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[203] day after the work was finished, a flag of truce was
Chap. LIV.} 1775. Dec.
again sent towards the wall with letters for the governor; but he refused to receive them or ‘hold any kind of parley with rebels.’ Montgomery knew that Carleton was sincere, and if necessary would sooner be buried under heaps of ruins than come to terms. The battery, consisting of but six twelve-pounders and two howitzers, had been thrown up only to lull the enemy into security at other points; it was too light to make any impression on the walls, while its embankment was pierced through and through, and its guns destroyed by the heavy artillery of the fortress. Some lives were lost, but the invaders suffered more from pleurisy and other diseases of the lungs; and the smallpox began its ravages.

A faint glimmer of hope still lingered, that the repeated defiance would induce Carleton to come out; but he could not be provoked into making an attempt to drive off the besiegers. ‘To the storming we must come at last,’ said Montgomery. On the evening of the sixteenth, a council was held by all the commissioned officers of Arnold's detachment, and a large majority voted for making an assault as soon as the men could be provided with bayonets, hatchets, and hand grenades. ‘In case of success,’ said Montgomery, ‘the effects of those who have been most active against the united colonies must fall to the soldiery.’ Days of preparation ensued, during which he revolved his desperate situation. His rapid conquests had filled the voice of the world with his praise; the colonies held nothing impossible to his good conduct and fortune; he had received the order of congress to hold Quebec, if it should come into his

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