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Ocean to Ocean

Crossing and re-crossing the Continent.—Writers on the North-west.—Mineral wealth behind Lake Superior.—The "Fertile-belt."—Our fellow travellers.—The "Rainbow"of the North-west.—Peace River.—Climate compared with Ontario- —Natural riches of the Country. — The Russia of America. — Its army of construction. — The pioneers.—Esprit de corps. — Hardships and hazards. — Mournful death-roll. — The work of construction —Vast breadth of the Dominion.—Its varied features. — Its exhaustless resources.—Its constitution.—Its Queen.

The preceding chapters are transcribed -almost verbally— from a Diary that was written from day to day on our journey from Ocean, Ocean-ward. The Diary was kept under many difficulties. Notes had to be taken, sometimes in the bottom of a canoe and sometimes leaning against a stump or a tree; on horseback in fine weather, under a cart when it was raining or when the sun's rays were fierce; at night, in the tent, by the light of the camp-fire in front; in a crowded wayside inn, or on the deck of a steamer in motion. And they were written out in the first few weeks after our return, as it was desirable,—if published at all—that they should be in the printer's hands at once.

As may be seen by a reference to the Itinerary in the Appendix, our Diary commenced at Halifax on the Atlantic coast on July 1st the sixth anniversary of the birth-day of the Dominion, and closed at Victoria on the Pacific coast on October nth. The aggregate distance travelled by one mode of locomotion or another was more than five thousand miles, a great part of it over comparatively unknown, and therefore supposed to be dangerous country. We recrossed the Continent to our starting point by rail, the Secretary arriving at Halifax on November 2nd, having thus accomplished the round trip of nine or ten thousand miles in four months. None of us sufferred from Indians, wild beasts, the weather, or any of the hardships incidental to travel in a new and lone land. Every one looked, and was, physically better on his return than when he had Set out. And yet there had been no playing on the road. We cannot charge ourselves with having lost an hour on the way; and Manitobans, Hudson's Bay Officers, and British Columbians all informed us that we made better time between Lake Superior and the Pacific than ever had been made before in these latitudes.

It is only fair to the public to add that the writer of the Diary knew little or nothing of our North-west before accompanying the expedition. To find out something about the real extent and resources of our Dominion; to know whether we had room and verge for an Empire or were doomed to be merely a cluster of Atlantic Provinces, ending to the west in a fertile but comparatively insignificant peninsula in Lake Huron, was the object that attracted a busy man from his ordinary work, on what friends called an absurd and perilous enterprise. All that is claimed for the preceding chapters is, that they record truthfully what we saw and heard. And having read since the works of Professor Hind, Archbishop Taché, Captain Palliser and others, we find, that though these contain the results of much more minute and extended enquiries and scientific information which renders them permanently valuable, they bring forward nothing to make us modify our own conclusions, or to lessen the impression as to the value of our North-west, that the sight of it produced in our own minds.

We are satisfied that the rugged and hitherto unknown country extending from the upper Ottawa to the Red River of the north, is not, as it has always been represented on maps executed by our neighbours, and copied by ourselves, impracticable for a Railway; but entirely the reverse; that those vast regions of Laurentian and Huronian rocks once pronounced worthless, are rich in minerals beyond conception, rich in gold, silver, copper, iron, tin, phosphates of lime, and—strange as the assertion may appear—probably coal; that in the iron back-ground to the basin of the St. Lawrence, hitherto considered valuable only for its lumber, great centres of mining and manufacturing industry, shall in the near future, spring into existence; and that for the development of all this wealth, only the construction of a Railway is necessary.

Beyond those apparently wilderness regions we came upon the fertile belt, an immense tract of the finest land in the world, bounded on the west by coal formations so extensive that all other coal fields are small in comparison. Concerning this central part of the Continent, we have testified that which we have seen, and as a summary it is sufficient to quote Hind's emphatic words, Vol. II, p. 234

"It is a physical reality of the highest importance to the interests of
"British North America that a continuous belt, rich in water, woods and
''pasturage can be settled and cultivated from a few miles west of the lake
"of the Woods, to the passes of the Rocky Mountains; and any line of
"communication, whether by waggon road or railroad, passing through it,
"will eventually enjoy the great advantage of being fed by an agricultural
"population, from one extremity to the other."

