- Software name: appdown
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Such being the case, what faith can we put in the rest of Hennepin's story? Fortunately, there are tests by which the earlier parts of his book can be [Pg 248] tried; and, on the whole, they square exceedingly well with contemporary records of undoubted authenticity. Bating his exaggerations respecting the Falls of Niagara, his local descriptions, and even his estimates of distance, are generally accurate. He constantly, it is true, magnifies his own acts, and thrusts himself forward as one of the chiefs of an enterprise to the costs of which he had contributed nothing, and to which he was merely an appendage; and yet, till he reaches the Mississippi, there can be no doubt that in the main he tells the truth. As for his ascent of that river to the country of the Sioux, the general statement is fully confirmed by La Salle, Tonty, and other contemporary writers. For the details of the journey we must rest on Hennepin alone, whose account of the country and of the peculiar traits of its Indian occupants afford, as far as they go, good evidence of truth. Indeed, this part of his narrative could only have been written by one well versed in the savage life of this northwestern region. Trusting, [Pg 249] then, to his own guidance in the absence of better, let us follow in the wake of his adventurous canoe.
"In the name of the most high, mighty, invincible, and victorious Prince, Louis the Great, by the grace of God King of France and of Navarre, Fourteenth of that name, I, this ninth day of April, one thousand six hundred and eighty-two, in virtue of the commission [Pg 307] of his Majesty, which I hold in my hand, and which may be seen by all whom it may concern, have taken, and do now take, in the name of his Majesty and of his successors to the crown, possession of this country of Louisiana, the seas, harbors, ports, bays, adjacent straits, and all the nations, peoples, provinces, cities, towns, villages, mines, minerals, fisheries, streams, and rivers, within the extent of the said Louisiana, from the mouth of the great river St. Louis, otherwise called the Ohio, ... as also along the river Colbert, or Mississippi, and the rivers which discharge themselves thereinto, from its source beyond the country of the Nadouessioux ... as far as its mouth at the sea, or Gulf of Mexico, and also to the mouth of the River of Palms, upon the assurance we have had from the natives of these countries that we are the first Europeans who have descended or ascended the said river Colbert; hereby protesting against all who may hereafter undertake to invade any or all of these aforesaid countries, peoples, or lands, to the prejudice of the rights of his Majesty, acquired by the consent of the nations dwelling herein. Of which, and of all else that is needful, I hereby take to witness those who hear me, and demand an act of the notary here present."The dead calm continued. "We were all very tired," says the chaplain, "and I above all, with praying to God for a fair wind. To-day, at about two in the afternoon, He took pity on us, and sent us a breeze." Before night they saw land,the faint line of forest, traced along the watery horizon, that marked the coast of Florida. But where, in all this vast monotony, was the lurking-place of the French? Menendez anchored, and sent a captain with twenty men ashore, who presently found a band of Indians, and gained from them the needed information. He stood northward, till, on the afternoon of Tuesday, the fourth of September, he descried four ships anchored near the mouth of a river. It was the river St. John's, and the ships were four of Ribaut's squadron. The prey was in sight. The Spaniards prepared for battle, and bore down upon the Lutherans; for, with them, all Protestants alike were branded with the name of the arch-heretic. Slowly, before the faint breeze, the ships glided on their way; but while, excited and impatient, the fierce crews watched the decreasing space, and when they were still three leagues from their prize, the air ceased to stir, the sails flapped against the mast, a black cloud with thunder rose above the coast, and the warm rain of the South descended on the breathless sea. It was dark before the wind stirred again and the ships resumed their course. At half-past eleven they reached the French. The "San Pelayo" slowly moved to windward of Ribaut's flag-ship, the "Trinity," and anchored very near her. The other ships took similar stations. While these preparations were making, a work of two hours, the men labored in silence, and the French, thronging their gangways, looked on in equal silence. "Never, since I came into the world," writes the chaplain, "did I know such a stillness."
 The following words are underlined in the original: "Je suis pourtant oblig de leur rendre une justice, que le poison qu'on m'avoit donn n'stoit point de leur instigation."Lettre de La Salle au Prince de Conti, 31 Oct., 1678.Before the sun goes down, she thought, many an eye will be closed. And what will be Lyrcus fate?
No doubt the buildings of Sainte Marie were of the roughest,rude walls of boards, windows without glass, vast chimneys of unhewn stone. All its riches were centred in the church, which, as Lalemant tells us, was regarded by the Indians as one of the wonders of the world, but which, he adds, would have made but a beggarly show in France. Yet one wonders, at first thought, how so much labor could have been accomplished here. 364 Of late years, however, the number of men at the command of the mission had been considerable. Soldiers had been sent up from time to time, to escort the Fathers on their way, and defend them on their arrival. Thus, in 1644, Montmagny ordered twenty men of a reinforcement just arrived from France to escort Brbeuf, Garreau, and Chabanel to the Hurons, and remain there during the winter.  These soldiers lodged with the Jesuits, and lived at their table.  It was not, however, on detachments of troops that they mainly relied for labor or defence. Any inhabitant of Canada who chose to undertake so hard and dangerous a service was allowed to do so, receiving only his maintenance from the mission, without pay. In return, he was allowed to trade with the Indians, and sell the furs thus obtained at the magazine of the Company, at a fixed price.  Many availed themselves of this permission; and all whose services were accepted by the Jesuits seem to have been men to whom they had communicated no small portion of their own zeal, and who were enthusiastically attached to their Order and their cause. There is abundant evidence that a large proportion of them acted from motives wholly disinterested. They were, in fact, donns of the mission, given, heart and hand, to 365 its service. There is probability in the conjecture, that the profits of their trade with the Indians were reaped, not for their own behoof, but for that of the mission.  It is difficult otherwise to explain the confidence with which the Father Superior, in a letter to the General of the Jesuits at Rome, speaks of its resources. He says, "Though our number is greatly increased, and though we still hope for more men, and especially for more priests of our Society, it is not necessary to increase the pecuniary aid given us."