THE SIEGE OF LOUISBOURG 57
tion and repair, which, indeed, they were eager to do as a means of livelihood. Unfortunately, bribery and the utter want of conscience among officials then prevalent in France, had spread to the colonies, and without doubt contributed largely to the downfall of Canada. Much of the immense sums lavished by the mother country upon Louisbourg had been divided between the principal persons of the colony and the officers, and the indignant protests of the unpaid people and soldiery had culminated in open mutiny for several months previous to the arrival of the New England contingent.
This event surely pointed to united action on the part of the defenders, and the soldiers made the first advances, with patriotic anxiety urging the necessity of issuing against their enemies, and overthrowing the works while in the course of construction. But the rapacious and unprincipled officers, mistrusting a generosity of which they were themselves incapable, and suspecting that the troops desired to make sallies for the purpose of deserting, kept them in a manner prisoners, until the opportunity had passed, and the persevering assaults of the enemy, by a series of fortunate accidents, reduced the fortress to the necessity of capitulating.