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This way of thinking will naturally enough be adopted by those who have studied politics in their closet, and have never been out of England;-but, by those who have visited foreign countries, who have contemplated man in a state of ignorance and superstition, very different conclusions, I venture to say, will be drawn. The English consitution is, I imagine, too complex a machine to be at once understood, adopted, and put in motion, by a simple and uninformed people, who have not been accustomed to political disquisitions, and abstract reasoning. We ought to recollect, that even in England, a nation ever forward in its advances to refinement, it was only by degrees that a free constitution was introduced, the country for centuries many being in a state of probation, as it were. The seeds of liberty, which, in one reign, were sown and began to shoot out, were in the next, trodden under foot and destroyed. Rational and genuine freedom is not the child of theory, it would appear; it cannot, like a book, be taken up and laid down at pleasure.
A truce, however, for the present, to political discussions. I am going with a party to see the Falls in this neighbourhood. The Fall of Chaudiere is, I am told, very grand; and the Fall of Montmorency, will, I doubt not, give as much pleasure, on a near view, as we are led to expect from its grand appearance at a distance.
Quebec, September, 1806. SINCE I last had the pleasure of writing you, I have visited not only the Fall of Chaudiere, but also the Fall of Montmorency, two of the greatest natural curiosities which this country has to boast of. Neither of them is equal to the far-famed Falls of Niagara, in Upper Canada, where the St. Lawrence precipitates itself in a body over a rock about 160 feet of perpendicular height; but they are both possessed of beauties peculiar to themselves, which render them highly deserving the attention of the lovers of the sublime and beautiful.
The river Chaudiere falls into the St. Lawrence, about five miles above Quebec, on the opposite side. When a visit to it is in contemplation, a boat must be procured, for which you must be indebted to some of your friends, as there are none for hire: and you must carry meat and drink with you, (if you intend to eat)—a thing never to
be neglected when a jaunt into the country is proposed. A cockney steps into a postchaise when he makes an excursion from London,-drives twenty miles into the country to some favourite spot,-orders dinner at the inn,-takes his amusement, and returns when he feels an inclination. In all this business, he is a very passive kind of animal. Now, here, if you wish to go into the country, you must literally be active; you must study the tides, procure boats and men to manage them, carry your dinner and drink with you, act the part of cook yourself frequently;-all this, however, serves, I think, to make these little excursions the more amusing.
We went up the St. Lawrence with the tide and a strong breeze, and landed in the mouth of the Chaudiere. It is so full of rocks and rapids that you cannot sail up it; and the banks are so steep and full of wood that they admit of no path to the fall. It is situated about three miles from where the Chaudiere joins the St. Lawrence; and it is necessary to make a circuit of a few miles in order to get to it. Part of our way was easy enough, as there
is a road cut through the wood; but the greater part is very difficult, as you are obliged to find your way through a wood where there is no road, nor any visible path to direct you,-át least that I could discern. However, some of the party had been there before; and were, besides, somewhat acquainted with the art of travelling in a wood.
It is surprising what new light experience throws on this way of travelling. An Indian or a Canadian voyageur, will discern a path or tract where others have passed, and follow it for many days, where you and I never would have imagined a human being had passed before. Those accustomed to travelling in the woods acquire a dexterity in discovering footsteps, truly surprising. The fallen leaves, where
could discover no vestige, shew, to an experienced traveller, infallible marks of it. They are frequently aided by the underwood in finding the route already taken ;— a branch broken in a certain manner, or, the branches twisted, or put into unnatural situations, indicate that some one had passed that way. By their acuteness in