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The Englishwoman in America by Isabella Lucy Bird

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Prefatory and explanatory--The voyage out--The sentimental--The actual
--The oblivious--The medley--Practical joking--An unwelcome companion--
American patriotism--The first view--The departure.


An inhospitable reception--Halifax and the Blue Noses--The heat--
Disappointed expectations--The great departed--What the Blue Noses might
be--What the coach was not--Nova Scotia and its capabilities--The roads
and their annoyances--A tea dinner--A night journey and a Highland cabin
--A nautical catastrophe--A joyful reunion.


Popular ignorance--The garden island--Summer and winter contrasted--A
wooden capital--Island politics, and their consequences--Gossip--"Blowin-
time"--Religion and the clergy--The servant nuisance--Colonial society--An
evening party--An island premier--Agrarian outrage--A visit to the
Indians--The pipe of peace--An Indian coquette--Country hospitality--A
missionary--A novel mode of lobster-fishing--Uncivilised life--Far away in
the woods--Starvation and dishonesty--An old Highlander and a Highland
welcome--Hopes for the future.


From St. George's Cross to the Stars and Stripes--Unpunctuality--
Incompetence--A wretched night--Colonial curiosity--The fashions--A
night in a buffalo robe--A stage journey--A queer character--Politics--
Chemistry--Mathematics--Rotten bridges--A midnight arrival--Colonial
ignorance--Yankee conceit--What ten-horse power chaps can do--The
pestilence--The city on the rock--New Brunswick--Steamboat peculiarities
--Going ahead in the eating line--A storm--Stepping ashore.


First experiences of American freedom--The "striped pig" and "Dusty Ben"
--A country mouse--What the cars are like--Beauties of New England--The
land of apples--A Mammoth hotel--The rusty inkstand exiled--Eloquent eyes
--Alone in a crowd.


A suspected bill--A friend in need--All aboard for the Western cars--
The wings of the wind--American politeness--A loquacious conductor--
Three minutes for refreshments--A conversation on politics--A
confession--The emigrant car--Beauties of the woods--A forest on fire--
Dangers of the cars--The Queen City of the West.


The Queen City continued--Its beauties--Its inhabitants, human and
equine--An American church--Where chairs and bedsteads come from--Pigs
and pork--A peep into Kentucky--Popular opinions respecting slavery--
The curse of America.


The hickory stick--Chawing up ruins--A forest scene--A curious questioner
--Hard and soft shells--Dangers of a ferry--The western prairies--
Nocturnal detention--The Wild West and the Father of Rivers--Breakfast in
a shed--What is an alligator?--Physiognomy, and its uses--The ladies'
parlour--A Chicago hotel, its inmates and its horrors--A water-drinking
people--The Prairie City--Progress of the West.


A vexatious incident--John Bull enraged--Woman's rights--Alligators
become hosses--A popular host--Military display--A mirth-provoking gun
--Grave reminiscences--Attractions of the fair--Past and present--A
floating palace--Black companions--A black baby--Externals of Buffalo--
The flag of England.


The Place of Council--Its progress and its people--English hearts--
"Sebastopol is taken"--Squibs and crackers--A ship on her beam-ends--
Selfishness--A mongrel city--A Scot--Constancy rewarded--Monetary
difficulties--Detention on a bridge--A Canadian homestead--Life in the
clearings--The bush on fire--A word on farming--The "bee" and its produce
--Eccentricities of Mr. Haldimands--A ride on a troop-horse--Scotch
patriotism--An English church--The servant nuisance--Richard Cobden.


"I've seen nothing"--A disappointment--Incongruities--Hotel gaieties and
"doing Niagara"--Irish drosky-drivers--"The Hell of Waters"--Beauties of
Niagara--The picnic party--The white canoe--A cold shower-bath--"The
Thunder of Waters"--A magic word--"The Whirlpool"--Story of "Bloody Run"--
Yankee opinions of English ladies--A metamorphosis--The nigger guide--A
terrible situation--Termination Rock--Impressions of Niagara--Juvenile
precocity--A midnight journey--Street adventures in Hamilton.


A scene at starting--That dear little Harry--The old lady and the race
--Running the Rapids--An aside--Snow and discomfort--A new country--An
extemporised ball--Adventure with a madman--Shooting the cataract--
First appearance of Montreal--Its characteristics--Quebec in a fog--
"Muffins"--Quebec gaieties--The pestilence--Restlessness--St. Louis and
St. Roch--The shady side--Dark dens--External characteristics--Lord
Elgin--Mistaking a senator.


The House of Commons--Canadian gallantry--The constitution--Mr. Hincks--
The ex-rebel--Parties and leaders--A street row--Repeated disappointments
--The "habitans"--Their houses and their virtues--A stationary people--
Progress and its effects--Montmorenci--The natural staircase--The Indian
summer--Lorette--The old people--Beauties of Quebec--The _John Munn_--Fear
and its consequences--A gloomy journey.


Concluding remarks on Canada--Territory--Climate--Capabilities--Railways
and canals--Advantages for emigrants--Notices of emigration--Government--
The franchise--Revenue--Population--Religion--Education--The press--
Literature--Observations in conclusion.


Preliminary remarks on re-entering the States--Americanisms--A little
slang--Liquoring up--Eccentricities in dress--A 'cute chap down east--
Conversation on eating--A Kentucky gal--Lake Champlain--Delaval's--A
noisy serenade--Albany--Beauties of the Hudson--The Empire City.


Position of New York--Externals of the city--Conveyances--
Maladministration--The stores--The hotels--Curiosities of the hospital--
Ragged schools--The bad book--Monster schools--Amusements and oyster
saloons--Monstrosities----A restaurant--Dwelling-houses--Equipages--
Palaces--Dress--Figures--Manners--Education--Domestic habits--The ladies--
The gentlemen--Society--Receptions--Anti-English feeling--Autographs--The
buckram Englishman.


The cemetery--Its beauties--The "Potter's Field"--The graves of children--
Monumental eccentricities--Arrival of emigrants--Their reception--Poor
dwellings--The dangerous class--The elections--The riots--Characteristics
of the streets--Journey to Boston--The sights of Boston--Longfellow--
Cambridge University.


Origin of the Constitution--The Executive--Congress--Local Legislatures--
The army and navy--Justice--Slavery--Political corruption--The foreign
element--Absence of principle--Associations--The Know-nothings--The press
and its power--Religion--The church--The clergy.


General remarks continued--The common schools--Their defect--Difficulties
--Management of the schools--The free academy--Hallways--Telegraphs--
Poverty--Literature--Advantages for emigrants--Difficulties of emigrants--
Peace or war--Concluding observations.


The _America_--A gloomy departure--An ugly night--Morning at Halifax--Our
new passengers--Babies--Captain Leitch--A day at sea--Clippers and
steamers--A storm--An Atlantic moonlight--Unpleasant sensations--A gale--

THE ENGLISHWOMAN IN AMERICA. [Footnote: It is necessary to state that this
volume is not by the Authoress of the '_Englishwoman in Russia_.']


Prefatory and explanatory--The voyage out--The sentimental--The actual--
The oblivious--The medley--Practical joking--An unwelcome companion--
American patriotism--The first view--The departure.

As a general dislike of prefaces is unmistakeably evidenced by their uncut
leaves, and as unknown readers could scarcely be induced to read a book by
the most cogent representations of an unknown author, and as apologies for
"rushing into print" are too trite and insincere to have any effect, I
will merely prefix a few explanatory remarks to my first chapter.

Circumstances which it is unnecessary to dwell upon led me across the
Atlantic with some relatives; and on my return, I was requested by
numerous friends to give an account of my travels. As this volume has been
written with a view to their gratification, there is far more of personal
narrative than is likely to interest the general reader.

With respect to the people of the United States, I have given those
impressions which as a traveller I formed; if they are more favourable
than those of some of my predecessors, the difference may arise from my
having taken out many excellent introductions, which afforded me greater
facilities of seeing the best society in the States than are usually
possessed by those who travel merely to see the country.

Where I have offered any opinions upon the effect produced by the
institutions of America, or upon any great national question, I have done
so with extreme diffidence, giving _impressions_ rather than
_conclusions_, feeling the great injustice of drawing general inferences
from partial premises, as well as the impossibility of rightly estimating
cause and effect during a brief residence in the United States. I have
endeavoured to give a faithful picture of what I saw and heard, avoiding
the beaten track as much as possible, and dwelling principally on those
things in which I knew that my friends were most interested.

Previously to visiting the United States, I had read most of the American
travels which had been published; yet from experience I can say that even
those who read most on the Americans know little of them, from the
disposition which leads travellers to seize and dwell upon the ludicrous
points which continually present themselves.

We know that there is a vast continent across the Atlantic, first
discovered by a Genoese sailing under the Spanish flag, and that for many
years past it has swallowed up thousands of the hardiest of our
population. Although our feelings are not particularly fraternal, we give
the people inhabiting this continent the national cognomen of "_Brother
Jonathan_," while we name individuals "_Yankees_." We know that they are
famous for smoking, spitting, "gouging," and bowie-knives--for monster
hotels, steamboat explosions, railway collisions, and repudiated debts. It
is believed also that this nation is renowned for keeping three millions
of Africans in slavery--for wooden nutmegs, paper money, and "fillibuster"
expeditions--for carrying out nationally and individually the maxim

"That they may take who have the power,
And they may keep who can."

I went to the States with that amount of prejudice which seems the
birthright of every English person, but I found that, under the knowledge
of the Americans which can be attained by a traveller mixing in society in
every grade, these prejudices gradually melted away. I found much which is
worthy of commendation, even of imitation: that there is much which is
very reprehensible, is not to be wondered at in a country which for years
has been made a "cave of Adullam"--a refuge for those who have "left their
country for their country's good"--a receptacle for the barbarous, the
degraded, and the vicious of all other nations. It must never be forgotten
that the noble, the learned, and the wealthy have shrunk from the United
States; her broad lands have been peopled to a great extent by those whose
stalwart arms have been their only possession.

Is it surprising, considering these antecedents, that much of arrogance,
coarseness, and vulgarity should be met with? Is it not rather surprising,
that a traveller should meet with so little to annoy--so few obvious
departures from the rules of propriety?

An Englishman bears with patience any ridicule which foreigners cast upon
him. John Bull never laughs so loudly as when he laughs at himself; but
the Americans are nationally sensitive, and cannot endure that good-
humoured raillery which jests at their weaknesses and foibles. Hence
candid and even favourable statements of the _truth_ by English travellers
are received with a perfect outcry by the Americans; and the phrases,
"shameful misstatements," "violation of the rights of hospitality," &c.,
are on every lip.

Most assuredly that spirit of envious rivalry and depreciating criticism
in which many English travellers have written, is greatly to be
deprecated, no less than the tone of servile adulation which some writers
have adopted; but our American neighbours must recollect that they
provoked both the virulent spirit and the hostile caricature by the way in
which some of their most popular writers of travels have led an ungenerous
onslaught against our institutions and people, and the bitter tone in
which their newspaper press, headed by the _Tribune_, indulges towards the
British nation.

Having made these few remarks, I must state that at the time of my visit
to the States I had no intention of recording my "experiences" in print;
and as my notes taken at the time were few and meagre, and have been
elaborated from memory, some inaccuracies have occurred which it will not
take a keen eye to detect. These must be set down to want of correct
information rather than to wilful misrepresentation. The statistical
information given is taken from works compiled by the Americans
themselves. The few matters on which I write which did not come under my
own observation, I learned from trustworthy persons who have been long
resident in the country.

Of Canada it is scarcely necessary to speak here. Perhaps an English
writer may be inclined to adopt too eulogistic a tone in speaking of that
noble and loyal colony, in which British institutions are undergoing a
Transatlantic trial, and where a free people is protected by British laws.
There are, doubtless, some English readers who will be interested in the
brief notices which I have given of its people, its society, and its
astonishing capabilities. [Footnote: I must here record my grateful
acknowledgments to a gentleman in a prominent public position in Canada,
who has furnished me with much valuable information which I should not
otherwise have obtained.]

