« VorigeDoorgaan »
ing voice, or force herself to read or stoop to do a good turn to the like of speak to the humble observer who sat me. Sure and your eyesight's fitter beside her. The paper was between for Miss Charlotte's hemming than Nurse, whose eyes were bent upon mine. I'll thank you for the paper ; the hemming, and her young reader; it's me own.". but such a world of interval there was Zaidee looked up hastily, and it between the youthful swelling heart, was impossible to misinterpret the and that tame elder one, worn into cloud on Nurse's face. calm and commonplace, of whatever “Are you angry?" she said earfashion her youth might have been. nestly. "Have I done wrong? But,
“Sure it's entertaining," said Nurse Nurse, your face is always kind. I at last, with some offence in her tone. am glad when I look at you, and I “ When you're done, Miss, darlin', I have no one in the world now to tell wouldn't mind taking a look at them me what I am to do." bits of news myself."
"Poor soul!" Nurse was molliBut hints were strangely lost on Zai- fied. “What had the like of you dee. She was so perfectly in the habit to do leaving home? Is it angry of saying what she meant herself, that you say? There, honey, read a bit an indirect reproof glanced off from of the news, and we'll all be friends her simplicity harmless. And her again." heart was full of strong and primitive Zaidee was almost as uninstructed feeling. She had no space in it for as Nurse herself, and as reverential secondary emotions, for trifling talk of the newspaper; and with a strong or querulousness. Perhaps Zaidee effort, and a heart beating high with might not have had sufficient self- scarcely suppressed excitement, she denial, had she thought of it, to make began, like Nurse, at the beginning. a great effort for Nurse's amusement; A great deal of heavy reading she but she did not think of it—she thought had to get through, toiling conscienof nothing but this dear voice of home, tiously at the newspaper, and very which echoed into the depths of her thankful was she when at last an inheart.
terruption came; but she saved the The puckers drew together on Nurse's precious broadsheet for her pains, and good-humoured brow. “Young folks carried it to her attic with her. Full and old, there's ne'er a one of them of all the imperial interests of the civilbetter than another,” said Nurse. ised world, great movements, great “ Every soul looks to itself, and never intelligence, commerce, and science, a one to its neighbour. Do you call and government, but to Zaidee that religion? nor charity neither?- Vivian more precious by far-it was and some is so high, they wouldn't a letter from home.
NOTES ON CANADA AND THE NORTH-WEST STATES OF AMERICA.
The impressions of a traveller visit- west—and be better able to appreciate ing the United States of America for a mushroom city on the Mississippi the first time are so totally unlike after visiting a seaport on the Atlantic. those which he has experienced in the It is only natural that Americans course of his rambles in the Old World, should imagine that foreigners visitthat he at once perceives that, in ordering their country should be as interto the due appreciation of the country ested in its development as they are he is about to explore, an entire re- themselves. I had not been an hour volution must be effected in those in Portland, the principal commercial habits of thought and observation in city in the State of Maine, and perwhich he has hitherto indulged. He haps one of the best specimens upon finds that, instead of moralising over the coast of a go-ahead seaport, bemagnificence in a process of decay, he fore I observed a paragraph in one of must here watch resources in a pro- the three papers daily published there, cess of development-he must substi- to the effect that “the fleet of magnitute the pleasures of anticipation for ficent ships now lying in our bay or those of retrospection-must be more at our wharves, is the most attractive familiar with pecuniary speculations object to a stranger which our city than with historical associations-de- affords." As a stranger, then, with a light bimself rather in statistics than taste for shipping, I may be permitted in poetry-visit docks instead of ruins to observe that there were forty ships -converse of dollars, and not antique built at Portland last year, registering coins — prefer printed calico to oil- 22,873 tons, or more than one-third paintings, and admire the model of a of the total amount registered in the steam-engine more than the statue of whole Union during the same period. a Venus. He looks on scenery with Its esports consist at present chiefly an eye for the practical, as well as the of lumber, ice, fish, &c.; but the future picturesque ; when gazing on a lovely mercantile prosperity of Portland devalley or extensive plain, he discerns pends not on the produce of the State at a glance the best line for a railway; in which it is situated, but upon the and never sees a waterfall without transit trade which must pass through remembering that it is a mill-site. it, now that it is connected with
But if it is necessary for a stranger Canada and the Far West by rail. to become imbued with go-ahead ways, and with Liverpool by steamers. notions, in order to travel profitably It is situated upon a narrow but hilly in America, a corresponding frame of promontory about three miles long, mind is only to be expected from those which juts into a deep and capacious who read the results of his experience bay studded with green islets;-these, and observation; it is indeed always while they are a most charming feasome consolation to him to feel that, ture of the scenery, form an admirable however imperfectly he lays these be- breakwater, and are so numerous as fore the public, the rapid progress of entirely to shut out a view of the sea the country affords him the advantage from the town. From the highest of giving new facts and new figures, point of the promontory, however, a which may form premises for new in- most enchanting prospect is obtained. ferences, and sources of interesting On the one side a richly-diversified speculation.
