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[197] oppressors, it was told them from the governor, ‘If
chap. VIII.} 1755.
they do not do it in proper time, the soldiers shall absolutely take their houses for fuel.’ The unoffending sufferers submitted meekly to the tyranny. Under pretence of fearing that they might rise in behalf of France, or seek shelter in Canada, or convey provisions to the French garrisons, they were directed to surrender their boats and their firearms;1 and, conscious of innocence, they gave up their barges and their muskets, leaving themselves without the means of flight, and defenceless. Further orders were afterwards given to the English officers, if the Acadians behaved amiss to punish them at discretion; if the troops were annoyed, to inflict vengeance on the nearest, whether the guilty one or not,—‘taking an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’

The French had yielded the sovereignty over no more than the peninsula. They established themselves on the isthmus in two forts,—one, a small stockade at the mouth of the little river Gaspereaux, near Bay Verde; the other, the more considerable fortress of Beau-Sejour, built and supplied at great expense, upon an eminence on the north side of the Messagouche, on the Bay of Fundy. The isthmus is here hardly fifteen miles wide, and formed the natural boundary between New France and Acadia.

The French at Beau-Sejour had passed the previous winter in unsuspecting tranquillity, ignorant of the preparations of the two crowns for war. As spring approached, suspicions were aroused; but De Vergor, the inefficient commander, took no vigorous measures for strengthening his works, nor was he

1 Memorials of the Deputies of Minas and Pisiquid, delivered to Captain Murray, 10 June, 1755.

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