Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/403

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
393
COLONIES AND THE MOTHER COUNTRYII.

the governor may be considered as symbolizing (in so far as he has the capacity) the entire civilization of the mother country. He brings much or little to the colony he comes to govern. Sometimes, as in the case of Sir George Gray, he brings intellectual superiority, and he may thus stimulate its literary development, but that is rare. He oftener imparts an aroma of gentility that is much appreciated by a certain class. He may be of practical utility by applying the experience of a military engineer, as did Sir William Jervois. He may have had large colonial experience, like Sir Hercules Robinson, and use that to solve the intricate political problems of his colony. If he is a collector, like Sir George Gray, he may enrich it by bequests of libraries and museums. If he possesses literary gifts and has passed through an eventful time, he may enrich colonial history by dictating his biography, like one colonial governor, or writing his reminiscences, like so many. And lastly, after returning to the mother-land, he may continue to watch over the interests of the colony or colonies he ruled; he may become president or member of the Council of the Indies, like three viceroys of Peru, or Parliamentary under-secretary for the colonies, like Sir James Fergusson, or even his former colony's agent-general, like Sir W. Robinson. In Crown colonies the chief legal and administrative officials are imperial appointees, and are only superseded by local ministers when the colony is granted responsible government. In a unique case, that of Queensland, after a constitution had been conceded, the first governor took out with him the first premier; and he too was afterwards able to safeguard its interests as permanent under-secretary in London. The Greek metropolis sometimes sent priests to its colonies, and bishops are long appointed by the mother church. During the three centuries of Peruvian dependence fully one in seven bishops—one hundred and five against seven hundred and six—were native Americans. Canada seems to have at length arrived at complete independence and appoints Canadians. In Australasia and South Africa the metropolitans and most of the suffragans are still nominated in England; a dean may be transferred from one colony to another as a bishop; or a small and poor diocese may elect one of its incumbents. Local jealousies and possibly the absence of a commanding spirit combine with the desire to have the best the home church can afford to give or the colonial church procure to dictate the extraneous selection. The stream of ecclesiastical culture flows likewise through the immigration or importation of ministers of all denominations. It means, among Catholics as among Protestants, the periodical addition to the spiritual wealth of the colonies of an amount of talent and high character which they would have been slow to acquire by natural growth. University or collegiate professors are for quite as long appointed by a committee of selection in the mother country. Such men—some of them brilliant, laborious.