Project Canterbury

Rose and Minnie, or, The Loyalists: A Tale of Canada in 1837.

London: J. Henry and J. Parker, 1861.

Chapter III.

IT was on the same Sunday evening in November, 1837, when Minnie first made acquaintance with Anoonk, that that foster-sister of hers who has been several times mentioned,--by name Rose Kirkpatrick,--was flitting down a small bye-street of the St. Lawrence suburb in the town of Montreal, with a light and hasty step. She paused halfway down the street, and having glanced through the half-curtained window of one of the houses there, tapped at the door with three little distinct raps. It was quickly opened by the only person within, an old woman with that peculiar combination of very bright black eyes with peculiarly brown, wrinkled, and withered skin, so frequently seen among the elder female peasantry in France. The short petticoats she wore, the bright coloured shawl-kerchief pinned across her red boddice, the high white cap upon her head, together with the image of the Blessed Virgin, painted in blue and gold, which stood over the doorway, and the black crucifix fastened over the chimney-place, bespoke her Norman origin and Norman faith at a glance.

She embraced the young girl, and kissed her on both cheeks.

"Come in, Rose. I knew who it was, by the three little taps. Baptiste comes thundering in,--dear child!--with one great knock, enough to bring the door down. Oh Rose, nose, my heart is sore about this boy--this dear boy of mine. Have you any comfort to bring me?"

She had drawn the Irish girl--for Rose was of Irish extraction by the father's side, and took mightily after him,--to a low stool by her side, and was caressing the luxuriant masses of dark hair which were pressed against her knees as Rose rested her forehead there. The troubled expression on both the old and the young woman's face deepened as Rose gave her answer.

"Alas, mother,"--even amidst all her trouble the girl blushed at the epithet which had slipped from her in their oneness of anxiety for the absent Baptiste,--"I have no comfort to bring you; I hoped you might have had some for me."

"He has not been with you then, this evening?"

"Ah, no! and worse, I know where he is. He is at the house of John Idler, and there are many more of les Fils de la Liberté there to-night. They are drilling there again. Oh, where will all this end?"

"The good God only knows. Night and morning have I prayed to the Blessed Virgin for my Baptiste. Listen, here he comes."

The thundering single rap at the door which his mother had described, was answered on this occasion by a similar one front the interior given by the pretty Irish visitor; who, with the buoyant vivacity of her race, forgetting for the moment all her anxiety, regained her gaiety at the approach of her lover; and springing from her low seat bestowed both her little clenched fists with mock fury upon the inside of the much-enduring door. Then opening it quickly, she stood with much demureness in the doorway.

"Well, Monsieur Baptiste, and how do you think that sounds? Ah, well! and where also are your manners, startling two ladies after that fashion?"

"Dear little one!" was Baptiste's brief reply, as, encircling her with his strong arm, he took lover-like vengeance upon her for her saucy rebuke by imprinting a kiss on the pouting lips. But, notwithstanding the gentleness of his manner towards Rose, the young man's clouded brow did not relax, nor did his face soften, except for an instant, from the expression of stern fixedness which it had worn when the door was first opened to him. He crossed over the wooden floor of the little apartment, (the only marked difference between the dwellings of the French Canadian peasantry and those of Normandy, where the floors are usually of stone,) and greeted his mother with even more tenderness than he had bestowed upon Rose, but with equal gravity. Then followed a somewhat awkward pause; The oppression of his pre-occupied and somewhat gloomy mood weighed upon both his companions, though they did not like openly to comment upon it; whilst he soon became instinctively conscious that he was being watched by two pair of affectionate and anxious eyes. Rose endured this restrained interview for but a short time, and bidding her future mother-in-law adieu, with hearty embraces she took her leave.

"I shall go with you, my pretty Rose," said Baptiste; and side by side the lovers walked back to the town. Neither spoke for awhile, though Baptiste from time to time looked down with a momentary lightening of his sternness at the plump, pretty little figure tripping along beside him.

Rose was the first to break the silence.

"Baptiste," she said, with all that peculiar earnestness which contrasts so strongly and frequently with Irish vivacity, "there has been something more than usual going on at John Idler's to-night. Oh Baptiste, my own dear Baptiste, for your mother's sake and for mine, have nothing to do with those men. Why should you join them? What liberty do you want more than we have? What greater happiness than our peaceful and pleasant life? Except," she added, with a deepening blush, "that we should spend it quite together, with no breaks and no partings, as we shall do soon."

