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soldiers are not brave, or that Russia mentioned that reveal the desire for has ceased to be a formidable military progress in Habibullah's mind. Others Power. She has just the same chances might be found in his promotion of of success against a State that possesses horse-breeding and agriculture, in the only an inferior organization as she promptitude with which he prevented had before the struggle commenced on the increase of the price of grain by the shores of the Yellow Sea; and the the merchants during a period of Ameer has not concealed his belief that scarcity last year, and in his adoption Afghanistan at present possesses only of electricity as the system for lightan inferior organization. His appre- ing his capital and palace. If a combension as to the consequences to his prehensive view is taken of all these own country is the more lively be- facts, it will be admitted that the cause he seems to believe in the im- young Afghan ruler has displayed a minence of trouble in Central Asia, progressive tendency that, if wisely which all our authorities, it may be encouraged, may, before he is an old mentioned, agree in discrediting. But man, contribute to the prosperity of his if we do not share the fears of Habi- people, and bring about a real and bullah there will still be general agree- lasting awakening of Afghanistan. ment with his main conclusion, that The question that now has to be Afghanistan has only a very inferior carefully considered is in what way organization with which to defend her can the Government of India, which, territory and independence.
in this quarter, directs and acts for He has already taken some small British policy, assist this movement, at steps to improve it. He has opened the same time that it does not lose arsenals at both Herat and Mazar-i- sight of its own special and personal Sharif, whereas Cabul possessed, until concerns. The Ameer tells his officials quite recently, the only factory of arms and his people, so far as they may be in his kingdom. The arrangements for said to frequent his durbars, that the the defence of Herat have been im Japanese owe their success to organproved, the fortification of the undoubt ization, and that the Afghan State does edly strong and extensive position at not possess this essential element of Mazar-i-Sharif has been brought to strength and security. This may be completion. But these measures, how news to the Afghans, but it is none ever necessary and advantageous, to the British authorities, who were leave the question of organization un. aware of the fact. The Ameer sees in touched. No one knows the precise it an element of weakness and of peril value, or rather, want of value, of the to his country; the Indian Government existing Afghan organization, but it has long known that it made Afghaniswould be an absurdity to think that it tan a feeble barrier against the adapproaches, in even a remote degree, to vance of a well-organized Russian Japanese efficiency. The most hopeful army of adequate numerical strength. thing that can be said about it is that The late Ameer used to brag of his the Ameer, its responsible head, the line of forts along the Oxus, the presson and successor of the man who ent ruler seems to be taking a more created the existing Afghan army, ap- just view of the position. By his own pears to be aware of the defects in his line of reasoning, and for his own own system. Where the responsible needs, Habibullah is now inclined to ruler possesses this knowledge there express the very same opinions as the is good reason to look for improvement Indian Intelligence Department. Yet and reform. Some facts have been it would be going very much too fast
and too far to say that he is in the ficers would be commenced. The least degree inclined to accept the or- spread of education by the establishganization with which Lord Kitchener ment of a college for the sons of chiefs, would, no doubt, he happy to equipas projected by the Ameer, and of him. He must be left to work out his military schools, would surely bring salvation in his own way, and slower about the creation of the class of which and less direct means will have to be Afghanistan bas need. The Ameer's discovered if we are to render him plan of conferring commissions on useful co-operation.
chiefs who bring in a certain number It may not be inopportune to remind of recruits will also be of some avail, the reader that the Afghan race is as but only if the educational machinery brave and high-spirited as any on the in the State is at the same time imearth. With a good rifle iu his hand, proved and modernized. the Afghan, individually, would be The questions of greatest interest to more than a match for any soldier of the Indian Government, in regard to the Czar. But wars are no longer de. Afghanistan, are, however, not of the cided by the individual strength, cour. military order. They are divisible age, and activity of the combatants. under two main heads, trade and comThose qualities provide the best ma- munications. But they are matters terial of a fighting force, but it is for affecting the prosperity and security of those in authority to supply the or- Afghanistan, as closely as any detail of ganization and cohesive power without military organization. The late Ameer which courage counts for little. How Abdurrahman imposed import duties little has been accomplished in this on Indian trade that virtually killed it. direction in Afghanistan may be judged His policy was rigidly conservative, from the fact that no attempt has been and may be judged by one of his made to create a body of regimental favorite sayings: "Pack-horses, and not officers. The private soldier possesses railways, are all that the Afghans rea great many good points, but the quire for their commerce.” As the officer and non-commissioned officer necessary consequence, Afghan comare practically worthless in the military merce did not expand, and the State sense. Afghan organization is thus revenue has continued to be of a comtotally lacking in almost its first es- paratively low total. In the course of sential. An army without officers of years the demands on the Exchequer some slight degree of capacity is fore have grown heavier, while its own redoomed to defeat, and that appears to sources have proved cramped and unbe the true state of the Afghan army. elastic. The present ruler has disThis radical defect is put in the fore- played a more just view of the situaground of our comments because it ap- tion. He has not gone so far as to pears to be the one that the Govern- reverse the policy he inherited, but he ment of India could most easily co- has of late removed some of the more operate in removing, without com- severe and arbitrary restrictions on mitting itself too far in the direction of trade, and he has shown interest in interference in Afghanistan, and with the affairs of the Cabul merchants, and out compromising the Ameer's own more especially of the Povindahs, who position. There appears to be no ob- are the great carriers between his counjection to a certain number of officers try and India. As the consequence of of the Afghan army being trained with this slight diminution of rigor, the reIndian regiments. In this way the turns of trade across the borders show formation of a nucleus of efficient of a considerable increase, so that both
the merchants and the Government of awakening of Afghanistan. For nearly Afghanistan have benefited. The facts twenty years we have had a line of thus favor a more enlightened policy, railway to Chaman, on the southern and they may even have made it clear side of the great plain of Candahar, but to Habibullah that his father's policy owing to the Afghan prohibition to conwas mistaken.
