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Title: The Maple Leaf Vol. II No. 4 April 1853

Date of first publication: 1853

Author: Eleanor H. Lay (1812-1904), Editor

Illustrator: J. Walker

Date first posted: Sep. 29, 2023

Date last updated: Sep. 29, 2023

Faded Page eBook #20230942

This eBook was produced by: John Routh & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at https://www.pgdpcanada.net


The small and antique village of St. Maurice, reposes in picturesque beauty upon the right shore of a river of the same name, and is nine miles distant from Three Rivers. The houses for the workmen, the workshops, the charcoal and saw mills, the forges and the furnace, are all grouped together, and cover an area about half a mile square. These buildings are nearly equal in size, and the establishment for the clerks and directors, though a simple building, is the only one that can be termed spacious or lofty, within view from the top of the hill. Leaving Three Rivers to ride to the iron-works called “Les Forges S. Maurice,” you travel over a good road, which leads you through a country somewhat hilly,—and it is worthy of attention, that though you are only about nine miles from the town, you are astonished to see before you, a barren landscape presenting the true wilderness aspect. The road leads along the brow of the hill which overhangs the works and the guide points them out to you, as he drives along. When you get down the hill a varied panorama displays its interesting features. At your right, is the majestic St. Maurice; its waters, crested with white, where restless little waves break over the rocks, or gilded with sunbeams in their more tranquil depths, glide ceaselessly onward, reminding one of the changeful scenery of life. Crossing a bridge, which is thrown over the stream, and which adds much to the vividness of this natural picture, you leave on your left numerous clean little wooden houses, all whitewashed, and at last you find yourself amidst a busy throng, for a population of four or five hundred souls animates this retired spot. Proceeding to visit the establishment, you go through the grist mill, the place for washing ore, the air and blast furnace, to the bellows, to which movement is given by a wheel 30 or 40 feet in diameter; the forge for preparing bar-iron, where a hammer 500 lbs. in weight, strikes its ponderous blows, with all the velocity that mechanical power imparts to matter. In another building charcoal is ground, in another moulds are prepared, &c. &c.

The walk around the Forges is very agreeable. The road is hard and sandy, and leads to the large stone-house, the headquarters of the establishment, which is represented in the landscape above. This house bears the marks of antiquity, and all in it shews a regium opus. It was built at great cost, by the king of France. On a heavy iron plate in the back of the chimney grate, we read that the house was built in 1746, about ten years after the works were in operation.

The establishment was got up by several individuals, and sold afterwards to the king of France by the owners, who could not pay its expenses; the sale was effected in 1736, and in 1737 the works were in operation under the king’s name. At that period they afforded a very trifling revenue, as only very coarse articles were manufactured; but in 1739 Engineers were sent from France, and the establishment was raised on a better and firmer footing. It was the only Iron-work then in the country. The Batiscan Company was not organised until 1798. We here rather quote Professor Kalm, a learned Swedish Tourist, who visited the establishment in 1748.

“The Iron-work lies three miles to the west of Three Rivers. The bellows are made of wood, and everything else as in the Swedish forges, The ore is got two and a half miles from the Iron-works, and is carried thither on sledges. It is a kind of moor-iron, which lies in veins from six to eighteen inches deep, and below it is a white sand. The veins are surrounded with this sand on both sides, and covered at the top with a thin mould. The ore is pretty rich, and lies in loose lumps in the veins, of the size of two fists, though there are a few which are near eighteen inches thick. These lumps are full of holes, which are filled with ochre. The ore is so soft, that it may be crushed between the fingers. They make use of a gray limestone, which is broken in the neighborhood, for promoting the fusibility of the ore; for that purpose they likewise employ a clay marl which is found near this place. Charcoals are to be had in great abundance here, because the country around this place is covered with wood. The charcoals from evergreen trees, that is, from the fir kind, are best for the forge; but those of deciduous trees are best for the smelting oven, They cast here cannon and mortars of different sizes, iron stoves, &c.”

Professor Kalm is not the first who mentions these mines.—Charlevoix says, that it is certain that about 70 years before he was in this country the mines had been discovered by the illustrious Colvert. Charlevoix: History of Canada; T. 3, p. 166.

Weld, who visited Canada in 1796, and the late Col. Heriot who wrote in 1806, both mention that the bank of iron ore at the Forges of St. Maurice was nearly exhausted in their time. And Raynal, with several other writers, quoting them adds, that new veins have been discovered. The workmen testify, that they now find the ore two or three miles from the works. From these facts, we are inclined to adopt the opinion, that a species of common bog ore can be renewed, or in other words, that the bog is capable of growing; and also, that stagnant water combined with acids, and alkalies, decomposes animal and vegetable substances, and affords an argillaceous and phosphorised variety of iron ore, which is formed of a thickness proportioned to the time in which this chemical process of reproduction has been in operation.

The foundery is situated in the Fief St. Etienne. After the surrender of this country to Britain, Col. Burton, Governor of Three Rivers, informed the Directors of works, that it was Lord Amherst’s intention to keep the works on the same footing as before the conquest. After the final cession of the country, in 1763, as the King of France had given great attention to the establishment, it pleased the king of England, George III, to keep this property as part of the Crown’s domains in Canada. But it was kept up under the king’s name only a few years, and in 1766 a stock company was formed in Quebec, who took the lease of the works for 16 years, by a deed dated Quebec, May 12, 1767. It was let to these gentlemen at an annual rent of £800. At the expiration of this lease in 1782, Governor Haldimand rented the establishment to Conrad Gagy, Esq., for 16 years. He did not keep it long, and in a few years it passed through several hands, until 1806 when it became the property of Messrs. Monroe & Bell. The works continued under the supervision of this eminent firm until within the last few years. The hon. James Ferrier leased them for awhile, and we are informed that, they are now under the patronage of Sir James Stewart.



Voices from the Mountains and from the Crowd, by Charles Mackay.

“Men of thought! be up and stirring

      Night and day:

Sow the seed, withdraw the curtain,

      Clear the way!

Men of action, aid and cheer them

      As ye may!

There’s a fount about to stream,

There’s a light about to beam;

There’s a warmth about to glow,

There’s a flower about to blow;

There’s a midnight blackness changing

      Into grey.

Men of thought and men of action,

      Clear the way!


Once the welcome light is broken,

      Who shall say

What the unimagined glories

      Of the day?

What the evil that shall perish

      In its ray?

Aid the dawning, tongue and pen;

Aid it, hopes of honest men;

Aid it, paper; aid it, type;

Aid it, for the hour is ripe,

And our earnest must not slacken

      Into play.

Men of thought and men of action,

      Clear the way!


Lo! a cloud’s about to vanish

      From the day;

And a brazen wrong to crumble

      Into clay.

Lo! the right’s about to conquer:

      Clear the way!

With the right shall many more

Enter smiling at the door;

With the giant-wrong shall fall

Many others, great and small,

That for ages long have held us

      For their prey.

Men of thought and men of action,

      Clear the way!






