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Title: Old Quebec, the city of Champlain
Author: Weaver, Emily
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Old Quebec, the city of Champlain" ***

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                        = O L D   Q U E B E C =
            == T H E   C I T Y   O F   C H A M P L A I N ==

                    =E M I L Y   P .   W E A V E R=
           Author of "A Canadian History for Boys and Girls,"
                    "Builders of the Dominion," etc.

                         WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY
                    =A N N I E   E .   W E A V E R=

                             WILLIAM BRIGGS

   Entered according to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year
        one thousand nine hundred and seven, by WILLIAM BRIGGS,
                   at the Department of Agriculture.

                           TABLE OF CONTENTS

                     I. THE FOUNDER OF QUEBEC
                     II. THE FOUNDING OF THE CITY
                     III. NOTRE DAME DES VICTOIRES
                     IV. THE PLAINS OF ABRAHAM
                     V. THE FIFTH SIEGE OF QUEBEC
                     VI. IN DAYS OF PEACE


             =A=rnold, Benedict

             “Bateau,” A
             Beaupré, House at
             Beauport Churchyard
             Bench, Weaver’s
             Breakneck Steps

             Canadians, French
             Candlestick, Wooden
             Cartier, Jacques
                   Portrait of (headpiece)
                   Statue of
             Champlain’s—Drawings (headpiece)
                   Sea-Monsters, One of (initial)
             Champlain’s Ships, One of (initial)
             Chateau—Frontenac and Dufferin Terrace
                   St. Louis
             Combination Chair and Table
             Cow Shed

             =D=og Cart

             =F=alls of St. Anne
             Fort Chambly
             Frontenac, Statue of

                   Laval (tailpiece)
                   Old St. Louis
                   Old St. John’s (headpiece)
                   St. John’s, 1865
                   St. Louis
             “Golden Dog” (tailpiece)
             Grenadier, Canadian

             Hospital, General (tailpiece)
             House to which Montgomery’s body was taken

                   Canoe Running Rapids
             Iroquois Long House

             =J=esuit Church and College, after the siege
             Jogues, Statue of father


             =M=artello Tower (tailpiece)
             Montcalm’s Headquarters
             Montcalm, Portrait of
             “Montgomery fell” (initial)
             Montgomery, Portrait of
             Montmorency, Falls of
             Monument—“Aux Braves”
                   Soldiers’ (tailpiece)
                   Wolfe and Montcalm
             Moss Rose
             Mountain Hill

             =N=otre Dame des Victoires—(headpiece)
                   Ruins of
             Nun, Ursuline

             =O=ld Furniture

             =P=lains of Abraham (headpiece)
             Priest (initial)

             =Q=uebec—About 1690
                   From Point Lévis
                   Modern (headpiece)

             =R=ampart, A Corner of the
             Ramparts (initial)
             Recollet Friars’ Church

             =S=hip of Eighteenth Century
             Sous le Cap
             St. Anne de Beaupré and Cap Tourmente
             St. Anne de Beaupré, Old Church (tailpiece)
             St. Croix, Island of
             St. Lawrence, The—From Montmorency (tailpiece)
                   Looking down
                   On the Shore of

             Trapper, Canadian

             =W=aterlilies (tailpiece)
             Water Sluice
             Wayside Cross
             Wharf at Isle of Orleans
             Wheel—For Spinning Flax
                   For Spinning Wool
             Wolfe, Portrait of
             Wolfe’s Cove
             Wolfe’s Monument

 From a drawing by R. Short, 1759.]


[Illustration:  Harebells.]

THIS little book aspires, neither to the utility of a guide-book, nor to
the dignity of a history. It is designed rather as a reminder of the
great events which have given to the old city of Quebec a world-wide
fame; and with this object in view, many of the illustrations have been
copied from old prints and drawings. With the exception of a photograph
of his painting of Wolfe, kindly lent by J. W. L. Forster, Esq., and the
two photographs on page 57,[1] taken by James Ritchie, Esq., of Quebec,
the remainder of the illustrations are largely the result of a pleasant
summer in that quaintest part of the Dominion—once the heart of “New
France”—where picturesque old-world customs still linger amongst the
modern fashions of this practical century.


[1] See illustrations:

Falls of St. Anne


THE figure of the founder of Quebec rises in history, strong and
effective, above an ever-changing environment of turmoil and unrest and
strife, as to-day his great statue stands in motionless dignity above
the shifting crowds of pleasure-seekers and tourists who flit about “the
Terrace” at Quebec.

Take him when you will; tossing in a cockleshell on the mountainous
rollers of the Atlantic; testing the soil of some newly discovered
region with his grain and garden-seeds; taking careful inventory of the
products of woods and earth and waters; training his refractory red
allies to some method in their military madness; fighting the loathsome
death-dealing scurvy; surrounded by disheartened or treacherous
followers; even cheated and befooled by a frivolous
notoriety-hunter—Samuel de Champlain shows himself ever calm, cheerful,
heroic—a man of rare sincerity and singleness of purpose.

Not much is known of the ancestry of this truly noble Frenchman, beyond
the names of his father and mother—Antoine Champlain and Marguerite Le
Roy. Yet we can guess that from his paternal ancestry at least he
inherited a good portion of courage and simplicity, for Antoine and his
brother, the more notable “Provençal Captain,” belonged to the race of
sea-faring men, who always and everywhere seem to be plain, bold, simple
folk. The circumstances of his early life, moreover, tended to form the
character of the future founder of New France on firm, strong lines.

[Illustration: Chateau Frontenac and Dufferin Terrace.]

Samuel de Champlain was born in 1570, or possibly a year or two earlier,
at Brouage, then a busy little seaport on the Bay of Biscay—now a
mouldering hamlet, nearly two miles inland, for the ocean has retreated,
and the business of the place has ebbed away with the receding tides. A
monument, neither very ancient nor very imposing, has been erected near
the little church, to keep green in his birth-place the memory of the
founder of Quebec; but, according to the account of a recent visitor,
the tumble-down cottages, sleepy street, and crumbling old walls can
give no idea of what Brouage was in its palmy days. “The best seaport in
France,” wrote one enthusiast, about the time Champlain was born. “Here
you hear every known language spoken!” said another, thirty years later;
and the lad drank in from the talk of these sailors of many tongues and
nations that love of “navigation,” which, he says, “has powerfully
attracted me ever since my boyhood, and has led me on to expose myself
almost all my life to the impetuous buffetings of the sea.”

[Illustration: A "Bateau".]

[Illustration: Old Breakneck Steps.]

In spite of this love of things nautical, in spite of the example of the
sea-captains who frequented his home, Samuel de Champlain was to gain
experience of the ways both of camps and courts before he took up his
real life-work as explorer and colonist. He was born in a time of
conflict. In his youth Spain and England were at death-grips for the
dominion of the seas; and his own country was torn by religious wars.
During his boyhood, indeed, his own little town was twice taken in the
struggle between Huguenots and Catholics; and, when he reached manhood,
Champlain (though a Catholic) enlisted under the banner of the (then)
Protestant king, Henry of Navarre. It is probable that he fought in the
battles of Arques and Ivry; it is certain, at any rate, that he served
his king well, and won the favor of his superiors, perhaps even of the
monarch himself.

