Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

cently written two interesting papers historical writer of Newfoundland, in upon the voyages of the Cabots, and a letter to Dr. Bourinot, puts this idea it would be difficult to over-estimate very clearly : the patience, thoroughness, and fair

“In virtue of Cabot's discoveries, Eng. ness displayed by him in his treat

land established her claims to the soverment of the obscure and perplexing problems which he seeks to solve. eignty of a large portion of these norproblems which he seeks to solve. thern lands. The fish wealth of these Possessed of a practical acquaintance northern seas, which Cabot was the first with the North American seaboard, to make known, speedily attracted fisherwhich Mr. Harrisse evidently lacks, men; and for the protection and develophe has thereby been able successfully ment of the fisheries colonies were first to impugn more than one of that planted. Other nations, such as France, author's deductions; and while, in profited by the great discovery. That consequence of the paucity of data at North America is now so largely occupied their command, both writers are some- by an English-speaking population, with times compelled to draw conclusions all their vast energies and accumulated par les cheveux, there can be little wealth, has been largely owing to the doubt that if Dr. Dawson has not ab- daring genius of Cabot, who opened a solutely succeeded in proving his the pathway to the northern portion of the ory that the landfall was on Cape might have monopolized discovery in

new hemisphere. But for Cabot, Spain Breton, he has at least demonstrated North as well as South America; English the high improbability of its having and French enterprise might have taken been on Labrador.

different directions, and the history of These few references to the current North America been shaped in different literature upon the subject suffice to fashion. show that every statement in the “The genius and courage of Cabot were opening lines of the preamble under second only to those of Columbus. He, review is either contrary to fact or too, pushed out in a little barque into the admittedly the subject of controversy. unknown waters of one of the stormiest Its unwarranted dogmatism was so

seas in the world, braving its perils, and palpably at variance with historic ac- opened the way to new and boundless recuracy that it had scarcely seen the gions of natural wealth. Cartier, Marlight of day ere it was promptly re- quette, La Salle, followed as explorers

. modelled and issued from committee, Walter Raleigh, was the first of that clus

“The Old Dominion,” founded by Sir shorn, at any rate, of its more amusing ter of colonies which finally developed features. The Act, however, as it

into the United States. Quebec was stands on the Statute Book of Ontario, founded, and the occupation of Canada discloses that the

process of excision commenced. All this was the outcome of was untimely stayed; witness, for ex- Cabot's voyage in 1497. As truly as ample, the statement that important Columbus pioneered the way in the south benefits to this country and to civili- did Cabot open the way to a far nobler zation have followed from the discov- civilization in the north, the developments ery of the Cabots. This is but a of which continue to expand before our qualified and guarded statement of eyes to-day. As Fiske has well remarked what is more openly expressed else- in his “Discovery of America”: “The where, and what, indeed, gives the first fateful note that heralded the coming key-note to the proposed celebration, John Cabot's tiny craft sailed out from

English supremacy was sounded when namely, that we Canadians owe our British connection, and all its conse- ing of 1497.”

Bristol Channel, on a bright May mornquent advantages, to the fact of John and Sebastian Cabot having landed on Ex uno disce omnes. Now, beyond the shore of North America.

the fact that there was sequence and Dr. Moses Harvey, a well-known succession in point of time between the

Cabot voyage and, let us say, the found- except you will affirme that a few loose ing of Quebec, as there must always be fellowes rambling amongst Indians to between events that are not simultane- keep themselves from starving gives the ous, it is difficult to see what connec- French a right to the Countrey.” And tion there exists between Cabot and of the claim based on geographical diChamplain, or how England established visions : “Your reason is that some rivers her claims to North America by virtue or rivoletts of this country run out into of Cabot's discovery. It is not even by what new, farr-fetched, and unheard-of

the great river of Canada. O, just God! any means certain that Cabot was the first European to reach the shores of The French King may have as good a pre

pretence is this for a title to a country. North America. Parkman, no mean

tence to all those Countrys that drink authority, says of the Basques that clarett and brandy." there is some reason to believe that their cod fishery on the banks of If the English Governor thus scoffed Newfoundland existed before the days at claims which Parkman holds were of Cabot; and Bourinot, in his inter- clearly well founded, where can we esting monograph on Cape Breton, ex- suppose he would have found sarcasm presses the opinion that both Basques with which to express his opinion of and Bretons“ anchored their clumsy the validity of pretensions based on vessels in the bays and harbours ” of a discovery such as Cabot's ? Then, that island before 1497.