"Dear little one, you know nothing about it," was her companion's answer.

"But Baptiste," she urged, "let me then know something. Answer my questions. What greater liberty, what greater happiness do you and your companions want?"

"Again I say, my little Rose, that you know nothing, and can know nothing; you women only care for happiness, and if you get but a little of that, you are content. We men, on the contrary, care for much more; we want not only happiness, but our full share of it; we want freedom, and our rights also as well; we do not love to pay our money for great pensions to people of high place, or to have land which should be ours kept back to support the Protestant ministers. We will not be kept in slavish subjection to a set of bad rulers chosen for us by the Queen's government, who know nothing of our wants, and only care to get the places, the pay, and the power. Let us choose for ourselves; let us tax ourselves; let our taxes be to benefit ourselves; let s choose our own rulers; in a word, let us have freedom, for without freedom there can be no happiness. Except," he added, breaking short in his oratorical flow of wisdom, and speaking with the gentleness he always used to his betrothed, "except for the good children, like my Rose, who are easily content."

"But you see I am not content," answered Rose half sadly, half archly. "I do not understand all your fine reasons for being discontented; and so without reason, and for want of reason, I am sharing the same discontent. O Baptiste, Baptiste! do not go to these drills. Leave these men altogether. Do not listen to them, do not belong to them, I implore you. Listen rather to what the good father says.--Alas," she added, checking herself and speaking yet more sadly, "but you no longer come to mass! And you have not heard the beautiful letter, written to us all by the Bishop, telling us to have nothing to do with these disturbers of the peace! O Baptiste, all this is separating us, will separate us quite some day. My heart misgives me." And the warmhearted Irish girl burst into a flood of tears.

"My little Rose, you excite yourself too much. Why should this separate us? True, I have been too much occupied to go to church quite regularly," and Baptiste averted his head uneasily, to hide a mantling flush upon his cheek which he could not quite keep down; "but we,--we Sons of Liberty,--have a great work to do. There are some who do not understand us,--as, for instance, that execrable man who has issued a warrant against our glorious leaders, Papineau and the others. Also," he added with a half smile, "the good little Rose does not quite understand us. But when the brave Sons of Liberty have accomplished their work, then she will perceive how great it was, and she will, glory in her Baptiste. Will she not?"

They had reached Rose's destination as he spoke.

"Adieu, Baptiste. I shall love you always," she said, tenderly and evasively. "And may the good God and all the saints guard and instruct you!"

And so sadly and downcast, all her lightheartedness clouded and her gaiety fled, Rose parted from this young "Son of Liberty" who had so glorious a work to do; while he strode home again, ill at ease with her, himself, and all the world. The foretaste he was getting of liberty was not quite so sweet as he had anticipated.

While Baptiste tosses uneasily on his pillow, mingling dreams of his pretty Rose in strange confusion with visions of muskets and flags of liberty,--alias rebellion,--of gloomy drillings and exciting "liberty" speeches, it may pot be amiss to give a somewhat clearer idea of the Canadian "grievances," (so called,) than could be gathered from the misguided lad's own speech to his betrothed.

The chief grievance, according to their own account, given in the celebrated "Grievance Book," lay in "the unlimited patronage of the Crown, and the abuse of that patronage by the Colonial Ministers." This branched out into a multitude of heads, each of which soon became an independent grievance of itself. The election of the members of the executive and legislative councils, of the officers of the Lower House and of the Indian department, and other State patronage, all swelled the, list of complaints. It was asserted by the agitators, and not altogether without reason, that the "Family Party" as they were called, i.e. the original settlers and their families, held too exclusively all the best and most lucrative official situations, and that the provinces were thus governed by a clique who looked after their own interests rather than the public weal. So greatly did the Revolutionists magnify this abuse, that they were ready in their wisdom to throw off their allegiance to the English government and to precipitate themselves into the arms of the United States, with all the prospect of obtaining for themselves a King Stork in exchange for--we will not be so disloyal as to say a King Log, but what they considered to be a King Log. Another sore point, which like the former had many offshoots, was the alleged maladministration of the public moneys of the land. The pension-list, the expenses of King's College, (now the University of Toronto,) and the Upper Canada College, as well as the money granted in aid of emigration, were some of the chief branches of the money grievance: while that concerning the land embraced both the disposal of the waste lands of the Crown to emigrants, and also the much-vexed question of the Clergy Reserves, which amounted to a seventh part of the lands surveyed throughout Upper Canada. That many of these things needed reform cannot be denied, but that the mode of obtaining reform pursued by the Radicals was a right, or as regards the leaders of the rebellion an honest-hearted one, admits of still less question. There can be hardly a doubt that these leaders were actuated by a restless and selfish ambition, and only made use of the pretexts summed up in the "Grievance Book" as a cloak for their own self-aggrandising projects.

