Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 67 > Page 52 - Through an Ocean Storm to the Fortress of Louisbourg, 1750

Page 52 - Through an Ocean Storm to the Fortress of Louisbourg, 1750

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1994/8/1 (150 reads)

ing to be immediately swallowed up by the sea but by paying our vows. It added that the crew should come to make one to St. Nicholas, with a promise to chant a grand mass at Louis? bourg, if it pleased God to deliver us from the imminent danger in which we were; and it invited us to join ours to theirs, as our only resource for preserving existence. Weak and melancholy resource! In the meantime we demanded from every one a crown of six francs to be put into the contribution which the sailors were making for this grand mass. I crawled upon the deck to see what state we were in. My eyes were not able to support but for an instant the horribly frightful views of the sea, which formed monstrous surges like to moun? tains, sharp and moving, forming many tiers of hills. From their summits rose up grand jets of foam, which sparkled like the col? our of the rainbow. They were so elevated that our vessel seemed down in a valley at the foot of the mountains, every surge threatening our destruction, and to precipitate us to the bottom of these vast abysses. It is a beautiful and majestic hor? ror which one would view with admiration in looking upon it on the earth. We were at the Cape without sails; the ship could not carry any. That which rendered the rolling terrible was the ship being carried in the water at every surge in a manner certainly calculated to discover the keel on the opposite side. One must have tried to make weigh without a sail of the misery of lighten? ing the ship, but she was carried away immediately by the wind like a sheet of paper. Having regained the cabin as fast as I could, but not without dif? ficulty, and without bruises, I there found M. Frene, who knocked with great handcuffs against the partition. "2k)unds," said he to me, "is it not terrible to perish in this manner after having escaped an infernal fire at the assault of Berg-op-zoom with the grenadiers of the regiment of Lowendhal?" M. Monta? lambert let fly tranquilly a torrent of tears. The Chevalier de Trion, a young man of about twenty years of age, who appeared less affected with our unhappy lot, said to me that he had made his peace before our departure from Rochefort It seemed that the more one had lived, the more ought one to regret to quit life. This would have been a beautiful subject for a painter, to repre? sent the contrasts in the characters, which even the same event An Exciting New Video by SILVER DONALD CAMERON THE ECHOES OF WAR in a small Cape Breton community. With a crew of local teenagers, Silver Donald Cameron interviews the soldiers, sailors and airmen from Isle Madame who fought in both World Wars and Korea. Over the shoulders of today's young people, yesterday's young people tell us how it was. From the fet? id trenches to the V-E Day riot in Halifax • stories of fear, pas? sion, endurance and humour that remade the lives of a generation. CRIMSON FLOWER BATTLE Cheques or Money Orders: Breton Books, Wreck Cove, N. S. BOC IHO CREDIT CARD ORDERS: TOLL FREE 1-800-565-5140 affected differentiy. I was resigned to die, as I had always been in all my misadventures during the time that I had fled the scaf? fold; that is to say, submitting myself with patience to a fatal destiny which there was no means of evading, sooner or later; for human nature trembles at its destruction in health and in cold blood. I had a great appearance of tranquillity outwardly, but the mind was at the same time lacerated and tormented to imagine what would be the last fall of the curtain, by which we were shortly going to be enlightened. They came to inform us that Fremont had fallen down dead, but this was only a fainting fit, which passed away at the end of a quarter of an hour. It was the ambition of this foolish animal to command a ship, which had plunged us into diis disaster; and he was as lazy and without spirit in dangers, as he was insolent and impertinent when it was fine weather. I passed all the day reading the Psalms of David, and plunged at the same time, into continual reflections on a future existence and the immortality of the soul. I recollected what had been said by WoUaston, who appears to me the most satisfactory of all those I have read upon the subject, of which no mortal shall ever be able to unveil the darkness that covers it. Towards three o'clock after mid-day, a wave stove in the port holes of the cabin and tumbled upon the Chevalier Trion, who was sleeping in his bed the length of tiie windows. As his bed was soaked with the sea water, I made him lie down with me in the cabin, which they had given me, at my entry into the sa? loon. It was with difficulty that we could get our soldiers to re? main at the pump, and in fact these poor unfortunates had much to suffer, for at every instant the waves gushed over them with violence, and often swept them into the sea. The Chevalier Trion made constant bulwarks between the decks to cause them mount on high, the Serjeants at this critical moment having lost all their authority over them; and it was not but by threatening and maltreating them that it was possible to obtain the end. They always answered, "that to perish was but to perish, but it was better to perish on the quarter deck than to be swept away by the waves, or crushed to death on the deck." We had many of our soldiers wounded, the surges of the sea coming on deck with astonishing force, throwing them often from one side of the ship to the other. Towards six o'clock at night, our carpenter, who was a pleasant original, and a true harlequin, but very active and laborious at work, having remained working before the door of my cabin, where I was lying in bed with the Chevalier Trion, having asked him if he had anything new to communicate, he an? swered us • "Ah! yes, gentlemen, great news • very great news! The fore part of the ship is open, and the water is actual? ly entering it in bucketfuls; • the soldiers having wrought a long time at the pumps without being able to deliver it, it is at length broken; and there fell upon the deck a wave which cov- Breton Energy Ltd. fi' FIREPLACE PRODUCTS 564-4949 94 Johnstone Street, SYDNEY
Cape Breton's Magazine
  View this article in PDF format Print article

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to the PDF version of this content. Click here to download and install the Acrobat plugin
Acrobat Reader Download