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      V2 from their present situation and bring them to an action. I have acquiesced in the proposal, and we are preparing to put it into execution." The letter ends thus: "By the list of disabled officers, many of whom are of rank, you may perceive that the army is much weakened. By the nature of the river, the most formidable part of this armament is deprived of the power of acting; yet we have almost the whole force of Canada to oppose. In this situation there is such a choice of difficulties that I own myself at a loss how to determine. The affairs of Great Britain, I know, require the most vigorous measures; but the courage of a handful of brave troops should be exerted only when there is some hope of a favorable event; however, you may be assured that the small part of the campaign which remains shall be employed, as far as I am able, for the honor of His Majesty and the interest of the nation, in which I am sure of being well seconded by the Admiral and by the generals; happy if our efforts here can contribute to the success of His Majesty's arms in any other parts of America."


      Such was the futile and miserable end of the grand expedition. Even the promise to pay for the plundered goods was contemptuously broken. [21] The honor rested with the Iroquois. They had spurned the French, repelled the claims of the English, and by act and word asserted their independence of both.


      This despatch, and the proofs accompanying it, drew from the king a sharp reproof to Frontenac.V2 the injunction been disregarded. To besiege Fort Edward was impossible, as Montcalm had no means of transporting cannon thither; and to attack Webb without them was a risk which he had not the rashness to incur.

      "Monsieur de Frontenac commen?a la Chanson de guerre, la Hache la main, les principaux Chefs des Fran?ois se joignant a luy avec de pareilles armes, la chanterent ensemble. Les Iroquois du Saut et de la Montagne, les Hurons et les Nipisiriniens donnerent encore le branle: l'on eut dit, Monsieur, que ces Acteurs toient des possedez par les gestes et les contorsions qu'ils faisoient. Les Sassakouez, où les cris et les hurlemens que Mr. de Frontenac toit oblig de faire pour se conformer leur manire, augmentoit encore la fureur bachique." La Potherie, III. 97.[790] Vaudreuil au Ministre, 5 Oct. 1759.

      [861] Jugement rendu souverainement et en dernier Ressort dans l'Affaire du Canada. Papers at the Chatelet of Paris, cited by Dussieux.Harmon and his party returned towards night from their useless excursion to the cornfields, where they found nobody. In the morning a search was[Pg 248] made for the dead, and twenty-six Indians were found and scalped, including the principal chiefs and warriors of the place. Then, being anxious for the safety of their boats, the party marched for Taconic Falls. They had scarcely left the village when one of the two surviving Mohawks, named Christian, secretly turned back, set fire to the church and the houses, and then rejoined the party. The boats were found safe, and embarking, they rowed down to Richmond with their trophies.[265]


      V2 council after council to settle a plan of defence, They were strange scenes: a crowd of officers of every rank, mixed pell-mell in a small room, pushing, shouting, elbowing each other, interrupting each other; till Montcalm, in despair, took each aside after the meeting was over, and made him give his opinion in writing. [706]

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      Out on the water the moon indifferently resumed her sway. The whole earth was hers to tread on. The front of the island with its odd row of semi-detached, whitewashed shacks looked like something as foreign as Algiers. In the bow wave that rolled away from the speed boat there was a dull phosphorescent glow like saturated moonlight, and looking over through the shadow of the boat one could see fishes dart away like little balls of pale moonlight. Pen's face was as beautiful and passionless as the moon's.[2] On the expedition against the Onondagas, Callires au Ministre, 20 Oct., 1696; Frontenac au Ministre, 25 Oct., 1696; Frontenac et Champigny au Ministre (lettre commune) 26 Oct., 1696; Relation de ce qui s'est pass, etc., 1695, 1696; Relation, 1682-1712; Relation des Jesuites, 1696 (Shea); Doc. Hist. N. Y., I. 323-355; La Potherie, III. 270-282; N. Y. Col. Docs., IV. 242.

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      [Pg 111]Possibly it would have been less so if it had been more prosperous; but the inhabitants had lately been deprived of fishing, their best resource, by a New England privateer which had driven their craft from the neighboring seas; and when the governor sent Lieutenant Neuvillette in an armed vessel to seize the interloping stranger, a fight ensued, in which the lieutenant was killed, and his vessel captured. New England is said to have had no less than three hundred vessels every year in these waters.[94] Before the war a French officer proposed that New England sailors should be hired to teach the Acadians how to fish, and the King seems to have approved the plan.[95] Whether it was adopted or not, New England in peace or war had a lion's share of the Acadian fisheries. "It grieves me to the heart," writes Subercase, Brouillan's successor, "to see Messieurs les Bastonnais enrich themselves in our domain; for the base of their commerce is the fish which they catch off our coasts, and send to all parts of the world."

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      V1 the burning of the houses," says Armstrong, "we were agreeably entertained by the quick succession of charged guns, gradually firing off as reached by the fire; but much more so with the vast explosion of sundry bags and large kegs of gunpowder, wherewith almost every house abounded; the prisoners afterwards informing us that the Indians had frequently said they had a sufficient stock of ammunition for ten years' war with the English."


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