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In April, before Bougainville's return, he wrote to his wife: "Can we hope for another miracle to save us? I trust in God; he fought for us on the eighth of July. Come what may, his will be done! I wait the news from France with impatience and dread. We have had none for eight months; and who knows if much can reach us at all this year? How dearly I have to pay for the dismal privilege of figuring two or three times in the gazettes!" A month later, after Bougainvile had come: "Our daughter is well married. I think I would renounce every honor to join you again; but the King must be obeyed. The moment when I see you once more will be the brightest of my life. Adieu, my heart! I believe that I love you more than ever."V1 captains when serving in conjunction with regular troops.  Hence the whole provincial army, as Winslow observes, might be put under the command of any British major.  The announcement of this regulation naturally caused great discontent. The New England officers held a meeting, and voted with one voice that in their belief its enforcement would break up the provincial army and prevent the raising of another. Loudon, hearing of this, desired Winslow to meet him at Albany for a conference on the subject. Thither Winslow went with some of his chief officers. The Earl asked them to dinner, and there was much talk, with no satisfactory result; whereupon, somewhat chafed, he required Winslow to answer in writing, yes or no, whether the provincial officers would obey the commander-in-chief and act in conjunction with the regulars. Thus forced to choose between acquiescence and flat mutiny, they declared their submission to his orders, at the same time asking as a favor that they might be allowed to act independently; to which Loudon gave for the present an unwilling assent. Shirley, who, in spite of his removal from command, had the good of the service deeply at heart, was much troubled at this affair, and wrote strong letters to Winslow in the interest of harmony. 
In the next year the two brothers sailed for the Isthmus of Panama as captains in the band of adventurers embarked in the disastrous enterprise known as the Darien Scheme. William Vetch died at sea, and Samuel repaired to New York, where he married a daughter of Robert Livingston, one of the chief men of the colony, and engaged largely in the Canadian trade. From New York he went to Boston, where we find him when the War of the Spanish Succession began. During his several visits to Canada he had carefully studied the St. Lawrence and its shores, and boasted that he knew them better than the Canadians themselves. He was impetuous, sanguine, energetic, and headstrong, astute withal, and full of ambition. A more vigorous agent for the execution of the proposed plan of conquest could not have been desired. The General Court of Massachusetts, contrary to its instinct and its past practice, resolved, in view of the greatness of the stake, to ask this time for help from the mother-country, and Vetch sailed for England, bearing an address to the Queen, begging for an armament to aid in the reduction of Canada and Acadia. The scheme waxed broader yet in the ardent brain of the agent;[Pg 135] he proposed to add Newfoundland to the other conquests, and when all was done in the North, to sail to the Gulf of Mexico and wrest Pensacola from the Spaniards; by which means, he writes, "Her Majesty shall be sole empress of the vast North American continent." The idea was less visionary than it seems. Energy, helped by reasonable good luck, might easily have made it a reality, so far as concerned the possessions of France.
As Wolfe had informed Pitt, his army was greatly weakened. Since the end of June his loss in killed and wounded was more than eight hundred and fifty, including two colonels, two majors, nineteen captains, and thirty-four subalterns; and to these were to be added a greater number disabled by disease.La Harpe was told by his hosts that the Spanish settlements could be reached by ascending their river; but to do this was at present impossible. He began his backward journey, fell desperately ill of a fever, and nearly died before reaching Natchitoches.
 Knox, Historical Journal, I. 228.
So threatening was the danger that England would seize the country, that Iberville had scarcely landed in France when he was sent back with a reinforcement. The colonial views of the King may be gathered from his instructions to his officer. Iberville was told to seek out diligently the best places for establishing pearl-fisheries, though it was admitted that the pearls of Louisiana were uncommonly bad. He was also to catch bison calves, make a fenced park to hold them, and tame them for the sake of their wool, which was reputed to be of value for various fabrics. Above all, he was to look for mines, the finding of which the document declares to be "la grande affaire."