A CENTURY hence, when Canada will be celebrating her four hundredth birthday, our successors will undoubtedly quote the precedents established at the Quebec Tercentenary, and recognize, better than we can to-day, the profound significance of that unique event. I shall use the word unique several times this evening ; and I beg leave to assure you that I shall use it only in its proper meaning, by confining it strictly to those facts in the story of Quebec which are entirely unparalleled either in Canadian, Imperial or universal history.
To begin with what was unique in Canada. This was the first time that both races and all Provinces free-willingly united to make the history of one place the centre of a Dominion celebration. Next, it is not too much to say that here, for the first time, Canada stood forth in the eye of the world as a nation self realized, from past to present and from sea to sea. Then, thirdly, the first organized Canadian army that ever gave any promise of pre-paring for war in time of peace was the one at the Royal Review on the Plains of Abraham. To these three unique Canadian features we may add two of Imperial extent. The Quebec Tercentenary was the first celebration of its kind in all Greater Britain : it was the coming-of-age of the eldest daughter-nation of the Empire. It was also the first occasion on which the whole Empire joined in commemorating the deeds that shaped the destiny of any one part. The King was the Patron, and took an active personal interest both in the preparation and the execution of this most complex undertaking. The Vice-Patrons were the Heir to the Throne, whose presence emphasized the true greatness of this epoch-marking celebration in the opinion of every British subject, the Duke of Connaught, who wears a medal won in defence of Canada, and his son, Prince Arthur of Connaught, who went over the whole scene very thoroughly two years before. The President, always foremost among the hardest workers, was Lord Grey. And the Vice-Presidents, who were by no means a mere collection of figure-heads to swell the list with conventional prestige, included all our own Provincial Governors and the Prime Ministers and Leaders of the Opposition in every part of the Empire that has a parliament. Among them are names familiar to anyone who ever followed a public question of Imperial interest :Mr. Asquith and Mr. Balfour, Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Mr. Borden, Mr. Deakin, Sir Joseph Ward, and two more, whose common membership in His Majesty’s Privy Council is alone a lesson in British statesmanship–Dr. Jameson and General Botha. We shall hear more of General Botha later on.
Thus we see that there are three Canadian and two Imperial points in which our national fête was quite unique. But even more striking are the two points which are equally unique in universal history. Quebec is the only place in the world where the fleets and armies of three Great Powers have met so often and shared the honour of such alternate victory and such glorious defeat. And Quebec is, again, the only place in the world where the modern representatives of three historic opponents have ever met to unite in honour of their own and one anther’s prowess.
I venture to assume that a subject which is seven-fold unique is worth a lecture. And I take this so much for granted that I actually dare to divide my lecture into three parts, which is usually a fatal method of procedure, as it arouses mixed memories of long-winded homilies and the opening schoolboy stages of Cæsar’s Gallic War. But I make bold to do this because the mere facts, however badly they may be set before you, cannot fail to be full of the most significant interest to every member of the audience here to-night. The three parts are, I-Preparation; IIThe Celebration; and IIIThe Pageant. This may seem like pretending to give you an epitome of all things tercentennial, from the earliest times to the present day ! But my pre-tensions are really much more modest. The proverbial full, true and particular account will require the co-operation of many authorities ; and I can only speak for myself. Besides, I am not nearly so high an authority, nor did I ever wield nearly so deep an influence as the introductory remarks of your over-generous Principal might lead you to suppose. I was only a fly on the wheel; though, by some peradventure, I did happen to be a fly on the hub of the wheel. And it was from that point of view that I saw then what I shall try to tell you now.
What could be stranger than that the true story of the conquest of Canada, which took place in the eighteenth century, should have remained untold till the twentieth 1 And it is all the stranger be-cause of the deep and world-wide interest excited at the time, and the more than a thousand accounts which have appeared in the hundred and fifty years since. Every one of these accounts written before the present century is inevitably wrong: because history can only be written from an impartial study of all the original evidence, and the original evidence did not approach completion till Dr. Doughty, the Archivist of Canada, began his work in 1900. Even the military documents were not completed till 1903. The naval ones were practically unknown, even to professed students, till quite recently ; and the logs of those men-of-war whose sea-power alone made the conquest possible will only appear in print for the first time in the summer of 1909.
All this may seem to have very little to do with Tercentennial Quebec. But, as a matter of fact, it has everything to do with it. The finding and telling the truth of history is always of profound importance to the national life, because it is sooner or later bound to affect the public point of view, even among masses of people who hardly read any-thing but the daily paper. Many hard problems of today would be simplified, some might even be removed, by a true appreciation of the great crises in our history. And let us bear in mind that we English-speaking Canadians have as many distorting half-truths to forget and as many new whole-truths to remember as have our French-speaking -fellow-countrymen. It is not too much to say that ten years ago it would have been infinitely harder to get light without heat on the subject of the Battlefields. Ten years ago Vaudreuil would have been exalted as a French-Canadian hero and represented among the historic families whose living heads were the guests of the Dominion. Ten years ago Montcalm would not have been the national hero he was one year ago ; and French-Canadians would naturally have exalted Lévis far above him, to. the utter violation of historic truth. Ten years ago Wolfe might have been robbed, like Montcalm, of the highest honours as a consummate general ; and who could have given proof positive to gainsay the detraction ? Ten years ago the British Navy would not have been generally recognized as the determining factor in both campaigns. In short, it is doubtful whether there could have been a really great Tercentennial Quebec at all had the anniversary fallen only ten years earlier than it actually did.
The story of the celebration begins with the century. In 1901 there was a prospect that the eighty-eight acres still shown to confiding tourists as the whole Plains of Abraham were to be cut up into building lots. This ground was not the scene of action between Wolfe and Montcalm, and only a portion of it touched the battlefield of Lévis and Murray. But, most fortunately for the success of the present magnificent scheme, the Dominion bought it, as it is an essential link between the two real fields of honour.
In 1902 an unavailing protest was made against the building of the Ross Rifle Factory on the spot where Montcalm drew up his left and Lévis en-trenched his right. The public did not know what was being done, or had been done when the gaol was built beside the spot where Wolfe died, till a flood of light was shed on the whole subject by the publication of Dr. Doughty’s documents and plans.
In December, 1904, the Dominion Government gave the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec a grant to erect tablets to mark the spots where Montgomery and Arnold, who led the second American invasion of Canada, were decisively repulsed at the Près-de-Ville and Sault-au-Matelot barricades, on the last day of 1775, by Carleton’s French- and English-speaking forces. The inscriptions tell their own tale. At Près-de-Ville the words are Here stood the undaunted Fifty, safeguarding Canada, and at Sault-au-Matelot, Here stood her old and new defenders, uniting, guarding, saving Canada. This reminds us that it is not one battlefield but all the Quebec battlefields that are to be handed down to posterity, in substance, so far as possible, and in commemorative souvenir where no more can be done. 1775 is, of course, most important, as the crisis which first drew French- and Anglo-Canadians together under one free flag. Lord Minto, who took a lively interest in the wording of the inscriptions, unfortunately left before the tablets were erected. The public does not connect his name with Tercentennial Quebec. But they certainly would if they knew how clearly he foresaw the importance of the battlefields to our national life, what an able memorandum he wrote about them, and how he urged their preservation by every means in his power.
