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The Englishman in Canada, a satire online

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''Only let his next be as good, and his peculiar
may vaunt their fortune against that of any othei
writer, English or American.'- — London Athenceiwu.





Our edition is the only ninstrated edftion in Canada,

Crown 8vo., cloth, $1.00.

Paper covers, 50 ^e.ii








BELFORD & CO., Publishers,




Reasons for Visiting Canada — Preparations — Voyage — Sea-sickness —
Change of programme — Banks ot' Newfoundland — Savages — Canni-
bals — -Their caves and rendevouz — Human feasts — Seals — Their
ravages — Conflicts with the inhabitants — Domesticated — Used as
horses — Ice between St. John's and Halifax — Testimony to Captain
Cuttlefin — St. John's — Its architecture — Trapping whales and codfish
— Arms of the city — How cod-liver oil is made — Food for the citizens
— Morie of catching oysters — Substitute for railways — Claims lor the
antiquity of St. John's — Reasons for doubting them — Codfish
aristocracy I


Hali ax — Savages and wild beasts — The Mic-Macs — How they got that —
name — Sketch of Mike O'Rourke's life — His capture — Capturing his
captors — Arrival at Halifax — Hostile savages — " Music hath charms,
&c." — Their dancing bout — Mike made a chief — How Halifax got its
name — Sketch of Carran MacFioU's life — Arrival at Fredericton —
Meets a native - Courtesy — Hostilities — Conquest — Mountain dew —
Made a chief — First settlement at Fredericton — Chief buried at
Miramichi — How Miramichi got its name — Tribes assume the name
Mic-Macs — Halifax a bad place — Reasons for that opinion — New
Brunswick's early settlers — Prince Edward Island — A celebrated
refugee there — How travellers should procure information in a colony. 8


Early history of Canada — The '* Inferior race" — Proofs — Count de Grand-
singe's opinion — Patois — State of the Grelic and' Irish tongues in
Canada — The German and lager-bier — A comparison — Political differ-
ences — Solution — Mr. Betterterms — Mr. Repbypop — Magic balls —
Upper Canada milked — Election times — Spherocrats and Manapures
— Fetes Chanipetre — How pemmican is made — How Scotch haggis
is made — "The stump" — A wonderful invention — Wild beasts and
savages — Terrors of night — Canadian products at Exhibition 15


Fireflies — Their destnictiveness — Cause of fires — Von Nebelicht's expe-
rience — Monsters in the water — Their terrible voices in Spring — Their
rapacity — Winter — How roads are made under the snow — The Mar-
quis de Bagnaudier's experience — His horse tied to the steeple — the
wolf and rabbits — Pullman cars — Bathing places along the Intercolo-
nial railway z:.




Quebec — Its former greatness — British forces — Irrepressible citizens —
Their ingratitude — Pretended "rights" — Savages and wild beasts —
The "Snawshus" — Addresses — Winter sports — The cone — Why built
— Heat and cold remarkable — Plains of Abraham — Why so called —
Prize fight between Wolf and Montcalm — Attempted capture of Lord
Dufferin — Fortifying the city — Isle of Orleans — Beauport Asylum —
By whom built — Why 27


Montreal — Impressions — Victoria Bridge — Toboggans governing society —
Wild beasts and savages — Seat of government — Address and presenta-
tion to Lord Elgin by the citizens — Parliament house destroyed — Seat
of Government removed — Head of navigation— Whales — Lachine —
Why so called — Glengarry — Nemrod and the Gaelic — Etymology of
Nemrod — Stormont and Dundas — Early settlers — Prescott junction —
Want of accommodation for distinguished travellers — Ottawa — Expa-
riation of the Marquis and Princess — Government buildings — Bridges
Canal — Bytown — W' hy so called 32


Visit to the Marquis and Princess — Amusements — Ladies' pugnacity —
Disregard of the fashions — Breach of etiquette — Society at Ottawa —
Vanity Fair — Awkwardness of the M.P.'s accounted for — Interview
on the subject — Damaging effects of the Colonies on lives of Gover-
nor's — Victims — Paltry remuneration — W^indmill at Prescott — The
target of a knight-errant — Doubts — Kingston — Its original name —
Places of interest — Why Parliament has removed — Its big Gun —
Rideau Canal — Its present use — Derivation of its name — Reasons for
prosecuting the research 38


