Imatges de pàgina

tradesmen, porters and cabmen, are all underpaid, and they all compensate themselves by preying on every one who comes within their reach. In a legal sense, the lower-class Londoners are remarkably honest. There seems to be scarcely any downright robbery, but there is a universal system of cheating in petty ways, and of extorting extra money in the shape of tips, gifts, or doles of charity. In a new country it is much easier to have confidence and trust between different classes and to form sincere and equal friendships. But in England there is far too much charity from the higher to the lower ranks, and far too little justice. The masses, whether they have votes or not, are not truly represented in Parliament. Their interests are not in their own hands but in the hands of a governing class which has never shared their life, cannot understand their needs and views, and which feels itself to be and actually is of a different calibre. So long as this goes on there will not be radical reform. There will be nothing but more and more charity coupled with more and more pauperism.

Nothing can be more dissimilar than the temper of the average Englishman and of the average Colonial in approaching the great social problem. That there are saints on earth working amongst the London poor, every one knows, but the very greatness of their virtue is a proof of the great need that has called it out. Amongst the mass there is still a callous indifference to the sufferings of others. No one is more willing than the average Londoner to do an obliging act towards a fellow creature ; no one is more determined not to sacrifice his own comfort or pleasure or advancement to save the most unfortunate from ruin. 'Each man eager for a place, doth thrust his brother in the sea.' One character, one career, one human life, counts for so little. There are so many other lives crowding all around. Tragedies are so common that they have lost their significance. The fortunate cannot help all, so they either help none or else give a little inadequate help to the most persistent.

Amongst the early settlers of a young colony there is a strong feeling of neighbourliness. When any sudden calamity befalls one of the community, friends are sure to come to the rescue and give the sufferer a fair chance of starting again. But in London the unfortunate have few or no friends. Here the battle of life is fiercest, and there is no quarter given. Nowhere else is success so successful, and failure so hopeless. In New Zealand, when the old intimacy and hospitality could no longer be universal, legislation was soon called in to supplement individual kindness. There has been plenty of humanitarian legislation in other countries, but the distinguishing feature in New Zealand is that it did not come so much from the benevolence of the richer towards the poorer, as from the active self-interest of the working classes. The man of the people works for the people in the Colonial Parliament, not because he pities them, but because it is their power that put him in his place. The democracy are not led by big names or feudal traditions or by questions of foreign politics which do not concern them. They vote for the man whom they think likely to do the most for them, and when he is elected, they watch to see what he is doing. The roughest labourers and artisans show surprising shrewdness and information when it comes to a matter of regulating the conditions of labour or the incidence of taxation. A traveller will find on rugged back country, on sheep or cattle farms, amongst mining prospectors and tributers, amongst settlers and shearers, intelligence and practical ability of a far higher order than shows itself in most English villages. That is the main reason why our social outlook is brighter. The salvation of the poor lies with the poor themselves. If they do not help themselves, outside help will be useless.

We of the New World have been so often taunted with experimenting, that it is only fair we should explain our own point of view. The untravelled Englishman resents new ideas. Though he has not the least expectation of succeeding in dealing with poverty, he still continues in the old ways in which he has so long and 80 comfortably failed, and he regards with profoundest contempt the hope of succeed. ing by unorthodox methods. At the bottom of his soul he believes poverty to be one of the institutions of Providence. In the colony there is a resolute determination, as strong outside as inside the ranks of the Government, to establish sounder and more wholesome social conditions than those whion have for centuries bred want and dependence and degradation. Socialistic laws may fail, but behind the laws is the spirit of the people. All their best energies are given to the one task. Humanitarianism is with many Colonials a religion in practice, with some a popular sentiment to be exploited for their own benefit, but for all alike the main force in political and social life. Through all its experiments, the democracy has had one steady and consistent policy, and its objects have from the first been clearly conceived. An acute but by no means partial critic says of the New Zealanders: 'Au fond d'eux-mêmes on trouverait probablement cette idée que la politique après tout n'est pas chose si compliquée qu'on a bien voulu le dire et qu'il suffit d'un peu de courage et de décision pour accomplir les réformes dont la vieille Europe a si grande peur.' The best answer to this delicate piece of satire is that courage and decision have already accomplished great and sweeping reforms. There is something to be said for the 'Faith Cure' even for the worst diseases of the social body.

