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the people are even more advanced than their rulers, and that they feel that Parliament and Government do not do their full duty in reference to the defensive organization of the State. It is absurd for our legislators to excuse themselves from not voting sufficient sums to the militia on the ground that popular feeling is against it. There is no doubt that the people will stand by the Parliament in any steps taken in this direction.
The drill pay given to the militia finds its way into every nook of the Dominion-on almost every concession and side line can be found one or more members of the force—while every town and almost every village is the headquarters of a company, in which the inhabitants take a deep interest, of whose appearance they are proud, and in which their finest young men are enrolled. Our politicians have never yet fully appreciated how deep a hold the militia organization has taken upon the hearts of the people of this country. It is the most popular organization, and it has the advantage of being neither religious, sectarian or political, but purely national and patriotic. It is the only common ground upon which all can unitewhere Catholic and Protestant, Conservative and Liberal, can vie with each other in giving our Dominion that military strength which is so important an element of national greatness.
For these reasons our statesmen should devote special pains to foster in every way an organization which tends to weld the nation together, to cultivate a nationaland patriotic spirit, and to make the whole nation defensively warlike, and confident in the future of the State.
Unfortunately our politicians look at questions solely from party standpoints, and are little influenced by national considerations ; consequently when the expenditure is to be reduced the first thing to suffer is the militia. The reduetion does not affect the staff
—which is inaintained at the same strength, although the force is reduced by one-half—but the whole burden falls
upon the men of the force, their numbers are cut down, their pay reduced, their camps dispensed with, and the morale of the force thereby greatly diminished, and the efficiency seriously impaired.
Is this reduction necessary? Is it advisable even upon purely financial grounds ? It must not be overlooked that we are contending against the reduction of drill pay, etc., for the active force only, for there has been little or no reduction in the cost of the machinery by which the force is governed. Now, the drill pay of officers and men goes directly into the hands of the tax-payers themselves. There is scarcely a family in Canada that has not some relative in the force, and the trifling sums paid in this way go back into the country households, and in many and many a township is the only Government money ever seen, and is, in fact, the only return they ever seem to get for their taxes. There may be a fallacy in this, but they believe it, notwithstanding.
It is sometimes urged that the labour is lost to the country while the men are at drill
. This may be right in theory, but it is a mistake in reality. The drills are performed at night, or in the month of June—between haying and harvest—and practically do not cause one grain of wheat less to be sown, or one bushel less to be reaped, while the country has the added strength of a trained and effective military organization.
Some argue that the militia force is not as efficient as a regular army would be, and that, therefore, the money spent upon the organization is wasted. Granted that a regular force would be more efficient, but a Canadian regular army would needs be very small and disproportionately costly. The Mounted Police, 300 in number, cost for last year $305,749.05. The annual drill pay for the whole number of militia trained last year was $124,267.95, or little more than a third of the cost of the Mounted Police. Again A and B Batteries Dominion Artillery, about 250 men, cost $109,691.35, or í? as much as the entire militia were paid for drill. Will any one in his senses claim that there would be as much military strength in a regular force of 250 or 300 men, as in a militia numbering 45,000?
It is also a mistake to consider that the whole value of the present force consists in the high state of drill in which it is, or should be kept. If we have not absolute efficiency, we have, as a starting point, the organization, the arms, and the equipment—the officers fairly efficient, and the rough edge taken off the men. War would not probably come at a day's notice, and every day after our men were mobilized, they would gain in steadiness. Had we not our present organization, or were it abolished for ten years, six months of the greatest efforts would not do as much to bring the force to an efficient state, as six weeks would do under the present circumstances.
A great advantage is also realized in the military spirit created in the country. At present almost every young man serves for a longer or shorter period in the ranks of the militia. Many people think that, because they leave the force before they are thoroughly efficient as soldiers, their service is wasted and their training useless. There can be no greater mistake. When a lad of 18 or 20 has donned the uniform and shouldered the rifle, and drilled even for one year, a great deal has been done. The idea that he is a Canadian-that he may some day be called upon to defend his country-has entered his mind, and as long as he lives thereafter he will be a better citizen. Twenty years after, if
been in the force, he would probably say, • There will be war, and I am afraid our militia will have more than they can do to defend the country,' but he will not think of enlisting to help them. Perhaps, like a craven, be might say, "The odds are too great, we should not provoke the enemy by resistance.' From this point of view alone, the militia organization is of immense service to the country.
