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shore of the lake, on the left hand, and another at an acute angle, and standing at Simcoe Island, five or six miles to the south- this angle it is possible to obtain a view of east of Amherst, on the right, it appears like the harbour down either of them. a long, narrow bay, tapering gradually to a The principal buildings of Kingston are point in the distance, and seeming to end in the City Hall, a large and handsome cut a cul de sac just beyond the city. Simcoe stone structure, the Post Office, and the Island, on the right, and Wolfe Island, lower Court House. The City Hall is situated down, seem to form one continuous stretch in the very centre of the water frontage, of land, and the western entrance, through overlooking the harbour, and comprises which the tourist has come in, appears to within itself, besides several spacious halls, him to be the only way of regaining the open the principal municipal offices of the city. lake. Although such an idea is deceptive, The Court House, which in the winter inasmuch as Simcoe and Wolfe Islands are before last was gutted by fire, is being reseparated by a channel of about a quarter of built on a somewhat improved plan. a mile in width, called Bateau, and there is Besides these buildings, all of which are an opening at the east end of the city of situated within the city limits, Kingston about two miles in width, yet for all purposes possesses two others worthy of remark, of shelter from wind and sea the harbour is which, though not actually within the bounjust as perfect as though no such openings dary lines of the city, are yet always acexisted, with the exception that when the counted Kingston buildings--these are the
; wind is from a certain point-about south- Provincial Penitentiary and the Rockwood south-west the current which sweeps Lunatic Asylum. Both are Government through Bateau channel renders the water in buildings, and, under the conduct of efficient certain parts of the harbour somewhat officers, have established for themselves rougher than it would otherwise be. The reputations as very perfect institutions of frontage of the city for upwards of a mile is their respective kinds. The former is situa continuous succession of wharves and ated at the water's edge, about a quarter of
A large part of Kingston ship-build a mile from the city limits to the west. The ing is carried on on Garden Island, which building—or rather set of buildings, for there lies some two miles from the city, directly are separate structures for the various in front of it, and contains about thirty departments of trade and mechanics—is acres of land.
surrounded by a high and massive stone An important feature of the topography wall, upwards of thirty feet in height by four of Kingston is its fortifications. As a Cana in thickness. This wall is built with towers dian fortress, it is considered second in at the corners, in each of which a guard is strength only to Quebec. A mile distant stationed at all hours of the day. Along from the east end of the city, separated from the top of the wall, for a distance of about it by Great Cataraqui Creek, over which a sixty feet from the towers, a platform is built wooden bridge has been built, six hundred of sufficient width to allow of a man's walkyards in length, stands Fort Henry. Situ- ing on it without difficulty, thus forming a ated on an eminence, and well protected by beat along which the guards patrol when embankments and trenches, this fort over the narrow limits of the watch towers grow looks the harbour and city, and with the irksome. With such complete arrangemartello towers, several of which stand in ments for the secure confinement of the advantageous positions about the water prisoners, it would be thought that all frontage, could do effective execution in attempts at escape must prove futile. Such, time of war.
however, is so far from being the case, that, The plan upon which the city is built is as the guards know well, if the wall to a great extent irregular. The streets do were left unguarded for but half an hour, not cross one another at right angles, but hardly a convict in the place would be each street leading to the lake slopes away baffled in an attempt to scale them. The from its neighbour more and more as it experiment has been tried, not by way of approaches the water. The consequence is experiment, but through the negligence of that every now and then, in walking through one of the guards, who, having left his post the city, one comes upon two streets lead for barely twenty minutes, found on his ing from the lake, which have met one return that two prisoners whom he had left
working within the wall had, during the and it is only the sight of the unfortunate short interval of his absence, effected their inmates themselves that detracts from the escape by climbing it. The feat had been charm of the pervading beauty, and overaccomplished by slinging a large stone with powers one with an undefinable feeling a rope attached to it over the wall
, climb- of heartfelt pity for creatures who, labouring ing the rope after they had got it firm, and under the greatest misfortune that can dropping down by it on the outside. When befall humanity, are yet unconscious of their the guard returned the rope was still hanging, loss. The treatment of the patients by the and was made fast at the top by being Superintendent, and by the keepers under passed through a space between two stones his direction, is most humane, and they where the mortar had fallen away. In con- are allowed to enjoy many indulgences sequence of this escape a thorough exami- which tend to lighten the weary load of their nation of the walls was instituted a few years life of captivity. ago, and all parts which had been affected Kingston is remarkable for the extreme by time, or appeared in any way dilapi- beauty of its general appearance ; indeed I dated, were put in complete