JOSEPH MARTIN, STORMY PETREL
MORE than fifty years ago a young lad clambered aboard a Michigan Central train at Ypsilanti, bound for Detroit. His sixteen-year-old brother was a telegraph operator in the offices of the railway there and had invited him to come down and spend a few days with him. Presently the conductor reached the boy and demanded his ticket.
"I have no tieket," expLained the lad. "No tieket'~ What are you doing on board? How do you expect to travel without a ticket?" "My brother Jo~ told me I didn't need one," was the reply of the frightened Little passenger. "Jot'? Jo*~ who?" asked the
"Joe Martin? Little Joe?
Are you his brother? Sure you can ride on this train as far as you like without a ticket if you are his brother.”
The remainder of the trip was made as the guest of the Michigan Central Railway.
In the long years that followed, more and greater railways than the Michigan Central came to know and fear the lad. whose name, even then, was so puissant with the officials of the road.
A few days ago the little operator, having attained the Psalmist's span of life, passed on. At his bedside sat the
younger brother. In the half century which had elapsed since the incident quoted Joseph Martin had left a large impress on the public life of his native country. He had served in two of her legislatures. He had been premier of one of her provinces. He had been a member of the House of Commons. He had represented a London seat in the mother of parliaments. He had made, wrecked, and defeated ministries. He had fought and humbled some of the most powerful corporations in the land. He had become a leader of the bar of the Dominion, and had refused the highest judicial post in his province. The old chief of the road of which he had been a humble employee had been proud to be his guest. Yet, for years before his death, though he repeatedly offered himself for various offices, from mayor to member, his fellow citizens had withheld from him their confidence.
Such a career as his is unique in the annals of Canada, in fact, of the empire. Its apparent contradictions can be understood only by those who have had an opportunity of studying his complex character, with not only its outstanding abilities but with those anomalies and perversities which, while they add piquancy to his career, puzzle and perplex those who would appraise it.
He Liked the Storm
' I 'HE facts of his public life are the natural and logical -*■ outcome of his character. His was a challenging mind. He was not made for the genial delights of friendship. Some have described him as an iconoclast. Others, and these usually his opponents, hold that in what seemed to be his most serious moments, he had his tongue in his cheek. Both conclusions fail to appreciate his peculiar qualities. His success cannot be measured in terms of personal gain, or of attainment of office. He was built for the storm; he was always at a disadvantage in port. Doomed to be always seeking office, he probably cared less for it than any man in Canada. He was free from personal vanity or ambition. But he marched breast forward. He was not only eager to have his ideas adopted; he was conscious of rare powers to sway and lead. He would have enjoyed the French revolution. He would have led many to the guillotine and would have perished there himself. He was tenacious, not stubborn in his opinions, but he was dominated by them. Confident of his own ability, he was occasionally rather impatient of duller colleagues.
Like most public men, he could make a principle wait upon the demands of expediency. A single illustration may be given.
In the spring of 1903 the Prior government was tottering. Its position became desperate when inthe bye election of West Yale, an opponent, ex-premier Semlin, was returned. Mr. Martin had stumped for Mr. Semlin and had doubtless contributed to his election. But the result seemed to make another general election imminent, and this the business interests were anxious to avoid. So the newspapers began suggesting a coalition between Mr. McBride and Col. Prior. Mr. McBride was then the leader of one opposition party and Mr. Martin of the other. Mr. Martin became alarmed. He wrote letters
to the newspapers saying so. He said that though he had campaigned against the government, he preferred it to one headed by Mr. McBride. And he gave notice that he would fight any proposal which did not provide for an appeal to the country on party lines.
His most .spectacular fight took place in Vancouver in 1S9S when, having been called upon by Gov. Mclnnes to form a government, he sought endorsation as leader at the hands of a Liberal convention.
1851 : 1867;
Outline History of “Fighting Joe” Martin’s Career
Born, Milton, Ontario.
Telegraph operator, Michigan Central, Detroit.
Student at the University of Toronto. Taught school, Ottawa.
Practised law, Portage la Prairie. Elected to Manitoba Legislature. Became Minister of Education and Attorney-General.
Elected to House of Commons, Ottawa.
Practised law, Vancouver.
Elected to B.C. Legislature.
Became Premier of B.C.
Entered political arena in England.
Elected Member for East St. Paneras, in British House of Commons.
Fought anti-reciprocity campaign in Canada.
Made two attempts to re-enter B.C. politics; was defeated as candidate for mayor of Vancouver; started evening paper in Vancouver, which lasted few weeks only.
