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(By Sir CHARLES Ros, late Chief Judge of the Chief Court of the Punjab.)
RETROSPECT OF THE YEAR'S LITERATURE (by LIONEL ROBIN-
SON); SCIENCE (by J. REGINALD ASHWORTH, M.Sc., late Honorary
and (by John E. Talbot) MUSIC.
THE Editor of the ANNUAL REGISTER thinks it neces-
all parts of the Empire in the joy and pride with which the Australian people celebrated the achievement of their effective unity. To the high significance of that event a fitting tribute was paid in the somewhat more formal, but very felicitously chosen phrases of the message despatched on the same occasion on the part of the Queen's Government. They “welcomed” the Commonwealth of Australia “to her place among the nations united under her Majesty's sovereignty,” “confidently anticipated for the new Federation a future of ever-increasing prosperity and influence,” and “recognised in the long-desired consummation of the hopes of patriotic Australians a further step in the direction of the permanent unity of the British Empire.' It was well done thus to emphasise the strengthening of the whole fabric of the realm through the political consolidation of States which, as the message from the Imperial Government also said, had always displayed, severally, a "generous loyalty and devotion to the Throne and Empire.” It was well done, at a moment when the news from South Africa continued to illustrate the arduous nature of the Imperial enterprise undertaken there in 1899, and the distance still to be traversed before overt Boer resistance to British arms should be completely beaten down, to say nothing of the ultimate reconciliation of the Dutch element to the establishment of British authority over the territories of the former Republics. Very unpleasant New Year messages had come to hand both from the Transvaal and from Cape Town. In the last days of December, as people at home learned on January 1, a big gun had been "rushed and carried off at the fort of Helvetia in the Eastern Transvaal, four officers and twenty-two men being wounded and eleven men killed and several taken prisoners at the same place, while on the railway near Standerton a train was derailed and several waggonloads of supplies were got clear away. More disturbing intelligence still was that which told of the penetration of invading bands from the late Orange Free State to points even farther south in Cape Colony than they had come in January, 1900, and in particular of their arrival in the neighbourhood of such a centre of hostile Dutch feeling as Graaf Reinet. So serious was the situation recognised as being that on the last day of the old year and century a proclamation was issued by the Cape Government, calling upon the loyal inhabitants to form a colonial defence force to aid the military in repelling the invasion, guarding the lines of communication, and maintaining order in the disturbed districts. To this summons there was a prompt and enthusiastic response, which did much to relieve the discouragement undoubtedly caused at home by the various evidences of the activity and unbroken temper of the Boers.
Still the situation presented in the South African telegrams, when (Jan. 2) Lord Roberts reached England from the Cape contained so many elements of anxiety as to detract appreciably from the triumphal character which his arrival