Vol. VI


The Jesuit Relations: Volume 4 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

Vol. VI



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 VI.





Relation de ce qui s'est passé en La Novvelle France, en l'année 1633. [Conclusion.] Paul le Jeune; Paris, 1634.



Lettre au R. P. Provincial de France, à Paris. Paul le Jeune; Québec, 1634



Relation de ce qui s'est passé en La Novvelle France, en l'année 1634. [Chapters i.-ix.] Paul le Jeune; Maison de N. Dame des Anges, en Nouuelle France, August 7, 1634






[page i]





Photographic facsimile of title-page, Le Jeune's Relation of 1633


[page ii]


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

XXI. In the final installment of Le Jeune's Relation for 1633 (the first part was presented in our Vol. V.), the superior describes the Coming (July 28), of the Hurons to Quebec, and the conference that was held between them and the French. The missionaries make arrangements to return with these savages, to labor in their country; but, at the last moment, complications arise from the murder of a Frenchman by up-country natives, and in consequence the Hurons refuse passage to the Fathers. Le Jenne closes with an earnest appeal for help in their work in Christianizing the denizens of the great wilderness.

XXII. This is a letter from Le Jenne to his provincial, written in the year 1634, but not bearing specific date. He describes the condition of the Quebec mission; states that at last the Huron country is open to them, and Brébeuf and others have gone thither. He, with Buteux, will go to the new settlement at Three Rivers, for which he gives his reasons at length. The narrator recites their difficulties with the hired workmen brought from France; and asks that these may be replaced by lay brothers of their own order. He mentions several of these [page 1] brothers by name, describing their abilities and positions. The field of missionary work is widening, and the superior tells how it ought to be occupied, and how many should be assigned for each station. He requests the provincial to appoint another superior in Canada, as his duties are too heavy for him. More missionaries are asked for, and a special petition is entered for the appointment, in this connection, of his friend Benier.

Le Jeune describes the dwelling of the Jesuits at Quebec, and asks for means to fence in a tract of land for their cattle, and to erect a small house for the herders; also, to repair their buildings, injured by the English. He plans how they may provide a portion of their own food, hitherto wholly brought from France: and describes the crops they have thus far raised, with the effect of the climate on each. He deprecates the formation of too many missions, preferring to strengthen those already formed-; and relates the kind help given them by the Company of New France.

In conclusion, our author rehearses the difficulties of reaching the wandering tribes; asks for a seminary for the children; expresses a desire to send some of these to France for education; and requests aid to enlarge the Quebec mission. The manuscript which has come down to us, lacks some of its final pages, but appears to be substantially complete.

XXIII. This document is Le Jeune's Relation of 1634, closed at the mission house in Quebec, August 7th of that year, and sent to his provincial at Paris. The following abstract covers the first nine chapters (out of a total of thirteen), which is all we have space for in the present volume. [page 2]

Le Jeune, as the superior of his order in New France, describes the good conduct and piety of the French settlers, and the wisdom and goodness of the governor, Champlain. An account is given, from hearsay, of the sudden death of Jacques Michel, a profane Huguenot, a tragedy which is thought to have been a direct punishment for his blasphemies. This is followed by a long description of the conversion and baptism of certain savages, and the happy death of some of these. A definite plan is advocated for the conversion of the natives in the neighborhood of Quebec: that the French, their protectors, should make themselves more formidable to the common enemy, the Iroquois; that the friendly natives should be systematically taught agriculture, and induced to become sedentary, and, while thus acquiring this technical education, should be aided with food; that seminaries should be established, in which Indian children, both boys and girls, can be educated at Quebec.

The superior then gives a detailed account of the religious belief, traditions, and superstitions, of the Montagnais tribe, among whom he had passed the preceding winter,—their fasts, rites, and customs. He praises their intelligence, contentment, fortitude, good nature, generosity; but condemns their filthy habits, their inveterate habit of mockery and ridicule, their fierce cruelty towards enemies, their disposition to utter slander, their deceitfulness, gluttony, intemperance, vile language, and impudent habits of begging. He enumerates the animals, birds, fishes, fruits, and roots eaten by the savages. Their numerous feasts are described, and the customs and superstitions connected therewith; also, their mode of hunting elks, beavers, and other animals, and of [page 3] fishing, both by nets and harpoons. He also describes some of the fauna peculiar to Canada,-the singing marmot, the skunk, the squirrels, and the humming-bird.

We take much pleasure in announcing that arrangements have been concluded with Mr. Victor Hugo Paltsits, of the staff of Lenox Library, to furnish notes for and to revise the Bibliographical Data for our series, his services commencing with the present volume. Mr. Paltsits is one of the members of the Bibliographical Society of London, and an expert of wide repute in this important field.

We are under obligations to the Rev. Rudolph Meyer, S. J., of Rome, for valuable advice and encouragement; and to the Rev. T. O'Leary, of Edgegrove, Pa., for kindly suggestions.

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis. April, 1897.

[page 4]

XXI (concluded)

Le Jeune’s Relation, 1633



Continued from Vol. V.

[page 5]

On the 4th, another council was held; I was present with Father Brebeuf, because the embarkation of our Fathers was to be talked over. Sieur de Champlain made his presents, which corresponded in value to those that the Hurons had made him. To accept presents from the Savages is to bind oneself to return an equivalent. A great many things were spoken of in this council; among others, the Hurons asked for the liberation of the Savage prisoner who [293 i.e., 193] had recently killed a Frenchman, as I stated above. Sieur de Champlain sought earnestly to make the Hurons understand that it was not right to restore him to liberty; and that, having killed a Frenchman who had done him no harm, he deserved death. The Hurons were satisfied with the reason given them. They spoke also of the friendship contracted between them and the French, saying that it would be greatly strengthened by the Fathers going into their country. The Hurons were the happiest people in the world. Those who were to embark and to carry the Fathers in their canoes had already received pay for their future trouble; we had placed in their hands the parcels or little baggage of the Fathers. We had gone to the Storehouse to sleep, Father de Nouë and I, with our three Fathers, that we might see them off early the next [194] morning in their little canoes, and might say to them our last farewell, when all at once our joy was changed into sadness. At about ten or eleven o'clock that night, a one-eyed Savage, belonging to the Island tribe, closely allied to the tribe of the prisoner, went among the cabins of all the Savages crying out that they should be careful not to take any Frenchmen in their canoes, and that the relatives of the prisoner were on [page 7] the watch along the river to kill the Frenchmen, if they could catch them during the passage. On the previous Sunday some Savages of the same tribe as the prisoner had held a council with the captains of the Montagnaits, of the island Savages, and of the Hurons, to determine how they might secure the pardon of this prisoner. The Hurons were besought to ask it. They refused, and this Island Savage, whose tribe was allied to the tribe of the murderer, raised this [195] general cry among the cabins, warning every one not to give passage to a Frenchman, unless they wished to place him in evident danger of his life. Having heard the cry, and Father Brebeuf, who was listening, having interpreted its meaning to me, I went with Father de Nouë to the fort to give information of the same to Sieur de Champlain. We had been sleeping in the storehouse of the French, around which the Savages were encamped. The Fort was opened to us; and, after having made known the object of our night visit, we returned to the place whence we had departed. Upon the way we found the Captains of the Savages in council, to whom the Interpreter, according to the order of Sieur de Champlain, declared that he desired to talk to them once more before their departure. The next morning, at daybreak, a Savage passed through the [196] camp proclaiming that they were not to depart that day; and that the young men should keep the peace, and that those who had not sold all their merchandise should sell it. About eight or nine in the morning, sieur de Champlain again assembled the Captains of the Hurons, the Island Savages who had made this outcry, and the Captain of the Montagnaits. He asked the Savage why he had aroused that [page 9] opposition; he answered that the whole country was in a state of alarm, and that it would be lost if the French were embarked to be taken to the Hurons, for the relatives of the prisoner would not fail to kill some of the party and that thereupon war would be declared; that the Hurons even would be dragged into it; for, if they defended the French, they would be attacked, and that thus the whole country would be lost; that he had [197] not aroused any opposition, but had merely made known the wicked designs of the murderer's relatives; that, if the prisoner were released, these troubles would immediately be ended, and that the river and the whole country would be free. The Hurons were asked if they still adhered to their wish to take us to their country. They answered that the river was not theirs, and that great caution must be observed in regard to those other tribes, if they were to pass by in security. As far as they were concerned, they asked nothing better than to furnish passage to the French. I observed the discretion of these Savages, for they gave evidence of their affection for us, in such manner as not to offend the tribes through which they must pass in coming to Kebec. One of them, addressing the Island Savage, said: "Now listen; when [198] we shall be up there in thy country, do not say that we have not spoken in behalf of the prisoner; we have done all that we could, but what answer wouldst thou have us make to the reasons given by sieur de Champlain? The French are the friends of all of us; if it depended only upon us, we should embark them. " It must be confessed that the Hurons showed a strong inclination to take our Fathers with them. Sieur de Champlain, seeing this so sudden change, did all in [page 11] his power, and gave us liberty to advance all the reasons we could, to the end that our fathers might be set on their way. He urged very strong and very pertinent reasons; he used threats; he proposed peace and war; in short nothing more could be desired. But to all this the Savage answered that they could not restrain their young men ; that he [199] had given warning of their wicked intentions, and that the French ought to postpone their departure for this year; that they would vent their anger upon the Hiroquois, their enemies, and then the river would be free. " Do not blame us," said he, " if misfortune overtakes you; for we could not restore order. " Thereupon, in order to win over this Savage, I asked for the pardon of the prisoner, having previously agreed upon this with sieur de Champlain, who replied to me that it was a matter of life and death with him, and that our great King would ask him to give an account of the man who had been killed. I begged him to suspend the execution of the death sentence, until the King might be spoken to, and his will learned. And thereupon, following my point, I addressed the Savages, representing our affection for them; saying that we had never sought the death of any one; [200] that we everywhere tried to promote peace. Sieur de Champlain did admirably on his part, saying that we talked to God; that we were loved by all who knew us, that he wanted no other witnesses of this than the Hurons themselves, who had cherished us so dearly; that we were going to teach them great things. The Hurons answered that it was very well, that we had proposed a good expedient; that of postponing the death of this Savage until we should have news from our great King. I [page 13] then importuned the Island Savage, asking him whether the prisoner's kindred, if they knew that we were pleading for him, would not allow us to pass if they encountered us. "What dost thou wish me to say?" he answered, " they are furious. If the prisoner is not liberated, there is no safety; they will pardon [201] no one." Thereupon the Interpreter replied: "If they act the part of devils, so will we." In a word, Sieur de Champlain intimidated them, saying they must look out for themselves; that if a Savage was seen with arms, he would give permission to his men to fire upon him and kill him; that they [the savages] had threatened him himself, because he went about alone; but hereafter he would not go around like a child, but like a soldier. "I am a friend to all, you are my friends," said he to the Hurons; "I love you; I have risked my life for you, I will risk it again; I will protect you; but I am the enemy of evil-doers. "

It will be said that the Captain of the tribe of the murderer ought to have seized all those who had wicked designs against the French. It is true; but I have already remarked above that these [202] Savages have no system of government, and that their Captain has no such authority. What he can do, is to ask these wicked people to give up their designs. Indeed, it has happened before, when the Savages feared the Europeans more than they do now, if one of their men wanted to kill a Frenchman, either having dreamed that he was to do it, or from other cause, the others flattered him and made him presents, fearing that he would carry out his wicked intentions, and in this way they might lose the whole country. Now it is a great deal if they warn the [page 15] French to be on their guard, as they did not long ago, saying that there were some young men who were prowling about in the woods to kill any Frenchman that they might find by himself; and thus we [203] are not safe among these people. Let us say, however: Qui habitat in adjutorio Altissimi, in protectione Dei cæli commorabitur.

But to the conclusion of this council. Father Brebeuf seeing that his journey was broken up, and that it would be foolhardy to undertake it,—not through fear of death, because I never saw them more resolute, both he and his two companions, Father Daniel and Father Davost, than when they were told that they might lose their lives on the road which they were about to take for the glory of our Lord; but as they would involve the French in war against these people, in case they were killed,—we agreed with sieur de Champlain, that the preservation of peace among these tribes was preferable to the consolation they would experience in dying on such an occasion. Now Father Brebeuf, seeing [204] the way closed for that year, addressed the Hurons, saying: " You are our brothers, we wish to go to your country to live and die with you; but, as the river is closed, we shall wait until the coming year, when all will be peaceable. It is you who will sustain the greater loss; because now, as I am beginning to be able to talk to you without an interpreter, I wish to teach you the way to heaven, and to reveal to you the great riches of the other life; but this misfortune deprives you of all these blessings." They replied that they were very sorry, and that a year would very soon pass away.

Upon the dispersion of this assembly, we went [page 17] through the cabins, to get the little baggage of our Fathers that we had already placed in the hands of the Savages to be carried to their [205] country. These poor people regretted this unfortunate affair very much; and some of those of the village of la Rochelle said to the Father that, if he wished to go with them, they would carry him, and they hoped to give him a peaceful passage. But that would be placing himself and them and the French in danger. Thus the hope of going into the Huron country is lost for this year. I pray God to open the door for us next year. Below are two reasons, stronger than two great locks, which seem to have closed it to us for a long time.

The first is found in the interests of the Island Savages, the Algonquains, and the other tribes which are between Kebec and the Hurons. These people, in order to monopolize the profit of the trade, prefer that the Hurons should not go down the river to trade their peltries with the French, desiring themselves to collect the [206] merchandise of the neighboring tribes and carry it to the French; that is why they do not like to see us go to the Hurons, thinking that we would urge them to descend the river, and that, the French being with them, it would not be easy to bar their passage. The second reason may be found in the fear of the Hurons, who see that the French will not accept presents as a compensation for the murder of one of their countrymen; they fear that their young men may do some reckless deed, for they would have to give up, alive or dead, any one who might have committed murder, or else break with the French. This makes them uneasy. Aside from this, as sieur de Champlain has told them that [page 19] there is no true friendship unless visits are interchanged, they are very desirous, at least in appearance, to have us [207] in their country. God has set limits to time, which man cannot pass. When the moment shall have come which he has fixed for giving succor to these tribes, there will be neither dike nor barrier that can resist his power.

However, as the secret resources of his providence are hidden from me, I have not been able, up to the present time, to look with regret upon this delay of our Fathers. As far as we are able to foresee with our human vision, there are hopes of a great harvest; but, having done all that was in our power to send laborers to this field, we believe that the master thereof does not wish the sickle to be yet used upon it. If this blow is a blow from the kindness of him who sees beyond our thoughts, may he be forever blessed. If it is a stroke of his justice for the [208] severe chastisement of our offences, still be he blessed beyond all time. We hate the cause of this chastisement, and adore the hand that strikes us, very confident that he who drew light out of darkness will draw good from this misfortune. Our Fathers will not be idle here. Father Brebeuf will teach them every day, evening and morning, the language of the Hurons. I myself feel very much inclined to go to this school, in order that, if Your Reverence should wish to send me with them next year, I may already have made some progress; I have decided nothing certain yet upon this point; I wish to think about it more at my leisure before God.

To return to our Hurons: Louys Amantacha, seeing that we were not going to his country, and that he was to leave us next morning at daybreak, came to [page 21] sleep in our little house, in order to confess and [209] to receive holy communion once more before his departure. This he did, causing us great consolation; and on the following day, August 6th, all the Hurons packed their baggage, and in less than no time took away their houses and their riches, and carried them off, to use them on the road of about 300 leagues, which is the distance reckoned to be between Kebec and their country. I talked for some time with Louys Amantacha, and sounded him as well as I could; for the Savages are quite artful and dissimulating. I found nothing but good in him; he is one of the admirable characters that I have seen among these people. Your Reverence will permit me, if you please, to recommend him to your prayers and to those of all our Fathers and Brothers in your province; for, if once the spirit of God takes possession of this soul, he will be a powerful reinforcement for those who will carry the good news of the Gospel into these countries; and, [210] on the contrary, as he has associated with the English, if he be inclined to evil, he will ruin everything; but we have more reason to hope for good than to fear evil. Besides, it seems that God desires to open the treasures of his mercy to these poor Barbarians, who look upon us with affection; at least, judging from appearances. I see a great desire among our Fathers to overcome all the difficulties which are encountered in the study of these languages; and you might almost say that God has detained them that they may learn them more conveniently here, and may, at the same time, kindle the fire in a number of places among the Hurons, when his Majesty shall have opened to them the way. I only fear one thing in this delay; that Old France [page 23] fail to give New [France] the necessary aid, seeing the harvest is so slow in ripening. But let it be remembered that mushrooms spring up in a night, while it requires [111 i.e. 211] years to ripen the fruits of the palm. It was 38 years, as I have heard, before anything was accomplished in Brazil. How long have they been waiting at the gates of China? May it be God's will that they have been received there at the hour when I write. Those who run and become greatly heated often weary themselves more than they advance. I do not say this to defer for a long time the conversion of the Savages. If our Fathers had gone among the Hurons this year, I expected to write to Your Reverence next year that raceperat Samaria verbum Dei; that these barbarians had received the faith. That will be when it shall please him upon whom all of this great work depends; for, in my opinion, men can accomplish but very little here, although they should spare neither their labor, nor their blood, nor their lives. Oh, whoever would see in one of the great streets of Paris what I saw three days ago near the great river St. [212] Lawrence, five or six hundred Hurons in their Savage costumes,—some in bear skins, others in beaver, and others in Elk skins, all well made men of splendid figures, tall, powerful, good-natured, and able-bodied,—whoever would see them, I say, asking help and uttering the word of that Macedonian to saint Paul: Transiens in Macedoniam adjuva nos; " Come, help us, bring into our country the torch which has never yet illuminated it!" Oh, what compassion this spectacle would excite in these people, however little love they have for him who shed his blood for these souls that are being lost every day, [page 25] because no one gathers it up to apply it to their salvation.

But it is about time for me to reflect that I am no longer writing a letter, but a book, I have made it so long. It was not my intention to write so much; the pages have insensibly multiplied [213] and I am so situated that I must send this scrawl, as I am unable to rewrite it and to make a clean copy of it, such as I think ought to be presented to Your Reverence. I shall write another time more accurately, and with more assurance. In these beginnings, as I have said, much confidence is given to the reports of those who are believed to have had experience among the Savages. Plus valet oculatus testis quàm decem auriti. I have observed that, after having seen two or three Savages do the same thing, it is at once reported to be a custom of the whole Tribe. The argument drawn from the enumeration of parts is faulty, if it does not comprehend all or the greater part. Add to this that there are many tribes in these countries who agree in a number of things, and differ in many others; so that, when it is said that certain practices are common to the Savages, it may be true [214] of one tribe and not true of another. Time is the father of truth.

This is enough for this year; I offer thousands and thousands of thanks for the interest and charity of Your Reverence in our behalf, and in behalf of the many poor people whom you bless by keeping us here; for, although we do but little, yet I hope that we shall make a beginning for those who are to come after us and who will do a great deal. We are all in good health, by the grace of our Lord; and we beseech Your Reverence, with one heart, to send us [page 29] persons capable of learning the languages. It is what I now believe to be most necessary for the welfare of the souls in this country. As to the soil, I send you some of its fruits; they are heads of wheat, of rye, and of barley, that we planted near our little house. We gathered last year a few wisps of rye that [215] we found here and there among the peas; I counted in some of them 60 kernels, in others So, in others 112. We threshed these gleanings and took from them a little rye, which will this year pay us very well for the trouble that we had in gleaning it last year. The little wheat which we sowed before the snows is very beautiful; that which was sown in the spring will not ripen, because it is winter wheat. We must have some March wheat, and some that is beardless, for these are said to be the best. The barley is finer than in France; and I have no doubt that, if this country were cleared, very fertile valleys would be found. The woods are troublesome; they retain the cold, engender the slight frosts, and produce great quantities of vermin, such as grasshoppers, worms, and insects, which are especially destructive in our garden; we shall rid ourselves of them, little by [216] little, without, however, leaving the place. I resumed this discourse unintentionally; let us cut it short, to recommend ourselves to the prayers and to the Holy Sacrifices of Your Reverence and of your whole province. I believe that this mission is cherished by you, and that these poor Savages occupy a good place in your heart. He also is there with them who is, in truth,

Of Your Reverence,

The greatly obliged and very obedient servant, in God,

Paul le Jeune.

[page 29]

Extract from the Royal License.

BY Grace and License of the King, permission is granted to Sebastien Cramoisy, Bookseller under Oath, of the University of Paris, to print or to have printed a book entitled: Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en 1'année mil six cens trente trois, Envoyée au R. P. Barthelemy Jaquinot Provincial de la Compagnie de Jesus en la province de France, Par le Pere Paul le Jeune de la mesme Compagnie, Superieur de la Residence de Kebek: and this during the time and space of five consecutive years. Prohibiting all Booksellers and Printers from printing or having printed the said book, under any pretext of disguise or change that they may make in it, on penalty of confiscation and of the fine provided by the said License. Given at Sainct Germain en Laye, on the 10th of December, one thousand six hundred and thirty-three.

By the King in council.


[page 31]



Lettre du Le Jeune

au R. P. Provincial à Paris

Québec: 1634


Source: Reprinted from Carayon's Première Mission, pp. 122 - 156.

[page 33]

[122] Letter from Father Paul le Jeune, to the Reverend Father Provincial of France, at Paris.

(Copied from the autograph preserved in the archives of the Gesù, at Rome.)

QUEBEC, 1634.


The peace of Christ be with you.

The tears which fall from my eyes at the sight of the letters of Your Reverence, stop my pen; I am hard as bronze, and yet your love has so greatly softened me, that joy makes me weep and causes me to utter a thousand blessings to God. Oh, what a heart! What love! What good will you show toward us! I do not know how to respond to it except by saying to you, "ecce me; behold me altogether in your hands, for Canada, for France, and for all the world, ad majorem Dei gloriam." I behold myself so weak in all things, and God so mighty in all things, that it seems to me there is nothing more to be desired nor to be avoided. They have written me that Your Reverence has given for the poor Canadians even the very image from your oratory. M. de Lauson* [123] says that his affection is boundless. and that he will put the mission in such a state, that they will be obliged to secure the continuance of so great a blessing. Everyone acknowledges that God is for us, since the hearts of the superiors, which are in his hands, are all for us. How can we be insensible to [page 35] so many benefits, and keep our hearts and eyes dry, in a downpouring of so many blessings! But let us enter upon affairs; I shall spare neither ink nor paper, since Your Reverence endures with so much love my tediousness and my simplicity. After having thanked you with all my heart for the help which you have been pleased to send us, as well as for the food and fresh supplies, I will describe to you fully the state of this mission.

Let us begin with what has occurred this year. We have lived in great peace, thank God, among ourselves, with our working people, and with all the French. I have been greatly pleased with all our Fathers. Father Brebeuf is a man chosen of God for these lands; I left him in my place for six .months, with the exception of nine days, while I passed the winter with the savages. Everything went on peacefully during that time. [124] Father Daniel and Father Davost§ are quiet men. They have studied the Huron language thoroughly, and I have taken care that they should not be diverted from this work, which I believe to be of very great importance. Father Massé,± whom I sometimes playfully call Father Useful, is well known to Your Reverence. He has had the care of the domestic affairs [page 37] and of our cattle, in which he has succeeded very well. Father de Nouë,* who has a good heart, has had the care of our laborers, directing there in their work, which is very difficult in these beginnings. Our Brother Gilbert has felt better this winter than the last, as it has not been so severe. I gave him liberty to return this year, but he preferred to remain. We shall see how he will succeed with our Brother Liégeois who, in My [125] opinion, will do very well. I am the most imperfect of all and the most impatient. I have passed the winter with the Savages, as I have just said. Famine almost killed us; but God is so present in these difficulties, that this time of famine seemed to me a time of abundance; were it not that I am afraid of wearying you, I would recount to Your Reverence the sentiments with which God inspired me at that time. I confess that I sometimes experienced hunger, and that often these words came to my lips: Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie; but I think I never pronounced them without adding this condition: si ita placitum est ante te. I also occasionally repeated these words of saint Xavier with a very good heart: Domine, ne me his eripias malis, nisi ad majora pro tuo nomine reserves. I was consoled even in my sleep; but let us leave this, for God was acting then. This is what I am: as soon as we were assisted by creatures, I became sick in body and in soul, God causing me to see what he is and what I am. I [page 39] was impatient, disgusted, seeking a retreat in our little house. I tried to put an end to this condition of misery; but, as my passions are altogether depraved, I stumbled at every step, bringing back nothing from this journey except my faults. I have set down in my Relation the reasons why I returned, knowing little about their language; enough upon this subject. As [126] to what concerns our men: every morning they hear holy Mass before their work, and in the evening all come to chapel, where the prayers which I send to Your Reverence are recited. We sing vespers on feast days and Sundays, and almost every Sunday an exhortation is made to them. Besides, there is preaching at Kébec, where they also sing vespers, and occasionally a high Mass. This is the outline of our occupations during this last year; the Relation speaks thereof more fully.

For the year which we are about to begin at the departure of the ships, this is the way in which we shall be distributed and what we shall do:

Father Brebeuf, Father Daniel, and Father Davost, with three brave young men and two little boys, will be among the Hurons. At last our Lord has opened to them the door. M. Duplessis§ has aided greatly in this; let us say M. de Lauson, who has without doubt recommended this affair to him, of which he has acquitted himself very well, as Your Reverence will see by the letter which Father Brebeuf has sent me on his way to the Hurons. I believe that they must now be quite near the place where they intend to go. This stroke is a stroke from heaven; we shall [page 41] hope for a great harvest from this country. Father [127] Brebeuf and Father Daniel exposed themselves to great suffering; for they went away without baggage, or without the money necessary to live. God has provided therefor, as M. Duplessis has taken care that all should go well. So much for the Hurons.

We shall live at Three Rivers, Father Buteux* and I. This place is upon the great river, 30 leagues farther up than Kébec, upon the way to the Hurons; it is called Three Rivers, because a certain river which flows through the land empties into the great river by three mouths. Our French people are this year beginning a settlement there, and two of our Fathers must be there. I have been doubtful for a long time as to who should go. Father Brebeuf and Father de Nouë thought that I should remain at Kébec; but I perceived that Father Lalemant was apprehensive of this new abode, believing that he would never return if he were sent there, offering himself freely, however, to do what should be desired. It is true that some persons generally die in these beginnings, but death is not always a great evil.

After having commended this affair to our Lord, [128] I resolved to go there myself, for the following reasons:

1.      I believed that I was doing nothing contrary to the designs of Your Reverence in leaving the house for seven or eight months, for I can return in the spring; however, I do not know whether I shall come back before the coming of the ships. Moreover [page 43] I leave it in the hands of a person who will do a hundred times better than I, for quis ego sum? an atom in comparison with him. I had some doubts in regard to the strength of his voice for preaching at Kébec; but the audience room is small, and he does not find any inconvenience therein.

2.      I thought that it would be more agreeable to our Lord that I should give the Father this satisfaction, that he need not leave Kébec, where we are rather comfortably situated; and that, if there be any danger, I ought to take it upon myself.

3.      The son of God, dying upon the cross, has obligated us to bear the cross, so we should not flee from it when it presents itself; this is my strongest reason, for in truth there is suffering in a new settlement, especially in one established so hurriedly as that one. I do not know how the house will be arranged; we shall be mixed up with workingmen, drinking, eating, and sleeping with them; they cannot make other provision for us of any kind whatever. All this does not appall me, for the cabins of the savages, in which I lived this winter, [129] are much worse. Father Buteux pleases me greatly, for he takes this cheerfully; I see him strongly determined to bear the cross. Your Reverence is right in saying that this is the kind of spirit that we should have. We shall study the language there, although less advantageously than at Kébec, on account of the lodging, in which there will be a greater hubbub than in the cabins of the savages; for our French people, with whom we shall be in company, are not so calm and patient as these barbarians. Furthermore, I had intended this winter to keep a savage with me at Kébec to instruct me, since I am beginning to be [page 45] to question them; this cannot be done at Three Rivers; but it is of no importance, I shall do what can.

There will remain at Kébec, Father Lallemant, Father Massé, Father de Nouë, and our two Brothers, with all our men. The gentleness and virtue of Father Lallemant will hold all in peace, and will cause the work of our people to prosper. I did not think it feasible to send Father de Nouë and Father Brebeuf to Three Rivers,—

1.      because Father de Nouë looks after our men here;

2.      Father Buteux would have lost a year, he would have done nothing at all in the language;

3.      Satis calidus est, licet alioquin optimum, P. de Nouë;

so Father Lallemant or I myself had to go. I have chosen this lot for myself, believing that I should leave the house in greater peace than if I remained, [130] and I believe that Your Reverence will approve my action; at least I thought I was following in this an impulse from God; may he be forever praised! So that is what we shall do this year. It is a great occupation, to suffer nobly; may God give us grace for it! Let us speak now of our household servants.

I have said that we lived peacefully on all sides. The murmurs and escapades which occasionally happen should not be placed in the list of great disorders, when one rises as soon as he has fallen, and when the fall is not great. A number of our men have occasionally shown some impatience; but we have reason to bless God, for nothing of importance has happened. Here are the causes for their discontent.

1.      It is the nature of working people to complain and to grumble. [page 47]

2.      The difference in wages makes them complain: A carpenter, a brickmaker, and others will earn more than the laborers, and yet they do no work so much; I mean that it is not so hard for them as for the others, because they are following their professions, and the others are doing more laborious things: inde querimoniæ. They do not consider that a master-mason may exert himself less than a laborer, although he earns more. [131]

3.      The greater part do not follow their trades, except for a short time; a tailor, a shoemaker, a gardener, and others, are amazed when required to drag some wood over the snow; besides, they complain that they will forget their trades.

4.      It must be confessed that the work is great in these beginnings; the men are the horses and oxen; they carry or drag wood, trees, or stones; they till the soil, they harrow it. The insects in summer, the snows in winter, and a thousand other inconveniences, are very troublesome. The youth who in France worked in the shade find here a great difference. I am astonished that the hardships they have to undergo, in doing things they have never done before, do not cause them to make a greater outcry than they do.

5.      They all lodge in one room; and, as they have not all learned to control their passions, and are of dispositions altogether different, they have occasions for causeless quarrels.

6.      As we are more or less dependent upon them, not being able to send them back when they fail to do right, and as they see that a stick for the purpose of chastising them is of little use in our hands, they are much more arrogant than they would be with [page 49] laymen, who would urge them with severity and firmness.

Your Reverence will weigh all these reasons, if you please, [132] and will aid us in praising God; for notwithstanding all this, we have not failed to pass the year peaceably, reprimanding some, punishing others, though rarely—very often pretending not to see; Deus sit in æternum benedictus! and, as it is not enough that peace should dwell among us, but that it should be firmly established, if it be possible, I deem it best to do what I am about to say.

Only good workmen are needed here; hence it would be well for us to have three capable Brothers, to perform the minor duties of the house,- cooking, baking, making shoes, making clothes, looking after the garden, the sacristy, washing, tinkering, caring for the cattle, the milk, butter, etc. All these duties would be divided among these three good Brothers, and thus we would be relieved of giving wages to workmen who are occupied with these duties, and who complain when they are given other things to do. All our men should be engrossed with the heavy tasks, and consequently I beg Your Reverence to send us two good Brothers. Our Brother Liégeois, who is beginning very well, will be the third. As to our Brother Gilbert, perhaps he will be sent back; if not, he will work slowly at carpentry, for he is already broken down and hindered by a rupture. The following are the Brothers upon whom my choice would fall, if it please Your Reverence; our [1331 Brother Claude Frémont and our Brother the locksmith, whom you promised in your letters to send us next year. I do not know either of them, but I am told that they are both peaceable and good workmen. [page 51] If this be true, Your Reverence will send them to us, if you please. One of them could be easily sent to the Hurons or to Three Rivers, according to the course of events.

With these good Brothers, we should have here at least ten men capable of building, cultivating, and reaping,—in a word, of doing everything. Whoever could do still more, would be the best; these who are altogether occupied with the heavy work, will not complain of those who perform the minor duties. We have already four of these men, so there remain six to be sent; and we shall send back next year all those we have, except these four. The following ought to be the arrangement of the household for the coming year in regard to work, if it so please Your Reverence: ten good workmen and three or four of our Brothers; namely, Our Brother Liégeois, Our Brother Claude Frémont, Our Brother the locksmith, whose name I do not know, and our Brother Gilbert, if he remain. In regard to the six workmen for whom we ask, the following will be their trades: two strong carpenters, at least one of them understanding how to erect a building,- in a word, let him understand his trade; a joiner, and three workmen [134] who can be employed in clearing the land, in using the pit saw (they need not know this trade, but must have only willingness and strength to do it), in reaping, in helping the carpenters, the mason, the brickmaker in watching the cattle, in doing everything that is required of them; for this, strong men are needed, and those who are willing. If we cannot have two carpenters, let one good one, at least, come over; and, instead of the other, such a workman as I have just described. I shall speak [page 53] again of this matter elsewhere, to the end that, if one of our ships fail to arrive, the other will bear our letters. It is very easy to describe a good workman, but quite difficult to find one. I shall explain to Your Reverence elsewhere our need of having these ten men.

As to the four who desire or were desiring to enter our Society, I will tell you that Ambroise, who gave such satisfaction at Orleans and elsewhere, and who even here rendered some good services, wished to go away this year. He has a good disposition and is an excellent workman. If he gives satisfaction, we will beg Your Reverence to receive him next year; if not, he will not secure any letter of recommendation. As for Louys, he does wonders in his trade; but when he is given something else to do, he is discontented. The rough and heavy work to be done here discourages him, as well as Robert Hache. They are both good boys, but they have not enough [135] courage, and perhaps not enough strength, for the work in Canada. They almost asked to return this year, but the fear of not being received stopped them. We will see how they do from now on; they show great willingness.

As to Jacques Junier, he perseveres in doing right. In truth I would prefer ten men like him to ten others. He has now been a long time in the country; and I have told him, on the part of Your Reverence, that he would be received when he went back to France. Two things prevent his returning this year: the first is that it is exceedingly disagreeable for him to make a sea voyage, as he becomes very sick; the second, that the house can scarcely get along without him, he is so necessary to us in every way. He is a [page 55] young man who says nothing, but does much. As I was representing to Father Lallemant that Your Reverence would send him back to us as soon as possible, he said to me: "The difficulty which our Reverend Father Provincial will have, in allowing him to make his novitiate here, arises from his belief that it would not be approved at Rome, nor indeed among some of our Fathers; were it not for this, he loves our mission so much that he would leave him here, especially if he were informed of the amiability of this good boy, who needs only the gown to be a religious; and, if he conducts himself in religion as he does in the world, they will be satisfied with him. I shall write [136] now to Rome," said he, "to the end that they may grant us this favor, which is important for the good of our house ; inform Our Reverend Father Provincial of this." I am doing so through this letter. If he must return, he will return. God is the master of all. I beg Your Reverence to pardon me if I seem to speak with a lack of respect in my letters; I wish absolutely nothing, my Reverend Father, except what you deem best before God. I speak as I believe it needful, as it seems to me.

Let us speak of the Fathers whom this mission needs.

Two are needed among the Hurons; if they make peace with the Iroquois, for I am told that it is being negotiated, a number more will be needed, as we must enter all the stationary tribes. If these people receive the faith, they will cry with hunger, and there will be no one to feed them, for lack of persons who know the languages. Moreover, the Brothers who should be among the Hiroquois would exert themselves to preserve the peace between them and [page 57] Hurons; nevertheless, on account of the uncertain of this peace, we ask for only two Fathers to go to the Hurons. There must be a superior at Three Rivers, and two Fathers must remain at Kébec, near our French people; so this makes five priests and two Brothers. Let us see what need there is of having so many men.

As for the two Fathers who will be sent to the Hurons, [137] they could be sent from there to the Neutral tribe, or among the Hiroquois, or to some other tribe; or even be kept among the Hurons, who number thirty thousand souls in a very small extent of country. For Kébec, I ask two Fathers; if Father Lallemant is superior, he will remain with Fathers Massé and de Nouë, and with our people, to ensure the success of the house; the two Fathers will be at the fort, where they talk of building them a little house or a room; they will preach, will hear confessions, will administer the sacraments, and will say holy mass for our French people; in short, they will perform the office of pastors, and will learn the language of the savages, going to visit them when they encamp around the place. They will have a boy, who will every week bring them their food from our house, distant from the fort a good half league.

I ask a superior for Three Rivers, for it is not too much to keep three Fathers there, so that there may be always two free for the savages. But if Your Reverence wishes to send only two, Father Buteux, to whom I shall this year teach what I know of the language, will remain with the one at Kébec, or at Three Rivers, and I with the other; but it seems to me three are not too many for Three Rivers; one will be for our French people, the two others for the [page 59] savages; indeed, it may [138] happen that one of them will be sent to the Hurons, with the two who must go up there. I am inclined to think that Father Brebeuf may ask more than two; so that, if Your Reverence can send us five Fathers and two Brothers, it will not be too many. I often call to mind what I once heard him say, "ad pauca attendens facile enunciat; I have indeed as many people as I need, but I do not say where the food will be found to nourish them." To that I have no answer. I am restricting myself as much as I can; because, for the good of this mission, it would be well to have more people than we are asking.

Just here I have two humble requests to make of Your Reverence. I make them in the name of Jesus Christ from the very depths of my heart. My Reverend Father, I beg Your Reverence to discharge me. I sometimes say to the little crosses which come to me, "And this also and as many as you wish, O my God. " But to those which Father Lallemant has brought me in Your Reverence's letters, which continue me in my charge, I have said this more than three times, but with a shrinking of the heart which could not drink this cup. In truth, my Reverend Father, I have not the talents, nor the qualities, nor the mildness, necessary to be superior: besides, I say it, and it is true, it is a great disturbance in the study of the language; I say a very great disturbance,—I will even say that this, during the present year, is preventing the salvation, perhaps, [139] Of some savages. I learn that the Savages who are at Three Rivers are all sick, and are dying in great numbers. Also Father Brebeuf, who passed through there, writes me that it would be fitting that I should go there; I am busy with the letters, I have nothing [page 61] or very little ready; the ships will soon be ready to sail away; I shall not have my letters and reports prepared to send Your Reverence in regard to our needs, but I am hurrying as much as possible. If I were not Superior, I would be free from all this and would have been up there a long time ago. I am preparing to go there and remain until spring, or until the coming of the ships. I have not a mind capable of so many things: the care of our people, little difficulties of so many kinds, in short, all are brought to the Superior; and that distracts him greatly, especially at Kebec, where we are quite numerous. Add to this the sermons, confessions, and visits. I am willing to think that all these things would not greatly interfere with Father Lallemant's study of the language; as for me, I say it before God, it distracts me greatly therefrom. Since the month of April, when I returned from my stay with the savages, I have not looked at a word of their language. Father Lallemant, who is not so studious, wished, when he first came, to pay a little attention to the work of our men. -Finally he got [140] rid of this duty, confessing to me frankly, what he had been unwilling to believe, that it was impossible to study with this care. Time altogether free is given to those who study in our classes, they have good teachers, they have good books, they are comfortably lodged; and I, who am without books, without masters, badly lodged, shall I be able to study, engrossed with cares which very often occupy me almost entirely? Your Reverence will consider this before God, if you please; I wish only his greater glory. It is true that I start at my own shadow; but time speaks for me,—it is more than three years (or will be at the coming of the ships) since I have been in charge; Father Lallemant, [page 63] being what he is, and dwelling at Kebec, will give great satisfaction. I thank Your Reverence in advance for granting me this request. Here is the second.

Father Benier writes me that he would be inconsolable at not coming to Canada, if he were not confronted with his sins, which prevent him from it; he begs me to write to Rome for him. I tell Your Reverence frankly that he hopes they will open to him, from there, the door which the Provincials have closed to him in France. I have written them, as he requested me; but it is not from there that I expect my greatest consolation, my Reverend Father. Permit me to ask him for God, in the name of God, and in God, for the salvation of many [141] souls; I renounce entirely anything immoderate in my affection; no, my Reverend Father, it is not the affection of the creature which speaks. If Your Reverence, to whom God communicates himself more fully than to a poor sinner, should deem, in the presence of Jesus Christ, uninfluenced by any motive whatsoever, that he is more necessary in France and near a woman* than in the midst of these barbarous people, I ask for him no more; majorem Deigloriam specto. If he renders more service to Our Lord where he is, however little it may be, than he would in New France, let him remain there, in the name of God; it is there where I wish him to be. But if Your Reverence thinks that God wishes him here, I ask for him with all my heart. My fear that some changes may occur makes me conjure Your Reverence to give to us according to your affection for us. If I knew that he who may succeed you would inherit your love, I would not be so importunate; for truly I am ashamed to be so urgent. [page 65]

Yet this one favor, my Reverend Father, which will be in harmony with your affection; give us, if you please, Father Benier and Father Vimont. If Father Benier does not come over while you are in charge, shall never expect him; [142] I shall ask for him fervently from God, and I am confident that he will give him to us.

Will Your Reverence overlook it if I continue moment longer to speak freely? Father Lallemant being Superior at Kebec, Father Vimont and Father Buteux will remain at the fort; Father Benier, Father Pinette, or Father Garnier, and Father Le Jeune, at Three Rivers. Father Pinette, or Father Garnier, and Father Mercier, who is at the college of Paris, for the Hurons; I am not acquainted with the last named, but they speak well of him to me. Pardon me, my Reverend Father, pardon me my foolishness; I expect that all my requests will be refused, if they are not conformable to the will of God, which will be declared to me through that of Your Reverence, and which I shall embrace with all my heart, even unto death, and beyond, if I can. I cannot, and do not wish, to decide for myself in any way, nor for others; I suggest with love and confidence, and with indifference; I ask for the best workers that I can have, because such are needed here,—in truth, men who come for the sake of the cross and not for conversions, who are extremely pliant and docile; otherwise there will be no longer any peace here, and consequently no fruit. The altogether angelic chastity demanded by our constitutions is necessary here; one needs only to extend the hand to gather the apple of sin.

[143] It is at this point that my tediousness will become wearisome; for it is not yet finished. Let [page 67] us speak of the condition of our house at the present time. We have a house which contains four rooms below: the first serves as chapel, the second as refectory, and in this refectory are our rooms. There are two little square rooms of moderate size, for they are proportioned to a man's height; there are two others, each of which has a dimension of eight feet; but there are two beds in each room. These are rather narrow quarters for six persons; the others, when we are all together, sleep in the garret. The third large room serves as kitchen, and the fourth is the room for our working people; this is our entire lodging. Above is a garret, so low that no one can dwell there; to this we mount with a ladder.

There was another building of the same size, opposite this one. The English burned half of it, and the other half is covered only with mud; it serves us ,as a barn, a stable, and a carpenter's room. Our workingmen this year have made boards, have gone to the woods to get the trees, have placed doors and windows throughout, have made the little rooms in the refectory, some furniture, tables, [144] stools, credence-tables for the chapel, and other similar things; they have enclosed our house with large poles of the fir tree, making for us a fine court about a hundred feet square, being superintended in this work by Father de Nouë. These poles are fourteen feet high, and there are about twelve hundred of them. It looks well, and is quite useful. We have placed some gates therein, which Louys has bound with iron. In addition to all this, we have cultivated, tilled, and seeded our cleared lands. So these are the more important works of our people, and the condition of the house. [page 69]

The following is what must be done in future:

We must erect a small house upon a point of land which is opposite.* We need only cross the river to reach it; the water almost surrounds this point, forming a peninsula. We have begun to enclose it with stakes on the land side, and we shall keep there our cattle; that is, our cows and pigs; for this purpose we must build a little house, for those who will take care of them, and also some good stables sheltered from the cold.

Last year they sent us a man as a carpenter who was not one; and for this reason there has been no building this year, which has done us [145] great harm. We must also repair the damages in the building burned by the English. They have been doing this since the coming of the ship, which brought us a carpenter; we must have planks with which to cover it, and make doors, windows, etc. We must make a barn in which to put our crops. We must have a well; we have to go for water two hundred steps from the house, which causes us great trouble, especially in the winter, when we have to break the ice of the river in order to get it. We must repair and enlarge our cellar, which until now we have kept in good order. We must rebuild more than half of the building where we now are, and put a new roof upon it, for the rain and snow penetrate everywhere; at first, our Fathers made only a miserable hut in which to live; the English neglecting it, it would have fallen to the ground if we had not returned to preserve it; it is made only of planks and small laths, upon which some mud has been plastered. We must have people to look after the cattle; the little ground that we have must be tilled and sown; [page 71] the harvest must be cut and gathered in. We must prepare firewood, which they have to get at some distance away, and without a cart. We must have some lime made.

There are a thousand things which I cannot mention, but Your Reverence may see whether ten persons are too many for all this. We would ask for twenty or thirty, [146] if there were anything with which to feed and maintain them; but we restrict ourselves to ten, with three of our Brothers; and even then I do not know if they will be able to furnish, in France, what will be necessary for these and for us, so great are the expenses.

What may be expected of this house for the assistance of the mission, and the expenses necessary for our support.

There are four staples which make up the greatest expense of this mission: the pork, butter, drinks, and flour, which are sent; in time, the country may furnish these things. As to pork, if from the beginning of this year we had had a building, no more of it, or not much, would have had to be sent next year; we have two fat sows which are each suckling four little pigs, and these we have been obliged to feed all summer in our open court. Father Massé has raised these animals for us. If that point of which I have spoken were enclosed, they could be put there and during the summer nothing need be given them to eat; I mean that in a short time we shall be provided with pork, an article which would save us 400 livres. As to butter, we have two cows, two little heifers, and a little bull. M. de Caën having left his cattle here when he saw that he was ruined, we took of them three cows, and for [147] the family which is here, three others; they and we each gave to [page 73] M. Giffard a cow, so we have remaining the number that I have just stated. For lack of a building, they cost us more than they are worth, for our working people are obliged to neglect more necessary things for them; they spoil what we have sown; and they cannot be tended in the woods, for the insects torment them. They have come three years too soon, but they would have died if we had not taken them in; we took them when they were running wild. In time they will provide butter, and the oxen can be used for plowing, and will occasionally furnish meat.

As to drinks, we shall have to make some beer; but we shall wait until we have built, and until a brewery is erected; these three articles are assured, with time. As to grains, some people are inclined to think that the land where we are is too cold. Let us proceed systematically, and consider the nature of the soil: these last two years all the vegetables, which come up only too fast, have been eaten by insects, which come either from the neighborhood of the woods, or from that land which has not yet been worked and purified, nor exposed to the air. In midsummer these insects die, and we have very fine vegetables.

As to the fruit trees, I do not know how they will turn out. We have two double rows of them, one of a hundred feet [148] or more, the other larger, planted on either side with wild trees which are well rooted. We have eight or ten rows of apple and pear trees, which are also very well rooted; we shall see how they will succeed. I have an idea that cold is very injurious to the fruit, but in a few years we shall know from experience. Formerly, some fine apples have been seen here. [page 75]

As to the Indian corn, it ripened very nicely the past year, but this year it is not so fine.

As to peas, I have seen no good ones here; their growth is too rapid. They succeed very well with this family, who live in a higher and more airy location.

The rye has succeeded well for two years. We planted some as an experiment, and it is very fine.

Barley succeeds also. There remains the wheat; we sowed some in the autumn, at different times; in some places it was lost under the snow, in others it was so well preserved that no finer wheat can be seen in France. We do not yet know very well which time it is best to take before winter to put in the seed; the family living here has always sown spring wheat, which ripens nicely in their soil. We sowed a little of it this year, and will see whether it ripens. So these are the qualities of our soil.

I report all this because M. de Lauson [149] wrote to us that we should transport our people to Three Rivers, where they were going to make a new settlement, saying that everything would ripen better in that quarter. There was much hesitation as to whether it should be done; at least they wanted us to send three or four men there. I have always thought that our forces should not be divided, and that one house should be made successful, which might afterward be the support of the others; for it is necessary to see some result before undertaking anything else. In fact, those who went there first send word that the soil is very sandy, and that all would mature better for a time; but that this soil will soon be exhausted. I am going to live there, as I have said, with Father Buteux; we shall see what there is in it. Even if the soil is very good, I do not think that the care of this house, where we are, should be given up: it is [page 77] the landing place of the ships, it ought to be the storehouse, or place of refuge; the advantages for raising cattle here, on account of the meadows, are great. As to the cereals, if the worst comes to the worst, we have oats, but I hope that we shall also have good wheat, and that time will show us when it ought to be sown; if the spring grains ripen, wheat oats, and barley will be produced here very well From this, let us draw some conclusions as to what should be done.

First, we must build some place where we our selves can stay, and can keep our animals and crops. [150]

Second, we must now sow what is necessary for the cattle, and try as soon as possible, in a few years, to have some pork and butter.

Third, being lodged, all our working people will apply themselves to clearing and cultivating the land, in order to have grains. The following is the order which it seems to me we ought to follow, in regard to the temporal; when we shall have built, we shall no longer keep any carpenters or artisans, but only woodchoppers and laborers, for the maintenance of the house. Occasionally we shall borrow an artisan from the fort, giving a man in his place for the time during which we shall keep him.

Or rather, what seems to me better, we shall keep domestic servants, and shall maintain men who will clear and cultivate the land by shares, and thus, being interested in their work, we shall not have to take any trouble for them. There is still time to think of that.

Here is another matter:

They are talking about beginning new settlements in different places, and of having there some of our Fathers. I have an idea that we could not undertake to settle and build everywhere; it will be all we can [page 79] do if we make the place where we are prosper; and therefore, for the other settlements, two or three of our Fathers, or two Fathers and a boy, can [151] go to them, and these gentlemen will lodge and maintain them, and will furnish everything for the church or chapel that they see fit. We are going, Father Buteux and I, as I have said, to live at Three Rivers expressly to assist our countrymen, for we would not go, were it not for that; however, we are going to take furniture for the sacristy, and clothes for ourselves, and, what seems to me stranger still, our own food, which we shall give to them; for we shall eat with them, for lack of a dwelling where we might be by ourselves. We do this willingly, for I learn that these gentlemen are very much attached to us, and assist us as much as they can, according to the condition of their affairs: also we do, and will do, all that we can for their sakes; for, besides carrying with us to Three Rivers everything, even to the wax and the candles, we have sent to the Hurons three or four more persons than we should have done, were it not for their affairs which I have entrusted to our men. It is true, that they have given something for this object, according to what Father Lallemant has told me. I do not wish to importune them; but I am aware that they are glad to know that we will serve them willingly, and that we shall expect them to give what is necessary for the maintenance of [our] Fathers in the new settlements; and that they will furnish their chapel, as they have done this year this one [152] at Kébec;* and that [page 81] they will give also wages and food to the men whom we shall keep for their sakes; and on their account, either among the Hurons, or elsewhere, we keep these men with us, in order that they may not become debauched with the Savages and show a bad example, as those did who were here formerly. This is all there is to be said for the temporal interests of this mission; if I remember anything else, I shall write it in another place.

Let us come to the spiritual.

First, we shall hope to have in time a great harvest among the Hurons,—greater and nearer, if we can send there many laborers to pass into the neighboring tribes, all to be under the leadership and command of the Superior who will be among the Hurons. These people are sedentary and very populous ; I hope that Father Buteux will know in one year as much of the Montagnais language as I know of it, in order to teach it to the others, and thus I shall go wherever I shall be wanted. It is not that I expect anything of myself, but I shall try to serve at least as a companion. These people, where we are, are wandering, and very few in number; it will be difficult to convert them, [153] if we cannot make them stationary; I have discussed the means for doing this, in my Relation.

As to the Seminary, alas! if we could only have a fund for this purpose! In the structures of which I have spoken, we marked out a little place for the beginning of one, waiting until some special houses be erected expressly for this purpose. If we had any built, I would hope that in two years Father Brebeuf would send us some Huron children; they could be instructed here with all freedom, being separated [page 83] from their parents. Oh, what a great stroke for the glory of God, if that were done!

As to the children of the Savages in this country, there will be more trouble in keeping them; I see no other way than that which Your Reverence suggests, of sending a child every year to France. Having been there two years, he will return with a knowledge of the language, and having already become accustomed to our ways, he will not leave us and will retain his little countrymen. Our little Fortuné, who has been sent back because he was sick, and who can not return to his parents, for he has none, is quite different from what he was, although he has lived only a little while in France; so far from mingling with the Savages, he runs away from them, and is becoming very obedient. In truth he astonishes me, for he used to begin to run to the cabins of the barbarians as soon as we said a word to him; he could not [154] suffer any one to command him, whoever he might be; now he is prompt in whatever he does. This year I wished to send a little girl, who was given me by the family, that lives here, and perhaps also a little boy, according to Your Reverence's wish. But M. de Champlain told me that M. de Lauson had recommended him not to let any Savage go over, small or great. I begged him last year to allow this to be done; I have an idea that Father Lallemant has some share in this advice and in this conclusion. Here are the reasons why they think that it is not expedient for them to go over: 1st. The example of the two who have gone over and who have been ruined. I answer that Louys* the Huron was taken and corrupted by the English; and yet he has here performed [page 85] the duties of a Christian, confessing and taking communion last year at his arrival, and at his departure from Kebec; he is now a prisoner of the Hiroquois. As to Pierre the montagnais, taken [155] into France by the Recollect Fathers, when he returned here, he fled from the Savages; he was compelled to return among them, in order to learn the language, which he had forgotten; he did not wish to go, even saying: "They are forcing me; but, if I once go there, they will not get me back as they wish." At that time the English came upon the scene, and they have spoiled him; I may add that I have not seen a savage so savage and so barbarous as he is.

Father Lallemant's other reason is that it will cost something to maintain these children in France, and the mission is poor. If they are in a college, their board will have to be paid; if they are elsewhere, that will diminish the alms which would be given by the persons who support them. I answer that the colleges will not take anything for board; and, if it were necessary to pay this, I find the affair so important for the glory of God, that it ought to be given. Father Lallemant begins to appreciate my reasons, for I assured him that we could not retain the little Savages, if they be not removed from their native country, or if they have not some companions [page 87] who help them to remain of their own free will. We have had two of these: in the absence of the savages they obeyed tolerably well, but when the savages were encamped near us, our children no longer belonged to us, we dared say nothing.

If we can have some children this [156] year I shall do all I can to have them go over, at least two boys and this little girl, who will find three homes for one. Several places have asked me for them. If M. Duplessis listens to me, in the name of God, so let it be. When Father Lallemant shall have found out the difficulty there is in keeping these wild children, he will speak more peremptorily than I do.

Your Reverence sees, through all that has been said, the benefits to be expected for the glory of God from all of these countries, and how important it is, not only not to divert to some other places what is given for the mission at Kebec, but still more to find something for the maintenance at least of a house which may serve as a retreat for Our Associates, as a seminary for children, and for Our Brothers who will one day learn the languages, for there are a great many tribes differing altogether in their language.

Still further.........

(The rest of this manuscript is lacking.)

[page 89]


Le Jeune's Relation, 1634




Source: Title-page and text reprinted from the copy of the first issue, in Lenox Library. Table des Chapitres, from the second issue, at Lenox.

Chaps. i.-ix., only, are given in the present volume; the concluding portion will appear in Volume VII.

[page 93]






Sent to the


of the Society of Jesus in the

Province of France.

By Father Paul le Jeune, of the same Society,

Superior of the Residence of Kebec.


SEBASTIEN CRAMOISY, Printer in ordinary to the King.

Ruë St. Jacques, at the Sign of the Storks.




[page 95]

[iii] Extract from the Royal License.

Y the Grace and License of the King, permission is granted to Sebastien Cramoisy, Printer in ordinary to the King, Bookseller under Oath in the University of Paris, to print or to have printed a book entitled, Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'année mil six cens trente-quatre, Envoyée au Reverend Pere Barthelemy Jaquinot, Provincial de la Compagnie de Jesus en la Province de France, Par le P. Paul le Jeune de la mesme Compagnie, Superieur de la Residence de Kebec: and this during the time and space of nine consecutive years. Prohibiting all Booksellers and Printers to print or to have printed the said book, under pretext of any disguise or change which they may make therein, under penalty of confiscation and the fine provided by said License. Given at Paris, the 8th of December, one thousand six hundred thirty-four.

By the King in Council,


[page 97]

[1] Relation of what occurred in New France on the Great River St. Lawrence, in the year one thousand six hundred thirty-four.



The Letters of your Reverence, the evidences of your desire for the conversion of these people, the effects of your love for us, the coming of our Fathers whom you have been pleased to send this year for our reinforcement, the desires of so many of our society to come to these countries and sacrifice their lives and their labors for the glory of Our Lord: All this, added to the successful return of [2] our ships last year, and the fortunate arrival of those which have come this year, with the zeal which the Honorable associates of the Company of new France show for the conversion of these barbarous people,—all these blessings together, pouring down at once into our great forests through the arrival of Monsieur du Plessis, General of the fleet, who makes possible for us the enjoyment of some, and brings us good news of the others, overwhelm us with a satisfaction so great that it would be exceedingly difficult to express it well. God be forever praised for these blessings! If his goodness continues to be bestowed upon these Gentlemen, as we pray it may be with all our hearts, many souls plunged in a night of error, which has already lasted so long a time, will at last see the light of Christian truth. And our good King, Monseigneur the Cardinal, the Honorable Associates, [page 99] the Marquis de Gamache, a great supporter of our Mission, and a number of others, by whose favor the Blood of the Son of God will some day be applied to these souls, will have the glory and the merit of having contributed to so blessed a work.

[3] I shall divide the Relation of this year into chapters, at the end of which I shall add a journal of things which have no other connection than the order of time in which they happened. All that I shall say regarding the Savages, I have either seen with my own eyes, or have received from the lips of natives, especially from an old man very well versed in their beliefs, and from a number of others with whom I have passed six months with the exception of a few days, following them into the woods to learn their language. It is, indeed, true that these people have not all the same idea in regard to their belief, which will some day make it appear that those who treat of their customs are contradicting each other. [page 101]



E have passed this year in great peace and on very good terms with our French. The wise conduct and prudence of Monsieur de Champlain, Governor of Kebec [4] and of the river saint Lawrence, who honors us with his good will, holding every one in the path of duty, has caused our words and preaching to be well received; and the Chapel which he has had erected near the fort, in honor of our Lady, has furnished excellent facilities to the French to receive the Sacraments of the Church frequently, which they have done on the great Feast Days of the year, and many every month, to the great satisfaction of those who administered them. The fort has seemed like a well-ordered Academy; Monsieur de Champlain has some one read at his table, in the morning from some good historian, and in the evening from the lives of the Saints; then each one makes an examination of his conscience in his own chamber, and prayers follow, which are repeated kneeling. He has the Angelus sounded at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the day, according to the custom of the Church. In a word, we have reason to console ourselves when we see a chief so zealous for the glory of Our Lord and for the welfare of these Gentlemen.

Could it be believed that there is one of our Frenchmen in Canada, who, to offset the licentiousness [page 103] which is carried on in other places [5] during the Carnival, came on last shrove Tuesday, with bare head and feet, over the snow and ice from Kebec all the way to our Chapel; that is, a good half league, fasting the same day, to fulfill a vow made to Our Lord; and all this was done without any other witnesses than God, and our Fathers who met him.

During the holy time of Lent, not only abstinence from forbidden meats and fasting were observed, but there was a certain one who took the discipline more than thirty times,—extraordinary devotion in soldiers and artisans, such as are the greater part of our Frenchmen here.

Another has promised to use the tenth part of the profits he may make, during the course of his whole life, in works of piety. These little samples show that the Winter in new France is not so severe that some flowers of Paradise may not be gathered there.

I shall insert here, not knowing where better to put it, what one of our Frenchmen, quite worthy of credence, and so acknowledged, told us about Jacques Michel, a Huguenot, who brought the English to [6] this country. This wretch, having upon the eve of his death, vomited forth a thousand blasphemies against God and against our holy Father Ignatius, and having uttered this imprecation, that "he would be hanged if he did not give a couple of slaps before the next evening to one of our Fathers who was taken by the English," uttering the most unseemly insults against him, was soon afterwards overtaken by an illness which bereft him of all conciousness, and caused him to die the next day like a beast. Four circumstances in this incident astonished the Huguenots themselves, - the illness which seized him a few [page 105] hours after his blasphemies; the mistake of the Surgeons, who were numerous, in giving soporific remedies to a man in a lethargy; his so sudden and unconscious death, expiring without any one perceiving it, although there were six men around him; the rage of the Savages against his body, which they disinterred and hanged, according to his imprecations, and then threw to the dogs. The English, who were in the fort at Kebec, having heard this tragic story, were amazed; and said that, if the Jesuits knew all that, they would make miracles out of it.

[7] Now, we do know it, and yet we will make neither prodigies nor miracles out of it; but we will only say that it is not well to blaspheme against God or his saints, nor to strive against one's King to betray one's country. But now let us come to our Savages.

[page 107]




OME Savages have become Christians this year; three have been baptized this Winter during my absence. Here are the very encouraging particulars of these baptisms, which our Fathers related to me upon my return.

The first was a young man named Sasousmat, from 25 to 30 years of age, whom the French have surnamed Marsolet. This young man, having one day heard an Interpreter talk about the pains of Hell and the rewards of Paradise, said to him; "Take [8] me to France to be instructed, otherwise thou wilt be responsible for my soul. " Then, having fallen sick, it was easier to induce him to become a Christian. Father Brebœuf gave me this account of him.

"Having learned of the illness of this young man, I went to visit him, and found him so low that he had lost his reason. Behold us now greatly troubled at not being able to help him, and so we resolved, our Fathers and I, to offer to God the next day the Sacrifice of the Mass in honor of the glorious St. Joseph, Patron of this new France, for the salvation and conversion of this poor Savage; scarcely had we left the Altar, when they came to tell us that he had recovered his senses; we went to see him, and, having sounded him, we found him filled with a great desire to receive Holy Baptism: [page 109] we deferred this, however, for a few days, in order to instruct him more fully. At last he sent word to me, through our Savage named Manitougatche, and surnamed by our French, "la Nasse," that I should come and baptize him, saying that the night before he had seen me in his sleep, coming to his Cabin to administer to him this Sacrament; and that, as soon [9] as I sat down near him, all his sickness went away; he confirmed this to me when I saw him. Nevertheless I refused his request, in order the more to stimulate his desire, so that another Savage who was present, not being able to bear this delay, asked me why I did not baptize him, since it was only necessary to throw a little water upon him, and then all would be done. But, when I answered him that I would myself be lost, if I baptized an infidel and a poorly-taught unbeliever, the sick man, turning to a Frenchman, said, Matchounon has no sense—it was thus they called the other Savage—he does not believe what the Father says; as for me, I believe it entirely. Meanwhile, the Savages wishing to change their camp and to go farther into the woods, Manitougatche, who began to feel ill, came to beg us to receive him and the poor sick man also into our house; and so we decided to care for the bodies, in order to aid the souls, which we saw were well disposed toward Heaven. So this worthy young man was placed upon a wooden sledge, and brought to us over the snow. We received him with love, and [10] made him as comfortable as we could. He was full of gladness and satisfaction to see himself with us, evincing a great desire to be baptized and to die a Christian. The next day, which was the [page 111] 26th of January, as he had fallen into a deep stupor, we baptized him, believing that he was going to die. We gave him the name François, in honor of St. François Xavier. He regained consciousness, and, having learned what had taken place, expressed his joy at having been made a Child of God. He passed his time constantly until his death, which was two days later, in different acts that I caused him to practice, sometimes of Faith and Hope, sometimes of the Love of God, and of remorse for having offended him. He took a very obvious pleasure in this, and repeated all alone with deep feeling what had been taught him. One day, while he was asking pardon of God for his sins, he accused himself aloud, as if he were making his confession; then, his memory failing (he said to me): Teach me; I am a poor ignorant creature, I have no understanding; suggest to me what I ought to say. Another time he begged me to sprinkle some holy water upon him, to help him to be sorry for his sins. [11] I was surprised at this, for we had not yet spoken to him of the use of this water; when, at his request, we sang some prayers of the Church in his presence, we saw him during this holy service with eyes raised toward Heaven in an attitude of such devotion that we were all greatly touched, admiring the wonderful effects of mercy that God was bringing about in this soul, which finally left the body on the 28th of January, to go and enjoy God."

When the news of his conversion and death became known to our French at Kebec, some of them shed tears of joy and satisfaction, blessing God for accepting the first fruits of a land which has borne little else than thorns since the birth of the centuries. [page 113]

One quite remarkable thing happened a few hours after his death. A great light appeared at the windows of our house, rising and falling three times; one of our Fathers saw the flash, as did several of our men, who went out immediately, some to see if a part of our house had not taken fire, the others to see if it were lightning. Having found no trace of this fire, they believed [12] that God was declaring through this phenomenon the light that was being enjoyed by the soul that had just left us. The Savages belonging to the Cabin of the deceased saw this light in the woods, where they had withdrawn, and it frightened them all the more as they thought it was a foreshadowing of future deaths in their family.

