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      His first and chief task was to finish the work that Frontenac had shaped out, and bring the Iroquois to such submission as the interests of the colony and its allies demanded. The fierce confederates admired the late governor, and, if they themselves are to be believed, could not help lamenting him; but they were emboldened by his death, and the difficulty of dealing with them was increased by it. Had they been sure of effectual support from the English, there can be little doubt that they would have refused to treat with the French, of whom their distrust was extreme. The treachery of Denonville at Fort Frontenac still rankled in their hearts, and the English had made them believe that some of their best men had lately been poisoned by agents from Montreal. The French assured them, on the other hand, that the English meant to poison them, refuse to sell them powder and lead, and then, when they were helpless, fall upon and destroy them. At Montreal, they were told that the English called them their negroes; and, at Albany, that if they made peace with Onontio, they would sink into "perpetual infamy 440 and slavery." Still, in spite of their perplexity, they persisted in asserting their independence of each of the rival powers, and played the one against the other, in order to strengthen their position with both. When Bellomont required them to surrender their French prisoners to him, they answered: "We are the masters; our prisoners are our own. We will keep them or give them to the French, if we choose." At the same time, they told Callires that they would bring them to the English at Albany, and invited him to send thither his agents to receive them. They were much disconcerted, however, when letters were read to them which showed that, pending the action of commissioners to settle the dispute, the two kings had ordered their respective governors to refrain from all acts of hostility, and join forces, if necessary, to compel the Iroquois to keep quiet. [2] This, with their enormous losses, and their desire to recover their people held captive in Canada, led them at last to serious thoughts of peace. Resolving at the same time to try the temper of the new Onontio, and yield no more than was absolutely necessary, they sent him but six ambassadors, and no prisoners. The ambassadors marched in single file to the place of council; while their chief, who led the way, sang a dismal song of lamentation for the French slain in the war, calling on them to thrust their heads above ground, behold the good work 441 of peace, and banish every thought of vengeance. Callires proved, as they had hoped, less inexorable than Frontenac. He accepted their promises, and consented to send for the prisoners in their hands, on condition that within thirty-six days a full deputation of their principal men should come to Montreal. The Jesuit Bruyas, the Canadian Maricourt, and a French officer named Joncaire went back with them to receive the prisoners.

      Jsuites. The above is one of many curious statements which[11] Old Rgime, chap. xix.

      Three other chiefs soon after appeared, bearing a flag and bringing the Ottawa squaws, one of whom was the wife of the war-chief, Saguina. Again the elders met in council on the parade, and the orator of the deputation spoke thus: "My father, here are the three pieces of flesh that you ask of us. We would not eat them, lest you should be angry. Do with them what you please, for you are the master. Now we ask that you will send away the nations that are with you, so that we may seek food for our women and children, who die of hunger every day. If you are as good a father as your other children say you are, you will not refuse us this favor."[634] Letter of Lieutenant William Grant, in Maclachlan's Highlands, II. 340 (ed. 1875).

      One incident seemed for a moment likely to rob the intriguer of the fruits of his ingenuity. The Iroquois who had escaped in the skirmish contrived to reach Fort Frontenac some time after the last visit of the Rat. He told what had happened; and, after being treated with the utmost attention, he was sent to Onondaga, charged with explanations and regrets. The Iroquois dignitaries seemed satisfied, and Denonville wrote to the minister that 177 there was still good hope of peace. He little knew his enemy. They could dissemble and wait; but they neither believed the governor nor forgave him. His supposed treachery at La Famine, and his real treachery at Fort Frontenac, filled them with a patient but unextinguishable rage. They sent him word that they were ready to renew the negotiation; then they sent again, to say that Andros forbade them. Without doubt they used his prohibition as a pretext. Months passed, and Denonville remained in suspense. He did not trust his Indian allies, nor did they trust him. Like the Rat and his Hurons, they dreaded the conclusion of peace, and wished the war to continue, that the French might bear the brunt of it, and stand between them and the wrath of the Iroquois. [35][726] Orderly Book of Commissary Wilson in the Expedition against Ticonderoga, 1759. Journal of Samuel Warner, a Massachusetts Soldier, 1759. General and Regimental Orders, Army of Major-General Amherst, 1759. Diary of Sergeant Merriman, of Ruggles's Regiment, 1759. I owe to William L. Stone, Esq., the use of the last two curious documents.

