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the people are even more advanced - which is maintained at the same than their rulers, and that they feel strength, although the force is reduced that Parliament and Government do by one-half—but the whole burden not do their full duty in reference to falls
upon the men of the force, the defensive organization of the their numbers are cut down, their pay State. It is absurd for our legislators reduced, their camps dispensed with, to excuse themselves from not voting and the morale of the force thereby sufficient sums to the militia on the greatly diminished, and the efficiency ground that popular feeling is against seriously impaired. it. There is no doubt that the people Is this reduction necessary? Is it will stand by the Parliament in any advisable even upon purely financial steps taken in this direction.
grounds ? It must not be overlooked The drill pay given to the militia that we are contending against the finds its way into every nook of the reduction of drill pay, etc., for the acDominion-on almost every conces- tive force only, for there has been litsion and side line can be found one or tle or no reduction in the cost of the more members of the force —-while machinery by which the force is govevery town and almost every village erned. Now, the drill pay of officers is the headquarters of a company, in and men goes directly into the hands which the inhabitants take a deep in- of the tax-payers themselves. There terest, of whose appearance they are is scarcely a family in Canada that has proud, and in which their finest young not some relative in the force, and men are enrolled.
Our politicians the trifling sums paid in this way have never yet fully appreciated how go back into the country households, deep a hold the militia organization and in many and many a township is has taken upon the hearts of the the only Government money ever people of this country. It is the most seen, and is, in fact, the only return popular organization, and it has the ad- they ever seem to get for their taxes. vantage of being neither religious, sec- There
may be a fallacy in this, but tarian or political, but purely national they believe it, notwithstanding. and patriotic. It is the only common It is sometimes urged that the labour ground upon which all can unite- is lost to the country while the men where Catholic and Protestant, Con- are at drill. This may be right in servative and Liberal, can vie with theory, but it is a mistake in reeach other in giving our Dominion ality. The drills are performed at that military strength which is so im- night, or in the month of June-beportant an element of national great- tween haying and harvest—and prac
tically do not cause one grain of wheat For these reasons
our statesmen less to be sown, or one bushel less to be should devote special pains to foster reaped, while the country has the adin every way an organization which ded strength of a trained and effective tends to weld the nation together, to military organization. cultivate a nationaland patriotic spirit, Some argue that the militia force is and to make the whole nation defen- not as efficient as a regular army would sively warlike, and confident in the be, and that, therefore, the money future of the State.
spent upon the organization is wasted. Unfortunately our politicians look Granted that a regular force would be at questions solely from party stand- more efficient, but a Canadian regular points, and are little intluenced by na- army would needs be very small and tional considerations ; consequently disproportionately costly. The Mountwhen the expenditure is to be reduced ed Police, 300 in number, cost for last the first thing to suffer is the militia. year $305,7 19.05. The annual drill The reduction does not affect the staff pay for the whole number of militia
trained last year was $124,267.95, or been in the force, he would probably little more than a third of the cost of say, “There will be war, and I am the Mounted Police. Again A and B afraid our militia will have more than Batteries Dominion Artillery, about they can do to defend the country,' 250 men, cost $109,691.35, or i} as but he will not think of enlisting to much as the entire militia were paid help them. Perhaps, like a craven, he for drill. Will any one in his senses might say, “The odds are too great, we claim that there would be as much should not provoke the enemy by remilitary strength in a regular force of sistance.' From this point of view 250 or 300 men, as in a militia num- alone, the militia organization is of imbering 45,000?
mense service to the country. It is also a mistake to consider that Canadians have the historical rethe whole value of the present force putation of being defensively the most consists in the high state of drill in warlike people in the world, and it which it is, or should be kept. If we should be the part of our legislators to have not absolute etficiency, we have, cultivate and encourage that feeling. as a starting point, the organization, Like Switzerland, we will never be the arms, and the equipment—the aggressive, but who shall say that we officers fairly efficient, and the rough may not have to fight desperately for edge taken off the men. War would our separate existence as a nation in not probably come at a day's notice, the future, as we have done in the past. and every day after our men
Already the muttered thunder from the mobilized, they would gain in steadi- East has reached our ears why may
Had we not our present organi- not the gathering storm reach and dezation, or were it abolished for ten vastate our shores? Can we reconcile years, six months of the greatest efforts it with our duty as loyal subjects and would not do as much to bring the good citizens, that we should neglect force to an efficient state, as six weeks those measures which may be neceswould do under the present circum- sary in order to preserve our national stances,
existence; or are we to be like dumb A great advantage is also realized in the military spirit created in the the strife?' When the exigency arises country. At present almost every it will be too late for precautionary young man serves for a longer or
It is necessary to prepare shorter period in the ranks of the for war in time of peace. militia. Many people think that, be- But it is to be feared that persuacause they leave the force before they sions and warnings alike fall upon are thoroughly efficient as soldiers, heedless ears. Because the militia their service is wasted and their train- force is not a political organization ; ing useless. There can be no greater
because they have wisely and rightly mistake. When a lad of 18 or 20 held aloof from politics, they are ig. has donned the uniform and shouldered nored by our politicians. But though the rifle, and drilled even for one year, abstaining from taking an active part a great deal has been done.
