The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents

Travels and Explorations

of the Jesuit Missionaries

in New France


Travels and Explorations

of the Jesuit Missionaries

in New France








Reuben Gold Thwaites

Secretary of the State historical Society of Wisconsin


Thom Mentrak

Historical Interpreter at

Ste. Marie Among The Iroquois Living History Museum

Liverpool. New York

Vol. ?



CLEVELAND: The Burrows Brothers




Editor Reuben Gold Thwaites

| Finlow Alexander [French]

| Percy Favor Bicknell [French]

| John Cutler Covert [French]

| William Frederic Giese [Latin]

Translators. | Crawford Lindsay [French]

| Mary Sifton Pepper [French & Italian]

| William Price [French]

| Hiram Allen Sober [French]

| John Dorsey Wolcott [Latin]

Assistant Editor Emma Helen Blair

Bibliographical Adviser Victor Hugo Paltsits



Preface To Volume XI.






Epistola ad R. P. Mutium Vitelleschi, Præpositum Generalem Societatis Jesu, Romæ. Joannes de Brébeuf; Ihonatiria [1636, ca.]



Epistola ad R. P. Mutium Vitelleschi, Præpositum Generalem Societatis Jesu, Romæ. Joannes de Brébeuf; Ihonatiria, May 20, 1637



Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Novvelle France, en l'année 1637. [First installment, consisting of Chaps. i.–ix. of Part I.] Paul le Jeune; Cap Rouge, August 31, 1637



Bibliographical Data; Volume XI.





[page i]




Photographic facsimile of title-page, Le Jeune's Relation of 1637.



Photographic facsimile of fireworks illustration, from Le Jeune's Relation of 1637 [page ii]

Facing 66



Following is a synopsis of the documents contained in the present volume:

XXVII. Brébeuf, the superior of the Huron mission, writes a brief letter from Ihonatiria, in the Huron country, to his general at Rome, Vitelleschi, outlining the progress of the Huron mission thus far, and asking for more laborers in this great field; the prime qualifications for effective service are, unvarying gentleness, and unshaken patience. The letter is without date, but bears internal evidence of having been written in 1636.

XXVIII. This second letter of Brébeuf to the general, dated at Ihonatiria, May 20, 1637, is a similar special report upon the condition of the Huron missions. The more detailed Huron Relation of the year, by Le Mercier, was closed at Ihonatiria a month later (June 21), and forwarded to the Quebec superior, Le Jenne. In his letter, Brébeuf mentions two hindrances experienced in their work during the past year,—the ravages of a pestilence (apparently the smallpox) to which many Indians had succumbed, but from which the whites had fortunately recovered; and the reports, spread by their enemies, that the disease lad been introduced by the French, which at first were easily believed by the credulous tribesmen. However, upon the mitigation of the [page 1] scourge, the missionaries had regained their influence, and many conversions now occur. Over two hundred have been baptized, and many of the natives are under regular instruction. A new mission station, that of the Immaculate Conception, has been erected at Ossossané (La Rochelle); and Huron boys are being sent to the seminary at Quebec. He names his five co-workers, who are studying the native language, and especially praises the aptitude of Garnier therein.

XXIX. The Relation of 1637 is, as usual, a composite; see, for particulars, Bibliographical Data for the present volume. Le Jeune's Relation proper, as superior of the Jesuit missions in New France (Part I. of the document), was closed on board the ship Ste. Marie, " at Cap Rouge; in the present volume, we give chaps. i.–ix. thereof, reserving the rest of Part I. for Vol. XII., and Part II. (the annual Huron Relation) for Vols. XIII., XIV. The following synopsis covers the portion published in this volume:

The superior opens his Relation by describing the sympathy and assistance bestowed upon the Canadian mission by its friends in Europe. The Pope has sent them plenary indulgences for certain feast days, and asks the general of the order for a Relation of the progress made by the mission. Montmagny, the new governor of Canada, appointed as successor to Champlain, is one of the Knights of Malta, who have consented to defend New France. Several persons are thanked with heartfelt gratitude, who have given financial aid to the mission. The superior reports that prayers innumerable are being uttered in France, for the success of the cause. Nuns are planning to come hither,—the Ursulines to teach the Indian [page 2] girls, the Hospital nuns to nurse the sick.

The writer then praises the good conduct of the French colonists, and their lively interest in the religious services held by the missionaries. A vivid and ingenuous description is given of the fireworks with which was celebrated the feast of " the glorious Patriarch, Saint Joseph,—whereat the simple savages were filled with astonishment and delight. The new governor avails himself of this opportunity to warn the natives that " the French are more powerful than the demons, and command the fire." The peace and good order prevailing in the colony are largely ascribed to the piety and ability of the governor, who is a firm friend of the missionaries, and treats the Indians with the utmost kindness.

Le Jenne then enters upon his customary recital of the conversions and baptisms that have occurred during the year,—the latter numbering over three hundred, counting those in the Huron country. Again, too, he urges strongly the importance—not only for their conversion, but for the civilization and development of the country—of rendering the nomadic tribes stationary. He devotes much space to an account of the debates upon religious doctrines, held between the missionaries and the Indians, and the instruction which the latter thus receive. Prominent among the natives is a chief named Makheabichtichiou, who shows many signs of conversion, and whom the missionaries hope soon to receive into the fold of the church. The other savages have at least become more friendly and attentive, though but few are willing to give up their old superstitions and Customs. The Fathers find, however, great consolation and encouragement in the Indian children who [page 5] attend the mission school; " neither snow, nor wind, nor cold prevents them from coming," and they are apt and interested pupils. Much to his surprise, the superior finds that " it is incomparably easier to tame and instruct the little girls than the boys." With both, but especially with the girls, a strong incentive to progress is found in the example of the French children, who are taught in the same school, and of whom the Indian youth are fond.

The missionaries have to meet many difficulties,—the sale of liquor to the Indians, slyly practiced by certain Frenchmen; the slanders and misrepresentations of disaffected savages; the jealousy of the medicine men, with whom they are in frequent and hostile collision; and the constant rage and opposition of the devil, whose kingdom they have so resolutely invaded. But they have great faith that, in the strength of God, they will eventually overcome all these enemies, and cause New France to become a province of his kingdom.

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., November, 1897.


Two Letters by Jean de Brébeuf, to the General of the Order

XXVII.—Ihonatiria [1636, ca.]

XXVIII.—Ihonatiria, May 20, 1637


SOURCE: We follow Father Martin's apographs (now in the Archives of St. Mary's College, Montreal) of the original Latin ex MSS. Soc. Jes. [page 5]

Letter of Father Jean de Brébeuf to the Very

Reverend Father Mutius Vitelleschi, General

of the Society of Jesus, at Rome.


The peace of Christ.

In order that Your Paternity might have full knowledge of matters pertaining to this house which we have established among the Huron peoples of New France or Canada, relations of this and the preceding years should have been sent to you; but, because I think that Our Reverend Father Provincial will see that these are sent, I will merely say that we have good hope of some day reaping a large harvest of souls at this mission. The Hurons live in towns, not wandering about after the manner of wild animals, or even like many other savages. They have in all twenty towns, some of which are enclosed by very strong wooden walls. They change their abode sometimes—certainly when there is no longer sufficient wood for their fires, or when the land, long tilled, produces scanty crops. For they cultivate the fields, from which they gather Indian corn,—the grain which some call Turkish,—abundance of excellent pumpkins, and also tobacco. All this region abounds in game and fish; and so the Hurons have at hand the means of supplying a living, if not luxurious, yet adequate and healthful; and they sell to others. They are not so uncivilized as not to be endowed with excellent sense and judgment [page 7]; and this is true of almost all of them. As for the mysteries of our faith, although these are entirely new to their ears, they yet do not gainsay them, or mock or scorn them; nay, rather they wonder, praise, and approve, though without keeping them long before their minds. They all have but one answer—"Such is not our custom; your world is different from ours; the God who created yours," they say, "did not create ours." In short, caught in Satan's snares, their evil habits still hold them back. Many, it is true, gladly worship the God whom we preach; but when opportunity for their old superstitions again arises, they scarcely abstain therefrom. Among other things that move them, they are frightened by the torment of hell; and, enticed by the joys of paradise, they open their eyes to the light of truth. Since we came here, 2 years ago, we have baptized more than go. Of this number, some, both adults and children, have already gone to heaven, as we believe, or at least hope. We believe that many others must be allured by the prayers and examples of these. For parents yet surviving say that they do not wish to be separated from their children, and that where these have gone, they too will go after death. Only three fathers of our Society were here last year, but this year there are five. We have enjoyed great peace with all men, and health so complete that it is almost a miracle to the savages, and convinces them that the God whom we worship, and who exercises so great care over his own, is the best—especially since hardly one of the savages escaped last year the infection of a certain plague, by which very many were destroyed. Two of the Fathers who are here, Father Antoine Daniel and [page 9] Father Ambroise Davost, are to go back to Kebec, I believe, and take with them some picked young men of the Hurons, to make the beginning of a seminary. We expect 2 or 3 other Fathers in their place, and request still others for the following year. For now there is need of laborers not a few—not indeed to reap, but to sow, or rather to learn the language, that the word of God may be sown. For, if they are not versed in the language, they cannot sow, much less reap. I have tolerable skill in that language, but the others who are here are very proficient therein. Among the other jewels with which the laborer in this mission ought to shine, gentleness and patience must hold the first rank; and never will this field produce fruit except through mildness and patience; for one should never expect to force it by violent and arbitrary action. All, surely, who are here are zealously striving towards perfection ; I alone, as it seems to me, am feeble, to my own great disadvantage.

From the residence of St. Joseph, among the Hurons, Canadian peoples, at the village of Ihonatiria.

Your Paternity's most humble servant, and obedient son in Christ,


[page 11]

Letter of Father Jean de Brébeuf to the Very

Reverend Father Mutius Vitelleschi, General

of the Society of Jesus, at Rome.


The peace of Christ.

I wrote last year to Your Paternity regarding the condition of the Hurons, among whom we labor—of their customs, and of the prospect of reaping there, in the future, a harvest of some souls. Besides this, I think there were sent you two relations of the preceding years, from which, as from the one we now send, you can gain a clear understanding of all our affairs. I will say, therefore, to Your Paternity, that two things occurred this year, which somewhat checked the progress of the gospel. The first was a pestilence, of unknown origin, which eight months ago spread through several villages, and caused the death of many. The divine providence even so dealt with us that we should not be exempt from the calamity. In fact, it almost began with us, or at least attacked both us and the savages at the same time. Of us who labor here,—six priests, and the four lay brothers then with us,—we saw seven confined to their beds at the same time, and near unto death. The same divine goodness has restored us all to our former health and strength, in which we still continue. But our Hurons—either, still ignorant of life eternal, or still unbelievers—sought remedies for their diseases, [page 13] sufficient for this present life, with so distressful anxiety that they scarcely lent ear to us who admonished them concerning the life eternal. No one would have refused, if we had promised health. But very many, on account of their ardent desire for this life, wretchedly lost both, to our great sorrow. The second obstacle arose from the tales spread among the people by followers of the devil,—that our Frenchmen, and we in particular, were the cause of this pestilence, and that our sole purpose in coming to their country was to compass their destruction; and much else of the same sort, and equally false, did they scatter broadcast. All this, moreover, not only estranged several villages from us for a time, but also caused a determination on the part of some to remove us from their midst, as being dangerous to the common weal. But he who alone "mortificat et vivificat, ad inferos deducere et reducere potest," snatched us from these dangers, and even made the savages sue for pardon in suppliant wise. Now those false reports have all finally ceased. We are gladly heard, we have baptized more than two hundred this year, and there is hardly a village that has not invited us to go to it. Besides, the result of this pestilence and of these reports has been to make us better known to this people; and at last it is understood, from our actions and from our truths [of religion], that we have not come hither to buy skins or carry on any traffic, but solely to teach them and win them to Christ, and to procure for them their souls' health, and finally everlasting and immortal life. Furthermore, since some families, although not yet baptized, rested all their hope in the Lord, and therefore [page 15] almost alone remained safe and unharmed, it has resulted that they believe, and eagerly ask for baptism, which, as we hope, they will receive, when they shall have been sufficiently proved. We have seen, too, no uncertain signs of present grace in many whom we have purified through baptism; and already many, both old and young, have, as we believe, soared away to heaven, blessed intercessors before God for their friends. Finally, we have come to hope that—this pestilence, which still rages, once abated in due season, and the minds of men restored to that tranquillity necessary to the hearing and understanding of the truths of the faith—very many will be converted.

We are now building a new house in this village, which we call Rupella [La Rochelle], the savages Ossossané,—a populous town, where the pestilence was especially severe, where we have always been kindly welcomed and heard, and where they long for us. This house will be called the Residence of the Immaculate Conception. We plan, too, even this year, to send two of our number to that Huron nation that is called Attignenonghac, to establish there at first these men, and later a residence, if a prospect of some success shall appear. I believe those at Quebec report about the seminary of the Hurons begun there, in which five young men have spent the past winter. We shall now send others there, and look for no little aid from that quarter in binding the Huron people closely to us and to Christ. Thus, indeed, the faith gathers its harvest, but in toil, vigils, sorrows, and patience. Long must be the time of clearing, long the time of sowing; and [page 17] afterwards comes the reaping. Although now, in the beginning, we sow the seed with tears and sighs, yet some day II venientes veniemus cum exultatione portantes manipulos nostros."

The Fathers with whom I am associated are Father François Mercier, Father Pierre Pijart, Father Pierre Chastellain, Father Charles Garnier, and Father Isaac Jogues. These are in every way extraordinary workers, who in an unusual manner combine eloquence and union with God with a burning zeal for souls. So persistent and studious are they all, that in only one or two years they have gained a truly wonderful proficiency in a language still rude and not reduced to grammatical rules; however, in this regard Father Charles Garnier ranks first, I think. Since matters stand thus, why should we not, assured of the goodness of God, look forward with hope to a bounteous harvest of souls?

Your Paternity's most humble servant and obedient son in Christ,


From the residence of St. Joseph, among the Hurons, in the village of Ihonatiria. May 20, 1637.

Since the time of writing the above, the new residence of the Conception, which I mentioned, has been finished; and we began to live there on the day sacred to the holy martyrs Primus and Felicianus—that is, June 9th. It is [wonderful] with what good will and applause of the whole village we were received. Later, on the day sacred to the holy Trinity, we purified by holy baptism, and that with solemn ceremony, a man aged fifty years, from whom we [page 19] entertain hopes of great results in the future; for he is in all respects well instructed and long proved. He is of great repute, influence, and esteem—the first adult man baptized in health; and, indeed, through his example some have already come and urgently entreated that we should baptize them.

Also at the Residence of St. Joseph, June 16.

[page 21]



Le Jeune's Relation, 1637





Source: We reprint from the original of the first issue (H. 67), in Lenox Library.

The document consists of two parts: Part I., by Le Jeune, as superior, consisting of the Relation proper, and a Dernière Lettre; Part 11., the annual Huron Relation, made to Le Jeune by Le Mercier. In the present volume, we give chaps. i.-ix. of Part I.; the remainder of Part 1. will occupy Vol. XII. In Vol. XIII., will appear the greater portion of Part 11., the document being completed in Vol. XIV.

[page 23]






Sent to the


of the Society of Jesus

in the Province of France.

By Father Paul le Jeune of the same Society,

Superior of the Residence of Kébec.


Jean le Boullenger, near the

College of the Jesuit Fathers.





[page 23]

Extract from the Royal License.

BY the Grace and Prerogative of the King, perBmidsion is granted to jean le Boullenger, Book seller and Printer at Rouen, to print or to have printed and exposed for sale, a Book entitled, Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'année mil six cens trente-sept. Envoyée au R. P. Provincial de la Compagnie de Jesus en la Province de France. Par le Pere Paul le Jeune de la mesme Compagnie, Superieur de la Residence de Kébec: and this during the time and space of seven consecutive years. Prohibiting all Booksellers and Printers to print or to have printed the said Book, under pretext of disguise or change they may make therein, on penalty of confiscation of the copies that shall be found, and of seven hundred livres fine, as provided by the License. Given at Paris the Sth day of February, 1638.

By the King in Council,


[page 25]


I, Estienne Binet, Provincial of the Society of Jesus in the Province of France, in accordance with the License which has been granted us by the Most Christian Kings, Henry III. May 10th 1583, Henry IV. December 10th 1605, and Louys XIII. now reigning, February 14th 1612, by which all Booksellers are prohibited from printing any Book of those composed by one of our said Society, without permission of the Superiors thereof; I permit Jean le Boullenger, Bookseller and Printer in the city of Rouen, to print for ten years the Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la nouvelle France, en l'année 1637, which has been sent me by Father Paul le Jenne of our same Society, Superior of the Residence of Kebec. In testimony whereof, I have signed the present at Paris this 22nd of January, 1638.



[page 27]

Table of Chapters of the Relation of Canadas.


CHAP. 1. Of the assistance which old France gives to the new.



Chap. II. Of the good conduct of our French.

page 13

[i.e., 14]

Chap. III. Of the Saqages who have received baptism.



Chap. IIII. Of the instruction of a Savage Captain.



Chap. V. Of some good sentiments that God gave this Captain.



Chap. VI. What has been done for the instruction of other Savages.



Chap. VII. Of the instruction of the little Savages.



Chap. VIII. Of some disputes or difficulties we have had with the Savages.



Chap. IX. Some interviews with the aforesaid sorcerer.



Chap. X. Of the Sorcerers, and whether they have communication with the devil.



Chap. XI. Of their customs and their belief.


[i.e., 167]

Chap. XII. Of the Seminary of the Hurons.



Chap. XIII. Of the Order observed in the Seminary, and someparticulars relating to the Seminarists.




Chap. XIV. Of the condition Of the Seminary at the coming of the Hurons, their countrymen. [page 33]

page 210


[i.e., 206]

Instructions for the Fathers of our Society who shall be sent to the Hurons.

page 237

[i.e., 228]

Chap. XV. A Journal containing divers things which could not beplaced in thepreceding chapters.



[i.e., 233]

Last letter of the Reverend Father Paul le jeune to the Reverend Father Provincial. [page 35]



[i.e., 310]

Table of Chapters of the Relation of the Hurons.


CHAP. I. A recital of the more memorable events which occurred from the month of July to the month of September, arranged in the form of a journal

Page 2


[i.e., 1]

Chap. II. The excessive cruelty of men, and the great mercy of God, upon the person of a prisoner of war from the Iroquois Nation.




Chap. III. Continuation of the Journal, wherein is chiefly related the malady with which our little household has been afflicted; and the fortunate outcome thereof.




Chap. IIII. The help we have given to the sick of our village, etc.



Chap. V. Ossossané afflicted with a contagious disease; various journeys that we made there in the most disagreeable Winter weather, etc.




Chap. VI. Of the Residence of the Conception of nostre Dame, at the hamlet of Ossossané.




Chap. VII. The Conversion of Tsiouendaentaha, the first adult Savage baptized. [page 37]





When I took my pen in hand to begin the Relation of what occurred this year in some places in new France where our Society makes its dwelling, my mind was almost void of ideas, if not quite bewildered. I found myself overcome by a feeling of wonder which left my soul only the strength necessary to cast my eyes upon the greatness of God, and to adore his guidance. Then, recovering myself, I reflected upon the various tidings written to me from your Europe, and from some parts of our America. I learned through my eyes and my ears how France was on fire for us, and how the upper countries of the Savages were nothing but ice. I read on one side that the great of the earth were giving us their hearts for Heaven, and that the small of the world (thus I call those who know not God) held us in abhorrence.