The notes from which this volume is taken were written in the lands of
which it treats: they have been amplified and corrected in the genial
atmosphere of an English home. I will not offer hackneyed apologies for
its very numerous faults and deficiencies; but will conclude these tedious
but necessary introductory remarks with the sincere hope that my readers
may receive one hundredth part of the pleasure from the perusal of this
volume which I experienced among the scenes and people of which it is too
imperfect a record.

* * * * *

Although bi-weekly steamers ply between England and the States, and many
mercantile men cross the Atlantic twice annually on business, and think
nothing of it, the voyage seems an important event when undertaken for the
first time. Friends living in inland counties, and those who have been
sea-sick in crossing the straits of Dover, exaggerate the dangers and
discomforts of ocean travelling, and shake their heads knowingly about
fogs and icebergs.

Then there are a certain number of boxes to be packed, and a very
uncertain number of things to fill them, while clothing has to be provided
suitable to a tropical summer, and a winter within the arctic circle. But
a variety of minor arrangements, and even an indefinite number of leave-
takings, cannot be indefinitely prolonged; and at eight o'clock on a
Saturday morning in 1854, I found myself with my friends on the landing-
stage at Liverpool.

Whatever sentimental feelings one might be inclined to indulge in on
leaving the shores of England were usefully and instantaneously
annihilated by the discomfort and crush in the _Satellite_ steam-tender,
in which the passengers were conveyed, helplessly huddled together like a
flock of sheep, to the _Canada_, an 1850-ton paddle-wheel steamer of the
Cunard line, which was moored in the centre of the Mersey.

An investigation into the state-rooms, and the recital of disappointed
expectations consequent on the discovery of their very small dimensions,
the rescue of "regulation" portmanteaus from sailors who were running off
with them, and the indulgence of that errant curiosity which glances at
everything and rests on nothing, occupied the time before the arrival of
the mail-boat with about two tons of letters and newspapers, which were
consigned to the mail-room with incredible rapidity.

Then friends were abruptly dismissed--two guns were fired--the lashings
were cast off--the stars and stripes flaunted gaily from the 'fore--the
captain and pilot took their places on the paddle-boxes--the bell rang--
our huge paddle-wheels revolved, and, to use the words in which the same
event was chronicled by the daily press, "The Cunard royal mail steamer
_Canada_, Captain Stone, left the Mersey this morning for Boston and
Halifax, conveying the usual mails; with one hundred and sixty-eight
passengers, and a large cargo on freight."

It was an auspiciously commenced voyage as far as appearances went. The
summer sun shone brightly--the waves of the Mersey were crisp and foam-
capped--and the fields of England had never worn a brighter green. The
fleet of merchant-ships through which we passed was not without an
interest. There were timber-ships, huge and square-sided, unmistakeably
from Quebec or Miramichi--green high-sterned Dutch galliots--American
ships with long black hulls and tall raking masts--and those far-famed
"Black Ball" clippers, the _Marco Polo_ and the _Champion of the Seas_,--
in short, the ships of all nations, with their marked and distinguishing
peculiarities. But the most interesting object of all was the screw troop-
ship _Himalaya_, which was embarking the Scots Greys for the Crimea--that
regiment which has since earned so glorious but fatal a celebrity on the
bloody field of Balaklava.

It is to be supposed that to those who were crossing the Atlantic for the
first time to the western hemisphere there was some degree of excitement,
and that regret was among the feelings with which they saw the coast of
England become a faint cloud on the horizon; but soon oblivion stole over
the intellects of most of the passengers, leaving one absorbing feeling of
disgust, first to the viands, next to those who could partake of them, and
lastly to everything connected with the sea. Fortunately this state of
things only lasted for two days, as the weather was very calm, and we ran
with studding-sails set before a fair wind as far as the Nova Scotian

The genius of Idleness presided over us all. There were five ample meals
every day, and people ate, and walked till they could eat again; while
some, extended on sofas, slept over odd volumes of novels from the ship's
library, and others played at chess, cards, or backgammon from morning to
night. Some of the more active spirits played "shuffle-boards," which kept
the deck in an uproar; while others enjoyed the _dolce far niente_ in
their berths, except when the bell summoned to meals. There were weather-
wise people, who smoked round the funnel all day, and prophesied foul
winds every night; and pertinacious querists, who asked the captain every
hour or two when we should reach Halifax. Some betted on the "run," and
others on the time of reaching port; in short, every expedient was
resorted to by which time could be killed.

We had about twenty English passengers; the rest were Canadians,
Americans, Jews, Germans, Dutch, French, Californians, Spaniards, and
Bavarians. Strict equality was preserved in this heterogeneous assembly.
An Irish pork-merchant was seated at dinner next a Jew, who regarded the
pig _in toto_ as an abomination--a lady, a scion of a ducal family, found
herself next to a French cook going out to a San Franciscan eating-house--
an officer, going out to high command at Halifax, was seated next a rough
Californian, who wore "nuggets" of gold for buttons; and there were
contrasts even stronger than these. The most conspicuous of our fellow-
voyagers was the editor of an American paper, who was writing a series of
clever but scurrilous articles on England, from materials gleaned in a
three weeks' tour!

Some of the Americans were very fond of practical jokes, but these were
rather of a stupid description. There was a Spanish gentleman who used to
promenade the deck with a dignity worthy of the Cid Rodrigo, addressing
everybody he met with the question, "_Parlez-vous Francais, Monsieur?_"
and at the end of the voyage his stock of English only amounted to "Dice?
Sixpence." One day at dinner this gentleman requested a French-speaking
Californian to tell him how to ask for _du pain_ in English. "My donkeys,"
was the prompt reply, and the joke was winked down the table, while the
Spaniard was hammering away at "My donkeys" till he got the pronunciation
perfect. The waiter came round, and the unhappy man, in confident but
mellifluous tones, pointing to the bread, asked for "My donkeys."

Comic drinking-songs, and satires on the English, the latter to the tune
of 'Yankee Doodle,' were sung in the saloon in the evenings round large
bowls of punch, and had the effect of keeping many of the ladies on deck,
when a refuge from the cold and spray would have been desirable; but with
this exception the conduct of the passengers on the whole was marked by
far more propriety than could have been expected from so mixed a company.
If the captain had been more of a disciplinarian, even this annoyance
might have been avoided.

I had the misfortune of having for my companion in my state-room an
Englishwoman who had resided for some years at New York, and who combined
in herself the disagreeable qualities of both nations. She was in a
frequent state of intoxication, and kept gin, brandy, and beer in her
berth. Whether sober or not, she was equally voluble; and as her language
was not only inelegant, but replete with coarseness and profanity, the
annoyance was almost insupportable. She was a professed atheist, and as
such justly an object of commiseration, the weakness of her unbelief being
clearly manifested by the frequency with which she denied the existence of
a God.

On one day, as I was reading my Bible, she exclaimed with a profane
expression, "I wish you'd pitch that book overboard, it's enough to sink
the ship;" the contradiction implied in the words showing the weakness of
her atheism, which, while it promises a man the impunity of non-existence,
and degrades him to desire it, very frequently seduces him to live as an
infidel, but to die a terrified and despairing believer.

It was a very uneventful voyage. The foul winds prophesied never blew, the
icebergs kept far away to the northward, the excitement of flight from
Russian privateers was exchanged for the sight of one harmless
merchantman; even the fogs off Newfoundland turned out complete _myths_.

On the seventh day out the bets on the hour of our arrival at Halifax
increased in number and magnitude, and a lottery was started; on the
eighth we passed Cape Race, and spoke the steamer _Asia_; our rigging was
tightened, and our railings polished; and in nine days and five hours from
Liverpool we landed on the shores of the New World. The day previous to
our landing was a Sunday, and I was pleased to observe the decorum which
pervaded the ship. Service was conducted with propriety in the morning; a
large proportion of the passengers read their Bibles or other religious
books; punch, chess, and cards were banished from the saloon; and though
we had almost as many creeds as nationalities, and some had no creed at
all, yet those who might ridicule the observance of the Sabbath
themselves, avoided any proceedings calculated to shock what they might
term the prejudices of others.

On the next day we had a slight head wind for the first time; most of the
passengers were sea-sick, and those who were not so were promenading the
wet, sooty deck in the rain, in a uniform of oilskin coats and caps. The
sea and sky were both of a leaden colour; and as there was nothing to
enliven the prospect but the gambols of some very uncouth-looking
porpoises, I was lying half asleep on a settee, when I was roused by the
voice of a kind-hearted Yankee skipper, saying, "Come, get up; there's a
glorious country and no mistake; a great country, a progressive country,
the greatest country under the sun." The honest sailor was rubbing his
hands with delight as he spoke, his broad, open countenance beaming with a
perfect glow of satisfaction. I looked in the direction indicated by his
finger, and beheld, not the lofty pinnacled cliffs of the "Pilgrim
Fathers," but a low gloomy coast, looming through a mist.

I already began to appreciate the hearty enthusiasm with which Americans
always speak of their country, designated as it is by us by the names
"National vanity," and "Boastfulness." This _esprit du pays_, although it
is sometimes carried to a ridiculous extent, is greatly to be preferred to
the abusive manner in which an Englishman accustoms himself to speak of
the glorious country to which he appears to feel it a disgrace to belong.
It does one good to hear an American discourse on America, his panegyric
generally concluding with the words, "We're the greatest people on the
face of the earth."

At dusk, after steaming during the whole day along the low green coast of
Nova Scotia, we were just outside the heads of Halifax harbour, and the
setting sun was bathing the low, pine-clad hills of America in floods of
purple light. A pilot came off to offer his services, but was rejected,
and to my delight he hailed in a pure English accent, which sounded like a
friendly welcome. The captain took his place on the paddle-box, and our
speed was slackened. Two guns were fired, and their echoes rolled for many
a mile among the low, purple hills, from which a soft, fragrant scent of
pines was borne to us on the evening breeze, reminding me of the far-
distant mountains of Scotland. The tiny waves rippled towards us like
diamonds, the moon and stars shone brilliantly from a summer sky, and the
white smoke from our guns floated away in silver clouds.

People were tumbling over each other in their haste, and making impossible
demands, each one being anxious to have his luggage produced first, though
the said luggage might be at the bottom of the hold; babies, as babies
always do, persisted in crying just at the wrong time; articles essential
to the toilet were missing, and sixpences or half-sovereigns had found
their way into impossible crevices. Invitations were given, cards
exchanged, elderly ladies unthinkingly promised to make errant expeditions
to visit agreeable acquaintances in California, and by the time the last
words had been spoken we were safely moored at Cunard's wharf.

The evening gun boomed from the citadel. I heard the well-known British
bugle; I saw the familiar scarlet of our troops; the voices which
vociferated were English; the physiognomies had the Anglo-Saxon cast and
complexion; and on the shores of the western hemisphere I felt myself at
home. Yet, as I sprang from the boat, and set my foot for the first time
on American soil, I was vexed that these familiar sights and sounds should
deprive me of the pleasurable feeling of excitement which I had expected
to experience under such novel circumstances.


An inhospitable reception--Halifax and the Blue Noses--The heat--
Disappointed expectations--The great departed--What the Blue Noses might
be--What the coach was not--Nova Scotia and its capabilities--The roads
and their annoyances--A tea dinner--A night journey and a Highland cabin--
A nautical catastrophe--A joyful reunion.

The Cunard steamers are powerful, punctual, and safe, their _cuisine_
excellent, their arrangements admirable, till they reach Halifax, which is
usually the destination of many of the passengers. I will suppose that the
voyage has been propitious, and our guns have thundered forth the
announcement that the news of the Old World has reached the New; that the
stewards have been _fee'd_ and the captain complimented; and that we have
parted on the best possible terms with the Company, the ship, and our
fellow-passengers. The steamer generally remains for two or three hours at
Halifax to coal, and unship a portion of her cargo, and there is a very
natural desire on the part of the passengers to leave what to many is at
best a floating prison, and set foot on firm ground, even for an hour.
Those who, like ourselves, land at Halifax for the interior, are anxious
to obtain rooms at the hotel, and all who have nothing else to do hurry to
the ice-shop, where the luxury of a tumbler of raspberry-cream ice can be
obtained for threepence. Besides the hurried rush of those who with these
varied objects in view leave the steamer, there are crowds of incomers in
the shape of porters, visitors, and coalheavers, and passengers for the
States, who prefer the comfort and known punctuality of the Royal Mail
steamers to the delay, danger, and uncertainty of the intercolonial route,
though the expense of the former is nearly double. There are the friends
of the passengers, and numbers of persons who seem particularly well
acquainted with the purser, who bring fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry,
and lobsters.

