페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

some excited gestures among the older and our duty ? Do not talk to me of liberty, middle-aged auditors). The speaker re or say that Tom Teetotal has a right to sumed: Yes, there was a time when all swill tea if he likes till—unpleasant conmen could get their glass of beer or wine, sequences ensue. Right? Who has a right or abstain from it, as seemed best to them to blow his own brains out ? to commit a

-a happy time within the memory of my moral murder? to make a shipwreck of his self and some others. But a number of life, and to overwhelm the unborn child busybodies, well-meaning old women of with the queasiness of his own guilty stoboth sexes, and a lot of intemperate total | mach? Let us step in and save these men abstainers perverted men's minds, and had from themselves ; let us trample down such Tom's glass dashed from his lips because misdeeds into oblivion, dash from their Dick had a mind to let his travel that way lips the cold, white flowing bowl; in a too often. What is the result? Look at word, let us vote for this Act, which prothe present dropsical generation ! Big vides: i. That the use of alcoholic liquors flabby limbs, with loose joints and large shall be freely permitted. 2. Not only so, extremities; bulbous brains, as slow in but that every Good Templar, Murphyplanning as their effete bodies are in exe mover, Rine-waverer, teetotaller, tempercuting ; constitutions that knock under at ance man (falsely so-called), adherent to the first shock, and run as much risk from the Band of Hope, or other abstainer, by a cold in the head as we used to from a whatsoever name called, shall drink each fever! Estimate the amount of cold tea, day, in the presence of the inspectors heregassy ginger beer, and effusive lemonade inafter appointed, one pint of beer, or two with which they drench themselves, and pints of lager, or so in proportion of then ask the druggists how much patent stronger fermented liquors. 3. Provided medicine they have to swallow to correct always, that when the palate of such quonall this flatulent acidity! Gastric juice is a dam water-drinker shall have been so far thing of the past; a man must take a spoon educated, and his moral and intellectual ful of pepsin now-a-days if he wants to standard so far raised, that he is known to tackle anything tougher than a milk pud take a glass of beer without inspection and ding! Nor are all the evils bodily. See of his own free will, he shall be released the water-drinker come home! His feeble , from the above surveillance, subject, howbrain has yet sense enough left to tell him ever, to re-imposition in case of a relapse. his day's work has been unsatisfactory, and 4. Any such Good Templar, &c. (ut ante), the walk from the office, instead of bracing who shall repine, murmur, or become rehim up, has taken the last bit of 'go' out calcitrant at this enactment as a curtailof him, despite the peppermint lozenges he ment of his (un)natural liberty, shall be has been frantically stoking himself with. kept in solitary confinement on beef and His wife and children are in a similar weak beer, with a file of the Globe's reports of condition; if they have affection enough speeches pro the Dunkin Bill, and learn left to try and summon up a smile, it is there the duty of submission to the will of like a watery sun shining through a fog. the majority. Flint and steel will yield a spark, but the The door swung to, and I left in haste, most strong-armed Indian would fail to eli lest I should be late for dinner at the Table. cit a symptom of warmth from any rubbing Pray accept this conte as my excuse for any together of these soaked bits of blotting delay I have caused. paper. See how the water-tippler's dyspeptic stomach tells upon his temper! The -Talking of the Dunkin Act reminds me sodden family quarrel, not the good old of a passage which I lighted on the other “spat” that was over in a brace of hard day in the • Rubaiyat' of Omar Khayyam, words or so, but a slow, sullen sulk, lasting the grand old Persian poet whose stanzas an indefinite period and never coming to a have recently been so wonderfully done into head. The children grow up surly, suspi- | English by Mr. Fitzgerald. It may not be cious, devoid of life or animation... . uninteresting to Canadians at the present Let us draw a veil over the degrading time to hear what the oriental astronomerscene.' (Movement of adhesion on the poet had to say on the Temperance question front benches.) 'Can it be doubted what is l in his day, some eight hundred years ago. Here is the passage to which I refer, from action. For them there is little praise and which it will be seen that Omar's Moham- scant applause. It is as well there should medanism was not of a strictly orthodox be none, perhaps; but let us not ignore character:

these heroes of doing, and not of saying

these songless poets to whom we give no And lately, by the Tavern Door agape,

laurels. In many words there is often Came shining through the Dusk an Angel Shape

vanity; and I sometimes think that there is Bearing a Vessel on his Shoulder ; and He bid me taste of it; and 'twas—the Grape !

