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      Mars, 1676. la justice et la distribution des terres du Canada, Jan. 24,

      According to Argenson, Laval had said, A bishop can do what he likes; and his action answered reasonably well to his words. He thought himself above human law. In vindicating the assumed rights of the church, he invaded the rights of others, and used means from which a healthy conscience would have shrunk. All his thoughts and sympathies had run from childhood in ecclesiastical channels, and he cared for nothing outside the church. Prayer, meditation, and asceticism had leavened and moulded him. During four years he had been steeped in the mysticism of the Hermitage, which had for its aim the annihilation of self, and through self-annihilation the absorption into God. * He had passed from a life of visions to a life of action. Earnest to fanaticism, he saw but one great object, the glory of God on earth. He was penetrated by the poisonous casuistry of the Jesuits,V1 the boatmen and the draymen at the carrying-places, that the greater part deserted. Along with these disheartening tidings, Shirley learned the death of his eldest son, killed at the side of Braddock. He had with him a second son, Captain John Shirley, a vivacious young man, whom his father and his father's friends in their familiar correspondence always called "Jack." John Shirley's letters give a lively view of the situation.

      [501] Bougainville, Journal.V1 at the middle of November, struck into the wilderness with Christopher Gist as a guide, Vanbraam, a Dutchman, as French interpreter, Davison, a trader, as Indian interpreter, and four woodsmen as servants. They went to the forks of the Ohio, and then down the river to Logstown, the Chiningu of Cloron de Bienville. There Washington had various parleys with the Indians; and thence, after vexatious delays, he continued his journey towards Fort Le B?uf, accompanied by the friendly chief called the Half-King and by three of his tribesmen. For several days they followed the traders' path, pelted with unceasing rain and snow, and came at last to the old Indian town of Venango, where French Creek enters the Alleghany. Here there was an English trading-house; but the French had seized it, raised their flag over it, and turned it into a military outpost. [134] Joncaire was in command, with two subalterns; and nothing could exceed their civility. They invited the strangers to supper; and, says Washington, "the wine, as they dosed themselves pretty plentifully with it, soon banished the restraint which at first appeared in their conversation, and gave a license to their tongues to reveal their sentiments more freely. They told me that it was their absolute design to take possession of the Ohio, and, by G, they would do it; for that although they were sensible the English could raise two men for 134

      When the Indians woke in the morning, dull and stupefied from their nightmare slumbers, they were astonished at the silence that reigned in the mission-house. They looked through the palisade. Nothing was stirring but a bevy of hens clucking and scratching in the snow, and one or two dogs imprisoned in the house and barking to be set free The Indians waited for some time, then climbed the palisade, burst in the doors, and found the house empty. Their amazement was unbounded. How, without canoes, could the French have escaped by water? and how else could they escape? The snow which had fallen during the night completely hid their footsteps. A superstitious awe seized the Iroquois. They thought that the black-robes and their flock had flown off through the air.Whatever the motives of the expedition, it left Montreal in June, under the Sieur de Lignery, followed the rugged old route of the Ottawa, and did not reach Michilimackinac till after midsummer. Thence, in a flotilla of birch canoes carrying about a thousand Indians and five hundred French, the party set out for the fort at the head of Green Bay.[347] Here they caught one Outagamie warrior and three Winnebagoes, whom the Indian allies tortured to death. Then they paddled their canoes up Fox River, reached a Winnebago village on the twenty-fourth of August, followed the channel of the stream, a ribbon of lazy water twisting in a vague, perplexing way through the broad marsh of wild rice and flags, till they saw the chief village of the Outagamies[Pg 339] on a tract of rising ground a little above the level of the bog.[348] It consisted of bark wigwams, without palisades or defences of any kind. Its only inmates were three squaws and one old man. These were all seized, and, to the horror of Pre Crespel, the chaplain, were given to the Indian allies, who kept the women as slaves, and burned the old man at a slow fire.[349] Then, after burning the village and destroying the crop of maize, peas, beans, and squashes that surrounded it, the whole party returned to Michilimackinac.[350]

      Shirley followed, embarking at the Dutch village of Schenectady, and ascending the Mohawk with about two hundred of the so-called regulars in bateaux. They passed Fort Johnson, the two villages of the Mohawks, and the Palatine settlement of German Flats; left behind the last trace of civilized man, rowed sixty miles through a wilderness, and reached the Great Carrying Place, which divided the waters that flow to the Hudson from those that flow to Lake Ontario. Here now stands the city which the classic zeal of its founders has adorned with the name of Rome. Then all was swamp and forest, traversed by a track that led to Wood Creek,which is not to be confounded with the Wood Creek of Lake Champlain. Thither the bateaux were dragged on sledges and launched on the dark and tortuous stream, which, fed by a decoction of forest leaves 322

      masters of small river craft. The rest belonged to religious[23] Plan for the Termination of the Iroquois War, N. Y. Col. Docs., IX. 375.



      Though not himself of the highest rank, his 10 position at court was, from the courtier point of view, an enviable one. The princess, after her banishment had ended, more than once mentions incidentally that she had met him in the cabinet of the queen. Her dislike of him became intense, and her fondness for his wife changed at last to aversion. She charges the countess with ingratitude. She discovered, or thought that she discovered, that in her dispute with her father, and in certain dissensions in her own household, Madame de Frontenac had acted secretly in opposition to her interests and wishes. The imprudent lady of honor received permission to leave her service. It was a woful scene. "She saw me get into my carriage," writes the princess, "and her distress was greater than ever. Her tears flowed abundantly: as for me, my fortitude was perfect, and I looked on with composure while she cried. If any thing could disturb my tranquility, it was the recollection of the time when she laughed while I was crying." Mademoiselle de Montpensier had been deeply offended, and apparently with reason. The countess and her husband received an order never again to appear in her presence; but soon after, when the princess was with the king and queen at a comedy in the garden of the Louvre, Frontenac, who had previously arrived, immediately changed his position, and with his usual audacity took a post so conspicuous that she could not help seeing him. "I confess," she says, "I was so angry that I could find no pleasure in the play; but I said nothing to the king and queen, fearing that 11 they would not take such a view of the matter as I wished." [7]


      80The floodgates of murder were open, and the torrent must have its way. Vengeance and safety alike demanded the death of La Salle. Hiens, or "English Jem," alone seems to have hesitated; for he was one of those to whom that stern commander had always been partial. Meanwhile, the intended victim was still at his camp, about six miles distant. It is easy to picture, with sufficient accuracy, the features of the scene,the sheds of bark and branches, beneath which, among blankets and buffalo-robes, camp-utensils, pack-saddles, rude harness, guns, powder-horns, and bullet-pouches, the men lounged away the hour, sleeping or smoking, or talking among themselves; the blackened kettles that hung from tripods of poles over the fires; the Indians strolling about the place or lying, like dogs in the sun, with eyes half-shut, yet all observant; and, in the neighboring meadow, the horses grazing under the eye of a watchman.