Puslapio vaizdai

It is not surprising that birds like my garden products, for there are few native vegetables, and of these the yam is not accessible, and the mbuma, a kind of egg-plant, is bitter. Natives make a palatable dish of it by cooking it in grease or stewing it with meat.

But the birds that invaded my garden did not include the turraco, or "plantain-eater," of which we brought to America a hundred specimens of three or four varieties. It has never been clear to me why this bird is called "plantaineater," because it never eats plantains.

Of the turracos that haunted Ntyonga the largest and most beautiful is the ogalungo, which is on the order of a peacock, and which is called the pao (peacock) by some white men. The native words oga, king, and lungo, copper-rod, have been combined to form a name that signifies "King copper-rod," or "Copper King." The bird has legs that glow like burnished copper rods, which may have suggested the native nomenclature, and many rich tints of bronze gleam in its very beautiful, brilliant plumage, the

I went into the green wood,
As I have gone before
Thinking to find my childhood's mood
That I shall find no more.



Bluebells were there, and wind-flowers,
That I had come to see,
And kingcups wet with shining showers,
And buds on every tree.

(To be concluded)

Robin, thrush, and blackbird
Sang as in other days,

But those were other songs I heard
In these familiar ways.

Golden light from the same sun
Dappled the same track,
But I, oh, I had traveled on,

And could not there come back.

general effect of which is metallic blue. The ogalungo has a tail like that of the pea-hen and carries it in the way that a pea-hen does. It never grows as long as the tail of a peacock, and is never spread out after the fashion practised by the bird that symbolizes vanity.

Among English people the ogalungo is nicknamed "bully-cock," but the natives, with their usual picturesqueness of perception, have seemed to choose the most appropriate name for this gorgeous creature.

Flowers, birds, and wide earth,
Suns and worlds unseen

When springs and eons have come to


Shall be as they have been.

One peculiarity about the bird is that when it alights upon a tree it always does so running on a limb, and it seems to fly from limb to limb when it is, in reality, running. Its movements are so swift that, while on its feet, it has all the appearance of flying.

That so lovely a creature should be slain for its flesh seems a shame, and I admit that I hated to kill the pretty things. But we did shoot a lot of them, for the flesh is excellent after the bird has been hung up for eighteen or twenty hours.

A million trees shall rise here,
And rot, and rise again;
My changing flesh shall die in fear,
And be renewed in pain.

Flower and flesh and green tree
Changeless in changing are;
The invisible dust which habits me
Burns in the morning star.

Dust into dust resolves death,
And dust again shall rise,
But man's soul breathes creative breath
For all that lives and dies.

From matter's tireless dust mill,
Finite infinity,

From cycling death, by love, thought, will,

O soul, thou art set free!

I went into the green wood;

I found a dream had fled:

I could not find my childhood's moou: I found my soul instead!

Life and Letters of Sir Wilfrid Laurier


"It was Laurier's fortune, and Canada's, that he was in control of the country's affairs at the most creative and formative period in its history. For all time his name will be linked with Canada's attainment of industrial maturity and national status."


AFTER eighteen years' wandering in the wilderness of opposition, for half the time under Laurier's leadership, the Liberal party came into power in 1896. For fifteen years, the longest unbroken stretch of power in the country's annals, Wilfrid Laurier was prime minister of Canada. These fifteen years were years crowded with opportunity, a testingtime sufficient to search out every strength and every weakness of the leader or of his administration. It was Laurier's fortune, and Canada's, that he was in control of the country's affairs at the most creative and formative period in its history. For all time his name will be linked with Canada's attainment of industrial maturity and national status.

The victory of the Liberals in the general election of 1896 was not surprising. The swing of the pendulum was not notably operative in Canadian politics in the first half-century of confederation, and yet it had its effect. Time brought to the ship of state barnacles and dry rot, as it brought to the passengers the desire for a change. This would not have overcome the tremendous advantage which in Canadian elections fell to the party in power, with its henchmen in office, its newspapers subsidized by government advertising, its opportunities to milk subsidies and contracts for campaign funds, had it not been for more specific factors working in the same direction.

