Picturesque Quebec
by James MacPherson Le Moine
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Respectfully Inscribed



This volume, purporting to be a sequel to "QUEBEC PAST AND PRESENT," published in 1876, is intended to complete the history of the city. New and interesting details will be found in these pages, about the locality, where Samuel de Champlain located his settlement in 1608, together with a rapid glance at incidents, sights, objects, edifices, city gates and other improvements, both ancient and modern, which an antiquarian's ramble round the streets, squares, promenades, monuments, public and private edifices, &c., may disclose. It will, it is hoped, be found a copious repository of historical, topographical, legendary, industrial and antiquarian lore— garnered not without some trouble from authorities difficult of access to the general reader. May it prove not merely a faithful mirror of the past, but also an authentic record of the present!

THE SKETCH OF THE ENVIRONS OF QUEBEC will take the tourist or student of history beyond the ramparts of Old Stadacona, to the memorable area—the Plains of Abraham—where, one century back and more, took place the hard- fought duel which caused the collapse of French power in the New World, established British rule on our shores, and hastened the birth of the great Commonwealth founded by George Washington, by removing from the British Provinces, south of us, the counterpoise of French dominion. More than once French Canada had threatened the New England Settlements; more than once it had acted like a barrier to the expansion and consolidation of the conquering Anglo-Saxon race.

THE ENVIRONS OF QUEBEC are, indeed, classic soil, trodden by the footsteps of many of the most remarkable men in American History: Cartier, Champlain, Phipps, d'Iberville, Laval, Frontenac, La Galissonnere, Wolfe, Montcalm, Levis, Amherst, Murray, Guy Carleton, Nelson, Cook, Bougainville, Jervis, Montgomery, Arnold, DeSalaberry, Brock and others. Here, in early times, on the shore of the majestic St. Lawrence, stood the wigwam and canoe of the marauding savage; here, was heard the clang of French sabre and Scotch claymore in deadly encounter—the din of battle on the tented field; here,—but no further—had surged the wave of American invasion; here, have bivouaced on more than one gory battle- field, the gay warrior from the banks of the Seine, the staunch musketeers of Old England, the unerring riflemen of New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Another spot calculated to interest us is the vast expanse from the Plains to Cap Rouge, round by Ste. Foye to the city, for which I intend to use its former more general name, Sillery: the ground is not new for us, as its annals and country seats furnished, in 1865, materials for sketches, published that year under the title of Maple Leaves. These sketches having long since disappeared from book-stores, at the request of several enlightened patrons, I re-publish from them some selections, with anecdotes and annotations. Several other sites round Quebec—Beauport, Charlesbourg, the Falls of Montmorency and of the Chaudiere, Chateau Bigot, Lorette and its Hurons—will, of necessity, find a resting place in this repertory of Quebec history, which closes a labour of love, the series of works on Canada, commenced by me in 1861.

In order to enhance the usefulness of this work, extensive and varied historical matter has been included in the appendix for reference.

To my many friends, whose notes and advice have been so freely placed at my disposal, I return my grateful thanks.

J. M. LEMOINE. SPENCER GRANGE, December, 1881.




Quebec as seen by Tourists—Descriptions—by Francis Parkman—M. Sand— Eliot Warburton—Thoreau—Mrs. Moodie—Charles Dickens—Marmier—Sir Charles Dilke—Henry Ward Beecher—Professor Silliman—Charles Lever— Capt. Butler—Alfred Hawkins—Hon. P. J. O. Chauveau.



Samuel de Champlain—L'Abitation—the Dwelling of Champlain—Chief Donaconna—Jacques Cartier's Landing—Interview between Cartier and Donaconna.



Streets and By-ways of the Old City—Names of Famous Men preserved by Street Names—Dangerous Streets.


Louis Hebert, the First Resident—The First Street—The First Horse— Marquis de Tracy—St. Louis Street—The Quebec Gazette—William Brown— Samuel Neilson—Dr. Wilkie—Lawyers—Madame Pean—Montgomery's Assault— Death of Montcalm—SOCIETY IN EARLY ENGLISH TIMES—Theatre—Early Society Poets—Literature—United Empire Loyalists,—ST. LOUIS HOTEL—THE FRECHETTE DINNER—Mr. Frechette's Speech—Mr. Lamier's Speech—Mr. Stewart's Speech—Mr. LeMay's, Speech—-Mr. LeMoine's Speech—-FORT ST. LOUIS—CHATEAU ST. LOUIS—HALDIMAND CASTLE—The Council—Dress of the Councillors—A Braggart Mohawk Hanged—The New Chateau—Fealty and Homage—Re-building by Frontenac—Quebec Agricultural Society—The Loyal League—An Antique Stone—Lord Edward Fitzgerald—The Duke of Richmond— Sir Peregrine Maitland—John Galt—Lord Dorchester—Isaac Weld—Dufferin Terrace—Laying of Corner Stone—Rev. Dr. Sparks—St. Andrew's Church— The Lymburners—Hugh McQuarters James Thompson—The Rosses—The Georges— Parloir Street—Jupiter Street—St. George Street—LAVAL UNIVERSITY— Palace Street—Statue of General Wolfe—St. Famille Street—St. Stanislas Street—Trinity Chapel—Theatre Royal—THE LITERARY AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY—Mr. LeMoine's Lecture on Arnold's Assault—The Centenary Fete— The Jesuit's Church—The Jesuit's Barracks—The Recollet Convent—The Palace—Couillard Street—The Union Hotel—The Prisoners of 1812—Bell's Cavalry—Rue du Tresor—Royal Notaries—St. John Street—Le Club des Anciens—La Crucifix Outrage—Olden Times in the Ancient Capital—Durham Terrace.


Le Chien d'Or—The Elevator—Mountain Hill—Landing of the Marquis de Tracy—Landing of the Earl of Durham—The Inconstants—St. Peter Street— Jean Tache—The Chronicle Building—The Neptune Inn—Press Gangs at Quebec—Notre Dame Des Victoires—Notre Dame Street—Dalhousie Street—- Public Whipping—Sous-le-Fort Street—The Cul-de-Sac—The King's Wharf—A Fighting Stevedore—M. Marmier—Sault-au-Matelot Street—Dog Lane—St. Paul Street—Pointe a Carcy—The Duke of Saxe Weimar.


La Friponne—The Intendant Bigot—The Intendant's Palace—La Vacherie— Cote a Coton—St. Valier Street—The Blue House—Horatio Nelson in Quebec —Dorchester Bridge—Crown Street—The Harbour Docks—The Graving Dock at Levis.


The New Gates—The Kent Gate—The Citadel Gates—Theller and Dodge's Escape from the Citadel—The Men of '37.



St. Louis Road—Parliament Buildings—Bleak House—Martello Towers— Buttes-a-Nepveu—Wolfe's Landing Place—Ste. Foye Road—Association Hall.



City Government—Boundaries of the Wards—War Department Property.



APPENDIX. Jacques Cartier's Officers and Crew Jacques Quartier, the Pilot Discovery of the Remains of Jacques Cartier's Vessel The Bronze Cannon The French who remained after the Capitulation of 1629 The Arms of the Dominion Militia Uniforms Horses Ship-building at Quebec under French Domination The Conquest of New York The French Refugees of Oxford, Mass. The Venerable Mother of the Incarnation Variation of the Needle at Quebec Our City Bells General Wolfe's Statue Vente d'une Negresse a Quebec The Ice-Shove—April 1874 The Pistols and Sash of General Wolfe The Post Office Monument to the Victims of 1837-8 Fines for Duelling Memorabilia Executions at Quebec Gaol Quebec Golf Club Quebec Snowshoe Club French Governors of Canada English Governors

MAPS. Plan of Quebec in 1759 Map to Illustrate the Siege of Quebec in 1759 Map to Illustrate Operations of Generals de Levis and Murray, 1759-60 Plan of the Links—Quebec Golf Club

The description of ASYLE CHAMPETRE was written by Dr. P. Bender, the biographer of Joseph Perrault, the founder of ASYLE CHAMPETRE.




Quebec, founded by Samuel de Champlain, in 1608, has certainly much to recommend her, by her monuments, her historical memories and her scenery, to the traveller—the scholar—the historian. The wintering of the venturesome Jacques Cartier on the banks of the St. Charles in 1535-6, by its remoteness, is an incident of interest, not only to Canadians, but also to every denizen of America. It takes one back to an era nearly coeval with the discovery of the continent by Columbus—much anterior to the foundation of Jamestown, in 1607—anterior to that of St Augustine, in Florida. Quebec, has, then, a right to call herself an old, a very old, city of the west.

The colonization of Canada, or, as it was formerly called, New France, was undertaken by French merchants engaged in the fur trade, close on whose steps followed a host of devoted missionaries who found, in the forests of this new and attractive country, ample scope for the exercise of their religious enthusiasm. It was at Quebec that these Christian heroes landed, from hence they started for the forest primeval, the bearers of the olive branch of Christianity, an unfailing token of civilization.

