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A Popular History of France from the Earliest Time

In his turn he besieged Quebec


[Illustration: Death of Wolfe----209]

Montcalm had fought like a soldier in spite of his wounds; when he fell he still gave orders about the measures to be taken and the attempts to be made. "All is not lost," he kept repeating. He was buried in a hole pierced by a cannonball in the middle of the church of the Ursulines; and there he still rests. In 1827, when all bad feeling had subsided, Lord Dalhousie, the then English governor of Canada, ordered the erection at Quebec of an obelisk in marble bearing the names and busts of Wolfe and Montcalm, with this inscription: _Mortem virtus communem, famam historia, monumentum posteritas dedit_ [Valor, history, and posterity assigned fellowship in death, fame, and memorial].

In 1759, the news of the death of the two generals was accepted as a sign of the coming of the end. Quebec capitulated on the 18th of September, notwithstanding the protests of the population. The government of Canada removed to Montreal.

The joy in England was great, as was the consternation in France. The government had for a long while been aware of the state to which the army and the brave Canadian people had been reduced, the nation knew nothing about it; the repeated victories of the Marquis of Montcalm had caused illusion as to the gradual decay of resources. The English Parliament resolved to send three armies to America, and the remains of General Wolfe were interred at Westminster with great ceremony. King Louis XV. and his ministers sent to Canada a handful of men and a vessel which suffered capture from the English; the governor's drafts were not paid at Paris. The financial condition of France did not permit her to any longer sustain the heroic devotion of her children.

M. de Lally-Tollendal was still struggling single-handed in India, exposed to the hatred and the plots of his fellow-countrymen as well as of the Hindoos, at the very moment when the Canadians, united in the same ideas of effort and sacrifice, were trying their last chance in the service of the distant mother-country, which was deserting them. The command had passed from the hands of Montcalm into those of the general who was afterwards a marshal and Duke of Levis. He resolved, in the spring of 1760, to make an attempt to recover Quebec.

"All Europe," says Raynal, "supposed that the capture of the capital was an end to the great quarrel in North America. Nobody supposed that a handful of French who lacked everything, who seemed forbidden by fortune itself to harbor any hope, would dare to dream of retarding inevitable fate." On the 28th of April, the army of General de Levis, with great difficulty maintained during the winter, debouched before Quebec on those Plains of Abraham but lately so fatal to Montcalm.

General Murray at once sallied from the place in order to engage before the French should have had time to pull themselves together. It was a long and obstinate struggle; the men fought hand to hand, with impassioned ardor, without the cavalry or the savages taking any part in the action; at nightfall General Murray had been obliged to re-enter the town and close the gates. The French, exhausted but triumphant, returned slowly from the pursuit; the unhappy fugitives fell into the hands of the Indians; General de Levis had great difficulty in putting a stop to the carnage. In his turn he besieged Quebec.


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