Part 4 out of 14
appetite, all unimpaired.
I was so interested when he informed me that he had been one of
Col. Bell's cavalry, (I felt convinced that, of all the members of
this dashing corps, he was the last survivor,) that I questioned
him very closely, and cross-examined him on such matters of
detail, which an eye-witness alone could know. Mr. Hall, the son
of the late Wm. Hall, of Fabrique street, Quebec, is connected
with several of our most noted families. His father came to Canada
about 1783, from the adjoining provinces,--a United Empire
Loyalist, and became wealthy. Subjoined will be found a short
statement taken down as it fell from the lips of my new
acquaintance, and authenticated by his signature. Mr. Chas. Hall
is Postmaster of Broughton, County of Beauce."--(_Diary of J. M.
* * * * *
"I am now 89 years of age. My father, the late Wm. Hall, a well-
to-do Quebecer, whose partner in business I subsequently was,
lived at what I should call No. 1 Fabrique street (the house
lately vacated by Behan Bros). I was born in a house in St. John
street. I loved to roam--have travelled the world over and
received some hard knocks in my day. As to that part of my career,
which seems particularly to interest you--the war of 1812--I
regret I cannot tell you as much as you wish to know. In 1812 I
joined Capt. the Hon. Matthew Bell's Volunteer Cavalry; we
numbered between 90 to 100 men. Our uniform was blue coat, red
collar,--silver braid; arms, a sabre and holster pistols. As
volunteers every man furnished his own horse, suits, etc. My
horse, which cost me thirty guineas, I refused sixty for from Col.
McNeil; our mounts were of Canadian, American, and English
We were commanded by Col. Bell; Hon Wm. Sheppard (late of
Woodfield), was our Major, Mr. Hale, our Captain, Wm. Henderson,
our Lieutenant. I cannot say, in reply to your question, whether
the late Hammond Gowan was our Cornet. Our house stood next to
that where General Brock had lived, in Fabrique street. I was, in
1812, one of the escort who took General Winfield Scott, Col.
Winder,----from Beauport; I remember well the big Col. Scott, as I
played cards with the American officers who were, on their parole,
quartered in Judge DeBonne's house, on the site of which the east
wing of the Lunatic Asylum has since been erected. I formed part
of the escort who conducted the American officers to the Quebec
jail, in St. Stanislas street, previous to their being located in
a St. Louis street house. During the war, under Sir George
Prevost, I formed, in March, part of the detachment of cavalry,
sent with a company of the 103rd, to the parish of St. Joseph,
Beauce, to arrest some militia men who had refused to enlist. The
ice-bridge before Quebec, started a few minutes after our last
horse had crossed.
CHAS. HY. J. HALL
St. Joseph, Beauce, 23rd March, 1881.
N B.--I can read yet without glasses; I reckon I am the last
survivor of Bell's Cavalry.--_Morning Chronicle_, 28th _April_,
QUEBEC TROOP OF LIGHT CAVALRY.
_Extract from a Troop Order Book of Captain Bell's Troop, dated
Quebec, 1st March, 1813._
NOTES RESPECTING THE FORMATION OF THE TROOP.
[Furnished by Lt.-Col. Turnbull, Q.O.C.H.]
This Troop was first formed by Capt. Bell, under an order of H. E.
Sir G. Prevost, dated 22nd April, 1812, as a part of 3rd
Battalion, Quebec Militia.
22nd May, 1812.--William Sheppard and Hammond Gowan are appointed
Sergeants. Mr. Hale attached to the Troop as Cornet.
27th June.--Intelligence of the declaration of war reached Quebec.
The gentlemen composing the Troop, to the number of 34,
volunteered their services, to act when and where the Government
27th July.--The Troop declared independent of the 3rd Battalion,
Quebec Militia. In case of alarm, to assemble on their private
parade, in front of the Castle, by order of General Glasgow.
October.--Mr. Hale appointed Lieutenant, and Mr. Sheppard, Cornet,
dated 24th April last.
19th December.--The Troop to be held in readiness to march on
active service early in the spring.
15th February, 1813.--Orders received to add 25 dismounted men to
QUEBEC LIGHT CAVALRY, BELL'S TROOP.
1st March, 1813.
Captain (Commandant) Matthew Bell.
Lieutenant Edward Hale,
Cornet W. G Sheppard,
Quarter-Master Benjamin Racy, (from the Ste. Marie, Nouvelle
Beauce Battalion), attached to the Troop.
Sergeant Hammond Gowan, Corporal Charles Hall,
" Wm. Henderson, " Wm. Sheppard,
" Alex. Gowan, Acting " G. Wilson,
" James Heath, Acting Trumpeter Thos. Pearson.
On the full establishment, furnishing horse, clothing, &c.:--
*William Turner, John Stansfield, *James Capper,
*Wm. Thomas, James McCallum, Robert Page,
*John Patterson, John Connolly, John White,
William Price, Peter Burnet, William Hoogs,
John Dempster, *James Dick, J. G. Clapham,
*John Campbell, James Henderson, George Chapman,
Andrew Moire, George Cossar, *James Black,
James Oliver, *John McQuay, William Henderson,
John Racy, Archibald Campbell, *Amos Priest,
William Moore, James George, James McCallum,
*David Robertson, Webb Robinson, John McCallum,
James Whyte, Daniel Buckley, Frank Bell.
Age. Ft. In.
James Winton . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 5 10
*Frederick Petry . . . . . . . . . . 19 5 10
*George Burns . . . . . . . . . . . 19 5 10
Henry Connolly . . . . . . . . . . . 16 5 10
*Francis Martineau . . . . . . . . . . . ..
Daniel Baker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..
James Stewart . . . . . . . . . . . 19 5 9
Frederick Wyse . . . . . . . . . . . 27 5 9
John Menzies . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 5 9
David Flynn . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 5 8-1/2
*William Graves . . . . . . . . . . . 21 5 8
*Richard Burns. . . . . . . . . . . . 22 5 8
*James Loan . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 5 7-1/2
Alexander Russell . . . . . . . . . . .. . ..
*William Parker . . . . . . . . . . . .. . ..
*Charles Gethings . . . . . . . . . . 19 5 7
*Thomas Burney. . . . . . . . . . . . 21 5 7
John Chillas . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 5 7
George C. Ross. . . . . . . . . . . . 17 5 8
*Godfroi Langlois . . . . . . . . . . 20 5 10
George Patterson. . . . . . . . . . . .. . ..
Peter Legget. . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . ..
J. Dion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . ..
David Denny . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . ..
Wm. Hobb. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . ..
[Note: * Reside in Upper Town.]
Troop Order, 1st March.--Foot drills on Mondays, Wednesdays and
Fridays in the Riding House at 12 o'clock till further orders.
8th March.--The Captain commanding desires that the following
articles be provided as soon as possible by each person in the
Troop, to enable him to comply with the General Orders of the
Commander-in-Chief, dated 19th December last, viz: Helmet; blue
cloth forage cap; black silk handkerchief or stock; dress jacket,
undress jacket (plain), plain linen jacket (stable); a pair of
brown linen trowsers; a pair of grey cloth overalls; a pair of
grey cloth or stockinett pantaloons; a pair of half boots and
spurs; two flannel shirts; two pair flannel drawers; three pairs
of stockings; one pair of shoes; one razor; one knife; one brush;
one curriecomb, brush and mane comb; one linen haversack; one
linen nose-bag; one linen bag for necessaries.
The dismounted men may make their undress jacket of strong brown
linen if they prefer it.
Quarter-Master Racy will shew patterns and give any information
that may be required. The Captain wishes the different articles to
be good and strong, but not of an expensive kind.
28th March.--A detachment was ordered on service to Ste. Marie
Nouvelle Beauce and St. Joseph, returning on the 31st under the
command of Lieutenant Hale, consisting of two officers, two
sergeants, one corporal, 18 privates; total, 23.
At right angles from Buade Street, opposite the wall  which surrounds
St. Joseph Cemetery, enclosed between the Basilica and the street, there
exists, since the earliest times, a short, narrow street--more properly a
lane--_Treasury Street_. The French know it as _Rue du Trésor_, because
under French rule, the Government Office, where public monies were
paid out, stood in the vicinity. Until the departure of the English
garrison and removal of the Commissariat Staff, in 1871, Treasury Street
was one of the avenues which led contractors and others to the Royal
Commissariat Department, at the east end of St. Louis Street. Here, for
years, were dealt out lavishly either the old French or Spanish piastres
during the war of 1812-14, the proceeds of the army bills, and later on,
English sovereigns, guineas and doubloons, &c. The Commissariat office was
situate facing the Ring, and after the departure of the British troops,
about 1871, was used as the office and dwelling of the Deputy Adjutant
General of Militia. The lot, which, with the garden in rear, reaches to
Mount Carmel Street, had been bought by the Ordnance from Mr. Peter
Bréhault in the early part of the century.
Prince Edward had brought to Quebec from Gibraltar, in 1791, as his
Secretary, Capt. John Hale, 2nd Queen's Regiment. Capt. Hale was the
eldest son of Brevet Major John Hale,  of the 47th, who served under
General Wolfe at Quebec. Major J. Hale subsequently became General Hale.
Capt. John Hale, after stopping at Quebec with the Prince, subsequently
returned to Halifax with him. He was afterwards appointed by the Imperial
authorities Deputy Paymaster General to the Forces in Canada. He, it was,
who owned the lot on which the Commissary-General's office stood. This
occurred previous to 1812. He sold the property to Peter Bréhault, who had
come out to Canada as an employé to John Muire, Esq. Mr. Bréhault resold
it to the Imperial Government, the Paymaster's Office being merged into
the Commissariat Office. The Ursuline nuns have named, after their patron
Saint, Ste. Ursule, the first street to the west, which intersects at
right angles, St. Louis and Ste. Anne streets. Ste. Ursule and Ste. Anne
streets and environs seem to have been specially appropriated by the
disciples of Hippocrates. Physicians  and surgeons there assuredly do
congregate, viz.: Dr. James Sewell, his son, Dr. Colin Sewell, Drs.
Landry, Lemieux, Simard, Belleau, Russell, Russell, Jr., Gale, Ross,
Baillargeon, Roy, Fortier, LaRue, Parke, Rowand, Henchey, Vallée, Marsden,
Jackson--distinguished physicians. Notwithstanding that it is the abode of
so many eminent members of the Faculty, the locality is healthy; nay,
conducive to longevity.
The streets Aylmer, Burton, Bagot, Craig, Carleton, Dorchester, Dalhousie,
Haldimand, Hope, Metcalf, Murray, Prevost, Richmond, perpetuate the memory
of thirteen English Governors, while four French Governors have left their
names on as many thoroughfares--Buade, Champlain, d'Aillebout, Montmagny.
Many of the luxurious dwellings on the Cape date back to 1840 or so; this
now aristocratic neighborhood, after the conquest and until 1830, was
occupied by carters, old French market gardeners and descendants of French
artisans, &c.--such were the early tenants of Des Carrières, Mont Carmel,
Ste. Geneviève, St. Denis, Des Grissons streets.--"_Mais nous avons
changé tout cela._"
A few years since, the Town Council, on motion of Councillor Ernest
Gagnon, whose name is identified with our popular songs,  disturbed
the nomenclature of that part of D'Aiguillon street, _extra muros_, by
substituting the name of "Charlevoix." To that section of St. Joseph
street, _intra muros_, was conferred the name of our respected historian,
F. X Garneau.  To St. François street, the name of the historian,
Ferland, was awarded; the historian, Robert Christie,  has also his
street. This met with general approval.
"On ascending," says Abbé Faillon, "from the Lower to the Upper Town by a
tortuous road, contrived betwixt the rocks, and on the right hand side, we
reach the Cemetery.  This road, which terminated at the Parish Church,
 divided itself into two,--on one side it led to the Jesuits (Jesuits'
College) and to the Hospital (Hôtel Dieu); and on the other, to the Indian
Fort  and to the Castle of Saint Louis. The Castle and King's Fort,
guarded by soldiers night and day, under the orders of the Governor, was
of an irregular shape, flanked by bastions, fortified by pieces of
artillery, and contained in its interior several _suites_ of apartments
separated one from the other. At the distance of about forty toises (240
feet) from the Castle was seen, on the south side, a small garden, fenced
in, for the use of the Governor, and in front, towards the west, was the
_Place d'Armes_ (now the _Ring_), in the form of a trapezium."
