North America

Part 2 out of 7

Constitution, but is not so in reality, and cannot in truth be so
in any colony even of Great Britain. In England the political
power of the Crown is nothing. The Crown has no such power, and
now-a-days makes no attempt at having any. But the political power
of the Crown as it is felt in Canada is everything. The Crown has
no such power in England, because it must change its ministers
whenever called upon to do so by the House of Commons. But the
Colonial Minister in Downing Street is the Crown's Prime Minister
as regards the colonies, and he is changed not as any colonial
House of Assembly may wish, but in accordance with the will of the
British Commons. Both the houses in Canada--that, namely, of the
Representatives, or Lower Houses and of the Legislative Council, or
Upper House--are now elective, and are filled without direct
influence from the Crown. The power of self-government is as
thoroughly developed as perhaps may be possible in a colony. But,
after all, it is a dependent form of government, and as such may
perhaps not conduce to so thorough a development of the resources
of the country as might be achieve under a ruling power of its own,
to which the welfare of Canada itself would be the chief if not the
only object.

I beg that it may not be considered from this that I would propose
to Canada to set up for itself at once and declare itself
independent. In the first place I do not wish to throw over
Canada; and in the next place I do not wish to throw over England.
If such a separation shall ever take place, I trust that it may be
caused, not by Canadian violence, but by British generosity. Such
a separation, however, never can be good till Canada herself shall
wish it. That she does not wish it yet, is certain. If Canada
ever should wish it, and should ever press for the accomplishment
of such a wish, she must do so in connection with Nova Scotia and
New Brunswick. If at any future time there be formed such a
separate political power, it must include the whole of British
North America.

In the mean time, I return to my assertion, that in entering Canada
from the States one clearly comes from a richer to a poorer
country. When I have said so, I have heard no Canadian absolutely
deny it; though in refraining from denying it, they have usually
expressed a general conviction, that in settling himself for life
it is better for a man to set up his staff in Canada than in the
States. "I do not know that we are richer," a Canadian says, "but
on the whole we are doing better and are happier." Now, I regard
the golden rules against the love of gold, the "aurum irrepertum et
sic melius situm," and the rest of it, as very excellent when
applied to individuals. Such teaching has not much effect,
perhaps, in inducing men to abstain from wealth; but such effect as
it may have will be good. Men and women do, I suppose, learn to be
happier when they learn to disregard riches. But such a doctrine
is absolutely false as regards a nation. National wealth produces
education and progress, and through them produces plenty of food,
good morals, and all else that is good. It produces luxury also,
and certain evils attendant on luxury. But I think it may be
clearly shown, and that it is universally acknowledged, that
national wealth produces individual well-being. If this be so, the
argument of my friend the Canadian is naught.

To the feeling of a refined gentleman, or of a lady whose eye loves
to rest always on the beautiful, an agricultural population that
touches its hat, eats plain victuals, and goes to church, is more
picturesque and delightful than the thronged crowd of a great city,
by which a lady and gentleman is hustled without remorse, which
never touches its hat, and perhaps also never goes to church. And
as we are always tempted to approve of that which we like, and to
think that that which is good to us is good altogether, we--the
refined gentlemen and ladies of England I mean--are very apt to
prefer the hat touchers to those who are not hat touchers. In
doing so we intend, and wish, and strive to be philanthropical. We
argue to ourselves that the dear excellent lower classes receive an
immense amount of consoling happiness from that ceremony of hat
touching, and quite pity those who, unfortunately for themselves,
know nothing about it. I would ask any such lady or gentleman
whether he or she does not feel a certain amount of commiseration
for the rudeness of the town-bred artisan who walks about with his
hands in his pockets as though he recognized a superior in no one?

But that which is good and pleasant to us is often not good and
pleasant altogether. Every man's chief object is himself; and the
philanthropist should endeavor to regard this question, not from
his own point of view, but from that which would be taken by the
individuals for whose happiness he is anxious. The honest, happy
rustic makes a very pretty picture; and I hope that honest rustics
are happy. But the man who earns two shillings a day in the
country would always prefer to earn five in the town. The man who
finds himself bound to touch his hat to the squire would be glad to
dispense with that ceremony, if circumstances would permit. A
crowd of greasy-coated town artisans, with grimy hands and pale
faces, is not in itself delectable; but each of that crowd has
probably more of the goods of life than any rural laborer. He
thinks more, reads more, feels more, sees more, hears more, learns
more, and lives more. It is through great cities that the
civilization of the world has progressed, and the charms of life
been advanced. Man in his rudest state begins in the country, and
in his most finished state may retire there. But the battle of the
world has to be fought in the cities; and the country that shows
the greatest city population is ever the one that is going most
ahead in the world's history.

If this be so, I say that the argument of my Canadian friend was
naught. It may be that he does not desire crowded cities, with
dirty, independent artisans; that to view small farmers, living
sparingly, but with content, on the sweat of their brows, are surer
signs of a country's prosperity than hives of men and smoking
chimneys. He has probably all the upper classes of England with
him in so thinking, and as far as I know the upper classes of all
Europe. But the crowds themselves, the thick masses of which are
composed those populations which we count by millions, are against
him. Up in those regions which are watered by the great lakes--
Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario--and by the St.
Lawrence, the country is divided between Canada and the States.
The cities in Canada were settled long before those in the States.
Quebec and Montreal were important cities before any of the towns
belonging to the States had been founded. But taking the
population of three of each, including the three largest Canadian
towns, we find they are as follows: In Canada, Quebec has 60,000;
Montreal, 85,000; Toronto, 55,000. In the States, Chicago has
120,000; Detroit, 70,000; and Buffalo, 80,000. If the population
had been equal, it would have shown a great superiority in the
progress of those belonging to the States, because the towns of
Canada had so great a start. But the numbers are by no means
equal, showing instead a vast preponderance in favor of the States.
There can be no stronger proof that the States are advancing faster
than Canada, and in fact doing better than Canada.

Quebec is a very picturesque town; from its natural advantages
almost as much so as any town I know. Edinburgh, perhaps, and
Innspruck may beat it. But Quebec has very little to recommend it
beyond the beauty of its situation. Its public buildings and works
of art do not deserve a long narrative. It stands at the
confluence of the St. Lawrence and St. Charles Rivers; the best
part of the town is built high upon the rock--the rock which forms
the celebrated plains of Abram; and the view from thence down to
the mountains which shut in the St. Lawrence is magnificent. The
best point of view is, I think, from the esplanade, which is
distant some five minutes' walk from the hotels. When that has
been seen by the light of the setting sun, and seen again, if
possible, by moonlight, the most considerable lion of Quebec may be
regarded as "done," and may be ticked off from the list.

The most considerable lion, according to my taste. Lions which
roar merely by the force of association of ideas are not to me very
valuable beasts. To many the rock over which Wolfe climbed to the
plains of Abram, and on the summit of which he fell in the hour of
victory, gives to Quebec its chiefest charm. But I confess to
being somewhat dull in such matters. I can count up Wolfe, and
realize his glory, and put my hand as it were upon his monument, in
my own room at home as well as I can at Quebec. I do not say this
boastingly or with pride, but truly acknowledging a deficiency. I
have never cared to sit in chairs in which old kings have sat, or
to have their crowns upon my head.

Nevertheless, and as a matter of course, I went to see the rock,
and can only say, as so many have said before me, that it is very
steep. It is not a rock which I think it would be difficult for
any ordinarily active man to climb, providing, of course, that he
was used to such work. But Wolfe took regiments of men up there at
night, and that in face of enemies who held the summits. One
grieves that he should have fallen there and have never tasted the
sweet cup of his own fame. For fame is sweet, and the praise of
ones's brother men the sweetest draught which a man can drain. But
now, and for coming ages, Wolfe's name stands higher than it
probably would have done had he lived to enjoy his reward.

But there is another very worthy lion near Quebec--the Falls,
namely, of Montmorency. They are eight miles from the town, and
the road lies through the suburb of St. Roch, and the long,
straggling French village of Beauport. These are in themselves
very interesting, as showing the quiet, orderly, unimpulsive manner
in which the French Canadians live. Such is their character,
although there have been such men as Papineau, and although there
have been times in which English rule has been unpopular with the
French settlers. As far as I could learn there is no such feeling
now. These people are quiet, contented; and, as regards a
sufficiency of the simple staples of living, sufficiently well to
do. They are thrifty, but they do not thrive. They do not
advance, and push ahead, and become a bigger people from year to
year, as settlers in a new country should do. They do not even
hold their own in comparison with those around them. But has not
this always been the case with colonists out of France; and has it
not always been the case with Roman Catholics when they have been
forced to measure themselves against Protestants? As to the
ultimate fate in the world of this people, one can hardly form a
speculation. There are, as nearly as I could learn, about 800,000
of them in Lower Canada; but it seems that the wealth and
commercial enterprise of the country is passing out of their hands.
Montreal, and even Quebec, are, I think, becoming less and less
French every day; but in the villages and on the small farms the
French still remain, keeping up their language, their habits, and
their religion. In the cities they are becoming hewers of wood and
drawers of water. I am inclined to think that the same will
ultimately be their fate in the country. Surely one may declare as
a fact that a Roman Catholic population can never hold its ground
against one that is Protestant. I do not speak of numbers; for the
Roman Catholics will increase and multiply, and stick by their
religion, although their religion entails poverty and dependence,
as they have done and still do in Ireland. But in progress and
wealth the Romanists have always gone to the wall when the two have
been made to compete together. And yet I love their religion.
There is something beautiful, and almost divine, in the faith and
obedience of a true son of the Holy Mother. I sometimes fancy that
I would fain be a Roman Catholic--if I could; as also I would often
wish to be still a child--if that were possible.

All this is on the way to the Falls of Montmorency. These falls
are placed exactly at the mouth of the little river of the same
name, so that it may be said absolutely to fall into the St.
Lawrence. The people of the country, however, declare that the
river into which the waters of the Montmorency fall is not the St.
Lawrence, but the Charles. Without a map I do not know that I can
explain this. The River Charles appears to, and in fact does, run
into the St. Lawrence just below Quebec. But the waters do not
mix. The thicker, browner stream of the lesser river still keeps
the northeastern bank till it comes to the Island of Orleans, which
lies in the river five or six miles below Quebec. Here or
hereabouts are the Falls of the Montmorency, and then the great
river is divided for twenty-five miles by the Isle of Orleans. It
is said that the waters of the Charles and the St. Lawrence do not
mix till they meet each other at the foot of this island.

I do not know that I am particularly happy at describing a
waterfall, and what little capacity I may have in this way I would
wish to keep for Niagara. One thing I can say very positively
about Montmorency, and one piece of advice I can give to those who
visit the falls. The place from which to see them is not the
horrible little wooden temple which has been built immediately over
them on that side which lies nearest to Quebec. The stranger is
put down at a gate through which a path leads to this temple, and
at which a woman demands from him twenty-five cents for the
privilege of entrance. Let him by all means pay the twenty-five
cents. Why should he attempt to see the falls for nothing, seeing
that this woman has a vested interest in the showing of them? I
declare that if I thought that I should hinder this woman from her
perquisites by what I write, I would leave it unwritten, and let my
readers pursue their course to the temple--to their manifest
injury. But they will pay the twenty-five cents. Then let them
cross over the bridge, eschewing the temple, and wander round on
the open field till they get the view of the falls, and the view of
Quebec also, from the other side. It is worth the twenty-five
cents and the hire of the carriage also. Immediately over the
falls there was a suspension bridge, of which the supporting, or
rather non-supporting, pillars are still to be seen. But the
bridge fell down, one day, into the river; and--alas! alas!--with
the bridge fell down an old woman, and a boy, and a cart--a cart
and horse--and all found a watery grave together in the spray. No
attempt has been made since that to renew the suspension bridge;
but the present wooden bridge has been built higher up in lieu of

Strangers naturally visit Quebec in summer or autumn, seeing that a
Canada winter is a season with which a man cannot trifle; but I
imagine that the mid-winter is the best time for seeing the Falls
of Montmorency. The water in its fall is dashed into spray, and
that spray becomes frozen, till a cone of ice is formed immediately
under the cataract, which gradually rises till the temporary
glacier reaches nearly half way to the level of the higher river.
Up this men climb--and ladies also, I am told--and then descend,
with pleasant rapidity, on sledges of wood, sometimes not without
an innocent tumble in the descent. As we were at Quebec in
September, we did not experience the delights of this pastime.

