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ARTICLE VI.

Lower Canada.

It is difficult, within the limits of a Review, to touch upon the Canadian question, in a manner satisfactory to those who are acquainted with the country, and intelligible to that larger portion of the community to whom Canada is emphatically a terra incognita, not only in its physical developments, but in its social and political relations. We feel this difficulty sensibly. Our earliest recollections are of a country where nature has traced on a gigantic scale the lineaments of a powerful empire; where a river, flowing from inland * seas, fed by numerous tributary streams, unrivalled in beauty, and almost unparalleled in extent and usefulness, sweeps for 2000+ miles through temperate latitudes, in a portion of the globe richly stored with mineral wealth, and marked by every diversity of climate that prevails between Sweden and central France,—where, in fact, Providence seems to have decreed that man shall reap an ample return for his industry, unless man himself shall mar the beneficent intentions of Providence.

* The word “Sea" means, in common parlance, a body of salt not of fresh water; it is, therefore, somewhat incorrectly applied to the Canadian Lakes. The word “ Lake,” however, would be equally incorrect, and would fail to convey a just idea of the extent of these “inland seas.' Lake Superior is unequalled in magnitude by any collection of fresh-water upon the globe. Its length, measured on a curve line through the centre, is about three hundred and sixty geographical miles ; its extreme breadth one hundred and forty; and its circumference, following the sinuosities of its coasts, about one thousand five hundred. Its surface is about six hundred and twenty-seven feet above the tide-water of the Atlantic. Various soundings have been taken from eighty to one hundred and fifty fathoms, but its extreme depth probably exceeds two hundred fathoms, thus showing the bottom of the lake to be ncarly six hundred feet below the level of the ocean. Lake Huron is only second to Lake Superior. Lake Erie is about 265 miles long, 63} wide at its centre, and 658 miles in circumference; its greatest depth varies from 40 to 45 fathoms. Lake Ontario is elliptical in its shape, 172 miles long, 594 at its extreme breadth, and about 467 miles in circumference. The depth varies very much, but is seldom less than 3 or more than 50 fathoms, except in the middle, where attempts have been made with 300 fathoms without striking soundings.—Bouchette's British Dominions in America.

+ The source of the river St. Lewis, which may be deemed the remotest spring of the St. Lawrence, is in latitude 48° 30' N. and about 93° W. longitude. From its source, the general direction of the St. Lawrence, through Lakes Superior and Huron, is south-east to Lake Erie,—which lies between 41° 30' and 42° 52' N. latitude,-nearly due east through that lake, and then north-cast to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, through which its waters are mingled with the Atlantic ocean, after a course of upwards of 2000 statute miles. Ships of 600 tons burthen can ascend with very little difficulty to Montreal, which is 580 miles from the Guli.-Bouchette's British Dominions in America. VOL, VII.-No XIII,

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In later years these early impressions have been somewhat rudely assailed, by hearing this portion of the Empire referred to as a few acres of snow in Canada*, where now, as in the days of Goldsmith,

-“ Wild Oswego spreads her swamps around, And Niagara stuns with thundering sound."

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* The accounts given of the climate of Quebec and the French settlements in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, after the conquest in 1759, are even at this day generally received as applicable to the whole of the country known by the name of Canada ; whereas they are now scarcely applicable even to the parts which they then described;—it being a well-established fact, that the climate of America is rapidly changing with the clearing of the forests.—The Canadas as they are.

At Quebec, in lat. 46° 48' 49" N., the orchards yield apples and pears of very superior flavour. At Montreal, in lat. 45° 30' N., grapes are matured to great excellence, and peaches with care also arrive at perfection. At York, in lat. 43° 43' N., and in the Niagara and western districts of Upper Canada, still further south, all these fruits are found in the greatest luxuriance. The peach, the nectarine, and the grape seem here to have found their native soil, and are produced in the richest profusion. In Lower Canada the winter commences about the 25th of November in the regions about Quebec, and it may be said to last till the 25th of April, when agricultural operations are resumed. In the district of Montreal the permanent cold generally sets in a fortnight later, and the spring is earlier. In Upper Canada the winter is considerably shorter; and the snow, which in Lower Canada covers the ground for tive consecutive months, scarcely lies for two in the upper province.--Bouchette's British Dominions in America.

