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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 byewords 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 bye-word 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 towards 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 for ever. 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 defence, 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 deliverance. But such treaties, let them be worded how they will, do not last for ever. 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 for ever 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 a part, nineteer 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 creat
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 traveller 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 powerful.
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, amidst 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 labour 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 to their own legs, to select their hotel at Niagara Falls town.
It has been said that it matters much from what point the falls are first seen, but to this I demur. It matters, I think, very little, or not at all. Let the visitor first see it all, and learn the whereabouts of every point, so as to understand his own position and that of the waters; and then having done that in the way of business let him proceed to enjoyment. I doubt whether it be not the best to do this with all sight seeing. I am quite sure that it is the way in which acquaintance may be best and most pleasantly made with a new picture.
The falls are, as I have said, made by a sudden breach in the level of the river. All cataracts are,
made by such breaches; but generally the waters do not fall precipitously as they do at Niagara, and never elsewhere, as far as the world yet knows, has a breach so sudden been made in a river carrying in its channel such or any approach to such a body of water. Up above the falls, for more than a mile, the waters leap and burst over rapids, as though conscious of the destiny that awaits them. Here the river is very broad, and