Canadian Transport Sourcebook

[ Home | All Works | List of Authors | By Date | Contact ]
Canadian Transport Sourcebook > All works> Lord Strathcona > Chapter 14

Chapter XIV

The High Commissionership

In 1896, Sir Donald Smith was appointed High Commissioner for Canada in England, and sailed for London to take up his residence in a place where, in spite of a large connection among financiers and business men, he was yet a stranger. It was an unusual move for a man of seventy-five, and one destined to make his name more widely known than his greatest achievements had ever done. The real work of his life was over, as at such an age a man's work must needs be, but yet this quiet evening of his days when the clouds of physical hardship, strenuous toil, and nerve-racking anxiety had cleared away was to bring him such widespread popular applause as his working hours had never known.

The duties of the High Commissioner include certain specified things such as controlling the management of the public debt and taking general charge of all arrangements relating to the finances of the Dominion. Beyond this they are, briefly put, to do everything in his power for the advantage of Canada and Canadians. Obviously, he may fill this blank commission with any writing that seems good in his own eyes, and when Sir Donald Smith assumed office he did not fall heir to many of those clinging traditions which hamper the course even of the strongest man. The post was not old enough for that. It had been created in 1880 by Sir John Macdonald, and had been held from 1880 to 1884 by Sir Alexander Galt and from 1884 onwards by Sir Charles Tupper, who only came back to Canada in 1896 at the urgent call of his party. Sir Mackenzie Bowell, the Conservative premier of the day, was struggling against a disaffected Cabinet as well as a clamourous Opposition. The country was convulsed over the deadly question of the Manitoba Separate Schools, a question in which the unending strife between Catholic and Protestant, acute enough in all conscience, grew more bitter in its unlucky combination with the jealousy of a provincial government which saw, or fancied it saw, its autonomy outraged by the Dominion. The Opposi­tion, led by Mr. Wilfrid Laurier, was prepared to force a general election. It was at this moment that seven Cabinet ministers resigned their portfolios. Evidently the strongest man in the Conservative party was needed to face such a crisis, and Charles Tupper, who was at the time in Canada, resigned his High Commissionership, succeeded in gathering the party together, and prepared to contest the coming election with the same high-hearted lust for battle which had so often won victory before.

But in the meantime the office of High Commis­sioner must be filled. The place was offered to Sir Donald Smith, then representing Montreal West in the Dominion Parliament, and he accepted it, rather to the astonishment of the premier and decidedly to the consternation of some of his old friends, one of whom wrote to him: "I hope it is not true that you have accepted the post. It would in my opinion be a fatal mistake—fatal to your peace of mind, to your health, and also to your fame and happiness. Moreover, it will prove to be but an empty honour, and your enforced retirement in a few months will surely follow. Mackenzie Bowell cannot possibly carry on and Laurier will come in. If you accept you are laying up a fresh sorrow for your old age. " Nevertheless, as usual, Sir Donald inscrutably went his own way, and by the time the elections were taking place in Canada he had been sworn in as High Commissioner and Privy Coun­cillor and had made a speech at the Congress of Chambers of Commerce of the Empire meeting that year in London, in which he sounded the Imperial note that was to dominate all his utter­ances throughout his long tenure of eighteen years: "We have other and higher objects to attain—the closer commercial unity of this great Empire; and those who run may read not only the issues that are at stake at the present time but the very much greater issues that must make them­selves apparent in the near future." And, though the candid friend quoted above was perfectly correct in his forecast regarding Laurier's probable success at the polls, Sir Donald's "enforced retire­ment" did not "infallibly follow." On the con­trary, Mr. Laurier's promptness in expressing the hope that the change in government would not prevent his retention of office, marked a fresh beginning in his London life. In the following summer he was honoured by being raised to the peerage under the title of Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal. He lived out the fifteen years of the Liberal régime, received the same courtesy from Mr. Borden when the Conservatives regained office in 1911, and at last died High Commissioner in his ninety-fourth year.

During these eighteen years two words were constantly on his lips and in his heart, Canada and the Empire. He was, indeed, in his own person no bad example of that spirit which in ways never dreamed of before is slowly changing a heterogene­ous conglomerate of colonies into something ap­proaching an organic unity, that strange something which we call the Empire, throwing a new content into the word to describe a thing new under the sun. He was a perfervid Canadian. He loved his adopted country, believed in her and claimed for her the full­est autonomy and independence of movement. He would have resented any infringement of her liberties. But in this apparently disintegrating and centrifugal affection for the part, he somehow found the source of a heightened devotion to the mighty whole. It had been the story of all the colonies, an old story now, though there are still some, or were before 1914, who fail to grasp its tremendous reality and significance.

