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The Fall of Canada
Chapter VII - The Fall of New France


The complicated plan of bringing together at the same time and at the same place three armies, each faced by a resolute, if weak, foe, was working out admirably. Amherst's movements had been the slowest and the most protracted. He had arrived at Albany, from New York, early in May. But, as we have seen, his colonial levies came in only slowly, and a long two months passed before it was worth while for him to go on to Oswego, the point on Lake Ontario where he intended to embark his forces. At Oswego Colonel Haldimand, an efficient officer, was in charge of the preparations. Even after Amherst arrived, it was still another month before his force was ready to set out. Far up near the west end of the lake the British held Fort Niagara, and from the St. Lawrence to the Mississippi they were masters. Detroit, on the route from Lake Erie to Lake Huron, still held out for France. The posts in the north-western country France also retained. If, however, Montreal fell, the sources of supplies for these posts would be cut off and they would fall to the conqueror without a further blow.

For months Colonel Haldimand had waited at Oswego, making ready for the great enterprise. During the weary time of preparation, General Gage at Albany had sent on to his brother officers what news he could glean in America and also welcome supplies of magazines from Europe. While Haldimand waited, winter had become spring and spring summer; and now summer itself was wearing away. Slowly the motley battalions of regulars and provincials


General Geoffrey Amherst

came in and made this fort a busy scene. On July 23 Sir William Johnson arrived, leading some hundreds of Indians. Their knowledge of the forest might have made them useful as scouts in this wild country, but the information which they gathered was often worthless. For weeks they had been bringing in wild rumours of the arrival, not of a French but of a Spanish fleet in the St. Lawrence. Spain was still at peace with England, but a general in a remote wilderness could not be sure of this, and the rumour caused some slight disquiet.

If any one could control the Indians it was Sir William Johnson. He had lived long among them in the colony of New York and knew thoroughly the half-childish ways of these wild sons of the forest. The tribes of Iroquois, with whom he came chiefly in touch, respected him and usually obeyed him. But the remoter tribes, with whom, during the past months, the British had been carrying on laborious negotiations, were less easy to manage. Amherst himself loathed the practices of his savage allies. When they had the chance they would sometimes dig up even buried corpses in order to scalp them. 'Firmness with these gentry is very necessary' Amherst wrote at this time, and, in spite of their sulks and threats when crossed, he held them in check and would not permit any of the outrages that the French officers, from Montcalm downwards, had not prevented.

The great camp on Lake Ontario could in time muster more than ten thousand men. The primaeval forest came down to the shore of the sparkling lake, spreading away to the horizon, seemingly vast as Ocean itself. The fort with its surrounding clearings formed but a slight break in the sombre monotony of forest that hedged it in. Food was sometimes scarce and bad, and insanitary conditions caused heavy mortality. While there was no corruption on the part of contractors such as we hear of on the French side, we get an occasional hint that the shrewd colonial traders were not too scrupulous in their methods. In this isolated spot the life of the soldiers was tedious, and it is not to be wondered at that some should plan to desert. The provincial troops suffered especially from home-sickness, and a good many of them tried to run away. It was not easy, however. Some offenders were caught and brought to trial, and the penalty of desertion was death. On July 29 we have a grim order from Amherst. Eleven men are condemned to be hanged for desertion, but one of them, John Jones, is to be pardoned if he will accept the alternative of acting as executioner to the other ten. These are to prepare for death, and when they have gone through their devotions one of them is to be hanged. Amherst's justice was tempered with mercy, for he ordered that, at the moment when the remaining nine thought themselves on the verge of the grave, they should be pardoned, with a stern warning never to desert again. It was a mode of punishment likely to be impressive to the lines of soldiers drawn up round a hollow square to see the majesty of the law vindicated.

Perhaps hardly less impressive was the review of the troops for which Amherst issued an order on August 3. For the complex manoeuvres of a showy parade there can have been little space on the stump-strewn and somewhat hilly shore of Lake Ontario. The main thing was to see that the men were well equipped for their uncertain tasks in descending the river to meet the foe. Along the shore of the lake and on the banks were lying the hundreds of 'batteaus' and 'whale-boats' necessary to carry ten thousand men on the long journey to Montreal. The might of Britain on the sea was represented by a fleet of two ships under Captain Loring, the Onondaga and the Mohawk, three-masted merchant vessels of the type known as  snow'. They were well armed. The Onondaga carried four nine-pounders, fourteen six-pounders, and one hundred seamen ; the Mohawk, sixteen six-pounders and ninety seamen. Some three weeks before Amherst himself set out from Oswego, he had sent them to seek, and, if possible, to destroy two French vessels which had the hardihood to appear off Oswego on July 20. But for some time, even with the best pilots to be procured, the vessels could not find a channel, and the delay was such that, instead of going down the river before Amherst, they set out only after he had begun his advance.

Even by August 10 all the boats were not ready. Amherst, however, determined to start with the regulars and the artillery, leaving General Gage to follow with the colonial troops. On the morning of the 10th, therefore, the army embarked at daybreak. The route was at first along the shore of the open lake. These vast inland waters can be as tempestuous as the sea itself; this day the lake was in an ugly mood and one boat was lost. On the whole, however, all went well. General Gage soon followed with the colonial forces, and by the 12th all were in the comparatively safe waters of the St. Lawrence River, on that flowing tide which swept for many miles past forest-clad banks and occasional clearings on to Montreal itself, the end of the journey.

In all the world, perhaps, there is no other river so majestic. It discharges the waters of half a dozen mighty lakes, and its broad current is in very few places less than a mile wide. At its beginning it wanders through hundreds of islands, the famous ' Thousand Islands at the present day dotted with summer residences. Then it plunges into swirling rapids, full of peril for small boats. At the foot of the last of these, nearly two hundred miles from the head of the river, the little town of Montreal had grown up. The task of Amherst was to take his great force in small boats along those many miles of river. He had three problems to solve. The first was to overcome the French force which he should find barring his way at Fort Levis, near La Presentation, now Ogdensburg, some seventy miles from the entrance of the river. As his second task he would then have to pass through the rapids, the beginning of which Fort Levis guarded. Last of all he must crush the French army awaiting him at Montreal. So overwhelming was his force that the military tasks were really easy. Yet there were some uncertainties. The two armed French vessels were hovering near Fort Levis and they might work havoc in the flotilla of small boats ; moreover, the actual strength of the French force barring the way was quite unknown to the British, though it could not be formidable.

Fortune favoured Amherst. Just at the time when he was drawing near Fort Levis, one of the French vessels ran aground and was so much damaged as to be rendered useless. When an Indian brought in this news on the 15th, Amherst hurried on with his small boats, hoping to capture the other ship while her companion was disabled. He met her at daybreak on the 17th, trying to pass up the river towards Oswego. The British attacked her with five rowing galleys armed with artillery. Since it was calm, the small boats could move freely, while the large ship lay motionless and almost helpless. There was a sharp fight, but the French ship soon gave in, and she and her hundred men, under an officer named La Broquerie, were taken at slight cost.

On the same day Amherst occupied La Presentation, which had been evacuated and practically destroyed by the French. It commanded not merely the trade by the St. Lawrence from Montreal, but was also convenient of access to the very heart of the colony of New York. Here for some ten years the Abbe Picquet had carried on a flourishing mission, chiefly to the Iroquois Indians. The Abbe, half priest, half politician, had thrown his whole heart into the work and had dreamed of establishing the sway both of the Church and of France over all the lands bordering on Lake Ontario. With a statesman's foresight he had chosen this important strategic point. He had worked zealously among the Indians, had lived like one of themselves, and had led hundreds of them to give their adhesion to the Roman Catholic faith. He had not changed their mode of warfare. The British found in the Indian habitations at La Presentation many human scalps. This sight especially incensed the Mohawk allies, and they burned the chapel. The Indians at La Presentation showed a disposition to make terms with Amherst, and the Abbe Picquet's dreams for their future were doomed to complete failure by the British occupation. La Presentation has now become prosaic Ogdensburg, a thriving American town, with scarcely a memory of the days when it was a cherished outpost of France in North America.

Five miles down the river from La Presentation lay Fort Levis. Here, during the previous winter, the French engineer, Desandrouins, amidst manifold discouragements that nearly drove him out of his mind, had toiled to make a strong post. In the end he had asked for work elsewhere. Then hither to take command had come in March Pouchot, who had held Niagara until it fell to the British. We have the story of his hardships told by himself. He had left Montreal on March 17 to go to Fort Levis. In the earlier campaign he had lost his personal equipage at Niagara and now was without the common necessaries. Yet, as he declares, when he was about to set out on the ice to go to his post, the Intendant Bigot refused to supply him with even the blanket that he asked for. Obviously he was not in the ring that was working with Bigot, and all that he obtained from the King's supplies for his own needs was a keg of wine. Nevertheless he was now resolved to make a stern fight. Levis had indeed a dim hope that Pouchot could so delay Amherst as to permit the main French army to defeat Haviland and Murray in turn before Amherst arrived.

