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Picturesque Quebec by James MacPherson Le Moine

Part 9 out of 14

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Coltman, the Hales, Foy, Haldimand, Dr. Beeby of Powell Place, J. Lester,
John Blackwood. In 1810 Mr. John Caldwell, son of the Colonel, accepted
the succession with its liabilities, not then known. He however made the
Lauzon manor his residence in summer, and was also appointed Receiver
General. In 1817 Belmont was sold to the Hon. J. Irvine, M.P.P., the
grandfather of the present member for Megantic, Hon. George J. Irvine.
Hon. Mr. Irvine resided there until 1833. The beautiful row of trees which
line the house avenue and other embellishments, are due to his good taste.
In 1838 the property reverted to the late Sir Henry Caldwell, the son of
Sir John Caldwell, who in 1827, had inherited the title by the death of an
Irish relative, Sir James Caldwell, the third Baronet (who was made a
Count of Milan by the Empress Maria Theresa, descended by his mothers'
side from the 20th Lord Kerry). John Caldwell of Lauzon, having become Sir
John Caldwell, _menait un grain train_, as the old peasants of Etchemin
repeat to this day. His house, stud and amusements were those of a baron
of old, and of a hospitable Irish gentleman, spreading money and progress
over the length and breadth of the land. At his death, which happened at
Boston in 1842, the insignificant Etchemin settlement, through his
efforts, had materially increased in wealth, size and population. There
was, however, at his demise, an _error_ in his Government balance sheet of
£100,000 on the wrong side!

Belmont lines the St. Foye heights, in a most picturesque situation. The
view from the east and north-western windows is magnificently grand;
probably one might count more than a dozen church spires glittering in the
distance--peeping out of every happy village which dots the base of the
blue mountains to the north. In 1854 this fine property was purchased by
J. W. Dunscomb, Esq., Collector of Customs, Quebec, who resided there
several years, and sold the garden for a cemetery to the Roman Catholic
Church authorities of Quebec, reserving 400 acres for himself. The old
house, within a few years, was purchased by Mr. Wakeham, the late manager
of the Beauport Asylum. His successful treatment of diseases of the mind
induced him to open, at this healthy and secluded spot, under the name of
the "Belmont Retreat," a private _Maison de Santé_, where, wealthy
patients are treated with that delicate care which they could not expect
in a crowded asylum. The same success has attended Mr. Wakeham's
enterprise at Belmont which crowned it at Beauport.


Among the old stories handed down in Canadian homes

"In the long nights of winter,
When the cold north winds blow,"

of the merry gatherings and copious feasts of other days, one is told
of a memorable entertainment at Belmont, given a crowd of friends.

Some assert it was the Belmont anniversary dinner of the battle of
Waterloo and bring in of course Blucher, Hougomont! Belle-Alliance and
what not. It is, however, more generally believed among the aged,
judging from the copious libations and kindly toasts drank, that it
partook of a more intimate character and was merely a _fête de
famille_, to commemorate the safe return of sir John Caldwell's
only son from Ireland, where he had just completed his collegiate
course at Dublin, be that as it may, it unquestionably was meant to
solemnise an important family or national event.

As was wont, in those hospitable times, the "landlord's flowing bowl,"
alas! had been emptied too often. Some of the "Barons of the round
table" were in fact preparing for a timely retreat, before the city
gates should be closed, [263] the genial host soon put a stop to such
a treasonable practice, exclaiming that the sentry would let them pass
at any hour, so they need only follow the Commandant, their fellow
guest, who of course had the countersign, closing his well timed
remarks, by raising his voice and proclaiming in an authoritative tone
"no heel taps here," the stately banquet hall re-echoed with cheers "a
bumper, a bumper," resounded on all sides, "to the future Sir Harry,
who has just completed his Irish education." The future Sir Harry was
soon on his legs, and in a voice mellow with old port, youth and fun,
responded "Friends, fellow countrymen, brothers, (this last expression
was challenged as he was an only son) I am indeed proud of my Dublin
education, we have something, however better before us than a
disquisition on the excellence of the various systems of continental
courses, to be brief, I now challenge any here present to meet me on
the classics, astronomy, the cubic root or glass to glass, you have
your choice." "Glass to glass," they one and all replied. Toasts,
songs, healths of every member of the Royal family, were gone through
with amazing zest as time advanced towards the small hours of the
morning, the guests, one by one disappeared from the banqueting room,
some, alas! under the mahogany, more with the genial commander of the
garrison, whilst the stalwart Irish student, still undaunted and
meeting the foe, glass to glass--a veritable giant, fresher as he went

Old Sir John, a well seasoned diner-out, at last found himself
solitary at his end of the table, whilst his son adorned the other end

Looking round in dismay and fearing, if he continued the healths, to
be unequal to cope with such an intrepid Dublin student, he the last
gave up, flinging himself majestically back in his chair, exclaiming
"D----n your Irish education!"


This estate, which formerly comprised two hundred acres of ground,
extending from the brow of the St. Foye heights to St Michael's Chapel on
the Samoa or St. Lewis road, possesses considerable interest for the
student of Canadian history, both under French and English rule. The
original dwelling, a long high-peaked French structure, stood on an
eminence closer to the St. Foye road than does the present house. It was
built about the year 1740, by a rich Lower Town merchant, Monsieur Jean
Taché [264] who resided there after his marriage in 1742 with Mademoiselle
Marie Anne Jolliet de Mingan, grand-daughter to the celebrated discoverer
of the Mississippi, Louis Jolliet. Monsieur Jean Taché was also _Syndic
des Marchands_, member of the Supreme Council of Quebec, and ancestor
to Sir. E. P. Taché. He at one time owned several vessels, but his
floating wealth having, during the war of the conquest, become the prize
of English cruisers, the St. Peter street Nabob of 1740, as it has since
happened to some of his successors in that _romantic_ neighbourhood,
--lost his money. Loss of fortune did not, however, imply loss of honour,
as old memoirs of that day describe him, "Homme intègre et d'esprit." He
had been selected, in the last year of French rule, to go and lay at the
foot of the French Throne the grievances of the Canadians. About this
time, the St. Foye road was becoming a fashionable resort, _Hawkin's
Picture of Quebec_ calls it "The favorite drive of the Canadian Belle
before the conquest." This is an interesting period in colonial life, but
imperfectly known,--nor will a passage from Jeffery, an old and valued
English writer, illustrative of men, manners and amusements in the Colony,
when it passed over to the English monarch, be out of place:--

"The number of inhabitants being considerably increased, they pass their
time very agreeably. The Governor General, with his household; several of
the _noblesse_ of exceeding good families; the officers of the army,
who in France are all gentlemen; the Intendant, with a Supreme Council,
and the inferior magistrates; the Commissary of the Marine; the Grand
Provost; the Grand Hunter; the Grand Master of the Woods and Forests, who
has the most extensive jurisdiction in the world; rich merchants, or such
as live as if they were so; the bishops and a numerous Seminary; two
colleges of Récollets, as many of Jesuits; with three Nunneries; amongst
all those yon are at no loss to find agreeable company and the most
entertaining conversation. Add to this the diversions of the place, such
as the assemblies at the Lady Governess's and Lady Intendant's; parties at
cards, or of pleasure, such as in the winter on the ice, in sledges, or in
skating; and in the summer in chaises or canoes; also hunting, which it is
impossible not to be fond of in a country abounding with plenty of game of
all kinds.

"It is remarked of the Canadians that their conversation is enlivened by
an air of freedom which is natural and peculiar to them, and that they
speak the French in the greatest purity and without the least false
accent. There are few rich people in that Colony, though they all live
well, are extremely generous and hospitable, keep very good tables, and
love to dress very finely.... The Canadians have carried the love of arms,
and glory, so natural to their mother country, along with them.... War is
not only welcome to them but coveted with extreme ardor." [265]

During the fall of 1775, the old mansion sheltered Brigadier Richard
Montgomery, [266] the leader of the American forlorn hope, who fell on the
31st December of that year, at Près-de-Ville, Champlain street, fighting
against those same British whom it had previously been his pride to lead
to victory. About the year 1780, we find this residence tenanted by a
worthy British officer, who had been a great favourite with the hero of
the Plains of Abraham. Major Samuel Holland had fought bravely that day
under General Wolfe, and stood, it is said, after the battle, close by the
expiring warrior. His dwelling took the name of Holland House: he added to
it, a cupola, which served in lieu of a _prospect tower_, wherefrom
could be had a most extensive view of the surrounding country. [267] The
important appointment of Surveyor General of the Province, which was
bestowed on Major Holland, together with his social qualities, abilities
and education, soon gathered round him the _élite_ of the English
Society in Quebec at that time. Amongst the distinguished guests who
frequented Holland House in 1791, we find Edward, afterwards Duke of Kent.
The numerous letters still extant addressed by His Royal Highness from
Kensington Palace, as late as 1814, to the many warm friends he had left
on the banks of the St. Lawrence, contain pleasant reminiscences of his
sojourn amongst his royal father's Canadian lieges. Amongst other
frequenters of Holland House, may also be noted a handsome stranger, who
after attending--the gayest of the gay--the Quebec Château balls,
Regimental mess dinners, Barons' Club, tandem drives, as the male friend
of one of the young Hollands was, to the amazement of all, convicted at a
mess dinner of being a lady [268] in disguise. A _fracas_ of course
ensued. The lady-like guest soon vamosed to England, where _he_ became the
lawful spouse of the Hon. Mr. C----, the brother to Lord F----d. One
remnant of the Hollands long endured; the old fir tree on that portion of
the property purchased by James Creighton, farmer. Holland tree was still
sacred to the memory of the five slumberers, who have reposed for more
than a century beneath its hoary branches. Nor has the recollection of the
"fatal duel" faded away. Holland farm, for many years, belonged to Mr.
Wilson of the Customs Department, Quebec, in 1843 it passed by purchase to
Judge George Okill Stuart, of Québec; Mr. Stuart improved the place,
removed the old house and built a handsome new one on a rising ground in
rear, which he occupied for several summers. It again became renowned for
gaiety and festivity when subsequently owned by Robert Cassels, Esquire,
for many years Manager of the Bank of British North America at Quebec.
Genl. Danl. Lysons had leased it in 1862, for his residence, when the
unexpected vote of the House of Assembly on the Militia Bill broke through
his arrangements. Holland House is still the property of Mr. Cassels.



"Woodman spare that tree."

It has often been noticed that one of the chief glories of Quebec
consisted in being surrounded on all sides by smiling country seats,
which in the summer season, as it were, encircle the brow of the old
city like a chaplet of flowers; those who, on a sunny June morning,
have wandered through the shady groves of Spencer Wood, Woodfield,
Marchmont, Benmore, Kilmarnock, Kirk Ella, Hamwood, Beauvoir,
Clermont, and fifty other old places, rendered vocal by the voices of
birds, and with the sparkling waters of the great river or the winding
St. Charles at their feet, are not likely to gainsay this statement.

Amongst these beautiful rural retreats few are better known than
Holland Farm, in 1780 the family mansion of Surveyor-General Holland,
one of Wolfe's favourite engineer officers. During the fall of 1775 it
had been the headquarters of Brig. General Montgomery, who chose it as
his residence during the siege of Quebec, whilst his colleague, Col.
Benedict Arnold, was stationed with his New Englanders at the house
southeast of Scott's Bridge, on the Little River road, for many years
the homestead of Mr. Langlois. This fine property, running back as far
as Mount Hermon Cemetery, and extending from the St. Louis or Grand
Allée road, opposite Spencer Wood, down to the St. Foye road, which it
crosses, is bounded to the north by the _cime du cap_, or St. Foye
heights. For those who may be curious to know its original extent to
an eighth of an inch, I shall quote from Major Holland's title-deed,
wherein it is stated to comprise "in superficies, French measure, two
hundred and six arpents, one perch, seven feet eight inches, and _four
eighths of an inch_," from which description one would infer the Major
had surveyed his domain with great minuteness, or that he must have
been rather a stickler for territorial rights. What would his shades
now think could they be made cognizant of the fact that that very
château garden, [269] which he possessed and bequeathed to his sons in
the year 1800, which had been taken possession of for military
purposes by the Imperial authorities, is held by them to this day?
Major Samuel Holland had distinguished himself as an officer under
General Wolfe, on the Plains of Abraham, lived at Holland House [270]
many years, as was customary in those days, in affluence, and at last
paid the common debt to nature. He had been employed in Prince Edward
Island and Western Canada on public surveys.

