Appendix I

As observed in the Introduction, pp. xliv-xlvi, much of the experiential basis for The St. Lawrence and the Saguenay appears to have resided in the boat-trip from Kingston down the St. Lawrence and up the Saguenay to Ha! Ha! Bay that Sangster undertook as Sub-Editor of The British. Whig in the summer of 1853. Fortunately, all but part of one of the letters that the poet wrote for The British Whig during this trip, as well as during an excursion earlier in the same summer to Niagara Falls and various towns in the United States, have survived. With the exception of the initial portion of Letter VI (only the conclusion of which appears in print), these twelve letters were published as "Etchings by the Way" in The British Whig between May 27 and September 9, 1853. Most are signed with the initials "C. S.".

From Sangster's "Etchings by the Way," it is apparent that early in August, 1853, he made his way by train and boat from Ogdensburg, New York to Montreal, where he had intended to embark on the Rowland Hill on Monday, August 7 to see "the beauty of the lower St. Lawrence and the grandeur of the Saguenay" (Letter VII, The British Whig, August 12, 1853). An unanticipated change in train schedules, however, caused Sangster to miss the Rowland Hill on this occasion, and to depart Montreal for Kingston by way of Ogdensburg on Wednesday, August 9. In Letter VII, written partly in Montreal and partly in Ogdensburg on August 9, Sangster envisaged postponing his trip to the Saguenay for only one week, but, in the event, it was not until Saturday, August 20 that he again left Kingston for Montreal, this time by boat on the "Steamer `St. Lawrence"' (Letter VII[I], 2). By the evening of Monday, August 22, he was on his way down the "lower St. Lawrence" on the Rowland Hill, which returned him to Montreal early on the morning of Saturday, August 27 (Letter XI, 309-310). Leaving Montreal on the same day, he visited Bytown (Ottawa) and the Chaudiere Falls on his way home to Kingston, where he arrived, after a complicated journey by boat and stage, on Thursday, September 1.

The "Etchings by the Way" that cover Sangster's successful odyssey to the Saguenay are Letters VII[I]-XII. These were published in The British Whig on August 27 (VII[I]), August 30 (IX), September 1 (X), September 6 (XII), and September 9 (XI), 1853. In the following transcriptions of Letters VII[I]-XII, various handwritten corrections and additions in the microfilm of The British Whig that appear to be by Sangster have been accepted. Where logic or sense has required the elimination, addition, or alteration of a word, syllable, or letter, this has been indicated by square brackets. (For example, there are two "Etchings" numbered VII; the second has been designated VII[I].) Apart from spelling mistakes and typographical errors, which have been corrected, and punctuation, which has very occasionally been added for the sake of clarity, no other alterations have been made to the texts of the letters.



Etchings by the Way .... No. VII[I]



Steamer Rowland Hill,

Monday Night, 22nd August, 1853.




I embarked on Saturday night, at our good old city of Kingston,

on board the Steamer "St. Lawrence," and on awaking in the

morning, found myself at Prescott. This being the first trip I made on

the "St. Lawrence," I was not aware that she possessed so good

accommodations as she does. She is as comfortable a boat as any on     


the Line, and the affability of her skipper, Captain Howard, has long

since made her a favorite boat and himself a favorite Captain with

the public. On this occasion she was completely crowded with

passengers, chiefly Americans--so much so in fact, that the second

table was scarcely sufficient to accommodate them all. We left 


Prescott about half-past nine o'clock on Sunday morning, shortly

after the arrival of the "Arabian" with the mails and passengers from

Toronto; and as for the speed of the "St. Lawrence," I have only to

say that we reached Montreal at about half-past six in the evening.

This is pretty good speed, and equal to, if not ahead of any of the


other River Mail Steamers; but it must be remembered that the

stoppages are short, barely sufficing for the delivery and receipt of

the mails, during which the steamer "woods" without the slightest

unnecessary detention. I had not time to jot down anything at

Montreal, being kept busy all day in looking after the "sinews of     


war," on behalf of the "Whig." This will account for your not

receiving this letter on Tuesday; as I am writing on board the

"Rowland [Hill" I am] surrounded by two Frenchmen and an old

woman (also French) talking away in their telegraphic lingo, as if

determined to put a damper on the fluency of my ideas. But I   


perceive that I am getting somewhat telegraphic myself and

anticipating my story--story! quotha. "Story I've none to tell".

I love the excitement of the Rapids.--There is something

startling in the hiss and whirl of their "hell of waters" as the noble

boat dives fearlessly into their midst, like a Knight Crusader into the


midst of the enemy, while they raise their gray heads threateningly,

like the hoar spirits in fiery Ossian that rise at midnight to appal the

daring foe. But what do your readers want to be told about the

Rapids?--nothing. Not a man Jack of them but has probably seen

them a score of times, and appreciated their wild beauty, and daring  


headlong impetuosity; from the "Gallops" to the "Long Sault", the

"Cascades," and the "Cedars"--they are many of them familiar with

them all, as well as with every foot probably of ground that is worth

seeing between Kingston and Montreal. But it is on approaching

Lachine that the last great Rapid bursts on the sight, appalling the


weak nerves and striking absolute terror into the timid mind. It is

positively fearful to look down on the imminent dangers that

surround you on every side, as the steamer steals cautiously feeling

her way through the narrow channel; on each side of her the rocks

raising their massive proportions for a little moment on the view, to


be the next hidden by the boiling, foaming wave that leaps madly

over them, throwing its spray to the hurricane deck. The slightest

inattention, the swerve of a single foot to the right side or to the left,

and nothing short of instant and complete destruction awaits the

unconscious craft and all aboard of her. And yet the danger is never


thought of, a skilful pilot has come out to us in his long red

canoe--the Captain resigns his charge--and the hand of the swarthy

Canadian, on whose nerve and knowledge of the locality all

implicitly rely, for there is decision in his look, guides her steadily

down, leaping, plunging and curvetting like a river horse struggling


with a cataract. If the great Burke's idea of sublimity be correct, then

there is a fearful, a terrible sublimity in this Lachine Rapid. But, as I

said before, the danger is not thought of; all are so absorbed in the

grandeur of the scene, that there is no time for thought of fear--no

nervous twitchings or cowardice. On this occasion the American 


ladies, who were many, appeared to glory in the sight, and exhibited

not a little amazonian bravery when surrounded on every hand with

dangers so apparent and appalling. Honor to the strong nerve and the

keen eye of the swart Pilot! what should we do without him! A leap

down this Rapid is worth the entire passage money to a man who has


any love of danger and the sublime. I could have shouted for joy, for

it was the first time I had passed down it, and no inducement that I

know of could cause me to miss a repetition of the scene when in my

power. It is a tame thing to land at Lachine, and not have a chance of

seeing this wonder, knowing its great attraction. This is done when


the post is late and does not arrive before dark which so long as the

passably long days continue, will not be the case with the

"St. Lawrence"; and this is saying a great deal as the tourist who has

never been down the entire way to Montreal by steamer, can easily

ascertain. I was so absorbed by this Rapid that I have forgotten many


little memoranda I had notched down in my memory by the way.

N'importe. Your readers will lose nothing by my forgetfulness.

A few words about Montreal. The great topic of conversation is

the great Railroad Dinner given to Mr. Stephenson on Friday evening

last. Donegana's never shone so conspicuously as a great leading, a


model Hotel, as it did on that occasion, and praises of Mr. Joseph

H. Daley, the great "Manager" at Donegana's, are in every mouth.

As you will have cut the proceedings from some of the Montreal

papers before this reaches you, I will say nothing more on the

subject, simply premising that the immense Bridge to be erected


across the river, above St. Helen's Island, and which was the

principal topic of the evening, will, when completed, be one of the

most magnificent structures in the world. The Hotels are all crammed

"from basement to the cope," which speaks well for the travelling

season of 1853, and the increasing travel on this route. Mr. Rankin,


of Sandwich, I perceive by the Montreal papers, has purchased the

ruins of the old Donegana Hotel, on which he intends to build on a

scale equal to the wants of the city. During the travelling season,

another Hotel would certainly pay; but it is doubtful whether, taking

it all the year round, it wouldn't be rather a losing concern than


otherwise. However, as the thing is to be done it is well to see it in

good hands. From my personal knowledge of Mr. Rankin, I am

satisfied that one more popular for keeper of a first class Hotel

cannot be found. An affable, courteous gentleman--a perfect

gentleman in every respect--something greatly needed in this


particular calling.--There can be no such word as fail where he is


As a set off against the contemptuous manner in which the claims

of the Kingston Firemen are sometimes treated by the City Council, I

may state that an attempt is being made in the Council here to


increase the wages of the Firemen, which already is a very handsome

sum per annum. I simply state the fact--what more is needed?

Montreal most certainly deserves the name of the "Vandal City."

The Portrait of the Honorable Peter McGill has also been destroyed

by some incorrigible scoundrel. I think the military authorities are


greatly to blame for not removing the Cameronian Highlanders from

Montreal; rows are continually occurring between them and the

citizens, and serious bloodshed, it is feared, will be the upshot of all

this. Last night two men of the Regiment were assaulted; and it is

exposing the men and the citizens to unnecessary peril to permit


them to remain.

