munro in his 'John Splendid,' that he can catch the spirit of and Mr MacLaren Cobban in his past ages without being careful 'Angel of the Covenant,' deal that his puppets should wear with different periods of that the costumes or exhibit the
or exhibit the stupendous struggle between habits proper to their time and Montrose and Argyll which
makes the history of the times a soldier, and a martyr: the a romance in itself. Neither combination is so all-embracauthor need fear any compari- ing as to suggest exaggeration.
with Sir Walter in the And yet it is the plain truth. matter of their historical pro- Not a great poet, he is yet ficiency. Mr Munro's book is among the immortals, because in some respects a quite unique in a happy moment he succontribution to our knowledge ceeded in putting himself into of the Highlands of Scotland a ballad which must always at that period, a brilliant inter- be quoted as the lyric of the pretation of the Highland char- very Lancelot of Cavaliers. As acter; while Mr Cobban's book, a statesman he had foresight, from the merely historical point judgment, and prudence, alof view, is a careful and lucid though for one so intrepid in presentation of the times and action, Montrose was curiously men of which he treats.
temperate in council. He was In his life of Montrose, Mark simple and sincere. The happy Napier has drawn a portrait of faculty was his to give a clear the Great Marquis which cer- and straight answer to the tàinly does not err through questions put to him by fate any lack of appreciation. It and circumstance; and there is an enthusiastic eulogy, yet you have the admission that its honesty has never been he was not subtle—something seriously impugned nor its es
wanting, perhaps in sential accuracy denied. But diplomacy.
In this Argyll no historian who is obviously had him at advantage, and so much in love with his hero pinned him fast.
But was could be trusted to give an im- the loss with Montrose in the partial account of his character end? Had he been other than and achievements, and at the he was, would he at this dissame time deal justly with the tance of time be the gracious enemies of that hero. To figure he is ? For he stands Napier, Montrose was the al- out from among his contemmost divine hero, and Argyll poraries by reason of this simthe villain, mean, treacherous, plicity and honesty, quite as and contemptible. It is said much as by his brilliant fame that the devil is not so black as a soldier. Charles I. could as he is painted; and even not have had a better counsellor Argyll, you may be sure, had than Montrose; but Charles, some good points. You need though he came to recognise not, however, look for them in before the end the greatness of Napier's life of Montrose. But this Bayard of the North, with if you must not go to Napier his usual bad luck did not do for an impartial picture of so in time. Had it been otherArgyll, you may well be satis- wise, the history of England fied with his portrait of Mon- and Scotland might read very trose. There is not a more differently to-day. For he was winsome and brilliant figure in a great soldier as well as history. A poet, a statesman, statesman. His campaigns
against the successive armies hostile scribe noted that it was raised against him by the Cov- stately to affectation. And enant have gained for him a what if it were ? From his unique place in the history boyhood he dreamed of doing of warfare. Reading of them, great deeds, and was you are reminded on a small in everything but years when scale of the achievements of he was seventeen.
He paid Alexander and Napoleon. In fastidious attention to his dress, all three there was genius, so that his appearance should combined with physical energy always be worthy of himself nothing less than dæmonic, and of the occasion. Even which by a miracle they trans- on the morning of his execumitted to their followers. The tion he did not forget what forced marches of Montrose will was due to the head which compare with anything of the should shortly adorn the Tolkind in history. With a hand- booth of Edinburgh. Such ful of Highland caterans and trifles are eloquent of the type wild Irishmen, whose weapons of man. He loved women, and included bows and arrows, and art, and flowers: that did not flinty stones picked from the prevent him from being the most hillside, he fought and won six brilliant soldier of his time, and battles, against a foe in each a pattern to posterity. instance superior in numbers, Argyll was not only the cavalry, and artillery. But it enemy, he was the antithesis, was a cruel fortune that fought of Montrose.
His appearance against Montrose and ruined was repellent, and his disposihim in the end. Had not tion reserved and furtive. He MacDonald and Aboyne for- was of a scholarly habit of saken him after the battle of mind, and, like many another Kilsyth, he must have brought statesman, his books were his the Covenant to its knees. dearest companions, and often But it was not to be; and his sole consolation. But his Fate, not Corydon, vanquished party in the State set no store him at Philiphaugh. But by such literary attainments as
had he been able to he could boast, and posterity join forces with the king, it knows only by hearsay that was too late for him then to Gillespie Gruamach have rolled back the tide of student of
and books. victory that
carrying His statesmanship has been as Cromwell to supreme power. bitterly condemned as at one One thing alone is certain, that time it was praised. In private of all his generals Charles had life he may have been a paragon but one who was Cromwell's of virtue, but as a statesman match, and they never met. he was absolutely unscrupulous. Of his appearance, the various His supporters forgave him chroniclers are agreed that he everything; his enemies forgave was of middle height, and well- him nothing. He did not inproportioned, fair, and with vent the Covenant, but he used grey eyes. Of his manner, a
it to further his own ends.
Doubtless he believed his policy the ‘Legend' into the first rank was the best that could be of his creator's works. Cerdevised for Scotland, but it got tainly the manner in which mixed up with his own personal you are introduced to Montrose ambition It would be unjust is not very happy. It is true to call him a hypocrite ; for that he escaped out of England under the cloak of religion in into Scotland disguised as those days, and even now, men groom.
But when he joined thought they were justified in MacDonald and the Chiefs at avenging their own wrongs. Blair Athole and unfurled the The deception was gross enough Royal Standard, he appeared to permit them to commit mur- without disguise, accompanied der in the name of the Lord. by a single attendant and Argyll's religion was not a very dressed in kilts.
The scene beautiful thing ; but that was is well described by Mark no reason why it should not Napier. But Scott preferred have suited him, and held him to introduce him as a groom tight as in a vice. It is quite named Anderson, in attendcertain that, like the skilful ance on his cousin Lord Kilpolitician he was, he saw the pont. Although you are aware trend of Scottish opinion, and that the somewhat forward shaped his policy accordingly. servant of the young lord is Such are not the great men of the Marquis of Montrose, yet, the world, but they make his- to all intents and purposes, he tory all the same. Montrose is Anderson until he discloses was a greater statesman than himself to the Chiefs, and the Argyll, because his mind was whole effect is somewhat disapless trammelled; he had a more pointing. The scene between manly ideal—that is to say, a Montrose and Sir Duncan
healthy conception of Campbell is excellent; and it is what men's lives on the earth the only one where Montrose is should be. This is evident put on his mettle. He is not enough if you consider that we one of Sir Walter's great hisof the nineteenth century could torical portraits; and it is in the have lived and enjoyed liberty purely explanatory parts of the of thought and action under narrative that you get a glimpse Montrose; but to be subservient of Scott's estimate of him. The to the policy of Argyll, and common charge brought against his black-hatted, black-coated Montrose is that he joined the mob, would be so intolerable Covenant because he had been that death were not so hideous slighted at Court; and that he an alternative.
deserted the Covenant because ‘A Legend of Montrose,' Argyll, and not himself, was though a favourite with all given the chief place in council lovers of Scott, is not one of and command. Yet the date his masterpieces. It contains of his reception by Charles and one of the happiest creations of that of his signing the Covenant his genius; but, superb as he is, cannot be made to agree; and Dugald Dalgetty cannot carry he parted with the Covenanters