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Chroniqles of the St. Lawrence
games Macpherson น
AUTHOR OF MAPLE LEAVES ; QUEBEC, PAST AND PRESENT, ETC.
PUBLISHED BY DAWSON BROS., MONTREAL; DAWSON & CO., QUEBEC ;
JOHN W. LOVELL, ROUBES Point, N, Y.
“There is in North America a mighty river, having its head in remote lakes, which, though many in number, are yet so great that one of the:n is known as the largest body of fresh water on the globe,--with a flow as placid and pulseless as the great Pacific itself, yet as swift in places as the average speed of a railway train. Its waters are pure and azure-hued, no matcer how many turbid streams attempt to defile theni. It is a river that never knew a freshet, nor any drying-up, no matter how great the rain or snawa fall, or how severe the drought on all its thousand miles of drainage or of flow- and yet that regularly, at stated intervals, swells and ebbs within certain limits, as surely as the spring tides each year ebb and flow in the Lay of Fundy a river so rapid and yet so placid as to enchant every travellerso grand and yet so lovingly beautiful as to enthral every appreciative soul, which rises in a great fresh-water sea, and ends in the greater Atlantic--some places sixty miles wide, at others less than a mile--a river that never has yet had a respectable history, nor scarcely more than an occasional artist to delineate its beauties. It lies, for a thousand miles, between two great nations, yet neglected by both, though neither could be as great without it ma river as grand as the LA PLATA, as picturesque as the RHINE, as pure as the LAKES OF SWITZERLAND. Need we say that this wonderful stream is the ST, LAWRENCE, the noblest, the purest, most enchanting river on all God's beautiful earth."
It has been a frequent subject of surprise, nay of disappointment, to tourists and strangers visiting each summer the noted spots on the Lower St. Lawrence, that, with abundance of material at command, no history had yet been attempted of the majestic stream which for some thousands of miles winds its course to the ocean.
What, indeed, would be Canada without this main artery of commerce For six months, the wilderness of snow, jeered at by the great scoffer, Voltaire, one hundred years ago ;—for the rest of the year a parched-up desert, closed to European shipping, with tropical heats and a stunted vegetation.
Embracing on both banks more than one thousand miles of sea board from Quebec to Cape Gaspé; lined by innumerable settlements, thriving villages, rising towns; dotted in its whole length with numberless, fertile and picturesque islands, each having its peculiar history, its wild legend of the forest or the sea, its thrilling incident of naval warfare, possibly its harrowing tale of shipwreck and death.
What a rich harvest here for the antiquarian, the historian or the novelist ? Conflicts on ea and on land between the