To "think imperially" was not so common then as now. It was not so long since annexation to the United States had been regarded as the inevitable fate of Canada, and few would have ventured to predict ten years earlier that history, affection and free-will would, in the end, prove stronger than geography. Even in 1896 the Colonies (they were not called Overseas Dominions then), were only beginning to feel the stirrings of a dim perception that there was something better for each of them than a selfish isolation helplessly awaiting, with more or less consciousness, a predestined future sundering of all ties with the Motherland. The first faint thrill of a common life was beginning to blow among the dry, disjected bones. Within the next five years the tiny germ of Empire thawed out by this quickening spirit was to emerge to view, a most promising sapling, if not a mighty tree. Fate, that seemed adverse at first sight, really favoured. A war broke out of the kind in which colonial assistance both moral and material was most precious. The colonies, without a moment's hesitation except a perfectly natural twitter of doubt from French Canada ere it was quite awake, flew to give that help. The storm that threatened to uproot the new birth only rocked the cradle. Not a little was accomplished, too, by the ceaseless efforts of a group of men who saw farther than their fellows. Among this band of pioneers we number Lord Strathcona. His share in carrying through the C. P. R. was, as we saw, a crucial service to the Empire and was rendered as such with a perfectly clear consciousness of the vast political issues at stake. He was not then thinking of Canada alone. He knew quite well that Canada was only part of a larger system. Without pondering it much he was quite as vividly aware as Sir John Macdonald himself that he was born a British subject who, with all his soul and strength and mind intended to die one, and he knew that his iron horse vanquishing the distances of the illimitable prairies was a winged steed ridden by a winged Victory for the good and glory of his native land as well as of his adopted one. As the years went on, this deep undercurrent of feeling had grown clearer and come up into the light in a more rounded and substantial form, not altogether, perhaps, in consequence of any ruminations of his own, for his was not a very originative mind, but in instant response to the vision of a few men whose words appealed to all the inarticulate loyalty in him. There were a few who "were deeply impressed alike with the magnitude of the interests which all parts of the Empire had in common, and with the dangers to which in the absence of organized coöperation they could all be exposed. . . . And above and beyond all these prudential considerations, they were fired with the idea of a great political fabric, the like of which the world has never seen, an Empire "on which the sun never sets," not, however, like the empires of the past, controlled from a single centre or held together by a despotic authority, but maintaining its parts in organic autonomy as a free union of independent though inseparable States, responsible for the peace and good govern­ment of nearly one-third of mankind, conscious of a common destiny and animated by a common patriotism." He became one of them, heart and soul. His allegiance to Mr. Joseph Chamberlain was matter of common talk, and, at times, of partisan complaint. And one thing his biographer can most confidently claim for him; having once fully seized the idea of Empire he never despaired of its realization any more than he had despaired of the Canada that was to be, even when the Canada that was seemed most immovably remote from it. His hope glowed like a well-restrained but unquenchable fire. He was an old convert and practitioner of the doctrine of festina lente— no haste, no rest. When men were confident and optimistic he was steady and prudent, when men were disheartened and beginning to lose courage he was still steady and prudent, always alert to forward every project however small which might help on the great end, never impatient for quick results. The Jubilee festivities of 1897, with the meeting of the Colonial premiers in London, evoked a burst of loyalty on the part of the Colonies and of interest and affection on the part of Englishmen which seemed suddenly to knit the whole Empire closer together. Before the impres­sion had time to fade, war broke out in South Africa and with it a rush of generous feeling in Colonies which drove their sons to help "the old gray mother." The wave of enthusiasm swelled higher and higher. The welding was practically accomplished, men said; the blood of Canadians and Australians had mingled with the blood of Englishmen and Scotchmen on the African veldt and such a cement could not fail to make an indis­soluble fabric; constructive organization might be difficult, but all difficulties must disappear before the united voice of the British peoples scattered over the seven seas. In the first eighteen months of the twentieth century men were cheerfully confident that some definite shaping of the scat­tered limbs of Empire into an ordered system was a matter of to-morrow, or of the day after at the latest. The Colonial Conference of 1902 was to be epoch-making.

