It will be a long time before the story of the late war can be writtenfully and impartially. Even among the narratives of those who witnessedthe engagements there are many differences and discrepancies, as isnecessarily the case when the men who write are in different parts ofthe field. Until, then, the very meagre military despatches aresupplemented by much fuller details, anything like an accurate historyof the war would be impossible.
s are confident that it will be so. Gladstone's miserable surrender after our disasters at Laing's Nek and Majuba have puffed them up with such an idea of their own fighting powers and our weakness, that I believe they think they are going to have almost a walk over. Still, though it was certain that we should have a hard time whenever war came, we have been hoping for years that England would at last interfere to obtain redress for us, and we must not grumble now that what we have been so long expecting has at last come to pass. I believe there will be some stern fighting. The Boers are no cowards; courage is, indeed, as far as I know, the only virtue they possess. In the long run they must certainly be beaten, but it will only be after very hard fighting."
"What do you think they will do, father?"
"I can't say what they will do, but I am sure that what they ought to do is to merely hold the passes from Natal with enough men for the purpose, and to march their whole force, broken up into half a