So far, what public interest there was had been centred entirely in the battlefields. But in the same month that the heroes of i 775 were being permanently honoured for the first time, Mr. Chouinard, the city clerk, was writing for the Christmas number of the “Quebec Daily Telegraph” the first suggestion of a Champlain Tercentenary for the 3rd of July, 1908. Nothing more, however, was done in this direction for the next fifteen months. In the mean-time Lord Grey took up the work of preserving the battlefields. He visited Quebec in June, 1905 ; and, after examining the scene of both battles of the Plains, he paused at Wolfe’s monument and said he would never rest until such sacred ground became the heirloom of all Canada. Only three persons heard this. But many millions know to-day how magnficently that purpose has been put in operation.
In 1906 the St. Jean Baptiste Society of Quebec took up Mr. Chouinard’s suggestion for a Champlain Tercentenary and proposed that the celebration should be a Dominion one. A subsequent citizens’ meeting, called by the mayor, proposed that the rest of the British Empire, as well as France and the United States, should also be invited to participate, and that steps should be taken to secure the patronage of His Majesty the King. In September the mayor appointed a Quebec Land-mark Commission of three members, under the chairmanship of the Chief Justice, Sir François Langelier, to study the best way of permanently marking the celebration. The Commission reported in favour of nationalizing the Quebec Battlefields. They felt that Champlain, as the far-seeing founder of Canada, was pre-eminently a man of the future, that he was the first of a long line of Canadian heroes, and that the Canada he founded was kept Canadian by the French and British who won equal honour, first as opponents and afterwards as the joint defenders of a common country.
In January, 1907, a Quebec deputation waited on the Dominion Government and proposed a Canadian historical museum as a fitting permanent memorial of the coming fête. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, however, suggested that the Quebec Battlefields, preserved as an open book for posterity to read, would be better still. You will thus see that a society of French-Canadians were the first to propose making the Champlain Tercentenary a fête for the whole Dominion, that a Commission of three, with two French-Canadians on it, reported in favour of keeping the Battlefields to commemorate this fête forever, and that another French-Canadian, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, determined the action of the Government in the same direction. This most generous and far-sighted action does infinite honour to French-Canadian statesmanship. While this great scheme was developing, Lord Grey had become an enthusiaStic supporter of the Champlain Tercentenary. Then he and Sir Wilfrid Laurier made the masterstroke which united the Battlefields with the Tercentenary and carried both to a triumphant issue before an applauding world.
In April, 1907, it was decided to postpone the celebration till 1909, and to open the Quebec Bridge in conjunction with it. This attempt to mix two incompatible things was frustrated by the awful accident to the bridge in August. For the rest of the year there was considerable doubt whether the celebration would ever take place on a great scale at all. But in November the appointment of a commission to study the commemorative features of the field of Gettysburg encouraged the hope that the Battlefields, at least, would not be forgotten. And in January, 1908, Lord Grey came to Quebec to see if the Tercentenary could be held that very summer, which was, of course, its proper time. At first, all except a very few declared this to be impossiblebut a good many seeming impossibilities were successfully performed before that summer was over. Yet the prospect was undeniably appalling. A day before we thought there would be eighteen months for preparation ; and everyone agreed that this was none too long. Now we thought we might at least have eight. The enormous difficulties which had to be sur-mounted before most of the actual work of preparation began consumed two of these short eight months. And then, in March, we suddenly found that the whole scheme, on a scale far vaster than we ever dreamt of, had to be worked out in only four !
I shall not trouble you with any more dates. But I must state the main elements of the problem which was in the throes of solution this time last year. It was a triple problem. Each part was extremely complex in itself. And all three parts were made more complex still by their interaction on each other.
Firsts the Battlefields. I cannot remember how many times I was asked, ” How are you going to get round the French-Canadians ” ? and how many times my invariable answer, ” Simply by telling the whole truth,” was met by a stare of blank amazement. There certainly was some excuse for this astonishment ; as the whole truth was very little known. It was very hard at first to get the s at the end of Battlefields into the public mind. A good many English-speaking people only knew that Wolfe beat Montcalm. They had, apparently, never heard of the second battle of the Plains when Levis beat Murray in 1760. I doubt whether most French-Canadians felt the full strength of their own history. Montcalm was maligned in his lifetime and has been much misrepresented in Canadian history since. He is not well enough known, even now, as the hero of four desperate victories over the British forces in four successive campaigns. And it is not thoroughly understood that he provided against every possible contingency up to the very day before the first battle of the Plains, when he ordered the regiment of Guieme to go and guard the path up which Wolfe came next morning. Nor is it thoroughly understood that he was constantly thwarted and finally undone by the machinations of enemies on his own side. It was Vaudreuil, the spiteful pettifogger, who countermanded, as Governor-General, this and many other wise orders given by the great Mont-calm.
Then, there was much confusion of thought about Phips’s attack in 1690, which was really the first American invasion of Canada. It was not generally realized that when Frontenac, the Frenchman, repulsed it he was preserving our own Canada as surely as Carleton, the Englishman, was when he repulsed the second American invasion in 1775, or as Brock and de Salaberry, when they repulsed the third American invasion during the war of 1812. And nearly everyone seemed surprised that the French-Canadians shared the triumph of more victories than any other race did in all the battles round Quebec. The Americans, through the presence of two battalions of the Royal Americans, had their part in the glory of the first battle of the Plains. The British enjoyed two victories of their own, Wolfe’s and Carleton’s. The French had three, Frontenac’s, Montcalm’s at Montmorency, and Lévis’s at Ste. Foy. While the French-Canadians shared these three with the French and Carleton’s with their British-born fellow-subjects.
A synopsis of this was embodied in a general appeal on behalf of the Battlefields. You all know the resulthow the Dominion voted an initial subscription of $300,000, how Quebec and Ontario headed the provincial subscriptions with $100,000 each, how the Mansion House Fund in London realized $50,000, how far-off New Zealand sent one of the most generous contributions, how individual collecting went on in every part of the French- and English-speaking world, and how the Battlefields were finally dedicated as an heirloom of Canada for ever.
Now that we have arrived at this point in these really great matters I must crave your kind indulgence for a moment to intrude a little personal remark of an exculpatory nature, because it has some bearing on the amenities which should subsist between lecturer and audience. A friend of mine warned me to be very careful what I said about Frontenac and Carleton, as there might be a good many Americans present, and they wouldn’t like to hear about any American defeats. But, as you have just seen, I actually bring in Brock and de Salaberry, our victorious heroes against the third American invasion as well. In justification of this I respectfully beg to. offer one trifling personal excuse and four really important reasons. I have the honour of being one-quarter American myselfand of ultra-American, New-England, Puritan stock at that. Having said this, might I venture, without too much offence, to intrude the further item of petty personal information, that I am also one-quarter French by descent and have French-Canadian blood-relations ; so that the mere accident of birth, and no merit of my own, naturally pre-disposes me to sympathize with all the four races whose blood I shareBritish, American, French, and French-Canadian ?
