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The British Association's visit to Montreal, 1884: Letters by Clara Rayleigh

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(Reprinted from The Times, 1884)

It seems early to begin to speak of the arrangements for the next
meeting of the British Association, but it is a far cry to Montreal, and
a proportionately long start must be made before the final leap is
taken. So heartily have the Dominion Government and the Canadian
_savants_ entered into the preparations that everything is ready;
all the presidents, vice-presidents and secretaries of sections have
been selected; all arrangements made with steamship companies and
American railways; all excursions have been planned, and all possible
routes provided for; instructions of the most detailed kind have been
drawn up for the guidance of members; nothing has been left, indeed,
except what depends on contingencies of time and place, so that
Professor Bonney and his legion of officials may at any moment take up
their portmanteaus and walk on shipboard. All this forwardness and
completeness are largely due to the zeal of the High Commissioner, Sir
Charles Tupper, and his energetic and obliging secretary, Mr. Colmer.
When the decision was come to at Southampton to hold the meeting of 1884
in Canada there was widely expressed disapproval of the step, and doubt
as to its legitimacy; but the prospect of entertaining the upper
thousand of English science has evidently so greatly gratified our
Canadian brothers that even the most stiff-necked opponent of the
migration must be compelled to give in if he has a shred of good nature
and brotherly feeling left. There are doubtless a few grumblers who will
maintain that the Montreal assembly will not be a meeting of the
_British_ Association; but after all this Imperial Parliament of
Science could not be better occupied than in doing something to promote
science in one of the most important sections of the British dominions.
Indeed, since some maintain that so far as this country is concerned it
has almost ceased to have a _raison d'etre_, might it not extend
its functions and endeavour to exercise the same effective influence on
the promotion of science in other parts of the Empire as it has
undoubtedly done in the past in the Mother Country? It can scarcely hope
ever to hold a meeting either in Australia or India, nor even, we fear,
in South Africa; but there are other means Which it might adopt more
appropriately than any other body to encourage the progress of science
in these parts of the Empire, and make accessible to the public
interested in it the good work which is being done, at least in some of
the Australian colonies. In Canada itself there are several important
scientific societies; but so far as we know, they have no common bond of
union. Seeing that there is already an efficient American Association,
we should not advocate the formation of a separate Canadian body; but
possibly the Montreal meeting might be able to do something to
federalise the separate Canadian societies. We suggested some years ago
that the Association might do such a service to the numerous local
societies in this country, and we are glad to know that the suggestion
has borne fruit, and that already a real advance has been made in this

But whatever may be the results of the Montreal meeting, it is clear
from the programme which has been drawn up that everything possible is
being done to render the occasion one of genuine enjoyment to all who
are fortunate enough to be present. The Canadian Parliament has voted so
handsome a sum for the entertainment of the Association that its
expenses are likely to be less than at an ordinary meeting. Provision
has been made for free passages and free living for fifty of the
officials, who need not spend a penny from the time they set foot upon
the steamer until they step ashore again upon their native land. Not
only so, but a sum of $14,000 has been allotted for the reduction of
members' passages to Canada in addition to any abatement of fares
allowed by the steamship companies. The most important of these
companies, sailing not only to Quebec and Montreal, but to New York and
Newport, offer reductions averaging about 10 per, cent, on the ordinary
fares. The companies who offer these advantages are the Allan, the
Dominion, the Beaver, White Star, Cunard, National, Anchor, Guion,
Inman, Monarch, and Union lines; so that intending visitors have ample
choice of route. On the other side, again, all the railway companies
have shown the greatest liberality. The Government railways are free to
all who produce members' vouchers. The Canada Pacific Line will from
July 1 up to the date of the departure of the special free excursion to
the Rocky Mountains, grant to visiting members free passes over its
lines to the northward (Rocky Mountains, Lake Superior, &c.) and
intermediate points. This company also offers to one hundred and fifty
members of the Association a free special excursion to the Rocky
Mountains, by way of Georgian Bay, Thursday Bay, and Winnipeg, providing
that those places passed during the night on the outward journey will be
repassed during the day on the return. The only thing members will have
to pay for will be meals, which will be provided at a rate not exceeding
2s. Arrangements, moreover, will be made for trips and excursions from
Toronto, across Lake Ontario to Niagara, under the direction of local
committees to be formed in both places, giving to all members an
opportunity of visiting the Falls. Various other excursions have been
liberally arranged for by the company, so that visitors will have ample
opportunity of seeing most that is worth seeing in Canada for
practically nothing. The Canada Atlantic Railway has also arranged for
several free excursions, while the Grand Trunk, the North Shore, the
Central Vermont, and other railways in the States offer tickets to
members at something like half the usual rates; thus those who proceed
to New York may visit various parts of the States before proceeding
northwards to Canada at extremely cheap rates. At all the Canadian
cities to be visited local committees will be organized to receive the
excursionists and to care for them during their stay. The circular
prepared for the members gives every information as to routes,
distances, fares, &c., so that they may make all their arrangements
before leaving England. The telegraph companies, not to be behindhand,
undertake to transmit messages during the meeting for members from
Montreal to all parts of Canada and the United States free of charge.

Of course, it is not to be expected that all those advantages will be
given indiscriminately to all who may apply, and doubtless the great
accession of members at the Southport meeting was partly due to the
prospective visit to Canada. But only those members elected at or before
the Southampton meeting will share in the benefit of the $14,000
allotted for reduction of passage money, and until further notice no new
members or associates can be elected except by special vote of the
Council. This is as it should be, otherwise the meeting would be largely
one of mere "trippers," instead of genuine representatives of British
science. The Council have taken every precaution to render the Montreal
Meeting one of real work, and no mere holiday; from respect to itself as
well as to its hosts, the Association is bound to show itself at its
best. At the same time, the Council have extended all the privileges of
associates to the near relatives of members to the number of three for
each, so that members will have no excuse for doing Canada _en
garcon_. Of course those applying for the privileges mentioned must
produce satisfactory evidence of their identity, and in return will
receive vouchers which will serve as passports on the other side. Those
desirous of obtaining information as to hotels and other local matters,
must apply to the local secretary, care of Mr. S. C. Stevenson, 181, St.
James's Street, Montreal.

Already somewhere about six hundred applications nave been received, and
it is quite probable that at least one thousand members and associates
may be crowding across next August. Those members who wish to share in
the subsidy of $14,000 must apply before March 25, and no voucher will
be issued after July 20. We may say that the reduced railway fares
mainly extend from August 1 to the end of September. The active and
courteous secretary, Professor Bonney, on whom so much depends, will
arrive in Montreal three weeks before the opening of the meeting, August
27, for the purpose of securing that everything is in train. It is
expected that all the addresses will be printed here in time for
transmission to Montreal. So far at least as the officials are
concerned, the Canada Meeting will be a representative one. The
President elect, Lord Rayleigh, one of the most solid exponents of
British science, will certainly prove equal to the occasion. The
vice-presidents show a large Transatlantic contingent; they are, his
Excellency the Governor-General, Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir Lyon
Playfair, Sir Alexander Gait, Sir Charles Tupper, Sir Narcisse Dorion,
Hon. Dr. Chauveau, Principal Dawson, Professor Frankland, Dr. L. H.
Hingston, and Professor Sterry Hunt. Sir Joseph Hooker, we may say, has
also been nominated by the Council a vice-president, in place of the
late Sir C. W. Siemens. Perhaps it is scarcely necessary to state that
the general treasurer, Professor A W. Williamson, and the general
secretaries, Captain Douglas Galton and Mr. A. G. Vernon Harcourt, will
be present. There are five local secretaries and a local treasurer. The
presidents of the sections are all men of the highest standing in their
particular departments; it would be difficult, indeed, to suggest a
better selection. In Section A, Mathematical and Physical Science, it is
a great thing that Professor Sir William Thomson has been persuaded to
preside. No more representative chemist than Professor Roscoe could have
been obtained for Section B; in C, Geology; Mr. W. T. Blanford, the head
of the Indian Geological Survey, is sure to do honour to his subject; in
Section D, Biology, Professor Moseley, a man of thoroughly Darwinian
type of mind, will preside; in F, Economic Science, Sir Richard Temple
will be a host in himself; while in G, Mechanical Science, Sir F J.
Bramwell is sure to be vigorous and original; finally, in the new
section H, Anthropology, Dr. E. B. Tylor is the very man that ought to
have been selected. Lord Aberdare, we regret to say, has been compelled
to retire from the presidency of the Geographical Section; but for a
Canadian meeting no more suitable president could be obtained than the
veteran Arctic explorer, Sir Leopold McClintock, who, we trust, will be
persuaded to take the place of Lord Aberdare. All the vice-presidents
and secretaries of sections have been chosen with equal care; and thus
the Association has taken the very best means of proving to the
Canadians how highly they, appreciate the honour of the invitation, and
in what respect they hold their prospective audiences. For the public
lectures, the popular feature of the meetings, it is hoped to secure the
services of Professor W. G. Adams, the able Professor of Physics in
King's College, London, who it is hoped will be able to go; Dr.
Dallinger, the well-known-biologist, and Professor Ball, the witty and
eloquent Astronomer Royal for Ireland, who will deliver the popular
lecture _par excellence_.

Thus it will be seen that every possible arrangement has been made that
could be made beforehand to insure complete success, and there can be
little doubt that neither the Association nor the Canadians will be
disappointed. Section A is following the example set last year in
Section D by Professor Ray Lankester. The Committee, as we have already
announced, are sending out a circular inviting mathematicians and
physicists to co-operate with them in sustaining discussions and
contributing papers; one of the special subjects for discussion in this
section on September 1st will be the vexed one of the connection between
sun spots and terrestrial phenomena. In conclusion we may say that the
American Association will meet in Philadelphia on September 3rd, and
those who have not had enough of science at Montreal can enjoy another
week of it at the Quaker City. The Philadelphia Committee have sent a
cordial invitation to the members of the British Association to attend
their meetings, offering to do the utmost in their power to make the
visit at once pleasant and profitable. This will be a red letter year in
the history of both Associations.

Letter No. 1.

_Thursday, August 21st, 1884; on board "PARISIAN,"--getting near

My beloved Mother.--I sent you some lines from the train on Saturday
16th, and a card to Clara after we arrived on board. This is a capital
ship, and lucky for us it is so, for we have had a regular gale. I
little thought it was possible that I should dislike any sea as I do
this Atlantic! It has been dreadful weather--grey in the clouds above
and waters beneath, and blowing hard, without anything to brighten the
vast waste of waters, and I have heartily wished myself away from it.
This truly humiliating state of things will cause you to triumph over
me, no doubt! I became uncomfortable and headachy and could do nothing,
nor bear to stay in the saloon, and the drawing room, such as it is, is
taken possession of by the men, who lay themselves down full length on
the seats and leave no room for any ladies, so I have stayed in my
cabin. Dr. Protheroe Smith has been quite a comfort to me. He is such a
good man, and so pleasant, and has given me things to read, and relates
interesting medical and religious experiences. While I write, an
enormous wave has dashed against my port light and given me a flash of
darkness. Hedley has been rather ill, but has never quite lost his
appetite. Gibson and the two others have held out well. Evelyn has been
in her berth since Monday, when it began to blow, but she has not been
really ill. John and Dick have braved the storm on deck, and say the
sight of the waves from the stern was magnificent, but I don't care for
this kind of awful uncomfortable magnificence, which makes me feel a
miserable shrimp, whose fate it is to be swallowed up by these raging
waves, and who well deserves it. So I only made a feeble attempt to get
to the deck on Monday, and was glad, to leave it in half an hour when it
rained. I went down to the drawing room to look at some men playing
chess, but as the others stared at me as if I had no right to be there,
and the motion was very bad, I had soon to leave ignominiously. Mr.
Barrett has entertained me with some ghost stories, well authenticated
and printed for private circulation. I have begun writing this to-day
because there seems some chance of posting it on Saturday or Sunday,
when Sir Leonard and Lady Tilley and two sons are to be landed at New
Brunswick as we pass down the Straits of Belle Isle, I think. I shall
not see your birth-place as we shall be too far off.

