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Mar 21 1903


The Montreal Herald, Saturday, March 21, 1903

Is Britain Indifferent to Canada?

It is hard for a Canadian, even with strong Imperialist sympathies, to refrain from wishing at times that the powers that be in the mother country would give some tangible evidence of desire for closer relations with us other than mere verbal expressions of good will, and hints as to the acceptability of any contributions which Canada might see fit to make to the Imperial treasury. When the preferential tariff was given voluntarily and gratuitously by the Canadian Government, and elicited no material response, we were satisfied to excuse it on the ground that Great Britain could not reasonably be expected to depart from the cardinal principles of free trade to such an extent as to make some return in kind. The satisfaction received a rather severe shock when the import duty on grain was established by Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, without it seeming to occur to the minds of the home government that special privileges might be granted to the colonies in this connection.

Now Sir William Mulock informs us that after four years urging on his part, the Imperial postal authorities still decline to agree to a material reduction of the rates on newspapers and periodicals, although they generously have permitted us to decrease the rates on newspapers and periodicals posted in Canada for the United Kingdom, a concession which fails to affect the Imperial pocket in the slightest.

To my mind such backwardness in meeting our advances can scarcely be taken in any other light than as indicative of positive indifference on the part of the British Post-office Department at least, to the growth of Imperial sentiment in the Dominion. Surely they ought to be able to realize that now that the seeds of a sounder Imperialism has been sown by the recent war. It is of the utmost importance that the plant should be nourished by giving every possible encouragement to the circulation of British periodical literature in the colonies, and especially in Canada, where the American magazines and weeklies, by their attractiveness, threaten to monopolize the whole field.

A Battle of New Ideas

The interest in international yacht-racing seems likely to increase rather than decrease with the third attempt of Sir Thomas Lipton to lift the cup. The last two or three attempts have shown that the British and American boats were drawing steadily nearer together in speed. The American defender built for 1901 proved to be no gain over that of 1899, and the Columbia sailed the races a second time. She was faster than her second opponent proved to be, though Shamrock II was a gain over the first of her name. If the third Shamrock should prove a still further substantial improvement, she would undoubtedly be more than a match for any boat in the Columbia's class. But the element of uncertainty, which is the soul of the sport, is peculiarly large this year. Both boats are practically unknown quantities. It is apparently to be a battle of new ideas. Neither Herreshof nor Fife and Watson have tinkered; both have created along new lines. And the relative success of their speculations no man can as yet predict.



(The editor of this column invites readers of The Herald to contribute questions of a literary, scientific, or miscellaneous nature, which will be answered as space will permit. The contributor's name and address should be given, but only initials or a nom de plume will be used for publication).

Hostile Critic on Kipling

Theta, Richmond, Que.--State what if any hostile comments on Kipling's works have been published. Stating substance of their remarks.

Ans.--One of the strongest and best-founded expressions of disapproval of Kipling's works appeared four years ago in the New England Magazine. The hostile critic was Mr. J.T. Sunderland. He grants Kipling freshness, originality, and an independent spirit strong in virility, but denounces him as a monarchist and oppressor, affirms that he glorifies might but thinks little of liberty, and is always on the side of the strong and against the weak. Mr. Sunderland shows that the great seers and poets have attempted to solve the problems pressing upon their world, and to lift men from despair to hope, from doubt to faith, and to give new meaning and color to manís life. Here he says Kipling is weak. His religion is much below the highest. It can make men fight, but cannot make them love. It can make men plod, and drudge, with cheerfulness and courage, but cannot give them wings, cannot make the soul sing songs of faith, joy and victory. Mr. Sunderland especially condemns the sentiment of "The White Man's Burden," and "The Truce of the Bear," in which latter poem he says Kipling is unfair to the Czar; and helps to fan the flame of war. Much of the above criticism is well founded. But it can hardly be denied that Kipling has given new color to certain phases of life. For instance he has helped to raise the private soldier in the estimation of the public, and has glorified, although in a worldly fashion, the work of the civil engineer, the workman and artisan of all trades,

Likewise his stories of animals have tended to impart more interest to the lives and habits of the brute creation; and probably have helped to secure kinder treatment for animals in general. He has moreover humanized as it were the forms of matter, especially locomotive and marine engines, the various parts of a ship, stationary engines, etc., making them speak and tell of their work and aspirations. A sort of literary personality in all things. In fact he preaches the gospel of Hard Work.

The Decline of Jamaica

H.M.N., Chambly--Why has trade declined in Jamaica and the island become less prosperous?

Ans.--Four or five years ago great depression existed in Jamaica, and to some extent yet continues. One reason was that the railroad instead of going through the valleys and where it could carry produce of the country, was built chiefly over the mountains where few wished to go. The rates were so high as to be almost prohibitive. Produce such as sugar cane had to be hauled along the roads by horses. If transportation were cheap and speedy and large crushing mills established, sugar could be manufactured at a cheap rate for exportation; as it is the native product cannot compete with the German article manufactured from bounty-fed beer carried at a fixed minimum rate over state railroads. Then the British Government did not encourage cheap transportation to the American continent, and the Colonial Government is said to be costly and a burden to the people. On the other hand the native population has been lacking in energy. The situation has, however, improved to some extent lately, and the outlook is somewhat better.