I heard a thousand plaudits from our lands to the East, and from the countries that we possess almost to the West came only insults; so that we were at the same time covered with glory and with opprobrium. They wrote me from your France that we should take courage, that God was for us, since he granted us the affections of his friends; that an infinite number of saintly souls were blessing our insignificant labors; and the intelligence came to me from the remoter parts of this, our Land of Barbarism, that no misfortunes, neither rain, nor pestilence, -nor drought, happened there, that those unbelievers did not impute to all the French, and to us most [page 39] especially. From afar I heard this cry: " What do you fear? Your heart is too much oppressed; is the arm of God shortened? Ask for Fathers and for men to scatter the fire everywhere." And others said to me, confidentially, as it were, " You are making great strides, you are already burdened with people beyond your strength; do not ask according to the needs of these countries, but according to your own ability. You are going into extravagances which will make excellent men suffer, if succor should fail you; the country is not yet in a condition to sustain both French and Savages at the same time, and if the ships should not come, you must needs be embarrassed." I learned through a great many letters that people of high rank and most signal virtue were contending for us in heaven and upon the earth; and it was made evident to me, on a bit of bark or paper, that the Demons were let loose and were powerfully opposing our plans. In short, we find ourselves in life and in death. Old France desired us for centuries, and part of the New could scarcely endure us for a moment. In a word, we were at the same time taken for Angels and for Devils. Such were the news I received on the arrival of the ships from France, and the bark canoes from the Algonquins and Hurons. Turning it all over in my mind, I found myself (as I have already said) amazed at the greatness of God. For I can say with truth that this shocking news brought from a Barbarous land has not pleased me less than the gentle favors with which the skies of France have blessed us. It is a sign that the Demons have been powerfully attacked, since they put themselves vigorously on the defensive. The enemy who does not give battle is [page 41] dangerous, for he does not weaken his strength; the bloodier a battle is, the nobler the victory and the more glorious the triumph. The more this infant Church has in common with the primitive one, the greater hope it gives us of seeing it produce flowers and fruits

worthy of Paradise. But let us defer this discussion to the fourteenth chapter, and to

the Relation which has been sent me from the Hurons. Let us speak of our

French Colony, and of the wandering Savages, who will be all the

slower to embrace our faith the less resistance they make to

us.. But after all, both the former and the latter belong

to God; when it shall please him, his goodness

will unseal their eyes. This film which

covers their sight seems to be

growing thinner; some day

we shall see it fall, with

joy and with


So be it.

[page 43]

[I] Relation of what occurred in new France in the year one thousand six hundredand thirty-seven.



THOUGHT I was speaking so fully last year on the sentiments of affection for new France, entertained by many persons of merit, that I could write nothing more upon this subject without repetition. But the interest that is felt in the salvation of our poor Savages continues to extend, with so remarkable a growth that we would be condemned for ingratitude before God and men if we did not bless [2] heaven therefor, and bear witness thereof to the earth. I will not repeat what I have said of the kind interest of our great King, of the attentions of Monseigneur the Cardinal, of the great outlays of Messieurs the Associates and Directors, who assure me that they did not receive any special letter from me on the return of the fleet, which has not prevented them from honoring me with strong evidence of their affection; but I beg them very humbly to believe that I did perform this duty towards them, as well as towards a number of very honorable personages who have received no news from me; I do not know by what fate my letters were not delivered to them. [page 45] Moreover, these Gentlemen speak to me in terms which should be made public, after having declared the desire they had of extending the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. Here is the way they continue:

We have learned, and hold it to be a safe rule, that, in order to form the body of a good Colony, it is necessary to begin with Religion. It is to the state what the heart is to the organism of a man, the chief and vitalizing part. It is upon this that the founders of great Republics have based the plans of their edifices, which would not endure if they had other foundations. Therefore, we declare [3] that it shall always be treated as something precious, and that on all occasions we will give it precedence in new France. My heart utters a long discourse in reading these words, to which my mouth will give no other answer than these two words, Fiat, fiat, in nomine Domini! David, wishing to build the house of God, effectively established his own.

The interest felt in our Colony and in our poor Savages, is not bounded by the Alps. His Holiness, wishing to crown us with his blessings, has had sent to us this year plenary Indulgences for the days of the Conception of the blessed Virgin, and of our glorious patron and protector, saint Joseph. Furthermore, he has requested from our Reverend Father General a brief Relation of all that is done here for the glory of our Lord, in order to grant us the graces and favors necessary for the welfare of this infant Church.

The grand Master of Malta, a man full of courage, of wisdom, and of virtue, is pleased, as I have been informed, with the reports made to him concerning new France. His most Christian Majesty, [4] Monseigneur the Cardinal, and Messieurs the Directors [page 47] and Associates, have given us as Governor one of his Chevaliers, whom I would willingly call, with due respect to all those brave soldiers of Jesus Christ, the honor of Malta and the good fortune of our Colony. Monsieur his Lieutenant, who wears this same honorable cross, walks so strictly in his footsteps, that we all have reason to acknowledge our great obligations to this holy soldiery, constantly armed for the glory of the Christian name.

If I dared to violate the secret, I would place here the names of a number of persons, very high in honor, in virtue, in merit, whose hearts and hands contend along with us, in heaven and upon earth. One of them, seeing that a Hospital was being provided for the poor Savages, lays the foundations of a Seminary for little girls. I know not whither my thoughts carry me when I write this. I desire to speak and am condemned to silence; I wish to render some acts of thanksgiving in behalf of these poor little creatures, and I am commanded to be ungrateful.

Others manifest a disposition to lay the foundations of a Seminary for Montagnets, [5] Algonquins, and Hurons. One great heart, well known to God, but very little to men, has already laid a few stones of this noble edifice. " This," says another, " is to maintain three Fathers, or three Huron children, " and with these three words he doeth an act with his right hand which his left hand knoweth not. All this and many other things are whispered in my ears with an injunction against obeying these words of the son of God, Quod in aure auditis prædicate super tecta, preach in public what you shall have heard in secret. The secrets of Kings should be held as secrets; but to hide from men the knowledge of the [page 49] goodness of God in the hearts of men, is a species of injustice into which I am pushed. To be sure if seals are placed upon our lips they cannot be placed upon our hearts; if we are rendered mute before men, we cannot be forbidden to speak in the presence of God. We will bless him, then, in time and in eternity; and we will procure for him blessings forever, in heaven and upon earth, in thanksgiving for all the favors his friends bestow either upon our Colony, or our Savages, or ourselves. The time will come,—[6] it is not far distant, for life is short,—when all things will be seen in their true light, and when souls once barbarous, now washed in the blood of the lamb, will bestow a thousand benedictions upon those who have drawn them from the abyss, either through their prayers, or their liberality, or their works. Oh how long is eternity! If only one single soul were placed in heaven, what acts of thanksgiving will not this spouse of Jesus Christ in the lapse of endless ages, render to those who shall have been instrumental in her salvation! She will see the felicity she will enjoy and the unhappiness she has escaped; she will commune on the other side of time in a familiar and perfect friendship, with those who shall have averted her unhappiness and procured her blessedness. God! who can conceive the sentiments she will feel for them! My heart melts when I think of the souls I see leaving this world, still red with the blood of Jesus Christ. Ah! what gentle looks they cast upon the Divinity! What thoughts and what love have they for those, who, near or far, have extended to them a hand to place them in the bosom of glory.

[7] But I could not omit, without some sort of crime, [page 51] that the Queen, elevated as high by her virtues as by the steps of her throne, is not so dazzled by the splendors of her crown, that she does -not sometimes cast her regards upon her new France. I have learned this through the letters of mother Magdalene of saint Joseph Carmelite, of the great Convent of the Faubourg saint Jacques. This good soul also testifies to me that Madame the Princess is interested in our plans as well as Monseigneur the Duke d'Anguien, her son. Here are her words:

Thus far great blessings have been showered upon these .poor little ones (she is speaking of the little Savage girls, whom we have sent to France) and the hand of God is plainly manifested in the affection that every one shows for them; and even Madame the Princess says she will take the one who remains to its, when she is fourteen or fifteen years old. This is a great blessing, for a good and virtuous Princess, as she is, can do much. Dare I say one little word in favor of this new Christian? If some one would give her a dowry, when she is of marriageable age, and then send her back to these [8] countries, I believe that much would be accomplished for the glory of our Lord. For a little Savage girl comfortably settled here, and married to some Frenchman or Christian Savage, would be a powerful check upon some of her wandering countrymen. This is the point to be aimed at, if this nation is to be effectually succored. I depend greatly upon the goodness of our Lord, that he will open the hands of some of his friends to bring about the marriage of another one, whom we have here in the home of one of our Frenchmen, who is now rearing and supporting her. Seeing her grow taller every day, not long ago I asked our Fathers who are here what help we [page 53] could give her in case she should marry. I proposed to have a little house built and some land cleared for her, and to support her until she should have enough for herself. This was thought a great undertaking in our straitened circumstances; for in truth first beginnings are fraught with great outlays. Nevertheless, after having recommended the matter to God, here is what the Reverend Father Charles l'Allemant, Superior of the residence of nostre Dame des Anges, wrote me in regard to it: I have thought over what [9] your -Reverence said to us the other day about the marriage of Amiskoueian (this is the name of the girl who is not yet baptized); if he who wishes to marry her is a God-fearing man, let us make an effort; how do we know that God will not enter by this door? I leave the matter, however, to your Reverence. God will do all in his time; he will know so well how to direct this effort that it will not dislocate our arms, which have no other support than in his strength.

Although I have already become very tedious, yet I must render a thousand thanks to Madame de Comballet. I would sooner add another chapter than be forgetful of a heart which is guilty of no other excess than love of its God, in which there can be no excess. This Lady is endowed with a great mind; she sees in eternity the good which she does in time; but if her eyes, moistened by the waters of a single baptism, saw that the salvation of these tribes depends upon the powerful aid she gives them through the establishment and foundation of a Hospital, her heart would make use of a language which only speaks in silence, the language in which she often communes with God, blessing him for having chosen her for so great a work. [page 55]

[10] Moreover, so many prayers, so many vows are made, and so many Sacrifices are offered to advance his honor and secure his glory in these countries, that all this surpasses wonder. I will say here, for the last time, what I have often reiterated in the preceding Relations, that a vast number of most holy Religious in the house of God are throwing open their souls before his goodness, to cause him to bestow his mercies upon a people barbarous in the extreme.

Word is sent me that the Congregations of the holy Virgin, established in our houses, and the pupils in our Colleges, have thousands of times presented our Savior to his Father, in order to wrench infidelity from the souls of these Savages.

The Prioress of the Carmelites of Aix in Provence informs me that likewise Madame the wife of the First President of that city, foundress of their house, has established a hermitage in their enclosure, where all prayers and orisons which shall ever be offered there, will be addressed to God for the salvation of new France. All this holy Order takes arms for us with so much ardor that I am overwhelmed therewith. I should never finish if I tried to exhibit the sentiments of their hearts [11] which I see before my eyes, contained in their letters. There is a struggle among them as to who shall humble herself the most before God, to raise to heaven souls which do not fear hell.

There has fallen into my hands a vow signed by the Nuns of the Annonciade, lately established at Paris, by which they offer all their mortifications, their fastings, their prayers, in a word, all their acts of holiness, to be united and presented to God with our little labors, that it may please him to open the [page 57] eyes of a people blind for so many centuries. I will say nothing of the Ursuline mothers; they write me with such ardor, and in so great numbers, and from so many different places, that if the door were open for their desires, a city of Nuns would be formed, and there would be found ten teachers to one pupil. Sex, age, disease, severe attacks of seasickness, do not prevent them from making a sacrifice of their persons to God. If they could transport ready-made cities and cleared lands, I would advise that ships be chartered expressly to bring them over; otherwise, not,—God hears them as well in old France as in the new. The time [12] Will come when some of them will obtain what an army of them is demanding; our Lord will make his choice from among them.

If I had to report all the acts of devotion of the Sisters of Montmartre, of the Nuns of Ave Maria at Paris, of the daughters of sainte Marie, of nostre Dame,—in a word, of a multitude of holy institutions, I should make a Relation of what is being done in your France for the welfare of ours.

Let us put in the last place the Hospital Nuns, since they are the first to cross over. I had written to them to send me the names of those who wished to come to these countries to begin that institution; they wrote me a letter full of edification, concluding that it would be necessary to set down the names of all in the house. This zeal is praiseworthy; but let them be persuaded, if they please, that those who might be too much grieved at not being the first to come over, are not the proper persons to come last. The spirit of God is not in a violent and troublous wind, Sed in aura tenui, factus est in pace locus ejus, it is in the gentleness of peace. Finally, as a conclusion [page 59] to this chapter, I will say that our Lord, kindling so many hearts, animating [131 so many persons great in virtue and in honor, wishing to be prayed to from so many places by the most purified souls, gives us reason to believe that he intends to be known to these peoples, and that our littleness will not hinder the excellence of his goodness, solicited by the prayers and vows, and by the help of so many souls, who have no other interests than his glory. Our hope is contained in these four words: In patientia vestra possidebitis animas vestras, in patience alone is gathered the harvest of souls. It seems to me I see two quite opposite extremes in various persons; some expect too soon, the others postpone too far, the conversion of the Savages. Patience abides on middle ground,—it will accomplish what some think they already hold, and what they will not have so soon; it will enjoy in its own time what others despair of. 0 that I might be blessed in being a little grain of sand cast into the depths of the foundation of this Church! If the edifice is not so soon erected, it will be firmer and more solid. So be it. [page 61]

[13 i.e., 14] CHAPTER II.


HERE are lands so good and fertile that they produce better grain than the seeds sown in them. There are some so malignant that they change the good grain into bad, transforming wheat into rye, and causing barley to degenerate into oats. But I do not believe there is to be found in the bosom of nature any land which produces heads of wheat after having received only thistle seeds. Yet this miracle happens quite often in new France. Every year the ships bring us many people who come to increase our Colony; this number, like coin, is of mingled gold and base alloy; it is composed of choice and well-selected souls, and of others indeed base and degraded. Now it seems to me that I can say with truth that the Soil of new France is watered [15] by so many heavenly blessings, that souls nourished in virtue find here their true element, and are consequently healthier than elsewhere. As for those whose vices have rendered them diseased, they not only do not grow worse, but very often, coming to breathe a salubrious air, and far removed from opportunities for sin, changing climate they change their lives, and a thousand times bless the sweet providence of God, which has made them find the door to felicity where others fear only misery. To be sure, we take pains everywhere to instruct our French; everywhere the word of God is preached; [page 63] there is no place where the doctrine of Jesus Christ is not explained. Our Churches or Chapels are by far too small; it is a very real consolation to see them usually filled, usque ad cornu altaris. Father Adam, who has almost recovered from his paralysis in the great severity of the Winter, when the others usually contract it, had assumed as his share the instruction of those who lived at nostre Dame des Anges; but he was listened to by many other people, and found so much readiness to learn in some of his auditors, that he had a few of the young [16] men recite some of the doctrinal points that he had taught them; whence there ensued a spirit of emulation full of edification and profit. The children and young people of nostre Dame de Recouvrance at Kebec were so pleased with the Christian doctrine, that, although there had been preaching in the morning, and although high Mass was usually sung on Holydays and Sundays, yet at the close of Vespers they did not fail to stay and hear the Christian doctrine; so that the Chapel was as full at the end as at the beginning. And although Father de Quen continued this holy exercise for a long time, not only the people did not grow weary of it, but they took pleasure in seeing his skillful instruction of both children and adults. In a word, God has been worshiped in his houses, preaching has been well received both at Kebec and at the three Rivers, where Father Buteux usually instructed our French people; each of our brethren has been occupied in hearing many confessions, both ordinary and general; very few Holydays and Sundays during the Winter have passed in which we have not seen and received persons at the table of our Lord. And certain ones [page 65]



[page 65A]

who for three, four, and five years had not confessed in [17] old France, now, in the new, approach this so salutary Sacrament oftener than once a month; prayers are offered kneeling and in public, not only at the fort, but also in families and little companies scattered here and there. As we have taken for patroness of the Church of Kebec the holy Virgin under the title of her Conception, which we believe to be immaculate, so we have celebrated this Festival with solemnity and rejoicing. At the first Vespers a Flag was raised on the bastion of the fort to the sound of cannon; and in the morning, at dawn, the artillery renewed our joy. Even the inhabitants, in testimony of their devotion to the blessed Virgin, and their belief in her purity from the moment of her Conception, fired a salute of muskets or arquebuses, and many approached the holy table in her honor.

The Festival of the glorious Patriarch saint Joseph. Father, Patron, and Protector of new France, is one of the great solemnities of this country. On the eve of this day, which is so dear to us, the Flag was hoisted, and the cannon fired, as I have said above. Monsieur the Governor had an exhibition of fireworks, [18] as artistically devised as almost any I have seen in France; on one side a skin was stretched, upon which appeared, in illuminated letters, the name of saint Joseph; above this sacred name burned a number of lighted candles from which sprang eighteen or twenty little serpents, which performed wonders. Behind this first contrivance had been placed fourteen large rockets, which were sent up, one after the other, to the astonishment of the French and still more of the Savages, who had never before seen anything of the kind. They wondered at the rain of [page 67] gold, or of fire, and at the stars which descended from far above,—the fire of the rockets shooting straight upward, then curving around, and all the time very high in the air.

Near by they had erected a little castle, very well proportioned, and adorned with divers colors; it was flanked by four small towers filled with lighted candles, which showed all this little battery in full view. Around this piece of mechanism there were sixteen large rods enveloped in saucissons. At its four corners were seen four spinning wheels, and another larger one above the castle, which revolved around a cross of fire, lighted [19] by a number of burning candles, which made it look as if covered with diamonds. Besides this, there had been placed around this fortress, at equal distances, four large cylinders, whence could be seen springing forth thirteen dozen serpents, darting out six at a time, and at regular intervals; and four dozen rockets, which were to ascend twelve at a time. Here is the shape of this edifice.

Sieur Bourdon had constructed this contrivance, and sieur de Beaulieu had manufactured the fireworks. Towards evening Monsieur the Governor, and Monsieur de l'Isle, and all our Gentlemen emerged from the fort and came near the Church, to the place selected for these fireworks. All the inhabitants of new France, in the vicinity of Kébec, were present at this rejoicing. The shades of night had covered the sky and the earth, when sieur de Beaulieu presented a lighted brand to Monsieur the Governor, who set on fire the device,—having it explained to the Savages, especially to the Hurons, [page 69] that the French were more powerful than Demons, that they commanded the fire; and that, if they wished to burn the villages of their enemies, they could soon do it.

On this Holyday our Church was full of people and of devotion, almost as [20] it is on an Easter day,—all blessing God for having given us as a protector the foster father and Guardian Angel (so to speak) of Jesus Christ, his Son. It is, in my opinion, through his favor and through his merits, that the inhabitants of new France who live upon the banks of the great river saint Lawrence, have resolved to receive all the good customs of the old and to refuse admission to the bad ones.

Here is a holy law published and received with love and honor in the bosom of our churches,—that in these sacred places, where people go to adore the crucifix, so charged with ignominy, no attention whatever is paid to precedence; woe to him who, through pride, shall attempt to violate this holy custom. Alas, if we had to consider whose right it is to pass first when it is a question of adoring Jesus Christ bound to the cross, we should create a Babylon instead of a holy Sion, and we would go in pride to seek humility. I bless God that those persons who, according to the world, would be most concerned in these precedences, or in these indecorous actions, to call them thus, are the first to trample under foot these puerilities unworthy of a strong character. And to tell the truth, so long as we have a Governor [21] who is a friend of virtue and so long as we have free speech in the Church of God, the monster of ambition will have no Altar there. I almost forgot to [page 71] say that we have spoken of God in his house in the Latin, French, Montagnés, and Huron tongues. But that will be taken up more in detail in the following chapters.

The ships had left us two persons of the pretended Religion. They have come over to the truth of the Catholic Church, and have publicly protested that they desired to live and die in this holy belief.

