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was ever within their reach, but mate that the Japanese losses à counter - irritant was easily were just about half of those found, - how easily even we incurred by the Russians. in Europe did not then realise. They had to expend life reckIt is difficult to sum up the lessly to reoccupy Hei-kou-tai, results of this terrible battle and they also lost a very large in the snow.
We have already amount in the outpost operashown how practically one tions of the opening day,—the Russian division was annihil- majority the Japanese ated in front of San-de-pu ; the pickets preferring to die at Japanese losses, before they their posts rather than impliwere able to
reoccupy Hei-kou- cate the main line of defence tai, were simply enormous; but by retiring too rapidly. neither of these compare
Lord Brooke, who was preway to the terrible scene of sent throughout the whole of slaughter which was enacted this desperate fighting, sums in the final retreat of the up the effect of the battle in Russians back to Chang-tan. the following suggestive paraNogi and a portion of Oku's graph : army pursued them to the Hun-ho, and having reached
“The battle of San-de-pu had the this point the Japanese, prob- most deplorable effect on the whole
The work of three months ably from reasons of caution, and more of reorganising the force stayed their hand.
since the battle of the Sba-ho was It was estimated at the time almost entirely thrown away. Prior
to the defeat of Gripenberg the army in telegraphic despatches that
had recovered its tone. There were the Russian losses
officers more thoughtful and better January
25 and January informed than the majority, who 29 just
10,000 still had misgivings as to the ability officers and men.
The casual of the Russian army to reverse Liauties, taking into considera- yang and the Sha-ho. They did not
affect the general spirit. The men, tion the atmospheric condi- well-clothed and well-fed, cheered by tions under which this action the presence of new comrades, had was fought, were enormous, enjoyed a long rest, and were full of
courage. less than 50 per cent of the
Guns, ammunition, and
supplies had arrived in plenty, and wounded being retrieved from confidence in the future was almost the field of battle.
universal. Then came San-de-pu with therefore, not be an ungenerous
its disastrous ending of over 20,000 estimate to hazard 20,000 as
casualties : the morale of the men the actual losses in the futile
gradually weakened, and, worst of
all, caused acute dissension in the endeavour to turn the Japanese ranks of the officers. All this had line at San-de-pu.
the most depressing effect, and it is price indeed to pay for a poli- beyond question that the defeat of tical counter - irritant. The
San-de-pu was one of the chief causes
of the subsequent rout of the Russians Japanese themselves allowed
at Mukden. that they had 7000 casualties. Leaving a margin to cover the No analysis that we can deductions of the military make will clearly apportion secrets bureau, we may esti
the blame for the dismal errors
in direction which are the confidentially said that he was chief features of the battle we about to order the full develophave just studied. The actualment of his whole fighting patent results were the most strength against the Japanese extraordinary. As soon front when he heard of the Gripenberg had withdrawn his failure of the Siberian Army army of shattered battalions Corps. He at once exhibited across the Hun, he posted into those failings which were so Mukden and flung his resigna- noticeable in many of our own tion at Kuropatkin's head. generals during the earlier Not even waiting to have it months of the South African accepted, he handed in a long war: he accepted defeat for ciphered telegram to the Tsar, his whole force on the fortunes and, requisitioning a special of an infinitesimal portion of it. train, started post haste for This is the nearest solution at Europe. The wildest rumours the present moment that the were in circulation at St student can arrive at-probably Petersburg, especially when on the most curious and disastrous the following day a confidential disagreement of officers in high aide-de-camp was despatched command in the field that to the Far East from Tsarskoe history relates. But possibly Selo, and Gripenberg had in- the most striking example of structions to break his journey Russian fatalism was the manat Irkutsk. Even to this
in which Kuropatkin's moment the whole affair is army went back again to shrouded with mystery. Grip- ground, just as if an engageenberg's story is that he was ment which had reduced its deserted; that he was left numbers by nearly ten per with his 80,000 men, lone- cent
matter of the handed to do battle with the smallest moment. Nor did whole of the Japanese army; the staff
trouble that by his original night- themselves as to what the march he had made an ad- effect of this demonstration of vantage which, if only Kuro- feebleness would be upon the patkin and the other officers enemy. They were content to commanding corps had carried accept defeat as just an ordinout their obligations, would ary interlude in a long and have resulted in a complete dreary winter campaign. One victory. That is Gripenberg's cannot help contrasting this case : for the rest, everything apparent apathy with the state is conjecture. Some say that of affairs existing behind the Kuropatkin merely ordered a more stubborn line of intrenchdemonstration against the Jap- ments. Although the Japanese anese left, and that Gripenberg showed no activity in counterbrought about a pitched battle ing the small and petty attacks contrary to orders.
