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love, and that thoughtsinks deep, deep, had for us, since we played in this room into his very soul.
together, so many years ago. He draws her to the window, the No, Harry,' she said softly, 'with stars are out. Harry points to his an over-ruling Providence, guiding the own bright star looking down from affairs of this world, there may have heaven, as they stand together in its been, and there yet may be, many light. “Ah, Grace,' said Harry, 'what and great changes, but there are no changes and chances this world has chances.'
BY CHARLES LEE BARNES, ST. STEPHEN, N. B.
W HEN the summer's bright and tender sunbeams fill the land with splendor,
In his robes of blue and purple, and his crown of burnished green, Lone the kingfisher sits drearning, with his dark eyes brightly gleaming,
While he peers for chub and minnows in the water's limpid sheen.
And he haunts the river's edges, oozy flats, and rustling sedges,
Till he sees his prey beneath him in the waters clear and cool ; Then he quickly dashes nearer, and he breaks the polished mirror
That was floating on the surface of the creek or hidden pool.
Where the nodding reeds are growing, and the yellow lilies blowing,
In our little boat we slowly glide along the placid stream; And we know he's coming after, by the music of his laughter,
And the flashing of his vesture in the sun's effulgent beam.
Well he knows the alder bushes, and the slender, slimy rushes,
And the swamp, and pond, and lakelet, and the ice-cold crystal spring; And the brooklet oft he follows through the meadows and the hollows,
Far within the shadowy woodland, where the thrush and robin sing.
Oh, he well can flutter proudly, and he well can laugh so loudly,
For he lives within a castle where he never knows a care!
And his title undisputed is on earth, or sea, or air !
THE TRUE BASIS OF LEGISLATIVE PROHIBITION.*
BY GEORGE W. HODGSON.
N article which appeared in the enemy can be successfully attacked. A CANADIAN MONTILY for Nov. It is undeniable that a law is inconember, on the Taboo of Strong sistent and illogical, which allows Drink,' has ably presented the case breweries and distilleries to be in full against prohibition. But the reasons blast, and to pay full taxes, and yet for the other side are so many and so I will not permit them to sell their man. strong, that a weaker advocate may ufactures within, it may be, a hundred venture to hold a brief in its favour. miles from where they stand. Local The question is certainly one which option is well enough, when applied will more and more occupy public within certain limits, but such a matattention. It is a question that ought, ter as the liquor trade of perhaps a in the interests of all parties, soon to whole province is too important an be decided in one way or the other. affair to be arranged or disarranged If the liquor traffic is one that the piecemeal by a series of local plebiscountry should and will permit to con cites; and sooner or later Parliament tinue, then those who are engaged in must decide the question as a whole. it have a right to demand that they may But the law is excellent as a tempoknow where they are and what they rary measure. It allows experiments may do, and that they shall not be to be made on a small scale and under embarrassed by the feeling that their favourable circumstances. If they business may at any day be declared succeed they are strong arguments for illegal. On the other hand the friends a general, consistent, logical, prohibiof prohibition must feel that the 'Scott | tory law; while if prohibition would Act' is only tentative and temporary. work all the mischief its opponents It is excellent as giving a vantage imagine, better that it should prove ground from which, when public its own injuriousness within limited opinion is ripe, to move on to a better | areas. position, for a good general may seize But while experience is solving the a position which he does not expect to question in a practical way, it will not hold very long, because he knows be useless to discuss it theoretically : that from it the very citadel of the this paper is offered as a contribution
to such discussion. I am quite pre. * [In Mr. Crofton's article on “ The Taboo
pared to agree with a great deal, I of Strong Drink," to which this paper is a might say with most, of what is conreply, a misprint occurs, which creates a false tained in Mr. Crofton's paper; though sense, and may, therefore, expose the writer to the imputation of flippancy or presump
in some important instances it aptuousness. “Is it comprehensible, is it cred. pears to me that his analogies do not ible,” Mr. Crofton wrote (p. 495) "that Jesus
hold good. But his arguments, howshould not by one explanatory word have prevented,” etc. For the italicised word the
ever sound in themselves, seem to me compositor substituted “creditable," and we quite to fail of their effect, for they regret that the error should have been over
are not directed against the valid realooked. The correction may not be out of place here.-ED. C. M.]
son for prohibition.
