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      Dablon descended to Quebec. There was long and anxious counsel in the chambers of Fort St. Louis. The Jesuits had information that, if the demands of the Onondagas were rejected, they would join the Mohawks to destroy Canada. But why were they so eager for a colony of Frenchmen? Did they want them as hostages, that they might attack the Hurons and Algonquins without risk of French interference; or would they massacre them, and then, like tigers mad with the taste of blood, turn upon the helpless settlements of the St. Lawrence? An abyss yawned on either hand. Lauson, the governor, was in an agony of indecision, but at length declared for the lesser and remoter peril, and gave his voice for the colony. The Jesuits were of the same mind, though it was they, and not he, who must bear the brunt of danger. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church, said one of them, and, if we die by the fires of the Iroquois, we shall have won eternal life by snatching souls from the fires of Hell.


      When France was heaving with the throes that prepared the Revolution; when new hopes, new dreams, new thoughts,good and evil, false and true,tossed the troubled waters of French society, Canada caught something of its social corruption, but not the faintest impulsion of its roused mental life. The torrent surged on its way; while, in the deep nook beside it, the sticks and dry leaves floated their usual round, and the unruffled pool slept in the placidity of intellectual torpor. *** writes that, as he serves almost everybody without fees, he


      The comic alternated with the tragic. On the twenty-third, they reached the bank of a river too deep to ford. Those who knew how to swim crossed without difficulty, but Joutel, Cavelier, and Douay were not of the number. Accordingly, they launched a log of light, dry wood, embraced it with one arm, and struck out for the other bank with their legs and the arm that was left free. But the friar became frightened. "He only clung fast to the aforesaid log," says Joutel, "and did nothing to help us forward. While I was trying to swim, my body being stretched at full length, I hit him in the belly with my feet; on which he thought it was all over with him, and, I can answer for it, he invoked Saint Francis with might and main. I could not help laughing, though I was myself in danger of drowning." Some Indians who had joined the party swam to the rescue, and pushed the log across.V1 me know whether you want any and what assistance to enable you to execute the orders, I will endeavor to send you such assistance from this province as you shall want." [245]

      Speaking of the disasters of this year, the soldier-priest, Dollier de Casson, writes: God, who afflicts the body only for the good of the soul, made a marvellous use of these calamities and terrors to hold the people firm in their duty towards Heaven. Vice was then almost unknown here, and in the midst of war religion flourished on all sides in a manner very different from what we now see in time of peace.The nation was not then in fighting equipment. After the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, the army within the three kingdoms had been reduced to about eighteen thousand men. Added to these were the garrisons of Minorca and Gibraltar, and six or seven independent companies in the American colonies. Of sailors, less than seventeen thousand were left in the Royal Navy. Such was the condition of England on the eve of one of the most formidable wars in which she was ever engaged.

      [3] Goyer, Oraison Funbre du Comte de Frontenac.run into debt to the company to an equal amount. * Part of his scanty income was derived from a fishery of eels, on which sundry persons had encroached, to his great detriment. ** I see no reason, he adds, for staying here any longer. When I came to this country, I hoped to enjoy a little repose, but I am doubly deprived of it; on one hand by enemies without, and incessant petty disputes within; and, on the other, by the difficulty I find in subsisting. The profits of the fur trade have been so reduced that all the inhabitants are in the greatest poverty. They are all insolvent, and cannot pay the merchants their advances.


      V1 way through the dripping forest to see the place, half a mile from the road, where his brother had been killed, and where several bodies still lay unburied. They had learned from a deserter the position of the enemy, and Villiers filled the woods in front with a swarm of Indian scouts. The crisis was near. He formed his men in column, and ordered every officer to his place.

      This reason was for the Pope and the cardinals. It may well be believed that he held a different language to the king. To him he urged that the bishopric was needed to enforce order, suppress sin, and crush heresy. Both Louis XIV. and the queen mother favored his wishes; * but difficulties arose and interminable disputes ensued on the question, whether the proposed bishopric should depend immediately on the Pope or on the Archbishop of Rouen. It was a revival of the old quarrel of Gallican and ultramontane. Laval, weary of hope deferred, at length declared that he would leave the colony if he could not be its bishop in title; and in 1674, after eleven years of delay, the king yielded to the Popes demands, and the vicar apostolic became first bishop of Quebec.

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      To his mother he writes of his absorbing occupations, and says: "You can tell my dearest that I have no time to occupy myself with the ladies, even if I wished to." Nevertheless he now and then found leisure for some little solace in his banishment; for he writes to Bourlamaque, whom he had left at Quebec, after a visit which he had himself made there early in the winter: "I am glad you sometimes speak of me to the three ladies in the Rue du Parloir; and I am flattered by their remembrance, especially by that of one of them, in 455Nothing was more likely than war. Intrigues were on foot between the Senecas and the tribes of the lakes, which threatened to render the appeal to arms a necessity to the French. Some of the Hurons of Michillimackinac were bent on allying themselves with the English. "They like the manners of the French," wrote Denonville; "but they like the cheap goods of the English better." The Senecas, in collusion with several Huron chiefs, had captured a considerable number of that tribe and of the Ottawas. The scheme was that these prisoners should be released, on condition that the lake tribes should join the Senecas and repudiate their alliance with the French. [3] The governor of New York favored this intrigue to the utmost.

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      [636] See Appendix G.

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      *** Colbert a Laval, 18 Mars, 1664.Perhaps it was to compensate him for the outlays into which he had been drawn that the colonial minister presently authorized him to embark for Louisiana and pursue his enterprise with that infant colony, instead of Canada, as his base of operations. Thither, therefore, he went; and in April, 1700, set[Pg 350] out for the Sioux country with twenty-five men, in a small vessel of the kind called a "felucca," still used in the Mediterranean. Among the party was an adventurous youth named Penecaut, a ship-carpenter by trade, who had come to Louisiana with Iberville two years before, and who has left us an account of his voyage with Le Sueur.[360]


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