St. John street, for years without a rival as chief commercial
thoroughfare for retail trade in dry goods, sees its former busy aspect
daily fleeting since the invasion of that bitter foe to wheeled vehicles--
the street railway. Its glory is departing: the mercer's showy counter and
shelves are gradually replaced by vegetable and fruit stores. Stately
shops on Desfosses, Crown and Craig streets are rapidly diverting the
_Pactolus_ of the city custom northwards. In the dark ages of the
Ancient Capital, when this lengthy, narrow lane was studded with one-story
wooden or stone tenements, Old Sol occasionally loved to look down and
gladden with his rays its miry footpaths. To our worthy grandfathers 'twas
a favorite _rendezvous_--the _via sacra_--the Regent street--the
_Boulevard des Italiens_--where the _beau monde_ congregated at 4 P.M.,
sharp; where the merry jingle of the tandem _grelots_ invaded the frosty
air in January; where the freshest toilettes, the daintiest bonnets--those
"ducks of bonnets" invented fifty years ago by Mrs. T--d--ensnared
admirers; where marten or "silver fox" muffs of portentous size--all the
rage then--kept warm and coursing the stream of life in tiny, taper hands,
cold, alas! now in Death's pitiless grasp; where the old millionaire,
George Pozer, chinked his English guineas or piled up in his desk his army
bills. Alas! Jean Bourdon, the pioneer of our land surveyors, you, who,
more than two centuries ago, left your name to this vaunted locality--your
street as well as your name are getting to be things of the past! Shall we
bid adieu to this oft travelled over thoroughfare without deigning a
parting glance, as we saunter on, at that low old-fashioned house, No. 84,
on the north side of the street, where, for a quarter of a century and
more, Monsieur Charles Hamel's book and church ornament emporium held its
own against all the other book stores? It is now occupied as a dwelling
and a notarial office by an ex-Mayor and late member for the city, P. A.
Tourangeau, Esq., N.P. Vividly, indeed, can we recall the busy aspect of
its former counter, studded with gilt madonnas, rosaries, some in brass
mountings, variegated Job beads for the million; others set in ebony and
silver for rich _dévotes_, flanked with wax tapers, sparkling church
ornaments, bronze crucifixes--backed with shelves of books bearing, some,
the _visa_ of Monseigneur de Tours--the latter for the faithful; others in
an inner room, without the _visa_--these for city _littérateurs_; whilst
in a shady corner-cupboard, imported to order--sometimes without order--
stood a row of short-necked but robust bottles, labelled "_Grande
Chartreuse_" and "_Bénédictine_," for the especial delectation of a few
Quebec Brillat-Savarins--the _gourmets_!
Monsieur Hamel, a sly, courteous, devout old bachelor, had a honied word,
a holy, upturned glance, a jaunty welcome for all and every one of his
numerous "dévotes" or fashionable _pratiques_. A small fortune was
the result of the attention to business, thrift and correct calculations
of this pink of French politeness. Monsieur Chas. Hamel, honoured by his
familiars with the sobriquet "Lily Hamel," possibly because his urbanity
was more than masculine, in fact, quite lady-like--the _crème de la
crème_ of commercial suavity. This stand, frequented by the Quebec
gentry from 1840 to 1865, had gradually become a favourite stopping place,
a kind of half-way house, where many aged valetudinarians tarried a few
minutes to gossip with friends equally aged, homeward bound, on bright
winter afternoons, direct from their daily "constitutional" walk, as far
as the turnpike on St. John's road. Professor Hubert Larue  will
introduce us to some of the _habitués_ of this little club, which he
styles _Le Club des Anciens_, a venerable brotherhood uniting choice
spirits among city _littérateurs_, antiquarians, superannuated Militia
officers, retired merchants: Messrs. Henry Forsyth, Long John Fraser,
Lieut.-Colonel Benjamin LeMoine, F. X. Garneau, G. B. Faribault, P. A. De
Gaspé, Commissary-General Jas. Thompson, Major Lafleur, Chs. Pinguet, the
valiant Captain of the City Watch in 1837. The junior members counted from
fifty to sixty summers; their seniors had braved some sixty or seventy
winters. After discussing the news of the day, local antiquities and
improvements, there were certain topics, which possessed the secret of
being to them eternally young, irresistibly attractive: the thrilling era
of Colonel De Salaberry and General Sir Isaac Brock; the Canadian
_Voltigeurs_,  the American War of 1812-14, where a few of these
veterans had clanked their sabres and sported their epaulettes, &c. With
the exception of an esteemed and aged Quebec merchant, Long John Fraser,
all now sleep the long sleep, under the green sward and leafy shades of
Mount Hermon or Belmont cemeteries, or in the moist vaults of some city
On revisiting lately these once famous haunts of our forefathers, the new
proprietor, ex-Mayor Tourangeau, courteously exhibited to us the
_antiques_ of this heavy walled tenement, dating back possibly to the
French _régime_, perhaps the second oldest house in St. John street.
In a freshly painted room, on the first story, in the east end, hung two
ancient oil paintings, executed years ago by a well-remembered artist,
Jos. Legaré, for the owners, two octogenarian inmates--his friends,
Messrs. Michel and Charles Jourdain, architects and builders. They were
charged some seventy years ago with the construction of the District Court
House (burnt in 1872) and City Jail (now the Morrin College.) Messrs.
Jourdain had emigrated to Canada after the French Revolution of 1789. They
had a holy horror of the guillotine, though, like others of the
_literati_ of Quebec in former days, they were well acquainted with
the doctrines and works of Voltaire, Diderot, and d'Alembert. One of the
Jourdains, judging from his portrait, must have been a shrewd, observant
man. Later on, the old tenement had sheltered the librarian of the
Legislative Council, Monsieur Jourdain--a son--quite a _savant_ in
his way, and whose remains were escorted to their last resting place by
the _élite_ of the Canadian population. It is a mistake to think that
culture and education were unknown in those early times; in some instances
the love of books prevailed to that degree that, in several French-
Canadian families, manuscript copies then made at Quebec exist to this
day, of the Latin and French classics from the difficulty of procuring
books; there being little intercourse then with Paris book-stores, in
fact, no importations of books. Among many quaint relics of the distant
days of the Messrs. Jourdain and of their successor, Monsieur Audiverti
_dit_ Romain, we saw a most curiously inlaid _Marqueterie_ table, dating,
we might be tempted to assert, from the prehistoric era!
Innumerable are the quaint, pious or historical souvenirs, mantling like
green and graceful ivy, the lofty, fortified area, which comprises the
Upper Town of this "walled city of the North". An incident of our early
times--the outraged Crucifix of the Hôtel Dieu Convent,  and the
Military Warrant, appropriating to urgent military wants, the revered seat
of learning, the Jesuits' College, naturally claim a place in these pages.
The _Morning Chronicle_ will furnish us condensed accounts, which we
will try and complete:--
_LE CRUCIFIX OUTRAGÉ._
"An interesting episode in the history of Canada during the last
century attaches to a relic in the possession of the Reverend Ladies
of the Hôtel Dieu, or, more properly, "the Hospital of the Most
Precious Blood of Jesus Christ," of which the following is a synopsis
taken from l'Abbé H. G. Casgrain's history of the institution:--
"On the 5th October, 1742, it was made known that a soldier in the
garrison in Montreal, named Havard de Beaufort, professed to be a
sorcerer, and, in furtherance of his wicked pretensions, had profaned
sacred objects. He had taken a crucifix, and having besmeared it with
some inflammable substance--traces of which are still to be seen upon
it--had exposed it to the flames, whilst he at the same time recited
certain passages of the Holy Scripture. The sacrilege had taken place
in the house of one Charles Robidoux, at Montreal. Public indignation
at this profanation of the sacred symbol and of the Scripture was
intense; the culprit was arrested, tried and convicted, and sentenced
to make a public reparation, after which he was to serve three years
in the galleys. To this end he was led by the public executioner, with
a cord around his neck, bareheaded and barefooted, wearing only a long
shirt, and having a placard on his breast and back on which was
inscribed the legend "Desecrator of holy things" (_Profanateur des
choses saintes_), in front of the parish church in Montreal, and
being placed on his knees, he made the _amende honorable_ to God,
to the King and to Justice, and declared in a loud and intelligible
voice that he had rashly and wickedly desecrated the sacred image of
Jesus Christ, and had profaned the words of Holy Scripture. He was
then brought to all the cross-roads of the town, where he was scourged
by the public executioner, and afterwards lodged in prison to await
the sailing of the vessel which was to convey him to France, where he
was to undergo the remainder of his sentence. The Bishop of Quebec,
(whose vast diocese then included all of North America) immediately
wrote a letter to Montreal, inviting the people to make reparation by
penances and public prayers for the outrage committed, and ordering a
public procession from the parish church to that of Notre Dame de
Bonsecours, where the veneration of the cross took place. He then
obtained the crucifix from the magistrates, and forwarded it to the
reverend ladies of the Hôtel Dieu in Quebec, accompanied by a letter
in which he directed that it should be placed in their chapel, and
that on a certain day the veneration of it should be made in
reparation of the insult offered the Saviour of the world in his
sacred image on the cross. The nuns placed it in a reliquary, and to
this day it occupies a prominent position on the high altar. In virtue
of a brief of His Holiness the Pope, dated the 15th December, 1782, a
plenary indulgence was granted to any one who, having fulfilled the
usual conditions, should visit the Hôtel Dieu chapel on the first
Friday in March of each year. By an indult of the Supreme Pontiff,
dated 21st March, 1802, this indulgence was transferred to the first
Friday of October, when the veneration of the relic takes place
The cross is of some sort of dark wood, about five or six inches long,
bearing a brass figure of our Saviour, with the inscription I. N. R.
I. (_Jesus Nazarene Rex Judaeorum_) overhead and the skull and
cross-bones beneath. Attached to it is the certificate of authenticity
and the seal of the Bishop, Monseigneur de Pontbriand. In accordance
with this arrangement, public service was held in the chapel of the
hospital yesterday. The crucifix, enclosed in a gorgeous reliquary and
surrounded with a number of lighted tapers, flowers and other
ornaments, was placed on one of the lateral altars. Solemn mass was
sung at eight o'clock by the Rev. Mr. Rhéaume, of the Seminary, the
musical portion being rendered in a most impressive manner by the
reverend mothers, to organ accompaniment. In the afternoon, at two
o'clock, solemn vespers were chanted by the community, after which an
eloquent and impressive sermon was preached by Rev. Father Lepinto,
S.J., followed by the benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, which was
given, by Rev. Mr. Fraser, of the Seminary, who had previously read a
solemn form of "Reparation" in the name of all present, and in which
all joined. The _Tantum Ergo_ and other hymns were sung by the
nuns, and after the chanting of the CXVI. Psalm, the relic was
venerated, each one devoutly kissing it, during which the choir of
nuns sang the _Crux fidelis_. Altogether the ceremony was a very
impressive one, as was evidenced by the solemn, subdued manner of the
large congregation assembled."--(_Morning Chronicle_, _2nd Oct._,
_THE JESUITS' BARRACKS._
"At the present moment, in 1871, when, it is said, the Jesuits'
Barrack is on the eve of being returned to the Quebec authorities, our
readers will no doubt be pleased to learn how and when this valuable
property came into the possession of the Military Government. We are
indebted to J. M. LeMoine, Esq., President of the Literary and
Historical Society, for a copy of the ukase of Governor Murray
converting the old College of the Jesuits, on the Upper Town Market
Place, into a barrack, which it has remained ever since. It is
extracted from some rare old manuscripts belonging to that
institution. The orthographical mistakes exist in the original, and we
have allowed them to reappear:--
By His Excellency the Hon. James Murray, Esq., Capt. General and
Governor-in-Chief of the Province of Quebec and the territories
thereupon depending in America, Vice-Admiral of the same, Major-
General of His Majesty's Forces, and Colonel Commandant of the 2nd
Battalion of the Royal American Regiment of Foot, &c., &c., &c.
To Captain James Mitchelson, Captain William Martin, Lieut. Smith,
Messieurs Amiot, Boisseau and Moore:
Whereas it appears to me that proper Quarters and Barracks are much
wanted for the officers and troops in this garrison, and it being
apprehended that the Jesuits' College may be fitted up for that
purpose--You are hereby authorized and impowered to survey the same,
calling to your assistance such number of tradesmen as you may judge
necessary, in which survey, regard is to be had to a sufficient number
of Fire Places and Chimneys, to ascertain with precision the number of
officers and private soldiers the said College will contain, and to
make an estimate of the expense that will attend the repairs thereof.
And whereas the Contractors' provisions are at present lodged in the
said college, other magazines should be found to lodge the same. You
are therefore further impowered to inspect and survey that building
known by the name of the Intendant's Palace, and to ascertain also the
charges that will attend the fitting up the same to contain the
quantity of six thousand barrels, reporting to me on the back hereof
your proceedings upon the warrant, which shall be to you and every of
you sufficient authority.