“Why don’t you put your boots on?” asked a thin, wiry visaged, red haired young man, and then added in a tone of authority, “you cannot come into the shop in that slip shod slovenly fashion to tend upon decent customers. Away, sir, not a word!” he continued giving additional sternness to the harsh severity of his tone and manner, by a stamp of his foot upon the floor; as he saw some symptoms of a reply or explanation.

A pale, sickly looking boy, some fourteen or fifteen years old, to whom the question, or rather mandate, was addressed, limped slowly out of the shop, and went up stairs. As he did so, he turned his heavy and swollen eyes, upon Louis Graham, an older clerk in the store, who had been very kind to him. And Louis Graham’s heart ached for him, as he saw those eyes brimful of tears, and welling over. Perhaps the poor boy was thinking at the time, of his mother, and his happy home in a far off settlement, in the back woods.

He was very small for his age, and although never sickly, was rather delicate. Perhaps from the slender and feminine texture of his frame, rather than from any constitutional defect, he looked more like a girl than a boy. He had been reared, it must be confessed, far too tenderly for one who had to begin thus early to fight the great battle of life; and no wonder if he felt crushed and vanquished in the conflict; but we must not anticipate.

Henry Herbert, the little hero of our tale, was the only son, but not the only child of, an officer in the army, who fell, no matter how nor where, in one of the bloody fights during the late rebellion in Canada.

Mrs. Herbert was a sensible and strong minded woman, and after the first paroxism of grief for her sad and sudden bereavement had partially subsided, saw and felt, all the difficulties and responsibilities of her lone and unprotected position—she had not a friend in the country, but she looked up in faith and hope, without a wavering thought, to the great Father of her fatherless children. And this balm to a fond mother’s bleeding heart, even before the fearful wound was healed, roused up into stern activity all the hitherto latent energies of the woman.

I said, she had not a friend in the country, but in this I was wrong—for there was one warm heart that kindly sympathised with her in all her sorrows, and humble as the position of the owner of that heart was, for it belonged to one who had nursed herself in her infancy, as well as her children in theirs, this faithful and attached creature, was undoubtedly a great comfort to her, and a greater still in after years, while she herself was mingling with the dust, to the sorrowing and afflicted ones she had left behind her.

Poor old Mary McKinnon, she was a woman of ten thousand, had saved during her long service in the family, a good deal of money, quite a little capital, and being more a man of business than her mistress, as from her masculine character I may well say, she proposed to buy a little farm here in Canada with her savings, and that they should live upon it together, and she would manage it, and with the widow’s pension and the allowance to her children, she was sure they would get on very comfortably;

All Mrs. Herbert’s demurs and objections to this plan, and they were many and various, being overruled by the resolute conduct of the faithful old nurse, she was obliged to submit to it, and they did get on very comfortably for several years, till the cold hand of death was stretched over the scene and left it desolate.

When Mrs. Herbert was thus left a disconsolate widow, she had, as I have already, hinted, two little fatherless children, a girl nine years old, and a boy, our poor delicate little Henry, of seven, to provide for.

For seven long years the fond mother and her little ones—the minds and intellects of the latter gradually developing themselves, lived upon old Mary’s farm in all the luxurious enjoyments of rural life. The farm was improved—the stock increased, and year after year added to their cup of happiness, till it actually seemed filled to the brim, but ere it overflowed it was dashed from their hands; the poor mother sickened and died of some sudden and violent disease, some affection of the heart I think it was. Her pension, and I believe some small annuity fell with her, and the two little orphans—orphans now in the fullest extent of the desolate term, were left to be thrown upon the wide cold world, without other friend or protector than the faithful, but how helpless old Mary. For what could she do? and the children themselves, they were but children still; what could they do?

Amy, the oldest, inheriting the energetic mind of her mother, determined what they would not do. They would not be a burthen upon their poor old nurse. She was old now, and would have quite enough to do to support herself, and she therefore was resolutely bent upon their earning their own livelihood. To this end she applied to the storekeeper in the settlement where they lived to endeavor to get her delicate little brother into some situation in a store, in the great town of ——. He at once kindly complied with her request, and was completely successful in his application, and she went down with Henry to see him installed in his new place, and with a view also to obtain for herself some similar situation in the same town, in order that they might not be separated. In this also she succeeded, even beyond her most sanguine expectations, and in obtaining employment, she found a home.—A home all but equal to the one she had lost—not so, poor Henry, to whose melancholy history we now return.

It was early in the morning, a raw chilling, morning, in the month of April, about 6 o’clock, and just as the fires in the stoves were beginning to be felt, that Henry Herbert was slowly ascending the long and winding stairs to his lonely garret room, He had hardly however reached, the last, the weary sixty-fourth, (I counted them myself, in one of my many visits afterwards to the sick boy,) when a lighter and rapid step went bounding after him. It was Louis Graham’s. He found the poor boy tugging at one of his boots, and trying in vain to get it on. He had been on his feet the day before for more than seventeen hours, aye and for many a long and weary day before that, till, as his kind friend suspected, his feet and legs had become so swollen that he could not get his boots on.

“Put on mine, Henry my boy,” he said in a tone and manner denoting a cheerfulness he certainly did not feel, “they are a size or two larger than yours,” he continued, “and you’ll find them underneath my drawers, at the other end of the room.”

The helpless sufferer turned a languid look of gratitude upon his friend, but ere he had time to utter a word that friend was down the stairs, and at his post again, before the harsh superintendent had missed him. And yet this superintendent was not harsh by nature, but had become a tyrant from the ill treatment of his youth. How odd that such should be the case, and yet how common.

Henry came down immediately after, in his friend’s Sunday boots, and in this guise another long weary day was added to the past, but the measure was full, and the number to the last unit was completed.

It was Saturday, and at three minutes before twelve o’clock at night, the business of the day was declared by the superintendent to be over. He could not think for a moment of their working on the Sunday; Oh no! he was too pious a man for that.

At, or a little before 8 o’clock the next morning, they breakfasted at that hour on Sunday morning, Louis Graham got up, and called to his young friend, they slept in the same room, to follow his example.

“Come Harry my lad,” he said, “up with you, we have only a quarter of an hour to dress in.”

Poor Harry rubbed his eyes, and refused at first to stir, but afterwards, on the kind bantering of his friend got up and walked across the room from his bed side to the window, to look out upon the bright sunshine.

“Oh how beautiful it is!” he exclaimed, “even here with nothing for it to shine upon but dead walls and a smoky atmosphere. But how grand,” he continued as a thought of his “boyhood’s home” shot athwart his vision, “how glorious is it at this moment on the green fields, and the budding forests, and the sparkling little streamlet, and the browsing cattle, and the bright plumage of the Bob-o-lincoln, and a thousand other beauties in the lovely landscape about my mother’s house that I shall never see again.”

This was said in such a serious melancholy tone and manner, as affected his companion almost to tears, but assuming again a cheerfulness which he did not feel, he said to him in a bantering tone, “Come, come, none of your sentimental nonsense master Harry, but get dressed as quickly as you can, or we shall be too late for breakfast!”

