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to establish peace. Lord Lytton, with the sanction of the Cabinet at home, insisted on the Ameer receiving a friendly British mission at Kabul, intimating that a refusal to grant it a free passage and safeconduct would be deemed an act of open hostility.

Every one knows that this led to the second Afghan war, in which Lord Roberts assumed the command of the Kuram field force and conducted the invasion. The manner in which the Peiwar Kotal was carried is told in a clear, finished, and precise manner, observing the via media between vagueness and excessive detail, in an appreciative and generous spirit to his comrades in arms. An advance was then made to Khost, which the force was not strong enough to hold, and a further forward movement was postponed till the following year.

Shere Ali, the Ameer, on hear ing of the defeat of his army, had fled with the members of the Russian mission, and was succeeded by his son Yakub Khan, who, on the death of his father in February 1879, expressed anxiety for friendship with the Viceroy. Cavagnari was with his consent deputed to Kabul on a mission to him, and was there with his staff brutally murdered. The British people at that time were reluctant to go to war. South Africa was giving trouble, and we had only just escaped from a threatened war with Russia. The Liberal Opposition was eagerly preparing for a general election, and Mr Gladstone was extremely vocal on the subject of Shere Ali's wrongs. Further hostilities were therefore out of the question until the murder of Cavagnari. Lord Roberts expresses the misgivings he felt at the time at our resorting under the circumstances to negotiation before we had inspired the


warlike Afghans with a sufficient sense of defeat to convince them of our strength and ability to punish any breach of treaty, on which conviction he rightly relied as the sole guarantee of its due observance. Accordingly chapter one of this war was concluded by the treaty of Gandamak, signed on the 26th May 1879, and effected by "the tact and diplomatic skill of Louis Cavagnari." received under it cession of territory, promising, on the other hand, support against external aggression, and arranging for the reception of a mission at Kabul. Lord Roberts's forebodings as to what would befall this mission turned out to be correct. Accordingly the second invasion proceeded under his command. That wonderful march then took place, with the result that after severe fighting Kabul at last was at his mercy. It was part of the policy of this invasion to tell the tribes who were disposed to be friendly that we should never again altogether withdraw from Afghanistan, and so leave our friends in the hands of their enemies. A very singular feature of this invasion was that the Ameer Yakub Khan, who disavowed all responsibility for the death of Cavagnari, came to the British camp as our ally, seeking refuge from his mutinous soldiers. He had evidently done nothing to save Cavagnari, even if he had not originated the assault. His desire was to delay the British advance. He earnestly pressed that policy on Lord Roberts, but without success. remained in our camp, in constant communication with Kabul, important tidings evidently passing to and fro, his position enabling him to give accurate information to the enemy as to our numbers and movements. When Kabul was taken Lord Roberts made the


Ameer's Ministers prisoners, and on their guilt with respect to Cavagnari's murder being proved, they, as well as Yakub Khan, were deported to India, and an amnesty was proclaimed to all persons not concerned in the attack on the Residency, Lord Roberts finding it impossible to treat as rebels to the Ameer's authority men who, it was clearly proved, had only carried out his secret, if not his expressed, wishes in opposing our advance on Kabul.

The closing months of 1879 were signalised by a tremendous coalition against us of all the Afghan tribes, exasperated by the humiliations their country had undergone. In face of these ever-increasing hordes Lord Roberts and his comparatively small force were compelled on the 14th December to retire for a time within the defences of Sherpur, a measure which involved the abandonment of Kabul and the Bala Hissar, and which of course gave heart to the tribesmen. The Afghans speedily discovered the retrograde movement, and pressed our troops the whole way back to the cantonment. There was hand-to-hand fighting, but the movement was successfully effected. Troops and baggage were safe inside Sherpur, and the Afghans got possession of the city and the Bala Hissar. Probably in all his battles, campaigns, and adventures, Lord Roberts and the troops under his command were never in greater peril than on that day. As he

says, it is comparatively easy to act on the offensive against Asiatics, however much their numbers may preponderate. "There is something in the determined advance of a compact disciplined body of troops which they can seldom resist. But a retirement is a different matter. They be come full of confidence and valour

the moment they see any signs of their opponents being unable to resist them, and if there is the smallest symptom of unsteadiness, wavering, or confusion, a disaster is certain to occur. It may be imagined, therefore, with what intense anxiety I watched for hours the withdrawal." On the 23d a determined attack was made by the besieging force, the mullas having in all the mosques made frantic appeals to the people to unite in one final effort to exterminate the infidel. The attack on Sherpur was decisively repulsed. The Afghans broke and fled. The cavalry pursued, and before nightfall all the open ground in the neighbourhood of Sherpur was cleared of the enemy. The victory was complete. Not only was the assault abandoned, but the great tribal combination had been dissolved, and on the following morning not a man, says Lord Roberts, "of the many thousands who had been opposed to us the previous day remained in any of the villages or on the surrounding hills."