I was then (I who am writing this) some forty leagues from Kebec, in the cabin of the brothers of the dead man; and this light appeared there at the same time and at the same hour, as we have since observed, Father Brebœuf and I, by comparing our notes. My host, brother of the deceased, having perceived it, rushed out in horror; and, seeing it repeated, cried out in such astonishment, that all the Savages, and I with them, rushed out of our cabins. Having found my host all distracted, I tried to tell him that this fire was only lightning, and that he need not be frightened; he answered me very aptly that lightning appeared and disappeared in an instant, but that this fire had moved before his eyes for some time. "Besides," said he to me, "hast thou ever seen lightning or thunder in such piercing [13] cold as that which we are feeling now?" It was indeed very cold. I asked him then what he thought of these fires. "It is," he said, "a bad omen, it is a sign of death. He added that the Manitou, or devil, fed upon these flames. [page 115]

To return to our happy deceased. Our Fathers buried him with as much solemnity as they could, our Frenchmen being present and showing great devotion. Manitougatche, our Savage, having seen all this, and also observing that we did not wish to accept any of the belongings or clothes of the deceased, which he offered us, was so pleased and astonished that he went about among the cabins of the Savages who came soon afterward to Kebec, relating all that he had seen,—saying, that we had given the best food we had to this poor young man, that we had nursed him as if he had been our own brother, that we had inconvenienced ourselves in order to give him a lodging, that we had not consented to take anything that belonged to him, and that we had buried him with a great deal of honor. Some of them were so touched by this, [14] especially his own family, that they brought us his daughter, who had died in childbirth, to bury her in our way; but Father Brebœuf, meeting them, told them that, as she had never been baptized, we could not put her in the Cemetery of the children of God. Besides, knowing that they usually kill the child when its mother leaves it so young, thinking that it will languish after her death, the Father begged Manitouchatche to prevent this cruel act, which he did willingly; although some of our French People had determined to take charge of the child themselves, if a disposition were manifested to kill it.

The second Savage to be baptized was our Manitouchatche, otherwise, la Nasse, of whom I have spoken in my former Relations. He had begun to get accustomed to our ways before the capture of the country by the English, having commenced to clear and [page 117] cultivate the land; the bad treatment he received from these new guests drove him away from Kebec; he sometimes expressed to Madame Hébert, who remained here with her whole family, his strong desire for our return. And, in fact, as soon as he heard of our arrival, he came to see us, and settled [15] near our house, saying that he wished to become a Christian, and assuring us that he would not leave us unless we chased him away; indeed he has been away from us very little since we have been here. This intercourse has made him understand something of our mysteries. The sojourn made in our house by Pierre Antoine, a Savage and a relative of his, has been of use to him, inasmuch as we have declared to him through his lips the principal articles of our faith. Oh, how unfathomable are the judgments of God I This wretched young man, who was so well instructed in France, having been ruined among the English, as I wrote last year, has become an apostate, renegade, excommunicate, atheist, and servant to a Sorcerer who is his brother. These are the qualities which I shall assign to him hereafter, when speaking of him. And this poor old man, who has received from his infected lips the truths of Heaven, has found Heaven, leaving Hell as the heritage of this renegade, unless God shows him great mercy. But, continuing our story: after the death of François Sasousmat, of whom we have just spoken, this good man, wearied at not having any one with whom to converse,—for not one of us yet [16] knows the language perfectly,—went away with his wife and children; but, the disease with which he was already affected increasing, he urged his wife and children to bring him back to us, hoping for the same charity he had seen us practice [page 119] toward his fellow-savage. He was received with open arms, perceiving which, he cried out, " Now I shall die happy, since I am with you! " But as his errors had grown old with him, our Fathers recognized that he thought as much and even more of the health of his body than of the salvation of his soul, showing a great desire to live, and putting off his Baptism until my return; nevertheless, as he was continually growing weaker, they wished to see him show more interest in our belief; this induced them to offer to God a novena in honor of the glorious Spouse of the holy Virgin, for the welfare of his soul. The beginning of this devotion was the beginning of more earnest inclination on his part; he showed himself very desirous of being instructed, and began to despise his superstitions. He would no more go to sleep unless he had first prayed to God, which he did also before and after eating,—[17] to such an extent that he once deferred, for more than half an hour, eating what had been presented to him, because they had not had him offer the benediction, asking Father Brebœuf to have him say it twelve or thirteen times in succession, to engrave it upon his memory. It was very edifying to see an old man more than sixty years of age learn from a little French boy, whom we have here, to make the sign of the Cross, and other prayers that he asked to be taught. Father Brebœuf, seeing that his strength was failing, and also that he was well enough instructed, told him that death was approaching; and that, if he wished to die a Christian and go to Heaven, he must be baptized. At these words he showed such joy that he dragged himself as well as he could to our chapel, not being able to wait until our [page 121] Fathers, who were making the necessary arrangements for administering this Sacrament, could go after him. One of our Frenchmen, his Godfather, gave him the name Joseph. Before and during his baptism, which took place on the third of April, the Father examining him briefly upon all the [18] articles of the Creed, and upon the commandments of God, he answered clearly and courageously that he believed the former, and would endeavor to keep the latter if God would restore him his health, and showed great regret for having offended him. His wife and one of his daughters being present, the one could not keep back her tears, and the other was greatly bewildered, admiring the beauty of the holy ceremonies of the Church.

I returned from my winter sojourn with the Savages, six days after his baptism, and found him very sick, but very glad to be a Christian. I embraced him like a brother, greatly rejoiced at seeing him a child of God. We continued to teach him and to have him practice acts of virtue, especially the Theological Virtues [faith, hope, and charity], during the twelve days that he survived his baptism.

The Savages, wishing to care for him in their way, with their songs, their uproar, and their other superstitions, tried several times to take him away from us, even going so far as to bring a sledge upon which to take him back, and one of [19] their sorcerers or jugglers came to see him, for the express purpose of enticing him away from our belief; but the good Neophyte held firm, answering that they should not speak to him about going away, and that he would not leave us unless we sent him away. It is no slight indication of the efficacy of the grace of holy [page 123] Baptism, to see a man who had been steeped for over sixty years in Barbarism, accustomed to all the ways of the Savages, imbued with their errors and with their illusions, resist his own wife, his children, his sons-in-law, his friends and his fellow-savages, his Manitousiouets, sorcerers or jugglers, not once but many times, to throw himself into the arms of strangers, protesting that he wished to embrace their belief, to die in their Faith and in their house. This shows that grace can give stability to the soul of a Savage, who is by nature inconstant.

Finally, after having instructed our good Joseph in the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, we administered it to him; and on that very day, Holy Saturday, his soul left the body and went to celebrate [20] Easter in Heaven. One of his sons-in-law, when he saw him very low, remained near him to see how we would bury him after death, wishing us to give him his Castelogne [blanket] and his tobacco pouch, for use in the other world; but, when he went to carry the news of this death to the wife of the deceased, we buried the latter according to the custom of the Catholic Church, showing as much honor as we could in the funeral ceremonies. Monsieur de Champlain, in order to give proof of the love and honor we bear those who die in the Christian Faith, had his people leave their work, and sent them to us to attend the services; we followed as closely as possible the ceremonies of the Church, which was very acceptable to the relatives of this new Christian. There was one thing, however, which displeased them; when we came to put the body in the grave, they noticed that there was a little water in the bottom, caused by the snow melting just then and dropping into it; this [page 125] struck their imagination, and as they are [21] superstitious, saddened them a little. It will not be difficult to combat such errors, when we know their language well. These are, as far as I know, the first adult Savages in these countries who have been baptized and died firm in the faith.

The third Savage baptized this year was a child only three or four months old; the Father, being angry at his wife, daughter of our good Joseph, either because she wanted to leave him, or because he had a touch of jealousy, took the child and threw it against the ground, to kill it. One of our Frenchmen happening along just then, and remembering that we had recommended them to administer Baptism to children whom they saw in danger of death, in case they could not call us took some water and baptized it; this poor little child did not die immediately, however; its mother took it and carried it away with her to the Islands, leaving her husband, who has since told us that he believes his child is dead, as its mother had been taken with a disease which he thought was mortal.

The fourth was the son of a Savage [22] named Khiouirineou, the mother's name was Ouitapimoueou, and they had named their little child Itaouabisisiou. His parents had promised me that they would bring him to us to be buried in our cemetery, if he died; and, if he recovered,—for he was very sick,—they would give him to us to be educated, thus showing their satisfaction that their little son should receive holy Baptism. So I baptized him and gave him the name Jean Baptiste, that day being the octave of this great Saint. Sieur du Chesne, Surgeon of the colony, who willingly comes with me through [page 127] the Cabins, to advise us of those whom he considers in danger of death, was his godfather.

The fifth was baptized the same day. His Father made known to sieur Olivier, the interpreter, that he would be very glad if they would do to his son what was done to little French children; meaning that they should baptize him. Having been informed of this by sieur Olivier, I went to see the child, but deferred baptism for a few days, as the child was still full of vitality. At last, Father Buteux and [23] I, having gone to see him, called Monsieur du Chesne, who told us that the child was very sick. I asked his Father if he would like to have us baptize him. "I should be very glad" (he answered); " if he dies, I will carry him to thy house; if he recovers, he shall be thy son, and thou shalt instruct him." I named him Adrian, after his Godfather; before this he was called Pichichich; his Father has been surnamed by the French Baptiscan,—he was called, in Savage, Tchimaouirineou, his mother Matouetchiouanouecoueou. This poor little child of about eight months flew away to Heaven. The following night, his Father did not fail to bring the body, having with him eighteen or twenty Savages, men, women, and children. They had wrapped it in Beaver skins, and over that was a large piece of linen cloth, which they had bought at the store, and over all a great double piece of bark. I unrolled the parcel to see if the child was inside; then I laid it in a coffin which we had made for it, and this pleased the Savages wonderfully, for they believe that the soul [24] of the child will use in the other world of souls all the things that have been given to it at its departure. I told them indeed that [page 129] the soul was now in Heaven, and that it had no concern whatever with these trifling things. Nevertheless we let them go on, for fear that, if we tried to prevent them,—which I might have done (for the Father already wavered)—the others would not permit us to baptize their children when they were sick, or at least would not call us after they died. These simple people were enchanted, seeing five Priests in surplices honoring this little Canadian angel, chanting what is ordained by the Church, covering the coffin with a beautiful pall, and strewing it with flowers. We buried him with all possible solemnity.

All the Savages were present during the entire ceremony. When it came to lowering him into the grave, his mother placed his cradle therein, with a few other things, according to their custom; and soon after she drew some of her milk in a little [25] bark ladle, which she burned immediately. I asked why this was done, and a woman answered me that she was giving drink to the child, whose soul was drinking this milk. I instructed her upon this point, but I still speak the language so poorly that I scarcely made her understand me.

After the burial we had the funeral feast, giving some Indian cornmeal mixed with prunes to these simple people, to induce them to call upon us when they or their children were sick. In short, they went away very much pleased, as they showed us then, and more particularly two days later.

Father Buteux, as he was visiting the Cabins of the Savages on his return from saying Mass at the settlement, saw the dead body of little Jean Baptiste, which they were wrapping up like the other. His parents, although sick, promised to bring him to us. [page 131] " They have already told me, " (said the mother) " of the honor and kind treatment you show to our children, but I do not [26] wish mine to be unrolled." Thereupon, the Father of the one who had died first said to her, " They do no harm to the child; they do not take off any of its clothes; they only look to see if it is inside the parcel, and if we are deceiving them." She acquiesced, and presented her son to be carried into our Chapel, into which Father Buteux brought him to us, together with his relatives and other Savages. We buried him with the same ceremonies as the other, and they gave him also his belongings, to pass with him into the other world. We again held the feast that is made at the death of their people, very happy to see them, little by little, acquiring an affection for the holy offices of the Christian and Catholic Church.

On the fourteenth of July, I baptized the sixth, a little Algonquin girl about a year old. I would not have made this child a Christian so soon, had it not been that its parents wished to go to their own country. Now, believing with Monsieur du Chesne that this child, who was suffering from hectic fever, was in [27] danger of death, I administered this Sacrament. She was called Marguerite; her Savage name was Memichtigouchiouiscoueou, meaning, "wife of a European;" her Father was called in Algonqauin, Pichibabich, that is to say, "Stone," and her mother Chichip, meaning "a Duck." They have promised me that if this poor little child recovers its health, they will bring it to me, to be placed in the hands of one of our French Women. As this is a wandering tribe, I do not know now where she is; but I believe she is not far from Paradise, if she is not already there. [page 133]

The seventh person whom we have placed among the number of the children of God, through the Sacrament of Baptism, is the mother of the little Savage whom we named "bien-venu; " she is called, in Savage, Ouroutiuoucoueu, and now her name is Marie. This beautiful name was given to her in pursuance of a vow once made by Reverend Father Charles l'Allement, that the first Canadian Woman whom we should baptize should bear the name of the holy Virgin; and the first Savage, that [28] of her glorious Spouse, saint Joseph. We did not know about this vow, when the others were baptized; I hope that in a very few days it will be entirely fulfilled. But to return to our new Christian. When I found her near the French fort, abandoned by her people, because she was sick, I asked her who fed her; she answered that the French gave her a few morsels of bread, and that, on their return from the chase, they occasionally threw her a pigeon. "If you wish to stay near us," I said, "we will care for you, and will teach you the way to Heaven." She answered me in a weak voice, for she was very sick, "Alas! I would indeed like to go there, but I can no longer walk; have pity upon me, send some one in a Canoe to fetch me. " I did not fail to do this; and on the next day, the 23rd of July, I had her brought near our house. The poor woman asked me if she were not to go inside, expecting us to show her the same [29] charity that the first two who had been baptized had received; but I told her that, as she was a woman, we could not lodge her in our house, which is very small; that we would, however, carry her something to eat to her Hut, and that every day I would go to see and teach her. She was satisfied with this. When [page 135] I began to speak to her about the holy Trinity, saying that the Father, the Son, and the holy Spirit, were only one God, who has made all things, " I know that well," she replied, " I believe it." I was greatly astonished at this answer, but she told me that our good Savage Joseph occasionally reported to her what we told him. This was a great consolation to me, for in a short time she was sufficiently instructed to be baptized. My only trouble was to make her feel sorrow for her sins. The Savages have not this word " sin " in their language, though they certainly have it in their customs. The word for wickedness and malice, among them, means a violation of purity, as they have told me. So I was puzzled to know how to make her understand sorrow at having offended [30] God. I read her the Commandments several times, telling her that he who made all things hates those who do not obey him; and that she should tell him she was very sorry for having offended him. The poor woman, who well remembered that God forbids all men to lie, to be wanton, to disobey their parents, accused herself over and over again of all these offences. She said of her own accord, " Thou who hast made all things, have mercy upon me; Jesus, Son of him who hath all power, have compassion upon me. I promise thee that I will not get drunk any more, that I will not utter bad words any more, that I will not lie any more. I am sorry for having angered thee, I am sorry with all my heart. I am not lying, have mercy upon me. If I recover, I will always believe in thee, I will always obey thee. If I die, have mercy upon my soul. " As I saw her thus minded, and feared beside that she might die suddenly, for she was very ill, I asked [page 137] her if she would not like to be baptized. " I would like to live longer, " she replied. [31] I saw she imagined that we only gave baptism to those who were to die immediately afterwards. I made her understand that we were all baptized and we were not dead, that baptism restored health to the body rather than took it away. " Baptize me then as soon as possible, " she answered. I wanted to try her. Some canoes of Savages having arrived at Kebec, I said to her: " Here is a company of thy people just arrived; if thou wishest to go away with them, they will receive thee, and I will have thee taken to their cabins. " The poor creature began to weep and to sob so violently, that I was touched, proving to me by her tears that she wanted to be a Christian, and that she did not want me to drive her away. At last, when we saw that she was growing much worse, we decided to baptize her at once. I made her understand that she might die that night, and that her soul would go into the flames if she were not baptized; that if she wished to receive this sacrament in our Chapel, I would have her conveyed there in a blanket. She showed that she [32] was satisfied with this. " I am going away, " I said to her, " to prepare what is necessary, take courage, I will send for thee soon. " The poor woman did not have the patience to wait, but dragged herself along as well as she could, resting at every step, until at last she arrived at our house more than two hundred steps from her cabin, and threw herself upon the ground completely exhausted. When she recovered herself, I baptized her in the presence of our Fathers and of all our men. She answered confidently all the questions I put to her in following the order of the administration [page 139] of this Sacrament to persons who have the use of their reason. We bore her, all full of joy, back to her own cabin; and we ourselves were greatly comforted at seeing the grace of God working in a soul where the devil has so long made his habitation. This happened the first day of August.

The next day, some French people, who came to see me, went to visit her, and found her holding a Crucifix in her hand, and addressing it in a low voice: " Thou who hast died for me, be merciful to me; I wish to believe in [33] thee all my life; have pity upon my soul." I report all these details purposely, that you may see that our Savages are not so barbarous that they cannot be made children of God. I hope that there, where sin has reigned, grace will triumph. This poor woman is still living, nearer to Heaven than to health.

I shall finish this Chapter with an account of the very remarkable punishment of a Canadian Woman, who, having closed her ear to God during her sickness, seems to have been rejected at her death. When Father Brebœuf went to see her, to speak to her about receiving the faith, she laughed at him and scorned his words. Having been prostrated by sickness, and the Savages wishing to break camp, they carried her to this worthy family who have lived here for quite a long time; but, as they had no place to keep her, these Barbarians dragged her to the fort; if we had not been so far away, they would no doubt have brought her to us, for I am inclined to think that they presented her to our Frenchmen because we had received with so much kindness the two deceased Christian Savages. [34] Monsieur de Champlain, as it was already late, gave her shelter [page 141] for one night. Those who were in the room where she was placed, had to leave, as they could not bear the odor from this woman.

In the morning, Monsieur de Champlain caused a number of the Savages to be called; and, being reproached by him for their cruelty in abandoning this creature, who was of their tribe, they took her and dragged her toward their Cabins, repulsing her as they would a dog, and giving her no covering. This wretched woman, finding herself abandoned by her own people and exposed to the severity of the cold, asked that we should be called. But, as there were no Frenchmen there, the Savages did not care to take the trouble to come all the way to our house, a good league from their Cabins; so that hunger, cold, disease, and the children of the Savages, as it is reported, killed her. We did not hear of this tragedy until some days after her death. If we had a Hospital here, all the sick people of the [35] country, and all the old people, would be there. As to the men, we will take care of them according to our means; but, in regard to the women, it is not becoming for us to receive them into our houses. [page 143]



HE great show of power made at first by the Portuguese in the East and West Indies inspired profound admiration in the minds of the Indians, so that these people embraced, without an contradiction, the belief of those whom they admired Now the following is, it seems to me, the way in which to acquire an ascendancy over our Savages.

First, to check the progress of those who overthrow Religion, and to make ourselves feared by the Iroquois, who have killed some of our men, as every one knows, and who recently massacred two hundred Hurons, and [36] took more than a hundred prisoners. This is, in my opinion, the only door through which we can escape the contempt into which the negligence of those who have heretofore held the trade of this country has thrown us, through their avarice.

The second means of commending ourselves to the Savages, to induce them to receive our holy faith, would be to send a number of capable men to clear and cultivate the land, who, joining themselves with others who know the language, would work for the Savages, on condition that they would settle down, and themselves put their hands to the work, living in houses that would be built for their use; by this means becoming located, and seeing this miracle of charity in their behalf, they could be more [page 145] easily instructed and won. While conversing this Winter with my Savages, I communicated to them this plan, assuring them that when I knew their language perfectly, I would help them cultivate the land if I could have some men, and if they wished [37] to stop roving,—representing to them the wretchedness of their present way of living, and influencing them very perceptibly, for the time being The Sorcerer, having heard me, turned toward his people and said, " See how boldly this black robe lies in our presence." I asked him why he thought I was lying. " Because, " said he, " we never see in this world men so good as thou sayest, who would take the trouble to help us without hope of reward, and to employ so many men to aid us without taking anything from us; if thou shouldst do that, " he added, " thou wouldst secure the greater part of the Savages, and they would all believe in thy words."

I may be mistaken; but, if I can draw any conclusion from the things I see, it seems to me that not much ought to be hoped for from the Savages as long as they are wanderers; you will instruct them today, tomorrow hunger snatches your hearers away, forcing them to go and seek their food in the rivers and woods. Last year I stammered out the Catechism to a [38] goodly number of children; as soon as the ships departed, my birds flew away, some in one direction and some in another. This year, I hoped to see them again, as I speak a little better; but, as they have settled on the other side of the great river St. Lawrence, my hopes have been frustrated. To try to follow them, as many Religious would be needed as there are cabins, and still we would not attain our object; for they are so occupied in seeking [page 147] livelihood in these woods, that they have not time, so to speak, to save themselves. Besides, I do not believe that, out of a hundred Religious, there would be ten who could endure the hardships to be in following them. I tried to live among them last Autumn; I was not there a week before I was attacked by a violent fever, which caused me to return to our little house to recover my health. Being cured, I tried to follow them during the Winter, and I was very ill the greater part of the time. These reasons, and many others that I might give, were I not afraid of being tedious, make me think that we shall work a great deal and advance very little, if we do not make these Barbarians stationary. [39] As for persuading them to till the soil of their own accord, without being helped, I very much doubt whether we shall be able to attain this for a long time, for they know nothing whatever about it. Besides, where will they store their harvests? As their cabins are made of bark, the first frost will spoil all the roots and pumpkins that they will have gathered. If they plant peas and Indian corn, they have no place in their huts to store them. But who will feed them while they are beginning to clear the land? For they live only from one day to another, having ordinarily no provisions to sustain them during the time that they must be clearing. Finally, when they had killed themselves with hard work, they could not get from the land half their living, until it was cleared and they understood how to make the best use of it.

Now, with the assistance of a few good, industrious men, it would be easy to locate a few families, especially as some of them have already spoken to [page 149] me about it, thus of themselves becoming accustomed, little by little, to extract something from the earth.

I know well there are persons of [40] good judgment who believe that, although the Savages are nomadic, the good seed of the Gospel will not fail to take root and bring forth fruit in their souls, although more slowly, as they can only be instructed at intervals. They imagine also that, if a few families come over here, as they are already beginning to do, the Savages will follow the example of our French and will settle down to cultivate the land. I myself was impressed with these ideas, when we first came over .here; but the intercourse which I have had with these people, and the difficulty that men accustomed to a life of idleness have in embracing one of hard work, such as cultivating the soil, cause me to believe now that if they are not helped they will lose heart, especially the Savages at Tadoussac. As to those of the three rivers, where our French People are going to plant a new colony this year, they have promised that they will settle down there and plant Indian corn; this seems to me not altogether assured, but probable, inasmuch as their predecessors once had [41] a good village in that place, which they abandoned on account of the invasions of their enemies, the Hiroquois.

The Captain of that region told me that the land there was quite good, and they liked it very much. If they become sedentary, as they are now minded to do, we foresee there a harvest more abundant in the blessings of Heaven than in the fruits of the earth.

The third means of making ourselves welcome to these people, would be to erect here a seminary for little boys, and in time one for girls, under the [page 151] direction of some brave mistress, whom zeal for the glory of God, and a desire for the salvation of these people, will bring over here, with a few Companions animated by the same courage. May it please his divine Majesty to inspire some to so noble an enterprise, and to divest them of any fear that the weakness of their sex might induce in them at the thought of crossing so many seas and of living among Barbarians.

In the last voyage there came some women who were pregnant, and they easily surmounted these difficulties, as others had [42] done before them. There is also some pleasure in taming the souls of the Savages, and preparing them to receive the seed of Christianity. And then experience makes us feel certain that God, who shows his goodness and power to all, has, nevertheless, for those who expose themselves freely and suffer willingly in his service, favors seasoned with so much sweetness, and succors them in the midst of their dangers with so prompt and paternal assistance, that often they do not feel their trials, but their pain is turned to pleasure and their perils to a peculiar consolation. But I would like to keep here, where we are, the children of the Hurons. Father Brebœuf leads us to hope that we shall have some, if he goes with our Fathers into those well-peopled countries, and if there is anything with which to found a seminary. The reason why I would not like to take the children of one locality [and teach them] in that locality itself, but rather in some other place, is because these Barbarians cannot bear to have their children punished, nor even scolded, not being able to refuse anything to a [43] crying child. They carry this to such an extent that upon [page 153] the slightest pretext they would take them away before they were educated. But if the little Hurons, or the children of more distant tribes, are kept here, a great many advantages will result, for we would not be annoyed and distracted by the fathers while instructing the children; it will also compel these people to show good treatment to the French who are in their country, or at least not to do them any injury. And, lastly, we shall obtain, by the grace of God our Lord, the object for which we came into this distant country; namely, the conversion of these nations.

[page 155]



HAVE already reported that the Savages believe that a certain one named Atachocam had created the world, and that one named Messou had restored it. I have questioned upon this subject the famous Sorcerer and the old man with whom I passed [44] the Winter; they answered that they did not know who was the first Author of the world,- that it was perhaps Atahocham, but that was not certain; that they only spoke of Atahocam as one speaks of a thing so far distant that nothing sure can be known about it; and, in fact, the word "Nitatahokan " in their language means, " I relate a fable, I am telling an old story invented for amusement.

"As to the Messou, they hold that he restored the world, which was destroyed in the flood; whence it appears that they have some tradition of that great universal deluge which happened in the time of Noë, but they have burdened this truth with a great many irrelevant fables. This Messou went to the chase, and his Lynxes, which he used instead of dogs, having gone into a great lake, were held there. The Messou, seeking them everywhere, was told by a bird that it had seen them in the midst of this lake. He went in, to get them out; but the lake overflowed, covering the earth and swallowing up the world. The Messou, very much astonished, sent [page 157] a raven in search of a little piece of ground, with ,which to rebuild this element [the earth], but he [45] could not find any; he made an Otter descend into the abyss of waters, but it could not bring back any; at last he sent a muskrat, which brought back a little morsel, and the Messou used this to rebuild this earth which we inhabit. He shot arrows into the trunks of trees, which made themselves into branches; he performed a thousand other wonders, avenged himself upon those who had detained his Lynxes, and married a muskrat, by whom he had children who have re-peopled this world. So this is the way in which the Messou restored all things. I touched upon this fable last year, but, desiring to recapitulate all I know about their beliefs, I have repeated many things. Our Savage related to Father Brebœuf that his people believe that a certain Savage had received from Messou the gift of immortality in a little package, with a strict injunction not to open it; while he kept it closed he was immortal, but his wife, being curious and incredulous, wished to see what was inside this present; and having opened it, it all flew away, and since then the Savages have been subject to death.

[46] They also say that all animals, of every species, have an elder brother, who is, as it were, the source and origin of all individuals, and this elder brother is wonderfully great and powerful. The elder of the Beaver, they tell me, is perhaps as large as our Cabin, although his junior (I mean the ordinary Beaver) is not quite as large as our sheep. Now these elders of all the animals are the juniors of the Messou. Behold him well related, this worthy restorer of the Universe, he is elder brother to all [page 159] beasts. If any one, when asleep, sees the elder or progenitor of some animals, he will have a fortunate chase; if he sees the elder of the Beavers, he will take Beavers; if he sees the elder of the Elks, he will take Elks, possessing the juniors through the favor of their senior whom he has seen in the dream. I asked them where these elder brothers were. " We are not sure, " they answered me, " but we think the elders of the birds are in the sky, and that the elders of the other animals are in the water. " They recognize two progenitors of the seasons; one [471 is called Nipinoukhe, it is this one that brings the Spring and Summer. This name comes from Nipin, which in their language means Springtime. The other is called Pipounoukhe, from the word Pipoun, which means Winter; it therefore brings the cold season. I asked them if this Nipinoukhe and Pipounoukhe were men, or if they were animals of some other species, and in what place they usually dwelt; they replied that they did not know exactly what form they had, but they were quite sure they were living, for they heard them, they said, talking or rustling, especially at their coming, but they could not tell what they were saying. For their dwelling place they share the world between them, the one keeping on one side, the other upon the other; and when the period of their stay at one end of the world has expired, each goes over to the locality of the other, reciprocally succeeding each other. Here we have, in part, the fable of Castor and Pollux. When Nipinoukhe returns, he brings back with him the heat, the birds, the verdure, and restores life and beauty to the world; but Pipounoukhe lays waste everything, [48] being accompanied by the cold winds, [page 161] ice, snows, and other phenomena of Winter. They call this succession of one to the other Achitescatoueth; meaning that they pass reciprocally to each others' places.

Furthermore, they believe that there are certain Genii of light, or Genii of the air, which they call Khichikouai from the word Khichikou, which means light " or " the air. " The Genii, or Khichikouai are acquainted with future events, they see very far ahead; this is why the Savages consult them, not all (the savages] but certain jugglers, who know better ,,,than the others how to impose upon and amuse these people. I have chanced to be present when they consulted these fine Oracles, and here is what I have observed.

Towards nightfall, two or three young men erected a tent in the middle of our Cabin; they stuck six poles deep into the ground in the form of a circle, and to hold them in place they fastened to the tops of these poles a large ring, which completely encircled them; this done, they enclosed this Edifice with Castelognes, leaving the top of the tent [49] open; it is all that a tall man can do to reach to the top of this round tower, capable of holding 5 or 6 men standing upright. This house made, the fires of the cabin are entirely extinguished, and the brands thrown outside, lest the flame frighten away the Genii or Khichikouai, who are to enter this tent; a young juggler slipped in from below, turning back, for this purpose, the covering which enveloped it, then replaced it when he had entered, for they must be very careful that there be no opening in this fine palace except from above. The juggler, having entered, began to moan softly, as if complaining; he [page 163] shook the tent at first without violence; then becoming animated little by little, he commenced to whistle, in a hollow tone, and as if it came from afar; then to talk as if in a bottle; to cry like the owls of these countries, which it seems to me have stronger voices than those of France; then to howl and sing, constantly varying the tones; ending by these syllables, ho ho, hi hi, guigui, nioué, and other [50] similar sounds, disguising his voice so that it seemed to me I heard those puppets which showmen exhibit in France. Sometimes he spoke Montagnais, sometimes Algonquain, retaining always the Algonquain intonation, which, like the Provençal, is vivacious. At first, as I have said, he shook this edifice gently; but, as he continued to become more animated, he fell into so violent an ecstasy, that I thought he would break everything to pieces, shaking his house with so much force and violence, that I was astonished at a man having so much strength; for, after he had once begun to shake it, he did not stop until the consultation was over, which lasted about three hours. Whenever he would change his voice, the Savages would at first cry out, moa, moa, " listen, listen ; " then, as an invitation to these Genii, they said to them, Pitoukhecou, Pitoukhecou, " enter, enter. " At other times, as if they were replying to the howls of the juggler, they drew this aspiration from the depths of their chests, ho, ho. I was seated like the others, looking on at this wonderful mystery, forbidden to speak; but as I [51] had not vowed obedience to them, I did not fail to intrude a little word into the proceedings. Sometimes I begged them to have pity on this poor juggler, who was killing himself in this tent; at other times I told [page 165] them they should cry louder, for the Genii had gone to sleep.

Some of these Barbarians imagined that this juggler was not inside, that he had been carried away, without knowing where or how. Others said that his body was lying on the ground, and that his soul was up above the tent, where it spoke at first, calling these Genii, and throwing from time to time sparks of fire. Now to return to our consultation. The Savages having heard a certain voice that the juggler counterfeited, uttered a cry of joy, saying that one of these Genii had entered; then addressing themselves to him, they cried out, Tepouachi, tepouachi, " call, call; " that is, " call thy companions." Thereupon the juggler, pretending to be one of the Genii and changing his tone and his voice, called them. In the meantime our sorcerer, who was present, took his drum, and began to sing with the juggler who was in the tent, and the others [52] answered. Some of the young men were made to dance, among others the Apostate,12 who did not wish to hear of it, but the sorcerer made him obey.

At last, after a thousand cries and howls, after a thousand songs, after having danced and thoroughly shaken this fine edifice, the Savages believing that the Genii or Kichikouai had entered, the sorcerer consulted them. He asked them about his health, (for he is sick), and about that of his wife, who was also sick. These Genii, or rather the juggler who counterfeited them, answered that, as to his wife, she was already dead, that it was all over with her. I could have said as much myself, for one needed not to be a prophet or a sorcerer to guess that, inasmuch as the poor creature was already struck with death; in [page 167] regard to the sorcerer, they said that he would se the Spring. Now, knowing his disease, - which was a pain in the loins, or rather an infirmity resulting from his licentiousness and excesses, for he is vile to the last degree,—I said to him, seeing that he was otherwise healthy, and that he drank and ate very heartily, that he would not only see the spring but also the Summer, if some other accident [53] did not overtake him, and I was not mistaken.

After these interrogations, these fine oracles were asked if there would soon be snow, if there would be much of it, if there would be Elks or Moose, and where they could be found. They answered, or rather the juggler, always disguising his voice, that they saw a little snow and some moose far away, without indicating the place, having the prudence not to commit themselves.

So this is what took place in this consultation, after which I wished to get hold of the juggler; but, as it was night, he made his exit from the tent and from our little cabin so swiftly, that he was outside almost before I was aware of it. He and all the other Savages, who had come from the other Cabins to these beautiful mysteries, having departed, I asked the Apostate if he was so simple as to believe that the Genii entered and spoke in this tent. He began to swear his belief, which he had lost and denied, that it was not the juggler who spoke, but these Khichikouai or Genii [54] of the air, and my host said to me, " Enter thou thyself into the tent, and thou wilt see that thy body will remain below, and thy soul will mount on high." I did want to go in; but, as I was the only one of my party, I foresaw that they might commit some outrage upon me, and, as there were [page 169] no witnesses there, they would boast that I had recognized and admired the truth of their mysteries.

Now I had a great desire to know the nature of these Genii; the Apostate knew nothing about them. The sorcerer, seeing that I was discovering his mines, and that I disapproved of his nonsense, did not wish to explain anything to me, so that I was compelled to make use of my wits. I allowed a few weeks to pass; then, springing this subject upon him, I spoke as if I admired his doctrine, saying to him that it was wrong to refuse me, since to all the questions which he asked me in regard to our belief, I answered him frankly and without showing any reluctance. At last he allowed himself to be won over by this flattery, and revealed to me the secrets of the school. Here is the fable which he recounted to me touching the nature [55] and the character of these Genii.

Two Savages having consulted these Genii at the same time, but in two different tents, one of them, a very wicked man who had treacherously killed three men with his hatchet, was put to death by the Genii, who, crossing over into the tent of the other Savage to take his life, as well as that of his companion, were themselves surprised; for this juggler defended himself so well that he killed one of these Khichikouai or Genii; and thus it was found out how they were made, for this One remained in the place where he was killed. Then I asked him what was his form. "He was as large as the fist," he replied; " his body was of stone, and rather long." I judged that he was cone-shaped, large at one end, and gradually becoming smaller towards the other. They believe that in this stone body there is flesh and blood, for [page 171] the hatchet with which this Spirit was killed was bloody. I inquired if they had feet and wings, and was told they had not. " Then how," said I, " can they enter or fly into these tents, [56] if they have neither feet nor wings? " The sorcerer began to laugh, saying in explanation, " In truth, this black robe has no sense." This is the way they pay me back when I offer some objections to something which they cannot answer.

As they made a great deal of the fire which this juggler threw out of his tent, I told them that our Frenchmen could throw it better than he could; for he only made a few sparks fly from some rotten wood which he carried with him, as I am inclined to think, and if I had had some resin I could have made the flames rise for them. They insisted that he entered this house without fire; but I had happened to see some one give him a red-hot coal which he asked to light his pipe.

So that is their belief touching the foundations of things good. What astonishes me is their ingratitude; for, although they believe that the Messou has restored the world, that Nipinoukhé and Pipounoukhe bring the seasons, that their Khichikouai teach them where to find Elks or Moose, and render them a thousand other good offices,—yet up to the present I have not been able to learn [57] that they render them the slightest honor. I have only observed that, in their feasts, they occasionally throw a few spoonfuls of grease into the fire, pronouncing these words: Papeouekou, Papeouekou; " Make us find something to eat, make us find something to eat." I believe this prayer is addressed to these Genii, to whom they present this grease as the best thing they have in the world. [page 173]

Besides these foundations of things good, they recognize a Manitou, whom we may call the devil. They regard him as the origin of evil; it is true that they do not attribute great malice to the Manitou, but to his wife, who is a real she-devil. The husband does not hate men. He is only present in wars and combats, and those whom he looks upon are protected, the others are killed. So for this reason, my host told me that he prayed this Manitou every day not to cast his eyes upon the Hiroquois, their enemies, and to always give them some of them in their wars. As to the wife of the Manitou, she is [58] the cause of all the diseases which are in the world. It is she who kills men, otherwise they would not die; she feeds upon their flesh, gnawing them upon the inside, which causes them to become emaciated in their illnesses. She has a robe made of the most beautiful hair of the men and women whom she has killed; she sometimes appears like a fire; she can be heard roaring like a flame, but her language cannot be understood. From this, in my opinion, come those cries and howls, and those beatings of the drum which they make around their sick, as if to prevent this she-devil from giving the deathblow, which she does so secretly that no one can defend himself therefrom, for he does not see her.

Furthermore, the Savages persuade themselves that not only men and other animals, but also all other things, are endowed with souls, and that all the souls are immortal;17 they imagine the souls as shadows of the animate objects; never having heard of anything purely spiritual, they represent the soul of man [59] as a dark and sombre image, or as a shadow of the man himself, attributing to it feet, [page 175] hands, a mouth, a head, and all the other parts of the human body. Hence this is the reason that they say the souls drink and eat, and therefore they give them food when any one dies, throwing the best meat they have into the fire; and they have often told me that the next morning they find meat which has been gnawed during the night by the souls. Now, having declared to me this fine article of their faith, I propound to them several questions. " First, where do these souls go, after the death of man and other creatures?" "They go," they say, "very far away, to a large village situated where the Sun sets." "All your country," I say to them (meaning America), "is an immense Island, as you seem to know; how is it that the souls of men, of animals, of hatchets, of knives, of kettles,—in short, the souls of all things that die or that are used, can cross the water to go to this great village that you place where the sun sets? do they [60] find ships all ready to embark them and take them over the water?" "No, they go on foot," they answer me, fording the water in some places." "And how, I respond, "can they ford the great Ocean which you know is so deep, for it is this great sea which surrounds your country?" "Thou art mistaken," they answer; "either the lands are united in some places, or there is some passage which is fordable over which our souls pass; and, indeed, we know that no one has yet been able to pass beyond the North coast." "It is because (I answer them) of the great cold in those seas, so that if your souls take this route they will be frozen and all stiff from cold, before they reach their villages."

Secondly, I ask them, " What do these poor souls [page 177] eat, making so long a journey? " They eat bark," they said, and old wood which they find in the forests." I am not astonished," I replied, "that you are so afraid of death, that you shun it so greatly; there is hardly any pleasure in going and eating old wood and bark in another life."

[61] Thirdly; " What do these souls do when they arrive at their dwelling place?" "During the daytime, they are seated with their two elbows upon their two knees, and their heads between their two hands, the usual position of sick Savages; during the night, they go and come, they work, they go to the chase." "Oh, but they cannot see at all during the night," I rejoined. "Thou art an ignoramus, thou hast no sense," they answered; " souls are not like us, they do not see at all during the day, and see very clearly at night; their day is in the darkness of the night, and their night in the light of the day."

"In the fourth place, what are these poor souls hunting during the night?" "They hunt for the souls of Beavers, Porcupines, Moose, and other animals, using the soul of the snowshoes to walk upon the soul of the snow, which is in yonder country; in short, they make use of the souls of all things, as we here use the things themselves. Now, when they have killed the soul of a Beaver, or of another animal, does that soul die entirely, or has it another soul which goes to some [62] other village?" My sorcerer was nonplused by this question; and as he is quick-witted, he dodged the question, seeing that he was going to involve himself if he answered me directly; for if he had answered me that the soul would die entirely, I would have told him that when they first killed the animal its soul would have died [page 179] at the same time; if he had answered that this soul had a soul which went away into another village, I would have shown him that every animal would have, according to his doctrine, more than twenty, indeed more than a hundred souls, and that the world would have to be full of these villages to which they withdrew, and yet no one had ever seen one of them. Recognizing that he was about to entangle himself, he said to me, "Be silent, thou hast no sense; thou askest things which thou dost not know thyself; if I had ever been in yonder country, I would answer thee."

At last, I told them that the Europeans navigated the whole world. I explained to them and made them see by a round figure what country it was where the sun sets according to their idea, assuring them that no one had ever found this great village, that all that was nothing but nonsense; that the souls of men alone were [63] immortal; and, that if they were good, they would go to heaven, and if they were bad they would descend into hell, there to burn forever; and that each one would receive according to his works. " In that," he said, " you lie, you people, in assigning different places for souls,—they go to the same country, at least, ours do; for the souls of two of our countrymen once returned from this great village, and explained to us all that I have told thee, then they returned to their dwelling place." They call the milky way, Tchipaï meskenau, the path of souls, because they think that the souls raise themselves through this way in going to that great village.

They have, besides, great faith in their dreams, imagining that what they have seen in their sleep [page 181] must happen, and that they must execute whatever they have thus imagined. This is a great misfortune, for if a Savage dreams that he will die if he does not kill me, he will take my life the first time he meets me alone. Our Savages ask almost every morning, "Hast thou not seen any Beavers or Moose, [64] while sleeping? " And when they see that I make sport of their dreams, they are astonished and ask me, " What does thou believe then, if thou dost not believe in thy dream? I believe in him who has made all things, and who can do all things." "Thou hast no sense, how canst thou believe in him, if thou hast not seen him? " It would take too long to relate all their silly ideas upon these subjects; let us return to their superstitions, which are numberless.

The Savages are great singers; they sing, as do most of the nations of the earth, for recreation and for devotion, which, with them, means superstition. The tunes which they sing for pleasure are usually grave and heavy. It seems to me that occasionally they sing something gay, especially the girls, but for the most part, their songs are heavy, so to speak, sombre and unpleasant; they do not know what it is to combine chords to compose a sweet harmony. They use few words in singing, varying the tones, and not the words. I have often heard my Savage make a long song with these three words, Kaie, nir, khigatoutaouim, [65] "And thou wilt also do something for me." They say that we imitate the warbling of birds in our tunes, which they do not disapprove, as they nearly all take pleasure both in singing and in hearing others sing; and although I told them that I [page 183] did not understand anything about it, they often invited me to sing some song or prayer.

As for their superstitious songs, they use them for a thousand purposes, for which the sorcerer and that old man, of whom I have spoken, have given me the reason. Two Savages, they told me, being once in great distress, seeing themselves within two finger-lengths of death for want of food, were advised to sing, and they would be relieved; and so it happened, for when they had sung, they found something to eat. As to who gave them this advice, and how it was given, they know nothing; however, since that time all their religion consists mainly in singing, using the most barbarous words that come into their minds. The following are some of the words that they sang in a long superstitious rite which lasted more than four hours: Aiasé, manitou, aiasé manitou, aiasé manitou, ahiham, hehinham, [67 i.e., 66] hanhan, heninakhé hosé, heninakhé, enigouano bahano anihé ouibini naninaouai nanahouai nanahouai aouihé ahahé aouihé; concluding with ho! ho! ho! I asked what these words meant, but not one could interpret them to me; for it is true that not one of them understands what he is singing, except in the tunes which they sing for recreation.

They accompany their songs with drums. I asked the origin of this drum, and the old man told me that perhaps some one had dreamed that it was a good thing to have, and thus it had come into use. I thought it most probable they had derived this superstition from the neighboring tribes; for I am told (I do not know how true it is) they imitate to a great degree the Canadians who live toward Gaspé, a tribe still more superstitious than those of this country. [page 185]

As to this drum, it is the size of a tambourine, and is composed of a circle three or four finger-lengths in diameter, and of two skins stretched tightly over it on both sides; they put inside some little pebbles or [68 i.e., 67] stones, in order to make more noise; the diameter of the largest drums is of the size of two palms or thereabout; they call it chichigouan, and the verb nipagahiman means, "I make this drum sound." They do not strike it, as do our Europeans; but they turn and shake it, to make the stones rattle inside; they strike it upon the ground, sometimes its edge and sometimes its face, while the sorcerer plays a thousand apish tricks with this instrument. Often the spectators have sticks in their hands and all strike at once upon pieces of wood, or upon hatchet handles which they have before them, or upon their ouragans,- that is to say, upon their bark plates turned upside down. To this din they add their songs and their cries, I might indeed say their howls, so much do they exert themselves at times; I leave you to imagine this beautiful music. This miserable sorcerer with whom my host and the renegade made me pass the winter, contrary to their promise, almost made me lose my head with his uproar; for every day,—toward nightfall, and very often toward midnight, at other times [68] during the day,—he acted like a madman. For quite a long time I was sick among them, and although I begged him to moderate a little and to give me some rest, he acted still worse, hoping to find his cure in these noises which only made me worse.

They make use of these songs, of this drum, and of this noise or uproar, in their sicknesses. I [page 187] explained it quite fully last year; but since that time I have seen so much foolishness, nonsense, absurdity, noise, and din made by this wretched sorcerer in order to cure himself, that I should become weary in writing and would tire your reverence, if I should try to make you read the tenth part of what has often wearied me almost beyond endurance. Occasionally this man would enter as if in a fury, singing, crying and howling, making his drum rattle with all his might; while the others howled as loudly as he, and made a horrible din with their sticks, striking upon whatever was before them; they made the little children dance, then the girls, then the women; he lowered [69] his head and blew upon his drum, then blew toward the fire; he hissed like a serpent, drew his drum under his chin, shaking and turning it about; he struck the ground with it with all his might, then turned it upon his stomach; he closed his mouth with the back of one hand, and then with the other; you would have said that he wanted to break the drum to pieces, he struck it so hard upon the ground; he shook it, he turned it from one side to the other, and, running around the fire several times, he went out of the cabin, continuing to howl and bellow; he struck a thousand attitudes, and all this was done to cure himself. This is the way they treat their sick. I am inclined to think that they wish to conjure the disease, or to frighten the wife of Manitou, whom they hold as the origin and cause of all evils, as I have said above.

They sing and make these noises also in their sweating operations. They believe that this medicine, which is the best of all they have, would be of no use whatever to them if they did not sing during [page 189] the sweat. They plant some sticks in the ground, making [60 i.e., 70] a sort of low tent, for, if a tall man were seated therein, his head would touch the top of this hut, which they enclose and cover with skins, robes, and blankets. They put in this dark room a number of heavy stones which they have had heated and made red-hot in a good fire, then they slip entirely naked into these sweat boxes. The women occasionally sweat as well as the men. Sometimes they sweat all together, men and women, pell-mell. They sing, cry and groan in this oven, and make speeches; occasionally the sorcerer beats his drum there. I heard him once acting the prophet therein, crying out that he saw Moose; that my host, his brother, would kill some. I could not refrain from telling him, or rather those who were present and listened to him as if to an oracle, that it was indeed quite probable that they would find a male, since they had already found and killed two females. When he understood what I was driving at, he said to me sharply, " Believe [61 i.e., 71] me, this black robe has no sense. " They are so superstitious in these uproars and in their other nonsense, that if they have sweats in order to cure themselves, or to have a good hunt, or to have fine weather, [they think] nothing would be accomplished if they did not sing, and if they did not observe these superstitions. I have noticed that, when the men sweat, they do not like to use women's robes with which to enclose their sweat boxes, if they can have any others. In short, when they have shouted for three hours or thereabout in these stoves, they emerge completely wet and covered with their sweat.

They also sing and beat drums in their feasts, as I [page 191] shall explain in the chapter upon their banquets. I have seen them do the same thing in their councils, mingling therein other juggleries. For my part, I suspect that the sorcerer invents every day some new contrivance to keep his people in a state of agitation, and to make himself popular. One day I saw him take a javelin and turn the point down and the handle up (for their javelins [72] have a long stick for a handle); he placed a hatchet near this javelin, stood up, pounded on his drum, uttered his usual howls, pretended to dance, and walked around the fire. Then, concealing himself, he drew out a nightcap, in which there was a whetstone which he placed in a spoon made of wood, which had been wiped expressly for this purpose; then he lighted a bark torch, and passed from hand to hand the torch, the spoon, and the stone, which was marked with stripes,—all examining it attentively, one after the other, and philosophizing, as it seemed to me, over this stone, in regard to their chase, which was the subject of their council or assembly.

These poor wretches sing also in their sufferings, in their difficulties, in their perils and dangers. During the time of our famine, I heard nothing throughout these cabins, especially at night, except songs, cries, beating of drums and other noises; when I asked what this meant, my people told me that they did [73] it in order to have a good chase, and to find something to eat. Their songs and their drums also play a part in the witchcraft of the sorcerers.

I must set down here what I saw them do on the twelfth of February. As I was reciting my hours, toward evening, the sorcerer began to talk about [page 193] me: aiamtheou, " He is making his prayers; " then, pronouncing some words which I did not understand, he added: Niganipahau, " I will kill him at once. " The thought occurred to me that he was speaking of me, seeing that he hated me for several reasons, as I shall state in the proper place; but especially because I tried to show that all he did was mere nonsense and child's play. just as I was thinking that he wanted to take my life, my host said to me, " Hast thou not some powder that kills men?" "Why? " I asked. " I want to kill some one, " he answered me. I leave you to imagine whether I finished my prayers without any distraction; for I knew very well that they were disinclined to kill any of their own people, and that the sorcerer had threatened me with death [74] some days before,—although only in jest, as he told me afterward; but I did not have much confidence in him. Now seeing these people bustling about, I retired within myself, supplicating our Lord to help me, and to take my life at the moment and in whatever manner would be pleasing to him. Nevertheless, to better prepare myself for this sacrifice, I wished to learn if they had me in mind, and so I asked them where the man was that they wished to kill; they answered me that he was in the neighborhood of Gaspé, more than a hundred leagues away from us. I began to laugh, for in truth I had never dreamed that they would undertake to kill a man a hundred leagues away. I inquired why they wished to take his life. They answered that this man was a Canadian sorcerer, who, having had some trouble with ours, had threatened him with death and had given him the disease from which he had suffered so long, [page 195] and which was going to consume him in two days, if he did not prevent the stroke by his art. I told them that God had forbidden murder, and that we never killed people; that did not prevent them [75] from pursuing their purpose. My host, foreseeing the great commotion which was about to take place, said to me, " Thou wilt have the headache; go off into one of the other cabins near by." " No," said the sorcerer, " there will be no harm in his seeing what we do. " They had all the children and women go out, except one who sat near the sorcerer. I remained as a spectator of their mysteries, with all the Savages of the other cabins, who were summoned. All being seated, a young man comes bearing two pickets, or very sharply-pointed sticks; my host prepares the charm, composed of little pieces of wood shaped at both ends like a serpent's tongue, iron arrow-points, pieces of broken knives, bits of iron bent like a big fishhook, and other similar things; all these are wrapped in a piece of leather. When this is done, the sorcerer takes his drum, all begin to chant and howl, and to make the uproar of which I spoke above; after a few songs, the woman who had remained arises, and goes all around the inside of the cabin, passing behind the [76] backs of the people who are there. When she is reseated, the magician takes these two stakes; then, pointing out a certain place, begins by saying, " Here is his head," (I believe he meant the head of the man whom he wished to kill); then with all his might he drives these stakes into the ground, inclining them toward the place where he believed this Canadian was. Thereupon my host comes to assist his brother; he makes a tolerably deep ditch in the ground with these stakes; [page 197] meanwhile the songs and other noises continue incessantly. The ditch made and the stakes planted, the servant of the sorcerer, I mean the Apostate, goes in search of a sword, and the sorcerer strikes with it one of these pickets; then he descends into the ditch, assuming the posture of an excited man who is striking heavy blows with the sword and poniard; for he has both, in this act of a furious and enraged man. The sorcerer takes the charm wrapped in skin, puts it in the ditch, and redoubles his sword-cuts at the same time that they increase the uproar.

Finally, this mystery ends, and he draws out the sword and the poniard all covered with blood, and throws them down before the other Savages; the ditch [77] is hurriedly covered up, and the magician boastfully asserts that his man is struck, that he will soon die, and asks if they have not heard his cries; they all say " no," except two young men, relatives of his, who say they have heard some very dull sounds, and as if far away. Oh, how glad they make him! Turning toward me, he begins to laugh, saying, " See this black robe, who comes here to tell us that we must not kill any one." As I am looking attentively at the sword and the poniard, he has them presented to me. "Look, " he says, "what is that?" "It is blood, " I answer, " of what? Of some Moose or other animal. " They laugh at me, saying that it is the blood of that Sorcerer of Gaspé. " How? " I answer them, " he is more than a hundred leagues away from here." " It is true," they reply, " but it is the Manitou; that is, the Devil, who carries his blood under the earth." Now if this man is really a Magician, I leave you to decide; for my part, I consider that he is neither Sorcerer nor Magician, [page 199] but that he would like very much to be one. All that he does, according to my opinion, is nothing but nonsense [78] to amuse the Savages. He would like to have communication with the Devil or Manitou, but I do not think that he has. Yet I am persuaded that there has been some Sorcerer or Magician here, if what they tell me is true about diseases and cures which they describe to me; it is a strange thing, in my opinion, that the Devil, who is visible to the South Americans, and who so beats and torments them that they would like to get rid of such a guest, does not communicate himself visibly and sensibly to our Savages. I know that there are persons of contrary opinion, who believe in the reports of these Barbarians; but, when I urge them, they all admit that they have seen nothing of that of which they speak, but that they have only heard it related by others.

Among the South Americans it is different. Our Europeans have heard the noise, the voice, and the blows that the Devil deals to these poor slaves, and a Frenchman, worthy of belief, [79] has assured me that he heard it with his own ears. In regard to this, a very remarkable thing is reported to me; it is that the Devil takes flight, and does not strike or else ceases to strike these wretches, when a Catholic enters their company, and that he does not cease to strike them in the presence of a Huguenot. From this it happened that, one day, seeing themselves being beaten in the presence of a Frenchman, they said to him, " We are astonished that the devil beats us when thou art with us, seeing that he does not dare to do it when thy companions are here." It suddenly occurred to him that this might come from his [page 201] religion (for he was a Calvinist); so, addressing himself to God, he promised to become a Catholic if the devil ceased beating these poor people in his presence. After this vow was made, never afterward did any Demon molest an American in his company, on account of which he became a Catholic according to his promise. But let us return to our story. I have seen our pretended Magician perform the same witchcraft on two other occasions. [80] He observed all the above mentioned ceremonies, except that he changed the charm, for once he made use of four sticks made in the shape of spindles, except that they were heavier, and that they had something like teeth in certain places. Also he used the end of the tail and the foot of a Porcupine, and some hairs of the Moose and of the Porcupine, bound together in a little sheaf. Another time he used these spindles also, and a foot of the Porcupine or of another animal, the bone of some beast, an iron similar to that which they fasten to a door to pull it open, and some other absurd things. His servant, the renegade, held all these things ready for him, and beat the drum while his Master was occupied in the ditch. These are a part of their actions, among which are mingled their songs, their cries, their howls and uproar.

Their Religion, or rather their superstition, consists besides in praying; but O, my God, what prayers they make! In the morning, when the little children come out from their Cabins, they shout, Cacouakhi, [81] Pakhais Amiscouakhi, Pakhais Mousouakhi, Pakhais, "Come, Porcupines; come, Beavers; come, Elk; " and this is all of their prayers.

When the Savages sneeze, and sometimes even at [page 203] other times, during the Winter, they cry out in a loud voice, Etouctaian miraouinam an Mirouscamiklti, I shall be very glad to see the Spring."

At other times, I have heard them pray for the Spring, or for deliverance from evils and other similar things; and they express all these things in the form of desires, crying out as loudly as they can, " I would be very glad if this day would continue, if the wind would change," etc. I could not say to whom these wishes are addressed, for they themselves do not know, at least those whom I have asked have not been able to enlighten me.

I have remarked above that they pray The Manitou not to cast his eyes upon their enemies, in order that they may be able to kill them. These are all the prayers and orisons which I have heard the Savages make; I do not know whether they have others,—I [82] do not think they have. Oh, how rich and happy I consider myself among these Barbarians, to have a God to whom I can address my desires, my prayers and my vows! And how miserable they are not to have any other desires than for the present life! I was forgetting to say here, although I have mentioned it above, that they have an Imitation or kind of a sacrifice, for they throw upon the fire grease which they skim from the kettle where the meat is cooking, uttering this prayer, Papeouekou, Papeouekou, "make us find something to eat, make us find something to eat." I believe that they address this prayer to their Khichekouai, and perhaps to others besides. The following is a superstition which greatly annoyed me.

On the twenty-fourth of November, the Sorcerer assembled the Savages, and entrenched himself with [page 205] some robes and blankets in one quarter of the Cabin, so that neither he nor his companions could be seen. There was a woman with them, who marked on a triangular stick, half a spear in length, all the songs they recited. I [83] begged a woman to tell me what they were doing in this enclosure, and she answered me that they were praying; but I believe she made this response because, when I prayed and they asked me what I was doing, I told them, Nataïamihiau missi ca Khichitât, " I am praying to him who made all things; " and so when they sang, when they howled, and beat their drums and their sticks, they told me that they were making prayers, without being able to explain to me to whom they were addressed. The renegade told me that this superstitious rite, which lasted more than five hours, was performed for a dead person; but, as he lies oftener than he tells the truth, I give it for what it is worth. They call this superstition Ouechibouan. After these long orisons, the Sorcerer gave the pattern of a little sack, cut in the form of a leg, to a woman, to make one of leather. This she filled, I thought, with Beaver hair, for I felt the leg and it seemed to me light and full of soft hair. I asked often what it was, [84] and why they made this little crooked sack, but they never told me. I only know that they call it Manitoukathi; meaning, leg of the Manitou, or of the Devil; for a long time it was hung in the Cabin, at the place where the Sorcerer was seated; afterward, it was given to a young man to wear hung from his neck. It was one of the accompaniments of these long prayers, which I have just described; but I have not been able to find out for what purpose it was used. [page 207]

Now and then they observe a very rigorous fast,—not all of them, but certain ones who desire to live a long time. My host, seeing that I ate only once a day during Lent, told me that some of their people fasted in order to have a long life; but he added that they withdrew alone into a little Cabin apart from the others, and while there they neither drank nor ate, sometimes for eight and at other times for ten days; others have told me that they emerge from this Cabin like skeletons, and that sometimes [85] they are brought out half dead. I have not seen any of these great fasters, but I have seen great diners. In truth I have no difficulty in believing in these excesses, for all false religions are full of nonsense, of excesses, or of uncleanness.

I have seen another devotion performed by the Sorcerer, which, I believe, belongs only to those of his profession. They erect for him a little Cabin distant from the others a stone's throw or two, into which he retires to remain there alone eight or ten days, more or less. Now day and night he can be heard crying, howling and beating his drum; but he is not so solitary that others do not go to help him sing, and that the women do not visit him, and it is here that great licentiousness is carried on.

The Savages are also very Religious in regard to their dead. My host, and the old man of whom I have spoken, confirmed what I have already written before, that the body of the deceased does not go out through the [86] common door of the Cabin, but the bark is raised at the place where the dead man is, in order to make a passageway for the corpse.

Furthermore, they say that the soul goes out through the chimney, or at the opening which they [page 209] make at the top of their huts. They strike heavy blows with a stick upon the Cabins, that this soul may not delay, and that it may not come near a child, for it would kill it. They bury with the dead man his robes, his kettles, and other belongings, because they love him, and also in order that he may make use of the soul of all these things in the other life. They throw, as I have already said, the best meat they have into the fire, to give something to eat to the soul of the deceased, which eats the soul of this food. They do not stretch out the bodies of their dead lengthwise, as we do those of our dead, but they place them in a crouching position like a person who is seated upon his heels. . They cut a little tuft of hair from the dead man to present to his nearest relative. I do not know [87] why they do this. But let us make another list of their superstitions and of their ignorance, as what I have just reported concerns in some manner their ridiculous religion; the following may properly be called superstitions.

The Savages do not throw to the dogs the bones of female Beavers and Porcupines,—at least, certain specified bones; in short, they are very careful that the dogs do not eat any bones of birds and of other animals which are taken in the net, otherwise they will take no more except with incomparable difficulties. Yet they make a thousand exceptions to this rule, for it does not matter if the vertebræ or rump of these animals be given to the dogs, but the rest must be thrown into the fire. Yet, as to the Beaver which has been taken in a trap, it is best to throw its bones into a river. It is remarkable how they gather and collect these bones, and preserve them with so much care, that you would say their game [page 211] would be lost if they [88] violated their superstitions As I was laughing at them, and telling them that Beavers do not know what is done with their bones, they answered me, " Thou dost not know how to take Beavers, and thou wishest to talk about it. " Before the Beaver was entirely dead, they told me, its soul comes to make the round of the Cabin of him who has killed it, and looks very carefully to see what is done with its bones; if they are given to the dogs, the other Beavers would be apprised of it and therefore they would make themselves hard to capture. But they are very glad to have their bones thrown into the fire, or into a river; especially the trap which has caught them is very glad of this. I told them that the Hiroquois, according to the reports of the one who was with us, threw the bones of the Beaver to the dogs, and yet they took them very often; and that our Frenchmen captured more game than they did (without comparison), and yet our dogs ate these bones. "Thou hast no sense," they replied, "dost thou not see that you and the Hiroquois cultivate the soil [89] and gather its fruits, and not we, and that therefore it is not the same thing? "I began to laugh when I heard this irrelevant answer. The trouble is, I only stutter, I take one word for another, I pronounce badly; and so everything usually passes off in laughter. What great difficulty there is in talking with people without being able to understand them. Furthermore, in their eat-all feasts they must be very careful that the dogs do not taste even the least of it; but of this in another chapter.

They believe that the hail has understanding and knowledge. When my host was giving a feast, that Winter, he said to a young man, " Go tell the Savages [page 213] of the other Cabin that they may come when they wish, that everything is ready; but do not carry a torch." It was night, and there was a very heavy hailstorm. So I heard the Savages going out from their Cabins, crying to their people, " Do not make any light for us, because it hails." I afterward asked the reason for this, and they answered me that the hail possessed intelligence, and that it hated [90] the light, usually coming only at night-time; that, if torches were carried out of doors, it would stop, and they would be very sorry for this, for it helped them to capture the Moose. See how intelligent these people are about atmospheric phenomena. I told them that the hail was nothing but the water of the rain, congealed by the cold, which was greater at night on account of the absence of the Sun, and so it hailed then oftener than in the middle of the day. They answered me in their usual way, " Thou art an ignoramus; dost thou not see that it has been cold all day long, and that the hail has waited until night to come?" I tried to tell them that the clouds had not yet gathered, but they said, eca titou eca titou nama Khitirinisin, " keep still, keep still, thou hast no sense." This is the money with which they pay me, and with which they very often pay the others without any variation. Through superstition, my host cuts off the end of the tail from all the Beavers he takes, and strings them together. I asked why; and the old man told me that it was a resolution or promise that he had made in order to take many Beavers. As to whom he made this vow, [91] neither he nor I would be able to tell.

They put upon the fire a certain flat bone of the Porcupine; then look at its color attentively, to see if they will hunt these animals with success. [page 215]

When some one of their men is lost in the woods, seeing that he does not return to his Cabin, they hang a fuse to a pole to direct him, and, that done, they tell me that he sees the fire and finds his way back. When the mind has once strayed from the path of truth, it advances far into error.

But, in regard to their fuse, I will say here that it is not made like ours. For wick they use the skin of an eagle's thigh, covered with down, which takes fire very easily. They strike together two metallic stones, just as we do with a piece of flint and iron or steel; in place of matches, they use a little piece of tinder, a dry and rotten wood which burns easily and continually until it is consumed. When they have lighted it, they put it into pulverized Cedar bark; and, by gently [92] blowing, this bark takes fire. That is how they light their fires. I brought a French fuse with me, and five or six matches. They were astonished at the ease with which I could light a fire; the trouble was that my matches were soon exhausted, as I had failed to bring enough.

They have still another kind of fuse. They twist a little Cedar stick, and this friction causes fire, which lights some tinder; but, as I have never seen them use this fuse, which is more familiar to the Hurons than to the Montagnais, I will say no more about it.

When some one of them has taken a Bear, there are extensive ceremonies before it is eaten. One of our people took one, and this is what they did:

First, the Bear having been killed, the man who killed it did not bring it back, but he returned to the Cabin to impart the news, so that some one might go and see the prize, as something very precious; for the Savages prefer the meat of the Bear to all other [page 217] kinds of food; it seems to me that the young Beaver is in no way inferior to it, but the Bear has [93] more fat, and therefore the Savages like it better.

Second, the Bear being brought, all the marriageable girls and young married women who have not had children, as well as those of the Cabin where the Bear is to be eaten, and of the neighboring cabins, go outside, and do not return as long as there remains a piece of this animal, which they do not taste. It snowed, and the weather was very severe. It was almost night when this Bear was brought to our Cabin; immediately the women and girls went out and sought Shelter elsewhere, the best they could find. They do this not without much suffering; for they do not always have bark at hand with which to make their house, which in such cases they cover with branches of the Fir tree.

In the third place, the dogs must be sent away, lest they lick the blood, or eat the bones, or even the offal of this beast, so greatly is it prized. The latter are buried under the fireplace, and the former are thrown into the fire. The preceding are the observations which I made during the performance of this superstition. Two banquets are made of this Bear, [94] as it is cooked in two kettles, although all at the same time. The men and older women are invited to the first feast, and, when it is finished, the women go out; then the other kettle is taken down, and of this an eat-all feast is made for the men only. This is done on the evening of the capture; the next day toward nightfall, or the second day, I do not exactly remember, the Bear having been all eaten, the young women and girls return.

If the bird which they call Ouichcatchan, which is [page 219] nearly the size of the magpie, and which resembles it (for it is gray in the places where the magpie is black, and white where it is white), tries to get into their Cabins, they drive it away very carefully, because, they say, they would have a headache; they do not give any reason for this, but have, if they are to be believed, learned it by experience. I have seen them take the throat of this animal, split it open, and look into it very attentively. My host tells me, " If I find inside a little bone of the Moose (for this bird eats everything) I shall kill a Moose; if I find a bone of the Bear, I [95] shall kill a Bear; " and so on with other animals.

In the famine which we endured, our Savages would not eat their dogs, because they said that, if the dog was killed to be eaten, a man would be killed by blows from an axe.

