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Title: The Maple Leaf Vol. II No. 6 June 1853

Date of first publication: 1853

Author: Eleanor H. Lay (1812-1904)

Date first posted: Jan. 6, 2024

Date last updated: Jan. 6, 2024

Faded Page eBook #20240109

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


Flitting through the mind in dim shape, clustering in close companionship with the thoughts of business or devotion, clinging to every aspiration of present and future happiness; we always hear their voices, those twin sisters, Ideality and Imagination, as whispering soothingly, they beckon to hope and joy. Ideality loves the post of observation, she dwells where more sedate powers would feel insecure. She delights to light up the citadel, and throw beams of radiance into the innermost chambers of the mind; and point out to the weary and sorrowing a land of Beulah—a land of peace—where, fast by the river of life, shall bloom and thrive those ardent anticipations which have cheered it in this vale of tears.

Thought, swifter than light, passes over mountains, and yawning precipices, and roaring cataracts; threads its electric pathway across oceans, pursues the circuit of rivers, and, in the twinkling of an eye, circumnavigates the globe. Ideality rushes onward in the same pathway, to gather up beautiful forms, and transfer bright tints for her pictures. Circumstances may damp the ardor of this friend of man; but she will ever and anon, soar aloft beyond the reach of poverty and pain. She will career and revel in the sunshine, and seat herself on the rainbow; she will trace out the path of the stars, and sail in the glorious blaze of the zodiacal clusters, and fly near the pearly gates to hear angelic melody. It is her delight to return laden with spoil, ravished from the wonderful creation of God; and calling to her aid memory and conception, her sister powers, they spread out a rich treat, which the poor man may enjoy equally with the more fortunate.

The faculty of representing scenes and transactions to the mind is variously named,—in common language we call it imagination. It is possessed in different degrees by different minds. The man of glowing imagination enjoys much every day. A word is sufficient to awaken it, and fill him with an overflowing happiness. A pleasant thought, a sweet strain of music, or the sound of the Sabbath bells floating on the morning air, may give imagination a start, and she needs no urging to trace out her bright sketches, and paint them “to the life.”

Through this faculty there is a direct avenue to the heart, especially to the youthful heart. We love to see youthful eyes sparkle, and youthful faces beam with intelligence; but they seldom show great interest when imagination is dormant. Parents and teachers ought to direct and foster this gift in a judicious manner; satisfying its longing by proper aliment, removing all that unnatural stimulant, found in much of the reading of the day; they should open to the young mind the wondrous scenery of life, point out to them the loveliness of nature; lift gently the veil of the future, and bid imagination grasp the idea of man’s probable greatness in this world, and his exalted destiny in heaven. More attention to the right direction and cultivation of imagination would, we believe, render the task of parents and teachers much more pleasing; for the warm influence of a fervid imagination will impart interest to the necessary discipline of educational routines, and convert angles, and triangles, formulas and theorems, even into exciting objects, and throw around the rules of grammar, or the pages of history, the romance of happy associations. Memory and judgment can be enticed to exertion by waking up the livelier powers of the mind. Many a gifted youth has passed year after year in school, without interest, until he has chanced to commence some study that roused his mind, and taught him to explore the fields of thought, and rise to regions of grandeur and sublimity. Take, for example, “Kamo’s Elements of Criticism,” and lecture to a class of pupils, and watch the brightening of their minds, and the coruscations of mental power that will be elicited from their newly awakened thoughts, and mark how soon they feel their souls and minds too narrow; and throwing wide the portals of universal thought, look out into the world with new and noble purposes. It is necessary to discipline judgment and memory; but it is well to address the fancy also; it is well to call all the powers of the mind into harmonious action.

Oh! joyous hours were those of early life,

  When at the fount of learning glad I bent,

And ’mid bright forms with emulation rife

  Sought light, while fancy inspiration lent.


Each well remember’d face, each loving group

  Glides phantom-like and noiseless through those halls;

And dimly o’er the clustering graceful troop,

  Steal softened shadows on the school room walls.


A charm was there! a halo of delight

  Gilded, and glanc’d round wisdom’s mystic lore;

And eyes of love, and minds in native light,

  Mingled sweet glances, and sweet influence bore.


We gather’d oft, with ardent zeal and might,

  The flowers which grew on science’ verdant slope,

Or plum’d our powers for a mysterious flight,

  To realms where grandeur dwells, and smiling hope.


      *      *      *      *      *      


And ever now, through time’s oblivious gloom,

  I backward send a glance of earnest love,

And with imagination’s fervent bloom,

  Deck youthful scenes in colors from above.



“You seem happy, Annette, always. I have never been in a family where the husband and wife seemed more so.”

“Well done, Kate,” said Mrs. Huntingdon, laughing; “you have used the word seem only twice in that short sentence. And now you have a begging way about you, as if you were really in earnest to hear something about married life, before taking the fatal step. It is well Henry is not here, to see the look of sadness in the eye of his bride-elect. He might fancy her heart was full of misgivings, instead of wedding finery.”

“Don’t laugh at me, Annette; talk with me as you used to do. I love Henry, you know, and yet I have many misgivings about married life. I see so few who are really happy in this relation,—I mean happy as I should wish to be. You seem to come nearer to it than any one else. Don’t you ever——”

“Quarrel?—no, not often, now. We had our breaking in. I believe it must come to all, sooner or later.”

“Do tell me about it, will you, Annette?”

“Yes, if you are very desirous of it. You may learn something from it.

“I was a romantic girl, as you well know, Kate. Some few friends I had, whom I loved dearly; but these friendships did not quite satisfy my heart. Something more it craved. I hardly knew what, until I loved my husband. When we were first married, I used sometimes to ask myself, ‘Now, do I find in this life all which I expected to find? Am I as happy as I thought I should be?’ My heart always responded, ‘Yes, and more so.’ With us the romance of married life—if I may call it so—held on a long time. For my part, I was conscious of a pleasurable excitement of feeling, when we were together. I enjoyed riding and walking alone with him. The brightest hours of the day were those in which we sat down alone together, to talk or read. For a long time I felt a general restraint in his presence. I liked to be becomingly dressed, and to feel in tune. When dull, I made an effort to be social and cheerful, if he was present. I had a great fear of getting into the way of sitting down stupidly with my husband, or of having nothing to talk about but the children and the butcher’s bill. I made a business of remembering every pleasant thing which I read, or heard, or thought, to tell him; and when all these subjects were exhausted, we had each of us a hobby we could ride, so that we were never silent for want of something to say. Thus we lived for a year or two. I was very happy. I think people were often surprised to see us continue to enjoy each other’s society with so much zest.