I have here a request to make, of all those who wish to express an opinion of the condition of our colony,—to close their eyes while the ships are at anchor in our ports, and to open them at their departure, or shortly afterwards, to the agreeable sight of our countrymen. They wish to make merry, and they fall into excesses; their good habits grow drowsy, and vice begins to try to raise its head; there is a greater indulgence in drink and feasting during that time than in all the rest of the year. Those who have just arrived and who have read in the Relations that everything is done [22] here in an orderly way, seeing some dissoluteness, readily condemn us, and perhaps insert in the letters they write to France the sentence of our condemnation, having in fact some reason to disapprove an evil which it is difficult enough to remedy. But when the fleet has departed, when visits come to an end, when the Winter begins to rally us, how they lend ear to the word of God, and how those who have taken too much liberty recognize their shortcomings! Then those who thought that lawlessness reigned in our Colony, joyfully praise the piety and devotion thereof, provided they are not terrified and do not cry out that all is lost when they see, now and then, the misdeeds of a [page 73] few individuals. For although I praise and greatly honor our French people of new France, I do not deny that we have some who are weak and diseased. I know there are loose fellows who scandalize the Savages through their brutal language. These Barbarians say to me quite often, " Thou sayest one must not steal, and yet thy French have taken from us such and such things; thou sayest drunkards will go into the fires of hell, then such and such a one will be damned, for he is always drunk." Surely [23] it would be far better to be tied to a millstone and thrown into the sea, than to scandalize these poor infidels; and whoever does it shall render an account for the blood of Jesus Christ which he prevents from being applied to these poor souls. But these are the faults of very few persons, and of those of no consequence. All those who hold an honorable position here do not fall into these excesses, which are covered and hidden by the night, for they would not dare to show themselves openly. Virtue, by the grace of our Lord, walks here with its head erect, in honor and in glory; sin, in obscurity and in confusion. All the principal personages of our Colony honor Religion; I say with joy and God's blessing, that those whom his goodness has given to command over us, and those also who are coming to establish themselves in these countries, enjoy, cherish, and wish to follow the most sincere maxims of true Christianity. Is it not a very praiseworthy thing to harmonize soldiers, and artisans, and Frenchmen, gathered from different regions, with Savages; to hold all in check and in profound peace, and to gain the affection of all? It is the skill, [24] [page 75] prudence, and wisdom of Monsieur the Chevalier de Montmagny, our Governor, which works this kind of miracle. I believe I am uttering the sentiments of all those who are under his rule. We are under very singular obligations to our great King, to Monseigneur the Cardinal, and to the Gentlemen of the Company, and we render to them very humble thanks, for having given us a man so valiant and so well versed in all kinds of knowledge; so fit to command, and, what I place before all these great qualities, so little interested in the world, and so greatly concerned for God. He is the first in pious acts, is present at the least important services, and in this way makes them honorable in the eyes of the greatest personages. The primum mobile takes up and carries away in its movement all the other heavenly spheres; and this man of God, loved by God and by men, walking in the footsteps of God, draws men along with him. I asked a good old man not long ago if he would not give his goddaughter in marriage, having learned that many were seeking her. " Neither her father, nor her mother, nor I " (he answered), " are in haste to send her away from us, as long as Monsieur our [25] Governor shall be here; and as long as you, my Fathers, shall have full liberty and authority to correct our vices and to show us the way to heaven, nothing shall oblige us to marry her. justice reigns here, insolence is banished, and shamelessness would not dare to raise its head. But when Monsieur our Governor shall go away, we shall have trouble in putting her in a place of safety; for we do not know who will come after him." May God preserve him to us for a long time. It is very important to introduce good laws and pious customs in these early [page 77] beginnings, for those who shall come after us will walk in our footsteps, and will readily conform to the example given them by us, whether tending to virtue or to vice. [page 79]



UR Savages are always savage, they resemble the migratory birds of their own country. In one season turtledoves are sometimes found in such abundance that the end of their army cannot be seen when they are flying in a body; at other times in the same season they appear only in small flocks. It is the same with many other birds, with fish, and with terrestrial animals,—they vary according to the year. Our Savages are like them in this inconstancy. Ephrahaim sicut avis avolavit. Sometimes they come in a body, sometimes singly. Be that as it may, here are the fruits that have been gathered from those who have lived near our settlements.

Last year we baptized about one hundred Savages; this year, we have baptized more than three hundred in all, including those among the Hurons, at Kebec, and at the three Rivers. The first to receive this grace at Kebec was called Tisiko in his own language; he is one of the Seminarists [27] from the Hurons, of whom I shall speak in the proper place. Father Charles l'Allemant baptized him when he was almost in the last agony, and gave him the name of François.

On the 19th of September another Seminarist, named Satouta, was made a Christian, and named [page 81] Robert in his baptism; we shall speak of him also in the chapter on the Seminary for Hurons.

The third who has entered the Church of God was a little girl who was brought to me when I was at the River des prairies with Monsieur our Governor. When her mother found she was sick, meeting me by chance, she said to me, " We come from far up on the great river; I have hastened on ahead of the others, who are coming after me, to present to you my sick child, that you may baptize her as you have my other children. I intended to take her to Kebec; but, as I have met thee here, see, here she is, pray for her." Now seeing that the child was tolerably well, I told her to go down to the three Rivers; that she would find my brother, Father Buteux, there, and he would grant her request. She went in her canoe, and did not fail to find the Father, whom she addressed, with tears in her eyes, in these words:

"Look, here is the fourth of my children whom I [28] present to you; I hope that baptism will be more favorable to her body than it has been to those of the other three; but even if she shall not get well, do not fail to do with her according to your custom; for what you do cannot be bad, since you all love us." The Father baptized her on the 26th of September; Monsieur de Chasteau-fort was her sponsor, and gave her the name Marie; soon afterwards she flew away to heaven, to be with her brothers and sisters, so that this poor barbarian woman has four children in Paradise. May God grant her the blessing she has procured for her children.

On the 5th of November Father de Quen baptized a boy about fourteen years old, whom he had previously instructed. Sieur Olivier was his sponsor, and [page 83] named him Martin; his parents showed that they were very glad that their son had been taught. I am surprised that these barbarians, when they see their children's bodily health hopeless, are pleased, at least some of them, to have a place in heaven procured for them; and, when they are well, they care only for the world. But alas! this misfortune is not so peculiar to the Pagans, that those who have the faith and who bear the name of Christians [29] do not participate therein. How many persons do we see in Europe whose souls are so attached to the earth that they do not leave it until their bodies are placed in it. I observed, during the instruction of this child, the kindness of a Savage. He, seeing this poor sick child fall into a kind of swoon, ran towards our house and, meeting me on the way, told me, all out of breath, that this poor boy was about to render up his soul, " I came to call thee, run as fast as thou canst. " This zeal shows some belief in our mysteries. May God grant an increase to these small beginnings of a faith which is not yet strong enough to induce them to give up their bad habits.

On the same day we also baptized an adult Savage, about forty-five years old, named in his own language Chibanagouch. Sieur Olivier was his godfather also, and gave him the name Paul. He was loved by those of his nation, not only because he was one of the principal persons among them, but because he was a good warrior and a bold man. He fell sick while on his return from Acadia; and, as I saw him wasting away every day, I approached him several [30] times to speak to him about God, but in vain; his heart, filled with pride, could not make room for the truth; he hated his enemies with rage and fury. [page 85] Having seen an Hiroquois, who had been brought to Kebec, enter his cabin, he raised himself, sick as he was, threw himself upon this poor man as a Mad dog falls upon some other animal, and savagely bit off his ear, working himself into so brutal a fury as to cause horror in those who saw him. This madness is far removed from the gentleness of Jesus Christ; but God has more goodness than the heart of man has malice. This wretch, finally seeing that he would have to depart this life, opens his eyes, and comes to live near Kebec to be instructed. At that time I had gone to Beaupré, which is usually called Cap de Tourmente; Monsieur the Governor and Monsieur Gand, wishing to see those fine prairies, took me there to give spiritual assistance to a French family that resides in that place. On our return sieur Hebert, meeting us, told me that Chibanagouch had come to stay near our French people, and that he had been expecting me for a long time, in order to hear the doctrine of Jesus Christ and to receive [31] Holy Baptism. I found him, in fact, thus well disposed. "Nikanis," he said to me, " I have been waiting for thee a long time; instruct me, for I do not wish to go into the fires." " How does it happen," (said I to him) " that thou hast resisted me so long when I have spoken to thee of thy salvation? " " I had no sense," he replied; " but now, that I am going to die, I am thinking upon what thou hast taught me." "But art thou really in earnest in wishing to believe in God? " " Thou wilt see that I am in instructing me, for I will remain close to thee until my death." So we continued our visits to him, usually Father de Quen and 1; as I brought him a few pictures, having explained to him what [page 87] they represented, he taught this to the others. " Look," said he, " here is the picture of those who would not believe; see how they are bound in irons, how they are in the flames, how mad with pain they are; those others who go to heaven, are the ones who have believed and obeyed him who has made all things." Heretics are very much in the wrong to condemn and to destroy representations, which have so good an effect. These sacred pictures are half the instruction that one is able to give the Savages. I had desired some portrayals of hell and of lost souls; they sent us some on paper, [32] but that is too confused. The devils are so mingled with the men that nothing can be identified therein, unless it is studied closely. If some one would depict three, four, or five demons tormenting one soul with different kinds of tortures,—one applying to it the torch, another serpents, another pinching it with red-hot tongs, another holding it bound with chains,—it would have a good effect, especially if everything were very distinct, and if rage and sadness appeared plainly in the face of the lost soul. Fear is the forerunner of faith in these barbarous minds. But to conclude this story, this poor Neophyte having been baptized on the 5th of November, lived until the eleventh of the following month, performing acts of faith and hope, and making it plainly understood that he had received this divine Sacrament for the salvation of his soul, and not in the hope of any benefit to his body. For although he was in great want, yet he asked us for nothing,, contrary to the custom of his nation, which is importunity itself toward foreigners. When he died, Monsieur the Governor and Monsieur the Chevalier de l'Isle, his Lieutenant, [page 89] honored [33] his obsequies, as well as many others of our Frenchmen.

On the eleventh day of November, Father de Quen baptized a little sick Savage called Penoutet. One of our Frenchmen changed this name for him into Jean Baptiste; his mother very cheerfully permitted him to be instructed and made a Christian.

On the same day, we baptized still another one, whose name was Louys; his parents were very glad to have this great blessing conferred upon him before they went farther inland.

The judgments of God are strange; he bestows his spirit upon such as he pleases. The road to the Savages' cabins was very bad; it was necessary to ascend a very steep mountain, or to go by water, which we could not do; we were very busy just at that time; yet, having been seized by a desire to go and see these Barbarians, we gave up everything else and arrived there so opportunely that, had we been even a little time delayed, these two poor little ones would have departed both from the neighborhood of Kebec and from this life, without being washed in the blood of the lamb. For their parents were going to drag them into the woods with [34] them, where, as we have learned, they died soon after their baptism.

On the 14th of the same month, we baptized in our Chapel at Kebec, with the holy ceremonies of the Church, a little child a few months old; its parents had named it Ouasibiskounesout, and Monsieur Gand called it François. This poor little one was very sick, but God soon afterwards restored it to health. It's father's name was Mantoueabeouichit, and its mother's, Outchibahabanoukoueou. They have given [page 91] one of their children, a little girl, to sieur Olivier, who cherishes her tenderly; he provides for her, and is having her brought up in the French way. If this child occasionally goes back to the Cabins of the Savages, her father, very happy to see his daughter well clothed and in very good condition, does not allow her to remain there long, sending her back to the house where she belongs. But to return to our little François. When his parents came back from the woods in the early Spring, Monsieur Gand, who is as charitable as possible to these poor barbarians, recognized his little godson; calling him by name, this poor little fellow answered him falteringly, but in so pretty a way,—he is indeed a very beautiful child,—that Monsieur Gand straightway had a [35] little dress made for him in the French fashion. As soon as he shall be in a condition to be taught, I hope we shall get him for instruction; his father and mother promised this when he was baptized.

On the 12th of December, our Fathers who live at the Conception, at the three Rivers, baptized a little girl whom Madame Godefroy named Marie. It is not for us to know the secrets of God. The Savages, having withdrawn into the woods, took with them this poor little child, only two or three years old. The Fathers, seeing her sick, did not dare to baptize her, on account of the uncertainty of her health. Finally, a short time before her death, these Barbarians came back with her, although they had intended staying away a much longer time, and God received cæli commorabitur.

On the 5th of January, two little Savage girls were solemnly baptized in the Church of the great [page 93] convent of the Carmelites of Paris. The fleet which returned last year from our ports took five Savages from this country,—a young Hiroquois woman, a little boy, and three little Montagnais girls. This young Hiroquois woman lives in the [36] house of Madame de Combalet, who, as I have learned, sometimes takes the trouble herself to instruct her in the faith of Jesus Christ and in the fear of God; if virtue should so take possession of her -heart that she should be fitted to return with the Nuns, who will come at the proper time, she would be of great service to them; for she would teach the little Savage girls, who will be with them, to plant Indian corn. But it would be desirable for her, in the course of time, to be put in a place where she can devote herself to gardening, otherwise, having too long tasted the sweetness of repose and the abundance of a great house, she would afterwards shun labor. I am told that they intend to do thus. As to the little boy, I am assured that he is in a good place; I hope that, after he has been well brought up, he will some day be sent to succor his countrymen.

In regard to the three little girls, one of them was already a Christian, and we sent her to the hospital at Dieppe. The Superior of this excellently regulated house writes me in these terms. Our little Louis is doing very well. She is very sweet, compliant, obedient, and devoted. When there is some small act of devotion to be performed in the class of little Seminary girls, she is the first to ask to do it; she is so modest and [37] attentive during the holy services of the Church that she puts our little French girls to shame; for my part, she inspires me with devotion. I often converse with her about the things which concern our holy Religion; [page 95] she shows so much satisfaction therein that I believe she will be capable of doing great good in her own country, if our Lord gives her a long life. We hope she will take Communion at Easter, considering how devoted she is. There are millions of Christians who have received our Lord, who do not know as much as she does. I send you a chalice pall, the point lace edging of which was made by her: If she had not been sick, we would have returned her or brought her back better taught; she says she desires to be a Nun, and that she does not wish to return to Canadas except with our sisters. These are the words of the mother Superior, who was to send back this poor little child next year; but sieur Hebout, who has been as a father to her, seeing her so contented, is willing to leave her until the coming of the Nuns. This poor child has written me a few words, which I shall be glad to set down here. My Reverend Father, the Peace of our Lord. I am very glad to be in France, for the favors I have received here and expect to receive, seeing myself on the eve of my first Communion; this gives me so much joy that I have no words to ex ,press it. I take the liberty to beg, in all humility, [38] that Your Reverence will thank the Divine Majesty for it. I send you the first work I have done. I hope to have more learning and to cross over to Canada when our Mothers do, to render the debt of hospitality to the women of my nation, if God grants me the grace to do so. And farther down she excuses herself if she writes very badly, not yet being able to form the letters. May God bestow his holy blessing upon these poor children. But let us speak of the other two. I had presented them to Madame de Combalet, as to one whose greatness does not disdain the littleness of these poor creatures. This Lady, having decided to have them baptized, [page 97] had them taken to the Church of the Carmelites, where they gave up the names of Barbarians, to enter into the freedom of the children of God. Mother Magdelene of saint Joseph describes their baptism to me in a few words: You will hear (she says) about the blessing God has granted us in the baptism of two little Savages, not only on account of the celebrity of the act, but for the great devotion shown by the distinguished people who were in our Church. The taller one was held over the font by Madame the Princess de Condé, who named her Marguerite Therese; the godfather was Monsieur the Chancellor. The second was held by Madame de Combalet, [39] and named Marie Magdelene; the godfather was Monsieur des Noiers, Secretary of State. We had in our Church, as Preacher, Monsieur the Bishop of saint Papoul, one of the most estimable Preachers of our time, and a very holy man; he having taken that beautiful topic, the vocation of the Gentiles, because it was Epiphany, did not forget to commend the act of our two little Canadians, and to praise the charity of those who are striving to obtain these souls for the son of God. And, further on, she adds: I will tell you also that Marguerite Therese, the one remaining to us of the two little Savages, the other having died, is as pretty as she can be. She seems to be a very good child, and to have much intelligence. She asks little questions, such as whether we shall be resurrected, if we shall see God, if our bodies will be glorified, in regard to the holy Sacrament, if God is concealed there under the sacramental elements; and likewise. ,many other things which she asks, regarding such matters, I hope God will bless her and take her under his care.

Ah! would that I could say to this child, " Alas, my daughter, who has drawn you from your lowly estate to place you in the affection of nobles? What [page 99] have you rendered to God for your deliverance from slavery, and for your enrollment among the number of his children? Do you [40] remember the resistance you made when your father placed you in my hands? You wished to escape by force, to run after your misery! You would not believe what your countrymen could not yet be convinced of, that we desired to secure for you the greatest of all blessings. Pray for them now, and prepare yourself to succor them. Every day I see your compatriots poorly clothed, lodged under bark, and almost always famished, while you are living in abundance. Bless him who has given you these comforts, and implore him to have pity on your poor and wretched nation. As for all those great personages whom I have just mentioned, who have coöperated in your baptism, all I can say to them is, Benedicti vos à Domino, that they are the anointed of God. It is not, my daughter, for the nobleness of your extraction that they have held you over the font, that they take the trouble to teach you, that they honor you with their affection; but these souls are the souls of the elect, who know the greatness and the value of the blood of Jesus Christ, which they wish to apply to you for the love they bear him. Acknowledge these favors, abase yourself before them, and still more [41] before God, taking these beautiful words as your motto, Misericordias Domini in æternum cantabo, "I will sing forever the mercies of my God." Enough upon this point; I have felt that these two children, born in our new France, ought to be placed among those whom God has taken as his children in their own country.

On the 20th of January, we baptized the little son of a Savage called Itaomigabaouiou. As we had [page 101] observed that his child was sick, we recommended him strongly to let us know if he saw it in danger of death, that we might secure for it an entrance to heaven. He did not fail to do so, for, seeing that it could no longer eat, he came to tell us that it was all over with his son, and that we should do to him what we had intended. We asked him if it could be brought to the Chapel, for they were encamped quite near Kebec; and if he was not acquainted with some Frenchman, whom he could ask to be godfather for his child. He replied that he would have the sick one brought there, and would ask Monsieur de sainct Sauveur to give it a name. This was done; the child was consecrated to Jesus Christ, and named Nicolas. Three days afterwards, as this poor little Christian was nearing [42] his end, his father sent for us to come and see him die. The Cabin was filled with Savages, who were there as guests at a feast that had been prepared in anticipation of the death of the child. We entered after the feast was over; the father was holding his poor little infant, which, in agony, was experiencing violent convulsions; its mother was uttering loud laments, all the Savages were in a sad and mournful silence; having entered, we, like the others, maintained silence for some time, in order to show them that we were participating in their mourning. Truly, we admired the firmness of the father of this little innocent; for although his eyes saw the very evident sufferings of his only son, and although his ears heard the mournful sobs and lamentations of his wife, he gave no sign nor indication of a weak heart, but with great equanimity of mind, which appeared upon his face, he soothed his son with the love of a mother, preserving, however, [page 103] the firmness of a father. After having shared their silence for some time, I began to try to console the mother, not so much in the hope of dispelling her sadness, as for the sake of introducing a more cheering topic. We [43] Europeans make a mistake in overwhelming one who is in sorrow with arguments serving to remove his trouble, for it is just that which augments his grief. The best way to comfort an afflicted soul is to follow the advice of saint Paul, Flere cum fientibus, " Weep with those who weep," that they, especially women, may shed through the eyes the bitterness that inundates the heart; after this is done, the thing that causes their grief need no more be mentioned. The Savages follow this rule to perfection, for they do not allow any one to mention the dead in their ordinary conversation, but only when it is desired (as they say) to take up or to restore the deceased to life by having another assume his name. But let us resume our discourse. Then I began to speak, and, addressing myself to the mother, said to her, " I will observe among you the French custom; when a child dies in France and the -mother mourns for it, they say to her that she has indeed reason to grieve for the loss of so sweet a child, but that, nevertheless, she ought soon to assuage her grief if her child has died a Christian; for the sky is opened to it, whither it will go to a place full of delights, where sickness, [44] hunger, poverty, grief, and death do not enter. In a word, I tried, in my Savage patois, to make her see a little specimen of the great blessings which this little child of God is going to enjoy. They listened to this in profound silence, and showed that they took great pleasure therein; in conclusion, this little Angel, having held [page 105] out for some time, flew away to heaven, and his body was solemnly buried, with that of another Christian of whom I am about to speak.

On the 25th of the same month, the son of a Savage, whom the French surnamed Le Cadet, received holy Baptism. Father de Quen made him a Christian, and Monsieur Gand named him Paul; he was about seventeen years old. For a long time this poor boy closed his ears against us, not willing to hear God spoken of in any way; I do not know whether he fancied that misfortune had come upon one of his brothers for having received the faith, imagining that the Sacrament of life had been the cause of death to him; be that as it may, when I approached to give him instruction, as he was very sick, he wrapped himself up in his robe, and would not listen to me at all. I tried, therefore, to frighten him with the fear of hell,—so that, indeed, I made him [45] weep; as soon as I became aware of this, I redoubled my efforts, and with greater earnestness said, " Thou dost not fear eternal death, and thou fearest the death of thy body; whether thou believest or dost not believe, thou art dead, thou canst do no more; and, not content to suffer the long pain of thy disease, thou wishest to suffer the horrible torments of hell; if I hated thee, I would let thee go into the flames, but I have compassion for thy soul; listen, and see if what thou art taught is bad." His father, seeing that I was urging him, said, " My son, thou must obey the father; what he teaches thee is good. " Finally God touched his heart, so that he promised to listen to me, which he did. Having judged him sufficiently instructed, we baptized him; five days after his baptism, he died, on the same [page 107] night as little Nicolas, and this is the reason why they were buried together. But as there was considerable trouble in digging the grave, for the ground was frozen hard, the Savages who came to take part in the funeral procession withdrew to our house, to, wait until it was made. Now I retired into my little room, and one of them, seeing me leave, took the floor and began to say to his compatriots, " I admire what these people say; they take a great deal of trouble for us; they tell us that the [46] dead who have believed go away before us, to enjoy great happiness, and that we shall go after them if we will believe; that punishments are ordained for the wicked. I believe they are telling the truth; we could not gainsay them; for since what they say is new to us, and as not one of us has any knowledge of it, if we do not see the truth thereof, at least we dare not accuse them of lying. If our ancestors had known how to write, they would have left us great books filled with fables and falsehoods; for my part, I find that the doctrines of the French are good." I listened from my chamber to this discourse, which the others did not, in truth, disapprove, but neither did they show much evidence that they greatly approved it.

