The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents

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


Iroquois, Lower Canada, Abenakis


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 XXXI






Relation de ce qvi s’est passé

la Novvelle France, svr le Grand Flevve de S. Lavrens en année 1647. [Chaps. Iv.–xiii., second installment of document.] Hierosme Lalemant; Quebek, October 20, 1647







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The Relation of 1647, by Jerome Lalemant (Doc. LXIII. of our series), was commenced in XXX. by the publication of the first three chapters; we herewith present Chaps. iv.-xiii., leaving the last two chapters to Vol. XXXII. Continuing his narrative, Father Lalemant devotes much space to the labors, captivity, sufferings, and finally the death of Father Isaac Jogues, who was killed by the Iroquois in the preceding year. Much of this account is taken from Jogues's own narrative, written at the command of his superior. He describes his capture by the Iroquois in August, 1642; the cruelties inflicted on him and his fellow-prisoners; and the painful journey to the Iroquois villages. On the way, they encounter a large troop of warriors proceeding to attack the French, and these also vent their fury on the wretched prisoners, even more fiercely than their captors have done; Jogues and his companions—Goupil, Coûture, and over twenty Hurons—barely escape from this ordeal with their lives. They meet similar treatment upon entering the first Mohawk village, and thence are taken to the other two, at each one experiencing a repetition of these hideous cruelties,—Jogues himself being, in every case, the especial object of his captors' rage. The Frenchmen are sentenced to death, but are reprieved, and kept as prisoners in the [page 9] Indian villages. Having seen Goupil teaching a child to make the sign of the cross, the superstitious natives slay him, in Jogues's presence; and they threaten to kill him also,—making several unsuccessful attempts upon his life. In the midst of his sufferings and anxieties, he has a dream, sent by God for his instruction and consolation, which he recounts at length; he also describes reveries, meditations, and visions, that came to him in his desolate captivity. He is sent into the woods, as servant to a hunting party, where he suffers the utmost privations and hardships; returning thence, he saves the life of a poor Indian woman, at the risk of his own. Similar perils he repeatedly incurs throughout the winter, visiting the Huron captives who are kept in the Mohawk villages, and consoling and encouraging them in their sufferings. His patience and unselfishness win the hearts of the family to whom he has been given, and they treat him with some kindness. The Father is in continual danger and expectation of death; but his life is, for the time, spared.

In April, 1643, an envoy from the Sokoki tribe brings presents for the ransom of Jogues, because one of their tribesmen had, some time before, been redeemed by Montmagny from the Algonkins. The Mohawks accept these presents, but nevertheless violate both tribal and international law, by detaining their prisoner. He is comforted, however, by receiving through this envoy letters from Montmagny. These he answers, and one of them reaches its destination. Not long afterward, he is taken by his keepers on a fishing expedition, to a place below the Dutch settlement at the present Albany. This affords opportunity for his deliverance, which is [page 10] effected by the aid of the Dutch; they send him to Manate (New York), and, later, to Europe. After many hardships endured upon this voyage, he finally reaches the Jesuit college at Rennes, France, January 5, 1644. But he returns to Canada by the fleet of that year, and is sent to Montreal. Jogues and Bourdon depart on another voyage to the Iroquois country; May 16, 1646, as envoys of Montmagny; they return to Three Rivers about six weeks later. Jogues is not content to remain long among his brethren; he sets out on his last and fatal voyage on September 24 following, accompanied by a young French donné and some Hurons. News of his death is received at Quebec, some months later, through a letter sent by Kieft, the Dutch governor, to Montmagny. Lalemant explains Jogues's death as caused by the hatred felt by the savages toward the Christian doctrine,—imagining that it causes their illnesses and other misfortunes. He proceeds to eulogize the virtues of the martyr—notably his extreme humility and purity. His confessor asserts that Jogues's " greatest offenses were some feelings of complacency which he had felt at the sight of death,"

Lalemant recounts the pious and devout actions of the converted Indians at Sillery, where a church has been built for them, dedicated to St. Michael. The hospital still continues its noble work; it has, during the past year, cared for more than eighty patients, both French and Indian, and " not one Savage has died there without baptism." The superior, Marie de St. Ignace, has died; she has lived a most devoted and unselfish life in Canada, and accomplished great good for both races. Her death occurs at the very time when the new hospital at Quebec is ready [page 11] to receive the nuns; her unwearied charity and devotion are highly praised.

The Ursuline nuns have also been most useful; they have aided and instructed more than eighty girls, one of whom has married a Christian Indian. One of the nuns is well acquainted with the native languages, and in consequence several of the converts regard her as a confessor and teacher.

Father Druillettes has begun a mission among the Abenakis, who send to Quebec for him and gladly overcome his coming. He travels among them, voyaging even to the mouth of the Kennebec. He meets great success, both in learning the Abenaki language and in winning the hearts of the people. He visits the English settlements along the coast, where he is received with great kindness. At Pentagouet (Castine) he finds a residence of the Capuchins, who are in charge of the Acadian missions. Druillettes is soon able to instruct the natives, and induces them to promise that they drill abandon the use of intoxicating drinks, stop their intertribal and neighborhood quarrels, and forsake their manitous, or demons. This arouses the jealousy of the medicine-men, who attempt to frighten the savages away from such teachings; but these refuse to listen to them, and on their hunting expedition are accompanied by the Father. Even one of these " sorcerers " is Converted and abandons his craft; as a result, he is miraculously cured of an illness. Thirty persons are baptized, most of them when in danger of death; and several sick persons are healed. The savages take Druillettes with them to the nearest settlement of English; the latter approve his work among the Indians, and grant him permission to establish a mission on the [page 12] Kennebec. When the Father returns to Quebec, his people send with him an escort of thirty of their number.

A band of Attikamègues come down to Three Rivers to perform their religious duties, and astonish the Fathers by their goodness and devoutness. At a great gathering of various tribes, these Attikamègues Christians confound the Pagans by celebrating divine worship with all the display in their power, and allowing no unbeliever to enter their little church. Numerous instances of their faith and zeal are related.

The mission at Tadoussac is flourishing, being still served by De Quen. Many of the neophytes show great piety and constancy in their Christian practice. The tribes north of Tadoussac, which last year showed an inclination to receive the faith, are now somewhat cold; for they have been ravaged by epidemics, which are ignorantly ascribed to the new doctrine. A bell has been hung in the Tadoussac chapel, which excites the admiration of the Christian savages, but terrifies the Pagans. De Quen makes a journey into the country of the Porcupine tribe; a description of that region, and of the voyage up the Saguenay, is given from his letters. The Porcupines receive him very gladly, and promise to build a chapel for him on his return, the next year.

At the Three Rivers mission, several events have occurred which display the justice of God toward sinners and backsliders among these, is the death of an apostate by lightning, which terrifies the others. " Simon Pieskaret, who was a Christian only in appearances and through policy, became so in earnest; he confessed three times in twenty-four hours, so much was the fear of God's judgments urging him." [page 13] The Iroquet tribe come down to Three Rivers, and several of them are evidently converted. This year, the quarrels usual between the numerous tribes are very few; and Pieskaret is appointed by themselves as an agent to keep the peace between them; another man is deputed to see that all attend prayers.

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., September, 1998.

[page 14]

¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯

LXIII (continued)


Relation of 1647




The first three chapters were given in Volume xxx.; we herewith present chaps. iv.–xiii.; the remaining two will appear in Volume XXXII.



ATHER Isaac Jogues had sprung from a worthy family of the City of Orleans. After having given some evidences of his virtue in our Society, he was sent to New France, in the year 1636. In the same year, he went up to the Hurons, cohere he sojourned until the thirteenth of June in the year 1642, when he was sent to Kebec upon [57] the affairs of that important and arduous Mission.

From that time until his death, there recurred many very remarkable things,—of which one cannot, without guilt. deprive the public, since they are honorable to God and full of consolation for souls who love to suffer for Jesus Christ. What has been said of his labors ill the preceding Relations, came, for the most part. from some Savages, companions in his sufferings. But what I am about to set down has issued from his own pen and his own lips: it was necessary to use a Superior's authority and a gentle dexterity in the more intimate conversations, in order to discover that which the very low esteem in which he held himself kept concealed in a profound silence.

Some time before his departure from the Hurons in order to come to Kebec, finding himself alone before the Blessed Sacrament, he prostrated himself [page 17] to the ground, beseeching Our Lord to grant him the favor and grace of suffering for his glory. This answer was engraved in the depth of his soul, with a certainty similar to that which Faith gives us: Exaudita est oratio tua; fiet tibi sicut [58] à me petisti. Confortare et esto robustus,—"Thy prayer is heard; what thou hast asked of me is granted thee. Be courageous and steadfast." The results which followed have shown that these words, which were always very present smith him in all his sufferings, were verily substantial,—words issuing from the lips of him with whom saying and doing are only one and the same thing.

`The Reverend Father Hierosme Lalemant, at that time Superior of the Mission among the Hurons, knowing nothing of what had occurred, sent for him, and proposed to him the journey to Kebec,—a frightful one, on account of the difficulty of the roads, and very dangerous because of the ambuscades of the Hiroquois, who massacred, every year, a considerable number of the Savages allied to the French. Let us hear him speak upon this subject, and upon the result of his journey. "Authority having made me a simple proposition, and not a command, to go down to Kebec, I offered myself with all my heart,—and that the more willingly, because the necessity of undertaking this, might have cast some one else of our Fathers, much better than I, into the peril and hazards that we all anticipate. So there we severe on the [59] way and in the dangers all at once. We were obliged to disembark forty times, and forty times to carry our boats and all our baggage amid the currents and waterfalls that one encounters on this journey of about three hundred leagues. And, [page 19] although the Savages who were guiding us were very adroit, we nevertheless incurred some disasters, to the great peril of our lives, and with some loss of our small baggage. At last, thirty-five days after our departure from the Hurons, we arrived, much fatigued, at Three Rivers; thence we went down to Kebec. We blessed God everywhere, in that his goodness had preserved us. our affairs being finished in fifteen days, we solemnly observed the feast of saint Ignace; and the next day, the first day of August in the same year 1642, we left Three Rivers, in order to go up again to the country Whence we came. The first day was favorable to us; the second caused us to fall into the hands of the Hiroquois. We were forty persons, distributed in several canoes; the one which kept the vanguard, having discovered on the hanks of the great river some tracks [60] of men, recently imprinted on the sand and clay, gave us warning. A landing was made; some say that these are footprints of the enemy, others are sure that they are those of Algonquins, our allies. In this dispute, Eustache Ahatsistari, to whom all the others deferred on account of his exploits in arms and his virtue, exclaimed: ' Be they friends or enemies, it matters not; I notice by their tracks that they are not in greater number than we; let us advance, and fear nothing.' We had not yet made a half-league, when the enemy, concealed among the grass and brushwood, rises with a great outcry, discharging at our canoes a volley of balls. The noise of their arquebuses so greatly frightened a part of our Hurons that they abandoned their canoes and weapons, and all their supplies, ill order to escape by flight into the depth of the woods. This discharge did us no great [page 21] hurt, and no one lost his life; one Huron alone had his hand pierced through, and our canoes were broken in several places. We were four French,—one of fathom, being in the rear, escaped with the Hurons, who abandoned him before [61] approaching the enemy. Eight or ten, both Christians and Catechumens, joined us; having been made to say a brief prayer, they oppose a courageous front to the enemy; and although the latter were thirty men against twelve or fourteen, our people valiantly sustained their effort. But, having perceived that another band—of forty Hiroquois, who were in ambush on the other shore of the river was coming to attack them, they lost courage; insomuch that those who were least entangled fled, abandoning their comrades in the fight. A Frenchman named René Goupil, whose death is precious before God, being no longer sustained by those who followed him, was surrounded and captured, along with some of the most courageous Hurons. I was watching this disaster," says the Father, "from a place very favorable for concealing me from the sight of the enemy, being able to hide myself in thickets and among very tall and dense reeds; but this thought could never enter my mind. 'Could I, indeed,' I said to myself, 'abandon our French and leave those good Neophytes and those poor Cateehumens, without giving them [62] the help which the Church of my God has entrusted to me?' Flight seemed horrible to me; 'It must be,' I said in my heart, 'that my body suffer the fire of earth, in order to deliver these poor souls from the flames of Hell; it must die a transient death, in order to procure for them an eternal life.' My conclusion being reached without great opposition from my [page 23] feelings, I call the one of the Hiroquois who had remained to guard the prisoners. This man, having perceived me dared not approach me, fearing some ambush. ' Come on,' I say to him; ' be not afraid: lead me to the presence of the Frenchman and the Hurons whom you hold captive.' He advances and, having seized me, puts me in the number of those whom the world calls miserable. I tenderly embraced the Frenchman. and said to him: 'My dear brothers God treats us in a strange manner, but he is the master, and he has done what has seemed best in his sight; he has followed his good pleasure. May his holy Name be blessed forever.' This good young man at once made his confession; having given him absolution, I approach the Hurons, and instruct and baptize them; and, as at every moment those who were pursuing the fugitives brought back some of them, I heard these in confession, [63] making Christians those mho were not so. Finally, they brought that worthy Christian Captain named Eustache, who, having perceived me, exclaimed: ' Ah' my Father, I had sworn and protested to you that I would live or die with you. ' The sight of him piercing my heart, I do not remember the words that I said to him. Another Frenchman, named Guillaume Couture, seeing that the Hurons were giving way, escaped like them into those great forests; and, as he was agile, he was soon out of the enemy's grasp. But, remorse having seized him because he had forsaken his Father and his comrade, he stops quite short, deliberating aside with himself whether he should go on or retrace his steps. The dread of being regarded as perfidious makes him face about; he encounters five stout Hiroquois. One of [page 25] these aims at him, but, his arquebus having missed fire, the Frenchman did not miss him,—he laid him, stone-dead, on the spot; his shot being fired, the four other Hiroquois fell upon him with a rage of Lions, or rather of Demons. Having stripped him bare as the hand, they bruised him with heavy blows of clubs, and tore out [64] his finger-nails with their teeth,—crushing the bleeding ends, in order to cause him more pain. In short, they pierced one of his hands with a javelin, and led him, tied and bound in this sad plight, to the place where we were. Having recognized him, I escape from my guards, and fall upon his neck. ' Courage,' I say to him, ' my dear brother and friend; offer your pains and anguish to God, in behalf of those very persons who torment you. Let us not draw back; let us suffer courageously for his holy name; we have intended only his glory in this journey.' The Hiroquois, seeing us in these endearments, at first remained quite bewildered, looking at us without saying a word; then, all at once,—imagining, perhaps, that I was applauding that young man because he had killed one of their Captains,—they fell upon me with a mad fury, they belabored me with thrusts, and with blows from sticks and war-clubs, flinging me to the ground, half dead. When I began to breathe again, those who had not struck me, approaching, violently tore out my finger-nails; and then biting, one after another, the ends of my [65] two forefingers, destitute of their nails caused me the sharpest pain, grinding and crushing them as if between two stones, even to the extent of causing splinters or little bones to protrude. They treated the good René Goupil in the same way, without doing, at that time, any harm to [page 27] the Hurons: they were thus enraged against the French because the latter had not been willing to accept the peace. the preceding year, on the conditions which they wished to give them.

"All their men being assembled, and the runners having come back from their hunt for men, those barbarians divided among themselves their booty, rejoicing in their prey with great shouts of mirth. As I saw them engrossed in examining and distributing our spoils, I sought also for my share. I visit all the captives; I baptize those who were not yet baptized; I encourage those poor wretches to suffer with constancy, assuring them that their reward would far exceed the severity of their torments. I ascertained, on this round of visits, that we were twenty-two captives, without counting three Hurons killed on the spot. An old man, aged eighty years, having just received holy Baptism, said to the [66] Hiroquois who were commanding him to embark: 'It is no more for an old man like me to go and visit foreign Countries; I can find death here, if you refuse me life.' Hardly had he pronounced these words when they beat him to death.

"So there we were, on the way to be led into a country truly foreign. Our Lord favored us with his Cross. It is true that, during thirteen days that we spent on that journey, I suffered in the body torments almost unendurable, and, in the soul, mortal anguish; hunger, the fiercely burning heat, the threats and hatred of those Leopards, the pain of our wounds,—which, for not being dressed, became putrid even to the extent of breeding Worms,—caused us, in truth, much distress. But all these things seemed light to me in Comparison with an [page 29] inward sadness which I felt at the sight of our earliest and most ardent Christians of the Hurons I had thought that they were to be the pillars of that fling Church, and I saw them become the victims of death. The ways closed for a long time to the salvation of so many peoples, who perish every day for want of being succored, [67] made me die every hour, in the depth of my soul. It is a very hard thing, or rather very cruel, to see the triumph of the Demons over whole nations redeemed with so much love, and paid for in the money of a blood so adorable.

"Eight days after our departure from the shores of the great river of saint Lawrence, we met two hundred Hiroquois, who were coming in pursuit of the French and of the Savages, our allies. At this encounter we were obliged to sustain a new shock. It is a belief among those Barbarians that those who go to war are the more fortunate in proportion as they are cruel toward their enemies; I assure you that they made us thoroughly feel the force of that wretched belief.

"Accordingly, having perceived us, they first thanked the Sun for having caused us to fall into the hands of their Fellow-countrymen; they next fired a salute with a volley of arquebus shots, by way of congratulation for their victory. That done, they set up a stage on a hill; then, entering the woods, they seek sticks or thorns, according to their fancy. Being thus armed, they form in line,—a hundred on one side, [68] and a hundred on the other,—and make us pass, all naked, along that way of fury and anguish; there is rivalry among them to discharge upon us the most and the heaviest blows; they made me march last, that I might be more exposed to their [page 31] rage. I had not accomplished the half of this course when I fell to the earth under the weight; of that hail and of those redoubled blows. I did not strive to rise again,—partly because of my weakness, partly because I was accepting that place for my sepulchre. Quam diu multúmque in me sævitum est, ille scit pro cujus amore et gloria hæc pati, et jucundum et gloriosum est; tandem crudeli misericordia commoti, volentes me vivum in suam terram deducere, a verberando cessarurt." These are the very words of the Father, who has described in Latin a part of his labors. " Seeing me prostrates they rush upon me; God alone knows for how long a time and how many were the blows that were dealt n my body; but the sufferings undertaken for his love and his glory are filled with joy and honor. Seeing, then, that I had not fallen by accident, and that I did not rise again for being too near death, they entered upon a cruel compassion; their rage was not [69] yet glutted, and they wished to conduct one alive into their own country; accordingly, they Embrace me, and carry me all bleeding upon twit stage they have prepared. When I am restored to fly senses, they make me come down, and offer me a thousand and one insults, making me the sport and object of their reviling; they begin their assaults aver again, dealing upon my head and neck, and all any body, another hailstorm of blows. I would be too tedious if I should set down in writing all the rigor of my sufferings. They burned one of my fingers, and crushed another with their teeth, and those which were already torn, they squeezed and twisted with a rage of Demons; they scratched my wounds with their nails; and, when strength failed me, they applied fire to my arm and thighs. My companions [page 33] were treated very nearly as I was. one of those Barbarians, having advanced with a large knife in his right hand, took my nose in his left hand, wishing to cut it off; but he stopped suddenly, and as if astonished, withdrawing without doing aught to me. He returns a quarter of an hour later, as if indignant with himself for his cowardice; he again seizes me at the [70] same place; you know, my God, what I said to you at that moment, in the depth of my heart. In fine, I know not what invisible force repulsed him for the second time. It was over with my life if he had proceeded; for they are not accustomed to leave long on the earth those who are notably mutilated." Among the Hurons, the worst treated was that worthy and valiant Christian, Eustache. Having made him suffer like the others, they cut off both thumbs from his hands, and thrust through the incisions a pointed stick even to the elbow. The Father, seeing this excess of torment, could not contain his tears. Eustache, having perceived this, and fearing lest the Hiroquois should regard him as effeminate, said to them: " Do not suppose that those tears proceed from weakness; it is the love and affection that he feels for me, and not the want of courage, that forces them from his eyes. He has never wept in his own torments; his face has always appeared dry, and always cheerful. Your rage, and my pains, and his own love are the theme and the cause of his tears." " It is true, " the Father answers him, " that thy pains are more keenly felt by me than are my own; it is true that I am covered with [71] blood and wounds; my body, nevertheless, does not feel its torments as keenly as my heart is afflicted for thy sufferings. But courage, my dear brother; [page 35] remember that there is another life than this; remember that there is a God who sees everything, and who will well know how to reward the anguish that we suffer on his account." "I remember very well," flat good Neophyte said to him; " I will remain firm even till death ;" and, indeed, his constancy appeared ever admirable and ever Christian.

"Those warriors, having made a sacrifice of our Flood, pursued their course, and we ours. The tenth May after our capture, we arrived at the place where it was necessary to cease navigation and to proceed by land; that road, which was about four days long, was extremely painful for us. The man to whose guard I was given, unable to carry all his booty, put a part of it on my back, which was all torn; we ate, in three days, only a few wild fruits, which we gathered by the way. The heat of the Sun, at the warmest season of the Summer, and our wounds greatly weakened us, and caused us to walk behind the others. Seeing ourselves considerably separated from them, and near the [72] night, I told poor René' that he should escape,—indeed, we were able to do so; but, for myself, I would rather have suffered all sorts of torments than abandon to death those whom I could somewhat console, and upon whom I could confer the blood of my Savior through the Sacraments of his Church. This good young man, seeing that I wished to follow my little flock, would never leave me: 'I will die,' he said, 'with you; I cannot forsake you.'

"I had always thought, indeed, that the day on which the whole Church rejoices in the glory of the blessed Virgin—her glorious and triumphant Assumption—would be for us a day of pain. This [page 37] made me render thanks to my Savior Jesus Christ, because, on that day of gladness and joy, he was making us share his sufferings, and admitting us to participation in his crosses. We arrived on the eve ,f that sacred day at a little river, distant from the first village of the Hiroquois about a quarter of a league; we found on its banks, on both sides, many men and youths, armed with sticks which they let loose upon us with their accustomed rage. There remained to me now [73] only two nails,—those Barbarians tore them from me with their teeth, rending the flesh from beneath, and cutting it clean to the bone with their nails, which they allow to grow very long. A Huron, to whom they had given his liberty in that country, having perceived us, exclaimed: 'You are dead, Frenchmen, you are dead; there is no liberty for you. Think no more of life; you will be burned; prepare yourselves for death.' This fine reception did not afflict us to the degree that our enemies believed it would; my guard, nevertheless, seeing me all covered with blood, touched with some compassion, told me that I was in a pitiable state; and, in order to render me more distinguishable to the sight of his people, he wiped my face.

