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Political corruption is aggravated by the want of political cohesion, as well as of territorial unity, among the Provinces of which the Dominion is composed. There is a lack of common interest and sentiment which constrains the Government to purchase by expenditure of money in public works, or particular inducements of some kind, the votes of the outlying Provinces. Newfoundland, if she came formally into the Dominion, would remain a stranger to it, and would have at every election to be treated as an outlying field of corruption. The political Press suffers from the same cause. Nowhere, not even in Ontario, which is its widest field, has it a constituency sufficiently strong to sustain its independence and enable an honest journal with impunity to withstand the passion of the hour. Canadian literature suffers likewise from the narrowness and isolation of the field. The field of the writer is not the Dominion but a Province, while it is with difficulty that as an alien he can win a position and command attention in the literary world of Great Britain or the United States.
The judiciary, which happily is appointed, not, like that of the United States, elective, has hitherto been sound. It has been the great safeguard of the State. But political influence in appointments grows. Το have contested a seat for the Party in power is becoming a qualification for the bench. The other day, for the purpose, it is supposed, of releasing the Government from some internal embarrassment, a Chief Justiceship was conferred on one who for twenty years had not practised law.
The people of the French Province, while they are well content to live under British law, retain their separate nationality and seem even to have become more attached to it of late years. They fly the tri-color, which a religious
section is now trying to change for the Sacred Heart with fleur-de-lis. That which kept them true to Great Britain in the revolutionary war was the influence of the priests, who were opposed in the first case to New England Puritanism, in the second to revolutionary France. Te Deum was sung for Trafalgar in the Catholic Cathedral at Montreal. The priesthood in those days and till yesterday was Gallican. But the Jesuit now predominates. By the help of the French Catholic vote he constrained the Dominion Parliament to restore in part his endowment forfeited on the suppression of the Order in 1773. French sentiment is a good deal masked at present by the French Premiership of the Dominion in the person of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, which carries with it the patronage. The contingent would never have been voted by Quebec. Much less would Quebec join in a war against France. The sympathies of French Canada in the case of the rising of the French Half-Breeds in the North-West were plainly shown. The priesthood, hitherto supreme, is somewhat losing influence. French Canadians go in great numbers to the factories of New England and bring back with them Republican ideas. Meantime the race is exceedingly prolific, their priests encouraging early marriage. They have ousted the British from the tracts south of the St. Lawrence, called the Eastern Townships, and they are advancing in Eastern Ontario as well as to the north along the line of the Canadian Pacific. They aspire to extension in the North-West, but are not likely to make way there. They are a simple, domestic, industrious people, backward in education and in hygiene, a variety rather refreshing to the observer amidst the general stress of life. This offshoot of the France of the Bourbons, however, is an iceberg in a tepid sea.
The North-West, with its boundless wheat fields, has been filling with the most miscellaneous elements, Canadian, British, Icelandic, Galician, Swedish, Russian Doukhobors and Mennonites, Jewish. All immigration has been somewhat blindly welcomed by an uncritical desire of an increase of population, which is supposed, whatever may be its elements, to be a sure increase of prosperity. Even if the immigrant is a good farmer, he may not be a good citizen or good material for a free commonwealth. In elections he is said to be apt to negotiate through the headman of his clan. But now there is a great inrush of American farmers from adjoining States of the Union. That these men will be good Canadian citizens and loyal subjects of the British Crown need not be doubted. The institutions and laws of Canada are much the same as their own, and the revolutionary hatred of Royalty no longer burns in American breasts. Imperialists they will not be, The Contemporary Review.
nor will they let themselves be shut out from trade with the adjoining States for the benefit of British capitalists. At the rate at which the North-West is filling, and with the expanse of cultivable land which it is now known to contain, it must before long make its predominance felt politically, supposing that the Confederation holds together. This again forms an important element in any forecast of Canadian destiny.
It is here in the New World that the Canadian's destiny is cast and that his part has to be played. Here it is that he has to do what he can to make popular government stable, wise, and beneficent. At present his eyes are always being turned towards a state of the Old World which cannot be reproduced in a new world. This is a bad part of the prolongation of the state of dependence, and justifies the policy of British statesmen in former days, who generally looked forward to Colonial emancipation.
FOOD AND FABLE.
We are so accustomed to regard eating and all connected with it as representing the very entelechy of materialism that we seldom realize how much sentiment and idealism there is in the quaint lore attaching to eating, eaters. and eaten alike. Yet, after all this is only to be expected. The process. and, with topical variations, the materials of eating synchronize with the existence of the human race, and the wonder would be if there were not traditions about eating, as there are about most natural usages and functions. Still, only a very few are at all familiar. Many of us break the depleted eggshell to "let the witch out," throw spilt salt over the shoulder, and have
reminiscences of youthful jests over nuts with double kernels. These and possibly one or two other "superstitions" represent for most of us the lore and legend and fables centering round meals and food, necessities of life over which, in their varying species, the ancients did not think half a dozen or more deities too many to preside. Bacchus, Ceres, and Pomona we probably recognize; Adephagia was the goddess of good cheer; Formax presided over the craft of baking; Bubona was the protectress of cattle; Mellona swayed the destinies of honey and-conceivably its kindred sweets.