“But there was this about it. As yet I had nothing to try me. We were boarding, I had no care, and his tenderness and interest were a sovereign panacea for the little ails and roughnesses which must fall to us in our best estate. But this could not last forever. He became more and more occupied in his business, and I at length had a house and baby to look after. Then, for the first time, our mutual forbearance was put to the test. Hitherto we had been devoted to each other; now the real cares of life pressed upon us so as often really to absorb our energies. I was the first to feel the change. It seemed to me as if something were overshadowing us. Sometimes I would get sentimental, and think he did not love me as he once did. As I look back now, I am convinced that here was my first wrong step. Indulgence in these moods weakened my resolutions. It was an injustice to him of which I ought not to have been guilty. It left me, too, with a wounded feeling, as if I had been wronged, which began to affect my spirits.

“Once, I had for some time carried about this little sore spot in my heart. I kept the matter all to myself, for I was in part ashamed, and in part too proud to speak of it. Here was another wrong step. There is no security of happiness in married life but in the most perfect confidence.

“There came a season of damp, chilly weather. One morning I got up feeling very irritable. I had taken cold, my head ached, and my baby had been troublesome during the night. In my kitchen I had a cross, ignorant servant girl; and on this particular morning she had done her very worst for breakfast. The beef-steak was burned to a cinder, the eggs were like bullets, the bread was half-baked, and the coffee, which was our main stay, was execrable. My husband was very patient with all this, until it came to the coffee; and this upset him. He put his cup down, and said, in a half-vexed tone, ‘I do wish that we could ever have any good coffee! Annette, why cannot you have it made as my mother does?’

“This was the drop too much for me, and I boiled over. ‘You never think anything on our table fit to be eaten!’ said I, and I almost started at the sound of my own voice. ‘You had better live at home, if you are not satisfied, or else provide me with decent servants. I cannot do everything,—take care of my baby all night, and get the breakfast, too.’

“ ‘I did not know before that I was very unreasonable,’ said he, in a tone of injured feeling. He sat for a few minutes, then rose, left his untasted breakfast, put on his hat, and went off.

“When I heard the door shut behind him, all my temper left me. I went into my room, locked myself in, sat down, and cried like a child. This was the first cross word I had ever spoken to my husband. It seemed to me as if some sudden calamity had befallen us. I worked myself up to such a pitch of feeling, that I walked about the room wringing my hands.

“ ‘O, it is all over with us,’ thought I; ‘we shall never be happy together again in this world.’ This thought made me unspeakably miserable. I felt as if a black pall had fallen around me, and in the future there was only blank—darkness. In my misery I sought to comfort myself by blaming him. ‘He need not have spoken so to me, at any rate,’ said I, out loud. ‘He might have seen how I felt; it was too much for any one to bear. It really was not one bit kind in him. It is plain enough that he does not care for my comfort as he once did. Then to be always telling me what nice things his mother cooks, when he knows I am trying to do my very best to learn to please him! It is too bad.’

“Don’t look so dreadfully sober, Kate. My baby cried just here, and I had to run before I was through with my catalogue of grievances; yet I had gone far enough to get well on the wrong track again. I began to calm myself with the reflection that if there had been a great wrong done, I was not the only one to blame for it. I was dreadfully sorry that I had spoken cross to him, but I thought he ought to be sorry too. Before my baby had finished crying, I came to the conclusion that I would not exhibit signs of penitence until I saw some in him.

“So I bathed my face, that no traces of tears might remain, dressed myself with unusual care, and went down to old Bridget, to give some very particular directions about the dinner. I did this with a martyr-like spirit. I meant to try my best to make him sorry for his injustice. I resolved to reproach him with a first-rate dinner, good as his mother could cook. To whet the edge of my delicate reproof, I made with my own hands, a most excellent cup of coffee.

“One o’clock came at last, though I thought it never would; the door opened, and I heard his quiet step in the hall. Of all things in this world, he was whistling! He came to the table with a bright face, from which every trace of the morning’s cloud had disappeared, and, as he sat down, looked around with a pleased expression.

“ ‘Why, Annette,’ said he, ‘what a nice dinner!’

“ ‘I am glad you are pleased,’ said I, in a subdued tone.

“ ‘Capital!’ said he; ‘the best roast we have had this season!’

“He was so much taken up with my delicate reproofs as not to notice that I was out of spirits. I was half pleased and half provoked; but I kept rather still, making little conversation, excepting in reply to him.

“After dessert, I handed him his cup of coffee. He was quite astonished. ‘Why, Annette,’ said he, ‘I do believe you went to work to-day to see what you could do.’

“He had hit the truth, though without the least suspicion of the cause. My first impulse was, to be honest, and out with it, by replying, ‘Is it as good as your mother makes?’ This would have given him the key to the whole story,—he would have ferreted it all out, and we should have settled it there; but I felt ashamed to. I sipped my coffee in silence. The golden moment passed, and my good angel took its flight. Pride had the day. I even began to be vexed at his enjoying a good dinner so much, and so easily forgetting what had caused me so much suffering. He was very busy on that day, and did not stay with me as long as usual to chat, but went off whistling even more cheerfully than when he came.

“I went up into the nursery, and sat down to think it over. Baby was asleep, the rain was pattering against the windows, the wind was rising, and to me the world looked dreary enough. I had tired myself all out getting up such a dinner; and now the excitement was over, and I felt the reaction, I began to ask myself what I had got for it. Just nothing at all. My husband either did not or would not see that there was anything to be reconciled about. I blamed him for his insensibility. ‘Once,’ thought I, ‘he would have noticed any change in my voice, or any shadow which came over my spirits; now, I can really be cross to him, and he does not mind it at all.’