Toronto — Impressions — Mud — Harbour — Etymology of the name— Wm.
Lyon Mackenzie — His fight with the tiger — ^Flight — Lions killed —
Queen's Park — Its character on Sundays — Courts — ^Judges and the
knowledge of law — The Court House — Its antiquity — Parliament
bnuildings— By worn built — Conjectures of travellers about them —
Medical Board of Examiners — A theory applied to it — Plucked
students passing in England — Degrees— Wisdom of English people
excluding Colonial Physicians — Railway cars — Evils — Want of ambi-
tion — Quid pro quo — Physical objects — Difiference — Phenomena —
How positions are obtained — Infusing superior blood into Canada —
Results 42


Lake Ontario —Other Lakes— Their formation accounted for — Niagara
Falls — How formed and the cause— European waterfalls compared —
^ By whom named — Meaning of the name — Persecution and backsheesh
— Victims — Companions — Places to be visited — Savages and wild
beasts— Miss Ko Ka — Yankees— Who they arc— An appointment —
Conclusion 49




Stimulated by the successful explorations and discoveries of the
renowned and intrepid Stanley in equatorial Africa, and the fame
he has secured by throwing so much light upon that dark conti-
nent ; and being by nature a life-long philanthropist, in intention if
not in actual deeds ; and further, having heard of the enviable and
chivalrous character of that famous Scotchman, Donald Quickset,
and his noble steed, Rosinante, (named in memory of his pious
Aunty Rossin), I resolved to rouse my dormant faculties, and
snatch the wreath of fame from some of the hidden mysteries of
the universe, and on my brow wear the laurels of a discoverer, like
Galilio and Robinson Crusoe, and so hand down my name to
posterity, (tho' yet a bachelor,) as a leading benefactor of the
human race. The spirit of discovery and adventure had lain
dormant in my breast so long, not because it did not often assert
its presence and struggle to soar forth to find the hidden and the
marvellous where alone the hidden and the marvellous are to be
found, but because I could not decide upon the precise field
wherein to exercise my brilliant talents, until spurred into action
by the fame of the gentlemen already mentioned.

While thus at a loss to know in what way I could best serve my
fellow-beings, I was called to attend a general meeting ot the
Society of which I have the distinguished honour to be a member,
viz. : the " Society for the Promotion of Cosmopolitan Ideas," and
at that meeting fit and proper persons were selected to visit the
Colonial dependencies of Great Britain and other countries, for
the purpose of procuring such general information as might be of
interest and benefit to the public. After mature deliberation the
choice fell upon me to make a place called " Canada" — of which
we had casually heard a few times before — the field of my obser-


vation and research. After much study and enquiry, I obtained .a
vague idea of where this terra incognita was to be found, and how
to reach it. My information was not very definite, but I learnt
that my objective point was in the direction of the setting sun,
beyond the sea, and to be reached by a steamer saiHng from Liver-
pool. I immediately made preparations for my sojourn through
the inhospitable regions to which I was for a time to be banished,
by providing a stock of writing materials, matches, cigars, homoeo-
pathic medicines, essence of coffee, extract of beef, concentrated
milk, corn plasters, postage stamps, bath-tub, hat-box, and various
other articles necessary to my comfort, not to be obtained in the
wilderness. Fortunately I secured a passage in the steamer Afghan-
istan, of which my honoured and veracious friend, Captain Cuttle-
fin was master, and to whose inexhaustable fund of accurate
information I am indebted for many of the Facts that are recorded
in these pages.

