The Dominion in 1983
Ralph Centennius

This etext was produced by Andrew Sly


The Dominion in 1983 was first published as a thirty page booklet
in 1883 under the pseudonym Ralph Centennius. (The author's real
name is unknown.) This edition has been proof-read word-by-word
against a copy of the original on microfiche. (Canadian Institute
for Historical Microreproductions no. 00529)

In this text, a mixture of American and British spelling can be
found. (For example "harbour" and "favor" are both used.) The
phrase "rocket-car" is hyphenated twice, while appearing three
times as two individual words. There are also some instances of
unusual spelling and capitalization of words. With the exception
of a few small emendations, spelling, capitalization and
punctuation have been preserved as in the original.


by Ralph Centennius

Entered according to Act of Parliament of Canada, in the
year 1883, by Toker & Co., Publisher on behalf of the Author,
in the Office of the Minister of Agriculture.


"Before the curing of a strong disease,
"Even in the instant of repair and health,
"The fit is strongest; evils that take leave,
"On their departure most of all show evil."
--King John, Act III.

In the present advanced and happy times it is instructive to take
a retrospective glance at the days of our forefathers of the
nineteenth century, and to meditate upon the political struggles
and events of the past hundred years, that by so doing we may gain
a clear insight into the causes which have led to the present
wonderful developments. We, in the year of Grace 1983, are too
apt to take for granted all the blessings of moral, political
and physical science which we enjoy, and to pass over without
due consideration the great efforts of our ancestors, which have
made our present happy condition possible.

Let us try to contrast the Dominion of to-day with the Dominion of
1883. To begin with population. Our population at the last census
in 1981, was just over 93,000,000. A hundred years ago a scant
5,000,000 represented this great Canadian nation, which has since
so mightily increased and proved itself such a beneficent factor
in human affairs. Seven provinces and some sparsely peopled and
only partially explored territories formed all that the world then
knew as Canada. To-day have we not fifteen provinces for the most
part thickly peopled, and long since fully explored to the shores
of the Arctic Ocean?

In the present days of political serenity it is hard to realize
the animosity and extreme bitterness of the past century. The two
parties into which men formerly divided themselves, viewed each
other as enemies, and each party opposed on principle whatever
measures the other proposed. From a careful study of the principal
journals of the time, fyled(sp.) at Ottawa, we gather that the party,
self-styled "Reformers," frequently opposed progressive measures,
and even attempted to hinder the construction of railroads, while
the other party called "Conservatives" considered railroads as the
best means of opening up the enormous tracts of country then lying
untrodden by man, and useless to civilization. Such are certainly
the inferences to be drawn from the records at our command, though
it is hard to believe in opposition to railroads or to advancement
in any form in these days, when new channels of communication and
new industries are viewed with favor by the whole nation. Each
party seems strangely to have belied its title, for the Reformers,
after the confederation of the provinces in 1867, endeavored with
singular perverseness to frustrate or retard reform and improvement
of all kinds, while the Conservatives did not desire to preserve
things in the old ruts and grooves, but strove hard for beneficial
advancement of every sort.

In 1883 the United States was one of the leading nations of the
world. With a population of over 50,000,000, and an almost
illimitable extent of territory still open for settlement by the
fugitives from troubled Europe; with exhaustless wealth, developed
and undeveloped, it seemed reasonable to suppose that a nation so
placed should be able to attain the foremost position and be able to
keep it. Such appears to have been the opinion of most foreigners,
and also of some of our Canadians of the period, for the wealth,
apparent power and prestige of the United States caused many of our
weak-kneed ancestors to lose heart in their own country, and in fits
of disloyal dejection to fancy there could be no progress except in
union with the States. Stout hearts, however, ultimately gained the
day, and we in the twentieth century are reaping the benefits won
for the country by the valor of our great-grandfathers.

The troubled times through which the youthful Dominion passed from
1885 to 1888 constitute one of the greatest crises through which
any nation ever passed successfully. Canada, with her confederated
provinces and large territories loosely held together, with her
scattered population chiefly grouped in Ontario and Quebec, with
her infant manufactures and scarcely-touched mineral resources,
was the home, nevertheless, of as prosperous and promising a young
nation as the world ever saw; and had it not been for the timid
portion of her population just mentioned, a great deal of trouble
might have been saved. But out of evil came good. The Americans for
years had been too careless about receiving upon their shores all
the firebrands and irreconcileables from European cities, and the
consequence was that these undesirable gentry increased in numbers,
and the infection of their opinions spread. American politics were
as corrupt as they could be. Bribery and the robbery of public funds
were unblushingly resorted to. A low moral tone with regard to such
matters, combined with utter recklessness in speculation and a
furious haste to get rich by any means, fair or foul, were, sad to
say, prominent characteristics in the American nation in many other
respects so great. To counteract these evils, which were great
enough to have ruined any European state in a couple of years, there
was, however, the marvellous prodigality of nature--a bounteousness
and richness in the yield of the soil and the depths of the earth
hardly equalled in any other part of the world, and in consequence
princely fortunes were accumulated in an incredibly short space of
time. Millionaires abounded, and monopolists, compared with whom
Croesus was poor, flourished. But bitter poverty and starvation also
flourished, especially in the large cities, bringing in their train
the usual discontent and hatred of the established order of things.
Yet these old-fashioned evils were scarcely noticed in the general
magnificent prosperity of the country. The short-sighted statesmen
of the time delighted to look only on the bright side of things,
and to them the very exuberance of the prosperity seemed to condone,
if not to justify, the nefarious practices which obtained in high
places. No wonder that among our Canadians, hardly 5,000,000 all
told, there were some who were weak enough to be dazzled at the
wealth and success of their brilliant go-ahead neighbours, more than
50,000,000 strong. Among those who lost heart in Canada, it began
to be a settled conviction that it was "the destiny of Canada to be
absorbed in the States."

This was the state of things in 1885. Conservative statesmen pointed
to the general progress of our country, to unprecedented immigration
from Europe, increased agricultural products and manufactures, and
to many other convincing proofs of solid advancement. But facts
were of no avail in dealing with Reformers habitually, and on
principle despondent. The sanguine buoyancy and plucky hopefulness
indispensable to true statesmanship did not animate them to any
extent. Unhappily events over which no statesman could then have
control overtook Canada, while as yet things bounded along gaily
in the States, and the sons of despair seemed to have some ground
for their pusillanimity. The harvest of 1885 was deficient, and
agriculture was in consequence depressed: a slight panic in the
Spring was succeeded by a great one in the Fall. Heavy failures
followed. A feeling of uneasiness was caused at the same time by
great social and political changes which were going on in the
mother country, and were threatening to assume the proportions of
a revolution. The unparalleled prosperity of the States caused the
Americans--never backward in blowing their own trumpet--to assume
an attitude of overweening confidence in themselves, and to brag
offensively of what they considered to be their duty to mankind,
namely, to convert all the world--by force if necessary--to
republican principles. Such was the commencement of the great crisis
in the history of the young Canadian nation--a crisis through which,
if our sturdy forefathers had not pulled successfully, would have
led to our gradual obliteration as a nation. All honor then to the
great men to whom, under Providence, our preservation is due!