“I had a doleful afternoon of it. I was restless enough; trying first one employment and then another, but finding nothing that would suit. I went down to tea, further, if anything, from the right point than I had been at noon. I sat dejected and silent. My husband tried once or twice to engage me in conversation, without success.

“ ‘Annette,’ said he, at length, in a kind tone, ‘do not you feel well to-day?’

“ ‘Not very,’ said I, with a sigh.

“ ‘What is the matter?’

“ ‘My head aches; the baby kept me awake almost all night.’ This was the truth, but only in part, and I felt guilty as I said it. Then he begged me to go and lie down on the sofa in the parlor, and said he would read to me anything that I would like to hear.

“I felt that this was kind in him. It was like old times; the new times, you see, had been but a day, but it seemed to me very long; yet it was not what I wanted. I wished to have the trouble cleared away, not bridged over; and determined to hold out until it should come to this, and he should see and feel that I could not be made happy, after a cross word, without a scene of mutual contrition and forgiveness: so I would not stay and be read to, but told him I must go to bed. I left him in his easy chair, with his study-lamp and book and bright fire, in regular old bachelor-style, and went off into my nursery, and then to my bed, and cried myself to sleep. You laugh, Kate, as if you thought I was a fool. I think so myself, now.”

“How did it all end, Annette?”

“I held out a week, becoming every day more and more sad, and sulky, I may as well call it. When I was left alone, I used to take my baby up and cry over him, as if my husband were dead, and the child were all I had left in the world. Dear me! how unhappy I was, and every day added to it. I would find something in his conduct to pain me, every time we met. Either he was too attentive or not attentive enough; talked too much or too little.

“He bore my moody ill-humour most patiently, thinking I was ill. One day he came home, and told me that he had obtained a week’s leave of absence, and had engaged a buggy, and I must pack up myself and baby, and be ready to start off in an hour. He was going to take me home to my mother’s. ‘We may as well have a journey as pay doctors’ bills, Annette,’ said he; ‘and as to having you drooping about in this style any longer, I am not going to. We will send off old Bridget, lock up our house, run away from all care, and have some fun.’

“He looked up so kindly I could have fallen upon his neck and wept my heart out, to think how ugly I had been; but there was no time then to talk it over. I hurried away to pack, but before I was half through with the packing, I resolved that I would tell him the whole story, from beginning to end. The moment I came to this determination, the load was gone; my heart seemed light as a feather; the expression of my countenance, the tones of my voice changed. I was conscious of it, and he noticed it as soon as I joined him at the appointed hour.

“ ‘Why, Annette,’ said he, ‘getting ready has cured you. We may as well stay at home, now.’

“That will do, Kate. The rest of the story will sound sentimental to a third party.”

“No, no, Annette! that would be leaving out the very cream of it. Tell me how you settled it.”

“Well, we rode on, enjoying the change, until towards dark. Baby then fell asleep. It was a very quiet hour,—everything about us was beautiful and serene. I felt deeply, and I longed to have all in my heart pure and peaceful. Tears of real penitence came into my eyes, and before I knew it they were dropping down upon the baby. My husband turned and saw them.

“ ‘Why, Annette,’ said he, with the utmost surprise, ‘what is the matter?’

“ ‘O, I am sorry!’ said I.

“ ‘Sorry for what, love?’ said he. ‘Are you not happy? Does anything trouble you?’

“ ‘I am so sorry,’ said I, ‘that I have been so ugly, this week!’

“ ‘What do you mean?’ said he, looking more and more puzzled.

“ ‘How can you help knowing?’ said I. Then I began at the beginning, and told the whole story. How I rose feeling irritable, and was provoked to speak the first cross word; how he told me my things were not as nice as his mother’s, and went off vexed; then how he got over it, and forgot all about it, and would not help me to feel good-natured by saying he was sorry. How I had brooded over it all the week,—how it had festered away in my heart, and poisoned all my enjoyment. What torrents of tears I had shed when alone, as I thought it was all over with us, and we should never love again as we had once loved.

“He heard me through without making a single remark, and then he burst into a loud laugh. ‘I want to know, Annette,’ said he, ‘if this is what has ailed you all this week?’

“ ‘Yes,’ said I. Upon this, he checked our Dobbin, and began to turn round.

“ ‘What are you going to do?’ said I.

“ ‘Going back,’ said he, ‘if this is all that is the matter with you.’

“I laughed as heartily as he did; for, now my sin was confessed, I felt very happy; but I pulled the other rein and drew the whip-lash over Dobbin’s ears, and away he went like a bird towards my mother’s home.

“But we made a resolution, then, Kate, that if either had aught against the other, it should be settled before the sun went down; that we might go to sleep, if not at ‘peace with all the world,’ at least at peace with each other, forgiving and forgiven. This resolution we have faithfully kept, and I have never seen another week of such misery as I have been telling you about, and I trust I never shall. I hope you will find in your new relations, Kate, all the enjoyment we now do. This is the best wish I can offer you,—and that your first cross word may also be your last.”

Rules of Health.—Live moderately, exercise freely, bathe daily, rise early, dress lightly, take things coolly, avoid the blues, eschew wine, shun doctors and drugs, lawyers and lawsuits, marry a good wife, and endeavor to make her happy.


There’s a crown for the monarch, a golden crown—

And many a ray from its wreath streams down,

Of on iris hue from a thousand gems,

That are woven in blossoms on jewelled stems.

They’ve rifled the depths of Golconda’s mine,

And stolen the pearls from the Ocean brine;

But the rarest gem, end the finest gold,

On a brow of care, lies heavy and cold.


There’s a crown for the victor of lotus-flowers,

Braided with myrtle from tropical bowers;

And the golden hearts of the Nymhara gleam,

From their snowy bills, with a mellow beam.

They have stript the breast of the sacred Nile,

And ravished the bowers of the vine-clad isle;

But the sweetest flowers from the holy flood,

And the vine will fade, on a brow of blood!


