« PředchozíPokračovat »
only be carried by storming the en- | the accomplishment of this plan. Such trenchments which the French had active demonstrations were now made thrown up in front of it. This bold against Montcalm's original position, measure Wolfe resolved to adopt, and that he believed it still the main object; on the 31st of July he effected a landing. and though he observed detachments The boats, however, had met with an moving up the river, merely sent De accidental delay; the grenadiers, it is Bougainville with fifteen hundred men said, rushed forward with too blind and to Cape Rouge, a position too distant, impetuous a valor; Montcalm, strongly being nine miles above Quebec. posted between Quebec and Montmor- On the night of the 12th of Septemenci, poured in upon them a destructive ber, in deep silence, the troops were fire; the Indian rifle told with fatal ef- embarked and conveyed in two difect; and the assailants were finally re- visions to the place now named Wolfe's pulsed with the loss of five hundred men. | Cove. The precipice here was so steep,
Wolfe felt this disappointment so that even the general for a moment deeply that his delicate frame was doubted the possibility of scaling it; thrown into a violent fever; and in a but Fraser's Highlanders, grasping the despatch to Mr. Pitt he afterwards ex- bushes which grew on its face, soon pressed the apprehension under which reached the summit, and in a short time he labored. The fleet, his strongest he had his whole army drawn up in arm, could not act against the wall of regular order on the plains above. rock on which Quebec is seated; and Montcalm, struck by this unexpected with his weakened force he had to intelligence, at once concluded that, storm fortified positions, defended by unless the English could be driven from troops almost as numerous as his own. this position, Quebec was lost; and, So soon, however, as his health permit- hoping probably, that only a detachted, he called a council of war, desired ment had yet reached it, pushed forthe general officers to consult together; ward at once to the attack. About and, it is said, proposed to them a fifteen hundred light infantry and Insecond attack on the French lines, dians arrived first, and began a desulavoiding the errors which had led to tory fire from among the bushes; but the failure of the first. They were
the British reserved their shot for the decidedly of opinion that this was in- main body, which was seen advancing expedient; but on the suggestion, as behind. They came forward in good is now believed, of Brigadier-general order, and commenced a brisk attack ; Townshend, the second in command, yet no general fire was opened in rethey proposed to attempt a point on the turn till they were within forty yards, other side of Quebec, where the enemy when it could be followed up by the were yet unprepared, and whence they bayonet. The first volley was decisive; might gain the Heights of Abraham, Wolfe and Montcalm both fell almost which overlooked the city. Wolfe as- at the same moment; the French insented, and applied all his powers to stantly gave way in every quarter ; and
WOLFE AND MONTCALM FALL IN BATTLE.
repeated charges, in which the Highland The battle had scarcely closed when broadsword was powerfully wielded, | De Bougainville appeared in the rear, soon completed the victory. As soon but on seeing the fortune of the day, as Wolfe received his mortal wound, immediately retreated. On the 17th, a he said, “Support me! let not my flag of truce came out, and on the 18th, brave soldiers see me drop.” He was a capitulation was concluded on honorcarried to some distance in the rear,- able terms to the French, who were and hearing the cry “They run!” he not made prisoners, but conveyed home asked “Who run ? Being told “The to their native country. enemy,” he gave some short directions, Canada was, however, not yet conand then said: “Now, God be praised, quered. The winter had arrested the I die happy !"
