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      "Dear Blanche Paglar: 1682-1684.

      When spring opened, he set out in search of mines, and found, not far above the fort, those beds of blue and green earth to which the stream owes its name. Of this his men dug out a large quantity, and selecting[Pg 353] what seemed the best, stored it in their vessel as a precious commodity. With this and good store of beaver-skins, Le Sueur now began his return voyage for Louisiana, leaving a Canadian named D'raque and twelve men to keep the fort till he should come back to reclaim it, promising to send him a canoe-load of ammunition from the Illinois. But the canoe was wrecked, and D'raque, discouraged, abandoned Fort l'Huillier, and followed his commander down the Mississippi.[363]CHAPTER XX.

      V1 to seduce and bring us over to them." He then told them that it was not the French alone who invaded the country of the Indians. "The Governor of Virginia and the Governor of Canada are quarrelling about lands which belong to us, and their quarrel may end in our destruction." And he closed with a burst of sarcasm. "We would have taken Crown Point [in the last war], but you prevented us. Instead, you burned your own fort at Saratoga and ran away from it,which was a shame and a scandal to you. Look about your country and see: you have no fortifications; no, not even in this city. It is but a step from Canada hither, and the French may come and turn you out of doors. You desire us to speak from the bottom of our hearts, and we shall do it. Look at the French: they are men; they are fortifying everywhere. But you are all like women, bare and open, without fortifications." [177]

      44This war was the strife of a united and concentred few against a divided and discordant many. It was the strife, too, of the past against the future; of the old against the new; of moral and intellectual torpor against moral and intellectual life; of barren absolutism against a liberty, crude, incoherent, and chaotic, yet full of prolific vitality.

      brunettes; many of them are discreet, and a good number are lazy. They are fond to the last degree of dress and show, and each tries to outdo the rest in the art of catching a husband. *

      V1 speech he gave them a bullock for a feast, which they roasted and ate, pretending that they were eating the Governor of Canada! Some provisions arriving, orders were given to embark on the next day; but the officers murmured their dissent. The weather was persistently bad, their vessels would not hold half the party, and the bateaux, made only for river navigation, would infallibly founder on the treacherous and stormy lake. "All the field-officers," says John Shirley, "think it too rash an attempt; and I have heard so much of it that I think it my duty to let my father know what I hear." Another council was called; and the General, reluctantly convinced of the danger, put the question whether to go or not. The situation admitted but one reply. The council was of opinion that for the present the enterprise was impracticable; that Oswego should be strengthened, more vessels built, and preparation made to renew the attempt as soon as spring opened. [326] All thoughts of active operations were now suspended, and during what was left of the season the troops exchanged the musket for the spade, saw, and axe. At the end of October, leaving seven hundred men at Oswego, Shirley returned to Albany, and narrowly escaped drowning on the way, while passing a rapid in a whale-boat, to try the fitness of that species of craft for river navigation. [327]The typical British naval officer of that time was a rugged sea-dog, a tough and stubborn fighter, though no more so than the politer generations that followed, at home on the quarter-deck, but no ornament to the drawing-room, by reason of what his contemporary, Entick, the strenuous chronicler of the war, calls, not unapprovingly, "the ferocity of his manners." While Osborn held La Clue imprisoned at Toulon, Sir Edward Hawke, worthy leader of such men, sailed with seven ships of the line and three frigates to intercept a French squadron from Rochefort convoying a fleet of transports with troops for America. The French ships cut their cables and ran for the shore, where most of them stranded in 51


      V1 right of England to lands on the Ohio; till he was moved at last to retort: "I cannot help observing that your letters and arguments would have been more proper from a French officer than from one of His Majesty's governors. My conduct has met with His Majesty's gracious approbation; and I am sorry it has not received yours." Thus discouraged, even in quarters where he had least reason to expect it, he turned all his hopes to the Home Government; again recommended a tax by Act of Parliament, and begged, in repeated letters, for arms, munitions, and two regiments of infantry. [180] His petition was not made in vain.Bellomont wrote, in return, that he had sent arms to the Iroquois, with orders to defend themselves if attacked by the French, and to give no quarter to them or their allies; and he added that, if necessary, he would send soldiers to their aid. A few days after, he received fresh news of Frontenac's warlike intentions, and wrote in wrath as follows:


      [4] "De toutes les nations domicilies dans les postes des pays d'en haut, il n'y a que les hurons du dtroit qui aient embrass la Rligion chretienne." Mmoirs du Roy pour servir d'instruction au Sr. Marquis de Lajonquire.V2 chief sustenance was juniper-berries and the inner bark of trees. But their worst calamity was the helplessness of their guide. His brain wandered; and while always insisting that he knew the country well, he led them during four days hither and thither among a labyrinth of nameless mountains, clambering over rocks, wading through snowdrifts, struggling among fallen trees, till on the fifth day they saw with despair that they had circled back to their own starting-point. On the next morning, when they were on the ice of Lake George, not far from Rogers Rock, a blinding storm of sleet and snow drove in their faces. Spent as they were, it was death to stop; and bending their heads against the blast, they fought their way forward, now on the ice, and now in the adjacent forest, till in the afternoon the storm ceased, and they found themselves on the bank of an unknown stream. It was the outlet of the lake; for they had wandered into the valley of Ticonderoga, and were not three miles from the French fort. In crossing the torrent Pringle lost his gun, and was near losing his life. All three of the party were drenched to the skin; and, becoming now for the first time aware of where they were, they resolved on yielding themselves prisoners to save their lives. Night, however, again found them in the forest. Their guide became delirious, saw visions of Indians all around, and, murmuring incoherently, straggled off a little way, seated himself in the snow, and was soon dead. The two officers, themselves but half alive, 16


      "You're foolish," he muttered.[465] Letter and Order Books of Winslow. Winslow to Halifax, 30 Dec. 1756.