A fatal mistake committed at the outset by the French commanders, in taking sides in the Indian wars, more than once brought the incipient colony to the verge of ruin. During these periods, scores of devoted missionaries fell under the scalping knife or suffered incredible tortures amongst the merciless savages whom they had come to reclaim. Indian massacres became so frequent, so appalling, that on several occasions the French thought seriously of giving up the colony forever. The rivalry between France and England, added to the hardships and dangers of the few hardy colonists established at Quebec. Its environs, the shores of its noble river, more than once became the battle-field of European armies. These are periods of strife, happily gone by, we hope, forever.

In his "Pioneers of France in the New World," the gifted Francis Parkman mournfully reviews the vanished glories of old France in her former vast dominions in America:—

"The French dominion is a memory of the past; and when we evoke its departed shades, they rise upon us from their graves in strange romantic guise. Again their ghostly camp-fires seem to burn, and the fitful light is cast around on lord and vassal and black robed priest, mingled with wild forms of savage warriors, knit in close fellowship on the same stern errand. A boundless vision grows upon us: an untamed continent, vast wastes of forest verdure, mountains silent in primeval sleep; river, lake, and glimmering pool; wilderness oceans mingling with the sky. Such was the domain which France conquered for civilization. Plumed helmets gleamed in the shade of its forests; priestly vestments in its dens and fastnesses of ancient barbarism. Men steeped in antique learning, pale with the close breath of the cloister, here spent the noon and evening of their lives, ruled savage hordes with a mild, parental sway, and stood serene before the direst shapes of death. Men of a courtly nurture, heirs to the polish of a far-reaching ancestry, here, with their dauntless hardihood, put to shame the boldest sons of toil."

Of all this mighty empire of the past, Quebec was the undisputed capital, the fortress, the keystone.

It would be a curious study to place in juxtaposition the impressions produced on Tourists by the view of Quebec and its environs—from the era of Jacques Cartier, the discoverer of Canada, down to that of the Earl of Dufferin, one of its truest friends.

Champlain, La Potherie, La Houtan, Le Beau, Du Creux (Creuxius), Peter Kalm, Knox, Silliman, Ampere, Mrs. Moodie, Dickens, Lever, Anthony Trollope, Sala, Thoreau, Warburton, Marmier, Capt. Butler, Sir Charles Dilke, Henry Ward Beecher, have all left their impressions of the rocky citadel: let us gaze on a few of their vivid pictures.

"The scenic beauty of Quebec has been the theme of general eulogy. The majestic appearance of Cape Diamond and the fortifications, the cupolas and minarets, like those of an eastern city, blazing and sparkling in the sun, the loveliness of the panorama, the noble basin, like a sheet of purest silver, in which might ride with safety a hundred sail of the line, the graceful meandering of the river St. Charles, the numerous village spires on either side of the St. Lawrence, the fertile fields dotted with innumerable cottages, the abode of a rich and moral peasantry,—the distant falls of Montmorency,—the park like scenery of Point Levis,—the beauteous Isle of Orleans,—and more distant still, the frowning Cape Tourmente, and the lofty range of purple mountains of the most picturesque form, which, without exaggeration, is scarcely to be surpassed in any part of the world." (Hawkins' Picture of Quebec.)

"Quebec recalls Angouleme to my mind: in the upper city, stairways, narrow streets, ancient houses on the verge of the cliff; in the lower city, the new fortunes, commerce, workmen;—in both, many shops and much activity." (M. Sand.)

"Take mountain and plain, sinuous river, and broad, tranquil waters, stately ship and tiny boat, gentle hill and shady valley, bold headland and rich, fruitful fields, frowning battlement and cheerful villa, glittering dome and rural spire, flowery garden and sombre forest,—group them all into the choicest picture of ideal beauty your fancy can create; arch it over with a cloudless sky, light it up with a radiant sun, and lest the sheen should be too dazzling, hang a veil of lighted haze over all, to soften the lines and perfect the repose, —you will then have seen Quebec on this September morning." (Eliot Warburton.)

"I rubbed my eyes to be sure I was in the nineteenth century, and not entering one of those portals which sometimes adorn the frontispiece of old black-letter volumes. I though it would be a good place to read Froissart's Chronicles. It was such a reminiscence of the Middle Ages as Scott's Novels.

"Too much has not been said about the scenery of Quebec. The fortifications of Cape Diamond are omnipresent. You travel ten, twenty, thirty miles up or down the river's banks, you ramble fifteen miles among the hills on either side, and then, when you have long since forgotten them, perchance slept on them by the way, at a turn of the road or of your body, there they are still with their geometry against the sky....

"No wonder if Jacques Cartier's pilot exclaimed in Norman-French Que bec! ("What a peak!") when he saw this cape, as some suppose. Every modern traveller uses a similar expression....

"The view from Cape Diamond has been compared by European travellers with the most remarkable views of a similar kind in Europe, such as those from Edinburgh Castle, Gibraltar, Cintra, and others, and preferred by many. A main peculiarity in this, compared with other views which I have beheld, is that it is from the ramparts of a fortified city, and not from a solitary and majestic river cape alone that this view is obtained.... I still remember the harbour far beneath me, sparkling like silver in the sun,—the answering headlands of Point Levis on the south-east,—the frowning Cape Tourmente abruptly bounding the seaward view in the north-east,—the villages of Lorette and Charlesbourg on the north,—and farther west, the distant Val Cartier, sparkling with white cottages, hardly removed by distance through the clear air,—not to mention a few blue mountains along the horizon in that direction. You look out from the ramparts of the citadel beyond the frontiers of civilization. Yonder small group of hills, according to the guide-book, forms the portals of the wilds which are trodden only by the feet of the Indian hunters as far as Hudson's Bay." (Thoreau).

Mrs. Moodie (Susannah Strickland), in her sketches of Canadian life, graphically delineates her trip from Grosse Isle to Quebec, and the appearance of the city itself from the river:—

"On the 22nd of September (1832), the anchor was weighed, and we bade a long farewell to Grosse Isle. As our vessel struck into mid-channel, I cast a last lingering look at the beautiful shore we were leaving. Cradled in the arms of the St. Lawrence, and basking in the bright rays of the morning sun, the island and its sister group looked like a second Eden just emerged from the waters of chaos. The day was warm, and the cloudless heavens of that peculiar azure tint which gives to the Canadian skies and waters a brilliancy unknown in more northern latitudes. The air was pure and elastic; the sun shone out with uncommon splendour, lighting up the changing woods with a rich mellow colouring, composed of a thousand brilliant and vivid dyes. The mighty river rolled flashing and sparkling onward, impelled by a strong breeze that tipped its short rolling surges with a crest of snowy foam.

"Never shall I forget that short voyage from Grosse Isle to Quebec. What wonderful combinations of beauty and grandeur and power, at every winding of that noble river!

"Every perception of my mind became absorbed into the one sense of seeing, when, upon rounding Point Levis, we cast anchor before Quebec. What a scene! Can the world produce another? Edinburgh had been the beau ideal to me of all that was beautiful in nature—a vision of the Northern Highlands had haunted my dreams across the Atlantic; but all these past recollections faded before the present of Quebec. Nature has ransacked all our grandest elements to form this astonishing panorama. There, frowns the cloud-capped mountain, and below, the cataract foams and thunders; woods and rock and river combine to lend their aid in making the picture perfect, and worthy of its Divine originator. The precipitous bank upon which the city lies piled, reflected in the still, deep waters at its base, greatly enhances the romantic beauty of the situation. The mellow and serene glow of the autumn day harmonized so perfectly with the solemn grandeur of the scene around me, and sank so silently and deeply into my soul, that my spirit fell prostrate before it, and I melted involuntarily into tears."

Such the poetic visions which were awakened in the poetic mind of the brilliant author of "Roughing it, in the Bush." Charles Dickens also had his say in this matter, on his visit to Quebec, in May 1842, where he was the guest of the President of the Literary and Historical Society, Dr. John Charlton Fisher:—

"The impression made upon the visitor by this Gibraltar of America, its giddy heights, its citadel suspended, as it were, in the air; its picturesque steep streets and frowning gateways; and the splendid views which burst upon the eye at every turn, is at once unique and lasting. It is a place not to be forgotten or mixed up in the mind with other places, or altered for a moment in the crowd of scenes a traveller can recall. Apart from the realities of this most picturesque city, there are associations clustering about it which would make a desert rich in interest. The dangerous precipice along whose rocky front Wolfe and his brave companions climbed to glory; the Plains of Abraham, where he received his mortal wound; the fortress so chivalrously defended by Montcalm; and his soldier's grave, dug for him when yet alive, by the bursting of a shell, are not the least among them, or among the gallant incidents of history. That is a noble monument too, and worthy of two great nations, which perpetuates the memory of both brave Generals, and on which their names are jointly written.

"The city is rich in public institutions and in Catholic churches and charities, but it is mainly in the prospect from the site of the Old Government House and from the Citadel, that its surpassing beauty lies. The exquisite expanse of country, rich in field and forest, mountain-heights and water, which lies stretched out before the view, with miles of Canadian villages, glancing in long white streaks, like veins along the landscape; the motley crowd of gables, roofs and chimney tops in the old hilly town immediately at hand; the beautiful St. Lawrence sparkling and flashing in the sunlight; and the tiny ships below the rock from which you gaze, whose distant rigging looks like spiders' webs against the light, while casks and barrels on their decks dwindle into toys, and busy mariners become so many puppets; all this framed by a sunken window [1] in the fortress and looked at from the shadowed room within, forms one of the brightest and most enchanting pictures that the eye can rest upon." (Dickens' American Notes.)

