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the glories of the autumnal brush, the brush that has painted the world with colors that no human hand can make. A sudden splendor of gold, like the gold of yellow corn, spreads over the firmament and swiftly gives place to a blush, like the blush of the woodland rose, and the blush dies down in a mist of gray and apple green. But as the high heaven slowly finds its final blue the west takes on its deep rare glow. Rich is the purple of the sun's last message. The westering clouds that lie low over the sea take the full hue, and so, imperially, the sun moves down to give the light of Spring, not Autumn,
The Contemporary Review.
Where the quiet-colored end of evening
smiles, Miles and miles On the solitary pastures where our
sheep Half asleep Tinkle homeward thro' the twilight,
stray, or stop
and turn away at last to find, through crackling heather and whispering woods, the homestead where an Autumn fire is blazing on the hearth and the tales of Winter are begun.
THE ANNEXATION OF THE CONGO STATE.
The procedure of annexing the Congo Free State to Belgium will present itself more clearly to the mind if it is regarded as consisting of two distinct parts: the first the sanction of the Bel. gian Parliament, and the second the sanction of the Powers which signed the Berlin Act. The first step has virtually been taken, as no one supposes for a moment that the Belgian Senate will refuse, or even trouble to deliherate long over, what the Chamber has passed;" the second step belongs to the future. Till we know more precisely what is passing between the signatories of the Berlin Act and the Belgiau Government we cannot speak of the question of annexation as settled. The responsibility of the Powers for the Congo natives is as clear as anything can be; their consent cannot be dispensed with. Whatever room there may be for various interpretations of the Berlin Act-and the Belgian interpretation of course differs from ours there can be no doubt about this, thilt Britain agreed to the formation of the
i The Belgian Sepate has concurred with the Chamber since this article was printed.Editor of The Living Age.
Free State chiefly in the interests of the natives. That reasou was urged upon the British people by men of bigb standing and character, and in tuis country the horror of the Leopoldian régime has been feltmand it hus been very deeply felt-in direct proportion to the public sense of sharing in the scandal. While annexation was being discussed in the Belgian Chamber we purposely said very little on the subject, as comment from outsiders was likely to do more harm than good. A serene international atmosphere was the only favorable one, and we had no wish to help others in disturbing it, os one might easily have done with even the best intentions. The opinions of the British nation were already known, and Sir Edward Grey was actually impressing them on the Belgian Government while the debates were in prog. ress. At last the Belgian Goverument have carried their scheme through the Chamber in what we take to be practically its final form, for the amendments of the Senate will probably be slight. It does not give any guarantee in so many words that ibe
economic conditions of native labor, down complacently under a story of which are the first and last cause of all such wrongs as have been committed the misery, will be reversed. That is in the past. What we hope to see seundoubtedly a disappointment. We cured by the requirements of the Powstill believe, however, that the inten- ers would really be a strengthening of tions of the Belgian Government are as their hands, for the Belgian Governhigh principled as become an enlight- ment would be equipped with definite ened people; and, indeed, Sir Edward authority to change entirely the ecoGrey said in the House of Commons on nomic conditions of native labor. UnJuly 30th that the Belgian Government less that change is effected, we fear "carry the matter as far as it can be there will be no happiness for the carried by general assurances," and Congo. that "the line taken by the Belgian Let us state briefly once more what Government is very different from that the economic conditions are, and show taken by the Congo Government." It why no improvement is possible till remains, therefore, for the good inten- they are reversed. The Congo Governtions of the Belgian Government to be ment, professing a right to vacant embodied in more definite undertak. lands, used this excuse to appropriate ings, and that is the end which Sir Ed- tbe lands held by the natives on conward Grey, strongly aided by the munal tenure. They have kept part of United States Government, is still try- tbese lands for themselves, and have ing to reach. The existence of “gen- granted the rest to concessionary comeral assurances" is much, and if only panies. The Government and their the present Belgian Government were partners have established a monopoly able to carry out all that they wish, we in the produce of the soil. The source might rest content. But other Govern- of all wealth has thus been taken from ments will take their place, and-most the natives; they have no means of ominous fact of all-the wording of the trading. Yet they are required to pay Colonial Law may mean much or little, taxes, and the only way in which they according to the character of the Gov. can do so is by a "labor tax,"-by givernment in power. Even the present ing their labor instead of the money or Belgian Government might fail radi- produce which they have not got. cally to change the character of the Fixed amounts of rubber have to be Congo administration in spite of them- brought to the tax-collectors at regular selves. Therefore Sir Edward Grey intervals. The natives who fail to do no doubt feels that he would be untrue this are sternly punished.