In the beginning of 1880 Afghanistan lay at our feet. The tidings of the defeat and dispersion of the tribesmen spread far and wide, and resistance was at an end. The pacification or resettlement of the country became the matter in hand, and at this point the personal interest of the book, so far as Lord Roberts is concerned, undergoes a change. Down to that point we have, first, the personal adventures of the young soldier in camp, in trench, in march, in the storm of Delhi, and the relief of Lucknow; second, the wider views of the general responsible for the campaign or the plans of battle. After the conquest of the Afghans he begins his career as a statesman, taking part in transactions which affect the national welfare and the his

tory of the world, and busied with high questions of military administration and military statesmanship. The first practical question was, how to deal with Afghanistan now that we had got it. Withdrawal was felt to be out of the question until the objects of the war were secured-viz., the future safety of the Indian frontier, and guarantees for the future good behaviour of the Afghans. Lord Roberts decided in favour of disintegration of the country. A strong united Afghanistan was only desirable in the event of its ruler being friendly. Even then past experience had shown that the succession to an Ameer friendly to us was sure to be disputed, and the work of unification would have to begin all over again. We did not desire annexation, but there was considerable difficulty in finding a native ruler. The policy finally declared in durbar was that Yakub Khan could not be allowed to return, that the people might elect an Ameer friendly to us and subject to the Viceroy's approval, that the British army would withdraw as soon as that was done, retaining only the occupation of such places as were necessary for the safety of our Indian frontier, but that Kandahar would not again be united to Kabul.

Sir Donald Stewart's division was now sent from Kandahar to Kabul to take part in the pacification of Northern Afghanistan. He reached it on the 5th May, and Roberts had to deliver up to him the supreme command. By the end of July Stewart had Abdur Rahman, with whom considerable difficulties had at first arisen, proclaimed Ameer of Kabul. He was to rely on his own resources, no treaty to be made till his power was consolidated.

Orders were given for the British force to retire; but Roberts,

riding away from Kabul, suddenly experienced a presentiment of coming trouble so vividly as to induce him to return, only to receive the news that Ayub Khan, a brother of the deported Yakub, had totally defeated Burrows's brigade at Maiwand, and was besieging Kandahar, where Primrose had succeeded to Sir Donald Stewart's command. The lamentable news, he says, "almost took my breath away"; for it meant at the least that all was confusion again on the very eve of a projected pacification. Stewart and Roberts agreed that whatever might happen, the only way to render speedy relief to Kandahar was to send a force from Kabul,

where they were still urgently required. From no other quarter could a force be rapidly got together, and, moreover, the most seasoned troops were required to deal with the terrible emergency which had arisen - the sudden appearance of a strong Afghan force flushed with victory. Our disaster, of course, had created considerable excitement all along the border. The state of feeling throughout India was such, says Lord Roberts, as to make those who remembered the Mutiny anxious for better news from the north. Roberts pressed his view that the Kabul force should be sent. On the 3d August Lord Ripon telegraphed orders to that effect, and that Roberts should be placed in command, who accordingly got together his force, carefully weeding out of it every man not likely to stand the strain of prolonged forced marches, and reducing impedimenta to a minimum. He marched, with less than 10,000 men and only mountain batteries, 313 miles, and entered Kandahar in twenty days, having on the way been nearly prostrated with fever. This book deals so very

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sparingly in adverse criticism, the main points to which it has been directed down to this date being the unpreparedness and the inefficiency of the too elderly officers in command of various stations at the outbreak of the Mutiny, that attention cannot fail to be aroused by the severe remarks made on the demoralised condition of the garrison at Kandahar. The general bearing of the troops reminded him, he says, of the people at Agra in 1857. "They seemed to consider themselves hopelessly defeated, and were utterly despondent they never even hoisted the union-jack until the relieving force was close at hand." Yet the walls of Kandahar were so high and thick as to render the city absolutely impregnable to any army not equipped with a regular siegetrain. "For British soldiers," he says, "to have contemplated the possibility of Kandahar being taken by an Afghan army showed what a miserable state of depression and demoralisation they were in." The next morning, September 1, Roberts assumed the command of the army in Southern Afghanistan, the troops at Kandahar consisting of 3800 British and 11,000 natives, with 36 guns; and at six o'clock in the evening of the same day, after a tremendous conflict, telegraphed the total defeat and complete dispersion of Ayub Khan's army with comparatively slight loss on our side. This closed the Afghan war. Roberts left Kandahar for Quetta in search of health after his attack of fever, and was shortly afterwards created Commander-in-Chief of the Madras army. Stewart, after installing Abdur Rahman as Ameer of Kabul, marched the whole British force out of that city on their return to India, one brigade alone being left as a temporary measure in the Khyber Pass.