A distinguished French litterateur, fresh from the sunny banks of the Seine, thus discourses anent the Ancient capital; we translate:—

"Few cities," says M. Marmier, [2] "offer as many striking contrasts as Quebec, a fortress and a commercial city together, built upon the summit of a rock as the nest of an eagle, while her vessels are everywhere wrinkling the face of the ocean; an American city inhabited by French colonists, governed by England, and garrisoned with Scotch regiments; [3] a city of the middle ages by most of its ancient institutions, while it is submitted to all the combinations of modern constitutional government; an European city by its civilization and its habits of refinement, and still close by, the remnants of the Indian tribes and the barren mountains of the north, a city of about the same latitude as Paris, while successively combining the torrid climate of southern regions with the severities of an hyperborean winter; a city at the same time Catholic and Protestant, where the labours of our (French) missions are still uninterrupted alongside of the undertakings of the Bible Society, and where the Jesuits driven out of our own country (France) find a place of refuge under the aegis of British Puritanism!"

An American tourist thus epitomises the sights:—

"As the seat of French power in America until 1759, the great fortress of English rule in British America, and the key of the St. Lawrence, Quebec must possess interest of no ordinary character for well- informed tourists. To the traveller, there are innumerable points and items vastly interesting and curious—the citadel and forts of Cape Diamond, with their impregnable ramparts that rival Gibraltar in strength and endurance against siege, the old walls of the city and their gates each of which has its legend of war and bloody assault and repulse, the plains of Abraham, every foot of which is commemorated with blood and battle; Wolfe's monument, where the gallant and brave soldier died with a shout of victory on his lips, the Martello towers, with their subterranean communications with the citadel; the antique churches, paintings, and all their paraphernalia, treasures, and curiosities that are religiously preserved therein, the falls of Montmorency, the natural steps. Montcalm's house, and a thousand other relics of the mysterious past that has hallowed these with all the mystic interest that attaches to antiquity, great deeds, and beautiful memories. To see all these, a tourist requires at least two days' time, and surely no one who pretends to be a traveller, in these days of rapid transit will fail to visit Quebec, the best city, the most hospitable place, and richer in its wealth of rare sights and grand old memorials. French peculiarities and English oddities, than any other city on this broad continent."

"Leaving the citadel, we are once more in the European Middle ages. Gates and posterns, cranky steps that lead up to lofty, gabled houses, with sharp French roofs of burnished tin, like those of Liege; processions of the Host; altars decked with flowers; statues of the Virgin; sabots, blouses, and the scarlet of the British lines-man,— all these are seen in narrow streets and markets that are graced with many a Cotentin lace cap, and all within forty miles of the down-east, Yankee state of Maine. It is not far from New England to Old France.... There has been no dying out of the race among the French Canadians. They number twenty times the thousand that they did 100 years ago. The American soil has left physical type, religion, language, and laws absolutely untouched. They herd together in their rambling villages, dance to the fiddle after Mass on Sundays,—as gayly as once did their Norman sires,—and keep up the fleur-de- lys and the memory of Montcalm. More French than the French are the Lower Canada habitans. The pulse-beat of the continent finds no echo here."—(Sir Charles Dilke.)

In the rosy days of his budding fame, the gifted Henry Ward Beecher discoursed as follows of the Rock City [4]:—

"Curious old Quebec!—of all the cities on the continent of America, the quaintest.... It is a populated cliff. It is a mighty rock, scarped and graded, and made to hold houses and castles which, by a proper natural law, ought to slide off from its back, like an ungirded load from a camel's back. But they stick. At the foot of the rocks, the space of several streets in width has been stolen from the river.... We landed....

"Away we went, climbing the steep streets at a canter with little horses hardly bigger than flies, with an aptitude for climbing perpendicular walls. It was strange to enter a walled city through low and gloomy gates, on this continent of America. Here was a small bit of mediaeval Europe perched upon a rock, and dried for keeping, in this north-east corner of America, a curiosity that has not its equal, in its kind, on this side of the ocean....

"We rode about as if we were in a picture-book, taming over a new leaf at each street!... The place should always be kept old. Let people go somewhere else for modern improvements. It is a shame, when Quebec placed herself far out of the way, up in the very neighbourhood of Hudson's Bay, that it should be hunted and harassed with new-fangled notions, and that all the charming inconveniences and irregularities of narrow and tortuous streets, that so delight a traveller's eyes, should be altered to suit the fantastic notions of modern people....

"Our stay in Quebec was too short by far. But it was long enough to make it certain that we shall come back again. A summer in Canada would form one of the most delightful holidays that we can imagine. We mean to prove our sincerity by our conduct. And then, if it is not all that our imagination promises, we will write again and confess."

Professor Benjamin Silliman discourses thus:—

"A seat of ancient dominion—now hoary with the lapse of more than two centuries—formerly the seat of a French empire in the west—lost and won by the blood of gallant armies, and of illustrious commanders— throned on a rock, and defended by all the proud defiance of war! Who could approach such a city without emotion? Who in Canada has not longed to cast his eyes on the water-girt rocks and towers of Quebec."—(Silliman's Tour in Canada, 1819.)

Charles Lever has left a curious glimpse of Quebec from Diamond Harbour, as seen, by his incomparable Irish Gil Blas, Mr. Cornelius Cregan, the appreciated lodger of Madam Thomas John Davis at the "Hotel Davis."

"As viewed from Diamond Harbour, a more striking city than Quebec is seldom seen. The great rock rising above the Lower Town, and crowned with its batteries, all bristling with guns, seemed to my eyes the very realization of impregnability. I looked upon the ship that lay tranquilly on the water below, and whose decks were thronged with blue-jackets—to the Highlander who paced his short path as sentry, some hundred feet high upon the wall of the fortress, and I thought to myself with such defenders as these that standard yonder need never carry any other banner. The whole view is panoramic, the bending of the river shuts out the channel by which you have made your approach, giving the semblance of a lake, on whose surface vessels of every nation lie at anchor, some with the sails hung out to dry, gracefully drooping from the taper spars; others refitting again for sea, and loading the huge pine-trunks moored as vast rafts to the stern. There were people everywhere, all was motion, life and activity. Jolly-boats with twenty oars, man-of-war gigs bounding rapidly past them with eight; canoes skimming by without a ripple, and seemingly without impulse, till you caught sight of the lounging figure, who lay at full length in the stern, and whose red features were scarce distinguishable from the copper-coloured bark of his boat. Some moved upon the rafts, and even upon single trunks of trees, as, separated from the mass, they floated down on the swift current, boat-hook in hand to catch at the first object chance might offer them. The quays and the streets leading down to them were all thronged, and as you cast your eye upwards, here and there above the tall roofs might be seen the winding of stairs that lead to the Upper Town, alike dark with the moving tide of men. On every embrasure and gallery, on every terrace and platform, it was the same. Never did I behold such a human tide.

"Now there was something amazingly inspiriting in all this, particularly when coming from the solitude and monotony of a long voyage. [5] The very voice that ye-hoed; the hoarse challenge of the sentinels on the rock; the busy hum of the town—made delicious music to my ear; and I could have stood and leaned over the bulwark for hours, to gaze at the scene. I own no higher interest invested the picture—for I was ignorant of Wolfe. I had never heard of Montcalm— the plains of "Abraham" were to me but grassy slopes, and "nothing more." It was the life and stir,—the tide of that human ocean, on which I longed myself to be a swimmer—these were what charmed me. Nor was the deck of the old "Hampden" inactive all the while, although seldom attracting much of my notice: soldiers were mustering, knapsacks packing, rolls calling, belts buffing, and coats brushing on all sides; men grumbling, sergeants cursing; officers swearing; half- dressed invalids popping up their heads out of hatchways, answering to wrong names, and doctors ordering them down again with many an anathema: soldiers in the way of sailors, and sailors always hauling at something that interfered with the inspection-drill: every one in the wrong place, and each cursing his neighbour for stupidity. At last the shore-boats boarded us, as if our confusion wanted anything to increase it. Red-faced harbour-masters shook hands with the skipper and pilot, and disappeared into the "round-house" to discuss grog and the gales. Officers from the garrison came out to welcome their friends—for it was the second battalion we had on board of a regiment whose first had been some years in Canada;—and then what a rush of inquiries were exchanged. "How is the Duke?"—"All quiet in England"— "No sign of war in Europe!"—"Are the 8th come home!"—"Where is Forbes?"—"Has Davern sold out?" with a mass of such small interests as engage men who live in coteries." (Confessions of Con. Cregan, Chap XIII.)

There are yet among the living in Quebec many who can recall the good olden times when our garrison contained two regiments and more of the red- coated soldiers of England, at the beck of the "Iron Duke"—him of Waterloo.