"After they had glutted their cruelty, they led us in triumph into that first village; all the youth were outside the gates, arranged in line,—armed with sticks, and some with iron rods, which they easily secure on account of their vicinity to the Dutch. Casting our eyes upon these weapons of passion, we remembered what saint Augustin says, that those who turn aside from the scourges of God, turn aside from the number of his children; on that account, [page 39] [74] we offered ourselves with great courage to his fatherly goodness, in order to be victims sacrificed to his good pleasure and to his anger, lovingly zealous for the salvation of these peoples. Here follows the order which was observed at that funereal and pompous entry. They made one Frenchman march at the head, and another in the middle of the Hurons, and me the very last. We were following one another at an equal distance; and, that our executioners might have more leisure to beat us at their ease, some Hiroquois thrust themselves into our ranks in order to prevent us from running and from avoiding any blows. The procession beginning to enter this narrow way of Paradise, a scuffling was heard on all sides; it was indeed then that I could say with my Lord and master, Supra dorsum meum fabricaverunt peccatores,—'Sinners have built and left monuments and marks of their rage upon my back.' I was naked to my shirt, like a poor criminal; the others were wholly naked, except poor René Goupil, to whom they did the same favor as to me. The more slowly the procession marched in a very long road, the more blows we received. One was [75] dealt above my loins, with the pommel of a javelin, or with an iron knob the size of one's fist, which shook my whole body and took away my breath. Such was our entrance into that Babylon. Hardly could we arrive as far as the scaffold which was prepared for us in the midst of that village, so exhausted were we; our bodies were all livid, and our faces all stained with blood. But more disfigured than all was René Goupil, so that nothing white appeared in his face except his eyes. I found him all the more beautiful as he had more in common with him who, bearing a face [page 41] most worthy of the regards and delight of the Angels, appeared to us, in the midst of his anguish, like a leper. Having ascended that scaffold, I exclaimed in my heart: Spectaculum facti sumus mundo et Angelis et hominibus propter Christum,—'we have been made a gazing-stock in the sight of the world, of Angels, and of men, for Jesus Christ.' We found some rest in that place of triumph and of glory. The Hiroquois no longer persecuted us except with their tongues,—filling the air and our ears with their insults, which did us no great hurt; [76] but this calm did not last long. A Captain exclaims that the Frenchmen ought to be caressed. Sooner done than it is said,—one wretch, jumping on the stage, dealt three heavy blows with sticks, on each Frenchman, without touching the Hurons. Others, meanwhile drawing their knives and approaching us, treated me as a Captain,—that is to say, with more fury than the rest. The deference of the French, and the respect which the Hurons showed me, caused me this advantage. And old man takes my left hand and commands a captive Algonquin woman to cut one of my fingers; she turns away three or four times, unable to resolve upon this cruelty; finally, she has to obey, and cuts the thumb from my left hand; the same caresses are extended to the other prisoners. This poor woman having thrown my thumb on the stage, I picked it up and offered it to you, O my God ! Remembering the sacrifices that I had presented to you for seven years past, upon the Altars of your Church, I accepted this torture as a loving vengeance for the want of love and respect that I had shown, concerning your Holy Body; you heard [77] the cries of my soul. one of my two French companions, having perceived me, [page 43] told me that, if those Barbarians saw me keep my thumb, they would make me eat it and swallow it all raw; and that, therefore, I should throw it away somewhere . I obey him instantly. They used a scallop or an oyster-shell for cutting off the right thumb of the other Frenchman, so as to cause him more pain. The blood flowing from our wounds in so great abundance that we were likely to fall in a swoon, a Hiroquois—tearing off a little end of my shirt, which alone had been left to me—bound them up for us; and that was all the dressing and all the medical treatment applied to them.

"Evening having come, they made us descend, in order to be taken into the cabins as the sport of the children. They gave us for food a very little Indian corn, simply boiled in water; then they made us lie down on pieces of bark, binding us by the arms and the feet to four stakes fastened in the ground in the shape of saint Andrew's Cross. The children, in order to learn the cruelty of their parents, threw coals and burning cinders on our stomachs,—taking pleasure in seeing us broil [78] and roast. Oh, my God, what nights ! To remain always in an extremely constrained position; to be unable to stir or to turn, under the attack of countless vermin which assailed us on all sides; to be burdened with wounds, some recent and others all putrid; not to have sustenance for the half of one's life: in truth, these torments are great, but God is infinite. At Sunrise, they led us back upon our scaffold, where we spent three days and three nights in the sufferings that I have Just described.

"The three days having expired, they parade us into two other villages, where we make our entrance [page 45] as into the first; they give us the same salutes of beatings? and, in order to enhance the cruelty of the earlier ones, they deal us severe blows on the bones,—either at random or on the shin of the legs, a place very sensitive to pain. As we were leaving the first village, a wretch took away my shirt and gave me an old rag to cover what ought to be concealed; this nakedness was very painful to me. I could not abstain from reproaching one of those who had had the bulk of our spoils, saying: [79] ' Art thou not ashamed to see me in this nakedness,—thou who hast had so great a share of my baggage?' These words somewhat abashed him: he took a piece of coarse cloth, with which a bundle was enveloped, and threw it to me. I put it on my back in order to defend myself from the heat of the Sun, which heated and corrupted my wounds; but—this cloth having glued itself fast, and, as it were, incorporated itself with my sores—I was constrained to tear it off with pain, and to abandon myself to the mercy of the air. My skin was detaching itself from my body in several places; and,—that I might say that I had passed per ignem et aquam, through cold and heat, for the love of my God,—while on the scaffold during three days, as in the first village, there fell a cold rain, which greatly renewed the pains of my sores. One of those Barbarians having perceived that Guillaume Cousture, although he had his hands all torn, had not yet lost any of his fingers, seized his hand, striving to cut off his forefinger with a poor knife. But, as he could not succeed therein, he twisted it, and in tearing it he pulled a sinew out of the arm, the length of a [80] span. At the same time his poor arm swelled, and [page 47] the pain was reflected from it even to the depth of my heart.

"On departing from that second village, they drag us into the third; these villages are several leagues distant from one another. Besides the salute and the caresses, and the reception which was given us at the two preceding ones, note what was added to our torture. The young men thrust thorns or pointed sticks into our sores, scratching the ends of our fingers, deprived of their nails, and tearing them even to the quick flesh; and, in order to honor me above the others, they bound me to pieces of wood fastened crosswise. Consequently, my feet not being supported, the weight of my body inflicted upon me a gehenna, and a torture so keen that, after having suffered this torment about a quarter of an hour, I plainly felt that I w as about to fall in a swoon from it, which made me beseech those Barbarians to lengthen my bonds a little. They ran up, at my call; and, instead of lengthening them, they strain them more tightly, in order to cause me more pain. A Savage from a more distant country, touched with compassion, broke through the press, and, drawing [81] a knife, boldly cut all the cords with which I was bound. This charity was afterward rewarded a hundredfold, as we shall see in its place.

"That act was not without providence: for, at the same time when I was unbound, word was brought that some warriors, or hunters of men, were conducting thither some Hurons, recently taken. I betook me to the place as best I could; I consoled those poor captives, and, having sufficiently instructed them, I conferred upon them holy Baptism; in recompense I am told that I must die with them. The sentence [page 49] decreed in the Council is intimated to me, the following night is to be (as they say) the end of my torments and of my life. My soul is well pleased with these words, but not yet was my God,—he willed to prolong my martyrdom. Those Barbarians reconsidered the matter, exclaiming that life ought to be spared to the Frenchmen, or rather, their death postponed. They thought to find more moderation at our forts, on account of us. They accordingly sent Guillaume Cousture into the largest village, and René Goupil and I were lodged together in another. Knife being granted us, they [82] did us no more alarm. But alas! it was then that we felt at leisure the torments which had been inflicted on us. They gave us for beds the bark of trees, flat on the ground; and for refreshment they gave us a little Indian meal, and sometimes a bit of squash, half raw. Our- ands and fingers being all in pieces, they had to feed s like children. Patience was our Physician. Some women, more merciful, regarded us with much charity and were unable to look at our sores without Compassion." [page 51]



HEN those poor captives had recovered a little of their strength, the principal men of the country talked of conducting them back to Three Rivers, in order to restore them to the French; the affair made so much progress that it was considered [83] as settled. But, as their captors could not agree, the Father and his companions endured. more than ever, the pangs of death. Those Barbarians are accustomed to give prisoners, whom they do not choose to put to death, to the families who have lost some of their relatives in war. These prisoners take the place of the deceased, and are incorporated into that family, which alone has the right to kill them, or to let them live. The others would not dare to offend them; but when they retain some public prisoner, like the Father, without giving him to any individual, this poor man is every day within two finger-lengths of death. If some rascal beat him to death, no one will trouble himself about it, if he drag out his poor life, it is by favor of some individuals who have love for him. In such condition was the Father, and one of the Frenchmen; for the other had been given to take the place of a Hiroquois killed in war.

The young Frenchman who was the Father's [page 53] companion was accustomed to caress the little children, and to teach them to make the sign of the Cross. An old man, having seen him make this sacred sign upon the forehead [84] of his grandson, and that he took the child's hand in order to teach him to form it said to a nephew of his: " Go and kill that dog: the Dutch tell us that what he does is of no account; that act will cause some harm to my grandson." The nephew obeyed, as soon as possible; when he, accordingly, sought the opportunity to commit this murder outside the village, it presented itself thus: Father Jogues—having learned that their purpose to release the French was set aside, and that, in consequence, some young men had come to seek him even in his cabin, in order to torment him and to treat him as a victim destined to death—wished to forewarn and strengthen his poor companion. He leads him to a grove near the village, and explains to him the dangers in which they stood. They both offer prayers, and then recite the rosary of the Blessed Virgin; in a word, they cheerfully prepaid themselves for death, encouraged by strength from him who never fails those who seek and love him. While they were returning toward their village, talking of the blessings of the other life, the nephew of that old man, and another Savage, armed with hatchets and watching for an opportunity, go to meet them. [85] Having approached them, one of these men says to the Father, " March forward; " and at the same time he breaks the head of poor René Goupil, who, on falling and expiring, pronounced the Holy Name of Jesus. The Father, seeing him prostrate, falls upon him and embraces him; those Barbarians draw him away, and deal two more blows [page 55] with the hatchet on that blessed body. " Give me a moment's time," the Father said to them, supposing that they would accord him the same favor as to his companion. He then falls on his knees, he offers himself in sacrifice to the divinity; then, turning toward those Barbarians, " Do," he said to them, " what you please; I fear not death." " Get up," they reply; " thou wilt not die this time." They drag the dead man through the streets of the village, and then go and throw him into a very sequestered place. The Father, wishing to render him the last duties, seeks him everywhere; some children having informed him, he finds the corpse in a brook, and covers it with great stones in order to protect it from the claws and beaks of the birds, until he might come to bury it. But it rained all the following night, and this torrent became so violent and so deep that he could not find that blessed body. This death occurred on the [86] twenty-ninth of September, in the year 1642.

The following Spring, some children reporting that they had seen the Frenchman in a brook, the Father betakes himself thither without saying a word, withdraws those sacred remains, kisses them with respect, and hides them in the hollow of a tree, in order to remove them with himself, if it so happen that they would set him at liberty. He did not yet know the cause of his companion's death; but the old man who had caused him to be slain having invited him, some days later, to his cabin, and giving him food, when the Father came to offer the blessing and express the sign of the Cross, that Barbarian said to him: " Do not do that; the Dutch tell us that that act is of no account. Know that I have [page 57] had thy companion killed for having made it upon my grandson; the like Shrill be done to thee, if thou Continue.'' The Father answered him that this sign was adorable; that it could not do anything but good to those who should use it; that he had no intention of giving it up. That man dissimulated, for the time, and the Father employed no reserve in this devotion,—asking nothing better than to die for having expressed the mark and sign of the Christian; [87] but let us resume the sequence of our discourse.

That young man. or that blessed martyr, being thus slain, the Father returns to his cabin; his people apply their hands to his breast, in order to feel whether fear did not agitate his heart. Having found it steady, they said to him: " Do not again leave the village, unless thou art accompanied by some one of us; they intend to beat thee to death; look out for thyself." He knew very well that they were seeking his life; a Huron, who had given him some shoes out of compassion, came to ask them of him again,—"Because," he said to him, "soon thou wilt have no more use for them, and another would use them." The Father gave them back to him, understanding very well what he meant to tell him.

Some time after, a young Hiroquois, wishing to kill him, came to find him in his cabin, and said to him: " Come with me to the next village." The Father, knowing by his bearing that he had some evil design in mind, said to him: " I am not my own master; if those to whom I belong, or who keep me send me, I will accompany thee." That wretch had nothing to answer; he went out and proceeded to communicate his intention to a good old man, who forbade him [88] that base enterprise,—warning the [page 59] Father and the Father's guards never to let him go out without good company.

As the Winter cold was beginning to make itself felt, another Barbarian asked the Father for the greater part of a piece of castelogne,{8} which served him as gown, mattress, and blanket. " I would gladly give it to thee," the Father answers him, " but it is already so short that it shelters only the half of my body; if thou cut off even a little, thou wilt reduce me to a nakedness unseemly in the sight of every one." That wicked man, who considered it a great slight to be denied, in anything whatsoever, by a dog,—this rank he assigned to the Father,—took the resolution to put him to death. He sends his brother to entice him out of his cabin and of the village; but not having been able to accomplish this, he himself goes in, speaks secretly to the Father's guard, and goes away. The next morning, this guard, being perhaps frightened by that insolent man, sends the Father to the fields with two women. Hardly have they left the village, when these two women flee, leaving the Father all alone at the mercy [89] of the wolves who were to devour him; and the murderer of the good René immediately appeared, hatchet in hand. The Father,—who saw all this game, and who had left the cabin through obedience,—strongly suspecting that he was on his way to death, looks at this man with assurance, and at the same time inclines his heart to God. Strange thing! that furious one becomes quiet; his strength and his weapons fall from his hands; he returns, as if astonished and terrified, without saying any word to the Father. In brief, this good Father was every day like the bird on the branch; his life held only by a [page 61] thread, and it seemed to him at every moment that some one was about to cut it; but he who held the end of it was not willing to let it go so soon. Some time after the death of his companion, God communicated to him in his sleep, as he did of old to those old Patriarchs, what I am about to relate. He himself has set it down in writing, with his own hand: he tells it thus in the Latin tongue, translated into our French. "After the death of my dearest companion, of happy memory, when they were seeking me every day for my death, and [90] when my soul was filled with anguish, what I am about to tell happened to me in my sleep."

Egressus eram à Pago nostro solito meo more ut tibi Deo meo liberius gemerem, these are his first words,—"I had gone forth from our village in my usual manner, in order to groan more freely before you, O my God; in order to offer to you my prayer, and to lift the sluice, in your presence, of my distresses and my complaints. At my return, I found all things new: those great stakes which surrounded our village appeared to me changed into towers, bulwarks, and walls of an illustrious beauty; so that, however, I saw nothing which was newly built, but indeed a city highly venerable for its antiquity. Doubting if it were our village, I saw some Hiroquois come out, with whom I was very well acquainted, who seemed to assure me that in truth it was our village. Filled with astonishment, I approached that City; having passed the first gate, I saw these two letters, L. N., engraved in large characters upon the right column of the second gate, and next a little lamb, slaughtered. I was surprised. [91] being unable to conceive [page 63] how Barbarians who have no knowledge of our letters could have engraved those characters; and, while I was seeking the explanation of it in my own mind, I saw overhead, in a roll, these three words written, Laudent nomen ejus. At the same time, I received a great light in the depth of my soul, which caused me to see that rightly were they praising the name of the lamb, who in their distresses and tribulations were striving to imitate the gentleness of him who, like a lamb, had said no word to those who, having robbed him of his fleece, were leading him to death.

"This sight having given me courage, I enter the second gate, built of great stones, hewn in every fashion, which made a great portico or entrance, enriched with an admirable vault. Continuing my way, I perceived about the middle of this portico a guard-house, well filled with arms of every pattern, without seeing any soldier; I made them a deep obeisance, remembering that one owed them this respect. While I was saluting them, a sentinel, stationed toward the place whither I was proceeding, exclaimed, ' Halt there.' [92] Now—whether I had my face turned in another direction, or whether the beauty of the things which I beheld strongly occupied my mind—I neither saw nor heard anything. The sentinel repeats, the second time, crying more loudly, 'Halt there;' and I stop quite short. ' How?' said this soldier to me, ' is that the way you obey the voice of him who is on guard before the royal Palace 2 Was it then necessary to call to you twice, " Halt there? " Come, be quick; appear before our Judge and our Captain.' I heard these two words, ' Judge ' and ' Captain.' ' Enter,' he said to me, ' through this gate, in order to receive the punishment of your [page 65] temerity.' ' I assure you, O my dear friend,' I answered him, ' that I neither saw nor heard you; ' but he hurried me away without receiving my excuses. The gate of the Palace before which he was on duty was a little below the guard-house of which I have just spoken. This place appeared to me at first like those gilded chambers in which Justice is dispensed in Europe; or like those beautiful places which one still sees in some old Monasteries, where formerly the Ecclesiastics held their Chapter. In this most delightful Hall or Palace, I [93] saw an old man, full of majesty, like to the Ancient of days; he was covered with a magnificent scarlet robe, of extreme beauty; he was not seated on his Throne, but was quietly walking about, rendering Justice to his people, from whom he was separated by high railings. I saw at the gate of this Palace many persons, of all sorts of conditions. The soldier who had conducted me having spoken, my Judge, without hearing me, draws a switch or rod from a bundle like those which were formerly borne before the Roman Consuls; he struck me long and severely with that switch, on the shoulders, neck, and head,—and, although only a single hand struck me, I felt as much pain as I experienced at my entrance into the first village of the Hiroquois, when all the youth of the country, being armed with sticks, treated us with unequaled cruelty. Never did I utter any complaint, never did I utter any groan under those blows; I suffered with pain all that was applied to me, finding patience in view of my own baseness. Finally, as if my Judge had admired [94] my patience, he laid down the rod, and, falling on my neck, embraced me; and, in banishing my griefs, he filled me with a consolation wholly divine and entirely inexplicable. Overflowing [page 67] with that celestial joy, I kissed the hand which had struck me; and, feeling myself fall as it were into an ecstasy, I exclaimed: Virga tua, domine mi rex, et baculus tuus, ipsa me consolata sunt,—'Your rod, O my Lord and my King, and your staff have comforted me.' That done, he conducts me back, and leaves me at the threshold of the door.

"Having returned to myself, I could not doubt that God had wrought wonders in my soul,—not only because of the connection which these things had among themselves, but especially because of the great fire of love which my Judge had kindled in the depth of my heart, the remembrance of which alone, several months later, drew from me tears of the sweetest consolation.

The belief also that my death was delayed, was several times impressed upon me in my sleep,—it seeming to me that I was following my dearest companion, received into blessedness, and was running after him in ways and byways which deprived me from seeing him. At other times, in pursuing him I came across [95] superb temples, into which I entered, attracted by their beauty; and, while I was offering prayers, and the sweetness of the voices which I heard in those great buildings was charming me, I would console myself in his absence; but, as soon as I left those delights, I returned to the desire of following him." All this is taken, almost word for word, from the memoir of that good Father,—who, at the time, did not understand that those blows which were dealt on his head by his Judge denoted his return into that country, where he was to find the entrance to the Holy Zion by a blow from a hatchet, which has lodged him with his dear companion. [page 69]



HEY gave this poor Father to some families, to serve them as a menial in their hunts; he follows them at the approach of Winter and makes thirty leagues with them, serving them through two months, as a [96] slave. All his clothes sheltered him no more than would a shirt and a sorry pair of drawers; his stockings and his shoes made like tennis slippers, and of a leather just as thin, without any soles.—in a word, he was all in rags. The sharp reeds and briars, the stones and pebbles, the thickets through which he had to pass, cut his legs and tore his feet. As they did not account him fit for hunting, they gave him a woman's occupation,—that is, to cut and bring the wood to keep up the cabin fire. The chase beginning to furnish supplies, he could to some extent repair his strength,—meat not being stinted to him; but when he saw that they were offering to the Demon of the chase all that they took, he told them plainly that he would never eat of flesh sacrificed to the devil. He therefore contented himself with a little very thin sagamité—that is to say, with a little Indian meal boiled in water; and even then he had it but seldom, because, gorged with meat, they despised their dry cornmeal.

He secretly confessed to one of our Fathers that [page 71] God tried him exceedingly [97] in that journey, and that he saw himself a long time without other support than Faith alone; his desolation was so great, and the sight of his miseries appeared to him so frightful that he knew not in what direction to turn. He had recourse to prayer; he would go to the woods as soon as it was morning, bringing back even more wood than was needed to keep up the fire which burns day and night in their cabins. His task done, he withdrew alone upon a hill covered with spruce trees; and there he spent eight or ten hours in prayer, without other conversation than that with God,—remaining most of the time upon his knees on the snow, before a Cross which he had himself set up. He continued these exercises during forty days, without house, without fire. without other shelter than the Sky and the woods, and a miserable scrap of I know not what, almost as transparent as the air. Those of his cabin, having perceived his retreat, espied him; and, supposing that he was there preparing some spells in order to make men die, they tormented him from time to time, playing upon him a thousand tricks. One would present his bow, pretending that he was about to let fly his arrows upon him; another would approach him, hatchet in hand, telling him that he would strike him dead if he did not [98] desist from his charms. They broke up the Cross which served him as oratory, but he engraved another on wood; they sometimes felled trees near him, in order to frighten him. Returning at evening to the cabin, he carried another great burden of wood; but, for all recompense, they cast reproaches at him that he was a wizard; that his prayers were sorceries, which prevented the success of their hunting. [page 73] In fine, they regarded him as an abomination,—even to the degree that whatever he touched was, as it were, polluted and contaminated among them, so that he might not use any of the articles in the cabin. He had his thighs and legs cracked and split by the rigor of the cold, not having wherewith to cover himself.

He had, in this retreat, some communications with God which I will faithful translate from the Latin of his memoir.