country, watered by fine rivers, and It is perhaps fortunate that the where countless lakes glisten amid change to the smart mode of think- dark pine-woods, extends to the base ing, to which I have alluded, is not of the White Mountains, which rise to made so suddenly as it might be; a height of six thousand feet and form since, by watching the more gradual a noble background; on the other lies advancement of the Eastern States, the bay set with its green gems, and we may be in some degree prepared with the broad Atlantic beyond. for the almost incredible increase in This trade has assumed a most imwealth and population of those farther portant character since permission to pass goods in bond through to Canada that, in order really to enjoy his vohas been granted. Some idea of its cation, he must depend more upon the increased extent during the last five variety and intensity of the sensayears, at Boston, may be formed from tions in which be indulges than upon the following figures, which show its the length of their duration. value, in 1850, to have amounted to It takes about fourteen hours to get £27,240, and in 1855, to £1,326,055. to Quebec by the railway, which has If, as is anticipated, the proximity of just been opened; and during this time, Portland to Canada, and the excel. if our stranger takes advantage of lence of its barbour, which never the liberty which is allowed bim, by freezes, attracts the larger share of this the peculiar construction of American traffic, it is evident that in this respect cars, of walking about in them, until alone it will prove a formidable rival he comes across an intelligent Yankee, to Boston, from which it is distant he will be able to discuss with him the about a hundred miles. In addition merits of the line, and pick up some to the Canadian trade, it is quite pos- information about the country through sible that the rapidly developing pro- which it passes. At first it runs vinces of Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, through a well-populated district, past Indiana, and Minesota, may choose it fields of Indian corn, oats, potatoes, as the outlet for their products; but hay, &c.; then it follows the course it is impossible now to form any esti- of the Androscoggin into the White mate of the probable value of these. Mountains, winding up romantic glens,
A considerable coasting trade is also along the shores of secluded lakes, developing itself between Portland and through dense pendulous forests, as St John's, New Brunswick, and power- though a mountain six thousand feet fal steam-vessels now run four times were not the slightest obstacle to a a-week between these ports.
locomotive in search of the picturBut while Portland offers so many esque, and which consequently disadvantages in a commercial point of dains to bury itself in a tunnel. Of view to the merchant, it is by no course the traveller does not at first means devoid of attractions to the fully appreciate the beauties of mountourist. The town is remarkably clean tain scenery which he traverses like and well laid out; there are avenues lightning, and sees through a dirty of trees in most of the streets: these pane of glass ; but in America he are composed of handsome and com- learns to be as smart at this as at fortable houses, which, if the place con- other things, and before he leaves the tinues to increase as it has hitherto country he can enjoy a landscape which done, will soon cover the entire penin- he glides past at the rate of thirty sula. Portland has nearly doubled miles an hour, as easily as digest a its population within the last fifteen dinner which he eats in seven minutes years, and now contains about twenty- and a half. five thousand inhabitants.
