« AnteriorContinuar »
necessary to the direct navigation of the St. Lawrence, from the Upper Lakes to the Atlantic, upwards of 3,000,000l. currency, or twelve millions of dollars, have been expended by the legislatures of Upper and Lower Canada. This sum is not only large in itself, but it is especially so, when compared with the revenue hitherto at the disposal of the provincial legislature of the Canadas. When we consider also that the whole canal debt of the State of New York is under seventeen millions of dollars, while the Canadas have burdened themselves with a debt of twelve millions, we shall be willing to allow that the amount of energy displayed by the people north of Lake Ontario and of the Thousand Isles, is not less than has been manifested by the State of New York, nor their faith less in the. future growth and greatness of their rising country.' (Vol. ii. p. 375.)
We could quote many passages to the same effect, but we prefer to send our readers to the book for themselves. The author complains much of the restless discontent and impatience of the Canadians, and brings many proofs that they are advancing as rapidly as any people can reasonably desire, and that their future prospects of commercial prosperity are bright enough to satisfy the most towering ambition. Already their population is increasing as fast as that of the Union. Lower Canada has doubled its number in twenty-five years; and that this is not owing to emigration alone appears from the fact, - that while the average of births is 1 in every 21, the deaths
are 1 in 53. In England the births are 1 in 33, and the deaths. 1 in 46. Even in commerce our provinces compare not unfavourably with the States. When our author visited New Brunswick, the trade of the province was suffering under great depression; yet even then its imports and exports exceeded those of the three adjoining States of Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire put together (vol. ii. p. 207.); though the population of the latter was 1,200,000, and that of the former only 210,000. On the whole we think it is impossible to rise from the perusal of these careful volumes without a greatly enhanced estimate of the value of our North American provinces, and a well-grounded hope that our children will see the day when they will form a compact empire at least as powerful and as prosperous as any portion of the Union, if political agitation and the distraction and insecurity which flow from it, are not permitted to mar and blight all these encouraging promises.
At the period of Mr. Johnston's visit to our North American provinces, the discontent consequent on failing crops and a depressed trade had led to much discussion on the question of * annexation' to the United States; and although Mr. Johnston is of opinion that even then the majority of the population, if polled, would have been found favourable to the retention of
promit the periodi and blight curity which"; if political
ncorpordest in its sa compact--would The taxation
their connexion with the Mother Country, yet he does not disguise the fact, that the preponderance of aspiring talent in the colony leans towards opposite views. The energetic provincial spirits feel that a wider field would be open to their powers, and higher prizes set within their grasp, by uniting themselves to the great Republic, than by remaining a mere dependency of a distant Mother Country, and wholly shut out from all participation in the great reward of imperial àmbition. A Canadian of surpassing ability might well hope to become President of the United States, and to wield all the mighty but short-lived power attached to that office. But no genius, no industry, no eloquence, would raise him to the position of prime minister of Great Britain. Mr. Johnston's observations on this head are just and interesting. Still he is of opinion that the provinces as a whole would lose rather than gain by incorporation with the United States, -and that those who are now loudest in its favour – the Roman Catholics and the old party of the Family Compact-would be among those destined to be most disappointed by the result. The taxation, too, would be far heavier,--some parties declared in the proportion of ten to one. (Vol. ii. p. 160.) The principal cause of the disloyalty and discontent prevalent at the time of which our author speaks, was the decay of the lumber trade ; this the colonists hastily, and, as appears, most inconsequentially, ascribed to the alteration of the British timber duties. The following is very instructive: –
* The depression of trade [in New Brunswick] had awakened, as usually happens, the loudest voices of the grumblers; and meetings were being held in which the provincial government and legislature were denounced, organised resistance to the Mother Country recommended, and annexation lauded as the best of boons and the surest remedy for all their sufferings. ... The speeches of ambitious or disappointed demagogues are by no means an evidence even of their own opinions and belief; and if almost anything can be considered certain in regard to the temporary sufferings of the province, it is that they were not caused by any action either of the provincial or the home governments, or by any evils which annexation to the United States would cure. This is proved by the fact that the adjoining state of Maine, which possesses very much the same natural capabilities and resources of wealth as distinguish New Brunswick, has suffered of late years precisely in a similar way. Thus, in a petition presented to the Legislature of that State, on the 12th June, 1850, it is stated :-"1. That, for some three years past, ship“ building and lumbering have been severely depressed ; -2. That, “for a series of years we have been compelled to witness the with“ drawal of much of our capital into other States; and, instead of “immigrants, the departure from among us of the most enterprising “ young men of Maine ;- 3. That it is in vain to expect to retain “ the natural increase of our population, without holding out induce“ments for labour beyond what are offered by the pursuits of agri“ culture and lumbering.” Were I to sum up in brief all the complaints I heard in New Brunswick, they would not assume so strong a form as in the above words of the people of Maine. And yet, to cure these evils, the men whom I found agitating St. John, professed to believe that annexation to the United States was alone required! Trade would then amend, capital would flow in, emigration would be checked, lumbering would revive, and European emigrants would pour into the new paradise.' (Vol. ii. p. 140.)