_Friday, 22nd._--I went upon deck after breakfast in a great hurry
to see an iceberg. I was greeted with great kindness by every one after
my three days' seclusion, and thoroughly enjoyed the day and the ocean
for the first time. It was very cold but clear and sparkling, and there
was no motion to speak of; after the gale, and the great hills and
valleys of the Atlantic roll in a storm, it seemed impossible it could
be so smooth; but we are to have every experience of weather, as a fog
came on and we steamed very slowly and blew fog signals for an hour!
However, the sun broke forth and lifted the curtain of fog, and within a
quarter of a mile we saw a beautiful iceberg twelve or fifteen hundred
feet deep, they said, and so beautiful in its ultra marine colouring.
The shape was like a village church somewhat in ruins. Miss Fox, a
sister of Caroline Fox, is on board and sketched the icebergs and the
waves during the storm very cleverly. They were also photographed by Mr.
Barrett and a professional. After dinner we were all on deck again and
watched for the lights on the coast of Labrador, which mark the entrance
into the Straits of Belle Isle, and at last a twinkle caught my eye and
we all greeted it with joy! Isn't it wonderful that a ship can be
steered across that vast expanse of water straight to this light, in
spite of clouds and storms and without the sight of sun or moon or
stars? If I was teaching a class I should quote this as a good
illustration of "God's mysterious ways." We wander on through all the
changes, and chances of this mortal life, and we don't know the why, or
when, or where, but at last we see the lights of heaven looming on our
horizon and are at the haven where we would be. Then we realize that all
the time He was guiding us by ways that we knew not! In the evening we
heard an auction amusingly carried on, though I did not approve of the
gambling connected with it; and then Mr. Barrett gave a short account of
apparitions, and there was a discussion.

I am now writing after breakfast on Saturday and we expect to reach
Quebec on Sunday night. It will be a dreadful disappointment if we don't
see the first view, which is so fine, by daylight. We entered the Gulf
of St. Lawrence last night (Friday). I give you a list of our saloon
fellow passengers and you will see that I knew a good many of them


Mr. H. Alabaster
Mr. A. H. Allen
Dr. J. T. Arlidge
Mr. Atchison
Mr. B. Baker
Major E. Bance
Miss Barlow
Mr. W. F. Barrett
Dr. Beamish
Mr. G Belyea
Mr. G W. Bloxam
Miss Bodman
Dr. H. Borns
Mr. Stephen Bourne
Miss E E. Bourne
Miss E. M. Bourne
Mr. A. H. Bradley
Sir Frederick Bramwell
Mr. R. G. Brook
Mr. Robert Capper
Mrs. Capper
Mr. G. C. Chatterton
Mr. W. H. Clemmey
Mr. C. Cooke
Mrs. Cooper
Miss Cooper
Mr. F. B. C. Costelloe
Mr. Crampton
Mrs. Crampton
Mr. Crookshank
Mr. W. C. Davy
Miss Daw
Mr. W. Boyd Dawkins
Mr. Thomas Denman
Prof. Dewar
Mrs. Dewar
Mr. G. E. Dobson
Mr. R. Edminson
Mr. E. Farnworth
Mr. J. Fewings
Prof. G. Forbes
Mr. R Formby
Mr. C. Le Neve Foster
Mr. Howard Fox
Miss Fox
Prof. Fream
Hon. C. W. Fremantle
Capt. Douglas Galton
Mr. John L. Garsed
Dr. J. H. Gilbert
Mrs. Gilbert
Mr. J. H. Gladstone
Miss Gladstone
Miss Gladstone
Miss Gladstone
Mr. J. H. Glover
Mr. A. G. Greenhill
Mr. Egbert de Hamel
Mr. N. C. Hardcastle
Mr. B. W. Hardcastle
Dr. G. Harley
Mr. N. B. Harley
Miss Harris
Mr. R. T. Herford
Miss A. C. Herford
Mr. Horniman
Mr. W. Hurst
Mr. John Jones
Rev. Harry Jones
Mr. George Oliver Jones
Miss Fanny Jones
Mr. R. H. Jones
Hon. Mrs. Joyce
Rev. A. G. Joyce
Mr. Simeon Kaye
Mr. J. W. Leahy
Mr. B. T. Leech
Mrs. Leech
General Sir J. H. Lefroy, K. C. M. G.
Lady Lefroy, and Maid
Mr. James A. Love
Mr. William Lukes
Mr. W. Macandrew
Mr. G. Mackay
Mr. U. Mackay
Mr. Harry Mackeson
Mr. James Mackrell
Mr. Samuel Marsden
Mr. James Mactear
Mr. W. P. Marshall
Dr. W. R. McNab
Mr. C. T. Mitchell
Mr. W. J. Muirhead
Mr. Hugo M. Muller
Mr. E. K. Muspratt
Miss J. Muspratt
Mr. J. S. O'Halloran
Admiral Sir E. Ommanney
Mr. W. H. Perkin
Mr. W. H. Perkin, Jun.
Mr. L. G. Pike
Mr. Benjamin Pilling
Mr. John Pilling
Mrs. Pilling
Mr. John Powell
Mr. W. H. Preece
Mr. P. Price
Mrs. Price
Lord Rayleigh
Lady Rayleigh
Clara Lady Rayleigh, and Maid
Mr. J. B. Readman
Mr. A. W. Reinold
Mr. C. Richardson
Mr. R. Richardson
Mrs. Richardson
Mr. A. Rigg
Mr. A. F. Riddell
Mrs. Riddell
Rev. J. Robberds
Prof. W. Chandler Roberts
Mrs. Roberts
Mr. G. H. Robertson
Mrs. Robertson
Canon Rogers
Mr. W. Rogers
Earl of Rosse
Mr. P. L. Sclater
Mr. W. L. Sclater
Mr. Sydney C. Scott
Mr. A. Sedgwick
Prof. H. S. Hele Shaw
Prof. J. P. Sheldon
Mr. George Smith
Dr. P. Smith
Dr. H. Smith
Prof. W. J. Sollas
Mr. E. Sollas
Mr. Sowden
Mr. A. Sowden
Dr. W. D. Spanton
Mr. Russell Stephenson
Mr. T. H. Stockwell
Hon. R. Strutt
Hon. H. V. Strutt
Mr. A. Summers
Mr. R. W. Cooke-Taylor
Mrs. Cooke-Taylor
Mr. T. H. Thomas
Dr. Alex. S. Thomson
Mr. William Thomson
Mr. W. J. Thomson
Dr. H. G. Thompson
Sir Leonard Tilley, K.C.M.G., C.B.
Lady Tilley
Master Herbert Tilley
Master Leonard Tilley
Mr. W. Topley
Mr. W. Tribe
Mr. G. S. Turner
Capt. H. S. Walker
Mrs. Walker
Mr. Ward
Miss Ward
Mr. C. A. Wells
Rev. E. Wells
Mr. Westgarth
Mrs. Westgarth
Mrs. Westgarth
Mr. W. Whitaker
Miss E. H. Williamson
Mr. E. S. Williams
Miss Wilson
Rev. H. H. Winwood
Mr. Alfred Wood
Mrs. Wood
Mr. H. T. Wood
Mr. A. W. Worthington
Miss Worthington
Mr. T. Wrightson
Mr. F. York
Mrs. York

This afternoon was very dull and grey. I played a game of four chess,
and there was a concert in the evening,--every two or three minutes
broken in upon by the roar of a wild beast called the fog horn. It was
very funny to hear the apropos way it came in when Canon Rogers was
reciting Hiawatha. "Minnihaha said ----" then a roar! One of the party
read a paper, and a really witty burlesque on this supposed wild beast
and its anatomy. John is so well and, I think, very popular: Evelyn is a
much better sailor than one anticipated. Captain Douglas Galton told me
John's address was admirable, but I would not read it, as I want to
judge of it as others will, when it is delivered. I have had no
_whist!_ think of that--at first people were too ill, and then so
much on deck, and they play in the smoking room, I hear, and perhaps
gamble for higher stakes than I like!--which perhaps you will say is not
surprising as I never play for anything.

_Sunday, August 24th._--We have had a bright but cold day and
brisk wind--in fact I have felt colder than when the icebergs were round
us! We had service in the morning--Mr. Joyce read prayers' and Canon
Rogers preached; and at three we Lad the excitement of seeing Sir
Leonard and Lady Tilley, and two sons, with innumerable packages, taken
off in a tug to New Brunswick--_Rimouski_ was the name of the
town, and the still greater excitement followed of receiving from it the
Secretary of the Lodging Committee at Montreal, who brought quantities
of letters, papers, &c. I had a letter from Mr. Angus, asking me and a
son to stay with them during our visit to Montreal, and it is close to
where Dick is invited (Mr. and Mrs. McClennan's), and near John and
E---. I also heard from Mr. Dobell, very kindly offering his house and
carriage for my use while at Quebec; he and his family are away camping
in the woods. You never saw a scene of greater excitement than the
appearance of the saloon when the President opened the parcel containing
letters, newspapers, and telegrams, after a week's total abstinence from
all news; everyone _seized_ upon their respective letters, &c.,
with eagerness; the only person who did not look happy, was John, for he
found the arrangements made would be too much for him, and he and
Captain Gallon set themselves to try and alter them, in which I hope
they will succeed. The Secretary sat opposite me at dinner, and told me
how anxious they all were to make everything comfortable for us. It is
doubtful whether we stay at Quebec to-morrow night, or go on to Montreal
at once, as there is to be an excursion on Friday next to Quebec, and
grand reception, and picnic or garden party on the following day. If you
find a difficulty in reading the indelible pencil, tell me; it is more
convenient to use travelling. We had an interesting conference on prayer
this afternoon (Sunday), and I have just returned from another smaller
one. A scientific man asked questions as to whether we could
_prove_ answers to prayer would be given for _physical_
blessings, or what we consider such; or whether prayer was only a
sentiment (as Tyndal thinks)? Professor Barrett and a dear old
clergyman, Canon Rogers (who, in my ignorance, I had thought, at first,
was a "dry stick") argued the matter with him, and also Dr. P. Smith and
his son, and Miss Fox and I said a few words. Now, about nine o'clock,
they are all singing hymns, very much out of tune. I must finish this up
now for it must be posted to-morrow, or may miss the mail on Tuesday. I
have thoroughly enjoyed the last three days, and am almost sorry the
voyage is over, and so, I think, are many of my fellow passengers. Some
of them are very good and nice. Miss Fox is delightful--upwards of
eighty, and yet so full of interest in everything good and beautiful;
she is like a piece cut out of the old past, and a very wonderful old
fossil, full of energy and cleverness. Hedley desires his love, and is
very well and happy. We go to 240, Drummond Street, Montreal, on Monday
or Tuesday, Dick in same street, and John and E--- near. Gibson has
never been ill at all! Good-bye, now, and God bless you all, darling
Mother, and everyone dear to me at home. Two or three times during the
gale, Hedley and I said to each other, "How nice it would be to be
sitting with you at No. 90, O--- G---."--but now we have not that
desire' From your loving child,--C. R.

Letter No. 2.