The Major, after having provided for his wife, Mary Josette Rolet,
bequeathed his property to Frederick Braham, John Frederick,
Charlotte, Susan and George Holland, [271] his children. In 1817,
Frederick Braham Holland, who at that time was an ordnance storekeeper
at Prince Edward Island, sold his share of the farm to the late
William Wilson, of the Customs. Ten years later, John Frederick and
Charlotte Holland also disposed of their interest in this land to Mr.
Wilson, who subsequently, having acquired the rights of another heir,
viz., in 1835, remained proprietor of Holland Farm until 1843, when
the property by purchase passed over to Judge Geo. Okill Stuart, of
this city. Mr. Stuart built on it a handsome mansion now known as
Holland House, which he subsequently sold to Rob. Cassells, Esq., of
Quebec, late manager of the Bank of British North America.

Holland Farm has been gradually dismembered: Coulonge Cottage, at the
outlet of the Gomin Road, [272] is built on Holland farm. A successful
gold digger by the name of Sinjohn purchased in the year 1862 a large
tract of the farm fronting the St. Louis road with Thornhill as its
north eastern and Mr. Stuart's new road as its south-western boundary.
His cottage is shaded by the Thornhill Grove, with a garden and lawn
and adjoins a level pasturage entirely denuded of shrubs and forest
trees. [273] To a person looking from the main gate, at Spencer Wood
in the direction of the south gable of Holland House, exactly in a
straight line, no object intervenes except a fir tree which detaches
itself on the horizon, conspicuous from afar over the plantation which
fronts the St. Foye road. That tree is the Holland Tree. Well! what
about the Holland Tree? What! you a Quebecer and not to know about the
Holland Tree? the duel and the slumberers who have reposed for so many
years under its shade!

Oh! but suppose I am not a Quebecer. Tell me about the Holland Tree.
Well, walk down from the St. Louis road along Mr. Stuart's new road
and we shall see first how the rest of the 'slumberers' has been
respected. Hear the words which filial affection dictated to Frederick
Braham, John Frederick and Charlotte Holland, when on the 14th July
1827, they executed a deed [274] in favor of Wm. Wilson conveying
their interest in their father's estate.

"Provided always and these presents as well as the foregoing deed of
sale and conveyance are so made and executed by the said Robert
Holland acting as aforesaid (as attorney of the heirs Holland) upon
and subject to the _express_ charge and _condition_ that is to say,
that the said William Wilson his heirs and assigns shall forever hold
sacred and inviolable the small circular space of ground on the said
tract or piece of land and premises enclosed with a stone wall and
wherein the remains of the late Samuel Holland, Esquire, father of the
said vendors and of his son the late Samuel Holland jr., Esq., are
interred, and shall and will allow tree ingress and egress at all
times to the relatives and friends of the family of the said Samuel
Holland for the purpose of viewing the state and condition of the said
space of ground and making or causing to be made such repairs to the
wall enclosing the same or otherwise providing for the protection of
the said remains as they shall see fit."

Not many years back the 'small circular space' which Mr. Wilson bound
himself to hold sacred and inviolable and which contained two neat
marble slabs with the names of Messrs. Holland, senior and junior, and
other members of the family engraved on them, was inclosed within a
substantial stone wall to which access was had through an iron gate,
the walls were covered with inscriptions and with the initials of
those who had visited a spot to which the fatal issue of a deadly
encounter lent all the interest of a romance. Nothing now is visible
except the foundation, which is still distinct: the monument stones
have disappeared, the wall has been razed to the ground, some modern
Vandal or a descendant of the Ostrogoths [275] (for amongst all
civilized nations, the repose of the dead is sacred) has laid violent
hands on them! When Mr. Wilson sold Holland farm in 1843 he made no
stipulation about the graves of the Hollands, he took no care that
what he had agreed to hold inviolable should continue to be so held.

The tragical occurrence connected with the Holland Tree is much out of
the ordinary run of events, it seems very like the plot of a sensation
novel--a dark tale redolent with love, jealousy and revenge. Two men
stood, some sixty years ago, in mortal combat, not under the Holland
Tree, as it has generally been believed but near Windmill Point, Point
St Charles, at Montreal, one of them Ensign Samuel Holland, of the
60th Regiment, the other was Capt Shoedde. The encounter, it was
expected would be a deadly one in those duelling days blood alone
could wipe out an insult. Old Major Holland, on bidding adieu to his
son is reported to have said, "Samuel, my boy, here are weapons which
my loved friend General Wolfe, presented me on the day of his death.
Use them, to keep the old family name without stain." Of this
memorable affair W. H. Henderson, Esq., of Hemison, has kindly
furnished me with the following details.

'The duel originated from some, it was considered, unjustifiable
suspicions on the part of Capt. Shoedde of his (Holland's) intimacy
with Mrs. Shoedde so palpably unfounded that young Holland applied to
his father as to whether in honour he was bound to take notice of the
matter. The Major replied by forwarding by post his pistols. Ensign
Holland was mortally wounded at the first shot, but in his agony rose
on his knees and levelled his pistol, aiming for Capt. Shoedde's
heart, who received the ball in his arm laid over his breast.'

Mr. Holland was conveyed to the Merchants Coffee House, in the small
lane, near the river side, called Capital street, where he expired in
great pain. The battalion in which this gentleman served was at that
time, commanded by Major Patrick Murray, a relative of the British
General of Quebec fame, with whom I became very intimate in the years
1808 and 1809. Major Murray's account of the duel agreed with the
general report prevalent in 1799 in Montreal. Murray thought that the
challenge had been given by young Holland and not by Shoedde. Murray
subsequently married sold his commission, and purchased the seignory
of Argenteuil. At that time Sir George Prevost was also a Major In the
60th Regiment of 1790, whilst Murray's commission dated of 1784. Sir
George gave Murray in 1812 a colonel's commission in the militia, who
raised the corps of lawyers in Montreal known, as styled by the
humorous old man, "as The Devil s Own."


One of the young Hollands had also been a party to a _scandalum
magnum_, which created much gossip amongst our grandfathers, about
the time H.R.H the Duke of Kent was at Quebec.

At a regimental mess dinner a handsome young fellow, having, in these
days of hard swearing and hard drinking, exceeded in wine, was
convicted of being a lady in disguise, attending as the guest of young
Holland, and whose sex was unknown to young Holland.

This lady, whom all Quebec knew as Mr. Nesbitt, turned out to be a
Miss Neville, left for England, and was eventually married to Sir J.
C---, brother of Lord F----, a British nobleman.

One of the Nestors of the present generation, Col. J. Sewell, has
related to me the circumstances as he heard them in his youth from the
lips of a man of veracity and honour--Hon. W. Smith, son of Chief
Justice Smith.

Here are his own words:--"Hon. Mr. Smith told me that Mr. Nesbitt,
_alias_ Miss Neville, was dining at a mess dinner of the 24th
Grenadiers at the Jesuits' Barracks, upper Town market place--Having
sacrificed too freely to the rosy god, an officer of the 24th, Mr.
Broadstreet, I think, helped him to the balcony ... when having to
lean on his supporter, Mr. Broadstreet became confident Nesbitt was a
girl in disguise. Nesbitt drove out after dinner to Holland House and
Broadstreet told the joke all round. Nesbitt hearing of it, sent him,
next day, a challenge for originating such a report.

Mr. Broadstreet, not knowing how to act, applied to one of his
superior officers--Capt. Doyle (subsequently Genl. Doyle, who married
at Quebec, a Miss Smith), for advice, saying: "How can I fight a
girl?" to which Capt. Doyle rejoined, "I will act as your second. If
Nesbitt is a girl, you shall not fight him, and I engage to prove this
fact." He then drove out to Holland House, and found the gay Lothario
Nesbitt flirting with the young ladies. He observed him attentively,
and having tried an experiment, calculated to throw light on the
mysterious foreigner, he went to complain direct to the Governor and
Commander in Chief; Lord Dorchester, who, on hearing the perplexity
caused by Mr. Nesbitt, sent for Dr. Longmore, the military physician,
and ordered him to investigate of what sex Nesbitt might be.

Mr. Nesbitt stormed--refused to submit--vowed he would go direct to
England and make a formal complaint of the indignity with which he was

Hon. Jonathan Sewell,--later on Chief Justice, by persuasion,
succeeded in pouring oil on the troubled waters. Nesbitt confessed,
and Quebec was minus of a very handsome but beardless youngster, and
the English Court journals soon made mention of a fashionable marriage
in high life.


How sweet it is, when mother Fancy rocks
The wayward brain, to saunter through a wood
An old place, full of many a lovely brood,
Tall trees, green arbours, and ground-flowers in flocks
And wild rose tiptoe upon hawthorn stocks,

How many vicissitudes in the destinies of places, men, families, nations!
See yonder mansion, its verdant leaves, with the leafy honours of nascent
spring encircling it like a garland, exhaling the aroma of countless buds
and blossoms, embellished by conservatory, grapery, avenues of fruit and
floral trees. Does not every object bespeak comfort, rural felicity,
commercial success!

When you enter that snug billiard-room, luxuriously fitted up with fire
place, ottomans, &c., or when, on a balmy summer evening, you are seated
on the ample verandah, next to the kind host, do you not my legal friend,
feel inclined to repeat to yourself "Commerce, commerce is the turnpike to
health, to affluence, the path to consideration." But was the scene always
so smiling, and redolent of rustic enjoyment.

If so, what means yon stately column, [276] surmounted by its fat,
helmetted Bellona, mysteriously looking round as if pregnant with a mighty
unfathomable future. Ask history? Open Capt. Knox's _Journal of the
Siege of Quebec_, and read therein how, in front of that very spot
where you now stand, along that identical road, over which you emerged
from the city, war once threw her sorrows, ask this brave British officer
to retrace one of those winter scenes he witnessed here more than one
hundred years ago: the howling blast of the north sighing through the few
remaining gnarled pines and oaks spared by Albion's warriors; add to it
tired teams of English troops, laboriously drawing, yoked eight by eight,
long sledges of firewood for Murray's depressed, harassed garrison, and
you have something like John Knox's _tableau_ of St. Foye Road on the
7th December, 1759.--

"Our garrison, now undergo incredible fatigue, not only within but also
without the walls, being obliged to load and sleigh home firewood from the
forest of St. Foy, which is near four miles distant, and through snow of a
surpassing depth, eight men are allowed to each sleigh, who are yoked to
it in couples by a set of regular harness, besides one man who guides it
behind with a long stout pole, to keep it clear of ruts and other
obstructions. We are told that M. de Lévis is making great preparations
for the long-meditated assault on this place (Quebec) with which we are
menaced. Christmas is said to be the time fixed for this enterprise, and
_Monsieur_ says, 'if he succeed he shall be promoted to be _Maréchal de
France_, and if he fail, Canada will be lost, for he will give it up.'"

Do not, dear reader, however fear for the old rock, it is tolerably secure
so long as Fraser's Highlanders and British Grenadiers garrison it.

We have here endeavored to contrast the smiling present with the dreary
past; peace, progress, wealth, as we find it to-day in this important
appendage of the British Crown, ready to expand into an empire, with the
dismal appearance of things when it was scantily settled, and in those
dark days when war stalked through our land. Hamwood takes its name from
that of the paternal estate of the Hamiltons, county of Meath, Ireland,
and without pretending to architectural excellence, it is one of the
loveliest spots on the St. Foye road. It belongs to Robert Hamilton, Esq.,
a leading merchant of Quebec.


And I have heard the whispers of the trees,
And the low laughter of the wandering wind,
Mixed with the hum of golden-belted bees,
And far away, dim echoes, undefined,--
That yet had power to thrill my listening ear,
Like footsteps of the spring that is so near.
--(_Wood Voices_, KATE S. McL.)

Shall we confess that we ever had a fancy for historical contrasts? It is
our weakness, perhaps our besetting sin; and when, on a balmy June day, at
the hour when the king of day it sipping the dew-drops from the flowers,
we ride past this unadorned but charming little Canadian home, next to
Westfield, on the St. Foye heights, as it were sunning itself amidst
emerald fields, fanned by the breath of the fragrant morn, enlivened by
the gambols of merry childhood; memory, in spite of us, brings back the
ghastly sights, the sickening Indian horrors, witnessed here on the 28th
April, 1760. There can be no doubt on this point; the mute, but eloquent
witnesses of the past are dug up every day: shot, shell, bullets, old
bayonets, decayed military buttons, all in the greatest profusion.

"The savages," says Garneau, "who were nearly all in the woods behind
during the fight, spread over the battle-field when the French were
pursuing the enemy, and killed many of the wounded British, whose scalps
were afterwards found upon neighboring bushes. As soon as De Lévis was
apprised of the massacre, he took vigorous measures for putting a stop to
it. Within a comparatively narrow space nearly 2,500 men had been struck
by bullets. The patches of snow and icy puddles on the ground were so
reddened with the blood shed, that the frozen ground refused to absorb,
and the wounded survivors of the battle were immersed in pools of gore and
filth, ankle deep."

