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NOTES., Issue 8050, 29 October 1889
The horror of a great crime is som?ti(ncs ehhanCed by the character of A Foul the place where it is committed. Crime. Unspeakably shocking as the Whitechapel mntders were they Would have seemed more revolting had they been perpetrated in some quiet county parish. In the slums of a great city, where vice and crime of all kinds are rampant, howc - er shocked wo may be, wo can scare ;ly bo said to be startled by the occurrence of some exceptionally barbarous deed. But when such a deed is done in a peaceful rural retreat, the contrast between the crime and the scene deepens horror with which It is regarded. This contrast had doubtless something to do with the extraordinary sensation caused by the recent murder of a tourist in Arran. That interesting island, the paradise if the tourist and the “ jawel of the geologist,” where the inhabitants are gentle and peaceable, and crime is almost unknown, is about the last one would have associated with deeds of blood, When, therefore, the news of the murder of the young Englishman was published the horror and surprise of the public knew no bounds. Rose started with a casual companion to ascend Goatfell, the highest peak in the island, from which there is a magnificent view on a clear day, and was never again seen alive. He might, of course, have met with an accident but the fact that his companion had also disappeared excited suspicion, and after a search of some days his body was found in Glen Sannox, but so carefully covered with stones that the searchers would have missed it but for the tokens of decomposition borne op the air! Hehad beyond doubt been murdered in the lonely glen where his mangled remains were discovered, probably after descending Goatfell. The head of Glen Sannox, which runs up into the north side of the mountain, is very grand and gloomy—
Where reels are rudely heaped and rent As by a apt it turbulent; Where sights are rough and sounds are wild, And everything unrcoonciKd. If the murder was committed in this part of the glen there would, indeed, be a certain weird correspondence between the place and the deed : but if it were lower down, where the glen opens out into a scene of exquisite beauty, where the most glorious heather in all the three Kingdoms is to be found, and where there is a small burying ground in which so many of the peaceable islanders sleep, their graves all grown over with tall grasses, no scene could be more unfit for the crime of spilling a brother’s blood. There is, by the way, a painting of this very spot one of the sweetest in all Scotland —in the small collection of pictures belonging to the Art Society in the municipal buildings. It is not a bad painting, but it is not nearly equal to the original. The supposed murderer—the youth who accompanied Rose to Arran—was apprehended between Hamilton and Larkhall some weeks after the murder, and the presumption is that he stained the pure heather of Glen Sannox with his horrid crime for the sake of a few pounds sterling I
Emperors are not much to be envied in these times The visit which The Meeting- jjj 3 imperial Majesty of Russia Emperors, bas paid to His Imperial Majesty of Germany was, to outward view, a pleasant enough affair. The interviews between the Majesties have bsen, according to report, extremely cordial; but all the while the poor Czar was no doubt in mortal terror. This descendant—of presumed descendant—of Peter the Great (his pedigree is not quite certain) has never shown himself to be above fear. This weakness; which he shares with a good many of his fellow-creatures, kept his head a stranger to the sacred Imperial Crow a for months after his accession; and still keeps him for the most part a prisoner, and anything but a prisoner of hope, in the Palace of Gatschina, Nor is he greatly to blame, if he cares much for his life. He is not safe even in his prison-palace, for there seems to be nobody in Russia whom he can implicitly tnist; apd he scarcely ever stirs abroad but the Nihilists are ready with some implement of destruction to send him out of the world
if they ban. If they can ! It is really wonderful how he escapes. There must be a divinity that doth hedge even a Russian Emperor. But the fate of his sire will, we suspect, more than counterbalance the calculation of probabilities in the poor Czar’s m'nd. Judge, then, of the constant painful anxiety he must have felt during his visit to Germany ; never sure that the Nihilists might not be upon him the next moment. How he must have envied the fame of Emperor Frederick the Good as he placed a wreath upon his tomb ! But that Emperor’s son (the present Kaiser) must have been almost as anxious as the Czar himsejft lest anything should befall his Imperial guest on German ground. They drank each other’s health with all the usual expressions of friendship and esteem, and no doubt with ns much gaiety of manner as possible; but we should not wonder if their hands trembled with something else than joy as they raised the glasses to their lips. Better to be common people, and able to visit our friends without fear of the assassin !
But Emperors have anxieties of State as well as personal anxieties. The Triple While the Czar and the Kaiser Alliance, toasted each other, and ex-
pressed the hope that the peace which bad existed between Russia and Germany for a hundred years might still con ■ tinue, the former could scarcely help thinking of the Triple Alliance, nor the latter of the massing of Russian troops on the German and Austrian frontier. Even when the wine was flowing the relations between the two Emperors would be somewhat strained—or, let us say, constrained. The Russian monarch is said to have told the German that the reports of his doings on the latter’s frontier had been much exag gerated ; but we do not remember that the German monar?h assured the Russian that the Triple Alliance was all a myth. That wo aid, perhaps, have been to stretch courtesy to an undue extent. Nor did the Czar swear to the Kaiser that he wonid never have any relations with his (the Kaiser’s) troublesome neighbor —France. The visit is said to have assured—we should rather say reassured—the peace of Europe. Let us hope so. Meanwhile the Emperor of Russia has gone back to his Nihilists and doubtless to go on massing troops on the German frontier, while his brother of Germany asks for an additional war credit, and tries to get the Sultan to join the anti-Russian Alliance. Verily, the peace of Europe assured costs as much as wars of old, with Triple Alliances and enormous armaments.
Our local mounted defenders, the Otago hussars, have been for a >eek under Captain Coleian’s care at Tahuna Park. 'l’hey have not had very good weather, but we have no doubt they have had good The captain was himself drilled in the ranks, and he has seen service in many lands, having smelt powder In the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny, and we know not what other hurly burlies. He is thus well inured to arms, and be has little patience with the holiday spirit with which some of our volunteers regard their duty. He comes down from Wellington to try to make soldiers of them —heroes, if possible, but soldiers at any rate—but be is so perfectly impartial, and so free from anything like petty, spiteful bitterness that his pupils take his jibes and sarcasms, cutting as they are, in good part. “He gives us fits,” one of them remarked the other day, “ but wo cannot help liking the old follow \ he is so genuine and so good hearted.’ It is as good as a play to watch the bluff outspoken captain during drill. Colonials do not take kindly to discipline. Sec the rank and file of cur volunteers at a railway station, or in a train or hotel—how noisy and obstreperous they are; whereas soldiers, and citizen soldiers especially, should be conspicuous the self-restraint and decorum of their behaviour. There is no forfeiture of independence in obedience to legitimate authority, or in a sorupulousobservanceof therulesof one’s profession. CaptainColeman,atanyrate,does his best to drill the colonial cavalry into perfect soldiers. -He never misses an opportunity of enforcing the lesson that when they are under arms they should suppress even the innocent vanities of human nature—
Under Canvas ' T
.. . .. .. think more of their duty tnav iiiey ouv-.~ • 11 that hs than of their uniform. Wo are u,.u objects to their exhibiting themselves in fall regimental rig before the xVindovVa of their own houses for their own delectation and that of their Wives, mothers* or Maters. This is a little hard on poor human nature, but it is erring on the safe side. Warfare is a. tollgh business, and the preparation for it should be self-control. Tim eiptiiin'is reproofs and hints and ot.rer modes of correction are all with a view to their good. You can detect a kindliness even in the harsh tones of his voice, and it is this duality tbit ofafieats him ft) bin sabre-tridl-ing life to Captain Coleihap, and may his Hussars never show their backs to a foe !
NOTES., Issue 8050, 29 October 1889
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