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CANADIAN LITERATURE.

judicious encouragement. Much of the

Canadian poetry and Canadian prose Prof. L. E. Horning of Victoria that has been written during the thirty University, Toronto, in a recent news- years that Canada has been a nation paper article, incidentally remarks : will not live, and does not deserve to “Though there be doubtless good read- live ; but because of this, we should not ing in modern Canadian authors, yet say that we have no literature. A little one is sometimes tempted to wonder of what has been written during this whether there is not a bit of 'faddism' period is worthy of being treasured and lurking in the industrious cultivation of preserved, and will rank well with the Canadian spirit and Canadian liter- best literary products of Great Britain ature, ‘so called,' as

many would

and the United States ; but because of term it.”

this we should not hasten to declare Another writer, in replying in the that we have a satisfactory and worthy Toronto Globe to Gordon Waldron's literature. criticism of Canadian poetry in our What Canada needs to-day is not December issue, says:

"Nothing more books, but better books; not more ing can be more certain than that if we writers, but better writers. But, above have not a literature, no amount of all, Canadian literature needs wholetalking will create one. ... It is well some criticism-criticism such as David to remember that our country is young, Christie Murray has set out to give the and our literature is young also. But fiction writers of England and the a judicious encouragement is the best United States. It is perhaps safe to way to foster the growth of the in- state that Canada has not to-day one fant. Everybody cannot be a Beethoven, competent and fair-minded literary cribut is nobody, therefore, to be tic. An author writes a book; his musician ?”

friends tell him it should be published; This question of our attitude towards a publisher counts the pages of his our crude literature is a proper one for manuscript and says : “If you will serious consideration. If cultivating deposit $300 with me to guarantee me a national literature is taken to mean against loss, I will print a thousand unduly encouraging young and inex- copies for you "; and the book is printperienced writers, lauding everything ed. The newspapers announce a new that is printed regardless of inherent Canadian book, and the public do not merit, buying Canadian books simply know whether to buy or not. because they are Canadian, and pet- ious Canadian purchases one book and ting Canadian writers simply because is disappointed; he buys the next volthey live in the land of “The Maple ume that is advertised, with a like re. Leaf," then are we “ faddists" indeed. sult; then he stops in disgust, and will This is encouragement, but it is not buy only works by authors whom he

a

An anx

NEMESIS.
(A Cartoon by Hunter).

act on the assumption that they must praise every book so that the publishers may be induced to send more. The result is lamentable.

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ONTARIO'S CANCER.

The cancer of Ontario, at present the banner province of this fair Dominion, is not the liquor traffic, not the

protective tariff, not party politics, not lack of resources, people, or opportunities, but her system of education. It is spreading out its gnawing arms and sapping her strength and destroying her vitality. Year by year it grows more deadly, and soon — but perhaps the language is too strong

Our High Schools are robbing Ontario of her brightest and

best. Go through What is going to happen to your Uncle Samuel one of these days if he persists in throwing that boomerang

the towns and cities of his across the river.

of the United States

and you find bright knows, Stevenson, Kipling, Barrie, and young Canadians everywhere. What those of like merit.

sent them there? My answer is : Our This lack of judicious encouragement High School system.

Go through on the part of publishers, literary men Canadian towns and cities, and you and reviewers has put the public at sea. find them filled with starving doctors, They have no guides, and they cannot lawyers, pedagogues and civil enginafford to buy a dozen Canadian books

Who took all these from the in the hope of getting one good one. plough, the bench, the machine, and The process is too expensive for the the counter, and sent them out to be result obtained. There

in consumers of wealth instead of produCanada who could do this work if they cers ? I am fain to return the same would, cannot somebody induce them? answer.

