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[334] statesman, as he was superior in youth, manners, and
Chap. IX.}
personal beauty, hurried England into an unnecessary and disastrous conflict with France. The siege of Rochelle invited the presence of an English fleet; but the expedition was fatal to the honor and the objects of Buckingham.

Hostilities were no where successfully attempted, except in America. Port Royal fell easily into the

hands of the English; the conquest was no more than the acquisition of a small trading station. It was a bolder design to attempt the reduction of Canada. Sir David Kirk and his two brothers, Louis and Thomas, were commissioned to ascend the St. Lawrence, and Quebec received a summons to surrender. The garrison, destitute alike of provisions and of military stores, had no hope but in the character of Champlain, its commander: his answer of proud defiance concealed his weakness; and the intimidated assailants withdrew. But Richelieu sent no season-
able supplies; the garrison was reduced to extreme suffering and the verge of famine; and when the squadron of Kirk reappeared before the town, the English were welcomed as deliverers. Favorable terms were demanded and promised; and Quebec capitulated. Thus did England, one hundred and thirty years before the enterprise of Wolfe, make the conquest of the capital of New France; that is to say, she gained possession of a barren rock and a few wretched hovels, tenanted by a hundred miserable men, who were now but beggars for bread of their vanquishers. Yet the event might fairly be deemed of importance, as pregnant with consequences; and the English admiral could not but admire the position of the fortress. Not a port in North America remained

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