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      "I do not like his suspiciousness. I think him a good, honest Norman; but Normans are out of fashion. It is one thing to-day, another to-morrow. It seems to me that he is not so sure about his undertaking as he was at Paris. This morning he [Pg 358] came to see me, and told me he had changed his mind, and meant to give a new turn to the business, and go to another coast. He gave very poor reasons, to which I assented, to avoid a quarrel. I thought, by what he said, that he wanted to find a scapegoat to bear the blame, in case his plan does not succeed as he hopes. For the rest, I think him a brave man and a true; and I am persuaded that if this business fails, it will be because he does not know enough, and will not trust us of the profession. As for me, I shall do my best to help him, as I have told you before; and I am delighted to have him keep his secret, so that I shall not have to answer for the result. Pray do not show my letters, for fear of committing me with him. He is too suspicious already; and never was Norman so Norman as he, which is a great hinderance to business."It was he who crushed French Protestantism in America. To plant religious freedom on this western soil was not the mission of France. It was for her to rear in northern forests the banner of absolutism and of Rome; while among the rocks of Massachusetts England and Calvin fronted her in dogged opposition, long before the ice-crusted pines of Plymouth had listened to the rugged psalmody of the Puritan, the solitudes of Western New York and the stern wilderness of Lake Huron were trodden by the iron heel of the soldier and the sandalled foot of the Franciscan friar. France was the true pioneer of the Great West. They who bore the fleur-de-lis were always in the van, patient, daring, indomitable. And foremost on this bright roll of forest chivalry stands the half-forgotten name of Samuel de Champlain.


      discoverer of the Rocky Mountains.was at that time unbounded, and their direct political power was very great. A protest on their part, and that of the newly arrived bishop, who was in their interest, could not have failed of effect. The truth was, they did not care to prevent the torture of prisoners of war, not solely out of that spirit of compliance with the savage humor of Indian allies which stains so often the pages of French American history, but also, and perhaps chiefly, from motives purely religious. Torture, in their eyes, seems to have been a blessing in disguise. They thought it good for the soul, and in case of obduracy the surest way of salvation. We have very rarely indeed, writes one of them, seen the burning of an Iroquois without feeling sure that he was on the path to Paradise; and we never knew one of them to be surely on the path to Paradise without seeing him pass through this fiery punishment. * So they let the Wolf burn; but first, having instructed him after their fashion, they baptized him, and his savage soul flew to heaven out of the fire. "Is it not, pursues the same writer, a marvel to see a wolf changed at one stroke into a lamb, and enter into the fold of Christ, which he came to ravage?


      cette pesche (de la morue) quelle fait la plus grandeHere was the centre and base of the Huron missions; and now, for once, one must wish that Jesuit pens had been more fluent. They have told us but little of Sainte Marie, and even this is to be gathered chiefly from incidental allusions. In the forest, which long since has resumed its reign over this memorable spot, the walls and ditches of the fortifications may still be plainly traced; and the deductions from these remains are in perfect accord with what we can gather from the Relations and letters of the priests. [1] The fortified work which inclosed the buildings was in the form of a parallelogram, about a hundred and seventy-five feet long, and from eighty to ninety wide. It lay parallel with the river, and somewhat more than a hundred feet distant from it. On two sides it was a continuous wall of masonry, [2] flanked with square bastions, adapted to musketry, and probably used as magazines, storehouses, or lodgings. The sides towards the river and the lake had no other defences than a ditch and palisade, flanked, like the others, by bastions, over each of which was displayed a large cross. [3] The buildings within 363 were, no doubt, of wood; and they included a church, a kitchen, a refectory, places of retreat for religious instruction and meditation, [4] and lodgings for at least sixty persons. Near the church, but outside the fortification, was a cemetery. Beyond the ditch or canal which opened on the river was a large area, still traceable, in the form of an irregular triangle, surrounded by a ditch, and apparently by palisades. It seems to have been meant for the protection of the Indian visitors who came in throngs to Sainte Marie, and who were lodged in a large house of bark, after the Huron manner. [5] Here, perhaps, was also the hospital, which was placed without the walls, in order that Indian women, as well as men, might be admitted into it. [6]

      CHAPTER XXI

      [8] "Ie voudrois pouuoir representer toutes les personnes affectionnes nos Hurons, l'tat pitoyable auquel ils sont reduits; comment seroit-il possible que ces imitateurs de Isus Christ ne fussent meus piti la veu? des centaines et centaines de veuues dont non seulement les enfans, mais quasi les parens ont est outrageusement ou tuez, ou emmenez captifs, et puis inhumainement bruslez, cuits, dchirez et deuorez des ennemis."Lettre de Chaumonot Lalemant, Suprieur Quebec, Isle de St. Joseph, 1 Juin, 1649.CHAPTER XI.


