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      V2 of the contractor Cadet, commanded by officer named Kanon, and loaded with supplies for the colony. They anchored in the harbor, eighteen sail in all, and their arrival spread universal joy. Admiral Durell had come too late to intercept them, catching but three stragglers that had lagged behind the rest. Still others succeeded in eluding him, and before the first of June five more ships had come safely into port.

      [10] "Between 12 and 1,300 men." Walley, Journal. "About 1,200 men." Savage, Account of the Late Action. Savage was second in command of the militia. Mather says, 1,400. Most of the French accounts say, 1,500. Some say, 2,000; and La Hontan raises the number to 3,000.The arrival of the strangers was a great and amazing event for these savages, few of whom had ever seen a white man. On the day after their arrival the whole multitude gathered to receive them and offer them the calumet, with a profusion of songs and speeches. Then warrior after warrior recounted his exploits and boasted of the scalps he had taken. From eight in the morning till two hours after midnight the din of drums, songs, harangues, and dances continued without relenting, with a prospect of twelve hours more; and La Harpe, in desperation, withdrew to rest himself on a buffalo-robe, begging another Frenchman to take his place. His hosts left him in peace for a while; then the chiefs came to find him, painted his face blue, as a tribute of respect, put a cap of eagle-feathers on his head, and laid numerous gifts at his feet. When at last the ceremony ended, some of the performers were so hoarse from incessant singing that they could hardly speak.[374]

      ** Contrat de marriage, cited by Benjamin Suite in Revue de la Dpense que le Roy veut et ordonne estre faite, etc.,

      there? The future alone could tell. The mission, it must not be forgotten, had a double scope, half ecclesiastical, half political. The Jesuits had essayed a fearful task,to convert the Iroquois to God and to the king, thwart the Dutch heretics of the Hudson, save souls from hell, avert ruin from Canada, and thus raise their order to a place of honor and influence both hard earned and well earned. The mission at Lake Onondaga was but a base of operations. Long before they were lodged and fortified here, Chaumonot and Mnard set out for the Cayugas, whence the former proceeded to the Senecas, the most numerous, and powerful of the five confederate nations; and in the following spring another mission was begun among the Oneidas. Their reception was not unfriendly; but such was the reticence and dissimulation of these inscrutable savages, that it was impossible to foretell results. The women proved, as might be expected, far more impressible than the men; and in them the fathers placed great hope; since in this, the most savage people of the continent, women held a degree of political influence never perhaps equalled in any civilized nation. *When he returned from Port Royal, he found 244 Boston alive with martial preparation. A bold enterprise was afoot. Massachusetts of her own motion had resolved to attempt the conquest of Quebec. She and her sister colonies had not yet recovered from the exhaustion of Philip's war, and still less from the disorders that attended the expulsion of the royal governor and his adherents. The public treasury was empty, and the recent expeditions against the eastern Indians had been supported by private subscription. Worse yet, New England had no competent military commander. The Puritan gentlemen of the original emigration, some of whom were as well fitted for military as for civil leadership, had passed from the stage; and, by a tendency which circumstances made inevitable, they had left none behind them equally qualified. The great Indian conflict of fifteen years before had, it is true, formed good partisan chiefs, and proved that the New England yeoman, defending his family and his hearth, was not to be surpassed in stubborn fighting; but, since Andros and his soldiers had been driven out, there was scarcely a single man in the colony of the slightest training or experience in regular war. Up to this moment, New England had never asked help of the mother country. When thousands of savages burst on her defenceless settlements, she had conquered safety and peace with her own blood and her own slender resources; but now, as the proposed capture of Quebec would inure to the profit of the British crown, Bradstreet and his council thought it not unfitting to ask for a supply 245 of arms and ammunition, of which they were in great need. [13] The request was refused, and no aid of any kind came from the English government, whose resources were engrossed by the Irish war.