"It seemed to me," he says, " on a certain day, that I happened to be in the assembly of several of our Fathers, whose virtue I had honored while they were in the world. I recognized only three of them distinctly,—Father Jacques Bertric, Father Estienne Binet, and Father Pierre Coton.{4} I knew some more clearly than others, according as I [99] had more or less intercourse with them in Europe. I begged them, with all the strength of my heart, to commend me to the Cross, to the end that it might receive me as disciple of him who had been fastened between its arms. I adduced an argument which had never come into my mind, even while I was offering prayers or meditations at the Cross,—I alleged that I was a fellow-citizen of the Cross, since I had been born in a City whose principal and Metropolitan Church was dedicated to the Holy Cross.

"While still in that same retreat, I found myself all at once in the shop of a Bookseller, stationed in the Holy Cross Cloister, in the city where I had my birth. I asked him if he had not some Book of piety and edification; he answered me that he had one, on which he placed great value. At the same time when it was put in my hands, I heard this voice: ' This Book contains Illustres pietate viros et fortia bello [page 75] pectora,—the acts and deeds of men Illustrious in piety and of hearts brave in war.' These are the very words which I heard, which stamped this truth upon my soul, that we [100] must enter into the Kingdom of Heaven through many tribulations. Now, as was leaving that shop, I saw it all covered with Crosses.—insomuch that I told the master of the house that I would return to buy some, and that I wished to have some; I saw them of all patterns and ill great number." This good Father lived only by the Cross, he meditated only on the Cross, he dreamed of nothing but the Cross, his mind was enlightened by the Cross; he made loving Litanies upon it, which were found, after his death, on scraps of paper, whereon he had also written some words in the Hiroquois language.

In that same solitude, where those Barbarians were tormenting him beyond measure, Our Lord, as I have already remarked, cast him into the utmost desolation, and then consoled him in this way. Let us hear him speak.

"The snows being already deep, I found myself half dead in hunger, in cold, and in nakedness; I was the mud and the mire of those Barbarians, the shame and the sport of men. I suffered mortal anguish in my soul at the sight of the omissions and sins of my past life; the pains of the death which I was to [101] expect, in a little while, at the hands of those Barbarians, as they told me; and the perils of Hell that surrounded me on all sides. I distinctly heard a voice which condemned the pusillanimity of my heart, and which gave me warning, sentirem de Deo In bonitate, that I should fix my thoughts upon the goodness of my God, and cast myself entirely [page 77] upon his bosom. I heard these other words, which I believed were from saint Bernard,{5} Servite Domino in illa charitate quæ foras mittit timorem; meritum non intuetur,—'Serve God in the charity and love which expels fear; he does not turn his eyes upon our merits, but upon his own goodness.' These admonitions were given to me very opportunely, for I felt that truly I was not in a loving and filial fear, but in a servile dejection. I had not sufficient constancy; and, instead of groaning for my offenses, committed against God, I was grieved to see myself removed from the midst of life and led away to Judgment, without having sent before me any good works. Now these words changed me in a moment; they banished my vexations, and threw me into a fire of love so vehement that, before having [102] returned to myself, I pronounced with great impetuosity these words of saint Bernard: Non immerito vitam ille sibi vindicat nostram, qui pro nobis dedit et suam,—'Not without reason does he ask our life, who has given up his own for us.' Finally, God so greatly enlarged the soul of his poor servant, that I returned full of joy to our village,—at the entrance to which, as I believed, they were to beat me to death."

Having learned that some old men wished to return to their village, this poor Father asked permission to accompany them; they send him without tinder, without shoes, and amid the snows of the month of December; and, after all that, they command him to carry on this march of 30 leagues a bundle of smoked meat, which would have served as burden to a stout porter. He had no answer to make; all the Savages are like carriers or packhorses. Steadfast charity and patience beget strength where there is [page 79] none. There happened to be on this journey a pregnant woman, who also carried a heavy burden and a little child. As they came to cross a small stream, very deep and very swift, [103] and which had no other bridge than a tree thrown across, this woman, swayed I)y her burden, fell into the torrent. The Father, w ho was following her,—seeing that the rope about her bundle had slipped to her neck, and that this burden was dragging her to the bottom,—plunges into the water, overtakes her by swimming, disengages her from her burden, and takes her to the shore, saving her life and that of her little child, which he baptized at once, seeing it very ill; in fact, it took its flight, two days later, to Paradise. I leave you to think whether the cold made itself felt by that poor worn-out body. The fire which was made for that revived woman preserved their lives, which they would have lost without this help.

Having arrived at the village, he had no leisure to refresh and rest himself,—they command him to carry a great sack full of corn to those hunters. This burden astounds him; theist throw it on his shoulders, but he does not go far,—his weakness and the sleet, which caused him to fall at each step, make him turn back. Those who had sent him, seeing him return, overwhelmed him with insults,—calling him a dog, a misshapen fellow, who knew nothing but to eat. Then, by way of punishment, they put him in the cabin of a man who is all putrid through a loathsome and [104] vile disease,—a cruel man, who had torn out his nails at his entrance into the country; and is-ho. moreover, in his filthiness, had no other corn fort than a little corn boiled in water. The Father serves him as a menial during fifteen days, with an [page 81] iron patience and a charity wholly of gold. Finally, those of his cabin, having returned from the hunt, called him back; a young woman and a young girl offered themselves to him to serve him in the manner of the country, showing him much compassion. When he saw them alone, the men being still absent, he thanked them,—or, rather, he rebuked them, all the more severely because he perceived that a young Hiroquois was associating with them too wantonly. This licentiousness, which he could not remedy, was more painful to him than his own past sufferings; it is not credible how present God is to those w ho suffer for his name.

He visited during all the Winter, at the peril of his life, the three villages of the Hiroquois named Agneronons, in order to console the captive Hurons, and to animate and encourage them to remain firm in the Faith,—administering to them, from time to time, the Sacrament of penance. The mother of his [105] guard, or host,—whom he called " his aunt,"—began to admire and respect his virtues; she gave him a deerskin to lie down on, and another with which to cover himself. They had a neighbor, all covered with wounds: this man was among the number of those who had treated the Father with most rage and cruelty. When he saw this man in such extremity, he visited him often, consoling him in his disease, and went to gather small fruits with which to refresh him. This charity won for him affection, and increased the respect which his people entertained for him.

His aunt took him to the fishing, about the month of March; his occupation was the same as while hunting,—he furnished the firewood for his cabin; but [page 83] they treated him with more mildness. This retreat outside the villages and tumult of the Hiroquois was very acceptable to him; he made a little cabin of fir branches, in the form of a chapel, where he erected a Cross. This Church was all his consolation,—he spent in it the greater part of the day in prayers without being molested by any one; but this repose was not of long duration. An old man, seeing that his kinsman [106] did not return from the war, supposed that he had been killed; and, in order to comfort or honor that man's soul, he wished to sacrifice to it the Father's. Accordingly, knowing that he was at several days' distance from the village, he sends a young man to warn those fishermen that the enemy had been seen prowling about in that quarter. It required nothing more to inspire fear in them, and to make them return very quickly to their village. Happily for the Father, at the very time when he was entering the gates, a messenger arrived, who brought news that that warrior and his comrades about whom they were anxious were returning victorious, bringing twenty Abnaquiois prisoners, six months after their departure from the country. Behold them all joyful; they leave the poor Father; they burn, they flay, they roast, they eat those poor victims, with public rejoicings. I suppose that the Demons do something similar in Hell, at the sight of souls condemned to their braziers.

From the month of August till the end of March, the Father was every day in the pains and terrors of [107] death. A lesser courage had died a hundred times, from apprehension. It is easier to die all at once than to die a hundred times. Toward the end of April, a Savage Captain from the country of the [page 85] Sokokiois appeared in the land of the Hiroquois, laden with presents, which he came to offer for the ransom and deliverance of a Frenchman named Ondesson,—thus the Hurons and Hiroquois named Father Jogues. This man related that one of his fellow-countrymen, a man of note, having fallen into the hands of the Algonquins, had been very badly treated; but that Onontio and the French had made great gifts to redeem him, and had saved his life; and thereupon he drew forth some letters from the Captain of the French, to be delivered to Ondesson. This embassy gave some credit to the Father, and caused him to be regarded for a short time with more compassionate eyes; but those Barbarians, having accepted the gifts, nevertheless did not set him at liberty,—violating the law of nations, and the law accepted among all these tribes.

This new benevolence did not prevent a madman from almost beating to death this poor Father; this man entered with fury into his cabin, [108] and gave him two heavy blows with a war-club on the head, prostrating him half dead; and if some persons had not hindered him, he would have taken the Father's life. Nothing else happened, except that his poor aunt began to weep; and, from that time, she warned him secretly of the evil designs which were brewed against him, urging him to escape and to extricate himself from that harsh captivity. I will say, in passing, that these madmen—of whom there is a great number in that country, and in many other regions of America—are rather agitated, and, as it were, possessed, by some Demon, who causes in them this fury from time to time, than injured in the brain by any natural disease. [page 87]

In the months of May and June, the Father wrote several letters, by warriors who were coming to hunt men upon the great stream of Saint Lawrence; he told them that they should fasten these letters to some poles on the banks of that great river. Be this as it may, one of them was delivered to Monsieur our Governor, on the occasion which we have described in chapter 12 of the relation for the year 1642, where the copy of that letter is written at full length.

[109] About that time,—some Hiroquois Captains going to visit some small nations which are, as it were, tributary to them, in order to get some presents,—that man who had the Father in custody, being of the party, led him in his train; his design was to display the triumphs of the Hiroquois over even the nations which are in Europe. God was intending to save some soul by the means of his servant, who did not fail, as soon as he had entered into any village, to visit all the cabins and to baptize the dying children,—and, even further, fully adult persons, when he had the means to instruct them. Going, then, from cabin to cabin, he perceived a young man who was very ill; the latter, turning to the Father, said to him, " Ondesson,"—calling him by the Savage name which he bore in those regions,—"dost thou not know me? Dost thou remember well the favor that I did thee at thy entrance into the country of the Hiroquois?" " I do not remember having ever seen thee," said the Father to him; " but, then, what favor didst thou do me?" " Dost thou indeed remember,' he replies, " a man who cut the bonds, in the third village of the Agneronon Hiroquois, when thou wert at the end of thy strength?" [110] " I remember it very well; that man greatly obliged [page 89] me. I have never been able to thank him; give me, I beg thee, some news of him, if thou art acquainted with him." " It was I myself," answers this poor invalid. At these words the Father falls upon him and embraces him,—showing him with heart, eyes, and voice the grateful emotions which he felt for such a benefit. " Ah! how sad I am," he said to him, " to see thee in this pitiful state; what regrets I feel, to be unable to help thee in thy sickness! I have often, without being acquainted with thee, prayed for thee to the great master of our lives. Thou seest me in great poverty; but, nevertheless, I will do thee a favor greater than that which thou didst to me." The sick man listens; the Father announces to him the gospel of Jesus Christ; he makes him understand that he can enter a life of pleasure and glory; in a word, he instructs him. The sick man believes, and gives indications of his belief; the Father baptizes him; and shortly after, he took his Sight to Heaven, rewarded more than a hundredfold for the compassion which he had extended to the servant of Jesus Christ.

The Father's fatigues in that journey of more than eighty leagues were fully soothed and rewarded by the [111] salvation of his Benefactor. There was never Anchorite more abstemious than this poor captive on that journey; his living was only a little wild purslane which he went to gather in the fields, with which he made a soup without other seasoning than clear water. They gave him, indeed, certain seeds to eat,—but so insipid and so dangerous that they served as a very quick poison to those who knew not how to prepare them; and he would not touch them. [page 91]




PON the return from this journey, they command the Father to go and accompany some fishermen, who conducted him 7 or 8 leagues below a Dutch settlement. While he was engaged in that exercise, he learned frown the lips of some [112] Hiroquois who came to that quarter that they were awaiting him in the village to burn him. This news was the occasion of his deliverance, of which,— having sufficiently mentioned it in the Relation for the year 1642 and 1643, chapter 14,—I will relate here only some particulars of which there has been but little if any mention. The Dutch having given him the opportunity to enter a ship, the Hiroquois complained of it;—he was withdrawn thence and conducted to the house of the Captain, who gave him in custody to an old man, until they should have appeased those Barbarians. In a word, if they had persevered in their demand, and rejected some presents that were made to them, the Father would have been given up into their hands, to be the object of their fury and food for their lyres. Now, while they were awaiting the opportunity to send him back to Europe, he remained six weeks under the guard of that old [page 93] man, who was very miserly, and lodged him in an old garret,—where hunger, and thirst, and heat, and the fear at every moment of falling back into the hands of the Hiroquois, gave him excellent reason to cast and submerge himself within the providence of him who had so often caused him to realize his presence. [113] This man was the sutler of that settlement; he made lye every fortnight, then carried back his tub to the garret, in which he put water which served the Father for drink until the next lye-making. This water, which soon spoiled in the Summer heat, caused him a severe pain in the stomach. They gave him to eat as much as was necessary, not to live, but not to die. God alone, and his Saints, were his company. The Minister visited him sometimes, and bethinking himself one day to ask him how they treated him,—for never would this good Father have mentioned it, if he had not been spoken to about the matter,—he answered that they brought him very few things. " I suspect as much, " the Minister answers, " for that old man is a great miser, who no doubt retains most of the provisions that are sent to you." The Father assured him that he was content, and that his sufferings had long since been acceptable to him. In this garret where the Father was, there was a recess to which his Guard continually led Hiroquois Savages, in order to sell some produce which he locked up there: this recess was made of planks so [114] slightly joined that one might easily have passed his fingers into the openings. " I am astonished," says the Father, " that those Barbarians did not hundreds of times discover me; I saw them without difficulty; and unless God had turned away their eyes, they would have [page 95] perceived me a thousand times. I concealed myself behind casks, bending myself into a constrained posture which gave me gehenna and torture two, three, or four hours in succession? and that very often. To go down to the court of the dwelling, or to go to other places, was casting myself headlong; for every place was filled with those who were seeking me to death. Besides, to increase my blessings,—that is to say, my crosses,—the wound which a dog had inflicted upon me, the night that I escaped from the Hiroquois, caused me so great a pain that, if the Surgeon of that settlement had not put his hand to it, I would have lost not only the leg, but life; for gangrene was already setting in.

"The Captain of the principal settlement, called Manate, distant sixty leagues from the one where I was, having learned that I was not overmuch at my ease in that vicinity of the Hiroquois,—or Maquois, as the Dutch name them,—commanded [115] that I be taken to his fort. By good fortune, at the same time when they received his letters a vessel was to go down, in which they made me embark in company with a Minister, who showed me much kindness. He was supplied with a number of bottles, which he dealt out lavishly,—especially on coming to an Island, to which he wished that my name should be given with the noise of the cannon and of the bottles; each one manifests his love in his own fashion." This good Father was received in Manate with great tokens of affection; the Captain had a black coat made for him, sufficiently light, and gave him also a good cloak and a hat in their own style. The inhabitants came to see him, showing, by their looks and their words, that they felt great sympathy for him. Some asked [page 97] him what recompense the Gentlemen of New France would give him,—imagining that he had suffered those indignities on account of their trade. But he gave them to understand that worldly thoughts had not caused him to leave his own country; and that the publication of the Gospel was the sole good that he had had in view when casting himself into the dangers [116] into which he had fallen. A good lad, having met him in a retired place, fell at his feet,—taking his hands to kiss them, and exclaiming, "Martyr, Martyr of Jesus Christ! " He questioned him, and ascertained that he was a Lutheran, whom he could not aid for want of acquaintance with his language; he was a Pole.

Entering a house quite near the fort, he saw two images on the mantelpiece,—one, of the blessed Virgin; the other, of our Blessed Louys de Gonzage. When he betokened some satisfaction at this, the master of the house told him that his wife was a catholic. She was a Portuguese, brought into that country by I know not what chance; she appeared very modest and bashful. The arrogance of Babel has done much harm to all men; the confusion of tongues has deprived them of great benefits. An Irish Catholic, arriving at Manate from Virginia, confessed to the Father and told him that there were some of our Fathers in those regions; and that latterly one of them—following the Savages into the woods in order to convert them—had been killed by other Savages, enemies of those whom the Father accompanied. Finally, the Governor of the country, sending [117] a bark of one hundred tons to Holland, sent the Father back, at the beginning of the month of November. He suffered much in that [page 99] voyage; his bed was the deck, or a pile of cordage, very often washed by the waves of the sea. The scanty provisions and the severe cold did not agree with a man rather lightly covered, and who had so long fasted among Barbarians.

They anchored in a port of England, toward the end of December; the Mariners wishing to refresh themselves a little, all went away to a village, leaving the Father with a sailor to guard the bark. Toward evening, some robbers arrive in a boat: they enter this bark, which they believe to be laden with great riches because of just coming from a long voyage. They present a pistol at the Father; but, having recognized that he was French, they did him no other harm than to rob him of everything that he had,—that is to say, his cloak and his hat, with all the baggage of those poor Hollanders. The man who commanded that bark, being notified of this robbery, was indeed astounded; while he came and went, seeking everywhere the authors of [118] this crime, the Father met a French vessel, which gave him the means to live until he had found the means to cross over to France.

On Christmas eve he embarked, like a poor man, in I know not what boat or little bark laden with mineral coal, which landed him the next day on the coast of lower Brittany. The poor Father, having perceived a little house all by itself, went to ask those who inhabited it, where the Church was. These good people showed him the way; and, supposing by his modesty that he was some poor Irish catholic, they invited him to come and take his repast in their dwelling, when he should have accomplished his devotions,—which he accepted very willingly, on account of the great necessity to which he was [page 101] reduced. He therefore proceeded to the house of Our Lord, the day of his nativity on the earth. But, alas ! who could express the sweet consolations of his soul, when, after having been so long with Barbarians, and consorted with Heretics, he saw himself with the children of the true Church? " It seemed to me," he said, " that from that time I was beginning to live again; it was then that I tasted the sweetness of [119] my deliverance." Having confessed and received communion, and been present at the Blessed Sacrifice of the Mass, he went to visit those who had so charitably invited him; they were poor people, but endowed with a charity truly Christian. Having seen his hands all torn, and learning how he had suffered that martyrdom, they knew not what welcome to give him. This good host had two young daughters who presented to the Father their alms with so much humility and modesty, that the Father was greatly edified thereby. I suppose that they gave him each two or three sots,—it was possibly their entire treasure; but he had no need of their riches. An honest Merchant of Rennes, happening to be in that house,—not by chance, but by a providence which leads everything to its issue,—having learned the Father's history, offered him a horse, assuring him that he would account it a favor to escort him as far as the first of our houses. This offer, so courteous, was accepted with deep emotion at the goodness of God, and a sweet gratitude toward his benefactor.

Finally, on the fifth of January in the year 1644, in the morning, he was knocking at the door of [120] our College at Rennes. The porter seeing him in such plight, clad in garments so incongruous, did not [page 103] recognize him. The Father besought him to bring the Father Rector, that he might impart to him, he said, some news from Canada. The Father Rector was putting on the Sacerdotal vestments, in order to go and celebrate holy Mass; but the porter having told him that a poor mall, come from Canada, was asking for him, that word " poor" touched him. " Perhaps,'' he said to himself, " he is in haste; and he may be in need." He then lays aside the sacred vestments with which he was partly robed, in order to perform an act of charity. He goes to find him; the Father, without revealing his identity, offers him letters signed by the Governor of the Dutch; before reading these, he puts various questions to the Father, without recognizing him; and then, at last, he asks him if he were indeed acquainted with Father Isaac Jogues. " I know him very well," he answers, "we have had word that he was taken by the Hiroquois; is he dead ? is he still captive ? Have not those Barbarians slain him ? " " He is at liberty, and it is he, my Reverend Father, who speaks to you; " and thereupon he falls upon his knees to receive his blessing. The Father Rector, overcome [121] with an unaccustomed joy, embraces him, and has him enter the house; every one hastens thither; the joy and consolation of a deliverance so little expected interrupt their words. In fine, they regard him as a Lazarus raised from the dead,—who is destined to go and die for the last time in the country where he has already suffered so many deaths.

From Rennes he comes to Paris; the Queen having heard mention of his sufferings, says aloud: "Romances are feigned; but here is a genuine combination of great adventures." She wished to see [page 105] him; her eyes were touched with compassion at the sight of the cruelty of the Hiroquois. He made no long sojourn in France; the Spring of the year 1644 having come, he betook himself to la Rochelle in order to cross back to the country of his martyrdom,—where, having arrived, he was sent to Montreal. His memory is still living there; the odor of his virtues still refreshes and comforts all those who have had the happiness to know him and converse with him. Peace being made with the Hiroquois, as has been seen in the Relations, the Father was taken from Montreal, in order to go and lay the foundations of a Mission in their country, which was named "the Mission of the martyrs." The Reverend Father Jerosme Lalemant, [122] Superior of our Missions, having written to him again, notice how he answered him.

"The letter which it has pleased Your Reverence to write me, has found me in the retreat and the exercises which I had begun at the departure of the canoe which carries our letters. I have taken this time because the Savages, being at the chase, allow us to enjoy a greater silence. Would you believe that, on opening the letters from your Reverence, my heart was, as it were, seized with dread at the beginning ? apprehending lest what I desire, and what my spirit should most prize, might happen. Poor nature, which remembered the past, trembled; but our Lord, through his goodness, has calmed it and will calm it still further. Yes, my Father, I desire all that our Lord desires, at the peril of a thousand lives. Oh, what sorrow I would have, to fail at so excellent an opportunity ! Could I endure that it should depend on me that some soul were not saved [page 107] I hope that his goodness, which has not forsaken me on [past] occasions, drill assist me still; he and I are able to trample down all the difficulties which might oppose themselves. It is much to be in Medio nationis [123] pravæ, to be all alone in the midst of a depraved nation without Mass, without Sacrifice, without Confession, without Sacraments; but his holy will and his sweet command are well worth that. He who has preserved us without these helps, by his holy grace, the space of eighteen or twenty months, will not refuse us the same favor,—us who do not intrude ourselves, and who undertake this journey only to please him alone, against all the inclinations of nature. He who shall go with me must be good, virtuous, qualified for leadership, courageous, and willing to endure something for God. It would be expedient that he should be able to make canoes, so that we may go and come independently of the Savages. "

On the sixteenth of May, 1646, this good Father left three rivers, in company with Sieur Bourdon, the engineer of Monsieur the Governor. His journey having been described in the preceding Relation, I will not speak of it further: Sieur Bourdon has told me that this good Father was indefatigable; that they suffered extremely on that road of iron. In short, they arrived [124] at three rivers,—having accomplished their embassy,—on the day of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, the 29th of the month of June. [page 109]



ARDLY had the poor Father been refreshed among us two or three months, w hen he recommenced his expeditions; on the twenty-fourth of September in the same year, 1646, he embarks with a young Frenchman, in a canoe conducted by some Hurons, in order to return to the land of his crosses. He had strong premonitions of his death, which he communicated to some persons in confidence. spite have recovered a letter which he wrote to one of our Fathers in France, a little before he left us for the last time; Wherein he speaks as follows.