From this description it may be imagined that there is a motley and
considerable crowd; but it will scarcely be imagined that there is only
one regulation, which is, that no persons may enter or depart till the
mail-bags have been landed. The wharf is small and at night unlighted, and
the scene which ensued on our landing about eight o'clock in the evening
reminded me, not by contrast, but resemblance, of descriptions which
travellers give of the disembarkation at Alexandria. Directly that the
board was laid from the _Canada_ to the wharf a rush both in and out took
place, in which I was separated from my relations, and should have fallen
had not a friend, used to the scene of disorder, come to my assistance.

The wharf was dirty, unlighted, and under repair, covered with heaps and
full of holes. My friend was carrying three parcels, when three or four
men made a rush at us, seized them from him, and were only compelled to
relinquish them by some sharp physical arguments. A large gateway, lighted
by one feeble oil-lamp at the head of the wharf, was then opened, and the
crowd pent up behind it came pouring down the sloping road. There was a
simultaneous rush of trucks, hand-carts, waggons, and cars, their horses
at full trot or canter, two of them rushing against the gravel-heap on
which I was standing, where they were upset. Struggling, shouting,
beating, and scuffling, the drivers all forced their way upon the wharf,
regardless of cries from the ladies and threats from the gentlemen, for
all the passengers had landed and were fighting their way to an ice-shop.
Porters were scuffling with each other for the possession of portmanteaus,
wheels were locked, and drivers were vehemently expostulating in the rich
brogue of Erin; people were jostling each other in their haste, or diving
into the dimly-lighted custom-house, and it must have been fully half an
hour before we had extricated ourselves from this chaos of mismanagement
and disorder, by scrambling over gravel-heaps and piles of timber, into
the dirty, unlighted streets of Halifax.

Dirty they were then, though the weather was very dry, for oyster-shells,
fish heads and bones, potato-skins, and cabbage-stalks littered the roads;
but dirty was a word which does not give the faintest description of the
almost impassable state in which I found them, when I waded through them
ankle-deep in mud some months afterwards.

We took apartments for two days at the Waverley House, a most comfortless
place, yet the best inn at Halifax. Three hours after we landed, the
_Canada_ fired her guns, and steamed off to Boston; and as I saw her
coloured lights disappear round the heads of the harbour, I did not feel
the slightest regret at having taken leave of her for ever. We remained
for two days at Halifax, and saw the little which was worth seeing in the
Nova-Scotian capital. I was disappointed to find the description of the
lassitude and want of enterprise of the Nova-Scotians, given by Judge
Halliburton, so painfully correct. Halifax possesses one of the deepest
and most commodious harbours in the world, and is so safe that ships need
no other guide into it than their charts. There are several small
fortified islands at its mouth, which assist in its defence without
impeding the navigation. These formidable forts protect the entrance, and
defend the largest naval depot which we possess in North America. The town
itself, which contains about 25,000 people, is on a small peninsula, and
stands on a slope rising from the water's edge to the citadel, which is
heavily armed, and amply sufficient for every purpose of defence. There
are very great natural advantages in the neighbourhood, lime, coal, slate,
and minerals being abundant, added to which Halifax is the nearest port to

Yet it must be confessed that the Nova-Scotians are far behind, not only
their neighbours in the States, but their fellow-subjects in Canada and
New Brunswick. There are capacious wharfs and roomy warehouses, yet one
laments over the absence of everything like trade and business. With the
finest harbour in North America, with a country abounding in minerals, and
coasts swarming with fish, the Nova-Scotians appear to have expunged the
word _progress_ from their dictionary--still live in shingle houses, in
streets without side walks, rear long-legged ponies, and talk largely
about railroads, which they seem as if they would never complete, because
they trust more to the House of Assembly than to their own energies.
Consequently their astute and enterprising neighbours the Yankees, the
acute speculators of Massachusetts and Connecticut, have seized upon the
traffic which they have allowed to escape them, and have diverted it to
the thriving town of Portland in Maine. The day after we landed was one of
intense heat, the thermometer stood at 93 in the shade. The rays of a
summer sun scorched the shingle roof of our hotel, and, penetrating the
thin plank walls, made the interior of the house perfectly unbearable.
There were neither sunshades nor Venetian blinds, and not a tree to shade
the square white wooden house from an almost tropical heat. When I came
into the parlour I found Colonel H---- stretched on the sofa, almost
expiring with heat, my cousin standing panting before the window in his
shirtsleeves, and his little boy lying moaning on the hearthrug, with his
shoes off, and his complexion like that of a Red Indian. One of our party
had been promenading the broiling streets of Halifax without his coat! A
gentleman from one of the Channel Islands, of unsophisticated manners and
excellent disposition, who had landed with us _en route_ to a town on the
Gulf of St. Lawrence, had fancied our North American colonies for ever
"locked in regions of thick-ribbed ice," and consequently was abundantly
provided with warm clothing of every description. With this he was
prepared to face a thermometer at twenty degrees below zero.

But when he found a torrid sun, and the thermometer at 93 in the shade,
his courage failed him, and, with all his preconceived ideas overthrown by
the burning experience of one day, despair seized on him, and his
expressions of horror and astonishment were coupled with lamentations over
the green fertility of Jersey. The colonel was obliged to report himself
at head-quarters in his full uniform, which was evidently tight and hot;
and after changing his apparel three times in the day, apparently without
being a gainer, he went out to make certain meteorological inquiries,
among others if 93 were a common temperature.

The conclusion he arrived at was, that the "climate alternates between the
heat of India and the cold of Lapland."

We braved the heat at noonday in a stroll through the town, for, from the
perfect dryness of the atmosphere, it is not of an oppressive nature. I
saw few whites in the streets at this hour. There were a great many
Indians lying by the door-steps, having disposed of their baskets, besoms,
and raspberries, by the sale of which they make a scanty livelihood. The
men, with their jet-black hair, rich complexions, and dark liquid brown
eyes, were almost invariably handsome; and the women, whose beauty departs
before they are twenty, were something in the "_Meg Merrilies_" style.

When the French first colonised this country, they called it "_Acadie_."
The tribes of the Mic-Mac Indians peopled its forests, and, among the dark
woods which then surrounded Halifax, they worshipped the Great Spirit, and
hunted the moose-deer. Their birch-bark wigwams peeped from among the
trees, their squaws urged their light canoes over the broad deep harbour,
and their wise men spoke to them of the "happy hunting grounds." The
French destroyed them not, and gave them a corrupted form of Christianity,
inciting their passions against the English by telling them that they were
the people who had crucified the Saviour. Better had it been for them if
battle or pestilence had swept them at once away.

The Mic-Macs were a fierce and warlike people, too proud to mingle with an
alien race--too restless and active to conform to the settled habits of
civilization. Too proud to avail themselves of its advantages, they
learned its vices, and, as the snow-wreaths in spring, they melted away
before the poisonous "fire-water," and the deadly curse of the white man's
wars. They had welcomed the "pale faces" to the "land of the setting sun,"
and withered up before them, smitten by their crimes.

Almost destitute of tradition, their history involved in obscurity, their
broad lands filled with their unknown and nameless graves, these mighty
races have passed away; they could not pass into slavery, therefore they
must die.

At some future day a mighty voice may ask of those who have thus wronged
the Indian, "Where is now thy brother?" It is true that frequently we
arrived too late to save them as a race from degradation and dispersion;
but as they heavily tottered along to their last home, under the burden of
the woes which contact with civilization ever entails upon the aborigines,
we might have spoken to them the tidings of "peace on earth and good will
to men"--of a Saviour "who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and
immortality to light through his gospel." Far away amid the thunders of
Niagara, surrounded by a perpetual rainbow, Iris Island contains almost
the only known burying-place of the race of red men. Probably the simple
Indians who buried their dead in a place of such difficult access, and
sacred to the Great Spirit, did so from a wish that none might ever
disturb their ashes. None can tell how long those interred there have
slept their last long sleep, but the ruthless hands of the white men have
profaned the last resting-place of the departed race.

There were also numerous blacks in the streets, and, if I might judge from
the brilliant colours and good quality of their clothing, they must gain a
pretty good living by their industry. A large number of these blacks and
their parents were carried away from the States by one of our admirals in
the war of 1812, and landed at Halifax.

The capital of Nova Scotia looks like a town of cards, nearly all the
buildings being of wood. There are wooden houses, wooden churches, wooden
wharfs, wooden slates, and, if there are side walks, they are of wood
also. I was pleased at a distance with the appearance of two churches, one
of them a Gothic edifice, but on nearer inspection I found them to be of
wood, and took refuge in the substantial masonry of the really handsome
Province Building and Government House. We went up to the citadel, which
crowns the hill, and is composed of an agglomeration of granite walls,
fosses, and casemates, mounds, ditches, barracks, and water-tanks.

If I was pleased with the familiar uniforms of the artillerymen who
lounged about the barracks, I was far more so with the view from the
citadel. It was a soft summer evening, and, seen through the transparent
atmosphere, everything looked unnaturally near. The large town of Halifax
sloped down to a lake-like harbour, about two miles wide, dotted with
islands; and ranges of picturesque country spangled with white cottages
lay on the other side. The lake or firth reminded me of the Gareloch, and
boats were sailing about in all directions before the evening breeze. From
tangled coppices of birch and fir proceeded the tinkle of the bells of
numerous cows, and, mingled with the hum of the city, the strains of a
military band rose from the streets to our ears.

With so many natural advantages, and such capabilities for improvement, I
cannot but regret the unhappy quarrels and maladministration which
threaten to leave the noble colony of Nova Scotia an incubus and
excrescence on her flourishing and progressive neighbours, Canada and New
Brunswick. From the _talk_ about railways, steamers, and the House of
Assembly, it is pleasant to turn to the one thing which has been really
done, namely, the establishment of an electric telegraph line to St. John,
and thence to the States. By means of this system of wires, which is rough
and inexpensive to a degree which in England we should scarcely believe,
the news brought by the English mail steamer is known at Boston, New York,
New Orleans, Cincinnati, and all the great American cities, before it has
had time to reach the environs of Halifax itself.

The telegraph costs about 20_l._ per mile, and the wires are generally
supported on the undressed stems of pines, but are often carried from tree
to tree along miserable roads, or through the deep recesses of the

The stores in Halifax are pretty good, all manufactured articles being
sold at an advance on English prices. Books alone are cheap and abundant,
being the American editions of pirated English works.

On the morning when we left Halifax I was awakened by the roll of the
British drum and the stirring strains of the Highland bagpipe. Ready
equipped for the tedious journey before us, from Halifax to Pictou in the
north of the colony, I was at the inn-door at six, watching the fruitless
attempts of the men to pile our mountain of luggage on the coach.

Do not let the word _coach_ conjure up a vision of "_the good old times_,"
a dashing mail with a well-groomed team of active bays, harness all "spick
and span," a gentlemanly-looking coachman, and a guard in military
scarlet, the whole affair rattling along the road at a pace of ten miles
an hour.

The vehicle in which we performed a journey of 120 miles in 20 hours
deserves a description. It consisted of a huge coach-body, slung upon two
thick leather straps; the sides were open, and the places where windows
ought to have been were screened by heavy curtains of tarnished moose-deer
hide. Inside were four cross-seats, intended to accommodate twelve
persons, who were very imperfectly sheltered from the weather. Behind was
a large rack for luggage, and at the back of the driving-seat was a bench
which held three persons. The stage was painted scarlet, but looked as if
it had not been washed for a year. The team of six strong white horses was
driven by a Yankee, remarkable only for his silence. About a ton of
luggage was packed on and behind the stage, and two open portmanteaus were
left behind without the slightest risk to their contents.