Tuesday.--I had got thus far last night when I determined to go

to bed. This morning at seven we are rapidly approaching Quebec,

and have left the many pleasing little villages which intersperse the

varying landscape far behind us. Many of these are exceedingly


romantic, the houses with their steep roofs painted red, the sides

sometimes painted yellow, rather disfigure many an otherwise

pleasing scene; but their double-spired churches make up in effect

for this bad taste in color of the Canadians; for where can you find .a

Canadian village without its church, large enough, too, in appearance


to suit the wants of a large town. In general the cottages are

white-washed, that dot the numberless projecting banks, and the

contrast to the eternal red roofs one sees on some parts of the route,

is very pleasing. By the by, I have not heard a solitary scrape of

cat-gut since I came aboard. Where is your musical negro barber of


last year? Did you snuff him out? or has Othello's occupation

gone?--He is not here, certain, some other fortunate vessel is

probably reaping the harvest of his mellifluous strains.

What a pleasing old gentleman is Capt. Ryan! I do not wonder

that he has a boat load every trip, for next to the attractions of the


Saguenay, the attraction of an affable and gentlemanly Captain is

something to boast of. But I must close this hastily written

letter--make the best you can of it, Mr. Editor. You know what

steamboat writing is. Quebec is in sight--in a very little time we will

be snugly moored at one of the wharves of this Canadian Gibraltar,


where we remain an hour. The little Indian village Stadacona,

founded by Charlevoix in 1608, has grown to a giant city of 48,000

souls. Did the founder dream of this?



Etchings by the Way . . . . No. IX



Steamer Rowland hill, off Riviere du Loup,
Tuesday, August 23, 1853.


My Dear Whig--Were I a poor cripple, or convalescent, living at the

sole mercy of some stern disciple of Esculapius, I should not choose

Quebec as a place of residence. As it is, I don't know what would

tempt one to live in the upper town and do business in the lower. I

have no relish for "such a getting up stairs" as is required of one at


the present seat of government; it don't agree with my temperament

and my knee-joints, and I couldn't stand it--no not for the honor of

sitting in that house that rises so prominently on the view as you

approach the harbor, with its glittering cupola reflecting back the

burning rays of the sun. The morning was delightful as we neared the


ancient-looking town, with its many historical associations making it

seem somewhat sacred to the British eye. On approaching Quebec

for the first time, one is strongly impressed with the massive

proportions of Cape Diamond, on which the Citadel stands, and [by]

the great strength of the fortification that watches sentinel--like on its


summit.--The names of Wolfe and Montcahn become associated

with the memory of past events in the early history of these

provinces, besides those of many others who fell in the great struggle

for supremacy on both sides, not only on the rocky precipice that first

catches the eye of the anxious tourist, but on the famous Plains of


Abraham, whence the spirit of the immortal Wolfe passed into the

"wide Silence" in the cheering hour of victory. A board affixed to the

side of the cliff tells that on that particular spot the brave

Montgomery fell in the last attempt of the Americans to capture

Quebec, on the 31st December, 1775, I believe. I had not time to go


further into the upper town than to the Post-office, consequently saw

nothing to write about--may I be more fortunate on my return. The

quaintness of the buildings in the lower town, and their weather­

beaten appearance, cause them to look like desperately hard cases

who had made up their minds long ago not to keep up with the


fashions, and to pitch modern progress and improvement, and all that

sort of thing, to the devil. The shipping, too, is something for an

Upper Canadian to see who has never smelt salt water. There are not

many ships in port now; but in a few weeks, when the fall fleet

comes in, I dare say that I for one would, like Cowper, speaking of


John Gilpin's next rule, like "to be there to see." After a short stay

the "Rowland Hill" left the dock, and passed the south end of the

town, when the view became at once doubly attractive: the heights of

Point Levi opposite, densely populated, in humble buildings, and

neat churches contrasting strongly with the giant proportions of its


busy elder brother over the river, the glittering of the numberless

roofs and the strong effect of the many houses on the north side of

the city--in the rear of the Cape as it were, the stir and opposition of

the ferry boats (steamers) passing over, dodging between the

shipping as if meditating a game of "tag," (I was a happy fellow


when I played "tag") and all heightened by the golden rays of the

strong August sun that gilded the shining roofs and the white

cottages on either side, and threw over the scene a flood of glory that

made the thankful heart and the thinking mind for pure joy. In a

little time we had passed opposite Indian Cove, an exceedingly pretty


little place, snug and humble-looking as a small village should be.

They have good facilities for shipbuilding here, as also at Wolfe's

Cove, where many a famous sea-worthy craft is prepared for her first

dip into her destined element. We soon came to the Island of

Orleans, which is one of the principal attractions after leaving


Quebec; it is so thickly strewn with white cottages down to the

water's edge, and rejoices all along its entire length in well­

cultivated fields, and has every possibile appearance of being

sufficiently productive for the support of many hundreds of families

who have made it their home. From one end of it to the other, a


distance of nineteen miles, it is completely strewn, as well as many

other places on both sides, with modest-looking retiring villages,

each with its ever-present comitant, the village church, specking the

rising grounds and extending pleasantly along the shores, like loving

groups of bridal fairies that had tripped down in the fullness of their


expressive little hearts to bid the passing vessel God speed and to

cheer her living cargo on their destined way with a smile of love. So

thought I as we passed the charming island of Orleans; I also thought

that it would be a mighty pleasant and healthy place to live on during

summer, but most inconveniently bleak and uncomfortable in winter.


To tell you the truth, Mr. Editor, I don't think you missed anything,

except the bare sight, by not catching a view of the celebrated Fall of

Montmorenci last September. The view from the steamer is anything

but attractive, but I hear that a nearer view is very charming--at

least I am told so, but I really cannot believe it. It may be that


Niagara has drove all the beauties of minor waterfalls out of my head

with its crushing and majestic downdourings of the liquid

element--we will see when I get to the Chaudiere. If at any future I

obtain a near view of Montmorenci, and find that I am in error, I will

do penance, Master Whig, in the shape of an additional etching, with


all the readiness of a good Protestant in haste to correct an

acknowledged act of wrong-doing. As I saw it this morning, it

looked like a capital contrivance for washing sheep, but nothing


Cape Tormento, which commences about midway to St. Paul's 85

Bay from Quebec, one of the great lions on this at length celebrated

route, now rose like one of nature's mighty genii from the deep, its

attendant tribe of hills looming around and about it irregularly at

intervals, many of them two thousand feet in height, crowned with

trees and verdure to their summits, and undulating far back and


forward, as far as the eye can reach; green and glowing with summer

freshness in the near foreground, and gradually becoming fainter as

their blue tops melted away towards the north, or seemed to

penetrate the brine towards the west:--Point after point of this

famous and much admired Cape was passed, presenting it to the eye


in every variety of form, and keeping the mind continually filled with

pleasing associations of light and shade, as we neared or receded

from the faint outline, the green and brightly glowing foliage, the

mossy-looking dales and neutral tinted peaks, that continually came

and went like a slowly moving and gorgeously tinted panorama lit by


the rays of the sun-alternating in majesty and beauty from first to

last. I saw nothing that I would call monotonous in Cape Torment.

The shores along the opposite side of the river, though occasionally

some distance away, are thickly studded with cottages, and seem to

be under excellent cultivation from the good appearance of the


extensive fields that stretch far back from the water's edge over the

hills. Gross Isle, the Quarantine station, is the next point of

attraction, not for any merit of beauty it may possess viewed from

the deck of the passing steamer, but principally owing to its being the

headquarters and grand depot of the contagious emigrant fever that


ravaged many Canadian towns in 1848. It is nineteen miles long, by

five and a half wide, and is said to be very fertile, even more so than

the main land adjacent to it, and has the reputation of producing the

finest fruit in "Lower Canada"--which, according to Act of

Parliament, I should have written "Canada West," but so long as the


government, in the official organ, the "Gazette," and elsewhere,

thinks fit to adhere to the previous appellation, as if the unfortunate

"Union" were a cunning hoax and a bitter delusion (which I fear it

is), what have 1 to do with being over particular about the matter?

As regards Gross Isle, the steamer keeps too close to the north shore


for one to obtain other than a mere glance at its fair proportions. The

scenery at and in the vicinity of St. Paul's Bay is very fine--the view

to my mind being one of the most charming on the route; the

irregular groups or nests of rounded hills in the back-ground, slightly

dimmed by their great distance from the immediate hills rising above


each side of the bay, giving to it a very captivating and romantic

appearance. Opposite this, on the south side, a light-house is erected

on the St. Roch shoal, to pass which safely requires the guidance of a

skillful pilot, as many a daring merchantman has found to his coat.