On the 14th of February a paralytic woman was placed among the number of Christians. See how Father Buteux speaks of her: " This poor woman had nothing left her but her lips and power of speech; she was lying on a piece of deerskin about two feet square, and was covered with a quarter of a very meager and worn-out blanket; she was in a cabin open to the daylight on all sides. As she could not get near the fire, nor kindle one when it went out at night, [471 she was sometimes all stiff and frozen [page 109] with the cold. The Savages, who have no faith and therefore no charity, let her ask for a drink more than four times before giving it to her once; I myself gave her food," says the Father, " feeding her like a child. When I went to the cabins, these barbarians told me that her loins were quite raw; and yet, during all the time we visited her, we never saw an act of impatience, nor heard a complaint against those of her cabin, except when she saw they were going to break camp; " Alas! " said she, " they will kill me, or abandon me somewhere." That very thing happened the day after her baptism; for Father du Marché having gone to the cabins to take her something to eat, they stopped him and said to him, 'Wait, thou shalt go in soon.' They were preparing to bury this poor creature, who two hours before was feeling well enough, as she had made the sign of the cross and pronounced the sweet names of Jesus and Mary. It is quite probable that they put her to death. The hospital will remedy these great wrongs."

On the 18th of the same month a Savage woman received baptism; but it would have been much better for her if she had never received it, for she died in apostasy. As Father [48] de Quen and I visited her very often during her sickness, if we opened our mouths to say anything to her about our belief, " Cure me," she would say, " and I will believe, otherwise not; I wish to live; if you will restore me my health, I will obey your words." In vain did I tell her that this was not in our power. As a Savage named Makheabicktichiou was feeling ill, and as we had ministered to him in his sickness, occasionally having him sleep in our house, this woman, seeing that he [page 111] became well, attributed the restoration of his health to our power, and to our acquaintance with the Manitou, that is, with the one who takes away or restores life; hence she always asked us for the life of the body, not troubling herself much about that of the soul. I used all the mildness I could to gain her attention, I passed from gentleness to threats; but neither oil nor vinegar was powerful enough to cure so great a disease as obstinacy. He who loves this life too much is in danger of losing the other; thus it was with this poor creature, as far as we can with probability judge. Now as her salvation seemed almost hopeless, I informed sieur Olivier, who knew and cared for her parents [49] efficiently, and who was very kind and charitable to this poor invalid. He went to see her and asked her if she were willing to be lost, and why she would not listen to me. " He ,does nothing but chide me, and speak to me of death, crazing me in my sickness," she replied. Indeed, as I could not make the faith enter her mind through the hope of heaven, I had tried to gain admission for it through the dread of hell. Now either because she was playing a part, or because she had in truth some good intentions, she promised sieur Olivier to believe in God and to be obedient to what I should tell her. We visited her several times, she listened to us quietly and peacefully, showing that she enjoyed our doctrine. Seeing her sufficiently instructed, we granted her the baptism that she wished, at least in appearance. Sieur Olivier named her Marie; I confess that my soul felt a sort of repugnance that it is not wont to feel during the baptism of others. I could not refrain from testifying to sieur Olivier that my heart was not satisfied. Father de Quen had the [page 113] same sentiments. But what should we do? There is no excuse for refusing this Sacrament to a person who shows [50] a desire to avail himself of it. After she received these sacred waters, we tried hard to feel some joy therein, but my soul could not entertain that feeling, although I tried to constrain it thereto by force of argument. A few days slipped away, and she did not show any alienation from the faith; but, when she returned to the thoughts of the present life, she conceived a horror for us, so that she would no longer speak to us nor respond to our inquiries. In vain do we try to bend her by coaxing; her ears are deaf to our words, and her heart closed to the inspirations of God. Now seeing that she was going to be lost, I took her in hand one day, representing to her the complaints her soul would make in its despair and in the flames, perhaps before three days would pass away. I related to her something of the rage and fury of the devils. She could not endure these threats; she began to weep, and to grind her teeth; and, without saying anything to me, she went out of the cabin on all fours, as they say, for she could not stand on her feet, and lay down on the snow. I thought she had gone out to attend to some necessity; but Father de Quen said to me, " No, I knew very well from her actions that she had gone. out from vexation and rage." Seeing that she did not return, I imagined [51] that she had entered some neighboring cabin. Hence, having stayed about half an hour longer to instruct those with whom we were, we went out, intending to return home; but we were astonished to see this poor abandoned woman lying upon the snow, exposed to the air, and having no covering but a miserable piece of fur. I offered to [page 115] take her back to her cabin, speaking to her kindly and pityingly; she obstinately repulsed me. Her husband, a good-natured Savage, was very sorry about this, but he could furnish no remedy for it.

A few days later, a Savage woman came to see me, and told me that this miserable apostate had tried to kill herself; that all the knives had been put out of her reach; that she had been seen raised in the air more than a cubit; that she had escaped from her people, fleeing in the night so as to vanish and be carried away by the devil; that her people had captured her; that, if she had disappeared, she would have wasted away, and would have caused the death of the Savages. All this astonished me. I inquired if occasionally some Savage disappeared, never to be seen again, and I was answered that this did happen. But I [52] Will speak of this in another place. Now wishing to know whether this woman had related true or false news to us, we begged Monsieur Olivier to go and visit this desperate creature, to learn whether she intended to persevere in her unhappy course, and find out what had happened to her. He went and saw her; she would not answer his inquiries, nor speak to him at all. He questioned her mother as to what had taken place; she said enough to convince him that she had really tried to kill herself, that she had escaped from them in the night without their knowing how; but that they had captured her, and brought her back to her cabin. " How could she escape," he asked, " seeing that she is unable to move? " " How do we know?" they replied. " Perhaps, " said the mother, " her soul tried to go away, and she ran after it so as not to let it escape." That is the story sieur Olivier-brought back to us. Finally [page 117], when the poor wretch had death upon her face, she was carried to the other side of the great river, where the Savages were going to hunt the Moose, and died soon after her departure, as we have been told.

On the 28th of the same month of February, Monsieur Gand was sponsor to a Savage woman [53] and named her Anne in baptism. The hopeless condition of her bodily health made her think of the health of the soul; as long as she had any hope of temporal life, she gave herself no anxiety for the eternal; but, when she saw she was losing her hold on time, she sought to grasp eternity. As I expressed some surprise at the long resistance she had made to us, a young Savage told me that I need not be astonished at it,—that many of their nation had this idea, that baptism is injurious to life, but that it is a good thing with which to protect oneself from the fires with which we threaten them. So this is why some do not consent to be baptized until they have lost all hope of being able to recover their health. It is an error that the devil puts in their minds, like that of our heretics who give passports to unbaptized children to go to heaven; but both are deluded. This poor woman, after she became a Christian, survived a few days. As we often went to console her, and to help her strengthen herself in the faith she had accepted, I asked her if she had not heard about Marie, whom she knew very well (she is that Apostate of whom I have just spoken), and if she would not be lost as she had been. [54] " Ah, indeed I do not," she replied; " I wish to believe until death; I do not wish to go down under the earth, into those furnaces you have told us about. " Having persevered [page 119] in this pious resolution, she finally went to enjoy the blessings she had hoped for. On the 7th day of March, we buried her body in the Christian way. Now it happened that her parents, having wrapped up some little package of bark with her body, wanted to exhume her the next day. I opposed this, and strongly urged the Savage who brought me this message to tell me what it was. Finally he told me it was a little of her hair, that they had cut and wrapped in some bark; and that this little package had been placed with the body by mistake,—that it must be taken out, to be given to the nearest relative of the dead girl. I ridiculed their superstitions; and, when he told me that this man would get angry, I told him laughingly to cut a little hair from his own head, or to take a little Moose hair, to give to this relative,—that it would be just as useful as what he asked; he began to laugh, and went away.

"On the 13th of May we made a Christian," write our Fathers from the three Rivers, " of a little boy about four or five years old, son of a Savage named Aouesemenisk. He was not so very near [55] death; but, since his father would take him farther inland for a year, promising to give him to us if he recovered his health, we judged it proper to confer upon him a blessing, the importance of which he will not recognize until he gets to heaven. The Surgeon of the fort named him Aimé"

On the 14th day of the same month, Father Adam conferred Holy baptism upon a little boy about 9 or 10 years old. One of our men, called Christofle, gave him the name Ignace. We had withdrawn, Father de Quen and I, to the house of nostre Dame des Anges, to enjoy for a little while the repose of a [page 121] sweet solitude with God, according to the custom of our Society. The father of this little Christian, knowing we were there, came to see us, and brought us two of his children whom he had already presented to us at Kebec. We accepted one of them for baptism, and promised to take the other for the Seminary. He saw this Sacrament conferred upon his son, with the holy ceremonies of the Church, and went away well satisfied.

On the 25th of the same month, Father de Quen baptized a tall young man, lying ill, who consoled us greatly while we were instructing him. Sieur de la Porte was his godfather, and named him Pierre. As we were in his cabin to explain to him the points of [56] our belief, his mother, who was returning from another cabin, hearing us, cried to him in a loud voice, before entering, " My son, believe what the Fathers tell thee. If I were sick, I would believe them, for they tell the truth; if thou canst not speak, think in thy heart upon him who has made all things, and tell him to have pity upon thee. I have just come from a sick woman, who told me that, when the Fathers instructed her, she said in her heart what they said with their lips; he who has made all sets what thou thinkest. " Upon hearing this, the poor young man became very attentive. He died soon after his baptism; as his mother refused to give his body to be buried in our cemetery, Father l'Allemant, who was then at Kebec, wrote me that it would be proper for me to go there, to get these holy remains from the hands of this woman. I begged Father de Quen to go, since I was prevented. He tried to find out why this woman was loath to give up the body of her son. She gave [page 123] three reasons for it: first, that the cemetery at Kebec was very damp; second, that we would not permit them to put bark in the grave; and the third reason, which was the most important, according to her idea, was that we had baptized her son with water from the river, and [57] that we baptized the others with water we had brought from our house; that the river water would have no effect, and that her son would not go to the place I had said he would. She was obstinate about it, and retained this poor body three days without burying it. Finally, having still more confidence in us than she had in the people of her own nation, she brought it to us at nostre Dame des Anges, being assured that we would not take away any of the bundles that she gave it to take into the other world. Necessity had compelled us to baptize this poor boy without ceremony, but we buried him with the chant of the Church, which was a great consolation to the barbarians who were present at the funeral. When I told them that the soul had no use for all this baggage which they were throwing into the grave, they replied, " We believe so, too; but we remove from our sight what would cause our grief, recalling to us the dead."

On the same day, a man about 5o years old, of the nation of the Attikamegues, was enrolled among the number of Christians, at the three Rivers. Father Buteux informed me that, on seeing him sick, he asked him where he expected to go after death. " To heaven," he replied. " Thereupon I took occasion to teach him," said the Father, [58] " what he must do to obtain this great blessing. I found him very well disposed and partly instructed, as he had heard me speak of our faith in their cabins; [page 125] hence we made him a Christian. One of the interpreters was his godfather, and called him François; as I had him pronounce his name, 'I am very glad,' said he, 'that I shall henceforth be called this and no longer Memegouëchiou as formerly.' "

On the 5th of June, sieur Olivier baptized a young girl about twelve years old. We had begun to instruct her, but as we were not yet satisfied, we had not conferred upon her this Sacrament. Sieur Olivier, happening to be among the cabins, found her in the death throes; hence, having no hope that we could be informed in time, he baptized her without ceremony; she was buried the same day.

On the 8th of July, a young Algonquin child received health for the body and for the soul by means of the sacred waters of baptism. Now a Montagnes, seeing it was going to die, came to inform Father Buteux, telling him that the father of the child would not be sorry if he would go and see it, as he had given all he had to the sorcerers, even to his own robe, to have it sung to and blown upon in their fashion, [59] add all this had been without effect. The Father betook himself thither. He assures this barbarian that he has not entered his cabin to get, but on the contrary to give, help, both to the body and to the soul of his son; that, if he wished to have him baptized, perhaps our Lord would restore him his health. This poor man was very well satisfied; Monsieur de Chasteau-fort, who commands at the three Rivers, consented to be his godfather, and named him Jean; this poor little one, having become a child of God, fully recovered in the two days following, to the great astonishment of its parents.

On the 18th of the same month, Father Daniel [page 127] baptized a Huron, one of those who had come to trade, who had descended as far as the residence of the Conception at the three Rivers. As he was not capable of receiving instruction, being so oppressed by his sickness, he decided to have the Huron Seminarists who accompanied him kneel, and pray to God, with him, for the salvation of their countryman. While they were repeating their prayers the sick man opened his eyes and cast them upon the Father, who immediately asked him if he understood well. Having answered that he did, he represented to him that human remedies, and all the help [60] that sieur de la Perle, Surgeon of the settlement, had given him, could not avail to restore health to his body; that he must think upon his soul, which would not go into their Eskendendé, the country where their souls go, but that it would be taken to heaven or to hell; that all souls went at last into one of these two extremes, the good into joy, the wicked and unbelieving into misery. This poor man caressed the Father, embracing him, and showing that he took pleasure in his conversation. So he continued to instruct him upon the mystery of the holy Trinity and of the Incarnation. He gave him to understand that, if he believed these truths, he could be baptized, and that in baptism his sins would be pardoned, and his soul purified and prepared for heaven; that it only required that he should be sorry for having offended him who has made all things. At these words, this simple man, already dying, began to clasp his hands as a sign of rejoicing, but with so much strength that, if one had not already seen his eyes drowned in the sleep of death, he would have taken him for a man in good health. " How good [page 129] that is," said he, " how good that is." So he was baptized, and -named Robert; scarcely was he made a child of God than he rendered up his soul [61] to his father, dying more happily than he had lived. His companions came immediately to bring the news of his death to the Father, who went to his cabin and asked them what they intended to do with his body. They are accustomed to burn the flesh of a person who dies outside of their own country, and, extracting the bones, to take these with them. But when the Father told them that as he had died a Christian it would be fitting that he should be buried as a Christian, they told him that he was the master, that he might do with the body what he deemed proper. The Father immediately informed Monsieur de Chasteau-fort, who arranged a fine funeral procession for this Neophyte. This so greatly pleased the Hurons that the principal men among them, lingering at the gates of the fort, on the return of the procession, courteously thanked our French people for the care they had given the sick man, and for the honor they had rendered him after his death.

On the day of the feast of our Father, St. Ignace, Father Claude Pijart, lately arrived in new France, bestowed the waters which give spiritual life upon the body of a little Algonquin girl. When they spoke to her father about baptizing her, he, having never heard of baptism, wished to get information. from the other Savages, asking if they really knew. [62] what it was. Fortunately, he addressed himself to the uncle of little Jean, of whom I have just spoken, who told him that baptism did no harm,—that, on the contrary, it had restored health to his little nephew. Upon hearing that, this simple man [page 131] permitted the name Marguerite to be given to his little daughter, making her a Christian.

On the 4th of August, Father Buteux, seeing a little girl sick in one of the cabins, asked her father if he would not like to have her soul enriched; he answered that it would please him indeed, and that he knew very well we did no harm to children. " If thou desire " (he said to him) "to have her baptized, have her brought into our Chapel." This man, without further delay, came to our house with his wife, who was carrying her child. I was greatly consoled at seeing this promptness; I asked him if he would not give us his daughter for instruction in case she recovered her health. "Certainly," said he, "I will give her to thee." I count upon his word, not only because he is a Captain, but also because he is regarded by his people as a peaceable and truthful man. When I was urging him this Spring to become a Christian, asking him if what was being taught him was bad, he said, " No." " Why, then, dost thou not promise me to believe it? " " If I had promised thee, " he replied, [63] " I would be obliged to do it." In fact, a Savage said to me one day that I should urge him to embrace our faith, " for, if he promise thee to do it," said he, " he will keep his word. As to the others, do not put so much trust in them." So we have reason to believe that, if his child recovers, he will give it to us at the proper time, to be reared in the faith it has received in Holy baptism. This poor little one was called Ouemichtigouchiou iskouëou, meaning, "wife of a European. " Two young soldiers, who have been in the service of Madame de Combalet, being present at her baptism, one of them named her Marie Magdelene. [page 133]

On the 6th, Father Pijart baptized the one who had brought him from the Hurons. It was the Captain of their village. This good man, named Aënon, having fallen sick on the way, was made a Christian, and died at the three Rivers. Before his death, he earnestly recommended his people not to do any harm to the French in his country; he was sufficiently instructed, but flesh and blood caused him to cling to his barbarous life. He approved of the commandments of God, but he did not believe he could keep them. Now seeing himself near death, and no longer threatened by the possibility of offending God, he willingly received the Sacrament of life [641 in order to escape the woe of an eternal death.

On the 8th Father Daniel made a Christian of another sick Huron, called Tsondaké, naming him Jean at his baptism. He was one of the most continent men among the Hurons, and it was for this reason (perhaps) that God was merciful to him.

On the 9th, he also baptized another one, called Arachiokouan, naming him Noël. This young man did not know how to show his gratitude to him who had procured heaven for him; he took him by the hand and said to him, " Thou dost not utter trifles to me, in speaking about going to heaven; I wish to go there; I have seen some of my baptized countrymen, who have invited me to go with them." The Father asked him if he would surely remember him, when he was in that happy land. "Oh yes," he said, " I will remember thee, and I will tell him who has made all things to love thee well."

On the same day, Father Buteux received among the number of Christians a Montagnez Savage, whose name, Nenaskoumat, was changed to that of Pierre. [page 135] The Father, wishing to prepare him for baptism, asked him often if he did not wish to believe. " Yes, ' I said he, "I wish to believe; if I did not, I would say to thee at this very moment, ' Go away, I do not wish to listen to thee.' " As a proof of his belief, a little while before [65] falling into the agony of death, he made the sign of the Cross, to the great edification of our French who were looking at him. When he died, his brother came to beg the Father to bury him in our way.

On the 16th of the same month, as the Hurons were about to depart from the three Rivers, Father Raymbaut baptized one of them, whom Father Pierre Pijart had instructed; he was named Robert, by a young boy who lives with us. He had hardly been made a Christian when his people cast him into a Canoe, to take him away with them. Perhaps when two leagues away they may have thrown his body into a grave, while his soul will go on to enjoy Paradise.

On the 24th of the same month, Father Buteux baptized a little girl about seven years old. One of the soldiers sent here by Madame de Combalet gave her the name Marie. The Father, having entered the cabin where this child was, asked her father if he would not like to have her baptized, he, quite melancholy at seeing his three children all sick, said to him, "Do what thou wilt. My friends and I have done all we could to cure her, and we have accomplished nothing; see if thou wilt succeed better." The Father began to teach her, but as she was not able to retain anything, her mother learned [66] the instruction, to impart it to her daughter. In a word, after being baptized she became better ; she was [page 137] given holy water to drink, which soothed her so much that her parents rejoiced greatly, and the other sick ones asked us for the same medicine.

These are all who have been baptized among our wandering and unsettled Savages. The rest received this Sacrament in the country of the Hurons, as will be seen in the Relation of these countries, which I send your Reverence.

I am well aware that many Savages have asked me for holy baptism; but we have been careful about conferring it upon any adult in health, except after a long probation. To be sure, one cannot refuse it to a poor man almost in the agony of death, who gives proof that he has the faith, and who shows sufficient instruction. It would be a strange act of cruelty to see a living soul descend into hell, through the refusal of a blessing which Jesus Christ has earned for it by the price of his blood. " Yes, but if this man regains his health, and if he continues to live in Barbarism, you profane this Sacrament," will some one say? I answer that the Sacrament is made for man, and not man [67] for the Sacrament; and consequently it is better to endanger the Sacrament than the salvation of a man. Besides, what is done with reason and charity is done without offense, and without any profanation of which we are the cause; if a few Savages abuse it afterwards, that does not make those guilty who have conferred it upon them, any more than the Sacrilege which a person commits against the Sacrament of penance injures the conscience of the Confessor who has behaved with discretion.

I freely admit that great care must be taken not to baptize those who are in health, without having [page 139] tried them and kept them for some time in the rank of Catechumens, as was done in the primitive Church; but as for assigning 4 or 5 years, it is a term which saint Peter did not enjoin in his first sermons. Christian discretion ought to limit the term; some fruits are ripe at the beginning of Summer, others in midsummer, some in the Autumn, and there are some which are not good until winter. There are Savages to whom I would not confide our mysteries after six years- of instruction; there are others, especially among the sedentary ones, who will mature sooner, and to whom one cannot, without injustice, deny [68] what belongs to them as much as to us. It is the condition of the postulant or Neophyte which ought to determine the time of his baptism, or of the reception of our adorable Sacrament at the altar, and not a rule which is general and common to all.

