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      CHAPTER XXXVI. CRIMES OF DIFFICULT PROOF.In imagination she followed first one equipage, then another,



      j'ai peur that I would just break out quelque jour et smash everyThe fleet anchored a little below Quebec; and towards ten o'clock the French saw a boat put out from the admiral's ship, bearing a flag of truce. Four canoes went from the Lower Town, and met it midway. It brought a subaltern officer, who announced himself as the bearer of a letter from Sir William Phips to the French commander. He was taken into one of the canoes and paddled to the quay, after being completely blindfolded by a bandage which covered half his face. Prvost received him as he landed, and ordered two sergeants 265 to take him by the arms and lead him to the governor. His progress was neither rapid nor direct. They drew him hither and thither, delighting to make him clamber in the dark over every possible obstruction; while a noisy crowd hustled him, and laughing women called him Colin Maillard, the name of the chief player in blindman's buff. [4] Amid a prodigious hubbub, intended to bewilder him and impress him with a sense of immense warlike preparation, they dragged him over the three barricades of Mountain Street, and brought him at last into a large room of the chateau. Here they took the bandage from his eyes. He stood for a moment with an air of astonishment and some confusion. The governor stood before him, haughty and stern, surrounded by French and Canadian officers, Maricourt, Sainte-Hlne, Longueuil, Villebon, Valrenne, Bienville, and many more, bedecked with gold lace and silver lace, perukes and powder, plumes and ribbons, and all the martial foppery in which they took delight, and regarding the envoy with keen, defiant eyes. [5] After a moment, he recovered his breath and his composure, saluted Frontenac, and, expressing a wish that the duty assigned him had been of a more agreeable nature, handed him the letter of Phips. Frontenac gave it to an interpreter, who read it aloud in French that all might hear. It ran thus:

      347 The French were filled with alarm. Peace between the Abenakis and the "Bostonnais" would be disastrous both to Acadia and to Canada, because these tribes held the passes through the northern wilderness, and, so long as they were in the interest of France, covered the settlements on the St. Lawrence from attack. Moreover, the government relied on them to fight its battles. Therefore, no pains were spared to break off their incipient treaty with the English, and spur them again to war. Villebon, a Canadian of good birth, one of the brothers of Portneuf, was sent by the king to govern Acadia. Presents for the Abenakis were given him in abundance; and he was ordered to assure them of support, so long as they fought for France. [14] He and his officers were told to join their war-parties; while the Canadians, who followed him to Acadia, were required to leave all other employments and wage incessant war against the English borders. "You yourself," says the minister, "will herein set them so good an example, that they will be animated by no other desire than that of making profit out of the enemy: there is nothing which I more strongly urge upon you than to put forth all your ability and prudence to prevent the Abenakis from occupying themselves in any thing but war, and by good management of the supplies which you have received for their use to enable them to live by it more to their advantage than by hunting." [15]V1 His wealth, county influence, flagitious use of patronage, and long-practised skill in keeping majorities in the House of Commons by means that would not bear the light, made his support necessary to Pitt himself, and placed a fantastic political jobber at the helm of England in a time when she needed a patriot and a statesman. Newcastle was the growth of the decrepitude and decay of a great party, which had fulfilled its mission and done its work. But if the Whig soil had become poor for a wholesome crop, it was never so rich for toadstools.


      V1 monarch held his crown neither of God nor of the nation, but of a parliament controlled by a ruling class. The Whig aristocracy had done a priceless service to English liberty. It was full of political capacity, and by no means void of patriotism; but it was only a part of the national life. Nor was it at present moved by political emotions in any high sense. It had done its great work when it expelled the Stuarts and placed William of Orange on the throne; its ascendency was now complete. The Stuarts had received their death-blow at Culloden; and nothing was left to the dominant party but to dispute on subordinate questions, and contend for office among themselves. The Troy squires sulked in their country-houses, hunted foxes, and grumbled against the reigning dynasty; yet hardly wished to see the nation convulsed by a counter-revolution and another return of the Stuarts.

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      [3] Histoire des Ursulines de Qubec, I. 508; Juchereau, 378.

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      Fright overcame fatigue. The fugitives toiled on all night, pursued by spectres of horror and despair; hearing still the war-whoops and the shrieks; possessed with the one thought of escape from the wilderness of death. In the morning some order was restored. Braddock was placed on a horse; then, the pain being insufferable, he was carried on a litter, Captain Orme having bribed the carriers by the promise of a guinea and a bottle of rum apiece. Early in the succeeding night, such as had not fainted on the way reached the deserted farm of Gist. Here they met wagons and provisions, with a detachment of soldiers sent by Dunbar, whose camp was six miles farther on; and Braddock ordered them to go to the relief of the stragglers left behind.Friday


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