Page:Richard - Acadie, reconstitution d'un chapitre perdu de l'histoire d'Amérique, Tome I, 1916.djvu/438

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stones had been sufficiently well cemented not to fall into the ditches when the cannons were being pushed on the walls, as I am told they did. Nearly thirty years ago, when walking on the ramparts of the city of Montreal, I detached the stones without difficulty by laying my hand on the walls, the mortar crumbling away like sand. It is reported that the walls of Louisburg as well as the other fortified places were of similar character.

« I beg Your Lordship will allow me to add here that in the last war it was said that the Court had been on the point of doing away with the Navy because of the poor services which it rendered France. Yet the outcry against it is much louder in the present war. And if formerly we had thought of abandoning Canada because it cost more than it was worth — and the only motive for preserving it was the salvation of the Indians who were being won to God — now, should Canada once be taken, this motive ceasing, we might well withdraw from there entirely and turn our attention to the Mississippi, settling it with people removed from all these localities, and even — so runs the proposal — transporting thither the foundlings of Paris. Thus we could avoid the surrender of port maon, which is worth more to France than all North America.

« We could, however, in order to mislead the English, make pretence of a great attachment to those places so as to give them greater value and obtain more compensation for abandoning our assumed demands.

« It is true that we need a station for the cod-fishery ; but such could be found easily, and we would secure a most favourable one, where pasturage and tillage could be had and where it would suffice to place a few guns and keep ships as is done by the English.

« I have the honour to entreat Your Lordship to pardon the liberty I am taking since I have no other favours to ask of you after the assurances given me that provision would be made for my salary and that I would be reimbursed for my losses and outlays caused by the disasters of the Acadians. I shall have no further reason for importuning Your Lordship. The grief alone that the misfortunes of this war have brought on me, and my great desire to see it brought to an end by a peace honorable and advantageous to France have as it were compelled me to write this. Henceforth, however, I shall think of it as little as possible and speak of it still less to the very end of my days. I must henceforth think only of the Lord, [praying] that He may preserve all states and bring them happy fortunes, and especially their rulers, governors and administrators.

« I have the honour to be with the most profound respect, My Lord, Your Lordship’s most humble and most obedient servant Desenclavepriest.

« Honfleur, March 8, 1759. »

[Canadian Archives, F. 95 : C. I. 95.]