The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents

Travels and Explorations

of the Jesuit Missionaries

in New France








Reuben Gold Thwaites

Secretary of the State historical Society of Wisconsin


Thom Mentrak

Historical Interpreter at

Onondaga county parks

Ste. Marie Among The Iroquois Living History Museum

Liverpool. New York




CLEVELAND: The Burrows Brothers






Reuben Gold Thwaites




| Finlow Alexander [French]


| Percy Favor Bicknell [French]


| John Cutler Covert [French]


| William Frederic Giese [Latin]


| Crawford Lindsay [French]


| Mary Sifton Pepper [French & Italian]


| William Price [French]


| Hiram Allen Sober [French]


| John Dorsey Wolcott [Latin]



Assistant Editor

Emma Helen Blair



Bibliographical Adviser

Victor Hugo Paltsits



Electronic Transcription

Thom Mentrak





Preface To Volume .XIII






Relation de ce qvi s'est passé en la Novvelle France, en l'année 1637. [First installment of Part II., the Huron Relation.] François Joseph le Mercier; Ihonatiria, June 21, 1637






[page i]


Part I. of the Relation of 1637 (Document XXIX.) was given in Vols. XI. and XII. of our series. In the present volume, we publish the first installment (about two-thirds) of Part II. of the same Relation, being the portion devoted to the Hurons; the remainder of Part II., concluding the entire document, will appear in Vol. XIV.

The Huron section of the Relation of 1637 is written by Le Mercier, who closes his report at Ihonatiria, June 21 of that year. He opens his account of the year's work in the Huron country with a " journal " of events transpiring there from July, 1636, to June, 1637. The death is recorded of Soranhes (father of Amantacha, alias Louis de Sainte-Foi, the principal native convert of the district), who is suspected of having committed suicide. The arrival at the mission of Fathers Chastellain and Garnier, is, noted, and above all, the harvest of baptisms—over one hundred during the year.

A long chapter is devoted to the hideous cruelties inflicted by the Hurons upon an Iroquois prisoner,—whom, however, the missionaries find opportunity to instruct before his death, and for whom they are thus able to open Heaven's gate.

In September, the mission family is afflicted by illness,—a fever, which successively attacks all [page 1] except Brébeuf and one of their domestics; but, fortunately, all recover in due time. As soon as they are able, they find it necessary to nurse the sick among the Indians; and their simple remedies—prunes, raisins, and a little bag of senna, aided by a lancet for. bleeding— "produce effects which dazzle the whole country." This success largely aids their spiritual labors; yet many dying persons refuse to receive the faith,—some from indifference, others from prejudice. Many do not wish to go to the white men's Paradise because their unbaptized relatives will not be there. A characteristic excuse, is this: "I have no desire to go to heaven; I have no acquaintances there, and the French who are there would not give me anything to eat. " A certain shrewd tribesman invents a dream, relating the circumstances of his daughter's journey to heaven, in order to persuade the missionaries to give him a bead bracelet,—but the Fathers do not care to encourage such ingenuity. Several of their savage converts, however, cause the missionaries great consolation by exhibitions of docility and faith.

The contagious epidemic afflicting the Indians continues to increase, causing many deaths; and even the coming of winter fails to check it. The town of Ossossané is ravaged by the disease, and Brébeuf and his assistants journey thither several times during the winter, to give both material and spiritual aid to their wretched parishioners. They also go about among other neighboring villages, serving the sick and dying as best they may—occasionally rewarded by opportunities for administering baptism, and thus "enabling little souls to fly away to heaven." Frequently their services are accepted by this ignorant [page 2] and superstitious people as those of sorcerers and even demons; but despite this reputation for power, they have to contend incessantly with the lies and intrigues of the medicine men of the country.

Before the epidemic, the missionaries had found the natives so friendly and tractable, that they had entertained sanguine expectations of soon converting the entire nation to Christianity; but they are now constrained to admit, with sorrow, that " the greater part show that that belief consists only in fine words, and that in their hearts they have no other God than the belly, and him who will absolutely promise them to restore their health in sickness." Aënons, one of the converted chiefs, on whom they have stout reliance, himself says to Brébeuf: " Echon, I must speak to you frankly. The people of Ihonatiria said last year that they believed, in order to get tobacco. "

The missionaries propose to the Indians, on several occasions, to avert the wrath of God, and the pestilence, by agreeing to forsake their barbarous and licentious customs; to believe in God, and to be instructed in the faith; to practice obedience to God's laws, and to pray earnestly together for Divine aid. The natives at several places pretend to acquiesce in this proposition; but " immediately resume their old practices; the day after they had assembled in our cabin, they put on their masks and danced, to drive away the disease." " They are inveterate sinners, who, after their good promises, do not hesitate to resume the way of their past lives. "

In December, at Ossossané, the Indians are persuaded to make a public vow to obey God; and, curiously enough, they commission one of the native sorcerers to summon all the people together for this [page 3] purpose. Whereat the writer piously remarks: " What a consolation it was to see God publicly glorified through the mouth of a barbarian and one of Satan's tools! Never had such a thing been seen among the Hurons."

The " sorcerers " cause them much annoyance,—notably one, who is hunchbacked, and whom Le Mercier styles " a demon incarnate; " even when he is confined to his cabin with a broken leg, his influence among the people prevents the missionaries from reaching many; but his death, soon after, removes this obstacle. Another of these gentry, a blind man, has various interviews with demons, which are recounted at length: these evil spirits had, as they told him, brought the plague into the country, and, now relenting, would show him how it might be removed. In pursuance of these directions all the cabins of Onnentisati and villages near by are decorated with rude effigies of the human figure, in straw. "In these monkeys," says Le Mercier, "they place all their confidence, founded on what a wretched blind man has told them, who says that the devils are afraid of these, and have thus ordered for the good of the country. "

Several medicine men now attempt, in similar fashion, to drive away the demons, but their incantations and tricks are of no avail; and the disease continues its ravages throughout the winter.

R. G. T.

Madison, Wis., December, 1897.

[page 4]

XXIX (continued)

Le Jeune's Relation, 1637



Part 1. (Le Jeune's Relation proper, and his Dernière Lettre) appeared in Volumes Xl., Xll. In the present volume, we give the greater portion of Part II. (Le Mercier's Huron Relation): the document will be completed in Volume XIV.

[page 5]

[i] Relation of what occurred in the mission of the Society Of Jesus, in the land of the Hurons, in the Year 1637.

Sent to Kebec to the Reverend Father Paul le Jeune, Superior of

the Missions of the Society of Jesus, in new France.

CHAP. 1.


OME one may perhaps find that I am recording here many things of less importance than this title indicates. But I am writing to your Reverence, and, on that account, I call "memorable events" all those which can [2] afford you some consolation, and give you a knowledge of the customs of our Savages.

I will begin with the date of the embarkation for the trading at Kebec, which *as the 22nd of July, 1636. We had been waiting a long time for this day. This so notable delay, and the rumors of war which had caused many to change the paddle for bow and arrows, gave us some reason to fear that they might content themselves with their old kettles for this year—which could not be done without seriously affecting the affairs of Christianity, as both spiritual and temporal help come to us here only through the medium and the hands of the Savages. [page 7]

Accordingly, Father Antoine Daniel and two of our domestics embarked, in a fleet of eight or ten canoes. The day was beautiful, the lake very calm; but I cannot deny that this separation was somewhat painful to us, at first; for we judged that henceforth, to work more efficiently for the conversion of these peoples, we should need a new settlement in the heart of the country, and the Father seemed to us [3] to be altogether necessary for this purpose, as he was the only one we had who could, after the Reverend Father jean de Bréboeuf, our Superior, readily find his way out of the intricacies of the language. But we decided that to begin a Seminary for Huron Youth was a thing so advantageous to the glory of God, that we passed over that consideration, hoping that God would soon unfold to us the language, and that he would not fail to send to us persons who would effectively apply themselves to the study of it, to the full extent of their zeal. We have not been disappointed in our hope, which now gives us a new reason for thanking this infinite goodness which has so special a care for this Mission.

On the 27th, Father Ambroise Davo[s]t embarked. It seemed necessary, in these beginnings, that, in case God should dispose of Father Daniel, some one should be upon the spot to take his place; and, as your Reverence often has to deal with our Savages at the three Rivers, he, being acquainted with the language, will be able to render you good service.

Father Pierre Pijart and I succeeded [4] to the benefice of Father Antoine Daniel in the instruction of the little children of our Village. The Father Superior assigned to each of us a certain number of cabins, [page 9] which we began, from that time on, to visit every day until the epidemic was at its height,—when we deemed it proper to desist therefrom, for reasons which I shall mention hereafter in their place. We derived considerable advantage from this little exercise, by improving ourselves in the language. Besides teaching the children, we took occasion to explain some of our mysteries to the fathers and mothers, for which we usually made some preparation; these talks, however, were not very long; one must learn to put one foot before the other, before he can walk. We were greatly consoled to see that we were understood, and that a Savage occasionally took up the conversation and repeated what we had said. just after the embarkation, we did little more than to take possession of our benefice, the quiet, and the calmness of the weather, inviting us to make our retreat,—the more so as at this season visits among the villages would be almost useless, the women being occupied all day in their fields, and the [5] men in trading.

On the 6th of August, an event occurred which requires a few lines here, the circumstances thereof being very remarkable. A young Huron was wickedly assassinated by his own brother. This is not the first time that rage and vengeance have caused the claims of natural love to be overlooked, but I do not know whether such a thing ever occurred before under a pretext so black and detestable. This wretch, who was no less thievish than cruel, having one day chosen his time, robbed his father-in-law, and carried his booty to his mother's house in another village. Nevertheless, he could not conceal his game so well [page 11] that suspicion did not rest upon him,—with the result that, according to the custom of the country, this father-in-law, using to good advantage his right of reprisal, went and pillaged his cabin, taking all he had and hardly leaving the inmates enough with which to cover themselves. Then, indeed, there were exasperated persons, but especially the one who had dealt the first blow. He planned a second one, to take his revenge for the suspicion with which he had been charged, and to oblige his father-in-law, apparently through the processes of justice, if there can be any among these Barbarians, to restore to him and to pay him double [6] what he claimed had been unjustly carried away. He allows himself to be so blinded by passion that, to satisfy it, he resolves to have the blood of his brother, and to shed it with his own hands. Truly, a very extraordinary and unheard-of course! To execute his design he takes him off by a solitary path towards the Village of Onnentisati, where his father-in-law resided, under the pretext of going to pick mulberries. He especially chooses this place, that, as people were not ignorant of their quarrel, the murder would be more readily imputed to him [the father-in-law] or at least the Village would be charged with it; and thus this particular person, or the public, would be bound to give satisfaction both to him and to the other relatives of the dead man, through the presents given by the custom of the country; for your Reverence already knows that among these tribes this crime never goes unpunished; if the guilty person cannot be found, the Village near which the deed has been committed is responsible for it. In fact, the thing was done as it had been planned; and the crime was no sooner [page 13] made public than the author of it actually had the effrontery to appear and assert that his father-in-law was the murderer; that the ill-will he had for his family was well known; that, not satisfied with [7] having robbed them, he had tried to do them still more harm by taking the life of a person who was so nearly related to them. They assumed so high a tone, he and his relatives, that they closed the mouths of several whose eyes were wide enough open to see the falseness of these calumnies. They followed up the affair so eagerly that, notwithstanding the arguments the accused brought forward for their defense, and which would have been received in a fair court, the village of Onentisati was condemned to give satisfaction. True, the fine was moderate, because the dead person and his relatives were obscure people and of very little account. Meanwhile, a girl of the same Village presents herself and reports that she saw this murder with her own eyes; that the murderer was not of their Village,—that it was a blow from the hand of him who was making so great ado about it, and that the blood of this poor wretch cried for vengeance against no one but his own brother. She related the circumstances of the deed. " I was returning " (said she) " from my field, when I heard a noise like that of persons engaged in some quarrel; I quietly drew near, and hid myself in the brushwood near by, where I could hear [8] and see, without being seen, all that was taking place. In fact I saw Sendetsi " (the name of this Barbarian) " and his brother very distinctly; and while I was watching their behavior, and listening to hear what they were saying, I was entirely dumbfounded when Sendetsi seized him by the throat with one hand, and with the other [page 15] struck a blow with his hatchet upon his head. This poor wretch cried out several times, 'Brother, have pity on me; brother, have pity on me;' but these words fell upon pitiless ears. This cowardly and infamous act was no sooner accomplished than I slipped away secretly and fled, fearing the same thing might happen to me. If that wretch had seen me, he would not have been so foolish as to leave a witness of his crime,—especially a girl whom he could have killed without resistance."

The Old Men and the more prominent ones of the Village found the story so plausible, as the girl related it, that they tried to use her testimony against Sendetsi and by this means acquit him who was accused, and for whom they were under penalty. But it was in vain, for this black and cunning man told them, without changing countenance, that this was false testimony; that [9] if, nevertheless, they would persist in discharging his father-in-law, he was satisfied, but that he would henceforth hold this girl responsible,—that he had good reason to believe that she herself was guilty of this crime, it being not at all probable that one brother would ever make an attempt upon the life of another. These words, uttered with a brazen face and incredible boldness, struck all those present dumb, and the relatives were immediately set free, according to agreement. I leave your Reverence to imagine more than I can tell about this matter. The good news we received immediately afterwards carries me away, and obliges me to pass on.

On the 8th, we received a package of letters from your Reverence through the medium of a Savage, uncle of Louys de Saincte Foy. Premature fruits seem to have a sweetness not possessed by those [page 17] which come in their season; so this news, received before the time, brought us a very special consolation. We were greatly rejoiced to hear news of the fleet,—that it was composed of eight fine ships under the command of Monsieur du Plessis Bochart. Our Fathers who have come [10] to see us this year, and above all Father Pierre Chastellain and Father Charles Garnier, who had the honor to come over in his ship, have enjoyed a favor which cannot be highly enough appreciated, in celebrating the Holy Mass almost the whole length of the passage, to the great satisfaction of the ship's company. We learned also through the same medium the number and names of the Fathers whom God was sending us, that is to say, the continuation of the blessings of Heaven upon the Missions of new France. But our joy was dimmed by the assurances your Reverence gave us of the death of the late Monsieur de Champellain,—I say assurances, for rumors of it had been current for a long time, and had even reached us; but there were so many different versions, even as regarded the person, that we had some reason to persuade ourselves that what we feared had not happened. We did not cease, however, thenceforth to fulfill a part of our duties, and recommended the salvation of his soul very particularly to God in our prayers, and especially at the Altar. We redoubled our vows at this time, for we could not do too much for a person of his merit, who had done and [11] suffered so much for new France, for the welfare of which he seemed to have sacrificed all his means, yea, even his own life. Therefore God rewarded him after this life by a death accompanied by so many sentiments of devotion and piety, that his memory will be forever honorable. Our Society [page 19] in particular, will be under eternal obligations to him for the kindness that he has always shown it, both during his lifetime and at his death, as he bequeathed a part of what remained to him for the support of the Mission of our Fathers in these lands.

Towards the evening of the 12th, Father Pierre Chastellain arrived. We were at first surprised at the news of his coming, for it was only three weeks since our Savages had departed for Kebec; therefore the journey was an extraordinary one. The Father Superior and Father Pijart went to meet him; as for me, I was still in the retreat. I prepared what we had, to receive him; but what a feast it was!—a handful of small dried fish, with a little flour; I sent for some fresh ears of corn that we had roasted for him after the manner of the country. But it is true that in his heart, according to his story, he never partook of better fare. The joy which [12] is experienced in these reunions seems to be some image of the happiness of the blessed upon their arrival in Heaven, so full is it of sweetness. Also God so arranged it for us that we did not have it all in one day, for Father Charles Garnier did not arrive until a day later, although, up to the last two or three days' journey, he and Father Chastellain had always traveled together. They had had the good fortune to encamp together during the whole length of the journey; and among these frightful rocks and remote solitudes they had all the consolation they could desire, with the exception of the holy Sacrifice of the Mass. From the time of their departure from the three Rivers, they were in the hands of good Savages, who treated them kindly. All this, added to the happy meeting they had with Father Antoine Daniel, and four or five [page 21] days later with Father Ambroise Davost, in the country of the Bissiriniens, went far toward mitigating a great part of the fatigues of this voyage. We, also, received them in very good health, and as strong and vigorous as if we had not budged from Paris. We learned from them that Monsieur the Chevalier de Montmagny had taken the place of the late Monsieur de [13] Champellain, in which we admired the providence of God, who, wishing to dispose of one, had inspired these Gentlemen to secure another for the whole country, who could unite in his government rare principle and experience with an integrity of life altogether exemplary. I

On the 24th, a Savage who was passing our house informed us that Soranhes, father of Louys de Saincte Foy, was sick. He did this so coldly that we did not concern ourselves further about it; but as the Father Superior had a journey to make in that direction, he departed the next day, intending to go and visit him at the same time; but he learned on the way that he was dead. There is, indeed, reason here to adore the just judgments of God. This Savage had often meditated upon his conversion; it was already a great advantage for him to have a son so well instructed in all the mysteries of our Faith. And more than that, last year, in accordance with the desire he and all his family had shown us, to receive Holy Baptism, the Father Superior went and passed eight or ten days with him, and informed him fully of all he deemed fitting to prepare him for true conversion; he so satisfied them, [14] according to what they said, and they were so contented and so full of good will, that they found nothing difficult, and nothing more remained, it seemed, but to begin to practice. [page 23] Indeed, although there was meat in the house, he desired all his family to abstain from it on Friday and Saturday. They began at that time, with the intention to continue afterwards, but I am unable to say whether they did so., From time to time he came to visit us, and remained with us several days. The Father Superior continued to instruct him, and we taught him a few little prayers. He urged us strongly to baptize him, but we noticed so little stability in his resolutions, and found him so deeply attached to worldly interests, that we did not deem it wise to go any further. Towards Spring, he. importuned us again, not so much for Baptism, as to secure some letters of recommendation from us,—intending, as he said, to go down to Kebec as soon as possible, to pass a few weeks with our Fathers, and afterwards to be solemnly baptized at the arrival of the ships. The Father Superior, seeing there was nothing but vanity in his conduct, and that self-interest prompted him to make this [15] proposition, answered him thereupon that it was a very good thing for him to cherish the wish to be baptized; but the chief point was that he should be well instructed, and should make a firm resolve to give up his bad habits, and henceforth live as a true Christian. He said, moreover, that the place of his baptism was of very little importance, that we would decide upon that later; only that, before embarking, he should come and pass a few days with us, in order to take into more mature consideration the final resolutions upon a subject of such importance. He promised to do this, but he did not keep his word. He embarked immediately afterwards without seeing us; and, instead of going directly to Kebec, he stopped at the Island, where he sojourned [page 25] nearly two months, gambling, and leading the usual life. When he reached the three Rivers, he hardly showed himself. It looks as if God had thenceforth abandoned this wretch. On his return,. he had the good fortune to have one of our Fathers in his canoe,—a fine opportunity this should have been for him, to come and see us again afterwards, to be reconciled with us, and to resume his first resolutions. But, when he reached the Bissiriniens, he changed his canoe and embarked with the others, and went thus directly to Teanausteaiae his own village. We did not [16] see anything of him, and the first news we heard of him was that he was sick, and almost at the same time we learned of his death. We were all the more grieved at this, as some persons told us that he had not died a natural death, but that the grief he felt for the loss of his son had so plunged him into despair that he himself had shortened his days. This is the way they say it occurred: One day, when he found himself alone in his cabin with one of his little daughters, he sent her to get a certain root that they call Ondachienroa, which is a quick poison. This child went for it very innocently, supposing that her father intended to make some medicine, as he had shown some slight indisposition. She brought him some, but not enough to suit him, and she returned for it the second time. He ate his fill of it; a high fever attacked him, and carried him off in a little while. But his relatives do not admit that he died in this way; at all events, he died miserably, since he rendered himself unworthy of the grace of Baptism. I wished to touch upon all these circumstances, because I know the interest that your Reverence, [17] and all our Fathers, and so many good people [page 27] felt in the conversion of this family. Some time afterwards his little girl died; we merely received news of her death, for which we felt a very special regret, as she was a very bright child, and wonderfully docile; but Judicia Dei abyssus multa. In the following we have reason for consolation.