As I was too early for the ice cone under the Montmorency Falls, so
also was I too late to visit the Saguenay River, which runs into
the St. Lawrence some hundred miles below Quebec. I presume that
the scenery of the Saguenay is the finest in Canada. During the
summer steamers run down the St. Lawrence and up the Saguenay, but
I was too late for them. An offer was made to us through the
kindness of Sir Edmund Head, who was then the Governor-General, of
the use of a steam-tug belonging to a gentleman who carries on a
large commercial enterprise at Chicoutimi, far up the Saguenay; but
an acceptance of this offer would have entailed some delay at
Quebec, and, as we were anxious to get into the Northwestern States
before the winter commenced, we were obliged with great regret to
decline the journey.

I feel bound to say that a stranger, regarding Quebec merely as a
town, finds very much of which he cannot but complain. The
footpaths through the streets are almost entirely of wood, as
indeed seems to be general throughout Canada. Wood is, of course,
the cheapest material; and, though it may not be altogether good
for such a purpose, it would not create animadversion if it were
kept in tolerable order. But in Quebec the paths are intolerably
bad. They are full of holes. The boards are rotten, and worn in
some places to dirt. The nails have gone, and the broken planks go
up and down under the feet, and in the dark they are absolutely
dangerous. But if the paths are bad, the road-ways are worse. The
street through the lower town along the quays is, I think, the most
disgraceful thoroughfare I ever saw in any town. I believe the
whole of it, or at any rate a great portion, has been paved with
wood; but the boards have been worked into mud, and the ground
under the boards has been worked into holes, till the street is
more like the bottom of a filthy ditch than a road-way through one
of the most thickly populated parts of a city. Had Quebec in
Wolfe's time been as it is now, Wolfe would have stuck in the mud
between the river and the rock before he reached the point which he
desired to climb. In the upper town the roads are not as bad as
they are below, but still they are very bad. I was told that this
arose from disputes among the municipal corporations. Everything
in Canada relating to roads, and a very great deal affecting the
internal government of the people, is done by these municipalities.
It is made a subject of great boast in Canada that the communal
authorities do carry on so large a part of the public business, and
that they do it generally so well and at so cheap a rate. I have
nothing to say against this, and, as a whole, believe that the
boast is true. I must protest, however, that the streets of the
greater cities--for Montreal is nearly as bad as Quebec--prove the
rule by a very sad exception. The municipalities of which I speak
extend, I believe, to all Canada--the two provinces being divided
into counties, and the counties subdivided into townships, to
which, as a matter of course, the municipalities are attached.

From Quebec to Montreal there are two modes of travel. There are
the steamers up the St. Lawrence, which, as all the world know, is,
or at any rate hitherto has been, the high-road of the Canadas; and
there is the Grand Trunk Railway. Passengers choosing the latter
go toward Portland as far as Richmond, and there join the main line
of the road, passing from Richmond on to Montreal. We learned
while at Quebec that it behooved us not to leave the colony till we
had seen the lake and mountains of Memphremagog; and, as we were
clearly neglecting our duty with regard to the Saguenay, we felt
bound to make such amends as lay in our power by deviating from our
way to the lake above named. In order to do this we were obliged
to choose the railway, and to go back beyond Richmond to the
station at Sherbrooke. Sherbrooke is a large village on the
confines of Canada, and, as it is on the railway, will no doubt
become a large town. It is very prettily situated on the meeting
of two rivers; it has three or four churches, and intends to
thrive. It possesses two newspapers, of the prosperity of which I
should be inclined to feel less assured. The annual subscription
to such a newspaper, published twice a week, is ten shillings. A
sale of a thousand copies is not considered bad. Such a sale would
produce 500 pounds a year; and this would, if entirely devoted to
that purpose, give a moderate income to a gentleman qualified to
conduct a newspaper. But the paper and printing must cost
something, and the capital invested should receive its proper
remuneration. And then--such at least is the general idea--the
getting together of news and the framing of intelligence is a
costly operation. I can only hope that all this is paid for by the
advertisements, for I must trust that the editors do not receive
less than the moderate sum above named. At Sherbrooke we are still
in Lower Canada. Indeed, as regards distance, we are when there
nearly as far removed from Upper Canada as at Quebec. But the race
of people here is very different. The French population had made
their way down into these townships before the English and American
war broke out, but had not done so in great numbers. The country
was then very unapproachable, being far to the south of the St.
Lawrence, and far also from-any great line of internal
communication toward the Atlantic. But, nevertheless, many
settlers made their way in here from the States--men who preferred
to live under British rule, and perhaps doubted the stability of
the new order of things. They or their children have remained here
since; and, as the whole country has been opened up by the railway,
many others have flocked in. Thus a better class of people than
the French hold possession of the larger farms, and are on the
whole doing well. I am told that many Americans are now coming
here, driven over the borders from Maine, New Hampshire, and
Vermont by fears of the war and the weight of taxation. I do not
think that fears of war or the paying of taxes drive many
individuals away from home. Men who would be so influenced have
not the amount of foresight which would induce them to avoid such
evils; or, at any rate, such fears would act slowly. Laborers,
however, will go where work is certain, where work is well paid,
and where the wages to be earned will give plenty in return. It
may be that work will become scarce in the States, as it has done
with those poor jewelers at Attleborough of whom we spoke, and that
food will become dear. If this be so, laborers from the States
will no doubt find their way into Canada.

From Sherbrooke we went with the mails on a pair-horse wagon to
Magog. Cross-country mails are not interesting to the generality
of readers, but I have a professional liking for them myself. I
have spent the best part of my life in looking after, and I hope in
improving, such mails; and I always endeavor to do a stroke of work
when I come across them. I learned on this occasion that the
conveyance of mails with a pair of horses, in Canada, costs little
more than half what is paid for the same work in England with one
horse, and something less than what is paid in Ireland, also for
one horse. But in Canada the average pace is only five miles an
hour. In Ireland it is seven, and the time is accurately kept,
which does not seem to be the case in Canada. In England the pace
is eight miles an hour. In Canada and in Ireland these conveyances
carry passengers; but in England they are prohibited from doing so.
In Canada the vehicles are much better got up than they are in
England, and the horses too look better. Taking Ireland as a
whole, they are more respectable in appearance there than in
England. From all which it appears that pace is the article that
costs the highest price, and that appearance does not go for much
in the bill. In Canada the roads are very bad in comparison with
the English or Irish roads; but, to make up for this, the price of
forage is very low.

I have said that the cross-mail conveyances in Canada did not seem
to be very closely bound as to time; but they are regulated by
clock-work in comparison with some of them in the United States.
"Are you going this morning?" I said to a mail-driver in Vermont.
"I thought you always started in the evening." "Wa'll, I guess I
do; but it rained some last night, so I jist stayed at home." I do
not know that I ever felt more shocked in my life, and I could
hardly keep my tongue off the man. The mails, however, would have
paid no respect to me in Vermont, and I was obliged to walk away

We went with the mails from Sherbrooke to a village called Magog,
at the outlet of the lake, and from thence by a steamer up the
lake, to a solitary hotel called the Mountain House, which is built
at the foot of the mountain, on the shore, and which is surrounded
on every side by thick forest. There is no road within two miles
of the house. The lake therefore is the only highway, and that is
frozen up for four months in the year. When frozen, however, it is
still a road, for it is passable for sledges. I have seldom been
in a house that seemed so remote from the world, and so little
within reach of doctors, parsons, or butchers. Bakers in this
country are not required, as all persons make their own bread. But
in spite of its position the hotel is well kept, and on the whole
we were more comfortable there than at any other inn in Lower
Canada. The Mountain house is but five miles from the borders of
Vermont, in which State the head of the lake lies. The steamer
which brought us runs on to Newport, or rather from Newport to
Magog and back again. And Newport is in Vermont.

The one thing to be done at the Mountain House is the ascent of the
mountain called the Owl's head. The world there offers nothing
else of active enterprise to the traveler, unless fishing be
considered an active enterprise. I am not capable of fishing,
therefore we resolved on going up the Owl's Head. To dine in the
middle of the day is absolutely imperative at these hotels, and
thus we were driven to select either the morning or the afternoon.
Evening lights we declared were the best for all views, and
therefore we decided on the afternoon. It is but two miles; but
then, as we were told more than once by those who had spoken to us
on the subject, those two miles are not like other miles. "I doubt
if the lady can do it," one man said to me. I asked if ladies did
not sometimes go up. "Yes; young women do, at times," he said.
After that my wife resolved that she would see the top of the Owl's
Head, or die in the attempt, and so we started. They never think
of sending a guide with one in these places, whereas in Europe a
traveler is not allowed to go a step without one. When I asked for
one to show us the way up Mount Washington, I was told that there
were no idle boys about that place. The path was indicated to us,
and off we started with high hopes.

I have been up many mountains, and have climbed some that were
perhaps somewhat dangerous in their ascent. In climbing the Owl's
Head there is no danger. One is closed in by thick trees the whole
way. But I doubt if I ever went up a steeper ascent. It was very
hard work, but we were not beaten. We reached the top, and there
sitting down, thoroughly enjoyed our victory. It was then half-
past five o'clock, and the sun was not yet absolutely sinking. It
did not seem to give us any warning that we should especially
require its aid, and, as the prospect below us was very lovely, we
remained there for a quarter of an hour. The ascent of the Owl's
Head is certainly a thing to do, and I still think, in spite of our
following misfortune, that it is a thing to do late in the
afternoon. The view down upon the lakes and the forests around,
and on the wooded hills below, is wonderfully lovely. I never was
on a mountain which gave me a more perfect command of all the
country round. But as we arose to descend we saw a little cloud
coming toward us from over Newport.

The little cloud came on with speed, and we had hardly freed
ourselves from the rocks of the summit before we were surrounded by
rain. As the rain became thicker, we were surrounded by darkness
also, or, if not by darkness, by so dim a light that it became a
task to find our path. I still thought that the daylight had not
gone, and that as we descended, and so escaped from the cloud, we
should find light enough to guide us. But it was not so. The rain
soon became a matter of indifference, and so also did the mud and
briers beneath our feet. Even the steepness of the way was almost
forgotten as we endeavored to thread our path through the forest
before it should become impossible to discern the track. A dog had
followed us up, and though the beast would not stay with us so as
to be our guide, he returned ever and anon, and made us aware of
his presence by dashing by us. I may confess now that I became
much frightened. We were wet through, and a night out in the
forest would have been unpleasant to us. At last I did utterly
lose the track, it had become quite dark, so dark that we could
hardly see each other. We had succeeded in getting down the
steepest and worst part of the mountain, but we were still among
dense forest trees, and up to our knees in mud. But the people at
the Mountain house were Christians, and men with lanterns were sent
hallooing after us through the dark night. When we were thus found
we were not many yards from the path, but unfortunately on the
wrong side of a stream. Through that we waded, and then made our
way in safety to the inn. In spite of which misadventure I advise
all travelers in Lower Canada to go up the Owl's Head.