much writing about virtue, much talk about

earnestness, that has more sound than - The Grape that can with Logic absolute

soundness in it. I have known men to The Two-and-Seventy jarring sects confute :

send great goodness to the printer, and The sovereign Alchemist that in a trice Life's leaden metal into Gold transmute:

leave apparently very short communs' for

themselves. These were extreme cases, The mighty Mahmud, Allah-breathing Lord, but I am sure that many good men write That all the misbelieving and black Horde

at a higher pitch of earnest virtue than they Of Fears and Sorrows that infest the Soul Scatters before him with his whirlwind Sword.

live. We do well to be too grateful for the

good influence they exert by their words Why, be this Juice the growth of God, who dare to be hypercritical about their deeds. This Blaspheme the twisted tendril as a Snare?

leniency to those whose expressed aspiraA Blessing, we should use it, should we not? And if a Curse—why, then, Who set it there?

tions are nobler than their lives, becomes

unjust only when it displaces our admira-There is so much writing and talking tion for those whose lives follow bravely asdone in this our day, that it seems to me | pirations that are not expressed. We are that those who are of the class who write apt to ignore them individually, simply beand talk are gaining altogether too high an cause they are unobtrusive ; but let us, at estimate of their importance in the social any rate, not forget that they are among us. scheme. Not but that their importance is The commonplace men, the hard working really incalculably great, but there seems a men, who growing tendency to forget the great masses

'grind among the iron facts of life, of men and women who not only act, but 1 And have no time for self-deception, think, with the best of us, yet say nothing. | the men who are not poets, who are not The great forces are silent forces; and it

Forces are silent forces; and it writers, who are not speakers ; the men who would be well for some great pen to remind

cannot 'get the hang' of cobweb culturethe writers and talkers of this over-voluble ethics, but who can live simply and age that, after all, they are not acting, but straightforwardly, merely seeking to guide and direct action ; and it were a happy thing if slashing ex

'Do noble deeds, not dream them, all day long,' ceptions had not to be made even to that. I nor speak of them ; here, in place or out When philosopher and writer say in their of place, is honour to them, the silent men, wisdom, .do this,' who doeth it? Who, as full as to those who speak by pen or but the silent man; the man who reads the tongue ! writinys and listens to the talk; who forms honest convictions painfully amid all the | -A guest at the table last month justly Babel of theory-shouting, and acts them out complained of the tendency so widely disday by day and hour by hour, in the hero played in our time towards servile imitation ism that conquers petty detail and through in the artistic adornment of our dwellings. the martyrdom of social misapprehension ? | Instead of striving to make our homes, exFor some men it is easy to express their ternally and internally, express our own convictions in print or from platform ; and tastes and ideas of beauty and fitness ; inthese men get the meed of praise and clap stead of trying to stamp our own individuping of hands. They are heroes in what ality upon them, so that we may feel when they say, and if they do not stop at saying, | we enter them that they are in the fullest all honour to them. But for other men itsense of the word our homes, and for that is neither easy nor natural to speak or to reason distinct from all others ; too many write. The eloquence of their lives is the of us ask ourselves at every step, what does silent eloquence of fixed purpose and noble 'my neighbor do in this particular and in

that, and say,-. I must have a house of such -So much has been written and said and such a shape, I must have a certain about the Falls of Niagara, that it is kind of furniture in it, and 'vases and scarcely to be expected that anything new statuettes under glass cases, or side-boards can be said upon the subject. But as loaded with plate,' must on all sides meet the sight of them seems to produce different the view of anyone entering it, not because impressions upon different people, a brief I have any particular liking for these things, account of the impression made upon me but simply because A, B, C, D, E, F, and when I recently visited them for the first G, and all the rest of them, have houses of time, may not be without interest. I had this pattern, and have them furnished in seen a good many photographs and engrathis particular way, until even those forms vings, and read many descriptions; and I of architecture and modes of adornment | must say that I was not in any way misled. which are agreeable enough in themselves, I had often tried to form in my mind some become wearisome and distasteful by con idea of their appearance; and my mental stant repetition ; and many do this, not, I picture does not seem to have been exagam afraid, as my fellow-guest has supposed, gerated, for I was not in the least disapbecause they fear that their own taste may pointed on my first view, as many people be wrong, but because they have not got appear to have been. On the contrary, my any taste to exercise in the matter and expectations were realized, except with rehave never tried to cultivate one, but have , gard to the Table Rock, which I found had been content to follow the prevailing mode quite disappeared, having been washed into rather than go to the trouble of forming the chasm below. My first impression was opinions of their own. And this mental one of bewilderment. Of course it was the indolence is, unfortunately, not confined to grandest water scene I had ever witnessed ; the sphere of ästhetic taste, but is shewn indeed the feeling that possessed me was in connection with far more important and that there was too much grandeur and essential subjects, concerning which it is magnificence for one view. An indescripositively criminal to accept passively and bable something so fixed my attention unenquiringly the opinions of others. If | that I could not take my eyes off the there is anything that should claim the tempestuous and ever changing waters. I deepest and most thoughtful consideration sat for hours watching the fearful splashing of all men, it is the moral and religious and dashing and endless confusion of the beliefs to which they profess their allegiance. wonderful cataract. I cannot hope to give Yet the vast majority carelessly adopt anything like a pen photograph of this whichever form of these beliefs is current beautiful piece of Nature's scenery, let alone with those among whom they are brought to depict its more than awful grandeur on up, not only without enquiry, but often with the approach of a storm. Meditating, I out even knowing or understanding the thought of Southey's description of the nature of that which they pretend to be cataract of Lodore : lieve. They are afraid, perhaps, in this case also, that they may be wrong, and think

