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The Gentleman Emigrant
The Cleared Farm


EIGHTEEN months have well nigh elapsed since the day npon which we bid our immigrants farewell on the wharf at Montreal, and we are about to pay the long-promised visits. Our married friend has purchased a superior two hundred and fifty acre farm in Canada West. Coelebs, after much wandering about, has built him a wigwam in the backwoods of Nova Scotia. It is to him of the snug farmhouse and broad acres that our visit shall first be paid.

A glorious winter’s morning, bright, clear, frosty—such a winter’s morning as can only be seen in the Western hemisphere—finds us at the Rome railway station; not Rome the Eternal, but Rome, New York State. The resplendent sunshine, the azure sky, the rapid motion through the pure, crisp air, and the merry tinkle of the sleigh-bells (we have sleighed fifteen miles or more) have altogether caused such an exuberance of spirits that even the surly clerk in the booking-office, and the Irish Yankee gentleman, who, with ill-disguised repugnance, shoulders the Britisher’s baggage, seem amiable in our eyes. With fur cap, the lappets drawn over the ears, a bear-skin coat, and great fur-lined thigh boots, we might be bound to the North Pole instead of to Canada West. But on this self-same line, not very many years ago, we were jammed for ten mortal hours in a snow-drift, and we come prepared for the worst.

“All aboard there! all aboard!!” Up we jump; our driver shakes us cordially by the hand, and wishes us a good time the bell rings, the engine bellows, and we are off. Bravely we rattle with ever-increasing noise, and jolt out of the dep6t, through the streets of Home, and into the open snow-enshrouded country. The cars are crowded, for it is Christmastime, and toilers from many a busy, overcrowded city are making holiday, and on their way to visit the “Old Folks at Home.” Very different are the generality of them from the loud-talking, inquisitive, irrepressible Yankee of our London stage. Taciturn, reserved, melancholy rather than vivacious, the men are eagerly devouring the last sensational article in Herald or Tribune, the women chewing spruce-gum, or candy. There is little talk, less laughter.

Here comes that American institution, the itinerant newspaper-boy. How methodically the rascal goes to work. An English lad would address each passenger in succession, and it would be three hours before he had completed his round. Not so our Yankee friend. He walks briskly up the car, distributing Harpers and Leslies as he advances. Look at the illustrations if you like ; take the paper, or leave it; it is a free country; if you don’t want it some one else does. Be careful not to tear or crumple it—that is all he asks you. In ten minutes he makes his reappearance, receives the money from those who buy, the papers from those who don’t—his first round is completed.

Here he comes again—this time laden with magazines and novels suited to every taste, and ranging from Adam Bede to Binaldo the Bloodthirsty, a Tale of the Caribbean Seas. What a roaring trade he does. Blessed if he doesn’t sell more in ten minutes than would he of the bookstall at Crewe in the twenty-four hours. Verily a reading people are the Americans ; and if there were only a copyright treaty between England and the United States, right lucrative would be the vocation of author.

Close upon the heels of the bookseller and newsman comes the vendor of goodies, whose trade is apparently rather the brisker of the two —the contents of his tray proving sufficiently tempting to many of the men, and perfectly irresistible to the women and children. Candy! lozenges!! popped corn!!! Not if we know it, friend. Sell thy wares to those whose digestive organs are already so impaired that a little dyspepsia more or less is a matter of no consequence. Despite backwoods fare—despite pork and sass, pork and beans, pork and molasses, hot bread, hot slap-jacks, hot johnny-cake, pumpkin-pie, mince pie, lemon pie, green tea, and “forty-rod,” we have, thank Providence, some little gastric juice left.

Ding-dong-ding-dong-ding-dong! how we do bump and thump to be sure over the badly laid road! The engine-driver’s sweetheart must surely be a “ Buffalo girl,” and awaiting him; for by “Appleton’s Railway Guide” the train is not more than half an hour behind time—an event to be remembered. Past many a frozen lake and ice-bound river, over crossings where huge signboards with the notice “When the bell rings, look out for the locomotive,” do duty for signal-men; across bridges so frail of construction that it makes one wink to look at them; through snow-drift tunnel and cutting, until, amidst much bell-ringing and bellowing, the train runs into the station, where dinner is prepared for the hungry traveller.-

Having long since cast aside our insular ceremoniousness, out we jump before the train has come to a standstill, and, by dint of much pushing and elbowing and scrambling, succeed in securing a place at the table. By forking a piece here, pouncing on a dish there, and apostrophizing the waitresses, whose duties are apparently confined to giggling and collecting the money, we manage to eke out a meal, and, much the better for it, continue our journey. But our satisfaction is of short duration. What with the hearty dinner we have eaten, the heat of the stove, the closeness of the atmosphere, and the vibration of the car, we are soon completely overpowered, and fall into that most horrible of all sleeps—a sleep in an American railway carriage. Do what we will, we can’t shake off our drowsiness; and without any support for our throbbing head, we doze and nod and start, until, upon some one opening the door, our ear catches a muffled sound; we listen, and recognise the distant thunder of Niagara. In another fifteen minutes we are across the bridge, and once again in British territory.

It may be imagination, but we fancy that we can already detect a difference in the general appearance of our fellow-passengers—that the men are shorter and broader built, the women plumper and rosier. Their style of dress is certainly different. Across the frontier chimney-pot hats, Melton or beaver overcoats, bonnets, and mantles were most in vogue; here fur caps, frieze, and homespun dreadnoughts, hats with “clouds” drawn over them, and stout Scotch plaids. That in our eyes they should seem a more prepossessing race is only natural—are they not our own people? And so we speed along, none the less cheerily that we are over the border.

It is ten o’clock before the train reaches the “way”-station, where we are to descend; but, late though it be, Benedict, scarcely recognisable in his hooded fur coat, is there to meet us. How hearty is his welcome; how cordial the grasp of his hand; how afraid he was that we had broken down or stuck fast in a snow-drift; how long we have been in fulfilling our promise; how delighted the better-half will be to see us! Surely never is our old-fashioned English greeting half so cheering as when it is given in a far country.

We have a six-mile drive before us; but it is bright moonlight, and the ponies will cover the distance under forty minutes. We jump into the sleigh, bury ourselves beneath a pile of buffalo-robes, the ponies are given their heads, and off we dash at a tremendous pace over the hard smooth road.

“A fine night, isn’t it?” observes Benedict, as he gives the near pony a touch with the whip. A fine night! Had the rascal been raised in Paradise instead of in murky, foggy England, he could not possibly speak of the weather with more supreme indifference. Pine, indeed! It is glorious! Sublime!! Transcendental!!! Of how deep a violet is that vault above us, how silvery the moonlight, how exhilarating the pure frosty air! Just look how the snow sparkles, how gracefully those pines are bending beneath their loads of hoar-frost, how those huge fantastic icicles flash as we flit past! If he cannot find a better word than fine to express all that, he has no poetry in his composition.

Friend Benedict hastens to assure us that, although no poet, he can thoroughly appreciate it all, and grows quite enthusiastic on the subject of sleighing—sleighing by daylight, sleighing by moonlight, sleighing by torchlight—until, in the midst of it all, we turn in at an open gateway, and the white farmhouse, with its barns and outbuildings, stands before us. The vigilant watch-dog hears the bells, and rushes to meet us, heralding our approach with prolonged barkings; shutters are opened, a curtain is drawn aside, the bright firelight comes streaming forth, casting a ruddy glow on the snow-covered ground, and, as we pull up at the door, we perceive the pleasant English face of our friend’s wife smiling us a welcome through the frosty window-panes. More hearty greetings and hand-shakings, ten minutes’ thaw before the blazing wood fire, and we sit down to supper.

A woman’s hand, and that a cunning one, is everywhere visible—in the graceful folds of the window-curtains, in the simple, yet artistic arrangement of the furniture, in the laying out of the table and sideboard. We are in a Canadian farmhouse; but for any difference we can see in the dining-room and its appointments, we might be in an English villa. Snowy damask table-linen, well-cleaned plate, glass, china, everything, to the moderateur lamp and the Christmas holly and ivy, or their Canadian substitutes, are there before us. The fare is excellent, and mostly home raised. Mrs. B. it was who spiced the round, and, what is more, cooked it. The ham before us is of her own curing, and every other edible on the table of her own preparing, except the pickles. Crosse and Blackwell’s pickles are so cheap, she confidentially tells us, that home-made pickles are hardly an economy, unless indeed it be red cabbage. The spiced round, and the ham, and the pickles, and .the well-flavoured cheese, and the home-made bread, are washed down with very fair table-beer, and, supper over, our hostess retires, having first put us on our parole not to smoke more than two pipes, nor drink more than one glass of toddy. We repair to Benedict’s den, a cosy little room at the back of the house, where guns, fishing-rods, gaffs, and landing-nets are suspended against the walls, where there is a table strewed with churchwardens, cutties, and venerable meerschaums, and where there are two very comfortable arm-chairs and a roaring fire. We drink the stipulated tumbler of punch, smoke our calumets of good fellowship, and then to bed.

