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members is nearly divided between the tice, and sympathy, which are due to a government and the opposition, and it is people whose work on this continent has obvious that the contest between the two just begun, and whose achievements may commercial policies has but commenced. yet be as remarkable as those of the great Looking at the question from the point of federation to their south. The same mys. view of an impartial observer, we can see terious Providence, that has already dithat Canada is entering upon a very critical vided the continent of America as far as period in her history. She has reached the Rio Grande between Canada and the that stage when all the antagonistic ele- United States, and has in the past prements arising from those differences of vented their political fortunes becoming nationality, geographical situation, and one, still forces the Canadian communities commercial interesis, that exist in a Do- with an irresistible power to press onward minion stretching for three thousand five until they realize those high conceptions hundred miles between two oceans, must which their statesmen and people already complicate its questions of government imagine for them in a not distant future; and require a careful, sagacious, and steady but whilst the stream of Canadian develhand at the helm. Canadians are now opment refuses to turn aside from its patpractically the masters of their own des- ural channel and swell the current that is tiny. From this time forward they have ever carrying forward the federal republic to face political, financial, and commercial to so high a position among the nations, problems, which it will require no ordinary Canadians wish Godspeed to their neighstatesmanship to solve wisely, and which bors in their unparalleled career, and trust, must test to the very utmost their patriot. as the months pass by, that the clouds ism, their fidelity to an old and cherished which hang over the two countries may connection, and their ability to preserve disappear, and a brighter prospect of contheir political autonomy on the continent, tinuous friendship may open before them and build up a great and prosperous na- both. tion, always in close alliance, we trust, with England.
In the mean time, while the Canadian people are endeavoring to establish them
From Macmillan's Magazine selves firmly in America, it is earnestly to be hoped that any negotiations, which their government may be able to enter upon A TRAGEDY IN THE LIFE OF A BOOK-HUNTER. with the authorities at Washington with the view of bringing about a settlement of SOME ten or twelve years ago – tbe all questions at issue between the two date is of no importance or the exact countries, will be eventually successful, place - an Englishman wandered down to now that a new and more liberal Congress the north of Scotland and invested some has been elected by the people of the of his superfluous capital in a salmon river. United States, and that the McKinley Bili Such an adventurer is often but poorly has been unequivocally condemned by repaid for his enterprise. He generally the public opinion of the republic. One finds that the water, which was low on bis thing is certain, and that is, the Canadian arrival, becomes lower during his first people, since 1866, have been taught the week, while for the remainder of his stay great lesson of self-reliance, and the ne. it is merely sufficient to keep the bed of cessity of developing all those qualities the stream moist, and give the grouse which are essential to the unity and secu. something to drink. Or there is too much rity of their Dominion.* Conscious of the water; the river is running too big, and success that must be the reward of cour- the fish make their way to quieter stretches age and energy, Canada is prepared to above. And it now and then happens, meet the difficulties of the future with con- when everything else seems right, that fidence, and asks nothing from her great the fish are not up, or, if up, are able to competitor except that consideration, jus- find more profitable occupation for their
spare time than taking artificial fies. In • The present governor-general of Canada, Lord of an English statesman, anxious for the welfare of his complaint. But this fisherman was Stanley of Preston, speaking from the high standpoint such wise the honest angler often makes Canada, has of late seized every opportunity that has more fortunate. During his month it offered itself of pressing upon the Canadians the neces; rained a little almost every night, wbile sity of cultivating this spirit of self-reliance, and of facing all the difficulties of the present and the future four out of the five Sundays were regular
." of this character keep alive an English feeling, and specimens of Scotch downpours. It was maintain the unity of the empire.
