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78   HISTORY OF CANADA.

officers at prices fixed by the intendant, received these prices in "card money," that is, in written promises to pay, which were afterwards dishonored. Through all this public distress and discontent, official plundering went on. Montreal was gay with dinner parties amongst those who were growing rich while French rule in Canada was drawing to its close. From tins time forward Montcalm was put more and more upon the defensive, lack of men and supplies preventing offensive operations.

Pitt's Vigorous Policy.—In England, William Pitt had risen to the head of affairs, and at once a change took place in the conduct of the war in America. Merit and not family connection was made the test of fitness to command. Loudon was recalled and to Major-General Sir Jeffrey Amherst was entrusted the carrying out of the vigorous campaign which Pitt planned against New France.

The Fall of Louisbourg.—First of all Louisbourg must be taken. Admiral Osborne barred the straits of Gibraltar to keep one French fleet in the Mediterranean. Admiral Hawke drove another ashore at Rochefort. Thus secured from interruption, Admiral Boscawen (" Old Dreadnought " his sailors affectionately called him) sailed for America, carrying with him a force of over twelve thousand men. Amherst was in command

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