_Tuesday, August 26th, Beavoir, Quebec._

My first letter was brought up to 24th. I forgot to tell you then of an
interesting discussion with a clever and honest infidel, Mr. X---.
Through ---- (who had told me about him), I had lent him "Natural Law,"
and (seeing him standing about looking, I thought, rather sad as we were
all singing "Rock of Ages, cleft for me") I asked him his opinion of the
book, and he said "on Mr. D.'s assumption of the existence of a Personal
God, it is very clever, and with your views I would certainly circulate
it." Of course, I could not argue with a man well armed at all points
for attack (as these infidels generally are), though they are weak
enough at defence, their explanations of life's mysteries being as
unsatisfactory and vague as that of any ignorant Bible woman; and so
when others joined us I gave way, and he said as a _crusher_--"I
see you are a very sincere and conscientious lady, but you are very
_fanatical_." I replied, as my parting shot, "Well, of course, I
cannot do justice to my cause, but at any rate you have nothing to offer
_me_; convince me and others, if you can, that we are wrong (and
thank God we have a noble army on our side), what have you to give us in
the place of our beliefs? Nothing! a mere negation." He answered--"What
have you to give me?" "Oh," I replied, "a mere _nothing, only_
peace and power for holiness now and a glorious hope for the future, and
so (shaking hands) good bye." I could scarcely speak to him for crying,
for it was so painful to hear his words about our Blessed Saviour. After
our discussion on prayer in the back cabin, a young man who was there
and who was sitting near me while I was writing to you, began to talk it
over. "Well," I said, "the best answer to those objections about prayer
that I know, is to try it, and then I am sure no arguments will then
shake your confidence that there is a God who heareth and answereth
prayer." It is like our Lord's cure of the blind man. "How did He do
it?" they ask, and ask in vain for any explanation which could be
understood, but the man says "I don't know, but whereas I was blind, now
I see," and the Pharisees beat themselves to pieces against that rock.
You may imagine I went to my berth heartily tired after the excitement
of this long day.

_Monday, 25th._--I got up at six and rushed on deck, and with a
lovely clear sky and shining sun and a brisk breeze, I found we were
steaming along the river St. Lawrence. We devoured with our eyes the
beautiful views on each side, mountains of blue and violet, wooded to
their summits, and Canadian villages nestling at their feet on the banks
of the river, with glittering spires of _blanche_ for every seven
miles, like tall milestones, and then we reached the entrance to Quebec,
which is indeed magnificent! the splendid water-way, with the fine
position of Quebec, makes it a grand sight, and I was not disappointed;
and the clear and brilliant morning sunshine showed us all to
perfection. Then came such a scene of hurry and confusion,--but we were
favored: Captain R. Stephenson, the Governor-General's A.D.C., who had
been our fellow passenger, received instructions from him, and we were
conveyed in a police steamboat to the other side--to the Citadel; there
was also a letter from Lord Lansdowne to John, asking him and E--- and
any of his party to breakfast, brought by Captain Streatfield, another
A.D.C. Our maids and luggage were left in charge of the police at their
wharf station. On reaching the wharf a carriage conveyed us to the
Citadel,--such a drive, up the side of a house! over a great many
boulders. A curious old town is Quebec--thoroughly like a French town,
with French spoken everywhere, and French dirt and air of poverty and
untidiness, as in the remoter and older towns of France.

Lord and Lady Lansdowne received us most kindly, and besides there was
Lady Florence Anson (her niece, who is engaged to Captain Streatfield),
Lady Melgund, whose husband is away in Ottawa looking after canoe men
for Egypt, and a young Mr. Anson, A.D.C. After seeing the view from the
balcony--a splendid panorama of Quebec and the river St. Lawrence, with
its tributary St. Charles, and the surrounding country backed by blue
mountains, we went in to our second breakfast, and much we enjoyed our
tea. Lord Lansdowne sat next me and was very pleasant. Afterwards he
asked John and E--- and me and the boys to dine, apologising for not
asking us all to sleep there, on the grounds of not having room, which
is true enough, for the house is not large. I thought it best to decline
for myself and two sons, as I was going with them for the night to this
place (Mr. Dobell's), four miles away. Then came a Secretary of the
Local Committee to discuss arrangements with John, and alter the
programme somewhat for next Friday and Saturday, when we are expected to
revisit Quebec.

John is much afraid that the long-list of engagements will bring on his
rheumatism and knock him up for the real Business in Montreal. After
this we had the carriage and drove in state to the Hotel where John and
E--- were to sleep, arranged about our berths on the steamer for
Montreal, saw numbers of our fellow-passengers who had not gone to
Montreal, and drove to the wharf and only brought a little luggage to
come here with. They told me I should not want umbrellas ("Our climate
here is very different from yours," said they), nor wraps, but I
persisted in bringing a few, fortunately, for it has been pouring all
night and up to this time (twelve o'clock Wednesday), and it was so cold
besides. While at the hotel (I forgot to mention _that_) a card was
handed to me with Mr. Price's name on it. I could not think who he was,
but he soon came and mentioned Capt. F--- (Julia Spicer's son-in-law),
and then I remembered he had promised to mention us to the Prices. He
offered to drive one of the ladies in his buggy to his house near the
Montmerenci Falls, where we were all to lunch, and E--- went in it, and
the rest of us drove in another carriage to his place, about five miles
off. The drive was delightful and his cottage a picture--a little, fat,
fair motherly woman for a wife, with two little chicks, and a lady
friend. They took us down some steps to the Falls, the river Montmerenci
falling 500 feet, and it was very fine, the view being improved by the
figures of our fellow-passengers on the opposite side making struggling
efforts to gain good positions, which we achieved in all ease and
comfort. Then we returned to an excellent luncheon, very pleasantly
diversified to us by Indian corn, which we learned to eat in an
ungraceful but excellent fashion on the cob, blueberry tart and cream.
This was our _third_ substantial meal on Tuesday. Several visitors
called, and among them our fellow-passengers, Mr. Stephen Bourne and his
daughters and two friends, who are also staying here, a gentleman with
three other ladies (two of whom had been on the "Parisian") who said he
had been staying lately with one of them in Cheshire, so I concluded he
was an English-Canadian and said heartily: "That's right, keep up with
the old country. You come to see us and we come to see you." And he
responded graciously, but I heard after that he was a French-Canadian
and R. C., and they are not fond of England, but cling very much to
French ways and customs and are entirely in the hands of their priests.
They are a quiet, moral people, marry very young and have very large
families. It is quite common to hare ten children, and they live at what
we should call a starvation rate; yet they will not go to service,
contribute hardly anything to the revenue, and so the English, who are
the only active and money-making section of the population, are heavily
taxed; of course _I_ speak of the poor and working classes. The
province of Quebec is, therefore, not a favourite one with enterprising
spirits from our shores or from other parts of Canada.

After these visitors were gone, Mr. Price drove me and E---, and the
rest walked, to the "Natural Steps." It was a beautiful spot, the clear
torrent of the river Montmerenci falling in cascades over a curious
formation of layers of stone and steps on either side, with the bright
green _arbor vitae_, which they call cedar, growing above and in
every niche it can find a bit of soil; wild raspberries and strawberries
too, which, alas, were over. We met several of our fellow-passengers,
and we greet one another like long-lost friends. On our return we found
Mrs. Price had cuddled her ailing boy to sleep and could give us some
attention. We had delicious tea and cake (our fourth meal). Mr. Price
comes from Boss, in Herefordshire, and has been twelve years away from
it. He is very nice and intelligent. Her brother owns the Falls and
lives in a pretty cottage near. Edison, the electric light inventor, has
bought the power of these falls for electric purposes. John was thinking
all the time how useful they might be made. We returned to the hotel in
time for John and E--- to dress for the Governor-General's dinner party.
We took a little baggage and Gibson and came here--a dark drive, and we
were shaken to bits in what is justly called a _rockaway_ carriage.
We were met at the door by Mr. Dobell, much to our surprise, for he and
his family had returned unexpectedly from camping out, as it proved a
failure, and rushed home to receive us. She is handsome, and quite
English in tone and manner, daughter of the Minister of the Interior,
Sir David Macpherson. Mr. Dobell is very bright and pleasant-looking,
the house pretty and comfortable, with large conservatory. We Had a
tremendous supper (our fifth meal) and so I could hardly do justice to
it. I went to bed very tired after this hard day's work and awoke this
morning to find it pouring, so I have been taking advantage of the quiet
to write to you. Dick and Mr. Dobell went to Quebec, and we follow at
three. They hope to have some organ-playing in the Cathedral. Mr. S.
Bourne and his young ladies are also gone, and we are to leave at three
and start at five in the river steamboat for Montreal. Tell Edward and
Lisa, &c., &c., about us. We all thoroughly enjoyed everything yesterday
except that we wanted warmer clothes. They had tremendous heat here
before we arrived, and so every one was advising us to wear light
clothing!--and the weather changed!


_August 29th, 240, Drummond Street, Montreal._

We left the hospitable Dobells on Tuesday, 26th, took our luggage from
the police station, receiving many bows and much politeness from the
several Canadians in charge and, with about one thousand others, besides
soldiers, went on board a very large steamer--a new experience, for
these river steamers are quite different from anything we see on this
side, even I think, on the Rhine,--the Lansdownes were in it and we saw
something of them. An uncomfortable night, and were glad to reach this,
Wednesday morning, at about eight o'clock. Such a mass of luggage and
people, but as Mr. Angus kindly sent a carriage and man to meet us, I
did very well and arrived safely with all mine.

I drove with Hedley and Miss Angus in the afternoon (there are four
grown-up young ladies) and finally got out at the Queen's Hall, where
the Mayor read an address in French, and after Sir William Thomson had
spoken, John said a few words. There was a great crowd here, and we sang
"God Save the Queen" with enthusiasm. We dined at half-past six and
afterwards the two Misses Angus and Hedley and I drove to the Hall.

Lord and Lady Lansdowne sat on the platform, and after a nice speech
from him, Sir William Thomson introduced John as the new President with
many compliments. Then, dear John, looking so nice, with a clear voice,
read his address, and I am told it was heard even in the gallery at the
end. I liked it extremely, and people seem to think it was very good.
Our party, Evelyn, Dick, &c., sat in the front row, and when John read
one or two passages which he thought would particularly "fetch" me, he
looked with a little twinkle in my direction and of course I twinkled in

[The following account is reprinted from the "Montreal Gazette," August
28th, 1884.]

Everything combined to favour the opening day of the British Association
meeting yesterday. Bright skies overhead, and weather not too warm, and
tempered by a cooling breeze, made what outdoor work had to be done
pleasant and prevented indoor proceedings from being oppressive. Adding
to these conditions the general enthusiasm which prevailed, the presence
of so many notable personages, distinguished in the worlds of science,
of politics, of letters and of mercantile pursuits, and the attendance
of so large a number of the fair sex, who evinced the greatest interest
in the proceedings, and it will be seen that the opening could not have
taken place under more pleasing auspices. Whilst the city in general
showed an extra amount of life and bustle, the interest naturally
centered in the grounds of McGill University, which presented a bright
and lively scene. In the reception room in the William Molson Hall there
was a constant succession of visitors, and the various offices wore a
busy air. In the grounds a new and picturesque effect was made by a
couple of marquees wherein luncheon was served, and the grounds
themselves, the grassy lawns and wooded walks, were the constant resort
of ladies and gentlemen. The morning was spent by the visitors either in
visits to the offices and reception rooms, the arrangement of papers, or
in "doing" the city. At one o'clock the first work of the meeting
commenced in the meeting of the general committee. Subsequently, at half
past four, the visitors were formally welcomed by the mayor and
corporation in the Queen's Hall, which was the scene of a brilliant
gathering, and in the evening the first general meeting of the
Association took place in the same hall, when the representative of the
retiring president resigned the presidential office, which was assumed
by the new president, Lord Rayleigh. Additional interest and distinction
was given to the proceedings yesterday by the presence of His Excellency
the Governor-General and the Marchioness of Lansdowns, and the Right
Hon. Sir John A. Macdonald, Premier of the Dominion. Full reports of all
the meetings and speeches together with other particulars of interest
will be found subjoined.


A meeting of the general committee of the Association was held in the
James Ferrier Hall, Wesleyan College, at one o'clock yesterday
afternoon, Sir William Thomson presiding.

The minutes of the meeting at Southport were read by the secretary, Rev.
Prof. Bonney, and confirmed.


