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      [685] Vaudreuil au Ministre de la Marine, 3 Nov. 1758.Pen refused to be diverted. "Where did you get it?"



      In early spring the chiefs of Canada met at Montreal to settle a plan of defence. What at first they most dreaded was an advance of the enemy by way of Lake Champlain. Bourlamaque, with three battalions, was ordered to take post at Ticonderoga, hold it if he could, or, if overborne by numbers, fall back to Isle-aux-Noix, at the outlet of the lake. La Corne was sent with a strong detachment to intrench himself at the head of the rapids of the St. Lawrence, and oppose any hostile movement from Lake Ontario. Every able-bodied man in the colony, and every boy who could fire a gun, was to be called to the field. Vaudreuil sent a circular letter to the militia captains of all the parishes, with orders to read it to 196[784] Daine au Ministre, 9 Oct. 1759.

      Henceforth France was to turn her strength against her European foes; and the American war, the occasion of the universal outbreak, was to hold in her eyes a second place. The reasons were several: the vanity of Pompadour, infatuated by the advances of the Empress-Queen, and eager to secure her good graces; the superstition of the King; the anger of both against Frederic; the desire of D'Argenson, minister of war, that the army, and not the navy, should play the foremost 356


      V2 struggle. "It is only Fortune," says the royal sceptic, "that can extricate me from the situation I am in. I escape out of it by looking at the universe on the great scale like an observer from some distant planet. All then seems to be so infinitely small that I could almost pity my enemies for giving themselves so much trouble about so very little. I read a great deal, I devour my books. But for them I think hypochondria would have had me in Bedlam before now. In fine, dear Marquis, we live in troublous times and desperate situations. I have all the properties of a stage hero; always in danger, always on the point of perishing." [862] And in another mood: "I begin to feel that, as the Italians say, revenge is a pleasure for the gods. My philosophy is worn out by suffering. I am no saint, and I will own that I should die content if only I could first inflict a part of the misery that I endure."His relations with Vaudreuil were a constant annoyance to him, notwithstanding the mask of mutual civility. "I never," he tells his mother, "ask for a place in the colony troops for anybody. You need not be an ?dipus to guess this riddle. Here are four lines from Corneille:

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      [285] Le Guerne Prvost, 10 Mars, 1756.

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      V2 retained all their native fierceness, and were systematically impelled to use their tomahawks against the enemies of the Church. Their wigwams were hung with scalps, male and female, adult and infant; and these so-called missions were but nests of baptized savages, who wore the crucifix instead of the medicine-bag, and were encouraged by the Government for purposes of war. [656]

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      [102] "On a pouss la chose aussi loin que l'enfer le pouvait dsirer."Subercase au Ministre, 20 Dcembre, 1708.Vaudreuil had long felt the delicacy of his position, and even before the crisis seemed near he tried to provide against it, and wrote to the minister that he had never called the Abenakis subjects of France, but only allies, in order to avoid responsibility for anything they might do.[252] "The English," he says elsewhere, "must be prevented from settling on Abenaki lands; and to this end we must let the Indians act for us (laisser agir les sauvages)."[253]


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