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Title: The Makers of Canada: Bishop Laval
Author: Leblond de Brumath, Adrien, 1854-1939
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Makers of Canada: Bishop Laval" ***

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_Entered according to Act of the Parliament of Canada in the year 1906
by Morang & Co., Limited, in the Department of Agriculture._


CANADA                                          1


THE SOVEREIGN COUNCIL                          31


MGR. DE LAVAL AND THE SAVAGES                  61

SETTLEMENT OF THE COLONY                       77

THE SMALLER SEMINARY                           97

THE PROGRESS OF THE COLONY                    113

BECOMES BISHOP OF QUEBEC                      129


A TROUBLED ADMINISTRATION                     157

THIRD VOYAGE TO FRANCE                        169

LAVAL RETURNS TO CANADA                       181

RESIGNATION OF MGR. DE LAVAL                  195

CANADA                                        211

MASSACRE OF LACHINE                           223

THE LABOURS OF OLD AGE                        235

LAST DAYS OF MGR. DE LAVAL                    249

DEATH OF MGR. DE LAVAL                        261

INDEX                                         271



If, standing upon the threshold of the twentieth century, we cast a look
behind us to note the road traversed, the victories gained by the great
army of Christ, we discover everywhere marvels of abnegation and
sacrifice; everywhere we see rising before us the dazzling figures of
apostles, of doctors of the Church and of martyrs who arouse our
admiration and command our respect. There is no epoch, no generation,
even, which has not given to the Church its phalanx of heroes, its quota
of deeds of devotion, whether they have become illustrious or have
remained unknown.

Born barely three centuries ago, the Christianity of New France has
enriched history with pages no less glorious than those in which are
enshrined the lofty deeds of her elders. To the list, already long, of
workers for the gospel she has added the names of the Récollets and of
the Jesuits, of the Sulpicians and of the Oblate Fathers, who crossed
the seas to plant the faith among the hordes of barbarians who inhabited
the immense regions to-day known as the Dominion of Canada.

And what daring was necessary, in the early days of the colony, to
plunge into the vast forests of North America! Incessant toil,
sacrifice, pain and death in its most terrible forms were the price that
was gladly paid in the service of God by men who turned their backs upon
the comforts of civilized France to carry the faith into the unknown

Think of what Canada was at the beginning of the seventeenth century!
Instead of these fertile provinces, covered to-day by luxuriant
harvests, man's gaze met everywhere only impenetrable forests in which
the woodsman's axe had not yet permitted the plough to cleave and
fertilize the soil; instead of our rich and populous cities, of our
innumerable villages daintily perched on the brinks of streams, or
rising here and there in the midst of verdant plains, the eye perceived
only puny wigwams isolated and lost upon the banks of the great river,
or perhaps a few agglomerations of smoky huts, such as Hochelaga or
Stadaconé; instead of our iron rails, penetrating in all directions,
instead of our peaceful fields over which trains hasten at marvellous
speed from ocean to ocean, there were but narrow trails winding through
a jungle of primeval trees, behind which hid in turn the Iroquois, the
Huron or the Algonquin, awaiting the propitious moment to let fly the
fatal arrow; instead of the numerous vessels bearing over the waves of
the St. Lawrence, at a distance of more than six hundred leagues from
the sea, the products of the five continents; instead of yonder
floating palaces, thronged with travellers from the four corners of the
earth, then only an occasional bark canoe came gliding slyly along by
the reeds of the shore, scarcely stopping except to permit its crew to
kindle a fire, to make prisoners or to scalp some enemy.

A heroic courage was necessary to undertake to carry the faith to these
savage tribes. It was condemning one's self to lead a life like theirs,
of ineffable hardships, dangers and privations, now in a bark canoe and
paddle in hand, now on foot and bearing upon one's shoulders the things
necessary for the holy sacrament; in the least case it was braving
hunger and thirst, exposing one's self to the rigours of an excessive
cold, with which European nations were not yet familiar; it often meant
hastening to meet the most horrible tortures. In spite of all this,
however, Father Le Caron did not hesitate to penetrate as far as the
country of the Hurons, while Fathers Sagard and Viel were sowing the
first seeds of Christianity in the St. Lawrence valley. The devotion of
the Récollets, to the family of whom belonged these first missionaries
of Canada, was but ill-rewarded, for, after the treaty of St.
Germain-en-Laye, which restored Canada to France, the king refused them
permission to return to a region which they had watered with the sweat
of their brows and fertilized with their blood.

The humble children of St. Francis had already evangelized the Huron
tribes as far as the Georgian Bay, when the Company of the Cent-Associés
was founded by Richelieu. The obligation which the great cardinal
imposed upon them of providing for the maintenance of the propagators of
the gospel was to assure the future existence of the missions. The
merit, however, which lay in the creation of a society which did so much
for the furtherance of Roman Catholicism in North America is not due
exclusively to the great cardinal, for Samuel de Champlain can claim a
large share of it. "The welfare of a soul," said this pious founder of
Quebec, "is more than the conquest of an empire, and kings should think
of extending their rule in infidel countries only to assure therein the
reign of Jesus Christ."

Think of the suffering endured, in order to save a soul, by men who for
this sublime purpose renounced all that constitutes the charm of life!
Not only did the Jesuits, in the early days of the colony, brave
horrible dangers with invincible steadfastness, but they even consented
to imitate the savages, to live their life, to learn their difficult
idioms. Let us listen to this magnificent testimony of the Protestant
historian Bancroft:--

"The horrors of a Canadian life in the wilderness were resisted by an
invincible, passive courage, and a deep, internal tranquillity. Away
from the amenities of life, away from the opportunities of vain-glory,
they became dead to the world, and possessed their souls in unalterable
peace. The few who lived to grow old, though bowed by the toils of a
long mission, still kindled with the fervour of apostolic zeal. The
history of their labours is connected with the origin of every
celebrated town in the annals of French Canada; not a cape was turned
nor a river entered but a Jesuit led the way."

Must we now recall the edifying deaths of the sons of Loyola, who
brought the glad tidings of the gospel to the Hurons?--Father Jogues,
who returned from the banks of the Niagara with a broken shoulder and
mutilated hands, and went back, with sublime persistence, to his
barbarous persecutors, to pluck from their midst the palm of martyrdom;
Father Daniel, wounded by a spear while he was absolving the dying in
the village of St. Joseph; Father Brébeuf, refusing to escape with the
women and children of the hamlet of St. Louis, and expiring, together
with Father Gabriel Lalemant, in the most frightful tortures that Satan
could suggest to the imagination of a savage; Father Charles Garnier
pierced with three bullets, and giving up the ghost while blessing his
converts; Father de Noue dying on his knees in the snow!

These missions had succumbed in 1648 and 1649 under the attacks of the
Iroquois. The venerable founder of St. Sulpice, M. Olier, had foreseen
this misfortune; he had always doubted the success of missions so
extended and so widely scattered without a centre of support
sufficiently strong to resist a systematic and concerted attack of all
their enemies at once. Without disapproving the despatch of these flying
columns of missionaries which visited tribe after tribe (perhaps the
only possible method in a country governed by pagan chiefs), he believed
that another system of preaching the gospel would produce, perhaps with
less danger, a more durable effect in the regions protected by the flag
of France. Taking up again the thought of the Benedictine monks, who
have succeeded so well in other countries, M. Olier and the other
founders of Montreal wished to establish a centre of fervent piety which
should accomplish still more by example than by preaching. The
development and progress of religious work must increase with the
material importance of this centre of proselytism. In consequence,
success would be slow, less brilliant, but surer than that ordinarily
obtained by separate missions. This was, at least, the hope of our
fathers, and we of Quebec would seem unjust towards Providence and
towards them if, beholding the present condition of the two seminaries
of this city, of our Catholic colleges, of our institutions of every
kind, and of our religious orders, we did not recognize that their
thought was wise, and their enterprise one of prudence and blessed by

Up to 1658 New France belonged to the jurisdiction of the Bishops of St.
Malo and of Rouen. At the time of the second voyage of Cartier, in
1535, his whole crew, with their officers at their head, confessed and
received communion from the hands of the Bishop of St. Malo. This
jurisdiction lasted until the appointment of the first Bishop of New
France. The creation of a diocese came in due time; the need of an
ecclesiastical superior, of a character capable of imposing his
authority made itself felt more and more. Disorders of all kinds crept
into the colony, and our fathers felt the necessity of a firm and
vigorous arm to remedy this alarming state of affairs. The love of
lucre, of gain easily acquired by the sale of spirituous liquors to the
savages, brought with it evils against which the missionaries
endeavoured to react.

François de Laval-Montmorency, who was called in his youth the Abbé de
Montigny, was, on the recommendation of the Jesuits, appointed apostolic
vicar by Pope Alexander VII, who conferred upon him the title of Bishop
of Petræa _in partibus_. The Church in Canada was then directly
connected with the Holy See, and the sovereign pontiff abandoned to the
king of France the right of appointment and presentation of bishops
having the authority of apostolic vicars.

The difficulties which arose between Mgr. de Laval and the Abbé de
Queylus, Grand Vicar of Rouen for Canada, were regrettable, but, thanks
to the truly apostolic zeal and the purity of intention of these two men
of God, these difficulties were not long in giving place to a noble
rivalry for good, fostered by a perfect harmony. The Abbé de Queylus had
come to take possession of the Island of Montreal for the company of St.
Sulpice, and to establish there a seminary on the model of that in
Paris. This creation, with that of the hospital established by Mlle.
Mance, gave a great impetus to the young city of Montreal. Moreover,
religion was so truly the motive of the foundation of the colony by M.
Olier and his associates, that the latter had placed the Island of
Montreal under the protection of the Holy Virgin. The priests of St.
Sulpice, who had become the lords of the island, had already given an
earnest of their labours; they too aspired to venerate martyrs chosen
from their ranks, and in the same year MM. Lemaître and Vignal perished
at the hands of the wild Iroquois.

Meanwhile, under the paternal direction of Mgr. de Laval, and the
thoroughly Christian administration of governors like Champlain, de
Montmagny, d'Ailleboust, or of leaders like Maisonneuve and Major
Closse, Heaven was pleased to spread its blessings upon the rising
colony; a number of savages asked and received baptism, and the fervour
of the colonists endured. The men were not the only ones to spread the
good word; holy maidens worked on their part for the glory of God,
whether in the hospitals of Quebec and Montreal, or in the institution
of the Ursulines in the heart of the city of Champlain, or, finally, in
the modest school founded at Ville-Marie by Sister Marguerite
Bourgeoys. It is true that the blood of the Indians and of their
missionaries had been shed in floods, that the Huron missions had been
exterminated, and that, moreover, two camps of Algonquins had been
destroyed and swept away; but nations as well as individuals may promise
themselves the greater progress in the spiritual life according as they
commence it with a more abundant and a richer record; and the greatest
treasure of a nation is the blood of the martyrs who have founded it.
Moreover, the fugitive Hurons went to convert their enemies, and even
from the funeral pyres of the priests was to spring the spark of faith
for all these peoples. Two hamlets were founded for the converted
Iroquois, those of the Sault St. Louis (Caughnawaga) and of La Montagne
at Montreal, and fervent neophytes gathered there.

Certain historians have regretted that the first savages encountered by
the French in North America should have been Hurons; an alliance made
with the Iroquois, they say, would have been a hundred times more
profitable for civilization and for France. What do we know about it?
Man imagines and arranges his plans, but above these arrangements hovers
Providence--fools say, chance--whose foreseeing hand sets all in order
for the accomplishment of His impenetrable design. Yet, however firmly
convinced the historian may be that the eye of Providence never sleeps,
that the Divine Hand is never still, he must be sober in his
observations; he must yield neither to his fancy nor to his imagination;
but neither must he banish God from history, for then everything in it
would become incomprehensible and inexplicable, absurd and barren. It
was this same God who guides events at His will that inspired and
sustained the devoted missionaries in their efforts against the
revenue-farmers in the matter of the sale of intoxicating liquors to the
savages. The struggle which they maintained, supported by the venerable
Bishop of Petræa, is wholly to their honour; it was a question of saving
even against their will the unfortunate children of the woods who were
addicted to the fatal passion of intoxication. Unhappily, the Governors
d'Avaugour and de Mézy, in supporting the greed of the traders, were
perhaps right from the political point of view, but certainly wrong from
a philanthropic and Christian standpoint.