 From an old drawing.]

[Illustration: Statue of Champlain.]

[Illustration: Island of St. Croix.]

After the young man had led a soldier’s life for some nine years, the
war ended with the triumph of Henry, and Champlain turned once more to
the sea. But he did not follow in his father’s footsteps and take
command of a fishing-boat or a coasting vessel. The “Provençal Captain”
had been engaged to act as pilot-general for the transports bearing home
some Spanish troops from France, and his nephew went with him to Cadiz,
thus, for the first time, visiting a foreign city. Things so fell out,
however, that he saw many other strange places before returning to his
native land. The “St. Julian,” on which he had embarked, being “a strong
vessel and a good sailer,” of no less than five hundred tons’ burden,
was chosen to make one of a flotilla destined for the West Indies, but
the “Provençal Captain” was engaged with other matters, and Samuel de
Champlain was therefore invited to take command of the ship.

[Illustration: Pipe.]

Thus it happened that in January, 1599, Champlain set forth into that
wonderful New World, of which he had heard so much, upon which he was to
set so deep a mark. On this first voyage, however, he did not reach the
scene of his labors in the forest-covered north. He sailed amongst the
West Indian Islands; he visited Mexico; he made friends with savage
chiefs; he wrote vivid descriptions of people, places and customs; he
drew pictures of beasts, birds and reptiles in a fashion which (witness
his “two-legged chameleon”) must have been the wonder and despair of
many a succeeding naturalist.

[Illustration: Mocassin.]

[Illustration: Tobacco.]

[Illustration: Pulpwood.]

Returning home at length with this richly illustrated journal in his
hand, Champlain went to court, became a pensioner of the king, and
probably “a lion” in the brilliant society of the French capital. The
life was not to his taste, but from the court a way opened for his
return to his beloved wildernesses. An old general of his, De Chastes,
dreaming of the founding of a New France in North America, turned to the
enthusiastic explorer to translate dreams into facts; and early in 1603
Champlain was sent with Pont Gravé, a rugged old sea-captain of Jacques
Cartier’s home-port, St. Malo, to take up again Cartier’s task and
explore the St. Lawrence. The pair went as far as Hochelaga, or “Mont
Royale,” and tried in vain to force a way up the rapids. Champlain then
sailed for home full of enthusiasm for the planting of a colony on the
great river. But—“l’homme propose et Dieu dispose.” Aymar de Chastes
was dead, and though the enterprise soon found a new patron in the Sieur
de Monts, that nobleman desired to make the experimental settlement, not
on the “Great River of Hochelaga,” but on the Acadian coast.

[Illustration: Canoe Running Rapids.]

[Illustration: Jacques Cartier.]

Champlain and his comrades loyally did their utmost to make a success of
each of the unfortunate Acadian settlements in turn, but the leaders’
lack of experience and the intrigues of their enemies in France brought
the colony to ruin. In this hard school, however, Champlain was learning
invaluable lessons in the art of colonization. At times, perhaps, he
thought his added wisdom dearly bought by the miseries of desolate St.
Croix, but surely his memory of Port Royal must have been shot through
with many a bright thread; and often, in after years, his eyes must have
danced with laughter when he recalled the oddities of the sagamore,
Membertou, the gay whimsicalities of some of his associate
gentlemen-pioneers, and the joyous feasts and good fellowship of his own
famous “Ordre de Bon Temps.”

[Illustration: The St. Lawrence—From Montmorency.]


NEARLY five years had passed since Champlain’s former visit to the St.
Lawrence, when, on the third day of July, 1608, he again landed beneath
the Rock of Quebec. He was now in the prime of life: strong,
resourceful, energetic; and this was the great moment in his history, to
which all his previous experiences had been a lead up to, from which his
future life would date itself.

He had come simply, unostentatiously (half-unconscious of the
significance of what he was doing, yet full of a steadfast purpose which
lent dignity to the trivial details and humble beginnings of that day)
to lay the foundation of Quebec, of New France, of the Dominion of
Canada! He was inspired by patriotism, loyalty, devotion to the Cross,
and an eager thirst for knowledge; and in his heart there was no room
for that cursed love of gain which has sullied the glory of so many
daring explorers of this western continent.

[Illustration: Warrior.]

This time Champlain had come to Quebec to stay, and though his first
“habitation” has long vanished from sight, the city then begun has had
the quality of permanence. The Rock seemed a fortress ready made; but
Champlain set up his log dwellings and store-houses nearly on the spot
which is now the Market-place of the Lower Town. The ground covered
to-day with tortuous streets of quaint-roofed houses was then thick with
“nut-trees,” and the little company of thirty men (there were others
left trading at Tadousac) had much ado to clear the soil. Some wearied
of their toil, and planned to end it by the treacherous murder of their
leader; but the plot was betrayed, and Champlain and his little colony
were saved from the destruction threatening both alike.

[Illustration: Wigwams.]

That busy summer ended, Pont Gravé sailed away, leaving Champlain and
twenty-eight men to make good during the winter their bold invasion of
the wilderness. They stood on the defensive; but the neighboring Indians
proved friendly, and no human enemy came near their “habitation.” Yet
the foundations of New France (as it seems of every colony) were laid in
woe and anguish. The winter had hardly begun in earnest when the
horrible scurvy appeared amongst them, and before spring twenty of the
company lay cold and silent beneath the snow. Of the remaining eight,
four had been at death’s door, but Champlain himself was still full of
health and life and courage.

Once, when on an excursion up the St. Charles, he had chanced upon a
tumble-down stone chimney, a few rusted cannon-balls, and some other
relics which convinced him that he stood upon the spot where Jacques
Cartier had wintered seventy-three years before. A less resolute man
might have found the discovery disheartening; but Champlain had no
thought of retreat.

[Illustration: Champlain Market.]

[Illustration: Iroquois Long House.]

Often during that melancholy winter he questioned the Algonquins, who
had camped beside the little fort, as to what lay in the unknown regions
beyond; and, listening to their talk of rivers, lakes and boundless
forests, he grew more and more eager to plunge into the wilderness. But
always the Indians added tragic stories of a foe infesting the woodland
paths and lying ambushed beside the streams; and so Champlain, moved
partly perhaps by chivalrous pity for their terror, and trusting in the
superior military skill and excellent weapons of his own people,
promised to take the field during the coming spring against the
ubiquitous and blood-thirsty Iroquois.

[Illustration: Wayside Cross.]