On the following day we crossed the lake to Georgeville, and drove
around another lake called the Massawhippi back to Sherbrooke.
This was all very well, for it showed us a part of the country
which is comparatively well tilled, and has been long settled; but
the Massawhippi itself is not worth a visit. The route by which we
returned occupies a longer time than the other, and is more costly,
as it must be made in a hired vehicle. The people here are quiet,
orderly, and I should say a little slow. It is manifest that a
strong feeling against the Northern States has lately sprung up.
This is much to be deprecated, but I cannot but say that it is
natural. It is not that the Canadians have any special secession
feelings, or that they have entered with peculiar warmth into the
questions of American politics; but they have been vexed and
acerbated by the braggadocio of the Northern States. They
constantly hear that they are to be invaded, and translated into
citizens of the Union; that British rule is to be swept off the
continent, and that the star-spangled banner is to be waved over
them in pity. The star-spangled banner is in fact a fine flag, and
has waved to some purpose; but those who live near it, and not
under it, fancy that they hear too much of it. At the present
moment the loyalty of both the Canadas to Great Britain is beyond
all question. From all that I can hear, I doubt whether this
feeling in the provinces was ever so strong, and under such
circumstances American abuse of England and American braggadocio is
more than usually distasteful. All this abuse and all this
braggadocio come to Canada from the Northern States, and therefore
the Southern cause is at the present moment the more popular with

I have said that the Canadians hereabouts are somewhat slow. As we
were driving back to Sherbrooke it became necessary that we should
rest for an hour or so in the middle of the day, and for this
purpose we stopped at a village inn. It was a large house, in
which there appeared to be three public sitting-rooms of ample
size, one of which was occupied as the bar. In this there were
congregated some six or seven men, seated in arm-chairs round a
stove, and among these I placed myself. No one spoke a word either
to me or to any one else. No one smoked, and no one read, nor did
they even whittle sticks. I asked a question, first of one and
then of another, and was answered with monosyllables. So I gave up
any hope in that direction, and sat staring at the big stove in the
middle of the room, as the others did. Presently another stranger
entered, having arrived in a wagon, as I had done. He entered the
room and sat down, addressing no one, and addressed by no one.
After awhile, however, he spoke. "Will there be any chance of
dinner here?" he said. "I guess there'll be dinner by-and-by,"
answered the landlord, and then there was silence for another ten
minutes, during which the stranger stared at the stove. "Is that
dinner any way ready?" he asked again. "I guess it is," said the
landlord. And then the stranger went out to see after his dinner
himself. When we started, at the end of an hour, nobody said
anything to us. The driver "hitched" on the horses, as they call
it, and we started on our way, having been charged nothing for our
accommodation. That some profit arose from the horse provender is
to be hoped.

On the following day we reached Montreal, which, as I have said
before, is the commercial capital of the two Provinces. This
question of the capitals is at the present moment a subject of
great interest in Canada; but, as I shall be driven to say
something on the matter when I report myself as being at Ottawa, I
will refrain now. There are two special public affairs at the
present moment to interest a traveler in Canada. The first I have
named, and the second is the Grand Trunk Railway. I have already
stated what is the course of this line. It runs from the Western
State of Michigan to Portland, on the Atlantic, in the State of
Maine, sweeping the whole length of Canada in its route. It was
originally made by three companies. The Atlantic and St. Lawrence
constructed it from Portland to Island Pond, on the borders of the
States. The St. Lawrence and Atlantic took it from the
southeastern side of the river at Montreal to the same point, viz.,
Island Pond. And the Grand Trunk Company have made it from Detroit
to Montreal, crossing the river there with a stupendous tubular
bridge, and have also made the branch connecting the main line with
Quebec and Riviere du Loup. This latter company is now
incorporated with the St. Lawrence and Atlantic, but has only
leased the portion of the line running through the States. This
they have done, guaranteeing the shareholders an interest of six
per cent. There never was a grander enterprise set on foot. I
will not say there never was one more unfortunate, for is there not
the Great Eastern, which, by the weight and constancy of its
failures, demands for itself a proud pre-eminence of misfortune?
But surely the Grand Trunk comes next to it. I presume it to be
quite out of the question that the shareholders should get any
interest whatever on their shares for years. The company, when I
was at Montreal, had not paid the interest due to the Atlantic and
St. Lawrence Company for the last year, and there was a doubt
whether the lease would not be broken. No party that had advanced
money to the undertaking was able to recover what had been
advanced. I believe that one firm in London had lent nearly a
million to the company, and is now willing to accept half the sum
so lent in quittance of the whole debt. In 1860 the line could not
carry the freight that offered, not having or being able to obtain
the necessary rolling stock; and on all sides I heard men
discussing whether the line would be kept open for traffic. The
government of Canada advanced to the company three millions of
money, with an understanding that neither interest nor principal
should be demanded till all other debts were paid and all
shareholders in receipt of six per cent. interest. But the three
millions were clogged with conditions which, though they have been
of service to the country, have been so expensive to the company
that it is hardly more solvent with it than it would have been
without it. As it is, the whole property seems to be involved in
ruin; and yet the line is one of the grandest commercial
conceptions that was ever carried out on the face of the globe, and
in the process of a few years will do more to make bread cheap in
England than any other single enterprise that exists.

I do not know that blame is to be attached to any one. I at least
attach no such blame. Probably it might be easy now to show that
the road might have been made with sufficient accommodation for
ordinary purposes without some of the more costly details. The
great tubular bridge, on which was expended 1,300,000 pounds,
might, I should think, have been dispensed with. The Detroit end
of the line might have been left for later time. As it stands now,
however, it is a wonderful operation carried to a successful issue
as far as the public are concerned; and one can on]y grieve that it
should be so absolute a failure to those who have placed their
money in it. There are schemes which seem to be too big for men to
work out with any ordinary regard to profit and loss. The Great
Eastern is one, and this is another. The national advantage
arising from such enterprises is immense; but the wonder is that
men should be found willing to embark their money where the risk is
so great and the return even hoped for is so small.

While I was in Canada some gentlemen were there from the Lower
Provinces--Nova Scotia, that is, and New Brunswick--agitating the
subject of another great line of railway, from Quebec to Halifax.
The project is one in favor of which very much may be said. In a
national point of view an Englishman or a Canadian cannot but
regret that there should be no winter mode of exit from, or
entrance to, Canada, except through the United States. The St.
Lawrence is blocked up for four or five months in winter, and the
steamers which run to Quebec in the summer run to Portland during
the season of ice. There is at present no mode of public
conveyance between the Canadas and the Lower Provinces; and an
immense district of country on the borders of Lower Canada, through
New Brunswick, and into Nova Scotia, is now absolutely closed
against civilization, which by such a railway would be opened up to
the light of day. We all know how much the want of such a road was
felt when our troops were being forwarded to Canada during the last
winter. It was necessary they should reach their destination
without delay; and as the river was closed, and the passing of
troops through the States was of course out of the question, that
long overland journey across Nova Scotia and New Brunswick became a
necessity. It would certainly be a very great thing for British
interests if a direct line could be made from such a port as
Halifax, a port which is open throughout the whole year, up into
the Canadas. If these colonies belonged to France or to any other
despotic government, the thing would be done. But the colonies do
not belong to any despotic government.

Such a line would, in fact, be a continuance of the Grand Trunk;
and who that looks at the present state of the finances of the
Grand Trunk can think it to be on the cards that private enterprise
should come forward with more money--with more millions? The idea
is that England will advance the money, and that the English House
of Commons will guarantee the interest, with some counter-guarantee
from the colonies that this interest shall be duly paid. But it
would seem that, if such colonial guarantee is to go for anything,
the colonies might raise the money in the money market without the
intervention of the British House of Commons.

Montreal is an exceedingly good commercial town, and business there
is brisk. It has now 85,000 inhabitants. Having said that of it,
I do not know what more there is left to say. Yes; one word there
is to say of Sir William Logan, the creator of the Geological
Museum there, and the head of all matters geological throughout the
province. While he was explaining to me with admirable perspicuity
the result of investigations into which he had poured his whole
heart, I stood by, understanding almost nothing, but envying
everything. That I understood almost nothing, I know he perceived.
That, ever and anon, with all his graciousness, became apparent.
But I wonder whether he perceived also that I did envy everything.
I have listened to geologists by the hour before--have had to
listen to them, desirous simply of escape. I have listened, and
understood absolutely nothing, and have only wished myself away.
But I could have listened to Sir William Logan for the whole day,
if time allowed. I found, even in that hour, that some ideas found
their way through to me, and I began to fancy that even I could
become a geologist at Montreal.

Over and beyond Sir William Logan, there is at Montreal for
strangers the drive round the mountain, not very exciting, and
there is the tubular bridge over the St. Lawrence. This, it must
be understood, is not made in one tube, as is that over the Menai
Straits, but is divided into, I think, thirteen tubes. To the eye
there appear to be twenty-five tubes; but each of the six side
tubes is supported by a pier in the middle. A great part of the
expense of the bridge was incurred in sinking the shafts for these



Ottawa is in Upper Canada, but crossing the suspension bridge from
Ottawa into Hull, the traveler is in Lower Canada. It is therefore
exactly in the confines, and has been chosen as the site of the new
government capital very much for this reason. Other reasons have
no doubt had a share in the decision. At the time when the choice
was made Ottawa was not large enough to create the jealousy of the
more populous towns. Though not on the main line of railway, it
was connected with it by a branch railway, and it is also connected
with the St. Lawrence by water communication. And then it stands
nobly on a magnificent river, with high, overhanging rock, and a
natural grandeur of position which has perhaps gone far in
recommending it to those whose voice in the matter has been
potential. Having the world of Canada from whence to choose the
site of a new town, the choosers have certainly chosen well. It is
another question whether or no a new town should have been deemed

Perhaps it may be well to explain the circumstances under which it
was thought expedient thus to establish a new Canadian capital. In
1841, when Lord Sydenham was Governor-General of the provinces, the
two Canadas, separate till then, were united under one government.
At that time the people of Lower or French Canada, and the people
of Upper or English Canada, differed much more in their habits and
language than they do now. I do not know that the English have
become in any way Gallicized, but the French have been very
materially Anglicized. But while this has been in progress
national jealousy has been at work, and even yet that national
jealousy is not at an end. While the two provinces were divided
there were, of course, two capitals, and two seats of government.
These were at Quebec for Lower Canada, and at Toronto for Upper
Canada, both which towns are centrically situated as regards the
respective provinces. When the union was effected, it was deemed
expedient that there should be but one capital; and the small town
of Kingstown was selected, which is situated on the lower end of
Lake Ontario, in the upper province. But Kingstown was found to be
inconvenient, lacking space and accommodation for those who had to
follow the government, and the Governor removed it and himself to
Montreal. Montreal is in the lower province, but is very central
to both the provinces; and it is moreover the chief town in Canada.
This would have done very well but for an unforeseen misfortune.