On the 30th, we began a novena in honor of the blessed Virgin. We had made this vow that it might please God to derive glory to himself from the sickness of a woman of our village. What had especially inclined us to this devotion was the good will we had remarked in all those of the cabin towards receiving Holy Baptism, and that we hoped to derive, for the advancement of this object, great advantages from the baptism of this, woman, in whatever way it might please God afterwards to dispose of her, were she to live or to die. Our devotion seemed to be acceptable 'to the blessed Virgin, for that same day, towards evening, when the Father Superior went to see her and found her quite sick, he had no sooner made overtures of Baptism to her, than she replied that she would be very glad to receive it, and that if she should lose her speech, she would continue to wish for it [18] in her heart; and that she had heard that people did not fail to go beyond on that account. " For," said she, " if it be true, as you have assured me, that our souls go to Heaven after baptism, I wish to be baptized and go to find my brother," a Savage who was baptized and died two years ago. This good disposition, together with the bad condition of her health, which threatened death, induced the Father Superior to instruct her fully, with great satisfaction and consolation on our part. Father Pierre Chastellain baptized her, and, in fulfillment of a vow he had made, [page 29] named her Marie. She died a few days later. The cause of her death, according to her parents, was the loss of a red hat. In fact we were urgently requested to give her another one, as if this hat could have restored her to health; and even after her death her father was very anxious to see her borne to the tomb with a red hat on her head . Here is his reason: " How," said he, " do you expect the French to recognize her in Heaven, if she does not wear their livery?" Now is it not altogether pitiful that this old man, after having heard so often about Heaven, had still continued [19] in this ignorance

I will say, also, that this woman at the beginning of her sickness imagined that she had seen a black man enter who had' touched her body, and that she had at the same time found herself all on fire; and, moreover, that this specter, before disappearing, had begun to dance with the rest of the troop. When she related this, all those present concluded that it was, without doubt, the Demon Aoutaerohi who caused her sickness. Many feasts were made for her recovery; and, among others, one day when she was very sick they made a feast of a dog, in consequence of which, according to their story, she felt wonderfully well,—and also, because she began to open her eyes while the dog was still half alive on the coals, they thought that this medicine was operating, and that she already felt some effects from it. A medicine man was invited to try to cure her. He took a sweat, to get a knowledge of her disease; he threw some tobacco into the fire, and perceived, he said, five men; then he expressed the opinion that she was bewitched, that she had five charms in her body,—that the most dangerous, and the one which was to [20] cause her [page 31] death, was in the navel. They had to apply to another one to get them out, for these Gentlemen content themselves with designating the evil. This one had to be entreated. He usually makes three demands when he comes to treat a sick person. The dogs must not howl, for his cures are only made in silence; he only applies his remedies in a place apart, and he will often make you carry a poor patient into the woods; and the Sky must be clear. Nevertheless he did not insist upon all these ceremonies on this occasion, for the patient was not carried out of the cabin, perhaps because the Sky was really cloudy and it rained a part of the day. That same day I accompanied the Reverend Father Superior to this place; the charlatan was still in the cabin; we found the Father, the mother, and nearly all the family at the door. This old man immediately made us a sign, and told us in a low voice that we should return. " Be satisfied," said he, "that she is baptized, only go and pray God that she may recover." This Sorcerer gave her a potion which, he said, must go directly ,down to the navel, where the seat of her disease was. But it went up, they say, to her cars, which immediately became swollen; [21] and shortly afterwards she died. When he was asked why his remedy had not taken effect, it was found that he had not been given all that he demanded,—above all, a pipe of red stone and a pouch for his tobacco. This is the way these jugglers delude these poor people. The chief point is that she died a Christian. All these remedies were procured for her by her parents, who looked upon them, as do most of the Savages, with the same eye with which we in France regard our most common remedies. [page 33]

I was in duty bound to tell your Reverence that Father Charles Garnier solemnly baptized, on the 27th of this month, a little child, who was named Joseph in pursuance of a vow he had made in honor of this Blessed Patriarch; and the Reverend Father Superior a few days before also baptized two others with the ceremonies of the Church. But I must here impart to you the whole comforting news; for why should I longer defer telling you, that since the last letters you received from us, God has given us the grace to baptize, up to the present time, when I begin to write this letter, two hundred, both adults and little, [22] children, the greater part of whom were not baptized until they were in danger of death. From now on, I shall not particularize much, except .in regard to those in whose conversion we have observed some of the more remarkable effects of God's mercy, and of his providence in the salvation of his elect. We hope that the number will grow still greater before our Savages go down to the trading at Quebec. [page 35]



N the 2nd of September, we learned that an Iroquois prisoner had been brought to the village of Onnentisati, and that they were preparing to put him to death. This Savage was one of eight captured by them at the lake of the Iroquois, where there were 25 or 30 of them fishing; the rest had saved themselves by flight. Not one, they say, would have escaped if our Hurons had not rushed on so precipitately. They brought back only [23] seven, being content to carry off the head of the eighth one. They were no sooner beyond the reach of the enemy than, according to their custom, the whole troop assembled and held a council, in which it was decided that six should be given to the Atignenonghac and the Arendarrhonons, and the seventh to this place where we are. They disposed of them thus because their band was composed of these three nations. When the prisoners had arrived in the country, the Old Men (to whom the young men on their return from war leave the disposition of their spoils) held another assembly, to take counsel among themselves as to the town where each individual prisoner should be burned and put to death, and the persons on whom they should be bestowed; for it is customary, when some notable [page 37] personage has lost one of his relatives in war, to give him a present of some captive taken from the enemy, to dry his tears and partly assuage his grief. Now the one who had been destined for this place was brought by the Captain Enditsacone to the village of Onnentisati, where the war chiefs held a Council and decided that this prisoner should be given to Saouandaouascouay, [24] who is one of the chief men of the country, in consideration of one of his nephews who had been captured by the Iroquois. This decision being made, he was taken to Arontaen, a village about two leagues distant from us. At first, we were horrified at the thought of being present at this spectacle; but, having well considered all, we judged it wise to be there, not despairing of being able to win this soul for God. Charity causes us to overlook many considerations. Accordingly, we departed, the Father Superior, Father Garnier, and I together. We reached Arontaen a little while before the prisoner, and saw this poor wretch coming in the distance, singing in the midst Of 30 or 40 Savages who were escorting him. He was dressed in a beautiful beaver robe and wore a string of porcelain beads around his neck, and another in the form of a crown around his head. A great crowd was present at his arrival. He was made to sit down at the entrance to the village, and there was a struggle as to who should make him sing. I will say here that, up to the hour of his torment, we saw only acts of humanity exercised towards him; but he had already been quite roughly handled since his capture. One of his hands was badly bruised by a stone; and one finger was not [25] cut. off, but violently wrenched away. The thumb and forefinger of the other hand had been [page 39] nearly taken off by a blow from the hatchet, and the only plaster he had was some leaves bound with bark. The joints of his arms were badly burned, and in one of them there was a deep cut. We approached to look at him more closely; he raised his eyes and regarded us very attentively, but he did not yet know the happiness that Heaven was preparing for him, in the midst of his enemies, through our instrumentality. The Father Superior was invited to make him sing; but he explained that it was not that which had brought him there,—that he had come only to teach him what he ought to do that he might go to Heaven, and be forever blest after death. He approached him, and told him that we all felt a great deal of compassion for him. Meanwhile, they brought him food, from all sides,—some bringing sagamité, some squashes and fruits,—and treated him only as a brother and a friend. From time to time he was commanded to sing, which he did with so much vigor and strength of voice, that, considering his age, for he seemed to be more than 50 years old, we wondered how he could be equal to it,— [26] especially as he had done hardly anything else day and night since his capture, and especially since his arrival in their country. Meanwhile, a Captain, raising his voice to the same tone used by those who make some proclamation in the public places in France, addressed to him these words: " My nephew, thou bast good reason to sing, for no one is doing thee any harm; behold thyself now among thy kindred and friends." Good God, what a compliment! All those who surrounded him, with their affected kindness and their fine words, were so many butchers who showed him a smiling face only to treat him afterwards with more [page 41] cruelty. In all the places through which he had passed he had been given something with which to make a feast; they did not fail here in this act of courtesy, for a dog was immediately put into the kettle, and, before it was half cooked, he was brought into the cabin where the people were to gather for the banquet. He had some one tell the Father Superior to follow him, and that he was very glad to see him. Doubtless it had touched his heart to find (among barbarians whom cruelty alone rendered affable and humane) persons who had some real feeling for his [27] misery. We began then to have strong hopes of his conversion. So we entered and placed ourselves near him; the Father Superior took occasion to tell him to be of good cheer, that he would in truth be miserable during the little of life that remained to him, but that, if he would listen to him and would believe what he had to tell him, he would assure him of an eternal happiness in Heaven after his death. He spoke to him fully upon the immortality of the soul, on the pleasures enjoyed by the blessed in Paradise, and on the wretched condition of the damned in Hell. Meanwhile Father Garnier and I, in order to contribute something to the conversion of this poor Savage, made a vow to say four Masses in honor of the blessed Virgin, that it might please God to show him mercy and to give him the grace to be baptized. Your Reverence would have felt consolation in seeing with what attention he listened to this discourse. He took so much pleasure in it and understood it so well, that he repeated it in a few words, and showed a great desire to go to Heaven. All those who were beside him conspired, it seemed, with us in the purpose to instruct him,—among others, [page 43] a young man, who, though without [28] any obligation to do so, performed the service of interpreter, and repeated to him what the Father Superior had explained. But I ought to have informed your Reverence that this prisoner did not properly belong to the enemy's country, as he was a native of Sonontouan. Yet, inasmuch as a few years before the Sonontouanhrronon had made peace with the Hurons, this man, not having accepted this treaty, had married among the Onontaehronon, in order to be always free to carry arms against them. See how the wise providence of God has led this poor Savage into the ways of Salvation. Perhaps if he had remained at Sonontouan, he might have continued until death in ignorance of his Creator.

But let us return to the feast which was being prepared. As soon as the dog was cooked, they took out a large piece of it, which he was made to eat, for they had to put it even into his mouth, as he was unable to use his hands; he shared it with those who were near him. To see the treatment they accorded him, you might have thought he was the brother and relative of all those who were talking to him. His poor hands caused him great pain, and smarted so severely [29] that he asked to go out of the cabin, to take a little air. His request was immediately granted. His hands were unwrapped, and they brought him some water to refresh them. They were half putrefied, and all swarming with worms, a stench arising from them that was almost insupportable. He begged them to take away these worms, which were gnawing him even to the marrow, and which made him feel (he said) the same pain as if some one had touched him with fire. All was done that could [page 45] be done to relieve him, but in vain; for they would appear, and disappear within as soon as one undertook the task of drawing them out. Meanwhile he did not cease singing at intervals, and they continued to give him something to eat, such as fruits or squashes.

Seeing that the hour of the feast was drawing near, we withdrew into the cabin where we had taken lodgings,—for we did not think it best to remain in the cabin of the prisoner,—not expecting to find an opportunity to speak further with him until the next day. But God, who intended to show him mercy, brought him to us, and we were greatly astonished and much rejoiced when we were told that he was coming to lodge with [30] us. And still more so afterwards, when (at a time when there was every reason to fear that the confusion, and the insolence of the young men gathered from all the surrounding towns, would interfere with our plans) the Father Superior happened to be there when there was a good opportunity to speak to him, and had all the leisure necessary to instruct him in our mysteries,—in a word, to prepare him for Holy Baptism. A goodly band of' Savages who were present, not only did not interrupt him, but even listened to him with close attention. Upon this, he took occasion to talk to them about the goodness of God, who loves all men the world over,—the Iroquois as well as the Hurons, the captives as well as the free, the poor and the miserable equally with the rich,—provided they believe in him and keep his Holy Commandments. What a great advantage it is to have mastered their language, to be loved by these peoples, and to have influence among them! You might have said that all this [page 47] crowd had flocked together, not to while away the time around the prisoner, but to hear the word of God. I do not think that Christian truths have ever been preached in this country on an occasion so favorable, for there were present some from nearly [31] all the nations who speak the Huron tongue. The Father Superior found him so well disposed that he did not consider it advisable to postpone longer his baptism. He was named Joseph. It was very reasonable that the first one of this nation to be baptized should be under the protection of this Holy Patriarch. We had already received from God so many favors through his mediation that we hope he will, some day, and perhaps sooner than we think, obtain for us, from this infinite mercy, admission to these Barbarous nations, that we may boldly preach there the Holy Gospel. This being accomplished, we withdrew from his presence, greatly consoled, to take a little rest. For my part, it was almost impossible for me to close my eyes; and I noticed, as well as I could hear, that during a good part of the night the Old Men of the villageé, and some Captains who were guarding him, conversed with him about the affairs of his country and about his capture, but with evidences of good will impossible to describe. In the morning, the Father Superior again found means to speak a good word to him, to remind him of the favor he had received from Heaven, and to dispose him [32] to bear his torments patiently. Then he had to leave us to go to Tondakhra, which is a league from Arontaen. He took the road, well escorted, and singing as usual. Now we took occasion to pay a visit to our home, to say Mass and impart this good news to our Fathers. On the same day we went to Tondakhra, where, [page 49] through a special Providence, we unwittingly took lodgings in the cabin that had been assigned to the prisoner. In the evening he made a feast, at which he sang, and danced, according to the manner of the country, during a good part of the night. The Father instructed him more minutely on all at pertains to the duty of a Christian, and especially upon the holy Commandments of God. There was present a goodly company, and all showed that they took a singular pleasure in this conversation. This gave the Father occasion, in discussing the sixth Commandment, to explain to them how highly God esteemed chastity, and that, on this account, we had bound ourselves by a vow to cultivate this virtue inviolably until death. They were greatly astonished to learn that among the [33] Christians there were so many persons of both sexes who voluntarily deprived themselves during their entire lifetime of sensual pleasures, in which these find all their happiness. They even asked many questions. Among others, some one asked why men were ashamed to be seen naked among themselves, and, above all, why we could not endure to have them go without clouts. The Father replied that it was due to the sin of the first man; that before he had transgressed the law of God, and his will had become disordered, neither he nor Eve, his wife, had been aware of their nakedness; that their disobedience had opened their eyes, and had made them seek something with which to cover themselves. I only allude here, in a few words, to the long and beautiful discourses the Father Superior made to them upon this and similar occasions. Another one asked him how we knew there was a Hell, and whence we obtained all that we told about the condition of the [page 51] damned. The Father replied to this that we, had indubitable proofs of it, that we possessed it through divine revelation; that the Holy Ghost himself had dictated these truths to certain persons, and to our [341 Ancestors, who had left them to us in writing, and that we still carefully preserved the books containing them. But our story will prove too long if I do not cut short these discourses.

The next morning, which was the 4th of September, the prisoner again confirmed his wish to die a Christian, and his desire to go to Heaven, and he even promised the Father that he would remember to say, in his torments, "Jesus taïtenr," "Jesus, have pity on me." They were still waiting for the Captain Saouandaouascouay, who had gone trading, to fix upon the day and the place of his torment; for this captive was entirely at his disposal. He arrived a little later; and, at their first interview, our Joseph, instead of being disquieted from fear and apprehension of his approaching death, and of such a death, said to him in our presence that the Father had baptized him, "haiatachondi;" he used this expression as showing that he was very glad thereat. The Father consoled him further, saying that the torments he was about to suffer would be of short duration, but that the joys which awaited him in Heaven would have no other limit than Eternity.

Saouandaouascouay looked at him pleasantly and treated him with incredible gentleness. This is a summary of the talk he had with him: " My [35] nephew, thou must know that when I first received news that thou wert at my disposal, I was wonderfully pleased, fancying that he whom I lost in war had been, as it were, brought back to life, and was [page 53] returning to his country. At the same time I resolved to give thee thy life; I was already thinking of preparing thee a place in my cabin, and thought that thou wouldst pass the rest of thy days pleasantly with me. But now that I see thee in this condition, thy fingers gone and thy hands half rotten, I change my mind, and I am sure that thou thyself wouldst now regret to live longer. I shall do thee a greater kindness to tell thee that thou must prepare to die; is it not so? It is the Tohontaenras who have treated thee so ill, and who also cause thy death. Come then, my nephew, be of good courage; prepare thyself for this evening, and do not allow thyself to be cast down through fear of the tortures." Thereupon Joseph asked him, with a firm and confident mien, what would be the nature of his torment. To this Saouandaouscouay replied that he would die by fire. " That is well," said Joseph, " that is well." While this Captain was conversing with him, a woman, the sister of the deceased, brought him some food, showing remarkable solicitude for him. [36] You would almost have said that he was her own son, and I do not know that this creature did not represent to her him whom she had lost. Her countenance was very sad, and her eyes seemed all bathed in tears. This Captain often put his own pipe in the prisoner's mouth, wiped with his own hands the sweat that rolled down his face, and cooled him with a feather fan.

About noon he made his Astataion, that is, his farewell feast, according to the custom of those who are about to die. No special invitations were given, every one being free to come; the people were there in crowds. Before the feast began, he walked through [page 55] the middle of the cabin and said in a loud and confident voice, " My brothers, I am going to die; amuse yourselves boldly around me,—I fear neither tortures nor death. " He straightway began to sing and dance through the whole length of the cabin; some of the others sang also and danced in their turn. Then food was given those who had plates, and those who had none watched the others eat. We were of the latter, since we were not [37] there to eat. The feast over, he was taken back to Arontaen, to die there. We followed him, in order to assist him and render him all the service we could. Upon our arrival, as soon as he saw the Father Superior he invited him to sit down near him, and asked him when he would prepare him for Heaven,—thinking, perhaps, that he must be baptized once more; and inasmuch as the Father did not quite understand what he was trying to say, having replied to him that it was not yet time for that, "Enonske, " said he, " do it as soon as possible. " He entreated earnestly and asked him if he would go to Heaven. The Father answered him that he ought not to doubt it, since he was baptized. He repeated to him again that the tortures he was about to suffer would soon be over, and that without the grace of Holy Baptism he would have been tormented forever in eternal flames. He took occasion thereupon to explain to him how God hated sin, and with what severity he punished sinners; that all men were subject to sin; that the mercy of God had, nevertheless, left us a very easy and very efficacious means of returning to grace; and he disposed him to perform an act of contrition.

Those who were present there had [38] very different thoughts. Some looked at us, and were astonished [page 57] to see us so strongly attached to him,—following him everywhere, losing no occasion to speak to him, and to give him some word of consolation. Others, it seemed, thought of nothing else than of doing him some good. Many were arrested by his condition, and contemplated the extremity of his misery. Among others, a woman,—thinking, it is to be supposed, that this poor victim would be happy and would be spared a great deal of his suffering if he could kill himself, and anticipate the insolence and cruelty of the young men,—asked the Father if there would be any harm in this act. Thus divine goodness is always affording new opportunities to reveal and explain his holy Law to this barbarous people. The Father instructed them fully upon this point, and showed them that God alone was the master of our lives, and it was for him only to dispose of them; that those who poisoned themselves or made away with themselves by violence, committed a grievous sin; and that Saouandanoncoua—speaking of our Joseph—would lose the fruit of his baptism, and would never go to Heaven, if he hastened by a single moment [39] the hour of his death.