Twelve people and a baby were with some difficulty stowed in the stage,
and the few interstices were filled up with baskets, bundles, and
packages. The coachman whipped his horses, and we rattled down the uneven
streets of Halifax to a steam ferry-boat, which conveyed the stage across
to Dartmouth, and was so well arranged that the six horses had not to
alter their positions.

Our road lay for many miles over a barren, rocky, undulating country,
covered with var and spruce trees, with an undergrowth of raspberry, wild
rhododendron, and alder. We passed a chain of lakes extending for sixteen
miles, their length varying from one to three miles, and their shores
covered with forests of gloomy pine. People are very apt to say that Nova
Scotia is sterile and barren, because they have not penetrated into the
interior. It is certainly rather difficult of access, but I was by no
means sorry that my route lay through it. The coast of Nova Scotia is
barren, and bears a very distinct resemblance to the east of Scotland. The
climate, though severe in winter and very foggy, is favourable both to
health and vegetation. The peach and grape ripen in the open air, and the
cultivation of corn and potatoes amply repays the cultivator. A great part
of the country is still covered with wood, evidently a second growth, for,
wherever the trees of the fir tribe are cut down or destroyed by fire,
hard-wood trees spring up.

So among the maple, the American elm, and the purple-blossomed sumach, the
huge scorched and leafless stems of pines would throw up their giant arms
as if to tell of some former conflagration. In clearings among these
woods, slopes of ground are to be seen covered with crops of oats and
maize, varied with potatoes and pumpkins. Wherever the ground is unusually
poor on the surface, mineral treasures abound. There are beds of coal of
vast thickness; iron in various forms is in profusion, and the supply of
gypsum is inexhaustible. Many parts of the country are very suitable for
cattle-rearing, and there are "water privileges" without end in the shape
of numerous rivers. I have seldom seen finer country in the colonies than
the large tract of cleared undulating land about Truro, and I am told that
it is far exceeded by that in the neighbourhood of Windsor. Wherever
apple-trees were planted they seemed to flourish, and the size and flavour
of their fruit evidences a short, hot summer. While the interior of the
country is so fertile, and is susceptible of a high degree of improvement,
it is scarcely fair in the Nova-Scotians to account for their backwardness
by pointing strangers to their sterile and iron-bound coast. But they are
a moral, hardy, and loyal people; none of our colonial fellow-subjects are
more attached to the British crown, or more ready to take up arms in its

I was greatly pleased with much that I heard, and with the little I saw of
the Nova-Scotians. They seemed temperate, sturdy, and independent, and the
specimens we had of them in the stage were civil, agreeable, and

After passing the pretty little village of Dartmouth, we came upon some
wigwams of birch-bark among the trees. Some squaws, with papooses strapped
upon their backs, stared vacantly at us as we passed, and one little
barefooted Indian, with a lack of apparel which showed his finely moulded
form to the best advantage, ran by the side of the coach for two or three
miles, bribed by coppers which were occasionally thrown to him.

A dreary stage of eighteen miles brought us to Shultze's, a road-side inn
by a very pretty lake, where we were told the "_coach breakfasted_."
Whether Transatlantic coaches can perform this, to us, unknown feat, I
cannot pretend to say, but we breakfasted. A very coarse repast was
prepared for us, consisting of stewed salt veal, country cheese, rancid
salt butter, fried eggs, and barley bread; but we were too hungry to find
fault either with it, or with the charge made for it, which equalled that
at a London hotel. Our Yankee coachman, a man of monosyllables, sat next
to me, and I was pleased to see that he regaled himself on tea instead of

We packed ourselves into the stage again with great difficulty, and how
the forty-eight limbs fared was shown by the painful sensations
experienced for several succeeding days. All the passengers, however, were
in perfectly good humour, and amused each other during the eleven hours
spent in this painful way. At an average speed of six miles an hour we
travelled over roads of various descriptions, plank, corduroy, and sand;
up long heavy hills, and through swamps swarming with mosquitoes.

Every one has heard of corduroy roads, but how few have experienced their
miseries! They are generally used for traversing swampy ground, and are
formed of small pine-trees deprived of their branches, which are laid
across the track alongside each other. The wear and tear of travelling
soon separates these, leaving gaps between; and when, added to this, one
trunk rots away, and another sinks down into the swamp, and another tilts
up, you may imagine such a jolting as only leather springs could bear. On
the very worst roads, filled with deep holes, or covered with small
granite boulders, the stage only swings on the straps. Ordinary springs,
besides dislocating the joints of the passengers, would be wrenched and
broken after a few miles travelling.

Even as we were, faces sometimes came into rather close proximity to each
other and to the side railings, and heads sustained very unpleasant
collisions. The amiable man who was so disappointed with the American
climate suffered very much from the journey. He said he had thought a
French diligence the climax of discomfort, but a "stage was misery, oh
torture!" Each time that we had rather a worse jolt than usual the poor
man groaned, which always drew forth a chorus of laughter, to which he
submitted most good-humouredly. Occasionally he would ask the time, when
some one would point maliciously to his watch, remarking, "Twelve hours
more," or "Fifteen hours more," when he would look up with an expression
of despair. The bridges wore a very un-English feature. Over the small
streams or brooks they consisted of three pines covered with planks,
without any parapet--with sometimes a plank out, and sometimes a hole in
the middle. Over large streams they were wooden erections of a most
peculiar kind, with high parapets; their insecurity being evidenced by the
notice, "Walk your horses, according to law,"--a notice generally
disregarded by our coachman, as he trotted his horses over the shaking and
rattling fabric.

We passed several small streams, and one of a large size, the
Shubenacadie, a wide, slow, muddy river, flowing through willows and
hedges, like the rivers in the fen districts of England. At the mouth of
the Shubenacadie the tides rise and fall forty feet.

In Nova Scotia the animals seemed to be more carefully lodged than the
people. Wherever we changed horses, we drove into a lofty shed, opening
into a large stable with a boarded floor scrupulously clean, generally
containing twenty horses. The rigour of the climate in winter necessitates
such careful provision for the support of animal life. The coachman went
into the stable and chose his team, which was brought out, and then a
scene of kicking, biting, and screaming ensued, ended by the most furious
kickers being put to the wheel; and after a certain amount of talking, and
settling the mail-bags, the ponderous vehicle moved off again, the leaders
always rearing for the first few yards.

For sixty miles we were passing through woods, the trees sometimes burned
and charred for several miles, and the ground all blackened round them. We
saw very few clearings, and those there were consisted merely of a few
acres of land, separated from the forest by rude "snake-fences." Stumps of
trees blackened by fire stood up among the oat-crops; but though they look
extremely untidy, they are an unavoidable evil for two or three years,
till the large roots decay.

Eleven hours passed by not at all wearisomely to me, though my cousins and
their children suffered much from cramp and fatigue, and at five, after an
ascent of three hours, we began to descend towards a large tract of
cultivated undulating country, in the centre of which is situated a large
settlement called Truro. There, at a wretched hostelry, we stopped to
dine, but the meal by no means answered to our English ideas of dinner. A
cup of tea was placed by each plate; and after the company, principally
consisting of agricultural settlers, had made a substantial meal of
mutton, and the potatoes for which the country is famous, they solaced
themselves with this beverage. No intoxicating liquor was placed upon the
table, [Footnote: I write merely of what fell under my own observation,
for there has been so much spirit-drinking in Nova Scotia, that the
legislature has deemed it expedient to introduce the "Maine Law," with its
stringent and somewhat arbitrary provisions.] and I observed the same
temperate habits at the inns in New Brunswick, the city of St. John not
excepted. It was a great pleasure to me to find that the intemperance so
notoriously prevalent among a similar class in England was so completely
discouraged in Nova Scotia. The tea was not tempting to an English palate;
it was stewed, and sweetened with molasses.

While we were waiting for a fresh stage and horses, several waggons came
up, laden with lawyers, storekeepers, and ship-carpenters, who with their
families were flying from the cholera at St. John, New Brunswick.

I enjoyed the next fifty miles exceedingly, as I travelled outside on the
driving-seat, with plenty of room to expatiate. The coachman was a very
intelligent settler, pressed into the service, because Jengro, the French
Canadian driver, had indulged in a fit of intoxication in opposition to a
temperance meeting held at Truro the evening before.

_Our_ driver had not tasted spirits for thirty years, and finds that a cup
of hot tea at the end of a cold journey is a better stimulant than a glass
of grog.

It was just six o'clock when we left Truro; the shades of evening were
closing round us, and our road lay over fifty miles of nearly uninhabited
country; but there was so much to learn and hear, that we kept up an
animated and unflagging conversation hour after hour. The last cleared
land was passed by seven, and we entered the forest, beginning a long and
tedious ascent of eight miles. At a post-house in the wood we changed
horses, and put on some lanterns, not for the purpose of assisting
ourselves, but to guide the boy-driver of a waggon or "extra," who, having
the responsibility of conducting four horses, came clattering close behind
us. The road was hilly, and often ran along the very edge of steep
declivities, and our driver, who did not know it well, and was besides a
cautious man, drove at a most moderate pace.

Not so the youthful Jehu of the light vehicle behind. He came desperately
on, cracking his whip, shouting "G'lang, Gee'p," rattling down hill, and
galloping up, and whirling round corners, in spite of the warning "Steady,
whoa!" addressed to him by our careful escort. Once the rattling behind
entirely ceased, and we stopped, our driver being anxious for the safety
of his own team, as well as for the nine passengers who were committed on
a dark night to the care of a boy of thirteen. The waggon soon came
clattering on again, and remained in disagreeably close proximity to us
till we arrived at Pictou.

At ten o'clock, after another long ascent, we stopped to water the horses,
and get some refreshment, at a shanty kept by an old Highland woman, well
known as "_Nancy Stuart of the Mountain._" Here two or three of us got
off, and a comfortable meal was soon provided, consisting of tea, milk,
oat-cake, butter, and cranberry and raspberry jam. This meal we shared
with some handsome, gloomy-looking, bonneted Highlanders, and some large
ugly dogs. The room was picturesque enough, with blackened rafters, deer
and cow horns hung round it, and a cheerful log fire. After tea I spoke to
Nancy in her native tongue, which so delighted her, that I could not
induce her to accept anything for my meal. On finding that I knew her
birthplace in the Highlands, she became quite talkative, and on wishing
her good bye with the words "_Oiche mhaith dhuibh; Beannachd luibh!"
[Footnote: Good night; blessings be with you.] she gave my hand a true
Highland grasp with both of hers; a grasp bringing back visions of home
and friends, and "the bonnie North countrie."

A wild drive we had from this place to Pictou. The road lay through
forests which might have been sown at the beginning of time. Huge hemlocks
threw high their giant arms, and from between their dark stems gleamed the
bark of the silver birch. Elm, beech, and maple flourished; I missed alone
the oak of England.

The solemn silence of these pathless roads was broken only by the note of
the distant bull-frog; meteors fell in streams of fire, the crescent moon
occasionally gleamed behind clouds from which the lightning flashed almost
continually, and the absence of any familiar faces made me realize at
length that I was a stranger in a strange land.

After the subject of the colony had been exhausted, I amused the coachman
with anecdotes of the supernatural--stories of ghosts, wraiths,
apparitions, and second sight; but he professed himself a disbeliever, and
I thought I had failed to make any impression on him, till at last he
started at the crackling of a twig, and the gleaming whiteness of a silver
birch. He would have liked the stories better, he confessed at length, if
the night had not been quite so dark.

The silence of the forest was so solemn, that, remembering the last of the
Mohicans, we should not have been the least surprised if an Indian war-
whoop had burst upon our startled ears.

We were travelling over the possessions of the Red men. Nothing more
formidable occurred than the finding of three tipsy men laid upon the
road; and our coachman had to alight and remove them before the vehicle
could proceed.

We reached Pictou at a quarter past two on a very chilly starlight
morning, and by means of the rude telegraph, which runs along the road,
comfortable rooms had been taken for us at an inn of average cleanliness.

Here we met with a storekeeper from Prince Edward Island, and he told us
that the parents of my cousins, whom we were about to visit, knew nothing
whatever of our intended arrival, and supposed their children to be in

As a colonial dinner is an aggregate of dinner and tea, so a colonial
breakfast is a curious complication of breakfast and dinner, combining, I
think, the advantages of both. It is only an extension of the Highland
breakfast; fish of several sorts, meat, eggs, and potatoes, buckwheat
fritters and Johnny cake, being served with the tea and coffee.