Furthermore, if our Fathers who are among the Hurons had as much influence over the savages of these countries as we have over our Savages of Kebec and its vicinity, and if our wandering and unsettled barbarians were gathered around our settlements, and would become sedentary like the Hurons, we should not wait so many years to baptize them. For our French people, having the advantage and the power in their hands, will keep strictly to their duty those who will voluntarily submit themselves to the mild yoke of the Gospel. But the Hurons are so strong and so populous, and the French who live in their country so few in number, that they could not gain these tribes through great acts of kindness, nor banish Barbarism from them through fear. And our montagnez are so accustomed to their wanderings, their camp is so light and temporary, that, if they [page 141] saw one trying to place them under any restraint, however reasonable it might be, they would quickly pitch their tents and pavilions [69] out of the reach of our cannons, before they could be primed and aimed at them. So the only way we can make them stationary is by kind offices. Every year, towards spring, they talk much of settling down; but when they see the difficulties attendant upon clearing the land,—cutting down so many trees, removing so many logs, and pulling up so many roots,—they lose heart, preferring to live in repose and in the idleness of animals, to enjoying the fruits of labor. This year I have been present in some of their councils; they urged me to aid them with men; they also asked Monsieur our Governor to do this, saying their country was being stripped of Elk and other animals, and that consequently, if the land could not furnish them a living, they would be utterly lost. In reply to this, they were told that the country was not yet in such condition that we could take away our Frenchmen for them, since we had not, as yet, enough cleared land for so many as we are here, which is very true; in other respects, we are doing all we can to aid them. Monsieur our Governor often says to me, " Father, spare nothing, either of my personal property, or of the power and authority which God, [70] the King, Monseigneur the Cardinal, and Messieurs the Associates have placed in my hands for the welfare of our French and of the Savages; for I know that God wishes this from me, and that such is the will of these Gentlemen. Monsieur the Chevalier de l'Isle, his Lieutenant, who is a man of wise conduct and of resolution, is of the same mind. Monsieur Gand has nothing for himself, when it is necessary [page 143] to perform some act of charity; he sometimes attends to the sick Savages with his own hands. Sieurs Olivier and Nicolet, in a word, all our French except a few persons of no importance, are greatly interested in the salvation of these poor barbarians, and help them, some in one way, some in another; but rationabile debet esse obsequium nostrum, we must proceed with discretion. The small number of laborers, and the large number of Frenchmen who are here, prevent us from giving this help to the Savages. In truth, it is pitiful how the lack of the temporal so effectually retards the spiritual. They have so many vain thoughts in France,—there is so great a superfluity of clothes, of banquets, of buildings, so many losses in gambling; the amount which these excesses will consume, would be of good service here, [71] to procure the blessing of Heaven both upon this France and the other. Would to God that those Ladies whom our Lord is to some extent touching, and whom vanity still holds in its chains, might for one moment see a crowd of little Savage boys and girls present at the Catechism, clothed like John the Baptist, to-day praying to God, and to-morrow flying off into the woods, on account of the wandering habits of their parents. I am sure their hearts would soften; and, as their sex is full of compassion and tenderness, they would place at the service of Jesus Christ what is now only devoted to Belial, and would dedicate to the highest virtue what is now only used for vice.

In conclusion, I will report a Godly man, walking in the footsteps of God, whose name is written in the books of God. It is he who began that miracle, which is now being performed, of making a family [page 145] of Savages stationary. His heart will speak to God for them, and his hands will bind them through his good deeds, and through the help of men he has already sent and will send to them; and we who are here will urge these barbarians to make use of the blessings that Heaven sends them through a [72] man of heavenly mind. If once they can be made to settle down, they are ours. I am mistaken, I meant to say they are Jesus Christ's, to whom be the honor and glory in time and in eternity. But let us see what we have accomplished, this winter, with a little squad of them who came to encamp near Kebec. [page 147]



HIS SAVAGE of whom I propose to speak is called in his own language Makheabichtichiou; he is strong and hardy, a good warrior, and has a very ready tongue. It is for this reason that, although he is not really the Captain of his Tribe, yet, as it divides into squads he is generally taken as the chief of his band. From this he derives his title of " Captain, " since he often performs the office of one. It was he who last year gave the young Hiroquois woman whom Monsieur the General took to France. Now having come to Encamp near Kébec, he endeavored to get into the good graces of [73] Monsieur our Governor, and thus into those of all our French people. As he was particularly well acquainted with Father Buteux, he had asked him for a written message to bring to me, that he might gain free access to our house. Now as Monsieur de Montmagny, our Governor, is rich in piety, courtesy, and magnanimity, and as he knows how to use these weapons with skill, he gave this savage a warm welcome, but did so in such a way as to show him that he only granted his more intimate friendship to those who were instructed in our belief. It is thus that all should use what influence and authority they have, for the glory of the sovereign King, and not for their own vanity. This savage now had a flea in his ear. As they honor the great Captain of the French, he desired to [page 149] insinuate himself thoroughly into his good graces. Therefore he evinced a disposition to learn our faith; at certain times, when he was not hunting, he was almost as often in our house as in his own cabin. He showed so much zeal that, seeing us frequently occupied with our French people, he said to me, " Nicanis, I always find people in thy house; during the day, the French are always demanding thy attention; give them the day, and me the night; [74] let me come and sleep in thy house, and during the silence of the night we will confer more at our ease." We granted his wish, and in the evening, after having said our prayers, instead of sleeping we talked over the articles of our faith, doing the same during the day when we had time. I explained to him the creation of Heaven and earth, the fall of the rebellious Angels, how our first Father had been created; the contentment he might have enjoyed in the terrestrial Paradise if he had obeyed his God; how death, disease, poverty, came from his sin; how the animals would have been obedient to man if man had been obedient to God; how death would not have held its Empire over the human race; how the earth would almost spontaneously, and without human labor, have given its grains and fruits to men. " Indeed," he said to me, " as to that, I believe that, as it produces of itself so many trees and so many kinds of herbs, it could also have produced grain without cultivation." I explained to him how God, seeing the disobedience of man, wished to cast him into the flames, but that his son presented himself as a pledge and atonement for men. However, [75] since he delayed to make himself man, that he might instruct and save men, corruption, casting itself into the world, ruined [page 151] all. God was so deeply offended thereat that he sent rain upon the earth for 40 days and 40 nights, like unto the pouring out of the waters,—so that all men and animals were drowned, except one family composed of eight persons, who made a great ship in which two animals of each kind took refuge. Finally, the waters receded and dried off. God's wrath was appeased, and from that family and from those animals have sprung all the people and beasts of the earth, who have, little by little, repeopled the world. I told him that their nation had sprung from this family; that the first ones who came to their country did not know how to read or write, and that was the reason their children had remained in ignorance; that they had indeed preserved the account of this deluge, but through a long succession of years they had enveloped this truth in a thousand fables; that we could not be mistaken about this event, having the same belief as our ancestors, since we see their books. He asked me if, during this long lapse of time, there was no mention of the son of God. I answered that good men had had knowledge of him, and that, from the deluge [76] to the time of his coming, God sent men whom we call Prophets, because they learn the truths of God and teach them to men, to announce the coming of his son. Until then these Prophets likewise declared, many years before his birth, where this Prince would be born; how he would die, and be resurrected; that his Mother would be a Virgin; that the sins of men caused him to delay his coming, so that he might make known to men how much they ought to desire him, since without his aid they knew nothing except as fables. In short, having come, he taught the people, healed the sick, resuscitated [page 153] the dead; and, as he rebuked the wicked, they bound and nailed him to a Cross, taking away his life through these tortures; that, if he had wished to overwhelm them all, he could have done it easily by a single word; but on the contrary, being good, he said to his Father, " My Father, men deserve death, they have offended you, they merit the flames, but here I am to atone for them; I implore you to have mercy on all those who shall believe in me and who shall be sorry to have offended you; forget their sins, do not cast them into the flames." " Now this is [77] good, indeed," said this poor Barbarian; " but I am afraid he will reject me, for I do not know what I must do, nor how I ought to pray. " " I will teach thee," (said I). " Do not weary thyself," (he replied) " but if thou art not sleepy, spend the night in instructing me. It is thus we do when we are discussing some great matter; we meet in the nighttime, so as not to be diverted." I related to him the miracles that followed the death of our Lord,—how he appeared, full of glory, three days after his body had been placed in the sepulchre; how he sent twelve men throughout the world to teach his truths, and how those who should believe their teachings would go to Heaven, whither he had ascended; how unbelievers would be cast into hell; how we call those men Apostles, and how they had instructed others through their writings; how those others went everywhere, announcing these good tidings, and that it was for this we had come to their country; how they saw plainly that we did not engage in traffic, that we did not ask any recompense; and how I had brothers all over the world. " The son of God did not love our country," (said he) "for he did not come here, [page 155] and did not say anything to us [78] about all that." I replied that he was only born in one country, that also he had not come to ours; that at first we did not believe, but that, having opened our ears to his teachings, we had recognized them as very good and accepted them, seeing how many miracles he had wrought. When I asked him what he thought of our belief as I had explained it to him, " I cannot contradict thee," he replied, " for I have no knowledge to the contrary; thou tellest me new things, that I have never heard before; if I had been in the places where these things have taken place, I would speak, but now I have nothing to say, save that thou knowest many things; I admire thy discourse, but begin over again and review for me from the creation of the world to the present time." I obeyed him, relating in a few words what had taken place in all the ages touching our holy faith. He took a pencil and marked upon the ground the different periods in their order, " Here is he who made all," said he; " he begins in this place to create the Angels and the world; there he created the first man and the first woman; see how the race of men, increasing, divides, and [79] offends God; here is the deluge, here are the Prophets, "—in short, he came up to our own time; then rising, he began to laugh; " I am not surprised at our being tired," said he, " for we have made a long journey. In truth, our Fathers were but ignorant men, for they had no knowledge of all these things, except the great waters of the deluge, and that they do not describe as you do. I have nothing to say against all this, for I have not been taught anything to the contrary."

Now I understood perfectly that, although this [page 157] way of proceeding was good, yet it is not thus that one should begin to instruct an unbeliever; for, since all these things are historical, the mind which has no knowledge of him who has revealed to us these truths remains free to believe or not to believe. To convince him, he must be confronted with natural truths; and when he has been rendered pliant to the truths of nature, which are in harmony with our belief, then he embraces the supernatural truths through faith. So I saw quite plainly that it would be necessary to change my battery.

Consequently, in our other conferences I applied myself to proving to him that there was a God, a sublime spirit, who had built the great mansion of the world and who governed it; [80] who caused the stars to roll, and the waters to flow against their course by the tides of the Ocean; who formed children in the wombs of their mothers—in a word, who governs all nature. " Men," said I to him, " cause none of all these things, and yet they appear every day before our eyes. There must, then, be another and more powerful cause." I brought forth many other arguments to make him recognize the great Prince; I explained that he was just, that he rewarded each one according to his works. " You yourselves love good people, you hate the wicked; you do good to your friends, you punish your enemies. God does the same, especially after death. Can you imagine that two men, dying, the one very good, the other very abominable, can be equally happy in the other life? Here below no reward has been given to the good one, no punishment meted out to the wicked one,—indeed, the upright man has even been despised and the wicked one honored; would it be [page 159] possible for that to pass without justice being done, without something resulting from it? If this confusion existed in the universe, it were better to be bad than good, and yet thou seest the contrary. Understand then that he who has made all things also measures the [81] actions of men, and that he will deal with them according to their works. You say that you all go to the same place; there are among you most detestable men; dost thou wish to go with them? Then you will be fighting and quarreling in the other world, as you do in this. That is not credible. The good all go to Heaven, the bad all into the flames. God has placed us between Heaven and Hell, to teach us that we can go to one of these two extremes. And, as our soul is immortal, it will be forever happy or miserable. This life is short, the other is very long; do not be like dogs, which think only of the body." These arguments and others like them made some impression upon his mind. He asked me many questions, of which I may speak hereafter. He said to me sometimes, " Our belief is very silly; we have no sense, we follow only what our eyes believe, we do not reason." At other times he said to me, " Nikanis, I have not slept all night; I have been going over in my mind all thou hast taught me, like a man following a path. " Sometimes, fear entering into his soul, he dreaded [82] the long duration of the other life. " This life, " said he, " is very short, the other very long, since it has no end; to be sad without consolation, to be hungry and to eat only serpents and toads, to be thirsty and drink nothing but flames, to wish to die and not be able to kill oneself, and to live forever, for an eternity, in these afflictions—it is upon [page 161] that that I think sometimes; thou wouldst do me a great favor to baptize me soon."

While I was instructing him he had a great temptation, arising from the fear that, in giving up his ways of action to take up new ones, he would soon die. The Devil made use of certain persons to strengthen this idea in his mind, saying to him that the majority of those who had been baptized soon passed into the other life. I represented to him that we all were baptized. "All nations " said he, " have something peculiar to them. Baptism is good for you others, and not for us." " If Baptism," I replied to him, " causes death to you, not one of those who have been baptized would escape it; and thou seest clearly that it is only the sick and the very sick that die after their baptism; yes, some of them even [83] suddenly recover. What dost thou fear? God has forbidden to kill; thinkest thou I would make thee die? Thou art made of flesh and bone as we are, God is thy Father as well as ours; he will love thee more than he does us, if thou hast a stronger belief in him." In fine, God gave him the grace to overcome this temptation. "It does not matter," said he, " whether I die, but I do not want to go into the fires. We die every day in our unbelief; I would, as soon die believing as to continue in unbelief.", We inspired him with as much faith as we could., Scarcely had he become free from this temptation when he fell sick.

Now the majority of the Savages looked upon him as dead. I kept him for some time in our house and we cared for him tenderly, addressing ourselves to God and to the Physicians. He was bled, and nursed as well as possible; he seemed to be very firm, and [page 163] gave us consolation. " Nikanis," he exclaimed one day, " do not doubt my heart; I will believe until death. I will not have myself blown upon by our Sorcerers. " His countrymen saddened us more than he did, for when we went to the Cabins they would ask us how he was, and if he would die soon. We [84] answered that we did not think he was going to die. " He will die," said some of them, " do not doubt it." Their prophecy turned out to be false. By the grace of Our Lord, at the end of a few days he found himself well and happy. This gave us joy, and caused wonder among some of the Savages, who believed that our knowledge of God had cured him. It was for this reason that the poor Apostate mentioned above always declared to us that it depended upon us alone to restore her to health. During his sickness, which was not so serious as we feared, when I said to him that I had asked God to let me die in his place, if it should be that our Lord wished to call him, " Not so, Nikanis, " he replied, " thou dost not do well; thou must live to instruct our nation; as for me, it matters little if I die." I found this affection quite wonderful, for these people have a great fondness for life, cherishing it immoderately. But let us close this chapter, it is already too long; let us say a few words about his good sentiments. [page 165]

[85] CHAP. V.


HEN HE SLEPT sometimes in our little house, as I have remarked above, he told us that he had never had a very strong belief in most of their fancies. "At the death of my children, " (said he) " I did not put much in their graves, and I hardly expected that our sorcerers could cure them in their sicknesses. I saw very clearly that our feasts were ruining us, but I did as the others did, that I might follow the customs of the country. But I am going to cast away all these old observances. Thou forbiddest me the eat-all feast; I will take part in it no more. Thou forbiddest me to believe in dreams; I will believe in them no more. Thou forbiddest me to sweat, to secure good hunting and fishing; I will sweat no more for those purposes, but 'only for my health." He made a great many other similar remarks to us, before going to sleep. He said his prayers as we recommended him to do, but he shouted them in a loud voice, as they are accustomed to do when they address [86] their desires to him who has made the light, or to some one else that they call their great Father. " He who has made all," said he, " help me; I wish to believe in thee; teach me thy ways of doing, for I wish to follow them. The wicked Manitou tries to deceive me, defend me from his snares." In the morning, when [page 167] he awoke, he did the same thing, always crying out in a loud voice, so that he could be heard from afar. As he advanced in the knowledge of our mysteries, he also increased the prayers that he made himself, exclaiming, in his own way, " Thou who hast made all, I wish to believe in thee; help me, teach me thy ways, I wish to do as thou dost, I wish to imitate thee. Thou Manitou who art wicked, I have no more belief in thee, thou art a deceiver; I believe in him who has made all, and who measures all. Thou who art the thought of God, who made thyself man for us, I love thee; help me, keep me, defend me against the Manitou. " He calls our Lord " the thought of God," because I had explained to him that God was not married, although he had a son, and that his knowledge or his Word was his son. Hence, of his own accord, [87] he called him "the thought of God. "

Here is what he said another time: " Thou who hast made all, hear me, I will not speak French to thee, for I do not know that language; I will speak to thee in my own way; I will say a few things to thee, for I only know a few; if I knew more, I would say more. Thou art good; teach me how thou doest, for I wish to do likewise. I will do no more what has been forbidden me. I wish to believe in thee, help me." He added several other things that I did not hear; for he offered his prayers after we had retired to our rooms, and when he saw that we did not speak so loudly in saying ours, he began to speak lower. Now all this was done at first; for when he had learned the Pater, the Ave, and the Credo in his own tongue, he said them on his knees and in a low voice, imitating our way of praying [page 169]. However, he asked me if it was wrong to speak as loud as he did. I replied that it was not; but that, as God knew all our thoughts, we need not speak so loud to make ourselves heard. After that, he spoke in a lower voice, and said the prayers that he was told to say.

[88] He asked me one day if the Devils were not damned because they did not trust in God. " For if God," (said he) " is so good, it is to be supposed he would have pity on the Demons if they trusted in him." I said, in reply, that while a man is on the way to saving himself he can hope in God; but that in Hell there is nothing but everlasting despair.

When he told me that he would know whether or not we loved him from one thing, namely, if we baptized him before long, I replied to him that we would prove his steadfastness before doing so, representing to him also the obligations he would assume in Baptism. " Very well," said he, " it is right that you should put me on trial. Give me a Frenchman who will stay with me when I withdraw into the woods to hunt; he will teach me how to pray to God morning and evening; he will spy upon all my actions, and will report to you if I take part in the eat-all feasts, if I still believe in dreams, if I obey our Sorcerers; in short you will know through him if I have violated the prohibitions you have made."

This chapter would become too long if I tried to report all the conversations we had [89] with him. It now remains to tell the success of this instruction, for that is exactly what you are waiting for.

Towards the end of the winter, the Devil made him commit two acts of insolence, one against us and the other against sieur Olivier. Having asked us for [page 171] something or other that we could not give him, he became angry; and in his anger, the devil inciting him, he returned to us the Chaplet and the Agnus Dei which we had given him, and went away; we could do nothing but recommend him to God, the affair being more in his province than ours. Scarcely was this poor wretch in his cabin than he found himself overcome by fear and sadness. He did not dare afterwards to come and see us; but, as his conscience pricked him, he addressed himself to sieur Olivier, and explained to him his trouble, and the fault he had committed,—assuring him that anger had carried him away, that he was not a child, that he would keep the promise he had given us to believe in God. Sieur Olivier brought him back to us; the poor man did not dare look at us, so great was his confusion. He afterwards asked me to give him back his chaplet, but I would not restore it to him. He asked us if we had informed Monsieur the Governor about his fault; we [go] said that we had just informed him thereof, seeing he had delayed one day in acknowledging his misdeed. " Let us go," (said he) " take me to him: I wish to speak to him." So we went there together, and hardly had we entered his room before he cried out, " Ah, Nikanis, what a bad thing I have done! I am very sorry for it: I have no sense, anger has come near to ruining me. No, I am not a child, I will remain firm in the promise I have given you. We have passed the winter so peaceably, I ought not to act the fool at the end; my fault is great, but I have neither beaten nor struck anybody; I hate what I have done." Monsieur the Governor had him told that he had indeed doubted whether the Devil would [page 173] not have so much power over him as to prevent him from acknowledging his fault; that if he persevered in his good intention of believing in God, this fault could not efface the love he bore him.

After that he resumed his good behavior, so that, having made a feast several days afterwards, he addressed me before his countrymen, and said in a loud voice, " Father le Jenne, what I promised thee at the beginning of the winter, I promise thee at the end; and what I say now, I will say in the Summer. I am not [91] a child, that I should lie; I know I shall be ridiculed, but laughter will not kill me; and, if I should die for it, I will persevere to the end, as indeed I must die some day. " These good resolutions did not prevent him, on another occasion, from giving way to his anger against sieur Olivier, because of I know not what misunderstanding. He did not know how to get back into favor with him; but finally, on Good Friday, he approached him and addressed him in this fashion: " Tell me, I pray thee, knowest thou well the prayer the son of God made, the one they have taught me?" "I do indeed know it well," said sieur Olivier, dost thou not say it sometimes?" " I say it every day; are not these words in this prayer, Forgive us our offenses, as we forgive those who have offended us? " Sieur Olivier, seeing clearly what he was trying to say, embraced him, and said that he heartily pardoned the fault he had committed against him. After departing thence, he came to see me, full of joy at being reconciled, and giving a thousand praises to him who had granted his pardon.