To sum up in one sentence : the cardinal difference between the problem of poverty in the Old World and in the New is that in the New World there is more hope and more ground for hope ; in the Old it seems to a stranger all but hopeless. These views can claim only to be taken from the outside, and not from the inside of London life. But outside impressions have their own uses. If I have seemed to describe the Cloudland' of the Antipodes as altogether Arcadian, I must admit that it wears this aspect only in contrast with the sin and suffering in the City of Dreadful Night. New Zealand is

very far from having realised any Utopias, but it can justly claim to have refounded society on a sounder and more equitable basis, and in a cleaner and brighter moral atmosphere.




'HUMANITÉ, tu es quelquefois juste, et certains de tes jugements sont bons '-Renan's famous words rise involuntarily to the mind as the time approaches when representatives of great and powerful nations will meet at Quebec to do honour to the memory of Samuel de Champlain. In thus commemorating not only the founder of New France, but the tercentenary of the Canadian people, history renders justiceas in the long run is her habit—to a son the greatness of whose achievement has been lost in obscurity for many generations. Imagination is touched by the contrast between the arduous life and little recognised labours of Champlain, and that illustrious gathering at Quebec this summer, when the fruits of those labours will be set forth before the whole world. It was not given to Champlain to foresee the far-reaching results of his life's work; no facile triumph insured an ephemeral popularity for him among the men of his own generation. Champlain, faithful servant of thankless kings, has no place among those fugitive figures of history whose fame burns up straw-like for a day, to be lost ever afterwards in darkness. There are heroes whose claims destiny would appear deliberately to overlook for a time, and the light of whose greatness rises but slowly above the annals of mankind. But such fame once achieved is eternal and is proof against the shocks of time and change. Posterity winnows finally the chaff from the grain, and in the end it is those who have sown in faith and truth who come again with joy and bring their sheaves with them. Among such men Champlain assuredly takes high rank. His life was not only strenuous but full of trial and disappointment. Fired with visions of a great transatlantic empire for France, his personal realisation of such a dream was confined to the establishment of one small settlement on the banks of the St. Lawrence, hard pressed between the inclemency of nature and the ferocity of man. But the measure of Champlain's vision was the measure of his service to New France, not that of his material achievement. When the ironclads of three great nations thunder forth salutes beneath the citadel of Quebec, they will testify to the ultimate triumph of that vision, if the manner of its fulfilment has changed in character. At the point where Champlain cast anchor from his weather-beaten ship, and the little company of immigrants gazed with anxious hearts at the great precipice of Quebec; the leviathans of the deep, three centuries later, will assemble to acclaim the founder of the city and his inauguration of a work the magnitude of which no dream of his had ever compassed. Servant of France and of her kings, it is the heir of an Empire greater than any known to Champlain whose royal hand will lay the laurel wreath upon his unknown grave-lay it in the name of two great united races from whom a new nation has sprung.

Few chapters of history are more romantic than those which tell of the first discovery and colonisation of America ; few, for some curious reason, are more unknown to the general reader. France, it must be owned, has done less than justice to the memory of the brave pioneers and adventurers who laid the foundations of French rule in Canada. French historians have devoted little attention to what, nevertheless, remains a striking and honourable page in their national annals. It is thanks to the brilliant pen of Parkman, an American, that the obscurity, in a large measure, has been dissipated into which such men as Cartier, Champlain, La Salle and Frontenac had been allowed to sink by their own countrymen. But Samuel de Champlain, though founder of the first permanent settlement in Canada, was not the original discoverer of the St. Lawrence. He possessed notable forerunners in the task of exploration, whose services are eminently worthy of recognition at a moment when public interest is centred on the dawn of Canadian history. It will be the object of the following article to sketch the life and work of those men who were distinguished figures in an earlier period of discovery, a period connected with vital issues in the development of human knowledge. The roots of Canadian history in reality go back much farther than the seventeenth century, and, like those of the whole American continent, lie deeply imbedded in the life and thought of contemporary Europe. Child of the Renaissance and the Reformation, two of the greatest movements which have vitalised history, to judge the New World in true perspective we must never lose sight of the mighty forces which stood around its cradle. If we would understand rightly the spirit brought by explorers

pioneers to their task, we must first realise the intellectual and political ferment of the age which gave them birth, an age of strugglé, when obstinate questionings on either hand had resolved themselves into the fiercest convictions, political and religious.

To what has been well termed the tree of genius in that Saturnian land, Italy, we owe the great explorers of the New World. The keen spirit of activity and research infused by the revival of learning into every branch of human thought and action, threw up, so to speak, travellers and adventurers during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, no less than the masters of art, literature and science. Geographical discoveries entered into the Zeitgeist of the time, were part of its


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