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Mr W. Lyon Mackenzie, of rebel meditation and a military cloak. But notoriety, without a vestige of a tail, as for enjoying the works of creation sits opposite his quondam enemy, Sir at a pic-nic, the idea is scouted as A. M Nab, perfectly reconciled to his preposterous and Cockney, particulot and the mother country; and, both larly by those who have never seen unwilling and unable to disturb the really fine scenery at all. For my existing order of things, he playfully own part, I have been as much overalludes to those, foibles of his youth, whelmed with the wonders of Niawhich so nearly cost him his head; gara, sitting on the grass at the edge and exercises the powers of endur- of the Falls with a large and merry ance he still enjoys by making inter- party, eating turkey and drinking minable midnight orations of the champagne, as impressed with the most innocuous description.
majesty of the highest mountain in The period of four years during the world, as viewed from the summit which Quebec, upon the system of an of a snow-clad peak in the Himalay. itinerating legislature, has been the as, and with a ragged peasant, with seat of Government, is just about to whom communication was impossible, expire; and the next Parliament will, for my only companion. If the it is said, meet in Toronto.
scenery be of the highest order, it will From this change Quebec must suf- assert its influence under any circumfer, in a social point of view, to some stances; and those who require soliextent. The permanent residence tude in order to render them sensible there of the Governor - General has of the emotions it is calculated to inalways insured to the inhabitants a spire, cannot really possess a keen certain amount of gaiety; and they susceptibility. have ever shown themselyes ready to If the scenery be second-rate, a follow a lead so much in accordance great deal depends no doubt upon the with their own inclinations. It is, temper of one's mind as affected by however, to be observed that, from external circumstances. A thorough the comparatively remote position of good-humour is an essential requisite Quebec, and its hitherto great diffi. to the enjoyment of a pretty view; culty of access, society there has been and I pity those, therefore, who think thrown very much upon its own re- that a fine day, a well-stored hamper, sources, and is consequently very in- and pleasant company, spoil it. The dependent on the score of amusement. Quebec world would not intrude upon As it is, moreover, composed of fa. their solitude. Let him, then, that is milies which have been long resident in not influenced by any such prejudices the place, there is an absence of that adopt, in the true spirit of a traveller, restraint and conventionality which the custom of the country he is in, is necessary in towns more exposed and he must bave been fortunate if, to the inroads of new-comers. And in the course of his wanderings, he certainly there are in Quebec the ever met with one to which it was strongest possible temptations to be more easy at once to conform, than sociable. In addition to the facilities to the method of going to pic-nics in of intercourse afforded by the inti- Quebec. If it be suminer or autumn mate relations in which people live, he must provide himself with a light and which render evening parties waggon, the seat of which will acmore particularly agreeable, there are commodate two persons comfortably, all sorts of romantic spots in the im- and is placed upon a body shaped mediate neighbourhood, only waiting like an oblong tea-tray, which in its to be visited under romantic circum- turn is supported by four very high stances; and nothing can be more wheels, so constructed as to insure delightful than the reunion of the an upset to those who are not exsentimental and the picturesque which perienced in the art of turning a vehithese expeditions involve. It is, in- cle the front wheels of which will not deed, vulgarly supposed that, in order pass under the body. Under these to appreciate nature in a correct and circumstances, it is only prudent for orthodox way, one ought to be alone the stranger to have somebody with with it, perched on some dizzy Cliff, him to give advice in cases of emerlike Napoleon at St Helena, wrapt in gency, and he is therefore, doubtless
out of compassion for his ignorance, will probably meet with the conseprovided with a fair companion ca- quences it deserves ; but a low single pable of giving the necessary instruc- horse-sleigh is a safe and delightful tion, as well as of directing his atten- conveyance. To return from a pic-nic tion to objects of interest on the way. in one of these upon a clear frosty It will be his own fault, of course, if night, protected from the sharp still he profits so much by his lessons as . air by soft luxurious furs, with a moon ever to be able to drive to a pic-nic so mischievous and brilliant, and inby himself, and has not to the last day numerable stars, “pinnacled dim in the some point of view still to be made intense inane," to light up the sparkacquainted with. Thus provided, his ling snow; to glide over the glassy will form one of a train of waggons roads, waking up the sleeping echoes containing couples similarly engaged; with harmonious sleigh-bells ; to acand in their company he will drive company their music with