Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

bitherto prevented him from concei. the districts through which he travelving to be within his reach.

led. The subject of Emigration is per Being a Scotsman, and of course achaps the most important to which the quainted with the actual state of his attention of British politicians has late- country, it was to be expected that Mrr ly been directed; and we earnestly re- Howison should consider the subject ** commend this book to the notice of all of emigration, with a particular regard who love their country, and their coun- to the habits and necessities of those try's welfare, because we believe more unfortunate countrymen of his own, practically useful hints in regard to this who, in consequence of many untogreat subject, may be gathered from ward circumstances, are every day comits unpretending pages, than from all pelled to think of seeking the means the treatises and travels that have ap- of existence at a distance from their peared within the last twenty years. native land ; and we shall not affect Totally free from the prejudices which to conceal, that to our view the chief have so offensively characterized the interest and value of his book consist greater part of those who went before in the admirable manner in which he him—totally free, as it appears to us, has thrown together the result of infrom all prejudices, except a few, from quiries instituted and pursued from which we hope English gentlemen the most patriotic of motives. This will never be quite emancipated—Mr is not the place nor the time for inves-3 Howison writes like a man who loves tigating the short-sighted and hearthis country, and respects her religion, less behaviour of certain great propriebutdisplays not the least trace of bigot- tors, whose miserable selfishness has ry, either political or religious. He has been the chief origin of the necessity not gone through a new region wil- of emigration from the mountainous fully blinded. He has seen the good districts of Scotland. The day will and the evil, and he has told what he come, and that full surely, when these has seen with the calmness of one who persons, or their descendants, shall be has thought too much of human life, compelled to repent in bitterness and either to expect extravagantly, or tó vexation of spirit, of the policy which judge uncharitably. His sagacity has drives away a virtuous and devoted peanot chilled his feelings, nor has his santry, for the sake of rearing a diffewarm-heartedness unnerved his judg- rent species of farm-stock, and therement. Our literature, in a word, has by increasing (perhaps precariously not for a long time witnessed a debut enough) the rental of a few overgrown every way so promising, as this of Mr estates. The whole of this subject is, Howison.

we are well informed, about to be It does not appear with what parti- treated in the fullest and most mastercular views or purposes Mr Howison ly manner, by one whose name will crossed the Atlantic; though, from va- afford the highest pledge, both for the rious passages in his book, we should accuracy of his statements, and the be inclined to suppose he did not tra- liberality of his views-and, therefore, .vel purely for amusement, but rather we for the present shall be silent. It that he had entertained some thoughts is sufficient to know, that a necessity of settling either in Canada or in the for emigration does exist among the United States, in some professional si. Highlanders of Scotland, and it is tuation. That he has received a me most consolatory to be assured by such dical education, we think highly pro a man as Mr Howison, that by emibable, particularly from the excellent grating to Upper Canada, it is in the style in which he satirizes some of the power of any industrious man to purtransatlantic practitioners, and the fe- chase, by the labour of three or four licity with which he occasionally dis- years, the certainty of a comfortable cusses topics of chemical, mineralogi- subsistence for himself and the whole cal, and zoological inquiry; but with of his family, during all the rest of Mr Howison's personal views, we have their days. Mr Howison's precis of nothing to do: It is sufficiently evi- the result of his observations on this dent, that in the pursuit of them, he head, is too valuable not to be given as sought and obtained very extensive it stands in his own words: opportunities of observing the state of

· Emigrants ought to embark in vessels society, manners, and commerce, in all bound for Quebec or Montreal. If they

5

8

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

2

cenas money, should convert it into guineas or ned to take up his residence. Different perin bize dollars, British bank-notes and silver not cotian, that must be taken, before he can be enblenors he can afford to do so; however, he will cattle, or provisions ; all which articles will En for not easily obtain more than one hundred prove equally useful and valuable to them.

sail for New York, they will have to pay a quantity under cultivation. All lands are duty of 30 per cent. upon their luggage bestowed under certain regulations and rewhen they arrive at that port; and, as there strictions. The settler must clear five acres is

very little water-carriage between it and upon each hundred granted to him, open a is Canada, the route will prove a most expen- road in front of his lot, and build a log.

