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THE DEATH OF SIR GEORGE GREY. .
SLOW EBBING AWAY OP LIFE. TRIBUTES TO THE DECEASED.
['From oar own CorreaDoadenbl
LONDON. September 23.
The newspapers of Tuesday last announced cha death of tba eminent oxploror, admini strator, statesman, and Imperialist Radical
tauowlves with the statement that hi* lifo had slowly ebbed away, but the 'Daily Chronic!*' published detail* of his last fllneu. which will hare a melancholy interest for his numerous friends, admirers, and acquain tances in Australasia: — '.The sad event took place at half-past 10 o'clook last night at the Norfolk Hotel, South Kensington. When Sir George finally returned to Eazlani nearly tire years since he lived fine in Park-place, St. James's. Then he went to South Kensington, and the Norfolk Uotcl has baon hid honao for the past year or two. At will bo recalled. Lady Grey died only a fortnight ago at Bourneaoutb, where she had gM3 for change of air. Now her disttaiuuhud. hu-ibond has passed away at the rips aja of eightv-aix. Ha would havo celebrated bis eighty -soventh birthday next April, harin? bean torn at Lisbon donor tho Peninsular War. For twelve months Dack Sir George Grey's health has been very weak, yes his death bad hardly baen expected. Ho had a wonderful constitution, ' he had always livud with exceeding simplicity, and he camo through attacks of illness which might well have prorad fatal to stronger people. Up to Friday last there was nothing in his state of A jalth to came alarm. He was confined to his Bran, riaiteaa invalid, but he continued to tako ?ubttaarial nourishment. It became evident oa Friday, however, that a chango for the worse had taken place. Then congestion of the brain develooed, and paralysis appeared in a slight degree. In all probability the long spill of hot mother had triad what physical strength remained to SirGoorgo. His condi tion on Saturday and Sunday was such as to came anxiety to his f riunds. Yesterday morn ing, however, ho was better and brighter alto gether. It looked almcMt as if he might once m?re shake off a critical illness. But that was not to bo, for in tho afternoon a decided relapse occurred. It was very apparent to those who were about him. Ho retted easily upon his pillowj, but he breathed heavily, aai there were other sign* which lessened hope. He was seen by his medical atten dant. Dr. Walkor, several times during tho day. In the evening Dr. Colenso. the son of hu old friend Bishop Oolenso, also saw him. Anronr the relatives and friends who had been by his bedside wore Mrs. Campbell and Miss Anton. HU nurw, Mrs. Wilkinson, was in eomtant attendance. Somewhat after 10 o'clock there were indications of tho near approach of the end. At half -past precisely Sir George pauod away very peacefully. He had not, of course, been conscious, and he just coawd to breathe. It was a beautiful, a touching close to a great career. Sir George lott the world gentlv, without any farewell of ?aSering, gladly as he had boan ready M any time to go. In his room thero stood mourning Mr. and Mrs. Campbsll, Mr. Onnux Biddulph, another relative who has been livin-j at the Norfolk Hotel during Sir George's illness, and, finally, the doctom and nurses.' Although Ai3tralasians ill London were well aware that Sir Gtiorgo had for long been in a condition of extrumo debility, and that the shock of his wife'* death had loosened evun the feeble bold ho had upon life, they were not a little surprised that the end should have coma so soon. Meat of thotu had a keen ap preciation of what the outlying parts of the E-npira owed to tbo vonsrable Tribune, and theoXcialreprcwntativosof tho Colonies re cognised the responsibility cast upon them of seeing that fitting honours wero paid to his mortal remains. Among the earlv visitors on Tuesday to tho Norfolk HotoL where the eminent Englishman had breathed his last, went the Agents-General for the Cape Colour, New Zealand, and South Australia, the last named charged by Mr. Witt-snoom with asym Dathetio message from Western Australia to the principal mourners for the deceased. Dr. Cockbum had in recant years buen brought into verr intimate personal and political rela tions with Sir George, and as a matter of fact was privileged to bo hu companion during his visit to the West-terrace Cemetery in search of the grave of his child, to be with him during the last hours that he spent in Adelaide, and to see him off when he embarked on the Gothic to proceed to the old country whence he was to return no more. When thorvfore the oppor tunity was afforded the doctor of seeing the face of bis dead friend he readily availed himself of it. Ho found that in plies of the customary pall a magnificent Maori rug covered tho corpse. But for the pallor of death the countenance of the veteran was unchanged. 