More than most men, Lord Strathcona might have been carried away by the intoxication of this triumphant partnership in war. He had spent his treasure freely to equip a force for the Imperial cause. He had been thanked and praised on all sides. His soldiers had been lauded even to fulsomeness and much had been said, some sense and some nonsense, about the benefits that would flow from their exploits. Yet, on the very eve of the Colonial Conference of 1902 he wrote:

"Without doubt, a general feeling prevails in favour of closer union for Imperial purposes, for commercial purposes and for defence, a closer union which will assure the different parts of the Empire full liberty of self-government while giving them a voice in Imperial policy. There are some who think that the solution is to be found in the representation of the Colonies in the Imperial Parliament. I am not one of those who share that view, at any rate until a truly Imperial Parliament to deal with Imperial affairs can be established. . . . In times to come it is within the bounds of possibility that there may be local parliaments to deal with local affairs in England, Scotland and Ireland, and we may also then have a Parliament with representatives from the different parts of the Empire which will be Imperial in name and in work. But even on such a basis, the Empire is so vast in its area, and so varied in its resources and in its interests, that the solution for which we are seeking will be surrounded by many difficulties, and he would be a bold man who would undertake to frame a measure which would satisfactorily meet the requirements of the situation. We are, how­ever, approaching a period when all parts of Empire will want to have a voice in the Imperial foreign policy, and in other subjects affecting the well-being of the community in general. This is not unnatural, and there can be no true consolidation until it is brought about. How it is to be done I am not prepared to say. But some way must be found of meeting the requirements of the Col­onies."

The paper from which these words are taken is eminently characteristic of the man. There is in it the same cautious moderation of language cover­ing a deep tenacity of purpose which was in the replies he wrote thirty years before on behalf of Canadian government to Louis Riel's importunate questionings. And though he is "not prepared to say" just how the greet goal is to be reached, he never loses sight of it for a moment or misses the slightest step towards it. With the same quick eye he showed in Labrador forty years before for hopeful infinitesimals, the pence, that can be trusted to look after the pounds if you give them time, he seizes on every little stone that can be turned the right side out to fit into a crevice of that unobtrusive foundation of mutual knowledge and interest on which alone all towering far-seen edifices of state can stand. He enumerates the "stepping-stones to closer union" as follows:

And he himself had played a weighty or decisive part in the accomplishment of five out of the seven.

But the Colonial Conference of 1902 fully justified the sober prognostic of the High Commis­sioner. With the British government refusing the request of the Colonies for preferential trade and the Colonies looking very coldly on any hint of military service which did not leave the entire control of their forces in their own hands, a rude jar was given to optimistic forecasts. At the first attempt to set the machine in motion the wheels had creaked dismally and for some time after that it became the fashion to leave them severely alone, lumbering in the old ruts. There was in fact a distinct revulsion of feeling. Unifica­tion was sadly postponed to an indefinite date. Yet, in 1907, when another Colonial Conference had only confirmed the impression made by that of 1902, Lord Strathcona was still cheerfully working away at his unconsidered trifles, labouring to obtain a reduction of postage on newspapers from Britain to Canada with a view to bringing Canadians more into touch with British affairs, and industriously agitating in favour of the "All-Red Route," a scheme for connecting Britain by fast steamships with Eastern Canada, and Western Canada with Australia, the link of the transcon­tinental railway spanning the land-bridge between. The postage was reduced in 1908; in spite of all efforts the All-Red Route has not yet come fully into being.

It is hard to make a distinction between the High Commissioner's work for Canada and his work for the Empire, because all he did was done simultaneously for both. But as in those days Canada's greatest need was more people, with a view to win emigrants of the right sort he went up and down the highways and byways of the United Kingdom, speaking at every sort of public gather­ing, describing in concrete and homely detail farm life in Canada and the path opening up in the great new country for young men with good strong arms and a modicum of intelligence to guide them. His agents were everywhere supplementing his personal work. After 1898, under the incomparably ener­getic impulse of the Hon. Clifford Sifton, the department of the interior established a separate emigration office in London, giving its whole time to that work, but the Commissioner never relaxed his efforts and it is only the fury of interested prejudice that can question the fact that to him falls a large share of the credit for the great increase of British immigration, which rose from about 10,000 in 1897 to 138,000 in 1912. His merits here are far from being exhaustively represented by the actual number of speeches made, the intend­ing emigrants interviewed, or the agents put in operation. Making al possible allowance for what was accomplished in this way, permanent success depended in the end on the actual facts about Canada. Was the fertile land there? And was it within reach of markets? These were the two crucial questions, and for the emphatic "yes" happily available in response, to the second, Canada might thank Donald Smith and the Canadian Pacific. For many years he endeavoured to increase her debt to him by establishing a line of fast steamers sailing from England direct to a Canadian port, able to compete with the speedy New York lines and thus likely to tip the scale in favour of Canada with many an emigrant. He had observed long ago that such people nearly always prefer the shortest passage. It was not easy to find a company which would undertake it, and in the end it was again the C. P. R. Company which made the venture.

