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The most charming parts of the The critics are divided as to the book are the conversations between merit of the work. The Athenaeum Sir George and Lady Maxwell. She thinks that Lady Maxwell is a degentries to influence him in favour of the erate Marcella; the Spectator, that Bill, paints the miseries of the East- the book is less mature and less fasciEnd poor, plays upon his sympathies, nating; and the Saturday Review, touches his heart-strings, throws her that Marcella is made to do some whole beautiful personality into the shameless, posturing impossibilities. scale on the side she so anxiously de- The Independent, (N.Y.) says that sires. He, on his part, replies at first, everything in the book is alive and because he hates her power in and real; while the Bookman says that around Parliament, continues the “Mrs. Ward lacks the final supreme struggle because he likes to hear her gift of making her characters step voice, to see her flashing, sympathetic down from their pedestal and live eyes, to feel the tremendous power of with us." Other critics lavish great a beautiful, intellectual and enthusi- praise on the novel as a whole, while astic woman. Finally, he changes his nearly all admire the author's finished attitude and saves the Bill because- technique. Perhaps the difference of she desires it. Then comes the de- opinion among the critics may be nouement—the jealous wife, the sor- taken as good evidence of the book's rowful awakening of Marcella to the real excellence. That no two of them havoc she has wrought, the sudden strike at the same point would seem realization by Sir George of his own to prove that there is no really vuldelicate position. All this is worked nerable spot in the work as Mrs. Ward out with a dramatic power which few has given it to the world. of our authors possess.
John A. Cooper.
THE DAYS OF THE CANADA GOMPANY.*
We entirely agree with the one of the pleasantest books that judgment of Principal Grant, expresshas come in our way for a long time. ed in his “Introduction,” when he In the first place, the literary quality says: “ To me it has been an unmixed of the volume is excellent-we might delight to read the proof. Their racy say, first-rate. The two lady writers descriptions give vivid glimpses of the have so fused the work of each, or good old times, and many Canadians have had sympathies so perfectly in will join with me in thanking them harmony, that there is no appearance, for allowing us to sit beside one of the from beginning to end, of any discord, cradles of our national life, and hear or even of any combination. We put some of the first attempts at speech this quality of the book first, because of the sturdy infant.” That we may it might otherwise seem that we made not seem to be uncritical in our laudthe best of the workmanship on ac- ation, we will add that, here and there, count of the subject and the intrinsic the writers are slightly elliptical; so interest of the contents. This is not that now and then we have to turn
* In the Days of the Canada Company : The Story of the Settlement of the Huron Tract, and a View of the Social Life of the Period, 1825-1850. By Robina and Kathleen Macfarlane Lizars. Price, $2.00. Toronto : W. Briggs. 1896.
back a little, and make sure of the men before us in action, and help u connection. Moreover, the topograph- to understand them and what they ical indications might have been a did. little more precise. But the reader One figure, of course, leads the way, may help himself in this respect by John Galt, the “ father of the Comreference to a sketch-map of the pany," of whom we shall have someHuron district, “in which the Canada thing more to say; but other notable Company have about 1,000,000 acres persons and families appear in these of land,” at p. 379.
pages. Canada, as the Company found Here, however, we have done with it, is placed before us, and we see criticism, which, we trust, has not “these roads before they were made,' sounded carping or ungracious. As and the work which was cut out for regards the actual contents of the vol- the pioneers. Then we have an hisume, whether we are Canadians born torical sketch from Champlain to or have become so by adoption, it is Gooding, the Kings of the Canada with nothing less than a feeling of Company, and the Colborne clique. pride that we peruse these records of Canadian names are a little trying to our early history. It is hardly possible persons unacquainted with the special to believe that the conditions of life localities. The Colborne here is a have altered so greatly during the few township next to Goderich, and the years that have intervened between Perth is the county east of Huron the period covered by this volume and County, and has obviously no conthe present time. We suppose that nection with the Perth on the C.P.R. the children and grandchildren of A denizen of Huron would probably those hardy and heroic pioneers might smile with disdain on these explanabe capable of enduring and accom- tions; but we don't all hail from plishing what they endured and ac- Huron. complished; but most of them would Some of the most interesting chapbe very reluctant to submit them- ters are those which are devoted to selves to such an ordeal.
