Guardian from London, Greater London, England on May 1, 1895 · Page 9
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Guardian from London, Greater London, England · Page 9

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London, Greater London, England
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Wednesday, May 1, 1895
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Page 9
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THE GUARDIAN, MAY 1, 1895. 629 into which he had retired was regularly besieged. During the following month the enemy made repeated but unsuccessful assaults, but on the 5th of April and the following days they put the garrison in sore peril by pushing up their " sangars "—the stone walls by which they covered their approach—to within forty yards of the main gate of the fort, while at the same time they occupied a summer-house in the garden, and began a mine under it. Encouraged by this advance they made a general attack from all sides on the 11th, but were driven off. Ib was now the turn of the garrison to take the offensive, and on the 17th they sallied out, recaptured the summer-house by the bayonet, and blew up the mine, which had reached within a few feet of the wall. Three days afterwards Colonel Kelly marched into the town with his reinforcement from Gilgit. A flying column from the van of the Peshawur army had already appeared in the valley; the friendly Khan of Dir was rapidly advancing to the rescue; and the siege came to an end. The enemy dispersed in all directions; their two leaders hid themselves in the neighbouring valleys, and the gallant garrison breathed freely. But they had not held their position without great loss and suffering. Excessive work and bad food had produced the natural result in sickness. The " wonderful marksmanship " of the enemy, who commanded the fort on all sides and had pushed their sangars close up to the walls, told severely upon the little band of defenders. Out of their smail number, 101—nearly a third part of the whole—had been wounded, and thirty-nine of them fatally. One British officer, Captain Baird, was among the killed, and Mr. Robertson himself was wounded, though we are glad to know that he is rapidly recovering and pronounces himself " fit for any amount of work." Of his troops he says " that the discipline, devotion, and fortitude displayed by " all ranks under circumstances which required all those " qualities is beyond praise." The terror of imagination were added to their actual sufferings; for a general belief, which was happily quite unfounded, had prevailed that the Mohammedans all round, including even the Ameer of Afghanistan, had joined in a holy war against them, so that their situation seemed quite desperate. That under all these discouragements they should have held out to the end deserves the high compliment paid them at Simla, where their resistance is said to be " comparable in a manner with that of the Eesidoncy of Lucknow." We have been describing the close, or perhaps rather the penultimate scene, of a romantic drama. A brief sketch may be acceptable of the previous development of the plot. For this we are largely indebted to the clear and lively narrative of the Times correspondent on Friday last. The story begins ten years ago, when Colonel Lockhart was sent to see what could be done in the way of promoting friendly relations with the chiefs that occupy the great mass of mountain and valley that fills the space between the Hindu Kush and the outer rampart, where the Himalaya sinks into the plain of the Indus. North and west this region is embraced by Afghanistan, and the present enterprising and powerful Ameer has been pushing his way into it further than it suited our interests to allow. Sir M. Durand was sent to arrange matters with the Ameer, and a demarcation commission was tho result, which has probably helped, by rousing the jealousy of the tribes, to bring about the present situation. But the immediate object of the Indian Government is not to rule or annex these wild tribes, but to induce them to become our willing and watchful allies. They cluster round the mouths of the passes which lead down from Contral Asia to the plains of India. These are the gates of our empire in this direction, and we wish to make the tribes which command them our gatekeepers. Something has been already done in this way. Beginning from the north-east, we have compelled Hunza and Nagar, far up in the mountains, to acknowledge our superiority; we have established a post in Gilgit, which is a dependency of Kashmir a little further south; and from Gilgit we have stretched out a long arm to Chitral, 220 miles to the west. When Colonel Lockart went to Chitral in 1885, the Mehtar, or ruler, was Aman-ul-Mulk, who had managed to consolidate various tribes and to rule the whole valley with a strong hand. Two of the four legitimate wives which are permitted to every Mussulman were the daughters respectively of tho Khan of Dir and the