In 1886 commenced the reign of terror in Europe, that terrible
period of mingled war and revolution, during which thrones were
hurled down and dynasties swept away like chaff in a gale. The
face of Europe was changed. Whole provinces were blackened and
devastated by fire and sword. During the three years in which
the terror was at its height it is calculated that at least four
millions of men bearing arms, the flower of each land, must have
fallen. Great Britain was frequently on the very brink of war, but
was almost miraculously kept from actually taking part. And most
providential it was that Britain was not drawn into the tumult,
for home troubles and defensive measures required all the attention
of the nation. These stirring events, of course, had their effect
on this side of the Atlantic. Canada was affected detrimentally
by losing for a time the prestige consequent on being backed up
by British ironclads and regiments, every available soldier and
every vessel of war being required for the protection of British
interests nearer home.

The harvest again in 1886 was below the average. Trade and finance
had not recovered from the shock of the previous year. The outlook
was certainly gloomy.

A Conservative government, with Sir --- ---, as Premier, was in
power at Ottawa. Sir --- and his government were, however, in
great straits, owing to the prevailing depression throughout the
Dominion, for the hard times were seized upon by the opponents
of the government as a means whereby to thwart and distract the
ministers, and stir up discontent among the people. The States were
pointed to by the Reformers as the only country in the world where
security and prosperity co-existed. British connection was held up
to scorn as a tie whose supposed advantages had proved worthless. A
less able or a less determined ministry would have collapsed under
the strain. The winter of 1886-7 was very severe, and discontent
began to be noisy and aggressive. To make matters worse, a Fenian
organization was going on in the States with the avowed object of
invading Canada in the coming Spring. The heads of the movement
were well-known politicians of a low order, having considerable
funds at their command, and much influence in certain quarters.
Their emissaries were known to be working all over Canada, freely
distributing American gold and holding secret meetings. The
position of affairs was one of increasing gravity owing to the
connivance of the American authorities and the powerlessness of the
Home Government. So matters progressed until the spring of 1887,
when the situation became one of extreme tension. The Conservatives
were taunted with having ruined the country financially and with
pursuing a "Jingo" policy certain to end in bloodshed. Reformers
"stumped" the country, calling on their excited audiences to march
to Ottawa and compel the Premier and his infatuated followers to
resign. Annexation was openly advocated as the only sensible way
to be relieved from the overwhelming surrounding difficulties.

A ray of hope to buoy up the sorely-tried loyalists appeared,
when Canadians who had been domiciled in all parts of the States
returned to defend their native land on hearing of the great danger
she was undoubtedly in. Having lived many years under the shadow of
the Stars and Stripes, they knew well enough all that it amounted
to; the glamour of accumulated successes had not turned their heads
for they had had opportunities of observing the sinister influences
at work in American affairs, beneath the attractive exterior.
Quebec rallied to a man, and the latent military strength of the
province was developed under efficient leaders to a formidable
degree. Invaders would have met with a warm reception in this
quarter. Manitoba and the whole North-west were up and ready,
prepared to fight, more to preserve their own independence,
however, than the integrity of the Dominion, as there was then
considerable difference in sentiment between the North-west and
the Eastern Provinces. The Manitobans, too, though the Irish
element had become very strong, did not intend to succumb to Fenian
raiders, however well organized and backed up. The weakest points
were the Maritime Provinces, Ontario and British Columbia; not that
the feeling in British Columbia was not loyal to the Dominion, but
that some 30,000 rowdies who had assembled and organized in San
Francisco were preparing for a descent upon her poorly fortified
ports. Now was the turning point in the destinies of the country.
If the ministers at Ottawa had not stood firmly to their guns,
all our subsequent career, instead of being the golden century
of magnificent progress and peace that it has been, would have
been linked with all the turbulence and the alternate advance
and retrogression of the States.

A general election for the Dominion had been timed to take place
in the beginning of June, and the day was looked forward to by all
the noisy demagogues of Ontario as the day when the blood-thirsty
Tories were to be hurled from power by the people in righteous
wrath, and the country saved from the horrors of war. According to
these garrulous parties, Ontario, the wealthiest and most populous
Province of the seven, was to welcome the invaders, bidding them
enter Canadian territory in the name of the people, and plant the
Stars and Stripes wherever they halted. Bloodshed would thus be
avoided, and everyone would soon come round to the new order of
things and take to it naturally. Quebec might perhaps object,
"but what did a few handfuls of Frenchmen matter anyway."

On the day before the election, one party was full of boisterous,
bragging insolence; the other, still steadfast, firmly clinging
to what seemed a forlorn hope. Before the ending of another day
all was changed--a complete transformation scene had taken place.

When the morning journals on the election day appeared, their news
from the United States was such a terrible chapter of accidents as
has rarely fallen to the lot of journals to publish in one day. The
President had been shot at in New York by an unemployed foreign
artisan, the night before, while leaving a mansion on Fifth Avenue.
Troubles between labor and capital, which had been brewing for
some time, had broken out in several manufacturing centres, and
were threatening to spread to all large cities. The money market
was showing signs of considerable derangement. Fearful storms and
floods were chronicled from all parts; while last, but not least,
three transports which had embarked the greater part of the "army,"
at San Francisco, that was to have "delivered" British Columbia,
had foundered in a hurricane only two miles out, dragging all the
poor deluded fellows to a watery grave. The same day brought good
news from the old world. Ireland's great statesman had won for
Britain a wonderful diplomatic triumph in the East, which added
to the Empire, without a drop of blood being shed, territories
extending from the confines of British India to the Mediterranean.
All the leading men in Europe (so the despatch read) were
astonished at the exhibition of so much moral force in the Old
Country after they had been imagining the Empire as about to go to
pieces under the recent terrible strain. Other good news which had
its effect here was that for Ireland there had at last been found
men who understood her wants, and what was better, whom she herself
understood, so that she considered herself as having just embarked
upon a new career of glory as an integral and indispensable part
of the Empire.

The effect of all this information on the electors of Canada was
very marked. The demagogues who elevated themselves upon barrels or
waggons and buggies to spout their frothy nonsense to the public,
could get but few listeners, though only twenty-four hours ago
applauding crowds would have assembled. Their hold on the people was
gone; every one was reading the papers or discussing the startling
news. Many men who the day before were noisily advocating everything
disloyal and rebellious, were silent and thoughtful. Men who had
remained loyal to Canada all through quickly seized the occasion and
appealed to the people to stand firm to the Dominion, pointing out
the uncertainty of affairs in the States and contrasting them with
the vitality and power of the Old Country, doubly powerful now that
Ireland had obtained perfect satisfaction and was contented. The
election resulted in a complete triumph for the government, and was
a most satisfactory vindication of their policy. The ranks of the
Opposition were broken up and their forces demoralized. Not a word
was heard about annexation that night unless in scorn.

