Слике страница

towns great, and great towns powerful, in other ages and countries as well as his own. From this period the trade of Liverpool (which now boasted seven streets) went steadily, though still at first slowly, forward. Forms of government have little influence on prosperity at such a stage of development; and the establishment in Elizabeth's reign of a Common Council, which was to fill up its own vacancies, as well as the gradual suppression of the burgage tenants by the freemen as common burgesses, acquired no vital significance for the history of the town till a much later date It may be mentioned that from 1588 to 1592 Liverpool was represented in the House of Commons by Bacon, a fact which, according to Mr. Picton, is noted by none of Bacon's biographers.

It is unnecessary to follow the fortunes of the town through the Civil War, which are exceptionally well known. Mr. Picton says that the trenches cut in the rock by Prince Rupert during his siege of Liverpool, after it had been taken by the Parliamantary forces, are still visible in Lime Street. Finally, the place was recovered by the Parliament, and, in spite of much suffering from war and plague, survived through these, as through previous troubles, for the advent of a brighter day. With the Restoration at last begins a visible increase of trade and prosperity. After the Plague and the Great Fire of London it appears that "several ingenious men settled in Liverpool, which originated the trade of the port to the plantations and other places. This so enlarged the trade of the port that, from scarcely paying the salaries of the officers of customs, Liverpool before the close of the century possessed the third part of the trade of the country, and paid the King upwards of £50,000 a year in customs." This statement, extracted from the case laid before the Parliament in 1699, on the application for an Act to constitute Liverpool a separate parish, Mr. Picton characterizes as "no doubt exaggerated"; but it shows how the tide had at last set in. It was the beginning of the West India trade, supported by a considerable influx of capital from London, which laid the foundation of Liverpool's commercial prosperity. By the end of the seventeenth century Liverpool numbered over five thousand inhabitants; and the number of vessels in the year 1699 was 102, with a tonnage of 8,619.



HE prosperity of a nation comes from well-directed industry; its happiness from the impartial execution of equal laws; its greatness from the indomitable spirit of its people; but its lasting glory from its letters and art. No seats of empire have received so much of the homage of mankind as the small cities of Athens and Jerusalem. Merely commercial cities, like Tyre, Carthage

and Palmyra, are soon forgotten. Even Rome is less reverenced as the home of the Cæsars, the mother of modern states, and the source of modern civilization, than as the seat of a magnificent literature that has enriched every language of Christendom, and is still a light to the learned world. Success in arms, and the acquisition of territory, give temporary renown; but, after the lapse of a few centuries, everything but the great thoughts of a people perishes. Not one stone stands upon another on the site of Persepolis; and no one can now enumerate the tribes that were subject to the Persian monarchs, or fix the limits of their empire. But the precepts of Zoroaster (the majestic contemporary of Abraham) still survive, indestructible amidst all the vicissitudes of human affairs. The history of letters refuses to be divided by the reigns of monarchs, and is measured by the appearance of great authors, as the zodiac is measured by its constellations. We speak of the age of Dante, careless of what Julius or Nicholas or Gregory might occupy the papal chair. The times of Chaucer we know; but King Edward III. is only a lay figure, a mere accessory in the picture we imagine. The idea of Don Quixote is more real to us than Philip II.; and the time may come when the sea-fight of Lepanto will be remembered chiefly because one of Don John's victorious galleys carried as a common sailor the great Cervantes. We know that the illustrious Goethe was a councellor of state; but the prince he served is already a shade. So, to return to English history, we speak of the age of Spenser, Bacon and Shakespeare; and the name of the great Elizabeth has been made into an adjective to denote the brilliant epoch in whose glory she had but little share. Milton, once the Latin secretary, outshines his political superior, the great Lord Protector. Stolid Queen Anne lives only in the memory of the elegant essayists of her time. Further on we trace the same intellectual lineage. Hanoverian Georges and Williams are naught. It is the age of Scott, of Byron and Wordsworth, the age of Carlyle, Macaulay, Dickens, Thackeray and Tennyson. In this country all things are so new, and political events have such an intense significance, that we do not look at affairs as posterity will look at them. But who can doubt that, when the true perspective has been adjusted, ours will be known as the age of Emerson, Irving and Hawthorne, of Bryant, Longfellow and Whittier, of Lowell and Holmes? Who can doubt that, in the next century, people will say to their grandchildren, "I heard Emerson in my childhood. I once saw the gracious smile of Longfellow. I have felt the electric stroke of Holmes's wit. Shall I ever forget Lowell's features, gleaming as though from an inner light, when he recited the 'Ode to the ever sweet and shining memory of the sons of Harvard that died for their country?""Francis H. Underwood.



WERY week there are issued in London a large number of cheap magazines, patronized chiefly by the industrial classes, and possessing very distinctive characteristics. They consist, for the most part, of works of fiction, with here and there a brief article on some topic of current interest, and perhaps a few verses. Some of these publications offer, for the sum of one penny, instalments of three or four, sometimes of as many as six or seven, different novels, besides short tales which are completed in a single number, all being copiously illustrated. Even for a halfpenny, one may procure nearly as much variety. Then, besides these magazines, there are a host of pamphlets, each containing one or more complete stories, and professing to form part of a "library of fiction," or something of the kind.

