1907 Fredericton Encaenia

Alumni Oration

Delivered by: Baird, Frank

"Literature As a National Asset" The University Monthly 26, 7-8 (May-June 1907): 223-237. (UA Case 67, Box 2)

In less than five weeks, Canada as a Dominion, shall be forty years old,—not a great age, it is true, when the life of a nation is being considered, still, there is a sense in which the near approach of our fortieth anniversary should give us pause and stimulate us to an examination of our past, our present, and our possible future.

It is particularly fitting at this time in our national life that we should give heed to those conditions which must have a bearing upon the great task of nation-building which is before us. Wanderers, in a sense these forty years, nourished, the while, on the Manna of Imperial Bounty, we have come now into our inheritance: the whole land is before us. A foundation broad, solid and clean has been given unto us;—the entire "True North" is ours. What shall we make of it? What shall we tear upon this unique and magnificent foundation? Shall the plans of the cathedral of our nationhood be wisely or unwisely drawn? Shall the elements of nobility and of beauty be embodied or excluded? Shall the building materials of the structure be selected with a view to permanence and stability, with such regard to quality and proportion of elements that we shall have, in the end, not a mere medley of entities but a compound;—one people, with one aim, one set of interests—a nation in the true sense of the word?

The answer to these, and all other questions touching our possible future as a people, depends largely upon the plans we form and the ideals we cherish in the present. The reality of today was the vision of yesterday; the vision of today will be the reality of to-morrow. What place, in view of this fact, should we today give to the scholastic and literary? If these things stand for a deep and permanent life interest; if the highest civilization demands them: if to exclude them means that life shall be narrowed and dwarfed, then surely we cannot give them too large or too prominent a place.

The tendencies of our day are however, undoubtedly of a nature destined to carry us along other lines than those indicated. The commercial and the material; the scientific and the practical, are to-day unquestionably in the ascendent not only in our country but in our schools and colleges as well. In education as in all spheres of life, doctrines and practices which have no patent and immediate bearing upon the struggle for existence are impatiently and openly challenged. It is a period of unprecedented unrest. Creeds and dogmas hoary with age; many of the almost sacred canons of the legal and medical professions; not a few of the long accepted conventions of economics and of science, have been lightly, not unfrequently somewhat jauntily, set aside. It is not surprising, therefore, that this spirit should reach education and our colleges. Its coming may not be an evil. This, however, we may profitably do; this to a certain extent we must do ; we must resolve that in the new orthodoxy, if orthodoxy it be, which has come in upon us like a flood, we shall not permit those elements of real truth which were embodied in the old orthodoxy to be entirely swept away.

I am not, therefore, registering any protest against the present day demand for applied science; not throwing down the gauntlet to that tendency indicated a few days ago by President Butler of Columbia, when he said,—that he "looked forward to the time when the management of a great machine shop will be counted a learned profession."

Now he would be little short of utter blindness, certainly he would be lacking in prophetic instinct, if not in patriotism, who would not in Canada today recognize the necessity for men to tunnel our mountains, bridge our rivers, delve in our mines and preserve, if not increase, by scientific processes, the immense potentialities of our prairies, and our forests. These are vital and worthy interests; we cannot discard them without paying enormous penalties; and it is quite foreign to my present intention to assail or to disparage them. But while feeling that the practical is an element which must be reckoned with in our efforts at nation building, I shall take strong exception,—and I believe that all rational applied science advocates will go with me, when I say that there is another set of interests, equally as important as those referred to—I mean the interests that cluster around the more distinctly Greek conception of education.

Learning in the older sense is today in danger of being pushed entirely from her throne. But the new spirit in education must not be permitted to selfishly arrogate to itself the entire curriculum; nor yet to pose as the only education worth having, for there are still men to whom life is more than meat. Connected with all our universities there are alumni to whom the classics, history, art, "the long reaches of the heights of song," culture in the old Greek and Oxford sense are still something. To such, dreamers though they be, the new tendency in education is undoubtedly viewed with feelings of apprehension. These, while they may look upon the new scientific movement with charity, and without malice, cannot but feel that there is need of a readjustment of emphasis in things educational ; or, at least they recognize that if present tendencies are to go on unchecked, the whole face of the educational problem shall have been changed in another decade, and more important still, elements essential to the making of our national life broad and beautiful, permanent and noble shall have been excluded.