very soothing, when lying awake at night,
to listen to the drip of water on the roof, I though so far as the great science of bib. or the gurgle of a choked-up pipe in the liomania went he was uneducated; a man yard - a lullaby to a fisherman on the dry who knew ever so much less about such north-east coast. On Sundays, too, clad matters than Mr. Quaritch might know a in rain-proof garments, it was pleasant to very great deal more than he did. But splash across the hill to the little church, there must have been something of the and listen to the minister holding forth to blood of the old collectors in his veins. his small congregation of keepers and He could at any time spend a pleasant shepherds, translating as he went, passages morning in poking about a second-hand from the psalms and lessons for the bene- bookseller's shop, and regarded with infit of his southero hearer.
difference the dust which settled on him This paper has nothing to do with in the course of his examinations. He salmon fishing, or it would be a pleasant loved the touch and feel of books, their task for us to give a minute and detailed backs and sides and edges, even the smell account of the good sport which this En- which hangs about the more ancient, sel. glishman – Mr. John Gibbs - enjoyed; dom-opened specimens. A catalogue had to describe with accurate pen the skill a charm for him which he would not have with which he chose the temptations he found it very easy to give a reason for, offered to the fish, and the courage and certainly not one which would have satis. coolness he displayed in the struggles fied any of his friends, who were for the which ensued. There is, however, some- most part of the pure sportsman breed, thing monotonous in continuous success, and who would have as soon occupied and it is just possible that the reader, after their time in reading a grocer's or an devouring with avidity the description of ironmonger's list as a secondhand bookthe first twenty or thirty battles, might seller's. Gibbs did not parade his little then become a little wearied, a little sated, weakness before these friends; he found and wish for a blank day.
them unsympathetic, with souls above the Gibbs eat salmon till he hated the sight arrangement of type and the width of marof it, and he sent fish away to his friends to gins. A large paper copy, or one with an extent which almost made the landlord the headlines and the edges mercilessly think that the next dividend of the High- cropped, was to them a book and nothing land Railway would be affected; four, five, more; they cared nothing for the work of six, even eight fish in a day. “What the old printers, and you might call over slaughter !” some would say, who perhaps the names of all the famous binders withget their supplies by nets. But his honest out arousing any enthusiasm in their soul was never vexed by such a thought. minds. He knew over how many blank days that · Hamlet,' or «The Merry Wives of white month should rightly be spread to Windsor,'or one of those !”. what possiget a fair average, and he abated not abilities were opened up by these random whit of his skill, or let off one single fish words! Gibbs knew that the sale was to if he could help it.
take place the next day, for his gillie (who The recipient of one of these salmon was on the eve of being married) wished to a friend in the south. - was the innocent attend it, to pick up something for his cause of the adventure which shortly after house, and another man had been engaged befell Gibbs. After thanking him for the to take his place. Now the Englishman fish the letter went on to say: "I see by resolved not to fish at all but to go also him. the Courier that there is to be a sale at self. Strathamat, so I suppose that old Mac- The sale was advertised to begin at Intyre is dead. The old boy was very twelve, but it was well before that time kind to me years ago when I had your when the intending purchasers were dewater, and used often to give me a day on posited at the scene of action, but a short his pools, which were very good. He had time ago the home of the head of one some wonderful books, and as you are fond of the most ancient clans in Scotland. of such things you should go over and Strathamat, as he was universally called, have a look at them. He said they were had been an embarrassed man. He had worth a lot of money. There was one of never been able to take in the world the Shakespeare's — Hamlet,' or The Merry position which was certainly his by birth. Wives,' or one of those, which he used to His wife had long been dead, he had no sit and look at as if it was alive. I thought children, and for years he had led almost it was an inferior old article myself, but the life of a hermit, seeing few people exthen perhaps I wasn't a very good judge.” cept his bailiff and house servants. Then
Our fisherman was very fond of books, I he died, and a great concourse of people