But his transcendent value as an advertisement for Canada lay in his own mere existence, his own career and the impression of his appearance to the eye. No moving picture in a cinema show could speak so alluringly of the unbounded possibilities of fortune in a land which had produced in this kindly and shrewd old gentleman with the bushy white eye-brows, the achieved type of a hero drawn by Samuel Smiles. In that solid and far from discon­certingly brilliant presence wealth beyond the dreams of avarice seemed within the reach of the most pedestrian Anglo-Saxon "perseverance." The heaven of the race had come down before their eyes in grey top-hat. It was no wild dream any more, but "a sober certainty of waking bliss." The superficial homeliness which veiled the rare inar­ticulate manhood, hidden in the depths for the most part both to himself and others, of this formidable personality exercised the most potent spell upon an audience of Englishmen or Scotch men. This was no will o' the wisp! The very figure on the platform breathed a balm of priceless confidence. Donald A. Smith's chief value to Canada in these days was just Donald A. Smith himself, and next to that was something very closely akin to that—the steady good sense with which this High Commissioner plied the unpopular part if not of a "knocker" at least of a damper and brake. He never ceased by word and pen to clip the wings of that rampant and avaricious optimism which has done more than anything else in its insane eagerness to boom the west, to give Canada a distinctly purplish eye in the view of the English investor.

Of the emigration propaganda carried on upon the Continent during these years it is difficult to speak without the suspicion of a smile. There is an irresistible suggestion of comic opera in the spec­tacle of agents scouring the European countries disguised as pedlars and hawkers, evading and deliberately breaking the rigid emigration laws of those lands and falling into scrapes or every degree of seriousness, treating it all as a great game and triumphantly pocketing their bonus when an emigrant was definitely hooked. But the smile fades when one realizes that a veritable door of life was being opened to these people. The Douk­hobors, the Finns, the Galicians, the Poles who swarmed over to Canada were slipping away from intolerable oppression and grinding burdens, and the emigration agent, in spite of his cheap and florid talk and the occasional sordid heartlessness of his deception, was a true evangelist to them.

On one memorable occasion Lord Strathcona himself narrowly missed kindling an international complication by becoming the scapegoat of this somewhat shady propaganda. By a curious lapse from his habitual caution he thrust his long head into the Prussian eagle's cage, a much more perilous place for it than in his old prison in Louis Riel's primitive mouse-trap from which even Schultz had had wit enough to break away. Retorting upon the German Empire that policy of peaceful penetration in which it has shown such incredible dexterity, he appeared one fine morning in Hamburg, the citadel of Herr Ballin himself, and addressed what in his entire innocence of the Teutonic language and institutions he took to be "a crowded audience of steamship booking agents," which was in reality a company of wharf touts whose professional impudence had so far defied their native police force as to indulge the natural curiosity invincible even in the docile Boche to hear a speech from a live English "milord." His lordship persuasively, in his native dialect, expounded the allurements of the liberal system of bounties which might be earned by skill in diverting to the Western prairies the cannon-fodder of the Imperial War-Lord. Luckily, the orator did not stay a moment to gather the echoes of his eloquence on the spot. Had he done so he would undoubtedly have made close acquaintance with an administrative machine of a somewhat different quality from the genial incompetence so familiar to his youthful studies of the good old Company's rule at Fort Garry. Spanda might well have swallowed him up. As it was, nothing worse came of it than a solemn protest from the German Ambassador in Great Britain, Count Hatzfeldt, addressed to Mr. Joseph Chamberlain, a warning from the latter that henceforth his disciple must abstain on pain of immediate incarceration from further pursuing his political education in any part of the German Empire, and finally the awkward necessity of withdrawing from public notice as "strictly confidential" a somewhat complacent report of the unfortunate raid upon the Fatherland which had been promptly despatched to Ottawa. It is a satisfaction for the ordinary mortal to find that just as Homer sometimes nodded, so the almost inhuman circumspection of the cautious Scot did not save him from occasional blunders. Like the spots in the sun, however, or those patches on a fine complexion affected by the beauties of Queen Anne's time, such rare delinquencies in discretion served only as foils to heighten the general effect of an almost chilly correctitude. No successor can possibly have an easy task in keeping up the pace set by Canada's ideal High Commissioner. In his eighteen years of tenure he impressed a stamp upon his office which is likely to create a tradition as exemplary as it is unattainable.

