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Quebec. The greater degree of dryness qualifies the increased cold of winter. People accustomed to the country, find no inconvenience in this; and, the cold easily endured, leaves a mighty balance of enjoyment in the clear, the healthy, and the bracing air. The summer is fong enough, in these parts, for the purposes of vegetation, especially on the Red River, where melons come to perfection without forcing; but spring and autumn afford too little time for the labours of the husbandman; and the weight of snow is apt to rot out wheat sown in the fall, which are serious disadvantages. While the climate of Illinois is severe to the feeling in winter, even below lat. 38°, it yields no snow for the pleasure and profit of sleighing: neither is it so healthy as the north. The plough may be employed in every month of the year; but during the winter half, the surface of the earth is too often plashy and comfortless. Taking all things into consideration, I should doubt which was to be preferred--the climate of the Red River, or that of the Wabash..
In the centre, between the three points now spoken of, lies Upper Canada, the pink of America. Ten weeks of sleighing is just sufficient for the conveyance of produce to market; for the interchange of visits; for “ daffen and deray*.” March is the most unpleasant month in Upper Canada. The plough cannot yet move: sleighing is over :. wheels sink in the mud; and the eye is out of humour with a piebald world; yet, even in this month, the industrious can find profitable employment. They can betake themselves to the maple busht, and secure an abundance of sugar for the consumption of the year, while the cattle rest a little from their labour, to gain strength for the push
* King James's Poem of Leslie on the Green.
+ The bush in America is a term often used to express the wood, the forest, or the grove.
of seed-time. The Canadian April is inferior to the sweet April of England, with its sunshine and its showers; but then the buds begin to swell, and towards the close are ready to unfold. During the beginning of May the leaves suddenly burst from confinement, and clothe the forests in their liveliest attire. Nature now strives amain, and besore June the grass may almost be seen to grow. But one charm is wanting, and is sadly missed by the native Briton in America. There is no music in the sky-no chorus in the grove. The birds are mute in comparison with the feathered songsters of England. No lark—no linnet-no blackbird-no tbrush-no pightingale—no robin, but by name. Chirp, chirp, chirp; and but little of that.
The summer of Upper Canada is spoken of pages 181, · 393, and 401: the autumn is equal, if not superior to that of England ; and the months of November and December are certainly so. The first two weeks of November are generally delightful. The ruddy sun shines through a close and hazy atmosphere, delightfully warm. This period is called the Indian summer*.
Upper Canada can now communicate with the ocean by her own grand outlet. In three years hence she will have a good water conveyance and a kind welcome by New York; and within the limit of my own far-spent existence, steamboats may be regularly trading between Lake Erie and the Mississippi. Hail, times of peace to man! Once quit of tyranny and long established power-the power from ignorance alonc endured!
I have coloured the most desirable parts for settlement in America with pink and green. I should have spread the green all over Virginia, Kentucky and Missouri, but for
It has been ascribed to the burning of the grass along the banks of the Mississippi; hundreds of miles of rank prairie grass, I have been told, is sometimes in a blaze. My opinion is not made up on the question.
the breath of slavery. From that I would always wish to be a hundred miles removed ; and, perhaps, my excellent friend, Mr. Birkbeck, may yet be prevailed upon to meet me on the banks of Lake Erie. West of Albany, and from the 41° to the 45° of latitude, is unquestionably the best of all for the settlement of Europeans. Farther north, winter becomes too long and severe. Farther south, we not only approach to the abodes of slavery; but to pale faces, and bad teeth, yellow fever, and General Jacksor :
There is a tract yet to be noticed worthy of a British monarch's care. Captains Ross and Parry have conversed with the men of the distant north, and found them gentle and well disposed. Far beyond where vegetation has ceased, we find that the human species may be cultivated : —that, even there, we may increase and multiply. The idea gives expansion to the generous heart. It attanes in us a song of hope and praise to the Almighty, whose goodness waits only for that of his creatures. Let us then strive to excel in goodness, and say the foundation of a scheme by which the vast regions now pointed to may be quickly and thickly peopled-peopled for the glory of Him " in whom we live, move, and have our being."