A Haligonian tourist thus writes:—

"HALIFAX, N. S., 1880.—I reached Halifax on the Saturday after leaving Quebec.....Nothing was wanting to make my impressions of Quebec perfect, but a little more time to widen, deepen and strengthen the friendships made; alas! to be severed (for a time) so soon. I went expecting to see a city perched on a rock and inhabited by the descendants of a conquered race with a chasm between them and every Englishman in the Dominion. In place of this, I found the city more picturesque, more odd, more grand, than I had ever imagined, and peopled by a race who, if conquered in 1759, have had sweet revenge ever since, by making a conquest of every stranger who has entered Quebec—through his higher nature. It is no wonder that Quebec has such a story of song and adventure. There is romance in the river and tragedy on the hill, and while the memory of Wolfe and Montcalm is green, the city will be the Mecca of the Dominion. But keep the hand of the Goth—the practical man—from touching the old historic landmarks of the city. A curse has been pronounced on those who remove their neighbours' landmark, but what shall be said of those who remove the landmarks which separate century from century and period from period." (J. T. Bulmer.)

The following affords a good specimen of Capt W. F Butler's pictorial style:—

"Spring breaks late over the province of Quebec—that portion of America known to our fathers as Lower Canada, and of old to the subjects of the Grand Monarque as the kingdom of New France. But when the young trees begin to open their leafy lids after the long sleep of winter, they do it quickly. The snow is not all gone before the maple trees are all green—the maple, that most beautiful of trees! Well has Canada made the symbol of her new nationality that tree whose green gives the spring its earliest freshness, whose autumn-dying tints are richer than the clouds of sunset, whose life-stream is sweeter than honey, and whose branches are drowsy through the long summer with the scent and the hum of bee and flower! Still the long line of the Canadas admits of a varied spring. When the trees are green at Lake St. Clair, they are scarcely budding at Kingston, they are leafless at Montreal, and Quebec is white with snow. Even between Montreal and Quebec, a short night's steaming, there exists a difference of ten days in the opening of the summer. But late as comes the summer to Quebec, it comes in its loveliest and most enticing form, as though it wished to atone for its long delay in banishing from such a landscape the cold tyranny of winter. And with what loveliness does the whole face of plain, river, lake and mountain turn from the iron clasp of icy winter to kiss the balmy lips of returning summer, and to welcome his bridal gifts of sun and shower! The trees open their leafy lids to look at him—the brooks and streamlets break forth into songs of gladness—"the birch tree," as the old Saxon said," becomes beautiful in its branches, and rustles sweetly in its leafy summit, moved to and fro by the breath of heaven"—the lakes uncover their sweet faces, and their mimic shores steal down in quiet evenings to bathe themselves in the transparent waters—far into the depths of the great forest speeds the glad message of returning glory, and graceful fern, and soft velvet moss, and white wax-like lily peep forth to cover rock and fallen tree and wreck of last year's autumn in one great sea of foliage. There are many landscapes which can never be painted, photographed, or described, but which the mind carries away instinctively to look at again and again in the after-time—these are the celebrated views of the world, and they are not easy to find. From the Queen's rampart, on the citadel of Quebec, the eye sweeps over a greater diversity of landscape than is probably to be found in any one spot in the universe. Blue mountain, far-stretching river, foaming cascade, the white sails of ocean ships, the black trunks of many- sized guns, the pointed roofs, the white village nestling amidst its fields of green, the great isle in mid-channel, the many shades of colour from deep blue pine-wood to yellowing corn-field—in what other spot on the earth's broad bosom lie grouped together in a single glance so many of these "things of beauty" which the eye loves to feast on and to place in memory as joys for ever?" (The Great Lone Land.)

Let us complete this mosaic of descriptions and literary gems, borrowed from English, French and American writers, by a sparkling tableau of the historic memories of Quebec, traced by a French Canadian litterateur, the Honourable P. J. O. Chauveau:—

"History is everywhere—around us, beneath us; from the depths of yonder valleys, from the top of that mountain, history rises up and presents itself to our notice, exclaiming: 'Behold me!'

"Beneath us, among the capricious meanders of the River St. Charles, the Cahir-Coubat of Jacques Cartier, is the very place where he first planted the cross and held his first conference with the Seigneur Donnacona. Here, very near to us, beneath a venerable elm tree, which, with much regret, we saw cut down, tradition states that Champlain first raised his tent. From the very spot on which we now stand, Count de Frontenac returned to Admiral Phipps that proud answer, as he said, from the mouth of his cannon, which will always remain recorded by history. Under these ramparts are spread the plains on which fell Wolfe and where, in the following year, the Chevalier de Levis and General Murray fought that other battle, in memory of which the citizens of Quebec are erecting (in 1854) a monument. Before us, on the heights of Beauport, the souvenir of battles not less heroic, recall to our remembrance the names of Longueuil, St. Helene, and Juchereau Duchesnay. Below us, at the foot of that tower on which floats the British flag, Montgomery and his soldiers all fell, swept by the grape-shot of a single gun pointed by a Canadian artilleryman.

"On the other hand, under that projecting rock, now crowned with the guns of old England, the intrepid Dambourges, sword in hand, drove Arnold and his men from the houses in which they had established themselves. History is then everywhere around us. She rises as well from these ramparts, replete with daring deeds, as from those illustrious plains equally celebrated for feats of arms, and she again exclaims: 'Here I am!'"



Fancy borne on the outspread wings of memory occasionally loves to soar o'er the dull, prosaic present, far away into the haunted, dream-land of a hazy but hopeful past.

Let us recall one year, in the revolving cycle of time—one day above all days—for dwellers in Champlain's eyry keep pre-eminently sacred that auspicious 3rd of July, 1608, when his trusty little band, in all twenty- eight, founded the city destined soon to be the great Louis's proud forta- lice,—the Queen city of the French western world.

On that memorable July day, would you, kind reader, like to ascend the lofty slope of Cape Diamond, at the hour when the orb of light is shedding his fierce, meridian rays on the verdant shores and glancing waters below, and watch with bated breath the gradually increasing gap in the primeval forest, which busy French axes are cleaving in order to locate the residence—"L'ABITATION"—of a loved commander, Samuel de Champlain?

Or else would you, in your partiality for the cool of the evening, prefer from the dizzy summit, where now stands our citadel, to gaze—which would be more romantic—over the silent strand at your feet, pregnant with a mighty future, at the mystic hour of eve, when the pale beams of Diana will lend incomparable witchery to this novel scene. Few indeed the objects denoting the unwelcome arrival of Europeans in this forest home of the red man: the prise de possession by the grasping outer barbarian— for such Champlain must have appeared to the descendants of king Donnacona. In the stream, the ripple of the majestic St. Lawrence caresses the dark, indistinct hull of an armed bark: in Indian parlance, a "big canoe [6] with wings"; on an adjoining height waves languidly with the last breath of the breeze the lily standard of old France; on the shore, a cross recently raised: emblems for us of the past and of the present: State and Church linked together.

Such the objects decernible amid the hoary oaks, nodding pines, and green hemlocks, below Cape Diamond, on that eventful 3rd of July, 1608.


"Above the point of the Island of Orleans," says Parkman, "a constriction of the vast channel narrows it to a mile; on one hand, the green heights of Point Levi; on the other, the cliffs of Quebec. Here, a small stream, the St. Charles, enters the St. Lawrence, and in the angle betwixt them rises the promontory, on two sides a natural fortress. Land among the walnut-trees that formed a belt between the cliffs and the St. Lawrence. Climb the steep height, now bearing aloft its ponderous load of churches, convents, dwellings, ramparts, and batteries,—there was an accessible point, a rough passage, gullied downward where Prescott Gate (in 1871) opened on the Lower Town. Mount to the highest summit, Cape Diamond, [7] now zig-zagged with warlike masonry. Then the fierce sun fell on the bald, baking rocks, with its crisped mosses and parched lichens. Two centuries and-a-half have quickened the solitude with swarming life, covered the deep bosom of the river with barge and steamer and gliding sail, and reared cities and villages on the site of forests; but nothing can destroy the surpassing grandeur of the scene.

"Grasp the savin anchored in the fissure, lean over the brink of the precipice, and look downward, a little to the left, on the belt of woods which covers the strand between the water and the base of the cliffs. Here a gang of axe-men are at work, and Point Levi and Orleans echo the crash of falling trees.

"These axe-men were pioneers of an advancing host,—advancing, it is true, with feeble and uncertain progress: priests, soldiers, peasants, feudal scutcheons, royal insignia. Not the Middle Age, but engendered of it by the stronger life of modern centralization; sharply stamped with parental likeness, heir to parental weakness and parental force.

"A few weeks passed, and a pile of wooden buildings rose on the brink of the St. Lawrence, on or near the site of the market-place of the Lower Town of Quebec. The pencil of Champlain, always regardless of proportion and perspective, has preserved its semblance. A strong wooden wall, surmounted by a gallery loop-holed for musketry, enclosed three buildings, containing quarters for himself and his men, together with a court-yard, from one side of which rose a tall dove-cot, like a belfry. A moat surrounded the whole, and two or three small cannon were planted on salient platforms towards the river. There was a large magazine near at hand, and a part of the adjacent ground was laid out as a garden." (Pioneers of France in the New World, p. 301.)


