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[195] of wheat, that yielded fifty and thirty fold at the bar-
chap. VIII.} 1755.
vest. Their houses were built in clusters, neatly constructed and comfortably furnished, and around them all kinds of domestic fowls abounded. With the spinning-wheel and the loom, their women made, of flax from their own fields, of fleeces from their own flocks, coarse, but sufficient clothing. The few foreign luxuries that were coveted could be obtained from Annapolis or Louisburg, in return for furs, or wheat, or cattle.

Thus were the Acadians happy in their neutrality and in the abundance which they drew from their native land. They formed, as it were, one great family. Their morals were of unaffected purity. Love was sanctified and calmed by the universal custom of early marriages. The neighbors of the community would assist the new couple to raise their cottage, while the wilderness offered land. Their numbers increased, and the colony, which had begun only as the trading station of a company, with a monopoly of the fur-trade, counted, perhaps, sixteen or seventeen thousand inhabitants.1

When England began vigorously to colonize Nova Scotia, the native inhabitants might fear the loss of their independence. The enthusiasm of their priests

1 Shirley said 16,000, Raynal and Haliburton, 17,000. The Board of Trade, in 1721, put the number vaguely at ‘nearly 3,000;’ these, in 1755, but for emigration to French America, would hardly have become more than 10,000; but there were more. Mascarene to Lords of Trade, 17 Oct., 1748, says, there were 4,000 or 5,000 French inhabitants, able to bear arms. Lieutenant-Governor Lawrence, in his circular to the different governors, 11 August, 1755, refers to those only who remained after large emigrations. Compare too Lawrence's State of the English and French Forts, quoted in Sir Thomas Robinson to Lieutenant-Governor Lawrence, 13 August, 1755. The number there given was 8,000.

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