sive one, particularly to people who carry house of certain dimensions. These set2. many articles along with them. Those who tling-duties, if performed within eighteen artes have money to spare, should lay in a quan- months after the location-ticket has been

tity of wearing apparel before leaving this issued, entitle him to a deed from governEn e country, as all articles of the kind cost very ment, which makes the lot his for ever ;

high in Upper Canada. A stock of broad- and are so far from being severe or unreacloth, cotton, shoes, bedding, &c. can be sonable, that he will find it necessary to carried out at a trifling expence, and will perform them in less than the time speciprove advantageous to the settler. But no fied, if he propose to obtain a subsistence

one should take household furniture with from the cultivation of his farm. The folshil him ; and if he cannot sell what he has in lowing is a list of the fees on grants of land I met this country, he ought to leave it behind exceeding fifty acres :his by him. The conveyance of tables, chairs, &c.

100 acres

£ 5 14 1 neria into the back-woods costs far more than 200

16 17 6 the mu their value; besides every thing that is ne 300

24 11 7 cessary for the interior of a log-hut can be 400

32 i na procured in the settlements. Good furni 500

39 19 ture is not at all fit for the rude abode that 600

47 18 10 must at first be occupied by those who 700

55 17 11 have newly emigrated.

800

63 2 0 “A passage to Quebec or Montreal can 909

70 16 0 now be procured for about £7, provisions 1000

78 10 Loi te included. Half price is usually paid for 1100

86 4 3 the so children. Nothing is charged for luggage, 1200

93 18 4 1. T. unless the quantity is very great. Those “ The emigrant must now visit the setFiref, is emigrants who have but a small sum of tlement, or place, where he feels most incli

sons will, of course, recommend different being current in Canada. If the amount is spots. But that tract of land which extends large, it should be lodged in the hands of from the mouth of the Niagara river to the a friend in this country, and such arrange- head of Lake Erie, combines a greater

ments made as will enable its owner to ob number of advantages than any other por1-stea, tain the sum he wants, by drawing a bill tion of the Province; and the emigrant shaps is upon his correspondent at home.

will do well to choose his lot in some part “ There are offices, both at Quebec and of it. He may perhaps be told, that it lies of the Montreal, where persons, by paying a small too far from a market; but this is quite a med k fee, may obtain some information about temporary defect, and is fully counterba

vacant lands, the expence of a grant, and lanced by the richness of soil, comparative the means of proceeding to the Upper Pro- lightness of timber, fine water communicavince. Emigrants should go to these when- tions, and superiority of climate, which chaever they get on shore, and make such in- racterize its whole extent. Ancaster, Long quiries as they may think necessary, and Point, Talbot Road, &c. are situated in then immediately set out for York. this fertile region, which contains many

“When the emigrant reaches York, he other settlements equally beautiful and inwww. that should go to the Land Office there, where viting. og etikk he will be informed concerning the steps “ Whenever the emigrant has obtained

from government a location-ticket, which titled to a grant. It is unnecessary to de- is a sort of certificate that empowers him tail these farther than by stating, that the to take possession of the portion of land he chief object of them is, to make the appli- has selected, he ought to commence operaprove

himself a British subject. tions immediately. But it sometimes hap“Government gives fifty acres of land to pens, that emigrants are too poor to purany British subject, free of cost; but, if chase the provisions, stock, and farming he wishes to have a larger quantity, he utensils that new settlers require, when

pay fees to a certain amount. In Ca- commencing their labours. Persons so sinada, fifty acres are considered as a very tuated must hire themselves out, until they Hostiasmall farin, and therefore the emigrarit gain enough to make a beginning. They should

procure at least twice as much, if will be paid for their work in money, grain,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

st and Bus : what plecze i atenta #s-2/ shall has

cant

must

[ocr errors]

ht. erectie

acres, unless he proves himself possessed They will, at the same time, be acquiring of the means of soon bringing a larger a knowledge of the manners and customs

[ocr errors]