On the 14th of September, 1535, under the head "Shipping News, Port of Quebec," history might jot down some startling items of marine intelligence; the arrival from sea of three armed vessels—the "Grande Hermine," the "Petite Hermine," and the "Emerillon." One would imagine their entrance in port must have awakened as much curiosity among the startled denizens of Stadacona—the Hurons of 1535—as did the anchoring in our harbour, in August, 1861, of Capt. Vine Hall's leviathan, the "Great Eastern." Were the French fleet the first European keels which furrowed the Laurentian tide under Cape Diamond? We like to think so. Let the Basques make good their assumed priority: let them produce their logbook, not merely for the latitude of Newfoundland or Tadoussac, but also an undisputed entry therein, for the spot where, a century later, Samuel de Champlain lived, loved, and died. Had the advent of the St. Malo vikings been heralded by watchful swift-footed retainers to swarthy king Donnacona, the ruler of the populous town of Stadacona, and a redoubtable agouhanna of the Huron nation? 'Tis not unlikely.

An entry occurs in the diary of Jacques Cartier, commander of the flagship "Grande Hermine," to the effect that Donnacona, escorted by twelve canoes, had met the foreign craft several miles lower than Quebec, where he had parleyed with his fellow-countrymen, Taiguragny and Domagaya, kidnapped the year previous at Gaspe and just brought back by Cartier from France; that, dismissing ten of his twelve canoes, the agouhanna had invited and received the French commander in his canoe of state, harangued him, and readily accepted from him a collation of bread and wine, which the captain of the "Grande Hermine" (thoughtful host) had brought with him.

The meeting over, Donnacona steered for home; and Jacques Cartier ordered his boats to be manned and ascended the river to seek for a safe anchorage for his ships. He soon found what he sought, entered then the river Saint Charles, by him called the St. Croix, landed, crossed the meadows, climbed the rocks, and threaded the forest. On his return, when he and his party were rowing for the ships, they had to stand another harangue from the bank, from an old chief, surrounded by men, boys and some merry squaws, to whom they gave as presents glass beads, &c., when they regained their vessels.

What took place at the interview between the French commander and the Huron potentate? What were the thoughts, hopes, fears of the grim chieftain on that fateful September day which brought in across the Atlantic the first wave of foreign invasion—the outer barbarian to his forest abode?

One would fain depict king Donnacona roaming, solitary and sad; mayhap, on the ethereal heights of Cape Diamond, watching, with feelings not unmingled with alarm, the onward course of the French ships—to him phantoms of ill-omen careering over the dreary waters—until their white shrouds gradually disappeared under the shadow of the waving pines and far-spreading oaks which then clad the green banks of the lurking, tortuous St Charles.

Chief Donnacona, beware! O beware!




"I pray you, let us satisfy our eyes With the memorials and the things of fame That do renown this city."—(Shakespeare.)

What a field here for investigation? Has not each thoroughfare its distinctive feature—its saintly, heathenish, courtly, national, heroic, perhaps burlesque, name? Its peculiar origin? traceable sometimes to a dim—a forgotten past; sometimes to the utilitarian present time. What curious vistas are unfolded in the birth of its edifices—public and private—alive with the memories of their clerical, bellicose, agricultural or mercantile founders? How much mysterious glamour does not relentless time shed over them in its unceasing march? How many vicissitudes do they undergo before giving way to modern progress, the exigencies of commerce, the wants or whims of new masters? The edifices, did we say? Their origin, their progress, their decay, nay, their demolition by the modern iconoclast—have they no teachings? How many phases in the art of the builder and engineer, from the high-peaked Norman cottage to the ponderous, drowsy Mansard roof—from Champlain's picket fort to the modern citadel of Quebec—from our primitive legislative meeting-house to our stately Parliament Buildings on the Grande Allee?

The streets and by-ways of famous old world cities have found chroniclers, in some instances of rare ability: Timbs, Howitt, Augustus Sala, Longfellow, &c. Why should not those of our own land obtain a passing notice?

Is there on American soul a single city intersected by such quaint, tortuous, legend-loving streets as old Quebec? Is there a town retaining more unmistakable vestiges of its rude beginnings—of its pristine, narrow, Indian-haunted, forest paths?

Our streets and lanes bear witness to our dual origin: Champlain, Richelieu, Buade streets, by their names proclaim the veneration our fathers had for the memory of men who had watched over the infancy of the colony, whilst the mystic, saintly nomenclature of others exhibited the attachment of the early dwellers in Quebec to the hallowed old Roman faith which presided at their natal hour.

One also finds here and there, in the names of certain thoroughfares, traces of the sojourn within our walls of popular Governors, famous Viceroys, long since gathered to their fathers, some of whose ashes mingle in our cemeteries with the dust of our forefathers—[8] Champlain, Frontenac, Mesy, De Callieres, De Vaudreuil, De la Jonquiere, Ramsay, Carleton, Hope, Dalhousie, Richmond and Aylmer.

A student of history, in the signboards affixed to street corners, loves to light on the names of men whose memories are fragrant for deeds of heroism, devotedness, patriotism or learning. Breboeuf, Champlain, Dollard, Ferland, Garneau, Christie, Turgeon, Plessis, and many others of blameless and exemplary life—each has his street. We know of a worthy and learned old antiquary whose lore and advice has been more than once placed at our disposal in unravelling the tangled skein on which we are engaged, who rejoices that his native city, unlike some of the proud capitals of Europe, is free from vulgar names, such as "Tire-Boudin," "P—t—au D——le," in gay Paris, and "Crutched Friars," "Pall-Mall," and "Mary-le- bone," in great London.

In fact, does not history meet you at every turn? Every nook, every lane, every square, nay, even the stones and rocks, have a story to tell—a record to unfold—a tale to whisper of savage or civilized warfare—a memento to thrill the patriot—a legend of romance or of death—war, famine, fires, earthquakes, land and snow-slides, riot?

Is it not to be apprehended that in time the inmates of such a city might become saturated with the overpowering atmosphere of this romantic past— fall a prey to an overweening love of old memories—become indifferent, and deadened to the feelings and requirements of the present? This does not necessarily follow. We are, nevertheless, inclined to believe that outward objects may act powerfully on one's inner nature: that the haunts and homes of men are not entirely foreign to the thoughts, pursuits and impulses, good or bad, of their inmates.

Active, cultured, bustling, progressive citizens, we would fain connect with streets and localities partaking of that character, just as we associate cheerful abodes with sunshine, and repulsive dwellings with dank, perennial shadows.

Mr. N. Legendre, in a small work intituled "Les Echos de Quebec," has graphically delineated the leading features of several of our thoroughfares:—

"In a large city each street has its peculiar feature. Such a street is sacred to commerce—a private residence in it would appear out of place. Such another is devoted to unpretending dwellings: the modest grocery shop of the corner looks conscious of being there on sufferance only. Here resides the well-to-do—the successful merchant; further, much further on, dwell the lowly—the poor. Between both points there exists a kind of neutral territory, uniting the habitations of both classes. Some of the inmates, when calling, wear kid gloves, whilst others go visiting in their shirt sleeves. The same individual will even indulge in a cigar or light an ordinary clay pipe, according as his course is east or west. All this is so marked, so apparent, that it suffices to settle in your mind the street or ward to which an individual belongs. The ways of each street vary. Here, in front of a well-polished door, stands a showy, emblazoned carriage, drawn by thoroughbreds; mark how subdued the tints of the livery are. There is, however, something distingue about it, and people hurrying past assume a respectful bearing.

"In the next street, the carriage standing at the door is just as rich, but its panelling is more gaudy—more striking in colour are the horses—more glitter—more profusion about the silver harness mountings. Though the livery has more eclat, there seems to be less distance between the social status of the groom and that of his master.

"Walk on further—the private carriage has merged into the public conveyance; still further, and you find but the plain caleche.

"Finally, every kind of vehicle having disappeared, the house-doors are left ajar; the inmates like to fraternise in the street. On fine evenings the footpath gets strewed with chairs and benches, occupied by men smoking—women chatting al fresco unreservedly—laughing that loud laugh which says, "I don't care who hears me." Passers-by exchange a remark, children play at foot-ball, while the house-dog, exulting in the enjoyment of sweet liberty, gambols in the very midst of the happy crowd. These are good streets. One travels over them cheerfully and gaily. An atmosphere of rowdyism, theft, wantonness, hovers over some thoroughfares. Dread and disgust accompany him who saunters over them. Their gates and doorways seem dark—full of pit- falls. Iron shutters, thick doors with deep gashes, indicate the turbulent nature of their inhabitants. Rude men on the sidepaths stare you out of countenance, or make strange signs—a kind of occult telegraphy, which makes your flesh creep. To guard against an unseen foe, you take to the centre of the street—nasty and muddy though it should be,—for there you fancy yourself safe from the blow of a skull-cracker, hurled by an unseen hand on watch under a gateway. The police make themselves conspicuous here by their absence; 'tis a fit spot for midnight murder and robbery—unprovoked, unpunished. Honest tradesmen may reside here, but not from choice; they are bound to ignore street rows; lending a helping hand to a victim would cause them to receive, on the morrow, a notice to quit.

"Be on your guard, if necessity brings you, after nightfall, to this unhallowed ground. Danger hovers over, under, round your footsteps. If an urchin plays a trick on you at a street corner, heed him not. Try and catch him, he will disappear to return with a reinforcement of roughs, prepared to avenge his pretended wrongs by violence to your person and injury to your purse.

"Should a drunken man hustle you as he passes, do not mind him: it may end in a scuffle, out of which you will emerge bruised and with rifled pockets.

