Abbildungen der Seite

ers who profess a knowledge of astronomy. The second point has signiticance for students of the political economy of the Empire. There were many Canadians in Jamaica at the time of the earthquake, and some may ask why Canada should be so largely represented there. The truth is that their presence is a sign of the growing desire of the people of the Dominion for closer commercial relations with the British West Indies, and, when the time comes, for some form of political union. The Canadian preference, which has done so much to rebuild the prosperity of these far-flung and, until lately, half-forgotten fragments of the Empire, is one proof of the growing favor with which an Imperial policy of construction and reconstruction is regarded by Canadians. Another is the disposition of Canadian statesmencapitalists to look southward and seaward for investments of the kind which Mr. R. G. Reid has made in

Tbe Outlook.

Newfoundland. In the Maritime l’rorinces of the Dominion there is a very strong wish for the inclusion of the West Indies in the Canadian Confederacy. This feeling has a root in the past, when Halifax in Nova Scotia was the outfitting and entrepôt port for the West Indies. There are colonies of negroes and their descendants in Nova Scotia to this day to bear witness of the old historical intimacy. Underlying all these acts and intentions we may trace one of the great motives of all countries that aspire to be selfcontained polities-the wish to have an economic foothold in the Tropics. If union with the West Indies is impossible, then the Dominion is for ever incomplete, and the "pull" of the United States on the islands must some dar deprive us of their usufruct. But if union is brought about, ('anada will have territorial interests in blue water, and must sooner or later invest in seal



[“We see that The Times to-day, in a leading article on the Channel Tunnel, says : Nothing short of universal military service on the Continental model can justify us in weakening by an added risk the ocean barrier which alone has enabled us to neglect military preparation on a Continental scale.'

We confess that if we believed this it would convert us into wholehearted hostility to the tunnel project. As it is, it shows clearly enough what the real danger of the tunnel would be

that it would be used as an argument for insisting upon conscription on a Continental scale." - Editorial Note in The Westminster Gazette."]

It was a District passenger that sat

Rocked like a babe within its mobile bed,
And passing me his journal pointed at

The above remarks and said:

"Some talk of sentiment that keeps us great-

An island-race whose realm is on the sea; 'Island' be blowed! a smart and up-to-date

Peninsula for me!

[ocr errors]

• Our sires were Vikings? Full of virile grog

They laughed,' you say, 'to ride the Channel's swell'?

That may be so; but as for this sea-dog

It makes him most unwell.

“That's why I want a tube arranged below,

To let my stomach, comfortably packed, Achieve the Channel half an hour or so

Sooner and still intact.

" 'Romance of Nature's bulwark? Rot, I say!

If I can spare myself one bilious pang, I'll give you Drake and Co.; they've had their day;

Let the whole crowd go hang!

"B if this placid transit should imply

A manhood-army as the only sure Means to avert invasion entering by

The tunnel's aperture,

"Then I'm against the project, teeth and claws;

For, though the Channel turns me vilely ill, To have to help at need my country's cause

Would turn me sicker still."

Owen Seaman.



"Women in their nature are much more gay and joyous than men," said Addison. “Their spirits are more light,” he goes on; “vivacity is the gift of women, gravity that of men." Addison, of course, spoke for his own time, and no doubt he truly recorded what he saw. The diaries and letters of the period give us the same impression. The ladies of his day were "sprightly,” their charm was "variety," their vice frivolity. But Addison seems to mean his words to apply to women in general. There is no sound of hesitation in them; he evidently thinks they will be accepted as a tru

Would they be accepted in the present day without challenge? We think not, and yet we believe that they contain a measure of truth. Undoubtedly, however, we should no longer turn to the writings of women in con

[blocks in formation]