To leave Pouchot serenely alone in his little island fort would have been wise policy for Amherst. Murray had left untouched the French at Jacques Cartier and at Three Rivers, when he ascended to Montreal. Amherst could pass down the river by the north and south channels unharmed from the guns of the fort, leaving Pouchot to bombard the air if he liked. But Amherst would leave no unconquered foe in his rear. Accordingly, on the 18th, when Murray and Haviland, already near Montreal, were chafing at the delay of their chief, he made elaborate plans for assaulting Fort Levis. The captured French vessel anchored within range of the fort. One British column rowed down past it on the north side and another on the south side. On the first day Pouchot found himself completely invested. On the second day Amherst made preparations for attack as elaborate as if he had been besieging a vital stronghold. He began to construct land batteries on points commanding the fort. His two vessels, which had been delayed at Oswego, now appeared at last, and he had three ships at anchor at advantageous points. He spent day after day in these tasks, and not until August 23 was he ready to open fire from all his batteries and to close in on the fort with his vessels. Even on that day he did nothing decisive, for ' the going down of the Vessells to the Fort ', he wrote to Pitt, ' was not effected in the Manner I could wish, and I determined not to pursue my Plan that day \1 For another and still another day he continued his bombardment, gradually dismounting the French guns with his fire, until at last, on the 25th, Pouchot, caught like a rat in a trap, surrendered at discretion with his three hundred men. He had made a brave fight and had inflicted some loss on his assailants. Even after the surrender, Amherst still lingered at the fort which he now renamed Fort William Henry. On the 26th he took time to write an elaborate letter to Pitt describing what he had done and enclosing lists of everything found in the captured stronghold. Then he busied himself in making repairs to the fort and his boats. Not until the 31st was he ready again to set out. An army of ten thousand men had been kept occupied for two weeks in reducing a fort containing three hundred.

Amherst sent to New York the prisoners taken at Fort Levis, and retained only the pilots, who would be of service in meeting the dangers of the river. With justice, as the event proved, he dreaded the descent of the rapids. He questioned the captive Pouchot anxiously about the perils, and we may be sure learned nothing from that astute officer which would be very reassuring. On the morning of August 31 the army was once .more afloat. That day they rowed twenty miles and passed through two rapids which Amherst thought ' more frightful than dangerous '. The next day he was not so fortunate. As his boats neared the Long Sault Rapids, a little above the present Canadian town of Cornwall, he put ashore covering parties to save his force from possible ambush by the enemy. The boats passed down the rapids in single file, and the experience was exciting enough. The rapids were full of choppy waves which curled over the edge of the boats. These took in water so freely that some of them were swamped, and a corporal and three men of the Royal Highlanders were drowned. The next day, September 2, the army rowed the twenty-four miles across Lake St. Francis, an expansion of the St. Lawrence. That night there was a great storm, and on the next day the weather was so bad that the army remained in camp. Montreal was now not far off. In it the French army was concentrated, and Murray and Haviland were advancing rapidly to meet their leader before its walls.

The 4th of September was fine and well fitted for the most ticklish part of Amherst's task, the passing of the series of rapids which include the Cedars and the Cascades. Disaster awaited him. He had the pilots from Fort Levis; he had also some Indians expert in river navigation. But these pilots were not sufficient in numbers for the hundreds of boats. None of them spoke English, and the British steersmen hardly understood perhaps the directions given to them in a strange tongue. At any rate the boats did not keep at a proper distance from each other. Some of the men at the helm lost control, and the tossing boisterous waves wrought havoc with their prey. When night fell the whole force had not yet passed down, but already sixty-four boats had been dashed to pieces, among them seventeen laden with artillery, and no less than eighty-four men had been drowned. The long row of dead men seemed a dire penalty to pay for lack of skill in meeting the dangers of the river. The next day, when greater care was shown, the remainder of the army passed down with ease.

The army was now encamped on Isle Perrot, and Amherst waited the whole of the 5th to repair his boats. Looking across Lake St. Louis, the British could see the houses of Lachine, and Montreal itself was now not twenty miles distant. Isle Perrot was well peopled, but the inhabitants had run off into the woods and abandoned their houses. Some of the men who lived on the island had served with the French forces up the river and they were now in great fear of retribution from Amherst and his savage allies. But he treated kindly those who were captured or came in, and restored them to their houses, when once they had taken the oath of fidelity to King George. ' They seemed as much surprised with their treatment as they were happy with it,' says Amherst. They had, indeed, been told by Vaudreuil that they could hope for no mercy from the cruel and pitiless English.

Soon after daybreak on the morning of the 6th the army was again afloat for the last stage of the advance on Montreal. There still remained the terrific Lachine Rapids before Montreal could be reached by water. These were, however, impassable for 'batteaus' and whale-boats ; accordingly Amherst landed at Lachine and marched overland the short distance from that point to Montreal. Though some mounted French volunteers had followed him along-shore, when he started from Isle Perrot, they made no attempt to oppose his landing. In fact he was soon pursuing them. At three o'clock on the afternoon of the 6th the head of his column appeared before the feeble walls of Montreal. That night the British army encamped on the open plain before the town, and the general was busy bringing up his artillery with a view to a speedy bombardment. A powerful British fleet lay in the river near by. The sight of a man-of-war with fifty guns was one of the sensations of the day at Montreal; nothing of the kind had ever been seen there before. Had it alone opened fire it could soon have ruined the town.

Resistance to the British forces was hopeless. On the 7th Haviland arrived at Longueuil on the south shore of the river, and the French officer Malartic looking across from Montreal saw numbers of the inhabitants hurrying to that village in order to take the oath of fidelity required by the British as the condition of leaving the people undisturbed in their homes. From the east, too, the British were closing in. Murray landed his forces on the island of Montreal, also on the 7th, and began his march upon the town. The country people seemed delighted to welcome him. Crowds of Canadians flocked to the British camp, and they brought horses and saddles for the officers, horses for the artillery, and carts for the luggage. As the army marched towards the town, the people lined the road, offering pails of milk and of water to the soldiers and expressing courteous regrets that they had no better liquor for the officers. The priest and nuns of a convent which the troops passed stood at their door and told the British that they were welcome. Progress was slow, for in the previous night the last of the French battalions had retired into Montreal, destroying the bridges behind them. The delay was such that before Murray's column could appear in front of the trails of Montreal. Amherst was already treating for its surrender.

As Murray approached, Vaudreuil had tried a little ruse. Suspecting that Amherst was of sterner stuff than Murray, and knowing Murray's love of glory, the Governor had sounded him as to the terms of surrender which he would give, and thus become the conqueror of Canada. Murray, however, answered that, since Amherst was so near, it was with him that Vaudreuil must treat. Each side had seen the inevitable and understood pretty well what terms were possible. On the night of the 6th~7th Vaudreuil summoned the principal French officers to attend a meeting at his quarters in Montreal. With British columns in sight, the tap of the British drum in their ears, and the roar of British cannon likely to begin at any time, the business was urgent indeed. The Intendant, Bigot, read a memorandum outlining the condition of affairs in the colony. The inhabitants of Montreal, fearful of massacre if taken fighting, now refused to arm, and under cover of night they had already begun to cart away their effects by wagon-loads. The Indians were joining the English ; the Canadians had deserted entirely ; so also had many of the French regular troops; and those now in the ranks numbered only about 2,400. The situation was desperate. Bombardment might reduce Montreal to ashes in a single night. For its defence Levis had only six pieces of artillery. Food and ammunition were scarce. The disparity in numbers, too, was overwhelming. Vaudreuil believed, or, at least, said, that there were thirty thousand of the enemy to face.

In such a situation Vaudreuil urged that capitulation was necessary. To this the military officers agreed, if honourable terms could be secured, and Colonel de Bougainville was named to go early in the morning of the 7th to Amherst, to propose a suspension of arms until October 1; capitulation was to follow at that date should news of peace not arrive in the meantime. If Amherst would not gr^t this, terms of surrender were to be proposed. Amherst writes that on the 7th ' in the morning two Officers came to an advanced Post with a Letter from the Marquis de Vaudreuil, referring me to what one of them, Le Colonel Bougainville, had to say. The conversation ended with a Cessation of Arms 'till twelve o'clock, at which time the Proposals came.' 1 Amherst would not listen to the French plan to suspend arms until October 1, but he was ready to discuss terms of surrender. These Vaudreuil had long meditated upon, and he now had ready an elaborate paper guarding carefully the civil and religious interests of the Canadians and also providing that the French army should be accorded the honours of war.

Political and religious questions Amherst was prepared to treat in a generous spirit. He did not forget that already Canada was practically British territory. Of course Vaudreuil asked for more than he expected to receive. Amherst would not promise that the Canadians should always be governed under French law and that they should pay no new taxes. Vaudreuil's demand that the vanquished people should remain strictly neutral in any war between Great Britain and France Amherst brushed aside with the comment that they must become the subjects of the British King. He refused, too, the absurd demand that, even should Canada remain British, the King of France should have the perpetual right to name the Bishop of Quebec. He would not agree that the Church should retain its right to levy the tithe, but the right was afterwards yielded by the British Parliament. Though he gave the communities of nuns special protection, he would not promise to the Jesuits, Recollets, and Sulpitians, the three orders of priests working in Canada, anything in regard to their privileges. They must await the pleasure of the King. Their, and all others of property were, however, to be respected. The new subjects were to enjoy equal privileges with the incoming British in respect to commerce. They were to be free to remain in Canada or to withdraw, and if they chose to withdraw some were to be helped to go to France. They were to enjoy full liberty for their Roman Catholic faith. Vaudreuil had said that if the British were successful the Canadians would be deported from their homes. This poignant fear Amherst removed ; they were never to suffer the fate of the Acadians and to be carried away, against their will, to the British colonies or to England. The Chevalier Johnstone, fighting on the French side, says that the terms granted by Amherst were 'infinitely more favourable than could be expected in our circumstances'.

