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-for seclusion from the very face of man;-and from the smile of woman, of educated woman, I must be for ever debarred. But why do I bring up these sad anticipations in ghostly perspective before my mental eye, when I must now stand the hazard of the die! Away, then, with regret! Let Adversity shower her pitiless arrows on my head: once embarked on the Western wave, my heart shall be steeled to fortune and to fate-every thought of the home of my fathers I will dissipate by constant exertion and by pressing forward to the hopes of the future. The wilderness I shall change into the fruitful field; I shall tame the wild Indian; guide the untutored emigrant; and, amidst the diversified cares of a rising colony, find no leisure to revert to the pleasures, hopes, or occupations of the country I have left behind." Fired with the thought, I speedily re-entered the city, and retired to my chamber to dream of woods, waterfalls, Indian hunters, the rifle, and the tomahawk. Next morning we were at sea. To say that I was not sad on leaving England, would be untrue; but the second morning saw me rise careless of the past, and almost reckless of the future. Beyond the bounds of our vessel every thing was forgotten. I enjoyed, in a word, that delightful quietude which fine weather at sea can alone produce, when no fear of the future intrudes but "such as fancy can assuage,"when every thought and feeling of the past is wholly obliterated from the mind. Whether other travellers have experienced at sea the same oblivion of care, I know not; but in my own case, the absence of mind was complete: every morning saw me rise calm and contented; every evening saw me retire to my couch careless of the morrow.
After a six weeks' passage we reached the bustling city of New York. The bay, with its beautiful islands, the neat houses and country-seats on the shore, offering to my fancy a grateful retreat from the toils and torments of European existence; and the city of "the Manhattans," rising proudly above the waters, surrounded by countless ships from every country on the globe, presented to me one of the most beautiful and interesting prospects I had ever beheld. Nor were we disappointed at the appearance of cultivated and uncultivated nature on the shore. The maize-fields were then waving in the full luxuriance of an American autumn; the gardens teemed with the finest fruits and most fragrant flowers; and the general impression made on me by the aspect of the New World, was one of joy and satisfaction. Notwithstanding their charms, New York, Hoboken, and Long Island did not detain us long; for like those who see an evil impending, and hasten forward to escape the anguish of suspense, we hastily left these interesting scenes, travelled by the steam-boat to Albany, thence on horseback to Lake Ontario, and, after visiting the falls of Niagara, reached York, the capital of Upper Canada.
We found here little to interest any one but a land-surveyor or a government-agent; the one to decoy the unwary emigrant to the free lands in the back settlements, and the other to pocket the fee required for making a grant. The fee for these poor lands is not much greater than the selling price of the most fertile tract! Not choosing to settle on the government lands, my friend and myself purchased two small sections that had been partially cleared by American emigrants, near the shores of Lake St. Clair, a few hundred miles from York; and we repaired immediately to our respective stations. Winter was approach
ing, and not finding myself sufficiently acquainted with living in the woods to commence my career with the savage gloom of a Canadian winter, I left my small farm and log-house at the end of November, and established myself at Amherstburg with a pleasant Yankee family, which had lately removed from Detroit. Snow soon covered the ground, the rivers and lakes were frozen over, and travelling could only be performed in the sleigh or traineau. Upper Canada does not participate in the bustle, feasting, and jollity that pervade the Lower Province, where winter is the season of pleasure. The cold perhaps is not so intense, but the weather is infinitely more variable; the snow does not lie long on the ground at any one time; and what is worse than all, the inhabitants have none of the gaiety, open-heartedness, and hospitality for which the French Canadians are so distinguished. In fact, nothing could be more dismal than the face of the country: the lofty trees, covered with icicles or masses of frozen snow, seemed like obelisks on the banks of the solitary streams; a deer, a raccoon, or a wolf occasionally varied the monotony of the scene, but there was enough to appal the stoutest breast. I sometimes accompanied my fellow-boarders to hunt the bear and the raccoon, but the pleasures of the chase at this season and in this climate were not such as to create envy. With the thermometer at 20 degrees below zero, we passed ten or twelve hours without