Given under my hand and seal at Quebec, this 4th day of June, 1765.
(sd) JAS. MURRAY. By His Excellency's command.
(Counters'd,) J. GOLDFRAP, D. Sectry.
General Arnold's soldiers having during the winter of 1775 established
themselves in and near the French Intendant's Palace, facing the St.
Charles, Governor Carleton decided to sacrifice the stately pile of
buildings in order to dislodge the enemy. A lively fire was in
consequence opened from the guns on the ramparts, near Palace Gate,
and the magnificent structure was soon riddled with shot. It stood in
rear of Vallière's furniture factory and Boswell's brewery. Thus was
acquired the Jesuits' Barrack, and thus perished the Intendant's
Palace."--(_Chronicle_, 27_th Dec._, 1871.)
D'Auteuil street, bounded to the west by an open space--the Esplanade--
lined on one side by shade trees, on the other by the verdant slopes of
the glacis and city walls, deserves a passing notice. Bouchette describes
it thus:--"The Esplanade, between St. Louis and St. John's Gate, has a
length of 273 yards, by an average breadth of 80, except at the Ste.
Ursula bastion, where it is 120 yards. It is tolerably level, in some
places presenting a surface of bare rock. This is the usual place of
parade for the troops of the garrison, from whence every morning in summer
the different guards of the town are mounted; in winter the Jesuits'
Barracks drill ground is generally used for parades. The musters and
annual reviews of the militia belonging to the city are held there. 
The Esplanade is still used as a parade ground, if not by our city militia
by our provincial troops. Right well can we recall the manly form of the
Commander of the "B" Battery, Lieut.-Colonel T. B. Strange, bestriding a
noble charger, putting his splendid, though not numerous corps, through
their drill on the Esplanade. We have also sometimes caught sight there of
our gay Volunteers. Occasionally these grounds are used by the divers
lacrosse clubs for their athletic games--the _doyen_ of our city
_littérateurs_, the Hon. P. J. O. Chauveau, in a graphic portraiture
of the "Quebec of the Past," has most feelingly retraced the vanished
glories, the military pageants, the practical jokers, the City Watch, the
social gatherings, which his youthful eyes witnessed of yore on the
Esplanade and on Durham Terrace. We have attempted to render in English a
striking chapter of this sparkling effusion:--
_OLDEN TIMES IN THE ANCIENT CAPITAL._
"There is not only the quaint city of Champlain--of Montmagny--of
Frontenac--of Bishop Laval--of Governor de Vaudreuil and Montcalm--of
Lord Dorchester and Colonel Dambourges--that is rapidly fading away;
there is not merely the grim fortress of the French _régime_, the
city of early English rule, disappearing piecemeal in the dissolving
shadows of the past. A much more modern town--newer even than that so
graphically pictured by our old friend Monsieur de Gaspé--the Quebec
of our boyhood--of our youth--the Quebec embalmed in the haunted
chambers of memory prior to 1837--it also each day seems retreating--
Where are those dashing regiments which every Sunday at 4 p.m. (we
were not such Puritans then as now) paraded in the open space facing
the Esplanade walls, under the approving eye of the beauty and fashion
of all Quebec, assembled from outside and from inside of the walls--
the men proud of their bottle-green or dark-blue coats and white duck
pants--all the vogue then--while the softer sex and juveniles were
apparelled in the gayest of toilettes--brightest of colors--loudest of
contrasts: white--pink--green! How densely packed, our Esplanade!
Little boys and girls crowding in every corner of the lovely
precipitous lawn which, amphitheatre-like, stretches down--a hanging
garden of verdure and beauty. The splendid regimental bands of music,
the gaudily uniformed staff officers curvetting on their chargers,
with nodding plumes and heavy, glittering epaulettes (alas! the navy
now seems to have monopolised the gold lace for their shoulder-
straps), and those irresistible sappers with their bushy beards
heading the pageant, and those incomparable drum-majors, who could
fling high in the air their _batons_, and catch them so gracefully in
their descent. How their glittering coats did enrapture the crowd! All
these wondrous sights of our youth, where will we now find them?
The mounting guard, the _Grand Rounds_ at noon, when one of the
regimental bands (there were here nearly always two, and an honorable
rivalry existed between them) struck up a martial strain, whilst every
sentry in the city was relieved. What a treat this was to every one,
without forgetting the Seminary Externes (pupils), with their blue
coats and sashes of green or of variegated tints.
More than one of those lithesome youths came to grief for having
rushed away from the _Gradus ad Parnassum_ to those Elysian Fields,
ostensibly to hear the band--possibly to cast a sly glance at "sweet
sixteen" chatting with the _Militaires_ off duty. Here,
too, was the spot where amateurs came to hear new pieces of music--the
latest from London. Durham Terrace was the favoured locality from
whence the new waltz--the fashionable march--the latest opera--was
launched into city existence; from thence it found its way to the
_salons_ of the wealthy: such the history of _Di tanti palpiti_ and
other sweet emanations of great masters.
Where, now, are those squads of jolly tars, in navy blue,
irrepressible in their humors when on shore, far from the quarterdecks
of the trim frigates anchored under Cape Diamond: upsetting the cake-
stands, the spruce beer kegs--helping open-handed to the contents the
saucy street urchins, or, handing round, amidst the startled
wayfarers, pyramids of horse cakes, trays of barley-sugar and
peppermints, like real princes dispensing the coin of the realm. Where
are those noisy gangs of swaggering raftsmen--those _voyageurs_ from
the _pays d'en haut_, with their glittering costumes--hats festooned
with red or blue ribbons, sashes of variegated colors, barred shirts--
tightly wedged, three by three, in _calèches_, like Neapolitans--
patrolling the streets--interlarding a French song occasionally with
an oath, tolerably profane--at all times to be met, whether in the
light of day or the still hours of night. No police in those halcyon
days; but with the thickening shades of evening issued forth that
venerable brotherhood, the City Watch.
The watch, did we say? Where are now these dreamy wanderers of the
night, carolling forth, like the muezzin in Eastern cities, their
hourly calls, "All's well!" "Fine night!" "Bad weather!" as the case
might be--equally ready with their rattles to sound the dread alarm of
fire, or with their long _bâtons_ to capture belated midnight
brawlers, that is, when they saw they had a good chance of escaping
capture themselves. Their most formidable foes were not the thieves,
but the gay Lotharios and high-fed swells of the time, returning from
late dinners, and who made it a duty, nay, a crowning glory, to thrash
the Watch! Where now are those practical jokers who made collections
of door-knockers (the house-bell was not then known), exchanged sign-
boards from shop-doors, played unconscionable tricks on the simple-
minded peasants on market-days--surreptitiously crept in at suburban
balls, in the guise of the evil one, and, by the alarm they at times
created, unwittingly helped _Monsieur le Curé_ to frown down upon
these mundane junkettings.
One of these escapades is still remembered here. 
Four of these gentlemanly practical jokers, one night, habited in
black like the Prince of Darkness, drove silently through the suburbs
in a _cariole_ drawn by two coal-black steeds, and meeting with a
well-known citizen, overcome by drink, asleep in the snow, they
silently but vigorously seized hold of him with an iron grip; a
_cahot_ and physical pain having restored him to consciousness,
he devoutly _crossed_ himself, and, presto! was hurled into another
snow-drift. Next day all Quebec had heard in amazement how, when and
where Beelzebub and his infernal crew had been seen careering in state
after nightfall. Oh! the jolly days and gay nights of olden times!
But the past had other figures more deserving of our sympathy. The
sober-sided sires of the frolicsome gentry just described: the
respected tradesmen who had added dollar to dollar to build up an
independence--whose savings their children were squandering so
recklessly; those worthy citizens who had filled without stipend
numerous civic offices, with a zeal, a whole-heartedness seldom met
with in the present day--at once churchwardens, justices of the peace,
city fathers, members of societies for the promotion of agriculture,
of education, for the prevention of fires; who never sat up later than
nine of the clock p.m., except on those nights when they went to the
old Parliament Building to listen in awe to fiery Papineau or eloquent
Bourdages thunder against the _Bureaucracy_; who subscribed and
paid liberally towards every work of religion, of charity, of
patriotism; who every Saturday glanced with trembling eye over the
columns of the _Official Gazette_, to ascertain whether Government had
not dismissed them from the Militia or Commission of the Peace, for
having attended a public meeting, and having either proposed or
seconded a motion backing up Papineau and censuring the Governor.
Thrilling--jocund--simple war-like time of 1837, where art thou
The "sunny Esplanade," the "Club," the "Platform," in those days "rather
small," the "Rink," "Montmorency Falls," "Lake Charles," the "Citadel" and
its "hog's-back," it would appear, inspired the bard of the 25th King's
Own Borderers--for years forming part of our garrison--on this favourite
regiment embarking for England, to waft to the old Rock the following
_FAREWELL TO QUEBEC._
Adieu, ye joys of fair Quebec!
We've got what's coarsely termed the sack.
Adieu, kind homes that we have entered;
What hopes and joys are around ye centered!
Adieu, ye flights of Lower Town stairs!
To mount you often, no one cares.
Adieu, that Club, with cook whose skill
Makes none begrudge his dinner bill.
Adieu, O sunny Esplanade!
You suit us loungers to a shade.
Adieu, thou Platform, rather small,
For upper-ten, the band and all.
And Music Hall! adieu to thee!
Ne'er kinder audiences we'll see;
There on each 'Stadacona' night,
'Ye antient citie' proves its right
To boast of beauty, whose fair fame,
To us at Malta even came.
Adieu, O Rink, and 'thrilling steel,'
Another sort of thrill we feel,
As eye entranced, those forms we follow,
And see the Graces beaten hollow.
Adieu, John's Gate! your mud and mire
Must end in time, _as does each fire_!
Adieu, that pleasant four-mile round,
By bilious subs so useful found.
Adieu, Cathedral! and that choir,
All eye and ear could well desire.
Adieu, that service--half-past three—
And chance walks after, home to tea.
And 'city fathers,' too, adieu!
Sorry we shan't know more of you.
Adieu, your daughters passing fair,
In dancing, skating, who so rare?
Adieu, too soon, O Citadel!
Adieu, hogs-back, we like thee well,
Though when on _poudré_ days we've crossed,
Noses and ears we've all but lost.
Adieu, to Montmorency's Fall!
Adieu, ye ice-cones large and small!
Who can forget the _traîneau's_ leap
From off that icy height, so steep;
It takes your breath as clean away
As plunge in air--at best you may
Get safely down, and borne along,
Run till upset; but ah! if wrong
At first, you take to turning round,
The _traîneau_ leaves you, and you're found
Down at the bottom, rolling still,
Shaken and bruised and feeling ill.
Adieu, ye lakes and all the fishing!
To cast a fly we've long been wishing.
One last adieu! sorry are we
That this must be our p.p.c.!
Folly to think we'll feel resigned
In leaving you, who've proved so kind.
Our bark of happiness goes wreck,
In quitting you, far-famed Quebec!
_--P.P.C., of the 25th K.O.B._
Our thoroughfares, our promenades, even in those dreary months, when the
northern blast howls over the Canadian landscape, have some blithsome
gleams of sunshine. Never shall we forget one bright, frosty January
afternoon, about four o'clock, in the year 1872, when solitary, though
not sad, standing on Durham  Terrace, was unveiled to us "a most
magnificent picture, a scene of glorified nature painted by the hand of
the Creator. The setting sun had charged the skies with all its gorgeous
heraldry of purple and crimson and gold, and the tints were diffused and
reflected through fleecy clouds, becoming softer and richer through
expansion. The mountain tops, wood-crowned, where the light and shadow
appeared to be struggling for mastery, stood out in relief from the white
plain, and stretching away in indistinct, dreamy distances finally seemed
to blend with the painted skies. The ice-covered bay was lit up with
glowing shades, in contrast with the deep blue of the clear water beyond;
from which the island rose, and into which the point jutted with grand
picturesqueness; the light played through the frost-adorned, but still
sombre pines, and spread out over deserted fields. Levis and the south
shore received not so much of the illumination, and the grimness of the
Citadel served as a contrast and a relief to the eye bewildered with the
unaccustomed grandeur. But as the sun sank deeper behind the eternal
hills, shadows began to fall, and the bright colours toned down to the
grey of dusk, stars shone out, the grey was chased away, and the azure,
diamond-dotted skies told not of the glory of sunset which had so shortly
before suffused them."--(_Morning Chronicle_.)