still softer through a charming country, past long tones to one who can sympathise in the straggling villages composed of neat emotions evoked by such gentle influwhite cottages, and boasting sub- ences, is to experience, in a novel and stantial churches, with tin-covered irresistible form, sensations which are spires, and containing a population of always delightful. But I am treading simple French habitans, whose whole upon beaten ground: every traveller appearance and costume will trans- who has visited Quebec has indulged port him in imagination to a rural in reminiscences of this sort, more or district in that country from which less vivid, -none more so than the their ancestors sprung; for the de- author of Hochelaga, who, to judge scendants of the Norman emigrés have by his glowing descriptions, seems to retained their primitive manners and have learnt the art of sleighing under feelings to an extent which in this the most favourable circumstances. unnaturally progressive country is re- But the act of going to or coming freshing to the stranger to behold, from a pic-nic, does not constitute its however unprofitable it may be to only enjoyment. There is a great themselves. They look happy and deal to be done in the interval. Rocontented enough, however, as they mantic people tramp off through the gaze on the cortège of waggons which snow to see how their favourite sumfollows the banks of the mighty St mer haunts look, clothed in the icy Lawrence until it reaches the lofty garb of winter; unromantic people fly falls of Montmorency or the Chan- down precipices in toboggins; hungry dière, or turning into the interior, people adjourn to the house of a hathrough the Indian village of Lorette, bitant, where they find a large, scruand over its romantic bridge, winds pulously clean room, with a warm up glens and through variegated stove, and a table covered with the maple-woods, until the contents are luxuries they have brought with them. . safely deposited upon the grassy shores Finally, everybody dances quadrilles of Lake St Charles.
to the tunes of Canadian boat-songs, But a winter pic-nic is a far more played with great fervour by the vilinteresting proceeding than a summer lage fiddler. one. If it is difficult to turn a waggon, For the benefit of the uninitiated, it is infinitely more so to turn a sleigh, I must endeavour to explain the acand there is therefore proportion- complishment of toboggining, which ately greater need of the same sort can scarcely be acquired in less than of assistance. There are some no- two pic-nics. It is simply the devices, indeed, so ambitious as to scent of a Montagne Canadienne begin at once with a tandem ; but instead of a Montagne Russe. A tothis is a sign of the greatest inexperi. boggin is an Indian traîneau of birch ence, as, perched upon a high tandem- bark, turned up at the end, and in its box, it is impossible to reap benefit proper capacity pulled over the snow from advice, when all you can see of the by a squaw, loaded with her husband's person who gives it is the top of her bon- chattels, while he walks in front. net, and all you can hear of her voice With us civilised easterns the order is a gentle murmuring stifled under a of things is reversed : the lady, inmountain of furs. Such imprudence stead of palling the toboggin (which VOL. LXXVII.—NO. CCCCLXXIV.
is quite flat and level with the snow), the south bank of the river, the diffisits upon it; the gentleman gets as culty attending a winter traject of the much of his body as he can upon the St Lawrence operates as a serious space that remains behind her, which inconvenience. To him, however, is not above two feet square. He then who is simply in search of the novel tucks one leg under him, and leaves and the exciting, this is rather an the other trailing upon the snow be- advantage than otherwise. hind, to act as a rudder. This arrange- The morning I left Quebec, the ment takes place on the brow of a thermometer stood at 26° below zero. steep hill, and is no sooner completed A dense fog shrouded the river, which, than the gentleman puts the whole in as we stood upon the bank, became motion by a vigorous kick from his dis- condensed, and fell in a thick shower engaged leg, which sends the toboggin of hoar-frost. We got into the canoe on its downward course with rapidly upon the wharf, stretched ourselves increasing velocity, until it is either at the bottom thereof, were muffled upset by bad steering, or buries itself up to the eyes in fars, and as our and its occupants in a drift, or speeds friends crowded round the long narrow far over the smooth surface of the snow receptacle, and I looked up at their after it has reached the valley. melancholy countenances, I felt ex
