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“ A keg of tobacco and a barrel of flour were given to them, and they dispersed as they came, drumming, and yelling, and leaping, and flourishing their clubs and war-hatchets.'
We would fain follow our author to Sault Ste. Marie, and the borders of Lake Superior, and insert some of her adventures there; but we have already so far exceeded our prescribed limits, that we must conclude with one or two scattered fragments, especially as those delightful volumes will so speedily be in the hands of our readers.
SLEIGHING AT TORONTO.
“ It should seem that this wintry season, which appears to me so dismal, is for the Canadians the season of festivity, and if I were not sick and a stranger,-if I had friends near me, I should really enjoy it. Now is the time for visiting, for sleighing excursions, for all intercourse of business and friendship, for balls in town, and dances in farm-houses, and court. ships and marriages, and prayer-meetings and assignations of all sorts. In summer, the heat and the mosquitos render travelling disagreeable at best; in spring the roads are absolutely impassable; in autumn there is too much agricultural occupation : but in winter the forests are pervious; the roads present a smooth surface of dazzling snow; the settlers in the woods drive into the towns, supply themselves with stores, and clothing, and fresh meat, the latter a luxury which they can seldom obtain in the
I stood at my window to-day, watching the sleighs as they glided past. They are of all shapes and sizes. A few of the carriagesleighs are well-appointed and handsome. The market-sleighs are often two or three boards nailed together in form of a -wooden box upon runners; some straw and a buffalo skin or blanket serve for the seat; barrels of flour and baskets of eggs fill up the empty space. Others are like cars, and others, called cutters, are mounted on high runners, like sleigh-phaetons; these are sported by the young men and officers of the garrison, and require no inconsiderable skill in driving : however, as I am assured, they are overturned in the snow not above once in a quarter of an hour, and no harm and much mirth ensue: but the wood-sleighs are my delight; a large platform of boards is raised upon runners, with a few upright poles held together at top by a rope ; the logs of oak, pine, and maple, are then heaped up to the height of six or seven feet. On the summit lie a couple of deer frozen stiff, their huge antlers projecting in a most picturesque fashion, and on these again a man is seated with a blanket round him, his furred cap down upon his ears, and his scarlet woollen comforter forming a fine bit of colour. He guides with a pole his two patient oxen, the clouds of vapour curling from their nostrils into the keen frosty air—the whole machine, in short, as wildly picturesque as the grape wagons in Italy, though, to be sure, the associations are somewhat different.”
CLERGY RESERVES AND NEGLECT OF EDUCATION.
“ The House of Assembly is now sitting, and the question at present agitated is the appropriation of the clergy reserves-a question momentous to the future welfare of the colony, and interesting to every thinking mind. There are great differences of opinion, and a good deal of bitterness of spirit, prevailing on this subject, so often brought under discussion, and as yet unsettled. When Upper Canada was separated from the Lower Province (in 1791,) one-seventh part of the lands was set apart for the maintenance of the clergy, under the name of Clergy Reserves: and the Church of England, as being the church' by law established, claimed the entire appropriation of these lands. The Roman Catholics, under the old conditions by which the maintenance of their church was provided for
on the conquest of the colony, also put in their claim, as did the Presby. terians on account of their influence, and the Methodists on account of their number. The inhabitants, meantime, through the legislature, petitioned the government that the whole of the clergy reserves should be appropriated to the purposes of education, for which the funds already provided are wholly inadequate, and are ill managed besides—but of this hereafter. If the question had been left to be settled by the House of Assembly then sitting, the Radicals of 1832, there is no doubt that such would have been the destination of these reserves, which now consist of about two millions of acres out of fourteen millions, settled or in course of cultivation, and indefinitely increasing as more and more land is redeemed from the unmeasured, interminable forest. The government at home sent over to the legislature here a cession of the crown lands, and a recommendation to settle the whole question; but we have now a House of Assembly differently constituted from that of 1832, and the preponderance is altogether the other way. I am now aware that there exist three parties on this subject:
“ First, those who would appropriate the whole of these reserves solely to the maintenance of the Church of England. This is a small but zealous party-not so much insisting on their own claim, as on the absolute inconsistency and unrighteousness of allowing any other claim. The Church of England, as the archdeacon observed last night, being the only true church, as well as the church by law established, to maintain any other religion or form of religion at the expense of the state, is a manifest rebellion against both the gospel and the law.