"We dare not tell you to yield to fear, but be prudent. Though prudence may be akin to fear, you never more required all your wits about you. It is very unlikely you will ever select this road again, though it should be a short cut. Such are some of the dangerous streets in their main features. There are thoroughfares, on the other hand, to which fancy lends imaginary charms; the street in which you live, for instance. You think it better, more agreeable. Each object it contains becomes familiar, nay cherished by you—the houses, their doors, their gables. The very air seems more genial. A fellowship springs up between you and your threshold—your land. You get to believe they know you as you know them—softening influences—sweet emanations of 'Home.'"—Translation.


The Upper Town in 1608, with its grand oaks, its walnut trees, its majestic elms, when it formed part of the primeval forest, must have been a locality abounding in game. If Champlain, his brother-in-law, Boulle, as well as his other friends of the Lower Town, [9] had been less eager in hunting other inhabitants of the forest infinitely more dreaded (the Iroquois), instead of simply making mention of the foxes which prowled about the residency (l'abitation), they would have noted down some of the hunting raids which were probably made on the wooded declivities of Cape Diamond and in the thickets of the Coteau Sainte Genevieve, more especially when scurvy or the dearth of provisions rendered indispensable the use of fresh meats. We should have heard of grouse, woodcock, hares, beavers, foxes, caribou, bears, &c., at that period, as the probable denizens of the mounts and valleys of ancient Stadacona.

In 1617 the chase had doubtless to give way to tillage of the soil, when the first resident of the Upper Town, the apothecary Louis Hebert, established his hearth and home there.

"He presently," (1617) says Abbe Ferland, "commenced to grub up and clear the ground on the site on which the Roman Catholic cathedral and the Seminary adjoining now stand, and that portion of the upper town which extends from St. Famille Street up to the Hotel-Dieu. He constructed a house and a mill near that part of St. Joseph Street where it received St. Francois and St. Xavier Streets. These edifices appear to have been the first which were erected in the locality now occupied by the upper town."

At that period there could have existed none other than narrow paths, irregular avenues following the sinuosities of the forest. In the course of time these narrow paths were levelled and widened. Champlain and Sir David Kirtk bothered themselves very little with improving highways. Overseers of roads and Grand-Voyers were not then dreamed of in La Nouvelle France: those blessed institutions, macadamized [10] roads, date for us from 1841.

One of the first projects of Governor de Montmagny, after having fortified the place, was to prepare a plan for a city, to lay out, widen and straighten the streets, assuredly not without need. Had he further extended this useful reform, our Municipal Council to-day would have been spared a great amount of vexation, and the public in general much annoyance. On the 17th November, 1623, a roadway or ascent leading to the upper town had been effected, less dangerous than that which had previously existed.

"As late as 1682, as appears by an authentic record (proces-verbal) of the conflagration, this steep road was but fourteen feet wide. It was built of branches, covered with earth. Having been rendered unserviceable by the fire, the inhabitants had it widened six feet, as they had to travel three miles, after the conflagration, to enter the upper town by another hill."—(T. B. Bedard.)

In the summer season, our forefathers journeyed by water, generally in birch-bark canoes. In winter they had recourse to snow-shoes.

To what year can we fix the advent of wheeled vehicles? We have been unable to discover.

The first horse presented by the inhabitants to the Governor of the colony arrived from France on the 25th June, 1647. [11] Did His Excellency use him as a saddle horse only? or, on the occasion of a New Year's day, when he went to pay his respects to the Jesuit Fathers, and to the good ladies of the Ursulines, to present, with the compliments of the season, the usual New Year's gifts, was he driven in a cariole, and in the summer season in a caleche? Here, again, is a nut to crack for commentators. [12]

Although there were horned cattle at Quebec in 1623, oxen for the purpose of ploughing the land were first used on the 27th April, 1628.

"Some animals—cows, sheep, swine, &c.—had been imported as early as 1608. In 1623, it is recorded that two thousand bundles of fodder were brought from the pasture grounds at Cap Tourmente to Quebec for winter use."—(Miles.)

On the 16th of July, 1665, [13] a French ship brought twelve horses. These were doubtless the "mounts" of the brilliant staff of the Marquis de Tracy, Viceroy. These dashing military followers of Colonel de Salieres, this jeunesse doree of the Marquis de Tracy, mounted on these twelve French chargers, which the aborigines named "the moose-deer (orignaux) of Europe," doubtless cut a great figure at Quebec. Did there exist Tandems, driving clubs, in 1665? Quien sabe? A garrison life in 1665-7 and its amusements must have been much what it was one century later, when the "divine" Emily Montague [14] was corresponding with her dear "Colonel Rivers," from her Sillery abode in 1766; she then, amongst the vehicles in use, mentions, caleches. [15]

They were not all saints such as Paul Dupuy, [16] the patriarchal seigneur of Ile-aux-Oies, these military swells of Colonel de Salieres! Major Lafradiere, for instance, might have vied with the most outrageous rake in the Guards of Queen Victoria who served in the colony two centuries later.

If there were at Quebec twelve horses for the use of gentlemen, they were doubtless not suffered to remain idle in their stables. The rugged paths of the upper town were levelled and widened; the public highway ceased to be reserved for pedestrians only. This is what we wanted to arrive at.

In reality, the streets of Quebec grew rapidly into importance in 1665. Improvements effected during the administration of the Chevalier de Montmagny had been highly appreciated. The early French had their Saint Louis (Grande Allee), Saint Anne, Richelieu, D'Aiguillon, Saint John, streets, to do honour to their Master, Louis XIII.; his Queen the beautiful Anne of Austria; his astute Premier the Cardinal of Richelieu; his pious niece la Duchesse D'Aiguillon; his land surveyor and engineer Jehan or Jean Bourdon. This last functionary had landed at Quebec on the 8th August, 1634, with a Norman priest, the Abbe Jean LeSueur de Saint- Sauveur, who left his surname (St. Sauveur) to the populous municipality adjoining St. Roch suburbs. [17]

In the last and in the present century, St. Louis Street was inhabited by many eminent persons. Chief Justice Sewell resided in the stately old mansion, up to June 1881 occupied as the Lieutenant-Governor's offices; this eminent jurist died in 1839. "One bright, frosty evening of January 1832," says Mr. Chauveau, "at the close of a numerously attended public meeting held at the Ottawa Hotel, to protest against the arrest of Messrs. Tracy, editor of the Vindicator, and Duvernay, editor of the Minerve, the good citizens of Quebec, usually so pacific, rushed in a noisy procession, led by a dozen students wearing tri-coloured ribbons in their button-holes, and sang the Marseillaise and the Parisienne under the windows of the Chief Justice, whose ear was little accustomed to such a concert." The ermined sage, 'tis said, was so startled, that he made sure a revolution was breaking out.

"Among the fiery, youthful leaders, the loudest in their patriotic outburst, there was one who would then have been much surprised had any one predicted that after being President of the Legislative Council, Prime Minister of the Canadas, and knighted by H. R. H. the Prince of Wales in person, he would one day, as Lieutenant-Governor, enter in state this same former residence of Chief Justice Sewell, whilst the cannon of Britain would roar a welcome, the flag of England stream over his head, and a British regiment present arms to him." Such, however, has been the fate of Sir Narcissus Fortunatus Belleau.

The mansion of M. de Lotbiniere, in St. Louis street, was the residence of Madame Pean, the chere amie of M. Bigot the Intendant. The late Judge Elmsley resided there about the year 1813; Government subsequently purchased it to serve as an officers' barracks. Nearly opposite the old Court-House (burned in 1872), stands the "Kent House," in which His Royal Highness the late Duke of Kent resided in summer, 1791-3. [18] No. 42 St. Louis Street is the house [19] which belonged to the cooper, Francois Gobert; it now has become historical. In it were deposited the remains of General Montgomery on the 31st December, 1775. This summer it is leased by Louis Gonzague Baillarge, Esq., the proprietor, to Widow Pigott, whose late husband was in the "B" Battery.

In the street sacred to Louis XIII., St. Louis street, Messrs. Brown [20] & Gilmor established, in 1764, [21] their printing office for the Quebec Gazette, "two doors higher up than the Secretary's Office," wherever this latter may have stood. The Gazette office was subsequently removed to Parloir Street, and eventually settled down for many a long year at the corner of Mountain Hill, half-way up, facing Break-Neck steps,—the house was, with many others, removed in 1850 to widen Mountain Street. According to a tradition published in the Gazette of the 2nd May, 1848, the prospectus of this paper had, it would appear, been printed in the printing office of Benjamin Franklin.