The delightful Isle de Coudres sits gaily on the bosom of the stream


opposite St. Paul's Bay, and is one of the fairest and most inviting

places on the entire route. After leaving St. Paul's Bay, where for the

first time in my life I sniffed the salt sea air, you come in sight of one

of the most charmingly situated of all modern little villages that

mortal eye ever gazed upon, with its fair companion the church,


round which the cottages cluster like May-day votaries around their

queen. It nestles closely to the bosom of a hill, near the summit, a

little past the bay known as "little St. Paul's," and is most artistically

relieved and beautified on every side by clumps and clusters of trees,

and patches of cultivated land, sloping to the water's edge, giving to


the tout ensemble of the picture a quiet-speaking beauty and fairy

grace seldom met with. This village is called "Eboullement," from

the parish of that name that lies back of the hills, and of which these

rising hills form a part. With the exception of the monotonous and

unprepossessing ridge of hills called "le Caps," (the Caps) almost


every mile of this famous country abounds with delicate white

cottages, which dot the banks, and the fair slopes that glide down

towards the water, that ripples gracefully beneath the high green

bank that stretches its lengthy proportions westward, lazily sunning

itself like a huge sluggard wearied and overpowered with the heat.


The smoke curling above the tree tops very frequently, ere the

cottages from which it rises shyly emerges from the soft and waving

screen of foliage that conceals it, often often reminds one of Moore's

Vale of Avoca; and surely "if there's peace to be found in the



"The heart that is humble might seek for it here."


We put ashore some passengers at St. Paul's Bay, stayed a moment

for this purpose, but did not land, and then steamed it down the

stream in fine style.

The first bathing place, Murray Bay, or Malbaie, for the latter was 160

its original name was now reached. It is ninety miles below Quebec,

and is a favorite resort for those who came down to the salt water for

medicinal purposes. There is now a long wharf not quite completed,

extending far enough into the river for large steamers to land; to the

end of this wharf they are attaching a continuation in the form of an


L, which, when finished, will make it a very good landing place, and

remove the particular objection that has heretofore be made by

passengers and steamboat Captains to landing here. A very great

crowd came down to see the sights--in fact the wharf was

completely crowded with anxious-looking individuals, of all ages


and both sexes, the majority being French Canadian girls and

women, having on broad straw hats, and carrying kettles of nuts and

huckleberries, which they brought down for sale. It was rather a

mystery to many where they all came from, and how so small a

village as that at Murray Bay could .contain so many fair inhabitants, 


and I half began to expect that the good people at Murray Bay had

borrowed a number of French Canadian Fairies from some of the

back villages over the hills, to get up an appearance of strength, and

an array of bright eyes (the Canadian girls all have bright eyes) to do

honor to the arrival of the "Rowland Hill;" but the doubt was


removed as the steamer swept down the River, and the Banks, like

those leading from St. Paul's Bay, were seen thickly strewn with

houses the very facsimiles of those already passed. Several villages

clustered here and there around the swelling mounds, or standing

meekly in the little valleys scaped out of the high hills, surrounded


by foliage, [ ] gave the picture an inviting aspect. One Church was

deemed sufficient for the entire population-if there were more, I

did not perceive them--and I seldom miss the sight of a church

where the landscape is worth looking at. Altogether, the view at

Murray Bay is greatly to my taste. The heavy masses of granite that


frown on the water, the many swells of undulating hills with flat

cultivated patches between and behind them, so quaintly and

harmoniously arranged, heighten the excellence of the general view

at this point. Frequently along the route, as the vessel speeds on her

busy way, the different views that break suddenly on the observer,


and again as suddenly disappear, afford the sightseer not a little

pleasure, if he is fond of scenery just tame enough and having

sufficient landscape variety to please the eye. Two finely rounded

green hills, for instance, as at Little St. Paul's Bay, their bare points

meeting in a romantic little valley that slopes downward to the shore, 


in which sits the Queen of maiden village, the houses all neatly

whitewashed, though plainly and unostentatiously finished, the

tin-roofed spire of the Church rising in the very centre, throwing

back the strong light of the sun, and in the background the blue

cloud-like hills retiring far into the distance; hills rolling far back


into the country, like huge waves, becoming dim and soft in the

distance-dozens of views like this occur on the way to cheer and

please the lover of the beautiful. Peace to their humble homes! After

all how can we blame the French Canadian for his adherence to old

customs, to such sweet homes as these, with their heavenly quietude


and fairy beauty, in preference to adopting the more thrifty habits

and occupations of his more assuming and certainly more industrious

Anglo-Saxon neighbors, who blame him for his apparent lethargy

and love of comparative or actual repose! Peace to these happy

homes--these quiet pastoral villages, no matter whom they shelter


or what tongue is spoken around their clean swept hearths!


Etchings by the Way. . . . No. X


Steamer Rowland Hill,
Ha! Ha! Bay, August 24th, 1853.


You are aware that I have not come down to these delightful

regions, of which every Canadian should feel proud, to write down

the particular number of miles from place to place, to sound the deep

waters of the Saguenay, or to dispute the height of these mountains

which are worth measuring or disputing about. Your letters of last


year contain a good deal of solid information of this nature, which

letters by the way, I found preferable to any guide book that I could

lay my hands on; so I will just e'en pursue the even tenor of my way

after my own fashion, without copying or treading in the footsteps of

any busy pensman, who may have gone before, which I think will be


the best in the long run. So here goes, slap dash; I'm in for it and

must get out of the scrape as best I can. I know that I have a severe

task before me, but a good will is half the business, so I have braced

up my nerves, and nail my colours to the mast and go to work as well

as a British Canadian can be expected.

Immediately after leaving Murray Bay on Tuesday the "Rowland  

Hill" crossed over to the south shore towards Riviere du Loup,

where she arrived at about half-past eight. She had hugged the north

shore so closely that we were a good deal sheltered from the wind,

but in passing into the open lake it became most intensely cold,


suggesting the propriety of promenading and overcoats, which were

both put into immediate use, and causing a hasty and an almost

general retreat into the saloon and cabin. The weather was not so

cold as to be really unpleasant until after nightfall; then, however, it

mattered little as there was nothing to see in crossing, and the night


was dark. No matter then if it friz--except perhaps for the comfort

of the good pilot, for whose especial sake all on board should pray

for the weather and soft southern breezes. One attraction we had not

counted on was a beautiful Comet--one of these straggling sidereal

wanderers--lost planetary souls, perhaps, doomed for some great


transgression to wander incessantly through the eternal solitudes of

ether, like the Wandering Jew, whom Eugene Sue tells us, still

strides across the length and breadth of our fallen world. (And is

there not a strong resemblance in the effects of the uncertain visits of

these twain--the Comet and the Jew! Is not the former the                 


forerunner of coming war, of scenes of blood and rapine, of Siberian

winters transplanted remorselessly for a season to the latitude of

British North America or the United States? And does not the

[latter], wherever he sets his heavy contagious foot, leaving behind it

seven mysterious marks, leave also behind him plague, pestilence


and famine, and woe unutterable? Depend upon it they are leagued

together for the overthrow of Earth--not that they are a whit better

themselves, but that it is either their "manifest destiny" to knock us

in the head some day, to our total overthrow, (as some strong Comet

will yet undoubtedly do with its fiery tail, when we least expect it) or


do they delight to keep us continually in hot water, with a kind of

Caliban playfulness, knowing the innate irritability of our poor

human race? I hold that the comparison is good; let the wiseacres,

for whom I don't care a half farthing rushlight, think and say what

they please.) This comet was seen for the first time on Monday


evening, immediately after the early stars had ascended their ariel

battlements to sentinel the night; but as I had gone down below to

write out my notes I did not see it until last evening-Tuesday. It

had taken up a position in the north-west; and its luminous body and

scarcely perceptible tail (and not very long) were both commented


upon unmercifully by the crowd of people who had assembled on the

deck of the "Rowland Hill," to have a look at the singular and

mysterious visitant. After having viewed this silent messenger, and

bearer, perhaps, of strange things, I went below again, full of strange

thoughts and hopes, and lamenting that my sphere of life had not


been after the manner of Dick or Nicholls--I had almost written

Herschel and Newton, I set about extending a few notes, carne near

finishing an etching, but my candle went out, and I also went--to

bed. By this time the steamer had dropped down to Cacouna and

anchored for the night opposite the high banks of this famous


Bathing Place. I arose bright and early this morning, but was

somewhat disappointed with the view; the fog being so great as to

almost preclude a view of the village that ornaments the height.

Cacouna is, Captain Ryan assures me, the best bathing place on the

route. Many prefer staying at Murray Bay, probably from its


picturesque appearance, but the water at Cacouna has long since

been pronounced decidedly superior to that at the former place, for

bathing purposes.

This morning the air was cool and bracing, and at about nine

o'clock we weighed anchor and started anxiously for the Great


Saguenay. The fog was soon dispelled; the sun soon came out, like a

strong steed anxious to run his course, and accompanied us with the

glowing face of a boon companion, smiling upon the landscape, and

bathing it in a perfect flood of golden light that made the mountains

and the leaping playful waters glisten again. We soon entered the


mouth of the Saguenay, between these two ridges of granite that

frown upon the darkling waters on each side of the river.

