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serious mistake which there is thinner of committing. in the eighteenth century, our rules of warfare at sea were framed with reference to our fears of France. A little later, we had the United States chiefly in view; we insisted upon exercising the right of search with exasperating harshness. Russia was, for a time, the object of alarm; and now, if we are to credit somc rumors, no small part of our programme is to be framed with distinct reference to the contingency of a war with Germany. Rights which we would give up if we had to consider only France, Russia, and the United States, we are asked to retain, because they might be helpful in a struggle with Germany. Under any circumstances, the policy would be perilous; it would seem to be a blunder, in view of the objection of Germany to discuss the subject of limitation of armaments. it is this distrust of principles, this undisguised opportunism, which gives plausibility to the criticisms of foreign Governments us to England bending rules to meet her interests; which prompts M. Fontin. for example, in his recently-published "Guerre et Marine," to say: "i/Augleterre a toujours fort Im•u niarche des regies du droit international."
One other suggestion, partly prompted by Mr. Atherley-Jones's volume, may be nuide. There arc poinls in the law of '•Commerce in War" as to which Continental rules and practice differ from ours; they chiefly relate to contraband, blockade, and convoys. it is scarcely worth while discussing the question whether the Continental pree
edents are more respected than ours; iu most cases neither are perfect. it is to be hoped that the instructions of the English representatives will permit them to make large concessions as to all these points; concessions which w ill involve no real sacrifice, but which will be prized abroad, because, for generations they have been the cause of fierce controversies not always confined to paper, between England and Continental Powers.
i do not expect that at the second Conference the whole body of law as to commerce and war will be put u1k•n a reasonable basis. The technical advisers of our Government, and of other Governments also, may oppose strong objections to many changes which must come when the interests of peace receive full attention. But there is no room for discouragement. We shall see. in all probability, an assertion of the Drago doctrine, and an end thereby of the bullying of small States which do not perform their obligations, a policy seen at !ts worst in the conduct of England in the Don Pacifico case. An ugly chapter in international history will be closed, let one hope, for ever. For the first time, so far as 1 know, in the history of diplomacy, there will be an opportunity of fully presenting the claims of neutrals. i say nothing of the larger questions, which the i 'rime Minister has luminously and impressively discussed in these columns'—i have iu view only "Commerce in War"—in expressing the belief that something will be accomplished and that much will be begun next June at the Hague.
"Iitlin Uaolonell. • The Living Age, March 33,1(07.
THE POET OF "LES HABiTANTS.
it is customary to compare tue late W. H. Druiumond with the creator of Hans Breitmann. and there is no denying that they possessed the rare gift of psychical mimicry in an equal degree. indeed, in this respect the author of "A Burgher Don Quixote" is the only rival of the twain. Hut the literary rule-of-three-—as Leland was to the German-Americans. so was Drummond to the French-Canadians— which is a commonplace of Transatlantic criticism, is seen to be valueless when we remember that iceland's variant of Paunrge was not an American type at all. He was not of the soil as were Parson Wilbur and Hosea Biglow, or even the Yankees invented by Judge Haliburton. He was altogether an alien immigrant; a flamboyant foreigner, in physique, philosophy, habits, ideals, and language. The macaronic jargon of the Hans Breitmann ballads has not the slightest resemblance to Pennsylvania Dutch, or the various forms of Germanized English sometimes heard in Milwaukee. Cincinnati, and the other GermanAmerican cities. iu point of fact, it is a mechanical combination of German, English, and American slang which was the invention of Leland himself. On the other hand, the quaint medinm in which Drummond works is a living patois, the everyday language of the habitant or small farmer of Quebec who thinks in French before he tries to express his thoughts in English. in a manner of speaking, it is the result of chemical combination between the two Canadian languages. Nor is the verse of Drummond dominated by a single personage comparable with the big. fat. metaphysical, beer-drinking German who solves the infinite •'ash von eter
nal shpree." Drummoud's types of the habitant, like his glossary of words and phrases, are the outcome of long and loving observation. Both the matter of his poems and the manner of their diction were collected and collated during the never-ending journeys of a country doctor in Quebec. indeed, the lines—
But dere's wan man got hees nan' full
t'roo ev'ry kin' of wedder, An' he's never sure of not'ing but work
an' work away— Dat's de man dey call the doctor, w'en
you ketch heem on de contree. An' he's only man i kuow-me, dont got
form an essential part of the dead poet's autobiography. There is nothing in his poems which has not come from the lips and hearts of the FrenchCanadian peasantry. Such didactic couplets as—
Mooshrat dats swimmin' so proud today Very offen to-morrow is on de hash,
which are out of tone with the effortless simplicity of his verse, and seem at Urst sight to be the author's conceits, invariably represent old local proverbs slightly adapted to suit the metrical form.
