Jacques Cartierdiscovered Canada in 1534. He arrived at Gaspé Bay, planted a cross, and claimed the territory he had found for France. Cartier was looking for Asia, but he fell a continent and an ocean short of his goal. He did not find diamonds, just faux.
When Cartier sailed back to France, he took with him Iroquois Chief Donnacona‘s two sons, Domagaya and Taignoagny. They were returned to their father in 1535, during Cartier’s second expedition to the “country of the Canadas.” In 1535, Cartier explored the St. Lawrence River. One of Donnacona’s son took him to his home at Stadacona. It would be Quebec City. In October, Cartier went to Hochelaga, the future Montreal. Cartier could not go beyong the Lachine Rapids. He did not create a settlement in New France.
The Winter of 1535-1536
Cartier explores the St Lawrence River
the third voyage
Cartier’s 150 men and three ships, la Grande Hermine, la Petite Hermine and l’Émérillon, spent the winter in Canada. When winter came, his men started to die of scurvy. St Lawrence Iroquoians supplied him with anneda/aneda, harvested from thuya occidentalis, cedar trees. It has been claimed that Cartier’s men were provided with abies balsamea, from the Balsam fir. Aneda or abies balsamea were rich sources of Vitamin C, the remedy for scurvy. Cartier’s men survived.
In 1536, Jacques Cartier captured Iroquoian Chief Donnacona, his sons, Domagaya and Taignoagny, and five Iroquoian Amérindiens. Amerindians had saved his crew, but Cartier was not in the least grateful. Besides, St Lawrence Iroquois had tried to impede Cartier’s exploration. Cartier sailed back to France, but his captives were never returned to their home. Cartier did not create a settlement.
In 1541-1542, Roberval and Cartier were expected to create a first settlement, but Cartier, who met Roberval as he sailed back to France, would not turn back and join Roberval. There would be no attempt to settle the Canadas until 1604.
The group spent a winter on Sainte-Croix island (Dochet Island). Dugua de Mons lost half of his men (39 or so). He returned to France, but he left Champlain, François Gravé du Pont, Champlain’s uncle, Matthieu Da Costa, a Black linguist, and persons introduced above. Matthieu da Costa did not speak Amerindian languages, but he learned languages in very little time and could create a lingua franca, a language of trade and travel, etc. Champlain and Matthieu Da Costa founded Quebec City in 1608. Four years earlier, in 1604, they and colleagues had settledPort-Royal, in the current Nova Scotia. Port-Royal was located in a warmer climate than the climate at Île Sainte-Croix. To prevent scurvy, Champlain suggested the creation of the Order of Good Cheer, l’Ordre de Bon Temps (1606). Merriment and good meals were essential to everyone’s health. French-speaking settlers, voyageurs in particular, inherited this approach.
In Chapter X/IX of Les Anciens Canadiens, monsieur d’Egmont speaks about an Iroquois who does not like a building located in New York. In the large building an Iroquois examines, “sauvages” who have not paid the white man are incarcerated and cannot therefore catch beaver pelts to repay their debt. Their hands are tied. However, I have not quoted the Good Gentleman’ full statement. The bon gentilhomme believes that civilization thwarts the human mind, in which the novel uses the myth of the Noble Savage :
Une chose m’a toujours frappé : c’est que la civilisation fausse le jugement des hommes, et qu’en fait de sens commun, de gros bon sens, que l’on doit s’attendre à rencontrer dans la cervelle de tout être civilisé (j’en excepte pourtant les animaux domestiques qui reçoivent leur éducation dans nos familles), le sauvage lui est bien supérieur. En voici un exemple assez amusant. Un Iroquois contemplait, il y a quelques années, à New-York, un vaste édifice d’assez sinistre apparence ; ses hauts murs, ses fenêtres grillées l’intriguaient beaucoup : c’était une prison. Arrive un magistrat. – Le visage pâle veut-il dire à son frère, fit l’Indien, à quoi sert ce grand wigwam? – C’est là qu’on renferme les peaux-rouges qui refusent de livrer les peaux de castor qu’ils doivent aux marchands.