The heart of the young nation was stirred to its very depths during
the next two months, while a most sublime period in our history
was being passed through. The would-be invaders of Canada were
determined not to be baulked in their enterprise, the movement
having gone too far to collapse suddenly, and perhaps the leaders
had not sufficient foresight to see that the troubles rising in the
States must necessarily get worse before they were better, and take
several years to subside; perhaps they did not realize fully the
new unanimity of public feeling in Canada. Anyhow the activity of
their preparations did not lessen, but rather increased, and the
commencement of offensive operations was postponed so that they
might be more complete. Disloyalty was no longer popular in
Ontario or in any other province, in fact among all who had been
disaffected a reaction and revulsion of feeling set in, in favor
of intense loyalty to the Dominion, and a most felicitous union was
effected between the Conservatives and Reformers. The common danger
brought all parties together, forgetful of old prejudices, and the
old bitter hatred grew less and less until its final extinction.
Henceforth there was but one party with but one object in view--the
welfare of the Dominion.

Every able-bodied man in Canada between the ages of 20 and 45 was
under drill, and the country was fully prepared and fully expecting
to undertake the invaders without outside assistance, but Great
Britain being in no danger now in Europe, despatched 12,000 men to
Canada, and with her recovered prestige was enabled to remonstrate
forcibly with the Washington Government concerning American
connivance. The British remonstrances had the desired effect, for
the American authorities promptly arrested the leaders of the "army
of deliverance," though by so doing they aroused the animosity of
many of their own supporters. The "army" then speedily fell away
and all danger was over. Of course the benefit to Canada of having
had the national feeling so deeply stirred was incalculable, for
all classes of men in all the provinces had been animated by the
profoundest sentiments and the strongest determination possible,
and it was the opinion of leading military men of the time that the
Canadians under arms, though outnumbered trebly by the intending
invaders, would have held their own gallantly and have come off

The excitement aroused by these stirring occurrences began to quiet
down towards the approaching Fall, when the Canadian ship of state
was again under full sail, heading for the waters of prosperity.
Since then our political history has been so intimately connected
with great inventions and discoveries, that a narration of one
without a description of the other is scarcely possible.


"For miracles are ceased;
"And therefore we must needs admit the means
"How things are perfected."
--Henry V, Act I.

It was well understood by the Romans in their palmy days that a
great empire could not be held together without means of easy
communication between distant provinces, and their fine hard roads
ramifying from Rome to the remote corners of Gaul or Dacia, testify
to their wisdom and enterprise in this respect. When Great Britain
in the eighteenth century, full of inventive skill, reared men who
by means of improved roads, well-bred horses and fine vehicles
raised the rate of travel to ten miles an hour from end to end of
the kingdom, a great deal of complacent satisfaction was indulged
in over the advantages likely to result from such rapid travelling.
This great speed, however, was made to appear quite slow in the
first half of the nineteenth century when locomotives were invented
capable of covering sixty miles an hour. Nowadays the old cumbrous
locomotive, rumbling and puffing along and making only sixty miles
in sixty minutes, is a very dilatory machine in comparison with
our light and beautiful rocket cars, which frequently dart through
the air at the rate of sixty miles in one minute. The advantages
to a country like ours, over 3,000 miles wide, of swift transit
are obvious. The differences in sentiment, politically, nationally,
and morally, which arose aforetime when people under the same
government lived 3,000 miles apart have disappeared to be replaced
by a powerful unanimity that renders possible great social
movements, utterly impossible in the railway age, when seven days
were consumed in journeying from east to west. The old idea that
balloons would be used in this century for travelling has proved
a delusion, almost their only use now being a meteorological one.

Our rocket cars were only perfected in the usual slow course of
invention, and could neither have been constructed nor propelled
a hundred years ago, for neither was the metal of which they are
constructed produced, nor had the method of propulsion or even the
propulsive power been developed. Inventors had to wait till science
had given us in abundance a metal less than a quarter the weight of
iron, but as strong and durable, and this was not until some fifty
years ago when a process was discovered for producing cheaply the
beautiful metal calcium. But calcium would have been little use
alone. Aluminium, which is now so plentiful, had to be alloyed
with it, and aluminium was not used to any great extent till the
beginning of this century, when an electric process of reducing it
quickly from its ore--common clay--was discovered. The metal known
as calcium bronze, which is now so common, is an alloy of calcium,
0.75; aluminium, 0.20; and 0.05 of other metals and metalloids in
varying proportions according to different patents. This alloy has
all the useful properties of the finest steel with about one-fourth
its weight, and is besides perfectly non-oxydisable and never
tarnishes. Without the production of a metal with all these
combined qualities, we might still in our journeys, be dawdling
along at sixty miles an hour in a cumbrous railroad car behind
a snorting, screaming locomotive.

Our swiftly darting cars were not at first constructed on such
perfect principles as now. Invention seems to follow certain laws,
and has to take its time. A new discovery in physics has to be
supplemented by one in chemistry, and one in chemistry by another
in physics, and so on through a whole century, perhaps, before any
great invention is perfected. Thus it happens that, though the
principle of the rocket has been known for an age, it is only
comparatively recently that it has been applied to the propulsion
of cars. An invention, too, always presents itself to an inventor
at first in the most complicated form, and frequently many years
are passed in attempts at simplification. What a wide interval is
there between the steam locomotive with all its complex mechanism,
and the magnificently simple rocket car! A century of ceaseless
invention is comprehended between the two! Before the simplicity
of our cars was arrived at, inventors had to give up boilers,
fire-boxes, valves, steam-pipes, cylinders, pistons, wheels,
cranks, levers, and a host of minor parts. Wheels died hard.
Electric locomotives using them were brought out and were
considered to do the very fastest thing possible in locomotion,
and such was in fact the case while wheels were used, for wheels
could not have borne a faster pace without flying to pieces from
centrifugal force. But when an inventor devised a machine on
runners to move on lubricated rails, a great step was gained,
though the invention was not a success, and when, after this,
liquid carbonic acid, or carbonic acid ice expanding again to a gas
was employed as a motive power, another advance was made. Then the
greatest lift of all was given. The solidification of oxygen and
hydrogen by an easy process was discovered and mankind presented
with a new motive power. In due time a way was found to make the
solid substance re-assume the gaseous form either suddenly or by
degrees, and thenceforth thousands of potential horse-power could
be obtained in a form convenient for storing or carrying about.
It is now as simple a matter to buy a hundred horse-power over
the counter as a pound of sugar.