The Conservative party had lost its great chieftain on the morrow of the election of 1891. Sir John A. Macdonald had been prime minister of the dominion for twenty of its twenty-four years. In the next five years the Conservative

party had four different leaders, and the dominion four prime ministers. None of them was of Macdonald's stature. Sir John Abbott was a shrewd lawyer, but more at home in court or councilroom than on the floor of the House or on the hustings. Sir John Thompson was an able and honest administrator who was growing in strength and breadth of view and living down the prejudice felt against him because of his conversion from Methodism to Roman Catholicism, when death cut short his career. Sir Mackenzie Bowell, a faithful party man and one-time grand master of the Orange order, could not hold his ministers in control, and was forced by the "nest of traitors" to make way for a stronger leader. Sir Charles Tupper, summoned in 1896 from London, where he was acting as high commissioner, took up the task, but not even his bulldog tenacity could restore unity to a party shattered by intrigue.

The revelations of long-continued and wholesale corruption in the public works department had "made Tammany smell sweet" in comparison. For the moment the revelations of similar misdoings on the part of the Liberal government of Honoré Mercier in Quebec enabled the Conservative party to answer tu quoque, but in the long run it suffered most in public esteem.

The national policy was losing its grip. Protection had been given a fair trial; it had not brought and kept the prosperity that was guaranteed. The people hesitated to try the drastic remedy of unrestricted reciprocity with the United States, and feared the specter of political annexation in the background; but when in 1893 the Liberals in national convention modified their policy to that of a tariff for revenue and limited reciprocity

with the United States, they won wider support.

The tariff had been given full credit for the burst of prosperity that followed 1878; now it had to shoulder full responsibility for the depression that marked the early nineties. The younger generation of Canadians to-day can scarcely realize the depth of despondency into which the country was sinking. Farm prices were low, and mortgages high; railway-building was at a standstill; the West remained unopened; free homesteads found few takers; more men abandoned the country every year than sought it; "the trails from Manitoba to the States," according to a Western Conservative newspaper, "were worn bare and brown by the waggon wheels of departing settlers." Edward Blake, in the cryptic message he gave to the people of Canada the day after the election of 1891, summed up the failure of the national policy in a powerful passage:

creased dependence on the public chest and on legislative aids, and possessed withal by a boastful jingo spirit far enough removed from true manliness, loudly proclaiming unreal conditions and exaggerated sentiments, while actual facts and genuine opinions are suppressed. It has left us with our hands tied, our future compromised, and in such a plight that, whether we stand or move, we must run some risks which else we might have either declined or encountered with greater promise of success.

The Manitoba school question told against the Government in Ontario. The racial and religious quarrels of the East had found an echo in Manitoba, where the Liberal Greenway-Martin government had in 1890 deprived the Roman Catholic separate schools of official status and public aid. A bitter followed in court and Parliacontroversy ment. The Dominion Government undertook to pass a remedial act compelling the legislature to restore the rights of which the highest courts held the minority had been deprived. Laurier, agreeing that the minority had been wronged, did not believe in federal coercion as a remedy. Withholding his hand until the moment came for action, he came out boldly in straight opposition to the Government's bill. Dealing with threats of ecclesiastical

Its real tendency has been, as foretold twelve years ago, towards disintegration and annexation, instead of consolidation and the maintenance of the British connection of which they claim to be the special guardians. It has left us with a scanty population, a scanty immigration, and a North-West empty still; with enormous additions to our public debt and yearly charge, an extrava

gant system of expenditure, and an unjust hostility, he declared in the House:

and oppressive tariff; with restricted markets for our needs, whether to buy or to sell, and all the host of evils (greatly intensified by our special conditions) thence arising; with trade diverted from its natural into forced and therefore less profitable channels, and with unfriendly relations and frowning tariff walls ever more and more estranging us from the mighty English-speaking nation to the south, our neighbors and relations, with whom we ought to be, as it was promised that we should be, living in generous amity and liberal intercourse. Worse, far worse! It has left us with lowered standards of public virtue and a death-like apathy in public opinion; with racial, religious and provincial animosities inflamed rather than soothed; with a subservient Parliament, an autocratic Executive, debauched constituencies, and corrupted and corrupting classes; with lessened self-reliance and in