Concerning the country from the Mountains to the sea, it is unnecessary to add anything here. The mountains in British Columbia certainly offer obstructions to Railway construction; but these obstacles are not insuperable, and, once overcome, we reach the Canadian Islands in the Pacific, Vancouver and Queen Charlotte,—in many respects the counter parts of Great Britain and Ireland, the western out posts of Europe,—our western islands are rich in coal, bitumenous and anthracite, and almost every variety of mineral wealth, in lumber, fish, and soil, and blessed with one of the most delightful climates in the world.

And now we might take farewell of the reader who has accompanied us on our long journey, but before doing so, it seems not unfitting to add a few words concerning the routes of our fellow-travellers who parted from us at Forts Garry and Edmonton ; concerning those men whom we found engaged on the survey, and the general impressions left on our minds by all that we saw and experienced.

The Colonel spent ten days in Manitoba inspecting the military force on duty at Fort Garry, the Stone Fort and Pembina. Leaving Fort Garry, he travelled rapidly to Edmonton by the same trail that we had taken, in the hope of overtaking us before we had left for the mountains. Finding on his arrival that we had started seven days previously, he wisely decided to proceed 145 miles south-west to the Rocky Mountain House; thence, through the country of the Blackfeet, to cross the mountains by North Kootenay Pass; and thence into Washington Territory, U. S., and via. Olympia to Victoria. He accomplished the journey successfully, though detained for two or three days by a snow-storm at the foot of the mountains; but as the delay enabled him to shoot a large grizzley bear that approached within a few yards of his camp, he had no reason to regret it much. His southerly march from Edmonton gave him the opportunity of seeing the western curve of the fertile belt—"the rainbow of the North-west"—and he speaks of it, especially of that portion through the Blackfeet country, extending for about 300 miles along the eastern bases of the Rocky Mountains towards the international boundary line, with a varying breadth of from 60 to 80 miles, as the future garden of the Dominion; magnificent in regard to scenery, with soil of surpassing richness; and in respect of climate, with an average temperature during the winter months, 15° higher than that of the western portion of the Province of Ontario.

But we are now able to speak concerning a northwestern curve of the fertile belt as positively as of the district to the south which the Colonel traversed. At Edmonton, the Chief sent the Botanist and Horetzky northwards, with instructions to proceed by Forts Assiniboine and Dunvegan and across the Rocky Mountains by Peace River, the one to make then for the Upper Fraser, and the other to go still farther north and reach the sea by the Skeena or Nasse River. They also succeeded in their journey; and their reports more than confirm the statements of previous writers with regard to the extraordinary fertility of immense prairies along the Peace River, the salubrity, and the comparative mildness of the climate. It is quite clear that exceptional climatic causes are at work along the eastern flank of the Rocky Mountains, north as well as south of Edmonton. Whether the chief cause be warm moist winds from the Pacific or a steady current of warm air under the lee of the mountains, analogous in the atmosphere, to the Gulf stream in the ocean, or whatever the cause, our knowledge is too imperfect to enable us to say. But the great salient facts are undoubted. At Fort Dunvegan, six degrees north of Fort Garry, and nearly thirteen north of Toronto, the winters are milder than at Fort Garry; and as for the seven months, from April to October, the period of cultivation, according to tables that have been carefully compiled, Dunvegan and Toronto do not vary more than about half a degree in mean temperature, while as compared with Halifax N. S., the difference is 1° 69' in favour of Dunvegan. Our two fellow-travellers assured us also that they had seen nothing between the Red River and Edmonton to compare with the fertility of soil and the beauty of the country about Peace River. They struck the mighty stream below Dunvegan and sailed on it up into the very heart of the Rocky Mountains, through a charming country, rich in soil, wood, water, and coal, in salt that can be gathered fit for the table, from the sides of springs with as much ease as sand from the sea-shore; in bitumenous fountains into which Sir Alexander McKenzie and Harmon both say that "a pole of twenty feet in length may be plunged, without the least resistance, and without finding bottom," and in every other production that is essential to the material prosperity of a country.