Pictou may be a flourishing town some day: it has extensive coal-mines;
one seam of coal is said to be thirty feet thick. At present it is a most
insignificant place, and the water of the harbour is very shallow. The
distance from Pictou to Charlotte Town, Prince Edward Island, is sixty
miles, and by this route, through Nova Scotia and across Northumberland
Strait, the English mail is transmitted once a fortnight.

A fearful catastrophe happened to the _Fairy Queen, a small mail steamer
plying between these ports, not long ago. By some carelessness, she sprang
a leak and sank; the captain and crew escaping to Pictou in the ship's
boats, which were large enough to have saved all the passengers. Here they
arrived, and related the story of the wreck, in the hope that no human
voice would ever tell of their barbarity and cowardice. Several perished
with the ill-fated vessel, among whom were Dr. Mackenzie, a promising
young officer, and two young ladies, one of whom was coming to England to
be married. A few of the passengers floated off on the upper deck and
reached the land in safety, to bear a terrible testimony to the inhumanity
which had left their companions to perish. A voice from the dead could not
have struck greater horror into the heart of the craven captain than did
that of those whom he never expected to meet till the sea should give up
her dead. The captain was committed for manslaughter, but escaped the
punishment due to his offence, though popular indignation was strongly
excited against him. We were told to be on board the _Lady le Marchant_ by
twelve o'clock, and endured four hours' detention on her broiling deck,
without any more substantial sustenance than was afforded to us by some
pine-apples. We were five hours in crossing Northumberland Strait--five
hours of the greatest possible discomfort. We had a head-wind and a rough
chopping sea, which caused the little steamer to pitch unmercifully. After
gaining a distant view of Cape Breton Island, I lay down on a mattress on
deck, in spite of the persecutions of an animated friend, who kindly
endeavoured to rouse me to take a first view of Prince Edward Island.

When at last, in the comparative calmness of the entrance to Charlotte
Town harbour, I stood up to look about me, I could not help admiring the
peaceful beauty of the scene. Far in the distance were the sterile cliffs
of Nova Scotia and the tumbling surges of the Atlantic, while on three
sides we were surrounded by land so low that the trees upon it seemed
almost growing out of the water. The soil was the rich red of Devonshire,
the trees were of a brilliant green, and sylvan lawns ran up amongst them.
The light canoes of the aborigines glided gracefully on the water, or lay
high and dry on the beach; and two or three miles ahead the spires and
houses of the capital of the island lent additional cheerfulness to the

We were speedily moored at the wharf, and my cousins, after an absence of
eight years, were anxiously looking round for some familiar faces among
the throng on the shore. They had purposely avoided giving any intimation
to their parents of their intended arrival, lest anything should occur to
prevent the visit; therefore they were entirely unexpected. But, led by
the true instinct of natural affection, they were speedily recognised by
those of their relatives who were on the wharf, and many a joyful meeting
followed which must amply have compensated for the dreary separation of

It was in an old-English looking, red brick mansion, encircled by
plantations of thriving firs--warmly welcomed by relations whom I had
never seen, for the sake of those who had been my long-tried friends--
surrounded by hearts rejoicing in the blessings of unexpected re-union,
and by faces radiant with affection and happiness--that I spent my first
evening in the "Garden of British America."


Popular ignorance--The garden island--Summer and winter contrasted--A
wooden capital--Island politics, and their consequences--Gossip--"Blowin-
time"--Religion and the clergy--The servant nuisance--Colonial society--An
evening party--An island premier--Agrarian outrage--A visit to the
Indians--The pipe of peace--An Indian coquette--Country hospitality--A
missionary--A novel mode of lobster-fishing--Uncivilised life--Far away in
the woods--Starvation and dishonesty--An old Highlander and a Highland
welcome--Hopes for the future.

I was showing a collection of autographs to a gentleman at a party in a
well-known Canadian city, when the volume opened upon the majestic
signature of Cromwell. I paused as I pointed to it, expecting a burst of
enthusiasm. "_Who is Cromwell?_" he asked; an ignorance which I should
have believed counterfeit had it not been too painfully and obviously

A yeoman friend in England, on being told that I had arrived safely at
Boston, after encountering great danger in a gale, "_reckoned that it was
somewhere down in Lincolnshire_."

With these instances of ignorance, and many more which I could name, fresh
in my recollection, I am not at all surprised that few persons should be
acquainted with the locality of a spot of earth so comparatively obscure
as Prince Edward Island. When I named my destination to my friends prior
to my departure from England, it was supposed by some that I was going to
the Pacific, and by others that I was going to the north-west coast of
America, while one or two, on consulting their maps, found no such island
indicated in the part of the ocean where I described it to be placed.

Now, Prince Edward Island is the abode of seventy thousand human beings.
It _had a garrison, though now the loyalty of its inhabitants is
considered a sufficient protection. It _has a Governor, a House of
Assembly, a Legislative Council, and a Constitution. It has a wooden
Government House, and a stone Province Building. It has a town of six
thousand people, and an extensive shipbuilding trade, and, lastly, it has
a prime minister. As it has not been tourist-ridden, like Canada or the
States, and is a _terra incognita_ to many who are tolerably familiar with
the rest of our North American possessions, I must briefly describe it,
though I am neither writing a guide-book nor an emigrant's directory.

This island was discovered by Sebastian Cabot in 1497, and more than two
centuries afterwards received the name of St. John, by which it is still
designated in old maps. It received the name of Prince Edward Island in
compliment to the illustrious father of our Queen, who bestowed great
attention upon it. It has been the arena of numerous conflicts during the
endless wars between the French and English. Its aboriginal inhabitants
have here, as in other places, melted away before the whites. About three
hundred remain, earning a scanty living by shooting and fishing, and
profess the Romish faith.

This island is 140 miles in length, and at its widest part 34 in breadth.
It is intersected by creeks; every part of its coast is indented by the
fierce flood of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and no part of it is more than
nine miles distant from some arm of the sea. It bears the name throughout
the British provinces of the "Garden of British America." That this title
has been justly bestowed, none who have ever visited it in summer will

While Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the banks of the St. Lawrence are
brown, even where most fertile, this island is clothed in brilliant green.
I suppose that the most elevated land in it is less than 400 feet above
the level of the sea; there is not a rock in any part of it, and the
stones which may be very occasionally picked up in the recesses of the
forest cause much speculation in the minds of the curious and scientific.
The features of this country are as soft as the soil. The land is
everywhere gently undulating, and, while anything like a hill is unknown,
it has been difficult to find a piece of ground sufficiently level for a
cricket-field. The north shore is extremely pretty; it has small villages,
green clearings, fine harbours, with the trees growing down to the water's
edge, and shady streams.

The land is very suitable for agricultural purposes, as also for the
rearing of sheep; but the island is totally destitute of mineral wealth.
It is highly favoured in climate. The intense heat of a North American
summer is here tempered by a cool sea-breeze; fogs are almost unknown, and
the air is dry and bracing. Instances of longevity are very common; fever
and consumption are seldom met with, and the cholera has never visited its
shores. Wages are high, and employment abundant; land is cheap and
tolerably productive; but though a competence may always be obtained, I
never heard of any one becoming rich through agricultural pursuits.
Shipbuilding is the great trade of the island, and the most profitable
one. Everywhere, even twenty miles inland, and up among the woods, ships
may be seen in course of construction. These vessels are sold in England
and in the neighbouring colonies; but year by year, as its trade
increases, the island requires a greater number for its own use.

In summer, the island is a very agreeable residence; the sandy roads are
passable, and it has a bi-weekly communication with the neighbouring
continent. Shooting and fishing may be enjoyed in abundance, and the
Indians are always ready to lend assistance in these sports. Bears, which
used to be a great attraction to the more adventurous class of sportsmen,
are, however, rapidly disappearing.

In winter, I cannot conceive a more dull, cheerless, and desolate place
than Prince Edward Island. About the beginning of December steam
communication with the continent ceases, and those who are leaving the
island hurry their departure. Large stocks of fuel are laid in, the
harbour is deserted by the shipping, and all out-door occupations
gradually cease. Before Christmas the frost commences, the snow frequently
lies six feet deep, and soon the harbours and the adjacent ocean freeze,
and the island is literally "locked in regions of thick-ribbed ice" for
six long months. Once a fortnight during the winter an ice-boat crosses
Northumberland Strait, at great hazard, where it is only nine miles wide,
conveying the English mail; but sometimes all the circumstances are not
favourable, and the letters are delayed for a month--the poor islanders
being locked meanwhile in their icebound prison, ignorant of the events
which may be convulsing the world. Charlotte Town, the capital of the
island and the seat of government, is very prettily situated on a
capacious harbour, which was defended by several heavy guns. It is a town
of shingles, but looks very well from the sea. With the exception of
Quebec, it is considered the prettiest town in British America; but while
Quebec is a city built on a rock, Charlotte Town closely borders upon a
marsh, and its drainage has been very much neglected.

There are several commons in the town, the grass of which is of a
peculiarly brilliant green, and, as these are surrounded by houses, they
give it a cheerful appearance. The houses are small, and the stores by no
means pretentious. The streets are unlighted, and destitute of side walks;
there is not an attempt at paving, and the grips across them are something
fearful. "Hold on" is a caution as frequently given as absolutely
necessary. I have travelled over miles of corduroy road in a springless
waggon, and in a lumber waggon, drawn by oxen, where there was no road at
all, but I never experienced anything like the merciless joint-dislocating
jolting which I met with in Charlotte Town. This island metropolis has two
or three weekly papers of opposite sides in politics, which vie with each
other in gross personalities and scurrilous abuse.

The colony has "responsible government," a Governor, a Legislative
Council, and a House of Assembly, and storms in politics are not at all
unfrequent. The members of the Lower House are elected by nearly universal
suffrage, and it is considered necessary that the "Premier" should have a
majority in it. This House is said to be on a par with Irish poor-law
guardian meetings for low personalities and vehement vituperation.

The genius of Discord must look complacently on this land. Politics have
been a fruitful source of quarrels, misrepresentation, alienation, and
division. The opposition parties are locally designated "_snatchers_" and
"_snarlers_," and no love is lost between the two. It is broadly affirmed
that half the people on the island do not speak to the other half. And,
worse than all, religious differences have been brought up as engines
wherewith to wreak political animosities. I never saw a community in which
people appeared to hate each other so cordially. The flimsy veil of
etiquette does not conceal the pointed sneer, the malicious innuendo, the
malignant backbiting, and the unfounded slander. Some of the forms of
society are observed in the island--that extreme of civilisation vulgarly
called "_cutting_" is common; morning calls are punctiliously paid and
returned, and there are occasional balls and tea-parties. Quebec is
described as being the hottest and coldest town in the world, Paris the
gayest, London the richest; but I should think that Charlotte Town may
bear away the palm for being the most gossiping.

There is a general and daily flitting about of its inhabitants after news
of their neighbours--all that is said and done within a three-mile circle
is reported, and, of course, a great deal of what has neither been said
nor done. There are certain people whose business it is to make mischief,
and mischief-making is a calling in which it does not require much wit to
be successful.

The inhabitants are a sturdy race, more than one-half of them being of
Scotch descent. They are prevented from attaining settled business-like
habits by the long winter, which puts a stop to all out-door employment.
This period, when amusement is the only thing thought of, is called in the
colonies "blowin-time." All the country is covered with snow, and the
inhabitants have nothing to do but sleigh about, play ball on the ice,
drive the young ladies to quilting frolics and snow picnics, drink brandy-
and-water, and play at whist for sixpenny points.

The further you go from Charlotte Town, the more primitive and hospitable
the people become; they warmly welcome a stranger, and seem happy, moral,
and contented. This island is the only place in the New World where I met
with any who believed in the supernatural. One evening I had been telling
some very harmless ghost stories to a party by moonlight, and one of my
auditors, a very clever girl, fancied during the night that she saw
something stirring in her bed-room. In the idea that the ghost would
attack her head rather than her feet, she tied up her feet in her _bonnet-
de-nuit_, put them upon the pillow, and her head under the quilt--a novel
way of cheating a spiritual visitant.