It is my firm opinion that the care- On the desk, as I write, lie a score less newspaper book-reviewing of the of recent newspaper clippings and day is doing more to destroy what every one of them relates to this subCanadian literature there is, than any ject. The Macedonian cry for relief other agency. The reviewing is usually from this false education is coming up done by inexperienced persons who from all quarters, and he must be deaf

eers.

are men

who will not hear. Ernest

HER GREATEST NEED. Heaton's article in this issue

(A Cartoon by Hunter). throws some light on the matter and is worthy of thoughtful perusal. Those in authority must beware lest the avalanche come.

Our High School teachers are paid—not nominally, but in reality—by the success they have in coaching students for the departmental examinations, in turning out teachers, in producing scholarship men at the University Matriculation examinations. To do this they are forced to teach that the youth who has no higher ambition than to be a farmer, a mechanic, a merchant, a producer of wealth, is not worthy of attention and regard. It is only those who are willing to become teachers, preachers, lawyers, doctors---nonproducers, in fact—who are worthy of consideration. They teach most thoroughly that manual labor is unworthy, and that it is in the professions only that brains and knowledge are needed. No boy who has ever been two years at a High School in Ontario ever goes back to the farm-unless he is a ninny and devoid of ambi

MANITOBA TO MR. SIFTON: “You have done much to

settle the School Question, Clifford. Now let us see how tion. As well ask a boy to quickly you and Jimmy Smart can settle the country." go back to knickerbockers after two years' delight in long trou farmers, merchants, mechanics, and sers.

such like, instead of teachers only ? The High School masters are not in Why not develop the commercial course dividually to blame, but they are col more, and add an agricultural course? lectively. They should long ago have To do this, “third-class” certificates seen the error of their ways. But the would need to be abolished, and the blame attaches most of all to the sys- day upon which that is done should be tem. As one writer recently put it, made a statutory holiday for thanks"Why should the High School teach giving purposes. Let the “ seconders devote practically their whole ener class” certificates be the lowest grade gies to preparing pupils for an occupa for teachers, and have Model Schools tion which requires only about one-six restricted to a half-dozen in number. teenth part of the community ?" Why This would give us fewer, but better, should not our High Schools produce teachers, and would give us more far

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successors

mers and merchants, but of a higher grade.

The teaching profession, to use a commercial phrase, is glutted. The trades are in need of better men. It requires a radical change in Ontario's educational system to remedy both these evils. The cancer must be removed.

A GOVERNOR-GENERAL'S FU'NC

TIONS.

have kissed hands upon their acceptance of office."

From his quotations, and from the tenor of the few remarks that he makes, Sir Hibbert indicates his belief that Lord Aberdeen acted beyond his powers as laid down in his commission ; that he took his knowledge of his minister's defeat from newspaper reports and not from official sources, and that he was unduly anxious to have everything in as favorable condition as possible for the incoming ministry. One of his phrases is rather strong : “Lord Aberdeen accordingly finds himself at the head of the Liberal Party in Canada.” The closing paragraph is : “ It is not many years since a governor of the Colony of Victoria was recalled for approving of illegal acts of his advisers, and for acting as a partisan. It was no justification to him to have had the support of the dominant Party, Mr. Buxton to the contrary notwithstanding."

A clear statement of the other side of this case is to be found elsewhere in this issue.

THE CABOT CALENDAR.

Sir Charles Hibbert Tupper in the November National Review points out that the action of Lord Aberdeen upon the defeat of the Conservative Ministry in Canada at the polls has caused the Governor-General to be regarded by a considerable portion of the people as a political chief. Nevertheless, he may screen himself behind the dicta of Buxton, Under Secretary of State to the Colonies, dicta which may lead to an undue exercise of the prerogative. In this case, on defeat of the Tupper Ministry at the polls on June 23rd of this year, Lord Aberdeen at once declined to consider the appointment of senators or judges by this ministry, and Sir Charles promptly resigned. Mr. Laurier assumed responsibility for this act of the Governor-General, and so took office.

