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16. Announced also that the New Zealand Government has offered an eighth contingent of 1,000 men for the war. In making this offer, Mr. Seddon, the Premier, expressed the opinion that more troops would not have been needed if statesmen and parties in the United Kingdom had patriotically “reserved their adverse criticisms for a fitting opportunity.”
– Lord Rosebery delivered, to a great meeting of Liberals at Chesterfield, a speech, which had been the subject of much speculation, on the condition of the Liberal party, the national crisis, and the best policy for ending the war.
- Commandant Kritzinger captured while attempting to cross the blockhouse line near Hanover Road, Cape Colony.
- The column under Colonel Festing, engaged on the Aro expedition, occupied Bendi after three days' continuous fighting; thirtynine casualties among our native troops.
- Signor Marconi, in Newfoundland, it is stated, announces that he has received there, by wireless telegraphy, signals “faint but conclusive” from Poldhu, Cornwall.
- The Senate of the United States ratified the new Isthmian Treaty with Great Britain by 72 votes against 6.
- A most impressive service was held in St. Paul's (for the third year in succession) in memory of the British troops who have fallen in the South African war.
- A Sugar Bounties Conference, with representatives from Great Britain, Germany, Austria-Hungary, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Holland, and Belgium, was opened at Brussels.
17. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange was re-opened.
18. In the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council the Lord Chancellor gave their Lordships' reasons for rejecting the petition of David F. Marais for special leave to appeal from a judgment of the Supreme Court of Cape Colony refusing to release him from an arrest effected under martial law. The Court of Appeal held that in the circumstances of the arrest the Civil Courts had no jurisdiction to call in question the action of the military authorities.
- Mr. Conor O'Kelly, M.P., sentenced by two resident magistrates at Castlebar to two months' imprisonment on a charge of unlawful assembly.
- According to the Board of Agriculture there is no foot-andmouth disease in the United Kingdom.
- A serious riot took place in Birmingham in connection with a meeting called to hear an address on the war by Mr. Lloyd-George, M.P., who had to escape from the Town Hall disguised as a police sergeant. Subsequently the police had to make a baton charge in the streets, and several of them and of the public were injured, one of the latter fatally.
-. The German Emperor, speaking at a banquet in honour of the unveiling of the last of the historical groups in the Sieges Allee, made
an interesting speech on the great position of German sculpture, and the importance of maintaining high ideals in art.
19. The laying of the rails of the Uganda railway completed to the shore of the Victoria Nyanza Lake. The first locomotive reached Port Florence, the terminus on the lake shore, on the following day.
20. A husband and wife named Jackson, or Horos, were convicted, the man of rape upon a girl of sixteen, and the woman of aiding and abetting him in the offence, and sentenced respectively to fifteen and seven years' penal servitude. Other girls had fallen victims to these scoundrels, who professed to be the leaders of a new religious society called “The Theocratic Unity.”
21. At a meeting of the governors of the Imperial Institute, at York House, the Prince of Wales presiding, it was unanimously resolved that the Institute, with all its property, should be transferred to the nation.
23. Sydney telegrams published, announcing that the Australian Federal Government had decided to send another contingent of 1,000 men to South Africa at the request of the Imperial Government.
– An alarming accident occurred on the Liverpool Overhead Electric Railway, when a train took fire, owing, as was supposed, to the fusing of a motor, close to the Dingle terminus. Most of those in the train escaped, but four railway servants and two passengers lost their lives.
- A conference of representatives of local authorities within the London telephone area, held at the Guildhall, passed resolutions condemning the Post Office telephone agreement, and asking for a revision and reduction of the proposed charges.
– The award of Sir Edward Fry, the arbitrator in the Grimsby fishing dispute, was received, establishing the system, proposed by the employers, of poundage with a minimum wage, but giving the men somewhat better terms, in respect of poundage, than the employers had offered.
24. The London Gazette announced that the King and Queen would, in lieu of drawing-rooms, hold a series of Courts at Buckingham Palace in the ensuing season, at which presentations of ladies to their Majesties would be made.
-- Mr. J. O'Donnell, M.P., sentenced to two months' and Mr. Tully, M.P., to one month's imprisonment, without hard labour, at Ballymote, in Sligo, for unlawful assembly in connection with the De Freyne estate.
25. The King and Queen spent Christmas at Marlborough House instead of Sandringham, owing to a slight indisposition which prevented Her Majesty from travelling.
- Mr. Astor is stated to have given 10,0001. to the National Rifle Association for the encouragement of civilian rifle clubs throughout the country.
25. Appropriately was signed on Christmas Day, at Santiago, a protocol ending the serious danger of a collision between Chili and Argentina as to the immediate treatment of a frontier dispute, the permanent settlement of which had already been referred to the arbitration of Great Britain.
- At 2 A.M. on Christmas Day a Yeomanry camp of four companies, on a high kopje, at Tweefontein, was successfully “rushed” by De Wet with an overwhelming force. Six officers (including Major Williams, in temporary command) and fifty men were killed, and about the same number wounded. “No panic and all did best.” Boer losses also severe. About 250 British prisoners taken, but soon released.
26. Official returns show that at the end of the second week in December there were 107,539 persons receiving poor relief in London, of whom 68,130 were indoor and 39,409 outdoor paupers, the total being the highest registered at any Christmas period since 1872.
– The complete statistics of the last census show that the total population of Germany on December 1, 1900, was 56,267,178-an increase of 4,000,000 in five years.
