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CHAPTER XIV.

FROM MITIS ON THE ST LAWRENCE BY THE KEMPT ROAD ACROSS THE

PENINSULA OF GASPÉ TO CAMPBELTON AND DALHOUSIE ON THE

RESTIGOUCHE.

Road through the forest. Clearings and accommodations by the

way.-Great Metapediac Lake.—Little lake.—Burned forests
and bridges.- Noble's.—First green fields.-Home associations.

NOTES

ON

NORTH AMERICA

CHAPTER I.

Halifax in Nova Scotia.-Fresh complexions of the people.--Roman

Catholic fête.—Roman Catholics in Halifax.—Precedence and title conceded to Bishops.—Coloured people in Nova Scotia.—Micmac Indians.—Maritime commerce of Nova Scotia, its certain extension. -Mackerel fishery.--Shoals of mackerel.-Export of salt fish.Scratched rocks, and agricultural character of the neighbourhood of Halifax.-Stony and unfertile surface of the coast line.-Young's Letters of Agricola.— Increase of population in Nova Scotia.- Proportion of the agricultural produce to the population.— Inner Bay of Halifax.—Railway from Halifax to Windsor.-Soils and forests of the Ardoise hills.-Drought of 1849.—Pacing horses of Canada. —How trained in Sardinia.-Gypsum quarries at Windsor.— River Avon.Dyked alluvial lands of the Bay of Minas.— Varieties of land, and their money-values.--Sand plain of Aylesford.-Structure of the vale of Annapolis.—Town of Annapolis.-Ice-holes in the North Mountains. — Ironworks of Bear river.-Healthiness of the country. — Handiness of the Nova Scotians.-Blue-nose provincialisms.

On Saturday the 28th of July, at 3 P.M., I sailed from Liverpool in the steam-ship America. We took the northern course; lost sight of the west coast of Ireland on the afternoon of Sunday the 29th ; about noon of the following Sunday came in sight of Newfoundland; and

VOL. I.

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ROCKY SHORES OF NOVA SCOTIA.

early on the morning of Tuesday the 7th of August, I landed at Halifax in Nova Scotia. We had thus a pleasant passage of nine days and fifteen hours; and as we had an agreeable party, we felt almost sorry our voyage had been so short.

The noble harbour of Halifax, in which all the navies of the world might securely float, is only one of the countless inlets and basins which the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, from Cape Canseau to the Bay of Fundy, everywhere presents. The jagged outline of this coast, as seen upon the map, reminds us of the equally indented Atlantic shores of Scandinavia; and the character of the coast, as he sails along it—the rocky surface, the scanty herbage, and the endless pine forests — recall to the traveller the appearance and natural productions of the same European country.

The coast of Nova Scotia is indeed very unpromising in an agricultural sense; and though of the surface of the province there are in reality three and a half millions of acres which present to the Norwegian, the Swede, or the Finlander, the rocky soils, scenery, and, generally speaking, the natural productions of his own country, yet both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have in reality been unjustly depressed in European estimation by the character of their shores. The greater number of those who have hitherto returned to Europe from this part of North America, and who have regulated European opinion in regard to it, have seen only the coast line, or the interior of its rocky harbours; and these are certainly as naked and inhospitable as an inhabited country can well be. Those who have sailed along the Baltic

. shores of Sweden and Finland, or to Gothenburg by the estuary of the Gotha, or among the rocks and inlets of the western coast of Norway, will be able to realise, without visiting them, what the sailor sees on the shores of our American colonies.

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FRESH COMPLEXIONS OF THE PEOPLE.

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But the interior parts of these provinces are not represented by these barren borders. Though they do contain large tracts of poor and difficult land, yet rich districts recur at intervals, which rival in natural fertility the most productive counties of Great Britain. The colonists complain, with reason, that the evil opinion entertained of them has diverted the tide of English settlers, English capital, and English enterprise, to more southern or western regions, not more favoured by nature than they are themselves.

A European stranger who, on landing in Halifax, looks for the sallow visage and care-worn expression which distinguish so many of the inhabitants of the northern States of the Union, will be pleased to see the fresh and blooming complexions of the females of all classes, and I may say of almost all ages. Youth flourishes longer here, and we scarcely observe, in stepping from England to Nova Scotia, that we have as yet reached a climate which bears heavier upon young looks and female beauty than our own.

The day of my landing at Halifax was a fête-day among the Roman Catholic schools. Twelve hundred children, in holiday dresses, were marching in long procession by nine in the morning, with flags and banners and music, along the main street of the city, and thence under a triumphal arch of flowers and an avenue of green pine-trees, planted for the occasion, to a steamboat which was in waiting to convey them across the bay to M.Nab's Island, where the amusements of the day were provided. As music and dancing and refreshments were among the entertainments, this fête attracted a large assemblage of all parties, whom rigid religious views did not restrain from countenancing a public display of the Roman Catholic body. As a stranger, I was grateful to the provincial secretary, Mr Howe, for an invitation to accompany him and his family in the afternoon to the

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