repair. The know not of any city on the Canadian lakes outside of the enclosure wall is taken up on which can claim superiority over it in this two sides by wharves, at which vessels are respect. Natare, in endowing it with beauconstantly calling for stone from the quarries ty, has compensated in some measure for belonging to the Penitentiary. These are the sluggish character of its trade. On the situated a short distance from the building, outskirts of the city, especially at the westand are connected with it by means of ern quarter, are situated charming country tramways built upon a plane slightly inclined, villas, substantially and ornamentally conso that the transportation of the stone from structed, and nestling amid abundance of its natural bed to the place of shipment is tastefully planted trees and shrubs. These effected with comparatively slight labour. are, for the most part, the residences of gen
The other institution—the Rockwood Asy- tlemen who have retired from active life, lum—is situated at the water's edge, at no and been attracted by the beauty of the great distance to the west of the Penitentiary; spot to their present abodes. The view on the ground on which it stands presenting to the water is even more lovely than that on the view of one approaching it from the the land. All along, the shore is indented water exactly what its name imports--a by small bays and inlets, and these, togewood springing from a rock. The shore ther with the well-wooded islands, numbers close to the water is formed of layer upon of which lie within easy rowing distance of layer of solid sedimentary rock, which in the city, form enchanting resorts for pic-nic the lapse of ages has been worn and broken and other pleasure parties. The fishing away by the unceasing dash of the waves, about Kingston, though formerly among the leaving the edges jagged and uneven. best to be had in the St. Lawrence, has of Above, the bank slopes gradually upward, late years been gradually deteriorating, owand the soil, though not more than five or ing to the numbers of eager sportsmen who six feet in depth, produces vegetation in have waged war against the inhabitants of abundance. The building, constructed chief- the “choice spots " in its neighbourhood. ly of stone, is a handsome and spacious one, Taking leave of Kingston, I will attempt and standing as it does in the midst of plea- to give some description of the scenes that sant groves and grassy slopes, with the blue are met with on the downward passage of expanse of lake stretching away in its rear, the river through the Thousand Isles. The possesses all the advantages of peaceful views that meet the eye when rushing retirement so essential to an institution of through the Isles at the rate of fifteen miles its character. On entering the building one an hour, on board one of the fast mail is pleased to find that the tranquil beauty of steamers which ply between the Upper and the surrounding scenery is not marred by Lower Provinces, are frequently eulogized the appearance of its interior. The corridors, in the most enthusiastic terms by persons which are most ample, are kept scrupulously who have had only this cursory view of clean and neat, while in every nook and them ; but it is difficult to believe that such comer may be seen geraniums and other persons can have a true appreciation of the flowers, tended by the hands of the patients; charm which invests picturesque nature.
Those who endeavour to combine business rocks, the barrier seems suddenly to melt and pleasure almost invariably fail in tho away, a passage opens as if by magic, and roughly transacting the former, while they in a moment, from the placid current are rendered in a great measure incapable through which she has been gliding, the of appreciating the latter. To enjoy to the boat, sweeping round an unseen bend, is full the charms of scenery, to feel in its full whirled and tossed in a raging torrent, the effect the pleasure which results from the waves foaming on all sides of her, and bristcontemplation of a lovely landscape, the ling with jagged points of rock which seem mind must be unburdened by cares or per- to threaten destruction in every quarter. plexities of any kind. No thought of busi- Such is the impression left on the mind ness, no anxieties about the past or future, of one who has seen the Islands only from must be allowed to intrude. Nature denies the deck of a passing boat. All is to him her sweets to a soul but half devoted to indistinct. Having passed through hurriedherself. The intellectual part of the mind | ly, he has had no time to observe anything must be subordinated to the sensuous—the minutely. A conception of scenery of sureye for the nonce allowed a higher place passing grandeur—wild beyond belief in than the reason. But after the eye has some places, tranquil beyond thought in taken in the appearance, after the pleasure others—is created in his mind; but so indiswhich the sense affords has been fully expe- tinct and confused that he is unable to pass rienced, then it becomes the task of the beyond the general idea of the sublime, and higher faculties—and imagination at the give, with any degree of coherence, a deshead of themto enhance by endless cription of the view which has been prechains of association and fancy the charm sented to him. which the sense has introduced. I con- From a trip taken in a pleasure yacht ceive, then, that the only true way of obtain- with a select company of friends, on the ing an adequate idea of the Thousand Isles, other hand, the excursionist returns imand of their exquisite and variegated loveli- pressed, not only with the general grandeur ness, is by devoting to them a trip taken of the scenery, but bearing in his memory exclusively for the pleasure of seeing nature also distinct mental pictures of endless in her pristine beauty, and making a some charming inlets and secluded nooks, far what protracted stay among them.
