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      Iberville had triumphed over the storms, the icebergs, and the English. The north had seen his prowess, and another fame awaited him in the regions of the sun; for he became the father of 394 Louisiana, and his brother Bienville founded New Orleans. [3]

      [28] La Jonquire au Ministre, 27 Fv. 1750. Ibid., 29 Oct. 1751. Ordres du Roy et Dpches des Ministres, 1751. Notice biographique de la Jonquire. La Jonquire, governor of Canada, at last broke up their contraband trade, and ordered Tournois to Quebec. ** Le Ministre a lEvque, 8 Mai, 1694.

      [34] Appendix A.

      [713] Others, as well as the pilot, were astonished. "The enemy passed sixty ships of war where we hardly dared risk a vessel of a hundred tons." "Notwithstanding all our precautions, the English, without any accident, by night, as well as by day, passed through it [the Traverse] their ships of seventy and eighty guns, and even many of them together." Vaudreuil au Ministre, 22 Oct. 1759.Drunkenness was at this time the most destructive vice in the colony. One writer declares that most of the Canadians drink so much brandy in the morning, that they are unfit for work all day. ** Another says that a canoe-man when he is tired will lift a keg of brandy to his lips and drink the raw liquor from the bung-hole, after which, having spoiled his appetite, he goes to bed supperless; and that, what with drink and hardship, he is an old man at forty. Nevertheless the race did not deteriorate. The prevalence of early marriages, and the birth of numerous offspring before the vigor of the father had been wasted, ensured the strength and hardihood which characterized the Canadians. As Denonville describes them so they long remained. The Canadians are tall, well-made, and well set on their legs (bienplants sur leurs jambes), robust, vigorous, and accustomed in time of need to live on little. They have intelligence and vivacity, but are wayward, light-minded, and inclined to debauchery.

      The sun of Louis XIV. had reached its zenith. From a morning of unexampled brilliancy it had mounted to the glare of a cloudless noon; but the hour of its decline was near. The mortal enemy of France was on the throne of England, turning against her from that new point of vantage all the energies of his unconquerable genius. An invalid built the Bourbon monarchy, and another invalid battered and defaced the imposing structure: two potent and daring spirits in two frail bodies, Richelieu and William of Orange.

      V1 work, and one of the chief links of the chain that connected Quebec with New Orleans. Its four stone bastions were impregnable to musketry; and, here in the depths of the wilderness, there was no fear that cannon would be brought against it. It was the centre and citadel of a curious little forest settlement, the only vestige of civilization through all this region. At Kaskaskia, extended along the borders of the stream, were seventy or eighty French houses; thirty or forty at Cahokia, opposite the site of St. Louis; and a few more at the intervening hamlets of St. Philippe and Prairie la Roche,a picturesque but thriftless population, mixed with Indians, totally ignorant, busied partly with the fur-trade, and partly with the raising of corn for the market of New Orleans. They communicated with it by means of a sort of row galley, of eighteen or twenty oars, which made the voyage twice a year, and usually spent ten weeks on the return up the river.[3]

      Vaudreuil, delighted, wrote to Bourlamaque an account of the affair. "I have no more anxiety about Quebec. M. Wolfe, I can assure you, will make no progress. Luckily for him, his prudence saved him from the consequences of his mad enterprise, and he contented himself with losing about five hundred of his best soldiers. Deserters say that he will try us again in a few days. That is what we want; he'll find somebody to talk to (il trouvera qui parler)."


      [114] A Boston Gentleman to his Friend, 13 June, 1707 (Mass. Archives).A story has gained currency respecting the last interview of Wolfe with Pitt, in which he is said to have flourished his sword and boasted of what he would achieve. This anecdote was told by Lord Temple, who was present at the interview, to Mr. Grenville, who, many years after, told it to Earl Stanhope, by whom it was made public. That the incident underwent essential changes in the course of these transmissions,which extended over more than half a century, for Earl Stanhope was not born till 1805,can never be doubted by one who considers the known character of Wolfe, who may have uttered some vehement expression, but who can never be suspected of gasconade.


      The yearly shipment of girls continued; but there was difficulty in finding husbands for them. The reason was not far to seek. Duclos, the intendant, reports the arrival of an invoice of twelve of them, "so ugly that the inhabitants are in no hurry to take them."[307] The Canadians, who formed the most vigorous and valuable part of the population, much preferred Indian squaws. "It seems to me," pursues the intendant, "that in the choice of girls, good looks should be more considered than virtue." This latter requisite seems, at the time, to have found no more attention than the other, since the candidates for matrimony were drawn from the Parisian hospitals and houses of correction, from the former of which Crozat was authorized to take one hundred girls a year, "in order to increase the population." These hospitals were compulsory asylums for the poor and vagrant of both sexes, of whom the great H?pital Gnral of Paris contained at one time more than six thousand.[308]There they sat side by side on the big sofa in the seductive half light of the great roombut something was the matter. They made no progress. Perhaps having desired this moment so much, the realization of it frightened them. With too much feeling they were dumb; and they did not know each other well enough to be comfortably silent together. So each made various attempts to start something which only resulted in utter banality. They found themselves talking as primly as a couple in an old-fashioned romance. The sources of laughter were frozen up. And the more self-conscious they became, the stiffer grew their tongues.


      An ineffably lovely panorama was spread before them, which the light haze customary to that soft land, endowed with a curiously moving quality. For awhile in silence their eyes ranged back and forth from Absolom's Island on the one side out over the intenser blue of the Bay. At their feet rode a battered old schooner with a deckload of cord wood. Down at the left the octagonal lighthouse on its spindly legs was just within range of their vision.Don shook his head with a smile. "Not Dongan's line at all. He had no luck with the sex."