Amherst was resolved, however, that the French army should make one great expiation. It was the general belief in the British army that the French had allowed, and even encouraged, outrages by their Indians. After Braddock's defeat in 1755 the French had joined the Indians in scalping the fallen British. After Montcalm's victory at Fort William Henry, in 1757, scores of disarmed British prisoners had been massacred by the savages, and some of the French officers had been slack in their efforts to prevent the atrocities. A few days later some British prisoners had been brought by Indians to Montreal, and there, as Bougainville says,' at two o'clock in the afternoon in presence of the whole town,' one of them had been boiled and eaten by the savages, and his fellow Englishmen had been obliged to partake of the horrid feast.1 While high-minded French officers like Montcalm and Bougainville bitterly denounced the Indian practice of scalping, Vaudreuil, no doubt because he was a Canadian long familiar with savage warfare, was, as we have seen, not greatly shocked at it, and he constantly reported to the French court the number of scalps taken in.

There is no doubt that on the British side, too, guerrilla captains like Rogers had waged war exactly as their Indian foes waged it. Even Wolfe had permitted scalping when the enemy were Indians or Canadians dressed like Indians. But, in the regular operations of war, the British had held the Indians sternly in check. Amherst disliked them and punished them with something like avidity. At Montreal, when he caught an Indian in the act of stealing, he promptly hanged him. Amherst wrote to Pitt that 'not a Peasant, Woman or child has been hurt by them [the Indians] or a house burnt, since I entered what was the Enemy's Country'. The Indians were not allowed to commit 'one Single act of Savage barbarity', writes a non-commissioned officer triumphantly.

Nothing more astonished the Canadians who saw Amherst's army at Montreal than his strict control of the Indians. Far other was the tale on the French side. Vaudreuil had been, in truth, afraid of his own Indians, and he still showed fear of the race. Among the most insistent terms which he now drew up were those by which the British were to guarantee protection to the French from the cruelties and insults of the savages. In regard to this Amherst wrote on the margin of the proposals: 'There never have been any cruelties committed by the Indians of our army and good order shall be preserved. . . . Care shall be taken that the Indians do not insult any of the subjects of his most Christian majesty.' Resolute himself against savage barbarities, Amherst was now resolved to punish the French for their slackness. He would not yield the honours of war to the defeated army. They must simply surrender and must not serve again during the war.

These terms were hard indeed. It was the custom of the time to grant honours of war to a garrison which surrendered before an assault was made. Moreover, the provision that the French officers and men should not serve again during the war might mean that for years they should have no military employment. The French protested vigorously. When Vaudreuil received Amherst's terms, he sent Bougainville back to ask for some mitigation. Levis declared that the terms were intolerable, and he too sent Colonel de la Pause to make representations to Amherst. But, though La Pause was a man of rank and reputation, Amherst would not listen to his attempt to justify the protest of Levis. He sternly ordered him to be silent and declared that 'he was fully resolved, for the infamous part the troops of France had acted in exciting the savages to perpetrate the most horrid and unheard of barbarities in the whole progress of the war, and for other open treacheries, as well as flagrant breaches of faith, to manifest to all the world, by this capitulation, his detestation of such ungenerous practices, and disapprobation of their conduct.'  'I cannot alter, in the least, the conditions which I have offered to the Marquis de Vaudreuil,' he wrote in reply to Levis, 'and I expect his definite answer by the bearer on his return.'

That night at 7 o'clock the officers of the French army again held a council of war. There was clamorous indignation at Amherst's stern terms. They involved for these unfortunate men not merely military disgrace but also something like starvation, for if they could get no employment they were likely to become idle pensioners when they returned to France. In the night La Pause was sent back to ask that at least the prohibition to serve might apply only to America. But Amherst would not yield one jot. On the receipt of the last peremptory message from Amherst, the officers demanded that Vaudreuil should break off the initiations. It was un]4ard of, they said, that an army should make such terms before the place it was defending had been assaulted ; they should either march out against the British as Murray had done at Ste Foy, or they should await an assault on Montreal and fight to the last. If either of these courses should prove to be impossible the officers asked permission to withdraw to St. Helen's Island, in the river near Montreal, there to fight until at least honourable terms could be secured. 'We have still enough ammunition to fight if the enemy wishes to attack us sword in hand,' Levis wrote to Vaudreuil.

It is not easy to estimate the sincerity of these protests. The British men-of-war could easily have destroyed the defences of St. Helen's Island, as the French officers must have well understood. Levis and others were thinking of their future military careers and probably hoped that this brave talk would soften the disgrace of a humiliating surrender. But Vaudreuil had no military glory in view, and he had to listen to other clamour besides that of the military. The multitude of refugees in Montreal flocked to implore him to save them and their goods by quick surrender to the British. These, and these only, would be strong enough to check the danger of outrage from the savages whom the weak French army could not now control. Vaudreuil admitted the inevitable. Amherst's terms must, he said, be accepted ; this was a duty he owed to the ruined colony. The British general had named six o'clock on the morning of the 8th as the time for the final answer, and soon after that hour he received a letter from Vaudreuil complying with his stern demands. New France had at last fallen, ami Britain had won half a continent.

Amherst sat up late on the night of the surrender. Major Barre was to leave at once for England with dispatches, and there was much to report. To his friend, Major-General Joseph Yorke, Amherst wrote, in spite of weariness, a brief account of his work :

'I have as much pleasure in telling you Canada belongs to the King as I had in receiving the capitulation of it this day, from the satisfaction I know it will give you. The French troops all lay down their arms, and are not to serve during the war ; their behaviour in carrying on a cruel and barbarous war in this country, I thought deserved this disgrace. I have suffered by the Rapides not by the enemy. I entered the inhabited country with all the savages and I have not hurt the head of a peasant, his wife or his child, not a house burnt, or a disorder committed ; the country people amazed; won't believe what they see ; the notions they had of our cruelties from the exercise of their own savages, drove them into the woods; I have fetched them out and put them quiet in their habitations, and they are vastly happy. I can't tell you how much I am obliged to you for your good letter to me; but tho' 'tis three in the morning of the 9th, [and] I have not slept these two nights past, I would not let Major Barre go away with my dispatches without telling this news to you.'

To assert possession of Montreal on behalf of the British army, Amherst promptly sent Colonel Haldimand, a Swiss by birth, an officer who knew the French language thoroughly and who afterwards was Governor of Canada, to hold one of the gates of the town and to repress any beginnings of disorder. Amherst promptly issued to his troops an order in which he said:

'The Marquis of Vaudreuil has capitulated; the troops of France, in Canada, have laid down their arms; they are not free to serve during this war; and the whole country has submitted to the dominion of Great Britain. The three armies are all entitled to the General's thanks on this occasion, and he assures them he will take the first opportunity of acquainting his Majesty with the zeal and bravery which has [sic] always been exerted by the Officers and soldiers of the regular and provincial troops, and also by his faithful Indian allies.'

He added a note of warning as to the lawlessness and outrage likely to occur at such a time:

'The General is confident that, when the troops are informed this country is the King's, they will not disgrace themselves by the least appearance of inhumanity, or by any unsoldierlike behaviour of seeking for plunder; but that, as the Canadians are now become British subjects, they may feel the good effect of his Majesty's protection.'

Amherst meant this last injunction to be taken seriously. A British soldier caught in the act of pillage was promptly hanged.

On the day after the surrender the inhabitants of Montreal saw a memorable illustration of the fortunes of war. One by one the French battalions marched to the Place d'Armes and there surrendered to the custody of the British the weapons used in the long struggle. One set of trophies Levis was resolved that the victor should not have, and, on the 8th, when he saw that Amherst intended to compel a humiliating surrender, he ordered the colours of the French regiments to be burned. Amherst, writing to Pitt on September 8, had promised to send him soon the French colours as glorious trophies. Perhaps he did not realize that it is one of the strongest traditions of the French army that flags must not be given up to the enemy. As recently as in France's last great war, that with Germany in 1870, one of the most indignant charges against Bazaine, who surrendered at Metz, is that he did not burn his flags rather than let them fall into the hands of the victors. When Amherst demanded the French flags, both Vaudreuil and Levis declared that, owing to the difficulties of a country where there was so much forest, the colours had become useless and had been destroyed. Amherst insisted that the two leaders should give him their word of honour that this was the case, and they promptly did so. It was, of course, true that the colours had been destroyed, but the French leaders were certainly not frank in their reply to Amherst.

It may be doubted whether the French officers resertted more the sternness of Amherst or what they considered the too-ready acquiescence of Vaudreuil in the British demands. Yet he had acted wisely. By surrendering before an assault was made on Montreal, he had procured favourable terms for the Canadians, whose desolate country, after further resistance was hopeless, assuredly deserved some consideration. They might return to their homes without penalty, and they were now certain of protection to their property and of the free exercise of their religion. But, because Vaudreuil was himself a Canadian, he was suspected by the French officers of sacrificing the interests of the army to those of his own people. When, on the day after the surrender, he gave a dinner to Amherst, not a French officer would accept his hospitality. Nor would they accept courtesies from Amherst himself. Relations between old acquaintances were strained. At Quebec Malartic had seen much of Murray, but now he could accept Murray's hospitality only after securing special permission. Murray, he says, overwhelmed him with compliments on the resourcefulness of his countrymen ; the French, Murray said, had covered themselves with glory in defending through six campaigns what the British ought to have taken in one.