Such _was_ the deadly strife in April, 1760, on the identical spot on
which, reader, you and we now stand on the St. Foye heights. Such is
_now_ the smiling aspect of things as you see them at Bijou, which
crowns the heights over the great Bijou marsh, etc., the dwelling of
Andrew Thomson, Esq., (now President of the Union Bank of Quebec.) Some
natural springs in the flower garden, in rear of the dwelling, and slopes
of the ground, when turned to advantage, in the way of terraces and
fountains, bid fair to enhance materially the beauty of this rustic spot.


By a volunteer (J. T.).

"At the Battle of the Plains of Abraham we had but one Piper, and
because he was not provided with Arms and the usual other means of
defence, like the rest of the men, he was made to keep aloof for
safety:--When our line advanced to the charge, General Townshend
observing that the Piper was missing, and knowing well the value of
one on such occasions, he sent in all directions for him, and he was
heard to say aloud. "Where's the Highland Piper?" and "Five pounds for
a Piper;" but devil a bit did the Piper come forward the sooner.
However, the charge, by good chance, was pretty well effected without
him, as all those that escaped could testify. For this business the
Piper was disgraced by the whole of the Regiment, and the men would
not speak to him, neither would they suffer his rations to be drawn
with theirs, but had them serv'd out by the Commissary separately, and
he was obliged to shift for himself as well as he could.

The next spring, in the month of April, when the Garrison of Quebec
was so madly march'd out, to meet the French, who had come down again
to attack us, and while we were on the retreat back to the Town, the
Highlanders, who were a raw undisciplin'd set, were got into great
disorder, and had become more like a mob than regular soldiers. On the
way I fell in with a captain Moses Hazen, [278] a Jew, who commanded a
company of Rangers, and who was so badly wounded, that his servant,
who had to carry him away, was obliged to rest him on the grounds at
every twenty or thirty yards, owing to the great pain he endured. This
intrepid fellow, observing that there was a solid column of the French
coming on over that high ground where Commissary General Craigie [279]
built his house, and headed by an Officer who was at some distance in
advance of the column, he ask'd his servant if his fuzee was stil
loaded? (The servant opened the pan, and found it is still prim'd).
"Do you see," says Captain Hazen, "that fellow there, waving his sword
to encourage those other fellows to come forward?"--Yes, says the
servant, I do Sir;--Then, says the Captain again, "just place your
back against mine for one moment, 'till I see if I can bring him
down." He accordingly stretch'd himself on the ground, and, resting
the muzzle of his fuzee on his toes, he let drive at the French
Officer. I was standing close behind him, and I thought it perfect
madness to attempt it. However, away went the charge after him, and
faith down he was in an instant. Both the Captain and myself were
watching for some minutes, under an idea that altho' he _had_ laid
down, he might perhaps take it into his head to get up again. But no.
And the moment that he fell, the whole column that he was leading on,
turn'd about and decamp'd off leaving him to follow as well as he
might! I could'nt help telling the Captain that he had made a capital
shot, and I related to him the affair of the foolish fellow of our
grenadiers who shot the savage at the landing at Louisbourg, altho'
the distance was great, and the rolling of the boat so much against
his taking a steady aim. "Oh! yes, says Captain Hazen, you know that a
_chance shot_ will kill the Devil himself."

But, to return to the Highlanders: so soon as the Piper had discovered
that his men had scatter'd and were in disorder, he as soon
recollected the disgrace that still hung upon him, and he likely
bethought to give them a blast of his Pipes. By the Lord Harry! this
had the effect of stopping them short, and they allow'd themselves to
be formed into a sort of order. For this opportune blast of his
chanters, the Piper gain'd back the forgiveness of the Regiment, and
was allow'd to take his meals with his old messmates, as if nothing-
at-all had happened.

On the 6th May, 1760, which was after we had been driven back to the
town by the French, and while they yet lay in their trenches across
that high ground where the martello tower now stands, there came a
ship of war in sight, and she was for some considerable time tacking
across and across between Pointe Lévis and the opposing shore. We were
at a loss to know the meaning of all this, when the commanding Officer
of Artillery bethought himself to go and acquaint General Murray (who
had taken up his Quarters in Saint Louis Street, now (1828) the
Officer's Barracks) of the circumstance: He found the General in a
meditative mood, sitting before the fire in the chimney place. On the
Officer acquainting him that there was a ship of war in sight, the
General was quite electrified! He instantly got up, and, in the
greatest fury, order'd the Officer to have the colours immediately
hoisted on the citadel! Away he went, but dev'l a bit could the
halliards be made to go free until at last, a sailor was got hold of,
who soon scrambl'd up the flagstaff, and, put all to rights in a

All this time the ship of war did not show her own colours, not
knowing whether the town was in the hands of the French or the
English, but as soon as she perceived our flag, she hoisted English
colours, and shaped her course towards the town, and was soon safe at
anchor opposite to the King's Wharf. Our men had been all the winter
in bad spirits from coughs and colds, and, their having been obliged
to retreat from the French, did'nt help much to mend the matter.
However, when they heard that an English man-o-war was come, it was
astonishing how soon they became stout-hearted; faith, they were like
lions, and just as bold! The man-o-war prov'd to be the "Lowestoffe,"
which had been detached from the main fleet below, with orders to make
the best of time through the ice, and take up the earliest
intelligence of the approach of the fleet. Her sides were very much
torn by the floating ice. Our having hoisted colours for the first
time since the conquest, and a ship of war having made her appearance,
led the French to imagine that there was something strange going on.
Indeed they expected a fleet as well as ourselves, and this arrival
brought them out of their trenches, as thick as midges; they appeared
to us like so many pigeons upon a roost! whilst they were gaping at us
in such an exposed position, they received a salute from the whole
line of our guns, extending from Cape Diamond down to the Barrack
Bastion, and yet they went off almost like a single volley. It was
fearful enough to see how they tumbled down in their intrenchments,
like so many sacks of wool! Their seeing soldiers passing ashore from
our frigate, they thought that we were about to receive powerful
reinforcements, and they scamper'd away, their killed and wounded men
along with them. Our men soon were allow'd to go out, and they regaled
themselves upon the soup and pork which the French had left cooking on
the fires. That single discharge disabled so many of our guns, that we
had to get others then in the lower town, and our men were so weak
that they could not drag them up, but which was at last done with the
help of the sailors just arrived in the Fleet.

In about three days after the arrival of the "Lowestoffe" the
remainder of the Fleet came up to Quebec, and finding that the French
had some ships lying above Wolfe's Cove, they went up to look after
them. As soon as the French had seen them coming on, they slipp'd
their cables, and endeavor'd to get out of the way with the help of
the flood-tide, but the Commodore's ship got upon a ledge of rocks,
and stuck fast, and the crew took to the boats, and got ashore,
leaving the ship to take care of itself. There was found, on board of
this ship, one Mons. Cugnet and an Englishman call'd Davis, both of
whom had their hands tied behind their back, and a rope about their
neck, and they were inform'd that they both were to be hang'd at the
yard-arm so soon as the ship's company had finish'd their breakfast!

Monsieur Cugnet was the person who, at the Island of Orleans, gave
General Wolfe the information where would be the best place to get up
the bank above the Town, and Davis, who had been taken prisoner by the
French, some years before, had given some other kind of information,
and they both were to be punish'd as spies. However, they not only got
off with their lives, but were afterwards, well rewarded by our
Government. The former was appointed French-Translator to the
Government Offices, and something more, which enabled him to live
respectably; and Davis, who had been a grenadier-soldier, got a
pension of twenty five pounds a year: they both lived a long time in
the enjoyment of it."


The extensive green pastures which General James Murray owned, in 1768, on
the St. Foy road, under the name of _Sans bruit_, [280] form at present
several minor estates. One of the handsomest residences of this well
wooded region was Morton Lodge, on the south side of the highway, and
bounded by the Belvidère road,--about thirty-two acres in extent. It was
honored with this name by one of its former owners, the builder of the
lodge, some sixty years ago--the late James Black, Esquire. Morton Lodge
is built in the cottage style, with a suite of roomy apartments forming a
spacious wing in rear; the lawns in front of the house, with a grove of
trees, add much to its beauty; a handsome conservatory to the east opens
on the drawing room; it is located in the centre of a flower garden. The
additional attraction of this residence, when owned by the late David
Douglas Young was an extensive collection of paintings, purchased at
various times by the owner both in Canada and in Europe: the French,
Flemish and Italian schools were well represented, as well as Kreighoff's
winter scenery in Canada.

Morton Lodge, for many years was the residence of David Douglass Young,
Esquire, once President of the Quebec Bank, and formerly a partner of the
late George B. Symes, Esquire. Mr. Young claimed, on the maternal side, as
ancestor, Donald Fraser, one of Fraser's (78th) Highlanders, a regiment
which distinguished itself at the taking of Quebec, whilst fighting under
Wolfe, on these same grounds.

Forming a portion of this estate, to the west, may be noticed a cosy
little nest, _Bruce's Cottage_, as it was formerly called--now
Bannockburn--surrounded on all sides by trees, lawns and flowers.


"What, sir, said I," cut down Goldsmith's hawthorn bush, that supplies
so beautiful an image in the DESERTED VILLAGE! 'Ma foy,' exclaimed the
bishop (of Ardagh,) 'is that the hawthorn bush? then ever let it be
saved from the edge of the axe, and evil to him that would cut from it
a branch."--_Howitt's Homes and Haunts of British Poets_.

At Mount Pleasant, about one mile from St. John's Gate, a number of
agreeable suburban residences have sprung up, as if by enchantment, within
a few years. This locality, from the splendid view it affords of the
valley of St. Charles, the basin of the St. Lawrence and surrounding
country, has ever been appreciated. The most noticeable residence is a
commodious cut-stone structure, inside of the toll, erected there a few
years back by the late G. H. Simard, Esq., member for Quebec, and later,
purchased by the late Fred. Vannovous, Esq., Barrister. Its mate in size
and appearance a few acres to the west, on the St. Foye road, is owned by
the Hon. Eugene Chinic, Senator. In the vicinity, under the veil of a
dense grove of trees, your eyes gather as you drive past, the outlines of
a massive, roomy homestead, on the north side of the heights, on a site
which falls off considerably; groups of birch, maple, and some mountain
ash and chesnut trees, flourish in the garden which surrounds the house;
in rear, flower beds slope down in an enclosure, whose surface is
ornamented with two tiny reservoirs of crystal water, which gushes from
some perennial stream, susceptible of great embellishment at little cost,
by adding _Jets d'eau_. The declivities in rear seem as if intended
by nature to be laid out into lovely terraces, with flowers or verdure to
fringe their summits.

In the eastern section of the domain stands,

"The hawthorne bush, with seats beneath the shade,
For talking age and whispering lovers made."

Whether it blossoms on Christmas Day, like the legendary White Thorn of
Glastonbury, "which sprang from Joseph of Arimathea's dry staff, stuck by
him in the ground when he rested there" deponent sayeth not. This majestic
and venerable tree, branching out like a diminutive cedar of Lebanon, is
indeed the pride of Westfield. It is evidently of very great age, though
each summer as green, as fruitful as ever; the oldest inhabitant cannot
recall when it was smaller. If trees could reveal what has passed under
their boughs, would not the veteran hawthorn tell of wounded men resting
beneath it; of the strange garb and cries of combatants, English, French,
Celts, Canadians and Indians, on that luckless 28th April, 1760, when
Murray's soldiers, were retreating in hot haste from St. Foye and placing
the city walls between them and Levi's victorious legions; of shot, shell
and bullets, [281.] whistling through its hoary branches, on that
memorable 13th of September, 1759, when the _Sauvages d'Ecosse_, with
their reeking claymores, were slashing at, and pursuing the French, flying
from the battle field, over the St. Foye heights, to the French Camp on
the north bank of the St. Charles, in a line with the Marine Hospital.
Various indeed for as are the attractions of stately trees; we can
understand why this one is the pride of Westfield. To us, an old denizen
of the country, a stately tree has ever been a companionable; in fact, a
reverential object. In our eyes 'tis not only rich in its own native
beauty; it may perchance also borrow interest from associations and become
a part of our home--of ourselves: it may have overshadowed the rustic
seat, where, in our infant years, one dear to us and now departed, read
the Sunday hymn or taught us with a mother's sanctifying love to become a
good citizen, in every respect worthy of our sire. Perchance it may have
been planted on the day of our birth; it may also commemorate the natal
hour of our first-born, and may it not like ourselves, in our early days,
have required the fostering care of a guardian spirit,--the dews from
heaven to refresh it and encourage its growth. Yes, like the proprietor of
Westfield, we dearly love the old trees of our home.

