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      Their late enemies, now become friends, spent the next day in dances, feasts, and speeches. They entreated La Salle not to advance farther, since the Illinois, through whose country he must pass, would be sure to kill him; for, added these friendly counsellors, they hated the French because they had been [Pg 162] instigating the Iroquois to invade their country, Here was another subject of anxiety. La Salle was confirmed in his belief that his busy and unscrupulous enemies were intriguing for his destruction.


      On the 6th of March the first blessings of war began to develop themselves in the announcement, by Pitt, that his Majesty had engaged a body of his Hanoverian troops to assist the Dutch; and, on the 11th, by his calling on the House to form itself into a Committee of Ways and Means to consider the propriety of raising a loan of four millions and a half, and of issuing four millions of Exchequer Bills, in addition to the ordinary revenue, to meet the demands of the year. Resolutions for both these purposes were passed; and, on the 15th, a Bill was introduced, making it high treason for any one to sell to the French any muniments of war, bullion, or woollen cloth. Fox and his party opposed this Bill, but it was readily carried through both Houses.


      [See larger version][71] In his despatch to the minister Colbert, of the fourteenth of November, 1674, Frontenac speaks of La Salle as follows: "I cannot help, Monseigneur, recommending to you the Sieur de la Salle, who is about to go to France, and who is a man of intelligence and ability, more capable than anybody else I know here to accomplish every kind of enterprise and discovery which may be intrusted to him, as he has the most perfect knowledge of the state of the country, as you will see, if you are disposed to give him a few moments of audience."

      * Le Ministre a Duchesneau, 15 Mai, 1678.

      "Quoiqu'il en soit, Mr. de la Salle se sentit quelque temps aprs empoisonn d'une salade dans laquelle on avoit mesl du cigu?, qui est poison en ce pays l, et du verd de gris. Il en fut malade l'extrmit, vomissant presque continuellement 40 ou 50 jours aprs, et il ne rchappa que par la force extrme de sa constitution. Celuy qui luy donna le poison fut un nomm Nicolas Perrot, autrement Jolyc?ur, l'un de ses domestiques.... Il pouvait faire mourir cet homme, qui a confess son crime, mais il s'est content de l'enfermer les fers aux pieds."Histoire de Mr. de la Salle.Mlas, who had been besieging Genoa, had left part of his army to reduce that city, defended by a strong French division under Massena and Soult, and advanced to Nice, which he had entered, and was contemplating his descent on Provence, when the news of Buonaparte's entrance of Piedmont reached him. He directed his march now to meet him. In the meantime, Massena and Soult, worn out by famine, the fort being blockaded by Admiral Lord Keith, had surrendered Genoa to General Otto, whom Mlas had ordered to raise the siege and join him. Mlas summoned his scattered forces to make head against Buonaparte, and was himself pursued from the neighbourhood of Nice by Suchet. Buonaparte deceived Mlas by false movements, making him imagine that his object was Turin, and so entered Milan in triumph on the 2nd of June. After various encounters and man?uvres between Buonaparte and Mlas, the First Consul crossed the Po at Piacenza, drove back the advanced guard of the Austrians, and took up a position on the plains of Marengo, on the right bank of the little stream, the Bormida, and opposite to Alessandria, where Mlas was lying. The next daythe 14th of JuneMlas drew out his forces, and attacked the French with great spirit. The Austrians amounted to about forty thousand, including a fine body of cavalry, for which the ground was highly[477] favourable; the French were not more than thirty thousand, posted strongly in and around the village of Marengo, in three divisions, each stationed about a quarter of a mile behind the other. After two or three attempts the Austrians drove the French out of the village of Marengo, threw the second division, commanded by Lannes, into confusion, and put to rout the left wing of Buonaparte's own division, threw his centre into disorder, and compelled him to retreat as far as St. Juliano. The whole tide of battle was running against Buonaparte, and a short time must have completed his rout, when the strength of the old general, Mlasmore than eighty years of agegave way, for he had been many hours on horseback. He retired from the field quite secure of the victory, and left General Zach to finish it. But, at this moment, General Desaix, who had lately arrived from Egypt, and had been sent by Buonaparte to make a diversion at Rivolta, came back with his detachment of twenty thousand men. Kellermann, also, who was posted in the rear with a body of reserve, marched up at the same time. A new and desperate charge was made on the fatigued Austrians, and they were broken and put to the rout. They retreated across the Bormida, towards Alessandria, in a panic, the horse galloping over the infantry. Mlas, dispirited by his defeat, but more by his age, gave up the struggle and on the 16th of June concluded an armistice, resigning not only Alessandria, where he might have stood a longer siege, but Genoa, which had just surrendered to the Austrians, and all the Genoese territory, agreeing to retire behind the line of Mantua and the Mincio, and leaving to the French all Lombardy as far as the Oglio. The French themselves could scarcely believe the reality of such a surrender.


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      1866, from originals in the Archevch of Quebec.

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      * The torturers were Christian Algonquins, converts of the * Marie de lIncarnation, Lettres, 1656. Le Mercier,


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