“ A second party represent that the Church of England consists of but a small number of the colonists; that as no profession of belief (quakerism excepted) can exclude a man from the provincial legislature, so each religion tolerated by the state should be by the state maintained. They exclaim against disuniting religion and education, and insist that the reserves should be divided in shares proportionate to the number of members of each church, -among the Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, Wesleyan Methodists, and Baptists. This party is numerous, but not unanimous. In hostility to the exclusive pretensions of the episcopal church they are agreed, but they seem to agree in nothing else ; and some numerous and respectable sects are altogether excluded.
“ A third party, and by far the most numerous, require that the maintenance of the clergy should be left, as in the United States, to the voluntary aid of their congregation, and the entire produce of the lands reserved for the education of the people.
“ I have not been long enough in the country to consider the question practically, as applying to the peculiar wants and circumstances of the people; but theoretically I do not agree with any of these parties, and at present am content to listen to all I hear around me. With regard to the petition forwarded to the home government, it has been an ample source of ridicule that a house of parliament, of which many members could not read, and many more could not spell, should be thus zealous on the subject of education. In truth, I have seen some specimens of the writing and spelling of honourable members, men of influence and property too, at which it was impossible not to laugh ; but I felt no disposition to join in the ridicule freely bestowed on the writers : it seemed anything but ridiculous, that men who had not themselves received the advantage of a good education, should be anxious to insure it to their children. Mr. H. told me the other day, that in the distant townships not one person in twenty or thirty could read or write, or had the means of attaining such knowledge. On repeating this to Mr. B., a native Canadian, and perfectly acquainted with the country, adding some expression of incredulity, he exclaimed, laughing, Not one in twenty or thirty!-Madam, not one in seventy !'”
My dear reader, did you ever pass across that hospitable tract of land lying between the extreme end of Albemarle Street and Dover Street ? If you have ever traversed the broad pavement of Piccadilly which connects these two points, you must have been made fully sensible of the extreme kindness of heart and boundless philanthropy with which the gentlemen in high-low boots and low-crowned hats who frequent them are constantly entreating you to go to Brentford, or Richmond, or Ham, or Twickenham, or anywhere, so that you go somewhere-and all from the highest sentiments of disinterested generosity.
It so happened that several of these worthies, actuated by these impulses of benevolence, and, of course, wholly incapable of any such vulgar sentiment as a thought for their own pecuniary advantage, but solely impressed with the importance and the expediency of the multifarious passengers going to some one or other of the places to which they directed their attention, and kindly giving them a choice—it so happened, we say, that several of these worthies, in the ardour of their philanthropic zeal, jostled, and pushed, and importuned a certain tall gentleman in a doubtful black coat, in their endeavours to persuade him to go to Fulham, or Twickenham, or Brentford.
· Richmond, sir ?-off in one minute.”
“Going to Brentford, sir ?-last buss to-day-just room for one inside."
“ No, no, no."
The tall gentleman in the shabby black coat ejaculated as many “ Noes” as might have served a Beauty for a twelvemonth, or a minister in office for six weeks. The tender earnestness, however, of the philanthropists, who so kindly take their places at the doors of those benevolent institutions which roll along our streets as movable receptacles for the destitute, at last pushed him half way down the steps of that elevated edifice vulgarly known as the White Horse Cellar, and there the gentleman in black saw, whilst he allowed himself a moment's breathing-time after the exertions of his negatives and strugglings, an enormous placard, with these words printed in large characters, “New Company's Coaches. No Fees!" (no fees conspicuously large.) “ BATH AND BRISTOL, only one pound twelve shillings inside, eighteen shillings out.”
The gentleman in black read these words unconsciously as one who sees, but is not cognisant of what he looks
apparently insulated accident by which he was pushed down these office
Dec. 1838.VOL. XXIII.NO, XCII.
steps, at the hazard of his ankles and the ruffling of his temper, proved the key-stone of his destiny.
The gentleman in black struggled up the steps, and out of the way of the zealous philanthropists who were formerly vulgarly known as cads, but who now, with reference to their powers as guides, are more worthily recognised as conductors, and made his way up towards a certain neighbourhood lying, we believe, somewhere about Pimlico : but we dare not be too certain of the exact identity of the spot, as we are not particularly proud of our geography. Howbeit, the subject of our biography, after sundry turnings and twistings, and multiplied inquiries, at last met with somebody, who knew somebody else, who knew Renchall's Terrace ; and after obtaining so much of authentic information the gentleman in black at last arrived at the citadel itself, being the centre house of Renchall Terrace, which, being a story higher, and having a door of still brighter green than any of its neighbours, was considered a place of much estimation by all the inhabitants of the courts, and the crescents, and the lanes, and the streets, in its vicinity.