We were invited to ascend to the loftiest point of this dwelling, and
contemplate from the platform on the roof the majestic spectacle at our
feet. Far below us waved the nodding pinnacles of countless forest trees;
beyond and around us, the site of the old battle-fields of 1759 and 1760,
to the east, the white expanse of the St. Lawrence sleeping between the
Beauport, Orleans and Point Levi shores; to the northwest, the snake-like
course of the St. Charles, stealing through fertile meadows, copses of
evergreens--until, by a supreme effort, it veers round the compass at the
Marine Hospital; there, at sunset, it appears as if gamboling in the light
of the departing luminary, whose rays anon linger in fitful glances on the
spires of Lorette, Charlesbourg and St. Sauveur, until they fade away, far
away in the cerulean distance, over the sublime crags of

--"of these our hills
the last that parleys with the setting sun."

or else gild in amber tints, the wooded slopes of the lofty ridges to the

Westfield, forms part of a larger expanse of land, formerly known as the
"Upper Bijou," crowning the heights, overhanging the valley of the St.
Charles, where existed the "Lower Bijou," marshy and green meadows, once
sacred to snipe, and on which the populous suburb St. Sauveur has recently
sprung up. It was granted in free and common soccage, to the late Charles
Grey Stewart, Esq., in 18--; he resided there many years.

In 1870, this lovely old homestead, became the property of the Hon. David
Alex. Ross, Barrister, M.P.P. for the county of Quebec, its present
occupant. Several embellishments have been added to it by this gentleman
and his lady; at present, the views, groves, parterres of Westfield during
the summer months are more attractive than ever.


"Sol Canadien, terre chérie
Par des braves tu fus peuplé,
Ils cherchaient, loin de leur patrie,
Une terre de liberté,
Qu'elles sont belles, nos campagnes,
Au Canada qu'on vit content!

About the year 1830 that portion of the environs of Quebec watered by the
River St. Charles, in the vicinity of Scott's bridge, had especially
attracted the attention of several of our leading citizens as pleasant and
healthy abodes for their families. Two well known gentlemen in particular,
the bearers of old and respected names, the late Honorable Mr. Justice
Philippe Panet, and his brother the Honorable Louis Panet, "Senator
selected two adjoining lots covering close on eighty acres, on the banks
of the St. Charles, the Cahire-Coubat of ancient days. The main road to
the east intervenes between the Hon. Judge Panet's seat and the mossy old
dwelling in which Col. Arnold had his head-quarters during the winter of
1775-76, now the residence of the Langlois family. Judge Panet built there
an elegant villa on an Italian design, brought home after returning from
the sunny clime of Naples, the rooms are lofty and all are oval. Several
hundred sombre old pines surround the house on all sides.

The neighboring villa, to the west, was planted by the Honorable Louis
Panet, about 1830; also the grounds tastefully laid out in meadows,
plantations and gardens, symmetrically divided off by neat spruce, thorn,
and snowball hedges, which improve very much their aspect. One fir hedge,
in particular, is of uncommon beauty. To the west an ancient pine, a
veritable monarch of the forest, rears his hoary trunk, and amidst most
luxuriant foliage looks down proudly on the young plantation beneath him,
lending his hospitable shades to a semi-circular rustic seat--a grateful
retreat during the heat of a summer's day. Next to this old tree runs a
small rill, once dammed up for a fish-pond, but a colony of muskrats
having "unduly elected domicile thereat," the finny denizens disappeared
as if by magic; and next, the voracious _rodents_ made so many raids
into the vegetable garden that the legal gentleman, who was lord of the
manor, served on them _a notice to quit_, by removing the dam. The
ejected amphibii crossed the river in a body and "elected domicile" in the
roots of an elm tree at Poplar Grove, opposite and in full view of the
castle, probably by way of a threat. On the high river banks is a twelve-
pounder used formerly to crown a miniature fort erected over there. We
remember on certain occasions hearing at a distance its loud _boom_.
Coucy-le-Castel is surrounded on two sides by a spacious piazza, and
stands on an elevated position close to the river bank. From the drawing-
room windows is visible the even course of the fairy Cahire-Coubat,
hurrying past in dark eddies, under the pendulous foliage of some graceful
elms which overhang the bank at Poplar Grove, the mansion of the late L.
T. McPherson, Esq. Now and again from the small fort, amidst the murmur of
rapids not far distant, you may catch the shrill note of the king-fisher
in his hasty flight over the limpid stream, or see a lively trout leap in
yonder deep pool; or else, in the midsummer vacation, see a birch canoe
lazily floating down from _la mer Pacifique_, impelled by the arm of
a pensive law student, dreaming perchance of Pothier or Blackstone,--
perchance of his lady love, whilst paddling to the air:--

"Il y a longtemps que je t'aime
Jamais je ne t'oublierai."

The neighborhood of running water; the warbling of the birds; the distant
lowing of kine in the green meadows; the variety and beauty of the
landscape, especially when the descending orb of day gilds the dark woods
to the west, furnish a strikingly rural spectacle at Coucy-le-Castel, thus
named from a French estate in Picardy, owned by the Badelarts, ancestors,
on the maternal side, of the Panets.

In 1861 Coucy-le-Castel was purchased by Judge Jean Thomas Taschereau, of
Quebec, under whose care it is acquiring each year new charms. A
plantation of deciduous trees and evergreens has taken the place of the
row of poplars which formerly lined the avenue. The Judge's _Château_
stands conspicuous amongst the pretty but less extensive surrounding
country seats, such as the old mansion of Fred. Andrews, Esq., Q. C., the
neat cottage of Fred. W. Andrews, Esq., Barrister, festooned with wild


Inscription on cross erected 3d May, 1536, by Jacques Cartier.

We will be pardoned for devoting a larger space than for other country
seats, in describing Ringfield, on account of the important events of
which it was the theatre.

Close to the Dorchester Bridge to the west, on the Charlesbourg road,
there was once an extensive estate known as Smithville--five or six
hundred acres of table land owned by the late Charles Smith, Esq., who for
many years resided in the substantial large stone dwelling subsequently
occupied by A. Laurie, Esq., at present by Owen Murphy, Esq., opposite the
Marine Hospital. Some hundred acres, comprising the land on the west of
the _ruisseau_ Lairet, known as _Ferme des Anges_, [282] were detached
from it and now form Ringfield, whose handsome villa is scarcely visible
from the Charlesbourg road in summer on account of the plantation of
evergreens and other forest trees which, with white-thorn hedge, line
its semicircular avenue on both sides. One might be inclined to regret
that this plantation has grown up so luxuriantly, as it interferes with
the striking view to be had here of the Island of Orleans, St. Lawrence,
and surrounding parishes. Before the trees assume their vernal honours
there can be counted, irrespective of the city spires, no less than
thirteen steeples of churches in so many parishes. Ringfield takes its
name from its circular meadow (Montcalm's hornwork). In rear it is bounded
to the west by the little stream called Lairet, with the _ruisseau_ St.
Michel in view; to the south, its natural boundary is the meandering
Cahire-Coubat. [283]

Ringfield has even more to recommend it than the rural beauty common to
the majority of our country seats; here were enacted scenes calculated to
awaken the deepest interest in every student of Canadian history. On the
banks of the River St. Charles, 1535-36, during his second voyage of
discovery, Jacques Cartier, the intrepid navigator of St. Malo, more than
three centuries back, it is now generally supposed, wintered. We have
Champlain's [284] authority for this historical fact, though, Charlevoix
erroneously asserts that the great discoverer wintered on the banks of the
River Jacques Cartier, twenty-seven miles higher up than Quebec. A careful
examination of _Lescarbot's Journal of Cartier's Second Voyage_, and
the investigations of subsequent historians leave little room to doubt
Champlain's statement. [285] Jacques Cartier in his journal, written in
the quaint old style of that day, furnishes us curious descriptions of the
locality where he wintered, and of the adjoining Indian town,
_Stadaconé_, the residence of the Chief Donacona. The Abbé Ferland
and other contemporary writers have assigned as the probable site of
Stadacona that part of Quebec which is now covered by a portion of the
suburbs of St. John, and by that part of St. Roch looking towards the St.
Charles. How graphically Jacques Cartier writes of that portion of the
River St. Lawrence opposite the Lower Town, less than a mile in width,
"deep and swift running," and also of the "goodly, fair and delectable bay
or creek convenient and fit to harbour ships," the St. Charles (St. Croix
or Holy Cross) river! and again of the spot wherein, he says, "we stayed
from the 15th of September, 1535, to the 6th May, 1536, and there our
ships remained dry." Cartier mentions the area of ground adjoining to
where he wintered "as goodly a plot of ground as possible may be seen,
and, wherewithal, very fruitful, full of goodly trees even as in France,
such as oak, elm, ash, walnut trees, white-thorns and vines that bring
forth fruit as big as any damsons, and many other sort of trees; tall hemp
as any in France, without any seed or any man's work or labor at all."
There are yet some noble specimens of elm, the survivors of a thick clump,
that once stood on the edge of the hornwork. The precise spot in the St.
Charles where Cartier moored his vessels and where his people built the
fort [286] in which they wintered may have been, for aught that could be
advanced to the contrary, where the French government in 1759 built the
hornwork or earth redoubt, so plainly visible to this day, near the Lairet
stream. It may also have been at the mouth of the St. Michel stream which
here empties itself into the St. Charles, on the Jesuits' farm. The
hornwork or circular meadow, as the peasantry call it, is in a line with
the General Hospital, Mount Pleasant, St. Bridget's Asylum and the
corporation lots recently acquired by the Quebec Seminary for a botanical
garden and seminary, adjoining Abraham's Plains. Jacques Cartier's fort,
we know to a certainty, must have been on the north bank of the river,
[287] from the fact that the natives coming from Stadacona to visit their
French guests had to cross the river, and did so frequently. It does seem
strange that Champlain does not appear to have known the exact locality
where, seventy years previously, Stadacona had stood; the cause may lie in
the exterminating wars carried on between the several savage tribes,
leaving, occasionally, no vestige of once powerful nations and villages.
Have we not seen in our day a once warlike and princely race--the Hurons--
dwindle down, through successive decay, to what _now_ remains of them?

A drawing exists, copied from an engraving executed at Paris, the subject
of which, furnished by G. B. Faribault, Esquire, retraced the departure of
the St. Malo mariner for France on the 6th of May, 1536. To the right may
be seen, Jacques Cartier's fort, [288] built with stockades, mounted with
artillery, and subsequently made stronger still, we are told, with ditches
and solid timber, with drawbridge, and fifty men to watch night and day.

Next comes the _Grande Hermine_, his largest vessel, of about one
hundred and twenty tons, in which Donacona, the interpreter, and two other
Indians of note, treacherously seized, are to be conveyed to France, to be
presented to the French monarch, Francis I. Close by, the reader will
observe _l'Emerillon_, of about forty tons in size, the third of his
ships; and higher up, the hull of a stranded and dismantled vessel, the
_Petite Hermine_, of about sixty tons, intended to represent the one
whose timbers were dug up at the mouth of the St. Michel in 1843, and
created such excitement amongst the antiquaries of that day. On the
opposite side of the river, at Hare Point, the reader will notice on the
plate, a cross, intended to represent the one erected by Cartier's party
on the 3rd May, 1536, in honour of the festival of the Holy Cross; at the
foot a number of Indians and some French in the old costume of the time of
Francis I. So much for Jacques Cartier and his winter quarters, in 1535-

Two hundred and twenty-three years after this date we find this locality
again the arena of memorable events. In the disorderly retreat of the
French army on the 13th of September, 1759, from the heights of Abraham,
the panic-stricken squadrons came pouring down Côte d'Abraham and Côte à
Cotton, hotly pursued by the Highlanders and the 58th Regiment, hurrying
towards the bridge of boats and following the shores of the River St.
Charles until the fire of the hulks anchored in the river stopped the
pursuit. On the north side of the bridge of boats was a _tête de
pont_, redoubt or hornwork, a strong work of pentagonal shape, well
portrayed in Tiffeny's plan of the Siege Operations before Quebec. This
hornwork was-partly wood, defended by palisades, and towards Beauport, an
earthwork--covering about twelve acres, the remains (the round or ring
field), standing more than fifteen feet above the ground, may be seen to
this day surrounded by a ditch, three thousand [289] men at least must
have been required to construct, in a few weeks, this extensive
entrenchment. In the centre stood a house, visible on a plan of Mr.
Parke's, in which, about noon on that memorable day, a pretty lively
debate was taking place. Vaudreuil and some of the French officers were at
that moment and in this spot debating the surrender of the whole colony.
Let us hear an eye-witness, Chevalier Johnstone, General de Lévis' aide-
de-camp, one of the Scotchmen fighting in Canada for the French king,
against some of his own countrymen under Wolfe, after the disaster of
Culloden. It was our good fortune to publish the recently-discovered
journal of this Scotch officer for the first time in 1864. Chevalier
Johnstone's description will strike every one from its singular

"The French army in flight, scattered and entirely dispersed, rushed
towards the town. Few of them entered Quebec; they went down the
heights of Abraham opposite the Intendant's Palace (past St. John's
gate) directing their course to the hornwork, and following the
borders of the River St. Charles. Seeing the impossibility of rallying
our troops I determined myself to go down the hill at the windmill
near the bake house [290] and from thence across over the meadows to
the hornwork resolved not to approach Quebec from my apprehension of
being shut up there with a part of our army which might have been the
case if the victors had drawn all the advantage they could have reaped
from our defeat. It is true the death of the General-in-chief--an
event which never fails to create the greatest disorder and confusion
in an army--may plead as an excuse for the English neglecting so easy
an operation as to take all our army prisoners.