Meanwhile the Sun, which was fast declining, admonished us to withdraw to the place where this cruel Tragedy was to be enacted. It was in the cabin of one Atsan, who is the great war Captain; therefore it is called "Otinontsiskiaj ondaon," meaning, " the house of cut-off heads." It is there all the Councils of war are held; as to the house where the affairs of the country, and those which relate only to the observance of order, are transacted, it is called " Endionrra ondaon," " house of the Council." We took, then, a place where we could be near the victim, and [page 59] say an encouraging word to him when the opportunity occurred. Towards 8 o'clock in the evening eleven fires were lighted along the cabin, about one brass distant from each other. The people gathered immediately, the old men taking places above, upon a sort of platform, which extends, on both sides, the entire length of the cabins. The young men were below, but were so crowded that they were almost piled upon one another, so that there was hardly a passage along the fires. Cries of joy resounded on all sides; each provided himself, one with a firebrand, another with a piece of bark, to burn [40] the victim. Before he was brought in, the Captain Aënons encouraged all to do their duty, representing to them the importance of this act, which was viewed, he said, by the Sun and by the God of war. He ordered that at first they should burn only his legs, so that he might hold out until daybreak; also for that night they were not to go and amuse themselves in the woods. He had hardly finished when the victim entered. I leave you to imagine the terror that seized him at the sight of these preparations. The cries redoubled at his arrival; he is made to sit down upon a mat, his hands are bound, then he rises and makes a tour of the cabin, singing and dancing; no one burns him this time, but also this is the limit of his rest,—one can hardly tell what he will endure up to the time when they cut off his head. He had no sooner returned to his place than the war Captain took his robe and said, " Oteiondi "—speaking of a Captain—"will despoil him of the robe which I hold; " and added, " The Ataconchronons will cut off his head, which will be given to Ondessone, with one arm and the liver to make a feast." Behold his [page 61] sentence thus pronounced. After this, each one armed himself [41] with a brand, or a piece of burning bark, and he began to walk, or rather to run, around the fires; each one struggled to burn him as he passed. Meanwhile, he shrieked like a lost soul; the whole crowd imitated his cries, or rather smothered them with horrible shouts. One must be there, to see a living picture of Hell. The whole cabin appeared as if on fire; and, athwart the flames and the dense smoke that issued therefrom, these barbarians—crowding one upon the other, howling at the top of their voices, with firebrands in their hands, their eyes flashing with rage and fury—seemed like so many Demons who would give no respite to this poor wretch. They often stopped him at the other end of the cabin, some of them taking his hands and breaking the bones thereof by sheer force; others pierced his ears with sticks which they left in them; others bound his wrists with cords which they tied roughly, pulling at each end of the cord with all their might. Did he make the round and pause to take a little breath, he was made to repose upon hot ashes and burning coals. It is with horror that I describe all this to your Reverence, but verily we [42] experienced unutterable pain while enduring the sight of it. I do not know what would have become of us had it not been for the consolation we had of considering him, no longer as a common Savage, but as a child of the Church, and as such, of asking God to give him patience, and the privilege of dying in his holy grace. As for me, I was reduced to such a degree that I could hardly nerve myself to look up to see what was going on; and yet I do not know that, if we had not made some effort to withdraw from this [page 63] crowd and to go out, these cruelties might have had some delay. But God permitted that on the seventh round of the cabin his strength should fail him. After he had reposed a short time upon the embers, they tried to make him arise as usual, but he did not stir; and one of these butchers having applied a brand to his loins, he was seized with a fainting fit, and would never have risen again if the young men had been permitted to have their way, for they had already begun to stir up the fire about him, as if to burn him. But the Captains prevented them from going any farther, and ordered them to cease tormenting him, saying it was important that he should see the daylight. They had him lifted upon a [43] mat, most of the fires were extinguished, and many of the people went away. Now there was a little respite for our sufferer, and some consolation for us. How we wished that this swoon might last all night! —for to moderate these excesses of cruelty in any other way would have been impossible to us. While he was in this condition, their only thought was to make him return to his senses, giving him many drinks composed of pure water only. At the end of an hour he began to revive a little, and to open his eyes; he was forthwith commanded to sing. He did this at first in a broken and, as it were, dying voice; but finally he sang so loud that he could be heard outside the cabin. The youth assemble again; they talk to him, they make him sit up,—in a word, they begin to act worse than before. For me to describe in detail all he endured during the rest of the night, would be, almost impossible; we suffered enough in forcing ourselves to see a part of it. Of the rest we judged from their talk; and the smoke issuing from his [page 65] roasted flesh revealed to us something of which we could not have borne the sight. One thing, in my opinion, greatly increased [44] his consciousness of suffering—that anger and rage did not appear upon the faces of those who were tormenting him, but rather gentleness and humanity, their words expressing only raillery or tokens of friendship and good will. There was no strife as to who should burn him,—each one took his turn; thus they gave themselves leisure to meditate some new device to make him feel the fire more keenly. They hardly burned him anywhere except in the legs, but these, to be sure, they reduced to a wretched state, the flesh being all in shreds. Some applied burning brands to them and did not withdraw them until he uttered loud cries; and, as soon as he ceased shrieking, they again began to burn him, repeating it seven or eight times,—often reviving the fire, which they held close against the flesh, by blowing upon it. Others bound cords around him and then set them on fire, thus burning him slowly and causing him the keenest agony. There were some who made him put his feet on red-hot hatchets, and then pressed down on them. You could have heard the flesh hiss, and have seen the smoke which issued therefrom rise even to the roof of the cabin. They struck him with clubs [45] upon the head, and passed small sticks through his ears; they broke the rest of his fingers; they stirred up the fire all around his feet. No one spared himself, and each one strove to surpass his companion in cruelty. But, as I have said, what was most calculated in all this to plunge him into despair, was their raillery, and the compliments they paid him when they approached to burn him. This one said to him, " Here, [page 67] uncle, I must burn thee, " and afterwards this uncle found himself changed into a canoe. " Come," said he, "let me calk and pitch my canoe, it is a beautiful new canoe which I lately traded for; I must stop all the water holes well, " and meanwhile he was passing the brand all along his legs. Another one asked him, " Come, uncle, where do you prefer that I should burn you? " and this poor sufferer had to indicate some particular place. At this, another one came along and said, " For my part, I do not know anything about burning; it is a trade that I never practiced," and meantime his actions were more cruel than those of the others. In the midst of this heat, there were some who tried to make him believe that he was cold. " Ah, it is not right," said [46] one, " that my uncle should be cold; I must warm thee." Another one added, " Now as my uncle has kindly deigned to come and die among the Hurons, I must make him a present, I must give him a hatchet," and with that he jeeringly applied to his feet a red-hot hatchet. Another one likewise made him a pair of stockings from old rags, which he afterwards set on fire; and often, after having made him utter loud cries, he asked him, " And now, uncle, hast thou had enough? " And when he replied, "onna chouatan, onna," "Yes, nephew, it is enough, it is enough," these barbarians replied, " No, it is not enough," and continued to burn him at intervals, demanding of him every time if it was enough. They did not fail from time to time to give him something to eat, and to pour water into his mouth, to make him endure until morning; and you might have seen, at the same time, green ears of corn roasting at the fire and near them red-hot hatchets; and sometimes, almost at the same moment [page 69] that they were giving him the ears to eat, they were putting the hatchets upon his feet. If he refused to eat, " Indeed," said they, " dost thou think thou art master here? " and some added, " For my part, I believe thou wert the only [47] Captain in thy country. But let us see, wert thou not very cruel to prisoners; now just tell us, didst thou not enjoy burning them? Thou didst not think thou wert to be treated in the same way, but perhaps thou didst think thou hadst killed all the Hurons? "

Behold in part how passed the night, which was a most dolorous one to our new Christian, and wonderfully harrowing to us, who compassionated all his sufferings from the depths of our hearts. Yet a soul closely united to God would have here a suitable occasion to meditate upon the adorable mysteries of the Passion of Our Lord, some image of which we had before our eyes. One thing that consoled us was to see the patience with which he bore all this pain. In the midst of their taunts and jeers, not one abusive or impatient word escaped his lips. Let us add this, that God furnished to the Father Superior 3 or 4 excellent opportunities to preach his Holy name to these barbarians, and to explain to them the Christian truths. For when some one asked him if we felt compassion for the prisoner, he affirmed that we did, and that' we greatly longed that he might be soon delivered from his sufferings and go to Heaven, there to be forever blest. This gave him occasion to speak of the joys of Paradise and the grievous afflictions of [48] Hell, and to show them that if they were cruel to this poor wretch, the Devils were still more so to the condemned. He told them that what they made him endure was only a very rough picture of the [page 71] torments suffered by lost souls in Hell, whether they considered the multitude of them, or their magnitude and the length of their duration; that our having baptized Sa[o]uandanoncoua was only to deliver him from those punishments, and to enable him to go to Heaven after his death. " How now?" retorted some of them, " he is one of our enemies; and it matters not if he go to Hell and if he be forever burned." The Father replied very appropriately, that God was God of the Iroquois as well as of the Hurons, and of all men who are upon the earth; that he despised no one, even if he be ugly or poor; that what won the heart of God was not the beauty of the body, the graces of the mind, or the abundance of wealth, but, indeed, an exact observance of his holy Law; that the fires of Hell were lighted and burning only for sinners, whatever their nation might be; that at the moment of death and at the departure of the soul from the body, [49] he who was found with a mortal sin, was condemned for it forever, whether he were Iroquois or Huron; that, as to them, it was all they could do to burn and torment this captive to death; that until then he was at their disposal, that after death he fell into the hands and under the authority of him who alone had the power to send him to Hell or to Paradise. " But thinkest thou, " said another, " that for what thou sayest here, and for what thou doest to this man, the Iroquois will treat thee better if they come some time to ravage our country?" That is not what concerns me, " replied the Father, all I think of now is to do what I ought; we have come here only to teach you the way to Heaven; as to the rest, and as to what, regards our persons, we leave that entirely to the providence of God." [page 73] " Why art thou sorry," added some one, " that we tormented him? " " I do not disapprove of your killing him, but of your treating him in that way. " " What then! how do you French people do? Do you not kill men? " " Yes, indeed; we kill them, but not with this cruelty." [50] " What! do you never burn any?" "Not often," said the Father, "and even then fire is only for enormous crimes, and there is only one person to whom this kind of execution belongs by right; and besides, they are not made to linger so long,—often they are first strangled, and generally they are thrown at once into the fire, where they are immediately smothered and consumed. " They asked the Father Superior many other questions, such as, " where was God? " and other similar ones, which gave him occasion to converse with them .about his divine attributes, and reveal to them the mysteries of our faith. These discourses were favorable to our Joseph; for, besides giving him good thoughts and tending to confirm him in the faith, while this conversation lasted no one thought of burning him. All listened very attentively, except some young men, who said once or twice, " Come, we must interrupt him, there is too much talk," and they immediately began to torment the sufferer. He himself also entertained the company for a while, on the state of affairs in his country and the death of some Hurons who had been taken in war. He did this as easily, and with a countenance as [51] composed, as any one there present would have showed. This availed him at least as so much diminution of his sufferings; therefore, he said, they were doing him a great favor by asking him many questions, and that this in some measure diverted him from his troubles. [page 75] As soon as day began to dawn, they lighted fires outside the village, to display there the excess of their cruelty to the sight of the Sun. The victim was led thither. The Father Superior went to his side, to console him, and to confirm him in the willingness he had all the time shown to die a Christian. He recalled to his mind a shameful act he had been made to commit during his tortures,—in which, all things rightly considered, there was but little probability of sin, at least not a grave sin,—nevertheless, he had him ask God's pardon for it; and, after having instructed him briefly upon the remission of sins, he gave him conditional absolution, and left him with the hope of soon going to Heaven. Meanwhile, two of them took hold of him and made him mount a scaffold 6 or 7 feet high; 3 or 4 of these barbarians followed him. They tied him to a tree which passed across it, but in such a way that he was free to turn [52] around. There they began to burn him more cruelly than ever, leaving no part of his body to which the fire was not applied at intervals. When one of these butchers began to burn him and to crowd him closely, in trying to escape him, he fell into the hands of another who gave him no better a reception. From time to time they were supplied with new brands, which they thrust, all aflame, down his throat, even forcing them into his fundament. They burned his eyes; they applied red-hot hatchets to his shoulders; they hung some around his neck, which they turned now upon his back, now upon his breast, according to the position he took in order to avoid the weight of this burden. If he attempted to sit or crouch down, some one thrust a brand from under the scaffolding which soon caused him to arise. [page 77] Meanwhile, we were there, praying God with all our hearts that he would please to deliver him as soon as possible from this life. They so harassed him upon all sides that they finally put him out of breath; they poured water into his mouth to strengthen his heart, and the Captains called out to him that he should take a little breath. But he remained still, [53] his mouth open, and almost motionless. Therefore, fearing that he would die otherwise than by the knife, one cut off a foot, another a hand, and almost at the same time a third severed the head from the shoulders, throwing it into the crowd, where some one caught it to carry it to the Captain Ondessone, for whom it had been reserved, in order to make a feast therewith. As for the trunk, it remained at Arontaen, where a feast was made of it the same day. We recommended his soul to God, and returned home to say Mass. On the way we encountered a Savage who was carrying upon a skewer one of his half-roasted hands. We would, indeed, have desired to prevent this act of lawlessness; but it is not yet in our power, we are not the masters here; it is not a trifling matter to have a whole country opposed to one,—a barbarous country, too, such as this is. Even if some of them, and a goodly number of the more influential ones, listen to us, and admit that this inhumanity is entirely opposed to reason, the old customs thus far continue to be in vogue, and there is much probability that they will reign until the faith [54] is received and publicly professed. Superstitions and customs grown old, and authorized by the lapse of so many centuries, are not so easy to abolish. It often happens in the best cities of France that when a troop of children get to fighting with their slings, a [page 79] whole town with its Magistrates has considerable difficulty in quelling this disorder; and what could two or three strangers, who would like to interfere, accomplish, unless it were to get killed? Yet we are full of hope, and these new residences that we are about to establish in the principal villages of the country, will be, as we trust, so many forts whence, with the assistance of Heaven, we shall completely overthrow the Kingdom of Satan. While this blessed hour is approaching, God does not fail from time to time to stimulate our courage, and to console us with the conversion of many, especially of those whose Baptism seems to be accompanied by very obvious signs of predestination.

The country of the Iroquois is still an inaccessible land to us; we cannot preach the Holy Gospel there and God brings them here into our hands. The thoughts [55] of men are far removed, indeed, from the designs of this wise Providence! While our Hurons were on the watch for opportunities to capture this poor Savage, Heaven was meditating his freedom. Doubtless his relatives and friends will have considered this a very unfortunate fishing party, which caused him to fall into the hands of his enemies,—not knowing that in throwing out his nets, he himself fortunately fell into the toils of St. Peter. All those who saw him taken through these villages looked upon him as a man being led to torture and to death; but the heavenly spirits, and the tutelary Angels of these countries, so disposed some persons here that through their mediation he should be exempted from the pains of Hell, and should enjoy forever a life of bliss. How sorry I am that we have no particulars about his life! Perhaps we would find, [page 81] if not perfect integrity in his habits, at least some moral worth, which has incited God to make him a partaker of his mercies through so extraordinary channels. Father Antoine Daniel sent us word last year that, in going down to Kebec, he had also baptized at the Island an Iroquois prisoner of the nation of the [56] Agniehronon. We read the particulars of this with a great deal of consolation, and I would willingly insert them here did I not think that he has fully informed your Reverence of them, and that you have already given them to the public. [page 83]



EFORE going any farther in that month of September, the season and the beauty of the grain which was then beginning to ripen, invite me to tell your Reverence that the prophecy of that Sorcerer turned out to be false; he had threatened the country with famine, and had predicted that a white frost would ruin all the harvests. The year, thank God, has been very favorable in every way. If the native grapes were as good as they are beautiful, they would have been useful to us; we gathered enough of them, nevertheless, to use in saying the Mass until Christmas. This will help fill the little [57] kegs that are sent us, which seldom arrive here without considerable leakage.

On the 10th, the Father Superior baptized in our village a very old woman. For a long time she had been wishing and earnestly requesting Baptism, often saying that she did not wish to die as had Ianontassa, her brother-in-law (we wrote last year to your Reverence about the miserable death of this Savage). She died this winter, having very pious sentiments, and a strong hope of going to Heaven. On the preceding day,—having gone to visit one of her grand-daughters whom Father Pijart had baptized some [page 85] days before,— while I was instructing her and having her perform some acts of faith and contrition, this good old woman began to talk and said to me, " My grandson, thou doest well; I like to hear what thou sayest. " But I did not think she was so near her death, for she hardly seemed to be sick. Father Pijart went every day to instruct the little children of her cabin. She was the first to ask him to exercise her in prayer to God, doing it with incomparable candor, and exhorting the others to listen carefully to the Father. This woman possessed a natural goodness and gentleness, [58] quite above the generality of Savages.

On the 11th, Father Isaac Jogues arrived, with the little boy who had afforded him excellent opportunities for exercising charity along the way. This child had been sick since the seventh day, and had entirely lost his appetite, which so greatly weakened him that at the end of a few days he had not strength enough to get out of the canoe, much less to walk the length of the rapids. The Savages at first spared him this trouble, carrying him two or three times, but they very soon became weary of this; the Father's charity led him to encumber himself with the child. This burden seemed to him very light, and he would have willingly carried him to the Hurons. But the same charity which had made him undertake what was almost beyond his strength, made him give it up, after having carried him over 4 or five rather long portages, fearing that he might lose him and be lost with him. He then arranged with a Savage to exchange him for a package of hatchets, which were really heavier. There are some passages where a fall would not be less than fatal and the Savages are [page 87] more sure-footed than we. With all this, he had difficulty in reaching the Bissiriniens, [59] where he began to feel better. A little nourishment does one good in such cases, and fresh fish usually abounds there at this season. However, he was still rather ill when we received him, and was three weeks or a month in recovering.

As for Father Jogues, God brought him to us in very good health, but it was only for a few days,—which would make me readily believe that if he did not feel the effects of the fatigues of his journey at the time of his arrival, it was partly caused by the joy and satisfaction he experienced at seeing himself in possession of a blessing that he had so long desired, and that had nearly slipped out of his hands. Miscou had almost kept him on the way; and the Fathers Pierre Chastellain and Charles Garnier, who had first arrived, had already directed so many entreaties to Heaven for the Huron Mission, that when he arrived afterwards, the conclusion had been almost reached that he would remain at Kebec. But your Reverence had regard to his holy desires, and, above all, to the request we had made you, to send us, if possible, three or four of our Fathers. At all events, [60] it was a very great consolation to him,—and all the more deeply felt by us that (two days before we had received any news) we had almost given up all 'hope, and were only waiting for the next year. God be infinitely blessed. On the 17th he fell sick, and although at first it was apparently only a slight indisposition, yet at the end of some days the fever appeared each day, and in a somewhat violent form. Truly, of all the countries of the world is it here, perhaps, most desirable for a sick person to be able [page 89] to say with truth, " Thank God, in the place and in the condition in which I am, I have no other physician than his paternal providence; and of all the comforts an invalid may desire, I have, properly speaking, none except those which come to me directly from Heaven. " The Father Superior did me the favor to give me the care of Father Jogues. I held this office from the year before, but without having had any practice, as God had preserved us all in good health. Yet, before long, I was not alone in this charge; for our cabin was soon afterwards changed into an infirmary, or rather into a hospital, there being as many nurses as there were well persons, and these were few for the number of patients. [61] On the same day, Mathurin, one of our domestics, arrived, after a great deal of trouble. Five days later, he became our third invalid; it was a relapse which prevented him for a whole month, with all his good will, from rendering us any service. He had been somewhat badly treated on the journey. A fever is a hard load to carry over the rapids. It was fortunate for him that he fell in with rather good-natured Savages, who, as soon as they perceived his indisposition, (rid not urge him to paddle. They even set him on shore many times; and, when they were encamped, they gave him the best treatment that they could. He had hard work to drag himself as far as the Bissiriniens, where he was left; his Savages made him understand by signs, as well as they could, that they considered him too weak to go farther, that there were still four or five rapids to pass, where he might have to remain. That answered very well, thus far; but they made a mistake in leaving him four of our packages,—a great hindrance to a sick [page 91] man. He found there as much and more succor and assistance than he could have hoped for in an unknown and barbarous country. Two of them took him [62] and carried him into a cabin, where he remained three days, during which he did not lack for fish; but it was unsuitable for him, therefore he could eat none of it. When Oraouandindo (a Savage who was wont to accommodate the French in their journeys) perceived this, he went through the cabins seeking some meat for him, and succeeded so well that he brought back for him a duck. At the end of three days, the fever having left him, he fortunately found a canoe of Hurons who took him and his packages on board, and brought him here very comfortably.

On the 23rd, Dominique fell sick. Your Reverence will hear only sickness mentioned, from now on. We were henceforward almost without domestics, for François Petit-pré, who alone remained, was usually occupied night and day in hunting; it was from this that we expected all our succor, after God. During the first days, when we had as yet no game, we had almost nothing to give to our invalids but some broth of wild purslane stewed in water, with a dash of native verjuice. Such were our first soups. We had, indeed, one hen; but she did not [63] every day give us an egg,—and, besides, what is one egg for so many sick people? It was very amusing to us to see us who were well, waiting for that egg; and then afterwards we had to consider to whom we should give it, and to see who most needed it. As for our patients, the question among them was who should not eat it.

On the 24th, Father Jogues was in such a condition [page 93] that we considered it absolutely necessary to bleed him. For two or three clays we could not succeed in checking the blood which was flowing from his nose—so copiously and so persistently that it was only with great difficulty we could make him take anything. This greatly weakened him, and the fever did not abate, which already made us form a somewhat unfavorable opinion about his illness. Hence it was decided that he must be bled,—the great question was, to find a Surgeon. We all were so skillful in this trade, that the patient did not know which should open the vein for him; and every one of us was only waiting for the benediction of the Father Superior, to take the lancet in hand and do the work. However, he [64] resolved to do it himself,—the more so as he had already, on another occasion, bled a Savage very successfully; and it pleased God that this second bleeding should be as favorable as the first, and that what was lacking in skill should be more than supplied by charity. We saw good results from it the same day; his blood ceased to flow, and the next day his fever abated considerably. The same day Father Pierre Chastellain was taken sick, and was confined to his bed towards evening. Father Charles Garnier, who was making the spiritual exercises, asked the Father Superior at this juncture to interrupt them, that he might aid us in attending to our patients,—although just then he began to feel some slight indisposition, which he nevertheless concealed, not judging it such as he should mention in these circumstances, when there was more need of nurses than of patients. However, he had to give up on the 27th, after having said Mass. Now we were reduced to three persons, the Father Superior, Father [page 95] Pijart, and myself. The Father Superior was already sufficiently occupied, with the care of the whole house, and Father Pijart went, from time to time, on trips to the surrounding villages; notwithstanding these things, they had to go for wood and for water, do the cooking, and [65] take care of our patients. The same day that Father Pijart was away with one of our domestics, he baptized two little children who were presented to him by their father himself, who declared his earnest wish that they should go to Heaven. One of these little innocents died two or three months afterwards, and this wretched father soon followed him, but he never would listen to the mention of Baptism, and the flames of Hell made no impression upon his mind. We were doubly consoled at their return. We saw plainly the paternal providence of God over this little house, for the game kept on increasing in proportion to the increase in the number of patients. We were without it only one day, and this was intended, doubtless, to give us a good lesson. One of our Savages was raising a bustard in his cabin; we had obliged him on numberless occasions, we asked to buy it of him, but we could only obtain it by offering good securities. A deer skin is precious in this country, yet he was hardly satisfied with it. But what would we not have given, in these circumstances? Had it not been for that, we were upon the point of killing one of our dogs; they have not here an aversion to them [66] as in France, and we would not have scrupled to make broth of it for our invalids. We are under great obligations to divine goodness, which overwhelmed us with consolation during this little domestic affliction. We were never more cheerful, one and all; [page 97] the sick were as content to die, as to live, and by their patience, piety, and devotion greatly lightened the little trouble we took for them night and day. As for our Fathers, they enjoyed a blessing which is not a common one in France, that of daily receiving the Holy Sacrament of the Altar,—the Father Superior, or some one else, carrying it to them during the night. It was from this treasure house that they drew so many holy resolutions, and so many pious sentiments, which made them delight in, and tenderly cherish their condition, and prefer their poverty to all the comforts of France. Father Jogues was no sooner out of danger, than Father Chastellain entered that condition. He was harassed by a burning fever which made him very restless, and which possessed him until the 7th of October. The Father Superior twice bled him very successfully, and once Dominique, who sank so low that we gave him Extreme Unction,—his disease [67] was a purple fever. As for Father Garnier, his fever was not so violent, and we did not consider it otherwise dangerous, except that it occasioned him great weakness. The Father Superior tried twice to bleed him, but the blood would not flow; it was thus that God guided his hand, according to necessity. In the midst of all this, they certainly endured a great deal, and we felt much compassion for them, for the relief that we could give them was very little. If a bed of feathers often seems hard to a sick person, I leave your Reverence to imagine if they could rest easily upon a bed which was nothing but a mat of rushes spread over some bark, and at most a blanket or a piece of skin thrown over it. In addition to this, one of the most annoying things, and one which it was almost [page 99] impossible to remedy, was the continual noise, both within and without the cabin. For you could not have prevented the visits and the importunities of the Savages, who do not know what it is to speak low, and therefore often thought it strange that we gave them a little word of caution on this point. As I said one day to a Savage, My [68] friend, I pray thee, speak a little lower." Thou hast no sense," he said to me; "there is a bird," speaking of our cock, " that talks louder than I do, and thou sayest nothing to him."