Canadians have the historical reputation of being defensively the most warlike people in the world, and it should be the part of our legislators to cultivate and encourage that feeling. Like Switzerland, we will never be aggressive, but who shall say that we may not have to fight desperately for our separate existence as a nation in the future, as we have done in the past. Already the muttered thunder from the East has reached our ears—why may not the gathering storm reach and devastate our shores? Can we reconcile it with our duty as loyal subjects and good citizens, that we should neglect those measures which may be necessary in order to preserve our national existence; or are we to be like dumb driven cattle' instead of heroes in the strife ?' When the exigency arises it will be too late for precautionary
It is necessary to prepare for war in time of peace.
But it is to be feared that persuasions and warnings alike fall upon heedless ears.
Because the militia force is not a political organization ; because they have wisely and rightly held aloof from politics, they are ignored by our politicians. But though abstaining from taking an active part in politics, the militia has, and can exercise, an important influence in elections. In 1872, Sir George Cartier, the then Minister of Militia, was defeated in Montreal, because the volunteers and their friends voted
war should break out, his
" against him. In this last
would be. My country is in danger, I must shoulder my rifle again and go to the front;' while, if he had never
election the general dissatisfaction of the Force was doubtless one of the causes of the striking defeat of the
Mackenzie Government. Let us then lives? What would have stayed the appeal, upon purely selfish grounds, pilgrimage riots in Toronto save the for the influence and support of our presence of an armed force? What members of Parliament, in order that would have stayed the sacking of the Government of the day may treat Montreal, had no volunteers been at liberally the most popular and influ- hand on the 12th July? ential of our national organizations. Our desires are most reasonable
To the people we must also appeal, We only ask that the provisions of to conquer that apathy with which the Militia Law should be slightly they have viewed our past struggles amended and rigidly enforced, and for existence. Do they realize that if that a little more money should be the present Force is discouraged to spent in the annual training of the death, the law provides for the estab
All that is wanted, in addition, lishment of the ballot, and that em- is that the Canadian people should ployers, instead of employés, may be take a living interest and pride in forced into the ranks ? Do they realize their citizen soldiery ; encourage them that each young man who goes out to by precept and example, and stimudrill, in every year, sacrifices from $8 late, rather than retard, their efforts to $10 for their direct benefit, and to fulfil their duty. Give the militiawithout reaping any specific advan- man the locus standi that he deserves tage therefor? Do they realize the to have in the community, and the protection that the presence of the community will reap the reward in Force affords their property and their the hour of danger.
BY WALTER TOWNSENT.
tells how a Sage, being divinely to be immortal, I shall end by believallowed the choice between great fame ing them, although I have myself during life and oblivion afterwards on heard the voice of Heaven declare the the one hand, and on the other, ne- contrary.' Robert Southey can lay glect whilst living, but after death claim to the same enjoyment of unundying glory throughout all ages, dying fame as that which the Eastern chose the former. When asked why Sage promised himself. During his he should have chosen the least wor- lifetime he was assured by the almost thy reward, the Sage replied, that no unanimous voice of intellectual conconsiderations of vain-glory had in- temporaries that his name would defluenced him; 'but,' said he, by choos- scend to future ages linked with those ing the first, I cannot help but gain of Milton and Shakespeare, and not any the second also, at least so far as I can one of those who told him so believed it myself enjoy it; and for this reason, half so thoroughly as did Robert Souththat, as I shall continually hear all men ey himself. There is indeed just this dif
ference between Southey and the sub- filled ? How many readers are there ject of the Eastern fable, viz., that who would, in our day, think of lookSouthey did not end by believing in ing for anything higher in these poems, his own immortality, but becan life than the interest which belongs to with so blind and unwavering a con- them by reason of their plots? And viction that his name was destined to even in this last and lowest respect, live for ever, that he himself persuaded if we must judge by the absolute nemore people of the certainty of it than gleet into which they have fallen, we ever attempted to do the like by him. fear that these-the most ambitious He appealed with triumphant confi- efforts of Southey, by which he felt dence to the verdict of posterity, on assured he had gained a place amongst all and every occasion. If a critic the immortals--are but of little use in humbly suggested the possibility of keeping his name alive for even a his verse containing defects, or his generation after his death. Rememmetre being ill-chosen, Southey in- bering that many powerful intellects formed him that he did not write set great store by these productions, for the ignorant living, but for a when they first saw the light of day, posterity which sooner or later pro
critics have read and re-read thein, nounces unerringly upon the merits i thinking perhaps at times that the of the case.'* With a simplicity that, want of perception must lie in their to us who know what the real result own natures, but they have again and has been, is at times almost touching, again returned baffled from the charge, Southey continually hints that great and have at last owned themselves de and deserved as was the applause he