And here one may properly pass from the general to the particular, from that broad Greek conception of learning as suggested by the word culture, to that phase or section or the scholastic side of education represented by literature. Are the fears of those who view with apprehension the rising tide of commercialism justified,—for there is a sense in which the commercial spirit is behind the new movement?

And first the test of history may be applied.

Here we learn at once that the elements that have given permanence and a measure of immortality to nations may have nothing to do with trade or wealth or population. Many of the dominant countries of antiquity were far from being richly endowed with respect to natural resources. In the eloquent words of Lowell, "On a map of the world you may cover Judea with your thumb. Athens with a fingertip, and neither of them figures in the prices current, but they still lord it in the thought and action of every civilized man.”

Passing to Britain we find her possessed of an imperishable and illustrious place among the nations largely through her indestructible and abiding literature. All the world does homage at the shrine on the Avon. And take Scott and Burns out of the life of Scotland; go farther afield and deprive Germany of Goethe; go to France and Italy; pass on to India, and if you will, to China; rob these nations of their literature; blot Weimar from the map of Germany, Padna from Italy, Oxford from old England, Cambridge from New England, and what remains? A wilderness, a veritable valley of Baca, a world shorn of its romance and its beauty; nations without patriotism, peoples without ideals.

Strong, therefore, as is the demand in Canada today for emphasis upon the practical, we cannot afford to yield entirely to it. The tendency to bound all things by the narrow horizon of today is perhaps scarcely, after all, to be called practical. The truly practical, the really wise, cast an eye not merely into next year but into the next century. Why have we no statesmen in our country of the type of Gladstone or Disraeli; of Rosebery, or Morley; of Balfour or of Bryce? Is it not because we have made learning a matter of no consequence so far as our public servants,—who are also our masters,—are concerned? By taking a narrow and partial view of things; by looking only to the day and the hour, by exalting the material and ignoring the demands of anytime but the present; have we not proved ourselves the least, practical of men? We are impatient and clamour for immediate results: we demand that the tree of knowledge shall yield her fruit every month or we will have hone of it. The Greeks left their youths at home until they had mastered their thousands of lines of Homer, believing that one youth whose imagination was aflame with the spirit of nationalism and religion would be worth a score of those who fought blindly and irrationally. What booted it if a battle went against the fathers when time and their sons were waiting to bring in an indemnifying and justifying revenge! We must learn patience and meekness; we must cultivate a sense of proportion with respect to elements that go to the making of a true nation,—and we must take account of the time factor, always remembering that although we cannot wait the race can.

What we need today is not so much a larger population,—though any growth in that respect is welcome,—not so much more rich men or a larger acreage under cultivation, but an increase in the number of highly educated, far-sighted, thoroughly trained citizens, who consciously or unconsciously shall be the means of inspiring our whole people to sounder thinking and of setting up before them new and lofty ideals of sacrifice, of patriotism, and of service: for it has ever been a principle that the few elect and sane have been used to save the many. Material prosperity divorced from culture; commercialism uncontrolled and unsanctified by some spirit or force which “looks before and after,” and measures issues not by the things seen and temporal but by standards, which, though unseen, are eternal,—must lead only and surely to inevitable and merited disaster.

The growth of the commercial spirit demands therefore, that additional emphasis shall be laid upon that which shall control and elevate it. The lamps of Pharos instead of being quenched must be trimmed anew and made to burn with increasing brightness. The hope of our Canadian Commonwealth today is not in our prairies, our mines or our forests, so much as in our men of learning and vision, without which, now as ever, the people perish.