From Toronto to Winnipeg in thirty minutes! From Winnipeg to the
Pacific in forty minutes! Such is our usual pace in 1983. By hiring
a special car the whole distance from Toronto to Victoria can
be accomplished in fifty minutes. A higher speed still is quite
possible, but is not permitted because of the risk of collision
with other cars. Collisions have never yet occurred on account of
the rigid adherence to very strict regulations. Cars that take
short trips of 50 to 100 miles between stations, seldom travel more
than 500 feet from the earth, but for long distances about 1,500
feet is usual. The broad metal slides for receiving the cars and
for their departure, which extend for a mile on each side of all
our stations, are the only portions of the rocket system which much
resemble anything connected with railroads. It is said that great
skill and long practice on the conductor's part are required to
cause the cars to alight well on the slides and draw up at the
stations. The slides at many stations are nearly level with the
ground, but ascend in opposite directions, till at the distance of
a mile, where they end, they are 100 feet high. The cars are now
made quite cylindrical, tapering off abruptly at the closed end.
The outside is entirely of metal, very highly polished, and showing
no projections except a flange on each side, two broad runners
underneath, and a 40 foot rear flange or vane. The dimensions are
usually--diameter of cylinder, 20 feet; length, 45 feet. The high
polish is necessary to avoid heating when the highest speed is
attained. Passengers are seated in a luxurious chamber in the
interior of the cylinder, which is suspended like the compass of a
vessel, and therefore always retains an upright position whatever
may be the position of the car when travelling. About fifty
passengers can be accommodated at one time. The tube emerging
a little beyond the mouth of the cylinder, through which the
expanding gases are expelled, can be slightly deviated from its
axial position in any direction, and thus what little steering
is required is easily effected. The long projecting 40 foot vane
or tail which steadies the motion of the whole machine is, in
the newest patents, made to assist it in alighting on the slides
easily and without jarring. Such is the splendid apparatus,
briefly described, which brings all the ends of the earth together
and makes the whole world a public park, the most distant parts of
which can be visited and returned from in the course of a day. Long
tedious voyages of a week or a month belong to the forgotten past,
for Paris, Calcutta or Hong Kong can be reached in a fraction of
the time formerly occupied in going from Toronto to Montreal. No
passenger traffic is ever carried on now in dangerous vessels upon
the treacherous ocean, but solely in the safe and comfortable
rocket-car through the air a thousand feet or more above the cruel
waters. Steamships, electric ships and sailing vessels are still
common round our coasts engaged in transporting heavy freight, but
they only cross the ocean to convey some bulky produce which cannot
be divided and go by car.

Private vehicles and travelling have also undergone wonderful
changes. The much-abused horse has vanished from cities entirely,
and is not permitted to enter them, greatly to the preservation
of health and cleanliness. All our vehicles have the automatic
electric attachment and move along briskly through the clean wide
streets. The handsome electric tricycles we are so familiar with,
were hardly thought of a hundred years ago; now there are few men
who do not possess a single or a double one.

How dismal must night have been in the times when only gas lamps
or a few electric lights were used in the streets, although our
great-grandfathers appear to have extracted a good deal of
merriment from the dimly lighted hours after sundown. Our domestic
lighting is now done almost entirely by electricity, or the
brilliant little phosphorescent lamps, gas having long been
banished from dwelling-houses; and our method of lighting the
streets is a grand advance, indeed, upon the flickering yellow
gas lamps of old. The great glass globes, which we see suspended
from the beautiful Gothic metal framework at the intersections of
streets, contain a smaller hollow globe, about eighteen inches in
diameter, of hard lime, or some other refractory material, which
is kept at white heat by a powerful oxyhydrogen flame inside. In
this way our cities are illuminated by a number of miniature suns,
making all the principal streets as light by night as by day.

One of our most interesting cities, and one to adopt all the newest
improvements as soon as they come out, is Churchill, Hudson Bay,
that most charming of northern sea-side resorts. Churchill's
population is already 200,000, and is rapidly increasing. Here are
the celebrated conservatories which help to make the long winter
as pleasant to the citizens as summer. These famous promenades,
or rather parks under cover, have a frontage of a mile and a half
along the quay, with a depth of nearly 500 feet. They contain two
splendid hotels and a sanitarium, the latter being surrounded by
a grove of medicinal and health-giving plants and trees from all
parts of the globe. A summer temperature is kept up through the
vast building by utilising the heat from the depths of the earth,
and by natural hot springs which flow from deep bores. Another
fine city of which we may well be proud is Electropolis, on Lake
Athabaska. Electropolis can boast of 100,000 inhabitants, and
most enterprising citizens they are. Their great idea is to work
everything by electricity, and to them belongs the credit of all
the latest discoveries in electrical science. Their beautiful
city is a great centre of attraction for scientific men, and many
European electricians make a practice of coming over every Saturday
to stay till Monday. Here are the colossal thermo-electric
batteries which work throughout the year by there being stored up
in immense solid blocks of aluminium the heat of summer and the
cold of winter. The hot blocks, which are protected in winter, are
exposed to the sun in summer, and are heated nearly to red heat by
the rays concentrated upon them by a series of large mirrors. The
cold blocks are simply exposed to the intensest cold of winter and
protected from the heat of summer. Thus two permanent extremes of
temperature are provided during the whole year, and the batteries
only require to be placed in suitable positions with regard to the
blocks to work continuously.

While speaking of cities in the far north, that of Bearville, on
the shores of Great Bear Lake, in latitude 65 degrees, must not
be passed over. Bearville is the metropolis of one of the finest
mineral districts in the world, but had it not been for the
inexhaustible deposits of all the useful metals in its vicinity,
it is probable a city would never have sprung up in such an
inhospitable region. Between the Coppermine and Mackenzie Rivers
gold and silver are abundant. Platinum and iridium are also common,
and are exported from here to all parts of the world; they are in
great demand by chemists and electricians. A rough population from
all quarters has been attracted to the district, of which Bearville
is the centre, and it would astonish people who seldom come to
the North to see how the ingenuity of man has made life not only
tolerable, but enjoyable, in the neighborhood of the Arctic Circle.
Coal seams crop up above the ground in many places, and wherever
this is the case, large frame conservatories are built which are
lighted, not from the roof, but by wide double windows reaching
from the eaves to the ground, and heated by numerous stoves into
which the coal just taken from the ground is thrown. Electric
lights, magnesium lights and lime lights help to make the long
nights of winter as cheerful as day elsewhere.

In this region wonderful blasting operations are performed by
charges of solidified oxygen and hydrogen. The charges are placed
at the bottom of a 40 foot bore and exploded by a powerful electric
spark. The effect is very different from that of other explosives
which usually rend the rock into large fragments that have to
be blasted again in detail before a clearance is made, for the
oxyhydrogen charge has such terrible force that it completely
pulverizes the rock, scooping out, even in granite, a deep wide
pit of parabolic section of which the spot where the charge was
is the focus. The dust is blown out in a cloud high in the air.