The following extract from the Journal of our Botanist gives a graphic description of what Peace River itself is;—

"afternoon we passed through the most enchanting and sublime
"scenery. The right bank of the River was clothed with wood-
"spruce, birch and aspen, except where two steep, or where
"there had been landslides. In many places the bank rose
"from the shore to the height of from 300 to 600 feet. Sand-
"stone cliffs, 300 feet high, often showed, especially above
"Green Island. The left bank was as high as the right, but
"instead of wood, grassy slopes met the view; but landslides
"always revealed sandstone. In places, the river had cut a
"passage through the sandstone to the depth of 300 feet and
"yet the current indicated little increase. The river was full
"from bank to bank, was fully 600 yards wide, and looked
"like a mighty canal cut by giants through a mountain. Up
"this we sped at the rate of four miles an hour, against the
"current, in a large boat belonging to the Hudson's Bay Co'y.;
"propelled by a north-east gale."

When we remember that the latitude of this river and the richest part of the country it waters is nearly a thousand miles north of the Lake Ontario, the language we have used about it may sound exaggerated because the facts seem unaccountable. But the facts have been long on record. The only difficulty was the inaccessibility of the country. In Harmons Journal are such entries as the following:—

"Peace River, April 18, 1809.—
This morning the ice in the river broke up.

"April 30th is shown by the public records, to be the mean time of opening of navigation at Ottawa, between 1832 and 1870. Daring that period, 38 years, April 17th was the earliest and May 29th the latest days of opening.

"May 6.—The surrounding plains are all on fire. We have planted our potatoes, and sowed most of our garden seeds."

"July 21.—We have cut down our barley; and I think it is the finest that I ever saw in any country."

"October 6.—As the weather begins to be cold, we have taken our vegetables out of the ground, which we find to be very "productive."

Another year we have the following entry:—

"October 3.—We have taken our vegetables out of the ground. We have 41 bushels of potatoes, the produce of one bushel "planted the last spring. Our turnips, barley, etc., have produced "well."

In the journal of a Hudson's Bay Chief-factor published last year by Malcolm McLeod, Ottawa, is the following extract concerning the climate of Dunvegan, from the records of the celebrated traveller and astronomer—Mr. David Thompson:—

"Only twice in the month of May 1803,—on the 2nd and 14th, did the thermometer fall to 30°. Frost did not occur in the fall till the 27th September."

"It freezes," says Mr. Russell, "much later in May in Canada; and at Montreal, for seven years out of the last nine, the first " frost occurred between 24th August and 16th September."

In Halifax, N. S., the writer has seen a lively snow-storm on the Queen's birth-day; and almost every year there is frost early in June.

Similar quotations could be given from other writers, but they are unnecessary. We know that we have a great North-west, a country like old Canada—not suited for lotus-eaters to live in, but fitted to rear a healthy and hardy race. The late Hon. W. H. Seward understood this when he declared that "vigorous, perennial, ever-growing Canada would be a Russia behind the United States." Our future is grander than even that conceived by Mr. Seward, because the elements that determine it are other than those considered by him. We shall be more than an American Russia, because the separation from Great Britain to which he invites us is not involved in our manifest destiny. We believe that union is better than disunion, that loyalty is a better guarantee for true growth than restlessness or rebellion, that building up is worthier work than pulling down. The ties that bind us to the Fatherland must be multiplied, the connection made closer and politically complete. Her traditions, her forms, her moral elevation, her historic grandeur shall be ours forever. And if we share her glory, we shall not shrink even at the outset from sharing her responsibilities.