It is around literature more than around any other single interest that these saving and controlling factors may be grouped. The old appeal to that branch of literature technically termed the classics was too narrow and remote; a rebound from mere classicism was inevitable. The new should include the classics but much more. The boundaries should be broadened. The horizen should be pushed back. If the emphasis be laid upon the classical only we shall augment that already too large following of Heine who declared—and what boy is not with him ?—that he always hated the Romans because they invented Latin grammar. Now the Latin grammar must not be ignored; what we must do, however, is still to save for culture and scholarship that wide area of our youth, that broad zone of our population, which, while tainted to some extent with the heresy of Heine is not wholly Philistine—in character and instincts. Can this be done? Can we check the exodus from the scholastic to the practical field? Can we re-adjust the emphasis in things educational? Yes, but the appeal must be a broad, sane and vital one; and, today, especially for us in Canada, it must be one embodying the patriotic and the national spirit.

Now it is, in the literature of nations that we find this spirit conserved and propagated. No nation can die if its literature be great. If the life of a people is to express and perpetuate itself, nay more, if the youth of a country are to feel the throb of a true national spirit, that spirit must find its way into art,—into statuary, into painting, or into that which is more enduring still, into book, or song, or story.

In this connection and in support of the general thesis that literature must ever be among the most potent factors in appealing to the national spirit there come to mind the words of Wordsworth:

This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of Majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise;
This fortress, built by nature for herself,
Against infection, and the hand of war;
This happy breed of men, this little world;
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a mote defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands;
This blessed plot this earth, this realm, this England.

And again note the appeal in these mighty lines from Richard Second,—lines far too little quoted, or known. The subject is again England.

Land of my fathers! precious unto me,
Since the first joys of thinking infancy,
When of thy gallant chivalry I read,
And hugged the volume on my sleepless bed.
O England! dearer far than life is dear;
If I forget thy prowess, never more
Be thy ungrateful son allowed to hear
Thy green leaves rustle, or thy torrents roar.

And one could go on almost endlessly. One might summon Shakespeare or Scott, who

“Would ruffle up your spirits, and put a tongue”

in every burn and vale of Scotland. One might cite the case of all rural Ireland today throbbing with a new spirit and life; a spirit which only a few months ago, took the form of a procession of fifty thousand men, who with one aim and one desire, gathered to do honor to a man who had swept anew Erin's harp, silent so long—to a man who had gone from hearth to hearth in Ireland, and there raked from the smouldering ashes of a people's smothered hopes, the folk-lore songs and legends of the Irish race: and it is surely a matter for the profoundest gratification to the audience before me that this new St. Patrick, this new leader of the new Irish renaissance, is none other than the man who once filled, and in filling dignified forever, the chair of English in this University—I refer to Dr. Douglas Hyde. What statesmen of the most commanding abilities have failed to do for Ireland, namely, arouse, unify and stimulate her, an humble scholar,—a dreamer doubtless to some of the more practically disposed,—through the formation of the Gaelic League and by an appeal to the noble, imaginative and patriotic literature of Ireland, this which statesmen have failed to do, an humble scholar has accomplished.

The heart of the movement is patriotic, national, and in the truest and broadest sense religious: but it by no means stops there. The manufacturing output of the country has doubled in three years. The entire life of the people is being touched and ennobled. Of Dr. Hyde and his work a sane and well-informed critic says:

“He has literally thrilled the country. His movement has become more than a mere language movement. He aims at a rebirth of the imagination and aesthetic life of Ireland, the moulding anew of Irish national ideals, and the stamping out of the cheap vulgar books and more vulgar songs that were coming to Ireland from abroad. His devotion to his ideals has been an inspiring spectacle in an age that seems to worship only money and material success.” There is a new intellectual life in Ireland and the fame of Douglas Hyde's great work has gone abroad and has attracted the attention of scholars and has stirred the hearts of Irishmen in many distant lands.

