Spectacle of Empire: Marc Lescarbot’s Theatre of Neptune in New France (Talon Books), a useful and amusing book filled with fascinating little-known facts. The colony at Port Royal was the only European settlement in North America north of Florida. It had consisted of seventy-nine male colonists until the previous winter, when scurvy reduced their number to forty-four, and several of those had died at the hands of the Natives to the south. Marc Lescarbot, the author of the pageant, was a lawyer and a literary man who later wrote the History of New France. The hardships of colonial life in 1606 did not trouble Lescarbot; he came quickly to love the land and the people he found there. His is a joyous account of the New World. Wasserman’s text contains many references to other scholars and not enough references to Lescarbot’s work, but there is enough here to whet one’s appetite for more. One of the translations, from 1927, renders the speech of a “triton,” identified in Lescarbot’s stage directions as a Gascoyne speaking in his own dialect, as if he were a character in one of W. H. Drummond’s “French Canadian” poems: “Look out, you don’ trusts too queek,/ De peoples wid long beards, all gray;/ For in dis game, dey know one treek,/ Dey trot one while, den race away.” Whether the “Indians’” lines were recited by Mi’kmaq warriors we are not told (“Receive, kind sir, with cheerfulness,/ This gift to you that I address!”). The Theatre of Neptune is to be remounted on November 14, 2006, on the original site of Port Royal in what is now Nova Scotia, regardless of the weather. Optative Theatrical Laboratories of Montreal, having detected that Lescarbot’s pageant “attempts to re-frame First Nations cultures into an exploitative Euro-centric social reality,” will be mounting counter-productions promoted by a graffiti-ized version of the illustration by Charles W. Jefferys (from Picture Gallery of Canadian History, 1942).