There’s a crown for the poet, a wreath of bay—

A tribute of praise to his thrilling lay;

The amaranth twines with the laurel bough,

And seeks a repose on his pensive brow.

They’ve searched in the depths of Italia’s groves,

To find out the chaplet a poet loves;

But a fadeless wreath in vain they have sought—

It withers away on a brow of thought.


There’s a crown for the christian, a crown of life,

Gained in the issues of bloodless strife.

’Tis a halo of hope, of joy, and of love,

Brightened by sun-beams from fountains above.

They’ve gathered its rays from sources afar,

From seraphim’s eyes, and Bethlehem’s star;

And the flow of its light will ever increase,

For a christian’s brow is a crown of peace.


Mrs. S. C. E., Mayo.

The Spoken and the Unspoken Thought.—I beg you, says Kossuth, to take to heart one maxim, which for myself I have ever observed, and ever shall: it is, never to say more than is necessary. The unspoken word never does harm; but what is once uttered cannot be recalled, and no man can foresee its consequences.


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


When Lady Mary went down to her father, he presented her with a beautiful Indian bag, which he had brought from Lake Huron in the Upper Province. It was of fine doe skin, very finely wrought with dyed moose hair, and resembled a coloured engraving; the border was of scarlet feathers on one side, and blue on the other, which formed a rich silken fringe at each edge. This was a present from the wife of one of the chiefs on Manitoulin Island. Lady Mary was greatly delighted with her present, and admired this new fashioned work of the coloured moose hair very much. The feathers, Mrs. Frazer told her, were from the summer red bird or war bird, and the blue bird, both of which, Lady Mary said she had seen. The Indians use these feathers as ornaments on their heads and shoulders, on grand occasions.

Lady Mary recollected hearing her mamma speak of some Indians that wore mantles and dresses of gay feathers. They were the natives of Peru in South America.

“Dear nurse, will you tell me anything more about birds and flowers, to-day?” asked Lady Mary, after she had put away her pretty bag.

“I promised to tell you about the beavers, my lady,” replied Mrs. Frazer.

“Oh, yes, about the beavers that make the dams, and the nice houses, and cut down big trees; I am glad you can tell me something about those curious creatures,—for mamma bought me a pretty picture, which I will shew you if you please,” said the little girl; “but what is this odd looking, black thing here? Is it a dried fish? It must be a black bass! Ah! yes, nurse, I am sure it is.”

The nurse smiled and said, “It is not a fish at all, my dear, it is a dried beavers tail. I brought it from the back lakes when I was at home, that you might see it. See, my lady, how curiously the beaver’s tail is covered with scales, it looks like some sort of black leather, stamped in a diaper pattern. Before it has been dried, it is very heavy, weighing three or four pounds. I have heard my brothers and some of the Indian trappers say, that the animal makes use of its tail to beat the sides of the dams, and smooth the mud and clay, as a plasterer uses a trowel. Some people think otherwise, but it seems so well suited, from its shape and weight, for the purpose, and the walls they raise, seem to have been smoothed as if with a trowel, that I see no reason to disbelieve the story.”

“And what do the beavers make dams with, nurse?”

“With small trees cut into pieces, and drawn in close to each other, and then they fill up the spaces between with sods, and stones, and clay, and all sorts of things, that they gather together and work up into a solid wall; the walls are made broad at the bottom, and several feet in thickness, to make them strong enough to keep the water from washing through them. The beavers assemble together in the fall, about the months of October and November, to build their houses and repair their dams. They prefer running water, as it is less likely to freeze. They work in large parties, sometimes fifty or a hundred together, and do a great deal in a short time. They work during the night.”

“Of what use is the dam, nurse?”

“The dam is for the purpose of securing a constant supply of water, without which, they could not live.

“When they have enclosed the beaver-pond, they then separate into family parties of seven or twelve, sometimes more, sometimes less; and construct dwellings, which are raised against the inner wall of the dam.

“These little huts have two chambers, one in which they sleep, which is warm, and soft, and dry, lined with roots, and sedges, and dried grass, and any odds and ends that serve their purpose.

“The feeding place is below. In this is stored the wood or the bark on which they feed; the entrance to this is under water, and hidden from sight; but it is there that the cunning hunter sets his trap to catch the unsuspecting beavers.”

“Nurse, do not beavers, and otters, and muskrats, feel cold living in the water; and do they not get wet?”

“No, my dear; they do not feel cold, for the thick coating of hair and down, keeps them warm; and these animals, like ducks and geese, and all kinds of water fowls, are supplied with a bag of oil, with which they dress their coats, and that throws off the moisture; for you know Lady Mary, that oil and water will not mix. All creatures that live in the water, are provided with oily fur, or smooth scales, that no water can penetrate.”

“Are there any beavers in England, nurse?” asked Lady Mary.

“No, my lady, I never heard of any; but I remember my father told me, that this animal once existed in numbers, in different countries of Europe; he said they were still to be found in Norway, Sweden, Russia, Germany, and even in France.

“The beaver abounds mostly in North America, and in its cold portions: in solitudes, that no foot of man, but the wild Indian has ever penetrated; in lonely streams, and inland lakes, these harmless creatures are found fulfilling God’s purpose, and doing injury to none.

“I think if there had been any beavers in the land of Israel, in Solomon’s time, that the wise king who speaks of the ants, and spiders, and grasshoppers, and the conies,[1] would have named the beavers also, as patterns of gentleness, cleanliness, and industry. They work together in bands, and live in families, and never fight or disagree.

“They have no chief or leader—they seem to have neither king nor ruler—yet they work in perfect love and harmony.

“How pleasant it would be, Lady Mary, if all Christian people would love each other, as these poor beavers seem to.”

“Nurse, how can beavers cut down trees—they have neither axes nor saws?”

“Here, Lady Mary, are the axes and saws with which God has provided these little creatures;” and Mrs. Frazer shewed Lady Mary two long curved tusks, of a reddish-brown colour, which she told her were the tools used by the beavers to cut and gnaw the trees; she said she had seen trees as large round as a man’s leg, that had been cut by these simple tools.

Lady Mary was much surprised, that such small animals could cut through anything so big.