Capt. Douglas Galton, General Secretary, then read the annual report of
the council, which stated that since the meeting at Southport, Dr. F.
Lindemaun and Dr. Ernst Schroeder had been elected corresponding members
of the Association, and proceeded as follows:--"The present meeting of
the British Association, the fifty-fourth in number, is likely to be
long memorable in its annals, as the first held beyond the limits of the
United Kingdom. It marks a new point of departure, and one probably
never contemplated by the founders of the Association, although not
forbidden by the laws which they drew up. The experiment was doubtless a
hazardous one, but it seems likely to be justified by success, and it
may be hoped that the vigour and vitality gained by new experience may
ultimately compensate for the absence from this meeting of not a few
familiar faces among the older members; there will, however, be as large
a gathering of members of more than one year's standing as is usual at a
successful meeting in Great Britain, and the efforts which have been
made by our hosts to facilitate the coming of members and render their
stay in Canada both pleasant and instructive, call for the warmest
acknowledgment. The inducements offered to undertake the journey were
indeed so great that the council felt that it would be necessary to
place some restriction upon the election of new members, which for many
years past, though not unchecked in theory, has been almost a matter of
course in practice. Obviously these offers of the Canadian hosts of the
British Association were made to its members, not to those on whom they
might operate as an inducement to be enrolled among its members. The
council, therefore, before the close of the Southport meeting, published
the following resolution:--"That after the termination of the present
month (September, 1883), until further notice, new members be only
elected by special resolution of the council." Applications for
admission under these terms were very numerous, and were carefully
sifted by the council. Still, although the council as time progressed
and the number augmented, increased the stringency of their
requirements, it became evident that the newly elected members would
soon assume an unduly large proportion to those of older standing, so
that on May 6th, after electing 130 members under this rule, it was
resolved to make no more elections until the commencement of the
Montreal meeting, when it would be safe to revert to the usual practice.
The details of the arrangements made for the journey have already been
communicated to the members, so that it is needless to make any further
special reference to them, but the council have to acknowledge the great
liberality of the associated cable companies in granting, under certain
restrictions, free ocean telegraphy to the members of the Association
during the meeting. The death of Sir William Siemens has deprived the
Association of one of its most earnest supporters and friends. It was
during his presidency at Southampton that the invitation to Montreal was
accepted, and he was appointed at Southport a vice-president for this
meeting. The council nominated Sir J. D. Hooker a vice-president, but
he was unfortunately obliged, for domestic reasons, to resign the
nomination in the early part of the summer. It has been the custom at
meetings of the Association to invite the attendance of distinguished
men of science from all parts of the world, but the council considered
that on the present occasion it would be well to offer a special welcome
to the American Association (of which also several eminent Canadian men
of science are members); they have accordingly issued an invitation to
the standing committee and fellows of that Association to attend the
meeting at Montreal on the footing of honorary members."

The Report then referred to the fact that the general treasurer had been
prevented from being present at the meeting, and that as the usual
assistant to the general treasurer could not also be present, they had
nominated Admiral Sir Erasmus Ommanney, C.B., F.R.S., as deputy
treasurer, and Mr. Harry Brown, assistant secretary of University
College, London, as financial officer. The Report proceeded to state
that the council had, after consideration, decided to form a separate
section of anthropology, and reported with reference to the resolution
referred to them by the general committee, "That application be made to
the Admiralty to institute a Physical and Biological Survey of Milford
Haven, and the adjacent coast of Pembrokeshire, on the plan followed by
the American Fisheries Commission." They had done so, and had been
informed by the Lords of H. M. Treasury, that they regretted to be
unable to institute such a survey, as the Admiralty had no vessels
available for this service. With regard to the Report of the Committee
of Section A respecting the suppression of four of the seven principal
observatories of the Meteorological Council, and to forward a copy of
the same to the Meteorological Council, they reported that arrangements
had been made, whereby three out of the four observatories relinquished
by the Meteorological Council would be continued, though on a somewhat
different footing. The council also reported that they had sent a
communication to the Executive Committee of the International Fisheries
Exhibition, urging upon that body the appropriation of a sufficient sum
out of the surplus funds remaining in their hands at the close of the
Exhibition, to found a laboratory on the British Coast for the study of
marine zoology; but there did not seem any prospect of such an
appropriation of the surplus funds. The Report then referred to the
Report of the Committee on local scientific societies, and detailed the
alterations which its adoption would make necessary in the rules,
stating that it was proposed to reserve the consideration of this
question by the general Committee for the meeting to be held in London
in November. The Report concluded as follows: "The vacancies in the
council to be declared at the General Committee Meeting in November will
be Lord Rayleigh, who has assumed the presidency, together with the
following who retire in the ordinary course: Mr. G. Darwin, Mr.
Hastings, Dr. Huggins and Dr. Burdon Sanderson, and the council will
recommend for re-election on that occasion the other ordinary members of
council, with the addition of the gentlemen whose names are
distinguished by an asterisk in the following list:--*Abney, Capt. R.
E., Adams, Professor W. G., *Ball, Professor B. S., Bateman, J. F. La
Trobe, Esq., Bramwell, Sir F. Dawkins, Professor W. Boyd, De La Rue, Dr.
Warren, Dewar, Professor J., Evans, Captain Sir F., Flower, Professor W.
H., Gladstone, Dr. J. H., Glaisher, J. W. L., Esq., Godwin-Austen,
Lieut-Col. H. H., Hawkshaw, J. Clarke, Esq., Henrici, Professor 0.,
Hughes, Professor T. McK., Jeffreys, Dr. J. Gwyn, *Moseley, Professor H.
N, *Ommaney, Admiral Sir E, Pengelly, W., Esq., Perkin, W. H., Esq.,
Prestwich, Professor, Sclater-Booth, The Right Hon. George, Sorby, Dr.
H. C., *Temple, Sir R." In accordance with the decision arrived at by
them at Southport, the General Committee will meet on Tuesday, 11th
November, at Three o'clock in the afternoon in the Theatre of the Royal
Institution, Albemarle Street, London, W., for the transaction of the
following business, viz:--To elect the president, officers and council
for 1884-85; to fix the date of meeting for 1885; to appoint the place
of meeting for 1886; and to consider the alteration of rules necessary
to give effect to the recommendation of the Committee on local
scientific societies.

On motion of the Chairman the Report was adopted.


The President of the Royal Society, Dr. T. Sterry-Hunt, then read the
following address:--

_To the President and Council of the British Association for the
Advancement of Science._

The Royal Society of Canada greets with cordial welcome the members of
your Association on the occasion of its first visit to the American
continent, and rejoices to find among those who have accepted the
invitation of the citizens of Montreal so many names, renowned as
leaders of scientific research.

The Royal Society of Canada, which is a body recently organized and in
the third year of its existence, includes not only students of natural
history and natural philosophy, who make up together one-half of its
eighty members, but others devoted to the history and the literature of
the two great European races, who are to-day engaged in the task of
building up in North America a new nation under the shelter of the
British flag.

Recognizing the fact that material progress can only be made in
conjunction with advancement in literature and in science, we hail your
visit as an event destined to give a new impulse to the labours of our
own students, believing at the same time that the great problems of
material nature, not less than the social and political aspects of this
vast realm, will afford you subjects for profitable study, and trusting
that when your short visit is over, you will return to your native land
with kindly memories of Canada and a confidence that its growth in all
that makes a people good and great is secured.

T. STERRY HUNT, President,

JOHN GEO. Bourniot, Hon. Secretary.

_Montreal, August 27, 1884._

Dr. Hunt's predecessor in office, the Hon. Dr. CHAUVEAU, followed and
after a few introductory remarks read the address in French.

Sir WILLIAM THOMSON, in replying, said:--I am sure all the members of
the general committee are greatly gratified with the warm welcome
accorded to us in the addresses just delivered on behalf of the two
great divisions of our countrymen in this province, the English and
French races. It is very gratifying to see this cordial unanimity
existing between them, and in the name of the general committee I beg to
express our warmest thanks for these addresses of welcome. (Applause.)

Dr. T. STERRY HUNT said he would now, with their permission, read an
address which had been transmitted by the committee of reception at the
neighbouring town of Chambly, where a memorial tablet was to be placed
at the old fort at that place on Saturday next. The address was as

Mr. STERRY HUNT will please do the reception committee at Chambly the
honour to represent them before the members of the British Association
for the advancement of science, and to inform them that at Chambly, on
the 30th instant, at half-past three o'clock, there will be the ceremony
of placing a tablet in the old Fort Chartrain, built by France in 1711
against the English, now its allies.

The presence of members of the British Association at this ceremony will
be regarded as an honour by the Canadian people of the shores of the
Richelieu. It will be for them an encouragement, and for our young
country a proof of the interest felt in Europe for all that belongs to
history, whether shown in the preservation of old monuments, or in the
placing therein of memorial tablets.

Chambly was long a military post occupied at times by men famous alike
in French and English annals. It is also the birthplace of Albam, the
famous Canadian singer, and here are buried the remains of de Salaberry,
the Canadian Leonidas, in whose honour a statue has lately been erected.
Mr. Sterry Hunt will please present the respects of the Chambly
committee to the members of the British Association while accepting them
for himself, and will believe me his most obedient servant,

J. O. Dies, Secretary-General of the Committee.

_Chambly, August 25,1884._

On Saturday next, Dr. Hunt explained there would be an excursion at 2
p.m. to Chambly from the city. He knew that other excursions had been
arranged for to Quebec and elsewhere, and he had no wish to interfere
with these arrangements, but those who chose to avail themselves of his
cordial invitation would find a visit to Chambly exceedingly

Sir WM. THOMPSON returned cordial thanks to Mr. Dion for his kind
invitation, and felt sure many members of the association would avail
themselves of it.


Fully an hour before the time for presenting the civic address crowds
of people began to ascend the stairs leading to the Queen's Hall, and by
half-past four o'clock the hall was filled to overflowing, and when the
mayor and aldermen, with the members of the British Association put in
an appearance, they were heartily received by the audience. His Worship,
Mayor Beaudry (who wore his chain of office) presided, and was supported
on the right by Sir William Thomson (representing the retiring
president, Prof. Cayley), and the Right Hon. Lord Rayleigh
(president-elect), and on his left by the Premier of the Dominion, the
Right Honourable Sir John A. Macdonald. Amongst others present--were Sir
Lyon Playfair, Capt. Douglas Galton, Prof. Henry E. Boscoe, Sir James
Douglass, Prof. Chandler Roberts, Mr. W. Terlawney Saunders, Prof.
Glaisher, Hon. C. W, Freemantle, Capt. Bedford Pim, Rev. Prof. Bonney,
Sir Richard Temple, Dr. Alexander, Principal Dawson, C.M.G., Prof.
Cheriman, Mr. M. H. Gault, M.P., Hon. J. S. C. Wurtele, Dr. Persiford
Frazer, U. S. Consul-General Stearns, Andrew Robertson, and the
following members of the city corporation: Aldermen Grenier, Fairbairn,
Laurent, Stevenson, Rainville, Donovan, Beauchamp, Archibald, Robert,
Prefontaine, Holland, Tansey, Beausoleil, Mount, Rolland, Hood, J. C.
Wilson, Thos. Wilson, Mooney, Jeannotte, Farrell and Genereux; Mr.
Charles Glackmeyer, city clerk; Mr. Perceval W. St. George, city
surveyor; Mr. J. F. D. Black, city treasurer; and Mr. H. Paradis, chief
of police. Mr. W. R Spence, organist of the Church of St. John the
Evangelist, presided at the organ.

His Worship the Mayor opened the proceedings by reading the following:--


_To the President and Members of the British Association for the
Advancement of Science_:

GENTLEMEN,--It is with no common pleasure that we, the mayor and
aldermen of Montreal welcome to this city and to Canada, so
distinguished a body as the British Association for the Advancement of
Science. Already indeed, not only here, but through the length and
breadth of the land, that welcome has been pronounced with a heartiness
to which we are proud to add the confirmation of formal expression.

