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V1 Murray sent him a note of congratulation: "I am extremely pleased that things are so clever at Grand Pr, and that the poor devils are so resigned. Here they are more patient than I could have expected for people in their circumstances; and what surprises me still more is the indifference of the women, who really are, or seem, quite unconcerned. I long much to see the poor wretches embarked and our affair a little settled; and then I will do myself the pleasure of meeting you and drinking their good voyage."The English lines grew closer and closer, and their fire more and more destructive. Desgouttes, the naval commander, withdrew the "Arthuse" from her exposed position, where her fire had greatly annoyed the besiegers. The shot-holes in her sides were plugged up, and in the dark night of the fourteenth of July she was towed through the obstructions in the mouth of the harbor, and sent to France to report the situation of Louisbourg. More fortunate than her predecessor, she escaped the English in a fog. Only five vessels now remained afloat in the harbor, and these were feebly manned, as the greater part of their officers and crews had come ashore, to the number of two thousand, lodging under tents in the town, 66
Braddock, laid his instructions before the Council, and Shirley found them entirely to his mind; 194V2 have no time to lose." He was right. He had waited till the season of autumnal storms, when nature was more dangerous than man. On the sixteenth there was frost, and the wind did not abate. On the next morning it shifted to the south, but soon turned back with violence to the north, and the ruffled lake put on a look of winter, "which determined me," says the General, "not to lose time by striving to get to the Isle-aux-Noix, where I should arrive too late to force the enemy from their post, but to return to Crown Point and complete the works there." This he did, and spent the remnant of the season in the congenial task of finishing the fort, of which the massive remains still bear witness to his industry.
V2 had little representation in Parliament, he was a voice, an inspiration, and a tower of strength. He would not flatter the people; but, turning with contempt from the tricks and devices of official politics, he threw himself with a confidence that never wavered on their patriotism and public spirit. They answered him with a boundless trust, asked but to follow his lead, gave him without stint their money and their blood, loved him for his domestic virtues and his disinterestedness, believed him even in his self-contradiction, and idolized him even in his bursts of arrogant passion. It was he who waked England from her lethargy, shook off the spell that Newcastle and his fellow-enchanters had cast over her, and taught her to know herself again. A heart that beat in unison with all that was British found responsive throbs in every corner of the vast empire that through him was to become more vast. With the instinct of his fervid patriotism he would join all its far-extended members into one, not by vain assertions of parliamentary supremacy, but by bonds of sympathy and ties of a common freedom and a common cause.
The trenches were opened on the night of the fourth,a task of extreme difficulty, as the ground was covered by a profusion of half-burned stumps, roots, branches, and fallen trunks. Eight hundred men toiled till daylight with pick, spade, and axe, while the cannon from the fort flashed through the darkness, and grape and round-shot whistled and screamed over their heads. Some of the English balls reached the camp beyond the ravine, and disturbed the slumbers of the officers off duty, as they lay wrapped in their blankets and bear-skins. Before daybreak the first parallel was made; a battery was nearly finished on the left, 500
 Letter of Lieutenant William Grant, in Maclachlan's Highlands, II. 340 (ed. 1875).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.
At length the crisis came. The Illinois captured the nephew of Oushala, the principal Outagamie war-chief, and burned him alive; on which the Outagamies attacked them, drove them for refuge to the top of the rock on which La Salle's fort of St. Louis had been built, and held them there at mercy. They would have starved to death, had not the victors,[Pg 336] dreading the anger of the French, suffered them to escape. For this they took to themselves great credit, not without reason, in view of the provocation. At Versailles, however, their attack on the Illinois seemed an unpardonable offence, and the next ship from France brought a letter from the colonial minister declaring that the Outagamies must be effectually put down, and that "his Majesty will reward the officer who will reduce, or rather destroy, them."Several days after, they summoned him and Membr to a council. Six packs of beaver-skins were brought in; and the savage orator presented them to Tonty in turn, explaining their meaning as he did so. The first two were to declare that the children of Count Frontenacthat is, the Illinoisshould not be eaten; the next was a plaster to heal Tonty's wound; the next was oil wherewith to anoint him and Membr, that they might not be fatigued in travelling; the next proclaimed that the sun was bright; and the sixth and last required them to decamp and go home. Tonty thanked them for their gifts, but demanded when they themselves meant to go and leave the Illinois in peace. At this, the conclave grew angry; and, despite their late pledge, some of them said that before they went they would eat Illinois flesh. Tonty instantly kicked away the packs of beaver-skins, the Indian symbol of the scornful rejection of a proposal, telling them that since they meant to eat the governor's children he would have none of their presents. The chiefs, [Pg 233] in a rage, rose and drove him from the lodge. The French withdrew to their hut, where they stood all night on the watch, expecting an attack, and resolved to sell their lives dearly. At daybreak, the chiefs ordered them to begone.