Imatges de pÓgina
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culable importance. But the gods decreed otherwise. The opportunity was allowed to slip. Cartier's schemes were abandoned, and the first permanent British settlement at Jamestown, in 1607, was to coincide almost to a year with Champlain's first permanent settlement at Quebec in 1608.

Cartier returned immediately to his camp on the St. Charles River, for the season was too far advanced to admit of a lengthy stay at Hochelaga. The rigours of a Canadian winter now set in, and the sufferings of the intrepid band were severe. It was with a sadly diminished company that the leader sailed for France early in May, and nothing but disappointment awaited him on his return. It is impossible not to regret the one blemish on Cartier's record in Canadahis abduction of Donnacona, monarch of the wigwams of Stadacona, and that of the other Indians, who were carried off to France for the benefit of the King's curiosity and to illustrate the story. These men were kindly treated and their bodily no less than their spiritual needs well cared for. It was Cartier's full intention to restore them to their homes the following summer; but political strife in France postponed his next voyage to Canada for five years, and in the interval all the unfortunate Indians perished.

Cartier's third journey to the St. Lawrence ended disastrously. Like many a brave man before and after, he was doomed to see the fruits of his labours dissipated by the caprice of a monarch and the ignorance of a favourite. Philip de Chabot had fallen into disgrace, and when, in 1541, Francis turned his thoughts once more to the colonisation of Canada, it was to place Cartier under the orders of an ignorant and reactionary nobleman, who was given charge of the expedition. The Sieur de Roberval sallied forth to found a colony, his complete incapacity for any such task fortified by the grandiloquent titles of Lord of Norambego, Viceroy and Lieutenant-General in Canada, Hochelaga, Saguenay, Newfoundland, Belle Isle, Carpunt, Labrador, the Great Bay and Baccalaos. But colonisation is too stern a matter to be compassed by titles, however lofty. Cartier's commission was revoked, and Francis, in a burst of generosity, placed the scourings of the state gaols at Roberval's disposal ; ' pitiful rascals,' who put us in mind of Falstaff's famous defence of his disreputable band. With such a personnel the expedition was foredoomed to failure. Cartier, who had been sent on ahead to Canada, flung up his work at an early date and returned full of mortification and disgust to France. With the departure of the one capable man qualified to lead the expedition Roberval's luckless colony was soon overtaken by disaster. He reached Canada with a company of 200 people, including women and children, no less than gaol birds, soldiers, and well-born adventurers. Roberval himself was a type of the French nobleman already referred to-harsh, autocratic, imperious, and withal devoid of the smallest colonising instinct, from whose maladministration Canada in years to come was to suffer much. The expedition disembarked at Cap Rouge, a point some miles above Quebec. Being badly provided with the elementary requirements of colonists in a strange land, the sufferings of the unhappy immigrants were terrible. One-third of the company perished from scurvy, and after a winter of misery the emaciated survivors found their way back to France the following year, such energy as their wretched bodies still possessed being devoted to shaking the dust of the New World off their feet.

With this fiasco French colonisation in America collapsed for many years to come. Where Cartier had failed Champlain was to succeed, and it is a happier chapter of history which reopens in 1604 with his first Canadian colony, not on the St. Lawrence, be it noted, but in Acadia. Cartier, it appears, lived for many years at St. Malo, a popular, honoured citizen, sharing heartily in the life and simple pleasures of his birthplace. His portrait hangs in the town hall of the old Breton port, and though modern criticism has thrown doubts on its authenticity, visitors to St. Malo probably prefer to think that the canvas with the keen, watchful face and steady eyes preserves the lineaments of the famous navigator to posterity. Canada was fortunate in the character of her early explorers, of whom the brave and simple Cartier is a fine example, and the celebrations at Quebec this summer have a special value in bringing before modern Canadians a fuller realisation of their own possessions in this respect. We of the Mother Land recognise with gratitude our obligations to Saxon and Norman and Dane in the making of the race; and Canada, too, can point with pride to a national life all the richer because drawn from the sources of more than one great nation. The band of gallant adventurers

, well termed by Parkman the forest chivalry of New France, have enriched the Dominion by traditions valuable in the life and development of a young country. A national heritage to safeguard becomes a shrine whence men may seek inspiration when hard pressed by the idols of the market-place. But Canada as she praises famous men will not forget the services of John Cabot, who first drew the veil from her unknown shores, and not even the greater lustre of Champlain should wholly dim the fame of Jacques Cartier, first pioneer of France in the New World and discoverer of the St. Lawrence.

VIOLET R. MARKHAM.

L'ITALIA FA DA SE

99

SIXTEEN years ago there appeared in the pages of this Review an article entitled “L'Italia non farà da se. A member of the Italian House of Lords put forward, in a valuable pamphlet, reasons for disagreeing with this conclusion, and forwarded his pamphlet to every member of the Upper House. He was not very sanguine, and indeed at that date there was no possibility of being sanguine ; and he finished somewhat in the conditional mood. His conclusion was, in fact, that if only a kind Providence would send Italy a good financier, 'grideremmo in barba al signor inglese, “L'Italia fa da se.”'

An act of penance may sometimes be agreeable; it is so in this case. It is with the greatest pleasure that I give the Senator and all his brother peers who may think me worthy of their attention the fullest permission to 'gridermi in barba “L'Italia fa da se. 'Not that there was a word to withdraw in the article ; but there was much to add if any one had known it. Nor was the Senator right in praying for a heaven-born financier. Italy needed no miracles, as we shall see; but it would not be possible to arrive at the present conclusion without a good many years of study, observation, and reflection. Those conditions being fulfilled it remains to state the conclusion, and, at the risk of being wearisome, to give reasons for that conclusion.

