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them the king's prisoners, and they were detained in the church für several days. “In consequence of their earnest entreaties, the prisoners were permitted, ten at once, to return to visit their wretched families, and to look for the last time upon their beautiful fields and their loved and lost homes.”
The close of the affecting narrative of Minot is as follows:
“ The whole number of persons collected at Grand Pre finally amounted to four hundred and eighty-three men, and three hundred and thirty-seven women, heads of famílies; and their sons and daughters to five hundred and twenty-seven of the former, and five hundred and seventy-six of the latter; making, in the whole, one thousand nine hundred and twenty-three souls. Their stock was upwards of five thousand horned caitle, four hundred and ninety-three horses, and twelve thousand eight hundred and eighty-seven sheep and swine.
“As some of these wretched inhabitants escaped to the woods, all possible measures were adopted to force them back to captivity.
The country was laid waste, to prevent their subsistence. In the district of Minas, where numbers had fled, they were quickly dispersed, according to the original plan, among the several British colonies. One thousand arrived in Massachusetts Bay, and became a public expense, owing in a great degree to an unchangeable antipathy to their situation, which prompted them to reiect the usual beneficiary, but humiliating, establishment of paupers zor their children.”
Another writer describes the moment o. embarkation in the following terms:
“ The preparations having been all completed, the 10th September was fixed upon as the day of departure. The prisoners were drawn up six deep, and the young men, one hundred and sixty-one in number, were ordered to go first on board of the vessels. This they instantly and peremptorily refused to do, declaring that they would not leave their parents; but expressed a willingness to comply with the order, provided they were permitted to embark with their families. Their request was immediately rejected, and the troops were ordered to fix bayonets and advance towards the prisoners; a motion which had the effect of producing obedience on the part of the young men, who forth with commenced their march. The road from the chapel to the shore, just one mile in length, was crowded with women and children, who, on their knces, greeted them as they passed with their tears and their blessings; while the prisoners advanced with slow and reluctant steps, weeping, praying, and singing hymns. This detachment was followed by the seniors, who passed through the same scene of sorrow and distress. In this manner was the whole male population of the district of Minas put on board oi five transports, stationed in the river Gaspereau, each vessel being guarded by six non-commissioned oficers and eighty privates. As soon as the other vessels arrived, their wives and children followed, and the whole were transported from Nova Scotia."
In speaking of the distresses which these ill-fated people endured,
Hutchinson says :-"In several instances, the husbands who happener to be at a distance from home were put on board vessels bound to one u the English colonies, and their wives and children on board other vessels, bound to other colonies, remote ,rom the first. One of the most sensible or them, describing his case, said, It was the hardest which had happened since our Saviour was upon carth.""
Another writer, Mr. Sabine, says :-"In another section of the colony, two hundred and fifty-three houses were set on fire at one time, and their owners beheld the awrul calamity from the neighbouring woods in unspeakable agony; when, at length, an attempt was made to burn the church, they suddenly emerged from the forest, slew and maimed about thirty of their enemies, and quickly returned to God's first temples.””
Whatever may have been the crimes of some of the Acadians, it is undeniable that, as a people, they were treated with unnecessary cruelty. And though the circumstances are well-nigh obliterated trom the pages of authentic history, they have an imperishable record in the pages of “Evangeline."
We may merely mention that some of the characters in the piece are not altogether imaginary personages. The Rene Leblanc, ror instance, was a notary-public, as the poet represents, and had wormerly suffered for his allegiance to the English crown. The Indians had carried him into captivity on that account, and detained him a prisoner four years. At the time on the events described, he was a vigorous old man, with twenty children, and one hundred and fifty grandchildren. Despite of a promise made to him by Winslow, he was sent to New York, with his wire and his two youngest children only, the others having been dispersed elsewhere. With this small band he set out in search of others of his family, and succeeded in joining three of them in Philadelphia. But here he was exhausted. The wrongs and sufferings which he and his compatriots had endured bowed his spirit to the dust, and he died broken-hearted and in despair,
A TALE OF LOVE IN ACADIE.
Part the First.
This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines
and the hemlocks, Bearded with moss, and garments green, indis
tinct in the twilight, Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and pro
phetic, Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on
their bosoms. Loud from its rocky caverns the deep-voiced neigh
bouring ocean Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the
wail of the forest.
This is the forest primeval; but where are the
hearts that beneath it Leaped like the roe, when he hears in the woodland
the voice of the huntsman ? Where is the thatch-roofed village, the home of
Acadian farmersMen whose lives glided on like rivers that water
the woodlands, Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting an
image of heaven?
Waste are those pleasant farms, and the farmers for
ever departed! Scattered like dust and leaves, when the mighty
blasts of October Seize them, and whirl them aloft, and sprinkle them
far o'er the ocean. Naught but tradition remains of the beautiful village
of Grand Pré.
| Ye who believe in affection that hopes, and en
dures, and is patient, Ye who believe in the beauty and strength of wo
man's devotion, 1 List to the mournful tradition still sung by the pines
of the forest; List to a Tale of Love A cadie, home of the
In the Acadian land, on the shores of the Basin of
Minas, Distant, secluded, still, the little village of Grand
Pré Lay in the fruitful valley. Vast meadows stretched
to the eastward, Giving the village its name, and pasture to flocks
without number. Dikes, that the hands of the farmers had raised
with labour incessant, Shut out the turbulent tides; but at stated seasons
the flood-gates Opened, and welcomed the sea to wander at will
o'er the meadows. West and south there were fields of flax, and orchards
and corn-fields, Spreading afar and unfenced o'er the plain; and
away to the northward Blomidon rose, and the forests old, and aloft on
Sea-fogs pitched their tents, and mists from the
mighty Atlantic Looked on the happy valley, but ne'er from their
station descended. There, in the midst of its farms, reposed the Aca
dian village. Strongly built were the houses, with frames of oak
and of chestnut, Such as the peasants of Normandy built in the
reign of the Henries. Thatched were the roofs, with dormer windows;
and gables projecting Over the basement below protected and shaded
the doorway. There in the tranquil evenings of summer, when
brightly the sunset Lighted the village street, and gilded the vanes on
the chimneys, Matrons and maidens sat in snow-white caps, and
in kirtles Scarlet and blue and green, with distaffs spinning
the golden Flax for the gossiping looms, whose noisy shuttles
within doors Mingled their sound with the whir of the wheels
and the songs of the maidens. Solemnly down the street came the parish priest,
and the children Paused in their play to kiss the hand he extended
to bless them. Reverend walked he among them; and up rose
matrons and maidens, Hailing his slow approach with words of affection
ate welcome. Then came the labourers home from the field, and
serenely the sun sank Down to his rest, and twilight prevailed. Anon
from the belfry Softly the Angelus sounded, and over the roofs of