But amongst their followers were men of very various shades of character, impelled by very various motives. Some might be in their measure and degree as selfish, restless, and ambitious as the heads of the move went but many more were simply ignorant and misled, like Baptiste Lemourier.

With a brow as gloomy as that with which he had gone to rest, and a heart full of uneasy forebodings, Baptiste rose on the following morning. Rose's words came back to his memory with all the force of a prophecy. "Baptiste, this is separating--will separate us quite some day." He tried to put them away as the mere idle fears of an affectionate and ignorant girl, but again and again they returned upon him, as also did her naive and simple questions as to what greater liberty or happiness he wanted. Questionings arose in his own mind as to whether they had indeed a fair cause and the blessing of God upon their undertaking. He remembered within himself that he had intentionally stayed away from Mass, because he did not wish to hear what the good father so often and so strongly said on the subject of the growing discontent and the binding together for what the priest roundly termed "unlawful purposes," which this good man had, to his no small grief, observed among some of his flock. For, to their credit be it remembered, the Roman Catholic clergy, with one or two solitary exceptions, were most earnest in the cause or loyalty and order, from the much-revered Bishop Macdonnell to the humblest of the parish priests. All these thoughts working on Baptiste's naturally honest and conscientious mind, brought him to the resolution of withdrawing from his present companions as soon as he could. But he could not back out of the compact in any underhand way. Against such a proceeding some of his best qualities revolted,--his straight-forwardness, bravery, and honest pride. A meeting of the Fils de la Liberté was to be held that very forenoon. Thither he would go, and with all openness and fairness would tell his comrades of his change of intention, and would publicly withdraw from the association. His resolution thus taken, he sealed it by a "Pater noster" and an "Ave," murmured hastily, yet not without a certain touching, child-like wish to do right and fulfil that which appeared to him in the light of a duty, before an uncouth little black-brown image of the Blessed Virgin beside whose pedestal still rested a blue bead-garland and a drooping wreath of the same colour, remnants of old Jacquline Lemourier's May-tide devotion to "Our Lady."

Then with a gayer step and a cheerier face than had belonged to him for many a month past, he went in to his homely but substantial breakfast. His mother's face brightened at the sight of him,--brightened doubly when she saw how bright he was.

"The walk with the pretty Rose was good for thee, my child," she observed gaily, unwitting how much nearer to the truth her words went than she intended.

"Pretty and good," was Baptiste's cheerful answer as he saluted his mother. "It rejoices me to see that my mother, as well as I myself, bears so tender a love for my Rose."

The meal was a quiet but a happy one, Baptiste's inward satisfaction communicating itself to Jacqueline without her having any distinct reason for this change of mood. As soon as it was concluded, he slipped away, and contrived to get a hurried interview with Rose, to whom he at once told his intention of withdrawing from the association of the Sons of Liberty. If anything could have rewarded him, the glad smiles and approving words of his betrothed must have done so, to say nothing of some other pleasant tokens of affection and renewed confidence.

A few hours later found Baptiste wending his way towards the appointed place of rendezvous,--namely the yard of Bonacina's tavern in front of the American Presbyterian Church in Great St. James's-street. He was a little behind the appointed time, and when he entered the yard he found the rest of his confrères, to the number of two-hundred-and-fifty, already assembled, and listening with deep attention to an inflammatory and vehement speech which was being addressed to them by one Thomas Storrow Brown.

"Patriots of Canada," he was saying as Baptiste joined the throng, "shall we remain any longer passive and inert? Shall we any longer suffer ourselves to be trampled down by the heel of oppression? Shall we tamely endure the ignominy put upon our leaders and upon our noble cause by the proceedings of Lord Gosford? Shame be to us if we do. Already we have remained inactive too long, and have suffered the Lion to trample upon the Beaver, to our shame and disgrace. Let us rouse ourselves, brave Sons of Liberty, and assert our rights. Let us shew the tyrant that we are not to be despised, nor our just demands refused. Sons of Liberty, let us go forth and carry all before us."

