Roughing It in the Bush
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Canada, the blest—the free! With prophetic glance, I see Visions of thy future glory, Giving to the world's great story A page, with mighty meaning fraught, That asks a wider range of thought. Borne onward on the wings of Time, I trace thy future course sublime; And feel my anxious lot grow bright, While musing on the glorious sight;— My heart rejoicing bounds with glee To hail thy noble destiny!
You shall have mine,” said Tom. “I can sleep upon the floor of the parlour in a blanket, Indian fashion. It’s a bargain—I’ll go and settle it with the Yankee directly; he’s the best fellow in the world! In the meanwhile here is a little parlour, which is a joint-stock affair between some of us young hopefuls for the time being. Step in here, and I will go for Moodie; I long to tell him what I think of this confounded country. But you will find it out all in good time;” and, rubbing his hands together with a most lively and mischievous expression, he shouldered his way through trunks, and boxes, and anxious faces, to communicate to my husband the arrangement he had so kindly made for us.
Fye upon Betty Fye! The Lord deliver me from Betty Fye! ” The last time I was honoured with a visit from this worthy, she meant to favour me with a very large order upon my goods and chattels. “Well, Mrs. Fye, what do you want to-day? ” “So many things that I scarce know where to begin. Ah, what a thing ’tis to be poor! First, I want you to lend me ten pounds of flour to make some Johnnie cakes. ” “I thought they were made of Indian meal? ” “Yes, yes, when you’ve got the meal. I’m out of it, and this is a new fixing of my own invention.
Fine strapping girls they were, from five years old to fourteen, but rude and unnurtured as so many bears. They would come in without the least ceremony, and young as they were, ask me a thousand impertinent questions; and when I civilly requested them to leave the room, they would range themselves upon the door-step, watching my motions, with their black eyes gleaming upon me through their tangled, uncombed locks. Their company was a great annoyance, for it obliged me to put a painful restraint upon the thoughtfulness in which it was so delightful to me to indulge.
Their visits were not visits of love, but of mere idle curiosity, not unmingled with malicious hatred. The simplicity, the fond, confiding faith of childhood, is unknown in Canada. There are no children here. The boy is a miniature man—knowing, keen, and wide awake; as able to drive a bargain and take an advantage of his juvenile companion as the grown-up, world-hardened man. The girl, a gossiping flirt, full of vanity and affectation, with a premature love of finery, and an acute perception of the advantages to be derived from wealth, and from keeping up a certain appearance in the world.
It was advisable that we should leave the vessel immediately, before the intelligence could reach the health-officers. A few minutes sufficed to make the necessary preparations; and in less than half-an-hour we found ourselves occupying comfortable apartments in Goodenough’s hotel, and our passage taken in the stage for the following morning. The transition was like a dream. The change from the close, rank ship, to large, airy, well-furnished rooms and clean attendants, was a luxury we should have enjoyed had not the dread of the cholera involved all things around us in gloom and apprehension.