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CHAPTER III NEW SCOTLAND'S CHARACTERISTICS One finds it difficult,
briefly by means of analogy, to describe this peninsula of New
Scotland. Yet it may not unfairly be compared to Old Scotland. Many
of the features of the land are the same, nor is the climate
unlike. But when we come to the human element we have no difficulty
at all. Mixed as the population is, the Scots predominate. The late
Lieutenant-Governor was a Fraser. The present holder of the office
is a Macgregor, the Premier is a Murray, the Acting-Premier and
Attorney-General is a Maclean, the Mayor of Halifax is a Chisholm.
The Erasers, Macdonalds, M'Gillivrays, Wallaces, and M'Inneses
furnish forth the bench, the bar, journalism, and the learned
professions; and it is perhaps needless to tell you that the Scot
here, as elsewhere in Canada, more than holds his own ?" and maybe
that of ither folk "?in the commercial world. But this is not
saying enough about New Scotland considered as a transatlantic
habitation and hunting-ground of the Old Scot. Here are still
Gaelic communities where the Sassenach tongue is not heard. On the
eve of the American Revolution a tide of emigration had set in from
the old Scotland to the new, the first to arrive being a shipload
of Highlanders in 1773. For many years, despite the terrible
conditions of an ocean passage in those days,THE NOVA SCOTIANS 23
the tide flowed on. Emigrants, in the old days, were forced to
spend weeks or even months on the voyage, pent like cattle in ships
frequently infected by small-por and scurvy. Some 25,000 Scottish
peasants settled on Cape Breton Island alone, while numbers landed
on the shores of Northumberland Strait, in the counties now known
as Pictou and Antigonish. Their hardships were not over when they
landed; but with indomitable pluck they...
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