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Picturesque Quebec by James MacPherson Le Moine

Part 8 out of 14

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"Far from me and my friends be that frigid philosophy, which can make
us pass unmoved over any scenes which have been consecrated by virtue,
by valour, or by wisdom."--JOHNSON.

Pleasant the memories of our rustic homes! 'Tis pleasant, after December's
murky nights, or January and February's inexorable chills, to go and bask
on the sunny banks of our great river, under the shade of trees, in the
balmy spring, and amidst the gifts of a bountiful nature, to inhale
fragrance and health and joy. Pleasant, also, to wander during September
in our solemn woods, "with footsteps inaudible on the soft yellow floor,
composed of the autumnal sheddings of countless years." Yes, soothing to
us are these memories of home--of home amusements, home pleasures, and
even of home sorrows. Sweeter still, even though tinged with melancholy,
the remembrance of the departed friends,--those guardian spirits we once
saw moving in some of our Canadian homes in the legitimate pride of
hospitality--surrounded by young and loving hearts--enshrined in the
respect of their fellow men.

Oft has it been our privilege at that festive season of our year, when a
hallowed custom brings Canada's sons and daughters together with words of
greeting and good-fellowship, to wend our way to Bardfield, high on the
breezy hills of Sillery, and exchange a cordial welcome with the venerable
man who had dwelt in our midst for many long years. Seldom has it been our
lot to approach one who, as a scholar, a gentleman, a prelate, or what is
more than all those titles put together, a truly good man, impressed
himself more agreeably on our mind.

Another revolution of the circling year and the good pastor, the courteous
gentleman, the learned divine, our literary [240] friend and neighbour,
the master of Bardfield, had been snatched from among us and from an
admiring public. Where is the Quebecer who has not noticed the neat
cottage on the north of the St. Lewis road, where lived and died the Lord
Bishop Mountain? As you pass, you see as formerly its lovely river view,
gravelled walks, curving avenue, and turfy lawns, luxuriant hedges
designed by a hand now cold in death. Bardfield continues to be occupied
by Miss Mountain and other members of the late Bishop's family. A school
house, in the rural Gothic style, quite an ornament to Sillery, has been
erected by His Lordship's family, as a memorial of the sojourn at this
spot of this true friend of suffering humanity and patron of education.

Bardfield, founded about forty years ago by an eminent merchant of Quebec,
Peter Burnet, Esquire, was recently purchased by Albert Furness, Esquire
and by him leased to Charles Earnest Levey, Esquire, until Kirke Ella, the
property of Mr. Levy, is rebuilt.


The family of Mountain, which is a very old Norman family, and
therefore of French extraction, originally wrote their name "de
Montaigne," from the name of their estates at Périgord, near Bordeaux,
and as stated in the life of one of its members, the well-known
Michael Seigneur de Montaigne, the essayist and philosopher, "This
race was noble, but noble without any great lustre till his time,
which fortune showed him signal favours, and, together with honorary
and titular distinctions, procured for him the collar of the Order of
St. Michael, which at that time was the utmost mark of honour of the
French _noblesse_, and very rare. He was twice elected mayor of
Bordeaux, his father, a man of great honour and equity, having
formerly also had the same dignity."

Michael left only a daughter--Leonor or Leonora, who by marrying a
distant cousin of the same name, preserved the estates in the family,
as they had been for more than a century before they were inherited by
her father. These remained in possession of the senior branch until
the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, when, having espoused the
Protestant cause, they were forced to sacrifice them and quit the
country in 1685, with what ready money they could hastily get
together. With this they purchased an estate in Norwich, England; from
which in after generations several of the family went out to Canada,
and among them the late Bishop of Quebec.

To him, likewise I have heard attributed the irreverent piece of wit
alluded to by the _Witness_; but with equal injustice, as his son, the
late Bishop of Quebec assured me. [241]

It is one of those sayings evidently made up for people whose names or
position suit for hanging them on.

George Mountain, D.D., Archbishop of York, was a contemporary of
Michael de Montaigne, and a scion of the same family, though through a
younger branch, which appears to have crossed over from France about
the time of the massacre of St. Bartholomew in the reign of Queen
Elizabeth, and for the same reason that the elder branch did
afterwards, namely, because of their religious tenets.

It is not by any means improbable that by this separation from the
rest of his family, who were still adherents of the Roman Catholic
faith, and the consequent abandonment of worldly prospects for the
sake of religious principles, the Archbishop's progenitors may have
been reduced in circumstances, but only comparatively with what he had
lost before, for history shows that the Archbishop himself was, born
at Callwood Castle, educated at Queen's College, Cambridge, chosen a
Fellow in 1591, and Junior Proctor of that University in 1600, Dean of
Westminster in 1610, Bishop of Lincoln in 1617, Bishop of London in
1621, Bishop of Durham in 1627, and Archbishop of York in 1628.


Formerly of Coteau de Lac, Canada, now Vicar of Bulford, England.
BULFORD VICARAGE, Amesbury, Salisbury, May 30, 1877.


We like to portray to ourselves our energetic neighbour of Benmore House,
such as we can recall him in his palmy, sporting days of 1865; we shall
quote from the _Maple Leaves_ of that year:

"It will not be one of the least glories of 'Our Parish,' even when the
Province will have expanded into an empire, with Sillery as the seat of
Vice Royalty, to be able to boast of possessing the Canadian, the adopted
home of a British officer of wealth and intelligence, known to the
sporting world as the Great Northern Hunter. Who had not heard of the
_battues_ of Col. Rhodes on the snow-clad peaks of Cap Tourment, on
the Western Prairies, and all along the Laurentian chain of mountains? One
man alone through the boundless territory extending from Quebec to the
North Pole, can dispute the belt with the Sillery Nimrod, but then, a
mighty hunter is he; by name in the St. Joachim settlement, Olivier
Cauchon, to Canadian sportsmen known as _Le Roi des Bois_. It is said, but
we cannot vouch for the fact--that Cauchon, in order to acquire the scent,
swiftness and sagacity of the cariboo, has lived on cariboo milk, with an
infusion of moss and bark, ever since his babyhood, but that this very
winter (1865) he killed, with slugs, four cariboo at one shot, we can
vouch for.

A few weeks since, a _habitant_ with a loaded sleigh passed our gate;
on the top of his load was visible a noble pair of antlers. "Qui a tué--
ces cariboo?" we asked. Honest John Baptiste replied, "Le Colonel Rhodes,
Monsieur." Then followed a second--then a third. Same question asked, to
which for reply--"Le Colonel Rhodes, Monsieur." Then another sleigh load
of cariboo, in all twelve Cariboo, two sleighs of hare, grouse and
ptarmigan, then a man carrying a dead _carcajou_, then in the distance,
the soldier-like phiz of the Nimrod himself, nimbly following on foot the
cavalcade. This was too much, we stopped and threatened the Colonel to
apply to Parliament for an Act to protect the game of Canada against his
unerring rifle. Were we not fully aware of the gratifying fact, that,
under recent legislative enactment, the fish and game of Canada have much
increased, we might be inclined to fancy that the Colonel will never rest
until he has bagged the last moose, the last cariboo in the country.

Benmore nestles cosily in a pine grove on the banks of the great river,
the type of an English Country gentleman's homestead. In front of the
house, a spacious piazza, from which you can watch the river craft; in the
vast surrounding meadows, a goodly array of fat Durhams and Ayrshires, in
the farm-yard, short-legged Berkshires squeaking merrily in the distance,
rosy-cheeked English boys romping on the lawn, surrounded by pointers and
setters: such, the grateful sights which, greeted our eyes one lovely June
morning round Benmore House, the residence of the President of the Quebec
Game Club, and late member of Parliament for Megantic." (Written in 1865.)


Sixteen years have elapsed since these lines were penned, and the Colonel
has devoted much time, spent a large amount of capital on his vegetable
farm and his green houses. Agriculturalists and naturalists will know him
as the introducer of the English sparrow and the Messina quail.


Information for Mr. Lemoine on the importation of the European house
sparrow and on that of the migratory quail. In consequence of great
complaints all over the United States of the ravages of insects and
particularly of caterpillars, amongst street and park trees and their
visible destruction, it was generally recommended to girdle the trees
with tin troughs containing oil or some liquid, also to pick the
insects off the infected trees. This course had been followed to a
very considerable extent, when it struck me the importation of the
common house sparrow would meet the difficulty. In 1854 I imported
sparrows. I turned loose six birds at Portland, Maine, and brought
about as many more to Quebec.

On turning the birds loose at Portland, I wrote a letter to the
_Portland Advertiser_, recommending the English sparrow as an
insect destroyer, especially in the early spring months when the
native birds are away on their migrations. This idea of picking off
insects with birds commended itself to the municipal authorities of
Boston and other large cities, who made large importations of
sparrows, with the result of saving their ornamental trees from

The first colony of sparrows failed at Quebec. I therefore made two
more importations, succeeding at last by wintering over thirteen birds
--This occurred about ten years ago, there are now house sparrows all
over Canada, our French Canadians say "_C'est un oiseau qui suit la
Religion_" frequenting churches, convents and sacred places, and it
is considered a privilege to have so good a bird about the house. The
sparrow lives readily in Canada, as it feeds on the droppings of the
horse and takes shelter down the chimneys or under the roofs of the
houses. The enemies of the sparrow are very numerous, notably the
great Northern Shrike, the owls, hawks and in summer the swifts and
swallows. I have seen the English sparrow from New York to St.
Francisco, and from the Saguenay to Florida. In some places the bird
is used as an article of food, and there is no doubt this will be the
case generally; it will also become an object of sport for young
shooters and trappers in America, the same as it has always been in


I imported this bird in 1880, turning loose over 100 birds between
Quebec and the river Saguenay, I cannot say what has been the result;
the French population have taken much interest in this importation,
because they understand it is a bird well known in France as La
Caille, and I have no doubt it will become quite numerous in our
French settlements wherever it is established.

Large numbers of migratory quail have been imported for the State of
Maine, 2,500 birds were turned loose in 1880, in all about 10,000
quails have been imported for the United States and Canada during the
last few years, and as no importations are being made this year we
shall see what the migratory instinct does for the North in the spring
of the year?

It is very certain the migratory quail leave for parts unknown at an
early period in the autumn, but where they go to and whether they
return to the north has not been established; whilst they are with us,
they are very friendly, frequently mixing with the chickens in the
back yards. It is not improbable the feeling which gives hospitality
to the house sparrow will extend itself to the Farmer's Quail, and
that the latter bird may receive the same treatment from the settler
as he gives to ordinary domestic fowl, such as Pigeons, Guinea fowl,
and so on.--_W. Rhodes_.

BENMORE, 4th February, 1881.

N.B.--The house sparrow has indeed multiplied amazingly and though an
emigrant and not "un enfant du sol" has found a hearty welcome. 'Tis
said that he scares away our singing birds, if he should thus
interfere with the freedom of action of the _natives_, he will get the
cold shoulder, even though he should be an _emigrant_.

The sparrow though a long suffering bird is neither meek nor
uncomplaining. A "limb of the law" is, we are told, responsible for
the following:


(_To the Editor of the Morning Chronicle_.)

DEAR SIR,--Oft, doubtless, passing through the Ring,
Me you have seen in autumn, summer, spring--
Picking, with gleesome chirp, and nimble feet,
My scanty living from the public street;
Or else devouring in those golden hours,
Insects from cabbages and other flowers:--
Ah me! those happy days!--but they are past,
And winter with his harsh and biting blast
Remind me and my fellow-sparrows bold
Of coming snow-storms, ice and sleet and cold;
Reminds us, too, of those far-off abodes,
Whence we were rudely reft by Col. R----s,
On his acclimatizing purpose bent,
And moved by scientific sentiment,
My heart is anxious, Sir, from what I know
Of last years sufferings from cold and snow,
Another winter's hardships, will, I fear,
Cause us poor colonists to disappear.
What shall we do, Dear Sir?--how shall we live,
Unless our charitable townsmen give
Us aid in food and shelter, otherwise
Each of us young and old, and male and female, dies!
Could we not make our _friend_ our _Garnishee_,
And seize his chattels by a _tiers saisi_?
(I tell him, Sir, that living mid the frosts
Is harder far than paying _lawyers' costs_)
Or do you think, (I write in great anxiety,)
We have a claim on the St. George Society?
We are compatriots--an exiled band,
From the fair pickings of our native land,
Cast on this frigid shore by savage Fate,
With mouths to fill, and bills to liquidate.
Dear Sir, I leave our case now with you, pray
To make it public do not long delay,
But give it, (I don't mean to be ironical,)
A prominent position in the CHRONICLE.
My wife and children cry to me for corn
With feeble earnestness and chirp forlorn,
My eye is dim, my heart within me pines,
My claws so numb I scarce can scratch two lines,
My head--no more will I your feelings harrow,
But sign me,
Truly yours,
Till death,
All Souls' Day. COCKSPARROW.