"Alas! my very dear Father, when shall I begin to serve and love him who has never begun to love us; and [125] When shall I begin to give myself utterly to him who has given himself to me without reserve? Although I am worthless in the extreme, and though I have made a bad use of the graces which our Lord has shown me in this country, I do not lose courage, since he takes care to render me better,—still furnishing me With new opportunities for dying to myself and uniting myself inseparably to him. The Hiroquois have come to make some present to our Governor, in order to redeem certain prisoners whom he had, and to treat for peace with him in the [page 111] name of the whole country. It has been concluded, to the great satisfaction of the French; it will last as long as our Lord shall please. It is judged necessary here, in order to maintain it, and to ascertain quietly what can be done for the instruction of those tribes, to send thither some Father. I have reason to believe that I shall be employed therein, as I have some knowledge of the language of the country; you see well how I have need of efficient aid from prayers while in the midst of those Barbarians. It will be necessary to dwell among them almost without having liberty to pray,—without Mass, and without Sacraments. I must be responsible for [126] all the accidents between the Hiroquois, French, Algonquins, and Hurons. But what of that? my hope is in God, who has no need of us for the execution of his designs. It is for us to try to be faithful to him, and not to spoil his work by our own baseness. I hope that you will obtain for me this favor from our Lord; and that, after having led so slothful a life hitherto, I shall begin to serve him better. My heart tells me that, if I have the blessing of being employed in this Mission, Ibo et non redibo; but I would be happy if our Lord were willing to finish the Sacrifice where he has begun it, and if the little blood which I have shed in that land were as the pledge of that which I would give him from all the veins of my body and my heart. In fine, that people sponsus mihi sanguinum est; hunc mihi despondi sanguine meo. our good master who has acquired it by his blood, opens to it, if he pleases, the door of his Gospel,—as also to four other nations, its allies, who are near to it. Adieu, my dear Father; entreat him that he unite me inseparably to himself." [page 113]

But he was too humble to listen to [127] his feelings; and too courageous to recede in a good undertaking, or be alarmed at the thought or the sight of death. We have learned that he was slain directly upon his entrance into that country full of murder and blood: here follows a letter announcing this, from the Governor of the Dutch, to Monsieur the Chevalier de Montmagny. " The present letter is sent to thank your Lordship for the remembrance that you have had of me,—a favor which I will try to reciprocate, if God please to grant me the opportunity" (these are his terms). " Moreover, I send this by way of the northern regions,—by means of either the English or Monsieur d'Aunay,—in order to inform you of the murder which the Barbarous and inhuman Maquois, or Hiroquois, have committed upon Father Isaac Jogues and his companion. I would also inform you of the design which they have, to surprise you under pretext of a visit, as you will see by the letter enclosed herewith; Which, although it is poorly worded and spelled, acquaints you, to our great regret, with the details of it all. I am grieved that the subject of this is not more agreeable; but the importance of the matter has not allowed me to be silent. Our [128] Minister up yonder"(that is to say, at a settlement situated on the upper part of the river) " has carefully inquired, from the principal men of that canaille, concerning the reason of this wretched deed; but he could not obtain other answer from them, except that the Father had left the Devil among some clothes which he had left in their custody, who had caused their Indian corn to be devoured. This is all I can write, for the present, to your Lordship." The enclosure mentioned in the preceding, written by [page 115] a Dutchman to Sieur Bourdon, is expressed in the following terms.{6}

"I would not miss this opportunity of acquainting you with my welfare. I am in good health, thank God; and pray God that it may be so with you and your children. For the rest, I have not much to tell you, except how the French arrived, on the 17th of this present month of October, 1647, at the fort of the Maquois. This is to inform you how those ungrateful Barbarians did not wait after they had actually arrived in their cabins,—where they were stripped all naked, without shirts, save that they gave them each a breech-clout to hide their wretched plight. The very day of their coming, [129] they began to threaten them,—and that immediately, with heavy blows of fists and clubs, saying: 'You will die to-morrow; be not astonished. But we will not burn you; have courage; we will strike you with the hatchet and will set your heads on the palings' (that is to say, on the fence about their village), ' so that when we shall capture your brothers they may still see you.' you must know that it was only the nation of the bear which put them to death; the nations of the wolf and the turtle did all that they could to save their lives, and said to the nation of the bear: ' Kill us first.'{7} But alas, they are not in life for all that. Know, then, that on the 18th, in the evening, when they came to call Isaac to supper, he got up and went away with that Barbarian to the lodge of the bear. There was a traitor with his hatchet behind the door, who, on entering, split open his head; then immediately he cut it off, and set it on the palings. The next day, very early, he did the same to the other man, and their bodies were thrown into the river.. [page 117] Monsieur, I have not been able to know or to learn from any Savage why they have killed them. For the rest, their desire and undertaking is [130] to go away, three or four hundred men, that they may try to surprise the French, so as to do the same with them as they have done with these others. But God grant that they may not accomplish their design. "

Such is, word for word, what the Dutch have written concerning the death of Father Isaac Jogues. One of these two letters is dated the thirtieth of October; the other, the fourteenth of November, of last year, 1646. They were not delivered to Monsieur our Governor until the month of June in this year, 1647. A little before having received them, some Algonquin women and a Huron, having escaped from captivity among those Barbarians, had indeed told us of this murder; but they did not describe the particulars of it,—we shall know them still more fully some day.

We have honored this death as the death of a Martyr; and, although we were in various places, several of our Fathers,—without knowing aught from one another, because of the distance between those places, although they could not resolve to celebrate for him the Mass of the dead, have indeed offered this adorable sacrifice by way of thanksgiving for the [131] blessings that God had extended to him. The laymen who knew him intimately, and the Religious houses, have honored this death,—feeling inclined rather to invoke the Father than to pray for his soul.

It is the thought of several learned men, and this idea is more than reasonable, that he is truly a martyr before God, who renders witness to Heaven and earth that he values the Faith and the publication of the [page 119] Gospel more highly than his own life,—losing it in the dangers into which, with full consciousness, he casts himself for Jesus Christ, and protesting before his face that he wishes to die in order to make him known. This death is the death of a martyr before the Angels. It was with this in view that the bather yielded up his soul to Jesus Christ and for Jesus Christ. I say much more than this,—not only did he embrace the means for publishing the Gospel which have caused his death, but one may besides affirm that he was killed through hatred for the doctrine of Jesus Christ, as here follows.

The Algonquins and Hurons—and next the Hiroquois, at the solicitation of their captives—have had, and some have still, [132] a hatred and an extreme horror of our doctrine. They say that it causes them to die, and that it contains spells and charms which effect the destruction of their corn, and engender the contagious and general diseases wherewith the Hiroquois Now begin to be afflicted. It is on this account that we have expected to be murdered, in all the places where we have been; and even now we are not without hope of one day possessing this happiness. Now, just as of old, in the primitive Church, the reproach was cast against the children of Jesus Christ, that they caused misfortunes everywhere, and as some of them were slain on that account, likewise are we persecuted because by our doctrine, Which is no other than that of Jesus Christ, we depopulate—as they say—their countries; and it is for this doctrine that they have killed the Father, and consequently we may regard him as a martyr before God .

Moreover, it is true that, speaking humanly, these [page 121] Barbarians have apparent reasons for thus reproaching us,—inasmuch as the scourges which humble the proud precede us or accompany us [133] wherever we go, as they have preceded and accompanied those who have gone before us in the publication of the Gospel; but, in token of the soundness of the adorable truths which it contains, the result is that finally these peoples will not fail to yield themselves to Jesus Christ; although he comes to them only with scourges in his hands.

One must not forget the young Frenchman who was slain with the Father. That good youth, called Jean de la Lande,—a native of the City of Dieppe, as has been said above,—seeing the dangers in which he was involving himself in so perilous a journey, protested at his departure that the desire of serving God was leading him into a country where he surely expected to meet death. This frame of mind has enabled him to pass into a life which no longer fears either the rage of those Barbarians, or the fury of the Demons, or the pangs of death.

We have been told that the Hiroquois, intending to burn any prisoner, ask him if he prays,—that is to say, whether he is baptized. If he answer that he has received this divine Sacrament, they lose hope of making him groan in his torments,—persuading themselves [134] that the Faith gives constancy to a soul. It is further said that they have seen issuing from the lips of a Christian, whom they were burning, a strange brightness which has terrified them; so, indeed, they have knowledge of our doctrine, but they regard it with horror, as of old did the Pagans in the early age of Christianity. Let us say a few words about the virtues of our Martyr. [page 123]

He was endowed with a humility altogether rare; he not only recognized his own lowliness, but he desired to be treated according to his nothingness. He approved from his youth those who chastised him, secretly kissing the rods and whips which were used for correcting him. Being in the country of the Hiroquois, he could not behold without joy the posts which supported the scaffold whereon he had suffered so much; he would go to kiss them and embrace them,—not only through a love for sufferings, but because they were, he said, the instruments of divine justice for his crimes. Never had the Society (according to his saying) received any one so base as he, or so unworthy of the garb which he wore. It was necessary to use skill and command upon him, in order to make him tell what we [135] have related,—not that he was restive against obedience, but because he really had so low an opinion of himself that he could not speak thereof but with contempt. To show him however little esteem for that which he had endured for Jesus Christ, was to afflict him. The Queen having desired to see him, he could not persuade himself that she really had that desire; it was necessary for this good Princess to repeat her command, in order to make him go. It was tormenting him, to ask him to see his hands all torn. The Father who was with him during the last year of his life at Montreal, plainly recognized that God was preparing him for Heaven, giving him the feelings of a child. He examined all the folds and recesses of his conscience, from the first use of his reason until then,—revealing them with the humility and candor of a little child. That made the Father believe that the Kingdom of Heaven belonged to [page 125] him, and that he was not distant from it. He asked in what manner he should offer prayer aright, and in what manner he should suitably perform his act of thanks after holy Mass,—not only to cover the lofty illumination and the deep emotions that he had [136] concerning God, but through a belief that whatever proceeded from others was always the best. He remained a great part of the day before the blest Sacrament; he heard as many Masses as he could,—and, after all, he had not, by his own saying, any devotion; but he wished to make amends for the time when he had not been able to offer that divine Sacrifice, and to anticipate that in which he should be deprived of this happiness.

The Father, wishing to relieve him in his little needs, would sometimes urge him to take things more suitable for sustaining his strength. "That is not what I lack," he said; "I do not wish, when I shall again find myself among those Barbarians, that my miserable nature shall turn its head toward the houses in which it had found its ease. I need only the things which are absolutely necessary for me." Having returned from the Hiroquois, he wrote to a Father of his acquaintance that he had indeed desired to spend another Winter with him, in order to train himself, more thoroughly than he had done, in virtue; " but I would like still better," he added, "to return for the third time to the country of the Hiroquois."

Never did he feel, in the midst of his sufferings, [137] or in the greatest cruelties of those treacherous people, any aversion against them. He looked at them with an eye of compassion, as a mother looks at a child of hers, stricken with a raging disease; at [page 127] other times he regarded them as rods which our Lord employed for punishing his crimes; and, as he had always loved those who corrected him, he adored the Justice of his God, and honored the rods with which he punished him. Having asked sufferings from God, and feeling that his prayer was heard, it is incredible what ardor he felt for enduring the rage of the Hiroquois for the sake of the Hiroquois themselves. I cannot persuade myself that God may not, in consideration for him give them some light,—unless they oppose themselves to the effort of his goodness. I believe that, being in Heaven, he has asked God for the salvation of the man who put him to death, and that it has been granted him; for that poor wretch, having been taken by the French, has been baptized and put to death, as we shall see in the chapter following. He gave, during his torments, indications of a predestinated soul.

One cannot express the care that he took to preserve his heart in purity; [138] the one to whom he intimately communicated his thoughts—from his departure from the Hurons until his return to New France, after his captivity and his voyage to Europe—asserts, to the glory of our Lord, that his greatest offenses had been some feelings of complacency which he had felt at the sight of death, believing himself by this means delivered from the sufferings of this life.

He was of a rather timorous temperament, which highly exalts his courage, and shows that his constancy came from above. He saw in a moment all the difficulties which might occur in a matter, and he felt the hurt naturally caused by these; this counter-poise kept him in a profound humility, and made him say that he was only a coward; and yet the Superiors [page 129] who knew him depended on him as firmly as on a Rock. He knew not what it was to recoil in difficulties; this word, " go," was enough for him,—there is no monster, there is no Demon that he would not have confronted with that word. Strange to say, he was to the last degree circumspect in affairs which depended on his conclusions,—examining the least difficulties with [139] considerations well weighed and balanced. But, if the Superior persuaded him, he had no more argument. God alone, for love of whom he had exposed himself to a thousand dangers, came to his thoughts and occupied his whole soul.

I have already remarked that he would rather content himself with a little water and Indian meal, for sustaining half his life (for he had not a sufficiency thereof by half), than eat meat which he knew to be sacrificed to the Demon. It was not that he might not have observed the counsel of saint Paul, and taken the things which were given him, without inquiring where they came from; lout he wished, with a courage which cost him dear, to have those Barbarians understand that there was another God than those Genii or Demons whom they honored solely for their temporal interest.

Going to visit the Dutch in the time of his captivity, they invited him and sometimes urged him to drink a little dash of those waters of fire, or burnt wines, which they use; he declined with thanks, in order to show the Hiroquois, who often become intoxicated with those drinks, that one must not touch that which caused [140] So great an evil. A Hiroquois, having fallen sick, fancied that it w as necessary to perform I know not what dance, or some other ceremony, for his health; and that Ondesson [page 131] must be of the company, holding his book in his hand and behaving as the French do when they pray to God. The Savages know not what it is to refuse what another has dreamed ought to be done for his health. This law is common throughout the countries of America of which we have knowledge. They go then to find the Father; they represent to him that such a one's health is in his hands; they do not suppose that he will make any difficulty about granting that which a whole world finds very reasonable. They encouraged him, urging, moreover, that this cure, which they accounted certain, would be very honorable for him. The Father, smiling, rebukes the vanity of their dreams. They urge him, but he refuses: other messengers are sent, representing that it is cruelty to allow a poor sick man to suffer and die. Finally, when they saw that he would not come, they take the resolution to conduct him thither by force, and send young men to seize him; but as he was agile, and very adroit and very [141] little burdened with flesh, he eludes their hands, and takes to his heels. They pursued him at full speed; they found that he had the legs of a Deer, and that, if he had wished to escape, he could have done so, since he outstripped the best runners of the country. In fact, charity alone kept him among the Hiroquois; for he preferred the salvation of the captives to his own life and liberty. In conclusion, he returned to the village resolved to die rather than connive, however little, at their superstitions. Our Lord willed that they spoke to him no more of these.

Although he was of a hasty and quick temper, he nevertheless knew so well how to submit when Christian humility and charity required it, and to assume [page 133] superiority when he saw the glory of his God involved, that those Barbarians sometimes said to him, laughing: "Ondesson, it would have been ill done to put thee to death; for thou actest the master well, when thou choosest, and the child when anything is commanded thee."

More than a hundred times, they said to him: "Thou wilt cause thine own death; thou speakest too boldly. And if in our country—where thou art a prisoner, and all alone in thy cause—thou opposest us, what wouldst thou do [142] if thou wert at liberty among thy own people? Never wilt thou speak in favor of the Hiroquois." All that did not confound him; as he obeyed the least in things lawful, however humble they were, he also resisted the greatest, when it was a question of the glory of his master. A man who clings to neither life, nor health, nor the world—who is satisfied with God alone and only—is very bold. Afterward, he was astonished at his own freedom; but, as he was expecting neither life nor deliverance,—in a word, as he had nothing to lose,—he had also nothing to fear or to dread. This courage caused him to be honored by those who had more sense, and procured him the hatred of all the common crowd who judge only by their senses, after the manner of beasts.

He sent to Heaven more than sixty persons of that wretched nation: their baptisms were the bond of his captivity. He would have escaped a hundred times if providence had not checked him, by offering him from time to time, through wonderful coincidences, the means of opening the gates of Paradise to some poor soul. He was invited on a certain day to go to see some sports and dances, which were to [page 135] take place in another village: [143] he betook himself thither in good company. He had no sooner arrived than he stole away from the tumult and the crowd, in order to slip into the cabins,—that he might console the sick and dying, in case he should encounter any. It seems that God led him by the hand on that journey. He found in a cabin five little children who were all in danger of death; he baptized them at his ease, and without noise,—every one having gone out to see those public rejoicings He learned, three days later, that those little innocents were no longer in the land of the dying. O my God! what a propitious encounter! What an admirable stroke of predestination for those little Angels who now praise and bless God with their good Father! oh, what thanks they give him in the holy Zion ! These opportunities, as I have remarked, retained the Father in his exile.

He was in unusual misery when he was Constrained to take the resolution that he would escape through the intervention of the Dutch; if he had not seen that it was all over with his life, and that he could no longer help those poor Barbarians unless he escaped, so that he might come and find them at another time, never could he have [144] abandoned them; but our Lord prolonged his life, that he might come and present it to him another time, as a burnt-offering, at the place where he had already begun his sacrifice. [page 137]



PERSON of merit and piety, having founded alms for erecting in these new regions a little Chapel under the name of Saint Michael, we have exerted ourselves to supply what was lacking, in order to build a little Church dedicated to God, under the title of that glorious Archangel. The transept forms two Chapels, where the Blessed Virgin and her dear Spouse Saint Joseph are honored. This little building, made expressly for the Savages, has not, in truth, the magnificence of those great wonders of Europe; but it has some Parishioners whose candor and goodness is even more agreeable to God than the gold and azure of those great edifices. These good Neophytes are delighted with it, especially [145] the family whose head bears, according to the desires of those who have especially assisted it, the name of that glorious Archangel.

Their piety increases every day; the Faith takes strong roots in all these good Neophytes: and, if their bodies existed a little longer, they would compose a Church richer in the blessings of Paradise than in the grandeurs of the world. But you might say that Heaven is jealous of their dwelling upon the earth,—so much does it hasten them to enter into its glory.

I know well that there is expected every year a tribute of their actions, of their good sentiments. [page 139] This tribute is the more difficult to pay because new coin is always required. Certainly it would be necessary to have a great fund, to satisfy so many desires. The Holy Ghost touches hearts as he pleases: the feelings which he has already inspired in them, and which have seen light on paper, continue, through his favor and through his grace. I will report, this year, but very little concerning these, so as not to lapse into long repetitions.

The Father who has had the care of their instruction, having spoken to them, on the day of the feast of Saint Catherine, about the Faith and constancy [146] of that Christian Amazon, a Captain exclaimed before the whole assembly: " That is what it is to be a Christian,—it is to set value on the Faith, and not on one's life. Must a girl cover our faces with confusion ? There appear only too many among us who grow deaf and blind; they close their ears to the instructions which are given them; they put a veil before their eyes for fear of seeing what prayer and the Faith command them. Let us take courage; let us remain firm and constant; let not hunger, thirst, diseases, or death itself, shake the resolution that we have taken to believe in God and to obey him, even to the last sigh of our life." These unexpected little harangues in the Church itself have very often greater effect than the longest discourses. The Preacher, on these occasions, esteems himself much honored to become hearer to a Savage.

The day of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin, the Father having distributed torches to them, and given the explanation of that sacred ceremony, the same Captain cannot abstain from delivering his little Sermon. [147] There is no wish to deprive [page 141] them of this liberty, because it is greatly profitable, and they are so far from abusing it, that they become every day only too reserved in these gatherings. " Ah! my brothers," he said; " under what obligation are we to our Father for teaching us such beautiful truths! Do you indeed realize what that fire signifies, which you carry in your hands? It teaches us that Jesus is our day and our light; that it is he who has given us the Faith and knowledge; that it is he who discovers for us the way to Heaven. These torches instruct us that—just as Jesus has been consumed here below for our salvation, employing his whole life to save us—we are bound to render him the equivalent, burning every day with his fire and his love; consuming ourselves, like these tapers, for his service and his glory. There are among us young men, and there are some old ones, but all are tending to death while living; all is consumed,—all things move toward their end. Oh, how happy shall we be if, after we all have consumed ourselves for Jesus, we see ourselves with him in his glory!"

The great Chase of the Elk occurring [148] usually about the month of March, the Savages are not often present at the Ceremonies of holy week, unless the feast of Easter is very late in the month of April, as happened this year. It is incredible how assiduous these good Neophytes have been at the long prayers which are held in the Church during those days of mourning and sadness. Although they do not often appear, their devotion and feeling, nevertheless, do not fail to touch and delight those who most thoroughly observed them. They listened to the discourse about the passion of the Son of God with a bearing which sufficiently discovered the grief and [page 143] love and compassion of their hearts; they adored him on the wood of the cross without haste, without confusion,—uniting an outward modesty, not studied, to inward feelings which they cannot express. The mothers detached their little children from their breasts, in order to prostrate them and have them kiss the image of their Savior. In a word, the candor, the simplicity, the goodness, which render these people somewhat too rude in the sight of the world, guide them with great certainty to the port [149] of their salvation.