I brought with me some guide-books and the latest papers, from
which I gained some knowledge of the geography of the colony
and of the character of its people, as well as of a few of the latest
events that had taken place there, so that I was enabled to form
some sort of a programme for my guidance. It was my intention
to have left the steamer at the Banks of Newfoundland and walk
into Toronto incognita, so that I would not be overwhelmed and
bored with laudations and addresses by the stupid colonists, who
flock to see persons of distinction, such as Lord Dufferin, the
Princess Louise and myself, (and when Dufferin and the Princess
suffered so severely, it would have been infinitely worse for me if
it were known that I was a member of so eminent a Society as the
S. P. C. I.,) and again, not being a good sailor, ^jnd tired with calls
for contributions from the inexorable Neptune. I did not like to be
tossed about upon the restless waves of the Atlantic longer than
I could help ; and, as might have been expected, I found that the
farther those waves receded from the benign influence of my dear
old home, the more turbulent and desperate they became. But
the genial and whole-souled Captain Cuttlefin prevailed upon me
to abandon my intention of landing at the Banks, and I stepped
ashore at a place called Halifax instead I yielded more willingly
because he gave many cogent reasons to dissuade me from fol-
lowing the plan I had first laid down, and as he could give every
information about anything I might wish to know, I confidingly
submitted myself to his guidance and instruction.

The Banks of Newfoundland, he informed me, are steep and
lofty, and so slippery in winter that it is all but impossible to climb
them, being covered with snow and ice, and if I made the attempt
it might seriously interfere with my prospects of success. The
aborigines of Newfoundland are cannibals of the most ferocious
type, worse, if possible, than those of Tasmania, whose most desira-


ble bon bouche is roast missionary on toast Several efforts have
been made with stimulative agencies to civilize them, but with no
appreciable result, and they are still very numerous. They live
in caves in the great Banks that communicate with each other by
subterranean passages, and when an unfortunate traveller comes in
their way, they seize and drag him to an immense cavern, which is
their place of rendezvons on great occasions, and where their fes-
tivities are held. The savages do not know the use of fire, and of
course the usual process of cooking is dispensed with, so that the
feast is partaken of in a very crude state, but the Captain was not
aware whether any cases of trichina spiralis had ever resulted from
eating raw missionary, yet the practice is one not to be recom-
mended for fear of evil consequences, and I had no fancy for being
accessory to any such results, nor did I appreciate such a form of
welcoming a stranger in a strange land, and preferred not to make
the acquaintance of so captivating a people. The walls of those
caves are studded with diamonds, and as the eyes of the natives
are luminous in the dark, the light thus reflected makes a brilliancy
equal to Edison's best electric achievment, and at a much cheaper

Another reason the Captain gave me was, that Newfoundland
being an island, (which I was much surprised to hear,) the ice on
the channel between St. John's and Halifax might not be suffi-
ciently strong to bear me up, as the countless numbers of seals
frequenting that strait make the ice porous with their breath, and
unsafe to venture upon. Those voracious animals have such " pre-
datory instincts " (acquired, no doubt, from their cogenors in North
Britain,) especially in the winter season when laying up stores for
future use — that they capture every living ca^ature that comes
^within their reach, and convey it to their burrows in the ice, so
that it is dangerous in the extreme to attempt crossing in the midst
of such desperate beasts. A sense of danger, however, would not
have deterred me from making the attempt, were it not that my
mission was of too important a character to be imperilled by any
rash act, and I am happy to say that whenever 1 suspect the pre-
sence of danger I am governed by the dictates of prudence and
pursue the path of safety. I have ever been ready and willing to
sacrifice my life, if need be, in the cause of science and philan-
thropy, but feeling convinced that science and philanthropy would
suffer irreparably by the sacrifice, I have acted on the sugges-
tion of prudence to postpone self immolation until that period
arrives, as it must, when my sphere of usefulness will have become
so circumscribed that the people of Europe will not so seriously
feel the loss as they would have done up to the present time. This
is a digression, however. When the Colonists find it necessary to
cross this dangerous strait, they go in large bodies for mutual pro-
tects n, well armed with tomahawks and scalping-knivcs, and


clothed in coats of mail made of the indigenous birch bark, Many
sanguinary conflicts have taken place between the people and
those formidable phocidce. Sometimes young seals are caught and
domesticated, and when tamed they are trained to do the work of
horses and oxen, such as drawing home fuel for winter use, and
fish for the trading vessels. Under the saddle they make excellent
hunters, chasing the swift-footed mud-turtle over hill and dale, and
all manner of inaccessible places for hours together. It is a com-
mon thing to see a gay equipage in St. John's only thoroughfare,
drawn by a pair of iron-grey seals going at a bieak-neck pace.
But they are very treacherous in their nature, kick badly, and
need to be handled with great care and caution.

