The Loyalist Movement

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The Loyalist Movement
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THE LOYALIST MOVEMENT. It acquires volume as it goes along. The paper read, last evening, by J.W. LAWRENCE, Esq., one of our most valuable citizens, in his character as President of the Historical Society, will give fresh impetus to the discussion of the Loyalist Monument or Memorial question. This paper is in the form of a letter to the LIEUT. GOVERNOR, and it favors a Memorial Hall, assigning reasons and indicating the site that might be selected. The idea is that such a Hall should be a centre in which the outward memorials of Art and Literature; as well as the Memorials of Patriotism should have a “local habitation and a name.” Apart altogether from the question of a Loyalist Memorial, such a scheme is full of attraction – we might say of fascination. A city without Books and Pictures free to all – what is it? It may be a great lumber emporium; it may be a great distributing point or manufacturing centre, but it is certainly poor, barren and destitute in the elements of civilization. Whether or not we erect a monument proper, with a shaft of our beautiful native red granite, fit emblem of grit and patriotism, a work of sacrifice that could be executed at a moderate cost, or whether it shall or shall not be the Loyalist Memorial, we ought to have such a hall as that described by Mr. Lawrence. What a convenience it would be to have a place in which the Antiquities of our Province such as they are, its Geology; its Flora and Fauna; in which Art, Literature, Music, and Oratory could have a home! The building itself might be made so perfect in an architectural point of view as to be a source of pride and pleasure to the people of the Province and worthy of being shown to the visitors. Melbourne is a comparatively young city, being only about thirty years old, but it boasts of a splendid building, in Grecian Architecture, composed of a centre building and two wings, devoted to the Arts, Literature and Antiquities. The middle building bears the inscription, “Melbourne Public Library;” the wings are respectively devoted to a National Gallery and a Museum. These and other Melbourne Buildings are described and illustrated in the London Graphic of Nov. 6th, from which we cannot forebear quoting a word or two: -- One can be as comfortable and as cosy in the Melbourne Library as in the dear old British Museum of London. The principle room is 240 feet in length by 50 feet in breadth, with a spacious gallery supported by Grecian columns. On either side are niches or smaller rooms crowded with volumes of all kinds of literature. There are over 100,000 books to choose from, and every facility is offered the reader. The Library is open from ten to ten. Anyone may enter. There is no necessity for a ticket of recommendation. The only stipulation is to come with clean hands. The freedom of admittance is a great advantage in a city like Melbourne. One may often see a rough-looking miner all tattered and torn, some poor fellow who has been unlucky up at the diggings, seated in the Library, trying to forget the misery of his poverty for a while in perusing some favorite – may be classical author. For may not this rough looking individual once have been a University man in the old country? Among miners there is a wonderful mixture of classes. The poor gentleman’s is not always the smaller section in a gold-camp. There is a smaller reading-room, devoted to newspapers and illustrated weekly journals; it is well patronized by the working classes after their hours of toil. One may see them gathering from the pages of the Graphic or Illustrated London News what is taking place far away in Europe. We want such accompaniments of civilization in St. John, a city which is now nearly one hundred years old. When the form of the Loyalist Memorial shall have been decided upon; when the Common Council shall have made a grant towards it; when the people of New Brunswick generally, more especially those of Loyalist stock shall have contributed towards the object, the Provincial Legislature will probably feel bound to make a grant towards a Memorial of such a Provincial, and we might say National character. This will be an act of National Policy which will find general acceptance.