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pacity for hard brain work. It used to be said in later days that Botha sat all day before a clean sheet of blotting paper, while General Smuts's desk was loaded with a mountain of papers and blue books.
Both men had courage in a remarkable degree. General Sir Ian Hamilton says of General Smuts: "Smuts has the double dose of courage; the strategical courage which conceives and the tactical courage which executes. Smuts, of all others, was the man who urged old Joubert to storm Ladysmith, an operation which, because Joubert delayed it too long, broke itself into fragments against Caesar's Camp and Waggon Hill." And, describing his later exploits in the war, he says: "Always on the offensive, always for the attack when a fair chance offered; resourceful he is, persuasive and full of ideas. But it is his courage which makes the man-his sheer courage." Nevertheless his valour was tempered with the wariness which British soldiers learned to associate with Boer mentality, and which he owed to his Dutch parentage and traditions. In the early days of the war Botha, De Wet and Delarey were the names which the English learned to know and to hear with some apprehension. Presently a fourth began to attract notice, that of Jan Smuts, a young man of 30. "Keep your eye on Smuts," said one who had known him at Cambridge. "He is one of the most brilliant men of
the new generation-lawyer, philosopher, man of letters, man of action, subtle, far-seeing, fearless. He will be dangerous. He will go far."
Events proved the accuracy of the forecast. His operations in the Western Transvaal and his raids into Cape Colony itself were conspicuous among the later features of the struggle. He had many narrow escapes in the Transvaal. When he obtained permission to raid the Colony he slipped across the Orange River in company with other columns. At Tarkastad, surrounded by the British forces, he rushed the 17th Lancers, and fought his way through. His column continued to exist by being constantly on the move. No one ever knew where it was going to turn up next. One of its records was 700 miles in the space of five weeks. It was he who, in an attack on a British armoured train made Mr. Churchill prisoner. He himself described to me that dashing episode-how he noticed a "fiery-headed youth" who seemed the soul of the defence, how when the battle was over and the train was captured that same fiery-headed youth came to him and claimed the privileges of a war correspondent, how he firmly told him that he could not have it both ways, that he had been the cause of all the trouble and must take his share of the penalties. "And now," he said, "I have been to the Colonial Office to see my prisoner of other days and talk over the time when we fought on the veldt."
At a luncheon given in 1917 in the gallery of the House of Lords to General Smuts, Lord French was one of the speakers. "I prefer to choose," he said,
'as an illustration of his military genius, that part of the campaign of which he had the sole responsibility, and in which I had the best reason to feel and appreciate his power and ability as an opponent. 'If you be a great general,' said Sulla to Marius, 'come and fight me.' 'If you be a great general,' replied Marius to Sulla, 'compel me to fight you.' I say, without hesitation, that day after day, week after week, month after month, our distinguished guest, with every disadvantage in the way of numbers, arms, transport, equipment and supply, eluded all my attempts to bring him to decisive action, and impressed me far more than any opponent I have ever met with his power as a great commander and a leader of men.' General Smuts replied by telling a story of a narrow escape from Lord French's attentions. "On one occasion," he said, "I remember, I was surrounded in a nasty block of mountains by Lord French. I was face to face practically with disaster. Nothing was left for me but the most diligent scouting to find a way out. I did some of the scouting myself, with a small party. I ventured into a place which looked promising and which bore the appropriate name of Murderer's Gap. I am sorry to say I was the only
man who came alive out of that gap. At night I came out of the mountains to the railway. It was a very dark night, and my small force was on the point of crossing the railway when we heard that a train was coming. The train passed, and we stood alongside and looked on. Later we heard that Lord French was in that train. He might have been my guest and a very embarrassing guest too."
But if he was a fearless and ingenious leader of guerilla warfare he remained the man of hard thinking and hard study, so that during the difficult early years of the peace he was just as much a pillar of his country as in war. When further resistance was hopeless in face of the overwhelming strength of the British forces and the leaders met at Vereeniging to make an end of the war General Smuts addressed that conference in moving words. He said:
"Comrades, we decided to stand to the bitter end. Let us now, like men, admit that that end has come for us, come in a more bitter shape than we ever thought. For each one of us death would have been a sweeter and a more welcome end than the one we shall now have to face. But we bow to God's will. The future is dark, but we shall not relinquish our courage and our hope and faith in God. No one will ever convince me that the unparalleled sacrifices laid on the altar of freedom by the Afri
kander people will be vain and futile. The war of freedom for South Africa has been fought, not only for the Boers, but for the whole people of South Africa. The result of that struggle we leave in God's hand. Perhaps it is His will to lead the people of South Africa through defeat and humiliation, yea, even through the valley of the shadow of death, to a better future, and a brighter one.”
The close association formed with General Botha in the field continued in peace, and during the years that followed General Smuts was Botha's right hand man and lieutenant. General Botha bore a great name in the world; he made a more direct appeal to the mind; his was a simpler and more engaging personality. But he himself would have been the first to admit his intellectual debt to General Smuts. The position was a very difficult one. There was one issue which dominated other domestic questions at that time-Chinese labour in the mines. But the English Government would not listen to the protests of the Boers; Lord Milner believed the mine owners when they said that without that labour the gold mining industry of Johannesburg would perish.
When Mr. Chamberlain visited Pretoria in 1903 General Smuts was put up as the Boer spokesman. Addressing the Colonial Secretary through an interpreter he dwelt on the loyalty of the Boers to author