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prayer, let the weather be ever fo Levere.
The ufual mode of travelling is in these calashes in the front of those which travel poft, a man fits to drive, and who, let your bufinefs be of ever fo great importance, will alight at these croffes, and pay his accustomed homage.
One day, on our march, being fent forward to procure quarters, with our friend Captain Grattan, whofe pleafantry of manners you are well acquainted with, for expedition we went in a poft calafh. The weather was fo exceflively fevere, that, with the affiftance of fur coverings, we could fcarcely keep ourselves warm. Not above a mile had been beguiled, before we came to one of thefe crofses, when the fellow who drove us ftopped; upon afking him why he did fo, he replied, Ce n'eft que pour faire une petite priere; which petite priere he was nearly five minutes in repeating, when he mounted his feat. We complained of being almoft perifhed with cold, when he replied, Allons, allons, je vais me depecher, and after taking two or three whiffs of his pipe, whipped up his horses, and made amends for his ftopping. We.had not gone a mile and a half further, before another crofs made its unwelcome appearance here he must alight, and faire une autre petite priere, which, upon our not consenting to, he begged we would let him jutt ftop, le tems de faire un figne de croix, which he was not long about. We then jogged on again with great chearfulnels, as he drove pretty faft; foon after we perceived the village to which we were deftined for quarters, when again he fuddenly stopt, and upon our faying there was no crofs there, he immediately cried out, Mais en voici une la, which, being at fome diftance from the road, we had not observed, requesting us to let him halt but a moment: Il faut que je defcende ici, c'eft mon village; we told him he
fhould not, and that he must drive into the village as faft as he could. Upon this he growled inwardly, and complained openly, till he came oppofite to it, where he ftopped again: before he could defcend, our friend Grattan laid hold of his long queue, of which I told you they are exceedingly proud, and declared, if he did not immediately drive on, he would inftantly cut it off.-This being afferted with fome degree of warmth, he thought fit to facrifice his religion to his vanity, fo just crof fing himfelf, muttered a fhort prayer, and drove us as faft as he could to the end of our journey, facrant contre the English officers; and I do not doubt, if one could form an idea from his countenance, but he fent us both into purgatory with fuch curfes, that all the maffes which could be offered would not be able to releafe us from it, for having treated his religion and his queue with fo little ceremony.
About half way between Quebec and Montreal, is a town called Trois Rivieres; it takes its name from three rivers, whofe currents join here, and fall into the river St Laurence. Previous to my giving you any defcrip tion of this place, permit me to relate a trifling circumftance that occurred, juft as we entered the town. About half a mile before we came to it, fo fudden and naufeous a scent affailed our olfactory nerves, as nearly to fuffocate us, which lasted till we arrived at the outskirts.-Upon enquiry, we found it arofe from an animal, which the Canadians call the Enfant du Diable, or bete puante; a title which it derives from its ill fcent, occafioned by discharging his urine whenever he is attacked, and which infects the air for a great distance. Laying afide this quality, it is in other respects a beautiful creature, being about the fize of a cat, with a fine fhining fur, of a dark grey colour, ftreaks of white gliftening
ning from the head to the tail, which is bushy, like that of a fox, and turned up as a fquirrel's: this had been purfued by fome dogs which the foldiers had with them, across the road, but when it came near us, its ftench was almost infupportable.
Thefe Enfant du Diable differ from your Enfant du Diable, the London beaux, who have all their prettyisms perhaps, but are eternally exhaling their pefliferous odours, fearful, if they reserved them till purfued, they would have no opportunity to *Taint the flying air, and stink in flate.
The country is pleafant, and there are feveral good houfes about the town, but they were greatly damaged by the Americans, upon abandoning it, after their defeat this fummer, when their army was routed, and several of their generals, with great numbers of their men, taken prifoners. This place is the winter cantonments of the German troops, who are commanded by General Reidefel; he commands likewife the district between Quebec and Montreal.
There are feveral churches, and two convents, the nuns of which are reckoned the most ingenious of any in Canada, in all kinds of fancy ornaments, needle work, and curious toys.
This town, by reafon of the three rivers, used to be much frequented by the feveral nations of Indians, and was built with a view of encoutaging trade with the northern ones in particular. It had every profpect of being the second city in the province, but the fur trade was foon diverted from this market, and carried entirely to Montreal, it being fome leagues nearer to the Indians; and thought we have feveral trading places with them upon the lakes Ontario and Superior, Montreal will always fupport its confequence, as being the nearest and most convenient place for fhipping the furs to England. Trois Rivieres has now loft all its traffic, and is fupported chiefly by the travellers paffing between the two cities. X
VOL. X. No. 57.
