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ROMAN CATHOLIC SEMINARIES,
Sept. 29.-Among other places, I this morning visited the Quebec Seminary, a Roman Catholic institution, founded nearly two hundred years ago, which accommodates and instructs 180 boarders, and 120 dayscholars—a number about equal to those taught in the seminary at Montreal. The boarders pay £17, 10s. currency per annum, and the day-scholars 20s. I was much interested in the Professor of Natural History and Chemistry, Mr Horan, who had visited and studied at the universities of Cambridge in Massachusetts, and Yale in Connecticut, with the view of obtaining instruction which was beyond his reach in Canada. I found him and others fully alive to the importance of an improved agriculture in Lower Canada, and anxious to aid in introducing instruction in its principles into the elementary schools of the lower province.
I was never so much struck as upon this visit, and by my conversations with Mr Horan, with the meritorious and self-denying spirit of the teachers in some, at least, of these Roman Catholic seminaries. This institution has a small endowment, but is not rich like that of Montreal, and barely makes ends meet. The professors, without any prospect of ever rising to any position beyond the walls of the seminary, devote their lives to the duty of teaching without remuneration. They are lodged, fed, and clothed, and at vacation-time, if they choose to visit anywhere, they are allowed twenty dollars for expenses. Thus they live and labour from year to year, with scarcely any society beyond the walls of the institution, shut out from the cordial of human sympathy, and centring their affections on a brighter future. I do not praise the system, regard it as natural, or consider it the way in which talent may be best employed for the benefit of our fellow-creatures; but for the self-denying spirit of the devoted clerical teachers, I could not help feeling a sort of reverence. There were men of fine
AND THEIR CLERICAL TEACHERS.
minds, fresh affections, and warm feelings, capable of attaining worldly distinction in their several walks, of enjoying the intercourse of social life, of being happy in the exercise of domestic affections—laying down all worldly hopes and prospects, and sacrificing themselves to the duty of instruction. While I pitied, I could not but respect the men-feel there was something in them higher and nobler than had moved myself in my struggles through life; and while I almost felt indignant at the inhumanity of a system which could exact it, my heart warmed the more towards my friend Horan, who had been able voluntarily to sacrifice himself to it.
I know there are many mindless and heartless beings, male and female, to whom such a devotion would prove no sacrifice. I do not allude to such persons, nor to the dry and unfeeling mummies into which the lapse of long years of routine may convert even those who at first made a true and priceful sacrifice. But I saw before me men bright with intelligence, and with a capacity for appreciating enjoyment still unseared; and I could not but honour them for their self-sacrifice, because I knew them to be still human enough to feel that it was great.
In the afternoon, I drove nine miles down the left bank of the St Lawrence, to visit the Falls of Montmorenci. Though the quantity of water which descends is insignificant after Niagara, and smaller even than at the Grand Falls on the St John River, yet it descends from a height of nearly 250 feet, and the place is well deserving of a visit. The edges of the highly-inclined slate rocks are overlaid by nearly horizontal beds of impure thin limestones, which are cut through by the river, and eaten back for several hundred yards from the St Lawrence, till a hard metamorphic gneissoid rock has arrested the cutting process. Over this the water at present falls. Upon the horizontal beds is a deposit of 10 to 30 feet of drift; and upon this, adjoining the St Lawrence, at a level 328
FALLS OF MONTMORENCI.
somewhat lower than the top of the Falls, a deposit of 1 to 6 feet of yellow marine sand, mixed with recent shells.
A mile above the Falls, on the same river, occur what are called the natural steps," where the horizontal beds of comparatively soft rock are cut by the water into deep ravines or gullies of a very romantic character, and in many places form series of natural steps, from which the place derives its name.
The most peculiar circumstance in connection with the Falls of Montmorenci is the appearance presented on the channel of the river a short distance below the cascade, when winter sets in. When the stream below becomes covered with ice, the falling spray descends and collects upon its surface in showers of snow, which cohere and harden, and gradually accumulate into a lofty cone of ice—having the living cataract behind, and the broad, still, frozen plain of the St Lawrence in front. .