Khan of Asmar. Each of them had two sons. The former was the mother of Nizam-ul-Mulk and Afzul-ul-Mulk, tho latter of Imir-ul-Mulk and Shuja-ul-Mulk. All these four have boon Mehtars in their turn for a longer or shorter period. The death of the old Aman in September, 1892, was the signal for a general scramble. Afzul-ul-Mulk, the younger grandson of the Khan of Dir, was the first to seize tho vacant throne. His brother, Nizam, who was governor of a distant province, after a feeble attempt to oust him, fled to Gilgit, where he remained secure under British protection. But Afzul-ul-Mulk had not been two months on the throne, when he was suddenly attacked and killed by an uncle, Sher Afzul—the similarity of these names is provokingly confusing—who forthwith proclaimed himself Mehtar. Nizam-ul-Mulk now saw his opportunity. He marched upou Sher Afzul, defeated him, drove him back to Afghanistan, and became in his turn Mehtar of Chitral. But he had learnt the value of British countenance, and one of his first acts was to request the presence of a British officer. Mr. Bobertson, tho agent at Gilgit, accordingly paid him a visit in January, 1893—for all these events had been crowded into tho short space of three months. Mr. Robertson, after a stay of some months, returned to Gilgit, leaving Lieutenant Gurdon as Political Resident at Chitral, who after a while transferred his headquarters to Mastuj, about sixty miles off. He happened, howover, to be again at Chitral when tho next act in this complicated tragedy occurred. On the 1st of January in this year Nizam was shot dead whilo out hawking by tho direction of his half-brother, Amir-ul-Mulk, the son of the daughter bf the Khan of Asmar. But Amir is a weak lad of eighteen, who was probably instigated to this by stronger characters than his own. At any rate, the situation was immediately taken advantage of by Umra Khan, who is connected with Amir by a double marriage, and who has beep .for some years the most redoubtable and ambitious chieftain of these valleys. Chitral had long been an object of his ambition, and he seized the occasion of its anarchy to pour his forces into the country. He was joined by Sher Afzul, eager to revenge his former defeat; and the two together surrounded the fort, where Lieutenant Gurdon had now been reinforced by Mr. Robertson with the small band of native soldiers we have described above. Captain Ross, who had endeavoured to bring a small contingent from Mastuj, bad been cut off by the way. Umra's levies fought well, inspired by the double motive of fanaticism and plunder; but he was drawn away from the siege of Chitral by the necessity of meeting the well-appointed army of 14,000 men which Sir R. Low was leading from Peshawur, and though he offered a vigorous opposition on the Malakand Pass and in the valleys of the Swat and the Panjkora, he was driven back point by point. The Khan of Dir, who had been a victim of Umra's earlier conquests, and who would bear a natural grudge to the persons who had profited by the deaths of his relatives, Nizam and Afzul- ul-Mulk, gave valuable assistance to the British forces. Amir himself, who had been detected by Mr. Robertson at the beginning of the siege in a secret correspondence Avith Umra, was at once arrested and deposed, and his brother, Shuja-ul-Mulk, a boy of nine years old, was temporarily appointed Mehtar in his place until the decision of the Indian Government should be taken. What that decision will be is probably as yet undetermined. Wo have only attempted to trace the family tragedy up to the point which it has at present reached. was quite evident at the meeting of the National Union of Teachers, only a fortnight ago, at Manchester, that the teachers in general regarded the proposals of the committee with no disfavour, though they naturally avoided committing themselves until those proposals had taken definite shape. As we recently said, it would be almost disloyal for any Churchman not to give at least a general and provisional support to the scheme of the Archbishops' Committee at the point which it has at present reached. The subject is to be considered, we understand, at a representative meeting of the National Society to be held on Friday next. Many will doubtless be there who have previously supported other schemes, and who may still think their own schemes, at least in the abstract, better than the one on behalf of which we are speaking. Upon them, and upon the meeting in general, we will only press two considerations, which are in reality one. The need of the Church schools is sorely great, greater even than was admitted by the Archbishops' Committee, and the practical question for us is not so much what is the best scheme as what effective scheme is there which we are most likely to get influentially supported and carried through Parliament. Here before us is a scheme which is supported by high ecclesiastical and educational authority, which is effective, and which, if Churchmen unite around