Oct 042009
 

“A lonely ship sailed up the St. Lawrence. The white whales floundering in the Bay of Tadoussac, and the wild duck diving as the foaming prow drew near, — there was no life but these in all that watery solitude, twenty miles from shore to shore. The ship was from Honfleur, and was commanded by Samuel de Champlain. He was the Aeneas of a destined people, and in her womb lay the embryo life of Canada.”

“This port of Tadoussac was long the centre of the Canadian fur-trade. A desolation of barren mountains closes round it, betwixt whose ribs of rugged granite, bristling with savins, birches, and firs, the Saguenay rolls its gloomy waters from the northern wilderness. Centuries of civilization have not tamed the wildness of the place; and still, in grim repose, the mountains, hold their guard around the waveless lake that glistens in their shadow, and doubles, in its sullen mirror, crag, precipice, forest…, dark as the tide of Acheron, — a sanctuary of solitude and silence; depths which, as the fable runs, no sounding line can fathom, and heights at whose dizzy verge the wheeling eagle seems a speck.”

(The height of these cliffs are about eighteen hundred feet.)

The opening of the Saguenay onto the Saint Lawrence
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