On the 1st day of October, I felt some touches of illness; the fever seized me towards evening, and I had to give up, as well as the others. But I became free from it too cheaply; I had only three attacks, but the second one was so violent that I condemned myself to be bled; my blood was obstinate, however. God reserved for me a more natural remedy, which appeared at the end of the third attack, and rendered me able to say the holy Mass from the next day on. However, I was almost unable for six or seven days to render any service to our Fathers. The Savages wondered at the order we observed in caring for our sick, and the diet that we made them observe. It was a curious thing to them, for they had never yet seen French people ill. I have not told your Reverence that Tonneraouanont, one of the famous Sorcerers of the country, having heard that we were sick, came to see us. To hear him talk, he was a personage of merit and influence, although in appearance he was a very insignificant [69] object. He was a little hunchback, extremely misshapen, a piece of a robe over his shoulders,—that is, some old beaver skins, greasy and patched. This is one of the Oracles of the whole [page 101] country, who has this Winter made entire villages bend to his decrees. He had come at that time to blow upon some sick people of our village. He said first to the Father Superior that he had almost returned without coming to see us, not doubting that we had remedies that would cure us; but that he visited us only to please Tsiouandaentaha, a Savage who prides himself upon his love and esteem for us, and is one of the most adroit and prudent persons that we know. He added that he did it all the more willingly as he looked upon us as the relatives of his dead brother, who had been baptized the year before. Now in order to make our mouths water, and to sell his Antidote at a better price, " I am not " (said he) I of the common run of men; I am, as it were, a Demon; therefore I have never been sick. In the three or four times that the country has been afflicted with a contagion, I did not trouble myself at all about it; I never feared the disease, for I have remedies to [70] preserve me. Hence, if thou wilt give me something, I undertake in a few days to set all thy invalids upon their feet. " The Father Superior, in order to get all the amusement he could out of it, asked him what he wanted. " Thou wilt give me," said he, " ten glass beads, and one extra for each patient." The Father answered him that, as for the number, he need not trouble himself about it, that it was a matter of no consequence; that the efficacy of his remedies did not depend upon that; furthermore, that he would be always beginning over again, seeing that the number of patients continued to increase from day to day,—so that he firmly believed that we would satisfy him. Thereupon he told us that he would show us the roots that must be used; but that, to [page 103] expedite matters, he would, if we desired it, go to work himself, that he would pray, and have a special sweat,—in a word, perform all his usual charlatanries,—and that in three days our sick people would be cured. He made a very plausible speech. The Father satisfied him, or rather instructed him thereupon; he gave the sorcerer to understand that we could not approve this sort of remedy, that the prayer he offered availed nothing, and was only a compact [71] with the devil, considering that he had no knowledge of, or belief in, the true God, to whom alone it is permitted to address vows and prayers; that as far as natural remedies were concerned, we would willingly employ them, and that he would oblige us by teaching us some of them. He did not insist further upon his sweat, and named to us two roots,—very efficacious, he said, against fevers,—and instructed us in the method of using them. But we hardly took the trouble to observe their effects,—we are not accustomed to these remedies, and besides, two or three days later, we saw all our patients nearly out of danger. But your Reverence should, at this point, be thoroughly acquainted with the genealogy of this person, according to the version of it that he himself has given. You will hear of his death at the proper time. Here is what he said about it, as it was reported to us by one Tonkhratacouan. "I am a Demon; I formerly lived under the ground in the house of the Demons, when the fancy seized me to become a man; and this is how it happened. Having heard one day, from this subterranean abode, the voices and cries of some children who were guarding the crops, and chasing the animals and birds away, [72] I resolved to go out. I was no sooner upon the [page 105] earth than I encountered a woman; I craftily entered her womb, and there assumed a little body. I had with me a she-devil, who did the same thing. As soon as we were about the size of an ear of corn, this woman wished to be delivered of her fruit, knowing that she had not conceived by human means, and fearing that this ocki might bring her some misfortune. So she found means of hastening her time. Now it seems to me that in the meantime, being ashamed to see myself followed by a girl, and fearing that she might afterwards be taken for my wife, I beat her so hard that I left her for dead; in fact, she came dead into the world. This woman, being delivered, took us both, wrapped us in a beaver skin, carried us into the woods, placed us in the hollow of a tree, and abandoned us. We remained there until, a Savage passing by, I began to weep and cry out, that he might hear me. He did, indeed, perceive me; he carried the new, to the village; my mother came, she look me again, bore me to her cabin, and brought me up such as thou seest me." This charlatan also related about himself that when he was young, as he was [73] very ill-shapen, the children made war upon him and ridiculed him, and that he had caused several of them to die; that, nevertheless, he had finally decided to endure it henceforth, lest he might ruin the country if he should kill all; that was a fine piece of bluster. Your Reverence will hear still more extravagant stories about him, in the course of time. At all event,,;, behold in him one of the great Physicians of the country; nor did he lack practice. As for us, we could well dispense, thank God, with his remedies. We had recourse to another Physician, who has made us deeply sensible of his [page 107] succor and his assistance, as your Reverence can see, and was not contented with restoring us to complete health, but has so disposed this little affliction, that, in whatever manner we look at it, we cannot do otherwise than regard it as a very signal favor. It is a thing altogether desirable, (although there have already been, ere now, numberless occasions for learning to trust in God alone) to have here at one's arrival so clear and so intelligible a lesson on this beautiful virtue. We all knew, indeed, that non in solo pane vivit homo, sed in omni verbo quod procedit de ore Dei. But we had not yet learned by experience that, in so great [74] a deprivation of human remedies, so many persons could so easily and so gently recover their health by the favor of divine providence alone. That God might not be placed under the necessity of curing us by some sort of miracle, of the eight months during which this contagion lasted, we could not have fallen ill at a more favorable time than in the Autumn, which is the only season of game, it being quite scarce during the rest of the year. We had only François Petit-pré who could assist us in this difficulty; and God preserved him to us in good health all the time, notwithstanding the continual hardships of hunting, besides the usual night watches in the house when he was there. We would all very willingly have given our lives for the preservation of that of the Father Superior, who has so perfect a knowledge of the language; and it pleased this divine goodness to keep him always in strength sufficient to exercise his charity towards us night and day. And still more, God having resolved to derive from us some little services for the consolation and conversion of our Savages, was it not very reasonable [page 109] that we should be sick first, in order to be further out of the clutches of the disease, to make them esteem some [75] little remedies with which we were to assist them, and to have an excellent opportunity to make known to them the master of our lives, showing them that we were indebted to him, to the exclusion of all others, for our recovery! But finally, my Reverend Father, we can say that perieramus nisi, periissemus, and that perhaps we would be dead now if we had not been sick. It was oftentimes said, during the evil reports that were current about us throughout the country, that if we had not been afflicted as well as the others, they would not have doubted that we were the cause of the disease. Your Reverence knows how they treat poisoners here; we informed you of it last year, and we have lately seen an example of it with our own eyes,—the danger going so far as to enable us to say that we might not have come out of it very cheaply. We all considered ourselves happy to die in this cause; but since it pleased this divine mercy to preserve our lives, it places us under fresh obligations to employ them for his glory, and not to spare ourselves in anything which can advance the conversion of our Savages. [page 111]

[76] CHAP. IV.


ROM about the 15th of October, when our patients were entirely out of danger, and began again to take the ordinary food of the country, our principal occupation up to the 17th of November was to assist the sick of our village. Fortunately the hunting season was not yet over, and our men had the charity to take for them part of the same trouble they had taken for us; I say for them, because we were usually satisfied during that time with the food of the country, and, if we dispense with game all the rest of the year, we deprived ourselves of it then all the more willingly since we hoped that through these little offices of charity God would do us the favor to coöperate with us in the salvation of some soul. This is the order that we maintained. [77] We visited them twice a day, morning and evening, and carried them soup and meat, according to the condition and disposition of the patients,—always taking occasion to exhort them to have recourse to God, and to gently influence them to Baptism. We ate during our own sickness a few of the raisins and prunes, and some little remedies that your Reverence had sent us,—using them only in cases of necessity, so that we still had a good part of them, which [page 113] we have made last up to the present. Everything was given by count, two or three prunes, or 5 or 6 raisins to one patient; this was restoring life to him. Our medicines produced effects which dazzled the whole country, and yet I leave you to imagine what sort of medicines they were! A little bag of senna served over 50 persons; they asked us for it on every side; and sometimes the joke of it was that if the patient found himself troubled by a retention of urine, our medicine acted only as a specific for that ailment. Simon Baron rendered us good service at this time; for, having learned before at Chibou, during a period of like necessity, to handle the lancet, he did not fail to exercise it here throughout the winter, and lancets [78] were more deficient with us than was good will with him, and on the part of our Savages the desire to be bled, as they had seen the good effects of it in the recovery of several persons who had been almost given up. If it was only at that time that we began to occupy ourselves entirely in succoring them, it was not because they had not been some time before attacked by the disease, for our cabin was still sound and healthy when there were already sick people in our village and at la Rochelle. On the 29th of September, from which time the disease began to spread, two old men came to see the Father Superior about calling an assembly to offer public prayers to drive away the contagion, and to send it elsewhere, as they expressed it. The Father thereupon instructed them, and granted their request, but it could not be carried out at once, as the greater part of them were away fishing. We assisted them from that time forward, principally in spiritual matters; but, as for the rest, we used some reserve. Children of the [page 115] household are to be preferred to strangers; we saw, indeed, the beginning of evil among us, but we had not vision keen enough to see the end thereof.

Now before going farther, your Reverence will permit me, if you please, to retrace [79] my steps, a little, and to gather up what I have omitted for the sake of avoiding confusion. And, at the start, I encounter a subject which has often keenly affected us, and, now that I am ready to write about it, I feel its strong hold upon my heart, and I can hardly keep the tears from falling from my eyes.

On the 2nd day of October, a young child eleven or twelve years old, died in our village, unbaptized. His name was Arakhié, that is to say, " closing day." This name never suited him better than in his last illness, and at the point of death; up to that time he was like a little Sun which arose before the eyes. Your Reverence will be surprised that I speak in these terms of a child, and of a Savage; yet I do not think that I use much exaggeration. He had some natural advantages which not only surpassed those usual to these barbarous peoples, but even those ordinary in France. His body was well formed, and his mind still better; and if his height and size were beyond his age, the graces of his mind and the strength of his judgment placed him almost upon an equal footing with full-grown men. He was sedate, grave, obliging, and of agreeable conversation. He was polite, and took pride in appearing serious [80] in the midst of the insolence of his companions, especially in our presence. He was wonderfully docile, and, as he had a very happy memory, he learned easily all that was taught him, and showed a great liking for our Holy mysteries. He knew the Pater, [page 117] the Ave, the Credo, the Commandments of God, and some other little prayers, very well. Father Daniel was his master last year, and took unspeakable satisfaction in him. It was not his fault that he was not one of our Seminarists, but his parents' love for him deprived him of this blessing; they now regret it. He was afterwards one of the scholars of Father Pijart, who also experienced a great deal of consolation in instructing him. One day, in the absence of the father, after I had had him say the Commandments of God, " That is truly," said he, " a beautiful discourse. " It was not the first time he had made this observation. He took great pleasure in our company, and often remained a good part of the day in our cabin, and only left us at the coming of night. Some time after the death of the father of Louys de Saincte Foy, as Father Pijart was having him pray to God, he said of his own accord, speaking of this [81] wretch, that he had not gone to heaven, inasmuch as he had died without baptism, and had not taken care to commend himself to God. And on this same occasion, one of his little cousins having hesitated in repeating some little prayers that the Father had taught him, and the child having become mute, " Courage, my cousin," he said to him, " pray earnestly to God, it is he who gives us all we have,—the corn, the fruits, and the fish. " A remarkable speech for a child. But here is something that makes us cast down our eyes, and admire in all humility the secret judgments of God. One month before his death, and more than two weeks before he fell sick, he begged earnestly to be baptized, and continued for several days in this request, addressing himself now to Father Pijart, now to the Father Superior. [page 119] We were all ready to grant him what he asked with so much fervor, especially as he was very well instructed, and as we had the consent of his parents. Nevertheless, everything well considered, we judged it wiser to defer it for a time. We had not yet baptized any one who had the use of his reason, unless he were in danger of death. It would have been too greatly to endanger holy Baptism, that he should be the only Christian in his [82] cabin; and although the whole family showed enough good will toward Baptism, nevertheless they deferred the matter until the return of Satouta, their relative, and now one of our Seminarists at Quebec. In the meanwhile, he was attacked by the contagion; this child was taken sick first, his grandmother and mother followed him, and in a few days there were 4 or 5 of them upon sick beds. It seemed that there was reason to have strong hope for all of them at this time, and that the danger of death and the fear of eternal torments would prevail over all the considerations they had urged to justify their sluggishness in an affair of such importance; and above all we were rejoiced to see that God offered us a means of satisfying the child and granting his request. But it happened to him quite otherwise. The Father Superior went oftentimes to visit them, but either he found the door closed, or they closed his mouth as soon as he began to make overtures concerning Baptism. They had made a partition in the cabin where this child was, and they were always reluctant to permit the Father to see him, or speak with him; and, when he did, he had scarcely said three words before he was instantly told to go away. We did not think so badly of them until it happened [83] that one day, finding them selves [page 121] hard pressed by the Father, they said once for all, and the mother declared flatly, that neither the child nor any one else would be baptized, since Akhioca had not been. This Savage was one of their relatives, who had died on the 23rd of September at la Rochelle. The child said nothing to all this, and meanwhile he became worse from day to day. Our continual occupation with our invalids did not prevent us from seeking every possible way to win these people. We assisted them to the extent of our ability in whatever they might desire, and often anticipated their requests; they nevertheless persisted in their obstinacy. Although parents here have not much control over their children, yet the children show great deference to the sentiments of their fathers and mothers when it comes to a question of Baptism. We know this only too well from experience. I will say also in passing that several of those who opposed the Baptism of others, and especially that of their own children, themselves falling ill afterwards, have either stubbornly resisted Baptism and miserably perished, or have been taken off before we had any knowledge of it. I do not know what will be the end of this wretched [84] mother, who is still in excellent health. At all events, she was partly the cause of her son's misfortune. Father Pijart went to see him the evening before his death, and found means of speaking to him. He first addressed the grandmother, but obtained no satisfaction from her, notwithstanding all the arguments he could bring forward. He turned to the child and asked him how it seemed to him,—representing to him that the matter was altogether within his own inclination, that he saw plainly the danger [page 123] in which he was, and that it only depended on himself whether he would go to heaven after his death. He asked him also if he did not believe all that had been taught him; he even repeated to him the principal points of our belief; but to all this the child made no other answer than, chieske, " What do I know? " The Father would have proceeded to use further entreaties; but, in addition to the grandmother's persistent and obstinate refusal of anything that concerned Baptism, his mother, who was then in a high fever, picked up a burning brand, and turning towards the Father, made a feint to throw it at him, crying to him to go away. So he withdrew, and this poor child died that night. It was indeed night for him. Ah! how this news afflicted us, and how this death still pierces our hearts when we think of it.

[85] On the eleventh of the same [month], Simon Baron arrived. He was brought by Endahiaconc, first Captain of the village of Teanaostahé, and of the Nation of the Atignenongach. This Savage testified his great satisfaction in the treatment accorded to our Seminarists at Quebec, and especially to his own nephew, adding that he had exhorted them to always do their duty, and to give the Fathers no cause for dissatisfaction. As for him, he now esteemed himself as one of our relatives, and in this capacity he laid claim to being one of the masters of the great river.

On the twelfth, Father Pijart made a trip to Khinonascarant, three little hamlets two leagues from us. There he encountered a man who apparently was about to die. He took the opportunity to instruct him and speak to him of Baptism,—the sick man listening to him willingly at first, and even showing [page 125] that he would be glad to be baptized. But his wife, coming unexpectedly, diverted him from his purpose, representing to him that it would not be proper for him to go to heaven, since none of his relatives were there; and she told the Father that he need not go to any further trouble, especially as the sick man had not his faculties and did not know what he was saying. So, indeed, they remained just as they were; [86] but fortunately for him, his sickness was not fatal. It is a thing altogether worthy of compassion to see how some take the discourses that we give them about heaven. On one occasion, a Savage told the Father Superior that they were not very well pleased when we asked the sick " where they wished to go after death, to heaven or to hell? " " That is not right;" said he, "we people do not ask such questions, for we always hope that they will not die, and that they will recover their health." Another one said, " For my part, I have no desire to go to heaven; I have no acquaintances there, and the French who are there would not care to give me anything to eat." For the most part, they think of nothing but their stomachs, and of means for prolonging this miserable life.

On the 13th, a Savage named Teientoen, finding himself very sick, sent of his own accord for the Father Superior and earnestly entreated Baptism, testifying to him that he had always believed all we taught, and that he desired to go to heaven. This simple man spoke from his heart, and when the Father had briefly explained to him the Articles of our belief, and the Commandments of God, he said, " Yes, indeed, I believe all that, and have [87] resolved to observe all that God has said." So he was [page 127] baptized, and named Joseph. We had loved this Savage on account of the kindly inclination he had always shown to hear about our holy Mysteries, not failing to be present at the Catechisms of the previous Winter, at which he paid remarkable attention. He had himself brought us his little children to be baptized; and when one of his little girls made some objection, he desired us to overlook it,—saying that she was only a child, and that it was not done through intention on her part. We had already admired his gentleness, his patience, and his charity in caring for his wife during a sickness of three or four months, although this woman had a rather disagreeable temper. We had had considerable trouble in prevailing upon her to accept Baptism. And after he became a widower, he took very good care Of 3 or 4 little children who were left to him, showing for them the love and tenderness of a good mother. It was a consolation to us to visit and assist him during his illness; we always found him disposed to offer prayers to God and to ask his pardon for his sins. He often anticipated us, and proved to us the care he took, night and day, to commend himself to God. He persevered in these good [88] sentiments until his death, and just before dying he said to his mother, " I am going to Heaven with a great Frenchman who is coming after me;" and,—she having answered him that he would be very fortunate, and preparing to have him take something,—he peacefully expired. May it please this divine mercy to give us often like consolations. These are the results of the fervent prayers of so many saintly souls who importune heaven night and day for the salvation of these poor abandoned souls. [page 129]

Meanwhile, the Devil was playing his pranks elsewhere, and speaking through the mouth of the Sorcerer Tonnerauanont, was turning aside these peoples from applying to God. Some time before, this little hunchback had declared that the whole country was sick; and he had prescribed a remedy, namely, a game of crosse, for its recovery. This order had been published throughout all the villages, the Captains had set about having it executed, and the young people had not spared their arms; but in vain. The disease did not cease to spread, and to gain ground all the time; and on the 15th of October we counted in our little village thirteen or 14 sick people. Nor did our Sorcerer engage at this time to undertake the [89] cure of the whole country; yet he ventured one word as rash as it was presuming, for the village of Onnentisati, whence he came. He was not satisfied to give some hope that no one there would be sick,—he gave assurances thereof that he made indubitable, by founding them upon the power he claimed to have over the contagion in his character of Demon; he was immediately given something with which to make a feast. This boast spread everywhere, and was accepted as truth; all the people of Onnentisati were already considered fortunate and out of danger. This constrained us to exert ourselves with God, and to implore his divine goodness to confound the devil in the person of this wretch, and to obtain glory for himself from this public affliction. And the next day, the 14th, we made a vow to say for this purpose 30 Masses in honor of the glorious Patriarch, saint Joseph. It was not long before we had something with which to close the mouths of those who boasted to us of their prowess, and this Village was hardly [page 131] more spared than the others. There were a great many sick there, several of whom died. Heaven, as we hope, has gained thereby. On the same day, we baptized in our village a Savage named Onendouerha, and his [90] wife, both of whom were very ill. Some days before, they had asked for Baptism with a great deal of fervor, and thoroughly satisfied the Father Superior when it became necessary to instruct them more in detail. Yet they both are still in good health. It is a source of grief to us that, as we have not yet any wholly converted Villages, we afterwards get from these new Christians, whom we have baptized only in the last hour, nothing but fine words,—the torrent of old customs and common superstitions bearing them away. We are daily expecting that it will please God to put his hand to the work, and we hope soon to be granted this favor from Heaven.