[“It has always struck me that civilization warps men’s judgment, and makes them inferior to primitive races in mere common sense and simple equity. Let me give you an amusing instance. Some years ago, in New York, an Iroquois was gazing intently at a great, forbidding structure. Its lofty walls and iron-bound windows interested him profoundly. It was a prison. A magistrate came up. “‘Will the pale face tell his brother what this great wigwam is for?’ asked the Indian. The citizen swelled out his chest and answered with an air of importance: “ “‘It is there we shut up the red-skins who refuse to pay the furs which they owe our merchants.'”]
One can understand that Aubert de Gaspé (1786-1871) would look upon Amerindians with kindness. Le bon gentilhomme is a fictionalized Aubert de Gaspé. Aubert de Gaspé was too generous and did not realize at which point he started loaning money he did not have. Had monsieur d’Egmont not given his entire property, within ten years, one of the houses he owned would have repaid his debt in full. Authorities waited before incarcerating Aubert de Gaspé, but he was imprisoned and unable to help his two sick children. He was careless and wanted to repay authorities. However, in 1841, after nearly four years of detention, he was heard by authorities and released.
Aubert de Gaspé was not a seigneur during the years he spent in a prison. His mother was the seigneuresse de Saint-Jean-Port-Joli. Quebec had its nobility and many feared being sent back to France. Several died when l’Auguste, a ship, sank as a storm raged. However, Aubert de Gaspé would be a seigneur after his mother’s death. He would be the last seigneur of Saint-Jean-Port-Joli. The Seigneurial System was abolished in 1854, before Aubert de Gaspé published his book (1863).
Interestingly, Aubert de Gaspé fictionalized himself as le bon gentilhomme, the Good Gentleman, the man who was too severely punished, and, as Jules, an image of innocence. It is as though le bon gentilhomme, monsieur d’Egmont, had seen Jules loan money he did not have to a person who had kicked him. To help Dubuc, Jules borrows money from Madeleine who has a debt of gratitude, but gratitude is rare.
The novel is historical and autobiographical. But it is also a cautionary tale. Le bon gentilhomme wants to tell his story to Jules, so Jules’s generosity does not lead him astray (II: pp.22… )(I: 22-26). (Aubert de Gaspé experienced rulings that did not take into account his good character and extenuating circumstances. In 1841, Aubert de Gaspé was freed after nearly four years of detention. His conviction was not legally unjust, but it was “unfair” and disloyal. Therefore, Aubert de Gaspé uses the myth of the Noble Savage, a soul untainted by civilization. Moreover, the bon sauvage is at hand. Nouvelle-France was home to Amerindians.
Incarcerating a good man, monsieur d’Egmont, le bon gentilhomme, is discordant. Discordant is a term I have borrowed from Maurice Lemire, the editor of my copy of Les Anciens Canadiens.In Les Anciens Canadiens, the uncivilized are Europeans, not the natives of New France. One remembers the Jesuit Relations and Lahontan‘s Noble savage. Les Anciens Canadiens attacks civilized men. Montgomery who orders Arché to burn his friends’ manoir is inferior to the “Noble Savage.” Aubert de Gaspé’s fate, imprisonment, may be legal, but it is disloyal, and given his fault, detention is discordant. We can therefore situate Aubert de Gaspé’s novel among literary works pertaining to the myth of the Noble Savage. It is close to the Enlightenment, Jean-Jacques Rousseau viewed man in the state of nature as good, at times because of a Social Contract, but Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathanpictured man in the state of nature as a horrible zoomorphic serpent.