The boy returned in compliance with his friends admonition to the side of his bed, but had hardly reached it, when he staggered and fell upon the floor.

The silver cord was loosened but not broken.—His friend, a stout and stalwart man, took him up in his arms, as if he had been an infant, and laid him again in his bed.

That sunshiny Sunday was a sad and sorrowful day for Amy Herbert, his kind and loving sister, and little less so to his friend Louis Graham.

The doctor was sent for, and the two mourners, who had never met before, sat beside the bed of the little sufferer, watching every varied expression of his countenance; as he examined his patient; their scrutiny, however, ended in disappointment, and despair—no not despair, for as the door of that sick chamber closed upon the doctor’s departure, a ray of hope with a beam of bright sunshine came down from the skies through the window; shedding a bloom of immortality on the three warm hearts within.

“Dear, dear Amy!” said the sick boy, as his weeping sister bent over him, and kissed his pallid brow, “Don’t, pray, don’t take on so.—It’s the Lord’s will,—and you know that we shall be happy yet together, and Louis too. Besides,” he added in a more cheerful tone, “I may recover, despite that ominous shake of the doctor’s head, and be—” “overworked and crushed again into the earth as we all are, with these long long hours, and weary want of sleep,” bitterly interposed his friend finishing the sentence for him in a less hopeful way than the poor sick boy intended.

“But I hear,” said the sister addressing herself timidly, for the first time, to Louis Graham, “that an Association is being formed for the purpose of insisting upon early closing—called, indeed, the ‘Early Closing Association,’ and good Mrs. Wilmot, my employer, says, that she is sure it will succeed, and that all good people will come into it at once, so that by the time, say a week or two,” the hopeful girl continued, “my poor brother Harry will be well again, he won’t have to work more than twelve hours a day.”

“And enough too in all conscience,” replied the grateful listener to this unconscious compliment to himself, for Amy Herbert knew not that Louis Graham was the originator and promoter of this great and benevolent scheme, which has already been as great a benefit to thousands, as it doubtless will be to tens of thousands yet unborn.

But was poor Harry Herbert to be among the number of the participators in the benefits of this important, and benevolent scheme? Alas no!

That long and weary Sunday passed away into the dark gulf of that mysterious eternity which had no beginning, and another week and another Sunday were to be added to that mysterious eternity which has no end. And still Henry Herbert lived, and the two mourners (his loving sister Amy, and Louis Graham) were yet to be found at the bed side of the patient sufferer, and by this time another kind and sympathising soul was there—a circumstance it would be unjust and cruel to forget. Mary McKinnon, the old and faithful nurse, no sooner heard of poor Henry’s illness than she came to town, in the full assurance of hope that her presence and care would soon restore the darling boy of her beloved mistress to health and strength again.

But vain and futile was the hope; another Sunday came; the sun shone as brightly, not through the garret windows of that chamber, but upon them, and its bright beams were reflected back upon the dull pavement in the street below, for they were darkened with the shadow of death, and the pale faced boy in his placid sleep lay there with the light covering of a snow-white sheet upon his slender frame, and as on the last Sunday with the two mourners, Amy Herbert, and Louis Graham by his side.—Two mourners!—there were three.—The poor old nurse must not be forgotten.

Years on the swift wings of time, fled by, during which, Louis Graham, by unwavering exertions accomplished the great object, as it seemed, of his life’s mission, and the early closing of shops became the general rule throughout the community.

During this period many were the casual interviews, resulting in short walks on the long Summer evenings, of course quite accidental, between the two mourners who had sat so sad and disconsolate by the side of the dying and dead boy, till on a certain fortunate event, when Louis Graham’s merits and faithful services were rewarded by a partnership in the concern with which he had been so long connected, old Mary’s quiet was again disturbed, by being sent for to be present at the happy nuptials of Louis Graham and Amy Herbert.

A proud woman was old Mary, on that happy day, and prouder still as she returned to her peaceful farm, in the back woods, laden with presents from her pet Amy and her husband.

“The poor mother,” she exclaimed, as she journied homeward, “how happy would she have been had she lived to see this day;” for a moment in the joyousness of the scene, and but for a moment poor Henry was forgotten.


“There is an endearing tenderness,” says Washington Irving, “in the love of a mother for her son that transcends all other affections of the heart.” We have just heard a touching illustration of the fact, that the love of a son for his mother may also transcend and swallow up all other affections, at a moment too, when he might well be pardoned for remembering only his own great trials. Some two years ago, a young man, belonging to Philadelphia, was returning by rail road to that city from the town of Reading Pensylvania. By an accident which happened to the train as it was approaching town, and while he was standing upon the platform, he was thrown off, and fell partly under the wheels of the succeeding car; and his right arm, “marrow, bones, and all” was crushed to a jelly, and dropped uselessly at his side. This, however, was fortunately his only injury. He was a young man of determined nerve, and of the noblest spirit. He uttered no word of complaint—not even a groan. When the train arrived at the depôt a carriage was immediately called, when, attended by his friend, he said to the coach-man, “Drive at once to Dr. M——’s, in Walnut street.” “Hadn’t you better go immediately home?” asked his friend. “No,” said he, “I don’t want them to know about me until it is all over!” Our hero, for he was a hero, was deaf to all the counter remonstrances of his friend; and they drove rapidly to the house of the eminent surgeon alluded to. They were shown into the parlor and the doctor summoned. After an examination—“Well my dear fellow,” said the surgeon, for he was well acquainted with his patient, “you know, I suppose, what must be done?” “I do,” he replied, “and it is for the purpose of having it done that I am here!” “My surgical—table is below,” said the doctor. “Can it not be done without that?” asked the sufferer. “I cannot be tied—I cannot be held. Amputate my arm here, doctor,” he continued, holding out his dangling limb over the back of the sofa; “Do it here, doctor, I shall not flinch, I shall not interfere with your operations.”

The limb was bared; two attendants, medical students in the house were summoned; the arm was taken off above the elbow, while the patient sat as he had requested, uttering no groan, nor speaking a single word, while the operation was being performed. The dressings were applied, and, attended by his friend, the patient had reached the door on his way to his own house, which was very near by, when he turned round to the surgeon, and said: “Doctor, I should like to look at my arm once more; pray let me see it!” The surgeon raised the mangled limb; the patient glanced at the bloodless hand, and said: “Doctor, there is a ring upon the middle finger of that hand; won’t you take it off for me? My Mother gave me that ring when she was on her death-bed. I can part with my arm, but while I live I can’t part with that ring!” The ring was slipped from the cold white finger: “Put it on that finger,” said he, holding up the same finger of the left hand. As he was leaving the door with his attendant, to enter the carriage, he said: “How shall I break this thing to my poor sister?” Is not this a true hero, reader?

L. Gaylord Clark.

A heart loving to do good, finds an outlet at every point, while from a thousand little streams, kindness and affection flow in.”



