« AnteriorContinuar »
Poetry as a Fine Art. By Prof. Chas. E. Moyse, B. A., Montreal . . 243
Running Water Notes. By Edith M. Thomas
His Picture. By · Esperance,' Yorkville.
AND NATIONAL REVIEW.
THE TRUE IDEA OF CANADIAN LOYALTY.
BY W. D. LE SUEUR, B.A., OTTAWA.
TN the November number of this, Loyalty,' which, if capable of being
1 Magazine a distinguished writer, interpreted in the same sense is also eminently qualified for the task both capable of being interpreted in one by the nature of his studies and by widely different, namely, the Loyalty his peculiar opportunities for observa. of Canada to the Parent State. This tion, undertook to discuss the question in fact is the sense in which the term whether Canadian loyalty was 'a is used throughout the article, nothing Sentiment, or a Principle.' The whatever being said about the duty of discussion, as it seemed to me, opened loyalty to Canada. Understanding somewhat abruptly, no attempt being then Canadian loyalty in this sense, made to define what was meant by and not in the sense so oddly sug• Canadian Loyalty.' Yet, that such gested by the index, Mr. Todd proceeds a definition was highly necessary is to enquire whether it is 'a Sentiment obvious enough, and has moreover or a Principle,' and concludes that it been illustrated in a somewhat singu is the latter, not the former. The lar way. In glancing over the index aim of the following pages will be to to the Magazine for the half year just show that Canadian loyalty, if underclosed, I find the article to which stood in the sense of loyalty to Canada, reference is made quoted under the is-whether sentiment or principle or title of Is Loyalty to Canada a Sen both—the one thing which it is of the timent or a Principle ?' Here is a greatest importance to the future of transformation of the most significant this country to strengthen and prokind. “Loyalty to Canada' is a much mote; but that, if understood in the more definite thing than “Canadian | sense adopted by Mr. Todd, it represents a virtue which the march of 1 yet, strange to say, the able writer events has, for years past, been more whose name has been mentioned and more rendering obsolete.
makes no effort to prove them. He A word, however, before we pro thinks it sufficient to try and give an ceed on this question of sentiment or historical explanation of what he takes principle. We may be sure of one to be the dominant, and all but unithing, and that is that whatever versal, feeling of Canadians towards Canadian loyalty in either of its forms the political system under which they is not, it is a sentiment. Loyalty, the are living. He assumes an abounding world over, is a sentiment; any virtue loyalty of the type above described that it possesses arises from that fact; I a loyalty to Great Britain and then for loyalty which is simply a percep sets to work to show how the feeling tion upon which side one's bread is was developed. His illustrations buttered is not deserving of the name. unhappily hardly serve even the purMr. Todd himself speaks of Canadian pose for which they are intended, far loyalty as a 'feeling,' and maintains as that falls short of the proper scope that, as such, “it possesses both depth of any general discussion of Canadian and reality. Yet the object of the loyalty. The chief point made is that article seems to be to show that it is Canada was settled in part by U. E. not a sentiment or feeling but a 'prin- Loyalists, men who failed to sympaciple.' The truth is that it is both a thize with the resistance made by sentiment and a principle, and that their fellow-colonists of America to there is no contradiction between the the tyranny of King George the Third, two. It is a sentiment in its essential and who, either voluntarily or upon nature, and a principle as being a compulsion, forsook their homes and source and rule of action.
sought refuge under the British flag. The important question, however, The force, however, of this argument is whether Mr. Todd has placed before is greatly weakened when we are the readers of the CANADIAN MONTHLY expressly told that the great majority a true idea of Canadian loyalty. AC of these would willingly have remained cording to him it consists in a strong in the United States, sacrificing their desire and determination to preserve allegiance to Great Britain, if the the present colonial status of Canada. odium into which they had fallen To be loyal as a Canadian is to wish with their neighbours had not made to maintain Canada's present relation life there unendurable. A thousand to Great Britain and to the British citizens of Boston, we are assured, Empire as a whole. To be disloyal, though opposed to the Revolution, therefore, would be to wish to disturb declared that they would never have that relation, either by making Canada stirred if they thought the most abject entirely independent or by attaching submission would procure them peace.' her to some other political system. One can read this over several times Loyalty is a duty and a virtue ; it is without being profoundly impressed something which no one can reputably by the loyalty' of these thousand disown; therefore it is the duty of citizens. That being compelled, in every Canadian to strive to maintain spite of their readiness for abject the existing connection between Can submission, to seek homes in another ada and the Mother Country. Only country they should have carried those who either are indifferent to thither a strong aversion to the land duty, or who have very mistaken ideas that had cast them out, is quite conof duty, can countenance any effort or ceivable; the difficult thing is to scheme to disturb the status quo. suppose that they should furnish to
Now these, I respectfully submit, | their adopted country any very adare not self-evident propositions; and | mirable type of loyalty, unless by loyalty we mean the mere habit of Church and State. In the Province of submission to arbitrary authority. If Ontario, which perhaps owes most to these were conspicuous' loyalists' then their influence, the tendency for a long perhaps their successors of to-day time past has been steadily away from would be equally prepared for the every form of church establishment. most abject submission,' if a majority The secularization of the Clergy Reof the people of Canada were to decide serves- not referred to by Mr. Todd in favour of independence. I do not —was one signal example of this ; say that they would ; it is Mr. Todd and the withdrawal of government who somewhat infelicitously forces grants from all denominational colleges upon us the suggestion that they was another. The general feeling might.