To nine in ten English-speaking Canadians the genesis of Drummond's work, and the perfect self-abnegation (which is lack of originality from one point of view) of the artist, are unknown and unappreciated. To such critics he is merely a popular humorist who wins the laugh, which is not an intellectual thing, by means of verbal trickery. Some of his humorous pieces—"Mou Choual [= Chevall Castor," "M'sieu Smit'." and "The Wreck of the 'Julie Plante' "—are stock recitations from end to end of the Dominion, as sure bids for Homeric laughter in an Kastern theatre as at a shack-building bee In some remote corner of the Western prairies. Everybody laughs at them; few know why. A stanza from the story of the great storm on Lac St. Pierre, in which the wood scow "Julie Plante" '"bus' up wan arpent from de shore." should suffice to elucidate this point:—
De captinne walk on de fronte deck,
An' walk de bin' deck too—
He call de cook also.
She come from Montreal;
On de Grande Lachine Canal.
It is recorded that an English lady regarded the statement in the last two lines as a striking instance of Canadian prosperity. Probably these recitations would be a dismal failure in a London music-hall.
But it was not as a token of gratitude for these laughter-provoking rhymes that Dr. Louis Frechette, the Poet Laureate of the Dominion, handed on to Drummoud the complimentary phrase, "path-finder of a new land of song," which Longfellow had given to him. "Qu'il mette en scene," says the one French-Canadian poet who is read in France, after paying this pretty compliment, "le gros fermier fier de son bien ou de ses fllles a marier, le vieux medecin de eampagne ne comptant plus ses 6tats de service, le jeune araoureux qui reve au clair de la lune, le vieillard qui repasse en sa memoire la longue suedes Jours revolus, le conteur de 16gendes, l'aventurier des 'pays d'en haut,' et meme le Canadian exile qui croit toujours entendre resonner a. son orellle le vague tinteiuent des cloches de son village; que le recit soit plaisant ou pathetlquc. jamais la note ne soune
faux, jamais la bizarrerie ne degGnere en puerilite burlesque." Assuredly it is an artistic triumph to have earned this appreciation from a severe critic by keeping the rules of tact and taste which are the essence of the French manner at its best. The white simplicity of the Drummoud pastoral, with never a single purple patch crying out to be quoted, is seldom appreciated by English readers at a first hearing. Afterwards they haunt the ear,—as does the shimmering sound of sleigh-bells, the little laughter of music, when it has passed by into the moonlit silence. The veritable odor of the Laurentian earth breathes In the homely verses. And so the time comes when the reader conceives a true tenderness for the busy, simple, kindly, transplanted Normans (each with a slight reversion to the aboriginal Norman, which comes of renewed contact with the wilderness), and then, indeed, the great end of Drummond's life is fully accomplished. To the writer he confessed that his chief object was to confirm the entente which is the psychical basis of Confederation, to bridge with a tear or a smile, or the two-in-one, the slowly narrowing racial antithesis. It is impossible to prove this much by means of quotations. His pastorals are too long to quote in their entirety; to give excerpts is to tear some simple wild-flower in pieces. Still, we can drink health to the Canadian magpie, the constant comrade of the exiled habitant, with its queer bottle-shaped body and name of a bottle:—
Wisky Jack, get ready, we drink you! Toujours & vot'bonne sante! Bapteme!
Or echo the wish of the eldest Jean Ba'tiste:—
But leetle Bateese! Please don't forget We rader you're stayin' de small boy yet!
So chase de chicken an' mak' dem
scare An' do w'at you lak wit' your old gran'
pfire, For w'n you're beeg feller he won't
be dere—Little Bateese!
Or be glad with the poor Devil himself over his first dram of "w'lskey blanc":—
An' say "I'm tryin' many drink,
Or, lust of all, we may rejoice at the coming of the Canadian spring:—
Wen small sheep is firs' comin' out on de pasture. Deir nice leetle tail stlckln' up on deir back.
Dey ronne wit' deir moder, an' play wit' each Oder, An' Jump all de tam jus' de sam' dey was crack!
An' ole cow also, she's glad winter is over, So she kick herse'f up, an' start off on de race Wit' de two-year-ole heifer, dat's purty soon lef her— —W'y ev'ryt'ing's crazee all over de place.