      Not suspecting that they were but an advance-guard, about half the rangers dashed in pursuit, and were soon met by the whole body of the enemy. The woods rang with yells and musketry. In a few minutes some fifty of the pursuers were shot down, and the rest driven back in disorder upon their comrades. Rogers formed them all on the slope of the hill; and here they fought till sunset with stubborn desperation, twice repulsing the overwhelming numbers of the assailants, and thwarting all their efforts to gain the heights in the rear. The combatants were often not twenty yards apart, and sometimes they were mixed together. At length a large body of Indians succeeded in turning the right flank of the rangers. Lieutenant Phillips and a few men were sent by Rogers to oppose the movement; but they quickly found themselves surrounded, and after a brave defence surrendered on a pledge of good treatment. Rogers now advised the volunteers, Pringle and Roche, to escape while there was time, and offered them a sergeant as guide; 14[158] A Journal had from Thomas Forbes, lately a Private Soldier in the King of France's Service. (Public Record Office.) Forbes was one of Villiers' soldiers. The commissary Varin puts the number of French at six hundred, besides Indians.

      If they had succeeded, colonies would have grown up on the Gulf of Mexico after the type of those already planted along the Atlantic: voluntary immigrants would have brought to a new home their old inheritance of English freedom; would have ruled themselves by laws of their own making, through magistrates of their own choice; would have depended on their own efforts, and not on government help, in the invigorating consciousness that their destinies were in their own hands, and that they themselves, and not others, were to gather the fruits of their toils. Out of conditions like these would have sprung communities, not brilliant, but healthy, orderly, well rooted in the soil, and of hardy and vigorous growth.


      The records of the Council preserve a guarded silence about this affair. I find, however, under date 20 Sept., 1663, Pouvoir a M. de Villeray de faire recherche dans la maison dun nomm du Mesnil des papiers appartenants au Conseil concernant Sa Majest; and under date 18 March, 1664, Ordre pour louverture du coffre contenant les papiers de Dumesnil, and also an Ordre pour mettre lInventaire des biens du Sr. Dumesnil entre les mains du Sr. Fillion.Having now accomplished his errand, Post wished to return home; but the Indians were seized with an access of distrust, and would not let him go. This jealousy redoubled when they saw him writing in his notebook. "It is a troublesome cross and heavy yoke to draw this people," he says; "they can punish and squeeze a body's heart to the utmost. There came some together and examined me about what I had wrote yesterday. I told them I writ what was my duty. 'Brothers, I tell you I am not afraid of you. I have a good conscience before God and man. I tell you, brothers, there is a bad spirit in your hearts, which breeds jealousy, and will keep you ever in fear.'" At last they let him go; and, eluding a party that lay in wait for his scalp, he journeyed twelve days through the forest, and reached Fort Augusta with the report of his mission. [657]


      wishes, he was doomed to disappointment. The system of movable curs, by which the bishop like a military chief could compel each member of his clerical army to come and go at his bidding, was from the first repugnant to Louis XIV. On the other hand, the bishop clung to it with his usual tenacity. Colbert denounced it as contrary to the laws of the kingdom. * His Majesty has reason to believe, he writes, that the chief source of the difficulty which the bishop makes on this point is his wish to preserve a greater authority over the curs. ** The inflexible prelate, whose heart was bound up in the system he had established, opposed evasion and delay to each expression of the royal will; and even a royal edict failed to produce the desired effect. In the height of the dispute, Laval went to court, and, on the ground of failing health, asked for a successor in the bishopric. The king readily granted his prayer. The successor was appointed; but when Laval prepared to embark again for Canada, he was given to understand that he was to remain in France. In vain he promised to make no trouble; *** and it was not till after an absence of four years that he was permitted to return, no longer as its chief, to his beloved Canadian church. ****


      The cliff called "Starved Rock," now pointed out to travellers as the chief natural curiosity of the region, rises, steep on three sides as a castle wall, to the height of a hundred and twenty-five feet above the river. In front, it overhangs the water that washes its base; its western brow looks down on the tops of the forest trees below; and on the east lies a wide gorge or ravine, choked with the mingled foliage of oaks, walnuts, and elms; while in its rocky depths a little brook creeps down to mingle with the river. From the trunk of the stunted cedar that leans forward from the brink, you may drop a plummet into the river below, where the cat-fish and the turtles may plainly be seen gliding over the wrinkled sands of the clear and shallow current. The cliff is accessible only from behind, where a man may climb up, not without difficulty, by a steep and narrow passage. The top is about an acre in extent. Here, in the month of December, La Salle and Tonty began to intrench themselves. They cut away the forest that crowned the rock, built store-houses and dwellings of its remains, [Pg 314]dragged timber up the rugged pathway, and encircled the summit with a palisade.[247]