This venerable sheet, which had existed one hundred and ten years, when it was merged, in 1874, by purchase of the copyright, into the Morning Chronicle, in its early days, was nearly the sole exponent of the wants— of the gossip (in prose and in verse)—and of the daily events of Quebec. As such, though, from the standard of to-day, it may seem quaint and puny, still it does not appear an untruthful mirror of social life in the ancient capital. Its centenary number of June, 1864, with the fyles of the Gazette for 1783, have furnished the scholarly author of the "Prophecy of Merlin," John S. Reade, with material for an excellent sketch of this pioneer of Canadian journalism, of which our space will permit us to give but some short extracts:—

"The first number of the Quebec Gazette, judged by the fac-simile before me, was a very unpretending production. It consists of four folio pages, two columns to each page, with the exception of the 'Printer's Address to the Public,' which takes up the full width of the page, and is written in French and English, the matter in both languages being the same, with the exception of a Masonic advertisement, which is in English only. In the address, accuracy, freedom and impartiality are promised in the conduct of the paper. The design of the publishers includes 'a view of foreign affairs and political transactions from which a judgment may be formed of the interests and connections of the several powers of Europe'; and care is to be taken 'to collect the transactions and occurrences of our mother-country, and to introduce every remarkable event, uncommon debates, extraordinary performance and interesting turn of affairs that shall be thought to merit the notice of the reader as matter of entertainment, or that can be of service to the publick as inhabitants of an English colony.' Attention is also to be given to the affairs of the American colonies and West India Islands; and, in the absence of foreign intelligence, the reader is to be presented with 'such originals, in prose and verse, as will please the fancy and instruct the judgment. And,' the address continues, 'here we beg leave to observe that we shall have nothing so much at heart as the support of virtue and morality and the noble cause of liberty. The refined amusements of literature and the pleasing veins of well-pointed wit shall also be considered as necessary to the collection; interspersed with other chosen pieces and curious essays extracted from the most celebrated authors; so that, blending philosophy with politicks, history, &c., the youth of both sexes will be improved, and persons of all ranks agreeably and usefully entertained.'

"As an inducement to advertisers, it is held out that the circulation of the Gazette will extend, not only through the British colonies, but also through the West India Islands and the trading ports of Great Britain and Ireland. The address very sensibly concludes with the following remarks, which, however, cast a shade over the rather tedious prolegomena: 'Our intention to please the whole, without offence to any individual, will be better evinced by our practice than by writing volumes on this subject. This one thing we beg may be believed, that party prejudice or private scandal will never find a place in this paper.'

"With this large promise began the first Canadian newspaper on the 21st of June, 1764.

"The news in the first number is all foreign. There are despatches from Riga, St. Petersburg, Rome, Hermanstadt, Dantzic, Vienna, Florence and Utrecht, the dates ranging from the 8th of March to the 11th of April. There are also items of news from New York, bearing date the 3rd, and from Philadelphia the 7th of May. News-collecting was then a slow process, by land as well as by sea.

"Of the despatches, the following is of historical importance: 'London, March 10th. It is said that a scheme of taxation of our American colonies has for some time been in agitation, that it had been previously debated in the Parliament whether they had power to lay a tax on colonies which had no representative in Parliament and determined in the affirmative,' etc. The occasional insertion of a dash instead of a name, or the wary mention of a 'certain great leader' or 'a certain great personage' tell a simple tale of the jealousy with which the press was then regarded both in England and on the continent. The prosecution of Smollett, Cave, Wilkes and others were still fresh in the minds of printers and writers.

"Another despatch informs the readers of the Gazette of an arret lately issued for the banishment of the Jesuits from France, and another of a deputation of journeymen silk weavers who waited on the King at St. James with a petition setting forth their grievances from the clandestine importation of French silk, to which His Majesty graciously replied, promising to have the matter properly laid before Parliament.

"An extract from a letter from Virginia gives an account of some Indian outrages, and there is some other intelligence of a similar nature. The other news is of a like temporary interest.

"I have already mentioned a masonic advertisement. I now give it in full:


That on Sunday, the 24th, being the Festival of St. Jhon (sic), such strange BRETHREN who may have a desire of joining the Merchants Lodge, No. 1, Quebec, may obtain Liberty, by applying to Miles Prenties, at the Sun, in St. John Street, who has Tickets, Price Five Shillings, for that Day.

"One thing is evident, that a printing establishment of 1764 had to be supplied with abundance of italics and capitals to meet the exigencies of the typographic fashion of the time.

"Of the two remaining advertisements, one is an order of the Collector of Customs for the prevention of composition for duties and the other gives a list of 'an assortment of goods,' 'just imported from London, and to be sold at the lowest prices by John Baird, in the upper part of Mr. Henry Morin's house at the entry of the Cul de Sac'—an assortment which is very comprehensive, ranging from leather breeches to frying-pans. From this and subsequent trade advertisements we are able to gather some not unimportant information as to the manner of living of the citizens of Quebec in those days." [22]

William Brown was succeeded in the editorship and proprietorship of this venerable sheet by his nephew, Samuel Neilson, the elder brother of John Neilson, who for years was the trusted member for the County of Quebec; as widely known as a journalist—a legislator—in 1822 our worthy ambassador to England—as he was respected as a patriot.

Samuel Neilson had died in 1793;—his young brother and protege, John, born at Dornald, in Scotland, in 1776, being, in 1793, a minor, the Gazette was conducted by the late Rev. Dr. Alex. Sparks, his guardian, until 1796. When John Neilson became of full age, he assumed the direction of the paper for more than half a century, either in his own name or in that of his son Samuel. Hon. John Neilson closed his long and spotless career, at his country seat (Dornald), at Cap Rouge, on the 1st February, 1848, aged 71 years. Who has not heard of the Nestor of the Canadian Press, honest John Neilson? May his memory ever remain bright and fragrant—a beacon to guide those treading the intricate paths of Journalism—a shining light to generations yet unborn!

In a pretty rustic cemetery, the site of which was presented by himself to the Presbyterian Church of Valcartier, near Quebec, were laid, on the 4th February, 1848, the remains of this patriotic man—escorted by citizens of every origin, after an eloquent address had been delivered by the Rev. Dr. John Cook, the present pastor of St Andrew's Church.

The Literary and Historical Society of Quebec is indebted to his son John Neilson, of Dornald, for a precious relic, the iron lever of the first Press used at Quebec in 1764—precious, indeed, as a souvenir of Canadian Journalism.

There are indeed many Scotch names associated with the Quebec Press. Space precludes us from enlarging more on this subject. In alluding to notable Quebec Journalists we are bound to name Daniel Wilkie, LL.D., the editor of the Quebec Star,—a literary gazette—in 1818—still better remembered as the esteemed instructor of Quebec youth for forty years.

Dr. Wilkie was born at Tollcross, in Scotland, in 1777, one year later than John Neilson: he settled in Quebec in 1803, and died here on the 10th May, 1851. His pupils had the following truthful words inscribed on the monument they erected to their patron in Mount Hermon cemetery:

"He was a learned scholar And indefatigable student of philosophy and letters, An able and successful instructor of youth, Of genuine uprightness and guileless simplicity A devout, benevolent and public spirited man."

The Abbe Vignal resided at the corner of St. Louis and Parloir street, previous to joining the Sulpiciens. In October, 1661, he was roasted alive and partly eaten by the Mohawks at Isle a la Pierre, la Prairie de la Magdeleine, near Montreal. In our day, the judicial and parliamentary heads, and the Bar have monopolized the street. In it have resided at various times, Sir N. F. Belleau, Chief Justice Duval, the Judges Taschereau, Tessier, Bosse, Caron, Routhier; Hon. H. L. Langevin, P. Pelletier, M.P.; Messrs. Bosse, Baby, Alleyn, Languedoc, Tessier, Chouinard, Hamel, Gauthier, Bradley, Dunbar, cum multis aliis, some of whose rustic clients are as early birds as those in the days of Horace, and scruple not to wake up their trusted advisers, "sub galli cantum." [23]

St. Louis street legal luminaries are careful not to endanger their hard- earned reputations by delivering their consultations with the oracular, Solon-like gravity of the barristers who flourished in the palmy days of Hortensius or Justinian. 'Twould be an anachronism. The traditional fee, however, is rarely omitted. A busy day, indeed, in this neighborhood, watched over by the shades of Louis XIII., St. Louis street, is, in each year, the 1st of September, when the close of the sultry midsummer vacation brings round "the first day of term," then

"Grave gownsmen, full of thought, to 'chambers hie, From court to court, perplexed, attorneys fly; ... each! Quick scouring to and thro', And wishing he could cut himself in two That he two places at a time might reach, So he could charge his six and eightpence each." —(The Bar, a Poem, 1825.)

Matters judicial, legal, financial, etc., have much changed—we are inclined to say improved—in Canada, especially for the Judges. "I will not say," writes the satirical La Hontan, "that justice is more chaste and disinterested here than in France; but, at least, if she is sold, she is sold cheaper. We do not pass through the clutches of advocates, the talons of attorneys and the claws of clerks. These vermin do not infest Canada yet. Everybody pleads his own cause. Our Themis is prompt, and she does not bristle with fees, costs and charges. The judges have only four hundred francs a year—a great temptation to look for law in the bottom of the suitor's purse. Four hundred francs! Not enough to buy a cap and gown, so these gentry never wear them." [24] Justice is not now sold, either in Quebec or elsewhere, but judges, on the other hand, viz., in Ottawa, receive, not "four hundred francs," but thirty-five thousand francs ($7,000) a year, and have "enough to buy a cap and a gown," yea, and a brilliant red one, to boot. Voila un progres.