When, on September 9, Levis reviewed his little army for the last time, there were present 1,953 soldiers and 179 officers ; in the hospitals there were besides 241 sick and wounded. No less than 927 were absent from their regiments. Some, indeed, were absent on service, but 548 had deserted or disappeared. It was a somewhat pitiable showing. At Jacques Cartier and Three Rivers there were still small garrisons, and a handful of French soldiers remained at Detroit and Michillimackinac, distant posts in the interior. All who surrendered were to be sent home at once. The married officers and private soldiers were to have accommodation for their wives and families. In addition to the military, a few civilians, chiefly the officers of the French government in Canada, had the right of carriage to France. These French subjects were not numerous, and allowing for women, children, and servants, probably four thousand would be a liberal estimate of the number now to be embarked in Canada for their return home.

It was not unnatural that the defeated army should desire to get away as quickly as possible. In the terms of capitulation, Vaudreuil had stipulated that his whole force should be embarked for France within fifteen days. Though this was a heavy undertaking it was possible to carry it out. More than fifty transports had come up the river with Murray's forces and were now available for this new task. Moreover, there were other transports at Quebec. The days following the capitulation saw busy scenes. The British had wished to send some of the French regiments to New York, there to be embarked. To this, however, Levis would not assent, for he was sure that on the journey to that distant port many of his soldiers would desert and be lost to France. He now kept his disarmed battalions in their own quarters and drew up elaborate regulations for their governance during the voyage. The troops embarked at Montreal were not to be allowed to go ashore at Quebec except under the strictest regulations. Levis prescribed the measures to be taken on board for preserving both health and discipline ; and he counselled officers and men to study great reserve in their communications with the British who were to carry the army back to France. He promised, and he kept his word, that he would spare no labour, on his return to France, to secure for these brave and unfortunate men the payment of the drafts on France which represented their hard-earned wages during the many months of war.

Vaudreuil had stipulated that, until he embarked, he should continue to occupy unmolested his own excellent house in Montreal, the property of his family. He also arranged that the most comfortable ship available should be provided for himself, his wife, servants, and suite, and he and Bigot took special care that they should be allowed to carry away their papers without examination by the British. Two ships were to be provided for Levis, his chief officers, and their suites; and they too were to carry away their papers without examination. It was also provided that Bigot, the Intendant, should have a ship for himself and his suite. It is perhaps significant of the quantity of luggage and of papers which Vaudreuil and Bigot were taking away that three flat-bottomed boats were placed at the disposal of each of them for conveying their effects to the waiting ships. A similar courtesy was denied to Levis and his staff until they explained satisfactorily the disappearance of the colours. Amherst had heard gossip that the flags were still in existence, and he threatened to search all the baggage before it was embarked if they were not produced. As we have seen, however, the colours had really been destroyed.

After three or four days spent in the preparation of the ships, the work of embarkation began on September 14. We can picture the water-front of the little frontier town alive with the movement now going on; the troops of France in their worn and faded uniforms marching to the points assigned to them to enter the boats; the many spectators, in the idle days of transition, eagerly watching the dejection and the exultation that the events of war must always bring in varying degrees to its votaries. On the side towards the swift river five gates opened through the wall. The quays were inadequate and some of the ships could not be brought on shore. This made embarkation difficult. By th| 16th, however, nearly the whole of the French army was afloat and on its way down the river. Rearrangements were to be made at Quebec, where lay other transports. Colonel de Bougainville, the handy man of the French army, had been sent in advance to Quebec to superintend the work at that point. On the 17th Levis himself set out from Montreal in the ship assigned to him, but Vaudreuil and Bigot lingered a little longer to complete necessary business. On the 15th a crier went through the town to notify all who had demands for payments to apply to the Intendant at once. At the same time the Governor and the Intendant issued a joint statement assuring the Canadians that the King of France would not fail, in time, to redeem the paper currency now worthless in their hands. The business affairs of France in Canada were, as far as possible, closed, and a Commissary was left behind to settle what was still left open. On the 20th Vaudreuil took ship for his troubled voyage home, and on the 21st Bigot did the same. During three weeks some twenty or more British transports laden with French soldiers were making their way down the river. Some of their names—The True Briton, The Fanny, The Mary and Jane, The Sally, The Hannah, The Abigail, and The Young Isaac—must have sounded strangely in French ears. One vessel engaged in this service had a notable history. It was La Marie, which alone had escaped from the British during the fight with Vauquelain. She had now become a British transport.

[Levis preserved carefully a mass of correspondence, and in later years, when Governor-General of Artois, he occupied himself with arranging it. In 1888 his great-grandson, Comte Raimond de Nicolay, presented copies of these papers to the Government of the Province of Quebec on condition that they should be printed. This Collection des Manuscrits du Marichal de Livis is of great value for the history of the period. Upon the Collection much of the present volume is based. The editorial work on the documents is very defective.]

A few weeks earlier Captain Knox had delighted in the bright sunshine and the entrancing beauty of the river scenery as he passed up to Montreal. Now, however, nature was as unkind to the defeated army as war itself had been. We have a detailed narrative by Malartic of the journey, and his experiences were similar to those of the French army as a whole. It was on September 16 that Mitotic embarked in a schooner with part of the regiment of Bearn. The next day the ship ran aground in Lake St. Peter and lay helpless for more than twenty-four hours. She had set out without good pilots, and with such an inadequate supply of provisions that, after two or three days, those on board were obliged to send foraging parties ashore to seek bread and vegetables among the inhabitants. Soon after passing Three Rivers, on the 19th, the ship encountered a heavy storm from the north-east, which made progress almost impossible. On the 22nd she ran aground again and smashed one of her small boats. So incomplete was the ship's equipment that no hammer or nails could be found on board with which to attempt repairs. The soldiers went ashore freely and a good many deserted. The ship crept on slowly in spite of the storm which lasted many days. Not until October 5, nearly three weeks after leaving Montreal, did she reach Quebec. During this tempest we hear a plaintive note from the Intendant Bigot, storm-bound at Batiscan, near Three Rivers. Madame Pean, the Pompadour of Canada, is, he says, bored to death by the monotony of life on the small ship, and is moreover sea-sick ; he himself is also miserable from sea-sickness. He had provided luxuries for his own party on the journey, but he complains that the company is half-starved, in defiance of the sacred obligations which Great Britain had assumed to feed the French leaders as well as her own officers were fed. Levis, too, was not without female consolation on the voyage, and he also complains of straitened quarters and hard fare. Vaudreuil had an even more serious quarrel with fortune. His ship struck a rock on the way to Quebec and he was obliged to abandon her.

The troubled journey to Quebec was not a promising beginning for the longer voyage. In some cases there was now a hurried transhipment. Malartic was given only one hour to get himself and a considerable body of the regiment on board a British snow and to be afloat again Levis pressed the British to give the French army adequate accommodation, but the result did not prove satisfactory. A number of vessels, disabled by the terrific storm, could not go to sea ; and, in consequence, the remaining ships were somewhat crowded. Levis declares, however, that the English were rigorous in not allowing more than one man for each ton of a ship. The impoverished French officers had no money to buy from the traders, now swarming at Quebec, any luxuries to ease the hardships of the voyage, and, for the most part, they could secure only the fare of the common sailors. The season was far advanced and haste was necessary, for, in the late autumn, the St. Lawrence route is dangerous. Obviously there was no time for niceties in regard either to the equipment of the ships or in the order of sailing. At first Levis was resolved to be the last to set out, but in the end he was obliged to sail when his ship was ready and to leave Bourlamaque in charge.

The voyage proved tempestuous. Off Louisbourg the storms were so frightful that the ship of Levis lost a mast and, for two hours, it seemed certain that she would sink. Malartic describes the way in which his ship was now becalmed, now lost in fog, on the St. Lawrence. At one time she came into collision with a larger ship and nearly sank. After passing out into the Atlantic between Cape Breton and Newfoundland, she was still five weeks in reaching the shores of France. Since luxuries were wholly wanting, there was joy when they met in mid-ocean a great Dutch vessel from Surinam. Her aged captain was completing his 66th year of voyaging, but he was still acute enough to sell them rum, sugar, and coffee at a high price. We may wonder where the impoverished French officers, returning to France almost penniless, secured the money to pay for these luxuries. At length, late in November, they cast anchor in the harbour of La Rochelle. Levis arrived next day, and the other transports came sailing in. Though the weather had been bad and the ships, in some cases, crowded, the health of the whole army was surprisingly good on the voyage. Levis says that he brought back only 1,500 or 1,600 men. The rest had preferred to remain in the colony, and the captive French leader had been powerless to check this desertion. A good many of the French-Canadians of the present day must have in their veins the blood of the soldiers of Levis.

Under the plea of needing rest, Levis waited at La Rochelle for five or six days. ' I have disembarked only this moment,' he wrote to the Due de Belle-Isle on November 25; ' I should have wished to be able to leave for Versailles at once, but the fatigues and also the dangers which I have undergone in the voyage just completed oblige me to take five or six days for the recovery of my health.' The real cause of delay was, perhaps, the lack of money to go to Versailles. He was soon aided by his powerful connexions, but other French officers were not so fortunate, and the poor reward of some of the grizzled veterans of the Canadian campaigns, when they returned home, was a lapse into hopeless poverty. Those who brought the paper money with which they had been paid in Canada found it quite valueless in France. When they demanded relief they were often sent unsatisfied from department to department. Each department said that it was the business of another : the Controller-General referred the matter to the Department of Marine, and M. Berryer, the head of that department, said the claims must go to the Department of War or of Finance. The unfortunate men who had suffered great hardships for their country may well have thought that it was better to starve amid the perils of a campaign than ingloriously at home. Doubtless many of them were heart-sick enough in France to regret the life in the Canadian wilderness where, though half-naked and half-fed, they could still do something for the honour of their country.