There was much more to the same effect, and ever as he spoke the excitement and restlessness of the crowd grew to a higher and higher pitch, until at length their enthusiasm was so raised that they were ready for any exploit, however foolish or daring. And the word of command being given, they sallied forth full of magnificent courage to "assert their rights" and "liberate their country."

Thrown out of his original plans by this simultaneous movement, Baptiste, though unwillingly, fell into the ranks. He had had no opportunity of announcing his determination of withdrawing from them, and to do so without having announced it was repugnant to his feelings of honour and faith towards his comrades, ill-chosen though these bad been. Besides, it would have looked cowardly to slink off just at the moment of action and danger. So that, albeit with renewed feelings of regret and uneasiness, and with all the peculiar bitterness of having seen an error and made resolutions of amendment too late, he marched on with the exulting band of revolutionists.

Great as was the alarm with which the sight of so large a body of armed insurgents inspired the peaceable inhabitants of Montreal, their first exploit was neither very noble nor calculated to produce any results but that of arousing the indignation of the loyalists. It consisted in shooting at and slightly wounding an unoffending carpenter of the name of Whitelaw. Though this glorious act, however, in its way advanced the reforming cause, it was sufficient to draw down upon les Fils de la Liberté the vengeance of an opposite association called "The Doric Club," in which were enrolled most of the young loyalists of Montreal. These speedily collecting in large numbers, fell upon the rebels; and soon in the midst of the fray a cry of despair rose from their ranks, "General Brown is taken prisoner."

The passions of both parties were now up. The so-called General was rescued from the hands of the Dorics, and the contemptible mob-vengeance of window-breaking was commenced in good earnest by the Sons of Liberty along the whole of St. James-street. In this puerile and base mode of warfare Baptiste took no part. He had been foremost in the rescue of their overpowered leader, but stone-flinging he held to be beneath a Lemourier, for poor and peasants though they were, Baptiste cherished a certain not unwholesome pride of family, which had for generations borne an honest and good name, both in France and Canada; had rendered faithful service to their seigneurs, and had maintained (alas! for the degeneracy of Baptiste) a fair character for loyalty to the government under which they lived. The success of the rebels, however, was but temporary. The loyalists quickly rallied and drove General Brown's forces before them into the St. Lawrence suburb. Here les Fils de la Liberté made a stand in Dorghestr-street, and turning on their pursuers with redoubled fury, recommenced the fight in good earnest, and in the melée foe met foe hand to hand. This was a style of warfare which Baptiste did not at least despise, and though at heart he still disapproved,--his eyes yet further opened, perhaps, by that little episode of windowbreaking,--it was hardly possible for a vivacious French Canadian of but three-and-twenty years of age to maintain anything like neutrality when such stirring work was going on on every side. "It will be my last and only fight on this side," he mentally ejaculated; "after this one unfortunate entanglement; Rose, my mother, and loyalty shall be my watchwords." And having made this inward resolve, he let himself drift with the present tide of excitement, and repaid the blows which were showered down upon his party by the Dorics with full and ready interest. Suddenly a little falling off among his comrades left Baptiste Lemourier in the forefront of the fight, and face to face with a tall and slight opponent, a young man whose easy graceful carriage and clear-cut intellectual features bespoke him of higher rank than the mass of those around him. Baptiste recognised him at a glance as the young Baron de Chauvin, the owner of an important seigneurie in the neighbourhood of Vaudreuil, whose father was the immediate descendant of one of the ancient French noblesse who had settled in Lower Canada before that province passed into the hands of the English. Baptiste, who knew something of the handsome and irascible young lord, and who, in spite of his new-fangled republican principles, retained somewhat of the old instinctive feudal feeling of the Norman peasant, would have drawn back, but the young noble's hot blood was up quite as much as that of any of his more plebeian confrères, and using his weapon with no little skill he advanced furiously upon Baptiste with many a muttered 'Sacre' and 'Diable.' A short passage of arms between the two would probably have resulted in the discomfiture of the peasant, had not the Baron de Chauvin, accidentally stumbled over the prostrate body of a 'Son of Liberty,' who, more frightened than hurt, lay groaning on the ground. In the excitement of the moment Baptiste took advantage of his opportunity, and dealt his fallen adversary a severe blow. The next moment he repented him bitterly of the hasty act. A gush of blood dyed the pavement,--a shout of execration burst from the enraged. Dorics,--and while some hastily removed the wounded Baron, the rest threw themselves more fiercely than ever upon the now flying rebels. Baptiste hid himself amid the retreating crowd, who, dispersing in all directions, baffled their pursuers' vengeance in great measure by the irregularity of their flight and the utter break-up which they immediately effected. The natural, though illegal, indignation of the loyalists, however, could not be thus easily checked, and turning their steps to the house of John Idler, they broke it open, sacked it, handed over various offensive weapons found therein to the magistrates, and tore the flag of les Fils de la Liberté into a thousand shreds. They next rushed to the house of a Mr. Joshua Bell, who was supposed to have secretly aided and abetted the revolutionists to the dwelling of Monsieur Papineau, and to the printing-office of Ludger Duvernay, where the types, paper, and everything connected with a radical paper called the "Vindicator," were summarily destroyed.