The colony continuing to prosper, and the growing need of a national
clergy becoming more and more felt, Mgr. de Laval founded in 1663 a
seminary at Quebec. The king decided that the tithes raised from the
colonists should be collected by the seminary, which was to provide for
the maintenance of the priests and for divine service in the established
parishes. The Sovereign Council fixed the tithe at a twenty-sixth.

The missionaries continued, none the less, to spread the light of the
gospel and Christian civilization. It seems that the field of their
labour had never been too vast for their desire. Ever onward! was their
motto. While Fathers Garreau and Mesnard found death among the
Algonquins on the coasts of Lake Superior, the Sulpicians Dollier and
Gallinée were planting the cross on the shores of Lake Erie; Father
Claude Allouez was preaching the gospel beyond Lake Superior; Fathers
Dablon, Marquette, and Druillètes were establishing the mission of Sault
Ste. Marie; Father Albanel was proceeding to explore Hudson Bay; Father
Marquette, acting with Joliet, was following the course of the
Mississippi as far as Arkansas; finally, later on, Father Arnaud
accompanied La Vérendrye as far as the Rocky Mountains.

The establishment of the Catholic religion in Canada had now witnessed
its darkest days; its history becomes intimately interwoven with that of
the country. Up to the English conquest, the clergy and the different
religious congregations, as faithful to France as to the Holy See,
encouraged the Canadians in their struggles against the invaders.
Accordingly, at the time of the invasion of the colony by Phipps, the
Americans of Boston declared that they would spare neither monks nor
missionaries if they succeeded in seizing Quebec; they bore a particular
grudge against the priests of the seminary, to whom they ascribed the
ravages committed shortly before in New England by the Abenaquis. They
were punished for their boasting; forty seminarists assembled at St.
Joachim, the country house of the seminary, joined the volunteers who
fought at Beauport, and contributed so much to the victory that
Frontenac, to recompense their bravery, presented them with a cannon
captured by themselves.

The Church of Rome had been able to continue in peace its mission in
Canada from the departure of Mgr. de Laval, in 1684, to the conquest of
the country by the English. The worthy Bishop of Petræa, created Bishop
of Quebec in 1674, was succeeded by Mgr. de St. Vallier, then by Mgr. de
Mornay, who did not come to Canada, by Mgr. de Dosquet, Mgr. Pourroy de
l'Aube-Rivière, and Mgr. de Pontbriant, who died the very year in which
General de Lévis made of his flags on St. Helen's Island a sacred pyre.

In 1760 the Protestant religion was about to penetrate into Canada in
the train of the victorious armies of Great Britain, having been
proscribed in the colony from the time of Champlain. With conquerors of
a different religion, the rôle of the Catholic clergy became much more
arduous and delicate; this will be readily admitted when we recall that
Mgr. Briand was informally apprised at the time of his appointment that
the government of England would appear to be ignorant of his
consecration and induction by the Bishop of Rome. But the clergy managed
to keep itself on a level with its task. A systematic opposition on its
part to the new masters of the country could only have drawn upon the
whole population a bitter oppression, and we would not behold to-day the
prosperity of these nine ecclesiastical provinces of Canada, with their
twenty-four dioceses, these numerous parishes which vie with each other
in the advancement of souls, these innumerable religious houses which
everywhere are spreading education or charity. The Act of Quebec in 1774
delivered our fathers from the unjust fetters fastened on their freedom
by the oath required under the Supremacy Act; but it is to the prudence
of Mgr. Plessis in particular that Catholics owe the religious liberty
which they now enjoy.

To-day, when passions are calmed, when we possess a full and complete
liberty of conscience, to-day when the different religious denominations
live side by side in mutual respect and tolerance of each other's
convictions, let us give thanks to the spiritual guides who by their
wisdom and moderation, but also by their energetic resistance when it
was necessary, knew how to preserve for us our language and our
religion. Let us always respect the worthy prelates who, like those who
direct us to-day, edify us by their tact, their knowledge and their



Certain great men pass through the world like meteors; their brilliance,
lightning-like at their first appearance, continues to cast a dazzling
gleam across the centuries: such were Alexander the Great, Mozart,
Shakespeare and Napoleon. Others, on the contrary, do not instantly
command the admiration of the masses; it is necessary, in order that
their transcendent merit should appear, either that the veil which
covered their actions should be gradually lifted, or that, some fine
day, and often after their death, the results of their work should shine
forth suddenly to the eyes of men and prove their genius: such were
Socrates, Themistocles, Jacquard, Copernicus, and Christopher Columbus.

The illustrious ecclesiastic who has given his name to our
French-Canadian university, respected as he was by his contemporaries,
has been esteemed at his proper value only by posterity. The reason is
easy to understand: a colony still in its infancy is subject to many
fluctuations before all the wheels of government move smoothly, and Mgr.
de Laval, obliged to face ever renewed conflicts of authority, had
necessarily either to abandon what he considered it his duty to
support, or create malcontents. If sometimes he carried persistence to
the verge of obstinacy, he must be judged in relation to the period in
which he lived: governors like Frontenac were only too anxious to
imitate their absolute master, whose guiding maxim was, "I am the
state!" Moreover, where are the men of true worth who have not found
upon their path the poisoned fruits of hatred? The so-called praise that
is sometimes applied to a man, when we say of him, "he has not a single
enemy," seems to us, on the contrary, a certificate of insignificance
and obscurity. The figure of this great servant of God is one of those
which shed the most glory on the history of Canada; the age of Louis
XIV, so marvellous in the number of great men which it gave to France,
lavished them also upon her daughter of the new continent--Brébeuf and
Lalemant, de Maisonneuve, Dollard, Laval, Talon, de la Salle, Frontenac,
d'Iberville, de Maricourt, de Sainte-Hélène, and many others.

"Noble as a Montmorency" says a well-known adage. The founder of that
illustrious line, Bouchard, Lord of Montmorency, figures as early as 950
A.D. among the great vassals of the kingdom of France. The
heads of this house bore formerly the titles of First Christian Barons
and of First Barons of France; it became allied to several royal houses,
and gave to the elder daughter of the Church several cardinals, six
constables, twelve marshals, four admirals, and a great number of
distinguished generals and statesmen. Sprung from this family, whose
origin is lost in the night of time, François de Laval-Montmorency was
born at Montigny-sur-Avre, in the department of Eure-et-Loir, on April
30th, 1623. This charming village, which still exists, was part of the
important diocese of Chartres. Through his father, Hugues de Laval,
Seigneur of Montigny, Montbeaudry, Alaincourt and Revercourt, the future
Bishop of Quebec traced his descent from Count Guy de Laval, younger son
of the constable Mathieu de Montmorency, and through his mother,
Michelle de Péricard, he belonged to a family of hereditary officers of
the Crown, which was well-known in Normandy, and gave to the Church a
goodly number of prelates.

Like St. Louis, one of the protectors of his ancestors, the young
François was indebted to his mother for lessons and examples of piety
and of charity which he never forgot. Virtue, moreover, was as natural
to the Lavals as bravery on the field of battle, and whether it were in
the retinue of Clovis, when the First Barons received the regenerating
water of baptism, or on the immortal plain of Bouvines; whether it were
by the side of Blanche of Castile, attacked by the rebellious nobles, or
in the terrible holocaust of Crécy; whether it were in the _fight of the
giants_ at Marignan, or after Pavia during the captivity of the
_roi-gentilhomme_; everywhere where country and religion appealed to
their defenders one was sure of hearing shouted in the foremost ranks
the motto of the Montmorencys: _"Dieu ayde au premier baron chrétien!"_

Young Laval received at the baptismal font the name of the heroic
missionary to the Indies, François-Xavier. To this saint and to the
founder of the Franciscans, François d'Assise, he devoted throughout his
life an ardent worship. Of his youth we hardly know anything except the
misfortunes which happened to his family. He was only fourteen years old
when, in 1636, he suffered the loss of his father, and one of his near
kinsmen, Henri de Montmorency, grand marshal of France, and governor of
Languedoc, beheaded by the order of Richelieu. The bravery displayed by
this valiant warrior in battle unfortunately did not redeem the fault
which he had committed in rebelling against the established power,
against his lawful master, Louis XIII, and in neglecting thus the
traditions handed down to him by his family through more than seven
centuries of glory.

Some historians reproach Richelieu with cruelty, but in that troublous
age when, hardly free from the wars of religion, men rushed carelessly
on into the rebellions of the duc d'Orléans and the duc de Soissons,
into the conspiracies of Chalais, of Cinq-Mars and de Thou, soon
followed by the war of La Fronde, it was not by an indulgence synonymous
with weakness that it was possible to strengthen the royal power. Who
knows if it was not this energy of the great cardinal which inspired the
young François, at an age when sentiment is so deeply impressed upon the
soul, with those ideas of firmness which distinguished him later on?

The future Bishop of Quebec was then a scholar in the college of La
Flèche, directed by the Jesuits, for his pious parents held nothing
dearer than the education of their children in the fear of God and love
of the good. They had had six children; the two first had perished in
the flower of their youth on fields of battle; François, who was now the
eldest, inherited the name and patrimony of Montigny, which he gave up
later on to his brother Jean-Louis, which explains why he was called for
some time Abbé de Montigny, and resumed later the generic name of the
family of Laval; the fifth son, Henri de Laval, joined the Benedictine
monks and became prior of La Croix-Saint-Leuffroy. Finally the only
sister of Mgr. Laval, Anne Charlotte, became Mother Superior of the
religious community of the Daughters of the Holy Sacrament.

François edified the comrades of his early youth by his ardent piety,
and his tender respect for the house of God; his masters, too, clever as
they were in the art of guiding young men and of distinguishing those
who were to shine later on, were not slow in recognizing his splendid
qualities, the clear-sightedness and breadth of his intelligence, and
his wonderful memory. As a reward for his good conduct he was admitted
to the privileged ranks of those who comprised the Congregation of the
Holy Virgin. We know what good these admirable societies, founded by the
sons of Loyola, have accomplished and still accomplish daily in Catholic
schools the world over. Societies which vie with each other in piety and
encouragement of virtue, they inspire young people with the love of
prayer, the habits of regularity and of holy practices.

The congregation of the college of La Flèche had then the good fortune
of being directed by Father Bagot, one of those superior priests always
so numerous in the Company of Jesus. At one time confessor to King Louis
XIII, Father Bagot was a profound philosopher and an eminent theologian.
It was under his clever direction that the mind of François de Laval was
formed, and we shall witness later the germination of the seed which the
learned Jesuit sowed in the soul of his beloved scholar.

At this period great families devoted to God from early youth the
younger members who showed inclination for the religious life. François
was only nine years old when he received the tonsure, and fifteen when
he was appointed canon of the cathedral of Evreux. Without the revenues
which he drew from his prebend, he would not have been able to continue
his literary studies; the death of his father, in fact, had left his
family in a rather precarious condition of fortune. He was to remain to
the end of his career the pupil of his preferred masters, for it was
under them that, having at the age of nineteen left the institution
where he had brilliantly completed his classical education, he studied
philosophy and theology at the Collège de Clermont at Paris.

He was plunged in these noble studies, when two terrible blows fell upon
him; he learned of the successive deaths of his two eldest brothers, who
had fallen gloriously, one at Freiburg, the other at Nördlingen. He
became thus the head of the family, and as if the temptations which this
title offered him were not sufficient, bringing him as it did, together
with a great name a brilliant future, his mother came, supported by the
Bishop of Evreux, his cousin, to beg him to abandon the ecclesiastical
career and to marry, in order to maintain the honour of his house. Many
others would have succumbed, but what were temporal advantages to a man
who had long aspired to the glory of going to preach the Divine Word in
far-off missions? He remained inflexible; all that his mother could
obtain from him was his consent to devote to her for some time his clear
judgment and intellect in setting in order the affairs of his family. A
few months sufficed for success in this task. In order to place an
impassable abyss between himself and the world, he made a full and
complete renunciation in favour of his brother Jean-Louis of his rights
of primogeniture and all his titles to the seigniory of Montigny and
Montbeaudry. The world is ever prone to admire a chivalrous action, and
to look askance at deeds which appear to savour of fanaticism. To Laval
this renunciation of worldly wealth and honour appeared in the simple
light of duty. His Master's words were inspiration enough: "Wist ye not
that I must be about my Father's business?"