The woods consist chiefly of pine, After “the stranger" has followed oak, beech, and birch, and it is evithe advice of the newspaper, and been dent that the vast forest opened up to inspect the shipping, and the in- by means of this railway must prove stincts of his own nature by going to a source of great wealth to the inlook at the view, there still remains habitants; while the line itself must an inducement for him to linger a benefit extensively, by affording so while in the city; and this, if he is a ready a mode of conveyance to the man of taste, would be the most power- sea, of timber from the interior. ful-for Portland is celebrated for the Indeed these results are no longer beauty of the fairer portion of its in- matter of speculation. Already the habitants. If, however, Quebec be magic influence of steam communicahis destination, it may be consolatory tion has made itself felt. The poputo him to know that the shipping lation inhabiting a hundred and fifty there is just as numerous, the views miles of the country through which just as enchanting, and fascinations this railway now passes, did not, in of another sort just as irresistible; July 1853, exceed three hundred perand the traveller must be a novice sons. It has increased tenfold within indeed if he bas not discovered eighteen months, and it is now upwards of three thousand. These are innumerable travellers, I shall present chiefly settlers of an active and ener- Quebec rather under its social than its getic class, engaged almost exclusive picturesque aspect, and describe the ly in the lumber trade. No less than manner in which the surrounding twenty-eight saw-mills have sprung scenery should be enjoyed, instead of up, and many more are in process of the character of the scenery itself. erection, the reciprocity treaty lately We are so much accustomed in concluded by Lord Elgin having England to associate the idea of an operated as a powerful inducement active, pushing Anglo-Saxon populato timber speculators to commence tion with the North American Conoperations upon such advantageous tinent, that it is somewhat startling terms, and under circumstances which to find oneself transported in a few cannot fail to secure a handsome re- hours from the broad regular streets turn upon their capital and labours. of a New England city into the narIn addition to this important item of row winding lanes of an old-fashioned traffic it is probable that, as this line French town, composed of lofty steepoffers greater facilities for the con- roofed houses, and to exchange for veyance of Canadian produce gene- the precise and somewhat formal manrally to Boston, than do those which ners which still characterise the deconnect Montreal with that city via scendants of the Pilgrim Fathers, Lake Champlain, (since it is not ex- the grace and vivacity of our Gallic posed to the inconveniences arising neighbours. from opposing interests), a large por- A large proportion of the inhabition of this trade will be diverted tants of Quebec of course are English; along it; while the completion of the but the blending of the two races, Victoria Bridge over the St Lawrence which has resulted from this mixed at Montreal will enable the produce population, has only served to bring of the North-western States to reach out more strongly the favourable the sea by a route which is infinitely points in each, and to create a society the shortest, and which will only in- of a most agreeable description. The volve one transhipment. The jour- lower town is chiefly devoted to ney from Montreal to Boston will be business and the lumber trade, the made this summer in fourteen hours. upper to pleasure and politics; both The distance from Portland to the sections are remarkably well adapted Canadian frontier is about a hundred to their different purposes. In the and fifty miles. This portion of the lower, the river near the wharves is line has been leased by the Grand deep, and during summer the broad Trunk Railway Company of Canada. bosom of the St Lawrence affords ac
At Richmond, fifty-four miles on the commodation to a forest of masts, Canadian side of the frontier, the line and a desert of rafts. In the upper, divides-one branch going to Mont- people live so close together that the real, the other to Quebec. The cha- most distant party is round the corracter of the country, after leaving ner, and it does not take ten minutes the White Mountains, until we ap- to hunt up a recusant member of the proach the banks of the St Lawrence, House of Commons, on the occasion is somewhat monotonous; it is one of a near division. During the gay boundless forest. Sometimes an acre season, between these pursuits the or two of stumps marks the industry excitement may be very well sustainof some enterprising settler ; but stiffed. A Canadian M.P. may turn out uninteresting pine-trees are every the government in the morning to go to where, either forming interminable their constituents, and his tandem in avenues or log cabins.
