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not moral or intellectual superiority to begin with. As long as we try to conceive M. Maeterlinck as the philosopher many believe him to be, we are landed upon insuperable difficulties.
The moment, on the contrary, we begin to view him as a modern literary man with the literary fault of preferring manner to matter, appearances to reality, everything becomes clear, consistent, and I had almost said right. His easy comfortable life in the three homes he possesses in Paris, Nice, and Normandy,' which is not reconcilable with our present prejudices about the true preacher's background ; the taste for theatricals which he seems to have in common with his wife; his indifference, or at least his apparent indifference, to the burning questions of the day; his partiality for studious leisure, are all characteristic of the literary temperament, and all healthy and right in a literary man who has attained to fame and competence. This view once admitted, M. Maeterlinck's philosophical books immediately appear in their proper perspective, as a not very considerable part of his works to which he devoted some of his 'prentice years, and from which he turned long before forty. The crudities of all sorts with which those books abound cease to irritate, and appear only natural in such tentative work.
M. Maeterlinck is no powerful intellect certainly : his characteristic is rather subtlety almost invariably far-fetched. But he does not lack judgment by any means, and his development has been in the logical direction. I feel pretty certain that in so far as a writer can judge his own productions, he judges Le Trésor des Humbles and La Sagesse et la Destinée more like their few critics than their many admirers. He must know he is no philosopher. He speaks somewhere in La Vie des Abeilles of the bliss of saying true, after long saying pleasant things. This may amount to a confession.
I spoke above of the gigantic farce of his reputation as a spiritual guide. It is only fair to say that he has been no party to it. He does not advertise himself, and probably suffers from somebody else's self-advertising-he never forces himself on public attention. I should not be surprised if the apparent luck of his philosophical volumes caused him more annoyance than satisfaction. More uneasiness, too, for he must know that of the author of Le Trésor des Humbles nothing will remain, and that what might be saved of the author of La Vie des Abeilles, Le Double Jardin,
Many people, among whom I am, do not forgive M. Maeterlinck his indelicacy in occupying so soon after its confiscation the property of the Benedictines at St. Wandrille. There is something shocking in having dramas performed ir. the cloister so recently the legal possession of that great and good monk, the restorer of plain-chant, Dom Pothier.
and Intérieur runs considerable risk of perishing in the destruction. Perhaps bis secret desire would have been that the judges who awarded him the Nobel Prize should have stated clearly that it was not the philosopher but the poet in him they thought worthy of this rare distinction. Unfortunately, a Nobel judge is no Osiris, and a mistake which has lasted almost twenty years can only be corrected by posterity.
THE IMPERIAL EMIGRANT AND HIS
I would fain present to you the emigrant as the real custodian of the Empire's future, the living epistle of the only political religion that can preserve British unity throughout the world. By emigration the Empire is made. By neglect of the teachings of emigration the most potential part of the Empire was lost. By taking heed of emigration in the twentieth century the Empire may renew its youth. An emigrant in the midst of you will be as strange as a child among the doctors. But except you become even as an emigrant you cannot know the things that make for the glory of the country to which the emigrant goes, or the influence of that country on the country he is leaving.
The perfect illustration, of course, is the Premier of Australia. He went from Scotland a pit lad. He came back a great member of the Imperial Conference. Any political bat, with the help of a halfpenny illustrated paper, could recognise the Premier of Australia in the Coronation procession. But Andrew Fisher, travelling third-class to Melbourne, was as valuable a study as Andrew Fisher in a white-plumed cocked hat, riding with Sir Wilfrid Laurier in the Coronation pageant. Premier Fisher is a product of ten thousand emigrating unknown Andrew Fishers. It is wiser to understand the emigrant before he goes out than to marvel at him when he comes back.
I take my premier illustration from Australia. My experience belongs to Canada, which has no native Britisher among its Premiers, and few in its Legislatures, albeit there are three-quarters of a million of us in the Dominion.