My host, throwing some pine branches into the fire, listened attentively to the noise which they made in burning, and pronounced some words. I asked him why he went through this ceremony; " To capture Porcupines, " he answered me. What connection there is between these burning branches and their hunting, they neither do nor can explain.

They do not eat the marrow of the vertebræ or backbone of any animal whatever, for they would have a backache; and, if they were to thrust a stick into these vertebrae, they would feel the pain the same as if some one had driven it into theirs. I did it purposely, in their presence, to disabuse them; but a disease of the mind so great as is a superstition firmly established for so many centuries, and drunk in with the nurse's milk, [96] is not eradicated in a moment. [page 221]

They do not eat the little embryos of Moose, which they take from the wombs of the mothers, except at the end of the chase for this animal. The reason is that their mothers love them, and they would become angry and difficult to capture, if their offspring were eaten so young.

They recognize only ten Moons in the year,—I mean the greater part of the Savages, for I made the Sorcerer admit that there are twelve.

They believe that the February Moon is longer by several days than the others, and therefore they call it the great Moon. I asked them whence came the Eclipse of the Moon and of the Sun. They answered that the Moon was eclipsed, or appeared to be dark, because she held her son in her arms, which prevented her brightness from being seen. " If the Moon has a son, she is married, or has been," I told them. "Oh, yes," they replied, " the Sun is her husband, who walks all day, and she all night; and if he be eclipsed, or darkened, it is because he also sometimes takes the son which he has had by [97] the Moon, into his arms." "Yes, but neither the Moon nor the Sun has any arms," I answered them. "Thou hast no sense; they always hold their drawn bows before them, and that is why their arms do not appear." "And whom do they wish to shoot?" "Ah, how do we know?" I asked them what those spots meant that appear on the Moon. "Thou knowest nothing at all," they said; "it is a cap which covers her head, and not spots." I inquired why the son of the Sun and of the Moon was not bright like his parents, but black and gloomy. " We do not know," said they; "if we had been in the Sky, we might answer thee." Furthermore, they think that [page 223] he comes now and then upon earth; and, when he walks about in their country, many people die. I asked them if they had never seen Comets, those Stars with long tails, and what they were. "We have seen them," they answered; "it is an animal that has a long tail, 4 feet, and a head; we can see all that," they said.

I asked them about the thunder; they said that they did not know what animal it was; that it ate snakes, [98] and sometimes trees; that the Hurons believed it to be a very large bird. They were led to this belief by a hollow sound made by a kind of swallow which appears here in the Summer. I have not seen any of these birds in France, but have examined some of them here. They have a beak, a head, and a form like the swallow, except that they are a little larger; they fly about in the evening, repeatedly making a dull noise. The Hurons say that they make this noise from behind, as does also the bird which they think is the thunder; and that there is only one man who has seen this bird, and he only once in his lifetime. This is what my old man told me.

These are some of their superstitions. How much dust there is in their eyes, and how much trouble there will be to remove it that they may see the beautiful light of truth! I believe, nevertheless, that any one who knew their language perfectly, in order to give them good reasons promptly, would soon make them laugh at their own stupidity; for sometimes I have made them ashamed and confused, although I speak almost entirely by my hands, I mean by signs.

I am going to conclude this chapter with a [page 225] surprise; they complain in France of a [99] Mass, if it lasts more than half an hour; a Sermon limited to an hour seems too long; those Religious services are performed hardly once a week; and yet those poor ignorant people cry and howl all the time.

The Sorcerer often brings them together at midnight, or at two or three o'clock in the morning, in a cold which freezes everything. Day and night he holds them with bated breath, during not one nor two hours, but three or four in succession, to perform their ridiculous devotions. They make the poor women go out from their Cabins, rising at midnight and carrying their little children over the snow to their neighbors. Men, harassed by the work of the day, who have eaten but little and hunted a long time, at the first cry waken and promptly betake themselves to this Witches' Sabbath; and, what will seem beyond all belief, I have never known a single complaint to arise among them, neither among the women nor the men, nor even the children, each one showing himself prompt and glad to obey the voice of the Sorcerer or juggler. Alas, my God, will the souls that love you be [100] without feeling, when they see more zeal shown for folly than for truth? Is Belial more lovely than Jesus? Why then is he more ardently loved, more promptly obeyed, and more devotedly adored? But let us pass on.

[page 227]



F we begin with physical advantages, I will say that they possess these in abundance. They are tall, erect, strong, well proportioned, agile; and there is nothing effeminate in their appearance. Those little Fops that are seen elsewhere are only caricatures of men, compared with our Savages. I almost believed, heretofore, that the Pictures of the Roman Emperors represented the ideal of the painters rather than men who had ever existed, so strong and powerful are their heads; but I see here upon the shoulders of these people the heads of Julius Caesar, of Pompey, of Augustus, of Otho, and of others, that I have seen in France, drawn upon [101] paper, or in relief on medallions.

As to the mind of the Savage, it is of good quality. I believe that souls are all made from the same stock, and that they do not materially differ; hence, these barbarians having well formed bodies, and organs well regulated and well arranged, their minds ought to work with ease. Education and instruction alone are lacking. Their soul is a soil which is naturally good, but loaded down with all the evils that a land abandoned since the birth of the world can produce. I naturally compare our Savages with certain villagers, because both are usually without education, though our Peasants are superior in this [page 229] regard; and yet I have not seen any one thus far, of those who have come to this country, who does not confess and frankly admit that the Savages are more intelligent than our ordinary peasants.

Moreover, if it is a great blessing to be free from a great evil, our Savages are happy; for the two tyrants who provide hell and torture for many of our Europeans, do not reign [102] in their great forests,—I mean ambition and avarice. As they have neither political organization, nor offices, nor dignities, nor any authority, for they only obey their Chief through good will toward him, therefore they never kill each other to acquire these honors. Also, as they are contented with a mere living, not one of them gives himself to the Devil to acquire wealth.

They make a pretence of never getting angry, not because of the beauty of this virtue, for which they have not even a name, but for their own contentment and happiness, I mean, to avoid the bitterness caused by anger. The Sorcerer said to me one day, speaking of one of our Frenchmen, "He has no sense, he gets angry; as for me, nothing can disturb me; let hunger oppress me, let my nearest relation pass to the other life, let the Hiroquois, our enemies, massacre our people, I never get angry." What he says is not an article of faith; for, as he is more haughty than any other Savage, so I have seen him oftener out of humor than any of them; it is true also that he often restrains and governs himself by force, especially [103] when I expose his foolishness. I have only heard one Savage pronounce this word, Ninichcatihin, "I am angry," and he only said it once. But I noticed that they kept their eyes on him, for when these Barbarians are angry, they are dangerous and unrestrained. [page 231]

Whoever professes not to get angry, ought also to make a profession of patience; the Savages surpass us to such an extent, in this respect, that we ought to be ashamed. I saw them, in their hardships and in their labors, suffer with cheerfulness. My host, wondering at the great number of people who I told him were in France, asked me if the men were good, if they did -not become angry, if they were patient. I have never seen such patience as is shown by a sick Savage. You may yell, storm, jump, dance, and he will scarcely ever complain. I found myself, with them, threatened with great suffering; they said to me, "We shall be sometimes two days, sometimes three, without eating, for lack of food; take courage, Chihiné, let thy soul be strong to endure suffering and hardship; keep thyself from being sad, otherwise thou wilt be sick; see how we do not cease to laugh, [104] although we have little to eat." One thing alone casts them down,—it is when they see death, for they fear this beyond measure; take away this apprehension from the Savages, and they will endure all kinds of degradation and discomfort, and all kinds of trials and suffering very patiently. Later, I shall give several examples of this, which I am reserving for the end of these chapters.

They are very much attached to each other, and agree admirably. You do not see any disputes, quarrels, enmities, or reproaches among them. Men leave the arrangement of the household to the women, without interfering with them; they cut, and decide, and give away as they please, without making the husband angry. I have never seen my host ask a giddy young woman that he had with him what became of the provisions, although they were disappearing [page 233] very fast. I have never heard the women complain because they were not invited to the feasts, because the men ate the good pieces, or because they had to work continually,—going in search of the wood for the fire, making the Houses, dressing the skins, and busying themselves in [105] other very laborious work. Each one does her own little tasks, gently and peacefully, without any disputes. It is true, however, that they have neither gentleness nor courtesy in their utterance; and a Frenchman could not assume the accent, the tone, and the sharpness of their voices without becoming angry, yet they do not.

They are not vindictive among themselves, although they are toward their enemies. I will here give an example that ought to confound many Christians. In the stress of our famine, a young Savage from another quarter came to see us, who was as hungry as we were. The day on which he came was a day of fasting for him and for us, for there was nothing to eat. The next day, our hunters having taken a few Beavers, a feast was made, at which he was well treated; he was told besides that the trail of a Moose had been seen, and that they were going to hunt for it the next day; he was invited to remain and to have his share of it; he answered that he could stay no longer, and, having inquired about the place where the animal was, he went away. Our Hunters, having found and killed this Elk the [106] next day, buried it in the snow, according to their custom, to send for it on the following day. Now, during the night, my young Savage searched so well, that he found the dead beast, and took away a good part of it without saying a word. When the theft [page 235] became known to our people, they did not get into a rage and utter maledictions against the thief,-all their anger consisted in sneering at him; and yet this was almost taking away our life, this stealing our food when we were unable to obtain any more. Some time afterward, this thief came to see us; I wanted to represent to him the seriousness of his offence, but my host imposed silence; and when this poor man attributed his theft to the dogs, he was not only excused, but even received to live with us in the same Cabin. Then he went for his wife, whom he carried upon his back, for her legs are paralyzed; a young female relative who lives with him brought his little son; and all four took their places in our little hut, without ever being reproached for this theft; on the contrary they were received very kindly, and were treated as if [107] belonging to the family. Tell a Savage that another Savage has slandered him, and he will bow the head and not say a word; if they meet each other afterward, they will pretend not to know anything about it, acting as if nothing had been said. They treat each other as brothers; they harbor no spite against those of their own nation.

They are very generous among themselves and even make a show of not loving anything, of not being attached to the riches of the earth, so that they may not grieve if they lose them. Not long ago a dog tore a beautiful Beaver robe belonging to one of the Savages, and he was the first one to laugh about it. One of the greatest insults that can be offered to them, is to say, " That man likes everything, he is stingy." If you refuse them anything, here is their reproach, as I remarked last year: Khisakhitan Sakhita, " Thou lovest that, love it as much as thou [page 237] wilt." They do not open the hand half -way when they give,—I mean among themselves, for they are as ungrateful as possible toward strangers. You will see them take care of their kindred, the children of their friends, widows, orphans, and old men, never reproaching them in the least, giving them abundantly, [108] sometimes whole Moose. This is truly the sign of a good heart and of a generous soul.

As there are many orphans among these people,—for they die in great numbers since they are addicted to drinking wine and brandy,—these poor children are scattered among the Cabins of their uncles, aunts, or other relatives. Do not suppose that they are snubbed and reproached because they eat the food of the household. Nothing of the kind, they are treated the same as the children of the father of the family, or at least almost the same, and are dressed as well as possible.

They are not fastidious in their food, beds, and clothes, but are very slovenly. They never complain of what is given them; if it be cold, if it be warm, it does not matter. When the food is cooked, it is divided without waiting for any one, not even the master of the house; a share is reserved for him, which is given to him cold. I have never heard my host complain because they did not wait for him, if he were only a few steps from the Cabin. They often sleep upon the ground, at the sign of the [109] stars. They will pass one, two, and three days without eating, not ceasing to row, hunt, and fatigue themselves as much as they can. It will be seen in the course of this relation, that all I have said in this chapter is very true; and yet I would not dare to assert that I have seen one act of real moral virtue in a Savage. [page 239] They have nothing but their own pleasure and satisfaction in view. Add to this the fear of being blamed, and the glory of seeming to be good hunters, and you have all that actuates them in their transactions.

[page 241]



HE Savages, being filled with errors, are also haughty and proud. Humility is born of truth, vanity of error and falsehood. They are void of the knowledge of truth, and are in consequence, mainly occupied with thought of themselves. They imagine that they ought by right of birth, to enjoy the liberty of Wild ass colts, rendering no homage to any one whomsoever, except when they like. They have reproached me a hundred times because we [110] fear our Captains, while they laugh at and make sport of theirs. All the authority of their chief is in his tongue's end; for he is powerful in so far as he is eloquent; and, even if he kills himself talking and haranguing, he will not be obeyed unless he pleases the Savages.

I do not believe that there is a nation under heaven more given to sneering and bantering than that of the Montagnais. Their life is passed in eating, laughing, and making sport of each other, and of all the people they know. There is nothing serious about them, except occasionally, when they make a pretense among us of being grave and dignified; but among themselves they are real buffoons and genuine children, who ask only to laugh. Sometimes I annoyed them a little, especially the Sorcerer, by calling them children, and showing them that I never [page 243] could place any reliance upon all their answers; because, if I questioned them about one thing, they told me about something else, only to get something to laugh and jest about; and consequently I could not know when they were speaking seriously, or when they were jesting. The usual conclusion of their discourses and conversations is: "Really, we did make [111] a great deal of sport of such and such a one."

I have shown in my former letters how vindictive the Savages are toward their enemies, with what fury and cruelty they treat them, eating them after they have made them suffer all that an incarnate fiend could invent. This fury is common to the women as well as to the men, and they even surpass the latter in this respect. I have said that they eat the lice they find upon themselves, not that they like the taste of them, but because they want to bite those that bite them.

These people are very little moved by compassion. When any one is sick in their Cabins, they ordinarily do not cease to cry and storm, and make as much noise as if everybody were in good health. They do not know what it is to take care of a poor invalid, and to give him the food which is good for him; if he asks for something to drink, it is given to him, if he asks for something to eat, it is given to him, but otherwise he is neglected; to coax him with love and gentleness, is a language which they do not understand. As long as a patient can eat, they will carry [112] or drag him with them; if he stops eating, they believe that it is all over with him and kill him, as much to free him from the sufferings that he is enduring, as to relieve themselves of the trouble of taking him with them when they go to some other place. [page 245] I have both admired and pitied the patience of the invalids whom I have seen among them.

The Savages are slanderous beyond all belief; I say, also among themselves, for they do not even spare their nearest relations, and with it all they are deceitful. For, if one speaks ill of another, they all jeer with loud laughter; if the other appears upon the scene, the first one will show him as much affection and treat him with as much love, as if he had elevated him to the third heaven by his praise. The reason of this is, it seems to me, that their slanders and derision do not come from malicious hearts or from infected mouths, but from a mind which says what it thinks in order to give itself free scope, and which seeks gratification from everything, even from slander and mockery. Hence they are not troubled even if they are told that others are -making sport of [113] them, or have injured their reputation. All they usually answer to such talk is, mama irinisiou," He has no sense, he does not know what he is talking about;" and at the first opportunity they will pay their slanderer in the same coin, returning him the like.

Lying is as natural to Savages as talking, not among themselves, but to strangers. Hence it can be said that fear and hope, in one word, interest, is the measure of their fidelity. I would not be willing to trust them, except as they would fear to be punished if they failed in their duty, or hoped to be rewarded if they were faithful to it. They do not know what it is to keep a secret, to keep their word, and to love with constancy,—especially those who are not of their nation, for they are harmonious among themselves, and their slanders and raillery do not disturb their peace and friendly intercourse. [page 247]

I will say in passing that the Montagnais Savages are not thieves. The doors of the French are open to them, because their hands can be trusted; [114] but, as to the Hurons, if a person had as many eyes as they have fingers on their hands, he could not prevent them from stealing, for they steal with their feet. They make a profession of this art, and expect to be beaten if they are discovered. For, as I have already remarked, they will endure the blows which you give them, patiently, not as an acknowledgment of their fault, but as a punishment for their stupidity in allowing themselves to be detected in their theft. I will leave the description of them to our Fathers who are going there, whose lot I would envy, were it not that he who assigns us our departments is always worthy of love and always adorable, whatever part or portion he may give us.

Eating among the Savages is like drinking among the drunkards of Europe. Those dry and ever-thirsty souls would willingly end their lives in a tub of malmsey, and the Savages in a pot full of meat; those over there, talk only of drinking, and these here only of eating. It is giving a sort of insult to a Savage to refuse the pieces which he offers you. A certain one, seeing that I had declined what my host [115] offered me to eat, said to me, " Thou dost not love him, since thou refusest him." I told him that it was not our custom to cat at all hours; but, nevertheless, I would take what he would give me, if he did not give it to me quite so often. They all began to laugh; and an old woman said to me that, if I wished to be loved by their tribe, I must eat a great deal. When you treat them well, they show their satisfaction with your feast in these words, tapoué nimitison, " I [page 249] am really eating, " as if their highest content were in this action; and at the end of the banquet, they will say as an act of thanks, tapoué, nikhispoun, "I am really full;" meaning, " Thou hast treated me well; I am full to bursting." It seems to me that I have spoken of this before. They believe that it is foolish and stupid to refuse; the greatest satisfaction that they can have in their Paradise is in the stomach. I do not hesitate to exclaim: Oh, how just is the judgment of God, that these people, who place their ultimate happiness in eating, are always hungry, and are only fed like dogs; for their most splendid feastings are, [116] so to speak, only the bones and the leavings of the tables of Europe! Their first act, upon awakening in the morning, is to stretch out their arms toward their bark dish full of meat, and then to eat. When I first began to stay with them, I tried to introduce the custom of praying to God before eating, and in fact I pronounced a blessing when they wanted it done. But the Apostate said to me, " If you want to pray as many times as they will eat in your Cabin, prepare to say your benedicite more than twenty times before night." They end the day as they begin it, always with a morsel in their mouths, or with their pipes to smoke when they lay their heads on the pillow to rest.

The Savages have always been gluttons, but since the coming of the Europeans they have become such drunkards, that,—although they see clearly that these new drinks, the wine and brandy, which are brought to them, are depopulating their country, of which they themselves complain,—they cannot abstain from drinking, taking pride in getting drunk and in making others drunk. It is true that they die [page 251] in great [117] numbers; but I am astonished that they can resist it as long as they do. For, give two Savages two or three bottles of brandy, they will sit down and, without eating, will drink, one after the other, until they have emptied them. The company of these Gentlemen is remarkably praiseworthy in forbidding the traffic in these liquors. Monsieur de Champlain very wisely takes care that these restrictions are observed, and I have heard that Monsieur the General du Plessis has had them enforced at Tadoussac. I have been told that the Savages are tolerably chaste. I shall not speak of all, not having been among them all; but those whom I have met are very lewd, both men and women. God! what blindness! How great is the happiness of Christian people! How great the chastisement of these Barbarians! In place of saying, as we do very often, through wonder, "Jesus! what is that? My God! who has done that?" these vile and infamous people pronounce the names of the private parts of man and woman. Their lips are constantly foul with these obscenities; and it is the same with the little children. So I said to them, at one time, that if [118] hogs and dogs knew how to talk, they would adopt their language. Indeed, if the shameless Sorcerer had not come into the Cabin where I was, I should have gained thus much from my people, that not one of them would dare to speak of impure things in my presence; but this impertinent fellow ruled the others. The older women go almost naked, the girls and young women are very modestly clad; but, among themselves, their language has the foul odor of the sewers. It must be admitted, however, that if liberty to gorge oneself in such filth existed among [page 253] some Christians, as it does among these people, one would see very different exhibitions of excess from what are seen here; for, even despite the laws, both Divine and human, dissoluteness strides more openly there than here. For here the eyes are not offended. The Sorcerer alone has been guilty of any brutal action in my presence; the others only offended my ears, but, perceiving that I heard them, they were ashamed.

Now, as these people are well aware of this corruption, they prefer to take [119] the children of their sisters as heirs, rather than their own, or than those of their brothers, calling in question the fidelity of their wives, and being unable to doubt that these nephews come from their own blood. Also among the Hurons,—who are more licentious than our Montagnais, because they are better fed,—it is not the child of a Captain but his sister's son, who succeeds the father.

The Sorcerer told me one day that the women were fond of him, for, as the Savages say, it is his demon that makes the sex love him. I told him that it was not honorable for a woman to love any one else except her husband; and that, this evil being among them, he himself was not sure that his son, who was there present, was his son. He replied, "Thou hast no sense. You French people love only your own children; but we all love all the children of our tribe." I began to laugh, seeing that he philosophized in horse and mule fashion.

With all these fine qualities, the Savages have another, more annoying than those of which we have spoken, but not so wicked; it is [120] their importunity toward strangers. I have a habit of calling these [page 255] countries, "the land of importunity toward strangers," because the flies, which are the symbol and visible representation of it, do not let you rest day or night. During certain Summer months, they attack us with such fury, and so continually, that no skin is proof against their sting, and every one pays his blood as tribute. I have seen persons so swollen after being stung by them, that one would think they would lose their eyes, which can scarcely be seen; now all that is nothing, for this annoyance can be dispelled by means of smoke, which the flies cannot stand, but this remedy attracts the Savages,—if they know our dinner hour, they come purposely to get something to eat. They ask continually, and with such incessant urgency, that you would say that they are always holding you by the throat. If you show them anything whatever, however little it may be adapted to their use, they will say, "Dost thou love it? Give it to me."

A certain man said to me one day, that in his [121] country they did not know how to conjugate the verb do, in the present, and still less in the past. The Savages are so ignorant of this conjugation, that they would not give you the value of an obole, if they did not expect, so to speak, to get back a pistole; for they are ungrateful in the highest degree.

We have kept here and fed for a long time our sick Savage, who came and threw himself into our arms in order to die a Christian, as I have stated above. All his fellow-savage were astonished at the good treatment we gave him; on his account, his children brought a little Elk meat, and they were asked what they wished in exchange, for the presents of the Savages are always bargains. They asked some wine and [page 257] Gunpowder, and were told that we could not give them these things; but that, if they wished something else that we had, we would give it to them very gladly. A good meal was given them, and finally they carried back their meat, since we did not give them what they asked for, threatening that they would come after their father, which they did; but the good man did not wish [122] to leave us. Fro this sample, judge of the whole piece.

Now do not think that they act thus among themselves; on the contrary, they are very grateful, very liberal, and not in the least importunate toward those of their own nation. If they conduct themselves thus toward our French, and toward other foreigners, it is because, it seems to me, that we do not wish to ally ourselves with them as brothers, which they would very much desire. But this would ruin us in three days; for they would want us to go with them, and eat their food as long as they had any, and then they would come and eat ours as long as it lasted; and, when there was none left, we would all set to work to find more. For that is the kind of life the live, feasting as long as they have something; but, as we know nothing about their mode of hunting, and as this way of doing is not praiseworthy, we do not heed them. Hence, as we do not regard ourselves as belonging to their nation, they treat us in the way I have described. If any stranger, whoever he may be, unites with their party, they will treat him as one of their own nation. A young Hiroquois whose [123] life they had spared, was like a child of their own family. But if you carry on your affairs apart from them, despising their laws or their customs, they will drain from you, if they can, even [page 259] your blood. There is not an insect, nor wasp, no gadfly, so annoying as a Savage.

I am rather tired of talking about their irregularities; let us speak of their uncleanness, and then en this chapter.

They are dirty in their habits, in their postures, in their homes, and in their eating; yet there is no lack of propriety among them, for everything that gives satisfaction to the senses, passes as propriety.

I have said that they are dirty in their homes; the entrance to their Cabins is like a pig-pen. They never sweep their houses, they carpet them at first with branches of pine, but on the third day these branches are full of fur, feathers, hair, shavings, or whittlings of wood. Yet they have no other seats, nor beds upon which to sleep. From this it may be seen how full of dirt their clothes must be; it is true that this dirt [124] and filth does not show as much upon their clothes as upon ours.

The Sorcerer leaving our Cabin for a while, asked me for my cloak, because it was cold, he said, as if I more than he were exempt from the rigors of Winter. I lent it to him, and, after having used it more than a month, he returned it to me at last so nasty and dirty, that I was ashamed of it, for it was covered with phlegm and other filth which gave it a different color. Seeing it in this condition, I purposely unfolded it before him, that he might see it. Knowing very well what I meant, he quite aptly remarked to me, "Thou sayest that thou wouldst like to be a Montagnais and Savage, like us; if that is so, do not be troubled about wearing the cloak, for that is just the way our clothes look."

As to their postures, they follow their own sweet [page 261] wills, and not the rules of good breeding. The Savages never prefer what is decent to what is agreeable. I have often seen the pretended magician lie down entirely naked,—except a miserable strip of cloth dirtier than a dish-cloth, and blacker than an oven-mop,—draw up one of his [125] legs against his thigh, place the other upon his raised knee, and harangue his people in this position, his audience being scarcely more graceful.

As to their food, it is very little, if any, cleaner than the swill given to animals, and not always even as clean. I say nothing in exaggeration, as I have tasted it and lived upon it for almost six months. We had three persons in our Cabin afflicted with scrofula,—the son of the Sorcerer, whose ear was very disgusting and horrid from this disease; his nephew, who had it in his neck; and a daughter, who had it under one arm. I do not know whether this is the real scrofula; whatever it is, this sore is full of pus, and covered with a horrible-looking crust. They are nearly all attacked by this disease, when young, both on account of their filthy habits, and because they cat and drink indiscriminately with the sick. I have seen them a hundred times paddle about in the kettle containing our common drink; wash their hands in it; drink from it, thrusting in their heads, like the animals; and throw into it their leavings; for this is the custom of the Savages, to thrust sticks into it that are half-burned and covered with ashes; to dip therein [126] their bark plates covered with grease, the fur of the Moose, and hair; and to dip water therefrom with kettles as black as the chimney; and after that, we all drank from this black broth, as if it were ambrosia. This is not all; they [page 263] throw therein the bones that they have gnawed, then put water or snow in the kettle, let it boil, and behold their hippocras. One day some shoes, which had just been taken off, fell into our drink; they soaked there as long as they pleased, and were withdrawn without exciting any special attention, and then the water was drunk as if nothing whatever had happened. I am not very fastidious, but I was not very thirsty as long as this malmsey lasted.

They never wash their hands expressly before eating, still less their kettles, and the meat they cook, not at all,—although it is usually (I say this because I have seen it hundreds of times) all covered with the animal's hairs, and with those from their own heads. I have never drunk any broth among them, from which I did not have to throw out many of these hairs, and a variety of other rubbish, such as cinders, little [127] pieces of wood, and even sticks with which they have stirred the fire and frequently stirred up the contents of the kettle. I have occasionally seen them take a blazing brand and put it in the ashes to extinguish it, then, almost without shaking it, dip it into the kettle where our dinner was simmering.

When they are engaged in drying meat, they will throw down upon the ground a whole side of the Moose, beat it with stones, walk over it, trample upon it with their dirty feet; the hairs of men and of animals, the feathers of birds, if they have killed any, dirt and ashes,—all these are ground into the meat, which they make almost as hard as wood with the smoke. Then when they come to eat this dried meat, all goes together into the stomach, for they have not washed it. In fact, they think that we are [page 265] very foolish to wash our meat, for some of the grease goes away with the water.

When the kettle begins to boil, they gather the scum very carefully and eat it as a delicacy. They gave some to me as a favor, and during our famine I found it good; but since [128] then, when I sometimes happened to decline this present, they called me fastidious and proud. They take delight in hunting rats and mice, the same as rabbits, and find them just as good.

The Savages do not eat as we French do from a dish or other vessel, common to all those at the table; but one of them takes down the kettle from the fire and distributes to each one his share; sometimes presenting the meat at the end of a stick, but oftener without taking this trouble, he will throw you a piece of meat boiling hot, and full of grease, as we would throw a bone to a dog; saying, Nakhimitchimi, "Take it! this is thy share, here is thy food." If you are quick, you catch it in your hands; otherwise, look out that your gown does not catch it, or that the ashes do not serve as salt, for the Savages have no other.

I found myself very much embarrassed, in the beginning; for not daring to cut the meat they gave me in my bark dish, for fear of spoiling the dish, I did not know how to manage it, not having any plate. Finally I had to become all to all, and a Savage with the Savages. I [129] cast my eyes upon my companion, then I tried to be as brave a man as he was. He took his meat in his open hand, and cut from it morsel after morsel, as you would do with a piece of bread. But if the meat is a little tough, or if it slips away from the knife from being [page 267] too soft, they hold one end of it with their teeth, and the other with the left hand, then the right hand plays upon it in violin fashion, the knife serving as a bow. And this is so common among the Savages, that they have a word to express this action, which we could only explain with several words and by circumlocution. If you were to lose your knife, as there are no cutlers in these great forests, you are compelled to take your share in your two hands, and to bite into the flesh and into the fat, as bravely but not so politely, as you would bite into a quarter of an apple. God knows how the hands, the mouth, and a part of the face shine after this operation. The trouble was, I did not know upon what to wipe them. To carry linen with you would require a mule, or a daily [l30] washing; for, in less than no time, everything is converted into dish-cloths in their Cabins. As to them, they wipe their hands upon their hair, which they allow to grow very long, or else, upon their dogs. I saw a woman who taught me a secret; she wiped her hands upon her shoes, and I did the same. I also used Moose fur, pine branches, and, especially, powdered rotten wood. These are the hand-towels of the Savages. One does not use them as pleasantly as a piece of Holland linen, but perhaps more gaily and joyously. Enough has been said of their filth.

[page 269]



MONG their terrestrial animals they have the Elk, which is here generally called the Moose; Castors, which the English call Beavers; Caribou by some called the Wild ass; they also have Bears,[131] Badgers, Porcupines, Foxes, Hares, Whistler or Nightingale,—this is an animal larger than a Hare; they eat also Martens, and three kinds of Squirrels. As to birds, they have Bustards, white and gray Geese, several species of Ducks, Teals, Ospreys and several kinds of Divers. These are all river birds. They also catch Partridges or gray Hazel-hens, Woodcocks and Snipe of many kinds, Turtle doves, etc. As to Fish, they catch, in the season, different kinds of Salmon, Seals, Pike, Carp, and Sturgeon of various sorts; Whitefish, Goldfish, Barbels, Eels, Lampreys, Smelt, Turtles, and others. They eat, besides some small ground fruits, such as raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, nuts which have very little meat, hazelnuts, wild apples sweeter than those of France, but much smaller; [332 i.e., 132] cherries, of which the flesh and pit together are not larger than the pit of the Bigarreau cherry in France. They have also other small Wild fruits of different kinds, in some places Wild Grapes; in short, [page 271] all the fruits they have (except strawberries and raspberries, which they have in abundance) are not worth one single species of the most ordinary fruits of Europe.

They eat, besides, roots, such as bulbs of the red lily; a root which has a taste of liquorice; another that our French People call "rosary," because it is distinguished by tubers in the form of beads; and some others, not very numerous.

When they are pressed by famine, they eat the shavings or bark of a certain tree, which they call Michtan, which they split in the Spring to get from it a juice, sweet as honey or as sugar; I have been told of this by several, but they do not enjoy much of it, so scanty is the flow.

These, then, are the meats and other articles of food upon which the Savages, of these countries where we are, subsist. I omit, without doubt, [133] several other species of animals, but I do not recall them at present.

Besides these foods, which this people find in their own country without cultivating the soil, they have also cereals and Indian corn, which they trade for Moose skins with the Hurons, who come down as far as Kebec or the three rivers. They also buy Tobacco from that nation, who bring large quantities of it with them every year.

Besides, they get from our French People galette, or sea biscuit, bread, prunes, peas, roots, figs, and the like. You have here the food of these poor people.

As to their drinks, they make none, either from roots or fruits, being satisfied with pure water. It is true that the broth in which they have cooked the meat, and another broth which they make of the [page 273] ground and broken bones of the Elk, serve as beverages. A certain peasant said in France that, if he were King, he would drink nothing but grease; the Savages do drink it very often, and even eat and bite into it, when [134] it is hard, as we would bite into an apple. When they have cooked a very fat Bear, or two or three Beavers, in a kettle, you will see them skim off the grease from the broth with a large wooden spoon, and taste this liquor as if what they had were the sweetest Parochimel. Sometimes they fill with it a large bark dish, and it goes the rounds of the guests at the feast, each one drinking with pleasure. At other times, having gathered this clear grease, they throw into it a quantity of snow; this they do also in their greasy soup, when they wish to drink it somewhat cool. You will see great lumps of grease floating on the top of this drink, and yet they swallow it like Hippocras. These are, I believe, all the kinds of beverages to be found among the Savages, and which they had me taste during the Winter. There was a time when they had a horror of our European drinks; but they have now become so fond of these, that they would sell themselves to get them. I almost have forgotten to say that they generally drink everything warm or tepid, and sometimes blame me [135] when they see me drink cold water, telling me that I will become thin, and that it will chill me even to the bone.

Also, they do not mix their eating and drinking as we do; but they first distribute the meat or other dishes; then, having eaten what they want, they divide the broth, or it is put in a certain place, and each one goes and drinks as he likes.

Let us say, in concluding this subject, that with [page 275] all their animals, birds and fish, the Savages are almost always hungry; the reason for this is, that the birds and fish are migratory, going and returning at certain times. Besides, they are not very great hunters, and are still poorer managers; for what they kill in one day is not seen the next, except the Elk and Eels, which they dry when they have them in great abundance. So that, during the months of September and October, they live for the most part upon fresh eels; in November, December and often in January, they eat their smoked eels, some Porcupines, [136] which they take during the lighter snowfalls, as also a few Beavers, if they find them. When the heavy snows come, they eat fresh Moose meat; they dry it, to live upon the rest of the time until September; and with this they have a few birds, Bears, and Beavers, which they take in the Spring and during the Summer. Now, if the hunt for all these animals does not succeed (which with them occurs only too often) they suffer greatly.

[page 277]



NLY actual hunters, and those who have been hunters, are usually invited to their feasts, to which widows go also, especially if it is not an eat-all feast. The girls, married women, and children, are nearly always excluded. I say nearly always, for occasionally they are invited. I have known them to have Acoumagouchanai, that is to say, feasts where nothing is to be left, to which every one was invited, [137] men, women, and little children. When they have a great abundance of food, sometimes the women have a feast of their own, where the men are not found.

Their way of inviting is straightforward and without ceremony. When all is cooked and ready to eat (for no one is invited before), some one goes through the Cabins of those who are to be invited; or else they will cry out to them this word, from the place where the feast is given, khinatonmigaouinaouau, "You are invited to the banquet." The men to whom this word is addressed, answer, ho ho, and straightway taking their own bark dish and wooden spoon, come to the Cabin of the one who is to entertain them. When all the men are not invited, those who are desired are named. The absence of ceremony spares these simple people many words. It seems to me in the golden age they must have done like this, except that then cleanliness was in higher favor than among these people. [page 279]

In all the feasts, as well as in their ordinary repasts, each one is given his part, from which it happens that [138] only two or three have the best pieces, for they do not divide them. For example, they will give the tongue of a Moose and all the giblets to a single person, the tail and head of a Beaver to another; these are the best pieces, which they call Mascanou, "the Captain's part." As to the fat intestines of the Moose, which are their great delicacies, they usually roast them and let every one taste them, as they do another dish, which they hold in high esteem,—namely, the large intestine of the beast filled with grease, and roasted, fastened to a cord, hanging and turning before the fire.

Also they are very magnificent in these feasts, for they only offer the good meat, separating it expressly, and giving to each one very abundantly, when they have it.

They have two kinds of feasts,—one at which everything is eaten; the other at which the guests eat what they please, carrying away the rest to divide with their families. This last feast seems to me praiseworthy, for there is no excess, each one taking as much as he likes of the portion given to him; [139] indeed, I would venture to say that it is a happy invention to preserve friendship among them, and for each to help feed the others. For usually the heads of families only eat a part of their share, carrying the rest to their wives and children. The trouble is that their feasts come too often. In the famine through which we passed, if my host took two, three, or four Beavers, immediately, whether it was day or night, they had a feast for all the neighboring Savages. And if those people had captured [page 281] something, they had one also at the same time; so that, on emerging from one feast, you went to another, and sometimes even to a third and a fourth. I told them that they did not manage well, and that it would be better to reserve these feasts for future days, and in doing this they would not be so pressed with hunger. They laughed at me. "To-morrow" (they said) "we shall make another feast with what we shall capture." Yes, but more often they captured only cold and wind.

As to their "leave-nothing" feasts, they are very blamable; and yet this is one of their great devotions, because they [140] make these feasts in order to have a successful chase. They must be very careful that the dogs taste nothing of this, or all will be lost, and their hunting will be worthless. And notice that, the more they eat, the more efficacious is this feast. Hence it happens that they will give, to one man, what I would not undertake to eat with three good diners. They would rather burst, so to speak, than to leave anything. True, they can help each other; when one can eat no more, he begs his companions to assist him; or else he may pass the remains of his part along to the others, who each one take some of it, and after all this, if anything remain, it is thrown into the fire. The one who eats the most is the most admired. You will hear them describing the prowess of their jaws, naming the quantity and the parts of the beast which they have eaten. God knows what kind of music follows this banquet, for these Barbarians give full liberty to their stomachs and bellies, to utter whatever sounds they please, in order to relieve themselves. As to the odors that are then exhaled in their Cabins, they are [page 283] stronger than the perfume of roses, but not so sweet. You see them pant [141] and blow, like people full up to their throats; and, in fact, as they are naked, I saw that they were swollen as high as their necks. Still, with it all, they have mettle there inside, for their stomachs retain what is given them. I have known only the Sorcerer's stomach to be dissatisfied with what it received; many others came very near it, but they held their own. Occasionally, I have seen some of them sick after these excesses.

But let us notice the order which they observe in these banquets. Those who are to be entertained having been invited in the way I have stated, they come each with his ouragan, or dish, and his spoon, and enter the Cabin without ceremony, each one taking his place as he comes. They seat themselves around the kettle which is over the fire, turning their plates upside down before them. Their chairs are the ground, covered with pine branches; and no order of precedence is observed. All the members of the circle are alike bent forward; and one is as noble as the other. Sometimes one will say to another who enters, Outaiappitou, "Come here, sit thou there."

Each one, having taken his place, sits in the posture of a monkey, drawing up his [142] legs against his thighs. If it is an eat-all feast, not a word is said, they only sing; and if there is a Sorcerer or Manitousiou present, he beats his drum; true, they are not always so strict that they do not hold some little conversation. If it is not a leave-nothing feast, they have a little conversation about their hunting, or the like, but most frequently about their pranks.

After some talk, the server of the feast, who is [page 285] usually the one who gives it, takes down the kettle from the fire,—or the kettles, if there are several,—and, placing them before him, he makes a speech or begins a song, and all the others join in. Sometimes he does neither, but simply says the words at the opening of the feast, which are never omitted,—namely, he declares of what it is composed; for example, he will say, "Men who are assembled here, it is such and such a one who gives this feast." They all answer in deep chest tones, hô-ô-ô. "The feast is composed of the flesh of Beavers." They again utter this aspiration, hô-ô-ô. "There is also some [143~1 Cornmeal." Hô-ô-ô, they respond, to each of the different dishes.

As to their less solemn feasts, the one who gives them addresses each one of his friends, or relatives, and says to him, "My cousin, or my uncle, here is a Beaver that I have taken, we will now eat it;" and then every one utters his hô-ô-ô; and lo, the feast has begun, from which they do not emerge until the words with which they are to terminate it are uttered. When this is done, the distributor sometimes collects the grease from the kettle and drinks it all by himself; at other times, he shares it with his friends; then again, he fills a large, deep dish which is offered to all the guests, as I have said, and each one drinks his share. If the feast is of peas, flour, Cornmeal, or such half-liquid things, he takes the Ouragans, or dishes, of each one and divides what is in the kettle, as equally as he can, returning their plates to them well filled, without noticing at what end he began. There is neither honor nor disgrace in being served first or last. If the feast is of meat, he draws it out with a pointed stick, [144] puts it into [page 287] some bark dishes before him; then, having cast his eyes over the number of guests, he distributes it as he pleases, giving to each one abundantly, but not equally. For he will give the dainty morsels to his intimate friends; and, even when ~' he has given to each of them a good piece, beginning with those who are not of his Cabin, he will serve them again, even two or three times, and not the others. No one is offended at this proceeding, for it is the custom.

He usually offers the meat on the end of the stick, naming the piece or part of the animal which he is giving in this way; if it is the head of a Beaver or of a wild Ass, or some other animal, he will say, Nichta Koustigouanime, " My cousin, here is thy head; " if it is the shoulder, he will say, "Here is thy shoulder; " and if it is the intestines, he will name it in the same way; at other times they simply say, Khimitchimi, "Here is thy meat." But bear in mind that they have not the ambiguity in their language that we have in ours. They tell a story about a certain one, who, meeting his friend, said to him through courtesy, " If I had something worthy of you I would invite you to breakfast at [145] our house, but I have nothing at all." His servant hearing him, answered in good faith, "Excuse me, Sir, you have a calf's head." If this were said in the Montagnais language, there would be nothing ridiculous in it, for they have nothing ambiguous in such terms,—the words which mean " my own head " and " the head of an animal which is given me," being altogether different.

The one who gives the feast and who serves it never takes part therein, but is satisfied in watching the others, without keeping anything for himself. However, when there is a scarcity of food, as soon as [page 289] the meat is taken from the kettle, his neighbor or friend chooses the best pieces for politeness and puts them aside; then when all is distributed, he presents them to the distributor himself, saying to him, "Here is thy meat," and he answers like all the others, hô-ô-ô.

They have some ceremonies which I do not well understand, when they have a Bear feast; the one who has killed it has the entrails roasted over some pine branches, pronouncing some words which I do not comprehend. There is some great mystery in this; also they give him the heart-bone of the animal, which he carries in a little embroidered purse hung around his neck. When they have a Moose feast, [146] the one who has given it its deathblow, and who gives the feast, after having distributed the flesh, throws some grease into the fire, saying, papeouekou, papeouekou, of which I have already explained the meaning.

The feast distributed, if it is an eat-all, each one eats in silence, although some do not fail to say a word or two from time to time. In the other feasts, although they are usually permitted to speak, they speak very little, and are astonished at the French who talk as much and more at the table than at any other time, so they call us cackling Geese. Their mouths are almost as large as eggs, and it is the delight they have in tasting and relishing what they eat that closes their mouths, and not politeness. You would take genuine pleasure in seeing them attack, in their great bark dishes, a boiled or roasted Beaver, especially when they have just come from the chase, or in seeing them tackle a bone. I have seen them hold the foot of a Moose in their two hands by one end, the mouth and the teeth doing duty at [page 291] the other, so that they seem to me to be playing on those long German flutes, except that they go at it with a little too much force to hold their wind long. [147] When they are eating something that they are very fond of, you will hear them say from time to time, as I have already remarked, tapoué nimitison, " I am really eating," as if any one doubted it. This is the great proof that they offer of the pleasure they experience at your feast. Now having sucked, gnawed, and broken the bones which fall to them, to get out the grease and marrow, they throw them back into the kettle of broth which they are to drink afterward. It is true that at the eat-all banquets this unmannerly trick is not practiced, for there are no bones.

Having eaten the meats that have been offered, the broth is served from the kettle, each one drinking of this according to his thirst. If it is a banquet of devotion, that is to say, a leave-nothing feast, sometimes they are also obliged to drink all the broth. At other times, it is enough if they eat all the meat, being free to drink what they want of the broth. When the Master of the feast sees them stop eating, he pronounces the words which terminate the banquet, which are the following, or others like them: Egou Khé Khiouiecou, "Now you will go away; return this feast when you please." The feast concluded, some remain a little while to talk, and others leave immediately, going out without trumpets; that [148] is, they go out without saying a word; sometimes they say, Nikhiouan, "I am going; " the answer is, Niagouté, "Go then." See the profuseness of their compliments.

[page 293]



ET us begin with the Elk. When there is very little snow, they kill it with arrows, the first that we ate being taken in this way. But it is a great stroke of luck when they can approach these animals within range of their bows, as they scent the Savages at a great distance, and run as fast as Deer. When the snow is deep, they pursue the Elk on foot, and kill it with thrusts from javelins which are fastened on long poles for this purpose, and which they hurl when they dare not or cannot approach the beast. Sometimes they chase one of these animals for two or three days, the snow being neither hard nor deep enough; while at other times a child could almost kill them, for, the snow being frozen after a slight thaw or rain, these poor Moose are hurt by it, and cannot go far without being slaughtered.

[149] I had been told that the Elk was as large as an Auvergne mule. True, its head is as long as that of a mule, but I find it as large as an ox. I have only seen one of them alive; it was young, and the branches or horns were just emerging from its head; I never saw in France either a heifer or young bullock that was as big or as high as it was. It is tall and erect, like the Deer; its horns are lofty, branching, and somewhat flat, not round like those of a Deer; I speak of the horns that I have seen, but there may be other kinds. I have been told [page 295] that the female always bears two little ones, always male and female. On the contrary, my Savages tell me that she sometimes bears one, and sometimes two; and that once they found three in a female, which astonished them as if it were a prodigy.

I have sometimes thought that, in time, these animals might be domesticated, and could be used to till the soil and to draw sledges over the snow, which would be a great comfort.

When the Savages have killed a number of Elks, and passed several days in feasting, they begin to think about drying them and laying them away. They will stretch upon poles the two sides of a large Moose, the bones thereof having [150] been removed. If the flesh is too thick, they raise it in strips and slash it besides, so that the smoke may penetrate and dry all parts. When they begin to dry or smoke this meat, they pound it with stones and tramp it under foot so that no juice may remain to spoil it. At last, when it is smoked, they fold and arrange it in packages, and this forms their future store. Dried meat is poor food, but the fresh meat of the Elk is very easy to digest. It does not remain long in the stomach, therefore the Savages do not cook it much. In regard to taste, it seems to me that beef is not inferior to good Elk meat.

The Castor or Beaver is taken in several ways. The Savages say that it is the animal well-beloved by the French, English and Basques,—in a word, by the Europeans. I heard my host say one day, jokingly, Missi picoutau amiscou, "The Beaver does everything perfectly well, it makes kettles, hatchets, swords, knives, bread; and, in short, it makes everything." He was making sport of us Europeans, who have [page 297] such a fondness for the skin of this animal and who fight to see who will give the most to these Barbarians, to get it; [151] they carry this to such an extent that my host said to me one day, showing me a very beautiful knife, "The English have no sense; they give us twenty knives like this for one Beaver skin."

In the Spring, the Beaver is taken in a trap baited with the wood it eats. The Savages understand perfectly how to handle these traps, which are made to open, when a heavy piece of wood falls upon the animal and kills it. Sometimes when the dogs encounter the Beaver outside its House, they pursue and take it easily; I have never seen this chase, but have been told of it; and the Savages highly value a dog which scents and runs down this animal.

During the Winter they capture them in nets and under the ice, in this way: They make a slit in the ice near the Beaver's House, and put into the hole a net, and some wood which serves as bait. This poor animal, searching for something to eat, gets caught in a net made of good, strong, double cord; and, emerging from the water to the opening made in the ice, they kill it with a big club.

The other way of taking them under the ice is more noble. Not all the Savages use [152] this method, only the most skillful ; they break with blows from the hatchet the Cabin or house of the Beaver, which is indeed wonderfully made. In my opinion no musket ball can pierce it. During the Winter it is built upon the shore of some little river or pond, is two stories high, and round. The materials of which it is composed are wood and mud, so well joined and bound together that I have seen our [page 299] Savages in Midwinter sweat in trying to make an opening into it with their hatchets. The lower story is in or upon the edge of the water, the upper is above the river. When the cold has frozen the rivers and ponds, the, Beaver secludes himself in the upper story, where he has provided himself with wood to eat during the Winter. He sometimes, however, descends from this story to the lower one, and thence he glides out under the ice, through the holes which are in this lower story and which open under the ice. He goes out to drink and to search for the wood that he eats, which grows upon the banks of the pond and in the pond itself. This wood at the bottom is fastened in the ice and the Beaver goes below to cut it and carry it to his house. Now the Savages having broken this house, these poor animals, which are sometimes in great numbers [153] under one roof, disappear under the ice, some on one side, some on the other, seeking hollow and thin places between the water and ice, where they can breathe. Their enemies, knowing this, go walking over the pond or frozen river, carrying a long club in their hands, armed on one side with an iron blade made like a Carpenter's chisel, and on the other with a Whale's bone, I believe. They sound the ice with this bone, striking upon it and examining it to see if it is hollow; and if there is any indication of this, then they cut the ice with their iron blade, looking to see if the water is stirred up by the movement or breathing of the Beaver. If the water moves, they have a curved stick which they thrust into the hole that they have just made; if they feel the Beaver, they kill it with their big club, which they call ca ouikachit; and, drawing it out of the water, go and make a feast of [page 301] it at once, unless they have great hopes of taking others. I asked them why the Beaver waited there until it was killed. "Where will it go?" they said to me; " its house is broken to pieces and the other places where it could breathe between the water and ice are broken; it remains there in the water, seeking air, and meanwhile it is killed." Sometimes [154] it goes out through its House, or some hole; but the dogs which are there, scenting and waiting for it, have soon caught it.

When there is a river near by, or an arm of water connecting with the pond where they are, they slip into that; but the Savages dam up these rivers when they discover them, breaking the ice and planting a number of stakes near each other, so that the Beaver may not escape in that direction. I have seen large lakes which saved the lives of the Beavers; for our people, not being able to break all the places where they could breathe, therefore could not trap their prey. Sometimes there are two families of Beavers in the same House, that is, two males and two females, with their little ones.

The female bears as many as seven, but usually four, five, or six. They have four teeth, two below, and two above, which are wonderfully drawn out; the other two are small, but these are large and sharp. They are used to cut the wood for their food, and the wood with which they build their house; they sharpen these teeth when they are dull, by rubbing and pressing them against [155] each other, making a little noise which I have myself heard.

The Beaver has very soft fur, the hats made of it being an evidence of this. It has very short feet which are well adapted to swimming, for the nails [page 303] are united by skin, in the same way as those of river-birds or seals; its tail is entirely flat, quite long and oval-shaped. I measured one of a large Beaver; it was a palm and eight fingers or thereabout in length, and almost one palm of the hand in width. It was quite thick, and was covered, not with hair, but with a black skin looking like scales; however, these are not real scales. The Beaver here is regarded as an amphibious animal, and therefore it is eaten in all seasons. My idea is that the grease when melted is more like oil than grease; the flesh is very good, but it seems to me a little stale in the Spring, and not so in Winter. But if the pelt of the Beaver excels the pelt of the sheep, the flesh of the sheep is superior, in my opinion, to that of the Beaver,—not only because it tastes better, but also because the Sheep is larger than the Beaver.

The Porcupine is taken in a trap, or by coursing. The dog having discovered it, it is sure to be [156] killed if it is not very near its abode, which it makes under large rocks; having reached this, it is in a place of safety, for neither men nor dogs can crawl into it. It cannot run upon the snow, and is therefore very soon put to death. It is hardly larger than a good-sized sucking-pig. Its points or quills are white, long, and rather thin, interlaced and mixed with black or grayish hair. In France I have seen specimens of the Porcupine with quills three times longer and ten times thicker, and much stiffer than those of the Porcupines of this country. The Savages have told me that near the Saguenay river, toward the North, these animals are much larger. They singe them as we do pigs in France; and, after they are scraped, they are boiled or roasted, and are quite [page 305] edible, although rather tough, especially the old ones, but the young ones are tender and delicate. But in taste they are not equal to either our Wild Boar or our common Pig.

This animal has crooked feet, which it turns outward. Its quills have this peculiarity: if they stick into a dog or person they keep on penetrating, insinuating themselves or slipping in, little by little, and coming Out [l57] opposite where they entered. For example, if they stick into the back of the hand they will go through it, and come out on the inside. I have often seen dogs bristling with these quills, already thrust half-way into them when their Masters draw them out. Wishing to examine the first one that was brought into the Cabin where I was staying with the Savages, I caught it by the tail and drew it toward me. All those who were looking on began to laugh at the way I went at it; and, in fact, although I had tried to take hold of it adroitly, nevertheless a number of these little spears stuck into my hand, for there is no needle so sharp. I immediately drew them out, and threw them into the fire.

Bears are taken in a trap, in the Spring. In the Winter they are found in hollow trees, to which they withdraw, passing several months without eating, and yet they continue to be very fat. They fell a tree, to make their prey emerge, which they kill upon the snow, or as it is coming from its abode.

Hares are caught in nets, or are killed with arrows or darts. I have already stated elsewhere that these animals are white during the snow, and gray at other times. They seem to me to be a little higher and more rough-footed than those of France. They kill [158] Martens and Squirrels in the same way. These [page 307] are the methods of hunting terrestrial animals, so far as I have seen them.

As to the birds, some are killed with bows, arrows and Darts being used; but this is done rarely. Since they have come into possession of firearms, through their traffic with the English, they have become fair Huntsmen, some of them shooting very well. My host is one of their best musketeers; I have seen him kill Bustards, Ducks and Snipes; but their powder is very soon exhausted.

As to their fishing, they use nets as we do, which they get in trade from the French and Hurons. They have a special way of fishing for Salmon; but, not having seen it, I will not speak of it.

In regard to Eels, they fish for them in two ways, with a weir and with a harpoon. They make the weirs very ingeniously, long and broad, capable of holding five or six hundred eels. When the water is low, they place these upon the sand in a suitable and retired spot, securing them so that they are not carried away by the tides. At the two sides they collect stones, which they extend out like a chain or [l59] little wall on both sides; so that this fish, which always swims toward the bottom, encountering this obstacle, will readily swim toward the mouth of the net, to which these stones guide it. When the sea rises, it covers the net; then, when it falls, they go and examine it. Sometimes they find there one or two hundred Eels in a single tide, at other times three hundred, often none at all; at other times six, eight, ten, according to the winds and the weather. When the sea is rough, many of them are taken; when it is calm, few or none, and then they have recourse to their harpoon. [page 309]

This harpoon is an instrument composed of a long pole, two or three fingers thick, at the end of which they fasten a piece of pointed iron, which is provided on both sides with two little curved sticks, which almost come together at the end of the iron point. When they strike an eel with this harpoon, they impale it upon the iron, the two pieces of stick yielding by the force of the blow and allowing the eel to enter; then closing of themselves, because they only open through the force of the blow, they prevent the impaled eel from getting away.

This harpoon fishing is usually done [160] only at night. Two Savages enter a canoe,—one at the stern, who handles the oars, and the other at the bow, who, by the light of a bark torch fastened to the prow of his boat, looks around searchingly for the prey, floating gently along the shores of this great river. When he sees an Eel, he thrusts his harpoon down, without loosening his hold of it, pierces it in the manner I have described, then throws it into his canoe. There are certain ones who will take three hundred in one night, and even more, sometimes very few. It is wonderful how many of these fish are found in this great river, in the months of September and October; and this immediately in front of the settlement of our French, some of whom, 'having lived several years in this country, have become as expert as the Savages in this art.

It is thought that this great abundance is supplied by some lakes in the country farther north, which, discharging their waters here, make us a present of this manna that nourishes us, not only during all the time of Lent and other fish days, but also at other seasons.

The Savages dry these long fish in smoke. After they are brought into their Cabins, they let them [page 311] drain a [161] little while; then, cutting off their heads and tails, they open them up the back, and after they are cleaned, they are cut with slits, so that the smoke may thoroughly penetrate them. The poles of their Cabins are all loaded with these eels. After being well smoked, they are piled together in large packages, about a hundred being placed in each. Here you have their food up to the season of snow, which brings them the Moose.

They kill the Seal with blows from a club, surprising it when it comes out of the water. It goes to Sun itself upon the rocks, and not being able to run, if it is ever so little distant from its element it is lost.

This is enough for this chapter. I do not pretend to tell everything, but only to jot down some of the things which seem to me worthy of record. Whoever wishes to gain a full knowledge of these countries should read what Monsieur de Champlain has written about them. But, before I pass on, I must say a few words about four animals that I have never seen in France. I do not know where to place them, except at the end of this chapter.

One of them is called by the Savages Ouinascou; [162] our French call it the whistler or Nightingale.22 They have given it this name, because although it belongs to terrestrial animals, yet it sings like a bird; I might say that it whistles like a well taught Linnet, were it not that I think it only knows one song; that is to say, it has not a great variety of tones, but it says very well the lesson that nature has taught it. It is about the size of a Hare and has a reddish skin. Some have assured me that it rolls itself into a ball, and, like the Dormouse, it sleeps [page 313] all Winter, it being impossible to awaken it. I have only seen this animal in the Summer; it is excellent eating, and excels the Hare.

The other is a low animal, about the size of a little dog or cat. I mention it here, not on account of its excellence, but to make of it a symbol of sin. I have seen three or four of them. It has black fur, quite beautiful and shining; and has upon its back two perfectly white stripes, which join near the neck and tail, making an oval which adds greatly to their grace. The tail is bushy and [163] well furnished with hair, like the tail of a Fox; it carries it curled back like that of a Squirrel. It is more white than black; and, at the first glance, you would say, especially when it walks, that it ought to be called Jupiter's little dog. But it is so stinking, and casts so foul an odor, that it is unworthy of being called the dog of Pluto. No sewer ever smelled so bad. I would not have believed it if I had not smelled it myself. Your heart almost fails you when you approach the animal; two have been killed in our court, and several days afterward there was such a dreadful odor throughout our house that we could not endure it. I believe the sin smelled by sainte Catherine de Sienne must have had the same vile odor.

The third is a flying Squirrel. There are three kinds of squirrels here. The first are the common squirrels, which are not so beautiful as those in France. The others, which our French call Swiss, because they are spotted upon the back, are very beautiful and quite small. The flying Squirrels are rather pretty, but their chief merit lies in their flying. Not that they have wings, but they have a certain piece of skin on [164] both sides, which they [page 315] fold up very neatly against their stomachs when they walk, and spread out when they fly. I do not think they take long flights; I saw one of them flying, and it sustained itself very well in the air. My host gave me one; I would send it to Your Reverence, but death has freed it from so long a voyage.

The fourth is called by our French the fly-bird, because it is scarcely larger than a bee; others call it the flower-bird, because it lives upon flowers. It is in my opinion one of the great rarities of this country, and a little prodigy of nature. God seems to me more wonderful in this little bird than in a large animal. It hums in flying, like the bee; I have sometimes seen it hold itself in the air and stick its bill into a flower. Its bill is rather long, and its plumage seems to be a mottled green. Those who call it the flower-bird would, in my opinion, speak more correctly if they would call it the flower of birds.

[page 317]



See Volume V. for particulars of this document.


The incomplete letter from Paul le Jenne to his provincial, dated at Quebec, 1634 (without month or day), we obtain from Carayon's Première Mission, pp. 122 - 156. The original, written in French, is in the archives of the Gèsu, at Rome, where in 1858 it was copied for Carayon, by Father Martin; this apograph now rests in the archives of St. Mary's College, Montreal.


In reprinting the text of Le Jeune's Relation of 1634 (closed at Quebec, August 7), we follow the example of the first edition (Paris, 1635), in the Lenox Library; but the "Table des Chapitres" we obtain from that library's copy of the second edition, as this feature is not a part of the first. These two editions are known to bibliographers as "H. 60 " and "H. 61," respectively, because referred to in Harrisse's Notes, nos. 60 and 61. The " Privilege" bears date, December 8, 1634, four months and a day later than the date of the document.

Collation of first edition: Title, with verso blank, i 1.; Privilege, with verso blank, i 1.; text, pp. 1 - 342. The signatures of the text are in eights, except Y which is in six, the last three leaves being blank, one of which is usually pasted to the cover. There are [page 319] two copies of this edition (H. 60) in the Lenox Library. In one of these the paragraph of fourteen lines beginning, " Le 24. du meƒme mois " is, through an error, given on P. 327, after the paragraph commencing with "Le premier de Iuillet. " In the other copy this is corrected by transposition, the former paragraph appearing on P. 326. This peculiarity serves to fix the priority of editions; for in H. 61 the reprinter has followed the corrected issue of H. 60 in this respect, though not line for line. This is likewise true of the Avignon edition, noticed below.

The second edition collates as follows: Title, with verso blank, i I.; text, pp. 1-342; "Table des Chapitres,"i 1; "Extraict du Priuilege du Roy," with verso blank, i 1. The signatures are A-Y in eights; sig. Y consists of text, 3 ll.; table, i l; privilege, i l; blank, 3 ll

The pagination is quite erratic. In two copies of the first edition which we have examined, the following errors appear in both: 132 mispaged 332: 229 mispaged 129; 321and 322 mispaged 323 and 324; 335 mispaged 33. In the first issue of this edition 66 and 67 are mispaged 67 and 68, and 70 and 71 are mispaged 60 and 61; but in the second issue of this edition these latter mistakes have been corrected. In the second edition 220, 221, 281, 310, and 321 - 336 are ~mispaged 200, 121, 283, 210, and 323-338, respectively.

The second edition (H. 61) is in every way a reprint, varying from the first edition in line and page lengths, in contractions, in line-endings, in text, in folio headings, and in typographic style. While the title-pages of both editions end similarly, line for line, the type of the first edition is generally larger [page 320] than that of the second; L'ANNÉE and M DC. XXXV in the first, are printed L'ANNÉE and M. DC. XXXV, in the second edition. In the Privilege of the first edition the head ornament consists of eighteen parts, bisected by four dots; but in the second there are but seventeen parts without a division. The word "conƒecutiues" in the first is printed " cõƒecutiues " in the second; many similar differences in the text, too numerous to mention here, are evident. Among other differences may be noted the fact that whereas, in the first edition, native words are sometimes set in Roman and sometimes in Italic, they are uniformly in Italic in the second edition.

There is still another, a third, edition of this Relation of 1634, which may be designated as the Avignon edition. The only copy known to us is in the Lenox Library. It is imperfect; for almost half of the upper part of the title-page, half of leaf A4 (pp. 7 and 8), and nearly the whole of the last four pages (413-416) are lacking. It was reprinted, together with the Relation of 1635, and the following title is restored by conjecture, through the help of the wording of similar lines in other Relations.

[Relations] | d[e ce qvi s'est passé] | en [la Novvelle France,] | en [les années 1634 et 1635.] | Enuoyée a[u R. Pere Provincial de] | la Compagni[e de Iesvs en la] | Prouince de F[rance.] | Par le Pere le Ievne de la m[eƒme] | Compagnie, Superieur de la | Reƒidence de Kebec. | [A cross patté] | En Avignon, | De l'Imprimerie de Iaqves Bramereav, | Imprimeur de ƒa Sainctetè, de la Ville, & | Vniuerƒité. Auec permiƒsion des Superieurs | M. DC. XXXVI. |

Collation: Title, with verso blank, i I.; preface headed "A MESSIEVRS," etc., pp. (8); Le Jeune's [page 321] Relation of 1634, pp. 1-269; p. 270 blank; Relation of 1635, pp. 271-336; Brébeuf's Huron Relation, pp. 337-392; Perrault's Relation of Cape Breton, pp. 393-400; "Divers Sentimens," pp. 401-416. Sig. a in five, and A - Cc in eights. Sig. O is by mistake printed Oo; pp. 27, 152, 212, 323, and 345 are mispaged 77, 52, 122, 223, and 245, respectively. There is a special preface, as follows, covering eight unnumbered pages:

A Messievrs les Preƒect, Asƒiƒtans, Conƒeillers, & Conƒreres

de la grande Congregation de N. Dame erigée au

College d'Auignon ƒous le tiltre de l'im-

maculee Cõception de la Vierge.



[page 322]

The Avignon has one peculiarity which we have not seen noted elsewhere. Signature F ends on p. 96 with the catch-word "Pour." In commencing the next sheet, signature G, the printer begins with the word "Pour" found near top of p. 130 of the Paris first issue; from that point, he continues his type-setting, seemingly without discovering that he has omitted the whole of the matter from line 4, p. 125, to line 3, p. 130 of the Paris first edition.

Harrisse's descriptions (nos. 60, 61, and 64) are entirely useless, being in these titles very inaccurate. There are errors and omissions, too, in Sabin, Vol. xvi., p. 537, nos. iii. and iv. As the statements of other catalogues and bibliographies are generally based on these, we omit, in this case, to refer to them. Copies of the Paris editions have been sold or priced as follows: Barlow (1889), no. 1274, $25.; O'Callaghan (1882), no. 1215, first edition, $9.; no. 1213, second edition, but called there first, $65.—it had cost him 68 francs; Moore sale, pt. 2 (1894), no. 639, second edition, $10.; Dufossé, of Paris, priced (1891 and 1892) at 150 francs; Harrassowitz, of Leipzig, priced (1882) at 180 marks. Copies of the Paris editions, first or second, may be found in the following libraries: Lenox (2 editions), Harvard, Library of Parliament (Ottawa), Brown (private), British Museum, and Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.

[page 324]


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







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 Living History Museum

Liverpool. New York


Vol. VII

Québec, Hurons, and Cape Breton



CLEVELAND:                            The Burrows Brothers










Reuben Gold Thwaites




|  Finlow Alexander [French]


|  Percy Favor Bicknell [French]


|  John Cutler Covert [French]


|  William Frederic Giese [Latin]


|  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



Electronic Transcription

Thom Mentrak







Preface To Volume VII.







Relation de ce qui s'est passé en La Novvelle France, en l'année 1634 [Chapters x.-xiii., completing the document].  Paul le Jeune; Maiƒon de N. Dame des Anges, en Nouvelle France, August 7, 1634.




Lettre á Monseigneur le Cardinal.  Paul le Jeune; Kebec, August 1, 1635.





Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Novvelle France, en l'année 1635 [Chapters i., ii.]. Paul le Jeune; Kebec, August 28, 1635.



Bibliographical Data; Volume VII.















[page i]





Photographic facsimile of title-page,  Le Jeune's Relation of 1635.