March 2, died in General Hospital, Vancouver.
The battle raged round the Cassiar delegates, mostly from Victoria. Mr. Martin, as chairman of the credentials committee, had them debarred from the convention. An eminent K. C., acting as delegate from a farmer riding, moved that the delegation be seated, and1 the row began. For three hours the eminent counsel kept the floor, smoking cigar after cigar in a,game of patience, while Hon. Fred Peters dispensed even-handed justice from the chair (when he could be heard). It was characteristic of Mr. Martin that when he could not have his own way, he saw to it that the other fellow didn’t get his. And he withdrew his supporters and was nominated by rump convention.
But the forces of opposition were too much for him. His government was defeated, though he was elected. Thereafter though he made many attempts to obtain popular endorsation he always failed. Though quite able to do so he refused to spend any money on his elections, or to form the standard committees. He doubtless felt that his experience, ability and eminence and particularly his policies should be enojugh. to secure his election.
They were not. He felt rather keenly a recent contest where he was beaten by a Socialist of indifferent standing, and expressed the view that there must be something wrong if he could not draw as large a support as this man.
Frank and Fearless
IN THE most bitter controversies his honor was rarely impugned. This was no doubt due, in part, to his engaging frankness in meeting charges and in acknowledging them, rather than in protracting the useless discussion. In one of his campaigns he was charged with getting $25,000 from Jim Hill for his fund.
“Of course Mr. Hill contributed to our funds,” he replied when confronted with the charge at a public meeting. “He is a smart man and knows we will give this province, in which he is heavily interested, good government. Why shouldn’t he support us?” And the crowd roared its approval of the sentiment.
One of the historic incidents of his career was the famous Rossland banquet when he was Attorney-General in the Semlin government. The Rossland camp was booming,,-and it wanted an expensive public building. As Mr. Martin proceeded with his speech hecklers and
questioners became uproarious in their demand until the Minister’s patience was exhausted. As he raised his voice the miners coming off shift out of the War Eagle crowded, in their over-alls, about the doors. He broke out: .
“I care nothing for you white-shirted hoboes. You can’t coerce me. These are my people,”—-and with a comprehensive wave of his hand he indicated the workmen about the entrance. The latter, at once won over, were with difficulty dissuaded from entering and cleaning out the dining room.
The event lost nothing under the tongue of gossip, and Mr. Martin deemed it wise to take some notice of it. He did so in a manner to leave his hearers breathless:
“Now you all want to hear, I am sure,” he said, “of what happened at Rossland. I think you are entitled to know what your public men are doing. Well, gentlemen, I was drunk.”
A roar of laughter swept the hall. As it subsided Mr. Martin raised his voice:
“But the rest where a lot drunker than I was.”
When the merriment had subsided, he proceeded gravely to discuss the issues without another reference to the incident. Such a fighter is hard to unhorse.
While he was in office he was approached by a confidential friend who asked on behalf of his principals for lease on an Atlin mining creek. Mr. Martin agreed to issue the lease, stating he thought it desirable that some company should test out the gravel in that camp. His friend then asked if the lease could issue that week, adding that if so he would give him $25,000. Mr. Martin at once refused to issue it.
“If it’s worth that much money,” he said, “there must be something crooked about it.”
Shocks for the Smug
HE RATHER violating the
liked to shock the smug citizen, by conventions. There was a wanton streak in his mentality as a result of which he was often misunderstood. While holding office in Victoria he was rather brazen in parading certain indiscreet friendships. Sedate Victoria, which made of its annual regatta at the Gorge a social event similar to the Woodbine or Blue Bonnets, was scandalized to see the premier speeding up and down the course in the government launch, his sole companion a well-known saloon keeper and sport of the Capital. Previously such things “weren’t done” by those in authority.
But he carried the joke too far when he selected his cabinet. It contained estimable men, but most of them quite unknown. One was his former law partner; another a well-to-do-farmer who was deaf. When he approached Lyman P. Duff, now of the Supreme Court of Canada, and invited him to join the ministry he was met with a refusal. Then he appealed to Mr. Duff for advice. They were standing at a window looking down on Government street, along which J. S. Yates, a well-known citizen, was passing to the Post Office for his mail.
“There’s Jim Yates. Why not try him?" said Mr. Duff.
Continued on page 41
Continued from page 20
“I’ll ask him,” said the other, and hurrying out, had his consent before he reached the wicket.