Some writers regard this promise as the grand mistake of Champlain’s
policy. Possibly, however, the struggle was inevitable. At any rate, the
first anniversary of the founding of Quebec had hardly passed, when was
inaugurated the fearful blood-feud between the French and the Iroquois
that for the greater part of a century brought out the best and the
worst of New France—courage, steadfastness, unselfish heroism on the
one hand, and, on the other, dare-devil recklessness and pitiless

Blamable or unblamable, Champlain and two of his followers, clad in
“helmet, breastplate, and greaves,” and carrying ponderous arquebuses,
joined a host of painted warriors, and caused for once a horrible panic
in the ranks of the Iroquois. What brave could stand against an
adversary who had the thunder and lightning at his command? But the
Iroquois were no cowards. Their panic passed with the novelty of the
French mode of fighting; but their thirst for vengeance long outlived
him who had awakened it, and again and again it threatened the very
existence of New France.

[Illustration: On the shore of the
 St. Lawrence.]

Clearly, however, it was not the fault of Champlain that the colony
remained so perilously feeble. He was as truly the servant as the
governor of his settlement, and for nearly thirty years his voyages and
journeys and battles, his struggles with mercenary traders and heedless
officials, had little intermission. He was, moreover, a homeless man;
for, though he married in 1610, his wife was a child of twelve, and he
did not bring her out to his ruinous “habitation” for ten long years.

[Illustration: Old furniture.]

Immediately after his return with her, he began to build on the edge of
the cliff, where now stands the Chateau Frontenac, a fort which, altered
or rebuilt by his successors, was afterwards known as the Chateau St.
Louis. Beneath the planks of Dufferin Terrace its cellars still remain.
The main building was destroyed by fire in 1834; but a wing added by
General Haldimand in 1784 was only demolished in 1891 to make way for
the luxurious Chateau Frontenac hotel. This often shelters ten times the
number of people which made up the population of New France when
Champlain began the building of his “chateau.”

 From an old drawing.]

[Illustration: St. Anne de Beaupré and Cap Tourmente.]

At that date six white children represented young Canada, and Madame de
Champlain had scarcely any companions of her own sex save her three
serving-women. She had no lack of occupation, however, for she devoted
much of her time to teaching the Indians.

[Illustration: Flowers.]

In this charitable pursuit she enjoyed the entire approbation of her
soldier-husband, who was reported to have said that “the salvation of a
single soul was worth more than the conquest of an empire, and that
kings should extend their domains in heathen countries only to subject
them to Christ.” In 1615 he had brought from France several Recollet
missionaries, who, in their efforts to win the Indian tribes for Christ
and for the Church, showed a sublime contempt for discomfort, hardship
and danger. They were followed, ten years later, by a little party of
Jesuits, eager for martyrdom; but while Champlain lived they did not
attain that painful eminence of devotion.

[Illustration: Beaver.]

It seemed, however, that, as the shadows of eventide deepened about the
gallant old Governor of Quebec, his task grew ever harder. The twentieth
year of his settlement was just completed when a crushing blow fell. War
broke out between France and England, and a hostile fleet bore down upon
neglected Quebec, capturing on the way a fleet from France, and
destroying the stock and buildings of a little farm at Cap Tourmente
from which Champlain had hoped great things. For weeks before this the
little garrison had been on short rations, but Champlain from his rock
flung defiance at the invaders, and the English admiral retreated,
leaving his proud opponent to the mercy of a grimmer foe. The Frenchmen
fought off starvation during the long winter by digging up roots and
casting themselves on the charity of the Indians, but when Kirke
returned with the warm weather, even Champlain was fain to surrender.

[Illustration: Basilica.]

In that hour his life must have seemed a very tragedy of
failure—himself a prisoner, Quebec in the hands of the enemy, his
life-work crumbling to ruins! But in Champlain’s vocabulary there was no
such word as despair. Immediately he set himself to obtain the
restoration of Quebec, and his enthusiasm prevailed over all obstacles.
By the Treaty of St. Germain-en-Laye Quebec was given back to France,
and in 1633, after nearly four years’ absence, Champlain returned to his
adopted country.

[Illustration: Wooden

He received a joyous welcome from the few French families who had
remained in the colony. The Indians, who came down the river by hundreds
in their canoes, gave him a still more enthusiastic greeting. Never
before had there been at Quebec such feasting, such speech-making, such
a smoking of peace-pipes; and Champlain, knowing that the very life of
the colony was bound up with the fur-trade, cherished high hopes for the
prosperity of Quebec.

What matter that the original settlement below the cliff lay in ruins?
The Governor immediately set about its rebuilding, and on the Rock he
erected the first parish church of Quebec, “Notre Dame de Recouvrance.”
Authorities differ as to whether it stood on the site of the Basilica,
or on that of the English Cathedral, for on a windy day in June, 1640,
it was burnt to the ground, with all it contained. Before that
catastrophe occurred the heroic founder of Quebec had gone to his rest.

[Illustration: Tadousac.]

During his last busy years Champlain found much time for devotional
exercises, and already in his life-time Quebec had taken on that
markedly religious character which it bears to-day. Then, as now,
black-gowned priests pervaded the streets, and the clear sound of the
church-bells broke in at oft-recurring intervals on the harsher clangor
of secular life. “Fort St. Louis,” wrote the Governor’s Jesuit
confessor, “seemed like a well-managed school; in the morning at table
M. de Champlain heard read aloud some good history, and at night the
lives of the saints; in the evening there was private meditation, and
then prayers were said kneeling.”

[Illustration: Indian Canoe.]

[Illustration: Trillium.]

Yet to the end Champlain bore the temporal welfare of his colony upon
his heart. In the last of his letters, he gave to Cardinal Richelieu a
glowing account of the possibilities of Canada, and begged for one
hundred and twenty men to subdue the Iroquois, “Then worship and trade
would increase beyond belief.”

Two months later the Father of New France was stricken with paralysis,
and on Christmas Day, 1635, he died. Amidst the mourning of his people,
he was buried in a “sepulchre particulier,” and the “Chapelle de
Champlain” was built over his tomb. It stood, it is believed, close
beside “Fort St. Louis,” and was therefore very near the site of the
monument erected a few years ago to commemorate the name and deeds of
the brave, simple-hearted founder of Quebec.

[Illustration: Waterlilies.]


AFTER Champlain the story of Quebec takes a more sombre hue. Its pages
tell of long-continued warfare with the savages; of a fierce though
intermittent struggle with the “heretic” English, the papist-hating
“Bostonnais.” The tale has no lack of heroes and of heroines,
courageous, saintly, inspired by visions of the invisible, or driven to
the supreme heights of self-sacrifice by the most awful sights ever
shown to mortal eyes.

[Illustration: Ursuline Nun.]