The hornwork had the River St. Charles before it about seventy paces
broad which served it better than an artificial ditch; its front
facing the river and the heights was composed of strong thick and high
palisades planted perpendicularly with gunholes pierced for several
pieces of large cannon in it, the river is deep and only fordable at
low water at a musket shot before the fort: this made it more
difficult to be forced on that side than on its other side of
earthworks facing Beauport which had a more formidable appearance and
the hornwork certainly on that side was not in the least danger of
being taken by the English by an assault from the other side of the
river. On the appearance of the English troops on the plain of the
lake house Montguet and La Motte, two old captains in the Regiment of
Béarn, cried out with vehemence to M. de Vaudreuil, that the hornwork
would be taken in an instant, by an assault sword in hand, that we
would all be cut to pieces without quarter and nothing else would save
us but an immediate and general capitulation of Canada giving it up to
the English.

Montreul told them that a fortification such as the hornwork was not
to be taken so easily. In short there arose a general cry in the
hornwork to cut the bridge of boats. [291] It is worth of remark that
not a fourth part of our army had yet arrived at it and the remainder
by cutting the bridge would have been left on the other side of the
river as victims to the victors. The regiment Royal Roussillon was at
that moment at the distance of a musket shot from the hornwork
approaching to pass the bridge. As I had already been in such
adventures, I did not lose my presence of mind, and having still a
shadow remaining of that regard which the army accorded me on account
of the esteem and confidence which M. de Lévis and M. de Montcalm had
always shewn me publicly, I called to M. Hugon, who commanded, for a
pass in the hornwork and begged of him to accompany me to the bridge.
We ran there and without asking who had given the order to cut it, we
chased away the soldiers with their uplifted axes ready to execute
that extravagant and wicked operation.

"M. Vaudreuil was closeted in a house in the inside of the hornwork
with the Intendant and some other persons. I suspected they were busy
drafting the articles for a general capitulation and I entered the
house, where I had only time to see the Intendant with a pen in his
hand writing on a sheet of paper, when M. Vaudreuil told me I had no
business there. Having answered him that what he said was true, I
retired immediately, in wrath to see them intent on giving up so
scandalously a dependancy for the preservation of which so much blood
and treasure had been expended. On leaving the house, I met M.
Dalquier, an old, brave, downright honest man, commander of the
regiment of Béarn, with the true character of a good officer--the
marks of Mars all over his body. I told him it was being debated
within the house to give up Canada to the English by a capitulation,
and I hurried him in, to stand up for the King's cause, and advocate
the welfare of his country. I then quitted the hornwork to join
Poulanes at the Ravine [292] of Beauport, but having met him about
three or four hundred paces from the hornwork, on his way to it, I
told him what was being discussed there. He answered me, that sooner
than consent to a capitulation, he would shed the last drop of his
blood. He told me to look on his table and house as my own, advised me
to go there directly to repose myself, and clapping spurs to his
horse, he flew like lightning to the hornwork."

Want of space precludes us from adding more from this very interesting
journal of the Chevalier Johnstone, replete with curious particulars of
the disorderly retreat of the French regiments from their Beauport camp,
after dark, on that eventful 13th September, how they assembled first at
the hornwork, and then filed off by detachments on the Charlesbourg road,
then to Ancient Lorette, until they arrived, worn out and disheartened
without commanders, at day break at Cap Rouge.

On viewing the memorable scenes witnessed at Ringfield,--the spot where
the French discoverer wintered in 1535-36, and also the locality, where it
was decided to surrender the colony to England in 1759--are we not
justified in considering it as both the _cradle_ and the _tomb_ of French
Dominion in the new world?

Ringfield has, for many years, been the family mansion of George Holmes
Parke, Esquire.


"In woods or glens I love to roam,
* * * *
Or by the woodland pool to rest."

In the deepest recesses of the Lorette woods, amongst the most shady
meanders of the sinuous Cahire Coubat, some five miles due north from
Castel-Coucy, we know a bank, not precisely where

"The wild thyme grows,"

but where you are sure, in spring and summer, to pluck handfuls of
trilliums, wild violets, ferns of rare beauty, columbines, kalmias,
ladies' slippers, ladies' tresses (we mean of course the floral subjects).
In this beauteous region, sacred to Pan, the Naiades, Dryades, and the
daughters of Mnemosyne, you might possibly, dear reader, were you
privileged with a pass from one of our most respected friends, be allowed
to wander; or perchance in your downward voyage from Lake Charles to the
Lorette Falls, in that _vade mecum_ of a forester's existence--a birch
canoe--you might, we repeat, possibly be allowed to pitch your camp
on one of the mossy headlands of Castor Ville, and enjoy your luncheon, in
this sylvan spot, that is, always presuming you were deemed competent to
fully appreciate nature's wildest charms, and rejoice, like a true lover,
in her coyest and most furtive glances.

Castor Ville, a forest wild, where many generations of beavers, otters,
caribou, boars, foxes and hares once roamed, loved and died, covers an
area of more than one hundred acres. Through it glides the placid course
of the St. Charles--overhung by hoary fir trees--from the parent lake to
the pretty Indian Lorette Falls, a distance of about eight miles of fairy
scenery, which every man of taste, visiting Lake St. Charles, ought to
enjoy at least once in his life. It is all through mantled over by a dense
second growth of spruce and fir trees, intersected by a maze of avenues.
The lodge sits gracefully, with its verandah and artillery, on a peninsula
formed by the _Grand Desert_ and St. Charles streams. You can cross
over in a canoe to that portion of the domain beyond the river: along the
banks, a number of resting places--tiny bowers of birch bark--dingies and
canoes anchored all round--here and there a _portage_--close by, a
veritable Indian wigwam--_Oda Sio_ [293] by name. On a bright morning
in early spring, you may chance to meet, in one of the paths, or in his
canoe, a white-haired hunter, the Master of Castor Ville, returning home
after visiting his hare, fox, or otter traps, proudly bearing _Lepus_
in his game bag, next to which you may discover a volume of _Molière_,
_Montaigne_ or _Montesquieu_. On selling Castle-Coucy, its loyal-hearted
old proprietor, taking with him the guns of the fort, retired to the
present wild demesne, in which occasionally he passes, with his family,
many pleasant hours, amidst books, friends and rural amusements, far from
city noises and city excitement.

Castor Ville belongs to the Hon. Louis Panet, member of the Legislative
Council of Canada." (Written in 1865.)

Since this little sketch was penned, sixteen years ago, the unwelcome
shadow of years has crept over our old friend, eighty-six winters and then
frost has cooled the ardor of the _Chasseur_, Castor Ville for Mr. Panet
has lost much of its sunshine.


"Oh! the snow, the beautiful snow,
Filling the earth and sky below,
Over the house-tops, over the street,
Over the heads of the people you meet,
Skimming along,
Beautiful snow, it can do no wrong,
Flying to kiss a lady's cheek,
Clinging to lips in a frolicsome freak,
Beautiful snow from the heaven above,
Pure as an angel, gentle as love!

Oh! the snow, the beautiful snow
How the flakes gather and laugh as they go,
Whirling about in the maddening fun,
It plays in its glee with every one,
Hurrying by,
It lights on the face and sparkles the eye!
And even the dogs, with a bark and a bound,
Snap at the crystals that eddy around,
The town is alive, and its heart is aglow!
To welcome the coming of the beautiful snow

How the wild crowds go swaying along,
Hailing each other with humour and song,
How the gay sledges, like meteors, pass by,
Bright for the moment, then lost to the eye,
Dashing they go,
Over the crust of this beautiful snow,
Snow so pure when it falls from the sky,
To he trampled and tracked by the crowd rushing by,
To be trampled and tracked by the thousands of feet,
Till it blends with the filth in the horrible street."

Has it ever been your fortune, kind reader, to enjoy, in the depth of
winter, a ramble in a Canadian forest, at the mystic hour when the Queen
of Night asserts her silent sway? Have you ever revelled in this feast of
soul, fresh from the busy hum of city life--perchance strolling up a
mountain path with undulating plains of spotless whiteness behind you, or
else canopied by the leafy dome of odorous pines or green hemlock, with no
other companion but your trusty rifle, nor other sound but the hoot of the
Great Horned Owl, disturbed by the glare of your camp fire--or the rustle
of the passing hare, skulking fox, or browsing cariboo? Have you ever been
compelled, venturesome hunter as you are, with the lengthening shades of
evening, after a twenty miles' run, to abandon the blood-stained trail,
reserving for the morrow the slaying of the stricken cariboo? Can you
recall the sense of weariness, with which you retraced your heavy steps to
the camp--perspiring at every pore,--panting with thirst--famished--
perhaps bewildered with the flakes of the gathering storm--yea, so
exhausted, that the crackling of the pine faggots of your mountain hut--
watched over in your absence by your faithful Indian "Gabriel" [294]--
struck on your quickened senses amidst the winter gloom like heavenly
music--sounds as soft, as welcome as the first April sunbeam? Have you
ever had the hardiness to venture with an Indian guide and toboggin on an
angling tour far north in the Laurentian chain, to that _Ultima Thule_
sacred to the disciples of old Isaac. Snow Lake, over chasm, dale,
mountain, pending that month dear above all others to King Hiems--
inexorable January? If so, you can indeed boast of having held communion
with the grim God of Winter in some of his stern, though captivating,
moods. Nor are these the only charms which the capricious monarch has in

Never shall I forget, one balmy March morning, sauntering along the green
uplands of Sillery, towards the city, while the "sun god" was pouring
overhead, waves of soft, purple light. The day previous, one of our
annual, equinoctial storms had careered over the country; first, wind and
snow; then wind and sleet, the latter dissolving into icy tears,
encircling captive Nature in thousands of weird, glossy crystals; every
tree of the forest, according to its instinct, its nature, writhing in the
conqueror's cold embrace--rigid, creaking, ready to snap in twain rather
than bend, as the red oak or sugar maple, or else meekly, submissively
curving to the earth its tapering, frosted limbs, like the silver birch--
elegant, though fragile, ornament of the Canadian park, or else, rearing
amid air a graceful net-work--waving, transparent sapphire-tinted
arabesques, stretched on amber pillars; witness the Golden Willow. Each
gleam of sunshine investing this gorgeous tapestry with all the glories of
Iris; here, rising above his compeers, a stately lord of the grove, hoary
with frost and years, whose outspreading boughs are burnished, as if every
twig had been touched by the hand of an enchanter, whilst there, under his
shade, bends a mountain ash, smeared with the crimsoned berries of the
preceding summer, now ice-coated _bon-bons_ eagerly plucked by troops
of roseate grosbeaks resting on the whitened branches. How lovely the

Such, the scene in the winsome light of day. But of those objects, viewed
by moonlight, who would have dared becomingly depict the wild beauty? The
same incomparable landscape, with Diana's silver rays softly sleeping on
the virgin snow; on each side, an avenue of oak, spruce and fir trees, the
latter with their emerald boughs wreathed in solid ice, and to the earth
gracefully bending in festoons--now and again kissed by the night wind; at
each wavy motion disclosing their dark trunks, under the frozen foliage,
like old Ocean's billows breaking on dark rocks; the burnished gold of the
morn changed into silver floss, twinkling with a mild radiance, under the
eye of night, like diamond tiaras--a vista fit for Queen Mab! Of such,
mayhap dreamed Moorish maid, under the portals of the Alhambra. Were
Armida's enchanted forests brighter?

Who can describe all thy witchery? Thy nameless graces, who can compass,
serene majesty of Winter in the North? And yet all these glories of frost
and moon-lit snows we once did see round our Canadian Home.