Bankrupt municipalities, ruinous finances, an emigrant population, languishing trade, absurd adventures abroad, a disordered currency, an unsound legal system, railways idiotically mismanaged, an enormous army, grinding taxes, a wholly unnecessary quarrel abroad, and a wholly unprofitable alliance to balance it—these things, combined with a notable lack of discernible capacity in public life, spell ruin. At least they would have spelt ruin in any other country but Italy at the close of the nineteenth century. In that country and period all these symptoms, which appeared to be so grave in 1892, were hardly more than the process of desquamation after the fever of 1848-70.

We may profitably begin with matters of detail; and, through them, approach more serious reflections. One well-kept horse does not imply much, but a thousand well-kept horses imply a good deal. If one never sees an ill-kept horse, or one with a sore, or over-worked,

the conclusion is not only that there is a great improvement in the horses, but also that there is a great improvement in the drivers and owners. The chubby, active little animals squealing with beans and fun are a pleasure to look at. Their gay harness tells of the driver's love for his beast; their willing paces testify, perhaps, to the activity of the S.P.C.A. But whatever the cause, there is the result ; the very donkeys look as if they were enjoying their day's work. All this is nothing less than a transformation scene. The traditional beast of burden, ghastly with sores, and worked to a skeleton by his light-hearted tyrant, is as much of the past as the brigand of tradition.

Railways impress the traveller most; and here, again, we have another transformation scene.

How well one remembers a feed of fried octopus and red ink at Castellamare Adriatico twenty years ago

a base repast;
It makes me angry yet to think of it.

Not that red ink and fried octopus is more loathsome in reality than many a feed wherewith the traveller is punished and plundered in rural England; but this was thought good enough for an important train, officially styled an express, and fitted with steam heat which would not work, broken windows, and hot and cold water supply, all the taps of which were broken, for which fraud one paid heavily, and was conveyed at the rate of about fourteen miles an hour.

All this is swept away. Modern Italy does not waste much on rolling stock, but what there is is sound and fairly comfortable.

There are no sensational runs, but one reaches Naples from Rome in a little over four hours (about 150 miles), and is admirably served on the way. Not even the Canadian Pacific, that model for all railways, is more attentive and efficient. One hears a great deal about pilfering on Italian railways. For the sake of the experiment I sent my kitbag unlocked from Naples to Rome. It arrived untouched. One strong administrative order has sufficed to stop this abuse. Why not have issued the order earlier ? is a natural inquiry, the answer to which is a matter of Italian history.

If the great lines were badly served in days gone by, the profits derivable from local traffic were almost completely neglected. To-day by the simple expedient of lowering the fares the traffic in the neighbourhood of great towns is hugely multiplied, to the vast profit of the line and the pleasure of the public; and this is but the A B C of administration. But then there was a time not so long ago when it seemed as if the Italian declined to learn the A B C of administration.

Wherever we turn we see the same tendency. Everywhere is change, sometimes change of lightning rapidity, sometimes change so deliberate that we wonder if the abuse is really observed. That is, we should wonder if we had not already learnt the mistake of sup

posing that Italians were indifferent because they were slow in taking action. Nowhere is stagnation, everywhere more happiness—an air of composure, as of contented people in settled conditions, as indeed the Italians are. The very beggars at the door of S. Lucia have the air of pursuing their calling as amateurs. The once verminous · Villa' is charming and gay; the reasons for having only marble seats exist no longer.

* Resolute profundity' is the temper in which the Royal House entered on its gigantic and heroic task of making Italy; the same spirit prompted the purchase of the field of Cannae. We shall • understand nothing thoroughly in modern Italy unless we keep in mind the leadership of the House of Savoy, unless we remember that other, and more significant 'Risorgimento,' the resurrection of the monarchical idea. Some history, if tedious, is indispensable.

Of course the institution is eternal, and will outlast all temporary expedients, but it will be subject to occasional occultation, and in our time 1848 was its abject nadir. 1848 was also the darkest hour of Italy. The resurrection of Italy and the Monarchy (the two are inseparable) began with the sublime abdication of Charles Albert. It is an uplifting memory.

This is an age devoted to mediocrity and proud of having no standard of behaviour but a commercial standard. Naturally the vulgar denounced the King for running away,' it being incomprehensible to them in their ignorance that any man should give up anything. It is cheering to remember that it did not matter what the vulgar and ignorant said. The act was itself noble; and being done in the grand manner that the House of Savoy commands it struck the heroic note-the note that dominated Italian public life for twenty-two years. The Romans do well to inscribe on his statue

Il popolo Italiano riconoscente.

If the broken-hearted King had prophesied to his son on the night of Novara the course of the next twenty-two years, it must certainly have been said of him that misfortune had driven him mad. Thrown into the form of an ancient vaticination, history would have been thus foretold: “Thou shalt drive forth the Hapsburg, the Bourbon, and the Bonaparte; kings shall flee from before thy face, and thou and thy son and thy son's son shall dwell in the city of Rome for ever and ever.'

With Radetzky (aged 89) and Ward, the Cavour of Absolutism (aged thirty-nine), in the full tide of success such an outpouring would have sounded like sheer insanity, whereas in fact it was but the barest outline of the triumph of the monarchy. The work of Victor Emmanuel and his successors has two epochs. The first is the epoch of heroic endeavour, for which heroes were needed and were forthcoming The second epoch is the period of business ; for which, at

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