But this is a mere trifle, and I apologize for even mentioning it, as a lecturer’s personality ought to be of no consequence whatever when he is dealing, as I am here, with facts and not opinions. Of the four reasons the first is that history has nothing to do with anything except historic truth, and the defeat of the three American invasions is certainly true. The second is that any complimentary per-version of historic truth would be a studied insult to intelligent Americans, who, of course, know better. The third is that Americans can bear the record of a few defeats quite as well as the British, French, or French-Canadians, none of whose own defeats are either hidden or glossed over. And the fourth will surely appeal to all good tourists from beyond the line. What do they come to Quebec for at all ? Why, to see what they can’t see at home, of course. They say they love Quebec because it is so unique. Then, what could be more assuredly unique, and what more flattering because unique, than the only place in the world where Americans have been twice defeated on the spot, and from which other victors have set out . to defeat them twice elsewhere ?
The Tercentenary was not open to quite the same misunderstanding as the Battlefields ; but it was intricate enough. Two foreign Powers were to be duly represented, France and the United States ; also eleven Canadian governing bodiesthe Dominion, the Provinces, and the City of Quebec ; also the whole of the rest of the self-governing Empire. There were many bilingual committeesgeneral, special and executivewhich sat continually to deal with a multiplicity of vexed questions. The outcome of their labours speaks volumes for the harmony which prevailed in their councils. Then, there were three fleets of three Great Powers to be provided for, also the first approximation to a complete Canadian army ever brought together in time of peace, also an influx of visitors outnumbering the entire native population, also the representatives of the three historic Empires, of all the great historic families, of the historic places connected with Quebec, of the British Army, of many other interested bodies, and, finally, of the King himself. And everything to be completed in four short months of intense preparation, where a single mistake might ruin all.
Then, it had been decided to have a Pageant-the first of its kind ever held in the New World and greatest ever held anywhere. It took a full year to prepare the Oxford Pageant. The Quebec one was carried through in these four months. Let anyone who has ever managed amateur theatricals imagine what it meant to raise and train 5000 amateurs for a performance the like of which had never been seen before in Canada. Fortunately, very fortunately, the London Pageant was postponed and Quebec secured the originator and greatest master of the modern Pageant, Mr. Frank Lascelles. He too, in the sense that he gave his services free, was an amateur, as was his secretary, Mr. Ernan Denis. To our discredit as Canadians many persisted for a long time in believing that these two patriotic benefactors were making a small fortune in some surreptitious way.. And, to our further discredit, every jobmaster in the proper sphere of influence held out his itching palm for the usual illicit share of the spoils. We Canadians are unhappily forced to acknowledge that some ugly words of American origin and use are quite as applicable to much of our own public life, no matter what party happens to be in power. But, on the other hand, it was one of the finest features of this great success that the body of devoted public men on the National Battlefields Commission, under the chairmanship of Quebec’s upright and indefatigable Mayor, Sir George Garneau, gave their services as freely as Mr. Lascelles, and saw to it that the funds at their disposal were honestly spent to the best advantage.
Of course, the Pageant gave occasion for some French-and-English misunderstanding, which was, equally of course, accentuated by the mosquito press and sundry petty busybodies, who were by no means all French-Canadians. But here again the truth emerged in time to save the situation. When it was found that a Pageant managed by an Englishman, and at first performed by an unduly large proportion of Anglo-Canadians, was yet so French and French-Canadian that not a word of English was spoken in it from first to last, except by Phips’s discomfited envoy, no reasonable suspicion could any longer be kept alive. The French-Canadians saw the matter in its true light and joined en masse. And when they did join they easily took the honours of the scene. They caught the spirit of it at once ; and they excelled in the dramatic parts, both individually and collectively. They were, of course, quite at home, playing the favourite rôles of their own heroic history.
Since all ended so happily, and since every critical question only served to strengthen the growing friendship of the two races, thus brought into such intimate contact, there is no need to disguise the fact that the fate of the historic armies, and with it the fate of the Pageant and whole celebration, hung in the balance for several anxious days. The arguments in favour of having these armies were simply unanswerable. Some timid folk asked why should we have a Pageant with a celebration on a world–wide scale at all. But, two years before, the exclusively French-Canadian St.-Jean-Baptiste Society of Quebec had, of its own free will, invited the whole Dominion to take part a meeting of Quebec citizens, in which French-Canadians greatly preponderated, had unanimously asked that the invitation should be extended to include the whole British Empire, France and the United States ; and the French-Canadian Prime Minister of Canada had brought in an Act of Parliament to nationalize the very fields on which the original armies met in alternate victory and defeat. Under these cit. cumstances, no Pageant could stop short of, much less omit, the heroes of both battles of the Plains. All the world knew Wolfe and Montcalm. If they were left out, would not the world think there was something that had to be hidden ? To the obvious objection that the world might only notice the first battle, the obvious answer was that here was the one golden opportunity to teach it about the second, and to draw its willing attention to all the other French and French-Canadian glories of Quebec. And to the final objection that the ultimate result was a French defeat, the answer was that the French Canadians and the British never fought each other alone, that, on the contrary, when they were alone together in Quebec, they fought and conquered, side by side, and that nothing could be more insulting to French-Canadians than to suppose that all their professed contentment with this ultimate result was mere lip-service to curry favour with a conqueror.
The historic armies were accordingly incorporated as the crowning scene of the Pageant. But then it took another week to decide how they were to march on and manoeuvre. Some knave had started, and some fools had believed, an idiotic newspaper non sense-tale about a sham battle ! The leaders of both races of course knew better. But that portion of the public, French- and English-speaking alike, which is always ready to believe any false news that happens to be bad enough, began to get excited. However, quite apart from the temporary mischief caused by this poisonous lie, the problem was sufficiently knotty at first sight. The French army could not march on from the Quebec side and the British from the opposite, without suggesting the first battle and Wolfe’s victory. Nor could the position be reversed without suggesting the French victory of the following campaign. At last an idea struck one of the four nonplussed survivors of an interminable sitting that both armies should march on, side by side, and at right angles to the lines of advance and retreat of each army in either battle. This was immediately adopted ; and two friendlier forces never met or parted on better terms.
To complete the significance of this crowning scene, Carleton and his French- and English-speaking defenders of 1775 stood on one flank, while, on the other, stood de Salaberry, the French-speaking hero of 1 8 1 2 , with his Voltigeurs de Chateauguay, among whom was a Quebec contingent, and Brock, the English-speaking hero of the same war, who was long in garrison at Quebec before he left to die in victory on Queenston Heights.
I have purposely dwelt with considerable insistence on the French-and-English question, because I am thoroughly convinced that there is nothing to fear from the truth. On the contrary, I am sure that the Pageant, the Battlefields and the whole Tercentenary have promoted a better mutual understanding than ever existed in our joint history before. And I certainly think that due credit has hardly yet been given to the French-Canadians for their share in bringing about this devoutly wished-for consummation.
