"The 8th of September, 1760, at eight o'clock in the morning, the Marquis de Vaudreuil, last governor of New France, signed at Montreal the capitulation which put an end to French rule in our country. The prolongation of the heroic struggle . . . had become impossible. The English general, Sir Jeffrey Amherst, surrounded the city . . . with twenty thousand men, to meet whom there were hardly twentyfour hundred soldiers. Food, artillery, munitions, everything was lacking. No more help could be expected from France. . . . The fatal hour had sounded and it was necessary to bow before the inevitable. . . ."
IN THESE SIMPLE, moving words Thomas Chapais opens his History of Canada.1 Writing almost one hundred and sixty years after those days, the author is sad, yet proud; sad when he lets his imagination play over the events, proud when he recalls the strides made by his people since they occurred. After some paragraphs of description of the first moments of conquest, he turns to the scene of a hundred years later when the first legislative session in the new Province of Quebec, consequent upon Confederation, is about to open. "Look here, upon this picture and on this!" he exclaims. In 1760, the situation of the French Canadians "was dolorous and justified every feeling of alarm. An abyss had opened under their feet and thenceforth was to separate their past from their future. The present was desolate and that future sinister." Then he asks his readers to turn their thoughts forward a century. The old city of Quebec is en fête. The crowds throng about the ancient sites, whose scars have long been healed. A royal salute is fired as the governor comes to open the session of the representative body charged to pass upon the laws, the education, the public domain, the institutions of the province.2 "And that governor, escorted by English troops, who present arms to him as to a sovereign . . . is a man of the French race and language, he comes to preside over the inauguration of a