Bluffs--bluffs--bluffs; nothing but iron granite to feed the eyes on,

sometimes bare as if denuded of greenness by the blasts of

mid-winter or the heat of the tropics, and again here and there


studded with patches of stunted evergreens, giving a little of life to

the otherwise barren rocks that completely surrounded us. On

approaching the establishment of the Prince of Lumberers, Mr. Price,

at L'Anse 1'eau, where the steamer landed, two small whales, about

twelve or fifteen feet in length, were observed swimming about,


sunning themselves in the water, diving down and again appearing

playfully above the surface, as if exhibiting themselves for the

pastime of the visitors; and then as if deeming the performances

worth one solitary cheer at least, which they did not get, they turned

their backs on the audience and crossed the river, diving into and


emerging from the water incessantly until they disappeared in the

distance. Their antics gave much satisfaction to the passengers, who

watched them anxiously. At this station, where the steamer remains

but a few moments, in addition to the Saw and Grist Mills there are

something more than a dozen houses, besides stores; but few in


number as they are, they are accompanied by the never-failing

church, rearing its thin bright spire towards heaven. This a barren

looking spot to reside in, and reminds one of Byron's fine

expression, "Years, all Winter;" for excepting the few evergreens

springing up from between the rocks, and the water flashing at the


foot of the crag, below which the houses stand, it looks as if

perpetual winter were there, barring the snow, such a lack is there of

wholesome vegetation. Still the spot is interesting, from its very

barrenness, and was doubly so to me from the fact of my first having

seen a whale here, albeit a young one. Besides the two whales,


something looking like and said to be a grampus, made its appear-

ance twice. We also saw a very fine seal farther up the river.

Leaving L'Anse 1'eau to do the best it could for itself, and to take

care of the juvenile whales till we returned, the "Rowland Hill"

pushed up the Saguenay at a good pace. At every turn of the steamer


the prospect became more stern and interesting. Here we were

hemmed in by high granite hills, blackened and embrowned by the

suns of many centuries ere the eyes of man looked on their wild

sterility and startling grandeur, with not a shore to prevent the water

from breaking against their iron sides! The river became darker in


color as we proceeded, until, from its great depth, and the increasing

height of the bluffs, it assumed an inky blackness. The scene was

grand indeed; and much as I had heard of, and expected to be

delighted with, the Saguenay, I was not prepared to witness this

unimaginable, startling wildness--to see so many immense and


solitary-looking, heaven-reaching bluffs, as are seen in passing up

this stupendous river. Pile upon pile of solid rock, gaze where you

would, incessantly met the untiring and delighted eye: hills crowded

upon hills, of every conceivable shape, in as reckless profusion as the

flowers upon the Rice Lake plains. And not a single inhabitant for


miles, to speak of life; no living being in view, except the wrapt

crowd upon the deck; a solitary sea-gull sometimes hovered above

our heads silently and gently, or floated idly at the base of some

mighty rock, but did not even break the eloquent repose that

appeared to hang over the charming river and above the eternal rocks


that loomed far into the blue heavens around us, and that seemed to

present an impassable barrier to our egress in front. But as we

neared their polished sides, their adamantine gates were flung open

as by some magic power, and closed again in our rear after we had

passed through. One of the most striking of these immense boulders


is the mountain rock known as the Tete de Boule, standing in

mid-stream apart from its fellow bluffs with a kind of human pride or

love of solitariness and isolation. I dare say that among the

Indians--men like these rocky wilds themselves, of stout bold crests

and granite wills--there are many strange legends connected with


the most noted localities on this river. The phenomenon of the whale

pursued by a swordfish, which is supposed to be distinctly traceable

on the face of the Tete de Boule, probably had its origin in one of

these wild poetic legends prevalent among the red men, who, in pity

be it spoken, for a noble race they were, are fast passing away from


earth, leaving nothing behind them but the history of their great

deeds, with a few stray gems of their legendery lore, which the white

man has redeemed from obscurity by the advantages attendant on

superior mental cultivation, and the enlightened character of the age

in which he lives. Where is the place more likely than the Saguenay


to be haunted by and associated with legends as wild, solid and

imperishable as the rocks it laves, or as appalling and grand as the

granite-mailed mountains that raise their imperial crests--great

monarchs as they are--in awful majesty above the subject hills that

sentinel their feet and guard them upon every side! For great


distances these mountains are bare and barren, many of a

reddish-brown appearance, as if scorched by fire, as they have

probably--a flash of lightning, the friction of the dry branches of the

trees during a storm, may have been the cause; for the presence of

neither whiteman nor Indian is not always a necessary attendant on


these conflagrations in the wilderness--and here, in this wilderness

of rocks, the red lightning seems to have flashed over and scathed

their adamantine brows with the fire of its white-hot breath. In other

places the mountain boulders are covered with stunted pines and

cedars, with here and there a birch tree, and sometimes several,


attesting to the attempt made by kindly nature to keep up or redeem

her good name even amongst all this barrenness and sterility. Again,

they are densely clothed with evergreens, as you proceed upwards,

and an occasional beech is seen to invite the tired wayfarer to land

and set his sinful foot upon the hallowed soil. At length we came in


sight of a solitary house, looking like a child's toy, far up in a quiet

bay on the left that slumbered at the foot of two high rocks, from

which a narrow valley extended back among the hills. This was

opposite to the entrance of the river known as St. Marguerette's. A

little below this point is St. Louis' Island, one of the few that are


passed after leaving that stupendous island rock, the Tete de Boule.

The mountains now on the left bank (which are the most attractive

throughout) were covered with light green foliage, thickly inter­

spersed with dark pines, and then again, as if the sun shone on them

in vain, or nature had become tired of her fruitless attempts to clothe


the entire hills with verdancy, dark, heavy, beetling cliffs uprose

from the black water, stern and bald as if their green youth had

departed, and old age had settled down upon them long ages ago.

The "Little Saguenay" was now passed; it is one of the lumber

stations of Mr. Price, of Quebec, and runs up far into the country--a


narrow-looking stream as seen from the steamer, but probably of

great width. A ship lay at anchor near the shore. There is an excellent

bay here, with deep water, which particularly adapts it to the uses to

which the far-seeing lumber merchant has assigned it.

On--on over the black waters, ploughing our way through the 195

openings made for us by these gigantic boulders as they push aside

their massive gates, that loom like startling impediments in

front--huge granite knots which no human ingenuity could

undo--until we come to St. John's Bay, as well as the river of that

name, where the hills meet and lie in clusters, mingling in a soft


embrace--for who can speak of the deep loves of these old and

reverend hills! Again, all is overpowering solitude and eternal

majesty and grandeur, and Cape Eternity stands before us, covered

from foot to summit with large pines and rising two thousand feet

above us, the water at its base a hundred fathoms deep. Of all the


mountains on the route, Cape Eternity, with its appropriate name,

stands pre-eminently forward. Every eye is fixed upon its lofty sides,

upon its tree-clad summit, and every voice is mute, save now and

then as some of the most prominent and overpoweringly-beautiful

undulations of the vast Cape stand out imposingly from its noble


heights, a low still note of heart--felt exclamation passes lightly from

the lips of some passionate admirer of the beautiful and the sublime;

and again all is startling and impressive silence. Point after point of

this gorgeous Cape is passed; here, swelling outwards in thrilling

beauty--there, rising upwards with passionate sublimity-jutting


forwards and diverging backwards in soft green swells and airy

slopes, and wavy gracefulness or stern and massive boldness--a

mingling of soft, wild beauty with rich and picturesque sublimity, of

which none but those who are fortunate enough to feast their eyes

upon it can have the slightest conception. And thus, until it slopes


down gradually and gracefully at last, ending in Trinity Bay, just

before which a pleasing waterfall playfully dashes down the rocks

from an immense height, does this majestic Cape awe and please,

excite and beatify the mind, from the very first look directed towards

its distant top, that aspires to touch the skies. It seems as if the


Imagination has gone wild, and a vast Ideal Wilderness of Beauty

were passing before the mind, of which the Reality existed not in this

shamefully-abused, matter-of-fact world, Earth. Past Trinity Bay,

then comes that stupendous mass, "Trinity Rock," the commence­

ment of the Cape which bears that name. It is absolutely over-


powering to a mind intensely sensitive to such wonders of nature; the

whole weight of the towering rock seemed to crush into my brain,

leaving its iron impress there forever. I will not pretend to describe

the sensations it produced in me; the pen in my poor hand is too

weak an instrument for such a task. Of equal height to the Cape we


had just passed, it had more of startling grandeur, being for the most

part denuded of vegetation, raising its vast perpendicular granite

front, bold and naked before the eye, revealing as it were the fearful

Samson-like anatomy of its huge form, and laying bare its thews and

sinews, that its great power might be seen; while the waters at its


base are actually fathomless. There are no names of ambitious youth

notched in that rock. Here Ambition falls prostrate and worships,

and Adoration rises, filled with a glory that the fool-hardy can never

know. There is more foliage upon this Giant of the Capes after

passing this particular point, and an occasional waterfall comes 


trickling feebly down the rock like tears of gladness down a giant's

face, affording a singular contrast between its puny minuteness and

the immensity of the bluff down which it rolls. Waterfalls are rare

here just now, the intense heat of this summer having dried them all;

at some seasons they are very numerous along the route, and must


add greatly to the beauty of the landscape. They have not been so

rare for the last fourteen years as they are this season. In many places

deep seams or fissures extend from top to bottom of this rock, as if

Vulcan had hurled upon it the flaming bolts of Jove, but failed to

rend it. Trinity Rock is positively awful from its iron massiveness,  


and so overwhelming from its great extent and wonderful di­

mensions, that the brain reels and staggers beneath the weight of the

first look, and does not recover from its delirium until the scene is

past. Then it recurs to you like a dream, a fearfully lovely dream, full

of wild thoughts and thrilling earnestness. If Mount Blanc be the


"Monarch of Mountains,"

"Who have crowned him long ago
On a throne of rock
In a robe of clouds
With a diadem of snow."               

so is Cape Trinity the Monarch of Bluffs, standing apart from the rest

of his swarthy brethren that guard the shores on both sides of this

watery pass, crowned with a triple diadem of solid granite, the

acknowledged sovereign of these startling solitudes, before which

Cape Eternity itself bows the head in doing homage to its immensity.


