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humble; it works as the servant of | foes, are in reality not far from the human life. Metaphysical or tran- | kingdom. * scendental science, on the other hand, is proud ; its aim is not to serve, but
* Prof. Huxley for example, who has
criticized Comte very severely, not to say to dazzle and govern; it scorns the
bitterly, and who, judged by that criticism relative and aims at solving the ulti alone, might be considered as decidedly opmate riddles of existence. Manifestly, posed to all that is essential in the Positive I therefore, only those who are willing Philosophy, thus expresses himself at the
close of his essay on The Physical Basis of to serve, and to take a limited view of
Life :' .There can be little doubt that the their function as scientific workers, further science advances, the more exten. will embrace science in the positive sively and consistently will all the phesense. All who seek their own glory nomena of nature be represented by mate. will repudiate limitations and grapple
rialistic forms and symbols. But the man
of science who, forgetting the limits of phiwith the absolute. The battle between
losophical enquiry, slides from those forthe two methods or conceptions is now mulæ and symbols into what is commonly in progress. Let all who realize the understood by materialism, seems to me to nature of the strife, and who see that
place himself on a level with the mathema
tician who should mistake the r's and y's the cause of the relative is the cause
with which he works his problems for real of humanity, range themselves distinct entities, and with this further disadvanly on that side. We count the author tage as compared with the mathematician, of the book referred to in this article
that the blunders of the latter are of no
practical consequence, while the errors of as an able and gallant ally; and
systematic materialism may paralyze the some others, who in appearance are energies and destroy the beauty of a life.'
O DONNA DI VIRTU!
BY 'ALCHEMIST,' MONTREAL.
• O mystic Lady! Thou in whom alone
Our human race excelleth all that stand
D OW oft I read. How agonized the turning,
1 (In those my earlier days of loss and pain)
Some wall might yield and I behold again
In vain I chafed and sought-alas, in vain
To Dante's page, those wearied thoughts of mine ;
A voice melodious spake in every line,
Strange was the music of the Florentine !
THE STUDY OF CANADIAN POLITICS.
BY THE REV. HUGH PEDLEY, B.A., COBOURG.
D OLITICAL indifferentism is not | abyss. For in the midst of our glorifi
1 the least of the dangers that cation of popular forms of government menace the welfare of popular gov. we must not forget that just as desernments. It is rather an ominous potism has its abuses, so has freedom, fact that, both in this country, and in and that, as the abuses of the one the United States, there are a great have involved nations in anarchy and many respectable and intelligent peo bloodshed, so may the abuse of the ple who refuse to have aught to do other have a like terrible issue. with politics. Speak to them about Therefore it will be a happy day religious matters, and they are inter when indifferentism in this direction ested. Talk to them on commercial is rated at its full value, when political topics, and they become animated. ignorance is regarded as high treason, Converse with them on the literature and the political ignoramus as an unof the day, or discuss with them the speakable ingrate. For surely he is last great hit of the stage, and they that. Surely it is the height of inare charmed. But, the moment you gratitude for a man to live under the introduce the subject of politics, they ægis of Freedom, to possess all the ad. dismiss it with an impatient wave of vantages of a great social organism, to the hand, and with “Oh I never trou enjoy—nay to invoke—the protection ble my head about such matters.' They of wise and just laws, and then turn say this, too, not with any sort of with cold contempt from the source of shame, but with an air that plainly all these blessings. Surely it is wrong tells you, that, while in their eyes ig that he should accept these privileges norance in other things is a sin, here as an inheritance from the past, and it is one of the most fragrant virtues have no care as to the means by which in the calendar.