Returning to the Collège de Clermont, he now thought of nothing but of
preparing to receive worthily the holy orders. It was on September 23rd,
1647, at Paris, that he saw dawn for him the beautiful day of the first
mass, whose memory perfumes the whole life of the priest. We may guess
with what fervour he must have ascended the steps of the holy altar; if
up to that moment he had merely loved his God, he must on that day have
dedicated to Jesus all the powers of his being, all the tenderness of
his soul, and his every heart-beat.

Mgr. de Péricard, Bishop of Evreux, was not present at the ordination of
his cousin; death had taken him away, but before expiring, besides
expressing his regret to the new priest for having tried at the time,
thinking to further the aims of God, to dissuade him from the
ecclesiastical life, he gave him a last proof of his affection by
appointing him archdeacon of his cathedral. The duties of the
archdeaconry of Evreux, comprising, as it did, nearly one hundred and
sixty parishes, were particularly heavy, yet the young priest fulfilled
them for seven years, and M. de la Colombière explains to us how he
acquitted himself of them: "The regularity of his visits, the fervour of
his enthusiasm, the improvement and the good order which he established
in the parishes, the relief of the poor, his interest in all sorts of
charity, none of which escaped his notice: all this showed well that
without being a bishop he had the ability and merit of one, and that
there was no service which the Church might not expect from so great a

But our future Bishop of New France aspired to more glorious fields. One
of those zealous apostles who were evangelizing India at this period,
Father Alexander of Rhodes, asked from the sovereign pontiff the
appointment for Asia of three French bishops, and submitted to the Holy
See the names of MM. Pallu, Picquet and Laval. There was no question of
hesitation. All three set out immediately for Rome. They remained there
fifteen months; the opposition of the Portuguese court caused the
failure of this plan, and François de Laval returned to France. He had
resigned the office of archdeacon the year before, 1653, in favour of a
man of tried virtue, who had been, nevertheless, a prey to calumny and
persecution, the Abbé Henri-Marie Boudon; thus freed from all
responsibility, Laval could satisfy his desire of preparing himself by
prayer for the designs which God might have for him.

In his desire of attaining the greatest possible perfection, he betook
himself to Caen, to the religious retreat of M. de Bernières. St.
Vincent de Paul, who had trained M. Olier, was desirous also that his
pupil, before going to find a field for his apostolic zeal among the
people of Auvergne, should prepare himself by earnest meditation in
retirement at St. Lazare. "Silence and introspection seemed to St.
Vincent," says M. de Lanjuère, the author of the life of M. Olier, "the
first conditions of success, preceding any serious enterprise. He had
not learned this from Pythagoras or the Greek philosophers, who were,
indeed, so careful to prescribe for their disciples a long period of
meditation before initiation into their systems, nor even from the
experience of all superior men, who, in order to ripen a great plan or
to evolve a great thought, have always felt the need of isolation in the
nobler acceptance of the word; but he had this maxim from the very
example of the Saviour, who, before the temptation and before the
transfiguration, withdrew from the world in order to contemplate, and
who prayed in Gethsemane before His death on the cross, and who often
led His disciples into solitude to rest, and to listen to His most
precious communications."

In this little town of Caen, in a house called the Hermitage, lived Jean
de Bernières of Louvigny, together with some of his friends. They had
gathered together for the purpose of aiding each other in mutual
sanctification; they practised prayer, and lived in the exercise of the
highest piety and charity. François de Laval passed three years in this
Hermitage, and his wisdom was already so highly appreciated, that during
the period of his stay he was entrusted with two important missions,
whose successful issue attracted attention to him and led naturally to
his appointment to the bishopric of Canada.

As early as 1647 the king foresaw the coming creation of a bishopric in
New France, for he constituted the Upper Council "of the Governor of
Quebec, the Governor of Montreal and the Superior of the Jesuits, _until
there should be a bishop_." A few years later, in 1656, the Company of
Montreal obtained from M. Olier, the pious founder of the Seminary of
St. Sulpice, the services of four of his priests for the colony, under
the direction of one of them, M. de Queylus, Abbé de Loc-Dieu, whose
brilliant qualities, as well as the noble use which he made of his great
fortune, marked him out naturally as the probable choice of his
associates for the episcopacy. But the Jesuits, in possession of all the
missions of New France, had their word to say, especially since the
mitre had been offered by the queen regent, Anne of Austria, to one of
their number, Father Lejeune, who had not, however, been able to accept,
their rules forbidding it. They had then proposed to the court of France
and the court of Rome the name of François de Laval; but believing that
the colony was not ready for the erection of a see, they expressed the
opinion that the sending of an apostolic vicar with the functions and
powers of a bishop _in partibus_ would suffice. Moreover, if the person
sent should not succeed, he could at any time be recalled, which could
not be done in the case of a bishop. Alexander VII had given his consent
to this new plan, and Mgr. de Laval was consecrated by the nuncio of the
Pope at Paris, on Sunday, December 8th, 1658, in the church of St.
Germain-des-Prés. After having taken, with the assent of the sovereign
pontiff, the oath of fidelity to the king, the new Bishop of Petræa said
farewell to his pious mother (who died in that same year) and embarked
at La Rochelle in the month of April, 1659. The only property he
retained was an income of a thousand francs assured to him by the
Queen-Mother; but he was setting out to conquer treasures very different
from those coveted by the Spanish adventurers who sailed to Mexico and
Peru. He arrived on June 16th at Quebec, with letters from the king
which enjoined upon all the recognition of Mgr. de Laval of Petræa as
being authorized to exercise episcopal functions in the colony without
prejudice to the rights of the Archbishop of Rouen.

Unfortunately, men's minds were not very certain then as to the title
and qualities of an apostolic vicar. They asked themselves if he were
not a simple delegate whose authority did not conflict with the
jurisdiction of the two grand vicars of the Jesuits and the Sulpicians.
The communities, at first divided on this point, submitted on the
receipt of new letters from the king, which commanded the recognition of
the sole authority of the Bishop of Petræa. The two grand vicars obeyed,
and M. de Queylus came to Quebec, where he preached the sermon on St.
Augustine's Day (August 28th), and satisfied the claim to authority of
the apostolic vicar.

But a new complication arose: the _St. André_, which had arrived on
September 7th, brought to the Abbé de Queylus a new appointment as grand
vicar from the Archbishop of Rouen, which contained his protests at
court against the apostolic vicar, and letters from the king which
seemed to confirm them. Doubt as to the authenticity of the powers of
Mgr. de Laval might thus, at least, seem permissible; no act of the Abbé
de Queylus, however, indicates that it was openly manifested, and the
very next month the abbé returned to France.

We may understand, however, that Mgr. de Laval, in the midst of such
difficulties, felt the need of early asserting his authority. He
promulgated an order enjoining upon all the secular ecclesiastics of the
country the disavowal of all foreign jurisdictions and the recognition
of his alone, and commanded them to sign this regulation in evidence of
their submission. All signed it, including the devoted priests of St.
Sulpice at Montreal.

Two years later, nevertheless, the Abbé de Queylus returned with bulls
from the Congregation of the Daterie at Rome. These bulls placed him in
possession of the parish of Montreal. In spite of the formal forbiddance
of the Bishop of Petræa, he undertook, strong in what he judged to be
his rights, to betake himself to Montreal. The prelate on his side
believed that it was his duty to take severe steps, and he suspended the
Abbé de Queylus. On instructions which were given him by the king,
Governor d'Avaugour transmitted to the Abbé de Queylus an order to
return to France. The court of Rome finally settled the question by
giving the entire jurisdiction of Canada to Mgr. de Laval. The affair
thus ended, the Abbé de Queylus returned to the colony in 1668. The
population of Ville-Marie received with deep joy this benefactor, to
whose generosity it owed so much, and on his side the worthy Bishop of
Petræa proved that if he had believed it his duty to defend his own
authority when menaced, he had too noble a heart to preserve a petty
rancour. He appointed the worthy Abbé de Queylus his grand vicar at

When for the first time Mgr. de Laval set foot on the soil of America,
the people, assembled to pay respect to their first pastor, were struck
by his address, which was both affable and majestic, by his manners, as
easy as they were distinguished, but especially by that charm which
emanates from every one whose heart has remained ever pure. A lofty brow
indicated an intellect above the ordinary; the clean-cut long nose was
the inheritance of the Montmorencys; his eye was keen and bright; his
eyebrows strongly arched; his thin lips and prominent chin showed a
tenacious will; his hair was scanty; finally, according to the custom of
that period, a moustache and chin beard added to the strength and energy
of his features. From the moment of his arrival the prelate produced the
best impression. "I cannot," said Governor d'Argenson, "I cannot highly
enough esteem the zeal and piety of Mgr. of Petræa. He is a true man of
prayer, and I make no doubt that his labours will bear goodly fruits in
this country." Boucher, governor of Three Rivers, wrote thus: "We have a
bishop whose zeal and virtue are beyond anything that I can say."



The pious bishop who is the subject of this study was not long in
proving that his virtues were not too highly esteemed. An ancient
vessel, the _St. André_, brought from France two hundred and six
persons, among whom were Mlle. Mance, the foundress of the Montreal
hospital, Sister Bourgeoys, and two Sulpicians, MM. Vignal and Lemaître.
Now this ship had long served as a sailors' hospital, and it had been
sent back to sea without the necessary quarantine. Hardly had its
passengers lost sight of the coasts of France when the plague broke out
among them, and with such intensity that all were more or less attacked
by it; Mlle. Mance, in particular, was almost immediately reduced to the
point of death. Always very delicate, and exhausted by a preceding
voyage, she did not seem destined to resist this latest attack.
Moreover, all aid was lacking, even the rations of fresh water ran
short, and from a fear of contagion, which will be readily understood,
but which was none the less disastrous, the captain at first forbade the
Sisters of Charity who were on board to minister to the sick. This
precaution cost seven or eight of these unfortunate people their lives.
At least M. Vignal and M. Lemaître, though both suffering themselves,
were able to offer to the dying the consolations of their holy office.
M. Lemaître, more vigorous than his colleague, and possessed of an
admirable energy and devotion, was not satisfied merely with encouraging
and ministering to the unfortunate in their last moments, but even
watched over their remains at the risk of his own life; he buried them
piously, wound them in their shrouds, and said over them the final
prayers as they were lowered into the sea. Two Huguenots, touched by his
devotion, died in the Roman Catholic faith. The Sisters were finally
permitted to exercise their charitable office. Although ill, they as
well as Sister Bourgeoys, displayed a heroic energy, and raised the
morale of all the unfortunate passengers.

To this sickness were added other sufferings incident to such a voyage,
and frightful storms did not cease to attack the ship until its entry
into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Several times they believed themselves on
the point of foundering, and the two priests gave absolution to all. The
tempest carried these unhappy people so far from their route that they
did not arrive at Quebec until September 7th, exhausted by disease,
famine and trials of all sorts. Father Dequen, of the Society of Jesus,
showed in this matter an example of the most admirable charity. He
brought to the sick refreshments and every manner of aid, and lavished
upon all the offices of his holy ministry. As a result of his
self-devotion, he was attacked by the scourge and died in the exercise
of charity. Several more, after being conveyed to the hospital,
succumbed to the disease, and the whole country was infected. Mgr. of
Petræa was admirable in his devotion; he hardly left the hospital at
all, and constituted himself the nurse of all these unfortunates, making
their beds and giving them the most attentive care. "He is continually
at the hospital," wrote Mother Mary of the Incarnation, "in order to
help the sick and to make their beds. We do what we can to prevent him
and to shield his health, but no eloquence can dissuade him from these
acts of self-abasement."

In the spring of the year 1662, Mgr. de Laval rented for his own use an
old house situated on the site of the present parochial residence at
Quebec, and it was there that, with the three other priests who then
composed his episcopal court, he edified all the colonists by the
simplicity of a cenobitic life. He had been at first the guest of the
Jesuit Fathers, was later sheltered by the Sisters of the Hôtel-Dieu,
and subsequently lodged with the Ursulines. At this period it was indeed
incumbent upon him to adapt himself to circumstances; nor did these
modest conditions displease the former pupil of M. de Bernières, since,
as Latour bears witness, "he always complained that people did too much
for him; he showed a distaste for all that was too daintily prepared,
and affected, on the contrary, a sort of avidity for coarser fare."
Mother Mary of the Incarnation wrote: "He lives like a holy man and an
apostle; his life is so exemplary that he commands the admiration of the
country. He gives everything away and lives like a pauper, and one may
well say that he has the very spirit of poverty. He practises this
poverty in his house, in his manner of living, and in the matter of
furniture and servants; for he has but one gardener, whom he lends to
poor people when they have need of him, and a valet who formerly served
M. de Bernières."