The Savages wishing to lodge in cabins in the forest, on account of the rigor of the cold, a poor sick woman, seeing that she would be distant from the Church, betook herself thither as best she could, and, having asked for a father, said to him: "I come to confess for the last time. The mountain is too steep,—I shall not be able to go down, and you will have too much trouble in going up; therefore I come to thank you, and to take leave of you. Pray for me, my Father, I shall see you no more in this world." "But I shall see you," the Father answers her; "I will go to visit you in your cabin," in which he failed not. The poor sick woman was consoled by him in a matter which cannot be told; she said to him one day, " My Father, will you not have me receive communion once again before I die?" "I am willing," he answered; "but it would be necessary to embellish your cabins a little at the coming of so great a Captain." "Alas! what ornament could one bestow on a place so wretched? It is much better that I be drawn to his house." No sooner said than done; two Neophytes offer themselves, wrap her in her blanket, bind her upon a sledge, and draw her [page 145] [150] over the snow, straight to the Church. The Father, at her entrance, offering her the Crucifix, she takes it, and embraces and kisses it with an admirable tenderness; and, though speech failed her, she nevertheless addressed it as she could: Kinakoumir, Kinakoumir, Jesous,—"I thank you, I thank you, O Jesus, that I am baptized; I would be cast into the fires which are under the earth, if I had died before baptism. I ask your pardon: have pity on me; you are good,—you will pardon me, I know it well." After having confessed, and having heard holy Mass with much difficulty, she was given her Savior, whom she desired with all her love. Having received him, the Father had her offer her act of thanks mentally, on account of the difficulty that she had in breathing. She followed with intelligence and affection what he said to her but at last she could not help pronouncing these few words, which she sent forth from her soul, like flames of her love: "Oh, how good you are to have come to visit me! I do not see you now,—you conceal yourself; but I shall see you very soon, for you have promised Paradise to those who are baptized, and who keep [151] the Faith and obey you. I am baptized; I have kept the Faith since my baptism; I will keep it even till death. I have tried to obey you; I ask your pardon for my offenses; you have promised it to those who should confess, and I have confessed, with pain. I willingly endure the great sufferings of my sickness; I await death joyfully when you shall please. I love you; I shall see you, and I will go with you; and there I will pray to you especially for those who have instructed me and who are the cause of my being baptized." The Father, seeing her beyond [page 147] all hope of recovering her health, speaks to her of Extreme Unction; she asks for it, and they give it to her; she receives it with a very special consolation,—feeling sure that Heaven could no longer escape her. It must be confessed that simplicity begets, in the souls of these good Neophytes, a constancy quite extraordinary. They deal very frankly with God; he has promised them Heaven if they persevere in the Faith. When they feel in their souls the witness of their belief, and sorrow for their offenses, they hold themselves assured of the contract which they have made with so good a Father. [152] In conclusion, they put this poor woman back on her sledge, and led her back to her cabin, very joyful to have once again visits the house of her God before her death, which occurred soon afterward.

Another woman, already somewhat aged, sick for six months, had not so great patience as the one of whom I have just spoken; but had found a son-in-law who piously supported her in her sufferings. This poor languishing creature said one day to the Father who was visiting her: "I am weary of living; the trouble that I give those of my cabin makes me desire death." Her son-in-law having heard her, arose and answered her: "Your words are not good; you do wrong to desire the end of your life on account of the trouble which you give us. Know that we will relieve you with good heart until your last sigh; take care, lest you seek rather your own deliverance than ours. Do not offend the orders of God; he has ordained the first moment of your life; it is for him to determine the last. you have obeyed him from your baptism until now,—continue steadfastly in the [page 149] way begun. The [153] term is not long; what remains is short; Heaven is very near you." As she was covering her face in her grief, he said to her: "Take away that veil, which prevents you from seeing the place whither you ought to aspire. Incline your eyes and your heart to the country whither you are to go; say to yourself, beholding the Skies,—'There is my house; there is the place of my eternal dwelling! Oh, how beautiful is that place! how ravishing it is! how pleasant it is there!' The Sky," he added, "is the first object which I behold on my awaking; I never see it without desiring it; it is all my joy,—the earth can no longer console me."

A woman, still a Pagan, had been in child-labor for three days; those who were assisting her came to fetch the Father to baptize her before her death. The Father, having seen her, and preparing her quietly for the Faith, made her promise that, if she were delivered of her offspring, she would earnestly seek her baptism and that of her child; and thereupon he exhorts her to implore the help of a notable friend of God, saint Ignace, who had delivered several persons from like dangers. He had them suspend from her neck a little relic of that great saint. Hardly [154] had her heart received those holy admonitions that were given her, and her body touched the Reliquary, when she was delivered without difficulty and without pain,—to the astonishment of all the Savages, who had already reckoned her in the number of the dead. This miracle saved the body and the soul of both the Mother and the Child.

A Christian Savage manifested his piety in a danger wherein he thought to lose his life, in walking along the shores of the great frozen river. This [page 151] bridge—so strong and thick, as a rule, that it would bear a number of Cannon without shaking—broke just beneath his feet; and this poor man saw himself, in a moments in the water up to his neck, without finding bottom. By good fortune, as he was drawing his baggage after him on a long sledge, the line or rope attached to this Winter chariot, passing over his breast, prevented him from being carried away by the current underneath those great masses of ice, and gave him the means of releasing himself from that abyss. He appeared, on emerging thence, like a man formed of ice. His companions ran thither to help him; but, before they could touch him, he fell on both knees, half dead, over the edge of his chasm, [155] uttering these few words from his heart: "Thou who hast made all, thou hast saved my life; thou hast delivered me from shipwreck; in truth, I thank thee." That said his comrades give him a blanket, lead him into the wood, make a fire promptly, and enable him to continue his way,—blessing God because he had withdrawn him from the gates of death.

Another Christian was not so gently treated in a danger which appeared smaller; Justice and mercy took away his life through a gently rigorous providence. He had so accustomed himself to the French liquors, that he spared nothing in order to get some; now, as he could not endure them, he gave scandal to his fellow-countrymen. It is true that he had done himself great violence, in order to correct himself, and had sometimes been punished in public. He willingly accepted all the penalties which were imposed upon him,—wishing ill to himself, when he had exceeded bounds; but frailty and evil habit [page 153] led him away, from time to time, into excess. Having then set out in a bark canoe, along with a Frenchman, in order to perform an act of charity,—the too violent wind upset [156] their gondola. Now, as it was the beginning of Winter, the cold immediately seized them;—at last they struggle so bravely that they arrive on shore, although in different places. The Frenchman, better covered, managed to reach a French house, where they mad for him a good fire; but it was necessary to tear off his clothes, in order to warm him quickly,—the more because the cold was striking him even to the heart. The poor Savage, although strong and sprightly, indeed gained the land; but, as he was naked and covered with ice, he had not the strength to seek a place of shelter. The tide, beginning to rise, carried him off, and took from him the little life that remained to him. The Christians of saint Joseph, having learned this shipwreck, come to seek him: they find his body all frozen, enshroud it with charity, and carry it to be buried in their cemetery. They all said that it was a punishment,—but very lovingly, because, the day before, he had confessed with great sorrow and with strong indications of a truly contrite soul.

I cannot help repeating what has so often been described in the preceding Relations; this devotion deserves to be published hundreds of times. There [157] is neither cold, nor ice, nor frost, nor snow, nor rain, nor nakedness, nor mountain, nor bad road, which can prevent the Savages from coming to hear holy Mass, when they are not distant more than a quarter of a league from the chapel.

A truly Christian Neophyte said, in this connection: "When I hear the bell ring which calls us to [page 155] holy Mass, my heart leaps for joy; it seems to me that I am called to some great feast." This worthy man often goes to visit and console the sick,—entertaining them with holy discourses, and with the hope of a better life. It happened to him on a certain day that, having broached a spiritual topic, he stopped quite short,—losing, as they say, his star. He had some idea that the Demon was trying to disturb him; he leaves the cabin, withdraws in private, offers his prayer to God, and in a moment his spirit saw itself quite free, and his memory as fortunate as before. He returned to his patient, continuing his discourse with a greater facility than that with which he had begun it.

A Savage, baptized for some time, arrived on one of the days of this past Winter; [158] the Father who had just celebrated Holy Mass having appeared, he said to him: " My Father, I must tell you what happened last night in my cabin. When I had fallen asleep, it seemed to me that a Demon approached me; I saw and heard him,—he was mocking at my manner of reciting the rosary, and aping me with ridiculous gestures. He was trying to disgust me with prayer: trying to persuade me that it was severe and vexatious. As soon as I saw him made the sign of the Cross, but he did not flee; on the contrary, the more I made it, the more he imitated me. Finally seeing his obstinacy, I made an effort which awoke me. I began to say insulting things to him. 'Begone, miserable spirit, wretched and wicked; it is thou who deceivest men, and dashest them into the fires wherein thou thyself burnest without hope of ever getting out of them. Thou wouldst deceive me and render me a companion of thy treachery and [page 157] thy torments. Withdraw, accursed and unhappy one; I will obey God all my life. He has driven thee from his house because of thy pride; Begone and go far from those who believe in him.' He seemed to me to disappear in a [159] moment. I remained full of consolation; I nevertheless doubted whether I had behaved well, for how do I know; what must be done in these encounters?" The Father assured him that he had fought very well, and sent him back, filled with gladness, into his cabin.

A Savage of the nation of the Bersiamites, being in danger of death and carried to the Hospital, was spoken to concerning baptism; but as he had associated little with the Christians, he answered that he did not yet wish to die,—imagining that that Sacrament of life would cause his death. Those good sisters urge him; they send for a Father of our Society, but in vain,—this obstinate man always says that they wish to hurry him to his death. Finally, they have recourse to our Lord, and in a moment that headstrong man becomes gentle; he begs that they will not suffer him to leave this life without being washed in those salutary waters. A Father hastens thither, examines and instructs him, and, finding him capable of becoming a child of Jesus Christ, sends for some holy water That poor sick man, seeing that they wished to baptize him in his bed, said to them: "Allow me to rise; this water is not common; [160] it is a water from Heaven, which will render me a kinsman to him who has made all." Upon being baptized, he embraces the Father, and all the French present, with extra ordinary joy; and, two hours later, he passes from the country of the Savages into the country of the Angels.[page 159]

It was a profound satisfaction to these good Mothers to see that their prayers were heard,—considering that, since they have been in New France, not one Savage has died in their Hospital without baptism. Mother de saint Ignace, who has blessedly passed from this life into the other, had so especial a care for this, that she could not sleep soundly, if the souls of these patients were not in safety, so far as charity can place them therein. These good Sisters courageously follow in this path; they have been burdened with more than eighty French and Savage patients during the course of the year. This house of God is a great help to the entire country; and there is no one in the country who does not bestow a thousand blessings upon their Foundress.

But since we have alluded to the death of Mother Marie de saint Ignace, [161] I think that I am obliged to say something about it here. This good Mother, after having conducted her daughters to Canada, and having governed them there for six years, was stricken with an asthma,—or, rather, with an aggravation of asthma (for she had felt it since leaving France),—together with a continually disordered stomach, which caused her violent pains for the space of fifteen months; and yet never did she forego on that account the care and service of the sick. When any of them were in danger, she had her bed carried into the ward where they are received, that she might watch over them with one of her Sisters, and console them; but, if she were unable to go thither, she inquired several times at night concerning their situation,—especially in what regards the last passage of the soul to its Creator. When some fresh meat was given her on account of her sickness, she ate [page 161] none of it until she had sent some of it to those most sick. she lived only six years and a half in New France; but in that short time she greatly suffered and toiled here for the good of the French Colony and of the Savages. Half a year after her arrival, seeing that the establishment of the Hospital would contribute to the settlement and conversion of the Savages [l62] of Sillery, she had courage enough—although that place was distant, and deprived of all the conveniences of the French Colony—to build there, at great expense and with great difficulties; and, even then, when she had succeeded, and when God had converted the Savages who lived there, the Hiroquois began their incursions and obliged her to abandon that house. Then they began another at Kebec, with new expenses and new toils, which would have caused any one else to lose heart; and as soon as this second one was ready Our Lord, who was reserving her reward in Heaven, called her to himself, on the very day when the choir of their little Chapel was finished and ready to receive the Nuns,—so that she was the very first to be borne thither dead; and the first Hymns which the Nuns intoned there were around the body of their dear Mother. Fifteen days before her decease, she urgently begged that they should no longer speak to her at all of any other thing than of God and Heaven; and she spent all that time in most affectionate colloquies with Our Lord Jesus Christ and the most blessed Virgin, and ended her life in that holy exercise,—[163] aged only thirty-six years. Although she was of a strong constitution, her vigils and mortifications shortened her years, in order to give her a happier eternity. She, died on the fifth of [page 163] November, last year, six days after the departure of the ships. She felt an incredible satisfaction to die in Canada, in the service of these poor Barbarians. She has been equally regretted by the French and by the Savages, her charity having won all hearts. She left those Nuns almost inconsolable, both for the loss which they incurred and for the small number that remained of them,—for there were no more than five Nuns in all, not only for the service of the sick but for the offices of Religion. The great expenses of a new and barbarous country, with the number of the poor and sick whom we encounter therein, oblige us to retrench; we hope, nevertheless, that her place will not long remain empty, and that she will indicate to us from Heaven those who are to complete this year in order to fill her place. Let us return to our Savages.

I will relate, farther on, how the Algonquins who were massacred this Winter, had I know not what premonition of [164] their defeat. The Montagnais who were hunting in the environs of Kebec and saint Joseph were almost at the same time seized with a fear which caused them to leave the woods; they composed three bands, and all these bands, though separated from one another, were affected with a like terror, almost at the same time. While they were on the way to reach Kebec, there arrived a messenger from Three Rivers, who said to them: "Escape! everything is dead in the quarter whence I come. " Terror straightway entered their souls; each one wished to get the start. "Softly!" said to them a Christian who has authority among them; " let us not be headlong,—let us observe the blessed Lord's day; and to-morrow we will depar at daybreak. Do [page 165] not fear, God will preserve us if we obey him." In fact, they did not break up camp till the following day.

Hardly had they arrived, when three Hurons of their squad appeared, thoroughly frightened. "Two of our companions are taken," they said. "I am astonished that we have not all been massacred. It is possible that the enemy, having had knowledge through his prisoners of the place where we were, has pursued us; but God has blindfolded his [165] eyes; for there was nothing easier than to meet us. Ah, well! is it not a good thing to trust in God?" said that worthy Neophyte, who would never set out on Sunday. "It is he who has preserved us: let us bless him, and let us suffer joyfully the scourges which he sends us. As for me, I do not flee sufferings; I say to our Sovereign Captain, ' I have committed so many sins that I well deserve that thou shouldst punish me; I wish to suffer. Do all that thou wilt,—I will not say a word; and, as long as I remain in life, I will believe in thee.' "

We have married this year a young girl, who some time ago went forth from the Seminary of the Ursulines; these good Mothers, who have assisted and instructed, at various times in the course of this year, more than eighty girls, have been truly successful. Their Seminary is a great blessing to both the French girls and the Savages; but, as not all flowers are roses nor lilies, as not all the Stars are equally brilliant, so the girls who go forth from under their guidance are not all equal in virtue. This one, who was the first to be given to Madame de la Pelterie, their foundress, is of a gentle nature, [166] and is well established in the Faith; the young man who [page 167] married her is not less Christian than his spouse. He sought her hand for about two years; when he saw that he was well received, he went to lodge in the cabin of his future spouse, according to the former custom of the Savages. Our Fathers told him that that was not very seemly; forthwith he withdrew, protesting that he would obey in everything. I avow to you that this obedience, contrary to the Savages' customs among young people who are mutually in love, resembles a miracle in the minds of those who know the character of these tribes.

A Father of our Society, having recently arrived at saint Joseph, went to visit a very poor patient. The latter said to him: "Thou doest me a great favor; I beg thee, come to console me often in my sickness." "Yes, but," said the Father, "I have not wherewith to relieve thee." "I ask thee nothing except that thou instruct me, and instruct my wife and children. I think no more of the earth, my heart is in Heaven." The Father was surprised, for this man was one of the worst among the Savages; therefore he said to him: "My dear friend, the [167] Dernon will perhaps try to persuade thee that the Faith causes thee to die;" this is one of the temptations with which he torments the Savages. "But know that thine own excesses have reduced thy body to the state in which it is." "That is true," he answers, "but let us leave the body there, and let us think of the soul. I suffer willingly for my offenses I hope that God will show me mercy." Certainly the spirit of God breathes wher he pleases,—he has regard for neither Greeks, nor Scythians, for neither Frenchmen, nor Savages: those who are most obedient to him are his greatest friends. [page 169]

Two Christian Savages having allowed themselves to be beguiled by drink, the Father in his sermon reproved drunkenness,—which would be as common in these countries as it is in the depth of Switzerland, if there were liquors. One of those Savages stopped the Father in the midst of his discourse. " What thou sayest is true, my Father; I became drunk. I have no sense; ask God that he show me mercy. I will speak only to those who are of my own country,—it is not for me to harangue in this village; I address my discourse to the youth who listen to me. Come, then; take example not by my sin, but by my grief; and remember [168] that, if I who am old acknowledge my crime, you ought not to dissimulate yours. I condemn the deed that I have done; it is a precipice upon which I have cast myself: do not fall on it." His partner, hearing this discourse, began to speak: "It is I who am a wicked fellow,—it is I who have no sense; I have offended him who made all. Young men, be wiser; do not follow the road in which I save gone astray. Walk straight ahead, and pray with the Father, that he who made all may think kindly of me."

The Father meanwhile kept silence, being much edified by the fervor of these good Neophytes. All things have their time: this fire will only too soon cease to shine and warm. It must not he stifled; but he who should attempt to kindle it by violence could stir up his own gall, and not the love of God.

Last Spring, the Christians of saint Joseph armed three shallops and some canoes, in order to go and scour, not the country, but the great river; and to give chase to the enemy, who appeared from time to time in various places. They were escorted by some [page 171] Frenchmen, [169] whom Monsieur our Governor had given them. Having reached Montreal, they were all feasted w ith much benevolence. A Christian Captain said these beautiful words by way of thanksgiving after the banquet: "Formerly, when we had been well treated, we said to our hosts, 'This feast is going to carry your name throughout the earth; all nations will henceforth regard you as liberal people, who know how to preserve life to men.' But I have given up those customs: it is now to God that I address myself when any one does good to me. I say to him these words: 'Thou art good; help those who assist us, cause that they may love thee always, prevent the Demon from approaching them, and give us room near them in Paradise.'" That was a holy compliment.

Two days after their arrival, they embarked again in order to go down to Quebec. Now, as they had not encountered enemies, they imagined that the great river was free therefrom; for that reason, they were not on their guard. A canoe conducted by two Hurons, preceding the shallops, was attacked and taken in lake saint Pierre by a squad of Hiroquois. [170] The canoes which followed, having perceived this, straightway go up again toward the shallops; several young men had gone aside here and there among the Islands, in order to hunt muskrats Finally, having come together again, they proceed toward the enemy,—who, not thinking that he can resist those shallops, casts himse, along with his prey, into the forest; in a place flooded by the Spring rains, they fortify themselves as best they can. A Christian Captain, preparing himself for combat, made a vigorous harangue to his people, holding in [page 173] his hand a Crucifix and a Rosary enriched with a great medal. Another, javelin in hand, seconded him. The French meanwhile confessed to a Father who happened to be present on that occasion. A good Neophyte, seeing that he was not understood in his own language, asked to confess through an interpreter. "One would need," said the Father afterward, "to come from the end of the world, in order to see Savages painted in various colors, speak so ardently of God, and think so diligently upon their salvation." Now as night was approaching, it was deemed best that the Father should get into a canoe and take a trip to Three Rivers, to warn Monsieur our Governor of what was occurring. [171] He learned the news toward ten o'clock in the evening; and on the next day he was present with a reinforcement of two good shallops and ten canoes, at the place where those Barbarians had intrenched themselves. A Huron, desiring to reconnoitre them, was killed by an arquebus shot, and eaten by those Cannibals. They had tied their canoes together, in order not to have their feet in the water, because their fort was flooded. Monsieur the Governor, having arrived, wished to reconnoitre the place; but the rain fell in so great abundance, all night, that the weapons could not be handled. The next day, at dawn, those birds had flown away.

The Relation of the Hurons made mention, last year, of a young man called Michel, of the nation of fire; he brought to Kebec a little Huron girl, to be placed in the Seminary of th Ursulines. As he could not go up again to his country, he remained from that time in the little house of those good Mothers Chaplain. Those who are acquainted with [page 175] him have no difficulty in believing that a miracle cured him of a disease, and that an extraordinary grace has called him to the Faith of [172] Jesus Christ; there is nothing so innocent, nothing so candid, nothing more modest than this good Neophyte. The Ursuline Mothers, who have often seen him and Conversed with him, affirm that they have never had any complaint to make of his actions, so scrupulous is he; never has he refused any employment, no matter how low or how vile, or how foreign it might be to the usages among Savage men. If any act were assigned to him which savored among them of the occupation of a woman, after simply making a very modest statement, he swallowed that embarrassment,—not after the manner of a Barbarian, but with an altogether Christian spirit.

The Ursuline Mother who understands their language, knowing the innocence of his life, asked him on a certain day whether he often approached the holy Table. "I would not dare," he answered, "to present myself there of my own accord; I have many desires to, but I say in the depth of my heart, 'I am unworthy of it.' If Marie" (this is the Mother's name) "judged me fit for it, she would say to me: 'Michel, receive communion;' Since she says not a word to me of this, it is a sign that I ought not to do so.'' This meekness is very lovable.

Some of his Comrades urging him [173] to go to war this Spring, he answered them that he could not go thither without the order of him who directed him. "we see plainly,'' they reply, "that thou art a woman, and not a man." He lowered his eyes and restrained his words, but his heart was piqued; he went, some time afterward, to unburden it in the [page 177] presence of his good Mother,—telling her his trials, and his ideas concerning the war. The Mother having consoled him, exhorts him to bear this wrong like a Christian. "Ah! Marie," he answers, "how hard a thing it is for a man to be accounted a woman!" In Conclusion, he went to the war and came back thence; and he who, among others, had given him that insult, was taken by the Hiroquois.

Another Huron, named Jean Baptiste, wishing to go to the hunt, and seeing that a Frenchman did not give him some provisions which he had bought, felt disturbed, and let some words of impatience or anger escape him. Having reflected on this, he goes to seek his Confessor, not wishing to embark his sin with him; as he does not find him, he hastens away to the Ursulines', and asks for the Mother who understands their language. Seeing her at the grating, he says to her these [174] few words: "Marie, thou shalt say to my confessor, when he returns, 'Jean Baptiste has sinned, he has been angry; he is very sorry for it, and will be on his guard not to fall back any more.'" That said, he goes way without other ceremony. While at Saint Joseph, he learns that the Reverend Father Hierosme Lalemant, his confessor, has returned to Kebec. He goes to find him without delay; he confesses and performs his penance, embarks again, and goes away to the chase. God grant that these good Neophytes may long preserve this great care to keep their consciences pure and clean.