Reindeer's Rush to Sea

H.F.T., St. Andrew's, Que.--It is true that the reindeer has such a constant love of salt water that he will run away to the sea whenever he has an opportunity, even though he may be many miles inland?

Ans--The reindeer has not a constant and continued desire for the sea but occasionally that desire comes on; it is said by some only once in the lifetime of the animal. The desire is more likely to come when the herd is far inland than when near the salt water, it is thought. When it appears, a few animals of the herd become restless, then some others, till at length the whole herd turn towards the sea, and begin their progress thither, browsing as they go. Soon they begin to move more rapidly and neglect their grassing; later on they break into a wild stampede for the coast, beginning at a distance from it of perhaps twenty-five or even a hundred miles. The Laplanders who own them have no recourse but to follow their herd, and haul their own loads. At first the reindeer leave a broad trail, but further on it narrows down as the weaker animals drop down wounded or exhausted. Many perish during the stampede, but the survivors reach the coast and drink heartily of the salt water. They are, however, soon satisfied, and when their masters arrive they find the remainder of the herd grazing quietly near the coast. They may then be easily secured and led away. But while the desire for the sea is upon them nothing can stop their mad onrush.

Cost of Horse vs. Motor

M.T.P., Westmount--What is the cost of an automobile, or motor carriage, compared to the keeping of a horse and carriage for a definite period?

Ans.--The original cost of the motor carriage is the greater of the two. But it has been shown that for a period of five years the expenses of the motor will be $400 less than that of the horse and carriage, on the basis of a daily run of twenty-five miles, which is more than the endurance of most first-class horses. The figures given represent ordinary city conditions, and rate the cost of gasoline at one-half cent a mile. By an ingenious arrangement for changing gearings the automobile may be made to ascend almost any hill, and it can be turned in half the space necessary for a horse vehicle. At the end of the specified period of five years it is claimed that the motor would probably be in better condition than the horse and carriages, and that while in use the motor can do the work of three horses. The figures are:

Gasoline Motor Vehicle

Original cost of vehicle...............$1,000.00

Cost of operation, 25 miles per day.............456.50

Sets of tires during five years..............100.00

Repairs on motor and vehicle............150.00

Painting vehicle four times............100.00

Storing and care of vehicle at $100 per annum........500.00


Horse And Vehicle

Cost of horse, harness and vehicle........$ 500.00

Keeping horse, $30 per month for five years.....1,800.00

Repairs on vehicle, including rubber tires.......150.00

Shoeing horse........180.00

Repairs on harness, at $10 per annum.......50.00

Painting vehicle four times......100.00


Note: These figures in both cases represent prices in the United States. In the case of motors operated by electricity, the proportion of cost between them and horse carriages and wagons is about the same. The original cost of the motor is higher, but the running expenses lower.

Happiness and Friendship

H.T.C., Longueuil--Quote some brief maxims or recipes for the attainment of happiness and cultivation of friendship taken from the writings of distinguished men.

Ans.--Concerning happiness, Thomas Brooks says: "I account it a part of unhappiness not to know adversity. I judge you to be miserable because you have not been miserable. There is no one more unhappy than he who never felt adversity." Canon Scott Holland says: "We are never happy or strong until we are given some task to achieve; a task to which we can gladly devote every power that is within us." Johnson affirms with regard to friendship: "If a man does not make new acquaintance as he advances through life he will soon find himself alone; a man should keep his friendship in constant repair.' Goethe says: "He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home." Victor Hugo declares that "laughter is the sun which drives away winter from the human face."

The Martineau Sentence

W.J.H.--1. Please explain Martineau's sentence. 2. Is he to serve seven years or thirty-three years?

Ans.--The sentence was seven years on each of three charges of forgery and four years on each of three charges of uttering, which would make in all thirty-three years if the terms were imposed one after the other, which is sometimes done. But in this case the terms are concurrent, so that all six terms begin on the first day of imprisonment. Thus at the end of four years three sentences end, and at the end of seven years the three seven year sentences end; so that Martineau's term of imprisonment will be seven years only, and this term, too, may be reduced to five years and ten months by good behavior while in prison. In short, whenever you read of two or more concurrent sentences the meaning really is that the longest tem mentioned will be the one served and the other are merely imposed as a matter of form. Besides which the term served may be shortened by the good conduct of the prisoner.

Early Decay of Teeth

E.C.M., Richmond--1. State some causes of early decay of teeth in some persons. 2. Is the decay generally caused by inherited indisposition?

Ans.--1 and 2. The decay is caused not so frequently be inherited weakness as by the carelessness of the individual in the following ways: (1) Taking too much food which deranges the stomach, and so sets in action certain acids which hurt sound teeth and soon decay broken ones; (2) taking very hot or cold food or drink, which causes fissures in the teeth; (3) taking pickles containing sulphuric acid which dissolves the earthy matter of the teeth, leaving them soft and pulpy; (4) not chewing the food sufficiently which causes food to lodge between the teeth or else weakens them through disuse; (5) drinking while eating washes the food out of the mouth before the process of ensalivation is completed, thus leaving the acid secretions of the stomach free to hurt the teeth; (6) spitting, which robs the food of its first and chief chemical solvent. Use does not wear out teeth, but strengthens them, if it is a proper use.

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