Travel Reference
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a large raft loaded with wood moving rapidly amidst the joyous cries of
its hardy crew; the peasants' dwellings, situated on both banks at nearly
regular intervals, define themselves nicely against the deep green of the
surrounding trees; all form a most pleasing spectacle for the spectator.
This charming place could not fail to attract the attention of nature lovers;
thus, every year, in the hot season, it becomes the rendezvous of many a
resident of Montreal, who come to relax, for a few hours, from the tiring
work week, and exchange the heavy, burning atmosphere of the city, for
the pure, fresh air to be breathed there.]
The description remains highly visual with its designation of a view-
point ('coup d'œil') and even a viewer ('spectateur') and its notation of
colour and tone ('le vert sombre des arbres'), emphasized by the use of
the nominal form, which transforms the colour, normally expressed by
an adjective, into a noun, which then precedes and takes precedence
over the objects themselves. The charming scene can't fail to attract the
attention of nature lovers ('les amateurs de la belle nature'), yet it is not
a matter of pure nature, but one marked by the imprint of culture: the
powerful grandeur of the wilderness ('Le bourdonnement sourd et
majestueux des eaux') is complemented by traces of commerce ('un
large radeau chargé de bois') and finally the farmers' dwellings ('les
habitations des cultivateurs'), neatly arranged in contrasting groups
that lend the composition its symmetry ('situés sur les deux rives op-
posées'), regularity ('à des intervalles réguliers'), and location in a plane
('qui se détachent agréablement') set off by the encompassing natural
setting ('le vert sombre des arbres qui les environnent'). This unified yet
varied setting balances all of the natural and cultural components into
a homogeneous whole, which then stands in opposition to the city
('l'atmosphère lourde et brûlante de la ville'), precisely what the specta-
tor seeks to escape.
The lengthy description concludes with yet another paragraph,
which narrows in on a particular farm: 'Parmi toutes les habitations des
cultivateurs qui bordent l'île de Montréal, en cet endroit, une se fait re-
marquer par son bon état de culture, la propreté et la belle tenue de la
maison et les divers bâtiments qui la composent.' (28; Among all the
peasants' homes on the outskirts of the île de Montréal, at this place one
stands out by the good state of its crops, the cleanliness and neatness of
the house and various out buildings.) This specific site ('cet endroit')
and sight ('qui … se fait remarquer'), set off by the vast space of the
hybrid landscape and distinguished by its order ('bon état') is the place
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