So greatly has this regal Sampson of the Saguenay impressed and

tamed me, that I do not verily believe were I set down before it (I am

not very largely endowed with the divine spirit of Forgiveness), and

asked to forgive my greatest enemy--one who had robbed me of the

sinless joys of life, crushed my man's heart when it most needed to


be comforted, and trampled on my dearest hopes, feelings, and

aspirations--I would kneel before that vast triune bluff, remove the

hardness from my mind, and pluck the rancor of deep hatred from

my bleeding heart and cry "Forgiven!" As it was, I could have wept

tears of gladness, shouted for very joy in the transport of my


emotion; but my feelings were forced back upon me--had I given

them vent, I would have been laughed at for a fool. I would have

"given worlds" to have stood above its awful front, and startled the

deep echoes of the surrounding hills, that answer only to the thun­

der's voice, flinging them from rock to rock, while I sang the praise


of the Great Architect of Nature, in a place where, as Coleridge says

of the Vale of Charnouni, in his wildly-religious Hymn,


"All the hills and mountains shouted--GOD!"


I looked around on the passengers upon deck: all eyes were fixed on

the great bluff, all tongues were eloquent in its praise. I have stood


and gazed upon Niagara; watched its fearless and overwhelming

impetuousity; saw its tortured waters curling and hissing on the

brink, then plunged swiftly down the steep precipice with frantic

terror, dashed into minute fragments in the deep greedy gulf below;

and I have thought of the poor victims who year after year have been


immolated at its shrine to satisfy its longing thirst for blood--for

human blood--for the life that is so sweet to youth; was the Poetry

of Sound and Motion in their fullest extent. But on arriving before

Trinity Rock the feeling is widely different, though not less terribly

appalling. Here, there was no noise--all was deep, profound, un-


broken and religious stillness; here was the eloquent Poetry of

Silence, as if God sat enthroned upon the summit and the silence of

the wide universe had gathered to worship speechless adoration

before Him. Both Niagara and Trinity Rock are overpowering--both

strike the beholder with an inexpressible awe; but the one calls up


associations of human agony, of immortal souls hurried precipitately

and permanently to judgement; while the other suggests the most

tranquil ideas of peace and reconciliation--humbleness and adora­

tion--goodness and eternal truth. After the first wild excitement

wore away, a dread, yet holy, a sweet and soothing sweetness crept


into my soul and set a seal upon my lips; my heart knelt in

thankfulness before the Omnipotent Ruler of the destinies of all men

and things.--The true language of thanksgiving lies deep within the

heart, and does not find a tongue until the King of Bluffs is fairly lost

to sight. As I said before, the weight of this immense mass of granite


seemed to sink into my brain, and to have left its impress there

forever; for from first to last, I looked upon it as one of the great

seals of God set upon the world to mark it for His own.

The "Tableau," further down, is a steep rock pointed out by Pilots

as being twenty-one miles from Ha! Ha! Bay. It is a high mass of


granite, the surface of which for some distance above the water being

perfectly smooth and glossy gives rise to its name.--I omitted to say

that what to me seems to have suggested the name of "Trinity Rock"

or "Trinity Point," as it is called by some, are three huge steps of

granite at its lower side rising one above the other from the water and


extending nearly to the top.--The hills on the right side of the river

are completely lost in the grandeur of Capes Eternity and Trinity,

although under different circumstances worthy of especial note. We

did not go up to Chicoutimi, but passed the mouth of that River and

steamed up to Ha! Ha! Bay, where we remained for five hours, after


which we weighed anchor and started on our return home. They have

a good wheat-growing country about Ha! Ha! Bay. Mr. Price, who is

foremost in everything in these regions, having set the example, it

has been followed with the most pleasing results. A large moose deer

was caught here a short time ago, which visitors can obtain a sight of 


by going ashore. The `Caleche' scene on the approach of the boats

towards the beach, was most amusing; as I knew that the Jehus

sometimes drive their horses aboard the small boats, to the great

danger of their living cargoes, I did not venture my precious carcass,

but remained aboard to extend my notes while I had a little quietness.


Matters in general in my next--for the length of this letter, in

glancing at the final number at the head of the last page, appals me.

C. S.


Etchings by the Way . . . .No. XI


Steamer Rowland Hill


Thursday, August 25, 1853.


My Dear Whig--Ha! Ha! Bay, where I closed my last etching, is a

wide capricious body of water, but the surrounding scenery,

excepting a portion lying to the westward of the village, is scarcely

worthy of notice.--The Prospect on the eastern side looks extremely

barren, dead trees staring you in the face, like ghosts of departed


forests that had been frozen to death during the continuance of some

hard winter, which drove the vegetation fathoms deep into the soil,

and paralyzed the roots of the forest trees. These give it a bleak

appearance, but one can stand a little dulness after being gorged with

so much beauty on the way hither.--For my part I would have


preferred going to Chicoutimi, and had I been a bird, able to visit two

places at a time, should most assuredly have done so; for I have been

informed that there is some attraction at that place, while at Ha! Ha!

nothing but the bay itself, with its sudden terminus, is worth seeing.    

At Chicoutimi there is a waterfall and a very extensive lumber


station; and on the way up a dangerous reef of rocks, requiring the

guidance of a well-informed pilot to take the vessel up. Ha! Ha! Bay

is not a bathing place, and what people go ashore for I cannot tell, for

the landing is accomplished after a most wretched fashion, for want

of a wharf reaching into the deep water; the bathing places are at the


villages of Murray Bay, Riviere du Loup, and Cacouna, and are fast

becoming fashionable resorts. Both wharves and other necessary

conveniences they will ultimately have; the different landing places

on the route where formerly wharves were myths are now being

properly provided with the necessary adjunct to the wants of


travellers and the prosperity of the places interested. At Cacouna and

Riviere du Loup they still have to land and embark in boats, but all

these difficulties to the comfort of invalids and the pleasure of

curiosity hunters will be surmounted in good time. They must be, in

fact. The increase of travelling to the Saguenay is astonishing,


considering that it is only little more that three years since public

attention was first directed to this glorious country. The "Rowland

Hill" is the Pioneer steamer on the route, but, with all her good

accommodations, not sufficiently commodious for the immense

crowd she is sometimes compelled to carry. But all that mortal man


can do is done by Capt. Ryan to enhance the comfort of his

passengers.--We had a great many Americans aboard, who, tired of

visiting Niagara, Caledonia, Saratoga, the White Mountains,

Newport, Portland, and all the watering places, fashionable and

otherwise, from Cape Cod to Florida, have turned their attention to


the Saguenay; and for every one who comes this year, ten will be

sure to follow next.--The Americans, who are a great travelled and

travelling people, conversant with the best scenery on the continent,

invariably speak of the Saguenay as the most astonishing and

delightful region they have ever seen. Indeed it needs but a visit to


assure anyone with an eye in his head of the truth of this. There are

hotels now at both Cacouna and Riviere du Loup; the charges at the

three watering places are not high, and there are plenty of other

houses independent of the hotels, where visitors can be well and

comfortably accommodated if they desire to remain. The following


appropriate remarks are from a member of the "Pilot" of last year­

"What tourist can now tolerate Rome with its worn-out Carnival--or

Naples with its lousy fishermen! A new spot on the face of this

foot-trodden earth is something worth travelling for, and such a spot

is the Saguenay. What wonder then that hundreds of jaded men and


women, and pallid-faced children, pining for want of nature's

freshness, have hurried this season, and are still hurrying to the

Saguenay--for, in truth, where are they to go? Your fashionable

watering place is not your healthy watering place. Your buck and

belle who go to Newport and Portland would scorn the idea that


health was the object. It is excitement they want--excitement which,

alas! is killing them: killing the entire American race, with the help

(be it candidly admitted) of the quack doctors and pill-venders."

