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      The council that was to decide his fate met on the nineteenth of June, when, to the prisoner's amazement, and, as it seemed, to their own surprise, they resolved to spare his life. He was given, with due ceremony, to an old woman, to take the place of a deceased relative; but, since he was as repulsive, in his mangled condition, as, by the Indian 256 standard, he was useless, she sent her son with him to Fort Orange, to sell him to the Dutch. With the same humanity which they had shown in the case of Jogues, they gave a generous ransom for him, supplied him with clothing, kept him till his strength was in some degree recruited, and then placed him on board a vessel bound for Rochelle. Here he arrived on the fifteenth of November; and in the following spring, maimed and disfigured, but with health restored, embarked to dare again the knives and firebrands of the Iroquois. [18]

      ** Thus, Meules is flatly forbidden to compel litigants to

      On the other hand, Barclay de Tolly, anxious to unite with Bagration and reach Smolensk, abandoned the strong encampment at Drissa, leaving Wittgenstein near there to watch the enemy and cover the road to St. Petersburg. The French pursued him with great rapidity, which, though it endangered his immediate union with Bagration at Vitebsk, yet served the Russian policy of drawing the enemy into the interior. Murat continually rushed forward with his cavalry to attack the rear-guard of De Tolly; but the Russian infantry maintained steady order, and continually withdrew before him. Every evening he was close upon them; every morning he found himself again distanced. The Russians appeared in full vigour, and well supplied with everything; the French were sinking with famine and fatigue. At Polotsk the Emperor Alexander left De Tolly, and hastened on to Moscow to prepare the inhabitants for that grand catastrophe which he already foresaw, and had resolved upon.

      [Pg 169][216] In the edition of 1683. In that of 1697 he had grown to seven or eight feet. The bank-swallows still make their nests in these cliffs, boring easily into the soft sandstone.

      In this famous Hermitage, says Nicole, the late Sieur de Bernires brought up a number of young men, to whom he taught a sort of sublime and transcendental devotion called passive prayer, because in it the mind does not act at all, but merely receives the divine operation; and this devotion is the source of all those visions and revelations in which the Hermitage is so prolific. In short, he and his disciples were mystics of the most exalted type. Nicole pursues: After having thus subtilized their minds, and almost sublimed them into vapor, he rendered them capable of detecting Jansenists under any disguise, insomuch that some of his followers said that they knew them by the scent, as dogs know their game; but the aforesaid Sieur de Bernires denied that they had so subtile a sense of smell, and said that the mark by which he detected Jansenists was their disapproval of his teachings or their opposition to the Jesuits.

      The Jesuits at St. Joseph knew not what course to take. The doom of their flock seemed inevitable. When dismay and despondency were at 414 their height, two of the principal Huron chiefs came to the fort, and asked an interview with Ragueneau and his companions. They told them that the Indians had held a council the night before, and resolved to abandon the island. Some would disperse in the most remote and inaccessible forests; others would take refuge in a distant spot, apparently the Grand Manitoulin Island; others would try to reach the Andastes; and others would seek safety in adoption and incorporation with the Iroquois themselves.



      Nevertheless, on ordinary local questions between the habitants, justice seems to have been administered on the whole fairly; and judges of all grades often interposed in their personal capacity to bring parties to an agreement without a trial. From head to foot, the government kept its attitude of paternity.


      [7] De Quen, Relation, 1656, 31. The Iroquois, it seems, afterwards made other expeditions, to finish their work. At least, they told Chaumonot and Dablon, in the autumn of this year, that they meant to do so in the following spring.[8] Ragueneau, Relation des Hurons, 1646, 65.