For the defeated leaders, fate had varying fortunes. Since crimes may be forgiven only to success, shame was in store for the discredited plunderers of the colony. In the France to which Bigot, Cadet, and a dozen others had so longed to return in affluence, they found a stern reception. The loss of the colony had caused general indignation, and the Government was only too glad of the excuse of alleged fraud to find scapegoats. When Bigot presented himself at Versailles before Berryer, the Minister of Marine, he was greeted angrily with the charge that it was he who had lost Canada by his criminal plundering of her resources, and that the rigours of justice awaited him. Vaudreuil, too, met with a stormy reception. He wrote from Brest on December 10 a plaintive letter to excuse his conduct and to explain the loss of the colony. But his words did not avail. By the King's command he was censured for surrendering Montreal, in spite of the protests of Levis, and he was one of the many persons accused of fraud. Twenty-three were sent to the Bastille, among them Vaudreuil, Bigot, Cadet, and Pean. There they remained, at a daily cost to the King of a hundred and sixty-four livres, for about three years, until final judgement was rendered. Durance in the Bastille involved, for at least the well-to-do class, less rigour than the Paris mob supposed when it destroyed that famous prison some twenty-five years later. Vaudreuil had his negro servant with him and a supply of books, and he was allowed to take exercise in the open air. We get glimpses of Bigot and Pean also with servants in attendance. The prisoners were permitted to have tobacco and wine. A surgeon attended twice a day upon one of them who was ill. Special permission was accorded to Bigot, Cadet, and others to go to mass. Assuredly they had need of repentance.

The trial was not begun until more than a year after the fall of Canada. The case came before the Court of the Chatelet. Twenty-seven judges, named for the trial, were engaged fifteen months in the examination of the papers. The proceedings attracted the attention of Europe. The accused persons numbered fifty-five, and each of them prepared a Memoire in his own defence. That of Bigot runs to nearly twelve hundred printed quarto pages. He traversed the whole ground of his term of office in Canada, and denied boldly that he had been a party to any fraud. He attacked Cadet as the chief criminal in the affairs of New France. He declared too that Vaudreuil, his superior in rank, was, for that reason, more responsible than he for anv seeming official collusion in fraud. Bigot so traduced the memory of Montcalm that the mother and the widow of the dead soldier petitioned the Court to impose a fine on the former Intendant for the libel. Vaudreuil answered the charges with dignity. His lineage he declared should have placed him above the suspicion of sordid fraud ; he had been wholly occupied with military matters; he had not been concerned with finance and had had no interest in contracts. He defended with eloquence the officers of the regular army, dead and living, who lay under suspicion. It was to him, he said, that these poor men, who had shed their blood for France, had the right to look for defence. They were now the victims of base calumny and he should himself be base if he did not stand forth as a witness to their talents, their virtues, and their innocence.

Judgement was rendered in December, 1763. The prosecution asked for Bigot a punishment truly mediaeval—that, clad only in his shirt and placarded as a thief, he should be made to kneel before the principal gate of the Tuileries, with a rope round his neck, and to proclaim aloud his own guilt, and that, after this, his head should be struck off. He was, of course, found guilty, but a sentence less severe was imposed upon him. He was to pay a fine of 1,500,000 livres and to suffer the loss of all his goods by confiscation. It is not clear how, with his goods confiscated, he was to pay the fine. In addition, and worst of all, when we remember his dream of a life of luxury in France, he was condemned to perpetual banishment. Cadet was banished for nine years from Paris, and, since his stealings were on a colossal scale, was ordered to restore six millions to the King's Treasury. Varin had to pay back 1,600,000 livres, and he, too, was banished. Pean was condemned to restore 600,000 livres and to remain in prison until he did so. He paid the money at once and was set free. Lesser rascals were also punished, but two of the worst, Deschenaux and St. Sauveur, seem to have escaped because they had chosen to remain in Canada.

Fortune seemed to treat the plunderers of Canada with rigour. The Government instructed its servants to hunt out the stolen property in all the provinces of France. There was something like a scramble among persons of rank to secure the silver plate of Bigot, his soup and entree dishes, his wine-coolers, his candlesticks, and dozens of other objects of luxury. Some of the criminals, now penniless, and unable to pay their fines, remained in jail, and we hear from their destitute families piteous appeals to the King for help. The way of transgressors was hard for some, but not for all. The sentence of banishment upon Cadet was soon cancelled. In 1764 he was granted permission to go to Canada. After his return he purchased extensive lands in France. He had the hardihood to claim from the French Government no less a sum than 9,000,000 livres, as due to him. He was prosperous for a time, but his mania for speculation, and perhaps, too, for sport, since he was fond of good horses, in the end brought ruin. He died a bankrupt in 1781. His two daughters married into two of the oldest families of France. For Bigot we find no less a person than the Bishop of Blois interceding in 1774, and, though we know little of his later career, it seems that he was allowed to return to France and to end his days there with some appearance of prosperity. It is worth noting that the France which dealt so gently with some of these guilty men, was, at the same time, relentless towards an innocent man who had tried to build up her empire. After a brave struggle, the Comte de Lally had been defeated in India and carried a prisoner to England. When allowed to return to France in 1761, he was sent to the Bastille, a fellow prisoner of the accused men from Canada. By faults of temper Lally had made enemies, and it was now charged that he had sold Pondicherry to the English. There was no real evidence against him, but he was sentenced to death. This brave and innocent Frenchman, handcuffed and gagged, was taken in a dung-cart to the scaffold and executed with every accompaniment of horror. Cadet, a real criminal, became a seigneur in France, and but for his own bad judgement might have ended his days in luxury.

Among those who were declared guiltless of fraud in Canada we are glad to find Vaudreuil. He was liberated in December, 1763. Choiseul wrote to him in the following May to express the King's pleasure that his conduct had been found without reproach. He received a pension of 6,000 livres; and he also received what he greatly prized, the Grand Cross of St. Louis, which carried with it a further pension of 6,000 livres. Drafts on the French Treasury which he held had not been honoured, and without his pensions he would have been poor. His later years were sad. His brother, a distinguished admiral, died shortly before the verdict of acquittal; so also did Madame de Vaudreuil; and he was left a lonely old man. 'I am well convinced', he wrote to a friend in March, 1764, 'of the instability of human affairs and should be indifferent to life but for the kindness of relations and friends.' He lived on until 1778. Perhaps posterity has been a little unkind to the memory of the fussy, ineffective, but well-meaning Governor who loved Canada with all his heart and spared himself no labour in the interests of the ruined colony.

The lot of Levis was happier. His connexions were very influential, and, like the rest of the French world, he paid court to Madame de Pompadour. His friends made representations at the British Court in order to remove the prohibition to serve in the French army before peace was made. Levis himself protested that he and the other French officers had treated generously their British captives and had done their utmost to prevent Indian outrages in America. In the end Pitt cancelled the disability placed on Levis to serve again during the war. The action was hardly pleasing to Britain's ally, Frederick the Great, who soon found Levis taking an active and distinguished part on the French side in the campaigns in Germany. After the war closed he was named Governor of Artois. He became Marshal of France and Due de Levis, and died at the age of sixty-seven, in 1787, just before the Revolution began. Two years later, in 1789, when the Revolution broke out, his body, buried at Arras, was torn from the grave and his bones were scattered. The Revolution swallowed up many of his family. He had married a wealthy lady after his return from Canada, and his widow and two of his three daughters perished on the scaffold during the Terror. His son, a deputy for the noblesse in the States-General of 1789, fled as an emigre to England and lost his property. He returned to France with Louis XVIII on the fall of Napoleon and had the honour to become a member of the French Academy. His father had died on the eve of the first fall of the Bourbons, and he died in 1830, just before their second fall. His son, the last Due de Levis, born in London in 1794, died without issue in 1869 in the arms of the Comte de Chambord, the Bourbon claimant to the French throne.

The most conspicuous lieutenant of Levis, Bougainville, was extremely fortunate in his career. He was born in 1729, and early showed a varied range of talents. In 1754 he was Secretary of the French Embassy in London. Already, when he went to Canada in 1756, he had published a treatise in two volumes on the Integral Calculus, had been made a Fellow of the Royal Society of England, and, to please his family, had become also an advocate. After his return from Canada in 1760, he secured leave from the British Government to serve in the existing war, and he took an active part in the campaign on the Rhine in 1761. He was offered the post of Governor of Cayenne, but declined it because he had another project in mind. Britain with her navy, stronger now than the combined navies of the rest of Europe, needed only, it was said, to master the South Seas in order to establish that universal monarchy which was supposed to have been also the ambition of Louis XIV. Bougainville planned that France should be ahead of her in the South Seas. When already thirty-four this scholar and soldier began the life of a sailor. As soon as peace was concluded in 1763, he set out, a naval captain, on an adventure as colonizer and discoverer. He founded in the Falkland Islands a French colony which, however, the protests of Spain soon obliged France to withdraw. But in 1766 Bougainville set out again, and this time penetrated into regions more remote and made important discoveries of hitherto unknown regions in the South Seas. By 1769 he had completed a voyage round the world, two years before Captain Cook, who had also served in Canada at the time of the fall of Quebec, returned from his famous voyage. Bougainville commanded the first French squadron to go round the world. His Voyage autour du Monde, published in 1771, showed close observation of nature and won a prodigious success. He had a share in the crushing defeat of the British at Yorktown in 1781. We are impressed with his versatility when we find him commanding a naval squadron at Brest in 1790. He soon retired from scenes of war, however, and under Napoleon became a Senator of France. He died in 1811, shortly before the fall of the Empire.