Others with which Kuropatkin thought attribute the want of cohesion he was keeping his enemy octo a breakdown in Kuropat- cupied and engaged, yet in the kin's nervous system. It is meantime they were organising,
as secretly and as swiftly as which had been spirited away the nature of the season would from the shores of Japan with allow, the onslaught which ap- the utmost secrecy. Outside parently had been intended ever the small circle of military since they allowed the Russians direction for a long time the to winter in Mukden. As has destination of this force was already been shown, they had in- not known. It was given out creased their army at the front that it was designed to attack by 50 per cent: whereas at Liau- Vladivostok or Saghalin: in yang and the Sha-ho Kuropat- reality it was carried to the kin had been called upon to face mouth of the Yalu and marched eight divisions with their re- up by the Mandarin road, past serve complements, he was now Motienling, until it was necescalled upon
oppose this same sary for it to strike out and victorious army augmented by take up its position on the exmore divisions, divided
led treme right of Oyama's line. into five armies. Some of the This was the much speculated prisoners that Mischenko had upon army of Kawamura, contaken during the action at sisting of possibly the best Hei-kou-tai proved conclusively fighting material that Oyama that Nogi's Port Arthur army had in the field. It was an had reached the front. But army of veterans brought to over and above this reinforce- the colours through the new ment by four magnificent divi- extension of service requisition, sions on the Japanese left, there which the war had rendered was another army in the field necessary
AN IRISH FESTIVAL,
BY STEPHEN GWYNN.
PROBABLY the fact most for the League lays stress on likely to impress an outsider the fact that proficiency in a with the importance and living language can only be significance of this year's shown by ability to use it in Oireachtas in Dublin was the speech.
And while the comdeputation from Cumann na petitions are in progress-conLeabharlann to the Ard-Fhéis ducted, many of them, before of Connradh
na Gaedhilge. keenly-interested audiencesAnd since, although 'Maga' the Ard-Fhéis or Chief Ashas never ceased to uphold and sembly, consisting of delegates honour all the traditions of the from the seven hundred and Gael, the terms which I have odd branches of the League, used may not be clear even to sits to debate (mainly in Irish) all Gaels of Scotland, it is as and decide upon matters that well to explain at the outset concern the activities of this what they mean.
great society,- activities very Connradh na Gaedhilge is meagrely indicated by its balthe Gaelio League, an organisa- ance-sheet of over £7000 a-year. tion formed (like the Cumann The Cumann na Leabharlann Gaidhaileag of Scotland) to has a totally different character, revive and preserve the Gaelic yet the League's influence shows speech, traditions, and customs. itself in the fact that an associThe Oireachtas or Convocation ation of persons desirous to is its great annual assembly in promote the formation of rural Dublin, taking place this year libraries in Ireland now naturfor the tenth time, at which ally takes a Gaelic name. Ten competitions are held in the years back, the thing would various traditional arts-com never have been thought of. position in verse and prose, Mr T. W. Lyster, for instance, oratory, story-telling, recitation who headed the deputation, is (all of course in Irish); sing- a scholar in several languages, ing (solo and choral); playing but ignorant of Gaelic and
traditional instruments, wholly out of touch with the such as harp and pipes; danc- language movement. Yet as ing traditional dances, such as Curator of a great and really jigs, reels, and hornpipes. popular library he feels the Not less important are the intellectual life of the country, competitions for learners, ex- and recognises the forces that aminations conducted orally- are at work: hence the request
1 The National Library in Kildare Street, the best administered and most thoroughly used library of which I have any experience,-a State institution, admirably managed by a Committee of Irishmen, and starved by the Treasury,
of which he was the spokes- centres of industrial co-operaman. A recent Act gives local tion. For that reason, he was bodies in Ireland the right to there to give the work of the strike a rate for raising small League his official benediction. libraries, and the Cumann (or I do not remember that Sir Bond) in question was formed Horace stopped to examine to render this clause operative, why this League, founded for by reasoning with District the preservation of a language Councils and providing sugges- little used in commerce, should tions for the formation of identify itself with an industrial libraries. In two words, the propaganda, yet the reason for deputation came to the Ard- the fact is not recondite. If Fhéis of the Gaelic League ask- all the Irish - speaking people ing it to encourage the Irish go out of Ireland, there will people to read, not books in be no Irish language left to Irish, but books of all sorts, and keep alive; and the drain of principally books in English. emigration falls chiefly on the They were promised help, and Irish-speaking districts. Conthey will get it, from the body sequently, the attempt to rewhich, as its President claimed vive Irish speech and tradition with justice, has created inter- becomes inseparably connected est throughout Ireland where with an attempt to provide it found apathy, and left in- new fields of employment and telligence where it found stupid- of interest for Irishmen at ity. The deputation to the home. That is why, amongst Ard-Fhéis
practical other things, an exhibit of recognition of the fact that the shoe-blacking is not the least work which the Gaelic League characteristic feature of this has on hand is no less than the year's Oireachtas. education of Ireland.
Let us say it in a whisper, Another testimony may be with all deference to the suscited in corroboration. Last ceptibilities of our friends the year a great Féis (or gathering) Liberals—every Gaelic Leaguer was held in the glens of Antrim, is at heart Protectionist, and Sir Horace Plunkett, whose We are all of us pledged to work in reviving and promot- buy as far as possible Irishing Irish industries has been so made goods and to promote widely and so justly eulogised, Irish industries by all means came down to speak as head of in our power.
one the Department of Agriculture energetic Leaguer, having inand Technical Instruction. quired, as in duty bound, for What he said was in effect Irish boot - polishes, failed to this : that the study of Gaelic get them or failed to get made no special appeal to him, them to his liking, -and therebut that his colleagues and upon started to make what he subordinates told him with one wanted: the result is to-day accord that wherever the a small factory whose wares Gaelic League was active they are on view in the large but found it easy
easy to establish desperately crowded room