Humboldt has endeavoured to connect the system of climates of the Old World with that of the New, by fixing at every ten degrees of latitude, under different meridians, a small number of places, whose mean temperature has been correctly ascertained, and through these, as so many standard points, supposing lines of equal heat, or isothermal lines, to pass. The observations which have been made on the temperature of places in the Eastern and Western Continents, show, that advancing seventy degrees to the east or west, a sensible alteration in the heat of the atmosphere is found. Places situated in the same latitudes in America and Europe, do not, however, differ so many degrees as has been generally supposed. The direction of these lines of equal heat, for the two systems of temperature known by precise observation, viz. that of the middle and West of Europe, and that of the East of America, gives the following differences :

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In tracing the directions of isothermal lines, from Europe to the Atlantic countries of the New World, they are found to have the character of parallelism towards the South, and to converge towards the North. The whole of Europe, compared with the eastern parts of America, has, in fact, an insular climate; and, although the annual fall of rain in the United States of America has been es

It has also been our lot, not unfrequently, to detect some respectable gentleman, whom railroads and steam-boats have failed to seduce further from the sound of Bow-bells than Birmingham or Margate; or some kindred spirit, who has never emigrated to a greater distance from his paternal acres, labouring under a vague impression that people go about in Canada with bows and arrows, as they do with walkingsticks in Europe, and exercise a divided dominion over the country with red Indians, bears, and tiger-cats. That this want of information reigns in full vigour only amongst the unlearned and untravelled, we freely admit; but it is surprising how many are included in that category; and, to a greater or less extent, the ignorance and prejudices we referto, prevail with every one who has not crossed the Atlantic and visited the far-west. We therefore deem it not unprofitable to state, that “swamps” are undoubtedly to be found in the neighbourhood of Oswego just as “fens” are in Lincolnshire, though the flourishing town on the Oswego Canal, numbers many thousand inhabitants and is rapidly “progressing." Undoubtedly, too, even the awful noise of the Lord Mayor's coach passing over Cheapside on the 9th of November, is naught to the “Spirit of the Waters” speaking from the mighty Niagara. Nor can it be denied that bears and rattle-snakes exist in some parts of the country; the former affording excellent sport, with just enough of danger to give interest to the pursuit ; while the latter are not unfrequently exhibited -“ immensis orbibus Angues !”—twining round some juggler in as many harmless folds, as a plaster-cast of the Laocoon exhibits in Somerset House, to the secure and admiring citizen of London.

Let it not, however, be supposed that we mean to describe Canada as possessing all the advantages of a highly cultivated state of society. The comforts and most of the luxuries of life are to be obtained in its cities*—but here the comparison

timated at 37.18 inches, while that in North Western Europe amounts to about 31-2 inches, the number of rainy days in the latter is much greater than in the former. In comparing the two systems of climates, we find at New York the summer of Rome and the winter of Copenhagen; at Quebec the summer of Paris and the winter of St. Petersburgh. * Quebec is situated in a promontory that stretches on the north-west side of the St. Lawrence, 345 feet above the level of the river, into a basin formed by the junction of the rivers St. Charles and St. Lawrence. The upper town is built on this promontory, and within the fortifications, which are nearly three miles in circumference. The lower town is situated between the foot of the promontory and the river. The

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ends. In a new country, possessing boundless tracts of land, yet covered with a primeval forest, in many places not even intersected by roads, and with natural resources not brought into action, the useful pursuits of life will necessarily supersede those, by which the genius, the manners and the customs of a people are, in the lapse of years, wrought into bold relief.