tinue it, this railway has remained for At any rate, there is enough to justi- all commercial purposes absolutely usefy the belief that whenever the Indian less and unprofitable. To make the Government takes up the discussion of absurdity of the situation more glaring, a tariff with Afghanistan it will find we are now constructing through nonHabibullah far more willing to listen Afghan territory, but along the Afghan to reasonable suggestions than in the border, another railway, in order to past. It may be well to fix with pre- reach the Persian province of Seistan. cision exactly what the Indian Govern. There is nothing to be said against this ment want him most to do. The prin- Nushki route, which was adopted as cipal Indian produce for which we wish a pis aller, but it is undeniable that if to vbtain a market in Afghanistan and we and the Ameer could come to terms, Central Asia is tea. There was a it would appear of little importance period when it seemed as if Indian tea in comparison with trunk lines through might command those markets, but Candahar to Herat in one direction, these hopes were killed by the late and Cabul in the other. Ameer's policy. If Habibullah can be There is another matter to which the induced to place only a light import Amcer is not unlikely to lend a willing duty on it they will revive, and very ear, and this may pave the way to the satisfactory results must follow for introduction of railways into his counboth parties. It is true that Russia's try later on. He can have no misgiycustom houses come down to the Oxus, ings about facilitating the transmission and that the Russian import duty is of news. If he had acquiesced some even higher than the Afghan. But it time ago in the establishment of wiremay be observed that the markets less telegraphy between the Khyber south of the Oxus are extensive and and his capital, he would have got his profitable, and also that the Russian daily bulletin about the war more customs line may not prove so impene- rapidly and at less cost. Habibullah trable as is assumed. A diminution of has a good deal of mechanical knowl. the duty on tea can also be bought by edge. He was once a constant visitor some concessions on our side in favor to the Cabul workshops, and he is quite of Afghan produce.
convinced of the advantages of elecAn improvement in the tariff will tricity for lighting purposes. There not suffice by itself to cause any large is no apparent reason why he should augmentation in the volume of Indo demur to the employment of the same Afghan trade. It must be accompanied agency for the receipt of intelligence. by an improvement in communications. It is most essential in his own interests The argument that pack-horses are that he should be able to know at once good enough can no longer be taken what is happening at both Herat and seriously. We have reason to believe on the Oxus. Some remissness has that the Ameer is disposed to concede surely been shown in not impressing a good deal about the tariff, but we are on him the prime importance of this absolutely in the dark as to his views question. His suspicions might have about railways, and yet without rail- been dispelled if he had been exhorted ways there can never be any true in the first place to lay the wires only from his capital to his frontier towns, enumerated, definite and tangible conleaving the completion of the link with clusions and arrangements will be India for the future.
come to. The Ameer is not merely in It will thus be seen that there are an amiable mood; he has been brought grounds for believing that the immi- by current events to see the necessity nent meeting between the Ameer's son of making some change in his policy in and Lord Curzon, and the immediate order to provide against the perils of a despatch of a British mission to Cabul near future. He has shown himself under the charge of Mr. Louis Dane, alive to the signs of the times, and at the Indian Foreign Secretary, will be last it looks as if the Government of attended by good results. There are India were going to reap the reward some practical points to be arranged. of the patience and forbearance that They do not present any serious diffi- it has displayed in all its dealings with culty. The railway question may not Afghanistan during the last quarter be settled, but it will be brought nearer of a century. to settlement. On the other points
Demetrius C. Boulger. The Fortnightly Review.
