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With vast fish
The smallest province of the Maritime."
P. E. I. SANDSTONE CLIFFS.
P. E. I.-THE SAND DUNES.
The Island is much indented with bays and lovely arms of the sea, and its peculiar greeness of field and meadow rivals in beauty the Emerald Isle itself. Facing the Gulf are fifty miles of
dunes, washed by the sea and forming one of the finest bath
ing beaches in the world. This "North Shore" may be reached either by driving straight across the Island from the city of Charlottetown; a delightful trip of less than fifteen miles, by train or by bicycle. Along this are various summer hotels and boarding houses where good accommodation is furnished at a low price. To lie down, stretched out luxuriously on the side of the sand bank and to gaze idly over the dancing waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, is to be insensibly drifted into a state of contented rest. There are no brass
bands, no side shows, no screaming steamboats, no foul odours, no gambling houses, none of the annoyances of a modern seaside resort. Here peace spreads her wings over the white beach which fringes a green undulating landscape.
Trout fishing may be had at no great trouble, while mackerel and cod-fishing may be enjoyed by any who desire to venture out with the hardy, jolly-faced fishermen who live along the shore. The principal North Shore resorts are located at Rustico, Tracadie, Stanhope and Brackley Point. In each of these places there are hotels whose carriages meet the trains for the accommodation of visitors.
On the south side of the Island are its two cities, Charlottetown and Summerside. Charlottetown, the seat of the Provincial Government, is situated on an almost land-locked harbour, the red sand-stone cliffs rising to guard a riding-place where may often be seen some of the vessels of the British North Atlantic Squadron. On a prominent point of land commanding the entrance to the harbour is Fort Edward, with a battery of three guns.
The city occupies a pleasant site, being laid out upon a slope that gradually rises from the harbour's edge to a height of fifty feet. The buildings are substantial, the streets broad and wellpaved, the park broad and inviting, the stores numerous and well-stocked. It is a lively little city, with plenty of good society and the usual sporting and entertaining institutions which are required by the modern standards of city life.
The harbours and the rivers running north, east and west, furnish splendid opportunities for boating. Sailing and rowing are popular forms of amusement, and during the summers evenings the "white wings" may be seen flitting to and fro across the waters. There are one or two boating clubs, and some interesting races take place each season, chiefly between the yachts of the city sportsmen and the less beautiful, but usually swifter, fishing boats from the hamlets along the shore. Sea-trout and mackerel are to be found within easy reach, so that the disciple of Walton will not go away disappointed. The fishing, however, is not so good here as along the north shore.
By Jean Blewett.
WE are leaving Quebec. The man
from Michigan and his pretty daughter do not go with us to St. Anne. They spend the afternoon rambling through the narrow streets, and losing themselves in the funny byways of Lower wn, where round-faced children play on the doorsteps and stare at the passer-by, where the housewife on one side the street leans out the window to gossip in whispers with her neighbour over the way. We are not sorry. The man from Michigan is a good-natured travelling companion, but he is also an incessant talker, and as the train leaves Quebec behind and bears us toward St. Anne it seems good to enjoy the beauty of the landscape in silence. On one side runs the blue-bosomed river, on the other one long straggling street, mile after mile. of white-washed houses with morning glories covering the windows, and sunflowers nodding in the gardens.
For a long time we have heard the voice of Montmorenci calling, calling, making itself heard above the clamour of the train, and by and by we see it rushing, fleeing through the rocky gorge, flinging itself with might and madness over the great cliffs. The rocks look bleak and grim with that foamy cataract racing by them. How loud and passionate it is for so soft and fair a thing. Far up the hills the lonesome pines look and listen, leaning over as if they fain would hold it closer and hide it in their deep greenness.
The voice of the Montmorenci follows us all the way to St. Anne. After hearing and reading so much of this famous shrine of healing, a certain solemnity falls on us as we enter the quiet place. The faith of a man, be he Catholic or Protestant, is a holy thing. Here the sick have cried for health, down, down on their knees have cried
for it, the maimed for healing, the blind for sight, the deaf for hearing, the sinning for pardon, the brokenhearted for comfort.
On each side of the aisle are piled the canes and crutches of pilgrims who have here come for healing-eight tall tiers to the right, eight to the left. The Breton fishermen builded better than they knew when, out of gratitude for deliverance from danger at sea, they erected the original St. Anne, more than three centuries ago.
All through the lower provinces are shrines and relics in abundance. We lose our zest for them as we go farther and farther east; but this is the beginning of things, and we examine with interest the piece of rock which they inform us is from the grotto in which the Virgin Mary was born, the case which holds a finger of St. Anne, and all the rest. The paintings and the statues came from France, many of them, and are the works of masters, but we turn from them to look at a living picture fuller of passion and pathos than even those of Lebrun's.
A fair-haired boy is kneeling at the altar, tears on his cheeks and pleading in his tones. Now he flings his arms out as if he fain would clasp the knees of the saint as a boy clasps those of his mother when he begs a boon-his slender frame trembles with eagerness and hope. We look at the crutches beside him, at the shrunken limbs, and the pity of it touches us.
Up the aisle comes a blind child led by a white-haired woman, the grandmere perhaps. The sunshine streams through the stained glass full upon them as they kneel. The touch of the angel of death is on the little facesweet in its pallor. The grandmere is praying for sight for her darling. Pray away, dear woman, the day of
groping in the dark is almost over for
As we leave the shrine of St. Anne, a party of pilgrims are climbing the scala-sancta, or holy stair, on their knees, and chanting a hymn to the Saint as they climb. Their full tones follow us:
"Wouldst thou be free of the pain and the anguish?
