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Canadian

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CANADIAN During the early years of occupa tion, after the fall of Quebec in 1759, Cana ,dians had little time to devote to literary pro duction ; they were too busy felling forests, clearing rocky hillsides, and building homes.

Until the close of that century there was only a scanty output of books in Canada, but it was in those pioneer days that Canadian literature really came into being.

Naturally the literature of that period deals with the life of the first colonists and immigrants, and gives the record of their hardships and struggles. Here men tion should be made of the first Canadian novel, the History of Emily Montague' (1769) by Mrs. Frances Brooke, wife of Rev. John Brooke, a chaplain in the garrison at Quebec, which gives in letter form an in teresting description of Canadian life and scenery in those early days. Interesting and valuable also is I the account given by Sir Alexander Mackenzie of his explorations to the Arctic in 1789 and to the Pacific in 1793, described in his 'Voyages from Montreal through the Continent of North America'. His de scriptions of the Peace River country and of the Rockies have real literary merit. Alexander Henry, a fur trader, in his Travels and Adventures in Canada and the Indian Territories' (1809) gives a graphic pen picture of Pontiac's War.

With the close of the century and the rapid devel opment of the country, literary production greatly increased. The first native Canadian novelist was John Richardson, whose Wacousta' (1852), based on the tales and traditions of the country, is largely in imitation of James Fenimore Cooper. Mrs. Susanna Moodie's 'Roughing It in the Bush' (1852) and 'Life in the Clearings' (1853) give an accurate picture of the hardships of the pioneers in early days.

Thomas Chandler Haliburton (1796-1865) is per haps the most noted figure in Canadian literature.

He was opposed to Canadian self-government and responsible government as advocated by the leaders Of the rebellion of 1837, and his 'Bubbles of Canada', and his Rule and Misrule of the English in America' attempt to analyze the situation. His 'Clockmaker' (1837) gives the observations and wise sayings of "Sam Slick," a shrewd Yankee peddler who sells his wares in Nova Scotia. Haliburton satirizes the lack I. of energy and initiative in his native province, the narrowness of the average Englishman, and the weak nesses of the people whom the clockmaker meets. It is a book of sly humor and subtle character drawing, and "Sam Slick" is one of the immortal figures in the literature of the New World.

During the first half of the 19th century no poetry of importance ap peared in Canada.

Charles Sangster (1822 93) may justly be called the first Canadian poet of merit. His verse shows a deep insight into Nature and her varied moods, and his volume Hesperus and Other Poems' (1860) sounds a new national note of patriotism and appreciation of Cana dian scenery. 'A Song for Canada' and 'The Rapid'

are his best-known poems.

Charles Heavysege (1816-76), author of the poetic drama 'Saul', and Thomas D'Arcy McGee (1825-68), author of 'Canadian Ballads', wrote verse of rare beauty, but although they lived in Canada they are not distinctively Canadian in their work. The for mer was English; the latter was Irish, even to the extent of participating in his youth in an abortive Fenian rebellion in Scotland.

In the period before and during the Confederation struggles, pamphlets and political addresses abounded, all on a plane of high national aspiration. The speeches of Joseph Howe and of George Brown set forth the political problems and the difficulties in the way of the successful attempt to make a new and united Canada by confederating the various provinces.

After Confederation had brought about a united Dominion, a new national spirit became apparent in Canada's literature. There was a greater desire to interpret Canadian life and a distinctively Canadian civilization.

A Growing Wealth of Poetry To this period belongs the first Canadian poetry of importance; indeed the largest part of Canadian literature dates from Confederation. It is of com paratively recent growth, the product of a united country and the expression of united national feeling rather than of scattered states. Charles G. D.

Roberts (1860- ) in his first volume (published in 1880) wrote verse of a high order, no longer provin cial, and differing in its classical polish and its music from previous attempts at poetry in Canada. His later work has much that is distinctively Canadian, and his 'Songs of a Common Day' contains verse that will compare with the best of English poetry.

Archibald Lampman (1861-99), who has been given by many critics the first place among Canada's poets, wrote poetry which interpreted the beauty in the common things of life. He depicted nature with an artist's hand, and he opened the eyes of his readers as no other Canadian poet has done to the beauties of the fields and streams and woods of his native country. He was a master of the sonnet form, and dian, his work is not local in scope, for his satire of , human weaknesses and hypocrisies applies to all lands t and to all societies.

During recent years there has been a new and deep ening interest in Canadian folk-tales, folk-songs, and fairy tales. Since the beginning of the present cen tury there has likewise been a new interest in history, particularly the story of Canada's birth as a British Dominion, and a profound curiosity about the early country, and it will be true to the spirit of her an cestors—the pioneers who founded a new civilization, distinct from that of the Old World. It will be true, too, to the highest ideals of the Anglo-Saxon race. So the future of Canadian literature is a future of promise.