Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

over

of this fearful example of the Russian battleships had manpenalty which competence is ouvred in the hope of shieldable to

exact incom- ing their helpless flag-ship, and petence, to realise the true when the Kniaz-Suvaroff's steerhorror and the fearful signifi- ing gear had been repaired the cance of the scene in the Korean Borodino made an effort to Straits towards evening on bring some semblance of order May 27. All sting had passed into the wavering Russian line. from the uncertain Russian As its sure consequence this fire. On this the third occa- action brought a concentrated sion the Japanese were not fire from the Japanese, until likely to make the mistake of the murk of burning warships running short of ammunition. brought temporary relief as Rather, they had sacrificed coal mingling with the mist it to the means which was to formed a screen. A few minmake their victory absolute. utes past seven in the evening

Apparently the Russians had the Borodino, a shattered, broken up between five and smoking wreck, sank to join six in the afternoon, and this the Osliabia at the bottom. allowed the Japanese to single As the sun dipped below the out the most important units horizon, Togo made the signal and devastate them till they for which his younger officers sank. The story is too awful had been gasping. His many for cold - blooded speculation. torpedo-destroyer flotillas waitWe are moved to horror when ing in leash were now loosed a submarine sinks with its com- to complete the devastation plement of ten or fifteen men. which the guns of the battle What then must be our feelings fleet had made possible. But when we consider that here, in this did not mean that the the Japan Sea, Russian ships pursuit by the Japanese fleet were sinking in every direction was to cease. Far from it. with their complements of 400 Togo, leaving his third division to 700 seamen ? that those to open a path for the destroyers who had escaped the terrible by a continued bombardment torment of gun-shot units were throughout the night, sought drowning in hundreds in an to find the main remnant which angry sea, in spite of the extra- had disappeared in the shadow ordinary humane efforts which of its own smoke. It seemed the victorious enemy made to as if Providence itself approved save them? There is no con- of this terrible retribution, for temporary writing that could the sea, which in the morning adequately reproduce the mean- had been so rough that it had ing of this ghastly tale. We on made it almost impossible for this side cannot attempt it. torpedo craft to manœuvre, had

But although the Russians now smoothed down, with the were desperately beaten, they result that the conditions of were still at sundown making attack were all in favour of the reply to the sustained Japanese spiteful little craft. There is onslaught. For a period the no doubt that while during the

closing hours of Saturday the There is very little detail deships of the fast diminishing scriptive of what happened durRussian fleet clung together for ing the early hours of Sunday mutual support, as soon as night morning with regard to the fell, under the gentle persuasion actual fighting, but it seems of fifty torpedo boats, the resi- evident that there was really due of the great armada broke little fighting be done up, scattered, and sought to after the torpedo - boats had struggle away from a situation finished with the residue of that promised only death or the Russian fleet. The Sissoi ignoble capture. It probably Veliki, Admiral Nakhimoff, and never will be possible to follow the Vladimir Monomakh were in detail the individual history discovered in a sinking conof each of those fierce torpedo dition in the vicinity of Tsuattacks; probably we shall never shima in the morning. The know for certain if any one of Navarin was torpedoed during them had greater success than the night, and the Svietlana the increase of the morale which was sunk in Chekuten Bay by the Japanese navy had estab- the Nüütaka and Otowa. The lished. But the sequel on the Kniaz - Suvaroff and Alexmorrow is piteous in the ex- ander III. had gone to the treme. It naturally has no bottom in the night : whether parallel, and we doubt if past this was the result of shellhistory could show a scene quite fire or torpedo attack is not so disgraceful as the surrender known. It is also certain that of Admiral Nebogatoff and the some time in the morning of residue of his squadron off Sunday the main portion of Liancourt Rocks. Not that we the Japanese fleet discovered grudge the Japanese the prizes at the Liancourt Rocks, 200 which thus became theirs, but we miles from Tsushima, a group cannot help thinking that the of Russian survivors consisting captain of the Admiral Usha- of the battleships Nicholas I. koff played the better part. and Orel, the coast - defence At least, such are the traditions ships Admirals Seniavin and existing in our own navy, and Apraxine, and the cruiser we know what traditions exist Izumrud. The latter, makin that of Japan. It would ing good use of her speed, appear that Admiral Togo de- escaped; but the officers of sisted from his night bombard- the ships under the command ment about midnight, and there- of Admiral Nebogatoff, as soon upon his squadron steamed as the Japanese opened fire, north in the darkness to his took the miserable course of given rendezvous, with the surrendering their vessels. An object of placing itself across admirable protest against this the Russian line of advance to conduct is found in the action Vladivostok as the situation of the captain of the coastdeclared itself at day break. defence ship Ushakoff, who,