But if the reverend prelate was modest and simple in his personal
tastes, he became inflexible when he thought it his duty to maintain the
rights of the Church. And he watched over these rights with the more
circumspection since he was the first bishop installed in the colony,
and was unwilling to allow abuses to be planted there, which later it
would be very difficult, not to say impossible, to uproot. Hence the
continual friction between him and the governor-general, d'Argenson, on
questions of precedence and etiquette. Some of these disputes would seem
to us childish to-day if even such a writer as Parkman did not put us on
our guard against a premature judgment.[1] "The disputes in question,"
writes Parkman, "though of a nature to provoke a smile on irreverent
lips, were by no means so puerile as they appear. It is difficult in a
modern democratic society to conceive the substantial importance of the
signs and symbols of dignity and authority, at a time and among a people
where they were adjusted with the most scrupulous precision, and
accepted by all classes as exponents of relative degrees in the social
and political scale. Whether the bishop or the governor should sit in
the higher seat at table thus became a political question, for it
defined to the popular understanding the position of Church and State in
their relations to government."

In his zeal for making his episcopal authority respected, could not the
prelate, however, have made some concessions to the temporal power? It
is allowable to think so, when his panegyrist, the Abbé Gosselin,
acknowledges it in these terms: "Did he sometimes show too much ardour
in the settlement of a question or in the assertion of his rights? It is
possible. As the Abbé Ferland rightly observes, 'no virtue is perfect
upon earth.' But he was too pious and too disinterested for us to
suspect for a moment the purity of his intentions." In certain passages
in his journal Father Lalemant seems to be of the same opinion. All men
are fallible; even the greatest saints have erred. In this connection
the remark of St. Bernardin of Siena presents itself naturally to the
religious mind: "Each time," says he, "that God grants to a creature a
marked and particular favour, and when divine grace summons him to a
special task and to some sublime position, it is a rule of Providence
to furnish that creature with all the means necessary to fulfil the
mission which is entrusted to him, and to bring it to a happy
conclusion. Providence prepares his birth, directs his education,
produces the environment in which he is to live; even his faults
Providence will use in the accomplishment of its purposes."

Difficulties of another sort fixed between the spiritual and the
temporal chiefs of the colony a still deeper gulf; they arose from the
trade in brandy with the savages. It had been formerly forbidden by the
Sovereign Council, and this measure, urged by the clergy and the
missionaries, put a stop to crimes and disorders. However, for the
purpose of gain, certain men infringed this wise prohibition, and Mgr.
de Laval, aware of the extensive harm caused by the fatal passion of the
Indians for intoxicating liquors, hurled excommunication against all who
should carry on the traffic in brandy with the savages. "It would be
very difficult," writes M. de Latour, "to realize to what an excess
these barbarians are carried by drunkenness. There is no species of
madness, of crime or inhumanity to which they do not descend. The
savage, for a glass of brandy, will give even his clothes, his cabin,
his wife, his children; a squaw when made drunk--and this is often done
purposely--will abandon herself to the first comer. They will tear each
other to pieces. If one enters a cabin whose inmates have just drunk
brandy, one will behold with astonishment and horror the father cutting
the throat of his son, the son threatening his father; the husband and
wife, the best of friends, inflicting murderous blows upon each other,
biting each other, tearing out each other's eyes, noses and ears; they
are no longer recognizable, they are madmen; there is perhaps in the
world no more vivid picture of hell. There are often some among them who
seek drunkenness in order to avenge themselves upon their enemies, and
commit with impunity all sorts of crimes under the pretext of this fine
excuse, which passes with them for a complete justification, that at
these times they are not free and not in their senses." Drunken savages
are brutes, it is true, but were not the whites who fostered this fatal
passion of intoxication more guilty still than the wretches whom they
ignominiously urged on to vice? Let us see what the same writer says of
these corrupters. "If it is difficult," says he, "to explain the
excesses of the savage, it is also difficult to understand the extent of
the greed, the hypocrisy and the rascality of those who supply them with
these drinks. The facility for making immense profits which is afforded
them by the ignorance and the passions of these people, and the
certainty of impunity, are things which they cannot resist; the
attraction of gain acts upon them as drunkenness does upon their
victims. How many crimes arise from the same source? There is no mother
who does not fear for her daughter, no husband who does not dread for
his wife, a libertine armed with a bottle of brandy; they rob and
pillage these wretches, who, stupefied by intoxication when they are not
maddened by it, can neither refuse nor defend themselves. There is no
barrier which is not forced, no weakness which is not exploited, in
these remote regions where, without either witnesses or masters, only
the voice of brutal passion is listened to, every crime of which is
inspired by a glass of brandy. The French are worse in this respect than
the savages."

Governor d'Avaugour supported energetically the measures taken by Mgr.
de Laval; unfortunately a regrettable incident destroyed the harmony
between their two authorities. Inspired by his good heart, the superior
of the Jesuits, Father Lalemant, interceded with the governor in favour
of a woman imprisoned for having infringed the prohibition of the sale
of brandy to the Indians. "If she is not to be punished," brusquely
replied d'Avaugour, "no one shall be punished henceforth!" And, as he
made it a point of honour not to withdraw this unfortunate utterance,
the traders profited by it. From that time license was no longer
bridled; the savages got drunk, the traders were enriched, and the
colony was in jeopardy. Sure of being supported by the governor, the
merchants listened to neither bishop nor missionaries. Grieved at seeing
his prayers as powerless as his commands, Mgr. de Laval decided to
carry his complaint to the foot of the throne, and he set sail for
France in the autumn of 1662. "Statesmen who place the freedom of
commerce above morality of action," says Jacques de Beaudoncourt, "still
consider that the bishop was wrong, and see in this matter a fine
opportunity to inveigh against the encroachments of the clergy; but
whoever has at heart the cause of human dignity will not hesitate to
take the side of the missionaries who sought to preserve the savages
from the vices which have brought about their ruin and their
disappearance. The Montagnais race, which is still the most important in
Canada, has been preserved by Catholicism from the vices and the misery
which brought about so rapidly the extirpation of the savages."

Mgr. de Laval succeeded beyond his hopes; cordially received by King
Louis XIV, he obtained the recall of Governor d'Avaugour. But this
purpose was not the only one which he had made the goal of his ambition;
he had in view another, much more important for the welfare of the
colony. Fourteen years before, the Iroquois had exterminated the Hurons,
and since this period the colonists had not enjoyed a single hour of
calm; the devotion of Dollard and of his sixteen heroic comrades had
narrowly saved them from a horrible danger. The worthy prelate obtained
from the king a sufficiently large assignment of troops to deliver the
colony at last from its most dangerous enemies. "We expect next year,"
he wrote to the sovereign pontiff, "twelve hundred soldiers, with whom,
by God's help, we shall try to overcome the fierce Iroquois. The Marquis
de Tracy will come to Canada in order to see for himself the measures
which are necessary to make of New France a strong and prosperous

M. Dubois d'Avaugour was recalled, and yet he rendered before his
departure a distinguished service to the colony. "The St. Lawrence," he
wrote in a memorial to the monarch, "is the key to a country which may
become the greatest state in the world. There should be sent to this
colony three thousand soldiers, to be discharged after three years of
service; they could make Quebec an impregnable fortress, subdue the
Iroquois, build redoubtable forts on the banks of the Hudson, where the
Dutch have only a wretched wooden hut, and in short, open for New France
a road to the sea by this river." It was mainly this report which
induced the sovereign to take back Canada from the hands of the Company
of the Cent-Associés, who were incapable of colonizing it, and to
reintegrate it in the royal domain.

Must we think with M. de la Colombière,[2] with M. de Latour and with
Cardinal Taschereau, that the Sovereign Council was the work of Mgr. de
Laval? We have some justification in believing it when we remember that
the king arrived at this important decision while the energetic Laval
was present at his court. However it may be, on April 24th, 1663, the
Company of New France abandoned the colony to the royal government,
which immediately created in Canada three courts of justice and above
them the Sovereign Council as a court of appeal.

The Bishop of Petræa sailed in 1663 for North America with the new
governor, M. de Mézy, who owed to him his appointment. His other
fellow-passengers were M. Gaudais-Dupont, who came to take possession of
the country in the name of the king, two priests, MM. Maizerets and
Hugues Pommier, Father Rafeix, of the Society of Jesus, and three
ecclesiastics. The passage was stormy and lasted four months. To-day,
when we leave Havre and disembark a week later at New York, after having
enjoyed all the refinements of luxury and comfort invented by an
advanced but materialistic civilization, we can with difficulty imagine
the discomforts, hardships and privations of four long months on a
stormy sea. Scurvy, that fatal consequence of famine and exhaustion,
soon broke out among the passengers, and many died of it. The bishop,
himself stricken by the disease, did not cease, nevertheless, to lavish
his care upon the unfortunates who were attacked by the infection; he
even attended them at the hospital after they had landed.

The country was still at this time under the stress of the emotion
caused by the terrible earthquake of 1663. Father Lalemant has left us a
striking description of this cataclysm, marked by the naïve exaggeration
of the period: "It was February 5th, 1663, about half-past five in the
evening, when a great roar was heard at the same time throughout the
extent of Canada. This noise, which gave the impression that fire had
broken out in all the houses, made every one rush out of doors in order
to flee from such a sudden conflagration. But instead of seeing smoke
and flame, the people were much surprised to behold walls tottering, and
all the stones moving as if they had become detached; the roofs seemed
to bend downward on one side, then to lean over on the other; the bells
rang of their own accord; joists, rafters and boards cracked, the earth
quivered and made the stakes of the palisades dance in a manner which
would appear incredible if we had not seen it in various places.

"Then every one rushes outside, animals take to flight, children cry
through the streets, men and women, seized with terror, know not where
to take refuge, thinking at every moment that they must be either
overwhelmed in the ruins of the houses or buried in some abyss about to
open under their feet; some, falling to their knees in the snow, cry for
mercy; others pass the rest of the night in prayer, because the
earthquake still continues with a certain undulation, almost like that
of ships at sea, and such that some feel from these shocks the same
sickness that they endure upon the water.

"The disorder was much greater in the forest. It seemed that there was a
battle between the trees, which were hurled together, and not only their
branches but even their trunks seemed to leave their places to leap upon
each other with a noise and a confusion which made our savages say that
the whole forest was drunk.

"There seemed to be the same combat between the mountains, of which some
were uprooted and hurled upon the others, leaving great chasms in the
places whence they came, and now burying the trees, with which they were
covered, deep in the earth up to their tops, now thrusting them in, with
branches downward, taking the place of the roots, so that they left only
a forest of upturned trunks.

"While this general destruction was going on on land, sheets of ice five
or six feet thick were broken and shattered to pieces, and split in many
places, whence arose thick vapour or streams of mud and sand which
ascended high into the air; our springs either flowed no longer or ran
with sulphurous waters; the rivers were either lost from sight or became
polluted, the waters of some becoming yellow, those of others red, and
the great St. Lawrence appeared quite livid up to the vicinity of
Tadousac, a most astonishing prodigy, and one capable of surprising
those who know the extent of this great river below the Island of
Orleans, and what matter must be necessary to whiten it.

"We behold new lakes where there never were any; certain mountains
engulfed are no longer seen; several rapids have been smoothed out; not
a few rivers no longer appear; the earth is cleft in many places, and
has opened abysses which seem to have no bottom. In short, there has
been produced such a confusion of woods upturned and buried, that we see
now stretches of country of more than a thousand acres wholly denuded,
and as if they were freshly ploughed, where a little before there had
been but forests.

"Moreover, three circumstances made this earthquake most remarkable. The
first is the time of its duration, since it lasted into the month of
August, that is to say, more than six months. It is true that the shocks
were not always so rude; in certain places, for example, towards the
mountains at the back of us, the noise and the commotion were long
continued; at others, as in the direction of Tadousac, there was a
quaking as a rule two or three times a day, accompanied by a great
straining, and we noticed that in the higher places the disturbance was
less than in the flat districts.