Our finest and largest cities are Halifax, St. John's, Rimouski,
Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Saulte Ste Marie, Port
Arthur, Winnipeg, Brandon, Edmonton, New Westminster and Victoria.
Toronto, Montreal and Winnipeg each contain more than 2,000,000
inhabitants, while the others range between 500,000 and a little
over 1,000,000. At Halifax is one of the greatest car depots in the
world, and here the traveller can step on board a car for London,
Rome, Jerusalem, Bombay, Cape Town, Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland,
etc. St. John's, Fredericton and Campbelltown are large cities,
the latter being a great rendezvous for pleasure-seekers in summer.
Rimouski is a manufacturing centre and a large car depot. Cars
spring from here to Tadousac, Lake St. John's, Lake Mistassinie
and Hudson Bay ports. Quebec retains much of its old-world
picturesqueness while keeping up well with the times; its
inhabitants number about 700,000. Montreal and Toronto are without
doubt the most magnificent cities in the Dominion, perhaps in the
world. They are both famous for the grandeur of their buildings.
In them, for the most part, each block is a complete structure and
not a conglomeration of little buildings of all shapes and sizes, a
two-storey house next to a four-storey one, and so on. Thus, among
a number of blocks a pleasing harmony in architectural styles is
obtained, which is a golden mean between the rigid uniformity of
some new cities and the antique irregularity of old ones. Winnipeg
is generally reckoned to contain the finest brick buildings to be
seen anywhere; many blocks in brick may be seen of eight and nine
storeys in the grandly decorated modern style. Victoria has grown
into fame by its immense trade with the old Asiatic countries. The
ancient Orient and the modern West here combine. The broad busy
streets are thronged with a motley crowd, in which representatives
of Asiatic races mingle with Anglo-Saxons and representatives of
European nations, all speaking the universal English language. New
Westminster increases its attractions every year. It contains the
noted observatory with the splendid telescope through which living
beings have been observed in the countries in Mars and Jupiter.
In its Hall of Science is the great microscope which magnifies
many million times, and shows the atomic structure of almost any
substance. Its College of Inventors and Physical Institute are the
most perfect establishments. From its extensive Botanical Gardens,
where the Dominion Botanical Society make their experiments with
plants and trees from all countries, great national benefits have
been derived. Here are grown specimens of herbs and shrubs which
prevent or cure every human disease. On one side is seen the plant,
before the smoke of whose leaves when inhaled, consumption
succumbs; on another, the shrub whose berries eradicate scrofula
from the system, and thus through all the catalogue of ills. New
Westminster also boasts a fine University, a College of Physicians
and a Sanitarium; the two latter cause the city to be the resort of
invalids from far and near. No diseases are here called incurable.
At Mingan harbour, on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, are situated the
great works where all the rocket-cars for the Dominion are built.
The site was chosen on account of the large tract of desolate
country to the north of it. The cars as soon as built are tested,
first at short flights, then at longer ones, and conductors are
trained to manage them. There are no regular lines of cars through
or over Labrador, and so there is no risk of collision in the trial
trips. Considerable difficulty is experienced at first in taking a
car a flight of 100 miles, but by practice flights of over 1,000
miles are managed with perfect safety.

The contrast between the present and past might be drawn out to
any extent, but enough has been said to enable the dullest mind
to realize the truly marvellous development of our great Dominion.
And if the development and advance have been great industrially
and commercially, so have they been great, almost greater,
socially; for socially we have set examples which the whole
world has not been slow to follow.


"But Heaven hath a hand in these events."
--Richard II, Act V.

The state of society in the nineteenth century would have but few
attractions for us of the twentieth, were we able to return along
the vista of a hundred years. Our manners and customs are so vastly
different from those of our great-grandfathers that we should feel
out of place indeed had we to go back, even for a short time, to
their uncouth and imperfect ways. Their extraordinarily complex
method of governing themselves, and their intricate political
machinery would be very distressing to us, and are calculated
to make one think that a keen pleasure in governing or in being
overgoverned--not a special aptitude or genius for governing--must
have been very common among them. From the alarming blunders
made in directing public affairs, and from the manner in which
beneficial measures were opposed by the party out of office, it
appears quite certain that the instincts of true statesmanship did
not animate all classes then as now. Nevertheless our forefathers
went into the work of governing themselves and each other with
a great deal of vim. They had no well drawn out formulae to
work upon as we have, but they went at things in a sort of
rule-of-thumb, rough-and-ready style, and when one party had
dragged the country into the mire, the other dragged it out again.
It was customary for the party that was out of office to say that
the party that was in was corrupt and venal--that every man of it
was a liar, was a thief, was taking bribes, would soon be kicked
out, etc. Then the party that was in had to say that the party that
was out should look to its own sins and remember that everyone of
its men when they were in proved himself incapable, insensible to
every feeling of shame, with no susceptibilities except in his
pocket, corrupt in every fibre, being justly rewarded when hurled
from office by an indignant people, etc., etc. The wonder is that
the country ever got governed at all, but it seems that all public
men who had any fixed and sensible ideas and wished to see them
carried out, had to make themselves callous, pachydermatous,
hardened against this offensive mud-slinging. Of course politics
did not elevate the man, nor the man politics, while things went on
thus. A general demoralization and lowering of the tone of public
opinion naturally resulted, which did not improve till the stirring
events of the summer of 1887 brought men to their senses again.
The number of members sent to Parliament was something so enormous,
that it seems as if the people must have had a perfect mania for
being represented. Nowadays we get along splendidly with only
fifteen members (one for each Province) and a speaker. Formerly
several hundred was not thought too many, and before the
constitution was revised in 1935, there were actually over seven
hundred representatives assembled at Ottawa every year. Perhaps
this was all right under the circumstances, as there did not then
exist any organization for training men for Parliamentary duties,
or selecting them for candidature such as now exists; so there was
safety in numbers, though the floods of talk must at times have
been overwhelming. Besides the Central Parliament at Ottawa, there
was a Local Parliament to every Province, and in some Provinces two
Houses. It seems a mystery to us, now, how any measure could be got
through in less than twelve months, but our forefathers apparently
took pleasure in interminable harangues and oceans of verbosity,
and prominent men contrived to make themselves heard above the
universal clatter of tongues, so that good measures got pushed
through somehow to the satisfaction of a much-enduring public.
Nowadays our fifteen members put by as much work in two days as
would have kept an old Parliament talking for two years. Provincial
Parliaments, with their crowds of M.P.P's, were abolished in 1935,
and it was then also that the number of members at Ottawa was
reduced from the absurd total of 750 to 15, and the round million
or so which they cost the country saved. Members are not now paid;
the honor of the position is sufficient emolument. When these and
other changes were made, the expenses of government were enormously
reduced, so much so, that after ten years, that is in 1945, taxes
were abolished altogether, and from that time forward not a cent of
taxation has been put upon the people. The revenue is now obtained
in this way. Up to 1935 the revenue of the country stood at
something over $150,000,000. When the constitution was changed
the expenses of government were lessened to $50,000,000. It was
then agreed that for ten years longer the revenue should remain
at $150,000,000 (people were prosperous and willing enough to have
contributed double), so that every year of the ten $100,000,000
might be invested. Thus at the end of ten years the Government
possessed a capital of $1,000,000,000, and the interest of this
constitutes our present revenue. If any great public works are
being carried out, and more money is required, the municipalities
are appealed to, and public meetings are held. All the great
cities then vie with each other in presenting the Government with
large sums. How the poor over-burdened tax-payer of 1883 would
have rejoiced in all this!