We must remember how naturally the mass of any people shrinks from being merged in constantly increasing bodies different from itself. It is not very easy for minorities to be generous. Is it always so easy for our own Anglo-Canadian minority in the Province of Quebec to be generous to the French-Canadian majority ? Should we then be so ready to resent an occasional narrowness among the French-Canadian minority in the Dominion or the Empire ? On the whole, it may be truly said that while there was a genuine and hearty desire, in all responsible English-speaking quarters, to give French-Canadians the fairest field and fullest favour, the French-Canadians, on their part, were at least the equals of the Anglo-Canadians, and under more difficult conditions, in losing prejudice and gaining generosity throughout the trying periods of the tercentennial year.
To give you a quite honest account of all that was planned and carried out 1 should confess our failures. But as they were mostly in details of organization I suppose you would not care to hear them catalogued. The moral of all failures is always the same : that the only way to organize any victory is to give experts time and means to lead disciplined enthusiasts to the desired end. In my humble opinion only three really important mistakes were made. Whenever you have thousands of amateurs you should have a good pro fessional staff to keep touch between leaders and followers, and between each part and the whole. We had generals and regiments enough ; but we might have had a stronger staff. Then, it seems a decided mistake ever to have contemplated a postponement till 1909, a doubly objectionable year, and ever to have thought of dragging in the incongruous opening of the Quebec bridge. The third mistake was probably a moot point to many far abler minds. But to my own it always seemed, and still seems, a detraction from the whole celebration to have left out the greatest of all the historic characters, William Pitt, the Empire maker.
Taken for all in all, however, the Tercentenary was an unchallengeable triumphbrilliant to the eye, moving to the heart, deep to the understanding, and fraught throughout with untold significance.
The longest and driest part of my discourse is now over ; and we shall be able to turn, not perhaps without some relief, to the actual celebration and the living story of the Pageant.
By Wednesday, the 22nd of July, Quebec was astir with the concentred life of a whole people. The meeting of the scions of her mighty past with the international representatives of a mighty present had already quickened her to many-sided interest. Wolfe and Montcalm, Lévis and Murray and Carleton, once more trod her streets, in the persons of their living next-of-kin. The Mayor of Brouage, the old French town which gave birth to Champlain, now looked on the capital of a New France to which Champlain himself gave birth. Admiral Jauréguiberry was as worthy a representative of France and her Navy to-day as his distinguished family had been of both in historic times and, for this double reason, he was persona gratissima in Quebec. Mr. Fairbanks, as Vice-President of the United States, had the official status of a Crown Prince. Clan Fraser, so justly noted for its soldiers and settlers, was represented by its Chief, Lord Lovat. And as Lord Lovat may be called the Scotch representative, so the Duke of Norfolk may be called the English one and the Earl of Ranfurly the Irish. It was not without its significance that the representatives of the two Protestant countries were Roman Catholics, that the Fraser name and blood are current among the French-Canadians, that the Duke of Norfolk is the Premier Peer of the British nobility, that both he and Lord Lovat served in the Boer War, and that Lord Ranfurly was a most popular Governor-General among the ultra-democratic New Zealanders. He was one of the three British Proconsuls present, the other two being the Earl of Dudley, once Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, now Governor-General of Australia, and, of course, Canada’s own good friend and Governor, Lord Grey. Then, Newfoundland, eldest of all the British Colonies, was represented beside United South Africa, youngest of all aspirants to Confederation.
So here were representatives of the whole self-ruling Empire ; while the turbans of some Indian officers reminded us of that other Empire, where more than three times as many people as there are in the United States are governed by Lord Minto, who served with distinction against the North West Rebellion, the first purely Canadian campaign, and who was our Viceroy when the first Canadian Contingents were sent to fight for the Empire beyond the sea. It was a great pity that India was not fully represented by some of her ruling princes. This was no fault of Lord Grey’s, none of Lord Minto’s, and, as was found out later on, none of the princes’ own. Had another than the ” official channel of communication ” been used, or usable, we might have had all the Oriental splendour we wanted, coming at its own expense. And what a lesson in the width, depth and variety of Imperial grandeur and responsibilities ! You will remember how the destinies of East and West were inter-twined even so far back as the retrocession of Louisburg and the retention of Madras.
To crown all, the Fleet and Army, which the Mother Country still maintains almost alone for the defence of all, were represented by a squadron of her battleships and cruisers, and by her greatest living soldier, Lord Roberts, the only man who has ever commanded forces from every part of the Empire united for a single war.
But this was not all. Though thousands of visitors had been flocking in for a week, though fleets had been entering the harbour, though troops had been marching into camp without a break by night or day, though from the Heights you could see ships, tents and battlefields, and though every street and open space was swarming with eager crowds, Quebec was still vibrant with expectation, Was not the Heir to the King of an Empire as large and thrice as populous as the whole New World coming to honour the founder of a country the size of Europe, and to dedicate the most sacred spot within it, where the fate of nations was decided ?
He came in the full splendour of a perfect summer day ; and his arrival befitted the occasion. He came by sea, as British rulers should. His ship, that all were waiting for, was the Indomitable, the latest model of combined strength and speed in the oldest and greatest Navy in the world and therefore the best to fly the Royal Standard of a sailor Prince. On the greatest of all tidal rivers the British, French and American Squadrons lay at anchor to receive him. On the wharf where he was to land, and on and up from there to the topmost heights of walled and citadelled Quebec, stood double lines of Canadian soldiers, still immature as an organized army, but having a long and very honourable military past, and standing on ground made immortal by the two races from which they were descended. Suddenly, over the low foreshore of Point Levis, the tops of the escorting cruiser Minotaur appeared ; and the next minute her long, clean-cut hull glided swiftly into view. As suddenly, the immense crowds, clustering round every point of vantage, stirred a moment, swayed intently forward, and changed from a concourse of individuals to a single expectant mass of humanity, One minute more, and the Indomitable herself also glided into view, the very embodiment of tense force held in leash. Immediately the fleet in the harbour manned and dressed ship from stem to stern. Then the British, French and American flagships led the thunderous salute, which was instantly repeated by every vessel present, and by the grey fastness of the Citadel, crowning the heights more than three hundred feet above. Into this magnificence of welcome the Indomitable advanced, stateliest of all : her armoured shapeliness along the water-line, her well-trained crew on deck, and her multitudinous flutter of flags aloft, making her a sea-throne fit for a Prince whose finest title is The Lord of the Isles. Having reached her berth there was a heavy plunge and splash, as her huge anchor was let go, then the hoarse roar of her chain cable rushing through the hawse-hole, and then, almost before this ceased, the first strains of the National Anthem, rising from ship after ship. Thus, in the presence of his Heir and special envoy, the King’s Majesty arrived in Tercentennial Quebec.
Thursday was devoted to Champlain. And it ‘was much more than officially appropriate that the Prince should lead the ceremonies in honour of the founder of Quebec. Both have Norman blood, and both are known as good seamen afloat and statesmen ashore. Champlain sailed up the harbour in his famous Don de Dieu, with the flood tide flowing, a favouring breeze, and every stitch of canvas drawing. This little vessel, of only 120 tons, was as nearly a facsimile of his own as human wit could make her ; and his crew was also the same in numbers, in dress, and even in blood, as that of three hundred years ago. There was a curious contrast when she berthed next the gigantic Indomitable, which, being of i 8,000 tons, was just one hundred and fifty times her size. But there was an equally interesting coincidence in the fact that both vessels held the transatlantic record of their day. Champlain made the quickest passage then known when he went from Honfleur to Tadousac in eighteen days. And the Indomitable holds the present record, for having speeded home, from land to land, in sixty-seven hours. Another link between Champlain and our own day is that he was the first to propose a Panama Canal.
