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> Issue 56 > Page 59 - Bishop Plessis Visits Cape Breton, 1815

Page 59 - Bishop Plessis Visits Cape Breton, 1815

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1991/1/1 (1046 reads)
 

July 3 - Upon their anival, the prelate and his companions scanned every nook of the hartx)ur to see if the Livelv was waiting for them. However, Captain Foret had been so delayed at the mine and during his return trip that he only anived in Arichat eight days after his passengers. July 4 - This time was put, in the morning, to conduct priestly busi? ness (a large number of persons came to confession), and in receiv? ing, during the evening, the civilities of the local merchants who each wanted in turn to have the bishop to dinner. Thus the evenings were devoted to amusement or, if you wish, to boring acts of kindness, the afternoons to the business which is always heavy when missionaries meet their bishop, and the mornings were resen/ed for the church where one nourished his devotion and satisfied that of the faithful. July 7 - The three Scots priests who formed part of this transient re? union of the clergy, gave, on the very first day, authentic proofs of their incomparable clumsiness with respect to ecclesiastical behavi? our. One, called to confession, was never able, despite our best ef? forts, to put on a winged surplice. The second said mass without a cassock, displaying his legs through an alb that was too thin to hide them. The third said mass with a cassock but he took care to place his bands over the amice, the alb and the stole, in the belief that things were done that way because it is usual to place the bands over the surplice. July 9 - Captain Foret entered the harbour at Arichat only on Sunday evening. He had business at home; the wind was judged to be unfa? vorable; it was decided that we would not leave on Monday. July 11- Although the weather was no more promising the following day, we embarked nevertheless, and even at an early hour. Leaving the harbour was as easy as could be, but no sooner were we in Man? chester Bay that a thick fog and the ocean wind which had been lashing and swelling the sea for several days, caused the poor pas? sengers to be seasick, something that is inconceivable to those who have never known this sickness. The schooner, loaded with 60 chaldrons of coal, no longer smelt of bilge which had so inconvenienced the passengers on their way to Sydney. However, despite the fact that the means to destroy the mice aboard had been insufficient, the coal itself which was used in the poorly situated steward's stores, spread an intolerable odour in the room, so much so that they were seriously inconvenienced, to the point of becoming sick, even when the rolling of the sea had dimin? ished. The only advantage this trip had over the previous one was that Mr. Lejamtel having stayed in Arichat and Mr. Gaulin having gone on a mission to Antigonish, there only remained with the prelate Messrs Boucherville and Gauvreau in more spacious accommoda? tion than the first time. Manchester Bay is on the mainland of Nova Scotia, on the north shore. It spreads from the gut, or great Canso passage, to the little passage or, if one wishes, to nearby Cape Canso (the Strait of Canso from the Atlantic to the Northumberland Strait). It was formerly called Chedabouctou Bay (as it is aoain today). The Indians and the Acadi? ans try to keep this name alive; however, the English name prevails despite their efforts. It is 5 leagues wide, has excellent farms and is used as a market for Arichat which draws a large proportion of its food from it. Neither the bishop nor his compan? ions were able to admii it because of the dread' ful fog which forced them back on the day they embarked. END OF BISHOP PLESSIS' 1815 JOURNAL IN CAPE BRETON Our thanks to Robert Pichette for his trans- j lation. Part One of Bishop Plessis' 1815 Journal is in Issue 55 • also translated by| Mr. Pichette. Mr. Pich? ette is the author of Pour I'honneur de mon prince... (For the | Honour of my Prince...), 50 vignettes of Acadian history in Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island originally aired on CBC (Radio- Canada), recently awarded "Le Prix France-Acadie 1990" in the Human Sciences Division. It is published by Michel Henry (P. O. Box 1273, Moncton, N. B. E1C 8P9) • 188 pages, $18.95. 539-4413 539-4415 "GOOD DEALS ON GOOD CARS!" Located on the Sydney - Glace Bay Highway 1/2 mile before U.C.C.B. 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