Murray had left three or four hundred
men to guard Quebec when the rest marched out; and adding them to those 鏉窞妗戞嬁涓績鐗规湇 who had returned scathless from the fight, he now had about twenty-four hundred rank and file fit for duty. Yet even the troops that were rated as effective were in so bad a condition that the hyperbolical Sergeant Johnson calls them “half-starved, scorbutic skeletons.” That worthy soldier, commonly a model of dutiful respect to those above him, this time so far forgets himself as to criticise his general for the “mad, enthusiastic zeal” by which he nearly lost the fruits of Wolfe’s victory. In fact, the fate of Quebec trembled in the balance. “We were too few and weak 鏉窞濡冨瓙闃乿ivi to stand an assault,” continues Johnson, “and we were almost in as deep a distress as we could be.” At first there was some drunkenness and some plundering of private houses; but Murray stopped the one by staving the rum-barrels of the sutlers, and the other by hanging 鏉窞鏈夊摢浜涢珮妗ｆ按鐤椾紤闂蹭細鎵€ the chief offender. Within three days order, subordination, hope, and almost confidence were completely restored. Not a man was idle. The troops left their barracks and lay in tents close to their respective alarm posts. On the open space by St. Louis Gate a crowd of convalescents were busy in filling sand-bags to strengthen the defences, while the sick and wounded in the hospitals made wadding for the cannon. The ramparts 353
V2 were faced with fascines, of which a large stock had been provided in the autumn; chevaux-de-frise were planted in exposed places; an outwork 鏉窞鎸夋懇浼氭墍 was built to protect St. Louis Gate; embrasures were cut along the whole length of the walls; and the French cannon captured when the town was taken were planted against their late owners. Every man was tasked to the utmost of his strength; and the garrison, gaunt, worn, besmirched with mud, looked less like soldiers than like overworked laborers.
The conduct of the officers troubled the spirit of Sergeant Johnson. It shocked his sense of the fitness of things to see them sharing the hard work of the private men, and he thus gives utterance to his feelings: “None but those who were present on the spot can imagine the grief of heart the soldiers felt to see their officers yoked in the harness, dragging up cannon from the Lower Town; to see gentlemen, who were set over them
by His Majesty to command and keep them to their duty, working 鏉窞娲楁荡鍝濂?at the batteries with the barrow, pickaxe, and spade.” The effect, however, was admirable. The spirit of the men rose to the crisis. Murray, no less than his officers, had all their confidence; for if he had fallen into a fatal error, he atoned for it now by unconquerable resolution and exhaustless fertility of resource. Deserters said that L茅vis would assault the town; and the soldiers replied: “Let him come on; he will catch a Tartar.”
L茅vis and his army were no less busy in digging 354
V2 trenches along the stony back of the Buttes-脿-Neveu. Every day the English fire 鏉窞婊ㄦ睙鍖哄缃?grew hotter; till at last nearly a hundred and fifty cannon vomited iron upon them from the walls of Quebec, and May was well advanced before they could