The Indians were on the look-out. They put off in their war canoes, and a parley ensued over-side. Then they paddled the strange, kind Pale-faces ashore. Unfortunately, not many people saw the Indians in their canoes close enough to appreciate the scene. Nothing could have been finer in its way. These Indians were no suburban human curios, but the genuine, full-blooded red men, two hundred strong, brought down from the Far North and West, both to learn and teach at the Tercentenary. Whoever loves canoes and the strength and beauty of the human formand what Canadian worth his salt does not love both ?would have seen at least one perfect crew here to gladden his delighted eyes. Crested with waving war-plumes, and stark naked to the waist, every one of its eight six-footers was straight as an arrow and full of supple vigour as a bow. No sculptor could have wished for better models than these sinewy living bronzes, driving their canoe ahead with that perfect harmony of rhythm between craft and crew which made them part of the very poetry of motion.
On landing, Champlain first went into an exact reproduction’ of the Abitation de Kébeck, which stood near where the original had been built three centuries before. When he came out he took his place in the long procession of Canadian history, which immediately began to file off. As it mounted the hill and marched past his statueone of the very few public works of art in Canadathe spectator could see the whole line of our history in five centuries, from the sixteenth to the twentieth. First came the Heralds-at-Arms and Men of the Watch, exactly as in mediæval times. Then Jacques Cartier and his three crews, i i0 men strong, the same as when he discovered Quebec. Then a gay, many-coloured cavalcade, the mounted court renowned in the annals of historic pageantry at the Field of the Cloth of Gold. At their head rode Jacques Cartier’s King, Francis I. with his Queen and his bewitching sister, Marguerite of Angoulême. Next came Champlain’s King, the equally famous Henry of Navarre. You all know the old refrain : —
Vive Henri Quatre ! Vive ce roi vaillant ! Ce diable à quatre A le triple talent De boire et de battre Et d’être un vert galant !
He excelled in arms and arts, as every national hero should excel ; and was admired and loved by women, as men who excel in arms and arts deserve to be.
Then came Champlain himself, de Monts, Pont gravé, and their men, the founders of the country and its pioneers, greater even than the first discoverers. Next, Dollard and his sixteen heroes of the Long Sault, who, as every Canadian knows, saved the infant Colony by an act of self-sacrifice which can never be surpassed, because they fore-knew their earthly doom from the very moment they set forth to stay the furious invasion of the Iroquois. These were succeeded by explorers and founders of towns. And here we are reminded that the Anglo-Saxon is not the only adventurous race of modern history. The French were often original in their ideas and brilliant in their first moves into the unknown world. The pathos of their daring lives is that they were leaders without a national following, without the security of sea power behind them, and without a free-growing colony beside them. But take them for what they were themselves, and they well deserve our lasting admiration. I could wish their names were better known in English-speaking CanadaLa Violette, de Maisonneuve, Bienville, Iberville, La Salle, Marquette, La Vérendrye. Look at the portrait of La Salle if you want to see the spirit of exploration shining through the veil of the flesh !
A new era began in 1665, with the arrival of the Marquis de Tracy and the Régiment de Carignan-Salliéres, fresh from its victorious campaign against the Turks. These, like their predecessors and successorsexcept Duluth, St. Lusson and Mdlle de Verchéreswill be met again in the Pageant. Duluth headed some Coureurs des Bois, those adventurous spirits whose ‘vagaries used to make their paternal Government get as anxious as a hen that’s hatched a brood of ducklings. But the Government were right in objecting to their real excesses and the unsettling effect of their example. Then came St. Lusson and the men who took possession of the illimitable West in 1671. Then Frontenac, whose striking personality dominates one of the best scenes in the Pageant, Then the female counterpart of him and DollardMdlle de Vercheres, who held the Iroquois at bay with a courage as undauntable as that shown at Rorke’s Drift against an equally pitiless foe. Finally, there came the historic armies of Wolfe and Montcalm, Lévis and Murray, Carleton and Brock. As there were a few old people who could remember the Canadian Rebellion, and many more who could remember the proclamation of the Dominion, on the ground at the head of Mountain Hill which the procession passed on its way up, it was literally true that every single great phase of our history was present to the eye or living memory, from the sixteenth century to the twentieth. I say the twentieth advisedly, because the Tercentenary was not only commemorating history but actually making it as well.
That evening the illuminations blent all the works of Nature and Man into one vivid picture traced in fire. Against the intense darkness the characteristic contours of Quebec stood out in bold reliefheights, slopes and levelswith emphasis of concentrated brilliance on every salient feature. The outline of the Levis shore was revealed, in the same way, by tier upon tier, cluster after cluster, and many sinuous connecting lines of lights. While between the sheer black of its banks, from which these latticed myriads of diamonds were flashing, the dark St. Lawrence gleamed with a fleet so phantom-like in all but its mere brightness that you would have thought the dread leviathans of day had been replaced at night by ships from fairyland.
On Friday morning all roads led out to the Plains of Abraham, where an international force of twenty thousand men was drawn up for the Royal Review. It was an inspiring sight in more than met the eye ; though the sight itself was surely inspiring enough : all that disciplined human strength, trained for the noble duty of national defence, standing on part of the stage of universal history, and in the midst of a vast natural amphitheatre which is one of the scenic wonders of the world. Here were three Great Powers, once more represented in arms on their old field of honour; but this time in the rivalry of peace, and side by side with Canada’s new army. I say army, not militia, to mark the transformation that is taking place, none too soon and far too slowly, from a mere collection of isolated units to some-thing more nearly approaching a cohesive whole. The old militia had not even the isolated units for many necessary branches of an army ; and an army is a living organism, continually undergoing waste and needing repair. So it was an excellent object-lesson to have the medical, transport, commissariat and other necessary non-combatant departments represented on parade.
The troops just filled the ground, drawn up, as they were, in two lines of quarter columns, infantry in front and mounted men in rear. The contour of the Plains made every man visible to the spectator ; and, as you looked at the parade, you saw something of all the forces which have made, and which must maintain, the Empire. The Heir to the Throne represented the King, from whom all officers receive their commissions, and to whom all that take arms swear allegiance by land or sea. The British Navy, that still protects Canada without receiving any support from Canadian resources, was represented by a Naval Brigade, some thousands strong, under Sir John Jellicoe, the hero of the relief of the Pekin Legations. The British Army was represented by the last soldier to hold the office of Commander-in-Chief and the first to appear in Canada as a Field-Marshal, Lord Roberts of Kandahar, Pretoria and Waterford. Every rank was also represented, from his down to the junior subaltern’s, as well as every great part of the Empire, East and West, North and South, Old World and New. Of course the Naval Brigade, as belonging to the Senior Service, took the right of the line. Next to it, mass upon mass, came the Canadian infantry, so drawn up, according to its territorial districts, that, as you ran your eye down the dense ranks of red, khaki, or Rifle green, you saw Canada in arms from every single quarter of the land, all the thousand leagues of way between the Atlantic and Pacific.