farther advance of Amherst and JohnWe cannot forbear quoting the sim- son; and General de Levi, who had asple and feeling observations of Gen- sembled at Montreal upwards of ten eral Townshend respecting his heroic thousand men, conceived the design of friend,* whose fate threw so affecting recapturing Quebec in the spring, bea lustre on this memorable victory: “I fore it could obtain succors, either by am not ashamed to own to you, that sea or land. Being baffled in his promy heart does not exult in the midstjects to carry it by a coup de main, of this success. I have lost but a friend he landed his army, on the 27th in General Wolfe; our country has of April, 1760, advanced to the lost a sure support and a perpetual Heights of Abraham, and prepared to honor. If the world were sensible at carry on a regular
a regular siege. General how dear a price we have purchased Murray had been left with a garrison Quebec in his death, it would damp the of six thousand men; but a severe atpublic joy. Our best consolation is, tack of scurvy had reduced to half that Providence seemed not to promise that number those who were capable that he should remain long among us. of bearing arms. This officer, dreading He was himself sensible of the weak- that the place was unfit to stand a ness of his constitution, and determined siege, and hoping much from the to crowd into a few years actions that bravery of his troops, attacked the would have adorned length of life.”+ enemy, on the 28th of April, at Sillery;
but, being overpowered by superior * But see Mr. Bancroft's account, (vol. iv., p. 339): numbers, he was defeated with great he speaks strongly of Townshend's meanness in re
loss. If guilty here of any rashness, † The body of Wolfe was conveyed for sepulture he atoned for it by the activity with to England, and a monument was erected to his which he placed Quebec in a state of memory in Westminster Abbey. marks the spot where he fell, on the plains of Abra' defence, and held out the town till the ham ; and a pyramid since raised upon the heights 15th of May, when a fleet, under Adof the city, simply bearing the names of “WOLFE” miral Swanton, arrived and raised the MONTCALM,” is destined to perpetuate the
siege. memorable battle in which they gloriously fell.
The French army then concentrated
spect to this battle.
common memory of these gallant chiefs, and of the
itself in Montreal, where the Marquis reached a very flourishing condition, de Vaudreuil made an attempt to main- they are numerous and rich, they contain his ground; but being enclosed by tain within their own bosom all the the forces under General Amherst, and necessities of life. England has been by those from Quebec and Niagara, he foolish and dupe enough to allow the found himself obliged, on the 8th of arts, trades, and manufactures to beSeptember, 1760, to sign a capitulation, come established among them, that is by which that city and the whole of to say, she has allowed them to break Canada were transferred to British do the chain of wants which attached them minion. He obtained liberal stipula- to, and made them dependent upon, tions for the good treatment of the in- herself. Thus all these English colonies habitants, and particularly the free ex- would long ago have thrown off the ercise of the Roman Catholic faith, and yoke, each province would have formed the preservation of the property be- a little independent republic, if the fear longing to the religious communities. of seeing the French at their doors had
“Thus ended,” says Mr. Irving, “the not proved a bridle to restrain them. contest between France and England As masters, they would have preferred for dominion in America, in which, as their countrymen to strangers, taking has been said, the first gun was fired in it nevertheless for a maxim, to obey
Washington's encounter with De either as little as possible. But once
Jumonville. A French states- let Canada be conquered, and the Canman and diplomatist, (Count de Ver- adians and these colonists become one gennes) consoled himself by the per. people, and on the first occasion when suasion that it would be a fatal triumph Old England appears to touch their to England. It would remove the only interests, do you imagine, my dear check by which her colonies were kept | cousin, that the Americans will obey ? in awe. They will no longer need her And in revolting, what will they have protection,' said he; "she will call on to fear ?? them to contribute toward supporting Washington is so essertially a part the burdens they have helped to bring of American history that it is only on her, and they will answer by striking proper to put on record, facts of mofor independence. * To the same ef- ment respecting him. On the 6th of fect are some of the sentiments of January, 1759, he was married to Mrs. Montcalm, which have been preserved. Martha Custis. A few months afterThe appositeness of these sentiments to wards, having been elected a member the matter before us renders them of the House of Burgesses, he repaired worth quoting, in part at least. After to Williamsburg to take his seat. The speaking of his personal knowledge on House determined to signalize the event this subject, he goes to say: “All the by special honor to the beloved Washcolonies have, happily for themselves, ington. Hardly had he entered the
House, when Mr. Robinson, the speak* “ Life of Washington," vol. i., p. 308. er, eloquently returned thanks, in the