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      The position of the besieged was now deplorable. More than three hundred of them had been killed and wounded; small-pox was raging in the fort; the place was a focus of infection, and the casemates were crowded with the sick. A sortie from the entrenched camp and another from the fort had been repulsed with loss. All their large cannon and mortars had been burst, or disabled by shot; only seven small pieces were left fit for service; [518] and the whole of Montcalm's thirty-one cannon and fifteen mortars and howitzers would soon open fire, while the walls were already 505Denonville says, The principal reason of the poverty of this country is the idleness and bad conduct of most of the people. The greater part of the women, including all the demoiselles, are very lazy. (v) Meules proposes as a remedy that the king should establish a general workshop in the colony, and pay the workmen himself during the first five or six years. (v*) The persons here, he says, who have wished to make a figure are nearly all so overwhelmed with debt that they may be

      Bourdon replied by a violent appeal from the

      The rear of the army was well protected from insult. Fortified posts were built at intervals of three or four miles along the road to Fort Edward, and especially at the station called Half-way Brook; while, for the whole distance, a broad belt of wood on both sides was cut down and burned, to deprive a skulking enemy of cover. Amherst was never long in one place without building a fort there. He now began one, which proved wholly needless, on that flat rocky hill where the English made their intrenched camp during the siege of Fort William Henry. Only one bastion of it was ever finished, and this is still shown to tourists under the name of Fort George.In the intervals of his labors, Dollier de Casson would run to and fro for warmth and exercise on a certain track of beaten snow, between two of the bastions, reciting his breviary as he went, so that those who saw him might have thought him out of his wits. One day La Motte called out to him as he was thus engaged, Eh, Monsieur le cur, if the Iroquois should come, you must defend that bastion. My men are all deserting me, and going over to you and the doctor. To which the father replied, Get me some litters with wheels, and I will bring them out to man my bastion. They are brave enough now; no fear of their running away. With banter like this, they sought to beguile their miseries; and thus the winter wore on at Fort St. Anne. *

      [235] La Salle, Relation; Thomassy, 11.The duty I am now upon, though necessary, is very disagreeable to my natural make and temper, as I know it must be grievous to you, who are of the same species. But it is not my business to animadvert on the orders I have received, but to obey them; and therefore without hesitation I shall deliver to you His Majesty's instructions and commands, which are that your lands and tenements and cattle and live-stock of all kinds are forfeited to the Crown, with all your other effects, except money and household goods, and that you yourselves are to be removed from this his province.

      At dawn, Quebec was all astir with the beating of drums and the ringing of bells. The New England drums replied; and Walley drew up his men under arms, expecting an attack, for the town was so near that the hubbub of voices from within could plainly be heard. The noise gradually died away; and, except a few shots from the ramparts, the invaders were left undisturbed. Walley sent two or three companies to beat up the neighboring thickets, where he suspected that the enemy was lurking. On the way, they had the good luck to 277 find and kill a number of cattle, which they cooked and ate on the spot; whereupon, being greatly refreshed and invigorated, they dashed forward in complete disorder, and were soon met by the fire of the ambushed Canadians. Several more companies were sent to their support, and the skirmishing became lively. Three detachments from Quebec had crossed the river; and the militia of Beauport and Beaupr had hastened to join them. They fought like Indians, hiding behind trees or throwing themselves flat among the bushes, and laying repeated ambuscades as they slowly fell back. At length, they all made a stand on a hill behind the buildings and fences of a farm; and here they held their ground till night, while the New England men taunted them as cowards who would never fight except under cover. [16]

      I have shown elsewhere the aspects of Canada, where a rigid scion of the old European tree was set to grow in the wilderness. The military Governor, holding his miniature Court on the rock of Quebec; the feudal proprietors, whose domains lined the shores of the St. Lawrence; the peasant; the roving bushranger; the half-tamed savage, with crucifix and scalping-knife; priests; friars; nuns; and soldiers,mingled to form a society the most picturesque on the continent. What distinguished it from the France that produced it was a total absence of revolt against the laws of its being,an absolute conservatism, an unquestioning acceptance of Church and King. The Canadian, ignorant of everything but what the priest saw fit to teach him, had never heard of Voltaire; and if he had known him, would have thought him a devil. He had, it is true, a spirit of insubordination born of the freedom of the forest; but if his instincts rebelled, his mind and soul 23



      LOUISBOURG AND ACADIA.Denonville at length broke silence, and ordered the militia to muster. They grumbled and hesitated, for they remembered the failures of La Barre. The governor issued a proclamation, and the bishop a pastoral mandate. There were sermons, prayers, and exhortations in all the churches. A revulsion of popular feeling followed; and the people, says Denonville, "made ready for the march with extraordinary animation." The church showered blessings on them as they went, and daily masses were ordained for the downfall of the foes of Heaven and of France. [33]


      only pretended that ten of their number remained with the


      V1 he left his main force to guard it, and at ten o'clock set out for the Half-King's wigwams at the head of forty men. The night was rainy, and the forest, to use his own words, "as black as pitch." "The path," he continues, "was hardly wide enough for one man; we often lost it, and could not find it again for fifteen or twenty minutes, and we often tumbled over each other in the dark." [147] Seven of his men were lost in the woods and left behind. The rest groped their way all night, and reached the Indian camp at sunrise. A council was held with the Half-King, and he and his warriors agreed to join in striking the French. Two of them led the way. The tracks of the two French scouts seen the day before were again found, and, marching in single file, the party pushed through the forest into the rocky hollow where the French were supposed to be concealed. They were there in fact; and they snatched their guns the moment they saw the English. Washington gave the word to fire. A short fight ensued. Coulon de Jumonville, an ensign in command, was killed, with nine others; twenty-two were captured, and none escaped but a Canadian who had fled at the beginning of the fray. After it was over, the prisoners told Washington that the party had been sent to bring him a summons from Contrec?ur, the commandant at Fort Duquesne.The truth, had they known it, would have gladdened their hearts. The English preparations were aimed at Louisbourg. In the autumn before, Loudon, prejudiced against all plans of his predecessor, Shirley, proposed to the Ministry a scheme of his own, involving a possible attack on Quebec, but with the reduction of Louisbourg as its immediate object,an important object, no doubt, but 469