Healed of thy sickness, cured of thy sorrow? Kneel at the shrine of St. Anne the merciful,
She of the tender heart
St. Anne the merciful."
During the delicious journey through the country of the habitant the man from Michigan finds much of which to disapprove, but he is so in earnest, so frankly good-natured in his criticisms of things, that nobody minds him. The habitant's way of farming, his outof-date plough and harrow, his manner of piling the stones in the middle of a field instead of in a corner, the queer mills with which he grinds his grain, all these things worry the man from Michigan. But one high noon of a glorious day nature has the man so in love with her that there is no more faultfinding for a space. We have come to the Metapedia valley, and anything fairer, anything fuller of dazzling surprises cannot be imagined.
The mountains on the right, with their blue veils on their heads, are frowning at the mountains on the left across the green and gold of the valley; a white mist goes slipping toward the sea from whence it came; the beeches are still green, but the maples are scarlet, and the slender elms are golden. Through it all the Metapedia river goes with its rapids and water-falls, its crooning and murmuring. "Water of Song" the Indians named it in the beginning. It has such a changing face this river-smiling one moment, tempestuous the next. We look; it is a fierce wild thing impatient of restraint; again, and it is a tender water-child playing by itself among the rocks and hills. A canoe flits past, another, and another,
and up, up, as far as eye can see, the bald-headed mountains are roiting
At St. John we are in danger of losing the man from Michigan altogether -he is so taken with the place that he suggests to his daughter that they spend the rest of their holiday here. Oh, papa, and miss the land of Evangeline!" she cries.
'Well, to tell the truth I'd like to see that place you've been talking so much about, but all this ship-building, and vessels coming, and vessels going, all this tide business, river full one time, and not much more than a mudhole another, just takes my eye. However, I'll go along and see the rest of it with you. Do you suppose," turning to us, "that I'll be sorry I spent so much time and money getting there when I look at that Acadian place?"
"You will not be sorry," we assured him, and afterwards wished we had said otherwise, for many times and oft he casts our words up to us during our sojourn in the land of Evangeline.
Acadia owes a mighty debt to Longfellow. If that song of the poet's, strong, sorrowful, tender, had not made the meadows of Grand Pré, the old willows planted by the Acadians in the days of peace and prosperity, Minas Basin, Blomidon, the pasture lands over which the mist and sea fog hover, familiar things, the place would not hold us so.
To-day the meadows are stretching out in the sunshine; what is left of the forest primeval has its autumn glory on; Minas Basin, full to the brim, is flashing back the light thrown on it from the sky; the ships go by with all their white sails spread; old Blomidon, frowning always in sun or shadow, is blue as blue can be. There are the apple trees which used to blossom in some peasant's garden, bent and lifeless now. Straightway our imagination is at work.
We see old Benedict Bellefontaine's
house with its thatched roof, its gables, and its dormer windows, and we see the big hale Benedict in the doorway. He has a pride in his harvest ripening for the sickle, in his flocks and his herds, but ah, so much more in the maiden beside him! How well you know her, the maiden of seventeen summers. You can see her at her wheel, singing to herself, and turning her dark eyes often toward the village, for may not Basil's son be coming for the long talk in soft grey twilight? You see her going from one thirsty harvester to another with her foaming pitcher. You see her in the early morning, the pails in her hands waiting for the cows to come up from the pasture land-such a pretty bustling housewife, this week-day Evangeline.
The Sabbath Evangeline is sweeter, though. There she goes, in her blue kirtle, as the church bells ring. Is she or is she not a trifle conscious that she is fair to look upon in her Norman cap, ear-rings in her ears, kerchief over her bosom, as she walks onward with God's benediction upon her ?
Yonder is Basil's forge, and Basil at it with his leather apron on. You see the wives of the village spinning at the doorsteps, the children at play, the laborers coming home at sunset, and you hear the clack, clack of the gossiping looms. All this you see and hear because one of God's singers has sung to you of them. Before you knew the meaning of love and sorrow you were familiar with the story filled with both -the story of Evangeline and her lover Gabriel.
Every one does not see so much. The man from Michigan comes up with a perplexed air to ask "where is Grand Pré, any way?"
"This is Grand Pré," we assure him.
"Never! where is that Minas Basin
I've heard so much about?" glancing suspiciously around as though under the belief that some one has hidden Minas under a bushel on purpose to defraud him of his rights as an American citizen."
An affable stranger points out Minas, and the man gives a snort of contempt. "Umph! you could drop it in one corner of lake Michigan and never know it was there. Where is your big beautiful Blomidon? Show him to me.
And he shades his eyes with his hand and stares at Blomidon so disparagingly that Blomidon must feel properly ashamed of itself.
"Look, papa," cries his daughter, "look at the low green meadows stretching out in the sun, just as they did centuries ago,
He grumbles and is not his goodnatured self till we are in the famous apple orchards of the Annapolis valley. On the day we have the picnic with the apple pickers he looks happier than he has for a long time.
"I know a good thing when I see it," he says, "and I like this part of the country first rate."
"Better than the meadows of Grand Pré?" some one asks.
"I wouldn't care to farm in that part of the country," he returns. "When a man is busy at his haying it's bother enough to look out for the water that comes down without having to keep an eye on the water that comes up. I laugh every time I think of each haycock sitting up on a framework of its own to keep out of reach of the tide."
O the breath of the apple lands of Acadia; it goes sultry among the hills, down the river to the wooded isles, out and away through Digby Gut to that salt water thing of many moods, the Bay of Fundy, where the men busy
with their nets draw in long breaths of it, and crossing themselves devoutly, give thanks for the sunshine of St. Eulalie, which
"Filled their orchards with apples."