1 This officer sank his ship by opening the sea cocks.

rather than surrender, sank the most pathetic incident in the his vessel in deep water under whole of the miserable chapter the Japanese guns, and trusted is to be found in the arrival to the magnanimity of the of the little Almaz at Vladienemy to

save himself and Vostok. The scene has been his crew.

The most extra- well described by an eyeordinary reflection with

re- witness the scene of wild gard to the description of enthusiasm which heralded this battle is that, while we the entry into the Russian can report nothing but dis- port of this war-scarred mesaster and death to the Russian senger. Her advent naturally units, the Japanese effected portended to those who had this magnificent end at what been buoyed by hope the may be considered a trifling speedy arrival of a victorious loss. From the admiral's Russian fleet. What a differ. official reports it would ap- ent tale the little Almaz had pear that in the course of to tell ! It was in naval histhe action only three torpedo tory what the arrival of Dr craft were sunk, and that the Brydon was to the garrison total casualties from shell and of Jellalabad. other causes did not exceed The residue of the Baltic 800 men,

That he should Fleet, under Admiral Enquist, thus have been able to anni- struggled into Manila Bay some hilate his enemy and maintain six or seven days after the his fleet throughout seaworthy battle. This little remnant was is a tribute to the superiority formed from among the only of the Japanese as sailors, Russian ships that could steam: gunners, and strategists on it consisted of the Aurora, Izumthe sea which will admit of rud, and Oleg. These three no argument. What argu- cruisers, not being in a seament can there be when one worthy state and able to prohas to deal with the concrete ceed without dockyard repairs, fact that Togo, without ad- were interned. Thus, out of dition to his original tonnage, the whole fighting strength has destroyed in fifteen months of the Baltic Fleet one cruiser two sea-going Russian fleets, and torpedo - boat deboth of which on paper were stroyer alone remain in Russian superior to his own ? Perhaps waters."

one

1 Russia has lost since the commencement of the war-sunk, captured, or interned-fifteen battleships, three coast-defence ships, six armoured cruisers, eight protected cruisers, and quite a fleet of torpedo-boats, destroyers, and auxiliaries. Japan has lost in battle three destroyers, and by accident or mine two battleships, two protected cruisers, one coast-defence ship, three gunboats, and three or four destroyers.

[blocks in formation]

The debate in the House of dissolution, when Lord Temple Commons of June 7, read to- and the King urged it, would gether with Mr Chamberlain's have been a great mistake. The speech at St Helens on June 3 public were not yet thoroughly and Mr Balfour's at Manchester alive to the true nature of the on January 26, recalls to us situation.

As soon

as their very forcibly Lord Macaulay's eyes were fully opened to the remarks on the attitude of Mr real character and meaning of Pitt in 1784. After the dis- the Whig Opposition, then missal of the Coalition Ministry would be the time to strike. in the autumn of 1783, the King Pitt saw that an anti-Coalition named Pitt Prime Minister, and spirit was growing up in the he soon found himself confront- nation. Let it come to a head; ed in the House of Commons by and then let the Whigs beware! an infuriated Opposition at the The Whigs understood this head of a powerful majority. perfectly well, and hence their The country had been disgusted eagerness to drive Pitt from by the Coalition, and alarmed office before that time should by the India Bill, its offspring. arrive. Pitt was strongly urged by In December 1783, says

