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[326] towards the ledge, over which, falling two hundred
chap. XIV.} 1759. June.
and fifty feet, it pours its fleecy cataract into the chasm.

As Wolfe disembarked on the Isle of Orleans, what scene could be more imposing? On his left lay at anchor the fleet with the numerous transports; the tents of his army stretched across the island; the intrenched troops of France, having their centre at the village of Beauport, extended from the Montmorenci to the St. Charles; the city of Quebec, garrisoned by five battalions, bounded the horizon. At midnight, on the twenty-eighth, the short darkness was lighted up by a fleet of fire-ships, that, after a furious storm of wind, came down with the tide in the proper direction. But the British sailors grappled with them and towed them free of the shipping.

The river was Wolfe's; the men-of-war made it so; and, being master of the deep water, he also had the superiority on the south shore of the St. Lawrence. In the night of the twenty-ninth, Monckton, with four battalions, having crossed the south channel, occupied Point Levi; and where the mighty current, which below the town expands as a bay, narrows to a deep stream of but a mile in width, batteries of mortar and cannon were constructed. The citizens of Quebec, foreseeing the ruin of their

houses, volunteered to pass over the river and destroy the works; but, at the trial, their courage failed them, and they retreated. The English, by the discharge of red-hot balls and shells, set on fire fifty houses in a night, demolished the lower town, and injured the upper. But the citadel was beyond their reach, and every avenue from the river to the cliff was too strongly intrenched for an assault.

As yet no real progress had been made. Wolfe

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