But setting aside feminine writers, and looking round among one's ordinary acquaintance, are not the women more light-hearted than the men? Surely they are. For one thing, they have to appear to be; and the habit of content can be cultivated. Who in the


world would show any sympathy to her self-respect and part of her Vanity. an habitually depressed and pessimistic Her cheerful countenance may witness woman? She may be so lucky as to to a real heroism-it often does-or it find one of her own sex who will con- may come of something less noble. tinue to feel affection for her, but she It may be the outcome of her inwill not find one of the other. If her stinct to make her household happy, melancholy be united to some force of or of her instinct to attract adcharacter, she will be called a scold miration to herself. But whether and a nagger. If she is merely weak she belongs to what Addison calls and fretful, she will be disliked and "the more valuable portion of the disregarded, or at best considered a sex" or not, if she cares at all for the hopelessly selfish person. Men will impression she creates she will no more not put up with melancholy in women, be melancholy than she will be slor. and on the whole it is perhaps a good enly. The less “valuable" portion may thing for the new generation that they be capable of no courageous effort to will not. It is no argument to say that keep up the hearts of those they love, women have to put up with this dis- but they too will express pleasure to agreeable quality in men. All experi- give pleasure and get pleasure back, ence shows that the laws of com- and so contrive their own happiness. pensation-of compensation in char- What Goldsmith said of the French apacter-act differently upon the two plies to many inferior women:sexes. A man's character

They please, are pleased; they give to to be made up of more items than a

get esteem, woman's, and each single one has less

Till, seeming blest, they grow to what weight. A woman has seldom any vir

they seem. tue able to balance a really bad fault, and how rarely we find a serious fault Moreover, in discussing happiness it is at all in the character of an essentially not possible to put situation and cirgood woman. It is easy, we admit, to cumstance quite out of account, and exaggerate thc difference between the we think that the life of an ordinary sexes, but women have one peculiarity woman makes more for cheerfulness in their characters which is all their than that of a man. She has fewer own. It testifies to the moral height ambitions, and they are less likely to of their common attainment, and to be thwarted. Her life has fewer posthe depth of their possible degradation. sibilities of disappointment and of disThey are not forgivable.

illusionment. Of course, if she marNo doubt the root of content and ries badly it means more; on the other discontent lies not in circumstances but hand, the vast majority of marriages in temperament, and no training can are moderately happy, and it is only ever altogether prevail over a tendency. an abnormal woman who does not love Some women, like some men, are born her children, and her children make a to look, be it ever so secretly, upon the far larger part of her life than they do dark side, For ourselves, however, we of her husband's. So many men are do not believe the apparently greater embittered by professional ill-success; happiness of women to be entirely a by the constant grind of work they do matter of self-control. It is as natural not like; by the never-ceasing burden to a woman to adorn herself with of money anxiety;' by rubbing shoulcheerfulness as with ornaments. It ders all day long with persons who are belongs both to the graver and the unsympathetic to them. A man's reclighter side of her nature; it is part of reation and his daily toil are not inTHE WINTER SLEEP OF PLANTS.

It a



extricably mingled as are the labors and delights of a woman, and it is not infrequently the case that hard-worked men have very little recreation at all.

In the nature of things, men's pleasures are positive ones, and are nearly always more or less expensive, requiring sometimes

money, health, or more time than they have to give. However tired a man may be, he is always bored by doing nothing. Now the ordinary woman is very well pleased without any positive pleasures. Her work is very rarely distasteful to her. The care of her children and her home is always intermixed with pleasure, and it is an undoubted fact that, lacking the safety-valve of a home of her own for her energy, she will in the majority of cases throw herself into other work with a fervor which is complete evidence of the delight she derives from it; and we believe that more women break down from doing unnecessary work than ever break down from seeking unnecessary distraction.

One source of women's happiness is to be found, we think, in their love of detail. They enjoy every detail of social life. They love the minutiæ of their work. They do not love it as a man loves his, for the sake of an end. They look close at what they are doing, and they do not look forward. They

The Spectator.

take pleasure in their children as they are. A defect, even though it be a serious one, destroys their pleasure in them far less than it destroys that of a man. They are not constantly oppressed by the thought of wbat that defect will mean in the future. woman is by nature apprehensive, her fears apply for the most part to little things. If a man is apprehensive, he fears when the fit is upon him the dibacle of heaven and earth. For women time goes a little slower. They take pleasure in each jewel of that mosaic which makes up happiness, and are not fretted because the pattern is not complete. Of this quality they have, no doubt, the inevitable defects,-much brilliance, little grasp, and a tendency to frivolity. They are apt to fritter away their lives and minds on little things; they become engrossed with the details of play as well as the details of work. Men, no doubt, have more opportunities of keen pleasure than women have, but these opportunities are short-lived. The happiness of the moment they are less fitted to take. The difference between the sexes in this particular might, we believe, be thus summed up: a man is happy whenever he has anything to make him happy, but a woman is happy wbenever she has nothing to make her unhappy.