To this period belong the valiant Governor, Montmagny; brave
Maisonneuve, founder of Montreal; gentle Jeanne Mance; the ecstatic
Mother Marie de l’Incarnation; the Jesuit devotees, Jogues, Bréboeuf,
and Lalemant; those other martyrs, Dollard and his sixteen defenders of
the Long Sault; daring, ruthless D’Iberville; luckless, dauntless La
Salle; and a host of others who in that dark period bravely played their
parts on the blood-stained stage. But above them all, by force of
circumstances and force of character, towers the stern military figure
of Louis de Buade, Count de Frontenac.

[Illustration: Prescott Gate.]

Arrogant, imperious, fearless, defiant of danger, from his “Chateau” on
the height he lorded it over the straggling settlements along the river
that then made up New France. He imposed his will on restless traders,
on his savage “children” of the forest, and he made a brave fight to
impose it also on the spiritual leaders of New France, and on the
Intendant, sent out specially to check and thwart him. His very faults
served New France well in that time of agony, when the savages were ever
at her throat, sucking away her life-blood and mangling her all but to

[Illustration: Canadian

[Illustration: Cannon.]

In contrast to timorous La Barre and vacillating Denonville, there is
something fascinating about the stalwart Frontenac, who was as surely
the saviour of New France as the nobler, gentler Champlain was its
founder and father. A soldier and a courtier, Frontenac had left his
youth far behind him, when, in 1672, he landed for the first time at
Quebec; but he could adapt himself to circumstances, at least to any
circumstances in which his imperious will could have free play. He was
quickly at home in the little town on the St. Lawrence, “the future
capital,” as he saw it, “of a great empire.” He was at home also in the
camps and councils of the redmen, stooping, as a smaller man would not
have dared to do, to the level of forest manners and forest eloquence.

[Illustration: Blockhouse.]

During ten unquiet years he learned better and better how to deal with
the savages, and was then called back to France, just as the Iroquois
were preparing to make a fresh attack on Canada. The Iroquois had no
lack of prey, for by this time pioneers and traders had scattered
themselves far and wide through the wilderness. They did not, however,
fall unresisting.

The dangers of the time had bred stern, relentless men, and women and
children, too, ready, like the little heroine of Verchères, to fight to
the death for home and dear ones. Each village had its loop-holed
blockhouse or strong stone mill, but the log-cabins frequently stood far
from these places of refuge, and the Iroquois dealt in night-attacks and
sudden surprises. Whilst Denonville was governor there was a veritable
reign of terror in New France, culminating, in August, 1689, in the
frightful massacre of Lachine.

 Old Wooden Bridge.]

Frontenac, already on his way back to Quebec, was not the man to let the
outrage pass unavenged. Unable to deal a telling blow at the shifting
Iroquois, he struck savagely at the white foe, whom he suspected of
encouraging the red braves in their barbarous warfare. From Quebec,
Three Rivers and Montreal, he sent out parties of bush-rangers and
“Christian Indians” to carry fire and sword through the border
settlements of New England. In the depth of winter the cruel task was
duly accomplished, and loud were the plaudits of the savage allies of
the French, whose friendship had wavered in the hour of their
discomfiture. Speedily hundreds of canoes, deep-laden with furs, came
down to Montreal, but the English colonists, thirsting for revenge,
seized Port Royal, in Acadia, and then sent an expedition to attack

At its head was Sir William Phips, a bold, rough seaman, who had won
knighthood by the recovery of the cargo of a long-sunk Spanish
treasure-ship; but he soon proved himself no match for the old lion


[Illustration: Canadian

The great French war-chief was at Montreal, feasting his Indian admirers
on dog’s flesh and prunes, and leading them in the war-dance, when news
reached him that Phips was in the river. Hastening down-stream in a
birch-bark canoe, he reached his little capital long before the foe
appeared. As he landed and strode up Mountain Hill, the people cheered
him madly. Their delight was scarcely less when the Bishop, who had been
visiting some outlying parishes, entered the city one night by
torchlight. Whilst Frontenac looked to his defences, gathered fighting
men into the fortress, and called out the “habitants” of Beauport and
Beaupré to defend the shores, the Bishop urged his followers to do their
part, and day and night prayers went up to all the saints in heaven to
keep watch and ward over Quebec.

[Illustration: Chateau St. Louis.]

At last, early on an October morning, the English fleet sailed into the
Basin, and Phips sent a messenger to demand the surrender of the city.
But his envoy was treated with scant courtesy. Dragged blindfold over
obstructions and up the steep streets, while jeering women mocked him
with cries of “Colin Maillard!” he was guided at last into a spacious
hall of the Chateau St. Louis. Here were assembled Frontenac and his
officers in all the glory of plumes and ribbons, gold lace and powdered
curls; and when the bandage was snatched from his eyes the Englishman
might well have been dazzled by their glittering finery. But he
confronted the stern old Governor calmly, and, laying his watch on the
table, demanded an answer to Phips’ summons within an hour.

[Illustration: QUEBEC, ABOUT 1690.
 From La Potherie’s HISTOIRE.]

Frontenac was enraged by the effrontery of the demand. “I will answer
your general only by the mouths of my cannon,” he replied, and the
messenger, blindfolded again, was led off to make sport once more, on
his roundabout way to his boat, for the shrill-voiced, laughing French

That same night there was another burst of merry-making in the city. The
sound of drums, trumpets and joyous huzzas was loud enough to reach the
ears of the English on the river. “You have lost the game,” declared a
prisoner, with malicious delight. “It is the Governor of Montreal with
the people from the country above. There is nothing for you now but to
pack up and go home.” But Phips was not yet ready to take this advice.

[Illustration: Ruins of Notre Dame des Victoires.
 From a drawing by R. Short 1759.]

Landing a portion of his force at Beauport, he moved his ships into
position to bombard the town. Then Frontenac from the rock sent him his
promised answer, and for hours the cannon roared and the smoke and din
were horrible. Phips ploughed up the gardens of the Ursulines, shot away
a corner of a nun’s apron, and wasted his ammunition against the rock,
but made no impression whatever on the strong stone walls of Quebec. His
enemies, laughing to scorn his futile efforts, riddled his vessels with
their balls and shot away from his masthead the proud banner of St.
George, which was brought ashore in triumph in a birch-bark canoe. At
last Phips drew off from the contest, and patching up his sorely misused
ships as best he could, dropped down the river. He was still pursued by
ill-luck and misfortune. The annual supply ships for New France escaped
him by hiding in the fogs that overhung the mouth of the grim Saguenay,
while fever and smallpox, hurricane and shipwreck seemed to mark out his
own fleet as under the wrath of heaven.

[Illustration: Father Jogues.]

[Illustration: Frontenac.]

But in Quebec all was joy and thanksgiving. The captured flag was
carried in triumph to the Cathedral. “The Bishop sang a Te Deum, and
amid the firing of cannon the image of the Virgin was carried to each
church and chapel in the place by a procession in which priests, people
and troops all took part.” At night there was a great bonfire in honor
of the redoubtable old Governor, but the defeat of the English was
generally regarded as miraculous, and it was therefore ordained that the
fête of “Notre Dame de la Victoires” should be celebrated annually in
the little church of the Lower Town.