Now although we all may fail, and ought not to reject a man when he acknowledge his sins, yet we must [page 175] be [92] careful in these early stages to find out what spirit actuates those who wish to range themselves on the side of Christianity. This man, if he were deeply touched, would be a power among his own people; but, as he is so choleric and haughty, we do not urge him much, especially as he has several wives whom he has promised to give up, but whom he does not give up. He alleges certain excuses for this. I remember that, being one day in the presence of Monsieur the Governor, he said to him: " Nikanis, I do really wish to embrace your belief, but you give me two commandments which conflict with each other; on the one hand you forbid me to kill, and on the other you prohibit me from having several wives; these commandments do not agree. Of the three wives I have married I love only one, whom I wish to keep with me; I send the other two away, but they return in spite of me, so that I must either endure them or kill them; I hope, however, that in a little while they will return to their own country." I can readily believe that he keeps only one of them as his wife, and that he loves her very much, hating the other two; but we must avoid scandal, and give these barbarians the impression that Christians can have only one [93] wife. Nevertheless, as it is their custom, it will be difficult to do away with it. We tolerate it, and wait patiently until the faith becomes stronger in the soul of this poor man, in order to get him to make an effort which would be quite difficult to a soul almost of flesh. And yet it does not seem to me that his body is the greatest obstacle to the faith, but rather his proud spirit. If God rejects him, I imagine that it will be in punishment for his pride rather than for his [page 177] lust, although he may be sunk deep in both these abysses.

But to continue, he says wonders of our Holy doctrine, preaching it publicly. Father Buteux writes me from the three Rivers that he declared openly his belief in God, and that he was keeping all the commandments, except that one about having only one wife. I have seen him at Kébec speak quite boldly in favor of our holy Faith, saying in the presence of his compatriots that he was going to cast off his old customs—that he would never give eat-all feasts, that he would not summon the Sorcerers to treat him in his sicknesses, that he would no longer believe in dreams, and that he desired to be baptized and to believe what the French believe. After all that he still crawls [94] upon the ground; his understanding acknowledges what his will, accustomed to evil, cannot or will not wholly embrace. I implore with all my heart those to whom God has given the faith almost as an inheritance, I may say, to have pity on this poor man and to supplicate our Lord to give him humility. Ah, how little we value the gift of the Faith in Europe! It seems as if belief in God were a part of our nature. Oh what a gift! Great God, what a favor! It is here that one sees what a privilege it is to believe in Jesus Christ; it is here one realizes the difficulty there is in making this belief enter the mind of an infidel Barbarian; it is here that the obligations to love him, who has acquainted us with so great a blessing, appear fully revealed. Indeed, the obstinacy of heretics is a true illustration of the callousness of our Savages. Let us pass on.

I am well aware that some of our French people, on seeing this Savage intractable, after so many [page 179] promises made in private and in public, were ready to say that all this man had done was only to gain credit with the French, in order [95] to marry a young woman whom he could not have had otherwise. That is a mistake, for I thoroughly understand the whole affair, and unwittingly helped to bring it about. I intended to have him retain one of the two older ones that he had; but this young woman loved him, yet did not dare to marry him through fear that a Sorcerer, who wished to make her his second wife, would kill her by his charms. It happened that our Savage on some other occasion had declared to me that he feared the artifices of this man, and I gave him to understand that he should not fear,—that, if he believed in God, his faith would serve as a shield against all charms. To demonstrate the truth of this, I myself provoked the Sorcerer, attacking him so severely that he either feared the punishments of God, or else thought I was a greater sorcerer than he was; he made peace with this Chief in our house, imagining, perhaps, that I would kill him with charms more potent than his own, if he persevered in his ill-will toward a man that I loved. As soon as they were reconciled, this young woman, freed from her fears, married him against [96] my wishes,—for, truly, if I had thought that this reconciliation would have caused this marriage, I would not have procured it as I did. However, just as in your France, as soon as a man betakes himself to following piety, imperfect men cannot tolerate him if he falls into some error, as if he could become a Saint in a moment; so in ours you will find some,—but very few and of slight importance in these affairs, in which they have not the least perception,—who would have [page 181] a Savage become a very fervent Christian and shed his old skin all at once, and as soon as he has shown any favorable inclination to our belief, otherwise all he does is only hypocrisy. If their conclusion were just, I would convince them of great deceit and perhaps of sacrilege; for, after having promised God so many times to correct their own faults, they do not acquit themselves of the promises they have made in his presence, therefore they act the part of hypocrites. The conclusion is not just, either for them or for our Savages. Let us finish with these words, eadem quip mensurdâ qua mensi fueritis remetietur vobis. [page 183]



CANNOT sufficiently bless God for having given us as Governor a man after his own heart. He is full of love for our French, and is not lacking in affection for our Savages. He is wonderfully adroit in using for the benefit of Religion all the presents, all the feasts,—in a word, all the help and all the benevolent acts which have to be done for these barbarians, to get along in peace with them. So that what is usually secured through unobjectionable policy is done by him with truly Christian and truly praiseworthy prudence,—giving, as the saying is, two blows with one stone; for by means of the same favors and the same kind acts which he uses to attach them to the French, he also attracts them to the faith, which is the blessing and the true end for which God sends floating over the waves the ships from Europe to this new world. Therefore, pursuant to this [98] policy, the Savages at the beginning of Winter having withdrawn, some here, some there, into their great forests to seek their living, a little band of Algonquins who, as I have said, had remained near the fort, were, after having been there a few days, called together by him on the 15th of December, that a feast might be made for them. They were all there, men, women, and children, leaving only a few of their number to guard their cabins. [page 185] All having taken their places, Monsieur the Governor, accompanied by several Frenchmen, said to them through the interpreter, Sieur Olivier, how very glad he was that they were conducting themselves so peaceably, and that he would always love and protect them as long as they should persevere in this good understanding; that, having desired to see them, he had invited them to the feast to rejoice with them in the mutual love that the Frenchmen and the Savages bore to each other. This they answered with their exclamation, hô, hô, hô, but in a tone which showed their satisfaction in this evidence of affection. After this Sieur Olivier, in accordance with the wish of Monsieur, had the banquet opened by a Captain, who observed their ceremonies, [99] explaining who it was that had invited them, and of what the feast was composed; at every different dish, although they were all mixed together, they showed their satisfaction by their h6, h6, h6, drawn from the depths of their stomachs. After they had eaten heartily, the banquet was closed, and all the women and children were ' sent away. The old men made a few speeches in acknowledgment of the love Monsieur the Governor bore them,—who thereupon taking occasion to speak, told them that he did, in fact, love them, but that he was surprised that, living as they did face to face with the French for so long a time, they had not yet accepted their belief, assuring them that the God who preserves the French would preserve the Savages also if they believed in him. He asked them if what was taught them was bad, pressing them strongly on this point. They replied that certainly what they had heard was good, but that he must blame the dullness of their minds, [page 187] and the lack of persons who understood their language well, to give them instruction. I had requested Sieur Olivier to make a speech, and we [100] had prepared some arguments to urge upon them; but they know very well how to ward off and edge away from suggestions which are not agreeable to them. Perceiving this, and raising my voice, I began in the presence of our French and of the Savages to speak publicly in their language for the first time. I had refrained from doing so until then, not so much through fear of embarrassment to myself, as of degrading our mysteries in exposing them to their laughter through my stammerings. I said to them that in truth we had not, up to that time, preached the faith to them in their public assemblies, but had only invited them to do as we did, not having the power to declare to them the beauties of our belief; that from now on we could do this, since we had made progress in the knowledge of their language; and that if they wished to respond to our great Captain's love for them, they would sometimes assemble in our house during the winter to hear about God and to talk over his doctrine; that sieur Olivier would be there to explain to me what they should say, and that I would answer with my own lips, as they understood me very well; that Monsieur our Governor invited them to do this. I told them that God himself could not love them [101] when he saw that they did not wish to acknowledge him; and addressing myself to a Captain, I said to him, " If thy son did not love thee, if he ridiculed thee, wouldst thou not be angry? Now know that thou art more a child of God than thy son is thy son; it is not thou who hast shaped the body of thy son,—thou hast not inserted [page 189] the eyes in his head, thou hast not fitted the bones into their sockets, attached and fastened the arms to the shoulders; if thou hast managed this work, why hast thou not given him four arms, why hast thou not enclosed the eyes in the back of the head? It is God who has formed this structure, it is he who is the author of it, he has used you to bring it to the light and to take care of it. Now think what ingratitude it is not to be willing to believe, and to obey our real father. You tell me that you do not know him; come and see us and we will teach you about him." I said many other things to them, asking from time to time if they understood me, II Yes," they would answer, "we understand thee well." " Is what I say bad?" " No." " Do you wish to be instructed in this doctrine?" " We do, indeed." " Gather at our house sometimes then to talk about it." " We will, " they reply. " Shall you be sorry to have me bring your [102] children together, to teach them the same things?" " We shall be very glad of it; and thou wilt gain more with them than with us, for our memories are poor, seeing we are already old." Urge them, then, to come when they are called." We will not fail to do so." Monsieur the Governor and our Frenchmen showed a great deal of satisfaction at these good resolutions, which have had some good effect; for the fathers, the mothers, and the children have all received some instruction, and, although they have not yet embraced our belief, they do not fail for the most part to respect it; this divine seed will germinate in its own time. I say still more; that if they were enclosed in a village and were to settle down for a couple of years, I would not scruple to baptize some of [page 191] the adults and all the children who should be instructed; for, having received the Law of Jesus Christ, they would be called upon to put it into practice, and thus, little by little, they would become accustomed to the path of truth, and in a few years this would be a consecrated people. It all lies in getting the young people into the right habits, which cannot be easily done except by making them sedentary, or by having well-endowed Seminaries. It is that which is lacking, as I have already said; for the expenses in a [103] new and altogether primitive country are very great. But let us come to the conferences we have had with them. They came, then, to see me several times; when there were only Algonquins, I requested sieur Olivier to be present; for, as I have often said, I hardly understand them, although they understand me very well,—just as I do not understand a genuine Gascon or a Provençal, although he might understand my French quite well. The first ones who came after this feast were the most prominent among them; they proposed three or four questions before entering upon a discussion of our Religion.

First, they asked why so many of them died, saying that since the coming of the French their nation was going to destruction,—that before they had seen Europeans only the old people died, but that now more young than old died.

Secondly, one of them said that they had heard his grandfather say that the more French there should be here, the fewer would be the Savages; and that, especially when they should bring over women, the Savages would die in great numbers. He said also that black robes would come over to instruct them, [page 193] and that [104] likewise would make them die, "As, in fact," said he, " the greater part of those who have been baptized have died."

In the third place, he related how a certain Basque, coming in the early days to this country, was unwilling to come near the Savages; he repulsed them, and spat upon the ground, telling them to be gone, that they had a bad smell; " Yet he wrote our names upon apiece of paper," said he, "and perhaps by this means he has bewitched us and caused us to die."

In the fourth place, another one said that the Manitou bad revealed to him in a dream that those alone would receive our doctrine who should become sedentary; that the others would ridicule it. Now these are their objections to us, which they very often repeat.

I admit that the wandering savages cannot multiply rapidly, and I might give many reasons for it. Suffice it to say that they lead such a wretched life that only the most robust can endure their hardships. But I would have considerable trouble to assign a natural cause for their dying so much more frequently than they did in the past. It is attributed to the beverages of brandy and wine, which they love with an utterly unrestrained passion, not for the [105] relish they experience in drinking them, but for the. pleasure they find in becoming drunk. They imagine in their drunkenness that they are listened to, with attention, that they are great orators, that they are valiant and formidable, that they are looked up to as Chiefs, hence this folly suits them; there is scarcely a Savage, small or great, even among the girls and women, who does not enjoy this intoxication, and who does not take these beverages when [page 195] they can be had, purely and simply for the sake of being drunk. Now as they drink without eating, and in great excess, I can easily believe that the maladies which are daily tending to exterminate them, may in part arise from that. Efforts are being made to remedy this, but it is very difficult to prevent our Frenchmen from coöperating in this dissolute conduct, which may finally extinguish, if it remains unchecked, the whole nation of the Montagnes, who usually take refuge in the neighborhood of our French settlements. According to what some of them have told me, they have derived this habit from the English. Now as the devil perhaps foresees their ruin, he gives them these notions, attributing the cause of their mortality, not to their excesses, but to the law of God and to the multitude of French, so as to estrange [106] these poor barbarians as much as possible from their salvation. Let us see how the objections they proposed were answered. To the first, sieur Olivier replied that, even before the French came there, they had been attacked by certain epidemics which carried off many of their people, and that it was not as they said. " When I was very young," he continued, " I learned that the first who landed in your country found few people there, and that they were informed that the previous winter had killed an enormous number of them." I told them also that if they would consider all wandering peoples, they would find them in small numbers in comparison with those who were sedentary; and that we had heard that the nations of the North, where the Nipisiriniens went to barter, were almost entirely exterminated by the famine of the past winter. " You cannot," I said, " attribute their death to [page 197] the French, since the French do not have intercourse with those tribes." They replied that the Nipisiriniens carried them divers wares from France, and their death might arise from that. I replied that certain tribes living far inland, below Tadoussac, had no commerce with the Europeans, using only stone hatchets, according to what a woman of that country had related to me; and that, notwithstanding, they died in as great numbers [107],as the other wandering nations. After all the best answer was that we feared God, that we believed in him, and therefore he preserved us, whence it arose that we were a numerous people; that furthermore this great and sovereign Lord forbade us to kill, except in war, and hence we had no intention of killing them, who were our allies and our friends. "As for you people, " added sieur Olivier, " as soon as you are numerous, you become haughty and unbearable; you make war upon your neighbors without cause, you murder one another; he who measures and weighs all things, seeing that, does not allow you to multiply. " They confessed that this was true. Their intemperance in drink was represented to them; but, as they cannot restrain themselves, they answered that our great King ought to prohibit the importation hither of intoxicating drinks. They were answered that it is not necessary to throw knives and hatchets into the river, although children and stupid people sometimes hurt themselves with them.

On the second point, they were given to understand that, far from the increase of the French making them die, the more of them there were, on the contrary, the more provisions there would be in the country, and consequently the more help they would [page 199] receive; that they were well aware that the French had not [108] yet slain a single Savage, and that God prohibited them from it. As for ourselves, I told them that, if they would open their eyes, they would see clearly that we were trying to save the lives both of their bodies and of their souls; that we asked for their children to care for and maintain them, and to teach them to know God,—so that, if the older ones chose to die through their excesses, and because they were unwilling to believe in him who has made all, their nation might survive and reestablish itself through these young plants, that God will preserve as he preserves us. I said that, if some of those who had been baptized had died, it was not surprising, for they had only received this Sacrament at the last moment of life, so as to assure the salvation of their souls; that they would have died, even if they had not received it; that they could see very well that not one of those who had been baptized while in health had died suddenly,—but, on the contrary, some sick people had even recovered their health in this sacred bath. They yielded to these arguments; but, as the devil is not willing to let them escape his hands, he soon caused them to fall again into their first doubts.

On the third point, we testified that we had never heard of this Basque Captain; that probably, not being [109] accustomed to seeing Savages, he could hardly endure the odor from them; that, as for writing, those people are not bewitched who are mentioned in writing, for in that case all the nations of the earth would be bewitched, for we speak of them in our books; that they need not judge us by their standard, for among them sorcerers are not punished, [page 201] but in our country we kill them; and consequently, if this Basque had been a sorcerer, his people would have killed him.

In the fourth place, we tried to show them that dreams were only dreams,—that is, deceit and falsehood,—" For, if thou dreamest that no one will be ,converted, we will dream that you all will be converted; which of the two will tell the truth? " They began to laugh.

Now during some of the winter months, when they were at leisure, they came to see us quite often (as I have already mentioned), telling me to instruct them. At other times we went and invited them, imitating their way of doing it; we passed, Father de Quen and 1, near their cabins and I cried out, " 0 men, come to our house; we will speak of him who has made all; I will teach you his doctrine." They replied, [110] "hô, hô, hô, " and did not fail to come. Sometimes they asked me if I would make a feast; and, if I told them no, " Never mind," they said, " we will not fail to go and hear thee." Now note that, after having nourished their souls, we usually gave them food for their bodies, in order to win them. In fact, some came in order to eat, others through curiosity and for the novelty, and others came through good will. As these conferences were carried on for some time, I explained to them on different occasions the various points of our belief. Some opposed me, but I shall speak of this in the chapter on the disputes we had with them; others explained to me their doctrine, as if to oppose it to ours, of which I shall also make some mention in its proper place; others ridiculed, some approved. Generally speaking, they seemed well satisfied, either because our Lord had begun to [page 203] act upon their souls, or because they were dissimulating, for they are rather condescending and complaisant. I usually endeavored to prove to them that it was reasonable that he who made all things should take cognizance of our actions, that he should reward or punish us according to our works. I told them that this [111] great Captain overwhelms us with blessings,—it is he who gives us light with the Sun, who maintains for us the fish with the waters, and the animals with the land; it is he who forms our bodies in our mothers' wombs, who creates our souls by his word. How, if we cannot tolerate the ingratitude of a man who would turn his back upon us when we had made him many presents, do we think that this great Captain will tolerate those who are not willing to acknowledge him? I singled out one in particular and said to him, " Has not the Sun sometimes given thee pleasure, filling thee with joy at the sight of a beautiful day? Why then dost thou not say to him who has made all, ' I thank thee for the joy and pleasure thou givest me in granting me light, and for warming me by the Sun thou hast made?' Thou thankest me for giving thee something to eat, and thou dost not thank God for preserving thy life." " I do not know him," he replied, " if I could see him, I would thank him." " It is not necessary that thou shouldst see him,—it is enough that he is always looking upon thee; if thou doest good to a blind man, or if thou sendest a present to an absent friend, he would surely love thee for it, although [112] he does not see thee. " Thou art right," answered another. " We also are wont to thank him who has done us good; we cry to him in a loud voice, ' Our great Father, we are very glad to be [page 205] well; we greatly desire to feel secure; we would like to have a fine day.'" " Who is that, " (I asked them) " whom you call your great Father? " " How do we know? it is perhaps," they answered, "he who made the light." "Now know that it is he who has made all, who with his word created the first man and the first woman, the Sun and all the stars." I would be tedious, if I were to describe all that takes place in these assemblies; I will cut it short.

I remember that, having spoken to them very fully of Hell and of Paradise, of punishment and of reward, one of them said to me, " Half of thy discourse is good, the rest is worth nothing. Do not speak to us of those fires, for that disgusts us; speak to us of the blessings of Heaven,—of living a long time here below, of living at our ease, of the pleasure we will experience after our death,—for it is thus men are won; when thou speakest to us of those blessings, we think in our hearts that that is good, and that [113] we surely desire to enjoy it; if thou speakest thus, all the Savages will listen to thee very readily; but those threatening words thou usest do not serve at all to that end. " I replied that, if I believed them in danger of falling into some great misfortune, I would be wicked if I did not warn them against it; this argument satisfied them.

Another one asked me how God could be good, when he cast men into eternal fires. I replied that he was good, but that he was also just, rewarding each one according to his works. " If thou shouldst injure a young man, thou wouldst not be punished so severely as if thou hadst hurt a wise old man; and if thou shouldst do evil to a common person, thou [page 207] wouldst not be so severely punished as if thou hadst wronged a Captain. Now know that God is a very great Captain. He punishes as a God and rewards as a God; and, as he bestows upon us great blessings, so he punishes us with severity, if he sees us wicked and proud,—us, who are only worms of the earth." I added many things that it is not necessary to report.

Others proposed certain questions,—namely, " if after the resurrection our bodies would be [114] like those we have now? if people will marry? if they will have children? if they will have houses like ours? if they will dress as we do? if men will have beards? if animals will live again? " and some other matters of the same kind, which I do not remember.

To all this we answered according to the principles of our belief. The only question I found myself unable to answer satisfactorily was the one as to whether or not men would have beards, for they consider that a great deformity. I got out of it the best I could, saying that men, whether they have or have not beards, would not cease to be men; and that God assured us that all those who obeyed him would be very beautiful, and more shining than the Sun.

When I told them that we had a book which contained the words and teachings of God, they were very anxious to know how we could have gotten this book,—some of them believing that it had been let down from the Sky at the end of a rope, and that we had found it thus suspended in the air. This simplicity made me laugh; I tried to satisfy them on this point.

