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[the crack, or opening, about five feet broad: we quently the case in March and April. Snow bewere at it in a moment; it was impossible to ing a good non-conductor of heat, answers this check the horses, or to stop and consider of the purpose : blankets, too, are frequently used. practicability of passing, or of the consequences; The frost not only preserves beef, mutton, and the driver, without consulting any one, had poultry, but also fish, so long as you can keep made up his mind on the subject, —the horses it in a temperature below freezing. The fish took the leap, and cleared the opening, carrying market, during winter, is pretty well supplied, the sleigh and its contents with them. The con- owing, not a little, to the great industry of the cussion on the opposite side was so great, however, people of the United States, who come even that the runners of the sleigh were broken, and from Boston to Montreal, á distance of 420 there was a great chance of our being thrown, miles. by the violence of the concussion, out of the Provisions of all kinds are more plentiful, and sleigh, into the gulf we had crossed : this had consequently cheaper, in winter than in summer. very nearly taken place ; but I was fortunate The market is supplied from a greater extent of enough to regain my seat. By the help of some country. The lakes and rivers being frozen, and cords we repaired our damage, and proceeded on the people without work, they bring to market our journey. We met with several other cracks, all sorts of meat and poultry, from a great disbut as they were not in general above a foot or tance. Being hard frozen, it can be stowed in two in breadth, we passed them, without fear or their carioles without receiving the least injury accident. When the ice is cleared of snow, from the great length of carriage. which was frequently the case, I could see that Good beef and mutton are then sold at from 3d. it was about a foot in thickness; yet it made a to 4d. per lb.; good fat fowls at 20d. to 2s. per crackling noise as we went along, and seemed to couple; turkeys 28. to 2s.6d. each ; geese and give to the weight of the sleigh and horses, as ducks in proportion : so that the expense of we advanced, which produced sensations not very housekeeping, in these articles, is not great in pleasant.
winter. In summer, as meat is supplied in the “ There are a great many islands in Lake towns by the town butchers alone, the price adChamplain, which are generally inhabited; you vances considerably. The great heat of summer find inns on them, too, where you can get pro- renders it impossible to bring meat from any visions and beds, if necessary.'
considerable distance. 9. Provisions not dearer during that season. It is a fortunate thing for the people in the The severity of the cold, in this country, has its towns of Canada, that provisions are cheaper in advantages as well as disadvantages. The quan
quan- winter than in summer; for the winter subjects tity of snow with which the ground is covered, them to a heavy expense for firewood, which is, renders it necessary for the farmer to house all as you may well believe, a sine quá non in this his cattle and sheep, and to put his hay, straw, climate. and corn, under cover. So soon as the ground The expense of fuel to a family in Quebec or is covered, and the frost completely set in, the Montreal, is fully equal to what the same family cattle and sheep, which are destined for winter would require in London; and it is to be reuse, are killed; and also poultry of all kinds, gretted, that there is no prospect of its becoming before they have lost any of the fat they had cheaper. On the contrary, in proportion as the acquired during the summer and autumn. Little woods are cut, and the distance of carriage inor no salt is necessary to preserve them : they creased, the price is augmented; so that in time only require to be exposed to the frost for a it will be cheaper to import coals than purchase short time, and they become as hard as ice. wood. Firewood is generally laid in during the When in this state, tħe poultry, and indeed the summer. It is brought to Quebec and Montbeef and mutton too, are packed in casks or real on the river, in immense rafts. The wood boxes amongst snow, and at the end of four or is cut into junks, and piled upon a float subfive months are still perfectly sound and good. divided into compartments of a certain size, conFrozen meat is thawed by keeping it in cold taining so many cords. In winter, it is brought water about twelve hours—warm water would from the country in sleighs, and sold at so much render it useless. After the meat is hard frozen, per cord, or per sleigh load. No coal has yet the principal thing to be attended to, is to pre been found in Canada; probably, because it has serve it from the external air, when the tempe never been thought worth searching after. It is rature is above the freezing point, which is fre- supposed that coal exists in the neighbourhood)
[of Quebec; at any rate, there can be no doubt serve through the winter, become thawed, and that it exists in great abundance in the island of are either destroyed altogether, or greatly in Cape Breton, which may one day become the jured. Newcastle of Canada.