The march past was managed with an almost German or Japanese exactitude. The three Naval Brigades went by first. Perhaps it is prejudice, but I always think the British sailors look more to the manner born than any moustached foreigners ; and they certainly should, being the heirs of so many naval ages. First on their own element they were a good second on the soldier’s, when they passed with just that well-balanced sway which distinguishes men who have to use their sea-legs. The best march past of all was decidedly that of the Royal Canadians, who, as you know, constitute the Infantry arm of our Permanent Force, Their step, swing, dressing, distances and general precision left little to be desired. The Highlanders naturally excited the greatest sumptuary interest, and drew a hot and continuous fire of snap-shots from hundreds of cameras. And, after all, there is something in the philosophy of clothes, and a sartorial touch of distinction, with a great tradition behind it, is by no means to be despised, in its proper place. There was not much to choose between the best of the red, green, or kilted corps and there was nothing worse than second bests on parade. The mounted troops naturally labour under disadvantages as compared with infantry and their appearance was certainly less smart. But, on even terms, they would at the very least have held their own. The Royal Canadian Dragoons, who are regulars, were different ; and the turn-out of their Royal Escort was practically perfect. The three men who most deserved the well-earned honours of this occasion were the Minister of MilitiaSir Frederick Borden ; the Inspector-GeneralSir Percy Lake ; and the Chief of the Staff General Otter. But the great personal military feature was, of course, Lord Roberts, who rode past early in the Review as Honorary Colonel of the Queen’s Own Rifles, to the great delight of the immense concourse of spectators. He is also Honorary Colonel of the Royal Canadian Artillery, and, as you all know, an old gunner officer himself. He certainly had no reason to be ashamed either of his old Arm of the Service or its new Canadian representatives. When the last corps had cleared the front, after passing the saluting base, the two regular batteries of Horse Artillery formed up at the extreme end of the Plains ; and then down they came, at full gallop, as hard as the horses could lay hoof to the turf, and swept past the Prince in faultless order, from the first line of guns to the last flying limber.
The Celebration continued throughout the last twelve days of July, and, as you see, I have only mentioned three days so far, and only one feature on each of these ! But if I am to keep within the hour and a half so kindly allowed me, and still tell you something about the Pageant, I must greatly reduce the number of events to be described and condense my remarks about those selected. I could easily talk of fifty interesting things. But I shall take only five, and say very little indeed about each one, They do not lack variety :-Lord Roberts on the Quebec Battlefields, Lord Grey’s Empire Dinner, The Messe Solenelle on the Plains, the Prince at a French-Canadian village, and the Historical Ball.
There was little anyone could teach Lord Roberts about the Battlefields. Very few Canadians know them half so well after seeing them as many a recent distinguished visitor has known them before. We might well do more to learn our great history on the spot. When King Edward’s Garter Mission was in Japan some of its members, who made a genuine ” surprise visit ” to an historic spot, were astonished at the ready answers given by any casual inhabitant. Now, it is within the bounds of truth to say that surprise visitors might possibly find less local information in certain spots in Canada. Students of military history might like to know that Lord Roberts accepts as final the evidence which proves the victory to have been due to Wolfe’s own initiative, secrecy and skill, working out a consummate plan based on British sea-power. There was a fine touch in his getting out of the carriage to walk up the hill in Wolfe’s footsteps, and a still finer when he stood for some time all alone in the Ursuline Chapel, under the Lamp of Repentigny and half-way between the grave of Montcalm and the pulpit from which Wolfe’s funeral sermon was preached by the chaplain of the British flagship a fortnight after the battle. You might also like to know that an Ursuline, now perfectly clear-minded at ninety-four, spent several of her early years in the convent with Mother St. Ignatius, who, as a girl, stood beside the grave when Montcalm’s shattered body was lowered into it, that dreadful midnight, a hundred and fifty years ago.
The Governor-General’s Empire Dinner at the Citadel gathered round one table, as never before in Canada or in all Greater Britain, a Prince of Wales, three great Proconsuls, several Prime Ministers, and many leaders in the main pursuits of life. Lord Grey, who has done more than any-one else to promote the personal touch across the North Atlantic, made a happy remark in the same connection when proposing the Prince’s health. “Sir, in making yourself acquainted with every portion of the Empire you have given an example which it would be well if those subjects of the Crown who have the time and money would increasingly follow.” The Prince’s reply was short and happy, with good points, well driven home. It was a pity that the Tercentenary hardly gave him full scope for his power as a public speaker. There is a prevalent idea that kings and other royalties never compose their own speeches, and could not if they tried. Sir Thomas Browne might have entered this among the Vulgar Errors of his day, and we might apply it as such to our own. The man who composed and delivered the “Wake up, John Bull ! ” speech at the Guildhall in 1901 is much fitter to compose other people’s speeches than they are to compose his. And it is no fulsome compliment, but a critical truth, to say that George V gives a new distinction to the old expression of ” the King’s English.”
There was an effective Imperial moment when Sir Wilfrid Laurier, in proposing the health of self ruling Greater Britain, drew out of his pocket a letter from General Botha, who said, in allusion to the Conference of the Fathers of Confederation in South Africa, ” it is our intention to follow in the footsteps of Canada as soon as possible.” Here were two British Prime Ministers, one a French-Canadian, wearing, like the Prince’s uncle, a medal won in defence of Canada, the other a Boer, who, only six years before, had been Commander-in-Chief of the hostile forces which Lord Roberts went to fight.
The Messe Solenelle on the Plains of Abraham was marked by unaffected sincerity and grandeur, from the first strains of the Priests’ March, as a processional, to the final elevation of the Host, when all those tens of thousands knelt upon the simple sod And sued in forma pauperis to God.
The Duke of Norfolk and Lord Lovat, two great Roman Catholics from Protestant Great Britain, were present as worshippers. M.Louis Herbette, Conseiller d’État of the France that used to be “le soldat de Dieu” in Canada, was most conspicuously absent.
On Monday the 27th the Prince went down to spend an informal morning at the Chateau Bellevue, thirty miles below Quebec. Here he strolled about freely, meeting the cure” and habitant in familiar intercourse, with such lively satisfaction on both sides as to prompt the suggestion that another and longer Royal visit of an intimate kind could hardly fail to have the happiest results.
On Tuesday the Parliament Buildings were given over to the Historical Ball, where every period was illustrated, from Jacques Cartier’s discovery to the war of 1812. Two classes of people were a little more self-conscious than the restthose who merely had “real” costumes and those who appeared as their own ancestors. Real brocades and ornaments cost money ; and the former class was therefore as interesting as money in clothes can make one. The latter had the flesh and blood of the makers of their country to think of as well and that might possibly be considered some small distinction for, one night only, even in the present age.
Is there any moral to my story ? I think there is; but, when I have pointed it out, I think you will say it is -so very trite and obvious that you would have been just as wise without it. How-ever, I shall venture to draw it, for all that.