But we must not forget the prin- cessively as if I was already in my ciple upon which we bade adieu so coffin, and was only waiting to be let abruptly to Portland; and it is time, down. Presently we are let down if we have any of the philosophy of an with a vengeance; there is a rush old traveller still left, to seek some down the steep bank, followed by a new excitement ;—to exchange the grating over the rough ice, then & luxurious ease of Quebec for a rough plunge into the river, and we are so life in the backwoods—to become wrapt in fog that we can see nothing practical instead of sentimental-dis- a yard from the canoe. The boatmen cuss the material prosperity of the are fine muscular men, in shaggy province instead of its social attrac- beards and coats, who sing the old tions-and see whether any other songs of the Canadian voyageurs, exmeans exist of communicating ideas cept when they are too much occupied as silently and instantaneously as in groping their way through the glances. We can make an investiga- mist. At last it partially clears, and tion into the latter point at once, as, we find ourselves surrounded by floes if we are on our way to Montreal, it of ice. Huge masses are jammed and will be prudent to telegraph for rooms; squeezed up into fantastic shapes, to a and our visit to the office will afford height of ten or fifteen feet. We edge an opportunity of observing how much our way through the narrow lanes of better managed, and consequently water between the ice-fields, following how much more used, the electric a devious course, sometimes breaking telegraph is in Canada than in Eng- through a thin crust of ice, until our land. It is 180 miles from Quebec to onward progress is altogether arrested'; Montreal, and the charge is only six- then the voyageurs jump out, and pull pence for ten words, with a half-penny the canoe upon the ice, while we reeach additional word. There were con- main resigned at the bottom of the sequently no fewer than 86,545 mes- boat, and rattle us over the jagged sages passed along the line in the first surface of the floe until we reach open ten months of 1854. The Montreal water, when we are again launched, Telegraph Company has about 1500 and, at last, to our great gratification, miles of wire in operation, along find ourselves pulled up under the which 242,868 messages passed in steep bank at Point Levi. If the 1853. The passenger communica- tide be running down, it often happens tion between Montreal and Quebec that canoes are carried many miles has always hitherto been in sum- below Quebec, and the unfortunate mer by steamers on the St Law. passengers not unfrequently spend the rence; and in winter, when the river whole night struggling amid floating is frozen over, by sleighs. Now a rail- ice. Under favourable circumstances way is completed between the two the traject does not take above half cities. As, however, it runs along an hour.
The railway which connects Mon- travel on railways in this or any other treal with Quebec is part of the Grand country.” Trunk, destined before long to be the chanced to be present when the great central highway of Canada. It late Governor-general of Canada, is to be ultimately extended to Hali- Lord Elgin, laid the foundation-stone fax, and at early date to Trois Pis- of the second pier in this wonderful toles, a town 150 miles below Quebec. series. It was a ceremony which A great portion of the traffic which derived its interest no less from the has hitherto been carried to Montreal magnitude of the undertaking, of which by the river, will now find convey. it was almost the commencement, than ance by this line. But it is beyond from the singular circumstances under that city that its influence will be which it took place. Upon the stony chiefly felt. The journey into Upper bed of the mighty St Lawrence, 16 Canada by steamboat is tedious in feet below the surface of the river, a the extreme. The beauty of the Lake large group of persons stood dry-shod, of the Thousand Islands, and the oc- protected from the rushing torrent, casionally picturesque scenery upon which swept round them, by the masthe banks of the St Lawrence, scarcely sive sides of a gigantic coffer dam, to compensate for the delays at the the joists and beams of which clung canals, except to a stranger; and even workmen and spectators, waving their he would do well so to arrange his hats, and vociferously celebrating an tour as to descend the river, and occasion fraught with such important thereby not only avoid this inconve- consequences. The design of this nience, bnt substitute for it the ex. unrivalled structure is the production citement of shooting the rapids in a of Mr Robert Stephenson, whose steamer, when he will experience, upon shrewd perceptions at once recognised a large scale, sensations with which he the incalculable advantages to be is familiar, if he has ever threaded derived from such a work, and whose the western rivers in a bark canoe. scientific mind devised the means for
By the present mode of conveyance, its execution. It is only necessary it takes, under the most favourable cir- for a moment to consider the extent cumstances, twenty-one hours to reach of those commercial relations which the town of Brockville from Montreal. are at present maintained between When the railway is completed, the Canada and the United States, and time occupied in this journey will not which must increase tenfold under the exceed four hours and a half. Branch benign influence of reciprocity, and to lines are proposed, which will connect remember that this line must be the the most important places on the St highway from the North-western States Lawrence with the district now being of America to the seaboard of that rapidly developed upon the Ottawa. continent, to enable us to perceive Indeed, a line is already open be- how vast must be the traffic across a tween Bytown, or, as it is in future bridge at which several of the most to be called, the city of Ottawa, and important railways in Canada meet. Prescott.