We have just seen described the incomparable panorama which a winter
sunset disclosed from the lofty promenade, to which the Earl of Dufferin
has bequeathed his name. Let us now accompany one of our genial summer
butterflies, fluttering through the mazes of old Stadacona escorting a
bride; let us listen to W. D. Howells in the WEDDING JOURNEY. "Nothing, I
think, more enforces the illusion of Southern Europe in Quebec than the
Sunday-night promenading on the Durham (now Dufferin) Terrace. This is the
ample span on the brow of the cliff to the left of the Citadel, the
noblest and most commanding position in the whole city, which was formerly
occupied by the old Castle of St. Louis, where dwelt the brave Count
Frontenac and his splendid successors of the French _régime_. The
castle went the way of Quebec by fire some forty years ago (23rd January,
1834), and Lord Durham levelled the site and made it a public promenade. A
stately arcade of solid masonry supports it on the brink of the rock, and
an iron parapet incloses it; there are a few seats to lounge upon, and
some idle old guns for the children to clamber over and play with. A soft
twilight had followed the day, and there was just enough obscurity to hide
from a willing eye the Northern and New World facts of the scene, and to
leave in more romantic relief the citadel dark against the mellow evening,
and the people gossiping from window to window across the narrow streets
of the Lower Town. The Terrace itself was densely thronged, and there was
a constant coming and going of the promenaders, and each formally paced
back and forth upon the planking for a certain time, and then went quietly
home, giving place to new arrivals. They were nearly all French, and they
were not generally, it seemed, of the first fashion, but rather of
middling condition in life; the English being represented only by a few
young fellows, and now and then a red-faced old gentleman with an Indian
scarf trailing from his hat. There were some fair American costumes and
faces in the crowd, but it was essentially Quebecian. The young girls,
walking in pairs, or with their lovers, had the true touch of provincial
unstylishness, the young men had the ineffectual excess of the second-rate
Latin dandy, the elder the rude inelegance of a _bourgeoisie_ in them; but
a few better-figured _avocats_ or _notaires_ (their profession was as
unmistakable as if they carried their well-polished door-plates upon their
breasts), walked and gravely talked with each other. The non-American
character of the scene was not less vividly marked in the fact, that each
person dressed according to his own taste, and frankly indulged private
shapes and colours. One of the promenaders was in white, even to his
canvas shoes; another, with yet bolder individuality, appeared in perfect
purple. It had a strange, almost portentous effect when these two
startling figures met as friends and joined with each other in the
promenade with united arms; but the evening was beginning to darken round
them, and presently the purple comrade was merely a sombre shadow beside
the glimmering white.
The valleys and the heights now vanished; but the river defined itself by
the varicolored light of the ships and steamers that lay, dark, motionless
hulks upon its broad breast; the lights of Point Levis swarmed upon the
other shore; the Lower Town, two hundred feet below them, stretched an
alluring mystery of clustering roofs and lamp-lit windows, and dark and
shining streets around the mighty rock, mural-crowned. Suddenly a
spectacle peculiarly Northern and characteristic of Quebec revealed
itself; a long arch brightened over the northern horizon; the tremulous
flames of the aurora, pallid violet or faintly tinged with crimson, shot
upward from it, and played with a vivid apparition and evanescence to the
zenith. While the stranger looked, a gun boomed from the Citadel, and the
wild, sweet notes of the bugle sprang out upon the silence."
_THE LOWER TOWN._
On bidding adieu to the lofty plateau which constitutes the Upper Town, on
our way to an antiquarian ramble in the narrow, dusty, or muddy
thoroughfares of the Lower (as it was formerly styled) the Low Town, we
shall cast a glance, a glance only, at the facade of the City Post Office,
on the site of which, until razed in 1871, stood that legendary, haunted
old house, "LE CHIEN D'OR." Having fully described it elsewhere,  let
us hurry on, merely looking up as we pass, to the gilt tablet and
inscription and its golden dog, gnawing his bone, pretty much as he
appeared one hundred and twenty-two years ago, to Capt. John Knox, of the
43rd Regt., on his entering Quebec, after its capitulation on the 18th
September, 1759. History has indeed shed very little light on the Golden
Dog and its inscription since that date, but romance has seized hold of
him, and Kirby, Marmette, Soulard and others have enshrined both with the
halo of their imagination. In 1871 the corner stone of the "Chien d'Or"
was unearthed; a leaden plate disclosed the following inscription:--
_M'a posé le 2e Aoust,_
We clip the following from KNOX'S JOURNAL, of the siege of Quebec in 1759,
at which he was both an actor and an eye-witness:--
"On the right of the descent, leading to the low town, stands a
stately old house, said to be the first built of stone in this city
(Quebec), and over the front door of it is engraved a dog gnawing a
large, fleshy bone, which he has got under and between his fore-feet,
with the following whimsical inscription:--
"Je suis le chien qui ronge l'os,
Sans en perdre an seul morceau;
Le temp viendra, qui n'est pas venu,
Je mordrai celui, qui m'aura mordû."
"The true meaning of this device I never could learn, though I made
all possible inquiries, without being gratified with the least
information respecting its allusion. I have been informed that the
first proprietor of the house was a man of great natural abilities,
and possessed a plentiful fortune, which he, after many
disappointments and losses in trade, had scraped together by means of
the most indefatigable industry. Now, whether the foregoing device had
any reference to these particulars of his own private affairs, or that
we may rather suppose the bone with flesh on it to resemble Canada,
and the dog an emblem of fidelity, to represent the French settled
there as if determined faithfully to defend that colony for their King
and country against the savage natives, who may perhaps be alluded to
by the two last lines of the inscription, I will not take upon me to
determine, but submit it to the more penetrating capacity of the
curious reader."--(KNOX'S JOURNAL, Vol. II., p. 149.)
There are two ways of arriving at this El Dorado of commerce: an easy,
expeditious, and, it is believed a safe passage, originated by our
enterprising fellow-townsman, W. A. G. Griffith, Esq.--the _Terrace
Elevator_. The ascent or descent by the elevator occupies fifty seconds
of time, at the moderate cost of three cents per head. The elevator,
opened to the public on 10th February, 1880, was erected at a cost of
about $30,000. Whether it is placed in the most suitable spot remains to
"The elevator is worked by the weight of water; this necessitates
there always being a sufficient supply in the tank at the top of the
incline, which is pumped by a 12-horse-power steam pump from a large
tank at the foot. The _modus operandi_ is as follows: Suppose a
person enters the car at the foot of the incline to be carried to the
top, the bell-boy at once rings a bell to notify the brakesman to go
ahead; weight is required to bring the car and passenger from the foot
to the top, and both cars being built on tanks with necessary valves
for the entrance of the water from the upper tank and for the exit of
the same water when it reaches the bottom of the track, which the
large tank below receives, the brakesman proceeds to open one of the
water valves and allows sufficient water to enter the car tank until
it outweighs the car and passengers at the foot; the cars are now
supposed to be in motion, with the bell-boy at the foot and brakesman
at the top of the incline, who duties are to watch that everything
runs smoothly and that the track is clear of all obstructions. Nothing
can happen inside the cars during the transit that is not noticed by
the employés; now let us suppose that while in motion one of the
cables breaks, there is a second cable to take all the strain, which
is never over five tons, and each cable will lift at least 30 tons,
but should it happen by some extraordinary oversight that there
existed flaws in the cables which had not been noticed, so that first
one cable broke and then the second also broke, it would probably be
thought that an accident must occur. No such catastrophe would happen,
because under the cars and out of sight there are two enormously
strong chisels bolted to the iron tank, and running within half an
inch of the trestle work; immediately the strain is taken off the
cables, or immediately the two cables break, the two chisels would
enter the strong wooden beams that support the iron rails and hold the
cars firmly in position. Finally, let us suppose that these chisels
also gave way, it must be said surely an accident is now inevitable;
but no, for at the top as well as at the foot of the track there are
two air buffers, against which the cars strike on their ascent and
descent. So nicely adjusted are they, and so ingeniously are they
constructed, that although the cars may descend with great force
against these air buffers, the resistance being gradually developed as
the air compresses, there will be but little, if any, extra shock.
Should the brakesman happen to be absent from his post, we are
informed by the Manager that no irregularities would occur in
consequence, as a governor regulates the speed at which the cars are
to go, and on their arrival the air buffers come into play and receive
them. So well has the brakesman the cars under his control that at one
stroke of the bell he can stop them instantaneously wherever they may
be on the track. The brakes are arranged in such a way that it would
seem to be quite impossible for both of them to be out of order at the
same time; but even if they were, nothing could happen, as the air
buffers would check the force of any extra shock. It may be thought
that an enormous quantity of water must be used to work this
machinery, seeing that there is a 5,000 gallon water-tank at the top
of the incline and a 10,000 gallon tank at the foot, but such is not
the case, the water which is pumped up from the lower to the upper
tank returns again to the lower one, and so the same water is used
over and over again; indeed, the amount of water wasted is not nearly
as much as is consumed by a private family. In confirmation of this
statement, only a halt-inch tap is used to supply the tanks, and the
Manager informs us that frequently for days together the tap is not
turned on either at night or day."
How our worthy grandfathers would have shrugged their shoulders had such
an innovation been mooted eighty years ago. The other mode of penetrating
into the Lower Town is through that steep and tortuous hill--called
Mountain Hill by the English, Côte de la Montagne by the French.
This is the hill which has re-echoed the tread of so many regiments, on
which so many Governors, French and English, have, on divers occasions,
heard themselves enthusiastically cheered by eager crowds; the hill which
Viceroys of France and of England, from the ostentatious Marquis de Tracy
to the proud Earl of Durham, ascended on their way to Government House,
surrounded by their brilliant staffs and saluted by cannon and with
warlike flourish of trumpets! In earlier times the military and religious
display was blended with an aroma of literature and elaborate Indian
oratory, combining prose and poetry.
Francis Parkman will tell us of what took place on the arrival, on the
28th July, 1658, of the Viscount D'Argenson, the Governor of the colony:--
"When Argenson arrived to assume the government, a curious greeting had
awaited him. The Jesuits asked him to dine; vespers followed the repast;
and then they conducted him to a hall where the boys of their school--
disguised, one as the Genius of New France, one as the Genius of the
Forest, and others as Indians of various friendly tribes--made him
speeches by turn, in prose and in verse. First, Pierre du Quet, who played
the Genius of New France, presented his Indian retinue to the Governor, in
a complimentary harangue. Then four other boys, personating French
colonists, made him four flattering addresses, in French verse. Charles
Denis, dressed as a Huron, followed, bewailing the ruin of his people, and
appealing to Argenson for aid. Jean François Bourdon, in the character of
an Algonquin, next advanced on the platform, boasted his courage, and
declared that he was ashamed to cry like the Huron. The Genius of the
Forest now appeared, with a retinue of wild Indians from the interior,
who, being unable to speak French, addressed the Governor in their native
tongues, which the Genius proceeded to interpret. Two other boys in the
character of prisoners just escaped from the Iroquois, then came forward
imploring aid in piteous accents; and in conclusion the whole troop of
Indians from far and near laid their bows and arrows at the feet of
Argenson, and hailed him as their chief.
Besides these mock Indians, a crowd of genuine savages had gathered at
Quebec to greet the new "Ononthio." On the next day--at his own cost, as
he writes to a friend--he gave them a feast, consisting of seven large
kettlesful of Indian corn, peas, prunes, sturgeon, eels and fat, which
they devoured, he says, after having first sung me a song, after their
Probably one of the most gorgeous displays on record was that attending
the arrival of the great Marquis of Tracy, in 1665. He came with a
brilliant staff, a crowd of young nobles; and accompanied by two hundred
soldiers, to be followed by a thousand more of the dashing regiment of
Carignan-Salières. He sailed up the St. Lawrence, and on the 30th of June,
1665, anchored in the basin of Quebec. The broad, white standard, blazoned
with the arms of France, proclaimed the representative of royalty; and
Point Levi and Cape Diamond and the distant Cape Tourmente roared back the
sound of saluting cannon. All Quebec was on the ramparts or at the landing
place, and all eyes were strained at the two vessels as they slowly
emptied their crowded decks into the boats alongside. The boats at length
drew near, and the Lieutenant-General and his suite landed on the quay
with a pomp such as Quebec had never seen before.
Tracy was a veteran of sixty-two, portly and tall, "one of the largest men
I ever saw," writes Mother Mary (Marie de l'Incarnation), but he was
sallow with disease, for fever had seized him, and it had fared ill with
him on the long voyage. The Chevalier de Chaumont walked at his side, and
young nobles surrounded him, gorgeous in lace and ribbons, and majestic in
leonine wigs. Twenty-four guards in the King's livery led the way,
followed by four pages and six valets;  and thus, while the Frenchmen
shouted and the Indians stared, the august procession threaded the streets
of the Lower Town, and climbed the steep pathway that scaled the cliffs
above. Breathing hard, they reached the top, passed on the left the
dilapidated walls of the Fort and the shed of mingled wood and masonry
which then bore the name of the Castle de St. Louis; passed on the right
the old house of Couillard and the site of Laval's new Seminary, and soon
reached the square betwixt the Jesuit College and the Cathedral.
