The Unknown Country, Canada and Her People

By Bruce Hutchison | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN
The Lotus Eaters

To be frank, I am unable to write about Victoria, British Columbia, with that same judicious poise and lack of enthusiasm which has marked these pages so far. I fell in love with her long ago, as a boy. This puppy love has only grown with the years into the settled attachment of old age and long daily companionship. I am but one of many. Even with a toughened traveler like Kipling it was love at first sight, and, sighing like furnace, he added a reckless prose poem to the long chant of her praises.

No one who has entered the Inner Harbor of Victoria, so far as the official records show, has ever wanted to leave again. It is the normal, accepted ambition of most Canadians to spend their last days here. This is the island where Ulysses met the sirens. This is the land of the Lotus Eaters, and many of those original inhabitants are still here.

You come to Victoria, with a cloud of sea gulls, down the Gulf of Georgia, flecked with its little green islands, and along the Straits of Juan de Fuca, glistening before the blue line of the Olympic Mountains on the Washington shore. On the southern point of Vancouver Island, to your right, Victoria suddenly appears, like an arrangement of toy houses, an architect's dream of the perfect human habitation, rising tier on tier from the sea upon a green hillside. It looks like the south coast towns of England. It looks like an artist's picture from which every disagreeable feature has been carefully removed. It looks like the ancient island habitation of the Blest.

-332-

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The Unknown Country, Canada and Her People
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents ix
  • My Country 3
  • Chapter One - Chez Garneau 6
  • Mother of Canada 21
  • Canadian Spring 43
  • Chapter Three - The Wood Choppers 46
  • Letter from Montreal to Young Lady With Violets 61
  • Chapter Four - Ville Marie 64
  • The Tower 77
  • Chapter Five - Three O'Clock, Ottawa Time 79
  • Leaves Falling, Dead Men Calling 107
  • Chapter Six - Made in Canada 110
  • The Ready Way to Canada 129
  • Chapter Seven - The Wedge 132
  • Mrs. Noggins 155
  • Chapter Eight General Brock's Bloody Hill 158
  • Winter 179
  • Chapter Nine - Wood, Wind, Water 182
  • The Names of Canada 209
  • Chapter Ten - Sailors' Town 211
  • The Queer Lady 219
  • Chapter Eleven - The Home Town 222
  • The Trees 231
  • Chapter Twelve - Fundy's Children 234
  • The Geese 247
  • Chapter Thirteen - The Frontiersman 249
  • The Canadian 269
  • Chapter Fourteen - The Men in Sheepskin Coats 272
  • Father's Plow 289
  • Chapter Fifteen - Drought and Glut 292
  • Never Go Back 309
  • She's Quiet Tonight 329
  • Chapter Seventeen - The Lotus Eaters 332
  • The Buckskin 351
  • Chapter Eighteen - Cariboo Road 353
  • Index 375
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