“In nature,” replied her nurse, “we often see great things done by very small means. Patience and perseverance will do much; There is an old saying, my dear, that ‘little strokes fell great oaks.’

“The poplar, birch, and some other trees, on which the beavers feed, and also use in making the dams, are softer, and more easily cut, than oak, and elm, and beech would be; these trees are found growing near water, and in such places as the beavers build in.

“There are large open tracts of land in Canada, called beaver-meadows; these are covered with a long, thick, rank grass, which the settlers cut down, and use as hay.

“These beaver-meadows have the appearance of dried-up lakes; the soil is black and spongy, you may put a stick down to a depth of many feet; it is only in the months of July, August, and September, that they are dry.

“Bushes of black alder, with a few poplars, and twining shrubs, are scattered over the beaver-meadows, the banks are high and stony in some of them, and there are little islands of trees in places. There are many pretty wild flowers there. Among others, I found growing on the dry banks, some real hair bells, both blue and white.”

“Ah! dear nurse—hair bells!—did you find real hair bells, such as grow on the bonny Highland hills, among the heather?”

“I wish Papa would let me go to the Upper Province, to see the beaver-meadows, and gather the dear blue bells.”

“My father, Lady Mary, wept when I brought him a handful of these flowers, for he said it reminded him of his Highland home. I have found these pretty bells growing on the wild hills, about Rice lake, near the water as well as near the beaver-meadows.”

“Do the beavers sleep in the winter time, nurse?”

“They do not lie torpid, as raccoons do, though they may sleep a good deal; but as they lay up a great store of provisions for the winter, of course they must wake up to eat it.”

Lady Mary thought so too.

“In the spring, when the warm long day returns, they quit the winter retreat, and separate in pairs, living in holes in the banks of lakes and rivers, and do not unite again till the approach of the cold calls them all together to prepare for winter, as I told you.”

“Who calls them all to build their winter houses?” asked the child.

“We know not. They call it instinct that guides these wild animals; doubtless it is the law of nature given to them by God.”

There is a great resemblance in the habits of the muskrat and the beaver. They all live in the water, all separate in the spring, and meet again in the fall to build and work together; and having helped in these things, they retire to a private dwelling, each family by itself. The otter does not make a dam like the beaver, and I am not sure that it works in companies as the beaver; it lives on fish and roots—the muskrat on shell-fish and roots, and the beaver on vegetable food mostly. Muskrats and beavers are used for food, but the flesh of the otter is too fishy to be eaten.

“Nurse, can people eat muskrats?” asked Lady Mary, with surprise.

“Yes, my lady; in the spring months the hunters and Indians reckon them good food; I have eaten them myself, but I did not like them, they were too fat. Muskrats build a little house of rushes and plaster it, they have two chambers, and do not lie torpid; they build in shallow rushy places in lakes, but in spring they quit their winter houses, and are often found in holes among the roots of trees; they live on mussels and shell-fish. The fur is used in making caps.”

“Nurse, did you ever see a tame beaver?”

“Yes, my dear; I knew a Squaw who had a tame beaver which she used to take out in the canoe with her, and it sat in her lap or on her shoulder, and was very playful. I also heard of one that a gentleman kept, it played sad tricks;” but just as Mrs. Frazer was about to tell the little lady about the gentleman’s tame beaver, the dinner-bell rang, and, as dinner at Government House waits for no one, Lady Mary was obliged to defer hearing the story till another time.

(To be Continued.)

Supposed to be a species of marmot, inhabiting the rocks about Judea.

Worldly Professors.—Too many persons seem to use their religion as a diver does his bell, to venture down into the depths of worldliness with safety, and there grope for pearls, with just so much of heaven’s air as will keep them from suffocating, and no more; and some, alas, as at times is the case with the diver, are suffocated in the experiment.

An Architectural Conceit.—The column is an emblem of faith, it springs from earth to heaven; the arch symbolizes mercy, it descends from heaven to earth.


A sail down Lake Champlain from Whitehall to St. John’s except to the tourist, will, we fear, soon be among the things that were. Formerly men of business could spare time to admire the varied beauties which the winding, changing shores on either side display. Happy in the belief that they were pushing on to the place of destination as fast as steam could convey them, they gave themselves up to the enjoyment of the scene, and ensconced quietly in the saloon, or promenading the deck, felt all the enchanting influences which it was long the pride of the captains of those floating palaces to display. Much of the romance of travelling has been lost of late, since the shortest routes are the most popular. The retirement which a pleasant family party can find on board of a steamboat where each may express sympathy in what is beautiful, or join in the merry laugh at the many ludicrous things which arise in the course of a day’s sail, is all lost in the public car. The halcyon hours of the newly wedded pair fly by on the lightest pinions, while they point out to each other the objects of interest as the boat moves along. The world has narrowed down to their own share of it, and no envious intruding eyes need disturb their happy exchange of sentiment.

People used to describe their rapid journies from New York to Montreal; and though days were required to perform it, they, fortunately, unconscious of the improvements soon to be made in travelling, did not forget to enumerate the pleasure they derived, not only from the lovely views on the lake but from the happy adjustment of everything to promote the comfort and pleasure of the passengers on the splendid steamboats. Now, steam almost outstrips itself, and goes frantic with energy, and tears away along the railways, and madly disregarding obstacles, lands men and baggage in one general mass at the bottom of a ravine, or in the midst of a river; or, triumphantly reins up just in time to save a general crash; giving a shrill blast to warn of its approach.

