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      francs, and so also in 1681, 1682, and 1687. The local

      Again they embarked; and with every stage of their adventurous progress the mystery of this vast New World was more and more unveiled. More and more they entered the realms of spring. The hazy sunlight, the warm and drowsy air, the tender foliage, the opening flowers, betokened the reviving life of Nature. For several days more they followed the writhings of the great river on its tortuous course through wastes of swamp and cane-brake, till on the thirteenth of March[235] they found themselves wrapped in a thick fog. Neither shore was visible; but they heard on the right the booming of an Indian drum and the shrill outcries of the war-dance. La Salle at once crossed to the opposite side, where, in less than an hour, his men threw up a rude fort of felled trees. [Pg 299] Meanwhile the fog cleared; and from the farther bank the astonished Indians saw the strange visitors at their work. Some of the French advanced to the edge of the water, and beckoned them to come over. Several of them approached, in a wooden canoe, to within the distance of a gun-shot. La Salle displayed the calumet, and sent a Frenchman to meet them. He was well received; and the friendly mood of the Indians being now apparent, the whole party crossed the river.

      V1 twenty-two hundred effective men, besides his three hundred Indians. [308] He called a council of war in the morning, and a resolution was taken which can only be explained by a complete misconception as to the force of the French. It was determined to send out two detachments of five hundred men each, one towards Fort Lyman, and the other towards South Bay, the object being, according to Johnson, "to catch the enemy in their retreat." [309] Hendrick, chief of the Mohawks, a brave and sagacious warrior, expressed his dissent after a fashion of his own. He picked up a stick and broke it; then he picked up several sticks, and showed that together they could not be broken. The hint was taken, and the two detachments were joined in one. Still the old savage shook his head. "If they are to be killed," he said, "they are too many; if they are to fight, they are too few." Nevertheless, he resolved to share their fortunes; and mounting on a gun-carriage, he harangued his warriors with a voice so animated and gestures so expressive, that the New England officers listened in admiration, though they understood not a word. One difficulty remained. He was too old and fat to go afoot; but Johnson lent him a horse, which he bestrode, and trotted to the head of the column, 302

      V2 right of the French, defended by the battalions of Guienne and Barn. The danger for a time was imminent. Montcalm hastened to the spot with the reserves. The assailants hewed their way to the foot of the breastwork; and though again and again repulsed, they again and again renewed the attack. The Highlanders fought with stubborn and unconquerable fury. "Even those who were mortally wounded," writes one of their lieutenants, "cried to their companions not to lose a thought upon them, but to follow their officers and mind the honor of their country. Their ardor was such that it was difficult to bring them off." [634] Their major, Campbell of Inverawe, found his foreboding true. He received a mortal shot, and his clansmen bore him from the field. Twenty-five of their officers were killed or wounded, and half the men fell under the deadly fire that poured from the loopholes. Captain John Campbell and a few followers tore their way through the abattis, climbed the breastwork, leaped down among the French, and were bayoneted there. [635]


      [255] Bgon Rale, 14 Juin, 1721.[566] Rflexions sommaires sur le Commerce qui s'est fait en Canada. tat prsent du Canada. Compare Stevenson, Card Money of Canada, in Transactions of the Historical Society of Quebec, 1873-1875.


      It was the fatuity of Louis XV. and his Pompadour that made the conquest of Canada possible. Had they not broken the traditionary policy of France, allied themselves to Austria, her ancient enemy, and plunged needlessly into the European war, the whole force of the kingdom would have been turned, from the first, to the humbling of England and the defence of the French colonies. The French soldiers left dead on inglorious Continental battle-fields could have saved Canada, and perhaps made good her claim to the vast territories of the West.Sir,We have just received the reply which it has pleased your Excellency to make as to the conditions of the capitulation offered you. We shall not change in the least 72


      While her great ally was reaping a full harvest of laurels, England, dragged into the Continental war because that apple of discord, Hanover, belonged to her King, found little but humiliation. Minorca was wrested from her, and the Ministry had an innocent man shot to avert from themselves the popular indignation; while the same Ministry, scared by a phantom of invasion, brought over German troops to defend British soil. But now an event took place pregnant with glorious consequence. The reins of power fell into the hands of William Pitt. He had already held them for a brief space, forced into office at the end of 1756 by popular clamor, in spite of the Whig leaders and against the wishes of the King. But the place was untenable. Newcastle's Parliament would not support him; the Duke of Cumberland 41[5] Dinwiddie to Hamilton, 21 May, 1753. Hamilton to Dinwiddie,May, 1753.


      On the sixteenth a letter was brought in haste to one Buchanan at Carlisle, on the Pennsylvanian frontier: * Edits et Ord., II. 17, 19.