It will be remembered by most readers that in 1837 took place the
Mackenzie-Papineau rebellion, of which those who were then old
enough to be politicians heard so much in England. I am not going
back to recount the history of the period, otherwise than to say
that the English Canadians at that time, in withstanding and
combating the rebels, did considerable injury to the property of
certain French Canadians, and that, when the rebellion had blown
over and those in fault had been pardoned, a question arose whether
or no the government should make good the losses of those French
Canadians who had been injured. The English Canadians protested
that it would be monstrous that they should be taxed to repair
damages suffered by rebels, and made necessary in the suppression
of rebellion. The French Canadians declared that the rebellion had
been only a just assertion of their rights; that if there had been
crime on the part of those who took up arms, that crime had been
condoned, and that the damages had not fallen exclusively or even
chiefly on those who had done so. I will give no opinion on the
merits of the question, but simply say that blood ran very hot when
it was discussed. At last the Houses of the Provincial Parliament,
then assembled at Montreal, decreed that the losses should be made
good by the public treasury; and the English mob in Montreal, when
this decree became known, was roused to great wrath by a decision
which seemed to be condemnatory of English loyalty. It pelted Lord
Elgin, the Governor-General, with rotten eggs, and burned down the
Parliament house. Hence there arose, not unnaturally, a strong
feeling of anger on the part of the local government against
Montreal; and moreover there was no longer a house in which the
Parliament could be held in that town. For these conjoint reasons
it was decided to move the seat of government again, and it was
resolved that the Governor and the Parliament should sit
alternately at Toronto in Upper Canada, and at Quebec in Lower
Canada, remaining four years at each place. They went at first to
Toronto for two years only, having agreed that they should be there
on this occasion only for the remainder of the term of the then
Parliament. After that they were at Quebec for four years; then at
Toronto for four; and now again are at Quebec. But this
arrangement has been found very inconvenient. In the first place
there is a great national expenditure incurred in moving old
records and in keeping double records, in moving the library, and,
as I have been informed, even the pictures. The government clerks
also are called on to move as the government moves; and though an
allowance is made to them from the national purse to cover their
loss, the arrangement has nevertheless been felt by them to be a
grievance, as may be well understood. The accommodation also for
the ministers of the government and for members of the two Houses
has been insufficient. Hotels, lodgings, and furnished houses
could not be provided to the extent required, seeing that they
would be left nearly empty for every alternate space of four years.
Indeed, it needs but little argument to prove that the plan adopted
must have been a thoroughly uncomfortable plan, and the wonder is
that it should have been adopted. Lower Canada had undertaken to
make all her leading citizens wretched, providing Upper Canada
would treat hers with equal severity. This has now gone on for
some twelve years, and as the system was found to be an unendurable
nuisance, it has been at last admitted that some steps must be
taken toward selecting one capital for the country.

I should here, in justice to the Canadians, state a remark made to
me on this matter by one of the present leading politicians of the
colony. I cannot think that the migratory scheme was good but he
defended it, asserting that it had done very much to amalgamate the
people of the two provinces; that it had brought Lower Canadians
into Upper Canada, and Upper Canadians into Lower Canada, teaching
English to those who spoke only French before, and making each
pleasantly acquainted with the other. I have no doubt that
something--perhaps much--has been done in this way; but valuable as
the result may have been, I cannot think it worth the cost of the
means employed. The best answer to the above argument consists in
the undoubted fact that a migratory government would never have
been established for such a reason. It was so established because
Montreal, the central town, had given offense, and because the
jealousy of the provinces against each other would not admit of the
government being placed entirely at Quebec, or entirely at Toronto.

But it was necessary that some step should be taken; and as it was
found to be unlikely that any resolution should be reached by the
joint provinces themselves, it was loyally and wisely determined to
refer the matter to the Queen. That Her Majesty has
constitutionally the power to call the Parliament of Canada at any
town of Canada which she may select, admits, I conceive, of no
doubt. It is, I imagine, within her prerogative to call the
Parliament of England where she may please within that realm,
though her lieges would be somewhat startled if it were called
otherwhere than in London. It was therefore well done to ask Her
Majesty to act as arbiter in the matter. But there are not wanting
those in Canada who say that in referring the matter to the Queen
it was in truth referring it to those by whom very many of the
Canadians were least willing to be guided in the matter; to the
Governor-General namely, and the Colonial Secretary. Many indeed
in Canada now declare that the decision simply placed the matter in
the hands of the Governor-General.

Be that as it may, I do not think that any unbiased traveler will
doubt that the best possible selection has been made, presuming
always, as we may presume in the discussion, that Montreal could
not be selected. I take for granted that the rejection of Montreal
was regarded as a sine qua non in the decision. To me it appears
grievous that this should have been so. It is a great thing for
any country to have a large, leading, world-known city, and I think
that the government should combine with the commerce of the country
in carrying out this object. But commerce can do a great deal more
for government than government can do for commerce. Government has
selected Ottawa as the capital of Canada; but commerce has already
made Montreal the capital, and Montreal will be the chief city of
Canada, let government do what it may to foster the other town.
The idea of spiting a town because there has been a row in it seems
to me to be preposterous. The row was not the work of those who
have made Montreal rich and respectable. Montreal is more
centrical than Ottawa--nay, it is as nearly centrical as any town
can be. It is easier to get to Montreal from Toronto than to
Ottawa; and if from Toronto, then from all that distant portion of
Upper Canada back of Toronto. To all Lower Canada Montreal is, as
a matter of course, much easier of access than Ottawa. But having
said so much in favor of Montreal, I will again admit that, putting
aside Montreal, the best possible selection has been made.

When Ottawa was named, no time was lost in setting to work to
prepare for the new migration. In 1859 the Parliament was removed
to Quebec, with the understanding that it should remain there till
the new buildings should be completed. These buildings were
absolutely commenced in April, 1860, and it was, and I believe
still is, expected that they will be completed in 1863. I am now
writing in the winter of 1861; and, as is necessary in Canadian
winters, the works are suspended. But unfortunately they were
suspended in the early part of October--on the first of October--
whereas they might have been continued, as far as the season is
concerned, up to the end of November. We reached Ottawa on the
third of October, and more than a thousand men had then been just
dismissed. All the money in hand had been expended, and the
government--so it was said--could give no more money till
Parliament should meet again. This was most unfortunate. In the
first place the suspension was against the contract as made with
the contractors for the building; in the next place there was the
delay; and then, worst of all, the question again became agitated
whether the colonial legislature were really in earnest with
reference to Ottawa. Many men of mark in the colony were still
anxious--I believe are still anxious--to put an end to the Ottawa
scheme, and think that there still exists for them a chance of
success. And very many men who are not of mark are thus united,
and a feeling of doubt on the subject has been created. Two
hundred and twenty-five thousand pounds have already been spent on
these buildings, and I have no doubt myself that they will be duly
completed and duly used.

We went up to the new town by boat, taking the course of the River
Ottawa. We passed St. Ann's, but no one at St. Ann's seemed to
know anything of the brothers who were to rest there on their weary
oars. At Maxwellstown I could hear nothing of Annie Laurie or of
her trysting-place on the braes; and the turnpike man at Tara could
tell me nothing of the site of the hall, and had never even heard
of the harp. When I go down South, I shall expect to find that the
negro melodies have not yet reached "Old Virginie." This boat
conveyance from Montreal to Ottawa is not all that could be wished
in convenience, for it is allied too closely with railway
traveling. Those who use it leave Montreal by a railway; after
nine miles, they are changed into a steamboat. Then they encounter
another railway, and at last reach Ottawa in a second steamboat.
But the river is seen, and a better idea of the country is obtained
than can be had solely from the railway cars. The scenery is by no
means grand, nor is it strikingly picturesque, but it is in its way
interesting. For a long portion of the river the old primeval
forests come down close to the water's edge, and in the fall of the
year the brilliant coloring is very lovely. It should not be
imagined, as I think it often is imagined, that these forests are
made up of splendid trees, or that splendid trees are even common.
When timber grows on undrained ground, and when it is uncared for,
it does not seem to approach nearer to its perfection than wheat
and grass do under similar circumstances. Seen from a little
distance, the color and effect is good; but the trees themselves
have shallow roots, and grow up tall, narrow, and shapeless. It
necessarily is so with all timber that is not thinned in its
growth. When fine forest trees are found, and are left standing
alone by any cultivator who may have taste enough to wish for such
adornment, they almost invariably die. They are robbed of the
sickly shelter by which they have been surrounded; the hot sun
strikes the uncovered fibers of the roots, and the poor, solitary
invalid languishes, and at last dies.

As one ascends the river, which by its breadth forms itself into
lakes, one is shown Indian villages clustering down upon the bank.
Some years ago these Indians were rich, for the price of furs, in
which they dealt, was high; but furs have become cheaper, and the
beavers, with which they used to trade, are almost valueless. That
a change in the fashion of hats should have assisted to polish
these poor fellows off the face of creation, must, one may suppose,
be very unintelligible to them; but nevertheless it is probably a
subject of deep speculation. If the reading world were to take to
sermons again and eschew their novels, Messrs. Thackeray, Dickens,
and some others would look about them and inquire into the causes
of such a change with considerable acuteness. They might not,
perhaps, hit the truth, and these Indians are much in that
predicament. It is said that very few pure-blooded Indians are now
to be found in their villages, but I doubt whether this is not
erroneous. The children of the Indians are now fed upon baked
bread and on cooked meat, and are brought up in houses. They are
nursed somewhat as the children of the white men are nursed; and
these practices no doubt have done much toward altering their
appearance. The negroes who have been bred in the States, and
whose fathers have been so bred before them, differ both in color
and form from their brothers who have been born and nurtured in

I said in the last chapter that the City of Ottawa was still to be
built; but I must explain, lest I should draw down on my head the
wrath of the Ottawaites, that the place already contains a
population of 15,000 inhabitants. As, however, it is being
prepared for four times that number--for eight times that number,
let us hope--and as it straggles over a vast extent of ground, it
gives one the idea of a city in an active course of preparation.
In England we know nothing about unbuilt cities. With us four or
five blocks of streets together never assume that ugly, unfledged
appearance which belongs to the half-finished carcass of a house,
as they do so often on the other side of the Atlantic. Ottawa is
preparing for itself broad streets and grand thoroughfares. The
buildings already extend over a length considerably exceeding two
miles; and half a dozen hotels have been opened, which, if I were
writing a guide-book in a complimentary tone, it would be my duty
to describe as first rate. But the half dozen first-rate hotels,
though open, as yet enjoy but a moderate amount of custom. All
this justifies me, I think, in saying that the city has as yet to
get itself built. The manner in which this is being done justifies
me also in saying that the Ottawaites are going about their task
with a worthy zeal.

To me I confess that the nature of the situation has great charms,
regarding it as the site for a town. It is not on a plain; and
from the form of the rock overhanging the river, and of the hill
that falls from thence down to the water, it has been found
impracticable to lay out the place in right-angled parallelograms.
A right-angled parallelogramical city, such as are Philadelphia and
the new portion of New York, is from its very nature odious to me.
I know that much may be said in its favor--that drainage and gas-
pipes come easier to such a shape, and that ground can be better
economized. Nevertheless, I prefer a street that is forced to
twist itself about. I enjoy the narrowness of Temple Bar and the
misshapen curvature of Picket Street. The disreputable dinginess
of Hollowell Street is dear to me, and I love to thread my way up
the Olympic into Covent Garden. Fifth Avenue in New York is as
grand as paint and glass can make it; but I would not live in a
palace in Fifth Avenue if the corporation of the city would pay my
baker's and butcher's bills.

The town of Ottawa lies between two waterfalls. The upper one, or
Rideau Fall, is formed by the confluence of a small river with the
larger one; and the lower fall--designated as lower because it is
at the foot of the hill, though it is higher up the Ottawa River--
is called the Chaudiere, from its resemblance to a boiling kettle.
This is on the Ottawa River itself. The Rideau Fall is divided
into two branches, thus forming an island in the middle, as is the
case at Niagara. It is pretty enough, and worth visiting even were
it farther from the town than it is; but by those who have hunted
out many cataracts in their travels it will not be considered very
remarkable. The Chaudiere Fall I did think very remarkable. It is
of trifling depth, being formed by fractures in the rocky bed of
the river; but the waters have so cut the rock as to create
beautiful forms in the rush which they make in their descent.
Strangers are told to look at these falls from the suspension
bridge; and it is well that they should do so. But, in so looking
at them, they obtain but a very small part of their effect. On the
Ottawa side of the bridge is a brewery, which brewery is surrounded
by a huge timber-yard. This timber yard I found to be very muddy,
and the passing and repassing through it is a work of trouble; but
nevertheless let the traveler by all means make his way through the
mud, and scramble over the timber, and cross the plank bridges
which traverse the streams of the saw-mills, and thus take himself
to the outer edge of the wood-work over the water. If he will then
seat himself, about the hour of sunset, he will see the Chaudiere
Fall aright.