"A house amid the quiet country's shades,
With length'ning vistas, ever sunny glades,
Beauty and fragrance clustering o'er the wall.
A porch inviting, and an ample hall."

Claremont was founded by Lieut.-Governor R. E. Caron, and was his family
mansion--ever since he left Spencer Grange which he had temporally
leased,--until he was named Lt.-Governor of the Province of Quebec. We
find in it, combined the taste and comfort which presides in Canadian
homes; and in the fortunes of its founder, an illustration of the fact,
that under the sway of Britain, the road to the highest honours has ever
been open to colonists, irrespective of creed or nationality.

Claremont stands about one acre from the main road, three miles from
Quebec, a handsome, comfortable and substantial villa. The umbrageous
grove of trees which encloses it from view, is a plantation laid down by
the late occupant about twenty-five years ago; its growth has been truly
wonderful. The view from the veranda and rear of the house is magnificent
in the extreme. To the west of the dwelling, environed in forest trees
well protected against our northern "blizzards," lies the fruit, flower
and vegetable garden, laid out originally by Madame Caron; watered by an
unfailing spring, its dark rich soil produces most luxuriant vegetables,
and Mr. Beckett's phlox, lilies, pansies, roses, generally stand well
represented on the prize list of the Quebec Horticultural Society, of
which Mr. Beckett is a most active member.

Claremont [242] is indicated by one of the most reliable of our
historians, the Abbé Ferland, as the spot where one of the first Sillery
missionaries, Frère Liégeois met with his end at the hands of some hostile
Indians. This occurred in the spring of 1655. The missionary at the time
was helping the colonists to build a small redoubt to protect their maize
and wheat fields from the inroads of their enemies. On viewing, at
Sillery, in 1881, Claremont the luxurious country seat of a successful
merchant, memory reverts to the same locality two centuries back, when
every tree of the locality might have concealed a ferocious _Iroquois_
bent on his errand of death.

From the cupola of Claremont, a wondrous vista is revealed. The eye gazing
northward, rests on the nodding pinnacles of the spruce, hemlock and
surrounding pine. Towards the south-east and west you have before you
nearly every object calculated to add effect to the landscape. Far below
at your feet, rushes on the mighty St. Lawrence, with its fleet of
merchantmen and rafts of timber; the church of St. Romuald, half way up
the hill; facing you, the Etchemin stream, its mills, its piers, crowded
with deals; to the west, the roaring Chaudière, "La Rivière Bruyante" of
early times, in the remote distance, on a bright morning, are also plainly
visible, the hills of the White Mountains of Maine.


"Everywhere about us are they glowing,
Some like stars, to tell us spring is born;
Others, their blue eyes, with tears o'erflowing,
Stand like Ruth amid the golden corn."

Are you an admirer of nature, and sweet flowers? Would you, most worthy
friend, like to see some of the bright gems which spring, whilst dallying
over the sequestered, airy heights and swampy marshes of our woods drops
along our path? Follow, then, sketch book and pencil in hand, the fairy
footsteps of one of the most amiable women which old England ever sent to
our climes, accompany the Countess of Dalhousie on a botanizing tour
through Sillery woods; you have her note book, if not herself, to go by.
For May, see what an ample store of bright flowers scattered around you;
fear not to lose yourself in thickets and underbrush; far from the beaten
track a noble lady has ransacked the environs over and over again,
sometimes alone, sometimes with an equally enthusiastic and intelligent
friend, who hailed from Woodfield; [243] sweet flowers and beautiful ferns
attract other noble ladies to this day in that wood. Are you anxious to
possess the first-born of spring? Whilst virgin snow still whitens the
fields, send a young friend to pluck for you, from the willow, its golden

"The first gilt thing
Decked with the earliest pearls of spring."

The Gomin Wood will, with the dawn of May, afford you materials for a
wreath, rich in perfume and wild in beauty. The quantity of wild flowers,
to be found in the environs of Quebec has called forth the following
remarks from one of Flora's most fervid votaries, a gentleman well known
in this locality:--"A stranger," says he, "landing in this country, is
much surprised to find the flowers which he has carefully cultivated in
his garden at home, growing wild at his feet. Such as dog-tooth violets,
trilliums and columbines. I was much excited when I discovered them for
the first time; the _trillium_, for which I had paid three shillings
and six-pence when in England, positively growing wild. I could scarcely
believe that I had a right to gather them; having paid so much for one, I
felt that it was property, valuable property running wild, and no one
caring to gather it. No one? Yes! some did, for _we_ carried all that
we could find, and if the reader will stroll along the hedges on St. Lewis
road he will find them in abundance: dark purple flowers, growing on a
stalk naked to near the summit, where there is a whorl of three leaves,
its sepals are three, petals three, stamens twice three, and its stigmas
three, hence its name of _trillium_. We have a few of the white varieties.
After the purple _trillium_ has done flowering, we have the painted
trillium of the woods; the _trillium grandiflorum_ is abundant at Grosse
Isle. The dog-tooth violet early arrested my attention; the spotted leaves
and the bright yellow flowers, fully recurved in the bright sunshine,
contrasted beautifully with the fresh green grass on the banks on which
they are usually found, the bulbs are deep-seated, and the plant will at
once, from the general appearance of the flower, be recognized as
belonging to the lily family.

"The marsh marigolds, with the bright yellow buttercup-looking flowers,
are now in full luxuriance of bloom in wet places near running water; they
may not be esteemed beautiful by all, and yet all God's works, and all his
flowers, are good and beautiful. Let any one see them as I have seen them,
a large flowerbed of an acre and more, one mass of the brightest yellow, a
crystal stream meandering through their midst, the beautiful Falls of
Montmorenci across the river rolling their deep strains of Nature's music,
the rising tide of the St. Lawrence beating with refreshing waves at their
feet, and a cloudless azure sky over head, from which the rosy tints of
early morn had hardly disappeared, and if his soul be not ready to
overflow with gratitude to the Supreme Being who has made everything so
beautiful and good, I do not know what to think of him. I would not be
such a man, 'I'd rather be a dog and bay the moon.'"

The whole Gomin bog is studded with Smilacina _Bifolia_, sometimes
erroneously called _the white lily of the valley_, also the Smilacina
_Trifolia_, the _Dentaria_, the _Streptopus roseus_ or twisted stem, a
rose-colored flower, bearing red berries in the fall. There are also in
this wood, _trillium_, the May flower, _Hepatica_, and _Symplocarpus_,
thickets crowned with _Rhodoras_ in full bloom--a bush a few feet high
with superb rose-colored flowers--the general appearance of a cluster of
bushes is most magnificent. In the same locality, further in the swamp,
may be found the _Kalmia angustifolia_ bearing very pretty compact rose-
colored flowers like small cups divided into five lobes, also the
beautiful Ladies' Slipper Orchis (_Cypripedum humile_) in thousands on the
borders of the swamp,--such is Sillery wood in May. The crowded flora of
June is the very carnival of nature, in our climes. "Our Parish" is no
exception. The Ladies' Slippers, _Kalmia Smilacina_, etc., may still
be gathered in the greatest abundance throughout most of this month. Here
is also the bunch of Pigeon berry, in full bloom, the Brooklime Spedwell,
the Blue-eyed-grass, the herb Bennet, the Labrador Tea, the _Oxalis
Stricta_ and _Oxalis acetosella_, one with yellow, the other with
white and purple flowers: the first grows in ploughed fields, the second
in the woods. "Our sensitive plant; they shut up their leaves and go to
sleep at night, and on the approach of rain. These plants are used in
Europe to give an acid flavor to soup." Here also flourishes the Linnea
Borealis, roseate bells, hanging like twins from one stalk, downy and
aromatic all round. In the middle of June, the Ragwort, a composite flower
with yellow heads, and about one-half to two feet high, abounds in wet
places by the side of running streams. Also, the Anemone, so famous in
English song, principally represented by the Anemone Pennsylvanica,
growing on wet banks, bearing large white flowers; add the Corydalis,
_Smilacina racemosa_ resembling Solomon's Seal. Here we light on a lovely
Tulip bed; no--'tis that strangely beautiful flower, the pitcher plant
(_Saracenia Purpurea_). Next we hit on a flower not to be forgotten, the
_Myosotis palustris_ or Forget-me-not. Cast a glance as you hurry onwards
on the _Oenothera pumila_, a kind of evening primrose, on the false
Hellebore--the one-sided Pyrola, the Bladder Campion--_silene inflata_,
the sweet-scented yellow Mellilot, the white Yarran, the Prunella with
blue labrate flowers the Yellow Rattle, so called from the rattling of the
seeds. The perforated St. John's Wort is now coming into flower
everywhere, and will continue until late in August; it is an upright
plant, from one to two feet high, with clusters of yellow flowers. The
Germans have a custom for maidens to gather this herb on the eve of St.
John, and from its withering or retaining its freshness to draw an augury
of death or marriage in the coming year. This is well told in the
following lines:--

"The young maid stole through the cottage door,
And blushed as she sought the plant of power;
Then silver glow-worm, O lend me thy light,
I must gather the mystic St. John's Wort to-night,
The wonderful herb whose leaf must decide
If the coming year shall make me a bride.
And the glow-worm came
With its silvery flame,
And sparkled and shone
Through the night of St. John;
While it shone on the plant as it bloomed in its pride,
And soon has the young maid her love-knot tied.
With noiseless tread
To her chamber she sped,
Where the spectral moon her white beams shed.

"Bloom here, bloom here, thou plant of power,
To deck the young bride in her bridal hour;
But it dropped its head, the plant of power,
And died the mute death of the voiceless flower
And a withered wreath on the ground it lay,
And when a year had passed away,
All pale on her bier the young maid lay;
And the glow-worm came,
With its silvery flame,
And sparkled and shone
Through the night of St. John;
And they closed the cold grave o'er the maid's cold clay,
On the day that was meant for her bridal day."

Let us see what flowers sultry July has in store for us in her bountiful
cornucopia. "In July," says a fervent lover of nature, "bogs and swamps
are glorious indeed," so look out for Calopogons, Pogonias, rose-colored
and white and purple-fringed Orchises, Ferns, some thirty varieties, of
exquisite texture,

"In the cool and quiet nooks,
By the side of running brooks;
In the forest's green retreat,
With the branches overhead,
Nestling at the old trees' feet,
Choose we there our mossy bed.

On tall cliffs that won the breeze,
Where no human footstep presses,
And no eye our beauty sees,
There we wave our maiden tresses,"

the Willow-herb, the true Partridge-berry, the Chimaphila, Yellow Lily,
Mullein, Ghost Flower, Indian Pipe, Lysimacha Stricta, Wild Chamomile.
August will bring forth a variety of other plants, amongst others the
Spirantes, or Ladies' Tresses, a very sweet-scented Orchis, with white
flowers placed as a spiral round the flower stalk, the purple Eupatorium,
the Snake's head, and crowds of most beautiful wild flowers, too numerous
to be named here. [244] (From _Maple Leaves_, 1865).


"The merchant has his snug retreat in the vicinity of the metropolis,
where he often displays as much pride and zeal in the cultivation of
his flower garden, and the maturing of his fruits, as he does in the
conduct of his business, and the success of a commercial enterprise."
--_Rural Life in England--Washington Irving_.