“Remember,” says Benedict, as he wishes us good night, “that this is Liberty Hall, and that you can have your breakfast at whatever hour you may feel inclined. But it may be as well to tell you that we keep fashionable hours just now. Late we turn in, late we turn out. In the summer, when there is work to be done, we rise and go to bed with the sun.”

Our bedroom is the very picture of comfort. Although the furniture is the reverse of costly, everything is good of its kind, and in perfect harmony. There are a bright Kidderminster carpet; a little iron and brass bedstead, with gay chintz hangings; window-curtains to match ; a chest of drawers, painted maple; a toilet table, with oval glass; a marble-topped washstand; a table; an easy chair; two cane ditto; and an open stove, in which a bright fire is burning. It is long past midnight, and high time that we were between the sheets; but the fire looks so inviting, that we draw the arm-chair before it, and seating ourselves American fashion—i.e., head thrown back and heels on the top of the stove—think over the events of the day.

From what we have as yet seen, Benedict might have gone further and fared worse. He is certainly an exile, but a voluntary one. There is a good deal in that. He might have remained in England had he so desired. That it is possible to live respectably, and to bring up a family on the interest of five thousand pounds, we are aware, for we have seen it repeatedly asserted in the papers. We should not like particularly to make the experiment, but it is highly satisfactory to know that it can be done. Supposing that he had remained in England, what then ? With a wife and three children, and every prospect of a still further increase to his family, what sort of an “establishment” would he have been able to keep up? After paying house-rent, rates, taxes, servants’ wages, tradesmen’s bills, schooling, how much would there have been remaining for the menus plaisirs of himself and Mrs. B.? How about the ponies ? How about sleighing by moonlight ? those pleasure trips to Niagara and the Thousand Islands ? those shooting excursions to Long Point and Eire Lake, which are now laid down in the yearly programme? Very little pleasuring, we fancy, for those worthy gentlemen who in England manage to live respectably and to bring up a family on two hundred or two hundred and fifty pounds a year. Their ponies’ shank’s-mare, their outings, a “Saturday return” to the nearest watering place, their hunting, seeing the hounds throw off; or a tramp over field and fallow in the wake of the coursers.

In England how truly pitiable is the position of the poor gentleman, more especially if he be a married man. That he should be obliged to live in a very humble way, and to look twice at every sixpence before spending it, is nothing. It is the indignity to which his poverty subjects him, the constant dread of being thought mean, that makes his life a burden to him. Genteel poverty is very thin-skinned; those little impertinences which Dives would pass over with a quiet chuckle, make Impecuniosus wince and redden with shame and anger. The polite indifference of the tradesmen with whom he deals, the conttemptuous smile of the waiter, as he pockets the proffered fourpence or sixpence, the vacant stare of understrappers and hirelings, whose civility is dependent on the amount of the “tip,” all wound him to the very quick. There are many vulnerable points in the Englishman’s harness, but what he most dreads is to be thought poor. Poverty is a misfortune in every land; in England it is worse than a misfortune, it is a disgrace. By emigrating, Benedict has escaped all the horrors of genteel poverty. In England his was, at the best, a from hand to mouth existence. If he could make both ends meet, it was all—nothing was laid by for the children. Quarter-day came round, and the little accounts came with it. Hardly was the money drawn ere it was expended. Butcher, baker, grocer, all presented their bills with a punctuality truly aggravating. Every ring at the bell was the death knell of another crisp banknote or bright sovereign. It was the tax-collector, or the man about the gas, or the gentleman for the church-rate. Now all is changed. Quarter-day has no terrors. Everything being purchased for cash, there are no little bills coming in. The taxesare so insignificant, that they are unworthy a thought; and Benedict, instead of bringing home his quarterly dividends in his pocket, and storing them away in his desk until wanted, as in the olden time, now keeps his banker’s account, and fills up his cheques like a nabob. Above all, his life is no longer an aimless one ; he is providing for his children. Let him work never so hard, his labours are light to what they were in England; for the hardest of all hard work is that performed by the poor gentleman when killing time. Idleness may be delightful to the enervated Italian, and to the dreamy Moslem; it is not suited to the temperament of the Anglo-Saxon. To him labour that is voluntary labour is not a curse, but a blessing. Wonder if Benedict views matters in the same light that we do; if he and Mrs. B. are glad they emigrated; if they are happy and contented with their lot! Well, we shall know more about it to-morrow.

Another splendid morning, but not so fine that we care to accept the offer of the lady who, knocking at our door, demands, in a rich Hibernian accent, if she “will bring a pail of cowld wather for the sponge-bath.” We are English, it is true, but not so very English that we cannot dispense with our tub when the thermometer is some twenty degrees below freezing.

On descending to the dining-room, we find our .hostess in a terrible flutter. She tells us that Bridget (probably she of the cowld wather) has been very saucy indeed, and has given notice to quit. Bridget makes the fourth servant who has given notice in the twelve months. The poor woman tries hard to speak unconcernedly, but her voice is husky from suppressed emotion, and the tears glisten in her eyelashes. We try to impart comfort. A really good servant is not to found now-a-days. Servants are the greatest plague in life, and nowhere more so than in England. They are lazy, vain, impertinent, slatternly, thievish. There is no such thing as gratitude in their composition. They can’t bear to be spoken to; they are above their work, are always finding fault with their food; they, grumble at their wages. They are confirmed tipplers; they are novel-readers; they will no longer wear caps; they crimp their hair and wear chignons. We can think of nothing more horrible or we would willingly say it. We look at our hostess, hoping to see her smile, but her face is as rigid as that of the Sphinx.

“I could endure all that,” she hisses; “everything but familiarity. I could forgive laziness, impertinence, fine ladyism; but familiarity— never!” Mrs. B. brings out the never with an emphasis that is startling. Had we not seen it with our own eyes, we could never have believed her capable of such an exhibition of temper. Her eyes flash, her cheeks are flushed, her nostrils are dilated. By Jove! if Mistress Bridget were to make her appearance just now we would not answer for the consequences.

“Would an English servant, Mr. S.,” she passionately continues, “speak to her mistress without saying Mam? Would an English servant dare to address her mistress by her Christian name or by her surname? Would you believe that I had a minx of an American woman who had the audacity to call me Mabel, and another old hag of the same nationality who used to ‘ my dear’ and ‘ my love’ me ? The most respectful will only so far condescend as to address her employer by her surname. ‘ There is a man in the parlour who wants to see you, Mrs. Benedict; ‘I must go into X-to-morrow, Mrs. Benedict; ‘I am going into the village, Mrs. Benedict.’ As to asking permission, it is a thing they never dream of. I used to laugh when I read those stories of American servantgirlism, how Hephzibah would ask for the use of the drawing-room to receive her friends, and how Kitty would stipulate for one day a week entirely to herself, with liberty to entertain her friends in the kitchen. I didn’t believe one word of it then; I can believe it all now. What do you think that wretch, Bridget, said to me just now, when I observed to her that it was high time that the breakfast was ready? ‘ Don’t fly into a passion, Mrs. Benedic; it ain’t lady-loike.’ They say that good servants are to be found in the province; I wish I could find one. There seems to be but two classes to choose from, and it is difficult to say which is the worst. There is the native help ’ and the imported Biddy. The first knows her work and does it, but her pretension is past belief, and she requires to be treated with the most distinguished consideration. The second is as helpless as a child. She is ignorant of American ways, of American houses, of American stoves, of American cookery; when she gets her hand in Canada isn’t good enough for her, and off she trots to the United States. How I shall ever manage to get along, I know not. Had I not three children to look after, I would do all the house-work myself, and never engage another servant as long as I remained in the country.” On leaving the house to take a stroll round the premises, our host observes, apologetically, that his wife is sadly out of sorts, but that it is no wonder, she is plagued to death with her servants. We express, as in duty bound, our sympathy; but we hasten to turn the conversation. Time enough to offer an opinion when we have acquired a thorough knowledge of the “situation.” Anything more unlike an old-fashioned English homestead than our friend’s farm could not well be imagined. The house and outbuildings, although admirably adapted to the requirements of the country, are very far from being' picturesque. The house—a two-storied frame one—has no pretensions to architectural design, being nothing more than an oblong structure, with a door in the centre and four windows on either side; just the sort of tea canister that a child would draw on his slate to represent the “house that Jack built.” White as paint can make it, it offers a marked contrast to the barns in the background, which, for economy’s sake, perhaps, have been painted black. Seen against the snow, house and offices have now a hard, stiff appearance which is not pleasing to the eye. Those mellow tints, those greys and drabs and greens and russets, which add so much to the picturesqueness of the old English grange, are missing. All is white and black—black and white—with the exception of one dreadful outhouse, which is painted a bright red. At this season of the year it is difficult to say how the place looks in summer; but we are inclined to think sufficiently cheerful. Unlike the generality of American farms here, a certain amount of taste is visible. Everything has not been sacrificed on the shrine pf the almighty dollar. Not only is there a large kitchen garden and well-stocked orchard, but a flower garden likewise; whilst trees having no marketable value, locusts, elms, and weeping-willows have been planted for the sake of shade.

