Wednesday, March 02, 2011

15Mar1881, Peace Without Victory

LONDON, March 15th, 1881.
—Negotiations are going on with the Boers. It does not need to be a jingo to feel the humiliation of making peace without a victory after 3 defeats. But (owing I fear to our dear Sir Owen Lanyon) we have brought the situation a good deal on ourselves, from not setting negotiations on foot the minute we came into power, and so getting out of the mess the late Government had got us into. Lanyon was strangely blind, believing all along (as his letters to me show) that the whole disturbance was nothing but the whipping-up of a few self-seeking agitators, working upon a silly ignorant people. As to humiliation, nothing could be worse than shedding blood in order to do what we know to be wrong; moreover, there has been no knuckling down since Majuba Hill, inasmuch as negotiations were on foot before.

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