CANADA AND HER NEIGHBOURS 31
menaced by their English neighbours, who had frequently succeeded in attracting the fur supplies and general trade of the Indians. At sea piracy was not uncommon on both sides, and from Louisbourg the whole fishing industry of the British colonies was kept in constant alarm, owing to the hostile supervision there maintained. Louisbourg, the only French naval station in North America, was admirably situated to command the entire coast, and being the continual resort of armed craft, had won for itself the name of the American Dunkirk.
The French government had spent twenty-five years in rendering this place impregnable, after the system of Vauban ; and Parkman, the historian, estimates its cost at the enormous sum of thirty million francs. Like a fair woman the fortress sat secure among the storms and mists of the Cape Breton coast, gazing straight across three thousand miles of sea at her mother country. King's, Queen's, Dauphin's, and Princess's bastions, outworks, and armaments all complete, mistress of the iron-bound coast and of Canada, she was indeed a crown jewel in the hand of the King.
The fort stood between its harbour and the sea, on a spit of land, the end of which lengthened