It is surprising, that although this circumAt present, coals are to be purchased very stance has occurred frequently, and the people cheap in Quebec. Many of the vessels from are subject to it every year, yet there is not Scotland, and from the north of England, take much attention paid to putting the provisions in coals as ballast, and sell them very cheap, in such a situation, and packing them up in such sometimes as low 17s.
chaldron. Even a manner, as to effectually prevent their being the kennel coal, which is difficult to be be met accessible to the warm air, during the thaw. It with in many parts of England, is sold at 36s. might be done very easily : let them be packed per chaldron, which is not above half the price in a tight box or cask, after being completely of Newcastle coal, in winter, in the neighbour- frozen, and this box or cask put into another, hood of London. People who have been accus large enough to admit of its being surrounded tomed to burn wood, do not like to burn coal. with pounded ice and snow, which would act as They tell you that the smell is extremely disa a perfect non-conductor of heat, and preserve greeable to them, and, besides, that coal does the contents of the inner box in their frozen not answer for stoves so well as wood. This state for a great length of time. The outer box prepossession against coals, accounts for their should have holes in its bottom, to allow any being proportionably cheaper than wood. water to run out, which might arise from the
It is well, however, that they have either melting of the snow. This method has, we bewood or coal, for the effects of frost in this lieve, been tried with success; but it is by no country are with difficulty guarded against, and means in general use. are often in themselves
During the thaw, a very extraordinary effect 10. A sudden thaw.-In thus having endea is produced, sometimes, on the trees. The Cavoured to afford some of the striking features of nadians call it a ver-glass. The tree, from the the Canadian winter, we ought not to have trunk to the point of the smallest branch, beomitted that, during the most severe cold in comes incrusted with pure ice. There may be a January, a great and very sudden change takes small degree of frost during the night, which place almost every year, and continues for a day
will freeze the moisture that covered the trees or two. From a most severe frost, when the during the day; and, it is probable, that the exthermometer shews 60 degrees below the freez- ternal parts of the trees themselves, being cooled ing point, it suddenly becomes so warm, that down below the freezing point, by the extreme the thermometer shews three degrees above cold of the previous weather, freeze the vapour freezing. In short, the weather will sometimes the moment it comes in contact with them; in change in a few hours, from nearly the greatest the same way that the glass of a window in windegree of cold that ever was known here, to a ter becomes incrusted with ice, by the freezing complete thaw. Such a great and sudden change of the moisture in the air of a room. The is productive of very unpleasant sensations. The branches become at last so loaded with ice, that stoves and winter clothing are quite oppressive; they can with difficulty support the weight of it; and yet, it is dangerous to dispense with either, and if there happens to come a storm of wind, for you, every hour, look for a return of the which is not unfrequent, the branches infallibly cold weather. Fortunately, it does not in gene- break off, and the destruction amongst trees of all ral continue many days; sometimes, however, sorts is immense. Through the effects of some of it has been known to last 10 or 14 days; and, the ver-glass, branches of trees, from six to 12 when this is the case, it is of very serious injury inches in diameter, are seen every where hangto the country, in a variety of ways. It is ex ing from the trees, completely broken down. tremely prejudicial to the health of the people. We are told, that there can be nothing more The streets are so inundated with water, from curious or beautiful than one of those ice-inthe melting of the snow, that you cannot walk crusted trees, when the sun shines upon it. Inout; and the roads become so soft, and the deed, one can easily conceive that it must have rivers so full of water, that you cannot use a the appearance of fairy work, or enchantment. cariole, or travel, indeed, in any mode. But, 11. Method of warming the houses.-In Quebec what is a much more serious evil than all these the rooms are heated by stoves. The principal things, the provisions which were destined to advantage arising from this practice, is the uni-]
form heat which is kept up, so that the walls of a bushel of lime; and it makes a very hard and the room become warmed, and communicate their durable mixture for rough casting. In places warmth to the air which comes into the room, the most exposed to the e. wind, it has remained and gets in contact with them. In a room, the hard and fast, after a fair trial. walls of which are cold, if the air is heated and 12. Breaking-up of the winter.- No part of rarefied, it will be cooled and condensed the mo the Canadian winter is more interesting than the ment it comes in contact with the cold walls; conclusion of it, when the snow begins to disand as by condensation it becomes heavier, it appear, and the ice in the rivers to break up; it will rush downwards, producing a current of which is the case in the end of April. One would air towards the floor, which will be felt by those naturally suppose,
naturally suppose, that six months frost and snow sitting close to the wall.