Not many weeks ago I was told from high quarters in the Church to which I belong, that unless I supported the School Bill which was then being prepared by the government, and which we have now before us, I would incur the hostility of a great and powerful body. Sir, this is too grave a phase of this question for me to pass it by in silence. I have only this to say, that even though I have threats held over me, coming, as I am told, from high dignitaries in the Church to which I belong, no word of bitterness shall ever pass my lips as against that Church. I respect it and I love it. Sir, I am not of that school which has been long dominant in France and other countries of Continental Europe, which refuses ecclesiastics the privilege of having a voice in public affairs. No, I am a liberal of the English school, which has all along claimed that it is the privilege of all subjects, whether high or low, whether

rich or poor, whether ecclesiastic or layman, to participate in the administration of public affairs, to discuss, to influence, to persuade, to convince, but which has always denied, even to the highest, the right to dictate even to the lowest. I am here representing not Roman Catholics alone but Protestants as well, and I must give an account of my stewardship to all classes. Here am I, a Roman Catholic of French extraction, entrusted with the confidence of the men who sit around me, with great and important duties under our constitutional system of government. Am I to be told-I, occupying such a position-that I am to be dictated to as to the course I am to take in this House by reasons that can appeal to the consciences of my fellow-Catholic members, but which do not appeal as well to the consciences of my Protestant colleagues? No! So long as I have a seat in this House, so long as I occupy the position I do now, whenever it shall become my duty to take a stand upon any question whatever, that stand I will take, not from the point of view of Roman Catholicism, not from the point of view of Protestantism, but from a point of view which can appeal to the consciences of all men, irrespective of their particular faith, upon grounds which can be occupied by all men who love justice, freedom, and toleration.

tribute twenty-five thousand dollars to their Quebec fund as soon as their other contributions reached that sum, he was informed that their whole dominion funds were under that amount; with his pocket-book intact, he went away sorrowing over such impracticable politicians. Unfortunately, never until twenty years had passed was the Liberal party again so poor in purse.

The election of 1896 gave the Liberals a majority of five in Ontario and of thirty-three in Quebec, where they outnumbered their opponents, hierarchical influence and all, three to one. The rest of the country was very evenly divided, with a slight Conservative lead. The old régime had ended, and at last Laurier and his followers were given their chance to show their constructive capacity. In the general election of 1900 the majority was still further increased, and again in 1904, receding only slightly in 1908.

The cabinet which Wilfrid Laurier gathered about him in 1896 was the strongest in Canada's annals. He took no department himself, reserving his strength for general policy. The strongest men in four of the provincial administrations were summoned to aid him. Sir Oliver Mowat, premier of Ontario, became minister of justice for a brief space, long enough to reassure the Scotch Presbyterians of Ontario as to the complete soundness and respectability of the new ministry. William S. Fielding, premier of Nova Scotia, became minister of finance, and for fifteen years proved a strong and skilful administrator. Andrew G. Blair, premier of New Brunswick, proved in a few years to have more force than faith. From Manitoba came Clifford Sifton, a power in the Laurier cabinet for ter years and behind other cabinets thereafter. The other ministers were drawn from the dominion ranks. From Quebec, Sydney Fisher began a long service as a progressive leader of agricultural development, while Israel Tarte's portfolio of public works was the recognition of the organizing ability and dynamic force of the man who had fought Laurier in his early days and was to fight him again in his last years. Henry Joly de Lotbinière and C. A. Geoffrion were of the

While giving strength in Ontario, it was felt that this defiance would mean annihilation in Quebec, since the hierarchy was backing the Government heart and soul. Bishop and priest denounced Laurier, but, as the event proved, they denounced him in vain. The habitant respected his priest; he had come to reverence the brilliant statesman of his own kith and kin who stood so near supreme power, and preferred to make his compatriot prime minister than to give his clergy the law they demanded.