A great future beckons us as a people onward. To reach it, God grant to us purity and faith, deliverance from the lust of personal aggrandizement, unity, and invincible steadfastness of purpose. The battles we have to fight are those of peace, but they are not the less serious and they are surely nobler than those of war. The victories we require to gain are over all forms of political corruption, the selfish spirit of separation, and those great material obstacles in the conquest of which the spirit of patriotism is strengthened. It is a standing army of engineers, axemen and brawny labourers that we require, men who will not only give "a fair day's work for a fair day's wage," but whose work shall be ennobled by the thought that they are in the service of their country and labouring for its consolidation. Why should there not be a high esprit de corps among men who are doing the country's work as well as among those who do its warfare? And why should the country grudge its honours to servants on whose faithfulness so much depends? "There is many a red-coat who is no soldier," said the Duke of Wellington. Conversely, there are true soldiers who wear only a red shirt.

This thought leads us to make mention of the men who have been engaged for the last two years in connection with the Canadian Pacific Railway Survey, the pioneers of the great army that must be engaged on the construction of the work and on whom has devolved the heavy labour that commonly falls to the lot of an advance-guard. On our journey we met several of the surveying parties, and could form some estimate of the work they had to do. We could see that continuous labour for one or two years in solitary wilderness or mountain gorges as surveyor, transit-man, leveller, rodman, commissary, or even packer, is a totally different thing from taking a trip across the continent for the first time, when the perpetual novelty, the spice of romance, the risks and pleasures atone for all discomforts. Here are one or two instances of the spirit that animates the body.

The gentleman now at the head of party X had commenced work in charge of another party between Lake Superior and the Upper Ottawa. He remained out during the whole summer and winter in that trackless rugged region, previously untrodden by white men and rarely visited by Indians. After a severe winter campaign, he completed the difficult and hazardous service entrusted to him. On his return in the spring, he was told that it was desirable that he should go to British Columbia without delay; and, though he had not spent two weeks with his family in as many years, he started at once.

Near the end of the year just closed, the Chief was called upon to send a party to explore the section of country between the North Saskatchewan, above Edmonton, and the Jasper valley. It was deemed advisable to examine this wild and wooded district in the winter season, on account of the numerous morasses and muskegs which rendered it next to impassable at any other season. The party most available for this service had been engaged during the summer and winter of 1871 and the whole of 1872 in the lake region east of Manitoba, and had returned to Fort Garry after completing satisfactorily their arduous work. The Chief asked, by telegraph, the Engineer in charge if he was prepared to start at short notice for the Rocky Mountains on a prolonged service. Almost immediately after sending this message, the following telegram was received from the gentleman referred to. " May I have leave of absence to return home for a few weeks on urgent private business ?" This was at once followed by another; "Your message received. I withdraw my application for leave. I am prepared to start for the Rocky Mountains with my party. Please send instructions." It was evident that the first two telegrams had crossed. The members of party M, notwithstanding what they had gone through, away from friends and the comforts of society, were ready to undertake a march of a thousand miles still farther away, in the dead of a Canadian winter.

And what was the journey? They knew that it implied hardships such as Captain Butler encountered, and which he so graphically describes in "The Great Lone Land." They knew that it meant a great deal more. The journey over, they were only at the beginning of their work, and the work would be infinitely more trying than the journey itself.

These are only two instances out of many of that 'Ready, aye Ready' spirit, which the British people rightly honour as the highest quality in their soldiers, from the lowest to the highest grades. With respect to the ordinary everyday work that has to be done, our own little experience gave us some idea of its discomforts. Among the mountains, there is hardly a day without rain, except when it snows. Leather gives way under the alternate rotting and grinding processes that swamps and rocks subject it to. Mocassins keep out the wet about as well as an extra pair of socks. Clothes are patched and re-patched until lock-stock-and-barrell are changed. At night you lie down wet, lucky if the blanket is dry. In the morning you rise to a rough breakfast of tea, pork and beans. When relations at home are just enjoying the sweet half-hour's sleep before getting up, you are off into the dark silent woods, or clambering up precipices to which the mists ever cling, or on the rocky banks of some roaring river, the sound of which has become positively hateful; getting back to camp at night tired and hungry, but still thankful if a good day's work has been accomplished. And this same thing goes on from week to week,—working, eating, sleeping. Books are scarce for they are too bulky to carry; no newspapers and no news—unless fragments from three to six months old, strangely metamorphosed by Packers and Indians, can be dignified by the name of news. Nothing occurs to break the monotony save rheumatism, festered hands or feet, or a touch of sickness, perhaps scurvy if the campaign has been long : the arrival of a pack-train with supplies, or some such interesting event as the following, which we found duly chronicled on a blazed tree, between Moose Lake and Tete Jaune Cache:—