Some twenty years later, in the summer of 1711, the people of Quebec
again had cause to rejoice in a great deliverance. A mighty English
armament, out-numbering by more than three times those who could be
gathered to defend the city, was in the St. Lawrence, when a great storm
arose, dashing to pieces eight or ten vessels on the rocks of the Egg
Islands and drowning nine hundred men. Upon this the incompetent leaders
of the expedition, Hill and Walker, turned homeward in dismay. Again Te
Deums resounded in Quebec, and in memory of this second notable
deliverance the little church was called “Notre Dame des Victoires.”

Nearly half a century later, the building was sorely damaged by the
English guns, but its upper portions were afterwards rebuilt “on the old
walls,” and to-day in its quiet little nook, just aside from the bustle
of Champlain Market, it still stands a quaint memorial of those ancient
victories and of a world now passed away.

[Illustration: Old Church St. Anne de Beaupré.]


PHIPS’ siege of Quebec, with its awkward ship’s carpenter turned
admiral, its Indian-mimicking French Governor, its noisy, ineffective
bombardment, has more than a touch of comedy; but the drama in which
Montcalm and Wolfe dispute the role of hero and contend for a prize of a
value guessed at only by the statesmen seers of the time, never sinks
beneath the dignity of tragedy.

Both the combatants were valiant, honorable, high-minded, and lovable.
Both had already won laurels in battle. Each moved forward to the grand
catastrophe by a path beset with difficulty and danger. Each gave his
life for his cause and his country, and together they will live forever
in the memory of the two peoples whom their great fight on the Plains of
Abraham made one.

Montcalm, like Wolfe, had been a soldier from boyhood, gaining a varied
experience in the European wars. Again in this resembling his rival, he
was no mere soldier delighting in nothing but the clash of swords. He
had some love of learning and taste for literature, and a heart that was
very tender towards home and friends. Richer than Wolfe in one respect,
he had a well-beloved wife and children, besides the mother to whom he
wrote much the same kind of letters as the English hero sent to his
mother at Greenwich.

[Illustration: Ship of the eighteenth century.]

[Illustration: A corner of the Rampart.]

Montcalm, nearly fifteen years older than his future antagonist,
received his baptism of fire almost before Wolfe was out of his cradle.
His experience of American warfare began two full years before his rival
made his first painful passage of the Atlantic, and, on the July day
when the young English brigadier was throwing up the redoubts which were
to silence the batteries of Louisbourg, Montcalm, at Ticonderoga,
hundreds of miles away, was flinging back from his bristling abatis of
tree-tops a British force nearly four times the strength of his own.

Both men received their meed of honor and promotion. Whilst Montcalm was
informed that “the king trusted everything to his zeal and generalship,”
Wolfe was given a new opportunity to win distinction in the command of
an expedition against Quebec.

[Illustration: Wharf at Isle of Orleans.]

In his brief winter’s sojourn in his native land, Wolfe had spent some
weeks at Bath, trying to recuperate his shattered health, and in that
fashionable resort of invalids and hypochondriacs had made the
acquaintance of a beautiful girl, Katherine Lowther, who soon consented
to betroth herself to the gaunt, odd-looking young hero of Louisbourg.

[Illustration: General Montcalm.]

Montcalm, meanwhile, though a great man in the gay little society of
Quebec, was passing his time unpleasantly enough. Far from home,
tortured by anxiety, and hampered by the jealousy of the Governor de
Vaudreuil and the shameless corruption of the Intendant Bigot and his
accomplices, the general declared that only a miracle could save the
colony. The people, who had been cheated, robbed, and oppressed for
years, were at the point of starvation, and were losing heart. Yet, when
news came in May that Wolfe had sailed to attack Quebec, seigneurs and
habitants alike rallied bravely to the call of their leaders, and men
and boys, red warriors and white, came pouring into the city.

Soon the army of defence numbered 16,000 men, most of whom Montcalm
posted in a long-extended camp, on the north shore of the St. Lawrence,
touching the St. Charles on the right and the Montmorency on the left.
Taking up his quarters at Beauport, he set his men to erect batteries
and throw up earthworks on the steep ridge that runs for miles along the

As for the city itself—its fortifications were garrisoned by between
one and two thousand men, guns were mounted on the walls, and the gates
were shut and barricaded, except Palace Gate, from which a road led to
the camp at Beauport across a bridge of boats girdling the St. Charles.
That river was defended by a great boom of logs, whilst floating
batteries, gunboats, and fire-ships were prepared for the protection of
the harbor.

Then when all was done came a lull of horrible suspense, and the
impatient “habitants” grew weary of waiting behind the entrenchments.
But some, with hopeful memories of “Notre Dame des Victoires” and the
miracles of their grandsires’ days, pleased themselves with the fancy
that wind and wave must again be doing their grim work on the foe.

[Illustration: ‘Aux Braves.’]

[Illustration: General Wolfe.
 From a painting by J. W. L. Forster.]

Not so. The English fleet, of twenty-two ships of the line and a great
number of smaller vessels, was close at hand. It was under the command
of the gallant Admiral Saunders, without whose cordial co-operation
Wolfe could never have conquered Quebec, and it had on board nearly nine
thousand seasoned troops, in addition to the seamen.

[Illustration: Here died Wolfe

With the unwilling aid of French pilots, entrapped by stratagem, the
vessels passed the perilous “traverse” at Cap Tourmente, and from that
time the citizens of Quebec had no lack of excitement. The landing of
the British on the Island of Orleans, the abortive attempt of the French
to destroy the enemy’s fleet with their fire-ships, the erection of
English batteries on Point Lévis and on the island, the encampment of
the British below the Falls of Montmorency, the beginning of the
bombardment, the passing of the invaders’ ships above the batteries of
the city, all this kept the people of Quebec in a state of feverish
expectancy. But Montcalm was not to be tempted nor provoked to descend
for one moment from his inaccessible position.

At last Wolfe tried to force a battle. He landed a body of troops on a
little beach about a mile above the Falls, and prepared to attack the
French in their camp. But the men first on shore were too eager. Without
waiting for orders or for their comrades, who were crossing to their
assistance by a ford below the Falls, they tried to rush the heights
where Montcalm’s army was gathered in force, and were beaten back with
heavy loss.

For weeks after this battle there was a grim game of patience between
the two skilled leaders. Unmoved by reverses on Lake Champlain which
obliged him to send troops to Montreal, by the wasting of the parishes
above and below Quebec, by threatened famine, present desolation, and
the murmurs of his habitants, who were eager to escape from the army to
gather in their harvests, Montcalm remained upon his heights, waiting
for time and bad weather to rid the country of the foe.

[Illustration: Beauport Churchyard.]

But he had to do with a man whose stock of endurance matched his own.
Disease weakened the English forces and came near robbing them of their
head; but Wolfe’s work was not yet done, and on his bed of pain he still
bent every power of mind and body to the accomplishment of his task.

