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considerably greater, but that a large portion of the people were at that time of the year hunting on the Prairies, or busied with distant traffic to Hudson's Bay. There were also two ordinations for the ministry. There are four Church of England churches in the settlement, two of stone and two of wood, also several wellattended schools, one a private boarding school of a superior order.
Besides the numerous and respectable officers of the Hudson's Bay Company, there are scattered about the settlement several worthy retired factors or traders, some married to European, others to Indian wives; and among some of the residents there is far from a deficiency in comforts and habits of refinement. The whole population of the Red River Settlement is upwards of five thousand ; rather more than half of these are Roman Catholics, the remainder belong to the Church of England. Three-fourths of the inhabitants are natives or half-breeds, the rest Canadians and people from the British islands, with a few foreigners. They possess, in plenty, barns, stables, mills, horses, sheep, pigs, and black cattle; the soil is wonderfully fruitful and easy of cultivation, but all produce is consumed on the spot; there is no market for its sale. Notes printed on colored paper are issued by the Company for circulation in the colony.
The climate at the Red River much resembles that of Quebec, but is rather more severe in winter. Acts of violence by the Indians against any of the people of the Hudson's Bay Company are scarcely known; the general treatment which they receive at the forts is such as to secure their attachment and respect, and they draw largely on the charity of the Europeans in times of want. The many thousand Indians scattered over these vast regions afford a wide field for the efforts of Christian men; but, sad to say, the means are at present lamentably insufficient. East of the Rocky Mountains there are six clergymen of the Church of Englandl; west, not one. The Red River Settlement is a happy example of the invaluable advantage, temporal and spiritual, which even this very limited ministry has afforded to the people.
Mr. Leith, a resident factor of the Company, left a sum of ten thousand pounds some time ago, for the Propagation of the Gospel in this district, but it has, unfortunately, remained in litigation ever since. The Roman Catholic Church has two bishops and a very extensive mission in this western country, but the Church of the empire is humble and poor. In the year 1820, Mr. West, a missionary, first preached the pure gospel on the banks of the Red River.
At the time of the English conquest, there were in Canada several richly-endowed establishments for the purposes of educa. tion. The seminaries of Quebec and Montreal were appropriated more particularly to the instruction of ecclesiastics, and the order of the Jesuits was entrusted with the general teaching of the people. These rich endowments are since continued to the same objects, with the exception of the estates of the Jesuits, which have been assumed by the crown. The grants to the seminary of Quebec are of great value, consisting of more than a thousand square miles of land, and some choice property in the city; those of Montreal are worth ten thousand pounds a year, at a low estimate. The estates of the order of the Jesuits were also great ; a part of them have been disposed of by the crown, but the more valuable portion still remains, and produces a handsome income.
Several amply-endowed nunneries afford instruction to the female children in the towns and villages of this province.
After the confiscation of the estates of the Jesuits, up to the end of the last century, the means of education appear to have been very limited, insomuch that only a dozen or twenty people in a whole parish knew how to read: classics and the sciences were indeed taught at Montreal and Quebec, either quarterly or for a nominal charge, but these benefits reached to very few. The English were allowed to avail themselves of this instruction; they were received without any distinction or partiality, and exempted from attending the religious duties.
In 1818, schools were generally established in Lower Canada under a settled system, supported by a grant from the Provincia: Legislature ; but in 1832 this grant was reduced, and the year after discontinued altogether. A separate plan had been commenced in 1829, giving a school to every parish, under the care of trustees elected by the landholders, who were allowed to hold and
manage the school property, and receive benefactions. Half the expense of building the house for instruction was borne by the province, and a yearly sum of twenty pounds during three years, to the school-master, was also given, with some further allowance for the children of the poor, in proportion to their number; those who were able paid two shillings a month for their education. At this time there were thirteen hundred and forty-four elementary schools in Lower Canada, besides a certain number of girl schools, each attached to a Roman Catholic Church.