It should be noted, moreover that the wars Nouvelle France fought with or on behalf of Amerindians were exhausting. Our visitor to New York is an Iroquois, an Amerindian confederacy allied to the British. The French were allied mostly to the Hurons-Wendats. In chapter VII/VI, le capitaine d’Haberville is described as battled wearied:
Le seigneur d’Haberville avait à peine quarante-cinq ans, mais il accusait dix bonnes années de plus, tant les fatigues de la guerre avaient usé sa constitution d’ailleurs si forte et si robuste : ses devoirs de capitaine d’un détachement de la marine l’appelaient presque constamment sous les armes. Ces guerres continuelles dans les forêts, sans autre abri, suivant l’expression énergique des anciens Canadiens, que la rondeur du ciel, ou la calotte des cieux ; ces expéditions de découvertes, de surprises, contre les Anglais et les sauvages, pendant les saisons les plus rigoureuses, altéraient bien vite les plus forts tempéraments.
[The Seigneur D’Haberville was scarcely forty-five years old, but the toils of war had so told on his constitution that he looked a good ten years older. His duties as captain in the Colonial Marine kept him constantly under arms. The ceaseless forest warfare, with no shelter,104 according to the stern Canadian custom, except the vault of heaven, the expeditions of reconnoissance or surprise against the Iroquois or against the English settlements, carried on during the severest weather, produced their speedy effect on the strongest frames.]
We meet our first Amerindian, a Huron, at Trois-Saumons River. When he arrives at monsieur d’Egmont’s cottage, he is ill. Monsieur d’Egmont and André Francœur look after him for several weeks. Four years later, when he has nearly been forgotten, he visits Monsieur d’Egmont carrying a fortune in pelts, moccassins, and other valuable products the French cherished.
Ce n’était pas le même homme que j’avais vu dans un si piteux état : il était vêtu splendidement, et tout annonçait chez lui le grand guerrier et le grand chasseur, qualités inséparables chez les naturels de l’Amérique du Nord. Lui et son compagnon déposèrent, dans un coin de ma chambre, deux paquets de marchandises de grande valeur : car ils contenaient les pelleteries les plus riches, les plus brillants mocassins brodés en porc-épic, les ouvrages les plus précieux en écorce, et d’autres objets dont les sauvages font commerce avec nous. Je le félicitai alors sur la tournure heureuse qu’avaient prise ses affaires.
[“I had entirely forgotten my Indian, when about four years later he arrived at my door, accompanied by another savage. I could scarcely recognize him. He was spendidly clad, and everything about him bespoke the great hunter and the mighty warrior. In one corner of my room he and his companion laid down two bundles of merchandise of great value—the richest furs, moccasins splendidly embroidered with porcupine quills, and exquisite pieces of work in birch bark, such as the Indians alone know how to make. I congratulated him upon the happy turn his affairs had taken.]
– Écoute, mon frère, me dit-il, et fais attention à mes paroles. Je te dois beaucoup, et je suis venu payer mes dettes. Tu m’as sauvé la vie, car tu connais bonne médecine. Tu as fait plus, car tu connais aussi les paroles qui entrent dans le cœur: d’un chien d’ivrogne que j’étais, je suis redevenu l’homme que le Grand Esprit a créé. Tu étais riche, quand tu vivais de l’autre côté du grand lac. Ce wigwam est trop étroit pour toi : construis-en un qui puisse contenir ton grand cœur. Toutes ces marchandises t’appartiennent.
[“‘Listen to me, my brother,’ said he. ‘I owe you much, and I am come to pay my debt. You saved my life, for you know good medicine. You have done more, for you know the words which reach the heart; dog of a drunkard as I was, I am become once more a man as I was created by the Great Spirit. You were rich when you lived beyond the great water. This wigwam is too small for you; build one large enough to hold your great heart. All these goods belong to you,’]
Le bon gentilhomme is moved to tears. Gratitude is a quality lacking in the individuals to whom he loaned money. Our Noble Savage, returns to the Trois-Saumons River carrying precious gifts: pelts, moccasins, and other goods. Monsieur d’Egmont could build a much better wigwam by selling the pelts and other riches the Noble Savage has brought. But he chooses otherwise. A priest will distribute among the needy the riches the grateful Amerindian has brought to thank the God Gentleman.