refreshment, and then perhaps found shelter in some loghut, open to all the winds of heaven. Often, during the night, have I stretched my hand through the logs while asleep, and been hastily awaked by finding them resting on the snow without. The solitary blanket, or buffalo skin, that covered me, was each morning hard with the congealed respiration of the night. The morning light was always a relief to my wearied limbs, for I could then animate them by active exertion. Yet there were pleasant incidents even in a Canadian winter. Sometimes a numerous party in sleighs would set off in the afternoon to visit some neighbouring village, not more than thirty miles off; and there the plentiful, if not luxuriant, board of a new country,-the venison, the turkey, the apple-butter, the apple-toddy, and the numberless hors d'œuvre of American cookery, would console for the biting ferocity of the cold; while the dance, the song, and the frolicking of the evening, unconstrained by the fashionable prudery of European mauvaise honte, would have warmed the blood of the Esquimaux in their subterranean retreats, and were sufficiently attractive even to the ci-devant amateur of the waltzes of Vienna, the entrechats of Paris, and the ·luscious boleras of Andalusia! No inconsiderable part of the merriment of these frolics arose from the want of accommodation for the male and female visitors: some danced or courted till dawn; some adjourned to the twenty-bedded room, where travellers of all ages and sexes reposed, or did not repose, till the call of morn. But why expose the memorabilia of a Canadian frolic? Poor souls! they have but few relaxations in their monotonous existence; and from those that lie within their reach, who shall pretend to debar them? Not I, my dear Canadians! Sparkle away till the northern blast shall no longer freeze the stormy bosom of Michigan, till Niagara shall no longer pour its waters into the foaming abyss, till Erie shall be free from storms, snakes, and fevers! May your sleigh meet no stumps in its pathmay your steed never refuse to glide you and your fair companion to
the neighbouring frolic-may you never find accommodation when you require none and may you ever lose your way when you and your partners are agreed!
The dreary winter passed along, and the warm sun of May called me again to the woods for what is a farm in the interior of America but the clearing away of a few trees from the forest-an oasis in the desert? My newly acquired property was little more than a mile from the lake, on the banks of a romantic creek, shaded by oaks, sycamores, and other majestic trees, and winding its course through a beautiful valley. On ascending a hill above the creek, a meadow of about fifteen acres appeared, and beyond it, in the very centre of my farm, amidst a tuft of apple-trees, rose the log-house on the declivity of the hill. Farther up the hill, immediately behind the house, was the orchard, containing about two hundred peach and apple-trees. Round these were the various fields, containing in all about sixty acres of excellent land. On all sides the forest bounded my little farm, and my view extended not beyond my own territory. "I was lord of all I surveyed." On one side of my dwelling was a large garden; and the orchard was on the other. Even in the intervening space, small though it was, between the house and garden, I enjoyed the delightful shade produced by a lofty apple-tree, which was nearly three feet in diameter. Round the trunk of this tree I constructed a verdant seat of turf, to which I was wont to retire in the heat of the day. To solace my leisure hours, I had a tolerable collection of books, but this summer they were little used.
Immediately on my arrival began the bustle of corn-planting, and this, my first essay in farming, proved highly agreeable; in fact, every occupation was pleasant after the repose of the winter. My garden became likewise an object of care; and my attentions were so amply rewarded that it formed ever afterwards a source of great and constant satisfaction. Could it be otherwise than delightful to behold the rapid progress of vegetation in such a fertile soil, shone upon by such a glorious sun? My attention to my garden was not at all consonant to the rude habits of the settlers; and, in fact, they began to entertain strong suspicions of my sanity when they saw me working in my garden before sunrise, watering it after sunset, and in the afternoon reposing under the shade of my spacious apple-tree, reading some book that contained not one particle of information respecting corn, cattle, flour, or lumber. Yet my crops were as plentiful as those of others, and my garden became a proverb through the country for beauty and fertility. My neighbours were beginning to form rather a favourable notion of my savoir faire, when their good opinion was totally altered at finding that I did not sell the produce of my garden, but gave it away to any one who thought proper to ask for it. This was indeed a proof of dementia furiosa.