But the glory of Ottawa will be--and, indeed, already is--the set
of public buildings which is now being erected on the rock which
guards, as it were, the town from the river. How much of the
excellence of these buildings may be due to the taste of Sir Edmund
Head, the late governor, I do not know. That he has greatly
interested himself in the subject, is well known; and, as the style
of the different buildings is so much alike as to make one whole,
though the designs of different architects were selected and these
different architects employed, I imagine that considerable
alterations must have been made in the original drawings. There
are three buildings, forming three sides of a quadrangle; but they
are not joined, the vacant spaces at the corner being of
considerable extent. The fourth side of the quadrangle opens upon
one of the principal streets of the town. The center building is
intended for the Houses of Parliament, and the two side buildings
for the government offices. Of the first Messrs. Fuller and Jones
are the architects, and of the latter Messrs. Stent and Laver. I
did not have the pleasure of meeting any of these gentlemen; but I
take upon myself to say that, as regards purity of art and
manliness of conception, their joint work is entitled to the very
highest praise. How far the buildings may be well arranged for the
required purposes--how far they maybe economical in construction or
specially adapted to the severe climate of the country--I cannot
say; but I have no hesitation in risking my reputation for judgment
in giving my warmest commendation to them as regards beauty of
outline and truthful nobility of detail.

I shall not attempt to describe them, for I should interest no one
in doing so, and should certainly fail in my attempt to make any
reader understand me. I know no modern Gothic purer of its kind or
less sullied with fictitious ornamentation. Our own Houses of
Parliament are very fine, but it is, I believe, generally felt that
the ornamentation is too minute; and, moreover, it may be
questioned whether perpendicular Gothic is capable of the highest
nobility which architecture can achieve. I do not pretend to say
that these Canadian public buildings will reach that highest
nobility. They must be finished before any final judgment can be
pronounced; but I do feel very certain that that final judgment
will be greatly in their favor. The total frontage of the
quadrangle, including the side buildings, is 1200 feet; that of the
center buildings is 475. As I have said before, 225,000 pounds
have already been expended; and it is estimated that the total
cost, including the arrangement and decoration of the ground behind
the building and in the quadrangle, will be half a million.

The buildings front upon what will, I suppose, be the principal
street of Ottawa, and they stand upon a rock looking immediately
down upon the river. In this way they are blessed with a site
peculiarly happy. Indeed, I cannot at this moment remember any so
much so. The Castle of Edinburgh stands very well; but then, like
many other castles, it stands on a summit by itself, and can only
be approached by a steep ascent. These buildings at Ottawa, though
they look down from a grand eminence immediately on the river, are
approached from the town without any ascent. The rock, though it
falls almost precipitously down to the water is covered with trees
and shrubs; and then the river that runs beneath is rapid, bright,
and picturesque in the irregularity of all its lines. The view
from the back of the library, up to the Chaudiere Falls and to the
saw-mills by which they are surrounded, is very lovely. So that I
will say again that I know no site for such a set of buildings so
happy as regards both beauty and grandeur. It is intended that the
library, of which the walls were only ten feet above the ground
when I was there, shall be an octagonal building, in shape and
outward character like the chapter house of a cathedral. This
structure will, I presume, be surrounded by gravel walks and green
sward. Of the library there is a large model showing all the
details of the architecture; and if that model be ultimately
followed, this building alone will be worthy of a visit from
English tourists. To me it was very wonderful to find such an
edifice in the course of erection on the banks of a wild river
almost at the back of Canada. But if ever I visit Canada again, it
will be to see those buildings when completed.

And now, like all friendly critics, having bestowed my modicum of
praise, I must proceed to find fault. I cannot bring myself to
administer my sugar-plum without adding to it some bitter morsel by
way of antidote. The building to the left of the quadrangle as it
is entered is deficient in length, and on that account appears mean
to the eye. The two side buildings are brought up close to the
street, so that each has a frontage immediately on the street.
Such being the case, they should be of equal length, or nearly so.
Had the center of one fronted the center of the other, a difference
of length might have been allowed; but in this case the side front
of the smaller one would not have reached the street. As it is,
the space between the main building and the smaller wing is
disproportionably large, and the very distance at which it stands
will, I fear, give to it that appearance of meanness of which I
have spoken. The clerk of the works, who explained to me with much
courtesy the plan of the buildings, stated that the design of this
wing was capable of elongation, and had been expressly prepared
with that object. If this be so, I trust that the defect will be

The great trade of Canada is lumbering; and lumbering consists in
cutting down pine-trees up in the far distant forests, in hewing or
sawing them into shape for market, and getting them down the rivers
to Quebec, from whence they are exported to Europe, and chiefly to
England. Timber in Canada is called lumber; those engaged in the
trade are called lumberers, and the business itself is called
lumbering. After a lapse of time it must no doubt become
monotonous to those engaged in it, and the name is not engaging;
but there is much about it that is very picturesque. A saw-mill
worked by water power is almost always a pretty object; and stacks
of new-cut timber are pleasant to the smell, and group themselves
not amiss on the water's edge. If I had the time, and were a year
or two younger, I should love well to go up lumbering into the
woods. The men for this purpose are hired in the fall of the year,
and are sent up hundreds of miles away to the pine forests in
strong gangs. Everything is there found for them. They make log
huts for their shelter, and food of the best and the strongest is
taken up for their diet. But no strong drink of any kind is
allowed, nor is any within reach of the men. There are no publics,
no shebeen houses, no grog-shops. Sobriety is an enforced virtue;
and so much is this considered by the masters, and understood by
the men, that very little contraband work is done in the way of
taking up spirits to these settlements. It may be said that the
work up in the forests is done with the assistance of no stronger
drink than tea; and it is very hard work. There cannot be much
work that is harder; and it is done amid the snows and forests of a
Canadian winter. A convict in Bermuda cannot get through his daily
eight hours of light labor without an allowance of rum; but a
Canadian lumberer can manage to do his daily task on tea without
milk. These men, however, are by no means teetotalers. When they
come back to the towns they break out, and reward themselves for
their long-enforced moderation. The wages I found to be very
various, running from thirteen or fourteen dollars a month to
twenty-eight or thirty, according to the nature of the work. The
men who cut down the trees receive more than those who hew them
when down, and these again more than the under class who make the
roads and clear the ground. These money wages, however, are in
addition to their diet. The operation requiring the most skill is
that of marking the trees for the axe. The largest only are worth
cutting, and form and soundness must also be considered.

But if I were about to visit a party of lumberers in the forest, I
should not be disposed to pass a whole winter with them. Even of a
very good thing one may have too much, I would go up in the spring,
when the rafts are being formed in the small tributary streams, and
I would come down upon one of them, shooting the rapids of the
rivers as soon as the first freshets had left the way open. A
freshet in the rivers is the rush of waters occasioned by melting
snow and ice. The first freshets take down the winter waters of
the nearer lakes and rivers. Then the streams become for a time
navigable, and the rafts go down. After that comes the second
freshet, occasioned by the melting of far-off snow and ice up in
the great northern lakes, which are little known. These rafts are
of immense construction, such as those which we have seen on the
Rhone and Rhine, and often contain timber to the value of two,
three, and four thousand pounds. At the rapids the large rafts
are, as it were, unyoked, and divided into small portions, which go
down separately. The excitement and motion of such transit must, I
should say, be very joyous. I was told that the Prince of Wales
desired to go down a rapid on a raft, but that the men in charge
would not undertake to say that there was no possible danger;
whereupon those who accompanied the prince requested his Royal
Highness to forbear. I fear that, in these careful days, crowned
heads and their heirs must often find themselves in the position of
Sancho at the banquet. The sailor prince, who came after his
brother, was allowed to go down a rapid, and got, as I was told,
rather a rough bump as he did so.

Ottawa is a great place for these timber rafts. Indeed, it may, I
think, be called the headquarters of timber for the world. Nearly
all the best pine-wood comes down the Ottawa and its tributaries.
The other rivers by which timber is brought down to the St.
Lawrence are chiefly the St. Maurice, the Madawaska, and the
Saguenay; but the Ottawa and its tributaries water 75,000 square
miles, whereas the other three rivers, with their tributaries,
water only 53,000. The timber from the Ottawa and St. Maurice
finds its way down the St. Lawrence to Quebec, where, however, it
loses the whole of its picturesque character. The Saguenay and the
Madawaska fall into the St. Lawrence below Quebec.

From Ottawa we went by rail to Prescott, which is surely one of the
most wretched little places to be found in any country.
Immediately opposite to it, on the other side of the St. Lawrence,
is the thriving town of Ogdensburg. But Ogdensburg is in the
United States. Had we been able to learn at Ottawa any facts as to
the hours of the river steamers and railways, we might have saved
time and have avoided Prescott; but this was out of the question.
Had I asked the exact hour at which I might reach Calcutta by the
quickest route, an accurate reply would not have been more out of
the question. I was much struck, at Prescott--and, indeed, all
through Canada, though more in the upper than in the lower
province--by the sturdy roughness, some would call it insolence, of
those of the lower classes of the people with whom I was brought
into contact. If the words "lower classes" give offense to any
reader, I beg to apologize--to apologize, and to assert that I am
one of the last of men to apply such a term in a sense of reproach
to those who earn their bread by the labor of their hands. But it
is hard to find terms which will be understood; and that term,
whether it give offense or no, will be understood. Of course such
a complaint as that I now make is very common as made against the
States. (Men in the States, with horned hands and fustian coats,
are very often most unnecessarily insolent in asserting their
independence. What I now mean to say is that precisely the same
fault is to be found in Canada. I know well what the men mean when
they offend in this manner. And when I think on the subject with
deliberation at my own desk, I can not only excuse, but almost
approve them. But when one personally encounters this corduroy
braggadocio; when the man to whose services one is entitled answers
one with determined insolence; when one is bidden to follow "that
young lady," meaning the chambermaid, or desired, with a toss of
the head, to wait for the "gentleman who is coming," meaning the
boots, the heart is sickened, and the English traveler pines for
the civility--for the servility, if my American friends choose to
call it so--of a well-ordered servant. But the whole scene is
easily construed, and turned into English. A man is asked by a
stranger some question about his employment, and he replies in a
tone which seems to imply anger, insolence, and a dishonest
intention to evade the service for which he is paid. Or, if there
be no question of service or payment, the man's manner will be the
same, and the stranger feels that he is slapped in the face and
insulted. The translation of it is this: The man questioned, who
is aware that as regards coat, hat, boots, and outward cleanliness
he is below him by whom he is questioned, unconsciously feels
himself called upon to assert his political equality. It is his
shibboleth that he is politically equal to the best, that he is
independent, and that his labor, though it earn him but a dollar a
day by porterage, places him as a citizen on an equal rank with the
most wealthy fellow-man that may employ or accost him. But, being
so inferior in that coat, hat, and boots matter, he is forced to
assert his equality by some effort. As he improves in externals,
he will diminish the roughness of his claim. As long as the man
makes his claim with any roughness, so long does he acknowledge
within himself some feeling of external inferiority. When that has
gone--when the American has polished himself up by education and
general well-being to a feeling of external equality with
gentlemen, he shows, I think, no more of that outward braggadocio
of independence than a Frenchman.

