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abundant that when threshing the grain at one end of the yard, they burn the straw at the other end to get rid of it. He does not need to clear the land of trees, stumps, or rocks, for there are none. Very little fencing is required, for he can enclose all his arable land at once with one fence, and pasture is common and illimitable. There is a good market all over Manitoba for stock or produce of any kind, and, if a settler is discontented he can sell his stock and implements for their full value to new comers."

The drawbacks and deterrant circumstances are thus disposed of

"And what of the Indians, the mosquitoes, and the locusts? Myths, as far as we could learn, with as little foundation as myths generally have. Neither Crees nor Sioux have given those settlers the slightest trouble. The Sioux ask only for protection, and even before Governor Archibald made the Treaty with the Sauteaux and Crees by which they received a hundred and sixty acres of land per family of five, and three dollars per head every year for their rights to the country, they molested no one. 'Poor whites,' were they about in equal numbers, would give ten times as much trouble as the poor Indians, though some of the braves still paint ferociously and all carry guns. And the mosquitoes, and the grasshoppers or locusts, no one ever spoke of, probably because the former are no greater nuisance in Manitoba than in Minnnesota or Nova Scotia, and the latter have proved a plague only two or three times in half a century. Every country has its own drawbacks. The question must always be, do the advantages more than counterbalance the drawbacks? Thus, in returning home through California we found that the wheat crop, this year, amounted to twenty millions of bushels. The farmers told us that, for the two preceding years, it had been a failure owing to long continued drought, and that, on an average, they could only count on a good crop every second year, but, so enormous was the yield then, that it paid them well to sow wheat. Take, too, the case of the great wheat-raising State of what, as distinguished from the Pacific, may be called the Eastern States. The wheat crop of Minnesota this year amounts to twenty millions of bushels. But, up to 1857, enough wheat was not raised in the State to supply the wants of the few thousands of lumbermen who first settled in Minnesota. Flour had to be sent up the Mississippi from St. Louis, and the impression then was very general that one half of Minnesota consisted of lakes, sandhills, sandy prairies, and wilderness, and that the winters were so long and so cold in the other half that farming could never be carried on profitably; and, doubtless, severe remarks could be made with truth against Minnesota, but it is also the truth that twenty years ago its population was five thousand, and that now it is five hundred thousand. The soil of Min

nesota is not equal in quality to the soil of Manitoba. Calcareous soils are usually fertile. And Manitoba has not only abundant limestone everywhere, but every other element required to make soil unusually productive. Whereas, when you sail up the Red River into Minnesota, the limestone disappears, and the valley contracts to a narrow trough, only two or three miles wide, beyond which the soil is thin and poor. But, notwithstanding all difficulties, most of the emigrants to Minnesota are prospering. Hundreds of thousands of hardy Welshmen and Scandinavians poured into the new State, secured land under the Homestead Acts or bought it from Railway Companies, lived frugally-chiefly on a bread and milk fare-for the first few years, and they are now well-to-do farmers. Seeing that all the conditions for prosperous settlement are more favourable in Manitoba, is it not easy to foresee a similarly rapid development, if those entrusted with its destinies. and with the destinies of our great North-west act with the energy and public spirit of which our neighbours show so shining an example?"

The fertility of the soil is beyond all question, and the excellence of the climate is also an established fact. Of these, Mr. Grant says

"Speaking generally of Manitoba and our North-west, along the line we travelled, it is impossible to doubt that it is one of the finest pasture countries in the world, and that a great part of it is well adapted for cereals. The climatological conditions are favourable for both stock raising and grain producing. The spring is nearly as early as in Ontario; the summer is more humid and therefore the grains, grasses, and root crops grow better; the autumn bright and cloudless, the very weather for harvesting; and the winter has less snow and fewer snow-storms, and though, in many parts colder, it is healthy and pleasant because of the still dry air, the cloudless sky, and bright sun. The soil is almost everywhere a peaty or sandy loam resting on clay. Its only fault is that it is too rich. Crop after crop is raised without fallow or manure."

