An Evening Newspaper and Review.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 1888.
WHY does not Lord SALISBURY solve the double difficulty in which he is at present involved, by the brilliant stroke of appointing Sir CHARLES WARREN Warden of the Marches on the Upper Zambesi? It is a month since he haughtily proclaimed the whole of the territory lying between the Limpopo and the Zambesi as belonging to the sphere of British Influence, but he has done nothing to give effect to his proclamation. The peoples inhabiting this "British sphere" are liable to be eaten up by Boer settlers from the South and Arab invaders from the north. The treasures of the land of Ophir may pass to other owners. Our allies and protégés may be destroyed by their confidence in our word, and our position in South Africa hopelessly compromised, because of the lack of a competent representative of the British Government on the banks of the Zambesi. The Empire needs such a representative, and in Sir CHARLES WARREN there is the necessary man ready to hand.
We publish elsewhere, from the Times, a very interesting account of the gallant attempt which our brave missionaries on Lake Nyassa are making to stem the desolating tide of Arab war which is submerging Central Africa. We do not think that even the most embittered anti-Christian can feel other than admiration and sympathy for the little band of men who are risking all, even the continuance of the spiritual work, for which they left England and bury themselves in Africa, in order to avert from the helpless native populations the awful scourge of the slave raid. Twenty-six of them all told, Scotch and English, with 400 natives of doubtful value as fighting men, they stand a solitary outpost of civilization and humanity confronting the flood of Arab war. If they go down there is nothing to check the ravaging of Africa down to the Limpopo. The road to the Zambesi would be opened to them at once, and they will use the Lake Nyassa as the base for their piratical man-hunts to the South and the West. It is idle to say that this is none of our business. At a time when the Pope is sending Cardinal LAVIGERIE through Europe to preach a new holy war against the great scourge of Africa, it will not do for England, the Power which first aroused the human conscience to a sense of the horrors of slavery, to be apathetic in face of this revival and extension of the worst form of the African slave trade. Belgium, even little Belgium, is raising an armed band to proceed to Africa to oppose the advance of the Arabs, and although England has abandoned Khartoum and the Upper Nile, she cannot surrender as lightly the Zambesi, that Danube of South-eastern Africa.
To hold such a position Sir CHARLES WARREN is obviously the right man. He knows the country; he is familiar with the people, he is equally well versed in all the wiles of Arab war and with all the prejudices of the Boers. When Mr. CHILDERS brought him to Scotland-yard on the supersession of the Dodo, we heartily welcomed his appointment, believing that the metropolitan police stood in great need of the firm hand of an earnest and energetic reformer. If the Liberals had remained in office it is probable that we should never have had cause to regret the substitution of King Stork for King Log. Even as it was, we gave the Chief Commissioner steady and unfailing support, although the murmurs which reached us from all ranks were both loud and deep, as long as he could claim that he was only incurring unpopularity in the force by his zeal for the reformation and discipline of the police, we continued to support him loyally and faithfully. But after he restrained ENDACOTT that was no longer possible. From that fatal moment Sir CHARLES WARREN has steadily gone from bad to worse, until he has now succeeded in establishing a condition of things in Scotland-yard which Lord SALISBURY may well regard with uneasiness. The resignation of Mr. MONRO, the chief of the Criminal Investigation Department, is merely the most conspicuous outward and visible sign of the discontent which Sir CHARLES has created in the force. This discontent no doubt is largely due to the excellence of his intentions and his laudable desire to undo so far as he can the evil results of his ostentatious patronage of moral miracles of the type of St. ENDACOTT and St. BLOY, and the general embittering of the relations between the police and the public. Sir CHARLES might have reformed his police if he had taken care not to alienate the popular sympathy without which he is powerless. As it is he has lost his right-hand man, and is face to face with heartburnings, distractions, and discord, which render him impotent for future good.
