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flushed with the rapid motion through the keen air; her little chin sunk in a boa of rich dark fur, the smiling red lips and white teeth just showed above it; her arms were cosily lodged in a muff, resting on the bear-skin robe of the sleigh ; and a small bonnet of purple velvet sat coquettishly on her head, only half hiding the long, fair ringlets which clustered beneath it.

We went by the river road, as it is called, over the ice; the northern side of the St. Lawrence, and the channel between the island of Orleans and the left bank, is always frozen over in winter. By this bridge, the traffic from the fertile island and the Montmorenci district finds its way to Quebec. The ice is of great thickness and strength; shells, from mortars of the largest size, have been thrown on it from a thousand yards' distance, and produced scarcely any impression. Sometimes the snow which has fallen on the ice, thaws, leaving large pools of water; this surface freezes again, and becomes the road for travelling. Such had been the case the day we were there; but a thaw had afterwards weakened the upper surface : our respectable old horse broke through, and splashed into the water. Not understanding the state of the case, I made up my mind that we were going through to the river, and jumped out of the sleigh into the water; when the old horse and I, to our agreeable surprise, found the under ice interfering between us and the St. Lawrence.

About an hour's drive took us to the Falls of Montmorenci : they are in the centre of a large semi-circular bay, hemmed in by lofty cliffs; the waters descend over a perpendicular rock two hundred and fifty feet high, in an unbroken stream, into a shallow basin below. At this time of the year the bay is frozen over, and covered with deep snow; the cliffs on all parts, but especially near the cataract, were hung over and adorned with magnificent giant icicles sparkling in the sunshine, reflecting all the prismatic colors.

The waters foam and dash over as in summer ; but in every rock where there was a resting-place, half concealed by the spray, were huge lumps of ice in fantastic shapes, or soft fleecy folds of untainted snow. Near the foot of the fall small rock stands in the river; the spray collects and freezes on this in winter, accumulating daily, till it frequently reaches the height of eighty or a hundred feet, in a cone of solid ice ; on one side is the foaming basin of the fall, on the other the hard-frozen bay stretches out to the great river.

One of the great amusements for visitors is, to climb up to the top of this cone, and slide down again on a tarboggin. They descend at an astonishing pace, keeping their course by steering with light touches of their hands; the unskilful get ridiculous tumbles in attempting this feat: numbers of little Canadian boys are always in attendance, and generally accompany the stranger in his descent. A short distance to the right is another heap of ice, on a smaller scale, called the ladies' cone. The fair sliders seat themselves on the front of the tarboggin, with their feet resting against the turned-up part of it: the gentlemen who guide them sit behind, and away they go, like lightning, not unfrequently upsetting, and rolling down to the bottom. The little boys in attendance carry the tarboggin up again, the ladies and their cavaliers ascend, and continue the amusement sometimes for hours together.

The party were in high glee, determined to enjoy themselves; they tarbogginned, slid, and trudged about merrily in the deep dry snow. The servants spread out the buffalo robes, carpet fashion, on the snow, and arranged the plates of sandwiches, glasses, and bottles, on one side of the carioles, for a sideboard. When the young people had had enough of their amusements, they re-assembled, seated themselves on the buffalo robes, and the champagne and sandwiches went round.

Though the thermometer was below zero, we did not feel the slightest unpleasant effect of cold; there was no wind, and we were very warmly clad ; I have often felt more chilly in an English drawing-room. It is true that the ladies carried their sandwich or their glass of wine to their pretty lips in long fur gauntlets, through half-a-dozen folds of a boa, but their eyes sparkled the brighter, and their laugh sounded the merrier, in the cold brisk air, though their dresses sparkled with icicles, and the little fur boots were white with snow. There was a great deal of noise and merriment, with some singing, and much uneasiness on the part of the elders lest we should be too late for a


large dinner party that evening, to which we were engaged : so we broke up our lively encampment, and drove home.

Over the snowy plair of the river the bold headland of Quebec stood out magnificently. The metal spires and domes of the town shone in the red light of the setting sun; the sharp, distinct line of the fortifications on the summit, with the flag of dear Old England over all; and, through her wide dominion, her flag waves over no lovelier land.

The hour of dinner, and the arrangements of the table, are the same as in England. Some of the official people and the wealthy merchants entertain very handsomely; the cuisine and wines are good, and the markets supply a fair extent of luxuries. Formal dinners are seldom graced by the presence of the younger ladies; they generally defer their appearance till tea time, in the draw. ing-room; where, joined by a few of the dancing gentlemen and some young officers, they get up a quadrille or a waltz; music is not much cultivated, except as an assistant to the dancing. The French Canadians are very fond of cards; round games are often introduced at their evening parties, and some even of the younger ladies can play a capital rubber of whist.

