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** Some imputations against him, not of much weight, are,
The supreme council had held its usual weekly meetings since Frontenac's arrival; but as yet he had not taken his place at the board, though his presence was needed. Auteuil, the attorney-general, was thereupon deputed to invite him. He visited the count at his apartment in the chateau, but could get from him no answer, except that the council was able to manage its own business, and that he would come when the king's service should require it. The councillors divined that he was waiting for some assurance that they would receive him with befitting ceremony; and, after debating the question, they voted to send four of their number to repeat the invitation, and beg the governor to say what form of reception would be agreeable to him. Frontenac answered that it was for them to propose the form, and that, when they did so, he would take the subject into consideration. The deputies returned, and there was another debate. A ceremony was devised, which it was thought must needs be acceptable to the count; and the 249 first councillor, Villeray, repaired to the chateau to submit it to him. After making him an harangue of compliment, and protesting the anxiety of himself and his colleagues to receive him with all possible honor, he explained the plan, and assured Frontenac that, if not wholly satisfactory, it should be changed to suit his pleasure. "To which," says the record, "Monsieur the governor only answered that the council could consult the bishop and other persons acquainted with such matters." The bishop was consulted, but pleaded ignorance. Another debate followed; and the first councillor was again despatched to the chateau, with proposals still more deferential than the last, and full power to yield, in addition, whatever the governor might desire. Frontenac replied that, though they had made proposals for his reception when he should present himself at the council for the first time, they had not informed him what ceremony they meant to observe when he should come to the subsequent sessions. This point also having been thoroughly debated, Villeray went again to the count, and with great deference laid before him the following plan: That, whenever it should be his pleasure to make his first visit to the council, four of its number should repair to the chateau, and accompany him, with every mark of honor, to the palace of the intendant, where the sessions were held; and that, on his subsequent visits, two councillors should meet him at the head of the stairs, and conduct him to his seat. The envoy farther protested that, if this failed to meet his approval, the council would conform itself to 250 all his wishes on the subject. Frontenac now demanded to see the register in which the proceedings on the question at issue were recorded. Villeray was directed to carry it to him. The records had been cautiously made; and, after studying them carefully, he could find nothing at which to cavil.Brouillan died in the autumn of 1705, on which M. de Goutin, a magistrate who acted as intendant, and was therefore at once the colleague of the late governor and a spy upon him, writes to the minister that "the divine justice has at last taken pity on the good people of this country," but that as it is base to accuse a dead man, he will not say that the public could not help showing their joy at the late governor's departure; and he adds that the deceased was charged with a scandalous connection with the Widow de Freneuse. Nor will he reply, he says, to the governor's complaint to the court about a pretended cabal, of which he, De Goutin, was the head, and which was in reality only three or four honest men, incapable of any kind of deviation, who used to meet in[Pg 115] a friendly way, and had given offence by not bowing down before the beast.
Towards the Montmorenci the borders of the St. Lawrence are, as we have seen, extremely high and steep. At a mile from the gorge of the cataract there is, at high tide, a strand, about the eighth of a mile wide, between the foot of these heights and the river; and beyond this strand the receding tide lays bare a tract of mud nearly half a mile wide. At the edge of the dry ground the French had built a redoubt mounted with cannon, 229 Frontenac au Ministre, 2 Nov., 1672.
V1 and meant to attack the first English they should meet. A report came soon after that they were already at the ford of the Youghiogany, eighteen miles distant. Washington at once repaired to the Great Meadows, a level tract of grass and bushes, bordered by wooded hills, and traversed in one part by a gully, which with a little labor the men turned into an entrenchment, at the same time cutting away the bushes and clearing what the young commander called "a charming field for an encounter." Parties were sent out to scour the woods, but they found no enemy. Two days passed; when, on the morning of the twenty-seventh, Christopher Gist, who had lately made a settlement on the farther side of Laurel Hill, twelve or thirteen miles distant, came to the camp with news that fifty Frenchmen had been at his house towards noon of the day before, and would have destroyed everything but for the intervention of two Indians whom he had left in charge during his absence. Washington sent seventy-five men to look for the party; but the search was vain, the French having hidden themselves so well as to escape any eye but that of an Indian. In the evening a runner came from the Half-King, who was encamped with a few warriors some miles distant. He had sent to tell Washington that he had found the tracks of two men, and traced them towards a dark glen in the forest, where in his belief all the French were lurking.390 There were no British soldiers on the island. The settlers were rude fishermen without commanders, and, according to the French accounts, without religion or morals. In fact, they are described as "worse than Indians." Iberville now had with him a hundred and twenty-five soldiers and Canadians, besides a few Abenakis from Acadia. 1 It was mid-winter when he began his march. For two months he led his hardy band through frost and snow, from hamlet to hamlet, along those forlorn and desolate coasts, attacking each in turn and carrying havoc everywhere. Nothing could exceed the hardships of the way, or the vigor with which they were met and conquered. The chaplain Baudoin gives an example of them in his diary. "January 18th. The roads are so bad that we can find only twelve men strong enough to beat the path. Our snow-shoes break on the crust, and against the rocks and fallen trees hidden under the snow, which catch and trip us; but, for all that, we cannot help laughing to see now one, and now another, fall headlong. The Sieur de Martigny fell into a river, and left his gun and his sword there to save his life."
V2 gathered. There was a council of officers, and they resolved to attempt nothing more that season; but, a few days later, three prisoners were brought in who reported the defenceless condition of the French, on which Forbes gave orders to advance again. The wagons and all the artillery, except a few light pieces, were left behind; and on the eighteenth of November twenty-five hundred picked men marched for Fort Duquesne, without tents or baggage, and burdened only with knapsacks and blankets. Washington and Colonel Armstrong, of the Pennsylvanians, had opened a way for them by cutting a road to within a day's march of the French fort. On the evening of the twenty-fourth, the detachment encamped among the hills of Turkey Creek; and the men on guard heard at midnight a dull and heavy sound booming over the western woods. Was it a magazine exploded by accident, or were the French blowing up their works? In the morning the march was resumed, a strong advance-guard leading the way. Forbes came next, carried in his litter; and the troops followed in three parallel columns, the Highlanders in the centre under Montgomery, their colonel, and the Royal Americans and provincials on the right and left, under Bouquet and Washington.  Thus, guided by the tap of the drum at the head of each column, they moved slowly through the forest, over damp, fallen leaves, crisp with frost, beneath an endless entanglement of bare gray twigs that sighed and 159
family residence is the seigniorial mansion of Riviere Vaudreuil au Ministre, 15 Sept. 1757.