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      [85] Abrg d'une lettre de M. de Vaudreuil, avec les notes du Ministre, 19 Octobre, 1705.

      In the turmoil around him, patriotism and public duty seemed all to be centred in the breast of one heroic youth. He was respected and generally beloved, but he did not kindle enthusiasm. His were the qualities of an unflagging courage, an all-enduring fortitude, and a deep trust. He showed an astonishing maturing of character, and the kind of mastery over others which begins 334[Pg 296]

      Not four thousand men, but four times four thousand, now stood in its defence; and their chiefs wisely resolved not to throw away the advantages of their position. Nothing more was heard of Vaudreuil's bold plan of attacking the invaders at their landing; and Montcalm had declared that he would play the part, not of Hannibal, but of Fabius. His plan was to avoid a general battle, run no risks, and protract the 210

      *** Faillon, Vie de Mlle. Le Ber, 331.About eleven o'clock a fleet of boats filled with troops, chiefly from Point Levi, appeared in the river and hovered off the shore west of the parish church of Beauport, as if meaning to land there. Montcalm was perplexed, doubting whether the real attack was to be made here, or toward the Montmorenci. Hour after hour the boats moved to and fro, to increase his doubts and hide the real design; but he soon became convinced that the camp of Lvis at the Montmorenci was the true object of his enemy; and about two o'clock he went thither, greeted as he rode along the lines by shouts of Vive notre Gnral! Lvis had already made preparations for defence with his usual skill. His Canadians were reinforced by the battalions of Barn, Guienne, and Royal Roussillon; and, as the intentions of Wolfe became certain, the right of the camp was nearly abandoned, the main strength of the army being gathered between the river of Beauport and the Montmorenci, where, according to a French writer, there were, towards the end of the afternoon, about twelve thousand men. [722]

      [165] Ibid., 25. Ambassadors. N. Y Colonial Docs.. IX. 37

      There was great need of reform; for a demon of drunkenness seemed to possess these unhappy tribes. Nevertheless, with all their rage for brandy, they sometimes showed in regard to it a self-control quite admirable in its way. When at a fair, a council, or a friendly visit, their entertainers regaled them with rations of the coveted liquor, so prudently measured out that they could not be the worse for it, they would unite their several portions in a common stock, which they would then divide among a few of their number, thus enabling them to attain that complete intoxication which, in their view, was the true end of all drinking. The objects of this singular benevolence were expected to requite it in kind on some future occasion.The Bishops Choice.A Military Zealot.Hopeful Beginnings.Signs of Storm.The Quarrel.Distress of Mzy.He Refuses to Yield.His Defeat and Death.



      [353] Pennsylvania Archives, II. 485.Some of the eleven who had first made their way to the fort, together with Keyes, who joined them[Pg 267] there, came into Dunstable during the night of the thirteenth, and the rest followed one or two days later. Ensign Wyman, who was now the only commissioned officer left alive, and who had borne himself throughout with the utmost intrepidity, decision, and good sense, reached the same place along with three other men on the fifteenth.


      Henri De Tonty, on his rock of St. Louis, was visited in September by Couture and two Indians from the Arkansas. Then, for the first time, he heard with grief and indignation of the death of La Salle, and the deceit practised by Cavelier. The chief whom he had served so well was beyond his help; but might not the unhappy colonists left on the shores of Texas still be rescued from destruction? Couture had confirmed what Cavelier and his party had already told him, that the tribes south of the Arkansas were eager to join the French in an invasion of northern Mexico; and he soon after received from the governor, Denonville, a letter informing him that war had again been declared against Spain. As bold and enterprising as La Salle himself, Tonty resolved on an effort to learn the condition of the [Pg 465] few Frenchmen left on the borders of the Gulf, relieve their necessities, and, should it prove practicable, make them the nucleus of a war-party to cross the Rio Grande, and add a new province to the domain of France. It was the revival, on a small scale, of La Salle's scheme of Mexican invasion; and there is no doubt that, with a score of French musketeers, he could have gathered a formidable party of savage allies from the tribes of Red River, the Sabine, and the Trinity. This daring adventure and the rescue of his suffering countrymen divided his thoughts, and he prepared at once to execute the double purpose.[350]