Every page of that wonderful book, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” glows with inimitable tracery and life-like picturing. We have read somewhere of one who was surfeited in reading the book once, and declared he could never look into it again! We must confess, that a taste which claims to be so sublimated and purified, might need other aliment—but for our simple self, we had rather not claim such exalted discrimination, and enjoy the tear, or the smile, the alternate melting of every refined affection of the soul, and the cheerful, brightness which invests Mrs. Stowe’s home groups with a lively enticement. We delight to follow her shrewd delineations of life, and see the workings of selfishness, and avarice, and the fear of Man shown up with such native humor, and witty seizing upon the grotesque.—We cannot decide in which she most excels,—in viewing things in comical, and amusing relations, as in the answer she puts into the mouth of the little negro girl who had purloined, and destroyed Miss Ophelia’s ribbon on the sabbath day; and, when asked, “What makes you behave so?” answered, “ ’Spects it’s my wicked heart,”—or in bringing the most affecting scenes to our view with a tenderness that allures us into mournful sympathy with the sick, and the dying, and lifts our thoughts from the chamber of dissolution to that celestial beauty which blooms above.

Mrs. Stowe’s descriptions of Northern, Southern, and Western character, in the United States, are very natural. The American reader feels as if he was meeting familiar faces, and journeying over accustomed routes. Many a hearty laugh have we had over the famous scene in which “Sam and Andy” flourished so conspicuously, or when we read those quiet unpretending descriptions of “St. Clare’s” sarcastic humor, and “Miss Vermont’s” clock-like precision. The generous hospitality of the Kentucky gentleman, the calm happiness of a senator’s home, the orderings of a thrifty house-keeper amid the valleys of Indiana, and the New England farm-house, all appear to us true to the life. At one time we follow our authoress to a backwoods’ plantation, where the white cotton bowls, cover acres and acres with a snow white mantling, and the only features to vary the wide spread sameness, are the “big house” of the master—the range of negro huts—and the cotton-house, where defile at night scores of hands, old and young, with their burden picked from the plants under the scorching sun. At another moment she rolls out before us a sunset scene on Lake Porchartrain, and we see, in imagination, the waters rippling lazily on the low beach, and inhale the fragrance wafted from many a beauteous flower, while the luxuriant growth of plant and tree,—from the Passiflora that crowns arbor, and verandah with its emblematic flowers, to the Pomegranate whose scarlet clusters peep forth temptingly among its dark foliage adds to the enchantment of the spot.

We felt a great sympathy with those broken hearts in that Mississippi steamboat. We once saw a man sink in that river and wife and family went out in vain to meet him, when we arrived opposite his home. He threw himself into the stream in a fit of desperation, and before a boat could be sent to help, him, he sank to rise no more: as in the case of the poor bereaved negro woman, the mighty river rushed on, and the boat, groaning and puffing, gave stroke after stroke of her vast machinery, and soon left the spot far in the distance; unmarked in the turbid waters by aught, save an eddying whirl around a gnarled branch of a tree that swayed, to and fro, near where that immortal spirit had soared from its earthly home.

The readers of the “Maple Leaf” have been introduced to some of Mrs. Stowe’s characters, and we are sorry the limits of our magazine do not permit us to give larger extracts each month. We have thought it best to refer to some of the principal characters, and relate the finale in their history, for the benefit of those subscribers who, residing at a distance from the city, might not be likely to procure the work.

We left George and Eliza, last month, at the Quaker settlement. Their souls were fired at the thought of a recapture, and the energy of despair glowed in George’s fine countenance, and lit up Eliza’s lovely features with a holy trust in His care, who had so signally brought them thus far. The Quakers are always earnestly interested in aiding the slave. They provided the little company with a covered waggon, and some of their society went to assist the fugitives, in case the pursuers should overtake them. On a ledge or rocks, up which there was only one narrow pathway, “the run-aways” gathered themselves just in time to avoid a strong party, which came at full gallop to arrest them. Here George made a speech in defence of his position, of which says our authoress, with her stinging irony: “If he had been a Hungarian youth, bravely defending in some mountain fortress, the retreat of fugitives escaping from Austria into America, this would have been sublime heroism; but as it was a youth of African descent, defending the retreat of fugitives through America into Canada, of course we are all too well instructed and patriotic to see any heroism in it; and if any of our readers do, they must do it on their own private responsibility.” George and his friends came off victorious; though obliged to fire at their assailants, it rejoiced his heart that no one was seriously wounded. Passed on from one step to another, through the whole length of this branch of “under ground rail road,” the little party at last arrived safely in Sandusky. Here Eliza disguised herself to avoid suspicion, and “Mrs. Smyth, a respectable woman, who, fortunately for them, was on her way to the settlement whither they were fleeing,” took charge of little Harry. He was dressed as a little girl, and easily persuaded to take hold of her hand, while the party proceeded on board of the Steamboat which conveyed them to the “Land of Liberty!”



A little spirit slumbereth here,

Who to one heart was very dear;

O, he was more than life or light,

Its thought by day, its dream by night;

The chill wind came, the young flower faded

And died,—the grave its sweetness shaded.


Fair boy thou should’st have mourned for me,

Not I have lived to weep for thee;

Yet, not long shall this sorrowing be,

Those roses I have planted round,

To deck the dear and sacred ground,

When spring gales, next those roses wave,

They’ll blush upon thy mother’s grave.



The following lines were written by a deceased friend at the early age of 17 years, on finding in the woods, near New Bedford Mass., an old, very old stone, marking a stranger’s grave.—Here shut in by the solemn silence which pervaded the spot, and, the detatched, from earthly considerations, the importance of the spiritual man, rose in dignity before him, and, his young heart swelling with great thoughts, breathed forth its musing, and its convictions:—



I have seen in the woods an old grey stone,

  With some ancient words and a date imprest,

Time worn and mossy and standing alone,

  To mark the spot where a stranger found rest.


And I love to go, when the evening breeze

  Moves silently over the sleeper’s bed,

And muse for awhile ’neath the tall oak trees,

  That curtain this couch of the lonely dead;


For there seems to be to my spirit brought,

  In this sweet and soothing hour of even’,

Bright glimpses, like those which the prophet caught,

  When, entranced, he stood by the gate of heaven.


* * * * * * * * * *


Does the soul of man revisit the earth,

  As it wanders amongst the rolling spheres?

Does it stand again by its place of birth,

  And recall the thoughts of its early years?


And are there not times when that spirit of light,

  Whose earth-home is mouldering beneath my feet,

Will hitherward hasten her airy flight

  And gather her wings on this green turf seat?


Oh yes! there are times, when the sun goes down,

  And light fleecy clouds have mellowed his ray,

When the wood thrush lights on this old gray stone,

  And trills his farewell to departing day;


That hero to this quiet and calm repose,

  That spirit will come, and will linger here,

While memory around her its mantle throws,

  And the scenes of her youth once more appear.


But she lingers not long, for memory’s hand

  Retraces the ills as the joys she knew;

And she looks beyond to a “better land,”

  Where joys will sparkle eternity through.


But a few more years, and the trumpet’s sound

  Will ring through the universe God has made,

And rolling along through this vast profound,

  Will reach the spot where this sleeper is laid:


Then, then, will the form that now slumbers alone,

  Rise up from its bed in the forest’s gloom,

And, joined to its spirit before the throne,

  Expect the award of the day of doom.


