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MEN OF CANADA,

In Memoriam

Since the foregoing sketch was writ-ten, Sir John A. Macdonald has passed away. On Friday, May 29th, after taking part in the debate of the evening, he left the House of Commons, where for so long a period he had been chief actor, never to return. After lingering until Saturday evening, June 6th, during which period he was almost unconscious, the heart ceased to beat and the busy brain rested from its arduous labors. The tidings of his illness and death awakened feelings of deepest sympathy and regret among all classes and creeds, and evoked the sorrow of England's Queen and other Sovereigns in the Old World. The land lay under the dark shadow of a death, that only once in a long cycle of years can occur in any nation. Canada has lost many able Statesmen in recent years, but the removal of one who, for nearly half a century, had made politics his study, and who, for a large portion of that time, had been leader of the Government and Premier of the Dominion, awakened feelings of sadness in every citizen. Those indeed who were the most bitter political opponents of Sir John Macdonald, were the first to acknowledge his matchless tact, marvellous control of men, singular knowledge of human nature, and surpassing courage and force of character, that enabled him to overcome obstacles that would have crushed weaker minds. The eulogies passed upon the dead statesman were

legion, and, in many cases, touching and eloquent. Two of these deserve special mention in this volume—the one by Sir Hector Langevin, the acting leader of the House, and the other, the brilliant oration of the Hon. Wilfred Laurier, the leader of the Opposition, which will, for all time coming, be ranked among the noblest efforts of scholarly statesmen. As was fitting, the country which he loved so well gave him a national burial, the like of which was never before witnessed. In Ottawa and Kingston thousands of strong men with tear-dimmed eyes followed the bier. Faction and party spirit for the time were hushed as the hero " of a thousand glorious wars " was laid be-side the dust of kindred.

'Tis little, but it looks in truth

As if the quiet bones were blest,

Among familiar names to rest, And in the places of his youth."

And so we leave him to the verdict of posterity, which is for the most part just. The web of life is often very tangled and perplexing, but after death the pattern and colors come out iii bolder relief. Incidental faults and imperfections are lost sight of in view of the grand results accomplished.

" Peace while we shroud the man of men, Let no unhallowed word be spoken ; He will not answer thee again,

His mouth is sealed, his wand is broken.

 

Some holier cause, some vaster trust, Beyond the veil he may inherit, 0, gently earth receive his dust,

And heaven soothe his troubled spirit


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