On the 20th, an unfortunate woman named Khiongnona died. I say " unfortunate," inasmuch as—as it is to be presumed, through pure malice, followed by the manifest abandonment of God—she had refused Baptism. The Father Superior had several times urged her, and I often had accompanied him; we had daily carried her soup and a little piece of meat. At first, she had allowed herself to be instructed, to some extent, and had partially consented to Baptism. But later, during the five or six days before her death, we [91] could not get any satisfaction from her, as she sometimes refused to listen, and again herself said that she did not hear; yet, if you spoke of giving her something, she heard you very well. It seemed to me that I could see upon her face the traces of a condemned soul. One day, when the Father Superior was urging her in regard to her conversion, [page 133] "Drive them from me," said she, " make them go away." Those present tried to make us believe that it was not of us that she spoke, but that some dogs that were around her annoyed her. One of her sisters did her a very ill turn on this occasion, for she was partly the cause of her obduracy. Hers was a greatly perverted mind; she had often informed the Father Superior that she did not like his discourses upon Baptism. Among other times one day when he was representing to the sick woman that she had to choose the place whither she desired to go after death, and was urging her strongly to make a final decision, "My brother," said she, "thou hast no sense; it is not yet time,—she will decide upon that when she is dead." I do not know what fate God is reserving for her; but her husband and one of her daughters died also without Baptism, some time afterwards. As to the husband, [92] we can only have recourse to the just judgments of this divine Providence, for otherwise he seemed to be a tolerably good Savage. In the beginning of his illness, I had visited him, in the absence of the Father Superior, and had gone away very well satisfied. He testified to me then that he was well content to be baptized, but there had been as yet no probability of it. The Father Superior, having returned, found him in the same mind up to the eve of his death; nevertheless, as there was yet no apparent danger, he judged it wise to defer his Baptism until the next day. But death anticipated us; we were greatly astonished in the morning when we heard the cabin resound with lamentations. As to his daughter, it was, in my opinion, through a righteous chastisement of God that she was deprived of the grace of Baptism. Two [page 135] things contributed very materially to her misfortune. The first was that she was excessively lewd, and, although the Savages show little restraint in the matter of chastity, yet she had made herself conspicuous in this regard, and prostituted herself at every opportunity. The other cause was the inordinate desire that she and her parents felt for her health, so that she was almost incapable of any other thought during her sickness, and [93] her mother talked to us about nothing else than the means of securing her recovery. Therefore God, who often employs the sins of men as instruments to punish them, permitted that, on account of a medicine man blowing upon her and giving her some potion, she should not be effectively urged to accept Baptism. As Father Garnier and I were going to give the usual instruction to the little children, the Father Superior commissioned us to see her and to report to him the state of her health. But the door of her cabin was found closed, as the operations of this sorcerer demanded silence. We made our little rounds through the other cabins, intending to return that way, but we found that he had not yet finished. We gave ourselves no further trouble about it, as up to that time we had not thought her so ill. It is incredible how deceitful this sort of contagion is. In fact, she did not survive the night.

On the 21st, a poor old man named Anerraté, father of Khiongnona, was brought back from the Fishing grounds, quite ill. This Savage had as much inclination and desire for Baptism as his daughter had had aversion to it. On the 23rd, the Father Superior instructed him and yet did not judge it proper to confer Baptism upon him so hastily. [94] But as [page 137] if this good old man had felt the approaches of death, he entreated the father earnestly not to defer it long, telling him not to fail to come and baptize him the next morning at dawn,—testifying to him that he firmly believed all our Mysteries, and that he desired to go to heaven. The Father granted his request, and with so much comfort on both sides as to make it easily seen that it was an act of providence, and a very special mercy on the part of God. In fact, he lost consciousness very soon afterwards, and died the same day. This Savage was an Algonquin by Nation, and had been brought up from infancy among the Hurons. What a providence of God! Doubtless this happy end was granted to him by this infinite goodness in consideration of the great diligence he had always shown in listening to the word of God. The good qualities that I have heretofore praised in some others were much more conspicuous in him. He had a natural gentleness which won all men; he was not a man who was a slave to his stomach, being more abstemious than the Savages usually are. His visits, although rather frequent, were not annoying to us. The others generally have something to ask for; but, as for him, he [95] visited us only through friendship, and you found him always ready to listen to good conversation. In the Catechisms conducted by the Father Superior the winter before, he was always among the first to begin talking and to praise our Mysteries, and had often shown to us his willingness to become a Christian. These are precious stones that God uncovers to us in the midst of these forsaken lands; and we have every reason to believe that they will not be so rare in the future, since we have determined to go and seek them henceforth in the most [page 139] populous and most important villages of the country, where the providence of God will not fail to reveal and cause to shine forth before our eyes a greater number of them.

On the 4th of November, a Savage whom we had baptized some days before begged us to baptize his wife, who was very sick. She at first declared herself very well satisfied with this; but when the Father Superior represented to her that, having been baptized, she must count upon never separating from her husband, she thereupon remained mute; and afterwards, when Baptism was urged upon her, she answered in his presence, teouastato, meaning, "I do not wish it,"—although her husband had already given the Father to understand that, as for him, he [96] was satisfied never to leave her. We could obtain nothing more from her; thank God, she is still living. There you have two fine marriages.

On the 5th, we again had before our eyes an example of the justice of God, in the death of one Oronton. He would never hear about Baptism, for all the arguments the Father Superior could place before him. I spoke to him about it again very particularly, a little while before his death, but I could get no other response from him except that he wished to go to the place where his ancestors were. Already, for a long time past, this wicked man had declared himself; he had often shown that he did not believe what we taught, and had even ridiculed it; if he were sometimes present at the Catechism, it was only to get a piece of Tobacco. He was, besides, a Lion and a Tiger in his anger, and took offense at a mere nothing. He had occasionally caused in some of our domestics fears and apprehensions that were [page 141] not too agreeable; he had even shown an evil disposition, and had used threats. Nevertheless, we aided him as far as we could during his illness, to try to win him to God. But we have [97] already often noticed in many of our Savages that contempt for our holy Mysteries is a very bad state of mind for a good conversion at the point of death. I do not remember to have seen a single one of them who died happily; on the contrary I have observed that the greater part of them went forth from this life with manifest signs of being forsaken and rejected by God. [page 143]









E had hoped that, as generally happens in France and elsewhere, the first frosts would arrest the progress of this contagious malady. But just the opposite happened, [98] and the depth of the Winter was also the severest period of the disease, so' that from the 10th or the 12th of November we saw ourselves almost surrounded by it on every side; which made us resolve to divide our cares, and open our hearts to the necessities of these poor people. As for them, they had recourse to their Sorcerers only, and spared no gifts to obtain from them some imaginary remedies. But their good Angels, to whom their souls were precious, held out their arms to us; and God himself, who had designed from all eternity to be merciful to many of them, gave us strong inspirations to go and help them, despising all sorts of human considerations, and abandoning ourselves to the guidance of his loving providence. We needed to lay hold of these holy thoughts, to quicken our steps, for we had, besides, few human motives that could incite us to this undertaking. At [page 145] that time, very injurious rumors about us had been scattered through the country; this little Sorcerer had already boasted loudly that he had seen the malady come from the direction of the great Lake. They talked of nothing but an imaginary cloak, poisoned, it was said, by the French; and Captain Aënons had already brought a report from an Island Savage, that the late Monsieur de Champlain [99] had died with the determination to ruin the whole country. Besides, after having so diligently aided the sick of our Village for the space of a month, and having taken the morsels from our own mouths to give to them, there yet were found some who said that what we carried to them made them die; and others, who saw us daily skimming the grease from the soup that we were preparing for them,—which they themselves consider very injurious to the sick,—added that there was no cause for them to be under great obligations to us; that if we did give something to the sick, it was only what we would have thrown away, that we always reserved the best of it for ourselves, and that this pot, which was at our fire night and day, was only to accumulate a great deal of grease. Thus they talked. And about this time, having gone to instruct the little children as usual, a Savage gave me a piece of fish, with this compliment, " Look now, how people ought to do when they concern themselves to give; you people, you are misers,—when you give meat, it is so little that there is hardly enough of it to taste. And yet his cabin was one of those which had the most reason to be satisfied with our liberality. [100] All these exhibitions of ingratitude Are like so many favors from heaven, [page 147] which place us under the holy necessity, in all our acts, of seeking God alone.

Now, on the 17th of November, the Father Superior, seeing that all was peaceful enough in our Village, and that the remainder of the sick people had begun to improve, departed for Ossosané, accompanied by Father Isaac Jogues and François Petit-pré. This first journey was not very long; in it nine sick people, three little children, and six adults were baptized. He returned on the 20th, as his presence was necessary here when these evil rumors began; and besides, our Savages had given some intimation that they wished to address themselves to God in this public affliction, and solemnly to implore his aid; it was necessary to prepare them for this act.

On the 27th, a woman, who had been baptized the day before, died in our Village. The same day her father came to us to relate a very amusing dream that she had had, according to his story, a little while before her death. The sole purpose of this imaginary dream was to get a few strings of beads. So he told us that she had been for some time as if dead, and that, having awaked from this profound lethargy, [101] she had asked for us, and had declared that she did not wish to go where the Hurons went after death,—that she wished to go to the Heaven where the French went; that she had just come from there, where she had seen a vast number of Frenchmen, wonderfully beautiful, and some savages of her acquaintance who had been baptized among others, one of her uncles, and her sister who had died a Christian a few days before. She related that her uncle had said to her, " Well, my niece, so you have come here; " and that her sister had asked her if [page 149] Echon (speaking of the Father Superior) had not given her something at her departure, to which she answered " No; " that the other one had replied, " As for me, here is a bead bracelet that he gave me; " and thereupon this one had resolved to return, and come and ask us for the same; that she had come to herself, and that after having related her dream, she immediately lost consciousness, and died. Hence he asked that as many beads be given to her as to her sister, in order to satisfy her. Truly, a man with exalted ideas of heaven and of the state of the blessed.

On the same day, God having given us a piece of deer, we made a feast of it for our Savages, that we might have an opportunity to [102] testify to them our sympathy in their affliction. And, in order to proceed after the manner of the country, we made them a present Of 400 Porcelain beads, a couple of hatchets, and a Moose skin. The Father Superior also took occasion to exhort them to believe in God, to implore his mercy, and to make him a solemn vow in this public necessity. They approved the proposition, and promised to hold a council among themselves, concerning it. After the feast Father Pijart departed to go and sleep at Arontaen, where he baptized 3 little children. It was not this that took him thither; he went to visit a poor woman who was very ill. She, however, attached no importance to baptism, and gave the Father the usual answer of the Savages,—that she did not wish to leave her relatives, and that after death she had resolved to go and find them, in whatever part of the world they might be. The father having represented to her that those who died without baptism went to hell, she replied [page 151] that she did not mind going to hell and being burned there forever. The father was obliged to give her up, as he could get nothing else from her. The next day, she was for some time as if dead; and, having thrown off this lethargy, she wished, forsooth, to be regarded as [103] a person who had been raised from the dead. " I was dead, " said she, " and had already passed through the cemetery to go directly to the village of souls, when I came upon one of my dead relatives, who asked where I was going and what I intended to do,—saying that, if I did not change my mind, they would be lost, that there would be no more relatives to prepare food for the souls thereafter; and that is what made me return and resolve to live." These and similar fancies pass among them for veritable resurrections, and serve as a foundation and support for the belief they have regarding the state of souls after death.

On the 28th, Father Pierre Chastellain and I made a trip to a small village a league away from us, where the father baptized a little sick child. We also found an opportunity to instruct some Christians who had been baptized the previous summer. We repeated to them some of our principal mysteries, taught them to ask forgiveness of God when they sinned, and to offer some little prayer morning and evening. Upon our return, I accompanied the Father Superior, who had been entreated by an old man of our village, named Tandoutsahoronc, to go and pass the night in his cabin, to minister to his granddaughter, who was at the point of death. There was no great [104] need of this, however, for this child was only seven or eight years old, and had been baptized the year before. But he had made this request on account of his great [page 153] confidence in us, hoping to derive much comfort from our companionship in his affliction, and that we would bring some relief to this little sick girl. We here saw some altogether remarkable evidences of natural love. For seven or eight days this poor old man and his wife underwent incredible hardships, night and day. This child had no other bed than the bosom of her grandfather; now he was compelled to sit down, now to lie down, sometimes on one side, sometimes on the other,—changing his posture at every moment, for she was restless, and in convulsions which lasted nearly all night. Some little raisins, that we gave her from time to time, served more to satisfy the father than to relieve the child, who died a little while afterwards. This old man has remained very grateful to us, and has shown it since then on many occasions. We esteem as precious the slightest occasions that God presents to us to gain the affection of our Savages.

About this time another old man of our village was sorely troubled; people [105] talked of nothing else than of going to break his head. For a long time he had been suspected of being a Sorcerer and a poisoner, and quite recently one Oaca had testified that he believed this Savage was making him die; and some of them said they had seen him at night roaming around the Cabins, and casting flames from his mouth. Here was only too much to make a bad case for him. Indeed, a girl, seeing seven or eight of her relatives carried off in a few days, had actually had the boldness to go to his Cabin with the determination to accuse him of being the cause of their death; and as he was not there, she talked to his wife so freely, and with so much passion, that the son, happening [page 155] to come in, laid down his robe, and, taking a hatchet, went off in a transport of rage to the cabin where these evil suspicions had originated. Sitting down in the middle of the room, he addressed one Tioncharon, and said to him with a steadfast countenance and a confident mien: " If thou thinkest it is we who make thee die, take now this hatchet and split open my head; I will not stir." Tioncharon replied to him, " We will not kill thee now at thy word, but the first time we shall take thee in the act." The matter remained [106] thus for that time, but they were always regarded with a great deal of ill will. These peoples are extremely suspicious, especially when life is involved; the experiences that they think they have had in this matter, and a thousand instances of people whom they believe to have died through witchcraft or poison, maintain them in this distrust. On the same day that this incident occurred, the Father Superior having gone to visit a sick man, they showed him a sort of charm he had just been made to throw up by means of an emetic; it consisted of some hairs, a tobacco seed, a green leaf, and a little cedar twig. But as ill luck would have it, in their opinion, one of these little charms was broken, the other part having remained in his body, and that had caused his death. You hear nothing else talked about in this country, there being hardly any sick people who do not think they have been poisoned. Only recently, when the Father Superior was passing through the village of Andiatae, he was shown a grasshopper's leg twined about with a few hairs, which a sick person had just vomited. If Sorcerers are as common in the country as they are often upon the lips of the Savages, we can truthfully say that we are preëminently [page 157] in medio nationis pravœ; and yet, with all this, in the opinion of many of them, we are past masters in this art, and have an understanding [107] with the devils. Your Reverence will soon see this calumny exploded, for which may God be forever glorified. We have very plainly perceived his paternal providence in regard to us, and we had the consolation, while they were talking about nothing else than of breaking our heads, of continuing to assist our sick people, and of coöperating in the conversion of several and of preaching his holy Name as often as ever.

On the 29th, all the chief men of our village assembled in our cabin, firmly resolved to do all that we considered proper to incline God to mercy and to obtain from his goodness some relief in this public calamity. The Father Superior had already represented to them that the true and only means of turning away this scourge of heaven, was to believe in God and to make a firm determination to serve him and keep his Commandments. He told them, furthermore, that God took great pleasure in the vows that we addressed to him in these or similar necessities; that we had very often in France seen and experienced good effects therefrom; and thus, that if they would promise him, in case it might please him to make this contagion disappear altogether, to build in the Spring a cabin, or a little Chapel in his honor, as he is the master and author of our lives, they would all have reason to hope [108] for his approval of their request. They had already deliberated upon this by themselves, and the decision they had made was the subject of this second assembly, where the Father Superior instructed them still more particularly upon the importance of the action they were [page 159] about to perform, and exhorted them to have great confidence in God if they undertook it in all sincerity,—adding that, as for those who were there only through formality, they should be very careful as to what they were about to do, that they had to do with a God who knew the depths of their hearts and would not fail to punish them severely, if they did not conduct themselves towards him with the respect and reverence that his divine Majesty requires. The exhortation finished, the Father made them all prostrate themselves upon their knees before an image of our Lord; and he repeated aloud the formula of a vow, which contained a firm resolution to believe in God and to serve him faithfully, and then a promise to erect in the Spring a little chapel in his honor, in case it should please him to show them mercy, and to deliver them from this contagious malady. We did not have all the gratification we had hoped for in this act, as not all those who had been invited were present; [109] and, among others, the one who passed as Captain, although he carried only the title thereof, had gone out before the Ceremony began, and was amusing himself in playing and laughing with some persons from his Cabin. Also most of them have been punished by a miserable death; God dissembled for the time, as the measure of their sins was not yet full. They had to add horrible blasphemies and most wicked designs upon the lives of those who they had only too much reason to believe were here in their country merely to do them a kindness; I shall speak of this more clearly in its place. There were those present, however, who gave us some consolation,—above all, one named Tsioandaentaha; although the Father Superior spoke very distinctly, [page 161] nevertheless, as they sometimes found it hard to follow him, and to repeat what he had said, this one served them as instructor, and, besides not losing a single word of the Father's, he repeated them so faithfully and in a voice so clear, that it was easy to believe he spoke from his heart; and several, following his example, tried to show that there was no hypocrisy in what they did. But events give us only too much reason to doubt them. As for this Savage, God has preserved him from the malady, [110] with all those of his cabin, which is one of the most populous of our village, having therein three well-equipped households, and a great number of little children. The matter is all the more remarkable, as, except for another little cabin which has also afforded us a great deal of satisfaction, there is not one which has not had several sick people, and most of them a considerable number of deaths.

On the next day, the 30th, we also made a vow on our part, we and our domestics, both for the welfare of our whole village and for the preservation of our little household. The Father Superior pronounced it at the Mass, in the name of all, holding in his hand the Holy Sacrament of the altar; we bound ourselves to say each three Masses, one in honor of our Lord, another in honor of the blessed Virgin, and a third in honor of St. Joseph,—with the determination to renew, for this same purpose, on the day of the immaculate Conception of the same virgin, the vow that we had made last year. As for our domestics, they bound themselves to three special communions, and to say their beads twelve times. For our part, we have now every reason to praise God, who has granted to us all the favor of passing the winter in [page 163] very good health, although the greater part of the time we have been among [111] the sick and the dead, and although we have seen many fall sick and die, merely through the communication that they had with one another. The Savages were astonished at it, and are still astonished every day, saying in reference to us,, " Those people are not men, they are demons. " God will grant them, if it shall please him, grace to recognize some day that misericordiœ domini, quia non sumus consumpti, quia non defecerunt miserationes eius. It is through his mercy alone that we are not reduced to dust with the others, and that Heaven ceaselessly pours out upon us the torrents of its favors and its blessings. Our poor village continued to be afflicted until spring, and is almost entirely ruined. We are not surprised at this, for the greater part of them showed that their belief consisted only in fine words, and that in their hearts they have no other God than the belly, and the one who will promise them absolutely to restore them to health in their illnesses.

On the fourth of December,—having learned the news from Ossosané that the disease was spreading there, and that some of its people had recently died, the Father [112] Superior sent thither Father Charles Garnier and me. We made this journey joyously and with all the more confidence in God as I was convinced of my insufficient knowledge of the language. At our arrival we instructed and baptized a poor man who could not live through the night. We did not make a long sojourn there, as we had orders to be present at the Festival of the Conception of our Lady; had it not been for that, we would not have readily left the sick, who were as many as fifty by actual [page 165] count. We made them all special visits, always giving them some little word of consolation. We were made very welcome, all greeting us with very kindly faces, the journey the Father Superior had made there having inclined to us the hearts and affections of all. Most of them regarded us only as persons from whom they expected some consolation, and likewise something to relieve them in their sickness; a few raisins were very acceptable, and we were careful not to forget these. The few of them that we have are only for the Savages, and your Reverence would not believe how readily they take these little sweets. I will say here in general that they have often given us admission to [113] the sick; and if it happened that, while instructing them, they fell into a stupor, a little sugar or some good preserved fruit in a spoonful of warm water enabled us to make them regain consciousness. I will even add that some little innocents were baptized in their last moments, unknown to, and against the wishes of their relatives, under the pretext of wishing to give them some of these sweets. We baptized 8 during this journey,—4 adults and 4 little children. It was a providence of God for us, who were still new in this profession, to find almost everywhere persons who favored our purpose, and who aided us greatly in obtaining from the patients what we desired. Among others, one of the more influential men of the village served us as interpreter in instructing one of his daughters, doing so of his own accord and with great interest. He did even more than we wished; and when we would have been satisfied to have drawn a simple "yes" or "no" from the patient, he desired her to repeat, word for word, the instruction we gave her. Before departing, [page 167] we saw the Captain Anenkhiondic and some of the old men, to whom we spoke of the vow that those of our village had made in order to stop the [114] progress of the disease. They manifested a great desire to do the same, and charged us to report to the Father Superior that they were quite prepared to do all that he should judge proper on this occasion. Their love of life made them speak in this way; and, indeed, they will make the same promise the others did, and with even more ostentation, and after all, when it comes to the execution of what they have promised, they will prove to be no better than the others.

