Evidence of some culture and intellectual aspirations in social circles of the ancient capital attracted the surprise of travellers who visited the country before the close of the French dominion. “Science and the fine arts,” wrote Charlevoix, in 1744, “have their turn and conversation does not fail. The Canadians breathe from their birth an air of liberty, which makes them very pleasant in the intercourse of life, and our language is nowhere more purely spoken.” La Gallissoniere, a highly cultured governor, spared no effort to encourage a sympathetic study of scientific pursuits. Dr. Michel Sarrasin, who was a practising physician in Quebec for nearly half a century, devoted himself most assiduously to the natural history of the colony, and made some valuable contributions to the French Academy. The Swedish botanist, Peter Kalm, was impressed with the liking for scientific study which he observed in the French colony. But such intellectual culture, as Kalm and Charlevoix mentioned, never showed itself beyond the walls of Quebec or Montreal. The province, as a whole, was in a state of mental sluggishness at the time of the conquest by England, under whose benign influence the French Canadian people were now to enter on a new career of political and intellectual development.
Pitt and Wolfe must take a high place among the makers of the Dominion of Canada. It was they who gave relief to French Canada from the absolutism of old France, and started her in a career of self-government and political liberty. When the great procession passed before the Queen of England on the day of the “Diamond Jubilee”—when delegates from all parts of a mighty, world-embracing empire gave her their loyal and heartfelt homage—Canada