During my stay at Trois Rivieres, there came down from the Illinois, feveral Indians of that nation, with an interpreter, to acquaint us, that they would be down in the fpring, and would take up the hatchet in favour of their good Brother who refided beyond the great waters.' Among the groupe, I obferved one who had hanging round his neck the image of the holy Virgin, with our Saviour in her arms, which I thought very fingular, as he was of a nation efteemed extremely ferocious in their manner, and whom the French Miffionaries could not convert; but upon my enquiring of the interpreter if he knew the reason, he gave me the following account:
In fome skirmish, when the incis were at war with the Canadians, this image had fallen into their hands, among it other plunder. Sometime afterwards, as a Millionary, of which the French had great numbers travelling through the interior parts of Canada, to cultivate friendfhip, and establish their religion among the Indians; by chance he met this perfon, and obferving the image, was very much astonished: the manner in which he took notice of it excited the curiofity of the poor favage, to know what it reprefented, when the Miffionary, who no doubɛ was pleafed to have fuch an opportunity of difplaying his religion, told him, that it reprefented the nother of his God, and that the child fhe held in her arms reprefented God himfelf, who had made himfelt man for the falvation of the human fpecies; and explaining to him the myftery of our incarnation, affuring him, that in all dangers the Chriflians addreffed
dreffed themselves to this holy mother, who feldom failed to extricate them. The Indian listened with the utmost attention to this discourse, and went away.
Being out a hunting, foon after this, juft as he had difcharged his piece at a deer, one of the Outagami Indians, whose nation was at variance with the Illinois, and who was lying in ambush, prefented his piece at his head. In this fituation he recollected what had been told him about the mother of God, and invoked her protection. The Outagami endeavoured to discharge his piece, but mifled; he cocked a fecond time, and the fame thing happened five times fucceffively. In the interim the Illinois had loaded his piece, and prefented it to the Outagami, who chofe rather to furrender than be fhot. From that time the Illinois would never tir from his village without his fafeguard, which he imagines renders him invulnerable. There can remain little doubt but this circumftance was the means of his converfion to Christianity, and the Romish religion: for he has certainly embraced that perfuafion, as I followed him to the great church, where, upon his entrance, after crof fing himself with the holy water, hre fell upon his knees, and feemed to worship with as much devotion as the most devout of the Canadians. But to return to my defcription of this place.
The road from Quebec hither is the whole way within fight of the river, being moftly upon its banks, which renders it extremely pleafant to travellers, especially in the fummer, as there is a conftant breeze.
The river from Quebec to Trois Rivieres is very wide, and at that place it forms a very large lake, called St Pierre, where the eye cannot reach across; you can only difcern a large body of water, with feveral islands, which, with the fmall
veffels failing between them, form a very romantic profpect. The tide comes no farther than this lake, terminating a few leagues beyond Trois Rivieres, when you meet with the river again, where it runs extremely rapid, at the rate of feven or eight miles an hour. At its first appear ance you can hardly fuppofe it the fame river, for where the tide has effect, it feldom runs more than four miles an hour; it increases in rapidity as you advance to Montreal, and oppofite the city it runs almost ten miles an hour, which renders it's navigation extremely difficult, as nothing but a very strong and favourable wind, with all the fails full fet, can enable veffels to ftem the current. What with unfavourable winds and light breezes, ships have been as long in getting up from Trois Rivie res to Montreal, as they were on their paffage from England to Quebec.
The rapidity of the current makes crolling not only disagreeable, but very dangerous, for unless you have a skilful pilot, the current will carry you a league below where you want to land. And yet it is furprizing, how expert the Canadians are with their wooden canoes; but the Indians far exceed them in working theirs, as their canoes are of a much lighter conftruction. Both being much ufed in this country, I shan endeavour to defcribe them, that you may be able to form fome idea of what they are.
Those which the Canadians ufe, are called wooden ones, being hotlowed out of the red elm, fome of which are fo large as to contain twenty perfons.
Thofe which the Indians use, are made of the bark of the birch tree, and diftinguished by the name of birch canoes, the different parts of which they few together with the inner rind of the bark of the tree, and daub them over with a pitch,
ør rather a bituminous matter, refembling pitch, to prevent their leaking. They form the ribs from the boughs of the hickory tree, and are conftructed of different dimenfions, fome being only large enough to contain two perfons, and others thirty.
These canoes are eafily managed by the Indians with their paddles,
Defcription of Montreal.-From the fame.
Montreal, Nov. 26. 1776. EFORE I defcribe to you this city, let me give you fome account of the island on which it ftands, and from whence it derives its name.