His Minister of Finance was chosen under conditions seldom met outside of comic opera. One morning a Victoria newspaper received a dispatch from its Nanaimo correspondent somewhat as follows:
“Cory Ryder, of Cumberland, passed through here this morning for Victoria. Says he is going into Joe Martin’s cabinet. Look out for him on noon train. Wears grey, pointed beard and fedora hat.”
Inquiry at once began,but no one knew, or had heard of, Mr. Ryder. Finally a merchant with a branch store in Cumberland was asked:
“Why, yes,” he replied, “I know Cory Ryder of Cumberland. He keeps a small tinware store there.. It wouldn’t be him.”
But it was.
On landing Mr. Cory was given a chance to neither affirm or deny. He was rushed, and bluntly asked what portfolio he was to take.
“Well, I don’t know till I see Mr. Martin,” he replied.
The essential fact being established, the papers’ representatives were posted on the Governor’s and Premier’s offices in the hope of catching the swearing-in before press time, but without success. It was perilously near time of going to press when in a final reconnaisance a newspaper man met Mr. Martin coming from the buildings, across the old Cause-
way. He was sauntering along in characteristic fashion with his hands under his coat tails and gently raising and lowering those appendages while he walked.
"Is it true you have taken Cory Ryder into your cabinet?” he w'as asked.
"Yes. Just sworn in. Never heard of him before, I suppose?” he demanded, and he laughed as gleefully as a boy on holiday.
"Fine fellow, Cory. He’ll be all right,” he added, and then proceeded to other subjects with an air of perfect content. His cabinet was complete. But it didn’t last long.
A Man Hard to Follow
IN HIS public career there was much that was Quixotic and hard to reconcile with his great talents. Some who knew him in his heyday in Manitoba, when all Canada rung with his fame, insist that he never recovered from his disappointment in not being included in the cabinet of “All The Talents.” He was occasionally very petulant and would fling himself out of the chamber in futile rage. He did not invite intimacies and had few of them. Moreover, he lost in tragic succession many of those who most devotedly followed his staf. Some of them became his bitterest opponents. It was common to complain that he was most ruthless in punishing his own friends.
This is scarcely just to his memory. The explanation probably lies in his frequent disillusionments among those who, subscribing to his principles, were not always able to follow him into the breach.
His most notable, though quite honorable, feud, was with his Vancouver colleague and (for a time) brother Minister, Hon. F. Carter Cotton, editor of the News Advertiser. Both were men of great ability. Their opinions carried great weight. But temperamentally they were incompatible. Mr. Martin was blunt and frank; Mr. Cotton, secretive and circuitous. Mr. Martin greatly admired his colleague and, as on the occasion when he offereda million dollars as a guarantee for the Pacific cable, was outspoken in that admiration.
“But somehow,” he would say, “I can’t like the fellow.”
The journalist was said to have been the real cause of Mr. Martin’s ejection from the cabinet over the Rossland incident and was paid back with a house resolution of peculiar cruelty calling for an investigation into Mr. Cotton’s record in another country. Yet when Mr. Cotton proposed to run -for Mayor and his antagonist was appealed to to fight him, he coolly replied that he thought Cotton would make a good Mayor and that he would support him.
Mr. Cotton, while reputed to be penurious in the use of public money, would often go further than Mr. Martin. The latter, on one occasion, sent a trusted official on a trip of investigation to an interior town. On arrival, the government member met him and, taking him to the bar, bought him a drink: whereupon they were promptly joined by a.dozen loafers.
The next day, the investigator, when he undertook to return the compliment, found that the news of the propitious situation at the village tavern had travelled far and when he had paid for drinks for the crowd he had scarcely enough left to reach Vancouver. He presented an expense account of $65 for which Mr. Martin demanded particulaFs.
The officer retorted that if he gave details the government would fall because it would reveal the bibulous character of member and officer. But the Minister was obdurate until one day, meeting Mr. Cotton, the official told him the situation.
“Well, I am Finance Minister. Send me the bill and put it down as_ hotel expenses,” he said. The bill was paid.
Snatching His Seat
AS THE convention of 1898 was the most famous of his extra-legislative experiences, the seat-snatching incident was the best-known of his parliamentary exploits. It arose from the fact that there was, at the time, a dual opposition, the more numerous being led by Mr. McBride and the minority by Mr. Martin. The latter, however, occupied the official chair of opposition leader, and there was in consequence much protest.
