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fore, established a house of assembly, the members of that newly constituted authority, though chosen by themselves, were admitted to a great share of the habitual submission which their constituents were accustomed to pay to every agent of authority, who came into immediate contact with them. By the new constitution, the habitants, in fact, supposed that they were commanded by the governor, at every election, to choose rulers over themselves; and, having once chosen them, they readily admitted them to great authority and influence over their opinions and conduct. Believing this to be the disposition of the ignorant peasantry of Lower Canada, we can have no difficulty in supposing that what, in a free and intelligent community, is properly called Public Opinion, is in this province merely the effect of the opinions of the immediate agents of authority, including the members of the assembly, operating upon the natural desires of a people attached to the laws, language, habits, manners, and prejudices of their French ancestors. The immediate agents of authority, therefore, who interfere the least with those characteristics, will be the most favoured by them. We flatter ourselves that these explanations have enabled our readers to recognise the influ

ence which predominated at the new election in April 1810. The sovereign was a Protestant king of a Protestant nation; the governor was a Protestant, as was the majority of his executive council; the majority of the legislative council was also Protestant, and partly composed of persons in office, who received salaries. On the other hand, the members of the dissolved assembly were persons who professed the Romish religion, who held no lucrative office under the government, and who had been chosen as friendly to their civil and religious rights, and opposed to every measure which could disturb the routine of their hereditary labours and enjoyments. Indolent, particularly in mind, they could not analyze the conduct of their representatives, and discriminate the parts which belonged to inordinate and selfish ambition, from those which might be ascribed to zeal for their service. The old members were so confident of the effects of those characteristics of their constituents, that they derided every doubt of re-election."

These expectations were justified by the event. The new and seventh house, assembled on the 12th of December 1810, and the English minority were now reduced to nine members. In the interim, Sir James Craig, and the sup

porters of his government, were continual objects of obloquy and ridicule, and reports of the disapprobation of his conduct, and of his speedy recal and disgrace by his Majesty, were fabricated, as a means of enlisting the peasantry on the side of those who were determined systematically to oppose the King's representative, whenever he would not consent to become the tool of their ambition.

The seditious and revolutionary doctrines disseminated through "the Canadian," a paper devoted to this purpose, induced the governor to seize the press and imprison the conductors, and we are probably indebted to this firm and decided measure, and to the determination*

* The nature of the arts used by the demagogues to inflame the minds, and alienate the affections of the peasantry, will appear from the following extracts from the governor's proclamation :

"It is true, the most base and diabolical falsehoods are industriously promulgated and disseminated. In one part it is announced as my intention to embody and make soldiers of you, and that having applied to the late house of representatives to enable me to assemble twelve thousand of you for that purpose, and they having declined to do so, I had therefore dissolved them. This is not only directly false, such an idea never having entered into my mind, nor the slightest mention having ever been made of it; but it is doubly wicked and atrocious, because it has been advanced by persons who must have been supposed to speak with certainty on the subject, and was therefore the more calculated to impose upon you. In another part you are told that I wanted to tax your lands, and that the late house of assembly would consent only to tax wine, and upon that account, I had dissolved the house. Inhabitants of St. Denis! this is also directly false; I never had the most distant idea of taxing you at all; such had never been

manifested in these two successive dissolutions of the assembly to the subdued and altered tone of their debates. It is observable that in their reply to his speech, they admit the fact here contended for, and which they have since so strenuously denied. "That harmony and a good understanding so conducive to the prosperity and happiness of the colony, are more difficult to be maintained in this province than in any other of his Majesty's colonies, from the difference in opinions, customs, and prejudices

for a moment the subject of my deliberations, and when the late house offered to pay the civil list, I could not have taken any step in a matter of such importance without the King's instructions, and therefore it was still long before we came to the consideration of how it was to be paid. In truth, not one word was ever, knowledge, mentioned on the subject.



"In other parts, despairing of producing instances from what I have done, recourse is had to what I intend to do, and it is boldly told you that I mean to oppress you.

"For what purpose should I oppress you? Is it to serve the King? Will that monarch, who during fifty years has never issued one order, that had you for its object, that was not for your benefit and happiness,-will he now, beloved, honoured, adored by his subjects, covered with glory, descending into the vale of years, accompanied with the prayers and blessings of a grateful people,—will he, contrary to the tenor of a whole life of honour and virtue, now give orders to his servants to oppress his Canadian subjects? It is impossible that you can for a moment believe it. You will spurn from you with just indignation the miscreant who will suggest such a thought to you.

“These personal allusions to myself, these details, in any other case, might be unbecoming, and beneath me; but nothing can be unbecoming, or beneath me, that can tend to save you from the gulf of crime and calamity into which guilty men would plunge you." -See Christie's ' Canada.'

of his Majesty's subjects residing therein." The prompt check interposed by the executive to the violation of constitutional rights, in the expulsion of the judges* had the desired effect, and they now passed a bill to disqualify them, to which the governor assented, as he said, "with peculiar satisfaction, not only because I think the matter right in itself, but because I consider passing an act for the purpose as a comcomplete renunciation of an erroneous principle, which put me under the necessity of dissolving the last parliament." Feeling that nothing was to be gained from such a man by intimidation, they proceeded to the usual business with more decency of conduct and more dispatch, than had characterised any session

• Nothing can be more painful and humiliating than the situation of the judges of Lower Canada since this period. They have been kept in a state of great pecuniary distress by the house withholding their salaries, and their peace of mind destroyed by the most unfounded attacks on their character. If an attorney be detected in fraudulent proceedings, and punished, or be dissatisfied with a judgment of the court, the judge is at once impeached amidst the plaudits of the house. After preliminary proceedings, and an opportunity offered of abuse, the proceedings are generally dropt, on the ground that government is partial and corrupt. By a singular fatality, every man that accuses a judge finds it a step to preferment. Judge Vallieres was the accuser of Judge Kerr, on charges sixteen years old. Philip Parret, a party and witness thereto, was made a judge in 1832. Ebenezer Peck, who brought charges against Judge Fletcher, was presented with a silk gown in 1832. And A. Quesnel, the same. See 'Canada Question' for more particulars.

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