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      [29] Louis XIV. Denonville, 17 Juin, 1687. At the end of March, the king had written that "he did not think it expedient to make any attack on the English." 1686.

      At Quebec, there was a grave, thoughtful, self-contained young man, who soon found his way into Frontenac's confidence. There was between them the sympathetic attraction of two bold and 27 energetic spirits; and though Cavelier de la Salle had neither the irritable vanity of the count, nor his Gallic vivacity of passion, he had in full measure the same unconquerable pride and hardy resolution. There were but two or three men in Canada who knew the western wilderness so well. He was full of schemes of ambition and of gain; and, from this moment, he and Frontenac seem to have formed an alliance, which ended only with the governor's recall.[188] Particulars in Entick, I. 121.

      V1 The presence of the company of regulars was a doubtful advantage. Captain Mackay, its commander, holding his commission from the King, thought himself above any officer commissioned by the Governor. There was great courtesy between him and Washington; but Mackay would take no orders, nor even the countersign, from the colonel of volunteers. Nor would his men work, except for an additional shilling a day. To give this was impossible, both from want of money, and from the discontent it would have bred in the Virginians, who worked for nothing besides their daily pay of eightpence. Washington, already a leader of men, possessed himself in a patience extremely difficult to his passionate temper; but the position was untenable, and the presence of the military drones demoralized his soldiers. Therefore, leaving Mackay at the Meadows, he advanced towards Gist's settlement, cutting a wagon road as he went.Early in the attack, and while it was yet dark, the light of burning houses, reflected from the fields of snow, had been seen at Hatfield, Hadley, and Northampton. The alarm was sounded through the slumbering hamlets, and parties of men mounted on farm-horses, with saddles or without, hastened to the rescue, not doubting that the fires were kindled by[Pg 66] Indians. When the sun was about two hours high, between thirty and forty of them were gathered at the fortified house of Jonathan Wells, at the southern end of the village. The houses of this neighborhood were still standing, and seem not to have been attacked,the stubborn defence of the Stebbins house having apparently prevented the enemy from pushing much beyond the palisaded enclosure. The house of Wells was full of refugee families. A few Deerfield men here joined the horsemen from the lower towns, as also did four or five of the yeoman soldiers who had escaped the fate of most of their comrades. The horsemen left their horses within Wells's fence; he himself took the lead, and the whole party rushed in together at the southern gate of the palisaded enclosure, drove out the plunderers, and retook a part of their plunder. The assailants of the Stebbins house, after firing at it for three hours, were put to flight, and those of its male occupants who were still alive joined their countrymen, while the women and children ran back for harborage to the house of Wells.

      [502] Circulaire du Marquis de Montcalm, 25 Juillet, 1757.[98] Roma au Ministre, 11 Mars, 1750.

      interesting Vie de Marie de l'Incarnation. It was burned inHence it is not surprising to find a memorial, drawn up apparently by Argenson, and addressed to the council of state, asking for instructions when and how a governorlieutenant-general for the kingought to receive incense, holy water, and consecrated bread; whether the said bread should be offered him with sound of drum and fife; what should be the position of his seat at church; and what place he should hold in various religious ceremonies; whether in feasts, assemblies, ceremonies, and councils of a purely civil character, he or the bishop was to hold the first place; and, finally, if the bishop could excommunicate the inhabitants or others for acts of a civil and political character, when the said acts were pronounced lawful by the governor.

      V1 the Governor more conciliatory than the former, "Through the love I bear you, my children, I send you Monsieur de Cloron to open your eyes to the designs of the English against your lands. The establishments they mean to make, and of which you are certainly ignorant, tend to your complete ruin. They hide from you their plans, which are to settle here and drive you away, if I let them. As a good father who tenderly loves his children, and though far away from them bears them always in his heart, I must warn you of the danger that threatens you. The English intend to rob you of your country; and that they may succeed, they begin by corrupting your minds. As they mean to seize the Ohio, which belongs to me, I send to warn them to retire."