There are numerous religious denominations in the colony, all enjoying the
same privileges, or the absence of any. I am not acquainted with the
number belonging to each, but would suppose the Roman Catholics to be the
most dominant, from the way in which their church towers over the whole
town. There are about eleven Episcopalian clergymen, overworked and
underpaid. Most of these are under the entire control of the Bishop of
Nova Scotia, and are removable at his will and pleasure. This _will_
Bishop Binney exercises in a very capricious and arbitrary manner.

Some of these clergymen are very excellent and laborious men. I may
particularise Dr. Jenkins, for many years chief minister of Charlotte
Town, whose piety, learning, and Christian spirit would render him an
ornament to the Church of England in any locality. Even among the clergy,
some things might seem rather peculiar to a person fresh from England. A
clergyman coming to a pause in his sermon, one of his auditors from the
floor called up "Propitiation;" the preacher thanked him, took the word,
and went on with his discourse.

The difficulty of procuring servants, which is felt from the Government
House downwards, is one of the great objections to this colony. The few
there are know nothing of any individual department of work,--for
instance, there are neither cooks nor housemaids, they are strictly
"_helps_"--the mistress being expected to take more than her fair share of
the work. They come in and go out when they please, and, if anything
dissatisfies them, they ask for their wages, and depart the same day, in
the certainty that their labour will command a higher price in the United
States. It is not an uncommon thing for a gentleman to be obliged to do
the work of gardener, errand-boy, and groom. A servant left at an hour's
notice, saying, "she had never been so insulted before," because her
master requested her to put on shoes when she waited at table; and a
gentleman was obliged to lie in bed because his servant had taken all his
shirts to the wash, and had left them while she went to a "frolic" with
her lover.

The upper class of society in the island is rather exclusive, but it is
difficult to say what qualification entitles a man to be received into
"society." The _entree_ at Government House is not sufficient; but a
uniform is powerful, and wealth is omnipotent. The present governor, Mr.
Dominick Daly, is a man of great suavity of manner. He has a large amount
of _finesse_, which is needful in a colony where people like the
supposition that they govern themselves, but where it is absolutely
necessary that a firm hand should hold the reins. The island is prospering
under its new form of "responsible government;" its revenue is increasing;
it is out of debt; and Mr. Daly, whose tenure of power has been very
short, will without doubt considerably develop its resources. Mrs. Daly is
an invalid, but her kindness makes her deservedly popular, together with
her amiable and affable daughters, the elder of whom is one of the most
beautiful girls whom I saw in the colonies.

I remained six weeks in this island, being detained by the cholera, which
was ravaging Canada and the States. I spent the greater part of this time
at the house of Captain Swabey, a near relation of my father's, at whose
house I received every hospitality and kindness. Captain Swabey is one of
the most influential inhabitants of the island, as, since the withdrawal
of the troops, the direction of its defences has been intrusted to him, in
consideration of his long experience in active service. He served in the
land forces which assisted Nelson at the siege of Copenhagen. He
afterwards served with distinction through the Peninsular war, and, after
receiving a ball in the knee at Vittoria, closed his military career at
the battle of Waterloo. It is not a little singular that Mr. Hensley,
another of the principal inhabitants, and a near neighbour of Captain
Swabey's, fought at Copenhagen under Lord Nelson, where part of his cheek-
bone was shot away.

While I was there, the governor gave his first party, to which, as a
necessary matter of etiquette, all who had left cards at Government House
were invited. I was told that I should not see such a curious mixture
anywhere else, either in the States or in the colonies. There were about a
hundred and fifty persons present, including all the officers of the
garrison and customs, and the members of the government. The "prime
minister," the Hon. George Coles, whose name is already well known in the
colonies, was there in all the novel glories of office and "red-tapeism."

I cannot say that this gentleman looked at all careworn; indeed the cares
of office, even in England, have ceased to be onerous, if one may judge
from the ease with which a premier of seventy performs upon the
parliamentary stage; but Mr. Coles looked particularly the reverse. He is
justified in his complacent appearance, for he has a majority in the
house, a requisite scarcely deemed essential in England, and the finances
of the colony are flourishing under his administration. He is a self-made
and self-educated man, and by his own energy, industry, and perseverance,
has raised himself to the position which he now holds; and if his manners
have not all the finish of polite society, and if he does sometimes say
"Me and the governor," his energy is not less to be admired.

Another member of the government appeared in a yellow waistcoat and brown
frock-coat; but where there were a great many persons of an inferior class
it was only surprising that there should be so few inaccuracies either in
dress or deportment. There were some very pretty women, and almost all
were dressed with simplicity and good taste. The island does not afford a
band, but a pianist and violinist played most perseveringly, and the
amusements were kept up with untiring spirit till four in the morning.

The governor and his family behaved most affably to their guests, and I
was glad to observe that in such a very mixed company not the slightest
vulgarity of manner was perceptible.

It may be remarked, however, that society is not on so safe a footing as
in England. Such things as duels, but of a very bloodless nature, have
been known: people occasionally horsewhip and kick each other; and if a
gentleman indulges in the pastime of breaking the windows of another
gentleman, he receives a bullet for his pains. Some time ago, a gentleman
connected with a noble family in Scotland, emigrated to the island with a
large number of his countrymen, to whom he promised advantageous
arrangements with regard to land. He was known by the name of Tracadie.
After his tenants had made a large outlay upon their farms, Tracadie did
not fulfil his agreements, and the dissatisfaction soon broke forth into
open outrage. Conspiracies were formed against him, his cows and carts
were destroyed, and night after night the country was lighted by the
flames of his barns and mills. At length he gave loaded muskets to some of
his farm-boys, telling them to shoot any one they saw upon his premises
after dusk. The same evening he went into his orchard, and was standing
with his watch in his hand waiting to set it by the evening gun, when the
boys fired, and he fell severely wounded. When he recovered from this, he
was riding out one evening, when he was shot through the hat and hip by
men on each side of the road, and fell weltering in blood. So detested was
he, that several persons passed by without rendering him any assistance.
At length one of his own tenantry, coming by, took him into Charlotte Town
in a cart, but was obliged shortly afterwards to leave the island, to
escape from the vengeance which would have overtaken the succourer of a
tyrant. Tracadie was shot at five or six different times. Shortly after my
arrival in the island, he went to place his daughter in a convent at
Quebec, and died there of the cholera.

One day, with a party of youthful friends, I crossed the Hillsboro' Creek,
to visit the Indians. We had a large heavy boat, with cumbrous oars, very
ill balanced, and a most inefficient crew, two of them being boys either
very idle or very ignorant, and, as they kept tumbling backwards over the
thwarts, one gentleman and I were left to do all the work. On our way we
came upon an Indian in a bark canoe, and spent much of our strength in an
ineffectual race with him, succeeding in nothing but in getting aground.
We had very great difficulty in landing, and two pretty squaws indulged in
hearty laughter at our numerous failures.

After scrambling through a wood, we came upon an Indian village,
consisting of fifteen wigwams. These are made of poles, tied together at
the upper end, and are thatched with large pieces of birch-bark. A hole is
always left at the top to let out the smoke, and the whole space occupied
by this primitive dwelling is not larger than a large circular dining-
table. Large fierce dogs, and uncouth, terrified-looking, lank-haired
children, very scantily clothed, abounded by these abodes. We went into
one, crawling through an aperture in the bark. A fire was burning in the
middle, over which was suspended a kettle of fish. The wigwam was full of
men and squaws, and babies, or "papooses," tightly strapped into little
trays of wood. Some were waking, others sleeping, but none were employed,
though in several of the camps I saw the materials for baskets and bead-
work. The eyes of all were magnificent, and the young women very handsome,
their dark complexions and splendid hair being in many instances set off
by a scarlet handkerchief thrown loosely round the head.

We braved the ferocity of numerous dogs, and looked into eight of these
abodes; Mr. Kenjins, from the kind use he makes of his medical knowledge,
being a great favourite with the Indians, particularly with the young
squaws, who seemed thoroughly to understand all the arts of coquetry. We
were going into one wigwam when a surly old man opposed our entrance,
holding out a calabash, vociferous voices from the interior calling out,
"Ninepence, ninepence!" The memory of _Uncas_ and _Magua_ rose before me,
and I sighed over the degeneracy of the race. These people are mendicant
and loquacious. When you go in, they begin a list of things which they
want--blankets, powder, tobacco, &c.; always concluding with, "Tea, for
God's sake!" for they have renounced the worship of the Great Spirit for a
corrupted form of Christianity.

We were received in one _camp_ by two very handsome squaws, mother and
daughter, who spoke broken English, and were very neat and clean. The
floor was thickly strewn with the young shoots of the var, and we sat down
with them for half an hour. The younger squaw, a girl of sixteen, was very
handsome and coquettish. She had a beautiful cap, worked in beads, which
she would not put on at the request of any of the ladies; but directly Mr.
Kenjins hinted a wish to that effect, she placed it coquettishly on her
head, and certainly looked most bewitching. Though only sixteen, she had
been married two years, and had recently lost her twins. Mr. Kenjins asked
her the meaning of an Indian phrase. She replied in broken English, "What
one little boy say to one little girl: I love you." "I suppose your
husband said so to you before you were married?" "Yes, and he say so now,"
she replied, and both she and her mother laughed long and uncontrollably.
These Indians retain few of their ancient characteristics, except their
dark complexions and their comfortless nomade way of living. They are not
represented in the Legislative Assembly.

Very different are the Indians of Central America, the fierce Sioux,
Comanches, and Blackfeet. In Canada West I saw a race differing in
appearance from the Mohawks and Mic-Macs, and retaining to a certain
extent their ancient customs. Among these tribes I entered a wigwam, and
was received in sullen silence. I seated myself on the floor with about
eight Indians; still not a word was spoken. A short pipe was then lighted
and offered to me. I took, as previously directed, a few whiffs of the
fragrant weed, and then the pipe was passed round the circle, after which
the oldest man present began to speak. [Footnote: "Why has our white
sister visited the wigwams of her red brethren?" was the salutation with
which they broke silence--a question rather difficult to answer.] This
pipe is the celebrated calumet, or pipe of peace, and it is considered
even among the fiercest tribes as a sacred obligation. A week before I
left Prince Edward Island I went for a tour of five days in the north-west
of the island with Mr. and Miss Kenjins. This was a delightful change, an
uninterrupted stream of novelty and enjoyment. It was a relief from
Charlotte Town, with its gossiping morning calls, its malicious stories,
its political puerilities, its endless discussions on servants, turnips,
and plovers; it was a bound into a region of genuine kindness and
primitive hospitality.

We left Charlotte Town early on a brilliant morning, in a light waggon,
suitably attired for "roughing it in the bush." Our wardrobes, a draught-
board, and a number of books (which we never read), were packed into a
carpetbag of most diminutive proportions. We took large buffalo robes with
us, in case we should not be able to procure a better shelter for the
night than a barn. We were for the time being perfectly congenial, and
determined on thoroughly enjoying ourselves. We sang, and rowed, and
fished, and laughed, and made others laugh, and were perfectly happy,
never knowing and scarcely caring where we should obtain shelter for the
night. Our first day's dinner was some cold meat and bread, eaten in a
wood, our horse eating his oats by our side; and we made drinking-cups, in
Indian fashion, of birch-tree bark--cups of Tantalus, properly speaking,
for very little of the water reached our lips. While engaged in drawing
some from a stream, the branch on which I leaned gave way, and I fell into
the water, a mishap which amused my companions so much that they could not
help me out.

