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Copyright, 1897, by Little, Brown & Co Goupil & Co., Paris
conduite de la Compagnie appelle l'Hermitage. * Carte... des pays traversez par MM. de Tracy et Courcelle,
In France, it will be remembered, nobility did not in itself imply a title. Besides its titled leaders, it had its rank and file, numerous enough to form a considerable army. Under the later Bourbons, the penniless young nobles were, in fact, enrolled into regiments, turbulent, difficult to control, obeying officers of high rank, but scorning all others, and conspicuous by a fiery and impetuous valor which on more than one occasion turned the tide of victory. The gentilhomme, or untitled noble, had a distinctive character of his own, gallant, punctilious, vain; skilled in social and sometimes in literary and artistic accomplishments, but usually ignorant of most things except the handling of his rapier. Yet there were striking exceptions; and to say of him, as has been said, that he knew nothing but how to get himself killed, is hardly just to a body which has produced some of the best writers and thinkers of France.At length he drove them from the fort, and forced them to bivouac on the mainland, at the risk of being butchered by Indians, until a vessel loading with Brazil-wood in the harbor should be ready to carry them back to France. Having rid himself of the ministers, he caused three of the more zealous Calvinists to be seized, dragged to the edge of a rock, and thrown into the sea. A fourth, equally obnoxious, but who, being a tailor, could ill be spared, was permitted to live on condition of recantation. Then, mustering the colonists, he warned them to shun the heresies of Luther and Calvin; threatened that all who openly professed those detestable doctrines should share the fate of their three comrades; and, his harangue over, feasted the whole assembly, in token, says the narrator, of joy and triumph.
Ministre, 3 Nov., 1702), he was dependent on the king for usual brevity the ruin of the mission and the return of the
Villerays liabilities arose out of the unsettled accountsThe above may seem exaggerated; but it accords perfectly with what is well established concerning the ferocious character of the Iroquois and the nature of their warfare. Many other tribes have frequently made war upon the dead. I have myself known an instance in which five corpses of Sioux Indians placed in trees, after the practice of the Western bands of that people, were thrown down and kicked into fragments by a war party of the Crows, who then held the muzzles of their guns against the skulls, and blew them to pieces. This happened near the head of the Platte, in the summer of 1846. Yet the Crows are much less ferocious than were the Iroquois in La Salle's time.
Day dawned. The east glowed with tranquil fire, that pierced with eyes of flame the fir-trees whose jagged tops stood drawn in black against the burning heaven. Beneath, the glossy river slept in shadow, or spread far and wide in sheets of burnished bronze; and the white moon, paling in the face of day, hung like a disk of silver in the western sky. Now a fervid light touched the dead top of the hemlock, and creeping downward bathed the mossy beard of the patriarchal cedar, unstirred in the breathless air; now a fiercer spark beamed from the east; and now, half risen on the sight, a dome of crimson fire, the sun blazed with floods of radiance across the awakened wilderness. The events recounted in this book group themselves in the main about a single figure, that of Count Frontenac, the most remarkable man who ever represented the crown of France in the New World. From strangely unpromising beginnings, he grew with every emergency, and rose equal to every crisis. His whole career was one of conflict, sometimes petty and personal, sometimes of momentous consequence, involving the question of national ascendancy on this continent. Now that this question is put at rest for ever, it is hard to conceive the anxiety which it wakened in our forefathers. But for one rooted error of French policy, the future of the English-speaking races in America would have been more than endangered.