Box 13-007 THE TATLER, THE MONTREAL HERALD (WRITTEN BY [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN)
Mar 29 1902
The Montreal Herald, Saturday, March 29, 1902
A Park for New Brunswick
The Province of New Brunswick, following the example of Ontario, is about to establish a Provincial Park. It is to have an area of 900 square miles, and although the location has not been decided upon, it will probably be in the vast wilderness at the head of the Tobique River, one of the tributaries of the St. John. Here the moose, the caribou and the deer will be free from all annoyance, for no gun or rifle will be permitted to be fired in this territory of thirty miles square. It will be a haven of rest for hunted denizens of the forest, and it is expected that it will in time become a great resort for tourists who have freed themselves from the barbarous instinct, which causes some men to desire to kill everything in sight. Many tourists now go to the woods with a camera instead of a rifle, and prefer to see a living deer bounding through the forest rather than a dead one at their feet. The park idea is one which is bound to spread and become fashionable, for it is founded on man's instinctive love of nature. Every one had enough of the original savage in his composition to desire to get into the woods occasionally, and if he can live there in comfort at a good hotel he will enjoy it the more.
The Preservation of Game
All the Provinces of Canada are now paying much greater attention to the preservation of game than was formerly the case, the indiscriminate slaughter which once prevailed is no longer permitted and the result is that game of all kinds are becoming plentiful in districts from which they had wholly disappeared. It would be a thousand pities if the lordly moose should disappear from our forests, but fortunately there is no danger of that being the case. It is safe to say that there are ten times as many moose in Eastern Canada now as there were thirty years ago. But the most astonishing increase has been in the deer, which fairly swarm in some districts, and seem to be well versed in the law, for in the close season they come into the settlements and wander about at will. Two or three years ago I saw three deer sporting on the edge of a marsh in a very thickly-settled farming country miles away from any forest, and not more than 200 feet from the nearest house. They remained there a couple of hours and seemed to understand perfectly that no one dared to touch them. Last summer I saw three deer in a farmer's oat field a few yards from his house, and they seemed to be very little disturbed by the presence of man. There is no more beautiful animal than our forest deer, and their increase is a subject of congratulation.
Secrets of The Sea
The disappearance of an ocean steamer with all hands on board is always a subject of melancholy interest. What secrets the sea conceals in its watery bosom. One great ocean steamer-ship is now overdue for five weeks and hope is gradually fading away. There have been hundreds of such cases where a vessel apparently strong and staunch in every particular, sailed away from her port, the people on board of her thinking of no danger, and was never heard of more. A few years ago one of the steamships of the White Star Line, a brand new vessel, disappeared in this unaccountable fashion on her first voyage. But the steamer whose fate perhaps attracted the greatest amount of interest in Canada was the City Of Boston, which thirty years ago left Halifax bound for Liverpool and disappeared forever. There were a great many Canadians on board of her whose friends and relations alternated between hope and fear for many months but nothing was ever heard that would uncover her fate. It is likely that many vessels which are lost at sea in the North Atlantic meet their doom in consequence of colliding with an iceberg or with another ship. Although no doubt a steamer may sometimes founder in consequence of being overwhelmed by some immense wave.
Scarcity of Teachers
Some of the Provinces are complaining of the scarcity of school teachers, in some places the need of them being so great as to necessitate the employment of persons who have not passed through the normal schools. This is unfortunate, but it seems to be the natural result of the employment of so many female teachers. When a man goes into the business of teaching he generally intends to make it the occupation of his life, but the rewards are so small in proportion to what he may obtain in other walks of life that the number of male teachers is constantly decreasing. The business is now very largely thrown into the hands of young women, who take it up as a temporary occupation to serve their present needs. No female school teacher expects always to be a teacher. She hopes to become a wife, the mistress of a house and the mother of a family. It is well that there should be a certain proportion of female teachers, but the handing over of the whole teaching of the country to them is surely a mistake. All the Provinces boast a great deal of the efficiency of their school systems, but I believe that under the old system just as good work was done as far as it went. Certainly more children are receiving an education than was formerly the case, but the number of first-class scholars is not increasing in the same proportion. The evil of a scarcity of teachers is one that can only be cured by offering them greater inducements to remain in the service. It is singular, considering the great importance of teaching and the wonderful influence that a good teacher can exercise on the future of his pupils that they should be among the worst paid persons in the community. The moral is that if we expect to retain the services of good teachers we must pay them better.
The Good Old Times
Those who are disposed to lament the good old times should read the memoirs of Horace Walpole, George Selwyn and others, which relate the story of that period. These were the flourishing days of Toryism, when a tyrannical King and a subservient Parliament governed the country. George III kept the governments, which he favored in power by the simple process of buying members of Parliament. The King's money was spent not in extravagant living, the patronage of the arts or in any honorable manner, but in absolute bribery. Members of Parliament who were not bought with money, received sinecure offices, the duties of which they performed by deputy. George Selwyn himself held an office of this kind worth 3,000 pounds a year, which had no duties attached to it. This was his reward for being able to return two supporters of the Government to Parliament for the borough he controlled. Nor is the political condition of the present age the only thing in which we have improved upon the past. A man like the old Duke of Queensbury, who died in 1810, would hardly be tolerated in the twentieth century, and certainly would not be honored by the friendship of the King. Yet this man, who united in his own person all forms of vice, was a lord of the bed-chamber to the pious King George III for more than a quarter of a century and was a close friend of the King. That truly religious monarch overlooked his vices because he was able to give a powerful support to the Government by means of his wealth and influence.