But the blow at the moment of the stroke is very galling. I
confess that I have occasionally all but broken down beneath it.
But when it is thought of afterward it admits of full excuse. No
effort that a man can make is better than a true effort at
independence. But this insolence is a false effort, it will be
said. It should rather be called a false accompaniment to a life-
long true effort. The man probably is not dishonest, does not
desire to shirk any service which is due from him, is not even
inclined to insolence. Accept his first declaration of equality
for that which it is intended to represent, and the man afterward
will be found obliging and communicative. If occasion offer he
will sit down in the room with you, and will talk with you on any
subject that he may choose; but having once ascertained that you
show no resentment for this assertion of equality, he will do
pretty nearly all that is asked. He will at any rate do as much in
that way as an Englishman. I say thus much on this subject now
especially, because I was quite as much struck by the feeling in
Canada as I was within the States.

From Prescott we went on by the Grand Trunk Railway to Toronto, and
stayed there for a few days. Toronto is the capital of the
province of Upper Canada, and I presume will in some degree remain
so, in spite of Ottawa and its pretensions. That is, the law
courts will still be held there. I do not know that it will enjoy
any other supremacy unless it be that of trade and population.
Some few years ago Toronto was advancing with rapid strides, and
was bidding fair to rival Quebec, or even perhaps Montreal.
Hamilton also, another town of Upper Canada, was going ahead in the
true American style; but then reverses came in trade, and the towns
were checked for awhile. Toronto, with a neighboring suburb which
is a part of it, as Southwark is of London, contains now over
50,000 inhabitants. The streets are all parallelogramical, and
there is not a single curvature to rest the eye. It is built down
close upon Lake Ontario; and as it is also on the Grand Trunk
Railway, it has all the aid which facility of traffic can give it.

The two sights of Toronto are the Osgoode Hall and the University.
The Osgoode Hall is to Upper Canada what the Four Courts are to
Ireland. The law courts are all held there. Exteriorly, little
can be said for Osgoode Hall, whereas the exterior of the Four
Courts in Dublin is very fine; but as an interior, the temple of
Themis at Toronto beats hollow that which the goddess owns in
Dublin. In Dublin the courts themselves are shabby, and the space
under the dome is not so fine as the exterior seems to promise that
it should be. In Toronto the courts themselves are, I think, the
most commodious that I ever saw, and the passages, vestibules, and
hall are very handsome. In Upper Canada the common-law judges and
those in chancery are divided as they are in England; but it is, as
I was told, the opinion of Canadian lawyers that the work may be
thrown together. Appeal is allowed in criminal cases; but as far
as I could learn such power of appeal is held to be both
troublesome and useless. In Lower Canada the old French laws are
still administered.

But the University is the glory of Toronto. This is a Gothic
building, and will take rank after, but next to, the buildings at
Ottawa. It will be the second piece of noble architecture in
Canada, and as far as I know on the American continent. It is, I
believe, intended to be purely Norman, though I doubt whether the
received types of Norman architecture have not been departed from
in many of the windows. Be this as it may, the college is a manly,
noble structure, free from false decoration, and infinitely
creditable to those who projected it. I was informed by the head
of the college that it has been open only two years; and here also
I fancy that the colony has been much indebted to the taste of the
late Governor, Sir Edmund Head.

Toronto as a city is not generally attractive to a traveler. The
country around it is flat; and, though it stands on a lake, that
lake has no attributes of beauty. Large inland seas, such as are
these great Northern lakes of America, never have such attributes.
Picturesque mountains rise from narrow valleys, such as form the
beds of lakes in Switzerland, Scotland, and Northern Italy; but
from such broad waters as those of Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, and
Lake Michigan, the shores shelve very gradually, and have none of
the materials of lovely scenery.

The streets in Toronto are framed with wood, or rather planked, as
are those of Montreal and Quebec; but they are kept in better
order. I should say that the planks are first used at Toronto,
then sent down by the lake to Montreal, and when all but rotted out
there, are again floated off by the St. Lawrence to be used in the
thoroughfares of the old French capital. But if the streets of
Toronto are better than those of the other towns, the roads around
it are worse. I had the honor of meeting two distinguished members
of the Provincial Parliament at dinner some few miles out of town,
and, returning back a short while after they had left our host's
house, was glad to be of use in picking them up from a ditch into
which their carriage had been upset. To me it appeared all but
miraculous that any carriage should make its way over that road
without such misadventure. I may perhaps be allowed to hope that
the discomfiture of these worthy legislators may lead to some
improvement in the thoroughfare.

I had on a previous occasion gone down the St. Lawrence, through
the Thousand Isles and over the Rapids, in one of those large
summer steamboats which ply upon the lake and river. I cannot say
that I was much struck by the scenery, and therefore did not
encroach upon my time by making the journey again. Such an opinion
will be regarded as heresy by many who think much of the Thousand
Islands. I do not believe that they would be expressly noted by
any traveler who was not expressly bidden to admire them.

From Toronto we went across to Niagara, re-entering the States at
Lewiston, in New York.



When the American war began troops were sent out to Canada, and
when I was in the provinces more troops were then expected. The
matter was much talked of, as a matter of course, in Canada, and it
had been discussed in England before I left. I had seen much said
about it in the English papers since, and it also had become the
subject of very hot question among the politicians of the Northern
States. The measure had at that time given more umbrage to the
North than anything else done or said by England from the beginning
of the war up to that time, except the declaration made by Lord
John Russell in the House of Commons as to the neutrality to be
preserved by England between the two belligerents. The argument
used by the Northern States was this: if France collects men and
material of war in the neighborhood of England, England considers
herself injured, calls for an explanation, and talks of invasion.
Therefore, as England is now collecting men and material of war in
our neighborhood, we will consider ourselves injured. It does not
suit us to ask for an explanation, because it is not our habit to
interfere with other nations. We will not pretend to say that we
think we are to be invaded. But as we clearly are injured, we will
express our anger at that injury, and when the opportunity shall
come will take advantage of having that new grievance.

As we all know, a very large increase of force was sent when we
were still in doubt as to the termination of the Trent affair, and
imagined that war was imminent. But the sending of that large
force did not anger the Americans as the first dispatch of troops
to Canada had angered them. Things had so turned out that measures
of military precaution were acknowledged by them to be necessary.
I cannot, however, but think that Mr. Seward might have spared that
offer to send British troops across Maine, and so also have all his
countrymen thought by whom I have heard the matter discussed.

As to any attempt at invasion of Canada by the Americans, or idea
of punishing the alleged injuries suffered by the States from Great
Britain by the annexation of those provinces, I do not believe that
any sane-minded citizens of the States believe in the possibility
of such retaliation. Some years since the Americans thought that
Canada might shine in the Union firmament as a new star; but that
delusion is, I think, over. Such annexation, if ever made, must
have been made not only against the arms of England, but must also
have been made in accordance with the wishes of the people so
annexed. It was then believed that the Canadians were not averse
to such a change, and there may possibly have then been among them
the remnant of such a wish. There is certainly no such desire now,
not even a remnant of such a desire; and the truth on this matter
is, I think, generally acknowledged. The feeling in Canada is one
of strong aversion to the United States government and of
predilection for self-government under the English Crown. A
faineant governor and the prestige of British power is now the
political aspiration of the Canadians in general; and I think that
this is understood in the States. Moreover, the States have a job
of work on hand which, as they themselves are well aware, is taxing
all their energies. Such being the case, I do not think that
England needs to fear any invasion of Canada authorized by the
States government.

This feeling of a grievance on the part of the States was a
manifest absurdity. The new reinforcement of the garrisons in
Canada did not, when I was in Canada, amount, as I believe, to more
than 2000 men. But had it amounted to 20,000, the States would
have had no just ground for complaint. Of all nationalities that
in modern days have risen to power, they, above all others, have
shown that they would do what they liked with their own,
indifferent to foreign counsels and deaf to foreign remonstrance.
"Do you go your way, and let us go ours. We will trouble you with
no question, nor do you trouble us." Such has been their national
policy, and it has obtained for them great respect. They have
resisted the temptation of putting their fingers into the caldron
of foreign policy; and foreign politicians, acknowledging their
reserve in this respect, have not been offended at the bristles
with which their Noli me tangere has been proclaimed. Their
intelligence has been appreciated, and their conduct has been
respected. But if this has been their line of policy, they must be
entirely out of court in raising any question as to the position of
British troops on British soil.

"It shows us that you doubt us," an American says, with an air of
injured honor--or did say, before that Trent affair. "And it is
done to express sympathy with the South. The Southerners
understand it, and we understand it also. We know where your
hearts are--nay, your very souls. They are among the slave-
begotten cotton bales of the rebel South." Then comes the whole of
the long argument in which it seems so easy to an Englishman to
prove that England, in the whole of this sad matter, has been true
and loyal to her friend. She could not interfere when the husband
and wife would quarrel. She could only grieve, and wish that
things might come right and smooth for both parties. But the
argument, though so easy, is never effectual.

It seems to me foolish in an American to quarrel with England for
sending soldiers to Canada; but I cannot say that I thought it was
well done to send them at the beginning of the war. The English
government did not, I presume, take this step with reference to any
possible invasion of Canada by the government of the States. We
are fortifying Portsmouth, and Portland, and Plymouth, because we
would fain be safe against the French army acting under a French
Emperor. But we sent 2000 troops to Canada, if I understand the
matter rightly, to guard our provinces against the filibustering
energies of a mass of unemployed American soldiers, when those
soldiers should come to be disbanded. When this war shall be over--
a war during which not much, if any, under a million of American
citizens will have been under arms--it will not be easy for all who
survive to return to their old homes and old occupations. Nor does
a disbanded soldier always make a good husbandman, notwithstanding
the great examples of Cincinnatus and Bird-o'-freedom Sawin. It
may be that a considerable amount of filibustering energy will be
afloat, and that the then government of those who neighbor us in
Canada will have other matters in hand more important to them than
the controlling of these unruly spirits. That, as I take it, was
the evil against which we of Great Britain and of Canada desired to
guard ourselves.

But I doubt whether 2000 or 10,000 British soldiers would be any
effective guard against such inroads, and I doubt more strongly
whether any such external guarding will be necessary. If the
Canadians were prepared to fraternize with filibusters from the
States, neither three nor ten thousand soldiers would avail against
such a feeling over a frontier stretching from the State of Maine
to the shores of Lake Huron and Lake Erie. If such a feeling did
exist--if the Canadians wished the change--in God's name let them
go. It is for their sakes, and not for our own, that we would have
them bound to us. But the Canadians are averse to such a change
with a degree of feeling that amounts to national intensity. Their
sympathies are with the Southern States, not because they care for
cotton, not because they are anti-abolitionists, not because they
admire the hearty pluck of those who are endeavoring to work out
for themselves a new revolution. They sympathize with the South
from strong dislike to the aggression, the braggadocio, and the
insolence they have felt upon their own borders. They dislike Mr.
Seward's weak and vulgar joke with the Duke of Newcastle. They
dislike Mr. Everett's flattering hints to his countrymen as to the
one nation that is to occupy the whole continent. They dislike the
Monroe doctrine. They wonder at the meekness with which England
has endured the vauntings of the Northern States, and are endued
with no such meekness of their own. They would, I believe, be well
prepared to meet and give an account of any filibusters who might
visit them; and I am not sure that it is wisely done on our part to
show any intention of taking the work out of their hands.