But even with the scanty materials available, it is quite possible to invest
the ordinary dishes of a twentieth-century meal with interest and attractiveness quite apart from their inherent tastiness. The half-dozen "natives" which compose the first course at dinner will probably remind us of the old belief that at times the amiable bivalve was accustomed, having carefully chosen a convenient position, to relax his self-restraint beneath a shower of rain so far as to imprison one or two drops within his enfolding mail, and then, retiring, to ruminate on those captive drops till they become pearls. Very likely, too, we may recall the legend with which genial, good-hearted Father Tierney so shocked Mackworth that fateful summer day on the beach at Ravenshoe-though this, it is true, only concerned a local variety known as the "red-nosed oyster of Carlingford." S. Bridget was hurrying along the seashore on some charitable mission, when a saucy oyster spied her twinkling feet. "Nate ancles, anyhow," said the oyster admiringly. "You're drunk," retorted the offended saint. "Not I," affirmed the oyster. "You're always drunk," said S. Bridget. "Drunk yourself," exclaimed the indignant bivalve. "How is it your nose is so red?" witheringly retorted the saint. "No redder than your own," was the exasperated oyster's tu quoque. And as a punishment so at least declared Father Tierneythe descendants of that oyster have had red noses ever since. It is obvious, if we credit this legend, that an oyster "crossed in love" is in the nature of things a quite conceivable phenomenon. And the old dredging custom, we may remember, hints at the same characteristic of a penchant for the human race. When they wish to ensure a good haul the fishermen sing:
The herring loves the merry moonlight, The mackerel loves the wind,
But the oyster loves the dredger's song, For he comes of a gentle kind.
The cod gave its name to one of the great political parties of the medieval Netherlands, besides being-according to some that fish the non-arrival of which provoked Vatel to suicide. The mussels which sometimes form its sauce were such favorites with Olympian Jove that he provided a special dish of them at the wedding feast of Hebe. According to a South Sea myth, mussels were the raw material out of which the divine Tangaloa created men. The eel was one of the many deities of the Egyptians, and is one of the forms assumed by the consort of the Andaman god, Puluga; the kindred lamprey, besides playing the regicide to our Henry the First, was held in such high repute amongst the old Romans that a daughter of Marc Antony is said to have made a pet of one which she adorned with earrings! The haddock and the John Dory both claim to be the fish which supplied S. Peter with the tribute money, showing in proof thereof the marks of the Apostle's thumb and finger, and the latter, by a suggested corruption of its name, commemorating its patron, "il janitore." Other legends ascribe the marks on the John Dory to the fingers of S. Christopher, who caught the fish with his hand when carrying the Infant Christ across the river; while a Yorkshire tradition explains the marks on the haddock by the story that the Prince of Darkness, when building Filey Brigg, took up a haddock in mistake for a hammer. The trout is associated with another saint-S. Patrick. A legend is told that on one occasion the saint's hunger was so great that for once he ignored the obligations of a fast-day, and prepared himself a succulent dish of pork chops. Unfortunately, as he was carrying the incriminating dainties, he was met by a watchful angel. S. Patrick repented and uttered a prayerful aspiration, and lo! before the angel came up to him, the pork chops were converted into as
many trout. Some of S. Patrick's countrymen demur to eating skate on account of the outline of a human face which can be distinguished on the back of these fish, and has earned for them the name of "maids."
The flatness of the sole is accounted for by a South Sea legend. When the goddess Ina wished to escape from the Sacred Island she tried various methods of transit, amongst which was utilizing the sole as a water-horse. But the sole could not manage it, and the infuriated goddess stamped on it in her rage, and from that day to this the unfortunate fish has been flat.
When, the fish being cleared away, we come to joints, we of course remember the old stories-fathered on two kings-about the "sirloin" of "oxbeef" and its kindred "baron," to which one Bottom the Weaver made sympathetic allusion when Titania introduced him to Mustard Seed. But such mundane titles sink into insignificance when we remember that the ox, from which the lordly joint is cut, may have been a lineal descendant of the sacred bull Apis, may have been the earthly form of Dionysos, may, if-as the Irishman would say it was a cow, have been none other than Arditi, the great spotted cow-goddess of the Hindoos. Mutton, perhaps, suggests fewer traditions. One form of an old rhyme records the fact that the Merry Monarch ---one of those credited with knighting the loin of beef-appreciated the meat so much as to gain the sobriquet of "mutton-eating king"; the ana of cookery inform us that Napoleon lost the battle of Leipzig by too hearty an indulgence in a leg of mutton, which evidently did not-on that occasion at least
agree so well with him as, accompanied by the homely turnip, it did with his sturdy adversary, "Farmer George." Roast lamb with mint sauce is perhaps one of the oldest direct survivals from ancient times, representing, as it un
doubtedly does, the roast lamb and bitter herbs eaten by the Israelites on the eve of the Exodus. The whole animal roasted entire is but seldom seen in this country. It is still to be met with in the East, dressed very much as we read of it in the "Arabian Nights"; and in this connection it is just possible that we may recall the dish Porthos described when at supper with Louis Quatorze, which really sounds so appetizing that we cannot wonder that the young king's mouth watered at the recital. That lamb, we may remember, was first stuffed with small sausages, with Strasburg forcemeat balls from Troyes, and larks from Pithiviers; it was boned like a fowl with the skin on; "when it is cut in beautiful slices, in the same way as an enormous sausage, a rose-colored gravy pours forth, which is as agreeable to the eye as it is exquisite to the palate." And we are not surprised to read that Porthos smacked his lips, and the king opened his eyes with delight.