Volumes have already been written on the Saguenay; in a short time

it will be as well known and as extensively visited as any of the most


delightful regions on God's earth.

We passed Capes Trinity and Eternity, and indeed all the iron
hills of the Saguenay, in the night time as we returned (there being

no moonlight, unfortunately), and the first place I set my eyes on in

the morning was Cacouna. Of a fine clear day, Cacouna presents a


very pleasing appearance. Considering that it is a village almost of

yesterday, there are a goodly number of houses strewn along its high

bank; and, running eastward, a beautiful village stands invitingly on

the slope, with well-tilled fields below, looking exceedingly rural,

and presenting on the whole a really good view. This morning it


rained pretty freely as well as during the night, and on leaving Ha!

Ha! Bay; but the sun, like a good old fellow who can do the

handsome when he pleases, determined to put a stop to this sort of

thing, came out most gloriously, scattering the lazy clouds with his

hot beams, and clearing away the mist from the distant hills and


islands that lay many a league before us. About one hundred and fifty

passengers came aboard at Cacouna--many entire families from

Quebec and Montreal, returning homeward--and these added to the

many who had come down from Montreal, most of whom, as the

season was nearly over, returned by the same boat, made up no joke


of a crowd to feed and stow away. "The more the merrier," thought I,

and so it was. Arrived at Riviere du Loup, we learned that his

Excellency the Governor-General had gone overland from that place

to Halifax. Here we lost some passengers, whom we could well

spare; they were resigned without a sigh, not for the sake of the


provender, but the deck room--for every body was on deck. The

good steamer "Rowland Hill" was saluted with the discharge of a

cannon as she approached the shore. The situation of this village is

even better than that of Cacouna, that is, it presents a more

picturesque appearance, the village sloping downwards along the


shore to the water's edge, or to the bank. The hills in this vicinity are

high, but flat and well-wooded. Leaving Riviere du Loup, we passed

along a high bank, where the appearance of the fields would have

pleased the eye of a Cincinnatus, and their pleasing cottages would

have made a landscape sketcher have frequent recourse to his book.


After this we encountered on the left occasional hills and bluffs,

peering above the high bank, rising proudly and massively from the

water, and islands green and glowing, more by contrast with the

cliffs than from an excess of verdure; and on the right, mile after

mile of hilly, barren land that seemed to be laboring under a curse.


We met with a strong opposing breeze in crossing over to Murray

Bay. This part of the river is much exposed, and though perhaps

never dangerously so, is by far the roughest on the route, particularly

when a stiff north wind is blowing, as was the case to-day.--This is

a really charming Bay, from the negligent but beautiful arrangement


of its tree-clad hills and rich grassy slopes that lend it a softening

enchantment altogether alluring to those who come down to bathe.

Here most of them remain, although the waters at Riviere du Loup

and Cacouna are said to be by far the best. Murray Bay boasts of

many goodly-sized houses--indeed, it is far before its two rivals in


this respect; besides, there is a good wharf at which passengers can

embark and disembark with some pleasure. We took aboard about

fifty more birds of passage at Murray Bay, and by this time we had

enough on hand for ballast, could we have dispensed of them

ballast-like. But passengers will be here, there, and everywhere,


being a priviledged class of bipeds, and the consequence was that, as

every one would be on the upper deck, the "Rowland Hill," being a

jocutive old fellow, leaned a little now and then by way of variety,

causing a screech and an exclamation, when again all was quietness

and caution for a while, and fixed seats and goings down below, until


the rambling spirit came aboard again as full of mischief as a kitten.

Considering the load she had--of sin and satis--the "Rowland Hill"

did good service, and proved herself worthy of her name.

Although I have dated this letter at Cacouna, where I began it, it

will be seen that I have added to it on the way up, although guilty


perhaps of the unpardonable sin of repetition, for it is impossible to

note down everything one sees at a single glance--Murray Bay is far

behind, and we are passing ground that seems to savor of positive

enchantment; the dark green wavy foliage of the trees; the partly

embrowned and extensive slopes of grass, or fields denuded of their


loads of grain; clusters of trees dotting the little hillock, or a mimic

valley scooped out in the side of a hill over which run rude fences,

extending across large flat fields, marking the boundaries of these

graceful plots of ground; with a cottage here and there to give it life,

or a stray son of Adam wending his way along the beach or resting


carelessly upon the bank dreaming of joy or woe, or more probably

rejoicing in what the French call "the luxury of doing nothing." All

the way from Murray Bay to Eboulements the landscape is excellent,

and as for variety--'tis endless. I turned to take a last look--a last

fond look--at the village on the hill, which I think I spoke of in my


last letter. I don't know why, except it be from its extreme beauty

and its delightful site, for there is no loadstone there that I am aware

of--who knows?--but this village, both on passing down the river

and returning, had a charm for me that village never had before. But

I was not the only one who loved to look at it; our American friends


were in raptures with it, and one of them sketched it--lucky

fellow!--a Lilliputian-looking village that one could almost hug for

its intrinsic beauty--a something seemingly in miniature, creeping,

from very coyness and innate modesty, close to the green bosom of

the maternal old hill for protection, as if it were lately enticed into


existence, half against its will, or brought hither from a fairy tale by

one simple rub of some Aladdin's lamp--a little gem of a village,

which, did you strike it with a stone, looks as if it might be shivered

into fragments as it were a porcelain vase. So it seemed to me, that

village of Eboulements. I took another long last look at it--a last


look at St. Paul's Bay, at the round hills that seemed to float upon the

landscape; then sat down out of the way--not of the passengers, that

was impossible--but of the landscape which I had seen before, and

thought a good many things that filled me with divers feelings, and

made me think still more. I am often a very slave to my thoughts,


and sometimes feel as if I could choke them for their obtrusiveness,

but don't do it. So much for being good-natured.

Before closing this, my last letter from the Saguenay, I would add

another tribute, trifling though it be, to Captain Ryan, and in

speaking for myself personally, return him my sincere thanks for the


many kindnesses and attentions I received at his hands; I am sure

that all without exception who sought to acquire such information as

was at his disposal, will unite with me and cheerfully endorse what I

have said. The pilots, too, on the "Rowland Hill" this year are

intelligent men, fully acquainted with the chief points of the route,


and willing to impart their information to the passengers. This is as

it should be. Fair weather wait on the "Rowland Hill"! and may her

courteous and gentlemanly skipper long wear the laurels he has

earned while in command of her.

The "Rowland Hill" arrived at Quebec at nine o'clock on 180

Wednesday night, at which time, but for the stiff land breeze, we

should have been well on our way to Montreal. Glad were we to

reach a landing place, for the fifty passengers taken aboard at Murray

Bay, and the one hundred and fifty at Riviere du Loup, were found

too many for the provisions, and great scrambling was there to get 185

anything to eat, for the crowd. The skipper was completely eaten out

of house and home, and had very sensibly retreated to his

room--probably with some vague remembrance of Don Juan's

Tutor having been eaten at sea--for I really believe that, had the

voyage lasted four and twenty hours longer, without a fresh supply


of provisions, we should have picked the ribs of the "Rowland Hill"

in addition to those of her good-hearted skipper. But the passengers

bore up like stoics. As for the sleeping department, the jam was not

in any way calculated to put me in great good humour. For the first

time, I slept beneath the famous fortress at Quebec, so frequently the


theatre of action, from the time when Sir David Keith took

possession of it in 1629, up to the last battle upon the Plains on the

13th September, 1759, where fell the two brave Commanders of the

rival Armies, where the proud spirit of ambitious France was forced

to bend beneath the strong arm of Great Britain. Slept? quotha!


No--that's not the word. I lay there, 'tis true; lay there through the

lone long night, but sleep was out of the question, and Nature's

sweet restorer came not at my bidding. The cause was on this wise:

opposite to my berth in the lower Cabin, occupying two different

beds, one above the other, lay two French-Canadian damsels--


heaven knows how they got there, or why they beseiged the place.

Morpheus was no companion of theirs, Muta had given them up long

ago; they slept not, neither did they try to sleep, but kept up such a

running fire of talk, talk, talk, gabble, gabble, gabble, from nine

o'clock until two, that the mere thought of sleeping was an absurdity, 


and sleeping itself a downright impossibility at best. I opened the

curtains and peeped out. Young la-Belle France, in the lower berth,

was getting up in superbly-tempting dishabille--a kind of Nun's

dress, (I suppose it was--I know nothing about these things) to snuff

the candle. What brilliant eyes! what healthy cheeks! what


well-turned ankles, and such a pretty foot! Oh, Lawrence Sterne!

where would have been thy Tristram's philosophy had he been here

where poor Pilgarlic lay, as quiet as an oyster in its shell? In his

head--No! I thought of the evening when good harmless Corporal

Trim was, with all the gallantry of an old soldier, explaining the


mysteries of the fortifications to the fair Mistress Bridget--when the

ramparts fell! I was fairly beseiged. To attack and conquer young

France with my British arms, would have been the work of a

moment--but the Nun's dress popped into bed again, and the candle

went out.--Why was the old she sentinel in that upper berth? I


thought of what Richard III said to Lady Anne, and thinking I went

to sleep. The consequence of all this was, that I awoke next morning

with no joke of a headache, and not in the very liveliest of moods.

