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The commandant next turned his quarters into a dram-shop for Indians, to whom he sold brandy in large quantities, but so diluted that his customers, finding themselves partially defrauded of their right of intoxication, complained grievously. About this time the intendant Talon made one of his domiciliary visits to Montreal, and when, in his character of father of the people, he inquired if they had any complaints to make, every tongue was loud in accusation against La Fredire. Talon caused full depositions to be made out from the statements of Demers and other witnesses. Copies were deposited in the hands of the notary, and it is from these that the above story is drawn. The tyrant was removed, and ordered home to France. * Of this force, according to Mante, only 9,900 were fit for duty. The table printed by Knox (I. 127) shows a total of 11,112, besides officers, artillery, and rangers. The Authentic Account of the Reduction of Louisbourg, by a Spectator, puts the force at 11,326 men, besides officers. Entick makes the whole 11,936.
All the affairs of the company were placed in the hands of seven directors, who began immediately to complain that their burdens were too heavy, and to beg for more privileges; while an outcry against the privileges already granted rose from those who had not taken shares in the enterprise. Both in the company[Pg 30] and out of it there was nothing but discontent. None were worse pleased than the two Jesuits Carheil and Marest, who saw their flocks at Michilimackinac, both Hurons and Ottawas, lured away to a new home at Detroit. Cadillac took a peculiar satisfaction in depriving Carheil of his converts, and in 1703 we find him writing to the minister Ponchartrain, that only twenty-five Hurons are left at Michilimackinac; and "I hope," he adds, "that in the autumn I shall pluck this last feather from his wing; and I am convinced that this obstinate priest will die in his parish without one parishioner to bury him."Now followed the Treaty of Utrecht, the cession of Acadia to England, and the attempt on the part of France to induce the Acadians to remove to Isle Royale. Some of the English officials had once been of opinion that this French Catholic population should be transported to Martinique or some other distant French colony, and its place supplied by Protestant families sent from England or Ireland. Since the English Revolution, Protestantism was bound up with the new political order, and Catholicism[Pg 193] with the old. No Catholic could favor the Protestant succession, and hence politics were inseparable from creed. Vetch, who came of a race of hot and stubborn Covenanters, had been one of the most earnest for replacing the Catholic Acadians by Protestants; but after the peace he and others changed their minds. No Protestant colonists appeared, nor was there the smallest sign that the government would give itself the trouble to attract any. It was certain that if the Acadians removed at all, they would go, not to Martinique or any other distant colony, but to the new military establishment of Isle Royale, which would thus become a strong and dangerous neighbor to the feeble British post of Annapolis. Moreover, the labor of the French inhabitants was useful and sometimes necessary to the English garrison, which depended mainly on them for provisions; and if they left the province, they would leave it a desert, with the prospect of long remaining so.
Frederic Post, with several white and Indian companions, was chosen to bear it. A small escort of soldiers that attended him as far as the Alleghany was cut to pieces on its return by a band of the very warriors to whom he was carrying his offers of friendship; and other tenants of the grim and frowning wilderness met the invaders of their domain with inhospitable greetings. "The wolves made a terrible music this night," he writes at his first bivouac after leaving Loyalhannon. When he reached the Delaware towns his reception was ominous. The young warriors said: "Anybody can see with half an eye that the English only mean to cheat us. Let us knock the messengers in the head." Some of them had attacked an English outpost, and had been repulsed; hence, in the words of Post, "They were possessed with a murdering spirit, and with bloody vengeance were thirsty and drunk. I said: 'As God has stopped the mouths of the lions that they could not devour Daniel, so he will preserve us from their fury.'" The chiefs and elders were of a different mind from their fierce and capricious young men. They met during the evening in the log-house where Post and his party lodged; and here a French officer presently arrived with a string of wampum from the commandant, inviting them to help him drive back the army of Forbes. 150 Walker's Journal was published in 1720, with an Introduction of forty-eight pages, written in bad temper and bad taste. The Journal contains many documents, printed in full. In the Public Record Office are preserved the Journals of Hill, Vetch, and King. Copies of these, with many other papers on the same subject, from the same source, are before me. Vetch's Journal and his letter to Walker after the wreck are printed in the Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society, vol. iv.
Montcalm, with a mighty load lifted from his soul, passed along the lines, and gave the tired soldiers the thanks they nobly deserved. Beer, wine, and food were served out to them, and they bivouacked for the night on the level ground between the breastwork and the fort. The enemy had met a terrible rebuff; yet the danger was not over. Abercromby still had more than thirteen thousand men, and he might renew the attack with cannon. But, on the morning of the ninth, a band of volunteers who had gone out to watch him brought back the report that he was in full 111 * Mmoire dAllet. The author was at one time secretary to
"A queer Dick!" said Don deliberating. "A queer Dick! ... Hard to describe offhand."V1 were held by men sometimes of high ability, but of whom not a few divided their lives among politics, cards, wine, horse-racing, and women, till time and the gout sent them to the waters of Bath. The dull, pompous, and irascible old King had two ruling passions,money, and his Continental dominions of Hanover. His elder son, the Prince of Wales, was a centre of opposition to him. His younger son, the Duke of Cumberland, a character far more pronounced and vigorous, had won the day at Culloden, and lost it at Fontenoy; but whether victor or vanquished, had shown the same vehement bull-headed courage, of late a little subdued by fast growing corpulency. The Duke of Newcastle, the head of the government, had gained power and kept it by his rank and connections, his wealth, his county influence, his control of boroughs, and the extraordinary assiduity and devotion with which he practised the arts of corruption. Henry Fox, grasping, unscrupulous, with powerful talents, a warm friend after his fashion, and a most indulgent father; Carteret, with his strong, versatile intellect and jovial intrepidity; the two Townshends, Mansfield, Halifax, and Chesterfield,were conspicuous figures in the politics of the time. One man towered above them all. Pitt had many enemies and many critics. They called him ambitious, audacious, arrogant, theatrical, pompous, domineering; but what he has left for posterity is a loftiness of soul, undaunted courage, fiery and passionate eloquence, proud incorruptibility, domestic virtues rare in his day, 9
The French force engaged cannot be precisely given. Knox, on information received from "an intelligent Frenchman," states the number, corps by corps, the aggregate being 7,520. This, on examination, plainly appears exaggerated. Fraser puts it at 5,000; Townshend at 4,470, including militia. Bigot says, 3,500, which may perhaps be as many as actually advanced to the attack, since some of the militia held back. Including Bougainville's command, the militia and the artillerymen left in the Beauport camp, the sailors at the town batteries, and the garrison of Quebec, at least as many of the French were out of the battle as were in it; and the numbers engaged on each side seem to have been about equal.