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trading nation. I cannot go so far. We have seen Russia, in the course of a century, become a great, populous, and trading nation. We have seen a splendid capital city, and many respectable towns, raised by the magical powers of commerce, and domestic industry; and yet the Russian winter is as long as the Canadian winter. The communication of the Russians, by water, with the rest of the world is cut off, and that element confounded, as it were, with the land, from the 27th of November, to the 19th of April (upon an average calculation of 15 years), which is nearly five months. Now vessels sometimes leave Quebec as late as the beginning of December, and arrive sometimes in the end of April, so that the Neva is as long shut up as the St. Lawrence; yet nobody ever doubts that Russia is a rising country, and may become the most powerful in Europe.
It is worthy of remark, and not a little surprising, that so large a river as the St. Lawrence, in latitude 47 > should be shut up with ice as soon, and continue as long shut up, as the comparatively small river, the Neva, in latitude 60.
Could the husbandman, the labourer, and all those whose trade or profession in Canada lead them to work in the open air, follow their occupations all the year round, it certainly would be of great advantage to the country, and to the people. At present, a great proportion of the people are obliged to live twelve months on six months work, which implies their receiving double wages. This is certainly the case; wages are very high; 4, 5, to 6s. a day are given, according to the kind of work, and merit of the workman. The idleness of their winter life has other bad effects. It generates habits prejudicial to exertion; so that, in summer even, they do not perform so much work as men who are in habits of industry all the year round. At the same time I must say, that the lower classes in this country dress as well, and appear to live as comfortably, as the same classes of people do in any country in Europe.
I Have now, my worthy friend, been a sojourner in Canada for a considerable length of time. , If it is not a land abounding in all the luxuries and elegancies of life, it undeniably is a land of peace and plenty.
My further experience has enabled me to confirm the truth of the statements I have already sent you, relative to the commerce of Canada; and to verify the observations I have ventured to make on the country, and its inhabitants, in physical and moral points of view.
I did not imagine that my letters would have reached the extent they have done. One thing leads on to another; and it is difficult to know where to stop. Perhaps you could have told me very easily: be that as it may, I must go on a little further. I have proceeded so far in drawing a portrait of Canada, that I should be sorry to omit any feature which might leave the resemblance doubtful. It would be more correct, were I to say the outlines of a portrait, for it is devoid of colouring and of ornament; yet I think it will be recognized by those who know the original.
I have, in a former letter, made some remarks on the government of Canada; but I have not said any thing, either as to the precise nature of the constitution, or the exact boundaries of the country. Several points connected with these objects demand attention, particularly the state of the public mind, in so far as regards the connexion with, and dependance on, Great Britain.
By the act of parliament, passed in 1791, it is enacted, "That there shall be, within each of the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, a legislative council, and house of assembly, who, with the consent of the governor, appointed by the king, shall have power to make laws."—Bills, though they have passed both the assembly and the council, may, by the governor, be referred to the king, and do not become laws till his assent is procured. When the governor assents for his Majesty, the bill becomes a law: but copies of such laws are sent home to the Secretary of State, and his Majesty may declare his dissatisfaction at any time within two years.
The legislative council is to consist of not less than seven members for Upper Canada, and fifteen for Lower Canada, to be summoned by the governor. The members are to hold their seats for life, unless forfeited by four years continued absence, or by swearing allegiance to some foreign power. The king may grant hereditary titles, by letters patent; with a right of sitting as legislative counsellors. But this right of creating a Canadian nobility has not as yet been exercised.
The house of assembly is to consist of not less than sixteen members for Upper Canada; and not less than fifty members for Lower Canada; to be chosen by the freeholders in the several towns and counties. The members for the counties are chosen by those who possess real pro