Meantime, while we were at Ossosané, the Father Superior and our Fathers did not remain with folded arms at Ihonatiria. The sick gave them practice enough on the one hand, and, on the other, the inhabitants of Oenrio, (a village one league distant from us) seeing themselves assailed by the malady, manifested some desire to have recourse to God. The Father Superior went to see them, to sound them in this matter; he baptized a little child at his arrival. At the same time, the Captain had the council assemble, and invited the father thither, where at the outset he asked him what they had to do that God might have compassion on them. The Father Superior answered them that the principal thing [115] was to believe in him, and to be firmly resolved to keep his commandments, touching especially upon some of their customs and superstitions which they must renounce if they purposed to serve him. Among other things, he proposed to them that, since they were thus inclined, they should henceforth give up their belief in their dreams; 2nd, that their marriages should be binding and for life, [page 169] and that they should observe conjugal chastity; 3rd, he gave them to understand that God forbade vomiting feasts; 4th, those shameless assemblies of men and women (I would blush to speak more clearly);. 5th, eating human flesh; 6th, those feasts they call Aoutaerohi,—which they make, they say, to appease a certain little demon to whom they give this name. These are the points that the father especially recommended to them; and then he spoke to them about the vow our Savages of Ihonatiria had made, to build in the spring a little Chapel wherein to praise and thank God, if it pleased his divine goodness to deliver them from this malady. The Father was listened to by all with close attention; but these conditions astonished them greatly, and Onaconchiaronk, whom we call the old Captain, beginning to [116] speak, said, " My nephew, we have been greatly deceived; we thought God was to be satisfied with a Chapel, but according to what I see he asks a great deal more. " And the Captain Aënons, going still farther, said, "Echon, I must speak to you frankly. I believe that your proposition is impossible. The people of Ihonatiria said last year that they believed, in order to get tobacco; but all that did not please me. For my part, I cannot dissemble, I express my sentiments frankly; I consider that what you propose will prove to be only a stumbling-block. Besides, we have our own ways of doing things, and you yours, as well as other nations. When you speak to us about obeying and acknowledging as our master him whom you say has made Heaven and earth, I imagine you are talking of overthrowing the country. Your ancestors assembled in earlier times, and held a council, where they resolved to take as their [page 171] God him whom you honor, and ordained all the ceremonies that you observe; as for us, we have learned others from our own Fathers."

The Father rejoined that he was altogether mistaken in his opinion,—that it was not through a mere choice that we had taken God [117] for our God, that nature herself taught us to acknowledge as God him who has given us being and life: that, as for what concerns our ceremonies, they are not a human invention, but divine; that God himself had prescribed them to us, and that they were strictly observed all over the earth.

As for our ways of doing things, he said that it was quite true they were altogether different from theirs,—that we had this in common with all nations; that, in fact, there were as many different customs as there were different peoples upon the earth; that the manner of living, of dressing, and of building houses was entirely different in France from what it was here, and in other countries of the world, and that this was not what we found wrong. But, as to what concerned God, all nations ought to have the same sentiments; that the reality of a God was one, and so clear that it was only necessary to open the eyes to see it written in large characters upon the faces of all creatures. The Father made them a fine and rather long speech upon this subject, from which he drew this conclusion, that to please God it was not enough to build a Chapel in his honor, as they claimed, but that the chief thing was to [118] keep his commandments and give up their superstitions. Onaconchiaronk admitted that the father was right, and did his utmost in exhorting the whole company to overcome all these difficulties. But, as each one [page 173] hung his head and turned a deaf ear, the matter was deferred until the next day.

On the morning of the 6th, they again assembled; and Onaconchiaronk declared that he had passed almost the whole night without sleep, thinking of the points the father had proposed; for his part, he considered them very reasonable, but indeed he saw clearly that the young people would find great difficulties therein; however, all things well considered, he concluded that it was better to take a little trouble, and live, than to die miserably like those who had been already carried off by the disease. He spoke in so excellent fashion, and urged them so strongly, that no one dared to contradict him, and all agreed to what the father had required,—adding that they also bound themselves to build a beautiful Chapel in the spring. This decision made, the Father returned to Ihonattiria, much consoled to have left them in this favorable state of mind. He already contemplated going to catechize them from [119] time to time; but, besides that God gave us employment elsewhere, they immediately resumed their old customs. To be sure, those of our village had been the first to begin, and, the day after they had assembled in our cabin, they donned their masks and danced, to drive away the disease. With all that, they did not hesitate to tell us that they were the best Christians in the world, and were all ready to be baptized. Having gone directly afterwards to instruct the little children, I encountered the very one who had been, as it were, the master of these follies. He addressed me, and acting the hypocrite, said, " Well, my brother, when shall we assemble to pray to God? " He gave me a good chance to wash his head; but it [page 175] is a great pity not to be able to say all that one would like to. I contented myself with saying to him, "Thou hast no sense; dost thou not know what thou hast just been doing? thou art jesting." But this is nothing; Your Reverence will soon see them become complete turncoats, addressing their vows and making their offerings to all the sorcerers of the country, however many there be. They will even have recourse to demons, and will do things [120] so extravagant, that one will have reason to say that their love of life has turned their heads.

On the 7th, we returned from Ossossané, Father Garnier and I; and the next day, the festival of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin, we all together renewed the vow we had made last year on the same day, to supplicate more earnestly than ever this mother of mercy to intercede with her son for the conversion of these peoples, whose misery pierces our hearts. Towards evening the Father Superior called together the old men of our village, and addressed to them a short exhortation in order to encourage them,—recalling to their memories the promise they had made, inspiring them to have confidence in God alone, and to observe his holy law, which they themselves had considered so reasonable. He recommended to them also very particularly the points he had proposed to the inhabitants of Oenrio, in which they all acquiesced, as usual, promising to observe them. They are inveterate sinners, who, after their good promises, do not hesitate to resume the way of their past lives. The Father, upon this occasion, [121] having spoken to them of Heaven and of the great rewards that God reserves for his faithful servants, an old man named Tendoutsahoronc told him [page 177] that they were rather sorry we had baptized that Hiroquois prisoner, inasmuch as he would be ready to drive them from Paradise if they should undertake to enter there. The father having replied to him that Paradise was a place of peace,—"How?" said he, "we people think that the dead make war among themselves as well as the living." These poor peoples have all the trouble in the world to form ideas of Heaven. You find some of them who renounce Heaven when you tell them there are no fields and no grain there; that people do not go trading, nor fishing there; and that they do not marry. Another one told us one day that he thought it was wrong that they should not work in Heaven, that it was not well to be idle; and for this reason he had no desire to go there. We hear an infinite number of similar stories, which give us reason, a hundred times a day, to thank this infinite mercy for having beforehand given us so freely of his grace, and illumined our minds with his eternal truths. This favor [122] is not felt by us in the middle of France as it is among these barbarians. In France, the knowledge of these things seems to be a part of our nature. We imbibe them with our milk, the holy name of God is one of the first words we lisp, and these rude impressions of infancy continue to develop almost insensibly, according to our growth, through the instruction, good example, and piety of our parents; so that these advantages very often blind our eyes, and many find themselves at the point of death who have never, perhaps, once in their lives thanked God heartily for this so special favor. A holy personage has said that the wise providence of God had ordained that the sick poor should lie ill in the streets and public places, not only to [page 179] provide exercise for the charity of good people, but also to reveal to us the obligations we are under to him for having preserved our health; that all the plagues we see are so many favors that he does us, and so many tongues which speak to us and invite us to render to him a million thanksgivings. So the ignorance and blindness of our Savages [123] make us appreciate the blessing that we possess in knowing the eternal truths; and, however many of them we see, they are like so many voices which cry out to us, Beati qui vident quæ, vos videtis, vobis autem datum est nosse mysteria regni Dei.

On the 9th, the Father Superior returned to Ossosané with Father Pierre Chastellain and Simon Baron. I say nothing here to your Reverence about the difficulties of the way; you know well enough what they can be at this season. I will merely say that it was only a question of four leagues, and yet the day was hardly too long to reach the end of them.

This trip lasted eight days; the Fathers baptized fifty persons,—fourteen adults, and the rest all little children, both well and sick. Simon Baron also bled more than two hundred, and in a single day as many as fifty. They emulated each other in holding out their arms to him,—the well ones having themselves bled as a precaution, and the sick considering themselves half cured when they saw their blood flowing. Among others, was an old man who was half blind; as soon as he was bled, [124] "Ah, my nephew, " said he, " thou hast restored my sight; now I see." Be that as it may, he found himself on the instant wonderfully relieved. But what consoled us particularly was to see so many little innocents and so many souls reconciled to God. I shall only mention three [page 181] quite remarkable cases,—one of which is replete with devotion, another is worthy of a mind which acts through reason, the third is altogether ingenuous. While the Father Superior was instructing three sick people in the cabin of one Ochiotta, this good man often took part in the conversation, and aided them with great fervor to perform the act of contrition; and afterwards, although the epidemic had carried off a great part of his family, the majority of whom had been baptized, he did not act like most of the Savages, who often look upon us with ill will, and are unwilling to hear about baptism as soon as any one of those whom we have baptized dies in their cabin. As for him, he always gave us the best possible welcome, and always showed that he held in high esteem what we taught. But what I mean to tell your Reverence is that his wife received [125] baptism with so much devotion, that tears fell from the eyes of some of those present. After having already given great satisfaction to the father in regard to her instruction, when he began to pour the water upon her head, and to pronounce the Sacramental words, she cried out of her own accord, " Oh my God, how I have offended you, how I have offended you! I am very sorry for it; my God, I will offend you no more." This good woman died the same night. The Father asked another if she believed firmly all that he taught her; "Yes indeed," said she, " I believe it, I would not listen to thee if I did not believe. " Another asserted that she was well content to be baptized; " But I pray thee," said she to the father, " oblige me; do not give me a new name,—it annoys me to change my name."

On the 10th, the Father Superior made overtures [page 183] to the Captain Anenkhiondic, regarding the promise that he himself had given us some days before, to make some vow to God in this public necessity; and the next day the council assembled, in which the father instructed them upon the reality of a God, who was the master [126] of our lives,—summarizing for them the principal mysteries of our belief, explaining to them the commandments of God, and the points he had proposed to the others. The affliction in which they were plunged (for every day some of them died) placed the affair beyond discussion, and all concluded that they would henceforth recognize God as their God, and that they would believe in him,—in a word, that they had decided to give up all their customs that they knew would displease him, and that they would very willingly make a vow to him to erect in the spring a cabin in his honor. The fickleness of the others gave us sufficient reason to mistrust the good will of these; nevertheless, all things well considered, the Father Superior judged that it would be, perhaps, opposing the designs of Heaven, not to second this good intention. They were partly inclined to this by an impulse of their own, manifesting to us a very peculiar interest. The grace that God bestowed upon several of them, at the time of their conversion, caused us to believe that he looked upon this village with special favor, and was preparing for it great blessings. Besides, [127] it is the approach to the whole country; and from that time on we were strongly inclined to settle down there as soon as possible. However, the Father did not judge it wise to be hasty in the matter, and the final decision was postponed until the next day. Meanwhile, as there were some present from all the [page 185] cabins, each one had abundant leisure to confer about it with those of his family, and to propose to them the points upon which depended the good success of the whole affair.

On the 12th, the vow was entirely ratified; the only thing calling for discussion was in what way to make it public, so that every one would hear it. They proposed two ways,—the first, to climb to the top of a cabin, the other to proclaim it through the streets of the village. The latter was considered the better, and the commission was given to a certain Okhiarenta, who is one of their Arendioané, that is, one of the sorcerers of the country. He went about crying in a loud voice that the inhabitants of Ossosané took God as their Lord and their master; that they renounces all their errors,—that henceforth they would no longer pay attention to their dreams, that they would make no more feasts to the demon Aoutaerohi, that their marriages should be binding, that they would not eat [128] human flesh,—and that they bound themselves to build in the spring a cabin in his honor, in case it pleased him to stop the progress of the disease. What a consolation it was to see God publicly glorified through the mouth of a barbarian and one of the tools of satan! Never had such a thing been seen among the Hurons.

While all this was taking place at Ossosané, God in his goodness gave us also from time to time opportunities to practice charity and to preach his holy name.

On the 14th, a sick man of our village was so low that we were almost in despair of being able to obtain anything from him in regard to baptism. Nevertheless, consciousness having returned to him [page 187] towards evening, Father Pierre Pijart instructed him, and he was baptized at the same time.

Father Charles Garnier and I went to pass the night at Anonatea, which is only one league away from us. We have heard it said that there were some sick people there whose condition was quite dangerous. Upon our arrival we were invited to a feast which was made in the very cabin where we had the most to do, and where there was a poor girl at the point of death; [129] we went there to take occasion to speak with and instruct her. This feast was an Aoutaerohi, where we saw a real sabbat. The women sang and danced while the men struck violently against pieces of bark; never have I heard such a din, or shouts so disagreeable. They took, to keep time, as it were, burning embers and red-hot cinders in their bare hands, then passed their hands over the stomach of the patient,—who, as a part of the ceremony or for some other reason, tossed about like a maniac, incessantly shaking her head. The feast ended, she became very quiet. We spoke to her about baptism; at first, she showed us that she was well pleased with it; but, having made her understand that she was not to take baptism as a medicine for the body, and that it served merely to open the way to heaven after death, she would hear no more about it; so that, this evening, we could accomplish nothing further, which made us resolve to sleep in the cabin. From time to time we gave her some raisins; these little comforts, her relatives said, made her survive the night. In fact, she was very sick, and God willed that she should be a little better towards morning. We [130] again spoke to her of baptism, and having made her understand what we desired, we found her favorably [page 189] disposed to listen to us. I instructed her rather briefly, and baptized her; she died two hours afterwards. Thence we made a trip to the Bissiriniens, who had come to pass the winter an eighth of a league from there. We found a number of sick people among them, to whom we gave some raisins, this being all we could do. A person who understood the Algonquin tongue would, perhaps, have made some headway with them; many of them died. Upon our return, we learned that one of our Savages, named Sononresk, was very ill; I went to see him and found him greatly prostrated. I made overtures of baptism to him, and he answered me that he would be well pleased therewith; but when I began to instruct him, he begged me to postpone it until noon, inasmuch as his mind was not clear enough, he said, to listen to me. Accordingly, we returned towards noon, Father Jogues and I; as soon as he saw us he told us that our coming was well timed, and that he found himself a little better. We instructed him fully, receiving valuable assistance in this [131] from one Tehondeguan, who afterwards died in a very Christian manner. This old man repeated and impressed upon him what I was teaching him, with an affectionate interest altogether remarkable; we were very well satisfied, and Father Jogues baptized him. I went to see him again some time afterwards and found him sitting up; he told me that he thought he was cured, that the water of baptism had entered his head and had gone down to his throat,—that he no longer felt there any pain at all. He was nearer his end than he thought, for he died the next day. His wife assured us that during the night she had frequently heard him say Rihouiosta, "I believe." On [page 191] this same day Father Pierre Pijart had instructed and baptized a girl who had afforded him great consolation. She had, of her own accord, asked for baptism, and immediately afterwards had cried out, " ho, ho, ho,—I thank you, my God, that you have granted me the favor of being baptized." Towards evening, a council was held at the Captain's; I happened to be in his cabin. As the company passed out, his father called me and told me that they had [132] talked much about the malady, and that his son had said that they need not be surprised that it had not abated, since they were not believing in earnest. I do not know how true this was,—I doubt very much whether he spoke so frankly; but most of them said, quite rightly, that this might indeed be the cause of their misfortune.

On the 17th, the Father Superior departed from Ossossané, and came to lodge at Anonatea, where he found one Isonnaat, father of the girl whom we had baptized there, very sick. Nevertheless, he could not make up his mind to baptize him; for, although he showed a sort of desire for it, he did not find him well enough prepared. This poor Savage was strongly bent upon going to find one of his half-sisters, who was dead, and who, according to his story, had been changed into a serpent.

On the 19th, the Father Superior again sent us, Father Charles Garnier and me, to Ossossané, with a commission to stop on the way at Anonatea, to again see Isonnaat; but he was already dead. We went to lodge with one Chiateandaoua, having learned that he was very sick; we had some trouble getting in, as there was a feast there. It is a crime, on these [133] occasions, to set one's foot in a cabin; nevertheless, [page 193] we went in, towards the close. There were only two or three persons remaining, to each of whom the sick man had caused to be given food enough for four. They worked at it a very long time, encouraging one another. Finally they had to disgorge, doing so at intervals, and not ceasing on this account to continue emptying their plates. Meanwhile Chiateandaoua thanked them, assuring them that they were doing well, and that he was under great obligations to them. You would have said, to hear him and to see their actions, that his recovery depended upon this gluttonous excess. This was a very poor state of mind for baptism, and we did not mention it to him, as he was only in the first stages of his disease.

On the 20th, we went to Onnentisati, where we learned that there were three sick persons. We found two poor women very low,—the one neither speaking nor hearing, and the other in almost continual convulsions, so that we could not make her understand our purpose, and unfortunately [134] there was no one else in the cabin but some children. We contented ourselves with giving her a little preserved fruit and 4 or 5 raisins, intending to return thither before departing; we were very sorry to see them in this state, and not be able to help them in what concerned their souls. In this extremity, God inspired us to vow to him some Masses in honor of St. Joseph. Meanwhile, we withdrew to the house of our host, where we baptized a little child. We had not been there half an hour, when a Savage came for us to go to the woman whom we had visited first, earnestly requesting us to take her a little more preserved fruit, adding that what we had already given her had made her recover her senses, and that she heard very [page 195] well. Behold us now greatly consoled! In fact, we found her so well disposed that, after having instructed her, we baptized her, to the great satisfaction of those present, who listened to us with close attention. After this, we went to see the other one, where we also were greatly comforted, doubtless through the merits of the glorious Patriarch St. Joseph. She was a little quieter, [135] and God provided us with an interpreter, a woman of considerable intelligence, who showed great affection for us. She exhorted the sick woman to listen to us, and made her understand our purpose. When I saw how clearly she explained to her what I meant, I resolved to think of instructing her rather than the patient. But, as we were continuing thus, the sick woman began to speak and said, " It is enough, if only he speaks,—I understand him very well; only let him hasten, in a few words." So I proceeded, and she answered everything very distinctly. We baptized her, and we learned, upon our return, that she had died the same day. Behold without doubt strong indications of a predestined soul.

Towards evening, we arrived at Ossossané, where the malady was continuing to make great ravages. We made inquiries as to the condition of some of those whose names had been given us by the Father Superior, among others, about a woman, who died in the night. We were told that she was a little better, which turned us aside from visiting her, as we had to see the more urgent cases. We directed our steps to the house of one Aonchiare, who was in truth very ill; we instructed and baptized him. He is still alive and [136] well. It was already very late, but hearing that the Captain Anenichiendis, who had been [page 197] reported to us, on the way, as partially recovered, was at the point of death, we ran thither. It was time, for he could hardly speak, and had still more trouble to understand. I spoke to him about baptism and its importance; he answered me what he had often told us, that he was very glad to be baptized. His wife helped us to instruct him; this was not done without difficulty, for,—besides that she was of a strange nation, and spoke a language that I did not understand so well,—often this old man seemed to become drowsy; and, when I asked him at times if he heard me, occasionally he did not answer me the first time. This caused us to baptize him only conditionally. He died the next morning at dawn.

On the 21st, we baptized a woman who checked us at two points: First,—having spoken to her of Paradise, and having made her understand that without baptism it was not possible ever to go there, and that those who died without baptism went to hell,—she said to me frankly that, for her part, she did not wish to go elsewhere than there, where her dead relatives were; nevertheless, [I 3 71 she soon changed her mind when she heard about the wretched condition of the damned, and that they received no consolation from one another. I explained to her the rest of our mysteries, as far as the Commandments of God; there she stopped me again, and, when I was exhorting her to be sorry for having offended God, and telling her that without doing so her sins would not be pardoned her, she answered me that she could not do it,—that she had not offended God, and that she did not know what sin was. Those who were present, and who had been very willing to have her baptized, almost spoiled the whole affair by saying that indeed she [page 199] had always lived correctly; and she herself, as well as I could understand, was dwelling largely upon her own praises, protesting that she did not know what libertinage and the ordinary life of the country was. I told her that I was very glad of it, but also that she should not think she was without sin, and that all men were subject to sin. However, as she persisted in declaring her own innocence, I represented to her that, if that were so, I could not baptize her; and that, even if I should baptize her, baptism would avail her nothing. I added that I was not asking her to [138] give me an enumeration of all her sins, but merely that she should testify to me her deep regret for having committed them. We considered this point for a good quarter of an hour; from time to time she asked me for baptism, but I answered her that it was not possible for me to baptize her as long as she used this language to me; that I had no other desire, that this was what brought me here, but that she herself bound my hands and prevented me from doing her this favor. I threatened her with hell, and spoke to her about it more in detail than I had done at first, telling her that hell was full of people who had not recognized themselves as sinners. Finally, it pleased the mercy of God to touch her heart; she confessed to me that she had sinned, that she was very sorry for it, and that she would sin no more. We baptized her and she died a few days afterwards.