'It seemed, ' to quote the Agent-General's words, 'as if he were facing the infinite with the tranquil confidence -with which he had faced in life all the problems and vicinritades which had confronted him during his eventful career.' Many other colonists and distin guished public men left cards or sont messages of condolence, and in the course of Wednes day the following gracious and appreciative meoage arrived from tbo Queen through the Colonial Office:— 'Her Majesty has com manded me to convoy to the relatives of Sir George Grey an expression of her sincere sympathy and condolence on the loss of that distinguished statesman and loyal servant of tha Crown, of whose death she has just beard with great regret,' It has been well said that this tribute to the services ot the departed statesman 'will be especially gratifying to the people of Greater Britain, who have taken so great a pride in him. Nobody can read tho last phrase with out recalling tho old controversies which be had with the Colonial Office— tho 'dangerous man' period. There never has bean' much doubt that in tho*e times the Queen gave Sir Gcurgo valuable support as against the near* sigbtedneaa of Whitehall- To-day she biota out for ever the 'dangeroiu man' phrase, and puts in its place tho simple bat noble ono, 'loyal servant of tha Crown.'' TheSecrotaryof State tor the Colonies also forwarded a telegram of which the following is a copy : — ' I have received with deep regret your telegram announcing the death of Sir George Grey. Accept mv profound sympathy in the bereavement you have sustained— a sympathy which I am sure will he felt throughout the Colonial Empire, to which he rendered *uch eminent service during his long and brilliant career.' A long manage record ing the action taken in New Zealand also appeared in the Press, and the Consul-General kofthe Orange* Free State, Sir Julius VoguL ^fel others have sent condolence*. ^Ht wan at first proposed that the funeral ^?mjd take place to-day at the Brompton JlmtiVery, but it was promptly urged by tho ' Juily Chronicle' that St. Paul'* should be the but resting-place of onuwhohad taken so prominent a part in affairs of State in tiio Empire. Tha Agont*-ti«neral warmly seconded the proposal b? addmsiug to tho Colonial Office a letter bearing the signatures of Sir D. Tennant. the Hon. W. P. K**vm, the Hon. Dr. J. A. Cockburn. and Mr. Wittenoom, which expressed the desire of the Governments they represented that the body should ho consigned to the grave in tho great City Cathedral. Some dulay was inevitable, lint, owinx to tho absencu of Diian Gregory, and, second, by reason of the statutory re* quirument that Her Majesty's sign-manual should be attached to tho order for tho burial at St. PaalV, and meanwhilo arrangements for the funeral, inducing tho preparation of the list of invited guests, wero proceeded with. Yesterday, however, all preliminaries were settled, and the announcement appeared in tho oveninc paper* that tho interment in Sir Christopher W ren's architectural masterpiece was to take placo at noon on Monday noxc Among the many wreaths contributed on bo half of colonies, colonist*, and official depart ment* in the mother country nono is likely to bo more beautiful than that sent by Dr. Cockbum. This memorial takes the form of a Maltese Crow, composed of whito Mowers with an odging of green. In tbo centre square ace tha insignia of the Order of tho Bath, to which Sir Goorge oolong, and tlio letters 'S.A.' The card attached to tho wreath contains the word* ' Front th* Government and People of South Australia, in memory of splendid service.' Although the funeral will in a sonse be a public one, tha expeuso will no: bo borne by tho State, bat will bo rout out of tho mtate left by Sir George, who, is is said, died 'Honourably poor.' 'Tho grave in St. Paul'* will be near that of Sir Bartle Frer*. whose recognition of tho work whioh Sir George did in South Africa km always hearty. Abo it will not bo far from tho spot where Nelson hei— Nol*on, whose achieve ments towards the making ot modern Eng land wero keenly un.lor.