Page:Richard - Acadie, reconstitution d'un chapitre perdu de l'histoire d'Amérique, Tome I, 1916.djvu/437

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demand portmaon [Port Mahon] ; and might in that case make up her mind to cede Acadia and Louisbourg, places henceforth of little value to France, for Acadia is wholly ruined and at least three-fourths of the inhabitants dead.

« It will be said, My Lord, that Louisbourg is completely fortified : but what benefit has ever been derived from the fortifications costing immense sums which, during there last two wars, have served only to cause the loss to France of a great number of men and ships ? It would be a good thing, provided that France were as strong on sea as England, and if her officers, both of the Colonies and of the Marine, were as faithful to their prince and to the state as the English officers are, — the thing is loudly bruited in all the seaport towns of France.

It is a beautiful sight, My Lord, to see English noblemen in North America going to face all the terrors, hardships and even dangers of roads and weather, sacrificing their pleasure and their interests for the service of their prince and their country ; whilst little gentlemen who owe their very means of existence to the goodness of His Most Christian Majesty think of nothing save enriching themselves at the cost of the public and of the individual. They were unwilling to go one step to defend a fortress, (Beauséjour), the loss of which brought in its wake the ruin of the fairest hopes of France, the lost of almost all she possessed in the lands of North America, and the affliction of some fourteen hundred families by the loss of goods, of liberty, and even of life for the greatest number.

« I have known, My Lord, and even intimately, an officer (Du Vivier), who boasted loudly of his warlike exploits, which consisted in the capture of a small, unfortified village (Canso), where the only artillery was a few small guns with a single gun-carriage of half-decayed wood. It is true he marched against a more important post, (Annapolis Royal) of which he might have made himself master with some honour, had he gone thither with the little force of ships he had and a medium mortar. But was it not rashness to appear before a fortress, well defended with moats and bastions, mountings large guns and to great mortars ; and, moreover, though having only a company of infantery and a hundred ill-disposed Indians, to summon the Commandant and his officers ? The glory that he brought thence was that of being more skilful in trade than in the art of war and of being utterly silly in his manner of writing. In his camp he spoke only of hogsheads of molasses and of brandy. He had made, in a very short space of time, more than two hundred thousand livres in this business or in that of flour, God knows how. Yet this was the officer who alone got himself spoken of in the last war on the coasts adjacent to the Isles Royalles [sic], and who alone performed those fine exploits, which, I believe, without exageration, cost France Louisbourg and those fatal consequences of its capture from which, it may be, we shall never recover.

« Something further might be said, My Lord, concerning the character of the fortifications erected in our North American fortresses. It is true that, even had they been of bronze, they would not have prevented the last reduction of Louisburg. But we would [not ?] have had to fear the assault afterwards if the