Wouldst thou fancy another view of winter less serene; a contrast such as
glorious old KIT NORTH would have revelled in? Step forward, my witty, my
sarcastic friend of the _Evènement_ newspaper--by name Henri Fabre!

"The true season of Canada is winter; winter with its bright skies by day
and its brighter stars by night. Of spring we have none. April is nothing
better than a protracted thaw, with scenes of mud and melting snow. May,
the month dear to poets, is frequently but an uninterrupted succession of
showers to fecundate the earth; its symbol, an array of outspread
umbrellas in our streets. As to our summer, it is but the epitome of the
lovely summer of France and Italy for the use of new countries. Autumn is
a shade better; but anon, the first frost hurries on to blanch and
disperse the leaves and dim the hues of mellowed nature. When the fields
slumber under ten feet of snow; when human noses freeze before their
sneezing owners have time to utter a cry for help, then is the _beau
ideal_ of our climate. He who on such an occasion dares to sigh for the
boasted shade of trees and the murmur of gushing waters, that man is no
true Canadian. The searching wind, the cold, the northern blast, [295] are
part and parcel of our country; one is bound to love them. Should they
increase in intensity, rub your hands, first to keep yourself warm, nest
to denote your patriotic joy!"

But all this won't prevent us from exclaiming with a Canadian son of song:

"Oh! dear is the Northern forest home,
Where the great pine shoots on high;
And the maple spreads its soft, green leaves
In the clear, blue, taintless sky;
Though the summer mantle paleth fast
Into winter's virgin veil—
There is health in the fierce, quick lightning blast,
And strength in the icy gale;
And life glides on in a quiet calm,
Like our own great river's flow;
And dear to the hearts of her children all
Is our own FAIR LAND OF SNOW!"

SILLERY, near Quebec, 1881.


Let us view a remnant of feudal times.

On the Beauport road, four miles from the city and about forty feet from
the late Colonel B. C. A. Gugy's habitation, stood until 1879 an
antiquated high-gabled French stone dwelling, very substantially put
together. About thirty years back there was still existing close to and
connected with it, a pavilion or tower, used in early days as a fort to
protect the inmates against Indian raids. It contained the boudoir and
sleeping apartments of some of the fair _seignieuresses_ [296] of Beauport
in the house which Robert Giffard, the first seignor built there more than
two centuries ago; it is the oldest seignorial manor in Canada. Robert
Giffard's house--or, more properly, his shooting box--is thought to have
stood closer to the little stream to the west. The first seignior of
Beauport had two daughters who married two brothers, Juchereau, the
ancestors of the Duchesnays; and the manor has been in the possession of,
and occupied by, the Duchesnays for more than two hundred years.

Robert Giffard had visited Canada, for the first time, in 1627, in the
capacity of a surgeon; and being a great sportsman, he built himself a
small house on the banks of the Beauport stream, to enjoy to perfection,
his favorite amusements--shooting and fishing. No authentic data exist of
the capacity of Beauport for game in former days; we merely read in the
_Relations des Jésuites_ that in the year 1648. 1200 ptarmigan were
shot there, we also know that the quantities of ducks congregating on the
adjoining _flats_ caused the place to be called _La Canardière_. There is
a curious old record in connection with this manor, exhumed by the Abbé
Ferland; it is the exact formula used by one of the tenants or
_censitaires_ in rendering _foi et hommage_ to the Lord of the Manor.
Guion (Dion?), a tenant, had by sentence of the Governor, Montmagny, been
condemned on the 30th July, 1640, to fulfil this feudal custom. The
document recites that, after knocking at the door of the chief manorial
entrance, and in the absence of the master, addressing the farmer, one
Boulle, the said Guion, having knelt down bare headed without his sword or
spurs, repeated three times the words,--"_Monsieur de Beauport, Monsieur
de Beauport, Monsieur de Beauport, je vous fais et porte la foy et hommage
que je suis tenu de vous porter, a cause de mon fief du Buisson,_ [297]
_duquel je suis homme de foy relevant de votre seigneurie de Beauport,
lequel m'appartient au moyen du contrat que nous avons passe ensemble par
devant Roussel à Mortagne, le_ 14 _Mars_, 1634, _vous déclarant que je
vous offre payer les droits seigneuriaux et féodaux quand dûs seront, vous
réquerant me recevoir à la dite foy et homage._" "Lord of Beauport, Lord
of Beauport, Lord of Beauport, I render you the fealty and homage due to
you on account of my land du Buisson ... which belongs to me by virtue of
the title-deed executed between us in presence of Roussel at Mortagne, the
14th March, 1634, avowing my readiness to acquit the seignorial and feudal
rents whenever they shall be due, beseeching you to admit me to the said
and homage." This Guion, a mason by trade, observes the Abbé Ferland, was
the man of letters and scribe of the parish. There is still extant a
marriage contract, drafted by him, for two parishioners; it is one of the
earliest on record in Canada, bearing date the 16th July, 1636. It is
signed by the worthy Robert Giffard, the seignior, and by Francois
Bellanger and Noël Langlois; the other parties affixed their mark. It
possesses interest as serving to illustrate the status and education of
the early French settlers. In 1628, Robert Giffard had been taken a
prisoner of war by the English, on board of Rocmont's fleet. On his
return, and in acknowledgement of the services rendered by him to the
colonial authorities, he obtained a grant of the seigniory of Beauport,
together with a large tract of land, on the River St. Charles. For many
long years the ancestral halls of the Duchesnays, at Beauport, rang with
the achievements of their warlike seigneurs. One of them, Nicholas
Juchereau de St. Denys, so distinguished himself at the siege of Quebec in
1690, that his sovereign granted him "a patent of nobility." ("_Le sieur
de St. Denys, seigneur de Beauport, _" says Charlevoix, "_commandait ses
habitants, il avait plus de soixante ans et combattait avec beaucoup de
valeur, jusqu'a ce qu'il eut un bras casse d'un coup de feu. Le Roi
récompensa peu de temps après son zèle en lui accordant des lettres de
noblesse._") His son distinguished himself in Louisiana. Two other
members of the family won laurels at Châteaugay. A descendant, Lieut.-Col.
Théodore Duchesnay, is Deputy Adjutant General of Militia.

The late Col. Gugy, built himself, in 1865, close to the manor, a
comfortable dwelling, wherein, amidst rural retirement, he divided his
existence between literature, briefs and his stud, noted all over Canada.
He had recently added to his domain, by purchase, a large tract of land
from the adjoining property, the De Salaberry homestead, where H.R.H.
the Duke of Kent, the father of our beloved Queen, in 1791 enjoyed more
than one _petit souper_. The broad acres which in 1759 resounded to
the tread of Montcalm's heavy squadrons, for years the quiet home of a
barrister of note, now bear the name of Darnoc. _Cedant arma togae._

Darnoc, since the death of Col. Gugy, in 1878, is occupied by Mrs. Gugy
and Herman Ryland, Esq., who married a daughter of the late proprietor.
The ruins of the Duchesnay Manor, more than once have been disturbed by
the pick and shovel of the midnight seeker for hidden French piastres:
though religiously protected against outrage by Mrs. Gugy's family, and
more especially watched over by the _Genius Loci_, the divining rod
and a _Petit Albert_ have recently found their way there; however
successfully poised and backed by the most orthodox incantations and
fumigations, the magic rod has failed so far to bring to the surface
either gold or silver coin. This was probably owing to the omission of a
very important ceremony: the production on the spot of "a candle [298]
made out of the fat of an executed murderer, as the clock strikes twelve
at midnight," under suitable planetary influence.

The recent discovery of the corner stone of the old manor, and of an
inscription dating back to 1634, have given rise to a spicy newspaper
discussion among our antiquarians.


I.H.S. M.I.A.
LAN 1634 LE

In March 1881, the _Literary and Historical Society_ of Quebec, received
from the widow of the late Col. B. C. A. Gugy, of Darnoc, Beauport, a lead
plate, with the above quoted inscription, and a note, stating under what
circumstances Col. Gugy's family became possessed of it. This lead plate,
affords a written record of the laying of the foundation stone, on the
25th July, 1634, of the historical homestead of the fighting _Seigneurs_
of Beauport: the Gifart, the Juchereau, the Duchesnay.

The massive old pile alleged to have been the headquarters of the Marquis
de Montcalm, during the siege of Quebec, in 1759, and in which many
generations of Duchesnays and some of Col. Gugy's children were born,
became the prey of flames in 1879, 'tis said, by the act of a Vandal. Thus
perished the most ancient stronghold of the proud feudal Lairds of
Beauport, of the stone manor of Surgeon Robert Giffard; the safe retreat
against the Iroquois of the warlike Juchereau Duchesnays, one of whose
ancestors, in 1645, had married Marie Gifart, or Giffard, a daughter of
the bellicose Esculapius from Perche, France,--Surgeon Robert Gifart.
Grim and defiant the antique manor, with its high-peaked gables, stood in
front of the dwelling Col. Gugy had erected, at Darnoc, in 1865: it rather
intercepted the view to be had from this spot, of Quebec. One of the
memorable landmarks of the past, it has furnished a subject for the pencil
of Col. Benson J. Lossing, author of the "American Revolution," and "Life
of Washington," who, during his visit to Quebec, in July, 1858, sketched
it with others, for _Harper's Magazine_, where it appeared, over the
heading "Montcalm's Headquarters, Beauport," in the January number, 1859,
page 180, from which drawing it was transferred to the columns of the
Canadian _Illustrated News_, for May, 1881.

Whilst the deciphering of some of the letters I.H.S.--M.I.A. at the top of
the inscription has exercised the ingenuity of our Oldbucks and Monkbarns,
the plate itself and its inscription will furnish to the student of
history an indefeasible proof of the exact spot, and of the date, when and
where stood the oldest of our seigniorial manors,--that of Robert Gifart,
on the margin of the _ruisseau de l'ours_, at Beauport, in 1634.

_J. M. LeMoine Esquire, President Literary and Historical Society,

BEAUPORT, 26th March, 1881

"SIR.--The tablet found in the Manor House of Beauport by some
workmen, last summer, and only recently restored to the proprietors,
is a circular plate of lead or pewter much injured by the fire which
consumed the building.

Owing to the unwillingness of the men concerned to give any
information, it is difficult to learn much about whereabouts in the
building it was found, nor what other articles may have accompanied
it, but as far as can be ascertained, this oval plate (about 1/4 of an
inch in thickness) was rolled up and contained a few coins and some
documents; the first cannot be traced and are spoken of as "quelques
sous;" the latter, they say, crumbled into dust at once.

The inscription, as well as can be deciphered, is as follows:--

I.H.S. M.I.A.
LAN 1634 LE

This is rudely but deeply cut into the plate, and underneath may be
seen in patches, traces of a fainter etching, part of which may be a
coat of arms, but this is uncertain; underneath can be seen a heart
reversed, with flames springing from it upwards. All these are
enclosed in a larger heart, point downwards.

The enclosed rough simile may give an idea of the lettering at the top
of the circle, the plate itself being about nine inches in diameter."

(With Mrs. Gugy's compliments.)

Darnoc, 26th March, 1881.


(To the Editor of the Morning Chronicle.)

"Whilst regretting the loss of the coins and document accompanying the
inscription of the Beauport Manor, on account of the light it might
have thrown on this remote incident of Canadian history, let us
examine the case as it stands.

This rude inscription of 25th July, 1634, gives priority as to date to
the Beauport Manor over any ancient structure extant in Canada this
day. The erection of the manor would seem to have preceded by three
years the foundation of the Jesuits' Sillery residence, now owned by
Messrs. Dobell and Beckett, which dates of July, 1637. Who prepared
the inscription? Who engraved the letters? Who cut on the lead the
figure of the "flaming heart?" The stars? Are they heraldic? What did
they typify? Did the plate come out, ready prepared from France? Had
the _Académie des Inscriptions, etc._, or any other _académie_, any
hand in the business? No, for obvious reasons.

The lead-plate was imbedded in solid masonry. It is too rude to be the
work of an engraver. Could it have been designed by Surgeon Gifart,
the Laird of Beauport and cut on the lead-plate by the scribe and
_savant_ of the settlement, Jean Guion (Dion?) whose penmanship
in the wording of two marriage contracts, dating from 1636, has been
brought to light by an indefatigable searcher of the past--the Abbé
Ferland? probably.