again : assuming the scanty informaAs to the claim set up on behalf of tion concerning the ceremony which England's sovereignty over North we possess at second hand to be absoAmerica by reason of Cabot's discov- lutely true, so little did John Cabot ery, nothing more shadowy and un- dream of enriching the Crown of Engsubstantial could well be imagined. land with exclusive dominion, i. e., In the first place, it is not pretended sovereignty over his “new founde that either John Cabot or his son did isle,” that side by side with the banmore than take formal possession of ner of St. George he planted the lion the country. There was no attempt of St. Mark, in order that equal rights at settlement or occupation. Yet, ac- might accrue to Venice with England; cording to the well understood prin- and so little importance did Henry ciples of international law, occupation VII. attach to the discovery, that he is essential to the establishment of a considered Cabot's services requited title of discovery. Sir R. Phillimore by the munificent gift of £10 from the says upon this point (Commentaries privy purse. upon International Law Ed., 1879. The sixteenth century ushered in a Vol. 1, p. 333):

period of great maritime activity.

Within seven years from the date of Indeed, writers on International Law

Cabot's first voyage, French fishermen agree that Use and Settlement, or, in other words, continuous use, are indis- were plying their calling in numbers pensable elements of occupation properly upon the coast of Newfoundland. so called. The mere erection of crosses, Eight years later two adventurous landmarks, and inscriptions is ineffectual Frenchmen, Denys of Honfleur and for acquiring or maintaining an exclusive Aubert of Dieppe, explored the Gulf title to a country of which no real use is of St. Lawrence. The succeeding demade.”

cade witnessed the ill-starred venture

of Baron de Lery, who was followed Two hundred years after Cabot,

by Cartier, Roberval and LaRoche, Dongan, Governor of New York, thus all of whom essayed to plant colonies ridiculed the French claims to the under the French flag. Their efforts, Iroquois country, based on discovery: though unsuccessful as regards their

"Pardon me if I say itt is a mistake, immediate object, served, nevertheless,

а

to preserve the continuity of national Now that it has long served the purpurpose, until, under the patient care pose for which it was invoked, there of Samuel de Champlain, the seed at does not seem to be any good reason length took root.

for attempting to invest it with the During all this time England gave attributes of reality. The underlying no indication that she viewed these motive for doing so is no doubt a attempts on the part of France as any laudable desire to exalt the English interference with her interests. Is it name. But surely Englishmen, of all probable that Henry VIII or his mas- people, need not to draw upon their culine daughter would have quietly imaginations or wander off into the submitted to such infringement of cloudland of tradition for legitimate their rights if they felt they possessed causes of pride. What can be at once any? Is it not more reasonable to more true and more gratifying to the infer from England's silence that national sentiment than to say openly Cabot's expedition was regarded as that England's title to Canada is by possessing no national significance the sword? Why should we vainly whatever; that it was mere fact strive to pierce the gloom which without effect which, when over, shrouds the name of Cabot, when we straightway ceased to be?

can point to Wolfe, or, rather, to that A hundred years passed away, and long doubtful conflict which, beginat length the English spirit of adven- ning with the seizure of Quebec in ture, which had long lain dormant, 1629, was destined, a hundred and awoke. Inspired by the wonderful thirty years later, to close in triumph tales which came from across the sea, on the Heights of Abraham? her subjects began to follow in the Dr. Dawson, in his latest paper wake of their more enterprising neigh- upon the Cabots, naïvely expresses his bours, and to press upon the French surprise at the “singular misconcepsettlements in the new world.

tion which has arisen in the minds of In the early years of the seven- some of our French fellow-countryteenth century France held Canada men” as to the scope and purpose of and Acadia by the right of original this celebration.

he disavows any occupation and settlement, uncontest- intention in honouring Cabot of deroed from the beginning. At a some- gating aught from Cartier's fame. As what later period we find England far as Dr. Dawson personally is conoccupying, by a similar tenure, what cerned, there can be no doubt of this. is to-day known as the Eastern United At the same time, in view of Mr. HowStates. As was inevitable, the tradi- land's article; of the Bill submitted to tional enmities between these heredit- the Legislature of Ontario, and to the ary foes broke out in the New World. Parliament of Canada; and of the Each disputed the other's claim. They many recorded expressions of English fought, and England won; but can- opinion, the French-Canadians may dour compels us to admit that she well be pardoned for offering a word owes her victory less to the strength of protest. Why, Dr. Dawson himself of her arguments than to her power is so carried away by his patriotic imof enforcing them. The claim to pulses, as to speak of the fragmentary Acadia based on Cabot's discovery, evidences which we possess at secondthen heard for the first time, seems to hand of Cabot's voyages as

our title have been nothing more than a con- deeds to this continent!" If the word venient pretext for extending to the “our” be not employed here in the New World that old-time feud be. national, i.e., British, sense, this extween France and England, to which pression has no application, and if it their contests in North America were is so employed, what becomes of Cargenerally incidental and subordinate. tier and Champlain?

