Century of Conflict: The Struggle Between the French and British in Colonial America

By Joseph Lister Rutledge | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX
THE WIND BEFORE THE WHIRLWIND

Villebon launches plan to keep the Abenaki perpetually on the warpath. Father Thury heads attack on York, and Captain Convers defends Wells. A new English fort at Pemaquid. Its final capture by Iberville. Failure of the challenge to Boston. Haverhill and the hardening spirit.

If the people of New France had found a glimmer of hope of better days to be, Louis in his palace of Versailles didn't share in the discovery. He resented bitterly the attack on Quebec with its challenge to his sublime authority. Its dismal failure did little to mollify his outraged dignity. Momentarily he was shaken from his accustomed complacency. His usual attitude was somewhat similar to that of the Pharaoh of the Israelite captivity. He expected his subjects to make bricks without straw. But the "impudent incident" of Phips's invasion had shaken him sufficiently to induce him, and almost voluntarily, to allocate twenty thousand livres toward the strengthening of Quebec to forestall another such incident. He even added twenty-four thousand more for arms and munitions.

Such openhandedness showed the temper of his thinking about as clearly as it could be shown, for Louis had no expendable surplus. He looked to New France to provide financial support rather than demand it. He didn't, of course, consider the outlay as wholly a loss. It set him thinking of offensive rather than defensive strategy, and a strategy likely to be most immediately profitable. This ruminating led him to the happy thought of ousting the persistent and pestiferous English from Newfoundland and Hudson's Bay.

Newfoundland itself could hardly be described as tempt-

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