27. Signor Marconi, having left Newfoundland in consequence of difficulties raised by the Anglo-American Telegraph Company, examined sites for his proposed wireless telegraphy station at Cape Breton, delighted with the sympathy shown by the Canadian Government.
28. Talk of the initiation of an anti-gambling movement reported from Austria, a Polish nobleman having lost in one evening at the Vienna Jockey Club 2,200,000 crowns at baccarat.
29. An attempt was made by Botha to send reinforcements to De Wet, but the Boers were unable to pass the blockhouses near Standerton.
30. A Royal Commission announced as having been appointed to inquire into the extent and available resources of the coalfields of the United Kingdom, the probable rate of exhaustion, the effect of exports, and other kindred questions.
31. A “Round Table Conference," representing different schools of opinion in the Church of England, met at Fulham Palace, on the invitation of the Bishop of London, to consider the subjects of Confession and Absolution. Dr. Wace was elected Chairman.
- The approximate income for the year 1900-1 of the charitable institutions having their headquarters in London is stated in Mr. W. F. Howe's “Classified Directory to the Metropolitan Charities” as 6,431,0621. This includes Bible, Tract and Missionary Societies, and some 14,0001. under the heading of Church and Chapel Building Funds.
LITERATURE, SCIENCE AND ART IN 1901.
The first year of the century has been distinguished by few, if any, works of special importance either in history, philosophy or poetry.
The steady advance of scientific inquiry into fields hitherto unexplored has been maintained, and the limits of accessible knowledge seem more remote than ever. Fiction more than ever finds favour with aspirants to public recognition, but the year has not seen the rise of any new novelist who threatens the popularity of Lucas Malet, Mr. Anthony Hope and Mr. Maurice Hewlett, whilst with others Mr. Hall Caine, Mr. Marion Crawford, Mr. Seton Merriman, Mr. Rider Haggard and Mr. Crockett are still held in esteem, although their latest works compare unfavourably with some of their earlier productions. Mr. George Meredith has once more returned as a poet, and his volume is the most important contribution to this section. Archæology and antiquarian research have been taken up with vigour, and by the publication of family papers many sidelights have been opened on the times to which they refer. The campaigns in China and South Africa have produced a large amount of literature from combatants and critics—and incidentally have called forth many volumes on Russian designs in Asia and on Army administration at home.
The latest additions to the series of monographs upon Italian artists edited under Mr. G. C. Williamson's supervision are Mr. W. G. Waters' Piero della Francesca, Miss Evelyn Phillipps' Pinturicohio and Mr. Edward Strutt's Fra Filippo Lippi (Bell), in which the chief incidents of the painters' lives are given in a succinct form, and a careful record of their principal works. In this connection the more imposing tribute paid to Andrea Mantegna (Longmans) by Herr Paul Kristeller, and rendered accessible to English readers by Mr. Arthur Strong's translation, also deserves especial notice, as it must necessarily take its place as a résumé of everything that is likely to be known respecting that most distinguished artist. Mrs. Ady's Painters of Florence (Murray) summarises in a handy volume the development of the Florentine school from the days of the Primitives to those of Michael Angelo, and gives sufficient scientific criticism to make her record valuable. With these should be mentioned Sgr. Villari's Giovanni Segantini (Fisher Unwin) and Mr. A. L. Baldry's Hubert von Herkomer, RA (Bell), both appreciative studies of the careers, in one case closed, of two contemporary artists who alike have risen to eminence from somewhat similar beginnings. Both volumes are profusely illustrated, and the reader is thus able to draw his own inferences as to the correctness of the criticisms passed upon the several methods of each artist.
Lady Dilke diligently pursues her studies of French art of the eigh. teenth century, and the third volume on French Furniture and Deooration (Bell) is, like its predecessors, a monument of careful research and delicate appreciation. Between the Wallace Collection and that at South Kensington, London now possesses as fine a display of French cabinet work as Paris, and Lady Dilke's volume will make the value of our treasures better appreciated. It is to be hoped that her teaching will also be taken into account, for unless the relation of the furniture to the rooms for which it was designed is fully understood the most attractive specimens of eighteenth century work will lose half their artistic value.
Fénelon is one of those names in history with which it is assumed every one is familiar--and it is inferred from the familiarity with which his name is cited that his life and character are equally well known. The conflicting portraits of the Archbishop of Cambrai given respectively in François de Fénelon, by Viscount St. Cyres (Methuen), and Fénelon: Elis Friends and Elis Enemies, by E. K. Sanders (Longmans), suffice to show how little agreement there is concerning the common object of their study. Miss Sanders is content to adopt the more generally accepted view and to give the Archbishop credit for greater virtues, more moderate opinions and wider charity than Lord St. Cyres is prepared to admit. The latter brings to his aid an array of forgotten facts as well as a keenness of criticism which Miss Sanders cannot rival. At the same time, in order to realise fully both the good and the harm wrought by Fénelon and his shifty opportunism, it is necessary to read these volumes consecutively. The actual truth may be somewhere between the two estimates of a prelate who, without being really a great man, left the reputation of being one. Miss Edith Sichel, who so pleasantly yet discreetly introduced us to the salons of the French revolutionary period, now turns her attention to the Women and Men of the French Renaissance (Constable), choosing Margaret of Navarre as the central figure of a group in which French arts and literature found their warmest and most enlightened patrons. Mr. W. S. Lilly's Renaissance Types (Fisher Unwin) is a work of wider range in every respect, and deals in the spirit of true critical appreciation with five typical men of that period-Michael Angelo, Erasmus, Reuchlin, Luther, and Sir Thomas More. Each meets with generous, if not always sympathetic treatment, and to each is assigned his fair