Most persons are aware of the existence of these prints, but comparatively few of the upper and middle classes know the nature of their contents. The laughable stories that are told about them are generally regarded as exaggerations-as, for example, that an author was dismissed from the staff of one of the magazines because he would continually put more than three murders in a chapter, which was the editor's limit. In reality, however, it would be hard to exaggerate the tremendous character of the incidents employed. Battle, murder, and sudden death are treated as ordinary occurrences. The plot usually turns upon the conflicting attractions of rival beauties, resulting in the suicide of the rejected one; or upon the administration of poison in mistake for medicine; or upon a countess having committed bigamy, and the consequent complications respecting the succession to the earldom and estates; or something equally original and startling. Wholesale catastrophes are very much in vogue, such as the explosion of a powder mill, or the drowning of a party of skaters by the breaking up of the ice. Some time ago, the author of one of these tales, who evidently wrote it as it was published-by instalments, caused great excitement by the reckless manner in which he introduced fresh characters from time to time. In nearly every chapter, new personages made their appearance, till at length the interest of the story entirely centred in speculation as to what on earth the author would do with them all. It was obvious that he could not marry more than three or four couples at the outside, nor murder more than say half a dozen individuals. Expectation reached its height when the author-probably himself in a frantic state-put the whole of his dramatis personæ on board a steamer, and sent them down the Thames for a pleasure trip. On the way the boiler burst, and all were killed, with the exception of two or three, who were married in due course, and lived happily ever afterwards.— Once a Week.


TRUTH STRANGER THAN FICTION. one of Captain Marryatt's clever books there is an amusing story of an English sailor, who, strongly urged to tell a tale for the delectation of a Turkish pasha, proceeds to spin one of the most wonderful "yarns" ever perpetrated by nautical adventurer. The dangers and escapes of Sindbad the Sailor are as nothing compared with the perils and adventures of this modern mariner. He relates how in a gale the crew of his ship were compelled to "station two men to hold the captain's hair on his head," how "a little boy was carried up into the air by the force of the gale, and then slid back on a moonbeam unharmed to the deck of the ship," with many other particulars equally marvellous and strange. The pasha listens to all with an air of imperturbable gravity. Each extravagant fiction gains ready and undoubting credence with him; and, however "tough" the English Jack's yarn may be, the Turkish dignitary is ready for fresh marvels. But amid all this mass of absurdity there happens to be just one little grain of truth. Jack mentions by chance in the course of his marvellous narrative that in his travels he has met with an animal which has a bill like a duck, and four webbed feet-he is alluding, in fact, to the well-known "duck-bill" of New Holland. At this the pasha's patience is exhausted: he who has contentedly submitted to the barefaced demands Jack has been all along making on his credulity, cannot bring himself to believe in the existence of a duck-billed quadruped; and by the mouth of his vizier and interpreter, he indignantly admonishes the narrator to refrain from telling him such impudent lies. Whereupon honest Jack departs, marvelling greatly that the pasha should have pitched upon the only piece of truth in the whole yarn as the subject of this indignant protest.-Boys' Own Magazine.


IT T is said by many that the extemporaneous speaker is less accurate than he would be with the use of manuscript. I am disposed to think that the point is well made. For instance, grammatical accuracy is probably unattainable in extemporaneous effort. Wendell Phillips may be taken doubtless as verbally the most exact speaker in speaking without manuscript that America has now, or ever has had. His command of good English is something truly wonderful. And yet I have never heard Mr. Phillips make but one speech without making at least two decided grammatical errors. If fifty years of culture and forty years of forensic experience have been unable to bring so facile a mind as Mr. Phillips's up to the level of perfect utterance, verbal perfection in extemporaneous speaking may well be regarded as impossible.-W. H. H. Murray.


THE events which have occurred during the last few months in connection with the Dominion Government and Parliament, cannot be passed over by us, though, in treating of them, our observations should seem to contravene the promise which was made in the prospectus of the Maritime Monthly to avoid politics. We have no wish to interfere in party politics, but when politicians are charged with conduct calculated to sap the foundations of morality, government, and society itself, we claim that we violate no promise to avoid politics when we assume the privilege of reviewing their actions. We care not one jot what party may control the destinies of the nation-provided the public weal is duly conserved by them; and we do wish to see that party, whatever name it may take, which may be proved to be using its influence to debauch the public morals of the nation, hurled from power, to give place, not to others who will act in the same way, but to those who will endeavour honestly to preserve the State from the ruin to which it is rushing under the corrupting influences of bribery. Our desire is also to do all justice to the accused, to view them from the stand point of practical politics rather than from that of theoretical morals. We believe that no one of good sense will think that, in adopting this course we are taking sides, or using our influence for the sake of party. Some violent party politicians may condemn us, but the great body of the people of these Maritime Provinces will be glad that we should use whatever influence we may have on the side of truth, purity and good government. They care little for party, but much for the safety of those principles' on which good government and the safety of the nation depend.

The principal matters which form the basis of remark are, the charges made against the Dominion Government, or members thereof, of wholesale bribery and corruption; the action of the Dominion Parliament first in voting down the charges, and then in appointing a Commission to try the Government upon the charges; the passage and disallowance of the "Oaths" bill; the letters of Sir Hugh Allen, Huntington, McMullen and others; the meeting and adjournment of the "Commission;" the meeting and prorogation of Parliament without hearing the report, with the responsibility of the Governor-General; the appointment of the Royal Commission by the Government and its mode of eliciting the information. These are the events to which we have reference, though our remarks may take a wider discursive range.

That bribery and corruption have been used widely by certain parties no one denies. Sir Hugh Allen in his evidence put this beyond all question. Taking Iago's advice, he put money in his purse that he might win his rich Desdemona, the Pacific Railway

« ПретходнаНастави »