Another Huron, not yet baptize going from time to time to see that good Mother of whom I have just spoken, said to her on a certain day: "Marie. my comrades wish to take me to the chase; give me [page 179] counsel what I am to do.' The Mother answered him, "If thou desire to be soon baptized, remain, in order to be more thoroughly instructed; if thou art not in haste to enjoy that happiness, thou mayest go to the chase." "It is settled," he answers, "and my conclusion is taken; I will not go to the chase. I have not stayed with the French to amass other riches than those of the Faith, or other [175] benefits than a more special instruction in the affairs of God and of my salvation: that is the sole treasure that I wish to carry back to my own country." He made it well understood that grace had shaped these utterances; for he did not fail a single day, during four months, to come and visit Mother Ouarie,—thus they pronounce the name of Marie, for want of having an M or other labial letter in their language. And, since the hindrances of the Mother did not always allow her to come to the parlor at the moment when she was asked for, he would wait whole hours until she were free, without ever becoming discouraged,—so much ardor had he for truth which until then had been unknown to him. There are no hearts proof against grace, when God wills to Possess them. Barbarism loses its name as soon as it has entered the school of Jesus Christ; but the beginning of a good action and of a good life is not the end of it as well. I pray our Lord that those who receive his blessings may preserve them, even to the last moment of their lives. [page 181]

[176] CHAPTER IX. [i.e., x.]


HE Abnaquiois having come to ask for a Father of our Society, to take him into their country, and to learn from him the way to Heaven, Father Gabriel Drueilletes was granted to them, as has been remarked in the Relation of he preceding year. He started from saint Joseph, or the residence of Sillery, on the twenty-ninth of August, conducted by a squad of Savages. I say nothing of the difficulties which must be experienced in a journey of nine or ten months,—in which one encounters rivers iron-bound with rocks, and the vessels which carry you are only of bark; wherein the perrils of life recur oftener than the days and the nights; wherein the cold of Winter changes a whole country into snow and ice; where it is necessary to carry one's house, one's living, and one's provisions; where you have no other company than that of the Barbarians, as far removed from our usages as the earth [177] is removed from the Heavens; where bodily strength, with which they are abundantly provided, triumphs over all the beauties of the spirit; where there is found neither bread nor wine, nor any food of the kinds which are commonly used in Europe; where one might say that all the roads lead to Hell, so frightful are they, and yet they lead to Paradise those who love the Crosses with which they are strewn. It [page 183] was in his fatigues that the Father found rest, more often encountering mountains similar to those of Tabor and Olivet than to that of Calvary. As soon as he had arrived in the country of his host, who is allied to the Christians of saint Joseph, the surrounding Savages came to greet him, with more heart and simplicity than compliments; some sick people dragged themselves more than a league and a half, in order to see him; all evinced good-will to him, in their own way. He returned the like to them,—manifesting in his words and his actions the joy which he felt in his heart, and the desires which his soul had to aid them to the utmost of his power.

After this first approach and this first [178] communication, which took place through an interpreter, the Father applied himself assiduously to the study of their language, which has little in common with the Algonquin, with which he was already acquainted; and, at the same time while he is a scholar, he does the office of teacher,—instructing the sick people, whom he goes to seek hither and thither in various districts where the Savages had retired.

He goes down the whole length of the stream called Kinibeki,{8} conducted by a Savage who was acquainted with the places where is fellow-countrymen lived. He finally arrives at an English settlement built upon that river, where he was very well received; thence he returns up that beautiful stream to see again the sick people whom he had visited, in order to instruct them more and more, and to baptize those whom he should see in danger of death. Having returned to the country of his host, he remained there some time,—always behaving as master when it was necessary to speak of the Christian truths, and [page 185] as scholar when it was necessary to learn the rudiments of a language which was unknown to him. His recourse to God, and confidence in him, obtained for him a blessing almost miraculous: even the Abnaquiois, and later the Algonquins and the French, were [179] astonished that, in so little time, he had become so familiar with that language.

Toward the middle of October, he returns to his patients, who were sighing after him,—for he served them with both hands; he was winning their souls through the care that he gave their bodies; he watched them, served them, and carried food to them; and if some good morsel were given to him, they were sure that it was for them. God blessed his charity through several very notable and little hoped-for cures, which caused him to be sought by small and great. The Savage who conducted him, taking him another time to that English settlement, named Kinibeki, had him go down as far as the sea of Acadia; where, on its coasts, he visits seven or eight English settlements, at all of which he was received with a cordiality all the more extraordinary since it was little expected. The savage, his guide, seeing himself on the shores of the sea of Acadia in his little bark canoe, conducted the Father even to Pentagouet, where he found a little home of Capuchin Fathers, who embraced him with the love and charity which may be expected of their goodness.{9} The Reverend Father Ignace of Paris, their Superior, [180] gave him all possible welcome. After having refreshed himself some time with these good Fathers, he reënters his bark boat and returns to the English settlements which he had visited on the way. Sieur Chaste gives him provisions in abundance [page 187] for his voyage, and letters for the Englishman who Commanded at Kinibeki; in which he declared that he had observed nothing in the Father which was not most praiseworthy; that he was not at all inclined to trade; that the Savages rendered him this testimony; that he thought only of their instruction, and came to procure their salvation at the expense of his own life,—in a word, that he admired his courage .

That Captain. having received these letters, and taken a copy of the Father's credentials, showed him all the courtesies that he could think of; and, some time after, went away to Pleimot [Plymouth], and thence to Boston,—these are two towns of new England. The Father went a league higher up than Kinibeki, where the Savages assembled to the number of fifteen great cabins: they built him a little Chapel of boards, made in their manner. It was here that the Father, having sufficient command of their language, [181] efficiently instructed them; he enabled them to understand the object which kept him with them, and the importance of acknowledging him who created them and who will punish them or bless them, according to their works. Seeing that a great part of them showed a liking for the good news of the Gospel, he asks them three things in token of their good-will, and the r desire to receive the Faith of Jesus Christ.

The first was, to give up the liquors of Europe, whence ensues great intoxication among the Savages. The Abnaquiois promised to avoid these excesses and have fairly well kept their word.

The Father asked them, in the second place, to live peaceably with one another and to stop the [page 189] jealousies and the quarrels which occur among those little nations. It is incredible how much the Savages of the same region are united together; but, as one sees in France, between two cities or hamlets, I know not what cavilings, there may be seen also in this part of our America small envies between the various districts of the Savages. Men are men everywhere, just as much so at the end of the [182] world as at the middle of it. There were with the Father some Savages from various places: on this account there arose, from time to time, disputes, which were much easier to end when they had promised to love one another. So, when their lips had been too widely opened,—to speak in their fashion,—and when their tongues had not walked straight, they came to ask pardon of one another in the Chapel; indeed, there was one of them who, impelled by his fervor, beat himself in the presence of his companion, asking him who has made all to pardon them both their offenses .

The third evidence that the Father secured was, that they should throw away their Manitou,—or, rather, their Demons, or fantastic charms. There are few young men among the Savages, who have not some stone, or other thing, which they keep as a token of dependence upon the Demon, in order to be happy in the hunt, or in play, or in war; it is either given them by some sorcerer, or they dream that they will find it in some place, or their imagination makes them believe that the Manitou presents to them what they encounter. [183] I doubt not that the Demon slips into these follies; but I can hardly believe that he communicates with them perceptibly, as he does with the sorcerers and magicians of [page 191] Europe, and with some peoples of this America. Be this as it may, those who had some of these charms or Manitous, drew them from their pouches; some cast them away, others brought them to the Father. There were even some sorcerers or Jugglers who burned their drums and other instruments of their trades; so that one no longer heard in their cabins those howlings, those cries, those commotions which they raised about their sick, because most of the people loudly protested that they would have recourse to God. I say the most part, and not all; some did not relish this change, and brought it about that a sick man was blown upon and sung over by those insulters. But this poor man, being well prepared for Heaven, would never consent to their superstitions,—saying plainly that, if he recovered health, he would regard it as a gift proceeding from him who alone can give and take it away when he pleases.

[184] The Father remained until the month of January in the midst of those fifteen cabins,—instructing in public and private; having the Savages pray; visiting and consoling and helping the sick,—with great hardships, in truth, but diluted with a dew and cordial from Heaven, which sweetens the greatest bitterness. God does not allow himself to be conquered; he pours forth his gifts just as well upon crosses of iron as upon those of gold and silver. It is not a small joy to baptize thirty persons prepared for death and for Paradise. The Father has not yet chosen to entrust those sacred waters to those who were full of life; he has shed them only upon the dying,—some of whom have escaped, to the astonishment of their fellow-countrymen.

At the beginning of the year, when these good [page 193] people were preparing themselves for their great hunt, the sorcerers or Jugglers, taking occasion by the hair, acted as soothsayers: they published through the cabins that all those who prayed, and who denounced what these had preached to them would be wretched and would soon die; that the Patriarch,—thus they named the Father,—and all those who should keep [185], his path, would be taken by the Hiroquois, who molest this nation as well as the others. The Savages, who had begun to relish the words of eternal life, were not awed by these threats; they continued their prayers as usual, and the majority placed themselves upon the side of the Father, in order to have the consolation of lodging near his cabin, that they might hear him, and confirm themselves more and more in the truths which they admire. So there they all were in the field; they ascend eight or ten days' journey along the river of Kinibeki. They enter a great lake, where they appoint their rendezvous after their hunt. Having separated into several bands, they declared war on the Deer, the Elks, the Beavers, and other wild beasts.

The Father constantly instructed his band, following it in all its expeditions, with labors too great to buy Kingdoms of the earth, but very small for securing the Kingdom of Heaven to souls whose price and value must be estimated in the blood of Jesus Christ.

Their hunt finished, they all met on the shores of that great lake, at the place [186] which they had appointed. It was here that the sorcerers lost their credit,—for not only did those who prayed to God incur no disaster, not only did the Father and his [page 195] people not fall into the ambushes of the Hiroquois, but God further favored them with a successful hunt; and some sick people, at a distance from the Father, having had recourse to God in their sufferings, had received the blessing of very unexpected health .

A sorcerer being very sick, seeing himself abandoned by all his people, sends for the Father, and begs him to instruct him,—assuring him that he wished to believe and to pray in good earnest. The Father declares to him the truths most necessary for baptism, and has him renounce his Demon; and, seeing him in a state of mind sufficient for a man whom he believed within two fingers of death, animates, encourages, and baptizes him. Having gone from him, he remembers that he had not asked him for the tools of his Juggler's trade; he turns back, goes back to this new Christian's cabin, and asks him for his drum and his charms, in the presence of some Captains who had come to visit him. He gives them without opposition, [187] begging the Father to cast them into the fire; as soon as he had performed this act, he felt so great a relief that he believed he was cured. Indeed, there remained with him only a weakness, from which he soon became free.

Another, having been cured by the virtue of the holy water which the Father poured over his sore, published aloud that he obtained his health from God, through the intervention of the water which gave life. But this poor man, having intoxicated himself while going to visit the English, relapsed into his prior sickness: he attributed the cause of this to his sin. " He who has made all," he said to [page 197] his people, " had cured me by his goodness and by his power; but drunkenness has cast me back into my illness."

Some women, seeing their children sick, prayed over them in the Father's absence; and our Lord, having regard to their confidence, very often heard them, restoring to them their little ones, not without thanksgiving,—for they published everywhere that prayer was good, and that it had cured their children. Two or three persons, having had recourse to the superstitions of the Jugglers, died almost in their hands; and all those who addressed themselves to God [188] were either cured or relieved in their diseases.

The Father's host having fallen sick, the sorcerers said that he was dying, and that, even if he should be cured, he would not see the Spring: that a spell or a Hiroquois would take away his life, in punishment for having brought a black robe into their country. Those false Prophets, who spoke without being sent, were found liars; this good man, full of confidence in God, has thrice been sick, and thrice cured,—not without the wonder of those who had already condemned him to death. It is true that there happened to him a very grievous thing. He had only one son, whom he loved as himself; this child died; but the fear that he had lest they should attribute this death to his belief, made him pronounce this harangue in public. His son expiring, he leaves his cabin, and walks around those which were near it, shouting in a loud voice: " Listen to my words! I had only one son, whom I loved more tenderly than my life; he is dead. God has taken him from me, but he has done well; for I have deserved it. [page 199] He had cured him of his diseases,—having, perhaps, consideration for my prayers, and for [189] the obedience that I rendered to his commandments: but, because I grievously offended him some time ago, he has justly chastised me through the death of my son. I am not sad or grieved at his death, for he is in Heaven; but I am grieved to have offended him who has made all." As soon as this little child was buried, that good Neophyte called those who had been present at his death, and at his burial; made them a magnificent feast, after their fashion; and subsequently distributed to them the most beautiful things and the best that he had in his cabin, with these words: " The honor that you have done to a blessed child, and the sins which have caused his death, give me joy and sadness. Behold what my joy gives to your love, and what the sorrow for my offenses robs tile of in order to perform you an act of thanks." The belief that the souls of their children are in Heaven infinitely comforts them in the distress which they feel at their death. A mother weeping and, as it were, in despair, will suddenly stop her tears, if the Father, affectionately chiding her, reproaches her for mourning at the happiness and glory of her child.

In conclusion, these peoples have manifested [190] a great affection for the Father: they also said that his life was very different from the lives of their sorcerers, and that the God whom he adored had indeed another power than their Manitou. '; It must surely be,'' they said, " that the God whom this Father announces to us, is powerful, since he so perfectly cures the greatest and the most contagious diseases,—which the Manitou or Genii, whom our sorcerers [page 201] invoke, cannot do. It must surely be that this God is great, and that he has a great spirit, since he causes this stranger to understand and speak our language in two or three months; and the Algonquins, after having remained a whole year with us, cannot speak it. It must certainly be that this God is good and very powerful, since he has taken from this Patriarch the fear of the most contagious diseases, and has given him safety against the threats of our sorcerers and the malice of their charms, at which he mocks. This man is very different from our Jugglers. The latter are always asking, and the former never asks anything; the latter are almost entirely absent from our sick, but the former spends days and nights with them. The latter seek nothing but robes of [19l] Otter, of Beaver, and other animals; the former does not so much as look at them from the corner of his eye. our sorcerers live as well as means allow; the Father fasts often, and has spent fifty days with a little Indian corn, without desiring to taste meat; if one offer him anything that is at all delicate, he straightway carries it to our sick. Certainly it must be that his God very greatly sustains him. We see plainly that he is of a rather delicate constitution; he is not accustomed to our expeditions and to our fatigues; he has led a wholly sedentary life; he is influential among his people, and yet he endures even more than we. He is joyful in the dangers and the hardships of a long journey and an iron road. He is always active about us and our children and our sick; he is welcome everywhere. The French of Pentagouet have cherished him; and, what is much more astonishing, the English, who have neither the same country nor the [page 203] same language, have respected him. All that shows that his God is good and very powerful."

After some length of sojourn on the shores of this lake, these good people came down [192] to Kinibeki; they brought thither their Patriarch, whom they tenderly loved. The Captain of that English settlement received him the second time with the same good-will which he had already shown him; relating to him how he had spent the Winter at Pleymot and at Boston; that he had communicated his credentials and the letter from sieur Chate to twenty-four of the foremost persons in new England, among whom had happened to be four of their most famous Ministers: and that all had unanimously approved his design, frankly saying that it was a good, laudable, and generous action to instruct the Savages, and that God should be blessed for it.

"Messieurs of the Company of Kinibeki have given me commission," said that Captain, named sieur Hoinsland, " to convey word to you that, if you wish to bring hither some French and build a house on the river of Kinibeki, they will permit you to, very gladly; and that you would not be in any way molested in your functions. If you were here," he added, " several Englishmen would come to visit you, "—intimating that there were some Catholics among [193] the English of those regions. The Father having no order with reference to this proposition, answered that Captain that he would write to him again in due season, if the matter were judged feasible. He left that settlement about the twentieth of .May, and went to visit all the places whither the Savages retired; the sick—baptized, and cured against all hope—confessed; there was neither small [page 205] nor great who did not betoken regret at their Father's departure. "Thou afflictest our minds" said some, "when thou speakest to us of thy departure and of the uncertainty of thy return." "we will say," said others, "that Father Gabriel does not love us and does not care that we die, since he abandons us." About thirty accompanied him even to Kebec, where he arrived on the fifteenth of June, full of health,—contrary to the expectation of those who knew not what to think of his delay. [page 207]



E have already said, in the preceding Relations, that there are many small nations back in the country, situated North of three Rivers. One of these is called, in the Savage tongue, Attikamegue, and by the French, the Attikamegues, or "the white fish,"—because the word Attikamegue means a fish, which is found in this new world, to which the French have assigned the name of "white fish" on account of its color. All these tribes make war only on animals; their life is nothing but a continual hunt; the peace is profound in their great forests. They all assemble, each one in its own district, on certain days of the year; and, although they have their own limits, if any one advances upon the lands, or rather into the woods, of his neighbors, that occurs without quarrel, without dispute, without Jealousy. They have trade with the Hurons, and some of them with the French. Their rendezvous takes place in certain months of the year, at a spot which they [195] have agreed upon; and there the Hurons bring them corn and meal from their country, Nets, and other small wares, which they exchange for skins of deer, elks, beavers, and other animals. Those who communicate with the French approach them once or twice in the year, by the stream called the Three Rivers,—or even also by the Sagné, which discharges itself at Tadousac into [page 209] the great river of saint Lawrence; but this route is very difficult for them.

These peoples are simple, kind, candid, peaceful; they have the same superstitions as the other Savages, and the same Prophets or Soothsayers,—whom we call " sorcerers" and " magicians," because there is indeed some probability that certain among them have commerce with the Demons. They use drums breathings, songs, sweats, eat-all feasts, Tabernacles for consulting the spirits of the air, pyromancy, and other such superstitions to cure the sick, to find animals in the woods, to discover if some enemy has not entered their lands, and for other similar purposes.

[196] Now the Attikamegues are for the most part disabused and undeceived regarding all these cheats of the Demon; part of them have become baptized, and their innocence is delightful. These poor people having learned that the Hiroquois, after having massacred a number of Savages, had designs of exterminating the French, dared not approach our settlements; but finally a squad took the resolution to ascertain in what condition our affairs were. They leave their wives and their children, two days' journey above the stream of the Three Rivers, and come secretly to reconnoitre, to see whether our settlements had not changed masters: having found the French in cheerfulness and health, they leap for gladness; they accost them and leave them at the same time. " Our w ives and our children, " they said, " have engaged us to go and bring them as soon as possible to confess, in case the Fathers were still alive: they will be anxious until our return." They embark again, and in a little while they bring their [page 211] families,—all filled with joy and satisfaction to see alive those whom rumor had placed among the dead. It is no longer only the trade of the world that brings them; [197] they come to receive the Sacraments, to offer for baptism their newly-born children, and the Catechumens,—in a word, they come to give account of their conscience, and of what they have done since they have seen their Fathers. All that takes place with a candor which is hardly conceivable, save to those who test it. The small and the great, the baptized and the unbaptized, knew all their prayers and the minor duty of a good Christian; even those who had never seen Europeans, were so well instructed that they lacked nothing more but baptism.

The Father who received them,—having been unable to be present at evening in their cabins to have them pray to God, inasmuch as they were in the fort, and as the bridge was drawn,—learned the next day from some Frenchmen that these good people had delighted them. " They have touched and confounded me," said one of them; " they spent fully a quarter of an hour in their prayers, which they said composedly, softly, and without noise.'' The Father wished to prove whether what this Frenchman said was true; he was present the next day in their cabins, and said to them: " Say your prayers, [198] as you say them in the woods: I have not come to offer them, but to respond to them with you." Their Captain, named Paul Wetamourat, immediately addressing himself to one of his people, said to him: '' Michel, since the Father does not wish to speak. Offer the prayers for us, as thou dost every evening. " Upon this, the young man kneels in the middle of the cabin, and takes his Crucifix in his hand, all the [page 213] others take their Rosaries, and, with hands joined and lances on the ground, follows word for word everything that he who recited the prayers was saying; that was done composedly, in a tone without artifice, without airs, without affectation; in accents entirely simple and artless, and replete with devotion. The Father w as surprised,—he no longer recognized the prayers which he had taught them; they ere in the style and in the purity of their own language; they were increased by many orisons to Jesus Christ, to the blessed Virgin, to her glorious Spouse saint Joseph, to the Guardian Angel, to the saints whose names they bear; in a word, they made it appear that these prayers proceeded from a spirit higher and more sublime than that of men.

[199] After the prayers, who had charge of intoning their spiritual Hymns raised his voice, and each one followed him; and all with common accord sang the praises of God without turning their gaze to one side or the other; their modesty supplied the most delightful tokens of the attentiveness of their hearts. "I took good care," said the Father, " to have them recite their prayers on the days following; I could not have approached all that they were saying. I contented myself with giving them a little word of instruction, which those good people heeded with matchless eagerness; they resemble those who, not having eaten for a long time, devour everything which is offered them; but one cannot surfeit these good Neophytes, so famished they are for the bread of the children of God."

After they had all, individually, satisfied their consciences, and had derived new strength from the Sacraments of Jesus Christ, the Father inquired [page 215] what exercises they practiced in common. They answered that they said their prayers every evening and every morning, in the way that he had seen and heard; but that on the days of feasts, with which they are well [200] acquainted through the little calendars which are given them, they redoubled their devotions, as follows:

"On Sunday morning at daybreak, the eldest among us—or the Captain, if he be present—notifies us that the day is numbered among those that we honor; and that, consequently, we must not stork. lie nevertheless allows those who have set nets, to go and see whether they have taken any fish, since they have no other food. ' But do not eat,' he says to them, ' do not drink, do not smoke, until we have said our prayers.' " That done, they prepare the cabin which is to serve as Church; they carpet it with branches of spruce, and then each one puts on his finest garments to honor the feast. The signal being given, they enter, modestly and without noise; the Pagans have permission to be present at the beginning. Every one kneeling, they display an image in the midst of this Church of bark; each one joins his hands, and all respond to the usual prayers which are said every day. After that, the Captain exclaims, " You who are not baptized, go out; the prayers which we are about to say are only for the Christians.'' Thereupon [201] they intone Hymns,—either those of the blessed Sacrament, or of other Christian truths; and next they recite their rosaries in such a way that they always sing the last Ave Maria of each decade. In conclusion, those present are warned to be very careful on that day, to do no unseemly deed, or any servile work. They who [page 217] wish to converse with God longer, are permitted to do so. the women, who, as a rule, have beautiful voices, take pleasure ill sanctifying them through the singing of some very devout Hymns. They assemble thus twice a day, employing two good hours, especially in the morning, in that holy exercise.

