Frances E. O. Monck, My Canadian Leaves (London, 1891), Pp. 29, 37-38, 38-39, 74, 175-177, 244-245, 250-251, 280-281

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Author: Frances E. O. Monck  | Date: 1864-1865

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QUEBEC SOCIETY IN 1864 AND 1865

Frances E. O. Monck, My Canadian Leaves (London, 1891), pp. 29, 37-38,
38-39, 74, 175-177, 244-245, 250-251, 280-281.

June 8, 1864....

Some of us went to the House of Commons at Quebec. I was a good deal amused for a short time, but we stayed too long (till near eleven), and the debate was not interesting. Col. Gordon took care of us. I had a long talk with nice Mr. Rose. It is wonderful the way the M.P.’s abuse and contradict each other. Sometimes they throw pellets of paper at each other. The speaker looks like a priest with a priest’s hat. M. Cartier was introduced to me! That most quaint-looking McGee was also introduced, he looks like a wild Indian. We got home about twelve, it was so hot and stuffy. Canadians hate air.

June 17, 1864: The vice-regal ball ....

The verandah was veiled in with a hundred and eighty yards of fine white muslin, nailed down to keep out the mosquitoes and insects, or "bugs," as the Yankees call them. The 17th band was outside the curtain. The verandah was lit up, and all the soldiers and their lights looked so very pretty. We assembled in her Ex.’s sitting-room, and then all walked in in procession. Then the presentations began, and lasted a few minutes. The dresses were very good, and a few of the girls nice-looking. They all bowed very low to her Ex., and two people backed out of the room. I danced all night, and enjoyed myself much. It was nice walking in the verandah between the dances. Fan went in to supper with old Sir E. Tache, and Louise with old M. Cartier. Mr. J. A. Macdonald took me in. When every one was gone but our own party, Cartier, and Colonel G., I sang "The Cure," and most of the gentlemen danced it. Cartier jumped higher than any one.

June 18, 1864....

Cricket again. We looked on, and were well broiled. I was so giddy from the heat. There was such a look of Thunder that I would not go in to dinner. Some ministers dined. We had a pleasant evening, as we sang choruses; first a Canadian song, and then the Christy Minstrels; I also sang two solos. M. Cartier sang the solo of the Canadian song. Our choruses sounded very pretty. The G. G. introduced Mr. Brown to me. He is to become a new minister, and is very nice-looking, tall and greyish, with a Ponsonby face. M. Cartier is the funniest of little men!

July 21, 1864 ....

In the evening we sang choruses and played squails. Mr. Cartier is so funny. He screams and whoops at the end of some of his Canadian songs. Mr. Cartier and Mr. S. danced "The Cure," Cartier shouting it at the top of his voice all the time. Mr. Stanley jumped higher than any one I ever saw. Mr. Dodwell’s face during "The Cure" was a study, neither exactly laughing nor crying.

October 15, 1864: Ball for the delegates to the Quebec Conference on Confederation

In wind and rain we set off for the ball. We were re ceived by the Ministry in the speaker’s room. Some were in grand official uniforms. The G. G. and Mr. Godley looked very nice in theirs. This ball, you know, was given in the Parliament House by the Ministry to the delegates from the Maritime Provinces, who are come here to arrange about a United Kingdom of Canada. The Maritime Provinces mean Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward’s Island. It was arranged that I was to follow the G. G. with the Prime Minister, Sir E. Tache, and to dance the first quadrille with him, but Sir E. is so very old that he can’t dance, and he would not take me in for fear of having to dance with me, so he walked in first alone; then came the G. G., then John A. with me, and then Cartier and Mrs. Godley. "God save the Queen" was played, and we marched up to the throne in procession. Sir R. M. and wife (Gov. of ) came very late. Between their being late, and old Sir E. hiding behind a screen to escape from me, the first quadrille was upset. The G. G. danced with Madame Cartier, and I with a New Brunswick Minister, Colonel Grey by name.

The Ministers were very angry about my being left with out my proper partner, and made apologies; but poor Sir E. is about seventy, so I think he was right to hide! I made acquaintance between the dances with Lady M. and with Mrs. Jervoise, who came out here for ten weeks with her husband, and they were nearly lost at sea! She is very pleasing and handsome. Lady M. is also pretty. The G. G. then introduced me to Sir R. M. He asked me to walk about with him and have some refreshments, so off we went. He wore a red riband and order. Well, this old king and I wandered on and on for a long time. A vulgar waiter ran after us and said, "Do you want to go upstairs, sir?" meaning the servants’ gallery, upon which my friend waved him off and went on. With difficulty I at last got an ice, and then we lost ourselves quite, and found at last that we were seated under the wrong throne, in the wrong room! This all took up some time, and when we at last found the right room, I danced with Dr. Tupper, Prime Minister of Nova Scotia. The 25th string-band played in one of the rooms; it is a lovely band. When supper was announced, Sir R. M. wanted me again; but it was decreed that Sir E. Tache, was to take me. We walked in procession. Sir E. proposed the Queen’s health. After supper I danced a quadrille with Sir R. He talked a good deal about "the French element," which, looking at Madame Duval dancing, he said it was delightful to see. He and his wife had been out moose hunting; he said unfortunately he had not shot one animal the ten days he was out. We call Lady M. "La reine Blanche." Captain Seymour came to the ball with us; he was almost the only young man I danced with. Sala was not seen at the ball, though he was said to be there. Sir E. Tache is the only non-dancing old man here-wigs, spectacles, and grey hairs don’t hinder people from dancing. We came home early.

