Canada and the Canadians Volume I

#Travel #Canada
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Excerpt Emigrants and Immigration. Very surprising it seems to assert that the Mother Country knows very little about the finest colony which she possesses—and that an enlightened people emigrate from sober, speculative England, sedate and calculating Scotland, and trusting, unreflective Ireland, absolutely and wholly ignorant of the total change of life to which they must necessarily submit in their adopted home. I recollect an old story, that an old gunner, in an old-fashioned, three-cornered cocked hat, who was my favourite playfellow as a child, used to tell about the way in which recruits were obtained for the Royal Artillery. The recruiting sergeant was in those days dressed much finer than any field-marshal of this degenerate, railway era; in fact, the Horse Guards always turned out to the sergeant-major of the Royal Military Academy of Woolwich, when that functionary went periodically to the Golden Cross, Charing Cross, to receive and escort the young gentlemen cadets from Marlow College, who were abandoning the red coat and drill of the foot-soldier to become neophytes in the art and mystery of great gunnery and sapping. "The way they recruited was thus," said the bombadier. "The gallant sergeant, bedizened in copper lace from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot, and with a swagger which no modern drum-major has ever presumed to attempt, addressed a crowd of country bumpkins. "'Don't listen to those gentlemen in red; their sarvice is one which no man who has brains will ever think of—footing it over the univarsal world; they have usually been called by us the flatfoots. They uses the musquet only, and have hands like feet, and feet like fireshovels. "'Mind me, gentlemen, the royal regiment of the Royal Artillery is a sarvice which no gentleman need be ashamed of. "'We fights with real powder and ball, the flatfoots fights with bird-shot. We knows the perry-ferry of the circumference of a round shot. Did you ever see a mortar? Did you ever see a shell? I will answer for it you never did, except the poticary's mortar, and the shell that mortar so often renders necessary. "'Now, gentlemen, at the imperial city of Woolwich, in the Royal Arsenal, you may, if you join the Royal Artillery, you may see shells in earnest. Did you ever see a balloon? Yes! Then the shells there are bigger than balloons, and are the largest hollow shot ever made—the French has nothing like them. "'And the way we uses them! We fires them out of the mortars into the enemy's towns, and stuffs them full of red sogers. Well, they bursts, and out comes the flatfoots, opens the gates, and lets the Royal Artillery in; and then every man fills his sack with silver, and gold, and precious stones, after a leetle scrimmaging. "'Come along with me, my boys, and every one of you shall have a coat like mine, which was made out of the plunder; and you shall have a horse to ride, and a carriage behind it; and you shall see the glorious city of Woolwich, where the streets are paved with penny loaves, and drink is to be had for asking.'" So it is with nine-tenths of the emigrants to Canada in these enlightened days; so it is with the emigrants from old England, and from troubled Ireland, to the free and astonishing Union of the States of America and Texas, that conjoint luminary of the new go-ahead world of the West....
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