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      When, in 1600, Henry IV. was betrothed to Marie de Medicis, Frontenac, grandfather of the governor of Canada, described as "ung des plus antiens serviteurs du roy," was sent to Florence by the king to carry his portrait to his affianced bride. Mmoires de Philippe Hurault, 448 (Petitot).But in the complete transfer of the trade to Montreal, he sees insuperable difficulties, and he proceeds to suggest, as the last and best resort, that garrisons and officers should be withdrawn, and licenses abolished; that discreet and virtuous persons should be chosen to take charge of all the trade of the upper country; that these persons should be in perfect sympathy and correspondence with the Jesuits; and that the trade should be carried on at the missions of the Jesuits and in their presence. *

      On the next day these men appeared at the fort, with downcast looks. They had not found the "Belle" at the place where she had been ordered to remain, nor were any tidings to be heard of her. From that hour, the conviction that she was lost possessed the mind of La Salle. Surrounded as he was, and had always been, with traitors, the belief now possessed him that her crew had abandoned the colony, and made sail for the West Indies or for France. The loss was incalculable. He had relied on this vessel to transport the colonists to the Mississippi, as soon as its exact position could be ascertained; and thinking her a safer place of deposit than the fort, he had put on board of her all his papers and personal baggage, besides a great quantity of stores, ammunition, and tools.[311] In truth, she was of the last necessity to the unhappy exiles, and their only resource for escape from a position which was fast becoming desperate.The accounts of the French writers differ from each other, but agree in placing the English force at from seventy to eighty, and their own much higher. The principal report is that of Vaudreuil au Ministre, 19 Avril, 1757 (his second letter of this date). Bougainville, Montcalm, Malartic, and Montreuil all speak of the affair, placing the English loss much higher than is shown by the returns. The story, repeated in most of the French narratives, that only three of the rangers reached Fort William Henry, seems to have arisen from the fact that Stark with two men went thither in advance of the rest. As regards the antecedents of the combat, the French and English accounts agree.

      Meanwhile the fugitives pushed their flight with the energy of terror, passed in safety the rapids of the Oswego, crossed Lake Ontario, and descended the St. Lawrence with the loss of three men drowned in the rapids. On the 3d of April they reached Montreal, and on the 23d arrived at Quebec. They had saved their lives; but the mission of Onondaga was a miserable failure. *From the brick house at Williamsburg pompously called the Governor's Palace, Dinwiddie despatched letters, orders, couriers, to hasten the tardy reinforcements of North Carolina and New York, and push on the raw soldiers of the Old Dominion, who now numbered three hundred men. They were called the Virginia regiment; and Joshua Fry, an English gentleman, bred at Oxford, was made their colonel, with Washington as next in command. Fry was at Alexandria with half the so-called regiment, trying to get it into marching order; Washington, with the other half, had pushed forward to the Ohio Company's storehouse at Wills Creek, which was to form a base of operations. His men were poor whites, brave, but hard to discipline; without tents, ill armed, and ragged as Falstaff's recruits. Besides these, a band of backwoodsmen under Captain Trent had crossed the mountains in February to build a fort at the forks of the Ohio, where Pittsburg now stands,a spot which Washington had examined 143 when on his way to Fort Le B?uf, and which he had reported as the best for the purpose. The hope was that Trent would fortify himself before the arrival of the French, and that Washington and Fry would join him in time to secure the position. Trent had begun the fort; but for some unexplained reason had gone back to Wills Creek, leaving Ensign Ward with forty men at work upon it. Their labors were suddenly interrupted. On the seventeenth of April a swarm of bateaux and canoes came down the Alleghany, bringing, according to Ward, more than a thousand Frenchmen, though in reality not much above five hundred, who landed, planted cannon against the incipient stockade, and summoned the ensign to surrender, on pain of what might ensue. [145] He complied, and was allowed to depart with his men. Retracing his steps over the mountains, he reported his mishap to Washington; while the French demolished his unfinished fort, began a much larger and better one, and named it Fort Duquesne.