Situated on the left bank of the River St. Lawrence, about four miles from
the city, on the Sillery heights, and overlooking the river. The site was
selected about half a century back by the late Hon. A. N. Cochrane, who
acquired the property in September, 1830, and after holding it for
nineteen years sold it to the Hon. John Stewart, who built the residence,
which was occupied for a number of years by the late Henry LeMesurier,
Esq., and was finally destroyed by fire in 1866. It was subsequently
rebuilt, and afterwards purchased by the present occupant R. R. Dobell,
Esq., who has since added considerably to the building and extended the
property by the addition of about twelve acres purchased from the Graddon
estate, and about the same quantity purchased from Mr. McHugh, the whole
now comprising about thirty-five acres. The grounds are beautifully wooded
and descend by a series of natural terraces to the river, on the banks of
which are the extensive timber coves and wharves known as Sillery Cove,
with the workmen's cottages, offices, &c., fringing the side. There is
also telegraphic communication between this cove and the city. Here too is
the site of the ancient church of the Récollet Fathers, within the
precincts of which lie buried the remains of Rev. Ed. Massé, one of the
earliest missionaries sent from France to Canada by the Jesuits, the
expense of the mission was chiefly borne by the Chevalier Brulart de
Sillery. Here also is the old MANSION HOUSE, and a little higher up the
cliff is the ancient burial ground of the Huron Indians, where the remains
of many of this tribe can still be found. The property is bounded on the
west by the historical stream of St. Michaels brook, so often mentioned in
the narratives of the siege of Quebec in 1759. This stream used to be well
stocked with trout, and promises to regain its former character in this
respect, as the present proprietor intends to re-stock it.

Mr. Dobell has collected here some very fine specimens of Canadian Game,
which the art of the taxidermist has rendered very life-like. His oil
paintings are deserving of notice and attracted attention at a recent
exhibition of art, &c., at the Morrin College, they appear in the printed
catalogue as follows:--

A Scene in Wales, (Morning).............. by Marcham.
A Scene in Wales, (Evening).............. "
Reading the Bible, ...................... "
Our Saviour,--an old painting on copper..
Dead Canary,............................. S. M. Martin.
Fox and Ducks,........................... "
Prairie Hen,............................. "
View of Quebec,.......................... Creswell.
Egyptian Interior,....................... Kornan.
Dead Game,............................... "
Two Oil Paintings,....................... after Guido Reni.
Girl and Birdcage,--a Dutch painting.....
Prisoners,............................... by Jacobi.
Flower Piece,............................ Victor
Pandora and Casket,--old painting........

The chief charm of Beauvoir is in its beautiful level lawn and deep
overhanging woods, recalling vividly to mind the many beautiful homes of
merry England. Mr. Dobell the proprietor is largely engaged in mercantile
operations, and for many years past has carried on the most extensive
business in the lumber trade.

In 1865 we alluded as follows to this bright Canadian Home, which the
shadow of death was soon to darken:

"Crowning a sloping lawn, intersected by a small stream, and facing the
Etchemin Mills, you notice on the south side of the St. Lewis road, next
to Clermont, a neat dwelling hid amongst huge pines and other forest
trees; that is one of our oldest English country seats. Family memories of
three generations consecrate the spot. Would you like a glimpse of
domestic life as enjoyed at Sillery? then follow that bevy of noisy, rosy-
cheeked boys in Lennoxville caps, with gun and rod in hand, hurrying down
those steep, narrow steps leading from the bank to the Cove below. How
they scamper along, eager to walk the deck of that trim little craft, the
_Falcon_, anchored in the stream, and sitting like a bird on the bosom of
the famed river. Wait a minute and you will see the mainsail flutter in
the breeze. Now our rollicking young friends have marched past ruins of
"chapel, convent, hospital," &c., on the beach; you surely did not expect
them to look glum and melancholy. Of course they knew all about "Monsieur
Puiseaux," "le Chevalier de Sillery," "the house where dwelt Emily
Montague"; but do not, if you have any respect for that thrice happy age,
the halcyon days of jackets and frills, befog their brains with the musty
records of departed years. Let the lads enjoy their summer vacation,
radiant, happy, heedless of the future. Alas! it may yet overtake them
soon enough! What care could contract their brow? Have they not fed for
the day their rabbits, their pigeons, their guinea-pigs? Is not that
faithful Newfoundland dog "Boatswain," who saved from drowning one of
their school-mates, is he not as usual their companion on ship-board or
ashore? There, now, they drop down the stream for a long day's cruise
round the Island of Orleans. Next week, peradventure, you may hear of the
_Falcon_ and its jolly crew having sailed for Portneuf, Murray Bay, the
Saguenay or Bersimis, to throw a cast for salmon, sea-trout or mackerel,
in some sequestered pool or sheltered bay.

"There we'll drop our lines, and gather
Old Ocean's treasures in."

Are they not glorious, handsome, manly fellows, our Sillery boys? No
wonder we are all proud of them, of the twins as much as the rest, and
more so perhaps. "Our Parish" you must know, is renowned for the
proportion in which it contributes to the census: twins--a common
occurrence; occasionally, triplets.

Such we knew this Canadian home in the days of the late Henry Lemesurier.


"I knew by the smoke which so gracefully curled,
Above the green wood that a cottage was near."
--_Moore's Woodpecker._

Facing Sillery hill, on the north side of "Sans Bruit," formerly the
estate of Lieut.-Col. the Hon. Henry Caldwell, Mr. Alfred P. Wheeler,
[245] the Tide Surveyor of H. M. Customs, Quebec, built in 1880, a
comfortable and pleasing little cottage. He has called it Montague Cottage
[246] in memory of Wolfe's brave assistant Quarter Master General Col.
Caldwell, of Sans Bruit, the Col. Rivers of "The Novel and the preferred
suitor of Emily Montague who addressed her romantic 'Sillery letters to
Col. Rivers from a house not far from the Hill of Sillery.

It is stated in all the old Quebec Guide Books that the house in which the
'divine Emily then dwelt stood on the foot of Sillery Hill, close to Mrs.
Graddon's property at Kilmarnock, her friend Bella Fermor probably lived
near her. Vol. I of the Work, page 61, states; "I am at present at an
extremely pretty farm on the banks of the River St. Lawrence, the house
stands as the foot of a steep mountain covered with a variety of trees
forming a verdant sloping wall, which rises in a kind of regular
confusion, shade above shade a woody theatre, and has in front this noble
river, on which ships continually passing present to the delighted eye the
most charming picture imaginable. I never saw a place so formed to inspire
that pleasing lassitude, that divine inclination to saunter, which may not
improperly be called the luxurious indolence of the country. I intend to
build a temple here to the charming goddess of laziness. A gentleman is
coming down the winding path on the side of the hill, whom by his air I
take to be your brother. Adieu. I must receive him, my father is in
Quebec. Yours,



On the 22nd March 1769, a novelist of some standing Mrs. Frances
Brooks an officer's lady, [247] author of _Lady Julia Mandeville_
published in London a work in four volumes, which she dedicated to His
Excellency the Governor of Canada, Guy Carleton afterwards Lord
Dorchester, under the title of the _History of Emily Montague_ being a
series of letters addressed from Sillery by Emily Montague the heroine
of the tale, to her lively and witty friend Bella Fermor--to some
military admirers in Quebec, Montreal, and New York--to some British
noblemen, friends of her father.

This novel, whether it was through the writer's _entourage_ in
the world or her _entrée_ to fashionable circles, or whether on
account of its own intrinsic literary worth, had an immense success in
its day. The racy description it contains of Canadian scenery, and
colonial life, mixed with the fashionable gossip of our Belgravians of
1766, seven years after the conquest, caused several English families
to emigrate to Canada. Some settled in the neighborhood of Quebec, at
Sillery, it is said. Whether they found all things _couleur-de-
rose_, as the clever Mrs. Brooke had described them,--whether they
enjoyed as much Arcadian bliss as the Letters of _Emily Montague_
had promised--it would be very ungallant for us to gainsay, seeing
that Mrs. Brooke is not present to vindicate herself. As to the
literary merit of the novel, this much we will venture to assert, that
setting aside the charm of association, we doubt that _Emily
Montague_ if republished at present, would make the fortune of her
publisher. Novel writing, like other things, has considerably changed
since 1766, and however much the florid Richardson style may have
pleased the great grandfathers of the present generation, it would
scarcely chime in with the taste of readers in our sensational times.
In Mrs. Brooke's day Quebecers appear to have amused themselves pretty
much as they do now, a century later. In the summer, riding, driving
boating, pic-nics at Lake St. Charles, the Falls of Montmorenci, &c.
In winter tandems, sleigh drives, toboganing at the ice cone, tomycod
fishing on the St. Charles, Château balls; the formation of a
_pont_ or ice-bridge and its breaking up in the spring--two events of
paramount importance. The military, later on, the promoters of
conviviality, sport and social amusements; in return obtaining the
_entrée_ to the houses of the chief citizens; toying with every
English rosebud or Gallic-lily, which might strew their path in spite
of paternal and maternal admonitions from the other side of the
Atlantic; occasionally leading to the hymeneal altar a Canadian bride,
and next introducing her to their horror-stricken London relatives,
astounded to find out that our Canadian belles, were neither the
colour of copper, nor of ebony; in education and accomplishments,
their equals--sometimes their superiors when class is compared to
class. Would you like a few extracts from this curious old Sillery
novel? Bella Fermor, one of Emily Montague's familiars, and a most
ingrained _coquette_, thus writes from Sillery in favour of a
military protégé on the 16th September, 1766, to the "divine" Emily,
who had just been packed oft to Montreal to recover from a love fit.
"Sir George is handsome as an Adonis ... you allow him to be of an
amiable character; he is rich, young, well-born, and he loves you..."

All in vain thus to plead Sir. George's cause, a dashing Col. Rivers
(meant, we were told, by the Hon. W. Sheppard, to personify Col. Henry
Caldwell, of Belmont) had won the heart of Emily, who preferred true
love to a coronet. Let us treasure up a few more sentences fallen from
Emily's light-hearted confidante. A postscript to a letter runs thus--
"Adieu, Emily, I am going to ramble in the woods and pick berries with
a little smiling civil captain [we can just fancy we see some of our
fair acquaintances' mouths water at such a prospect], who is enamoured
of me. A pretty rural amusement for lovers." Decidedly; all this in
the romantic woodlands of Sillery, a sad place it must be confessed,
when even boarding school misses, were they to ramble thus, could
scarcely escape contracting the _scarlet_ fever. Here goes another


"Sillery, Sept. 20th, (1766)--10 o'clock.

"Ah! we are vastly to be pitied; no beaux at all at the general's,
only about six to one; a pretty proportion, and what I hope always to
see. We--the ladies I mean--drink chocolate with the general to-
morrow, and he gives us a ball on Thursday; you would not know Quebec
again. Nothing but smiling faces now: all gay as never was--the
sweetest country in the world. Never expect to see me in England
again; one is really somebody here. I have been asked to dance by only
twenty-seven. ..."

Ah! who would not forgive the frolicsome Bella all her flirtations?
But before we dismiss this pleasant record of other days, yet another
extract, and we have done.


"Sillery--Eight in the evening.

"Absolutely, Lucy, I will marry a savage and turn squaw (a pretty soft
name for an Indian Princess!) Never was anything so delightful as
their lives. They talk of French husbands, but commend me to an Indian
one, who lets his wife ramble five hundred miles without asking where
she is going.

"I was sitting after dinner, with a book, in a thicket of hawthorn
near the beach, when a loud laugh called my attention to the river,
when I saw a canoe of savages making to the shore. There were six
women and two or three children, without one man amongst them. They
landed and tied the canoe to the root of a tree, and finding out the
most agreeable shady spot amongst the bushes with which the beach was
covered, (which happened to be very near me) made a fire, on which
they laid some fish to broil, and fetching water from the river, sat
down on the grass to their frugal repast. I stole softly to the house,
and ordering a servant to bring some wine and cold provisions,
returned to my squaws. I asked them in French if they were of Lorette,
they shook their heads--I repeated the question in English, when the
eldest of the women told me they were not, that their country was on
the borders of New England, that their husbands being on a hunting
party in the woods, curiosity and the desire to see their brethren,
the English, who had conquered Quebec, had brought them up the great
river, down which they should return as soon as they had seen
Montreal. She courteously asked me to sit down and eat with them,
which I complied with and produced my part of the feast. We soon
became good company, and brightened the chain of friendship with two
bottles of wine, which put them in such spirits that they danced,
sung, shook me by the hand, and grew so fond of me that I began to be
afraid I should not easily get rid of them.

"Adieu! my father is just come in and has brought some company with
him from Quebec to supper.