Mr. MONRO, we hear, is likely to be appointed to be Head of the Third Section of political police with which Mr. JENKINSON was formerly associated. But Sir CHARLES WARREN stands in still more urgent need of promotion - away from Scotland-yard. He did admirably at Suakin during his brief term of office. Few pleasanter pictures have ever been seen than that of Sir CHARLES sitting in the market-place at Suakin on the Moslem Sabbath, winning the confidence of the people first by telling stories to the little urchins, and then by holding a kind of democratic levée or audience, which the poorest were free to attend, and where all were free to expose their grievances or to air their complaints. He has done nothing so good since he quitted Africa. He will do nothing so good till he returns to Africa again. His disappearance from Scotland-yard would be a great deliverance for the metropolis, his advent on the Zambesi as British Warden of the Marches would be an event full of promise for the future of South Africa.
IN PRAISE OF "THE SILLY SEASON."
To the EDITOR of the PALL MALL GAZETTE.
SIR, - Can you tell me why it is that the newspapers are always so interesting at this season of the year? I have often noticed that in August and September the articles begin to grow fresher and more varied; the hackneyed political subjects are dropped; anecdotes, descriptions of new scientific inventions, pretty accounts of the country, and deep thoughts about life take the place of the ordinary routine matter which no one ever reads. Is it because the gentlemen who write go away for autumn? Because, if it is, I am sure we should be quite content if they stayed away altogether, though no doubt they are thought very clever in their own set. I never enjoy the papers so much as in August; and I am sure there are plenty of people who think just the same. I hope you won't mind my saying so; but I feel certain that a great deal of money is wasted by newspaper proprietors on literary refinements and cleverness that only bore commonplace people like yours truly,
Here are two sentences delivered by Mr. Lushington at the Thames police-court yesterday, which, when placed side by side, afford matter for reflection :-
John Fitzgerald was charged with assaulting his wife. On the 16th inst. he struck her with a broom on the head and body and again on Friday he seized hold of her by the hair and punched her in the face, threatening to kill her. Prisoner was called upon to find one surety in £5 to keep the peace for six months, and, in default, to go to prison for seven days.
G. Best was charged with wilful damage. He applied for admission to the Mile End workhouse, but, owing to his being drunk, the superintendent refused to admit him. He then picked up a stone and threw it at a window, breaking it. Mr. Lushington sent him to prison for 14 days with hard labour.
Now it was quite right that the prisoner for breaking a window should receive some punishment, but surely his offence was a trivial one compared with that committed by the wife-beater. And yet while George Best was sent to durance vile for fourteen days, Mr. Lushington thought that justice would be satisfied by sending Fitzgerald to prison for seven days in default of finding a surety. The wife-beater certainly got the best of the bargain in this case.
HORRIBLE MURDER IN EAST LONDON.
ANOTHER WHITECHAPEL MYSTERY.
Scarcely has the horror and sensation caused by the discovery of the murdered woman in Whitechapel some short time ago had time to abate, when another discovery is made, which, for the brutality exercised on the victim, is even more shocking, and will no doubt create as great a sensation in the vicinity as its predecessor. The affair up to the present is enveloped in complete mystery, and the police have as yet no evidence to trace the perpetrators of the horrible deed. The facts are that as Constable John Neil was walking down Bucks-row, Thomas-street, Whitechapel, about a quarter to four o'clock this morning, he discovered a woman between thirty-five and forty years of age lying at the side of the street with her throat cut right open from ear to ear, the instrument with which the deed was done tracing the throat from left to right. The wound was an inch wide, and blood was flowing profusely. She was immediately conveyed to the Whitechapel Mortuary, when it was found that besides the wound in the throat the lower part of the abdomen was completely ripper open, with the bowels protruding. The wound extends nearly to her breast and must have been effected with a large knife. As the corpse lies in the mortuary it presents a ghastly sight. The victim seems to be between thirty-five and forty years of age, and measures five feet two inches in height. The hair is dark - features small. The hands are bruised, and bear evidence of having been engaged in a severe struggle. There is the impression of a ring having been worn on one of deceased's fingers, but there is nothing to show that it had been wrenched from her in a struggle. Some of the front teeth have also been knocked out, and the face is bruised on both cheeks and very much discoloured. Deceased wore a rough brown ulster with large buttons in front, a brown dress and a petticoat which bears the name of the Lambeth Workhouse. The clothes are torn and cut up in several places, bearing evidence of the ferocity with which the murder was committed. A night watchman was in the street where the crime was committed, but he heard no screams and saw no signs of the scuffle. The body was quite warm when taken to the mortuary at half-past four this morning.