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      the early colonists, trs honntes gens, avant de la[Pg 387]

      V2 hands for his ruin, eager to crush him and divide the spoil, parcelling out his dominions among themselves in advance by solemn mutual compact. Against the five millions of Prussia were arrayed populations of more than a hundred million. The little kingdom was open on all sides to attack, and her enemies were spurred on by the bitterest animosity. It was thought that one campaign would end the war. The war lasted seven years, and Prussia came out of it triumphant. Such a warrior as her indomitable king Europe has rarely seen. If the Seven Years War made the maritime and colonial greatness of England, it also raised Prussia to the rank of a first-class Power.government. The other, Pronne des Touches, was with his father at Quebec. Towards the end of August this young man was attacked in the street in broad daylight, and received a kick which proved fatal. He was carried to his fathers house, where he died on the twenty-ninth. Dumesnil charges four persons, all of whom were among those into whose affairs he had been prying, with having taken part in the outrage; but it is very uncertain who was the immediate cause of Des Touchess death. Dumesnil, himself the supreme judicial officer of the colony, made complaint to the judge in ordinary of the company; but he says that justice was refused, the complaint suppressed by authority, his allegations torn in pieces, and the whole affair hushed. *

      [155] Charlevoix, i. 459; La Potherie, ii. 140; La Hontan, Memoir on the Fur-Trade of Canada. I am indebted for a copy of this paper to Winthrop Sargent, Esq., who purchased the original at the sale of the library of the poet Southey. Like Hennepin, La Hontan went over to the English; and this memoir is written in their interest.

      [Pg 18]At Michilimackinac was seen a curious survival of Huron-Iroquois customs. The villages of the Hurons and Ottawas, which were side by side, separated only by a fence, were surrounded by a common enclosure of triple palisades, which, with the addition of loopholes for musketry, were precisely like those seen by Cartier at Hochelaga, and by Champlain in the Onondaga country. The dwellings which these defences enclosed were also after the old Huron-Iroquois pattern,those long arched structures covered with bark which Brbeuf found by the shores of Matchedash Bay, and Jogues on the banks of the Mohawk. Besides the Indians, there was a French colony at the place, chiefly of fur-traders, lodged in log-cabins, roofed with cedar bark, and forming a street along the shore close to the palisaded villages of the Hurons and Ottawas. The fort, known as Fort Buade, stood at the head of the little bay.[16]

      No pains had been spared to keep up the courage of the people and feed them with flattering illusions. When the partisan officer Boishbert was tried for peculation, his counsel met the charge by extolling the manner in which he had fulfilled the arduous duty of encouraging the Acadians, "putting on an air of triumph even in defeat; using threats, caresses, stratagems; painting our victories in vivid colors; hiding the strength and successes of the enemy; promising succors that did not and could not come; inventing plausible reasons why they did not come, and making new promises to set off the failure of the old; persuading a starved people to forget their misery; taking from some to give to others; and doing all this continually in the face of a superior enemy, that this country might be snatched from England and saved to France." [680] What Boishbert was doing in Acadia, Vaudreuil was doing on a 171

      While Massachusetts was making ready to conquer Quebec by sea, the militia of the land expedition against Montreal had mustered at Albany. 247 Their strength was even less than was at first proposed; for, after the disaster at Casco, Massachusetts and Plymouth had recalled their contingents to defend their frontiers. The rest, decimated by dysentery and small-pox, began their march to Lake Champlain, with bands of Mohawk, Oneida, and Mohegan allies. The western Iroquois were to join them at the lake, and the combined force was then to attack the head of the colony, while Phips struck at its heart.The peninsula of Ticonderoga consists of a rocky plateau, with low grounds on each side, bordering Lake Champlain on the one hand, and the outlet of Lake George on the other. The fort stood near the end of the peninsula, which points towards the southeast. Thence, as one goes westward, the ground declines a little, and then slowly rises, till, about half a mile from the fort, it reaches its greatest elevation, and begins still more gradually to decline again. Thus a ridge is formed across the plateau between the steep declivities that sink to the low grounds on right and left. Some weeks before, a French officer named Hugues had suggested 100


      must have been in the kings favor; but profit soon changed 23 Mars, 1665.


      One might have sailed for days along these lonely coasts, and seen no human form. At Canseau, or Chedabucto, at the eastern end of Nova Scotia, there was a fishing station and a fort; Chibuctou, now Halifax, was a solitude; at La Hve there were a few fishermen; and thence, as you doubled the rocks of Cape Sable, the ancient haunt of La Tour, you would have seen four French settlers, and an unlimited number of seals and seafowl. 337 Ranging the shore by St. Mary's Bay, and entering the Strait of Annapolis Basin, you would have found the fort of Port Royal, the chief place of all Acadia. It stood at the head of the basin, where De Monts had planted his settlement nearly a century before. Around the fort and along the neighboring river were about ninety-five small houses; and at the head of the Bay of Fundy were two other settlements, Beaubassin and Les Mines, comparatively stable and populous. At the mouth of the St. John were the abandoned ruins of La Tour's old fort; and on a spot less exposed, at some distance up the river, stood the small wooden fort of Jemsec, with a few intervening clearings. Still sailing westward, passing Mount Desert, another scene of ancient settlement, and entering Penobscot Bay, you would have found the Baron de Saint-Castin with his Indian harem at Pentegoet, where the town of Castine now stands. All Acadia was comprised in these various stations, more or less permanent, together with one or two small posts on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and the huts of an errant population of fishermen and fur traders. In the time of Denonville, the colonists numbered less than a thousand souls. The king, busied with nursing Canada, had neglected its less important dependency. [3]


      Callieres au Ministre, 4 Nov., 1701.