would have become insufferably tiresome to a The Canadians keep their houses very hot; and stranger; but this is not the case. The winter they themselves, while excessively warın, go im may be divided into three seasons, or portions, mediately into the cold air, without seeming to as it were : for two months at the beginning the feel any inconvenience from it; which would in snow is falling, and the frost becoming daily more duce one to believe, that the sudden transition
The middle two months of severe frost from a hot room into the cold air, if the person is not without interest ; for then is to be seen be properly clothed, were not so dangerous as is winter in all his majesty, after he has bound up generally imagined. This is further illustrated the lakes and rivers in fetters of ice, and covered by the instances we have already mentioned, of the earth as with a mantle. The last two months ladies and gentlemen going into the cold night are interesting, because there is then an anxiety air, out of a warm ball-room, without suffering to see by what means, and in what manner, such any inconvenience from it.
an immensity of snow and ice is to be got rid of. We are disposed to join in the opinion of those The influence of the sun is little felt in who think that the living in a warm room, so February. In March, however, you are sensible far from weakening and making you delicate, as of its power; and, during this month, the weait is termed, and rendering you unfit to bear ther in general is very beautiful; the frost is still cold, is the best preservative against the bad sufficiently severe to keep the roads hard and effects of cold, when you may be under the ne- good; the sky is clear, the sun shines bright; it cessity of exposing yourself to it.
is pleasant to get into a cariole, and drive a few It has been observed by an eminent philoso- miles into the country. During the month of pher, that if, during the time we are sitting still, April the influence of the sun has been so great, the circulation of the blood is gradually and in as powerfully to affect all nature. The snow has sensibly diminished by the cold which surrounds nearly disappeared about the first week in May; us, it is not possible that we should be able to the ice in the lakes and rivers is broken up by support a great additional degree of cold, without the increase of water from the melting of snow, sinking under it. We should be like water, and it is floated down to the great river St. Law which, by exposure to moderate cold in a state
rence, where it accumulates in immense quantiof rest, has been slowly cooled down below the ties, and is carried up and down with the tide. freezing point; the smallest additional cold, or a At this time the St. Lawrence presents one of small degree of agitation, changes it to ice in an the most extraordinary scenes in nature. It is instant; but water, at a high temperature, will impossible to form an adequate idea of it without support the same degree of frost, for a consi- being a spectator. From bank to bank it is quite derable time, without appearing to be at all af choked up with immense masses and sheets of fected by it.
ice; some of them from 400 to 500 yards in diaIn Canada, the walls of the houses are usually meter. The tide forces them on one another, ; plastered on the outside, to preserve the stone breaks them into smaller pieces, and raises them from moisture, and the consequent destructive in shelving and fantastic forms considerably effects of the frost. They find it, however, a very above the surface. This mass of moving ice fills difficult matter to get plaster to adhere; parti- the whole basin, and is seen as far up the river cularly if exposed to the e. wind, which, in as your eye can reach, a distance altogether of one winter, destroys almost any plaster they 12 to 15 miles.
A composition has lately been tried, In the fall of the year the risk of shipwreck which promises to answer better. About a couple is greatly increased, from the snow-storms preof pounds of Muscovado sugar are mixed with valent at that time. These storms not only pre
(vent the sailors from seeing the coast and the ductor of heat, and will of course the more effandmarks, and consequently from directing their fectually prevent its escaping from the surface. course properly; but the cold is then so severe, It is a thing very well ascertained here, that vethat the men cannot remain exposed to it. The getation has made some progress under the snow, cordage becomes incrusted with ice, so that it before it has deserted the ground. cannot run through the blocks, and the sails be The long continuance of winter in Canada is come frozen in such a manner, that there is no certainly a circumstance which must retard its possibility of working the ship; besides, so much progress in improvement, and the increase of its ice gets about the rudder that it becomes im- trade. Some people pretend to say, that it must moveable. Many vessels have been lost from ever prevent its becoming a great, populous, and these circumstances, and almost every winter, trading nation. We cannot go so far. We have some vessels sail in expectation of getting out of seen Russia in the course of a century, become the river; but, being caught in a snow storm, are a great, populous, and trading nation. We have very fortunate if they escape destruction, by get seen a splendid capital city, and many respectating into some bay or place of shelter, where ble towns, raised by the magical powers of comthey remain fixed for the winter.
merce and domestic industry; and yet the Russian No sooner is the influence of the April sun winter is as long as the Canadian winter. The felt, than you see birds of various kinds returning communication of the Russians, by water, with to their summer quarters; and vegetation, about the rest of the world is cut off, and that element the 10th of May, is very strong. The snow is confounded, as it were, with the land, from the nearly gone, and the frost is sufficiently out of 27th of November to the 19th of April (upon ah the ground to allow the farmer to commence his average calculation of 15 years), which is nearly operations. This takes place after the snow is five months. Now vessels sometimes leave gone, sooner than one would imagine. The frost Quebec as late as the beginning of December, does not penetrate so deep into the ground, as and arrive sometimes in the end of April, so that from the intenseness and long continuance of the the Neva is as long shut up as the St. Lawrence; cold might be expected.