We cannot forbear giving Mr. Grant's description of the Rocky Mountains-which are brought to our mind's eye with wonderful


"For the first three hours the trail continued at some distance east from the valley of the Athabasca, among wooded hills, now ascending, now descending, but on the whole with an upward slope, across creeks where the ground was invariably boggy, over fallen timber, where infinite patience was required on the part of horse and man. Suddenly it opened out on a lakelet, and right in front, a semi-circle of five glorious mountains appeared; a high wooded hill and Roche à Perdrix on our left, Roche à Meyette beyond,

Roche Ronde in front, and a mountain above Lac Brulé on our right. For half a mile down from their summits, no tree, shrub, or plant covered the nakedness of the three that the old trappers had thought worthy of names; and a clothing of vegetation would have marred their massive grandeur. The first three were so near and towered up so bold that their full forms, even to the long shadows on them, were reflected clearly in the lakelet, next to the rushes and spruce of its own shores. Here is scene for a grand picture equal to Hill's much admired painting of the Yo Semite Valley.' A little farther on, another lakelet reflected the mountains to the right, showing not only the massive grey and blue of the limestone, but red and green colourings among the shales that separated the strata of limestone. The road now descended rapidly from the summit of the wooded hill that we had so slowly gained, to the valley of the Athabasca. As it wound from point to point among the tall dark green spruces, and over rose bushes and vetches, the soft blue of the mountains gleamed through everywhere, and when the woods parted, the mighty column of Roche à Perdrix towered a mile above our heads, scuds of clouds kissing its snowy summit, and each plication and angle of the different strata up its giant sides boldly and clearly revealed. We were entering the magnificent Jasper portals of the Rocky Mountains by a quiet path winding between groves of trees and rich lawns like an English gentleman's park.

"Crossing a brook divided into half a dozen brooklets by willows, the country opened a little and the base and inner side of Roche à Perdrix were revealed; but, it was still an amphitheatre of mountains that opened out before us, and Roche à Meyette seemed as far off as ever. Soon the Rivierè de Violon was heard brawling round the base of Roche à Perdrix and rushing on like a true mountain torrent to the Athabasca. We stopped to drink to the Queen out of its clear ice cold waters, and halted for dinner in a grove on the other side of it, thoroughly excited and awed by the grand forms that had begirt our path for the last three hours. We could now sympathise with the daft enthusiast, who returned home after years of absence, and when asked what he had as an equivalent for so much lost time,-answered only I have seen the Rocky Mountains.""


We would like to give many other beautiful passages-such as that in which the shooting of the rapids is described, but we would rather send our readers, one and all, to the book itself, assuring them of a rich reward of interest and information in its eloquent pages.


(From Ferguson's "Irish History before the Conquest.")


NONOR, King of Ireland, had educated a beautiful damsel, keeping her secluded from all mankind till she should be of an age to become his wife. Her name, Deirdré, signifying alarm, had been bestowed at her birth by the Druid Cathbad, and was prophetic of the long train of conflict and disaster to which her charms gave rise. Notwithstanding the precautions of Conor, she saw and loved Naisi, the son of Usnach. He was sitting in the midst of the plain of Emania, playing on a harp. Sweet was the music of the sons of Usnach-great also was their prowess; they were fleet as hounds in the chase-they slew deer with their speed. As Naisi sat singing on the plain of Emain he perceived a maiden approaching him. She held down her head as she came near him, and would have passed in silence. "Gentle is the damsel who passeth by," said Naisi. Then the maiden, looking up, replied, "Damsels may well be gentle when there are no youths." Then Naisi knew it was Deirdré, and great dread fell upon him. "The king of the province is bethrothed to thee, oh damsel," he said. "I love him not," she replied: "he is an aged man. I would rather love a youth like thee." "Say not so, oh damsel," said Naisi, "the king is a better spouse than the king's servant." "Thou sayest so," said Deirdré," that thou mayest avoid me." Then plucking a rose from a briar, she flung it towards him, and said, "Now thou art ever disgraced if thou rejectest me." • Depart from me, I beseech thee, damsel," said Naisi. "If thou dost not take me to be thy wife," said Deirdré, "thou are dishonoured before all the men of thy country after what I have done.' Then Naisi said no more, and Deirdré took the harp, and sat beside him playing sweetly. But the other sons of Usnach, rushing forth, came running to the spot where Naisi sat, and Deirdré with him. "Alas!" they cried, "what hast thou done, oh brother? Is not this damsel fated to ruin Ulster ?" "I am disgraced before the men of Erin for ever," said Naisi, "if I take her not after that which she hath done." "Evil will come of it," said the brothers. "I care not," said Naisi. "I had rather be in misfortune than in dishonour; we will fly with her to another country." So that night they departed, taking with them three times fifty men of might, and three times fifty women, and three times fifty greyhounds, and three times fifty attendants; and Naisi took Deirdré to be his wife.