(By Mrs. Traill, Authoress of “The Canadian Crusoes,” &c.)


was some time before Lady Mary’s nurse could tell her any more stories. She received a letter from her sister-in-law, informing her that her brother was dangerously ill, confined to what was feared would prove his death-bed, and that he earnestly desired to see her before he died. The Governor’s lady, who was very kind and good to all her household, readily consented to have Mrs. Frazer go and see her sick relation.

It was with much regret that Lady Mary parted from her dear nurse, whom she loved very tenderly. Mrs. Frazer informed her young charge that it might be a fortnight before she could return, as her brother lived on the shores of one of the small lakes, near the head waters of the Otonabee river, a great way off; but she promised to return as soon as she could, and, to console her young mistress for her absence, said she would bring her some Indian toys from the backwoods.

The month of March passed away pleasantly; for Lady Mary enjoyed many a delightful sleigh-drive with her papa, and mamma, and with her governess, who seized every opportunity to instruct and amuse her. On entering the nursery one day, after enjoying a long drive in the country, great was her joy to see her good nurse sitting quietly at work by the stove. She was dressed in deep mourning, and looked much thinner and paler than when she last saw her.

The kind little girl knew, when she saw her nurse’s black dress, that her brother must be dead; and, with the delicacy and thoughtfulness of a true lady, remained very quiet, and did not annoy her with questions about trifling matters; she spoke low and gently to her, and tried to comfort her when she saw large tears falling on the work which she held in her hand, and kindly said, “Mrs. Frazer, you had better go and lie down and rest yourself; for you must be tired after such a long long journey.”

The next day Mrs. Frazer seemed much better; she brought out an Indian basket very richly wrought with colored porcupine quills; it was made of birch bark, and had two lids.

Lady Mary admired the splendid colors, and strange patterns on the basket.—“It is for you my dear,” said her nurse, “open it and see what is in it.” Lady Mary lifted one of the lids, and took out another smaller basket, of a different shape and pattern. It had a top which was sewed down with a coarse looking thread, which her nurse told her was nothing but the sinews of the deer, dried and beaten fine, and drawn out like thread. Then, taking an end of it in her hand, she made Lady Mary observe, that these coarse threads could be separated into a great number of finer ones, some so delicate that they could be passed through the eye of a fine needle, or a tiny bead could be strung upon it.

“The Indians, my Lady, sew with the sinews of the wild animals which they kill. These sinews are much tougher, and stronger than thread, and, therefore, well adapted to sew together such things as moccassins, leggings, and garments made of the skins of wild beasts. The finer threads are used for sewing the beads and quill ornaments on moccassins, and sheaths, and pouches, beside other things that I cannot now think of.”

“They sew some things with the roots of the tamarack, or larch; such as the common sorts of birch baskets, and the bark canoes, and bark for the covering of their wigwams. They call this ‘wah-tap,’ (root-thread,) and they prepare it by pulling off the outer rind and steeping it in water. It is the larger fibres which have the appearance of small cordage when coiled up, and fit for use. This ‘wah-tap,’ is very valuable to these poor Indians, who could not make their birch bark canoes so well or so strongly without it. There is also another plant called ‘Asclepias parviflora,’ (Indian hemp,) which is a small shrubby kind of milk weed, that grows on gravelly islands.’ It bears white flowers, the branches are long and slender; on stripping the bark off there is a fine silky thread that covers the wood, this is tough and can be drawn out and twisted. It has been spun into cloth.—It is very white, and fine, and does not break easily. There are other plants of the same family that have pods full of fine shining silk, but these are too short and brittle to spin into thread. This last, kind Lady Mary, I will show you in the Summer; it is called ‘Asclepias syriaca,’ (milk weed,—fly traps.)”

But while Mrs. Frazer was talking about these plants the little lady was examining the contents of the small birch box,—“If you please, nurse, will you tell me what these hard dark shining seeds are?”

“These seeds, my dear, are Indian rice; an old squaw, Mrs. Peter Noggan, gave me this to take as ‘Present for Governor’s Daughter;’ ” and Mrs. Frazer imitated the soft whining tone of the Indian which made Lady Mary laugh.

“The box is called a ‘mowkowk.’ There is another just like it only there is a white bird, a snow bird, I suppose it is meant for—worked on the lid.” The lid of this box was fastened down with a narrow slip of deer-skin; Lady Mary cut the fastening, and raised the lid,—“Nurse it is only yellow sand; how droll, to send me a box of sand.”

“It is not sand; taste it, Lady Mary.”

“It is sweet—it is sugar! Ah now I know what it is that this kind old squaw has sent me; it is Maple-sugar; it is very nice. I will go and show it to mama.”

“Wait a little, Lady Mary, let us see what there is in the basket besides the rice and the Maple-sugar.”

“What a lovely thing this is! dear nurse; what can it be?”

“It is a sheath, for your scizzors, my dear; it is made of doe-skin, and it is embroidered with beads, and colored quills split fine, and sewed down with the deer sinew thread. There is a pair of bracelets; they are very curiously woven.”

Lady Mary examined the bracelets and said, she thought they were wrought with beads, like bugles. But Mrs. Frazer told her that they were porcupine quills cut out very fine, and strung in a pattern. They were very neatly and tastefully made; the pattern was that of a Grecian scroll, very carefully imitated by some Indian squaw.

“There is an embroidered knife-sheath; it is large enough for a hunting knife.—For a ‘couteau du chasse,’—that is the name for it, is it not?”

“This sheath was worked by the wife of Isaak Iron, an educated Indian chief of the Mudlake Indians. She gave it to me because I had once been kind to her in sickness.”

“I will give it to my dear papa,” said Lady Mary, “for I never mean to go out hunting, and do not wish to carry a big knife by my side” and she laid the sheath away after having admired its gay colors, and the figure of a little animal worked in black and white quills, which was meant to represent a raccoon; Mrs. Frazer told her.

“This is a present for your doll, it is a doll’s mat, it was woven by a little girl seven years old, Rachel Muskrat;—and here is a little canoe of red cedar; made by a little Indian boy.”

“What a darling little boat, and there is a fish carved on the paddles.” This device greatly pleased the little girl, and she said she would send Rachel a wax doll, and little Moses a knife, or something useful, when Mrs. Frazer went again to the Lakes;—but when her nurse took out of the other end of the basket a birch bark cradle made for the doll, worked very richly, the child clapped her hands for joy; and said, “Ah, nurse, you should not have brought me so many pretty things at once, for I am too happy!”

The rest of the things in the basket consisted of seeds, and berries, and a small cake of Maple-sugar, which Mrs. Frazer had made for the young lady.—This was very different in appearance from the Indian sugar. It was bright and sparkling, like sugar candy, and tasted rich and sweet. The other sugar was dry, and slightly bitter. Mrs. Frazer told Lady Mary that this peculiar taste was caused by the birch bark vessels which the Indians used for catching the sap as it flowed from the maple trees.