came together from far and wide to attend edition of “German Popular Stories," – him to his grave. He had been poor and what a dealer would call a spotless copy, little known and of little power in the in the original boards, as fresh and crisp world; but he was the chief of a great as if it bad just been sent out from the clan, and hundreds of men of his name publisher's office. There was his “Hans came together to do him empty honor. in Iceland,” with its strange, wild etch
The house had the usual desolate ap- ings, his "Life in Paris," a large paper pearance which houses have at such edition in the salmon-colored wrappers times. People were going in and out, just as it was issued. Interested and ex. poking and measuring furniture, and laugh- cited as Gibbs would have been at these ing and joking as if a sale was the best fun discoveries at any other time be had do in the world. The lawn in front of the thought now but for the quarto. It was house was littered with odds and ends; not among the illustrated books, and he it seemed as if the rubbish of half the searched again below among the larger county had been collected there that day. volumes in the bottom shelf. There stood Gibbs went into the principal sitting-room, Penn's “ Quakers,” as it had stood for a dingy, faded place; some of the bed. perhaps a hundred years, defying dust and room furniture had been brought in to sell damp and draughts in its massive bindthere, and half filled it up; the carpet ing. There were old French and Spanish was rolled up in a corner, and near the dictionaries, a good edition of Tacitus door the chocolate-colored paper was in several volumes, the genuine works hanging on the walls, where careless peo- of Josephus, and Gerarde's Herbal.” ple had banged it when bringing things What was this dingy, calf-covered thing
There bad probably not been a fire lying on the top of the rest, more in folio in the room for weeks, and the air was than in quarto size? Gibbs drew it out, heavy and mildewy. But Gibbs had no and when he had opened it he gave a kind thought for furniture or color, or even of gasp, and looked round to the door to smells that day. Up against one side of see if he was alone. The quarto was the room was a long, low bookcase, and as merely loosely stitched into the calf bindhe walked across to it his heart began to ing which had evidently been made for a jump a little at the possibilities which lay larger book; it had been kept with the therein.
gre est care, and seemed without a faw The collection was quite a small one. or blemish; it was quite untouched by the
2 Perhaps there were five or six hundred knife, and some leaves at the end were books in the roon, the majority of which still unopened, — left so probably to show were unspeakably uninteresting. There the perfect virginity of its state. It were many old works on agriculture, a was not the history of the Merry Wives great number of theological treatises, which lay imbedded in its pages, nor Hume and Smollett's histories, a broken yet that of the Danish Prince, but — “A set of Rees' encyclopædia, and a common Pleasant and Conceited Coinedie called edition of the earlier poets; the bulk of Loues Labors Lost. As it was presented the shelves were filled up with material before her Highness this last Christmas. such as this. But here and there in the Newly corrected and augmented by W. last shelf examined were some books of Shakespere.” quite a different kind, shining out from It was manifest to Gibbs that those who among their worthless companions as gold had the management of the sale koew dust does in sand. It was plain that while nothing of the value of this book or of the majority had stood their ground there the few other treasures in the room; they for many years - perhaps ever since they were all to be placed on the same footing were bought by their first owner — - that as Josephus, or Dickinson's “ Agricul. the few had been well cared for, and had ture," and sold for what they would fetch. not till quite recently been in the book. He had been hoping and trusting that this case at all. Some one, looking through would be the case ever since he heard of the old man's effects, had found them in the quarto, but now, when his wishes were a drawer or cupboard, and had stuck them fulfilled, and he found himself, so far as at random into the nearest shelf where could be seen, the master of the situation, there was room. There were several certain qualms began to pass over his books illustrated by Rowlandson, the mind. The casuistical question of what “ Three Tours of Dr. Syntax," the “Cries was the right thing to do troubled him a of London,” a fine copy of Goldsmith's little. If he had come across the quarto “ Vicar of Wakefield.” Some of Cruik- on a stall and the bookseller in charge, shank's rarest works were there; the first presumably a man who koew at least the