Lord some of his own supporters, and Macaulay, it was generally beby the King himself, to dissolve lieved that there would be an Parliament at once. The Whigs, immediate dissolution; just as on the other hand, appealed to a twelvemonth ago it was comhis Majesty to dismiss

monly supposed that a general Minister who did not command election must necessarily take the confidence of the House place in the summer. But Pitt of Commons. This request "wisely determined togive public being refused, they commenced opinion time to gatherstrength.” a system of factious and violent He resisted all suggestion of disobstruction, calculated still solution till the pear was ripe ; further to offend all lovers of and his fortitude and foresight constitutional order and the received their just reward. In fairplay which is usually recog- December he might have got nised by gentlemen. Pitt re- only a bare majority: in April solved to give them rope enough. he had the nation at his back. He saw that public opinion The people had marked, learned, was becoming more and more and thoroughly digested the estranged from them every day, situation. Public opinion was and that the longer he could matured, and Pitt made his hold his ground the more com coup. plete would be his triumph. Now, if we refer to Mr When the Whigs petitioned Chamberlain's speech at Biragainst a dissolution they were mingham, we

see how playing into his own hands. A necessary it is that Pitt's ex

ample should be followed. There and then if we do this the unis à curious analogy between soundness of the above syllothe two situations—the situa- gism becomes manifest at once. tion of Pitt in 1783 and of Simple as this exposition may Mr Balfour at the present seem to educated minds, and moment. It was Mr Pitt's easily as the truth of it might first object, and should be Mr be recognised by uneducated Balfour's, to gain time. It ones if left to the operation of was the object of the Whig their own unhampered commonOpposition, and is now the sense, it may be so easily disobject of the Radical Opposi- guised under a cloud of commontion, to prevent this. The one places about taxing the food of tried to do it by forcing Pitt the people, the big loaf and the to resign; the other tries to little loaf, and so forth, that we do it by forcing Mr Balfour cannot expect it to make that to dissolve. In refusing to be rapid progress which is indeed driven, the Minister of Edward much more often the fortune of VII. takes exactly the same error than of truth. For the ground as the Minister of struggling truth to force its George III. “He will wait way through a hostile crowd till public opinion has had interested in stopping its adtime to gather strength," vance, and hustling it, so to that is to say, till the Tariff speak, at every turn, time is reReformers have had time to quired ; and this is what we bemake the people fully com- lieve Mr Balfour is fighting for. prehend the character and in

“ This is a question,” says Mr tention of their policy and its Chamberlain," which touches, no probable results. This cannot doubt, very closely some deep sentibe done in a day. A plausiblements among the working people, and fallacy generally dies hard, and labourers.

especially among the agricultural

This arrangement with the Free Traders have got one the Colonies would necessitate not a to their hands which is ex- tax on food, as you are told. That is actly calculated to impose on

false. But it might entail a transfer the ignorant and uneducated. another kind of food. It is not much

of taxation from one kind of food to Let us put it in syllogistic of a sacrifice, but it is capable of the form. All taxes on food are grossest misrepresentation ; and you bad. A duty upon corn is a

see accordingly at every bye-election tax upon food. Therefore a

swarms of placards with giant loaves

on the one hand and small loaves on duty upon corn is bad. The the other, representing what our syllogism is unsound; but why? opponents declare will be the result Because there are four terms of a policy which at the very utmost, to it instead of three. “Duty

in the worst possible circumstances, on corn,” in the minor premiss, farthing to the quartern loaf, which

cannot possibly add more than a is a simple term, and in the would probably add nothing at all, conclusion complex one.

and would certainly reduce other porWhen the imposition of one

tions of the expenditure of the worktax is combined with the re

ing man.” mission of another the two In these few words we recogprocesses must be taken as one, nise the mass of ignorance

a

« AnteriorContinuar »