      The end was near. The besieged savages called from their palisades to ask if they might send another deputation, and were told that they were free to do so. The chief, Pemoussa, soon appeared at the gate of the fort, naked, painted from head to foot with green earth, wearing belts of wampum about his[Pg 293] waist, and others hanging from his shoulders, besides a kind of crown of wampum beads on his head. With him came seven women, meant as a peace-offering, all painted and adorned with wampum. Three other principal chiefs followed, each with a gourd rattle in his hand, to the cadence of which the whole party sang and shouted at the full stretch of their lungs an invocation to the spirits for help and pity. They were conducted to the parade, where the French and the allied chiefs were already assembled, and Pemoussa thus addressed them:


      LA BARRE REBUKED. * Marie de lIncarnation, Lettre, 26 Juin, 1660.


      [3] Le Roy La Barre, 21 Juillet, 1684; Le Roy Denonville et Champigny, 30 Mars, 1687.Now rose the question whether the army should proceed in a direct course to Fort Duquesne, hewing a new road through the forest, or march thirty-four miles to Fort Cumberland, and thence follow the road made by Braddock. It was the interest of Pennsylvania that Forbes should choose the former route, and of Virginia that he should choose the latter. The Old Dominion did not wish to see a highway cut for her rival to those rich lands of the Ohio which she called her own. Washington, who was then at Fort Cumberland with a part of his regiment, was earnest for the old road; and in an interview with Bouquet midway between that place and Raystown, he spared no effort to bring him to the same opinion. But the quartermaster-general, Sir John Sinclair, who was supposed to know the country, had advised the Pennsylvania route; and both Bouquet and Forbes were resolved to take it. 134


      Here is a strange confession for a man like La Salle. Without doubt, the timidity of which he accuses himself had some of its roots in pride; but not the less was his pride vexed and humbled by it. It is surprising that, being what he was, he could have brought himself to such an avowal under any circumstances or any pressure of distress. Shyness; a morbid fear of committing himself; and incapacity to express, and much more to simulate, feeling,a trait sometimes seen in those with whom feeling is most deep,are strange ingredients in the character of a man who had grappled so dauntlessly with life on its harshest and rudest side. They were deplorable defects for one in his position. He lacked that sympathetic power, the inestimable gift of the true leader of men, in which lies the difference between a willing and a constrained obedience. This solitary being, hiding his shyness under a cold reserve, could rouse no enthusiasm in his followers. He lived in the purpose which he had made a part of himself, nursed his plans in secret, and seldom asked or accepted advice. He trusted himself, and learned more and more to trust no others. One may fairly infer that distrust was natural to him; but the [Pg 341] inference may possibly be wrong. Bitter experience had schooled him to it; for he lived among snares, pitfalls, and intriguing enemies. He began to doubt even the associates who, under representations he had made them in perfect good faith, had staked their money on his enterprise, and lost it, or were likely to lose it. They pursued him with advice and complaint, and half believed that he was what his maligners called him,a visionary or a madman. It galled him that they had suffered for their trust in him, and that they had repented their trust. His lonely and shadowed nature needed the mellowing sunshine of success, and his whole life was a fight with adversity.One point was clear; the French must make a settlement at Onondaga, and that speedily, or, despite their professions of brotherhood, the Onondagas would make war. Their attitude became menacing; from urgency they passed to threats; and the two priests felt that the critical posture of affairs must at once be reported at Quebec. But here a difficulty arose. It was the beaver-hunting season; and, eager as were the Indians for a French colony, not one of them would offer to conduct the Jesuits to Quebec in order to fetch one. It was not until nine masses had been said to Saint John the Baptist, that a number of Indians consented to forego their hunting, and escort Father Dablon home. ** Chaumonot remained at Onondaga, to watch his dangerous hosts and soothe their rising jealousies.