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It has been seen that St, Lewis Street is principally the site of the offices and buildings belonging to the military departments. This street was originally a military road from the Fort to the outworks, and thence into the forest; and was called La Grand Allée.
We cannot conclude more appropriately than by transcribing an elegant peroration from the pen professor Silliman, who visited this city in the autumn of 1819:
“Quebec, at least for an American city, is certainly a very peculiar place. A military town-containing about twenty thousand inhabitants—most compactly and permanently built-stone its sole material-environed, as to its most important parts, by walls and gates—and defended by numerous heavy cannon-garrisoned by troops, having the arms, the costume, the music, the discipline of Europe--foreign in language, features and origin, from most of those whom they are sent to defend—founded upon a rock, and in its highest parts, overlooking a great extent of country-between three and four hundred miles from the ocean—in the midst of a great continent—and yet displaying fleets of foreign merchantmen in its fine capacious bay—and showing all the bustle of a crowded sea-port—its streets narrow-populous, and winding up and down almost mountainous declivities -situated in the latitude of the finest parts of Europeexhibiting in its environs, the beauty of an European capital—and yet, in winter, smarting with the cold of Siberia-governed by a people of different language and habits from the mass of the population-opposed in religion, and yet leaving that population without taxes, and in the full enjoyment of every privilege, civil and religious : Such are the
prominent features, which strike a stranger in the city of QUEBEC !” The latter part of the above extract may
be sidered a just tribute to the merit of Great Britain, from the pen of an accomplished and liberal minded foreigner, equally honorable to both.
CHAPTER THE TENTH.
RELIGIOUS ESTABLISHMENTS-ANCIENT AND
The totally different policy observed by the English and French Governments, as to the religious establishment of their Colonies in North America, although easily assigned to the opposite motive of each, presents, at the present day, a very interesting contrast
. The English Colonies,-founded by zealous Dissenters, or by persons who conceived that all established forms of religion savoured of tyranny and oppression-soon received the most judicious encouragement from the Parent State, and obtained advantageous charters from the Crown. They entered with spirit into commercial enterprises, and made rapid advances to riches, prosperity, and power. The French, on the other hand, were established by men of a different stamp, attached to the forms of their ancient religion—who sought to enhance their own reputation, and to extend the glory and power of their country, by penetrating among the savage tribes—by converting them to their own faith-by rigidly excluding what they considered the contamination of calvinistic doctrines—and by sending among them Missionaries, in order to establish a religious dominion over them. Actuated by these powerful
incentives, they commenced by keeping good faith with the savages,—they cultivated their friendship, and took part in their enmities as good and trusty allies. Thus they soon acquired over the Indian mind an influence far more extensive than
other European nation. But the result of this conduct was not politically successful, as regarded the advance of the Colony. By far too great a portion of toil, of zeal, and of authority seems from the first to have been directed to the Indian tribes, if we may judge from the result of an amiable, though, perhaps, mistaken policy. The subserviency of their colonial system, and even of commerce itself, to the propagation of the religion of the state is apparent throughout the early history of this Colony, and hence its tardy progress under the French Government; and its present inferiority, as to riches and population, to the English colonies planted about the same period.
Whatever neglect, however, the temporal affairs of New France might have experienced, before it was taken under the protection of the Royal Government in 1663–it is elear that nothing had been left unattempted from the earliest times, to provide for the spiritual welfare of the settlers, and for the instruction of the neophytes among the savages. As early as 1614, on the formation of a new and more exten. sive company of merehants trading to New France, CHAMPLALN had the devotion to introduce, and sufficient interest to obtain the passing of a clause in the articles, by which they engaged to defray the expenses of four ecclesiastics, who were to be sent out for the important object of spreading the true religion among the natives. The views of the pious founder of Quebec are thus explained : “ Seeing that we had no Priests, we obtained some through the interference
of the Sieur Houel, who had a peculiar affection towards this holy design, and who told me that the Récollet Fathers would be proper for this
for this purpose, both to reside in our habitation, and to convert the infidels. I agreed in this opinion, they being void of ambition, and conforming altogether to the rule of St. Francis. I spoke of it to My Lord, the Prince, who entered into my views; and the company offered of their own accord to support them, until they could obtain a Seminary, which they hoped to do, by means of the charitable donations, that might be bestowed
upon them for the care and instruction of youth.” CHAMPLAIN accordingly sailed from Honfleur on the 24th April, 1615, with four Récollet Fathers ; and after a favorable passage, without meeting ice or any other impediment, they reached Tadoussac on the 25th May, where they returned thanks for their safe arrival.
The first establishment of the religious communities of Quebec, has a peculiar interest ; and it is difficult to determine which is more worthy of admiration, the liberality of the design on the part of the founders, or the devotedness and fearlessness displayed by those appointed for its execution. The early history of Canada teems, indeed, with instances of the purest religious fortitude, zeal, and heroism-of young and delicate females, relinquishing the comforts of civilisation to perform the most menial offices towards the sick-to dispense at once the blessings of medical aid to the body, and of religious instruction to the soul of the beniyhted and wondering savage. They must have been upheld by a strong sense of duty-an overpowering conviction of the utility of their purposes,-a full persuasion of their efficacy, both towards their own eternal salvation, and that of