On this same journey, a young man caused us the same difficulty. He was very sick, and we had instructed him with as much comfort and satisfaction as possible; his relatives also took great pleasure in listening to our holy mysteries. Everything proceeded in the most satisfactory manner, but he would not [139] [page 201] listen to talk about repentance for his sins; now having used all the means with which God inspired me to make him take this step, I decided to tell him that, for my own part, I had oftentimes offended God, but that I had asked his pardon for it with all my heart, and had firmly resolved to die rather than ever offend him again. He yielded at last, and so thoroughly satisfied us upon this point that we did not judge it wise to defer longer his baptism. We hope that he is now happy in heaven.

On this same day the sorcerer Tonneraouanont, who was beginning to play his pranks in this village, and had undertaken to cure the sick, came towards evening to have a sweat in our cabin, to get some knowledge of this disease. They crossed four or five poles in a ring, making a sort of little arbor, which they surrounded with the bark of a tree. They crowded within this, twelve or thirteen of them, almost upon one another. In the middle there were five or six large red-hot stones. As soon as they had entered, they covered themselves, as usual, with robes and skins in order to retain the heat. The little sorcerer began to sing, and the others sang after him; there was a Savage outside, who was there [140] merely to serve him with whatever he might desire. After much singing, he asked for some tobacco which he threw upon these red-hot stones, while addressing the devil in these words, Io sechongnac.

The others from time to time urged him to do his best; these orgies lasted a good half hour, after which they began to eat. I drew near to listen to what was said; whoever well understood the whole discourse of this sorcerer would oblige a curious person by communicating it to him and by setting it [page 203] down here word for word; I do not undertake to do that. I may remark, however, that his conversation was only a series of boasts and extravagances; he did not declare the source of the evil, for he has often since admitted that he knew nothing about it, but he made great pretensions of remedying it if they would execute his orders. He boasted falsely of having already cured many in our village and elsewhere; that, for his own part, he was beyond any fear of taking the disease,—in fine, to hear him talk, he had little more than to command, and all the sick would immediately be upon their feet. He demanded some gifts with which to make a feast, and ordered some dances. The whole company listened to him with unparalleled manifestations of approval; and our host, who was one of the chief men, [141] said to him, " Courage, my nephew, assist us." These words sank deep into my heart; it was no time since they had publicly renounced the devil, and all those who were in league with him, and that they had protested they would have recourse to God alone, upon whom, they had admitted, depended their being and life; and see how they forthwith place all their confidence in the false promises of a charlatan and an impostor. I could not refrain from also speaking, in my turn, but what could I say? To be short of words with which to explain oneself upon so important an occasion is a matter for keen regret. This is all the lecture I gave them: " You are very wrong to do what you are doing, you show plainly that you do not believe what Echon has taught you; that man " (speaking of the sorcerer) ".has not the—power that you think; it is only he who has made heaven and earth who is the master of our lives. I do not [page 205] condemn natural remedies, but these sweats, these dances, and these feasts are worth nothing, and are altogether useless, as far as health is concerned." They listened to me very patiently, and made no answer,—either because they did not attach much importance to this reprimand, or because they were embarrassed, not doubting that I would report to the Father [142] what I had seen, and he would not fail to speak to them of it in forcible terms, when he had opportunity. At all events, we gained at least this, that every evening, when all were asleep, our host offered a prayer aloud in the name of the whole family, using these words: " Listen, you who have made heaven and earth; take all this cabin under your protection; you are the master of our lives." It is a pity he did not say this from his heart. We left there on the twenty-third, and, passing through Anonatea, we baptized a very sick Savage, who made the fifteenth of those whom God granted us the favor to baptize on this journey. Upon our return we were greatly consoled to hear that Father Pijart had baptized eight little children at Ouenrio, and the Father Superior two at the same place, besides a woman in our village. But we felt great regret at finding that the mother of one of our Christians had died without baptism; we had always hoped, up to that time, that this woman would never die other than a Christian. She seemed very docile, and had declared herself to be well satisfied with the baptism of those children. We had visited her very often [143] and only recently we had come from healing a wound that she had inflicted upon her leg, always taking occasion to exhort her to commend herself to God; so she had often heard the greater part of our holy mysteries. [page 207] Nevertheless the Father Superior could never induce her to consent to baptism in this extremity,—alleging as her sole reason that she desired only to go where one of her little sons was, who had died without baptism. I will say to your Reverence here, before passing on, that the rumors were continually increasing, and that we were spoken of in very bad terms, especially in four or five villages around here,—for, as to Ossossané, we have always been welcome there. On this same twenty-third, one Entaraha said to the Father Superior that that porcelain collar they had accepted the year before, at a general council held on the occasion of the feast of the dead, was now the cause of their death, and that this was the belief of all the people,—inasmuch as the Father had told them that this present was not for the dead, and that it was not his intention that they should [144] place it in their grave, but that he desired to open to the living the way to heaven, and to encourage them thereby to surmount all difficulties which prevented them from taking that route.

On the 25th, an old man of our village, named Noël Tehondecouan, died, and went, as we hope, to celebrate in heaven the feast of the glorious Nativity of our Lord. I will repeat here in regard to this Savage what I have already said of another,—that he was one of those who were the most assiduous in attending instructions in the Catechism, and had shown the greatest approval of the doctrine that we taught. It was he who had been among the first to bring word to the Father Superior to offer some public prayer in this last time of need; and quite recently he had aided me greatly in instructing a Savage of his cabin. God granted him much grace in his [page 209] baptism, which took place on Christmas eve. He stopped the Father a little while upon the act of contrition. " It would be useless " (he said to him) " for me to repent. of having sinned, seeing that I never have sinned." Nevertheless, after having been fully instructed upon this point he acquitted himself admirably therein, and, holding a crucifix in his hand, he asked pardon of our Lord with a great deal Of [145] feeling, and promised him to keep his holy commandments all his life. Among them a man is not counted a sinner who does not kill, rob, bewitch some one, or do some extraordinary thing. He also begged the Father to leave him the cross, in order to protect him from the spirits which, according to his story, tormented him at night,—adding that when he saw them he cast his eyes upon this adorable sign of our redemption, and prayed our Lord to defend him.

On the 27th, the Father Superior returned to Ossossané with Father Isaac Jogues and Simon Baron. He passed through Anonatea, where he visited the Bissiriniens to assure them of the sympathy we felt for them in their affliction, for they already counted as many as 30 or 40 dead. The Father proposed Holy baptism to some of them, but without effect; our Holy mysteries in the Huron language are like night to them, and, besides, they are still more attached to their superstition than are our Savages. He learned there what they thought of the disease. It was brought upon them, they said, as well as upon. the Hurons, by Andesson, Captain of the Island, in revenge, because they had not consented to join their forces with the latter to make war upon the Hiroquois. But, in passing through Onnentisati, he heard [146] a very different piece of news, which was [page 211] that Tonneraouanoné, who was at Ossossané and was selling his antidote there, accused us of being the cause of this epidemic,—adding that this was the sentiment of those of our village, who even said that, when they were getting better, we gave them I know not what, that made them die. Nevertheless, he denied all this afterwards when speaking to the father,—claiming to have merely said that in the Autumn he had seen the sickness come from the direction of the lake, in the form of a powerful demon; that, however, he did not know the cause of it. The father having reproved him for his proceedings, he answered him in the usual fashion of the Savages,

You have your ways of doing and we have ours, Oniondechanonkhron," that is to say, " our countries are different. " Simon Baron again bled a great many upon this trip; and, the Father Superior having given a little medicine to the Captain Endahiach, one of his relatives had a sweat to make it operate, during which he addressed himself for this purpose to a certain demon. This same Captain one day, when he felt very sick asked what kind of weather it was; he was told that it was snowing. " I shall not die, then, to-day, " he said, " for I am not to depart from this life except in fine weather." Nine sick people had [147] the good fortune to receive holy baptism.

Tonneraouanont did not succeed in his cures any more than in his prophecies. He had predicted that no more than five of them would die, and that the sickness would cease at the end of 9 days; and yet before the Father's departure there were ten dead, and since then more than 50; and on the 4th of January, when the Father went away, there were nearly as [page 213] many sick people as usual, and yet it was the 13th day after this fine Prophecy. Therefore he lost a great deal of his credit, and his whole practice was reduced to a single cabin, in which he himself was sick. He was beset by all sorts of misfortunes, or, to express it better, God began to chastise this haughty spirit. Some days before, he had fallen so hard upon the ice at the entrance to a cabin that he had broken his leg, and this wound caused his death at the end of three weeks.

The Father Superior returned then to Ihonatiria on the 4th of January. In his absence we had seen with our own eyes some effects of the righteous vengeance of God upon the family of one Taretandé. This Savage was Captain of our village, and had cast fire and flame at us in open feast. He had said that without doubt [148] we were the cause of the malady, and that if any one of those of his cabin should die, he would split the head of the first Frenchman whom he should find. He was not the only one who had spoken to our disadvantage. Not one of the company, at least of the more influential ones, had spared us; and one Achioantaeté, who makes a show of loving us, had gone so far as to say that if he were the Aondechio, that is, the master of the country, it would soon be all over with us, and we would already have been put in a condition wherein we could do no more harm. Thereupon the Captain Aënons began to speak,—at least, by his own account,—and represented to them that they were speaking of a very dangerous matter, namely, of the destruction and ruin of the country; that, if they should remain two years without going down to Kebec to trade, they would find themselves reduced to such extremities [page 215] that they might consider themselves fortunate to join with the Algonquins and to embark in their canoes. Relating this to the Father Superior, he added that after all that we should have no fear; and that if we would settle down in his village, we should always be very welcome there. Taretandé was not satisfied with having spoken so badly of us on this occasion; he and Sononkhiaconc, his brother, came to have a quarrel with us [149] in our cabin, and to reproach us with being sorcerers, saying that it was we who caused their death. They added that they had resolved to get rid of us, and that it had been decided at least to reëmbark every one of us in the spring, and send us back to Kebec. The matter went farther than our village, and the chief men of five or six villages in this vicinity have since admitted to us that they were on the point of doing an evil act. Ah, that would have been a very great happiness for us! These reports were so common that even the children spoke of us only as persons who were soon to have their heads split. One Sunday, when they heard us, towards evening, chanting the Litanies of our Lady, they believed, as they themselves told us afterwards, that we were weeping in expectation of the hour when they were to come and cut all our throats, or burn us in our cabin. Yet we are all still alive and well, thank God. Almost at the same time, the scourge fell upon that wretched family that had said the most against us. This chastisement had been for a long time due them on account of the contempt they had always shown [150] for our holy mysteries. Frequently, during the past year, we went to instruct the little ones only with much repugnance, and finally we had to desist altogether. Taretandé [page 217] and his brothers were not usually present at the Catechisms, except to get a piece of tobacco, or to laugh among themselves afterwards at what they had heard there. Besides, they had often admitted to us that they took us for liars, and did not believe in the least what we taught; and that what we said was not at all probable,—that there was no likelihood that they and we had the same God, Creator of their earth as well as of ours, and that we had all descended from the same father. " Indeed," said Sononkhiaconc one day, " who would have brought us to this country,—how would we have crossed so many seas in little bark canoes? The least wind would have engulfed us, or we would at least have died of hunger at the end Of 4 or 5 days. And then, if that were so, we would know how to make knives and clothes as well as you people." I would waste too much paper if I were to undertake to set down here all their extravagances. But the justice that God exercised towards them is altogether remarkable. They had [151] seen the greater part of the other cabins infected with the disease without feeling any anxiety for their own lives; they had shown open contempt for the means we gave them to obtain from heaven deliverance from this malady; they walked with their heads high in the midst of so many corpses, as if they were made of different material from the others, and beyond the reach of death,—when the hand of God fell heavily upon them; three of them fell sick almost at the same time. The mother was the first; she was a renegade Christian, who, having been baptized two years before, had oftentimes afterwards recanted her baptism. We had never been able to teach her any of our mysteries; and even when we spoke to her [page 219] sometimes about making the sign of the cross, or saying the Pater, she stopped us at the first word and began to quarrel with us. Your Reverence already knows that there is nothing capable of arousing to anger a Huron who has lost his father or mother, except to say to him, " Thy father is dead; thy mother is dead; " the mere word " father " or " mother " puts them into a passion. I will say here, since the occasion presents itself, that from the month of December we were obliged for this reason to desist from going through the cabins to instruct [152] the little children, and to assemble them at our house every Sunday, to have them pray to God,—seeing that only recently a great many of their relations had died; and then those who remained alive have been so busily occupied all the Winter searching for remedies for the health of the sick, and have shown so little interest in our holy mysteries, that we decided that this exercise might rather injure than advance the affairs of Christianity. But to return to this wretched renegade; we visited her several times during her sickness, and, among others, a little while before she died. We went there, Father Pierre Chastelain and 1, with the determination to do all we could to dispose her to penitence in this extremity. But she stopped us at the first step; for, when we asked her if she was not very glad to have been baptized, she answered " no." And also one of her children about 15 or 16 years old, who was then very sick, being solicited several times in regard to baptism, and having left the matter to her decision, this hard-hearted mother answered, that up to her death, she did not wish him to be baptized. The Reverend Father Superior likewise urged the same thing very earnestly [page 221] [153] upon Sononkhiacon[c], brother of the Captain, who was also at the point of death; but this was without effect. This young man was 25 or 30 years old, and could easily of himself, independently of his mother's wish, have consented to baptism, but a spirit of pride which possessed him, and the many blasphemies he had uttered, will deprive him of this so signal favor. These three wretches did not survive the 7th day of January. The Captain Taretandé, followed them very closely, and was carried off in 4 or 5 days. On the day of his death, I went to see him in the morning, carrying him some little remedy; I found him sitting up, in the usual fashion of the Savages, and the thought did not occur to me that he was to die so soon; we did nothing, Father Garnier and I, but visit some sick people at Anonatea, yet on our return we found him in the agonies of death, and he expired towards evening. Behold a cabin desolate indeed! On the same day, the 7th of January, the Father Superior sent us back to Ossossané, Father Garnier and me, where we remained until the 15th. We baptized twelve sick people,—four little children, and the rest adults. Upon our arrival, we instructed and baptized a woman in the house of our host, who died at the end of two or three days; we aided her with the prayers of the Church up to her last breath. The next day we [154] visited a great many of the cabins of the village. When we found a cabin without sick people, our usual conversation was to rejoice with them that they were still in good health, to speak to them of God, to exhort them to address themselves to him for the preservation of their family, and to teach them some little prayer for that purpose. We saw the little sorcerer, who was greatly [page 223] humiliated with his broken leg,—seeing himself, as it were, nailed to a mat; if he was motionless, he made enough commotion among the others, by making them dance and sing night and day for his recovery. He was somewhat embarrassed at finding himself in this condition, but his talk was characterized by ostentation and pride. We had hardly entered the cabin where he was, before he told us that we should not consider his illness as the common disease of the others,—that a fall had caused him to be confined to his bed for several days. I showed him some ointments that we had, telling him that these were what we were accustomed to use in similar cases; but he disdained the offer that we made him of our little services. It is wonderful that, while this demon incarnate was in the cabin, we could gain almost nothing from the sick people; we tried to propose [155] baptism to a young man of whom people had a very bad opinion. He answered us very impertinently; and one of his relatives, breaking into the conversation, began to abuse us, reproaching us with all the rumors that were current about us through the country; and the sorcerer commanded us very peremptorily to leave. The evening before our departure we instructed a young girl, deferring her baptism, however, until the next day; this was not without some change in her intention, for she dreamed during the night that she ought not to be baptized; if she did, she would die,—the credence she gave this dream, and her dread of dying, causing her to persist altogether in the negative and to refuse baptism. But after having represented to her that the devil was the author of this dream, and that he desired nothing else than to see her forever miserable in the flames [page 225] of hell,—and that, on the contrary, God, who wished—nothing so much as to see her blest in heaven through all eternity, was inviting her to receive Holy Baptism,—she gave us her consent. We baptized her immediately; it pleased the divine goodness to restore to her health of body with that of the soul. We are glad to have such experiences, to shake and overthrow their belief in dreams.

[156] Meanwhile, another sorcerer, almost blind, named Sondacouané, brought himself into much repute in the village of Onnentisati, and deluded the surrounding villages with his fancies. On the ninth of this month, when the Father Superior went to Ouenrio, with Father Chastellain, to baptize two little children, he learned some particulars about him which are not to be omitted. Accordingly, the story or tale declares that this blind man, having dreamed that it was necessary for him to fast six days, resolved to fast seven; and, with this in view, he had an apartment partitioned off in one end of the cabin, whither he retired alone,—contenting himself with drinking, from time to time, a little tepid water, in order, it was said, to warm his stomach. At the end of a few days the demons began to appear to him, merely passing around the fireplace without doing anything else, until the sixth day, when they spoke to him and said, "Tsondacouané, we come here to associate thee with us; we are demons, it is we who have ruined the country through the contagion." And thereupon one of them named all the others by name; " That one, " said he, " is called "Atechiategnon," that is to say, " he who changes and disguises himself," " and is the demon of Tandehouaronnon " (a mountain near the village of Onnentisati). After [page 227] having told him the names of the five [157] or six who were there, he said to him, " But thou must know that the most evil of all is he of Ondichaouan " (a large Island which w can see from here); " this demon is like a fire. It is he who feeds upon the corpses of those who are drowned in the great lake, and excites storms and tempests, in the darkness of which he engulfs canoes. But now we wish to take pity upon the country, and to associate thee with us, in order to stop the epidemic which prevails." Tsondacouané having replied to this that he was well content to do so, they taught him some remedies which he should use for the cure of the sick. Among other things, they recommended to him strongly the feasts of Aoutaërohi, adding that they feared nothing so much as those. It was said also that they pretended to try to carry him away, but that he resisted them so well that they left him to make a feast of a dog,—threatening to come and get him the next day, in case he failed to do this. These demons having disappeared, Tsondacouané related the whole affair to the Captain Enditsaconc; the latter having reported the matter in open council, a dog was immediately found, with which he made a feast on the same day. All the people having assembled, this sorcerer began to cry out that the devils were coming [158] to carry him away, but that he did not fear them, only that all should sing a certain song. While they were singing, " There! two of them are approaching," said he, "and what I say is not imagination, but the truth." A little while afterwards, he said to those who were preparing the feast, " Withdraw; here they are, quite near; " and at the same time they began to speak, and to reproach him for his failure to do [page 229] several things that he had been ordered, and to say they had come to carry him off. In a word, at the end of the feast, when he was about to go out he encountered those demons, who said to him, "Tsondacouané, thou art now safe; we can do nothing more to thee; thou art associated with us, thou must live hereafter as we do; and we must reveal to thee our food, which is nothing more than clear soup with strawberries." There was much probability of their finding strawberries in the month of January! But our Savages keep dried ones, and they vied with one another in eating them, in order not to be sick. Also they ordered that those who would be delivered entirely from this disease should hang at their doorways large masks, and above their cabins figures of men similar to those scarecrows that in France are placed [159] in the orchards, to frighten away the birds. This was soon executed, and in less than 48 hours all the cabins of Onnentisati and the places around were almost covered with images,—a certain man having 4 or 6 of these straw archers hung to the poles of his fireside; these were their idols and their tutelary gods. It was in these grotesque figures that they put all their trust, relying upon the assertion of a wretched blind man that the devils were afraid of these, and they had given this order for the good of the country. An old man of our village, named Tendoutsaharoné, exhorted us to do the same, on account of the affection he had for our house, so much credence did he give to this sorcerer's fancies. The Father Superior replied to him that they were deceiving themselves in thinking to make these demons afraid, and to drive away the disease with some wisps of straw; that, if he [page 231] what we had so often taught them, he would know very well that all this was useless for what they wished to accomplish; that, if there was anything in the world capable of inspiring the demons with terror, it was the cross; that we already had one be ore our door, but that in these circumstances we would raise another over our cabin, so that all who should see it should understand that it is [160] in the cross that we put all our trust, and that in virtue of this sign we had no fear of demons, and hoped that God would preserve our little house from this contagious malady. Moreover, this sorcerer, although half blind, saw into his affairs a little more clearly, it seems, than the other, the little hunchback, who had promised that in eight days Ossossané would be without sick people; this one only promised perfect and complete recovery at the end of the January Moon. Yet he said that if the people of the village of Arenté, and the sorcerers or Bissiriniens, did not make him a present of a net, it was all over with them. I do not know what they did, or whether they granted his request; but certainly the poor Bissiriniens were very badly treated, as many as seventy of them having died. As for them, they said that one of the causes of this so great mortality was that they had no kettle large enough to make a feast.

On the 16th, the chief men of our village assembled, and had the Father Superior invited to the council. Here the Captain Aënons made a long speech, to entreat us in the name of every one of them, to think no more of what had passed, and not to reveal the evil designs that they had had [161] upon our lives. The Father gave them a satisfactory answer to this, and took occasion to reprove them gently for having [page 233] failed in fidelity to God, and for not taking care to resort to his infinite goodness during their affliction, minding rather the foolish fancies of a man of no account, who was deluding them and who sought only his own interests. To this Aënons answered nothing but Onanonharaton, I What wilt thou have? our brains are disordered. " And, a little while before, an old man had said to him, " My nephew, we do not know what we are about; there is nothing we would not do to preserve our lives; and if it be necessary to dance night and day to drive away the disease, all decrepit as I am, I will begin first, in order to save the lives of my children." They heard that another sorcerer, named Tehorenhaegnon, of the village of Andiatae, was promising wonders, provided they made him some present. They had a dog killed immediately, which was brought to him with elaborate ceremonies, but without effect.

