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“let not my brave fellows see me drop!” He was carried to the rear and given a drink of water to quench his burning thirst.
“They run! they run!” cried the officer on whom the dying general leaned.
“Who run?” Wolfe asked, as his life-blood ebbed rapidly away.
“The French! They give way everywhere!" the officer answered.
“What?” cried the expiring hero, breathing with difficulty,“ do they run already? Go, one of you, to Colonel Burton; bid him march Webb's regiment with all speed to Charles River to cut off the fugitives.” Then, fixing his expiring eyes on the officer who supported his head on his knee, he exclaimed, “Now, God be praised, I die happy!” His eyes closed, his breathing ceased, and his chin fell; General Wolfe was dead.
Night, silence, the rushing tide, veteran discipline, the sure inspiration of genius, all had been his allies. High above the ocean river, his battlefield was the grandest stage for the performance of illustrious deeds. His victory, one of the most momentous in the annals of mankind, gave to the English tongue and the institutions of the Germanic race unexplored and seemingly infinite regions west and north. Into a few hours' action, he had crowded that which would have given lustre
to the length of life; and filling his day with greatness completed it before its noon.
Moncton was shot through the lungs and Townshend, next in command, recalled the troops from the pursuit; and, when De Bougainville appeared in view, declined a contest with a French enemy. But the hope of New France was already gone. Montcalm, the hope and mainstay of the French, while fighting before Moncton, and seeking to encourage his dispirited soldiers by personal example, was struck by a musket ball and mortally wounded. He was carried to the rear, where a surgeon, examining the wound, said he could not live.
"I am glad of it,” he cried. “How long shall I survive?”
“ Ten or twelve hours, perhaps less.”
“So much the better; I shall not live to see the surrender of Quebec.”
A council of war was summoned about the dying general, and to these he showed that in twelve hours all the troops near at hand might be concentrated to renew the attack before the English were intrenched. When De Ramsay, who commanded the garrison, asked his advice about defending the city, he answered:
“To your keeping I commend the honor of France. As for me, I shall pass the night with God, and prepare myself for death."
Having written a letter recommending the French prisoners to the generosity of the English, his last hours were given to the offices of religion, and, at five o'clock next morning, he expired.
Before the English batteries were planted, De Ramsay, acting on the advice of De Vaudreuil, capitulated, and thus England came into possession of the key to Canada, which she has held ever since.
Montcalm was buried in the grounds of the Ursuline Convent at Quebec. In its chapel a mural tablet commemorates him. Mr. Lossing says: “There I saw, a few years ago, the skull of that French commander, its base covered with a blue velvet and gold-laced military collar.” The remains of General Wolfe were removed to England, and his grateful government erected a monument to his memory in Westminster Abbey. Nearly seventy years after the capture of Quebec, an English governor of Canada caused a noble granite obelisk to be reared in the city of Quebec and dedicated
“ To the memory of Wolfe and Montcalm."