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The last two months are interesting, bem cause we are anxious to see by what means, and in what manner, such an immensity of snow and ice is to be got rid of.
The influence of the sun is little felt in February. In March, however, you are sensible of its power; and, during this month, the weather in general is very beautiful; the frost is still sufficiently severe to keep the roads hard and good; the sky is clear, the sun shines bright; it is pleasant to get into a cariole, and drive a few miles into the country. During the month of April, the influence of the sun has been so great, as powerfully to affect all nature. The snow has nearly disappeared about the first week in May; the ice in the lakes and rivers is broken up, by the increase of water from the melting of snow, and it is floated down to the great river St. Lawrence, where it accumulates in immense quantities, and is carried up and down with the tide.
At this time the St. Lawrence presents one of the most extraordinary scenes in nature. You cannot form an adequate idea
of it, without being a spectator. From bank to bank, it is quite choaked up with immense masses and sheets of ice; some of them from 4 to 500 yards in diameter. The tide forces them on one another, breaks them into smaller pieces, and raises them in shelving and fantastic forms, considerably above the surface. This mass of moving ice fills the whole bason, and is seen as far up the river as your eye can reach-a distance altogether of twelve to fifteen miles.
While the river was in this state, wè were astonished to see a vessel from England come round point Levi, into the bason. The arrival of the first vessel from England is hailed as a joyful circumstance. You cannot imagine what a crowd of pleasurable ideas fills the mind on this occasion. All classes and descriptions of people are interested in it. The merchant, the tradesman, and the labourer, have an immediate prospect of beginning their operations, of putting a period to a state of idleness, and of supplying the wants of their families, which, necessarily, will often
be felt, after being six months with little or no employment. The military men have a more immediate prospect of communicațing with their friends at home, and of having more frequent intelligence of what is going on in Europe. In short, a thousand agreeable associations are formed in the mind, which may be more easily conceived than described
The vessel arrived on the 28th of April, which is about a fortnight sooner than usual. Indeed, for these last forty years, I am well informed, there have been only two yessels that have arrived so soon. The river being still full of ice, it was curious, and at the same time terrific, to see the vessel, with all sails set, surrounded by, and fixed amongst, these immense pieces of ice, nioving backwards and forwards with the tide, whichever way it led, Anchors and cables were of no use; the only object,-ibe only chance of safety, was to take advantage of some occasional opening amungst the sheets of ice, by which she inight - ve forced out of the stream. An opportunity fortunately occurred; it was imine
diately seized, the wind being strong and favourable; and she was brought to the quay, and safely moored.
People went off to her assistance immediately on her appearing, and they had much difficulty in reaching her; but they did so at last, with the assistance of canoes, which they paddled when an opening occurred, and hauled over the ice when necessary. It was an extraordinary sight to see people jump off the sheets of ice, into the main-chains of the vessel.
One might have thought, that these immense masses of ice coming against the sides of the vessel, would have stove them in; she received no injury however. In fact, the ice at this season has been so acted upon by the warmth of the weather, that its hardness is greatly lessened. It seems to preserve much of its thickness; but it has become perforated, honey. combed, and full of water, so that the concussion on the vessel was reduced to almost nothing. Ice of the same apparent magnitude, in the month of Jauuary, would have squeezed the vessel to pieces.
Notwithstanding this vessel suffered no injury, there was a considerable risk of her being forced on shore.
In the fall of the year the risk of shipwreck is greatly increased, from the snow storms prevalent at that time. These storms not only prevent the sailors from seeing the coast and the landmarks, and consequently from directing their course properly; but the cold is then so severe, that the men cannot remain exposed to it, The cordage becomes incrusted with ice, so that it cannot run through the blocks, and the sails become frozen in such a manner, that there is no possibility of working the ship; besides, so much ice gets about the rudder that it becomes immoveable. Many vessels have been lost from these circumstances, and almost every winter, some vessels sail in expectation of getting out of the river ; but, being caught in a snow storm, are very fortunate if they escape destruction, by getting into some bay or place of shelter, where they remain fixed for the winter.
No sooner is the influence of the April sun felt, than you see birds of various kinds