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      Boissons, 1678.


      Fort Ontario, counted as the best of the three forts at Oswego, stood on a high plateau at the east or right side of the river where it entered the lake. It was in the shape of a star, and was formed of trunks of trees set upright in the ground, hewn flat on two sides, and closely fitted together,an excellent defence against musketry or swivels, but worthless against cannon. The garrison, three hundred and seventy in all, were the remnant of Pepperell's regiment, joined to raw recruits lately sent up to fill the places of the sick and dead. They had eight small cannon and a mortar, with which on the next day, Friday, the thirteenth, they kept up a brisk fire till towards night; when, after growing more rapid for a time, it ceased, and the fort showed no sign of life. Not a cannon had yet opened on them from the trenches; but it was certain that with the French artillery once in action, their wooden rampart would be shivered to splinters. Hence it was that Colonel Mercer, commandant at Oswego, thinking it better to lose the fort than to lose both fort and garrison, signalled to them from across the river to abandon their position and join him on the other side. Boats were sent to bring them off; and they passed over unmolested, after 411For several years past, the Iroquois had made forays against the borders of Maryland and Virginia, plundering and killing the settlers; and a declared rupture between those colonies and the savage confederates had more than once been imminent. The English believed that these hostilities were instigated by the Jesuits in the Iroquois villages. There is no proof whatever of the accusation; but it is certain that it was the interest of Canada to provoke a war which might, sooner or later, involve New York. In consequence of a renewal of such attacks, Lord Howard of Effingham, governor of Virginia, came to Albany in the summer of 1684, to hold a council with the Iroquois.


      cease to exist as a separate organization till 1794. When it[599] Bury, Exodus of the Western Nations, II., 250, 251.

      much in his career to remind us that in his veins ran the blood of the stern Constable of France, Anne de Montmorency. Nevertheless, his thoughts from childhood had turned towards the church, or, as his biographers will have it, all his aspirations were heavenward. He received the tonsure at the age of nine. The Jesuit Bagot confirmed and moulded his youthful predilections; and, at a later period, he was one of a band of young zealots, formed under the auspices of Bernires de Louvigni, royal treasurer at Caen, who, though a layman, was reputed almost a saint. It was Bernires who had borne the chief part in the pious fraud of the pretended marriage through which Madame de la Peltrie escaped from her fathers roof to become foundress of the Ursulines of Quebec. * He had since renounced the world, and dwelt at Caen, in a house attached to an Ursuline convent, and known as the Hermitage. Here he lived like a monk, in the midst of a community of young priests and devotees, who looked to him as their spiritual director, and whom he trained in the maxims and practices of the most extravagant, or, as his admirers say, the most sublime ultramontane piety. ** chapter ten of the same volume the writer says that he

      [706] Journal du Sige de Qubec dpos la Bibliothque de Hartwell, en Angleterre. (Printed at Quebec, 1836.)


      He opened his plans to his Assembly in secret session, and found them of one mind with himself. Preparation was nearly complete, and the men raised for the expedition, before the Council at Alexandria, recognized it as a part of a plan of the summer campaign.

      [7] Ibid., 20 Oct., 1691.

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      V1 Government rations. Le Loutre had obtained fifty thousand livres from the Court in order to dike in, for their use, the fertile marshes of Memeramcook; but the relief was distant, and the misery pressing. They complained that they had been lured over the line by false assurances, and they applied secretly to the English authorities to learn if they would be allowed to return to their homes. The answer was that they might do so with full enjoyment of religion and property, if they would take a simple oath of fidelity and loyalty to the King of Great Britain, qualified by an oral intimation that they would not be required for the present to bear arms. [119] When Le Loutre heard this, he mounted the pulpit, broke into fierce invectives, threatened the terrified people with excommunication, and preached himself into a state of exhaustion. [120] The military commandant at Beausjour used gentler means of prevention; and the Acadians, unused for generations to think or act for themselves, remained restless, but indecisive, waiting till fate should settle for them the question, under which king?

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      colony, he declared his intention of building a brewery. The minister approved the plan, not only on economic grounds, but because the vice of drunkenness would thereafter cause no more scandal by reason of the cold nature of beer, the vapors whereof rarely deprive men of the use of judgment. * The brewery was accordingly built, to the great satisfaction of the poorer colonists.Montreal, the military heart of Canada, was in the past winter its social centre also, where were gathered conspicuous representatives both of Old France and of New; not men only, but women. It was a sparkling fragment of the reign of Louis XV. dropped into the American wilderness. Montcalm was here with his staff and his chief officers, now pondering schemes of war, and now turning in thought to his beloved Chateau of Candiac, his mother, children, and wife, to whom he sent letters with every opportunity. To his wife he writes: "Think of me affectionately; give love to my girls. I hope next year I may be with you all. I love you tenderly, dearest." He says that he has sent 454


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