Confounding, astounding, it is surely better to accept that which so

Dizzying and deafening the ear with its sound. many others think is right. But every And bubbling and troubling and doubling, human creature has been gifted with the And grumbling and rumbling and tumbling, capacity to distinguish between right and

And clattering and battering and shattering ;

| Retreating and beating and meeting and sheeting, wrong, and he who, instead of turning to

Delaying and straying and playing and spraying, his own conscience for guidance and fear Advancing and prancing and glancing and dancing, lessly following its dictum in all things, Recoiling, turmoiling and toiling and boiling, submits to have his ideas and thoughts

And gleaming and streaming and steaming and dictated to him by others, commits a double

beaming. sin, a sin against the Giver of that capacity And thumping and plumping and bumping and who intended him to use it for his guidance, jumping, and a sin against his fellow-men who re And dashing and flashing and splashing and quire that he should be to all an example of

clashing,

And so never ending but always descending. its right exercise.

On the following morning I rose early

and watched from my window until break- cabmen and showmen. One cannot stand fast-time the beautiful changes of delicate a moment, or walk twenty yards, without shades of emerald green, mingled with being accosted and followed up for a concrystalline streaks of white, falling with ex- siderable distance by two or three men, one quisite beauty, and instantly lost in an wanting to drive you to this, that, or the abyss of foam. The more I gazed and other place, another to take your portrait thought of the thousands upon thousands with the falls in the back-ground,' another of years this must have been going on—the to give you a dinner, another to take you thousands of years unknown to any human to some museum, curiosity shop,' tower, being—the more I became bewildered with | &c., &c. Fortunately I had a gentlemen wonder. On the morning of my departure | friend with me who had visited the place I left with feelings of sadness, and as I ap before, and knew the sort of people it was proached the railway station, and the noise | infested with, and he kindly pioneered me of the falls gradually grew fainter, I looked through all these difficulties. As it was we back until the scene was lost to view ; when sometimes had to turn back or otherwise a strong desire seized me to retrace my avoid them. I had heard visitors complain steps and prolong my stay. But this was of the same thing, but had no idea that out of the question.

the nuisance was so bad as it is. Can It is to be regretted that visitors should nothing be done to abate it? be so terribly annoyed by irrepressible

CURRENT EVENTS.

M HE tour of their Excellencies in Mani- | seen and provided for, was a gross breach of

1 toba, may unfortunately be the last of duty. That he succeeded in warding off the any extent they will make in Canada. attack and in telling the British Columbians During the term of their residence in the good-naturedly a bit of his mind, was to his Dominion, every Province from the Atlantic credit; but what would be thought of an to the Pacific has been visited, and except | Imperial Government which should permit the political contretemps in British Co the Queen or the Prince of Wales to lumbia, nothing has occurred to mar the go to Ireland or a distant Colony to be pleasure of these excursions. Even the badgered by the people on Home Rule or rage of the Victorians might have been di any other grievance, unattended ? It was verted, as was remarked last year, if a re so easy in the presence of a Minister to refer sponsible Minister of the Crown had accom the Victoria recalcitrants to him; whilst, in panied the Governor-General. As it was, his absence, it would have seemed unalthough his Excellency acquitted himself gracious to reject altogether a loyal and with characteristic grace and tact, the disrespectful address. agreeable position was forced upon him | To those who look merely at newspaper of being, nolens volens, made a Court of reports of the triumphal arches, the fêies, Appeal against his constitutional advisers, receptions, and general enthusiasm which and forced to hear complaints which should await the vice-regal party, these excursions have been received by the Premier or one seem altogether a source of gratification. It of his colleagues. Their absence from is not unlikely, however, that the fatigues Lord Dufferin's side, under critical circum of travel, and the wearying and endless stances which might have been easily fore- | round of addresses, with the other prosy ad