Pork has a score of traditions about it. The pig was sacrificed to Demeter, and, strangely enough, was also sacrificed among the Red Indians. The Romans, as everybody knows, were as great on pork as Marryat's Captain To; in the opinion of some South Sea Islanders there is even a separate Paradise reserved for the beneficent pig. Galen extolled its virtues as a food. A Jewish authority, on the other hand, gave it as his opinion that of all the leprosy permitted to scourge the earth nine-tenths was attributable to the pig. Pork figures prominently in the "Iliad"; it was a brood of pigs that pointed out the site of the future Rome to Pius Eneas; it is more than probable that the abduction of Proserpine by Pluto was accompanied by a pervading odor of roast pork, for we read that the pigs of the swineherd Eubulus were swallowed up when the fiery god plunged downwards with his lovely prize. Later legend
avers that pigs have small holes and scars on their forefeet in remembrance of the fate that befell their Gadarene brethren, the holes showing where the devils entered, and the scars perpetuating the marks of their 'claws.
When we leave the joints and come to the poultry, the goose naturally sug gests first of all the story connecting it with Queen Elizabeth and the Spanish Armada. Her Majesty, the familiar tale goes, was on September 29 dining at the house of one of her subjects-a not altogether unusual occurrence with the economical monarch-when goose furnished the pièce de résistance. Her Majesty had just quaffed a goblet to "the destruction of the Spanish Armada," when a messenger arrived with tidings of its dispersal. And thereupon she decreed that goose should always be eaten on that happy day to com memorate the great deliverance. has been pointed out that the dates do not tally, but it is always a pity to allow soulless things like dates to interfere with a good story. As a matter of fact, the goose is said to have been sacrificed on that day or thereabouts in Pagan times to Proserpine in her character as goddess of the dead; and in Egyptian mythology we find the bird as the god Seb, the great cackler. A later legend narrates that S. Martin was once so much annoyed by the persistent cackling of a goose that he killed, cooked, and ate it; and as he died post hoo if not propter hoc, it be came the custom to sacrifice the goose as a sort of retaliation. But if the bird had saved the saint's life, it would probably have been sacrificed just the same; geese did save Rome, but were none the less in demand for kitchen purposes on that account. An old Persian adage averred that the tongue of a live goose cut out and applied to the breast of a man or woman was an infallible charm to elicit a full, true, and particular ac
count of all the misdeeds which he or she had ever committed.
With regard to the duck, perhaps the most interesting piece of old lore is that it was amongst the various siugular articles of diet which Mithridates, King of Pontus, was in the habit of taking as antitoxicants.
Partridges and pheasants have an exalted genealogy. The Hindoo mythology tells us that when Indra killed the three-headed son of the god Toashtri, a partridge sprang from his blood; and the gods of Olympus changed Talus, nephew of Dædalus, into the same bird after he had been treacherously killed by his uncle. The pheasant we discuss with so much relish may claim as its ancestor that Itys whom his mother Procne slew and served up, a fearful dish, to her husband Tereus; or, if we accept another legend, Itylus, whom his mother, Aedon, jealous of her sister's progeny, killed by mistake. quail, said by some old writers to have cured Hercules of epilepsy, was chosen by Jupiter as the bird into which the amorous father of gods and men transformed Latona, that so she might elude argus-eyed Juno and reach Delos in safety. The origin of the bird, as given in old "Travellers' Tales," is not particularly appetizing, reminding us in a way of the venerable account of "Barnacle Geese." The sea, it appears, casts great tunnies upon "the coasts of the Libyan Desert." These breed worms, which after fourteen days become quails.
Pigeons naturally recall the story of Mahomet's "familiar," and, from a still earlier date, the mystic bird which gave the oracles at Dodona. A Carpathian legend invests them with a yet more remote and more important rôle, as it was to a pair of pigeons that the creation of the world was due. Pigeons may, too, in a way serve as the didactic "skeleton at the feast," for pigeons, old folklore tells us, are the last food that