If these barbarians would only display some curiosity [115] to know about things, this would be the gate to true knowledge. But they are as cold as [page 209] marble, and are so imbued with this indifference that you would say they are surprised at nothing. This quality would be of use if they were Christians, for their minds would be less subject to errors; but at present I would rather have them show a little more activity and a little more fire. Oh, God! what a difference there is between a Frenchman and a Savage! If a Frenchman returns from the chase, he is hardly in the house before it is already known whether or not he has captured anything,—even if he has not, he cannot wait until the table is set for the meal, having the appetite of a hunter; if he returns from some journey, although he may be quite tired out, they do not wait till he has rest before having him tell all the news he knows. Our Savages are far removed from this animation. Here is what I have very often seen among them. A Savage, returning from the chase, will sometimes throw outside the cabin what he has brought back with him; having entered he does not say a word, neither does any one address him. He sits down near the fire and undresses; his wife takes his leggings and shoes, wrings them out if they are wet, and puts them to dry; he throws a robe over his shoulders and warms himself, [116] this all taking place in silence; if his wife has saved him anything to eat, she presents it to him on a bark plate without saying a word; he takes it and eats in silence. After having eaten, he smokes; and, when he has finished smoking, he begins to talk. If no one has looked outside to see what he has brought back, he informs them that there are some Beavers or some Porcupines. This indifference astonished me, at first; but they told me rightly that one ought not to weary a man who has more need of rest than of [page 211] words. If any one comes from some other quarter, having entered the cabin he makes himself comfortable in the way I have just described. Knowing that he brings news, people come to see him and sit down near him; yet no one says a word to him,—for, as he came for the purpose of talking, it is for him to begin. After resting a while, he speaks without being questioned, or interrupted in any way. After he has related his news, the old men question him, and engage in conversation with him. I have seen two Savages arrive at our house, who came from the quarter where a young Savage who was with us had relatives; they were at leisure for a long time, and yet this young [117] man never asked them how they were, nor what was going on in the place whence they came. I asked him the cause of this so great silence: " It was for them to speak," he said to me, " for, as they are old, I did not not dare question them. " Oh, how little curiosity have these souls! I should have attributed this conduct to stupidity, were it not that when a young fellow like himself came along he talked very well with him. Now when some of our French notice this indifference, they almost imagine that all the evidences these poor people give of wishing to receive our faith are only feigned, since they are without fire and without enthusiasm; but if they appear cold in things that are so natural to them, I am not surprised that they observe the same custom in regard to things so far removed from their comprehension. But let us tell now what benefit has resulted from these conferences, and then we shall pass to another chapter.

I say, in the first place, that these discourses have given them a high opinion of our faith; this seed of [page 213] the word of God will bear fruit in its own time; it is not all to cast the seed into the ground,—Heaven must operate also; and when the corn is green it is not yet in ear; when it is in car, it [118] must have time to ripen. If some of those who have heard us should fall sick, I am sure they would ask for baptism. Grace, entreating these hearts, will cause to germinate in its time what we have sown therein. It is for this we should implore the goodness of our Lord.

I say in the second place that I no longer find these Barbarians so intractable. The dread of punishment is beginning to gain such an ascendancy over their minds that, although they do not so soon amend, yet they are, little by little, giving up their evil customs. Here is an example of this. Some Savages had arrived from Tadoussac on their way to war; Father de Quen and I visited them in their cabin, and, after some conversation, they told us that we should go to see the preparations for a great feast which were being made in a place that they named to us. But they advised us not to remain there long, " Because, " said they, " as it is a war feast, the women will serve there entirely naked." Then we went to the cabin they had indicated to us, and, in conversation with the master of the feast, we asked him if he should observe this wicked ceremony. At first, he seemed disposed to insist upon [119] observing it. But, recalling to his memory what we had told him during the winter about such nonsense, and representing to him the anger and justice of him who has made all, he said, " Go away; I promise you it shall not be done." In fact, neither in their feasts, nor at their departure, did they observe this filthy custom. [page 215]

In the third place, when we went into their cabins, this spring, they begged us to teach them, which we did all the more willingly as they showed themselves very attentive. The very man whom we had persuaded to give up that so brutal custom, said to me, " Tell us of our war, and pray God to assist us; teach us how we must behave." We told them that they must offer this prayer: "Thou who hast made all, help us; thou commandest us to love one another, we would love the Hiroquois, our enemies, but they are wicked; so act that they may become good, or else aid us to kill them. We have no intention to kill them except for this reason, that they are wicked, and that they have violated the peace we had made with them; help us, and make us return safe and sound to our own country; we desire to believe in thee, for thou art true, and to obey thee, [120] for thou art good; help us that we may believe and that we may obey." They thought this prayer so good, that one of the Savages assured me that they were going away with the hope of being aided by God; and that they particularly enjoyed these words, " we have no intention to kill the Hiroquois, except for this reason, that they are bad, and have violated the peace. " " This," said they, " is what he who has made all will approve." I had also told them to offer some prayers before departing; they did not do this at Kébec, but Father Buteux writes me from the three Rivers that, before proceeding further, some of them asked to enter the Chapel, there to request help from God. I know well that what they did was only based upon their fears that some misfortune might befall them, but initium sapientiâ est timor Domini. Moreover, I have learned that when they were nearing the [page 217] enemy's country, they assumed an intolerable arrogance, indulging in a thousand boasts, and promising themselves wonders. God greatly humiliated them, for their Captains and some others were put to death. I may speak of this in my journal. [page 219]



E DIVIDED our time during this winter, so that we gave some days to the little Savages as well as to the adults. Yea, even as we expect more fruit from these young plants than from the old trees, almost entirely rotten, we have taken more especial care of them. We only invited them once to come and see us. They came so often that we were obliged to tell them that we ourselves would go after them, or send some one. The girls made up one band and the boys another; there was neither snow, nor wind, nor cold that prevented them from coming, sometimes from a quarter of a league, although they were not too warmly clad. But the pleasure their parents took in seeing them instructed, the applause our French gave them, the little presents we made them, and the slight desire they had to learn something new, attracted them. When they entered the Chapel, I had the boys placed on one side, [122] and the girls on the other. Near the little Savage boys I seated some little French boys, and some little French girls near the young Savage girls,—in order that these poor barbarous children, who have no education whatever, should learn to join hands, kneel down, make the sign of the Cross, stand up properly when they are questioned, answer modestly, and make an obeisance, when they see our little French boys and girls do so. I had imagined [page 221] that it would be difficult to tame and instruct the little girls; it is incomparably easier to retain them than the little boys, for they are very fond of our little French girls and take pride in imitating them. May God bless them all, according to his goodness!

Before commencing their instruction, I had them get on their knees with me. We began with the sign of the Cross, pronouncing these words, " In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," first in Latin, then in the Savage tongue. I repeated a little prayer in their language to implore the help of the Holy Ghost, and grace to believe in God. They all said this with me, and, when it was finished, each one took his place,—grown Savages often being present with the little ones. They all did, [123] usually, what they saw me do. Every one being seated, I slowly pronounced the Pater or the Credo, which I have arranged almost in rhyme so I can have them chant it; they followed me word for word, learning it very nicely by heart. Having learned a couplet or strophe, we sang it. They took great pleasure in this, the older ones also singing with them. After this, I made them say after me some questions and answers relative to our faith, which they retained very well, and conveyed to me satisfactorily, answering without stumbling, the questions I proposed afterwards, although I occasionally varied them. Then I gave them a little talk, either upon some article of the Credo, or upon the finalities, or else I refuted or ridiculed their foolish belief. In conclusion, they all knelt to ask our Lord for grace to retain what had been taught them; for his light, to believe in him; the strength to obey him; and his protection against the malice of the devil. [page 223] In this way the explanation of our catechism was conducted, at the end of which we had them warm themselves, and quite often we prepared a little feast for them, at the beginning and end of which they prayed to God in the way Christians do.

[124] This was especially done on workdays. Sometimes on holidays we conducted these exercises in public. Father de Quen is accustomed to teach the catechism to our French after vespers, children and adults taking part therein. Now in order to encourage our little Savages, we had them come sometimes and the Father yielded his place to me; I spoke to them in the Savage tongue, in the presence of all our French people, who took great pleasure in seeing these poor little barbarians answer the questions which I put to them, as readily as if they had been instructed since they were at the breast. The trouble is, that our Chapel is too small for both French and Savages together, hence we cannot often have this exercise in public.

Desiring one day to have some of their parents see them answer in public before our French, I requested Makheabichtichiou to bring four of the principal ones to attend vespers, and after vespers to hear their children answer; instead of four, ten or twelve of them came. All the little Savages sat on the small benches, while the older ones disposed themselves here and there, wherever they could find places. During the service, they all behaved [125] very modestly. After vespers I had our little catechists pray to God; I had them sing, and questioned them concerning our faith. They answered me boldly, in the presence of Monsieur our Governor and of all our French people, and of their Savage relatives,—a [page 225] great throng, who filled the entire Church. Now and then I explained their answers, in French, to the others, so that they might know how satisfactorily they replied to the questions put to them. In place of the little agnus Dei and other images, that one gives to the French, I made them presents of knives, iron arrow-points, rings, awls, and needles, which they received very politely, kissing their hands and making an obeisance in the French fashion. It is not to be doubted that our French took great pleasure in these exercises, but much more did the Savages, when they saw the honor that was shown to their children. There was one, among the others, who had three girls, who answered very well and who all three received some prize; I noticed the father's face beaming with the joy that filled his heart, although these barbarians can passably well cover and disguise their feelings. This good man said afterwards to his children, as they have told me, " My children, listen to the [126] Father, what he says is true; you are young, you can remember it better than we who are old." Our French people were so pleased with these primary instructions that they came sometimes to see them, on days when the children were by themselves. Monsieur de Repentigny, Monsieur de la poterie, and a number of others came occasionally, and Monsieur Gand quite often, which greatly encouraged these little ones to do well; Monsieur our Governor took so much satisfaction in, and, so thoroughly approved this instruction, that, after having abundantly provided me with the little presents I gave them, he told me several times that he would be displeased if he knew that I had dispensed with anything which was in his power to furnish, in [page 227] order to keep up this so pious work. Monsieur Gand told me the same thing, and many others blessed God in hearing his praises celebrated in a foreign tongue.

Now, that a little specimen of their answers may be seen, I will record a few of them here. I ask them, " What is the name of him who has made all? " They answer very correctly that his name is God. " How many Gods are there? " " There is only one," they say. "How many persons are therein God? " " Three, who are called the Father, the Son, and the holy Ghost; and these [127] three persons are only one God."

"Which of these three persons made himself man? " The Son, who was born of a Virgin named Mary." " Why did he make himself man? " " To die for us, and in dying to atone for our sins." " Why was it necessary for him to atone? " " Our first father, having disobeyed God, had to be thrown into the fire, and his children, that is, all men, might not enter Heaven; but the son of God said to his father, 'My Father, have pity upon men, and I will make myself man, and will suffer for them,'—and this is why he made himself man, and died for us." " Did he not rise after his death?" "Yes, he indeed arose, and he instructed twelve men who are called Apostles, telling them they should teach the nations, and that those who believed would go to Heaven, those who did not believe would be condemned to the fires."

"What is the name of the Son of God? His name is Jesus."

"Where is he? He ascended into Heaven, and thence he shall come one day to reward all men according to their works."

"How many things are necessary to go to Heaven?" [page 229] "Three, to believe, to be baptized, and to obey. " " What [128] must we believe? " " What we sing in these words, ' Nitapouëtaouau outanimau Dieu,' and what follows; it is the Apostles' creed." " Why do we baptize persons? " " To purify their souls, and to remove sin therefrom. " " Whom must we obey, in order to go to Heaven? " " God, who commands us to love him, and forbids us to kill, to rob, to practice lewdness, to get drunk, etc."

This is as far as we have gone. But there was one boy among the rest, who, remembering what I told him in explaining our mysteries, answered me remarkably well. Having perceived this, I questioned him without regard to order,—now upon one point, now upon another,—asking him where God was? " He is here, he is in Heaven, he is everywhere." "Does he really see us?" "He sees everything that goes on in Heaven, on earth, and in hell. " " Will the Savages go to Paradise? " " Yes, certainly, if they believe in God, if they are baptized, and if they obey." " Will the French go?" " Not all, for there are wicked ones among them; those who obey God will go." " Thou sayest that it is necessary to believe, to go to Heaven; dost thou believe? " "Yes, I believe, I try to believe." "What dost thou believe?" "I believe in the Father, in the Son, and in the holy Ghost; I believe that the son was made man in the womb of a [129] Virgin named Mary; that we shall all die, that we shall be raised from the dead; that Jesus will come, and will reward us according to our works." " The Virgin, is she God? " He studied a little while, then answered, " No, she is not God, for thou sayest there is only one God." I confess to you that I was surprised at [page 231] hearing these answers, given more readily than I put the questions, for I had not uttered in regular order, and consecutively, what I asked him, but had mentioned these things in talking, now upon one subject, now upon another. This poor young lad asked me for baptism more than three times. Once, upon going into the woods, he said to me, " Thou dost not wish to baptize me, and I am going far away from here; if I fall sick and if I die, what will become of me?" Now we have not yet dared to confer this Sacrament upon him, for as he is young and has no influence among his own people, he will easily succumb if attacked by the other unbelievers, which will happen only too often. It is necessary either to see great indications of the spirit of God in their souls, or to wait until they are protected by the authority of some person who has influence among them. If they were settled among the French, I would not scruple to baptize him,—and not only him, but all the others whom we have instructed, [130] after having put them on trial for some time; for the practice of Religion would strengthen them, and the authority of the French would keep them easily and peaceably in this course.

Nevertheless they will profit by this explanation of our doctrine, for they now laugh at their own absurd notions, and are adapting themselves and accustoming their minds to receive our truths, which are indeed powerful. I have not up to the present time found a single barbarian who has not freely admitted that what we teach is very good.

I foresee that some one will ask me if we are not continuing in this so holy work. I say " no." When the spring came, our flock scattered here and there, [page 233] many of them withdrawing to a place near the Residence of the conception at the three Rivers. Here is what Father Buteux writes me about them. Your Reverence cannot imagine the surprising results here, of the instruction in the Catechism that was given at Kébec. They no longer laugh when God is mentioned. They ask me every day when I shall teach the catechism, my pupils urging me more than I urge them. But the lack of room, and my own weakness in the language, make me delay. A good widow, among others, talks to me about nothing else; she came to see me yesterday, to request me, she said, to write to Father le Jeune that her daughter, whom he instructed, [131] was well,—saying that she owed her health to this good Father, who had taught her to pray to God. I went to visit her in her cabin. I found her in good health, and well disposed to continue her prayers. Your Reverence cannot realize how much consolation, In domino loquor, I have experienced in seeing these little germs of Paradise. These are the very words of the Father who wrote me. This good widow of whom he speaks, seeing her daughter sick this Winter, desired to give her to me; I did not know where to put her, for we do not keep girls in our house, and, besides, we were very short of provisions. I consoled her as well as I could, and told her that, if her daughter learned to serve God, he would make her well. This poor child did not fail to come to catechism, sick as she was. God has taken care of her, restoring her to health.

In another letter the same Father sends me word that I ought to go up there for the good of the Savages, and especially to continue these holy exercises. This would indeed be my wish; but I was not able to leave Kébec so promptly, the coming of the ships [page 235] giving me too much to do. I have sent him what I wrote in the Savage tongue, on the catechism; as he speaks or stammers about as I do, he will try to help these little souls. [132] In the course of time, the Savages will become stationary; and, if they do not, their principal and longer sojourns will be near our French, now in one settlement, now in another,—so that, if they find Fathers who know the language, they will everywhere receive a little instruction. May our Lord in his holy goodness open their eyes. [page 237]



N OLDEN TIMES, the high Priest would not enter the Sancta sanctorum until after the shedding of the blood of some victim. I can hardly persuade myself that these tribes (especially in the countries where they are numerous) will enter the Church without a sacrifice,—I mean without putting to death some of those who shall instruct them. Scarcely has one begun to reveal to them some of the truths of the Gospel than he has experienced opposition; if it be said that this has been very slight, it may also be said that there has been as yet but little preaching. The devil will not allow his Empire to be overthrown without giving [133] battle; he has begun to whet some tongues against us, but to his own confusion.

As soon as we had commenced speaking in public, and Makheabichtichiou had shown a partiality for our belief, a Montagnez Captain, jealous of our love for him, began secretly to deride our holy faith and those who proclaimed it. He said that our belief was fatal to them,—that believing and dying were one and the same thing for them; and privately assured his own people that he would be sorry if they let themselves be instructed. He asserted that his grandfather had told him that black robes would come there, who would be the cause of their death. As his malice [page 239] was recognized, and as, besides, he is not a man of influence, all this did not make much impression upon the minds of the Savages. Seeing himself weak in this direction, he changed his tactics.

He spread a report that I had said that Makheabichtichiou's people and his intended to kill them both; that some one had told me that he wished to kill me, because he had dreamed that he would kill me; and that I did not like him on that account. Being informed of his underhand dealings, I took occasion and time to speak to him when he came to see me in [134] company with several Savages. I gave him to understand that he injured himself by circulating these bad reports; and that, as the French and the Savages knew that I loved them, he had gained nothing by his lies, unless it was the reputation of being a wicked man. " Thou art wrong," I said to him, " to believe that I hate thee; my heart is large enough to hold you all, as many as you are. Last year, when some Savages desired to kill thee, because, when in the Hiroquois country, they suspected thee of treason, thou knowest that, when thou didst inform me of it, I requested Monsieur the Commandant to take thee under his protection, and to save thy life; which he did, reconciling the dissensions among you. Thou didst tell him also that there were none but he and I who loved thee, assuring me of this with thine own lips; and in acknowledgment of this love, thou art scattering false reports which show thy faithlessness. Thou complainest that the French forsake thee, and that Monsieur the Governor does not love thee. Thou art mistaken about this,—he loves and protects you all. But thou art jealous of the affection that he has for [page 241] another man. Is it not true that thou cherishest those of thy own nation more than the Algonquins who [135] are your allies? Monsieur the Governor does the same. All those who believe in God are of his nation, he holds and loves them as such. As for the others, he does not hate them, he does them no harm; but wilt thou prevent him from being kindly disposed to those who wish to embrace our faith? Dost thou not remember how, when I was coming down with thee last year from the three Rivers, I gave thee some good advice about preserving your nation, which is going to destruction; and how thou thyself saidst aloud that I did indeed, love you all, and that, if my advice were followed, all would be well, but that thou didst not believe the young people would agree to it? Have I not told thee what brings us to this country ? Hast thou discovered that I liked your Beavers? Have I ever asked anything from you? Thou seest, on the contrary, that I give you according to my limited capacity. We have left our kindred and friends; we have gone away from our country, milder and more agreeable than yours; I have many times risked my life to learn your language, in order to instruct you; I have projected thee in thy difficulties; and, after all that, could it be possible that I do not love you? I [I 36] cherish you all; but I have a particular interest in those who lend ear to our doctrine, and who are willing to acknowledge our common Lord, he who has made all." To all this he answered that, in truth, he was well aware that we loved their nation; furthermore, that he had said to Monsieur the Governor that, when his people came together again, he would propose to them our belief: and, if they [page 243] wished to accept it, he would embrace it with them,—that, if he did otherwise, he would be jeered at. Mak[h]eabichtichiou, who was present, replied, "As for me, I am inclined to think that those of my nation will laugh at me for wishing to believe in God, but I ought not to be ashamed of doing right; if there are some persons who are against me, I shall perhaps find others who will be on my side."