The bells were ringing in a frenzy of welcome. Laval in pontificals,
surrounded by priests and Jesuits, stood waiting to receive the Deputy of
the King, and as he greeted Tracy and offered him the holy water, he
looked with anxious curiosity to see what manner of man he was. The signs
were auspicious. The deportment of the Lieutenant-General left nothing to
desire. A _prie-dieu_ had been placed for him. He declined it. They
offered him a cushion, but he would not have it, and fevered as he was, he
knelt on the bare pavement with a devotion that edified every beholder.
_Te Deum_ was sung and a day of rejoicing followed. 
In our day, we can recall but one pageant at all equal: the roar of
cannon, &c., attending the advent of the great Earl of Durham,  but
there were noticeable fewer "priests," fewer "Jesuits," and less
"kneeling" in the procession. There was something oriental in the vice-
regal pageantry. Line-of-battle ships--stately frigates, twelve in number
--the _Malabar_, _Hastings_, _Cornwallis_, _Inconstant_, _Hercules_,
_Pique_, _Charybdis_, _Pearl_, _Vestal_, _Medea_, _Dee_ and _Andromache_
visited that summer our shores, a suitable escort to the able, proud,
humane,  but unlucky Viceroy and High Commissioner, with his clever
advisers--the Turtons, Bullers, Wakefields, Hansomes, Derbyshires,
Dunkins, _cum multis aliis_. The Dictator was determined to "make a
country or mar a career." He has left us a country.
That warlike, though festive summer of 1838, with our port studded with
three-deckers and spanking frigates, was long remembered in the annals of
the _bon ton_. Some men-of-war were in especial favour. A poetical
lament by the Quebec ladies was wafted to the departing officers of H. M.
frigate _Inconstant_, the words by the Laureate of the period, George
W. Wicksteed, of Ottawa. This effusion includes the names of every vessel
in the fleet _in italics_, and of several of the officers.
_THE LADIES' ADDRESS TO THE INCONSTANTS._
_Written by G. W. Wicksteed._
We saw the _Hastings_ hasting off,
And never made a fuss.
The _Malabar's_ departure waked
No malady in us.
We were not piqued to lose the _Pique_;
Each lady's heart at ease is,
Altho' the _Dees_ are on the seas,
And gone the _Hercules_--es.
Our parting with the _Andromache_
Like Hector's not at all is;
Nor are we Washingtons to seek
To capture a _Cornwallis_.
And no _Charybdis_ ever caught
Our hearts in passion's whirls;
There's not a girl among us all
Has ever fished for _Pearls_.
The _Vestals_ with their sacred flame
Were not the sparks we wanted;
We've looked _Medeas_ in the face,
And yet were not enchanted.
But when our dear _Inconstants_ go,
Our grief shall know no bounds,
The dance shall have no joy for us,
The song no merry sounds.
All dismal then shall be the waltz,
The dull quadrille as bad,
And wearily we'll hurry through
The joyless galopade.
We'll gaze upon each changeful cloud
As through the air it skims,
We'll think of fickle fortune's wheel,
And fashion's turns and whims--
Sweet emblems of _Inconstancy_
In each of these we'll find,
And our _Inconstants_ constantly
We'll fondly bear in mind.
And spite of Durham's fetes and balls,
We'll pine and mourn and mope
Our long, long winter season through,
As girls without a _Hope_.
And when the spring shall come again,
Our hearts, to pleasure dead,
Shall sigh for spring without an S,
And wish for _Pring_ instead.
Unless, indeed, sweet spring with _Hope_
Those hearts again should bless,
And bring our dear _Inconstants_ back,
And spring without an S.
Quebec, 6th July, 1838.
(From _Waifs in Verse_, by G. W. Wicksteed, Q.C., Law Clerk, House of
Commons of Canada, 1878.)
To which melting address the "Inconstants," on their way to Britain,
feelingly replied. Our space allows us to insert but a few stanzas of this
All language fails to tell how much
We value your address,
Or say how deeply we partake
The feelings you express.
Those _Hastings_ are a hasty set,
And left you in a hurry;
Those _Malabars_ are malapert,
And hot as Indian curry.
Be true, and then the breath of May
Shall fill our sails and bring
Our willing steps and eager hearts,
And _Spring_--and _Pring_--and _Ring_.
And each of you for one of ours
Shall change her maiden name,
And as we are all _Inconstants_, you
Of course will be the same.
Kamouraska, August, 1838.
Here we stand on the principal artery of the commerce of the city, St.
Peter street, having a width of only twenty-four feet. St. Peter street is
probably not so ancient as its sister, Sault-au-Matelot street. St. Peter
street was so named in memory of Messire Pierre le Voyer d'Argenson, who,
in 1658, came to Quebec as successor to M. de Lauzon. M. d'Argenson was,
in 1661, succeeded by the Baron d'Avaugour.
On the site on which the Quebec Bank  was erected in 1863, there stood
the offices, the vaults, and the wharf of the well-known merchant, John
Lymburner. There were three Lymburners: John, lost at sea in the fall of
1775, Mathew, and Adam, the most able of the three; they were, no doubt
related to each other. The loyalty of Adam, towards the British Crown, in
1775, was more than suspected; his oratorical powers, however, and his
knowledge of constitutional law, made him a fit delegate to England in
1791, to plead the cause of the colony before the Metropolitan
authorities. His speech on the occasion is reported in the _Canadian
Review_, published at Montreal in 1826.
Colonel Henry Caldwell states that, in 1775, Governor Guy Carleton had
ordered a cannon to be pointed from the wharf on which stood Lymburner's
house, with the intention to open fire upon the _Bostonais_, should
they attempt a surprise on the Sault-au-Matelot quarter. Massive and
strongly built stone vaults (probably of French origin), are still extant
beneath the house adjoining, to the south of this last, belonging to the
On the site of the offices of Mr. McGie stood, in 1759, the warehouse of
M. Perrault, _l'aîné_, from a great number of letters and invoice-bills
found in the garret, and which a friend  has placed at our disposal,
it would seem that M. Perrault had extensive commercial relations both in
Canada and in France. A curious letter to M. Perrault, from Bigot's
notorious councillor, Estebe, then in Bordeaux, was found in this
tenement. It discloses a sad state of things in Old France. This old
document dates of 24th February, 1760, a few months subsequent to the
Battle of the Plains and a few weeks prior to that of Ste. Foye, in April,
"BORDEAUX, 24th February, 1760.
"_To Monsieur Perrault,_
"SIR,--It was with heartfelt pleasure I received your favour of the
7th November last, since, in spite of your misfortunes, it apprized me
of the fact that both you and your lady were well.
"I feel grateful for the sympathy you express in our troubles during
our passage from Quebec to Bordeaux. I wish I could as easily forget
the misfortunes of Canada as I do the annoyances we suffered on the
"We learned, _via_ England, by the end of October last, the
unfortunate fate of Quebec. You can imagine how we felt on hearing of
such dreadful news I could contain neither my tears nor my regrets on
learning the loss of a city and country to which I owe everything, and
to which I am as sincerely attached as any of the natives. We
flattered ourselves that the silence the English had kept during all
last summer on their operation was of good omen for us, and that they
would be ignominiously compelled to raise the siege; we had even an
indistinct knowledge of the repulse they had met with at Montmorency
(31st July, 1759); we knew that our troops followed them closely
wherever they attempted to land. We have erred like you in the hopes
we cherished. What fatality, what calamity and how many events unknown
to us have led to your downfall? You do not know, my dear Sir, of the
extent of your misfortunes. You imagine that the loss of the remainder
of the colony is close at hand. You are right. This cannot be
otherwise, since the relief which is sent to you from France cannot
prevent that. The small help which Canadians expected from the payment
of some Treasury notes is taken away from them; none are paid since
the 15th of October last. This, then, is the overwhelming blow to all
our hopes! The Treasury notes of the other colonies are generally in
the same predicament; the King pays none, and the nation groans under
taxation. No credit, no confidence, anywhere; no commerce nor
shipments; a general bankruptcy in all the cities of France. The
kingdom is in the greatest desolation possible. Our armies have been
beaten everywhere; our navy no more exists--our ships have been either
captured or burnt on the coasts where the enemy has driven them
ashore, Admiral de Conflans having been defeated in getting out of the
harbor of Brest. In one word, we are in a state of misery and
humiliation without precedent. The finances of the King are in fearful
disorder; he has had to send his plate to the Mint. The _Seigneurs_
have followed his example, and private individuals are compelled to
sell their valuables in order to live and pay the onerous taxes which
weigh on them. At the present moment, by Royal order, an inventory is
being taken of the silver of all the churches of the kingdom. No doubt
it will have to be sent to the Mint, and payment will be made when
that of the Treasury notes takes place--that is, _when it pleases
God_. Such is a summary of what now occurs here. How I regret, my dear
Sir, the merry days I spent in Canada! I would like to be there still
if matters were as formerly. I could own a _turn-out_ there, whereas I
go on foot, like a dog, through the mud of Bordeaux, where I certainly
do not live in the style I did in Quebec. Please God this iron age may
soon end! We flattered ourselves this winter that peace would soon be
proclaimed; it is much talked of, but I see no signs of it. It will,
it is said, require another campaign to complete the ruin, and to
postpone more and more the payment of the Treasury notes. What will be
the ultimate fate of these bills is very hard to say. It is unlikely
any settlement of them will be made before peace is concluded. My
opinion is that nothing will be lost on the bills, which are
registered, but I cannot say the same of the exchange, which is not
registered, since payment has been stopped. The Government has refused
to register any bills, even some which had been sent to me, and which
were payable in 1758. I negotiated some registered ones here and in
Paris at 50 per cent. discount. Non-registered ones are valueless, and
you get few purchasers even for registered bills. Four richly laden
vessels belonging to the West India Company (_Compagnie des Indes_)
have arrived lately. This was very opportune, as the Company was
rather shaky. However, it never failed to pay the "Beaver Bills," and
has even accepted those which had not yet fallen due. Our affairs on
the coast of Coromandel are like the rest--in a bad way. Fears are
entertained for Pondicherry. The English are arming a large expedition
for Martinique. That island will have the same fate as Guadeloupe. The
succor sent out to you, if ever it reaches you, of which I doubt,
consists in six merchant ships, laden with 1,600 tons of provisions,
some munitions of war, and 400 soldiers from Isle Royal. I believe
this relief is sent to you more through a sense of honour than from
any desire (as none exists) to help you. Many flatter themselves you
will retake Quebec this winter. I wish you may, but I do not believe
you will. This would require to be undertaken by experienced and
determined men, and even then such attempts fail.  Remember me to
your dear wife. Kiss my little friend (your boy) for me. I reserve him
when he comes to France a gilt horse and a silver carriage. My wife
and family beg to be remembered.
P.S.--Your brother is always at La Rochelle. Since I am at Bordeaux,
out of 80 vessels which left South America, one only has arrived here.
You can fancy how trade stagnates. A singular distrust exists
everywhere. The exchange of ---- and other good houses is refused.
Those who want to remit to Paris have to get their specie carried.
6th March, 1760.
The hospital of Toulouse is just short of nine millions. Bankrupts
everywhere merchants and others.
St. Peter street has become the general headquarters of the most important
commerce, and of life insurance and fire assurance offices. The financial
institutions are there proudly enthroned: the Bank of Montreal (founded in
1818 and incorporated in 1828), Bank of Quebec (founded in 1817), the
Union Bank (founded in 1865), the Banque Nationale (founded in 1873), the
Bank of British North America (founded in 1836, incorporated in 1840,
opened at Quebec in 1837), the Merchants' Bank (founded in 1861).
In this street resided, in 1774, the Captain Bouchette, who, in the
following year, in his little craft, _Le Gaspé_, brought us back our
brave Governor, Guy Carleton; M. Bouchard, merchant, M. Panet, N.P. (the
father of His Lordship, Bishop B.C. Panet), as also M. Boucher, Harbor
Master of Quebec, "(who was appointed to that post by the Governor, Sir R.
S. Milnes, on the recommendation of the Duke of Kent.)."  Boucher had
piloted the vessel, having on board the 7th Regiment, (the Duke's), from
Quebec to Halifax.