Such lines are not merely for the Canadian, or for a spring that, as in the Dominion, leaps on the earth in oue precipitate bound. We know, at any rate, of one Englishman who can never see the English spring emerge in its "sweet, reluctant, amorous delay" without Drummond's verses sounding in his ears the eternal wonder-sons of Nature's rebirth.
THE WINTER SLEEP OF ANIMALS.
The month of April witnesses every year in northern climates one of the strangest and least understood of the phenomena of wild nature—the resumption by a number of our native animals of their normal functions after a winter's sleep lasting months, which in many eases has been deathlike in the almost complete suspension of vital activities. When the swallows return in spring to flit between the budding hedges and skim again over the pools and rivers, it may be noticed that their place is taken toward dusk in the warmer evenings of the month by the bats which have also been absent during the winter. Our native bats do not. like the swallows, fly southward after the sun with the waning year. They pass the winter close to their usual haunts. Hidden away in hollow trees, in the roofs of
old houses, and In belfries, caves, and other remote recesses where they are completely free from disturbance, they hang during the cold months of the year packed closely together in large numbers. The condition of bats during this period of winter rest is characteristic, for the bat and the hedgehog share the distinction of being the two of our native animals in which the conditions of true hibernation most thoroughly prevail. A remarkable fact about winter sleep in animals in which the state of torpor becomes profound is that there appears to be all but complete cessation of all the bodily functions. To the ordinary mind it seems hard to imagine a living creature existing without either food or air. Yet a bat or a hedgehog in the midst of It* winter torpor goes for months without food and practically ceases to breathe for considerable intervals. Both, for instance, will exist for long in an atmosphere containing no oxygen. The present writer has seen living frogs in conditions of hibernation hermetically sealed in a glass jar from which every trace of oxygen had been burnt out. At the end of forty-eight hours he has seen the jar opened and a lighted taper plunged into it was instantly extinguished as soon as it was lowered below the brim. Yet the frogs on being restored to natural conditions soon revived and appeared none the worse for their immersion.
Hedgehogs, bats, marmots, squirrels, field-mice, and badgers, amongst mammals, and frogs and toads amongst cold-blooded animals, are the best known instances of true hibernation furnished by our native creatures, and in nearly all these cases, in which the physiological disturbance must be profound, the onset of the period of torpor is marked by the same conditions. Towards the end of the period of summer activity great quantities of food are taken and the animals grow fat in consequence. in no case is the condition of complete torpor reached suddenly. Some animals, like squirrels, simply appear to get increasingly drowsy with the decline of the year. Our native squirrel rarely sinks into a state of complete torpor; he will sleep in the coldest part of the year for days and even weeks, but he can nearly always be roused, and in genial weather in mid-winter he comes out to feed. and may be seen in the woods visiting the hoards which he has hidden away in the autumn. The badger's winter sleep much resembles that of the squirrel. The dormouse seems also gradually to sink into a state of chronic torpor with the onset of winter, but its sleep far more nearly resembles death, so much so that it is often quite impossible to rouse it. it may be handled and plunged into
water without awakening it. in certain experiments which have been tried, it has lived for hours immersed in a poisonous gas such as carbon dioxide, and has awakened apparently none the worse for its curious experience. Bats are soon drowned if placed in water in ordinary conditions, but they will undergo with immunity prolonged immersion in the midst of their winter torpor. A sleeping hedgehog in winter will take no evil effects from a stay of nearly half an hour under water.
it cannot be said that science as yet is able to explain satisfactorily the conditions which prevail in the winter sleep of animals. The subject remains a very obscure one. Many of the explanations given in books on the subject are obviously wrong, and others may easily be proved to be so. Frogs a nd toads often pass the winter buried in mud, and are sometimes dug out from the bottom of ponds. As both frogs and toads are air-breathing it is usually said that respiration must be carried on through the skin in such eases. The writer, who has seen toads in conditions of hibernation enclosed in sealed jars, has however observed a taper to burn brightly when plunged into the air contained in such a jar at the end of twenty-four hours. There could therefore have been little or no respiration through the skin or otherwise for the period in question. Fishes are not usually supposed to hibernate in the true sense, but many bottom fish certainly sink into a state of torpor during the winter months in our ponds and rivers. Fish may sometimes be seen frozen in blocks of ice, and they are generally supposed to be killed by such conditions, but although it seems strange that it should be so, they undoubtedly often revive and recover their normal activity when the ice thaws.
it seems to be the opinion of most