July 28th 1910

July 28th 1910

The Halifax of Old:

Looking west toward the Citadel, from the Parade (at Halifax), I see half-way up the steep hill, the clock-tower built by the Duke of Kent, to remind Haligonians, saith Dame Rumour, of the exact time of day. His office at headquarters, reporteth the same trusty gossip, was full of all varieties of clocks, watches, timepieces, chronometers, horologes, sundials and hourglasses, for the encouragement of punctuality in all and sundry with whom he had to do, military and civilians. In truth, His Royal Highness was a martinet formed in the hard old Prussian school, and a rigorous enforcer of discipline. When he took final leave of Halifax in 1800, he left eleven poor fellows under sentence of death for mutiny and desertion. Eight were reprieved under the gallows and three were hanged on it by the neck until they were dead. Altogether, he lived in Halifax for six years as commander of the forces; and this period, when we had a Prince of the Blood resident among us, is justly regarded as our Age of Gold. Those were very splendid and jolly days, but I am afraid that they were exceedingly improper. Why pretend or blink the facts? Old Halifax was an eighteenth century city with morals to match. In those high and far-off times, the army and navy were not exactly convent schools, and the city itself was perilously rich. The invincible fleet swept the merchantmen of our enemies off the seas; lawful prizes came in almost daily, and streams of guineas flowed like water. Privateering was a profitable speculation. Fortunes were made rapidly and kept as well as made. The generous hospitality of the old-time Halifax merchants was famous. In such a community, the Prince was the social centre and set the example. In the address of welcome, he was hailed as a second Caesar. He arrived with a very beautiful French lady in his train from Martinique, where he had been campaigning, who was known as Madame de Saint Laurent. I have heard her described quite seriously as his morganatic wife; but the French have the exact term, maitresse en titre. Over his household she presided and respectable Halifax, with the Bishop's lady at their head, had to recognize and call upon her. The Duke lived for the greater part of his reign at Friar Lawrence's Cell, the fine place of Sir John Wentworth on the shores of the Basin, now known as Prince's Lodge. All that remains of its ancient splendor is the rotunda where the band used to play on gala days, but the ruins inspired the finest page of Haliburton's prose. Years before the Duke's time, good Mr. MacGregor and saintly Henry Alleyne gave their testimony as to the moral condition of the city. To them it was the City of Destruction. No doubt the moralist had cause to shake his head. At the same time, the balls, parties, levees, dinners, the Sunday reviews on the Common, the illuminations for great victories by sea and land, the feasting, the fighting, the raids of the press gang, the constant military bustle in the streets, the coming and going of ships in the harbor, the prizes sold at the wharf, had made life in this demure old town a brilliant, stirring spectacle down to the dramatic close of the great Napoleonic wars. - Professor Archibald MacMechan, in The Canadian Magazine for August.

Had Narrow Escape:

What almost was a fatal accident occurred Friday at Evangeline Beach, Windsor, when Miss Belle Carver, daughter of Mrs. Rufus Curry, was nearly drowned by being swept beyond her depth while bathing. The young lady was rescued by W. Marshall Black, who rushed to her assistance. When he reached Miss Carver she was going down for the third time, and fainted when reached by her rescuer. Mr. Black called to those on shore for a boat. When the boat reached him, he also became unconscious from fatigue, but both he and Miss Carver were gotten out. Miss Carver was unconscious two hours.

About fifteen years ago Miss Carver's father, Fred Carver, and her eldest brother, Ralph, were drowned in the Stillwater Lakes, near Windsor, - Acadian Recorder.

(Evangeline Beach is a considerable distance from Windsor.)