« PředchozíPokračovat »
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
Ottawa is a great place for these timber rafts. Indeed, it may, I think, be called the head-quarters 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 Ogdensburgh. But Ogdensburgh is in the United States. Had we been able to learn at Ottawa
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 offence 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 labour of their hands. But it is hard to find terms which will be understood; and that term, whether it give offence 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 bands 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 man
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 their 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 traveller 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 labour, 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 bas 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 afterwards it admits of full ex
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 déclaration of equality for that which it is intended to represent, and the man afterwards 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 he 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 a head in the true American style; but then reverses came in trade, and the towns were checked for a while. Toronto, with a neighbouring 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, vestibulės, 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 Goth
ic 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 traveller. 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 round it are worse. I had the honour 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 those worthy legislators may lead to some improvement in the thoroughfare.
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 traveller who was not expressly bidden to admire them.
From Toronto we went across to Niagara, re-entering the States at Lewiston in New York.
THE CONNEXION OF THE CANADAS WITH GREAT BRITAIN.
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 neighbourhood 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 neighbourhood, 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 despatch 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,