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inclined to watch the Oxus and the Caspian. Were the author to continue in this speculative vein, the many phases of the Central Asian Question thus multiplied ad infinitum would quite bewilder the reader and weary a peruser who, perhaps, if initiated into a few of the leading points of the topic under discussion, which is all that is aimed at in this paper, would pass many an hour in seeking information of the countries north of India and in studying the character and habits of the people who inhabit these hitherto unknown regions.
Before quitting the consideration of the routes by which it is supposed a Russian army may advance towards India, it may be as well to observe that to reach the plains of Chinese Turkistan the ranges of the Tian Shan must be traversed, passes 17,000 and 19,000 feet must still be surmounted. These great ranges of the Himalayas are quite impracticable for military operations on an extended scale, roads for the restricted commerce of light goods can alone be constructed. Sir Henry Rawlinson says that "in all "history there is no instance of an invader having ever attempted "to descend upon India, either by the Polu or Chang Chemmo "routes from Eastern Turkistan." It may then be said that the route by Persia and Afghanistan is alone practicable for military operations on a large scale.
In the course of this article an attempt has been made to describe our Indian frontier line, and that which Russia has accepted at our hands as the extent of her conquests. To invite the reader to a slight acquaintance with the countries known as the regions of Central Asia, and to reveal the progress, step by step, which Russia has made during many centuries towards our Eastern possessions, it is now proposed to endeavour to describe the events which have led to the present advance on Khiva. In the month of November last, owing to numerous outrages and insults committed by the Khivans against Russian subjects, an expedition, under the command of Colonel Markosoff, was despatched against these depredators. This expedition nearly reached Khiva, but was eventually surprised and forced to retreat. Of course, Russia can no more afford to be beaten in Turkistan than we could afford to be driven from the banks of the Sutlej, or from the wilds of Abyssinia. Several columns have therefore been sent against Khiva to preserve Russian prestige in the East. One of these columns, it may be observed, attacks Khiva, not from the west but from the east, not from Russia but from Turkistan,
thereby showing that Russia has established herself in regions more remote from her frontier than even the country invaded. These facts prove, were anything necessary to prove the statement, that Russia is already a gigantic Asiatic Power. Her vast domains extend the whole breadth of that Continent, and swarm with Cossack posts. She now simply seeks to emerge southwardsthrough some of the few openings on the long unbroken Siberian frontier, which stretches from the Caucasus to the Sea of Okhotsk on the tracts of the fertile country of the Khanates. Then what more cause to fear Russia have we now than formerly. We have long known her supremacy on the Asiatic Continent; we have long known her to be aggressive and to be advancing slowly but surely towards India. We have recently drawn the line to which the Muscovite may proceed in his career of conquest, and he has accepted our fiat with apparent courtesy. Should an invasion really take place we are not unprepared. Conciliatory measures and invitations to join our Councils have won the natives of India to submit to the mild sway of Her Beloved Majesty, and it is questionable if the rule of the Czar would be in any way acceptable to the Hindoos. We may therefore reasonably count upon the cordial support of our Indian subjects, added to which the incalculable advantage of fighting on our own soil, which in itself points to victory, unless most unforeseen contingencies should occur, leaves little doubt of our ultimate success. Such are the opinions of Lord Lawrence, Sir Henry Rawlinson and Brigadier General John Adyr,-authorities not to be despised on matters connected with Indian affairs. These opinions have not been arrived at without much thought, deep research and profound calculation. It might therefore be considered presumptuous were the author of these pages to respectfully endorse the views of his superiors, but, even at the risk of such an imputation, he, in common with many of Her Majesty's subjects who reason and think, does advocate the views of an ex-Viceroy, and clings to the belief that when the exercise of diplomatic art fails, and when the Czar, impelled forward by
to snatch the gauntlet which we have thrown down on the frontier line, that he will there find the ever ready British soldier, and around him Rajahs and Chiefs, with banners aloft emblazoned with the words Quis separabit.
BY J. W. LONGLEY, A. B., HALIFAX, N. S.
LITERATURE, in its broadest and truest sense, is cosmo
politan. No man can gain a world-wide fame as an author whose works do not contain sentiments applicable to men of all nations to humanity at large. These are very simple principles, and pretty generally understood and acknowledged. This fact seems to render appropriate,-perhaps necessary-some general observations on the subject at the head of this article, particularly at the present time.
