The Old Régime in Canada

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Little, Brown,, 1900 - Canada - 508 pages
 

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Page 243 - ... blood; late reformations are made under a state of inflammation. (a) We are seldom tiresome to ourselves; and the act of composition fills and delights the mind with change of language and succession of images: every couplet when produced is new; and novelty is the great source of pleasure. (a) There seems to have been an Indian path; for this was the ordinary route of the Mohawk and Oneida war-parties: but the path was narrow, broken, full of gullies and pitfalls, crossed by streams, and in...
Page 450 - One great fact stands out conspicuous in Canadian history, — the Church of Rome. More even than the royal power, she shaped the character and the destinies of the colony. She was its nurse and almost its mother; and, wayward and headstrong as it was, it never broke the ties of faith that held it to her.
Page 359 - Out of the beaver-trade rose a huge evil, baneful to the growth and the morals of Canada. All that was most active and vigorous in the colony took to the woods, and escaped from the control of intendants, councils, and priests, to the savage freedom of the wilderness. Not only were the possible profits great; but, in the pursuit of them, there was a fascinating element of adventure and danger.
Page 364 - At least, he is picturesque, and with his red-skin companion serves to animate forest scenery. Perhaps he could sometimes feel, without knowing that he felt them, the charms of the savage nature that had adopted him. Rude as he was, her voice may not always have been meaningless for one who knew her haunts so well, — deep recesses where, veiled in foliage, some wild shy rivulet steals with timid music through breathless caves of verdure; gulfs where feathered crags rise like castle walls, where...
Page 276 - those who may seem to have absolutely renounced marriage should be made to bear additional burdens, and be excluded from all honors : it would be well even to add some marks of infamy.
Page 294 - The King would preserve it there, because with its teeth drawn he was fond of it; and because, as the feudal tenure prevailed in Old France, it was natural that it should prevail also in the New. But he continued as Richelieu had begun, and moulded it to the form that pleased him. Nothing was left which could threaten his absolute and undivided authority over the colony. In France, a multitude of privileges and prescriptions still clung, despite its fall, about the ancient ruling class. Few of these...
Page 449 - At its head was a soldier nobleman, often an old and able commander; and those beneath him caught his spirit and emulated his example. In spite of its political nothingness, in spite of poverty and hardship, and in spite even of trade, the upper stratum of Canadian society was animated by the pride and fire of that gallant noblesse which held war as its only worthy calling, and prized honor more than life. As for the habitant, the forest, lake, and river were his true school; and here, at least,...
Page 320 - that the Goddess of Justice is more chaste here than in France, but at any rate, if she is sold, she is sold more cheaply. In Canada we do not pass through the clutches of advocates, the talons of attorneys, and the claws of clerks. These vermin do not as yet infest the land. Every one here pleads his own cause. Our Themis is prompt, and she does not bristle with fees, costs, and charges.
Page 445 - But this was not all. Against absolute authority there was a counter influence, rudely and wildly antagonistic. Canada was at the very portal of the great interior wilderness. The St. Lawrence and the Lakes were the highway to that domain of savage freedom; and thither the disfranchised, half-starved seignior, and the discouraged habitant who could find no market for his produce naturally enough betook themselves. Their lesson of savagery was well learned, and for many a year a boundless license...
Page 5 - This he soon did, and built a fort near the mouth of the river, not far from the present city of St. John. Meanwhile the French had made a lodgment on the rock of Quebec, and not many years after, all North America from Florida to the Arctic circle, and from Newfoundland to the springs of the St. Lawrence, was given by King Louis to the Company of New France, with...

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