“I wonder who taught the Indians how to make maple-sugar?” asked the child.

“I do not know:” replied the nurse. “I have heard that they knew how to make the sugar when the discoverers of the country found them.—It may be that they found it out by accident. The sugar maple when wounded in the months of March and April, yields a great deal of sweet liquor. Some Indians may have supplied themselves with this juice when pressed for want of water; for it flows so freely in warm days in Spring, that several pints can be obtained from one tree in the course of the day. By boiling this juice it becomes very sweet, and, at last, when all the thin watery part has gone off in steam, it becomes thick like honey; boiling it still longer it turns to sugar when cold. So you see, my dear, that the Indians might have found it out by boiling some sap instead of water, and letting it remain on the fire, till it grew thick.”

“Are there many kinds of maple trees that sugar can be made from, nurse?” asked the little girl.

“No, my lady; I believe there is only one that yields sap sweet enough for the purpose. The sap of the birch tree, I have heard can be made into sugar; but it would require a larger quantity. A kind of weak wine and vinegar is made by some persons of birch sap: I have drank it, and it tastes very pleasant. The people who live in the backwoods, and make maple-sugar always make a small cask of vinegar at the ‘sugaring off.’ ”

“That must be very useful, but if the sap is sweet, how can it be made into such sour stuff as vinegar?”

The nurse tried to make Lady Mary understand that the heat of the sun, or a warm room would make the liquid ferment, unless it had been boiled a long time, so as to become very sweet, and somewhat thick. The first fermentation, she told her, would only give a winy taste, but if it continued to ferment a great deal, them it turned sour and became vinegar.

“How very useful a maple tree must be nurse,—I wish there were maples in the garden, and I would make some sugar, and molasses, and wine, and vinegar, and what else would I do?”—

Mrs. Frazer laughed and said, “The wood is good to burn, it is considered excellent for fuel.”

“If I cut down my tree nurse I should not have any sugar;” said the child quickly.

“The wood is used in making bed-steads and chests of drawers, and many other things. There is a very pretty wood used for furniture called bird’s eye maple. The drawers in my bed-room, that you think so pretty, are made of it,—but it is a disease in the tree that causes it to have these little marks all through the wood. The bright scarlet leaves of the maple tree give a beautiful look to the woods in the fall. The soft maple is very bright when the leaves are changing, but it gives no sugar.”

“Then I will not let it grow in my garden nurse.”

“It is useful for other purposes my dear. The settlers use the bark for dying wool; and a jet black ink can be made from it by boiling down the bark with a bit of coperas, in an iron vessel.—So you see it is useful. The flowers are bright red, and look very pretty in the spring. This tree grows best by the water side, and some call it swamp maple.”

This was all Mrs. Frazer could tell Lady Mary about the maple trees. Many little girls as young as the Governor’s daughter, would have thought it very dull to listen to all her nurse had to say about plants and trees, but Lady Mary would put aside her dolls and toys, to stand beside her nurse, and ask questions, and listen to her answers. The more she heard, the more she desired to hear about these things. “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye are two things that are never satisfied” saith the wise King Solomon.

Lady Mary was delighted with the contents of her Indian basket, and spent the rest of her play hours in looking at the various articles, and asking her nurse questions about the materials from which they were made. Some of the bark boxes were lined with paper, but the doll’s cradle was not, and Lady Mary perceived that the inside of it was very rough, caused by the hard ends of the quills with which it was ornamented. At first the little girl could not think how the squaws worked with the quills, as they could not possibly thread them through the eye of a needle; but her nurse told her that the squaws when they want to work any pattern on birch bark, first draw it out with some sharp pointed instrument,—a sharp nail, or bodkin, or even a strong thorn; they then pierce holes close together round the edge of the leaf, or blade, or bird that they have drawn out on the birch bark,—into these holes they insert one end of the quill, the other end is then drawn through the opposite hole, pulled tight, bent a little, and cut off on the inside. This any one of my young readers may see if they examine the Indian baskets or toys made of birch bark.

“I have seen the squaws in their wigwams at work on these things, sitting cross-legged on their mats,—some had the quills in a little bark dish on their laps, while others held them in their mouths; not a very safe way, nor a nice way; but Indians are not very nice in some of their habits;” said Mrs. Frazer.

“Nurse, if you please, will you tell me what this little animal is designed to represent?” said Lady Mary pointing to the figure of the raccoon which was worked in quills on the sheath of the hunting knife.—

“It is intended for a raccoon, my lady,” replied her nurse.

“Is the raccoon a pretty creature like my squirrel?”

“It is much larger than your squirrel,—its fur is not near so soft, or so fine; the color is grey and black, or dusky; the tail barred across and bushy.—You have seen many sleigh robes made of raccoon skins, with the tails looking like tassels at the back of the sleighs.”

“Oh yes, and a funny, cunning looking face, peeping out too,”

“The face of this little animal is sharp, and the eyes black, and keen like a fox; the feet bare like the soles of our feet, only black and leathery; their nails are very sharp; they can climb trees very fast. During the winter the raccoons lay up in hollow trees; they cling together for the sake of keeping each other warm. They are sometimes found by the choppers as many as seven or eight in one nest fast asleep. Most probably the young family remain together with the old ones till the spring, when they separate. The raccoon in its habits is said to resemble the bear; like the bear, it lives chiefly on vegetables, especially Indian corn, but I do not think that it lays by any store for Winter. They sometimes wake up if there comes a few warm days, but soon retire again to their warm cosy nests.”

“Raccoons will eat eggs, and fowls are often taken by them,—perhaps this is in the Winter, when they wake up, and are pressed by hunger.”

Her nurse said that one of her friends had a raccoon which he kept in a wooden cage, but he was obliged to have a chain and collar to keep him from getting away, as he used to gnaw the bars asunder, and had slyly stolen away, and killed some ducks, and was almost as mischievous as a fox, but very lively and amusing in his way.

Lady Mary now left her good nurse and took her baskets with all the Indian treasures, to show them to her mama,—with whom for the present we will leave her.


Twilight a thousand touching remembrances, and endearing recollections steal over my soul at the magic of that word. Where is the heart so hardened, even by crime, or so cased with selfishness and constant intercourse with a hollow and heartless world, that does not at one time or another vibrate at that name so fraught with tender reminiscences of the past?

How does memory recall each member of the beloved family circle gathered round the cheerful fire; the father or loving mother imparting to the eager auditors some tale or legend of olden time, some heroic deeds of the wise, the noble hearted, of those who in a holy cause have been faithful unto death; and, as she gazes on the earnest faces bent upon her, how does the secret prayer ascend unto the throne of God, that on the pliant tender natures around her, they might make an impression, not to be effaced by the rude breath of worldliness.—

Then the conversation would lead on to still deeper things,—gradually unfolding her own treasures of thought and experience,—human life in its more chastened coloring, and endeavouring in the spring time of their being to inspire them with earnest longings after all that is fair and good. Who dare limit the influence of the “twilight hour?”

It may be the germ of that mighty power implanted in the soul, which impresses it ever with a deep sense of its immortality, that power which has ever supported it in times of trial and of suffering.