During the last two years, and especially since the acceptance of our
invitation made it a certainty, your coming amongst us has been looked
forward to as an event of deep and manifold importance to the Dominion.

Aware of the devotion with which the Association had for more than half
a century, applied itself to the object indicated in its name, and
knowing that its present membership comprised the most eminent of those
noble students and investigators who have made the search after truth
the aim of their lives, we could not fail to perceive that Canada would
gain by the presence of observers and thinkers so exact and so
unprejudiced. Nor were we without the hope that in the vast and varied
expanse of territory which constitutes the Dominion, our learned
visitors would meet with features of interest that should be some
compensation for so long and wearisome a journey here in that great
stretch of diversified region between the Atlantic and the Pacific, the
student of almost every branch of science must find something worth
learning whilst for certain sections of the Association there are few
portions of the world in which the explorer is more likely to be
gratified and rewarded.

Throughout this broad domain of ours, rock and herb, forest and prairie,
lake and river, air and soil, with whatever life or whatever relic of
life in past ages, they may severally contain,--afford to the diligent
seeker of knowledge various and ample scope for research. Nor to the
student of man at a social and political being, is there less of
opportunity for acquiring fresh facts and themes for reflection in a
young commonwealth like this.

We flatter ourselves that here you will find a people not unworthy of
the great races from which it has sprung, and that on your return to the
mother land, you will be able to speak with satisfaction, from your own
experience, of our federal system, our resources, our agriculture our
manufactures, our commerce, our institutions of learning, our progress
and our destinies.

You have come and we place our land, ourselves and all we are and have
at your disposal. We bid you a hearty welcome, and in so honouring
ourselves we only ask you to consider yourselves at home, remembering
that you are still on British soil.

In conclusion Mr. President and Gentlemen, we sincerely hope that your
stay in this portion of Her Majesty's Empire may be as happy and as
fruitful to the Association as it is grateful for so many reasons to the
people of Montreal and of the Dominion.




City Clerk

Sir WM THOMSON acknowledged in cordial terms the hearty welcome
expressed in this address. The Association, he continued, when it
commenced the experiment of being a peripatetic Association for the
advancement of science, made an experiment which many considered of a
doubtful character. It was urged that although zeal for a new thing
might carry the Association on for a few years successfully, the success
would cease with the novelty. This prophecy had not been fulfilled. On
the contrary, the experiment had been crowned with brilliant success. He
did not think the founders of the Association, fifty-two years ago, when
they drew up the wise plan and regulations of the society which have
since continued in force almost without change, imagined, for a moment,
the possibility of a meeting being held on this side of the Atlantic.
(Applause) Their meeting here was strictly within the letter of the law
and wholly in accordance with the spirit by which the British
Association was directed, and that was to carry through the British
Empire any advancement in science that could be promoted by the
existence of the Association. At the outset, when the body was formed,
some fifty years ago, the mathematical section, of which he was now
president, held that it was impossible for a steamboat to cross the
Atlantic. As president of that section, he ought to be ashamed that it
had adopted such a conclusion. The business of the Association was to
advance science and never to stand still. Many misgivings had been felt
as to the success of the experiment of visiting this side of the water,
but none were felt as to the kindness with which they would be received.
Nobody doubted that the warmest welcome would be given by their
countrymen on this side, and none knew better how to give a warm
welcome. With respect to his own feelings, he felt most deeply the
privilege and honour of filling the position be held, but it was
accompanied with one regret and that was the absence of Professor
Cayley, who would have been in his place had not circumstances compelled
him to remain on the other side. He concluded by again expressing his
warm thanks and those of the Association for the magnificent welcome
given them.

Lord RAYLEIGH, as president-elect, joined in the expression of thanks
for the hearty welcome. We all, he said, felt great interest in
visiting, many of us for the first time, this extensive and diversified
land, which has become the borne of so many of our fellow countrymen.
Before the day is out I am afraid the tones of my voice will have become
only too familiar to you, and I will therefore say nothing more than
that we most cordially reciprocate the sentiments expressed in the
address presented to us.

Sir JOHN A. MICDONALD was then requested to address the meeting. As he
came forward, looking as vigorous and cheery as if time had consented to
roll backwards in his favour, the enthusiasm and delight of the audience
found vent in a perfect ovation of applause. On all sides among our
visitors, as well as our own citizens, were heard expressions of genial
interest on the one hand and of delight on the other. Sir John gained
the heart of the audience at once, and, after the applause had subsided,
said:--I really do not know in what capacity I am called upon to address
this audience, whether it is as a scientist or as a Canadian or as a
member of the government. I cannot well say--I will say, however--I come
here as a scientist. I am not yet settled in my own mind to which
section I will attach myself. I think I will wait awhile, use my Scotch
discretion, hear all that has to be said on all those questions before
finally deciding. (Laughter.) We all cordially join in the sentiments
expressed in the address from the corporation. It was a great pleasure
to us all in Canada to know there was a possibility of the British
Association extending their visits to Canada. I first thought, when the
proposition was made, it was asking too much, but the cordial response
made and the large attendance, showed these fears were not well founded.
I am glad the weather is fine, the country is prosperous, the fields are
groaning with products, and altogether we put on our best clothes to do
honour to those gentlemen who have honoured Canada (applause and
laughter), and I really hope they will not be disappointed. I can assure
them, if they wanted the assurance, the people of Canada are proud and
grateful for their visit. If there are any shortcomings among us it is
because we are a young country; but we will do our best any way and you
must take the will for the deed. (Applause.) I am sure I express the
sentiments of all in giving the Association a most hearty greeting to
the Dominion of Canada. (Loud applause.) The national anthem was then
sung by the entire audience, and on three cheers being given for the
Queen, the meeting dispersed.


The first general meeting of the Association was held in the Queen's
Hall at eight o'clock last evening, the hall being crowded to its utmost
capacity, many having to stand, while others were unable to obtain
admission. Sir William Thomson occupied the chair, and beside him on the
platform were His Excellency the Governor General and Lady Lansdowne and
suite, the Right Hon. Sir John Macdonald, and the president-elect, the
Right Hon. Lord Rayleigh.

His EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL was first introduced, and delivered
the following address of welcome:--

Lord Rayleigh, ladies and gentlemen,--I am given to understand that it
would be in accordance with the rules under which the business of the
British Association is carried on, that the proceedings of to-day should
commence with the vacation of the president's chair and by the
installation of the president-elect in the place which he will so
honourably fill. The occasion, however, which has brought us together is
so remarkable, and will be so memorable, not only in the annals of the
Association, but in the history of the Dominion, that I believe you will
pardon the slight irregularity of which, as a member of the Association,
I am guilty, in rising to address a few words to this distinguished
audience. The occasion, Lord Rayleigh, is the first upon which the
British Association has held a meeting beyond the narrow limits of the
United Kingdom. Such a departure from the usage which you have hitherto
observed, though an inauguration, is certainly not inconsistent with the
objects of the Association or with the designs of its founders; its
earliest records contain the statement that it was instituted for the
promotion of intercourse between those who cultivated science in
different parts, not merely of the British Islands, but of the British
Empire. I question whether any means of promoting this intercourse could
have been discovered more effectual than the holding of your annual
meeting in one of the great cities of this colony, and my object in now
addressing you is to express at the very outset the satisfaction with
which the people, not only of Montreal, but of the whole Dominion, hail
your arrival here and to welcome you in their name to these shores.
(Loud applause.) Perhaps you will allow me to state my own belief that
if you were to select for your place of meeting a spot within the
colonial empire of England, you could not have selected a colony which
better deserved the distinction, either in respect of the warmth of its
affection for the mother country, or in respect of the desire of its
inhabitants for the diffusion of knowledge and of culture. (Applause) In
a young country such pursuits must be carried on in the face of some
difficulty and of the competition of that material activity which must
to a great extent engross the time and absorb the attention of a rapidly
developing community such as this. We may, however, claim for Canada
that she has done her best, that she has above all spared no pains to
provide for the interest of science in the future, and that amongst
those who have done scientific work within the Dominion are men known
and respected far beyond the bounds of their own nation. In this
connection I cannot deny myself the pleasure of referring to the honours
which have been conferred upon Sir William Dawson within the last few
days. (Loud and long continued applause.) He is, unless I am
misinformed, more responsible than any one person for the visit of the
Association, and I feel sure that I shall command the acquiescence of
all those who have worked in the cause of Canadian culture when I say
that we regard the knighthood which Her Majesty has bestowed upon him as
an appropriate recognition of his distinguished services, and as an
opportune compliment to Canadian science. (Applause.) But the
significance of this meeting is far greater than it would be if its
results were to be measured merely by the addition which it will make to
the scientific wealth of the empire. When we find a society which for
fifty years has never met outside the British Islands transferring its
operations to the Dominion--when we see several hundred of our best
known Englishmen, who have acquired a public reputation, not only in the
scientific, but in the political and the literary world, arriving here
mingling with our citizens, and dispersing in all directions over this
continent; when we see in Montreal the bearers of such names as
Rayleigh, Playfair, Frankland, Burdon, Sanderson, Thomson, Roscoe,
Blanford, Moseley, Lefroy, Temple, Bramwell, Tylor, Galton, Harcourt and
Bonney, we feel that one more step has been taken towards the
establishment of that close intimacy between the mother country and her
offspring, which both here and at home all good citizens of the empire
are determined to promote. (Loud applause.) The desire for such closer
intimacy is one of the most remarkable and one of the best features in
the political life of the present day. Our periodical literature, our
proceedings in parliament, the public discussions which have recently
taken place and in which some of our most prominent Canadians have taken
a part, all indicate a remarkable awakening to the importance of the
noblest colonial empire which the world has ever seen, and a desire to
draw closer the ties of sympathy and allegiance which bind us
reciprocally. (Applause.) And, ladies and gentlemen, whatever difficulty
there may be in the way of a revision of the political relations of the
mother country and her colonies, it is satisfactory to reflect that
there are none in the way of such an alliance as that which you are
establishing to-day between the culture of the old world and that of the
new. (Applause.) In the domain of science there can be no conflict of
local and imperial interests--no constitution to revise--no embarrassing
considerations of foreign and domestic policy. We are all partners and
co-heirs of a great empire, and we may work side by side without
misgiving, and with a certainty that every addition to the common fund
of knowledge and mutual enlightenment is an unmixed advantage to the
whole empire. (Loud applause.) I believe, Lord Rayleigh, that your visit
will be fraught with far reaching advantages both to hosts and guests.
We shall gain in acquaintance with our visitors, and in the publicity
which their visit will give to the resources and attractions of this
country. We believe that it will be more justly appreciated in
proportion as it becomes more widely known and more thoroughly
understood. (Applause.) Sympathy, as a distinguished Canadian has lately
written, begets knowledge, and knowledge again adds to sympathy. You,
ladies and gentlemen, who have lately left the mother country, will gain
in the opportunity which will be afforded you of studying the life of a
people younger than your own but engaged in the solution of many
problems similar to those which engage our attention at home, and
observing the conduct of your own race amidst the surroundings of
another hemisphere. On every side you will find objects of interest. Our
political system, the working of federation, the arrangements of the
different provinces for the education of our youth, our railways pushed
across this continent with an enterprise which has never been surpassed
by the oldest and largest communities--(loud applause)--our forests,
our geology, our mineral resources, our agriculture in all its different
phases ranging from the quiet homesteads and skilful cultivation of the
older provinces to the newly reclaimed prairies of the North-west, which
we expect to yield us this season a surplus of from six to nine millions
of bushels, the history and characteristics of our native races, and the
manner in which we have dealt with them--all these will afford you
opportunities of study which few other portions of the globe could
present in such variety. (Applause.) Of the facilities which will be
afforded to you and of the pains which have been taken to render your
explorations easy and agreeable, I need not speak. Some of you are aware
that a distinguished member of an assembly to which you and I, Lord
Rayleigh, have both the honour to belong, has lately been cautioning the
English public against the dangers of legislation by picnic. (Loud
applause.) I have heard that in some quarters misgivings have been
expressed. We too should be exposed to similar danger, and lest the
attractions which the British Association is offered here should
conflict with its more strictly scientific objects. These are probably
_rumores senum severiorum_, and I will only say of them, if there
is any ground for such apprehensions, you must remember that hospitality
is an instinct with our people, and that it is their desire that you
should see and learn a great deal, and that you should see and learn it
in the pleasantest manner possible. (Applause.) I have only one word
more to say. I wish to express the pleasure with which I see in this
room representatives, not only of English and Continental and Canadian
science, but also many distinguished representatives of that great
people which, at a time when the relations of the mother country and her
colonies were less wisely regulated than at present, ceased to be
subjects of the British Crown, but did not cease to become our kinsmen.
Many of you will pass from these meetings to the great re-union to be
held a few days hence at Philadelphia, where you will be again reminded
that there are ties which bind together not only the constituent parts
of the British empire, but the whole of the British race--ties of mutual
sympathy and good-will which such intercourse will strengthen and which,
I believe, each succeeding decade will draw more closely and firmly
together. (Applause.) I have now only to apologize for having intervened
in your proceedings. I feel that what I have said would have come better
from the lips of a Canadian. Others will, however, have ample
opportunities for supplementing both by word and deed the shortcomings
of which I may have been guilty. It was my duty--and I have much
pleasure in discharging it--as the representative of the Crown in this
part of the empire to bid you in the name of our people a hearty welcome
to the Dominion. (Loud and long continued applause.)