There are not wanting indications that, next to Montcalm himself, the most efficient of the soldiers who served on the French side during the war was Bourlamaque. He was the intimate personal friend of Montcalm, who unburdened his mind to him with self-revealing frankness. Bourlamaque was less intimate with Levis, and it is quite clear that the quiet, painstaking, hard-working soldier had not too much confidence in the military genius of his superior officer. No one could doubt Bourlamaque's courage and honesty; he had a high sense of dignity, and gossip and slander left him alone. At the time of the capitulation, Bourlamaque, who was very poor and had no other means of livelihood, begged Amherst to except him from the prohibition to serve again during the war. Both he and Levis declared that they had given no countenance to the outrages by the savages. Bourlamaque had, indeed, risked his life more than once to save British prisoners. Amherst proved inexorable, but, a little later, the British Government removed the prohibition from Bourlamaque, as they did from Levis and Bougainville. On returning to France, Bourlamaque, with other officers, was invited to serve in Malta, menaced at that time by the Turk. He did not live long enough to win further distinction. He was sent as Governor to Guadaloupe and died there in 1764.

The fate of the brave sailor, Vauquelain, was tragic. It is said that even when a certain Duchess begged Berryer, the Secretary of the Navy, to do something for the heroic seaman, the minister was obdurate. There were so many people of good birth, he said, who wanted places that he had nothing to spare for any one not noble; it was true that Vauquelain was a hero, but what could one do ? Since Vauquelain had been trained in the merchant service, he should now go back to it. Better counsels, however, soon prevailed. In 1761, Berryer himself retired from the navy, much to the advantage of that service. The Due de Choiseul took his place and infused new life into French naval policy. In 1763 Vauquelain was sent on a mission to India with the rank of an officer in the royal navy. Great was the tumult among the officers of noble birth at this appointment. There is much obscurity about the later events. This, however, is certain, that on Vauquelain's return from India, in 1763, he was assassinated when only thirty-seven years old.

We get glimpses of a few others who played their part in the war. Ramezay was attacked savagely because he had surrendered Quebec. He begged for leave to publish a defence, but this was refused on the ground that it would only cause others to explain themselves and perhaps to contradict him. Only a hundred years later was the defence of Ramezay published, when the old controversies had long been dead. Though the unfortunate officer was miserably poor he was allowed a pension of but 300 livres. By 1771 he had died, apparently while serving in Cayenne, and his widow was then petitioning for help for herself and her children.

Some of the French officers lived to take part in triumphant  over the victor who had humbled them in Canada. Desandroinns, the engineer who had built Fort Levis, was, like Bougainville, at Yorktown in 1781, when a British army under General Cornwallis, many times more numerous than that of Levis at Montreal, was forced to surrender. At Yorktown the French fleet had, for the moment, the command of the sea, and played the same decisive part that the British fleet had played in the St. Lawrence. It is, indeed, well to remember that the victor of 1760 was the vanquished in 1781. France had proved but feeble in Canada against a foe who revealed boundless energy, but France was not exhausted. Before the Seven Years' War ended, a plan for reviving the navy was making great progress under the energetic lead of Choiseul. The agitation resulted in an active campaign for help and in liberal gifts for the fleet. The estates of Languedoc offered a ship; trade guilds, chambers of commerce, great capitalists, took up the question. Even the clergy voted a million. In all 14,000,000 livres were contributed.

Canada, however, France had lost for ever. As soon as Montreal fell the British reached out to grasp what was to prove in the end more important than the territory they had actually occupied. At points of vantage on or near the great lakes of the interior, at Detroit, St. Joseph, and Michilimackinac, the French flag still waved. These places commanded that great west, destined to provide homes for so many millions. Amherst sent Major Rogers at once with two hundred rangers to occupy these forts. In accordance with the terms of the capitulation, Vaudreuil wrote letters to the commandants ordering them to transfer the posts to the British. It was at these places that the corrupt ring in New France had reaped such great profits. But, in spite of these evils, the French had attached to themselves a good many of the Indian tribes. These did not like the change to the British and mutterings soon began. Did the victors, they asked, then claim that, by a paper signed at Montreal, the whole western country, the country owned by the Indians themselves, should suddenly become British? Naturally the French did nothing to check the misgivings of the savages. The result, two or three years later, was an outbreak under the chief Pontiac, which caused a barbarous frontier war.

It was in accordance with the methodical accuracy of Amherst that, as soon as he held Montreal, he should have set to work at once to find out how many people lived in the country which he had conquered. On October 4 he sent a report to Pitt on this subject. There were, he said, 108 parishes, inhabited by 76,172 people, of whom 16,412, or more than one person in five, were enrolled in the militia. It is not possible now to verify these figures. They do not include the Indians in the country or the French in the interior. On the other hand, they probably make no allowance for the wastage of the war. It is, on the whole, doubtful whether there were more than 70,000 persons of European origin dwelling in the vast regions which now fell to Britain. Yet only after six severe campaigns had their country been mastered. At this time, as one hundred and forty years later in South Africa, it was made clear that a people reared in the hardening conditions of pioneer life, accustomed to the use of arms, fighting for their homes on their own ground and scattered over a great area, could hold out for a long time against overwhelming numbers.

Not many of the Canadians went back to France. The people who crowded into the returning ships in the autumn of 1760 represented chiefly the classes whose occupation was gone in Canada—French soldiers and officials of the French Government. It is true that some of the landowners left Canada. In the first pangs of defeat there were, of course, men who despaired of their country and were resolved to abandon it. In all, however, little more than a hundred of the Canadian seigneurs left the country. When they knocked at official doors in Paris they always received smooth words. The French Government showed much sympathy for the sufferers and continued for many years to bestow largess upon needy families. But men accustomed to be masters in Canada were unwilling to fill the role of beggars in France. It might, after all, be easier to gain a livelihood on the banks of the St. Lawrence than on the banks of the Seine, and some of them recrossed the ocean. In any case, whatever a few seigneurs may have done, the farmer, the real producer in Canada, never thought of leaving the country, and remained to keep strong the traditions of the social life of old France.

The British took up the task of governing Canada with their usual energy. As soon as their flag was raised over Montreal, they sent parties to survey the St. Lawrence from Isle Perrot downwards to Quebec. The French, Amherst says, had made little use of the river for water carriage, and, until the previous year, when their ships had been forced to ascend it to escape from the fleet of Saunders, they had not known that large vessels could come up to Three Rivers and Montreal. Amherst sent Colonel Burton to be Governor at Three Rivers ; General Gage was to stay at Montreal; Murray was to remain as Governor at Quebec. Sir William Johnson departed with his Indians, after they had received such trinkets as Johnson thought necessary to satisfy their childish tastes. Amherst ordered the works at Isle aux Noix to be completely destroyed, and everything of value in the fort was taken to that solid fortress which he had built at Crown Point. He himself soon went to New York. Three weeks after Montreal fell he wrote to Pitt that Canada was as quiet and secure as any other portion of the King's dominions.

The dispatch sent to Pitt by Major Barre announcing the surrender of Montreal reached England on October 3. The news was received with joy, but the public had expected it and did not go into the transports that marked the unexpected news of Wolfe's victory a year earlier. Three weeks passed before, on October 24, Pitt wrote to congratulate Amherst on his success. With a great display of capital letters Pitt expressed ' the universal Applause and Admiration ' at the outcome of ' that masterly Plan, which you had, with such unwearied Application and Diligence, formed '. The terms of the ' Capitulation of Montreal are highly becoming the Humanity, Magnanimity, and Wisdom of His Majesty '. By this time, however, Pitt was thinking of other plans. Further efforts must be made against France, and his active mind was already occupied with the problem of a renewed attack on the French islands in the West Indies. France still retained, too, a footing in the North American Continent, for the lower portions of the Mississippi remained in her possession. Pitt pressed Amherst to secure any information that might aid in further attacks on the French. He did not realize that a crushing blow to his own power was about to fall. On October 25, the day after Pitt wrote the letter to Amherst, King George II, a model of regularity, rose as usual at six and drank his chocolate. At a quarter past seven, a servant, hearing a noise in the King's room, rushed in and found that he had fallen and was lying dead on the floor. His death meant the end of Pitt's rule. The new king, George III, meant himself to rule and would have no servant all-powerful, and the end of the sway of the great minister was not far off.

Pitt, however, was still minister and was still all for war. But war soon wearies those who bear its real burden. In the spring of 1761 the new military levies, on which Pitt insisted, caused at Hexham a riot so serious that forty-two persons were killed. One obstacle to peace was that Pitt had taught the nation to expect the complete humiliatiorj of France. 'Some time ago' he said, 'I would have been content to bring France to her knees; now I will not rest till I have laid her on her back.' Yet France, as we know, was far from being completely exhausted. The young king, George III, did not share Pitt's views, and showed at once another temper. In the draft of the King's speech to be read at the opening of Parliament in November, 1760, the war was spoken of as ' bloody and expensive Owing to Pitt's protest, the war was called instead 'expensive, but just and necessary'. To attack the war remained, however, the policy of the King and his friends. Pitt was received coldly at court, and it was clear that he was no longer the real master.