"The second circumstance concerns the extent of this earthquake, which
we believe to have been universal throughout New France; for we learn
that it was felt from Ile Percé and Gaspé, which are at the mouth of our
river, to beyond Montreal, as likewise in New England, in Acadia and
other very remote places; so that, knowing that the earthquake occurred
throughout an extent of two hundred leagues in length by one hundred in
breadth, we have twenty thousand square leagues of land which felt the
earthquake on the same day and at the same moment.

"The third circumstance concerns God's particular protection of our
homes, for we see near us great abysses and a prodigious extent of
country wholly ruined, without our having lost a child or even a hair of
our heads. We see ourselves surrounded by confusion and ruins, and yet
we have had only a few chimneys demolished, while the mountains around
us have been overturned."

From the point of view of conversions and returns to God the results
were marvellous. "One can scarcely believe," says Mother Mary of the
Incarnation, "the great number of conversions that God has brought
about, both among infidels who have embraced the faith, and on the part
of Christians who have abandoned their evil life. At the same time as
God has shaken the mountains and the marble rocks of these regions, it
would seem that He has taken pleasure in shaking consciences. Days of
carnival have been changed into days of penitence and sadness; public
prayers, processions and pilgrimages have been continual; fasts on bread
and water very frequent; the general confessions more sincere than they
would have been in the extremity of sickness. A single ecclesiastic,
who directs the parish of Château-Richer, has assured us that he has
procured more than eight hundred general confessions, and I leave you to
think what the reverend Fathers must have accomplished who were day and
night in the confessional. I do not think that in the whole country
there is a single inhabitant who has not made a general confession.
There have been inveterate sinners, who, to set their consciences at
rest, have repeated their confession more than three times. We have seen
admirable reconciliations, enemies falling on their knees before each
other to ask each other's forgiveness, in so much sorrow that it was
easy to see that these changes were the results of grace and of the
mercy of God rather than of His justice."


[1] _The Old Régime in Canada_, p. 110.

[2] Joseph Séré de la Colombière, vicar-general and archdeacon of
Quebec, pronounced Mgr. de Laval's funeral oration.



No sooner had he returned, than the Bishop of Petræa devoted all the
strength of his intellect to the execution of a plan which he had long
meditated, namely, the foundation of a seminary. In order to explain
what he understood by this word we cannot do better than to quote his
own ordinance relating to this matter: "There shall be educated and
trained such young clerics as may appear fit for the service of God, and
they shall be taught for this purpose the proper manner of administering
the sacraments, the methods of apostolic catechism and preaching, moral
theology, the ceremonies of the Church, the Gregorian chant, and other
things belonging to the duties of a good ecclesiastic; and besides, in
order that there may be formed in the said seminary and among its clergy
a chapter composed of ecclesiastics belonging thereto and chosen from
among us and the bishops of the said country, our successors, when the
king shall have seen fit to found the seminary, or from those whom the
said seminary may be able of itself to furnish to this institution
through the blessing of God. We desire it to be a perpetual school of
virtue, and a place of training whence we may derive pious and capable
recruits, in order to send them on all occasions, and whenever there may
be need, into the parishes and other places in the said country, in
order to exercise therein priestly and other duties to which they may
have been destined, and to withdraw them from the same parishes and
duties when it may be judged fitting, reserving to ourselves always, and
to the bishops, our successors in the said country, as well as to the
said seminary, by our orders and those of the said lords bishops, the
power of recalling all the ecclesiastics who may have gone forth as
delegates into the parishes and other places, whenever it may be deemed
necessary, without their having title or right of particular attachment
to a parish, it being our desire, on the contrary, that they should be
rightfully removable, and subject to dismissal and displacement at the
will of the bishops and of the said seminary, by the orders of the same,
in accordance with the sacred practice of the early ages of the Church,
which is followed and preserved still at the present day in many
dioceses of this kingdom."

Although this foregoing period is somewhat lengthy and a little obscure,
so weighty with meaning is it, we have been anxious to quote it, first,
because it is an official document, and because it came from the very
pen of him whose life we are studying; and, secondly, because it shows
that at this period serious reading, such as Cicero, Quintilian, and the
Fathers of the Church, formed the mental pabulum of the people. In our
days the beauty of a sentence is less sought after than its clearness
and conciseness.

It may be well to add here the Abbé Gosselin's explanation of this
_mandement_: "Three principal works are due to this document as the
glorious inheritance of the seminary of Quebec. In the first place we
have the natural work of any seminary, the training of ecclesiastics and
the preparation of the clergy for priestly virtues. In the next place we
have the creation of the chapter, which the Bishop of Petræa always
considered important in a well organized diocese; it was his desire to
find the elements of this chapter in his seminary, when the king should
have provided for its endowment, or when the seminary itself could bear
the expense. Finally, there is that which in the mind of Mgr. de Laval
was the supreme work of the seminary, its vital task: the seminary was
to be not only a perpetual school of virtue, but also a place of supply
on which he might draw for the persons needed in the administration of
his diocese, and to which he might send them back when he should think
best. All livings are connected with the seminary, but they are all
transferable. The prelate here puts clearly and categorically the
question of the transfer of livings. In his measures there is neither
hesitation nor circumlocution. He does not seek to deceive the sovereign
to whom he is about to submit his regulation. For him, in the present
condition of New France, there can be no question of fixed livings; the
priests must be by right removable, and subject to recall at the will of
the bishop; and, as is fitting in a prelate worthy of the primitive
Church, he always lays stress in his commands on the _holy practice of
the early centuries_. The question was clearly put. It was as clearly
understood by the sovereign, who approved some days later of the
regulation of Mgr. de Laval."

It was in the month of April, 1663, that the worthy prelate had obtained
the royal approval of the establishment of his seminary; it was on
October 10th of the same year that he had it registered by the Sovereign

A great difficulty arose: the missionaries, besides the help that they
had obtained from the Company of the Cent-Associés, derived their
resources from Europe; but how was the new secular clergy to be
supported, totally lacking as it was in endowment and revenue? Mgr. de
Laval resolved to employ the means adopted long ago by Charlemagne to
assure the maintenance of the Frankish clergy: that of tithes or dues
paid by the husbandman from his harvest. Accordingly he obtained from
the king an ordinance according to which tithes, fixed at the amount of
the thirteenth part of the harvests, should be collected from the
colonists by the seminary; the latter was to use them for the
maintenance of the priests, and for divine service in the established
parishes. The burden was, perhaps, somewhat heavy. Mgr. de Laval, who,
inspired by the spirit of poverty, had renounced his patrimony and lived
solely upon a pension of a thousand francs which the queen paid him from
her private exchequer, felt that he had a certain right to impose his
disinterestedness upon others, but the colonists, sure of the support of
the governor, M. de Mézy, complained.

The good understanding between the governor-general and the bishop had
been maintained up to the end of January, 1664. Full of respect for the
character and the virtue of his friend, M. de Mézy had energetically
supported the ordinances of the Sovereign Council against the brandy
traffic; he had likewise favoured the registration of the law of tithes,
but the opposition which he met in the matter of an increase in his
salary impelled him to arbitrary action. Of his own authority he
displaced three councillors, and out of petty rancour allowed strong
liquors to be sold to the savages. The open struggle between the bishop
and himself produced the most unfavourable impression in the colony. The
king decided that the matter must be brought to a head. M. de Courcelles
was appointed governor, and, jointly with a viceroy, the Marquis de
Tracy, and with the Intendant Talon, was entrusted with the
investigation of the administration of M. de Mézy. They arrived a few
months after the death of de Mézy, whom this untimely end saved perhaps
from a well-deserved condemnation. He had become reconciled in his
dying hour to his old and venerable friend, and the judges confined
themselves to the erasure of the documents which recalled his

The worthy Bishop of Petræa had not lost for a moment the confidence of
the sovereign, as is proved by many letters which he received from the
king and his prime minister, Colbert. "I send you by command of His
Majesty," writes Colbert, "the sum of six thousand francs, to be
disposed of as you may deem best to supply your needs and those of your
Church. We cannot ascribe too great a value to a virtue like yours,
which is ever equally maintained, which charitably extends its help
wherever it is necessary, which makes you indefatigable in the functions
of your episcopacy, notwithstanding the feebleness of your health and
the frequent indispositions by which you are attacked, and which thus
makes you share with the least of your ecclesiastics the task of
administering the sacraments in places most remote from the principal
settlements. I shall add nothing to this statement, which is entirely
sincere, for fear of wounding your natural modesty, etc...." The prince
himself is no less flattering: "My Lord Bishop of Petræa," writes Louis
the Great, "I expected no less of your zeal for the exaltation of the
faith, and of your affection for the furtherance of my service than the
conduct observed by you in your important and holy mission. Its main
reward is reserved by Heaven, which alone can recompense you in
proportion to your merit, but you may rest assured that such rewards as
depend on me will not be wanting at the fitting time. I subscribe,
moreover, to my Lord Colbert's communications to you in my name."

Peace and harmony were re-established, and with them the hope of seeing
finally disappear the constant menace of Iroquois forays. The
magnificent regiment of Carignan, composed of six hundred men, reassured
the colonists while it daunted their savage enemies. Thus three of the
Five Nations hastened to sue for peace, and they obtained it. In order
to protect the frontiers of the colony, M. de Tracy caused three forts
to be erected on the Richelieu River, one at Sorel, another at Chambly,
a third still more remote, that of Ste. Thérèse; then at the head of six
hundred soldiers, six hundred militia and a hundred Indians, he marched
towards the hamlets of the Mohawks. The result of this expedition was,
unhappily, as fruitless as that of the later campaigns undertaken
against the Indians by MM. de Denonville and de Frontenac. After a
difficult march they come into touch with the savages; but these all
flee into the woods, and they find only their huts stocked with immense
supplies of corn for the winter, and a great number of pigs. At least,
if they cannot reach the barbarians themselves, they can inflict upon
them a terrible punishment; they set fire to the cabins and the corn,
the pigs are slaughtered, and thus a large number of their wild enemies
die of hunger during the winter. The viceroy was wise enough to accept
the surrender of many Indians, and the peace which he concluded afforded
the colony eighteen years of tranquillity.

The question of the apportionment of the tithes was settled in the
following year, 1667. The viceroy, acting with MM. de Courcelles and
Talon, decided that the tithe should be reduced to a twenty-sixth, by
reason of the poverty of the inhabitants, and that newly-cleared lands
should pay nothing for the first five years. Mgr. de Laval, ever ready
to accept just and sensible measures, agreed to this decision. The
revenues thus obtained were, none the less, insufficient, since the king
subsequently gave eight or nine thousand francs to complete the
endowment of the priests, whose annual salary was fixed at five hundred
and seventy-four francs. In 1707 the sum granted by the French court was
reduced to four thousand francs. If we remember that the French farmers
contributed the thirteenth part of their harvest, that is to say, double
the quantity of the Canadian tithe, for the support of their pastors,
shall we deem excessive this modest tax raised from the colonists for
men who devoted to them their time, their health, even their hours of
rest, in order to procure for their parishioners the aid of religion? Is
it not regrettable that too many among the colonists, who were yet such
good Christians in the observance of religious practices, should have
opposed an obstinate resistance to so righteous a demand? Can it be
that, by a special dispensation of Heaven, the priests and vicars of
Canada are not liable to the same material needs as ordinary mortals,
and are they not obliged to pay in good current coin for their food,
their medicines and their clothes?

The first seminary, built of stone,[3] rose in 1661 on the site of the
present vicarage of the cathedral of Quebec; it cost eight thousand five
hundred francs, two thousand of which were given by Mgr. de Laval. The
first priest of Quebec and first superior of the seminary, M. Henri de
Bernières, was able to occupy it in the autumn of the following year,
and the Bishop of Petræa abode there from the time of his return from
France on September 15th, 1663, until the burning of this house on
November 15th, 1701. The first directors of the seminary were, besides
M. de Bernières, MM. de Lauson-Charny, son of the former
governor-general, Jean Dudouyt, Thomas Morel, Ange de Maizerets and
Hugues Pommier. Except the first, who was a Burgundian, they were all
born in the two provinces of Brittany and Normandy, the cradles of the
majority of our ancestors.