In the face of such perils, as pointed out by my esteemed friend,
I did not deem it prudent to leave the steamer at the Banks.
Captain Cuttlefin is a Highlander of cultivated tastes, (although
his Gaelic name is beyond the orthoepy of any EngHshman,) whose
sterling integrity and urbanity of manners I have great pleasure in
bearing witness to ; and I do so more willingly because he is not
one of those mere Colonists, who have not had the enviable dis-
tinction of having been born in Europe, but yet with charac-
teristic presumption would make us, enlightened people, believe
that they are just as good as we are. But, thanks to our superior
intelligence and noble heritage, we have to be a long time degene-
rating under their cHmatic influences, before we can descend so low
in our own unprejudiced estimation as to recognize colonists as
our equals. And this fact we never try or wish to hide ; on the
contrary, we never let an opportunity pass without impressing
upon the minds of those upstart colonists that they, and everything
they possess, from the sun that so persistently and continuously
scorches them to the atmosphere around them — which is as thin *as
Scotch brose — are inferior in every sense, socially, morally and
physically, to anything and everything we have in the land of our
birth. But they are so superlatively stupid that they cannot under-
stand that the humblest individual amongst us towers in every noble
attribute far above the best blood in the colonies. Nature never
makes a mistake. This may appear at first sight somewhat para-
doxical, because colonists are immigrants only who left the different
countries of Europe to settle in the colonies, and consequently are
descended from the same stock as we are. But it must be borne
in mind that as soon as a person leaves Europe with the intention
of making his home in the colonies, that moment he becomes
degenerate, and steps down from the level of those he left behind
him, despised and branded forever as a mere colonist, and no
series of metempsychosis can ever replace him on the pinnacle from
which he fell.

As I have airea^^ ntimated, 1 did not visit St. John's, but the
CaDtain described several of the traits of character of the people


and peculiarities of the town. St. John's is built chiefly of whale-
bone and dried codfish, and roofed in with oyster shells. At first
I was disposed to doubt this extraordinary feature in modern archi-
tecture, but Captain Cuttlefin assured me that it was a fact, and
his word is beyond cavil. Nature has furnished St. John's with
peculiar facilities for obtaining whalebone. The harbour is locked
in by two lofty escarpments that almost meet in front of the
town, and in this gap are fitted two sliding gates, that can be
closed and opened when required. The whales at certain seasons,
come in myriads through this passage to blow in the quiet waters
of the harbour, and the gates are then closed upon them, and
they are made prisoners. While they remain they keep blowing
the water all over the town till by that means the streets and
yards are thoroughly cleansed — which is a wise dispensation of
Providence in favour of St. John's, in thus doing what the citizens
would never do themselves. After deluging the town for a few
hours, the whales attempt to go out to sea, but find the passage
closed, and as they press forward against the gates they soon blow
all the water in the harbour into the sea beyond, and then perish
for want of their native element The fishermen then go to work
and reap a bounteous harvest. The bones are used for ladie?''
stays, umbrellas, and building purposes, and the blubber for fu ;l
and light, and also for lubricating the joints of their horses. The
codfish is caught in pretty much the same way, that is, by closing
the gates upon them when they make their periodical visits in their
moulting season, and then scooping them up with nets ; after which
they are dried and prepared by an electric process, for which an
enterprising Yankee has a patent. The arms of the city are : a
codfish rampant gazing wistfully at a capelan (its favourite prey) in
the distance, with whales spouting in the back-ground, and the
whole surrounded by bottles of cod-liver oil. Cod-liver oil is the
principal beverage of the inhabitants, and is extracted from the fish
caught in the harbour. In the dog-days the livers of the codfish
are placed in an amphitheatre forming a part of the public square,
and left exposed to the direct rays of the sun for twentj'-eight days,
and at the expiration of that period a civic holiday is pwroclaimed,
the citizens, decked in their best toilets, assemble in the square ;
a band, consisting of a bag-pipe, a flute, a concertii^ and a harp,
belonging to a Jew, discourses the music, while the distributors oi
periodical literature, and their kindred co-labourers, march with
bare feet in gleeful procession through the mass of livers, and thus
the oil is pressed out, which runs into a receptacle prepared for it,
and then it is bottled and labelled for use.