Did our limits allow, there are many points of interest in Mr. Johnston's observations on the United States, particularly those relating to taxation, and to the future probable severance of the Union, to which we should wish to have directed the attention of our readers, and to have offered some comments of our own. But we must conclude with strongly recommending the perusal of a book so replete with valuable suggestions and solid information.
Art. III. - 1. Poems by Hartley Coleridge. With a Memoir of
his Life. By his Brother. Edward Moxon : 1851. 2. Essays and Marginalia. By HARTLEY COLERIDGE. Ed
ward Moxon: 1851. MR. DERWENT COLERIDGE has executed, with much success, in one of the most difficult of tasks. He has written the biography of a poet in such a manner as to impart a deeper philosophic interest to his verse without detracting from its charm. The fact that as much must be lost as can possibly be gained by a tediously minute acquaintance with the life of an author, had not been overlooked by Mr. Coleridge. He observes, “It is thought by many that the lives of literary men • are sufficiently known from their writings, and that any record
of their private history is at least superfluous. Much may be • said in support of this opinion. Of poets, more especially, it • may be affirmed that the image which they put forth of • themselves in their works is a true and adequate representation
of the author, whatever it may be of the inan: nay, that in many cases it may depict the man more faithfully,— may
show more truly what he was, than any memorial of what he • did and suffered in his mortal pilgrimage, too often a sad * tissue, so it is made to appear, of frailty and sorrow.....
• If the record were to be supplied, as has been attempted,
by the ordinary materials of the biographer, - by a meagre "outline of every day facts, filled in by such anecdotes as
vulgar curiosity most commonly collects and remembers, it had better remain a blank.' Much better, we cordially add: but we are happy to be able to say, also, that the record with which we are here presented, is of a very different sort. Vulgar curiosity has not been catered for in it; and a philosophical curiosity will not seek instruction in it without reward. The passages in his brother's life which Mr. Coleridge has sketched for us, whether such as determined his outward fortunes, or such as to a careless observer might have seemed trifles, are those by which the structure of character is indicated, and its progress is traced. A happy power of selection is among a biographer's highest, though least obtrusive, gifts. Mr. Coleridge has exercised it with effect, avoiding that vice of modern biographies, prolisity. Had his memoir consisted of two volumes, instead of half a volume, its force would have been lost in detail, and we should have had a far less vivid picture than is here exhibited to us of the subject it commemorates. The narrative abounds in discriminative criticism, and remarks incidentally thrown out, but full of point. Above all, it is written with frankness and simplicity. Cherishing a deserved respect, as well as affection, for his brother's memory, he has appreciated his character far too well to think that it needs the concealment of infirmities from which the kindliest and most abundant natures are not always the most exempt, and the effects of which are impressed, for evil and for good, ppon verse which the world will not willingly let die. In miaking us acquainted with the man, he has contributed the best materials for a large and liberal comprehension of the poet: Por can we more effectually illustrate Hartley Coleridge's poetry than by first bringing before our readers some features of a Efe full of interest, though externally but little varied. It is not often that the life and works of an author are presented to 125 at the same moment, and for the first time. Such may be considered to be the case on the present occasion, since far the larger portion of the poetry has remained till now unpublished; and, in the life prefixed to it, the poetry which follows finds not seldom an emblem as well as an efficient cause.'
Born at Clevedon, on the 19th of September, 1796, an eight months' child, Hartley Coleridge was marked from the first by a sensitiveness of temperament no doubt out of proportion to his physical strength. More than one tribute of song greeted him on his arrival into this world. Some of these aspirations
VOL. XCIV. NO. CXCI.
remained unaccomplished, and some were fulfilled too well. In one of the most beautiful of Coleridge's poems, the poet compares his own early culture with that which he desires for his child.
'I was reared
.. ...But thou, my babe, shalt wander like a breeze, y
By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the crags . . . 's Of ancient mountains, and beneath the clouds,
Which image in their bulk both lakes and shores,
And mountain crags.' To this prophecy the younger poet alludes: in the memorable sonnet prefixed to a small volume of poetry published in 1833. Addressing the Father and Bard revered' at a far more advanced age than that father had attained when the above lines were written, he says, in allusion to them,
Thy prayer was heard: 1" wandered like a breeze.”' Not less tenderly was the animosus infans,' addressed in his father's poem • The Nightingale. .
That strain again!
To make him Nature's playmate. With her youthful playmate Nature played long; and he never ceased to find solace both in her songs and sports. Nature did what Nature may: nor is it her fault if her harmonies, whether of the morn or the eventide, whether lyrical or elegiac, have more power to · kindle' than to control,' and serve rather as wine to the festive, or as an opiate to those in trouble, than as martial music, bracing us for the warfare of life. He had learned, howe er, to listen to another voice above, and along with, that of Nature; and, for such discernment, he turns also in gratitude to his father. (Vol. i. p. 111.)
In a strain not dissimilar, the same child was addressed at six years old by the Bard of Rydal.
60 thou, whose fancies from afar are brought,
Who, of thy words dost make a mock apparel,