Meanwhile, the Riot Act had been read, and the soldiery, supported by artillery, appeared upon the scene to enforce peace on the part both of rebels and irregular loyalists. By the fall of evening order was restored in the city, but all felt that the struggle had now commenced, that the Rubicon had been passed, and that overt rebellion must be put down by measures equally overt and decisive.

All that, night Baptiste wandered, lonely and thoroughly wretched, about the fields that, lie on either side of the toad from Montreal to the village of La Chine. Once or twice he sought refuge in the broken ground close by the tanneries, about a couple of miles distant from the town; but in the most retired and secluded hiding-places he wooed sleep in vain. Not only did his fears of pursuit, capture, and disgraceful punishment keep him on the qui vive, but a restless and almost morbid anxiety for the same haunted his perturbed mind. Many a time did he resolutely set forth, and boldly seeking the broad turnpike-road to the city, where the clear moonlight rendered all concealment impossible, turn his steps towards Montreal, with the determination of giving himself up to justice of his own accord. The figure of the young Baron de Chauvin, blood-stained and prostrate at his feet, as he had last seen him, haunted him like an evil nightmare. Could he have seen that young man, faint, it is true, and somewhat exhausted, but yet smiling and talking with almost his usual animation amidst the careful friends to whose house he had been conveyed, part of Baptiste's misery would have been greatly relieved. The fact was that the wound which Lemourier had inflicted, though bleeding profusely for a time and causing temporary faintness, was not at all of a serious nature, and the young Baron only suffered a temporary confinement to his couch, more as a precautionary than an absolutely needful measure. But of this the unhappy dealer of the blow knew nothing, so that on his conscience there rested the double load of certain rebellion and possible manslaughter.

Then his thoughts turned to his mother and his betrothed, but with equal lack of comfort. Rose--how strongly had she urged him to desist from going even to the preliminary meetings of the Sons of Liberty! What now would she say when all the events of yesterday came to her ears? When she learnt that he had not only again joined their meetings, but taken so active and disastrous a part in this their first demonstration? Was it not but too possible that she might indignantly repudiate her engagement with one who had set at defiance her wishes, and in so doing had broken his allegiance both to his sovereign and to herself? Was it not very probable that she, so gentle and good, might shrink from joining her hand to one stained with a fellow-creature's life-blood?

The longer he dwelt upon these gloomy forebodings the more probable did they become, until at last, in his own harassed and doubt-tossed mind, they deepened into certainties. And it needed but this morbid, self-wrought certainty of being an outcast and uncared for, to bring Baptiste into the worst moral state any man can be in, namely, a state of recklessness. But in all his misery he clung to the thought of his mother. Whoever else deserted him, she would not. Hers was an old and long-tried love, and in this hour of miserable need and doubt he clung to it with an instinctive confidence which he did not feel in the newer love, albeit that for that, newer love he would have given up all else in Canada, or out of Canada, besides. Truly a mother had need be wondrously unselfish and self-forgetting, if her affection for a grown-up son is not often to be a source of mortification and jealous soreness to her. Led by this confidence, Baptiste, ere the morning dawned, went quietly back into the town; and skilfully contriving to avoid the town-guard which had been formed among the loyal inhabitants immediately after the quelling of the afternoon riot, he stole back to his home. A faint light shone through the window, and peeping in he saw his mother sitting quietly, though with a face so full of grief and anxiety that he could hardly bear to look at it, by a low fire, which shone upon the brown and withered countenance of the old woman, revealing all its old wrinkles, as well as many a new one which the sorrow of that long night had printed there. When he tapped softly at the door, it was opened by Jacqueline, with scarce a moment's delay, and almost as calmly as if she had been forewarned of her son's approach. Not a word of reproach, not a word even about her own anxiety, escaped her lips.