At the opening of the house, Mr. McBride was early in the coveted chair. Canon*Beanlands was in the midst of the
preliminary prayers, when Mr. Martin entered and seeing the situation quietly advanced and took hold of the corner of the swivel chair. Other hands furtively reached for the same piece of furniture, and by the time the canon had concluded the invocation there was a good imitation of a football scrimmage in which half a dozen members took part, but which ended with Mr. McBride seated on Mr. Martin’s lap, both in the desired chair. The seat eventually wentto Mr. McBride. It was this incident which caused a Toronto newspaper to comment that in British Columbia legislators must bear in mind the Biblical injunction and “watch as well as pray.”
It was the land boom in Portage La Prairie that first attracted him to that city. In the venture he had the authority of his brother Ed. to invest for him to the extent of $1,500. Before he had finished he had overrun his credit by several hundred per cent. The same movement attracted him in Vancouver where he put on a large subdivision. The collapse of the boom left him with a problem and much land on bis hands. His agent tells a pleasing incident in this connection, where a soldier, who had made substantial payments found he could pay no more and made out a quit claim to Mr. Martin. Instead of accepting it, the latter drew a cheque in the soldier’s favor for the amount he had paid in, saying he could not take this money from a returned man. The soldier was so apprehensive over this unusual proceeding that it was with difficulty he was persuaded to take the money.
Though often charged with malevolence, and though sometimes seeming to justify it, there was much in his conduct to indicate the detached public servant, working impersonally and disassociating events and principles from individuals.
During a debate in the legislature he had made a rather severe attack on a friend of Mr. Hawthornthwaite, socialist member. The latter was by no means ungifted in the art of invective and he turned loose on Mr. Martin with a wealth of epithet which brought the member for Vancouver to his feet, purple-faced with rage, and with the declaration^ that his antagonist was nothing but a “dirty labor agitator.” Mr. Hawthornthwaite retorted genially that the member for Vancouver was a dirty blackguard—a term which Mr. Martin insisted must be withdrawn. The house was in committee and the chairman, C. A. W. Neill (now M. P. for Alberni) when appealed to said that he did not quite catch the offending phrase but he believed it to be to the effect that the member for Vancouver was acting in a blackguardly manner. He added that he could not reprove the member for Nanaimo because he believed the statement to be in accordance with the fact. There was of course the usual appeal to the Speaker which left both members bitter and resentful, and not on speaking terms.
Not long afterwards Mr. Hawthornthwaite brought in his Workmen’s Compensation bill and, not caring to entrust it to others, he had drafted it himself. When the rules of court clauses were reached a legal barrage broke over him, all the lawyers joining in but Mr. Martin. This encouraged the author of the bill and, risking all on a single throw, he walked coolly over to Mr. Martin, laid the bill before bim and asked him to make the necessary corrections. They glared at one another for a moment, and Mr. Martin commented that it would take two hours to make the changes.
“It would take these other fellows that long,” replied the labor member, “but you can do it in twenty minutes.”
And he did. Whereupon the mover announced that Mr. Martin had redrafted the bill and all opposition dropped.
Even the Mighty Slip
INTO both practice and politics he brought strict business methods. From boyhood he had kept accurate records and had, while engaged in school teaching, kept sets of books for others. He was meticulous about details which to others might seem unimportant. On one occasion his partner Mr. J. W. Weart aroused his wrath by leaving the year off of a ledger account, and he voiced his indignation before the staff. His partner insisted that he could show a similar omission by his critic, and spent the whole beautiful summer afternoon in the quest. He was at last successful, and on its
being shown to Mr. Martin the latter exclaimed: “Well, well, well. A thing like that makes me lose confidence in myself.”
Unlike many eminent counsel he was available for advice at all times to his students, a privilege highly prized, and which gave his graduates a reputation for unusual training. He had too a sense of justice which would lead him to apologize to the office boy if he had wronged him.
Though radical in politics, in his private habits he was old conservative, retaining the old-fashioned wall telephone for his own business and wearing to his 1 death the white tie of the bar of his native Province rather than the tabs of his adopted one.
As a cross examiner he was most dangerous, insidiously throwing his witness off his guard by the blandest of manners. But he could be roughness itself when roused. A prominent member of the bar was once examining him as a witness, and made a sneering reference to Mr. Martin’s code of ethics.
_ “I may tell you, Mr. Blank,” he cried, his voice rising in the curious falsetto it assumed when he was|angry, “that my code of ethics is not like yours. For instance, I do not steal clients’ papers away from another law office.”