Sir WM. THOMSON, in responding, said:--You will allow me, in the first
place, to offer my warmest thanks to His Excellency the Governor-General
for coming among us this evening, and for the very kind and warm welcome
which he has offered to the British Association, on the part of the
Dominion. Your Excellency, it devolves upon me as representing Professor
Cayley, the president of the British Association, to do what I wish he
were here to do himself, and which it would have been a well-earned
pleasure for him to do--to introduce to you Lord Rayleigh as his
successor in the office of President of the British Association.
Professor Cayley has devoted his life to the advancement of pure
mathematics. It is indeed peculiarly appropriate that he should be
followed in the honourable post of president by one who has done so much
to apply mathematical power in the various branches of physical science
as Lord Rayleigh has done. In the field of the discovery and
demonstration of natural phenomena Lord Rayleigh has, above all others
enriched physical science by the application of mathematical analysis;
and when I speak of mathematics you must not suppose mathematics to be
harsh and crabbed. (Laughter.) The Association learned last year at
Southport what a glorious realm of beauty there was in pure mathematics.
I will not, however, be hard on those who insist that it is harsh and
crabbed. In reading some of the pages of the greatest investigators of
mathematics one is apt to become wearied, and I must confess that some
of the pages of Lord Rayleigh's work have taxed me most severely, but
the strain was well repaid. When we pass from the instrument which is
harsh and crabbed to those who do not give themselves the trouble to
learn it thoroughly, to the application of the instrument, see what a
splendid world of light, beauty and music is opened to us through such
investigations as those of Lord Rayleigh. His book on sound is the
greatest piece of mathematical investigation we know of applied to a
branch of physical science. The branches of music are mere developments
of mathematical formulas, and of every note and wave in music the
equation lies in the pages of Lord Rayleigh's book. (Laughter and
applause.) There are some who have no ear for music, but all who are
blessed with eyes can admire the beauties of nature, and among those one
which is seen in Canada frequently, in England often, in Scotland
rarely, is the blue sky. (Laughter) Lord Rayleigh's brilliant piece of
mathematical work on the dynamics of blue sky is a monument to the
application of mathematics to a subject of supreme difficulty, and on
the subject of refraction of light he has pointed out the way towards
finding all that has to be known, though he has ended his work by
admitting that the explanation of the fundamentals of the reflection and
refraction of light is still wanting and is a subject for the efforts of
the British Association for the Advancement of Science. But there is
still another subject, electricity and the electric light, and here
again Lord Rayleigh's work is fundamental, and one may hope from the
suggestions it contains that electricity may yet be put upon the level
of ordinary mechanics, and that the electrician may be able to weigh out
electric quantities as easily and readily as a merchant could a quantity
of tea or sugar. (Applause.) It remains for me only to fulfil the
commission which Professor Cayley has entrusted to me of expressing his
great regret that his engagements in England prevented his being with
us, and in his name to vacate the chair of president of the Association
and to ask Lord Rayleigh to take his place as President for 1884.

[_Lord Rayleigh then delivered the Presidential Address, a copy of
which is appended to this work._]

Lord Rayleigh was loudly applauded at the conclusion of his address.

HON. DR. CHAVEAU in an eloquent speech in French proposed a vote of
thanks to Lord Rayleigh for the interesting sketch he had given of
modern science. In this scientific review Lord Rayleigh had also
displayed great literary ability. The reunion to-day of the British
Association was significant in the sense that it extended the operations
of the society to all parts of the British Empire, so that while on the
other side the question of a federation of the British Empire was being
raised, the British Association had taken the lead in its sphere by
casting out the roots of a scientific federation. In this connection he
spoke of the work the Royal Society was doing in Canada. He was glad to
see that Lord Rayleigh did not hold extreme views as to the elimination
of classical studies from our schools, for he believed that in those
stores of antiquity our modern mind found a great deal of its strength,
and were this study abolished our mental grasp and vigour would be
greatly lessened. What Canada required was the greater development of
our universities. In this way would science be most benefited, for we
would have a greater number of men able to devote themselves entirely to
the study of scientific subjects. He expressed the pleasure he felt at
the honour of knighthood conferred on Principal Dawson, an honour in
which the whole Canadian people felt pride, and concluded amidst great

Mr. HUGH MCLENNAN in seconding the resolution said the very interesting
address which Lord Rayleigh had given them was not only a source of
pleasure to the audience, but gave them an adequate idea of the wide
field of knowledge and research opened by those who devoted themselves
to different scientific pursuits. The presence of so many men devoted to
scientific pursuits in our midst could not fail to give an impetus to
the study of science in this country. We had not many scientific men,
owing principally to the fact that the people who settled here had given
their attention to material pursuits, but a new era was now opening. The
worthy chief of the government must be gratified at the success of his
wise policy in encouraging this movement, which could not fail to be of
great profit to Canadians, and he felt sure that no vote would be more
heartily given than the vote of thanks to Lord Rayleigh, which he had
much pleasure in seconding.

Sir Wm Thomson put the motion, which was adopted unanimously amidst loud

Lord Rayleigh returned thanks for the honour done him, and the meeting
adjourned until Friday next, when Professor Ball will deliver a lecture.

* * * * *

It was not very surprising that after all this excitement I had a very
bad night and awoke quite ill Thursday morning, remained all day in bed
nursing and starving, and could not, therefore, go to two afternoon
parties for which we had invitations, nor to the grand evening reception
at the college. This morning I am feeling quite well, and it is pouring
with rain.

_Friday Evening_.--After luncheon Dr. P. Smith called and went
with me to Section A, but we were too late to hear John's paper--He told
me that he and E--- start for Quebec to-night after a lecture on "Dust,"
and stay at the Lansdownes for the festivities there (we three have
settled not to go), and return Sunday evening. We went then to Section B
to hear something of Chemistry, and to the Vicars Boyle's at the Windsor
Hotel, and found her at home. I have had a letter asking us all to go to
the Macpherson's at Toronto. Hedley and I called on the McClennan's
(Dick's hosts) and found her to be a nice clever woman, with seven sons
and two daughters. Mrs. Stephen had called in my absence and waited some
time to see me, and left a message for us to drink tea there Sunday, but
I shall probably be occupied elsewhere. Dick went to see the Victoria
Bridge to-day and dines here. Mr. Angus has been telling us delightful
accounts of some of the new routes through the Rocky Mountains down to
British Columbia, which the Canadian Pacific Railway will take, and
which will be finished by the spring of next year. Their surveyor, Mr.
Van Horn, has just returned from an exploration, and gave very curious
details in answer to Professor G. Ramsay's questions (brother of Sir
James Ramsay). Mr. Van Horn says the mountains sheer up eight to eleven
thousand feet; glaciers are eighteen to twenty miles long; trees two
hundred and fifty feet high and thirty in circumference. They have only
to cut one down and it makes a capital bridge at once. He told us a
curious story of a Mr. Rogers, who started with a young engineer to find
a pass for the railroad over the Rocky mountains which would, on its
discovery, make him famous. After their six days' provisions were all
exhausted, Mr. Carroll, the young engineer, said: "It is all very well
for you, but what shall _I_ gain by risking my life and going on?"
"Well," said Mr. Rogers, "let us go to that high plateau and think."
While there, he decided to go on, upon which Mr. Carroll again
expostulated. Mr. Rogers then exclaimed: "You see all these magnificent
peaks, which probably no human eye has seen before--now the grandest of
these shall be named after you if I succeed." Just then a caribou went
past. They gave chase and he took them nine miles into a valley where
they did not find _him_ but _did_ find a _cache_ of
food--and then the _pass_! And the highest mountain is called Mount
Carroll at this day. Mr. Angus does not encourage me much to go to the
Rocky Mountains, on the ground of fatigue and hardships.

_Wednesday, September 2nd_--I must bring up my journal to this
date. On Saturday there were no sections. John and E--- Lansdownes and
many others went to Quebec. Owing to showers of rain the festivities
there were rather a failure. Miss Angus drove H--- and me to Mount
Royal, where we had a splendid view; Dick walked up. We then went to the
market, and saw there all sorts of new vegetables, fruits, and fish. The
melons here are delicious, and we have had buckwheat cakes, and rice
cakes, and sweet potatoes, and blueberries. The living here is very
good, and nothing can be more comfortable than we are; but the flies are
sometimes an annoyance, and the darkness of the rooms--which are kept
dark to prevent their getting in. Saturday afternoon Dick, H--- and I
went to see La Chine by rail to the steamer, and then down the rapids,
which were less dangerous looking than we expected. A violent
thunder-storm came on, and in the middle of it we got into the whirlpool
of the rapids, and then a fiery red sun broke out among a mass of dense
black clouds; a great fire appeared also near the banks of the river,
and all this combined, produced very striking effects. We met on the
steamer Mr. George Darwin and his Bride--a charming looking American
girl--he looks already much better and happier.

_Sunday_.--Miss A---, H---, and I went to the cathedral, a full
simple service and good sermon from Mr. Champion. In the afternoon I
went with Dick to a musical service at St. James' Church--such a sermon!
from a man who nearly wriggled himself out of the pulpit; he came from
Norwood, I heard. _Monday_.--We went in the afternoon to a party at
Mrs. Redpath's; her son, "now gone to his home above," she said, had
known one of mine at Cambridge. It is a pretty place, on a hill near
this, and a good many people there; it got very damp after sunset. We
none of us went to an evening party going on at Mrs. Gault's, being too
tired. Mr. C--- called early and went with me to sections; John joined
me, and we saw and heard Captains Ray and Greely of Arctic fame. They
say he (Greely) and his living companions saved themselves from
starvation by eating their dead ones--a dreadful alternative, but I
don't think they were to blame; it didn't agree with him, for he looks
horribly ill, poor man! In the afternoon we all went to see the Indian
game of La Crosse played between twelve Montrealists and twelve Indians.
It is pretty and exciting, something between lawn tennis and football--I
could have watched it for hours! we were all comfortably seated in
places of honour on a covered stand, which partly accounts for my
enjoyment. After this we went to tea with Mr. and Mrs. G. Stephens, and
there with John and E--- we finally settled with Mr. Stephens to go by
Canadian Pacific Railway to the north-west; Mr. Stephens offered us a
private car, provisioned, &c.; we take _his_ to Toronto, and stay
there with Sir David and Lady Macpherson. This invitation is the result
of an introduction I had from a friend in England. Several invites have
come from Philadelphia and New York. I sent a telegram to you yesterday,
but according to the rules of the Company (who allow us to send free,
subject to these conditions), it must first go to 90, O--- G---; you
will write next to New York, and I will give directions there respecting
all letters. Please tell Edward at T. P. and Mary.

