- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
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In the early portion of the reign the manners and customs differed little from those described in the preceding one. There was great dissipation, and even coarseness of manners, amongst the nobility and gentry. It was the custom to drink to intoxication at dinners, and swearing still garnished the language of the wealthy as well as of the low. Balls, routs, the opera, the theatre, with Vauxhall and Ranelagh, filled up the time of the fashionable, and gaming was carried to an extraordinary extent. Amongst our leading statesmen Charles Fox was famous for this habit. Duelling was equally common, and infidelity amongst fashionable people was of notorious prevalence. George III. and his queen did what they could to discourage this looseness of morals, and to set a different example; but the decorum of the Court was long in passing into the wealthy classes around it. An affluent middle class was fast mingling with the old nobility, and this brought some degree of sobriety and public decency with it. Amongst the lower classes dog-, cock-, and bull-fights were, during a great part of the reign, the chief amusements, and the rudest manners continued to prevail, because there was next to no education. Wesley, Whitefield, and their followers, were the first to break into this condition of heathenism. Robberies and murders abounded both in town and country, and the police was of a very defective character. For the most part there was none but the parish constable. The novels of Fielding and Smollett are pictures of the rudeness and profligacy of these times. The resources in the country of books and newspapers were few, and the pot-house supplied the necessary excitement. The clergy were of a very low tone, or were non-resident, and the farmers, getting rich, aped the gentlemen, followed the hounds, and ended the day with a carouse.
* See a paper by Garneau in Le National of Quebec, 28To procure peace, Madison now sought the good offices of the Emperor Alexander of Russia with Great Britain, and these offices were readily accepted, for the latter had never willingly gone into or continued this unnatural war. A Congress was appointed at Gothenburg, and thence transferred to Ghent. There, on the 24th of December, 1814, a loose and indefinite peace was concluded, in which every principle on which the war had been begun was left to be settled by commissioners; and some of whichsuch was the difficulty of negotiating with the Americanswere not settled for many years. On these points alone were the two Powers agreedthat all hostilities between the contracting parties and the Indians should be put an end to, and that both parties should continue their efforts for the suppression of the slave-trade. Such was the joy of the north-eastern States of America at the peace that the citizens of New York carried the British envoy, sent to ratify the treaty, in triumph through the streets.
The tenure en censive by which the censitaire held of the seignior consisted in the obligation to make annual payments in money, produce, or both. In Canada these payments, known as cens et rente, were strangely diverse in amount and kind; but, in all the early period of the colony, they were almost ludicrously small. A common charge at Montreal was half a sou and half a pint of wheat for each arpent. The rate usually fluctuated in the early times between half a sou and two sous, so that a farm of a hundred and sixty arpents would pay from four to sixteen francs, of which a part would be in money and the rest in live capons, wheat, eggs, or all three together, in pursuance of contracts as amusing in their precision as they are bewildering in their variety. Live capons,
with the addition of the chiefs name. Colden follows him.
In reading the voluminous correspondence of governors and intendants, the minister and the king, nothing is more apparent than the interest with which, in the early part of his reign, Louis XIV. regarded his colony. One of the faults of his rule is the excess of his benevolence; for not only did he give money to support parish priests, build churches, and aid the seminary, the Ursulines, the missions, and the hospitals; but he established a fund destined, among other objects, to relieve indigent persons, subsidized nearly every branch of trade and industry, and in other instances did for the colonists what they would far better have learned to do for themselves.