36 CANADA AND HER BRITISH
considered, it is not surprising that the bill, though treated with profound gravity, was defeated, to the intense annoyance of its sup-porters. At once, however, public feeling proved that a mistake had been made. "If those not immediately concerned only stand gazing on while the wolff is murthering other parts of the flock, it will come to every one's turn at last," appears to have been the general and earnest impression. All the minor trials of the hand-inhand colonies were submerged, and the engrossing jealousies and animosities forgotten in the prospect of freeing themselves from their big, long-dreaded neighbour. Such was the mettle with which the scheme was discussed, that the Assembly was induced to reconsider its determination, and the measure passed, though, it is said, with the smallest possible majority.
With immense energy and determination Governor Shirley, Vaughan, Pepperel, Roger Wolcott, and others entered into the preparations. A good deal of excellent but unenthusiastic advice, like that of Benjamin Franklin, " Fortified towns are hard nuts to crack, and your teeth are not accustomed to it; but some seem to think that forts are as easy taken as snuff," was offered, but not acted upon.