The people of Newfoundland live chiefly on oysters, caught with
drag nets in the small lakes that abound in the interior, but the
most highly prized are the bivalves caught with the hook and line^
Those that are not used for home consumption, are packed in tin


cans and given to the Yankees. Into each can a silver coin is put
along with the oysters, and presented to the Yankees as a token of
gratitude for their kindness in accepting the cans gratuitously, and
the Yankees, not to be outdone in international courtesy, hand
back the coin in return for the oysters, and that makes the trans-
action even on both sides, or, in other words, a reciprocity of trade
is kept up, and mutual advantages are conferred.

There are no railways in Newfoundland ; they are such slow
people that, incredible as it may appear in this progressive age, the
government have never yet been able to get into debt, which, I
think, is the best proof that could be given of the somnolent char-
acter of the inhabitants. They have no conception of what a
railway is, but in order to familiarize themselves with its speed the
members of the Cabinet, and a few prominent citizens, imported
a number of " merry-go-rounds," — one for each — and placed them
at intervals along the street. Every day at noon the ministers and
citizens seat themselves on their respective "steeds," and on the last
stroke of twelve start off at a dizzy pace to see which will go the
longest distance on a straight line, in a given time, by describing
complete circles ; and it is very interesting to see those " grave
and reverend seigniors" engaged in this unique experiment, as if
trying to secure a mad planet that was attempting to escape from
its orbit. But as they have not yet succeeded in demonstrating
the question that engrosses their attention, they cannot agree upon
the advantages of a railway built at their own expense. They are
quite willing, however, to let others build one for them, from St.
John's to the opposite side of the island, which shews how generous
and disinterested they are ; and Canada has been offered the privi-
lege of doing so, provided that she will civilize the savages, muzzle
the seals, and keep the harbour from freezing. The probability
is that Canada will build the road, and pay Newfoundland for the
right of way, for she acts as a kind of foster-mother to all the little
foundlings that she finds on her door-step, of which she now has
five or six in her nursery. When Newfoundland gets her foot upon
a railway she will make rapid strides in the way of expenditure,
and get into debt quite as fast as her neighbours have done, and
that is saying a great deal.

The city o^St. John's is named after St. John the Evangelist,
and the citizens claim that it was there he Avrote the Revelations,
and not on Pat Moss's liitle island in Skibbereen bay, but I am
inclined to doubt the authenticity of the statement, because this
island could not have emerged from the waters of the Atlantic at
that early date, as there Is no reference made to it in Joseph us'
memoirs, Baron Lumpenkramer's Untersuchung. Sir Patrick O'Rio-
ghal's Faug a Balla^ or in fact any of those ancient records pre-
served in the archives of the different countries of the old world.
I feel positive that it is only a piece of bombast got up by those


presumptuous colonists, who would impose upon the credulity of
strangers by representing that their miserable geological conglomo-
ration is as old as the British Isles, or even France. The most
convincing proof of the ab surdity of the claim is in the fact that
the Strait of Belle Isle, between Newfoundland and Labrador, has
not had time to grow into dry land yet, although the people near
it feel dry whenever they see a tavern. Besides, it is not at all
likely that Mr. Domitian would have sent his yacht to such a dis-
tance from his own loch, even to accommodate so accomplished
an explorer as the great Evangelist, and with those irrefragable
proofs against them, I will now dismiss the claims of the New-
foundlings to antiquity, and will just mention the fact that the
original name of the island was " Codfish," whence the designation
applied to a large class of people inhabiting these colonies, to wit,
" Codfish Aristocracy."



Halifax is a place where Her Britannic Majesty is obliged to
keep several war vessels stationed for the purpose of protecting it
from the incursions of a desper te band of savages that infest
the woods in the immediate neighbourhood. Those untameable

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Online Librarypseud MACThe Englishman in Canada, a satire → online text (page 1 of 7)