My garden, my books, my occupations, and the novelty of every appearance around me, made me pass the summer without much ennui, and often even with high satisfaction. To a passing traveller, indeed, nothing can be more delightful than a summer's day in the lovely regions of the West. The coolness of morning braces the nerves, the beautiful variety of the birds of the forest is pleasant to the eye, the odour of the most splendid vegetation is grateful to the sense, and the
serenity of the world around dispels every sorrow from the breast. The splendour of the noontide-sun is unequalled in the fairest climes of Europe. The deep shade of the forest protects from the scorching rays of mid-day, and the delightful coolness of evening invites you to enjoy "the calm, the quiet hour" in peaceful meditation. On every side the whip-po-will pours its plaintive notes; the humming of birds of every species forms a grateful music that "steeps the senses in forgetfulness;" and the very lowing of the bull-frog is an agreeable variety in the scene. Oft have I enjoyed this delightful serenity till the midnight hour has passed along-till the brilliant unclouded moon has risen high in the heavens, and all Nature has been hushed to repose.
Yes!"'twas sublime, but sad."-Even in the most lovely scenes that Nature ever unfolded to man, we derive half our pleasure from the delight they afford to our companions, and from the associations we form between the animate and inanimate world. When we have no one to whom we can say "How beautiful is the prospect of that lake-how delightful the aspect of Nature !"-we feel a dreariness within ourselves -wish to encounter every toil and every danger, so that we enjoy again the society of our fellow-beings, and can find no permanent pleasure in all the beauties and bountiful gifts of Nature without a companion :we feel that "it is not good for man to be alone."
Such were some of the feelings that impressed me in my first Canadian summer. My second summer was spent among the Indians of Michigan, and the fur-traders of the Mississippi. There began my adventures in the West.
O CHARITY, meek daughter of the skies!
In thee burns clear and bright the holy flame
Brings instant succour! Gentle spirit blest!
C. C. C.
Tentanda via est qua me quoque possim
Tollere humo victorque virûm volitare per ora.
THE public papers related a short time since that a certain "grande dame de par le monde," (to borrow a phrase from Brantome) placing herself, in order to remove to the supper-room, between the conqueror of Waterloo and Signor Rossini, observed with complacence to her conductors, that she was between "the two greatest persons of the age." This was most likely intended to be very civil; but I would not give sixpence for the choice in betting on which side the compliment was worst taken, by the "generalissimo des doubles-crochets," or the "great captain." For however much the world may be agreed in thinking the slayer of many men no fit comparison for a fiddler, who, on the authority of Joe Miller, does not even kill time, for he only beats it, it is quite as clear that a fiddler "has the same organs and dimensions" for vanity, as le marechal le mieux decoré among the 1,500,000 troops of the Holy Alliance; and is quite as likely to exaggerate his own importance. In the Temple of Fame there are many chambers; and the inhabitants of its cellars and back garrets are very little disposed to yield in pretension to those of the loftier apartments: just as a French marquise is as proud of her "au cinquieme" in the Tuileries, as Charles the Tenth can for his life be of the "au premier," of which he has just taken possession. "La vanité," says Charron, "est la plus essentielle et propre qualité de l'humaine nature;" and the worst of it is, that jealousy not only subsists between the several candidates for reputation in its various departments, but even the mob are as open to the passion, and as angry at the success of a neighbour, as if he were taking the bread out of their mouths;" insomuch that it is impossible for the plus mince personage to be great with impunity. An honest citizen cannot arrive at the "dignity of knighthood," or a thriving tradesman be elected for the ward, without being as much persecuted for his success, as if he had really done his fellow-creatures some essential service. Nay, if a man makes but " a neat and appropriate speech" at a parish meeting, or is voted a silver snuff-box by his club for telling fat stories, he will be sure to find some slavish rascal at his elbow to remind him that he is but mortal. Accordingly, when a great reputation gets a tumble, all the world of underlings flock to enjoy the sport, and run the round of their coteries, with an hypocritical and a lackadaisical air, wondering, pitying, and lamenting their victim out of every possible excellence, and leaving his reputation "not worth picking out of the gutter." Yet, after all, what is fame that it should be so desirable? Is it to hear oneself cited as Mr. Washerwoman Irwine by a malaprop pretender to literature? or, like the modern Anacreon, to hear a fair imbecile cry "ah! que c'est drole!" in the midst of one's most impressive and pathetic melody? Or is it (to mount from the ridiculous to the miserable) so vast a pleasure to have one's time occupied, and one's privacy broken in upon, by every stranger's affairs?-to find one's table covered with MS. epics, unpublishable novels, and unreadable sermons; all of which claim at least the trouble of a reply, more difficult to word so as to avoid offence, than if it were intended for the perusal of an Attorney.