The founder of the seminary had wished the livings to be transferable;
later the government decided to the contrary, and the edict of 1679
decreed that the tithes should be payable only to the permanent
priests; nevertheless the majority of them remained of their own free
will attached to the seminary. They had learned there to practise a
complete abnegation, and to give to the faithful the example of a united
and fervent clerical family. "Our goods were held in common with those
of the bishop," wrote M. de Maizerets, "I have never seen any
distinction made among us between poor and rich, or the birth and rank
of any one questioned, since we all consider each other as brothers."

The pious bishop himself set an example of disinterestedness; all that
he had, namely an income of two thousand five hundred francs, which the
Jesuits paid him as the tithes of the grain harvested upon their
property, and a revenue of a thousand francs which he had from his
friends in France, went into the seminary. MM. de Bernières, de
Maizerets and Dudouyt vied in the imitation of their model, and they
likewise abandoned to the holy house their goods and their pensions. The
prelate confined himself, like the others, from humility even more than
from economy on behalf of the community, to the greatest simplicity in
dress as well as in his environment. Aiming at the highest degree of
possible perfection, he was satisfied with the coarsest fare, and
incessantly added voluntary privations to the sacrifices demanded of him
by his difficult duties. Does not this apostolic poverty recall the
seminary established by the pious founder of St. Sulpice, who wrote:
"Each had at dinner a bowl of soup and a small portion of butcher's
meat, without dessert, and in the evening likewise a little roast

Mortification diminished in no wise the activity of the prelate;
learning that the Seminary of Foreign Missions at Paris, that nursery of
apostles, had just been definitely established (1663), he considered it
his duty to establish his own more firmly by affiliating it with that of
the French capital. "I have learned with joy," wrote he, "of the
establishment of your Seminary of Foreign Missions, and that the gales
and tempests by which it has been tossed since the beginning have but
served to render it firmer and more unassailable. I cannot sufficiently
praise your zeal, which, unable to confine itself to the limits and
frontiers of France, seeks to spread throughout the world, and to pass
beyond the seas into the most remote regions; considering which, I have
thought I could not compass a greater good for our young Church, nor one
more to the glory of God and the welfare of the peoples whom God has
entrusted to our guidance, than by contributing to the establishment of
one of your branches in Quebec, the place of our residence, where you
will be like the light set upon the candlestick, to illumine all these
regions by your holy doctrine and the example of your virtue. Since you
are the torch of foreign countries, it is only reasonable that there
should be no quarter of the globe uninfluenced by your charity and
zeal. I hope that our Church will be one of the first to possess this
good fortune, the more since it has already a part of what you hold most
dear. Come then, and be welcome; we shall receive you with joy. You will
find a lodging prepared and a fund sufficient to set up a small
establishment, which I hope will continue to grow...." The act of union
was signed in 1665, and was renewed ten years later with the royal

Thanks to the generosity of Mgr. de Laval and of the first directors of
the seminary, building and acquisition of land was begun. There was
erected in 1668 a large wooden dwelling, which was in some sort an
extension of the episcopal and parochial residence. It was destroyed in
1701, with the vicarage, in the conflagration which overwhelmed the
whole seminary. Subsequently, there was purchased a site of sixteen
acres adjoining the parochial church, upon which was erected the house
of Madame Couillard. This house, in which lodged in 1668 the first
pupils of the smaller seminary, was replaced in 1678 by a stone edifice,
large enough to shelter all the pupils of both the seminaries. The
seigniory of Beaupré was also acquired, which with remarkable foresight
the bishop exchanged for the Ile Jésus. "It was prudent," remarks the
Abbé Gosselin, "not to have all the property in the same place; when the
seasons are bad in one part of the country they may be prosperous
elsewhere; and having thus sources of revenue in different places, one
is more likely never to find them entirely lacking."

The smaller seminary dates only from the year 1668. Up to this time the
large seminary alone existed; of the five ecclesiastics who were its
inmates in 1663, Louis Joliet abandoned the priestly career. It was he
who, impelled by his adventurous instincts, sought out, together with
Father Marquette, the mouth of the Mississippi.


[3] The house was first the presbytery.



Now, what were the results accomplished by the efforts of the
missionaries at this period of our history? When in their latest hour
they saw about them, as was very frequently the case, only the wild
children of the desert uttering cries of ferocious joy, had they at
least the consolation of discerning faithful disciples of Christ
concealed among their executioners? Alas! we must admit that North
America saw no renewal of the days when St. Peter converted on one
occasion, at his first preaching, three thousand persons, and when St.
Paul brought to Jesus by His word thousands of Gentiles. Were the
missionaries of the New World, then, less zealous, less disinterested,
less eloquent than the apostles of the early days of the Church? Let us
listen to Mgr. Bourgard: "A few only among them, like the Brazilian
apostle, Father Anthony Vieyra, died a natural death and found a grave
in earth consecrated by the Church. Many, like Father Marquette, who
reconnoitred the whole course of the Mississippi, succumbed to the
burden of fatigue in the midst of the desert, and were buried under the
turf by their sorrowful comrades. He had with him several Frenchmen,
Fathers Badin, Deseille and Petit; the two latter left their venerable
remains among the wastes. Others met death at the bedside of the
plague-stricken, and were martyrs to their charity, like Fathers Turgis
and Dablon. An incalculable number died in the desert, alone, deprived
of all aid, unknown to the whole world, and their bodies became the
sustenance of birds of prey. Several obtained the glorious crown of
martyrdom; such are the venerable Fathers Jogues, Corpo, Souël,
Chabanel, Ribourde, Brébeuf, Lalemant, etc. Now they fell under the
blows of raging Indians; now they were traitorously assassinated; again,
they were impaled." In what, then, must we seek for the cause of the
futility of these efforts? All those who know the savages will
understand it; it is in the fickle character of these children of the
woods, a character more unstable and volatile than that of infants. God
alone knows what restless anxiety the conversions which they succeeded
in bringing about caused to the missionaries and the pious Bishop of
Petræa. Yet every day Mgr. de Laval ardently prayed, not only for the
flock confided to his care but also for the souls which he had come from
so far to seek to save from heathenism. If one of these devout men of
God had succeeded at the price of a thousand dangers, of a thousand
attempts, in proving to an Indian the insanity, the folly of his belief
in the juggleries of a sorcerer, he must watch with jealous care lest
his convert should lapse from grace either through the sarcasms of the
other redskins, or through the attractions of some cannibal festival, or
by the temptation to satisfy an ancient grudge, or through the fear of
losing a coveted influence, or even through the apprehension of the
vengeance of the heathen. Did he think himself justified in expecting to
see his efforts crowned with success? Suddenly he would learn that the
poor neophyte had been led astray by the sight of a bottle of brandy,
and that he had to begin again from the beginning.

No greater success was attained in many efforts which were exerted to
give a European stamp to the character of the aborigines, than in divers
attempts to train in civilized habits young Indians brought up in the
seminaries. And we know that if success in this direction had been
possible it would certainly have been obtained by educators like the
Jesuit Fathers. "With the French admitted to the small seminary," says
the Abbé Ferland, "six young Indians were received; on the advice of the
king they were all to be brought up together. This union, which was
thought likely to prove useful to all, was not helpful to the savages,
and became harmful to the young Frenchmen. After a few trials it was
understood that it was impossible to adapt to the regular habits
necessary for success in a course of study these young scholars who had
been reared in complete freedom. Comradeship with Algonquin and Huron
children, who were incapable of limiting themselves to the observance
of a college rule, tended to give more force and persistence to the
independent ideas which were natural in the young French-Canadians, who
received from their fathers the love of liberty and the taste for an
adventurous life."

But we must not infer, therefore, that the missionaries found no
consolation in their troublous task. If sometimes the savage blood
revealed itself in the neophytes in sudden insurrections, we must admit
that the majority of the converts devoted themselves to the practice of
virtues with an energy which often rose to heroism, and that already
there began to appear among them that holy fraternity which the gospel
everywhere brings to birth. The memoirs of the Jesuits furnish numerous
evidences of this. We shall cite only the following: "A band of Hurons
had come down to the Mission of St. Joseph. The Christians, suffering a
great dearth of provisions, asked each other, 'Can we feed all those
people?' As they said this, behold, a number of the Indians,
disembarking from their little boats, go straight to the chapel, fall
upon their knees and say their prayers. An Algonquin who had gone to
salute the Holy Sacrament, having perceived them, came to apprise his
captain that these Hurons were praying to God. 'Is it true?' said he.
'Come! come! we must no longer debate whether we shall give them food or
not; they are our brothers, since they believe as well as we.'"

The conversion which caused the most joy to Mgr. de Laval was that of
Garakontié, the noted chief of the Iroquois confederation. Accordingly
he wished to baptize him himself in the cathedral of Quebec, and the
governor, M. de Courcelles, consented to serve as godfather to the new
follower of Christ. Up to this time the missions to the Five Nations had
been ephemeral; by the first one Father Jogues had only been able to
fertilize with his blood this barbarous soil; the second, established at
Gannentaha, escaped the general massacre in 1658 only by a genuine
miracle. This mission was commanded by Captain Dupuis, and comprised
fifty-five Frenchmen. Five Jesuit Fathers were of the number, among them
Fathers Chaumonot and Dablon. Everything up to that time had gone
wonderfully well in the new establishment; the missionaries knew the
Iroquois language so well, and so well applied the rules of savage
eloquence, that they impressed all the surrounding tribes; accordingly
they were full of trust and dreamed of a rapid extension of the Catholic
faith in these territories. An Iroquois chief dispelled their illusion
by revealing to them the plans of their enemies; they were already
watched, and preparations were on foot to cut off their retreat. In this
peril the colonists took counsel, and hastily constructed in the
granaries of their quarters a few boats, some canoes and a large barge,
destined to transport the provisions and the fugitives. They had to
hasten, because the attack against their establishment might take place
at any moment, and they must profit by the breaking up of the ice, which
was impending. But how could they transport this little flotilla to the
river which flowed into Lake Ontario twenty miles away without giving
the alarm and being massacred at the first step? They adopted a singular
stratagem derived from the customs of these people, and one in which the
fugitives succeeded perfectly. "A young Frenchman adopted by an Indian,"
relates Jacques de Beaudoncourt, "pretended to have a dream by which he
was warned to make a festival, 'to eat everything,' if he did not wish
to die presently. 'You are my son,' replied the Iroquois chief, 'I do
not want you to die; prepare the feast and we shall eat everything.' No
one was absent; some of the French who were invited made music to charm
the guests. They ate so much, according to the rules of Indian civility,
that they said to their host, 'Take pity on us, and let us go and rest.'
'You want me to die, then?' 'Oh, no!' And they betook themselves to
eating again as best they could. During this time the other Frenchmen
were carrying to the river the boats and provisions. When all was ready
the young man said: 'I take pity on you, stop eating, I shall not die. I
am going to have music played to lull you to sleep.' And sleep was not
long in coming, and the French, slipping hastily away from the banquet
hall, rejoined their comrades. They had left the dogs and the fowls
behind, in order the better to deceive the savages; a heavy snow,
falling at the moment of their departure, had concealed all traces of
their passage, and the banqueters imagined that a powerful Manitou had
carried away the fugitives, who would not fail to come back and avenge
themselves. After thirteen days of toilsome navigation, the French
arrived in Montreal, having lost only three men from drowning during the
passage. It had been thought that they were all massacred, for the plans
of the Iroquois had become known in the colony; this escape brought the
greatest honour to Captain Dupuis, who had successfully carried it out."

M. d'Argenson, then governor, did not approve of the retreat of the
captain; this advanced bulwark protected the whole colony, and he
thought that the French should have held out to the last man. This
selfish opinion was disavowed by the great majority; the real courage of
a leader does not consist in having all his comrades massacred to no
purpose, but in saving by his calm intrepidity the largest possible
number of soldiers for his country.

The Iroquois were tricked but not disarmed. Beside themselves with rage
at the thought that so many victims about to be sacrificed to their
hatred had escaped their blows, and desiring to end once for all the
feud with their enemies, the Onondagas, they persuaded the other nations
to join them in a rush upon Quebec. They succeeded easily, and twelve
hundred savage warriors assembled at Cleft Rock, on the outskirts of
Montreal, and exposed the colony to the most terrible danger which it
had yet experienced.