[page ii]






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


XXIII. The first installment (chaps. i.-ix.) of Le Jeune's Relation of 1634, written to the provincial at Paris, was given in Vol. VI. of our series.  In the concluding portion herewith presented, the superior of the Quebec mission continues his account of the Montagnais.  He describes their clothing and ornaments; then their language, which, though deficient in expressions for abstract ideas, he praises for its fullness and richness in vocabulary and grammatical forms.  He offers to the provincial numerous reasons why he made so little progress in learning the tongue while he wintered among them—his own defective memory; the malice of a medicine man, whom he had opposed; the perfidy of the interpreter Pierre, who refused to teach him; his sufferings from hunger and illness; and the inherent difficulties of the language itself.  All these points are elaborated, with many details, the result being a vivid picture of savage life, and of the hardships, danger, and suffering endured by this heroic missionary while wandering with the savages through the forests and mountains along the southern shore of the River St. Lawrence.  At last, after almost six months of this wretched life, and many hair-breadth escapes from [page 1] death, Le Jenne, ill and exhausted, reaches his humble home, the mission house on the St. Charles.  In the closing chapter he recounts, in the form of a journal, the events of the summer of 1634 at Quebec; the arrival of the French fleet, with Father Buteux and the colonists of Sieur Robert Giffard; the departure of Brébeuf, Daniel, and Davost for the Huron mission, and their hardships on the voyage; the foundation of new settlements above Quebec,—at St. Croix island (not to be confounded with the site of De Monts's colony), and Three Rivers.  He announces his intention to go, with Buteux, to Three Rivers; and closes with an appeal for more missionaries, who shall be competent to learn the Indian dialects.


XXIV. In this letter to Cardinal Richelieu (dated August 1, 1635), Le Jeune congratulates him on his efforts to root out the Huguenot heresy; thanks him for his kindness, and for evidences of affection for the Jesuit mission in Canada; and urges the great man to aid the Company of New France in their colonizing enterprise, for on their success depends that of the mission.  The cardinal is reminded how many poor French families might be provided with homes if sent to the New World, where land is abundant; he is also informed that some savages have been converted to the faith.


XXV.               This document is known as Le Jeune's Relation of 1635.  Heretofore the superior of Quebec has been the sole author of the annual report of the Jesuit mission in New France.  But with the arrival of new missionaries the work was greatly broadened, and hereafter we shall find the Relation a composite, arranged by the superior from the several individual reports forwarded to him by his assistants in the field, [page 2] often with the addition of a general review from his own pen.  Of such a character is the present Relation, which, like its successors, is for convenience designated by the name of the superior who forwarded it to the provincial at Paris, for publication.


            The 112 introductory pages are by Le Jeune, dated Kebec, August 28, 1635; of these, we have space in this volume for but 51 pages (chaps. i., ii.). Commencing with p. 113 (original pagination), we shall find a report from Brébeuf, dated Ihonatiria (in the Huron country), May 27, 1635.  Then will appear, commencing on p. 207, an undated report from Perrault, for 1634–35, describing the island of Cape Breton and the characteristics of its people; and, commencing on p. 220, a number of brief, unaccredited extracts from letters by various members of the missionary staff .


            In his opening letter, addressed to the provincial, Le Jeune anticipates most hopefully the growth and prosperity of Canada in the hands of the French, but is especially rejoiced at the great interest which the mission has aroused in France.  There, many pious laymen are aiding the enterprise with their efforts and money; many priests desire to join the Canadian mission; and many nuns are eagerly awaiting some Opportunity to labor among the Indian women and children for their conversion to the Christian faith.  Le Jenne advises these sisters not to come to Canada until they are suitably provided with a house and means Of Support: and he appeals to the ladies of France to furnish this aid for the nuns.  He then describes the condition and extent of the mission, which now has six residences at various points, all the way from Cape Breton to Lake Huron.  At the [page 3] oldest of these, Notre Dame des Anges, near Quebec, center their plans for educational work.  He wishes here to establish a college for French children, and is beginning a seminary for the instruction of Indian youth.  He describes the importance of the Huron mission, and states that he has received promises of funds for its extension.  He recounts the work of himself and his brethren in the French settlements, especially mentioning the comfort they gave to the sick and dying during an epidemic of scurvy at the new settlement at Three Rivers.  He then gives detailed accounts of the religious experiences and deaths of various Indian converts; and relates the tragic death of the two Montagnais with whom he had spent the preceding winter,—Carigonan, "the sorcerer," and his brother Mestigoit, in whose cabin they all lived.


R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., April, 1897.


[page 4]



XXIII (concluded)


Le Jeune's Relation, 1634




            Chaps. x.–xiii., and Index, completing the document; Chaps. i.–ix. appeared in Volume VI.  [page 5]



[164] CHAPTER X.





T WAS THE OPINION of Aristotle that the world had made three steps,  as it were, to  [165]             arrive at the  perfection which it possessed in his time.   At first,  men  were  contented           with life, seeking purely and simply only those things which were necessary and useful for its preservation.  In the second stage, they united the agreeable with the necessary, and politeness with necessity.  First they found food, and then the seasoning.  In the beginning, they covered themselves against the severity of the weather, and afterward grace and beauty were added to their garments.  In the early ages, houses were made simply to be used, and afterward they were made to be seen.  In the third stage, men of intellect, seeing that the world was enjoying things that were necessary and pleasant in life, gave themselves up to the contemplation of natural objects and to scientific researches; whereby the great Republic of men has little by little perfected itself, necessity marching on ahead, politeness and gentleness following after, and knowledge bringing-up the rear.


            Now I wish to say that our wandering Montagnais Savages are yet only [166] in the first of these three stages which I have just touched upon.  Their only thought is to live, they eat so as not to die; they cover themselves to keep off the cold, and not for the sake of appearance.  Grace, politeness, the knowledge [page 7] of the arts, natural sciences, and much less supernatural truths, have as yet no place in this hemisphere, or at least in these countries.  These people do not think there is any other science in the world, except that of eating and drinking; and in this lies all their Philosophy.  They are astonished at the value we place upon books, seeing that a knowledge of them does not give us anything with which to drive away hunger.  They cannot understand what we ask from God in our prayers.  "Ask him," they say to me, " for Moose, Bears, and Beavers; tell him that thou wishest them to eat; " and when I tell them that those are only trifling things, that there are still greater riches to demand, they laughingly reply, " What couldst thou wish better than to eat thy fill of these good dishes?  " In short, they have nothing but life; yet they are not always sure of that, since they often die of hunger.


            [167] Judge now how elegant must be their garments, how noble and rich their ornaments.  You would enjoy seeing them in company.  During the Winter all kinds of garments are appropriate to them, and all are common to both women and men, there being no difference at all in their clothes; anything is good, provided it is warm.  They are dressed properly when they are dressed comfortably.  Give them a hood, and a man will wear it as well as a woman; for there is no article of dress, however foolish, which they will not wear in all seriousness if it helps to keep them warm, in this respect being unlike those Lords who affect a certain color.  Since they have had intercourse with our Europeans, they are more motley than the Swiss.  I have seen a little six-year-old girl dressed in the greatcoat of her father, [page 9] who was a large man; yet no Tailor was needed to Adjust it to her size, for it was gathered around her body and tied like a bunch of fagots.  One has a red hood, another a green one, and another a gray,—all made, not in the fashion of the Court, but in the way best suited to their convenience.  Another will wear [168] a hat with the brim cut off, if it happens to be too broad.


            The women have for dress a long shirt, or a hooded cloak, or a greatcoat, or a blanket, or some skins tied in as many places as may be necessary to keep out the wind.  A man will wear one stocking of leather, and another of cloth; just now they are cutting up their .old coverings or blankets, with which to make sleeves or stockings; and I leave you to imagine how neatly and smoothly they fit.  In a word, I repeat what I have already said,- to them propriety is convenience; and, as they only clothe themselves according to the exigencies of the weather, as soon as the air becomes warm or when they enter their Cabins, they throw off their garments and the men remain entirely naked, except a strip of cloth which conceals what cannot be seen without shame.  As to the women, they take off their bonnets, sleeves and stockings, the rest of the body remaining covered.  In this you have the clothing of the Savages, now during their intercourse and association with our French.


            These people always go bareheaded, except [169] in the most severe cold, and even then some of them go uncovered, which makes me think that very few of them used hats before their intercourse with our Europeans; nor do they know how to make them, buying them already made, or at least cut, from our French people.  So for their head gear they have [page 11] nothing but their hair, both, men and women and .even the children, for they are bareheaded in their swaddling clothes.


            Their clothes are made of the skin of Elk, Bears, and other animals.  The ones that they value the most are made of the skins of a kind of little black animal found in the Huron country; it is about the size of a Rabbit, the skin is soft and shiny, and it takes about sixty of them to make a robe.  The tails of the animals are fastened to the bottom, to serve as fringe; and the heads above, to make a sort of border.  These robes are nearly square in shape; the women paint colored stripes on them from top to bottom, which are about as wide as two thumbs, and are equally distant from each other, giving the effect of a kind of lace-work.


            [170o] The men wear their robes in two ways.  When it is a little warm they do not put these around them, but carry them over one arm and under the other; or else stretched across the back, and held in place by two little leather strings which they tie over the chest.  This does not prevent them from appearing almost naked.  When it is cold they all, men and women, wear the robe under one arm and over the shoulder of the other, then crossed; and thus they wrap themselves up comfortably, though awkwardly, against the cold; for when this garment is tied below the chest, they turn it up, fasten and tie it down near the belt or middle of the body, these folds forming a big belly or large flap in which they carry their little belongings.  I once saw a Merry-andrew in a theatre in France, whose belly was built out exactly like those affected by our Savage Men and Women in Winter. [page 13]


            Now as these robes do not cover their arms, they make themselves sleeves of the same skin, and draw upon them the stripes of which I have spoken, sometimes lengthwise, [171] sometimes around.  These sleeves are quite broad at the top, covering the shoulders and almost uniting at the back,—two little strings fastening them in front and behind, but so clumsily that a bundle of thorn-sticks are better put together than the women are muffled up in these skins.  Observe that there is no difference between the garments of a man and those of a woman, except that the woman is always covered with her robe, while the men discard theirs or wear them carelessly, in warm weather, as I have said.


            Their stockings are made of Moose skin, from which the hair has been removed, nature and not art setting the fashion for them; they are considered well made if the feet and legs go into them, no ingenuity being used in making corners; they are made like boots, and are fastened under the foot with a little string.  The seam, which is scarcely more than basted, is not at the back of the leg, but on the inside.  When they sew them, they leave an edge of the skin itself, which they cut into fringe, occasionally fastening to this [172] a few matachias.[1] These stockings are quite long, especially in front, for they leave a piece which reaches quite high, and covers a great part of the thigh; to the upper edge of this piece are fastened small cords, tied to a leather belt which they all wear next to their skin.


            Their shoes are not hard like ours, for they do not know enough to tan the leather.  Our deerskin gloves are made of skin which is firmer, or at least as [page 15] firm, as their Moose skins of which they make their shoes.  Also they have to wait until these hides have been used as robes, and until they are well oiled, otherwise their shoes would shrink at the first approach to the fire, which they do anyhow, well oiled as they are, if they are brought too near the heat. Besides, they absorb water like a sponge, so that the Savages cannot use them in this Element, but they are very serviceable against snow and cold.  It is the women who are the seamstresses and shoemakers; it costs them nothing to learn this trade, and much less to procure [173] diplomas as master workmen; a child that could sew a little could make the shoes at the first attempt, so ingeniously are they contrived.


            They make them large and capacious, especially in the Winter.  In order to furnish them against the cold, they generally use a Rabbit skin, or a piece of an old blanket folded two or three times; with this they put some Moose hair; and then, having wrapped their feet in these rags, they put on their shoes, occasionally wearing two pairs, the one over the other. They tie them over the instep with a little string which is wound about the corners of the Shoe.  During the snows we all, French and Savages, have made use of this kind of foot gear, in order to walk upon our Snowshoes; when the Winter had passed, we resumed our French shoes, and the Savages went barefooted.


            This is not all that can be said about their clothes and ornaments, but it is all that I have seen and that I recall to mind just now; I forgot to say that those who can have or buy our French shirts wear them in the new fashion; for, instead [174] of wearing them [page 17] under, as we do, they put them on over all their clothes,—and, as they never wash them, they are in no time as greasy as dish-cloths; but this is just as they wish them to be, for the water, they say, runs ,.over them and does not penetrate into their clothes. [page 19]








  WROTE last year that their language was very rich and very poor,  full of abundance and full   of scarcity,  the  latter  appearing  in a  thousand  different  ways.   All words for piety,             devotion, virtue; all terms which are used to express the things of the other life; the language of Theologians, Philosophers, Mathematicians, and Physicians, in a word, of all learned men; all words which refer to the regulation and government of a city, Province, or Empire; all that concerns justice, reward and punishment; the names of an infinite number of arts which are in our Europe; of an infinite number of flowers, [175] trees, and fruits; of an infinite number of animals, of thousands and thousands of contrivances, of a thousand beauties and riches, all these things are never found either in the thoughts or upon the lips of the Savages.  As they have no true religion nor knowledge of the virtues, neither public authority nor government, neither Kingdom nor Republic, nor sciences, nor any of those things of which I have just spoken, consequently all the expressions, terms, words, and names which refer to that world of wealth and grandeur must necessarily be absent from their vocabulary; hence the great scarcity.  Let us now turn the tables and show that this language is fairly gorged with richness.


            First, I find an infinite number of proper nouns [page 21] among them, which I cannot explain in our French, except by circumlocutions.


            Second, they have some Verbs which I call absolute, to which neither the Greeks, nor Latins, nor we ourselves, nor any language of Europe with which I am familiar, have anything similar.  For example, the verb Nimitison means absolutely, "I eat," without saying what; for, if you determine the [176] thing you eat, you have to use another Verb.


            Third, they have different Verbs to signify an action toward an animate or toward an inanimate object; and yet they join with animate things a number of things that have no souls, as tobacco, apples, etc.  Let us give some examples: "I see a man," Niouapaman iriniou; "I see a stone," niouabatè; but in Greek, in Latin, and in French the same Verb is used to express, "I see a man, a stone, or anything else."  "I strike a dog," ni noutinau attimou ; "I strike wood," ninoutinen misticou.  This is not all; for, if the action terminates on several animate objects, another Verb has to be used,—"I see some men," niouapamaoueth irinioueth, ninoutinaoueth attimoueth, and so on with all the others.

            In the fourth place, they have Verbs suitable to express an action which terminates on the person reciprocal, and others still which terminate on the things that belong to him; and we cannot use these Verbs, referring to other persons not reciprocal, without speaking improperly.  I will explain myself.  The Verb [177] nitaouin means, "I make use of something;" nitaouin agouniscouehon, "I am using a hat;" but when I come to say, "I am using his hat," that is, the hat of the man of whom I speak, we must change the verb and say, Nitaouiouan outagoumiscouhon; [page 23] but, if it be an animate thing, the verb must again be changed, for example, "I am using his dog," nitaouiouan õtaimai.  Also observe that all these verbs have their moods, tenses and persons; and that they are conjugated differently, if they have different terminations.  This abundance is not found in the languages of Europe; I know it of some, and conjecture it in regard to others.

            In the fifth place, they use some words upon the land, and others upon the water, to signify the same thing.  As, for instance, I want to say, "I arrived yesterday;" if by land, I must say, nitagochinin outagouchi,-if by water, I must say, nimichagan outagouchi.  I wish to say, "I was wet by the rain;" if it were in walking upon land, I must say, nikimiouanoutan,—if it were upon the water, nikhimiouanutan.  "I am going to look for [178] something;" if upon land, I must say, ninaten,—if by water, ninahen; if it is an animate thing, and upon land, I must say, ninatau; if it be animate and in the water, I must say, ninahimouau ; if it is an animate thing that belongs to some one, I must say, ninahimouau; if it is not animate, niuahimouau.  What a variety!  We have in French only a single expression for all these things, "Ie vay querir," to which we add, in order to distinguish, "par eau," or "par terre."


            In the sixth place, a single one of our adjectives in French is associated with all our substantives.  For example, we say, "the bread is cold, the tobacco is cold, the iron is cold;" but in our Savage tongue these adjectives change according to the different -kinds of substantives,—tabiscau assini, "the stone is cold;" tacabisisiou nouspouagan," my tobacco pipe is cold; "takhisiou khichtemau, "this tobacco is cold;" [page 25] tacascouan misticou, "the wood is cold." If it is a large piece, tacascouchan misticou, "the wood is cold;" siicatchiou attimou, "this dog is cold;" and thus you see a strange abundance.


            Observe, in passing, that all these [179] adjectives, and even all the nouns, are conjugated like Latin impersonal verbs.  For example, tabiscau assini, "the stone is cold;" tabiscaban, "it was cold;" cata tabiscan, "it will be cold;" and so on. Noutaoui, is a noun which means, "my father;" noutaouiban, "it was my father, or my deceased father;" Cata noutaoui, "it will be my father," if such expressions could be used.


            In the seventh place, they have so tiresome an abundance that I am almost led to believe that I shall remain poor all my life in their language.  When you know all the parts of Speech of the languages of our Europe, and know how to combine them, you know the languages; but it is not so concerning the tongue of our Savages.  Stock your memory with all the words that stand for each particular thing, learn the knot or Syntax that joins them together, and you are still only an ignoramus; with that, you can indeed make yourself understood by the Savages, although not always, but you will not be able to understand [180] them.  The reason for this is, that, besides the names of each particular thing, they have an infinite number of words which signify several things together.  If I wish to say in French, "the wind drives the snow," it is enough for me to know these three words, "the wind," the verb "drive," and "the snow," and to know how to combine them; but it is not so here.  I know how they say "the wind," routin; how they say "it drives something [page 27] noble," as the snow is in the Savage estimation,—the word for this is rakhineou; I know how they say it snow," it is couné.  But, if I try to combine these three words, Routin rakhineou couné, the Savages will not understand me; or, if they understand, will begin to laugh, because they do not talk like that, merely making use of a single word, piouan, to say "the wind drives or makes the snow fly." Likewise the verb nisiicatchin, means "I am cold;" the noun nissitai, means "my feet;" if I say nisiicat chin nissitai, to say "my feet are cold," they will indeed understand me; but I shall not understand them when they say Nitatagouasisin, which is the proper word to say, "my feet are cold." And what [181] ruins the memory is, that such a word has neither relation, nor alliance, nor any affinity, in its sound, with the other two; whence it often happens that I make them laugh in talking, when I try to follow the construction of the Latin or French language, not knowing these words which mean several things at once.  From this it happens, also, that very often I do not understand them, although they understand me; for as they do not use the words which signify one thing in particular, but rather those that mean a combination of things, I knowing only the first, and not even the half of those, could not understand them if they did not have sufficient intelligence to vary and choose more common words, for then I try to unravel them.


            This is enough to show the richness of their language; if I were thoroughly acquainted with it, I would speak with more certainty.  I believe they have other riches which I have not been able to discover up to the present.


            I forgot to say that the Montagnais have not so [page 29] many letters in their Alphabet as we have in ours; they confound B and P, and [182] also C, G, and K; that is, if two Savages were to pronounce the same word, you would think that one was pronouncing a B, and the other a P, or that one was using a C or K, and the other a G. They do not have the letters F, L, consonant V, X, and Z. They use R instead of L, saying Monsieur du Pressi for Monsieur du Plessi;[2] they utter the sound of P instead of consonant V, Monsieur Olipier instead of Monsieur Olivier.  But, as their tongues are quite flexible, they will soon acquire our pronunciation if they are instructed, especially the children.


            Father Brébeuf tells me that the Hurons have no M, at which I am astonished, for this letter seems to me almost natural, so extensively is it used.


            Now if, as conclusion of this Chapter, Your Reverence asks me if I made much progress in the knowledge of this language during the winter I spent with these Barbarians, I answer frankly, "no;" and here are the reasons.


            First, my defective memory, which was never very good, [183] and which continues to wither every day.  Oh, what an excellent man for these countries is Father Brébeuf!  His most fortunate memory, and his amiability and gentleness, will be productive of much good among the Hurons.


            Second, the malice of the sorcerer, who sometimes prevented them from teaching me.


            Third, the perfidy of the Apostate, who, contrary to his promise, and notwithstanding the offers I made him, was never willing to teach me,—his disloyalty even going so far as to purposely give me a word of one signification for another. [page 31]


            In the fourth place, famine was for a long time our guest; and I scarcely ventured in her presence to question our Savages, their stomachs not being like barrels which sound all the louder for being empty; they resemble the drum, - the tighter it is drawn, the better it talks.


            In the fifth place, my attacks of illness made me give up the care for the languages of earth, to think about the language of the other life whither I was expecting to go.


            [184] In the sixth place, and finally, the difficulty of this language, which is not slight, as may be guessed from what I have said, has been no small obstacle to prevent a poor memory like mine from advancing far.  Still, I talk a jargon, and, by dint of shouting, can make myself understood.


            One thing would touch me keenly, were it not that we are not expected to walk before God, but to follow him, and to be contented with our own littleness; it is that I almost fear I shall never be able to speak the Savage tongues with the fluency necessary to preach to them, and to answer at once, without stumbling, their demands and objections, being so greatly occupied as I have been up to the present.  It is true that God can make from a rock a child of Abraham.  May he be forever praised, in all the tongues of the nations of the earth! [page 33]








PICTETUS says  that he who intends to visit the  public baths must previously consider all         the  improprieties  that will be committed there;  so that, when he finds himself sur-rounded by the derision of a mob of scoundrels who would rather wash his head than his feet, he may lose none of the gravity and modesty of a wise man.  I might say the same to those in whom God inspires the thought and desire to cross over the seas, in order to seek and to instruct the Savages.  It is for their sake that I shall pen this Chapter, so that, knowing the enemy they will encounter, they may not forget to fortify themselves with the weapons necessary for the combat, especially with patience of iron or bronze, or rather with a patience entirely of gold, in order to bear bravely and lovingly the great trials that must be endured among these people.  Let us begin [186] by speaking of the house they will have to live in, if they wish to follow them.


            In order to have some conception of the beauty of this edifice, its construction must be described.  I shall speak from knowledge, for I have often helped to build it.  Now, when we arrived at the place where we were to camp, the women, armed with axes, went here and there in the great forests, cutting the frame-work of the hostelry where we were to lodge; meantime [page 35] the men, having drawn the plan thereof, cleared away the snow with their snowshoes, or with shovels which they make and carry expressly for this purpose.  Imagine now a great ring or square in the snow, two, three or four feet deep, according to the weather or the place where they encamp.  This depth of snow makes a white wall for us, which surrounds us on all sides, except the end where it is broken through to form the door.  The framework having been brought, which consists of twenty or thirty poles, more or less, according to the size of the cabin, it is planted, not upon the ground but upon the snow; then they throw upon these poles, which converge [187] a little at the top, two or three rolls of bark sewed together, beginning at the bottom, and behold, the house is made.  The ground inside, as well as the wall of snow which extends all around the cabin, is covered with little branches of fir; and, as a finishing touch, a wretched skin is fastened to two poles to serve as a door, the doorposts being the snow itself.  Now let us examine in detail all the comforts of this elegant Mansion.


            You cannot stand upright in this house, as much on account of its low roof as the suffocating smoke; and consequently you must always lie down, or sit flat upon the ground, the usual posture of the Savages.  When you go out, the cold, the snow, and the danger of getting lost in these great woods drive you in again more quickly than the wind, and keep you a prisoner in a dungeon which has neither lock nor key.


            This prison, in addition to the uncomfortable position that one must occupy upon a bed of earth, has four other great discomforts,—cold, heat, smoke, and [page 37] dogs. [188] As to the cold, you have the snow at your head with only a pine branch between, often nothing but your hat, and the winds are free to enter in a thousand places.  For do not imagine that these pieces of bark are joined as paper is glued and fitted to a window frame; they are often like the plant mille-pertuis[3], except that their holes and their openings are a little larger; and even if there were only the opening at the top, which serves at once as window and chimney, the coldest winter in France could come in there every day without any trouble.  When I lay down at night I could study through this opening both the Stars and the Moon as easily as if I had been in the open fields.


            Nevertheless, the cold did not annoy me as much as the heat from the fire.  A little place like their cabins is easily heated by a good fire, which sometimes roasted and broiled me on all sides, for the cabin was so narrow that I could not protect myself against the heat.  You cannot move to right or left, [189] for the Savages, your neighbors, are at your elbows; you cannot withdraw to the rear, for you encounter the wall of snow, or the bark of the cabin which shuts you in.  I did not know what position to take.  Had I stretched myself out, the place was so narrow that my legs would have been halfway in the fire; to roll myself up in a ball, and crouch down in their way, was a position I could not retain as long as they could; my clothes were all scorched and burned.  You will ask me perhaps if the snow at our backs did not melt under so much heat.  I answer, "no, no;"  that if sometimes the heat softened it in the least, the cold immediately turned it into ice.  I will [page 39] say, however, that both the cold and the heat are endurable, and that some remedy may be found for these two evils.


            But, as to the smoke, I confess to you that it is martyrdom.  It almost killed me, and made me weep continually, although I had neither grief nor sadness in my heart.  It sometimes grounded all of us who were in the cabin; that is, it caused us to place our [190] mouths against the earth in order to breathe.  For, although the Savages were accustomed to this torment, yet occasionally it became so dense that they, as well as I, were compelled to prostrate themselves, and as it were to eat the earth, so as not to drink the smoke.  I have sometimes remained several hours in this position, especially during the most severe cold and when it snowed; for it was then the smoke assailed us with the greatest fury, seizing us by the throat, nose, and eyes.  How bitter is this drink!  How strong its odor!  How hurtful to the eyes are its fumes!  I sometimes thought I was going blind; my eyes burned like fire, they wept or distilled drops like an alembic; I no longer saw anything distinctly, like the good man who said, video homines velut arbores ambulantes.  I repeated the Psalms of my Breviary as best I could, knowing them half by heart, and waited until the pain might relax a little to recite the lessons; and when [191] I came to read them they seemed written in letters of fire, or of scarlet; I have often closed my book, seeing things so confusedly that it injured my sight.


            Some one will tell me that I ought to have gone out from this smoky hole to get some fresh air; and I answer him that the air was usually so cold at those times that the trees, which have a harder skin than [page 41] man, and a more solid body, could not stand it, splitting even to the core, and making a noise like the report of a musket.  Nevertheless, I occasionally emerged from this den, fleeing the rage of the smoke to place myself at the mercy of the cold, against which I tried to arm myself by wrapping up in my blanket like an Irishman; and in this garb, seated upon the snow or a fallen tree, I recited my Hours; the trouble was, the snow had no more pity upon my eyes than the smoke.


            As to the dogs, which I have mentioned as one of the discomforts of the Savages' houses, I do not know that I ought to blame them, for they have sometimes rendered me good [192] service.  True, they exacted from me the same courtesy they gave, so that we reciprocally aided each other, illustrating the idea of mutuum auxilium.  These poor beasts, not being able to live outdoors, came and lay down sometimes upon my shoulders, sometimes upon my feet, and as I only had one blanket to serve both as covering and mattress, I was not sorry for this protection, willingly restoring to them a part of the heat which I drew from them.  It is true that, as they were large and numerous, they occasionally crowded and annoyed me so much, that in giving me a little heat they robbed me of my sleep, so that I very often drove them away.  In doing this one night, there happened to me a little incident which caused some confusion and laughter; for, a Savage having thrown himself upon me while asleep, I thought it was a dog, and finding a club at hand, I hit him, crying out, Aché, Aché, the words they use to drive away the dogs.  My man woke up greatly astonished, thinking that [193] all was lost; but having discovered [page 43] whence came the blows, " Thou hast no sense," he said to me, " it is not a dog, it is I." At these words I do not know who was the more astonished of us two; I gently dropped my club, very sorry at having found it so near me.


            Let us return to our dogs.  These animals, being famished, as they have nothing to eat, any more than we, do nothing but run to and fro gnawing at everything in the cabin.  Now as we were as often lying down as sitting up in these bark houses, they frequently walked over our faces and stomachs; and so often and persistently, that, being tired of shouting at them and driving them away, I would sometimes cover my face and then give them liberty to go where they wanted.  If any one happened to throw them a bone, there was straightway a race for it, upsetting all whom they encountered sitting, unless they held themselves firmly.  They have often upset for me my bark dish, and all it contained, in my gown.  I was amused whenever there was a quarrel among them at [194] our dinner table, for there was not one of us who did not hold his plate down with both hands on the ground, which serves as table, seat, and bed both to men and dogs.  From this custom arose the great annoyance we experienced from these animals, who thrust their noses into our bark plates before we could get our hands in.  I have said enough about the inconveniences of the Savages' houses, let us speak of their food.


            When I first went away with them, as they salt neither their soup nor their meat, and as filth itself presides over their cooking, I could not eat their mixtures, and contented myself with a few sea biscuit and smoked eel; until at last my host took me to task [page 45] because I ate so little, saying that I would starve myself before the famine overtook us.  Meanwhile our Savages had feasts every day, so that in a very short time we found ourselves without bread, without our, without eels, and without any means of helping ourselves.  For besides being very far in the woods, where we would have died a thousand times before [195] reaching the French settlement, we were wintering on the other side of the great river, which cannot be crossed in this season on account of the great masses of ice which are continually floating about, and which would crush not only a small boat but even a great ship.  As to the chase, the snows not being deep in comparison with those of other years, they could not take the Elk, and so brought back only some Beavers and Porcupines, but in so small a number and so seldom that they kept us from dying rather than helped us to live.  My host said to me during this time of scarcity, "Chibiné, harden thy soul, resist hunger; thou wilt be sometimes two, sometimes three or four, days without food; do not let thyself be cast down, take courage; when the snow comes, we shall eat." It was not our Lord's will that they should be so long without capturing anything; but we usually had something to eat once in two days,—indeed, we very often had a Beaver in the morning, and in the evening of the next day a Porcupine as big as [196] a sucking Pig.  This was not much for nineteen of us, it is true, but this little sufficed to keep us alive.  When I could have, toward the end of our supply of food, the skin of an Eel for my day's fare, I considered that I had breakfasted, dined, and supped well. [page 47]


            At first, I had used one of these skins to patch the cloth gown that I wore, as I forgot to bring some pieces with me; but, when I was so sorely pressed with hunger, I ate my pieces; and, if my gown had been made of the same stuff, I assure you I would have brought it back home much shorter than it was.  Indeed, I ate old Moose skins, which are much tougher than those of the Eel; I went about through the woods biting the ends of the branches, and gnawing the more tender bark, as I shall relate in the journal.  Our neighboring Savages suffered still more than we did, some of them coming to see us, and telling us that their comrades had died of hunger.  I saw some who had eaten only once in five days, and who considered themselves very well off if they found something [197] to dine upon at the end of two days; they were reduced to skeletons, being little more than skin and bones.  We occasionally had some good meals; but for every good dinner we went three times without supper.  When a young Savage of our cabin was dying of hunger, as I shall relate in the following Chapter, they often asked me if I was not afraid, if I had no fear of death; and seeing me quite firm, they were astonished, on one occasion in particular, when I saw them almost falling into a state of despair.  When they reach this point, they play, so to speak, at "save himself who can;" throwing away their bark and baggage, deserting each other, and abandoning all interest in the common welfare, each one strives to find something for himself.  Then the children, women, and for that matter all those who cannot hunt, die of cold and hunger.  If they had reached this extremity, I would have been among the first to die. [page 49]


            So these are the things that must be expected I before undertaking to follow them; for, although they may not be pressed with famine every year, yet they run the risk every [198] winter of not having food or very little, unless there are heavy snowfall and a great many Moose, which does not always happen.


            Now if you were to ask me what my feelings were in the terrors of death, and of a death so lingering as is that which comes from hunger, I will say that I can hardly tell.  Nevertheless, in order that those who read this Chapter may not have a dread of coming over to our assistance, I can truly say that this time of famine was for me a time of abundance.  When I realized that we began to hover between the hope of life and the fear of death, I made up my mind that God had condemned me to die of starvation for my sins; and, a thousand times kissing the hand that had written my sentence, I awaited the execution of it with a peace and joy which may be experienced, but cannot be described.  I confess that one suffers, and that he must reconcile himself to the Cross; but God glories in helping a soul when it is no longer aided by his creatures.  Let us continue on our way.


            [199] After this famine, we had some good days.  The snow, which had been only too deep to be cold, but too shallow to take the Moose, having greatly increased toward the end of January, our Hunters captured some Moose, which they dried.  Now either on account of my lack of moderation, or because this meat, dried as hard as wood and as dirty as the street, did not agree with my stomach, I fell sick in the very beginning of February.  So behold me obliged to remain all the time lying upon the cold ground; this [page 51] did not tend to cure me of the severe cramps that tormented me and compelled me to go out at all hours of the day and night, plunging me every time in snow up to my knees and sometimes almost up to my waist, especially when we had first begun our encampment in any one place.  These severe attacks lasted about eight or ten days, and were accompanied by a pain in the stomach, and a weakness in the heart, which spread through my whole body.  I recovered from this sickness, but not entirely, for I was [200] only dragging myself around at mid-Lent, when I was again seized with this disease.  I tell the following in order to show how little help may be expected from the Savages when a person is sick.  Being very thirsty one day, I asked for a little water; they said there was none, and that they would give me some melted snow if I wanted it.  As this drink was bad for my disease, I made my host understand that I had seen a lake not far from there, and that I would like very much to have some of that water.  He pretended not to hear, because the road was somewhat bad; and it happened thus not only this time, but at any place where the river or brook was a little distance from our cabin.  We had to drink this snow melted in a kettle whose copper was less thick than the dirt; if any one wishes to know how bitter this drink is, let him take some from a kettle just out of the smoke and taste it.


            As to the food, they divide with a sick man just as with the others; if they have fresh meat they give him his share, if he wants it, but if he does not eat it [201] then, no one will take the trouble to keep a little piece for him to eat when he wants it; they will give him some of what they happen to have at the [page 53] time in the cabin, namely, smoked meat, and nothing better, for they keep the best for their feasts.  So a poor invalid is often obliged to eat among them what would horrify him even in good health if he were with our Frenchmen.  A soul very thirsty for the Son of God, I mean for suffering, would find enough here to satisfy it.


            It remains for me yet to speak of their conversation, in order to make it clearly understood what there is to suffer among these people.  I had gone in company with my host and the Renegade, on condition that we should not pass the winter with the Sorcerer, whom I knew as a very wicked man.  They had granted my conditions, but they were faithless, and kept not one of them, involving me in trouble with this pretended Magician, as I shall relate hereafter.  Now this wretched man and the smoke were the two greatest trials [202] that I endured among these Barbarians.  The cold, heat, annoyance of the dogs, sleeping in the open air and upon the bare ground; the position I had to assume in their cabins, rolling myself up in a ball or crouching down or sitting without a seat or a cushion; hunger, thirst, the poverty and filth of their smoked meats, sickness,—all these things were merely play to me in comparison to the smoke and the malice of the Sorcerer, with whom I have always been on a very bad footing, for the following reasons:—


First.               because, when he invited me to winter with him, I refused; and he resented this greatly, because he saw that I cared more for my host, his younger brother, than I did for him.


Second.     because I could not gratify his covetousness [page 55].  I had nothing that he did not ask me for, often taking my mantle off my shoulders to put it on his own.  Now as I could not satisfy all his demands, he looked upon me with an evil eye; indeed, even if I had given him all the little I had, I could not have gained [203] his friendship, because we were at variance on other subjects.


Third.            In the third place, seeing that he acted the Prophet, amusing these people by a thousand absurdities, which he invented, in my opinion, every day, I did not lose any opportunity of convincing him of their nonsense and childishness, exposing the senselessness of his superstitions.  Now this was like tearing his soul out of his body; for, as he could no longer hunt, he acted the Prophet and Magician more than ever before, in order to preserve his credit, and to get the dainty pieces.  So that in shaking his authority, which was diminishing daily, I was touching the apple of his eye and wresting from him the delights of his Paradise, which are the pleasures of his jaws.


Fourth.        In the fourth place, wishing to have sport at my expense, he sometimes made me write vulgar things in his language, assuring me there was nothing bad in them, then made me pronounce these shameful words, which I did not understand, in the presence of the Savages.  Some women having warned me of this trick, I told him I would no longer soil my paper nor My [204] lips with these vile words.  He insisted, however, that I should read before all those of the cabin, and some Savages who had come thither, something he had dictated to me.  I answered him that, if the Apostate would interpret them to me, I would read them.  That Renegade refusing to [page 57] do this, I refused to read.  The Sorcerer commanded me imperiously, that is, with high words, and I at first begged him gently to excuse me; but as he did not wish to be thwarted before the Savages, he persisted in urging me, and had my host, who pretended to be vexed, urge me also.  At last, aware that my excuses were of no avail, I spoke to him peremptorily, and, after reproaching him for his lewdness, I addressed him in these words: " Thou hast me in thy power, thou canst murder me, but thou canst not force me to repeat indecent words."  They are not such," he said. " Why then," said I, will they not interpret them to me? " He emerged from this conflict very much exasperated.


Fifth.               In the fifth place, seeing that my [205] host was greatly attached to me, he was afraid that this friendliness might deprive him of some choice morsel.  I tried to relieve him of this apprehension by stating publicly that I did not live to eat, but that I ate to live; and that it mattered little what they gave me, provided it was enough to keep me alive.  He retorted sharply that he was not of my opinion, but that he made a profession of being dainty; that he was fond of the good pieces, and was very much obliged when people gave them to him.  Now although my host gave him no cause for fear in this direction, yet he attacked me at almost every meal as if he were afraid of losing his precedence.  This apprehension increased his hatred.


Sixth.             In the sixth place, when he saw that the Savages of the other cabins showed me some respect, knowing besides that I was a great enemy of his impostures, and that, if I gained influence among his flock, I would ruin him completely, he did all he could to [page 59]  destroy me and to make me appear ridiculous in the eyes of his people.


Seventh.    In the seventh place, add to all these things the aversion which he and all the Savages of Tadoussac had, up to the present time, against the French, since their intercourse with the English; and judge what treatment I might have received from these Barbarians, who adore this miserable Sorcerer, against whom I was generally in a state of open warfare.  I thought a hundred times that I should only emerge from this conflict through the gates of death.  He treated me shamefully, it is true; but I am astonished that he did not act worse, seeing that he is an idolater of those superstitions which I was fighting with all my might.  To relate in detail all his attacks, gibes, sneers, and contempt, I would write a Book instead of a Chapter.  Suffice it to say, that he sometimes even attacked God to displease me; and that he tried to make me the laughingstock of small and great, abusing me in the other cabins as well as in ours.  He never had, however, the satisfaction of inciting our neighboring Savages against me; they merely hung their heads when they heard the blessings he showered upon me.  As to the servants, instigated by [207] his example, and supported by his authority, they continually heaped upon me a thousand taunts and a thousand insults; and I was reduced to such a state, that, in order not to irritate them or give them any occasion to get angry, I passed whole days without opening my mouth.  Believe me, if I have brought back no other fruits from the Savages, I have at least learned many of the insulting words of their language.  They were saying to me at every turn, eca titou, eca titou nama khitirinisin, [page 61] "Shut up, shut up, thou hast no sense."  Achineou,  "He is proud;"  Moucachtechiou,  "He plays the parasite;"  sasegau,  "He is haughty;"  cou attimou,  "He looks like a Dog;"  cou mascoua,  "He looks like a Bear;"  cou ouabouchou ouichtoui,  "He is bearded like a Hare;"  attimonai oukhimau,  "He is Captain of the Dogs;"  cou oucousimas ouchtigonan,  "He has a head like a pumpkin;"  matchiriniou,  "He is deformed, he is ugly;"  khichcouebeon,  "He is drunk."  So these are the colors in which they paint me, and a multitude of others, which I omit.  The best part of it was that they did not think sometimes that I understood them; and, seeing me smile, they became embarrassed,—at least, those who sang [208] these songs only to please the Sorcerer.  The children were very troublesome, playing numberless tricks upon me, and imposing silence when I wanted to talk.  When my host was at home, I had some rest; and, when the Sorcerer was absent, I was in smooth water, managing both great and small just as I wished.  So these are some of the things that have to be endured among these people.  This must not frighten any one; good soldiers are animated with courage at the sight of their blood and their wounds, and God is greater than our hearts.  One does not always encounter a famine; one does not always meet Sorcerers or jugglers with so bad a temper as that one had; in a word, if we could understand the language, and reduce it to rules, there would be no more need of following these Barbarians.  As to the stationary tribes, from which we expect the greatest fruit, we can have our cabins apart, and consequently be freed from many of these great inconveniences.  But let us finish this Chapter; otherwise I see myself in danger [page 63] of becoming as troublesome as that impostor, [209] whom I commend to the prayers of all those who will read this.  I shall set down in the following Chapter some conversations I had with him when we were enjoying a truce.


[page 65]








F THIS Chapter were the first in this relation, it would throw some light upon all the following     ones;   but I have given it the last place,   because it will continue to increase every day           until the departure of the ships, through the occurrence of more noteworthy events which may happen.  It is only a memoir, in the form of a journal, of all the things that could not be given in the preceding Chapters.


            After the departure of our French,—who left the roadstead of Kebec on the 16th of August of last year, 1633, to sail for Tadoussac and thence to France,—in order to have [210] opportunity of conversing with the savages, and thus learning their language, I crossed the great saint Lawrence river to a cabin of branches, and went every day to school in those of the savages, who were encamped around me—allured by my hopes, if not of bringing the Renegade to a sense of his duty, at least of drawing from him some knowledge of the language.  This poor wretch had newly arrived from Tadoussac, where he had shown great repugnance to the French.  The famine which afflicted this Apostate and his brothers caused them to come up to Kebec in search of food.  Now, as they were occupied in fishing, I was very often in their cabin, and occasionally [page 67] invited the Renegade to come again and pass the winter with us in our little house.  He would very readily have agreed to this, had he not taken a wife from another nation than his own, and he could not send her away then.  Therefore, seeing that he could not follow me, I threw out some hints about passing the winter with him; but during these negotiations, a furious tempest having one night swept down upon US, [211] Father de Noüe, two of our men, and myself, in our cabin, I was seized with a violent fever, which made me go back to our little home to recover my health.


            The Apostate, seeing how I was inclined, discussed my plan with his brothers.  There were three of them; one named Carigonan, and surnamed by the French the Married Man, because he made a great deal of the fact that he was married.  He was the most famous sorcerer, or manitousiou, (thus they call these jugglers) of all the country; it is he of whom I have spoken above.  The other was called Mestigoït, a young man about thirty-five or forty years of age, a brave Hunter, and endowed with a good disposition.  The third was called Sasousinat, who is the happiest of all, for he is now in Heaven, having died a good Christian, as I stated in the second Chapter.  The sorcerer, having learned from the Renegade that I wished to pass the winter with the Savages, came to see me toward the end of my sickness, and invited me to share his cabin,—giving me as his reason that he loved good men, because he himself was good, and had [212] always been so from his early youth.  He asked me if Jesus had not spoken to me about the disease which tormented him.  " Come," said he, "with me, and thou wilt make me [page 69] live now, for I am in danger of dying." But as I knew him for a very impudent fellow, I refused him as gently as I could; and, taking the Apostate aside, who also wished to have me, as he had shown to Father de Noüe that he had some desire to return to God, I told him that I would be glad to winter with him and with his brother Mestigoït, on condition that we should not go across the great river, that the sorcerer should not be of our party, and that he, who understood the French language well, would teach me. They both agreed to these three conditions, but they did not fulfill one of them.


            On the day of our departure I gave them, for my support, a barrel of sea biscuit, which we borrowed from the storehouse of those Gentlemen, a sack of flour, some ears of Indian corn, some prunes, and some parsnips. [213] They urged me very strongly to take a little wine, but I did not wish to yield to them, fearing they would get drunk.  However, having promised me they would not touch it without my permission, and having assured them that, if they did, I would throw it into the sea, I followed the advice of those who counseled me to carry a little barrel of it. Also I promised Mestigoït that I would take him for my host, for the Apostate is not a Hunter, and has no management; but I promised to make him a present upon our return, which I did.  It was the expectation of this food which made them wish to have a Frenchman with them.


            So I embarked in their shallop on the 18th of October precisely, making profession as a little pupil on the same day that I had previously begun the profession of master of our schools.  When I went to take leave of Monsieur our Governor, he recommended [page 71] me very particularly to the Savages; and my host answered him, " If the Father dies, I will die with him, and you will never see me in this country again." Our French people showed [214] the most profound regret at my departure, knowing the dangers that one encounters in following these Barbarians.  When all our Farewells were said, we set sail about ten o'clock in the morning.  I was the only Frenchman, with twenty Savages, counting the men, women and children.  The wind and tide were favorable, and we turned to go down past the Island of Orleans to another Island called by the Savages Ca ouahascoumagakhe; I know not whether it was the beauty of the day which spread over this Island, but I found it very pleasant.


            As soon as we had set foot on land, my host took an arquebus he had bought from the English, and went in search of our supper.  Meanwhile the women began to build the house where we were to lodge.  Now the Apostate, having observed that every one was busy, returned to the boat that was lying at anchor, took the keg of wine, and drank from it with such excess, that, being drunk as a lord, he fell into the water and was nearly drowned.  Finally he got out, after considerable scrambling, and started for the place where they were putting up the cabin. [215] Screaming and howling like a demon, he snatched away the poles and beat upon the bark of the cabin, to break everything to pieces.  The women, seeing him in this frenzy, fled to the woods, some here, some there.  My Savage, whom I usually call my host, was boiling in a kettle some birds he had killed, when this drunken fellow, coming upon the scene, broke the crane and upset everything into [page 73] the ashes.  No one seemed to get angry at all this, but then it is foolish to fight with a madman.  My host gathered up his little birds and went to wash them in the river, drew some water and placed the kettle over the fire again.  The women, seeing that this madman was running hither and thither on the shores of the Island, foaming like one possessed, ran quickly to get their bark and take it to a place of security, lest he should tear it to pieces, as he had begun to do.  They had scarcely had time to roll it up, when he appeared near them completely infuriated, and not knowing upon what to vent his fury, for they had suddenly disappeared, thanks to the darkness which had begun to conceal us.  He approached [216] the fire, which could be seen on account of its bright light, and was about to take hold of the kettle to overturn it again; when my host, his brother, quicker than he, seized it and threw the water into his face, boiling as it was.  I leave you to imagine how this poor man looked, finding himself thus deluged with hot water.  He was never so well washed.  The skin of his face and whole chest changed.  Would to God that his soul had changed as well as his body.  He redoubled his howls, and began to pull up the poles which were still standing.  My host has told me since that he asked for an ax, with which to kill me; I do not know whether he really asked for one, as I did not understand his language; but I know very well that, when I went up to him and tried to stop him, he said to me in French, " Go away, it is not you I am after; let me alone;" then pulling my gown, " Come," said he, " let us embark in a canoe, let us return to your house; you do not know these people here; all they [page 75] do is for the belly, they do not care for you, but for your food." [217] To this I answered in an undertone and to myself, in vino veritas.


            As the night was coming on rapidly, I retired into the woods, to escape being annoyed by this drunkard, and to get a little rest.  While I was saying my prayers near a tree, the woman who managed the household of my host came to see me; and, gathering together some leaves of fallen trees, said to me, Lie down there and make no noise," then, having thrown me a piece of bark as a cover, she went away.  So this was my first resting place at the sign of the Moon, which shone upon me from all sides.  Behold me an accomplished Chevalier, after the first day of my entrance into this Academy.  The rain coming on, a little before midnight, made me fear that I might get wet, but it did not last long.  The next morning I found that my bed, although it had not been made up since the creation of the world, was not so hard as to keep me from sleeping.


            The next day I wanted to throw the barrel, with what was left of the wine, into the river, as I had told them I would do, [218] in case any one abused it; but my host, seizing me around the waist, cried out, eca toute, eca toute, " Do not do that, do not do that.  Dost thou not see that Petrichtich" (it is thus they call the Renegade in derision) " does not know anything, that he is a dog?  I promise thee that we will never touch the barrel unless thou art present." I yielded, and made up my mind to distribute it liberally, in order to free myself of the fear that a little wine might make us drink a great, deal of water; for, if they were to get drunk while we were sailing, we would be lost. [page 77]


            We intended leaving this Island in the morning; but the tide fell sooner than we expected, and stranded our Boat.  Hence we had to wait for the evening tide, upon which we embarked, and sailed away by the aid of the Moon as well as of the wind.  We reached another Island, called Ca ouapascounagate. As we arrived about midnight, our people did not take the trouble to make a house; and we slept in the same bed and lodged at the same sign as the night before, [219] under the shelter of the trees and sky.


            The next day we left this Island to go to another one, called Ca chibariouachcate; we might have called it the Island of the white Geese, for I saw there more than a thousand of them in one flock.


            The following day we tried to leave, but the bad weather compelled us to land again at the end of this same Island.  It is a solitude, like all the country; that is, it has only temporary inhabitants, for these people have no fixed habitation.  It is bordered by rocks so massive, so high, and so craggy, and is withal covered so picturesquely with Cedars and Pines, that a Painter would consider himself favored to view it, in order to derive therefrom an idea of a desert frightful in its precipices and very pleasing in the variety and number of its trees, which one might say had been planted by the hand of art rather than of Nature.  As it is indented by bays full of mud, there hides here such a quantity and variety of game, some of which I have never seen in France, that it must be seen in order to be believed.


            [220] Leaving this Island of game, we sailed all day and toward nightfall landed at a small Island, [page 79] called Atisaoucanich etagoukhi, that is, place where dyes are found; I am inclined to think that our people gave it that name, for they found there some little red roots which they use in dyeing their Matachias.1 I would like to call it the Isle of misfortune; for we suffered a great deal there during the eight days that the storms held us prisoners.  It was night when we disembarked; the rain and wind attacked us, and in the meantime we could scarcely find five or six poles to serve as beams for our house,—which was so small, so narrow, and so exposed for such weather as this, that in trying to avoid one discomfort we fell into two others.  We had to shorten ourselves, or roll up like hedgehogs, lest we scorch the half of our bodies.  For our supper, and dinner as well, because we had eaten nothing since morning, my host threw to each one a piece of the biscuit I had [22 I] given him, informing me that we were not to drink anything with our food, as the water of this great river began to be salty in this place.  The next day we collected some rainwater, which had fallen into dirty rocks, and drank it with as much enjoyment as they drink the wine of Aï in France.


            They had left our Shallop at anchor in a strong tidal current.  I told them it was not safe, and that it ought to be placed under shelter behind the Island; but, as we were only waiting for a good breeze in order to depart, they did not heed me.  During the night the tempest increased, so that it seemed as if the winds were uprooting our Island.  Our host, foreseeing what might occur, roused the Apostate, and urged him to come and help him save our Shallop, which threatened to go to pieces.  Now either [page 81] this wretch was lazy, or he was afraid of the billows; for he did not even try to get up, giving as his only reason that he was tired.  During this delay, the wind broke the fastening, or cable of the anchor, and in an instant carried away our Shallop.  My host, seeing this fine [222] management, came and said to me, "Nicanis, my well-beloved, the Shallop is lost; the winds, which have loosened it, will break it to pieces against the rocks which surround us on all sides." Who would not have been vexed at that Renegade, whose negligence caused us untold trials, considering that we had a number of packages among our baggage, and several children to carry?  Yet my host, barbarian and savage that he is, was not at all troubled at this accident; but, fearing it might discourage me, he said to me, "Nicanis, my well-beloved, art thou not angry at this loss, which will cause us so many difficulties?" " I am not very happy over it, " I answered.  " Do not be cast down, " he replied, " for anger brings on sadness, and sadness brings sickness.  Petrichtich does not know anything; if he had tried to help me, this misfortune would not have happened." And these were all the reproaches he made.  Truly, it humiliates me that considerations of health should check the anger and vexation of a Barbarian; and that the law of God, his good pleasure, the hope of his great rewards, the fear of his [223] chastisements, our own peace and comfort, cannot check the impatience and anger of a Christian.


            The above misfortune was soon followed by another.  In addition to the Shallop, we had a little bark Canoe, and the tide, rising higher than usual through the force of the wind, robbed us of that; [page 83] and there we were, more than ever prisoners.  I neither saw tears nor heard complaints, not even among the women, upon whose shoulders this disaster fell more particularly, as they are like beasts of burden, usually carrying the baggage of the Savages; on the contrary, everybody began to laugh.


            When morning came, for it was at night when the tempest committed this theft, we all ran along the edge of the river, to learn with our own eyes some news of our poor Shallop and our Canoe.  We saw both of them stranded a long distance from us, the Shallop among the rocks and the Canoe along the edge of the woods of the mainland.  Every one thought they were all in pieces; as soon as the sea had receded, [224] some ran toward the Shallop, and others toward the Canoe.  Wonderful to relate, nothing was harmed; I was amazed, for out of a hundred ships made of wood as hard as bronze, scarcely one would have been saved in those violent blasts of wind, and upon those rocks.


            While the wind held us prisoners in this unhappy Island, a number of our people went to visit some Savages who were five or six leagues from us, so that there only remained in our cabin the women and children, and the Hiroquois.  During the night, a woman who had gone out, returned, terribly frightened, crying out that she had heard the Manitou, or devil.  At once all the camp was in a state of alarm, and every one, filled with fear, maintained a profound silence.  I asked the cause of this fright, for I had not heard what the woman had said; eca titou, eca titou, they told me, Manitou, " Keep still, keep still, it is the devil.  " I began to laugh, and rising to my feet, went out of the cabin; and to reassure them I [page 85] called, in their language, the Manitou, crying in a loud voice that I [225] was not afraid, and that he would not dare come where I was.  Then, having made a few turns in our Island, I reëntered, and said to them, " Do not fear, the devil will not harm you as long as I am with you, for he fears those who believe in God; if you will believe in God, the devil will flee from you." They were greatly astonished, and asked me if I was not afraid of him at all.  I answered, to relieve them of their fears, that I was not afraid of a hundred of them; they began to laugh, and were gradually reassured.  Now seeing that they had thrown some eels in the fire, I asked them the reason for it.  " Keep still, " they replied; " we are giving the devil something to eat, so that he will not harm us."


            My host, upon his return, having learned this story, thanked me very much for giving courage to his people, and asked me if I really had no fear of the Manitou, or devil, and if I knew him very well; as for them, they feared him more than a thunderbolt.  I answered that, if he would believe and obey him who had made all, the Manitou would have no power over him; that for ourselves, being helped by him whom [226] we adored, the devil had more fear of us than we had of him.  He was astonished, and told me that he would be very glad if we knew his language, for you must be aware that we were making each other understand more through our eyes and hands than through our lips.


            I arranged a few prayers in their language, with the help of the Apostate.  Now, as the Sorcerer had not yet come, I repeated them in the morning and before our meals, they themselves reminding me of [page 89] and I would now be saved.  As long as I have any relations, I will never do anything of any account; for when I want to stay with you, my brothers tell me I will rot, always staying in one place, and that is the reason I leave you to follow them." I urged all the reasons and made him all the offers I could to strengthen him; but his brother, the Sorcerer, who will soon be with us, will upset all my plans, for he does whatever he wills with this poor Apostate.


            On the thirtieth day of October, we went away from this unhappy Island, and toward nightfall disembarked at another Island which bears a name almost as big as it is, for it is not half a league in circumference; and this is what our Savages tell me it is called, Ca pacoucachtechokhi chachagou achiganikhi, Ca pakhitaouananiouikhi; I believe they forge these names upon the spot.  This Island is nothing but a big and frightful rock; as there was no spring of fresh water, we had to [129 i.e., 229] drink very dirty rainwater that we collected in the bogs and upon the rocks.  The sail of our shallop was thrown over some poles, on our arrival at this place, and this formed our shelter; our beds were white and green, I mean there were so few pine branches under us that in several places we touched the snow, which three days before had begun to cover the earth with a white mantle.


            We found here the cabin of a Savage, named Ekhennabamate, whom our host was seeking.  He learned from him that his brother, the Sorcerer, had passed, a short time before; and that, having the wind against him, he had not gone far.  He did not wait until broad daylight to follow him; his Canoe, paddled by three men, went like the wind; and, in [page 91] short, on the first of November, a beautiful day, dedicated to the memory of all the Saints, he brought back this Demon, I mean the Sorcerer.  I was very much surprised when I saw him, for I was not expecting him, imagining that my host had gone hunting; would that he had, and that this miserable prey [230] had escaped from his hands.


            As soon as he came, there was nothing but feasting in our cabins; we had only a little food left, but these Barbarians ate it with as much calmness and confidence as if the game they were to hunt was shut up in a stable.


            One day, when my host had a feast in his turn, the guests made me a sign that I should make them a speech in their language, as they wanted to laugh; for I pronounce the Savage as a German pronounces French.  Wishing to please them, I began to talk, and they burst out laughing, well pleased to make sport of me, while I was very glad to learn to talk.  I said to them in conclusion that I was a child, and that children made their fathers laugh with their stammering; but in a few years I would become large, and then, when I knew their language, I would make them see that they themselves were children in many things, ignorant of the great truths of which I would speak to them.  Suddenly I asked them if the Moon was [231] located as high as the Stars, if it was in the same Sky; where the Sun went when it left us; what was the form of the earth. (If I knew their language perfectly I would always propose some natural truth, before speaking to them of the points of our belief; for I have observed that these curious things make them more attentive.) Not to let me wander from my speech, one of them [page 93] beginning to speak, after having frankly confessed that they could not answer these questions, said to me: " But how canst thou thyself know these things, since we do not know them?  " I immediately drew out a little compass that I had in my pocket, opened it, and, placing it in his hand, said to him, We are now in the darkness of night, the Sun no longer shines for us; tell me now, while you look at what I have given you, in what part of the world it is; show me the place where it must rise to-morrow, where it will set, where it will be at noon; point out the places in the Sky where it will never be." My man answered with his eyes, staring at me without saying a word.  I took the compass and explained[232] to him with a few words all that I had just asked about, adding, "Well, how is it that I can know these things and you do not know them?  I have still other greater truths to tell you when I can talk."  "Thou art intelligent, " they responded; " thou wilt soon know our language.  " But they were mistaken.  What I write in this journal has no other order except that of time, and hence I shall frequently be telling cock-and-bull stories, as the saying is; that is, I shall pass from one observation to another which has no connection with it, time alone serving as a link to the parts of my discourse.


            As the bow and arrow seem to be weapons invented by Nature, since all the Nations of the earth have made use of them, so you might say there are certain little games that children find out for themselves without being taught.  The little Savages play at hide-and-seek as well as the little French children.  They have a number of other childish sports that I have noticed in our Europe; among others, I have [page 95] seen the little Parisians [233] throw a musket ball into the air and catch it with a little bat scooped out; the little montagnard Savages do the same, using a little bunch of Pine sticks, which they receive or throw into the air on the end of a pointed stick.  The little Hiroquois have the same pastime, throwing a bone with a hole in it, which they interlace in the air with another little bone.  I was told this by a young man of that nation as we were watching the montagnard children play.


            My Savage and the Sorcerer, his brother, having learned that there were a great many Montagnais near the place where they wished to pass the winter, decided to turn Northward, lest we should starve each other.  They decided to go to the place where my host and the Renegade had promised me they would go; but we had scarcely made three leagues in crossing the great river, when we met four canoes which turned us back to the South, saying the hunting was not good up North.  So I was obliged to remain with the sorcerer, and to winter beyond the great river, in spite of all I could [234] urge to the contrary.  I realized well the dangers into which they were throwing me, but I saw no other remedy than to trust in God and leave all to him.

            As soon as these new Savages, who had come in the four canoes, had landed, my host made them a banquet of smoked eels, for we were already out of bread.  Hardly had these guests returned to their cabin, when they made a feast of peas which they had bought in passing through Kebec.  But that you may understand the excesses of these people, [I will add that] in emerging from this banquet, they went to a third, prepared by the sorcerer, composed of eels, [page 97] and of the flour I had given to my host.  This man gave me a hearty invitation to be one of the party.  He had made a little apartment in our cabin with skins and blankets, and all the guests entered this place.  They gave me my share in a little bark plate; but, as I was not altogether accustomed to eating their mixtures, so dirty and insipid, after having tasted it, I wanted to give the rest to one of the relations of my host; [235] but they immediately cried out, Khita, Khita,  "Eat all, eat all," acoumagouchan,  "It is an eat-all feast." I began to laugh, and told them they were playing a game of "burst themselves open," seeing they had already had two feasts, and were making a third at which nothing was to be left.  My host, hearing me, said, "What art thou saying, Nicanis?"  "I am saying that I cannot eat all.  "Give it to me," he answered,  "give me thy plate, I will help thee." Having presented it to him, he gulped down all it contained in two swallows, thrusting out a tongue as long as your hand to lick the bottom and sides, so that nothing might remain.


            When they were full almost to bursting, the Sorcerer took his drum and invited everyone to sing.  The best singer was the one who howled the loudest.  At the end of this uproar, seeing that they were in a very good humor, I asked permission to talk.  This being granted, I began to affirm the affection I had for them, " You see, " I said, " what love I bear you; I have not only left my own country, which is beautiful and very pleasant, to come into your [236] snows and vast woods, but I have also left the little house we have in your lands, to follow you and learn your language.  I cherish you more than my brothers, since I have left them for love of you; it is he [page 99] who has made all who has given me this affection for you, it is he who created the first man from whom we have all descended; hence see how it is that, as we have the same father, we are all brothers, and ought all to acknowledge the same Lord and the same Captain; we ought all to believe in him, and obey his will." The Sorcerer, stopping me, said in a loud voice, "When I see him, I will believe in him, and not until then.  How believe in him whom we do not see?" I answered him: "When thou tellest me that thy father or one of thy friends has said something, I believe what he has said, supposing that he is not a liar, and yet I have never seen thy father; also, thou believest that there is a Manitou, and thou hast never seen him.  Thou believest that there are Khichicouakhi, or Spirits of light, and thou hast not seen them." "Others have seen them, "he answered.  "Thou couldst not tell, " said I, [237] "neither when, nor how, nor in what way, nor in what place they were seen; and I, I can tell thee the names of those who have seen the Son of God upon earth,—when they saw him, and in what place; what they have done, and in what countries they have been.  Thy God," he replied, "has not come to our country, and that is why we do not believe in him; make me see him and I will believe in him." "Listen to me and thou wilt see him," said I. " We have two kinds of sight, the sight of the eyes of the body, and the sight of the eyes of the soul.  What thou seest with the eyes of the soul may be just as true as what thou seest with the eyes of the body.  No, " said he, " I see nothing except with the eyes of the body, save in sleeping, and thou dost not approve our dreams." "Hear me to the end,"  I said.  "When thou passest [page 101] a deserted cabin, and seest yet standing the circle of poles, and the floor of the cabin covered with Pine twigs, when thou sets the hearth still smoking, is it not true that thou knowest positively, and that thou sets clearly, that Savages have been there, and that these poles and all the [238] rest of the things that you leave when you break camp, are not brought together by chance?  Yes, " he answered.  " Now I say the same.  When thou sets the beauty and grandeur of this world,—how the Sun incessantly turns round without stopping, how the seasons follow each other in their time, and how perfectly all the Stars maintain their order,—thou sets clearly that men have not made these wonders, and that they do not govern them; hence there must be some one more noble than men, who has built and who rules this grand mansion.  Now it is he whom we call God, who sees all things, and whom we do not see; but we shall see him after death, and we shall be forever happy with him, if we love and obey him." "Thou dost not know what thou art talking about," he answered, "learn to talk and we will listen to thee."


            Thereupon I asked the Apostate to enumerate my reasons and to explain them in the Savage tongue, for I saw that they were very attentive; but this miserable.  Renegade, fearing to displease his brother, would not even open his mouth.  I begged him,[2391 I conjured him with all gentleness; finally I spoke harshly, and threatened him in the name of God, insisting that he would be responsible for the soul of the wife of his brother, the Sorcerer, who I perceived was very sick, and for whose sake I had begun this discourse, hoping that if the Savages approved of my explanations, they would readily allow me to instruct [page 103] her.  This heart of bronze melted neither at my prayers nor at my threats.  I pray God that he may be merciful to him.  My host, seeing me speaking earnestly to him, said, "Nicanis, do not get angry; in time thou wilt speak as we do, and thou wilt teach us what thou knowest, we will listen to thee more willingly than to this stubborn fellow who has no sense and in whom we have no faith." These were the eulogies he passed upon the Renegade.  I replied to him that, if this woman were well, I would feel consoled; but that she was going to die in a few days, and her soul, not knowing God, would be lost; if his brother wished to lend me his tongue I would instruct her in a little while.  His answer was that I should leave him alone, for I knew very well that he was [240] a blockhead.  In conclusion, they pronounced the words which ended the feast, and we all withdrew; I very sad at seeing this soul lost in my presence, without being able to help it.  For the Sorcerer having begun to lift the mask, and the Apostate to refuse me his consideration, all the hopes I had of helping this sick woman, and of teaching the others, commenced to vanish.  I have often wished that a Saint were in my place, to act the Saint; small souls cry out a great deal, and do very little, but one must be content with one's own insignificance.  Let us continue our voyage.


            On the twelfth of November we at last began to go into the country, leaving our Shallops and Canoes, and some other baggage, in the Island with the long name, which we left at low tide, crossing the meadow which separated us from the mainland.  Up to this time we had journeyed through a country where fish abound, always upon the water or on Islands. [page 105] From this time on, we were going to invade the Kingdom of wild beasts, I mean a country far broader in extent than all France.


            [241] The Savages pass the winter in these woods, ranging here and there to get their living.  In the early snows, they seek the Beaver in the small rivers, and Porcupines upon the land; when the deep snows come, they hunt the Moose and Caribou, as I have said.


            We made in these vast forests, from the 12th of November of the year 1633, when we entered them, to the 22nd of April of this year 1634, when we returned to the banks of the great river saint Lawrence, twenty-three halts,—sometimes in deep valleys, then upon lofty mountains, sometimes in the low flat country; and always in the snow.  These forests where I was are made up of different kinds of trees, especially of Pines, Cedars and Firs.  We crossed many torrents of water, some rivers, several beautiful lakes and ponds, walking upon the ice.  But let us come down to particulars, and say a few words about each station.  My fear of becoming tedious will cause me to omit many things that I have considered trifling, [242] although they might throw some light upon these memoirs.


            Upon our entrance into these regions, there were three cabins in our company,—nineteen persons being in ours, sixteen in the cabin of the Savage named Ekhennabamate, and ten in that of the newcomers.  This does not include the Savages who were encamped a few leagues away from us.  We were in all forty-five persons, who were to be kept alive on what it should please the holy Providence of the good God to send us, for our provisions were altogether getting very low. [page 107]


            This is the order we followed in breaking up our camps, in tramping over the country and in erecting our tents and pavilions.  When our people saw that there was no longer any game within three or four leagues of us, a Savage, who was best acquainted with the way to the place where we were going, cried out in a loud voice, one fine day outside the cabin, " Listen, men, I am going to mark the way for breaking camp to-morrow at daybreak." He took a hatchet and marked some trees which [2431 guided us. They do not mark the way except in the beginning of winter; for, when all the rivers and torrents are frozen, and the snow is deep, they do not take this trouble.


            When there are a number of things to be carried, as often happens when they have killed a great many Elk, the women go ahead, and carry a part of them to the place where they are to camp the following day.  When the snow is deep, they make sledges of wood which splits, and which can be peeled off like leaves in very thin, long strips.  These sledges are very narrow, because they have to be dragged among masses of trees closely crowded in some places; but, to make up for this, they are very long.  One day, seeing that of my host standing against a tree, I could scarcely reach to the middle of it, stretching out my arm as far as I could.  They fasten their baggage upon these, and, with a cord which they pass over their chests, they drag these wheel-less chariots over the snow.


            But not to wander farther from my subject, as soon as it is day each one prepares to break camp.  They begin [244] by having breakfast, if there is any; for sometimes they depart without breakfasting, [page 109] continue on their way without dining, and go to bed without supping.  Each one arranges his own baggage, as best he can; and the women strike the cabin, to remove the ice and snow from the bark, which they roll up in a bundle.  The baggage being packed, they throw it upon their backs or loins in long bundles, which they hold with a cord that passes over their foreheads, beneath which they place a piece of bark so that it will not hurt them.  When every one is loaded, they mount their snowshoes, which are bound to the feet so that they will not sink into the snow; and then they march over plain and mountain, making the little ones go on ahead, who start early, and often do not arrive until quite late.  These little ones have their load, or their sledge, to accustom them early to fatigue; and they try to stimulate them to see who will carry or drag the most.  To paint to you the hardships of the way, I have neither pen nor brush that could do it; they must be experience in order to be appreciate , and [245] this dish must be tried to know how it tastes.  We did nothing but go up and go down; frequently we had to bend halfway over, to pass under partly-fallen trees, and step over others lying upon the ground whose branches sometimes knocked us over, gently enough to be sure, but always coldly, for we fell upon the snow.  If it happened to thaw, Oh God, what suffering!  It seemed to me I was walking over a road of glass, which broke under my feet at every step.  The frozen snow, beginning to melt, would fall and break into blocks or big pieces, into which we often sank up to our knees, and sometimes to our waists.  If there was pain in falling, there was still more in pulling ourselves out, for our raquettes were loaded with [page 111] snow, and became so heavy that, when we tried to draw them out, it seemed as if somebody were tugging at our legs to dismember us.  I have seen some who slid so far under the logs buried in the snow, that they could not pull out either their legs or their snowshoes without help.  Now imagine [246] a person loaded like a mule, and judge how easy is the life of the Savage.


            In the discomforts of a journey in France, villages are found where one can refresh and fortify one's self; but the inns that we encountered and where we drank, were only brooks; we even had to break the ice in order to get some water.  It is true that we did not make long stages, which would indeed have been absolutely impossible for us.


            When we reached the place where we were to encamp, the women went to cut the poles for the cabin, and the men to clear away the snow, as I have stated more fully in the preceding Chapter.  Now a person had to work at this building, or shiver with cold for three long hours upon the snow, waiting until it was finished.  Sometimes I put my hand to the work to warm myself, but usually I was so frozen that fire alone could thaw me.  The Savages were surprised at this, for they often sweat under the work.  Assuring them now and then that I was very [247] cold, they would say to me, " Give us thy hands that we may see if thou tellest the truth;" and, finding them quite frozen, touched with compassion, they gave me their warm mittens and took my cold ones.  This went so far, that my host, after having tried it several times, said to me, "Nicanis, do not winter any more with the Savages, for they will kill thee." I think he meant that I would fall ill, and, as I could [page 113] not be dragged along with the baggage, they would kill me; I began to laugh, and told him that he was trying to frighten me.


            The cabin finished, either toward nightfall or a little before, they began to talk about dinner and supper all in one, for as we had departed in the morning after having eaten a small morsel, we had to have patience to reach our destination and to wait until the hotel was erected, in order to lodge and eat there.  But, unfortunately, on this particular day, our people did not usually go hunting; and so it was for us a day of fasting as well as a day of work.  We have delayed long enough, let us come to our station.


            We left the banks of the great river on the 12th of November, as I have [248] said, and pitched our camp near a torrent, traveling in the way I have just described, each one carrying his pack.  All the Savages made sport of me because I was not a good pack horse, being satisfied to carry my cloak, which was heavy enough; a small bag in which I kept my little necessaries; and their sneers, which were not as heavy as my body; and this was my load.  My host and the Apostate carried upon poles, crossed in the form of a stretcher, the wife of the Sorcerer, who was very sick; they placed her on the snow, while waiting for the cabin to be made, and there she passed more than three hours without fire, and did not once complain nor show any sign of impatience.  I was more troubled about her than she was about herself, for I often appealed to them to make at least a little fire near her; but the answer was that she would get warm when the cabin was made.  These savages are hardened to such sufferings; they expect if they fall sick to be paid in the same coin.  We sojourned three [page 115] days at this station; and the following [249] are some of the things I noted down in my memoirs during this time.


            It was here that the Savages consulted their genii of light, in the manner I have described in Chapter four.  Now as I had always shown my amusement at this superstition, and on all possible occasions had made them see that the mysteries of the Sorcerer were nothing but child's play,—endeavoring to carry off his flock so that, in time, I might deliver them up to him who had bought them with his blood,—this unscrupulous man, the day afterward, went through with the performance I am going to describe.


            My host having invited all the neighboring Savages to the feast, when they had come and seated themselves around the fire and the kettle, waiting for the banquet to be opened, lo, the Sorcerer, who had been lying down opposite me, suddenly arose, not yet having uttered a word since the arrival of the guests.  He seemed to be in an awful fury, and threw himself upon one of the poles of the cabin to tear it out; he broke it in two, rolled his eyes around in his head, looked here and there like a man out of his senses, then facing those [250] present, he said to them, Iriniticou nama Nitirinisin, " Oh, men, I have lost my mind, I do not know where I am; take the hatchets and javelins away from me, for I am out of my senses." At these words all the Savages lowered their eyes to the ground, and I raised mine to heaven, whence I expected help,—imagining that this man was acting the madman in order to 'Lake revenge on me, to take my life or at least to frighten [page 117] me, so that he could reproach me afterwards that my God had failed me in time of need, and to proclaim among his people, that I, who had so often testified that I did not fear their Manitou, who makes them tremble, had turned pale before a man.  So far was I from being seized by fear which, in the dangers of a natural death, makes me shrink within myself, that, on the contrary, I faced this furious man with as much assurance as if I had had an army at my side, reflecting that the God whom I adored could bind the arms of fools and madmen as well as those of demons; that besides, if his Majesty wished to open to me the portals of death by the hands of a man who was acting the devil, [251] his Providence was always loving and kind.  This Thraso [braggart], redoubling his furies, did a thousand foolish acts of a lunatic or of one bewitched; sometimes he would cry out at the top of his voice, and then would suddenly stop short, as if frightened; he pretended to cry, and then burst into laughter like a wanton devil; he sang without rules and without measure, he hissed like a serpent, he howled like a wolf, or like a dog, he screeched like an owl or a night hawk,—rolling his eyes about in his head and striking a thousand attitudes, always seeming to be looking for something to throw.  I was expecting every moment he would tear up one of the poles with which to strike me down, or that he would throw himself upon me; but in order to show him that I was not at all astonished at these devilish acts, I continued, in my usual way, to read, write and say my little prayers; and when my hour for retiring came, I lay down and rested as peacefully through his orgies, as I would have done [page 119] in a profound silence; I was already as accustomed to go to sleep in the midst of his cries and the sound of his [252] drum, as a child is to the songs of its nurse.


            The next evening, at the same hour he seemed disposed to enter into the same infuriated state, and to again alarm the camp, saying that he was losing his mind.  Seeing him already half-mad, it occurred to me that he might be suffering from some violent fever; I went up to him and took hold of his arm to feel the artery; he gave me a frightful look, seeming to be astonished, and acting as if I had brought him news from the other world, rolling his eyes here and there like one possessed.  Having touched his pulse and forehead, I found him as cool as a fish, and far from fever as I was from France.  This confirmed me in my suspicion that he was acting the madman to frighten me, and to draw down upon himself the compassion of all our people, who in our dearth, were giving him the best they had.


            On the 20th of the same month of November, finding no more Beavers and Porcupines in our quarter, we resumed our journey, this being our second station.  The Sorcerer's wife was carried [253] upon a stretcher, and they placed her, as I have already said, upon the snow until our palace was erected.  Meanwhile I approached her, showing how greatly I sympathized with her; already for some days I had been trying to gain her affection, that she might more willingly listen to me; I knew that she could not live long, as she was like a skeleton, hardly having strength enough to talk.  When she called some one in the night, I arose and awoke him, I made fires for [page 121] her, I asked her if she was in need of anything; she had me do little things for her, such as closing the door, or stopping up a hole in the cabin which annoyed her.  After these little conversations and acts of charity, I approached and asked her if she did not want to believe in him who has made all, so that her soul after death would be blest.  At first she answered that she had not seen God, and that I should make her see him, otherwise she could not believe in him.  She got this answer from the lips of her husband.  I told her that she [254] believed in a great many thin s she had not seen, and besides, her soul would be burned through eternity if she did not obey him who has made all.  She softened, little by little, and testified to me that she wished to obey him.  I did not dare confer with her long, and only at intervals, for those who saw me would cry out that I should leave her alone.


            Toward evening, when we were all in our new cabin, I approached and called her by name.  She never would talk with me in the presence of the others.  I begged the Sorcerer to tell her to answer me, and to help me teach her, showing him that nothing but good could come of this action.  He would not answer me any more than the invalid.  I addressed the Apostate, urging him with very humble prayers to lend me his voice, but no answer; I return to the sick woman, I call her by name, I speak to her, I ask her if she does not wish to go to Heaven; to all this not a word.  I again beg her husband, the Sorcerer; I promise him a shirt and some tobacco, if he will tell his wife to listen to me.  " How canst thou ask us, " he said, " to [255] believe in thy God, [page 123] never having seen him?" " I have already answered that question for thee," I returned; "this is no time to argue, this soul is going to be forever lost if thou dost not have pity.  Thou seest well that he who has made the Heavens for thee, wishes to give thee greater blessings than to go about eating bark in a village which never existed; but he will also severely punish thee if thou dost not believe in him and obey him.' Not being able to draw any answer from this miserable man, I again urged the sick woman.  My host, hearing me call her by name, chided me, saying, "Keep still, do not name her; she is already dead, her soul is no longer in her body." It is a great truth that no one goes to Jesus Christ until the father extends to him the hand.  How wonderful a gift is this faith!  When these simple Barbarians see that a poor invalid no longer speaks, or that he has fainted, or been seized by a frenzy, they say that the spirit is no longer in the body; and, if the invalid returns to his senses, it is the spirit which has returned.  Finally, when he is dead, they must no longer speak of him, nor name him in any way.  To finish this story, [256] I had to retire without accomplishing anything.


            They took counsel in this place as to what they should do to get something to eat.  We were already reduced to such extremities that I made a good meal on a skin of smoked eel, which a few days before I had thrown to the dogs.  Here two incidents occurred which touched my heart.  Once when I threw a bone or remnant of an eel to the clogs, a little boy, more nimble than they, threw himself upon the bone, and gnawed and bit into it.  Another time, a child [page 125] having asked for something to eat, when he was told there was nothing at all, the poor little fellow's eyes filled, and tears as big as peas rolled down his cheeks, and his sighs and sobs filled me with pity, although he tried to suppress them.  One lesson they teach their children is to be brave in time of famine.


            On the 28th of the same month, we broke camp for the third time.  It was snowing hard; but, with necessity urging us on, the bad weather could not stop us. I was surprised, in this third halt, not to see them bring the invalid; but I did not dare ask what [257] had become of her, for they do not want any one to mention the dead.  In the evening, I went to the Renegade, and asked him in French where this poor woman was,—if he had not killed her, seeing her about to die, as he had once before killed with blows from a club a poor girl who was on the point of death, which he himself had related to our French.  "No," said he, " I have not killed her.  Who has then," said I, "is it the young Hiroquois?" "No, no," he answered, "for he went away very early this morning." "It is then my host, or the Sorcerer her husband, for she was still able to talk when I left the cabin this morning.  " He bowed his head, admitting tacitly that one of them had put her to death.  But, since then, an old man has told me that she died a natural death a little while after I departed.  I am unable to say which is correct; but, at all events, as she refused to recognize the Son of God as her Shepherd during her life, it is no more than probable that he refused to recognize her as one of his flock after death.


            Up to the present I have observed three kinds of [page 127] natural medicines among the [258] Savages.  One of these is their sweat-box, of which I have spoken above; the second consists in making a slight gash in the part of the body where the pain is, covering it with blood which they make issue from these cuts quite abundantly.  They once made use of my pen-knife to cut the head of a child ten days old.  The third of these medicines is composed of the scrapings of the inside bark of the birch, at least it seems to be this tree.  They boil these scrapings in water, which they afterwards drink to make them vomit.  They often wanted me to drink this potion when I was sick, but I did not think it would agree with me.


            On the day of saint François Xavier, our pretended Magician began in the evening to beat his drum and to utter his howls as usual; for he did not fail to give us this entertainment every night at our first sleep.  I saw that every one was asleep, and, knowing that this poor man made all this racket in order to cure himself, I entered into conversation with him.  I began by expressing a great deal of affection [259] for him, and by heaping praises upon him, as bait to draw him into the nets of truth.  I made him understand that if a mind as capable of great things as his was, should know God, that all the Savages, influenced by his example, would like to know him also.  He immediately began to soar, and to talk about the power, the authority, and the influence he had over the minds of his fellow-savages.  He said that since his youth they had given him the name, Khimouchouminau, meaning, " our sire and our master; " that everything was done according to his opinion, and that they all followed his advice.  I helped in this [page 129] self-praise as well as I could, for he has indeed some good qualities for a Savage.  I finally told him that I was surprised that a man of judgment could not realize that there was little connection between this uproar and health.  "When thou hast screamed and beaten thy drum with all thy might, what good does it do except to make thy head dizzy?  No Savage is sick, whose ears they do not deafen with this drum, to keep him from dying; yet hast thou ever seen it dispel death?  I am going to make a proposal [260] to thee, listen to me patiently, " I said to him.  " Beat thy drum for ten days, sing and make all the others sing as much as thou wilt, do all thou canst to recover thy health, and if thou art not cured in that time confess that thy din, howls and songs cannot restore thee to health.  Now abstain ten more days from all these superstitions; give up thy drum, and all these wild noises; ask of the God whom I adore that he give thee knowledge of himself; reflect, and believe that thy soul must pass to a life other than this; endeavor to interest thyself in its welfare as thou dost in the welfare of thy body ; and when thou shalt have passed these last ten days in this way, I will withdraw for three days to pray in a little cabin that shall be made farther back in the woods.  There I will pray my God to give thee health of body and of soul; thou alone shalt come to see me at the time I shall indicate, and thou shalt say with all thy heart the prayers I will teach thee—promising God that, if it pleases him to restore thee thy health, thou wilt call together all the Savages of the place, and in [261] their presence thou wilt burn thy drum and all the other silly stuff that thou usest to bring them together, saying [page 131] to them that the God of the Christians is the true God, that they must believe in him and obey him.  If thou promise this truthfully and from thy heart, I hope that thou wilt be delivered from thy disease, for my God is all-powerful.


            Now as this man is very desirous of recovering his health, he opened his ears, and said to me, " Thy discourse is very good, I accept the conditions that thou givest; but thou begin first, go away and pray, and tell thy God to cure me, for with that we must begin; then I will do all that thou hast prescribed for me. I shall not begin it, " I replied to him, " for if thou get back thy health while I would be praying, thou wouldst be attributing thy recovery to thy drum, which thou wouldst not have given up, and not to the God whom I adore, who alone can cure thee."  "No," he replied, " I shall not think it has come from my drum; I have sung and have done all I could, yet I have not been able to save the life of one man; I myself am sick, and to cure myself have made use of all [262] the resources of my art; and behold I am worse than ever.  I have used all my inventions to save the lives of my children, especially of the last one who died only a short time ago, and to save my wife, who has just passed away, yet all this has not succeeded; so if thou curest me I shall not attribute my health to my drum nor to my songs.  I answered him that I could not cure him, but that my God could do all, and besides we must not make bargains with him, nor prescribe to him the conditions upon which he was to act, saying, " Let him cure me first, and then I will believe in him."  "Prepare thyself," I continued, on thy part, and his [page 133] goodness will not fail thee; for, if he does not give thee health of the body, he will give thee health of the soul, which is of incomparably higher value."  "Do not speak to me about the soul," he replied, "that is something that I give myself no anxiety about; it is this (showing his flesh) that I love, it is the body I cherish; as to the soul, I do not see it, let happen to it what will."  "Hast thou any reason?" I asked, "thou speakest like a brute, dogs love only their bodies; he who has made the Sun [263] to shine upon thee, has he not prepared something better for thy soul than for the soul of a dog?  If thou lovest only the body, thou wilt lose both thy body and thy soul.  If a brute could talk, it would talk about nothing but its body and its flesh; hast thou nothing above the brute, which is made to serve thee?  Dost thou love only flesh and blood?  Thy soul, is it only the soul of a dog, that thou dost treat it with such contempt?  Perhaps thou sayest truly, he replied, "and there is something good in the other life; but we here in this country know nothing about it. If thou restorest my health, I will do what thou wishest.  " This poor wretch is never able to raise his thoughts above earth.  Seeing then no inclination in this haughty spirit, who thought he was obliging God by believing in him, I gave him up for the time being, and retired to rest, for it was well along into the night.


            On the 3rd of December we began our fourth station, having broken camp without trumpets, but not without drums, for the Sorcerer never forgot his.  We pitched our camp near a broad and rapid, [264] but rather shallow river, which they called Ca pititetchiouetz; [page 135] it flows into the great river Saint Lawrence, almost opposite Tadoussac.  Our Savages, having no food for a feast here, made a banquet of smoke; each inviting the others to his cabin, they passed around a little earthen plate containing Tobacco, it and every one took a pipeful, which he reduced to smoke, returning his hand to the dish if he wanted to smoke any more.  The fondness they have for this herb is beyond all belief.  They go to sleep with their reed pipes in their mouths, they sometimes get up in the night to smoke; they often stop in their journeys for the same purpose, and it is the first thing they do when they reënter their cabins.  I have lighted tinder, so as to allow them to smoke while paddling a canoe; I have often seen them gnaw the stems of their pipes when they had no more tobacco, I have seen them scrape and pulverize a wooden pipe to smoke it.  Let us say with compassion that they pass their lives in smoke, and at death fall into the fire.


            [265] I brought some tobacco with me, but not for myself, as I do not use it.  I have given liberally, according to my store, to several Savages, saving some to draw from the Apostate a few words of his language, for he would not say a word if I did not pay him with this money.  When our people had consumed what I had given them, and what they had of their own, I had no more peace.  The Sorcerer was so annoying in his demands for it, that I could not endure him; and all the others acted as if they wanted to eat me, when I refused them.  In vain I told them that they had no consideration, that I had given them more than three times as much as I had [page 137] reserved for myself.  "You see," I said to them, that I love your language and that I must buy it with this money, for if it is lacking no one will teach me a word; you see if I have to have a glass of water, I must go a long way to get it, or I must give a bit of tobacco to a child to get it for me; you tell me that tobacco satisfies hunger; if the famine which now presses us continues, I wish [266] to experiment with it, so leave me the little I have in reserve.  It was impossible to resist their teasing, and I had to draw out the last bit, not without astonishment at seeing people so passionately fond of smoke.


            On the sixth of the same month we broke camp for the fifth time.  I had a mishap at our departure, for, instead of taking the right road, I started upon another that had been well beaten down by our hunters, and so I went some distance without perceiving that I was lost.  After a long stage, I observed that the way divided into five or six others, which led in several directions.  So I was brought to a standstill.  There was a little child who had followed me, and whom I did not dare to leave, for it would at once begin to cry.  I followed first one and then another of these paths; and seeing that they wound here and there, and that they were marked by only one kind of snowshoe, I concluded that these ways did not lead to the place where my Savages were going to encamp.  I did not know what to do with the little boy; for, having found out our mistake, he did not dare [267] lose me out of his sight without going into spasms; and besides, as he was only about six years old, he could not keep up with me as I increased my speed.  I decided to leave him [page 139] my cloak, to show that I intended to return, if I found the right way, making him a sign that he should wait, for we did not understand each other.  So I threw my cloak upon the snow, and retraced my steps, crying out from time to time to make myself heard by our people, in case the right road was not far away from me.  I shout and halloo in these great forests, but no one answers; the silence is profound, for even the trees do not rustle, as there is no wind.  The cold was so severe that I was sure I would die during the night, if I had to pass it upon the snow, having neither axe nor tinder with which to make a fire.  I go, I come, I turn on all sides; but I find nothing which does not confuse me still more.  The last thing that a man abandons is hope; I continued to hold on to it by the little end, imagining every moment that I was going to find my way; but at last, after [268] many windings, seeing that human beings could give me no help, I stopped in order to offer my little prayers to the Creator, with whom I saw these great woods all filled as well as the rest of the world.  The thought came into my mind that I was not, lost, since God knew where I was; and, turning over this truth in my mind, I slowly approached the river I had crossed on leaving the cabin. I cried out, I called again, but everybody was already far away.  I was beginning to loosen my hold upon the little thread of hope that I had held up to that time, when I perceived some snowshoe tracks behind the brushwood.  I betook myself thither, et vidi vestigia virorum, et mulierum et infantium.  In a word, I found what I had so long been seeking.  At first I was not sure this was a [page 141] good road, hence I reconnoitered it very carefully. When I had advanced some distance, I met the Apostate, who was coming in search of us.  He asked me where the little child was; and I replied that I had left it [269] near my cloak.  "I have found your cloak," he said, "and have carried it to the new cabin; but I have not found the child." This was a great shock to me; to go in search of it would be to lose myself a second time.  I prayed the Apostate to go, but he turned a deaf ear to my entreaties.  I started directly for the cabin, to advise them of the matter, and finally reached it, sore all over and bruised from the hardships and length of the journey, which I had made without finding other hostelry than the frozen brooks.  As soon as the Savages saw me, they asked where the little boy was, crying out that I had lost him.  I told them the story, assuring them that I had left my cloak with him purposely, that I might go back and find him; but, as he had left that place, I did not know where to look for him, especially as I had no more strength left, having eaten nothing since early morning, and then only two or three mouthfuls of smoked meat.  They comforted me with a little frozen water, which I melted in a very dirty kettle, and this was all the supper I had: for our hunters had not taken anything, so we had to fast that day. [270] As to the child, two women having heard me describe the place where I had left it, guessing where it had wandered, went in search of and found it.  You must not be astonished if a Frenchman sometimes loses himself in these forests; for I have known some of our cleverest Savages to wander about in them more than a whole day. [page 143]


            On the 20th of December, although the Savages do not usually take the road in bad weather, yet we had to break up during the storm, and move away quietly without any breakfast, for hunger drove us onward; the trouble is it followed us everywhere we went, for we found no game anywhere, or at least very little of it. At this station, which was the sixth, the Renegade came to tell me that the Savages were greatly terrified; and my host, addressing me seriously, asked if I did not know some remedy for their misfortune.  "There is not," said he, "enough snow to kill Moose, Beavers, and Porcupines; we find almost no game; what shall we do?  Dost thou not know what may happen to us?  Dost thou not see within thyself what [271] ought to be done?" I wanted to tell him that our God was very good and very powerful, and we ought to have recourse to his mercy; but as I did not speak well, I begged the Apostate to be my interpreter, but this wretch is possessed of a mute devil, he never wants to talk.


            On the 24th of December, the evening before the birth of our Savior, we broke up for the seventh time.  We departed without eating, and journeyed for a long, long time, then worked at house-building; and for our supper Our Lord gave us a Porcupine as large as a sucking pig, and a hare.  It was not much for our eighteen or twenty people, it is true; but the holy Virgin and her glorious Spouse, saint Joseph, were not so well treated on the same day in the stable at Bethle[h]em.


            The next day, a day of rejoicing among Christians on account of the newborn child, was for us a day of fasting.  I was given nothing at all to cat.  Hunger [page 145], which makes the wolf come out of the woods, made me go farther in to seek [272] the little ends of the trees, which I ate with delight.  Some women, having thrown to the dogs, either unintentionally or otherwise, some bits of hide from which they make the strings for their snowshoes, I gathered them up and made a good dinner of them; although the dogs themselves, when they have ever so little else to eat, will not touch them.  I have often eaten, especially during that month, scrapings of bark, bits of leather, and similar things, and yet they have never made me ill.


            In the evening of this same Christmas day I went to visit our neighbors.  We were now only two cabins, as the Savage Ekhenneabamate had gone off in another direction five or six days before, because there had not been enough game for all of us.  I found there two young hunters, in deep distress at not having captured anything that day, nor the one before.  They were like all the others, wasted and thin, silent and very sad, like people who parted with life regretfully.  It made my heart bleed to see them.  After having said a few words of consolation, and cheered them with the [273] hope of better things, I withdrew into my cabin to pray to God.  The Apostate asked me what day it was.  "To-day is the Christmas festival," I answered him.  He was slightly touched, and, turning toward the Sorcerer, said that on this day was born the Son of God, called Jesus, whom we adored.  Observing that he showed some wonder, I told him that God was generally very bountiful on these days; and, if we had recourse to him, he would surely help us.  To this there was not [page 147] a word, neither was there any opposition.  So seizing the opportunity, I begged him to translate for me two little Prayers into his language, and I would say one of them and the Savages the other.  Hoping that we would be succored, the extremity to which we were reduced made him grant, in pure recklessness, what I asked.  I immediately composed two little prayers, which he turned into Savage, promising me besides that he would serve me as interpreter if I would call the Savages together, so I was very happy.  I commended the matter to Our Lord and the next morning I erected a little Oratory.  I hung to the [274] poles of the cabin a napkin I had brought with me; to this I attached a small Crucifix and a Reliquary that two very Religious persons had sent me, also I took from my Breviary one of the Pictures.  When this was done, I had all the Savages from our two cabins called, and made them understand, partly through my stammering and partly through the lips of the Renegade, whom the fear of dying from hunger made speak, that it depended upon them alone whether or not they should be relieved.  I told them that our God was goodness itself, that nothing was impossible to him; that even though a person had despised him, yet if he believed in him and hoped in him with a sincere heart, he would show himself favorable.  Now as these poor people had no more hope in their bows or arrows, they showed much gladness that I had thus called them together, assuring me they would do all I commanded them.  I took my paper and read to them the Prayer I wished them to offer, asking if they were content to address to the God whom I adored these prayers from their hearts, and [page 149] without dissimulation.  They all [275] responded, nimiroueritenan, nimiroueritenan, "We are satisfied, we are satisfied." I knelt down first and the others followed, fixing our eyes upon our little Oratory.  The Sorcerer alone remained seated; but, when I asked him if he did not wish to be like the others, he did as he saw me do.  We were bareheaded, our hands all clasped and raised toward Heaven; and in this attitude I began to repeat the following Prayer aloud in their language.


            My Lord, you who have made all, who see all and who know all, have pity upon us.  O Jesus son of the All-powerful, you who have taken human flesh for us, who were born of a Virgin for us, who have died for us, who were resurrected and ascended into Heaven for us, you have promised that if anything is asked in your name, you will grant it.  I beseech you with all my heart to give food to these poor people, who wish to believe in you and to obey you.  These people promise you faithfully that, if you will help them, they will believe entirely in you, and that they will obey you [276] with all their hearts.  My Lord, hearken to my prayer; I offer you my life for these people, content to die that they may live and acknowledge you.  Amen."


            At these words, "to die" for them, which I used to gain their affection, although really I said it with a sincere heart, my host stopped me and said, " Take back those words, for we all love thee, and do not wish thee to die for us." " I wish to show you," I answered, "that I love you, and that I would willingly give my life for your salvation, so great a thing is it to be saved." After I had offered this Prayer, all of [page 151] them with hands joined, heads bare, and knees upon the ground, as I have observed, repeated the following, which I pronounced to them with great solemnity.


            Great Lord, you who have made heaven and earth, you know all, you can do all.  I promise you with all my heart (I could not lie to you) I promise you wholly, that, if it pleases you to give us food, I will obey you cheerfully, that I will surely believe in you.  I promise [277] you without deceit that I will do all that I shall be told ought to be done for love of you.  Help us, for you can do it; I will certainly do what they shall teach me ought to be done for your sake.  I promise it without pretence, I am not lying, I could not lie to you; help us to believe in you perfectly, for you have died for us.  Amen."


            They all offered this prayer, the Apostate and the Sorcerer as well as the others; God alone can judge of their hearts.  After this I told them that they should go to the chase with confidence, as they did, the greater part showing by their faces and words that they had taken pleasure in this act.  But, before finding out what success they had, let us couch in their language these two Prayers, in order that you may see the arrangement of their words, and their way of expressing themselves.

Noukhimame    missi    ca      Khichitaien    missi,   Khesteritamen  missi,   ouia

My Captain       all         who   hast made,      all         who knowest,   all         who

batamen   chaoueriminan.     Jesus    oucouchicha  missi    ca    nitaoitât    Niran

seest,        have pity on us.     Jesus,   the Son          all         whohas made   of us

[278]    ca    outchi,    arichiirinicasouien,    niran [page 153] Ca   outchi,

            whobecause  art made man,             of us                   who  because

iriniouien   iscouechich,   niran  Ca     outchi     nipien,      niran    ca      outchi

art born      of a maiden,   of us   who   because  hast died,  of us    who   because

ouascoukhi,   itoutaien;  egou   Khisitaie,      nitichenicassouiniki,Khegoueia

to heaven       art gone;    thus     thou saidst,   in my name               any

netou    tamagaouian  niga   chaouerikan,     khitaia mihitin   naspich  ou

thing     if I am asked    on it   I will have pity    I pray thee         wholly     the

mitchimi    a richiriniou       miri,    Ca     ouitapouetasc,               Ca

food          to these people    give,    who   wish to believe in thee,    who

ouipamitasc,          arichiriniou   khiticou       naspich,   ouitchihien

wish to obey thee;   these people   say to thee   wholly,     if thou aidest me

khigatapouetatin    naspich,    khiga Pamtatim  naspich,   Noukhimame

I will believe thee     perfectly    I will obey thee    entirely     my Captain

chaoueritamitaouitou         oui        michoutchi            nipousin,    iterimien

have pity upon what I say,   if thou    wish in exchange    my death    take care

ouirouau   mag    iriniouisonan,         egou   inousin.

as to          them    that they may live,   so       be it.


          And here is the one they repeated.

[279]    Khicheoukhiman   ca      khichitaien  ouascou,   mag   asti,            missi

            Great Captain        who   hast made    the Sky      and    the Earth,    all

khikhisteriten,   missi            Khipicoutan,      khititin           naspich,   tanté

thou knowest,   everything    thou doest well    I say to thee   wholly      how

bona oukhiran?                    Khititin      naspich,               oui miriatchi

could I lie?          [page 155]     I tell thee     without pretence   if thou wilt give us

nimitchiminan,  ochitau tapoué    khiga   pamitatin,           ochitau, tapouté

our food            quite positively    surely   I will obey thee    quite certainly

Khiga    tapouetatin,               Khititin naspich,       niga tin    missi   khe

truly       I will believe in thee,    I tell it thee wholly,    I will do   all        that

eitigaouané;          khir khe,    outchi      Khian,          ouitchihinan,    khiga

they shall tell me    of thee       because    I will do it,    help us

khi ouitchi hinan,   naspich       niga tin missi,    khe eitigaouané,    khir Khe,

thou canst help us   absolutely    I will do all that which they shall tell me of thee

outchi khian,            Khititin         naspich;                nama nikhirassin,

because I will do it    I tell it thee    without pretence,   I do not lie,

nama khinita           khirassicatin,    ouitchikinan    khigai    tapouetatinan

I could not to thee    lie,                    help us            that        we may believe thee

naspich [280]   ouichihinan   mag   missi   iriniouakhi    ouetchi     nipouané.

perfectly,          help us           then   of all   the men         because    thou art dead,

Egou inousin.



            Our hunters having finished their prayers, went away, some here, some there, to look for something to eat.  My host and two young men went off to a Beaver lodge, which they were about to give up, hopeless of taking any thing, when he, on his part, took three; in the afternoon, when I went to find him, I saw him, with my own eyes, take one; and his companions captured some also, but I do not know how many.  The Sorcerer, having gone hunting on [page 157] this same day with one of his young nephews, caught a Porcupine, and discovered the tracks of a Moose, which has since been killed with arrows, contrary to the expectations of all the people, for there was only a little snow.  A young Hiroquois, of whom I shall speak hereafter, also killed a very fine Porcupine.  In short, every one took something, except the Apostate, who returned empty-handed.  In the evening, when my host returned to the cabin, carrying three Beavers, I extended to him my hand.  He approached joyfully, recognizing the [281] help of God, and asked what he should do.  I said to him, "Nicanis, my well-beloved, we must thank God who has helped us." " What for indeed?  " said the Apostate, "we could not have failed to find that without the aid of God." At these words I cannot tell what emotions surged in my heart; but if this traitor had given me a sword-thrust, he could not have saddened me more; these words alone were needed that all might be lost.  My host did not fail to tell me that he would do what I wished; and he might have fulfilled his duty, had not the Sorcerer interposed.  For, as the Apostate had no authority among the Savages, I intended to await the banquet they would have, where all the Savages would be assembled; so that, having before their eyes the gifts our Lord had made them, they would be better disposed to recognize his assistance.  But when I was about to speak to them, the Renegade, angry at being the only one who had not taken something, not only would not help me, but even imposed silence upon me, abruptly commanding me to keep still.  " I will not do it," I said to him, " if you are [282] ungrateful, the others are not." The Sorcerer, seeing they were rather [page 159] disposed to listen to me, and believing that, if they gave me their attention, he himself would lose so much of his authority, said to me, arrogantly, "Hold thy tongue, thou hast no sense; this is no time to talk, but to eat." I tried to ask him if he had no eyes, if he did not plainly see the help of God, but he would no listen to me.  The others, who were maintaining a profound silence, seeing that the Sorcerer was hostile to me, did not dare ask me to speak; so the one who prepared the banquet began to distribute it, and the others to eat.  Then behold my pigs devouring the acorns, regardless of him who shook them down.  They vied with each other in their happiness; they were filled with joy, and I with sadness; we must yield to the will of God, for the hour of this people is not yet come.


            This happened on Monday.  On the Wednesday following, my host and a young hunter killed with arrows the Moose whose tracks we had seen; they saw others afterwards, but, as [283] there was so little snow, they could never approach within arrow-shot of them.  As soon as they had captured this game, they divided it up, bringing a large part of it to our cabins, and burying the rest under the snow.  Now every one was happy, and a great banquet was made, to which I was invited.  Seeing the big pieces of meat they gave to each one, I asked the Apostate if this was an eat-all feast.  He answered, " yes; " and I said to him, "It is impossible for me to eat all they have given me." "Indeed you must," he answered,  "you must eat it all; the others have to eat all theirs, and you must eat all yours."  I made him understand that God forbids such excess, and I would not commit it even if my life depended upon it. [page 161] This wicked blasphemer, to arouse the others against me, said that God was angry because they had something to eat.  "I did not say that," I replied to him in Savage, "but that he prohibits eating to excess."  The Sorcerer answered me, "I am never so well off as when I am full." Now as I could not come to the [284] end of my portion, I invited one of my neighboring Savages to take a part of it, giving him some tobacco as a reward for what he would eat for me.  I threw another piece of it, secretly, to the dogs.  The Savages began to suspect something, from the fight that afterwards took place among these animals; and commenced to cry out against me, saying that I was contaminating their feast, that they would capture nothing more, and that we would die of hunger.  When the women and children heard of this afterward, they looked upon me as a very bad man, reproaching me disdainfully, and saying that I would be the cause of their death; and truly, if God had not granted us anything for a long time, I would have been in danger of being put to death for having committed such a sacrilege, to such an extent does their superstition go.  To prevent the recurrence of this misfortune, after that they gave me only a small portion; and they also told me that I should not eat any more than I wanted to, that they would eat the rest, but above all I should take care not to throw any to the dogs.


          On the thirtieth of the same month of December, we broke camp, and in the course of our [285] journey we passed over two beautiful lakes covered with ice.  We turned toward the place where our Moose was hidden, which would not last long in this eighth station. [page 163]


          The Sorcerer asked me if I really did love the other life, that I had described as so full of all blessings; having replied that I did, indeed, love it, "And I," said he, " I hate it, for to go there one must die, and that is something I have no desire to do; and yet if I thought and believed that this life was miserable, and that the other was full of delights, I would kill myself, to be freed from the one and to enjoy the other." I answered that God forbade us to kill ourselves, or to kill any one else, and if we destroyed ourselves we would go down into a life of misery, for having acted contrary to his commands.  " Oh well," said he, " thou needst not kill thyself; but I will kill thee, to please thee, that thou mayest go to Heaven, and enjoy the pleasures that thou tellest about." I smiled, and replied to him that I could not without sin agree to have my life taken.  "I see plainly," said he, sneeringly, [286] " that thou hast not yet the desire to die any more than I have."  "None," said I, "to bring about my own death."


            At this time, our hunters having followed a Moose, and not having been able to capture it, the Apostate began to blaspheme, saying to the Savages, " The God who is sorry when we eat, is now very glad that we have not anything to dine upon." And another time, seeing them bringing some Porcupines, " God," said he, " will be angry because we are going to fill ourselves up." Oh, blasphemous tongue, how wilt thou be chastised!  Oh, brutal spirit, how wilt thou be confounded, if God does not take pity on thee!  May the Angels and holy Spirits redouble their Songs of honor and of praise, as many times as this atheist will blaspheme them!  This poor wretch does not fail at times to have some fear of hell, [page 163] which he- tries to suppress as much as he can.  As I was threatening him with these torments one day, " Perhaps," he replied, " we people here have no souls, or perhaps they are not made like yours, or it may be that they do not go to the same [287] place.  Who has ever come back from that country to bring us news of it?" I answered him that one cannot see the Sky, without recognizing that there is a God; that one cannot conceive that there is a God, without conceiving that he is just, and that consequently he renders to each one according to his works, whence it follows that there are great rewards or great punishments.  "That's all very well," said he, "for you others whom God helps; but he has no interest in us, for, whatever he may do, we still die of hunger unless we find game." Never will this besotted mind be able to conceive that God rules the great family of the world with more wisdom and more care than a King governs his Kingdom, and the father of a family his household.  I would be too tedious if I reported all I said to him about his blasphemies and dreams.


            On the fourth of January of this year one thousand six hundred and thirty-four, we started to make our [ninth] settlement since our departure from the banks of the great river, always seeking something upon which to live.  In this place I reproached the Sorcerer with not being [288] a good Prophet, for he had assured me, the last two times when we had broken camp, that it would snow abundantly as soon as we had changed our dwelling place, which had proved to be untrue.  I reported this to my host, in order to take away some of the belief that he has in this man, whom he adores.  He answered that the [page 167] Sorcerer had not assured me that it would snow, but simply that he thought it would.  "No,"  said I,  "he assured me that he saw the snow coming, and that it would fall as soon as we had settled down." Khikhirassin, he replied, "Thou hast lied."   As soon as you tell them something they do not wish to agree to, they pay you in this coin.


          On the eve of Epiphany my host told me that he had had a dream which caused him much anxiety.  " I have seen in my sleep," said he, " that we were reduced to the last extremity of hunger; and that he who thou hast told us has made all, assured me that thou wouldst fall into such a stupor, that, not being able to put one foot before the other, thou wouldst die alone abandoned in the midst of the woods; I [289] fear that my dream will be only too true, for we are now in as great need as ever for lack of snow." I had an idea that this dreamer might play some bad trick on me and abandon me, to prove himself a Prophet.  For this reason I made use of his weapons, opposing altare contra altare, dream against dream.  "As for me," I replied, " I have dreamed just the opposite; for in my sleep I saw two Moose, one of which was already killed and the other still living." "Good," said the Sorcerer, "that's very nice; have hope, thou tellest us good news." In truth, I had had this dream some days before.  " Well, then," I said to my host, "which of our two dreams will be found to be true?  Thou sayest we shall die of starvation, and I say we shall not." He began to laugh.  Then I told him that dreams were nothing but lies, that I placed no dependence upon them; that my hope was in him who has made all, and yet I feared he would chastise us, seeing that, as soon as [page 169] they had something to eat, they mocked [290] him, especially the Apostate.  " He doesn't know anything," they said, "do not pay any attention to him."


            On the day that the three Kings adored our Lord, we received three pieces of bad news.  The first was that the young Hyroquois, who had gone hunting the day before, had not returned; and, as they were very well aware that hunger had weakened him so that he could not go far, they thought he was dead, or lying somewhere so weak from lack of food that hunger and cold would kill him.  In fact, he has never yet appeared; some thought he might have tried to return to his own country, but the greater part are sure he is lying dead somewhere upon the snow.  He was one of the three prisoners at Tadoussac, of whom I spoke in the first letters I sent from these countries;[4] his two compatriots were executed with unparalleled cruelties, but his life was saved because he was young, at the request of sieur Emery de Can, whom we begged to intercede [291] for him.  This poor young man had very kind memories of me, and had a great desire to live in our house; but the Sorcerer, to whom he belonged, would neither give nor sell him.


            The second piece of bad news was brought by a young Savage who came from another quarter, who told us that a Savage of a more distant cabin had died of hunger, and that his people were greatly terrified at not finding anything to eat; when he saw us suffering from the same scarcity, he was frightened still more.  The third news was that our people had discovered the trail of several Savages, who were nearer to us than we thought, for they were coming to hunt upon our very grounds, taking away our game and our lives at the same time.  These three pieces of [page 171] news discouraged our Savages greatly, the alarm spread everywhere, and all walked with bowed heads.  I do not know how I looked, but they seemed to me very much emaciated, very sad and mournful.  If the Apostate had consented [292] to help me influence and win over the Sorcerer, this was the time to do it; but his mute devil tied his tongue.


            I must here speak of the little esteem the Savages have for him.  He has fallen into great embarrassment, in trying to avoid a slight reproach.  He gave up Christians and Christianity, because he could not suffer the taunts of the Savages, who jeered at him occasionally because he was Sedentary and not wandering, as they were; and now he is their butt and their laughingstock.  He is a slave to the Sorcerer, in whose presence he would not dare to move.  His brothers and the other Savages have often told me that he has no sense, that he is a buzzard, that he resembles a dog, that he would die of hunger if they did not feed him, that he gets lost in the woods like a European; the women make fun of him,- if some child cries because it does not have enough to eat, they say to it, "Hush, hush, do not cry, Petrichtrich (they call him this in sport) will bring back a Beaver, and then thou shalt have something to eat." When they [293] hear him return, "Go and see," they say to their children, " if he has not killed a Moose;" thus making sport of him for being a poor hunter, a great reproach among the Savages.  Because such men cannot find wives or retain them, the Apostate, with the help of his brothers, has already had four or five, all of whom have left him.  The one he has had this winter told me she would leave him in the Spring, and, if she had belonged to this part of the [page 173] country, she would have left him then.  I hear that she has, in fact, deserted him.


            On a certain day, when our hunters had gone out, a council of women was held in our cabin.  Now as they did not think I could understand, they spoke aloud and freely, tearing this poor Apostate to pieces.  The occasion for this was, that the day before he had not carried anything home to his wife from a feast to which he had been invited, and which was not an eat-all feast.  " Oh, the glutton," they said, " who gives his wife nothing to eat!  If he could only kill something!  He has no sense; he eats everything [294] like a dog.  " There was great excitement among the women over this subject, for, as they do not usually go to the feasts, they would be very sorely afflicted if their husbands lost the good habit they have of bringing home the remains to their families.  The Renegade coming in while these women were drawing this picture of him, they knew very well how to put a good face on the matter, showing countenances as smiling as usual, even to such an extent that the one who had said the worst things about him, gave him a bit of tobacco, which was then a great present.


            On the ninth of January, a Savage, who came to visit us, said that a man and a woman of the place from which he had come had starved to death, and that several others were on the verge of starvation.  The poor man fasted the day of his arrival as well as we, for there was nothing to eat; and we had to wait until ten o'clock of the next night, when my host brought in two Beavers, which were a great blessing to us.


            [295] On the following day our people killed the [page 175] second Moose, at which there was general rejoicing.  True, it was a little marred by the arrival of a Savage, and of two or three women and a child, whom famine would have slaughtered, if they had not happened to come to our cabin.  They looked most hideous, the man especially, more so than the women, one of whom had given birth to a child ten days before in the snow, and, in the famine, had passed several days without eating.


            But admire, if you please, the love these barbarians have for each other.  These new guests were not asked why they came upon our boundaries, if they were not well aware that we were in as great straits as they were, and that they were coming to take the morsel out of our mouths.  On the contrary, they were received, not with words, but with deeds; without exterior ceremony, for of this the Savages have none, but not without charity.  They threw them large pieces of the Moose which had just been killed, [296] without saying another word but, mitisoukou, "eat;" and indeed it would have been very wrong to ask them then to use their mouths for any other purpose.  While they were eating, a feast was prepared, at which they were treated generously, I assure you; for the portion given to each one of them more than filled their ouragans, which are very large.


            On the sixteenth of the same mouth, we rambled about the country; and, not being able to find the place we wanted, we could only lodge in a hostelry that we erected in haste; the next day we pursued our journey, passing over a mountain so high, that even though we did not ascend to its summit, which seemed to be fortified with horrible rocks, yet the Sorcerer told me that if the Sky, which was [page 177] obscured by a cloud, had been clear, we might have seen at the same time, both Kebec and Tadoussac, distant from each other at least forty leagues.  I saw with horror precipices beneath me, which made [297] me tremble.  In the midst of some plains, I saw mountains which seemed to me like little towers, or rather diminutive castles, although in reality they were very large and very high.  Imagine how hard it is for these barbarians to drag their baggage so high.  I had trouble in getting up, but still more in coming down; for, although I was going away from the precipices, yet the slope was so steep that it was very easy to roll down and break one's head against a tree.


            On the twenty-ninth, we finished our descent of this mountain, and carried our house up the slope of another to which we were going.  As this was the end of our pilgrimage, we shall begin hereafter to turn back and direct our course toward the Island where we had left our Shallop.  We saw here the sources of two little rivers, which flow into a river as large, our Savages say, as the St. Lawrence; they call it Oueraouachticou.


            [298] This twelfth station delivered us from famine; for the snow was deep enough to impede the long legs of the Elk, and we had something to eat.  At first, there was nothing but feasts and dancing; but this did not last long, as they soon began to dry the meat.  Passing thus from starvation to good food, I felt very well; but when we changed from fresh meat to smoked, I fell ill, and did not entirely recover my health  until three weeks after my return to our little house.


            It is true that from the beginning of February until April we always had something to [page 179] eat; but it was smoked meat, so hard and so dirty, and in so small quantities, except a few days of plenty which passed in feasting, that our Savages counted these last months as well as the preceding ones, among the months and winters of their famines.  They told me that, to live moderately well and without suffering, they had to have an Elk as large as an ox every two days, both because [299] we were rather numerous, and also because people eat a great deal of meat when they have neither bread nor anything else to make the food hold out; add to this that they are great diners, and that Elk meat does not remain long in the stomach.


            I have forgotten to say elsewhere that the Savages count the years by winters.  To say, "How old art thou?  " they say, " How many winters hast thou passed?  " They count also by nights, as we do by days; instead of saying, " It happened three days ago," they say, "three nights ago."


            On the fifth of February, we left our twelfth dwelling to proceed to our thirteenth.  I was very sick; the Sorcerer was killing me with his cries, his howls, and his drum; he continually reproached me with being proud, saying that the Manitou had made me sick as well as the others.  "It is not," I said to him, "the Manitou or devil that has caused this sickness, but bad food, which has injured my stomach, and [300] other hardships that have weakened me." All this did not satisfy him; he did not cease to attack me, especially in the presence of the Savages, saying I had mocked the Manitou, and that he had revenged himself upon me for my pride.  One day, when he was casting these slurs upon me, I sat upright, and said, "That thou mayest know it is not thy [page 181] Manitou who causes sickness and kills people, hear how I shall speak to him." I cried out in their language, in a loud voice, " Come, Manitou; come, demon; murder me if thou hast the power, I defy thee, I mock thee, I do not fear thee; thou hast no power over those who believe and love God; come and kill me if thy hands are free; thou art more afraid of me than I am of thee." The Sorcerer was terrified and said, "Why dost thou call him, since thou dost not fear him? it is the same as calling him to kill thee." "Not at all," said I; " but I am calling him to make you see that he has no power over those who worship the true God, and to show [301] thee that he is not the sole cause of sickness, as thou thinkest."


            On the ninth of the same month of February we scoured the plains.  The Sorcerer, in spite of the fact that I was sick, would force me to carry some of the baggage; but my host took pity on me, and, having encountered me on the way when I was ready to sink from exhaustion, he took what I carried, of his own free will, and placed it upon his sledge.


            On the fourteenth and fifteenth, we made long stages, to go and plant our cabin near two small Moose that my host had killed.  Upon the way, as we discovered the tracks of a third, my host interrupted the journey to go and look for it.  I belonged to the rear guard of our army; that is, I was coming up slowly behind the others, when suddenly this Elk appeared, coming straight toward me, and after it my host in hot pursuit.  The snow was very deep, and hence, ere it had gone five hundred steps, it was killed.  We encamped near there and made a feast of it. [page 183]


            [302] The Apostate, continuing to blaspheme here, asked me, in the presence of his brothers, in order to turn them against God, why I prayed to him who neither saw nor heard anything.  I rebuked him very sharply and imposed silence upon him.


            On the sixth day of March, we shifted our quarters.  The Sorcerer, the Renegade, and two young hunters, directed their steps before us straight to the banks of the great river.  The cause of this separation was that my host, a good hunter, had discovered four Moose, and a number of Beaver lodges; and not being able alone to hunt in places so widely separated, the Sorcerer took these young hunters to chase the Moose, and he remained for the Beavers.  This separation was fraught with both good and evil for me. With good, because I was freed from the Sorcerer; I have no words to describe the pertinacity of this wicked man.  With evil, because my host did not capture any Moose, and we had nothing to eat but smoked meat, which was very distasteful to me; for, if he captured any Beavers, they were smoked, [303] except the little ones, which we ate; the finest and best ones were reserved for the feasts they were to give in the Spring, at the place where they had appointed a rendezvous.


            On the thirteenth of the same month, we made our eighteenth station near a river, whose waters seemed to me sweet as sugar after the dirt of the melted snow that we drank at former stations, out of a greasy and smoky kettle.  I began here to experience the discomfort of sleeping upon the ground, which was cold in winter and damp in Spring; for my right side, upon which I lay, became so benumbed from cold that it scarcely had any sense of feeling.  Now fearing I [page 185] would only carry half of myself back to our little house, the other being paralyzed, I promised a shirt and a little gown to a child, for a miserable piece of Moose skin, which his mother gave me; this undressed skin was about as hard as the ground, but not as damp. [304] Of this I made my bed, which was so short that the ground, which had up to that time taken possession of all my body, still kept the half of it


            After the departure of the Sorcerer, my host took pleasure in asking me questions, especially about the things of nature.  One day he asked me how the earth was made; and, bringing me a piece of bark and some charcoal, he had me describe it.  So I drew for him the two Hemispheres; and, after having traced Europe, Asia and Africa, I came to our America, showing him that it is an immense Island.  I described for him the coast of Acadia, the great Island of Newfoundland, the entrance and gulf of our great river saint Lawrence, the people who inhabit its banks, the place where we then were.  I went up as far as the Algonquains, the Hiroquois, the Hurons, to the neutral nation, etc., showing him the places more and less populous.  I passed to Florida, to Peru, to Brazil, etc., speaking to him in my jargon the best I could about these countries.  He asked me [305] more particularly about the countries of which he had some knowledge.  Then having listened to me patiently, he exclaimed, using one of their words expressive of great admiration,  Amonitatinaniouikhi!  "This black robe tells the truth," speaking to an old man who was looking at me; and turning toward me, he said, "nicanis, my well-beloved, thou dost indeed cause our wonder; for we are acquainted with the [page 187] greater part of these lands and tribes, and thou hast described them as they are." Thereupon I urge, "As thou seest I tell the truth in speaking of thy country, thou shouldst also believe that I do not lie in speaking of the others." " I do believe thus," he replied.  I followed up my point: "As I am truthful in speaking about things of the earth, also thou shouldst persuade thyself that I am not lying when I speak to thee about the things of Heaven; and therefore thou oughtst believe what I have told thee about the other life." He paused a few moments, and then, having reflected a little, said, " I will believe thee when thou shalt know how to speak; but we have now too much trouble in understanding each other."


            [306] He asked me a thousand other questions,—about the Sun, the roundness of the earth, the Antipodes, France, and he frequently spoke to me about our good King.  He was surprised when I told him that France was full of Captains, and that the King was the Captain of all the Captains.  He begged me to take him to France to see him, and to make him some presents.  I began to laugh, telling him that all their riches were nothing but poverty compared to the splendors of the King.  " I mean," said he, " that I will make presents to his followers; as to him, I will be content to see him." He recounted afterwards to the others what he had heard me say.  Another time he asked me if there were any great falls in the sea, that is, waterfalls.  There are a great many in the rivers of this country.  You will see a beautiful river flowing along peacefully; and all at once it will fall into a lower bed, as the land does not slope gradually, but as if by steps in certain places.  We see one of these falls near Kebec; [page 189] it is called the " falls of [307] Montmorency." They are formed by a river which comes from the interior, and falls from a very high level into the great river saint Lawrence, the banks enclosing it being considerably elevated at this place.  Now some of the Savages believe that the sea has these waterfalls, and that a great many ships are lost in them.  I removed this error by telling them that these inequalities are not found in the Ocean.


            On the twenty-third of March, we again crossed the river Capititetchioueth, over which we had passed on the third of December.


            On the thirtieth of the same month, we encamped upon a very beautiful lake, having passed another smaller one on our way, both of them still frozen over as hard as in the middle of winter.  Here my host, seeing that I was very weak and cast down, consoled me, saying, " Do not be sad; if thou art sad, thou wilt become still worse; if thy sickness increases, thou wilt die.  See what a beautiful country this is; love it; if thou lovest it, thou wilt take pleasure in it, and if thou takest pleasure in it thou wilt become cheerful, and if thou art cheerful thou wilt recover." I [308] took pleasure in listening to the conversation of this poor barbarian.


            On the first day of April, we left this beautiful lake, and drew rapidly toward our rendezvous.  We passed the night in a miserable smoky hole, and in the morning continued on our way, going farther in these two days than we had previously gone in five.  God favored us with fine weather, for there was a hard frost, and the air was clear.  If it had thawed as on the preceding days, and we had stink down in the snow, as sometimes happened, either they would [page 191] have had to drag me, or I would have remained on the way, so ill was I. It is true that nature has more resistance than she makes believe; I experienced this that day, when I was so weak that, if I sat down upon the snow occasionally to rest myself, my limbs would tremble, not from cold, but from a weakness which caused the perspiration to come out upon my forehead.  Now, as I was thirsty, I tried to drink some water from a torrent [309] that we were passing.  The ice, which I broke with my club, fell under me and separated into a big cake.  When I saw myself with my snowshoes on my feet, upon this ice, floating in a very rapid current, I leaped to the edge of the torrent before consulting as to whether I ought to do it or not, and nature, which perspired from weakness, found strength enough to escape from this mass of water, not wishing to drink so much of it at once; I had nothing but the fear of a peril which was sooner escaped than realized.


            The danger passed, I pursued my way quite slowly; indeed I was not likely to be very strong, for, besides the malady from which I had been suffering since the last day of January, and which had not entirely left me, during these last days I had not been eating more than three mouthfuls of smoked meat in the morning, and would walk nearly all the rest of the day without any other refreshment than a little water, when I could get any.  At last I arrived after the others upon the banks of the great river, and, three days later, [310] namely, on the fourth of the same month of April, we made our twenty-third station, going to erect our cabin on the Island where we had left our Shallop.  Here we were very badly lodged; for, in addition to the presence of the [page 193] Sorcerer who had returned to us, we were so full of smoke that we could stand no more; besides, as the water of the great river was salty here, and as there was no spring in the Island, we could only drink snow or rainwater, and that very dirty.  I did not make a long stay in this place.  My host, seeing that I was not getting well, decided to take me back to our little house; the Sorcerer wished to dissuade him from this, but I broke up his conspiracies.  I am omitting a thousand particulars in order to get to the end.


            On the fifth of the month of April, my host, the Apostate, and I embarked in a little canoe to go to Kebec upon the great river, after having taken leave of all the Savages.  Now, as it was still cold, we had not gone far when [311] we found that a little ice had formed during the night, which covered the surface of the water; seeing that it extended quite far, we entered it, the Apostate, who was in front, breaking it with his paddle.  But either it was too sharp, or the bark of our gondola too thin; for it made an opening which let the water into our canoe and fear into our hearts.  So behold us all three in action, my two Savages paddling, and I baling out the water.  We drew with all the strength of our paddles to an Island which we very fortunately encountered.  When we set foot upon shore, the Savages seized the canoe, drew it out of the water, turned it upside down; lighted their tinder, made a fire, sewed up the slit in the bark; applied to it their resin, a kind of gum that runs out of trees; placed the canoe again in the water, and we reëmbarked and continued our journey.  In view of this danger, I told them that, if they expected to encounter much of this sharp ice, [312] it would be [page 195] better to return whence we had come, and wait until the weather was warmer.  " It is true," replied my host, " that we came near perishing; if the hole had been a little larger it would have been all over with us.  But let us pursue our way, this little ice does not frighten me." Towards the third hour of the evening we saw before us a horrible bank of ice which blocked our way, extending across the great river for a distance of more than four leagues.  We were a little frightened, but my people approached it nevertheless, as they had noticed a small opening in it; they glided into this, turning our little gondola first to one side and then to the other, in order to always make some headway.  At last we found these masses of ice so firmly wedged together, that it was impossible either to advance or recede, for the movement of the water closed us in on all sides.  In the midst of this ice, if a sharp wind had arisen, we would have been crushed and broken to pieces, [313] we and our canoe, like the grain of wheat between two millstones; for imagine these blocks of ice, larger and thicker than the millstone and hopper together.  My Savages, seeing our predicament, leaped from one piece of ice to another, like squirrels from tree to tree; and, pushing it away with their paddles, made a passage for the canoe, in which I sat alone, nearer dying from water than from disease.  We struggled along in this way until five o'clock in the evening, and then we landed.  These barbarians are very skillful in such encounters.  They asked me from time to time, in the greatest danger, if I were not afraid; truly nature is not fond of playing at such games, and their leaps from ice to ice seemed to me to be full of peril both for them and for me, [page 197] especially as their father, as I have been told, was drowned under similar circumstances. it is true that God, whose goodness is everywhere adorable, is found as well upon the waters, [314] and among the ice, as upon the land.  We escaped also from this danger, which did not seem to them as great as the first.


            When we reached land, our house was the foot of a tree, where we lay down, after having eaten a bit of smoked meat and drunk a little melted snow-water.  I repeated my little prayers, and rested beside a good fire which counteracted the frost and cold of the night.


            The next day we embarked early.  The tide, which had brought us these legions of icebergs, had carried them during the night to the other side, so we were for some distance free from this annoyance; but the wind arose, and as our little gondola began to dance upon the waves, we turned shoreward and hurriedly landed.  I had begged my people to take with them some pieces of bark, with which to make a cabin to cover us at night, and food enough for several days, as we were not sure that the bad weather might not cause us delays.  They did neither [315] one thing nor the other, so we had to lie out in the open air, and make one day's food last four; they had expected to go hunting, but, as the snow was melting, they could not pursue the game.  The weather promising to clear up, we embarked again, but scarcely had we gone three leagues when the wind, growing stronger, cast us upon the ice which the tide was bringing back, and caused us to glide quickly through a little stream, and all three to leap upon these great blocks of ice which were along its edge, and thus to gain land, our Savages carrying our bark ship upon their shoulders. [page 199]


            Now we were lodged upon a point of land exposed to all the winds.  As a shelter, we placed our canoe back of us, and fearing rain or snow, my host threw a wretched skin upon some poles, and lo, our house was made.  The winds were so boisterous all night that they nearly blew away our canoe.  The next day the [316] storm continuing upon the water, and my people having nothing to eat, they went hunting during most wretched weather.  The Renegade did not capture anything; but my host brought back a young partridge, which served as breakfast, dinner, and supper.  True, I bad eaten some leaves of the strawberry plant that I had found upon the ground, from which the snow had recently melted in some places.  So we passed this day without resuming our journey.  That night the storm, gusts of wind, and the cold, assailed us with such fury that we had to surrender to these forces, and get up half-frozen (for we had been lying upon the bare ground, not having taken the trouble to cover it with pine branches) and go into the woods to borrow from the trees their shelter against the wind and their covering against the Sky.  Here we made a good fire and went to sleep upon ground still damp from snow which had probably covered it the night before.  God be praised, his providence is adorable!  We set this [317] day and this night down in the calendar of wretched days and nights, yet it was for us a period of good fortune.  For, if these tempests and winds had not held us .prisoners upon the land while they were clearing away the ice and driving it down the river, it would have been massed across the way to the Islands by which we must pass; and we would have had to die from too much drink crushing our canoe, or from too [page 201] little food, caused by having to stop in some deserted Island.  In short, if we had escaped it would have been with great difficulty.  Moreover, I was so weak and sick when I embarked, that if I had foreseen the hardships of the way I would have expected to die a hundred times; yet Our Lord began to strengthen me in these trials, so that I aided -my Savages to paddle, especially toward the end of our journey.


            The day after these tempests being still rather windy, my host and the Apostate went hunting.  An hour after their departure the [318] Sun shone out brightly, the air became clear, the winds died away, the waves fell, the sea became calm,- in a word, it mended, as the sailors say.  Then I was in great perplexity about following my Savages to call them back, for it would have been like a turtle pursuing a greyhound.  I turned my eyes to Heaven as to a place of refuge; and, when I lowered them, I saw my people running like deer along the edge of the wood straight toward me.  I immediately arose, and started for the river, bearing our little baggage.  When my host arrived, eco, eco, pousitau, pousitau, " Quick, quick, let us embark, let us embark!  " No sooner said than done; the wind and tide favored us, we glided on with paddle and sail, our little bark ship cutting the waves with incomparable swiftness.  We at last arrived about ten o'clock in the evening at the end of the great Island of Orleans, from which our little house was not more than two leagues distant.  My people had eaten nothing all day; I encouraged them.  We [319] tried to go on, but the current of the tide, which was still ebbing, being very rapid, we had to await the flood to cross the great river.  Therefore [page 203]  we went into a little cove, and slept upon the sand, near a good fire that we lighted.


            Toward midnight, the tide again arising, we embarked.  The Moon shone brightly, and wind and tide made us fly.  As my host would not take the direction I advised, we very nearly perished in the port; for, when we came to enter our little river, we found it still covered with ice.  We tried to approach the banks, but the wind had piled up great masses of ice there, striking and surging against each other, which threatened us with death if we approached them.  So we had to veer around and turn our prow to the wind and work against the tide.  It was here I saw the valor of my host.  He had [320] placed himself in front, as the place where the greatest danger was to be found.  I saw him through the darkness of the night, which filled us with terror while augmenting our peril, strain every nerve and struggle against death, to keep our little canoe in position amid waves capable of swallowing up a great ship.  I cried out to him, Nicanis ouabichtigoueiakhi ouabichtigoueiakhi, " My well-beloved, to Kebec, to Kebec, let us go there." When we were about to double the Sailor's leap, that is, the bend where our river enters the great river, you might have seen him ride over one wave, cut through the middle of another, dodge one block of ice, and push away another, continually fighting against a furious Northeast wind which we had in our teeth.