He was the first to recognize punctiliously its non-political nature. Sir Charles Tupper had been a member of a Conservative ministry while acting in London, but Lord Strathcona regarded himself as having stepped altogether outside of and beyond Canadian politics in becoming High Commissioner. He was the representative of the Canadian people in England, for the purpose of acting for the government of the day representing the Canadian people, whatever its political complexion might be, and it would be hard to point out a single case where he fell short of the line of conduct he had marked out for himself. This was possible for him as it might not have been for many men. His party ties had never been very close; he had sat on both sides of the House and was fond of describing himself as an Independent. He had made himself equally formidable and indispensable to both Liberals and Conservatives. But in addition he possessed an iron self-control hiding every trace of personal feeling, built up by the Spartan discipline of the Hudson's Bay Company upon the natural silent strength of his character, which had been a supreme asset through his years of struggle, and was now hardening in old age into a sort of superhuman detachment and aloofness. A very old man, always with a certain detachment of manner, as if he had passed some boundaries of time and space beyond his fellows, and while occupied and keenly interested—"really alone with himself," wrote one who saw much of his later years. It was this impersonal Olympian attitude, backed by his earnest love of his adopted country and deep-seated belief in her destinies, that made him to the popular mind what a London journalist called, "Canada in a swallow-tail coat"—a stately figure worthily embodying in his own visible people the history and aspirations of the Dominion which in consequence he represented as it is never likely to be represented again.

And this figure walked surrounded by a golden mist, sure evidence to the people of its divinity. His great wealth was also a real practical advantage for the fuller discharge of his duties. It enabled him to throw round his position an atmosphere of splendour and magnificence well befitting the ambassador of a great people. He used it as British statesmen have always used theirs in unceasing hospitality usually on a splendid scale. Early in his English years he leased Knebworth, the historic seat of the Lyttons, and later on he acquired an estate in Glencoe, both of which were constantly thrown open to his friends or the friends of Canada. The storm and stress of his life was over. This was the period of rest and retrospect. Not that he rested in the sense of ceasing to work. There is, indeed, something more pathetic than admirable in his devotion to regular office routine, an insistence on doing himself a mass of trifling things which might have been much better left to subordinates. But no tremendous issues hung on his labours any more. His active life was over; the strong man had run his race rejoicing; it was the still and gorgeous hour of sunset.

All kinds of honours, of course, fell to him. He lived long enough to survive the violent animosities inflamed by his services; to wear his aureole and listen to his own legend and, indeed, in great part to believe it; to read with his own eyes the judgment of posterity before the night came on. In 1897, as we have noted above, he had been created a Peer of the United Kingdom and had chosen for himself a title which linked together the new home and the old, Baron Strathcona (the Gaelic form of Glencoe) and Mount Royal (looking back to that city where his triumphs had been won). In 1900 by a special grant the peerage was made to descend to his daughter, as he had no son. Thus was gratified that Highland ambition to found a family which he shared with one of the greatest of his countrymen, Sir Walter Scott. Some years before he became High Commissioner he had been made Chancellor of McGill University and in 1899, a fresh dignity came to him when he was elected Lord Rector of Aberdeen University. In 1910 he represented both McGill and Aberdeen at the centenary rejoicings of Berlin University and had the honour of being chosen from among all the numerous academic Britons in that illustrious assembly as the spokesman of the universities of the United Kingdom and the Empire. In a word, he was everywhere given a place in all that expressed the noblest life of the day.