The office in which the _Quebec Morning Chronicle_ has been published
since 1847, belonged in 1759 to M. Jean Taché, "President of the
Mercantile Body," "an honest, and sensible man," as appears by _Mémoirs
sur le Canada_, (1749-60). One of our first poets, he composed a poem
"_On the Sea_." The ancestor of the late Sir E. P. Taché, and of the
novelist, Jos. Marmette and others, he possessed, at that period,
extensive buildings on the Napoleon wharf, which were destroyed by fire in
1845, and a house in the country, on the Ste. Foye road, afterwards called
"Holland House," after Major Samuel Holland, our first Provincial
Surveyor-General, whose services as surveyor and engineer were
subsequently so conspicuous at Quebec and at Prince Edward Island.
The _Chronicle_ building, during nearly half a century, was a coffee
house, much frequented by sea-faring men, known as the "Old Neptune" Inn.
The effigy of the sea-god, armed with his formidable trident, placed over
the main entrance, seemed to threaten the passers-by. We can remember, as
yesterday, his colossal proportions. "Old Neptune"  has disappeared
about thirty years back.
_THE OLD NEPTUNE INN._
"Shall I not take mine ease in mine Inn."
"The Golden Fleece was the oldest tavern in Corinth. It had been the
resort of sea-faring men from the remotest period."--(_Travels of
Herodotus in Greece_, 460 _B.C._)
When the brilliant Henry Ward Beecher pronounced Quebec an _Old
Curiosity Shop_, we are induced to think that amidst its accumulated
antiquarian relics, its church pictures and madonnas, its famous
battle-fields, its historical monuments, massive fortifications and
wondrous scenery,--more than one of the quaint French dwellings with
their peaked gables, and walls four feet thick, must have caught his
observant eye. However striking Ward Beecher's word-painting may be,
it would I opine, have required the marvellous pencil of the author of
"_The House with the Seven Gables_," Nathaniel Hawthorne, becomingly
to portray all the _arcana_ of such a building as the _Chien d'Or_
(the old Post Office), with its ghastly memories of blood and revenge.
The legendary moss clustering round these hoary piles, is not,
however, always dark and gloomy. Love, war, adventure, occasionally
lend them their exciting or their soft glamour. Sometimes the annals
of commerce entwine them with a green wreath--a sure talisman against
the rust of oblivion. It is one of the land marks of commerce we
purpose here briefly to describe.
At the foot of Mountain Hill, lies our chief emporium of news,
labelled for more than a quarter of a century, _Morning Chronicle_
Office. These premises stand on a very conspicuous site, viz., at the
foot of Mountain Hill, the highway from the port to the Upper Town,
direct to the old _Château_ and Citadel--a few rods only from the spot
where Champlain, in 1608, laid the foundations of his extensive
warehouses and dwelling, and close to where, in 1615, he had his
famous gardens. This business stand, for many years past, was owned by
the late Hon. Henry Black; at present it belongs to Hon. Geo. Okill
Stuart, Judge of the Court of Vice Admiralty. Its beginnings brings us
back to the era of the Bourbon sovereigns of Canada, to the
unregretted time (1758), when Intendant Bigot's shoddy _entourage_
held high carnival in famine-stricken Quebec.
In those blighting days, in which Madame de Pompadour reigned in
France, and Madame Pean in Quebec, _rings_ and public robbery
flourished in Canada; but among high officials, all were not corrupt.
There were some memorable exceptions. One of these exceptions was the
worthy, witty, and honest warden of the Quebec merchants, Jean Taché,
"_homme probe et d'esprit_," say old memoirs. Mr. Taché, the "_syndic
des marchands_," was not only an upright and wealthy merchant, he was
also gifted with the poetical fire; he, it was, who wrote the first
French poem issued in Canada, "_Le Tableau de la Mer_."
Jean Taché was also an extensive holder of real estate in and round
Quebec, warehouses (_des voûtes_) on the Napoleon wharf; a country
seat on the Ste. Foye road, subsequently the property of Surveyor-
General Samuel Holland--Holland Farm; lastly, the well-known business
stand, where, in 1847, Mr. St. Michel printed James Bell Forsyth's
news sheet, the _Morning Chronicle_.
Commercial ruin overtook the worthy Lower Town magnate, Monsieur
Taché; his ships and cargoes, during the war of the conquest, like the
rest of poor, deserted Canada, fell into English hands, being captured
at sea; out of the disaster Jean Taché saved naught but his honourable
We fail to trace for a time the fortunes of his Mountain Hill Counting
House. At the dawn of this century the premises were used as a famous
coffee-house, the "Neptune" Inn,  a noted place of resort for
merchants, masters and owners of ships. Like the Golden Fleece Tavern
of Corinth, which seems to have sheltered the father of History--
Herodotus--in the year 460 B.C., its "banqueting saloon" was roomy,
though every word uttered there also smacked of the salt water. The
old "Neptune" was probably occasionally looked up in 1807 by the Press
Gang, which, in those days, was not a thing to be laughed at. Witness
the fate of poor Latresse, shot down for refusing to surrender to
Lieut. Andrel, R.N., on trying to make his escape from a tavern in St.
John's suburbs, where he had been attending a dancing party. 
Singularly enough, sixty years ago, the leading Lower Town merchants
met in this old tenement of the former "_Syndic des Marchands_"
to establish the first Exchange. Of the resolutions passed at the
meeting thereat, held in 1816, and presided over by an eminent
merchant, John William Woolsey, Esq., subsequently President of the
Quebec Bank, we find a notice in the _Quebec Gazette_, of 12th
December, 1816.  They decided to establish a Merchant's Exchange
in the lower part of the "Neptune" Inn. Amongst those present, one
recognizes familiar names--John Jones, George Symes, James Heath,
Robert Melvin, Thomas Edward Brown, &c.
Why was the place called "Neptune" Inn? For the obvious reason that a
large statue of the god of the sea, bearing in one hand a formidable
iron trident, stood over the main entrance in a threatening attitude.
This conspicuous land-mark was known to every British ship-captain
frequenting our port. Right well can the writer of these lines
remember the truculent trident.
But if, even in the days of that excellent landlady, Mrs. Hammond, it
meant to the wearied mariner boundless cheer, the latest London
papers, pipes and soothing rum punch mixed by a comely and cheerful
bar-maid, to the unsophisticated Canadian peasant, attracted to the
Lower Town on market days, it was of evil portent.
With honest Jean Baptiste, more deeply read in the _Petit Catéchisme_
than in heathen mythology, the dreaded god of the sea and his
truculent trident were ominous, in his simple eyes, they symbolised
the Prince of Darkness, "_Le diable et sa fourche_," the terrors of a
This did not, however, prevent Neptune from standing sentry, in the
same exalted spot, for close on forty years, until in fact, having
fallen to pieces by natural decay, it was removed about the time the
Old Neptune Inn became the _Morning Chronicle_ office; the whereabouts
of its _dejecta membra_ are now a dead secret.
The origin of the famed statue had defied the most recondite searchers
of the past. For the following we are indebted to the retentive memory
of that eminently respected authority, the "oldest inhabitant." The
statue of Neptune, says the octogenarian, Robert Urquhart, so well
remembered at the foot of Mountain Hill, was presented to the landlord
of the hotel, George Cossar, formerly butler to Hon. Matthew Bell, who
then owned the St. Lawrence Chambers. It had been the figure-head of
the _Neptune_, a large king's ship, stranded in 1817 on Anticosti.
Would the stranded _Neptune_ of 1817 be the same as the flagship of
Admiral Durell in 1759, the _Neptune_ of 90 guns, to whom the large
bell bearing the word "_Neptune_, 1760," inscribed on, belonged? This
bell, which formerly stood on the Royal Engineers' workshop at Quebec,
was recently taken to Ottawa. The wreck had been bought by John
Goudie, of St. Roch suburb, then a leading ship builder, and, having
to break it up, the figure-head was brought to Quebec, and presented
as above stated.
The following respecting press gangs and the presence of Lord
Nelson, whilst at Quebec in 1782, was contributed by one of the
"oldest inhabitants" to QUEBEC PAST AND PRESENT, but reached too
late for insertion:--
_MY RECOLLECTIONS OF THE PAST._
J. M. LEMOINE, Esq., _Spencer Grange_.
DEAR SIR,--I have much pleasure in acceding to your request to
send you a note of some circumstances connected with the city, in
which seventy-one years of my life--now verging towards eighty--
have been spent. I am familiar with no part of Nelson's career,
except what I heard from my mother's own lips respecting this
brave man. My mother was gifted with a remarkable memory, and
recollected well having herself seen Captain Nelson, when in 1782,
he commanded at Quebec the sloop-of-war Albemarle. "He was erect,
stern of aspect and wore, as was then customary, the _queue_
or pigtail," she often repeated. Her idea of the Quebec young lady
to whom he had taken such a violent fancy, was that her name was
Woolsey--an aunt or elder sister, perhaps, of the late John W.
Woolsey, Esq., President for some years of the Quebec Bank, who
died in 1852, at a very advanced age. According to her, it was a
Mr. Davidson who prevented the imprudent marriage contemplated.
As to the doings of the press gangs in the Lower Town and suburbs,
I can speak from what I saw more than once. Impressing seamen
lasted at Quebec from 1807, until after the battle of Waterloo.
The terror these sea-faring gentlemen created was great. I
remember a fine young fellow who refused to surrender, being shot
through the back with a holster pistol and dying of the wound,
this was in 1807. I can name the following as being seized by
press gangs * * * * * Soon ruses were resorted to by the gay
fellows who wandered after night fall in quest of amusement in the
highways and byways. Her Majesty's soldiers were, of course,
exempt of being impressed into the naval service; so, that our
roving city youths would either borrow coats, or get some made,
similar to the soldiers', to elude the press gang. These ruses
were, however, soon stopped, the press gang, having secured the
services of two city constables, Rosa and ------, who could spot
every city youth and point out the counterfeits.
Quebec, 1st August, 1876.
Parallel with St. Peter street, runs Notre Dame street, which leads us to
the little Church of the Lower Town, named Notre Dame de la Victoire, in
remembrance of the victory achieved in 1690 over Sir William Phipps. This
church was, at a later period, called "Notre Dame des Victoires," in
commemoration of the dispersion by a storm of Admiral Walker's squadron,
in 1711. Bishop Laval had projected the erection of this modest little
church, but the building of it was performed in 1688, under the auspices
of his successor, Bishop St. Vallier, out of funds provided by the Lower
Town ladies. The corner of these streets (St. Peter and Sous-le-Fort
streets) is probably the site of the "Abitation," close to the walks and
garden plots where Champlain cultivated roses and carnations, about the
Fronting the Church of "Notre Dame des Victoires," and on the site now
occupied as Blanchard's Hotel, the ladies of the Ursulines, in 1639, found
a refuge in a humble residence, a sort of shop or store, owned at that
period by the Sieur Juchereau des Châtelets, at the foot of the path
(_sentier_), leading up to the mountain (foot of Mountain street), and
where the then Governor, M. de Montmagny, as is related, sent them their
first Quebec meal.
The locality possesses other pleasant memories: the good, the youthful,
the beautiful Madame de Champlain, about the year 1620, here catechised
and instructed, under the shade of the trees, the young Huron Indians, in
the principles of Christianity. History has related their surprise and joy
on seeing their features reflected in the small mirror which their
benefactress wore suspended at her side, "close to her heart," as they
said, according to the then prevailing custom.
In 1682 a conflagration broke out in the Lower Town, which, besides the
numerous vaults and stores, reduced into ashes a considerable portion of
the buildings. Denonville, on the 20th August, 1685, wrote to Paris,
asking His Most Christian Majesty to contribute 200 crowns worth of
leather fire-buckets, and in 1691 the historical Dutch pump was imported
to throw water on fires. At a later period, 1688, "Notre Dame de la
Victoire" Church was begun on part of the ruins. Let us open the second
volume of the "_Cours d'Histoire du Canada_," by the Abbé Ferland, and let
us read: "Other ruins existed in 1684, in the commercial centre of the
Lower Town; these ruins consisted of blackened and dilapidated walls.
Champlain's old warehouse, which, from the hands of the Company
(_Compagnie de la Nouvelle France_), had passed into those of the
King (Louis XIV.), had remained in the same state as when left after the
great fire which, some years previously, had devastated the Lower Town."
In 1684 Monseigneur de Laval obtained this site or _emplacement_ from
M. de la Barre for the purpose of erecting a supplementary chapel for the
use of the inhabitants in the Lower Town. This gift, however, was ratified
only later, in favor of M. de St. Valier, in the month of September, 1685.
Messieurs de Denonville and de Meules caused a clear and plain title or
patent of this locality to be issued for the purpose of erecting a church
which, in the course of time, was built by the worthy Bishop and named
"Notre Dame de la Victoire." The landing for small craft, in the vicinity
of the old market (now the Finlay  Market), was called "La Place du
Débarquement," or simply "La Place."