Who is not stirred by Milton’s thrilling apostrophe to Parliament ?” Ye Lords and Commons of England ! consider what nation it is whereof ye are, and whereof ye are the governors . a nation not slow and dull, but of a quick, ingenious, and piercing spirit ; acute to invent, subtile and sinewy to discourse, not beneath the reach of any point the highest that human capacity can soar to.” That Parliament had nine generations of political wisdom less than ours ; and it knew nothing of what a blatant public calls up-to-date civilization. Yet its members will bear favourable comparison with ours to-day in many essentials. What a damning indictment it is against the mass, when we have to commend individually our personally honest men! Free self-government before all else ; but it will never answer our higher purposes unless we can produce a higher type of leaders. Another point in statesmanship that should touch us all most intimately is the relations between our two races. I have dwelt insistently on this already; but I return to it, to ask why more of our educated. Anglo-Canadians will not try to see how French-Canadian questions appear to French-Canadian people. Remember that though French-Canadians often make English the language of the head, they always keep French as the language of the heart. Lastly, though some might think this beneath the dignity of statesmanship, why did we miss the golden opportunity of giving the children an object-lesson for life ? The Germans send their brightest school children to Kiel, to see the High Seas Fleet ; and their Reichstag votes their Navy Bill. The Japanese put their children in the front row whenever there is anything of national importance to see and they have come into the circle of great World-Powers at a single spring. Why did we have no cadets at our Royal Review ? There was nothing the Prince would have seen more gladly. Why were a few picked school children not sent from every Province to see Ter-centennial Quebec ?
The world is still passing through a phase of evolution in which war is a determining factor. Patriotism is therefore the first of national duties. It is profoundly scientific in essence. It is also the most exalting national duty, being based on discipline, which, in its turn, is based, in the last analysis, on self-sacrifice. And we boast not a little of our Canadian patriotism. Yet the Review suggested just a suspicion of the modern football match, where thousands who never play the game look on and yell and criticize, while a handful provides the mob of them with entertainment. No one that loves Canada wants her to be taxed in purse and person beyond what is reasonable for national insurance. But no patriot can think we do our duty when our Permanent Force is far below one per thousand of our population, and when our Active Militia is far below one per hundred, has only twelve days’ training, and is habitually short of a third of its officers. Cheap and nasty criticism of the Militia can be had in plenty without the asking. But the true spirit of service can not. And if it is objected that the force is only playing at soldiers, the unanswerable rejoinder is that no public service in a free country can take itself more seriously, as a whole, than the electorate takes it.
As for the intellectual lifewhat is to be said of that which hardly exists ? By the intellectual life of a country I mean pure sciencenot commercially applied science, good as this is in itselfand the art that grows naturally out of a people’s life and is racy of the soil. We have the borrowed, the imitated and the hothoused varieties in abundance but not the native art in literature, music, painting, sculpture and architecture. And the native cannot be forced : you can’t get genius by Act of Parliament, not even at Ottawa, nor yet by puffs in the Press, not even at Toronto, Montreal and Quebec. It must grow from congenial soil ; and when Canadians really want it they will get it, as others have, but not before.
Quebec is a thing of beauty, if ever there was one. And the architecture composes delightfully, in the mass. But all the architectonics are Nature’s. Man’s individual works are hardly art. The Basilica is rather quaint, the Anglican Cathedral looks like an essay in geometrical drawing, and most of the public buildings are only etiquette in stone. An hotel is the most impressive structure but it could not be even advertised as the result of inspiration. Painting and sculpture are not much better, though fine statues are beginning. Music has something to its lasting credit in the air of O Canada ! which has the open breadth, the strength and the soaring quality of sound that suits the nobility of a national anthem. That it may find some great Anglo-Canadian poet to make it appeal, with the essential difference, to the larger part of our people, and that it may then entirely supplant The Maple Leafthe flattest, stalest and most unprofitable tune and jingle ever squawked in publicare two consummations devoutly to be wished. But the Tercentenary called forth no music of its own, no poetry, and nothing in prose that was at all like original and creative literature. Well, we must try again. We must try as a whole people, yearning for that fit expression of aspiration and achievement which genius alone can give us.
Eight hundred miles from the open sea the mighty lift of an eighteen-foot spring tide will carry you through those Narrows of the St. Lawrence which the Indians called Kebeck. Here an ocean meets a continent, the Old World meets the New , and all the approaches are surrounded with befitting majesty. For a hundred miles you have been coming up a water avenue ten miles wide, bordered by the sheer Laurentians on the north and by gentler hill-horizons on the south. Then, thirty miles below the port, you enter the Orleans Channel, where the narrow view is closed in by lesser heights, and humanized by bright scenes of cultivation and white little villages. Suddenly the scene becomes vaster than before. As you pass the West Point of Orleans you can hardly believe that the leaping flash of Montmorency Falls, to the right, is a hundred feet higher than Niagara. But in front is the Citadel, another hundred higher still. The Eason is like a lake, its farther shorethe well named Cate de Beaupré– continues down the North Channel of Orleans into the blue distance ; and behind and beyond all are the Laurentians again, sweeping round, from where you left them below the island, in an enormous semicircle of eighty miles. But even this is only one-third of the panorama that greets you from the Plains of Abraham, whose tableland forms a long, narrow promontory between the St. Lawrence and the Valley of the St. Charles. For there you find yourself on a natural stage, in an amphitheatre two-thirds of which are formed by the far-spreading uplands that stretch away to the corresponding curve of the mountains on the south.
Like an ancient Greek choosing a site for a theatre that was to be part of the scenery surrounding it Mr. Lascelles chose the best among the good. His open stage for five thousand performers and auditorium for fifteen thousand spectators stood between the fields of the first and second Battles of the Plains, overlooking a magnificent and most historic reach of the St. Lawrence. Wooded ground, sloping down to the right, afforded cover to the multitude of actors, without hiding the view beyond. Through it runs the path up which Wolfe climbed to victory. A half-mile further up stream is Sillery Point, where the French first challenged him. And half channel over is where he recited Gray’s Elegy when making his last reconnaissance in a boat the day before the battle. Close in under the cliff is Champlain Street, along which Montgomery led his Americans to death and defeat in 1775. And a few yards from where he fell is the wharf where the first Canadian Contingent embarked for South Africa in 1899.
But the River, the great, fleet-bearing River, which has been the highway of history since Canada began, calls up more memories than the land, and remains the strongest of all links between the past and future of the country. Where Jacques Cartier sailed by in 1541 to build his fort at Cap Rouge, where many another eager pioneer, haunted by visions of the golden East, went seeking that westward New-World passage to Cathay which is still commemorated in the place-name of La Chine, now ocean liners go by with the hosts of immigration, equally eager, in a more sober way, but set upon finding homes where their forerunners only saw an obstructive waste. Such was the setting of the Pageant.
The scene opened with an empty stage, except for the wigwams of Stadacona, the Indian village that preceded Quebec. The farthest point of the stage overlooked the river a bow-shot from the auditorium. Presently a single Indian scout appears on it and scans the St. Lawrence. Suddenly he sees three sail, unlike what he had ever dreamt of. He calls out the alarm, and is immediately surrounded by the Braves. While this strange apparition holds the Indians spellbound Jacques Cartier and his men land and mount the hill, singing a folksong of St. Maio, beau port de mer, known then in Normandy and still in Canada to-day. Jacques Cartier is dignified and gracious, and distributes gifts freely. The Indians are wonderstruck and friendly. They gaze in awe at the White Man’s sign as his crew raise a huge cross, thirty-five feet high, with a king’s escutcheon on it, and the legend Franciscus Primus, Dei gratia, Francorum Rex, regnat. Jacques Cartier then reads a few verses from the Gospel of St. John. The simple savages take him for a god ; and their chief, Donnacona, leaves for France with him, amid the farewells of the whole assembled tribe.