“Looking at the trees?” asks Benedict. “In summer they add considerably to the appearance of the place; but all the planting in the world wouldn’t make a Canadian farm look cheerful in the winter. Let us go into the barn.”

Benedict is an Englishman, and therefore a grumbler; but what he has just said is true enough. It would take a deal of planting to make a Canadian farm look cheerful in the month of December.

There is not much doing on the farm just now. Ploughing will not commence before the end of April; the wheat has been thrashed out and sent to market; there is no more land to clear, nor fencing needed, and the duties of the hired man and the chore-boy are at present confined to feeding the horses, the pigs, and some ten head of cattle, to chopping wood, and carrying water for the household. In England, the farmer has occupation the whole year round ; for it must indeed be a severe winter which brings all farm work to a standstill. There is manure to be carted, or hurdles to be mended, or hedging, or something else to be done when the ground is too hard or too wet for ploughing. Not so in the Canadas. Unless he have a dairy farm, or beasts to fatten from the middle of November until the beginning of April, the life of the Canadian farmer is, so far as farming is concerned, a blank. When at home, his time is divided between the stables and the house, for his fields are covered with snow, and a stroll round *the farm is out of the question. Unless he be an intellectual man, having resources in himself—if he cannot find amusement in reading, or drawing, or music—he must needs follow the example of his neighbours, and pass away the time in gadding and gabbing. The employment of the ordinary American farmer during the winter months consists in eating, sleeping, and “gassing.” Whilst farmer Giles is in the twenty-acre field superintending the draining, or seeing that the ploughmen do their work properly, our American friend, seated before a red-hot stove in the village store or tavern, is giving his opinion of men, women, and things in general to a tobacco-chewing, stick-whittling audience. For four months out of the twelve the tavern or store, but more especially the store, is his club, where he talks politics and scandal; that is, always supposing him to be the owner of a cleared farm. To the backwoods farmer winter brings no repose. With him it is the busiest season. There is land to clear, fencing to split, firewood to haul, and, above all, the teaming to be got through with before the spring thaws make the roads impassable. If he be not a drone, the time never hangs heavily upon his hands. From the first of January to the thirty-first of December each day has its allotted task; and in this respect, if in nothing else, he has the pull of his brother settler of the cleared farm. Four months’ slack time, instead of being an advantage to the Canadian farmer, is, on the contrary, one of the most Serious evils against which he has to contend.

“No smoking allowed on the premises.” cries Benedict, as he throws open the doors of the barn. “Everything is of wood, and a spark from your pipe would set the place ablaze in a jiffy. There! what do you think of my farming gear? Pray observe that everything is of the very best quality, and of the newest and most approved build. Seth Jackson, from whom I purchased the place, wanted me to take his live stock and farming tackle at a valuation; but I respectfully declined. I had gained some little experience of the country in my six months’ bobbing around, and had learned, amongst other things, never to consider the cost of any new invention if time and labour could be saved by the use of it. Seth gave me his account-books before leaving, and when the year’s work was over I had the curiosity to compare his labour account with my own. Will you believe it ? I was to windward of him by upwards of fifty pounds, and all through using those American patents yonder. Allowing fifteen per cent, for wear and tear, 50/. represents a sunk capital of 350/. They did not cost me more than two-thirds of that sum; so there is a clear gain to begin with. But there is another calculation to be made. Hereabouts we do things on the reciprocity principle, and help one another in the busy season. I lend neighbour Wilson my reaper and threshing machine; he lends me his boys. In this way fully one-half the interest on sunk capital is recouped; add the interest on the amount I should have had to pay Master Seth for his rubbish, and you will find that my gains do not fall short of fifty pounds annually. But not only is money saved; there is anxiety. By the use of these machines, I am in a measure independent of help, and have the satisfaction of feeling that I am not altogether at the mercy of a lot of impudent harvestmen. That reaper, with two horses and a driver, represents a dozen men armed with scythes and sickles; that thresher does more in the day than would a regiment of flail-swinging Paddies. The Mickeys and Biddys of the Canadas and United States have been of this much service: they have by their impudence and ignorance sharpened the inventive faculties of the Yankee. Driven to desperation by bad servants, the American bethought . him how he could dispense with their assistance ; and the result has been hundreds of labour-saving machines, which else had never been invented. My wife says that for newfangled inventions I am a very Yankee; and she is right. I never hear of an improved plough, or harrow, or cultivator, without going and having a look at it. I am always glad to see the pedler of Yankee notions, and ready to overhaul his wares. Has he an improved washing and wringing machine, I buy it. My wife tells me the one we have will do well enough. My answer is, this will do better; it saves soap and labour, and will be sure to pay for itself in time. Is it an improved potato-parer he has for sale—a cucumber slicer—an egg-beater—I invest. They may only save a few minutes’ labour each time they are used; but minutes a day are hours a month, days in the year, and time is money.

“Now come and have a look at the beasts. I have only a few, but there isn’t a bad one amongst them. Without being fancy articles, they are A 1 of their kind. I could have purchased Seth’s cows for a little over one-half what I gave for these. I wouldn’t take them at any price. If it doesn’t pay to have old-fashioned farming gear, still less does it pay to have poor stock. In a country where beasts have to be stall-fed for five months out of the twelve, to make any profit from them, they must be good milkers. A little butter more or less a week don’t much signify, my neighbours tell me; I think otherwise. There is just the difference between feeding at a profit and feeding at a loss. .My cows may only average one pound a week more than theirs during the summer months, but that one pound makes all the difference. It enables me to give them during the winter months more food than my neighbours can afford to give theirs. By feeding them better I get more butter from them at a time when butter is dear, and, being in good condition, when they are turned out to grass in the spring I can depend upon having their full yield of milk weeks before farmer Brown’s ‘keows’ have recovered the flesh they have lost in the winter. There is, however, no doubt that Canadian farmers are beginning slowly to find out that beasts from imported stock, Devons and Durhams, although higher priced, are the cheapest in the end; and the time is possibly not far distant when there will be no longer a trace of the old breed remaining.’’

“And what did you give for your farm?” “Two thousand five hundred pounds; but pray don’t run away with the idea that I made a wonderful bargain. I did nothing of the sort. Two thousand five hundred pounds for house, barns, and two hundred and fifty acres of land sounds very cheap, but the sound is the best part about it. I have heard it stated that any man farming the same quantity of fair land in England ought to be able to make a comfortable living, plus 5 per cent, interest on capital invested. If I am able to do the same I shall consider myself fortunate. I very much doubt if old Jackson made more than a bare living, but then his farming was execrable. I don’t know much about it myself, but in comparison to him I am a prize medallist. I have good live stock, improved labour, saving machines, and I know the value of manure, which he didn’t; but for all that I •cannot see my way to making more than a com-

fortable living and pay five per cent, on sunk capital. If land is cheap labour is high and produce low, the one balances the other; and if a fortune is not to be made in England by farming it most assuredly cannot be done in Canada "West. It is certainly pleasanter to farm one’s own land than to be a mere tenant, but when one sees the class of men that represent the landed gentry of the country one’s satisfaction is but half complete. Take my neighbour, Mr. Patrick Heffernan, for example. He farms twice the quantity of land that I do, and yet thirty years ago he landed in Quebec an ignorant bog-trotting Irishman, without a coat to his back or a, shoe to his foot. He considers himself my social equal—my superior so far as wealth is concerned; taps me familiarly on the shoulder, and calls me ‘Binedic.’ Can you be surprised that the gilding is already off the gingerbread, and that our dreams of Arcadia have long since vanished into thin air? I do not mean to say that all our neighbours are like Paddy Heffernan, but there are sufficient of his stamp to make it excessively disagreeable. So far as I individually am concerned the pretensions and impertinences of these upstarts amuse rather than annoy me; but there is my wife, I cannot permit them to patronize her. Meeting Paddy.

That on the neutral ground of Anderson’s store is one thing, having Mrs. Paddy or Mrs. Mickey in one’s drawing-room is another. The pleasure of their company to dinner or to a little evening party never having been once requested since the day we entered into possession, they consider themselves aggrieved, and show their spite by spreading injurious reports respecting us. They might say what they liked and welcome were it not that for some time past they have been endeavouring to enlist the sympathies of those with whom we would willingly be on terms of intimacy, and with some degree of success we have reason to believe; for although the Clergyman, the Doctor, the Lawyer, and all men of their class, can perfectly understand our feelings and secretly approve our conduct, they are afraid to do so openly. They are altogether dependent on the townsfolk and neighbouring farmers for their bread and butter, and were they to say or do anything displeasing to their respective parishioners, patients, or clients they might as well shut up shop, their occupations would be gone from that hour. It is interest versus equity, and interest carries the day. I don’t blame them in the least, but is not such a state of things detestable ? Since we discovered which way the wind blew we have kept ourselves to ourselves. We are on friendly but not on intimate terms with all the notabilities of X-.

