Such is an outline of the works and fortifications that most of the good and very provincial folk of the New England colonies, having neither seen nor dreamed of, undertook to seize. They were, in truth, more simple than reckless, whom a turn of events could rouse to the pitch of enthusiasm. Their simplicity is amusingly shown by the hope that it might be taken by good luck "when the enemy was asleep."
In 1744 affairs in America were apparently proceeding in the usual way, when a portion of Europe flared up internally in a fierce dispute between Austria and Prussia, a proceeding that set the mind of the Commandant of Louisbourg on fire with the desire to recover control of Acadia. Taking advantage of the circumstances, he hastily sent a couple of armed vessels, commanded by Captain Duvivier, against Canso, an English fishing station situated at the south end of the strait of that name, long an eyesore to him. It was occupied by about eighty English-men, busy with their work, and almost wholly unprepared for attack. The fishermen, in their peaceable occupation, were easily forced to give in, on condition that they should be sent to Boston, and the little village was reduced to ashes. Emboldened by this success, the Com-