Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

light, he wiped the dust and dirt from the coins, and put them into his pouch. Shortly after, toiling up a hill, we met a neat one-horse phæton, in which sat a stout, round-faced man, a spare anxious-looking lady, two nurses, and children, all dressed in decent mourning.

"Do you know that man?" inquired my whip; "well, I dare say you have heard of him. That is Jones, the Indian preacher, who went over to England, and married a woman of fortune."

London at last, with its Gothic court-house, and white stoops and red coats, seemed to spring up, from the woods through which we were travelling, like an enchanted city in the wilderness; but the first appearance of London from the opposite side of the Thames is more prepossessing than, on closer inspection, I found it to be


A break-down-The ox and stable-Irish settlers-North American Land Company's district-A thriving settler-GoderichLake Huron-U. N. S. soldiers-Detroit-Burning of the Erie steamer-Makina-Indians-Chippewas and Ottawas-Lake Michigan-Patent windmill-Extract from the Milwakee


"I KNEW he was a bad 'un," said my whip, looking fiercely after a stiff conceited clerico who had just cantered by upon his high horse without deigning to look down upon our shattered gig and sprawling gigster.

"Never mind him, my lad," said I; "we can get on without his assistance." And we began to hammer up our old bone-setter again. I could not help smiling at my whip's honest indignation, for in a new country like this, it is expected that every man will lend his neighbour a hand in case of any accident or emergency; besides I had travelled with the stiff gentleman in black before, and had heard him volunteer his advice when it was not required. It was too late to think of returning to London, we therefore pushed on, leading the horse, in quest of some settler's house or tavern; fortunately, the road was in tolerable repair, and though the night was dark as pitch, after sundry mistakes and refusals, we halted at a tavern, which my whip discovered by the sign over the door, which he read thus, "The ox and sable," (aux sables.)

Having secured the horse in the stable sans ceremonie, we entered the log house, and were assailed by a sturdy mastiff. The kitchen, parlour, and hall, into which we made our entré, was much larger than I expected; we found two disastrous looking Irishmen standing up bravely before a huge fireplace and roaring fire; between them hung, or was suspended, a quarter of beef, red and raw, which they were weighing after their own fashion; a very dirty and uncouth woman nursed an infant in the chimney corner; two half-clad urchins peeped from behind her; three ragged boys occupied the other corner. And the weighing of the beef ended, and the dog turned out, with some difficulty, we were permitted to approach the fire; the men returned, as they said, to look after the horse; and presently we heard a noisy dispute about the beef.

"Twopence a pound-soo!-twopence a pound for that red meat, is it?"


Ay, and it's little enough for my labour, (let alone the loss,) dragging it through the woods for five or six miles."

"Be easy; you know very well it's little better than carrion-the cow died a natural death."

"I'd like to see the man dar say that but yourself. Died! I killed her with my own hand! The moment she began to droop, and her tongue became black, I killed her."

Here the conversation was carried on in whispers, and one of the men (our host) returned, and demanded if we would not eat some supper. "Plenty of beef here, gentlemen,” said he. "We can roast a piece in

five minutes."

If I had not overheard the conversation, I dare say

I would have gladly acceded to the proposition. My whip betrayed the same disgust more openly; and we determined to have some milk, which our lovely hostess proceeded to boil in a singular utensil, used for sundry purposes-baking bread, stewing meat, and now boiling milk to the consistency of sour curds and buttermilk. This delectable beverage was set before us in two basins, but it smacked so confoundedly of onions and grease, that I would not swallow a tithe of it; and finding the heavy wet-bread as sticky as beeswax, and about as eatable, I begged leave to retire, if our fair hostess could accommodate me with a bed.

"A bed between the pair of ye, I suppose," said she. "A shake down anywhere by myself,” said I; and after a deal of whispering we were shewn into a small room with three beds. The host, hostess and his children occupied the larger, and we were soon wrapped in the arms of Morpheus.

Waking up with the cold, some time during the night, I was surprised to see the room brilliantly illuminated by the silvery rays of moonlight streaming down upon our beds through numerous chinks in the roof and crannies in the wall. Truly, the Irish peasantry are behind all others in the comforts and necessaries of civilized life. I cannot say they make the best settlers in a new country; they expose themselves to cold, and heat, and damp, in the woods, just as freely as they do in their native wilds, and soon feel the bad effects of such rashness. Dear-bought experience comes too late, and when fever and ague has done its work, they lose all heart, and betake themselves to drink, or make tracks, as the Yankees say-plunge deeper into the wilds, and perish. The

Irish women are a careless set in the woods. Their ignorance of the art of cookery is a sad drawback to the happiness of their husbands and children. That they can boil a pot of potatoes, is allowed on all hands; but in Canada men require a more generous diet than potatoes. Since the schoolmaster is abroad, I don't see why the cook should stay at home. Dr. Bowring, or some of our practical men, should take this thing in hand-a measure of such vital importance ought not to be neglected. Government cooks should be sent out, and cookery schools ought to be established throughout Ireland. My midnight lucubrations were speedily brought to a close, when my eye rested upon a shining mass at the foot of my bed; stretching out my arm suddenly, I clutched (no “air-drawn dagger," but) a rib of the quarter of raw beef, which my host in the plenitude of his hospitality, had laid between our beds.

Still declining the beef, we breakfasted this morning upon a few eggs, the cow having carried off the milk into the woods; and while my whip put to our trusty roadster, I paid the score, which, by an effort of genius not at all rare, our host had discovered to be fifteen shillings, Halifax currency. I demurred, and as the fellow pretended to be a tavern-keeper, shewed him that I had not the least idea of being imposed on-demanded the items and dittos-set them down on a leaf of my note book, and by his own shewing, reduced his bill from fifteen shillings down to ten, which I paid him for the sour milk, bad bread, stale eggs, and mouthful of wild hay our horse had browsed on during the night, and started away from his tavern full as weary as when we entered it.

The road to Goderich is the least interesting I have

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »