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      Various traditions are extant among the modern remnant of the Iroquois concerning the war with the Eries. They agree in little beyond the fact of the existence and destruction of that people. Indeed, Indian traditions are very rarely of any value as historical evidence. One of these stories, told me some years ago by a very intelligent Iroquois of the Cayuga Nation, is a striking illustration of Iroquois ferocity. It represents, that, the night after the great battle, the forest was lighted up with more than a thousand fires, at each of which an Erie was burning alive. It differs from the historical accounts in making the Eries the aggressors. Eboulemcns. Professor Sterry Hunt, whose intimate knowledge of


      Lake Onondaga. According to Morgan, it means Material for

      Preparation for his enterprise was pushed with furious energy. His whole force, when the several squadrons were united, amounted to two thousand six hundred and forty-six persons, in thirty-four vessels, one of which, the San Pelayo, bearing Menendez himself, was of nine hundred and ninety-six tons burden, and is described as one of the finest ships afloat. 21 There were twelve Franciscans and eight Jesuits, besides other ecclesiastics; and many knights of Galicia, Biscay, and the Asturias took part in the expedition. With a slight exception, the whole was at the Adelantado's charge. Within the first fourteen months, according to his admirer, Barcia, the adventure cost him a million ducats. 22the king, who, to borrow the formula of his edicts, in the fulness of our power and our certain knowledge, was supposed to direct the whole machine, from its highest functions to its pettiest intervention in private affairs. That this theory, like all extreme theories of government, was an illusion, is no fault of Louis XIV. Hard-working monarch as he was, he spared no pains to guide his distant colony in the paths of prosperity. The prolix letters of governors and intendants were carefully studied; and many of the replies, signed by the royal hand, enter into details of surprising minuteness. That the king himself wrote these letters is incredible; but in the early part of his reign he certainly directed and controlled them. At a later time, when more absorbing interests engrossed him, he could no longer study in person the long-winded despatches of his Canadian officers. They were usually addressed to the minister of state, who caused abstracts to be made from them, for the kings use, and perhaps for his own. * The minister or the ministers secretary could suppress or color as he or those who influenced him saw fit.

      The lot of the favored guest of an Indian camp or village is idleness without repose, for he is never left alone, with the repletion of incessant and inevitable feasts. Tired of this inane routine, Champlain, with some of his Frenchmen, set forth on a tour of observation. Journeying at their ease by the Indian trails, they visited, in three days, five palisaded villages. The country delighted them, with its meadows, its deep woods, its pine and cedar thickets, full of hares and partridges, its wild grapes and plums, cherries, crab-apples, nuts, and raspberries. It was the seventeenth of August when they reached the Huron metropolis, Cahiague, in the modern township of Orillia, three leagues west of the river Severn, by which Lake Simcoe pours its waters into the bay of Matchedash. A shrill clamor of rejoicing, the fixed stare of wondering squaws, and the screaming flight of terrified children hailed the arrival of Champlain. By his estimate, the place contained two hundred lodges; but they must have been relatively small, since, had they been of the enormous capacity sometimes found in these structures, Cahiague alone would have held the whole Huron population. Here was the chief rendezvous, and the town swarmed with gathering warriors. There was cheering news; for an allied nation, called Carantonans, probably identical with the Andastes, had promised to join the Hurons in the enemy's country, with five hundred men. Feasts and the war-dance consumed the days, till at length the tardy bands had all arrived; and, shouldering their canoes and scanty baggage, the naked host set forth.

      (v) For the governors attitude in this affair, consult theThe temporary excitement caused among the colonists by their return soon gave place to a dejection bordering on despair. "This pleasant land," writes Cavelier, "seemed to us an abode of weariness and a perpetual prison." Flattering themselves with the delusion, common to exiles of every kind, that they were objects of solicitude at home, they watched daily, with straining eyes, for an approaching sail. Ships, indeed, had ranged the coast to seek them, but with no friendly intent. Their thoughts dwelt, [Pg 416] with unspeakable yearning, on the France they had left behind, which, to their longing fancy, was pictured as an unattainable Eden. Well might they despond; for of a hundred and eighty colonists, besides the crew of the "Belle," less than forty-five remained. The weary precincts of Fort St. Louis, with its fence of rigid palisades, its area of trampled earth, its buildings of weather-stained timber, and its well-peopled graveyard without, were hateful to their sight. La Salle had a heavy task to save them from despair. His composure, his unfailing equanimity, his words of encouragement and cheer, were the breath of life to this forlorn company; for though he could not impart to minds of less adamantine temper the audacity of hope with which he still clung to the final accomplishment of his purposes, the contagion of his hardihood touched, nevertheless, the drooping spirits of his followers.[319]


      Productions du Pays de la Nouvelle France. He dedicates it


      The impostor sat mute for a time, and then replied, "Yes, I have been there."Meanwhile, Kirke with his prisoners was crossing the Atlantic. His squadron at length reached Plymouth, whence Champlain set out for London. Here he had an interview with the French ambassador, who, at his instance, gained from the King a promise, that, in pursuance of the terms of the treaty concluded in the previous April, New France should be restored to the French Crown.


      Had Coligny left them to perish? Or had some new tempest of calamity, let loose upon France, drowned the memory of their exile? In vain the watchman on the hill surveyed the solitude of waters. A deep dejection fell upon them,a dejection that would have sunk to despair could their eyes have pierced the future. * Mmoire touchant le Commerce du Canada, 1687.