Of the same man and the same work the New York Times says editorially:

“A shifting of the ground from the wretched religious differences to a field on which Protestant and Catholic can meet without bitterness is a godsend for which everyone should be thankful. To Dr. Douglas Hyde, more than to any other living Irishman, congratulations are due for his efforts to provide a cause which may unite Irishmen of every rank and every denomination.”

With all this true, it is not to be wondered at that on a recent occasion 50,000 citizens of Dublin, with the Lord Mayor at their head, should have accompanied Dr. Hyde to his train; a tribute which a writer interprets as proving that Dr. Hyde is the most popular man in Ireland today.

But now to return to Canada. Granting the power of literature, what of the application of these truths to our Canadian Commonwealth? Have we a literature such as is the bond of union in China, in India, in England or even in Ireland? Have our Homers and Shakespeares yet been born? Have we, in other words, in any sense, a national literature?

This latter question calls for another one, namely, what is a national literature? By a process of elimination an answer, at least approximately correct, may be arrived at. Take the entire output of our Canadian Press. A great deal of it is not literature. From literature must be excluded, the purely scientific treatise, history in so far as it is a mere record of events, philosophical dissertations, as a rule most newspapers, government reports, Hansard, except in rare and widely removed spots, generally all writing not covered by the term fiction, though this rule is not absolute. The printed page is not therefore to be confused with literature; and, a multiplicity of publications may mean nothing, for, as Dr. Van Dyke finely says, “through the wilderness of books there flows the slender stream of literature.”

And, moreover, when the field of true literature is finally reached we restrict our sphere very perceptibly on proceeding to speak of national literature. Matthew Arnold, speaking broadly, defined literature as “a criticism of life;” others hold it should merely picture and present life, without in any sense acting as life's censor. But it has a higher function; in addition to being a criticism and a picture of life; all true literature has in it elements of a sound and lofty idealism. It takes into, account not only life as it is, but life as it ought to be. It sets rather than follows the pace. It is not so much a photograph as a painting of life. It scales the heights and sounds the depths of human thought and emotions. It touches whatever is universal and marks the kinship of man with man. This much may be said of Literature in general.

When we find writing of this primary and universal nature shadowing forth in any sense the distinctive life of a particular people, marking that people off from others with respect to history, origin, aspirations, institutions or religion, we may properly designate that literature as national. In the works of Shakespeare and other masters the national and the cosmopolitan shade into each other. There are interests so broad and deep, so vital and so human, as to transcend national frontiers because they are as universal as the race. To this exalted and worthy type of world literature, we in Canada have made, considering our youth, a not inconsiderable contribution. However, it is more to our present purpose to ask, to what extent have we a literature which embodies and reflects our history, our origin, our institutions, our ideals, and aspirations; in which we find the unique and individual elements so predominating as to give us the right to say that our literature is as national as that of the Germans, the Hebrews, or the Greeks?

And here one is brought face to face with an enormous task. Though it is not generally known, it may be said that for our age and population, probably we have written more than any other people in the world. Like our great prairies the Canadian literary field is wide, fertile, and fallow. We began at the beginning—with Champlain in 1604—we had thus several years start of the United States—and we have gone on patiently writing ever since. We have been making literature both universal and national for over three hundred years; but to the mass of our people, to the youth of our schools, to the undergraduates in our colleges, to our wise and worthy alumni, the Canadian literary field—but tell it not in Gath—is a great unknown land. Few have had the temerity ever to enter it; and here, with apologies, a personal word.

When some twelve years, ago, mainly on the suggestion of Dr. Hyde, I turned my attention to our literature and gave to it a corner in my library, I felt, with the Ancient Mariner that—

“I was the first, that ever burst
Into that silent sea ;”

and although this is not strictly true, I have found however, that the name of our writers is legion, that the field they cover is infinite,— but that no one knows or cares.