"Yours ever,



"This villa, erected in 1850 on the north side of the St. Lewis road,
facing Cataracoui, affords a striking exemplification of how soon taste
and capital can transform a wilderness into a habitation combining every
appliance of modern refinement and rustic adornment. It covers about
eighty-two acres, two thirds of which are green meadows, wheat fields,
&c., the remainder, plantations, gardens and lawn. The cottage itself is a
plain, unpretending structure, made more roomy by the recent addition of a
dining room, &c., in rear. On emerging from the leafy avenue, the visitor
notices two _parterres_ of wild flowers--kalmias, trilliums, etc.,--
transplanted from the neighboring wood, with the rank, moist soil of the
Gomin marsh to derive nourishment from, they appear to thrive. In rear of
these _parterres_ a granite rockery, festooned with ferns, wild
violets, &c., raises its green gritty, rugged outline. This pretty
European embellishment we would much like to see more generally introduced
in our Canadian landscape; it is strikingly picturesque. The next object
which catches the eye is the conservatory in which are displayed the most
extensive collection of exotics in Sillery. In the centre of some fifty
large camellia shrubs there is a magnificent specimen of the fimbriata
variety--white leaves with a fringed border; it stands twelve feet high
with corresponding breadth. When it is loaded with blossoms in the winter
the spectacle is exquisitely beautiful. In the rear of the conservatory
are a vinery, a peach and apricot house; like the conservatory, all span-
roofed and divided off in several compartments, heated by steam-pipes and
furnaces, with stop-cocks to retard or accelerate vegetation at will. On
the 31st May, when we visited the establishment, we found the black
Hamburg grapes the size of cherries; the peaches and apricots
correspondingly advanced; the cherries under glass quite over. One of the
latest improvements is a second flower garden to the west of the house, in
the English landscape style. In rear of this garden to the north, there
existed formerly a cedar swamp, which deep subsoil draining with tiles has
converted into a grass meadow of great beauty; a belt of pine, spruce,
tamarack, and some deciduous trees, thinned towards the south-west, let in
a glimpse of the St. Lawrence and the high-wooded Point Levi shores,
shutting out the view of the St. Lewis road, and completely overshadowing
the porter's lodge; out-houses, stables, root-house, paddocks and barns
are all on a correspondingly extensive scale. We have here another
instance of the love of country life which our successful Canadian
merchant likes to indulge in; and we can fancy, judging from our own case,
with what zest Mr. Burstall the portly laird of Kirk Ella, after a
toilsome day in his St. Peter street counting-house, hurried home to revel
in the rustic beauty which surrounds his dwelling." Such was Kirk Ella in

Mr. Burstall having withdrawn from business, removed to England and died
there a few years back. Kirk Ella has now become the property of Charles
Ernest Levey, Esq., only son of the late Charles E. Levey, Esq., formerly
of Cataracoui. The dwelling having been destroyed by fire in 1879, the new
owner decided on erecting a handsome roomy mansion on the same site. The
visitor at Kirk Ella, after paying his devoirs to the youthful Chatelain
and Chatelaine, can admire at leisure Mr. Levey's numerous and expensive
stud: "Lollypop", "Bismark," "Joker," "Jovial," "Tichborne," "Burgundy,"
"Catch-him-alivo," a crowd of fleet steeds, racing and trotting stock,
surrounded by a yelping and frisky pack of "Peppers," "Mustards,"
"Carlos," "Guys," "Josephines," "Fidlers;" Mastiffs, French Poodles, Fox
Terriers, Bulldogs,--Kirk Ella is a perfect Elysium for that faithful
though noisy friend of man, the dog.


The conflagration of Spencer Wood, on the 12th March, 1860, made it
incumbent on the Provincial Government to provide for His Excellency Sir
Edmund Head a suitable residence. After examining several places,
Cataracoui, the residence of Henry Burstall, Esquire, opposite to Kirk
Ella was selected, and additions made, and still greater decorations and
improvements ordered when it became known that the First Gentleman in
England, our Sovereign's eldest son, was soon to pay a flying visit to Her
Majesty's Canadian lieges. Cataracoui can boast of having harbored two
princes of the blood royal, the prince of Wales, and his brother Alfred; a
circumstance which no doubt much enhanced its prestige in the eyes of its
owner. It was laid out about 1836 by Jas. B. Forsyth, Esq., the first
proprietor, and reflects credit on his taste.

This seat, without possessing the extensive grounds, vast river frontage,
and long shady walks of Spencer Wood, or Woodfield, is an eminently
picturesque residence. A new grapery with a lean-to roof, about ninety
feet in length, has just been completed: the choicest [248] varieties of
the grape vine are here cultivated. Several tasty additions have, also,
recently been made to the conservatory, under the superintendence of a
Scotch landscape gardener, Mr. P. Lowe, formerly in charge of the Spencer
Wood conservatories, &c. We had the pleasure on one occasion to view, on a
piercing winter day, from the drawing room of Cataracoui, through the
glass door which opens on the conservatory, the rare collections of
exotics it contains,--a perfect grove of verdure and blossoms,--the whole
lit up by the mellow light of the setting sun, whose rays scintillated in
every fantastic form amongst this gorgeous tropical vegetation, whilst the
snow-wreathed evergreens, surrounding the conservatory waved their palms
to the orb of day in our clear, bracing Canadian atmosphere--summer and
winter combined in one landscape; the tropics and their luxuriant
magnolias, divided by an inch of glass from the realms of old king frost
and his hardy familiars, the pine and the maple. Charming was the
contrast, furnishing a fresh proof of the comfort and luxury with which
the European merchant, once settled in Canada, surrounds his home. What,
indeed, can be more gratifying, during the arctic, though healthy,
temperature of our winter, than to step from a cosy drawing-room, with its
cheerful grate-fire, into a green, floral bower, and inhale the aroma of
the orange and the rose, whilst the eye is charmed by the blossoming
camellia of virgin whiteness; the wisteria, spirea, azalea, rhododendron,
and odorous daphne, all blending their perfume or exquisite tints.
Cataracoui has been recently decorated, we may say, with regal
magnificence, and Sillery is justly proud of this fairy abode, for years
the country seat of the late Charles B. Levey, Esq., and still occupied by
Mrs. Levey and family.


"Along their blushing borders, bright with dew,
And in yon mingled wilderness of flowers,
Fair-handed Spring unbosoms every grace;
Throws out the snow-drop and the crocus first;
The daisy, primrose, violet darkly blue,
And polyanthus of unnumber'd dyes;
The yellow wall-flower, stain'd with iron-brown;
And lavish stock that scents the garden round;
From the soft wing of vernal breezes shed,
Anemones; auriculas, enrich'd
With shining meal o'er all their velvet leaves;
And full ranunculas, of glowing red.
Then comes the tulip race, where beauty plays
Her idle freaks; from family diffus'd
To family, as flies the father dust,
The varied colors run; and while they break
On the charm'd eye th' exulting florist marks,
With sweet pride, the wonders of his hand.
No gradual bloom is wanting; from the bud,
First-born of spring, to summer's musky tribes
Nor hyacinths, of purest virgin white,
Low bent, and blushing inward; nor jonquils
Of potent fragrance; nor narcissus fair,
As o'er the fabled fountain hanging still;
Nor broad carnations, nor gay spotted pink;
Nor, shower'd from every bush, the damask rose."

A tiny and unostentatious cottage buried among the trees. All around it,
first, flowers; secondly, flowers; thirdly, flowers. The garden, a network
of walks, and spruce hedges of rare beauty; occasionally you stumble
unexpectedly on a rustic bower, tenanted by an Apollo or Greek slave in
marble, or else you find yourself on turning an angle on the shady bank of
a sequestered pond, in which lively trout disport themselves as merrily as
those goldfish you just noticed in the aquarium in the hall hung round
with Krieghoff's exquisite "Canadian scenery." You can also, as you pass
along, catch the loud notes issuing from the house aviary and blending
with the soft, wild melody of the wood warblers and robin; but the
prominent feature of the place are flowers, sweet flowers, to charm the
eye and perfume the air. Do not wonder at that; this was the summer abode
of a gentleman whose name usually stood high on the Montreal and Quebec
exhibition prize list, and who was as successful in his commercial
ventures as he had been in the culture of carnations, zenias, gladiolus,
roses and dahlias. We remember seeing six hundred dahlias in bloom at
Rosewood at the same time, the _coup d'oeil_ and contrasts between
the varieties were striking in the extreme.

This rustic cottage was the summer residence of the late Jas. Gibb, Esq.,
of the old firm of Lane, Gibb & Co., a name remembered with gratitude, in
several educational and charitable institutions of Quebec for the
munificent bequests of its owner.


Near some fair town I'd have a private seat,
Built uniform, nor little, nor too great;
Better if on a rising ground it stood,--
On this side fields, on that a neighboring wood;
A little garden, grateful to the eye,
Where a cool rivulet runs murmuring by."

In the year 1848, Mr. Samuel Wright, of Quebec, purchased from John
Porter, Esq., that upper portion of Meadowbank (the old estate of
Lieutenant Governor Cramahé in 1762), which lies to the north of the Cap
Rouge or St. Lewis road, and built a dwelling thereon. In 1846 Mr.
Wright's property was put in the market, and Ravenswood acquired by the
present owner, William Herring, Esq., of the late firm of Charles E. Levey
& Co. No sylvan spot could have been procured, had all the woods around
Quebec been ransacked, of wilder beauty. In the centre, a pretty cottage;
to the east, trees; to the west, trees; to the north and south, trees--
stately trees all around you. Within a few rods from the hall door a
limpid little brook oozes from under an old plantation, and forms, under a
thorn tree of extraordinary size and most fantastically shaped limbs, a
reservoir of clear water, round which, from a rustic seat, you notice
speckled trout roaming fearlessly. Here was, for a man familiar with the
park-like scenery of England, a store of materials to work into shape.
That dense forest must be thinned; that indispensable adjunct of every
Sillery home a velvety lawn, must be had; a peep through the trees, on the
surrounding country, obtained; the stream dammed up so as to produce a
sheet of water, on which a birch canoe will be launched; more air let in
round the house; more of the forest cut away; and some fine beech, birch,
maple, and pine trees grouped. The lawn would look better with a graceful
and leafy elm in the centre, and a few smaller ones added to the
perspective. By dint of care, elms of a goodly size were removed from the
mountain brow. The efforts of the proprietor to plant large trees at
Ravenswood have been eminently successful, and ought to stimulate others
to add such valuable, such permanent elements of beauty, to their country
seats. One plantation, by its luxuriance, pleased us more than any other,
that which shades both sides of the avenue. Few of our places can boast of
possessing a more beautifully-wooded and gracefully-curved approach to the
house than Ravenswood. You see nothing of the dwelling until you emerge
from this neat plantation of evergreens. We once viewed it under its most
fascinating aspect; 'tis pretty in the bright, effulgent radiance of day,
but when the queen of night sends forth her soft rays, and allows them to
slumber silently on the rustling boughs of the green pines and firs, with
the dark, gravelled avenue, visible here and there at every curve, no
sounds heard except the distant murmur of the _Chaudière_ river, the
effect is striking.


I know each lane, and every valley green,
Dingle, or bushy dell, of this wild wood;
And every bosky bourn from side to side,
My daily walks and ancient neighborhood.
--Comus, _Shakespeare_.

"You, doubtless, imagine you have now seen Sillery under every aspect;
there never was a greater mistake, dear reader. Have you ever viewed
its woods in all their autumnal glory, when September arrays them in
tints of unsurpassed loveliness? We hear you say, no. Let us then, our
pensive philosopher, our romantic blushing rose bud of sweet sixteen,
our _blasé_-traveller, let us have a canter over Cap Rouge road
out by St. Louis gate, and returning by the St. Foy road, nine miles
and more, let us select a quiet afternoon, not far distant from the
Indian summer, when

The gentle wind a sweet and passionate wooer,
Kisses the blushing leaf, and stirs up life
Within the solemn woods of ash, deep crimsoned,
And Silver beech, and maple yellow-leaved,"

and then you can tell us whether the glowing description below is

"There is something indescribably beautiful in the appearance of
Canadian woods at this season of the year, especially when the light
of the rising or setting sun falls upon them. Almost every imaginable
shade of green, brown, red and yellow, may be found in the foliage of
our forest trees, shrubs, and creeping vines, as the autumn advances
and it may truly be said that every backwood's home in Canada is
surrounded by more gorgeous colourings and richer beauties than the
finest mansions of the nobility of England.