The gentleman in black knocked at the door of this stately tenement, a sort of genteel though rather tremulous knock : it was evident that he was rather doubtful of his reception. The summons was answered by a servant girl, whose style of habiliments betokened a sort of graceful disregard to the stiff proprieties of dress; the sound of her slipshod shoes falling musically on the ear at every footfall, her gown having resisted every solicitation to come to an amicable meeting behind, and her hair falling in a fringe of negligent tresses from beneath a cap about large enough to cover the head of an individual just introduced three weeks into the world, but placed on a pericranium of a peculiarly fine size.
“Is Mr. Renchall at home ?” said the gentleman in black. “ No," said the dirty servant girl.
The gentleman in black breathed again, but in a moment more he remembered that he ought to be disappointed.
Do you expect him in soon ?” he asked, hoping to hear a repetition of the negative; but just at this juncture the parlour-door opened, and a little girl, with her hair platted before and behind into four long tails, two turned up before, and two turned down behind, and all of them tied with pink ribbon, a braided frock slipping half way down her shoulders, and stopping midway in its descent, so as to make a liberal display of a pair of trowsers copiously frilled, and terminations of yellow Margate shoes, put her head out of the parlourdoor, and at the top of a shrill voice announced that “pa would be home directly," and at the same moment was followed by the head of “ma” in a cap measured by her consequence, for it just so far overstept the dimensions of the door as to oblige its wearer to incline the head which supported it gracefully sideways in her egress and ingress, and "ma," seeing that the gentleman in black was really gentlemanly, and not at the moment discerning the shabbiness of his coat, asked him to walk into the parlour with great condescension, and with much suavity assured him that Mr. Renchall would be in directly.
Now, although the gentleman in black had come, we do not know how many miles, to see the head of the establishment, he would will
ingly have given the reversion of some large property, or a year or two of life, or a joint from his body, or some such trifle of that sort, to have escaped the honour of the audience, so that he could have satisfied his conscience that he had done everything to obtain it. Howbeit, when the lady of the mansion invited him to enter, and when five of the Misses Renchall, in replications of the same platted hair, and pink bows, and braided robes, and flounced trowsers, and yellow Margate shoes, together with Master Renchall, with a pair of eyes that could have outstared all the eyes in a peacock's tail
, gave him a reception at the parlour-door, and invited him into its sacred interior,-why then the poor gentleman in black had no choice but just to submit to his destiny, and walk quietly into the room; and being duly installed in a chair, "ma," after having made a great deal of noise to make the children quiet, began to repose her confidence in him, relating to him her various plans of education, with sundry other of her maternal cares, from which, by a natural transition, she reverted to her own school-days-days in which, from her astonishing aptitude, she had been a monopoliser of all the prizes in the establishment, until the principal-no, the governess, (there were governesses in those days)-excluded her from the competition because
so discouraging to her fellow-pupils; and then she was obliged to leave school earlier by two years than was intended by her friends, because the masters and the teachers, and, in fact, every ereature connected with the seminary, unanimously declared that she was beyond their hands, that there remained nothing more which she could be taught; that so, having attained that point of perfection, she returned home, and then, she did not know why, she could not think how it was, but she had so many admirers that she did not know what to do with them all; that although she had offers from two lieutenants in the navy, one captain in the army, one city knight, who had since been lord mayor, two architects, one engineer, five drawingmasters, three writing-masters, seven dancing-masters, besides a variety of more or less distinguished individuals, too numerous to mention-yet, notwithstanding these numerous competitors, she did not know why, she could not tell how it was, but she supposed because marriages were made in heaven, that she had contracted one on earth with none of all these men of high degree, but only with that amiable and exalted personage, Richard Renchall, Esq.—that truly it was against the wishes of her friends, who thought that she might have done much better ; but the heart, the heart, was not to be influenced by mercenary motives, and the event had proved the justice of her favourable opinion and devoted attachinent, for she could truly say that during all the years of their union they had never had a word of disagreement, but that he was the most devoted husband, the most indulgent parent, &c. &c. &c.
To all this the gentleman in black said “Hum," and " Ah," and “ Yes,” and “ No," with happy propriety, in the right places.
The proprietor of all this laudation, not having yet returned to the bosom of his interesting family, his lady, feeling, as those always do who confer favours, an increasing complacency towards the recipient, went on, in the enlargement of her heart, to more particular instances