_Wednesday_.--I went to Sections for last time; in afternoon to
the closing meeting of British Association, when they all butter one
another; the buttering of John was, of course, very nice and justifiable
Sir William Dawson said among other things that John was to be loved and
admired as a man as well as a scientist. He certainly looks
gentlemanlike and sweet, and though nervous, he always expresses himself
well; he and others received the honour of D.C.L. from the McGill
University here. I forgot to say that on Tuesday evening there was a
grand reception by the civic authorities at the skating rink, a very
large hall, where we paraded up and down, and the young ones danced
(Hedley with Miss Angus), and then I sat in a state gallery with E---
and other grandees. I cannot say I was struck with the beauty of the
company. I made acquaintance with Captain Greely--he does not look any
better, poor man, but has a nice expression. Wednesday evening we went
to a pretty party at Mr. Donald Smith's, the richest man in Canada, and
so kind and simple; he had a ball-room built at a day or two's notice,
and tent for supper, and Chinese lanterns lighted up the garden, &c. It
was a lovely night with full moon, and I was very glad to walk outside,
for the heat was very great. Mr. D. Smith asked me to "Silver Heights,"
his place at Winnipeg. H--- and Dick are both rather unwell to-day, and
I hear poor Mr. Walter Brown is dying. I am well enough now. It is
extremely hot, but there is always air. John has shirked the Toronto
function, and also the American Association at Philadelphia--some of the
B. A. are starting there soon. We go alone to Toronto, and also to
Winnipeg and the Rocky Mountains. Miss Becker and Mrs. Hallett called to
see me, and I signed a memorial of thanks to Sir John Macdonald (the
Premier of Canada), for proposing Women's Suffrage here.


The fact that the British Association meets this year in Canada gives
unusual interest to the meeting of the American Association for the
Advancement of Science at Philadelphia, from September 4 to 11. After
the Montreal meeting those who feel inclined can make their way
leisurely to Philadelphia where it is evident from the information
before us, they will meet with a warm reception. On the Friday evening,
September 5, after the address of the retiring president (Professor C.
A. Young, of New Jersey) a general reception will be tendered by the
citizens and ladies of Philadelphia to the members of the British and
American Associations, and the ladies accompanying them. The British
Association has been cordially invited, both by the American Association
to take part in the proceedings, and by the local committee representing
the citizens of Philadelphia, to accept the warm welcome which will be
tendered them during the joint session. The local committee has, indeed,
been divided into a number of subcommittees for the sole purpose of
rendering the stay of their visitors agreeable It will, therefore, only
be courteous on the part of Britons who intend to be present at the
American meeting to comply with the committee's request, and send their
names, together with the number of ladies and gentlemen in their
parties, as early as possible, to Dr. Persifor Frazer, 201, South Fifth
street, Philadelphia. During the week occupied by the session there will
be a number of receptions, entertainments, and excursions, and a day
will be set apart for the examination of the International Electrical
Exhibition, to be held at Philadelphia under the auspices of the
Franklin Institute, and commencing September 2. By an arrangement
between the Canadian and United States Trunk lines, members of the
British Association will be conveyed between Montreal and Philadelphia
at specially low fares, while the hotel charges at the latter city
during the meeting are not expected to exceed three dollars a day. We
believe the number who have already promised to be at the Montreal
meeting is about seven-hundred and fifty, so that with those who will go
without promising, added to the many Canadian and United States
scientists who are sure to be present, the meeting is likely to be in
numbers more than an average one.

Letter No. 4.

_September 17th, Toronto, The "Chestnuts."_

My beloved Mother.--I forgot to mention your birthday when I last wrote,
but you know how glad I am that you were born! And how much I prize
every year that is added to your life; and now as this will find you at
dear Mary's, please give her my fond love and best wishes for this day,
and I shall drink her health to-day, and call upon my sons to do the
same. I posted my last letter at Montreal on Thursday; Dick was quite
ill that day, and after seeing him twice and shopping, I bid good-bye to
Mr. Angus, who went to New York, and then Miss Angus drove me to see
poor Mrs. Walter Brown, whose husband was dying at the Hospital. I sent
my card in and she asked to see me. I did not know her much, but it was
very touching, and I felt my heart quite drawn to the poor young woman,
who came out with her husband on a pleasure trip, and now has to leave
him buried in a far land. He got typhoid fever, and inflammation of the
lungs, and was lying unconscious on a hospital bed, while she sobbed on
my shoulder, and said "Oh what shall I do? what shall I do?" I asked her
if she had any difficulty about money matters, but she said Captain
Douglas Galton had called and kindly arranged everything for her with
one of our kind hosts at Montreal. Her father was coming out to her as
fast as he could, but could not be at New York till the 12th, and her
poor husband died that night, and was buried yesterday. After this,
which upset me much, I went to the Stephens' and met John and E--- and
told them, and John went off also to see Mrs. Brown, for Mr. Brown had
been a friend of his. The Stephens' house is very gorgeous, and full of
beautiful satin-wood walls, and the staircase finely carved mahogany.
Mr. Angus' house, too, has much beautiful carved wood about it, but the
houses are kept so dark on account of the heat and flies, that one can
hardly see well enough to appreciate these beauties. Excepting in this
respect, and the amount of carved wood, the style is very like the
houses of the middle class of well-to-do men in Scotland.

_Friday_.--I got up at six, and walked to see Dick, and found him
better, and he arranged, if well enough, to follow us to Toronto; then
we breakfasted and all the family were up to see us off, and we joined
John and E--- at the station and arranged ourselves in the Directors'
car (Canadian Pacific Railway), a drawing-room with beds (sofas),
dining-room and table in centre, a little kitchen, private bedroom, and
two lavatories. We had a very hot and dusty journey but were otherwise
comfortable, and arrived at Ottawa about twelve. John and E--- went off
to lunch with Lady Melgund at Rido, but as she did not know we were
coming I was not invited, and so Hedley and I lunched in our car, and
then drove to lionize the Claudiere Falls, where the Ottawa River falls
about two hundred feet. The quantity of wood piled about is amazing
(lumber they call it) and it chokes up and destroys the effect of the
river, but it is not in itself ugly, for they arrange it so beautifully
and the colouring is bright. Then we drove to the Government buildings,
and there I was agreeably surprised by the beautiful view, not so grand
as Quebec certainly, but very fine--the Ottawa, with headlands, well
wooded, frequently breaking the line of the river, and the far reach of
country with blue mountains in the background, and then the air so
deliciously sweet and pure, and reviving. We returned there again in the
afternoon, and sat reading till half-past seven, when we returned to our
small house and John and E---, and the conductor gave us a capital
dinner--champagne and all sorts of good things, and we all enjoyed it.
Then we chatted and played whist, and then to bed. Hedley and I in the
drawing-room, and John and E--- in small room, the maids in dining-room.
I can't say I slept well for they moved our car once, causing our
conductor to storm at them for their impertinence, and the arrival and
departure of various trains and fog signals, &c., were not calculated to
favour one's slumbers! Hedley declares that a fog signal in the morning
did not awake me, but he slept through all. About twelve, Dick arrived
from Montreal, much better, and our car was fastened to the train and on
we went to Toronto. We all tried to read, but oh! the shaking, and dust,
and heat were overpowering; still it was interesting to see what
appeared a primitive country with forests half burned, with stations at
"cities" consisting of apparently two or three wooden houses in the
wood--I say apparently, for Sir D. Macpherson told me there were
splendid farms near the railway. Sometimes we saw a pretty lake with
park-like scenery around, and we thought "here we could make a pretty
country place." At ten o'clock Saturday night we arrived at Toronto, and
Sir David Macpherson and his carriage were waiting for us, and it was so
delightful to drive in an open carriage with a lovely moon shining and
the sweet, cool air refreshing us, that we were very sorry the drive was
so short. Lady M--- and her daughter, Miss M---, only in their house,
which seems like an English one in the style of arrangements--servants
and conservatories, and greenhouses, &c., and my bedroom is furnished
like a Scotch one, full of pretty quilts and muslin covers, and odds and
ends. I was delighted to find myself between two very fine sheets, and
slept like a top. Evelyn had a headache and did not get up or go to
church. We drove to the nearest and had a nice service and fair sermon
from a Mr. de Barr, son of a Canadian Judge; Dick, Miss, M---, and I
stayed to Holy Communion, and I was struck with the remarkable number of
young people who remained. After luncheon I had a long talk with Sir
David. He says we are quite wrong about free trade: as the world is, it
should be fair trade, or England will continue to lose, as she is now
losing, every year. The Canadians are obliged to have Protection on
account of the United States, who would send their manufactured goods by
English vessels and so ruin Canadian workshops. No country can grow and
prosper which only produces the raw article of food, &c. Land alone
cannot make a people rich or great; he thinks the Conservative party are
not half, active or energetic enough, and we must have workmen orators
stumping all over the country to reach their own class, or we shall lose
all influence with those who will really be the ruling power. Here, he
says, the Conservatives are two to one in the House of Commons; the
Radicals here abuse their country, and try to hinder and injure all the
enterprise which would enlarge its borders and bring emigrants to take
possession, and do all they can to lower it in the estimation of
outsiders, in hopes that if things come to smash they might have a
chance of a reign of power. Doesn't this remind one of some people in
our own country? Radicals are called "grits" here, and they say you can
recognize a "grit" when you see him, for though they are not at all from
one class or one industry, they have heads that might betoken a sojourn
in a penitentiary!

_Monday, September 8th_.--We did not go anywhere last evening but
strolled about the garden. Mr. Brand, son of the late Speaker, Mr.
Morris, member of the Senate, and another man, dined. Mr. Morris was
Governor of Manitoba. He said in the year 1870 Winnipeg was a little
wild village. Now, when I asked him about buying a few things at Toronto
for the Rocky Mountains expedition, he exclaimed "Oh! wait until you get
to Winnipeg, you can get everything there!" He described a ball he had
given to some royalties (I forget which) and how he had to scour the
country for three hundred miles round to get provisions enough for the
supper, in the year 1874. In my youth I remember reading of Winnipeg,
Fort William and Lake Superior as the outposts of the Hudson Bay
Company, and how travellers, trappers, &c., endured all manner of
hardships, and crossed hikes with Indians carrying the canoes from lake
to lake, and guiding them through endless swamps and rocky bills, until
half-frozen and starved they arrived quite exhausted at these distant
forts. Now we travel by rail in a private car, and Mr. Donald Smith has
a country house near Winnipeg, to which he invited us, and all along
there are "rising cities" which did not exist in any shape five years
ago. When this Canadian Pacific Railway is finished to British Columbia,
and the Atlantic and Pacific are united by it in one, our "Dominion"
then ought to have a splendid future. I don't think I told you about Mr.
Tan Horn's conversation with me at Montreal he said "we are a great deal
too quiet in Canada; we don't puff ourselves enough or make enough of
our advantages and our doings. Why, we live next door to fifty millions
of liars and we must brag or we shall be talked out."

_Monday, later_.--I have just returned from a drive with Miss M---
and Hedley to Toronto, and I am surprised at its size and importance,
and busy look and general air of English prosperity and neatness. Though
Montreal is very pretty, the town is too French and idle-looking to be
impressive--there are numbers of well-kept villas and gardens here. We
are now going out to see a regatta on Lake Ontario and to the island.
Lady M--- said last night, when making arrangements, "I think this will
suit the young people," and I exclaimed "Don't put me among the old
ones, please," so I am going. Sir D--- has gone to Ottawa on Ministerial

Letter No. 5.