yet nobody ever doubts that Russia is a rising In countries where you have six months frost, country, and may become the most powerful in were the soil exposed to its influence all the Europe. while it would have penetrated so deep, that it It is worthy of remark, and not a little suris a question if the heat of a whole summer prising, that so large a river as the St. Lawrence, would eradicate it. But Providence has here in lat. 47°, should be shut up with ice as soon, furnished a remedy: it has kindly decreed, that and continue as long shut up, as the comparawhen water is cooled down to 32°'it shall freeze, tively small river, the Neva, in lat. 60°. and be converted into ice and snow. The rivers become covered with ice, the surface of the earth
Chap. II. becomes hardened, snow falls to a considerable 1. Description of the inhabitants. The popula. thickness, and by these means the water and the tion of Quebec, according to the census of 1784, land are protected from the influence of that im- amounted to 6472 souls. The towns of Quebec mense volume of cold, dense atmosphere, which and Montreal, including their suburbs, are said presses on from the polar regions towards the s. to contain at present about 12,000 inhabitants when the sun retreats after the solstice. The each, nearly three-fourths of whom are French. natural heat of the earth is about 42°; the ther In speaking of the society of Lower Canada, we mometer stands at this point in the deepest mines shall confine our remarks chiefly to the city of that have been sunk. This natural heat, as well Quebec, which as it is the capital, and the manas the heat accumulated in the earth and water ners of its inhabitants are in every respect similar during summer, is prevented, by the ice and to those of Montreal, will serve as a general view snow, from making its escape; and as soon as of society among the higher orders throughout the return of the sun has brought warmth enough the country: to banish the frost from the atmosphere, the The British inhabitants of Quebec consist of latent heat of the earth and water lends its aid the government people ; the military; a few perin dissolving the snow and ice, and forwarding sons belonging to the church, the law, and medivegetation. Snow is peculiarly well calculated cine; the merchants, and shopkeepers. for preserving warmth in the earth; because it is The French comprise the old noblesse and full of air, which is known to be a very bad con- seigniors, most of whom are members of the go-)
(vernment; the clergy; the advocates and nota- English, who inhabit the towns, are generally of ries ; the storekeepers.
a middle stature, rather slender than robust, and These different classes form three distinct di- very rarely possess the blooming and ruddy comvisions of society, which contrive to keep at a plexion of the British; a pale, sallow, or swarthy respectable distance from each other. The first countenance, characterises the natives of Canada, is composed of the highest orders next to the and with few exceptions, the whole of the Amegovernor, comprehending the members of the rican continent. It is rather singular, that a government; the honourable professions; and a foggy atmosphere should be conducive to that few of the principal merchants. These are ad- bloom of health which glows on the cheek of a mitted to the chateau.
British islander; yet the fact is corroborated by The second division is composed of the in- the appearance of the inhabitants of Newfoundferior merchants, the shopkeepers and traders; land, of the shores of Nova Scotia and the New together with the subordinate officers of the go- England states; who, enveloped in fogs more vernment, the army, the law, and the church; than one-half the year, enjoy the same ruddy the practitioners in medicine, and other British complexion as the English ; while those who live inhabitants.
in the interior, under a elear sky, are universally The third division consists of the French in- distinguished by sallow or swarthy complexions. habitants, most of whom, except the few who Lower Canada cannot boast of much superlative are members of the government, associate almost beauty among its females ; but there are many entirely together, unless that a public entertain- who possess very pleasing and interesting counment, or the annual assemblies, bring some of tenances. Montreal is allowed to have the adthem into company with the British. A very vantage over the other towns for female beauty, small proportion of the British Canadians were The country girls, who are nearly all French born in the colony, and consequently very little (with the exception of those who reside in the difference in person, dress, or manners, is dis. back townships), are pretty when very young, cernible between them and the inhabitants of the but from hard work and exposure to the sun, mother country. The French have also assimi- they grow up coarse featured and swarthy, and lated themselves so nearly to the British in dress, have all the sturdiness but none of the beauty of manners, and amusements, especially the younger our Weleh girls. Upon the whole, if the genebranches, that if it was not for their language, rality of the Canadian females are not remarkthere would be little to distinguish their respec- able for beautiful faces or elegant figures, there tive coteries.
is nothing in cither that can offend, and both are The creoles of Canada (or the descendants of certainly as much as the men are entitled to.. Europeans born in Canada), both French and -See CANADA.]