If Montcalm could not be made to fight below the town, was it impossible
to force a battle on the plains above Quebec? Impossible is not a word
that heroes love; much is possible that at the first blush seems
foolhardiness. Wolfe’s rugged pathway to battle and victory, death and
immortal fame, was there, waiting his need, and in due time he discerned

 From a drawing made by R. Short, 1759.]

[Illustration: Wheel for spinning flax.]

[Illustration: Church

Meanwhile there had begun mighty preparation in fleet and army for some
last attempt on Quebec. There was movement of ships and bustle of men,
re-disposition of forces, a noisy bombardment of the Beauport camp—the
object of all concealed even from most of the British officers, lest
some enlightening rumor should reach the ears of Montcalm.

On the night of September 12th, Wolfe made his last reconnaissance, and,
haunted, it may be, by presentiments of his swiftly approaching death,
repeated to his attendant officers some verses of Gray’s “Elegy in a
Country Churchyard,” an incident that has seemed the more worthy of note
because the young general’s own path of glory led so speedily to the

[Illustration: Old drawing of a Calèche.]

[Illustration: French

Wolfe well knew the desperate nature of his plan. From the opposite
shore he had seen the white tents of the troops who were on guard above
the Anse-au-Foulon, where he proposed to land; and he did not know that
the post was commanded by the heedless coward Vergor, who had only
escaped well-merited disgrace by the interposition of Bigot and

[Illustration: Wolfe and Montcalm Monument.]

When, an hour before sunrise on the fateful morning of September 13th,
Wolfe led his forlorn hope to the spot where the ascent was to be made,
he did not guess that the guards above slept at their post; and his
heart was heavy with misgivings.

The little path had been rendered impassable by obstructions, and the
men had to clamber up the face of the rugged cliff, tree-covered then as
it is to-day, whilst, below, the general waited in agonizing suspense
till a ringing cheer told him that the guard was overpowered. Then the
rough track was cleared, and, before day dawned grey and cloudy over the
fortress, Wolfe’s little army of four thousand men (sadly small for the
work in hand) had gained the top of the cliff, where now lies a sweet
old-fashioned garden spread to the sun.

[Illustration: General Montcalm’s Headquarters.]

[Illustration: Mortar.]

[Illustration: A British

[Illustration: Water Sluice.]

But Wolfe chose his battle-ground nearer the town, on the world-famous
Plains of Abraham. There he drew up his men “in the first of all thin
red lines”; there the French, forced to fight at last, made their
gallant charge; there “fell Wolfe victorious”; there noble Montcalm
received his mortal wound; and there was sounded the death-knell of the
dominion of France in North America. But “the dramatic ending of the old
order blessed the birth of the new.” It has been well said that “in a
sense, which it is easier to feel than to express—two rival races,
under two rival leaders, unconsciously joined hands on the Plains of

[Illustration:  Old St. Louis Gate.]

Not yet, however, would all the French admit that their cause was
irretrievably lost. Though Montcalm lay under the Ursuline Chapel, in
“his soldier’s grave dug for him, while yet alive, by the bursting of a
shell”; though Governor de Vaudreuil had fled and Quebec had opened her
gates to the foe, the gallant De Lévis had no thought of acquiescing in
the passing of New France.

Gathering ten thousand men at Montreal, he marched in the spring upon
Quebec. The English general, Murray, came out, with a far inferior
force, to meet him, and again French and English locked in desperate
strife on the plateau behind the city. A tall shaft, surmounted by a
statue of Bellona, on the Ste. Foy road, marks the battlefield where the
French won their last victory in a lost cause.

The English had to retreat within their walls, but Murray, calling even
on the sick and maimed for such aid as they could give, gallantly
defended his crumbling battlements till a fleet from England came to his

In his turn, De Lévis was forced to retreat, and, though the war
smouldered on for a few months longer, the situation was hopeless for
the French, and just before the anniversary of Wolfe’s great victory,
their leaders signed the capitulation of Canada.

[Illustration: “Golden Dog”.]


IN November, 1775, when the British flag had waved for sixteen years
over Quebec, there marched into the village of Point Lévis a little army
of gaunt half-starved, wayworn men, who for forty days had been pushing
their way through the hungry wilderness from the settlements of Maine.
On this terrible march the weaklings of their force had fallen or turned
back, and those who reached the St. Lawrence (but two-thirds of the
original eleven hundred) had proved their fitness for hard service by
grim, dogged endurance to the very point of death.

At their head was a strong, dark-skinned, black-browed man, full of
daring and energy—Benedict Arnold—ex-druggist, horse-trader, smuggler,
future traitor, but at that moment, and for several years to come, one
of the ablest and most inspiring officers in the recently formed army of
the United Colonies.

[Illustration: Champlain Street.]

[Illustration: Cow Shed.]

He and his few hundred bush-rangers and Indian-fighters had come on a
mighty errand. Without stores, artillery, or ships, Arnold proposed to
do again Wolfe’s work and conquer Quebec.

[Illustration: Fort Chambly.]

True, times had changed since Wolfe’s day. That general’s friend and
subordinate, Sir Guy Carleton, who proved himself great alike in war and
peace, was now in command. But, when Arnold reached the St. Lawrence,
Carleton was absent in Montreal, whence came rumors of his discomfiture
and capture, and there was but a feeble garrison of eighteen hundred men
to defend the city. There was now no army encamped outside the walls to
dispute the landing of the foe; the inhabitants of the country around
were indifferent, if not hostile, to the English, and Colonel MacLean,
Carleton’s second-in-command, found the situation disheartening.

[Illustration: St. John's Gate Erected 1865.]

[Illustration: Ancient

 for washing clothes.]

Arnold, trusting much to the friendship of the French, had proposed to
take the city by surprise; but the St. Lawrence flowed deep and wide
between him and his intended prey, and on the first rumor of his
approach the English had taken the precaution of removing every possible
means of transport out of the invaders’ reach. Not a bateau, not a canoe
was to be had, and the eager Arnold had to send twenty miles inland for
canoes before he could get within striking distance of Quebec.

[Illustration: Dog cart.]

At last, on the evening of November 13th, he embarked five hundred of
his men, leaving a hundred and fifty at Point Lévis, and stole in the
darkness across the river to Wolfe’s Cove. Unopposed, he climbed the
heights, and before daybreak drew up his little army on the Plains of
Abraham; then, with characteristic audacity, he marched almost up to the
St. Louis Gate, and, with loud cheers, challenged the enemy to sally
forth. They refused to give him battle, however, and scorned his summons
to surrender, so he retreated some twenty miles up the river to Point
aux Trembles, there to await the arrival of reinforcements under General
Montgomery—an Irishman of good family who had held a commission in the
British army before taking up arms for the seceding Colonies. Entering
Canada by way of Lake Champlain, he had captured the Forts of St. John’s
and Chambly, and had received the submission of Montreal. Thus the whole
country save Quebec was at his feet.