Not a jot, however, did Pitt abate in his ambitions or resolve. France must be trampled in the dust. She set great store by the Newfoundland fishery, largely because it was a nursery for her seamen, but Pitt declared that she must give up any share in it. During negotiations for peace in the summer of 1761, Pitt, who had recently recovered the use of his right hand, said that he should regret this recovery if he should use the hand to sign any document that left France a shadow of right not merely in Canada and Cape Breton but even in Newfoundland. France was equally determined. Choiseul declared that he would be stoned in the streets of Paris if he gave up the fishery, and he simply refused to listen when the question was broached. France now secured a new ally, for in August, 1761, she signed a treaty with Spain by which each country guaranteed the possessions of the other. The treaty was secret, but Pitt got wind of it and urged the British Cabinet to declare war on Spain and use British sea power to occupy Cuba and the Philippines before Spain was ready.

Most of Pitt's own colleagues were alarmed at his aggressive policy. These ambitions for world-wide empire, said Hardwicke, the Lord Chancellor, would alarm her nations and cause them to unite against the ambitions of Britain as they had united against those of Louis XIV. On one occasion, at least, a meeting of the King's Council to debate the problem of peace lasted for six hours. Pitt banged the table with his fist, declared that he would not be responsible for what he did not control, and threatened to resign if his will was not done. We may doubt whether the peers who then governed England had ever before been addressed in this style. Nearly all of them, including Pitt's own nominal leader, the Duke of Newcastle, were opposed to an extreme policy. Newcastle had raised the money for the war, while Pitt had spent it with a lavish hand. In the spring of 1760, when Pitt had been aiming his final blow at Canada, Newcastle had declared that Britain could not stand the strain for another year. At this Pitt had flown into a violent passion. ' In short, there was no talking to him,' wrote Newcastle at the time. Now, however, some of Pitt's colleagues talked to him. Hardwicke believed that Pitt was trying to make his own resignation inevitable. He had led the nation to expect so much that now he could not be a party to a peace that was reasonable without losing his popularity. When his colleagues voted against him in regard to the proposed attack on Spain, he carried out his threat and resigned on October 5, 1761. Only one minister, Earl Temple, his brother-in-law, retired with him.

Thus ended the sway of the minister to whom, more than to any one else, it is due that Canada and India are to-day British. Even a hostile king did what honour he could to the great minister. He was offered the post of Governor of Canada, with a salary of £5,000 a year. We must not suppose that any one thought Pitt would go to Canada to govern on the spot. It was intended that he should remain in England and be Governor only in name. The offer to create such a post shows, however, that Britain was resolved to rule Canada. Pitt refused this honorary post, refused indeed, to take any office or any title. But he accepted a pension of £3,000 a year, and, though he would not himself become Lord Chatham, he allowed his wife to be made Baroness Chatham. The acceptance of these favours tied his hands. It was a very mild Pitt who criticized the policy of the new ministers.

Even with Pitt out of office, the war did not end at once. The new leader was the Earl of Bute, and events were too strong for him and the young king. They found themselves obliged to make war on Spain, the new ally of France. Even with this added enemy to meet, the matchless weapon for war which Pitt had forged did its work. Men whom he had inspired remained in the Cabinet. The British fleet continued to be superior to all the other fleets of Europe combined. In 1762 Britain took both Cuba and the Philippines from Spain. She took Martinique from France, and shattered the last remnant of French power in the West Indies. But the new ministers almost regretted these successes, since they served to show that Pitt had been right. This is not the place to pursue the story. George III and Bute wanted peace, peace at almost any price, though Britain was the victor. Bute tried to negotiate peace with Austria behind the back of his own ally, Frederick the Great. He cut off from Frederick the subsidy which had supported 60,000 Prussian troops. He abandoned the war in Germany with no regard to the safety of Hanover, the apple of the eye of George II. In November, 1762, the King's speech referred to the ' bloody and expensive war ', the words rejected two years earlier through Pitt's urgency. George III bought a majority in the House of Commons who would vote for peace ; in a single morning £25,000 was paid in bank-notes to members of the House of Commons to secure their support. The measure of the King's grasp of the far-reaching problem of peace, as it affected Canada, is perhaps to be found in his remark that in North America France would make the Mississippi the boundary and would demolish all the forts on the Ganges.

It is not impossible that, in view of the resolve of George III to have peace at almost any price, France might have retained Canada. The British had conquered Guadaloupe, one of the French West India islands, before they had conquered Canada, and voices were now raised to urge that, if some of the conquests must be given up, it were better to yield Canada than Guadaloupe. With a much larger population than Canada, Guadaloupe was a better market for British goods. 'Pray what can Canada yield to Britain . . . but a little extension of the fur trade? Whereas Guadaloupe can furnish as much sugar, cotton, rum, and coffee as all the islands we have, put together.' Britain was warned that to take Canada and drive France from North America was to make inevitable the loss of the English colonies. As soon as these had no need of the support of the motherland against a foreign neighbour they would demand independence. When, in the summer of 1762, France sent a naval force to Newfoundland and captured St. Johns, the French ministers talked as if that island now belonged to France and as if the reconquest of Canada was not impossible. The navy of France was certainly reviving under the strong lead of Choiseul. She could not, however, hold St. Johns when the British realized what had happened. Nor was it clear that she even wished to recover Canada. The frauds of Bigot and Cadet were much in the public mind in 1762, and Canada seemed like a bottomless pit in which France had already lost vast sums to no profit. When Berryer had heard of the loss of Canada he had shown satisfaction because there would be a charge the less. Voltaire, the masB-spirit in the French lierary wot(1 of the timd declared against retaining Canada, which would only be an eternal cause of war and of humiliation. When the public was clamouring for peace he said,' I am like the public; I care more for peace than I care for Canada, and I think France can be happy without Quebec.' 'The effect of colonies' said Montesquieu, 'is to enfeeble the country from which they are drawn without peopling those where they are sent.' France was, in truth, sick of colonial adventure, and, with hardly a pang, was ready to give up Canada.

The Treaty of Paris was signed on February 10, 1763. To the ministers responsible for British policy for the moment it hardly mattered that the Duke of Bedford, who negotiated the Treaty at Paris, went much beyond his instructions in admitting the French to a share in the fisheries of North America. France thus obtained what Pitt had declared she should not have ; she continued to hold the rights in Newfoundland which had remained to her under the Treaty of Utrecht. These rights were interpreted to mean the exclusive use of the west shore and became at a later time the source of angry disputes. France secured also two islands near Newfoundland, St. Pierre and Miquelon, but undertook not to fortify them. Canada ' with all its dependencies Cape Breton and all else in the vast region about the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes, passed to Britain. The Mississippi River was to be the western boundary, and Britain was to have everything east of that river except the land about the town of New Orleans. The peace was such that neither country had much reason to be pleased with its rulers. In France it was not the King, but the King's foe, Frederick the Great, who was praised by the indignant populace. When, to commemorate the peace, an equestrian statue of Louis XV was put up with four allegorical figures of virtues at its base, a wit wrote:

Grotesque monument, infame piedestal:
Les vertus sont a pied, le vice est a cheval.

In England, too, the public was not pleased. The storm of anger raised by the Treaty forced Bute to retire. But George III remained, to wreck an empire in the years to come.

Of the leaders on the British side during the struggle, Amherst, as was perhaps fitting, had the most prosperous career. He received the thanks of Parliament and became Governor-General of British North America, a term which then included the colonies destined soon to become the United States. Amherst, whose chief merit was his quality of slow thoroughness, found himself face to face in 1763 with a situation requiring skill which he did not possess. Then the western Indians, who, under the chief Pontiac, had formed a league in protest against the British claim to own their country, attacked settlers and soldiers and committed many brutal outrages. Amherst had always despised the Indians, and he now raged against what he called their despicable and inhuman villany. In his savage anger at their methods he himself made the barbarous proposal to destroy them by distributing among them blankets tainted with small-pox. The victor who denounced at Montreal the methods of the French had assuredly stepped down from his pedestal. Amherst returned to England in 1763, leaving Gage to direct the war against Pontiac. Amherst was made Governor of Virginia, but of course had no thought of going to Virginia to govern. When the Jesuit order was abolished, George III granted to Amherst their great estates in Canada, but the Chancellor refused to sign the patent, on the ground that, since Canada had been bought with the blood and treasure of the people, the Jesuit estates were their property and not that of the sovereign to give away. Amherst long treasured a grievance over his failure to get these lands. He became Earl Amherst and Commander-in-Chief of the British army. The seat of his family in Kent is still known as Montreal.

Murray's connexion with Canada was more vital than that of Amherst. He remained as Governor at Quebec for five or six years and played a considerable part in the early period of British rule. Though he wrote to Pitt after the fall of Canada to say that he was a poor soldier of fortune without a friend at Court, he yet managed, in some way, to acquire at least six great seigniories in Canada, and he appears to have become in time a man of substance. The siege of Quebec was not the only one which he had to endure from a French army. In 1781, when he was Governor of Minorca, the French laid siege to the island. His force of two thousand men was, in time, terribly reduced by scurvy and other diseases, and, when almost none of them remained fit for duty, he was obliged to surrender. Levis, who was still living, must have noted with a certain satisfaction this humiliation of the enemy who had baffled his own attacks.

