« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
supported in this step by a majority of the House of Assembly, who voted an address to the Governor, expressing their regret at what had occurred; but, at the same time, disclaiming any wish to exact a stipulation from the head of the Government. The session was then abruptly brought to a conclusion, and the authorities at home expressed full approbation of the acts of the provincial Governor. In the autumn of 1844, the House of Assembly was dissolved on these questions. The result of the general election was the return of a good working majority in support of the worthy Governor and the views of the English Government. During the anxious time of his collision with the late ministry, the general election, and the meeting of the Parliament, Sir Charles Metcalfe laboured under intense bodily suffering, but with gallant constancy still continued in the discharge of his office. His successful zeal and wisdom were rewarded by a peerage, which, while conferring honour upon him, reflects it also not a little on the order to which he now belongs. Unfortunately for Canada, continued ill health rendered his further stay in the country impossible ; in the end of the year 1845 he returned to England, with the
respect and personal regard of all those over whom he had ruled.* : Lord Cathcart, Commander of the Forces in North America, has been appointed his successor. It will only be necessary for him to be equally efficient in his civil, as he has been in his military rule, to gain the respect and esteem of all.
* Lord Metcalfe was received in England with the considerations his high character deserved, but the hand of death was upon him, and he knew it. In his reply to one of the addresses that welcomed his return, he wrote: “ The grave stands open to receive me.” In another month, it had closed over him.
BUSINESS, and making arrangements for my sojourn for the winter, occupied a short time after my arrival. At our first leisure, the captain and I started for a day of sight-seeing within the limits of the town, despite the almost tropical heat of the weather. - Without entering into particulars about the public buildings, I may say, that the impression on our minds was, that they were exceedingly ugly, They are dispersed all over the town, as if ashamed of being seen in each other's company. There are five gates of the city, in the fortifications; from each of these, streets run towards the centre of the town, playing at cross purposes in a most ingenious manner, forming bends and angles in every conceivable variety of inconvenience. The streets are
all narrow; the shops not generally showy, though much improved of late; the houses irregular. St. John's Street is the principal thoroughfare; it is paved with large blocks of wood.
There are several pleasant walks; one all round the ramparts ; a platform, with a magnificent view, overlooking the river, and an esplanade to the land side. Wherever you can get your head high enough to look over the walls, you see around you a country of almost unequalled beauty. The portion of the city within the defences is called the Upper Town, and contains the dwellings of the wealthier people, and the shops frequented by them. The great majority of this class are of English origin. The private houses are built more with a view to comfort and convenience than external beauty, and few of them are of any pretension. The Lower Town consists principally of banks, merchants' offices, stores, and timber yards, with an amazing number of small hotels and inns.
The suburbs are nearly all built of wood, but have churches, hospitals, and convents of more lasting material. The great mass of the people in these districts are French-Canadians. The total population of the city is little short of forty thousand, being an increase of fifteen thousand in fifteen years. There are large Church of England and Roman Catholic cathedrals, and four churches of each of these persuasions; also two Presbyterian and two Wesleyan. There is a tolerable museum, and two good public libraries. The hotels are nothing to boast of; they are conducted on the American system, like boarding-houses: the sleeping-rooms are bare and uncomfortable; the furniture of mine consisted chiefly of my portmanteau.'
Besides those of the citadel, there are three barracks, and guards and sentries in all directions. After nightfall you are met at every part of the ramparts with “Who goes there ?” which, however, you answer or not, as you feel disposed. The town is not lighted, with the exception of a few dim oil lamps in St. John's Street, for which reason, perhaps it is, that the city police seem to prefer that beat; and, as they are gregariously disposed, you may always calculate on finding a sufficient number of them there to apprehend the man who has knocked you down in some dark and distant part of the town, if you can only persuade him to wait till you fetch them.
Most of the streets have wooden trottoirs, very pleasant to the feet; those of St. John's are crowded like a fair for two or three hours in the afternoon,