On the wideness of the field a more explicit word. From various, sources, mainly from the valuable bibliographies published by Victoria University, Toronto, and from the research work of Dr. G.E. Dawson, I have taken pains to enumerate the number of writers who may be classed as wholly or partly Canadian. The list, though of necessity, partial and incomplete, is an astonishingly long one. Without including our many and excellent French writers—and these have given us a whole literature in itself—debarring also all except those who have published books of either fiction, or verse, we have, according to the most reliable of sources, no less than 405 writers of prose, and 422 writers of verse; a total of 827 authors with published books to their credit to the number of 1,451 volumes!

How much we may now ask of all this is literature? How much of it so expresses the Canadian spirit as to warrant us in designating it as national literature? The wideness of the field to be covered makes one hesitate to answer. But that there is both the universal and the national quality in our literature cannot be denied.
As illustrating a phase of literature as broad and universal as Shakespeare's, glance a moment at the great drama called "Jephthah's Daughter," by Charles Heavysege of Montreal. The girl in pleading with her father to break his vow and save her life exclaims;

"Spare me, O father, spare me!
Cut me not down or ere my harvest comes! ^
Grant me some little moments more of life.
Hark! How the wood awakes and starts to sing
A solemn anthem, and remotely hums
The mellow tumbling of the waterfall.
All heats with life, all yet is youthful and
Rejoiceth in the trust of coming days."

And again the daughter cries,—

It is a bitter thing to die when young :
To leave all things we loved, admired, most cherished,
Forgot, perhaps forgetting.

As the London Athenaeum said, "There is great art in the development of the daughter's feelings." Speaking of the work as a whole it may be said that for emotion, imagination and dramatic power the great poem represents a type of the noblest and finest work in the language. And yet this great and passionate work of art—a work of which Longfellow, Emerson, Bayard Taylor, The Atlantic Monthly and the North British Review all wrote enthusiastically—is practically unknown, certainly it is unread. And what is true of Heavysege and his work is also true of other Canadian writers and their works. With great diligence we have gone on killing our prophets and stoning—or starving—those sent unto us. Almost without exception they fled over the line and over the water.

The same applies to our writers of literature which may be termed more strictly national. We neither know nor read them. A year ago today there stood here, to receive from their Alma Mater, a tardy honor, two poets,—Charles Roberts and Bliss Carman,—writers who are in the very front rank, not only of the literature of Canada and America, but of the world; and not a newspaper in all Canada so far as I was able to discover—made a single reference to the work these men had done or the books they had written, and when editors do not know, who do? But of course there was Henry Clews and the stock market.

But though formerly ignored, our poets and prophets shall ultimately come into their kingdom. Wisdom shall yet be justified of her children. The merit and the appeal in such sentiments as the following by Roberts will someday be recognized. The lines constitute the closing sextain of a poem entitled a Collect for Dominion Day.

"Father of unity, make this people one!
Weld, interfuse them in the patriot's flame,—
Whose forging on thine anvil was begun
In blood late shed to purge the common shame;
That so our hearts, the fever of faction done,
Banish old feud in our young nation's name."

In Canada, another poem by the same author there is a throbbing impatient call to Nationhood,—and it was our poets, not our statesmen, who first spoke of us as a nation.

“O Child of Nations, giant-limbed,
Who stand'st among the nations now
Unheeded, unadorned, unhymned,
With unanointed brow,—
How long the ignoble sloth, how long
The trust in greatness not thine own?
Surely the lion's brood is strong
To front the world alone.
How long the indolence, ere thou dare
Achieve thy destiny, seize thy fame —
Ere our proud eyes behold thee bare
A nation's franchise, nation's name?
Oh thou, my country, dream not thou
Wake and behold how night is done,—
How on thy breast, and o’er thy brow
Bursts the uprising sun."

And this by Bliss Carman entitled "The Ships of Gray St. John," combines great charm with the truly national spirit. The historical reference is notably fine.

Smile, you inland hills and rivers!
Flush, you mountains in the dawn!
But my roving heart is seaward
With the ships of gray St. John.

Fair the land lies, full of August,
Meadow island, shingly bar,
Open barns and breegy twilight,
Peace and the, mild evening star.