But if the lettered Beauport stone mason, who never rose to be a Hugh
Miller, whatever were his abilities, did utilize his talents in 1634,
to produce a durable record in order to perpetuate the date of
foundation of this manor, he subsequently got at loggerheads with his
worth _seignieur_, probably owing to the litigious tastes which
his native Perche had instilled in him. Perche, we all know, is not
very distant from Normandy, the hot-bed of feuds and litigation, and
might have caught the infection from this neighborhood:

Governor Montmagny, in the space of eight short years, had been called
on to adjudicate on six controversies which had arisen between Gifart
and his vassals, touching boundaries and seigniorial rights, though
the learned historian Ferland, has failed to particularize, whether
among those controverted rights, was included the _Droit de Chapons_
and _Droit de Seigneur_; could the latter unchaste, but cherished
right of some Scotch and German feudal lords, by a misapprehension of
our law, in the dark days of the colony, have been claimed by such an
exacting seignior as M. de Gifart? One hopes not.

Be that as it may, the stone mason and _savant_ Jean Guion had refused
to do feudal homage to "Monsieur de Beauport," and on the 30th July,
1640, six years after the date of the inscription, under sentence
rendered by Governor de Montmagny, he was made to do so.

Who will decipher the I.H.S.--M.I.A. the letters at the top of the
plate? Is there no defendant of the haughty Seignior of Beauport, Rob.
Gifart, to give us his biography, and tell us of his sporting days; of
the black and grey ducks, brant, widgeon, teal, snipe, and curlew,
etc., which infested the marshy banks of the stream--the _Ruisseau de
l'Ours_, on which he had located, first his shooting box, and
afterwards his little fort or block-house, against Iroquois
aggression? Dr. Gifart was a keen sportsman, tradition repeats. Did
the locality get the name of _Canardière_ on account of the _Canards_,
the ducks, he had bagged in his time? Who will enlighten us on all
these points?


Quebec, 8th April, 1881.

QUERY.--Would I. H. S. stand for _Jesus Hominum Salvator_? and M.I.A.
for _Maria-Josephus-Anna_?--the Holy Family--asks Dr W. Marsden.


_A monsieur J. M. LeMoine, président de la Société Littéraire et
Historique de Québec, etc., etc, etc._

CHER MONSIEUR,.--Votre lettre du 1er avril, publiée dans le _Morning
Chronicle_, en groupant, autour du premier Manoir canadien, des
grands noms canadiens, des faits historiques et des traditions, semble
vouloir nous faire regretter encore plus la perte d'un monument dont
il ne reste plus qu'une plaque de plomb gravée sans art, avec une
inscription sans orthographe. Je suis allé, comme bien d'autres, voir
ce morceau de plomb, qui contient, autant que l'imprimerie peut le
représenter, l'inscription suivante:

I.H.S. M.I.A.
LAN 1634 LE

La première ligne a été, sans doute, gravée avec une pointe,
l'incision plus indécise est aussi moins profonde, de même que les
lettres NTE ajoutées au-dessus de PLA, pour faire le mot planté, que
l'art du graveur ou la largeur du ciseau n'avait pas su contenir dans
la troisième ligne.

Les lettres des trois dernières lignes ont été coupées avec un ciseau
de un demi-pouce de large, l'incision est nette et bien dessinée; on
voit encore les lignes qui ont été tracées dans toute la largeur de la
plaque, an moyen d'une pointe pour guider le ciseau du graveur.

Dans le centre de la plaque, on distingue avec peine un écusson.
portant un coeur renversé et fiammé; au centre de l'écu, trois
étoiles. Impossible de dire si elles sont posées en face ou sur un
champ quelconque. Le tout a du être surmonté d'un heaume, car on voit
encore de chaque coté de l'écu des lignes courbes multiples, qui
doivent nécessairement représenter les lambrequins; sur le côte
gauche, un bout de banderolle, mais l'_artiste_ a dû abandonner
sa première idée, car le haut de la banderolle se perd dans les lignes
du lambrequin.

J'ai lu dans la lettre qui accompagnait l'envoi de Madame Gugy, que
les ouvriers, qui avaient travaille aux ruines, disaient avoir trouve
la plaque de plomb, _roulée_ avec certains documents qui seraient
tombés en poussière au toucher. La chose me paraît impossible. Le
dessous de la plaque indique qu'elle a été posée à plat sur un lit de
mortier, et la partie gravée, du moins celle où sont gravées les
armoiries qu'une pierre pesante a été placée dessus, et c'est par
l'enfoncement de sa surface inégale que la plupart des lignes gravées
ont été détruites. On voit encore dans le plomb oxidé l'empreinte
d'une coquille pétrifiée qui se trouvait agrégée au calcaire.

En roulant le bloc supérieur, les ouvriers ont pu plier le métal; de
là l'erreur de croire que la plaque était roulée, elle a dû, comme
toutes choses de ce genre, être placée dans une cavité comme fond, où
on avait deposé le document tombé en poussière et les "quelques sous"
que ces honnêtes ouvriers ont gardés pour eux, sans doute, sans en
connaître la valeur.

Peu habitué à lire de telles inscriptions, mais connaissant la piété
des premiers colons du Canada, j'essayai de donner un sens courant à
l'inscription et je trouvai qu'on pouvait lire ici:

_Iesu Hominum Salvatore, Mariâ Immaculatâ Auspice_

(Sous les auspices ou la protection de Jesus sauveur des hommes et de

L'an 1634,
le 25 juillet--je--été plantée
première par (ou pour) C. (chirur.) Gifart, Seigneur de ce lieu.

Jusqu'à présent la chose se lit bien, le sens en est raisonnable et
positif. Supposant le chirurgien un homme instruit et lettré,
l'inscription latine se complète d'elle-même. Mais, hélas! il y un
mais,--la lettre C avant Gifart me trouble un peu. Comme je n'ai sous
la main aucun volume, aucune tradition du temps à consulter, je suis
obligé de m'en tenir aux correspondances de journaux, et je trouve
dans toutes le prénom de _Robert_--ce qui ne commence pas du tout
par un C! [299] Mais le C, le malheureux C, ne serait-il pas
l'initiale de Cloutier, le charpentier ou l'entrepreneur avec lequel
Gifart avait fait un contrat à Mortaigne, le 14 mars 1634, quatre mois
à peu près avant la pose de la première pierre? Alors il faudrait lire
j'ai été plantée par Cloutier, Gifart étant seigneur de ce lieu.

Je m'arrête, le souvenir de _certaine_ inscription sur certain
_pont_ vient troubler toutes ces belles spéculations. A force de
vouloir être _savant_, on pourrait faire dire à Robert Gifart des
choses qu'il n'a jamais pensées.

Si, après tout, ce Gifart n'était pas _savant_, et qu'il eut voulu
dire par I. H. S., Jésus-Christ, et M. I. A., Maria, ce serait trop
fort--J'aimerais mieux la théorie de M. le Dr. Marsden, et de M.
Bédard, _Maria, Joachim, Anna_. Le 25 juillet étant la fête de
saint Jacques, et la vigile de saint Joachim, il serait plus
raisonnable de penser qu'on aurait mis la construction du premier
Manoir canadien sous la protection et les auspices du saint du jour

Reste a savoir si la Saint Jacques se fêtait le 25 juillet, la Saint
Joachim le 26, en l'an de notre Seigneur 1634.

Je laisse à d'autres de mieux trouver.

Quoiqu'il en soit, cette date 1634, est un centenaire mémorable, car
c'est en 1534 que Jacques Cartier, visita le golfe Saint-Laurent et
c'est en 1535, qu'il remonta notre beau fleuve jusqu'à Hochelaga, cent
ans avant la première concession seigneuriale de Beauport.

J'ai l'honneur d'être, Monsieur,
votre humble servt.,


Parmi une masse de vieux documents que je possède, concernant la
seigneurie de Beauport et ses seigneurs, j'ai trouve le reçu suivant:

"Je, soussigné, confesse avoir reçu un billet de cent cinquante livres
de monsieur de Beauport, pour ce qu'il m'avait promis pour faire sa
bâtisse de logis de Beauport.

"faict ce 27ième juillet 1642.


Cela donnerait peut-être une explication des abréviations "P. C." de
l'inscription trouvée dans les ruines du vieux manoir.

En effet, il est loisible de supposer que cet architecte a fait ce que
ses confrères modernes font encore, et qu'il a gravé ses initiales sur
l'inscription commémorative de la pose de la première pierre
_plantée dans la bâtisse de Beauport_.


La Beauce, 14 avril, 1881.



_Une relique historique_.

La _Minerve_ a publié l'inscription de la plaque trouvée à Beauport.
Le _Journal de Québec_ l'a reproduite aussi; mais avec une certaine
différence. Pour l'étude des personnes éloignées et pour l'utilité de
la science, il est bien désirable qu'on en prenne de nombreuses
impressions sur plâtre. Si madame Gugy accorde la permission
nécessaire, elle méritera certainement la reconnaissance de ceux qui
étudient notre histoire.

Il paraît que le dernier chiffre de la date se lit avec difficulté. Il
est toutefois très important de le déterminer avec toute la précision

A mes yeux, la date du 25 juillet entraîne plusieurs conséquences qui
disparaissent avec un autre chiffre.

I. Le 25 juillet est consacré à l'apôtre saint Jacques-le-Majeur. Ne
peut-on pas traduire le second groupe trilittère M. J. A. par
_Majori Jacobo Apostolo_, Le premier groupe, si connu d'ailleurs,
étant latin, il est naturel de supposer que le second l'est aussi.

II. La fête de saint Jacques-le-Majeur, qui tombait un mardi en 1634,
était chômée; par conséquent les travaux serviles ont dû être suspendu
ce jour-là.

III. Le même jour, 25 juillet 1634, Robert Gifart assistait à un
mariage à Québec, ce qui peut expliquer pourquoi il était remplacé à
Beauport par son fils Charles.

Mais la pose de la pierre angulaire d'une simple maison, un jour de
grande fête, me semble difficile à expliquer, qu'on veuille ou non y
faire intervenir les cérémonies de la Religion.

L'expression _Je été plantée_ offre aussi une difficulté. A cette
époque on faisait de nombreuses fautes d'orthographe, mais on avait
presque toujours le mot propre.

Il est bien vrai qu'en terme d'architecture, on disait _planter un
édifice_ pour l'_asseoir sur la maçonnerie de ses fondements_, mais je
ne sache pas qu'on ait dit _planter_ les pierres des fondements.

Cette plaque n'aurait-elle pas été destinée à une croix plantée à
l'endroit que Giffard voulait défricher?

Il est d'autant plus naturel qu'il ait commencé ses travaux par cet
acte de foi qu'il devait songer à faire bâtir une église près de sa
demeure. Dans cette supposition, on s'explique facilement que la croix
ait été plantée un jour de fête solennelle où tout le monde surtout à
cette époque, devait vaquer à ses devoirs religieux. Je vois dans les
_Archives_ de Beauport par Mgr. Langevin que la maison de Giffard,
d'après M. Ferland, devait être plus près de la petite rivière que le
manoir actuel.

C. Giffard, qui est désigné comme seigneur de Beauport, est le fils de
Robert. Il était né en France et devait être encore assez jeune. C'est
de lui que parle le _Journal_ des Jésuites en disant que le fils
de M. Giffard passa en France en 1646, avec d'autres jeunes gens 'tous
fripons pour la plupart qui avait fait mille pièces à l'autre voyage
et on donnait à tous de grands appointements.'

Ce 28 octobre il était parrain, et il s'embarquait le 31.

Il n'est plus question de lui après cette date, soit qu'il ait renoncé
au Canada, soit qu'il ait péri prématurément. Le père repris sa
seigneurie de Beauport qu'il fit agrandir le mieux put.

P. S.--En écrivant ce qui précède, j'étais un peu pressé; j'aurais dû
remarquer cependant que sous la lettre C, les lecteurs ne pouvaient
deviner le prénom du jeune seigneur de Beauport. Il s'appelait
_Charles_, et devait être né en France comme sa soeur _Marie_, qui
devint Madame de la Ferté.

Dans l'intérêt de vos lecteurs je ferai remarquer que le _Dictionnaire
Généalogique_ renferme, à l'article Giffard, certaines erreurs. Ainsi,
_Françoise_ qui commence l'article est la même que _Marie Françoise_
qui le termine; elle se fit religieuse à l'Hôtel-Dieu. L'épouse de
_Jean Juchereau de la Ferté_ fut _Marie_ née en France, puisque son
contrat de mariage en 1645 la dite "âgée de 17 ans environ" ce qui
reporte sa naissance vers 1628. Charles assiste et signe un contrat.
Ce n'est pas _Robert Giffard_, mais son fils _Joseph_, dont le corps
fut transporté à la cathédrale, le 31 décembre 1705.


Some thirty years ago, I saw, for the first time, the picturesque old
manor of the Rylands at Beauport, this was in its classic days. Later on,
I viewed it, mossy and forlorn, in what some might style its "non age". Of
this, hereafter.