Lord Roberts pays, as well he might, a glowing tribute to the unflagging energy and perseverance of his "splendid troops," both British and native, from whom he finally parted at the Bolan Pass :—

"As I parted with each corps in turn its band played Auld Lang Syne,' and I have never since heard that memory-stirring air without its bringing before my mind's eye the last view I had of the Kabul-Kan

dahar Field Force. I fancy myself crossing and recrossing the river hear the martial beat of drums and which winds through the pass; I plaintive music of the pipes; and I see Riflemen and Gurkhas, Highlanders and Sikhs, guns and horses, camels and mules, with the endless following of an Indian army, winding through the narrow gorges, or over the passage of the Bolan so difficult and wearisome to man and beast. I shall never forget the feeling of sadness with which I said good-bye to the men who had done so much for me. I looked upon them all, native friends. And well I might, for never as well as British, as my valued had a commander been better served."

the interminable boulders which made

Here ends the long tale of Lord Roberts' active service in the field, which began with the movable column of the Punjab, and ended with this splendid march from Kabul to Kandahar, with the complete overthrow of the Afghan army at the end of it. It was this latter exploit which chiefly arrested the attention of his countrymen, and gained for him the enthusiastic reception which awaited him on his return to England. He himself, and probably his readers will concur with him, considered his march from Kuram to Kabul the previous autumn in reality the greater military achievement, in every particular more difficult, more dangerous, and more responsible. In this lastmentioned operation his force was little more than half the strength

with which he marched to Kan- to the fall of Kabul and the relief dahar. During the latter part of of Kandahar there is compressed it, after crossing the Shutargardan, within a quarter of a century he was in the midst of quite as enough of daring achievement and hostile tribes, "entirely dependent determined conflict with overon the country for supplies, heavily powering numbers of brave and handicapped by want of transport, resolute enemies to convince the and practically as completely cut world that a nation which can off from communication with India produce such men has not entered as I was a year later on the march yet on the period of its decline, has to Kandahar." Before him was not yet had its energies and spirit Kabul, with its large and well- sapped by peace and prosperity, equipped arsenal and a highly but is still capable of vindicating organised army; around him were its empire in all parts of the tribesmen hurrying to defend its globe. Amongst the many heroes approaches; within his camp a which that space of time brought traitor in the form of the Ameer, to the front, Lord Roberts has won posing as the friend to the British a foremost place, and every one Government and a refugee seeking must rejoice at the honours which our protection, while in reality he have been showered upon him, and was a deadly foe. which he has so richly deserved.

The destruction of the British force in 1842 brought home to the English mind the perils of Afghan warfare. Lord Roberts' successes ought not to diminish the caution with which military operations in that country should be attempted. They give one the impression of being hazardous to the last degree, not to be undertaken without the utmost precautions to ensure success, or without the most urgent requirements of political necessity. Lord Roberts cannot be suspected of unduly magnifying their difficulties. But the desperateness of the whole proceeding, the peril of annihilation in case of hesitation, are shown by his remark with regard to the prospects of his small force when surrounded by foes and approaching Kabul: "Had there been on our part the smallest hesitation or delay, we should have found ourselves opposed by as formidable a combination as we had to deal with two months later at Sherpur. Nothing could then have saved the force, not one man of which, I firmly believe, would have ever returned to tell the tale in India." From the fall of Delhi

There is an amusing glimpse of the way in which our Indian heroes regarded the actions of their country and compatriots in South Africa. Lord Roberts, after the Afghan campaigns, went home more or less invalided before entering upon his duties in Madras. "Six weeks out of these precious months of leave," Lord Roberts says, were spent in a wild-goose chase to the Cape of Good Hope and back, upon my being nominated by Mr Gladstone's Government Governor of Natal and Commander of the Forces in South Africa, on the death of Sir George Colley, and the receipt of the news of the disaster at Majuba Hill." Naturally enough, he expected a brisk business, having usually up to that time been selected for command when some dangerous and desperate enterprise was on foot. Matters on this occasion took a turn to which he was not accustomed. "While I was on my way out to take up my command peace was made with the Boers in the most marvellously rapid and unexpected manner." A peace without honour or the semblance of honour! Lord

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