      V2 The evil news was despatched to Albany, and in two or three days the messenger who bore it passed the house of Mrs. Schuyler on the meadows above the town. "In the afternoon," says her biographer, "a man was seen coming from the north galloping violently without his hat. Pedrom, as he was familiarly called, Colonel Schuyler's only surviving brother, was with her, and ran instantly to inquire, well knowing that he rode express. The man galloped on, crying out that Lord Howe was killed. The mind of our good aunt had been so engrossed by her anxiety and fears for the event impending, and so impressed with the merit and magnanimity of her favorite hero, that her wonted firmness sank under the stroke, and she broke out into bitter lamentations. This had such an effect on her friends and domestics that shrieks and sobs of anguish echoed through every part of the house."Frontenac appears to have had a liking not only for Indians, but also for that roving and lawless class of the Canadian population, the coureurs de bois, provided always that they were not in the service of his rivals. Indeed, as regards the Canadians generally, he refrained from the strictures with which succeeding governors and intendants freely interlarded their despatches. It was not his instinct to clash with the humbler classes, and he generally reserved his anger for those who could retort it.

      [144] Nicholson and Vetch to the Secretary of State, 16 September, 1710; Hutchinson, ii. 164; Penhallow. Massachusetts sent two battalions of four hundred and fifty men each, and Connecticut one battalion of three hundred men, while New Hampshire and Rhode Island united their contingents to form a fourth battalion.Even with this madcap enterprise lopped off, La Salle's scheme of Mississippi trade and colonization, perfectly sound in itself, was too vast for an individual,above all, for one crippled and crushed with debt. While he grasped one link of the great chain, another, no less essential, escaped from his hand; while he built up a colony on the Mississippi, it was reasonably certain that evil would befall his distant colony of the Illinois.

      In front of the gorge of the Montmorenci there was a ford during several hours of low tide, so that troops from the adjoining English camp might cross to co-operate with their comrades landing in boats from Point Levi and the Island of Orleans. On the morning of the thirty-first of July, the tide then being at the flood, the French saw the ship "Centurion," of sixty-four guns, anchor near the Montmorenci and open fire on the redoubts. Then two armed transports, each of fourteen guns, stood in as close as possible to the first redoubt and fired upon it, stranding as the tide went out, till in the afternoon they lay bare upon the mud. At the same time a battery of more than forty heavy pieces, planted on the lofty promontory beyond the Montmorenci, began a furious cannonade upon the flank of the French intrenchments. 230


      "Soldats, officiers, gnraux,




      There was another night of tranquillity; but at about eleven on Wednesday morning the French heard the English fifes and drums in full action, while repeated shouts of "God save King William!" rose from all the vessels. This lasted an hour or more; after which a great number of boats, loaded with men, put out from the fleet and rowed rapidly towards the shore of Beauport. The tide was low, and the boats grounded before reaching the landing-place. 271 The French on the rock could see the troops through telescopes, looking in the distance like a swarm of black ants, as they waded through mud and water, and formed in companies along the strand. They were some thirteen hundred in number, and were commanded by Major Walley. [10] Frontenac had sent three hundred sharpshooters, under Sainte-Hlne, to meet them and hold them in check. A battalion of troops followed; but, long before they could reach the spot, Sainte-Hlne's men, with a few militia from the neighboring parishes, and a band of Huron warriors from Lorette, threw themselves into the thickets along the front of the English, and opened a distant but galling fire upon the compact bodies of the enemy. Walley ordered a charge. The New England men rushed, in a disorderly manner, but with great impetuosity, up the rising ground; received two volleys, which failed to check them; and drove back the assailants in some confusion. They turned, however, and fought in Indian fashion with courage and address, leaping and dodging among trees, rocks, and bushes, firing as they retreated, and inflicting more harm than they received. Towards evening they disappeared; and Walley, whose men had been much scattered in the desultory fight, drew them together as well as he could, and advanced towards the St. Charles, in order to meet the vessels which were to aid him in passing the ford. 272 Here he posted sentinels, and encamped for the night. He had lost four killed and about sixty wounded, and imagined that he had killed twenty or thirty of the enemy. In fact, however, their loss was much less, though among the killed was a valuable officer, the Chevalier de Clermont, and among the wounded the veteran captain of Beauport, Juchereau de Saint-Denis, more than sixty-four years of age. In the evening, a deserter came to the English camp, and brought the unwelcome intelligence that there were three thousand armed men in Quebec. [11]Thus the promised advance of Amherst into Canada would be not without its difficulties, even when his navy, too tardily begun, should be ready to act its part. But if he showed no haste in succoring Wolfe, he at least made some attempts to communicate with him. Early in August he wrote him a letter, which Ensign Hutchins, of the rangers, carried to him in about a month by the long and circuitous route of the Kennebec, and which, after telling the news of the campaign, ended thus: "You may depend on my doing all I can for effectually reducing Canada. Now is the time!" [748] Amherst soon after tried another expedient, 251