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      * These particulars are from the Plan gnral de lestatThese proposals were set forth in two memorials. The first of them states that the late Monseigneur Colbert deemed it important for the service of his Majesty to discover a port in the Gulf of Mexico; that to this end the memorialist, La Salle, made five journeys of upwards of five thousand leagues, in great part on foot; and traversed more than six hundred leagues of unknown country, among savages and cannibals, at the cost of a hundred and fifty thousand francs. He now proposes to return by way of the Gulf of Mexico and the mouth of the Mississippi to the countries he has discovered, whence great benefits may be expected: first, the cause of God may be advanced by the preaching of the gospel to many Indian tribes; and, secondly, great conquests may be effected for the glory of the King, by the seizure of provinces rich in silver mines, and defended only by a few indolent and effeminate Spaniards. The Sieur de la Salle, pursues the memorial, binds himself to be ready for the accomplishment of this enterprise within one year after his arrival on the spot; and he asks for this purpose only one vessel and two hundred men, with their arms, munitions, pay, and maintenance. When Monseigneur shall direct him, he will give the details of what he proposes. The memorial then describes the boundless extent, the fertility and [Pg 346] resources of the country watered by the river Colbert, or Mississippi; the necessity of guarding it against foreigners, who will be eager to seize it now that La Salle's discovery has made it known; and the ease with which it may be defended by one or two forts at a proper distance above its mouth, which would form the key to an interior region eight hundred leagues in extent. "Should foreigners anticipate us," he adds, "they will complete the ruin of New France, which they already hem in by their establishments of Virginia, Pennsylvania, New England, and Hudson's Bay."[264]

      This enabled them to reach the bay, and having patched an old canoe which they had the good luck to find, they embarked in it; whereupon, says Tonty, [Pg 237] "there rose a northwest wind, which lasted five days, with driving snow. We consumed all our food; and not knowing what to do next, we resolved to go back to the deserted town, and die by a warm fire in one of the wigwams. On our way, we saw a smoke; but our joy was short, for when we reached the fire we found nobody there. We spent the night by it; and before morning the bay froze. We tried to break a way for our canoe through the ice, but could not; and therefore we determined to stay there another night, and make moccasins in order to reach the town. We made some out of Father Gabriel's cloak. I was angry with tienne Renault for not finishing his; but he excused himself on account of illness, because he had a great oppression of the stomach, caused by eating a piece of an Indian shield of raw-hide, which he could not digest. His delay proved our salvation; for the next day, December fourth, as I was urging him to finish the moccasins, and he was still excusing himself on the score of his malady, a party of Kiskakon Ottawas, who were on their way to the Pottawattamies, saw the smoke of our fire, and came to us. We gave them such a welcome as was never seen before. They took us into their canoes, and carried us to an Indian village, only two leagues off. There we found five Frenchmen, who received us kindly, and all the Indians seemed to take pleasure in sending us food; so that, after thirty-four days of starvation, we found our famine turned to abundance."

      Here they were pounced upon and captured by eight renegade Hurons, Iroquois by adoption, who placed them in their large canoe, and paddled up the river with their prize. It was Saturday, a day dedicated to the Virgin; and the captive mother prayed to her for aid, feeling, writes a Jesuit, a full conviction that, in passing before Quebec on a Saturday, she would be delivered by the power of this Queen of Heaven. In fact, as the marauders and their captives glided in the darkness of night by Point Levi, under the shadow of the shore, they were greeted with a volley of musketry from the bushes, and a band of French and Algonquins dashed into the water to seize them. Five of the eight were taken, and the rest shot or drowned. The governor had heard of the descent at St. Anne, and despatched a party to lie in ambush for the authors of it. The Jesuits, it is needless to say, saw a miracle in the result. The Virgin had answered the prayer of her votary. Though it is true, observes the father who records the marvel, that, in the volley, she received a mortal wound. The same shot struck the infant in her arms. The prisoners were taken to Quebec, where four of them were tortured with even more ferocity than had been shown in the case of the unfortunate Wolf. * Being questioned, they confirmed his story,

      While Mademoiselle Mance was gaining recruits in La Flche, Marguerite Bourgeoys was no less successful in her native town of Troyes, and she rejoined her companions at Rochelle, accompanied by Sisters Chatel, Crolo, and Raisin, her destined assistants in the school at Montreal. Meanwhile, the Sulpitians and others interested in the pious enterprise, had spared no effort to gather men to strengthen the colony, and young women to serve as their wives; and all were now mustered at Rochelle, waiting for embarkation. Their waiting was a long one. Laval, bishop at Quebec, was allied to the Jesuits, and looked on the colonists of Montreal with more than coldness. Sulpitian writers say that his agents used every effort to discourage them, and that certain persons at Rochelle told the master of the ship in which the emigrants were to sail that they were not to be trusted to pay their passage-money. Hereupon ensued a delay of more than two months before means could be found to quiet the scruples of the prudent commander. At length the anchor was weighed, and the dreary voyage begun.

      [118] Tonty, Relation, 1684 (Margry, i. 573).

      Sometimes the origin of his nobility was lost in

      [23] La Tour, Mmoire de Laval, Liv. VIII.


