Obrázky stránek
[graphic][merged small]

the Laurentides for background, are to be found large lecture-rooms, museums, collections of all sorts of scientific instruments and a very large library. Mention must also be made of Laval's noted paintings. They are the best to be seen in America, most of them from the hands of masters of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Many of those paintings were brought to Canada at the time of the French Revolution, by priests who had escaped the guillotine. Several other Quebec institutions have had their share of these valuable tableaux. It is worth while for any one visiting Quebec to spend an hour or two at the Ursulines Chapel, the Roman Catholic Cathedral, and at Laval, to admire these masterpieces of old French art.

It is the boast and pride of Laval that they uphold the banner of religious teaching in all the branches of knowledge, whilst materialism is permeating teaching in almost all European universities, destroying faith to

[blocks in formation]

To complete the organization of superior education in Quebec, all the classical colleges were requested to affiliate themselves to Laval University, on certain conditions, which included a sort of competitive examination for the B. A. degrees between the students of these institutions after their humanities and course of philosophy. This competition, which gave a great stimulus to study, did not prove satisfactory to some of the colleges which held back from the University. About six years ago a new rule was agreed upon, the leading feature of which allows every college the privilege of conferring on their pupils the matriculation to the University either at Quebec or Montreal. It seems to an unprejudiced observer that this change, which was reluctantly conceded by the Laval directors, was not a move in the right direction.

The benefit of university education. has been extended to Montreal. It was found that the young men, instead of going down to Quebec for their studies, would attend the lectures at McGill and Victoria, thus defeating the object of the founders of Laval.

The extension or Succursale will, of course, greatly hamper the parent institution in Quebec. tution in Quebec. Loud complaints are heard every day in the sister province about the large and ever-increasing number of lawyers, doctors, and

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][subsumed][merged small]

notaries. Does it not seem strange that, with this fact in view, strong efforts have been made to spread the evil far and wide by this double tuition? It strikes us that one university at Quebec would have been sufficient to meet the requirements of the country, and that it should have been the ambition of all concerned in educational matters to build only one strong institution, to become the rival of European and American universities.

Laval, in the past, has been the nursery of very many men of high repute in Lower Canada. Bishop Plessis, who was a statesman as well as a priest, with twelve other high dignitaries of the Catholic Church, including Cardinal Taschereau and Mgr. Begin, his coadjutor, all hailed from Laval.

The public men of the past, noted for their zeal in the cause of self-government, have been pupils of Laval, such as Bedard, Papineau, Judges Caron and Morin (of the Hincks and Morin Administration), received their education at the Seminary, as well as Cauchon, an old parliamentarian, several times a Minister, Cremazie the poet and Mr. Chauveau, the first Premier of Quebec under the new regime inaugurated in 1867, than whom no one used a more elegant pen in Quebec.

The direction of Laval is now in the hands of Monseigneur Laflamme, Fellow of the Royal Society, a young priest of profound learning, of great devotion to the cause of education, and bent on walking in the footsteps of his great spiritual ancestor.

[graphic][merged small][merged small]




HE artistic treatment of roads is a matter in which we have been entirely deficient; more than this, the beautiful has been neglected and sacrificed even when it might have been retained without additional labour and with no loss of the useful. Whatever beauty the country highways of Ontario possess has been bestowed upon them by nature in such a manner, seemingly, as to defy the ever militant hand of the despoiler. For an explanation it is only necessary to remember that the construction of roads in the Province has scarcely yet passed out of the hands of those who hewed the first waggon tracks through the wilderness, and who were constantly engaged in a stern struggle for the bare necessities of life. It is no cause for surprise that, choosing between the useful and the beautiful, the former has invariably gained the ascendancy.

During the past summer I was one day driving through a country district, and turning a corner, came unexpectedly upon a pathmaster with his men doing their statute labour. They were engaged, but not very busily, in throwing the earth from the ditch into the middle of the road. The grade was already so high and steep that, in turning out to pass a scraper, I had to lean over as far as possible to preserve the equilibrium of my buggy. They stopped their work as I drove by.

"Why don't you use some of the dirt to level the sides of the road?" I asked.

My ignorance of roadmaking appalled them. With one accord they looked east, west, north, south. Then a look of determination entered the face of one, a sturdy Scot.

"Losh, mon!" he exclaimed. "Dy'e think yer in th' ceety?"

There is a very prevalent idea that anything that savours in the least degree of the ornamental in roadmaking belongs only to the "ceety."

To what extent the treatment of a roadside should be conventional must depend on circumstances. With what pleasure the most of us can recall some roadway leading through a thinly settled, swampy lowland, and closely bordered with woods! There are very few who would wish to so vandalize the works of nature as to go with a scythe among the golden rod and asters, the flags and the grasses that fill the angles of the moss-grown rail fence. Nor would we hew away the ivy-grown stumps, nor replace the picturesque snake-fence with one that is "neater." Passing, however, from the region of log-houses, with their little forest-encircled clearings, to the location where handsome stone and brick country villas predominate, where the woods have been almost obliterated and the fields have been brought to a condition of perfect cultivation, we must give the Queen's highway a corresponding degree of attention to bring it into harmony with its surroundings.

A century ago the first highways of any importance were laid out in the Province. The forest was then the enemy alike to agriculture and roads, "and the pioneer settler quickly learned, too, that it was the foe to his own means of sustenance. Pat's motto at Donnybrook Fair, 'When you see a head, hit it," was transposed and applied to the trees. To-day we may, in many localities, pass farm after farm without seeing any of the original trees remaining or any new ones planted for ornamental purposes.


Trees are a necessary adjunct to a beautiful

highway. To make this unqualified statement causes a civil engineer to feel some tremors of conscience, accustomed as he is in this utilitarian age to study only the economic side of construction. Trees are, as a rule, anything but a benefit to a roadway. Masses of foliage and shade, so grateful to the traveller, keep the driveway constantly damp--the bane of good roads. If, however, beauty is desired at the expense of utility, highways can scarcely be too much shaded by over-arching boughs. The happy medium will suffice in the majority of cases, and the evil effect of an avenue of trees will be more than made up by the additional pleasure obtained. Trees, however, need not be planted very close to the carriage-way, but may be within the private property, or, if on the road allowance, as close




[ocr errors]



to the fence as practicable. The branches should be trimmed so as not to materially interfere with the paved carriage-way.

The varieties of trees suitable for the ornamentation of highways in this climate are almost infinite. Maples are most commonly used in Canada, and so universal have they become that many trees having equal or greater claims for beauty are overlooked. The elm, with its gracefully arching branches and delicate, lacelike foliage, is unsurpassed. The oak, renowned in England, is rarely used here. And so we might enumerate walnut, butternut, hickory, beech, chestnut, poplar, pine, ranging from the most delicate to the most sombre and rugged, each more or

less adapted to particular requirements and circumstances.

The matter of fences is a very puzzling one. We have not yet found a shrub that will enable us to copy the hedgerows of England; and to stretch a few strands of wire is easier than to construct a stone wall. Masonry is very common in England and in the New England States. Only occasionally may it be seen here; and when overgrown with Virginia creeper or other vines the effect is all that can be desired. The seductive wire fence appears to suit the present stage of road improvement; and in sections of the Province where snow is apt to drift during a small part of the year there is seemingly no alternative. Where wire is used, however, a very trim appearance may be maintained, and if the fences are made so as to be as in

[ocr errors]

conspicuous as possible, and a generous use is made of trees and shrubs, the result will not be at all disastrous. Our system of surveys, which lays




« PředchozíPokračovat »