      They carried with them the instruments of their revenge, the accusations of Laval and the Jesuits against the author of their woes. Of these accusations one alone would have sufficed. Mzy had appealed to the people. It is true that he did so from no love of popular liberty, but simply do make head against an opponent; yet the act alone was enough, and he received a peremptory recall. Again Laval had triumphed. He had made one governor and unmade two, if not three. The modest Levite, as one of his biographers calls him in his earlier days, had become the foremost power in Canada.Still, there were many strange things about him. For instance, he knew so little of the poets that, as the jester Stephanus said, he might easily have been persuaded that one of Pindars odes was written by Homer. But, if any one laughed at such stupendous ignorance, Lycon said:

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      * Faillon, Colonie Fran?aise, II. 244. * Documents on the Seigniorial Tenure; Abstracts of Titles.

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      In respect to the arts of life, all these stationary tribes were in advance of the wandering hunters of the North. The women made a species of earthen pot for cooking, but these were supplanted by the copper kettles of the French traders. They wove rush mats with no little xxxi skill. They spun twine from hemp, by the primitive process of rolling it on their thighs; and of this twine they made nets. They extracted oil from fish and from the seeds of the sunflower,the latter, apparently, only for the purposes of the toilet. They pounded their maize in huge mortars of wood, hollowed by alternate burnings and scrapings. Their stone axes, spear and arrow heads, and bone fish-hooks, were fast giving place to the iron of the French; but they had not laid aside their shields of raw bison-hide, or of wood overlaid with plaited and twisted thongs of skin. They still used, too, their primitive breastplates and greaves of twigs interwoven with cordage. [12] The masterpiece of Huron handiwork, however, was the birch canoe, in the construction of which the Algonquins were no less skilful. The Iroquois, in the absence of the birch, were forced to use the bark of the elm, which was greatly inferior both in lightness and strength. Of pipes, than which nothing was more important in their eyes, the Hurons made a great variety, some of baked clay, others of various kinds of stone, carved by the men, during their long periods of monotonous leisure, often with great skill and ingenuity. But their most mysterious fabric was wampum. This was at once their currency, their ornament, their pen, ink, and parchment; and its use was by no means confined to tribes of the Iroquois stock. It consisted of elongated beads, white and purple, made from the inner part of certain shells. It is not easy to conceive how, with their rude implements, the Indians contrived to shape and perforate this intractable material. The art soon fell into disuse, however; for wampum better than their own xxxii was brought them by the traders, besides abundant imitations in glass and porcelain. Strung into necklaces, or wrought into collars, belts, and bracelets, it was the favorite decoration of the Indian girls at festivals and dances. It served also a graver purpose. No compact, no speech, or clause of a speech, to the representative of another nation, had any force, unless confirmed by the delivery of a string or belt of wampum. [13] The belts, on occasions of importance, were wrought into significant devices, suggestive of the substance of the compact or speech, and designed as aids to memory. To one or more old men of the nation was assigned the honorable, but very onerous, charge of keepers of the wampum,in other words, of the national records; and it was for them to remember and interpret the meaning of the belts. The figures on wampum-belts were, for the most part, simply mnemonic. So also were those carved on wooden tablets, or painted on bark and skin, to preserve in memory the songs of war, hunting, or magic. [14] The Hurons had, however, in common with other tribes, a system of rude pictures and arbitrary signs, by which they could convey to each other, with tolerable precision, information touching the ordinary subjects of Indian interest.

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      October woods. Te Deum was sung and mass said; and then the victors began their backward march, burning, as they went, all the remaining forts, with all their hoarded stores of corn, except such as they needed for themselves. If they had failed to destroy their enemies in battle, they hoped that winter and famine would do the work of shot and steel.


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