A great deal of his time was occupied in administering his vast wealth. He had earned it well—enriching thousands in the process of his own enrichment—and he spent it wisely. His investments in the Kingdom of Heaven were as cautious and well directed as his ventures with the Mammon of Unrighteousness. Much went to McGill University to which he made repeated gifts. He built and endowed in connection with it the Royal Victoria College for Women at a cost of about $1,000,000; he spent a couple of millions in conjunction with his cousin George Stephen, now Lord Mount Stephen, to whom in this case as in many others the credit of the initiative was due, in building and endowing the beautiful Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal; a million dollars went to raise the Strathcona Horse; that splendid gift of private munificence to the Empire which, unexampled in its day, has been so prolific since, in that noble crop of similar free offerings in the cause of Great Britain and humanity with which individual Canadians, especially, astonished the world at a time of still more deadly peril. Another million went to King Edward's Hospital fund, while Aberdeen, Yale, and Queen's Universities all benefitted by him to a greater or less degree. But these splendid gifts were probably less of a drain on time and strength than the smaller ones which were not blazoned abroad but which poured forth in a ceaseless stream.

It is pleasant to remember that among the lesser causes which had Lord Strathcona's constant support, one was the heroic work of Dr. Grenfell on the coast of Labrador. It was forty years since the Hudson's Bay clerk and factor had lived in Labrador but he had never forgotten the people there, their poverty and bitter need; and when he saw a brave man giving his life to fight their sorrows he was quick to put weapons in his hands. His chief contribution to that noble effort was the priceless one of a hospital ship by whose aid the doctor has brought light and healing into many a life hidden far away out of sight in the fog and foam among those cruel rocks. It is another instance of that steady faithfulness which was his greatest quality. Here is another not less typical of the man.

On his last journey across Canada, when he was eighty-eight years old, he met with an accident in the Okanagan Valley in which he escaped serious harm half by a mere miracle, half by the heroic self-possession of another man. He was being driven in state about the famous Coldstream Ranch, the mayor of the nearest town, a noted horseman, holding the reins. As they descended a steep hill at the foot of which the road turned sharply to skirt the shores of a lake, the brake slipped, and to the horror of the mayor the horses ran furiously down the slope and could not be checked. Straight ahead of him was a precipitous drop into the lake, on either hand was a barbed wire fence, and he was responsible for the safety of the High Commissioner of Canada! He made his choice in a a flash and, wheeling the horses to one side by a desperate tug, charged the barbed wire fence. Lord Strathcona escaped almost unhurt but his deliverer suffered serious injuries.

The rescued nobleman never forgot. Through the weeks of bed-ridden danger and lassitude which followed for the mayor he sent repeated inquiries, and year after year, long after all the injuries had healed, the gratitude still flowed. Grouse from Glencoe came with unfailing regularity with the best compliments of its Lord to the man whom he had seen but once. It was like him. He never forgot a friend any more than he forgave an enemy.

He had grown very old, but though he more than once suggested retiring from office, and even went so far—he would have been very loath to be taken at his word!—as to be introduced to his own successor, Sir Frederick Borden, and even as to have Sir Wilfrid Laurier announce his resignation at the Dominion Day banquet in 1911, no effective steps were ever taken to disturb his inveterate tenure. Sir Wilfrid did nothing before he went out of power in the same year to convert the formal resignation into actual fact, and when Mr. Borden assumed office he persuaded the High Commissioner to remain where he was. And there he did remain until the end, although it would be foolish to deny that the infirmities of old age had begun quite visibly to tell upon him at last. On the twelfth of November, 1913, Lady Strathcona died after only five days' illness. Ten weeks longer he lived, a stricken man, left alone by this abrupt ending of a union which had lasted for sixty years, then on the seventeenth of January, 1914, he, too, closed his eyes upon a world in which for nearly ninety-four years he had played a valiant part.

They would have buried him in Westminster Abbey among his peers. As it was, his obsequies were celebrated in that high temple of our race filled with the bowed heads of all that was most eminent in England; the centre in that hour for the mourning of a vast Empire which no one individual of the three generations whose contemporary the honoured dead had been, had laboured more steadfastly, faithfully or more successfully to consolidate than he. But when we Canadians cross the sea to strew with flowers the grave of him to whom we owe so much it is not there, among poets and kings and captains enshrined for everlasting glory in the Valhalla of a great nation's memory and pilgrimage, that we must seek his monument. We need not cross the sea for that. Our Canada is his monument. But his tomb is in a humble God's Acre, Highgate Cemetery. He was faithful to death. Amid all the loud praises that is his highest and most characteristic praise. He rests in London side by side with the wife he had won in Labrador.

Hand in hand with her he waits the Resurrection of the dead. Meantime, his works do follow him here before our eyes.

[Public Domain] Copyright/Licence: The author or authors of this work died in 1964 or earlier, and this work was first published no later than 1964. Therefore, this work is in the public domain in Canada per sections 6 and 7 of the Copyright Act. See disclaimers.