We pay them an occasional visit, and once every three months give an evening party, to which they are all, without exception, invited. The only people with whom we are really intimate are a couple of English families, who, like ourselves, have purchased land in the district. Whenever we can spare the time we drive over, and spend a day or two with them ; they do the same, and in this way we manage, in spite of Heffernan & Co., to have a little agreeable society. Were it not for the Heffemans and the servants we should get along pretty smoothly. We are not likely to make a fortune, but we live comfortably, and manage to lay by a little for the children. During the spring and summer months I shall always find plenty of occupation on the farm,, and each autumn, after the crops are harvested, we purpose taking a month’s holiday. In the winter we shall subscribe to a score of magazines, and amuse ourselves with reading. If the existence has not proved so enchanting as from the descriptions of colonial romancists we had been led to suppose, it might be infinitely worse;, and there is some consolation in that. Come, what say you to a drive as far as X-?”

Twenty minutes bring us to the village, which Benedict calls derisively “ the city.” There is nothing very remarkable about the place;. it is a Canadian village, and when the snow is on the ground one Canadian village presents pretty much the same appearance as another. The main street is nothing more than the main road, with buildings dropped haphazard along it. There is no attempt at uniformity. Every man has built his house or his store to suit his own convenience, without caring a rap for appearances. A glance .at the place, and you have its history.

When the district was first settled, the crossroad yonder was considered the best site for the “skule-house,” and there it was built accordingly. The presence of a school-house betokens children, children parents, parents horses and bullocks. Horses and bullocks must be shod, and so the blacksmith set up his forge alongside the school-house. Where a blacksmith can make a living, .a wheelwright ought not to starve. That individual who is examining the broken .sled on the opposite side of the street to the school-house, was the next to put in an appearance. Where there is a smithy and a wheelwright’s shop, men do congregate; where men do congregate, they trade, especially in America. There was a first-rate opening for a smart storekeeper. Hiram Anderson, across the way, was that man; we can tell that by the position of his store; it is the best site in the village. In an American village store lollipops are sold. Lollipops give grown-up people dyspepsia, and children the belly-ache. Dyspeptic patients and children with the belly-ache require the doctor. Dr. M'Gregor, Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, made his appearance on the scene, and hung out his shingle. Land was cheaper then than it is now; he bought an acre lot, and built his residence as a M.B.C.S.E. should do, away back from the village. That accounts for all those trees in the centre of the main street. Dr. M‘Gr. was the first gentleman to settle in X-A community that boasts a doctor for the cure of poor mortal bodies ought not to be without a minister for the cure of immortal souls. The Reverend Boanerges found his way to the “Corners/5 and there being no inn, billeted himself on the faithful, we may be sure, until they had built him a house and a church worthy of his eloquence. There is the church, large enough to accommodate twice the population of the .place, and that, if we are not greatly mistaken, is the manse, for it seems to be the most pretentious house in the village. If the builder’s little account has been settled in full, he is a lucky man. Where there is Episcopacy there is pretty sure to be dissent. The Baptists of the district had just as much right to be saved as the Episcopalians; they, too, must have their meeting-house and a minister, and Brother Dipper was invited to become the shepherd of the little flock. Again the hat went round. All good men and true, not Episcopalians, were pressed into the service of the Church, and in due course that Baptist meeting-house with its extinguisher confronted the Protestant spire. Let men once begin to argue about their respective creeds, and there forthwith arises envy, hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness. Their differences are of altogether too serious a nature to be referred to a mutual friend; it is in a court of justice that they must be settled. Boanerges and Dipper, once fairly established in the village, a lawyer came, as a matter of course. He came in the person of John Robinson, Esquire, barrister and attorney-at-law. We are convinced of this important fact by his having the fourth best location. First come first served. The other lawyer has his office, we observe, at the extreme end of the village.

To attempt by further inference to follow the growth and progress of X-would be waste of time. Its subsequent history may be summed up in one word—competition. It was competition that brought the second doctor and the second

lawyer, and the third parson. It was competition that built another church and another schoolhouse, when the place was more than -amply provided with schools and churches. It was the fierce spirit of competition that made a dozen men open a dozen stores, when there was only sufficient business to keep one half the number a-going. It is excessive competition that has made it what Benedict describes it to be—a town with all the disadvantages of a village—a village with none of the advantages of a town.

We pull up at the door of the inn, or rather of the hotel, for we perceive by the signboard that it is nothing less than the Mansion House. In England it would have been the Sun, or the Wheat Sheaf, or the Bed Lion; but our old-fashioned signs are not in vogue in America; they are low, shockingly low and vulgar. There •are no inns, still less taverns—great and small, •they are either “Hotels” or .“Houses.” The Mansion House is not a very cheerful-looking hostelry; the doors are closed, the blinds down, little or no smoke is issuing from the chimney— nothing is there suggestive of Christmas cheer, or a hearty welcome. It makes one cold even to look at it. Benedict says it is a temperance house, and we believe him. Just the sort of place that honest Jack Falstaff would, were he alive, and a citizen of X-go half a mile round to avoid seeing. No taking his ease there; no> burnt sack; no mulled ale; nothing to wash, down his pennorth of bread, but tea, or more horrible still, cold water.

“Will we step in whilst he runs across to the post-office for his letters and papers?”

Not if we know it; we much prefer paying* Mr. Hiram Anderson a visit; there is certain to. be a fire in his establishment, and we shall there see the “folk.”

That the folk are very anxious to see us is plain. There is a perfect pyramid of faces in Anderson’s window, and as we open the door a great shuffling of feet, as when schoolboys are surprised by the sudden entrance of the master. We are the first to break the awful silence which ensues.

“Has he, the storekeeper, a jack-knife that will do for cutting tobacco?”

“Oh yes! plenty of them and then, without a pause, come a volley of questions and. answers in the same breath; for friend Anderson, is a Yankee, and a garrulous one to boot. “ We are the gentleman staying down to Benedict’s farm P Thought so. Saw us passing awhile ago. in his 4 cutter/ Clever man Benedict; fine woman Mrs. Benedict; clever too. Good farm that. of Benedict’s—got it cheap from old Seth.”

A voice—“That’s so.”

“Going to settle in the neighbourhood?' Only on a visit? Well, we might do worse-than follow our friend’s example, buy a farm, and settle down. Plenty of good farms to be had.”

A voice—“He could buy Zoe Durkey’s farm cheaper nor Benedict bought his’n.”

Another voice—“That’s so.”

Have some business, maybe? No? Doesn’t, so much mean business as profession. We are a, lawyer or a doctor? Strange! Would have taken us for a doctor by our appearance. Our first visit to America? Our fifth ! Sakes alive! we must be fond of travelling. Come for gunnin’' or fishin’, belikes? Guessed as much. Not much gunnin’ or fishin’ just now; must wait a spell. No doubt intend remaining until the spring? Only for a month! Well-” Here the appearance of Benedict on the scene puts a stop to all further cross-examination. But Master Anderson has made the most of his time. In less than three minutes he has learnt sufficient to enable him to compile our history. To-night the story of our life from year to year-wili be the topic of conversation at every tea-table in the place ; by to-morrow the good people of it will know more about us, and our affairs, than we do ourselves. The reason of our -visit to Benedict will furnish forth ample matter for debate at every social gathering for the next six weeks.

Whilst Benedict exchanges the time of day with the farmers in solemn conclave assembled, we take stock of the premises.

Hiram’s store has nothing very remarkable about it that we can discover, unless it be that it is a trifle dingier and more close-smelling than are 'the generality of American village stores in the winter, when doors are closed, windows pasted over, and stoves fired-up until they,glow again. It is a shop of some twenty feet' by thirty, having a couple of windows looking out on the street, and a couple of doors at the opposite end, one leading into the office, the other into the store-room, where the more bulky articles, barrels of flour and pork, kegs of nails, and tins -of paint and varnish are kept until wanted. Ou either side of the store is a counter having apparently a “ double debt to pay/5 being at one and the same time the table upon which Hiram displays his merchandize, and the divan upon which his customers perch themselves when the half dozen chairs are appropriated.

Hiram’s being a “general store,” it would be hard to say what he sells and what he does not. Of the two it would be easier, we imagine, to enumerate the articles which he does not sell, than those which he has in store; for his is a grocery, drapery, ironmongery, confectionery, and a hundred other businesses combined. He sells dresses, pickled-herrings, and lollipops ; ribbons, prayer-books, and axes; edgings, petroleum, and crockery ware; patent medicines, ready-made clothes, Yankee notions, and, as he would express it, a “heap of other fixins’ too numerous to reckon.” In the centre of the store is' a stove, and round the stove the more well-to-do of Hiram’s visitors are seated. It is the dress-circle of the establishment, the counters being the gallery. Of the half dozen individuals seated round the stove four are chewing tobacco, or spruce-gum, the two others, not being chewers perhaps, are amusing themselves by whittling. We cannot say that they are precisely the sort of men that a man of refinement would select as his bosom friends and companions, but there is nothing particularly objectionable about them. Outwardly they are certainly rougher and less natty than would be men of the same class in England; but, on the other hand, their conversation betokens a shrewdness and intelligence not always observable in the British, yeoman. We have seen considerably “harder” specimens of humanity at a Christmas "cattle-show at the Agricultural Hall—burly farmers from the north “countree,” with a jargon so unintelligible, and brains so hopelessly dull, that they would be as much out of their element in the society of these provincials as they would be at a meeting of the Royal Academy.