"Have our readers ever remarked the peculiarly beautiful appearance of
the pines at this season of the year? When other trees manifest
symptoms of withering, they appear to put forth a richer and fresher
foliage. The interior of the tree, when shaded from the sun, is a deep
invisible-green, approaching to black, whilst the outer boughs,
basking in the sunlight, show the richest dark-green that can be
imagined. A few pine and spruce trees scattered among the more
brightly-colored oaks, maple, elms and beeches, which are the chief
denizens of our forests, give the whole an exceedingly rich
appearance. Among the latter, every here and there, strange sports of
nature attract attention. A tree that is still green will have a
single branch, covered with red and orange leaves, like a gigantic
bouquet of flowers. Another will have one side of a rich maroon,
whilst the other side remains green. A third will present a flounce or
ruffle of bright buff, or orange leaves round the middle, whilst the
branches above and below continue green. Then again some trees which
have turned to a rich brown, will be seen intertwined and festooned by
the wild vine or red root, still beautifully green; or a tree that is
still green will he mantled over by the Canadian ivy, whose leaves
have turned to a deep reddish-brown. In fact, every hue that painters
love, or almost could imagine, is found standing out boldly or hid
away in some recess, in one part or another of a forest scene at this
season, and all so delicately mingled and blended that human art must
despair of making even a tolerable imitation. And these are beauties
which not even the sun can portray; the photographer's art has not yet
enabled him to seize and fix them on the mirror which he holds up to
nature. He can give the limbs and outward flourishes, but not the soul
of such a scene. His representation bears the same relation to the
reality that a beautiful corpse does to the flashing eye and glowing
cheek of living beauty."--(From "_Maple Leaves_," 1865.)



Here there was laughing of old, there was weeping,
Haply of lovers none ever will know,
Whose eyes went seaward a hundred sleeping
Years ago.

The ghost of a garden fronts the sea,
A girdle of brushwood and thorn encloses
The -- square slope of the blossomless bed
Where the weeds that grew green from the graves of its roses
Now lie dead.

The fields fall southward, abrupt and broken,
To the low last edge of the long lone land,
If a step should sound or a word be spoken
Would a ghost not rise at the strange guest's hand?
SWINBURNE'S _Forsaken Garden_.

On a grey, cheerless May afternoon, I visited what I might call the ruins
of this once bright abode--Longwood--at Cap Rouge. Here the eccentric,
influential and scholarly historian of Canada and statesman, the Honorable
William Smith, spent the evening of his long and busy life. Whence the
name Longwood? Did the Hon. William bestow on his rustic home the name of
the residence where sojourned his illustrious contemporary--his admired
hero, Napoleon I. (born like himself in 1769), to commemorate his own
release from the cares of State? Was Cap Rouge and its quiet and sylvan
bowers to him a haven of rest like St. Helena might have been to the
_Petit Caporal_?

The locality, at present, can only attract from its woodland views. The
house, of one story, is about eighty feet in length by forty in breadth,
of wood, with an oval window over the entrance to light up that portion of
the large attic. Its roomy lower apartments and attics must have fitted it
admirably for a summer retreat. It is painted a dull yellow; the blinds
may have been once green. When I saw it, I found it as bleak, as forlorn,
as the snows and storms of many winters can well make a tenantless

Outside, the "ghost of a garden" had stared at me, and when the key turned
and grated in the rusty old lock of this dreary tenement, with its
disjointed floors, disintegrated foundations, darkened apartments with
shutters all closed, I almost thought I might encounter within the ghost
of the departed historian;

All within is dark as night:
In the windows is no light;
And no murmur at the door,
So frequent on its hinge before,

still the time had been when the voice of revelry, the patter of light
feet, the meeting of many friends, had awakened gladsome echoes in these
now silent halls of Longwood. Traditions told of noted dinner parties, of
festive evenings, when Quebec could boast of a well appointed garrison,
and stately frigates crowded its port.

How many balls at the Barons' Club? how many annual dinners of the
Veterans of 1775, at Menut's? how many _levees_ at the old Château,
had the Laird not attended from the first, the historical levee of Dec. 6,
1786, "where the Governor-General, Lord Dorchester, monopolised the
kissing," so graphically depicted by William's dignified papa, [249] the
Chief Justice, down to the jocund _fêtes champêtres_ of Sir James Craig at
Powell Place immortalized by old Mr. DeGaspé--to the gay _soirees_ of the
Duke of Richmond--the literary _reunions_ of the scholarly Earl of
Dalhousie--the routs and lawn parties at Spencer Wood.

The Honorable William Smith, a son of the learned chief Justice of New
York in 1780--of all Canada in 1785, was indeed a prominent figure in
Quebec circles for more than half a century; his high, confidential and
official duties, his eminent position as member of the Executive Council,
to which his powerful protector Earl Bathurst had named him in 1814--his
refined and literary tastes, his tireless researches in Canadian annals,
at a time when the founts of our history as yet unrevealed by the art of
the printer, lay dormant under heaps of decaying--though priceless--M.SS.
in the damp vaults of the old Parliament Buildings; these and several
other circumstances surround the memory, haunts and times of the Laird of
Longwood with peculiar significance.

But for the Honorable William one bleak autumn came, when the trees he had
planted ceased to lend him their welcome shade--the roses he had reared,
to send perfume to his tottering frame--the garden he had so exquisitely
planned, to gladden his aged eyes. He then bid adieu forever to the
cherished old spot and retired to his town house, now the residence of
Hon. Chas. Alleyn, Sheriff of Quebec, [250] where those he loved received
his last farewell on the 7th December, 1847, bequeathing Longwood to his
son Charles Webber Smith, who lived some years there as a bachelor, then
decked out his rustic home for an English bride and retired to England
where he died in 1879. Desolation and silence has reigned in the halls of
Longwood for many a long day, and in the not inappropriate words of

Not a flower to be prest of the foot that falls not.
As the heart of a dead man the seed plots are dry;
From the thickets of thorns whence the nightingale calls not,
Could she call, there were never a rose to reply.

Chief Justice Smith [251] concerning house-keeping, house-furnishing
château ceremonies, etc, at Quebec in 1786, wrote thus in a letter to his

QUEBEC, 10th Dec., 1786.

_Mrs. Janet Smith, New York._

My dear Janet,

"Not a line from you yet! so that our approach to within 600 miles is
less favourable to me hitherto, than when the ocean divided us by
three thousand. It is the more vexatious, as we are daily visited by
your Eastern neighbors, who, caring nothing for you, know nothing of
you, and cannot tell me whether McJoen's or the Sopy Packet is
arrived. If the latter is not over, there will be cause for ill boding
respecting Mr. Lanaudière, who, I imagine, left the channel with the
wind that brought us out.

If the packet is on the way for Falmouth, get my letters into it for
Mr. Raphbrigh, it contains a bill for £300 sterling to enable him to
pay for what you order. You have no time to spare. A January mail
often meets with easterly winds off the English coast, that blows for
months, and we shall be mortified if you arrive before the necessary
supplies, which, to be in time, must come in the ships that leave
England in March or on the beginning of April.

I have found no house yet to my fancy. None large enough to be hired.
We shall want a drawing-room, a dining or eating-room, my library, our
bedroom, one for the girls, another for Hale and William, and another
for your house-keeper and hair-dresser. Moore and another man servant
will occupy the eight. And I doubt if there is such a house to be
hired in Quebec. To say nothing of quarters for the lower servants
who, I think must be negroes from New York as cheapest and least
likely to find difficulties. My Thomas's wages are 24 guineas and with
your three from England will put us to £100 sterling per annum.

If you bring blacks from New York with you, let them be such as you
can depend upon. Our table will always want four attendants of decent
appearance. The hurry of the public arrangements prevents me from
writing, as I intended, to my friends on the other side of the water,
nor even to Janet _upon the great wish of my heart_, tell her so,
but she will know what can be done in time, for she cannot leave
England till April or May, at any time before August to be here in
good season. I have written to Vermont upon the subject of Moore Town
and hear nothing to displease me, as yet, if no mischief has been done
to our interests in that country, there will be peace, I believe; but
of this more when I have their Governor's answer to my letters. They
already ask favours and must first do justice.

Our winter is commenced and yet I was never less sensible of the
frost. The stoves of Canada, in the passages, temper the air through
all the house. I sit ordinarly by a common hearth which gives me the
thermometer at 71 or 72, nearly summer heat. The close cariole and fur
cap and cloak is a luxury only used on journeys. The cariole alone
suffices in town. The Rout of last Thursday demonstrates this: 50
ladies in bright head dresses and not a lappet or frill discomposed.
All English in the manner, except the ceremony of kissing which my
Lord D. (Dorchester) engrossed all to himself. His aide-de-camp handed
them through a room where he and I were posted to receive them. They
had given two cheek kisses and were led away to the back rooms of the
château, to which we repaired when the rush was over. The gentlemen
came in at another door. Tea, cards, etc., that till 10 o'clock and
the ceremony ended. I stole away at 9 and left your son to attend the
beauty of the evening, a Mrs. Williams, wife to a major Williams and a
daughter to Sir John Gibbons of Windford, a lady of genteel manners as
well as birth. He did not find his lodging till near midnight. We had
a dance that day at the Lt. Governor's. You must know General Hope. He
was often at General Robertson's under the name of Col. Harry Hope,
nephew to Lord Hopetown in Scotland, to Lord Darlington (by his
mother's second marriage) in England. His table is in very genteel
fashion. It reminds me that Mrs. Mallet must not forget all those
little ornaments of plate, glass, etc., that belong to a dining-room.
No water plates, the rooms don't require them, the plates being
sufficiently heated by the stoves. But water dishes are necessary for
soup and fish _fricassees_ all in the shape of the proper dishes
for such articles. Don't forget, among others, the silver gravy cups
with double cavities, the larger for hot water. They are small hand
ones, not unlike a tea pot. Mrs. Mallet will find these at all the
great shops and particularly at Jones, in Cockspur street, near
Charing Cross, where I bought my Mary's watch chain. William that
understands Latin and French letters better than his native tongue,
importunes my ordering a set of classical books, which he is welcome
to, if you can purchase at N. Y. a small bill for about £15 sterling
and enclose it in my letter to Mr. Ryland. If that is inconvenient to
you stop my letter, and I will find other means to gratify his
inclination. There is a very good library [252] here, and many private
ones at my friends. How wretched your general affairs? if our Yankey
informers speak the truth, multitudes are disposed to turn their heads
from that draught, which I thought they would not long relish. Lord D.
with the generosity and charity he always indulged, bids them welcome,
disposed as he says to favour even the independant Whigs of America,
above any other nation under heaven, for tho' no longer brethren, they
are at least our cousins, branches from the same stock.

I have infinite consolation, in having dissuaded the parties from the
steps, that led to all the calamities they have felt and still dread
and more cheerfully will grasp at the means to lessen these
afflictions, as the surest path to the greatest glory. I am solicited
from Cambridge for a gift for pious uses, and find that you have been
applied to, and probably will again. My promise shall most certainly
be fulfilled. It was to give a lot for a church. But as I told them it
was to be a gift to _Christianity_ and not to Sectarianism.
Religion and party are two different things. Tell them so that my gift
will be to all Protestants, that is to say to the majority of the town
being protestants, be the denomination what it may, and that I may not
be imposed upon, I shall put my seal to no deed, before they bring me
Dr. Rodger's certificate upon the subject. My best respects to him
with compliments to Mrs. T., Mr. Ainslie, Mr. and Mrs. Foxcraft and
all your friends.

The snapping of my wood fires makes me think of yours. Don't forget
them yourself. _Your three hundred acres of shingles_, chills the
blood in my veins.... Adieu. The broad hand of Heaven protect you!

I am, my dearest,

Most faithfully yours,

W. S.



Happy, is he who in a country life
Shuns more perplexing toil and jarring strife,
Who lives upon the natal soil he loves
And sits beneath his old ancestral groves."

Facing Ravenswood, on the road to Cape Rouge, on the breezy banks of the
noble river, there lies a magnificent expanse of verdure, with here and
there a luxuriant copse of evergreens and sugar maple. It crowns a
graceful slope of undulating meadows and cornfields. The dwelling, a
plain, straggling white cottage, lies _perdu_ among the green firs
and solemn pines. Over the verdant groves, glimpses of the white cottages
of Levi and New Liverpool occasionally catch the eye. This rustic
landscape, pleasant at all times, becomes strikingly picturesque, at the
"fall of the leaf"--when the rainbow-tinted foliage is, lit up by a
mellow, autumnal sun. Under this favored aspect it was our happiness to
view it in September, 1880.