-tood by Sir George. Canon Scott Holland, being tho Canon in residence, will naturally tako the funeral service.' Moreover, it is expected that offi cials high in the Imperial Service will, with the Agents-General, tako a leading part in the ceremonials. The Press of SoptemW 20 teemed with biographical notices of the deceased, all of them carefully written, all of thum appre ciative, although in some instances with modi fication. Not ono of them, I make bold to aver, was more comprehensive, more discriminating, or* in any way more worthy of tho occasion than that which appeared a few hour* later in 'The Register,' and therefore it would bo a work of supererogation to nummarbo. At the same timo a few extracts may appro priately be givon to prove that Sir George's notable career, ant} splendid services to the nation, bavo not bcenf orgotten on this side of the world. Thus tih 'Time*' opens its tribute with these Words:— 'His enduring monument is tbo magnificent Empire in the ?onthern seas, of which he was one of the chief architects, having done much solid work in laving1 and insuring the foundations. His 'publio services aro so many., m great, and ao various, that is u
difficult to do them justice in any reasonable compass. There u but one person idll alive who has been as intimately and mo. longer associated with colonial expansion. That person is Her Gracious Majesty, for by a lomewhat singular coincidence Sir George ontered on his colonial career in tho year of the Queen's accession. Tberaanwhousedtobe known par excellence as tho Great Proconsul was undoubtedly a striking, a commanding, and even a domineering personality. For much good and sometimes, as we think, for mwcbief. be has left his mark on our Aus tralasian Colonies.'- Tho 'Standard' ob serve*:-' The career of Sir George Grev takej us back to the days when tho very shores of tho Australian Continent had not been wholly explored, and when tho convict and otbor settlement* wero at the boginnimr of tho transition stage into organized and self -ruling communities. His waialit'oof marked successes, of many disputes, and soinestriking failures. His record, viewed a* a whole, i3 a disappointing one, for he misled greaturaa, or, at law:, the continued exerci.-o of power, because of a certain intractability of official totnpar; but is is one thv, is indelibly impressed upon tho history of souis of our greatest colonies, and tho story of which has a per manent place in the annals of the Cape and of Australasia.' Later on reference is made to lord Carnarvon's famous phrase 'Sir Georgo Grey u a dangerous man,' bat it is frankly recognised that m exercising his 'in- dependent judsment' against Minister after Minister in Downing-street it was often ' rightfully' that ho thought hi» views ' were sounder than those upon which he was in structed to act.' The 'Daily News' without reservation, mental or otherwise, says:— 'With Sir George Grey there passes away a figure that is typical of much that is best and strongest in our race. We find in him tho qualities which have enabled the inhabitants of a small island off the coast of Europe to occupy most of the unclaimed land of the world. Sir Georgo Grey has represented England in many climes and under many conditions, but it would not be an exaggeration to say that he did nothing to sully tho fair fame of Eng land. He always fought manfully for the idoals of our race— justice, peace, liberty. He accomplished much during his lifetime, but hit examplo will probably do more now that he bat gone than anything that he himself could have done. 'It is tho thought that there have been such English men that takes away one's despair for England's future,' Olive Schreiner wrote recently. But it m not by the whites only that his memory is reverenced. The black races which he ruled bokod upjn him as their friend and protector. 'When he dies,' said Mr. Fronde once, 'the Maoris and the poor whites in New Zealand will have lost their truest friend, and England will havo lost a public servant among the best that sho ever had, whoso worth she failed to under stand, and whoso official reputation was only that he was a dangerous man.'' Curiously enough, the paper from which this is taken fall* into the mistake of stating that Sir George wai ' the first Gove nor of the colony' (?) of South Australia. The 'Daily Telegraph.' the 'Morning Post,' and other morning journals are complimentary with qoalinaation^ The 'Daily Mail.' although anti-radical, is unreservedly eulogistic ' In Sir George Grey,' it remarks, 'one of our greatest Empire-builders has gone He noraed tho infant fortunes of Sooth Australia, he was Governor of the Cape, and twice Governor— as