“It is possible you may think I have, been speaking of everything but politics, and that you are asking yourselves what I really mean. Do you know what this election signifies? It is a contest of the French with the English. It is a question whether that arrogant minority shall continue to impose their ideas, their leaders, their execrable heresies, their taxes and restrictions upon this great French-Canadian Province—the only country which you have been able to hold for your own. You are here, at least, the majority! If their artifices have succeeded in excluding you from a part in governing the Dominion, there is one thing left; you can govern this Province if you stand by me! If you stand by my me you can make our country purely and powerfully French! The ballot gives us the government: we will legislate the English. We will repay their oppressions with taxes and leave the Frenchman free; we will overvalue their properties, and undervalue our own; we will divide their constituencies; we will proclaim parishes out of townships; we will deprive them of offices, harass their commerce, vex their heretical altars; we will force new privileges from the Federal power; we will colonize the public lands with our own people exclusively, and repatriate our children lost; we will possess ourselves of those palaces and that vast wealth they wring from our labor, and finally, free as these great stretches of the valley, we shall live at peace in our own land.”
A sullen murmur passed about. The passions were being roused. “The English eat the French-Canadians,” repeated several.
“Messieurs of Dormilliere, you can judge of me! They have said of me all sorts of calumnies, all kinds of insinuations. I have been painted as black as the evil spirits. Men are here who will tell you ’Grandmoulin is a hypocrite; Grandmoulin is a robber, a liar, a libertine,’—that I have ruined my Province and sold my people and committed all the list of mortal sins. But, my brothers, I turn from those who assert these wicked falsehoods and I justify myself to you.”
“Because I have not sought peace with the strong—because I have not acted a vanquished to the victors—because I have suffered—but that is nothing—because I have freely poured out every energy, as I do to-day,” (and there was certainly vast physical effort in the output he was then making of himself) “they have branded me that disturber, that robber, that murderer, that liar and that villain.”
“Messieurs, let me tell you a secret that will explain! Scan close and you will find that there is no man who says these things of me who is not either a friend of the English, and traitor to you, or else has been rejected by my associates as unworthy to represent our patriotic ambitions. I must speak even of the agreeable young man of intellect and eloquence who opposes me. I do not blame him: I forgive him. He is young and inexperienced, and he sees