1

of the country, the nature of the seasons, “ I shall now suppose that the emigrant the mode of farming, and various other de. has made all necessary arrangements for sirable particulars. The female part of the the occupation of his land. His first objet family may engage themselves as house. then is to get a house built. If his lot'lick hold servants, whose wages are always paid in a settlement, his neighbours will assist in money, and thus add a good deal to the hina in doing this without being paid ; but general stock. Many, who are now inde- if far back in the woods, he must hire peopendent settlers, came to the Province in ple to work for him. The usual dimensions absolute poverty ; but, by pursuing the of a house are eighteen feet by sixteen plan above described, were soon enabled to The roof is covered with bark or shingles, commence working upon their own lands, and the floor with rough hewn planks, the and to raise themselves beyond the reach interstices between the logs that compase of want.

the walls being filled up with pieces of “ Some people choose to clear a few wood and clay. Stones are used for the acres, and crop them, before they build a back of the fire-place, and a hollow cone house, or go to reside upon their lots. of coarse basket work does the office of a Others erect a habitation first of all, and chimney. The whole cost of a habitation move into it at once with their families. of this kind will not exceed £12, supp The first plan is most congenial to the sing the labourers had been paid for erectfeelings of British emigrants ; for the par. ing it ; but as almost every person cah tial cultivation that has been effected, di- have much of the work done gratis, the minishes the wildness of the surrounding expence will not perhaps amount to mere forests, and things are usually more com than £5 or £6." fortable and orderly within doors, than they can be when the settler takes up his

Those who think seriously of folresidence on his land before any trees have lowing Mr Howison's advice, will of been cut down. But the expence

of
sup-

course study his book with the serioas porting a family, while clearing operations attention it deserves ; but upon the are going forward, is great, unless the idle whole, it seems to be made out quite members engage themselves as servants ; clearly and convincingly, that any inand the work, particularly if hired persons dustrious family, who can command a are employed, does not proceed so fast as capital of L.20 or L.30, may safety it would do, were the principal residing embark for Canada, and nourish the upon his lot, and superintending the busi- hope of soon seeing themselves elersness himself. Therefore, all settlers who ted into a situation of comfort and ithave little money, ought to set themselves down in the woods at once, and boldly

dependence, altogether unknown :commence chopping. This plan may sub. mong the poorer classes of our counject them to a few hardships, but it will trymen here in Britain—while the assuredly be for their advantage in the man who is in possession of twice as end.

much money, cannot fail, unless “ Much of the immediate success of a through the most culpable negligence settler depends upon the time of his arri- on his own part, to establish himself val in the country. Should he not reach in the course of a very few years, in : Quebec till the autumn, winter will be al- manner far more than adequate to se. most commencing before he arrives at York, cure all the purposes for which an and the badness of the roads, and incle- Scotchman ever einigrates, or thinks of mency of

the weather, will then make it emigrating from his native shores. difficult for him to travel to the new settlements, and survey the lands that are

We have not room to enter more open for location. Even were he able to fix fully into the merits of this part d. upon a lot, and build a house before win. Mr Howison's work, but shall not ter set in, he could

not clear any land till proceed to consider very briefly is spring, on account of the deepness of the merits of a purely literary character

. snow and severe cold ; while he would all These, it cannot be disputed, are of a the time be at the expence of supporting very brilliant order. Howison (like himself and his family in idleness. But if Humboldt) seems to write of the fothe emigrant reaches York in the moath of rests, the rivers, the cataracts

, ilJuly, he will find sufficient time to choose boundless and majestic wildernes a good lot, erect a habitation, clear several of the New World, as if his soir acres of ground, and sow it with wheat or Indian corn, previous to the commence were quite penetrated with the mil. ment of winter: thus getting the start, by ty and mysterious influences of te a whole year, of him who arrives late in mental nature ; nor have we met, fir the autumn, and who would only be pre. a long while, with any thing in paring his land for seed, when the other charming in our literature, than the ulwas reaping his first crop.

studied contrast continually preset:al

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

by his quiet and temperate views of spray of the Great Fall had extended itself men and manners on the one hand, through a wide space directly over me, and, and his most rich and imaginative de- receiving the full influence of the sun, exscriptions of external nature on the hibited a luminous and magnificent rain. other. Neither Chateaubriand nor

bow, which continued to over-arch and ir. Humboldt has written any thing more enthusiastically contemplated the indescri.

radiate the spot on which I stood, while I ruly beautiful and impressive, than bable scene. his 'sketch of the voyage up the St