Court and cross examiner triedin vain to stop him. When roused he was irresistible. The cross examiner in question doubtless recalled the newspaper comment of John Houston, the Kootenay journalist, when Mr. Martin’s removal to B. C. was announced:
“The Manitoba Free Press announces that Joe Martin is leaving Manitoba to settle in B. C. For God’s sake, keep Martin and send on your blizzard.”
His keen, analytical mind would have qualified him for a great judge as well as a great counsel. It is not generally known, even in the legal profession, that he was offered by Sir Wilfrid Laurier the Chief Justiceship of the province, but declined it as being unsuitable for one of his temperament.
He was a hater of shams and humbug, His bill legalizing champerty in B. C. was held up for several sessions, but he got it through at last. He insisted that champerty was secretly practised, and that the law forbidding it gave an undue advantage to the rich man and to the dishonest lawyer and to this view he finally persuaded the whole legislature.
His bill abolishing wigs in court was probably prompted by impatience with what he regarded as frills and furbelows. To-day they are used only in the Admiralty court.
Outside of law, his reading was largely in English history. While teaching in New Edinburgh, now a part of the city of Ottawa, he was near enough to the Commons library to make good use of it, and saw enough of Alexander Mackenzie to become a great admirer of that sturdy Scotch-Canadian.
A Real Stormy Petrel
THERE was much in his career to justify the appellation of the stormy petrel. He loved a fight, and did not shrink even from a personal encounter. In the Unionist election of 1917 he ranged himself strongly among those who were against the government. One of his best friends was equally pronounced on the other side. In a turbulent meeting im the Arena, the two found themselves with their coats off preparing for a fistic encounter. The humor of it appealed to Mr. Martin in time to prevent one. “I’m not going to fight with you,” he said and walked away.
A few minutes later he was involved in an equally violent altercation with another group, and some one said to him: “If you weren’t an old man, I’d lick you.” Promptly came the reply.
“Don’t let a little thing like that deter you.” Peeling off his coat he walked over to the man whom a few minutes previously he was preparing to fight and said, “Here, hold my coat. I have a fight on.”
When teaching in the Toronto Normal school he disciplined a group of unruly boys in a manner which earned him the thanks of the faculty, although he was but twenty years of age, and weighed only 120 pounds.
In his younger years he was dynamic. His advent to the parliament buildings in Victoria when he became premier was like a thunder storm breaking over a lawn social. The civil service was probably as efficient as the ordinary, but there was
doubtless still some space for tennis and tea. Mr. Martin passed through the departments and heads fell right and left. Those who remained started earlier and stayed later than they had ever done before. He injected much fear if not greater efficiency into the departments. And when he fell a cry of relief rose from the administrative pile.
His knowledge of telegraphy often stood him in good stead. Being in Rossland on one occasion, on government business, he had occasion to send a message to his department at Victoria. It was rather urgent and he remained to see if it went. After some delay he inquired why it had not been sent, and was told that it had already gone. Mr. Martin told the man he was lying, as he knew the keys, and that if it was not sent at once he (Martin) would jump over the counter and dispatch it himself. It went forthwith.
A practice in which he had few emulators was that of going through his letter book at the end of each year, determining the number of personal letters which had been sent out through the stenographers of the office, and then debiting himself with the cost of postage, stationery and clerical assistance. His legal partners never paid for his personal correspondence. • Many thought him devoid of sentiment, and he rarely gave evidence of it. Yet he was capable of deep tenderness, as his friends found on those occasions rare with strong men, when they reveal their souls. When he opened a coal mine in the interior he called it by his mother’s name. And when his younger brother wanted money to start in business, Joseph handed him without hesitation the savings of his teaching days, and dropped forever his cherished hope of going to Oxford, from which it was one of his great ambitions to hold a degree.
In his public life he rarely indulged in humor, though he was a past master in a form of jovial ridicule which was very effective.
When a candidate in St. Paneras, London, England, he was much heckled by a woman of uncertain age, and forbidding countenance. Mr. Martin sought to explain that he was in favor of woman suffrage but with certain limitationswhich did not come within the plans of its more ardent champions.
Finally the woman broke out with an angry interruption.
“You are two-faced, Mr. Martin.”
The speaker hesitated long enough to let his audience catch a good view of the hatchet profile and then retorted:
“Madam, I will not accuse you, as you have me, of being two-faced, because if you had another face you would be wearing it now.”