It stood by Galileo, when, unmoved by tortures he boldly asserted his sublime discovery.—Like a watching Angel, it hovered over Sir Walter Raleigh in the solitude of the Tower; with Ferguson it watched the stars; with Columbus it crossed the Atlantic; and among the lonely of the earth, it diffuses its hallowing, purifying power.

Far and wide, and into ages yet unborn, the seed of the twilight hour may extend its influence; it must be a growth of increase, for it is watered by the dew of Heaven, and the rays which beam around the throne of God shine upon it! How can we say that the mother may not from her glorified sphere be allowed to raise the veil, and, gazing on this lower world, see with joy, even to a heavenly bosom, that the seed early planted in the hearts of her beloved ones, has sprung up, spreading again its influence through the homes of Earth!

Home! there, in its pristine purity is seen the holy interchange of Love. Strangers intermeddle not with the deep joy or sorrow of the family circle.—Storms divides not; sunshine allures not the loving hearts from each other. But the circle must be scattered. Far distant may be their future homes. These loving arms may never again enfold each other; but, however, widely separated, they will retain in their hearts one spot sacred to the past.

Will not the dim twilight ever recall the home of their childhood, that source of the heart’s deepest springs,—the green tree under whose boughs they played so merrily through the long summer day,—and the grave?

“They grew in beauty side by side,

  They filled one home with glee;

Their graves are severed far and wide,

  By mount, and stream, and sea.


And parted thus, they rest, who played

  Beneath the same green tree,

Whose voices mingled, as they prayed

  Around one Parent knee.”

Rice Lake, Dec. 14, 1852. C. Hayward.

(To be continued.)




When Earth is hushed in slumber deep—

  When moon and stars are shining—

Where Labour lays him down to sleep,

  Where Infancy’s reclining,

Where Pain forgets his ceaseless smart,

  And Grief her weary sighing,

Or where some loving, breaking heart

  Keeps watch beside the dying;

We come—a pure and pitying band,

  Upon the clouds of even,

And on the sleeping Earth we stand,

  The sentinels of Heaven.


When breaks upon the sin-seared mind,

  The first repentant feeling,

Or where an influence, pure and kind,

  O’er some hard heart is stealing,

Where peasants of a Saviour’s love

  In rustic speech are telling,

Or Childhood’s voice, o’er hill and grove,

  In holy lays is swelling;

The softening thought—the cradle-hymn,

  The simple, artless story,

Are marked by the same Seraphim

  Who hailed the King of Glory.


Oh! call thou not the loneliest spot,

  Poor mortal, wan and weary,

Though human converse glad it not,

  All desolate and dreary;

There dwells a holy presence there,

  Where e’er thy step is roving,

Peopling the earth, the sky, the air,

  With beings kind and loving;

No dream of ages passed away,

  No nymphs of classic fable,

But they who watched the Babe that lay,

  By night, in Bethlehem’s stable.

R. A. P. Coburg, Feby. 1853.

[For the “Maple Leaf.”]



The great river St. Maurice, and the Shawinigan Falls, are comparatively unknown, except to the inhabitants of Three Rivers, and “its vicinity,” as the advertisements would say, and, probably, will remain so, until some great man takes it into his head to pay them a visit. As they are both well worth seeing, they may be equally worthy to be described. Some of your readers may like to hear a “Boy’s” impressions of a trip up the river to the falls: so here goes.

Know then, ye uninitiated,—that the St. Maurice is a large river, having its source far North, and deriving its springs from the same great chain of Northern Lakes that feed the Ottawa. It pours itself into the St. Lawrence at Three Rivers, and indeed gives that place the name of “Trois Rivières,” from the fact of its emptying itself by three distinct mouths.

With this preface, by way of explanation, let me proceed to detail our trip up the River to the Falls.

Our party consisted of three, K, A, and your humble servant, all eager for a sight of the stupendous cataract, that some lively imaginations had pictured as scarcely second to Niagara itself. But the Falls were a good many miles off, so we had to look about for some conveyance. The kindness of a Three River friend soon supplied us with this, in the shape of an excellent horse and stylish dog cart; and after we had obtained from him, what he considered, ample directions about the road, accompanied with a neat impromptu chart of the same, and, what was better still a letter of introduction to a hospitable fireside at the Grès, (Anglico Saw Mills,) we started.

True, none of us had ever travelled that way before, and we had no guide; but we felt tolerably secure in the possession of our directions and chart, which told us as follows:—“That there was a good road as far as the Grès,—18 miles off, where we were to put up our horse, present our credentials, and become inmates of the head establishment of the place.—That the Falls were still 6 miles further up the River, but that we could procure a canoe there, and, with an Indian guide, make our way up the River.—That the road to the Grès was a very plain one, there being only one point at which we might possibly go wrong, and that was at the top of a hill, where two roads went off at right angles; and as there was a possibility, nay a strong probability that we might take the wrong road, and instead of going at ‘right’ angles, turn off at ‘wrong.’ ” The chart aforesaid was very explicit on this point. The first 6 miles of the road were represented as, what the sailor would say, “all plain sailing,” and although we might at first find a great many tracks, that we might not care which one we took, as, a little further on they all became one. We were also told of certain great trout streams, and the prospect of dozens of shining, speckled, fat, trout inflamed my piscatorial desires to such a degree that I crammed the necessary tackle into our cart before starting—much to the amusement of K and A, who regarded me as a most stupid angler, my previous fishing attempts in the vicinity of Three Rivers having all ended ignominiously.

Well, we started about 10 o’clock in the morning, “brim” full of expectation; receiving from the ladies many parting hints about “Babes in the woods,” and admonitions about the treatment of the horse—such as not driving him too fast, getting out of the cart at hills, &c., &c. Following our directions, we took what seemed the most eligible road. After half-an-hour’s pleasant driving we came in sight of a pretty town, and, from the raised table-land we were on, we looked down on glittering spires, and green trees, with a blue strip of water in the distance. Was it possible that there could be such a pretty town behind Three River, which none of us had ever heard of before? Our chart said nothing about it, and our knowledge of the Geography of Canada did not enlighten us on the subject. The spires looked very like the spires of Three Rivers; however, and the blue sheet of water looked very like the noble St. Lawrence! Could it be Three Rivers? It was! and we then discovered that we had been unconsciously jogging round the race course! Nothing dismayed, but rather amused,—though half-an-hour had been wasted, we tried another track; but after a time, we suspected that the traces of a road were becoming “smaller by degrees and beautifully less,” and, at last, we were obliged to admit, that, certainly, that road was an exception to all other roads in general inasmuch as it led to nothing—except by the way to disappointment. Turning back once more we were on the point of going astray for the third time. None of us were very fluent in French, but A thought himself capable of asking directions from a French girl, and he did so, in the following manner:—“Is this le chemin à la St. Maurice?” Her answer startled us, for she said “Non,” and pointed far off in another direction. However, I did not feel quite sure about A’s French; we wanted the road to the “St. Maurice Forges,” and French scholars may be able to judge how far this question of A’s indicated our wish,—especially, when the fact is taken into consideration (which we learned afterwards) that there is a French settlement called St. Maurice, in the direction in which the girl pointed, and which no doubt she had in view. A lucky idea struck me, and I mumbled something about “Les Forges,” which seemed at once to be satisfactory, and drew an animated “Oui, oui,” from our fair friend.