Sometimes I wonder whether there be few or many who can understand this most Imperial subject of the King-this emigrant. Usually he doesn't understand himself, for he only knows half of the impulse that moves him across the dreaded sea. The resurrection of the spirit that brought his unknown ancestor to the island
- he knows naught of it. He wants more bread, more breathingroom. Somewhere in the unexplored recesses of his being there is the potentiality of the pioneer. He is moved by it, even as a child, gravely occupied with a rag doll, moves towards motherhood. Two days ago I sat with an eminent engineer who told stories of the conquest of the forest that is still being made by British-born people in New Ontario. What they are doing for the Empire and the race he illustrated by a case on Georgian Bay. He found an octogenarian couple, enjoying a contented eventide on their farm; the man small of body, and, like his dame, active of mind. They came from the Old Land newly married-he was twenty, she was pineteen. They took a hundred acres of bush twenty miles north of Goderich. There was no other farm between them and the North Pole. The first winter the green axeman chopped down five acres of bush. The first three children were born before a neighbour was nearer than three miles. They cleared the land, and they enlarged the family until there were six sons and five daughters. In good time, the hundred-acre farm enabled the pioneers to buy a bundred-acre place for each boy, and to give each girl a good setting-out' on her marriage.
* That old man and his wife,' said the engineer, ‘are heroes, real Imperial heroes. I told them so, and they just laughed at the idea. I tell you the English are the very best class of people who come to Canada, if they start right.'
Against that, put the advertisements that occasionally appear in Canadian papers : 'No English need apply.' With too many people who are neither ignorant nor unkind, 'Englishman’ is a synonym for inefficiency, unhandiness, inadaptability, and for an irritating, repetitious cocksureness that everything Canadian is inferior to everything English. The wife of a famous geographer recently engaged an Englishman to look after the stable and garden. One inviolable injunction and one unmistakable threat she delivered to him at the beginning : 'You must never say to me, "We do it this way in England.” If you do, you will be fired instantly.' The Englishman is holding his job and doing his work well. Probably there was no need to threaten him. That he was threatened is proof of the prevailing idea about his countrymen ; for Mrs. Geographer has lived several years in England, she is a fervent Imperialist, and is kindness personified.
I did not intend to begin by striking this unpleasant warning note, necessary though it is to admonish those who influence emigration to impress their emigrating friends with the truth that when they come to a new country they must expect to learn new ways of doing things. I would rather look for an Imperial gospel in the experience of the best emigrant. He may have a thousand pounds or a thousand pence; he may be a prospective farmer, or a likely wage-earner—the basic conditions of his situation are the same.
Do you ever stop to consider that his children will, on the whole, have their parents' disposition towards the country from
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which they emigrated? Their Imperial politics, if they have any, will be founded on and governed by their estimate of the Old Land, which will be enormously affected by the echoes of it they hear in their father's voice when he falls a’talking of old times and old acquaintances.
You think you can judge John Emigrant as he boards the steamer by his antecedents-bis record in his native parish. You can, but only partially. If he is truthful, he will be truthful still. If he is frugal, he will be frugal still. If he is a ne'er-do-well, he will be a ne'er-do-well still. If he is self-respecting, he will be self-respecting still. If he thinks for himself, he will go on thinking. But he is going away because something within him, which he scarcely understands, and which you cannot see, tells him that he is a bigger man than his present environment will let him be.
When you judge him, as he goes a'way, you cannot know what subtle, powerful influences will play upon his character, three, four, or five thousand miles away. He is going, literally, to a new world; and when he comes back for a holiday he will bring some of the new world with him. In more ways than one he will be a new creature.
So if you want to understand the Emigrant who Goes, you must learn a good deal about the Emigrant who Came Back. Happy it is for Britain that so many come back. If Atlantic travel had been cheap and speedy between 1760 and 1770 there would probably have been no War of Independence. Instead of a great gulf fixed, there would have been a steady process of comprehending change. Consider first, then, a few of the characteristics of the Emigrant who Comes Back.
They are most easily discernible in speech, because the tongue is the first instrument of sense to reflect a change of environment. An Australian talks like a Londoner. A British-Canadian speaks largely as the Americans speak, and he is often called a Yankee by old friends.
I shall not defend nor lament the many imperfections of the Canadian accent. It is worthy of remark that thousands of young Englishmen only achieve their first mastery of the eighth setter of the alphabet after they have been on the Western side of the Atlantic for some time. In North America there is an exaggerated idea of the British disregard of the 'h' that is reflected sometimes in absurd cartoons. But in the main the amusement derived from English indifference to the consonant is as legitimate as it is hearty. Take a current newspaper story :
On Birch Avenue, Toronto, a lady employed a very efficient and observant charwoman-a fine specimen of the helpmate who assists in earning the house that is growing on the lot which is