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      Canada at this time was an object of very considerable attention at court, and especially in what was known as the parti dvot. The Relations of the Jesuits, appealing equally to the spirit of religion and the spirit of romantic adventure, had, for more than a quarter of a century, been the favorite reading of the devout, and the visit of Laval at court had greatly stimulated the interest they had kindled. The letters of Argenson, and especially of Avaugour, had shown the vast political possibilities of the young colony, and opened a vista of future glories alike for church and for king.[315] Joutel, Relation (Margry, iii. 244, 246.

      * Lettre de Mzy au Marquis de Tracy, 26 Avril 1665.expressly to get drunk, and when drunk they were like wild beasts. Crime and violence of all sorts ensued; the priests saw their teachings despised and their flocks ruined. On the other hand, the sale of brandy was a chief source of profit, direct or indirect, to all those interested in the fur trade, including the principal persons of the colony. In Argensons time, Laval launched an excommunication against those engaged in the abhorred traffic; for nothing less than total prohibition would content the clerical party, and besides the spiritual penalty, they demanded the punishment of death against the contumacious offender. Death, in fact, was decreed. Such was the posture of affairs when Avaugour arrived; and, willing as he was to conciliate the Jesuits, he permitted the decree to take effect, although, it seems, with great repugnance. A few weeks after his arrival, two men were shot and one whipped, for selling brandy to Indians. * An extreme though partially suppressed excitement shook the entire settlement, for most of the colonists were, in one degree or another, implicated in the offence thus punished. An explosion soon followed; and the occasion of it was the humanity or good-nature of the Jesuit Lalemant.

      La Barre summoned the most able and experienced persons in the colony to discuss the state of affairs. Their conclusion was that the Iroquois would attack and destroy the Illinois, and, this accomplished, turn upon the tribes of the lakes, conquer or destroy them also, and ruin the trade of Canada. [12] Dark as was the prospect, La Barre and his fellow-speculators flattered themselves that the war could be averted for a year at least. The Iroquois owed their triumphs as much to their sagacity and craft as to their extraordinary boldness and ferocity. It had always been their policy to attack their enemies in detail, and while destroying one to cajole the rest. There seemed little doubt that they would leave the tribes of the lakes in peace till they had finished the ruin of the Illinois; so that if these, the allies of the colony, were abandoned to their fate, there would be time for a profitable trade in the direction of Michillimackinac. Madame de La Fayette, Mmoires de lAbb de Choisy, and

      1663-1763. CANADIAN ABSOLUTISM.[9] "Les graces qu'on y obtient par l'entremise de la Mre de Dieu vont jusqu'au miracle. Comme il faudroit composer un livre entier pour dcrire toutes ces faveurs extraordinaires, je n'en rapporterai que deux, ayant t tmoin oculaire de l'une et propre sujet de l'autre."Vie, 95.

      ascertain why the Jesuits had asked for Avaugours recall. * Poncet in Relation, 1653,17. On Poncets captivity see

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      his credit, passes it over in silence, not being partial to


      "You have ordered me, Monseigneur, to give all possible aid to this undertaking, and I shall do so to the best of my power; but permit me to take great credit to myself, for I find it very hard to submit to the orders of the Sieur de la Salle, whom I believe to be a man of merit, but who has no experience of [Pg 355] war except with savages, and who has no rank, while I have been captain of a ship thirteen years, and have served thirty by sea and land. Besides, Monseigneur, he has told me that in case of his death you have directed that the Sieur de Tonty shall succeed him. This, indeed, is very hard; for, though I am not acquainted with that country, I should be very dull, if, being on the spot, I did not know at the end of a month as much of it as they do. I beg, Monseigneur, that I may at least share the command with them; and that, as regards war, nothing may be done without my knowledge and concurrence,for, as to their commerce, I neither intend nor desire to know anything about it."[453]