In 1836, two normal schools were established by the Legislature, and considerable grants of money were made, for the purpose of training teachers for the country districts. Altogether, the appropriations at that period for the general purposes of education, averaged above twenty-four thousand pounds a year. At the present time, there are twenty seminaries or colleges in Lower Canada, under the management of the Roman Catholic church exclusively, but there are only two Protestant colleges. One is the M Gill College, at Montreal, whose founder devised, in 1811, a valuable property in lands and buildings, and ten thousand pounds in money, for the object. This institution has the power of conferring degrees, and is in a flourishing condition. The other, the Lennoxville College, promises well, but is merely in its infancy. In Upper Canada, two hundred and twenty-six thousand acres of land are appropriated to King's College at Toronto, and sixty-six thousand to Upper Canada College. The Legislature also grants two thousand four hundred pounds annually for district and common schools, and about two hundred and thirty thousand acres of land are held for the purposes of general education. These colleges in Upper Canada have also the power of conferring degrees. The expense of a boarder in the proprietary school at Toronto is thirty pounds a year-in the college thirty-three. From the Roman Catholic seminary colleges in the Lower Province, a student who has passed through certain classes has a right to be admitted to the Bar after four instead of five years' study.
A few years ago, the abuses and mismanagement of the public schools were very great, but at present they are working under a much improved system. It may be said that throughout the whole
of Canada there are fair opportunities of elementary education for every one, except in the very remote and thinly settled districts. In the Upper Province these privileges are appreciated to a greater extent than in the Lower; the habitans are scarcely persuaded of the necessity of being instructed; their better classes are rather indifferent on the subject ; and some people go so far as to assert that the Roman Catholic priesthood in the rural districts are averse to the spread of enlightenment: they certainly need not feel alarm at the rapidity of its progress.
As mentioned in the portion of Lord Durham's report to which I referred in another part of this volume, the possession of rather a superior education by a certain number of young men perhaps very humbly born, is not attended with happy or useful results. We find these people too proud or too idle to follow the lowly and toilsome occupations of their fathers; they are not sufficiently gifted to attain success in their ill-chosen professions, and, driven by want, disappointment, and discontent, into the ranks of sedition, they are willing to persuade themselves and others that they are debarred from getting on by political causes, or indeed by any cause, except that of their own incapacity ; they dream of independence, la nation Canadienne, freedom from foreign rule, and all sorts of absurdities. In this bright and imaginative future, each young village surgeon or attorney fancies he is to play a conspicuous part, and by such like inflated ideas he tries to move the sluggish minds and sympathies of his ignorant relations. The most successful of these ambitious embryo Robespierres and Dan. tons rises perhaps to be the editor of some obscure newspaper, the organ of their innocuous and contemptible sedition ; or the representative of some “habitans” district, when the stipend attached to his seat in the provincial parliament saves him from penury and want.
But these seminaries of education in Lower Canada produce also some very worthy exceptions to the class of which I have just now spoken; and there is a considerable proportion of French Canadian gentlemen, whose character and acquirements entitle them to all respect and consideration.
The merchants of British birth or descent are naturally educated in very much the same way as their brethren at home, in a
sound, practical, useful manner; any degree of classical proficiency is of course rare, but not altogether without instances ; some are good linguists, all are generally well informed. They acquire at an early age the manners of men of the world, as their business brings them in contact with a number of people of various countries and of all classes. During the long winters, when all are bent solely upon amusement, they have also an opportunity of cultivating the habits and tastes of good society. Both the ladies and gentlemen in the large towns of Canada excel in man. ner; from their earliest youth they mix in the gaieties and amusements of their native place, and this acquirement is attained perhaps rather at a sacrifice of others, more solid but less graceful and attractive.
The young lady who might be sadly puzzled over a passage of Dante or Ariosto, and not very clear as to whether Schiller was a poet or a fiddler, would most probably do the honors of a house with all the perfection and self-possession of a finished matron. But let it not be supposed for a moment that I make anything like a charge of ignorance against these fair Canadians, who are really among the most attractive of God's daughters-quite the contrary, they are all well educated to the extent which general society requires of them; beyond that, they have no object to gain, and any one of them who aspired, would be placed in an almost unenviable isolation. Great numbers of the young ladies, Protestant as well as Roman Catholic, are educated at the convents, the remainder generally at day-schools in the principal towns. Home education is very rare, from the difficulty and expense of finding suitable governesses. Their time of tuition usually ends at sixteen years of age, soon after which time they enter the world, and their career of conquest commences.
At Quebec, Montreal, Toronto, and elsewhere, there are good private classical and high schools, which afford fair opportunities of education for young gentlemen at a very moderate expense ; happily, therefore, it is less the custom now than it was formerly to send them for instruction to the United States, where they were not likely to imbibe a strong feeling of affection and respect for the mother country and the British crown.
The lower classes of British birth and descent are, as a body,