38 CANADA AND HER BRITISH
could easily disarm the whole fleet and hold the transports, so that the besiegers, without means of retreat or relief, would be forced to give in or perish.
At this point, Governor Shirley bethought him of an expedient. Unfortunately, no British ships were near, but the sixty-gun ship Superbe, with the Mermaid and Launceston, of forty guns each, were known to be at Antigua, under Commander Warren, whose personal interests in New England would at any time cause him to lend more than merely professional aid. A despatch boat was therefore fitted out to find and secure the services of Warren ; but great was the envoys' disappointment to find that he and his officers in council felt their powers too limited to be able to participate. Without losing time, the chagrined deputation set out on their return, but scarcely had the boat disappeared on the horizon when a delayed order from the Admiralty arrived, empowering their representative in certain cases to act on his own judgment. Under the circumstances, as soon as possible the little fleet cheerfully made sail for Nova Scotia.
In the colonies all was soon ready. Religious zeal and belief in the justice of their cause had