This conical hill forms a natural “ Montagne Russe,” much frequented by the young people of Quebec, being a convenient distance for sleighing parties even in the shortest days of winter.
In the immediate neighbourhood of Quebec, land sells high. For a little farm of 70 acres, on which his house stands, immediately above Wolffe’s Cove, Mr John Gilmour told me he had paid at the rate of £75 currency an acre. Near all thriving towns, in the New World as in the Old, land, even for farming purposes, brings a comparatively high price. Near this city the land is very good in many cases, and generally produces excellent green crops. In both Canadas, as now in Ireland, such crops are becoming more cultivated since the potato became less certain. Mr Sheppard, the well-known seedsman in Montreal, informed me he had this season sold twice as much turnip-seed in Lower Canada, and twenty times as much as usual in Upper Canada. Of mangold-wurzel seed, four times as much as usual had
been purchased by the Lower Canadians, as experience had shown it to be better adapted to the climate. This may be because of the extreme heat of the summers on the river St Lawrence.
Formed from softish, somewhat calcareous slates, which in many places are near the surface and crumble readily, the soil is inclined to be heavy, and rests often on an impervious bottom. Drainage, therefore, generally, and the use of lime in many places, are indicated as means of improvement. The latter, if I may judge by the frequent lime-kilns I passed on my way to Montmorenci, is tried to some extent' by the farmers around Quebec.
New settlers seldom remain in this county. The average value of uncleared land is about 5s., and of cleared from 15s. to 17s. 6d. an acre. During the last ten years, the value of land has increased one-fourth.
On my way back from Montmorenci, about six in the evening, the quickly setting sun shone on the tinned roofs and spires and glittering windows of Quebec, producing an ever-varying but very beautiful effect. I had in my life before seen only two sunsets more striking, and of which it reminded me—that of Paris from Montmartre, on a clear autumnal evening, when the sinking rays of the sun lingered still on the Panthée, on Notre Dame, and other prominent objects, singling them out as individual pictures from the countless mass of objects of less elevation; and that of Moscow from the Sparrow Hills, when its thousand domes of gold and silver, with intermingled green and azure, and its ten thousand ornamental crosses, glittered around the ancient Kremlin, and the massive central palace-fortress itself rose as a huge dark pile, frowning from its Eastern towers on the congregated churches and other buildings of the city beneath.
Sunday, Sept. 30.-After a brief visit to the Roman Catholic cathedral, where I saw the venerable, whitehaired, old Archbishop of Quebec, the Primate of the 330 . SECTS AND PARTIES AT QUEBEC. North American provinces—since dead, I believeassisting at early service, in the midst of a large and apparently devout congregation, I went to the Scotch Presbyterian church, where I heard an excellent sermon. In the churches already in use, and in the appearance of the new ones in course of erection, there are no signs either of pecuniary depression or of a want of general zeal in matters of religion.
The relative numbers of the several religious sects in Quebec is considerably different from what it is in Montreal. In 1844, the last published census, the Roman Catholics formed seven-ninths of the whole population, then 46,000, now probably upwards of 50,000. Those of the Church of England formed only one-ninth, and of the Church of Scotland one-eighteenth-all the other sects made up the remaining eighteenth. It is, perhaps, because the predominance of the Roman Catholic French Canadian population is so great that party differences, whether political or religious, are represented as being much less bitter here than at Montreal.
If I were to judge from my own experience only, I should say that political differences of opinion, in reference to recent events, were at least as bitter as they could be at Montreal. During my short stay in Quebec, I met at dinner a native of Great Britain, but an old resident and a prosperous merchant in that city, who, after discussing the Rebellion Losses Bill and the Governor's conduct respecting it, hastily wound up his observations by observing, “ that he would himself have helped to tarand-feather him.” I laughed, and said it amazed me much to hear such a person as he talk so violently. He evidently had not meant what he said, and remarked, “Well, I have never spoken so violently before; on the contrary, I am considered too moderate, and am obliged to keep arms in my house to defend myself, in apprehension of an attack from the violent people, because of