Gage, who succeeded Amherst in the command in North America, played a part in the early stages of the revolt of the British colonies. He had returned to England, but he was sent out to Boston in 1774 as Governor-in-Chief. His first task was to put military pressure on the colonists who had recently shown their anger at the tax on tea by throwing cargoes of tea into Boston harbour. When Gage found the colonists arming, in fear, as they said, with astute humour, of war with France, and sent to seize their arsenal at Concord in Massachusetts, they attacked his force at Lexington and thus brought on the first battle of the revolutionary war. The battle of Bunker Hill which quickly followed was the result of orders from Gage. He soon returned to England, and took no further conspicuous part in affairs.

More important than any success or failure of individuals was the destiny of the conquered colony. New France had fallen and it had deserved to fall. The cause of failure was not that the French had no genius for colonization. On the contrary they fitted in admirably with conditions in the New World. They took naturally to the life of the forest and were good hunters and good woodsmen. They were not good farmers, in the sense of knowing much about soils and about the rotation of crops, but they knew how to wrest a livelihood from mother earth in the hard conditions of pioneer life. It is still true that the tenacity of the French-Canadian to hold what he has and to press on into new fields is a cause of jealous alarm to his rivals of British origin in Canada. Not because of his lack of vigour, but because of the tyranny and corruption of those who ruled did the life of the colony languish. The author of the pungent Memoires sar le Canada declares that posterity would not believe the tale of what he himself saw. Those who governed showed slight regard for law. Patronage did everything; merit was persecuted; so-called justice was sold. The people were under a stern military rule and had no shadow of political rights. The old regime in the mother-land of France was, we may be well assured, not wholly evil, and it certainly meant well by the colonies. The officials in old France took endless pains with the tangled affairs of New France. They were paternal in their counsel and admonitions. All was dependent, however, not on them, but on the man on the spot ; and the man on the spot, named by favour and not by merit, ruined the colony. When a clever rascal was sent across the sea, it was not easy to know that he was doing evil. Democracy has its faults; it is often extravagant, inefficient and corrupt; but those who appeal to it must, at least, create some kind of public opinion, and they must profess virtue, however much they may disdain to practise it. Democracy, too, is many-eyed to see and many-mouthed to denounce what it dislikes. It is incredible that if the people of New France had controlled their own affairs they would have borne ills which involved their ruin and sapped all devotion to the mother-land.

The Canadians had remained densely ignorant. The coureurs de bois who ranged the forests, the hardy men of the axe who cleared the ground that they might sow and reap, had learned much of the cunning of nature, but they knew nothing of books. Probably not one in twenty of those who served in the one hundred and seventy companies of militia could read or write. Owing to the work of the convents the women, then as now, in French Canada were better educated than the men. There was not a newspaper in the land, and outside of the two or three large towns there were practically no books except books of devotion. Oddly enough the Canadians were freer in respect to the conduct of the business of the Church than of the State. The people of the parishes had a real voice in electing those who administered the temporalities of the Church, while in civil affairs they had as yet no shadow of political liberty.

For a time it was expected that the Canadians would become not merely British in political allegiance but also in outlook and spirit. The Bishop of Quebec, Monsignor Pontbriand, had died during the summer of 1760, those last dark days of New France. For a time the British would not permit the appointment of a Roman Catholic bishop. There was to be a Protestant Bishop of Quebec, and sanguine people were sure that in time the Canadians would accept the Protestant faith. It was a naive hope which had never even the beginnings of realization. The Canadians had many reasons for wavering in their devotion to France, for they had been cruelly harassed by the secular power. The Church, however, had been their steadfast friend. The priests in the parishes were devoted men, mindful of the sacred duties committed to them. They had, it is true, no thought of religious liberty. It is almost amusing to read of the excited alarm shown by the cures at the idea that a Protestant might appear among their flocks; that would be a contagion worse than any plague of physical disease. No Protestants, however, appeared. New France had remained Catholic to a man. Her people had not the education or the taste for religious speculation, and the Church was to them the universal mother. The fall of French power only deepened their devotion. In the days of adversity the priests had words of consolation for an afflicted people. With the old secular authority gone and the new one not yet known or trusted, the Church was the one institution which remained deeply rooted in their traditions. Her rulers wisely accepted the new regime. Prayers in the language of France for 'our most gracious sovereign Lord King George' were offered in the churches from the first days of the conquest, as they are offered still. The British soon found that the Church was their best friend in securing the allegiance of the people. Murray had not long been Governor at Quebec before he was urging the British Government to rebuild the ruined cathedral at Quebec and to encourage the religious communities. In the end the Church regained her old privileges, and to this day she collects the tithe from her members with all the sanction of law as she did when Canada was under the Bourbons.

On the civil side, too, there was reason for the Canadians to be content with British rule. No longer was commerce in the control of corrupt monopoly. Traders from the British colonies arrived at Montreal with the army of Amherst. As soon as the place surrendered, Amherst sent notices broadcast inviting the colonial merchants to occupy the new field opened to their enterprises. They were quickly flocking to the chief centres, and the Canadian farmer benefited by the wider competition. It is true that he needed little from commerce, for he built his own house, made his own wagon and most of the other things which he used, while his wife clothed the family in garments home-woven and home-made, with no call on the outside world. Still he bought something. The British goods were cheaper and better than the French had been, and the frugal Canadian housewife soon had the potent argument for British rule that under it a scanty store of money would go much further than it had gone in the days of the old regime. There was, moreover, no longer a Cadet to descend upon a parish and plunder and despoil in the name of the King. The British paid for what they needed in good yellow gold coin and not in the worthless paper money with which Cadet had paid when he paid at all. Moreover, the shadow of war was now removed. After the surrender of Montreal, the military levies ceased, and the farmer could remain at home, to till his fields and harvest his crops. The former rulers had often shown little regard for legal rights. Now persons with a strong sense of law were in control. There were doubts for a time whether Canada was under French or under British law, but the victors at least recognized that it was under law. The capitulation, too, gave rights which the vanquished claimed and the victors acknowledged. Canada, it is true, remained under military rule for some years, but it had always been under something like a military regime. The British military courts judged in accordance with the laws and customs of the country and took counsel from those who were versed in the practices of New France.

The shadow of Bigot's finance hung long over Canada. Traders, farmers, even officers in the army held the ordinances, the equivalent of present-day bank-notes, which he had issued in his own name, promising to pay sums ranging from a few to a great many livres. The Court of France refused to pay not merely this fugitive money but even the drafts which he had drawn on France during the latter part of his administration. Murray estimated in 1762 that 80,000,000 livres were still owing. We can imagine the anxiety of the man who had in his strong-box, let us say, 50,000 livres of this money, and remained in doubt whether it might not be worthless. Everything depended on what the French Government would do. While the war Hagjfll on it delayed and did nothing. Holders of the paper money journeyed to France from Canada in order to present their case. They were sent from one official to another, but could get nothing done. Meanwhile the money sold sometimes for one per cent, of its face value. When peace was concluded in 1763 the question had not been settled. In 1766 a Convention was concluded between the British and the French Governments to the effect that British holders of the paper money should receive up to, but not after, October 1, 1766, 50 per cent, of the face value of their bills of exchange and 25 per cent, of the face value of their ordinances. This, however, did not apply to the French holders. We find the Marquise de Montcalm begging for payment of money due to the General, and for years we get glimpses of needy officers urging their claims. France's promises to pay were thus not fully honoured and many Canadians suffered.

The Canadians had been told that the British would inflict upon them every outrage and would deport them from their homes as they had deported the Acadians. The vanquished people found instead a security and a justice to which they had long been unaccustomed. The kindliness of the new rulers astonished the Canadians. During the war the British had already shown, indeed, a most creditable magnanimity. In the autumn of 1759 the bankrupt French Government withdrew its accustomed allowances to the French prisoners in England, who numbered about twenty thousand. A public subscription was taken up for them, and within a few weeks the British public had contributed funds sufficient to reclothe this considerable army. 'It was', says Smollett, 'one of the noblest triumphs of the human mind.' During the winter after the surrender of Montreal, when a good many Canadians were in a half-starving condition, the British soldiers gave cheerfully from their scanty means a day's pay in each month to relieve the distress of their former enemies. The reconciliation was in consequence rapid. It was not long before many of the Canadian militia officers who had fought against the British were proud to wear the British uniform. In 1762, as we have seen, a French squadron appeared in Newfoundland, captured St. Johns, took nearly five hundred British vessels of all kinds, and inflicted damage on British shipping to the extent of a million sterling. An advance to Canadian waters seemed possible. General Haldimand says, however, that, had such a squadron appeared in the St. Lawrence to reassert the claims of France, it would have caused consternation among the French inhabitants of Canada. They did not wish to be disturbed in their new allegiance. 'Never in the history of nations', says a recent observer, 'did a province change its nationality with less of a shock. For this there are various reasons; the isolation of New France; the development of an [independent] colonial spirit; but above all the wisdom and tact of the conquerors.' The war in South Africa, one hundred and forty years later, was followed by a reconciliation equally rapid. Britain, to be busy, soon after 1760, in taxing unwilling colonists and forcing them on to revolt, was Britain at her worst. She was at her best in the large tolerance shown in the moment of victory in Canada. Her conduct at such a crisis goes far to explain the secret of her dominion.


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