But I am led to this opinion in no degree by a feeling that Great
Britain ought to grudge the cost of the soldiers. If Canada will
be safer with them, in Heaven's name let her have them. It has
been argued in many places, not only with regard to Canada, but as
to all our self-governed colonies, that military service should not
be given at British expense and with British men to any colony
which has its own representative government and which levies its
own taxes. "While Great Britain absolutely held the reins of
government, and did as it pleased with the affairs of its
dependencies," such politicians say, "it was just and right that
she should pay the bill. As long as her government of a colony was
paternal, so long was it right that the mother country should put
herself in the place of a father, and enjoy a father's undoubted
prerogative of putting his hand into his breeches pocket to provide
for all the wants of his child. But when the adult son set up for
himself in business--having received education from the parent, and
having had his apprentice fees duly paid--then that son should
settle his own bills, and look no longer to the paternal pocket."
Such is the law of the world all over, from little birds, whose
young fly away when fledged, upward to men and nations. Let the
father work for the child while he is a child; but when the child
has become a man, let him lean no longer on his father's staff.

The argument is, I think, very good; but it proves not that we are
relieved from the necessity of assisting our colonies with payments
made out of British taxes, but that we are still bound to give such
assistance, and that we shall continue to be so bound as long as we
allow these colonies to adhere to us or as they allow us to adhere
to them. In fact, the young bird is not yet fully fledged. That
illustration of the father and the child is a just one, but in
order to make it just it should be followed throughout. When the
son is in fact established on his own bottom, then the father
expects that he will live without assistance. But when the son
does so live, he is freed from all paternal control. The father,
while he expects to be obeyed, continues to fill the paternal
office of paymaster--of paymaster, at any rate, to some extent.
And so, I think, it must be with our colonies. The Canadas at
present are not independent, and have not political power of their
own apart from the political power of Great Britain. England has
declared herself neutral as regards the Northern and Southern
States, and by that neutrality the Canadas are bound; and yet the
Canadas were not consulted in the matter. Should England go to war
with France, Canada must close her ports against French vessels.
If England chooses to send her troops to Canadian barracks, Canada
cannot refuse to accept them. If England should send to Canada an
unpopular governor, Canada has no power to reject his services. As
long as Canada is a colony so called, she cannot be independent,
and should not be expected to walk alone. It is exactly the same
with the colonies of Australia, with New Zealand, with the Cape of
Good Hope, and with Jamaica. While England enjoys the prestige of
her colonies, while she boasts that such large and now populous
territories are her dependencies, she must and should be content to
pay some portion of the bill. Surely it is absurd on our part to
quarrel with Caffre warfare, with New Zealand fighting, and the
rest of it. Such complaints remind one of an ancient pater
familias who insists on having his children and his grandchildren
under the old paternal roof, and then grumbles because the
butcher's bill is high. Those who will keep large households and
bountiful tables should not be afraid of facing the butcher's bill
or unhappy at the tonnage of the coal. It is a grand thing, that
power of keeping a large table; but it ceases to be grand when the
items heaped upon it cause inward groans and outward moodiness.

Why should the colonies remain true to us as children are true to
their parents, if we grudge them the assistance which is due to a
child? They raise their own taxes, it is said, and administer
them. True; and it is well that the growing son should do
something for himself. While the father does all for him, the
son's labor belongs to the father. Then comes a middle state in
which the son does much for himself, but not all. In that middle
state now stand our prosperous colonies. Then comes the time when
the son shall stand alone by his own strength; and to that period
of manly, self-respected strength let us all hope that those
colonies are advancing. It is very hard for a mother country to
know when such a time has come; and hard also for the child-colony
to recognize justly the period of its own maturity. Whether or no
such severance may ever take place without a quarrel, without
weakness on one side and pride on the other, is a problem in the
world's history yet to be solved. The most successful child that
ever yet has gone off from a successful parent, and taken its own
path into the world, is without doubt the nation of the United
States. Their present troubles are the result and the proofs of
their success. The people that were too great to be dependent on
any nation have now spread till they are themselves too great for a
single nationality. No one now thinks that that daughter should
have remained longer subject to her mother. But the severance was
not made in amity, and the shrill notes of the old family quarrel
are still sometimes heard across the waters.

From all this the question arises whether that problem may ever be
solved with reference to the Canadas. That it will never be their
destiny to join themselves to the States of the Union, I feel fully
convinced. In the first place it is becoming evident from the
present circumstances of the Union, if it had never been made
evident by history before, that different people with different
habits, living at long distances from each other, cannot well be
brought together on equal terms under one government. That noble
ambition of the Americans that all the continent north of the
isthmus should be united under one flag, has already been thrown
from its saddle. The North and South are virtually separated, and
the day will come in which the West also will secede. As
population increases and trades arise peculiar to those different
climates, the interests of the people will differ, and a new
secession will take place beneficial alike to both parties. If
this be so, if even there be any tendency this way, it affords the
strongest argument against the probability of any future annexation
of the Canadas. And then, in the second place, the feeling of
Canada is not American, but British. If ever she be separated from
Great Britain, she will be separated as the States were separated.
She will desire to stand alone, and to enter herself as one among
the nations of the earth.

She will desire to stand alone; alone, that is without dependence
either on England or on the States. But she is so circumstanced
geographically that she can never stand alone without amalgamation
with our other North American provinces. She has an outlet to the
sea at the Gulf of St. Lawrence, but it is only a summer outlet.
Her winter outlet is by railway through the States, and no other
winter outlet is possible for her except through the sister
provinces. Before Canada can be nationally great, the line of
railway which now runs for some hundred miles below Quebec to
Riviere du Loup must be continued on through New Brunswick and Nova
Scotia to the port of Halifax.

When I was in Canada I heard the question discussed of a federal
government between the provinces of the two Canadas, New Brunswick,
and Nova Scotia. To these were added, or not added, according to
the opinion of those who spoke, the smaller outlying colonies of
Newfoundland and Prince Edward's Island. If a scheme for such a
government were projected in Downing Street, all would no doubt be
included, and a clean sweep would be made without difficulty. But
the project as made in the colonies appears in different guises, as
it comes either from Canada or from one of the other provinces.
The Canadian idea would be that the two Canadas should form two
States of such a confederation, and the other provinces a third
State. But this slight participation in power would hardly suit
the views of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. In speaking of such a
federal government as this, I shall of course be understood as
meaning a confederation acting in connection with a British
governor, and dependent upon Great Britain as far as the different
colonies are now dependent.

I cannot but think that such a confederation might be formed with
great advantage to all the colonies and to Great Britain. At
present the Canadas are in effect almost more distant from Nova
Scotia and New Brunswick than they are from England. The
intercourse between them is very slight--so slight that it may
almost be said that there is no intercourse. A few men of science
or of political importance may from time to time make their way
from one colony into the other, but even this is not common.
Beyond that they seldom see each other. Though New Brunswick
borders both with Lower Canada and with Nova Scotia, thus making
one whole of the three colonies, there is neither railroad nor
stage conveyance running from one to the other. And yet their
interests should be similar. From geographical position their
modes of life must be alike, and a close conjunction between them
is essentially necessary to give British North America any
political importance in the world. There can be no such
conjunction, no amalgamation of interests, until a railway shall
have been made joining the Canada Grand Trunk Line with the two
outlying colonies. Upper Canada can feed all England with wheat,
and could do so without any aid of railway through the States, if a
railway were made from Quebec to Halifax. But then comes the
question of the cost. The Canada Grand Trunk is at the present
moment at the lowest ebb of commercial misfortune, and with such a
fact patent to the world, what company will come forward with funds
for making four or five hundred miles of railway, through a
district of which one-half is not yet prepared for population? It
would be, I imagine, out of the question that such a speculation
should for many years give any fair commercial interest on the
money to be expended. But nevertheless to the colonies--that is,
to the enormous regions of British North America--such a railroad
would be invaluable. Under such circumstances it is for the Home
Government and the colonies between them to see how such a measure
may be carried out. As a national expenditure, to be defrayed in
the course of years by the territories interested, the sum of money
required would be very small.

But how would this affect England? And how would England be
affected by a union of the British North American colonies under
one federal government? Before this question can be answered, he
who prepares to answer it must consider what interest England has
in her colonies, and for what purpose she holds them. Does she
hold them for profit, or for glory, or for power; or does she hold
them in order that she may carry out the duty which has devolved
upon her of extending civilization, freedom, and well-being through
the new uprising nations of the world? Does she hold them, in
fact, for her own benefit, or does she hold them for theirs? I
know nothing of the ethics of the Colonial Office, and not much
perhaps of those of the House of Commons; but looking at what Great
Britain has hitherto done in the way of colonization, I cannot but
think that the national ambition looks to the welfare of the
colonists, and not to home aggrandizement. That the two may run
together is most probable. Indeed, there can be no glory to a
people so great or so readily recognized by mankind at large as
that of spreading civilization from east to west and from north to
south. But the one object should be the prosperity of the
colonists, and not profit, nor glory, nor even power, to the parent

There is no virtue of which more has been said and sung than
patriotism, and none which, when pure and true, has led to finer
results. Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori. To live for one's
country also is a very beautiful and proper thing. But if we
examine closely much patriotism, that is so called, we shall find
it going hand in hand with a good deal that is selfish, and with
not a little that is devilish. It was some fine fury of patriotic
feeling which enabled the national poet to put into the mouth of
every Englishman that horrible prayer with regard to our enemies
which we sing when we wish to do honor to our sovereign. It did
not seem to him that it might be well to pray that their hearts
should be softened, and our own hearts softened also. National
success was all that a patriotic poet could desire, and therefore
in our national hymn have we gone on imploring the Lord to arise
and scatter our enemies; to confound their politics, whether they
be good or ill; and to expose their knavish tricks--such knavish
tricks being taken for granted. And then, with a steady
confidence, we used to declare how certain we were that we should
achieve all that was desirable, not exactly by trusting to our
prayer to heaven, but by relying almost exclusively on George the
Third or George the Fourth. Now I have always thought that that
was rather a poor patriotism. Luckily for us, our national conduct
has not squared itself with our national anthem. Any patriotism
must be poor which desires glory, or even profit, for a few at the
expense of the many, even though the few be brothers and the many
aliens. As a rule, patriotism is a virtue only because man's
aptitude for good is so finite that he cannot see and comprehend a
wider humanity. He can hardly bring himself to understand that
salvation should be extended to Jew and Gentile alike. The word
philanthropy has become odious, and I would fain not use it; but
the thing itself is as much higher than patriotism as heaven is
above the earth.

A wish that British North America should ever be severed from
England, or that the Australian colonies should ever be so severed,
will by many Englishmen be deemed unpatriotic. But I think that
such severance is to be wished if it be the case that the colonies
standing alone would become more prosperous than they are under
British rule. We have before us an example in the United States of
the prosperity which has attended such a rupture of old ties. I
will not now contest the point with those who say that the present
moment of an American civil war is ill chosen for vaunting that
prosperity. There stand the cities which the people have built,
and their power is attested by the world-wide importance of their
present contest. And if the States have so risen since they left
their parent's apron-string, why should not British North America
rise as high? That the time has as yet come for such rising I do
not think; but that it will soon come I do most heartily hope. The
making of the railway of which I have spoken, and the amalgamation
of the provinces would greatly tend to such an event. If
therefore, England desires to keep these colonies in a state of
dependency; if it be more essential to her to maintain her own
power with regard to them than to increase their influence; if her
main object be to keep the colonies and not to improve the
colonies, then I should say that an amalgamation of the Canadas
with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick should not be regarded with
favor by statesmen in Downing Street. But if, as I would fain
hope, and do partly believe, such ideas of national power as these
are now out of vogue with British statesmen, then I think that such
an amalgamation should receive all the support which Downing Street
can give it.