it, can undoubtedly be made law. The practical conclusion seems to us inevitable. THE MAINTENANCE OF CHURCH SCHOOLS. The speech of the Bishop of London at his diocesan conference upon this subject may be said to have marked a distinct advance. He has always indeed been accustomed to put the obligation of Churchmen to maintain their schools upon its only true and proper ground. One of the chief functions of tho Church is to preserve Christian education in the country, and the most effective manner in which she can do so is to keep up Church schools. When we have done the best we can with Board schools, said the Bishop in effect, wo know that our influence upon the religious instruction given in them has necessarily been indirect, and will very possibly be intermittent; but in our Church schools we are sure that there can be no putting on one side of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity, and we have teachers whom we have chosen in view of their ability not only to give secular but also religious instruction. And at this point the Bishop of London laid his finger upon the fallacy which underlies much of the current outcry against " religious tests." To impose a religious test upon a man as a condition of his holding a civil,or secular office is politicall y an anachronism and religiously a contradiction; so far from compelling an unbeliever to take tho Holy Communion wo ought to be glad that he stays away. But because a test is a mistaken tool when it is used in tho wrong place, that is no reason for condemning tests whon they are used in the right place. It is absurd to take every precaution to find out whether a man can teach Euclid and none at all to find out whether he can teach religion. The Bishop, in saying these things, is not to betaken as advocating the use of religious tests in the process of appointing teachers in Board schools. His point is to show the superiority for purposes of religious instruction of Church schools, where religious tests can be employed in this way, over Board schools where they cannot. The Bishop of London naturally closed his address with somewords recommending Churchmen generally to support tho proposals which have been recently made by the Arch bishops' Committee. We say " naturally " bocauso ho had already made it very plain to his audience that tho chief difficulty in the path of the,Voluntai*y schools is tho pecuniary difficulty, and that the pecuniary difficulty is very serious indeed. His reason for preferring State-aid to rate-aid is well worth expressing in his own words:— " The dispute which is going on in regard to religious " instruction will continue, beyond all question, for some " timo; and it is far better that whilo it goes on it should " be in the hands of those who are dealing with tho wholo " country than that it should rago with violent fury in all the " separate localities." We have ourselves not infrequently pointed out that the tradition of rate-aid is one of interference in matters of religious instruction, whereas tho tradition of " State-aid " is all the other way. But there are other and strong arguments which should move Churchmen to support the schemo of the Archbishops' Committee apart from those adduced by tho Bishop of London. Any schomo of rate-aid, however well conceived, would enormously increase tho educational rato almost everywhere, and there is a strong disinclination throughout the country to have the ratosT increased in any way or upon any ground. Again, even those who think that some particular schemo of rate-aid would be better than the scheme which the Archbishops' Committee recommends must allow that the Arohbishops' schomo has received a wonderful amount of influential support, and that it is the only schemo which in practice has tho slightest chance of coming into effect. Behind it are ranged tho Convocations of both Provinces of the Church of England, besides a host of diocesan boards of education and educational associations. Behind the principle of rate-aid, on the other hand, there has been but one small though convincod and thoroughly resolute body, tho Roman Catholics; and it is now clear that the Roman Catholics, who in this matter seek the name ends as ourselves, will not obstinatoly oppose themselvos to the woll-supported scheme which the Anglican committeo dovised. This is evident from tho appeal of tho English Roman Catholic Bishops, dated April 24th of this year, in which they formally enunciate the principle " that all denominational " schools, faithfully complying with the requirements of " the Education Department, have a right to receive an " equal proportionate share with Board schools of all " public moneys, whether paid from the rates or the taxes, " for educational purposes." Further, the actual proposals of the Archbishops' Committeo considerably affect the status of tho teachers employed in elementary schools; therefore it is a matter of interest to note how they have been received by persons BO nearly