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      [255] Mmoires sur le Canada, 1749-1760.


      "What is this man to you?" demanded Riever.


      The court-room pricked up its ears.An hour later Si had another experience. The Captain of Co. Q felt a kindly interest, and not a little pride in him, since the skirmish, and he thought he would take a turn that night and see whether his newly-made Corporal was "up to snuff."

      V2 Vaudreuil now saw his mistake in sending the French frigates up the river out of harm's way, and withdrawing their crews to serve the batteries of Quebec. Had these ships been there, they might have overpowered those of the English in detail as they passed the town. An attempt was made to retrieve the blunder. The sailors were sent to man the frigates anew and attack the squadron of Holmes. It was too late. Holmes was already too strong for them, and they were recalled. Yet the difficulties of the English still seemed insurmountable. Dysentery and fever broke out in their camps, the number of their effective men was greatly reduced, and the advancing season told them that their work must be done quickly, or not done at all.

      V2 saw the movement from Point Levi, embarked two battalions in the boats of the fleet, and made a feint of landing at Beauport. Montcalm recalled his troops to repulse the threatened attack; and the English withdrew from Montmorenci unmolested, some to the Point of Orleans, others to Point Levi. On the night of the fourth a fleet of flatboats passed above the town with the baggage and stores. On the fifth, Murray, with four battalions, marched up to the River Etechemin, and forded it under a hot fire from the French batteries at Sillery. Monckton and Townshend followed with three more battalions, and the united force, of about thirty-six hundred men, was embarked on board the ships of Holmes, where Wolfe joined them on the same evening.


      Brigadier Murray, now in command of Quebec, was a gallant soldier, upright, humane, generous, eager for distinction, and more daring than prudent. He befriended the Canadians, issued strict orders against harming them in person or property, hanged a soldier who had robbed a citizen of Quebec, and severely punished others for slighter offences of the same sort. In general the soldiers themselves showed kindness towards the conquered people; during harvest they were seen helping them to reap their fields, without compensation, and sharing with them their tobacco and rations. The inhabitants were disarmed, and 332

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      With the Peace of Paris ended the checkered story of New France; a story which would have been a history if faults of constitution and the bigotry and folly of rulers had not dwarfed it to an episode. Yet it is a noteworthy one in both its lights and its shadows: in the disinterested zeal of the founder of Quebec, the self-devotion of the early missionary martyrs, and the daring enterprise of explorers; in the spiritual and temporal vassalage from which the only escape was to the savagery of the wilderness; and in the swarming corruptions which were the natural result of an attempt to rule, by the absolute hand of a master beyond the Atlantic, a people bereft of every vestige of civil liberty. Civil liberty was given them by the British sword; but the conqueror left their religious system untouched, and through it they have imposed upon themselves a weight of ecclesiastical tutelage that finds few equals in the most Catholic countries of Europe. Such guardianship is not without certain advantages. When faithfully exercised it aids to uphold some of the tamer virtues, if that can be called a virtue which needs the constant presence of a sentinel to keep it from escaping: but it is fatal to mental robustness and moral courage; and if French Canada would fulfil its aspirations it must cease to be one of the most priest-ridden communities of the modern world.V2 siege; and the correspondence of Wolfe contained in his Life by Wright. Before me is the Diary of a captain or subaltern in the army of Amherst at Louisbourg, found in the garret of an old house at Windsor, Nova Scotia, on an estate belonging in 1760 to Chief Justice Deschamps. I owe the use of it to the kindness of George Wiggins, Esq., of Windsor, N. S. Mante gives an excellent plan of the siege operations, and another will be found in Jefferys, Natural and Civil History of French Dominions in North America.

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      It had milk, molasses, or even applejack, for Si then was not a member of the Independent Order of Good Templars, of which society he is now an honored officer. Nothing could be nicer, when he was on picket, to bring buttermilk in from the neighboring farm-house to his chum Shorty, who stood post while he was gone.

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      She merely nodded. "There's enough for one meal. But we'll run short at supper."


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