[Illustration: Bake oven at Beaupré.]

[Illustration: Ancient combination
 Chair and Table.]

[Illustration: Moss Rose.]

But General Carleton had not submitted, and while Quebec held out for
England he did not despair of saving the country. On the approach of the
enemy he had left Montreal, which he judged indefensible, and had
hastened down the river in a birch-bark canoe. He had slipped past some
American vessels under cover of darkness; and Arnold, before he left the
neighborhood of Quebec, had the mortification of hearing the great guns
of the citadel thundering a welcome to the resolute Governor. Carleton’s
arrival put new heart into the garrison, and he began instantly to take
measures for a vigorous defence.

[Illustration: House at Beaupré.]

It was early in December when Montgomery reached Point aux Trembles with
clothing, stores and a few hundred ill-disciplined troops, most of whom
were counting the days till the term of their enlistment ended with the
close of the year.

Joined by a few Canadians, the little American army now returned to
invest Quebec. Again the garrison was summoned to surrender. Again the
demand was treated with contempt. In fact Carleton refused to “hold any
parley with rebels”; but the American leaders hoped soon to humble his
pride. Throwing up batteries of ice and snow, they began to bombard the
walls; but their guns were too light to make any impression on the
masonry, and the besieged kept vigilant guard against surprise. On
moonless nights they lighted the great ditch surrounding their ramparts
by lanterns hung on poles from the bastions, and thus not even a dog
could approach unobserved.

[Illustration: Benedict Arnold.]

Discouraged by ill-success and weakened by smallpox, the American army
appeared to be in danger of melting away, but the two leaders resolved
to try to capture Quebec by one bold stroke before more of the
discontented troops left them.

Their plan was a complicated one. Montgomery was to advance along a
narrow road skirting the base of Cape Diamond, while Arnold, from the
suburb of St. Roch, already in possession of the Americans, was to enter
the Lower Town from the opposite side, meet Montgomery’s division at the
foot of Mountain Street, and join in an attempt to force the barrier
(where later was erected the Prescott Gate) which guarded the approach
to the Upper Town. Meanwhile, to distract the attention of the besieged,
a feint was to be made against St. John’s Gate.

[Illustration: General Montgomery.]

The time fixed for the attempt was the early hours of the thirty-first
day of December. The weather was wild and blustering, promising that the
planned surprise would be complete, and two hours after midnight
Montgomery marched his troops down to Wolfe’s Cove, and thence along the
narrow drifted path below the cliff, now known as Champlain Street.

 From a drawing by R. Short, 1759.]

[Illustration: Sous le Cap.]

That they might know each other in the darkness, his soldiers wore in
their caps slips of white paper, on which they had written as a
watchword, “Liberty or death!” Through the blinding snow they pressed on
till they reached a barrier of palisades below the precipitous rock now
crowned by the Citadel. Forcing this, they rushed forward, with their
intrepid leader at their head, to capture a battery directly in their
path. They had almost reached it, when the guns suddenly blazed forth a
deadly storm of grapeshot. Montgomery fell dead, with several of his
followers, and the rest broke and fled precipitately along the narrow
path swept by the cannon, leaving behind them their dead and dying in
the snow.

[Illustration: Palace Gate.]

Arnold, meanwhile, at the head of his column, was pressing towards the
rendezvous, though when he passed Palace Gate he knew that the attack
would be no surprise, for bells were ringing and drums beating the call
to arms. In single file, with bent heads, and guns covered with their
coats, the Americans dashed forward, stormed the first barrier at the
corner of Sault-au-Matelot Street, and captured its defenders. But
Arnold was severely wounded in the leg by a musket-ball, and had to drag
himself back to the General Hospital, whilst his men made a gallant
attempt to seize the second barrier also.

[Illustration: Mountain Hill.]

 House to which
 Montgomery’s Body was taken.]

In this they failed. Many lost their lives or their liberty, and the
remainder fled. Later in the day the British sallied out and set fire to
the suburb of St. Roch, which had so long given shelter to the rebels.
Amongst the buildings consumed was the Intendant’s Palace, where Bigot,
not many years earlier, had dazzled with his shameless luxury the
wretched people he was defrauding.

Again there was rejoicing in old Quebec; but Arnold, beaten, wounded,
short of supplies as he was, kept up the blockade of the city till
spring. Then Carleton received reinforcements from England, and sallying
out of his fortifications swept the foe before him up the St. Lawrence.
Thus Quebec was saved to the Empire, and with it was saved the
possibility of the second British “Dominion” in North America.

[Illustration: A sliding Gate.]

[Illustration: Flowers.]

Since that time—though the old city has often rung with the stir of
warlike preparations—though her steep streets have echoed to the tread
of regiments coming and going—though the Basin has given anchorage to
privateers and their prizes—though the wharves have witnessed the
struggles of many a luckless fisherlad or townsman in the clutches of
the press-gang—no hostile army has ever threatened the safety of the
“Queen of the North.” Even during the fierce strife of the War of 1812,
thanks to the valor of the descendants of those who at the side of
Montcalm so long withstood Wolfe and his disciplined veterans, the
invading army came no nearer to Quebec than the field of Chateauguay,
where the valiant De Salaberry and his Voltigeurs earned the undying
gratitude of all lovers of their country.

[Illustration: General Hospital.]


GLANCING back over the pages of this brief sketch, it might seem that
the memories connected with Quebec were all of war. The names of many
soldier-heroes glorify the story of this City of Five Sieges, and even
to-day the ancient stronghold makes a brave show, like a mediæval
warrior, of being armed cap-à-pie.

The first glimpse of Quebec, whether from the River, Point Lévis, or
Beauport, shows grey bastions and battlements above all other buildings,
and it will be strange if further knowledge of the place does not remind
you more and more of the warlike times gone by. The very notices in the
shop-windows—bilingual and giving to the beginner in the Gallic tongue
of our compatriots a pleasing sense of walking in the pages of a
dictionary—are a reminder of the long struggle between French and
English for the domination of this continent. The driver of your calèche
(if you elect to make your first tour of the city in that quaint modern
imitation of a quainter prototype) will take care that you miss nothing
of the military flavor of the place.

[Illustration: St. Louis Gate.]

[Illustration: Kent Gate.]

He will tell you the story of “Notre Dame des Victoires”; call upon you
to admire “the Golden Dog,” that strange memento of a bitter private
quarrel; take you to handsome Parliament Buildings, where, in niches in
the façade, you will behold statues of the warriors Frontenac, Wolfe,
Montcalm, De Lévis and De Salaberry, besides one of that notable
Governor-General, the Earl of Elgin, who risked his popularity by giving
his assent to a measure for compensating the sufferers by the Rebellion
of 1837.

[Illustration: Dalhousie Gate Citadel.]

[Illustration: Flowers.]

