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      [27] He complains that the Indians were very averse to giving information on the subject, so that the Jesuits had not as yet discovered the metal in situ, though they hoped soon to do so. The Indians told him that the copper had first been found by four hunters, who had landed on a certain island, near the north shore of the lake. Wishing to boil their food in a vessel of bark, they gathered stones on the shore, heated them red hot, and threw them in, but presently discovered them to be pure copper. Their repast over, they hastened to re-embark, being afraid of the lynxes and the hares, which, on this island, were as large as dogs, and which would have devoured their provisions, and perhaps their canoe. They took with them some of the wonderful stones; but scarcely had they left the island, when a deep voice, like thunder, sounded in their ears, "Who are these thieves who steal the toys of my children?" It was the God of the Waters, or some other powerful manito. The four adventurers retreated in great terror; but three of them soon died, and the fourth survived only long enough to reach his village, and tell the story. The island has no foundation, but floats with the movement of the wind; and no Indian dares land on its shores, dreading the wrath of the manito. Dablon, Relation, 1670, 84.Marguerite Bourgeoys also describes the affair in her unpublished writings.

      On the 6th of Juneonly a fortnight after Howe's departurethe three Commissioners, Lord Carlisle, Mr. Eden, and Governor Johnstone, arrived. They learned with consternation and unspeakable chagrin this order for the evacuation of Philadelphia, and, still more, that so important a dispatch had been kept concealed from them. There was not a single circumstance in favour of the Commissioners. At the same moment that we were making this disastrous retreat from the hardly-won Philadelphia, publishing our weakness to the world, Congress had just received the mighty news of French alliance, French aid, and French ships and troops steering towards their coasts. The Commissioners came furnished with propositions the most honourable and favours the most absolute. They were authorised to offer to the Americans that no military forces should be maintained in the Colonies without the consent of the General Congress or of the Assembly of a particular State; that England would take measures to discharge the debts of America, and to give full value to its paper money; would admit an agent or agents from the States into the British Parliament, and send, if they wished it, agents to sit with them in their Assemblies; that each State should have the sole power of settling its revenue, and perfect freedom of internal legislation and governmentin fact, everything except total severance from the parent country. Such terms, conceded at the proper time, would have made war impossible; but the proper time was long past, and they were now useless. The Commissioners applied to Washington for a passport to Congress, in order to lay the proposals brought by the Commissioners before them. But Washington bluntly refused the passport; and only consented to forward the letter through the common post. Congress took time to deliberate on the contents of the letter, and then returned an answer through their President, that the Act of Parliament and the forms of the Commission all supposed the American States to be still subject to Great Britain, which had long ceased to be fact; and that Congress could listen to no overtures from the King of England until he had withdrawn his fleet and armies, and was prepared to treat with them as independent States. The Commissioners could only retire, leaving behind them a manifesto threatening the utmost severities of war.

      The beginning was not hopeful; but the Jesuits persevered, and at length established their seminary on a firm basis. The Marquis de Gamache had given the Society six thousand crowns for founding a college at Quebec. In 1637, a year before the building of Harvard College, the Jesuits began a wooden structure in the rear of the fort; and here, within one inclosure, was the Huron seminary and the college for French boys.

      This destruction accomplished, the mob marched away to the house of Priestley, which was at Fair Hill, where they utterly burned and destroyed all the invaluable library, philosophical instruments, and manuscripts, containing notes of the doctor's further chemical experiments and discoveries. Fire-engines were called out to prevent the flames of the meeting-houses from spreading to the adjoining houses, but they were not suffered to play on the meeting-houses themselves, nor does any effort appear to have been made to save Priestley's house. The doctor and his family had made a timely retreat. He himself passed the first two nights in a post-chaise, and the two succeeding on horseback, but less owing to his own apprehensions of danger than to those of others. An eye-witness said that the high road for fully half a mile from his house was strewed with books, and that, on entering the library, there were not a dozen volumes on the shelves; while the floor was covered several inches deep with torn manuscripts. This was the work of the night of the 14th of July, and the riots continued from Thursday to Sunday; among the buildings destroyed being the paper warehouse of William Hutton, the historian of the place, and the author of several antiquarian treatises. Hutton was a man who had raised himself from the deepest poverty, for his father was a poor stocking-weaver of Derby. He had found Birmingham without a paper warehouse; had opened one, and, by that[385] shrewdness and carefulness in business, which are so conspicuous in his "Autobiography," and afford a valuable study for young men, had acquired a competence. He was not only an honour to the town by his upright character, and reputation as a self-taught author, but he had been an active benefactor to it. He had been the first to establish a circulating library in the town; was always an advocate and co-operator in works and institutions of improvement, and was the most active and able commissioner of the Court of Requests. His only crime was that of being a Nonconformist, and an advocate of advanced principles.

      [See larger version]amuses himself with hoarding it. They say it is very different with our neighbors the English, and one who knew the two colonies only by the way of living, acting, and speaking of the colonists would not hesitate to judge ours the more flourishing. In New England and the other British colonies, there reigns an opulence by which the people seem not to know how to profit; while in New France poverty is hidden under an air of ease which appears entirely natural. The English colonist keeps as much and spends as little as possible: the French colonist enjoys what he has got, and often makes a display of what he has not got. The one labors for his heirs: the other leaves them to get on as they can, like himself. I could push the comparison farther; but I must close here: the kings ship is about to sail, and the merchant vessels are getting ready to follow. In three days perhaps, not one will be left in the harbor. * And now we, too, will leave Canada. Winter draws near, and the first patch of snow lies gleaming on the distant mountain of Cape Tourmente. The sun has set in chill autumnal beauty, and the sharp spires of fir-trees on the heights of Sillery stand stiff and black against the pure cold amber of the fading west. The ship sails in the morning; and, before the old towers of Rochelle rise in sight, there will be time to smoke many a pipe, and ponder what we have seen on the banks of the St Lawrence.


      This, one would think, might have sufficed to bring the governor to reason, but the violence of his resentments and antipathies overcame the very slender share of prudence with which nature had endowed him. One morning, as he sat at the head of the council board, the bishop on his right hand, and the intendant on his left, a woman made her appearance with a sealed packet of papers. She was the wife of the councillor Amours, whose chair was vacant at the table. Important business was in hand, the registration of a royal edict of amnesty to the coureurs de bois. The intendant, who well knew what the packet contained, demanded that it should be opened. Frontenac insisted that the business before the council should 52 proceed. The intendant renewed his demand, the council sustained him, and the packet was opened accordingly. It contained a petition from Amours, stating that Frontenac had put him in prison, because, having obtained in due form a passport to send a canoe to his fishing station of Matane, he had afterwards sent a sail-boat thither without applying for another passport. Frontenac had sent for him, and demanded by what right he did so. Amours replied that he believed that he had acted in accordance with the intentions of the king; whereupon, to borrow the words of the petition, "Monsieur the governor fell into a rage, and said to your petitioner, 'I will teach you the intentions of the king, and you shall stay in prison till you learn them;' and your petitioner was shut up in a chamber of the chateau, wherein he still remains." He proceeds to pray that a trial may be granted him according to law. [13]


      [7] Memoires de Mademoiselle de Montpensier, III. 270.HIS LETTERS INTERCEPTED.


      [7] Journal des Suprieurs des Jsuites. MS.