After a journey of thirty miles our further course was stopped by a wide
river, with low wooded hills and promontories, but there was no ferry-
boat, so, putting up our horse in a settler's barn, we sat on the beach
till a cranky, leaky boat, covered with fish-scales, was with some
difficulty launched, and a man took us across the beautiful stream. This
kindly individual came for us again the next morning, and would accept
nothing but our thanks for his trouble. The settler in whose barn we had
left our horse fed him well with oats, and was equally generous. The
people in this part of the island are principally emigrants from the north
of Scotland, who thus carry Highland hospitality with them to their
distant homes. After a long walk through a wood, we came upon a little
church, with a small house near it, and craved a night's hospitality. The
church was one of those strongholds of religion and loyalty which I
rejoice to see in the colonies. There, Sabbath after Sabbath, the
inhabitants of this peaceful locality worship in the pure faith of their
forefathers: here, when "life's fitful fever" is over, they sleep in the
hallowed ground around these sacred walls. Nor could a more peaceful
resting-place be desired: from the graveyard one could catch distant
glimpses of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and tall pine-trees flung their dark
shadows over the low green graves.

Leaving our friends in the house, we went down to a small creek running up
into the woods, the most formidable "_longer fences_" not intercepting our
progress. After some ineffectual attempts to gain possession of a log-
canoe, we launched a leaky boat, and went out towards the sea. The purple
beams of the setting sun fell upon the dark pine woods, and lay in long
lines upon the calm waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It was a glorious
evening, and the scene was among the fairest which I saw in the New World.
On our return we found our host, the missionary, returned from his walk of
twenty-two miles, and a repast of tea, wheaten scones, raspberries, and
cream, awaited us. This good man left England twenty-five years ago, and
lived for twenty in one of the most desolate parts of Newfoundland. Yet he
has retained his vivid interest in England, and kept us up till a late
hour talking over its church and people. Contented in his isolated
position, which is not without its severe hardships, this good missionary
pursues his useful course unnoticed by the world as it bustles along; his
sole earthly wish seems to be that he may return to England to die.

The next morning at seven we left his humble home, where such hospitality
had awaited us, and he accompanied us to the river. He returned to his
honourable work--I shortly afterwards went to the United States--another
of the party is with the Turkish army in the Crimea--and the youngest is
married in a distant land. For several hours we passed through lovely
scenery, on one of the loveliest mornings I ever saw. We stopped at the
hut of an old Highland woman, who was "_terribly glad_" to see us, and
gave us some milk; and we came up with a sturdy little barefooted urchin
of eight years old, carrying a basket. "What's your name?" we asked. "_Mr.
Crazier_," was the bold and complacent reply.

At noon we reached St. Eleanor's, rather a large village, where we met
with great hospitality for two days at the house of a keeper of a small
store, who had married the lively and accomplished daughter of an English
clergyman. The two Irish servant-girls were ill, but she said she should
be delighted to receive us if we would help her to do the household work.
The same afternoon we drove to the house of a shipbuilder at a little
hamlet called Greenshore, and went out lobster-fishing in his beautiful
boat. The way of fishing for these creatures was a novel one to me, but so
easy that a mere novice may be very successful. We tied _sinks_ to
mackerel, and let them down in six fathoms water. We gently raised them
now and then, and, if we felt anything pulling the bait, raised it slowly
up. Gently, gently, or the fish suspects foul play; but soon, just under
the surface, I saw an immense lobster, and one of the gentlemen caught it
by the tail and threw it into the boat. We fished for an hour, and caught
fifteen of these esteemed creatures, which we took to the house in a
wheelbarrow. At night we drove to St. Eleanor's, taking some of our spoil
with us, and immediately adjourned to the kitchen, a large, unfinished
place built of logs, with a clay floor and huge smoke-stained rafters. We
sat by a large stove in the centre, and looked as if we had never known
civilised life. Miss Kenjins and I sat on either side of the fireplace in
broad-brimmed straw hats, Mrs. Maccallummore in front, warming the feet of
the unhappy baby, who bad been a passive spectator of the fishing; the
three gentlemen stood round in easy attitudes, these, be it remembered,
holding glasses of brandy and water; and the two invalid servants stood
behind, occasionally uttering suppressed shrieks as Mr. Oppe took one out
of a heap of lobsters and threw it into a caldron of boiling water on the
stove. This strange scene was illuminated by a blazing pine-knot. Mr.
Kenjins laughingly reminded me of the elegant drawing-room in which he
last saw me in England--"Look on this picture and on that."

On the Sunday we crossed the Grand River, on a day so stormy that the
ferryman would not take the "_scow_" across. We rowed ourselves over in a
crazy boat, which seemed about to fill and sink when we got to the middle
of the river, and attended service at Port Hill, one of the most desolate-
looking places I ever saw. We saw Lenox Island, where on St. Ann's day all
the island Indians meet and go through ceremonies with the Romish priests.

We remained for part of the next day with our hospitable friends at St.
Eleanor's, and set out on an exploring expedition in search of a spring
which Mr. K. remembered in his childish days. We went down to a lonely
cabin to make inquiries, and were told that "none but the old people knew
of it--it was far away in the woods." Here was mystery; so, leaving the
waggon, into the woods we went to seek for it, and far away in the woods
we found it, and now others besides the "old people" know of it.

We struck into the forest, an old, untrodden forest, where generations of
trees had rotted away, and strange flowers and lichens grew, and bats flew
past us in the artificial darkness; and there were snakes too, ugly
spotted things, which hissed at us, and put out their double tongues, and
then coiled themselves away in the dim recesses of the forest. But on we
went, climbing with difficulty over prostrate firs, or breaking through
matted juniper, and still the spring was not, though we were "far away in
the woods." But still we climbed on, through swamp and jungle, till we
tore our dresses to pieces, and our hats got pulled off in a tree and some
of our hair with them; but at last we reached the spring. It was such a
scene as one might have dreamed of in some forest in a fabulous Elysium.
It was a large, deep basin of pure white sand, covered with clear water,
and seven powerful springs, each about a foot high, rose from it; and
trees had fallen over it, and were covered with bright green moss, and
others bent over it ready to fall; and above them the tall hemlocks shut
out the light, except where a few stray beams glittered on the pure
transparent water.

And here it lay in lonely beauty, as it had done for centuries, probably
known only to the old people and to the wandering Indians. In enterprising
England a town would have been built round it, and we should have had
cheap excursions to the "Baths of St. Eleanor's."

In the evening we went to the house of Mr. Oppe at Bedeque, but not
finding him at home we presumed on colonial hospitality so far as to put
our horse in the stable and unpack our clothes; and when Mr. Oppe returned
he found us playing at draughts, and joined us in a hearty laugh at our
coolness. Our fifth and last day's journey was a long one of forty miles,
yet near Cape Traverse our horse ran away down a steep hill, and across a
long wooden bridge without a parapet, thereby placing our lives in
imminent jeopardy. After travelling for several hours we came to a lone
house, where we hoped to get some refreshment both for ourselves and the
horse, but found the house _locked_, a remarkable fact, as in this island
robbery is almost unknown. We were quite exhausted with hunger, and our
hearts sank when we found every door and window closed. We then, as an act
of mercy, stole a sheaf of oats from a neighbouring field, and cut the
ears off for the horse with our penknives, after which we, in absolute
hunger, ate as many grains as we could clean from the husks, and some
fern, which we found very bitter. We looked very much like a group of
vagrants sitting by the road-side, the possession of the oats being
disputed with us by five lean pigs. When after another hour we really
succeeded in getting something more suitable for human beings, we ate like
famished creatures.

While I was walking up a long hill, I passed a neat cabin in a garden of
pumpkins, placed in a situation apparently chosen from its extreme
picturesqueness. Seeing an old man, in a suit of grey frieze and a blue
bonnet, standing at the gate, I addressed him with the words, "_Cia mar
thasibh an diugh." "Slan gu robh math agaibh. Cia mar thasibh an fein,"
[Footnote: "How are you to-day?" "Very well, thank you. I hope you are
well."] was the delighted reply, accompanied with a hearty shake of both
hands. He was from Snizort, in the Isle of Skye, and, though he had
attained competence in the land of his adoption, he mourned the absence of
his native heather. He asked me the usual Highland question, "Tell me the
news;" and I told him all that I could recollect of those with whom he was
familiar. He spoke of the Cuchullin Hills, and the stern beauty of Loch
Corruisk, with tears in his eyes. "Ah," he said, "I have no wish but to
see them once again. Who is the lady with you--the lily?" he asked, for he
spoke English imperfectly, and preferred his own poetical tongue. "May
your path be always bright, lady!" he said, as he shook my hand warmly at
parting; "and ye'll come and see me when ye come again, and bring me tales
from the old country." The simple wish of Donnuil Dhu has often recurred
to me in the midst of gayer scenes and companions. It brought to mind
memories of many a hearty welcome received in the old man's Highland home,
and of those whose eyes were then looking upon the Cuchullin Hills.

After this expedition, where so much kindness had been experienced,
Charlotte Town did not appear more delightful than before, and, though
sorry to take leave of many kind relatives and friends, I was glad that
only one more day remained to me in the island.

I cordially wish its people every prosperity. They are loyal, moral, and
independent, and their sympathies with England have lately been evidenced
by their liberal contributions to the Patriotic Fund. When their trade and
commerce shall have been extended, and when a more suitable plan has been
adopted for the support of religion; when large portions of waste land
have been brought under cultivation, and local resources have been farther
developed, people will be too much occupied with their own affairs to busy
themselves, as now, either with the affairs of others, or with the puerile
politics of so small a community; and then the island will deserve the
title which has been bestowed on it, "_The Garden of British America._"


From St. George's Cross to the Stars and Stripes--Unpunctuality--
Incompetence----A wretched night--Colonial curiosity--The fashions--A
night in a buffalo robe--A stage journey--A queer character--Politics--
Chemistry--Mathematics--Rotten bridges--A midnight arrival--Colonial
ignorance--Yankee conceit--What ten-horse power chaps can do--The
pestilence--The city on the rock--New Brunswick--Steamboat peculiarities--
Going ahead in the eating line--A storm--Stepping ashore.

The ravages of the cholera having in some degree ceased, I left Prince
Edward Island for the United States, and decided to endure the delays and
inconveniences of the intercolonial route for the purpose of seeing
something of New Brunswick on my way to Boston.

The journey from the island to the States is in itself by no means an easy
one, and is rendered still more difficult by the want of arrangement on
the part of those who conduct the transit of travellers. The inhabitants
of our eastern colonies do not understand the value of time, consequently
the uncertain arrivals and departures of the _Lady Le Marchant_ furnish
matter for numerous speculations. From some circumstances which had
occurred within my knowledge--one being that the captain of this steamer
had _forgotten_ to call for the continental mails--I did not attach much
importance to the various times which were fixed definitely for her
sailing between the hours of four and ten.

A cloudy, gloomy night had succeeded to the bright blaze of an August day,
and midnight was fast approaching before the signal-bell rang. Two friends
accompanied me as far as Bedeque, and, besides the gentleman under whose
escort I was to travel, there were twelve island gentlemen and two ladies,
all supposed to be bound, like myself, for Boston. All separate
individualities were, however, lost amid the confusion of bear-skin and
waterproof coats and the impenetrable darkness which brooded both on wharf
and steamer.

An amusing scene of bungling marked our departure from Charlotte Town. The
captain, a sturdy old Northumbrian seaman, thoroughly understood his
business; but the owners of the ship compelled him to share its management
with a very pertinacious pilot, and the conflicting orders given, and the
want of harmony in the actions produced, gave rise to many reflections on
the evils of divided responsibility. On the night in question some
mysterious spell seemed to bind us to the shores of Prince Edward Island.
In an attempt to get the steamer off she ran stern foremost upon the
bowsprit of a schooner, then broke one of the piles of the wharf to
pieces, crushing her fender to atoms at the same time. Some persons on the
pier, compassionating our helplessness, attempted to _stave_ the ship off
with long poles, but this well-meant attempt failed, as did several
others, until some one suggested to the captain the very simple expedient
of working the engines, when the steamer moved slowly away, smashing the
bulwarks of a new brig, and soon in the dark and murky atmosphere the few
lights of Charlotte Town ceased to be visible.