I forgot to say that this same barbarian, seeing how much the children loved to come to us to be instructed, had tried to divert them from it by a very wicked slander, He gave out that he had told me that the Savages were trying to poison me, and I answered that I would forestall them. On the same day that this rumor was spread among the cabins, Father de Quen and I, knowing nothing of it, [137] went to get the children. We were surprised to find that only three of them followed us, but attributed that to their play, in which we saw them much engrossed. After having instructed and sent away these three little ones, Makheabichtichiou came to us and said to me, " Nikanis, dost thou know what they are saying among our cabins?" " No," I replied. " Didst thou come to our quarters to-day? " "Yes, we went there, my brother and I." " Did you take away the children with you?" " No indeed, only three followed us." " Do you know the reason?" " No." " Here it is: it is whispered about that some one warned thee that the Savages intend to poison thee, and that thou saidst thou wouldst anticipate them,—whereupon the parents have forbidden their children to come to you." I began to laugh when I heard this misrepresentation, and said to him, " Nikanis, no one has told me that you wanted to kill me, [page 245] and if they should I would not believe it; and if I did believe it, I would not avenge myself for it. Thou knowest that we do not carry arms, that we try to settle any differences which may arise, both among the French and the Savages. Dost thou not remember the advice I gave thee to pray to God for thine enemy who wished to put thee to death, assuring thee [l38] that he who has made all took upon himself the defense of the innocent? Dost thou not know that I have told thee a hundred times that God forbade us not only to kill, but even not to wish to kill, and that he saw the thoughts as well as heard the words? Know that he who has sown this seed of discord is angry because I love thee and all thy people. "

"All that thou sayest is true," he answered, I have not believed these false reports in the least; I pray thee, Nikanis," he said to me, " do not think the Savages who are with me wish thee any harm. Thou wilt see now how much confidence they have in all of you. Dost thou wish me to have the little ones or the grown people come immediately? " " No," I replied to him, " it is too late, to-morrow we will continue the instruction of the children. " " They will not fail, " said he, " to come to thee; but, as thou seest there are bad ones among us, I beg thee not to readily believe in false reports. They will report many bad things to thee about me; if thou give them credit, thou wilt hate me and no longer teach me. I say still more; as you are beginning to understand our language, do not report to your Captain and to the French what annoying remarks you may hear in our cabins, for that would produce discord [139] between the two nations. You [page 247] have intelligence enough, you Frenchmen, to know what ought to be said, and what ought to be left unsaid. " This poor man, all Savage as he is, has very good sense. Would to God that he were a little more humble than he is; the faith would not be long in taking root in his soul, for he is sufficiently instructed.

When he left us, he went to cry aloud among their cabins, according to their custom when they wish to make some public announcement; he cried in a loud voice, walking around their houses: " Listen, O men! Do not believe the false reports that have been spread among us, do not fear that the Father will do us harm; is it not he who teaches us that we must not kill, and that he who has made all takes vengeance on murderers? He is a man as we are; he fears, like us, him who measures and rules all things. And you, children, do not fail to visit him to-morrow, that you may be instructed; what he says is good, listen to him." These poor children came the next day in goodly numbers, as usual. But we were quite astonished, after learning this news, that those three children, already nearly grown, had not failed to follow us [140] the day before, notwithstanding the prohibition of their parents, and the threat that they would be killed. As for this great sower of calumnies, he has so little influence that he does not frighten us much. Even his own son does not have much respect for him, according to what sieur Olivier told me, he even went so far as to say to him one day, " I cannot live with thee, for, although thou hast no sense, thou wishest to act the Captain; this is why they make fun of thee, and I am humiliated by it. If thou wish me to live with thee, give up this vain idea of being a Captain, since thou hast [page 249] neither the ability to make speeches nor to be a leader." In fact, I have heard several of his band make fun of him.

We had another dispute with a sorcerer named Pigarouich. He was in the same district as Mak[h]eabichtichiou, and, as he had a deadly hatred for him, when he saw that he was on good terms with the French, he was jealous of him, as the other so-called Captain had been; and, in my opinion, what aroused him still more was that he heard that we ridiculed his sorceries, and that we assured Mak[h]eabicktichiou that his enemy could not harm him if he trusted in God. Now having come one day with the men, to confer about the points of our belief, and [141] the vanity of theirs, Mak[h]eabicktichiou, speaking first, said boldly that what I had told them was good, and that he intended to give up their customs and adopt ours. The sorcerer, thereupon beginning to speak and addressing me, said, " Father le Jenne, I will speak in my turn. Know, then, that whatever there may be in your belief, there are five things that I will not give up,—the love for women, the belief in our dreams, the eat-all feasts, the desire to kill the Hiroquois, the belief in sorcerers, and making feasts for them even to bursting. Those are the things," said he, " that we will never abandon. " Sieur Olivier explained all this to me, for the language and the accent of this Savage are altogether Algonquin. Having heard this horse-and-mule speech, I answered it in this way:

" As to women, thou art permitted to keep one with thee; having only one body, thou hast need of only one woman; and as thou wouldst not like to have other men debauch thine, so it is not permitted thee to touch theirs." He replied that he would not [page 251] fail to do it if he could. I rejoined that, if this licentiousness existed among them, they could not be sure of their own children,—" Thou thinkest sometimes that thou art caressing thy son, but thou [142] art mistaken, thou caressest the son of another. For if thou be as bad as thou sayest, the others pay thee in the same coin, and thus there is the same confusion among you that there is among dogs." He was very much embarrassed, and the others laughed at him.

As for dreams, I asked him if he would kill his Father, in case he dreamed that he was to do it. " The devil meddles with your imaginations in the night; and, if you obey him, he will make you the most wicked people in the world." I added several other things.

In regard to the eat-all feasts, I told him that the demons were glad to have them burst, so as to kill them all the sooner; that God, on the contrary, wishing them to live a long time, prohibited these excesses which ruined their health. The others considered this a very good answer. "As for the Hiroquois, since you are at war with them, kill them all, if thou can. As regards the sorcerers, since you will see every day that they cannot cure any sickness with their drums and other nonsense, if you have any sense you will give up all that." I expatiated still more upon this subject, but it would take too long for me to report it all. In conclusion, I declared to them that there were two lives, one very short, and the other very long, and that the [143] long one would be very happy or very miserable,—that he could now choose the one which pleased him more. He replied that the only life he cared for was the life of this world. Sieur Olivier said to him, " And as for me, I care for the other. If some one [page 253] presented thee two robes,"—said he to him, "an old one which could not last more than three days, and a fine new one which might last several years, which of the two wouldst thou take? Doubtless thou wouldst take that one which would last; and yet thou sayest that thou lovest a life which is slipping away from thee every day, and that thou wilt lose, perhaps, in a short time, and thou despisest the future life which is to endure forever."

Another Savage of the company, speaking afterwards, said that they were not of the opinion of this man, but that they approved of what had been taught them. And, a few days later, two or three of them, coming to see us privately, told us that we should hold out firmly against this sorcerer, that he was feared in the cabins, and that he would oppose us. We did not fail to attack him. Another time, when he came to see us, he informed us that in a few days he should consult Ka-Khichigou Khetikhi, those who make the light. In my relations I have called those whom they invoke in their little tents Khichikouekhi, which I interpreted " genii [144] of light," for it seemed to me I had heard them called so; but this sorcerer and his people call them by the name I have just mentioned, or by another one almost like it, which signifies " those who make the light." Now having told me that he intended to consult these demons, I replied to him that he was deceiving his people in making them think that these fine " makers of the light " were moving his tent, when it was he. He asked me if I would bet with him that his tent would move, although neither he nor any one else should touch it. " I will lie down flat upon the floor of my tent," said he, " I will stretch my arms and my legs outside, and yet thou wilt see it shake [page 255] violently." I accepted the wager, and put up three times as much as he suggested. The Savages enjoyed this dispute very much, some saying to me, "Thou wilt lose," the others declaring, "No, he will win, for he is a greater sorcerer than Pigarouich. " I told them that I did not wish to derive any gain from this wager, that I gave them the share the sorcerer would lose; this excited them very much, and they placed themselves all on one side. Then addressing myself to the sorcerer, I said to him, " Be careful what thou doest; for, if it is thou who movest thy tent, I will instantly cut all the cords which hold it in place and I will show thee [145] to be an impostor. If it be some spirit or the wind, as thou sayest, know that it is the devil. Now the Devil fears us, and, if it is he, I shall speak to him severely,—I shall chide him, and shall force him to confess his impotence against those who believe in God; and I shall make him confess that he is deceiving you. Now when he sees himself ridiculed, if he gets into a fury, and if he kills thee, do not lay the blame upon us; if he goes out and strikes those who shall have called him, do not reproach us for it, for you will see that we will defy him to approach us, and that he will not be able to do it, because God protects us." In fact I had intended to hold this over them as a sword hereafter, and I feared that God would permit the Demon to do harm to these infidels and skeptics, and they would believe nothing else than that it had been done at our instigation. When the poor man heard this, he was afraid, though he preserved a bold front; but changing the subject, he said to me, " Wilt thou bet that I cannot put a stick of Porcelain in thy hand, which thou wilt see and touch and close in thy hand,—[page 257] then, upon opening it, thou wilt no longer find it there?" " Done," said I, " I will accept the bet, for it is thou who must take away this stick, and thou wilt be sly indeed if thou deceivest me; if it be the Devil, he is afraid of those who believe in God. He [146] will not touch me, but perhaps he will give thee a close dusting." My poor sorcerer, shrugging his shoulders, would have been very glad to withdraw his pin from the game, as the saying is, but I urged him strongly, and, addressing myself to his people, said, "You see how he deludes you; he would not dare to take up the bet; do you urge him, so that you may discover his frauds and his deceits." When he perceived this, he appointed an hour for the next day. I immediately informed sieur Olivier of it, and requested him to be there with Father de Quen and me, and some Frenchmen, whom we would take along as witnesses of the affair. The next day, I waited for them to come and summon us, as we had arranged; but, on the contrary, they came to tell us that the sorcerer had gone off at daybreak to hunt hares, which is here the sport only of young boys. His people said among themselves that he was afraid, that he had no courage; some of them were astonished, and wondered at our belief; others said the French were greater sorcerers than they were. In truth they name such people Man[i]touisiouckhi, meaning, " those who are acquainted with the Manitou, with him who is superior to men," applying the name Manitou now to God and now to the devil.

[147] Some days having elapsed, this sorcerer tried to come and see me privately; it would take me too long to relate here how he tried to win me by gentle means,—I will leave a part of these things for the [page 259] journal. While he was with us, several Savages entered, and I wished to remind them of what had occurred; he pulled my gown, and begged me in a whisper to drop that subject. I obeyed him on this particular, but I dumbfounded him and his companions by what I am going to relate. I took a sheet of paper, and made them hold it by the four corners; then, having placed upon it some needles, I slowly passed my hand over it, holding between my fingers a little lodestone. The needles, attracted by this stone, went and came, advanced and retreated, according to the movement of my hand. They were astonished at seeing these needles run and turn about, without any one touching them. Seeing their amazement, I told the sorcerer that he should do the same; he answered by staring at me, without saying a word. I explained to them that this was a natural phenomenon, that I did not avail myself of the devil, in order to do it, and that it was a wicked thing to use his help; that in France they put Sorcerers and Magicians to death, when [ 148] they could be discovered; that the evil spirit never did any one any good; that in the beginning he tried to cover up his malice, but in the end he deceived those who had recourse to him. " As for thee, Pigarouich, " said I to the Sorcerer, " if thou wilt take my advice, thou wilt never consult the Demons, they are liars. They tell thee it is they who make the light; this is an imposition, for it is God who makes the light by creating the Sun. After these Demons shall have caused thee to do much harm to others, they will kill thee and drag thee into the flames. Think on what I tell thee." He answered that he would come and see us. He did indeed come, and proposed to us some questions which I am going to explain. [page 261]



HIS MAN,—having seen that we are holding our Town against him, that we often defied him to exercise his charms upon us; that we even ridiculed the Manitou, whom they fear as they do death; that we were saying boldly that the Sorcerers had no power outside of that which the God of the Christians grants them, and that all those who believe in him ought not to fear,—began, I imagine, to consider us greater Sorcerers than himself. He came to see me secretly, and proposed to me divers questions ridiculous in the extreme.

Being, then, alone with me in our house, he said, I am going to tell thee what I do; if thou dost not approve of it I will give it up, for I wish to believe in him who has made all. I give feasts at which all must be eaten, I sing loudly during these feasts; I believe in my dreams,—I [150] interpret them, and also the dreams of others; I sing and beat my Drum, in order to be lucky in the chase and to cure sickness; I consult those who have made the Light; I kill men by my sorceries and with my contrivances; I take robes and other gifts for curing the sick; I order that these should also be given to the sick themselves. Tell me, what dost thou find bad in all that? " I refuted all these points by good arguments, the best I could conjure up.

Another time, he told me that during their [page 263] epidemic three or four years ago, he, being almost in the agony of death, like the others, had seen in a dream a House made like ours, in which were some Images like those he saw in our house; and that after this dream he recovered; and, since then, whenever he has been sick, if he could have the same dream, he quickly recovered his health. " Now then," he said to me, " is that not a good thing?" I took pains to show him the vanity of their dreams.

He told me another day that, in order to become a sorcerer,—that is, to have communication with the Manitou, and to be lucky [151] in dreams,—he had fasted five days and five nights, without drinking or eating, isolated in a little cabin in the midst of the woods.

As I had reprimanded him for his lusts, he proposed certain questions of Conscience to me. " Thou sayest, " he said, " that God prohibits a plurality of wives; well, then, to satisfy him I will only have one with me; but will there be any harm in going to seek others, whom I shall not take as wives?" I answered him, " Dost thou wish some one to come and debauch thy wife or thy daughter?" " No," said he. " Well, then, thou seest plainly it is an evil deed to solicit the wives and daughters of others."

"That is true," said he, " but, if the women seek me, shall I do wrong to yield to their desire? " " If thy wife or thy daughter were to seek some man with whom to prostitute herself, would she be doing right? " " No, that is not doing right. " " Then the women who seek thee, are they doing wrong? " " Certainly, they have no sense," he replied. " If they do wrong to ask thee for an unlawful thing, thou also doest wrong to grant it to them." " Thou art right," said he, " I grant what thou sayest." [page 265]

He asked me if Makheabichtichiou did really [152] wish to believe in God. I told him that he said he did. " Moreover," I added, " I have been told that thou wishest to kill him by thy charms; be careful, for now that he is trying to believe in him who has made all, he is under his protection; and the Devil, not being able to do him any harm, may discharge his wrath upon thee. As to Makheabichtichiou, I have advised him not to wish thee any harm, but to pray God to make thee wise and to make thee give up thy sorceries; for our God forbids us to hate any one, he himself taking revenge for us upon our enemies. " This simple man, greatly frightened, immediately made peace with Makheabichtichiou, each promising the other in my presence to love and treat the other as a brother. After that time this Sorcerer became more curious to know about our doctrine. He asked me various questions regarding the future life, hell, the resurrection of the body, and showed himself so attentive that I was astonished. He promised me he would pray to God in secret, and had me repeat a Prayer for him to learn. He assured me that he would no longer consult the Demons, and that he would refrain from other things I had prohibited. He [153] kept this up as long as he was our neighbor; but, as he is only slightly instructed, and as his faith, if he have any at all, is the faith of fear and servility, he easily forgets his promises. One day, in the hunt, when they were pressed by hunger, having captured nothing, Makheabichtichiou said to the Savages, " You know that the Father has told us to have recourse to God in our distress; let us pray him now to assist us." All the other Savages began to laugh except the Sorcerer, who did not oppose the [page 267] proposition made to pray to God. Now for the present I do not know where this poor man is; this is the misfortune of this Nation, which I verily believe has descended from Cain, or from some other wanderer like him. [page 269]


xxvii - xxviii

Brébeuf's two letters to the general of the order, here given, were both sent from Ihonatiria,- one without date, but bearing internal evidence of having been written in 1636, and the other dated May 20, 1637. The original raanuscripts are in Latin, and preserved in the MSS. Soc. Jes. In 1858, Father Martin made copies thereof, and his apographs are now in the Archives of St. Mary's College, at Montreal; we follow the text of the Latin apographs, in the present issue, and our English translation is made therefrom. This is, so far as we are aware, the first publication of the letters in the language in which they were written.

Martin's French translations of his apographs are given in Carayon's Première Mission, pp. 163-166, and 157-162 respectively. Through a clerical error, Carayon gives 1638 (instead of 1636) as the date of our Doc. XXVII., thus throwing them out of true chronological sequence; we restore them to their proper places.


The Relation of 1637 (Rouen, 1638) is, for convenience, styled Le jeune's; but like many others of the series, it is a composite. The book contains three sections: the first (pp. 1 - 313) consisting Of 309 pp., is Le jeune's own Relation, as superior, dated on [page 271] board the ship Sainte Marie at Cap Rouge, August 31, 1637, and addressed to the provincial of the Jesuits, for the province of France; following this (pp. 314- 336), is a letter of 23 pp., from Le Jenne to the provincial, dated Sept. 11, evidently sent in the same ship with the Relation, as a postscript; the third section, of 256 pp., separate pagination, is the annual Huron Relation, rendered to Le Jenne,—this time, signed by François Joseph le Mercier, and dated at Ihonattiria, June 21, 1637. Owing to the fact that Le jeune's two contributions are continuously paged, they are classed by bibliographers as together constituting Part I. of the Relation of 1637; and the separately-paged Huron report as Part II. thereof.

For the text of this document, we have had recourse to the original printed Relation (first issue), in Lenox Library, which is usually designated as "H. 67, "because described in Harrisse's Notes, no. 67.

Collation (H. 67): Title, with verso blank, i leaf; " Extraict du Priuilege du Roy (dated Paris, Feb. 5, 1638), p. (i); "Approbation by the provincial (dated Paris, Jan. 22, 1638), p. (i); " Table des Chapitres," pp. (2); introductory letter, Le Jenne to the provincial, pp. (4); text by Le Jeune (15 chaps.), pp. i-313; " Dernière lettre dv P. Paul le Ieune," pp. 314-336; text by Le Mercier (Huron Relation, 7 chaps.), pp. 1-256 (separate pagination).—A folding wood-engraving, representing fireworks, appears between pp. 18 and 19 of Part I.

Peculiarities: The pagination is, in places, erratic: In Part I., p. 14 is mispaged 13; p. 182, mispaged 128; there are no pp. 193 - 196 in this part, signature "M" ending with p. 192, and signature "N" beginning with p. 197. The copy in Harvard College has [page 272] p. 167 mispaged as 168, though in both issues in the Lenox Library the pagination, in this respect, is correct. In Part II. (the Huron Relation), p. 170 is mispaged 172. There are several errors in page references, in the Table des Chapitres, which will be found corrected within brackets, in the present issue. Signature "A" begins with p. 1 of the text - the preliminary matter is made up of the title, plus sig. "a" in four. Although Parts I. and II. are separately paged, the signatures of the volume form a continuous series, Part II. beginning with "Aa."

Harrisse's Notes (no. 68), and the Lenox Catalogue (p. 5) describe what is called a second issue. The title-page of the example in the Lenox Library is an entire reset; it reads line-for-line like H. 67, down to the ornament; in the place of the one reproduced in our facsimile, H. 68 presents "the monogram of Christ, surrounded by rays of light." The remainder of the title of the second issue is as follows:

A ROVEN, Chez IEAN LE BOVLENGER. | Et fe vendent à Paris, | Chez PIERRE DE BRESCHE, ruë S. Eƒtienne | des Grecs à l'Image Sainct Iofeph. | M. DC. XXXVIII. | AVEC PRIVILEGE DV ROY.

Harrisse declares that the differences in title-page, between H. 67 and H. 68, are the only ones discoverable. The errors in pagination, both in Table and text, are identical; but we have discovered two typographical differences, in Part I., which are slight, but interesting: On P. 300, line 21, the word tra cts, in H. 67, appears with the " i " dropped out, while in H. 68 the defect is remedied to read traicts; on P. 304, last line, the longt-emps of H. 67 becomes long-temps in H. 68. Possibly other changes might be found, upon a line-for-line comparison. Harrisse [page 273] (no. 67) has omitted to indicate the parallel line-divisions between the seventh and eighth lines, after the word "Provincial." In no. 68 he has made a similar omission in the imprint, between the second and third lines, after " Bovlenger."

Apparently, the Rouen printer and dealer worked off a special edition for sale in Paris, with a fresh title-page giving the name of the dealer in the latter city—the home edition being H. 67, and the Paris edition H. 68. That the Rouen edition was the first, is evident from the typographical corrections above noted. Further, in the Rouen example in Lenox, there are numerous " bites " of the ~frisket, in printing; in the Paris example, in the same library, the impressions are all clear, showing that the ~frisket had by that time been adjusted.

A note in Lenox Catalogue, after the description of H. 68, says: " In the Bib. du Roi at Paris there was a copy having folio i of first part double. The title to Chap. i. was mil six cens trente sept—in the other trente six—the latter no doubt a mistake and intended to be cancelled."

Copies of this Relation are to be found in the Brown (H. 67), Lenox (both issues), Laval University at Quebec (both issues), and Harvard College (H. 67) libraries, and (H. 67) in the British Museum. Copies of the first issue (Rouen) have been sold or priced as follows: O'Callaghan (1882), no. 1216, brought $20, and had cost him $33.75 in gold; Harrassowitz (1882), no. 24, priced at 150 marks; Barlow (i889), no. 1277, sold for $22.50; Dufossé (1892), priced at 300 francs. Copies of the second issue (Rouen et Paris) have been priced as follows: Leclerc (1878),no. 779, 200 francs; Dufossé (1891 and 1893), 225 and 300 francs. [page 275]


(Figures in parentheses, following number of note, refer to pages of English text.)