removed from the noisy path of the steamThough the principal part of my experi- line traffic, the charms of which have been ence of the Isles has been obtained when enhanced to him by the companionship of on camping excursions among them in a kindred spirits, and able to analyze with the small pleasure yacht, yet I have frequently minutest detail the beauties he has beheld. passed through them on board the mail The impression of the Isles thus created is steamer, and enjoyed from its deck the that which gives the truest idea of their view, though very imperfect, which can beauties. thence be obtained. To one making the On leaving Kingston, the course for a trip in this manner the appearance presented stretch of two miles or so lies over the open is that of an ever-changing panorama. At water of the harbour. Then rounding the one moment the boat is gliding noiselessly rugged bluff on the left, from the summit of over the placid, untroubled surface of a which frowns Fort Henry, the tourist finds calm, deep river, dotted in all directions with himself in a lovely still lagoon, sheltered myriads of islands, covered with luxuriant from the rough water of the harbour without verdure, interspersed with vines and creep- by a rock-bound island, and formed by a ers of varied tint, the whole shaded and long receding bay, the shores of which rise draped by the pendant foliage of umbra on all sides to heights varying from fifty to geous trees, whose drooping boughs in many a hundred feet. This island, which is places sweep the very sides of the boat as called Cedar, from the number of trees of she slips swiftly by. In an instant the scene that species which cover it, is the first true changes. Shooting rapidly towards a bar- type of the group of Thousand Isles met rier composed seemingly of rocks and trees with in the downward passage of the river. mingled in wild confusion, rushing appa- It is densely wooded from its highest point rently into the very jaws of destruction-just to the water's edge-a very "nemorosa when one expects to be dashed upon the Zacynthus.”
After leaving this island, the view met During the summer months glimpses may with for some distance, though sufficiently be caught at intervals, among the Isles, of beautiful, offers no striking points of differ- the snowy canvas of visitors' tents shinence from the general character of the St. ing through the leaves upon some grassy Lawrence scenery.
The river is of consid- knoll, or nestling half-hidden in some shelerable width, and though the main stream tered alcove, and the effect of the sheet of is severed into smaller channels by the in- white against the dark-green background of terposition of some few large islands, its pine and fir is picturesque in the extreme. course is clearly defined. At a distance of It frequently happens that several partwenty miles below lies the village of Gan- ties pitch their tents within a few miles of anoque, so named from an Indian word one another, and when this is the case it is signifying "rocks in deep water," and it is customary for the campers to assemble in here that the scenery first assumes the char- the evenings round the camp fire of each of acteristic aspect of the Thousand Isles, the neighbours in turn, and there, while the characteristic inasmuch as it is not pos- ruddy flame crackles cheerily in the midst, sible to point to any other place on the con- sending up showers of sparks as each fresh tinent where scenery of the same description log is thrown on, to recount their day's adis to be met with. The Hudson views are ventures, while the joke and song and laugh lovely, yet the peculiar type of the Hudson go round, till old St. Lawrence's time-worn scenery is widely different from that of this woods resound and ring again. part of the St. Lawrence. The peaceful Some of the names of the islets and bends woodland scenery of the Cumberland Lakes of the stream are exceedingly quaint-as is enchanting, yet its charms are not those “Fiddler's Elbow," and “ Devil's Oven.” which invest these gorse-clad Isles. And yet, The former designation is applied to a crook
а though it may seem paradoxical to say so, in the stream somewhat resembling the the Thousand Isles combine in themselves human elbow. The current at the spot is the various features of the scenery both of very rapid, causing a constant ripple on the the Hudson and the English Lakes. In- surface, which somewhat resembles the videed, it is the constant variety of the views bratory motion seen in the arm of a fiddler among the Islands that constitutes one of while performing on his instrument. The their chief attractions. From one point of name * Devil's Oven ” is applied to a dark, view the tourist sees the stately grandeur of gloomy cave which opens in the end of one a majestic stream, gliding peacefully be- of the small islands in the vicinity of Alextween banks of quiet loveliness, a fitting andria Bay. The island itself is included “Emblem of life, which still as we survey.
under the name. Its sides rise almost perSeems motionless, yet ever glides away.” pendicularly, and are composed of large From another point, the river, or rather stones curiously fitted together and piled the only part of it visible, presents the ap- the whole, not unlike that indispensable ar
upon one another, rendering the place, on pearance of a sequestered lake, unruffled by ticle of domestic economy after which it has the passage of any current, and embosomed
been named. among lofty hills, whose sides, rising abrupt- oven" should be attributed to the agency
Why the construction of this ly to an imposing height, shut out all signs of his Satanic Majesty, or what purpose that of connection with the river without ; while august personage could have had to serve nestling on the quiet surface fantastic
in establishing his culinary apparatus in so “ Isles are seen,
bizarre a location, it is difficult to conjecAll lovely set within an emerald sea.”