"Bright yellow, red and orange
The leaves came down in hosts;
The trees are Indian princes—
But soon they'll turn to ghosts."

In 1762, this broad, wild domain was owned by Lt.-Gov. Hector Theophilus
Cramahé of Quebec, and according to an entry in the Diary of Judge Henry,
he apparently was still the proprietor in 1775, at the time of the
blockade of Quebec. In 1785, the land passed by purchase to one of
Fraser's Highlanders, Capt. Cameron. It was from 1841 to 1875, the
cherished abode of a cultured English gentleman, the late John Porter, the
able secretary and treasurer of the Quebec Turnpike Trust. It did one good
to see the courteous old bachelor, cosily seated in his ample, well
selected library, surrounded by a few congenial friends, the toils of the
day over--the dust of St. Peter Street shaken off. Mr. Porter was a fair
type of the well-informed English country gentleman, well read in Debrett,
with a pedigree reaching as far back as William the Norman. At his demise,
he bequeathed this splendid farm to the son of a valued old friend. Andrew
Chs. Stuart, Esq., of the law firm of Ross, Stuart & Stuart, Quebec, now
Lt.-Col. Andrew Charles Stuart, of the 8th Batt. "Royal Rifles," Quebec.

Col. Stuart, the possessor of ample means, having a taste for agricultural
pursuits, has lately become an active member of the Quebec Turf Club, as
well as a successful breeder of prize cattle. His stud is renowned all
over Canada. Col. Stuart lately took up his residence at Meadowbank, since
which time a transformation seems to have come over the land; sprightly
parterres of flowers, dainty pavilions, trim hedges, rustic seats, hanging
baskets of ferns, are conspicuous, where formerly hay alone flourished. A
neighboring rill has been skilfully enlisted to do duty, dammed up,
bridged over, gently coaxed to meander, whimple and bubble, like
Tennyson's brook, here and there rippling over and rushing into cool trout
ponds, under the shade of moss and trees, until it leaps down to the St.

A small race-course has been laid out, south of the house, in a declivity
towards the St. Lawrence to exercise the thoroughbreds and keep healthy
the pet charger for parade days, as well as ladies' palfreys, which are
not forgotten at Meadowbank.

In an enclosure protected by stone pillars and chains, under the shade of
a handsome tree, may be read on a board, the following name, recently


This marks the spot where a favourite saddle-horse, who died prematurely,
now rests. All now wanting to perfect this scene of rustic beauty is a
cottage _orné_ or a _Chalet Suisse_.


The following extract from Judge Henry's Diary seems to refer to the
country seat, now known as Meadowbank:

Arnold's little army had retreated to Pointe aux Trembles on the 15th
Nov. On the 2nd December, 1775, they retraced their steps to Quebec
and in the evening arrived at St. Foy. On the 12th of December, Henry
[253] says "The officers and men still wore nothing else than the
remains of the summer clothing, which being on their back, had escaped
destruction in the disaster of the wilderness." At this time the snow
lay three feet deep over the whole country. One fine morning a fellow
addressed Simpson who was the only officer in quarters and said "that
about two miles up the St. Lawrence lay a country seat of Governor
Cromie's (Cramahé?) stocked with many things they wanted and he would
be our guide. Carioles were immediately procured. The house, a neat
box, was romantically situated on the steep bank of the river, not
very distant from a chapel. [254] Though in the midst of winter the
spot displayed the elegant taste and abundant wealth of the owner. The
house was closed; knocking, the hall door was opened to us by an
Irishwoman who, of the fair sex, was the largest and most brawny that
ever came under my notice. She was the stewardess of the house. Our
questions were answered with an apparent affability and frankness. She
introduced us into the kitchen, a large apartment, well filled with
these articles which good livers think necessary to the happy
enjoyment of life. Here we observed five or six Canadian servants
huddled into a corner of the kitchen trembling with fear. Our prying
eyes soon discovered a trap door leading into the cellar. The men
entered it; firken after firken of butter,--lard, tallow, beef, pork,
fish and salt, all became a prey. While the men were rummaging below
the lieutenant descended to cause more despatch. My duty was to remain
at the end of the trap door with my back to the wall, and rifle cocked
as a sentry, keeping a strict eye on the servants. My good Irishwoman
frequently beckoned to me to descend; her drift was to catch us all in
the trap. Luckily she was comprehended. The cellar and kitchen being
thoroughly gutted, and the spoil borne to the carriages, the party
dispersed into the other apartments. Here was elegancy. The walls and
partitions were beautifully papered, and decorated with large
engravings, maps, &c., and of the most celebrated artists. A noble
view of the City of Philadelphia upon a large scale taken from the
neighborhood of Cooper's Ferry drew my attention and raised some
compunctive ideas; but war and the sciences always stand at arms
length in the contests of mankind. The latter must succumb in the
tumult. Our attention was much more attracted by the costly feather
beds, counterpanes, and charming rose blankets, which the house
afforded. Of these there was a good store and we left not a jot behind
us. The nooks and crevices in the carioles were filled with smaller
articles; several dozen of admirably finished case knives and forks;
even a set of dessert knives obtained the notice of our cupidity.
Articles of a lesser moment nor a thousandth part so useful, did not
escape the all-grasping hands of the soldiery. In a back apartment
there stood a mahogany couch or settee in a highly finished style. The
woodwork of the couch was raised on all sides by cushioning, and
costly covered by a rich figured silk. This to us was lumber, besides
our carioles were full. However, we grabbed the mattrass and pallets
all equally elegant as the couch. Having, as we thought, divested his
Excellency of all the articles of prime necessity, we departed,
ostensibly and even audibly accompanied by the pious blessings of the
stewardess for our moderation. No doubt she had her mental
reservations; on such business as this we regarded neither. Near the
chapel we met a party of Morgan's men coming to do that which we had
already done. The officer appeared chagrined when he saw the extent of
our plunder. He went on, and finally ransacked the house, and yet a
little more the stables. The joy of our men, among whom the plunder
was distributed in nearly equal portions was extravagant. Now an
operation of the human mind, which often takes place in society, and
is every day discernable by persons of observation, became clearly
obvious. Let a man once with impunity desert the strict rule of rules,
all subsequent aggression is not only increased in atrocity, but is
done without a qualm of conscience. Though our company was composed
principally of freeholders, or the sons of such, bred at home under
the strictures of religion and morality, yet when the reins of decorum
were loosed and the honorable feeling weakened, it became impossible
to administer restraint. The person of a Tory or his property became
fair game, and this at the denunciation of some base domestic villain.

On the morning following December 13, the same audacious scoundrel
again returned, and another marauding expedition started under his
guidance to a farm "said to belong to Gov. Cromie (Cramahé?) or some
other inhabitant of Quebec. It was further than the former scene." The
farm-house, though low, being but one story, was capacious and
tolerably neat. The barn built of logs, with a thrashing floor in the
centre, was from 70 to 80 feet in length. The tenant, his wife and
children shuddered upon our approach. Assurances that they should be
unharmed relieved their fears. The tenant pointed out to us the horned
cattle, pigs and poultry of his landlord. These were shot down without
mercy or drove before us to our quarters. Thus we obtained a tolerable
load for our caravan, which consisted of five or six carioles. "With
this disreputable exploit marauding ceased. A returning sense of
decency and order emanating from ourselves produced a sense of
contrition. It is a solemn truth that we plundered none but those who
were notoriously Tories and then within the walls of Quebec."


The range of heights extends from Spencer Wood, west, to the black bridge
over the stream at Kilmarnock, gradually recedes from the road, leaving at
its foot a spacious area interspersed with green pastures, lawns, ploughed
fields and plantations. On the most elevated plateau of this range stands
"The Highlands," a large substantial fire-brick dwelling, with an ample
verandah, erected a few years back by Michael Stevenson, Esquire,
merchant, of Quebec. The site is recommended by a fine view of the river
St. Lawrence, an airy and healthy position, and the luxuriant foliage of
the spruce, pine and maple in the background. The internal arrangements of
the dwelling, whether regard be had to ventilation in summer or heating in
winter, are on the most modern and improved plan. "The Highlands" lie
above St. Michael's Cove teeming with historical recollections, a little
to the west thereof, in front of St. Lewis road of historic renown, over
which pranced, in 1663, the Marquis of Tracy's gaudy equipage and splendid
body-guard wearing, as history tells, the uniform of the _Gardes de la
Reine_. In Sept., 1759, [255] the Rochbeaucourt Cavalry, with their
"blue uniforms and neat light horses of different colours," scoured the
heights in all directions, watching the motions of the English fleet,
which may be seen in the plate of the siege operations, lying at anchor at
Sillery, ready, the huge black leviathans, to hurl destruction on the
devoted city. In 1838, we remember well noticing Lord Durham's showy
equipage with outriders, thundering daily over this same road: the Earl
being a particular admirer of the Cap Rouge scenery. This seat has passed
over, by purchase, to Chas. Temple, Esq., son of our late respected
fellow-townsman, Major Temple, who for a series of years served in that
15th regiment, to whose prowess the Plains of Abraham bore witness during
the war of the conquest. "The Highlands" are now occupied by J. W.
Stockwell, Esquire.


From time immemorial, Merry England has been renowned for her field
sports; prominent amongst which may be reckoned her exciting pastime
of Fox-hunting, the pride, the glory, _par excellence_ of the
roystering English squire. Many may not be aware that we also, in our
far-off Canada, have a method of Fox-hunting peculiarly our own--in
harmony with the nature of the country--adapted to the rigors of our
arctic winter season--the successful prosecution of which calls forth
more endurance, a keener sight, a more thorough knowledge of the
habits of the animal, a deeper self-control and greater sagacity, than
does the English sport; for, as the proverb truly says, "_Pour
attraper la bête, faut être plus fin qu'elle._" [256]

A short sketch [257] of a Canadian Fox-hunt may not, therefore, prove
uninteresting. At the outset, let the reader bear in mind that Sir
Reynard _Canadensis_ is rather a rakish, dissipated gentleman,
constantly turning night into day, in the habit of perambulating
through the forests, the fields, and homesteads, at most improper
hours, to ascertain whether, perchance, some old dame Partlett, some
hoary gobbler, some thoughtless mother-goose, allured to wander over
the farm-yard by the jocund rays of a returning March sun, may not
have been outside of the barn, when the negligent stable-boy closed up
for the night; or else, whether some gay Lothario of a hare in yonder
thicket may not, by the silent and discreet rays of the moon, be
whispering some soft nonsense in the willing ear of some guileless
doe, escaped from a parent's vigilant eye. For on such has the
midnight marauder set his heart: after such does noiselessly prowl,
favoured by darkness--the dissipated rascal--_querens quem devoret_--
determined to make up, on the morrow, by a long meridian _siesta_ on
the highest pinacle of a snow-drift, for the loss of his night's-rest.
Should fortune refuse the sly prowler the coveted hen, turkey, goose,
or hare, warmly clad in his fur coat and leggings, with tail
horizontal, he sallies forth over the snow-wreathed fields, on the
skirts of woods, in search of ground mice, his ordinary provender.
But, you will say, how can he discover them under the snow? By that
wonderful instinct with which nature has endowed the brute creation to
provide for their sustenance, each according to its nature, to its
wants. By his marvellously acute ear, the fox detects the ground mouse
under the snow, though he should utter a noise scarcely audible to a
human ear. Mr. Fox sets instantly to work, digs down the earth, and in
a trice gobbles up _mus_, his wife, and young family. Should nothing
occur to disturb his arrangements, he devotes each day in winter, from
ten or half-past ten in the forenoon, to repose; selecting the
loftiest snow-bank he can find, or else a large rock, or perchance any
other eminence from which--

