The Settlers in Canada
Chapter XL Return to England
Captain Sinclair on his return to Fort
Frontignac reported to the Colonel the successful result of the
expedition, and was warmly congratulated upon it, as the Colonel had
been made acquainted with the engagement between him and Mary Percival.
The Young Otter, who had remained in confinement during Captain
Sinclairs absence, was now set at liberty; and the Colonel, who was
aware that Captain Sinclair must be very anxious to remain at the
settlement for a short time after what had occurred, very kindly offered
him leave for a few days, which it may be supposed Captain Sinclair did
not fail to avail himself of. The Colonel at the same time sent a
message to Mr Campbell, stating that as soon as thebateauxshould
arrive from Montreal, he would bring any letters or newspapers that
might arrive for them, and take that opportunity of offering in person
Captain Sinclair did not, however, return for two or three days, as he
had many letters to write in answer to those which had arrived during
his absence. On his return to the settlement, he found them all well and
happy; Mary quite recovered from her fatigue, and everything going on in
the same quiet order and method as if the expedition had never taken
place, and had never been necessary. Indeed, nothing appeared now
wanting to the happiness of the whole party, and their affairs were
prospering. The emigrants who had joined Mr Campbell were industrious
and intelligent, very civil, and very useful. They paid the greatest
respect to Mr and Mrs Campbell, who were certainly very liberal and kind
to them, assisting them in every way in their power. Although the farm
had been so much increased, the labour was light, from the quantity of
hands they could command; the stock had increased very fast; old Graves
had taken charge of the mill during the absence of Alfred and Martin,
and had expressed his wish to continue in that employment, which Alfred
gladly gave up. In short, peace and plenty reigned in the settlement,
and Alfreds words when he recommended his father to go to Canada, had
every prospect of becoming truethat his father would be independent, if
not rich, and leave his children the same. In three days Captain
Sinclair arrived; he was received with great warmth by all the party,
and after dinner was over, Mr Campbell addressed the family as follows:
My dear children, your mother and I have had some conversation on one
or two points, and we have come to the decision that having so much to
thank God for, in His kindness and mercies shewn towards us, it would be
selfish on our parts if we did not consult the happiness of others. We
are now independent, and with every prospect of being more so every day;
we are no longer isolated, but surrounded by those who are attached to
us, and will protect us should there be any occasion. In short, we are
living in comfort and security, and we trust to Providence that we shall
continue so to do. You, my dear Alfred, generously abandoned your
profession to which you were so partial, to come and protect us in the
wilderness, and we knew too well the value of your services not to
accept them, although we were fully aware of the sacrifice which you
made; but we are no longer in a wilderness, and no longer require your
strong arm and bold heart. We have therefore decided that it is our duty
no longer to keep you from the profession to which you belong, but, on
the contrary, to recommend you now to rejoin and follow up your career,
which we trust in God may prove as prosperous as we are convinced it
will be honourable. Take our best thanks, my dear boy, for your kindness
to us, and now consider yourself at liberty to return to England, and
rejoin the service as soon as you please.
And now I must address you, my dear Mary; you and your sister
accompanied us here, and since you have been with us, have cheered us
during our stay by your attentions and unwearied cheerfulness under all
the privations which we at first had to encounter. You have engaged the
affections of an honourable and deserving man, but at the same time have
never shewn the least disposition to leave us; indeed, we know what your
determination has been, but your aunt and I consider it our present duty
to say, that much as we shall regret to part with one so dear, you must
no longer sacrifice yourself for us, but make him happy who so well
deserves you. That you will remain here is of course out of the
question; your husbands connections and fortune require that he should
return to England, and not bury himself in the woods of Canada. You have
therefore our full permission, and I may say, it will be most pleasing
to us, if you no longer delay your union with Captain Sinclair and
follow your husband; whenever and wherever you go, you will have our
blessings and our prayers, and the satisfaction of knowing that you have
been to us as a dutiful daughter, and that we love you as dearly as it
is possible for parents to do. Take her, Captain Sinclair, from my
hands, and take with her our blessings and best wishes for your
happiness, which I do not doubt will be as great as we can expect in
this chequered world; for a dutiful daughter will always become a good
Mary, who was sitting between Mrs Campbell and Captain Sinclair, fell
upon her aunts neck and wept; Mr Campbell extended his hand to Captain
Sinclair, who expressed in return his warmest thanks and gratitude.
Alfred, who had said nothing more, went up to his mother and kissed her.
wish you to go, Alfred, said his mother; I wish you to rejoin a
service to which you are a credit. Do not believe otherwise, or that I
shall grieve too much at your departure.