The United States severed themselves from Great Britain with a
great struggle, and after heart-burnings and bloodshed. Whether
Great Britain will ever allow any colony of hers to depart from out
of her nest, to secede and start for herself, without any struggle
or heart-burnings, with all furtherance for such purpose which an
old and powerful country can give to a new nationality then first
taking its own place in the world's arena, is a problem yet to be
solved. There is, I think, no more beautiful sight than that of a
mother, still in all the glory of womanhood, preparing the wedding
trousseau for her daughter. The child hitherto has been obedient
and submissive. She has been one of a household in which she has
held no command. She has sat at table as a child, fitting herself
in all things to the behests of others. But the day of her power
and her glory, and also of her cares and solicitude, is at hand.
She is to go forth, and do as she best may in the world under that
teaching which her old home has given her. The hour of separation
has come; and the mother, smiling through her tears, sends her
forth decked with a bounteous hand, and furnished with full stores,
so that all may be well with her as she enters on her new duties.
So is it that England should send forth her daughters. They should
not escape from her arms with shrill screams and bleeding wounds,
with ill-omened words which live so long, though the speakers of
them lie cold in their graves.

But this sending forth of a child-nation to take its own political
status in the world has never yet been done by Great Britain. I
cannot remember that such has ever been done by any great power
with reference to its dependency; by any power that was powerful
enough to keep such dependency within its grasp. But a man
thinking on these matters cannot but hope that a time will come
when such amicable severance may be effected. Great Britain cannot
think that through all coming ages she is to be the mistress of the
vast continent of Australia, lying on the other side of the globe's
surface; that she is to be the mistress of all South Africa, as
civilization shall extend northward; that the enormous territories
of British North America are to be subject forever to a veto from
Downing Street. If the history of past empires does not teach her
that this may not be so, at least the history of the United States
might so teach her. "But we have learned a lesson from those
United States," the patriot will argue who dares to hope that the
glory and extent of the British empire may remain unimpaired in
saecula saeculorum. "Since that day we have given political rights
to our colonies, and have satisfied the political longings of their
inhabitants. We do not tax their tea and stamps, but leave it to
them to tax themselves as they may please." True. But in
political aspirations the giving of an inch has ever created the
desire for an ell. If the Australian colonies even now, with their
scanty population and still young civilization, chafe against
imperial interference, will they submit to it when they feel within
their veins all the full blood of political manhood? What is the
cry even of the Canadians--of the Canadians who are thoroughly
loyal to England? Send us a faineant governor, a King Log, who
will not presume to interfere with us; a governor who will spend
his money and live like a gentleman, and care little or nothing for
politics. That is the Canadian beau ideal of a governor. They are
to govern themselves; and he who comes to them from England is to
sit among them as the silent representative of England's
protection. If that be true--and I do not think that any who know
the Canadas will deny it--must it not be presumed that they will
soon also desire a faineant minister in Downing Street? Of course
they will so desire. Men do not become milder in their aspirations
for political power the more that political power is extended to
them. Nor would it be well that they should be so humble in their
desires. Nations devoid of political power have never risen high
in the world's esteem. Even when they have been commercially
successful, commerce has not brought to them the greatness which it
has always given when joined with a strong political existence.
The Greeks are commercially rich and active; but "Greece" and
"Greek" are bywords now for all that is mean. Cuba is a colony,
and putting aside the cities of the States, the Havana is the
richest town on the other side of the Atlantic, and commercially
the greatest; but the political villainy of Cuba, her daily
importation of slaves, her breaches of treaty, and the bribery of
her all but royal governor, are known to all men. But Canada is
not dishonest; Canada is no byword for anything evil; Canada eats
her own bread in the sweat of her brow, and fears a bad word from
no man. True. But why does New York, with its suburbs boast a
million of inhabitants, while Montreal has 85,000? Why has that
babe in years, Chicago, 120,000, while Toronto has not half the
number? I do not say that Montreal and Toronto should have gone
ahead abreast with New York and Chicago. In such races one must be
first, and one last. But I do say that the Canadian towns will
have no equal chance till they are actuated by that feeling of
political independence which has created the growth of the towns in
the United States.

I do not think that the time has yet come in which Great Britain
should desire the Canadians to start for themselves. There is the
making of that railroad to be effected, and something done toward
the union of those provinces. Canada could no more stand alone
without New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, than could those latter
colonies without Canada. But I think it would be well to be
prepared for such a coming day; and that it would at any rate be
well to bring home to ourselves and realize the idea of such
secession on the part of our colonies, when the time shall have
come at which such secession may be carried out with profit and
security to them. Great Britain, should she ever send forth her
child alone into the world, must of course guarantee her security.
Such guarantees are given by treaties; and, in the wording of them,
it is presumed that such treaties will last forever. It will be
argued that in starting British North America as a political power
on its own bottom, we should bind ourself to all the expense of its
defense, while we should give up all right to any interference in
its concerns; and that, from a state of things so unprofitable as
this, there would be no prospect of a deliverance. But such
treaties, let them be worded how they will, do not last forever.
For a time, no doubt, Great Britain would be so hampered--if indeed
she would feel herself hampered by extending her name and prestige
to a country bound to her by ties such as those which would then
exist between her and this new nation. Such treaties are not
everlasting, nor can they be made to last even for ages. Those who
word them seem to think that powers and dynasties will never pass
away. But they do pass away, and the balance of power will not
keep itself fixed forever on the same pivot. The time may come--
that it may not come soon we will all desire--but the time may come
when the name and prestige of what we call British North America
will be as serviceable to Great Britain as those of Great Britain
are now serviceable to her colonies.

But what shall be the new form of government for the new kingdom?
That is a speculation very interesting to a politician, though one
which to follow out at great length in these early days would be
rather premature. That it should be a kingdom--that the political
arrangement should be one of which a crowned hereditary king should
form part--nineteen out of every twenty Englishmen would desire;
and, as I fancy, so would also nineteen out of every twenty
Canadians. A king for the United States, when they first
established themselves, was impossible. A total rupture from the
Old World and all its habits was necessary for them. The name of a
king, or monarch, or sovereign had become horrible to their ears.
Even to this day they have not learned the difference between
arbitrary power retained in the hand of one man, such as that now
held by the Emperor over the French, and such hereditary headship
in the State as that which belongs to the Crown in Great Britain.
And this was necessary, seeing that their division from us was
effected by strife, and carried out with war and bitter
animosities. In those days also there was a remnant, though but a
small remnant, of the power of tyranny left within the scope of the
British Crown. That small remnant has been removed; and to me it
seems that no form of existing government, no form of government
that ever did exist, gives or has given so large a measure of
individual freedom to all who live under it as a constitutional
monarchy in which the Crown is divested of direct political power.

I will venture then to suggest a king for this new nation; and,
seeing that we are rich in princes, there need be no difficulty in
the selection. Would it not be beautiful to see a new nation
established under such auspices, and to establish a people to whom
their independence had been given, to whom it had been freely
surrendered as soon as they were capable of holding the position
assigned to them!



Of all the sights on this earth of ours which tourists travel to
see--at least of all those which I have seen--I am inclined to give
the palm to the Falls of Niagara. In the catalogue of such sights
I intend to include all buildings, pictures, statues, and wonders
of art made by men's hands, and also all beauties of nature
prepared by the Creator for the delight of his creatures. This is
a long word; but, as far as my taste and judgment go, it is
justified. I know no other one thing so beautiful, so glorious,
and so powerful. I would not by this be understood as saying that
a traveler wishing to do the best with his time should first of all
places seek Niagara. In visiting Florence he may learn almost all
that modern art can teach. At Rome he will be brought to
understand the cold hearts, correct eyes, and cruel ambition of the
old Latin race. In Switzerland he will surround himself with a
flood of grandeur and loveliness, and fill himself, if he be
capable of such filling, with a flood of romance. The tropics will
unfold to him all that vegetation in its greatest richness can
produce. In Paris he will find the supreme of polish, the ne plus
ultra of varnish according to the world's capability of varnishing.
And in London he will find the supreme of power, the ne plus ultra
of work according to the world's capability of working. Any one of
such journeys may be more valuable to a man--nay, any one such
journey must be more valuable to a man--than a visit to Niagara.
At Niagara there is that fall of waters alone. But that fall is
more graceful than Giotto's tower, more noble than the Apollo. The
peaks of the Alps are not so astounding in their solitude. The
valleys of the Blue Mountains in Jamaica are less green. The
finished glaze of life in Paris is less invariable; and the full
tide of trade round the Bank of England is not so inexorably

I came across an artist at Niagara who was attempting to draw the
spray of the waters. "You have a difficult subject," said I. "All
subjects are difficult," he replied, "to a man who desires to do
well." "But yours, I fear is impossible," I said. "You have no
right to say so till I have finished my picture," he replied. I
acknowledged the justice of his rebuke, regretted that I could not
remain till the completion of his work should enable me to revoke
my words, and passed on. Then I began to reflect whether I did not
intend to try a task as difficult in describing the falls, and
whether I felt any of that proud self-confidence which kept him
happy at any rate while his task was in hand. I will not say that
it is as difficult to describe aright that rush of waters as it is
to paint it well. But I doubt whether it is not quite as difficult
to write a description that shall interest the reader as it is to
paint a picture of them that shall be pleasant to the beholder. My
friend the artist was at any rate not afraid to make the attempt,
and I also will try my hand.

That the waters of Lake Erie have come down in their courses from
the broad basins of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, and Lake Huron;
that these waters fall into Lake Ontario by the short and rapid
river of Niagara; and that the falls of Niagara are made by a
sudden break in the level of this rapid river, is probably known to
all who will read this book. All the waters of these huge northern
inland seas run over that breach in the rocky bottom of the stream;
and thence it comes that the flow is unceasing in its grandeur, and
that no eye can perceive a difference in the weight, or sound, or
violence of the fall whether it be visited in the drought of
autumn, amid the storms of winter, or after the melting of the
upper worlds of ice in the days of the early summer. How many
cataracts does the habitual tourist visit at which the waters fail
him! But at Niagara the waters never fail. There it thunders over
its ledge in a volume that never ceases and is never diminished--as
it has done from times previous to the life of man, and as it will
do till tens of thousands of years shall see the rocky bed of the
river worn away back to the upper lake.

This stream divides Canada from the States--the western or
farthermost bank belonging to the British Crown, and the eastern or
nearer bank being in the State of New York. In visiting Niagara,
it always becomes a question on which side the visitor shall take
up his quarters. On the Canada side there is no town; but there is
a large hotel beautifully placed immediately opposite to the falls
and this is generally thought to be the best locality for tourists.
In the State of New York is the town called Niagara Falls; and here
there are two large hotels, which, as to their immediate site, are
not so well placed as that in Canada. I first visited Niagara some
three years since. I stayed then at the Clifton House, on the
Canada side, and have since sworn by that position. But the
Clifton House was closed for the season when I was last there, and
on that account we went to the Cataract House, in the town on the
other side. I now think that I should set up my staff on the
American side, if I went again. My advice on the subject to any
party starting for Niagara would depend upon their habits or on
their nationality. I would send Americans to the Canadian side,
because they dislike walking; but English people I would locate on
the American side, seeing that they are generally accustomed to the
frequent use of their own legs. The two sides are not very easily
approached one from the other. Immediately below the falls there
is a ferry, which may be traversed at the expense of a shilling;
but the labor of getting up and down from the ferry is
considerable, and the passage becomes wearisome. There is also a
bridge; but it is two miles down the river, making a walk or drive
of four miles necessary, and the toll for passing is four
shillings, or a dollar, in a carriage, and one shilling on foot.
As the greater variety of prospect can be had on the American side,
as the island between the two falls is approachable from the
American side and not from the Canadian, and as it is in this
island that visitors will best love to linger, and learn to measure
in their minds the vast triumph of waters before them, I recommend
such of my readers as can trust a little--it need be but a little--


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