“The next cry was Education! The French-Canadians were delighted with the opening world of knowledge and ideas, and there is no race which ever rose with greater enthusiasm to pursue progress and science. A few young men of Montreal were banded into a Society for mutual advancement, to hold debates at which all races were to be free to contribute opinions, to open a library of useful books, and to seek truth without any conditions. That was the Institut Canadien!”
“These noble young enthusiasts soon attracted chosen spirits, a precious essence of the race. They sprang into fame;—fourteen were returned to Parliament in one year. They called all the world freely to their discussions, and created eclat by the brillancy of their programme. The province kindled—every village had its Institute!” “But ‘sa-a-a-cr!’” savagely ejaculated Zotique, and his eyes grew intense in their fierceness.”
“The Institut Canadien gradually excited the jealousy of certain ecclesiastics by its free admissions and the liberality of its researches. What is known as the “Struggle” commenced. A series of combined assaults by episcopal summons, a pulpit crusade, excommunication, refusal of burial, encouragement of dissensions, and the establishment of rival Institutes bearing names such as “Institut Canadien Francais,” most of which existed only on paper, finally succeeded in crushing the movement.”
“The Institute at Dormilliere is the insignificant sole survivor.”
“I understand now your Reveilliere,” Chrysler said.
THE CAMPAIGN PLAN.
On Saturday evening of Chrysler’s first week at the Manoir, they went to the Institute. It was a house down the Dormilliere Street, that held its head somewhat higher, and tipped it back a little more proudly than the rest,—a long old fashioned wooden cottage, of many windows, and some faded pretensions to the ornamental: still elegant in the light curve of its capacious grey roof, the slender turned pillars of its gallery, separated by horizontal oval arches, its row of peaked and moulded dormer windows, its ornaments, its broad staircase climbing up to the doorway, and the provincial-aristocratic look of its high set-back position in its garden. The name of a rich money-lender, who had been feared in days gone by—“Cletus the Ingrate,”—was mentioned under breath in the stories about it. But ever since his death, many years before, it had been the faded outer shell into which the intellectual kernel of Dormilliere life withdrew itself, and in the passage as one entered, the sign “INSTITUT CANADIEN,” which had once had its place on the front, might be seen resting on the floor,—a beehive and the motto “Altius Tendimus,” occupying the space between the two words.
The interior was a very great contrast to the outside. Its fittings were in the pleasantest of light-hued paints and varnished pine: maps, casts, and pictures enlivened the walls and corners; a handsome library and nucleus of a museum, with reading tables, opened to the left, and a large debating hall to the right—together occupying the whole of the principal floor.