      Other destinies and a more wholesome growth were the lot of young Louis. At fifteen he joined the army as ensign in the regiment of Hainaut. Two years after, his father bought him a captaincy, and he was first under fire at the siege of Philipsbourg. His father died in 1735, and left him heir to a considerable landed estate, much embarrassed by debt. The Marquis de la Fare, a friend of the family, soon after sought for him an advantageous marriage to strengthen his position and increase his prospects of promotion; and he accordingly espoused Mademoiselle Anglique Louise Talon du Boulay,a union which brought him influential alliances and some property. Madame de Montcalm bore him ten children, of whom only two sons and four daughters were living in 1752. "May God preserve them all," he writes in his autobiography, "and make them prosper for this world and the next! Perhaps 359Bougainville laid four memorials before the Court, in which he showed the desperate state of the colony and its dire need of help. Thus far, he said, Canada has been saved by the dissensions of the English colonies; but now, for the first time, they are united against her, and prepared to put forth their strength. And he begged for troops, arms, munitions, food, and a squadron to defend the mouth of the St. Lawrence. [687] The reply, couched in a letter to Montcalm, was to the effect that it was necessary to concentrate all the strength of the kingdom for a decisive operation in Europe; that, therefore, the aid required could not be sent; and that the King trusted everything to his zeal and generalship, joined with the valor of the victors of Ticonderoga. [688] All that could be obtained was between three and four hundred recruits for the regulars, sixty engineers, sappers, and artillerymen, and gunpowder, arms, and provisions sufficient, along with the supplies brought over by the contractor, Cadet, to carry the colony through the next campaign. [689]

      In the question of Fort Frontenac, as in every thing else, the opposition to the governor, always busy and vehement, found its chief representative in the intendant, who told the minister that the policy of Frontenac was all wrong; that the public good was not its object; that he disobeyed or evaded the orders of the king; and that he had suffered the Iroquois to delude him by false overtures of peace. The representations of the intendant and his faction had such effect, that Ponchartrain wrote to the governor that the plan of re-establishing Fort Frontenac "must absolutely be abandoned." Frontenac, bent on accomplishing his purpose, and doubly so because his enemies opposed it, had anticipated the orders of the minister, and sent seven hundred men to Lake Ontario to repair the fort. The day after they left Montreal, the letter of Ponchartrain arrived. The intendant demanded their recall. Frontenac refused. The fort was repaired, garrisoned, and victualled for a year.

      But while infants were baptized and squaws converted, the crosses of the mission were many and great. The devil bestirred himself with more than his ordinary activity; for, as one of the fathers writes, when in sundry nations of the earth men are rising up in strife against us (the Jesuits), then how much more the demons, on whom we continually wage war! It was these infernal sprites, as the priests believed, who engendered suspicions and calumnies in the dark and superstitious minds of the Iroquois, and prompted them in dreams to destroy the apostles of the faith. Whether the foe was of earth or hell, the Jesuits were like those who tread the lava-crust that palpitates with the throes of the coming eruption, while the molten death beneath their feet glares white-hot through a thousand crevices. Yet, with a sublime enthusiasm and a glorious constancy, they toiled and they hoped, though the skies around were black with portent.[684] Vaudreuil au Ministre de la Guerre, 11 Oct. 1758.


      V1 you have any good saddle-horses in your stable, I should be obliged to you for one to ride round the ship's deck on for exercise, for I am not likely to have any other."


      Meanwhile, Major Peter Schuyler was following their trail, with a body of armed settlers hastily mustered. A troop of Oneidas joined him; and the united parties, between five and six hundred in all, at length appeared before the fortified camp of the French. It was at once evident that there was to be no parley. The forest rang with war-whoops; and the English Indians, unmanageable as those of the French, set at work to entrench themselves with felled trees. The French and their 313 allies sallied to dislodge them. The attack was fierce, and the resistance equally so. Both sides lost ground by turns. A priest of the mission of the Mountain, named Gay, was in the thick of the fight; and, when he saw his neophytes run, he threw himself before them, crying, "What are you afraid of? We are fighting with infidels, who have nothing human but the shape. Have you forgotten that the Holy Virgin is our leader and our protector, and that you are subjects of the King of France, whose name makes all Europe tremble?" [24] Three times the French renewed the attack in vain; then gave over the attempt, and lay quiet behind their barricade of trees. So also did their opponents. The morning was dark and stormy, and the driving snow that filled the air made the position doubly dreary. The English were starving. Their slender stock of provisions had been consumed or shared with the Indians, who, on their part, did not want food, having resources unknown to their white friends. A group of them squatted about a fire invited Schuyler to share their broth; but his appetite was spoiled when he saw a human hand ladled out of the kettle. His hosts were breakfasting on a dead Frenchman.The bishops success at court was triumphant. Not only did he procure the removal of Avaugour, but he was invited to choose a new governor to replace him. * This was not all; for he succeeded in effecting a complete change in the government of the colony. The Company of New France was called upon to resign its claims; ** and, by a royal edict of April, 1663, all power, legislative, judicial, and executive, was vested in a council composed of the governor whom Laval had chosen, of Laval himself, and of five councillors, an attorney-general, and a secretary, to be chosen by Laval and the governor jointly. *** Bearing with them blank


      [312] Cavelier, Relation du Voyage pour dcouvrir l'Embouchure du Fleuve de Missisipy. lIncarnation, 18 Octobre, 1654.