It was a saying, often repeated by my father, that “the first improvement of any country should be the making of good roads ;” and in conformity with this maxim I have lined out roads over the yet trackless waste lands of the British crown. This may give a hint for commencing a work worthy of the greatest nation on earth-worthy of an age bursting forth into light, and literature, and liberty. So far as the British sceptre sways, even to the poles,
* But yesterday this man has again been reported to us as playing the tyrant,--seizing the papers of the Spanish Ambassador, and throwing him into jail!! Will Americans again authorize his arbitrary decrees?
could we find footing, I wonld line out roads enclosing squares of a hundred miles; to be afterwards subdivided as circumstances required. No where need the cost be great. Safe bridle-ways would be sufficient, with comfortable inns at the end of every day's journey. Beyond the 60° of latitude, where neither bush nor tree would interrupt the route, little else would be required but posts within view of each other, bearing these words, “The highway of George -IV.” These posts should be of cast iron, manufactured at home, and carried abroad by ships now rotting in our harbours. The northern regions, divided into compartments, might, in a few years, be made to yield up their natural productions to infinite profit:their fish--their furs—their minerals. The Esquimaux and Arctic Highlander might then be roused to action and enterprise ;-they migbt speedily be made to feel advantage from pursuing the paths of industry; and, in the multiplication of their wants, be taught to add both to their own and our happiness;-be made to think, and feel, and know for what they were made for what they were endowed with faculties above the brutes that perish. Yes, the making of roads might lead to wonderful improvements. By this, excitement may lead on to excitement; and activity be witnessed from pole to pole;-Yes, the making of good roads should be the first improvement of every country, and, now that I think of it, I shall dedicate this volume to the spirit of my father, than which a purer never visited the earth.
My father had a liberal education : was bred to the profession of law; and, after apprenticeship, practised it for thirteen years in Edinburgh. During this period, he purchased the estates of Scotstarvet and Broadleys; and by the sale of part of these, soon afterwards, had the remainder free. He also purchased up for a mere trifle, his elder brother's (a clergyman) patrimonial inheritance of Craigrotbie, where our family has been domicilęd genera, tion's 'out of count. After this, he married my mother, who was heiress of the small farm of Baltilly, in the parish of Ceres ; 'and soon after, giving up his law business, devoted his whole time to the improvement of his land, and I may freely say, to that of the country. He was the most active of those who struggled hard against ignorance, for the introduction of turnpiké roads into Fifeshire, about the year 1788. He 'lent the chief hand to 'making the Kennoway turnpike; the Kilmaron turnpike; the Glentarkie turnpike; and the Ceres and St. Andrew's turnpike ; all in the county of Fife. He improved the soil of every farm he occupied to the utmost, and adorned every one with planta, tions of wood. I have traversed the island in every direction, yet never found one, who for such a period of years (upwards of 40), had pursued so liberal, and, to all appearance, so judicious a course of management. He was an adept in business; regular in every way, and indefatigable. In 1813 his land was worth upwards of £120,000, and his floating 'capital could not be less than £20,000. From what he told me, and from all appearances, I had reason to think him 'worth, at that time, nearly £80,000 ; yet, strange to say, before the end of 1815, his affairs were discovered to be embarrassed : he was brought'to bankruptcy; and at this time only about 12s. in the pound have been paid to his creditors ; a consummation to me 'altogether mysterious. Unfortunately, he would never communicate with any one as to the real state of his affairs, and both I and my brother, sixteen years younger, grew up to manhood in perfect ignorance of them. The 'confusion and waste, I believe, must have happened within the last six years of his ma'nagement, when he was upwards of seventy years of age, become infirm, and liable to be imposed upon. Scripture 'tells us that threescore 'and ten years sum up the life of man, not of extraordinary strength; and, then, at farthest, every one should wind up his worldly affairs, My father unfortunately did not attend to this : all had