“ Any person, who has nerve enough, Lawrence in the batteaux-Some of (as I had,) may plunge his hand into the his descriptions of walks and rides water of the Great Fall, after it is project

hrough the primeval forests, which ed over the precipice, merely by lying down Titill skirt the shores of Ontario and flat, with his face beyond the edge of the

Prie-His rich panorama of the thou- Table Rock, and stretching out his arm to d and islands-or, above all, his visit its utmost extent. The experiment is truly to the cataracts of Niagara. We ven

a horrible one, and such as I would not ure to quote a considerable part of wish to repeat; for, even to this day, I feel the last description, and to challenge i recollect having been in the posture above

a shuddering and recoiling sensation when ny one to point out any thing more

described. jowerful, or more chastely and taste “ The body of water which composes ully powerful, in all the prose that the middle part of the Great Fall is so imlas been written in our time.

mense, that it descends nearly two-thirds of “ The Table Rock, from which the the space without being ruffled or broken, 'alls of Niagara may be contemplated in and the solemn calmness with which it rolls 11 their grandeur, lies on an exact level over the edge of the precipice, is finely concurith the edge of the cataract, on the Cana- trasted with the perturbed appearance it asbra side, and, indeed, forms a part of the sumes after having reached the gulf below. a recipice over which the water gushes. It But the water towards each side

of the Fall erives its name from the circumstance of is shattered the moment it drops over the is projecting beyond the cliffs that support rocks, and loses as it descends, in a great , like the leaf of a table. To gain this po. measure, the character of a fluid, being diition, it is necessary to descend a steep vided into pyramidal-shaped fragments, ank, and to follow a path that winds the bases of which are turned upwards. mong shrubbery and trees, which entire. The surface of the gulf below the cataract 7 conceal from the eye the scene that presents a very singular aspect ; seeming, waits him who traverses it. When near as it were, filled with an immense quantity

the termination of this road, a few steps of hoar frost, which is agitated by small arried me beyond all these obstructions, and rapid undulations. The particles of nd a magnificent amphitheatre of cataracts water are dazzlingly white, and do not apurst upon my view with appalling sud- parently unite together, as might be supenness and majesty. However, in a mo- posed, but seem to continue for a time in a nent the scene was concealed from my state of distinct comminution, and to repel yes by a dense cloud of spray, which in- each other with a thrilling and shivering olved me so completely, that I did not motion which cannot easily be described. are to extricate myself. A mingled rush “ The noise made by the Horse-shoc ng and thundering filled my ears. I could Fall, though very great, is infinitely less ee nothing except when the wind made a than might be expected, and varies in loudhasm in the spray, and then tremendous ness according to the state of the atmos

ataracts seemed to encompass me on every phere. When the weather is clear and ide, while below, a raging and foamy gulf frosty, it may be distinctly heard at the f undiscoverable extent lashed the rocks distance of ten or twelve miles ; nay much vith its hissing waves, and swallowed, un further when there is a steady breeze ; but er a horrible obscurity, the smoking floods I have frequently stood upon the declivity hat were precipitated into its bosom. of the high bank that overlooks the Table

" At first, the sky was obscured by Rock, and distinguished a low thundering | louds, but after a few minutes the sun only, which at times was altogether drownmm urst forth, and the breeze subsiding at the ed amidst the roaring of the rapids above same time, permitted the spray to ascend the cataract. In my opinion, the concave serpendicularly. A hostof pyramidal clouds shape of the Great Fall explains this cirose majestically, one after another, from

The noise vibrates from one he abyss at the bottom of the Fall; and side of the rocky recess to the other, and a ach, when it had ascended a little above little only escapes from its confinement, and he edge of the cataract, displayed a beau even this is less distinctly heard than it iful rainbow, which in a few moments was would otherwise be, as the profusion of gradually transferred into the bosom of the spray renders the air near the cataract a loud that immediately succeeded. The very indifferent conductor of sound. Vol. X.

3 Y

cumstance.

