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qualities and capabilities of the English racehorse. That spirit is also heard in the thunder-roar from the summit of the Grand Stand, and reverberated from all quarters as the goal is approached. It thrills innumerable bosoms with hope and fear, doubt and exultation, as the issue is hung in the balance; head passing head—then receding—then advancing—with whips clenched and reins skilfully handled ; till the final rush and bound and struggle achieve the victory, amid the crash of a hundred thousand voices, which makes the welkin ring again and again; and the electric wires, aroused from their slumbers, thrill with the announcement to the metropolis, as elsewhere, even before the horses have returned to the lawn, and the successful jockey has gone to scale, or received the congratulations of his friends, or the loud greetings of those parties whom he has made winners, as well as contributed to the exultation of the owner, and brightened the reputation of the trainer. A scene of this character may be truly deemed perfectly English. It is part and parcel of the national character; a peculiarity which, wanting in other countries, ensures to our own a breed of horses of surpassing excellence—“the envy of surrounding nations, and the admiration of the world;” as admirably adapted for the field of foreign warfare, as for the hunting-field at home, and all those other useful purposes which are embraced or mixed up with our every-day existence, and the wants, convenience, and benefit of the whole body of the community. Nor is it calculated to receive any diminution of excellence or attraction so long as it is patronized by royalty, nobility, and gentry, with a generous enthusiasm and unstinted liberality, although encouraged and upheld by no inconsiderable sacrifice of money and convenience. The annual outlay of capital, in sustaining the racing system in its present state, is, indeed, enormous; and it may well puzzle the foreigner how, season after season, it is accomplished, especially when all the other channels of enterprise and industry, which absorb such extraordinary resources, are taken into consideration. Turn, however, where we may, the trophies of the turf are almost innumerable, and equally exciting and hopeful of the future. Duke, earl, baron, baronet, or squire are not to be judged or questioned in the mode, manner, or amount of either their nominations or subscriptions, but rather praised for their generosity and extolled for their enterprise in providing the public, year by year, with all the enjoyments of a splendid racing and national banquet. But if the objects and feelings to which particular reference has been made are peculiar to heath, down, or common, they bear also a strong resemblance to other views and circumstances. The spirit of speculation, risk, or adventure, is not confined within these bounds; it pervades, indeed, all speculations. It is visible on the Stock Exchange, in the Share Market, and the Corn Market; in all trades, professions, callings, and occupations. It seems wholly inseparable from the employment of capital in any one matter or thing. Even life itself is a venture and a game-a mixed game of skill and hazard.
CIIAP. XXV. A Family Party at The Willows—Extracts from my Journal-Excursions in Canada. In consequence of the escapade described in the last chapter, the festivities of Atherley Manor were shortly brought to a close, the party had separated, and Ellen and myself having accepted a most pressing invitation to pass the winter at the “Willows,” were speedily domiciled in that hospitable home. Mr. Ramsay's health was beginning to break (for Time will not stay his ceaseless course), and yet no word of regret or despondency ever escaped the lips of the worthy man; he had lived to see his beloved daughter united to the object of her choice, and it was his greatest delight to listen to her, as, round a snug winter-fire, she read extracts from my journal in Canada, during the period I was separated from her. As these extracts may not be uninteresting to the general reader, I give them— “S C E N E S A B R O A. D. “‘Here may I roam at large : my business is, Roaming at large, to observe.’ Won Dswo RT II. “It was upon a lovely summer day that a party of right merrie youths, of which I formed one, left Quebec upon a sporting excursion to Niagara, Lake Huron, and the North-West Company's establishment at Chepewyan. Deviating from the usual road, that we might enjoy a day's salmon-fishing, we reached Jacques Cartier bridge, about seven miles above the ferry. Here the river falls wildly down, betwixt its wooded shores, and after forming several cascades, foams through a narrow channel, which seems cut out of the solid rock to receive it. The rock that constitutes its bed is formed into regular platforms, descending by natural steps to the edge of the torrent. The Jacques Cartier is famous for its salmon, which are caught of large size, and in great abundance. Certainly we had no cause for complaint, for we had a splendid day's fishing, killing (three rods) fourteen salmon, averaging fifteen pounds each. There is an excellent inn at the foot of the bridge. “Mine host’ was not only an expert disciple of old Izaak, but was a most judicious promoter of gastronomy; and what old Brideau most prided himself for, was, what he termed his kettle of fish, which was a large iron cauldron, filled with water, thickened with salt, to which the fish was immersed the moment it was killed, the boiling apparatus having been brought to the side of the river. After quitting this neighbourhood, the scenery of the St. Lawrence becomes flat and uninteresting. The country, however, the entire way from Quebec to Montreal is studded with farm-houses, whitewashed from top to bottom, attached to which are log-barns and stables, with commodious and neat plots of garden-ground. The meadows were profusely decorated with orange lilies, and the banks and dingles with the crimson berries of the sumac, and a variety of flowering shrubs. So intense is the
