Peter Kalm’s memoirs continue to entertain. In between talking about lead and silver ore deposits and lime kilns, he has a two page diversion describing Canadian women. Apparently, living up to all the negative stereotypes about the French, they take a great deal of pleasure laughing at everyone who doesn’t speak the language fluently. But then he gets to some good stuff:
One of the first questions they [Canadian women] put to a stranger is whether he is married; the next, how he likes the ladies in the country, and whether he things them handsomer than those of his own country; and the third, whether he will take one home with him.
Wow. Sounds like Canada was a happenin’ place. But, hold on there cowboy. Don’t go picking up the first girl who bats her eyes and sends an ‘Oh, la la‘ your way. According to Kalm:
There are some differences between the ladies of Quebec and those of Montreal; those of the latter place seemed to be generally handsomer than those of the former…The ladies of Quebec, especially the unmarried ones, are not very industrious. A girl of eighteen is reckoned very poorly off if she cannot enumerate at least twenty lovers.
So, if anyone ever perfects a time machine, buy a ticket and set it for Montreal circa 1749.