Laud railroads as we may, we can never forget the delight we have experienced while sailing down Lake Champlain. The country around is rich in memorable incident. At the outlet of the Lake, St. John’s presents its regular outline in perfect contrast to Whitehall, Burlington and many other places on the Lake. It is situated on the western side of the Richelieu or Sorel river. Though its growth has been slow, and its population has never exceeded five thousand, it has been an important place ever since the early settlement of Canada. A canal connects it with Chambly, a lovely village, about twelve miles distant; and a constant communication is kept up with Montreal by railroad. It is a kind of headquarters for the transportation trade, and was all along the place where goods passing and repassing were narrowly watched by custom-house officers. At present the bulk of travelling is turned to Rouse’s Point, most of the goods take that direction also. St. John’s figured in the early wars of Canada, and has always been strongly garrisoned. “Military works were thrown up by the French under Montcalm in 1758.” “The ruins of old fort St. John’s occupy a broad area in the open fields, behind the present military works, which are a little south of the village, and directly upon the shore of the river.” The Americans made St. John’s the scene of their first attempt upon Canada, and descending the Richelieu, appeared before it in 1775, and took possession of the fort which they held until May, 1776, when they retreated from the country. “The country on both sides of the river is flat, and there is no place where the town may be seen to advantage. From the middle of the river one can get a fine view of the long bridge which connects St. John’s with St. Athenaise on the opposite shore, where the steep roof and glittering spire of the French Church towers above the trees.”



St. Clare had promised at poor Eva’s dying request to give Tom his liberty, and meant to have done so, but a fatal accident prevented him from carrying out his benevolent intentions, so that shortly after his death Tom and Adolph, and some half a dozen other servants, were marched down to a slave-warehouse, to await the convenience of the trader, who was going to make up a lot for auction. . . .

Tom was sold, and on the lower part of a small, mean boat, on the Red river, he sat, chains on his wrists, chains on his feet, and a weight heavier than chains lay on his heart. All had faded from his sky,—moon and star; all had passed by him, as the trees and banks were now passing, to return no more. Kentucky home, with wife and children, and indulgent owners; St. Clare home, with all its refinements and splendors; the golden head of Eva, with its saint-like eyes; the proud, gay, handsome, seemingly careless, yet ever kind St. Clare; hours of ease and indulgent leisure,—all gone! and in place thereof, what remains? . . .

Mr. Simon Legree, Tom’s master, had purchased slaves at one place and another, in New Orleans, to the number of eight, and driven them, handcuffed, in couples of two and two, down to the good steamer Pirate, which lay at the levee, ready for a trip up the Red River.

The boat moved on,—freighted with its weight of sorrow,—up the red, muddy, turbid current, through the abrupt, tortuous windings of the Red River; and sad eyes gazed wearily on the steep red-clay banks, as they glided by in dreary sameness. At last the boat stopped at a small town, and Legree, with his party, disembarked.

Trailing wearily behind a rude wagon, and over a ruder road, Tom and his associates faced onward.

In the wagon was seated Simon Legree; and the two women, still fettered together, were stowed away with some baggage in the back part of it, and the whole company were seeking Legree’s plantation, which lay a good distance off.

It was a wild, forsaken road, now winding through dreary pine barrens, where the wind whispered mournfully, and now over log causeways, through long cypress swamps, the doleful trees rising out of the slimy, spongy ground, hung with long wreaths of funereal black moss, while ever and anon the loathsome form of the moccasin snake might be seen sliding among broken stumps and shattered branches that lay here and there, rotting in the water.

It is disconsolate enough, this riding, to the stranger, who, with well filled pocket and well appointed horse, treads the lonely way on some errand of business; but wilder, drearier, to the man enthralled, whom every weary step bears further from all that man loves and prays for.

So one should have thought, that witnessed the sunken and dejected expression on these dark faces; the wistful, patient weariness with which those sad eyes rested on object after object that passed them in their sad journey.

At length the enclosures of the plantation rose to view; and the waggon rolled up a weedy gravel walk, under a noble avenue of China trees, whoso graceful forms and ever-spring foliage seemed to be the only things there that neglect could not daunt or alter.

The house had been large and handsome. It was built in a manner common at the South; but the place looked desolate and uncomfortable. Bits of board, old decayed barrels and boxes, garnished the ground in all directions; and three or four ferocious-looking dogs, roused by the sound of the wagon-wheels, came tearing out, and were with difficulty restrained from laying hold of Tom and his companions.

“Ye see what ye’d get!” said Legree, caressing the dogs with grim satisfaction, and turning to Tom and his companions. “Ye see what ye’d get! if ye try to run off. These yer dogs has been raised to track niggers; and they’d jest as soon chaw one on ye up as eat their supper.” . . .

It took but a short time to familiarize Tom with all that was to be hoped or feared in his new way of life. He was an expert and efficient workman in whatever he undertook; and was, both from habit and principle, prompt and faithful.

Legree took silent note of Tom’s availability. He rated him as a first-class hand; and yet he felt a secret dislike to him,—the native antipathy of bad to good, and made up his mind that, as Tom was not hard to his hand, he would harden him forthwith; and some few weeks after Tom had been on the place, he determined to commence the process.

“Tom, jest take this yer gal, and flog her; ye’ve seen enough on’t to know how.”

“I beg Mas’r’s pardon,” said Tom; “hopes Mas’r won’t set me at that. It’s what I an’t used to,—never did,—and can’t do, no way possible.”

“Ye’ll larn a pretty smart chance of things ye never did know, before I’ve done with ye!” said Legree, taking up a cowhide, and striking Tom a heavy blow across the cheek, and following up the infliction by a shower of blows.

“There!” he said, as he stopped to rest; “now, will ye tell me ye can’t do it?”

“Yes, Mas’r,” said Tom, putting up his hand, to wipe the blood that trickled down his face. “I’m willin’ to work night and day, and work while there’s life and breath in me; but this yer thing I can’t feel it right to do;—and, Mas’r, I never shall do it,—never!”

Tom had a remarkably smooth, soft voice, and a habitually respectful manner, that had given Legree an idea that he would be cowardly, and easily subdued.

Legree looked stupefied and confounded; but at last burst forth,—

“An’t I yer master? Didn’t I pay down twelve hundred dollars, cash, for all there is inside yer old cussed black shell? An’t yer mine, now, body and soul?” he said, giving Tom a violent kick with his heavy boot; “tell me!”

In the very depth of physical suffering, bowed by brutal oppression, this question shot a gleam of joy and triumph through Tom’s soul. He suddenly stretched himself up, and, looking earnestly to heaven, while the tears and blood that flowed down his face mingled, he exclaimed,

“No! no! no! my soul an’t yours, Mas’r! You haven’t bought it,—ye can’t buy it! It’s been bought and paid for, by one that’s able to keep it;—no matter, no matter, you can’t harm me!”