It is in this vicinity, a little to the west, under the silent shade of a
wood near the garden which Champlain had laid out, that the historical
interview, in 1608, which saved the colony, took place. The secret was of
the greatest importance; it is not to be wondered at if Champlain's trusty
pilot, Captain Testu, deemed it proper to draw the founder of Quebec aside
into the neighbouring wood and make known to him the villanous plot which
one of the accomplices, Antoine Natel, lock-smith, had first disclosed to
him under the greatest secrecy. The chief of the conspiracy was one Jean
du Val, who had come to the country with Champlain.
In rear of and parallel to St. Peter street, a new and wide street, called
after one of the Governors of Canada--Dalhousie street--was opened
recently, and promises to be before long the leading commercial artery.
Several extensive warehouses have been erected on Dalhousie street since
it was opened to the public, in 1877, by the city Corporation purchasing
from St. James street to St. Andrew's wharf a strip of land, of 60 feet in
breadth, from the landed proprietors of this neighbourhood. At the south-
western extremity a noble dry goods store has just been erected by Mr.
George Alford; it is four stories high, 155 feet long and 72 feet wide,
and faces on Dalhousie, Laporte, Union Lane and Finlay Market. It is
occupied by a wealthy and ancient dry goods firm, founded in Montreal
about 1810, with a branch in Quebec, in 1825. The original founders were
Messrs. Robertson, Masson & Larocque; this firm was subsequently changed
to Robertson, Masson, Strang & Co., to Masson, Bruyère, Thibaudeau & Co.,
to Langevin, Thibaudeau, Bruyère & Co., to Thibaudeau, Thomas & Co., to
Thibaudeau, Généreux & Co., and finally to Thibaudeau Frères & Co., at
Quebec; Thibaudeau Bros. & Co., Montreal; Thibaudeau Bros. & Co., London,
Manchester and Manitoba.
In the early days of the colony, the diminutive market space, facing the
front of Notre Dame Church, Lower Town, as well as the Upper Town Market,
was used for the infliction of corporal punishment, or the pillory, or the
execution of culprits.
On the area facing the Lower Town Church on Notre Dame street, the plan of
the city, drawn by the engineer, Jean François or Jehan Bourdon, in 1641,
shows a bust of Louis XIII., long since removed; this market, which dates
from the earliest times of the colony, as well as the vacant area (until
recently the Upper Town market, facing the Basilica), was used as a place
for corporal punishment, and for the exhibition in the pillory of public
"Among the incidents," says Mr. T. P. Bédard, "which claimed the privilege
of exciting the curiosity of the good folks of Quebec (then 1680,
inhabited by 1,345 souls,) was reckoned the case of Jean Rathier, charged
with murdering a girl of eighteen--Jeanne Couc. The case had been tried at
Three Rivers, and Rathier sentenced to have his legs broken  with an
iron bar, and afterwards to be hung. Judgment had been confirmed. An
unforseen hitch arose: the official hangman was dead; how then was Rathier
to be hung? The officers of justice cut the Gordian knot, by tendering to
Rathier, in lieu of the halter, the position, little envied, of hangman.
He accepted. Some years after, the wife and the daughter of Rathier were
accused and found guilty as accomplices in a robbery; the daughter, as the
receiver of the stolen goods, was sentenced to be whipped, but in secret,
at the General Hospital by the nun appointed Provost Marshal (_Maitress
de Discipline_), and the mother was also adjudged to be whipped, but
publicly in the streets of the city. This incident furnished the singular
and ludicrous spectacle of a husband publicly whipping his wife with
impunity to himself, as he was acting under the authority of justice."--
(_Première Administration de Frontenac_, _p._ 39.)
The whip and pillory did not go out with the old _régime_. The _Quebec
Gazette_ of 19th June, 1766, mentions the whipping, on the Upper and Lower
Town markets, of Catherine Berthrand and Jeanotte Blaize, by the hand of
the executioneer, for having "borrowed" (a pretty way of describing petty
larceny), a silver spoon from a gentleman of the town, without leave or
without intention of returning it.
For male reprobates, such as Jean May and Louis Bruseau, whose punishment
for petty larceny is noted in the Gazette of 11th August, 1766, the
whipping was supplemented with a walk--tied at the cart's tail--from the
Court House door to St. Roch and back to the Court House. May had to whip
Bruseau and Bruseau had to whip May the day following, at ten in the
Let us revert to Captain Testu's doings. The plot was to strangle
Champlain, pillage the warehouse, and afterwards betake themselves to the
Spanish and Basque vessels, laying at Tadousac. As, at that period, no
Court of Appeals existed in "_la Nouvelle France_"--far less was a
"Supreme Court" thought of--the trial of the chief of the conspiracy was
soon dispatched says Champlain, and the Sieur Jean du Val was "_presto_
well and duly hanged and strangled at Quebec aforesaid, and his head
affixed to the top of a pike-staff planted on the highest eminence of the
Fort." The ghastly head of this traitor, on the end of a pike-staff, near
Notre Dame street, must certainly have had a sinister effect at twilight.
But the brave Captain Testu, the saviour of Champlain and of Quebec--what
became of him? Champlain has done him the honour of naming him; here the
matter ended. Neither monument, nor poem, nor page of history in his
honour; nothing was done in the way of commemorating his devotion. As in
the instance of the illustrious man, whose life he had saved, his grave is
unknown. According to the Abbé Tanguay, none of his posterity exist at
During the siege of 1759, we notice in _Panet's Journal_, "that the Lower
Town was a complete mass of smoking ruins; on the 8th August, it was
a burning heap (_braisier_). Wolfe and Saunders' bombshells had found
their way even to the under-ground vaults. This epoch became disastrous to
many Quebecers." The English threw bombs (_pots à feu_) on the Lower
Town, of which, says Mr. Panet, "one fell on my house, one on the houses
in the Market place, and the last in Champlain street. The fire burst out
simultaneously, in three different directions; it was in vain to attempt
to cut off or extinguish the fire at my residence; a gale was blowing from
the north-east, and the Lower Town was soon nothing less than a blazing
mass. Beginning at my house, that of M. Desery, that of M. Maillou, Sault-
au-Matelot street, the whole of the Lower Town and all the quarter _Cul-
de-Sac_ up to the property of Sieur Voyer, which was spared, and in
short up to the house of the said Voyer, the whole was devastated by fire.
Seven vaults  had been rent to pieces or burned: that of M. Perrault
the younger, that of M. Taché, of M. Benjamin de la Mordic, of Jehaune, of
Maranda. You may judge of the consternation which reigned; 167 houses had
One hundred and sixty-seven burnt houses would create many gaps. We know
the locality on which stood the warehouse of M. Perrault, junior, also
that of M. Taché (the _Chronicle Bureau_), but who can point out to
us where stood the houses of Desery, Maillou, Voyer, de Voisy, and the
vaults of Messieurs Benjamin de la Mordic, Jehaune, Maranda?
It is on record that Champlain, after his return to Quebec, in 1633, "had
taken care to refit a battery which he had planted on a level with the
river near the warehouse, the guns of which commanded the passage between
Quebec and the opposite shore."  Now, in 1683, "this cannon battery,
erected in the Lower Town, almost surrounded on all sides by houses, stood
at some distance from the edge of the river, and caused some inconvenience
to the public; the then Governor, Lefebvre de la Barre  having sought
out a much more advantageous locality towards the Point of Rocks (_Pointe
des Roches_) west of the _Cul-de-Sac_,  and on the margin of the said
river at high-water mark, which would more efficiently command and sweep
the harbour, and which would cause far less inconvenience to the houses in
the said Lower Town," considered it fit to remove the said battery, and
the Reverend Jesuit Fathers having proposed to contribute towards the
expenses which would be incurred in so doing, he made them a grant "of a
portion of the lot of ground (_emplacement_) situated in front of the site
on which is now planted the said cannon battery, * * * * between the
street or high road for wheeled vehicles coming from the harbour  and
the so-called St. Peter street."
Here then we have the origin of the Napoleon wharf and a very distinct
mention of St. Peter street. The building erected near this site was sold
on the 22nd October, 1763, to William Grant, Esquire, who, on the 19th
December, 1763, also purchased the remainder of the ground down to low-
water mark, from Thomas Mills, Esquire, Town Major, who had shortly before
obtained a grant or patent of it, the 7th December, 1763, from Governor
Murray, in recognition, as is stated in the preamble of the patent, of his
military services. This property which, at a later period, belonged to the
late William Burns, was by him conveyed, the 16th October, 1806, to the
late J. M. Woolsey. The Napoleon wharf, purchased in 1842 by the late
Julien Chouinard from the late Frs. Buteau, forms at present part of the
Estate Chouinard; in reality, it is composed of two wharves joined into
one; the western portion is named "The Queen's Wharf," and was Mr.
The highway which leads from the Cape towards this wharf is named "Sous-
le-Fort" street, which sufficiently denotes its position; this street, the
oldest, probably dates from the year 1620, when the foundations of Fort
St. Louis were laid; we may presume that, in 1663, the street terminated
at "la Pointe des Roches." In the last century "Sous-le-Fort" street was
graced by the residences, among others, of Fleury de la Jannière, brother
of Fleury de la Gorgendière, brother-in-law of the Governor de Vaudreuil.
In this street also stood the house of M. George Allsop,  the head of
the opposition in Governor Cramahé's Council. His neighbour was M.
d'Amours des Plaines, Councillor of the Superior Council; further on,
stood the residence of M. Cuvillier, the father of the Honorable Austin
Cuvillier, in 1844 Speaker of the House of Assembly. In this street also
existed the warehouse of M. Cugnet, the lessee of the Domaine of Labrador.
We must not confound the Napoleon wharf, sold by J. O. Brunet to Francois
Buteau, with the Queen's wharf, the property of the late J. W. Woolsey. On
the Queen's wharf, in a dwelling, since converted into a tavern, in 1846
one of the wittiest members of the Quebec Bar, Auguste Soulard, Esq.,
opened a law office for the especial convenience of his numerous country
clients. After office hours it was the rendezvous of many young
barristers, who have since made their mark: Messieurs T. Fournier, Justice
of the Supreme Court; A. Plamondon, Judge of the Superior Court; N.
Casault, Judge of the Superior Court; Jean Taché, Frederick Braun, L.
Fiset, J. M. Hudon and others. From the king's wharf to the king's forges
(the ruins of which were discovered at the beginning of the century, a
little further up than the king's store), there are but a few steps.
François Bellet, M.P. for the county of Buckingham from 1815 to 1820,
resided on the property of the late Julien Chouinard, at the corner of St.
Peter and Sous-le-Fort streets. He combined parliamentary duties, it
seems, with a sea-faring life, being styled "Capitaine de Bâtiment" in a
power of attorney before Martin A. Dumas, N.P., at Quebec, dated 9th
September, 1796, in which as attorney and agent for Revd. "Messire Louis
Payet, prêtre, curé de la paroisse de St. Antoine, au Nord de la Rivière
Richelieu," he sells to Monsieur Thomas Lee, later on an M.P.P., his negro
slave, named Rose, for the sum of "500 livres et vingt sols,"--about $100
of our currency. The traffic in human flesh became extinct in Canada in
1803 by legislative enactment. The bluest blood of our Southern neighbours
was shed to keep it up in the model Republic sixty years subsequently.
 In the space between the Queen's wharf and the jetty on the west,
belonging to the Imperial authorities and called the king's wharf, there
existed a bay or landing place, much prized by our ancestors, which
afforded a harbour for the coasting vessels and small river crafts, called
the "_Cul-de-Sac_." There, also, the ships which were overtaken by an
early winter lingered until the sunny days of April released them from
their icy fetters. There the ships were put into winter quarters, and
securely bedded on a foundation or bed of clay; wrecked vessels also came
hither to undergo repairs. The _Cul-de-Sac_, with its uses and marine
traditions, had, in by-gone days, an important function in our
incomparable sea-port. In this vicinity, Vaudreuil, in 1759, planted a
The old Custom House (now the Department of Marine), was built on this
site in 1833. In 1815 the Custom House was on McCallum's wharf. The
_Cul-de-Sac_ recalls "the first chapel which served as a Parish
Church at Quebec," that which Champlain caused to be built in the Lower
Town in 1615, where the name of Champlain is identified with the street
which was bounded by this chapel. The Revd. Fathers Récollets there
performed their clerical functions up to the period of the taking of
Quebec by the brothers Kertk, that is from 1615 to 1629, (Laverdière.)
