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      Some of these inferior courts appear to have needed a lodging quite as much as the council. The watchful Meules informs the minister that the royal judge for the district of Quebec was accustomed in winter, with a view to saving fuel, to hear causes and pronounce judgment by his own fireside, in the midst of his children, whose gambols disturbed the even distribution of justice. **[14] Ourehaou was not one of the neutrals entrapped at Fort Frontenac, but was seized about the same time by the troops on their way up the St. Lawrence.


      CHAPTER II.


      chiefs, one of whom, with her attendants, came to QuebecCLORON DE BIENVILLE.

      The vast jarring, discordant mechanism of corruption grew incontrollable; it seized upon Bigot, and dragged him, despite himself, into perils which his prudence would have shunned. He was becoming a victim to the rapacity of his own confederates, whom he dared not offend by refusing his connivance and his signature of frauds which became more and more recklessly audacious. He asked leave to retire from office, in the hope that his successor would bear the brunt of the ministerial displeasure. Pan had withdrawn already, and with the fruits of his plunder bought land in 33Another miracle, which occurred several years later, deserves to be recorded. Le Ma?tre, one of the two priests who had sailed from France with Mademoiselle Mance and her nuns, being one day at the fortified house of St. Gabriel, went out with the laborers, in order to watch while they were at their work. In view of a possible enemy, he had girded himself with an earthly sword; but seeing no sign of danger, he presently took out his breviary, and, while reciting his office with eyes bent on the page, walked into an ambuscade of Iroquois, who rose before him with a yell.

      [187] This correspondence is printed among the Pices justificatives of the Prcis des Faits.MATRIMONY.


      September, 1647, and the first mass was said in it on the

      V1 commanded," he says, "on almost every side; two batteries, of three twelve-pounders each, would be more than enough to reduce it to ashes." And he enlarges on the evils that arise from it. "It not only spoils our trade, but puts the English into communication with a vast number of our Indians, far and near. It is true that they like our brandy better than English rum; but they prefer English goods to ours, and can buy for two beaver-skins at Oswego a better silver bracelet than we sell at Niagara for ten." Colbert to the intendant Duchesneau. It is an extreme case,

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      Prideaux safely reached Niagara, and laid siege to it. It was a strong fort, lately rebuilt in regular form by an excellent officer, Captain Pouchot, of the battalion of Barn, who commanded it. It stood where the present fort stands, in the angle formed by the junction of the River Niagara with Lake Ontario, and was held by about six hundred men, well supplied with provisions and munitions of war. [737] Higher up the river, a mile and a half above the cataract, there was another fort, called Little Niagara, built of wood, and commanded by 244

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      Mr. Atkinson, envoy on the part of New Hampshire, joined Thaxter and Dudley, and the three set out for Montreal, over the ice of Lake Champlain. Vaudreuil received them with courtesy. As required by their instructions, they demanded the release of the English prisoners in Canada, and protested against the action of the French governor in setting on the Indians to attack English settlements when there was peace between the two Crowns. Vaudreuil denied that he had done so, till they showed him his own letters to Rale, captured at Norridgewock. These were unanswerable; but Vaudreuil insisted that the supplies sent to the Indians were only the presents which they received every year from the King. As to the English prisoners, he said that those in the hands of the Indians were beyond his power; but that the envoys could have those whom the French had bought from their captors, on paying back the price they had cost. The demands were exorbitant, but sixteen prisoners were ransomed, and bargains were made for ten more. Vaudreuil proposed[Pg 253] to Thaxter and his colleagues to have an interview with the Indians, which they at first declined, saying that they had no powers to treat with them, though, if the Indians wished to ask for peace, they were ready to hear them. At length a meeting was arranged. The French governor writes: "Being satisfied that nothing was more opposed to our interests than a peace between the Abenakis and the English, I thought that I would sound the chiefs before they spoke to the English envoys, and insinuate to them everything that I had to say."[270] This he did with such success that, instead of asking for peace, the Indians demanded the demolition of the English forts, and heavy damages for burning their church and killing their missionary. In short, to Vaudreuil's great satisfaction, they talked nothing but war. The French despatch reporting this interview has the following marginal note: "Nothing better can be done than to foment this war, which at least retards the settlements of the English;" and against this is written, in the hand of the colonial minister, the word "Approved."[271] This was, in fact, the policy pursued from the first, and Rale had been an instrument of it. The Jesuit La Chasse, who[Pg 254] spoke both English and Abenaki, had acted as interpreter, and so had had the meeting in his power, as he could make both parties say what he pleased. The envoys thought him more anti-English than Vaudreuil himself, and ascribed the intractable mood of the Indians to his devices. Under the circumstances, they made a mistake in consenting to the interview at all. The governor, who had treated them with civility throughout, gave them an escort of soldiers for the homeward journey, and they and the redeemed prisoners returned safely to Albany.[193] Franklin, Autobiography.

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      V1 two by a cannon-shot while directing the gunners. Up to this time the defenders had behaved with spirit; but despair now seized them, increased by the screams and entreaties of the women, of whom there were more than a hundred in the place. There was a council of officers, and then the white flag was raised. Bougainville went to propose terms of capitulation. "The cries, threats, and hideous howling of our Canadians and Indians," says Vaudreuil, "made them quickly decide." "This," observes the Reverend Father Claude Godefroy Cocquard, "reminds me of the fall of Jericho before the shouts of the Israelites." The English surrendered prisoners of war, to the number, according to the Governor, of sixteen hundred, [432] which included the sailors, laborers, and women. The Canadians and Indians broke through all restraint, and fell to plundering. There was an opening of rum-barrels and a scene of drunkenness, in which some of the prisoners had their share; while others tried to escape in the confusion, and were tomahawked by the excited savages. Many more would have been butchered, but for the efforts of Montcalm, who by unstinted promises succeeded in appeasing his ferocious 414Meanwhile, at the head of Lake George, the raw bands of ever-active New England were mustering for the fray.


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