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      Ordonnances concernant le Canada, 1. 30-32.body. As its three chiefs, the man of the sword, the man of the church, and the man of the law, were often at variance, the councillors attached themselves to one party or the other, and hot disputes sometimes ensued. The intendant, though but third in rank, presided at the sessions, took votes, pronounced judgment, signed papers, and called special meetings. This matter of the presidency was for some time a source of contention between him and the governor, till the question was set at rest by a decree of the king.

      [319] "L'galit d'humeur du Chef rassuroit tout le monde; et il trouvoit des resources tout par son esprit qui relevoit les esprances les plus abatues."Joutel, Journal Historique, 152.[47] On these attacks on the frontier of Maine, Penhallow, who well knew the country and the people, is the best authority. Niles, in his Indian and French Wars, copies him without acknowledgment, but not without blunders. As regards the attack on Wells, what particulars we have are mainly due to the research of the indefatigable Bourne. Compare Belknap, i. 330; Folsom, History of Saco and Biddeford, 198; Coll. Maine Hist. Soc., iii. 140, 348; Williamson, History of Maine, ii. 42. Beaubassin is called "Bobasser" in most of the English accounts.

      Out of the beaver trade rose a huge evil, baneful to the growth and the morals of Canada. All that was most active and vigorous in the colony took to the woods, and escaped from the control of intendants, councils, and priests, to the savage freedom

      WRECK OF THE "AIMABLE".As for the French claims to the Iroquois country and the upper lakes, he turned them to ridicule. They were founded, in part, on the missions established there by the Jesuits. "The King of China," observes Dongan, "never goes anywhere without two Jessuits with him. I wonder you make not the like pretence to that Kingdome." He speaks with equal irony of the claim based on discovery: "Pardon me if I say itt is a mistake, except you will affirme that a few loose fellowes rambling amongst Indians to keep themselves from starving gives the French a right to the Countrey." And of the claim 161 based on geographical divisions: "Your reason is that some rivers or rivoletts of this country run out into the great river of Canada. O just God! what new, farr-fetched, and unheard-of pretence is this for a title to a country. The French King may have as good a pretence to all those Countrys that drink clarett and Brandy." [3] In spite of his sarcasms, it is clear that the claim of prior discovery and occupation was on the side of the French.

      and expressed great surprise that the Iroquois had not come, adding that they must have stopped to attack Montreal or Three Rivers. Again all was terror, and again days passed and no enemy appeared. Had the dying converts, so charitably despatched to heaven through fire, sought an unhallowed consolation in scaring the abettors of their torture with a lie? Not at all. Bating a slight exaggeration, they had told the truth. Where, then, were the Iroquois? As one small point of steel disarms the lightning of its terrors, so did the heroism of a few intrepid youths divert this storm of war and save Canada from a possible ruin.

      The fleet consisted of twenty-two ships of the line, with frigates, sloops-of-war, and a great number of transports. When Admiral Saunders arrived with his squadron off Louisbourg, he found the entrance blocked by ice, and was forced to seek harborage at Halifax. The squadron of Admiral Holmes, which had sailed a few days earlier, proceeded to New York to take on board troops destined for the expedition, while the squadron of Admiral Durell steered for the St. Lawrence to intercept the expected ships from France.

      All night the hostile bands, ensconced behind their sylvan ramparts, watched each other in silence. In the morning, an Indian deserter told the English commander that the French were packing their baggage. Schuyler sent to reconnoitre, and found 314 them gone. They had retreated unseen through the snow-storm. He ordered his men to follow; but, as most of them had fasted for two days, they refused to do so till an expected convoy of provisions should arrive. They waited till the next morning, when the convoy appeared: five biscuits were served out to each man, and the pursuit began. By great efforts, they nearly overtook the fugitives, who now sent them word that, if they made an attack, all the prisoners should be put to death. On this, Schuyler's Indians refused to continue the chase. The French, by this time, had reached the Hudson, where to their dismay they found the ice breaking up and drifting down the stream. Happily for them, a large sheet of it had become wedged at a turn of the river, and formed a temporary bridge, by which they crossed, and then pushed on to Lake George. Here the soft and melting ice would not bear them; and they were forced to make their way along the shore, over rocks and mountains, through sodden snow and matted thickets. The provisions, of which they had made a dp?t on Lake Champlain, were all spoiled. They boiled moccasons for food, and scraped away the snow to find hickory and beech nuts. Several died of famine, and many more, unable to move, lay helpless by the lake; while a few of the strongest toiled on to Montreal to tell Callires of their plight. Men and food were sent them; and from time to time, as they were able, they journeyed on again, straggling towards their homes, singly or in small parties, feeble, emaciated, 315 and in many instances with health irreparably broken. [25]LA BARRE REBUKED.


      [Pg 332]He put his chief trust in Louvigny, formerly commandant at Michilimackinac. That officer proposed to muster the friendly tribes and march on the Outagamies just as their corn was ripening, fight them if they stood their ground, or if not, destroy their crops, burn their wigwams, and encamp on the spot till winter; then send out parties to harass them as they roamed the woods seeking a meagre subsistence by hunting. In this way he hoped to cripple, if not destroy them.[331] ** N Y. Colonial Documents. IX. 398.


      [26] Relation de Monseignat; Plan de Qubec, par Villeneuve, 1690; Relation du Mercure Galant, 1691. The summit of Cape Diamond, which 261 commanded the town, was not fortified till three years later, nor were any guns placed here during the English attack. reserve.


      Without doubt, Denonville was right in thinking that the chastising of the Iroquois, or at least the Senecas, the head and front of mischief, was a matter of the last necessity. A crushing blow dealt against them would restore French prestige, paralyze English intrigue, save the Illinois from destruction, and confirm the wavering allies of Canada. Meanwhile, matters grew from bad to worse. In the north and in the west, there was 123 scarcely a tribe in the French interest which was not either attacked by the Senecas or cajoled by them into alliances hostile to the colony. "We may set down Canada as lost," again writes Denonville, "if we do not make war next year; and yet, in our present disordered state, war is the most dangerous thing in the world. Nothing can save us but the sending out of troops and the building of forts and blockhouses. Yet I dare not begin to build them; for, if I do, it will bring down all the Iroquois upon us before we are in a condition to fight them."Leave Canada behind; cross the sea, and stand, on an evening in June, by the edge of the forest of Fontainebleau. Beyond the broad gardens, above the long ranges of moonlit trees, rise the walls and pinnacles of the vast chateau; a shrine of history, the gorgeous monument of lines of vanished kings, haunted with memories of Capet, Valois, and Bourbon.