heat of the summer, that Indian corn, water-melons, gourds, and capsicums are raised in abundance, and are to be seen growing wild at every step. Our servants and baggage joined us after our fishing expedition; the former was sent back to Quebec, the latter we took with us on board the steamer. It included two small tents, some camp-equipage, buffalo-skins, which we used as bedding, a store of dried provisions, including potted meats of every description, some jars of turtle, kegs of brandy, gin, whiskey, and rum; pipes, cigars, rifles, guns, powder, bullets, shot, books, with some ornaments of beads, steel buttons, ribbons, tinfoil, and gold lace, as presents to the Indians; and with this cargo we left by the mail steamer. Nothing worth recording occurred during our passage to Montreal. We landed for a few minutes at William Henry, or Sorel as the natives call it, a fortified station on the south bank of the St. Lawrence, distant about a hundred and twenty miles from Quebec. We reached Montreal, where we remained two days enjoying the hospitalities of one of the “crack’ regiments quartered there, and then left for La Chine, where our bateau awaited us. This village is most romantic, and from the number of Canadian boatmen or coyageurs that land and embark there, is full of life and bustle. These voyageurs may be said to have sprung from the fur trade, having originally been employed by the early French merchants in their trading expeditions, through the labyrinths of rivers and lakes of the boundless interior. Their dress is generally half civilized, half savage. They wear a capote made of a blanket, a striped cotton shirt, leather leggings, or cloth trousers, deer-skin mocassins, and a belt of variegated worsted, from which are suspended the knife, tobacco-pouch, and other implements. Their language is of a mongrel description, being a Gallic patois, embroidered with English words and phrases. They are generally of French descent, and inherit much of the gaiety and lightness of heart of their ancestors, being full of song and anecdote, and ever ready for the dance. Never are they so happy as when on a voyage, toiling up rivers against the rapids, or coasting lakes, encamping at night on the borders, and gossiping round their bivouac in the open air. Nothing can be more delightful, more soothing to the spirits, than to glide across the bosom of a lake on a bright sunny morning, the oars keeping time to some quaint old ditty, or French romance; or, sweeping in full chorus, on some still summer evening, down the transparent current of a Canadian river. Each bateau carries eight or ten men, and ‘a luggage,’ consisting of sixty packages of oi. about six hundredweight of biscuit, two hundredweight of pork, and three bushels of peas, for the men's provisions; two oilcloths to cover the freight, which serve as tents on landing; a sail, and an axe ; a towing-line, camp-kettles, together with a quantity of gum, bark, and ‘watapa,” to repair the boats. An European, on seeing these slender vessels thus laden, and not more than six inches out of the water, would imagine it almost impossible that they should perform a long and perilous voyage; but the Canadians are so expert in the management of them, that accidents rarely happen. On the opposite side of the river, at La Chine, is an Indian settlement, belonging to the Lachenonaga tribe—a race sadly degenerated, through their intercourse with the white population. Here we passed our days in the hopes of finding an interpreter, who would be induced, for a proper consideration, to accompany our expedition ; but we found so much extortion and drunkenness among the natives, that we declined the numerous offers that were made us the moment the object of our mission had been promulgated in the small colony. At sunrise the following morning we set out on our voyage, our crew consisting of “four oars’ and a steersman to each boat. The passage for many weary miles was extremely tedious, for so strong was the current in many places, that our boatmen could no longer make any way against it, and were compelled to shift their oars, and pole the boats along, keeping as close to the banks as possible. So violent was the exertion that the men were obliged very frequently to cease from their labours. Each of these resting-places is denominated une pipe by the French Canadians, of whom our crew was composed, they being allowed to stop and fill their pipes. With equal propriety might these rests be called un verre d'eau-de-vie, for they never failed upon these occasions to “moisten their clay” with a glass of brandy. In short, what with the tobacco and spirits, the men—as was remarked by one of our party, soon became bacchy plenus. A pipe and threej. of an English mile were synonymous. For the first two ays, although we often landed with our guns, we succeeded in killing nothing, except time; on the second morning, crossing