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      ST. IGNACE.

      of beaver-skins, that the market was completely glutted. The French hatters refused to take them all; and for the part which they consented to take, they paid chiefly in hats, which Oudiette was not allowed to sell in France, but only in the French West Indies, where few people wanted them. An unlucky fashion of small hats diminished the consumption of fur and increased his embarrassments, as did also a practice common among the hatters of mixing rabbit fur with the beaver. In his extremity he bethought him of setting up a hat factory for himself under the name of a certain licensed hatter, thinking thereby to alarm his customers into buying his stock. * The other hatters rose in wrath and petitioned the minister. The new factory was suppressed, and Oudiette soon became bankrupt. Another company of farmers of the revenue took his place with similar results. The action of the law of supply and demand was completely arrested by the peremptory edict which, with a view to the prosperity of the colony and the profit of the king, required the company to take every beaver-skin offered.That La Salle came to Canada with objects distinctly in view, is probable from the fact that he at once began to study the Indian languages,and with such success that he is said, within two or three years, to have mastered the Iroquois and seven or eight other languages and dialects.[8] From the shore of his seigniory, he could gaze westward over the broad breast of the Lake of St. Louis, bounded by the dim forests of Chateauguay and Beauharnois; but his thoughts flew far beyond, across the wild and lonely world that stretched towards the sunset. Like Champlain, and all the early explorers, he dreamed of a passage to the South Sea, and a new road for commerce to the riches of China and Japan. Indians often came to his secluded settlement; and, on one occasion, he was visited by a band of the Seneca Iroquois, not long before the scourge of the colony, but now, in virtue of the treaty, wearing the semblance [Pg 15] of friendship. The visitors spent the winter with him, and told him of a river called the Ohio, rising in their country, and flowing into the sea, but at such a distance that its mouth could only be reached after a journey of eight or nine months. Evidently, the Ohio and the Mississippi are here merged into one.[9] In accordance with geographical views then prevalent, he conceived that this great river must needs flow into the "Vermilion Sea;" that is, the Gulf of California. If so, it would give him what he sought, a western passage to China; while, in any case, the populous Indian tribes said to inhabit its banks might be made a source of great commercial profit.

      Dieu, et pour elle bien de la renomme dans toute ltendueIn all the western seaports, merchants and adventurers turned their eyes towards America; not, like the Spaniards, seeking treasures of silver and gold, but the more modest gains of codfish and train-oil, beaver-skins and marine ivory. St. Malo was conspicuous above them all. The rugged Bretons loved the perils of the sea, and saw with a jealous eye every attempt to shackle their activity on this its favorite field. When in 1588 Jacques Noel and Estienue Chatonthe former a nephew of Cartier and the latter pretending to be sogained a monopoly of the American fur-trade for twelve year's, such a clamor arose within the walls of St. Malo that the obnoxious grant was promptly revoked.

      A great knowledge of simples for the cure of disease is popularly ascribed to the Indian. Here, however, as elsewhere, his knowledge is in fact scanty. He rarely reasons from cause to effect, or from effect to cause. Disease, in his belief, is the result of sorcery, the agency of spirits or supernatural influences, undefined and indefinable. The Indian doctor was a conjurer, and his remedies were to the last degree preposterous, ridiculous, or revolting. The well-known Indian sweating-bath is the most prominent of the few means of cure based on agencies simply physical; and this, with all the other natural remedies, was applied, not by the professed doctor, but by the sufferer himself, or his friends. [26]


      BUFFALO.Dauversire, who had first conceived this plan of a hospital in the wilderness, was a senseless enthusiast, who rejected as a sin every protest of reason against the dreams which governed him; yet one rational and practical element entered into the motives of those who carried the plan into execution. The hospital was intended not only to nurse sick Frenchmen, but to nurse and convert sick Indians; in other words, it was an engine of the mission.


      It was midsummer before the shocks wholly ceased and the earth resumed her wonted calm. An extreme drought was followed by floods of rain, and then Nature began her sure work of[9] "Les graces qu'on y obtient par l'entremise de la Mre de Dieu vont jusqu'au miracle. Comme il faudroit composer un livre entier pour dcrire toutes ces faveurs extraordinaires, je n'en rapporterai que deux, ayant t tmoin oculaire de l'une et propre sujet de l'autre."Vie, 95.


      Zeus Philios and Nike.


      servir dinstruction au Sieur Talon, which corresponds very