Go, my son, said Mr Campbell, shaking him by the hand, and let me see
you a post-captain before I die.
Mrs Campbell now took Mary Percival into the next room, that she might
compose herself, and Captain Sinclair ventured to follow. Everyone
appeared happy at this announcement of Mr Campbells except Emma, who
looked unusually serious. Alfred, perceiving it, said to her, Emma, you
are very grave at the idea of losing Mary, and I do not wonder at it,
but you will have one consolationyou will lose me too, and I shall no
longer plague you as you continually complain that I do.
never thought of that, replied Emma, half angry; well, youarea
great plague, and the sooner you go
Emma did not, however, finish her speech, but left the room, to join her
Now that Mr Campbell had announced his wishes, the subject of Marys
marriage and Alfreds return to the service was, for a few days, the
continual subject of discussion. It was decided that Mary should be
married in a month, by the chaplain of the fort, who had returned, and
that Captain Sinclair, with his wife and Alfred, should leave the
settlement at the end of September, so as to arrive at Quebec in good
time for sailing before the winter should set in. It was now the last
week in August, so that there was not much time to pass away previous to
their departure. Captain Sinclair returned to the fort, to make the
Colonel acquainted with what had passed, and to take the necessary steps
for leave of absence, and his return to England. This, from his interest
with the Governor, he was sure to obtain, and when in England it would
be time sufficient to decide whether he should leave that service, or
exchange into some regiment at home. As every prospect of war or
disturbance in Canada was now over, he could take either step without
any censure being laid upon him.
week afterwards, thebateauxarrived
from Montreal, and the Colonel and Captain Sinclair, made their
appearance at the settlement, bringing with them the letters and papers
Having received the congratulations of the Colonel, Mr and Mrs Campbell,
with his permission, opened their letters, for all the family were
present, and all, as usual, anxious to hear the news. The first letter
Mr Campbell opened, to the surprise of all, produced an immediate change
in his countenance. He read it a second time, and laying it down on his
knee, appeared to remain in a state of complete abstraction.
No bad news, I hope, Campbell? said his wife anxiously, as all the
rest looked upon him with astonishment.
No, my dear Emily, no bad news, but most unexpected news; such as it
has been my fortune in life to receive once before this time. You
remember, although years have since passed, the letter that was brought
to us in our little parlour
Which put you in possession of Wexton Hall, Campbell.
Yes, I did refer to that; but I will not keep you all in longer
suspense. This is but a counterpart of the former letter.
Campbell then read as follows:
May 7th, 18.
Dear Sir,It is with great pleasure that we have again to
communicate to you that you may return, as soon as you please, and
take possession of the Wexton Hall property.
You may remember that many months back Mr Douglas Campbell received
a fall from his horse when hunting. No serious consequences were
anticipated, but it appears that his spine was injured, and after
some months close confinement, he expired on the 9th of April. As
Mr Douglas Campbell has left no issue, and you are the next in tail,
you have now undisputed possession of the property which you so
honourably surrendered some years since.
I have taken upon myself to act as your agent since Mr Campbells
decease. Mrs D. Campbell has a handsome settlement upon the
property, which will of course fell in upon her demise. Waiting your
I am, dear sir,
Mr Campbell, I congratulate you with all my heart, said the Colonel,
rising up, and taking his hand. You have proved yourself deserving of
such good fortune; Mrs Campbell, I need hardly add that my
congratulations extend to you.
Surprise at first rendered Mrs Campbell mute; at last she said
We are in the hands of Him, and do but execute His will. For your sake,
my dear Campbell, for the childrens sake, perhaps, I ought to
rejoicewe hardly know. That I am happy here, now that my children have
been restored to me, I confess. I doubt whether that happiness will be
increased by the return to Wexton Hall; at all events, I shall leave
this place with regret. We have had too many revolutions of fortune,
Campbell, since we have been united, not to have learnt by experience
that a peaceful, quiet, and contented home is more necessary to our
happiness than riches.
feel as you do, Emily, replied Mr Campbell, but we are growing old,
and have been taught wisdom practically, by the events of a chequered
life. Our children, I perceive, think otherwisenor do I wonder at it.
shant go, said John; I shall only be sent to school; no master shall
flog meIm a man.
Nor me, cried Percival.
The Colonel and Mr and Mrs Campbell, as well as the elder portion of the
party, could not help smiling at the exclamations of the two boys. They
had both played the part of men, and it was but too evident how unfitted
they would be for future scholastic discipline.