throughout the Province of Ontario is When, therefore, Mr. Todd speaks that religion needs no kind of state of our forefathers' having · deliber patronage, and that it is quite as safe ately preferred the loss of property -not to say safer-under the Ameriand the perils incident to their flight can system which Mr. Todd so much into the wilderness rather than forego deplores as under the British or any the blessings of British supremacy and other which gives it official recogni. of monarchical rule,' we are compelled tion. As a political indication, the to remind him that, according to his fact that Ontario took the lead in own express statement, this was not dispensing with a second chamber in the case. They were prepared to let her local legislature is not without British supremacy and monarchical significance. rule go by the board, if only their The word loyalty calls up many fellow-citizens would have pardoned ideas, but the more we examine it the them their lukewarmness in the great more clearly we see that the largest struggle. • Their only safety,' we are element in it is the element of fidelity told, was in flight.' "They sought upon the part of an inferior to a refuge in Canada and Nova Scotia superior, or of a lesser to a greater from the hardships to which they were power. We do not talk of the loyalty exposed in the old colonies because of of Great Britain to Canada. If in their fidelity to the British Crown.' any relations between the two we We may therefore infer that had the were to speak of Great Britain having colonists in general been a little more followed a loyal' course of conduct, magnanimous or forbearing to the the loyalty in that case would be non-sympathizing minority, the latter towards some high standard of national would never have trodden the wilds duty conceived as equally binding of Canada, or furnished an argument upon great states and small. We for Canadian loyalty as understood by speak of the loyal' observance of a Mr. Todd.
treaty, and there again the loyalty is When the foundation of an argu towards an abstract conception of ment is defective the superstructure right and equity, that conception is apt to be a little shaky ; and so we ranking in our moral estimation far find it in the present case. As the above the mere expediencies of the loyalists did not carry into Canada -so | hour. Canada or any other country consuming a zeal for • British supre could thus loyally fulfil an obligation, macy and monarchical rule' as a whether contracted towards an equal, sentence above quoted would lead us a superior or an inferior power. But to believe, so neither did they bring when loyalty to England is spoken of into Canada or transmit to their de- | the idea that comes to our mind is not scendants, so lively a perception as the loyal fulfilling of engagements, the writer of the article imagines, of but fidelity as of a person to a person, the benefit of a connection between 1 and, it must be added, of a dependent to a patron or protector. And, just for not only is the idea of Canas in personal relations, this feeling ada's dependence upon England disis only justified where services are | owned by very many here in Canada, rendered by the stronger to the weaker but it has been distinctly disowned which the latter is unable to render by representative Englishmen, and by to himself ; so, between countries, an none more distinctly or emphatically occasion for loyalty only arises when than by the present Prime Minister, the stronger community does that for | Mr. Gladstone. In proof of this I the weaker which the weaker is unable I would refer to the discussion that , to do for itself. In such a case the I took place in the British House of stronger country has a right to expect | Commons on the 28th March, 1867, that the weaker will show a duel upon the application of the Canadian appreciation of the benefits it derives Government for a guarantee of a loan from the connection, and will brave of £3,000,000 stg. for the building of perils rather than forsake its protec- the Intercolonial Railway. Upon that tor in an hour of trial. We must, occasion we find the Under Secretary however, assume that the services of State for the Colonies, Mr. (now rendered by the stronger power are Sir Charles) Adderley, who moved the rendered disinterestedly. If a state resolution proposing the guarantee, plants a colony in some distant land, making an almost abject apology for and there seeks to control its com doing so. Here I must be permitted merce in its own interest, without to quote (Hansard, Vol. 186, page regard to the interests of the new 736) :-'Mr. Adderley said that, in settlement, I fail to see that it can moving the Resolution of which he justly claim the loyalty of the latter. had given notice, not one word would I do not think that any loyalty was | fall from him approving in the abstract due from Ireland to England in the of guarantees of Colonial Loans. He days when England was oppressing, had always thought that they were a in every possible way, Irish trade and feature of the worst possible relations industry. The loyalty of the Ameri between this country and the Colonies, can colonies survived, as it seems to bad enough for this country, but still me, by many years any equitable claim worse for the Colonies. He sincerely of the Mother Country to such a feel. hoped that this Colonial guarantee ing on their part. There are those, would be the last proposed to Parliano doubt, who admire a loyalty that ment, or, if proposed the last that. no injustice can quench ; but there are Parliament would be disposed to grant. others again who see in loyalty carried * * * The only way (page 739) to such a length only a servile lack of of making the new Confederation inself-respect, and who would rather dependent of the United States was have in their veins the blood of some | to construct this important railway village Hampden' than that of all (the Intercolonial) which would enable • loyalist' who offered in vain the | Canada to develop itself, and rely most abject submission' as the price entirely upon her own resources. * * * of remaining in a country that,without The Confederation (page 743) would his aid, had vindicated its liberty. take away the languor of dependence.
If, therefore, Canada is now loyal' upon England which had hitherto to England wbat are thecircumstances, paralysed the divided governments.' what are the facts, that give signifi. Mr. Adderley spoke as member of cance, that give raison d'être, to its a Conservative Government; but he loyalty? Is it that Canada is depen was followed by Mr. Aytoun, the dent upon England, and being depen Liberal member for a Scotch borough, dent ought to be at once humble and who moved the rejection of the guarfaithful ? This cannot be admitted, / antee as unsound in principle and.