Another great blessing to us is that war has ceased all the world
over. It became, at last, too destructive to be indulged in at all.
During the last great European war in 1932, while three emperors,
two kings and several princes were parleying together, a monster
oxyhydrogen shell exploded near them and created fearful havoc.
All the royal personages were blown to atoms, as were also many of
their attendants. Their armies hardly had a chance of getting near
each other, so fearful was the execution of the shells. Since then
the world has been free from war, and, but for gathering clouds in
Asia, would seem likely to remain so. Anyhow, we in Canada, have
not the shadow of a standing army, nor a single keel to represent
a navy. We are too well occupied to wish to be aggressive, and no
power except the United States could ever attack us, and even if
Americans coveted our possessions they are not likely to resort to
such an old-fashioned expedient as warfare to gain them. They could
only annex us by so improving their constitution, as to make it
plainly very much superior to ours. If they ever do this (and as
yet there are no signs of it) there might be some chance of a
union. At present the chances are all the other way. The only
sort of union that is quite likely to come about is the joining
by the Americans of the United Empire, or Confederation of all
English-speaking nations, with which we have been connected for
some years. The seat of the Imperial Government has hitherto been
London, but British influence has made such strides in the East
that there is every probability of another city being chosen
for the capital, and of the seat of Government being made more
central. Should one of the now restored ancient cities of
the East become the metropolis of this glorious Imperial
Confederation, the United States would certainly come into
the Confederation, as great numbers of Americans have already
migrated to the Orient.

A word on the changes which have come over the East will not be
inappropriate, lest we should be tempted to boast too much of the
progress of Canada. Ever since the conquest of Egypt by the British,
as long ago as 1882, Anglo-Saxon institutions have been gaining
ground from the Nile to the Euphrates, and from the Euphrates to
the Indus. Soon after the great stroke of diplomacy in 1887, by
which Great Britain practically became ruler of all this vast
territory, the railroad was introduced, and before many years had
passed the railroad system of Europe was linked with that of India.
The pent-up riches of the fertile Euphrates valley thenceforth
began to find channels of commerce, and to be distributed through
less fertile regions. The ancient historic cities of these lands,
Damascus especially, began at once to increase. Jerusalem, as soon
as the Turk departed and the Anglo-Saxon entered, was purified,
cleansed, and finally rebuilt. Great numbers of Jews from all parts
of the world then returned and gave the city the benefit of their
wealth, but all the commerce of the East keeps in the hands of
Britons and Americans. English is, therefore, the chief language
spoken from Beyrout to Bombay.

There is, however, a great cloud hanging over the East which causes
dismay to thinking men, and threatens to mar the general prosperity
of all the lands. Great as has been the increase of the Anglo-Saxon
race, the numbers of the Sclavonic race have kept pace. The Sclavs,
unfortunately, retain much of their old brutish disposition and
ferocity in the midst of all the civilizing influences of modern
times, so that statesmen foresee an inevitable collision in the
not distant future between the Sclav and the Anglo-Saxon. It is
disheartening in these days of splendid progress, when we had
hoped that war was for ever banished from the world, to find that
humanity has yet to endure the old horrors once more. How fearful
these horrors will be, and how great the destruction of life, it is
hardly possible to conceive, so terrible are the forces at man's
command nowadays, if he uses them simply for destructive purposes.
The Sclav has spread from South-Eastern Europe and multiplied
greatly in Asia, till his boundaries are coterminous with British
territory, and it is his inveterate aggressive disposition which
causes all the gloomy forebodings. Before we return to our own
happy Canada, let us glance at Africa, the "dark continent" of the
last century. Civilization has long penetrated to the upper waters
of the Nile, and to the great fresh water lakes which rival our
Huron and Superior. The beautiful country in which the mighty
Congo and the Nile take their rise, is all open to the world's
commerce, and highways now exist stretching from Alexandria
through these magnificent regions to the Transvaal and the Cape.
Madagascar, fair, fertile and wealthy, has developed, under
Anglo-Saxon influence, her wonderful latent resources for all
men's good. In addition to mineral treasures she had wealth to
bestow in the shape of healing plants, whose benefits were greater
to suffering humanity than tons of gold and silver. The botanical
gardens at New Westminster, and the conservatories at Churchill,
are greatly indebted to the flora of Madagascar. But let us now
return to Canada and continue our contrasts.