"Monday, 5th August 1872.

"This morning at about 5 o'clock. 'Aunt Polly,' bell-mare to
"the Nth. Thompson-trail parties pack-train, was safely delivered
"of a Bay Colt, with three white legs and white star on forehead.
"This wonderful progeny of a C. P. R. Survey's pack-train, is
"in future to be known, to the racing community of the Pacific
"slope, as Rocky Mountain Ned."

The Sunday rest and the next meal, are almost the only pleasures looked forward to; and the enjoyment of eating arises, generally, not from the delicacies or variety of the fare, but from the appetite brought to it; for luxuries, as we had considered fat pork, porridge, good bread, and coffee, after three weeks on pemmican, they need all the zest that hard work and mountain air can supply, in order to be thoroughly enjoyed three times a day, week in and week out.

In addition to all the—not ordinary but—extraordinary discomforts attending this class of work there are the dangers to life, inseparable from the great extent of the work undertaken ; the rapidity with which it was begun and pushed forward; extensives fires in the forest; drowning, while endeavouring to make the passage of some lake or river in a frail canoe or on a raft; to say nothing of starvation, which, notwithstanding the utmost care and forethought, might, nay in some instances did very nearly, occur, in consequence of accidents, like the two last named, befalling some of the Commissariat department.

But this survey work implies more than hardships and hazards. Already it has connected with its history a mournful death-roll. At the outset, some tribes of Indians were expected to give trouble. On the contrary, they have for the most part been friendly and helpful. When nearly a thousand men were engaged directly or indirectly on the work, and scattered over pathless regions over a whole continent, it would not have been wonderful had supplies failed to reach some parties, and death by starvation occurred. In no case has such a disaster yet happened. But there are forces that can neither be organized nor bribed. Fourteen men have been destroyed by the elements; seven by fire, and seven by water; destroyed so completely that no trace has been found of the bodies of ten.

One party,—seven in number,—engaged in carrying provisions north of Lake Superior, was surprised by the wide-spread forest fires that raged over the west in the autumn of 1871. The body of only one of its number could be discovered.

In the spring of 1872, a party that had finished its work well, after an arduous winter campaign far up the Ottawa beyond Lake Temiscamang, prepared to return home. The gentleman in charge and one of his assistants separated from the rest, to take on board their canoe two others who had been previously left at a side post prostrated with scurvy. The four were known to have then started down the river. That was the last seen of them, though the upturned canoe was found, and it told its own tale of an upset by rock or rapid or awkward movement of the sick men into ice-cold lake or river.

In the autumn of 1872, three others, on their way to begin their winter's work, were shipwrecked and drowned in the Georgian Bay.

All those men died in the service of their country as truly as if they had been killed in battle. Some of them have left behind wives and little children, aged parents, young brothers or sisters, who were dependent on them for support. Have not those a claim on the country that ought not to be disregarded?

That this work is too seldom looked at from any other save the "wages" point of view, is our excuse for putting the real state of the case warmly. Who are the men whose disciplined enthusiasm enables them to manifest the self-sacrifice we have alluded to? Many of them are men of good birth and education, who have chosen the profession of Engineering as one in which their talents can be made in a marked degree subservient to the material prosperity of mankind. Others have chosen it because of its supposed freedom from routine, and the prospect it is thought to offer of novelty, adventure, and such a roving life as every young Briton or Canadian, with any of the old blood in his veins, longs for.

