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frequent attacks by torpedo- calls it-presses her forward ; boats, some of which must but unless we mean to recede sooner or later prove successful, before the advancing Muscovite as the crews of the ships would wave, we must make a stand at soon be worn out with anxiety Wei-hai-wei. and constant watching - for It has been more than once even at sea they would not be proposed that Great Britain safe. In short, the conditions should endeavour to come to a of the game would be quite un- friendly agreement with Russia endurable for the British ; and about China. A very excellent they would either have to pack proposal, if feasible, as comup their traps, embark the gar- merce pays better than war; rison (which would not be much and it is quite certain that if trouble), haul down the union- the former Power is firmly esjack, and “scuttle"
“scuttle" to the tablished at Wei-hai-wei in a south on the first threat of secure and properly protected war, or else stay in their ex- harbour, she will be able to posed position at Wei-hai-wei, come to much more advantawith the certainty of losing geous—if not more friendlysome, if not many, of their terms with Russia than if she ships, by the repeated attacks remains flitting along the shore of Russian torpedo-boats acting like a sea-gull, and alighting from a secure base.
temporarily at a
“secondary The question may then be naval base.” A bargain is a asked, Of what use is Wei- bargain, which sounds like a hai-wei to the British? The truism ; but before we begin answer is, that it is worse bargaining, it will be just as than useless (assuming war with well that we have something Russia possible) unless a de- substantial to show on our side, fensible harbour is constructed, something done, something beat an estimated cost of between sides potentialities and good one and two millions sterling. intentions. If we have this The above are plain facts, and “something” in our hands, we it is folly to ignore them. shall be able to strike an adWhat, then, is the alternative? vantageous bargain for ourCan we withdraw ? Certainly selves and our friends; without not. As well talk of with- it, we shall have to recede, drawing from Gibraltar, Malta, with the subsequent loss of Aden, and Singapore. Honour enormous trade interests in and interest alike forbid a cow- Northern China, and to the ardly policy. All the world is bitter disappointment of our watching our movements in the friends, who are looking to Far East; and it is not too us for a lead, and who, if we much to say that most of the “funk” now, will for ever after nations will shape their policy mistrust us, and will certainly by ours.
Russia perhaps is the leave us in the lurch when the sole exception : she means to go day of trial comes, as come it on; whatever happens, she can- must ere long. not halt. Her destiny-as she Neither “Little Jap” nor
“Uncle Sam” intends to pull be without delay treated on the the chestnuts out of the fire for lines indicated above, and not us; but they will do their fair held—as it is now—merely at share of chestnut-pulling, and, the pleasure of a foreign Power if necessary, of bear-baiting, if whose interests in North China we give them the lead by mak- are not precisely the same as ing a firm stand in Northern China. This can only be done Russia is our very dear friend by constructing a defensible at present: she wants peace harbour at Wei-hai-wei, and badly (also “at present”): her adequately fortifying the island. strategic railways not The command of the sea must finished, and Port Arthur is also be maintained : that goes dependent for its supplies by without saying, in the case of sea routes.
But is it certain such an isolated position. Shall that she will always want we do this? Or shall we let our peace? And has she not proved case go by default?
herself capable of tearing up The main consideration of treaties when they become the problem is that of time. inconvenient ? Moreover, we If the breakwater is com- know that she respects force. menced at once, it is almost Under these circumstances, it certain that a splendid defen- seems to us that if we really sible harbour can be completed mean to defend
trade (and the island can certainly interests in North China, and be adequately fortified) before not merely play a game of bluff, Russia can complete her stra- it will be wise to put Wei-haitegic railways, or be ready for wei in such a condition that it an advance on Peking. Are can be held in war as well as in there any political or inter- peace. Now is the time to act. national reasons for hesitation The course is clear, and delays or delay? We are willing, like are dangerous. Mr Punch’s rustic, to admit that Before closing these remarks Lord Salisbury may