The day has opened most delightfully; Point Levi is partly

obscured by the morning mist, and looks as if viewed through a thin 


veil, giving the scene a somewhat aerial appearance and a very

pleasing effect. But the strong bright sun comes rolling up the East,

like a flaming chariot of fire; the mists gather round about him and

disappear, furling themselves up like gaudy curtains, or climbing the

Golden Ladder of the Morn formed by the sun's red beams, until


they finally disappear. Now gaze upon Point Levi. The eye glows

with the fire of animation; the strong old fortress throws its shadows

down its massive sides, and a deep sense of protection fills the mind

of the admiring crowds below that tread the decks of the vessels, or

throng the busy wharves. After breakfast I went ashore, and a few     240

moments afterwards stood upon the "Platform" that extends along

the brink of the fortress. Here I had a famous view of Point Levi, of

Indian Cove, the north bank extending towards Montmorenci, and

the high grounds in the direction of Beauport. Bulwer, in his Chapter

on House-Tops in that pleasing family picture, "The Caxtons," winds


up with; "O, Art! study life from the roof-tops!" Here, from the

"Platform," you are above the house-tops, and I know of no better

place than this to read the Chapter alluded to, so as to appreciate its

excellent roof-top philosophy. The old roofs of the ancient-looking

lines of houses in the lower town, green and mossy with age, are not 


less interesting than the more picturesque portions of the surrounding

country. Leaving this eminence, I proceeded up the town, and soon

found myself in the Governor's Gardens, where stands the

Monument erected to the memory of Wolfe and Montcalm, after

which I proceeded with all the locomotion my limbs were capable of


through St. Louis Gate, and thence to the Plains of Abraham, where

Wolfe, in the cheering hour of victory, breathed his last. The

monumental pillar now on the ground is plain and neat. It was

erected by the British Army in Canada in 1849, during the

administration of Sir Benjamin D'Urban, to replace that built by


Governor-General Lord Aylmer, in 1832, which had been broken

and defaced, and is now deposited beneath the present pillar. This is

recorded on one side of the monument; the other is a black slab,

containing an inscription, which every man of truly British feelings

should have by heart:   

Sept. 13th,


It is perhaps well to keep these things before the British-Canadian

public, although that portion of the population of Canada need

nothing of this nature to keep alive their deep-rooted adherence to

the British Crown; but even they cannot be too often reminded of the

hard struggles that England had to undergo, to preserve these her fair


Colonial possessions, or of the blood spilt by her fearless heroes in

maintaining her supremacy against the French in the early history of

these Provinces.

We left Quebec at eleven o'clock, sharp, on Friday morning,

meeting a countless array of villages between that City and Montreal.


Cap Sainte is very gaily situated on the right, folded as it were in the

soft arms of the high bank, and enlivened by the trees which almost

entirely surround it. On the left, at the Plateau, is a high point

overhanging the water, on which stands a most romantic-looking

residence, almost completely embowered in rich foliage. --L'Avenir,  


on the same side of the river, is a thriving village, with its two

Churches, and the banks along the shore, in some places, are white

[ ] with cottages. A great many rocks and shoals are then passed,

when another village, on the right, the name of which I have

forgotten, presents itself; after which St. Pierre is passed, the long


line of poplars in its front being a welcome relief to the eye--the

first I remembered having seen since leaving Montreal. Here, again,

a very high bank, and a church gracefully raising its spire above the

red-roofed houses of the village. We landed for the first time at

Baptistecan, one of the most delightful places on the route; its light


sandy beach, covered and beautified with that most graceful of all

Canadian trees, the elm, coupled with several white tents pitched

along the beach, making up as charming a scene as one could desire.

The tents were accounted for by a party of north-shore Railroad

Surveyors, who have progressed thus far with their labors, coming    


down to the shore in their red shirts, a little before the steamer left.

Chambly was then passed, the next landing place being at Three

Rivers, which lies halfway between Quebec and Montreal. I did not

expect to find so large a town here--it is sometimes a pleasure to be

agreeably disappointed. Between Three Rivers and Sorel I saw


nothing, having, as it was getting dark, housed myself, for the

purpose of resting my marrow bones.--This latter place, forty-five

miles from Montreal, we reached at eleven o'clock; and on the

morning of Saturday landed at the Vandal City as early as five

o'clock. At eight I had arrived at Lachine, and got aboard the


steamer "Lady Simpson"--of which more anon in my next, and last

etching. Your readers have been bored enough, and I have still a

little conscience left to feel for them.



Etchings by the Way. . . .No. XII


Bytown, 29th Aug., 1853.



I left Lachine by the steamer "Lady Simpson" at eight o'clock on

Saturday, and arrived at my present quarters at nine in the evening.

Shortly after leaving the wharf we were greeted with a pretty brisk

thunder storm, accompanied by a perfect deluge of rain, which lasted

until after we had passed through the St. Anne's Locks.--I expected


to see the Rapid (St. Anne's) which Moore has immortalized in his

"Canadian Boat Song," somewhat deserving the honor with which

Erin's gifted Bard has covered it; but I was sadly mistaken, and

found that my imagination had been indulging itself too freely. At

the present time it is a mere ripple; at the best of times not to be

compared with the meanest of the many Rapids of the St. Lawrence.

What it may have been when the brilliant author of "Lalla Rookh"

condescended to elevate it into classic ground, I cannot tell, but I

fancy that many tourists, approaching the Rapid with book in hand,

their eyes upon the page, and their lips humming the beautiful air to


which the words of the "Boat Song" have been wedded, have felt

very much as if they had been hoaxed, and acknowledged in their

hearts that they could pitch the enthusiastic Tom Little into the

current for the pains he took to make the joke a palatable one.

Notwithstanding this, the ground is sacred, one of the "green spots


upon memory's waste" dedicate to Moore, and it will continue such,

though the stream were dried to-morrow, and nothing but the pebbles

at the bottom remained to mark the spot. Peace be to thy manes, Tom

Moore! would there were others like thee to fling their classic verse

broadcast over the many Isles of Beauty and nooks of fairy


loveliness with which Canada is strewn. We soon passed into the

Lake of the Two Mountains; in front, loomed the prominent green

mounts from which it takes its name, and on the left rose several

islands, like fair gardens emerging from and sailing on the water,

which has a brown appearance. The rain, and the heavy mist that


accompanied it, prevented me from making as good an outside use of

my visual organs as I had previously done; so that I had a little time

on hand to look into the conveniences of the steamer over which

Captain Shepherd presides. The "Lady Simpson" is a neat and

comfortably-fitted boat, particularly adapted for the route on which


she is employed, and under the guidance of her present Master has

attained to a degree of popularity which must be highly satisfactory

to her owners. While this is chiefly owing to the obliging disposition

and gentlemanly demeanor of Capt. Shepherd, it is not a little

induced by the excellence of the vessel and her good accommoda-   


tions, to which the travelling public will readily attest. She is just

large enough for the route: a neat, compact, comfortable boat, with

good average speed, and a credit to the Ottawa. As we approached

the second landing place from Lachine (Riggs') the high hill nearly

opposite presented a very agreeable appearance. The rain had ceased,


and the mists were rolling here and there over its summit, and

stealing gracefully up the sides and from the tree-covered hollows on

its broad breast, like light smoke passing upwards from innumerous

fires, where the flames are not visible to the eye; the contrast

between which and the dark foliage of the trees, uncheered by the


sun's rays, made up just such a picture as tends to cause a gradual

return to pleasant feelings which have been damped and mist-i-fied

by a dull morning and a heavy rain.

Having landed at Point Fortune, I bounded into a stage, and was

soon on my way to L'Orignal, passing the Carillon Rapids, that


tossed and tumbled down the shallow stream, and any number of

valuable rafts, that spread their vast dimensions below the steep

banks that lay on either side. The stage stopped for a little moment at

Hawkesbury, a small village of some pretensions, that threatens to

become something one of these days. Besides numerous shops and


dwelling houses, it has a large Hotel, in which there is an Office of

the old Telegraph Company, of which I am happy to say, the late

messenger and assistant in the Kingston office has charge. After a

good deal of heavy driving (I detest stages) we arrived at L'Orignal,

(17 miles from Point Fortune) and I was glad a few moments after to


see the steamer "Phoenix" struggling upwards against a strong

breeze that blew directly in her teeth. All aboard; myself the most

anxious of the many passengers, for there is nothing to excite

me--nothing to be seen--failing which I dip into the August

number of "Putnam" voraciously, to make up for lost time. I found  


the "Phoenix," Captain Slater, a perfect jewel of a boat of the

Koh-i-noor species, and much more commodious than I expected.