The idea in politics, the militia has, and can that he is a Canadian-that he may exercise, an important influence in some day be called upon to defend his elections. In 1872, Sir George Carcountry-has entered his mind, and as tier, the then Minister of Militia, was long as he lives thereafter he will be a defeated in Montreal, because the better citizen. Twenty years after, if volunteers and their friends voted war should break out, his first thought en masse ' against him. In this last would be 'My country is in danger, I election the general dissatisfaction of must shoulder my rifle again and go the Force was doubtless one of the to the front;' while, if he had never | 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 i 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.
THERE is an Eastern fable which
tells how a Sage, being divinely allowed the choice between great fame during life and oblivion afterwards on the one hand, and on the other, neglect whilst living, but after death undying glory throughout all ages, chose the former.
When asked why. he should have chosen the least worthy reward, the Sage replied, that no considerations of vain-glory had influenced him; 'but,' said he, by choosing the first, I cannot help but gain the second also, at least so far as I can myself enjoy it; and for this reason, that, as I shall continually hear all men
praising me and declaring my precepts to be immortal, I shall end by believing them, although I have myself heard the voice of Heaven declare the contrary.' Robert Southey can lay claim to the same enjoyment of undying fame as that which the Eastern Sage promised himself. During his lifetime he was assured by the almost unanimous voice of intellectual contemporaries that his name would descend to future ages linked with those of Milton and Shakespeare, and not any one of those who told him so believed it half so thoroughly as did Robert Southey 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 began 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 glect 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 them, nounces unerringly upon the merits 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 deand deserved as was the applause he
feated by the invincibility of commonmet 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 good 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 awhose 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 Such stuff as dreams are made of.'
claim to immortality, Southey has left
behind him work which entitles him His great poems, Madoc,'. Thalaba,' • The Curse of Kehama,' and those
to a place among English poets, even others which he was pleased to dignify
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
Wordsworth, and in his fourteenth magnitude of his failure. These are the works which Southey's contem
year he was sent to Westminster
School, where he remained more than poraries assured him would · 'form
three years. He must, therefore, have epoch in the literary history of his
very nearly reached the natural close country, convey to himself ;
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. + How have these prophecies been ful
to the well-known power of the Head Master, Dr. Vincent, for wielding the
birch. In the following year he pro* Preface to Madoc.' Vol. V., Author's Ed. + Quarterly Review. Vol. X111, 1815.
ceeded to Oxford, and, as was natural
in those days to a youth with poetic ough openly to declare his change of fervour and generous aspirations, le front, are deplorable. The principle allied himself with the little knot of of holding a man innocent unless he extreme democrats, of whom Coleridge be proved guilty is reversed, and the
This band of enthusiasts convert must unmistakably prove his headed by Coleridge, Southey and innocence or suffer universal condemLovell, proposed to emigrate to the nation. The monstrous injustice of New World, and found what they this needs no demonstration ; indeed called a Pantisocracy, an ideal state it refutes itself, because it is so of society, in which every one was to tain that obloquy will follow converbe industrious, virtuous and happy ; sion, that corrupt temptation can but, alas ! a hard-hearted public ob- rarely succeed except where the restinately refused to contribute its ward is so large as to be easily apparmoney, to regenerate society and the ent; so that if it be not apparent it is scheme was suffered to languish and almost safe to conclude that it does die for want of funds. It was prob- not exist, and in such a case nothing ably owing to the same cause that but the highest honesty and fortitude Southey's University career abruptly can enable a man to face the inevitable closed in the second year of his resi- storm of reproach, which is the lot of dence, and he began that uphill strug- the deserter. That a man should hold gle with the world by which he finally the same set of opinions at forty years gained honour and competence. It has of age, as at twenty, is no cause for only been necessary very briefly to trace pride or boastfulness on his part; it the outline of Southey's life up to this shows that he was either preternaturpoint, in order to show clearly what ally old in his youth, or that he has were the beliefs and opinions which reached maturity without profiting by animated him in youth, and to con- the lessons of experience. No one trast them with the widely different can justly blame Southey for his beliefs and opinions which regulated abandonment of the beliefs which his conduct in after-life. The world inspired his youth. It is only just to has always been inclined to look un- assume that his convictions were sincharitably on one who changes bis cere and his motives honest, and alcreed in politics or religion. Even though he undoubtedly profited in a those whose ranks he seeks to enter, worldly sense by the changes it would while welcoming him outwardly with be monstrous to allege that he was in open arms, cannot resist an undetin- the slightest degree actuated by any able feeling that it would have been such expectation. Southey, however, nobler and better for him to have re- | unfortunately for his reputation, was mained true to his first principles. not content with the simple adoption However far above suspicion may be of a new set of opinions. He threw the sincerity of his motives, the mere himself at the feet of those whom he fact that he has abandoned his old be had previously cursed as despots, and liefs, never ceases to be cast up as in beslavered them with sickening adulasome sort a reproach to him. But his tion; where he might with propriety honesty needs to be very clearly de- have become a follower, he delibermonstrated before the world will be- ately chose to be a lackey. This violieve in it; the impulse of the great lent abasement it was that drew upon majority of people is to impute un- him the indignation of those whose worthy and interested motives for any ranks he had left, and against whom revolution in creed or politics. The he turned with virulent hatred ; and want of charity, the rashness of accu- this it was that barbed the arrows of sation, the wicked slanders which be- Byron's scorn : set one who has been courageous en