Always your bright face above me
Through the dreams of boyhood shone;
Now far alien countries call me
With the ships of gray St John.

Swing, you tides, up out of Fundy!
Blow you white fogs in froam sea
I was born to be your fellow ;
You were bred to pilot me.

Loyalists, my fathers, builded
This gray port of the gray sea,
When the duty to ideals
Could not let well-being be.

When the breath of scarlet bunting
Puts the wreath of maple on,
I must cheer, too—slip my moorings
With the ships of gray St. John.

The value of this and of much work done by the late Dr. Drummond and others cannot be over-estimated as a force in stirring true national zeal and in stilling narrow and petty race and creed cavillings of which our country, from the beginning, has had more than its share. A chair of Canadian literature in all our colleges, French as a requirement for all our teachers, are among the pressing necessities facing our country today. The adoption of such a course would go far to soften race and creed asperities; it would help business which is now carried on between Quebec and the other provinces with considerable difficulty; it, would mean something for culture and romance also. It would broaden our sympathies and enable us to say with the gentle Miranda,—

"O! wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That hath such people in it!"

No doubt when we are fully possessed of this spirit, when the Romance Age of New Brunswick, now dawning, shall have full come, life will be to us all an infinitely richer thing than in the past ; and, Sir, I venture to predict that one of the first fruits of the new age of gold shall be the rectifying of a blunder of the past by demanding the reopening and restoring of our fine old historic and romantic colonial mansion known as Government House;—this, the new spirit must do before our reproach can be taken away, and if not for Your Honor's first term, then certainly we shall demand it for your second.

But to return with all our splendid literature before us,—and remember the quotations touch only the fringe of the magnificent work done by our Canadian writers,—it cannot be denied that we possess a literature both universal and national. Ambassador Bryce is not therefore, correct in saying the time will come when we shall have a literature: we have it now. Nor is this all. We have the history, the traditions, the aspirations, the country, the qualities and the people; in a word, we possess the materials for the most romantic and stirring literature of any land or of any age. We are at this time just sufficiently removed from the heroic beginnings of things to need a literature which shall seize upon and perpetuate as Scott seized upon and perpetuated and immortalized for Scotland and for the world the dying but stirring traditions of his country. With the Indian and our primitive country as a background ; with the chivalrous and courtly French in full view; with the later strata of Scotch, English arid Irish—with the descendants of Forty-Second Highlanders who vanquished Napoleon at Waterloo, on the Nashwaak; with the kindred of Flora MacDonald, on the Miramichi; with the sons of the men of Inkerman and Balaclava sprinkled indiscriminately over our entire country; with Loyalists who were the peers of England's truest nobility, who first founded New England, then Harvard, then later, after voluntarily exiling themselves from opulence and culture for conscience sake, establishing this province, and, as a crowning contribution to the civilization of our country, this University;—with all these noble elements; with the aristocracy of birth blended with the aristocracy of bone and brain, each complementing and strengthening all the others,—with such a country and such a people the literary possibilities of our commonwealth are simply enormous. Verily we may cry out,—

“Milton, thou should'st be living at this hour.”

But, Your Honor, I must hasten to close. My zeal has already carried me far beyond the bounds of courtesy in detaining you so long; yet before resuming my seat permit me to say again as in opening, that I in no way mean to be understood as assailing or disparaging any interest or set of interests of real and vital value to our country. I would not have the scientific or practical spirit expelled from our colleges; I would retain it that it might be ennobled and sanctified ; but, Sir, I would ask,—and I believe I speak not only for the Alumni whose inadequate mouthpiece I today am owing to the great misfortune which befell our province and the public life of our country in the death of that honourable, eloquent, and scholarly gentleman who was to have addressed you on this occasion, Dr. A.A. Stockton, M.P.,—a man who in himself would have represented to you the embodiment of the very ideals for which I was contending,—I would ask, as I was about to remark, not only on behalf of the Alumni but speaking for the friends of the University and of true education everywhere, aye, for the people of this province, for the undergraduates before me, not excluding even those of the engineering department, for I believe they also, with all other true patriots, will be with me when I ask that learning in the older sense, be not completely pushed from her trembling and unstable throne.

