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V2 good offices the future major-general of the Continental Army was included in the next exchange of prisoners. La Ronde Denys accordingly received his instructions, which authorized him to negotiate with the "Bastonnais" as with an independent people, and offer them complete exemption from French hostility[Pg 160] if they would promise to give no more aid to Old England either in ships or men. He was told at the same time to approach the subject with great caution, and unless he found willing listeners, to pass off the whole as a pleasantry. He went to Boston, where he was detained in consequence of preparations then on foot for attacking Canada. He tried to escape; but his vessel was seized and moored under the guns of the town, and it is needless to say that his mission was a failure.
Johnson called a council of war; and as he was suffering from inflamed eyes, and was still kept in his tent by his wound, he asked Lyman to preside,not unwilling, perhaps, to shift the responsibility upon him. After several sessions and much debate, the assembled officers decided that it was inexpedient to proceed.  Yet the army lay more than a month longer at the lake, while the disgust of the men increased daily under the rains, frosts, and snows of a dreary November. On the twenty-second, Chandler, chaplain of one of the 315
complain again, Daddy dear, because Julia wears silk stockings Belleisle Montcalm, 19 Fv. 1759.
He found some comfort from the burgesses, who gave him forty thousand pounds, and would, he thinks, have given a hundred thousand if another attempt against Fort Duquesne had been set afoot. Shirley, too, whom the death of Braddock had made commander-in-chief, approved the Governor's plan of renewing offensive operations, and instructed Dunbar to that effect; ordering him, however, should they prove impracticable, to march for Albany in aid of the Niagara expedition.  The order found him safe in Philadelphia. Here he lingered for a while; then marched to join the northern army, moving at a pace which made it certain that he could not arrive in time to be of the least use.
Johnson had sent four Mohawk scouts to Canada. They returned on the twenty-first of August with the report that the French were all astir with preparation, and that eight thousand men were coming to defend Crown Point. On this a council of war was called; and it was resolved to send to the several colonies for reinforcements.  Meanwhile the main body had moved up the river to the spot called the Great Carrying Place, where Lyman had begun a fortified 294
 Lawrence to Lords of Trade, 18 July, 1755.