well as Prime Minister— of New Zealand, not to speak of being at one time a member ot the Imperial Parliament. He won the confidence— and, indeed, the love— of British, Boers, and Maoris alike. He was emphatically a man on a great scale. Every subject he touched he.cnnobled, and bis career was as beneficent as it was distinguished.' As might bo expected, the 'Chronicle,' which illustrates 1U memoir with an excellent portrait of tho subject thereof, has nothing but praise to bestow upon one who was 'a Democrat of the Democrats.' His death, it avers, 'removes the last of the great old statesmen of the Victorian Ago. As Mr. Gladstono wasidontified with Ureat Britain and her modern story, ao Sir George Grey's name belongs to the story of Greater Britain, and will never be forgotten in two continents where tho law and practice of English life is observed. The two men we havo namod were not especially sym pathetic to each other; but both of them lived on the same plane of thought and action. Both cherished and extended the essentially British, awl essentially Liberal, idea of self government. Both wero men of determined will, of great industry, of strong initiative, of proud and self-mitlicing strength. And both of them understood and interpreted the saving gonius of the British people, its mode ration, its motto of ' live and let live' He was,' continues the writer, 'one of the great glories of the Queen's reign-^a pieneer of federation, an explorer, a thinkor, a true subduer of the earth to tho purposes of civilized man. and more especially of the civilized Briton. When wo think of the brutalities of later colonizing days, of tho wanto of decent human material, of the cruelty and violence associated with the colonizing career of men liko Mr. Rhodes, we rejoice to think that a better, aye, and a far more suo cessful, model exists in tho perton of a chief architect of our Australian Empire.' The 'St. James's Gazette,' usually in matters outsida of party politics a scrupulously fair paper, takes tho 'Chronicle' to task for presuming to criticise the masterful Cecil Rhodes, but it is nono the less generous in it* acknowledgments of the splendid qualities of tho man held up to admiration as the antctype of tha South African dictator. 'His true greatness,' it maintains, 'was dwarfed by the relative smatlness of the tho&tre in which he ekose to play out tho final act of his life's drama. A 'dangerous man' he was, in truth, to people less competent than himself who ventured to pit themselves against his inflexible will, and to superior clerk* in Government departments who sought to bind him in end less coils of official tapo ; but to all others a man of rare moral courage, strength of judgment, and grasp of Imperial principles, who per formed great and ill-rewarded service to the Grown.' The ' Pall Mali Gazotte' even rises superior to its supercilious disdain of those who cannot or will not pronounce its political shibboleth, and confesses 'that it might not be a bad thing s if we had a fow more pillars of tho Empire as 'dangerous'' — all the 'papers harp on Lord Carnarvon's 'famous phrase'— 'as tho greatest of all colonial Governors.' The 'Westminster Gazette' when it indulges in commont con fines itmlf to panegyric and recalls the touch ing words addrotsod by Sir George) to one of its stall some three years ago— words having the same heroic ring in them as some of Mr. Gladstone's valedictory sentences— 'Now I am just waiting, 'waiting quietly, ready to go when my timo comes, and ready to buckle to anv work which I can still do for the cause I have worked for theso sixty years, and mean while just doing what lies next to hand from day to day as well as I can see it' What an altitude of bead Go contentment for a great man to have reached, and how charm ing u tbo attitude of mind portrayed in this further statement : — ' Everybody has been so kind to me,' he said, 'and helped ma on. I remember the telegram with my first appoint ment, to tho Governorship of South Australia, coming from Lord John Russell one morning, being brought to me in bod. I had no idea in the world of such a thing happening to me. and so it has bocn all along. My second ap pointment—when I was sent off to Now Zealand at a moment's notico on a ship specially commissioned to call from India, tho Maori troubles being pressing— my instruc tions found me sitting under a hedgerow, not dreamins of suoh a thing. Yes, the reason why I havo cot through so much work is the way that everybody all along has always helped me.'