After wandering through various parts of Ireland, "from Easroe to Ben Edar, and from Dundelgan to Almain," the fugitives at length took shelter in Scotland, where they found an asylum on the banks of Loch Etive. The loss of three warriors of such

repute soon began to be felt by the nobles of Ulster, who found
themselves no longer able to make head with their accustomed
success against the southern provinces. They therefore urged
Conor to abandon his resentment, and recall the fugitives. Conor,
with no other intention than that of repossessing himself of
Deirdré, feigned compliance. But, to induce Clan Usnach (as the
fugitives were called) to trust themselves again in the hands of
him whom their leader had so outraged, it was necessary that the
message of pardon should be borne by one on whose warranty of safe
conduct the most implicit reliance could be placed. After sound-
ing some of his chief nobles who were of sufficient authority to
undertake the mission, among the rest Cuchullin, and finding that
any attempt to tamper with them would be unavailing, Conor
fixes on Fergus, the son of Roy, as a more likely instrument, and
commits the embassy to him. But though he does not so much
fear the consequences of compromising the safe conduct of Fergus,
as of Cuchullin or the others, he yet does not venture openly to
enlist him in the meditated treachery, but proceeds by a stratagem
which, in these days, may appear somewhat far-fetched, yet probably
was not inconsistent with the manners of that time. Fergus was of
the order of the Red Branch, and the brethren of the Red Branch
were under vow not to refuse hospitality at one another's hands.
Conor, therefore, arranged with Barach, one of his minions, and a
brother of the order, to intercept Fergus on his return, by the
tender of a three days' banquet, well knowing that the Clan
Usnach must in that case proceed to Emania without the presence
of their protector. Meanwhile Fergus, arriving in the harbour of
Loch Etive, where dwelt Clan Usnach in green hunting booths
along the shore, "sends forth the loud cry of a mighty man of
chase." Then follows a characteristic passage:-" Deirdré and
Naisi sat together in their tent, and Conor's polished chessboard
between them. And Naisi, hearing the cry, said, 'I hear the call
of a man of Erin.' That was not the call of a man of Erin,' re-
plied Deirdré, but the call of a man of Alba.'
Then again
Fergus shouted a second time. Surely that was the call of a
man of Erin,' said Naisi. Surely no,' said Deirdré; let us
play on.' Then again Fergus shouted a third time, and Naisi
knew that it was the cry of Fergus, and he said, 'If the son of
Roy be in existence, I hear his hunting shout from the loch; go
forth, Ardan, my brother, and give our kinsman welcome.' 'Alas!'
cried Deirdré, I knew the call of Fergus from the first.'" For
she has a prophetic dread that foul play is intended them, and this
feeling never subsides in her breast from that hour till the catas-
trophe. Quite different are the feelings of Naisi; he reposes the
most unlimited confidence in the safe conduct vouched for by his
brother in arms, and, in spite of the remonstrances of Deirdré,
embarks with all his retainers for Ireland. Deirdré, on leaving
the only secure or happy home she ever expects to enjoy, sings a


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