Le Seminaire

Still more ancient is a venerable postern in the blackened wall of the

Seminary of St. Sulpice, near by, which is now the oldest building in

the city, being erected some fifty years before the Chateau. It leads by

a narrow lane to the gardens of the Monastery, which bloom quiet and

still here in the heart of the throbbing life of a city of to-day.

Generations of saintly men, under vows, have trodden in the shade of its

walks, trying with the rigours of monastic life to crush out the

memories of love and home left behind among the sun-kissed vineyards of

France. For two hundred years and more no woman's footstep had fallen

here among the flowers, until recently the wife of a Governor-General

was admitted on a special occasion. On the cobble-stones of the

courtyard, pilgrims, penitents, priests and soldiers have trodden, the

echoes of their footsteps passing away in centuries of years. Above the

walls, blackened by time and pierced by windows with the small panes of

a fashion gone by, the bells of the clock ring out the stroke of

midnight over one-third of a million souls, as it did the hours of

morning when the great-great-grandfathers of the present generation ran

to school over the grass-grown pavements of young Ville-Marie.

"The inimitable old roof-curves still cover the walls, and the

Fleur-de-Lys still cap the pinnacles" as in the days when Richelieu, the

prince of prelates, sought to plant the feudalism and Christianity of

old France on the shores of the new. They still rise against the blue of

Canadian skies unmolested, while in France, in the early years of the

century, popular frenzy dragged this symbol of royalty from the spires

of the churches and convents of Paris.