In many to the whole meaning of the Berlin Act districts they have to make long jourif he did not receive more precise neys through dangerous forests to promises in exchange for the perinis. gather the rubber. They have little or sion to exercise sovereignty. We await no time which is not spent in the the result of his negotiations-which crushing labor necessary to pay the lead to what we have called the second tax. They are cheered by no prospect part of the procedure of annexation- of winning back their independence un. with anxiety, but still with hopeful. der the present system. The mortality ness. We admit that it is a great thing is terrible. The whole miserable busithat the Belgian people are willing to ness is slavery of an odious kind pass. accept the burden of colonial rule. ing under another name. Chapter and They will be directly interested in it; verse for these charges were given in they will know what is happening, and the recent Whitebook; and, if other avl. it is inconceivable that they should sit dence were needed, the charges were confirmed in the Belgian Report of though the profits do not go into the 1906. The atrocities which shocked the King's pocket. Sir Edward Grey is 90 world formerly were all part and par- doubt trying to screw up to a higher cel of this method of taxation, which pitch the proposal of the Belgian Govbas no parallel anywhere. We believe ernment to grant lands to the natives. that Sir Edward Grey is applying hiin. The granting of lands was promised self first of all to this labor question, among the Congo reforms of 1906. and we are heartily glad of it; for if Nothing came of it; and not very much, British concern for the Congo is quite we fear, could come of it now unless obviously not prompted by selfishness, it amounted to the nearest possible our motives are less likely to be misun. equivalent which the circumstances derstood. For a long time we have permit to a restoration of the comsuffered from a great disadvantage; it munal lands. The natives, of course, has been commonly believed in Bel- are scattered and have dwindled in gium that we had an axe to grind. А numbers, but a substantial policy of fair statement of the issues before us restoration is the only true solution. must, none the less, mention the break- We shall not be satisfied, as we have down of the freedom of trade guaran- often said, unless the economic conditeed by the Berlin Act. After the na- tions of native labor are reversed. tive labor question, this freedom of It is earnestly to be hoped that Sir trade is the next matter in importance. Edward Grey, with the invaluable help The taking up of the whole land by the of the United States, will bring about Government and the concessionary an agreement among all parties which companies has shut out, or at least will involve neither a surrender of conmade very difficult, the enterprises of science nor international bitterness. outsiders. We should not complain, We take it that the Belgian Governhowever, of having to wait a very long ment desire just what we desire, and time for the restoration of the freedom all we ask is that the methods of at. of trade if only the communal lands taining it should be accurately stated. were restored to the natives so that Naturally Englishmen look upon ihe they might have the means to pay their beginning of Belgium's colonial career taxes in their own way. As a matter with the utmost sympathy. Without of fact, we fancy that the simultaneous experience in these matters, she desires restoration of the lands and of the free- to take over a territory larger than Eudom of trade would be the simplest rope; and she engages in this advenand wisest policy; the natives would ture for a good end. Although we conrecover their independence quicker in template the future anxiously, it would free markets, and the loss to the State be ungenerous not to pay a tribute to through the non-payment of taxes the fine services of those Belgians who would probably be less. But we have have made the Treaty of Annexation, no wish to interfere unnecessarily. The the Additional Act (which buys the native labor question is by far the more King out of the Crown Domain), and pressing of the two, and let us remem- the Colonial Law (which provid for ber that it concerns the whole Congo tbe administration of the Congo) as territory. So much has been said about good as they are. The original ludi. the Crown Domain, which is the pri- crous terms proposed by the King were vate property of King Leopold, that it resisted and amended; the Belgian Parhas been rather forgotten that the liament, to its credit, refused to let the abuses, so far as the natives are con- King have the money while the people cerned, are the same elsewhere, even bad the disgrace. Further, Parliament. has provided for its own Constitutional the position of a farmer who begins to control over the Budget and adminis- cultivate land which has had everytration of the Congo. The whole finan. thing “taken out of it.” Probably Belcial problem is terribly difficult. The gians expect the colony to cost them a estimates of the revenues of the Congo good deal at first, and are prepared to as they were laid before the Chamber pay the bill. If that be so-if the Gov. were calculated on the assumption ernment have not pretended that the that forced labor would be retained. Congo is a good speculation-Britain The chief authority on the Congo in and the United States should be able the Belgian Cabinet actually said: to induce the Belgian Cabinet more *Forced labor is necessary, or civiliza- easily than some people expect to astion will be arrested.”. We are sure sent fearlessly in writing to the claims that the Belgian people do not agree that are advanced both by conscience with him. If forced labor is abolished, and Treaty rights. however, Belgium may be for years in
THE AMERICAN NAVY: OFFICERS AND MEN.
