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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 comes to Canada from the Northern States, and therefore the Southern cause is at the present moment the more popular with them.
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 oongregated 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 waggon as I had done. He entered the room and sat down, addressing no one, and addressed by no one. After a while, 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
There are two special public affairs at the present moment to interest a traveller 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 South Eastern 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 Rivière 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
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 1,300,0001. 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 only 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 favour 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 destiny 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 Com
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 piers.
UPPER CANADA. OTTAWA is in Upper Canada, but crossing the suspension bridge from Ottawa into Hull the traveller 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 rea
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 necessary.
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 En. glish 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