After a pause, all eyes are suddenly drawn to the distant glittering advance of a royal cavalcade, as it issues from the dense Forest of Fontainebleau on to the glad light-green of the sunlit grass. For nearly half a mile it winds its brilliant length along, all gaiety of movement, colour and gallant life, from glinting hoof to quivering plume. The King and Queen ride under a canopy, while the hundreds of cavaliers and ladies of the court rein up in a respectful semicircle. There must be some diversion for the pleasure of such a Court and the semicircle is hardly formed before the bushes are all astir with fauns and satyrs ; who dance onward round the triumphal car of their own Queen, whose faceaglow with youthful loveliness of classic feature, Southern colour, a lustrous eye and flashing smile gave this interlude a dominant charm that raised it into perfect harmony with the other glory of the scene. Then the courtiers are more curious still, as the first Indian they have ever seen steps forward, makes obeisance, and, in the clear ringing tones of a man who is himself a king, tells of his own people and their vast dominions, stretching out from Kebeck, which is the Narrows of a stream so unchallengeably first in all that land of waterways that The Great River is its only name.
The next scene shows Henry IV giving Champlain a commission to take possession of the country discovered by Jacques Cartier for Francis I. The whole aspect of the stage has been changed in the twinkling of an eye. This Court is in the Presence Chamber, enclosed by walls of high, white tapestry, inwrought with the golden fleur-de-lis. A smooth blue carpet is spread for the Pavane, which is danced by a hundred courtiers to the original music, before the King and Queen, who have entered with their guards and suite and taken their seats on the throne of France.
Again the scene is completely changed , and the inhabitants of the infant colony of Quebec are seen waiting for Champlain’s return in 1620. He is received with unbounded joy by French and Indians alike. Champlain has left us such minute descriptions that it was easy to reproduce this scene exactly as it happened in realitythe ox-cart in which he and his girl-wife were drawn home in triumph, the pow-wow and calumet dance, and the songs that carried the colonists back in fancy to la belle France.
The arrival of La Mere Marie de l’Incarnation and her Ursulines in 1639, and the Marquis de Tracy and the regiment of Carignan-Sallières in 1665, made two scenes which showed effectively the continuity of the Roman Church, Every other participant in these and all other scenes was obliged to put on what we absurdly call a “fancy dress” when we mean an historical costume. But Bishop Laval and his suite, as well as the Ursulines and Jesuits, were not. The present hierarchy took the keenest pleasure in ensuring a worthy representation of the religious scenes, in which many priests took the parts of their spiritual forefathers. Owing to this pervading seemliness everything was carried out amid an atmosphere of respect that speaks highly for the vast throngs who were looking on. It was almost as if the modern audience became the historic one that actually stood by to see the sword of France receive the welcome of her cross.
A salvo of artillery from the River announces that Phips, with his American invading squadron, is summoning Frontenac to surrender Quebec in 169o. His blindfolded envoy presently appears, and is amazed to find himself, not among a few cowering citizens, but in the presence of the Viceroy and his officers, who have just arrived after a splendid forced march. However, Lieutenant Thomas Savage is a stout fellow, too ; and he pulls out his watch and gives Frontenac an hour to answer. Then Frontenac, whose personator, M. d’Artois, was the best single character in the whole Pageant, takes fire and rejects the summons with the historic words : ” Tell your master he shall have my answer at once, and from the mouth of my cannon 1 ”
The parting shots of Phips and Frontenac have died away. The acred stage is once more empty ; and all is silence. But it is the silence of eager expectation and suspense. The culminating moment has at last arrived for a sight such as no man has ever seen before, since history began. Nothing is visible beyond the stage. But everyone in the auditorium knows and feels that the French and British armies of the two Battles of the Plains in 1759 and 1760, and the united French- arid English-speaking armies that saved Canada from the American invasions of 1775 and 1812, are waiting on the slope between the edge of the stage and the edge of the cliffs for the bilingual words of command which will set them marching on to the actual scene of their immortal deeds, and in the actual presence of their great leaders’ living next-of-kin and of a future King-Emperor George, the heir of the two Sovereigns in whose similar name Canada was made and kept a British land. The sharp commands float up; there is the stirring roll of drums and blare of bugles, with the measured tread of advancing feet. Then, for just one second, the standards of France and Britain appear over the crest, waving proudly, side by side. Next instant, Wolfe and Montcalm, Levis and Murray, ride into view with their staffs and mounted standard bearers; then, with French and British shoulder to shoulder, in corresponding columns, the four armies of the three wars, twenty-seven regiments strong.
Montcalm’s Grenadiers marched with Wolfe’s Grenadiers of Louisburg ; and so on, two corps together, from front to rear. Wolfe himself was personated by one of his next-of-kin, Lieutenant Passy, of the Royal Canadian Engineers, who, curiously enough, is of French blood on his father’s side. The prevailing colour among the French was white, among the British, red. The Royal Roussillon, that stood the longest, fought the hardest, and lost the most, of course wore blue, as a royal regiment. And the Canadian Militia had coloured tuques and grey, étoffe-du pays coats.
Fraser’s Highlanders had the old short kilt and plain Tam-o’-Shanter bonnet with a single ostrich feather. The Royal Americans were, in many ways, the most interesting corps, as being the military ancestors of every Rifle Regiment in the British service,, and as thus perpetuating, in the present Rifle Green, the original British-American backwoodsman’s green jacket, in which the recruits joined when the regiment was first raised, in 1755, in the Colonies which now form part of the United States. The most interesting flag was the Regimental Colour of the 7th Royal Fusiliers, which was the only regiment of regulars with Carleton at Quebec in 1775. The original colour was taken by the Americans in the Revolutionary War and is now at West Point. When the Duke of Kent came out to Quebec in 1791, in command of the regiment, he brought a facsimile made by the Royal Princesses and presented by his father the King. This is still preserved and was copied exactly for the Pageant. So the Prince of Wales, who is the present Honorary Colonel of the 7th, saw here the facsimile of the colours made for his own great-grandfather, and made in imitation of those belonging to the same regiment which helped Carleton to save Canada for the British Crown.
This whole scene formed a most thrilling sight and one that was deeply appealing to those of either race and tongue. And it was most significant to see Wolfe and Montcalm, Lévis and Murray, together in the centre, with Carleton and Voyer on one flank, and de Salaberry, Brock and Tecumseh on the other. But more thrilling, more appealing, and more significant than all else was the call of the blood across the centuries. And who that then felt it stir his pulse can ever deny that the crowded hours of glorious life which really make a man or a nation are the ones best worth the living, and that, by our answer to this ancestral call, on the very ground from which it came, we have gone far toward exalting our own day above the catalogue of common things ?