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and thirty-seven, when the Company were
seeking for a renewal of their license for
exclusive trade, the quantity of spirits introduced
into the country was only three
thousand eight hundred gallons; whereas
in eighteen hundred and forty-five, when
they felt secure in their new privileges, the
quantity rose to upwards of nine thousand

A very striking and instructive anecdote is
told by a late servant of the Company, to the
effect that on the occasion of a most atrocious
murder having been perpetrated by a native
trapper at the very door of one of the factories,
no notice whatever was taken of it,
because, as it was urged, the murderer was
one of the Company's best fur hunters at the
post. This entirely bears out the statement
to be found in a publication by one of the
Company's chaplains, who declares most
solemnly that, throughout the Hudson's Bay
territories, the life of an Indian was never
yet, by a trapper, put in competition with a
beaver's skin.

We have yet one other illustration of the
light account taken in this sealed country of
solemn engagements or native life. When their
recent rights were given to them, it was considered
that to leave the Company with
power of life and death throughout a territory
so shut away from the rest of the world,
would be highly improper: accordingly, whilst
magistrates were allowed to be appointed to
take cognizance of all minor offences, a bond
was taken of the Company that they should
convey felons to the Canadian courts for
trial. Many tales are told of the utter disregard
of this salutary injunction, but we will
content ourselves in the matter with quoting
the language of one of the Company's agents,
(Mr. A. Simpson), who at page four hundred
and twenty-seven of his published work, tells
us that the Company have an invariable rule
of avenging the murder by Indians of any of
its servantsblood for blood, without trial of
any kind. As a pendant to this, we are assured
by a late governor of the country, in the
account of his travels through those territories,
that whether in matters of life and
death, or of petty theft, the rule of retaliation
is the only standard of equity which the
natives are able to appreciate.

It would be easy to fill a goodly volume
with interesting accounts of this sealed
country, this region hidden from the knowledge
and industry of mankind during nearly
two hundred years, in order that a body of
private individuals might realise handsome
profits. But enough has been said to show
how desirable it is that more should be
known, and that the original and subsequent
conditions on which the Company hold their
present rights should be rigidly fulfilled. It
is impossible to look without interest on a
country containing three millions of square
miles, abounding in mineral wealth, and
capable of growing enough corn to feed the
whole of Europe, yet whose sole destiny it
is to furnish four shiploads of skins annually,
of the value of about five hundred thousand
pounds. A region forming a large portion of
that enormous whole, by whose vast net-work
of lakes and rivers a canoe may voyage from
the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Seas. A
land so admirably adapted for easy water
communication, and so fitted to open a connection
between the Atlantic and Pacific
Oceans that, but for one break and that easy
of removal, a vessel might sail from London
Bridge to the foot of the Rocky Mountains.
At a gap in this range the source of the
Saskatchewan, which runs eastward towards
the Canadian frontier, is so close to that of
the Columbia, which course is in a south-westerly
direction and finally empties itself
into the Pacific, that a traveller tells us he
could have filled his tea-kettle from the
waters of both of them for the same meal.
It is mortifying in the extreme to know all
this and at the same time to feel that, save
to a few privileged voyagers and the Company's
servants, there is No Thoroughfare
through such a magnificent highway. We
must, however, in justice add, that many of
the gentlemen connected with this old monopoly
deplore its selfish exclusiveness as much
as the most liberal free-trader. It is indeed
from the revelations of such gentlemen that
much of the information contained in this
paper has been derived.


NOW that we are fairly launched in the
New Year, and steering a direct course for
Christmas 'fifty-four, it is a pleasant thing to
feel that we are richer than we were a month
ago. Richer by all that we have received;
richer by all that we have given. A storm of
kind words has been beating about the ears
of every man who has had a ship or but a
little boat to run into the Christmas harbour.
Every man's memory has just come into a
little property, and we are all walking about
with heaps of lately acquired treasures in
us. We have allall, at least, able to read
this gratulationlately found out that we are
very valuable people.

I should like to know what a political
economist would have to say of the season
now ending. Has it confused him? Has he
been able to bring the laws that regulate
supply and demand to bear upon it? Has
he had twelve hares, nineteen turkeys, three
dozen barrels of oysters, twenty-three hampers
of fish miscellaneous, and a vanload of
French plums in boxes sent to him in the
most irrational way from north, south, east,
and west, by kind relations and old friends,
all to supply one dinner? Have his nephews
earned half-crowns and half-sovereigns by the
purseload without doing a bit of work, when
their unskilled labourthey being only competent

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