we desire to say a few words information that we have not as to the climate of Wei-hai-wei, got. We do not profess to be in for that must always be an imthe secrets of the Cabinets of portant point to consider in Europe, and they would not be the establishment of any naval safe for a moment if we were, station. Well, to begin with, for we have no faith in secrecy : we should consider it a downbut the problem appears to be right insult to Wei-hai-wei to fairly simple. Either we mean compare it to Hong-kong, where to defend our trade interests in we have our principal naval, Northern China or we do not. and only military, hospitals. If we do not, the sooner we And as to Yokohama, where evacuate Wei - hai - wei the now have our auxiliary better, as the game is only one naval hospital and sanitarium, of bluff: but if we do mean the climate, though fine on the to defend those interests, it is whole, is very hot and relaxing essential that the place should in summer, and not to be com
pared to that of Wei-hai-wei. a fortnight. They last In short, we believe the clim- generally from one to three ate of Wei-hai-wei to be the days, and sometimes bring a healthiest in the world, and we little snow with them : they speak with some experience. blow from west round to north, , It is never too hot in summer; and they are decidedly unthere is always a cool breeze pleasant, the air being keen to temper the heat. The spring and cutting, but quite dry. and autumn are magnificent. Between these blizzards the There is an adequate rainfall, weather is simply magnificent but it does not go dribbling more like the Riviera in on for days together as it does winter than any other climate in the British Isles; it comes we have ever seen, but superior down with a good swish, and to the Riviera in that the air then clears up and the sun is drier and more bracing, and shines brightly. And as to the sunshine, if possible, more winter—the dreaded arctic win- brilliant. ter of Northern China that one The soil of the island at hears so much about, — it is Wei-hai-wei (and also of the undoubtedly cold at Wei-hai- mainland) is extremely fertile. wei for about four months in The whole southern slope of the the year, but it is a bright, island could be turned into a clear, dry, bracing cold; no vineyard, or a fruit-garden if fogs, no rain, and very little preferred. Vineyards have been
Europeans living at started at Chefoo on a considerChefoo (which is about forty able scale, under both French miles from Wei-hai-wei, and in and German management, and the
same latitude) say that with every prospect of success. the winter of 1898-99 was an The Chefoo pears are famous exceptionally mild one. That all over China; the cultivation may
So, but even if greater of them was started about cold is sometimes experienced, thirty years ago by an American all accounts seem to indicate missionary. that the general characteristics To sum up then : Wei-haiof the weather are as described wei can be turned into a paraabove.
dise, a sanitarium, and a fortified During the winter of 1898- harbour; but it cannot be held 99 there were occasional bliz
as a secondary naval base in zards—an average perhaps of time of war.
INDEX TO VOL. CLXV.
Abdul - Hamid, Sultan, friendship of, Bonneville, Captain, adventures of, as a
fur-trader, 46 et seq.
YEARS OF NAVAL SERVICE, 853. pany on, 606- French attempts to
Washington Irving's narrative of, 46. ard's command of the British forces
Southern States of, neutrality of WRITTEN CHAPTER OF HISTORY, 605.
of, in the Philippines, 1028 et seq. Borrow, George, fondness of, for boxing,
Dr Knapp's charge against the step:
of, for outdoor life, 731-appearance
MacLaren Cobban, notice of, 101 et “Boston massacre,” Sir George Tre-
velyan's version of the, 589.
BOSWELL, AN IRISH, 884.
trait of, 94—Dr Munro's treatment cences of Sir George Pomeroy-Colley
-services of, to the State, 384,
Bright, John, the parliamentary speeches
M. O. W. Oliphant,' notice of, 895 et Burdy, Samuel, the biographer of Philip
Skelton, account of, 885 et seq.
XV.-XIX., 52–XX. -XXIII., 364–xxiv., Byng, Admiral, the execution of, 466.
California, first discoveries of gold in,
273 et seq.
MANCE OF THE MINES, 272.
'Campaign in the Philippines, the,' by
1016 et seq.
Canadian Mounted Police, an outpost DARKNESS, THE HEART OF, 193, 479,
116 — the case for, considered, 107 exodus from, 1000.
Horse in the, 533.
CAUSE, AND THEIR CHIEFS, 106. Dickens, Charles, the letters of, 84.
the, services of the Gurkha Scouts from the first, 107 — claims of the
XV.-XIX., 52–XX.-XXIII., 364—XXIV., opening of the case of, 1054—the bor.
following the condemnation of, 1059
' Duet, the,' by A. Conan Doyle, notice
Dyea, the Indian village of, 782.
the disintegration of, 1072—proposed Eddy, the Rev. Mary Baker G., reputed
-healing of diseases by, 664 — un-
founded claims of, as the discoverer
of, 89 — proposed sanctuaries for, 90
taming of, ib.
as Professor of Military History, 558 tions of the, 470.
held by, 851.
reefs by, 736-silver-lode named after, fus case, 1067.
FORGOTTEN PURITAN COLONY, A, 868.
notice of, 975.
yan's inaccuracies regarding, 582.
Friars, different Orders of, in the Philip-
pines, character of the, 1019.
FROM FOREIGN PARTS: A Song OF
FROM THE NEW GIBBON, 241.