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      [261] The following is the character of La Salle, as drawn by his friend, Abb Bernou, in a memorial to the minister Seignelay: "Il est irrprochable dans ses m?urs, rgl dans sa conduite, et qui veut de l'ordre parmy ses gens. Il est savant, judicieux, politique, vigilant, infatigable, sobre, et intrpide. Il entend suffisament l'architecture civile, militaire, et navale ainsy que l'agriculture; il parle ou entend quatre ou cinq langues des Sauvages, et a beaucoup de facilit pour apprendre les autres. Il s?ait toutes leurs manires et obtient d'eux tout ce qu'il veut par son adresse, par son loquence, et parce qu'il est beaucoup estim d'eux. Dans ses voyages il ne fait pas meilleure chre que le moindre de ses gens et se donne plus de peine que pas un pour les encourager, et il y a lieu de croire qu'avec la protection de Monseigneur il fondera des colonies plus considrables que toutes celles que les Fran?ois ont tablies jusqu' prsent."Mmoire pour Monseigneur le Marquis de Seignelay, 1682 (Margry, ii. 277).


      It was on the last day of the winter that preceded the invasion of the Iroquois that Father Hennepin, with his two companions, Accau and Du Gay, had set out from Fort Crvec?ur to explore the Illinois to its mouth. It appears from his own later statements, as well as from those of Tonty, that more than this was expected of him, and that La Salle had instructed him to explore, not alone the Illinois, but also the Upper Mississippi. That he actually did so, there is no reasonable doubt; and could he have contented himself with telling the truth, his name would have stood high as a bold and vigorous discoverer. But his vicious attempts to malign his commander and plunder him of his laurels have wrapped his genuine merit in a cloud. more ceremony.


      whom the right of succeeding his father had been granted,

      He was sorely needed at Fort St. Anne. There was pestilence in the garrison. Two men had just died without absolution, while more were at the point of death, and praying for a priest. Thus it happened that when the sentinel descried far off, on the ice of Lake Champlain, a squad of soldiers approaching, and among them a black cassock, every officer and man not sick, or on duty, came out with one accord to meet the new-comer. They overwhelmed him with welcome and with thanks. One took his sack, another his portable chapel, and they led him in triumph to the fort. First he made a short prayer, then went his rounds among the sick, and then came to refresh himself with the officers. Here was La Motte de la Lucire, the commandant; La Durantaye, a name destined to be famous in Canadian annals; and a number of young subalterns. The scene was no strange one to Dollier de Casson, for he had been an officer of cavalry in his time, and fought under Turenne; * a good soldier, without doubt, at the mess table or in the field, and none the worse a priest that he had once followed the wars. He was of a lively humor, given to jests and mirth; as pleasant a father as ever said Benedicite. The soldier andLeFebvre de la Barre.

      continual quarrels between the governor and the intendant; insomuch that justice having been administered by cabal and animosity, the inhabitants have hitherto been far from the tranquillity and repose which cannot be found in a place where everybody is compelled to take side with one party or another. *The duties on bricks and tiles were opposed, as affecting brick-makers rather than the public, because stones and slates were not included. These duties were, however, carried, and the Bill passed; but great discontent arising regarding the duties on coals and on licences to deal in excisable commodities, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was obliged to produce a supplementary Budget, and, after withdrawing these, to lay others on the sale of ale, gold and silver plate, the exportation of lead, and postage of letters, at the same time limiting the privilege of franking. It was high time that the latter practice were put under regulation, for the privilege was enormously abused. Till this time, a simple signature of a member of Parliament, without name of the post town whence it was sent, or date, freed a letter all over the kingdom. Many persons had whole quires of these signatures, and letters were also addressed to numbers of places where they did not reside, so that, by an arrangement easily understood, the persons they were really meant for received them post-free. The loss to Government by this dishonest system was calculated at one hundred and seventy thousand pounds a year. By the present plan, no member was to permit any letter to be addressed to him except at the place where he actually was; and he was required, in writing a frank, to give the name of the post town where he wrote it, with the dates of day and year, and to himself write the whole address.


      * The annual return to the king from the ferme du Canada

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      CHAPTER XX.

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      The question now at issue was that of honors and precedence at church and in religious ceremonies, matters of substantial importance under the Bourbon rule. Colbert interposed, ordered Duchesneau to treat Frontenac with becoming deference, and warned him not to make himself the partisan of the bishop; [3] while, at the same time, he exhorted Frontenac to live in harmony with the intendant. [4] The dispute continued till the king lost patience. Histoire de Colbert.

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      * Faillon, Colonie Fran?aise, III. 405.On the next day these men appeared at the fort, with downcast looks. They had not found the "Belle" at the place where she had been ordered to remain, nor were any tidings to be heard of her. From that hour, the conviction that she was lost possessed the mind of La Salle. Surrounded as he was, and had always been, with traitors, the belief now possessed him that her crew had abandoned the colony, and made sail for the West Indies or for France. The loss was incalculable. He had relied on this vessel to transport the colonists to the Mississippi, as soon as its exact position could be ascertained; and thinking her a safer place of deposit than the fort, he had put on board of her all his papers and personal baggage, besides a great quantity of stores, ammunition, and tools.[311] In truth, she was of the last necessity to the unhappy exiles, and their only resource for escape from a position which was fast becoming desperate.


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