they are to be secured to his children This, we repeat, is a bad omen. It after him. In this country, at least, is the beginning of untold peril to a it may well be said that, if a man will country when political ignorance have nothing to do with the laws, then comes to be regarded as a virtue, when the laws should have nothing to do people of the better class esteem it as with him, that he who looks with conone of the sacred privileges of that class tempt upon law-makers should be left to 'touch not, taste not, handle not' to the mercy of law breakers. the, in their estimation, unclean thing But, even where it exists, the study politics. It is this that encourages of politics is often exceedingly careless the demagogue, and disheartens the and superficial. We catch up a paper, pure-minded patriot. It is this that in all probability that of our own makes a nation prolific of Guiteaus, party stripe, and after a hasty glance and barren of Garfields. It is this at its contents throw it aside, and feel that magnifies the forces of evil, and ourselves qualified to discuss the great minimizes the influence of good, until questions of the day. Such a method the country finds itself standing aghast | of study is unsatisfactory, both to the upon the brink of a dark and fathomless l student himself, and to those with whom he converses. It is one-sided, | study, and a broader way of looking shallow, and mischievous. It tends at public questions than is customary to the production of the noisy ranting at the present time. politician--such an one, for example, It is the purpose of this paper to as the ‘Parlour Orator,' which Dick indicate in a general way, some of ens has made the subject of one of his the conditions of an intelligent study • Sketches by Boz.' He is a red-faced of Canadian politics. It does not, by man with a loud voice, and talks non any means, aspire to be a guide to sense with such an air of inspired wis those who have leisure and oppordom, that all the company in the little tunity to enter with scientific accuracy parlour mistake it for genius, except into the various branches of Political a little greengrocer who has penetra Economy. It is addressed in the main tion enough to see through the windy to those who have their regular occufraud. Irritated by a little contradic pation in the store, on the farm, or in tion, the oracle waxes wonderfully elo the workshop, but who also have spare quent. Here is the description of the fragments of time which they are wilclosing scene. “ What is a man?'con. ling to devote to so honourable a purtinued the red faced specimen of the suit as the study of the public affairs species, jerking his hat indignantly of the country in which they live. from its peg on the wall. What is an The first qualification for the intelEnglishman? Is he to be trampled ligent student of Canadian politics is upon by every oppressor? Is he to be to have a thorough knowledge of the knocked down at everybody's bidding? geography of Canada. To no small exWhat's freedom? Not a standing tent the destiny of a people is deterarmy. What's a standing army? Not mined by its geographical environfreedom. What's general happiness? ments, by the size, shape, climate, Not universal misery. Liberty ain't geology, etc., of the country in which the window-tax is it? The Lords ain't its lot is cast. The writer remembers the Commons, are they?' And the red standing on one occasion with a numfaced man, gradually bursting into a | ber of fellow students beside Dr. Dawradiating sentence, in which such ad son in front of the map of Europe. jectives as "dastardly,' 'oppressive,' He pointed to Greece and Italy, the • violent,' and 'sanguinary formed the seats of the great empires of the past, most conspicuous words, knocked his and made the remark that, if some hat indignantly over his eyes, left the geologist of those ancient times had room, and slammed the door after known of the existence and value of him.
the great stores of coal and iron lying : Wonderful man !' said he of the almost side by side in the British Isles, sharp nose.
he might easily have prophesied that Splendid speaker !' added the the day would come when the seat of broker.
power would be shifted from the South Great power !' said everybody but to these islands of the North. We the greengrocer.”
speak of the Star of empire, but, after · Long live the greengrocer,' say we. all, this brilliant luminary is in its Thank Heaven! there are such as he movements only the humble servant still, to be a protest against the bom of such homely masters as the ebony bastic ignorance of such an orator, and lumps that fill our coal-scuttles, and the the servile ignorance of such an aud rich mould of our farmers' fields. The ience. But if we are to perpetuate the glory and power of empires rest largely race of intelligent greengrocers, and upon geological and geographical eradicate from our national soil the foundations. What Canada is to be *Parlour Orator' type of politician, nationally depends very much upon we must have a fairer method of what Canada is physically, and he who
wishes to know the possibilities of her we can sustain by the development of future must first know the latitude our internal resources. Our legislaand longitude, the length and breadth tion will be of a practical and homeof the country itself.