This was indeed a great peril; the dwellings above Quebec were without
defence, and separated so far from each other that they stretched out
nearly two leagues. But providentially the plan of these terrible foes
was made known to the inhabitants of the town through an Iroquois
prisoner. Immediately the most feverish activity was exerted in
preparations for defence; the country houses and those of the Lower Town
were abandoned, and the inhabitants took refuge in the palace, in the
fort, with the Ursulines, or with the Jesuits; redoubts were raised,
loop-holes bored and patrols established. At Ville-Marie no fewer
precautions were taken; the governor surrounded a mill which he had
erected in 1658, by a palisade, a ditch, and four bastions well
entrenched. It stood on a height of the St. Louis Hill, and, called at
first the Mill on the Hill, it became later the citadel of Montreal.
Anxiety still prevailed everywhere, but God, who knows how to raise up,
in the very moment of despair, the instruments which He uses in His
infinite wisdom to protect the countries dear to His heart, that same
God who gave to France the heroic Joan of Arc, produced for Canada an
unexpected defender. Dollard and sixteen brave Montrealers were to offer
themselves as victims to save the colony. Their devotion, which
surpasses all that history shows of splendid daring, proves the
exaltation of the souls of those early colonists.

One morning in the month of July, 1660, Dollard, accompanied by sixteen
valiant comrades, presented himself at the altar of the church in
Montreal; these Christian heroes came to ask the God of the strong to
bless the resolve which they had taken to go and sacrifice themselves
for their brothers. Immediately after mass, tearing themselves from the
embraces of their relatives, they set out, and after a long and toilsome
march arrived at the foot of the Long Rapid, on the left bank of the
Ottawa; the exact point where they stopped is probably Greece's Point,
five or six miles above Carillon, for they knew that the Iroquois
returning from the hunt must pass this place. They installed themselves
within a wretched palisade, where they were joined almost at once by two
Indian chiefs who, having challenged each other's courage, sought an
occasion to surpass one another in valour. They were Anahotaha, at the
head of forty Hurons, and Métiomègue, accompanied by four Algonquins.
They had not long to wait; two canoes bore the Iroquois crews within
musket shot; those who escaped the terrible volley which received them
and killed the majority of them, hastened to warn the band of three
hundred other Iroquois from whom they had become detached. The Indians,
relying on an easy victory, hastened up, but they hurled themselves in
vain upon the French, who, sheltered by their weak palisade, crowned
its stakes with the heads of their enemies as these were beaten down.
Exasperated by this unexpected check, the Iroquois broke up the canoes
of their adversaries, and, with the help of these fragments, which they
set on fire, attempted to burn the little fortress; but a well sustained
fire prevented the rashest from approaching. Their pride yielding to
their thirst for vengeance, these three hundred men found themselves too
few before such intrepid enemies, and they sent for aid to a band of
five hundred of their people, who were camped on the Richelieu Islands.
These hastened to the attack, and eight hundred men rushed upon a band
of heroes strengthened by the sentiment of duty, the love of country and
faith in a happy future. Futile efforts! The bullets made terrible havoc
in their ranks, and they recoiled again, carrying with them only the
assurance that their numbers had not paralyzed the courage of the

But the aspect of things was about to change, owing to the cowardice of
the Hurons. Water failed the besieged tortured by thirst; they made
sorties from time to time to procure some, and could bring back in their
small and insufficient vessels only a few drops, obtained at the
greatest peril. The Iroquois, aware of this fact, profited by it in
order to offer life and pardon to the Indians who would go over to their
side. No more was necessary to persuade the Hurons, and suddenly thirty
of them followed La Mouche, the nephew of the Huron chief, and leaped
over the palisades. The brave Anahotaha fired a pistol shot at his
nephew, but missed him. The Algonquins remained faithful, and died
bravely at their post. The Iroquois learned through these deserters the
real number of those who were resisting them so boldly; they then took
an oath to die to the last man rather than renounce victory, rather than
cast thus an everlasting opprobrium on their nation. The bravest made a
sort of shield with fagots tied together, and, placing themselves in
front of their comrades, hurled themselves upon the palisades,
attempting to tear them up. The supreme moment of the struggle has come;
Dollard is aware of it. While his brothers in arms make frightful gaps
in the ranks of the savages by well-directed shots, he loads with grape
shot a musket which is to explode as it falls, and hurls it with all his
might. Unhappily, the branch of a tree stays the passage of the terrible
engine of destruction, which falls back upon the French and makes a
bloody gap among them. "Surrender!" cries La Mouche to Anahotaha. "I
have given my word to the French, I shall die with them," replies the
bold chief. Already some stakes were torn up, and the Iroquois were
about to rush like an avalanche through this breach, when a new Horatius
Cocles, as brave as the Roman, made his body a shield for his brothers,
and soon the axe which he held in his hand dripped with blood. He fell,
and was at once replaced. The French succumbed one by one; they were
seen brandishing their weapons up to the moment of their last breath,
and, riddled with wounds, they resisted to the last sigh. Drunk with
vengeance, the wild conquerors turned over the bodies to find some still
palpitating, that they might bind them to a stake of torture; three were
in their mortal agony, but they died before being cast on the pyre. A
single one was saved for the stake; he heroically resisted the
refinements of the most barbarous cruelty; he showed no weakness, and
did not cease to pray for his executioners. Everything in this glorious
deed of arms must compel the admiration of the most remote posterity.

The wretched Hurons suffered the fate which they had deserved; they were
burned in the different villages. Five escaped, and it was by their
reports that men learned the details of an exploit which saved the
colony. The Iroquois, in fact, considering what a handful of brave men
had accomplished, took it for granted that a frontal attack on such men
could only result in failure; they changed their tactics, and had
recourse anew to their warfare of surprises and ambuscades, with the
purpose of gradually destroying the little colony.

The dangers which might be risked by attacking so fierce a nation were,
as may be seen, by no means imaginary. Many would have retreated, and
awaited a favourable occasion to try and plant for the third time the
cross in the Iroquois village. The sons of Loyola did not hesitate;
encouraged by Mgr. de Laval, they retraced their steps to the Five
Nations. This time Heaven condescended to reward in a large measure
their persistent efforts, and the harvest was abundant. In a short time
the number of churches among these people had increased to ten.

The famous chief, Garakontié, whose conversion to Christianity caused so
much joy to the pious Bishop of Petræa and to all the Christians of
Canada, was endowed with a rare intelligence, and all who approached him
recognized in him a mind as keen as it was profound. Not only did he
keep faithfully the promises which he had made on receiving baptism, but
the gratitude which he continued to feel towards the bishop and the
missionaries made him remain until his death the devoted friend of the
French. "He is an incomparable man," wrote Father Millet one day. "He is
the soul of all the good that is done here; he supports the faith by his
influence; he maintains peace by his authority; he declares himself so
clearly for France that we may justly call him the protector of the
Crown in this country." Feeling life escaping, he wished to give what
the savages call their "farewell feast," a touching custom, especially
when Christianity comes to sanctify it. His last words were for the
venerable prelate, to whom he had vowed a deep attachment and respect.
"The guests having retired," wrote Father Lamberville, "he called me to
him. 'So we must part at last,' said he to me; 'I am willing, since I
hope to go to Heaven.' He then begged me to tell my beads with him,
which I did, together with several Christians, and then he called me and
said to me: 'I am dying.' Then he gave up the ghost very peacefully."

The labour demanded at this period by pastoral visits in a diocese so
extended may readily be imagined. Besides the towns of Quebec, Montreal
and Three Rivers, in which was centralized the general activity, there
were then several Christian villages, those of Lorette, Ste. Foy,
Sillery, the village of La Montagne at Montreal, of the Sault St. Louis,
and of the Prairie de la Madeleine. Far from avoiding these trips, Mgr.
de Laval took pleasure in visiting all the cabins of the savages, one
after another, spreading the good Word, consoling the afflicted, and
himself administering the sacraments of the Church to those who wished
to receive them.

Father Dablon gives us in these terms the narrative of the visit of the
bishop to the Prairie de la Madeleine in 1676. "This man," says he,
speaking of the prelate, "this man, great by birth and still greater by
his virtues, which have been quite recently the admiration of all
France, and which on his last voyage to Europe justly acquired for him
the esteem and the approval of the king; this great man, making the
rounds of his diocese, was conveyed in a little bark canoe by two
peasants, exposed to all the inclemencies of the climate, without other
retinue than a single ecclesiastic, and without carrying anything but a
wooden cross and the ornaments absolutely necessary to a _bishop of
gold_, according to the expression of authors in speaking of the first
prelates of Christianity."

     [The expedition of Dollard is related in detail by Dollier de
     Casson, and by Mother Mary of the Incarnation in her letters. The
     Abbé de Belmont gives a further account of the episode in his
     history. The _Jesuit Relations_ place the scene of the affair at
     the Chaudière Falls. The sceptically-minded are referred to
     Kingsford's _History of Canada_, vol. I., p. 261, where a less
     romantic view of the affair is taken.]--Editors' Note on the
     Dollard Episode.



To the great joy of Mgr. de Laval the colony was about to develop
suddenly, thanks to the establishment in the fertile plains of New
France of the time-expired soldiers of the regiment of Carignan. The
importance of the peopling of his diocese had always been capital in the
eyes of the bishop, and we have seen him at work obtaining from the
court new consignments of colonists. Accordingly, in the year 1663,
three hundred persons had embarked at La Rochelle for Canada.
Unfortunately, the majority of these passengers were quite young people,
clerks or students, in quest of adventure, who had never worked with
their hands. The consequences of this deplorable emigration were
disastrous; more than sixty of these poor children died during the
voyage. The king was startled at such negligence, and the three hundred
colonists who embarked the following year, in small detachments, arrived
in excellent condition. Moreover, they had made the voyage without
expense, but had in return hired to work for three years with the
farmers, for an annual wage which was to be fixed by the authorities.
"It will seem to you perhaps strange," wrote M. de Villeray, to the
minister Colbert, "to see that we make workmen coming to us from France
undergo a sort of apprenticeship, by distribution among the inhabitants;
yet there is nothing more necessary, first, because the men brought to
us are not accustomed to the tilling of the soil; secondly, a man who is
not accustomed to work, unless he is urged, has difficulty in adapting
himself to it; thirdly, the tasks of this country are very different
from those of France, and experience shows us that a man who has
wintered three years in the country, and who then hires out at service,
receives double the wages of one just arriving from the Old Country.
These are reasons of our own which possibly would not be admitted in
France by those who do not understand them."

The Sovereign Council recommended, moreover, that there should be sent
only men from the north of France, "because," it asserted, "the Normans,
Percherons, Picards, and people from the neighbourhood of Paris are
docile, laborious, industrious, and have much more religion. Now, it is
important in the establishment of a country to sow good seed." While we
accept in the proper spirit this eulogy of our ancestors, who came
mostly from these provinces, how inevitably it suggests a comparison
with the spirit of scepticism and irreverence which now infects,
transitorily, let us hope, these regions of Northern France.

Never before had the harbour of Quebec seen so much animation as in the
year 1665. The solicitor-general, Bourdon, had set foot on the banks of
the St. Lawrence in early spring; he escorted a number of girls chosen
by order of the queen. Towards the middle of August two ships arrived
bearing four companies of the regiment of Carignan, and the following
month three other vessels brought, together with eight other companies,
Governor de Courcelles and Commissioner Talon. Finally, on October 2nd,
one hundred and thirty robust colonists and eighty-two maidens,
carefully chosen, came to settle in the colony.

If we remember that there were only at this time seventy houses in
Quebec, we may say without exaggeration that the number of persons who
came from France in this year, 1665, exceeded that of the whole white
population already resident in Canada. But it was desirable to keep this
population in its entirety, and Commissioner Talon, well seconded by
Mgr. de Laval, tenaciously pursued this purpose. The soldiers of
Carignan, all brave, and pious too, for the most part, were highly
desirable colonists. "What we seek most," wrote Mother Mary of the
Incarnation, "is the glory of God and the welfare of souls. That is what
we are working for, as well as to assure the prevalence of devotion in
the army, giving the men to understand that we are waging here a holy
war. There are as many as five hundred of them who have taken the
scapulary of the Holy Virgin, and many others who recite the chaplet of
the Holy Family every day."

Talon met with a rather strong opposition to his immigration plans in
the person of the great Colbert, who was afraid of seeing the Mother
Country depopulated in favour of her new daughter Canada. His
perseverance finally won the day, and more than four hundred soldiers
settled in the colony. Each common soldier received a hundred francs,
each sergeant a hundred and fifty francs. Besides, forty thousand francs
were used in raising in France the additional number of fifty girls and
a hundred and fifty men, which, increased by two hundred and thirty-five
colonists, sent by the company in 1667, fulfilled the desires of the
Bishop of Petræa.