"Ah, my son, come in then; the night is so cold. I waited for thee, and kept the fire alight to warm thee. I knew thou wouldst come soon to thy mother who watched for thee. Come."

She led him to the fireside, and sitting down, chafed his half-frozen hands softly in her own, giving a furtive eye the while to a mysterious little pot which she had swiftly popped upon the fire the instant Baptiste's tap had sounded at the door. She had not sat idle all those weary hours, absorbed in her own feelings. Her boy's wants and comforts, in case of his possible return, had had place in her mind before mere unpractical wailing and lamentations. The son's quick eye took in all the bearings of that little borne-interior at once, and divined, with a rush of gratitude almost overwhelming, all the tender devotion that it bespoke.

"Ah, my mother, my mother, and you: waited for me, then! You had that confidence in me yet! In me that have grieved you so!"

And with a sudden childlike yearning, the grown man knelt down and bid his face in the familiar lap where of yore he had been used to carry all his childish griefs and repentances. And old Jacqueline bent over him, and stroked his thick, dark hair, and cooed out little sentences and words of mother-love, full of the sweet tu and toi, expressive of tender familiarity. In those few minutes she got her reward for her night's weary watching. The good soul would have waited and watched twenty more nights for so much reward as that. And who shall blame her if at that moment,--and but for a moment,--she was glad that Rose was not there; glad to have her boy so altogether her own again, and no one else's, just for a time. The times when she could feel this had become very rare of late.

She did not, however, let him remain thus long. However good it might be for her, it was not, to her thinking, so good for him as supper would be.

"Get up now, Baptiste, my little heart," she said cheerfully, after a few minutes of this murmuring quiet. "Get up, or my potage will simmer too much. If it should begin to boil! Holy Virgin! thy supper would be spoilt, and thou dying of hunger."

Quickly and daintily the potage was served, although in homely fashion. But though it was gratefully partaken of by the half-frozen and famished Baptiste, and though his mother's reception of him melted a portion of the dark cloud of despair which had gathered over him, that terrible recklessness of mood was not dispelled.

Jacqueline's observant eye saw that something was still weighing heavily on his mind, and when, after having eaten slightly of her long-kept supper, he rose, and said gloomily, "I must away again, mother," she was not surprised, although she received the announcement with a sigh from out of the very depths of her already sorely tried heart. She did not oppose his going. She knew--rumour has such swift broad wings--all about the afternoon's event, including the hand-to-hand skirmish between her son and the Baron de Chauvin. She only said, "So soon, my child! And what can thy mother do for thee?"

"She can pray for her lost son," said Baptiste, with a faltering voice; "she can believe him less wicked and reprobate than others will call him; she can cherish him in her heart in spite of all his faults."

"She does all this," responded Jacqueline, tenderly. Then added with ready tact, "And she will do her best that the pretty Rose shall do it also as well."

Baptiste shook his head, while a spasm as of acute pain passed over his fine features. He bent down and kissed her fervently. "The good God bless thee, my mother, for thy love," he murmured, and left the cottage precipitately.

She had touched inadvertently upon the sorest chord of all, and pained when she would fain have consoled. If Rose could but have spoken such words herself, all might have been well, but in the absence of that certainty which this alone could give, her lover's doubting, and perhaps not unnatural, thoughts concerning her, were the goad that spurred him desperately on in his mistaken course. The next day found him on the opposite bank of the river in company with a little band of armed peasantry, some of then fugitives from Montreal, like himself, who having once broken bounds and brought themselves under the stigma of rebellion, were ready for any further violence; and more than ever eager for success, in the hope that if it did not justify their cause to themselves and all the world, it would at least save them from punishment, and by the triumph of their party earn for them some kind of reward. And ere the week so inauspiciously commenced at Montreal was out, in L'Acadie, and all along the banks of the Richelieu, the insurgents appeared in arms, committing numerous acts of depredation and plunder in the name of liberty; while the regular military, as 'well as the volunteers, were called out to maintain the cause of law and order.

Project Canterbury