I do not claim all for the interests I advocate; but I claim some. And while I do not presume to declare with old Gaunt that,—

"I feel myself a prophet new-inspired, still I am constrained to believe,"

that the time has come when our colleges should be warned that there are scores of men and women among their sons and daughters, children it may be of a former,—some would say of a finer,—age, who still believe that our colleges should be first last and always centres of culture and of learning in the Greek and Oxford sense. A technical school under the shadow and guidance of the University need not be objectionable; it seems to be a necessity; but with matters reversed, as some hold they have been at Cornell and McGill—with the Arts Course dominated by the practical, with the University under the shadow of the science building, against that calamity all wise men should protest and all patriots should fight.

Our colleges must magnify their office; they must lay emphasis on learning for its own sake not for gain's sake; and while this need not mean that the men of learning shall be segregated, nor the men of the-technical school be driven into a hostile camp, it should mean that every man shall leave our colleges, no matter what his degree, a college man, humbled and chastened, impressed with a sense of reverence for all true knowledge, feeling that it is at least no disqualification for his life work to speak the King's English correctly, ready to acknowledge the wisdom of the Dominie of Drumtochty whose eye kindled and whose breast heaved with pride as he thought of the value to his country of “anither scholar in the land.”

Valuable as are our scientific and practical men, we must have our scholars and men of letters or all is lost. Our scholars must hold up their heads and assert their value; and if they be unwilling to do this it must be done for them. Robert Louis Stevenson, the son, was a greater asset for his country as a man of letters than Thomas Stevenson, the father, the builder of light-houses. Pictou County alone, and under the old culture regime, bestows upon Canada the inestimable boon of six college principals, among them being Grant of Queen's and Dawson of McGill, while just across the strait, inspired by the same spirit, grew up Falconer of Toronto and Schurman of Cornell. Can we, in view of all this afford to transfer the emphasis from those interests which have given us our proud intellectual supremacy to other things which may merely make us rich?

We must not only honor scholarship and cultivate our vast literary field; we must go further and rear up a generation which shall even passionately desire these things. We must stir Canada as Douglas Hyde has stirred Ireland. Professor Leacock cries out impatiently to our premiers assembled in London: "Find us a way. Build us a plan:” but the appeal is misdirected. It should be addressed not to the premiers but to the people; for in our democratic days it is the people who must find the way and build the plan. Great leaders it is true we must have; but these are powerless to effect great reforms unless they have behind them a great and a willing people. The principle which took concrete form in the hemlock, the stake and the cross ever waits for those leaders who run too swiftly or venture too far in advance of their age. The hearts of all the people, all the parties, all the races, all the creeds, must be touched; we must be made to forget that we are Catholics or Protestants, French or English, Irish or Scotch and the touching, the fusing and the arousing can be done more effectively through literature than through any other medium.

The two interests represented by the scientific and the literary need not be looked upon as antagonistic: the two may advance pari passu each supporting and completing the other; but neither must arrogate to itself the province of the other nor assume any superior or lordly airs. There must be no malice but much charity; no narrowness and no rivalry, and this above all, there should seize us, especially at this time, as we approach our fortieth birthday, a feeling that the time is not only ripe but short. We must ask ourselves in all seriousness, Shall these days of golden opportunity be let pass? Shall the qualities and materials which God and nature have put into our keeping be ignored and unappreciated? Shall we submit, without a protest, to being advertised forever merely as a people who grow wheat? Shall this magnificent clay have no potter to mould and beautify and perpetuate it ? Shall there be in a word no one as in the days of old, to sprinkle with blood the lintels and sideposts of the doors of at least our schools and colleges, so that, if the threatened destroying angel of materialism should ever come, seeing the sanctifying symbol, he may spare us and pass by?

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