Continuing, Sir Hibbert states that the ministry had the right to meet Parliament on 17th July, and then to accept its defeat at the hands of the people's representatives. Yet Lord Aberdeen proposed between July 7th and July 17th to govern Canada himself. He then gives several quotations which he thinks tell against Lord Aberdeen's action. The chiefest of these is from Todd's Parliamentary Government in England, p. 513 : “For, notwithstanding their resignations, the outgoing Ministers are bound to conduct the ordinary business of Parliament and of the country so long as they retain the seals of office. They continue, moreover, in full possession of their official authority and functions, and must meet and incur the full responsibility of all public transactions until their

The publishing success of the year 1896 was “The Cabot Calendar," prepared by Sara Mickle and Mary Agnes Fitzgibbon, and that it was a success shows that not only was the work thoroughly and ably done, but also that the picturesque features of our history are appreciated by the public generally. Canadian individuality and sentiment are developing fast, and an appeal to them, at present, meets with a hearty and ready response.

This

augurs well for Canada's future.

The calendar consists of twelve calendar cards, and on each is an event from Canadian history for every day in that month. Not only are the important events in our history thus orderly set forth, but portraits of leading figures in our history, with autographs, embellish these pages.

Too high praise cannot be bestowed on this valuable and patriotic piece of work.

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CANADIAN HISTORY.

far beyond the Acadia and Canada

which France once called her own. But, CANA 'ANADIAN history has been enriched that the story may be more intelligible

during the year 1896 by several from the beginning, it is necessary to important contributions. Three valu- give a bird's-eye view of the country able volumes have just been published

whose history is contemporaneous and call for notice in this issue.

with that of the United States, and The most important of these is Dr. whose territorial area from Cape BreBourinot's “Canada," in the Story of ton to Vancouver---the sentinel islands the Nations series. * As a single-vol- of the Atlantic and Pacific approaches ume history of Canada this is undoubt is hardly inferior to that of the fededly the best that has yet been printed,

eral republic." and in it Dr. Bourinot is seen at his Speaking of Dr. Bourinot's style, 'it best--and it may be that in future may be said that it lacks the nervousyears, when Canada shall have but his ness and epigrammatic brilliancy of a memory, this may be his best known Carlisle, but it also lacks the dreariness work. He has throughout the volume

and

monotony of a Stubbs. His hispreserved his well-known calm and tory is not so coloured as Parkman's, judicial attitude ; has treated the great

but is certainly more picturesque and events and men with impartiality and

more vivid than the work of our other yet with enthusiasm. As thousands of previous English writers of Canadian these volumes will find their way into

history. Compared with these, and the libraries of Great Britain and the with the average histories, the book is United States, Canada had much at

a masterpiece. The arrangement is stake in this work. But Dr. Bourinot chronological and yet not chronologhas again done his duty towards his ical ; for example, Chapter XXVI. country, and nothing more could be deals with the fur-traders, and chronexpected or desired.

icles the chief events in this connecThe introduction covers but fourteen tion from 1670 to 1885. Occasionally pages, but is a history of Canada in some point is thus topically considered. itself. Let me quote a paragraph

Further, greatest stress is laid on the which will illustrate, also, the style of leading men and the chief events ; the author:

monotony and lifelessness are thus “It is the story of the Canadian avoided and the personal and dramatic Dominion, of its founders, explorers, interests given more play. The two missionaries, soldiers, and statesmen,

closing chapters are excellent. One that I shall attempt to relate briefly in

deals with “Canada as a Nation : the following pages, from the day the

Material and Intellectual Development Breton sailor ascended the St. Law - Political Rights"; the other is rence to Hochelaga, until the formation

entitled “French Canada,” and outof the confederation, which united the

lines admirably the characteristics of people of two distinct nationalities, this picturesque part of Canada. and extends over so wide a region--so Sixty-two excellent illustrations,

many of them of great historical value, The Story of Canada, by J. G. Bourinot, C.M.G., add point to the author's story. This LL.D., D.C.L., Clerk of the House of Commons. Toronto : The Copp, Clark Co. Cloth, illustrated. 463 pp.

feature will add much to the popularity

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