Whenever I see a steamer having good deck accommodations, I

conclude at once that her owners have some of the milk of human

kindness (a rare article) in them. I have travelled on so many


steamers where deck passengers and cattle, if there were drovers

aboard, were stowed together indiscriminately, after the Uncle Tom

fashion, that when I see one like the "Phoenix" so well fitted up for

the comfort of those who cannot afford to pay cabin fare, I have a

leaning towards my race, and feel certain that some of us will get to 


heaven after all. The "Phoenix" has no upper saloon like the "Lady

Simpson," but her cabin is capacious and comfortable, and her speed

excellent. Very few places of note are seen in passing up Grand

River.--The residence of the Hon. Louis J. Papineau marks his

seigniory La Petite Nation, which I believe is the last seigniory in


Lower Canada. The building is situated on a high bank, a most

judiciously selected site, but is so hidden by the trees that nearly

surround it, that it cannot be properly seen until fairly abreast of it. It

is built of stone, not very large, and after so quaint a fashion that it at

once attracts attention.--A little further on are the Georgian Springs,


which I believe the new proprietor is likely to make a paying

concern; the principal reason of their not obtaining the same

notoriety as the Plantaganet, and other waters, is that they were never

properly brought before the public, a fault which the present

proprietor is still contending against and fast getting over. He           


appears to know that the secret of prosperity lies in advertising, and

knowing this, and acting upon it, he cannot fail to prosper. It was

past nine when we reached Bytown, and right glad was I to get

housed again comfortably on dry land.

On Sunday, instead of going to church, as many a man no better 100

than myself would have done, I started after breakfast for the Falls of

the Chaudiere. Not being conversant with the shortest route, I soon

found myself above the landing. This was bad reckoning. I could

now hear the noise of the Falls, but could not see them. So crossing

over the lower lock I scrambled up the bank, to the great risk of my


neck; but I soon found that I had barked up the wrong tree, or in

other words ascended the wrong hill. Let those who think the ascent

a mere trifle try the experiment, and the next time, depend upon it,

they will act less on the impulse of the moment, and seek some other

and more practicable route to the top. A passably good but too


distant a view of the Falls is obtained from this hill. It was here that I

first saw the white spray ascending like morning incense above the

tree tops. You can just perceive the water struggling and opposing

the fatal plunge--the piles of foam churned by the turmoil and

agony of the first, violent strife--the white clouds floating,


sun-tinted, above the brink of the hissing chasm, or playing

fearlessly with the rough mane of the dark broken mass that leaps

half resolutely from the level curve of what is prosaically called "the

Kettle." The several islands above the Falls heighten the effect, but

the view is too remote, and I am soon standing, all admiration and


delight, within a few yards of this young Niagara. It is really

magnificent--that is the word. I had no conception of the thrilling

beauty and youthful wildness and gracefulness of these Falls until I

visited them. I had heard a good deal about them, heard them

extolled by many who had seen them, but was not prepared to find


them so truly graceful and delightful as they are. There is a playful

cheerfulness about them at first sight that partakes somewhat of

grandeur as you continue to drink in their refreshing beauty, with

your head bared and your hair moistened with the gentle spray. I

remained about an hour, and viewed them from different points; first   


from the bank, often changing my position, an upright one--lying

down upon some logs that extended along the shore--and again

from two pieces of timber reaching from the beach to a flat piece of

rock, which were swayed to and fro with the motion of the waters

that rolled beneath them. What better sermon did I need? Was there


not here an eloquent and untiring sermon fresh from nature's lips,

that filled the heart with a deep surety of the Omnipotence of God?

This fair leaf from nature's book--this open volume held by nature's

hands--how feelingly it spoke to my aspiring, thankful soul!--Ha!

ha! it was a rare sermon!--its oratory of the most convincing


stamp--a Demosthenes, with huge pebbles in [hi]s mouth, a Cicero,

impassioned as a God! No wonder that I sang "Old Hundred" in its

ears--no shame that I confess it! Beneath me was a beautiful

iris--the Bow and Seal of the Covenant--stamped as it were on the

heaving bosom of the stream by the hand of the Deity. I turned, wit


some regret, and walked round to the Suspension Bridge, from which

any variety of views can be obtained. It is pleasing from this point to

watch the light spray battling with the vexed waters, like an infant

struggling to escape from a giant's arms, and then shooting upwards

in its graceful robes like the white smoke rolling from the mouths o


[ ] ten thousand fairy cannon-- the waters welling up from the deep

boiling cauldron as the spray ascends, as if to grasp it in its flight,

and failing in this, hurrying down flecked with snowy foam and

dashing against the sides of the limestone ledge. Thousands of minor

falls dance and leap over this ledge of flat rock, bubbling up from an


interstice here, and oozing out there from between the roots of the

small clusters of trees and shrubbery that have the hardihood to exist

on the barren ledge. With the exception of these attempts at

vegetation, this limestone ledge is now bare; in the spring, at high

water, it is completely submerged, and the Fall itself more interesting


from the heavy body of water that rolls over it. Great numbers of

logs are standing on the brink of the Fall at various points; I waited

in vain for [one] of these to take its final plunge into the deep

cauldron, down which portions of rafts sometimes disappear end

foremost, and are never seen again. [L]et those who have not seen  


the Falls of the Chaudiere do so if their good angel leads them to

Bytown; and if they are even half so much charmed with them as I

was, they will be well paid for their trouble.

The scenery round about Bytown is excellent; standing on the

high embankment from which I first caught a glimpse of the


Chaudiere, there is a most extended view, that is not surpassed by

any I have seen--the fine hills of that immense lumber region, the

Gatineau, rising proudly above the whole. A vast improvement has

been going on in Bytown since I was here two years ago. In fact, I

scarcely recognized the place: then, it was all mud and slush; now,


the sidewalks are well paved, and the number of excellent buildings

that have gone up have given it a more city-like appearance, of

which the Bytown people are not a little proud. They have several

good hotels, amongst which I would single out that of Mr.

Armstrong, in upper town, where the traveller will be sure to meet


with every attention that he can desire.--He will find quiet, retired

quarters if he need them, and as good living as at any hotel of greater

pretensions. A more agreeable, gentlemanly, or attentive host than

Mr. Armstrong cannot be found, and his servants vie with one

another in their anxiety to secure you comfortable quarters. When


you go to revel in the magnificence of the Chaudiere at Bytown, put

up at Armstrong's by all means, if you desire to be at home. One

thing I noticed in passing the Post-office here, which I think would

be an improvement if introduced at Kingston, and that is a slip for

the insertion of newspapers after the office is closed.--This preve


the crushing of papers and the tearing off of their covers by forcing

them through the narrow slip intended for letters. The mere

instancing of this fact, I opine, is sufficient, and should not be lost

sight of at Kingston on the fitting up of the new Post-office.

On Tuesday morning at five o'clock I took the stage for Aylmer. 195

During almost the entire route the grain fields, particularly the oat

crop, presented a most healthy and bountiful appearance; some fields

not quite ripe, some cut, and others standing ready for the sickle,

waving their yellow heads to the cooling breeze that swept over them

from the Ottawa; the corn fields, too, were many, and looked well. I 


found this a very pleasant drive, and on the way observed a great

many rafts, some moored by the shore, some passing over the rapids,

and others being rowed from the land by the raftsmen, who are met

with in almost countless numbers during the entire nine miles.--The

village of Aylmer is most delightfully situated; and a prosper


little village it is, too. A line of stages ply between it and Bytown

daily, and the steamer "Emerald," Captain Cumming, leaves three

times a week for Lac Des Chatts; they have lately erected a large

gaol and court-house, which would do credit to a much larger place

than Aylmer. Its stores and dwellings attest to the substantial


character of the place, and the hotels seem more than adapted to the

wants of the people. More than this, they have a newspaper of their

own, which is proof positive of their determination to go ahead.

I left Bytown on board the steamer "Beaver," Captain Farmer, on

Wednesday morning, thinking to find this good old servant of the     


public pretty well used up, but not a little surprised was I to find the

accommodations on board as good as they were in her palmiest days.

On this occasion the "Beaver" had a full load of passengers and

freight--so much of the latter in fact as to be compelled to leave a

portion behind.--There is a great regularity on board this steamer, 


and the table is one which a man of large alimentiveness would

pronounce excellent. Captain Farmer is not only popular with the

public, but he deserves to be, which are two distinct things

now-a-days; and it is owing much to his popularity and strict

attention to his duties that the "Beaver" is doing a slashing business    


this year. Everybody is aquainted with the route up the canal, the

many growing villages interspersed along it; the beautiful views on

entering Rideau Lake, which remind you somewhat of the

Thousands Islands of the St. Lawrence; the romantic position of

Jones' Falls, where the best of water power is wasted year after year;


the fine openings made by the luxuriant islands which are met after

passing the Falls; as well as the "drowned-dead" lands, where stand

in lank array whole armies of the skeleton spectres of the old woods

that met with a watery grave long, long ago. Not a word will I say of

any of all these, but will hasten to bring my letter to a close, fearful   


of having trespassed too much already on the indulgence of your

readers. The "Beaver" arrived in Kingston on Thursday about four

o'clock, bringing with her, amongst other notables, your obediant

servant--and here I am.