cenctrned. Nov? it I POINTS IN CHURCH LAW. The following difficulty has been submitted to us by a correspondent, who is a churchwarden of a parish in which the curates are paid wholly out of the collections made in church. The rector has lately appointed a curate at a higher stipend than the churchwardens consider that they can afford out of the money collected, and, having failed to procure the difference between this higher stipend and that which has heretofore been paid, he has required the churchwardens to pay tho curate at the higher rate. Our correspondent asks us whether this requirement can bo enforced. We are not aware of any legal obligation on a parson to keep, or on churchwardens to pay, a curate where the incumbent is resident, or has not brought himself within tho quasi-^onal provisions of the Pluralities Act, 1838 (1 and 2 Vic, c. 106). The question seems rather to be as to the proper disposition of the alms collected in church. If the wholo money so collected is insufficient to pay the stipends as fixed by the rector, no question arises; but if, as we suppose is the case, there is enough money to pay the stipends, but, in the judgment of the churchwardens, they could only be paid by neglecting other legitimate purposes, the case falls within the rubric at the end of the Communion Service:— "The money given in the offertory shall be disposed of to such pious and charitable Uses as the minister and churchwardens shall think fit. Wherein if they disagree, it shall be disposed of as the Ordinary shall appoint." If the rector and churchwardens cannot come to an agreement, they must refer tho matter to the Bishop. TO OUR READERS. The opinions expressed in signed articles, or in articles marked Communicated, or From a Correspondent, are not necessarily those of the GUARDIAN. The appearance of such articles only implies that the Editor thinks them of sufficient interest to justify their publication. TO CORRESPONDENTS. The "Editor cannot undertake to return MSS. But when a stamped and addressed envelope is sent in the same cover as that which contains the MS., he will do his best to send it back. Stamps alone, or a stamped and addressed envelope sent afterwards, or in another cover, are not sufficient. The number of appeals j"or money which reach us is so great that we are obliged to refuse them insertion, unless they are of exceptional interest or authority. In any other case, if a letter is accepted, it must refer to an advertisement appearing in the same number. The Queen, accompanied by Princess Beatrice and Princess Victoria of Schloswig-Holstoiii, passed through Carlsruho on Wednesday, being mot at tho station by tho Emporor, tho Grand Duke and Duchess of Baden, and the Hereditary Grand Duko and Duchess. Her Majesty arrived at Darmstadt at 1.80, and was received by the Grand Duko and Duchess of Hosso, with whom she stayed at the Old Palaco. On Thursday her Majesty recoived a visit from tho Empress Fredorick, who was accompanied by Prince and Princess Frederick Charles of Hosso. On Friday Queen Victoria, accompanied by Princess Beatrice, returned the. Empress's visit at Cronberg, and also went with her to see tho monument erected to tho lato Emperor at Homburg. On Saturday afternoon the Emperor arrived and visited tho Queen. The Royal party dined together at tho palace on tho Luisenplatz, and afterwards witnessed a performance of Bonodix's ZUrtlioheti Verwandten by tho company of tho Court Theatre. On Sunday tho Queen aiid tho Emperor attended divine sorvico in tho puluco chapol, tho Itov. Dr. Erhart, chaplain, officiating. Afterwards her Majesty drove to Itosonhoho to lay wreaths on the tomb of tho lato Princess Alice. Tho Empress Frederick returned to Cronberg. Tho Emporor spent, tho evening with her Majesty. Tho following morning ho roviowed tho troops and left by an oarly train. Queen Victoria^ accompanied by Princesses Boatrico and Victoria, loft Darmstadt on her return to England at 10 p.m. On St. George's Day the Princo of Wales presided over a dinnor which was given at tho Imperial Institute to tho Duko of Cambridge, Grand Master of the Order of St. Michael and St. Georgo, to conunomoriito tho fiftieth anniversary of the Duke's appointment as a Knight Grand Cross. On Friday the Princo took tho chair at the second annual meeting of the Itoyal Naval Fund. On Saturday his Royul Highness received, at tho Victoria station, tho Queen of tho. Nothorlands and hor mother, the Queen ltogeut, who are staying in Euglaud for a short time, incognito. Lord Moncrciff, who died on Saturday, in his eighty-fourth year, was the second eon of Sir James Well wood Moncreiff, ninth baronet of that name and a Lord of Session in Scotland. His grandfather was an eminent minister of the Established Church of Scotland; his elder brother an equally distinguished minister of the Free Church. He himself was called to the Scotch Bar in 1883, and became Solicitor-General for Scotland

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