A Mania For Method
IT WAS his custom, in early professional life, when he settled in a town, to set up house, associating with himself a few friends. Here, as in everything he did, he was most methodical. The house was run on rigid rules. One of these was that each inmate should take his turn monthly, in administering affairs, and report in detail at the end of his term of office, at a regular meeting where he was criticised or complimented according to the state of the finances or the service. Another rule was that no liquor was to be boughton account of the house, though a member might do so individually. Among the Ottawa group was one ardent and rather uncompromising prohibitionist. One of the articles which he bought during bis regime was a whisk. When he submitted his bills at the end of the month, he was subjected to a terrible barrage, for the account plainly stood, not for one whisk, but for one whiskey. Joseph had found time during his studies to do what he so often did. in his later career—insert an amendment in the bill.
Such a strong personality was bound to provoke bitter and implacable foes. But it is usual in such cases to find friendships equally strong and enduring. Of these he had remarkably few. Not that he lacked admirers, for few public men had as many. But he evoked a fealty of the brain rather than of the heart. Into his life there entered few of those deep intimacies which have so often been the refuge of famous men. Round his bier, at the last, stood few women, but a wonderful gathering of strong men—men he had fought with, and against—paying equal tribute to his public service and his dominant personality.
Like so many other puzzling things in his life, this circumstance did not denote an incapacity for friendship. It probably was explained by the hard school in which he trained himself, where, partly from necessity and partly from choice, he found little space for 1¡he amenities of life.
He knew no form of athletic sport, partly, no doubt, because of an injury to his leg, received as a boy, and which at one time it was feared would require the amputation of his limb. But he never succumbed to even the gentle allurements of golf. Though comparatively wealthy, he affected none of those weaknesses for art, which often comes with the possession of the means to gratify them. Music failed to charm him and he reacted only mildly to the drama. He was fond of poker and like so many of his profession found in it that detachment and mental relaxation so necessary to mentally overworked men. He did not play for the stakes, fo71 he usually lost. His love of it was w7ell illustrated during his last few days. His friend found him with a huge tome on diabetes, from which he was suffering, on his lap.
“It says here,” he commented, “that the best treatment for this thing is cheerful surroundings. Now one doesn’t get very cheerful company in a hospital, does one?” he asked wistfully.
His friend replied banteringly that he supposed he wanted to go to a tourist hotel.
“No,” he said, “but I believe it would do me good to go down to the club in the evening and have a game with the boys.”
Thereafter he would slip out of the hospital in the evening and spend a few hours with his acquaintances, returning to his ward at midnight. Though he thought it did not hurt him, one of these excursions during a cold snap resulted in a cold which may or may not have hastened the end.
Faced All Foes Fearlessly
IT IS an interesting fact that with a small boy—one patient seven years of age, and the other seventy—he had been selected for the new insulin test for the cure of diabetes, and made great progress under it. When he told one of his friends how fortunate he felt to have been chosen for the experiment, his caller remarked: “So you are here in the interests of science, are you? Well, Joe, don’t let them put an X-ray on you whatever you do. They might find out too much.”
The last foe he faced, as ever, fearless and undaunted. He analyzed his chances of life with the same cool judgment that he had brought to bear on many other problems where the issue was not so vital.
“What do you think my chances are. Ed?” he asked his brother. “Can I make it?”
His brother assured him that heart, pulse, and other organs were in a condition to make his recovery most probable. But he shook his head, finally. The precedents were against him. His brain would not concur in what his heart desired. He anticipated the sentence as unerringly as he so often had done with the authorities and the court against him. And so with a peaceful smile to his friends, the “greatest fighting man” Canada has seen in this generation, drifted off into the long sleep.
A famous writer has told of how the great of England, after their parliamentary battles, find common sepulchre at last, near the scene of their earthly struggles, in the sacred shadows of the Abbey. In a memorable phrase he tells of how. in “that great temple of silence and of reconciliation” they sleep together whose bodies were wrorn out in the contentions of the great Hall.
Death, the leveller, has a way of mocking the petty rivalries of men when they come to pay their last tribute at his court.
After Mr. Martin’s death, his brother, E. D. Martin, of Winnipeg and his lifelong friend, A. E. Beck, former registrar of the Supreme Court, visited Ocean View cemetery to select a burial plot. They chose a high elevation, flanked in the distance by the snow-covered Lions, and the Sleeping Beauty, and facing the sea. One said to the other:
“This is a lovely location. I think that were he alive, it is such a one as he would have chosen.” The other silently assented.
Nor did they revise that opinion, when as they turned to leave, they stooped to see the name on the curb of the adjoining plot and read there the simple words: “Francis Lacy Carter Cotton.”