            Having escaped this danger, we would have liked to land; but an army of icebergs, summoned by the raging wind, barred our entrance.  So we went on as far as the fort, coasting along the shores, and sought in the darkness [323] i. e., 321] a little gleam of light [page 205] or a small opening among these masses of ice.  My host having perceived a rerin, or turn, which is at the bottom of the fort, where the ice did not move, as it was outside the current of wind, he turned away with his paddle three or four dreadful masses of it which he encountered, and dashed in.  He leaped quickly from the Canoe, fearing the return of the ice, crying, Capatau, " Let us land; " the trouble was, that the ice was so high and densely packed against the bank, that it was all I could do to reach to the top of it with my hands; I did not know what to take hold of to pull myself out of the Canoe, and to climb up upon these icy shores.  With one hand I took hold of my host's foot, and with the other seized a piece of ice which happened to project, and threw myself into a place of safety with the other two.  A clumsy fellow becomes agile on such occasions.  All being out of the Canoe, they seized it at both ends and placed it in safety; and, when this was done, we all three looked at each other, and my host, taking a long breath, said to me, nicanis khegat nipiacou, " My good friend, a little more, and we would have perished; " he still felt horror over the gravity of our danger.  It is true that [324 i.e., 322] if he had not had the arms of a Giant (he is a large and powerful man), and an ingenuity uncommon among either Frenchmen or Savages, either a wave would have swallowed us up, or the wind would have upset us, or an iceberg would have crushed us.  Or rather let us say, if God had not been our Pilot, the waves which beat against the shores of our home would have been our sepulchre.  In truth, whoever dwells among these people can say with the Prophet King, anima mea in manibus meis semper. Only a little while ago one of our [page 207] Frenchmen was drowned, under like circumstances, yet less dangerous, for there was no longer any ice.

            Having escaped so many perils, we crossed our river on the ice, which was not yet broken; and three hours after midnight, on Palm Sunday, April 9th, I reentered our little house.  God knows what joy there was on both sides!  I found the house filled with peace and blessings, every one being in good health, by the grace of our Lord.  Monsieur the Governor, learning of my return, sent to me [323] two of our most prominent Frenchmen, to inquire after my health.  His affection for us is indeed very evident.  One of the heads of the old family in the country[5] also hastened to express his joy at my return.  They knew by the small amount of snow that had fallen that Winter, which was less severe than others, that the Savages, and consequently I, would suffer greatly from famine; and hence some even shed tears of joy at seeing me escaped from so great a danger.  Blessed be our Lord, in time and in eternity.


            I wanted to describe this journey, to show Your Reverence the great hardships that must be endured in following the Savages; but I entreat, for the last time, those who have any desire to help them not to be frightened; not only because God makes himself more powerfully felt in our time of need, and in the helplessness of his creatures, but also because it will no longer be necessary to make these sojourns when we shall know their languages and reduce them to rules.  I have reported some details [324] which might have been omitted; and have passed over in silence much that would, perhaps, have been read with pleasure; but the fear of being tedious [page 209], and my little leisure, have caused some disorder in my work.  It is true that I am writing to a person, quæ ordinabit me charitatem; and the others who through his agency see this Relation will do me the same favor.  I feel like saying these two words to whomsoever will read these writings, ama et fac quod vis.  Let us return to our journal.


            On the 31st Of May, a shallop arrived from Tadoussac which bore the news that three vessels of Messieurs the Associates had arrived,- two being in that port, and the third at Moulin Baude, a place near Tadoussac, thus named by the French.[6] They were waiting for the fourth, commanded by Monsieur du Plessis, general of the fleet, who came soon afterwards and bestowed high praise upon Captain Bontemps for having shown very meritorious conduct in the capture of the English ship, of which I have spoken above.  As soon as this good news was brought to Monsieur de Champlain, as he never omits [325] any occasion to show his good will, he sent us tidings thereof by a special messenger, sending us also the letters of Reverend Father Lallement who wrote me that he had arrived with Our Brother Jean Ligeois in good health, and that the first breeze would bring him to us.[7] It is easy to guess with what joy we blessed and thanked our Lord for this good and so favorable news.  He arrived two days later in the bark commanded by Monsieur Castillon, who is said to have done good work in the capture of the English.


            On the fourth day of June, the Feast of Pentecost, Captain de Neste arrived at Kebec; in his vessel was Monsieur Giffard and his whole household, composed of many persons, whom he brought to settle in this [page 211] country.[8] His wife showed great courage in following her husband; she was pregnant when she embarked, which made her dread her accouchement; but our Lord was wonderfully kind to her, for eight days after her arrival, that is, on the Sunday of holy Trinity, she was delivered happily of a daughter who is doing [326] very well and whom Father Lallement baptized the following day.


            On the 24th of the same month, feast of St. John the Baptist, the English ship, commanded by Captain de Lormel, came up thus far, and brought us Father Jacques Buteux[9] in fairly good health.  Monsieur the General, honoring us with his letters, sent me word that this good Father had been very sick during the passage; the Father told us that he had been so effectively nursed and assisted by Monsieur the General and his Surgeon, that he felt overwhelmed by their kindness; he feels better now than ever before.[10]


            On the first of July, Father Brebœuf and Father Daniel left in a bark to go to three Rivers, there to wait for the Hurons.  This bark was destined to begin a new settlement in that quarter.  Father Davost, who had come down from Tadoussac for the assistance of our French, followed our Fathers three days later in company with Monsieur the General, who wanted to meet these people at the trading post.[11] They waited there some time for the Hurons, who did not come down in so great numbers this year as usual; because the Hiroquois, having been informed that five hundred men of this nation were moving toward their country to make war upon them, themselves went on ahead to the number of fifteen hundred, it is said; and, having surprised those who were to surprise [page 213] them, they killed about two hundred of them, and took more than one hundred prisoners, Louys Amantacha[12] being one of the number.  They said his father was put to death, but the report is now that he escaped the hands of the enemy.  We were told that these triumphant [327] Hiroquois sent some Captains to the Hurons to treat for peace, retaining the most prominent ones in their possession after having cruelly massacred the others.


            This loss caused the Hurons to come in small bands, only seven Canoes coming down at first.  When Father Brebœuf heard of their arrival, he went to them, and did all he could to make them promise to receive him and his companions, and take them to their country; this they willingly granted.  Thereupon [328] an Algonquain Captain, called the Partridge, who lives in the town, made a speech recommending them not to take any Frenchmen on board.  Now these Hurons, who had to pass through the country of this Captain on their return, became very cold, and at this point Monsieur du Plessis arrived.  All this had occurred at a place called the three Rivers, thirty leagues farther up the river than Kebec.  As he was very anxious to have our Fathers penetrate into these nations, he had the Algonquains assembled in Council, especially this Captain, to have him explain the reason of his opposition.  He brought forth several arguments, which they answered for him at once; he dwelt, as I judge from Father Brebœuf's letters, upon the trouble that would occur in case some Frenchman should die among the Hurons.  He was told that, as the Fathers would not be in his country, the peace between the French and his Compatriots would not be disturbed, whether their death [page 215] were a natural or a violent one.  So now the Algonquains were satisfied; but the Hurons began to excuse themselves on account of the [329] small number of their men, who could not carry so many Frenchmen; also on account of their small Canoes and the presence of sickness among them.  In a word, they would have been very willing to take on board some Frenchmen who were well armed; but they did not want these long robes, who carried no guns.  Monsieur du Plessis became urgent, pressing our cause with all the power he had; they find a place for a few.  A certain Savage, addressing the Father, said, " Arrange for me to trade my tobacco for porcelain; and, my Canoe being unloaded, I will take one Frenchman." The Father had none of this; but, when Monsieur du Plessis and Monsieur de 1'Espinay5 heard of it, they bought his tobacco, and this made a place for six persons.  When they came to embark, the Savages, who were, in fact, sick, said they could not carry more than three,-two young Frenchmen, and one Father.  The Fathers promised that they would paddle; they made presents, and Monsieur du Plessis made some also and urged them as strongly as he could; they would not receive any more.


            Father Brebœuf has recourse to God; [330] this is the way he speaks of it in his letter: " Never did I see an embarkation about which there was so much quibbling and opposition, through the tactics, as I believe, of the common enemy of man's salvation.  It was by a Providential chance that we were taken, and through the power of the Glorious saint Joseph, to whom God inspired me to offer, in my despair of all things, the promise Of 20 masses in his honor. [page 217] After this vow was made, the Savage who had taken on board Petit Pré, one of our Frenchmen, gave him up to receive me, especially as Monsieur du Plessis insisted strongly that this should be done." And thus Father Brebœuf, Father Daniel, and a young man named le Baron were accepted by these Barbarians, who carried them into their country in bark Canoes.  There remained Father Davost and five of our Frenchmen.  Do not ask if the Father was sad at thus seeing his companions depart without him, almost without taking the necessaries of life, or their clothing.  In truth, they have shown that they possess a generous heart!  For the desire to go into the country of the Cross made them leave their little baggage, in order not to irritate [331] their Savages, who were ill, contenting themselves merely with the Altar ornaments, and trusting the rest to the providence of our Lord.  Their departure from three Rivers was so hurried that they could not write to us; but when they reached the long Sault, some twenty-four leagues from Kebec, they encountered some Hurons who were coming down the river, and sent us letters, in one of which Father Brebœuf, having recounted the difficulties of his embarkation, speaks thus: " I beg Your Reverence to express our warmest thanks to Monsieur du Plessis, to whom, after God, we are greatly indebted for our embarkation.  For - besides the presents he made to the Savages, publicly and privately, and the Porcelain he traded -he held as many councils as we desired, furnished us with provisions at our departure, and honored us with several Cannon salutes; and all with great care, and an appearance of very special interest in us.


            " We are going on by short stages, quite well, as [page 219] far as we are concerned; but our Savages are all sick.  We paddle [332] all the time, and do this the more because our people are sick.  What ought not to be done for God, and for souls redeemed by the blood of the Son of God!  All our Savages are very much pleased with us, and would not have cared to take others on board; they speak well of us to those whom they meet, persuading them not to embark any others.  God be praised!  Your Reverence will excuse this writing, order and all; we start so early in the morning, and lie down so late, and paddle so continually, that we hardly have time enough to devote to our prayers; indeed, I have been obliged to finish this by the light of the fire." These are the exact words of the Father who adds in another place that the people of the countries through which they pass are nearly all sick, and are dying in great numbers.  There has been a sort of Epidemic this year, which has even been communicated to the French; but, thank God, no one has died of it; it is a sort of measles, and an oppression of the stomach.  Let -us return to three Rivers.


            Those who were awaiting some other occasion to embark were consoled [333] by the coming of three Canoes, in which Monsieur du Plessis had Father Davost and two of our Frenchmen embark, looking out for their interests with wonderful care, as the Father writes me.  A short time after this, other Hurons came; and he placed in their Canoes both men and baggage, in a word, all that remained.  So that three of our Fathers and six of our Frenchmen have gone up to the Hurons.


            They have three hundred leagues to make over a route full of horrors, as it is described by the Hurons [page 221]; on their way down, they hide meal every two days, to eat on their return, and these hiding-places are the only hotels they have.  If they fail to find them, or if some one robs them, for they are the worst kind of thieves, they must get along without eating.  If they do find their provisions, they cannot feast very sumptuously upon them.  In the morning they mix a little of this meal with water, and each one eats about a bowlful of it; upon this they ply their paddles all day, and at nightfall they eat as [334] they did at break of day.  This is the kind of life that our Fathers must lead until they reach the country of these barbarians.  When they arrive, they will build themselves a bark house, and there they will live on wheat, and cornmeal, and, in certain seasons, on fish.  As for meat, there being no hunting where they are, they will not eat it six times a year, unless they eat their dogs, as the people do, who raise these animals as they do sheep in France; their drink will be water.  So these are the delicacies of the country for well people and sick,-bread, wine, different kinds of meat, fruit, and a thousand refreshing viands found in France not yet having been introduced into these countries.


            The money with which they will buy their food, wood, bark house, and other necessaries, is little beads or tubes of glass, knives, awls, blankets, kettles, hatchets, and similar things; this is the money they must carry with them.  If peace is negotiated between the Hurons and Hiroquois, I foresee a splendid opening for the Gospel. [33 i.e., 335] We can say then with joy and with sadness, messis, quidem multa operarii vero pauci, for we shall see few persons who understand these languages.  I learn that [page 223] in the 25 or 30 leagues of country which the Hurons occupy,- others estimate it at much less,- there are more than thirty thousand souls.  The neutral nation is much more populous, the Hiroquois largely so, and the Algonquains have a country of very great extent.  I would like to have now only five or six of our Fathers in each of these nations; and yet I would not dare to ask for them, although for one that we desire ten would volunteer, all ready to die in these countries.  But I learn that all we have in France for this mission is little; how then shall we take the children, especially those of these populous nations, to maintain and instruct them?  Alas, must it be that the goods of this world are a barrier to the blessings of Heaven?  Oh, that we had only the crumbs of bread that fall from the tables of the rich of the world, to give to these little children!  I do not [336] complain, I ask nothing from any one whomsoever; but I cannot restrain my emotion when I see that dirt (for what else is wealth here below?) prevents these people from knowing and adoring God.  And if any one thinks it strange that I speak in this way, let him come, let him open his eyes, let him see these people crying for the bread of the word of God; and, if he is not touched with compassion, and if he does not cry louder than I do, I will condemn myself to perpetual silence.


            On the third of August, Monsieur de Champlain, having returned from three Rivers, where he had gone after the departure of our Fathers, told us that a French interpreter for the Algonquin nation had come from the Hurons and brought the tidings that Father Brebœuf was suffering greatly; that his Savages were sick, and that he had to paddle continually [page 225], to relieve them; that Father Daniel had died of starvation, or was in great danger of dying, because the Savages who had taken him on board had left the usual route, where they had hidden [337] their food, and had turned off into the woods, hoping to find a certain tribe who would give them something to eat; but, not having found these wandering people, who had gone to some other place, they supposed that they all, Savages and French, were in danger of death, especially as there is no game in that quarter, and as the greater part of these Barbarians are sick.  God be praised for all.  Those who die on the way to martyrdom are surely martyrs.  As to Father Davost, he is getting along very well, but the Savages who are taking him have stolen part of his baggage; I have already said that to be a Huron, and to be a Thief, is one and the same thing.  So much for what this interpreter reported.  The Fathers will write us next year, please God, all the particulars of their journey; but we cannot have news from them before that time.  If their little outfit is lost or stolen, they will have to endure a great deal in those countries, so far from all help.


            On the fourth, Monsieur du Plessis came down from three Rivers.  As I [338] went to greet him, he told me that he had brought us a little orphan Savage, making a present of him to us, to take the place of his father.  As soon as we shall have the means for gathering in these poor children, we shall have a number of them who will afterwards serve in the conversion of their Compatriots.  He also told us that they were working with might and main in the place called the three Rivers; so, indeed, our French now have three settlements upon the great river [page 227] saint Lawrence,- one at Kebec, newly fortified; another fifteen leagues farther up the river, on the Island of sainte Croix, where Monsieur de Champlain has had fort Richelieu built;[13] the third colony is being established at three Rivers, fifteen leagues still higher up the river, that is to say thirty leagues from Kebec.  Immediately after the departure of the vessels, Father Jacques Buteux and I will go there to live, to assist our French.  As new settlements are usually dangerous, it has not seemed to me proper to expose Father Charles Lallemant or others there.  Father Buteux goes there with me [339] to study the language.


            Your Reverence will now see that the fear some people had that the foreigner would again come to ravage the country, and prevent the conversion of these poor Barbarians, is not well founded; since households have been established here, since forts and dwellings are being built in several places, and as Monseigneur the Cardinal favors this enterprise, honorable in the eyes of God and of man.  That mind, capable of animating four bodies, according to what I have heard, -sees far indeed, I confess; but I am of the opinion that he does not expect from our Savages, who hear the word of God and the truths of Heaven through his agency,-for it is he who has honored us with his commands, sending us again into these countries under the care of Messieurs the Associates,- I believe, I say, that he does not expect from this vine, which he waters with his care, the fruits which it will bear for him on earth, and which he will enjoy one day in Heaven.  God grant that he may see five or six hundred Hurons,- large, [340] strong, well-made men -ready to listen to the good [page 229] news of the Gospel which is being carried to them this year.  I imagine that he would honor occasionally new France by a look, and that this glance would give him as much satisfaction as those great deeds with which he is filling Europe; but to cause the blood of Jesus Christ to be applied to the souls for whom it was shed, is a glory little known among men, but longed for by the great powers of Heaven and earth.


            It is time to sound the retreat; the vessels are ready to depart, and still I have not yet read over nor repunctuated this long Relation, which ought to be enough for three years.  Your Reverence will understand, through the necessity that has obliged me to borrow the hand of another to write to you, that I have not all the leisure I could desire.  I do not know how it happens that news is always written in haste.  Let no one seek herein elegance, so much as truth and simplicity; my heart has spoken more than my lips, and were it not for the feeling I have [341] that, in writing to one person, I speak to many, it would overflow still more.


            One word more.  Since Your Reverence loves us so tenderly, and your kind care reaches out so effectively to help us, even to the ends of the earth, give us, my Reverend Father, if you please, persons capable of learning these languages.  We intended to apply ourselves to this work this year, Father Lallemant, Father Buteux, and I; but this new settlement separates us.  Who knows whether Father Daniel is still living, whether Father Davost will reach the Hurons?  For, as his Savages have begun to rob him, they may truly play a still worse game upon him.  Since the death of a poor unhappy Frenchman, [page 231] murdered by the Hurons, it has been discovered that these Barbarians caused the drowning of Reverend Father Nicolas, Recolect, considered a very worthy man.[14] All this convinces us that we must retain here as many of our Fathers as we can; because if, for example, Father Brebœuf and I should happen to die, all the little we know of the Huron [342] and Montagnais languages would be lost; and thus they would always be beginning over again, and retarding the fruits that they wish to gather from this Mission.  God will raise up persons who will have pity upon so many souls, and who will succor those who come to seek them in the midst of so many dangers.  It is he whom we thank for Your Reverence's so cordial affection and assistance, very humbly supplicating you to remember at the Altar and at the Oratory your children and subjects,- especially the one who is most in need of it, who will sign himself confidently and from the depths of his heart, what he is,



Your very humble and very obedient

servant in Our Lord Jesus Christ,


From the little house of N. Dame des Anges, in New France. this 7th of August, 1634.


Your Reverence will permit us, if you please, to implore the prayers of all our Fathers, and of all our brothers of your Province.  Our great help must come from Heaven. [page 235]



Table of Chapters contained in this Relation.[15]






ON the good conduct of the French.                                                     page



On the conversion, Baptism and happy death of some Savages.           page



On the means of converting the Savages.                                             page



On the belief, superstitions, and errors of the Montagnais Savages.     page



On the good things which are found among the Savages.                     page



On their vices and imperfections.                                                         page



On the meats and other food which the Savages eat, and their seasoning, and their beverages                                                                             page.




On their feasts.                                                                                    page.



On their hunting and fishing.                                                              page.



On their dress and ornaments.                                                            page.



On the language of the montagnais Savages.                                      page.



On what one must suffer in wintering with the Savages.                      page.



Containing a journal of things which could not be set down in preceding Chapters.                                                                                            page.



[page 235]






à Cardinal de Richelieu


Kebek, Aoust i, 1635




SOURCE : The original is in the Archives des affaires étrangères, Paris.  We follow a transcript of the copy in the Library of the Dominion Parliament, Ottawa. [page 237]



Letter from Paul Lejeune, of the Society of Jesus, to Monseigneur the Cardinal.




My very humble greetings, in him who is the salvation of all men. I do not know          whether I am becoming savage, by associating every day with the savages; but I do know well that it is not so much the contact with their barbarism as the respect I owe to Your Eminence, which has prevented me until now from giving myself the honor of writing to you.  Now I fear that this reserve makes me seem ungrateful, especially as it is hard to remain from day to day in a state of wonder at your great deeds and benefactions, and not allow the tongue to give some evidence of the sentiments of the heart.  All Europe, yes, all the old world regards you with admiration.  The Church cherishes and honors you as one of its greatest princes, full of joy at seeing the arrogance of its enemies crushed by your government.  All France owes her recovery to you, who dissipated the poison which was creeping to her heart.  Alas, what misfortunes would have befallen her in these past years, if this poison had retained its strength in the midst of the State![16] The friends and allies of the most noble crown in the universe have not words enough to acknowledge your kind deeds, and its enemies no longer have courage in your presence.  You know when to make both peace and war, as you possess equally goodness and justice. [page 239] The land is too small for your efforts.  The seas acknowledge your power, for it is you who have joined the New France to the old; and all these peoples, who do not yet know the true God, begin to acknowledge and admire your authority, and to enjoy the sweet fruits of your benevolence.  I contemplate all this with astonishment, but I am charmed when I see how your mind, without leaving the care of great affairs, takes so kind and deep an interest and fondness for a small number of people lodged at the ends of the earth.  I mean the religious of our society, whom you honor with special affection in these distant countries.  I could not read without wondering at your goodness the recommendation which I still keep, signed by your own hand,- in which, taking us under your protection, you commanded those who, in accordance with your orders, came to take the country from the hands of the English, to accord us good treatment under penalty of answering for it in their own persons.  It would have taken a heart of bronze not to feel emotion at the sight of this recommendation,[17] which was brought to us in New France by your authority, and which largely dispelled our sadness in seeing this country in such a deplorable state, after so long a time as our French had been in possession of it.  But its condition goes on changing every day since you have deigned to honor it with your interest.  These Gentlemen of the New Company have done more good here in one year than those who preceded did in all their lives.  Families are beginning to multiply, and these already urge us to open a school for the education of their children, which we will begin soon, God helping us.  I fear but one misfortune,- that these Gentlemen, who have [page 241] told no untruth about their great expenses, which are evident in the fine outfits they put to sea, may altogether or partly lose the great courage they now display, if unfortunately their trade in peltries should not always succeed. Monseigneur, you are all-powerful in this matter, as in many others; a single glance of your eyes can protect, animate, and help them, and indeed all these countries, from which France can one day derive great benefits.  It is well known, both from experience and from reading historians and geographers, that every year a very great number of people leave France, and cast themselves, some here, some there, among foreigners, because they have no employment in their own country.  I have been told, and have heard it only with great regret, that a large part of the artisans in Spain are Frenchmen.  How then! must we give men to our enemies to make war upon us, when we have here so many lands, so beautiful and good, where colonies can be introduced which will be loyal to His Majesty and to Your Eminence?  The son of a French artisan born in Spain is a Spaniard; but, if he is born in New France, he will be a Frenchman.  It all lies in employing strong men to cut down and clear the woods, so that the land may be distributed among families which are here, or will be brought over here.  The Gentlemen of the Company are doing wonders in this regard; but the outlay is so great that I would almost have doubts of their continuing in the work, were they not supported by Your Eminence. Monseigneur, you are the heart and soul of this company and of all New France.  You not only can give physical life to an infinite number of poor French workmen, who go begging it among strangers for lack of [page 243] land; but you can give spiritual life to a great number of barbarous people, who die every day in the slavery of Satan for lack of preachers of the Gospel.  If Your Eminence continues your favors to us, and these Gentlemen their kindness, I hope that, as soon as we shall know the language, you will see and taste the fruits of a new Church, so much sweeter and more savory as these poor barbarians are now in so pitiable a State.  We have already, in our first stammerings, sent some souls to heaven, bathed in the blood of the lamb.  These are a few fruits of a vine that you are planting, Monseigneur, and that you bedew with your favors.  Also, it is very reasonable that this new Church should begin and progress under the authority and assistance of a Prince of the Church.  But I am losing myself in the details of my discourse, forgetting that, in speaking to the Great, one must imitate the Laconian fashion, rather than the Athenian.  I am following neither, but am simply relying upon your gentleness and goodness, which procure and grant me access to Your Eminence, and will permit me, if you please, to bear in this new world the title and character,


Of Your very humble,

very obedient, and greatly

obliged servant in

our Lord,

Paul Le jeune, of the

Society of Jesus.


KEBEK, NEW FRANCE, the 1st Day of August, 1635.


[page 245]









SOURCE:  Title-page and text reprinted from the copy of the first issue (H. 63)~, in Lenox Library.

Chaps. i.- ii. are given in the present volume ; the remainder of the document will appear in Volume VIII. [page 247]









Sent to the


of the Society of Jesus

in the Province of France.


By Father Paul le Jeune of the same Society,

Superior of the residence of Quebec.


P A R I S.


Sebastien Cramoisy, Printer in ordinary

to the King, ruë sainct Jacques,

at the Sign of the Storks.





[page 251]



[iii] Table of Chapters contained in this book.


RELATION of what occurred in New France in the year 1635




Of the condition and occupations of our Society in New France.




Of the conversion and of the death of some Savages.

Chap. ii



How it is a benefit to both old and new France, to send Colonies here.

Chap. iii



A collection of various matters prepared in the form of a Journal.




Relation of what occurred among the Hurons in the year 1635.

Sent to Kebec to Father le Jenne by Father Brebeuf.



[iiii] Relation of certain details regarding the Island of Cape Breton and its Inhabitants.

Sent by Father Julien Perrault of the Society of Jesus, to his Provincial in France, in 1634 & 35.




Various sentiments and opinions of the Fathers who are in New France.

Taken from their last letters of 1635.



[page 253]


[i] Relation of what occurred in New France, in the year 1635.




            May God be forever blessed.  Now, at last, New France is about to experience the       blessings of the mother country; and right, triumphing over injustice, will cause these countries to cease being what they have been for so many centuries,—boundless forests, the abode of [2] barbarism, and the land of infidelity.  We begin to see some open country, through the clearings that have been made in different places.  The families who come over every year are beginning to change the barbarism of the Savages into the courtesy natural to the French; and the slight progress we are making, through our stammerings, leads us to conjecture that the faith will banish infidelity from its Empire.  In short, I hope to see, some day, these words fulfilled in our great deserts: Multi filii desertte, magis quàm eius quœ habet virum.  It is, indeed, proper that, in the Reign of so saintly a King, virtue should enter one of the great Seigniories of his Crown; that, under the favor and leadership of a Prince of the Church, we should see a new Church arise, quœ, extendet palmites suos usque ad mare, et usque ad flumen [3] propagines eius, which shall extend its branches even to the sea, and shall propagate itself along the shores of the chief of all rivers.  A thousand considerations suggest these thoughts, and arouse in us these expectations.  This enterprise is supported by persons of merit and rank, whose [page 255], integrity viewed by the eyes of all France, receives general approbation and praise, even from the lips of our great King.  The exclusion of those who, having drained off the wealth that can be gathered in this country, left it without settlers and without cultivation,—not having, in all the years they enjoyed it, cleared a single arpent of land; the great sums that the Gentlemen of the Company of New France are expending, either upon the country or upon their establishments;[18] the disposition we [4] see in many persons to favor this project, some by their means, others by their personal labors: [all these considerations] lead us to conclude that God is conducting this enterprise.


            I shall say nothing of those whose ardent zeal warms and at the same time confounds us, whose help cheers and strengthens us.  Neither shall I say any more about the burning desire of a great number of our Fathers, who find the air of New France the air of Heaven, since there they can suffer for Heaven, and there can help souls to find Heaven.  I pass over in silence many other Religious, who have the same sentiments and the same willingness.  But what surprises me is that many young Nuns, consecrated to our Lord, wish to join us,—overcoming the fear natural [5] to their sex, in order to come and help the poor girls and poor women among these Savages.  There are so many of these who write to us, and from so many Convents, and from various Orders in the Church, of the strictest discipline, that you would say that each one is first to laugh at the hardships of the Sea, the riotous waves of the Ocean, and the barbarism of these countries.  They have written me that the Superior of a very well-ordered House, being [page 257] asked to send some Sisters to establish a Convent of her Order in some town of France, answered that she had no Sisters except for New France, and for England, in case God restored the Catholic faith there.  Another one, no less zealous, having recounted the great devotions that were performed in her House for the happy conversion of these Tribes, said that the Relation [6] of last year, capable of appalling the stoutest heart, not only has not disheartened these Sisters, but on the contrary has so inspired them, that thirteen have with their own hands signed a vow to God, to cross over into New France, there to exercise the functions of their Order, if their Superiors are pleased to allow them.  I have received, seen, and read this vow with astonishment.  I know another one, who, after having established several Convents of her Order in France, would consider it a great favor of God if she could come and end her days in a little home, dedicated to the service of the little Savage girls who go wandering through these great forests.  To all of which I can only say that Digitus Dei est hîc, that the hand of God guides this enterprise.


            [7] But I must give this advice, in passing, to all these good Sisters,—that they be very careful not to urge their departure until they have here a good House, well built and well endowed; otherwise, they would be a burden to our French, and could accomplish little for these Peoples, Men can extricate themselves much more easily from difficulties; but, as for the Nuns, they must have a good House, some cleared land, and a good income upon which to live, and relieve the poverty of the wives and daughters of the Savages. [page 259]


            Alas, my God! if the waste, the superabundance of some of the Ladies of France were employed in this so holy work, what great blessings would it bring down upon their families!  What glory in the sight of the Angels, to have gathered the blood of the [8] Son of God, to apply it to these poor infidels!  Is it possible that earthly possessions are of greater concern to us than life itself?  Behold these tender and delicate Virgins all ready to hazard their lives upon the waves of the Ocean, to come seeking little souls in the rigors of an air much colder than that of France, to endure hardships at which even men would be appalled; and will not some brave Lady be found who will give a Passport to these Amazons of the great God, endowing them with a House in which to praise and serve his divine Majesty in this other world?  I cannot persuade myself that our Lord will not dispose some one to this act.


            But let us change the subject, and briefly relate the little I have to say for this year.  I will divide [9] this Relation into only four Chapters. [page 261]








E have six Residences in New France.   The first, beginning with the first land encountered         in coming into these countries,  is called the Residence of Sainte Anne; it is at Cape Breton.  The second is the  Residence of Saint Charles, at Miskou.  The third, which we are going to occupy this Autumn, the Residence of Nostre dame de Recouvrance, at Kebec, near the Fort.  The fourth, the Residence of Nostre dame des Anges, half a league from Kebec.  The fifth, the Residence of the Conception, at the three Rivers.  The sixth, the Residence of Saint Joseph, [10] Ihonatiria, among the Hurons. [19] I hope that we shall soon have a seventh, in the same country, but in a Village other than Ihonatiria.  Now, as the Vessels which go to Cape Breton and to Miskou do not go up as far as Kebec, it thus happens that we have no communication with our Fathers who are in the Residences of Sainte Anne and of Saint Charles, except by way of France; hence neither letters nor other things should be sent to us to hold for them, but they should be given to those Vessels which go to these French settlements.  It follows also that I can say nothing of the things which take place in these Residences, on account of their remoteness and the little commerce we have with them.  All these Residences are maintained by [page 263] the Gentlemen of the Company [11] of New France,—who have had Fortresses and dwellings for our French people built indifferent parts of the country,—except the Residence of Nostre dame des Anges, which is supported principally through the liberality of Monsieur le Marquis de Gamache.[20] This Residence has three great plans for the glory of our Lord; the first, to erect a College for the education of the children of the families, which are every day becoming more numerous.  The second, to establish a Seminary for the little Savages, to rear them in the Christian faith.  The third, to give powerful aid to the Mission of our Fathers among the Hurons and other stationary Tribes.  As to the College, although it is not yet built, we shall begin this year to teach a few children.  Everything has its beginning; [12] the most learned once knew only the first elements of the Alphabet.


            In regard to the Seminary, we are now having one built.  For a while it will be in the Residence of Nostre dame des Anges; but, if some pious person be found who wishes to endow it, and to support the poor little barbarians that they may be made children of Jesus Christ, it will have to be moved farther up the river, to a place where the Savages will not object to bring their children.  I send a little boy to Your Reverence, and, if you please, you will return him to us in a couple of years; he will help to retain and teach his little compatriots; the one I did send you, and who has been returned to us, pleases us greatly.  The Savages are beginning to open their eyes and to recognize that children who are with us are well taught.


            [13] Finally, as to the Mission among the Hurons [page 265] and other stationary Tribes, it is of the greatest importance for the service of our Lord.  The Gentlemen of the Company cherish and assist it.  It is among those Tribes that we expect the greatest conversions; it is there that a great number of laborers must be sent, if the faith begins to illumine those souls, so many thousands of years plunged in darkness.  If some fund cannot be found to maintain it, I would almost willingly give up the care both of a College and of a Seminary, to make it succeed.  But some persons, who prefer to have their names written in the Book of life rather than upon this paper, positively forbid us to abandon in any wise our plans, assuring us of a very certain truth, that God has more strength and more willingness [14] to help us than we have courage to undertake enterprises for his glory.


            Now not to wander from the subject of our Residences, we exercise in these all the functions of Curé or Pastor, as there are no others here besides ourselves; we preach the word of God, we administer the Sacraments of Baptism, of the Altar and of Penance, of Extreme Unction; we assist at the Sacrament of Marriage; at times we bury and lay out the dead; we visit the sick; we teach the Christian Doctrine to the children, and, as they are becoming more numerous through the arrival of families, we shall soon give them the elements of letters, as I have said.  Thus, if the beginnings are small, the end may be great and blessed.


            [15] Besides this, some of us are making an arduous and thorough study of the language, an occupation which will some day be so much the more useful as it is now difficult.  We also visit the Savages, and [page 267] through our stammerings try to cast into their souls some little grain of Gospel seed, which will ripen in its time, God willing.  These are our more ordinary occupations, besides the observances of Religion, which must never be omitted.  In regard to our French people, they are occupied in fortifying, in building, in clearing and cultivating the land.  However, I do not pretend to describe all that takes place in this country, but only that which concerns the welfare of the faith and of Religion.  This last winter, the land disease, or scurvy, appeared in the new settlement of the three Rivers, where Father Buteux [16] and I had gone; and this gave us a new occupation, which was mixed with joy and sadness.  On the one hand, we were grieved to see almost all our poor Countrymen suffer, and to see some of them die; on the other, we rejoiced to see the altogether admirable effects of the grace of our Lord within their souls.  A great many of the sick men never cared to ask God to restore their health, saying these words with great resignation: " He is our Father: he knows better than we what is good for us; leave it all to him, his holy will be done." I believe there was only one of those who passed to the other life, who did not make a general confession before his death.  As I was very anxious that one of them, since he was a young man of very good morals, should be restored [17] to health, I advised him to make a vow to the glorious Patriarch St. Joseph, to grant him deliverance from the disease.  " I will obey you," he replied; " but, if you leave me free to act as I please, I will merely pray the good St. Joseph to obtain for me from our Lord the grace to carry out his most holy will." Another time, a young man, very strong and robust, walking [page 269] about in the room of the sick, asked them what they would give to enjoy such vigorous health as his; one of them answered, very piously, " I would not even turn my head aside to enjoy all the health in the world, so readily as I would acquiesce in the good pleasure of God." This answer showed how powerfully grace was working in this soul.  Another who had been a heretic, and something of a libertine, astonished [18] all his companions at his death; for, after having given proofs of his belief, after having made his confession, with great contrition for his offenses, when I presented to him the holy Viaticum, " I believe in you, my Savior," said he, " yes, I believe in you; come, be merciful to me; you are powerful enough to pardon all my sins; " and, feeling himself growing weaker, he urged us at that very moment to give him Extreme Unction, which we did.  Having received it with many expressions of grief, he addressed all his Comrades, saying, " Adieu, my Comrades, adieu, my companions; I must go; I ask your pardon, I ask pity from all of you, I am very sorry to have lived so badly; but I hope that God will have mercy upon me; my God, have pity upon me." Uttering these words, he expired. [19] One may place sickness as much as he pleases in the catalogue of the misfortunes of this life; yet I consider that which carried off these young men as one of the most signal favors they ever received from the hand of God.  In conclusion, health prevails throughout all our settlements, but not saintliness, as yet.


            I fear very much that vice will slip into these new colonies.  If, however, those who hold the reins of government in hand are zealous for the glory of our good God, following the desires and intentions of the [page 271] Honorable Directors and Associates of the Company, there will arise here a Jerusalem blessed of God, composed of Citizens destined for Heaven.  It is very easy in a new country, where families arrive who are all prepared to observe the laws that will be established there, to [20] banish the wicked customs of certain places in old France, and to introduce better ones.  These Gentlemen, who interest themselves more in the cause of God, and in virtue, than in commerce, have no ships to bring over drunkenness, gambling, and the dissoluteness of the Carnival, any more than uncleanness and blasphemy.  New France does not desire those inhabitants of Cedar and of Babylon, who will surely slip in here, unless opposed by those who have all the power; dissimulation in this place and in these beginnings is very dangerous; and God will ask an account for duties omitted as well as for faults committed. [page 273]








WENTY-TWO  SAVAGES  have been baptized this year.   If we were acquainted with the     languages,   I believe the faith  would be  widely  extended.   We dare not  yet  trust        baptism to any except those whom we see in danger of death, or to children who are assured to us; for, not yet being able to fully instruct these Barbarians, they would soon show a contempt for our holy Mysteries, if they had only a slight knowledge of them.  It is quite true that, if these people were as desirous of learning as are all civilized nations, some [22] of us have a good enough knowledge of their language to teach them.  But as they make living, and not knowledge, their profession, their greatest anxiety is about eating and drinking, and not about learning.  When you speak to them of our truths, they listen to you patiently; but instead of asking you about the matter, they at once turn their thoughts to ways of finding something upon which to live, showing their stomachs always empty and always famished.  Yet if we could make speeches as they do, and if we were present in their assemblies, I believe we could accomplish much there.  The goodness of God will ensure success in all things in his own time; let us turn to our Neophytes.  On the 16th of August of last year, 1634, shortly after the departure of our vessels, I baptized, [page 275] when he was dying, a young boy about 12 or 14 years of age.  The [23] Savages called him Akkikouch; we had chosen for him the name Dieudonné.  Monsieur du Plessis Bochard, Commandant of the fleet, had brought him to us from the three Rivers, very sick; and had given him to us that we might, if possible, save the life of the body, at the same time giving him that of the soul.  He lived with us only long enough to be hastily instructed.


            On the 3rd of November of the same year, Father Charles l'Allemant baptized a young Savage about twenty-five years old, called by the people of his nation Matchonon, surnamed by the French, Martin; at baptism he received the name of Joseph.  The judgments of God are terrible; this poor wretch met with a horrible death.  It was of him I spoke in the second Chapter of the Relation of last year.  He would gladly, [24] if he had been able, have diverted the good François Sasousmat from receiving the Faith; and, while one day disputing with Father Brebeuf, he uttered this blasphemy, which caused him to lose the life of the body and perhaps that of the soul: " Thou tellest us that it is through the guidance of thy God that we find something to eat; tell him that he may oppose, with all his power, my taking Beavers and Elks; and you will see that I shall not fail to take them, in spite of him." One of our Frenchmen, seized with great zeal, hearing this impiety, was ready to leap upon him, and would have beaten him soundly, had it not been for the presence of the Father.  This poor, impious wretch has not, since this blasphemy, killed either Beaver or Elk.  He went up beyond the three Rivers, where illness prostrated him.  Father Brebeuf, when he was going up to the [page 277] Hurons last year, encountered him, and seeing him in [25] a pitiful state, asked him how much game he had killed since his blasphemy; the poor man was covered with confusion.  The Father took pity on him, and said that he would write to me about this meeting; and that he trusted that, if he wished to ask God's forgiveness, and embrace his faith, he would be succored.  Some time after I had received the Father's letter, we, Father Buteux and I, went to the new settlement of the three Rivers, to begin the Residence of the Conception.  We found this blasphemer as naked as a worm, very sick, lying upon the ground, his only possession being a wretched piece of bark, -a cabin of Savages who were encamped there having refused him shelter.  His brother had brought him to a place near the French settlement, and had left him there. [26] We asked him if he did not see that it was the vengeance of God, that he had not captured anything since his impious act.  " I have not been able," said he, " to capture anything, for I have been sick all the time." " But dost thou not see that it is God who has punished thee by this sickness?" " Perhaps thou sayest the truth," he answered me.  I tried to tell him that his brother had no pity on him, and he excused him very readily, —" What wouldst thou have him do; how will he drag me about in the forest where he is going to seek his living?" "But thy people, have they no pity on thee?  Why dost thou not ask these Savages to take thee into their cabin, or else to give thee a small piece of bark, to make a little one for thyself?  " He did not even dare ask them, they are so ashamed to beg from each other; but he told me in a low voice to ask them to do it; I did so immediately in [page 279] his presence.  At [27] first, they gave me no answer; but finally a woman said that they were going elsewhere to camp, and they had none too much bark for themselves.  In short, this unhappy man, seeing that the bark which brought us was returning to Kebec, begged me to have him carried there, for we could find no place for him; our house in this early stage was only some logs of wood, fitted to each other, plastered over the cracks with a little clay, and covered with grass; we had in all twelve feet square for the Chapel and for our living room, awaiting the completion of a frame building which was being constructed.  So, realizing that it was impossible for us to help him, I begged them to take him in the bark, which they did, and carried him to Kebec, where the [28] Savages deserted him.  Father l'Allemant, seeing him abandoned, had him come to our house, the very thing he desired; one of our Brothers dressed his sores every day and the Father instructed him, in order to prepare him for baptism.  Now, as they supposed that he was in danger of death, the Father baptized him, and they fed and nursed him all winter.  When I returned in the Spring from the three Rivers, I was very glad to see him, hoping he would instruct me in the knowledge of his language, and that I could teach him more at leisure the truths of our belief.  I had hardly arrived when his brother came along, and he [the sick man], overjoyed to see him, asked me to let him go with him to the three Rivers; I did all I could to dissuade him, foreseeing his certain ruin if he returned among the Savages, and promised all [29] assistance if he would stay.  " No," said he, " I want to go up the river to see my relatives." Now, as I know the character [page 281] of these Barbarians very well, I told him that the Savages would soon throw him out of their cabins; that they would give him nothing to eat, and, at last becoming tired of him, they would kill him.  He began to laugh, saying to me that they would not go so far as that.  I threatened that, if he went away, we would not take him back again; but there was no way of stopping him.  When he reached the three Rivers, Father Buteux, who was there, tried to make him see the evil that might result from his having left us, but he merely laughed at him; the Father threatened him with the judgments of God; he answered that he could as well endure the fires in hell as he had borne the cold during the-winter.  At first the Savages kept him [30] in their cabins; but, getting tired of him, they put him out, and there he lay, under the shelter of the Sky and a piece of bark; they gave him only a little fish, and that not often.  So he almost began to fear what I had predicted for him, as he was not ignorant of the customs of his nation.  He said to Father Buteux, who was returning to Kebec to make a visit, " Thy brother told me that, if I left your house, he would never take me back again.  I would like very much to be there now; tell him that if he will receive me, he may write to some Frenchman, and I will have myself taken there at the first opportunity." When the Father arrived and reported this to me, we immediately betook ourselves to the fort at Kebec, to seek some opportunity to send for him, wishing to save this poor wretch since he bore the mark of a Christian; but [31] oh, just and terrible vengeance of the great God!  On our way we met a Montagnais, who told us that, immediately after the departure of Father [page 283] Buteux, a Savage had given this wretched man a blow from an axe, during the night, which dashed his brains out of his head.  So thus he passed into the other world.


            On the eighth of the same month, November, Monsieur Giffart8 baptized a little savage child, aged about six months, believing him so near death that we could not be summoned; yet he lived on for some time.  His wife nursed this poor little child, and cared for it as if it had been her own.  One night, awakening full of astonishment and joy, she said to her husband that she believed this little Angel had gone to [32] Heaven; " No," he replied, " I have just now been to see it, and it still lives." " I beg you," she answered, " to go and look again; I cannot believe that it is not dead, as I have just seen in my sleep a great troop of Angels coming to take it." So they went to see it again, and found that it had passed away.  They were very glad that they had helped send to Heaven a soul that will bless God throughout all eternity.  On the sixth day of January of this year, one thousand six hundred and thirty-five, Father Lallemant applied the waters of holy Baptism to a little girl about nine or ten years of age, who is being reared in the house of a French family.  This child had some one ask the Father to admit her into the Church; he examined her in regard to her belief, and, seeing her sufficiently instructed, knowing besides that she [33] had no relatives who could take her from the hands of our French people, he made a present of her to the little Jesus on Epiphany; she has continued to do well since then, fleeing from the Savages, so that she cannot be induced to speak to them. [page 285]


            On the second day of February, the little Savage who was taken to France last year was baptized in the Convent of the sisters of Mercy, that is, in the Hospital of Dieppe; as she was born in New France, I will place her among those of her country who have been made children of God this year.  She was placed as a boarder with these good sisters.  Here is what the Mother Superior, who with her whole house cannot be excelled in zeal for the salvation of the poor Savages, has written me about her: " Our little Canadian girl died on the day of the Purification [341 of our Lady, of smallpox, which could not be cured, although all possible remedies were used; she was baptized half an hour before her death, and it was almost a miracle that we were not surprised, for she was strong for her age, and did not seem to be so near death as she was.  Her funeral was honored with beautiful ceremonies, and with songs of gladness instead of the Service for the dead, as her death followed so closely upon her baptism.  This child won the love of all; she was very obliging, very obedient, and as careful as a Nun not to enter forbidden places; and when it was desired to make her enter, either through inadvertence or to test her obedience, she answered very sweetly, 'I have not permission; [35] the Mother Superior does not wish it.' She already knew several of the lessons in her Catechism, and understood a great deal of the French language; it was through this that we had made her comprehend the three principal Articles of our belief.  She could say 'very well that the Manitou was good for nothing; that she no longer wished to return to Canada, but that she desired to be a Christian and to be baptized, knowing well that no one could go to Heaven [page 287] without that.  We all enjoyed these talks; in a word, suffice it to say, that she tried to imitate, in so far as she was able, all the good that she saw done." These are the very words of the Reverend Mother Elizabeth of saint François, Superior of this Hospital, one of the best regulated in Europe; it is only necessary to enter the hall of the poor patients, to see [36] the modesty of the sisters who serve them, to consider their kindness in the most annoying cases of sickness, to cast the eyes over the cleanliness of this house, to go hence full of affection and to offer a thousand praises to our Lord.  If a Monastery like that were in New France, their charity would do more for the conversion of the Savages than all our journeys and our sermons.


            On the eighteenth of the same month of February, Father Buteux and I received among the number of Christians, a good Savage woman, who was solemnly baptized in our Chapel of the Conception at the three Rivers.  She was called Ouetata Samakheou, and we gave her the name of Anne.  When the Savages went away, they left her near our Settlement, very sick and lying upon the hard ground; [37] others arriving, we had her placed in their Cabin; and when these moved away, after a short sojourn, we had her placed in another, the only one remaining; as the people of this Cabin wished to follow the others, we begged them to leave a few rolls of their bark to make a miserable hut for this poor creature; but they turned a deaf ear.  Now as we could not have this woman taken into the fort, where there were only men, and as on the other hand we did not wish to see her die before our eyes a victim to the cold, having nothing with which to make her a house, we begged [page 289] our French people to intimidate these Barbarians, who were so cruel towards their own people.  So some of them came at once, pistol in hand, and took some of the bark by force, telling them that this [38] woman would soon either die or recover, and they would get back what they had loaned.  They were very angry; but nevertheless, as this violence was reasonable, one of them, to atone for their cruelty, returned from the woods where he had gone to camp, and himself put up a little cabin for her, where every day we carried her food and then instructed her.  Imagine, if you please, how great is the necessity for a Hospital here, and how much fruit it could produce.  Three things consoled me greatly in expounding to her the Articles of our belief; the 1st was, that, wishing to make her perform some act of contrition for her sins, in order to prepare her for baptism, I called up the names of several offenses, threatening her with the fires of hell if, having committed these crimes, she were not washed in the waters of the Sacrament; [39] this poor, frightened, sick woman began to name her offenses aloud, saying, " I have not committed those sins that thou sayest, but I have these," accusing herself of several very shameful ones.  I told her it would be enough for her to ask pardon in her heart without naming them, Confession not being necessary except after Baptism; but she did not cease, begging for mercy from him who has made all.  In the second place, speaking with her about death, one day after her baptism, she began to cry, being angry at me for speaking to her of such a horrible thing; I was somewhat astonished at this, and almost sorry that I had baptized her.  We recommended her to our Lord, who touched her heart; for, having [page 291] returned to see her, she asked me a number of questions: " Will my soul have any [40] sense when it leaves my, body?  " said she.  " Will it see?  Will it speak?  " I assured her that indeed it would lose none of these faculties, but on the contrary would have them in a much more perfect way; and that, if she believed in Jesus Christ without dissembling, she would know wonders and would enjoy great consolation.  " Thou hast told me that I shall come to life again some day; shall I be like myself," she said to me, " like what I am now, or like some one else?" " It is thyself, it is thy own body which will live again, and which will be as beautiful as the day, if thou hast had Faith; if not, it will be horrible, all deformed and destined to the eternal flames." " What will my soul eat after death?" "Thy soul has no body, it has no need of the food here below; it will feast upon [41] joys beyond conception." " What shall I see if I go to Heaven?" " Thou wilt see what is going on down here,—the foolishness of such of thy people as will not receive the Faith, the beauty and the grandeur of him who has made all; and thou wilt pray to him for me." " What shall I say to him?" she asked.  " Tell him to be merciful to me, to have pity on me; and to call me soon, to be with him in Heaven." " Then," said she, " it is a good thing to be up there, since thou wishest to die to go there.  But perhaps I shall forget what thou tellest me." " No, thou wilt not forget it, if thou dost really and truthfully believe." " What will they do with my body when I am dead?  " " It will be placed in a beautiful coffin, and all the French will bear it with honor to the place where we bury our dead." " Tell me once [42] more, will my soul [page 293] have sense when it has left my body?  " "Yes, it will; it will see, hear, understand readily, and will speak in a more noble way than thy lips." While listening to my answers, her face began to brighten; and at last she exclaimed, joyfully, Nitapoueten, nitapoueten, " I believe, I believe; and, as a proof of my belief, thou wilt never see me fear death; until now I was trembling when thou wert speaking of it to me, but from now on I shall wish for it, so that I may go and see him who has made all; I was saying always in my prayers ' Make me well, thou canst cure me;' but hereafter I shall say to him, ' I do not care to live any longer, I am content to die to see thee."' And, in fact, the rest of the time she lived after these questions, I never noticed in her the least indication [43] that she was afraid to die.  The third thing that gladdened us was, that when a Savage called Sakapouan, wishing to divert her from our belief, said that we were story-tellers and she must not believe us, since we could not show nor make any one see what we were teaching, this poor Neophyte, fortified by the spirit of God, held firm, and answered steadfastly that she believed we told the truth.  Thus she died a very good Christian.  As to the Savage who tried to shake her faith, he did not do so long, for God drew down upon him a most severe revenge; this wretch, who already felt ill, was seized with frenzy, soon after his act of impiety, and died a maniac.  We had taught him well enough; but the fear of what others would say, which is a potent factor [44] among these people, prevented him from professing the Faith.  He said to us several times, " I indeed believe that all you say is true; but if I obey you, when I go to the feasts of my People, they will all make [page 295] sport of me." " Arrange it," said he to me, " so that Outaouau (this is one of the great orators among the Savages) may receive the Faith when he comes here; and after that I will have no more difficulty in believing you." Outaouau found him dead and buried at his return.


            On the seventh of April, the little Savage whom we had sent to France, and whom Father Lallemant brought back to us, was made a Christian and solemnly baptized by the same Father.  Monsieur de Champlain, our Governor, gave him the name Bonaventure.  Every day, when he came to say good day to the Father, [45] who took care to instruct him, he never failed to ask him for baptism; he is doing very well now, thank God, and is becoming quite docile.  I am hoping he will be of great service to us in our Seminary.


            On the thirteenth of May, I baptized the son of the good woman whom I made a Christian and named Marie last year, and whom I had left sick near our House when I went to pass the winter at the three Rivers.  As she was growing worse, Father Lallemant gave her Extreme Unction; and, when she died, buried her solemnly in our Cemetery.  She left, as her only heritage, her disease to her little child, whom a slow fever sent to Heaven after his baptism; in his language he bore the name of Aouetitin, which was changed to that of Pierre.


            [46] On the nineteenth of August, Father Lallemant baptized a girl about four years old, who was born in the country of the Bissiriniens.[21] She is being taken to France to be reared and educated in the Christian Faith.


            The rest of the persons who have been made Christians [page 297] since we have written to France, were baptized in the Huron country, as Your Reverence can see by the Relation our Fathers have sent me, which I forward to you.  Among others, they have conferred this Sacrament upon an honest fellow whom Father de Nouë, who knew him in that so distant country, recommended to me highly.  " We have," said he, "always believed that this man would die a Christian, and that God would be merciful to him; for he had a very good disposition,—giving alms freely to aid his Countrymen, and even to us, [471 who were strangers.  When he returned from fishing he always brought us some fish, not in the way the other Savages did, who give only that they may get something in return, but gratuitously; he came to see us once or twice every week, and, after having talked for some time with us, seeing that we were in good health, he would go away well satisfied." Now as he observed fairly well the Law which nature has graven upon the hearts of all men, God gave him before his death the knowledge of the Law of his son.


            I will relate in this place the manifest chastisement which God has drawn down upon the wretched Sorcerer and his brother, of whom I spoke very fully in the Relation of last year.  This wicked man, in order to displease me, [48] occasionally made attacks upon God, as I have said.  One day he said to the Savages in my presence, " I have to-day made a great deal of sport of the one whom the black robe tells us has made all things." I could not stand this blasphemy, and told him aloud that, if he were in France, they would put him to death; furthermore, that he might sneer at me as much as he pleased and I would endure it, but that he might better kill and [page 299] murder me than to expect me to suffer him to mock my God when I was present; that he would not continue much longer with this impertinence, for God was powerful enough to burn and cast him into hell, if he kept on with his blasphemies.  He never again spoke in this way before me, but in my absence he did not in the least refrain from his scoffing and impious speeches.  God did not fail to strike him; for the year had not [49] yet expired, when his cabin took fire, I know not how, and he was dreadfully scorched, roasted and burned, as it was related to me by the Savages, not without wonder.

            They told me also, that Mestigoü, whom I had taken for my host, was drowned.  I would much rather God had touched their hearts; I have been particularly grieved about my host, for he had good inclinations; but having sneered, in company with some of the Savages, at the prayers I had made them say in the time of our great need, he was involved in the same vengeance.  Falling ill of a disease which made him lose his reason, so that he ran hither and thither naked, like a madman, he found himself upon the shore of the great river, at low tide; and, when the tide arose, he was smothered [50] in the waters.


            Almost all of those who were in the cabin where the Sorcerer treated me so badly, have died, some here, some there, and all by a lamentable death.  Only three days ago they brought me the Sorcerer's son, to have him put in a Seminary we intend to establish; I was very anxious to take him, and to do him as much good as his father had done me evil; but, as he has a most horrible scrofulous affection near the ear, we were afraid he would give the [page 301] disease to the little boys we have in our House, and so we refused him.  Monsieur Gand[22] a very charitable man, has this child's sores dressed and dresses them himself ; if he recovers, we will place him in our Seminary.


            As to the Apostate, he came [51] to see us, pretending that he wished to be reconciled to the Church; we demanded some proof of his good will; namely, that he should come to see us, not when the Savages were having a famine, which forced him to seek the French, but in the time of their abundance; if he returns then, we will receive him, and keep him several months before giving him permission to enter the Church. [page 303]







See Volume VI. for particulars of this document.




The original of Le Jeune's letter to Cardinal Richelieu, dated at Quebec, August 1, 1635, is in the Archives of Foreign Affairs, at Paris.  We follow a transcript of the document, in the library of the Dominion Parliament, Ottawa.  So far as we are aware, this is its first publication.




As will be seen from the Preface to the present volume, this document, which for convenience is designated by bibliographers as Le Jeune's Relation of 1635, is, like most of the Cramoisys, a composite.  It is often referred to as " H. 63, " because described in Harrisse's Notes, no. 63.


            For the text of this document, we have had recourse to a copy in the Lenox Library.


            Collation:        Title, with verso blank, i l.; " Table des Chapitres, " pp. (2); Relation signed by Le Jeune and eighteen of his confréres, pp.  I - 112; Brébeuf's Huron Relation, pp. 113-206; Perrault's Relation of Cape Breton, pp. 207 - 2 1 9; " Divers Sentimens, " pp. 220 - 246; " Extraict du Priuilege du Roy, " with the " Approbation " on the verso, i 1. There is no misnumeration. [page 305]


            The (civil) Privilege for this volume is dated January 12, 1636, and the (ecclesiastical) Approbation January 15, 1635.  This apparent discrepancy arises from difference in the calendar: the civil authorities were using the present calendar; whereas the officers of the church were still clinging to the old ecclesiastical year, which began in March.  The Approbation of the Jesuit provincial was granted three days after the granting of the royal Privilege.


            Another edition of this Relation appears in the octavo volume published at Avignon, also in 1636, AND containing the Relations for 1634 and 1635 conjunctively.  The volume is described in the Bibliographical Data for document XXIII., in Volume VI., P. 321, of the present series.

            There are at least two issues of the Paris edition.  We note the following differences:



P. 82, reads: Miriuan oukachigakhi nimitchiminon.

P. 82, reads: Mirinan oukachigakhi nimitchiminan.

P. 90, reads: On l'appelle Rat muƒqué, pource qu'en effect les teƒticules pris au Printemps ƒentent le muƒe, en autre temps ils n'ont point d'odeur.

P. 90, reads: On l'appelle Rat muƒqué, pource qu'en effect vne partie de son corps priƒe au Printemps ƒent le muƒe, en autre temps elle n'a point d'odeur.

P. 91, the first paragraph ends with: "coƒte de l'Acadie."

P. 91, the first paragraph ends with: l'coƒte de l'Acadie à Mr Com. de Razilly."

The Avignon edition follows the wording of the first Paris issue, though it deviates somewhat in the matter of paragraphing; cf., e.g., pp. 127 and 199 Of the Paris edition with pp. 345 (mispaged 245) and 388 of the Avignon edition. [page 306]


            The Quebec reprint (1858) follows the text of the second Paris issue.


            The only copy of the Avignon edition, known to us, is in the Lenox Library.  Copies of the Paris edition are in the following libraries: Lenox (two issues), Harvard, Riggs (Georgetown University), Brown, British Museum, and Bibliothéque Nationale.  Copies have been sold or priced as follows: Le clerq (1878), no. 778, 140 francs; O'Callaghan (1882), no. 14, $35—-it had cost him $32.50 in gold; Barlow (1889), no. 1275, $12.50; Dufossé, of Paris, priced (1891-1893) at 300 and 400 francs. [page 307]




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

[1]   (p. 15)—Matachias: ornaments of shell, beads, etc.; see vol. ii., note 17.


[2]  (p. 31).—Cf. vol. ii., page 67, where Plaisance is called Præsentis by the natives.


[3]  (p. 39).—Mille-pertuis: literally," a thousand holes," referring to the appearance of transparent points in the leaves, caused by cells filled with volatile oil; a name applied to the genus Hyfiericum.


[4]  (p. 171).—Concerning these Iroquois prisoners, see Le Jeune's Relation of 1632 (vol. v., of this series, pp. 27-31, 45-49).


[5]  (p. 209).—This was the Hébert-Couillard family.  Hébert (see vol. ii., note 80) bore the title of Sieur de l'Espinay (or L'Epinay), to which, upon his death (1627), his son-in-law Couillard succeeded.


[6]  (p. 211).—The Moulin Baude River, in Saguenay county, Que., enters the St. Lawrence four miles below Tadoussac.  It is noted for the fine quarry of white statuary marble near its mouth.


[7]  (p. 211).—For sketch of Lalemant, see vol. iv., note 20.  The lay brother, Jean Liégeois, was long a useful member of the mission; he had charge of the construction of the college at Quebec, and also erected at Three Rivers the house and chapel occupied by the mission there.  He was several times sent to France on the business of the mission.  He was slain by the Iroquois, May 20, 1655, while superintending the construction of a fort near Sillery, for the defence of the native converts there resident.


[8]  (p. 213).—See sketch of Giffard in vol. vi., note 8. Ferland says (Cours d'Histoire, vol. i., pp. 265 - 267): "This edifice [Champlain's chapel, built in 1633] was not long adequate for the French population, which was every year increased by the arrival of new colonists; and in a short time it became necessary to make a considerable enlargement of the building. . . . The return of the French to Canada had produced such a movement in the maritime provinces of Western France, and especially in Normandy.  From all sides came offers of aid; pious persons sent charitable gifts, either for the missions, or for the instruction of the French and the savages.  In many communities, nuns offered themselves to nurse the sick, or to [page 309] educate young girls; some even were pledged to this work by vows.  Christian families, desiring to seek peace in the solitudes of the new world, asked for information as to the advantages that Canada could offer them.  This interest was aroused by the relations that the Jesuits sent in 1632 and 1633.  These being published, and disseminated in Paris and the provinces, had drawn public attention to the colony.  From Dieppe, from Rouen, from Honfleur, and from Cherbourg, went forth many young men to seek their fortunes on the shores of the St. Lawrence; many heads of families followed them; and soon the movement spread to Perche, to Beatice, and to the Isle of France.  To render emigration easier, associations were formed.  One of the most successful was established at Mortagne, in 1634, under the direction of Sieur Robert Giffard."


[9]  (p. 213).—For sketch of Buteux, see vol. vi., note 5.


[10]  (p. 213).—This paragraph occurs, in the text we follow, on page 327, after the paragraph ending, "apres avoir cruellement massaeré les autres.  "But in the second (Paris) issue, and in those of Quebec and Avignon, it is found as here given.  The latter arrangement is undoubtedly correct, for St. John Baptist's day occurred on June 24, not on July 24.


[11]  (p. 213).—For sketch of Brébeuf, see vol. iv., note 30; Of Daniel and Davost, vol. v., notes 31, 32; of the foundation of Three Rivers settlement, vol. iv., note 24


[12]  (p. 215).—-For sketch of Louis Amantacha, see vol. v., note 20.


[13]  (p. 229).—Concerning this Sainte Croix Island, see vol. ii., note 66.


[14]  (p. 233).—The Frenchman murdered by the Hurons was Étienne Brulé (see vol. v., note 37). Concerning Nicolas Viel, see vol. iv., note 25.


[15]  (p. 235).-This Table of Chapters is not in the first issue; we copy it from the second issue (see Bibliographical Data, vol. vi., doc. xxiii).


[16]  (p. 239).—This "poison" was the Huguenot or "reformed" faith.  The third Huguenot war had ended with the surrender of La Rochelle, Oct. 29, 1628.  The edict of Nismes (July, 1629) was one of amnesty and pacification; and under Richelieu's administration, until his death (Dec. 4, 1642), the Huguenots were fairly sheltered and prosperous.  Richelieu had said to the Protestant ministers of Montauban, upon the capitulation of that city: " I shall make no discrimination between the King's subjects, save as to their loyalty.  This loyalty being henceforth common to the adherents of both religions, I shall help both equally, and with the same affection.  " Baird says that the cardinal was honest in this declaration, and that his treatment of the Protestants was, on the whole, tolerably [page 310] impartial.  Still, they were, since their defeat, deprived of all political and military power; and court influences were often unfavorable and even hostile to them.  Numerous restrictions were laid upon their assemblies, the functions of their pastors, and the erection or restoration of their churches,—in some cases nullifying the provisions of the edict of Nismes.  It is doubtless these restrictions for which Le Jenne commends Richelieu.  The condition of the Huguenots at this time, and Richelieu's policy toward them, are discussed at length in Baird's Huguenots and the Revocation (N.Y., 1895), vol. i., pp. 343 - 359.  A detailed account of the war above referred to (in which Charles I. of England at first assisted the Huguenots), with the text of the edict of Nismes, is given in Merc. François, vol. xv. (1629), pp. 227-565.


[17]  (p. 241).—This recommendation was the "passport" given to the Jesuits by Richelieu (see vol. v., note 2).


[18]  (p. 257).—Le Jeune's expectations were somewhat too sanguine. The Company of New France (see vol. iv., note 21) was expending enormous sums on its Canadian enterprise; but these were directed more to the extension of its own commerce than to the development of the country.  The reasons for its policy are thus concisely explained by Faillon (Col.  Fr., vol. i, pp. 333, 334): "Unfortunately, this Company, although numbering over one hundred members, taken from the magistrates and wealthy merchants of the Kingdom, had only about 300,000 livres of capital,—each of the members being obliged to put in 3,000 livres.  These funds were moreover, diminished not only by the losses that the company suffered at the hands of the English, in its first equipment, but by the indemnity demanded by De Caen for the abandonment of his pretensions to New France.  But, as most of these Associates were unacquainted with business, there was formed, within the company itself, another and private company, which took charge of the trade, and established a fund of 100,000 francs for its own interests.  Thus Champlain put 3,000 livres into the funds of the general company, and 800 livres into those of the other.  This active association was obliged to pay the salary of the Governor, and furnish him with provisions; to support garrisons in the country, and furnish all military supplies; and to be responsible for keeping the storehouses in repair.  In order to cover its expenses, it had exclusive possession of the trade in peltries, which had been transferred to it by the larger company, on condition that the surplus of profits should belong to the general association.  The result was that the entire management of affairs was in the hands of merchants, who became by this arrangement the prime movers of all the company's operations; and it was difficult for them to enter into views so pure and disinterested as those that the other [page 311] Associates had entertained in its formation." Cf - Merc.  François, vol. xix, pp. 837, 838.


[19]  (p. 263).—Information regarding the establishment of these missions (excepting that at Miscou), has been given in notes to preceding volumes.—See vol. iv., notes 20 (N. D. de Récouvrance), 24 (Three Rivers), 30 (Ihonatiria), 46 (Ste. Anne); and vol. vi., note 7 (N. D. des Anges).  At the end of the present Relation (1635), Le Jenne gives Perrault's description of the island and people of Cape Breton.  The mission of St. Charles was established for the benefit of the Frenchmen who occupied the important post of Miscou, an island at the entrance of the Bay of Chaleurs, much frequented by fishermen.  Turgis and Du Marché were sent thither in 1634; the latter returned to Quebec at the end of a year, but Turgis remained until his death, May 4, 1637.