Nothing less than the urgent necessity of providing the public with a
convenient market-place, and the small coasting steamers with suitable
wharves, could move the municipal authorities to construct the wharves now
existing, and there, in 1856, to erect out of the materials of the old
Parliament House, the spacious Champlain Hall, so conspicuous at present.
The king's wharf and the king's stores, two hundred and fifty feet in
length, with a guard house, built on the same site in 1821, possess also
their marine and military traditions. The "Queen's Own" volunteers, Capt.
Rayside, were quartered there during the stirring times of 1837-38, when
"Bob Symes" dreamed each night of a new conspiracy against the British
crown, and M. Aubin perpetuated, in his famous journal "_Le Fantasque_"
the memory of this loyal magistrate.
How many saucy frigates, how many proud English Admirals, have made fast
their boats at the steps of this wharf! Jacques Cartier, Champlain,
Nelson, Bourgainville, Cook, Vauclain, Montgomery, Boxer, Sir Rodney
Mundy, poor Captain Burgoyne, of the ill-fated iron-clad _Captain_,
Sir Leopold McClintock,  have, one after the other, trodden over this
picturesque landing place, commanded as it is by the guns of Cape Diamond.
Since about a century, the street which bears the venerated name of the
founder of Quebec, Champlain street, unmindful of its ancient Gallic
traditions, is almost exclusively the headquarters of our Hibernian
population. An ominous-looking black-board, affixed to one of the
projecting rocks of the Cape, indicates the spot below where one of their
countrymen, Brigadier-General Richard Montgomery, with his two _aides-
de-camp_, Cheeseman and McPherson, received their death wounds during a
violent snow storm about five o'clock in the morning, the 31st December,
1775. On this disastrous morning the post was guarded by Canadian
militiamen, Messieurs Chabot and Picard. Captain Barnesfare, an English
mariner, had pointed the cannon; Coffin and Sergeant Hugh McQuarters
applied the match. At the eastern extremity, under the stairs, now styled
"Breakneck Steps," according to Messrs. Casgrain and Laverdière, was
discovered Champlain's tomb, though a rival antiquary, M. S. Drapeau, says
that he is not certain of this. 
A little to the west is Cap Blanc, inhabited by a small knot of French-
Canadians and some Irish; near by, was launched in October, 1750, the
_Orignal_, a King's ship, built at Quebec; at that period the lily flag of
France floated over the bastions of Cape Diamond; the _Orignal_, in being
launched, broke her back and sank. Among the notabilities of Cap Blanc,
one is bound to recall the athletic stevedore and pugilist, Jacques
Etienne Blais. Should the fearless man's record not reach remote
posterity, pointing him out as the Tom Sayers of Cap Blanc, it cannot fail
to be handed down as the benefactor of the handsome new church of Notre
Dame de la Garde, erected on the shore in 1878, the site of which was
munificently given by him on the 17th June, 1877. Jacques Blais, now
(1881) very aged, though still vigorous, in his best days by his prowess
re-called that prince of Quebec raftsmen so graphically delineated by Chas
Champlain street stretches nearly to Cap Rouge, a distance of six miles.
During the winter the fall of an avalanche from the brow of the Cape on
the houses beneath is a not unfrequent occurrence. In former years, in the
good time of ship-building, the laying the keel of a large vessel in the
ship-yards often brought joy to the hearts of the poor ship-carpenters;
many of whose white, snug cottages are grouped along the river near by.
Except during the summer months, when the crews of the ships, taking in
cargo alongside the booms, sing, fight and dance in the adjacent
"shebeens," the year glides on peacefully. On grand, on gala days, in
election times, some of the sons of St. Patrick used to perambulate the
historical street, flourishing treenails, or _shillaleghs_--in order
to _preserve the peace!!!_ of course. To sum up all, Champlain street
has an aspect altogether _sui generis_.
A QUEBEC PORTRAIT
(From the ATLANTIC MONTHLY.)
"Physical size and grand proportions are looked upon by the French-
Canadians with great respect. In all the cases of popular
_émeutes_ that have from time to time broken out in Lower Canada,
the fighting leaders of the people were exceptional men, standing head
and shoulders over their confiding followers. Where gangs of raftsmen
congregate, their 'captains' may be known by superior stature. The
doings of their 'big men' are treasured by the French-Canadians in
traditionary lore. One famous fellow of this governing class is known
by his deeds and words to every lumberer and stevedore and timber-
tower about Montreal and Quebec. This man, whose name was Joe
Monfaron, was the bully of the Ottawa raftsmen. He was about six feet
six inches high, and proportionally broad and deep; and I remember how
people would turn round to look after him, as he came pounding along
Notre Dame street, in Montreal, in his red shirt and tan-colored
_shupac_ boots, all dripping wet, after mooring an acre or two of
raft, and now bent for his ashore haunts in the Ste. Marie suburb, to
indemnify himself with bacchanalian and other consolations for long-
endured hardship. Among other feats of strength attributed to him, I
remember the following, which has an old, familiar taste, but was
related to me as a fact:
"There was a fighting stevedore or timber-tower, I forget which, at
Quebec, who had never seen Joe Monfaron, as the latter seldom came
farther down the river than Montreal. This fighting character,
however, made a custom of laughing to scorn all the rumors that came
down on rafts, every now and then, about terrible chastisements
inflicted by Joe upon several hostile persons at once. He, the
fighting timber-tower, hadn't found his match yet about the lumber
coves at Quebec, and he only wanted to see Joe Monfaron once, when he
would settle the question as to the championship of rafts, on sight.
One day a giant in a red shirt stood suddenly before him, saying--
"'You're Dick Dempsey, eh?'
"'That's me.' replied the timber-tower, 'and who are you?'
"'Joe Monfaron. I heard you wanted me--here I am,' was the Caesarean
answer of the great captain of rafts.
"'Ah! you're Joe Monfaron!" said the bully, a little staggered at the
sort of customer he saw before him. 'I said I'd like to see you, for
sure, but how am I to know you're the right man?'
"'Shake hands first,' replied Joe, 'and then you will find out, may
"They shook hands--rather warmly, perhaps, for the timber-tower, whose
features wore an uncertain expression during the operation, and who at
last broke out into a yell of pain, as Joe cast him off with a defiant
laugh. Nor did the bully wait for any further explanations, for,
whether the man who had just brought the blood spouting out at the
tops of his fingers was Joe Monfaron or not, he was clearly an ugly
customer, and had better be left alone.
The St. Lawrence, its rafts of timber, raftsmen, _voyageurs_ and
their songs, are pleasantly alluded to by a sympathetic French writer of
note, X. Marmier,  who visited Canada some thirty years ago:
"On the St. Lawrence, traversed by steamboats, by vessels heavily
laden, and by light bark canoes, we may see early in the season
immense rafts of timber that are brought down from the dense northern
forests, hewn where they are felled, drawn to the rivers upon the
snow, and made up into rafts. The Canadian crews erect masts and
spread their sails, and by the aid of wind and current, and sometimes
by rowing, they boldly guide these acres of fir down the rapids to
Quebec, while they animate their labours with the melody of their
popular songs. A part would intone the Canadian song
"A la Claire Fontaine,"
while the others, repeating the last two lines, would at the same time
let drop their oars as those of the former arose.
"There is probably no river on earth that has heard so many vows of
love as the St. Lawrence; for there is not a Canadian boatman that has
ever passed up or down the river without repeating, as the blade of
his oar dropped into the stream, and as it arose, the national
"Il y a longtemps que je t'aime,
Jamais je ne t'oublierai!"
"Long time have I loved thee,
Never will I forget thee!"
"And I will here say that there is a harmonious sweetness in these
simple words, that well accords with the simple yet imposing character
of the scenery of this charming region.
"Upon our coquettish rivers in Europe they may whisper of loves along
their flowery banks and under the vine-clad terraces that overhang
them, like the curtains of a saloon; but here, in this grand severity
of nature, upon these immense, half desert plains, in the silence of
these gloomy forests, on the banks of this majestic river that is ever
speeding onward to the eternal ocean, we may feel emotions that are
truly sublime. If, in this quiet solitude, should we open the soul to
a dream of love, it takes the serious tone; it needs must be a pure
being that dares to breathe to the heavens and to the waves these
sacred words, 'I love thee,' and that can add the promise and the
pledge of the Canadian song:
"Jamais je ne t'oublierai."
"Ne'er will I forget thee!" 
Among the streets of Quebec, most celebrated in our annals by reason of
the incidents which attach thereto, one may name the frowsy and tortuous
highway which circulates from the foot of Mountain Hill, running for a
distance of two hundred feet below the Cape, up to the still narrower
pathway which commences west of St. James street and leads to the foot of
the hill "_de la canoterie_;"  all will understand we mean the
leading commercial thoroughfare of olden time,  Sault-au-Matelot
street. Is it because a sailor, no doubt only partially relieved from the
horrors of sobriety, there made a wild leap? or are we to attribute the
name to the circumstance of a dog named "Matelot" ("Sailor") there taking
a leap?  Consult _Du Creux_. Our friend, Joseph Marmette,
appropriated it for the reception of his hero, "Dent de Loup," who escaped
without broken bones after his leap. 
The western portion of the still narrower pathway of which we have just
spoken, rejoices in the name of "Ruelle des Chiens," (Dog Lane);  the
directories name it Sous-le-Cap street. It is so narrow that, at certain
angles, two carts passing in opposite directions, would be blocked. Just
picture to yourself that up to the period of 1816, our worthy ancestors
had no other outlet in this direction at high water to reach St. Roch,
(for St. Paul street was constructed subsequently to 1816, as M. de Gaspé
has informed us.) Is it not incredible? As, in certain passes of the Alps,
a watchman no doubt stood at either extremity of this lane, provided with
a speaking trumpet to give notice of any obstruction and thus prevent
collisions. This odoriferous locality, especially during the dog-days, is
rather densely populated. The babes of Green Erin, with a sprinkling of
young Jean Baptistes, here flourish like rabbits in a warren. Miss Kitty
Ellison and her friend. Mr. Arbuton, in their romantic wanderings, were
struck with the _mise en scène_ of Dog Lane:--
"Now that Prescott Gate, by which so many thousands of Americans have
entered Quebec since Arnold's excursionists failed to do so, is
demolished, there is nothing left so picturesque and characteristic as
Hope Gate (alas! since razed), and I doubt if anywhere in Europe there
is a more mediaeval-looking bit of military architecture. The heavy
stone gateway is black with age, and the gate, which has probably
never been closed in our century, is of massive frame, set thick with
mighty bolts and spikes. The wall here sweeps along the brow of the
crag on which the city is built, and a steep street drops down, by
stone-parapeted curves and angles, from the Upper to the Lower Town,
when, in 1775, nothing but a narrow lane bordered the St. Lawrence. A
considerable breadth of land has since been won from the river, and
several streets and many piers now stretch between this alley and the
water, but the old Sault-au-Matelot still crouches and creeps along
under the shelter of the city wall and the overhanging rock, which is
thickly bearded with weeds and grass, and trickles with abundant
moisture. It must be an ice pit in winter, and I should think it the
last spot on the continent for the summer to find; but when the summer
has at last found it, the old Sault-au-Matelot puts on a vagabond air
of southern leisure and abandon, not to be matched anywhere out of
Italy. Looking from that jutting rock near Hope Gate, behind which the
defeated Americans took refuge from the fire of their enemies, the
vista is almost unique for a certain scenic squalor and gypsy luxury
of colour--sag-roofed barns and stables, and weak-backed, sunken-
chested workshops of every sort, lounge along in tumble-down
succession, and lean up against the cliff in every imaginable posture
of worthlessness and decrepitude, light wooden galleries cross to them
from the second stories of the houses which back upon the alley, and
over these galleries flutters from a labyrinth of clothes-lines a
variety of bright-coloured garments of all ages, sexes and conditions,
while the footway underneath abounds in gossiping women, smoking men,
idle poultry, cats, children, and large, indolent Newfoundland dogs."
--(_A Chance Acquaintance_, p, 175.)
Adventurous tourists who have risked themselves there in the sultry days
of July, have found themselves dazed at the sight of the wonders of the
place. Among other indigenous curiosities, they have there noticed what
might be taken for any number of aerial tents, improvised no doubt as
protection from the scorching rays of a meridian sun. Attached to ropes
stretched from one side of the public way to the other, was the family
linen, hung out to dry. When shaken by the wind over the heads of the
passers-by, these articles of white under-clothing (_chemisettes_),
flanked by sundry masculine nether-garments, presented a _tableau_,
it is said, in the highest degree picturesque. As regards ourselves,
desirous from our earliest days to search into the most recondite
_arcana_ of the history of our city and to portray them in all their
suggestive reality, for the edification of distinguished tourists from
England, France and the United States, it has been to us a source of