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smoke, and listening to the drowsy humming of the bees from their straw hives, or quietly communing with his family, in the very height of sober enjoyment. From the Irish hovel, where the brown jug was circulating freely, and the contents, loaded with no oppressive excise, were flowing out among the boon companions gathered together to drive away care, he would hear the voices of more noisy merriment, or perhaps the confusion of some quarrel, having its origin, and termination in friendship, amicably settled by a few blows and the seasonable interposition of those with passions less irritable. In passing the white painted ville of the Frenchman, from the fragments of rapid and lively conversation he might chance to over hear, he would believe its inmates were of a quiet and unoffensive race, not disposed to disturb their own peace or that of their neighbors with real or imaginary troubles. The Scot, frugal and industrious, would be engaged with contemplations of past losses or present gains, with devotional meditations or recollections of his former home. The Yankee, he would be at bis public or private house, discussing the merits of the officers of government, arguiog the mysteries of theology, dealing out political speculations, resolving the difficulties of law, examining the nice questions of military or militia science, driving his bargains, projecting new speculations, and inquiring into matters and things in general, with his countrymen. Skilful in argument, acute in reasoning, ingenious, well informed, and inquisitive, the New England men when they migrate from their parent hives, lose no opportunity of sharpening their faculties, increasing their knowledge, or adding to their possessions, by the wits, the knowledge, or the wants of others. The Indians still hovering about the settlements of the White men, if we may be allowed to borrow a term to espress their condition from the scientific stone-hammerers, are in a transition state, adopting some of the improvements of civilized life and retaining much of their fierce character; building houses with the axe and saw, but wrapping the blanket around their athlectic frames; putting the European hat over their black locks, but still girt with the peag belt, and retaining the embroidered mockasin on their feet. They will be seen strolling along the streets, fierce and fiery, or surly and stupid, as the spirit they worship bas partially or perfectly finished its work. Or, if the encamping place of their tribe be near, where they have planted their wigwams in contempt of the rights gained by some scrap of paper whose force
they neither understand nor regard, their fires will be seen gliun mering among the trees, and glaring on the strange group around.
Thus are the opposites in human character placed side by side. The gradations which in the old world are separated by wide space of distance, or of time, in the new, are brought in contact with each other.
In the region we have invited the reader to traverse with us, but from which we have wandered so far away, we meet with no violent contrasts in the materials of society, and no picturesque wildness in the character of the scenery. The face of the country and the manners of the inhabitants are uniform and monotonous. The faithful adherence to ancient customs has built an insurmountable barrier to the innovations of modern times; it has shut out the spirit of enterprise ; and prevented improvement in the moral or pecuniary condition of the population.
A rich and beautiful tract of alluvial land stretches along the Chaudiere. The valley of this river is bounded on either hand by parallel ranges of bills of moderate elevation, following its course at unequal distances. In spots, some members of this rocky family have thrown themselves across the direct path of the turbulent stream, as if intending to imprison its waters, and compelled them to take a circuitous course to avoid the obstruction : at other points the whole company have retreated suddenly away and allowed the 6 silver tide” to indulge in capricious wanderings through the broad plain spread out at their feet. Occasionally there is a surpassing loveliness in the landscape: the stream, forgetting its noisy and riotous character, rolls peacefully and lazily on through green and beautiful meadows: the tall and noble American Elms, of luxuriant and spontaneous growth, overshadow the tranquil waters resting in little lakes, and their drooping branches sweep gracefully along the surface: the waves of the fields of grain, stirred by the gentle summer's wind, follow each other in quick succession, and break upon the bill sides like the billows of a sea of verdure : the white buildings of the French inhabitants are scattered along the highways: and sometimes the spires of the stone built chapels, covered with tin, are seen glittering with sun beams and reflecting a flood of light. But these fair spots are few and far between, and the passer soon finds fatigue and weariness taking the place of surprise and pleasure. The neat but endless village, where every structure so closely resembles its neighbors in construction, as to be distinguishable only by position, soon loses the freshness of novelty :
the crosses equally emblematical of the piety and indicative of the pride of their proprietors, become familiar: we grow impatient of the constant recurrence of the same objects, and gladly hasten onward to seek variety.
There is a class of those busy travellers, in whose hearts the milk of human kindness has been curdled, and who, baving no sufficient causes of discontent at home, scour over the face of the earth to spy out its nakedness and gratify their acid feelings by pouring out continued complaints on every scene and every subject: who have the whole volume of the miseries of human life committed to memory, and ever regale their companions by the melancholy recitations of each chapter of its grievances. So deplorably do they suffer when abroad, and so many evils beset them at every turning, that we know not whether we should pity the morbid disposition to gather poison instead of sweets from every flower, or despise the captiousness which seeks out blemishes and blots on the fair scenes of this goodly world given us as our inheritance. One of these grumbletonian wretches (if we may be
permitted to use a term uncouth enough to express the bitter temper of these querulous wanderers,) would find much depraved gratification in the region tenanted by the descendants of the original French inhabitants of Canada, and even one who has not set up a standard of impossible perfection as the rule to guide his judgment, would be compelled to notice many variations from the improve. ments of other societies, and some defects which enterprise and industry would easily supply.