And what 'wages' do these men, who deserve so well of their country, receive? Simply their pay by the month! They do not know whether they will have the satisfaction—that every man interested in his work has the right to look forward to—of seeing their work finished by themselves. Even after the preliminary surveys are completed, and the work placed under contract, the tenure of office is insecure. Sometimes a clamour is raised, against the presumed extravagance of the Government, when the newspapers have nothing more stirring to write about, or when some reporter fancies he has not received due attention. At other times, some unfeeling and unprincipled contractors conspire to effect the removal of men, whose only fault is that they have performed their duty faithfully. From these or other similar causes, engineers in the public service are sometimes most unjustly sacrificed. And, if remonstrance is made, the answer is ready.—'They received their pay for the time they were employed, and others, quite as competent, are ready and willing to take their places.'—Yes, and the same might be said of the officers and men of the British army, but they are treated very differently. The work performed on one of the military expeditions, such as the Abyssinian or Red River, about which so much has been written, and which are said to have shed such lustre on the British name, is really not more arduous than theirs The heaviest part of a soldier's duty on such expeditions it is well known is the long laborious marching. The work of engineers on the survey is a constant march ; their shelter, even in the depth of winter, often only canvas; they have sometimes to carry their food for long distances, through swamps and over fallen trees, on their backs; and run all the risks incidental to such a life, without medical assistance, without notice from the press, without the prospect of plunder or promotion, ribands or pensions. To be sure theirs is the work of construction only, and the world has always given greater prominence to the work of destruction.

To construct is "the duty that lies nearest us." "We therefore will rise up and build." Our young Dominion in grappling with so great a work has resolutely considered it from a national and not a strictly financial point of view; knowing that whether it 'pays' directly or not, it is sure to pay indirectly. Other young countries have had to spend, through long years, their strength and substance to purchase freedom or the right to exist. Our lot is a happier one. Protected "against infection and the hand of war" by the might of Britain, we have but to go forward, to open up for our children and the world what God has given into our possession, bind it together, consolidate it, and lay the foundations of an enduring future.

Looking back over the vast breadth of the Dominion when our journeyings were ended, it rolled out before us like a panorama, varied and magnificent enough to stir the dullest spirit into patriotic emotion. For nearly 1,000 miles by railway between different points east of Lake Huron; 2,185 miles by horses, including coaches, waggons, pack, and saddle-horses; 1,687 miles in steamers in the basin of the St. Lawrence and on Pacific waters. and 485 miles in canoes or row-boats; we had travelled in all 5,300 miles between Halifax and Victoria, over a country with features and resources more varied than even our modes of locomotion.

From the sea-pastures and coal-fields of Nova Scotia and the forests of New Brunswick, almost from historic Louisburg up the St. Lawrence to historic Quebec; through the great Province of Ontario, and on lakes that are really seas; by copper and silver mines so rich as to recall stories of the Arabian Nights, though only the rim of the land has been explored; on the chain of lakes, where the Ojibbeway is at home in his canoe, to the great plains, where the Cree is equally at home on his horse; through the prairie Province of Manitoba, and rolling meadows and park-like country, equally fertile, out of which a dozen Manitobas shall be carved in the next quarter of a century; along the banks of

A full-fed river winding slow
By herds upon an endless plain,

full-fed from the exhaustless glaciers of the Rocky Mountains, and watering 'the great lone land;' over illimitable coal measures and deep woods; on to the mountains, which open their gates, more widely than to our wealthier neighbours, to lead us to the Pacific ; down deep gorges filled with mighty timber, and rivers whose ancient deposits are gold beds, sands like those of Pactolus and channels choked with fish ; on to the many harbours of mainland and island, that look right across to the old Eastern Thule 'with its rosy pearls and golden-roofed palaces,' and open their arms to welcome the swarming millions of Cathay; over all this we had travelled, and it was all our own.

