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      [68] Lettre de Frontenac au Ministre, 13 Nov., 1673.

      * On the fur trade the documents consulted are veryMeanwhile the female children of both races were without instructors; but a remedy was at hand. At Alen?on, in 1603, was born Marie Madeleine de Chauvigny, a scion of the haute noblesse of Normandy. Seventeen years later she was a young lady, abundantly wilful and superabundantly enthusiastic,one who, in other circumstances, might perhaps have made a romantic elopement 169 and a msalliance. [3] But her impressible and ardent nature was absorbed in other objects. Religion and its ministers possessed her wholly, and all her enthusiasm was spent on works of charity and devotion. Her father, passionately fond of her, resisted her inclination for the cloister, and sought to wean her back to the world; but she escaped from the chateau to a neighboring convent, where she resolved to remain. Her father followed, carried her home, and engaged her in a round of ftes and hunting parties, in the midst of which she found herself surprised into a betrothal to M. de la Peltrie, a young gentleman of rank and character. The marriage proved a happy one, and Madame de la Peltrie, with an excellent grace, bore her part in the world she had wished to renounce. After a union of five years, her husband died, and she was left a widow and childless at the age of twenty-two. She returned to the religious ardors of her girlhood, again gave all her thoughts to devotion and charity, and again resolved to be a nun. She had heard of Canada; and when Le Jeune's first Relations appeared, she read them with avidity. "Alas!" wrote the Father, "is there no charitable and virtuous lady who will come to this country to gather up the blood of Christ, by teaching His word to the little Indian girls?" 170 His appeal found a prompt and vehement response from the breast of Madame de la Peltrie. Thenceforth she thought of nothing but Canada. In the midst of her zeal, a fever seized her. The physicians despaired; but, at the height of the disease, the patient made a vow to St. Joseph, that, should God restore her to health, she would build a house in honor of Him in Canada, and give her life and her wealth to the instruction of Indian girls. On the following morning, say her biographers, the fever had left her.

      At the same time, Colbert corrects the intendant. "A memorial," he wrote, "has been placed in my hands, touching various ecclesiastical honors, wherein there continually appears a great pretension 47 on your part, and on that of the bishop of Quebec in your favor, to establish an equality between the governor and you. I think I have already said enough to lead you to know yourself, and to understand the difference between a governor and an intendant; so that it is no longer necessary for me to enter into particulars, which could only serve to show you that you are completely in the wrong." [6][See larger version]


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      He had no difficulty in forming his order of the clergy. The Jesuits and the seminary priests supplied material even more abundant than he wished. For the order of the nobles, he found three or four gentilshommes at Quebec, and these he reinforced with a number of officers. The third estate consisted of the merchants and citizens; and he formed the members of the council and the magistrates into another distinct body, though, properly speaking, they belonged to the third estate, of which by nature and prescription they were the head. The Jesuits, glad no doubt to lay him under some slight obligation, lent him their church for the ceremony that he meditated, and aided in decorating it for the occasion. Here, on the twenty-third of October, 1672, the three estates of Canada were convoked, with as much pomp and splendor as circumstances would permit. Then Frontenac, with the ease of a man of the world and the loftiness of a grand seigneur, delivered himself of the harangue he had prepared. He wrote exceedingly well; he is said also to have excelled as an orator; certainly he was never averse to the tones of his own eloquence. His 18 speech was addressed to a double audience: the throng that filled the church, and the king and the minister three thousand miles away. He told his hearers that he had called the assembly, not because he doubted their loyalty, but in order to afford them the delight of making public protestation of devotion to a prince, the terror of whose irresistible arms was matched only by the charms of his person and the benignity of his rule. "The Holy Scriptures," he said, "command us to obey our sovereign, and teach us that no pretext or reason can dispense us from this obedience." And, in a glowing eulogy on Louis XIV., he went on to show that obedience to him was not only a duty, but an inestimable privilege. He dwelt with admiration on the recent victories in Holland, and held forth the hope that a speedy and glorious peace would leave his Majesty free to turn his thoughts to the colony which already owed so much to his fostering care. "The true means," pursued Frontenac, "of gaining his favor and his support, is for us to unite with one heart in laboring for the progress of Canada." Then he addressed, in turn, the clergy, the nobles, the magistrates, and the citizens. He exhorted the priests to continue with zeal their labors for the conversion of the Indians, and to make them subjects not only of Christ, but also of the king; in short, to tame and civilize them, a portion of their duties in which he plainly gave them to understand that they had not hitherto acquitted themselves to his satisfaction. Next, he appealed to the nobles, commended 19 their gallantry, and called upon them to be as assiduous in the culture and improvement of the colony as they were valiant in its defence. The magistrates, the merchants, and the colonists in general were each addressed in an appropriate exhortation. "I can assure you, messieurs," he concluded, "that if you faithfully discharge your several duties, each in his station, his Majesty will extend to us all the help and all the favor that we can desire. It is needless, then, to urge you to act as I have counselled, since it is for your own interest to do so. As for me, it only remains to protest before you that I shall esteem myself happy in consecrating all my efforts, and, if need be, my life itself, to extending the empire of Jesus Christ throughout all this land, and the supremacy of our king over all the nations that dwell in it."




      [20] La Tour, Mmoire de Laval, Liv. VIII; Belmont, Histoire du Canada, 3.


      That which Talon did not know with certainty is made reasonably clear for us by a line in the private journal of Father Le Mercier, who writes under date of 17 August, 1665, Le Pre Frmin remonte suprieur au Cap de la Magdeleine, ou le temporel est en bon estat. Comme il est delivre de tout soin d'aucune traite, il doit sappliquer linstruction tant des Montagnets que des Algonquins. Father Charles Albanel was charged, under Frmin, with the affairs of the mission, including doubtless the temporal interests, to the prosperity of which Father Le Merciei alludes, and the cares of trade from which Father Frmin was delivered. Cavelier de la Salle declared in 1678, Le pre Arbanelle (Albanel) jsuite a trait au Cap (de la Madeleine) pour 700 pistoles de peaux dorignaux et de castors; luy mesme me la dit en 1667. Il vend le pain, le vin, le bled, le lard, et il tient magazin au Cap aussi bien que le frre Joseph Qubec. Ce frre gagne 500 pour 100 sur tous les peuples. Ils (les Jsuites) ont bati leur collge en partie de leur traite et en partie de lemprunt. La Salle further says that Frmin, being reported to have made enormous profits, ce pre rpondit au gouverneur (qui lui en avait fait des plaintes) par un billet que luy a conserv, que cestoit une calomnie que ce grand gain prtendu; puisque tout ce qui se passoit par ses mains ne pouvoit produire par an que quatre mille de revenant bon, tous frais faits, sans comprendre les gages des domestiques. La Salle gives also many other particulars, especially relating to Michillimackinac, where, as he says, the Jesuits had a large stock of beaver-skins. According to Peronne Dumesnil, Mmoire de 1671, the Jesuits had at that time more than 20,000 francs a year, partly from trade and partly from charitable contributions of their friends in France.