Ironically, le bon gentilhomme’s cottage will be home to the d’Habervilles after their manoir is destroyed by fire and Quebec City house, destroyed. Arché’s superior, Montgomery, orders Arché to set fire to every house.
– Mais, dit le jeune officier, qui était Écossais, faut-il incendier aussi les demeures de ceux qui n’opposent aucune résistance ? On dit qu’il ne reste que des femmes, des vieillards et des enfants dans ces habitations.
[“But,” said the young officer, who was a Scotchman, “must I burn the dwellings of those who offer no resistance? They say there is no one left in these houses except old men, women, and children.”]
– Il me semble, monsieur, reprit le major 265 Montgomery, que mes ordres sont bien clairs et précis ; vous mettrez le feu à toutes les habitations de ces chiens de Français que vous rencontrerez sur votre passage. Mais j’oubliais votre prédilection pour nos ennemis !
[“I think, sir,” replied Major Montgomery, “that my orders are quite clear. You will set fire to every house belonging to these dogs of Frenchmen. I had forgotten your weakness for our enemies.” “Every house you come across belonging to these dogs of Frenchmen, set fire to it. I will follow you a little later.”]
– Voilà donc, s’écria-t-il [Arché] avec amertume, les fruits de ce que nous appelons code d’honneur chez les nations civilisées ! Sont-ce là aussi les fruits des préceptes qu’enseigne l’Évangile à tous ceux qui professent la religion chrétienne, cette religion toute d’amour et de pitié, même pour des ennemis. Si j’eusse fait partie d’une expédition commandée par un chef de ces aborigènes que nous traitons de barbares sur cet hémisphère, et que je lui eusse dit : « Épargne cette maison, car elle appartient à mes amis ; j’étais errant et fugitif, et ils m’ont accueilli dans leur famille, où j’ai trouvé un père et des frères », le chef indien m’aurait répondu : « C’est bien, épargne tes amis ; il n’y a que le serpent qui mord ceux qui l’ont réchauffé près de leur feu. »
[“Behold,” said he, “the fruits of what we call the code of honor of civilized nations! Are these the fruits of Christianity, that religion of compassion which teaches us to love even our enemies? If my commander were one of these savage chiefs, whom we treat as barbarians, and I had said to him: ‘Spare this house, for it belongs to my friends. I was a wanderer and a fugitive, and they took me in and gave me a father and a brother,’ the Indian chief would have answered: ‘It is well; spare your friends; it is only the viper that stings the bosom that has warmed it.’]
Jules and Arché (Cameron of Lochiel)’s friendship will survive the War. However, Aubert de Gaspé needed the bon sauvage. New France’s Amerindians were friends of the French, but there is no entity called the Noble Savage. It is an image and a wish. However, Amerindians have a great deal of common sense. I quite agree with the Jesuits who saw Amerindians as good persons who did not need to be converted. Yet, they continued their work as missionary and a few fell victims to the Iroquois who, as noted above, were friends of the British. La Grande-Loutre is an Iroquois. The Iroquois confederacy were allies of the British and protected by the British. The French were allies of the Hurons-Wendats and protected the Hurons-Wendats.
Aubert de Gaspé went further in the rehabilitation of the defeated French. Not only did he feature the Noble Savage, but he created Cameron of Lochiel, a Scot, whose father fought at Culloden. Arché will move to Canada and have a house built, half of wish will be Dumais’s home. He saved Dumais ‘s life who saved Archie from torture and death when the Iroquois captured him. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 will be the Amerindians’s “precedent,” and is included in the 1982 Constitution Act, Canada.