ture. Perhaps it may have been that those From other points, again, views may be ob- who named the islet considered that no one tained of the river transformed into a roar
but the potent lord of fire could make that ing torrent, pouring its boiling waters over
element available to perform any culinary the half-immersed rocks with an impetuosity operation in a spot where there was so great which calls to mind the turbulent rapids of
an opposing aqueous influence to be conNiagara,
tended with. Whether the architecture of
this “ oven " is to be credited to supernal “Bursting in grandeur from its vantage ground '
or infernal agency, it has already stood at sixty leagues above.
least one mortal in good stead, for it is re. lated that it was in this cavern that the in breadth at different spots from two miles adventurer Johnson, who made himself no- to fifty or sixty yards. It is situated in torious by his depredations during the Wells' Island, nearly opposite Alexandria Canadian rebellion of 1838, took refuge Bay, and is accessible by water by only two when separated from his followers and close- entrances—the one at the lower end being ly pursued by Canadian soldiery. If, then, half a mile in width, that at the upper the originators of the name were correct in scarcely twenty yards. This lake, with the their surmises as to the author of the cave, narrow channel by which it is approached we have at least one instance of the arch from the west, exhibits a very curious natuenemy having shown himself clemently in- ral conformation. The channel, which is clined towards a dweller on our sphere, for over a mile in length, seems to have been this Johnson is believed to have emerged formed by some mighty commotion of the from his temporary sojourn in the unplea earth at this spot in long past ages, its ensantly suggestive receptacle he had chosen trance being through a rift in the solid rock, for his hiding place no whit the worse for and its passage for some distance between his temerity
rocky walls which rise perpendicularly to a It would hardly be believed by one who height of over fifty feet. The entrance to had not attempted the passage, into what the channel, which lies at the bottom of a labyrinthine channels the water forms itself long bay about twelve miles below Ganain traversing the Islands, and the difficulty noque, is so screened from view by the one experiences in finding the way among abundance of foliage which overhangs it, them. On one occasion, although all the that it is not till within a few yards that one members of our party had made frequent becomes aware of its existence It is in the trips among the Isles, we found ourselves, passage of this channel, and of the lake to after venturing somewhat farther from the which it leads, that the wildest scenery of Canadian shore than had been our wont on the Islands is met with. The high gloomy former trips, in a large bay, to all appear- rocks, rising in rugged grandeur far above ance completely landlocked, except on the head, frown over a swift black flood of the side by which we had entered, some water, the sullen depths of which suggest seven miles above, and despite our most that the shock which rent the rocks above careful search we were unable to discover continued the rift far below the surface of any place of egress below. It was only the stream. The lake itself is surrounded after receiving the fullest directions from a on all sides by high, uneven shores, clad cottager, whose house we found on a small with pine and hemlock, while here and there island at hand, that we at length discovered upon its surface small islands appear, also a narrow channel between two islands, which thickly wooded. The lake and its upper led back to Canadian waters. And yet, channel form the choice fishing-ground of when it is considered that the islands are the Thousand Isles, abounding in bass, nearly two thousand in number, and that pike, and maskalonge. Many a morning, the river where they are thickest is upwards at the earliest gleam of day, have I started of ten miles in width, it is not surprising with my trolling tackle for the channel enthat considerable difficulty should be expe- trance, bent upon luring from their lurking rienced in threading a path among them. places some of the veteran monsters which
The part of the river which contains the I knew well were lying in wait among the Islands is generally known as the “ Lake of rocks and weeds below. Having carefully the Thousand Isles." It extends about adjusted my hooks, I would row into the thirty miles in length by eight or ten in channel, and dipping the oars as quietly as breadth. But to an inhabitant of the possible, proceed stealthily down its centre. Islands, or one who is well acquainted with For a short time all would be unbroken them, the name “ Lake of the Thousand silence; then-zip-a hungry maskalonge
Isles" has a different signification—that is, would strike the spoon, and a dozen yards not the sheet of water that contains the of line would spin out from the reel with isles, but one of much less dimensions the rapidity of lightning. Then, when the which is contained by them. This lesser line offered resistance to his further course lake, sometimes called “The Lake of the in that direction, suddenly the tension Island,” is eight miles in length, and varies would cease, and I would be under the ap