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      262 And he then told her about his happy life in Athens, his deep repentance at Phorions description of Simonides illness, and his determination to restore the discipline of the household in order to obtain forgiveness.THE GREAT WAR PARTY.


      [Pg 308]In the course of the summer, the French at Three Rivers became aware that a band of Iroquois was prowling in the neighborhood, and sixty men went out to meet them. Far from retreating, the 420 Iroquois, who were about twenty-five in number, got out of their canoes, and took post, waist-deep in mud and water, among the tall rushes at the margin of the river. Here they fought stubbornly, and kept all the Frenchmen at bay. At length, finding themselves hard pressed, they entered their canoes again, and paddled off. The French rowed after them, and soon became separated in the chase; whereupon the Iroquois turned, and made desperate fight with the foremost, retreating again as soon as the others came up. This they repeated several times, and then made their escape, after killing a number of the best French soldiers. Their leader in this affair was a famous half-breed, known as the Flemish Bastard, who is styled by Ragueneau "an abomination of sin, and a monster produced between a heretic Dutch father and a pagan mother."


      This horrible violence to the noblest qualities of manhood, joined to that equivocal system of morality which eminent casuists of the Order have inculcated, must, it may be thought, produce deplorable effects upon the characters of those under its influence. Whether this has been actually the case, the reader of history may determine. It is certain, however, that the Society of Jesus has numbered among its members men whose fervent 12 and exalted natures have been intensified, without being abased, by the pressure to which they have been subjected.When the vessel anchored before Port Royal, Biencourt, with disgust and anger, saw another Jesuit landed at the pier. This was Gilbert du Thet, a lay brother, versed in affairs of this world, who had come out as representative and administrator of Madame de Guercheville. Poutrincourt, also, had his agent on board; and, without the loss of a day, the two began to quarrel. A truce ensued; then a smothered feud, pervading the whole colony, and ending in a notable explosion. The Jesuits, chafing under the sway of Biencourt, had withdrawn without ceremony, and betaken themselves to the vessel, intending to sail for France. Biencourt, exasperated at such a breach of discipline, and fearing their representations at court, ordered them to return, adding that, since the Queen had commended them to his especial care, he could not, in conscience, lose sight of them. The indignant fathers excommunicated him. On this, the sagamore Louis, son of the grisly convert Membertou, begged leave to kill them; but Biencourt would not countenance this summary mode of relieving his embarrassment. He again, in the King's name, ordered the clerical mutineers to return to the fort. Biard declared that he would not, threatened to excommunicate any who should lay hand on him, and called the Vice-Admiral a robber. His wrath, however, soon cooled; he yielded to necessity, and came quietly ashore, where, for the next three months, neither he nor his colleagues would say mass, or perform any office of religion. At length a change came over him; he made advances of peace, prayed that the past might be forgotten, said mass again, and closed with a petition that Brother du Thet might be allowed to go to France in a trading vessel then on the coast. His petition being granted, he wrote to Poutrincourt a letter overflowing with praises of his son; and, charged with this missive, Du Thet set sail.

      Accompanied by the gigantic Conops, who had volunteered his services, Lycon went to the market. It was a little open square, one side occupied by the council-hall, a pretty new pillared building, another by271 an ancient temple of Poseidon, one of the noteworthy objects in the city, a third by an arcade used for a shelter in rainy weather, and the fourth by the houses of the citizens.106 His features at this moment wore a serious expression which showed that, spite of his youth, he had seen and experienced many things.

      LANDING OF LA SALLE.You dont mean that, Lyrcus, he replied, for what man is mad enough to prefer war to peace? Is not war like a tempest or an earthquake? It turns everything upside down. In peace the sons bury their fathers, but in war fathers bury their sons.


      Polycles understood that the proposed suitor was excluded from the list.

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      A grisly old chief, named Ontitarac, withered with age and stone-blind, but renowned in past years for eloquence and counsel, opened the debate in a loud, though tremulous voice. First he saluted each of the three nations present, then each of the chiefs in turn,congratulated them that all were there assembled to deliberate on a subject of the last importance to the public welfare, and exhorted them to give it a mature and calm consideration. Next rose the chief whose office it was to preside over the Feast of the Dead. He painted in dismal colors the woful condition of the country, and ended with charging it all upon the sorceries of the Jesuits. Another old chief followed him. "My brothers," he said, "you know well that I am a war-chief, and very rarely speak except in councils of war; but I am compelled to speak now, since nearly all the other chiefs are dead, and I must utter what is in my heart before I follow them to the grave. Only two of my family are left alive, and perhaps even these will not long escape the fury of the pest. I have seen other diseases ravaging the country, but nothing that could compare with this. In two or three moons we saw their end: but now we have suffered for a year and more, and yet the evil does not abate. And what is worst of all, we have not yet discovered 120 its source." Then, with words of studied moderation, alternating with bursts of angry invective, he proceeded to accuse the Jesuits of causing, by their sorceries, the unparalleled calamities that afflicted them; and in support of his charge he adduced a prodigious mass of evidence. When he had spent his eloquence, Brbeuf rose to reply, and in a few words exposed the absurdities of his statements; whereupon another accuser brought a new array of charges. A clamor soon arose from the whole assembly, and they called upon Brbeuf with one voice to give up a certain charmed cloth which was the cause of their miseries. In vain the missionary protested that he had no such cloth. The clamor increased.

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      Every morning, at daybreak, an old warrior shouted the signal of departure; and the recumbent savages leaped up, manned their birchen fleet, and plied their paddles against the current, often without waiting to break their fast. Sometimes they stopped for a buffalo-hunt on the neighboring prairies; and there was no lack of provisions. They passed Lake Pepin, which Hennepin called the Lake of Tears, by reason [Pg 257] of the howlings and lamentations here uttered over him by Aquipaguetin, and nineteen days after his capture landed near the site of St. Paul. The father's sorrows now began in earnest. The Indians broke his canoe to pieces, having first hidden their own among the alder-bushes. As they belonged to different bands and different villages, their mutual jealousy now overcame all their prudence; and each proceeded to claim his share of the captives and the booty. Happily, they made an amicable distribution, or it would have fared ill with the three Frenchmen; and each taking his share, not forgetting the priestly vestments of Hennepin, the splendor of which they could not sufficiently admire, they set out across the country for their villages, which lay towards the north in the neighborhood of Lake Buade, now called Mille Lac.FOOTNOTES:

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      In this, and still more must it be the case in succeeding volumes, the amount of reading applied to their composition is far greater than the citations represent, much of it being of a collateral and illustrative nature. This was essential to a plan whose aim it was, while scrupulously and rigorously adhering to the truth of facts, to animate them with the life of the past, and, so far as might be, clothe the skeleton with flesh. If, at times, it may seem that range has been allowed to fancy, it is so in appearance only; since the minutest details of narrative or description rest on authentic documents or on personal observation.


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