Fears were entertained that the VicBut the most wonderful work now toria Bridge would be unable to susin process of construction, upon the tain the weight of the ice in spring, Grand Trunk Railway, is the Victoria but the experience acquired during this Bridge at Montreal.
winter sets that question completely I shall borrow the description of it at rest. given by Mr Ross, the chief engineer Instead of taking the steamer from of the Grand Trunk Railway. “It Kingston direct to Toronto, the tourwill consist,” says that gentleman, ist would do well to spend a day in “ of a wrought-iron box 20 feet deep, visiting Belleville. Nothing can ex16 feet wide, and about 7000 feet in ceed the beauty of the singularly-formlength; supported at intervals of ed Bay of Quintè. For eighty miles about 260 feet by towers of stone, he follows the windings of this magand open at both ends to admit of nificent sheet of water, at every turn trains passing through it, and made disclosing some new charm : now past of sufficient strength to carry six times well-cultivated shores swelling gently the heaviest load hitherto known to back from the water's edge, where settlers, long since attracted by the a trifling expense, being only two beauty of the situation, the fertility of miles in length, while an immense the soil, and the convenience of water- saving of distance would be effected carriage, have planted themselves, and in water communication between the where comfortable farms, well-stocked towns on the Bay of Quintè and those orchards, and waving fields of grain, on the north shore of Lake Ontario. attest the existence of a large and A good road, traversed daily by a thriving population, and add to the stage, connects Belleville with the attractions of nature the agreeable town of Coburg, the country on both accompaniments of civilised life; now sides being well cultivated. The cleara deep bay runs far into the interior, ings, however, do not extend to any and the numerous white sails with very great distance into the interior, which it is dotted are certain indica where the land is said to be of very fine tions that at its head there is a pros. quality; and to this district, doubtperous town; while occasionally lofty less, now that nearly all the land in wooded banks rise abruptly, and give the more western counties of Upper a bolder character to the scenery. I Canada bas been taken up, the tide ascended one of these, to visit a singu- of emigration will soon be turned. lar tarn about two hundred feet above The price of land has already risen the level of the bay, called the Lake thirty per cent in the townships along of the Mountain. It has no known this road; and when the Grand Trunk outlet, and is only separated from the Railway is opened next year, a more brow of the bill upon which it is situ- rapid development of their resources ated by a ridge a few yards across. must speedily follow. Coburg is the From this narrow ledge a singular most important port on the north view is obtained. Upon the one hand, shore of Lake Ontario, before arrivand on a level with the spectator, the ing at Toronto; and a railway is now little lake lies embosomed in wood; completed from it to Peterborough, a upon the other, he looks down upon town thirty miles inland, situated, a labyrinth of devious channels, form. however, upon a river which is naviing part of the eccentric Bay of gable for steamers, and down which Quinte, and intersecting in every di- countless lumber-rafts are annually rection a richly-diversified country, floated. A railway has been charsometimes gleaming behind maple tered to connect Peterborough with woods bright with antumpal tints, Gloucester Bay on Lake Huron, sometimes encircling extensive clear a distance of ninety miles through ings. Certainly Prince Edward's an uncleared country. It is imposcounty, on which this lovely spot is sible to say what the effect will situated, is highly endowed by na- be of the facilities for exploration ture; and the U. E. Loyalists, who which these lines will afford. Nothing have made it their home, have dis- can demonstrate more certainly the played unexceptionable taste.
growing prosperity of the province, The town of Belleville is pleasantly than the fact that the inhabitants are situated at the mouth of the Moira, improving and extending with the near the head of the bay, and owes utmost vigour their means of internal its prosperity in a great measure to communication, and that in many inthe lumber trade. It has increased stances the railroad surveyor is the very rapidly within the last few years, first man who blazes a tree in forests and now contains a population of hitherto almost unexplored. nearly eight thousand inhabitants. The voyage from Coburg to Toronto Its rival, Trenton, is also becoming occupies between eight and nine hours. an important place. Great quantities The country between these places is of timber are floated down the Moira thickly inhabited, while the populaand Trent, and conveyed to Oswego tion of Toronto itself has increased and the American towns upon the with wonderful rapidity within the south shore of Lake Ontario. A canal last few years. In 1830 it scarcely is projected across the narrow isthmus contained 3000 inhabitants: the popuwhich divides the Bay of Quintè from lation now exceeds 45,000. The the Bay of Presqu'ile on Lake Onta progress which Toronto has made rio. Its formation would involve but during this short period, is only