The Smallpox Epidemic1
During the past twelve months every Province in the Dominion, and almost every State in the Union, has had to fight the smallpox. The same condition of affairs has prevailed across the Atlantic, and smallpox has been more prevalent in England than for many years. All the Provincial Governments of Canada have been put to large expense, and almost every city in Canada has found its expenditure increased from the same cause. Half a century ago it was believed that vaccination had driven out the smallpox. At that time the statement was true, for the regulations in regard to vaccination were enforced. Every parent thought it his duty to have his child vaccinated when it was an infant, and the result was that the younger generations were entirely free from this disease. But in the course of time a set of cranks arose who began to agitate against this vaccination. They conjured up dreadful pictures of the diseases that might follow from the sanitary measure in the event of the vaccine matter not being quite pure. They wrote pamphlets and formed societies, and waged a vigorous warfare against the only safeguard we have against the most loathsome of all diseases and the most contagious. They did not make many converts, but the result of their teachings was to make people careless in regard to vaccination, and instead of being universal as it had been formerly, vaccination was, in many cases, neglected. How many people are there in Canada who have never been vaccinated. I fear there are a great many, hundreds of thousands, possibly a million or more. Every one of these persons is a source of danger to his neighbor and the immunity they have enjoyed from smallpox is only due to the fact that they live in a community where four persons out of every five are vaccinated. This surely ought to be an impressive lesson as to the necessity of attention to this precaution against the dread disease. The growing commerce and shipping business of Canada brings many seafaring men to its ports suffering from smallpox and this makes the utmost vigilance on the part of our authorities the more necessary.
The Scourge of Europe
Smallpox was the scourge of Europe two centuries ago. It swept away tens of thousands for there was no remedy against it. It did not spare the palaces of kings, and in the reign of Louis XIV the heir to the French throne and other members of the royal family died of smallpox. Lady Mary Wortley Montague, who had traveled in the East, introduced into Europe the practice of inoculation, and this did a good deal to lessen the mortality. Persons were inoculated from individuals who were suffering from mild attacks of the smallpox, the object being to have the smallpox in a mild form so as to enjoy immunity from a more malignant attack.
Inoculation continued to be practiced until Jenner's great discovery of vaccination but after that it was given up and has been made illegal by the laws of England.
England and the States
General Methuen's defeat is said to be very pleasing to a majority of the press of the United States, and if these newspapers truly voice American public opinion, a majority of the people of the United States are in sympathy with the Boers. This is to be regretted, because it will tend to postpone the realization of that dream of the unity of the English-speaking nations in which so many persons in England believe, and so few on this side of the Atlantic. No one who keeps his eyes and ears open can doubt that the general feeling of the Americans towards Great Britain is not enthusiastically friendly. This is one of the legacies left to us by the blundering folly of George III and the subservience of the Ministers who carried out his orders. Separation between the thirteen colonies and the Mother Country was perhaps inevitable, but it might have been brought about without the bloodshed and horror of a seven-years' war, and the hatred which naturally followed that long struggle. The bitterness of the feeling which existed in the United States against Great Britain at the close of the war was illustrated by the treatment of the Loyalists, who, in defiance of the terms of the treaty of peace, were robbed of their property and driven from the country to found a new nation in Canada in Nova Scotia. It was at one time seriously proposed to abandon the English language, and take up some Indian dialect as the tongue of the new nation, which had just achieved its independence. This project no doubt would have been carried into effect but for its inconvenience. Certainly it was not love for the English people that caused the Americans to continue to speak the English language.
The Revolutionary War
The effect of the revolutionary quarrel has not yet been removed. For a century Great Britain, has been regarded as the enemy of America. The victories which American children going to school have been taught to rejoice over have been victories, or supposed victories, over British soldiers. There is no doubt that during the great struggle with Napoleon the sympathy of the majority of the United States, was with the Corsican, and the war of 1812 grew out of that feeling. France had assisted the Americans during the revolution, and perhaps it was natural that France should be regarded with more kindly feeling than Great Britain. Still, natural gratitude for favors received has never greatly influenced the policy of nations, and it is a fact worthy of note that the United States was actually at war with France not very many years after the war of independence, the cause of the quarrel being interference on the part of France with American trade. Spain was one of the nations that assisted the thirteen colonies in the revolutionary struggle by declaring war against Great Britain, but gratitude to Spain for this favor never been a conspicuous feature of American policy. When the South American colony of Spain revolted against the mother country the sympathies of the United States were certainly not with Spain, and the Monroe Doctrine, which was suggested by Canning, was directly aimed at the ancient Castillian kingdom. For half a century all good Americans have sympathized with Cuba in its efforts to throw off the yoke of Spain, and the recent war with Spain, which resulted in the loss of all her colonies, is the final payment in full by the United States to Spain for the assistance rendered to the people of the thirteen colonies during the revolutionary war.
1 Smallpox immunization had occurred as early as 1848 when, in response to an epidemic, a free vaccination program for the poor was instituted at Hamilton City Hall (HPL, Pamphlet File Weaver. Harris, Catherine: "The Health of Hamilton 1880-1905").
In this column of "The Tatler," March 29, 1902, Calvin attributed "The Smallpox Epidemic" in Canada and England for the past year to "a set of cranks [who] arose and began to agitate against vaccinations. . . . They wrote pamphlets and formed societies and waged a vigorous warfare against the only safeguard we have against the most loathsome of all diseases and the most contagious." Also, in "The Scourge of Europe" Calvin gave an historical account of Lady Mary Wortley Montague [1689-1762], who had "traveled in the East, [and] introduced into Europe the practice of inoculation," which was used until "Jenner's great discovery of vaccination" (The Montreal Herald June 29, 1902).
See also Box 13-068 & W4521 for accounts of the vaccination parties that were taking place at the time.
[Rev.] Calvin's "Certificate of Vaccination" can be found at W7940