the Utawas river, we gained the mouth of the south-west branch of the St. Lawrence, and a splendid scene presented itself. Each river comes dashing down into the lake over immense rocks, with an impetuosity which, seemingly, nothing can resist; huge branches and roots of trees, and broken rafts are hurled down into the rapids; and woe betide the frail bark that comes in contact with them Frequent accidents have occurred, owing to the want of skill or negligence of the boatmen. We now entered the rapids of Les Cascades and Le Saut de Buisson, and hearing that the neighbouring woods were full of wild pigeons, quitted our boats, and divided ourselves into two parties. Our rendezvous, arranged for six o'clock, was to be at the village of the Hill of the Cedars, where whoever arrived first was to prepare dinner and beds. We were each to do our best to fill our game-bags, as we had agreed not to open our store of provisions until we had reached the upper wilds. The party I happened to be with was most successful, having bagged a large quantity of wild pigeons, which resemble very much the English wood-pigeon. The other detachment, however, proved themselves the better ‘caterers,” for great was our surprise, upon landing at the spot of our rendezvous, to find such a display of game as would have gratified the heart of any sportsman—two splendid deer, some beautiful trout, a couple of tarapins or land-tortoises, besides a bag-full of pigeons. We strongly suspected, as it afterwards proved to be the case, that silver shot and hooks had been used ; and so it was. Our detached comrades had fallen in with some Indians, from whom they had obtained their venison and fish; these delicacies, however, were not less acceptable upon that account. As our other party had only landed a quarter of an hour before us, no arrangement for dinner had been made; we therefore lost no time in pitching our tents, lighting our fires, and preparing our repast. Fortunately, in the latter we received the assistance of a Scotch woman, a settler, who ‘lent a hand,’ and took charge of the tarapin “brose'; a Canadian woman offered her
services in dressing some stewed cucumbers with cream, a favourite dish in those parts, whilst we all put our shoulders to the wheel, or rather fire, and boiled, fried, roasted, and stewed fish, flesh, and fowl, in every possible way, There is an old saying, that appetite is the best sauce; and so it proved upon this occasion, for I never recollect seeing a repast more enjoyed than the one I have described. After the cloth was removed, we made a huge bowl of whiskey-punch, and passed a most agreeable evening; the jest, the catch, and glee went round, and it was not until a late hour that we separated. The following morning was lovely, and at daybreak we were assured by one of our party, who always gave the reveillée on the bugle as soon as he awoke. To bathe in the clear stream, and to take a hearty meal, occupied about an hour, and we then again embarked in our boats. We were this day to enter the great lake of St. François, which is five-and-twenty miles in length; and, the wind being propitious, our boatmen gave us a grand morning concert, singing some of the Canadian melodies most exquisitely, marking the time with each stroke of the oar. Before we had proceeded half-way, our attention was attracted to a party of pleasure, who were evidently making for the same point that we were. It was a calm, stilly evening, with scarcely a cloud in the sky, or a ripple on the water. One of the party accompanied herself and a fair companion upon the guitar; the air was familiar to us—one of Moore's beautiful duets. The music, chiming in with the oars, grew fainter and fainter, and produced a most thrilling effect. We listened with the deepest attention to the “linked sweetness long drawn out,’ and were enchanted at finding, on our landing, three young and handsome girls leaning on the arms of two middle-aged gentlemen; one of whom, from his sun-burnt cheek and careworn countenance, looked as if he had done ‘the state some service;’ and so it proved to be, for the individual was no other than Commodore B , one of the brightest ornaments and most gallant spirits of the United States’ navy. At that time we fancied (erroneously, as it afterwards proved) that a feeling of enmity existed between the two countries, and we concluded that one of the heroes of the American war would look down with contempt upon a party of beardless subalterns of the British army; for be it known that one of my companions and myself had provided ourselves with knapsacks, containing, among other good things, cigars and spirits, and upon which were somewhat ostentatiously painted our names, rank, and regiments. Anxious to be introduced to our unknown syrens, we were, upon the discovery of their chaperon's name, regularly “gobrowed.' We use an Afghan word, the English of which, vulgarly translated, is ‘flabbergasted.’ Great then, indeed, was our delight when the hearty Commodore, who had espied our names, approached us, and touching his hat (a wonderful condescension, we then thought, for a republican), politely addressed us as follows:– “‘Gentlemen, we are about to visit the celebrated spring in the neighbourhood; will you do us the pleasure of joining our party?” “Need I say that we gladly availed ourselves of the Commodore's courtesy, and in less than a minute I, acting as master of the ceremonies, introduced myself and friends, who were in due time presented D