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hardy woodsman—from the descendant of the earliest settler to the emigrant but just landed from his English home or Irish country village—had all, with ready heart and hand, fought for the crown and laws of our matchless country.
The republican journals of France took up the cause of the rebels with fiery zeal. Undeterred by profound ignorance of the circumstances of the case, they spoke of “their brethren in blood and principle, the six hundred thousand oppressed French in Canada, who had risen en masse against British tyranny, the motive and soul of which is inveterate hatred of all that is French."
On the 7th of September, the Governor of Canada, Mr. Poulett Thompson, afterwards Lord Sydenham, communicated to the Parliament of the Upper Province a proposition from the English Government to unite the provinces, both to be represented equally in the new Legislature; that they were to agree to a sufficient civil list, and that the charge of the principal part of the debt of Upper Canada was to fall on the united province. This was agreed to, in both the Legislative Council and the House of Assembly.
In the month of March following, after the union, a general election took place, which was favorable to the Government in its results. Lord Sydenham addressed the House, in a sound and conciliatory speech, which was well received, though in the ensuing debate the difficult question of “Responsible Government” was much dwelt upon. He did not live to see the effects of his
In September he fell from his horse, and soon after died in great torture ; continuing, however, to fulfil his duties with unflinching fortitude to the end. His last wish was, that his grave might be on the banks of the St. Lawrence.
Sir Charles Bagot was the next Governor. He, to a certain extent, succeeded in the fusion of parties, admitting some representatives of each section into his ministry. He was shortly compelled, by ill health, to return to England, where he soon after died.
In January, 1843, Sir Charles Metcalfe, now Lord Metcalfe, succeeded him. This distinguished officer was, for many years, in the service of the East India Company. In 1839 he was
appointed Governor of Jamaica, where he had very great difficul. ties to contend with, but overcame them all; gaining the admiration, love, and respect of the inhabitants, and the fullest approbation of the authorities at home. On the 28th of September, Sir Charles Metcalfe opened the third session of the united Legislature, in a speech expressing the greatest anxiety for improvements in the colony, and for a more efficient system of emigration. He announced the act of the Imperial Government, admitting Canada corn to England at a nominal duty, and recommended various local arrangements for consideration. An animated debate took place on the subject of the future seat of government, which was at length fixed at Montreal.
Not long afterwards, the ministry insisted on a pledge that they were to be consulted on all appointments by the Governor; this was at once denied, as limiting the prerogative of the crown, and
, implying a want of confidence. The Ministry, with one exception, then resigned office; and were supported in this step by a majority of the House of Assembly, who voted an address to the Governor, expressing their regret at what had occurred; but, at the same time, disclaiming any wish to exact a stipulation from the head of the Government. The session was then abruptly brought to a conclusion, and the authorities at home expressed full approbation of the acts of the provincial Governor. In the spring of 1845, the House of Assembly was dissolved on these questions. The result of the general election was the return of a good working majority in support of the worthy Governor and the views of the English Government. During the anxious time of his collision with the late ministry, the general election, and the meeting of the Parliament, Sir Charles Metcalfe labored under intense bodily suffering, but with gallant constancy still continued in the discharge of his office. His successful zeal and wisdom were rewarded by a peerage, which, while conferring honor upon him, reflects it also not a little on the order to which he now belongs. Unfortunately for Canada, continued ill-health rendered his further stay in the country impossible; in the end of the year 1845 he returned to England, with the respect and personal regard of all those over whom he had ruled.
The Earl Cathcart, Commander of the Forces in North America, has been appointed his successor. It will only be necessary for him to be equally efficient in his civil, as he has been in his military, rule, to gain the respect and esteem of all.
BUSINESS, and making arrangements for my sojourn for the winter, occupied a short time after my arrival. At our first leisure, the captain and I started for a day of sight-seeing within the limits of the town, despite the almost tropical heat of the weather.
Without entering into particulars about the public buildings, I may say, that the impression on our minds was, that they were exceedingly ugly. They are dispersed all over the town, as if ashamed of being seen in each other's company. There are five gates of the city in the fortifications; from each of these, streets run towards the centre of the town, playing at cross purposes in a most ingenious manner, forming bends and angles in every conceivable variety of inconvenience. The streets are all narrow; the shops not generally showy, though much improved of late; the houses irregular. St. John's is the principal thoroughfare ; it is paved with large blocks of wood.
There are several pleasant walks; one all around the ramparts ; a platform, with a magnificent view, overlooking the river, and an esplanade to the land side. Wherever you can get your head high enough to look over the walls, you see around you a country of almost unequalled beauty. The portion of the city within the defences is called the Upper Town, and contains the dwel. lings of the wealthier people, and the shops frequented by them. The great majority of this class are of English origin. The private houses are built more with a view to comfort and convenience, than external beauty, and few of them are of any pretension. The Lower Town consists principally of banks, merchants' offices, stores, and timber yards, with an amazing number of small hotels and inns.
The suburbs are nearly all built of wood, but have churches,
hospitals, and convents of more lasting material. The great mass of the people in these districts are French Canadians. The total population of this city is little short of forty thousand, being an increase of fifteen thousand in fifteen years.
There are large Church of England and Roman Catholic cathedrals, and four churches of each of these persuasions, also two Presbyterian and two Wesleyan. There is a tolerable museum, and two good public libraries. The hotels are nothing to boast of; they are conducted on the American system, like boardinghouses; the sleeping-rooms are bare and uncomfortable; the furniture of mine consisted chiefly of my portmanteau.
Besides those of the citadel, there are three barracks, and guards and sentries in all directions. After nightfall, you are met at every part of the ramparts with “Who goes there ?” which, however, you answer or not, as you feel disposed. The town is not lighted, with the exception of a few dim oil lamps in St. John's Street, for which reason, perhaps, it is, that the city police seem to prefer that beat; and as they are gregariously disposed, you may always calculate on finding a sufficient number of them there to apprehend the man who has knocked you down in some dark and distant part of the town, if you can only persuade him to wait till you fetch them.
Most of the streets have wooden trottoirs, very pleasant to the feet; those of St. John's are crowded like a fair for two or three hours in the afternoon, with people shopping and showing themselves. Womankind of all ranks dress here very much as in England. The habitans, or French farmers, usually wear a coarse, grey, home-made, cloth suit, with colored sashes tied round their waists, and often red and blue caps of thick worsted work.
You are never asked for alms; there is, apparently, no poverty; man is dear, and bread cheap. No one who is able and willing to work need want, and the convents and charitable institutions are very active in their benevolence to the sick and infirm. In everything in this quaint old town, there is a curious mixture of English and French. You see over a corner house, “Cul de Sac Street;" on a sign-board, “Ignace Bougainville, chemist and druggist.” In the shops, with English money, you