As for the Quebec Act of 1774, it constitutes a “precedent” to a bilingual Canada. The French in America did not attempt to assimilate Amerindians. Monsieur d’Egmont and André Francœur have in fact left France, Europe being too civilized, to live among natives. Jules and Cameron of Lochiel will remain friends. Some of Aubert de Gaspé’s children would marry the Scots, or the English. It is not treason, but a legitimate and realistic wish to take part in the political life of Canada. Finally, persons whose origins are not the same may fall in love. The French in Quebec were happy to have escaped the French Revolution. This reaction, however, was often dictated by the clergy and the seigneurs. At any rate, Canadians must clean up a mess: Residential Schools, the remnants of Imperialism.
I will write briefly about the Battles, but I have already done so in Canadiana.1. I must include Les Anciens Canadiens‘s Plains of Abraham.
Canadiens (French-speaking Canadians) did not own businesses…
options: colonisation & émigration
As depicted in Louis Hémon‘s Maria Chapdelaine, a novel written in the winter of 1912-1913, landless or unemployed French Canadians, called Canadiens, could be “colonisateurs” or emigrate. Colonisation, making land, was the patriotic choice but tens of thousands, nearly a million by 1890, chose to work in the United States. It is unlikely that Maria Chapdelaine’s Lorenzo Surprenant, one of her three suitors, is affluent but he is employed. Matters would change after 1929, during the Great Depression. My grandfather left Quebec’s Eastern Townships (les Cantons de l’Est) in approximately 1926, and found work. When my mother located him, in the mid-to-late 1940s, he owned a large farm in Massachusetts and lived in a well-built Colonial house. I do not know how he escaped the Great Depression of 1929.
As an émigré to the United States, my grandfather was a loss to Canada. He had to leave because he could not earn a living in his country. If I use the 1900 American statistics, most Canadians lived in Massachusetts and Michigan. The people who left Ontario settled in Michigan. My research has led me to unsuspected destinations: English-speaking Canadians were also leaving Canada. This matter I will not discuss, except to say that many worked part of the year in the United States and then returned to Ontario, where they spent their money. These were not “good” émigrés (MacLean) because they were not naturalised Americans. My grandfather was a naturalised American. He may have missed his family, four children, but when we met him, he had bought land and he lived simply but comfortably with Nanny, the woman who became our finest grandmother. They had seven cats, a Border Collie, hens, a cow, four vegetable gardens, and a beautiful flower garden, the fifth garden. However, he still went to work at a factory.
Les P’tits Canadas
French communities in the United States
Alexis de Tocqueville visits Lower Canada (1831)
Other émigrés to Massachusetts were not as happy as my grandfather who was an Anglophone French Canadian. His mother was Irish. Others, however, were Francophone émigrés. They missed Canada and created P’tits Canadas, communities where they had a church, a school, and a newspaper. I remember that during our visits to Massachusetts, we attended Mass and the priest spoke French. As a member of le Conseil de la Vie française en Amérique, my father was in touch with several émigrés groups in New England and elsewhere in the United States. Many voyageurs retired in Minnesota. They had first lived in Canada, but when the border between Canada and the United States was traced, after the War of 1812, formerly Canadian fur-trading posts were situated in Minnesota and were not moved north.
Laurent-Olivier David quotes an émigré, a priest, who writes in L’Étendard national (Worcester, Mass, le 21 mars 1872, p. 1), that émigration was due to a lack of railroads, land, and factories in Quebec.
Ce n’est ni le drapeau rouge ni le drapeau bleu qu’il nous faut, c’est du progrès, des chemins de fer, des terres et des manufactures.
Laurent-Olivier David in Textes de l’exode.
[We need neither the red flag nor the blue flag, we need progress: railroads, land, and factories.]
Alexis de Tocqueville
In 1831, when Alexis de Tocqueville visited Lower Canada, he noticed that French-speaking Canadians lived in relative prosperity, but that money, la grande richesse, was in the hands of English or American merchants. Canadiens were farmers, called “habitants,” not businessmen. Moreover, the only professions were law, medicine or the priesthood. Families expected one son to become a priest and one daughter to enter a convent. Sons who went to work in factories were never promoted and their priests looked upon their meagre salary as a good sign. They were on the road to salvation. The citizens of New France and their descendants were Jansenists. Moreover, their well-educated priests, many of whom had fled the French Revolution, sided with the boss.