Is prohibition a question either of liberty coming from one who has used morals or religion ? Except in so far his liberty to choose the easier and as morals and religion indirectly enter more pleasant way. into the decision of all questions, I This admission makes it unnecesthink it is not. Let it be granted sary to discuss the biblical meaning of then that for the law to forbid per. the word 'wine. One would imagine sonal vices, which affect only him who that . be not drunk with wine settles commits them,—that to protect a that, as far as the New Testament is man against himself '-is meddling concerned, even if any could bring legislation, and therefore inexpedient themselves to suppose that Timothy's and hurtful. Let it be granted that often infirmities' would be much
it is generally wiser in legislation to helped by unfermented grape-juice. leave out the consideration of the end If, then, prohibition is based upon less and complex indirect claims of neither moral nor religious grounds, society. It is also true enough upon what does it rest? Is it not that no moral improvement has been purely a question of political expeeffected in an intemperate man who diency? What is a more legitimate does not get drunk only because it consideration for a statesman than has been made impossible for him to whether any particular industry, any do so.
particular trade, is on the whole Still further, the Christian religion more injurious than beneficial to the enjoins upon all its members temper-1 country; and if he decide that its ill ance in all things, and therefore, of effects outweigh any possible good necessity, temperance in the use of effects, why should he not prohibit it? intoxicating liquors. It may be re. If he sees the resources of the country marked in passing, that temperance in wasted, its available man-power (if drink is something more than not one may coin a term) enormously getting drunk, and that many a inan diminished, pauperism and crime who has never been drunk in his life greatly increased by a certain traffic, may get hereafter be condemned as what possible reason is there why he intemperate. But let this go. As for should not forbid it? If the ill effects total abstinence, speaking with all were at all confined to those who do deference to many earnest temperance wrong, they might be left to enjoy workers, I cannot see that it is any their sorry liberty and have their where commanded ; but I believe that claim allowed that they must not be every Christian is at perfect liberty to • protected against themselves. If make it the rule of his own life, and the ills resulting to others from the would act wisely in so doing if he can. intemperate man's conduct, were in But it is a voluntary act, and he who any sense indirect, the statesman might chooses this way should not condemn decline to meddle with the endless one who does not choose it. On the complexities of indirect results. But other hand some persons talk very when he sees immediate consequences absurdly about the total abstainer injurious to person and property 'and
giving up his Christian liberty.' He hurtful to the whole common weal does nothing of the kind. He exer directly resulting from a traffic which cises his Christian liberty by choosing has never been free from these conseto practise a particular act of self quences, why should he hesitate about denial either for his own good or for putting a stop to it? the good of others. He has a perfect Now it may be said this is the usual right to do this, and while he should style of the temperance fanatic. You not try to make his acts or his con are asking that, because a minority science a law to others, he certainly abuse their liberty, the liberty of all may resent the sneer about the loss of should be curtailed. Let it be granted that only a minority'abuse their liberty. claimed for strong drink; in the other, But if it be a fact, that the evil directly | all its terrible, well-known evils. We resulting to the whole community, from may leave the decision, as to which is the conduct of this minority, outweighs the heavier, as safely to a non-prohi. any possible advantage that the com bitionist as to a prohibitionist. munity can gain from unrestricted Or put the case in another way. liberty in this particular, would it not Suppose that prohibition could be fully be a wise act—would it not evi and completely enforced throughout dently be a general gain – that this the whole country. Its opponents will liberty should be surrendered by all ? say that this is impossible ; but grant It appears to me that the question it for the sake of argument, and sup. narrows itself down to this particular pose that word were to go out to-morissue, or, at least, that this is the first row that a probibitory law, certain of and main issue. If it can be shewn enforcement, would at once go into that the facts are as above stated, then operation. Would not that announceprohibition becomes an act of enlight- ment cause more joy and happiness ened policy ; but if this cannot be from one end of the land to the other proved, then the statesman is perfectly than almost any other conceivable right to relegate the matter back to news? It is difficult-nay, impossible, the teachers of morals and religion —to imagine the result. The intense with a sharp reprimand to them for relief the country would experience having tried to persuade him to do would be such as one feels who awakes their work.
