- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
- size: 39MB
Approaching the shore where the city of Montreal now stands, one would have seen a row of small compact dwellings, extending along a narrow street, parallel to the river, and then, as now, called St. Paul Street. On a hill at the right stood the windmill of the seigniors, built of stone, and pierced with loopholes to serve, in time of need, as a place of defence. On the left, in an angle formed by the junction of a rivulet with the St. Lawrence, was a square bastioned fort of stone. Here lived the military governor, appointed by the Seminary, and commanding a few soldiers of the regiment of Carignan. In front, on the line of the street, were the enclosure and buildings of the Seminary, and, [Pg 13] nearly adjoining them, those of the H?tel-Dieu, or Hospital, both provided for defence in case of an Indian attack. In the hospital enclosure was a small church, opening on the street, and, in the absence of any other, serving for the whole settlement.The crossing of the Beresina, in the circumstances, was a desperate design, but there was no alternative but surrender. Tchitchagoff was posted with his army on the opposite or left bank; Wittgenstein and Platoff were pressing down to join them; and Kutusoff, with the grand army of Russia, was in the rear, able, if he could have been induced to do it, to drive Buonaparte and his twelve thousand men into the Beresina, and destroy them. After reconnoitring the river Napoleon determined to deceive Tchitchagoff by a feint at passing at Borissov, but really to make the attempt at Studienka, above Borissov. He therefore kept up a show of preparations to cross at Borissov, but got ready two bridges at Studienka, one for the artillery and baggage, the other for the troops and miscellaneous multitude. At this juncture he was joined by Victor and Oudinot with their fifty thousand men well provided with everything. Thus he was now possessed of sixty-two thousand men besides stragglers; and his design of deceiving Tchitchagoff succeeding so completely that the latter withdrew his whole force from opposite to Studienka and concentrated it at Borissov, he began on the 26th of November to cross the river, and had a strong force already over before Tchitchagoff discovered his error and came back to attack him. So far all went so well that Buonaparte again boasted of his star.
All Canada soon became infatuated with noblesse; and country and town, merchant and seignior, vied with each other for the quality of gentilhomme. If they could not get it, they often pretended to have it, and aped its ways with the zeal of Monsieur Jourdain himself. Everybody here, writes the intendant Meules, calls himself Esquire, and ends with thinking himself a gentleman. Successive intendants repeat this complaint. The case was worst with roturiers who had acquired seigniories. Thus Noel Langlois was a good carpenter till he became owner of a seigniory, on which he grew lazy and affected to play the gentleman. The real gentilshommes, as well as the spurious, had their full share of official stricture. The governor Denonville speaks of them thus: Several of them have come out this year with their wives, who are very much cast down; but they play the fine lady, nevertheless. I had much rather see good peasants; it would be a pleasure to me to give aid to such, knowing, as I should, that within two years their families would have the means of living at ease; for it is certain that a peasant who can and will work is well off in this country, while our nobles with nothing to do can never be any thing but beggars. Still they ought not to be"His joy," says Joutel, "was short." Beaujeu's lieutenant, Aire, came on board to charge him with having caused the separation, and La Salle retorted by throwing the blame on Beaujeu. Then came a debate as to their position. The priest Esmanville was present, and reports that La Salle seemed greatly perplexed. He had more cause for perplexity than [Pg 376] he knew; for in his ignorance of the longitude of the Mississippi, he had sailed more than four hundred miles beyond it.
 La Barre says that Duchesneau was far more to blame than Frontenac. La Barre au Ministre, 1683. This testimony has weight, since Frontenac's friends were La Barre's enemies.Here he heard his faithful servants, Duroc and Daru, whispering, as they thought he slept, of their critical situation, and caught the words "prisoner of State." On this, he started up, and demanded whether the reports of his Ministers were yet burnt, and being answered in the negative, he had both them and all documents which could give information of his affairs to the enemy put into the fire. Segur says that amongst these were materials for writing his life, for, like C?sar, he had determined to be his own historian. In tracing the map for a passage over the Beresina, his eye caught the word Pultowa, and he said, "Ah! Charles XII.Pultowa!"
Exhortation and warning were vain alike. The first ships which returned that year from Canada brought a series of despatches from the intendant, renewing all his charges more bitterly than before. The minister, out of patience, replied by berating him without mercy. "You may rest assured," he concludes, "that, did it not appear by your later despatches that the letters you have received have begun to make you understand that you have forgotten yourself, it would not have been possible to prevent the king from recalling you."