Close by the Parliament House is the great Drill Hall, for the use of
the present-day citizen-soldiers of Quebec; and turning back, through
the modern St. Louis Gate, which has replaced the portal through which
the wounded Montcalm was swept by a rush of fugitives into the city to
die, one comes to the site of the surgeon’s office where he breathed his
last. Not far away there stood till 1889 another humble dwelling, where
Montgomery’s corpse was prepared for burial. On the same street still
stands the old Kent House—now a fascinating curiosity shop—once,
towards the close of the eighteenth century, the town-residence of Queen
Victoria’s father, then colonel of a regiment of Fusiliers stationed at
Quebec. Some miles distant there is, by the way, another Kent House,
where the Duke used to spend his summers on the heights from which the
Montmorency takes its impetuous leap of two hundred and fifty feet to
join the St. Lawrence. Quebec has also its Kent Gate, a modern
structure, to commemorate the same prince, who, if he lacked opportunity
to shine as a great military genius, at least succeeded in winning for
himself a reputation as the strictest of disciplinarians.

[Illustration: Home-woven

But the military suggestions of Quebec are not confined to historic
associations. You have them in concrete form, from the picturesque
Citadel—which, however, was not built till long after the latest
siege—to the little groups of cannon-balls, piled up in odd corners
like a young giant’s marbles. At any turn you may meet a red-coated
soldier or a blue-jacket from some visiting iron-clad; you may chance on
a long row of obsolete guns, or on an ancient mortar, now powerless for
mischief, with a great gag of iron in its throat; and here, there and
everywhere you will find tablets or monuments marking the spots once
deeply stained with the heart’s blood of the brave.

Yet, after all, this is but one aspect of Quebec, and not the brightest.
To some persons the fair old town speaks more insistently of peace than
of war; for so quaint is it, so old-world, that it seems, despite all
evidence to the contrary, that here life must have run on undisturbed
for centuries. To one brought up in another community, the unfamiliar
figures of quaintly-garbed nuns, long-robed priests, and brothers in
russet gowns, suggest the long-ago. The very markets, with all their
bustle and hurry of eager life, seem survivals of the past.

[Illustration: WOLFE'S COVE.
 From an old drawing.]

[Illustration: Oxen at Beaupré.]

[Illustration: Falls of
 St. Anne.]

A charm and a glamor hangs over the generally commonplace business of
buying and selling, getting gain and making provision for the humble
needs of the day. The whole thing seems like a picture-book. The groups
of voluble, good-humored habitant women; the queer little carts like
ladders mounted on wheels; the small pink pigs, squealing their hardest
as they are transferred from the crates of the vendors to the sacks of
the purchasers; the background of tall, irregular buildings climbing the
great cliff—these lend to the scene a color and character all its own.

Wandering from stall to stall, heaped with vegetables, home-grown
tobacco, dark slabs of maple sugar, home-woven towelling curtains or
carpets, firmly knit socks, elaborately plaited mats, you begin to
wonder at the patience and industry of this vivacious people, and you
will wonder at these qualities still more if you see the habitant at

[Illustration: A Shrine in a garden.]

Go down, for instance, to Beaupré or St. Joachim, those parishes which
Wolfe once so mercilessly harried. It is a fair and fruitful land,
well-watered by the “full-fed river,” and over it now seems to brood the
gentle angel of peace. Amongst the low curved roofs of the villages rise
the towers of great churches, like that at Beauport and the miraculous
St. Anne, whither every year come pilgrims in thousands seeking health
or peace of mind. Behind these villages, if you step but a little aside
from the splendid waterway of the St. Lawrence, you may lose yourself on
sparsely-tracked, forest-covered hills, cleft with gullies, down which
foam torrents, choked at times with thousands of grinding logs. But,
after all, it is only a hermit who would long bury himself amongst these

[Illustration: French Canadians.]

The winding roads below lead past barns with thatched roofs, log
cow-houses with overhanging upper-storeys, cottages with projecting
“galleries” and windows shaded with wall-paper, rugged stone houses with
huge chimneys, “bake-ovens” under rude shelters of planks,
drinking-troughs, wayside crosses, and flowery gardens, containing
little shrines, within which glimmer tiny white images of the Virgin and
her Son.

[Illustration: Wheel for spinning Wool.]

[Illustration: Shuttle and Linen Yarn.]

Along these roads comes the oddest assortment of vehicles ever seen, I
should think, in one district of the Dominion. The habitant carries home
his hay in a two-wheeled cart, fitted with a rack and drawn by a rough
pony or a yoke of deliberate oxen; and he rides to church or market in a
springless conveyance, which is a kind of grotesque compromise between a
“top-buggy” and a “buckboard.” When coming from work, however, he
contents himself with a humbler vehicle, rattling down the stony slopes
at a surprising pace in a little cart drawn by a lean, rough-coated,
stout-limbed dog.

A little farther along the same road you may see a stray automobile,
while on the other side of the fence run the electric cars of the Quebec
Railway Light & Power Company, or occasionally, on the same line, a
train of “steam-cars.”

[Illustration: Weaver’s Bench.]

All the country near Quebec is well supplied now with railroads, and the
townsfolk are learning to follow the modern fashion of living in country
cottages during the summer months. Quebec merchants leave the city by
the evening trains to spend their leisure hours with their families at
Charlesbourg, Lorette, Montmorency, or some equally interesting but till
lately inaccessible place. Others take the small modern steamboats which
ply up and down the shores of the St. Lawrence, or to and from the
beautiful Island of Orleans, and which have to make their way carefully
past great rafts of lumber, fleet “ocean greyhounds,” or quaint barges
of the same pattern as those used by Wolfe in his attack upon Quebec.
These newcomers into the country bring new fashions, which in course of
time will have their effect upon the habitants; but their influence is
as yet scarcely perceptible.

[Illustration: Bobbins used in weaving.]

Women in broad-brimmed straw hats are still seen in the hay-fields at
work beside the men, yet they find time for much labor at loom and
spinning-wheel, besides keeping well scrubbed and scoured the old floors
and simple furniture, which have rendered good service to their mothers
and grandmothers before them.

Ask the age of some cottage heirloom—some gaunt old clock or cumbrous
chair—and its owner with a smile and a shrug will assure you, vaguely,
“It’s ancient, very ancient.”

You do not doubt the assertion; you only wonder how this corner of the
restless New World came to have such persistent, all-pervading regard
for the past. So many things are “very ancient” in Quebec; yet it is
full of its own characteristic life, this once-French city, which has
been British for half its three hundred years of history.

[Illustration: Gate at Laval.--Soldiers’ Monument.--Martello Tower.]

                           TRANSCRIBER NOTES

Misspelled words and printer errors have been corrected.

Inconsistencies in punctuation have been maintained.

Some illustrations moved to facilitate page layout.

Footnote added in Foreword to identify referenced photo illustrations.

[The end of _Old Quebec, The City of Champlain_, by Emily P. Weaver.]

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