This ifland, which measures ten leagues in length and about four in breadth, is formed by the river St Laurence, and in the center of it are two large mountains, which are the first you meet with on the north fide of St Laurence, and were called by the first discoverers of this province, Monts Royaux, which gave name to the island, afterwards Mont Royal, and at last, by a variety of corruptions of the language, Montreal.
and with the curvent go at a prodigious rate, for one fingle ftroke with the paddle will force them twice the length of the canoe against it. It was with one of thefe birch canoes that General Carleton, with an Aidde-Camp, made their efcape thro' the enemy's fleet, when he quitted Montreal, for the purpose of putting Quebec in a better state of defence.
Of all the adjacent countries, there is no place where the climate is reckoned to be fo mild, fo plea fant, and the soil so fruitful: with all these natural bleffings, it is not furprizing to fee it thinly inhabited, and very ill-fettled, for, except two or three miles round the city, the country is moftly woods, interfperfed with a few fmall plantations.
The fummit of the mountains I have defcribed to you are extremely difficult to gain; but having once accomplished it, the delightful profpect that prefents itfelf, amply compenfates for the fatigue and dangers you encounter, being able to view the whole island, and several leagues round it. You can plainly difcern the mountains that crofs Lake Champlain, called the Green Mountains, which are near 60 miles diftant. It appears generally a vast foret, there being only three objects to diverfify the fcene: the view of the city of Montreal, the river St Laurence, and the mountains of Chamblee, which are exceedingly beautiful, and the more remarkable, being a plain level country, and not having a fingle hill for several leagues round them; they are confiderably loftier than the mountains on this island.
This city forms an oblong square, divided by regular, well formed streets, and the houses in general are well built; there are feveral churches, but thofe, as well as many of the X 2 houfes,
One thing not a little remarkable is, that this island contains a smaller one of about three miles in length, and two and a half in breadth, formed by two inlets of St Laurence. This little inland, which is called the Ifle de Jefus, is almoft cleared from woods, and has a small church
and a few houfes on it, rendering Montreal extremely pleasant; being fo fituated, that you cannot go a great length in any direction, before you come to it; and furely, after travelling through woods and fwamps, it affords a moft pleafing relief.
houses, have felt the effects of this
The city is furrounded by a wall and dry ditch, and at one end there is a citadel. Thefe fortifications were raised many years paft, as a defence againft the Indians, and fince the war, great improvements have been made to them; but the city is fo fituated, that no works can be raised to enable it to ftand a regular fiege, having many rifing grounds, that command it in more places than
When we gained poffeffion of this province, Montreal was nearly as large as Quebec, but fince that time it has fuffered much by fire; it is greatly to be wondered at, that it has not, one time or other, been totally destroyed: for in the winter, when the inhabitants go to bed, they make great fires in their ftoves, and leave them burning all night, by which means they are frequently redhot before morning. Imagine how very dangerous they must have been, when their houfes were conftructed of wood; few of thofe are now re maining, except in the outskirts of the city, the greatest part of them being built of stone.
The inhabitants here, as well as thofe of Quebec, having fo many times fuffered by fire, conftruct their buildings in fuch a manner, that they are not only perfectly fecure against that element, but even againft houfe-breakers, which being a little fingular, you will have no objection to my defcribing them.
The houfe confifts of one lofty floor, built with stone, and the apartments are divided by fuch thick walls, that, fhould a fire happen in one of them, it cannot communicate to any other the top of the house being covered with a strong arch, if the roof which is over it should catch are, it cannot damage the interior part of the house. At Quebec, that city having been fo often befieged,
Thefe doors and shutters are made of plate iron, near half an inch thick, which, perhaps, you will imagine, muft give the house a very difagreeable appearance; but it is far otherwife, for being mostly painted green, they afford a pleafing contrast to the whitenefs of the house.
This is the bufy time of the merchants belonging to this place, who are now using all poffible expedition in fending home their furs, before the winter fets in. The reafon affigned for deferring it till fo late in the feafon, is on account of the traders, fome of whom are but juft arrived from the upper countries, the merchants generally waiting as long as there is a poffibility of their return, and fometimes fo long in expectation of them, as to lofe their markets entirely.
Thefe traders, in the courfe of their voyages, are continually encountering hardfhips and difficulties, and their lives are frequently in imminent danger-nothing can counterbalance the great perils that await them, but the certainty of acquiring an ample fortune in the courfe of three or four voyages.
They fet out in the fpring of the year, in parties of about twenty or thirty perfons, with perhaps eight or ten large birch canoes; they have no fixed courfe to take, but fteer that where it is imagined they can meet with a tribe of Indians; keeping moftly upon the upper lakes, fome times