FISHES ON THEIR DEFENCE.
The world of waters has ever been such rapidity as to test the bravest the scene of a strife without beginning gear. The gray mullet, enclosed in the and without end. The lives of fishes toils of the seine, will follow an enterare a game of all against all, the weak- prising leader over the edge of the net er terrorized by the stronger and hav- as sheep follow a leader through a ing recourse to all manner of tricks hedge. Yet it is but yesterday, so to to escape destruction. Sometimes they speak, that man invented his piscatus stay out of reach, but this is not al- hamatilis et saxatilis, and thus added ways possible. Alice's lobster talked himself to the already long list of the in contemptuous tones of the shark enemies of fishes. More interesting, when the sands were dry:
therefore, to the student of that class
is the consideration of some modes of But when the tide rises and sharks are
defence against natural enemies, such around His voice has a timid and tremulous
as have served fishes since the days sound.
when the weaker of them gave up the
struggle and repose on the coprolitic With the methods of self-defence deposits of the Rhætic beds. adopted by fishes struggling on the The natural enemies of the fish are book or in the net anglers and fisher- so many and so varied that like men have made us familiar. The Ishmael, it knows well how to take Australian leatherjacket will swim up care of itself when danger threatens. with the hook in its lip and with its In its own class, often enough, indeed, sharp teeth sever the slack line above. in its own species, in a number of The pollack will plunge headlong to the aquatic mammals and waterfowl, in rocks and fray the cast against some snakes and amphibians, in insects and handy shell of mussel or oyster. The crustaceans, indeed in almost the lowblue shark twists in the water with est realms of life, the fishes have so
many foes that the wonder is that to overlook, and these are the rays, they are able to survive as a class. which dig them out of their burrows Indeed, great fecundity must be re- with their pointed spouts and snap garded as Nature's provision for the de- them up in their sharp teeth before fence of the species, though it is with they have time to alight again. The the defence of the individual that these only chance of safety for a plaice or notes concern themselves.
dab thus dislodged would be to swim Anyone who would compare the de- above its enemy until the latter tired fensive methods of fishes with those of the chase, much as an educated old of terrestrial animals should first forin rook will sometimes avoid a falcon by some idea of the different physical soaring higher and higher above it in conditions and the peculiar environ- the blue sky, the hawk being unable ment in which they pass their lives. to strike its enemy except from above. These include the dim light, diffused The simplest equipment for defence only from above, the aids to ambush that we know exists in some form of in the shape of gloomy rock-pools, protective armor. Both in stern warparti-colored ground, clouds of sand fare and at play man has adopted such and curtains of seaweed, and the aids to safety, and the helmet of the operation of tides, currents, and, in fencer, the pad and glove of the crickshallow water, sudden squalls, helpful eter, or the more complete investment or hindering according to the point of of the American footballer, are but the view. Then, as regards the fishes modern travesty of the old armor worn themselves, there are the gregarious by knights on the field or in the tourand the solitary, the stationary and the ney. Among fishes such armor is not migratory, those which burrow in the common. In the mammals we find sand and those which hide among the familiar examples in the spines of the rocks. Not one of these conditions, hedgehog, in the quills of the porcuphysical or biological, but has its direct pine, in the bucklers of the armadillo, influence on the animal's choice of de- or in the skin of the rhinoceros. The fensive weapons when hard pressed. feathers of birds and the scales of some
Exposed as the class is, speaking reptiles may also be regarded as armor. generally, to the attacks of many and The scales of fishes, however, are in varied enemies, not all fishes have the many cases too soft to afford much same risks to run in life. The sharks protection against the teeth of a deand rays have obviously less to fear termined foe, and we must, as regards than the herring and the mackerel. living fishes, confine our admission of The fishes which live on the bottom efficient armor to the sturgeons and can clearly disregard the attacks of some of the rays and sharks. The such marauding fowl as the gull and extinct buckler-heads, which were betgannet, while even the cormorant and ter armored than any recent forms, diver do not as a rule seek their prey are considered to have been of low orfar beneath the surface water. The ganization, and it is strange that so typical ground-dwellers of our seas, well-protected a group should commoreover, the flatfish, are so formed paratively early have given up the that, save when extremely small, they struggle. In a lesser degree, it is true, would in all probability choke any any equipment of spinous fins may be fowl so ill-advised as to try to swallow regarded as armor, and the dorsal fin them whole. Yet these sand-dwelling in the bass and perch and spur-dog, as flatfish have enemies of their own well as the sharp spines on the gillwhich the surface-dwellers can afford covers of the weever and plaice and