Much of the success of our modern social movements has been due to
the exertions of the noble Society of Benefactors. The members of
this Society, as we well know, are now mostly men of independent
means. Their chief idea is to bring together and combine social
forces for the public good, which were formerly wasted. The
Society has already existed for two generations, so that our
rising generation is reaping the full benefit of its exertions.
It is chiefly to these exertions that the improved tone of public
opinion is due, and the general, moral and intellectual elevation
of the present day are largely owing to the same cause. In the old
benighted times before 1900 much wealth and ability were, for want
of organization, allowed to run almost to waste as far as the
general good of society was concerned. Men of means led aimless
lives, squandering their riches in foreign cities, or staying at
home to accumulate more and more, forgetting, or never considering
what a powerful means of ameliorating the condition of their fellow
creatures was within their reach. It was not only the lower classes
that needed improvement, but the whole mass of society in all its
aims, ideas and pursuits. Improvement on this large scale would
never have been accomplished by the elaborate theorising and much
preaching of the nineteenth century. Action, bold and fearless
action, was wanted, and until men were found with minds entirely
free from morbid theories, but full of the courage of their new
convictions, the world had to wait in tantalizing suspense for
improvement, always hoping that each new scientific discovery would
enlighten mankind in the desired direction, but always doomed to
be disappointed and to see humanity growing either more savage or
physically weaker, simultaneously with each phase of enlightenment.
These things are perhaps truer of society in Europe, and in some
of the States, than in our young Dominion, where everything was
necessarily in a somewhat inchoate condition. Yet had it not been
for the great men who providentially appeared in our midst--our
history, our manners and customs, our whole career as a nation
would simply have been a repetition of European civilization with
all its defects, failures and vices. Statistics of the period
show that neither in the States nor in Canada, amidst all the
surrounding newness, had there arisen any new social condition
peculiar to this continent which remedied to any extent the evils
rampant in old countries. Lunatic asylums, in ghastly sarcasm on
a self-styled intellectual age, reared their colossal facades and
enclosed their thousands of human wrecks. Huge prisons had to be
built in every large town. Hospitals were frequently crowded with
victims of foul diseases. Great cities abounded with filthy lanes,
alleys, and dwellings like dens of wild beasts. Epidemic diseases
occurred from brutal disregard of sanitary measures. Murder and
suicide were rife. Horrible accidents from preventible causes
occurred daily. Great fires were continually destroying valuable
city property, and ruinous monetary panics happened every few
years. And all this in an age that prided itself on being advanced!
An age that produced the telephone, but crowded up lunatic asylums!
That cabled messages all round the world, but filled its prisons to
the doors! That named the metals in the sun, but could not cleanse
its cities! An age, in fact, that was but one remove from the
unmitigated barbarism of medieval times! How marvellous is the
change wrought by a hundred years! We have not been shocked by
a murder in Canada for more than fifty years, nor has a suicide
been heard of for a very long period. Epidemic diseases belong
to the past. The sewage question, that source of vexation to the
municipalities of old, has been scientifically settled--to the
saving of enormous sums of money, and to the permanent benefit
of the community's health. Malignant scourges, like consumption,
epilepsy, cancer, etc., are never heard of except in less favored
countries. There is but one prison to a province, and that is
sometimes empty. Our cities are all fire-proof, and the night
air is never startled now by the hideous jangling of fire-bells,
arousing the citizens from sleep to view the destruction of their
city. So rational and interesting has daily life become, that mind
and body are constantly in healthy occupation; the fearful nervous
hurry of old times, that broke down so many minds and bodies,
having died out, to give way to a robust force of character which
accomplishes much more with half the fuss. Of course, advantages
such as these, did not spring upon society all at once; they have
come about by comparatively slow degrees.

The first president of the Society of Benefactors, who died some
years ago at an advanced age, was the man who started the new order
of things. When he commenced to give the world the benefit of his
views, he met with a good deal of opposition and ridicule, being
told that the world was going on all right and was improving all
the time, and that if people would only stop preaching and set to
work at doing a little more, things would get better more quickly.
He could not be convinced, however, that society had any grounds
for its satisfaction, but he took the hint about preaching and
stopped his lectures, which he had been giving all through the
country. He then set to work at organization, and as he had
inherited ample means from a millionaire father, he commenced
under good auspices. He went into his work with great eagerness,
gathering together all sorts of people, who held views similar to
his own, though usually in a vague unpractical way, and formed
his first committee of a bishop, celebrated for his enlightened
opinions, two physicians, two lawyers, several wealthy merchants,
and several working men who were good speakers and had influence
among their fellows. His capacity for organization was great,
and his success in gaining over to his side young men of means,
remarkable. From the very beginning the committee never lacked
money. Though they were actuated by purely philanthropic motives,
it was one of their first principles never to sink large sums
of money in any undertaking that would not pay its own expenses
ultimately. There was, therefore, a healthy business-like tone
about whatever they did, that distinguished their efforts from many
well-intentioned, but sickly, undertakings of the same day, which
one after another came to grief, doing nearly as much harm as good.
One of their first works was to buy up lots and dwellings in the
worst districts of Toronto, where miserable shanties and hovels
stood in fetid slums, as foul as any in London or Glasgow. The
hovels and shanties were then torn down, and respectable dwellings
erected in their stead. The unfortunate wretches, the victims of
drink, crime, or thriftlessness, who inhabited such places, were
not turned away to seek a fouler footing elsewhere, but were taken
in hand by the working-men on the committee, and were started
afresh in life with every encouragement. They were generally
permanently rescued from degradation, but if some fell back their
children were saved, and so the next generation was spared a family
of criminals. Montreal was next visited and the same thing done
there; attention was then turned to Quebec and Winnipeg. Successful
attempts were afterwards made to control the liquor traffic, not by
sudden prohibition, which always increased the evil, but by common
sense methods, necessarily somewhat slow, but sure. When the
Society had been at work ten years, there was a very perceptible
diminution in the amount of crime and smaller offences in all their
spheres of action. Police forces could be decreased, and a prison
here and there closed. This had a tendency to lessen the rates,
so the taxpayer became touched in his tenderest part--his pocket.
His heart and his conscience then immediately softened toward the
Society's work, though years of preaching and the existence of all
abominable evils close to his door had failed to move him. When
this point had been reached, the Society began to be looked upon
as one of the great remedial agents of the age, and work was much
easier. One evil after another was grappled with, and in time
subdued. Scientific researches were set on foot in hygiene,
medicine, and every subject from which the community at large
could derive benefit, till in twenty years time so much general
improvement had been effected that Canada's ways of doing things
came to be quoted in other countries as a precedent. Our cities
were the best built, best drained, cleanest and healthiest, and
our city populations the most orderly and most enlightened. The
Society's roll of members now included a great number of eminent
men, and their operations were extended over the whole Dominion,
and works of all kinds were carried on simultaneously in all parts.
Outside the Society, it had become quite fashionable for all
classes to take the most eager interest in everything concerning
the public welfare, so the Dominion continued to prosper and
advance with wonderful rapidity. Thus it happened that we came to
take the lead among nations and have been able to keep foremost
ever since, though with our 93,000,000 we are not by any means
the largest nation.

The improved hygienic conditions under which we live have had the
effect of very largely increasing the population. Our forefathers
in their wisdom spent large sums of money in attracting immigrants
to our shores, but it did not occur to them to increase the
population by preventing people from dying. Very few persons die
now, except from old age, and the tremendous and almost incredible
mortality of old times among infants is stopped, consequently the
death rate is very low, and the excess of births over deaths very
great. There are only three doctors to each large city, and they
are subsidised by government or the town councils, because there
are not enough sick people from whom they could make a living as
of yore. The good health of the public is also in some measure
due to the fact of our scientific men having been able, since a
few years past, to gain a good deal of control over the weather.
By means of captive balloons, currents of electricity between
the higher atmosphere and the earth are kept passing regularly.
By other electrical contrivances as well as these, rain can now
be nearly always made to come at night and can be prevented from
falling during the day. Hurricanes and desolating storms are
also held very much under control.

Our contrasts are now drawing to a close. Enough has been said to
make it plain to the slowest intellect among us, what is gained
by having been born in the twentieth century, instead of in the
nineteenth, and by being born a Canadian, instead of to any other
land. There can hardly be to-day such a woeful creature as a
Canadian who does not realise and is not proud of the grandeur of
his heritage. Our race, owing to the splendid hygienic and social
conditions that have been dilated upon, is one of the healthiest
and strongest on the face of the earth. We are not demoralized
or effeminated by the luxury and abundance which are ours, but
elevated rather, and strengthened by the very magnificence and
opulence of our circumstances, and by the perfect freedom, under
healthful restraint, which we enjoy through the community's
strong, vigorous, moral and intellectual tone.