[20]  (p. 265).—For account of Marquis de Gamache, see vol. vi., note 9. The other missions were supported by the Company of New France, in accordance with the terms granted it by the royal edict; see Merc. François, vol. xiv. (1628), p. 237.


[21]  (p. 297).—Bissiriniens: the Nipissings, also called by the French "Nation des Sorciers" (see vol. v., note 18).


[22]  (p. 303).—François Derré (or De Ré), sieur de Gand; one of the Hundred Associates, and commissary general of the company as early as 1635.  In 1637, having obtained certain lands adjoining those granted to the Jesuits at Sillery, he donated them to the mission; in 1640, he had charge of the notarial record-office.  His death occurred in May, 1641. [page 312]









Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Novvelle France, en l'année 1635 [Chapters iii., iv., etc., completing the document]. Paul le Jeune; Kébec, August 28, 1635; Jean de Brébeuf; Ihonatiria, May 27, 1635; Julien Perrault; 1634 - 35.


Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Novvelle France, en l'année 1636 [Chapters i., ii., first installment of the document]. Paul le Jeune; Kébec, August 28, 1636



[page i]

[page ii]


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

XXV. A summary of the contents of the first two chapters of the Relation of 1635 was given in Volume VII. of our series. Continuing his narrative, Le Jeune urges that French colonies be sent to Canada, to develop and hold the country for the French crown. Still more important, in his view, is the aid which these would afford to his favorite project,—that of rendering the nomadic tribes stationary, by furnishing nuclei for Indian settlements. He then, as usual, closes his yearly letter by a resumé, in the form of a journal, of the chief events during the past year, beginning with the departure of the French fleet, in August, 1634. He relates how he and Buteux went, in September, to Champlain's new settlement at Three Rivers, and describes the region thereabout. An elk-hunt, a funeral, the cruel treatment of an Iroquois prisoner, an Indian dance, and various conversations on religion, with the savages, are narrated. The superior gives a sad account of the famine among the Indians that winter, and the consequent epidemic, which often proves fatal, even among the French. He has heard ill news of his brethren who had ventured into the Huron country, but letters from them show that these reports are in a measure [page 1] false. In May, Le Jeune and a companion go to Quebec, to meet the French fleet, which, however, is delayed until July, when it brings a reinforcement of six Jesuit priests and two brothers, where at there is great rejoicing among the missionaries. Champlain holds a council with the Hurons, and recommends to their friendship Fathers Le Mercier and Pijart, who depart with them. Le Jeune remains at Quebec. Again he urges that efforts should be made to render the wandering Indians sedentary, - intimating that not only could they thereby be more easily converted, but that the beaver might thus be kept from extermination. He mentions the crafty attempts of the Iroquois to arouse hostilities among the tribes on the St. Lawrence, and thus to divert the Indian trade from the French to the Dutch and English, at Albany. The journalist describes the conversion of a young French Huguenot, and closes by giving directions to his correspondents in France as to the forwarding of their letters.

In his report on the Huron mission, sent to Le Jeune the preceding May (1635), Brébeuf describes his journey to Lake Huron, with its attendant hardships and perils. He, with his companions, settles at Ihonatiria, near the place where he had formerly lived, when on his first mission to the Hurons. These savages welcome his return, and build a cabin for the French. The former suffer much from the same epidemic that had attacked Three Rivers; but the French keep in good health. Brébeuf describes his cabin, which is at once a dwelling and a church; and relates the astonishment of the natives at the sight of various articles brought by the French,—a small mill, a clock (which the Indians thought was [page 2] alive), a loadstone, a magnifying glass, etc.,—but especially at the art of writing, which is utterly incomprehensible to their simple minds.

Brébeuf writes of the Huron myths of creation, the morals and superstitions of that tribe, the doings of their medicine men; he praises their spirit of hospitality, their patience in sickness, their courage in view of death,- upon which qualities he hopes to build a Christian faith and life in their hearts. He describes the baptisms and the apparent conversions that had rewarded the efforts of the missionaries; the kind of religious instruction they give the savages; the condition of their affairs; and the friendly relations existing between them and the Hurons. He adds a postscript, to mention a new baptism, and the mildness of the recent winter and spring.

Julien Perrault, of the mission- in Cape Breton Island, describes in a letter to his superior (Le Jeune), the situation, climate, resources, and people of that island. He praises the docility and honesty of the natives, and the decency of their behavior and conversation.

The Relation ends with an interesting collection of "various sentiments and opinions of the Fathers who are in New France, taken from their last letters of 1635,"—embodying their religious experiences, observations and opinions concerning their work, and the qualifications they consider necessary in those who would come to Canada as missionaries.

XXVI. Like the preceding document, the Relation of 1636, although throughout styled by bibliographers Le jeune's, because he was the superior and the editor, is a composite: the first half being a Relation (or annual report) of eleven chapters, sent by [page 3] Le Jeune to his provincial at Paris, and dated Quebec, August 28, 1636; the second half consists of a Relation on the Huron mission, by Brébeuf, dated at Ihonatiria, July 16 of the same year, and sent down to Le Jeune by a native messenger. Brébeuf's Relation is divided into two parts, one of four chapters, the other of nine.

We have space in the present volume but for the two opening chapters of Le Jeune's own yearly narrative. He begins by describing the arrival of Montmagny, Champlain's successor as governor of New France. The missionaries are rejoiced to find that the new governor has brought with him Chastelain and Garnier, priests of their order, to aid them in their great task; and, still more, that Montmagny is a pious man, and greatly interested in their work. This is evinced by his becoming sponsor in baptism for a savage, almost as soon as he has landed at Quebec. Le Jeune mentions also the arrival of Father Nicolas Adam, as well as several families of colonists, especially those of De Repentigny and La Poterie. He then relates how interest in the Canadian mission is spreading in France, not only in religious circles, but among the nobility, court officers, and persons of wealth. He praises the piety and generosity of the Marquis de Gamache, who largely supports the Quebec mission; and several members of the Hundred Associates, whose letters are quoted, showing their zeal and liberality. He is especially pleased at the intention of a wealthy lady, Madame Combalet, to establish a hospital in New France. He continues, as usual, with circumstantial accounts of conversions among the savages, and the pious deaths of several.

The translation of Brébeuf's portion of the Relation of 1635 (Doc. xxv.) is the work of the late James McFie Hunter, M. A., principal of the Collegiate Institute at Barrie, Ont. Mr. Hunter had intended publish an English translation of all the Relations emanating from the Huron country, but his death in 1893 terminated the project.

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., May, 1897.

[page 5]

XXV (concluded)

Le Jeune's Relation, 1635



Chaps. i.-ii., of the opening Relation by Le eune, appeared in Volume VII. Chaps. iii.-iv.,concluding LeJeune's part, here follow ; the document closes with reports on the Huron and Cape Breton missions, by Brébeuf and Perrault respectively; and a collection of "sentiments and opinions of the Fathers who are in New France."

[page 7]



T is to be feared that in the multiplication of our French, in these countries, peace, happiness, and good feeling may not increase [52] in the same ratio as do the Inhabitants of New France. It is much easier to control a few men than whole multitudes; yet it must be confessed that it would be an enterprise very honorable and very profitable to Old France, and very useful to the New, to establish settlements here, and to send over Colonies.

Shall the French, alone of all the Nations of the earth, be deprived of the honor of expanding and spreading over this New World? Shall France, much more populous than all the other Kingdoms, have Inhabitants only for itself? or, when her, children leave her, shall they go here and there and lose the name of Frenchmen among Foreigners?

Geographers, Historians, [53] and experience itself, show us that every year a great many people leave France who go to enroll themselves elsewhere. For, although the Soil of our country is very fertile, the French women have this blessing, that they are still more so; and thence it happens that our ancient Gauls, in want of land, went to seek it in different parts of Europe. The Galatians draw their origin from them; they have crossed Italy, they have passed into Greece, and into many other regions. At [page 9] present, our French people are no less numerous than our old Gauls; but they do not go forth in bands, but separately, some going in one direction, some in another, to make their fortunes among Strangers. Would it not be better to empty Old France into New, by means of Colonies [54] which could be sent there, than to people Foreign countries?

Add to this, if you please, that there- is a multitude of workmen in France, who, for lack of employment or of owning a little land, pass their lives in poverty and wretched want. Many of them beg their bread from door to door; some of them resort to stealing and public brigandage, others to larceny and secret frauds, each one trying to obtain for himself what many cannot possess. Now as New France is so immense, so many inhabitants can be sent here that those who remain in the Mother Country will have enough honest work left them to do, without launching into those vices which ruin Republics; this does not mean that [55] ruined people, or those of evil lives, should be sent here, for that would be to build Babylons; but if the good were to make room for the bad, it would give the latter an opportunity to escape the idleness that corrupts them.

Besides, if these Countries are peopled by our French, not only will this weaken the strength of the Foreigner,—who holds in his ships, in his towns, and in his armies, a great many of our Countrymen as hostages,—not only will it banish famine from the houses of a multitude of poor workmen, but it will also strengthen France; for those who will be born in New France, will be French, and in case of need can render good service to their King,—a thing which cannot be expected from those who dwell [page 11] among -our neighbors and outside the dominion of their Prince.

[56] Finally, if this country is peopled by the French, it will be firmly attached to the Crown, and .,the Foreigner will come no more to trouble it. And they tell us that this year the English have restored to Monsieur the Commander de Rasilly the settlement of Pemptegoüs, that they took from the French in the year one thousand six hundred and thirteen. From this will result a good which will draw down upon both old and new France a great blessing from Heaven; it is the Conversion of a vast number of Savage Nations, who inhabit these lands and who are every day becoming disposed to receive the light of the Faith.

Now there is no doubt that there can be found here employment for all sorts of artisans. Why cannot the great forests of New France largely furnish the Ships for the Old? Who doubts that there are here mines of iron, [57] copper, and other metals? Some have already been discovered, which will soon be worked; and hence all those who work in wood and iron will find employment here. Grain will not fail here, more than in France. I do not pretend to recite all the advantages of the country, nor to show what can give occupation here to the intelligence and strength of our French people; I will content myself by saying that it would be an honor and a great benefit to both old and new France to send over Emigrants and establish strong colonies in these lands, which have lain fallow since the birth of the world.

They will tell me that the Gentlemen of the Company of New France have taken it upon themselves to do this; I answer that they are discharging their [page 13] duty perfectly, although at very [58] great expense; but even if they should bring over three times as many people as they have promised, they would but sligtly relieve Old France, and would people only a little Canton of the New. Nevertheless, in time ,they will make some progress ; and as soon as, through the clearing of the land, they can obtain from it what is necessary for life, thousands of useful things will be found in the country which will also be profitable to France. But it seems necessary that a great extent of forest should be converted into tillable land, before introducing many families, otherwise famine might consume them.

I enlarge upon a point which seems remote from my subject, although it is closely related thereto; for if I could see here a number of towns or villages, gathering enough of the fruits of [591 the earth for their needs, our wandering Savages would soon range themselves under their protection; and, being rendered sedentary by our example, especially if they were to be given some help, they could easily be instructed in the Faith. As to the stationary tribes farther back in the interior, we would go in great numbers to succor them; and would have much more authority, and less fear, if we felt that we had the support of these Towns or Villages. The more imposing the power of our French people is made in these Countries, the more easily they can make their belief received by these Barbarians. who are influencecl even more through the senses, than through reason.

[page 15]



LL that will be said in this Chapter is a mere medley, in which there will be but little sequence or connection, except perhaps that of the time in which the things happened; and still they will follow each other only at wide intervals.

On the twelfth of August of the preceding year, one thousand six hundred and thirty-four, Monsieur du Plessis Bochard, Commandant of the fleet, weighed anchor and left the Roadstead of Kebec, to go to Tadoussac and thence to France, where we are told he arrived about the middle of September, having been only a month in crossing the sea.

[61] On the twenty-sixth of the same month of August, some Savages who were passing our House showed us some plums they had gathered in the woods not far from there; they were as large as the little apricots of France, their stone being flat like that of the apricot. This leads me to say that the cold of these Countries does not prevent fruit from growing. We shall know from experience, in a few years, for we have grafted some cuttings which have started very well.

On the third of September, we, Father Buteux and I, embarked to go and help our French in the New Settlement they are beginning at the three Rivers. We passed near the Island of Rich[e]lieu, called by [page 17] the [62] Savages Ka ouapassiniskakhi. Monsieur de Champlain has had a platform erected there, upon which they have placed some Cannon in order to command the whole River. From this Islet to a considerable distance above, the passage is very dangerous to any one who does not know the real channel. Once we touched bottom, another time we were stranded; and in a strong northeaster our bark grazed a rock, which filled with horror all those that saw it. God seems to have armed this passage for the preservation of the Country in the hands of the French, who now possess it.

On the eighth, we arrived at the three Rivers. We found living there very agreeable; the ground is sandy, the fish very abundant in its season. A Savage will sometimes bring in his Canoe twelve or fifteen [63] Sturgeon, the smallest of which is occasionally as long as the height of a man; besides these, there are also a number of other very good fish. The French have named this place the three Rivers, because there emerges here a very beautiful river which flows into the great River saint Lawrence through three principal mouths, caused by several little Islands which are found at the entrance of this river, which the Savages call Metaberoutin. I would like to describe the beauty of this place, but I am afraid of being tedious. The whole country between Kebec and this new Settlement, which we will call the Residence of the Conception, seems to me very pleasant; it is intersected by brooks and streams, which empty at short distances from each other into the King of rivers, that is, into the great river St. Lawrence, [64] which is, even at this place, fully two or three thousand paces wide, although it is thirty leagues above Kebec. [page 19]

On the twenty-seventh of the same month of September, an Elk appeared on the other bank of this great river; our Frenchmen gave notice of it to some Savages who were encamped near the Settlement, and some of them went to attack this great animal, which was standing in the water drinking. Approaching it from the land side, to drive it farther into the water, they flew after it in their little bark Canoes; and, approaching it within range, one of them launched a javelin at it, which made it give a bound and start for the shore to save itself; it might easily have done this if it had been able to touch the shore; but seeing its enemies there, it [65] rushed into the water where it was soon run through with javelins. When it was near its death, they drove it to the shore, and there in a moment they had cut it in pieces, to be able to carry it to their cabin. We saw this chase from our Settlement, which is on a natural elevation and commands a view of the great River. I carefully examined the head of this animal; its antlers had grown only as long as the horns of an ox, for it was still young; these antlers were covered with hair which was quite fine and almost equally thick throughout.

On the twenty-eighth, Father Buteux and I found a band of Savages who were having a feast near the graves of their deceased relatives; they gave them the best part of the banquet, which they threw [66] into the fire; and, when they were about to go away, a woman broke some twigs and branches from the trees, with which she covered these graves. I asked her why she did this, and she answered that she was sheltering the souls of her dead friends from the heat of the Sun, which has been very great this Autumn. [page 21] They reason about the souls of men and their necessities as they do about the body; according to their doctrine, they suppose that our souls have the same needs as our bodies. We told her repeatedly that the souls of reasonable beings descended into hell or went up into Heaven; but, without giving us any answer, she continued to follow the old custom of her ancestors. Those who do not appreciate the obligations they are under to God, for having been born in a place where he is known and worshiped, can see here at a glance what an advantage [67] they have over a world of barbarians.

On the twenty-third day of October, fifteen or twenty Savages returned from the war, bringing a prisoner. As soon as they could descry our Settlement and their cabins, they collected their canoes and sailed slowly down the middle of the great river, uttering from their chests songs full of gladness; as soon as they were seen, there was a great outcry among the cabins, each one coming out to see these warriors, who made the poor prisoner stand up and dance in their fashion in the middle of a canoe. He sang, and they kept time with their paddles; he was bound with a cord which tied his arms behind his back, another was around his feet, and still another, [68] a long one, around his body; they had torn out his finger-nails, so that he could not untie himself. Marvel, I pray you, at the cruelty of these people. A Savage, having perceived Father Buteux and me mingling with the others, came up to us and said, full of joy and satisfaction, Tapoue kouetakiou nigamouau;" I shall really eat some Hiroquois." Finally this poor man came out of the canoe, and was taken into a cabin, the children, girls, and women [page 23] striking him, some with sticks, others with stones, as he entered; you would have said he was insensible, as he passed along and received these blows without looking around; as soon as he entered, they made him dance to the music of their howls. After having made a few turns, striking the ground and agitating his body, which is all there is of [69] their dancing, they made him sit down; and some of the Savages, addressing us, told us that this Hiroquois was one of those who the year before had surprised and killed three of our Frenchmen; this was done to stifle in us the pity that we might have for him, and they even dared to ask some of our French if they did not want to eat their share of him, since they had killed our Countrymen. We replied that these cruelties displeased us, and that we were not cannibals. He did not die, however; for these Barbarians, weary of the war, spoke with this young prisoner, who was a strong man, tall and finely formed, about making peace; they have been treating about it for a long time, but at last it is concluded. In truth, I believe it will not last long; [70] for the first impulse that seizes some hot-headed fellow, at the remembrance that one of his relations was killed by the Hiroquois, will make him go and surprise one of them, and treacherously assassinate him; and thus the war will begin again. Fidelity cannot be expected from people who have not the true Faith.

On the twenty-fourth of the same month, a great many Algonquains having arrived, I went through their cabins, looking for a little girl I had baptized and named Marguerite, the year before. Her mother readily recognized me, and told me that she was dead; that was so much gained for Heaven; I had [page 25] only made her a Christian that she might go there. When I came to ask news of the father of the child whom I had begun to instruct, a Savage told me that he was dead; at this [71] answer, one of his daughters, about eighteen or twenty years old, uttered a loud cry and burst into tears; they made me a sign that I should not speak of death, its very name seeming to them unbearable.

On the twenty-ninth, a rather amusing thing happened, which I shall relate here to show the simplicity of a mind that does not know God. Two Savages having entered our Settlement during Divine Service, which we were holding in the Chapel, said to each other, "They are praying to him who made all things; will he give them what they ask?" Now as we were going rather slowly, according to their ideas, "Certainly," they said, "he does not want to give it to them, see how they are all shouting as loud as they can," (we were singing Vespers at the time). Now, as a young interpreter was going away, they approached him and [72] said, " Well, now, he who made all things, has he granted what you ask?" "Yes," he answered, "we shall get it." "Certainly, " they replied, " he must have very nearly refused you, for you have cried and sung so hard to get it; we were saying all the time that you would not get anything; but tell us now, what did he promise you? " This young man, smiling, answered them according to their expectations, " He promised us that we should not be hungry." It is the highest state of happiness for the Savages to have something with which to satisfy their stomachs.

On the fifth of November, I went to see the remains of a good palisade, which formerly surrounded [page 27] a Village in the very place where our French have established their Abode. The Hiroquois enemies of these Tribes have burned everything; there can still be seen [73] the ends of the blackened stakes; there are some arpents of cleared land, where they cultivated Indian corn. I hope in the course of time our Canadians will resume this industry, which will be as profitable to them for Heaven as for earth; for, if they stop their wanderings, there will be opportunities of instructing them.

On the seventh we had described to us a kind of Savage dance that we had not yet seen. One of them begins while the others sing; the song finished, he goes and gives the bouquet, that is, he goes and makes a present to the one whom he wishes to dance after him; the other does the same thing when he finishes the dance; and, if our French are with them, they bring the bouquet and the present to our men as well as to the others.

On the eighteenth of this month, [74] all the Savages dispersed, some here and some there into the woods, to go during the winter to hunt the Elk, the Deer and the Caribou, upon which they live; so that we were without neighbors, our French alone remaining in our new Dwelling place.

On the thirtieth of December, the snow having been neither hard nor deep enough to arrest the long legs of the Elk, a troop of these poor Barbarians came crying for pity at our Settlement; the famine, which was cruel last year, has treated them still worse this winter, at least in several places; we have heard a report that, near Gaspé, the Savages killed and ate a young boy whom the Basques left with, them to learn their language. Those of Tadoussac, with whom I [page 29] passed the winter a year ago, have eaten each other [75] in some localities. Monsieur du Plessis Bochart, on his way to Kebec, told us that there were still some in the woods who do not dare appear before the others because they had wickedly surprised, massacred, and eaten their companions. We have been witnesses to their famine at the three Rivers; they came in bands, greatly disfigured and as fleshless as skeletons, liking, they said, as well to die near the French as in their own Forests; the misfortune for them was that, as this Settlement was only in its first stages, there was not yet a storehouse at three Rivers, our French and we having brought from Kebec only the food necessary for the number of men who were residing there; we tried, however, to help them, each on his side [76] exercising charity according to his means, or according to his inclinations; not one of those who came to us died of hunger.

When Father Buteux and I entered a certain cabin, a woman told us that no one remained but she and her companion, of all those with whom they had wintered in the forest. Hunters had been found stiff in death upon the snow, killed by cold and starvation,—among others, the one who had taken prisoner the Hiroquois of whom I have spoken above.

A Savage told me, during this famine, that his wife and sister-in-law contemplated killing their own brother; I asked him why, " We are afraid," he replied, " that he will kill us during our sleep, to eat us." " We supply you," said I, " a part of. our food every day [77] to help you." "That is true," he replied, " thou givest us life; but this man is half-mad; he does not eat, he has some evil design; we wish to prevent him, wilt thou be displeased at [page 31] that?" I found myself a little troubled; I could not consent to his death, and yet I believed they had good cause for their fear. We advised him not to leave any hatchets or javelins in his cabin, except one which he would have to use, and he should place that under his head when he was sleeping; he agreed to this, and gave us his hatchets and javelins, to put them away in our little room. Three days later, this poor wretch went to Kebec, where, having tried to kill some Frenchman, Monsieur the Governor, seeing that he was mad, had him put in chains, to surrender him to the first Savages that [78] might come along.

Now these comings and goings of famished Savages lasted almost all winter; we usually made a little feast of peas and boiled flour for all the new bands, and I have seen certain ones among them eat more than eight bowlfuls of this before leaving the place.

While the banquet was being prepared, we talked to them about God, we represented to them their poverty; they all had the best intentions in the world to cultivate the land in the Spring, as some of them have done; but they did not remain constantly near their Indian corn,-abandoning it to go fishing, some in one direction, some in another.

As to the proposals we make to them to believe in God, one of them said to me one day, " If we [79] believe in your God, will it snow?" " It will snow, " I said to him. Will the snow be hard and deep?" "It will be." Shall we find Moose?" " You will find them. " " Shall we kill some?" " Yes; for as God knows all things, as he can do all things, and as he is very good, he will not fail to help you, if you [page 33] have recourse to him, if you receive the Faith, and if you render him obedience." " Thy speech is good," answered he, " we will think upon what thou hast told us." Meanwhile, they go off into the woods, and soon forget what has been said to them. It is indeed true that, in the end, some impression will be made upon their minds, if they are not harder than the stone hollowed out by drops of water.

Another time, having talked a long time upon our belief with a squad of them, who had returned to seek food for [80] their wives and children, I advised them, in case they could not find anything, to fall upon their knees and to address themselves to him who has made Heaven and earth, to promise him they would believe in him if he would relieve them; they promised that they would do so; we gave them for this purpose a little Image of our Lord Jesus Christ, and instructed them in the way in which they were to place it in the time of their great need, and in some prayers they were to make to him whom it represented, giving them strong hope that they would be helped. I placed this Image in the hands of a certain one named Sakapouan, of whom I have spoken above. He promised me that he would do everything just as we had directed; but the wretch did not keep his promise, for he never dared produce this Image, lest [81] he should be sneered at by his Companions; yes, he even laughed with the others about what we had preached to them. And indeed God chastised him, for he fell sick and was obliged to come seeking the French; we asked for the Image and he returned it. When asked why he had not prayed to the Son of the All-powerful, " I went away," he replied, " with the good will to pray to [page 35] him; I felt a strong hope that he would give us something to eat, I had even kept in mind the best of all the prayers thou hast taught us; but, when I arrived at our cabins, I was afraid that if I brought out the Image they would make sport of me, and that he .who has made all would be angry with me, and make us die." In one word, these people are restrained by worldly considerations. It was in vain I told him that if he had been faithful in [82] the midst of these mockeries, if he had not clung to these mockers, God would have given him powerful assistance; " It is necessary, " he said " to talk to our Captains" And, in fact, one who could gain them could gain all. I am always retracing my footsteps, in saying, that one who knew the language perfectly, so that he could crush their reasons and promptly refute their absurdities, would be very powerful among them. Time will bring all things; God giving his blessing, Populus qui est in tenebris videbit lucem magnam.

Now to end this whole story, I asked this Savage what this Prayer was that he preferred to all others. " Thou hast told us many things," he replied; " but this prayer has seemed to me the best of all: Mirinan oukachigakhi nimitchiminan, 'Give us to-day our food, give us something to eat.' [83] This is an excellent Prayer," he said. I am not surprised at this Philosophy; Animalis homo, non perci .pit ea qua sunt Spiritus Dei. He who has never been at any school but that of the flesh, cannot speak the language of the spirit.

On the twenty-seventh of the same month of January, a Savage came to acquaint me with a secret well known among the Algonquains, but not among the Montagnais; neither is it known in this part of the [page 39] country, but farther into the interior. He told me that, if some one of our Frenchmen would accompany him, he would go and fish under the ice of a great pond, located some five thousand paces beyond the great River, opposite our Settlement. One of them did, in fact, go there, and brought back some fish, which greatly comforted our French people,, for they can now, in the thickest [84] ice, stretch their nets in this pond. I have seen them fish in this way; now see how they do it. With great blows of the axe they make a tolerably large hole in the ice of the pond ; then at intervals they make other smaller ones, and by the use of poles they pass a cord from hole to hole under the ice; this cord, which is as long as the nets they wish to stretch, stops at the last hole, through which it is drawn, and they spread out in the water the whole net which is attached to it. This is the way they spread the nets the first time. When they wish to examine them, it is very easily done, for they draw them out through the largest opening, to collect the fish from them; then it is only necessary to draw back the cord to respread the nets, the poles serving only to put the cord through the first time. When God has blessed these countries with a colony of French, [85] there will result a thousand benefits and a thousand conveniences for the country, of which these Barbarians are ignorant.

On the sixth of February, the great River was completely frozen over, so that one could walk over it in safety; it even froze opposite Kebec, which is very extraordinary, as the tides there are very strong. It seems to me that the severity of the winter makes itself especially felt during this month.

On the eighth of March occurred the death of the [page 39] Savage woman named Anne, of whom I have spoken in Chapter second; as the anguish of death approached, she said at times to herself, nitapoueten, nitapoueten, " I believe, I believe;" nisadkihau, nisadkihau, I love him, I love him;" ouaskoucki nioui itoutan, I wish to go to Heaven;" and once she said to me, as I was leaving her after having instructed and [86] visited her in her sickness; " Thou hast been a father to me up to the present; continue so until my death, which will not be long; come back and see me very soon, and if thou seest me so low I cannot speak, remember that I shall always think of what thou hast said to me, and that I shall always believe in my heart." As a Savage had informed me that she did not belong to this region, I asked her a few days before her death about her native country: she told me that the people of her Nation were called ouperigoue ouaouakhi, that they dwelt farther back in the interior, below Tadoussac, and on the same side; that they could descend through the rivers from their country to the great river saint Lawrence; that her Countrymen had no commerce with the Europeans; " that is why," she said, " they use hatchets made of stone;" that they have [87] Deer and Beavers in abundance, but very few Elk; that they speak the Montagnais language, and that they would certainly come and trade with the French, were it not that the Savages of Tadoussac try to kill them when they encounter them. I do not know whether these are the ones that we call Bersiamites, some of whom have been cruelly massacred this year at Tadoussac. These perfidious Savages received them very kindly, and, when they had them in their power, treacherously put them to death. [page 41]

On the fifth day of April, a Montaignais Savage came to report to Father Buteux that our Fathers and our Frenchmen who accompanied them had been abandoned in the woods and tied to trees, by the Hurons who were taking them to their country,—who, [88) falling ill with a certain epidemic which last Autumn afflicted all these Nations, believed that this malady was caused by the French, and it was this which made them treat the French in this way; this savage declared that he had heard the news from the lips of some Bissiriniens, neighbors of the Hurons. We placed the whole matter in the hands of Our Lord, who will take our lives at the time and in the manner that shall please him. We had already learned, as I wrote last year, the bad news about Father Anthoine Daniel, who had been reported to us as almost dead; but at last the goodness of God has comforted us, for most of these reports are found to be false. It is true that Father Daniel and all the others have endured incomparable sufferings in their voyage, as Your Reverence can see [89] by the Relation of Father Brébeuf.

On the fourteenth of the same month, as the ice was completely broken up, I embarked in a canoe with one of our Frenchmen and an Algonquain, to go and see the beautiful lake or pond of which I have spoken above, and which I had seen all frozen over during the winter. On the way, I saw a Muskrat hunt. Some of these animals are as large as rabbits; they have very long tails. When they appear upon the water, the Savages follow them in their little canoes; these Rats, upon seeing themselves pursued, immediately dive into the water, their enemies hurrying quickly to the place where they expect [page 43] them to come up again to take breath; in short, they pursue them until they are tired out, so that they must remain above the water a little while, in order not to suffocate; then they [90] knock them down with their paddles, or kill them with arrows. When this animal has gained the land, it usually saves itself by hiding in its hole. It is called Muskrat because, in fact, a part of its body smells of musk, if caught in the Spring,—at other times, it has no odor.

On the twenty-first, I left three Rivers to come to Kebec, in order to be there, according to the wish of the Fathers, at the coming of the ships. We expected them early, but they came very late, the bad weather having caused them to have a rough passage; we hoped to see them towards the end of May, and we had no news of them until the twenty-fifth of June, when a canoe arrived, sent from Tadoussac, which reported that a ship was at the Island of Bic, and that five or six more of them were coming, with the firm [91] determination to attack all those they found in the River without Commissions.

On the fourth of July, a shallop sent from Monsieur du Plessis Bochart, commandant of the fleet, gladdened all our French,—assuring us of his coming, and that he was followed by eight strong ships, six for Tadoussac and two for Miscou, not including the one sent to Cape Breton and the coast of Acadia, to Monsieur the Commandant de Razilly.

On the tenth, a bark which was ascending the river brought us Father Pijart. At the same time, two of our Frenchmen, coining down from the Hurons, presented to us the letters of our Fathers who are in that country; so we received cheering news from all sides. On the one hand, the Father [page 45] testified to us that Your Reverence was sending us 4 Of our Fathers, and 2 of our Brothers, as a reinforcement, [92] and two other Fathers for the Residence of St. Charles; that a vast number of people cherished this Mission, and that Your Reverence, in the fulness of your heart, would every year give as many Gospel workers as the Mission could support; the zeal to come and suffer something in these countries for the glory of our Lord, being almost incredible. On the other hand, the good health of our Fathers among the Hurons, where they were reported dead, and the good disposition of those Peoples to receive the Christian truths, and the affection they bear us, make us bless the holy Name of God, and render him thanks for so many blessings as he is about to pour down upon this enterprise.

On the twelfth, Monsieur the Chevalier de la Roche-Jacquelin, commandant of the ship called "Sainct [93] Jacques," cast anchor before Kebec. Our Brother Pierre Feauté, having thanked him for his kindness, came to see us in our little House of nostre Dame des Anges. The next day our joy was increased by the arrival of Father Claude Quantin and of our Brother Pierre Tellier, who were brought in the ship of Captain de Nesle.

On the twentieth, Monsieur the General conveyed to us Father Mercier, whom he had brought in his bark. All these days were for us days of joy and contentment, seeing both our French and our Fathers in good health after much suffering upon the sea.

On the twenty-second of July, there was held an Assembly or Council between the French and the Hurons. Father Buteux, who had come down from [page 47] the Residence of the Conception, and I [94] participated therein. After public affairs, Monsieur de Champlain, our Governor, very affectionately recommended our Fathers, and the French who accompanied them, to these Tribes; he told them, through an interpreter, that if they wished to preserve and strengthen their friendship with the French, they must receive our belief and worship the God that we worshiped; that this would be very profitable to them, for God, being all-powerful, will bless and protect them, and make them victorious over their enemies; that the French will go in goodly numbers to their Country; that they will marry their daughters when they become Christians; that they will teach all their people to make hatchets, knives, and other things which are very necessary to them; and that for this purpose they must next year [95] bring many of their little boys, whom we will lodge comfortably, and will feed, instruct and cherish as if they were our little Brothers. And that, inasmuch as all the Captains could not come down there, they should hold a Council upon this matter in their Country, to which they should summon Echom,—it is thus they call Father Brébeuf; and then, giving them a letter to bear to him, he added, " Here I inform the Father of all these points. He will be in your Assembly, and will make you a present that his Brothers send him; there you will show whether you truly love the French." I suggested these thoughts to Monsieur our governor, and he approved them; but he also amplified them with a thousand praises and a thousand proofs of affection towards our [96] Society. Monsieur the General also said a few words upon this subject, and did all he could to [page 49] let these Peoples know the high estimation in which the great Captains of France hold these Fathers that they send over to them; and all this was done to dispose them to recognize the God of the French and of the whole Universe. To this discourse a chief replied that they would not fail to deliver this letter, and to hold a Council upon the Matters proposed. That, as to the rest, their whole Nation loved all the French; and yet, notwithstanding this, the French loved only one of their Villages, since all those who had come up to their Country selected that as their dwelling place. They were answered that, up to the present, they had had only a few of our Frenchmen; and that, if they embraced our belief, they would have some of them [97] in all their villages.

At the conclusion of the Council, we went to see those who were to take on board Father le Mercier and Father Pijart, with their little baggage, to convey them into their Country; Father Brebeuf had designated certain ones to me in his letter, but several presented themselves. They gazed attentively at the Fathers, measured them with their eyes, asked if they were ill-natured, if they paddled well; then took them by the hands, and made signs to them that it would be necessary to handle the paddles well.

At last, on the twenty-third of the same month of July, our Savages, well pleased, embarked our two Fathers and a young French boy who has already passed a year in the country. I never saw persons more joyful than were these good Fathers; they had to go barefooted into the [98] bark ships, for fear of spoiling them, and they did this gayly, with glad eyes and faces, notwithstanding the sufferings they were about to encounter. I was reminded of [page 51] St. Andrew flying to the Cross. They were taken in three different canoes, the one that carried Father Pijart being the first ready, it went directly alongside, that is, of the ship of Monsieur the Chevalier, to say to him his last adieus and to thank him once more for very especial courtesies received from him while crossing in his ship from France to Tadoussac. After having saluted him, Monsieur the Chevalier had some prunes thrown into his canoe for the Savages who were taking him, and had the cannon fired off three times in his honor. These poor Barbarians were thrilled with delight, placing their hands over their mouths as a sign of astonishment.

[99] Father le Mercier came afterward in his canoe, to acknowledge the obligations he was under to Monsieur the General, and to take leave of him; the latter did not know how to express the interest he felt in those of our society who had come over with him in his ship. After the farewells, they also threw some prunes to his boatmen, the cannon of the ship and of the bark making these Savages understand that they must take good care of those whom our French Captains honored with so much affection.

In the midst of these ceremonies a laughable incident occurred. Father Buteux was starting at the same time to return to the three Rivers in a canoe; the Savages who were taking him, seeing the honors bestowed on the Fathers and the Savages who were going to the Hurons, turned, as [100] the other two canoes had done, to the ship where Monsieur the General and Monsieur the Chevalier were. Father Buteux called to them, " You must not go there; I am not going to the Hurons." It did not matter; since favors had there been bestowed upon those who [page 53] were taking our Fathers, these wished to taste some of them, as well as the others; so they were shown the same courtesy.

On the first day of August, Father Buteux wrote me from the three Rivers,—where he had gone, as I have said,—that the Montaignais Savages had elected a new Captain, the one whom they had formerly called Capitanal having died the previous Autumn. This Capitanal was a man of good sense, and a great friend of the French. Assembling the Principal Men of his Nation at the time of his death, he charged them to preserve this good [101] understanding with his friends, telling them that, as a proof of the love he bore us, he would like, even after death, to live with us; and he straightway had himself carried from beyond the great river, where he was, to die near the new Settlement. He also asked to be borne to the grave by the hands of our French, for whom he designated a little present; in short, he begged that he might be buried near his friends. All this was granted him; Monsieur de Champlain has had a little enclosure placed around his grave, to distinguish it. If we had then been at three Rivers, I do not doubt that he would have died a Christian. I was very sorry when this man died; for he had shown in open Council that his purpose was to have the people [102] of his Nation settle near the fort of the Anguien river; he had spoken to me also about this in private. He was loved by his people and by the French; it was this Captain who delighted all his hearers by a Speech he made two years ago, which I mentioned at the time. If he still lived, he would without doubt favor what we are going to undertake this Spring, to be able [page 55] to make them, little by little, a sedentary people.

As it happens that these poor Barbarians have been for a long time accustomed to be idlers, it is hard for them to locate and cultivate the soil unless they are assisted. Our plan now is to see if some family is not willing to give up these wanderings; if one be found, we will in the spring employ three men to plant Indian corn near the new Settlement [103] at the three Rivers, with which these people are greatly pleased. If this family settles there during the winter, we will maintain them with corn from our harvest and from theirs, for they will also work; if they do not stay with us, we will withdraw our assistance and let them go.

It would be a great blessing for their bodies, for their souls, and for the traffic of these Gentlemen, if those Tribes were stationary, and if they became docile to our direction, which they will do, I hope, in the course of time. If they are sedentary, and if they cultivate the land, they will not die of hunger, as often happens to them in their wanderings; we shall be able to instruct them easily, and Beavers will greatly multiply. These animals are more prolific than our sheep in France, [104] the females bearing as many as five or six every year; but, when the Savages find a lodge of them, they kill all, great and small, male and female. There is danger that they will finally exterminate the species in this Region, as has happened among the Hurons, who have not a single Beaver, going elsewhere to buy the skins they bring to the storehouse of these Gentlemen. Now it will be so arranged that, in the course of time, each family of our Montaignais, if they become located, will take its own territory for hunting, without [page 57] following in the tracks of its neighbors; besides, we will counsel them not to kill any but the males, and of those only such as are large. If they act upon this advice, they will have Beaver meat and skins in the greatest abundance.

As to the men whom we wish to employ for the -assistance [105] of the Savages, Monsieur de Champlain has promised us that he would let us have those who are at the settlement of the three Rivers; for, ,as they have not cleared any land there for us, we .do not keep any workmen there, but merely two Fathers who care for the religious needs of our French. We will arrange for the wages and food of these workmen, according to the time we shall employ ,them in clearing and cultivating the land with our Savages; if I had the means of supporting a dozen, be the true way to gain the Savages. May for whom we enter into this project, bless his goodness, and open the ears of these poor abandoned People.

On the tenth of this month, Father Masse and Father Buteux wrote me [106] from the Residence of the Conception that it was reported there that the Hiroquois had destroyed seven canoes of the petite nation of the Algonquains; if this be true, the peace of which I have spoken above, is already broken, for our Montagnais allies of the Algonquains ill take sides with them.

I have heard a report, I do not know how true it is, that a certain Savage named "the Frog" [la Grenoüille], who acts as Captain here, has said that the Hiroquois, with whom he had made a treaty of peace, have incited them to kill some of the Hurons, and to make war against them. [page 59]

Those best informed believe that this is a ruse of those who trade with these Tribes, and who are striving to divert, through their agency, the Hurons from their commerce with our French; which would happen if our Montagnais made [107] war against them; and then they [the traders] would attract them to their Settlements, and there would result a very considerable injury to the Associated Gentlemen of the Company of New France.

On the seventeenth of the same month of August, Father de Quen arrived at Kebec in a shallop which Captain Bontemps sent to give the news of his arrival at Tadoussac. Now as frightful icebergs have been seen this year upon the sea,-among others, one from thirty to forty, others say sixty leagues in extent, so large that a Pilot has assured me that he coasted along it for three days and three nights having a fair wind astern, and that in some places it had level plains, in others it rose into hills and high mountains: and since some Turkish vessels had been seen sailing out [108] of the English Channel, and some damaged ships floating here and there on the sea without masts and without sails,—which are believed to have been captured by those infidels, who often abandon ships which they plunder, after having robbed them of all they contain:' now as all these reports were being circulated, we had all lost hope of seeing Captain Bontemps, the season for sailing to this country having passed. It was this that made his unexpected arrival give us all the more joy, for we would have been sorry if so brave a Captain and so fine a crew had been lost. Father de Quen related to us the cause of their delay, and gave us reason to thank God, who drew them back [page 61] from the shades of death, saving them from a shipwreck which seemed inevitable.

On the twenty-sixth of the same month [109] a young man who came over into New France as a volunteer Soldier, in the ship commanded by Monsieur the Chevalier de la Roche Jacquelin, publicly abjured the errors of Calvin, and embraced the Christian and Catholic truths. Monsieur the Chevalier, seeing he had a very good disposition, and having inclined him to lend us an ear, himself took the trouble to bring him to our little House, where he afterwards came to see me several times alone, to confer with me. Finally, after having enlightened him upon the principal points of our belief, he desired to carry back to Old France the treasure of truth which God had led him to find in the New.

On the twenty-seventh of the same month, we saw, towards nine [110] o'clock in the evening or thereabout, a great eclipse of the Moon, which in my opinion did not appear in France until two or three hours after midnight.

But it is time to drop my pen, which will not be able this year to answer several letters that a bark which goes down to Tadoussac will bring us after the departure of the ships. It sometimes happens, either from forgetfulness or for some other reason, that they deliver the letters after the fleet has already set sail, so that we cannot send the answers the same year. As to our Frenchmen and our Fathers who are in the country of the Hurons, answers to letters sent from France should not be expected until two years afterwards; indeed, even if letters addressed to them are given to us here [111] to hold for them, after the departure of the Hurons, who come down [page 63] to Kebec only once a year, the answers will not be carried to France until the end of three years. I have given this information purposely, so as to excuse ourselves to persons who have done us the honor of writing to us, and who do not get their answers the same year, and sometimes do not get them at all, the letters or the replies being lost in so great a lapse of time and so long a journey. I pray God that these may arrive safely, together with all the fleet; they will bear to your Reverence, as a final conclusion, a very humble supplication to remember, at the Altar and in the Oratory, our poor Savages, and all of us who are your children,—especially me, [112] who have more need of it than the others, and who will call myself, with your permission, what I am,


You will permit me, if you please, to implore the prayers of all our Fathers and of all our Brothers in your Province,—as, moreover, do all of us,—I who am,

At the Residence of nostre Dame des Anges, near Kebec, in New France, this 28th of August, 1635.

Your very humble and greatly obliged servant in our Lord,



Father Charles l'Allemant.

Father François Mercier.

Father Jean Brebeuf.

Father Charles Turgis.

Father Jean Daniel.

Father Charles du Marché.

Father Ambroise d'Avost.

Father Claude Quantin.

Father Anne de Noüe.

Father Jacques Buteux.

Father Enemond Masse.

Father jean de Quen.

Father Antoine Richard.

Father Pierre Pijart.

[page 65]

And our Brothers Gilbert Burel, jean Liegeois, Pierre le Tellier, Pierre Feauté.

[page 67]

[113] Relation of what occurred among the Hurons in the year 1635.

Sent to Kebec to Father le Jeune, by Father Brebeuf.


I send you an account of our journey into this Huron Country. It has been filled with more fatigues, losses and expenses than the other, but also has been followed, and will be, God aiding, by more of Heaven's blessings.

[114] When last year, one thousand six hundred and thirty-four, we arrived at the three Rivers, where the trading post was, we found ourselves in several difficulties and perplexities. For, on the one hand, there were only eleven Huron canoes to embark our ten additional persons who were intending to go into their Country. On the other, we were greatly in doubt whether any others would descend this year, considering the great loss they had experienced in war with the Hiroquois, named Sonontrerrhonons, last Spring, and the fear they had of a new invasion. This placed us much in doubt whether we ought to take advantage of the opportunity which was presented, or wait for a better one.

At last, after full consideration, we [11] resolved to try our fortune, judging that it was of vital importance to have a footing in the Country in order to open the door which seemed firmly closed to the Faith. This resolution was far easier than the execution of it, which perchance would have been [page 69] impossible without the care, the favor, and the liberality of Monsieur du Plessis Bochard, General of the fleet. For immediately after his arrival, which was on the fifth of July, 1634, he held a Council with the Bissiriniens, to whom he proposed the plan he had of sending some men with them, and of joining us to the Hurons. They made several objections, and one of the Chiefs of the Island, named " the Partridge " [la Perdrix], more than all the rest; nevertheless, arguments and presents won them over.

The next morning, the Assembly met again, by the command [116] of Monsieur du Plessis Bochard, and both the Bissiriniens and the Hurons were present. The same plan was again presented to them; but out of respect for one another they all agreed not to embark any Frenchmen; and no arguments could, for the time being, move them. Thereupon our enterprise seemed again cut off, by this action. But, at the close of the Assembly, one of the Attiguenongha, drawing me aside, asked me to visit him in his cabin. There he gave me to understand that he and his companion would embark three of us. I replied that we could not go unless five went, namely, we three and two of our men.

Thereupon the Arendarhonons became eager to embark us; we found place for six, and so we resolved to [117] set out, and leave until some other time the two little boys we were to take. We began to distribute our baggage, and made presents to each one, to encourage them; and on the morrow, the seventh of the month, Monsieur du Plessis Bochard gave them still others, on the single consideration that they would embark us, and feasted all of them at a great feast of three large kettles. But the [page 71] contagion which spread among all these Tribes last year, with great destruction, having suddenly seized several of our Savages, and filled the rest with fear, again threw us into confusion, and put us to great trouble, seeing that we had to set out immediately. Our six canoes being reduced to three, and our two Fathers and I being disembarked, [118] I had to find new men, to unload our slender baggage, to decide who should embark and who should remain, to choose among our packages those we were to carry, and to give orders as to the rest, -and all this in less than half an hour, when we would have needed entire days. Nevertheless, recognizing clearly that our embarkment was a decisive stroke for Heaven, we thought it necessary to put forth our utmost energies to resist the efforts of the common enemy of man's salvation, who, we doubted not, was mixed up in this matter. I therefore did everything I could; we doubled the presents, we reduced the amount of our baggage, and took only what belonged to the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and what was absolutely necessary for life. Monsieur [119] du Plessis interposed his authority, Monsieur Oliver and Monsieur Coullart their ingenuity, and all the Frenchmen their affection. Yet several times I was completely baffled and desperate, until I had special recourse to our Lord Jesus, for whose glory alone we were undertaking this painful journey, and until I had made a vow to glorious saint Joseph, the new Patriarch of the Hurons. Immediately I saw everything become quiet, and our Savages so satisfied that those who embarked Father Daniel had already placed him in their canoe, and it seemed as if they were going to take him without even receiving the ordinary pay. [page 73] But the Father, seeing that they had not cloaks like the others, stepped out of the canoe, told me about it, and I had some given to them.

At last, then, after having briefly [120] thanked Monsieur du Plessis, having entrusted to him the embarkation of the rest of our people, if opportunity presented itself, and having bid him and all our Frenchmen adieu, I embarked with Father Antoine Daniel and one of our men; the two others were coming with the Algonquains. Monsieur du Plessis honored our departure with several volleys, to recommend us still more to our Savages. It was the seventh of July. Father Ambroise Davost embarked eight days later, with two others of our people. The rest followed eight days after, to take their part in the fatigues of a journey extremely wearisome, not only on account of its length and of the wretched fare to be had, but also on account of the circuits that have to be made in coming from Kebec to this place by way of the Bissiriniens and the petite Nation; I [121] believe that they amount to more than three hundred leagues. It is true the way is shorter by the Saut de St. Louys and the Lake of the Hiroquois; but the fear of enemies, and the few conveniences to be met with, cause that route to be unfrequented. Of two ordinary difficulties, the chief is that of the rapids and portages. Your Reverence has already seen enough of the rapids near Kebec to know what they are. All the rivers of this Country are full of them, and notably the St. Lawrence after that of the Prairies is passed. For from there onward it has no longer a smooth bed, but is broken up in several places, rolling and leaping in a frightful way, like an impetuous torrent; and even, in some places, it falls [page 75] down suddenly from a height of several brasses. I remembered, [122] in passing, the Cataracts of the Nile, as they are described by our Historians. Now when these rapids or torrents are reached, it is necessary to land, and carry on the shoulder, through woods or over high and troublesome rocks, all the baggage and the canoes themselves. This is not done without much work; for there are portages of one, two, and three leagues, and for each several trips must be made, no matter how few packages one has. In some places, where the current is not less strong than in these rapids, although easier at first, the Savages get into the water, and haul and guide by hand their canoes with extreme difficulty and danger; for they sometimes get in up to the neck and are compelled to let go their hold, saving themselves as best they can from the rapidity of the water, which snatches [123] from them and bears off their canoe. This happened to one of our Frenchmen who remained alone in the canoe, all the Savages having left it to the mercy of the torrent; but his skill and strength saved his life, and the canoe also, with all that was in it. I kept count of the number of portages, and found that we carried our canoes thirty-five times, and dragged them at least fifty. I sometimes took a hand in helping my Savages; but the bottom of the river is full of stones, so sharp that I could not walk long, being barefooted.

The second ordinary difficulty is in regard to provisions. Frequently one has to fast, if he misses the caches that were made when descending; and, even if they are found, one does not fail to have a good appetite after indulging in them; for the ordinary food is only a little Indian corn [124] coarsely broken [page 77] between two stones, and sometimes taken whole in pure water; it is no great treat. Occasionally one has fish, but it is only a chance, unless one is passing some Tribe where they can be bought. Add to these difficulties that one must sleep on the bare earth, or on a hard rock, for lack of a space ten or twelve feet square on which to place a wretched hut; that one must endure continually the stench of tired-out Savages; and must walk in water, in mud, in the obscurity and entanglement of the forest, where the stings of an infinite number of mosquitoes and gnats are a serious annoyance.

I say nothing of the long and wearisome silence to which one is reduced, I mean in the case of newcomers, who have, for the time, no person in their company who speaks their own tongue, and who do not understand [125] that of the Savages. Now these difficulties, since they are the usual ones, were common to us as to all those who come into this Country. But on our journey we all had to encounter difficulties which were unusual. The first was that we were compelled to paddle continually, just as much as the Savages; so that I had not the leisure to recite my Breviary except when I lay down to sleep, when I had more need of rest than of work. The other was that we had to carry our packages at the portages, which was as laborious for us as it was new, and still more for others than it was for me, who already knew a little what it is to be fatigued. At every portage I had to make at least four trips, the others had scarcely fewer. I had once before made the journey to the Hurons, but I did not then ply [126] the paddles, nor carry burdens; nor did the other Religious who made the same journey. [page 79] But, in this journey, we all had to begin by these experiences to bear the Cross that Our Lord presents to us for his honor, and for the salvation of these poor Barbarians. In truth, I was sometimes so weary that the body could do no more, but at the same time my soul experienced very deep peace, considering that I was suffering for God; no one knows it if he has not experienced it. All did not get off so cheaply.

Father, Davost, among others, was very badly treated. They stole from him much of his little outfit. They compelled him to throw away a little steel mill, and almost all our books, some linen, and a good part [127] of the paper that we were taking, and of which we have great need. They deserted him at the Island, among the Algonquains, where he suffered in good earnest. When he reached the Hurons, he was so worn-out and dejected that for a long time he could not get over it.

Father Daniel was abandoned, and compelled to seek another canoe, as also was Pierre, one of our men. Little Martin was very roughly treated, and at last was left behind with the Bissiriniens, where he remained so long that he was about two months on the road, and only arrived among the Hurons on the nineteenth of September. Baron was robbed by his savages on the very day he arrived in these regions; and he would have lost much more if he had not compelled them, through fear of his arms, to give him back a part of what they had taken. In short, [128] all the Frenchmen suffered great hardships, incurred great expense, considering the few goods they had, and ran remarkable risks. And whosoever will come up here must make up his mind [page 81] to all this, and to something more, even to death itself, whose Image we see every moment before our eyes. For myself, -not knowing how to swim, I once had a very narrow escape from drowning. As we were leaving the Bissiriniens, while descending a rapid we would have gone over a precipice, had not my Savages promptly and skillfully leaped into the water, to turn aside the canoe which the current was sweeping on. It is probable that the others might say as much, and more, considering the number of such incidents there are. Three other difficulties gave trouble to me in particular. The first [129] was the importunity of my men, at the start to hide somewhere a box that one of our Frenchmen had put into our canoe. The second was anxiety for those of our men we had left behind. The third, that the Algonquains, through whose territory we were passing, ,tried to intimidate us, saying that the Hurons would kill us as they had Brulé, and desiring to keep us among them, with abundant demonstrations of good will. Since our arrival, I have learned that the Master of my canoe had proposed to land me somewhere with my little baggage, but that his proposal had been at once repelled, and so I saw no sign of anything of the kind. All that, thank God, did not trouble me much; for having declared to them [130] that I would myself carry the box about which the trouble arose, although they had received pay to carry it, I resigned myself as far, as everything else was concerned, to the will of God, ready to die for the honor of his Son, our good Lord, and for the savation of these poor Peoples.

I do not know when thev spoke of leaving me; it my Savages exhibited so much affection for me, [page 83] and said so much that is kind about us to others, that they excited the desire in all the Hurons we met to embark some one of our people. This makes me doubt the truth of what has been said about the Master of my canoe. For those who had embarked Father Daniel and Baron wished to leave them at the Island; but the Master of the canoe in which Father Daniel was, seeing him dissatisfied at that, caused him to embark at once, and carried him until they met [131] the Captain of la Rochelle, who, knowing the Father from having wished to take him last year, willingly received him with his two packages into his canoe. It pleased him, and the Savages also; for the Father would have still had much trouble in a wretched canoe which had only three sick men in it, whose home was twelve leagues distant from ours; this Captain lived at a village where we had some intention of settling, and quite near the place where we are. Besides, his canoe was strong, and manned by six powerful Savages, quite healthy and good-natured. This happy exchange happened to him the morning of the day before the festival of saint Ignace, he having been shipwrecked twice the previous day. As to Baron, had it not been for the Captain of the Island, who caused his baggage to be put back into the canoes, [132] he would have remained there. Still, his people were not so barbarous as formerly were those who brought back one of our Frenchmen from the Hurons to Kebec. This young man, surnamed la Marche, would have died in the woods, if we had not had the care and the interest to send back in search of him more than a league from the place where we missed him.

Sometimes a word. or a dream, or a fancy, or even [page 85] the smallest sense of inconvenience, is enough to cause them to illtreat, or set ashore, and I dare say to murder one, - as happened last year to a poor Algonquain, who was abandoned in a rapid by his own nephew; and, not a month ago, a poor young man, also an Algonquain, having fallen into the fire, was killed near our village by his own Tribesmen, for fear he might [133] be an inconvenience in the canoe. What makes me believe they killed him is that it is the custom among them; that the Hurons said so; and that, the evening before, he ate heartily a good quantity of what we gave him; besides, two Algonquains assured us that they had a mind to brain him with one or two blows of an axe. Your Reverence has seen or known of similar cases in your winter's stay among the Savages. In a word, he who thinks of coming here must make up his mind to many obvious dangers and to great fatigues. I attribute, nevertheless, all these extraordinary difficulties to the sickness among our Savages. For we know very well how sickness alters the disposition and the inclinations even of the most sociable. I know not at what price our French and the Montagnais [134] will have become rid of it. I know, indeed, that the greater part of the Montagnais who were at the three Rivers when we embarked were sick, and that many of them died; and also that almost no one who returned by canoe from trading, was not afflicted with this contagion. It has been so universal among the Savages of our acquaintance that I do not know if one has escaped its attacks. All these poor people have been much inconvenienced by it, particularly during the Autumn, as much in their fishing as in their harvesting. Many crops are lying beneath the [page 87] snow; a large number of persons are dead; there are still some who have not recovered. This sickness began with violent fever, which was followed by a sort of measles or smallpox, different, [135] however, from that common in France, accompanied in several cases by blindness for some days, or by dimness of sight, and terminated at length by diarrhœa which has carried off many and is still bringing some to the grave.

Among these troubles and dangers, we owe much to the care and fatherly goodness of our Lord; for neither on the journey hither, nor while in this Country, has one of us been taken with this sickness, nor yielded to hunger, nor lost appetite. Some have had since then light attacks of sickness, but they have passed away in a few days. Our Lord be forever praised, and the most immaculate Virgin with her most chaste Spouse, for this singular favor, which has aided us much in giving authority to our Faith among these Peoples.

[136] I arrived among the Hurons on the fifth of August, the day of our Lady of the Snows, after being thirty days on the road in continual work, except one day of rest, which we took in the country of the Bissiriniens. All the others, except Robert le Coq and Dominique, took much longer; although usually the journey is only 20 days, or thereabout. I landed at the port of the village of Toanché or of Teandeouïata, where we had formerly lived; but it was with a little misfortune, our Lord wishing us to recognize from the beginning that he is calling us here to suffer. My Savages,—forgetting the kindness I had lavished upon them and the help I had afforded them in their sickness, and notwithstanding [page 89] all the fair words and promises they had given me,—after having [137] landed me with some Church ornaments and some other little outfit, left me there quite alone, without any provisions and without shelter, and resumed their route toward their villages, some seven leagues distant. My trouble was that the village of Toanché had changed since my departure, and that I did not know precisely in what place it was situated. The shore being no longer frequented, I could not easily ascertain my way; and, if I had known it, I could not from weakness have carried all my little baggage at once; nor could I risk, in that place, doing this in two trips. That is why I entreated my Savages to accompany me as far as the village, or at least to sleep on the shore for the night, to watch my clothes while I went to make inquiries. But their cars were deaf [138] to my prayers and my remonstrances. The only consolation they gave me was to tell me that some one would find me there. I was obliged to be patient; they went away, and I prostrated myself at once upon my knees to thank God, our Lady, and saint Joseph, for the favors and mercies I had received during the voyage. I saluted the tutelary Angel of the Country, and offered myself to our Lord, with all our little labors, for the salvation of these poor Peoples, taking hope that God would not abandon me there, since he had preserved and led me with so many favors. Then, having considered that this shore was deserted, and that I might indeed remain there a long time before any one in the village would come to find me, I hid my packages in the woods; and, taking with me what was most precious, I set out to find the [139] village, which fortunately I came upon at about [page 91] three-quarters of a league,—having seen with tenderness and emotion, as I passed along, the place where we had lived, and had celebrated the Holy sacrifice of the Mass during three years, now turned into a fine field; and also the site of the old village, where, except one cabin, nothing remained but the ruins of the others. I saw likewise the spot where poor Estienne Brulé was barbarously and traitorously murdered, which made me think that perhaps some day they might treat us in the same manner, and to desire at least that it might be while we were earnestly seeking the glory of Our Lord. As soon as I was perceived in the village, some one cried out, " Why, there is Echom come again " (that is the name they give me); and at once every one came out to salute and welcome me, each calling me by name and [1401 saying: " What, Echom, my nephew, my brother, my cousin, hast thou then come again? " But without stopping, for night was approaching, I found a place to lodge; and, having rested a short time, I quickly set out with a volunteer band of young people to bring my slender baggage. It was an hour after sunset when we returned to the village. I lodged with a man named Aouandoïé, who is, or at least was, one of the richest of the Hurons. I did this on purpose, because another with smaller means might have been inconvenienced with the large number of Frenchmen whom I was expecting, and who had to be provided with food and shelter until we had all gathered together, and our cabin was ready. You can lodge where you please; for this Nation above all others is exceedingly hospitable towards all sorts [141] of persons, even toward Strangers; and you may remain as long as you please, being always [page 93] well treated according to the fashion of the country. On going away, one acknowledges their hospitality by a ho, ho, ho, outoécti, or " many thanks! " at least among themselves; but from Frenchmen they expect some recompense, always at one's discretion. It is quite true that not all are equally hospitable, there are some more and some less so. My host is one of the first in this virtue; and perhaps it is on this account that God has crowned him until now with temporal blessings, and has preserved him among all his Fellow Countrymen; for their village, named Teandeouïhata, having been burned twice, each time his house alone escaped the conflagration. Some attribute this to chance; for myself, I ascribe it to a [142] nobler cause, and so I recall a fine trait, call it prudence or call it humanity, which he displayed on the occasion of the first conflagration. For jealousy having been enkindled against him, and some wishing to destroy his cabin that the fire had spared, at once he caused a large cauldron to be hung, prepared a good feast, invited the whole village, and, having assembled them, delivered this harangue: " My brethren, I am very deeply grieved at the misfortune that has happened; but what can we do about it? It is over. For myself, I know not what I have done for Heaven, to be spared before all others. Now, in order to testify to you my deep grief and my desire to share in the common misfortune, I have two bins of corn " (they held at least one hundred to one hundred and twenty bushels); " I give one of them freely to the whole [143] village." This action calmed their jealousy, and put an end to their wicked designs which they were already forming against him. It was a wise action, this losing a part to save the rest. [page 95]

I lodged therefore with this man, and lived there with our two Fathers and one of our people, for the space of more than a month and a half, until we took possession of our new cabin. Yet these poor Savages lavished upon us all possible kindnesses,—some influenced by their good natural disposition; others, by a few trifling gifts I made them, and the hope of some others.

I distributed the rest of our people in another cabin, to avoid the annoyance and inconvenience of being all in one lodging.

[144] That evening and the next day passed in the exchanges of affection, visits, salutations, and encouraging words from the whole village. On the following days, several from other villages, who were of my acquaintance, came to see me; and all took away with them, in exchange for their visit, some trifling presents. This is a small thing in detail, but on the whole it exerts a great influence and is of great importance in these regions. Some said to me: " What, Echom, and so thou hast come back! That's right; we were wishing and asking earnestly for thee" (adding their reasons), " and we were heartily glad when they told us that thou wert at Kebec, with the purpose of coming up here." Others said: "We are indeed very glad; the crops will no longer fail; during thy absence we have had nothing but famine." And, in truth, at our arrival there were, I believe, [145] only two families in the whole village who had a store of corn; all the others were going to buy elsewhere, and this was the case in several other villages. Since our arrival, there has been a very great abundance throughout the whole Country, [page 97] although in the Spring it was necessary to sow three times by reason of white frosts and worms.

In short, those of our village told me, If thou hadst not returned, the trade with the French was lost for us; for the Algonquains and even the Hurons of the other villages, threatened us with death if we went there on account of the murder of Brulé; but now we shall go to trade Without fear. "I was occupied some two weeks in visiting the villages, and bringing together, at much expense and trouble, all our party, who landed here and there, and who, not knowing [146] the language, could only have found us out after much toil. It is true that one of our men was able to come without any other address than these two words, Echom, Ihonatiria, which are my name and that of our village. Among all the French I do not find any who had more trouble than Father Davost and Baron; the Father from the wicked treatment of his Savages, Baron from the length of the journey. He occupied forty days on the road; often he was alone with a Savage, paddling in a canoe very large and very heavily laden. He had to carry all his packages himself; he had narrow escapes three or four times in the torrents; and, to crown his difficulties, much of his property was stolen. Truly, to come here much strength and patience are needed; and he who thinks of coming here [147] for any other than God, will have made a sad mistake.

Jean Nicolet, in the voyage that he made with us as far as the Island, suffered also all the hardships of one of the most robust Savages. Being at last all gathered together, we decided to dwell here at Ihonatiria, and to build here our cabin, for the following reasons: First, after having earnestly recommended [page 99] the matter to God, we judged that such was his will, because the harvest of souls is more ripe here than in any other place,—as much because of the acquaintance I have with the inhabitants of the place, and of the affection they showed for me formerly, as because they are already partly instructed in the Faith. In truth, we have baptized eight of them, of whom seven have gone to Heaven with the grace of Baptism, [148] and the whole village is of such a disposition that it is only a question of our readiness to baptize it. But we are waiting until they are better instructed, and until they have forsaken for good their principal superstitions.