to the consciousness of safety after a But, now, how can a proof of this horrible nightmare. be reached ? Chiefly by observation Why then should not a statesman and, to some extent, by induction. give the country this relief? What
What then do we see ? It is un law of political economy forbids him necessary to dwell upon the terrible to banish a trade whose evils so far evils in the train of drink : it would outweigh all its possible good ? be hard to exaggerate them. The | It has been admitted that this is blighted hopes, the wasted, ruined lives | not directly a question of religion. of the victims; the keen agony, or the | But here the statesman might well dull heart-broken despair of mothers, appeal to the force of Christian prefathers, wives, children; the heartless cept. He might, pointing to the mass neglect or the brutal cruelty of the of evil which he is striving to destroy, drunkard—these, too common as they ask every Christian man—not to give are, need no rhetoric to describe their up his liberty—but to use that liberty horrors. And it is not the intensity for the noble purpose of willingly sacrialone of these evils that startles us. ficing a pleasure (innocent it may be) How wide-spread they are? What of his own, for the sake of conferring town, what village, what country-side so great a benefit upon so many others. is free from them? How hard, through But, supposing a prohibitory law out the length and breadth of the land, expedient, can it be enforced? This to find a family to which shame and is, certainly, an important question. sorrow have not been brought by the But we are not going to be caught by drunkenness of, at least, one of its Mr. Crofton's dilemma. It is necessary members.
to distinguish between two kinds of law. Now, make the most liberal allow A cursory glance at the statute-book ance that any reasonable man can ask, will shew that some things are forbidfor whatever of comfort and pleasure den because they are wrong, others the moderate use of intoxicatingdrinks are wrong only because they are forcan give to the temperate. Place in bidden. Blackstone clearly points out one balance all the good that can be this distinction shortly after he has given the definition quoted by Mr. | disputed crime involves. If this is Crofton; he says, speaking of things to be a rule, many most useful laws in themselves indifferent : *These be | with penalties annexed must be swept come either right or wrong, 'just or | from the statute book. unjust, duties or misdemeanors, ac But to return to the question, can cording as a municipal legislature sees prohibition be enforced. Well, it has proper, for promoting the welfare of never yet had a fair trial. No counsociety and more effectually carrying try as a whole has ever enacted prohi. on the purposes of civil life.' As he bition ; particular localities of a counafterwards says, there are mala in se try have tried it with a greater or less and mala prohibita. Now it is an measure of success. But then liquor exaggerated use of language to speak was being legally imported into and of positive laws as always constituting manufactured in the greater part of crimes.' Murder, arson, and theft are that country. What could or could forbidden and punished because they not be done by absolute prohibiare crimes. But to catch fish out of tion (of course the necessary excepseason, to light fires in the woods at tions for medicinal and other purpo. certain times of the year, to allow ses are assumed) has never yet been one's cattle to roam at large, such tested. Is not the possible gain worth matters as these, some of greater, the risk of the experiment? Prohisome of less importance, are offences bitionists believe that it is. against law, yet it would be strained If a prohibitory law should be the language to speak of any punished genuine expression of the convictions for one of them as 'convicted of a of the great majority of the people, it crime.' The more highly organized could be enforced, otherwise it could society becomes, the larger becomes not be, and would do more harm than the number of 'indifferent' ac good. There are not wanting symptions which are regulated or for toms that the tide of public opinion is bidden for the public convenience. setting strongly in the direction of A good citizen would obey the law prohibition. The tendency of the about these for conscience' sake, even legislation of the past twenty years though he may not see their necessity (I speak with reference chiefly to the and may be striving for their repeal ; eastern part of the Dominion) has they are not matters of criminal law. been in the direction of making the li
It concerns our subject to observe cense laws more and more stringent. another great difference between natu | It is not improbable that, in Quebec, ral and positive laws. Difficulty of the great influence of the hierarchy enforcement can never be an objection may be thrown in favour of prohibito the former; it may be to the latter. tion. The large majorities obtained If society is to hold together it dare in many districts in favour of the not repeal its laws against murder or Scott Act have their significance, theft, even though murderers and though undoubtedly this significance thieves should be often unconvicted. is diminished by the fact of so many Quite otherwise is it with a positive voters having in some districts kept law. If there is no probability of its away from the polls. But it is a very enforcement, do not pass it; if when strong assumption (I think a very unpassed it proves powerless, repeal it. likely one) that the greater part of But it does not by any means follow, the inert majority' were anti-prothat were it passed and enforced, it hibitionists. Had they had any would 'sap the sanctity and majesty strong feeling about their liberty of the law' because conviction under | being taken away they would not have it would not involve the same conse 'been inert. In some cases (I speak of quences that a conviction for an un- | this from personal knowledge) the very