the afternoon to go to a pic-nic. Nor But if the process of passing from need be ever be at a loss for evening the United States into Canada be entertainment with which to relieve somewhat dreary, it only enables the the tedium of a late sitting. But the traveller to appreciate more highly the house itself is a fashionable resort. scenery amid which the present seat The galleries of the present Legislaof the government of that province tive Assembly Chamber hold more is placed. As, however, its merits than the body ; on the nights of interhave received justice at the hands of esting debates they are generally filled
with the fair sex. Thus an oppor- capacious lungs, and a mode of extunity is afforded of moving the pression more pointed than polished, House and the galleries at the same he possesses great qualifications for time — an achievement in which influencing a somewhat democratic younger members much delight. These assembly, and giving due effect to his said galleries are always very con- undoubted talents, while their value venient; we may now take advantage is considerably enhanced by a large of them to inspect her Majesty's faithful personal following. But here everyCommons of Canada in Parliament as- body aspires to lead a party, howsembled. There are a hundred and ever insignificant: there are all sorts thirty members; the upper and lower of " ites” and “ ists." It is wonderprovinces are equally represented. The ful to hear how many members inFrench and English languages are dulge themselves in the belief that used indiscriminately in debate, the they have tails, which are found wantmajority of the Lower Canadian mem ing on the day of trial. There is no bers being French. The present mistake, however, about that flourspeaker is a Frenchman. The Minis- ished by the member for Montreal ; it try are composed, as nearly as may is indeed the only one worthy of notice, be, of Upper and Lower Canadians in rather on account of its colour than equal proportions. Sir Allan M‘Nab, its dimensions: it is called the Rouge a name celebrated in the history party, and is composed of enthusiasof Canada, is the premier, - he is tic young Frenchmen of that species the leader of the old conservative of ardent temperament which, in party of Upper Canada ; his col- young ladies at the same period of league, Mr Morin, is the leader of the life, manifests itself in a desire to French reform party of Lower Cana- enter nonneries, but which, with the da : from which it is evident that other sex, takes an opposite developit is a Coalition Ministry. It fortu- ment, and finds expression in socialist nately does not fall within the limits opinions and black beards. They are of this article to discuss the nature the representatives here of that class of its policy or its permanency, much which was called into existence upon less the peculiar combination of cir. the continent of Europe by the tyranny cumstances which called it into exist- of despots, whose yoke in 1848 they ence; it bas succeeded, under the judi. So nearly succeeded in breaking, and cious administration of Lord Elgin, in their principles are manifestly utterly passing two most important measures, inapplicable and nonsensical in a the Clergy Reserves and Seigniorial country enjoying the freest form of Tenure Bills, and now rejoices in what government extant. There is always in parliamentary phraseology is term- some respect due to views, however ed a "good working majority." In extreme, which are entertained at addition to the reformers and mode- great personal risk ; but here ultra rate conservatives, a large proportion opinions may be ventilated with imof the ultra - reformers of Upper punity; and if they are combined Canada support the Ministry. It with the rationalism of Germany, would be somewhat tedious to de- and the flippant scepticism of France, scribe the various shades of political the mixture of small beer and vin opinion represented in the assembly, ordinaire thus produced is certainly or to discuss the merits of the differ- not an agreeable compound. ent“ tickets," upon which members With this unimportant exception, have “ run" at divers periods, and however, the sentiments of the Canawhich, to a stranger, are sometimes a dian House of Assembly are those of little incomprehensible. I looked with the great mass of the community, some curiosity upon a gentleman of both in the Upper and Lower Prowhom I had read in the newspapers vince, and are thoroughly loyal. Induring the last general election, that deed, no better proof of this can be he had “ swallowed the whole clear found than in the vote of £20,000 regrit platform, and a plank or two cently subscribed to the Patriotic over." Mr Hincks, the late premier, Fund, to be applied in equal proporis perhaps the most remarkable man tions to the relief of the sufferers in in the House ; with a strong will, the allied armies.