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pletely over, a few leagues above Quebec, and serves occasionally as a road to Montreal. It seldom freezes over, opposite to Quebec, or in the bason. As the river narrows here, the current is increased, and the tide sets up and down with such force, that it generally keeps the floating masses of ice in motion. When the river freezes over, opposite to Quebec, it is called, in the language of the country, a pont, because it answers the purpose of a bridge to the people who live below Quebec, and who then bring up provisions, and fire-wood in great quantities.

A variety of circumstances must combine to form a pont; when many very large masses of ice happen to come in contact, and fill the whole space between one side of the river and the other, they become stationary. If this happens at neaptides, and in calm weather, the frost fixes the whole, and it becomes a solid mass before the rising tides derange it; when it has stood a few days, it generally acquires strength enough to resist every

impulse it may receive, till the warmth of the April sun affects it.


All these circumstances so seldom happen at the same time, that it is about ten years since the river took opposite to Quebec. This year, however, I have had the pleasure of seeing it in that state, and it certainly is an interesting and curious sight. For the distance of eight miles, you see an immense sheet of ice, as smooth as a mirThousands of people crowd upon it every day, and booths are erected for their entertainment. In one quarter, you see numbers of people enjoying the amusement of skaiting; in another, you see carioles driving in different directions; for the ice is so strong, that horses go on it with the greatest safety. Sometimes you see cariole races: they go over the ice with great swiftness. In short, when the pont, takes (as they term it), it occasions a kind of jubilee in Quebec.

In one point of view, it is a subject of real rejoicing to the city; it is accompanied with substantial advantages.Provisions of all kinds, and firewood, a no

less necessary article in this country, fall in price, from an increase in quantity, as soon as the pont enables the people in the country below Quebec, to bring their surplus stock to market, in their carioles, without the expence and risk of passing the river in canoes. These canoes are not such as have been before described, used in the northwest trade. They are one solid piece of wood, the trunk of a large tree scooped out, and formed in the outside something like a boat; some of them are very large, carrying easily 15 or 20 people.

The passing of the St. Lawrence in canoes, in the middle of winter, is a very extraordinary operation. The time of high

water is chosen, when the large masses of ice are almost stationary. The canoe is launched into the water, where there is an opening: the people are provided with ropes, boat-hooks, and paddles. When they come to a sheet of ice, they jump out of the canoe upon it; draw the canoe up after them; push it to the other side of the sheet of ice; launch it into the water; paddle till they come to another sheet of ice;


again haul up the canoe, cross the ice, and again launch-and so on till they reach the other side. You see twenty to thirty canoes crossing in this way at the same time; and you cannot help trembling for them, when you see two immense masses of ice coming together, and they between, apparently in the greatest danger of being crushed to pieces; but the people extricate themselves with great dexterity.

Custom has taught them to avoid the danger which seems to threaten them with destruction: they dexterously jump upon the first piece of ice with which they come -in contact, and haul the canoe after them. I have never, myself, been under any necessity to pass the river in this way; and I must own that it seemed fraught with so much danger, that I never from mere curiosity was induced to attempt it. One might, by the aid of the people, escape drowning, if one even did fall into the water; but I conceive that a the river St. Lawrence, in the month of January, and remaining half an hour or more in wet clothes, would be likely to put


a period to one's existence as effectually as drowning.

In my next I shall enable you to form some idea of Canadian winter travelling, and make you acquainted with some phenomena incident to that season of the



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