feated by the invincibility of common met with in life, he regarded it as but place and dulness. There are few a drop in the ocean of a glory which poets who have had the
ood fortune was to last as long as the English to enjoy during life such fame as fell language. Well is it for the worthy to Southey's lot, and there are few Doctor that he obtained so liberal a whose works have so soon fallen into share of actual tangible praise whilst utter neglect. The reaction, after the still alive to enjoy it, for we fear that
manner of all reactions, has, perhaps, his confident visions of immortality been too violent, and although the are already, less than forty years after poems which were for long adjudged his death, proven to be, in very truth, his greatest can never successfully lay
claim to immortality, Southey has left
behind him work which entitles him His great poems, Madoc,' Thalaba,
to a place among English poets, even • The Curse of Kehama,' and those others which he was pleased to dignify
if a lower one than he aspired to. with the name of Epic, remain to tes
Robert Southey was born at Bristify by their portentous length to the
tol in the year 1774, four years after magnitude of his failure. These are
Wordsworth, and in his fourteenth
year he was sent to Westminster the works which Southey's contem
School, where he remained more than poraries assured him would · form an epoch in the literary history of his
! three years. He must, therefore, have
very nearly reached the natural close country, convey to himself ; a name
of his school career, when he had the perdurable on earth,' and to the age
misfortune to be expelled for setting in which he lived a character that
on foot a publication called The Flaneed not fear comparison with that of
gellant, containing sarcastic allusions any by which it has been preceded. +
to the well-known power of the Head How have these prophecies been ful
Master, Dr. Vincent, for wielding the
birch. In the following year he pro* Preface to 'Madoc.' Vol. V., Author's Ed. Quarterly Review. Vol. XIII, 1815.
ceeded to Oxford, and, as was natural
"Such stuff as dreams are made of.'
in those days to a youth with poetic fervour and generous aspirations, be allied himself with the little knot of extreme democrats, of whom Coleridge was one. This band of enthusiasts headed by Coleridge, Southey and Lovell, proposed to emigrate to the New World, and found what they called a Pantisocracy, an ideal state of society, in which every one was to be industrious, virtuous and happy ; but, alas ! a hard-hearted public obstinately refused to contribute its money, to regenerate society and the scheme was suffered to languish and die for want of funds. It was probably owing to the same cause that Southey's University career abruptly closed in the second year of his residence, and he began that uphill struggle with the world by which he finally gained honour and competence. It has only been necessary very briefly to trace the outline of Southey's life up to this point, in order to show clearly what were the beliefs and opinions which animated him in youth, and to contrast them with the widely different beliefs and opinions which regulated his conduct in after-life. The world has always been inclined to look uncharitably on one who changes his creed in politics or religion. Even those whose ranks he seeks to enter, while welcoming him outwardly with open arms, cannot resist an undefinable feeling that it would have been nobler and better for him to have remained true to his first principles. However far above suspicion may be the sincerity of his motives, the mere fact that he has abandoned his old beliefs, never ceases to be cast up as in some sort a reproach to him. But his honesty needs to be very clearly demonstrated before the world will believe in it; the impulse of the great majority of people is to impute unworthy and interested motives for any revolution in creed or politics. The want of charity, the rashness of accusation, the wicked slanders which beBet one who has been courageous en
ough openly to declare his change of front, are deplorable. The principle of holding a man innocent unless he be proved guilty is reversed, and the convert must unmistakably prove his innocence or suffer universal condemnation. The monstrous injustice of this needs no demonstration ; indeed it refutes itself, because it is so certain that obloquy will follow conversion, that corrupt temptation can rarely succeed except where the reward is so large as to be easily apparent; so that if it be not apparent it is almost safe to conclude that it does not exist, and in such a case nothing but the highest honesty and fortitude can enable a man to face the inevitable storm of reproach, which is the lot of the deserter. That a man should hold the same set of opinions at forty years of age, as at twenty, is no cause for pride or boastfulness on his part; it shows that he was either preternaturally old in his youth, or that he has reached maturity without profiting by the lessons of experience. No one can justly blame Southey for his abandonment of the beliefs which inspired his youth. It is only just to assume that his convictions were sincere and his motives honest, and although he undoubtedly profited in a worldly sense by the changes it would be monstrous to allege that he was in the slightest degree actuated by any such expectation. Southey, however, unfortunately for his reputation, was not content with the simple adoption of a new set of opinions. He threw himself at the feet of those whom he had previously cursed as despots, and beslavered them with sickening adulation; where he might with propriety have become a follower, he deliberately chose to be a lackey. This violent abasement it was that drew upon him the indignation of those whose ranks he had left, and against whom he turned with virulent hatred ; and this it was that barbed the arrows of Byron's scorn :