On the 17th, the epidemic, continuing to rage at Ossossané, obliged the Father Superior to continue also the help that we had rendered to the sick up to that time. He took with him Father Isaac Jogues and Mathurin, who also performed [162] some very successful bleedings. The Father in passing through Ouenrio found a number of sick persons there; but not one of them would hear about baptism, and a Savage of Arenté confessed to him what had been reported, that he had said that there we had no occasion to visit them for the sake of baptizing them,—that they did not attach any importance to baptism. This wretch died some time afterwards, and was deprived of this boon; we learned of his sickness and of his death at the same time. We have not ceased since then to go and visit them in their need, there to [page 235] preach our holy mysteries, to baptize some of the sick,—above all, some little children, who are now in heaven; and at the very hour that I write this, Fathers Garnier and Isaac Jogues are setting out to go there to visit some of them. The Father Superior continued his journey thence and stopped at Angoutenc, where he baptized two little children. The next day, the 28th, he arrived at Ossossané, where he found the demons let loose, and a poor people in deeper affliction than ever, giving their attention to the follies of a certain Tehorenhaegnon, who boasted of having a secret remedy for this kind of malady, which he had learned from the demons themselves, after a fast of 12 or 13 days in a little cabin which he had made for this purpose on the shore of the lake. Accordingly, the inhabitants of Ossossané, hearing [163] of what he could do, and seeing that presents were offered to him on all sides in order to gain his good will, and to get from him some relief, sent to him some of their chief men to entreat him very humbly to have pity upon their misery, and to proceed to their village to see the sick and to give them some remedies. Tehorenhaegnon evinced a willingness to comply with their request; and not being able, or rather not deigning to go thither in person, sent one of his associates, named Saossarinon, to whom he communicated all his power, in proof of which he gave him his bow and arrows, which would represent his person. As soon as be had arrived, one of the Captains proclaimed in a loud voice, throughout the village, that all the sick should take courage, that Tehorenhaegnon promised to drive the disease away very soon; that, not being able to come in person, Saossarinon had been sent by him, with power to give [page 237] them all manner of satisfaction; that he ordained that for three consecutive days three feasts should be made, promising that all those who should be present there, and should observe all the ceremonies, should be protected from disease. Towards evening, the people assembled in the very cabin of our host, which is one of the largest [164] in the village. Our Fathers stayed there, in order to see all that might happen. The company was composed only of men,—the women were to have their turn afterwards; there were some present from all the families. Before beginning the ceremony, one of the Captains climbed to the top of the cabin and cried aloud in this manner: " Come now, see us here assembled. Listen, you demons whom Tehorenhaegnon invokes, behold us about to make a feast and have a dance in your honor. Come, let the contagion cease and leave this town; but, if you still have a desire to eat human flesh, repair to the country of our enemies; we now associate ourselves with you, to carry the sickness to them and to ruin them. " This harangue ended, they begin to sing. Meanwhile, Saossarinon goes to visit the sick and makes the round of all the cabins. But the feast did not take place until daybreak; the entire night was passed in a continual uproar; now they sang, and at the same time beat violently, keeping time, upon pieces of bark; now they arose and began to dance; each one strove to do well, as if supposing that his life depended upon it. The substitute of Tehorenhaegnon, after having seen the sick, was to have put in an appearance at this [165] cabin, but he found so much practice that daylight overtook him in his progress. Meanwhile, he was awaited with great impatience; and as they were [page 239] singing, one after another, there was one of them who began in these words, " Come, great Arendiouane, come, behold the day beginning to dawn. " Not to keep them waiting longer, he passed by some of the remaining cabins. At his arrival a profound silence prevailed; a Captain marched before him holding in one hand the bow of Tehorenhaegnon as a sign of the power possessed by this substitute, and in the other a kettle filled with a mysterious water with which he sprinkled the sick. As for him, he carried a Turkey's wing, with which he fanned them gravely and at a distance, after having given them something to drink. He performed the same ceremonies for the sick of this cabin; then, having inspired the whole company with courage and strong hope, he withdrew. The feast took place, and afterwards the men left the place to the women, who also came singing and dancing in their turn; as for a feast, they had none.

On this 20th, Saossarinon himself made the second feast. There the aid of the demons was invoked in the same words as upon the preceding day, and, [166] after having eaten, some one said that the Physician had already cured twelve of them. This news caused great rejoicing among the company; the Captain Andahiach thanked him and his master Tehorenhaegnon, with all the Captains of the village of Andiataé, declaring that the whole village would be under obligation to them, and begged them to continue their favors. The 3rd feast did not take place for lack of fish.

On the 21st, Saossarinon returned to Andiataé, at his departure taking into partnership with himself and Tekorenhaegnon one Khioutenstia and one Iandatassa, [page 241] to whom he taught the secrets of his art and communicated his power,—as a token of which he left them each a Turkey's wing, adding that henceforth their dreams would prove true. He also commissioned them to send, after a few days, some one to report to them the success of their remedies. 4 or 5 days afterwards, all the cabins were visited to ascertain with certainty the number of those who were cured and of the sick, in order to inform Tehorenhaegnon thereof. According to their count, they found 25 cured and 25 sick; some one went straightway to Andiataé to bear report thereof to this personage, who sent Saossarnon the next day to strive to cure the rest, but it was to his own confusion. He would not [167] take the trouble to go and visit the sick, but gave orders that they should drag themselves, or that they should be carried to him, in the cabin of one Oonchiarré, where there were already a great many sick people. But this plan resulted very badly for him, and this second time no good effects were seen from his remedies, for some would not go there because they felt too weak. The same night a woman of the cabin died, and the next morning another one, who had been carried there; as to the latter, the Father Superior instructed and baptized her with a great deal of satisfaction. Moreover, he did so well that those gentlemen, the substitutes of Tehorenhaegnon, were obliged to throw aside their Turkey wings and renounce their office.

On the 25th, Tonneraouanont, the little sorcerer whom I mentioned above, died in the village of Onnentisati; he was still at Ossossané on the 23rd, but, finding himself extremely ill, and seeing that there was no more help for him, he had himself carried to Onnentisati, [page 243] asserting that he wished to die in the place of his birth. He also ordered that they should put him in the ground, in order that, as he was a demon, he might return to the place whence he had come. During his sickness he complained, according to report, of a certain she-devil whom he called his sister, inasmuch as she had been [168] incarnated, at the same time as he, in the womb of his mother. It was she, according to his story, who was the cause of his death, and who had broken his leg, inasmuch as, against her will, he had tried to treat other patients than those of the cabin of Tondaaiondi.

The Father Superior baptized fifteen persons, on this journey. The Providence of God appeared particularly in the conversion of two, to one of whom, after she had resisted baptism for several days,—always in manifest danger of death, and in such a condition that there was little probability of her living through the day,—God preserved her life until her husband appeared, who, having been baptized by the father previously, in a similar extremity, exhorted her so well and so effectively that she allowed herself to be subdued, and at last evinced great willingness to receive baptism. The other was a young man, who showed himself favorably enough inclined towards baptism; but his father-in-law and mother-in-law opposed him in this so strongly that it was impossible to resist them. Meanwhile, the danger of death was increasing. The father went there 3 or 4 times a day, without being able to find opportunity for speaking to him, there being always some hindrance; now they were making a feast, now the Medicine man was there, and very [169] rarely did the father-in-law or mother-in-law leave him. God [page 245] finally willed that, the father-in-law being absent, the mother-in-law was invited to a feast in another cabin, so that the Father Superior very fortunately found himself alone with the sick man. As he had already given him instruction, several days before, the affair was soon completed, and he baptized him forthwith, with much consolation on both sides. The father had only finished, when the mother-in-law entered; she had just started on her way to this banquet, and had suddenly given up her intention. The divine goodness had prepared this moment for an act of mercy to this poor young man, doubtless through the merits of St. Joseph, who was invoked very specially on this occasion, as well as on the preceding one. He is our usual refuge in such necessities, and generally with so much success that we have reason to bless God forever, who reveals to us in this barbarism the influence of this Holy Patriarch with his infinite mercy.

On the 28th, the Father Superior returned to Ihonattiria. During his absence we made some visits to Ouenrio and to Anonatea, where there were a great many sick people. On the 21st, Father Pierre Pijart had baptized two women, one at Anonatea, whom we had seen and instructed, Father Chastellain [172 i.e., 170] and I, two days before; the other at Ouenrio, who died immediately afterwards with marked indications of predestination. It was a providence of God that the Father should make this little journey on the 20th, for if he had waited until the next day, as he had planned, he would have found her incapable of baptism; but he felt himself inwardly inspired to go and lodge there the day before her death. Upon his arrival, before going to her cabin, [page 247] he had visited some others, who had bluntly refused baptism; and he even passed the evening instructing a woman who was very near her, who appeared quite sick and very earnestly requested baptism; as to the other one, for whom God was preparing heaven, the father hardly gave her a thought, nor did he judge it necessary to speak to her again on the subject of her salvation, not perceiving the danger in which she was, yet she was hardly able to live through the night. The next morning, the Father returned to visit them, for he had withdrawn to another cabin. His chief purpose was to baptize her whom he had instructed, and God led him straight to the other one; in short, he instructed and baptized her, and she died at the end of an hour or two; while the one who had so eagerly requested baptism the evening before, would not hear of it in [171] anyway whatever. Unus assumetur, alter relinquetur. We again visited these two villages some days afterwards, Father Pierre Chastellain and I; but we found there no inclination towards baptism, some having lost consciousness, and others lacking the good will.

On the 30th, our great lake was entirely covered with ice. It had been frozen for a long time, up to certain Islands; but beyond these the almost continual winds had always broken the ice. It does not freeze everywhere except in very calm weather. It is a convenience to these peoples; for, as soon as the ice is strong enough, they take corn to the Algonquins, and bring back quantities of fish. We have had a long Winter this year; it began on the 10th or 12th of October, and has greatly encroached upon the Spring; there is little appearance of a favorable year, if the goodness of God is not interposed. Here [page 249] we are at the 30th of May, and the corn has hardly begun to grow, and this only in some places; many have not yet planted seed, and others complain that their seed is rotting in the ground; we have had almost continual rain for 15 days.

On the 1st of February, we departed to go to Ossossané, Father Pierre Pijart and I; [172] we remained there until the 13th, and baptized five persons; we instructed several others, but, finding them not yet in danger, we did not consider it wise to hasten their baptism. We found a great change in the cabin of one Tondaiondi; while the little sorcerer Tonneraouanont was there, we had always been very badly received, especially upon the subject of baptism. We had been loaded with insults there; and but recently the Father Superior had done his best to win a poor sick woman. But, besides that she had listened very coldly when he talked to her about Paradise and hell, her father had not shown any inclination to have her baptized, and had given the father to understand that they did not attach much importance to what we taught them,—that, as for them, they had, as well as we, a certain place where the souls of their dead relatives went, Ahahabreti onaskenonteta, "We have," said he, "a certain road that our souls take after death." Since the death of this little sorcerer, God had (it seems) changed their hearts. We had scarcely any hope of finding this patient still alive, whom her relatives had abandoned, as it were, after the departure of the Father Superior. In [173] fact, we found that her leggings and moccasins had already been put on, according to the custom of the country, and her mind was so far gone that we judged her thereafter incapable of baptism. [page 251]

On the 3rd, consciousness having returned to her, God granted us the grace to baptize her. She herself of her own free will gave her father to understand that she desired to be baptized; he replied that he was very glad of it, and after her baptism rejoiced with her over her good fortune in being fitted to go to heaven, representing to her that already several of her relatives who had died Christians were there, and that he himself also desired to be baptized. On that same day, we met a young man who held with us a conversation that will console Your Reverence. We had already had a very agreeable encounter with him in one of our first journeys, when I was instructing a sick man, and he had taken great pleasure in hearing the commandments of God, begging me then to repeat them to him once more; and in this second meeting, speaking to me of a widow whom I had baptized and who had recovered, he asked me what she should do in order to go to heaven. Having answered him that she must keep the commandments of God, and having given him a summary of them, " As for me," he said, " I have been keeping them since I learned them, and have resolved [174] to keep them all my life." He repeated to me the points that the Father Superior had especially recommended to them, and added that when he happened to dream at night, the next morning he addressed God and said to him, " My God, I have dreamed; but, since you do not wish us to depend upon our dreams, I shall not trouble myself about them." He said, moreover, that he was careful to pray to God every day; and, as for that young woman, that she probably would marry again, but that this marriage would be permanent. Thereupon he put to me a question, [page 253] asking me what a woman ought to do whose husband was not faithful to her, and if she might not also lead the same life, on her part. I answered him "no," that she would commit a grievous sin, and would act contrary to the Commandments of God. In conclusion, I asked him to continue in the good purpose that he had to serve God, promising him that we would some day instruct him more particularly. This young man has a good mind, and appears very honest for a Savage.

On the 4th, God sent us something with which to benefit our sick and to rejoice our host, who was short of fish. Robert, whom we had taken with us, killed two Bustards. Very fortunately, there were only 4 or 5 persons very sick, so that we [175] could easily oblige them without causing the others to complain; and game is so rare among the Savages that, although there were 20 or 25 in our cabin, and although our host had sent some to his friends, still they considered that they had fared very well, and the whole cabin resounded with " ho, ho, ho. " Among others, an old woman, the wife of our host, addressing herself to our hunter, thanked him in these words, "ho, ho, ho, Echiongnix et sagon achitec," "Ah, my nephew, I thank thee; be of good heart for the morrow." In fact he killed 4 or 5 more of them, so that we had something with which to make soup for two sick people in our cabin, and carried some to certain others who were most in need of it. But our host did not approve of this, and we contented ourselves afterwards with carrying them some pieces of Bustard, entirely raw, teaching them to make soup therefrom. At this time we had an amusing encounter; upon carrying some broth to a sick [page 255] woman, we found the Physician there. He is one of the most dignified and serious Savages that I have seen. He took the broth, looked at it, and then drew out a certain powder that he had in his bag; he put some of it in his mouth, spit it out upon the broth, and then, choosing the best of it, made the patient eat it.

[176] On the 5th, we baptized an old woman in the house of our host. I had instructed her some days before, with great satisfaction; after her baptism, especially, we heard her from the other side of the cabin in which we were, commending herself to God morning and evening, and offering some little prayer that we had taught her. She felt a great deal of pain, and yet we found her always disposed to have recourse to God. The Captain Andakiach, her brother, begged us very earnestly to give her some remedy for the pain in her head, of which she complained, telling us that the Father Superior and Simon Baron had given one to some of them, who had been thereby benefited. I could not imagine what this might be, unless he spoke of some ointments which had been used for certain swellings of the cheeks that had broken out on the outside. I showed him a little box in which there were several kinds of these, and it proved that they were exactly what he wanted. I told him from the first that I did not think these were good for this woman's trouble; nevertheless, as he persisted, and urged me to give her some of them, I asked him which color he wished, for I had 5 or 6 different 'kinds; having shown me the red, the [177] white, and the green, I made her a large plaster of these, which I applied to her forehead. How powerful is the imagination, here as well as in France! The next day she found herself greatly [page 257] relieved, and Andahiach begged me not to share this remedy with the others, and to reserve it for their cabin alone. I replied to him that he should not trouble himself, and that as long as we had any they should not want for it. If I had consented to follow her advice, I would also have made her a plaster to cover her stomach, where all her pain was. She died, however, two or three days afterwards.

On the same 5th day of February, the council assembled at the house of the Captain Andahiach, where the sorcerer Tsendacouane, of the village of Onnentisati, presided, for sieur Tehorenhachnen and his substitutes were no longer in good standing. This latter one spoke with authority and as a Prophet,—saying that, if they did not do what he should order, the sickness would last until the month of July; if, on the contrary, they obeyed him, and if they granted what he should ask, he gave his word that in ten days the town should be entirely secured against it. Accordingly, he ordered, first, that they should henceforth put the dead in the ground, and that in the spring they should take them out [178] to place them in bark tombs raised upon four posts, as usual. Secondly, that they should give them no more mats, at least no new ones. Thirdly, that they should give him a present of the 5 cakes of tobacco. His request was immediately granted, one of the sons-in-law of our host furnishing this contribution. They reassembled towards evening outside the village. I was twice invited to this council. One of the Captains warned the children in a loud voice not to make any noise; a great fire was lighted, and the sorcerer—after having represented to those present the importance of the affair threw therein the 5 cakes of tobacco that [page 259] had been given him, while addressing his prayer to the Sun, to the Demons, and to the Pest, conjuring them to leave their country, and to repair as soon as possible to the country of the Hiroquois.

On the 8th, our host,—who had been recently enjoying good fare and had acquired a taste for bustards,—seeing that our hunter was in need of powder, offered to go himself in quest of some. We gave our consent to this more willingly that we might have something that would benefit our patients, especially as we were at the end of the little sweetmeats that we had brought with us. [179] It was a good lesson to us to see an old man more than 60 years of age undertake a journey Of 4 long leagues, in the most trying season of the year, in the hope of getting a piece of meat to eat. There was everywhere three feet of snow; and no paths had yet been made, as it had been snowing all the preceding day, and, if I am not mistaken, part of the night.

Towards evening, the Captain Andahiach went through the cabins to publish a new order of the sorcerer Tsendacouané. This personage was at Onnentisati, and was not to return until the next day. He was carrying on his preparations, that is to say, certain sweatings and feasts, in order to invoke the assistance of the demons, and to render his remedies more efficacious. This prescription consisted in taking the bark of the ash, the spruce, the hemlock, and the wild cherry, boiling them together well in a great kettle, and washing the whole body therewith. He added that his remedies were not for women who were in their courses, and that care should be taken not to go out of their cabins barefooted, in the evening.

On the 9th, our host returned, and brought us [page 261] some powder. But unfortunately for [180] him, hunting was no longer successful; for the mild weather had ceased, and it was not the season for game. Before going to sleep, he threw some tobacco upon the fire and prayed the demons to take care of his cabin. How our hearts ached, that we could not prevent these infamous Sacrifices!

On the 10th, they performed a dance for the recovery of a patient. He had dreamed about it two days before, and since then they had been making their preparations. All the dancers were disguised as hunchbacks, with wooden masks which were altogether ridiculous, and each had a stick in his hand. An excellent medicine, forsooth! At the end of the dance, at the command of the sorcerer Tsondacouane all these masks were hung on the end of poles, and placed over every cabin, with the straw men at the doors, to frighten the malady and to inspire with terror the demons who made them die.

On this same day, the sorcerer, who had come the day before, returned, and demanded 8 cakes of tobacco and three fish of different species,—namely, an Atsihiendo, a fish they decoy from the edge of the water, and an eel. Of the cakes of tobacco, he carried away 4, and the other 4 served to make a Sacrifice to the devils, as had been done two [181] days before; our host made his also. We told them our opinion of this, at the time, but without effect; their heads seemed to be disordered, and it was almost words lost to speak to them about it. Also we observed that God visibly abandoned them; for, notwithstanding the diligence we used in visiting the cabins, two or 3 died without baptism. One had been partly instructed, but he had been reported to [page 263] us as a person who was on the way to recovery; the others had been carried off unexpectedly, at the beginning of their sickness.

On the eleventh, we visited a very sick woman, hoping that God had perhaps changed her heart, for up to that time we had been able to gain nothing from her. But we found her as obstinate as ever; and, to all that we could say to her about hell, she answered nothing except that she would by no means be baptized; she died towards evening. The Captain Andahiach made a round of all the cabins, and in a loud voice exhorted the women to take courage and not to allow themselves to be cast down with sorrow on account of the death of their relatives; and that, when the young men should come [182] to bring them some hemp to Spin, they should willingly render them this little service; that it was their intention to make weapons to go to war in the Spring against the Hiroquois, and to place them in security and in a position to be able to work peaceably in their fields. However, these weapons [shields] are not proof against muskets, as Your Reverence knows, and it is quite enough if the arrow cannot indent them.

On the 12th, early in the morning, our host addressed his prayer to the demons, throwing some tobacco in the fire for the preservation of his family. Towards evening they publicly made a 3rd sacrifice Of 4 cakes of tobacco, which was followed by a din and clatter which arose from all the cabins and lasted a good quarter of an hour. They beat so hard upon the pieces of bark that it was not possible to hear oneself. Their purpose was, according to what they told us afterwards, to frighten the disease and put it to flight; and in order that—nothing be wanting [page 265] to this ceremony, as those wooden masks and straw men had been hung over the cabins merely to terrify the disease and the demons, our host conjured them to keep a good watch; and, to render them more favorable, he threw a piece of tobacco into [183] the fire, in their honor. What extremes for reasonable men! All this made us resolve the next day to think seriously about our return,—seeing that among all these lawless acts our Holy mysteries could not be received and treated with the respect and reverence they deserved; and that we were often obliged to suffer many things, as much because we were powerless to prevent them, as that we were not yet capable of properly expressing our sentiments in regard to them. We made this decision all the more readily because there were at that time very few sick people.

We departed, therefore, on the 13th, and reached home very late at night, after considerable trouble,—for the paths were only about half a foot wide where the snow would sustain one, and if you turned ever so little to the right or to the left you were in it half way up your thighs.

(Continued in Vol. xiv.)

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(Figures in parentheses, following number of note, refer to pages of English text.)