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      THE ILLINOIS INDIANS.Thus did these worthy priests, too conscientious to let these unfortunates die in peace, follow them with benevolent persecutions to the hour of their death.

      While Myrtale was putting on her silver-wrought sandals, a black and white goat, with trailing tether, came running towards her. She glanced at the wet, rough-coated animal, then at her light dress and, drawing back, clapped her hands violently to frighten the creature away. But the goat did not understand. It merely stopped in its run and approached slowly, holding its head very high, evidently supposing the movement of her hands a challenge to play. With the mischievousness natural to this animal it suddenly made a259 couple of short, frolicsome leaps, lowered its head and sharp horns, and darted towards the young girl.Appeal was made to the king, who, with his Jesuit confessor, guardian of his conscience on one side, and Colbert, guardian of his worldly interests on the other, stood in some perplexity. The case was referred to the fathers of the Sorbonne, and they, after solemn discussion, pronounced the selling of brandy to Indians a mortal sin. * It was next referred to an assembly of the chief merchants and inhabitants of Canada, held under the eye of the governor, intendant, and council, in the Chateau St. Louis. Each was directed to state his views in writing. The great majority were for unrestricted trade in brandy; a few were for a limited and guarded trade; and two or three declared for prohibition. ** Decrees of prohibition were passed from time to time, but they were unavailing. They were revoked, renewed, and revoked again. They were, in fact, worse than useless; for their chief effect was to turn traders and coureurs de bois into troops of audacious contrabandists. Attempts were made to limit the brandy trade to the settlements, and exclude it from the forest country, where its regulation was impossible; but these attempts, like the others, were of little avail. It is worthy of notice that, when brandy was forbidden everywhere else, it was permitted in the trade of Tadoussac, carried on for the profit of government. ***

      They now took her up the river, and made her fast below the swift current at Black Rock. Here they finished her equipment, and waited for La Salle's return; but the absent commander did not appear. The spring and more than half of the summer had passed before they saw him again. At length, early in August, he arrived at the mouth of the Niagara, bringing three more friars; for, though no friend of the Jesuits, he was zealous for the Faith, and was rarely without a missionary in his journeyings. Like Hennepin, the three friars were all Flemings. One [Pg 150] of them, Melithon Watteau, was to remain at Niagara; the others, Zenobe Membr and Gabriel Ribourde, were to preach the Faith among the tribes of the West. Ribourde was a hale and cheerful old man of sixty-four. He went four times up and down the Lewiston heights, while the men were climbing the steep pathway with their loads. It required four of them, well stimulated with brandy, to carry up the principal anchor destined for the "Griffin." Salle, Mmoire de 1678, declares that, Ils (les Jsuites)

      Tracys work was done, and he left Canada with the glittering noblesse in his train. Courcelle and Talon remained to rule alone; and now the great experiment was begun. Paternal royalty would try its hand at building up a colony, and Talon was its chosen agent. His appearance did him no justice. The regular contour of his oval face, about which fell to his shoulders a cataract of curls, natural or supposititious; the smooth lines of his well-formed features, brows delicately arched, and a mouth more suggestive of feminine sensibility than of masculine force,would certainly have misled the disciple of Lavater. * Yet there was no want of manhood in him. He was most happily chosen for the task placed in his hands, and from first to last approved himself a vigorous executive officer. He was a true disciple of Colbert, formed in his school and animated by his spirit.Now came the climax of the harangue, introduced by a further present of six guns:

      [18] Dollier de Casson, MS. ** Quatre enseignes sont en pourparler avec leurs


      [5] The measurement between the angles of the two southern bastions is 123 feet, and that of the curtain wall connecting these bastions is 78 feet. Some curious relics have been found in the fort,among others, a steel mill for making wafers for the Host. It was found in 1848, in a remarkable state of preservation, and is now in an English museum, having been bought on the spot by an amateur. As at Sainte Marie on the Wye, the remains are in perfect conformity with the narratives and letters of the priests.


      Meanwhile, the Seminary itself was preparing a similar enterprise. The Jesuits at this time not only held an ascendency over the other ecclesiastics in Canada, but exercised an inordinate influence on the civil government. The Seminary priests of Montreal were jealous of these powerful rivals, and eager to emulate their zeal in the saving of souls and the conquering of new domains for the Faith. Under this impulse, they had, three years before, established a mission at Quint, on the north shore of Lake Ontario, in charge of two of their number, one of whom was the Abb Fnelon, elder brother of the celebrated Archbishop of Cambray. Another of them, Dollier de Casson, had spent the winter in a hunting-camp of the Nipissings, where an Indian prisoner, captured in the Northwest, told him of populous tribes of that quarter living in heathenish darkness. On this, the Seminary priests resolved to essay their conversion; and an expedition, to be directed by Dollier, was fitted out to this end. [Pg 17] * Doll du Montral, a.d. 1665, 1666.


      After passing. through various hands, they were finally