Si les paysans sont prospères, la grande richesse, elle, appartient aux Anglais du pays. Tant les frères Mondelet, rencontrés à Montréal le 24 août, que le marchand anglais anonyme de Québec, le 26 août, indiquent à Tocqueville que « presque toute la richesse et le commerce est dans les mains des Anglais. » ( Claude Corbo & others)
Alexis de Tocqueville
[Even though the peasants are prosperous, the real wealth is in the hands of the country’s Englishmen. The Mondelet brothers, whom Tocqueville met in Montreal on August 24th, as well as the anonymous English merchant he met on August 26th, reveal to Tocqueville that, “almost all the wealth and commerce is under English control.”]
In earlier posts, I discussed Louis Hémon‘s Maria Chapdelaine (1913). Louis Hémon (12 October 1880 – 8 July 1913) was born in France but visited Quebec in 1912-1913. He went North to the small community of Péribonka. Having worked with French Canadians, he spent the winter of 1912-1913 writing Maria Chapdelaine and sent his manuscript to a publisher in France. He started walking west, but he was hit by a train.
In my discussion of Maria Chapdelaine, I also introduced the legendary Antoine Labelle (1834-1891). Antoine Labelle was a priest who encouraged Quebecers who had no land to go North, to the Lac-Saint-Jean FR or up the Ottawa River and “make land,”(faire de la terre). They were running out of land. Others, however, went to the United States.
Since the 1850s, or perhaps as early as the Rebellions or 1837-1838, Quebecers were moving to the United States.The thirty acres French colons (colonists) had farmed since the 17th century were a peau de chagrin. They could no longer be divided among sons. Moreover, when the Seigneurial System was abolished in 1854, farmers could buy their ancestral land if they had money. The censitaires who could not buy their thirty acres had to pay “rente” for a lifetime.
Faire de la terre, making land, is the choice Maria’s father has made. Maria falls in love with François Paradis, but he dies in a storm, hoping to spend Christmas with Maria. An émigré to the United States, Lorenzo Surprenant, also wishes to marry Maria, but she will live and die as her mother lived and died. She marries Eutrope Gagnon who is “making land.”
My grandfather left Canada because he could not making a living in his native land. He went to the Canada d’en bas, a down below Canada, or New England states. Traditionally, Quebecers had left for the pays d’en haut, north. They became voyageurs or worked as loggers (bûcherons) or river drivers (draveurs). Raftsmen drove the lumber down rivers, which was very dangerous.
However, French Canadians left Québec for reasons other than unemployment. There were jobs in the United States, but French-speaking Canadians did not escape the spellbinding notion that, in order to be rich, one migrated to the United States. It was described as a land of plenty. My grandfather was unemployed, so he went to work in a New England factory. He saved his money and bought a large farm. Owning land was everything.
It remains true, however, that nearly one million French-speaking Canadians left Canada mostly because they could not make a living in their country. Besides, although it did not happen the minute Confederation was signed, provinces legislated the exclusive, or nearly exclusive, use of French as a language of instruction. Sir Wilfrid Laurier could not accommodate immigrants and refugees. Needy French-speaking Canadians could not go west.
For instance, under Premier Sir James Whitney, Ontario was not prepared to have a dual system of education. In July 1912, Whitney’s government passed Regulation 17, which banned the teaching of French in schools beyond the first two or three years. This measure inflamed French-Canadian opinion across Canada, but more so in Quebec. French-speaking Quebecers wondered if they should accept conscription.