The debate—suddenly interrupted, we can well imagine by some one exclaiming, “There goes Benedict in his cutter, and a stranger with him”— has been resumed. The subject is an interesting one: the policy, or rather the impolicy of the-mother country. The gentleman now holding forth —a tall, bony, sallow individual—is evidently well posted. His delivery, probably from having a quid in his cheek, is jerky, but it is forcible. Comfortably seated, with his heels on the wood-box, and his eyes fixed on the ceiling, one would never take him for the shrewd debater that he is. There is no waving of the hand, no stamping-of the foot to give emphasis to a sentence; it is. unnecessary. Whenever he desires to give a little extra point to a period, he squirts his saliva on the red-hot stove; the angry hiss that follows serves the purpose.

What he, the speaker, would like to know is England’s object in withdrawing her troops. Is it that she thinks us more bother and expense than we are worth? Then why on earth does she not straightforwardly say so. Is it that she has no longer the power to protect us? The more reason that she should show her hand. What good can possibly arise from playing a fast and loose game? Why keep on backing and filling like a darned old lumberman waiting for a pilot? To-day transporting a score of Fenians, to-morrow giving them a free pardon. If innocent, why transport them; if guilty, why let them go? Look at the old-womanish way in which she has acted for years past—has she ever been consistent for two days at a time ? It wouldn’t be her if she had. She has her bristles up; she is going to knock eleven' bells out of Jonathan; we all keep scurrying to the telegraph office, expecting to hear that a British, fleet is off New York or Boston. What is it that we do hear ? That she has thought better of it, and has given a slice of our territory, or our fisheries, or something else belonging to us, to Uncle Sam as a peace-offering. She gives the ball; it is poor Jean Francis that has to pay the piper. She thinks that she has done a fine stroke of business, takes great credit to herself for having acted in a friendly spirit, and imagines that she has completely conciliated her American cousins, as she calls them. Conciliate the devil! Men who will slaughter their own brothers rather than yield a point are not the guess sort of men to be very scrupulous with their cousins twenty times removed. Jonathan will never be content so long as his venerable and exceedingly gullable parent has anything worth taking. Every one can understand that but herself. When she complains that she ain’t treated with respect, she forgets that her own conduct isn’t particularly dignified. If a man have the grit, let him fight. If he hasn’t, let him try and look pleasant. Tall talk, when there ain’t no grit, is contemptible. Squirt! Hiss!

Now that she has got Jonathan’s dander riz, she is going to take away her troops. It isn’t that she thinks about the expense of keeping them here. Oh no! She ain’t so mean as all that. It isn’t that she wants every man Jack of them for home protection. Lord bless you! she is stronger and greater nor ever she was. It is just because we are old enough and ugly enough to take care of ourselves, because the presence of these few red-coats is irritating to them nervous Yankees because we are happily confederated. There is no longer any fear of Fenians; and if they do come, why, ain’t we the boys that can give ’em a welcome? Squirt! Hiss!

It is in order that we may be the better able to do it that she is going to put up at Yandoo them old guns she has down to Quebec—in order that there may be a fair field and no favour, that she advertises them for sale in the Neio York Ilemld. A government that will do that ain’t desarving of a colony—a country that will stoop to such meanness as that ain’t desarving of a friend. Squirt—Squirt! Hiss-ss!

"We would gladly hear more", but Benedict puts his arm into ours, and quietly draws us away.

This being the slack season, a time when there is neither farming nor fishing nor shooting, our day’s routine varies but little. Substitute driving and hunting for sleighing and skating, and we might be in England instead of in Canada West. The skies have changed, but not the manners and customs of the exiles. When seated of an evening round the cheerful wood fire, our conversation is much more frequently of England and the English than of Canada and the Canadians. Although the forest primeval is but a few miles distant, we talk Dickens, not Cooper. Although there is just now a stirring debate in the Provincial Parliament our conversation is not of Cartier, Howe, and Ottawa, but of Gladstone, Ben Dizzy, and Westminster. Although the Fenians are at the door, we take, strange as it may appear, more interest in the mischief that their brother rascals are doing in Ould Ireland. England might be just over the border, instead of three thousand miles away across the sea.

A month has slipped away—to-morrow we start for Nova . Scotia, on a visit to Coelebs. Whilst studiously avoiding everything, that might seem like interference, we have, during our sojourn, striven hard to put matters in the pleasantest light, and have never lost an opportunity of endeavouring to bring about an entente cordiale between the Benedicts and their neighbours. And to a certain extent we have been successful. The hatchet is happily buried, and there is peace between the houses of Benedict -and Heffernan. Having kept our eyes and ears wide open, we. have, we think, obtained a pretty olear view of the situation, and are’ now in a position to offer an opinion on the advantages and disadvantages of life in the Canadas. Were our experiences limited to those which we have picked up during our month’s visit, we should not presume to do so; but we have served our time* on other farms beside Benedict’s—cleared farms, improved farms and backwoods farms, and we therefore think ourselves competent to argue the question.

According to Benedict there are in the Canadas four great drawbacks to human felicity. Bad servants, uncultivated, slanderous neighbours, the long dreary winter, the comparatively small return on capital invested in farming operations. We will begin with the last plaint on the list, the comparatively small return on the farmer’s sunk capital. Friend Benedict asserts, that on this his farm of two hundred and fifty acres, be the same more or less, all that he can hope to realize is a living, plus five per cent, on invested capital, and that in England any tenant farmer can do the same.

Admitted. And who may this same tenant farmer be ? In ninety-nine cases out of a hundred a man whose father and grandfather, and greatgrandfather before him, were all tenant farmers, and who has himself been brought up to farming as a vocation. A man who has a thorough knowledge of everything connected with a farm, who understands the rotation of crops, the feeding and fattening of cattle, the application of manures,, and who can make the most of every acre. Such a man can make a comfortable living out of his three hundred acre farm, and five per cent, on invested capital. There are many who realize considerably more. But what does that prove? Absolutely nothing. Without desiring to wound his tender susceptibilities, we confidently assert that were he, John Benedict, to enter into possession of a high-class English farm to-morrow, and endeavour to work it without the assistance of a bailiff, he would be eating his capital before his second year’s tenancy had expired. Farmers, like violin players, may be divided into three - categories—those who farm well, those who farm badly, and those who do not farm at all. Benedict has so far progressed that he is now in the second category. He farms badly.

We have said supposing he were to enter into the tenancy of a high-class farm in England, and it is only supposing, for what chance would he have of obtaining a farm that could be worked to .a profit ? Not very much, we imagine. Benedict is a worthy good fellow, but he is not precisely the sort of man to whom an astute English squire would care to rent a farm, unless it were out of compliment. For a first-rate farm he would require a first-rate tenant, who could keep his land in good heart—not an amateur who hardly .knew the difference between wheat and barley. If a gentleman wants to play farmer in England lie must either take up land which is so poor that it can’t well be poorer, or consent to pay so high a rent that profit is out of the question.

And now as to the profits of farming at home. The English farmer makes, we are told, a living out of his farm. Well, it is no more than his due. The labourer is worthy of his hire. If he be a good farmer, he is entitled to live well—if a poor one, at least to his bread and butter. But how about the interest on capital invested? When Benedict speaks of his invested capital he alludes to the sum total which this farm has oost him—land, house, barns, furniture, stock, farm implements, &c. But is this what the English tenant farmer means when he talks of his sunk capital ? Ear from it. Sunk capital with him means, we believe, the amount he' has given the outgoing tenant for growing crops, manure, &c., plus Whatever sums he may have expended, on horses, stock, farm implements, labour, &c., prior to his selling his first year’s crops. The land and buildings do not enter into the calculation. Eor them he pays a certain rent. The two cases are so totally dissimilar, that no comparison can be instituted. The Canadian farmer is his own landlord—he has no rent to pay—but few taxes. Let him farm ever so badly he must be a noodle if he cannot manage to swing clear of insolvency. If the harvest is bad he makes no money, and there is an end of the matter. Should he lose some stock it is not ruination, beasts are cheap in the Dominion. Better luck next year. Having purchased his farm out and out for the same amount that he would have been obliged to disburse in England for incoming and stock alone, he can afford to lose occasionally. How very different is the position of his English brother. With him a bad year is not merely a mischance, it is a dire calamity. Not only does he make no profit, but he has to meet quarter-day. Unless he be a man of substance, two bad years in succession, or the breaking out of rinderpest amongst his beasts, means bankruptcy, for the greater portion of his capita} has been sunk in cropping his fields and in the purchase of live stock, and he has not the land as a sheet anchor. If he can manage to make more out of his land than the Canadian farmer, he deserves to do so, for his is the greater risk.

