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ready to sanction even a greater expenditure than is needed for either undertaking.
If, however, we take the largest estimate of the area of possible settlement, it can hardly include more than the prairies, and so much of the intervening country as is necessary to connect them with Canada. The whole of the barren grounds, and the thick woods south of latitude 60°, lie within that belt of primitive strata of which we have just been speaking. No part of this district either is, or ever will be fitted for agricultural or pastoral uses. The soil, composed of the debris of granite and trappean rocks, is too scanty to admit of cultivation. It is true that it is rich enough to sustain extensive forests, but in these the deciduous trees are few, whilst the pine wants but little earth for its support, and will take root even in the crevices of the rocks. And if the poverty, or rather the absence, of soil were not conclusive on this point, the character of the climate probably would be. That the extreme north is not suited for the permanent habitation of civilised man we may take for granted. The banks of the great Fish River, indeed, may be, as one of the witnesses before the House of Commons committee described them, one of the finest grazing countries in the world; but it is at least questionable whether either cattle or herdsmen would long survive the rigours of a ten months' winter at the pole. And even in the more southern districts the great preponderance of water over land brings the temperature down to a much lower level than prerails in a corresponding latitude on a more promising soil. The only ground, therefore, on which the abolition of the Hudson's Bay Company's de facto jurisdiction over this part of the interior can be defended, is the expediency of establishing a free trade in furs; and we confess that we do not see how the ordinary laws of commerce can be safely applied to a case where the supply of natural objects is limited, and the instruments you have to work with no better than full-grown children. If the competition, which is to secure higher prices to the natives, be carried on by individual traders, they will naturally wish to enrich themselves as quickly as they can. They will have no interest in leaving a supply of fur-bearing animals for the use of those who come after them; their only object will be to get the largest possible number of skins in the smallest possible time, and to effect this they must have recourse to that class of incentives to industry which experience has proved to be most effectual. Now, for nothing will an Indian work so hard as for liquor; and we may consequently be pretty sure that no regulations, however stringent, will prevent the trader from supplying him with it.* The hunter will no doubt do his best to
* The Hudson's Bay Company is still charged with secretly encouraging the second his employer's wishes; the wise restrictions which forbid killing during the breeding season, and discourage the too lavish slaughter of the rarer animals, will be disregarded; and the furtrade will come to an end altogether, from there being no longer either skins to take or men to take them. Nor will the result be different if the agents in the competition be companies instead of individuals. Experience has shown that they will either use every effort to drive one another out of the field, in which case the contest, while it lasts, will be as destructive as if it were waged by individuals, or else that they will come to terms among themselves, and then the trade will once more become a monopoly. From one or other of these consequences there seems to be no escape.
We believe, therefore, that the exceptional character of the North-American fur - trade affords a sufficient justification for keeping on foot the monopoly hitherto vested in the Hudson's Bay Company. We believe also that there is a large portion of the interior of the continent which is undoubtedly fitted for colonisation, and should consequently be withdrawn from their jurisdiction. The conflict of interests involved in these propositions may, after all, be more apparent than real. The territory the Company will be asked to surrender is certainly useful to them, as furnishing, in the herds of buffalo which range over the plains, a most important article of food; but pemmican and dried meat can be made equally well from the flesh of ordinary cattle, and the supply of the northern traders will probably prove one of the chief inducements to cattle-farming in the new colony. On the other hand, the fur-bearing animals are taken almost exclusively in that part of the continent which, under its present conditions of soil and climate, can never become the habitation of civilised man, and the greater part of which is now the absolute property of the English Crown. Thus the Crown and the Company have each something to give of which the other is in want: and in a grant of that Indian territory to which, since the expiration of their license, the Hudson's Bay Company have no claim, they would probably find ample compensation for the cession of the southern portion of Rupert's Land. It may be objected, that to do this would be to reverse the policy which dictated the refusal to renew the license, and empowered the Crown, by the Act of 1859, to take upon itself the regulation of the trade with the Indians. But this policy was, in its very liquor traffic with the Indians. But the instances in which this charge is proved seem to be either at posts near the frontier, where they are driven to it by the competition of traders from the United States, or on the Saskatchewan, where it is done, not in the regular course of trade, but as an inducement to the Prairie Indians to bring in horses and dried provisions. Neither of these cases seems to affect the argument in the text.
nature, temporary and provisional, and the same considerations which would induce us to confirm the jurisdiction of the Company in those portions of the chartered territory which are not required for settlement, would justify us in extending its authority over all that part of the continent to which the same reasoning will apply. There is no middle course between competition and monopoly. It is true, indeed, that such an arrangement would be equivalent to an entire reorganisation of the interior of British America; but we do not believe that any less comprehensive measure would meet the necessities of the case. Even if the existing rights of the Hudson's Bay Company were coextensive with the requirements of their trade, if the whole of the Indian territory were included in the Charter of 1670, it would not be prudent to leave their authority without further support. Already the evils of competition are felt, to some extent, in the district lying between the frontier and the Saskatchewan, and we may be sure that they will not be less apparent when that district becomes the seat of a numerous and enterprising population. If the Hudson's Bay Company are to be established in the possession of any part of British America, let us at all events give them a good title. Be the extent of their jurisdiction what it may, it is most desirable that that jurisdiction should, to use the words of Mr. Gladstone, “rest for the future on the basis of statute.”