Any one who is interested in the progress of literary enterprise in this Dominion cannot fail to notice the activity which is apparent, at present, in literary circles. Where only a few years ago there was scarcely a single publication that pretended to be either literary or scientific, there are now to be found very respect-able periodicals, both weekly and monthly, which appear to be alive and progressive, and, in some instances, decidedly creditable. Where a short time since our very school books and novels came from American Publishing Houses, we have now a comparatively long Catalogue of Publishers, who are vieing with each other in fresh adventure each day. This new activity seemed to spring into existence at the inauguration of the Act of Confederation, and it seems, indeed, most reasonable that this measure should have borne such fruits. When we consider the proportions and pretensions of the political organization of Canada, it surely seems only natural and just that the matter of a distinctive National Literature should become interesting to our ablest men and best patriots. The idea of a country possessing important political institutions,. and a political status that is constantly becoming higher, and commanding the attention and respect of other nations, and yet, destitute of a literature or literary men of note, strikes one as indicating a strange and unaccountable contrast, if not a decided lack somewhere. Hence, the natural effort that is being made to advance our literary interests, and to make letters as respectable as politics.
The idea embodied in the opening sentence of this article makes it necessary to refer to the peculiarities of our present position. It is affirmed by many of our own people that it is all.
folly to talk of a Canadian Literature. We need not aim to build up anything of a distinctive type whatever. Literature is world-wide, and we have ready access to the highest thoughts of the best thinkers. All this may be readily granted, and yet it be evident that there is something important for us to dosomething tangible for us to achieve.
If it could be truthfully asserted that literature was cosmopolitan fifty years ago, with how much more force can it be averred now. Even in that short space of time the world has shewn immense progress. National distinctions are being broken down, general and intimate intercourse with every quarter of the globe is the daily boon of all civilized people, and isolation is becoming almost an impossibility. Contact with other nations, and familiarity with other races, are tending to annihilate those arbitrary distinctions which used to prevail in such a marked degree. Everything seems to indicate the ultimate brotherhood of mankind. But still, Individualism does exist, and, so far, we must view our relations to the literary world at large with this idea in mind. It may not be amiss to look back for a moment at the rise of Literature in Europe. Here we notice the most marked distinctions. We have the brilliant, flashy, and, in the main, objective literature of the Latin nations; that graver, duller, more profound and subjective literature of the Teutonic race; and, then, the crude efforts of the Slavonic tribes. Coming to sub-divisions : we have the peculiar and distinctive features of the English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Swiss, etc., etc. Perhaps the two opposite poles are the French and the German. The former is sprightly and vivacious; the latter abstruse and solid; in the one, we see the heavy, didactic tread of the Essayist; in the other, the rapid and flexible movement of the Narrator. Then, looking to the origin, we find that one hundred years ago Germany had no books and no literature, and yet, by the zeal of her scholars and men of letters, German literature, though tinged strongly with transcendentalism, and not free from. Theosophic moonshine, is, nevertheless, a monument of subtle thought and elaborate research, "from which the learned of other generations shall borrow the corner stones of their edifices."
This glance at European Literature will suffice to suggest the propriety and importance of making efforts in this country to build up a distinctive National Literature, and of fostering a
spirit of literary zeal among our people. Indeed a study and contemplation of what has been achieved in other and older countries ought to stimulate us to seek, by vigorous efforts, to invest our literature with a brilliance and a glory which shall make our new nation famous and respected throughout the world.
It is known that National character exerts an influence on Literature, and literature and philosophy upon religion; it is not amiss, then, to consider what may be some of the marked features of the literature which we may expect to see developed in the course of time in Canada.
The enlightenment which is growing up on this side the water has many features entirely different from those which characterize the older countries of Europe. The lack of social distinctions, of rank, of a born nobility, of castles, and monuments of antiquity, the greater freedom of political and social institutions; these must have their effect on the national mind, yet, they have not developed, until very lately, any marked and distinctive features in American Literature. There has been apparent, among American literary men, a disposition to imitate and follow the English Masters. Longfellow is almost as much an English Poet as Wordsworth or Southey. To Bret Harte belongs the honour of originating a new and distinctive school of American poetry, and there are evidences of other men of that type springing up.
We in Canada may justly be supposed to follow more closely the style and thought of English genius than our American neighbours, and, yet, the facts seem to indicate considerable individualism in the budding efforts of the Canadian mind. The time is past when men will universally admire the poetry of historic deeds and associations. Canadians will not have a very deep interest in, nor derive a very strong inspiration from, the ruins of old castles, or the legends of Heroic times. We live in a country of broad and beautiful scenery. We have noble rivers, immense lakes, wide fields, majestic mountains, and grand falls. Our people are fond of Nature and admire the verdant lawn, the bursting of blossoms, and the waving of corn. Our poetry, if we ever have any, should be the Poetry of Nature.
Next, our people are liberal in sentiment. There is no aristocracy of blood among us; the patrician element is either wanting entirely, or varies with a generation. There is no oppression among us to call forth the patriotic pen of remonstrance and