Farming is farming all the world over. If a comfortable living can be made out of the land, and a fair interest be obtained on the invested capital, it is the most that can be expected by ordinary mortals—he who can effect more is either a man of very superior intelligence, or he must have more capital at command than most farmers.

We now come to the second point for consideration—the long, dreary Canadian winter. Long it is, no doubt, and towards the commencement, and close more especially, there are weeks of raw, cutting, disagreeable weather. But is it so very terrible after all ? Is it, may we ask, half as detestable as an English one with its eternal round of damp and fog and drizzle ? Has it not attractions which almost counterbalance its defects? Does not one fine Canadian winter’s day go far to make one forget a week’s bad weather? Does the snow make the landscape look cold and cheerless? It puts the roads in such capital condition that it is a pleasure to drive along them. Is it the ice that troubles you? Only think what the Australian squatter would give for a lump to cool the tepid water that he is forced to drink. Is the cold severe? It heightens the attractions of the blazing wood fire, engenders a ravenous appetite, makes one appreciate home in a way that one would never do were one the denizen of a more genial clime. That the climate of Upper Canada is very far from being perfection, we admit; we have yet to find the one that is paradisiacal.

We wish that we could suggest a remedy for the third evil on the list—rude, uncultivated neighbours. Unfortunately there is none, unless it be patience. In every new country uncongenial society is" an evil that has to be endured. Biding the high horse only makes matters worse; one must dismount sooner or later; and by far the wisest plan is to slip off quietly at the commencement of the journey. Should the gentleman settler’s pride be wounded, let him console himself with the reflection, that however disagreeable it is to be obliged to live on terms of equality with one’s inferiors, it is not half as bad as having to live on terms of inferiority with one’s equals. There is a considerable amount of consolation to be derived from the reflection— “However hard one’s lot may be, there is always something worse.” If, for instance, Benedict would only calmly compare his present position with that of the self-made man who has, in an unlucky hour, fixed upon some fashionable English watering-place for a residence, half his mortification would vanish. Even admitting that Iris neighbours refuse to admit any social superiority, he is at least their equal; and if he have no reason to be particularly proud of his status, neither has he need to be ashamed.

But supposing that, instead of being an English gentleman in a British colony, he happened to be a colonial gentleman in Great Britain itself, on what footing would he stand with his genteel neighbours there? Very probably on no footing- at all. He would not even have the poor satisfaction of standing upon his dignity, for his existence would be as completely ignored by them as though, instead of having just arrived from the colonies, he had just dropped down from the moon. He says that there is no analogy between the two cases. There is. To these provincials he is nothing more than a provincial would be to him, were he in England—a stranger. What right has he to expect that he should be treated with more deference in Canada than is the Canadian in England? And yet he is so treated. Rude arid illiterate as are many of his neighbours, not a man is there amongst them, we warrant, who would not give him a hearty welcome were he to demand his hospitality, nor assist him should he chance to be in want. And yet were these same men to call upon him in England, it is nine chances to one that they would be met with a “not at home.” He says that they are scandal-mongers. Why, scandal is the only amusement these good people have from year’s end to year’s end; deprive them of it, and they would die of ennui to a certainty. It would be little short of barbarous to attempt to interfere with the one diversion which enlivens the monotony of their existence. They have no theatres, no balls, no concerts; they have not even a circulating library; every story book in the village has been read and re-read, until its leaves are the consistency of blotting-paper, and grimy as unwashed fingers can make them. When the wife of the parson, or the doctor, or the lawyer, gives a tea party, it is an event—a day to be marked with a white stone. Great is the jealousy of the uninvited. Who is the parson’s wife, or the doctor’s wife, or the lawyer’s wife, they should like to be informed, that she makes herself so exclusive? She was only Sally This or Kitty That, and it is said- And they libel the poor woman. If neither the doctor who brings them into the world, nor the parson who baptizes and marries them, nor the lawyer who makes their last wills and testaments, can avoid being maligned, how shall he, a stranger—and an arrogant stranger to boot— escape? Tor an Englishman to call a provincial slander-monger is as ridiculous as for one nigger to, call a brother nigger black man. The Backbites and Candids thrive best on British soil.

And here let us ask, what have the Benedicts left behind them in England that they have any real cause to regret? Is it the climate? the expensive living? the taxes? the hunting? the fishing? They say it is the society. What society? The society which in England is of all others the most truly detestable—the society of people who are for ever pinching, screwing, squeezing to keep up what they call “appearances.” Benedict is a poor gentleman, and poor gentlefolk would be his associates. His presence would not be in much request at the houses of the great and wealthy, for he is not in a position to entertain in return, and our boasted English hospitality is more or less on the reciprocity principle. As the untutored Indian would express it, it is, “ You ’vitee me; I ’vitee you.” Were he a bachelor, he might receive an odd invitation to ball or picnic, for 011 such occasions bachelors can be made useful. But he is not a bachelor ; he is a married man. His wife would have to be invited likewise, and wives are in the way, unless they are the wives of men who can in their turn entertain. Supposing that he lived in a town like Bath, or Clifton, or Cheltenham, his society would consist of half-pay captains of the line, commanders in the navy, retired surgeons of both services, the second-class pensioners of John Company, and men of like stamp. His intercourse with them would be mainly in the club reading-room; where he would interchange an occasional “How d’ye do? fine day!” his wife’s, a morning call, with now and then the fearful dissipation of a tea party; for on two hundred and fifty pounds a year dinner parties would be out of the question. Their amusements would consist of a stroll in the park, a constitutional along the high road, and once or twice a year a flower show or archery meeting; for although there might be one continuous round of concerts, balls, and theatrical performances, their means would not permit of their assisting. We can thoroughly appreciate the charms of refined and intellectual society, well ordered establishments, good dinners, the pomp and circumstance of wealth; but what we cannot appreciate is, the imitation.

Of all the dead and alive existences under the sun, the one which a poor gentleman is forced to lead at a fashionable English watering place, is surely the deadest. What with the constant struggle to keep up appearences, the dread of outrunning the constable, the want of employment, the total absence of anything like hearty, agreeable companionship, the paltriness of his surroundings, the feeling, that do what he may, he cannot compete with his wealthier neighbours, are together sufficient to turn the poor fellow’s hair grey, and drive him to self-destruction. And yet this is the sort of existence for which they both yearn. If they could only bring themselves to believe it, they are infinitely happier here on their little Canadian farm, than they would be, were they living in the most fashionable town in England, on an income of even five hundred per annum. The talk which Benedict hears at Anderson’s store may not be particularly intellectual, but it is much more amusing than is the twaddle which passes muster for conversation in a county club smoking-room, where there is nothing “shop” from morning till night. The military shop of the Bobadils, the naval shop of the Trunnions, the Indian shop of the Copper Captains, and Justice Qui— the club shop of all.

Mrs. Benedict complains that the wives of the professional men at X-are dreadfully insipid, and so they are, no doubt. But then they have no pretensions. Had they been brought up at a select boarding-school, and their education been finished at one of the fashionable towns we have named, they would, with precisely the same amount of intelligence, have been able to set up for wits and fine ladies.

So far, then, as society is concerned, we cannot for the life of us perceive how they have been the losers in transporting their household gods to Canada. For the rich, there is, we admit, no country like England; but for the poor married gentleman it is a very purgatory. There is but one place where he can feel really independent, and that place is London. In that great Babel he can live as unrestrainedly as though he were in the heart of the backwoods, or in the desert of Sahara—spend as much or as little as he pleases, snap his fingers at appearences. But then where is his society? If he have no society, where is the gain?

Putting society and the luxuries of life out of the calculation, and considering comfort only, there is no comparison between the two countries. On the little they have, the Benedicts can live much more comfortably than they could on twice the amount in England. Not only that, they can do whatever they see their neighbours doing—they are as good as the best, if no better. They are not devoured with envy, for “what the eyes don’t see, the heart does not grieve after.”

Their greatest affliction or infliction is the domestic one; but there is a remedy even for •that. Instead of hunting after smart, good-looking girls, why don’t they try to find some hickory-faced old woman who has given up all hopes of securing a prize in the matrimonial market? Of all countries in the world, America is the one where a girl’s face is her fortune. If .she be only good-looking and smart, there is no reason why she should not marry a merchant, a senator, an embryo-president. The natural consequence is that the fair syren is above her work —is thinking of well-to-do young merchants when she ought to be thinking of the dinner—is discontented and “sassy.” She is not a' servant, she is a “help.” She does not work, she merely assists, and gets riled if she is not treated with the greatest consideration. Mistress Bridget evidently thinks that Dame Nature intended her for a lady. Why attempt to dispel the innocent illusion? Why not let her go and find her lord, and get some one else in her place? If Mrs. B. would take our advice, she will endeavour to find an old negress; and if she prove one of the right sort, keep her at any price. She will want to have it all her own way in the kitchen. Let her have it. She will require to be made much of. Humour her. She will treat her mistress like a child, and deary and lovy and missey her. Mrs. B. must take it good naturedly, for it is by these signs that that pearl of black pearls, the old-fashioned Aunt Chloe or Cassy is to be recognised. A negress of any value is pretty sure to have been spoilt but spoilt or not spoilt, she is the best servant to be found on the continent— take her for all-in-all—in the world. It is, we are aware, not very easy to find one, for the species is fast disappearing, and will soon be as rare as the dodo. But there is nothing like trying. We have had such a treasure, why should not Mrs. Benedict? Could she only light upon just such another paragon of negro excellence as was our Aunt Phoebe—bless her •old woolly-head—her greatest grievance would vanish.

View matters in what light we may, we cannot discover that our friends have any reasonable -cause for being dissatisfied with the land of their adoption. Disadvantages it has, no doubt, so has every country beneath the sun; but taking everything into consideration; Canada—that is, their section of it, Ontario—will, as a home for the gentleman emigrant, compare favourably with the United States, the Cape, Australia, New Zealand, or any other field for emigration, be it in the Old World or the New. That they should think otherwise is not surprising. Their actual experience of settlers’ life in other parts of the world is nil; all that they know about it has been gleaned from books written with a purpose—that of inducing people like themselves to emigrate to that particular country or colony from which the author hails. “Fields look green' at a distance.” Had they emigrated to Australia or New Zealand, the chances are that long ere this they would have repented them of their choice, and have wished that they had selected Canada or the United States as a residence; for there is a great deal of human nature in a man, and contentment is not a human attribute. By their own admission, their grievances are limited to four; do they imagine that they would have had fewer to encounter had they emigrated to Australia? If so, they are very much mistaken. The servants are as trying to the temper, the neighbours are as rude, the road to wealth is as wearisome at the Antipodes as in the New Dominion. As to the climate, that is altogether a matter of taste. For our own part, we prefer the climate of Ontario to that of New South Wales or Queensland. The disadvantages are pretty evenly balanced. Can as much be said for the advantages? Hardly. So far as they themselves are concerned, the advantages are, so at least it seems to us, greatly on the side of Canada. Were Benedict a bachelor instead of a married man with a growing family, were he a hard-working farmer instead of a gentleman, had he a capital’ of ten thousand pounds instead of five, we should, perhaps, think differently, for circumstances alter cases. In giving our opinion, we have to bear in mind to whom it is that we are giving it, and circumstanced as lie is, we cannot but think that he has acted wisely in coming to Canada.

The advantages which the province of Ontario offers to the gentleman emigrant are briefly these:—It is but ten or twelve days’ journey from England. It has a climate which, although one of extremes, is undoubtedly healthy. The necessaries of life are cheap. Taxes are merely nominal; capital commands a high rate of interest. There are good schools and colleges. The most distant parts of the province can be reached by either rail or steamboat in a few hours’ time, and at a very trifling outlay. The gentleman emigrant who is possessed of a moderate independence is not obliged, as in many other colonies, to turn recluse as well as farmer, there being plenty of good society in Toronto and the other large towns, and as much gaiety at Niagara during the season as at Scarborough or Brighton. Shooting and fishing are to be had gratis; and lastly, no very great amount of Capital is necessary for the purchase of a farm, nor much outlay to work it, and if the profits to be derived from husbandry are comparatively small, so are the risks incurred likewise. With ordinary care and attention, and a fair share of luck, failure is next to impossible.

To the vast majority of emigrants these advantages mean nothing, for the simple reason that they are not in a position to profit by them. With Benedict it is otherwise. He emigrated not that he might avoid starvation or the workhouse, as do ninety emigrants out of every hundred, but in the hope that he might be able to find some spot where, on the little he had, he could live more at his ease than in England. His ambition was not to grow, rich by trade • or by speculation, but to quietly subside into a gentleman farmer. There are no gentlemen farmers in the New World. All farmers are gentlemen in their own estimation, but they are not gentlemen farmers in our acceptation of the term. The nearest approach to the life led by an English gentleman farmer is the one which Benedict is now leading. He is not altogether dependent on the proceeds of his farm for his daily bread; he lives well, if not sumptuously. He resides in what for Canada is a long-settled district. He is but a short distance from the capital and within easy reach of one of the most fashionable watering-places on the continent. He has shooting, fishing, and boating, horses for his carriage, books from the library at Toronto, papers and magazines from London and New York. His wife has her piano, her flower-garden, her poultry-yard, and notwithstanding her household cares; she manages to find time for recreation. It is only in the matter of manual labour that Benedict’s life differs from that of the English gentleman farmer. Whilst his duties are limited to -walking round and round his farm with a dog at his heels and a gun across his shoulder, or to going through the account books with his bailiff—Benedict’s are more those of the working farmer. He is his own overseer and boss workman. In his inexperience he imagines that his is the life of the ordinary settler; that he is a backwoodsman, if not exactly a pioneer. Were he to remove to a newly settled district he would find out his mistake. He complains that his farm looks cheerless in the winter; when compared with a backwoods clearing it is radiant. He thinks his neighbours rude and ignorant-After a month’s sojourn amongst the Irish of the Ear West, they would seem to him polished and intelligent. He finds the life somewhat humdrum and monotonous. Were he to take up his abode for a season in some out of the way settlement, fifty miles removed from town or railway, he would wonder how he could have been so discontented. If he find it lonesome when both rail and water communication are but a few miles distant—out of the world when such cities as Boston and New York are within a day’s journey—slow when the daily papers containing European intelligence not twelve hours’ old lie on his study table—what would he find it in the Australian bush, or in the wilds of South Africa? Let us calmly reconsider the case. Have we said anything that is not strictly true? Have we made any statement that would be likely to mislead or mystify? We cannot perceive that we have done so. We have made the most of our brief certainly, but we have neither added nor suppressed one iota. We might doubtless have made the picture much gloomier (he is a poor lawyer who cannot argue plausibly on both sides a question); but that we have been too free with our colours we deny. We have not endeavoured to prove that Canada is the most desirable place of residence to be found in the world, but that it is one of the best, if not the best, field for the married man who has a family to provide for, and whose means are top limited to permit of his residing in England. That it is a cheap country to live in. We would lay particular stress on this very important point, for the reason that we have seen it frequently denied. Here is one letter bearing on the subject, which we copy from The Meld—

“Emigration to Canada.

“Sir,—I have read with much interest the letter from the friend of ‘Cariboo' in The Meld of Dec. 10. I am glad that this letter has been published, as it confirms in every particular the allegations which I advanced in my communications on the same subject some months ago. Glad, indeed, am I to find from letters received from gentlemen proposing to emigrate to Canada, that I have in many instances prevented another unit from being added to the sad list of heartbroken bankrupt gentlemen farmers of this democratic country. Much abuse did I receive from the natives for having thus, as they consider, vilified their Dominion by preventing the accession to it of wealth and respectability, and by having stated facts which have come under my notice during a too long residence. The friend of ‘Cariboo’ came down, as a matter of course, to the level to which all gentlemen farmers inevitably come sooner or later in Canada—to that of the farming community by which he is surrounded; and if he engages any of them as “helps,” he would indeed be “stuck up” if he didn’t permit them to dine with him. Fortified by the opinions of ‘Cariboo’s’ friend, I assert again that ignorance is the only excuse which a gentleman can urge for coming to Canada—ignorance which is culpable if he hazards such an experiment without the most diligent inquiries, and involves a wife and family in the wretchedness and degradation which are invariably the result of the venture. He is told, perhaps, that Canada is a cheap country. In reply to this, I say unhesitatingly that it is one of the dearest countries in the world. Excepting bread and meat, every other necessary is much dearer than in England. As to servants, there are none, properly so called, except in the large cities. There, if they are allowed to have pretty much their own way, they will oblige you by their services at a guinea and a half a month. As to climate, persons may judge for themselves when they are told that the thermometer varies from 95 deg. in summer to 20 and 30 below zero in winter—a charming little variation of only about 100 degrees. In the month of June I have seen frost which made the forest look as if the breath of a destroying angel had passed over it. As I have heard farmers often say in Canada, the whole energy of their lives during the short summer is to provide fuel and food to keep them and the stock of their farmyards alive during the long, terrific winter. I write this pour encourager les autres who may be tempted to follow the friend of Cariboo. I may have something else to communicate about emigration to America, and incidentally to Canada at some future time.

“Canadian Owl.”

Very plausible is thy letter, 0 most sapient bird! but, alas ! that we should have to say so !— one tissue of misrepresentations and prevarications from beginning to ending. Pray who may be this friend of Cariboo to whom thou so feelingly alludest? A man who, having some few thousands at command, purchased himself a cleared farm in some civilized district, and who was ruined in his endeayour to work it to a profit? Is he a man who has his wits about him—a man of ordinary shrewdness ? What is he? By his own showing a greater simpleton was never entrusted with the management of his own affairs, for we have his letter before us.

An ex-officer of the line, he has, during a ten years’ service in different parts of the world, learnt how to “ride creditably to hounds, to shoot more than fairly, and to tie and throw a fly, either for trout or salmon, as well or better than any man of his acquaintance;” and is, of course, for these reasons, just the sort for the colonies. That the thousand pounds which remain to him after paying his debts may be made to go as far as possible, he takes unto himself a wife, not of the cheese and butter stamp and that done, he “rushes into all sorts of inquiries about the colonies.” The upshot is that he purchases, by telegraph, a farm in a “straggling settlement in the midst of the wilderness;” for the satisfactory reason that “there is good shooting in the vicinity, and such a salmon river.” On taking possession, he finds that he has been done. He commences legal proceedings, and gets backwoods justice. He is stuck right and left by his neighbours, whom he divides into two lots—those “who bled him with an oath, and those who bled him with a pious ejaculation.” His helps leave him, because he objects to their society of an evening; whilst “loafers drunk and loafers sober, loafers profane and loafers pious, make his house their tavern, and will take no denial.” He becomes a “drudge on his farm, and a watch-dog about his premises.” As a last resource he turns lumberman, makes a mess of it, gets hopelessly into debt, becomes bankrupt, and is now reduced to such a quandary that his highest ambition is to earn a dollar per diem as guide to sportsmen. Comment upon such a history as that would be superfluous. "We can only pity the poor fellow, and return to the letter of The Owl. When he says that the friend of “Cariboo*. came down as a matter of course to the level to which all gentlemen farmers inevitably come sooner or later in Canada, &c. &c., we can only presume that he considers every gentleman emigrant to be of a similar stamp—an idiot; and having had some little intercourse with the class-whom he thus honours, we must politely deny the accusation. From first to last we have employed many helps, both Canadian and American, and except when camping out, not one of them has. ever sat down to eat with us; nor can we remember to have seen helps seated at the table of any friend of ours. That ignorance is the only excuse that a gentleman can urge for coming, to Canada as a farmer,” is as the case may be. If he mean that men of the stamp of the ex-linesman are better at home, we are perfectly of his opinion. If that men of very limited means,, and with no experience, are likely to make a mess of farming, we do not say him nay. But if he would insinuate that men with a few thousands at command, and with average intelligence and energy, can do better in England than they can in the more favoured districts of Canada West, we join issue. Had the lines of the gallant Captain been cast in the very pleasantest of all the pleasant places of the habitable globe, instead of in that “ remote corner of the Dominion” which he so unwisely selected as a habitation, the upshot would have been precisely the same— bankruptcy. To make headway in this age of brass, the man who is master of no trade, profession, or calling, by which to earn a livelihood, must have one of two things, money or money’s equivalent—wit. He who can dispense with both the one and the other, live comfortably, and make-no debts, is a very remarkable man—the most remarkable man of the period. We are not that-individual. We cannot think, just at present, of any place where a gentleman can live at his. ease upon nothing a year. All that we can do is to name a country or countries where the man of small means and average intelligence can make the little he has got go further than in England. And, Canadian Owl to the contrary, we confidently assert that to the married man, who has. children to educate and provide for, few countries offer so many advantages as Canada. But as the Canadas are of vast extent, we had, perhaps, better name the province—Ontario. We know not in what section of the Dominion The Owl may have built his nest; but it cannot be in the more-favoured districts of Canada West, or he would never hoot in the way he does of the wretchedness and degradation which are invariably the lot of. the gentleman immigrant. That many men are in the same plight as the ex-officer is unfortunately true enough; and considering the numbers that emigrate yearly to the Canadas in the hope of being able to live like English country gentlemen upon nothing a year, it is surprising that there are not more of them. It is very hard to be obliged to live in a straggling settlement in a remote corner of the Dominion, when there are so many desirable residences in the vicinity of Toronto and Niagara, and hard, no doubt, to live in Whitechapel when there is such a place as Grosvenor Square. But beggars cant be choosers ; and when to have what one would like is impossible, the truest philosophy is to try and like what one has got. We do not say that we could live happily and contentedly in a back settlement, for we think the life detestable; but had we to choose between a cheap lodging and short commons in London, and a comfortable house and plenty in the clearings, we should undoubtedly choose the clearings, just as we should in like manner prefer the cheapest of. lodgings in the closest of London streets to a coal-pit. .

What Canadian Owl and many others beside himself appear to forget, is that advantages and disadvantages are altogether relative, and that in this world everything goes by comparison. The question is not whether this man or that man has done well or ill in the Canadas, but whether he would have been better off had he remained at home. We are no optimist. We never hesitate to point out the disadvantages of colonial life, and we therefore feel ourselves in honour bound to say whatever can be said in its favour, and to confute the aspersions of pessimists of the Canadian Owl class. When he says that Canada is one of the dearest countries in the world, either his knowledge of the world is exceedingly limited, or he is guilty of gross misrepresentation. It is not bread and meat alone that are cheap, but nearly all the necessaries and many of the luxuries of life. Fine clothing, although dearer than in England, is but little over one half the price that it is in the United States, whilst apparel fit for every day use is inexpensive, good Canadian tweed being sold for a dollar a yard, and ordinary “dry goods” in proportion. Sheffield ware, house linen, glass, porcelain, and nick-nacks of every description are dear, but then how very little of the poor man’s income goes in the purchase of these articles. His house once furnished, perhaps three per cent.

We now come to another of Canadian Owl’s grievances—the servants. That they are a great nuisance—the greatest plague in life—we have already admitted—so they are in other countries besides Canada. But when he says that they demand a guinea and a half a month for their services, we must contradict him. From five to six dollars, not seven and a half dollars a month, is the current rate of wages; if he gives more than that amount, his help must be a very exceptional help indeed.

It is only when Canadian Owl begins to abuse the climate of his adopted country that we have an inkling of his whereabouts. When he tells us that the thermometer varies from 95 in summer, to 20 and 30 below zero in winter, we know at once that he must be either a Lower Canadian Owl, or an Owl who has alighted in one of the maritime provinces—we should think New Brunswick. In that case, what he says is true enough. We know that the climate is one of extremes—that the thermometrical variations are as great as he represents them to be—and that a June frost is no uncommon occurrence. But for the encouragement of those who might be disheartened by the doleful cries of birds of the Strix species, we would respectfully observe, that although Newbrunswick may be now called Canada, Canada is not New Brunswick, and that there is almost as much difference between the climate of Toronto and St. John’s as there is between that of St. John’s and the northern part of "Labrador. If, with Ontario open to receive him, a man chooses to emigrate to New Brunswick, that is his look out. No one shall ever have the opportunity of saying that it was owing to our advice that he purchased land in the maritime provinces; and when we assert that the small capitalist can live comfortably and independently in Canada, we mean that he can do so in Canada West. If the emigrant have not the means to purchase a farm in that section of the Dominion, he must, of course, go further afield, and the further he has to go, the more unpleasant he will find it. He has our deepest sympathy. For the present, it is all we have to bestow.

But that there may be no mistake as to our meaning, we will be more explicit still. To the married man who has children to educate and to start in life, and to those whose capital is limited to say five thousand pounds, no country that we know of offers greater advantages than Ontario. But everything hinges upon that first clause— if he have a family to educate and to start in life; for if he be an unmarried man with an independence, or a married man in easy circumstances and without a family, he would be a fool to emigrate at all. Provided that it be not indispensable to his happiness that he herd with his compatriots in such British colonies as Boulogne, Brussels, Florence, Nice, &c., he can find plenty of places on the continent of Europe where his two hundred and fifty or three hundred pounds a year could be made to go just as far as in Canada. But those places are not suited to the family man; for although education may be just as good and as cheap as in Canada, no opportunities of starting his children in life would present themselves. In Canada, on the contrary, there would be no lack of such opportunities, and for this reason, if for no other, it is a more desirable residence for paterfamilias than any part of overcrowded Europe.

The gentleman emigrant who had a capital of five thousand pounds, would have no need to turn farmer—he could live on the interest of his money. We have put that interest down at six per cent.; but if he were wide-awake, there is no reason why he should not get eight, ten, or even twelve, with good security. So much depends on the man himself, that it would be impossible to give the minimum of capital that would be required to enable the gentleman emigrant with a wife and three or four children to live respectably in Canada. If at a low rate of interest it can be done with five thousand pounds, at a high rate we suppose three thousand might be made to suffice. Upon the interest of a smaller sum than three thousand, he would find it a difficult matter to rub along; and unless he were a shrewd, business man, farming would be the only occupation to which he could turn his hand. Unless he went very stupidly to work, he could hardly fail to make a living out of his land; more than that no man, save a practical farmer, has any right to expect. As a general rule, the more land that he undertakes to farm, the less will be his proportionate profit. Many a man can manage a boat who would come to grief were he to attempt the command of a clipper.


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