Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

posing it. But it is scarcely probable that she will consent to admit her children, although adolescent, into her house on an equality so long as she is able to cling to imperialism. All discussion of the subject on her part is on the assumption that she shall retain her comfortable position as head of the family. Even if she were willing thus to humble herself, the geographical position of the colonies, both in relation to her and to each other, is a great if not an insuperable obstacle to such a union. It is tritely said that electricity and steam annihilate time and space, but the annihilation is only relative, and does not give the same sense of security in respect to states on the other side of the globe that would exist if their soil were contiguous to that of the mother-country. Nor does it create among widely separated states any general interest in merely local issues, however important they may be to the community affected. Yet the very isolation that creates these purely local interests is what makes the Australian take pride in being an Australian, and to count the years when the colonies of his continent shall form a union as populous as the United States are to-day and shall wield in the world as great an influence. He may possibly consent while his country is weak to travel half round the globe to take part in the deliberations of a House of Commons already too unwieldy, in which he must inevitably occupy a secondary position; but how will it be when Australia shall have a larger population than Great Britain, and shall outweigh her in wealth and power, a possibility of the not very distant future?

Great Britain's colonies will stand by her as long as they need her protection, and they will inevitably cut loose from her when it shall be to their interest to stand alone. The professed love for mother-land and for queen, which affected Mr. Froude so profoundly at the antipodes, will soon become little else than a sentimentality, to grow more and more diluted as time passes and local interests overshadow the ancient memories. Then, with the example of the United States as a guiding star, the several groups of colonies will form new constellations, according to geographical position, and take their fitting places in the family of nations. Australia will become a gigantic island republic; South Africa a second republic; the Asiatic colonies

1

perhaps a third ; and Great Britain, the mother land, the hive from which have swarmed so many nations, what is to be her future? Will she forever lag behind her children, or will she eventually cast away the fripperies of feudalism--the husks of which she has already discarded the kernel—and stand beside them, one among the republics of the world? Every year makes it more and more evident that the good seed is already growing luxuriantly in her soil. Mr. Matthew Arnold may believe that liberalism has reached its nadir, and Mr. Froude may prove from Aristotle and Plato that democracies are unstable; but liberalism will blossom into democracy, and democracy will in due season yield sound republican fruit.

The fashion just now in Great Britain of flattering the colonies with predictions of a brilliant future is usually qualified with the assurance that, though they may succeed as independent sovereignties, a far higher destiny awaits them in a united empire under a common flag. This view, though specious, will not bear investigation. To those who advance it the wish is only too evidently “father to the thought." Great Britain's interest in a union with her colonies can scarcely be much longer reciprocated. A spirit of dependence is not calculated to produce the best results in the political advancement of a state, nor does it tend to develop the highest type of manhood. Do the advocates of "imperial federation” believe that the thirteen colonies would have grown within a century into the most prosperous country on earth if they had remained dependencies of the British crown? A united empire encircling the world is a grand conception, but the stern logic of facts is against it. The position of British America to-day, in comparison with the United States, is sufficient of itself to prove its fallacy. The Dominion of Canada is the fruit of the one system-dependence on a monarchy three thousand miles away; the United States, of the other-of independent republicanism.

Canada belongs, geographically, to the United States, and will in time gravitate to the Union. We do not need her; we do not want her; and there are many, very many reasons against the admission into the American Union of foreign states on an equality with the States that have grown up and been

1

educated under our system. But territorial contiguity and identity of commercial interests will in time lead to political identity. We do not need to buy the maritime provinces, as Mr. Atkinson suggests, to settle the fisheries dispute. The great magnet of the United States will eventually attract not only them but all the rest of British America, and put an end to disputes through a fusion of interests.

Such a disintegration of the British Empire will be more apparent than real, and will ultimately lead, if Great Britain's councils shall be guided by true statesmanship rather than by the short-sighted policy which alienated her earlier empire, to a stronger and more enduring union than could possibly grow out of an imperial or any other federation—a union which may include even the United States, the home of the majority of the English-speaking race. But this is possible only when the mother-land shall have advanced in political education as far as her eldest child, and shall have taken a position beside her, a champion of equality.