"Where's the coward that would not dare
To fight for such a land?"

Thank God, we have a country. It is not our poverty of land, or sea, of wood or mine that shall ever urge us to be traitors. But the destiny of a country depends not on its material resources. It depends on the character of its people. Here, too, is full ground for confidence. We in everything "are sprung, of earth's first blood, have titles manifold." We come of a race that never counted the number of its foes, nor the number of its friends, when freedom, loyalty, or God was concerned.

Two courses are possible, though it is almost an insult to say there are two, for the one requires us to be false to our traditions and history, to our future, and to ourselves. A third course has been hinted at; but only dreamers or emasculated intellects would seriously propose "Independence" to four millions of people, face to face with thirty-eight millions. Some one may have even a fourth to propose. The Abbe Sieyes had a cabinet filled with pigeon-holes, in each of which was a cut-and-dried Constitution for France. Doctrinaires fancy that at any time they can say, 'go to, let us make a Constitution,' and that they can fit it on a nation as readily as new coats on their backs. There never was a profounder mistake. A nation grows, and its Constitution must grow with it. The nation cannot be pulled up by the roots,—cannot be dissociated from its past, without danger to its highest interests. Loyalty is essential to its fulfilment of a distinctive mission,—essential to its true glory. Only one course therefore is possible for us, consistent with the self-respect that alone gains the respect of others; to seek, in the consolidation of the Empire, a common Imperial citizenship, with common responsibilities, and a common inheritance.

With childish impatience and intolerance of thought on the subject, we are sometimes told that a Republican form of Government and Republican institutions, are the same as our own. But they are not ours. Besides, they are not the same in themselves; they are not the same in their effects on character. And, as we are the children even more than we are the fathers and framers of our national institutions, our first duty is to hold fast these political forms, the influences of which on national character have been proved by the tests of time and comparison to be the most ennobling. Republicanism is one-sided. Despotism is other-sided. The true form should combine and harmonize both sides.

The favourite principle of Robertson, of Brighton, that the whole truth in the realm of the moral and spiritual consists in the union of two truths that are contrary but not contradictory, applies also to the social and political. What two contrary truths then lie at the basis of a complete National Constitution?

First, that the will of the people is the will of God. Secondly, that the will of God must be the will of the people. That the people are the ultimate fountain of all power is one truth. That Government is of God, and should be strong, stable, and above the people is another. In other words, the elements of liberty and of authority should both be represented. A republic is professedly based only on the first. In consequence, all popular appeals are made to that which is lowest in our nature, for such appeals are made to the greatest number and are most likely to be immediately successful. The character of public men and the national character deteriorate. Neither dignity, elevation of sentiment, nor refinement of manners is cultivated. Still more fatal consequences, the very ark of the nation is carried periodically into heady fights ; for the time being, the citizen has no country; he has only his party, and the unity of the country is constantly imperilled. On the other hand, a despotism is based entirely on the element of authority.

To unite those elements, in due proportions, has been and is the aim of every true statesman. Let the history of liberty and progress, of the development of human character to all its rightful issues, testify where they have been more wisely blended than in the British Constitution.

We have a fixed centre of authority and government, a fountain of honour above us that all reverence, from which a thousand gracious influences come down to every rank; and, along with that fixity, representative institutions, so elastic that they respond within their own sphere to every breath of popular sentiment, instead of a cast-iron yoke for four years. In harmony with this central part of our constitution, we have an independent judiciary instead of judges—too often the creatures of wealth, adventurers on the mere echoes of passing popular sentiment.— And, more valuable than even the direct advantages, are the subtle, indirect influences that flow from our living in unbroken connection with the old land, and the dynamical if imponderable forces that determine the tone and mould the character of a people.

"In our halls is hung armoury of the invincible knights of old." Ours' are the old history, the misty past, the graves of forefathers. Ours the names 'to which a thousand memories call.' Ours is the flag; ours the Queen whose virtues transmute the sacred principle of loyalty into a personal affection.

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