As there is nothing more wonderful about the present age, or more
characteristic of the times, than our mode of travelling, these
few pages shall be concluded with a plan of a very simple journey,
a journey which can be strongly recommended to all who are wishing
for change of scene and are somewhat bewildered in choosing a
route among the innumerable places in the world which have claims
on their attention. We will imagine that a party of twenty has
been made up, and that the start is from Halifax, the direction
eastward, and the destination Constantinople. The car which is
timed to start at 7 a.m., is standing at rest on the sloping side,
while the passengers, say fifty in number, are taking their seats
in the luxurious chamber within. The first stop is at Sydney,
Cape Breton, and the car is pointed accurately in that direction.
At three minutes to 7 the engineers and conductor come on board;
the former to place the powerful oxyhydrogen charge in the great
breech-loading tube, the latter to close the doors against ingress
or egress. Precisely at 7 the signal is given. A furious and
powerful hissing is then heard, as well as a momentary scraping of
the car on its runners. In another second she is high in the air,
and already Halifax has nearly receded from the engineer's sight.
The rate of a mile in three seconds is kept up till Sydney rapidly
appears in view. In the next few seconds the engineer exerts his
skill and the car lands gracefully on the slide, still in brisk
motion. After a little scraping and crunching on the runners,
she pulls up at the station platform at the bottom of the decline,
ten minutes only after leaving Halifax. The next spring is made
to St. John's, Newfoundland, which is reached in fourteen minutes.
Here a few minutes are taken up in pointing the car accurately
for Galway. Great caution is necessary, and very delicate and
beautiful instruments are employed. When all are on board again
and ready for the supermarine voyage, the engineer loads up with
a much more powerful charge than before. He prepares at the start
for a speed of a mile in three seconds, then, when fairly out
over the sea, a stronger electric current is applied to the huge
charge, and a speed of a mile, or even more, a second is obtained.
This fearful velocity is not permitted overland, for fear of
collisions, as car routes cross each other. But no routes cross
over the sea between St. John's and Galway, nor is the Galway car
allowed to leave till the St. John's car has arrived, and vice
versa, therefore the highest speed attainable is permitted. Before
land again looms in view, speed is much slackened, and now the
engineer requires all his experience and his utmost skill. The
high winds across the ocean may have caused his car to deviate
slightly from its path, so as soon as land appears the deviation
has to be corrected, and only two or three seconds remain in which
to correct it. However, the engineer is equal to his task, and
the car is now in the same manner as before, brought to a stand
in Galway at 6 minutes to 8, just 30 minutes out from St. John's
and 54 from Halifax. At 8 o'clock Dublin is reached, next comes
Holyhead, and then London at 8.20. Here passengers for the South
of Europe change cars. As the car for the South does not start
till 8.30, there is time for a hasty glance at the enormous
central depot just arrived at--one of the wonders of the world.
Cars are coming in every minute punctually on time from all parts
of the country and the world. The arrival slide is here shaped
like the inside or concavity of a shallow cone, two miles in
diameter, with the edge rather more than 150 feet from the ground.
In the centre, where the cars stop, is a hydraulic elevator, by
which they are immediately let down below to make room for the
next arrival. The passengers are then disembarked without hurry.
Those who are to continue their journey then go on board their
right car and are again started on time. The departure slide is
like a lower storey of the arrival one. It is immediately beneath
it, but its grade is not quite parallel. Near the centre, where
the cars start, the upper slide is twenty-five feet above the
lower one, but at the edge, a mile distant, in consequence of the
difference in grade, there is fifty feet between them. The path of
the cars before they emerge from the departure slide, is between
the supports of the upper one, yet the supports are so placed that
the cars can be pointed before starting for all the principal
routes. There is a through car to Constantinople, and in it the
twenty passengers from Halifax take their seats. At 8.30 the
first spring is made, and Paris is reached in 10 minutes.
Another spring, and in 10 minutes more Strasbourg appears. Then
successively: Munich in 8 minutes, Vienna in 10, Belgrade in 15,
and lastly Constantinople in 20, or at 9.43, that is just one hour
and thirteen minutes from leaving London, and two hours and 43
minutes from Halifax. It is still early in the day--well that is
where a surprise awaits the traveller who has not considered that
he has been journeying eastward through more than ninety degrees
of longitude, so that instead of being a quarter to ten in the
morning, it is a good six hours later, or just about four in the
afternoon. Two out of the twenty Haligonians are on business only,
and intend to return the same night; the other eighteen, after
seeing the lions of Constantinople intend visiting Jerusalem, the
Persian Gulf, Bombay, Calcutta, Hong Kong, Pekin, and Yokohama,
staying a day or two in each city. The car services on this route
have been in existence a good many years and are well organized.
From Yokohama a long flight over the Pacific will be taken and
Canadian soil again struck at Victoria. We will not follow the
eighteen travellers in their eight or ten days sight-seeing, but
will return to the two Haligonians at Constantinople, who have got
through their business in a few hours, and must go back to Halifax
at once. They start for London at 10 p.m., Constantinople time,
arriving there in one hour and thirteen minutes over the route
they traversed in the morning. They change cars, and in ten
minutes are off again via Holyhead, Dublin, Galway, St. John's
and Sydney, C. B., for Halifax, where they arrive in one hour and
20 minutes from London, or forty-three minutes after midnight by
Constantinople time, but more than six hours earlier, or about
6.30 in the evening by Halifax time. They have therefore got ahead
of the sun in his apparent journey round the world, for he had
set for at least two hours when they started from Constantinople,
but they caught up with him when over the Atlantic, and to the
engineer it appeared as if he were rising in the west. This is
a daily experience of travellers going west, which never fails
at first to create great surprise. Our two voyagers are now safe
back, at the port from which they set out a little less than
twelve hours before. They are quite accustomed to such travelling,
and have done nothing but what thousands are doing daily. But what
would have been thought, if such a journey had been described
a hundred years ago, in 1883? And how will the world travel a
hundred years hence, in 2083? It is hard to say, or even to
imagine. Yet inventive skill is unceasingly active, and in all
probability speed will eventually be still further accelerated.

And now our task of contrasting Canada in 1983 with Canada in 1883
is concluded, and surely in this epitome of the works of a century
there is food for reflection for the inventor, the statesman,
the moralist and the philanthropist. All, when pondering on
the gradual, but sure improvement that has come about in their
respective paths, can take heart and nerve themselves for renewed
effort, or be induced to stand firm till success comes to reward
their courage. No man can despair who ponders on the position of
the Dominion in 1983.


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