elements of his trade – had asked a ridic- | under control as his, he resolved to take ulously small price for it — well, Gibbs up bis quarters in the room, or at any rate would not have thought it necessary to en. never be very far from it, so as to be in a lighten another man as to his business; he position to counteract possible felonies. would bave pocketed the volume and gone The auctioneer was a stout, moon-faced home with it rejoicing. But if on a casual man, with no doubt a fair knowledge of call on a poor and infirm widow he had es. cattle and sheep and the cheaper kinds of pied it lying on a shelf, and had gathered furniture. His resonant voice could be that, if he gave the owner half a sovereign, heard all over the house: "For this fine he would not only rejoice her heart but be mahogany table - the best in the sale held up to the neighbors as a man who with cover and extra leaves complete had done a kind and generous deed for the will dine twelve people - thirty shillings, sake of the poor, the question would have thirty-five shillings, thirty-seven and six ! presented itself in a much more difficult Who says the twa nots ?" And when he light. Gibbs hoped in this case that he had coaxed the “twa nots out of the would have the courage to tell the old lady reluctant pocket of the Free Church minthat her book was a great deal more valu-ister, he quite unblushingly produced able than she imagined, and that he would another table superior to the first, which give her at any rate a fair proportion of was bought by the doctor for five shillings what it was worth. But here was quite a less, and which was the means of causing different affair. The old laird had left no a slight coolness between the two worthy family ; his property went to a distant re- men for a week or two. There are few lation whom he had cared little about; he more dreary ways of spending a day than of course must have known the value of in attendiog a sale of furniture when you his treasures, but he had left no will, no don't want to buy any. paper saying how they were to be disposed At last the books were reached. The of. Could it be possible (thought Gibbs bedsteads, the chairs, the kitchen things, with a shudder which ran all through him) the bits of carpet on the stairs and landthat it was his bounden duty to go to the ing were all disposed of, and the aucmanager of the sale and say:“ Here is a tioneer seated himself on a table in front priceless edition of Shakespeare, of whose of the shelves, while his assistant handed value you are evidently ignorant; it is him a great parcel just as they had stood worth £200, £300, for aught I know, £ 500; in line. Gibbs had satisfied himself that it is absolutely unique. Take it to Sothe- everything that was of any value to him by's - and let my reward be the conscious- was in the furthest corner of one of the ness that I have put a large sum of money lowest shelves; but now at the last mo. into the pocket of a perfect stranger.” If ment a fear crept over him that his examthis were so, then Gibbs felt that on this ination had been too casual and hurried, occasion he would not do bis duty; he felt that lurking in some cover, or bound up so sure that the attempt would be a failure perhaps in some worthless volume, there that it seemed to him better not to make might be something too good to risk the it, and he could, moreover, always make loss of. Some books, too, had been taken the graceful speech and hand the book out by the country people, and might not over after the sale. So he put the quarto have been put back in the same places. carefully back and went off in search of So he decided that for his future peace of the auctioneer. As he left the room a mind it was necessary to buy the whole thrill of virtuous self-satisfaction suddenly assortment. came over him, which went far towards It is related in the account of the everallaying the qualms he had felt before. memorable sale of the Valdarfer Boccaccio He might have put the Grimms into that, “the honor of firing the first shot one pocket, and “ Hans of Iceland" into was due to a gentleman of Shropshire the other, and buttoned the quarto under who seemed to recoil from the reverberahis coat, and it was ninety-nine to one tion of the report himself had made.” No hundred that no one would be the wiser or such feeling seemed to possess the mind feel the poorer. And he knew that many of the individual who first lifted up his men would have done this without think. voice in that room. He was a short, ing twice about it, and in some queer way stout, red-faced man, the “merchant” of or other have soothed their consciences the “toun," as the half-dozen houses in for the wicked act. It was with a swelling the neighborhood were called, and being heart that Gibbs thought of his trustworthi- also the postmaster and the registrar for ness and honesty. But lest there should the district, he had something of a literary be others about with hands not so much reputation to keep up. In a measured and " I'll gie ye
determined voice he started the bidding. | All those who were near enough to Mr.
ninepence," and then be MacFadyen, the postmaster, to nudge him glared all round the room as if to say, and whisper encouragement to him, did so. "Let him overtop that who dares !” “A With a frowning, meditative face the old shilling," said Gibbs. “And – three- warrior, trying to keep one eye on Gibbs pence, retorted the merchant, turning and the other on the auctioneer and squintwith rather an injured face to have a good ing frightfully in consequence, stood, relook at his opponent.