I have remarked above that a certain assembly is held between the Hurons and these nations of the North; the Attikamegues were present there, this year, to the number of more than thirty canoes. We had given them letters, to be conveyed by so Hurons who happened to be at that assembly, to our Fathers who are in their country; and our Fathers in those regions had also given some to their Hurons, in order to be delivered to us by the Attikamegues. These good people have been faithful; they have given our [202] letters to the Hurons, and have delivered to us those which came from our Fathers who are in that country. The Hiroquois constrained us to seek these wonderfully devious ways. But let us continue, if you please, our discourse. Our Attikamegue Christians, being present at that great assembly, would never relax aught of their devotions; they had some apprehension that they might be jeered at by the Pagans, but they surmounted this difficulty by a devotion more fervent and splendid than usual.

Sunday approaching, the Captain commands his people to make a fine and large cabin, which should be used only for prayer; the young men go after bark, and the women and the girls after branches of spruce, which are very beautiful and always green. The old men, having built the Church, order all their people to clothe themselves as richly as possible, [page 219] in order to honor prayer. No sooner said than done: they figure and paint their faces. after their fashion, with various Colors; they take their great robes of Beavers, of Otters, of Lynxes, of black Squirrels, and of other animals, and their embellishments of [203] porcupine quills, dyed in scarlet, are not wanting. The women put on their great bracelets, and the men their collars and crowns, of porcelain. The Hurons and the other tribes, seeing this display, were much astonished, not knowing the object of this pomp. When our people were on the point of entering their Church, Captain Paul Wetamourat exclaimed to all those tribes: " Be not astonished at what we do,—we are about to pray and honor him who has made everything. Our custom now is such, that not one of all those who are not baptized shall set foot in our assembly, if he do not wish to incur the indignation of him who is all-powerful." Avery one remained silent; some Christian Hurons! Chancing to be in that great company, and seeing that it was a question of prayer, produce their Crosses and their rosaries, protesting aloud that they were Christians. The Captain, filled with joy, embraces them and has them enter the Church; there, each one sang and prayed in his own language the praises of the great God, and Jesus Christ was adored in the very depth of Barbarism,—in the midst of the forests which were [204] known, not long ago, only by fauns and satyrs, or, rather, by Demons and their imps. The Pagans, who had never seen anything similar, approaching that holy assembly and looking at their postures, remained utterly astonished, without saying a word; but their speech and their prayers impelled these to far greater admiration; [page 221] they could not conceive where those people, fashioned and built like them, had acquired such high and new knowledge.

At the close of prayers, the Christian Hurons and the Attikamegues greeted one another, encouraging one another to persevere steadfastly in the Faith; they made one another little presents, invited one another to the feast. How true it is, as a Christian woman said not long ago, that the Faith had this power to make but one people of many nations. That good Michel, who usually says the prayers, having noticed that a Christian Huron had no rosary, said to him: " My brother, perhaps thou wilt not go near the French this year, and wilt not be able to get another [205] rosary. I make thee a present of mine; I shall soon see the Fathers, and I hope that they will give me another.' Indeed, he asked one from the Father, who, seeing that he had another in his hands, would have refused him. But he answered, " I must have two; for if mine becomes unstrung or broken, or if I lose it, I will have recourse to the other; " this is one of their innocent hoards.

That man, truly a Christian, has this year presented his wife, his daughter, and his mother-in-law for baptism,—but so well instructed and so desirous of receiving this grace, that the Father could hardly believe what he saw with his own eyes. The mother-in-law formerly so far from our belief, was so deeply moved, and so zealous for the Faith, that no other than God can have rendered so pliable a woman so haughty.

It is true that these good people, concealed in the depth of the forests, have not great opportunities for Sin. Luxury, ambition, avarice, or delights, do not [page 223] come near their country; poverty, sufferings, cold, and hunger, banish from it those monsters. They nevertheless have their temptations and their trials; diseases, and sorcerers, or soothsayers, do not [206] fail to afflict them. The grandson of a Christian having fallen sick, one of those fine physicians, seeing that he did not get well, offers himself to his father in order to breathe upon him and treat him in their manner. The Father dismisses him; but, as the sickness became aggravated, the Juggler urges his point, and manifests a great love toward the father and the child,—so that the man, turning to his wife, says to her: " Would there be great harm in allowing our child to be breathed upon by this man, who promises me to cure him?" " Howl" his wife replies to him, " dost thou ask whether there is harm in a thing which the Fathers have forbidden us ? This man shall not approach my son; his lips are full of the devil. I would rather that my child die, than be cured by a demon; if he die, he will go to Heaven; if he is breathed and sung over, he will go to the fires. I will never suffer him to approach my son." This good woman was more zealous than intelligent upon this point; for her son was a little innocent, from whom all the demons and all the sorcerers in the world could not take away grace.

For the rest, her zeal worked wonders; she taught the prayers to those who [207] did not know them. The Father was listening to her one day, in secret, to hear how she was instructing an old man of seventy years, teaching him to make a good confession. This old man listened to her as attentively as one might lend ear to a great Prelate: he retained so well [page 225] all that was taught him, that he confessed as clearly as if he had been a Christian from his infancy. That woman confessed after him, and greatly astonished her Confessor. The God of Heaven is the God of every one; his eyes regard as kindly the cabins of bark as the Palaces or Louvres of marble. These poor people requested instruments of piety, with which to lacerate their bodies,—such hatred and horror had they for their sins.

A worthy Neophyte, who did not come down this Spring, has been greatly afflicted and consoled in the sickness of a child whom he loved as his little Benjamin, who, likewise, was born to him in his old age. This poor little one had languished for four or five months, drawing daily near to death; and every day his father made a sacrifice of him to God. "Thou hast given him to me," he said to him; " if thou wilt take him again, he is thine. I [208] am very glad of it, since thou wilt have it so. My grief is, that he suffers much,—it is for thee to determine his life or his death.'' A Juggler, seeing the child's distress, promised the father that, if he would allow him to beat his drum and breathe upon his son, he would cure him in a little while. " Thou promisest this," answered him that good old man, " but thou wilt not do it,—both because I know thine impotence, and because thou shalt never approach my son. It is from him who has given life that we must ask health, and not from the Demon, who seeks only our misfortune." When he then manifested regret at having lost an image before which he said his prayers, the sorcerer urged that he might show it to him. " I had," he said, " enclosed it in this pouch; I have looked for it several times with diligence, and [page 227] never been able to find it again. 'Those who there relating this story asserted that indeed it was not there; and nevertheless this man, thrusting his hand into his pouch rather for appearance's sake than in the thought of finding it, came across it in his fin- gers. Me rises immediately, calls his people, makes them all kneel, and puts the image in a fitting place. "Let us ask," he says, " from [209] him who has made all, health for my son: it is for him to give or to refuse it, as he pleases." They offer their prayer in the presence of the sorcerer; and the child recov- ers, to the astonishment of both Christians and infidels.

It seems that God has taken pleasure in blessing this poor little Chtlrch, and in preserving its pillars. The Hiroquois, being acquainted with the entrance of their river, had laid ambushes for them on their return; and, if they had started on the day which they had appointed, they would have been taken by those Barbarians,—for the Frenchx who escorted them for some time, reported to us that they had seen the tracks of the enemy, quite new and fresh. If God strikes us with one hand, he sustains us with the other; if he afflicts us, he consoles us; if we are persecuted by some Savages at the south, we are sought after by those of the North. [page 229]

[212 i.e., 210] CHAPTER XII.


T is certain that all men are created in order to know, to love, and to enjoy their God; all have the means to do this, but very diversely. Some are in plenty, and are none the richer for it; others are wealthy in their want. A silly woman can con- fess to a hundred Priests in Paris, and hear a hun- dred Masses daily, if she had the time; and a hun- dred Savages will very often have only one Priest, and even then for a very little while. That results from their respective methods of living, and from the providence of the great God who disposes of his creatures as he pleases,—without, however, failing a single one. The roving Savages become dispersed hither and thither in the Autumn, and toward the Spring they reassemble,—some at Tadoussac, others in the places which they regard as their country. [213 i.e., 211] The Fatherswho have charge of these Missions go to find them, in order to have them give account of the past, to maintain them during the present, and to animate them to hold firm for the future. Father Jean de Quen, who has had charge, for some years, of the Mission at Tadoussac, went down to it this Spring. He was received with open heart by all the Christians; but the peoples of the North, who had given him so many hopes last year, have shown themselves colder. We will soon tell the reason of this. [page 231]

The Christians, seeing their Father come, rejoiced; each one gave account of what had happened during the Winter. Those to whom Books of wood had been given,—that is to say, tokens which were to serve as topical memorandums for the Principal persons, that they might instruct the others upon certain of the more important points,—faithfully brought these forward, and, without dissimulating, told quite ingenuously what had been committed contrary to each Chapter or each part of those Cooks.

Others, who had their calendars for securing the observance of the Feasts and for keeping the ordinances of the Church, brought these to the Father, to see whether they had [212] made any errors. In a word, the Father was consoled on seeing the candor and innocence of his sheep. There occurred an amusing debate between those who kept these Almanacs or calendars. Haring reassembled at Tadoussac before the Father's coming, they compared their papers with one another; and, seeing that they did not agree,—because some were celebrating Sunday a day before the others.—they reproached one another with their errors,—each one said that he had faithfully marked all the days figured on his paper, and yet they saw a misreckoning. The case was referred to the Father, who had no sooner arrived than they asked him what day it was; those who found themselves in keeping with what he answered, amiably derided the others, as people who had gone astray He who had regulated the Calendar maintains his cause, and shows the sequence of the days which he had marked off, without missing one; the Father, having examined it, acknowledged that both parties had counted well, but that the error proceeded [page 233] from the Calendar, which was defective. They all began to laugh, accusing, with love, their Father's hand, which had, they said, lost its way [213] in writing. It is very easy, in so many days and so many papers which must be given them, to miss a letter or a stroke of the pen.

The Father, having received his accounts, returns to his usual exercises: he preaches, catechizes, and exhorts, in public and in private; he visits the cabins, and notices how the prayers are conducted. He assembles them every day at the Church; they prepare themselves for Holy Communion, confessing with a candor altogether amiable; in a word, if the Pastor has trouble with a people so poor, so destitute of provisions, so wretchedly lodged, he has consolation in seeing the goodness of his fold.

Among the things which had occurred during the Winter, the deaths of some Neophytes have been very remarkable. They persevered in the Faith until the last sigh; they abhorred the superstitions in which they had been reared; in a word, they died like true Christians,—especially one, who was the support of that poor little Church. This good Neophyte falling sick, sent for all the Christians of his quarter; he tells them that his greatest regret was to die without confession, [216 i.e., 214] but that he hoped in the mercy of his God. He said, moreover, he did not wish to hide from him his offenses; and thereupon he told them all openly, asking pardon of all the Audience, with deep feelings of grief. " Walk not in the way of my sins," he said; " follow the way of the Faith: persevere even till death, in prayer and in belief. Oh, how sweet a thing it is to go to Heaven ! " He made his little will; there was [page 235] no need of Scrivener or Notary. He takes his Crucifix, and gives it to his wife. ' Pray for me," he says to her, " to him who has suffered so much for us, that I may not be long in Purgatory. Hate sin and especially do not allow thyself to be beguiled by the demon. When our daughter shall be grown up, never Larry her except to a Christian; remember this request." He takes his rosary, and presents it to a Christian woman of the Settlement of St. Joseph. "I beg thee," he said to her, " to give, on my behalf, this rosary to Jean Baptiste Etinechkawat,—he is a Christian Captain; let him touch and handle these beads for me. I have confidence in his prayers, and in those of all his people, and of all the Christians of [217 i.e., 215] that Residence." As for the rest of his property, which consisted of a few little pieces of Savage furniture, he made a present of them to the Captain of Tadoussac. Thus were all his goods distributed without quarrel and without lawsuit. Having perceived one of their sorcerers. who had slipped into his cabin, he said to him: " My dear friend, I am wicked enough to be condemned to the flames of Hell, therefore I ought not to open my lips to speak to you; but know that you do wrong to resist the Faith and prayer. The Faith is good; embrace it, and have yourself baptized as soon as possible,—otherwise, it will be a bad thing for you. These are the last words that I shall bestow on you in this life.'' That man, much astonished, lowers his head without making any answer.

The Father having baptized some girls and some women with the usual ceremonies of the Church, a good matron, believing that they were not sufficiently made to understand the importance of this act,—[page 237] to her fancy,—speaks to them as follows: " My nieces, you have just given an important promise to God; you have just renounced the Demon and renounced sin; you have promised to keep the Faith, [216] not for two Winters, but for all your life. Hold firm; if any one of your people urge you to give up prayer, be deaf; if they quarrel with you, be mute, say not a word to them: but speak to God, and say to him, ' I will believe in thee all my life.' "

An Interpreter has related to us, that a Christian woman had spoken to him of her afflictions in these terms: " God gave me children, and has taken them from me; I have lost three of them this Winter. almost at the same time. If I had not the Faith deeply in my soul, I would believe, like some, that the new creed which we have embraced causes us to die; but I cannot suffer this thought in my heart. This is what I say to myself: ' Those children are in Heaven; those little innocents have not offended God, and they are in Paradise. Thou hopest to go there; then be not troubled, for life is not long.' That is what consoles me. There is still left to me a daughter, who was the tallest of all my children; she is sick to death, and I await only the hour of her departure. It is God who thus wills; he has given them to me, and he takes them from me. I will neither vex myself nor complain. " [217] The Interpreter who heard this discourse was the more affected, because that daughter was very comely, and well trained in the manner of these peoples. Finally, God took her as well as the others; and this good woman, instead of raising the loud cries of a mother so keenly afflicted, came to confess,—humbly asking permission to receive communion, which was granted [page 239] her. That child, aged perhaps twelve years, had herself twice carried to the Chapel during the height of her sickness, in order to confess,—which she did with so much intelligence, judgment, and candor, that the Father was quite charmed therewith, admiring the effects of grace in these new plants. They gave her the most honorable obsequies they could; her mother laid her out with her Crucifix, which she placed on her heart in token of the love that she had borne for Jesus Christ her Savior.

It is true that the Faith of these new Churches is not yet severely tried by fire and sword; it has nevertheless its Tyrants,—these are the Epidemics, the frequent deaths, the wars, the massacres; and then the calumnies of the Pagans and of the sorcerers, or Savage Physicians. [220 i.e., 218] Indeed, one might almost say among these peoples, that to wish to be a Christians and to wish to shorten one's life, are the same thing. The tribes of the North, which last year manifested so much fire for the Faith, have been assailed by those Tyrants; the Demon has shaken them through that temptation.

Hardly had they left Tadoussac,—where they had listened with love to the Christian truths, and presented their children for Baptism,—when death fell upon those little innocents, and disease upon a great part of their parents; this dealing of God astonishes us and makes us see that Crosses are, so to say, the only entrance to Paradise. There is no human eloquence which can persuade a people to embrace a Religion which seems to have for companions only pestilence, war, and famine. It is God alone who causes the Faith to germinate, who preserves it, and who vivifies. Men, in truth, are the instruments of [page 241] this great work,—they sow, they plant, they water: but God alone brings forth the leaves, the flowers, and the fruits.

A sorcerer, seeing that disease and [221 i.e., 219] death attached themselves more especially to the children and to others who were baptized, consults the Demon in order to know the cause of it. Now,—whether the Demon indeed spoke to him, or whether his malice invented lies,—he said aloud in the midst of his tabernacle, that the Manitou declared that the Faith and prayer brought death to most of those who embraced it; that the Fathers who preached to the Savages were deceived, and that one must not be astonished if they deceived those who listened to them. He said that it was not the God of the believers who governed the Earth, especially their countries,—that it was he who ruled the Savages; and that they would die much oftener than usual, because they had left him. Almost at the same time when that Demon was delivering this speech, a witch, distant more than one hundred leagues from Tadoussac, asserted that the Manitou had told her that the Savages who were killed this Winter near three Rivers would be massacred, because they had left him. Saint Paul is right in saying that we Come to wrestle not only with visible powers, but that we must also combat monsters who do not appear.

[220] These poor people, terrified both by their diseases and by the threats of those sorcerers, hardly looked at the Chapel except from afar; they were not willing that their children should approach it. They sometimes came to prayers when they were called, but with a bearing which indicated fear and terror; but, after all, there is not one who wishes to [page 243] die without baptism. Another magician spoke to them one day, as follows: " Do you not see that we are all becoming sick, since we have given up our former customs? The prayers that we offer serve only to make us die; the more we believe, the more we fail in hunting, and the more we are attacked by famine. Give up those rosaries and the other marks of a Christian which these black robes have given you; cast everything into the fire, if you would escape death." Those who had Faith in their souls concealed their little devotions, for fear lest the Pagans should take these from them: but they had not the boldness to resist that blasphemer; there was only a young child of twelve or thereabout, who ventured to speak. This child was all covered with sores, from the soles of his [221] feet to his head; his father was sick to death, his mother and his brothers had recently died,—and all these afflictions had happened to them immediately after their baptism; he nevertheless rendered a glorious testimony for the Faith. ' I am baptized," he said, " and I will never give up prayer,—neither sickness, nor hunger, nor the death with which I am threatened, will ever make me give up the belief which I have embraced. Though not one of you all should believe in God, I would none the less believe in him. Do what you will about it; life is not of value, but the Faith is a precious thing." Such were his words. All the nations of the earth are given to Jesus Christ; all shall serve him, and there will be neither people, nor Tribe. nor language, of whom some will not sing his Justice and others his mercy. This child will signalize his goodness. He said to the Father who baptized him, " I have been stubborn, and angry, [page 245] and disobedient since my baptism; this is why I am sick and why I suffer. I do not ask life of him who has made all, except in order to serve him better than I have done."

We have furnished this year a little tapestry of drugget, to embellish the Chapel [224 i.e., 222] of Tadoussac; we have also furnished a bell, to call the Savages to the service of our Lord. This ornament has overcome the Christians with joy, and given terror to the Pagans. One of them having remarked that this tapestry was made in a watered pattern, ran to tell his people: " Be on your guard,—they have exposed the souls or figures of serpents and snakes in their house of prayers. Do not enter it, for it is all surrounded with the robes and garments of Demons. " These poor people—who have never seen anything but forests, rivers, and mountains; who have conversed only with Caribous, Elks, and Beavers—conceive things only in their own manner. The Savages of Tadoussac, who are accustomed to see the French vessels, admired those things; they took unrivaled pleasure in hearing the sound of the bell, and suspended it themselves, as cleverly as a French artisan could. Every one wished to ring it in his turn, in order to see whether it would talk as well in their hands as in the hands of the Father.

For the rest, we are not astonished at the temptation of these poor peoples. They [225 i.e., 223] will come, as well as the others; the Cross is the token of their salvation, and affliction is the nearest preparation for the Faith and for grace. Before closing this Chapter, I will say a few words about [page 247] a journey which Father de Quen took, into the country of the Porcupine nation

Having learned that some Christians were sick in that quarter, he had himself conducted thither by two Savages. with frightful hardships; here follows what he has written back to us. " I embarked on the 11th of July, in a little bark canoe; we toiled during five days, from daybreak till sunset, constantly paddling against the current, or against torrents, which made us strain all the sinews of the body in order to surmount them. We encountered on this journey ten falls or portages,—that is to say, we disembarked ten times, in order to pass from one river to another, or from a too rapid current to another part of the stream that was more navigable. In these portages,—some of which are a league and a half in extent; others, half a league; others, a quarter of a league,—it is necessary to carry, on one's back or head, both the boat and all [224] one's outfit, over roads which have been made only for Wild beasts, so frightful are they. It is necessary to cut through mountains, and to cross chasms hidden in the depth of the forests. We thrice changed rivers; the first on which we embarked is called the Sagné. It is a deep stream, and there is no ship which it might not carry; it is eighty brasses deep in several places, and usually it rises or falls from ten to twenty brasses. It is quite wide; its banks are scarped with frightful mountains, which gradually decrease in height until as far as 15 or twenty leagues from its mouth, where it receives in its bosom another stream, larger than itself, which seems to come from the West. We sailed another ten leagues beyond that meeting of waters, which forms, [page 249] as it were, a beautiful lake; the winds which pass over this river are very cold, even in the midst of Summer, because it is lined with mountains and is open to the Northwest and frequently to the North.

"From this river we passed to another, called Kinougamiou, which flows into the Sagné with frightful currents and over frightful precipices; was made a league and a half, crossing a mountain [225] and a valley, in order to overtake it in a navigable place. It is much less rapid than the Sagné, winding to the West, to the South, and to the Northwest; it forms a lake which is more than fifteen leagues long, and almost half a league wide.{10}

"Leaving this stream, we went through the woods, to seek the river called by the Savages Kinougamichich; it has its bed in a land or flat valley, which looks to the North. Its waters are deep, very wide, and quite calm; they spread out in some places through alders and brushwood, which annoyed us to the last degree. We had navigated against the current of the water in the two preceding rivers; we began here to go down into the lake Piouagamik, on the banks of which dwells the Porcupine nation, which we were seeking. This lake is so large that one hardly sees its banks; it seems to be round in shape. It is deep and very full of fish; they fish here for pike, perch, salmon, trout, dories, whitefish, carp, and many other kinds.

"It is surrounded by a flat country, terminating [226] in high mountains, distant 3, four, or five leagues from its shores. It is fed by the waters of fifteen rivers, or thereabout, which serve as highways for the small nations which are back in the country, to come to fish in this lake, and to maintain [page 251] the intercourse and friendship which they have among themselves. We paddled for some time on this lake, and finally we arrived at the place where were the Savages of the Porcupine nation. These good people, having perceived us, left their cabins, in order to see the first Frenchman who has ever set foot in their land. They were astonished at my undertaking, not believing that I would ever have had the courage to surmount so many difficulties for love of them. They received me in their cabins as a man who had come from Heaven; one gave me a little piece of fish dried in the smoke; another, a little smoked meat. The Captain made me a gift of a Castipitagan of Beaver,—that is to say, a skin of that animal, open only at the neck, so that one might say that the Beaver is quite entire. ' That,' he said to me, ' my Father, is to soothe the fatigues of thy journey, we cannot express to thee [227] the joy that we have at thy coming. One thing saddens us.—thou comest at a poor season; we have no nets for Catching fish, and the waters are too deep for taking the Beaver.' There must be no mention, in that country, of bread or wine, or of a bed or a house . "

The Father remained three days with them, receiving the confessions of the Christians, consoling the sick, and preparing the old men for baptism for the next Summer,—assuring them that, if they were not brought to Tadoussac, he would come to find them even in their cabins, which gladdened them to the last degree. " we will make for you," they said to him, " a little Church or house of prayers, in which to celebrate Mass, and to administer to us the Sacraments." This Church will be built in two hours; [page 253] ten or twelve poles, and four or five rolls of bark, will compose the whole building.