The writer of these lines yields to That John Cabot was a brave and no man in his attachment to England, skilful navigator we may well believe. and in his appreciation of any move- That he was the first European of whom ment tending to emphasize and we have certain knowledge to touch strengthen Canada's association with the coast of North America is unthe Mother-land. To one so constitut- doubted. We would fain know more ed it would, no doubt, be gratifying to about him-why he did so much and believe that, first of white men, John no more—just where he landed-how Cabot circumnavigated the Gulf of long he remained—whether he made St. Lawrence, ascended our great any attempt at colonization-and why river, established his dwelling place his enterprise came to naught. Unat Quebec, and surveyed the gleam- happily, all this is oblivion. Viewed, ing Ottawa from the summit of Mount nevertheless, simply as an isolated Royal. Truth, however, compels us to fact, Cabot's discovery is unquestionacknowledge that the man who did ably a highly interesting historical these things was not English, or rather achievement. The proposal to mark Italian, but French. He was not the four hundredth anniversary of named Cabot, but Cartier. We know its accomplishment is both opportune all about him. There is no question and fitting. At the same time, those as to the main features of his discov- charged with the celebration would eries. We can trace his adventurous do well to bear in mind that it adds to course day by day along our coasts, no man's dignity to ascribe to him unmany points of which retain to this just and unfounded pretensions. hour the names which he bestowed.

Joseph Pope.

MILADY.

Lips, as cool as mountain dew;
Looks, as soft as summer's moon;
Breath, like rose-scent filtered through

The flowering bow'rs of June.

JOHN STUART THOMSON.

NEW YORK.

[graphic][merged small]

BY JOHN CHARLTON, M.P.

THE *HE Sabbath observance question is tians; and yet each one of the list

not exclusively a religious one. derives its authority from the will of While the blessing of Sabbath obser- the Creator, as revealed to man through vance rests upon divine appointment, the medium of his commands containand the command,“ Remember the ed in the decalogue. Sabbath day to keep it holy,” enjoins Man is doomed to labour, or rather a religious duty, the rest-day enjoyed labour is a condition of man's existat the intervals provided by the fourth ence. In the far-away ages, when commandment is in keeping with the the morning of his existence had barely requirements of nature, and the re. dawned, came the words from a Lawspective periods assigned for labour giver whose authority could not be and for rest are exactly in accordance questioned, and whose laws could not with the needs of man.

be repealed: “In the sweat of thy Civil enactments protect the life of face shalt thou eat bread.” This senthe citizen and provide the punishment tence was mitigated and its burden for the crime of murder, and for un- lightened by the beneficent command lawful attempts upon life. The same to abstain from labour on the seventh authority protects the citizen in his day. This rest-day thus provided is rights of property; provides the pun- the toiler's heritage. Moreover, its ishment for robbery, theft, swindling privilege is no mere religious obserand fraud; shields the citizen from vance. On the coutrary, its enjoyment the attempt to deprive him of life, is in the highest sense a human, a civil liberty, or possessions through false- right. It is a physical boon; it is a hood and perjury; punishes the false mental boon; and to the toiler its loss witness; throws the shield of its pro- is a calamity measureless and dire. tection around the innocent and un- The individual, the corporation, or the suspecting, and punishes the ravisher community that forces Sunday labour and the seducer. All of these pro- upon the bread-earner is the foe of visions for securing to the citizen life, humanity. liberty, security and good govern

The centuries are rich with the ment, are provisions for securing civil accumulating fruits of progress, all rights. None of these enactments can acquired by the labour of man. Embe characterized as an interference pires have risen and fallen. Men have with the rights of conscience, as mere laboured as slaves under the lash, as portions or appurtenances of a creed, ignorant vassals, and as freemen conor as enactments of a religious char- scious of labour's rights and dignity. acter, and only binding upon Chris- But whether slave or free, the achieve

(165)

E

« PředchozíPokračovat »