On an old plan, in our possession, of the Cape and Mount Carmel, showing the whereabouts of lots and the names of their proprietors, drawn by Le Maitre Lamorille, a royal surveyor, bearing date 20th May, 1756, and duly sanctioned by the French Intendant Bigot on the 23rd January, 1759, can be seen at Mont Carmel, St. Louis street, a lot marked "No. 16, M. Pean." [25]

M. Pean, Town Major of Quebec, a trusted confederate of the Intendant Bigot, the proprietor of this land, was the husband of the beautiful Angelique de Meloises, the inamorata of the voluptuous and munificent Intendant. In her youth she had been a pupil of the Ursuline nuns. In his Reminiscences of Quebec, 2nd edition republished in 1859, Col. Cockburn thus alludes to this St. Louis street house (now Dominion property and occupied by Lt.-Col. Forest and Lt.-Col. D'Orsonnes). "It sometimes happened in those days, when a gentleman possessed a very handsome wife, that the husband was sent to take charge of a distant post, where he was sure to make his fortune. Bigot's chere amie was Madame P—— in consequence of which as a matter of course, Mr. P—— became prodigiously wealthy. Bigot had a house that stood where the officers barracks in St Louis street, now (1851) stands. One New Year's Day he presented this house to Madame P—— as a New Year's gift."

Mr. Kirby, in his "Chien d'Or," a historical novel of rare Merit, thus recalls this house—"The family mansion of the des Meloises was a tall and rather pretentious edifice overlooking the fashionable rue St Louis where it still stands, old and melancholy as if mourning over its departed splendors. Few eyes look up now-a-days to its broad facade. It was otherwise when the beautiful Angelique de Meloises sat of summer evenings on the balcony, surrounded by a bevy of Quebec's fairest daughters, who loved to haunt her windows where they could see and be seen to the best advantage exchanging salutations, smiles and repartees with the gay young officers and gallants who rode or walked along its lively thoroughfare."

The novelist has selected this historic house for the meeting of the lovers, on Christmas Eve 1748. Here Le Gardeur de Repentigny, the loyal and devoted cavalier was to meet the fascinating, but luckless Cleopatra of St Louis street a century ago and more.

"As Le Gardeur spoke, adds Mr. Kirby; a strain of heavenly harmony arose from the chapel of the Convent of the Ursulines, where they were celebrating midnight service for the safety of New France. Amid the sweet voices that floated up on the notes of the pealing organ was clearly distinguished that of Mere St. Borgia, the aunt of Angelique, who led the choir of nuns. In trills and cadences of divine melody, the voice of Mere St. Borgia rose higher and higher, like a spirit mounting the skies. The words were indistinct, but Angelique knew them by heart. She had visited her aunt in the convent, and had learned the new hymn composed by her for the solemn occasion. As they listened with quiet awe to the supplicating strain, Angelique repeated to Le Gardeur the words of the hymn as it was sung by the choir of nuns:—

Soutenez, grande Reine, Notre pauvre pays! Il est votre domaine, Faites fleurir nos lis! L'Anglais sur nos frontieres, Porte ses etandards Exaucez nos prieres Protegez nos remparts!"

"The hymn ceased. Both stood mute until the watchman cried the hour in the silent street."

We shall not follow further the beautiful but heartless Cleopatra through her deadly schemes of conquest, or in her flight after the Intendant. Sixteen years after the departure of the Court beauty, on a dark, stormy winter morning, the 31st December, 1775, a loud note of alarm awoke at dawn from their slumbers the demure denizens of St. Louis street. It was the captain of the guard, Captain Malcolm Fraser, [26] formerly of Fraser's Highlanders (78th), but now of the 84th Royal Emigrants, Col. Allan McLean—who, on going his rounds between 4 and 5 in the morning, had passed the guard at St. Louis gate, and had noticed flashes like lightning on the heights without the works. Convinced it was for an attack, he sent notice to all the guards, and ran down St. Louis street, calling "Turn out" as loud and as often as he could. The alarm soon caught the quick ear of the General (Guy Carleton) and the picquet at the Recollets Convent was instantly turned out. Captain Fraser's alarm was timely. Before eight o'clock on that memorable December morning, Benedict Arnold had been wounded, routed at the Sault au Matelot barricade, and 427 of his daring men taken prisoners of war, whilst the Commander-in-Chief, Brigadier- General Richard Montgomery and thirteen followers were lying dead in their snowy shrouds at Pres-de-Ville. The rest had taken flight.

The saddest sight ever witnessed in St. Louis street was that which heralded to its awe-struck denizens the issue of the momentous conflict on the adjoining heights in Sept. 1759.

In the paper read by the writer before the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec, on the 3rd of December, 1879, the mournful appearance of the French hero, Montcalm, is thus described:—

"The morning of the 13th September, 1759, has dawned; an astounding rumour fills the air; the citizens of Quebec repeat with bated breath: Wolfe's army is at the gates of the city.

"Hark! What means this deafening roar of artillery—this hissing of shot and shell—these rolling, murderous volleys of musketry in the direction of the heights of Abraham?

"Hark! to these loud cheers—British cheers mixed with the discordant yells of those savage warriors, Fraser's Highlanders! The fate of a continent has just been decided. The genius of William Pitt has triumphed, though victory was bought at a dear price.

"Here comes from St. Louis gate [27] on his way to the Chateau, pale, but dauntless—on a black charger—supported by two grenadiers, one on each side of his horse, a General officer wearing the uniform which won at Fontenoy, won at Laufeldt, as well as at the Monongahela [28] and at Carillon. [29] A bloody trail crimsons the Grande Allee, St. Louis street, on that gloomy September day. My friends, 'tis the life-blood of a hero. Drop in reverential silence, on the moistened earth, a sympathetic tear; France's chivalrous leader, the victor of many battle-fields, has returned from his last campaign.

"Oh! mon Dieu! mon Dieu! Le Marquis est tue," is repeated by female voices as the death-stricken but intrepid general glides past, to which he courteously replies, trying to quiet their fears, 'that he was not seriously hurt, and not to distress themselves on his account.' 'Ce n'est rien! ce n'est rien! ne vous affligez pas pour moi, mes bonnes amies.'

"You have all heard the account of the death-bed scene—of his tender solicitude for the good name of France—of his dying injunctions to de Ramesay, the King's lieutenant in charge of the Quebec Garrison, and to the Colonel of the Roussillon Regiment. 'Gentlemen, to your keeping I commend the honour of France. Endeavour to secure the retreat of my army to-night beyond Cape Rouge. As for myself, I shall pass the night with God, and prepare for death.'

"At nine o'clock in the evening of that 14th of September, 1759, a funeral cortege, issuing from the castle, winds its way through the dark and obstructed streets to the little church of the Ursulines. With the heavy tread of the coffin-bearers keeps time the measured footsteps of the military escort. De Ramesay and the other officers of the garrison following to their resting-place the lifeless remains of their illustrious commander-in-chief. No martial pomp was displayed around that humble bier, but the hero who had afforded at his dying hour the sublime spectacle of a Christian yielding up his soul to God in the most admirable sentiments of faith and resignation, was not laid in unconsecrated ground. No burial rite could be more solemn than that hurried evening service performed by torchlight under the dilapidated roof of a sacred asylum, where the soil had been first laid bare by one of the rude engines of war—a bombshell. The grave tones of the priests murmuring the Libera me, Domine were responded to by the sighs and tears of consecrated virgins, henceforth the guardians of the precious deposit, which, but for inevitable fate, would have been reserved to honour some proud mausoleum. With gloomy forebodings and bitter thoughts de Ramesay and his companions in arms withdrew in silence.

"A few citizens had gathered in, and among the rest one led by the hand his little daughter, who, looking into the grave, saw and remembered, more than three fourths of a century later, the rough wooden box, which was all the ruined city could afford to enclose the remains of her defender.

"The skull of the Marquis of Montcalm, exhumed in the presence of the Rev. Abbe Maguire, almoner, in 1833, many here present, I am sure, have seen in a casket, reverently exposed in the room of the present almoner of the Ursuline Convent."


Under the sway of the English Government, Canada soon recovered her wonted gaiety, and the social condition of the country, following on so large an admixture of a different nationality, is a subject stimulating inquiry. We cannot do better than have recourse again to Mr. Reade's graphic pen in an article on "British Canada in the Last Century," contributed to the New Dominion Monthly, and suggested by the Quebec Gazette of 1783, the St. Louis Street journal above quoted:—

"If there were nothing left to the enquirer but the single advertisement of John Baird, which appeared in the first number of the Quebec Gazette, as the basis of information, he might, with a moderate power of inductiveness, construct a very fair account of the mode of living pursued at Quebec a hundred years ago. But the fact is he is overwhelmed with data, and his chief difficulty is to choose with discrimination. There is certainly ample evidence to show that the inhabitants of the ancient capital did not stint themselves in the luxuries of their day and generation. The amount of wine which they consumed was something enormous, nor are we wanting in proof that it was used among the better classes to an extent which public opinion would not allow at the present day. A correspondent, more inclined to sobriety than his fellow citizens, after complimenting Quebec society for its politeness and hospitality—in which qualities it still excels—finds fault with the social custom by which 'men are excited and provoked by healths and rounds of toasts to fuddle themselves in as indecent a manner as if they were in a tavern or in the most unpolished company.' In connection with this state of affairs it may be interesting to give the prices of different wines at that period: Fine Old Red Port was sold at 17 shillings a dozen, Claret at 12s., Priniac at 17s.; Muscat at 24s., Modena at 27s., Malaga at 17s.; Lisbon at 17s.; Fyall at 15s.

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