Travel Reference
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de bois, se rembarquèrent dans leurs canots.' (160; After we had passed
the rapids, not without difficulty, all the natives who had gone by land,
taking a quite beautiful path through uniform land despite its many
woods, embarked again in their canoes.) In a later voyage, in 1611, dur-
ing which he considers the possibility of founding a European settle-
ment at Montreal, he again sees the site's beauty in terms of its utility,
not only for cultivation but also for habitation: 'Ayant ... trouvé ce lieu
un des plus beaux qui fût en cette rivière, je fis aussitôt couper et dé-
fricher le bois de ladite place Royale pour la rendre unie et prête à bâtir.'
(211; Having ... found this place one of the most beautiful on the river, I
immediately had the woods cut and cleared on the said Place Royale to
make it uniform and it for construction.) Champlain's descriptions,
like Cartier's, invariably link beauty to arability ('les terres semblent
être propres à être cultivées' [20; the land seems fit for cultivation]) 10 -
all the more so if the land has been cleared of trees ('le terroir est des
plus beaux et il y a quinze ou vingt arpents de terre défrichée.' [30; the
area is among the most beautiful and there are fifteen or twenty acres of
cleared land]) - but Champlain is particularly struck by habitability ('ce
lieu était le plus propre et plaisant pour habiter que nous eussions vu'
[25; this place was the most fit and pleasant for living that we had
seen]). In concluding his discussion of the link between beauty and util-
ity for Champlain, Paolo Carile contrasts this vision with an Edenic
view of untamed nature in the same sense that Bureau uses the term:
'La beauté de la nature naîtrait donc, pour Champlain, de l'action hu-
maine et ne serait pas l'état édenique d'un territoire incontaminé.' (87;
The beauty of nature for Champlain would thus stem from human ac-
tion and would not be an Edenic state of uncontaminated territory.)
Conversely, landscapes that are not arable or habitable are seen as
ugly, including the valley of the Saguenay River, widely regarded today
as among the most picturesque areas in all Quebec due to its rugged
woods and rock formations, which Champlain denigrates - 'Toute la
terre que j'y ai vue, ce ne sont que montagnes et promontoires de ro-
chers, la plupart couverts de sapins et bouleaux: terre fort déplaisante,
tant d'un côté que de l'autre' (126; All the land I saw was only moun-
tains and rocky headlands, mostly covered with firs and birches: a most
unpleasant land, on one side and the other) - and the Saint Lawrence
River valley east of Quebec City, which includes the Charlevoix region,
a future haven for landscape painters but distasteful for Champlain:
'Toute cette côte, tant du Nord que du Sud, depuis Tadoussac jusqu'à
l'île d'Orléans, est une terre montueuse et fort mauvaise, où il n'y a que
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