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and highly civilised nations of the old world, Great Britain and France. Quebec is the only city on the North American Continent which has been regularly fortified, and which has resisted the sieges and assaults of disciplined troops. When it last fell, the whole French system of colonial empire fell with it—a system which, had it been followed with vigor equal to the conception, might have proved fatal to the interests of the English colonists-and a colonial empire which extended from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the mouth of the Mississippi. The result of this conflict, and the circumstances which achieved that result, render Quebec peculiarly interesting to every true Briton ; while the consequences, so favorable to the liberty of the subject, and the full development of the resources of the colony, have converted the field of military defeat into a scene of civil triumph in the estimation of every loyal Canadian. To either race the ground is sacred. To the one, the Plains of Abraham are at once the Hastings and the Runnimede of the other. By our brethren of the Union, the site of Quebec cannot be visited without peculiar interest. The great event which consecrated the Heights of Abraham, while it for ever extinguished French dominion in America, established the security of the English colonists of that day, and eventually laid the foundation of the present gigantic republic.
The scenic beacty of Quebec has been the theme of general eulogy. The majestic appearance of Cape Diamond and the fortifications—the cupolas and minarets, like those of an eastern city, blazing and sparkling in the sun—the loveliness of the panorama--the noble basin, like a sheet of purest silver, in which might ride with safety an hundred sail
of the line—the graceful meandering of the River St. Charles—the numerous village spires on either side of the St. Lawrence-the fertile fields dotted with innumerable cottages, the abodes of a rich and moral peasantry—the distant Falls of Montmorency -the park-like scenery of Pointe Levi—the beauteous Isle of Orleans—and more distant still, the frowning Cap Tourment, and the lofty range of purple mountains of the most picturesque forms which bound the prospect, unite to make a coup d'ail, which, without exaggeration, is scarcely to be surpassed in any part of the world. If the scientific traveller, amid the sensations experienced on scanning the various beauties of the scene, should recall to mind, in ascending the highest elevation of the promontory, that he is standing upon the margin of the primeval and interminable forest, extending from a narrow selvage of civilisation to the Arctic regions, he will admit that the position of Quebec is unique in itself, and that in natural sublimity it stands, as to the cities of the continent, unrivalled, and alone.
CHAPTER THE SECOND.
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF DISCOVERY PREVIOUS TO THE
TIME OF JACQUES CARTIER.
BEFORE we proceed to the descriptive portion of our volume, it has been thought necessary to give a sketch of the progress of maritime discovery in this part of the continent, with historical notices and recollections connected with the capital of British North America. The original volumes in which the voyages of the discoverers, and the early annals of the country are to be found, are not always easy of access by general readers ; many being contained in scarce and costly works, or in the scattered fragments of more recondite authorities. The present essay has therefore been compiled to furnish a comprehensive manual of the progress of civilisation in the Province, as an appropriate introduction to the immediate object of this publication. Although this subject has been treated by various authors, whose books are familiar to the public, we trust that some new matter, or some facts placed in a novel point of view, will be found to repay the reader for the time bestowed in the perusal of this chapter.
If the existence of the New World, as it has frequently been called, from the late period of its discovery, was unknown to the Ancients, it would seem with some show of reason to have been not altogether unsuspected by them. From several passages
it is certain that an idea was entertained, that it was easy to sail from the western coast of Spain to the eastern shores of India. They had, however, no idea of the magnitude of the globe, and imagined that a few days would be sufficient for such a voyage. The existence of an immense continent intervening between their point of departure and the extreme shores of India, was beyond their conception, as it was of the early European navigators. The object of the first adventurers of whom any thing certain has reached us, was a passage to India, and it may be said that they stumbled upon America in their route. Aristotle, Strabo, Pliny and Seneca entertained the crude opinion mentioned above. Strabo alone seems to have imagined the distance between the two continents, when he says, that the ocean encompasses all the earth ; that in the east it washes the coast of India, and in the west those of Africa and Spain, and that, if the vastness of the Atlantic did not hinder, they might soon sail from the one to the other upon the same parallel.
The following remarkable passage is from the Medea of Seneca, the Tragedian :
Ultima Thule. “ There will come a time in after ages, when " the ocean will loose the bonds of matter, and " a vast country will be discovered, and a second
Tiphys will reveal new worlds, and Thule shall “no longer be the extremity of the earth.” And in a book, ascribed to Aristotle, the Carthagi
nians are stated to have discovered, far beyond the pillars of Hercules, an Island in the Atlantic Ocean, of great extent and fertility, watered by large and magnificent rivers, but entirely uninhabited. This enterprising people are said to have planted a colony there, which was afterwards recalled, owing to some political objection, which forbad distant colonization, The Tyrians are also said to have evinced some intention of occupying this Island, and were proceeding to carry their purpose into execution, when they were prevented by the jealousy of the Carthaginians. It was pretended by some writers that this Island was Hispaniola, by others, one of the Azores. The boldness of the Carthaginian navigators is sufficiently authenticated ; and however we may be inclined to doubt the probability of their having ventured as far as the West Indies of modern days, it is by no means impossible that they had acquired some imperfect notion of Islands and lands in the western hemisphere. One fact, however, is clearly ascertained, that their belief in the existence of such Islands or continent did not induce any subsequent colony to go in search of them ; nor is there any reason to believe, that America received any portion of its early inhabitants from civilised Europe, prior to the close of the fifteenth century.
We may here mention a curious passage in the lost writings of Cornelius Nepos, quoted by Pomponius Mela: “ A king of the Boii made Quintus 66 Metellus Celer then Proconsul of Gaul, a pre6 sent of some Indians who had been thrown by a “ tempest on the coast of Germany." The Romans concluded from this circumstance, that coming, as these savages did, from India, it was practicable to make the tour of Asia and Europe round the north,