One thing rejoiced and astonished the Father,—he found a great Cross at the entrance to the lake, which the Christians had erected there, in order to go and offer their little devotions before it, and to remind them of the death of our Savior. Finally, after having given all the consolation that he could to that little [2282 flock, he embarked again with his two Pilots, and in three days they did what they had done in five: but these were full days, for they voyaged from three o'clock in the morning till nine or ten o'clock in the evening. Their provision was a little smoked meat, or a little Indian corn, without other cheer than pure water. If the torrents are difficult to surmount, going up, they are very dangerous in going down: for it needs only to miss the stroke of a paddle, to lose life. our Lord preserved them in the dangers which they encountered, and restored them to Tadoussac,—very weary and greatly fatigued, but very joyful to have given some help to those poor forsaken people. [page 255]



HIS place has both its joys and its desolation, its sweetness and its bitterness; it has had strokes of the divine Justice, and effects of its mercies Let us begin with the severity which God has displayed in the [229] punishment of some refractory ones Three men of influence among the Savages were placing some obstacles against the expansion of the Faith, by their polygamy,—openly retaining two wives A thunderbolt hurled from Heaven,—I mean to say, an extraordinary punishment,—has killed their bodies, and, perhaps, wretchedly destroyed their souls

The first was a young man, well fashioned, named Kapimichats He had espoused a Christian girl; but, having allowed himself to be beguiled by a mad love, he took another as his second wife He is spoken to, he listens, his spirit seems to be touched; but the flesh gets the mastery, and he persists in his pleasures God, who waits for the sinner as long as he pleases, gave this one several months to come to his senses; and then, all at once, took away his life by the hands of his own friend Both had gone to the chase in various places; that young rascal returning toward evening, and passing near the island named saint Ignace, situated opposite Richelieu,— his friend, who w as there in ambush, mistook, in the [page 257] darkness of the night, that young man's canoe for some Bear or Elk, which seemed [230] to be crossing the river He discharges his arquebus at him, and pierces him with two balls; and the poor wounded man exclaims, " I am dead! " His innocent murderer, having recognized him by his voice, exclaims

"Ah ! my dear friend, it is I who have killed thee ! " He embarks, hastens to him, and brings him to land; he asks his pardon, protesting that he supposed that he had fired upon some animal He exhorts him to die well, but it was very late the blood which issued in great spurts from his wounds drove his soul from his body before it had been washed in the blood of the son of God

The man who was aiding him in that canoe, and another, a kinsman of his, were so frightened by this stroke of Justice that they could take no rest, all the night; they spent a part of it on their knees, asking pardon of God for their sins, with firm resolutions to lead a life very different from that which they had lined up to that moment.

The second was called Chichontibik,—a spirit quick and bold, but deeply buried in flesh and blood The knowledge that he had of our belief was tormenting him; he had often said, speaking of a Father who examined him upon the [231] judgments of God " That man makes me tremble; in the end, he will take away my life" The Faith would have entered his soul, but attachment to his sensualities made him resolve to harden himself against the Doctrine which disturbed the enjoyment of his pleasures He then strives to alienate his people from prayer, from instruction, and from the French,— even saying worse than hanging, of the Law of Jesus [page 259] Christ, and of those who publish and who profess it Hardly had he stoutly declared himself, when he saw himself assailed by a disease, so prompt and so sudden that he could never doubt that it was a scourge sent from him who wills to be obeyed But oh, woe ! instead of coming to his senses, he revolts more than ever against the arm which struck him only to cure him; he vomits millions of blasphemies against God He is counseled to quiet himself, he is promised that all his crimes shall be effaced in the waters of baptism, if he will receive it; he is made to understand the misfortunes into which he will dash himself unless he open his eyes To that, he made no other response than this, that a Law which made men die was abominable His rage was the Catastrophe of his life; his two wives, terrified by this [232] death so strange and sudden, became converted Some Savages were touched by it; but as the ears are not as near to the soul, so to speak, as the eyes, it was necessary that some Apostates and some hardened Pagans should see another blow, in order to be shaken

This blow happened to the person of an Apostate named Joseph Oumosotiscouchie,—in vulgar parlance, la Grenouille [" the Frog "] That name, which had been borne by several Captains of his country, and which had been given to him in order to make them live again, rendered him proud and insolent {11} His vehement nature sometimes caused him to break forth into excesses which carried him far into contempt; and, as the Faith does not well agree with pride, he conceived such a horror for it that he could not, at times, contain his blasphemies Last Autumn, the Savages fell into a disease which was [page 261] leading them even to the gates of death; but it seems that, having recourse to God, they recovered from it almost by a miracle. That greatly consoled the good, and devoutly touched the wicked and the infidels. This miserable Apostate could not endure either that disease [233] or its cure; he attributed the sickness to our belief, and health to the Demon. He was finally attacked, as well as the others: that was very significant to him,—he believed that the Faith was causing him this misfortune. Therefore, when one of our Fathers was going, toward evening, to offer prayer to God in the cabins, he attacked him: "What art thou doing here ? Is it not well known throughout the earth that you cause men to die by your prayers? Do we not see that all those who listen to you soon lose life?" In short, he used threats; and, turning toward his people, he did his utmost to persuade them that they ought to give up the Faith, and altogether stop their ears to our words. The Father wished to reply to him; but he plainly saw that there was nothing to gain over a mind half possessed: he withdraws quietly, after having consoled the believers.

Toward night, this braggart, imagining that he was about to triumph over our belief, made a great feast; he invited to it many people, and especially those whom he thought he had perverted by his speeches. He declares to this assembly that he does not expect his cure through the prayers, but only through his dreams and visions, and through the other superstitions which his nation has always employed. [234] " Know then," he said, " that I shall get well if three things are granted me. The first is, that I be given a dog which shall be made to bear the [page 263] name of some person of consideration. The second that I be given an adopted son, who shall be called Wisanté: " he meant to say "vostre santé—having learned this word from the French, which he could not pronounce because they have no " v " consonant. "The third, that an eat-all feast be made. If these three things be granted me, I am cured," he said.

The Christians who were present at that banquet, lowered their heads,—indicating that those dreams which they formerly adored were no longer in season. The Pagans dared not resist that man's desires; they fulfilled them in every point, that very night,— and with such favorable success, as he said, that he at Sunrise proclaimed himself wholly cured. He appears in public; he triumphs; he says everywhere that the fulfillment of his dreams has been the end of his malady, and the restoration of his health. A violent fever seizes him in the midst of his triumph, prostrates him to the earth, throws him into a wreck and into torments so unusual that he foamed like one possessed. [235] Those of his cabin—frightened, and fearing lest he might beat some one to death— having tied him, threw over him a blanket, so as to conceal his fury and his rage; behold my blusterer much humbled. A good Christian widow, seeing all this tragedy, hastens to our house in order to warn us of what was going on. Notice is given to a Surgeon; he runs thither, and we follow him; but the Surgeon, lifting the blanket, found him stone-dead,— the drivel and foam issuing from both sides of his mouth, as with a man who had been stifled or strangled. Every one hastens thither; astonishment seizes the minds of both French and Savages, at the sight of so awful a spectacle. [page 265]

"We never saw so much terror," say the Fathers who ran to that cabin. " That wretch was loudly preaching the Justice of God, which he had despised; his goodness had disquieted this man some years before, through a very remarkable threat. It was at Richelieu, where this treacherous fellow—having promised that he would declare, at a public feast, that he wished to become converted—loudly denounced the Faith. At that very time, he was suddenly seized by a malignant disease, insomuch that he sent for a Father of our society,—[236] not to give himself up to God, but to have him understand that, if he died of that madness, he would not die all alone, for he believed that he had been prostrated by the prayers or spells of the Father. This poor soul became softened, little by little, through the words of him who had never procured for him anything but life. Finally, having come to his senses, he offered his prayer to our Lord with the Father, promising to have himself instructed. Strange to say, his malady, which had come in a moment, disappeared in an instant. He listened for some time to the Doctrine of Jesus Christ; but finally, having despised it with passion, he has been punished with a great Justice."

This thunderbolt, while killing one man, raised several to life; the good Christians gave a thousand blessings to God, the lukewarm ones became warm, the Apostates became reconciled to the Church; and the Pagans, honoring Jesus Christ, asked his holy Baptism. No one dared longer open his lips against the Faith; it was now spoken of only with a dread and respect that altogether pleased us.

Simon Pieskaret, who was a Christian only in [page 267] appearance and through policy, became so in earnest; he confessed three times in [237] twenty-four hours,—so much was the fear of God's judgments urging him. Although he was sick, he remained a very long time on his knees,—a posture very inconvenient for the Savages; he harangued incessantly in favor of the Faith, showing by his words that he was moved even to the depth of his heart. He asked pardon from both French and Savages for the too dissolute life that he had lived; and he did not cease to publish the mercies of his God. This act of Justice was a stroke of grace and mercy to him, for he persevered in his fervor even till death.

Another was affected, but not to the degree necessary for not again returning to his blindness. He had two wives; as soon as he had learned the melancholy and altogether frightful death of that Apostate, he dismissed one of these, and promised the Father who had charge of those new plants that he would become entirely reconciled to the Church. The bonds of the senses and the flesh are terrible; that concubine, by whom he has children, charmed him again, insomuch that, being cured,—for he was sick,—he fell back into her snares. At this, the other Savages were so indignant that they met together, [238] in order to consult whether they should not expel him from three Rivers. The conclusion was that they should assign to him a certain period for coming to his senses; and that if, within these limits, he did not change, they would constrain him to remove. He did not go as far as the appointed time, but quietly decamped, for fear that they would drive him out with turmoil.

The lawful wife of that miserable Apostate, whose [page 269] death was abominable before God and before men, seeing herself ill-treated by her husband, left him in order to go up with her Father-in-law to her own country. C)n the way, the Hiroquois, having fallen upon their squad, took away that poor wretched woman with another who was of her company; this news being brought to three Rivers, afflicts her whole kindred, but especially a Christian woman. " I do not mourn her captivity," she said, " I do not regret her absence; but I cannot console myself about the loss of her soul." The Father to whom she was relating her troubles told her that it was a just punishment, that she had neglected the opportunities of her salvation. " It is true," she answers, " but alas ! her relatives, and especially her husband, drove her into that misfortune. However," she said, [239] " I have a firm belief that God will show her mercy. I am going to ask his pardon for her sins; and, that my prayer may be more acceptable to him, I desire to confess and receive communion. Hast thou not taught me that God was all-powerful? What harm would there be in asking him to deliver her from the hands of her enemies? As for me, I will offer every day the rosary of the Blessed Virgin to her Son; I will entreat him at holy Mass to hear my prayers. As for you others, who are much more powerful with God,—ask him for this deliverance, and surely you will secure it." Her prayers were not offered in vain; some time after, those two poor captives were seen to appear at three Rivers, and God knows with what joy that good Christian received them. A band of Hurons, going to war, encountered the enemies who held those two poor victims in their fetters and bonds: they pursue the latter so [page 271] hotly that they had not the leisure to kill their prisoners before taking fight. Behold them, then, at liberty for the body, and soon afterward for the soul, because the elder of the two soon had herself instructed [240] and baptized; the younger, who was the wife of that Apostate, having learned the horrible death of her husband, and seeing herself out of Hell through her kinswoman's prayers, was so deeply moved that she leads a very devout and exemplary life. The Hiroquois had crushed her fingers between two stones, and had treated her so harshly that she did not live long after her return; but she gave signs of a soul far advanced in virtue,—signs so notable that one might have taken her for a person accomplished in piety and devotion. Most of the Christian Savages and Catechumens spent a great part of the night when she died, near her body, offering prayers, repeating their rosaries and the other prayers which are taught them; the French, as well as the Savages, affectionately honored her burial. Ah, God! how different were her death and burial from the death and burial of her husband ! The husband passed away in a terrible death, and the wife died in profound peace. The husband was taken by surprise, and his wife prepared herself long beforehand; the former never had consciousness, the latter lost neither speech nor reason until the last sigh. The former [241] died like a reprobate, the latter like a daughter most obedient to the Church, after having received all her Sacraments. In short, she was buried with all the prayers, and all the ceremonies, and all the honor which the time and the place and convenience could permit; but her husband had only the burial of an ass,—he was secretly [page 273] flung into a hole like a common sewer, for fear that he might infect the air with his body, as he had polluted it with his vices and his apostasy.

"I cannot doubt, says the Father who has given us these remarks, "that the soul of that woman is in Heaven, of which I will offer this well-founded conjecture. When I was asking her whether she did not fear death, she answered me, ' Not at all; my heart yields me evidence that I believe in God; this is what consoles me and makes me hope soon to enter the heavens.' ' If that be the case,' I say to her, ' remember in that abode of glory and pleasure,—after thou shalt have thanked thy Lord and thy God for having so lovingly converted thee, and for having placed thee in his Paradise, remember to ask him for the conversion of thy mother; entreat him to give her intelligence, and love for the Faith.' ' I will not fail in this,' [242] she answers; and,—what, in truth, is very remarkable,—shortly after her decease, her mother is deeply moved. I may say, in truth, that her so sudden conversion has been one of my greatest astonishments; this woman became not only a good Christian, but pliable, docile, and very fervent. Before she had surrendered herself to her God, she jeered incessantly at prayers,— they were afterward her whole pleasure; the regarded us with as much favor as she had had horror, both of us and of our words. Her family, following her example, adores Jesus Christ. She was offered a fairly advantageous match for a daughter of hers; she would never accept it although she was in great need,—saying that God would not be served in this marriage, since that young man had not the firmness of a Christian." [page 275]

A man named Bernard d'Agmangwy, having fallen sick, was urgently solicited by that wretched Apostate named la Grenouille, to abandon the Faith as being the cause of his sickness, and the most powerful obstacle to his cure. " Thy speech avails nothing," he replied to him. ' He who first gave me life can restore it to me when he pleases; he is the master of it,—let him deal with me [243] according to his good pleasure; neither life nor death shall cause me to abandon him."

Another, called Pierre Nanchouakousity, urged by an aunt of his to sing a superstitious song in order to recover his health through the intervention of the Demon, bravely answered her that he would do nothing of the sort. " Yes, but," she replies, " thou wilt never get well. This is the third time that thou hast relapsed into thy disease: thy belief cannot cure thee." " Thy mouth," he says to her, " is too large; the words come from it too easily. Know that I would rather be sick, than offend God in order to recover my health. " That wretched woman, being taken by the Hiroquois, became desperate; and this young man died soon afterward as a true Christian, and a man full of courage.

A Frenchman, having entered the wood, perceived a Savage woman on her knees upon the snow; seeing that he was not discovered, he stopped to spy what she was doing. He saw her, with rosary in hand, her eyes toward Heaven,—in an extremely modest posture, without turning her head either to one side or to the other,—saying her prayer with extraordinary attention. She had retired [244] to the woods front the cabins, in order more freely to deal and treat with her God. That poor man was so [page 277] touched thereby that, going to find one of our Fathers, he said to him with emotion full of tenderness: " Are we not ashamed—we, who have more knowledge than these peoples—to lead a life so base, and to behave so coldly in our prayers ? This good Christian woman has given me a valuable lesson, without seeing me or speaking to me." A good Christian widow, being near death, left her son to a French family; some persons asking her the reason why she did not give him to those of her own nation, she said: " I am sure that my son will be a Christian, living with the French; this is all the good that I desire for him." The Father who went to visit her in her sickness, seeing her consoled in her abundant sufferings, was deeply moved at hearing these words issue from her lips: " No, no, I am not grieved at my sufferings, but rather because I have offended God. He looks at me, and sees what I endure; I do not tell him to take kind thought for my body, but rather to have pity on my soul. [245] When shall I see him ? When shall I leave this life ? " She asked several times that they would show her her coffin, so little apprehension did she have of death,— something so rare among the Savages that it is not permitted to name a dead person in their cabins; the Faith and grace have powerful effects in a faithful heart.

The Onontchataronons,—commonly called by the French, " those of the Iroquet nation,"—who were instructed last year at Montreal, came down this year to three Rivers; I will mention two or three who, in truth, have given excellent tokens of their salvation and predestination. Jean Baptiste Manitounagwy, baptized last year at Montreal, has continued [page 279] his fervor at three Rivers; he never entered our houses, and never did we visit his cabin, when joy was not seen spreading over his face. " You are truly our Fathers," he said to us; " a mother does not love her children, it is you who love us; but I assure you that I also love you very tenderly. Know that wherever you are, that is my country and my village; and that, as soon as I am absent from you, [246] it seems to me that I am in a strange country. When I am in the woods and you do not appear, I say, ' I have gone astray, and must seek my road; ' and my heart always looks in the direction of the house of prayer." tie uttered these words with an ingenuousness and Candor which savored naught of the Barbarian. " Whence comes it, " he said, " that you indeed allow me to set forth to you my little needs, and that you never ask anything of me? wish to ask you for two things. Here we are, ready to start for our great hunt; give me a catalogue of the Feast-days, that we may keep them in the woods; and a little salt, in order to preserve for you some Moose tongues." " Keep them for thyself and thy family," we said to him. " Why, who will better deserve to eat them, ' he answered, " than those who know God? For the rest, if I knew the massinahigan,"—that is to say, " if I knew how to write, "—" I would fill a large piece of paper with the faults that I shall commit; I would also write the errors of my people, in order to give you account of them. I fear nothing; I will openly reprove all those who shall do anything contrary to God ' s will. " This good Neophyte had a wife and a mother-in-law, who responded [247] piously to his devotion.

Taouchkaron, one of the Captains of that Iroquet [page 281] nation, did not miss instruction at Montreal; but his pride hindered him from giving himself up to the truths which he knew and approved. Having fallen Sick at three divers, he was deeply affected; he asked baptism, which was granted him. This Sacrament—received not lightly, but after thorough instruction—changed him in such a way that one no longer knew him. A more disinterested Savage was never seen; he became pliable and humble, and tractable as a child. Having gone into the woods, in order to seek their main provision of meat, he was accompanied by a man who, out of regard for him, had left one of his two wives. Hardly had they begun their hunt when that second wife came back to find her husband. Jean Taouchkaron (this name was given him in baptism) has no sooner perceived her than he folds up his baggage, rises, and comes to find the Father who had baptized him, in order to give him warning of what was going on. " I will not," he said, ' remain with a man who offends God." " Yes, but,' said the Father, " coldest not thou separate them? It may be [248] that poverty constrains that woman to seek her husband again." '' I will try,'' he answers, " to accomplish it; and I will sooner support her myself, in order to remove her from the temptation to offend God.'' This is what he did, with a charity truly Christian; and he preserved his zeal for the Faith, even to the last sigh, as we shall remark in its place.

A kinsman of his, named Ouechinkinaganich,—one of the worst characters that I have seen,—having ranged himself against the Faith, soon afterward became instructed, but his inconstancy threw him into revolt. The Faith, which had cast some roots [page 283] into his soul, began little by little to spread; and that the more easily because disease, having prostrated him, was bringing him near the fires of which he was afraid. One day, the Father, who sought only the opportunity to save him, having gone to see him with a Surgeon, the latter, feeling the patient's pulse, said to him: " Thou hast no life left; thou wilt soon die." At these words (Oh, change from the right hand of the most high!), that man begins to weep and to lament. " What? " he said, " I shall soon die? and I am not baptized. Alas! where will my poor soul go? I believe, my Father,—[249] I believe in good earnest: why dost thou not baptize me? What dost thou wish of me? I am grieved for the past; I detest my sins. Let me not leave this life without baptism." He said that in such a tone that the Father could not deny him; he conferred on him that Sacrament of light, which gave him so much joy that it was reflected upon his face; he remained at rest, enjoying a profound peace. He spent the night in the praises of God; and in the morning his soul, purified in the blood of the lamb, went to sound them with the Choirs of the Angels and the blessed.

The diversity of the nations which assemble at three Rivers occasioned, all these years, an indescribable confusion, which caused unusual difficulties to those who instruct the Savages. It is incredible how well these tribes, so different, agreed toward the end of the Autumn, and a great part of the Winter; that caused profound astonishment to all our French. God, who foresaw the massacre of these people, had brought them into these altogether extraordinary states of mind,—not to call them [page 285] into his soul, began little by little to spread; and that the more easily because disease, having prostrated him, was bringing him near the fires of which he was afraid. One day, the Father, who sought only the opportunity to save him, having gone to see him with a Surgeon, the latter, feeling the patient's pulse, said to him: " Thou hast no life left; thou wilt soon die." At these words (Oh, change from the right hand of the most high!), that man begins to weep and to lament. "What? " he said, " I shall soon die? and I am not baptized. Alas! where will my poor soul go? I believe, my Father,—[249] I believe in good earnest: why dost thou not baptize me? What dost thou wish of me? I am grieved for the past; I detest my sins. Let me not leave this life without baptism." He said that in such a tone that the Father could not deny him; he conferred on him that Sacrament of light, which gave him so much joy that it was reflected upon his face; he remained at rest, enjoying a profound peace. He spent the night in the praises of God; and in the morning his soul, purified in the blood of the lamb, went to sound them with the Choirs of the Angels and the blessed.

The diversity of the nations which assemble at three Rivers occasioned, all these years, an indescribable confusion, which caused unusual difficulties to those who instruct the Savages. It is incredible how well these tribes, so different, agreed toward the end of the Autumn, and a great part of the Winter; that caused profound astonishment to all our French. God, who foresaw the massacre of these people, had brought them into these altogether extraordinary states of mind,—not to call them [page 285] miraculous,—before they had plunged into the woods in order to carry on their great hunt. [250] Now see what arrangement they had made in their little affairs.

They had appointed Simon Piescaret to maintain the peace between tile French and the Savages, and between the Hurons and the Algonquins who happened to be with them; they gave him commission to punish the delinquents, and especially those who committed any fault against Religion. It is wonderful how faithfully he discharged his office.

Bernard d'Agmangwy was appointed to notice whether every one were present at the public prayers, either in the Church or in their cabins; and to watch over those who committed any indecency at that sacred time. Although he was not of the number of the elders, his Faith and his valor gave him the boldness to keep the most haughty to their duty; they erected a cabin expressly for instructing in various bands the Christian men, then the women, and, next, those who were not yet baptized. The beginning of their Winter hunt was full of blessing, both from Heaven and from the earth. The judgments of God are great deeps; we [251] have seen on previous occasions the fruits of those great preparations, gathered [not] by him to whom this vine belonged, but by treacherous and disloyal hands. As it has pleased God, so it has come about; may his holy name be forever blessed. [page 287]


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