The necessary conditions, therefore, of any satisfactory settlement of this question are two, the elevation of the habitable portion of the territory to the rank of a colony, and the transfer of the non-habitable portion to the Hudson's Bay Company, with such regulations as to the conduct of their trade and the treatment of the natives as Parliament might think advisable. It would not be necessary, in the first instance, to determine the final limits of the two districts. The River Saskatchewan might be taken as a provisional boundary, with a stipulation that if any part of the country north of that stream shall hereafter prove fit for colonisation, it shall be surrendered by the Company without additional compensation.
Upon the importance of the subject we have been discussing we have no space to dwell. We must leave to the imagination of our readers the task of depicting the magnificent future that may well be in store for a community which will unite British Columbia with Canada, and keep alive the name and the institutions of England across the whole breadth of the New World. But there is one point upon which we must say a word or two before bringing these remarks to a close. We may rest assured that if the southern part of Rupert's Land be really fitted for colonisation, it will not long remain uncolonised. It is not in
our power to prevent the change; it is in our power to determine by whom it shall be brought about. We have now, to all appearance, to make our choice between throwing open the territory for settlement, or keeping it in its present state. The day may come when we shall see that the alternative really presented to us was, whether to throw it open for settlement, or to let it slip out of our hands altogether. Later and more searching investigation has done much to overthrow the long-established belief of the American public in the boundless fertility of the Far West of the United States. It is now known that the region to the south and west of the great bend of the Missouri, the whole interior of the continent west of the 98th degree of longitude, is a vast rainless desert. The stream of migration from Minnesota, thus dammed up in its natural channel, must eventually find an outlet in a north-westerly direction, towards the prairies of the Saskatchewan. If large bodies of settlers from the United States find themselves the only occupants of a vast and fertile country closely adjoining their own, and separated from its lawful possessors by hundreds of miles of uninhabited wilderness, it is not difficult to foretell the result. They will apply the doctrine of " squatter sovereignty” to the determination of national character and allegiance, and seek in Northern annexation a consolation for Southern secession. In that case we shall probably find it a hard matter to uphold a bare legal right against the triple claim of first settlement, actual possession, and “manifest destiny."
ART. IV.-LORD MACAULAY'S HISTORY OF ENGLAND. Macaulay's History of England. Vol. V. London: Longman and
Correspondence between the Bishop of Exeter and the Right Hon.
T. B. Macaulay. London : Murray. The New Eramen. By John Paget. London and Edinburgh: Black
wood and Son. THERE is an old story of Falconnet, a vain man, after the wont of artists and Frenchmen, that he was once lecturing a class of students on the horse of Marcus Aurelius. For a time he was critical and captious, pointing out little faults of detail, and contrasting them with a more perfect anatomical model of his own. But at last the spirit of the artist overcame professional jealousy: “ Après tout, messieurs, ce vilain cheval vit, et le mien
est mort.” Something of the same feeling must cross the mind of every true literary man when he looks on those classical masterpieces of older literature, which be knows to be faulty and imperfect, but which are yet unsurpassable in their way. Without placing Lord Macaulay on a level with Humboldt or Goethe, it is yet impossible not to rank him in the very first class of men who have influenced England and Europe in the last fifty years. Probably no English prose-writer has ever been so generally read on the Continent. His singular clearness and precision, his brilliant rhetoric and antithesis, flow almost as naturally in French as in his native tongue, and one of the greatest faults of his style, its poverty in idiomatic epithets, particularly fits it to be rendered without loss. Yet, with all this, Lord Macaulay carried with him the broadest stamp of British nationality. Educated at the most exclusive school in the country, and in the more specially national of our Universities, he seenis never to have lost the traditions of his boyhood, when England was shut out from the Continent, and when foreign thought never passed our custom-houses. He himself in later years must have smiled at the exuberance of his youthful patriotism. The famous passages in which he spoke of it as the mission of France to be “the interpreter between England and mankind,” or described the English race as “the hereditary aristocracy of mankind,” could scarcely be matched in our sober literature. But they exactly represent the indomitable self-confidence, and contempt for weaker races, wbich foreigners not quite unjustly ascribe to the English character. It is not wonderful that a writer whose style was transparent, while his mode of thought had the raciness of a special type, should acquire the universal popularity which in general is only achieved by wide sympathies.
The charge of all others most commonly brought against Lord Macaulay has been unfairness. Probably his best excuse would be that which M. Michelet has offered in a splendid passage for himself: “I profess it, this history is not impartial. It does not preserve a wise and prudent balance between good and evil. On the contrary, it is frankly and vigorously partial for the right and the truth.” It is almost needless to point out the fallacy of these reasonings, which regard good and evil, in the strife of opinion, as separated by clear boundary-lines, which every honest man is able and bound to recognise. But the error was one which Lord Macaulay's very excellences particularly disposed him to fall into. It is no paradox to say that he was one-sided and partial through his very intellectual thoroughness and moral integrity. Complete up to a certain point as an artist and as a thinker, he had no conception of the intellectual regions that lay without him. He himself was accustomed to