the description of the homes of the We have no intention of entering leading families, as of Gairbraid, the here into the merits of the Canada home of the Dunlops, of whom more Company, not only because of the anon ; Lunderston, the home of the difficulty of forming what we may Hyndmans, a very remarkable family, call a general estimate of its value; the head of it being "a tall ma
, but because the very phrase must, of straight as a tree; the best and truest necessity, have
very uncertain man that ever set foot in Huron;" meaning. The praise and the blame, and Meadowlands, the home of the if they are ever to be distributed, Lizars, from whom, we presume, the cannot be assigned to the representa- authors of our history proceeded. Antives of the Company in Canada alone, other very prominent family in these nor to the authorities at home alone. pages is the well-known family of the Sometimes the very necessities of the Stricklands. There is also much of circumstances are responsible for what interest in the chapters on the Canada is done or left undone, if we can speak Company v. the People and the People of responsibility in such a case. v. the Canada Company. The ComSometimes plans which have been pany, we may remark, were at their formed with the very best intentions worst when they were meddling with and from the purest motives have most politics; and, although there is a good seriously miscarried. There is little deal of amusing narrative in the stoattempt, in the book before us, to ries of the elections, there was always, settle questions of this kind. The especially in those days, something writers are content to place living that we could dispense with, were it
not that history must be truly writ- during their youth.” Mr. Galt, the ten.
writer says, was never other than the Talking of the writing of history, “plain gentleman.” He says of himwe ought perhaps to remark that our self: "I was, doubtless, not born in authors give us no references to any the hemisphere of fashion, but I have authorities for the verification of their lived in it as much as a plebeian should statements. We suppose, therefore, do who had any respect for himself.” that the substantial contents of the This is excellent. Truly do our authvolume rest on local tradition, or are ers add, “ There is no snob clot on the derived from letters and other private Galt brain.” documents, and perhaps, to some ex- We must not dwell longer on this tent, from pamphlets and newspapers. grand figure. Canada owes much to This is an additional reason for him, and would gladly number many thankfulness that the work has been such men among her sons in every done whilst it still could be done. In period. It is to be hoped that the books like these we have the material memory of the author and that of the for future history; and it not only administrator may go down to posterbears evidence of truth and reality, ity together. but it can be tested and sifted for the There are many topics touched upon use of the historians that are to come. in this part of the book, in regard to
As we have said, there is one man the manners and customs and practices who comes first; but there is another of the times of Galt and his fellowwho stands close beside him, and who workers, which we would gladly dwell appears on the scene long after Galt upon. But we shall have done our had quitted it, Dr. William Dunlop, work indifferently, indeed, if our readwho may not improperly be called the ers are not induced to turn to the hero of this epic.
volume itself. For our own part, we John Galt was a very remarkable shall not be contented with merely man as a writer and as an adminis- having read it from beginning to end. trator. His “Annals of the Parish,” We shall keep it by our side and dip and other books of the same class, into its pages, and learn from it to unhold a first place among the books derstand better and to appreciate more that deal with the human life of Scot- deeply the men who have gone before land. Galt was essentially a good us and the work which they have man, upright, high-minded, public- done. One thing we may here notespirited. If he had been a smaller
smaller that we get to understand better the man, or a meaner man, he might, from feeling of the men who have grown up a worldly point of view, have done with, or immediately after, these piobetter for himself. Perhaps it was neers, in their devotion to their own the very simplicity and nobility of the Canada, and in their aversion to the man which laid him open to mis- idea of annexation to another country. conception. “Mr. Galt had been As, however, we have said, the most accused of extravagance; but if interesting and picturesque character extravagance there was, it was in this volume is Dr. William Dunlop, authorized extravagance. His actions a Scotchman by birth, who was an have been blamed as high-handed and army surgeon in India for a time, the short-sighted; for the first, he was heat of which he became unable to under direction from a Board not in endure, after which (in 1813) he came touch with the circumstances; and, out to Canada. In 1841 he succeeded for the second, he was far-sighted his brother, Captain Robert Graham enough for his sons, in their maturity, Dunlop, at his death, as member in the to have been able to see in Canada Provincial Parliament; and himself many things which he had hoped for died in 1848, aged 56.