In 1922, Quebec nationalist, Lionel Groulx, a priest, published L’Appel de la race, (the call of…). Jules Lantagnac, a lawyer, has married Maud Fletcher, a Catholic Anglophone. They live in Ottawa. He is elected into office in Ontario, but wants his children to be educated in French. His wife opposes him and she threatens to leave him if he supports a motion by Kamouraska (Quebec) Member of Parliament, Ernest Lapointe. The marriage falls apart. A few years ago, Lionel Groulx, Quebec’s most prominent nationalist ever, was accused of racism. Although I would rather read Gabrielle Roy, I will say that race also means breed and that Lantagnac’s roots are a French and bilingual Canada. Sir James Whitney, was influenced by Ontario Orangemen. Sir John A. Macdonald, the main father of Confederation, was an Orangeman and the Orange Order was anti-French and anti-Catholic. (See James Whitney, Wikipedia.)
But French-speaking Canadians had friends.
They [French Canadians] have adopted our system, but there are two things they have clung to, their religion and their language. I believe that their national sentiment is even stronger than their religious sentiment—I really believe so. The national feeling among them is intensely strong, but I would ask you English, Irish and Scotch descendants born in this country, and brought up here, supposing a regulation similar to No. 17 were passed in the Province of Quebec, what do you think our duty towards it would be? Supposing Sir Lomer Gouin—I cannot imagine it—but supposing he did have the courage, or the nerve, so to speak, to pass a regulation of that kind. There would be a rebellion in this Province, I think. And here we have our French-Canadian brethren in the sister Province who by constitutional means are trying to obtain the repeal or the modification of the regulation, or some other settlement of the question which would be satisfactory to all concerned.)
Mr. JUSTICE McCORKILL, in Bilingualism by N. A. Belcourt speech given at the Canadian Club in 1916. Gutenberg [EBook #25040]
George-Étienne Cartier (1814-1873), the Prime Minister of Canada East, signed Confederation. Quebec was part of a federated Canada. He was pleased that Quebecers would keep their language, their religion, and their Code Civil. He negotiated Manitoba’s entry into Confederation. But could he presume that a dual system of education would be opposed? He died in 1873, twelve years before Louis Riel was executed.
However, it remains difficult to say to what extent being confined to one province hurt French-speaking Canadians. Emigration to the United States was a loss. All I know is that the people living in Canada are compatible. So many French-speaking Canadians are federalists. They inherited a Constitutional Monarchy and liked that system. One could speak. As for Sir John A. Macdonald, he had a dream. Canada would stretch from the Atlantic to the Pacific. That vision was enibriating, but…
_________________________  I am borrowing from Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) who wrote a novel entitled La Peau de chagrin. Shagreen shrinks. It may, therefore, represent life, love, and all paradis perdus (paradise lost)  Pierre Anctil, « La Franco-Américanie ou le Québec d’en bas », in Maurice Poteet, responsable, Textes de l’Exode (Montréal : Guérin Littérature, collection Francophonie, 1987), pp. 91-111.  Télesphore Saint-Pierre, « Les Canadiens des États-Unis : ce qu’on perd à émigrer », in Maurice Poteet, responsable, Textes de l’Exode (Montréal : Guérin Littérature, collection Francophonie, 1987), p. 47.
I enjoyed listening to C’est dans Paris … The melody is so soothing. I do not think that album or CD is on the market at this point. It was recorded in December 2020, during the Covid-19’s pandemics. Moreover, C’est dans Paris is French folklore. The very last sentence of the song, C’est dans Paris … reads as follows
C’est pas l’affaire d’une servante … de se farder. [It is not a servant’s business to wear makeup.]
However, three of the musicians I featured in my was post were in Britain in 2015 performing Celtic music. This time, the ensemble has a fiddler, a violoneux, or violinist/fiddler. Certain performers play with different ensembles. You will notice that at the very beginning of the group’s performance, the violineux/fiddler plays consecutive notes that span less than a semitone. Using a string instrument, such as the violin, and certain wind instruments, a musician is at liberty to play two consecutive notes spanning less than a semitone. On a piano, one plays a semitone by moving from C (white on a piano) to C sharp (the next black key). There are smaller units than the semitone, but a piano cannot produce these smaller units. Were it not for the development of equal temperament, an arbitrary division of the scale into semitones, instruments could not play together. When I was a student of music, the European music theorist who developed equal temperament was Vincenzo Galilei, Galileo Galilei’s father. More research has led to new findings.