“I can’t!” said Legree, with a sneer; “we’ll see,—we’ll see! Here, Sambo, Quimbo, give this dog such a breakin’ in as he won’t get over this month!”

Two gigantic negroes that now laid hold of Tom, with fiendish exultation in their faces, might have formed no unapt personification of powers of darkness.

      *      *      *      *      *      

In the waste-room of the gin-house, lay Tom.

And Legree determined, if he could not subdue him by bullying, to defer his vengeance, to be wreaked in a more convenient season.

The solemn light of dawn—the angelic glory of the morning star—had looked in through the rude window of the shed where Tom was lying; and, as if descending on that star-beam, came the solemn words, “I am the root and offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” He did not know but that the day of his death was dawning in the sky; and his heart throbbed with solemn throes of joy and desire, as he thought that wondrous all, of which he had often pondered,—the great white throne, with its ever radiant rainbow; the white robed multitude, with voices as many waters; the crowns, the palms, the harps,—might all break upon his vision before that sun should set again. And, therefore, without shuddering or trembling, he heard the voice of his persecutor, as he drew near.

“Well, my boy,” said Legree, with a contemptuous kick, “how do you find yourself? Didn’t I tell yer I could larn yer a thing or two? How do yer like it,—eh? How did yer whaling agree with yer, Tom? An’t quite so crank as ye was last night. Ye couldn’t treat a poor sinner, now, to a bit of a sermon, could ye,—eh?”

Tom answered nothing.

“Get up,” said Legree, kicking him again.

This was a difficult matter for one so bruised and faint; and, as Tom made efforts to do so, Legree laughed brutally.

Tom by this time had gained his feet, and was confronting his master with a steady unmoved front.

“Now, Tom, get right down on yer knees and beg my pardon, for yer shines last night.”

“Mas’r Legree,” said Tom, “I can’t do it. I did only what I thought was right. I shall do just so again, if ever the time comes. I never will do a cruel thing, come what may. I know ye can do dreadful things, but,”—he stretched himself upward and clasped his hands,—“but, after ye’ve killed the body, there an’t no more ye can do. And O, there’s all eternity to come after that!

“Mas’r Legree, as ye bought me, I’ll be a true and faithful servant to ye. I’ll give ye all the work of my hands, all my time, all my strength; but my soul I won’t give up to mortal man. I will hold on to the Lord, and put his commands before all,—die or live; you may be sure on’t. Mas’r Legree, I an’t a grain afeard to die. I’d as soon die as not. Ye may whip me, starve me, burn me,—it’ll only send me sooner where I want to go.” . . .

Two of Legree’s slaves seized upon an opportunity to make their escape, and he determined to wreak his anger upon poor Tom; whom, he pretended to think, knew of their retreat.

“Now, Quimbo,” said Legree, as he stretched himself down in the sitting-room, “you jest go and walk that Tom up here, right away!”

Tom heard the message with a forewarning heart; for he knew all the plan of the fugitives’ escape, and the place of their present concealment;—he knew the deadly character of the man he had to deal with, and his despotic power. But he felt strong in God to meet death, rather than betray the helpless.

“Well, Tom!” said Legree, walking up, and seizing him grimly by the collar of his coat, and speaking through his teeth, in a paroxysm of determined rage, “do you know I’ve made up my mind to kill you?”

“It’s very likely, Mas’r,” said Tom, calmly.

“I have,” said Legree, with grim, terrible calmness, “done—just—that—thing, Tom, unless you’ll tell me what you know about these yer gals!”

Tom stood silent.

I han’t nothing to tell, Mas’r,” said Tom, with a slow, firm, deliberate utterance.

“Speak!” thundered Legree, striking him furiously. “Do you know anything?”

“I know, Mas’r; but I can’t tell anything. I can die!

“You’ve always stood it out agin’ me: now, I’ll conquer ye, or I’ll kill ye! one or t’ other. I’ll count every drop of blood there is in you, and take ’em, one by one, till ye give up!”

      *      *      *      *      *      

“He’s most gone, Mas’r,” said Sambo, touched, in spite of himself, by the patience of his victim.

“Pay away, till he gives up! Give it to him! give it to him!” shouted Legree. “I’ll take every drop of blood he has, unless he confesses!”

Tom opened his eyes, and looked upon his master. “Ye poor miserable critter!” he said, “there an’t no more ye can do! I forgive ye, with all my soul!” and he fainted entirely away.

“I b’lieve, my soul, he’s done for, finally,” said Legree, stepping forward to look at him. “Yes, he is! Well, his mouth’s shut up, at last,—that’s one comfort!”



Not only throughout Great Britain, but over the whole continent of Europe, the fame both of George Stephenson and his son, has been diffused and rendered lasting by works of almost imperishable magnificence and stability,—proud triumphs of engineering skill. See the tubular bridge at Conway, or the Britannia across the Menai Straits, with many others, too numerous to mention, besides the innumerable lines of railway projected or carried out by them, both at home and abroad. From Leopold of Belgium the elder Stephenson received the honour of knighthood, but neither fame nor wealth could ever sully the beautiful simplicity of character for which he was so remarkable.

His benevolence was universally felt and acknowledged. He resided principally in the neighbourhood of one of his extensive mines, where he employed upwards of one thousand labourers, and it was his greatest delight to superintend, or personally satisfy himself about their welfare and well-doing; in return, they looked up to him almost in the light of a father.

I have heard many amusing and interesting anecdotes of his benevolence of disposition, his child-like simplicity, his love of nature, which he kept untainted to the last, from the same gentleman before alluded to, who had the privilege of his friendship. He might well be called the “poor man’s friend.” Here where fuel is so easily obtained, and where the labourer rejoices in such liberal wages, a faint idea only can be formed of the privations of the poorer classes at home during a severe winter, where coal is so expensive. Acting with the true philanthropy of his nature, Mr. Stephenson set himself strenuously to oppose everything approaching to monopoly in the coal trade, and laboured hard and successfully in lowering the price of it by means of transportation by railway to the midland and southern counties of England. He was truly a public benefactor; no selfish views ever corroded his great undertakings; it was for public benefit he laboured, and that alone. Courted and flattered by the wealthy and the aristocracy of Britain, he nobly resisted any importunity or temptation to open a line on what he knew would prove a nonpaying route, though often urged by most plausible and powerful arguments from those who, not understanding the commercial policy of the country, or from some private motive, wished it carried in a certain direction.