Small plays, as in England, are also frequently introduced, to vary the amusements.

The young people often form large parties for snow shoeing excursions ; they walk eight or ten miles without fatigue, and the awkwardness and tumbles of those who are not accustomed to the exercise are a constant source of mirth. A man's snow shoe is about a yard long, by a little more than a foot wide in the centre ; to the front rather of an oval shape, behind narrowing to a point. The frame is a thin piece of ash, bent into this shape, and strung with light strips of moose-skin, in the manner of a racquet or battledoor, but of so close a net, that when pressed upon the softest snow it sinks but little into the surface. The foot is covered with a slipper or moccasin of moose leather, attached by the point to the snow shoe with straps of the same material, leaving the heel free to rise or fall with the motion of walking. The exercise is fatiguing to those who are not accustomed to it, but the elastic spring of the snow shoe lifts you along at a rapid pace than the usual one of walking. The ladies' snow



shoes are made much lighter and smaller than those for men, and usually gaily ornamented with tassels of colored worsted. Their moccasins are made to fit very smartly, and are decked with ela. borate embroidery of stained moose-hair and beads, the handy work of the Indian squaws.

The party takes a straight line across country, up and down hill, through bush and brake, stepping, without effort, over the tops of tall fences scarcely seen above the deep drifts. Many of the ladies walk with great ease and more grace than would be thought possible with such appendages, their light weight scarce. ly making an impression on the smooth surface of the snow; they slide gallantly down the steep hills, and run nimbly up them again, often faster than their unpractised cavaliers can follow them.

Some years ago, three English ladies, with their husbands, officers of the garrison, walked off into the “ bush” on snow shoes, made a cabin in the snow, encamped, passed two nights in complete Indian style, and were highly delighted with their excursion. A worthy, matter-of-fact old gentleman, who lived near the place where they encamped, was greatly distressed afterwards to hear of the hardships they had gone through, and hastened to tell them that, had he known before that they were there, he could have given them all beds in his house.

When the ice takes on the St. Lawrence, opposite to Quebec, forming a bridge across, there is always a grand jubilee ; thousands of people are seen sleighing, sliding, and skating about in all directions. This bridge forms about once in five years, generally two years in succession, not necessarily in the severest winters; but if at low or high tide the weather be very calm, and the frost intense for that brief period, it takes across in glace ice, and usually remains solid till the beginning of May. Ice-boats come into play on these occasions: the boats are fixed on a triangular frame, with runners, like those of skates, at each corner; they are propelled by sails, sometimes at the rate of twenty miles an hour; they can sail very close on a wind, and tack with great facility ; a pole, with a spike at the end, being made to act as a rudder.

The canoe-men employed during the winter at the ferry, use


their utmost endeavors to break up the ice when there is an appearance of its forming a bridge, as by it they are deprived of their occupation. In common winters, the river is full of huge fields of floating ice in the main channel, carried rapidly backwards and forwards with the ebb and flow of the tide; sometimes these are hundreds of acres in extent, and strong enough to support a city, crashing against each other, as they move, with a roar like thunder. Crossing the river at this time appears very perilous, but is rarely or never attended with danger; the passenger, wrapped up in buffalo robes, lies down in one end of a long canoe, formed of a solid piece of timber, worked with broad paddles by five or six men ; they push boldly out into the stream, twisting and turning through the labyrinth of ice till they reach a piece too large to circumnavigate; they run against this, jump out on it, and start along, hawling the canoe after them over the floating bridge; when it is past, the canoe is launched again, and so on till they reach the opposite shore. They are occasionally carried a long distance up or down the river with the tide, when the ice-fields are very numerous, and are two or three hours in crossing.

From the great dryness of the climate, very little inconvenience is felt from any degree of cold when unaccompanied with wind; but this, which, however, very rarely happens, is almost intolerable. One Sunday during this winter, when the thermometer was at thirty degrees below zero, and a high wind blowing at the same time, the effect, in many respects, was not unlike that of intense heat; the sky was very red about the setting sun, and deep blue elsewhere; the earth and river were covered with a thin haze, and the tin cross and spires, and the new snow, shone with almost unnatural brightness : dogs went mad from the cold and want of water: metal exposed to the air blistered the hand as if it had come out of a fire: no one went out of doors but from necessity, and those who did, hurried along with their fur-gloved hands over their faces, as if to guard against an atmosphere infected with the plague; for, as the icy wind touched the skin it scorched it like a blaze. But such a day as this occurs only once in many years. Within a mile of Quebec, I have known the thermometer down to thirty-eight degrees below zero, but there


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