      The chief of the Iroquois, Kiotsaton, a tall savage, 285 covered from head to foot with belts of wampum, stood erect in the prow of the sail-boat which had brought him and his companions from Richelieu, and in a loud voice announced himself as the accredited envoy of his nation. The boat fired a swivel, the fort replied with a cannon-shot, and the envoys landed in state. Kiotsaton and his colleague were conducted to the room of the commandant, where, seated on the floor, they were regaled sumptuously, and presented in due course with pipes of tobacco. They had never before seen anything so civilized, and were delighted with their entertainment. "We are glad to see you," said Champfleur to Kiotsaton; "you may be sure that you are safe here. It is as if you were among your own people, and in your own house."the charter of the West India Company was revoked, and trade was declared open to all subjects of the king; yet commerce was still condemned to wear the ball and chain. New restrictions were imposed, meant for good, but resulting in evil. Merchants not resident in the colony were forbidden all trade, direct or indirect, with the Indians. * They were also forbidden to sell any goods at retail except in August, September, and October; ** to trade anywhere in Canada above Quebec; and to sell clothing or domestic articles ready made. This last restriction was designed to develop colonial industry. No person, resident or not, could trade with the English colonies, or go thither without a special passport, and rigid examination by the military authorities. *** Foreign trade of any kind was stiffly prohibited. In 1719, after a new company had engrossed the beaver trade, its agents were empowered to enter all houses in Canada, whether ecclesiastical or secular, and search them for foreign goods, which when found were publicly burned. **** In the next year, the royal council ordered that vessels engaged in foreign trade should be captured by force of arms, like pirates, and confiscated along with their cargoes; (v) while anybody having an article of foreign manufacture in his possession was subjected to a heavy fine. (v*)


      These enactments, unaccompanied by any others the object of which was to relieve the distress of the people, only tended still more to exasperate the feelings of the working classes. In fact, nothing had been so obvious as the effect of the proceedings of Government of late in disturbing that peace which they professed themselves so desirous to preserve. They, in truth, were the real agitators. The passing of the Six Acts only made the popular resentment the deeper, and whilst this tended to render the more prudent Reformers cautious, it stimulated the lowest and most unprincipled of them to actual and deadly conspiracy. The general conspiracy believed in by Ministers never existed, but a conspiracy was actually on foot in London, which again was found to have been, if not originally excited, yet actively stimulated, by the agents of Government. The details of this transaction, and of the concluding scene of the Manchester outrage, namely, the trial of Hunt and his associates, necessarily lead us about two months beyond the death of George III., which took place on the 29th of January, 1820. In November, 1819, whilst Government were framing their Six Acts, the more completely to coerce the people, they were again sending amongst them incendiaries to urge them to an open breach of the laws in order to furnish justifications for their despotic policy. The leading miscreant of this class was a man named Edwards, who kept a small shop at Eton for the sale of plaster casts. Some of the emissaries appeared at Middleton, the place of Bamford's abode, but he was in prison awaiting his trial with Hunt and the rest, and the people tempted were too cautious to listen to these agents of Government. But in London these agents found more combustible materials, and succeeded in leading into the snare some who had been long ready for any folly or crime. Chief amongst these was Thistlewood, who had been a lieutenant in the army, a man who had, or conceived that he had, suffered injustice at the hands[154] of Ministers, and who had wrought up his temper to the perpetration of some desperate deed. Bamford when in London, in 1816, had found Thistlewood mixed up with the Spenceans, and to be met with any day at their places of resortthe "Cock," in Grafton Street, the "Mulberry Tree," in Moorfields, the "Nag's Head," Carnaby Market, No. 8, Lumber Street, Borough, and a public-house in Spa Fields, called "Merlin's Cave." At these places they might be found, amidst clouds of tobacco-smoke and the fumes of beer, discussing remedies for the miserable condition of the people. At the latter place Thistlewood was often to be found with the Watsons, Preston, and Castles, who was employed to betray them. From this spot they issued for their mad attempt on the Tower on the 2nd of December of that year. Thistlewood was one of those seized on that occasion, but was acquitted on his trial. Not warned by this, he no sooner got abroad than he sent a challenge to Lord Sidmouth, for which he was arrested, and sentenced to a year's imprisonment. He issued from gaol still more embittered against Sidmouth and his colleagues, and resolved on striking some mortal blow at them. He did not lack comrades of a like fiery and abandoned stamp, and they determined on a scheme for cutting off the whole Cabinet together. The detestable deed was to be perpetrated in the autumn of 1819, a time when the public mind, especially that of the working classes, was so embittered against the Government. They did not, however, succeed in their intentions, and it was at this crisis of unwilling delay that the man Edwards became privy to their plans. In November he carried the important, and, as he hoped, to him profitable secret to Sir Herbert Taylor, who was attached to the establishment of the king at Windsor, and by him he was introduced to Lord Sidmouth. This minister and his colleagues, with that fondness for the employment of spies, and for fomenting sedition instead of nipping it in the bud, immediately engaged Edwards, on good pay, to lead forward the conspirators into overt action. It was not enough for them that, by adding another witness or two to Edwards, they would be able to produce the most complete proof of the treason of these menthey rather luxuriated in the nursing of this plot, and thus ripening it into something bloody and horrible; and in this they succeeded. ** Rglement de Police, 1676.


      1669-1671.Sheridan marked the opening of the year 1795 by moving, on the 5th of January, for the repeal of the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act. He showed that the very grounds on which this suspension had been based had miserably given way on the trials of Tooke, Hardy, and the rest; that the whole amount of arms and money on which the so-called "formidable" conspiracy had rested had been shown to be one pike, nine rusty muskets, and a fund of nine pounds and one bad shilling! He said that the great thing proved was the shameful conspiracy of the Government against the people, and their infamous employment of spies for that end; that eight thousand pounds had been spent on the Crown lawyers, and a hundred witnesses examined, only to expose the guilt of the Ministry. Windham defended the measures of Government, and charged the juries with ignorance and incapacity, for which Erskine severely reprimanded him. But the standing majorities of Pitt were inaccessible to argument, and the continuance of the suspension was voted by a majority of two hundred and thirty-nine against fifty-three. A like result attended the debate in the Lords, where, however, the Dukes of Norfolk and Bedford, the Marquis of Lansdowne, and the Earls of Lauderdale and Guildford strongly opposed the suspension.