The _Château_ stood embowered amidst lilac groves and other ornamental
shrubs, so far as I can recollect, with a background of elms, white birch,
spruce, &c. Its vaulted, lofty and well-proportioned dining-room, with
antique, morocco-covered chairs, and carved _buffets_ to store massive
plate, its spacious hall and graceful winding staircase, its commanding
position on the crest of the Beauport ridge, affording a striking view of
Quebec, its well-stocked orchard, umbrageous plantations, and ample
stables, from which issued, among other choice bits of blood, in 1842, the
celebrated racer "Emigrant": several circumstances, in fact, conspired to
impress it favorably on my youthful mind. On that occasion, I found _le
milord anglais_ (as a waggish Canadian peasant called him) under his
ancestral roof.

Recalling our parish annals of early times, I used then to think that
should England ever (which God forbid) hand back to its ancient masters
"these fifteen thousand acres of snow," satirized by Voltaire, ridiculed
by Madame de Pompadour, cruelly and basely deserted by Louis XV, in their
hour of trial, here existed a ready-made manor for the Giffards and
Duchesnays of the future, where their descendants could becomingly receive
fealty and homage. (_foi et homage_) from their feudal retainers. There
was, however, nothing here to remind one of the lordly pageantry of other
times--the days of absolutism--of the dark era, the age of _lettres de
cachet_, _corvées_, _lods et ventes_, and other feudal burthens, when the
flag of the Bourbons floated over the fortress of New France. In 1846, at
the time of my visit, in vain would you have sought in the farm yard for a
live seigniorial capon (_un chapon vif et en plumes_) though possibly in
the larder, at Christmas, you might have discovered some fat, tender
turkeys, or a juicy haunch of venison. Of _vin ordinaire_ ne'er a trace,
but judging from the samples on the table, perhaps much mellow Madeira,
and "London Stout" might have been stored in the cellars. Everywhere, in
fact, was apparent English comfort, English cheer. On the walls of the
banqueting apartment, or within the antique red-leathered portfolios
strewn round, you would have run a greater chance of meeting face to face
with the portraits of Lord Dorchester, Genl. Prescott, Sir Robert Shore
Milnes, Sir James Craig, the Duke of Richmond, and other English
Governors, the cherished friends of the Rylands than with the powdered
head of his most sacred Majesty, the Great Louis, or the ruffled bust and
sensual countenance of the voluptuous Louis XV.... But let us see more of
Mount Lilac and its present belongings.

Facing the glittering cupolas of Quebec, there is a fertile area of meadow
and cornfield stretching from Dorchester bridge to the deep ravine and
Falls over which the Montmorency, _La Vache_, hangs its milk-white
curtain of spray. On the river shore, in 1759, stood Montcalm's earth and
field works of defence. Parallel to them and distant about half a mile,
the highway, over which H.R.H. Prince Edward's equipage pranced daily,
during the summers of 1791-3, now a macadamized road, ascends by a gentle
rise, through a double row of whitewashed cottages, about seven miles, to
the brow of the roaring cataract spanned over by a substantial bridge,
half way, looms out the Roman Catholic temple of worship--a stately
edifice, filled to overflowing on Sundays, the parochial charge in 1841 of
the Rev. Charles Chiniquy, under whose auspices was built the Temperance
Monument on the main road, a little past the Beauport Asylum. This
constitutes the parish of Beauport, one of the first settled in the
Province. It was conceded by the Company of New France, on the 31st
December, 1635, to a French surgeon of some note, "le sieur Robert
Giffard." Surgeon Giffard had not only skill as a chirurgeon to recommend
him, he could plead services, nay captivity undergone in the colonial
cause. An important man in his day was this feudal magnate Giffard, to
whom fealty and homage were rendered with becoming pomp, by his
_consitaires_, the Bellangers--Guions--Langlois--Parents--Marcoux, of
1635, whose descendents, still bearing the old Perche or Norman name,
occupy to this day the white cottages to be seen on all sides.

On the highest site of this limestone ridge, a clever, influential,
refined, and wealthy Briton, the Hon. Henry Wistius Ryland, for years
Civil Secretary, Clerk of the Executive Council, a member of the
Legislative Council, with other appointments, purchased from Col.
Johnston, a lot, then a wilderness, for a country seat in 1805. Mr. Ryland
had come out to Canada with Lord Dorchester in 1795, as his secretary, at
the instance, we believe, of Lord Liverpool, his protector, at the age of
21 he was acting as Paymaster of two army corps, during the War of
Independence in America.

For more than thirty years, Mr. Ryland enjoyed the favour, nay the
intimacy of every ruler (except Sir George Prevost) which this then mis-
ruled colony owed to Downing Street.

Antipathies of race had been on the increase at Quebec, ever since the
parliamentary era of 1791; there was the French party, [300] led by fiery
and able politicians, and the English oligarchy occupying nearly all the
offices, and avenues to power. French armies under Napoleon I. swayed the
destinies of continental Europe, their victories occasionally must have
awakened here a responsive echo among their down-trodden fellow-countrymen
cowardly deserted by France in 1759, whilst Nelson's victories of the
Nile, of Trafalgar, of Copenhagen, and finally the field of Waterloo, had
buoyed up to an extravagant pitch the spirits of the English minority of
Quebec, which a French parliamentary majority had so often trammelled. It
was during the major part of that stormy period that Hon. Herman Wistius
Ryland, advised by the able Chief Justice Jonathan Sewell,--was in reality
entrusted with the helm of state. He was, as Christie the historian
observes, considered the "Fountain head of power." This subtle _diplomat_
(for such will be his title in history), however hostile in his attitude
he might have appeared towards the French Canadian nationality, succeeded
in retaining to the last the respect of the French Canadian peasantry who
surrounded him.

Probably never at any time did he wield more power than under the
administration of Sir James H. Craig. His views were so much in unison
with those of Sir James, that His Excellency deputed him to England with a
public mission threefold in its scope, the ostensible object of which was
first "to endeavor to get the Imperial Government to amend or suspend the
Constitution; secondly, to render the Government independent of the
people, by appropriating towards it the revenues accruing from the estates
of the Sulpicians [301] of Montreal, and of the Order of the Jesuits;
thirdly to seize the patronage exercised by the Roman Catholic Bishop of
Quebec,--the _cures_ or church livings in his diocese; contending that no
Roman Catholic Bishop really existed in Canada, (but merely a
superintendent of _curés_), none having been recognized by the Crown.

It has been stated that he had a fair chance of succeeding on two points,
had not the great Lord Chancellor, Eldon, intervened to thwart his scheme.
The correspondence exchanged between Mr. Ryland and His Excellency, Sir
James H. Craig, preserved in the sixth volume of Christie's _History of
Canada_, exhibits Mr. Ryland at his best, and has led some to infer
that, had he been cast in a different sphere, where his talents and
attainments would have been more properly appreciated and directed, he
would have played a very conspicuous part. "We find the Beauport statesman
in 1810, in London, [302] consulted on Canadian affairs by the leading
English politicians and some of the proudest peers. The honored guest of
English noblemen, [303] he appears at no disadvantage, sips their old port
unawed, cosily seated at their mahogany. It must be borne in mind that, in
1810, Lord Castlereagh and Lord Liverpool had their hands pretty full with
continental politics, perhaps too much so, to heed poor distant Canada.

Shortly after the arrival, at Quebec, of the Earl of Durham, viz., on the
29th July, 1838, the Hon. H. W. Ryland expired at his country seat at
Beauport, aged 78 years. He was born in 1760 at Northampton in England, of
a very ancient Saxon family, dating back to Edward the Confessor. Wm.
Ryland his great grandfather having successfully defended Oxford against
Oliver Cromwell, while his sons fought on the other side.

Mount Lilac then reverted to his son, George Herman Ryland, Esq., now
Registrar at Montreal, who added much to the charms of the spot. It was
offered to Lord Metcalfe subsequently as a country seat, but for reasons
which it is unnecessary to enter into, the negotiations fell through. Mr.
Ryland occupied it till his removal from the Quebec to the Montreal
Registry, Office. Some years back the property was purchased by Mr. James
Dinning, Quebec, who reserved for himself the farm, one hundred and five
acres in extent, and sold in 1856, the house and twenty-three acres
thereunto attached to a wealthy and whimsical old ironfounder of Quebec,
Mr. John H. Galbraith. This thrifty tradesman, in order to keep his hand
in order, like Thackeray's hero, continued the pursuit of his former
occupation, the smelting of ore, even under the perfumed groves of Mount
Lilac, and erected there an extensive grapery and conservatory, and a
foundry as well; the same furnace blast thus served to produce, under
glass, fragrant flowers--exquisite grapes--melting peaches, as well as
solid pig iron and first class stove plates.

Mount Lilac owed a divided allegiance to Vulcan and Flora. Which of the
home products pleased, the most the worthy Mr. Galbraith? is still an open
question. [304]


Of the many attractive sites in the environs of the city, few contain in a
greater degree than the Huron village of Lorette during the leafy months
of June, July and September, picturesque scenery, combined with a wealth
of historical associations. The nine miles intervening between Quebec and
the rustic _auberge_ of the village, thanks to an excellent turnpike,
can be spanned in little more than an hour. I shall now attempt to
recapitulate some of the sights and incidents of travel which recently
befell me, whilst escorting to Lorette an Old World tourist, of very high
literary estate.

With a mellow autumnal sun, just sufficient to bronze the sombre tints,
lingering at the close of the Indian summer, we left the St. Louis Hotel,
the headquarters of tourists, and rapidly drove through _Fabrique_ and
Palace streets, towards the unsightly gap in our city walls, of yore
yclept Palace Gate, which all Lord Dufferin's _prestige_ failed to protect
against vandalism, but which, thanks to his initiative, we expect yet to
see _bridged over_ with, graceful turrets and Norman towers.

A turn to the west brought us opposite to the scarcely perceptible ruins
of the Palace [305] of the French Intendants, destroyed by the English
shells in 1775, to dislodge Arnold and Montgomery's New England soldiery.

The park which intervened formerly between it and the St. Charles was many
years back converted into a wood yard to store the fuel for the garrison,
a portion now is used as a cattle market, opposite, stands the station and
freight sheds of the Q. M. O. & O. Railway, the road skirts the park
towards the populous St. Roch suburbs, rebuilt and transformed since the
great fire of the 28th May, 1845, which destroyed 1,600 houses, occupying
the site of former spacious pasture grounds for the city cows, styled by
the early French _La Vacherie_. In a trice we reach Dorchester bridge, the
second one, built there in 1822, the first, opened with great pomp by His
Excellency Lord Dorchester in 1789, having been constructed a few acres to
the west, and called after him. The bridge, as a means of crossing from
one shore to the other, is an undoubted improvement on the scow used up to

One of the first objects on quitting the bridge and diverging westward to
the Charlesbourg road, on the river bank, is the stately, solid, antique
mansion of the late C. Smith, Esq, who at one time owned nearly all the
broad acres intervening between the house and _Gros Pin_. It took for
a time the name of Smithville and was inherited by several members of his
family, who built cosy houses round it. These green fields, fringed with
white birch and spruce plantations, are watered by the St. Charles, the
_Kahir-Koubat_ [306] of ancient days. In rear of one of the first villas
_Ringfield_, owned by Geo. Holmes Parke, Esq., runs the diminutive stream,
the _Lairet_, at the confluence of which Jacques Cartier wintered in 1535-
6, leaving, there one of his ships, the _Petite-Hermine_, of 60 tons,
whose decayed oak timbers were exhumed in 1843, by Jos. Hamel, City
Surveyor of Quebec. A very remarkable vestige of French domination exists
behind the villa of Mr. Parke--a circular field (hence the name Ring-
field) covering about twelve acres, surrounded by a ditch, with an earth
work about twenty feet high, to the east, to shield its inmates from the
shot of Wolfe's fleet lying at the entrance of the St. Charles, before
Quebec. A minute description has been given by General Levi's aide-de-
camp, the _Chevalier_ Johnstone, [307] of what was going on in this
earthwork, where at noon, on the 13th Sept., 1759, were mustered the
disorganized French squadrons in full retreat from the Plains of Abraham
toward their camp at Beauport. Here, on that fatal day, was debated the
surrender of the colony--the close of French rule: here also, close by, in
1535-6, was the cradle of French power, the first settlement and winter
quarters of the French pioneers--Jacques Cartier's hardy little band.

From this spot, at eight o'clock that night (13th Sept.), began the French
retreat towards the Charlesbourg church; at 4 a.m. next day the army was
at Cap Rouge, disordered, panic-stricken! Oh! where was the heroic Levi!

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