spun character. The formation of new Draper, in his work · Civil Policy of provinces, their connection by railways, America,' shows his appreciation of the utilization of their natural wealth, this geographical factor in national their relations to one another, and to life, by devoting nearly a third of the the central government,—these are to book to its consideration. He says in be the sober but absorbing questions one place, “it is necessary to examine of the future. But how can they be the topographical construction of the intelligently discussed by one who is country, to examine its physical con ignorant of geography? How can a dition, its climate, its products, for man discuss a Pacific Railway policy such are the influences that model the who scarce knows the difference becharacter and determine the thoughts tween Lake Nipissing and Lake Supeof men.' The same writer emphasizes rior, and cannot tell within 500 miles relation between climate and charac. the distance between Winnipeg and ter in these words : · It is within a the Rocky Mountains ? How can he narrow range of latitude that great understand the merits of the debate men have been born. In the earth's on the Ontario Boundary Award, to southern hemisphere not one as yet whom the position of the Lake of the has appeared.' In this respect we cer Woods is as much a matter of guess as tainly have a good deal to be thankful the complexion of the man in the for, seeing that we are within the | moon? How can he treat of the relamagic influence of this narrow range tive claims of the various provinces, of latitude. Stretching between the who knows nothing of their size, little murmuring pines and the hemlocks' || of their position, and less of their reof the ancient Acadie, and their forest sources ? sisters that sigh and sway upon our It is absolutely necessary, therefore, Pacific slopes, is a vast garden emi- | that the intelligent student of Cananently fitted for the nurture of the dian politics should have a familiar noblest types of humanity. We are acquaintance with Canadian geografoolish to yearn for the orange-groves phy. His newspaper studies should and perpetual summer of the south. be accompanied and illustrated by the We may not live between the isother presence of the most reliable maps. It mal lines of a uniformly mild temper would be well for him, occasionally, to ature, but we do live in that belt of fancy himself buttonholed by some the world which has supplied modern keen and questioning Frenchman or history with its mightiest names. We German, on the search for information are in the latitude that has given to concerning Canada. It would be a us such men as Milton and Shakes- good thing for him to become a sharp peare, Pitt and Gladstone, Goethe and catechizer of himself in some such Luther, Webster and Longfellow, and fashion as the following :- What do I we might well smile over an occasional know about the Dominion ? Have I frost-nip to be in such splendid com- | in thought grasped the greatness of a pany.
territory whose shores are washed by The size and resources of Canada three oceans? Have I any knowledge are sure to have an enormous. influ-l of the distances from point to point ? ence in determining the nature of its Have I any clear idea of the nature of politics. Our great questions are not i the various parts, of what the land is going to be as to how much life and like in Nova Scotia, in Quebec, in wealth we can destroy in brilliant Keewatin, in the great prairie exforeign campaigns, but as to how much panses, and on the slopes of British
Columbia ? What do I know of such compact one, and may be mastered great streams as the Saskatchewan, with tolerable ease. Nelson, and Peace, which may some The present condition of this counday become the veins and arteries of try is the result of the confluence of a vast internal commerce? What ac two streams—the one finding its source count could I give of the resources of amid the vine clad hills of France, and coal, iron, timber, fish, etc., which have the other in that cluster of storm-blown already been discovered ? What esti isles which we call Great Britain. For mate have I made of the population a long time the first of these streams which may some day find a home in flowed on in solitude. We must not this broad and wonderful land? These forget that Canada was for a far longer are the questions he needs to ponder time under the French flag than she over. These are the points on which has been under the flag of England. he needs to be fully informed, before From the year 1534, when Jacques he is at all capable of taking anything Cartier sailed up the St. Lawrence, like a statesmanlike view of the poli until 1759, a period of 225 years, tical affairs of his country.
Canada was in the possession of the Another qualification for the intel- | Crown of France. For only 123 years ligent student is to have a familiar has she been a part of the British Emknowledge of Canadian history. We pire. For convenience' sake, it would never feel that we really understand be well for the student to break the a man, unless we know something of history up into sections, taking the his past. We are anxious to learn French period by itself, and then di. what sort of a father and mother he viding the British period into two had, where he was born, what educa. parts, the first extending from 1759 tion he received, what were the forces to 1841, and containing the story of that moulded his life, what record of. the struggle for Responsible Govern. achievement he has, before we consi ment, and the second reaching up to der ourselves in a position to form a / the present time, and telling how the right estimate of his cbaracter. As country fared after the victory had with the individual, so with the na been achieved. tion. In order to understand its pre The period of French domination, sent we must travel far back into its though not, perhaps, the most importpast. The history must be read before ant part of our history, from a political we can account for the parts into standpoint, nevertheless contains paswhich the country is divided, or un sages of marvellous interest. Through derstand the relation of parties, or mea it all we seem to hear the astonished sure the various forces that are at Eureka of men confronted for the first work in the government.
time by the vast wonders of mounCanadian history has, at least, one tain, river and lake which the New great advantage for the student-viz., | World disclosed to their view. We its brevity. Ours are not Chinese nor see armies of dusky warriors flitting Egyptian annals reaching back over through the depths of the primeval thousands of years until lost in a realm forest, and fleets of little canoes dancof myth and mystery. The whole ing upon the flashing waters of lake record is comprehended within a period and stream. We see the pomp and of 350 years, and through all its length power of the savage grow abashed be. has had the incalculable benefit of the fore the greater pomp and power of the art of printing. There is nothing, white man, so that they who had been therefore, in the way of immensity and for unreckoned centuries the lords of and interminableness to daunt the stu- | the forest, in a few short years, became dent at the outset. The subject is a l the minions and tools of the stranger.