The piece we are hearing today is Celtic music, or it has been influenced by Celtic music. Our fiddler is sitting on a chair and uses podorythmie.Podorythmie is not step dancing. Our fiddler is emphasizing the rythmic pattern of the piece the group is interpreting. Until research proves underwise, podorythmie originates in Quebec and Acadie. As for step dancing, it occurs in many cultures, including Quebec. Podorythmie is a technique that was not used when I was a child in Quebec. Its use or revival dates back to the 1970s. As well, in the Quebec of my childhood, before 1960, there were fiddlers, but the piano was the instrument of choice. We have heard Jean Carignan, an accomplished fiddler, perhaps the best ever, play with the legendary Jehudi Menuhin. They played a piece composed by André Gagnon who died in December.
Many of Quebec’s Irish population came to North America at the time of the potato famine. My great-grandmother was Irish. These immigrants were very poor, as were many French Canadians. The McGarrigle sisters also had ancestors who moved to Quebec in order to eat. Owners evicted tenants who could not pay the rent.
I have been looking for French Canadian folklore and traditional music. These sites do not appear immediately. Moreover, I was far from Quebec for forty years and I had been trained to be a concert pianist, which means I was learning Bach’s Preludes and Fugues. There was very little time left for learning folklore and I wasn’t hearing any music from Quebec on the radio. In 1960, the French-language CBC, Radio-Canada or Ici Radio Canada, had yet to reach the West coast.
Les Voix du Vent are also known as Le Vent du Nord. Le Vent du Nord plays Celtic music. However, I am featuring a French song that tells a story.
The story is about a servant girl who wanted to be as beautiful as her mistress (as in master). She went to the pharmacist, l’apothicaire, to purchase makeup, du fard. He prepared a powder and told her not to look at herself in a mirror after applying the fard. The next day, le lendemain, she met her cavalier, a boyfriend, or a man she wished to attract. He told her that her face was black, black as a chimney. She was barbouillée (smeared). She returned to the apothecary who explained that he sold her coal. Servants should not try to look like their mistress.
During a visit to Quebec, legendary violinist Yehudin Menuhin (1916-1999) met Jean Carignan (1916-1988), Quebec’s finest fiddler in his days. They performed music composed by André Gagnon, entitled Concerto pour Carignan.
The above video shows different styles that are not incompatible. Within a mere few bars (mesures), one can move from violoniste to violoneux (fiddler). In fact, many violoneux are also violinists. One does not preclude the other.
I am working on two one-act plays by Molière: La Critique de l’École des femmes (June 1663) and l’Impromptu de Versailles (October 1663). These are plays about plays.
I have been editing older posts and have noticed that some videos feature singers and fiddlers who let their feet dance. There are similarities between Celtic music and French Canadian folklore. Nicolas Pellerin dances: podorythmie.
French Canada also has fiddlers, as do many cultures, as well as legends. La Chasse-galerie is one such legend. Honoré Beaugrand wrote its finest telling. It is rooted in French legends. I will look for translations or retell the legends.
In the area of folklore, our best source could be the Voyageur Heritage Community Journal & Resource Guide (WordPress).
I was writing a post that was erased. So I will be brief. I have started to edit my Canadiana pages: 1 and 2. To a significant extent, literature is written in a context. It may not be a clear product of its time nor a clear product of an author’s life, but it doesn’t stand in a void. For instance, there are elements such as intertextualité, archetypes, genres, modes, themes, and an author and his time.
The two pages listing posts on French Canada contain the title of literary works reflecting the history of French Canada. They require a little dusting. Much has happened since 2012, when many of these posts were written.