The winter snows have come and within a week or two in unfolding their gone, and soon a new life will be stir- small and dingy blossoms. The hazel ring in our trees and shrubs; the sap is the first to shake out its long tassels will rise in their bare and leafless for the wind to scatter their shower of stems, stimulating the tower-buds to gold dust upon the tiny crimson feathburst open and to herald in another ers of the female flower. A little later, year of growth. Although many cold, about the end of January, the male dreary days with frost and biting winds cornel opens its small yellow clusters are still in store for us, yet the early. to brighten many an old garden in the flowering trees are usually punctual suburbs; and the flowering of the elm trees will clothe their gaunt branches which remains motionless and inert unwith a shimmer of russet-brown before til sufficient pressure of steam has been the tender leaves venture to expose raised to push the pistons in the cylintheir delicate tissues to the winds of ders, but notwithstanding its rest in March. A mild spell of weather in relation to external surroundings, inDecember, however, does not tempt ternal activity is taking place all the these trees to unfold their flowers be- time in the burning of coal and heating fore their usual time; their steadfast of water. punctuality in this respect seems all the Not only bulbs and tubers, but nearly more surprising when one hears of the all seeds and spores, require a period many plants which are in flower out of quiescence before giving birth to a of season in the last months of the year. fresh development of life and growth. · The bulb of a snowdrop contains al- The products of the chemical changes ready in autumn the rudiments of the which go on during this season of future flowers and leaves, yet if it is preparation may sometimes become disforced by heat to bloom in November tinctly perceptible to the taste; many or December a poor sickly plant is the nuts, such as the hazel and almond, only product. Heat alone cannot, have quite a different flavor in autumn. therefore, be the sole agency in induc- when newly fallen from the tree, than ing a new lease of active life, for the in spring when ready to germinate. snowdrop prefers to flower in January Plants with a high and elaborate oror early February, when the tempera- ganization need a longer rest for their ture is often barely above freezing

seeds than those in which the output is point. The little winter aconite un- slight. In the case of the commoner folds its single flower even earlier in weeds, the seeds will sprout soon after the year, when the weather is yet more ripening, and hence chickweed, groundinclement. The disinclination to start sel, and many other lowly plants may growth before a definite period, which be seen flourishing nearly all through is always constant for each species, is the year, and even flower in January. still better exemplified by the potato; Their vitality and power of propagation its tubers may remain in a dark, cold is checked only by frost, so that these cellar all the winter long without show- humble, self-fertilizing weeds are able ing a sign of life. Yet when March to spread all over the world, covering comes round these potatoes will begin tracts of ground on which plants of to sprout in spite of the fact that their more delicate structure with showy surrounding circumstances have not flowers could not make a living. changed in any degree, for no sunshine Finally, the tree, no less than the reaches them and the temperature of bulb or the seed, has to rest for a cera cellar is usually colder at the end of tain length of time in order to mature winter than in December. The only its large quantities of reserve materials, possible conclusion is that both snow. which are stored up in the trunk and drop and potato only remained dormant roots. When this process is complete until they were quite readly to start the each species renews its external growth active processes of growth, and al- in the new year

a definite though apparently lifeless yet minute date, within very narrow limits. chemical and molecular changes must When animals hibernate, their rest have been proceeding within them, and invariably results in a wasting of tiscannot be unduly hurried without in- sue and a burning up of reserve matejury to the plant. The case is some- rial, so that, on awakening in spring what similar to that of a locomotive out of their winter sleep, they are er.


« ZurückWeiter »