I. THE OFFICERS.
most delighted with Lieut.-Com. WainIn the character of both commis- wright's dash in a converted yacht to sioned and enlisted personnel the an encounter with the two Spanish del'nited States Navy is radically differ- stroyers. Professionally, the merit of ent from any navy, although its cus- Dewey's victory in Manila Bay was the toms are founded on British customs unhesitating promptness with which and its heritage is British. A glance he proceeded to his objective. That through the register shows that most three months' campaign against Spain of the officers' names are of English, left the American Navy with no illuIrish or Scotch origin, with a sprink- sions. The relative strength of the ling of German. The second and third two forces it had perfectly in mind. generations of the large influx of con- In no wise elated by success, it faced tinental blood have not yet found their the problem of the up-building of a way to any extent into the wardroom.
first-class navy as a serious task that It is the British nary spirit of meet- required untiring industry. ing your enemy off his own shores, of
The two schools, West Point and the eternal aggressive, which is im- Annapolis, which graduate the officers planted in the American service. "Α
for the army and navy, have much the saying of Farragut's, “The best protec- same course; but there the likeness betion from an enemy's fire is a well-di- tween army and navy ends. The rected fire of your own," which is only line of the navy is a unit, with all the a version of an old idea, probably best influences at its command, to keep polexpresses American naval ideals. It
itics out of the service at any sacrifice. accounts, too, for what many naval It was suggestive of naval spirit that critics have considered in the past the when the recent pay bill was before overgunning of the ships at the ex- Congress it was not unusual to hear pense of protection. In the Spanish naval officers say, “Keep the pay, but war, while the American public was give us four battleships and more colemotional over Lieut, Hobson's deed in liers." Yet most of them seriously sinking the Merrimac, the service was needed the increase. The American
Navy is the only service in the world The admirals and captains of the preswhere some income is not practically a ent day received their education and requirement for the young officer. An formed their habits in the dead period officer with a private income is rare. after the Civil War, before the new Many are the sons of poor professional navy came into being.
The average The sons of the rich have not age of reaching captain's rank is over yet sought admission. The Annapolis fifty-five. Captains have come into system is the purest example of democ- command of battleships without ever racy. It is open to all. All that a having served in one. With the excepboy needs is money enough to bring tion of the ambitious and earnest ones, him to the school. Examinations are they are not familiar with the complex first held in the congressional districts niechanics of a battleship. They have for the appointment of a principal and all the passion of the old American an alternate. If the principal fails, Navy, a relic of American clipper days, the alternate gets his place. Once he for fresh paint, white sides, and spotis admitted he enters the service of the less decks, and they cannot forget the United States on pay equivalent to all "flyspecking" habits of yesterday, his living expenses. The son of a day when from the poop the captain could Jaborer may graduate at the head of overlook everything that happened in his class if he has the academic ability. his little world. The seamen of his Admiral Sampson, the commander-in- youthful days
mature menchief at Santiago, was one. Annapolis, "hard" best describes them-of many too, has in mind that other qualifica- nationalities, severely disciplined, and tion aside from sheer efficiency which probably took more interest in the is expressed in the second noun of the formalities than in the guns.
For phrase "officer and gentleman." It is the more than ten years this older strata school's boast that no one may grad. will be in the saddle. They are fond uate without the mark of a distin- of rank, for which they have waited guishing quality which will last him long. It is often their inclination to for life. It receives many and gradu- choose the easier way out of a dilemma ates few. Its course is hard and rigid, or emergency. To be honorably retired mentally and physically, with no ces- as an admiral and never to run your sation in the two years' midshipman's ship aground fulfils the ambition of cruise before the commission is many though not all. The able and granted. Here the elimination process conspicuous ones have to wait their ends. A man's place in the service is turn on the incompetent. No one, acfixed for life.
cording to the critics, will be admiral In the Civil War days officers rose to long enough properly to master the command before they were thirty. By work of high conimand. 184j mer of forty-five were not yet The younger strata are restless, not commanders and men of forty were to say discoutented, as any young man watch officers. The ships were Civil in a service will be when it is sufferl'ar relics. The nation, engrossed in ing from this old-service malady which civil affairs and home development, Bonaparte so promptly cured in the had no thought of conflict. Then, late
They like and underin the eighties, with the building of stand the new type of sailors, young the new navy, interest was again devels and American born. Any drill which oped, and with the Spanish War youth- is not for battle is a waste of time. ful imagination responded everywhere The “sea habit" to their minds should and the number of cadets was doubled. he consigned to the dark ages along