We then trotted on pleasantly enough, and had leisure to observe the surrounding scenery. True, we could not see far on either side of us, the forest did not admit of that, but we could perceive that the road lay along a high table-land, which, as we advanced farther into the forest, became very undulating. The soil is sandy—very—indeed Three Rivers is a place of sand, and for the life of me, I am at a loss to understand how they can get any foundations for their edifices,—a sandy one being proverbially insecure and shaky. I suppose our old horse made the sandy nature of the soil an excuse for going at a most sedate pace, in spite of all the whipping which impetuous youth could bestow!

For the first mile or two, we did not see a vestige of a house, but, as we approached nearer the Forges, we discovered some six or eight miserable farm houses, some of them but half finished—others entirely finished, and some deserted; while the crops around these houses were of a most meagre description, generally consisting of about equal parts of stumps, consumptive wheat, and emptiness. Yet, I believe the land is admirably adapted to pasturage, and the grass along the road seemed rich and luxuriant. In several fields we observed women cutting the grain with sickles,—their husbands generally working as lumbermen during the summer months. At last, we came in sight of the St. Maurice Forges, and a beautiful sight it was. From a high eminence,—a sandy one of course, we looked down upon a little village, nestling itself in a pleasant little valley,—the impetuous St. Maurice running swiftly past it. On either side high and woody eminences enclosed the view, and gave the little town of whitewashed cottages a warm, snug appearance.

I suppose many of your readers have seen a St. Maurice Stove; well, the iron is the product of the “St. Maurice Mines,” and the stove the manufacture of the “St. Maurice Forges.” The iron obtained in these mines is of the very first quality, and is not second to the best Swedish iron. The number of the workmen’s cottages and the regularity with which they are laid out, gives the place the appearance of a good sized village; while the large workshops might stand for the “public buildings.”

We merely stopped to water our horse and ourselves at the Forges, and then started, like young “bears,” with the difficulties of the road all before us; for our chart began at the Forges, as, beyond them, the road was represented as more intricate; but, to our delight, we found it was utterly impossible to go astray, there was but one track, and, on either side, the untouched forest.

The soil at, and in the vicinity of the Forges is very black, I suppose because of the large deposits of iron; though I am not quite sure that this is the reason as I have not sufficient Geological lore to hazard a positive opinion.

We came to many very steep hills, which we had to ascend, and, like dutiful boys, (though we were not seen!) we all got out and walked up, in mercy to our horse. The number of the hills we had to climb showed that we were gradually ascending a higher tract of country.

Beyond the Forges we met with fearful impediments to quick travelling, in the shape of numberless “coal bins.” These articles are huge waggons, employed to draw charcoal from the pits in the woods, for the use of the Forges. They are so large, and their boxes bulge on both sides so much, that to meet them in narrow parts of the road is rather awkward, and, as a matter of course, we always fell in with them in such places. They are drawn by two horses each,—tandem fashion,—and the drivers will not “budge,” so that you have to “turn out,” that is to say, to squeeze your vehicle into some impossible spot, or up some impracticable bank. A dozen such interesting “rencontres” with such unique conveyances, and such enlightened specimens for drivers was quite enough for one day.

We saw a great many large heaps of smoking earth which we supposed to be charcoal pits; we judged so from our knowledge of the process of manufacturing charcoal. Not to be too tedious, let me just add, in concluding Chapter One, that we did not go astray “at the top of the hill,”—that we were awfully bothered with loaded teams, which we could not pass,—that we came to a very steep hill, down which we descended,—that at the bottom of this hill we again discovered the river, and what was better, our destination—the Grès,—that the very first person we addressed was the person we wanted,—that we were hospitably received,—and—there let us stay and rest ourselves for a little; will you, dear reader?

Place D’Armes Hill, Montreal,

March 14, 1853.



This number, sent forth with much anxiety, is sped to its destination under the hopeful impulse which resolution, and a desire to succeed inspires. The mind which could plan, and the courage, and perseverance, which could accomplish, no more acts in unison with ours, but we should prove recreant to all the good influences which that mind and heart gathered around us, if we faint now, or become disheartened. Looking about and seeing tokens of encouragement we have heartily continued our work, and cheering, and consoling notices, and marks of favor have already met our humble efforts.—

We feel most grateful for the sympathy, and approbation with which the March number has been greeted, and trust that our subscribers may not have reason to regret these kind expressions.—

There are points in our lives; moments fraught with the deepest interest; when all that concerns us seems to concentrate; and we stand still fearing to move. Only for a moment must we hesitate, activity is the law of our being: industry that well fitted the duties of yesterday may not at all suit the requirements of to-day; and the morrow may open to us greater responsibilities, and higher claims to exertion. Ever advancing, ever viewing our life in its high relations, let us all aspire to meet its exigencies and difficulties with earnest zeal. It is not easy to keep mind in the ascendant, and nerve the poor weak body to keep pace with the far reaching soul, and it is not strange that we sometimes strive to fold up the bright wings which our spirits would spread for a flight to the realms of intellectual glory, and plead our unfitness to rise. Still we ought to appreciate the nature of the spiritual; and feel the worth of that jewel whose flashing light may gleam with resplendent lustre beneath an eternal day. We ought to look upon all our duties, and all our enjoyments, as ennobled, because they belong to us as sentient beings. Our country can show many men and women who are truly great. Their minds are always expanding. They live for others—they feel for the suffering—they dignify energetic action—they are public benefactors; but there are many, very many, who have hid the precious seeds of early promise. If we could speak to the many, we would say in the warmth of our desire for their improvement—plant these germs of good; water them; nourish them; the spring time is here—it is always spring in the moral world—green shoots will peep forth, graceful foliage will overshadow you, and Canada will yet hear the eloquence of your souls, and be the better for your high purposes.

We have received several contributions which we cannot insert for want of space. Our pages will show in the number of original articles, the kind thoughtfulness of contributors.

Short articles are most acceptable. We gladly insert a poetical communication from R. A. P. of Coburg, and take this opportunity of expressing our thanks for an elegant sketch from the same source. We intended to insert it this month but our arrangements would not admit of it.

“Juventus” is assured that we delight to encourage an enterprising youth, who not only understands the abstract truth, that his eyes were given him for the purpose of seeing, but actually uses those eyes as he journies up and down the country. We promise ourselves a fine treat when he takes us to view The Falls.


Mis-spelled words and printer errors have been corrected. Where multiple spellings occur, majority use has been employed.

Punctuation has been maintained except where obvious printer errors occur.

When nested quoting was encountered, nested double quotes were changed to single quotes.

A cover was created for this eBook which is placed in the public domain.

[The end of The Maple Leaf Vol. II No. 4 April 1853 edited by Eleanor H. Lay]