juncts which tire by their monotony, render | little scene of the flags at the orphanage them a severe labour. To the longest jour- | must have been exceedingly touching to ney, even across the Continent, there is at those who love children. This, in all prothe end no peaceful haven of rest-no res. bability, the last trip of their Excellencies pite from laborious exertion. And yet their to a distant Province, will not be the least Excellencies have cheerfully submitted to agreeable of the reminiscences they will it all, in order to meet Canadians of every carry away with them from our shores, if Province face to face, to know their coun only because of the simple and honest entry, understand its resources, and mark its | thusiasm of the people. progress. It is this which has peculiarly endeared them to the people everywhere, The Premier has also been making a and in addition to that, their anxious interest tour, not however in the direction of the in the well-being of all sorts and conditions star of empire.' but contrariwise, towards the of men, irrespective of creed, colour, or social rising sun. In short, he has been enlightstatus. Their extended visits have now been ening the wise men of the East in the completed, and we are beginning to ask matter of Dominion politics. It would whether Rideau Hall will, after next autumn, satisfy a not unnatural curiosity to learn witness for many a day a Governor-General the truth about this excursion, for it is so deservedly popular as Lord Dufferin. clear that the party accounts cannot both

In his Winnipeg address, his Excellency be correct, and it is more than likely that referred to his departure in these words : ‘Al they are bo:h equally false. In the first though it will not be my good fortune to pre- place, the Opposition journals point, as a side much longer over your destinies, I need plain confession of weakness on Mr. Macnot assure you that your future will always kenzie's part, to the fact that he addressed command my warmest sympathies, and con- | no audience at Halifax, St. John, Moncton, tinue to attract my closest attention, and I | or Fredericton—the large centres of wealth trust that, although at a distance, I may live and population-and bestowed his favours to see the fulfilment of many of your aspiI only on five places—Berwick, Truro, Charrations. The Manitoba reception must have lottetown, Souris, and Summerside-three been extremely gratifying—it was so genu of these being in Prince Edward Island. inely honest and yet almost primitively sim. | Now it is necessary first to ascertain the plein its main features. The state receptions, Premier's motion in taking the trip. If his which were presumably as formal as usual, object were to combine summer relaxation excepted, there appears to have been a fresh with a visit to the Island Province which he ness in the Prairie Province's enthusiasm, I had had never seen before, his course was which could not fail to charm. The French | just such as he would naturally adopt. It or other half-breeds, the Indians, Menno is not usual to hold political demonstrations nites, and Icelanders presented a variety of in large cities during the dog-days; almost type, as contrasted with the Anglo-Saxon, | all the Ontario pic-nics, on both sides, were which, contained as all are within a brief | held in the neighbourhood of small towns area, must have been something novel, 1 and villages. Berwick is in King's County, even in Lord Dufferin's experience. Per- | where Mr. Mackenzie had probably been haps the visit to St. Boniface was one pressed to give his party a helping hand, of the most pleasant. There their Excel and Truro is only a few hours, by rail, from lencies were at home with a simple people, Halifax, Pictou, and Moncton. Moreover, frugal in habit and yet picturesque in it would be absurd to suppose, however their displays of taste. The Archbishop, much one may believe in a Conservative although he was naturally anxious to guard reaction that the dominant party could his flock in troublous times, is a thoroughly not get together a good audience in any of loyal Christian patriarch. Happily the Gov- the larger towns. Of course if the Opposiernor-General has no creed antipathies, and tion journals mean to allege that the Prehe can rejoice with the children of an Or- | mier was sore afraid that Conservative phan Asylum tended by the Sisters of rage would deny him a hearing, by packing Charity, or extend his warmest sympathy Reform meetings, all that need be said is to an Hótel Dieu, without regard to the that such an apprehension, were it well dogma or ritual which obtains there. The I founded, would reflect no credit on the

« 이전계속 »