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SIR: Yours of the 7th inst. at hand. In compliance with theI've just been reading this letter over and it sounds pretty
V1 of entering it, when the guides and light horsemen in the front suddenly fell back; and the engineer, Gordon, then engaged in marking out the road, saw a man, dressed like an Indian, but wearing the gorget of an officer, bounding forward along the path.  He stopped when he discovered the head of the column, turned, and waved his hat. The forest behind was swarming with French and savages. At the signal of the officer, who was probably Beaujeu, they yelled the war-whoop, spread themselves to right and left, and opened a sharp fire under cover of the trees. Gage's column wheeled deliberately into line, and fired several volleys with great steadiness against the now invisible assailants. Few of them were hurt; the trees caught the shot, but the noise was deafening under the dense arches of the forest. The greater part of the Canadians, to borrow the words of Dumas, "fled shamefully, crying 'Sauve qui peut!'"  Volley followed volley, and at the third Beaujeu dropped dead. Gage's two cannon were now brought to bear, on which the Indians, like the Canadians, gave way in confusion, but did not, like them, abandon the field. The close scarlet ranks of the English were plainly to be seen through the trees and the smoke; they were moving forward, cheering lustily, and shouting "God save the King!" Dumas, now chief in command, thought that all was lost. "I advanced," he says, "with the assurance that comes 216
V1 towns. Piquet had chosen his site with great skill. His activity was admirable. His first stockade was burned by Indian incendiaries; but it rose quickly from its ashes, and within a year or two the mission of La Prsentation had a fort of palisades flanked with blockhouses, a chapel, a storehouse, a barn, a stable, ovens, a saw-mill, broad fields of corn and beans, and three villages of Iroquois, containing, in all, forty-nine bark lodges, each holding three or four families, more or less converted to the Faith; and, as time went on, this number increased. The Governor had sent a squad of soldiers to man the fort, and five small cannon to mount upon it. The place was as safe for the new proselytes as it was convenient and agreeable. The Pennsylvanian interpreter, Conrad Weiser, was told at Onondaga, the Iroquois capital, that Piquet had made a hundred converts from that place alone; and that, "having clothed them all in very fine clothes, laced with silver and gold, he took them down and presented them to the French Governor at Montreal, who received them very kindly, and made them large presents." 
A still greater honour was the commentary written by Voltaire. The fact that only within a few miles of his own residence a girl of eighteen had been hung for the exposure of a bastard child led Voltaire to welcome Beccarias work as a sign that a period of softer manners and more humane laws was about to dawn upon the worlds history. Should not a people, he argues, who like the French pique themselves on their politeness also pride themselves on their humanity? Should they retain the use of torture, merely because it was an ancient custom, when the experience of England and other countries showed that crimes were not more numerous in countries where it was not in use, and when reason indicated the absurdity of inflicting on a man, before his condemnation, a punishment more horrible than would await his proved guilt? What could be more cruel, too, than the maxim of law that a man who forfeited his life forfeited his estates? What more inhuman than thus to punish a whole family for the crime of an individual, perhaps condemning a wife and children to beg their bread because the head of the family had harboured a Protestant preacher or listened to his sermon in a cavern or a desert? Amid the contrariety of laws that governed France, the object of the criminal procedure to bring an accused man to destruction might be said to be the only law which was uniform throughout the country.