Secondly, except this village there was only la Rochelle at which we might have had any inclination to stop, and that had been our intention from last year. All the inhabitants desired it very much, and invited us there, saying that we would be, as it were, in the center of the Nation, and adding other motives and reasons which pleased us well. Even on the road I entertained this thought, and only laid it aside a long time after my arrival here,—so long, indeed, that we left for a considerable space of time the baggage of Father Daniel at this village of la Rochelle, with the Captain who [149] had received him into his canoe,—intending to carry the rest thither, and to abide there. But, having taken into account that they were intending this Spring to change the location of the place, as they have already done, we did not wish to build a cabin for one winter. Besides, although it is a desirable thing to gather more fruit, and to have more listeners in our assemblies, which would make us choose the large villages rather than the small, nevertheless, for a beginning we have [page 101] thought it more suitable to keep in the shadow, as it were, near a little village where the inhabitants are already disposed to associate with the French, than to put ourselves suddenly in a great one, where the people are not accustomed to our mode of doing things. To do otherwise would have been to expose new men, ignorant of the language, to a [150] numerous youth, who by their annoyances and mockery would have brought about some disturbance. Besides, if we had gone elsewhere the people of this village would have thought themselves still in disgrace with the French, and perhaps would have abandoned trade with them,—especially as during this last Winter Le Borgne of the Island, spread the report that Monsieur de Champlain did not wish us to remain there, on account of the death of Brulé, and that he was demanding four heads; and it is probable that, if we had not been here, and if we had not remained as pledges, several, fearing to be arrested for their own faults or for those of others, would not have returned again to the trade. Besides, these good people have claimed that we ought to remain among them if it were true that we loved them; " for," said they, [151] " if you go elsewhere, not only shall we have cause to fear on our own account, but for the whole Country besides, our interests being bound together. But, now that you take us for your hosts, we have no longer to fear as we would; for if you had chosen another place, and if some wicked person had done you harm, not only the French but the Hurons also would have blamed us for it. " I might bring forward some other reasons and considerations which are not to be despised,- as, for example, it would be a more convenient place, as [page 103] well for fish and game as for embarking. But the principal reason is the first I mentioned. Among the villages that wished to have us, the people of Oënrio have entreated us most. This little village, quite near [152] ours, used to be a part of the one in which we were formerly; but we have not judged it expedient for us to stop there this time, simply having recognized it to be best that from this village and from ours one should be formed at some other place, both for their common interests and for our own special functions and ministrations. We made, not long ago, some presents to both of them at the same time, for this purpose. Our presents have great influence among them, nevertheless they have not yet decided the question. Having, therefore, determined to stay where we are, the question of building a cabin arose. The cabins of this country are neither Louvres nor Palaces, nor anything like the buildings of our France, not even like the smallest cottages. They are, nevertheless, somewhat [153] better and more commodious than the hovels of the Montagnais. I cannot better express the fashion of the Huron dwellings than to compare them to bowers or garden arbors,—some of which, in place of branches and vegetation, are covered with cedar bark, some others with large pieces of ash, elm, fir, or spruce bark; and although the cedar bark is best, according to common opinion and usage, there is, nevertheless, this inconvenience, that they are almost as susceptible to fire as matches. Hence arise many of the conflagrations of entire villages; and, without going farther than this year, we have seen in less than ten days two large ones entirely consumed, and another, that of Louys, partially burned. [154] We have also [page 105] once seen our own cabin on fire; but, thank God, we extinguished it immediately. There are cabins or arbors of various sizes, some two brasses in length, others of ten, others of twenty, of thirty, of forty; the usual width is about four brasses, their height is about the same. There are no different stories; there is no cellar, no chamber, no garret. It has neither window nor chimney, only a miserable hole in the top of the cabin, left to permit the smoke to escape. This is the way they built ours for us.

The people of Oënrio and of our village were employed at this, by means of presents given them. It has cost us much exertion to secure its completion, not only [155] on account of the epidemic, which affected almost all the Savages, but on account of the coöperation of these two villages; for although the work was not great, yet those of our village followed the example of those of Oënrio, who, in hopes of finally attracting us to their village, simply amused themselves without advancing the work; we were almost into October before we were under cover. As to the interior, we have suited ourselves; so that, even if it does not amount to much, the Savages never weary of coming to see it, and, seeing it, to admire it. We have divided it into three parts. The first compartment, nearest the door, serves as an antechamber, as a storm door, and as a storeroom for our provisions, in the fashion of the Savages. The second is that in which we live, and is our kitchen, our [156] carpenter shop, our mill, or place for grinding the wheat, our Refectory, our parlor and our bedroom. On both sides, in the fashion of the Hurons, are two benches which they call Endicha, on which are boxes to hold our clothes and other little [page 107] conveniences; but below, in the place where the Hurons keep their wood, we have contrived some little bunks to sleep in, and to store away some of our clothing from the thievish hands of the Hurons. They sleep beside the fire, but still they and we have only the earth for bedstead; for mattress and pillows, some bark or boughs covered with a rush mat; for sheets and coverings, our clothes and some skins do duty. The third part of our cabin is also [157] divided into two parts by means of a bit of carpentry which gives it a fairly good appearance, and which is admired here for its novelty. In the one is our little Chapel, in which we celebrate every day holy Mass, and we retire there daily to pray to God. It is true that the almost continual noise they make usually hinders us,—except in the morning and evening, when everybody has gone away,—and compels us to go outside to say our prayers. In the other part we put our utensils. The whole cabin is only six brasses long, and about three and a half wide. That is how we are lodged, doubtless not so well that we may not have in this abode a good share of rain, snow, and cold. However, as I have said, they never cease coming [158] to visit us from admiration, especially since we have put on two doors, made by a carpenter, and since our mill and our clock have been set to work. It would be impossible to describe the astonishment of these good people, and how much they admire the intelligence of the French. But they have said all when they have said they are ondaki, that is, Demons; and indeed we make profitable use of this word when we talk to them: " Now, my brothers, you have seen that and admired it, and you think you are right, when you see something extraordinary, in saying [page 109] ondaki, to declare that those who make so many marvels must be Demons. And what is there so wonderful as the beauty of the Sky and the Sun? What is there so wonderful as to see every year the trees almost dead during the Winter, all bare and disfigured, resume [159] without fail, every Spring, a new life and a new dress? The corn that you plant rots, and from its decay spring up such beautiful stalks and better ears. And yet you do not say, 'He who made so many beauties, and who every year displays before our eyes so many marvels, must be some beneficent oki, and some supereminent intelligence,' " etc. No one has come who has not wished to turn the mill; nevertheless we have not used it, inasmuch as we have learned by experience that our Sagamités are better pounded in a wooden mortar, in the fashion of the Savages, than ground within the mill. I believe it is because the mill makes the flour too fine. As to the clock, a thousand things are said of it. They all think [160] it is some living thing, for they cannot imagine how it sounds of itself; and, when it is going to strike, they look to see if we are all there and if some one has not hidden, in order to shake it.

They think it hears, especially when, for a joke, some one of our Frenchmen calls out at the last stroke of the hammer, " That's enough," and then it immediately becomes silent. They call it the Captain of the day. When it strikes, they say it is speaking; and they ask when they come to see us how many times the Captain has already spoken. They ask us about its food; they remain a whole hour, and sometimes several, in order to be able to hear it speak. They used to ask at first what it said. We told them two [161] things that they have [page 111] remembered very well; one, that when it sounded four o'clock of the afternoon, during winter, it was saying, " Go out, go away that we may close the door," for immediately they arose, and went out. The other, that at midday it said, yo eiouahaoua, that is, " Come, put on the kettle; " and this speech is better remembered than the other, for some of these spongers never fail to come at that hour, to get a share of our Sagamité. They eat at all hours, when they have the wherewithal, but usually they have only two meals a day, in the morning and in the evening; consequently they are very glad during the day to take a share with us.

Speaking of their expressions of admiration, I might here set down several on the subject of the lodestone, into which they looked to see if there was [162] some paste; and of a glass with eleven facets, which represented a single object as many times; of a little phial in which a flea appears as large as a beetle; of the prism, of the joiner's tools; but above all of the writing, for they could not conceive how, what one of us, being in the village, had said to them, and put down at the same time in writing, another, who meanwhile was in a house far away, could say readily on seeing the writing. I believe they have made a hundred trials of it. All this serves to gain their affections, and to render them more docile when we introduce the admirable and incomprehensible mysteries of our Faith; for the belief they have in our intelligence and capacity causes them to accept without reply what we say to them.

[163] It remains now to say something of the country, of the manners and customs of the Hurons, of [page 113] the inclination they have to the Faith, and of our insignificant labors.

As to the first, the little paper and leisure we have compels me to say in a few words what might justly fill a volume. The Huron country is not large, its greatest extent can be traversed in three or four days. Its situation is fine, the greater part of it consisting of plains. It is surrounded and intersected by a number of very beautiful lakes or rather seas, whence it comes that the one to the North and to the Northnorthwest is called "fresh-water sea" [mer douce]. We pass through it in coming from the Bissiriniens. The soil of this country is quite sandy, although not equally so. However, it produces a quantity of very good Indian corn, and one may [164] say that it is the granary of most of the Algonquains. There are twenty Towns, which indicate about 30,000 souls speaking the same tongue, which is not difficult to one who has a master. It has distinction of genders, number, tense, person, moods; and, in short, it is very complete and very regular, contrary to the opinion of many. I am rejoiced to find that this language is common to some twelve other Nations, all settled and numerous; these are, the Conkhandeenrhonons, khionontaterrhonons, Atiouandaronks, Sonontoerrhonons, Onontaerrhonons, Oüioenrhonons, Onoiochrhonons, Agnierrhonons, Andastoerrhonons, Scahentoarrhonons, Rhiierrhonons, and Ahouenrochrhonons. The Hurons are friends of all these people, except the Sonontoerrhonons, Onontaerrhonons, Oüioenrhonons, Onoiochrhonons [165] and Agnierrhonons, all of whom we comprise under the name Hiroquois. But they have Already made peace with the Sonontoerrhonons, since they were defeated by them a year past in the Spring. [page 115]

The deputies of the whole Country have gone to Sonontoen to confirm this peace, and it is said that the Onontaerhonons, Oüioenrhonons, Ouiochrhonons and Agnierrhonons wish to become parties to it. But that is not certain; if it were, a noble door would be open to the Gospel. They wanted me to go to this Sonontoen, but I did not judge it wise to go yet into any other part, until we have better established here the foundation of the Gospel Law, and until we have drawn a line by which the other Nations that shall be converted may guide themselves. Indeed, I would not go to any place where [166] we would not be immediately recognized as Preachers of Jesus Christ.

It is so clear, so evident that there is a Divinity who has made Heaven and earth, that our Hurons cannot entirely ignore it. And although the eyes of their minds are very much obscured by the darkness of a long ignorance, by their vices and sins, they still see something of it. But they misapprehend him grossly, and, having the knowledge of God, they do not render him the honor, the love, nor the service which is his due. For they have neither Temples, nor Priests, nor Feasts, nor any ceremonies.

They say that a certain woman named Eataentsic is the one who made earth and men. They give her an assistant, one named Jouskeha, whom they declare to be her little son, with whom she governs [167] the world. This Jouskeha has care of the living, and of the things that concern life, and consequently they say that he is good. Eataentsic has care of souls, and, because they believe that she makes men die, they say that she is wicked. And there are among them mysteries so hidden that only the old men, who [page 117] can speak with credit and authority about them, are believed. Whence it comes that a certain young man, who was talking to me about this, said boastingly, " Am I not very learned? " Some told me that the house of these two Divinities is at the end of the world to the East. Now with them the world does not pass beyond their Country, that is, America. Others place their abode in the middle.

This God and Goddess live like themselves, but without famine; make feasts as they do, are lustful as they; in short, they imagine them [168] exactly like themselves. And still, though they make them human and corporeal, they seem nevertheless to attribute to them a certain immensity in all places. They say that this Eataentsic fell from the Sky, where there are inhabitants as on earth; and, when she fell, she was with child. If you ask them who made the Sky and its inhabitants, they have no other reply than that they know nothing about it. And when we preach to them of one God, Creator of Heaven and earth, and of all things, and even when we talk to them of Hell and Paradise and of our other mysteries, the headstrong savages reply that this is good for our Country and not for theirs; that every Country has its own fashions. But having pointed out to them, by means of a little globe that we had brought, that there is [169] only one world, they remain without reply. I find in their marriage customs two things that greatly please me; the first, that they have only one wife; the second, that they do not marry their relatives in a direct or collateral line, however distant they may be. There is, on the other hand, sufficient to censure, were it only the frequent changes the men make of their wives, and the women [page 119] of their husbands. They believe in the immortality of the soul, which they believe to be corporeal. The greatest part of their Religion consists in this point. There are, besides, only superstitions, which we hope by the grace of God to change into true Religion, and, like spoils carried off from the enemy, to consecrate them to the honor of our Lord, and to profit by them for their special advantage. Certainly, if, [170] should they some day be Christians, these superstitions help them in proportion to what they do for them now in vain, it will be necessary that we yield to them, or that we imitate them; for they spare nothing, not even the most avaricious. We have seen several stripped, or almost so, of all their goods, because several of their friends were dead, to whose souls they had made presents. Moreover, dogs, deer, fish, and other animals have, in their opinion, immortal and reasonable souls. In proof of this, the old men relate certain fables, which they represent as true; they make no mention either of punishment or reward, in the place to which souls go after death. And so they do not make any distinction between the good and the bad, the virtuous and the vicious; [171] and they honor equally the interment of both, even as we have seen in the case of a young man who had poisoned himself from the grief he felt because his wife had been taken away from him. Their superstitions are infinite; their feasts, their medicines, their fishing, their hunting, their wars,—in short, almost their whole life turns upon this pivot; dreams, above all, have here great credit.

This whole country, and I believe it is the same elsewhere, is not lacking in wicked men, who, from motives of envy or vengeance, or from other cause, [page 121] poison or bewitch, and, in short, put to death sooner or later those whom they wish to injure. When such people are caught, they are put to death on the spot, without any form of trial, and there is no disturbance about it. As too ther murders, they [172]are avenged upon the whole Nation of the murderer; so that is the only class I know about that they put to death with impunity. I knew indeed a girl that stole, who was at once killed without any inquiry, but it was by her own brother. If some traitor appears, who is planning the ruin of the Country, they endeavor in common to get rid of him as soon as possible; but these accidents are very rare.

They say that the Sorcerers ruin them; for if any one has succeeded in an enterprise, if his trading or hunting is successful, immediately these wicked men bewitch him, or some member of his family, so that they have to spend it all in Doctors and Medicines. Hence, to cure these and other diseases, there are a large number of Doctors whom they call Arendiouane. These persons, in [173] my opinion, are true Sorcerers, who have access to the Devil. Some only judge of the evil, and that in divers ways, namely, by Pyromancy, by Hydromancy, Necromancy, by feasts, dances, and songs; the others endeavor to cure the .disease by blowing, by potions, and by other ridiculous tricks, which have neither any virtue nor natural efficacy. But neither class do anything without generous presents and good pay.

There are here some Soothsayers, whom they call also Arendiouane and who undertake to cause the rain to fall or to cease, and to predict future events. The Devil reveals to them some secrets, but with so much obscurity that one is unable to accuse them of falsehood; [page 123] witness one of the village of Scanonaenrat [174] who, a little while before the burning of the villages before mentioned, had seen in a dream three flames falling from the Sky on those villages. But the Devil had not declared to him the meaning of this enigma; for, having obtained from the village a white dog, to make a feast with it and to seek information by it, he remained as ignorant afterward as before.

Lastly, when I was in the house of Louys de saincte Foy, an old woman, a sorceress, or female soothsayer of that village, said she had seen those who had gone to the war, and that they were bringing back a prisoner. We shall see if she has spoken the truth. Her method is by pyromancy. She draws for you in her hut the lake of the Hiroquois; then on one side she makes as many fires as there are persons who have gone on [175] the expedition, and on the other as many fires as they have enemies to fight. Then, if her spell succeeds, she lets it be understood that the fires from this side have run over, and that signifies that the warriors have already crossed the lake. One fire extinguishing another marks an enemy defeated; but if it attracts it to itself without extinguishing it, that is a prisoner taken at mercy. It is thus,—to finish my discourse, which would be too long if I tried to say everything,—that the Devil amuses this poor people, substituting his impieties and superstitions in place of the compliance they ought to have with the providence of God, and the worship they ought to render him.

As regards morals, the Hurons are lascivious, although in two leading points less so than many Christians, who will blush [176] some day in their [page 125] presence. You will see no kissing nor immodest caressing; and in marriage a man will remain two or three years apart from his wife, while she is nursing. They are gluttons, even to disgorging; it is true, that does not happen often, but only in some superstitious feasts,—these, however, they do not attend willingly. Besides, they endure hunger much better than we,—so well that after having fasted two or three entire days you will see them still paddling, carrying loads, singing, laughing, bantering, as if they had dined well. They are very lazy, are liars, thieves, pertinacious beggars. Some consider them vindictive; but, in my opinion, this vice is more noticeable elsewhere than here. We see shining among them some rather noble moral [177] virtues. You note, in the first place, a great love and union, which they are careful to cultivate by means of their marriages, of their presents, of their feasts, and of their frequent visits. On returning from their fishing, their hunting, and their trading, they exchange many gifts; if they have thus obtained something unusually good, even if they have bought it, or if it has been given to them, they make a feast to the whole village with it. Their hospitality towards all sorts of strangers is remarkable; they present to them in their feasts the best of what they have prepared, and, as I have already said, I do not know if anything similar, in this regard, is to be found elsewhere. I think I have read, in the lives of the Fathers, that a Pagan army was converted on seeing the charity and hospitality of a Christian town, the inhabitants of which vied with each other in [178] caressing and feasting the Strangers,—judging well that those must profess the true Religion and worship the true God, the common Father of all, [page 127] who had hearts so benign and who did so much good to all sorts of persons, without distinction. We have also hope that our Lord will give at last the light of his knowledge, and will communicate the fire of his graces, to this Nation, which he seems to have disposed thereto by the practice of this noble virtue. They never close the door upon a Stranger, and, once having received him into their houses, they share with him the best they have; they never send him away, and, when he goes away of his own accord, he repays them with a simple, "thank you." This makes me hope that, if once it pleases God to illumine them, they will respond perfectly [179] to the grace and inspiration of his Son. And, since he has come as a Stranger into his own house, I promise myself that these good people will receive him at all hours into their hearts without making him wait too long on account of their hardness, without withholding from him anything in the whole range of their affections, without betraying him or driving him outside by any serious fault, and without claiming anything in his service other than his honor and glory; which is all the fidelity one can ask in a soul for the good use and holy employment of the favors of Heaven.

What shall I say of their strange patience in their poverty, famine, and sickness? We have seen this year whole villages prostrated, their food a little insipid sagamité; and yet not a word of complaint, not a movement [180] of impatience. They receive indeed the news of death with more constancy than those Christian Gentlemen and Ladies to whom one would not dare to mention it. Our Savages hear of it not only without despair, but without troubling themselves, without the slightest pallor or change of [page 129] countenance. We have especially admired the constancy of our new Christians. The next to the last one who died, named Joseph Oatij, lay on the bare ground during four or five months, not only before but after his Baptism, -so thin that he was nothing but bones; in a lodge so wretched that the winds blew in on all sides; covered during the cold of winter with a very light skin of some black animals, perhaps black squirrels, and very poorly nourished. He was never heard to make a complaint, however. May our Lord Jesus Christ be ever [181] praised. It is on such dispositions and foundations that we hope, with the grace of God, to build the edifice of the Christian Religion among these people, who, besides, are already affectionately inclined toward us and have a great opinion of us. It is now our part to correspond to our vocation, and to the voice of Our Savior, who says to us, videte regiones, quoniam albæ sunt iam ad messem. It is true, my Reverend Father, that messis multa, operarii pauci, and, besides, we are very weak for so great an enterprise, at least I am, and therefore I beseech our Reverend Father Provincial and Your Reverence to send us help. For this I could cry willingly to the good God, mitte quem missurus es; as for us, we are children, who can only stammer. Yet see what we, trusting in the goodness of Our Lord, and not in our own strength and skill, [182] have done for the conversion of this People since our arrival. In the first place, we have been employed in the study of the language, which, on account of the diversity of its compound words, is almost infinite. One can, nevertheless, do nothing without this study. All the French who are here have eagerly applied themselves to it, reviving the ancient usage of writing on [page 131] birch-bark, for want of paper. Fathers Davost and Daniel have worked at it, beyond all; they know as many words as I, and perhaps more; but they have not yet had practice in forming and joining them together promptly, although Father Daniel already explains himself passably well. As for me, who give lessons therein to our French, if God does not assist me extraordinarily, I shall yet have to go a long time to the school of the Savages, so prolific is [183] their language. That does not prevent me from understanding almost all they say, and from making them fairly understand my meaning, even in the explanation of our most ineffable mysteries. In addition, we have employed ourselves in visiting, entreating, and instructing the sick, who have been, as I have said, very numerous. It has been in this pious exercise that we have won souls for our Lord, to the number of thirteen. The first was a little girl of this village, only four or five months old; she died a quarter of an hour after her baptism, in which she was named Josepha, to fulfill a vow I had made to give this name to the first that we should regenerate with the holy waters, -in gratitude for so many favors that we have received and are receiving [184] by the interposition of that great Saint. This was on the sixth of September, 1634. The second was another little girl, about two years of age, whom we baptized on the next day. She died on the eleventh of the same month and year, having been named Marie.

On the 26th of the same month, I baptized Marie Oquiaendis, the mother of the Captain of this village, grandmother of the other Marie. She is still living, and attributes her recovery to the virtue of Holy [page 133] Baptism, publishing it everywhere. In truth, she was almost gone; and as soon as she was washed with the sacred waters she began to improve. On the 20th of October, I set out to go to the Tobacco Nation. In this journey God granted me the favor of baptizing and sending to Heaven three little children, one of whom, among others, was about to give forth his last breath when I reached the lodge and had scarcely time [185] to sprinkle him. When I returned from the journey I found that Father Daniel had baptized Joseph Joutaya, who was believed to be at the point of death. I had instructed him previously. He survived a long time, in a languishing condition, and doing many acts of virtue. We helped him both bodily and spiritually; so well that he and all his family attributed the prolongation of his life to nothing but the double assistance he had received from us. At last, having happily died in the confession and invocation of the true God, and in repentance for his sins, we solemnly interred him as he had desired. We admired the care, the charity, and the perseverance of his wife in the duties and services she rendered to him during a long, very dirty, and very disgusting sickness. She and all her house, (where we have already baptized three) have continued [186] warmly attached to us; and they have often protested to me that they will all be, in life, in death, and beyond, at our service. But we do not judge them yet sufficiently instructed. It is this cabin where lives the first Huron I ever baptized, which was in the year one thousand six hundred and twenty-nine, before our departure from this Country. It was a little child, looked upon as dead, who seemed to be born and live again in a double sense, in the [page 135] life-imparting waters of holy Baptism. He still lives, being about five years of age, and is very gentle.

On the twenty-first of October, was baptized Joseph Sondaarouhané, about forty or fifty years of age. He had great goodness and natural sweetness, and had been attached to me for a long time. He yielded up his blessed spirit to God, on the twentieth of November. On the same [1871 day was baptized Joachim Tsindacaiendoua, an old man of 80 years. He was one of the best-natured Hurons I have ever known. The next day he left this life, to begin a better one, as we believe; we interred him solemnly in a separate place. This ceremony attracted upon us the eyes of the whole village, and caused several to desire that we should honor their burial in the same way,—notably Joseph Joutaia, the one above-mentioned, who, after the obsequies were over, told me that he would have been very glad if we had passed through his cabin in the style in which we were dressed, so that he might see us from the place in which sickness kept him bound; for they had talked so much to him about the matter that he declared of his own will that he wished to be interred by our hands, which was done.

[188] Since I have referred to this man's decision, I will tell a memorable thing which happened to him after his Baptism. The Devil appeared to him in the form of one of his deceased brothers. Entering his cabin without any salutation, he sat down on the other side of the fire opposite our new Christian, and remained a long time without speaking. At last beginning to speak, he said to him, "How now, my brother, do you wish to leave us?" Our Joseph, who was not yet sufficiently equipped for this warfare, replied, [page 137] " No, my brother, I don't wish to leave you; I will not leave you," and it is said this false brother then began to caress him. Still, he has since declared several times that he desired to go to Heaven.

On the twenty-seventh of November, Martin Tsicok, already a very [189] old man and of a very gentle disposition, was baptized. This good man did not cease to invoke Jesus and Mary from his baptism until the 15th of December, when he died. I began to instruct him with this truth, that our souls after death all go to Hell or to Paradise; that Paradise is a place full of delights and contentment, and on the contrary that Hell is a place of fires, of pains, and eternal torments; that, besides, he should think, while he was yet in life, to which of these places he desired to go and dwell forever. Then this good old man, turning to his wife, said to her, "My wife, is it not indeed ,better to go to Heaven? I am afraid of those horrible fires of hell. " His wife was of the same opinion, and thus he willingly listened to the instructions we gave him.

On the nineteenth of January, I set out [190] for the house of Louys de saincte Foy, distant from our village seven or eight leagues. I had been neither able nor willing to go sooner, as he had gone to the neutral Nation to seek his father, who had remained there, a cripple.

On this journey passing through Onnentissati, I went to see a man named oukhahitoüa, who last year embarked one of our men. Finding him dying, I instructed him; he believed, he detested his past life, he was baptized under the name of François, and two days later quitted this world to fly to Heaven.

On the twenty-ninth of March, we solemnly baptized [page 139] in our little Chapel Joseph Oatij; François petit Pré was his Godfather, and many were present. We had been instructing him a long time, and hence he replied [191] personally to the questions I put to him in the Huron tongue. This good young man was of a very sickly constitution; we had gained him by continual assistance, which had twice saved his life; so that he willingly put in our hands the care of his soul, which went happily to God on the fourteenth of April, after having been fortified by the Sacrament of extreme Unction.

We especially admired his patience and tranquility of mind, especially after his baptism. Scarcely had we begun to instruct him when he began to say very often, both by day and by night, "Jesus, have pity on me! Mary and Joseph, help me I"

Lastly, on the twentieth of April, I baptized at Oënrio a very old woman, who died on the twentyfourth. [192] At first, when I talked to her, and asked her whether she wished to go to Heaven or to Hell, she did not answer, except to say that she would go where her son wished. But having told her that her father, the late Joachim Tsindacaiendoua, had gone to Heaven, she said, "Then I wish to go there!"

These, then, are the fruits that we have gathered from our visits and private instructions. I believe the harvest would have been greater if I could have left our village, and visited the others. May it please our Lord to accept these few first fruits, and give us .strength and opportunities to gather more of them. We have instructed many others, who asked very urgently for Baptism; but not seeing them in danger [page 141] of death, we have kept them back for further instructions.

[193] About the month of December, the snow began to lie on the ground, and the Savages settled down in the village. For, during the whole Summer and Autumn, they are for the most part either in their rural cabins, taking care of their crops, or on the lake fishing, or trading; which makes it not a little inconvenient to instruct them. Seeing them, therefore, thus gathered together at the beginning of this year, we resolved to preach publicly to all, and to acquaint them with the reason of our coming into their Country, which is not for their furs, but to declare to them the true God and his son, Jesus Christ, the universal Savior of our souls.

We gave the Instruction or Catechism in our cabin, for we had as yet no other suitable Church. This is often the most [194] we can do; for their feasts, dances, and games so occupy them that we cannot get them together as we would like.

The usual method that we follow is this: We call together the people by the help of the Captain of the village, who assembles them all in our house as in Council, or perhaps by the sound of the bell. I use the surplice and the square cap, to give more majesty to my appearance. At the beginning, we chant on our knees the Pater noster, translated into Huron verse. Father Daniel, as its author, chants a couplet alone, and then we all together chant it again; and those among the Hurons, principally the little ones, who already know it, take pleasure in chanting it with us, and the others in listening. That done, when every one is seated, I rise and make [195] the sign of the Cross for all; then, having recapitulated [page 143] what I said the last time, I explain something new. After that we question the young children and the girls, giving a little bead of glass or porcelain to those who deserve it. The parents are very glad to see their children answer well and carry off some little prize, of which they render themselves worthy by the care they take to come privately to get instruction. On our part, to arouse their emulation, we have each lesson retraced by our two little French boys, who question each other,—which transports the Savages with admiration. Finally the whole is concluded by the talk of the Old Men, who propound their difficulties, and sometimes [196] make me listen in my turn to the statement of their belief.

We began our Catechizing by this memorable truth, that their souls, which are immortal, all go after death either to Paradise or to Hell. It is thus we approach them, either in public or in private. I added that they had the choice, during life, to participate after death in the one or the other,—which one, they ought now to consider. Whereupon one honest old man said to me, " Let him who will, go to the fires of Hell; I want to go to Heaven; " all the others followed and making use of the same answer, begged us to show them the way, and to take away the stones, the trees, and the thickets therein, which might stop them.

Our Hurons, as you see, are not so dull as one might think them; [197] they seem to me to have rather good common sense, and I find them universally very docile. Nevertheless, some of them are obstinate, and attached to their superstitions and evil customs. These are principally the old people; for beyond these, who are not numerous, the rest know [page 145] nothing of their own belief. We have two or three of this number in our village. I am often in conflict with them; and then I show them they are wrong, and make them contradict themselves, so that they frankly admit their ignorance, and the others ridicule them; still they will not yield, always falling back upon this, that their Country is not like ours, that they have another God, another Paradise, in a word, other customs.

They tell us how the woman, named Eataentsic, fell from Heaven [198] into the waters with which the earth was covered; and that little by little, the earth became bare. I ask them who created the Heaven in which this woman could not stay, and they remain mute; as also when I press them to tell me who formed the earth, seeing that it was beneath the waters before the fall of this woman. One man asked me very cunningly, in this connection, where God was before the creation of the world. The reply was more easy for me, following St. Augustine, than the grasp of the question put to me was for them. Another good old man, having fallen sick, did not wish to hear of going to Heaven, saying he desired to go where his ancestors were. Some days afterwards, he came to me and told me a pleasant story: "Rejoice," he said, "for I have returned from the country of souls, and I have found none there any longer; [199] they have all gone to Heaven." There is nothing which does not serve for salvation when God pleases, not even dreams.

Two things among others have aided us very much in the little we have been able to do here, by the grace of our Lord; the first is, as I have already said, the good health that God has granted us in the midst [page 147] of sickness so general and so widespread. For our Hurons have thought that, if they believed in God and served him as we do, they would not die in so large numbers.

The second is the temporal assistance we have rendered to the sick. Having brought for ourselves some few delicacies, we shared them with them, giving to one a few prunes and to another a few raisins, to others something else. The poor people came [200] from great distances to get their share.

Our French servants having succeeded very well in hunting, during the Autumn, we carried portions of game to all the sick. That chiefly won their hearts, as they were dying, having neither flesh nor fish to season their sagamité. Add that all our French have borne themselves, thank God, so virtuously and so peaceably on all sides, during the whole year, that they have drawn down the blessing of Heaven. We owe much also to our glorious saint Joseph, spouse of our Lady, and protector of the Hurons, who has rendered us tangible aid several times. It was a rernarkable thing that on the day of his feast, and during the Octave, accommodations came to us from all sides.

[201] Before drawing to a close, I shall say only this one word about Louys de saincte Foy, which I would prefer not to say were it not that it may help to make this Nation more correctly known ; it is this,—he is not such as he ought to be, and as we had wished. Nevertheless, we still have good hope. He was taken prisoner last year by the Hiroquois, in the common defeat, and carried away a captive. It cost him a finger. This severe stroke ought to suffice to bring him back to duty. His Father was not taken; [page 149] he escaped by flight, but in fleeing he suffered in good earnest in the woods, where he remained, according to his account, thirty days struggling against three powerful enemies,—namely, cold, for it was Spring, and he was naked and fireless; sickness, for his two legs were powerless, and [202] he has not yet recovered; and, lastly, against hunger, in reference to which he relates a remarkable story, if it be true. He says that, having gone for ten or twelve days without eating, and praying to God, of whom he had heard his son speak, he saw what seemed a pot of grease, such as he had seen at Kebec, full of a very savory liquor, and heard a voice that said to him, "Saranhes, be of good cheer; thou wilt not die; take, drink what is in the pot and strengthen thyself, " which he did, and was marvelously solaced by it. A little later, he found in a thicket a small bagful of corn, with which he barely sustained life until some Savages of the neutral Nation, having accidentally found him, brought him to their village.

This man has declared to me that he and his whole family were desirous of being converted, [203] and of helping to bring the entire village to God's service. But his is a crafty spirit, as well as his son's, and I do not trust him yet. Our hope is in God, and in our Lord Jesus Christ, who shed his blood for the salvation of the Hurons, as well as for the rest of the world.

It is through this support, and not our own efforts, that we hope one day to see here a flourishing Christianity. Indeed, their minds are docile and flexible; I see only the liberty with which they change their wives at pleasure, and some superstitions, difficult to abolish, for in other respects they have no aversion [page 151] to the Faith nor to the Christian Law. They turn willingly to God in their [204] necessities; they come to get their crops blessed, before sowing them; and ask us what we desire of them. All we have to fear is our own sins and imperfections, and I above all. In truth, I feel myself extremely unworthy of this employment; but send holy ones to us, or pray to God our Lord that we may be such as he desires. A thousand entreaties for the holy sacrifices of your Reverence and of all our Fathers and Brothers.


From our little House of St. Joseph, in the village of Ihonatiria in the Huron country, this 27th of May, 1635, the day on which the Holy Spirit descended visibly upon the Apostles.

Very humble and obedient

servant in our Lord,

Jean de Brébeuf.

[page 153]




Since the above was written, we have baptized a sick child, grandnephew of the late Joachim Tsindacaiendoua; and this the more boldly, as this family seems to be disposed to the Faith. Our Lord has restored his health, to the wonder of his parents, who remarked that immediately after the baptism he rested very sweetly. This will serve to overthrow a bad opinion that the Devil goes about sowing in some minds, whom he persuades that they will never get better after baptism. This is but one of the ruses of the Devil against us; he has many others, which he has already attempted in part; but Our Lord will confound him; it is in him that we put our trust. Your Reverence will perhaps [206] be glad to hear that the Winter here has been very short and moderate. The Country is such that it bears sufficient for the nourishment of its inhabitants. All this Spring has been extremely clear and dry; the crops are beginning to suffer for want of rain. I pray our Lord that it may please him to remedy this, and to give us what will be necessary for his glory, for the happy beginnings of this Christianity, and for the blessing of the insignificant labors that our Society is undertaking in these distant lands, under the protection of the Fleurs de Lys and of our Great King who to-day is. causing them to bloom so gloriously.

[page 155]

[207] Relation of certain details regarding the Island of Cape Breton and its Inhabitants.

Sent by Father Julïen Perrault, of the Society of Jesus, to his Provincial, in France, in the years 1634 and 35.

HE Island of Cape Breton is about nine hundred leagues distant from our France by sea. It is seventy or eighty leagues in circumference. The mountains here are very high and numerous, at the foot of which [208] are seen great bogs and frightful precipices. The land is covered with all sorts of trees, such as oak, beech, birch, pine, hemlock, and others.

Chibou which is the principal part of this Island, is a great Bay about two leagues wide at its entrance, becoming narrower little by little, in the six or seven leagues which form its extent. In the middle, on the left hand in ascending, on the summit of the shore that faces the Northwest, is built the fort of sainte Anne, at the entrance of the harbor, opposite a little Cove. The situation of the place is so advantageous, according to the report of those who are acquainted with it, that with ten or twelve pieces of cannon, all the hostile ships that might present themselves could be sent to the bottom.

Those who have grown old upon the sea protest that they have never seen a [209] more desirable Port, either in extent or for its facility of access. Three thousand ships could easily anchor there, and be sheltered from every wind, in a beautiful [page 157] enclosure very pleasant to look upon; for its form is circular, or nearly so. The tides here are very mild and regular; there is always from ten to twelve fathoms of water. Furthermore, notwithstanding that the Island is. in forty-six and a half degrees north latitude, the cold is extreme, the island lying in the midst of snow five or six months of the year. This is the situation of the place, let us come to the conveniences of life which it offers to its inhabitants. On this subject we may say, in general, that the Savages are more comfortable here than in many other places. If the Winter supplies them with fewer Beavers upon the water, it gives them, by way of compensation, more Moose [210] upon the land. In summer, they live very well on Marmots and Parrot fish, with Cormorants and other marine birds. They have also Bustards, Smelts, Mackerel, Codfish, and like supplies, according to the different seasons, in the forests or upon the coasts of the sea.

As to the people, there is nothing anomalous in their physical appearance; you see well-formed men, good-looking, of fine figures, strong and powerful. Their skin is naturally white, for the little children show it thus; but the heat of the Sun, and the rubbing with Seal oil and Moose fat, make them very swarthy, the more so as they grow older. Most of them go bareheaded, and they have long, black hair, with very little or no beard, so that the women cannot be distinguished, [211] except that they use a girdle and are less naked than the men; quite the reverse of what is practiced in many Christian lands, to the shame of Christianity. One sees here old men, of eighty and a hundred years, who have hardly a gray hair. As to their intelligence, if we may [page 159] judge from their conduct and from their way of dealing with the French, they are not at a great disadvantage. You do not see in their gestures and bearing any foolishness or nonsense, but rather a certain gravity and natural modesty, which makes them agreeable. They are indeed so clever that, in order to disguise their language, they add to every word a syllable, which only serves to confuse the minds of those by whom they do not wish to be understood.

[212] What they do lack is the knowledge of God and of the service that they ought to render to him, as also of the state of the soul after death; it is wonderful that we have not yet been able to discover any trace of this knowledge in what we know of their language. Perhaps we shall discover something more, when we become better versed in it; for it is not credible that the light of nature should be altogether extinct in them in this regard, when it is not in other more barbarous Nations, or that they never talk among themselves of that of which they cannot be entirely ignorant. For all that, we have not up to the present noticed any more Religion among these poor Savages than among brutes. This is what wrings our hearts with compassion for souls redeemed at the same [213] price as ours, by which they would willingly profit better than we, if they could know what they themselves are worth, and what they cost him who has loved us all so much.

Now what consoles us in the midst of this ignorance and barbarism, and what makes us hope some day to see the Faith widely planted, is partly the docility they have shown in wishing to be instructed, and partly the honesty and decency we observe in them. [page 161]

They are very diligent and attentive to the instructions we give them; I do not know whether it is through complaisance, for they have a great deal of this naturally, or through an instinct from above, that they listen to us so willingly concerning the mysteries of our Faith, and repeat after us, whether they understand it or not, all that [214] we declare to them. They very willingly make the sign of the Cross, as they see us make it, raising their hands and eyes to Heaven and pronouncing the words, "Jesus, Mary, " as we do,—so far that, having observed the honor we render to the Cross, these poor people paint it on their faces, chests, arms, and legs, without being asked to do so. I am very willing that they should do all these things in the beginning from a natural simplicity, which causes them to imitate all they see, rather than from any greater consideration; because in time they may be helped by it, and they will not be the first, who come to practice by choice that to which by casual encounter they have become accustomed. Besides, what is of no small importance, they sometimes urge us to pray our good Jesus for them, [215] for the success of their hunting and for relief from their diseases.

The other encouragement we see here, for the preaching of the Gospel, is in the honesty and decency that we see shining forth in them like two bright rays of light in the midst of darkness. We never think of distrusting our Savages, or of watching their hands and their feet, as with some others who attract everything to them and appropriate all they find at their convenience. Everything is free to them in all places, and yet nothing is in danger in their presence, even if they are alone in a cabin and [page 163] where no one can see them. As to decency, they hold it in such high estimation, at least as far as external appearances are concerned, in their actions and words, that there is a probability [216] that they will rise up on the last day and condemn many Christians, who will have cultivated this virtue less under the Law of grace, than these poor people have under that of nature.

We have never heard them use unseemly words, nor seen any actions too free, although we have lived on familiar terms with them inside and outside their cabins.

You would say they are trying to practice in advance that beautiful motto of the Apostle, which commands Christians not even to have, if they can help it, upon their lips a word which signifies indecency. Some one will readily reply that, if we were better versed in their language, we would not fail to notice it therein. But is it not a great deal, that the little [217] we know of it has not taught us anything of the kind? And is there not great reason to blush for many Christian Nations, among whom one does not have to serve a long apprenticeship to their Grammar, to find oneself embarrassed and confused in company, if he has even a little regard for propriety? And if our ears are not yet sufficiently opened to give positive evidence of the unconcern or decency of their talk; are we blind, or are we incapable of recognizing a shameful gesture or action? And yet we have never seen anything of this kind, not even among married people. But what shall I say about noticing one day a young Savage kissing a woman, who I did not think [218] was his wife; as that seemed something extraordinary among them, I straightway asked [page 165] him if that was his wife, and he replied that she was; but it was not without embarrassment on the part of the two who had been taken by surprise. Add to this modesty the gravity which I have said is natural to them, and you will judge that, God helping, they will receive with open arms a Law which recommends nothing so much as this virtue, which makes men like unto Angels; and that they will not have as much difficulty as many badly taught Christians have, to conform entirely to the injunctions of the Gospel, when it shall be declared to them in the words of the Apostle that they have to show their modesty in the eyes of all the world, since the Lord is near. It is true they have polygamy, and pay no attention to the indissolubility [219] of Marriage. But we must hope that, when they come to recognize the obligations they are under, together with all the Nations of the earth, to a God who made himself man for them, they will willingly submit to his most holy Laws, especially in that which concerns a virtue by means of which he wishes us to bear witness to and glorify without ceasing, in our bodies, him who for us has delivered his own up to torture, and who gives it to us every day as food, for this sole purpose.

[page 167]

[220] Various Sentiments and opinions of the Fathers who are in New France.

Taken from their last letters of 1635

EW FRANCE is truly a region where one learns perfectly to seek God alone, to desire God alone, to have sincere intentions toward God, and to trust to and rely solely upon his divine and paternal Providence; and it is a rich heart treasury, impossible to estimate.

2.      To live in New France means truly to live in the bosom of [221] God, and to breathe only the air of his Divine guidance; the sweetness of that air can be realized only by actually breathing it.

3.      It is not fitting that every one should know how agreeable it is in the sacred awe of these forests, and how much Heavenly light one finds in the thick darkness of this barbarism; we would have too many persons wishing to come here, and our Settlements would not be capable of accommodating so many; and what confounds us is that God has chosen us, to make us participants in this mercy, seeing that there are so many of our Fathers in France, who would do better than we.

4.      The joy that one feels when he has baptized a Savage who dies soon afterwards, and flies directly to Heaven to become an Angel, certainly [222] is a joy that surpasses anything that can be imagined; one no longer remembers the sea, nor seasickness, nor the horror of past tempests; but one would like to [page 169] have the suffering of ten thousand tempests that he might help save one soul, since Jesus Christ for one soul would have willingly shed all his precious blood.

5.      The greatest strife we have had among ourselves was to see which would have the good fortune of being chosen to go to the Hurons. God has made the lot fall upon those he was pleased to choose, and who are going to these barbarous Nations as if to a Terrestrial Paradise. When once a person has tasted in earnest the sweetness of the Cross of Jesus Christ, he prefers it to all the Empires of the earth.

6.      Finding ourselves lately in [223] a tempest so furious that the whole Ocean seemed to be in a turmoil, they told us that we were the cause of this horrible storm; this astonished us at first, as it was said by honest people; on asking the reason, we were told that, seeing so furious and raging a tempest, it must be that Hell was enraged at seeing us go to New France to convert infidels and to diminish its power; for revenge it raised up all the Elements against us, and was trying to sink the fleet and all that was within it. But we said to them very gently: "Remember, Sirs, that God is more powerful to defend us, than Lucifer is to persecute us; that the sea may rise as high as it will, yet God must be its Master. Mirabiles elationes maris, mirabilis in altis Dominus. We fear indeed [224] the anger of God against our unfaithfulness, more than that of the sea against our human weakness.

7.      In Europe they are accustomed to say that whoever would learn to pray to God must go upon the sea; but it is quite a different thing to be there in reality. Lately we were more than two days and two nights in continual danger of being engulfed by the [page 171] Ocean; every moment, it seemed, must be the last of our lives. We saw mountains coming toward us, which seemed about to swallow us up; we two were prostrate upon our knees, praying God with earnest hearts; the greatest fear was that some one would die without Confession; it is there that jaculatory Prayers are made, and that one looks gladly toward Heaven; but one can never believe the power of grace and the [225] invincible confidence that God gives to his servants in the midst of tempests and the most fearful despair.

8.      I have never understood what it was to reach such a point of virtue that, to pass beyond, a miracle would have to be performed; so true is it that a person sometimes finds himself so far plunged into either suffering, or danger, or desertion by his fellow-creatures, that nothing is left to him but God, who nevertheless is always found at the end of jacob's ladder, with arms and heart open to embrace the Angels and the souls which fly straight to him; and it is wonderful how God takes pleasure in abundantly communicating himself to souls which have abandoned all and given themselves wholly to him. To lose all, that one may find God, is a sweet loss and a holy usury. [226]

9.      The heart grows according as its works for Jesus Christ increase; and New France is the most suitable country in the world in which to understand the literal meaning of these beautiful words, Sicut misit me vivens Pater, ita et ego mitto vos, "I send you, even as my Father has sent me." Ecce ego mitto vos sicut oves in medio luporum. " Behold, I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves. " Among these forests, at the sight of these Savages, what can we poor Foreigners and servants of God expect but to feel their [page 173] teeth and some of the effects of their natural barbarism. He who truly fears God can fear nothing more in this world.

10.  Truly, to make nine hundred leagues upon the waves of the sea, with hundreds of encounters with Turks, icebergs, reefs, and horrible storms—[227] all these things can appall human nature, and cause the human heart to throb; there one experiences what David meant, Anima mea in manibus meis semper. "I hold my soul always in my hands," and I am always ready at any moment to sacrifice it to God; too happy, alas! to be able to make so many times a precious offering of myself; but the infusion of God into our hearts, and the relief he pours into our souls, exceed all of our ills. I confess that I have learned better upon the sea than upon the land what the infusion of God into a well-trained soul is.

11.  When we see these Savages, well formed, strong, of good mien, endowed with natural good sense,—and that it needs only a drop of water to make them children of God, and that Jesus Christ has shed all [228] his blood for them, we feel an incredible ardor to attract them to the Church and to God; and it is true that we would prefer the conversion of one of these poor Savages to the conquest of a whole Empire. The trouble we take in this is so pleasant that we do not consider it trouble, but a truly extraordinary favor of Heaven. Caritas Dei urget nos, so true is it that charity presses our hearts.

12.  I passed twenty-four hours when, seeing that we were pursued by the Turks in leaving la manche [English Channel], I expected nothing else than to fall into their hands, to be loaded with chains and to live in slavery. In the midst of these natural fears, lo! a [page 175] strong thought took possession of my heart, and said to me " Ha! what good fortune it would be to be able to imitate saint Paul, and to see myself in fetters [229] for the love of Jesus, who was bound for me, and treated as a slave and as the King of thieves." This sweet thought had so much power over my soul that I had more desire for those chains than fear of captivity.

13.  Three mighty thoughts console a good heart which is in the infinite forests of New France, or among the Hurons. The first is, "I am in the place where God has sent me, where he has led me as if by the hand, where he is with me, and where I seek him alone." The second is, in the words of David, " according to the measure of the pain I endure for God, his Divine consolations rejoice my soul. " The third, that we never find Crosses, nails, nor thorns, in the midst of which, if we look closely, we do not find J. C. [Jesus Christ]. Now, can a person go wrong when he is in [230] the company of the Son of the living God?

14.  When I see myself surrounded by murderous waves, by infinite forests, and by a thousand dangers there comes to mind that precious saying of the martyred St. Ignace, Nunc incipio esse Christi discipulus: to-day I begin to be of the Company of Jesus. For what avail so many exercises, so many fervent Meditations, so many eager desires? all these are nothing but wind, if we do not put them into practice. So old France is fitted to conceive noble desires, but the New is adapted to their execution; that one desires in old France is what one does in the New.

15.  I do not know what the country of the Hurons is, where God sends me in his infinite mercy, but I do know that I would rather go there than to an Earthly [page 177] Paradise, since I see [231] that God has so ordained. Strange thing! the more Crosses I see prepared for me there, the more my heart laughs and flies thither; for what happiness to see with these eyes nothing but Savages, Crosses, and Jesus Christ. Never have I understood in my life in France what it was to distrust self entirely and to trust in God alone; I say alone, and without the presence of any creature: Major est Deus corde nostro, "God is greater than our hearts; " this is evident in New France, and it is an unutterable consolation that when we find nothing else we immediately encounter God, who communicates himself most richly to good hearts.

16.  My consolation among the Hurons is that I confess every day, and then I say Mass as if I were to take the Viaticum and die that very day; and I do not think [232] that a person can live better, nor with more satisfaction and courage, and even merit, than to live in a place where he expects every day to die, and to have the motto of St. Paul, Quotidie morior fratres, etc., "I protest, brethren, that I die daily."

17.  To convert the Savages, not so much knowledge is necessary as goodness and sound virtue. The four Elements of an Apostolic man in New France are Affability, Humility, Patience, and a generous Charity. Too ardent zeal scorches more than it warms, and ruins everything; great magnanimity and compliance are necessary to attract gradually these Savages. They do not comprehend our Theology well, but they comprehend perfectly our humility and our friendliness, and allow themselves to be won.

18.  The Huron Nation is becoming disposed [233] to receive the light of the Gospel, and inestimable good is to be hoped for in all those regions; but two kinds [page 179] of persons are necessary to accomplish this,—those in old France, assisting by their holy prayers and their charity; the others in the New, working with great gentleness and tirelessness; on the goodness of God and on this sweet harmony depends the conversion of many thousand souls, for each one of whom Jesus Christ has shed all his precious blood.

19.  If a small Seminary of a dozen little Hurons could be founded at Kebec, in a few years incredible assistance could be derived therefrom, to help in converting their Fathers, and in planting a flourishing Church in the Nation of the Hurons. Alas! how many there are in Europe who lose in three casts of the dice more than would be needed to convert a world. [234]

20.  One of the thoughts which weigh most upon those who are so fortunate as to serve God among these forests, is their unworthiness of their Apostolic and so exalted calling, and that they have so few of the virtues worthy of a noble work. He who sees New France only through the eyes of the flesh and of nature, sees only forests and crosses; but he who looks upon these with the eyes of grace and of a noble vocation, sees only God, the virtues, and the graces; and he finds therein so many and so firm consolations, that, if I were able to buy New France by giving in exchange all the Terrestrial Paradise, I would certainly buy it. My God! how good it is to be in the place where God has placed us by his grace; truly I have found here what I had hoped for, a heart in harmony with God's heart, which seeks God alone. [235]

21.  It is said that the pioneers who found Churches are usually saints; this thought so softens my heart that, although I see I am of but little use [page 181] here in this fortunate New France, yet I must confess that I cannot forbid one thought which presses upon my heart. Cupio impendi, et superimpendi pro vobis: Poor New France, I desire to sacrifice myself for thy welfare; and though it should cost me a thousand lives, if thus I can aid in saving a single soul, I shall be too happy, and my life will be well spent.

22.  I do not know what it is to enter Paradise; but I know well that in this world it is difficult to find a greater and fuller joy than I had upon entering New France, and saying the first Mass here on the day of the [236] Visitation. I assure you that this was very truly the day of the Visitation. Through the goodness of God and of our Lady, it seemed to me that it was Christmas for me, and that I was going to be reborn into an altogether new life, and a life of God.

23.  The seasickness which troubled me, when sailing upon the ocean, was soon effaced by the mercy of Heaven and the joy that God shed in my soul, upon landing at Cape Breton. In meeting our Fathers it seemed to me I was embracing Angels from Paradise; I could not refrain from exclaiming, "Ah! what will it be when we shall enter Paradise, and when God and the Angels shall receive a beautiful soul, which will emerge from the tempests of the wretched life that we lead upon earth!"

24.  I had thought that miracles were necessary to convert these flying Savages; but I was mistaken, [237] for the real miracles of New France are the following: To do them much good, and endure many pains; to complain to God alone; to judge oneself unworthy, and to feel one's uselessness. He who has these virtues will perform miracles greater than miracles, and will become a Saint. Indeed, it is harder [page 183] to humiliate oneself deeply before God and men, and to annihilate oneself, than to raise the dead; for that needs only the word, if one has the gift of miracles, but to humiliate oneself as one ought to,—truly, that requires a man's whole life.

25.  We were greatly astonished and infinitely glad to see in our little cabins, and in our Settlements, the Religious discipline as strictly observed as in the largest Colleges [238] of France, and that the internal fervor is so much the greater as the external seems to be subjected to so many diversions; it is God's ordinary practice, in his infinite goodness, that according to our needs he multiplies the gift of his graces; and, in truth, to the same extent as a servant of God gives himself up to his holy guidance, our Lord expands so much the more and sheds more abundantly the precious shower of his graces.

26.  These poor Barbarians are accustomed to call all the Priests, Patriarchs, and they show great respect to men of integrity. They promise to bring us their children, when they are sick unto death, to be baptized; in fact, some have been baptized who died shortly after baptism. They are indeed the elect, beyond a doubt, and so blessed as to go forth from Barbarism [239] and enter immediately into Paradise. If one should never do anything else, what happiness to have been instrumental in placing these little souls among the elect!

27.  One meets men so devoid of every notion of Religion, that one cannot find a name to make them understand God; we have to call him the great Captain of men, he who feeds all the world, he who lives on high. We do all we can; what obligations will they be under to those who instruct them and who try to make [page 185] them know a God in order to serve him as well as they can. Here deep learning is not needed, but a profound humility, an unconquerable patience, and an Apostolic charity, to win these poor Savages, who in other respects have good common sense. And if we begin once to gain [240] them, the fruit will be incalculable.

28.  A thousand times the thought of saint François Xavier passes through our minds, and has great power over us. If the men of the world, in order to have Beaver skins, and codfish, and I know not what commodities, do not fear either the storms on the sea, or the Savages on land, or the sea, or death; how dreadful will be the confusion of God's servants for being afraid of these things, or of a few little hardships, in trying to win souls ransomed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, and empurpled by his blood of inestimable value? On the day of judgment will not these petty traders and fishers of cod rise up to condemn us, if they take more pains to gain a piece of money than we do to help save the Savages? This thought stings our hearts so [241] deeply that we do not feel our sufferings, or if we feel them we do not dare to complain of them.

29.  There are many persons in France who are of no use, and have nothing to do there; they are scholars and that is all, and that is of no use in the Church of God; alas! in New France these men would be Apostles, if they would come here to use their talents; less wisdom, and more humility and zeal, would perform miracles here, and it is possible they would gain more in one year than they will do in a lifetime in France.

30.  Experience shows us that those of the Society [page 187] who come to New France should be impelled to it by a special and very forcible call; persons who are dead to themselves and to the world; men truly Apostolic, who seek God alone, and the [242] salvation of souls, who love with real love the Cross and self-mortification; who do not spare themselves; who can endure the hardships of the sea and of the land, and who desire the conversion of a Savage more than the Empire of all Europe; who have Godlike hearts, all filled with God; who are like little John the Baptists, crying through these deserts and forests like voices from God, which summon all these poor Savages to acknowledge Jesus Christ; in fine let them be men whose sole satisfaction is in God and to whom suffering is the greatest delight. That is what experience shows us every day; but it is also true that it seems as if God shed the dew of his grace much more abundantly upon this New France than upon the old, [243] and that the internal consolations and the Divine infusions are much stronger here, and hearts more on fire. Novit Dominiis qui sunt ejus. But it belongs to God alone to choose those whom he will use, and whom he favors by taking them into New France, to make saints of them. Saint François Xavier said that there was an Island in the Orient which was quite capable of making a person lose his sight, by crying from excessive joy of the heart; I know not if our New France resembles this Island, but we know from experience that, if any one here gives himself up in earnest to God, he runs the risk of losing his sight, his life, his all, and with great joy, by dint of hard work; it belongs only to those who are here and who enjoy God to speak from experience. [244]

31.  We clearly recognize that it must be Heaven [page 189] which shall convert the land of New France, and that we are not strong enough. We fear nothing so much as that our imperfections may prevent the conversion of these poor Savages; that is why we have all been minded to have recourse to Heaven and to the very holy Virgin, Mother of God, through whom God is accustomed to do what seems impossible, and to convert the hearts of the most abandoned. To this end, we have resolved to make a very solemn vow, of which the following is the purport:—

32.  My God and my Savior Jesus, although our sins ought to banish us from your presence, yet being inspired with a desire to honor you and your very Holy Mother, urged by a wish to see ourselves in the faithful correspondence [to your graces] that you desire in your servants, wishing [245] besides to see you acknowledged and adored by these poor people: We promise and make a vow unto you and also to the very holy Virgin your Mother, and to her glorious Spouse St. Joseph, to celebrate twelve times in twelve succeeding months the sacrifice of the Holy Mass, for those who are Priests; and for the others to say twelve times the Crown or Chaplet of the Virgin, in honor of and as an act of grace for her immaculate Conception, and all to fast the day before this festival; promising you further that, if a permanent Church or Chapel is erected in this country within this specified time, we will have it dedicated to God under the title of the immaculate Conception, if it is in our power,—all this, to secure by the goodness of Our Lord the conversion of these Peoples, through the mediation of his holy Mother and of her holy Spouse. In [246] the meantime receive, O Empress of Angels and of men, the hearts of these poor [page 191] abandoned Barbarians that we present to you through the hands of your glorious Spouse and of your faithful servants, St. Ignace and St. François Xavier, and of all the Guardian Angels of these wretched countries, to offer them to your Son, that he may give them knowledge of himself and apply to them the efficacy of his precious blood. Amen.

May God in his infinite goodness render us worthy of this noble calling, worthily to coöperate with his grace, to the benefit of these poor Savages.

[page 193]

Extract from the Royal License.

Y the Grace and License of the King, permission is granted to Sebastien Cramoisy, Bookseller under Oath in the University of Paris, and Printer in ordinary to the King, to print or to have printed a book entitled, Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'année mil six cens trente cinq. Envoyée au R. P. Provincial de la Compagnie de Jesus en la Province de France. Par le Pere Paul le Jeune de la mesme Compagnie, Superieur de la Residence de Kébec: and this during the time and space of five consecutive years. Prohibiting all Booksellers and Printers to print or to have printed the said book, under pretext of disguise or change that they might make therein, on pain of confiscation of the copies, and of the fine provided by the said License. Given at Paris on the twelfth of January, one thousand six hundred and thirty-six.

By the King in Council.


[page 195]


E, ESTIENNE BINET, Provincial of the Society of Jesus in the Province of France, in accordance with the License that has been granted to us by the Most Christian Kings, Henry III. May 10th, 1583, Henry IV. December 10th, 1605, and Louys XIII. now reigning February 14th, 1612, by which all Booksellers are prohibited from printing any of the Books which are composed by any one of our said Society, without the permission of the Superiors thereof: We permit Sebastien Cramoisy, Bookseller under Oath in Paris, and Printer in ordinary to the King, to print for ten years the Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'année 1635, sent to us by Father Paul le Jeune of our same Society, Superior of the Residence of Kebec. In testimony whereof we have signed the present at Paris, this fifteenth of January, 1635.



[page 197]


Le Jeune's Relation, 1636



Source: Title-page and text reprinted from the copy of the first issue (H. 65), in Lenox Library.

The document consists of two parts ; the first by Le Jeune, as superior, the second by Brébeuf. In the present volume we give chaps. i.-ii., of Part I.; the remainder of Part 1. will occupy Volume IX. In Volume X., will appear all of Part II.

[page 199]






Sent to the


of the Society Of Jesus in the

Province of France.

By Father Paul le Jeune of the same Society,

Superior of the Residence of Kébec.


Sebastien Cramoisy, Printer in ordinary

to the King, ruë sainct Jacques,

at the Sign of the Storks.




[page 203]

Extract from the Royal License.

Y the Grace and License of the King, permission is granted to Sebastien Cramoisy, Bookseller under Oath in the University of Paris and Printer in ordinary to the King, to print or to have printed a Book entitled, Relation de ce qui s'est Passé en la Nouvelle France en l'année mil six cens trente-six. Envoyée le au R. P. Provincial de la Compagnie de Jesus en la Province de France. Par le Pere Paul le Jeune de la mesme Compagnie, Superieur de la Residence de Kébec: and this during the time and space of ten consecutive years. Prohibiting all Booksellers and Printers to print or to have printed the said Book under pretext of disguise or change that they might make therein, on penalty of confiscation, and of the fine provided by said License. Given at Paris on the 22nd of December, 1636.

By the King in Council,


[page 205]


WE, Estienne Binet, Provincial of the Society of Jesus in the Province of France, in accordance with the License granted to us by the Most Christian Kings, Henry III. May 10th, 1583, Henry IV. December 10th, 1605, and Louys XIII. now reigning, February 14th, 1612, by which all Booksellers are forbidden to print any Book of those composed by any one of our said Society, without permission of the Superiors thereof—permit Sebastien Cramoisy, Bookseller under Oath at Paris and Printer in ordinary to the King, to print for ten years the Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France en l'année 1636, sent to us by Father Paul le Jeune of our same Society, Superior of the Residence of Kébec. In testimony whereof we have signed the present at Paris, this fifteenth of December, 1636.


E. Binet.

[page 207]

Table of Chapters contained in this Book.


RELATION of what occurred in New France in the year 1636.

page 1.

Chapter I.

The sentiments of affection that many,persons of merit entertain for New France.


Chap. II.

Of the Savages baptized this year, and some burials.


Chap. III.

Continuation of the same subject.


Chap. IV.

Baptisms of Savages, continued.


Chap. V.

Of the wretched death of some Savages.


Chap. VI.

Of the hopes of converting this People.


Chap. VII.

Of some remarkable peculiarities of these regions.


Chap. VIII.

Of the present condition of New France on the great St. Lawrence River


Ch. IX.

Answers to some propositions submitted to me from France.


Chap. X.

Some advice to those who wish to cross over into New France.


Chap. XI.

or, A Journal of the things which could not be related in the preceding Chapters.


[page 209]

Relation of what occurred in the Country of Hurons in the year 1636.

ENT to Kébec to Reverend Father Paul le Jeune, Superior of the Mission of the Society of Jesus, in New France.








Chap. I. Of the Conversion, Baptism, and happy death of some Hurons; and on the condition of Christianity amid this Barbarism.


Chap. II. Containing in the order of time the other remarkable things that happened during this year.


Chap. III. Important advice for those whom it shall please God to call to New France, and especially to the Country of the Hurons.


Chap. IV. Of the language of the Hurons.









Chap. I. What the Hurons think of their origin.


Chap. II. The ideas of the Hurons regarding the nature and condition of the soul, both in this life and after death.


Chap. III. That the Hurons recognize some divinity ; of their superstitions, and their faith in [page 211] dreams.


Chap. IV. Concerning feasts, dances; the games of dish and crosse; what they call ononharoia.


Chap. V. Whether there are Sorcerers among the Hurons.


Chap. VI. Of the polity of the Hurons, and their government.


Chap. VII. Of the order the Hurons observe in their Councils.


Chap. VIII. Of the ceremonies they observe in their burials and mourning.


Chap. IX. Of the solemn feast of the Dead.




[page 213]

[1] Relation of what occurred in New France, in the year 1636.


Since it is necessary to pay the annual tribute which is exacted from us not only by Your Reverence but also by many persons of virtue, merit, and rank, who continue to interest themselves in the affairs of New France as in those of God, I shall begin by referring to the joy with which our Lord filled our hearts on the arrival of the fleet. Some were doubtful whether we would see the Vessels this year, on account of the great preparations for war which were being made in old France; but [2] those who were wisest could not doubt it, as knowing the affection of the King for his new Possessions, which are destined to become one of the bright jewels in his Crown; and, moreover, not ignorant that Monseigneur the Cardinal,—being the Head of this honorable Company, the support of families that come over to these lands, the Father of this new Country, and the powerful Genius who is to bring about, under the favor and authority of his Majesty, the designs of God for the conversion of this new world,—would not fail to show what place this holy undertaking holds in his heart. Another anxiety kept us between fear and hope, arising from the change of Governor. Monsieur de Champlain having left us in the last year of his Administration, to go to Heaven, we were anxious as to what zeal his successor would have for this infant [page 215] Church. But, when the Ships appeared, all these fears were dissipated; the number of the vessels showed us that the affairs of New France rank [3] among the chief concerns of the Mother country, and that the interest of the Gentlemen of the Company continues daily to increase; and the first acts of Monsieur de Montmagny, our Governor, have made us hope everything that can be expected from a spirit filled with piety, with firmness, and with discretion. I was told once that the earliest act which our great King performed, at the time of his birth, was a presage of his great piety; for the first use he made of his innocent hands was to clasp them, as if he were trying to pray to God, and the first movement of his eyes directed his sight toward heaven. If first actions are prognostications of those to come, we have that for which to bless God in the person of Monsieur de Montmagny, as I shall show in the course of this Relation. Having arrived before Kebec on the night of saint Barnabas, he cast anchor without announcing himself; the next morning, we had word that he was in the Vessel which the night had concealed from us. We went down to the shore of the great River to receive him; Father Pierre [4] Chastellain, and Father Charles Garnier were in. his company. After the usual courtesies, we accompanied him at once to the Chapel; on the way, perceiving the Tree of our salvation, " Here, " said he, " is the first Cross that I encounter in the Country; let us adore the Crucified in his image." He throws himself upon his knees, as, following his example, do all his attendants, as well as all those who were coming to salute him. Thence he entered the Church, where we solemnly chanted the Te Deum, as well as the Prayers for our good [page 217] King. At the conclusion of his act of thanksgiving, and of the praises we rendered to God for his coming, Monsieur de Chasteaufort, who filled the place of the late Monsieur de Champlain, came to present to him the keys of the fortress, where he was received with several volleys of musketry and the thunder of numerous cannon. Scarcely had he entered when one came to ask him if it would be agreeable to him to be Godfather to a Savage who desired Baptism. " Very willingly," said he, rejoicing in this good fortune, that, upon entering his Administration, he could help open the doors of the Church to a poor [5] soul who wished to enter the sheepfold of Jesus Christ. That the Fathers who had accompanied him might put their hands to the harvest at the moment of setting foot on land, the Father who had taught this barbarian asks Father Chastellain if he would not be glad to begin his labors in New France with a Baptism. O God! what a sentiment of joy he manifested at this proposal! Behold him quite ready! Monsieur the Governor proceeds to the Cabins of these poor barbarians, followed by a brisk retinue of Nobles. I leave you to imagine the astonishment of these People at seeing so much scarlet, so many elegant personages under their bark roofs! What comfort this poor sick man experienced when they told him that the great Captain who had just arrived wished to bestow a name upon him, and to be his Sponsor! The Father questions him anew upon the mysteries of our belief. He replies that he believes in him who made all things, and in his son, Jesus, and also in the good Spirit; that he is sorry he has off ended him who made himself man, and who died for us; and that he greatly regrets [6] having [page 219] learned so late to know him. Monsieur the Governor named him Joseph, in honor of the holy Spouse of the Virgin, Patron of New France; and the Father baptized him. During dinner, for all this happened in the morning, this noble Godfather said aloud, in the presence of a distinguished company, that he had received that day the greatest honor and the most genuine satisfaction that he could have desir