The patriots of 1776 discarded monarchy in form and in substance, and time has shown that they were right. The principles on which they built are destined to become universal, because they are founded on justice and the brotherhood of man. When Great Britain and her dependencies shall have recognized the grand truth underlying these principles, and shall have accepted home rule and republicanism, then, and not till then, may we look for the true millennium, the era of peace on earth, good will toward men. With the globe girdled by a belt of industrial republics, whose geographical position shall render impossible any conflict of local interests, and whose general interests shall all be subordinated to the general welfare, which must necessarily be in the direction of peace, the power of the Englishspeaking race will outweigh that of all the rest of the world. No other race of men ever had such a destiny or such an opportunity. Rome held a world in subjection by the arts of war; to them it will be given to hold a greater world in subjection to justice and equity through the arts of peace. Let them but decree that there shall be no more war, that international misunderstandings shall be settled by arbitration, and all the great nations

!

1

will be forced to disarm, and to return to industry millions of non-producers and thousands of millions of misappropriated treasure.

Is such a future of the English-speaking race wholly utopian? I do not believe it. In a few generations the United States alone will equal all Europe in population, and together with the rest of the English-speaking countries will number many hundred millions of kinsmen, all speaking the language of Shakespeare, all inheritors of Magna Charta. What shall prevent the several aggregates of this great race from forming a league—not offensive, but in a measure defensive—which shall be to the rest of the world an example and a warning? The healing hand of time is fast obliterating all traces of the bad blood engendered a century ago between child and parent, and we have reached a point where, free from provincial jealousies, we fear neither ridicule nor rivalry. Our heart is as large as our power is imperial, and we still have a true affection for the mother from whose loins we sprung and whose past is our past. Though her life and ours can never again be unified, I believe that it is not too much to expect that we shall yet walk hand in hand in the paths of peace, and exert on civilization's future an influence never before wielded by mortal man.

JOHN D. CHAMPLIN, JR

CEREBRAL LOCALIZATION.

I. OUR notions of the localization of functions in the brain* are now, and for the fourth time in this century, undergoing radical changes.

Only very confused ideas were current up to the time when Gall undertook to establish his well-known doctrines. Science owes to that great thinker an irrefutable demonstration of the necessity of admitting that each distinct mental or physical cerebral function requires for its performance absolutely distinct organs. No one now, among philosophers, physiologists, or physicians, denies the correctness of this fundamental principle. But, while the doctrine of the plurality of cerebral organs is universally accepted, nothing remains of the many localizations which Gall and his pupils tried to establish.

For a long period, during which Gall's views concerning the seat of the various mental and physical powers of the brain were gradually demonstrated to be false, no general doctrine was admitted ; but various localizations were proposed, and most of them accepted. Flourens placed in the cerebrum all the mental and

* It may be useful to say that the word brain is used here to designate the whole mass of nervous centers contained in the cavity of the cravium. That mass is also called "encephalon.” The brain is composed of three great parts : the cerebrum or cerebral hemispheres, the cerebellum, and the base of the encephalon. The cerebrum is divided into four lobes : the anterior or frontal, the middle or parietal, the lateral or sphenoidal, and the posterior or occipital. The base of the encephalon is composed of the medulla oblongata (which is the continuation of the spinal cord), the pons varolii, and the crura cerebri, over which are placed the tubercula quadrigemina. Inside of the cerebrum there are three parts adjoining the crura cerebri or sending fibers to them : the internal capsule, the optic thalami, and the corpora striata. The surface of the cerebrum shows a good number of prominent parts (convex ridges), the "convolutions,” separated by “sulci” (furrows). The tissue of the brain contains fibers, which are mere conductors and cells, which seem to be the active parts of all nervous centers.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »