Page images

prohibited from going to the islands; and the colonists enabled, by bounties, to be their own carriers, instead of employing the Americans, who have besides a bounty. from their government of twenty shillings a ton on all vessels employed in the codfishery.

In the different articles, under the denomination of lumber, the Americans appear to have a most decided superiority; but, it must be remarked, that part of their imports to the West Indies, is procured. from New Brunswick, which already produces upwards of ten millions of feet annually. As every year is adding to the population of our provinces, their power of supplying lumber annually increases; for it is want of population, and not want of wood, that prevents our colonies from supplying any quantity that might be required.

The West India planters and merchants may say, "It is true we may be supplied from our own colonies, but not at so cheap a rate as from America; our interest induces us to give them the preference."-It may be so; but it becomes a question,

whether the Mother Country is to listen to such a reason. There are, perhaps, interests paramount to theirs which must be attended to;-the great interests of the empire are to be taken into consideration.

The British North American colonists argue with much plausibility in support of their claims to an exclusive supply of the West India islands. They grant that it is the interest of the West India planters, and of the Americans, to have a free trade to the islands; but, they contend that the planters have no right to expect supplies from a neutral nation, merely because it affords them at a cheaper rate than the British colonies. If the Americans should obtain by treaty an indulgence of a free trade, it would greatly check the prosperity of our northern provinces, and throw the whole of the trade into the hands of the Americans; so that the islands would depend on them entirely for supplies: and, if at any time hereafter, differences should take place between Britain and America, from what quarter are the islands to obtain supplies? The diminished trade and fisheries of the colonies

may demonstrate, when too late, the fatal policy of throwing into the hands of foreigners, a trade, which, with due encouragement, might have been almost entirely confined to British subjects. The supplies required by the islands cannot greatly encrease; and the northern colonies, from their great extent, and growing population, will every year be more and more able to furnish every article that may be wanted.

This question between the West India planters and our North American colonies, is the case of two children applying to an impartial mother for a preference in some particular request. She will grant that which best suits the general good of the family, however hard or unjust either party may think it. The interests of colonies ought ever to give way, when they interfere, or are at variance with, the interests of the Mother Country.


Quebec, 1808.

THE genial influence of a May sun has broken the icy fetters with which Canada has been so long bound up. The winter is now past-we begin to see the face of the earth, which we have looked for, in vain, these six months. You cannot conceive what pleasure arises from discovering a piece of ground which the snow has deserted the eye rests upon it with delight; our pleasurable sensations resemble those we enjoy, when, after a long absence, we meet a dear friend.

A Canadian winter is truly a subject of curiosity to the natives of Britain, or of any of the southern countries of Europe. It presents a view of nature perfectly new, and a variety of phenomena so highly interesting, that they cannot fail to arrest the attention of any one at all conversant in natural philosophy.

In Canada there cannot well be said to be more than two seasons of the year, summer and winter. The earth hath scarcely laid aside her mantle of snow, when you begin to feel the force of summer heat; and although the weather in September is mild and pleasant, it partakes more of the summer than of the autumn of temperate climates. The season of vegetation seems kindly prolonged, till surprized in a manner at once by the return of winter, without much of what may be called autumn weather.

Frost is felt in October, but the sun still retains enough of power to make the weather, during the day, tolerably warm.

During the month of November the frost becomes daily more severe, and snow begins to fall. Your house is now put upon the winter establishment; stoves are put up in your rooms, and in your passages; the windows are well secured and made tight; and you lay aside your summer dress, and adopt flannels and furs.

One snow storm now succeeds another, till the whole face of the country is covered. The eye in vain looks for a bit of

« PreviousContinue »