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To George S. Hillard.

Montreal, Sept. 12, 1836.
my dear Hillard,—Once again in this French place I send you greeting. I shall carry this letter into Vermont with me, where I shall commit it to the care of the hundred-handed giant who keeps up the intercourse between the different and most distant parts of the country, ‘and wafts a sigh from Indus to the Pole.’

I have just received yours of Aug. 30, and am sorry that sickness has grappled hold of you. I trust to see you restored on my return. I sympathize with——in his affliction, but am accustomed to view life and the great change in such colors as to consider death very little to be mourned. But an only daughter and sister are a grievous loss.

I wish you had delayed your letter till the evening of Φ. B. K., that I might have heard the success of Holmes. I picture the success of our poet as complete, making him the cynosure of all eyes, and the observed of all observers.

I left Quebec Saturday night (twelve o'clock) Sept. 10, the most extensive conflagration which ever raged in that city not yet entirely subdued. The inefficiency of the fire department was ridiculous, without hose, suction apparatus, I may almost add, engines and firemen. Their efforts against the furious element reminded me, from their impotency, of Gulliver's aid in extinguishing the flames at Lilliput. While at Quebec I made the acquaintance of Conway Robinson, of Virginia, a friend of the ‘Jurist’ and author of the work on ‘Practice;’ of his newly-married bride, the daughter of B. Watkins Leigh, and of Judge Gaston1 (the famous William), of North Carolina. They arrived there on a tour, Judge Gaston having left his daughters behind on the Hudson. He, however, proposes to visit Boston next week with them. The judge is a very agreeable and talented man, of remarkable polish and blandness of manner, about fifty-six. I also dined with the venerable Chief-Justice of Lower Canada and his family, and had a very pleasant time. Starting from Quebec at twelve o'clock Saturday night, I arrived in Montreal Monday forenoon at half-past 10 o'clock; being imprisoned (‘Denmark is a prison,’ and so is a steamboat) for two nights on board an elegant and spacious boat with few passengers besides an agreeable Russian Count with mustaches, &c., I was heartily glad once again to tread terra firma. At Port St. Francis, a landing midway between Quebec and Montreal, I parted with my English friend Brown.

In Montreal to-day I attended court, and heard what I supposed was the calling of the docket, and the conversation between the lawyers incidental thereto, with quite an animated argument growing out of the filing of an affidavit,—all of which were in French. Indeed this is the language which meets you everywhere in Canada, reminding you of the origin of the Colony

1 1778-1844. Judge Gaston remained in office till his death. In the State Constitutional Convention of 1835, he opposed the proposition to deprive free negroes of the right to vote which they had previously enjoyed.

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