January 5, 1865

After lunch yesterday Dick and I went to the rink; he met me in town; we saw some most exquisite skating, Miss M.’s skating is just what Captain W. said of it "the poetry of motion." I believe he borrowed this expression from Captain Parker, in speaking of a horse. She wore red petticoat and stockings, and had a brown dress and pretty fur cap-no cloak, and she looked like one of Leech’s pictures; she has lovely fair golden hair. She flies through the rink, and does figures on skates, and bends on one side like a swallow, and she is so perfectly graceful all the time.

January 10, 1865

I drove with Dick after lunch to see the ice-bridge. From Durham Terrace (platform over the river) it has taken beautifully; the paper says it is the best one for years. It looked most curious to see people walking and driving across the river, and skating upon it. Dick had already walked across .... We then went to the rink, where the R. A. band was playing, and we saw some exquisite dancing on skates. Captain H. would adore his "muffin" if he could see her on skates. Poor Captain E. was struggling alone on skates, working his arms like a wind-mill, and looking broken-hearted.February 4, 1865 ....

After dinner we went to the children’s ball at the rink; it was given by the boys of the High school under Mr. Hatch, the clergyman. The boys issued six hundred invites! Mr. Hatch said it taught them how to manage, as they formed a committee and appointed a secretary for the occasion. There was a tremendous crowd. Mr. Hatch stayed with us most of the evening. He introduced the secretary boy to Dick. The boys were so civil, offering food and drink, and flying about on skates with cakes and wine and water. Poor Captain E was almost an illustration of perpetual motion. There he was in red uniform (the only red man there), shuffling round, never stopping; he was like the brook, running on "for ever." At last he shot himself up against the wall, which he held till he shuffled over to me. He said, "It is not that I want to go on so long, but the fact is, I can’t stop, once I set off; the more I try to stop, the more I go on." He said, "I am taking care of a little girl to-night, but she skates so much better than I do that I need not think of trying to catch her."

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Chicago: Frances E. O. Monck, "Quebec Society in 1864 and 1865," Frances E. O. Monck, My Canadian Leaves (London, 1891), Pp. 29, 37-38, 38-39, 74, 175-177, 244-245, 250-251, 280-281, ed. Donald C. Masters in Frances E. O. Monck, My Canadian Leaves (London, 1891), Pp. 29, 37-38, 38-39, 74, 175-177, 244-245, 250-251, 280-281, as Cited in "Quebec Society in 1864 and 1865," a Short History of Canada (Princeton, New Jersey: D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1958), 127–131. Original Sources, accessed January 20, 2020, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4KRIY9DERI6XMGM.

MLA: Monck, Frances E. O. ""Quebec Society in 1864 and 1865"." Frances E. O. Monck, My Canadian Leaves (London, 1891), Pp. 29, 37-38, 38-39, 74, 175-177, 244-245, 250-251, 280-281, edited by Donald C. Masters, in Frances E. O. Monck, My Canadian Leaves (London, 1891), Pp. 29, 37-38, 38-39, 74, 175-177, 244-245, 250-251, 280-281, as Cited in "Quebec Society in 1864 and 1865," a Short History of Canada, Princeton, New Jersey, D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1958, pp. 127–131. Original Sources. 20 Jan. 2020. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4KRIY9DERI6XMGM.

Harvard: Monck, FE, '"Quebec Society in 1864 and 1865"' in Frances E. O. Monck, My Canadian Leaves (London, 1891), Pp. 29, 37-38, 38-39, 74, 175-177, 244-245, 250-251, 280-281, ed. . cited in 1958, Frances E. O. Monck, My Canadian Leaves (London, 1891), Pp. 29, 37-38, 38-39, 74, 175-177, 244-245, 250-251, 280-281, as Cited in "Quebec Society in 1864 and 1865," a Short History of Canada, D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., Princeton, New Jersey, pp.127–131. Original Sources, retrieved 20 January 2020, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4KRIY9DERI6XMGM.