_September 12th, Niagara Falls._

On Tuesday we drove with John, and Dr. Wilson showed us over the
University and some pretty sketches he had taken. We got berths on board
the steamer from Owen Sound on Saturday. It is difficult to find out who
manages these things, and we had telegrams going to two or three places
before we could make certain of our berths. At four o'clock all sorts of
people called, being Lady Macpherson's "at home" day, and many on me and
E---. I don't admire Canadian women _especially_! We had fourteen
at dinner and a delightful old Irishman, Chief Justice Haggerty, took me
in. The Lieutenant-Governor, Mr. Robinson, though only the Provincial
Governor, is treated as the representative of the Queen, and goes before
every one. Professor Godwin Smith and his wife were also of the party.
He says (but I am sure he is prejudiced and that it is not true) that
the Canadian Government is just as corrupt and that there is as much
bribery as in the States. Mr. G. Smith differs in opinion with every
one, for the Liberal side would not publish his letters in the papers,
and so he sent them to the Conservatives, and he says they are far more
impartial and just.

_Wednesday, 10th_.--We started here at one o'clock, first by
steamer on Lake Ontario. It was refreshing after being nearly melted at
Toronto, for there was a good breeze. The size of these inland seas
strike one much. We arrived at Niagara about four, and found Mr. Plumb,
John's quondam friend of eighteen years ago, waiting for us in
waggonette, and we drove at once to his pretty house, surrounded by
peach orchards and vines, an untidy but pretty garden. He asked after
Leonard and Mary. Then we had tea, presided over by his pretty daughter
of sixteen, and then the train by his orders stopped for us at his
garden door, and, as he informed me, the last time it did so, was for
the Prince of Wales! We arrived here, Clifton House, the Hotel, by a
picturesque railway journey, and are opposite the American Falls, and
the Horse Shoe Falls are on our right, nearly facing us. Like many other
people, I am rather ashamed to confess I am not as much impressed and
overwhelmed as I ought to be! Dick took a note from Mr. Plumb to his
nephew, Mr. Macklem, and he arranged to call for us at three. In the
morning we drove to the Rapids and Whirlpool, and went up and down all
sorts of queer places in _queerer_ elevators. The river looked
beautiful, a blue-green colour, and the whirlpool is mysteriously
curious, where poor Captain Webb disappeared! In the afternoon the
Macklems took us to the American side on the fine Suspension Bridge, and
then to Prospect Park, Goat Island, and different peeps and vistas of
the Falls and Rapids. I think the immense breadth and volume of water,
with the incessant rush and roar of the river, strike me more than the
actual Falls. We saw some rapids between the islands "Weird Sisters,"
and finally drove to Mr. Macklem's place, surrounded by rapid streams of
the Niagara and very pretty. There seems no end to this river, it has so
many turns and arms and rapids. We had tea (by this time I was nearly
dead), and three dear small boys appeared; one only two and half had a
violin, and he imitated a person playing on it, and made the sounds with
his voice in the most amusing clever way, and laughed so merrily when we
shouted applause. Mr. Macklem drove us home, and after dinner we played
whist in E---'s nice bedroom. This morning I am not well! We have seen
the maids off with the luggage by early rail and boat for Toronto and
follow in afternoon.

_Friday, continuing_.--I was unable to see anything more of
Niagara; the others crossed the ferry. We left at twenty minutes to
five, and owing to the steamer being late on Lake Ontario we did not
reach the Macpherson's till half-past nine. They waited dinner, and we
rushed down, at least I did, just twelve minutes after my arrival, and
also dressed! A Mr. Pattison, a very agreeable-looking man, who seems an
authority on farming, and a Mr. and Mrs. Plumb (son of our Niagara
friend), who was once at T--- P---, but I had entirely forgotten him.
Mr. Pattison spoke of the ignorant, idle, good-for-nothing young men
sent out here to make a living by their worried relations, sometimes
with scarcely a sixpence, in which case they starved but for the charity
of himself and others, or if with any money they fell into bad hands and
lost everything. So many are sent here that he has made a kind of home
for the destitute.

_Saturday Morning_.--Sir David M--- returned from Ottawa, and we
breakfasted together. We nearly missed the train at Toronto (not having
Miss M--- to keep us in order; I call her Queen Christina, she is so
masterful), but just managed to get ourselves and luggage in, and to see
George Bunburg, whom I had made several attempts to see before, and who
I hear is enterprising and likely to do well. We reached Owen Sound, and
got into the steamer all right about three o'clock. Nice farms nearly
all along the line.

_Sunday, 14th September_.--I slept pretty comfortably. We got into
a narrow passage between Lakes Superior and Huron, which was pretty and
curious, great numbers of islands and a very narrow path marked out for
steamers, which, as we met several, made the risk of collision seem very
imminent; they moved very slowly, and have established regular rules of
the road, but cannot travel by night, or if a fog comes on. St. Mary le
Soult is a pretty place, on one side American, where they have made a
lock to avoid the rapids from Lake Huron to Lake Superior. We waited
some time to get into the lock, and then found ourselves in the largest
lake in the world, five hundred miles long by three hundred and fifty
miles wide. Of course, it is like the sea, and while I am writing it is
rough enough to make it difficult. No land is in sight. I have had a
talk with an Archdeacon who lives near St. John's College, Winnipeg, and
is reading "Natural Law;" it is really getting very rough and I must

_Tuesday, 16th_.--I am writing in the train, and I am thankful to
be alive in it. We arrived at Port Arthur at eight o'clock yesterday,
15th, but could hear nothing of our private car, and when the train
arrived no car still to be seen. At last, after hunting about and
asking, everyone, it turned up, and was very satisfactory. Two men were
there to wait on us, and it was well provisioned, and we set off about
an hour and-half late, but no one minds such a trifle in these parts. At
first the line was fairly straight and smooth, but then the country
became wonderfully wild, with rocky hills covered with stumpy trees and
undergrowth of brilliant colouring, and wooded lakes without end. In and
out we wound, sometimes over most light and primitive bridges, and over
high embankments, often running along the margin of the lakes,
consisting of loose sand, which frequently rolled down the sides as we
went over them. It rained nearly all day, and towards night it poured
and was pitch dark. I was just undressed, and congratulating myself that
we had been standing still at a station, and so I had been able to do it
comfortably, and just got into my sofa bed, with Dick and Hedley
opposite me behind their curtains, when we set off, and in a few minutes
I felt a violent concussion; so many jerks come in common course that I
was not frightened, but we stopped, and then our head man came to the
door and said with dignity, "I think it right to announce to you, my
lady, that an accident has happened." "What is it?" "The engine went
over a culvert bridge all right, but the baggage wagon next to it fell,
down off the line, and as we were going slowly they put on the brake and
no other carriage followed." "Can we go on to-night?" "Oh no, the
roadway is broken up." This was a shock to my nerves, but at any rate we
were safe for the night, and after running in and telling John and E---,
we soon all fell asleep. During the night they tacked on an engine, with
its great lamp eye at the back of our car (we are the last carriage),
and every few minutes this monster gave a tremendous snort, but nothing
awoke Hedley, who slumbered peacefully through it all. We got up early,
rushed off to the scene of the disaster, as did all the other
passengers. It was marvellous that the engine went over that bridge, for
really the rails were almost suspended in mid air, but fortunately for
us it did, or we should have followed and telescoped, and probably been
hurt or killed, the baggage wagon being suspended between the engine and
cars, all on one side and down the bank close to the lake, the window
broken through which the guard jumped out. We trembled for our luggage,
which was all there. The lakes and gaily coloured hills that elsewhere I
should admire, make our railroad so dangerous that we have to creep
along, sometimes over long spidery wooden bridges, and again on most
shaky and uncertain looking embankments, and round sharp corners; every
now and then we stop for no apparent reason, and then all rush to the
platform of our car to see what is the matter. Once a party of the
railway officials got out and ran back; we thought some of our luggage
had fallen out, but it seems one of the bridges over which we had just
passed was rather shaky, and they went to investigate. If we had gone on
last night we meant to be detached at Rat Portage, or Lake of the Woods,
but now we go on to Winnipeg if, please God, we can get there.

_Wednesday 17th_.--Soon after writing yesterday, our steward came
in with a solemn face and said: "I have unpleasant news to communicate;
a wire has just come to forbid the train crossing the tressel bridge in
front of us, so every one must walk, and the luggage be carried over."
The railroad is only lately completed, and they have had no experience
hitherto of the effect of heavy rains. Some of the bridges are only
temporary ones, but no doubt it will be a good and safe line soon. When
one considers the country it passes through, and the difficulties of all
sorts that they have had to encounter, I think the Canadian Pacific
Railway Company and engineers, &c., deserve great credit. "There is a
train to meet us on the other aide of the bridge to take us on to
Winnipeg;" upon which there was a general outcry. "Part with our
comfortable car and provisions Forbid the thought!" "How long will it
take to repair the bridge?" "I don't know at all; it may be days or a
fortnight." After confabulating with the conductor of the train, we
settled to remain this side of the bridge, and be shunted off till it
was repaired, and tacked on to a train again for Winnipeg. We went as
far as the bridge, and a curious scene was before us; the passengers for
Rocky Mountains on the other side had been waiting there for hours, our
train being delayed by the accident, and they proved to be some of our
long lost friends of the British Association; we greeted each other with
effusion; they rushed on our car, and spoke _all at once_ about the
glories of the Rockies and the dangers they had escaped, and the
_fun_ they had, &c. Some conducted me to the bridge to see what had
happened there; considering that there was a great gap in the bridge,
and the tressels were lying about anyhow, and a great iron crane hung
suspended over the hole by one hook, and the engine lay on its side
below, the wire message telling us it would not be safe to go over was
rather ironical! All the luggage of the two trains was spread all over
the rocks and bushes, and people running here and there, the silent lake
so pretty and lovely in contrast. The men with the crane were coming to
our assistance at Termillion Bay (where our culvert bridge gave way),
and the engineer felt the tressels bending as the engine crossed, and
was considering whether to jump off or stay; he decided to remain in the
cab of the engine, as the jump was a very high one, and down they went
to the bottom, but the men were only cut and bruised, and one broke his
leg. This accounted for the delay in our getting assistance, and
fortunately for us all, that our small accident happened when it did. As
our friends from Winnipeg thankfully exclaimed, "if it had not been for
your accident, which was happily so harmless, we should have gone over
that bridge, and as our train was faster and heavier there would
probably hare been a greater smash;" and we exclaimed, "but for our
comparatively harmless accident, we should have gone over that bridge
that night and come to great grief." Wasn't it a mercy we escaped? We
had Professor Boyd Dawkins, Professor Shaw, Mr. de Hamel, Bishop of
Ontario, Mr. Stephen Bourne, &c., on our car for some miles on our way
_back_, and then we were shunted on a siding to wait as patiently
as we could. At this _Hawk_ something station we parted with our
British Association friends, with many good wishes and waving of
handkerchiefs, and were left shunted on the edge of a disagreeable
embankment over the lake. After all this excitement we read, had dinner
and played whist; then made our own beds, and all the 'boys' slept in
the drawing room with me last night, and E--- had the state cabin to
herself. It was very cold in the night, and I had to hunt up another
rug. We breakfasted at half-past eight, and now the others are taking a
walk while I write. I forgot to say Gibson and Roberts went on with our
luggage, across the bridge (or rather, by its side), in the train which
returned to Winnipeg, and there they will stay till we return from the
Rockies. E--- and the boys are just off in the cab of an engine
exploring to the broken bridge. It will he fun, perhaps, for them, but
_I_ find I have frights enough to endure in our necessary journeys.
There is actually a cow at this station, so we had milk for porridge and
tea; moreover, there is a piece of ploughed land, a rare sight in this
wild stony _watery_ country. The Canadian Pacific Railway have not
had experience before this autumn of the effect of heavy rains on their
roads, bridges, &c., and things have sometimes come to grief in
consequence; some bridges are very good and not temporary.

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