"Monarch of all _he surveys_"--

he can command a good view of the neighborhod, and readily scent
approaching danger. Nor does he drop off immediately in a sound sleep,
like a turtle-fed alderman; but rather, like a suspicious, blood-
thirsty land pirate, as he is, he first snatches hastily "forty
winks," then starts up nervously, for several times, scanning all
around with his cruel, cunning eye--snuffing the air. Should he be
satisfied that no cause of alarm exists, he scrapes himself a bed, if
in the snow and, warmly wrapped in his soft fur cloak, he coils
himself up, cat-fashion, in the sun, with his brushy tail brought over
his head, but careful to keep his nose to the direction from which the
wind blows, so as to catch the first notice of and scent the lurking
enemy. On a stormy, blustery day, the fox will, however, usually seek
the shelter of some bushes or trees, and on such occasion is usually
found under the _lee_ of some little wooded point, where, steeped
in sweetest sleep, he can at leisure dream of clucking hens, fat
turkeys, and tender leverets--sheltered from the storm, and still
having an uninterrupted view before him. The hunter, when bent on a
fox hunt, is careful to wear garments whose colour blends with the
prevailing hue of frosted nature: a white cotton _capot_, and
_capuchon_ to match, is slipped over his great coat; pants also
white--everything to harmonize with the snow; a pair of snow-shoes and
a short gun complete his equipment. Once arrived at the post where he
expects to meet reynard, he looks carefully about for signs of tracks,
and having discovered fresh ones, he follows them, keeping a very
sharp look-out. Should he perceive a fox, and that animal be not
asleep, it is then that he has need of all his wits and of all the
knowledge of the animal's habits he may possess. As previously stated,
the fox depends principally on his scent, to discover danger; but his
eye is also good, and to succeed in approaching within gun shot of him
in the open country, the gunner must watch every motion most
carefully, moving only when the animal's gaze is averted, and stopping
instantly the moment he looks towards him, no matter what position the
sportman's may be at that time. No matter how uncomfortable he may
feel; move he dare not, foot nor limb; the eye of the fox is on him,
and the least movement would betray him and alarm his watchful quarry.
It will be easily conceived that to succesfully carry out this
programme, it requires nerves of steel and a patience _à toute
épreuve_. It has been the good luck of one of our friends once to
approach thus a fox, within twenty feet, without his detecting him;
needless to say, it was done moving against the wind. Some few hunters
can so exactly imitate the cry of the ground mouse, as to bring the
fox to them, especially if he is very hungry; but it is not always
that this plan succeeds. The animal's ear is keen; the slightest
defect in the imitation betrays the trap, and away canters alarmed
reynard at railroad speed. Some sportsmen prefer to watch the fox, and
wait until he falls asleep which they know he will surely do, if not
disturbed, and then they can approach him easily enough against the
wind. It is not unusual for them to get within fifteen feet of the
animal, before the noise of their footsteps causes him to wake.--As
may readily be supposed in such cases, his awakening and death are
generally simultaneous.

It is a fact worthy of note, that the fox, if undisturbed, will every
day return to the same place to sleep, and about the same hour. These
animals are not as abundant as they were a few years back.

The extent of country travelled by a fox by moonlight, each night, is
very great. Not many years ago, a Quebec hunter [258] who is in the
habit of enjoying his daily walk at peep of day, informed the writer
that on many occasions he has seen the sly wanderer, on being
disturbed from the neighborhood of the tanneries in St. Vallier
street, hieing away at a gallop towards the Lorette and Charlesbourg
mountains, a distance of nine miles each way.


With its rear facing St. Augustin parish, eight miles from the city a
commodious dwelling graces the summit of the lofty cape or promontory,
which terminates westward the elevated _plateau_, on the eastern extremity
of which, Champlain, in 1608, raised the lily-spangled banner of the
Bourbons. Unquestionably the environs of Quebec are rich in scenery,
revelling one half of the year in rural loveliness, the other half
enjoying that solid comfort, which successful enterprise, taste and free
institutions communicate to whatever they touch; but no where, not even at
Spencer Wood, or Woodfield, has nature lavished such beautiful landscapes,
such enchanting views. Three centuries ago, Europeans had pitched here
their tents, until the return of spring, attracted by the charms of the
spot; three hundred years after that, a man of taste--to whom we may now
without fear, give his due, as he is where neither praise nor censure can
be suspected,--an English merchant had selected this site for its rare
attractiveness; here he resided for many summers. In 1833 he removed to
Spencer Wood. We allude to the late Henry Atkinson, who was succeeded at
the Cap Rouge Cottage by William Atkinson, Esq., merchant of London,
England. Mr. William Atkinson lived in affluence and happiness at Cap
Rouge, several years. There are yet at Quebec those who remember the kind-
heartedness and hospitality of this English gentleman of the old school.

Geo. Usborne, Esq., was the next occupant of the cottage. The estate
consisted formerly of close on one hundred acres of land, extending north
across the king's highway, with a river frontage of about twenty acres,
the lot on the south side of the road is laid out, one half in a park, the
remainder in two or three fruit and flower gardens, divided by brick walls
to trail vines and ripen fruit. It lies quite sheltered with a southerly
exposure, bounded by the lofty, perpendicular river banks; the base, some
two hundred feet below, skirted by a narrow road, washed by the waves of
the St. Lawrence. A magnificent avenue extends along the high bank under
ancient, ever-verdant pines, whose far outspreading branches, under the
influence of winds, sigh a plaintive but soothing music, blending their
soft rustle to the roar of the Etchemin or the Chaudière rivers before
easterly gales; how well Pickering has it:--

"The overshadowing pines alone, through which I roam,
Their verdure keep, although it darker looks;
And hark! as it comes sighing through the grove,
The exhausted gale, a spirit there awakes
That wild and melancholy music makes."

From the house verandah, the eye plunges westward down the high cape,
following the capricious windings of the Cap Rouge stream far to the
north, or else scans the green uplands of St. Augustin, its white cottages
rising in soft undulations as far as the sight can reach. Over the extreme
point of the southwestern cape hangs a fairy pavilion, like an eagle's
eyrie amongst alpine crags, just a degree more secure than that pensile
old fir tree which you notice at your feet stretching over the chasm;
beneath you the majestic flood, Canada's pride, with a hundred merchantmen
sleeping on its placid waters, and the orb of day dancing blithely over
every ripple. Oh! for a few hours to roam with those we love under these
old pines, to listen to the voices of other years, and cull a fragrant
wreath of those wild flowers which everywhere strew our path.

Is there not enough of nature's charm around this sunny, truly Canadian
home? And how much of the precious metal would many an English duke give
to possess, in his own famed isle, a site of such exquisite beauty? We
confess, we denizens of Quebec, we do feel proud of our Quebec scenery;
not that on comparison we think the less of other localities, but that on
looking round we get to think more of our own.

Cap Rouge, from it having been the location of Europeans, early in the
sixteenth century, must claim the attention of every man of cultivated
mind who takes a pleasure in scrutinizing the past, and in tracing the
advent on our shores of the various races of European descent, now
identified with this land of the West, yearning for the bright destinies
the future has in store.

At the foot of the Cape, on which the Cape Rouge Cottage now stands,
Jacques Cartier and Roberval wintered, the first in 1541-2; the second in
1543-4. Recent discoveries have merely added to the interest which these
historical incidents awaken. The new _Historical Picture of Quebec_,
published in 1834, thus alludes to these circumstances:--

"We now come to another highly interesting portion of local history. It
has been stated that the old historians were apparently ignorant of this
last voyage of Cartier. Some place the establishment of the fort at Cape
Breton, and confound his proceedings with those of Roberval. The exact
spot where Cartier passed his second winter in Canada is not mentioned in
any publication that we have seen. The following is the description given
of the station in Hakluyt: 'After which things the said captain went, with
two of his boats, up the river, beyond Canada'--the promontory of Quebec
is meant--'and the port of St. Croix, to view a haven and a small river
which is about four leagues higher, which he found better and more
commodious to ride in, and lay his ships, than the former. * * * The said
river is small, not passing fifty paces broad, and ships drawing three
fathoms water may enter in at full sea; and at low water there is nothing
but a channel of a foot deep or thereabouts. * * * The mouth of the river
is towards the south, and it windeth northward like a snake; and at the
mouth of it, towards the east, there is a high and steep cliff, where we
made a way in manner of a pair of stairs, and aloft we made a fort to keep
the nether fort and the ships, and all things that might pass as well by
the great as by the small river." Who that reads the above accurate
description will doubt that the mouth of the little river Cap Rouge was
the station chosen by Jacques Cartier for his second wintering place in
Canada? The original description of the grounds and scenery on both sides
of the river Cap Rouge is equally faithful with that which we have
extracted above. The precise spot on which the upper fort of Jacques
Cartier was built, afterwards enlarged by Roberval, has been fixed by an
ingenious gentleman of Quebec, at the top of Cap Rouge height, a short
distance from the handsome villa and establishment of H. Atkinson (now of
James Bowen) There is, at the distance of about an acre to the north of
Mr. Atkinson's house, a hillock of artificial construction, upon which are
trees indicating great antiquity, and as it does not appear that any
fortifications were erected on this spot, either in the war of 1759, or
during the attack of Quebec by the Americans in 1775, it is extremely
probable that here are to be found the interesting site and remains of the
ancient fort in question.

"On his return to the fort of Charlesbourg Royal, the suspicions of
Cartier as to the unfriendly disposition of the Indians were confirmed. He
was informed that the natives now kept aloof from the fort, and had ceased
to bring them fish and provisions as before. He also learned from some of
the men who had been at Stadacona, that an unusual number of Indians had
assembled there--and associating, as he always seems to have done, the
idea of danger with any concourse of the natives, he resolved to take all
necessary precautions, causing everything in the fortress to be set in

"At this crisis, to the regret of all who feel an interest in the local
history of the time the relation of Cartier's third voyage abruptly breaks
off. Of the proceedings during the winter which he spent at Cap Rouge,
nothing is known. It is probable that it passed over without any collision
with the natives, although the position of the French, from their
numerical weakness, must have been attended with great anxiety.

"It has been seen that Roberval, notwithstanding his lofty titles, and
really enterprising character, did not fulfil his engagement to follow
Cartier with supplies sufficient for the settlement of a colony, until the
year following. By that time the Lieutenant General had furnished three
large vessels chiefly at the King's cost, having on board two hundred
persons, several gentlemen of quality, and settlers, both men and women.
He sailed from La Rochelle on the 16th of April, 1542, under the direction
of an experienced pilot, by name John Alphonse, of Xaintonge. The
prevalence of westerly winds prevented their reaching Newfoundland until
7th June. On the 8th they entered the road of St. John, where they found
seventeen vessels engaged in the fisheries. During his stay in this road,
he was surprised and disappointed by the appearance of Jacques Cartier, on
his return from Canada, whither he had been sent the year before with five
ships. Cartier had passed the winter in the fortress described above, and
gave as a reason for the abandonment of the settlement, 'that he could not
with his small company withstand the savages which went about daily to
annoy him.' He continued, nevertheless, to speak of the country as very
rich and fruitful. Cartier is said, in the relation, of Roberval's voyage
in Hakluyt, to have produced some gold ore found in the country, which on
being tried in a furnace, proved to be good. He had with him also some
_diamonds_, the natural production of the promontory of Quebec, from
which the Cape derived its name. The Lieutenant General having brought so
strong a reinforcement of men and necessaries for the settlement, was
extremely urgent with Cartier to go back again to Cap Rouge, but without
success. It is most probable that the French, who had recently passed a
winter of hardship in Canada, would not permit their Captain to attach
himself to the fortunes and particular views of Roberval. Perhaps, the
fond regret of home prevailed over the love of adventure, and like men who
conceived that they had performed their part of the contract into which
they had entered, they were not disposed to encounter new hardships under
a new leader. In order, therefore, to prevent any open disagreement,
Cartier weighed anchor in the course of the night without taking leave of
Roberval, and made all sail for France. It is impossible not to regret
this somewhat inglorious termination of a distinguished career. Had he
returned to his fort, with the additional strength of Roberval, guided by
his own skill and experience, it is most probable that the colony would
have been destined to a permanent existence. Cartier undertook no other
voyage to Canada; but he afterwards completed a sea chart, drawn by his
own hand, which was extant in the possession of one of his nephews,
Jacques Noël, of St. Malo, in 1587, who seems to have taken great interest
in the further development of the vast country discovered by his deceased
uncle. Two letters of his have been preserved, relating to the maps and
writings of Cartier: the first written in 1587, and the others a year or
two latter, in which he mentions that his two sons, Michael and John Noël,
were then in Canada, and that he was in expectation of their return.
Cartier himself died soon after his return to France, having sacrificed
his fortune in the case of discovery. As an indemnification for the losses
their uncle had sustained, this Jacques Noel and another nephew, De la
Launay Chaton, received in 1588, an exclusive privilege to trade to Canada
during, twelve years, but this was revoked four months after it was

"Roberval, notwithstanding his mortification at the loss of Cartier's
experience and aid in his undertaking, determined to proceed, and sailing
from Newfoundland, about the end of June, 1543, he arrived at Cap Rouge,
'four leagues westward of the Isle of Orleans,' towards the end of July.
Here the French immediately fortified themselves, 'in a place fit to
command the main river, and of strong situation against all manner of
enemies.' The position was, no doubt, that chosen by Jacques Cartier the
year previous. The following is the description given in Hakluyt of the
buildings erected by Roberval: 'The said General on his first arrival
built a fair fort, near and somewhat westward above Canada, which is very
beautiful to behold, and of great force, situated upon a high mountain,
wherein there were two courts of buildings, a great tower, and another of
forty or fifty feet long, wherein there were divers chambers, a hall, a
kitchen, cellars high and low, and near unto it were an oven and mills,
and a stove to warm men in, and a well before the house. And the building
was situated upon the great River of Canada called _France-Prime_ by
Monsieur Roberval. There was also at the foot of the mountain another
lodging, where at the first all our victuals, and whatsoever was brought
with us, were sent to be kept, and near unto that tower there is another
small river. In these two places above and beneath, all the meaner sort
was lodged.' This fort was called _France-Roy_, but of these extensive
buildings, erected most probably in a hasty and inartificial manner, no
traces now remain, unless we consider as such the mound above mentioned,
near the residence of Mr. Atkinson, at Cap Rouge.