This Dr. William Dunlop was "a fel- of his day, and his own surpassing exlow of infinite jest, of most excellent cellence in them, this son of the land fancy," in all ways. It is not quite of the tartan, the bonnet and the kilt, easy to forbear following him—in his was a true man. There was not an kindly intercourse with his neighbours, untrue or a selfish thread in his cord in his dry humour, in his delight at of life. He made no boast of religion ; getting up a duel. To his credit be he simply lived it; the chief tenet in it spoken that these duels seldom it was charity. The half-obliterated (perhaps never) came off. We must, letters on that grey slab are not his however, content ourselves with the epitaph (see p. 460, 461). He is best verdict of the writers, thoroughly remembered by what he did, and borne out by the testimony of the book when even that shall have faded, a and with one peculiar specimen of his whole country-side of happy and humour.
prosperous times shall remain to keep In spite,” they say, “ of the faults his memory green.” So let him rest !
One specimen of his humour, however, we cannot withhold, and that is the “ Tiger's” will. We neglected to mention that he was called “Tiger Dunlop” because of his having killed a tiger in India, by first giving the contents of his snuff-box in his eyes, and then slaying him with his sword. But the will! It is certainly unique; and we give it complete, without the codicil, which is of no special interest:
“ In the name of God, amen:
in the township of Colborne, County and District of Huron, Western Canada, Esquire, being in sound health of body, and my mind just as usual, (which my friends who flatter me say is no great shakes at the best of times,) do make this my last will and testament as follows, revoking, of course, all former wills.
“I leave the property of Gairbraid, and all other landed property I may die possessed of, to my sisters, Helen Boyle Story and Elizabeth Boyle Dunlop; the
AUTHOR OF SKETCHES OF UPPER CANADA"
former, because she is married to a ing him at the same time to give up minister whom (God help him) she Whiggery, Radicalism, and all other henpecks. The latter, because she sins that do most easily beset him. is married to nobody, nor is she like “I leave my brother Alan my big to be, for she is an old maid, and silver snuff-box, as I am informed he not market ripe. And, also, I leave is rather a decent Christian, with a to them and their heirs my share of swag belly and a jolly face. the stock and implements on the farm ; "I leave Parson Chevasse (Magg's provided, always, that the enclosure husband) the snuff-box I got from the round my brother's grave be reserved, Sarnia militia, as a small token of my and if either should die without issue, gratitude for the service he has done then the other to inherit the whole. the family in taking a sister that no
“I leave to my sister-in-law, Louisa man of taste would have taken. Dunlop, all my share of the house “I leave John Coddle a silver teahold furniture and such traps, with pot, to the end that he may drink tea the exceptions hereinafter mentioned. therefroin to comfort him under the
*I leave my silver tankard to the affliction of a slatternly wife. eldest son of old John, as the repre
books to my
brother sentative of the family. I would Andrew, because he has been so long a have left it to old John himself, but Jungley Wallah, that he may learn to he would melt it down to make tem- read with them. perance medals, and that would be "I give my silver cup, with a sovsacrilege. However, I leave my big ereign in it, to my sister, Janet Grahorn snuff-box to him; he can only ham Dunlop, because she is an old make temperance horn spoons of maid and pious, and therefore will that.
necessarily take to horning. And also “I leave my sister Jenny my Bible, my grandma's snuff-mull, as it looks the property formerly of my great- decent to see an old woman taking great-grandmother, Bethia Hamilton, snuff." of Woodhall; and when she knows as Imagine such a will being read at a much of the spirit of it as she does of funeral! Some doubts were expressed the letter, she will be another guise of as to the legality of such a document; Christian than she is.
but its validity was found to be un"I also leave my late brother's questionable. watch to my brother Sandy, exhort
“I leave my
A GAME OF GHESS.
want to take that move Which do I do? Well, really
back ?” he asks abruptly. We are playing chess, apparently; in re He meanders on, in his professorality we are playing a deeper game. like style, on the inability of women
"If I don't, the game is yours.” in general—and me in particular-to
“Would that be anything new ?” play chess well. “It is too long, a sardonically.
game, and too serious a game," he is I could box his ears —or kiss him— saying. “ Women like to talk and when he speaks to me like that. laugh and come to some result. You