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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 69

"Alpes, Maritimes, "France, February 1st, 1887

"Alpes, Maritimes, "France,

"Dear Old Friend,—It gave me very great pleasure to receive your letter from Featherston, dated 21st November last, which followed me here in my search for warmth and health, my health having failed latterly to an alarming extent but the bright blue skies and fine climate of this part of the Mediterranean coast ought to set me up and do me good. I cannot forget that on the 3rd February, 1837, I got my come mission as ensign in the 54th regiment, just 50 years ago, so I have no right to complain if I do feel a little cripply, and not quite the same man as when in command of the dear gallant old 'Die Hards' on the 18th June 1855, and 8th September 1855, before Sebastopol. I think it very likely that we (England) shall be dragged into another war with Russia [unclear: er] long. War between Russia and Austria is almost certain soon, and if the elections go against Bismarck in Germany, there will be war between France and Germany. In fact the whole of Europe will be in arms, and I do not see how England is to maintain her neutrality. If England can do so it will be a grand thing for the country. Our merchant service will [unclear: rea] the benefit, and our ships will be the carriers of the world but Russia has her eye upon Herat and Persia. England cannot allow Russia to establish herself in the Persian Gulf India I look upon as quite safe for the next twenty years of more; but there is also another danger which England cannot allow, viz., Russia now wants to get possession of the north coast of Norway and Sweden, so as to create a harbour in the Arctic Sea for the Russian fleet, at Havervest, or in one [unclear: of] the fjords near the North Cape of Norway. So you see you are well off in New Zealand, especially if inland, as Russian will have enough to do elsewhere, and will only levy black mail on the Australian large towns on the coast, if not properly defended. I went last summer to the Arctic Sea and visited Norway and all its spendid coast. No wonder Russia want to make use of what is now a wilderness. Many millions of cod-fish are caught and exported, and many millions are made into 'cod liver oil.' Whales, seals, and cod all contribute for the staple export. Oil! Oil! Oil!

page 99

"I have written you a long story in return for your excellent letter, and I have enclosed another photo which will speak for itself. Now I wish, if war is to be, we could all go back with our gained experience to fight for our Queen and country and the good cause, for England never fights unless there is good reason, to defend the oppressed and to maintain the balance of power, without which Europe would cease to exist, and our Queen would, as the Yankees say, be nowhere.

"I am sorry I cannot send you a copy of the 'Historical Records of the 57th Regiment.' I was so unwell in London I could not go to Mitchell's, the publisher, to know if they are out of print, but if God spares me to return to England I will make enquiry and send you a copy. Meanwhile Lady Warre and I join in hearty good wishes to you and yours,

" Ever your old friend, (Signed)

"H. J. Warre,