The compass was then required, but the matches in the ship hung fire; and
when a passenger at length produced a light, it was discovered that the
lamp in the binnacle was without that essential article, oil. Meanwhile no
one had ascertained what had caused the heavy smash at the outset, and
certain timid persons, in the idea that a hole had been knocked in the
ship's side, were in continual apprehension that she would fill and sink.
To drown all such gloomy anticipations we sang several songs, among others
the appropriate one, "Isle of Beauty, fare thee well." The voices rapidly
grew more faint and spiritless as we stood farther out to sea, a failure
which might have been attributed to grief at leaving old friends on the
chance of making new ones, had not hints and questions been speedily
interchanged, such as "Do you like the sea?" "Are you feeling
comfortable?" "Would you prefer being downstairs?"--and the like.

Cloaks and pillows became more thought of than either songs or friends;
indefinable sensations of melancholy rendered the merriest of the party
silent, and a perfect deluge of rain rendered a retreat into the lower
regions a precautionary measure which even the boldest were content to
adopt. Below, in addition to the close overpowering odour of cabins
without any ventilation, the smell of the bilge-water was sufficient in
itself to produce nausea. The dark den called the ladies' cabin, which was
by no means clean, was the sleeping abode of twelve people in various
stages of discomfort, and two babies.

I spent a very comfortless four hours, and went on deck at dawn to find a
thick fog, a heavy rain, the boards swimming with soot and water, and one
man cowering at the wheel. Most of the gentlemen, induced by the
discomfort to be early risers, came up before we reached Bedeque, in
oilskin caps, coats, and leggings, wearing that expression on their
physiognomies peculiar to Anglo-Saxons in the rain.

The K----s wished me to go ashore here, but the skipper, who seemed to
have been born with an objection on the tip of his tongue, dissuaded me,
as the rain was falling heavily, and the boat was a quarter full of water;
but as my clothes could not be more thoroughly saturated than they were, I
landed; and even at the early hour of six we found a blazing log-fire in
the shipbuilder's hospitable house, and "Biddy," more the "Biddy" of an
Irish novelist than a servant in real life, with her merry face, rich
brogue, and potato-cakes, welcomed us with many expressions of
commiseration for our drowned plight.

Who that has ever experienced the miseries of a voyage in a dirty,
crowded, and ill-ventilated little steamer, has not also appreciated the
pleasure of getting upon the land even for a few minutes? The
consciousness of the absence of suffocating sensations, and of the comfort
of a floor which does not move under the feet--of space, and cleanliness,
and warmth--soon produce an oblivion of all past miseries; but if the
voyage has not terminated, and the relief is only temporary, it enhances
the dread of future ones to such an extent that, when the captain came to
the door to fetch me, I had to rouse all my energies before I could leave
a blazing fire to battle with cold and rain again. The offer of a cup of
tea, which I would have supposed irresistible, would not induce him to
permit me to finish my breakfast, but at length his better nature
prevailed, and he consented to send the boat a second time.

After allowing my pocket to be filled with "notions" by the generous
"Biddy," I took leave of Miss Kenjins, who is good, clever, and agreeable
enough to redeem the young-ladyhood of the island--nor was there enough of
pleasant promise for the future to compensate for the regret I felt at
leaving those who had received a stranger with such kindness and

I jumped into the boat, where I stood with my feet in the water, in
company with several gentlemen with dripping umbrellas, whose marked want
of nasal development rendered Disraeli's description of "flat-nosed
Franks" peculiarly appropriate. The rain poured down as rain never pours
in England; and under these very dispiriting circumstances I began my
travels over the North American continent.

I went down to my miserable berth, and vainly tried to sleep, the
discomfort and mismanagement which prevailed leading my thoughts by force
of contrast to the order, cleanliness, and regularity of the inimitable
line of steamers on the West Highland coast. Wherever the means of
locomotion are concerned, these colonies are very far behind either the
"old country" or their enterprising neighbours in Canada; and at present
they do not appear conscious of the deficiencies which are sternly forced
upon a traveller's observation.

The prospect which appeared through the door was not calculated to please,
as it consisted of a low, dark, and suffocating cabin, filled with men in
suits of oilskin, existing in a steamy atmosphere, loaded with the odours
of india-rubber, tobacco, and spirits. The stewardess was ill, and my
companions were groaning; unheeded babies were crying; and the only
pleasing feature in the scene was the gruff old pilot, ubiquitous in
kindness, ever performing some act of humanity. At one moment he was
holding smelling-salts to some exhausted lady--at another carrying down a
poor Irishwoman, who, though a steerage passenger, should not, he said, be
left to perish from cold and hunger--and again, feeding some crying baby
with bread and milk. My clothes were completely saturated, and his good
offices probably saved me from a severe illness by covering me up with a

At twelve we reached Shediac in New Brunswick, a place from which an
enormous quantity of timber is annually exported. It is a village in a
marsh, on a large bay surrounded by low wooded hills, and presents every
appearance of unhealthiness. Huge square-sided ships, English, Dutch, and
Austrian, were swallowing up rafts of pine which kept arriving from the
shore. The water on this coast is shallow, and, though our steamer was not
of more than 150 tons burthen, we were obliged to anchor nearly two miles
from shore.

Shediac bad recently been visited by the cholera, and there was an
infectious melancholy about its aspect, which, coupled with the fact that
I was wet, cold, and weary, and with the discovery that my escort and I
had not two ideas in common, had a tendency to produce anything but a
lively frame of mind.

We and our luggage were unceremoniously trundled into two large boats,
some of the gentlemen, I am sorry to say, forcing their way into the
first, in order to secure for themselves inside places in the stage. An
American gentleman offered our rowers a dollar if they could gain the
shore first, but they failed in doing so, and these very ungallant
individuals hired the first waggon, and drove off at full speed to the
Bend on the Petticodiac river, confident in the success of their scheme.
What was their surprise and mortification to find that a gentleman of our
party, who said he was "an old stager, and up to a dodge or two," had
leisurely telegraphed from Shediac for nine places! Thus, on their arrival
at the Bend, the delinquents found that, besides being both censured and
laughed at for their selfishness, they had lost their places, their
dinners, and their tempers.

As we were rowing to shore, the captain told us that our worst difficulty
was yet to come--an insuperable one, he added, to corpulent persons. There
was no landing-place for boats, or indeed for anything, at low water, and
we had to climb up a wharf ten feet high, formed of huge round logs placed
a foot apart from each other, and slippery with sea-grass. It is really
incredible that, at a place through which a considerable traffic passes,
as being on the high road from Prince Edward Island to the United States,
there should be a more inconvenient landing-place than I ever saw at a
Highland village.

Large, high, springless waggons were waiting for us on this wharf, which,
after jolting us along a bad road for some distance, deposited us at the
door of the inn at Shediac, where we came for the first time upon the
track of the cholera, which had recently devastated all the places along
our route. Here we had a substantial dinner of a very homely description,
and, as in Nova Scotia, a cup of tea sweetened with molasses was placed by
each plate, instead of any intoxicating beverage.

After this meal I went into the "house-room," or parlour, a general
"rendezvous" of lady visitors, babies, unmannerly children, Irish servant-
girls with tangled hair and bare feet, colonial gossips, "cute" urchins,
and not unfrequently of those curious-looking beings, pauper-emigrant lads
from Erin, who do a little of everything and nothing well, denominated

Here I was assailed with a host of questions as to my country, objects in
travelling, &c., and I speedily found that being from the "old country"
gave me a _status_ in the eyes of the colonial ladies. I was requested to
take off my cloak to display the pattern of my dress, and the performance
of a very inefficient country _modiste_ passed off as the latest Parisian
fashion. My bonnet and cloak were subjected to a like scrutiny, and the
pattern of the dress was taken, after which I was allowed to resume my

Interrogatories about England followed, and I was asked if I had seen the
queen? The hostess "guessed" that she must be a "tall grand lady," and one
pretty damsel that "she must dress beautiful, and always wear the crown
out of doors." I am afraid that I rather lessened the estimation in which
our gracious liege lady was held by her subjects when I replied that she
dressed very simply on ordinary occasions; had never, I believed, worn the
crown since her coronation, and was very little above my height. They
inquired about the royal children, but evinced more curiosity about the
princess-royal than with respect to the heir to the throne. One of the
querists had been at Boston, but guessed that "London must be a pretty
considerable touch higher." Most, however, could only compare it in idea
with St. John, N. B., and listened with the greatest appearance of
interest to the wonders which I narrated of the extent, wealth, and
magnificence of the British metropolis. Altogether I was favourably
impressed by their intelligence, and during my short journey through New
Brunswick I formed a higher opinion of the uneducated settlers in this
province than of those in Nova Scotia. They are very desirous to possess a
reputation for being, to use their borrowed phraseology, "Knowing 'coons,
with their eye-teeth well cut." It would be well if they borrowed from
their neighbours, the Yankees, something more useful than their slang,
which renders the vernacular of the province rather repulsive. The spirit
of enterprise, which has done so much for the adjacent state of Maine, has
not yet displayed itself in New Brunswick in the completion of any works
of practical utility; and though the soil in many places has great natural
capabilities, these have not been taken due advantage of.

There are two modes of reaching St. John from Shediac, one by stage, the
other by steamer; and the ladies and children, fearful of the fatigue of a
land journey, remained to take the steamer from the Bend. I resolved to
stay under Mr. Sandford's escort, and go by land, one of my objects being
to see as much of the country as possible; also my late experiences of
colonial steamboat travelling had not been so agreeable as to induce me to
brave the storms of the Bay of Fundy in a crazy vessel, which had been
injured only two nights before by a collision in a race. On the night on
which some of my companions sailed the _Creole's_ engines were disabled,
and she remained in a helpless condition for four hours, so I had a very
fortunate escape.

Taking leave of the amusingly miscellaneous party in the "house-room," I
left Shediac for the Bend, in company with seven persons from Prince
Edward Island, in a waggon drawn by two ponies, and driven by the
landlord, a shrewd specimen of a colonist.

This mode of transit deserves a passing notice. The waggon consisted of an
oblong shallow wooden tray on four wheels; on this were placed three
boards resting on high unsteady props, and the machine was destitute of
springs. The ponies were thin, shaggy, broken-kneed beings, under fourteen
hands high, with harness of a most meagre description, and its cohesive
qualities seemed very small, if I might judge from the frequency with
which the driver alighted to repair its parts with pieces of twine, with
which his pockets were stored, I suppose in anticipation of such

These poor little animals took nearly four hours to go fourteen miles, and
even this rate of progression was only kept up by the help of continual
admonitions from a stout leather thong.

It was a dismal evening, very like one in England at the end of November--
the air cold and damp--and I found the chill from wet clothes and an east
wind anything but agreeable. The country also was extremely uninviting,
and I thought its aspect more gloomy than that of Nova Scotia. Sometimes
we traversed swamps swarming with bullfrogs, on corduroy roads which
nearly jolted us out of the vehicle, then dreary levels abounding in
spindly hacmetac, hemlock, and birch-trees; next we would go down into a
cedar-swamp alive with mosquitoes. Dense forests, impassable morasses, and
sedgy streams always bounded the immediate prospect, and the clearings
were few and far between. Nor was the conversation of my companions
calculated to beguile a tedious journey; it was on "_snatching_,"
"_snarlings_" and other puerilities of island politics, corn, sugar, and

About dusk we reached the Bend, a dismal piece of alluvial swampy-looking
land, drained by a wide, muddy river, called the Petticodiac, along the
shore of which a considerable shipbuilding village is located. The tide
here rises and falls twenty-four feet, and sixty at the mouth of the
river, in the Bay of Fundy. It was a dispiriting view--acres of mud bare
at low water, and miles of swamp covered with rank coarse grass,
intersected by tide-streams, which are continually crossed on rotten
wooden bridges without parapets. This place had recently been haunted by
fever and cholera.

As there was a slight incline into the village, our miserable ponies
commenced a shambling trot, the noise of which brought numerous idlers to
the inn-door to inquire the news. This inn was a rambling, unpainted
erection of wood, opposite to a "cash, credit, and barter store," kept by
an enterprising Caledonian--an additional proof of the saying which
ascribes ubiquity to "Scots, Newcastle grindstones, and Birmingham
buttons." A tidy, bustling landlady, very American in her phraseology, but
kind in her way, took me under her especial protection, as forty men were
staying in the house, and there was an astonishing paucity of the softer
sex; indeed, in all my subsequent travels I met with an undue and rather

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