The beautiful orchards, in spring covered with fair blossoms, and in autumn loaded with rosy cheeked fruits, which spread along the bill sides of New England, are almost unknown in Lower Canada. An opinion has been entertained that the delicious productions which gratify the eye and make glad the heart, have constitutions too delicate to arrive at maturity, in the climate of latitudes visited by the full rigor of inclement wintery. The impression may be correct in relation to the Peach, the Plum, and the other tender plants, the natives of more temperate climes and originally flourishing beneath the sunny skies and warm breezes of Southern Europe; that it is erroneous in reference to the hardy Apple and the pleasant Cherry, is proved by the vigorous condition of the trees, where they have been cultivated in the neighboring territory of the Upper Province. To those who have seen these plants springing spontaneously, and having their branches bowed down almost to the earth beneath the weight of their productions, it was matter of amusement to potice the stems, made tender by too much care, budding in the flower-pots or sheltered gardens of Quebec. Except in a few spots, where the winds have sowed and accident has preserved a few solitary trees, the region we traversed, was destitute of these beautiful ornaments. The wbite washed houses are not overshadowed by the patriarchal survivers of the forest, or the emigrants of the nursery, around whose trunks successive generations have froliced in childhood and rested in ‘age. There are few places where the traveller may pause beneath the Elm, to escape from the direct influence of the summer sun.
The system of Agriculture, if the term can be applied to the occupation of the lands of Canada, practised on the banks of the Chaudiere, as well as in other sections of the provinces, is apparently injudicious and ill adapted to increase the wealth of the proprietors or tenants. The soil, originally fertile and generous, along the alluvial tracts, is a rich, deep mould, deposited by the inundations of the stream ; on the fields swelling backward from the river, there is a good, black earth, formerly accumulated by the annual deposit of the woods; and every where, the evidence is exhibited of the power of furnishing an ample supply of food for the vegetable tribes, if not impoverished and exhausted by indolent husbandry. The lands designed for tillage are universally intersected by shallow trenches, and thrown up in ridges or broad beds, as they are called, and whether requiring drains to prevent injury from the abundance of superfluous.moisture, or parched and thirsting for water. These are commonly planted with Peas, Barley, Wheat or Oats. The Maize, or Indian Corn, is not an object of cultivation. In our pilgrimages and sojourning in Lower Canada, we passed but one single little spot where this grain, the staple product of the Eastern states, was grown. The luxuriant vines which creep over our plantations, and furnish with their yellow fruits an abundant and nutricious food for the quadruped tenants of the farm yard, as well as the necessary foundation for the palatable enjoyments of the goodly Thanksgiving time, have not been received as citizens of this territory. The adaptation of plants to soils, the rotation of crops, the proper use of the plough, and the application of manures for fertilizing the earth, cardinal points in the practise of husbandry, are wholly neglected. The same species of grain is sowed, year after year, on the same spot; and when, at length, the fertility of the land is diminished or exhausted, the only process of renovation
familiar to the Canadian cultivator is applied. After the autumnal barvest is gathered, the field is suffered to lie fallow; the grasses and thistles, if they come at all, spring up spontaneously; and the scanty berbage affords a precarious subsistence to the diminutive, but hardy cattle, until the ensuing year ; then the earth is again stirred by a superficial ploughing, just sufficient to prostrate, but not to eradicate the sturdy weeds from their patrimonial inheritance. The reverence of the children for the usages of their ancestors has prevented the introduction of those improved modes of cultivation, diminishing labor and increasing its products.
It is a weary and ungrateful task to point out blemishes and blots where there is so much of fair and beautiful, and we gladly turn from the business of fault-finding to pursue our journey. From the confluence of the De Loup with the Chaudiere river, the distance to Quebec is ninety seven miles. Passing along the latter stream, we cross the seignories of Aubert Gallion, Vaudrieul, and St. Joseph, thickly settled and presenting the outward indications of plenty and prosperity. Leaving behind us the beautiful church of St. Marie, with its noble front and its imposing towers and spires, we leave the Chaudiere in St. Etienne. The River Etchemin is crossed at St. Henry's, and the road lays over a country, comparatively flat and unprofitable, intersected in all directions by highways. Spruce and Larch spread over the waste grounds, and wild grass and thistles prevail over the reclaimed lands.
At length we approached Quebec. From the summit of a hill, near to the ancient metropolis, was the first view of the city of the rock. The Martello towers on the plains of Abraham, stood
up like mighty giants, guarding the spot once wet by the blood of the leparted brave, and consecrated by the memory of their noble actions. As we came nearer, the beavy ramparts, crested with artillery, and the black precipices, burst upon the sight.
But at the very conclusion of a chapter it would be idle to speak of this stupendous fortress, connected with the glorious but sad recollections of our history, and alike distinguished in the annals of two empires. The imperfect and feeble picture we may be able to present of its remarkable scenery, will furnish employment for another chapter