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      As for Montreal, though it had given a Governor to the colony, its prospects were far from hopeful. The ridiculous Dauversire, its chief founder, was sick and bankrupt; and the Associates of Montreal, once so full of zeal and so abounding in wealth, were reduced to nine persons. What it had left of vitality was in the enthusiastic Mademoiselle Mance, the earnest and disinterested soldier, Maisonneuve, and the priest, Olier, with his new Seminary of St. Sulpice.

      [26] See "The Jesuits in North America."During the eighteenth century, some improvement is perceptible in the mental status of the population. As it became more numerous and more stable, it also became less ignorant; and the Canadian habitant, towards the end of the French rule, was probably better taught, so far as concerned religion, than the mass of French peasants. Yet secular instruction was still extremely meagre, even in the noblesse. In spite of this defective education, says the famous navigator, Bougainville, who knew the colony well in its last years, the

      1. The map of Galine, 1670, has a double title,Carte du Canada et des Terres dcouvertes vers le lac Deri, and Carte du Lac Ontario et des habitations qui l'environnent ensemble le pays que Messrs. Dolier et Galine, missionnaires du seminaire de St. Sulpice, ont parcouru. It professes to represent only the country actually visited by the two missionaries. Beginning with Montreal, it gives the course of the Upper St. Lawrence and the shores of Lake Ontario, the river Niagara, the north shore of Lake Erie, the Strait of Detroit, and the eastern and northern shores of Lake Huron. Galine did not know the existence of the peninsula of Michigan, and merges Lakes Huron and Michigan into one, under the name of "Michigan, ou Mer Douce des Hurons." He was also entirely ignorant of the south shore of Lake Erie. He represents the outlet of Lake Superior as far as the Saut Ste. [Pg 476] Marie, and lays down the river Ottawa in great detail, having descended it on his return. The Falls of the Genesee are indicated, as also the Falls of Niagara, with the inscription, "Sault qui tombe au rapport des sauvages de plus de 200 pieds de haut." Had the Jesuits been disposed to aid him, they could have given him much additional information, and corrected his most serious errors; as, for example, the omission of the peninsula of Michigan. The first attempt to map out the Great Lakes was that of Champlain, in 1632. This of Galine may be called the second.

      "Onontio, give ear. I am the mouth of all my nation. When you listen to me, you listen to all the Iroquois. There is no evil in my heart. My song is a song of peace. We have many war-songs in our country; but we have thrown them all away, and now we sing of nothing but gladness and rejoicing."CAPTURE OF MURAT. (See p. 117.)

      Another successful expedition this year was one against the Cape of Good Hope. This settlement, so desirable for Britain, with her Indian possessions, had been yielded up by the Addington Administration, at the Peace of Amiens, most[522] imprudently. A body of five thousand men was dispatched for its recovery, under Sir David Baird, in a fleet commanded by Sir Home Popham. They arrived in January, and the Dutch soldiers fled at the first attack. Retiring into the interior, General Beresford was dispatched after them, whereupon they surrendered, on condition that they should be sent to Holland without being deemed prisoners of war. ** See the deliberations and acts to this end in Edits et

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      After touching at several other towns of this people, the voyagers resumed their course, guided by two of the Arkansas; passed the sites, since become historic, of Vicksburg and Grand Gulf; and, about three hundred miles below the Arkansas, stopped by the edge of a swamp on the western side of the [Pg 301] river.[238] Here, as their two guides told them, was the path to the great town of the Taensas. Tonty and Membr were sent to visit it. They and their men shouldered their birch canoe through the swamp, and launched it on a lake which had once formed a portion of the channel of the river. In two hours, they reached the town; and Tonty gazed at it with astonishment. He had seen nothing like it in America,large square dwellings, built of sun-baked mud mixed with straw, arched over with a dome-shaped roof of canes, and placed in regular order around an open area. Two of them were larger and better than the rest. One was the lodge of the chief; the other was the temple, or house of the Sun. They entered the former, and found a single room, forty feet square, where, in the dim light,for there was no opening but the door,the chief sat awaiting them on a sort of bedstead, three of his wives at his side; while sixty old men, wrapped in white cloaks woven of mulberry-bark, formed his divan. When he spoke, his wives howled to do him honor; and the assembled councillors listened with the reverence due to a potentate for whom, at his death, a hundred victims were to be sacrificed. He received the visitors graciously, and joyfully [Pg 302] accepted the gifts which Tonty laid before him.[239] This interview over, the Frenchmen repaired to the temple, wherein were kept the bones of the departed chiefs. In construction, it was much like the royal dwelling. Over it were rude wooden figures, representing three eagles turned towards the east. A strong mud wall surrounded it, planted with stakes, on which were stuck the skulls of enemies sacrificed to the Sun; while before the door was a block of wood, on which lay a large shell surrounded with the braided hair of the victims. The interior was rude as a barn, dimly lighted from the doorway, and full of smoke. There was a structure in the middle which Membr thinks was a kind of altar; and before it burned a perpetual fire, fed with three logs laid end to end, and watched by two old men devoted to this sacred office. There was a mysterious recess, too, which the strangers were forbidden to explore, but which, as Tonty was told, contained the riches of the nation, consisting of pearls from the Gulf, and trinkets obtained, probably through other tribes, from the Spaniards and other Europeans.


      [10] Vimont, Relation, 1645, 22, 23. He adds, that, "if these people are barbarous in deed, they have thoughts worthy of Greeks and Romans." * Lettre de Ragueneau au R. P. Provincial, 9 Ao?t, 1657