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      He went to reconnoitre the ground, and soon came to the Plains of Abraham, so called from Abraham Martin, a pilot known as Ma?tre Abraham, who had owned a piece of land here in the early times of the colony. The Plains were a tract of grass, tolerably level in most parts, patched here and there with cornfields, studded with clumps of bushes, and forming a part of the high plateau at the eastern end of which Quebec stood. On the south it was bounded by the declivities along the St. Lawrence; on the north, by those along the St. Charles, or rather along the meadows through which that lazy stream crawled like a writhing snake. At the place that Wolfe chose for his battle-field the plateau was less than a mile wide.397 As soon could the Ethiopian change his skin as the priest-ridden king change his fatal policy of exclusion. Canada must be bound to the papacy, even if it blasted her. The contest for the west must be waged by the means which Bourbon policy ordained, and which, it must be admitted, had some great advantages of their own, when controlled by a man like Frontenac. The result hung, for the present, on the relations of the French with the Iroquois and the tribes of the lakes, the Illinois, and the valley of the Ohio, but, above all, on their relations with the Iroquois; for, could they be conquered or won over, it would be easy to deal with the rest.


      200 "Onontio, you have told us that you have come back again, and brought with you thirteen of our people who were carried prisoners to France. We are glad of it. You wish to speak with us at Cataraqui (Fort Frontenac). Don't you know that your council fire there is put out? It is quenched in blood. You must first send home the prisoners. When our brother Ourehaou is returned to us, then we will talk with you of peace. You must send him and the others home this very winter. We now let you know that we have made peace with the tribes of Michillimackinac. You are not to think, because we return you an answer, that we have laid down the tomahawk. Our warriors will continue the war till you send our countrymen back to us." [19]


      There was talk of an examination into the causes of the failure, but nothing was done. Hill, strong in the influence of Mrs. Masham, reaped new honors and offices. Walker, more answerable for the result, and less fortunate in court influence, was removed from command, and his name was stricken from the half-pay list. He did not, however, blow himself up, but left England and emigrated to South Carolina, whence, thinking himself ill-treated by the authorities, he removed to Barbadoes, and died some years later.[184]As they neared the town, the Indians swarmed to the shore, and began the usual salute of musketry. "They fired," says Cloron, "full a thousand shots; for the English give them powder for nothing." He prudently pitched his camp on the farther side of the river, posted guards, and kept close watch. Each party distrusted and feared the other. At length, after much ado, many debates, and some threatening movements on the part of the alarmed and excited Indians, a council took place at the tent of the French commander; the chiefs apologized for the rough treatment of Joncaire, and Cloron replied with a rebuke, which would doubtless have been less mild, had he felt himself stronger. He gave them also a 50

      Boissons, 1678.


      "Well, I fancy a woman's idea of justice differs from a man's. To kill for killing gets us nowhere."

      In one particular the authors of the deportation were disappointed in its results. They had hoped to substitute a loyal population for a disaffected one; but they failed for some time to 284

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      [9] Conteste entre le Gouverneur et l'Abb de Fnelon; Jugements et Dliberations du Conseil Suprieur, 21 Ao?t, 1674.mechanical trades, they preferred above all things the savage liberty of the backwoods.

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      The prestige of the monarchy was declining with the ideas that had given it life and strength. A growing disrespect for king, ministry, and clergy was beginning to prepare the catastrophe that was 16Here the unhappy wayfarer was treated with great kindness both by the officers of the fort and by the inhabitants, one of the chief among whom lodged him in his house and welcomed him to his table. After a short stay at Chambly, Williams and his[Pg 78] masters set out in a canoe for Sorel. On the way a Frenchwoman came down to the bank of the river and invited the party to her house, telling the minister that she herself had once been a prisoner among the Indians, and knew how to feel for him. She seated him at a table, spread a table-cloth, and placed food before him, while the Indians, to their great indignation, were supplied with a meal in the chimney-corner. Similar kindness was shown by the inhabitants along the way till the party reached their destination, the Abenaki village of St. Francis, to which his masters belonged. Here there was a fort, in which lived two Jesuits, directors of the mission, and here Williams found several English children, captured the summer before during the raid on the settlements of Maine, and already transformed into little Indians both in dress and behavior. At the gate of the fort one of the Jesuits met him, and asked him to go into the church and give thanks to God for sparing his life, to which he replied that he would give thanks in some other place. The priest then commanded him to go, which he refused to do. When on the next day the bell rang for mass, one of his Indian masters seized him and dragged him into the church, where he got behind the door, and watched the service from his retreat with extreme disapprobation. One of the Jesuits telling him that he would go to hell for not accepting the apostolic traditions, and trusting only in the Bible, he replied that he was glad to know that Christ was to be his[Pg 79] judge, and not they. His chief master, who was a zealot in his way, and as much bound to the rites and forms of the Church as he had been before his conversion to his "medicines," or practices of heathen superstition, one day ordered him to make the sign of the cross, and on his refusal, tried to force him. But as the minister was tough and muscular, the Indian could not guide his hand. Then, pulling out a crucifix that hung at his neck, he told Williams in broken English to kiss it; and being again refused, he brandished his hatchet over him and threatened to knock out his brains. This failing of the desired effect, he threw down the hatchet and said he would first bite out the minister's finger-nails,a form of torture then in vogue among the northern Indians, both converts and heathen. Williams offered him a hand and invited him to begin; on which he gave the thumb-nail a gripe with his teeth, and then let it go, saying, "No good minister, bad as the devil." The failure seems to have discouraged him, for he made no further attempt to convert the intractable heretic.

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      "Is he a little man, ill-favored?" asked Pen.To us of this day, the result of the American part of the war seems a foregone conclusion. It was far from being so; and very far from being so regarded by our forefathers. The numerical superiority of the British colonies was offset by organic weaknesses fatal to vigorous and united action. Nor at the outset did they, or the mother-country, 2


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