Indeed Mr. Bourinot makes " illustrate" a maid of all work. A
majority of farmers going west " illustrate " a spirit of restlessness (p.
i I); the progress to be expected in the North-West-that is, something
non-existent-may be illustrated by the history of Kansas (p. 13); and
so on in nine other instances in which "illustrate" is sometimes used
correctly, but more often infelicitously, if not ludicrously; as, for instance,
on page Io where we find a sentence commencing thus: " Others illus-
trate mortgages to the foreign loan companies." One has heard of illus-
trated magazines, missals, papers, novels, histories, but illustrated
mortgages !! An illustrated mortgage would be as ludicrous as a dunce
parading badges of membership of scientific and literary societies,
badges known to the enlightened to be worthless, but which are supposed
to convey to the vulgar the idea of literary distinction, badges which
are therefore eagerly sought by men who are conscious they are not the
thing they wish to appear to be.
The noun illustration is used with a like disgusting stupidity. For
: . instance, on p. 26, we read:
" Since 1867 the Dominion Parliame?nt have only been called upon to pass
some six divorce bills for persons living in the two large provinces of Ontario
and Quebec. Nor is it only in the older provinces that we may look tor such
illustrations of social happiness."
Here note Parliament governing a plural verb. But this by the
way. What I desire to ask is : What are the "illustrations of social
happiness " ? The divorces ? If not, what then ?
Before passing on from " illustrate," let the reader turn to page 7:
" In the past the victory has been with the United States, and it must be
admnitted that the world has gained nruch by the success of the Republic in
l bbuilding up new States througli thle aid of' Euiropean emigrants. Canadians
themeelves are proud of such brilliant achievements, andt believe that it
illustrates the career oJ their ownz country in the immediate future, if it has
anything like fair play in the race on which it has entered."
To what does the first it refer? Clearly to achievements which
is a plural noun. If to any other word, what botched writing ! Note
ftrther, that the brilliant achievements of the States illustrate the career
of Canada in the future. Thus twice in the course of a few pages some-
thing not yet come into existence is said to be " illustrated."
To illustrate is to pour light on, to clear away obscurity from, to
bring to light, to purify something which exists, with the view of making
it more vivid. I may -say here that if the word " illustrate " were used