His argument was ever, that no railway ought to be constructed that would not prove a public benefit to the country, or a sure and safe investment for capital. He was a strenuous opponent of competing lines, as destructive to public enterprise and welfare. Now that a railway era is dawning upon this colony, may his bright example influence those who have the direction of such important undertakings. Bitterly did he regret the numerous widows and orphans, reduced to poverty by the fathers of families, or the trustees investing money in a nonpaying line of railway.

Let us now once more follow him into private life, and see this great and good man there; still carrying out his schemes of benevolence and charity. Not only did he look after the general welfare of his labourers, but daily would he be seen visiting from door to door, making himself acquainted with the every day life of each family. The women hailed his appearance with joy; and pleasure beamed in the eyes of the children as they saw him approaching, each eager to catch his approving smile. Did any little disagreement occur in their respective homes, he had always a happy way of settling things in order again; and so much was he beloved and respected, that no admonition fell from his lips unheeded. On one occasion, observing a gloom depicted in the countenance of the wife of one of his best workmen, he asked her what was the matter?

“O, sir, I know you could make all right.”

“Well, Mary, tell me the trouble, and I’ll see what can be done; surely, you and John have not quarrelled?”

“O no, sir, he is the best of husbands; but he has taken to drinking, and I know not where it will end; if you would only speak to him; but please don’t let him know sir, as I told you.”

“No, no, Mary, leave that to me; I’ll see you again in a day or two.”

When John came home to his dinner the next day, Mr. Stephenson walked in.

“Well, John, I have a little matter to talk over with you.”

“What is it, please sir?”

“Why, you have always yet pleased me; but I hear you have been paying visits lately at the public house yonder; now, John, you have a happy home and good wife, don’t throw those blessings away, and let this be the last time I hear of this.”

The advice was magical, and John and his Mary looked happy as ever, and many a silent prayer did she breathe for him who had stood between her and sorrow.

In this quiet way, many a house owed its home happiness to his kind and judicious interference.

It was a treat to see him throwing off all his cares (with so many interests at stake, how great they must have been) and giving himself up with true zeal and delight, to the innocent recreations of country life. He had a vast collection of pets—dogs, horses, birds, &c.; and he enjoyed finding bird’s nests, not to take, but to watch over and protect them from being taken. Every creature that came within his reach, felt the power of his benevolent heart. The mantle of the father, has indeed descended on the son, and his presence in Canada will be hailed with sincere and heartfelt pleasure.

C. H., Rice Lake.



All wept and sorrow’d o’er the early bier

Of Jairus’ daughter, when the Lord drew near,

And moved with a divine compassion said,

“Mourn not in hopeless anguish for the maid,

She doth but slumber.” Then the faithless crowd

Expressed their scorn and unbelief aloud—

Pointed the marbled brow and rayless eyes,

And cried, “Shall yon unconscious clay arise

At thy behest? And shall unconquered Death

Resign his spoil, and bow thy power beneath.”

So spoke the scoffers, but the maiden’s hand

The Saviour took, and at his high command

And thrilling touch, the spirit lately fled

Returns once more, and she the newly dead

In whose cold breast each pulse had ceased to beat,

Where neither breath remained nor vital heat,

Feels the immediate presence and the might

Of the all powerful source of life and light;

At whose creative word existence flowed,

Who now restores the being he bestowed

And death’s pale captive, wakening at his word,

Burst the grim tyrant’s chain, to glorify the Lord.


With this number closes the First Volume of the “Maple Leaf.” We look back upon the past with thankfulness, and forward to the future with hope. The Magazine has attained a large circulation for the time, and we trust, by increasing attention to the Editorial work, and suitable co.operation in the printing department, it will gain a large accession of friends.

It has preserved from the commencement its distinguishing features—its Canadian characteristics. We have felt that a proper attention to the interesting traits of the country would render it entertaining and useful; these we shall continue to develop by description, accompanied, when practicable, with cuts. Our talented contributors Mrs. Traill and Mrs. Hayward, will continue their pleasant articles, while other native writers have kindly promised the assistance of their pens. We shall now send the July number to all who take the Magazine, with the request that it may be carefully examined, and, if possible, retained.

The first year of any work is the year of difficulty and trial above all others. The “Maple Leaf” has gained a position; and it remains to be seen whether a native work will be sustained, so that it may be improved, and embellish it as it deserves. We ought to have a literature decidedly national but Canada will not take her place, in this respect, with other countries, until she endeavors to foster and extend native productions with genuine zeal. Many periodicals which have been projected here, have failed for the want of that interest in their success which they needed, and one after another have been discontinued, and their places supplied with foreign publications! The expense of a small periodical is great. The subscriber who reads each number, and quietly criticises this fault, or dissects that sentence; sees one cut too dark, another too coarse; finds the paper execrable, and the whole number wanting in taste, little dreams of the amount of money and toil that one issue has cost; or how gladly every error would be avoided for the future, if large subscription lists and prompt payments would furnish the means. Money almost can do everything. It can import paper from abroad when there is none at home, and by offering large inducements, secure elegant engravings, perfect typography and entertaining articles; and hurrying all forward, send forth a Magazine creditable in every respect to the country. This we will do as soon as possible—in the mean time comfort ourselves with the reflection that all great enterprises require time to mature them.

We shall be glad to receive articles intended for the “Maple Leaf” early in each month. They should reach Montreal generally on the 10th.

Attention is called to the Prospectus of the Magazine which appears on the inside of the cover.

      *      *      *      *      *      

Lines on a Church-yard are in type, and will appear in our next number.


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. 6 June 1853 by Eleanor H. Lay]