“ Half a crown,
volving no doubt many things in his went on Gibbs - how he longed to shout blameless mind. And threepence !” out, Twenty pounds for the lot !" But he gasped out at last, and there went a he feared to do anything which would" sough” through the assembly, and some make the audience, and still more the auc-almost held their breath for a time, so tioneer, suspicious. This hundred per awed were they at his persistence, and at cent. of an advance secured him the first the magnitude of his offer. Gibbs, staring lot, and the young clerk pushed over to at the dusty heap, thought he would risk him a collection which a hurried examina- the loss of it, -a more hopeless-looking tion showed to be three odd volumes of collection he had never seen. And it was the Annual Register, three volumes of perhaps advisable to let this old man have Chambers's Miscellany, and the third vol. something, or he might grow desperate ume of “ The Fairchild Family."
when desperation would be dangerous. The second lot were by this time laid on So he smiled a bland refusal to the aucthe table; there seemed to be something tioneer, and that worthy, after trying in more of the Register in it, and a dull green vain for about five minutes to get another octavo gave some promise of a continua threepence of an advance, had to let the tion of Mrs. Sherwood's excellent romance, heap go. The postmaster was at once The postmaster again began the fray with surrounded by an eager circle of friends, the same offer as before. “I'll not bid for and each book was carefully examined and that trash," said Gibbs to himself, and it criticised. They were for the most part seemed as if the government official was old sermons, but an odd volume of Molière to have his way this time. But just as the having got by chance in among them was auctioneer's pencil, which he used as a at once pounced upon, and Gibbs could hammer, was falling, Gibbs was seized hardly keep from laughing outright at the with a sudden fright at the bare possibility reverence with which it was treated. “It's of something valuable being concealed Latin !" whispered one. “Ay, or Greek!” somewhere in the unpromising heap; suggested another. “If it's no Gaelic!"
Half a crowo !” he called out in a great interposed a snuffy-faced old shepherd, hurry, and the spoil was again his own. who had arrived very early in the day witb His surmise as to the Register was cor- three dogs, and had examined and critirect, but the green covers enclosed the cised everything in the house without the “ History of Little Henry and his Bearer" faintest intention of spending a farthing.
a work also by the amiable Mrs. Sher- “Here is an elegant work," said the aucwood. When the next lot of books were tioneer, after he had allowed a long interval put up the postmaster wheeled round and to give time for the inspection of the Gaelic faced Gibbs, deserting the auctioneer, and treasure; “an egant work by William as our friend saw that various neighbors Shakespeare - Gibbs looked sharply up were poking his opponent and whispering " adorned with cuts - most suitable, encouragement to him, he anticipated that with other beautiful and interesting vol. the fight was to become warmer as it grew umes. Shall I say ten shillings again ? " older.
But no, he need not — at any rate no one · Ninepence," said the local champion, would corroborate him, and the whole col. fixing a stern eye on Gibbs. “Five shil. lection became the property of John Gibbs lings !” replied the latter, thinking to for the sum of one shilling. And so it choke him off. “Six!” cried the mer- went on — sometimes there was competi. chant, the word escaping him almost be- tion, sometimes not; the postmaster was fore he knew what he was about. “Ten!” inclined to rest on his laurels, and nearly called out Gibbs. Then there was a pause. every lot was knocked down to the EnIt was evidently the wish of the audience glishman. They worked along the sbeives that their representative should carry off and at last reached the Cruikshanks. But the prize this time, and show the haughty by these happy country folk the drawings stranger that he could not have it all his of the great artist were set on a level with own way, that they, too, even in Ross-shire, those in the Penny Encyclopædia ; the knew something of the value of books. Grimms attracted no attention; a little