“ The road to the bottom of the Fall precipices above were tumbling down in presents many more difficulties than that colossal fragments upon my head. which leads to the Table Rock. After lea. “ It is not easy to determine how far an ving the Table Rock, the traveller must individual might advance between the sheet proceed down the river nearly half a mile, of water and the rock ; but were it even where he will come to a small chasm in the possible to explore the recess to its utmost bank, in which there is a spiral staircase extremity, scarcely any one, I believe, enclosed in a wooden building. By descend- would have courage to attempt an expediing this stair, which is seventy or eighty tion of the kind. feet, perpendicular height, he will find “ A little way below the Great Fal, the himself under the precipice on the top of river is, comparatively speaking, so tranwhich he formerly walked. A high but quil, that a ferry-boat plies between the sloping bank extends from its base to the Canada and American shores, for the conedge of the river; and on the summit of venience of travellers. When I first crossthis there is a narrow slippery path, cover- ed, the heaving food tossed about the skift ed with angular fragments of rock, which with a violence that seemed very alarming ; leads to the Great Fall. The impending but as soon as we gained the middle of the cliffs, hung with a profusion of trees and river, my attention was altogether engaged brushwood, over-arch this road, and seem by the surpassing grandeur of the scene to vibrate with the thunders of the cataract. before me. I was now within the area of a In some places they rise abruptly to the semi-circle of cataracts, more than three height of one hundred feet, and display up- thousand feet in extent, and floated on the on their surfaces, fossil shells, and the or. surface of a gulf, raging, fathomless, and ganic remains of a former world ; thus sub- interminable. Majestic cliffs, splendid rainlimely leading the mind to contemplate the bows, lofty trees, and columns of spray, were convulsions which nature has undergone the gorgeous decorations of this theatre of since the creation. As the traveller ad. wonders, while a dazzling sun shed reful. yances, he is frightfully stunned by the ap- gent glories upon every part of the scene. palling noise ; for clouds of spray some. Surrounded with clouds of vapour, and times envelope him, and suddenly check stunned into a state of confusion and ter. his faltering steps,-rattlesnakes start from ror by the hideous noise, I looked upwards the cavities of the rocks, and the scream of to the height of one hundred and fifty feet, eagles soaring among the whirlwinds of ed. and saw vast floods, dense, awful, and studying vapour, which obscure the gulf of pendous, vehemently bursting over the prethe cataract, at intervals announce that the cipice, and rolling down, as if the windows raging waters have hurled some bewilder- of heaven were opened to pour another de ed animal over the precipice. After scram- luge upon the earth. Loud sounds, resemibling among piles of huge rocks that ob- bling discharges of artillery or volcanic ex.. struct his way, the traveller gains the bot- plosions, were now distinguishable amidst tom of the Fall, where the soul can be sus the watery tumult, and added terrors to the ceptible only of one emotion, viz. that of un- abyss from which they issued. The sun, controllable terror.

looking majestically through the ascending “ It was not until I had, by frequent spray, was encircled by a radiant halo ; excursions to the Falls, in some measure whilst fragments of rainbows floated on familiarized my mind with their sublimi- every side, and momentarily vanished onties, that I ventured to explore the pene- ly to give place to a succession of others tralia of the Great Cataract. The precipice more brilliant. Looking backwards, I saw over which it rolls is very much arched the Niagara river, again become calm and underneath ; while the impetus which the tranquil, rolling magnificently between the water receives in its descent, projects. it far towering cliffs that rose on either side, and beyond the cliff, and thus an immense receiving showers of orient dew-drops from Gothic arch is formed by the rock and the the trees that gracefully over-arched its torrent. Twice I entered this cavern, and transparent bosom. A gentle breeze ruftwice I was obliged to retrace my steps, fled the waters, and beautiful birds flutterlest I should be suffocated by the blasts of ed around, as if to welcome its egress fron dense spray that whirled around me; how- those clouds of spray, accompanied by thune ever, the third time I succeeded in advan. ders and rainbows, which were the heralds cing about twenty-five yards. Here dark. of its precipitation into the abyss of the caness began to encircle me; on one side, taract." the black cliff stretched itself into a gigan The next is a short but admirable tic arch far above my head, and on the night-piece in the wilderness. other, the dense and hissing torrent formed an impenetrable sheet of foam, with and strolled into the woods contiguous to

“When it was midnight, I walked out, which I was drenched in a moment. The the house. rocks were so slippery, that I could hard- cended to the summit of the arch of hea.

A glorious moon had now as. ly keep my feet, or hold securely by them ; while the horrid din made me think the light upon the silent world below. The

ven, and poured a perpendicular flood of

« VorigeDoorgaan »