The Fatuous Insolence of the Canadians
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 4 Feb 1904, p. 61-67
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The Fatuous Insolence of the Canadians

Dealing with two quantities in this address: the fixed and the variable—Canada and the Canadians. Canada, with today the bulk of her lands untilled, unoccupied, unexplored and unguarded, remaining the unlocked storehouse of Nature, the unalloted prize of the ultimate masters of the world. The variables—the Canadians. Some characteristics of Canadians 15, 10, or even 5 years ago. What we called ourselves. The day of national modesty and mothering gone forever. Canadians, taking on the first requisite of a great people: Insolence. An examination of insolence and its role in the greatness of nations. Proving the insolence of Canadians, and reckoning the cost. A consideration of how we got this insolence. Illustrations of our reckless doings. A list of what we have to face. Canadians doing great promise-work in connection with the militia as far back as anyone in the audience can remember. A comparison of Canada with another small nation, to which in our military preparations we bear a singular resemblance: the modern Kingdom of Greece. Time that we passed from the eloquent omniscience of the Greek to the slim ignorance of our new fellow-subject, the Boer. Urging us to graduate from a fatuous insolence to a condition of preparation.