You shall neither of you go to school, replied Mr Campbell, but still
you must render yourselves fit for your stations in life, by improving
your minds, and attending to those who will instruct you.
is hard to say whether much real joy was felt by any of the party at the
prospect of returning to England. It is true that Mary Percival was
delighted at the idea of not being so far away from her aunt and uncle,
and that Emma was better pleased to be in England for reasons which she
kept to herself. But it was not the coming into the large property which
occasioned pleasure to any of them. However, if there was not much
pleasure derived from this re-accession to properly, Mr and Mrs Campbell
knew their duty too well to hesitate, and every preparation was
commenced for their return along with Alfred and Captain Sinclair. John,
however, still continued obstinate in declaring that he would not go,
and Percival was very much of Johns opinion, although he did not speak
When Mr and Mrs Campbell were alone, the former said to his wife
do not know what to do about John. He appears so resolute in his
determination not to go with us, that I fear he will run away into the
woods at the time of our departure. He is now continually with Malachi
and Martin, and appears to have severed himself from his family.
It is hard to decide, Campbell; I have more than once thought it would
be better to leave him here. He is our youngest son. Henry will, of
course, inherit the estate, and we shall have to provide for the others
out of our savings. Now this property, by the time John is of age, will
be of no inconsiderable value, and by no means a bad fortune for a
younger son. He appears so wedded to the woods and a life of nature,
that I fear it would only be the cause of continual regret and
discontent if we did take him to England, and if so, what comfort or
advantage should we gain by his returning? I hardly know what to
have serious thoughts of leaving him here, under the charge of Martin
and Malachi, replied Mr Campbell. He would be happy; by-and-bye he
would be rich. What could he obtain more in England? But it must be for
you to decide, my dear Emily. I know a mothers feelings, and respect
cannot decide at once, my dear husband. I will first talk with John, and
consult Alfred and Henry.
The result of Mrs Campbells communicating with her sons was a decision
that John should remain in Canada under the charge of Martin and
Malachi, who were to superintend the farm and watch over him. Martin was
to take charge of the farm. Malachi was to be Johns companion in the
woods, and old Graves, who had their mill under his care, engaged to
correspond with Mr Campbell and let them know how things went on. When
this was settled, John walked at least two inches higher, and promised
to write to his mother himself. The Colonel, when he heard the
arrangement, pledged himself that, as long as he was in command of the
fort, he would keep a watchful eye, not only over John, but the whole of
the settlement, and communicate occasionally with Mr Campbell.
month after the receipt of the letter the whole family, with the
exception of John, embarked in twobateauxand
arrived at Montreal, where they remained a day or two, and then
proceeded to Quebec.
Quebec, their agent had already taken all the cabins of one of the
finest ships for their passage, and, after a ran of six weeks, they once
more found themselves at Liverpool, from which town they posted to
Wexton Hall, Mrs Douglas Campbell having retired to a property of her
own in Scotland.
have now finished our tale, and have only to inform our little readers
what were the after-lives of the Campbell family.
Henry did not return to college, but remained with his father and mother
at the Hall, employing himself in superintending for his father the
property to which he afterwards succeeded.
Alfred was appointed to a ship commanded by Captain Lumley. He soon rose
in the service, was highly distinguished as a gallant clever officer,
and four years after his return to England was married to his cousin
Emmaat which the reader will not be surprised.
Mary Percival was married to Captain Sinclair, who sold out, and retired
upon half-pay, to live upon his estates in Scotland.
Percival went to college, and turned out a very clever lawyer.
John remained in Canada until he was twenty years old, when he came home
to see his father and mother. He had grown six feet four inches high,
and was stout in proportion. He was a very amusing fellow, and could
talk fast enough, but his chief conversation was upon hunting and
The farm had been well conducted; the emigrants had adhered to the
agreements, and were now cultivating for themselves.
Martin had three little papooses (as the Indians call the children) by
the Strawberry. Malachi had grown too old to go out often into the
woods, and he sat by the fire in the winter, and basked in the sun at
the door of the house during the summer. Oscar was dead, but they had
some fine puppies of his breed. Mr Campbell gave John a deed, on his
return, conveying to him the Canadian property, and shortly afterwards
John picked up a little Canadian wife at Quebec, who made him perfectly
and Mrs Campbell lived to a good old age, respected as long as they
lived, and lamented when they died. They had known prosperity and
adversity, and in each state of life had acquitted themselves with
exemplary propriety, not having been elated by the one, or depressed by
the other. They knew that this world was a world of trial, and but a
preparation for another; they therefore did their duty in that state of
life to which it pleased God to call themproving in all their actions
that they remembered their duty to their God, and their duty to their
neighbour; living and dying (as I hope all my young readers will)
sincere and good Christians.
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