Even in the United States of America, where commercial enterprize and activity have called into existence so much geperal prosperity, those moral and physical attributes which, in their full development constitute a national character, have not yet ripened into maturity, and the Americans have failed to make advances in science, in literature and the Arts, in a ratio corresponding with their accumulated and increasing wealth. In painting they have undoubtedly produced clever artists, but they have displayed no original genius—there is suburbs of St. Louis, St. John and St. Roche, extend beyond the fortifications on the opposite side of the upper town, and are densely inhabited, chiefly by FrenchCanadians and the labouring classes. The population is about 30,000, but in the summer months it is much increased by emigration from Europe, and the number of “ lumber-men” who bring timber from the upper parts of the province for exportation. In the upper town are the Governor's residence, the barracks for the troops (generally two or three regiments), Protestant and Roman Catholic churches, convents, public offices, the houses of the officers of government, and of the principal merchants. The lower town is devoted to business. Here are the Banks of Quebec, a branch of the Montreal Bank, the Custom House and the Exchange. The wharfs are very extensive, and in the space of one year 800 ships of every size have arrived with goods and emigrants, and taken their departure with the produce of the country. Large steamers run to Montreal, and those which have been lately built equal in elegance and power any used in the world for internal navigation. Two of them arrive and take their departure every day.

The banks of the river St. Lawrence for about 90 miles above Quebec are bold and precipitous. The river then widens, and is known by the name of Lake St. Peter, and from thence to Montreal the shores are lower. The scenery throughout is picturesque and beautiful, and both sides of the river are covered with villages, whose churches are seldom out of sight. These villages are inhabited almost exclusively by French-Canadians; and the population is in some places as dense as in the most thickly-peopled agricultural districts of Europe.

Montreal is 180 miles above, or to the south-west of Quebec, and is built on an island of the same name, 32 miles in length and ten broad. The two principal streets are Notre Dame and St. Paul. The former runs the whole length of the town, and from the Quebec to the Recollet Suburbs forms a continued street 1344 yards in length and 30 broad. Montreal contains numerous churches, chapels and public buildings. The principal are the llôtel Dieu, the Convent of Notre Dame, the Montreal General Hospital, the Ilôpital des Sæurs-Grises, the Recollet Convent, the Convent of Grey-Sisters, the Seminary of St. Sulpice, the New College, the English and Scotch churches, and the Government-House. The new Roman Catholic Cathedral, on the Place d'Armes, ranks amongst the first buildings in North America. The corner stone was laid on the 3rd of September 1824. It is built of granite, which is found in abundance in the mountain from which the city takes its name, and it contains seats for a congregation of 10,000 persons. The Canadas as they are.- Bouchette's British Dominions in America.

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no “ American School.” In sculpture they are unknown, we believe, even as copyists. Their infant literature, with a few exceptions, is more English than American ; and, although many of their public speakers are shrewd lawyers, or keen and intelligent political debaters, not one has put forward any just claim to the higher attributes of oratory. The United States of America have not yet, in fact, passed into the adult age of nations. Their people, from the force of circumstances, rather than by the operation of their institutions, are utilitarians in the more contracted meaning of the word; and this will be the case until the rough and angular points of their social position are rounded by time, and the general diffusion of refinement shall call for those mental enjoyments which are sought for and produced in the later years of national existence.

Deeply and broadly, in the mean time, have the AngloSaxon race laid the foundations of freedom and civilization in the North American continent. Useful though common education is more generally diffused than in Europe. Christianity has taken deep root. The principles of self-government in local and in general affairs have trained men in the exercise of their public duties—have taught them the value of social order, and given security to person and to property.* Cold then must be the heart, and narrow and selfish the mind, that can look with indifference on a country,“ in which, one of the greatest political experiments in the history of the world is now performing.”—Hypercritical and fastidious the taste, that can record the Backwoodsman eating his fish with a knife instead of a silver fork, or helping himself unceremoniously to the wing of a chicken; and yet fail to draw a comparison between the security and freedom he enjoys, and is the means of extending to others, with the violence and barbarism that have distinguished the infancy of other states.

“ The national character is yet in a state of fermentation; it may have its frothiness and sediment, but its ingredients are sound and wholesome;

* The abolition riots, the piratical incursions on the Canadian frontier, and the occasional infliction of " Lynch-law," seem to militate against this opinion; and, unless a moral or physical power be found to prevent the recurrence of such events, they will, undoubtedly, seriously affect the peace and security of American society. We believe that such a controling power will be found if the evil corrtinue; while up to the present time, these disgraceful occurrences, though too frequent to be passed over in silence, cannot in justice be considered as more than exceptions to the general good order that prevails.

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