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

Produced by Joshua Hutchinson, Juliet Sutherland, Charles Franks and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team. This file was produced from images generously made available by the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions. THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION’S VISIT TO MONTREAL, 1884. LETTERS BY CLARA LADY RAYLEIGH, Printed for Private Circulation. INTRODUCTION. THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION. (Reprinted from The Times, 1884)
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Produced by Joshua Hutchinson, Juliet Sutherland, Charles Franks and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team. This file was produced from images generously made available by the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions.



Printed for Private Circulation.



(Reprinted from The Times, 1884)

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

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

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

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

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

Letter No. 1.

_Thursday, August 21st, 1884; on board “PARISIAN,”–getting near Newfoundland._

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

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

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


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

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

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

Letter No. 2.

_Tuesday, August 26th, Beavoir, Quebec._

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

On motion of the Chairman the Report was adopted.


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

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

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

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

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

T. STERRY HUNT, President,

JOHN GEO. Bourniot, Hon. Secretary.

_Montreal, August 27, 1884._

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

_Chambly, August 25,1884._

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




City Clerk

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *

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

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

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

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

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


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

Letter No. 4.

_September 17th, Toronto, The “Chestnuts.”_

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

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

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

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

Letter No. 5.

_September 12th, Niagara Falls._

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

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

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

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

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

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

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