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      One great fact stands out conspicuous in Canadian history,the Church of Rome. More even than the royal power she shaped the character and the destinies of the colony. She was its nurse and almost its mother; and, wayward and headstrong as it was, it never broke the ties of faith that held it to her. It was these ties which, in the absence of political franchises, formed under the old regime the only vital coherence in the population. The royal government was transient; the church was permanent. The English conquest shattered the whole apparatus of civil administration at a blow, but it left her untouched. Governors, intendants, councils, and commandants, all were gone; the principal seigniors fled the colony; and a people who had never learned to control themselves or help themselves were suddenly left to their own devices. Confusion, if not anarchy, would have followed but for the parish priests, who in a character of double paternity, half spiritual and half temporal, became more than ever the guardians of order throughout Canada.Serious in all things, incapable of the lighter pleasures, incapable of repose, finding no joy but in the pursuit of great designs, too shy for society and too reserved for popularity, often unsympathetic and always seeming so, smothering emotions which he could not utter, schooled to universal distrust, stern to his followers and pitiless to himself, bearing the brunt of every hardship and every danger, demanding of others an equal constancy joined to an implicit deference, heeding no counsel but his own, attempting the impossible and grasping at what was too vast to hold,he contained in his own complex and painful nature the chief springs of his triumphs, his failures, and his death.


      God has done for us, says Mother Mary, what he did in ancient days for his chosen people, striking terror into our enemies, insomuch that we were victors without a blow. Certain it is that there is miracle in all this; for, if the Iroquois had stood fast, they would have given us a great deal of trouble and caused our army great loss, seeing how they were fortified and armed, and how haughty and bold they are.


      * Advis et Rsolutions demands sur la Nouvelle France. * See Jesuits in North America, 438. The Iroquois, it will

      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; 14The temporary excitement caused among the colonists by their return soon gave place to a dejection bordering on despair. "This pleasant land," writes Cavelier, "seemed to us an abode of weariness and a perpetual prison." Flattering themselves with the delusion, common to exiles of every kind, that they were objects of solicitude at home, they watched daily, with straining eyes, for an approaching sail. Ships, indeed, had ranged the coast to seek them, but with no friendly intent. Their thoughts dwelt, [Pg 416] with unspeakable yearning, on the France they had left behind, which, to their longing fancy, was pictured as an unattainable Eden. Well might they despond; for of a hundred and eighty colonists, besides the crew of the "Belle," less than forty-five remained. The weary precincts of Fort St. Louis, with its fence of rigid palisades, its area of trampled earth, its buildings of weather-stained timber, and its well-peopled graveyard without, were hateful to their sight. La Salle had a heavy task to save them from despair. His composure, his unfailing equanimity, his words of encouragement and cheer, were the breath of life to this forlorn company; for though he could not impart to minds of less adamantine temper the audacity of hope with which he still clung to the final accomplishment of his purposes, the contagion of his hardihood touched, nevertheless, the drooping spirits of his followers.[319]

      Perplexed and troubled as he was, he would not reinstate Bourdon and the two councillors. The people began to clamor at the interruption of justice, for which they blamed Laval, whom a recent imposition of tithes had made unpopular. Mzy thereupon issued a proclamation, in which, after mentioning his opponents as the most subtle and artful persons in Canada, he declares that, in consequence of petitions sent him from Quebec and the neighboring settlements, he had called the people to the council chamber, and by their advice had appointed the Sieur de Chartier as attorney-general in place of Bourdon.***[420] The autograph letter is in Massachusetts Archives, LVI. no. 142. The same volume contains a letter from Colonel Frye, of Massachusetts, in which he speaks of the forlorn condition in which Chaplain Weld reached the camp. Of Chaplain Crawford, he says that he came decently clothed, but without bed or blanket, till he, Frye, lent them to him, and got Captain Learned to take him into his tent. Chaplains usually had a separate tent, or shared that of the colonel.


      Failure of Shirley's Plan ? Causes ? Loudon and Shirley ? Close of the Campaign ? The Western Border ? Armstrong destroys Kittanning ? The Scouts of Lake George ? War Parties from Ticonderoga ? Robert Rogers ? The Rangers ? Their Hardihood and Daring ? Disputes as to Quarters of Troops ? Expedition of Rogers ? A Desperate Bush-fight ? Enterprise of Vaudreuil ? Rigaud attacks Fort William Henry.

      peace speech, which, as rendered by the Jesuits, was an admirable specimen of Iroquois eloquence; but, while joining hands with him and his companions, the French still urged on their preparations to chastise the contumacious Mohawks. complains that, though Riverin had been often helped, his

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      If Canada escaped the dragonnades, so also she escaped another infliction from which a neighboring colony suffered deplorably. Her peace was never much troubled by witches. They were held to exist, it is true; but they wrought no panic. Mother Mary of the Incarnation reports on one occasion the discovery of a magician in the person of a converted Huguenot miller who, being refused in marriage by a girl of Quebec, bewitched her, and filled the house where she lived with demons, which the bishop tried in vain to exorcise. The miller was thrown into prison, and the girl sent to the H?tel-Dieu, where not a demon dared enter. The infernal crew took their revenge by creating a severe influenza among the citizens. *118

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      S'montroit soldat et gnral. * In 1674, the governor-general received 20,718 francs, out

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      V1 He convoked them for the first of November, sending Washington at the same time with the summons to Saint-Pierre. The burgesses met. Dinwiddie exposed the danger, and asked for means to meet it. [139] They seemed more than willing to comply; but debates presently arose concerning the fee of a pistole, which the Governor had demanded on each patent of land issued by him. The amount was trifling, but the principle was doubtful. The aristocratic republic of Virginia was intensely jealous of the slightest encroachment on its rights by the Crown or its representative. The Governor defended the fee. The burgesses replied that "subjects cannot be deprived of the least part of their property without their consent," declared the fee unlawful, and called on Dinwiddie to confess it to be so. He still defended it. They saw in his demand for supplies a means of bringing him to terms, and refused to grant money unless he would recede from his position. Dinwiddie rebuked them for "disregarding the designs of the French, and disputing the rights of the Crown"; and he "prorogued them in some anger." [140][315] Lettre du Pre le Petit, in Lettres difiantes; Dumont, Mmoires historiques, chap. xxvii.


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