Here is the end of April, the weather cold, wet and unpleasant, and the "Walk" scarcely half begun. Nobody feels any inclination to walk about or look at anything--to crowd round a fireplace or hot stove is far more pleasant and infinitely more congenial. But disagreeable as is the task, this "Walk" has to be finished.
But where shall we walk to? Hark! a steamboat bell is ringing. The Champion, one of the Through Line, has just come up from Prescott, where she wintered, and has brought the Mail:--let us go and look at her, and that will enable us to say a few words touching the "Through Line."
THE THROUGH LINE.--A good deal has been said of the new Through Line of Steamers to ply between Montreal and Hamilton, but nothing positively is determined on, late as the season. What we have to say therefore is more the expression of universal report and belief, than actual facts of our own knowledge. The Through Line is to be composed of six splendid vessels, all new or nearly so; of a capacity the largest the St. Lawrence Canals will permit to pass, and all fitted up in the handsomest of style, with Upper Cabins and every other modern convenience. These vessels are the Champion, Capt. Marshall, the Highlander, Capt. Stearns, and the May Flower, Capt. Patterson; all belonging to Messrs. McPherson & Crane, and Messrs. Hooker & Holton; the other three vessels are the Maple Leaf, Capt. Wilkinson, belonging to Mr, Bethune, of Toronto; the New Era, Capt. Maxwell, to the Hon. John Hamilton; and the Arabian, Capt. Colcleugh, to Mr. Heron, of Niagara.: Six finer steamboats than the foregoing; could not be found on the Canadian Waters, One of them is to leave Montreal, and one to leave Hamilton, every morning in the week, Sundays excepted, making the trip downwards in less than two days,. and the trip upwards in something more than that time, thus allowing each vessel ample time to refit properly prior to the resumption of the half-weekly voyage. It was said, and for what we know to the contrary, may still be the case, that on their upward. trips, these steamers will not touch at Kingston, but pass up the south branch of the St. Lawrence, calling at Cape Vincent for passengers going West; but for-the sake of our good old city, we heartily trust that the report is unfounded. Unquestionably, the Through Line will be the favorite mode of conveyance, for Emigrants especially, and it certainly would not be pleasant to know that so many hundred persons are daily passing our shores, without the desire or possibility of landing. As nothing is definitely arranged on this head, we heartily trust that nothing so hurtful to Kingston will take place. The American Steamboat Owners would like the thing as little as we do; and in all probability some mutual agreement may be entered into: --the Express Line not to touch at Toronto coming down; and the Through Line not to call at Cape Vincent going up. This would suit all parties. It is unknown when the Through Line will commence their regular operations--that depends upon the opening of the Lachine Canal, the Highlander, being locked up in the basin. Say some time next week, All the other boats are ready, and variously employed. The Maple Leaf and New Era taking the place of the Princess Royal and Passport in the Lake Mail Line; the May Flower making trips to and from Ogdensburgh and Hamilton; and the Champion doing duty on the River Mail Line in lieu of the Lord Elgin. Of some of these steamers we have already spoken, let us speak, now of the Champion. And here, lest our praise may be deemed partial, we shall avail ourselves of the pen of an Ogdensburgh contemporary] who cannot be justly accused of the same fault. Adding simply, that although last season, the Champion looked admirably, still her present appearance contradicts the assumption that she was then perfect.
THE CHAMPION --Decidedly the crack boat of the line is the Champion. Her size, build and capacity, in every particular, entitle her to the palm among all her confreres, on that side of the river. We have looked very carefully through her different apartments, and, from "stem to stern" we unhesitatingly pronounce the Champion to be the "Cock of the Walk," on that line. It is eminently due to this superbly fitted up boat, its skilful and popular commander, and all connected with the vessel, to take a glance at her general trim as a first-class boat. The officers, under Capt. Marshall would be a credit to any vessel, if gentlemanlike demeanor, attention to duty, and politeness to passengers, could have a claim and, before we notice the vessel itself, we shall first introduce the traveller to the officers on board. Capt. Marshall is a gentleman, a man of scientific attainment, and quite au fait at his craft. His selection of officers on board the Champion shows judicious management, as they are all tip-top. The Purser, Mr. Eneas Mackay, is favourably known, and brings high reputation for character, and general qualification in his department. This is his first connection with the steamer, and we commend him as a young gentleman, who makes himself a favourite any where, The upper saloon of the steamer measures 150 feet in length, and has what are technically called ch_led [?] windows, at each end, so as to enable the passenger to look out, with the same ease and comfort, as if he were sitting in a drawing-room. There are no less than 47 staterooms. The painting, guilding, fretwork, so as to admit a free current of air, to each room--the stained glass, carpeting and general style and finish of this superbly fitted up apartment in the vessel. equals any of the boats upon the Lake. Stained glass with suitable devices thereon, fully ornament the upper saloon. The rose, shamrock and thistle are displayed every where to advantage. A piano, convex glass, and a sort of sofa, known as a tete a tete, complete this department. The Main Saloon, Ladies Cabin, Engine, and general capacity of the Champion, will secure her a tall share of public patronage during the season. Capt. Marshall is a commander of easy, quiet and dignified manners, and shows that he has travelled much. We wish him- every success in his opening trip.
THE MAY FLOWER.-- We shall take an early opportunity to look over and speak of this fine vessel, but as we have quoted from the Ogdensburgh News, in reference to the Champion, we shall here append a short paragraph from the same paper complimentary to Capt. Patterson:-
"We learn that a magnificent flag has been present to Capt. Patterson, who commands this superbly fitted up boat, by a Committee of ladies. The Captain has acquired a popularity along the line of route to which he is attached, which is eminently due to him but the same being endorsed by his fair friends, who presented him with a beautiful silk flag, worked, too, by their own delicate fingers, is a compliment which a monarch might envy. Go ahead, Captain! "