Laurier's own efforts had contributed greatly to victory. Tours through the West and through the Maritime Provinces had widened his outlook and his prestige. Even in Tory Toronto he had aroused a glowing welcome. The prejudices of his foes and the fears of his friends had vanished with the proof of his moderation and of his courage.

One campaign asset was lacking. The Liberals had no large campaign fund. When a newspaper politician, veering toward their support, offered to con


older Rouge generation; in Charles Fitzpatrick the ministry included a member more profoundly devout than any Bleu had dreamed of claiming to be and as subtle as the serpents of the field. The Ontario contingent was a strong Besides Mowat, Sir Richard Cartwright again held a portfolio, though not the post of minister of finance which he had wished and manufacturers had feared; William Mulock's vigor and directness shook up the dry bones of Ottawa departments; William Paterson contributed his kindly shrewdness to counsel and his stentorian voice to debate; Richard W. Scott became secretary of state. Louis Davies, from Prince Edward Island, in the Marine Department, and Frederick Borden of Nova Scotia, as minister of militia, completed a strong muster-roll.

Fifteen years brought many changes in the personnel of the cabinet, though Fielding, Fisher, Cartwright, F. W. Borden, as well as Laurier himself, served through the whole period and gave steadiness and continuity to policy. The Ontario contingent underwent many changes: the more notable accessions were Sir Allen Aylesworth, an eminent jurist, who was at the same time a strong party man; George P. Graham, a former leader of the Liberal opposition in Ontario, who became minister of railways and the director of party organization; Charles Murphy, a shrewd and witty counselor; and Mackenzie King, who entered the ministry from the civil service and represented the new interest in social questions. In Quebec there was an almost equally complete transformation: Rodolphe Lemieux, Laurier's most eloquent lieutenant, entered the ministry in 1904; and the same year added Louis P. Brodeur, whose sound and balanced judgment later found scope in the work of the Supreme Court; Jacques Bureau's vigor and Henri Béland's suavity strengthened the ministry in its later years. In the West the chief development was the substitution of Frank Oliver, a hard-hitting old-timer, for Clifford Sifton. From the East came Henry Emmerson and William Pugsley.

The later administrations included many able men, but the ministry as a

whole did not possess in 1911 the vigor of 1896. Fifteen years in office brought experience and facility, it is true, but they brought also a tendency to compromise, a belief that all was well with the world, an ease in Zion. Social gaiety or corporation contact weakened the fiber of some who began well, and power attracted the unscrupulous. So far as the rank and file were concerned, particularly in Ontario, there was falling off in numbers and quality. The prosperity which came to Canada with the Laurier régime opened many doors to ambition and lessened the attractiveness of public life, while power, and the compromises that followed power, dulled the keen edge which Liberalism had possessed in the stern days of opposition. Yet with all qualifications, the Laurier administrations could safely challenge comparison with any that had gone before or any that came after, for that matter in ability, in integrity, in constructive vision, in steady purpose, and internal unity.

Even after nine years of party leadership, there were men who doubted whether Wilfrid Laurier would be more than the titular head of his administration. They did not think it possible that a man so courteous could show himself hard when hardness was called for. Could a leader who had made his fame by his oratory develop the qualities needed to control a ministry and guide a divided country through difficult days? The doubts soon vanished. Long before Laurier's years of office were ended, the criticism of his opponents was no longer that he was a weakling, but that he was too masterful and self-willed.

The Laurier ministries contained many men of strong wills, but there never was any question from the first day to the last that he was "the master of the administration." When, after half a dozen years of office, Israel Tarte developed the illusion that he could play that part himself, the question was not long left in doubt. Not that Laurier was arbitrary, or that he insisted upon intervening in the details of the administration of other ministers. He believed in giving every colleague wide latitude and large responsibility. A Whig by conviction, he was not eager

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