"On the 14th September, Roberval sent back to France two of his vessels,
with two gentlemen, bearers of letters to the King; who had instructions
to return the following year with supplies for the settlement. The natives
do not appear, by the relation given, to have evinced any hostility to the
new settlers. Unfortunately, the scurvy again made its appearance among
the French and carried off no less than sixty during the winter. The
morality of this little colony was not very rigid--perhaps they were
pressed by hunger, and induced to plunder from each other--at all events
the severity of the Viceroy towards his handful of subjects appears not to
have been restricted to the male sex. The method adopted by the Governor
to secure a quiet life will raise a smile; 'Monsieur Roberval used very
good justice, and punished every man according to his offence. One whose
name was Michael Gaillon, was hanged for his theft. John of Nantes was
laid in irons, and kept prisoner for his offence; and others also were put
in irons, and divers whipped, as well men as women, by which means they
lived quiet.'

"We have no record extant of the other proceedings of Roberval during the
winter of 1543. The ice broke up in the month of April; and on the 5th
June, the Lieutenant General departed from the winter quarters on an
exploring expedition to the Province of Saguenay, as Cartier had done on a
former occasion. Thirty persons were left behind in the fort under the
command of an officer, with instructions to return to France, if he had
not returned by the 1st of July. There are no particulars of this
expedition, on which, however, Roberval employed a considerable time. For
we find that on the 14th June, four of the gentlemen belonging to the
expedition returned to the fort, having left Roberval on the way to
Saguenay; and on the 19th, some others came back, bringing with them some
six score weight of Indian corn; and directions for the rest to wait for
the return of the Viceroy, until the 22nd July. An incident happened in
this expedition, which seems to have escaped the notice of the author of
the treaties on the _canon de bronze_ (Amable Barthelot), which we
have noticed in a former chapter. It certainly gives an authentic account
of a ship wreck having been suffered in the St. Lawrence, to which,
perhaps, the finding of the cannon, and the tradition about Jacques
Cartier, may with some possibility be referred. The following is the
extract in question: 'Eight men and one bark drowned and lost, among whom
were Monsieur de Noire Fontaine, and one named La Vasseur of Constance.'
The error as to the name might easily arise, Jacques Cartier having been
there so short a time before, and his celebrity in the country being so
much greater than that of Roberval, or of any of his companions."

Cap Rouge Cottage is now owned by James Bowen, Esq.


Flooded in sunny silence sleep the kine,
In languid murmurs brooklets float and flow,
The quaint farm-gables in rich light shine
And round them jasmined honeysuckles twine,
And close beside them sun-flowers burn and blow.

About one mile beyond the St. Foye Church, there is a fertile farm of one,
hundred acres, lying chiefly on the north side of the road. The dwelling,
a roomy, one story cottage, stands about two acres from the highway, from
which a copse of trees interrupts the view.

There are at present in this spot, several embellishments--such as trout
ponds--which bid fair to render it worthy of the notice of men of taste.
It was merely necessary to assist nature in order to obtain here most
gratifying results. Between the road fence and the dwelling, a small brook
has worn its bed, at the bottom of a deep ravine, sweeping past the house
lawn westward, and then changing its course to due north-west the boundary
in that direction between that and the adjoining property. The banks of
the ravine are enclosed in a belt of every imaginable forest shrub,--wild
cherry, mountain ash, raspberry, blueberry, interspersed here and there
with superb specimens of oak, spruce, fir and pine. A second avenue has
been laid out amongst the trees between the road fence and the brook, to
connect with the lawn at the west of the house, by a neat little bridge,
resting on two square piers about twenty-five feet high: on either side of
the bridge a solid dam being constructed of the boulders and stones
removed from the lower portion of the property, intended to form two trout
ponds of a couple of acres in length each, a passage in the dam is left
for the water-fall, which is in full view of the bridge. On the edge of
the bank, overhanging the ravine, nature seems to have pointed out the
spot for a pavilion, from which the disciples of Isaac Walton can throw a
cast below. The green fringe of the mountain shrubs in bud, blossom or
fruit, encircling the farm, materially enhances the beauty of this sylvan
landscape,--the eye resting with particular pleasure on the vast expanse
of meadow of vivid green, clothed in most luxuriant grass, some 10,000
bundles of hay for the mower, in due time. About two acres from the house,
to the west, is placed a rustic seat, under two weather-beaten, though
still verdant oaks, which stretch their boughs across the river: closer
again to the cottage, the eye meets two pavilions. The new avenue, rustic
bridges, ponds and pavilions, are due to the good taste of the present
owner, Louis Bilodeau, Esq. This rural home was for several years occupied
in summer by Stephen Sewell, Esq., and does not belie its name--


Owners--Intendant Talon, 1670; General James Murray, 1765; Sir John
Caldwell, 1810; J. W. Dunscomb. Esquire, 1854-81.

That genial old joker, Sir Jonas Barrington, in his _Sketches_, has
invested the Irish homes and Irish gentry with features certainly very
original--at times so singular as to be difficult of acceptance. True, he
lived in an age and amongst a people proverbial for generous hospitality,
for conviviality carried to its extreme limit. Gargantuan banquets he
describes, pending which the bowls of punch and claret imbibed appear to
us something fabulous. Irish squires, roystering Irish barristers,
toddling home in pairs after having stowed away under their belts as many
as twelve bottles of claret a piece, during a prolonged sitting, _i.e._,
from 6 P.M. to 6 A.M. Such intrepid diners-out were known as "Twelve
bottle men;" and verily, if the old Judge is to be credited, they might
have been advantageously pitted even against such a Homeric guzzler as
history depicts Aurora Konigsmark's sturdy son, Maréchal de Saxe, who, in
his youth, 'tis said, tossed off, at one draught and without experiencing
any ill-effects, one whole gallon of wine.

The first time our eye scanned the silent and deserted banquetting halls
of Belmont, with their lofty ceilings, and recalling the traditional
accounts of the hospitable gentlemen, whose joviality had once lit up the
scene, visions of social Ireland of Barrington's day floated uppermost in
our mind. We could fancy we saw the gay roysterers of times by-gone--first
a fête champêtre of lively French officers from Quebec, making merry over
their Bordeaux or Burgundy, and celebrating the news of their recent
victories at Fontenoy, [259] Lauffeld or Carillon, to the jocund sound of
_Vive la France! Vive le Maréchal de Saxe! à la Claire Fontaine_, &c
then Governor Murray, surrounded by his veterans, Guy Carleton, Col.
Caldwell, Majors Hale, Holland, and some of the new subjects, such as the
brave Chs. De Lanaudière, [260] complimenting one another all around over
the feats of the respective armies at the two memorable battles of the
Plains, and all joining loyally in repeating the favorite toast in Wolfe's
fleet, _British colours on every French fort, port and garrison in
America_! Later on, at the beginning of the present century, a gathering
of those Canadian Barons, so graphically delineated by John Lambert in his
_Travels in Canada_, in 1808--one week surrounding the festive board of
this jolly Receiver General of Canada at Belmont, the next at
Charlesbourg, making the romantic echoes of the Hermitage ring again with
old English cheers and loyal toasts to "George the King," or else
installing a "Baron" at the Union Hotel, Place d'Armes,--possibly in
the very Council-room in which the State secrets of Canada were in 1865
daily canvassed--and flinging down to the landlord as Lambert says, "250
guineas for the entertainement." Where are now the choice spirits of that
comparatively modern day, the rank and fashion who used to go and sip
claret or eat ice-cream with Sir James Craig, at Powell Place? Where gone
the Mures, Paynters, Munros, Matthew Bells, de Lanaudières, Lymburners,
Smiths, Finlays, Caldwells, Percevals, Jonathan Sewells? Alas! like the
glories of Belmont, departed, or living in the realms of memory only!

This estate, which, until lately, consisted of four hundred and fifty
acres, extending from the line of the Grande Allée down to the Bijou wood,
was _conceded_ in 1649 by the Jesuit Fathers to M. Godfroy. It passed
over, in 1670, to the celebrated Intendant Talon, by deed of sale executed
on the 28th of September, 1670, before Romain Becquet, Notaire Royal.
Messire Jean Talon is described in that instrument as "Conseiller du roi
en ses conseils d'état et premier Intendant de justice, police et finance
de la Nouvelle France, Isle de Terreneuve, Acadie et pays de l'Amérique
Septentrionale." Shortly after the conquest it was occupied by Chief
Justice Wm. Gregory. In 1765 it was sold for £500 by David Alves of
Montreal, to General James Murray, who, after the first battle of the
Plains, had remained Governor of Quebec, whilst his immediate superior,
Brigadier Geo. Townshend, had hurried to England to cull the laurels of
victory. In 1775, we find that one of the first operations of the American
General Montgomery was to take possession of "General Murray's house, on
the St. Foy road." General Murray also, probably, then owned the property
subsequently known as Holland's farm, where Montgomery had his
headquarters. All through our history the incidents, actors and results of
battles are tolerably well indicated, but the domestic history of
individuals and exact descriptions of localities are scarcely ever
furnished, so that the reader will not be surprised should several
_lacunae_ occur in the description of Belmont, one of the most interesting
Canadian country seats in the neighbourhood of Quebec. The history of
Holland House might also, of itself, furnish quite a small epic; and,
doubtless, from the exalted social position of many of the past owners of
Belmont, its old walls, could they obtain utterance, might reveal
interesting incidents of our past history, which will otherwise ever be
buried in oblivion.

In the memory of Quebecers, Belmont must always remain more particularly
connected with the name of the Caldwells, three generations of whom
occupied its spacious halls. The founder of this old family, who played a
conspicuous part in Canadian politics for half a century, was the Hon.
Col. Henry Caldwell, for many years Receiver General of the Province, by
royal appointment, and member of the Legislative Council. He came first to
Canada in 1759, says Knox, [261] as Assistant Quartermaster General to
Wolfe, under whom he served. When appointed Receiver General, the salary
attached to that high office [262] was £400 per annum, with the
understanding that he might _account_ at his convenience, he never
accounted at all, probably as it was anything but _convenient_ to do
so, having followed the traditional policy of high officials under French
rule, and speculated largely in milk, &c. The fault was more the
consequences of the system than that of the individual, and had his
ventures turned out well, no doubt the high-minded Colonel and Receiver
General would have made matters right before dying. In 1801 Col. Caldwell
was returned member for Dorchester, where he owned the rich Seigniory of
Lauzon, and most extensive mill at the Etchemin river, the same
subsequently owned by J. Thomson, Esq., and now by Hy. Atkinson, Esq. The
colonel was re-elected by the same constituency in 1805, and again in
1809, lived in splendor at Belmont, as a polished gentleman of that age
knew how to live, and died there in 1810. Belmont is situated on the St.
Foye road, on its north side, at the end of a long avenue of trees,
distant three miles from Quebec. The original mansion, which was burnt
down in 1798, was rebuilt by the Colonel in 1800 on plans furnished by an
Engineer Officer of the name of Brabazon. It stood in the garden between
the present house and main or St. Foye road. The cellar forms the spacious
root house, at present in the garden. Col Caldwell's exquisite
entertainments soon drew around his table some of the best men of Quebec,
of the time, such as the gallant Gen. Brock, John Colt man, William

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