The country would soon have been self-supporting if similar energy had
been continuously employed in its development. It is a miracle that a
handful of emigrants, cast almost without resources upon the northern
shore of America, should have been able to maintain themselves so long,
in spite of continual alarms, in spite of the deprivation of all
comfort, and in spite of the rigour of the climate. With wonderful
courage and patience they conquered a vast territory, peopled it,
cultivated its soil, and defended it by prodigies of valour against the
forays of the Indians.

The colony, happily, was to keep its bishop, the worthy Governor de
Courcelles, and the best administrator it ever had, the Commissioner
Talon. But it was to lose a lofty intellect: the Marquis de Tracy, his
mission ended to the satisfaction of all, set sail again for France.
From the moment of his arrival in Canada the latter had inspired the
greatest confidence. "These three gentlemen," say the annals of the
hospital, speaking of the viceroy, of M. de Courcelles and M. Talon,
"were endowed with all desirable qualities. They added to an attractive
exterior much wit, gentleness and prudence, and were admirably adapted
to instil a high idea of the royal majesty and power; they sought all
means proper for moulding the country and laboured at this task with
great application. This colony, under their wise leadership, expanded
wonderfully, and according to all appearances gave hope of becoming most
flourishing." Mgr. de Laval held the Marquis de Tracy in high esteem.
"He is a man powerful in word and deed," he wrote to Pope Alexander VII,
"a practising Christian, and the right arm of religion." The viceroy did
not fear, indeed, to show that one may be at once an excellent Christian
and a brave officer, whether he accompanied the Bishop of Petræa on the
pilgrimage to good Ste. Anne, or whether he honoured himself in the
religious processions by carrying a corner of the dais with the
governor, the intendant and the agent of the West India Company. He was
seen also at the laying of the foundation stone of the church of the
Jesuits, at the transfer of the relics of the holy martyrs Flavian and
Felicitas, at the consecration of the cathedral of Quebec and at that of
the chief altar of the church of the Ursulines, in fact, everywhere
where he might set before the faithful the good example of piety and of
the respect due to religion.

The eighteen years of peace with the Iroquois, obtained by the
expedition of the Marquis de Tracy, allowed the intendant to encourage
the development of the St. Maurice mines, to send the traveller Nicolas
Perrot to visit all the tribes of the north and west, in order to
establish or cement with them relations of trade or friendship, and to
entrust Father Marquette and M. Joliet with the mission of exploring the
course of the Mississippi. The two travellers carried their exploration
as far as the junction of this river with the Arkansas, but their
provisions failing them, they had to retrace their steps.

This state of peace came near being disturbed by the gross cupidity of
some wretched soldiers. In the spring of 1669 three soldiers of the
garrison of Ville-Marie, intoxicated and assassinated an Iroquois chief
who was bringing back from his hunting some magnificent furs. M. de
Courcelles betook himself at once to Montreal, but, during the process
of this trial, it was learned that several months before three other
Frenchmen had killed six Mohegan Indians with the same purpose of
plunder. The excitement aroused by these two murders was such that a
general uprising of the savage nations was feared; already they had
banded together for vengeance, and only the energy of the governor saved
the colony from the horrors of another war. In the presence of all the
Indians then quartered at Ville-Marie, he had the three assassins of the
Iroquois chief brought before him, and caused them to be shot. He
pledged himself at the same time to do like justice to the murderers of
the Mohegans, as soon as they should be discovered. He caused, moreover,
to be restored to the widow of the chief all the furs which had been
stolen from him, and indemnified the two tribes, and thus by his
firmness induced the restless nations to remain at peace. His vigilance
did not stop at this. The Iroquois and the Ottawas being on the point of
recommencing their feud, he warned them that he would not allow them to
disturb the general order and tranquillity. He commanded them to send to
him delegates to present the question of their mutual grievances.
Receiving an arrogant reply from the Iroquois, who thought their country
inaccessible to the French, he himself set out from Montreal on June
2nd, 1671, with fifty-six soldiers, in a specially constructed boat and
thirteen bark canoes. He reached the entrance to Lake Ontario, and so
daunted the Iroquois by his audacity that the Ottawas sued for peace.
Profiting by the alarm with which he had just inspired them, M. de
Courcelles gave orders to the principal chiefs to go and await him at
Cataraqui, there to treat with him on an important matter. They obeyed,
and the governor declared to them his plan of constructing at this very
place a fort where they might more easily arrange their exchanges. Not
suspecting that the French had any other purpose than that of protecting
themselves against inroads, they approved this plan; and so Fort
Cataraqui, to-day the city of Kingston, was erected by Count de
Frontenac, and called after this governor, who was to succeed M. de

Their transitory apprehensions did not interrupt the construction of the
two churches of Quebec and Montreal, for they were built almost at the
same time; the first was dedicated on July 11th, 1666, the second, begun
in 1672, was finished only in 1678. The church of the old city of
Champlain was of stone, in the form of a Roman cross; its length was one
hundred feet, its width thirty-eight. It contained, besides the
principal altar, a chapel dedicated to St. Joseph, another to Ste. Anne,
and the chapel of the Holy Scapulary. Thrice enlarged, it gave place in
1755 to the present cathedral, for which the foundations of the older
church were used. When the prelate arrived in 1659, the holy offices
were already celebrated there, but the bishop hastened to end the work
which it still required. "There is here," he wrote to the Common Father
of the faithful, "a cathedral made of stone; it is large and splendid.
The divine service is celebrated in it according to the ceremony of
bishops; our priests, our seminarists, as well as ten or twelve
choir-boys, are regularly present there. On great festivals, the mass,
vespers and evensong are sung to music, with orchestral accompaniment,
and our organs mingle their harmonious voices with those of the
chanters. There are in the sacristy some very fine ornaments, eight
silver chandeliers, and all the chalices, pyxes, vases and censers are
either gilt or pure silver."

The Sulpicians as well as the Jesuits have always professed a peculiar
devotion to the Virgin Mary. It was the pious founder of St. Sulpice, M.
Olier, who suggested to the Company of Notre-Dame the idea of
consecrating to Mary the establishment of the Island of Montreal in
order that she might defend it as her property, and increase it as her
domain. They gladly yielded to this desire, and even adopted as the seal
of the company the figure of Our Lady; in addition they confirmed the
name of Ville-Marie, so happily given to this chosen soil.

It was the Jesuits who placed the church of Quebec under the patronage
of the Immaculate Conception, and gave it as second patron St. Louis,
King of France. This double choice could not but be agreeable to the
pious Bishop of Petræa. Learning, moreover, that the members of the
Society of Jesus renewed each year in Canada their vow to fast on the
eve of the festival of the Immaculate Conception, and to add to this
mortification several pious practices, with the view of obtaining from
Heaven the conversion of the savages, he approved this devotion, and
ordered that in future it should likewise be observed in his seminary.
He sanctioned other works of piety inspired or established by the Jesuit
Fathers; the _novena_, which has remained so popular with the
French-Canadians, at St. François-Xavier, the Brotherhoods of the Holy
Rosary and of the Scapulary of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. He encouraged,
above all, devotion to the Holy Family, and prescribed wise regulations
for this worship. The Pope deigned to enrich by numerous indulgences the
brotherhoods to which it gave birth, and in recent years Leo XIII
instituted throughout the Church the celebration of the Festival of the
Holy Family. "The worship of the Holy Family," the illustrious pontiff
proclaims in a recent bull, "was established in America, in the region
of Canada, where it became most flourishing, thanks chiefly to the
solicitude and activity of the venerable servant of God, François de
Montmorency Laval, first Bishop of Quebec, and of God's worthy
handmaiden, Marguerite Bourgeoys." According to Cardinal Taschereau, it
was Father Pijard who established the first Brotherhood of the Holy
Family in 1650 in the Island of Montreal, but the real promoter of this
cult was another Father of the Company of Jesus, Father Chaumonot, whom
Mgr. de Laval brought specially to Quebec to set at the head of the
brotherhood which he had decided to found.

It was the custom, in these periods of fervent faith, to place
buildings, cities and even countries under the ægis of a great saint,
and Louis XIII had done himself the honour of dedicating France to the
Virgin Mary. People did not then blush to practise and profess their
beliefs, nor to proclaim them aloud. On the proposal of the Récollets in
a general assembly, St. Joseph was chosen as the first patron saint of
Canada; later, St. François-Xavier was adopted as the second special
protector of the colony.

Montreal, which in the early days of its existence maintained with its
rival of Cape Diamond a strife of emulation in the path of good as well
as in that of progress, could no longer do without a religious edifice
worthy of its already considerable importance. Mgr. de Laval was at this
time on a round of pastoral visits, for, in spite of the fatigue
attaching to such a journey, at a time when there was not yet even a
carriage-road between the two towns, and when, braving contrary winds,
storms and the snares of the Iroquois, one had to ascend the St.
Lawrence in a bark canoe, the worthy prelate made at least eight visits
to Montreal during the period of his administration. In a general
assembly of May 12th, 1669, presided over by him, it was decided to
establish the church on ground which had belonged to Jean de
Saint-Père, but since this site had not the elevation on which the
Sulpicians desired to see the new temple erected, the work was suspended
for two years more. The ecclesiastics of the seminary offered on this
very height (for M. Dollier had given to the main street the name of
Notre-Dame, which was that of the future church) some lots bought by
them from Nicolas Godé and from Mme. Jacques Lemoyne, and situated
behind their house; they offered besides in the name of M. de
Bretonvilliers the sum of a thousand _livres tournois_ for three years,
to begin the work. These offers were accepted in an assembly of all the
inhabitants, on June 10th, 1672; François Bailly, master mason, directed
the building, and on the thirtieth of the same month, before the deeply
moved and pious population, there were laid, immediately after high
mass, the first five stones. There had been chosen the name of the
Purification, because this day was the anniversary of that on which MM.
Olier and de la Dauversière had caught the first glimpses of their
vocation to work at the establishment of Ville-Marie, and because this
festival had always remained in high honour among the Montrealers. The
foundation was laid by M. de Courcelles, governor-general; the second
stone had been reserved for M. Talon, but, as he could not accept the
invitation, his place was taken by M. Philippe de Carion, representative
of M. de la Motte Saint-Paul. The remaining stones were laid by M.
Perrot, governor of the island, by M. Dollier de Casson, representing M.
de Bretonvilliers, and by Mlle. Mance, foundress of the Montreal
hospital. The sight of this ceremony was one of the last joys of this
good woman; she died on June 18th of the following year.

Meanwhile, all desired to contribute to the continuation of the work;
some offered money, others materials, still others their labour. In
their ardour the priests of the seminary had the old fort, which was
falling into ruins, demolished in order to use the wood and stone for
the new building. As lords of the island, they seemed to have the
incontestable right to dispose of an edifice which was their private
property. But M. de Bretonvilliers, to whom they referred the matter,
took them to task for their haste, and according to his instructions the
work of demolition was stopped, not to be resumed until ten years later.
The colonists had an ardent desire to see their church finished, but
they were poor, and, though a collection had brought in, in 1676, the
sum of two thousand seven hundred francs, the work dragged along for two
years more, and was finished only in 1678. "The church had," says M.
Morin, "the form of a Roman cross, with the lower sides ending in a
circular apse; its portal, built of hewn stone, was composed of two
designs, one Tuscan, the other Doric; the latter was surmounted by a
triangular pediment. This beautiful entrance, erected in 1722, according
to the plans of Chaussegros de Léry, royal engineer, was flanked on the
right side by a square tower crowned by a campanile, from the summit of
which rose a beautiful cross with _fleur-de-lis_ twenty-four feet high.
This church was built in the axis of Notre-Dame Street, and a portion of
it on the Place d'Armes; it measured, in the clear, one hundred and
forty feet long, and ninety-six feet wide, and the tower one hundred and
forty-four feet high. It was razed in 1830, and the tower demolished in

Montreal continued to progress, and therefore to build. The Sulpicians,
finding themselves cramped in their old abode, began in 1684 the
construction of a new seigniorial and chapter house, of one hundred and
seventy-eight feet frontage by eighty-four feet deep. These vast
buildings, whose main façade faces on Notre-Dame Street, in front of the
Place d'Armes, still exist. They deserve the attention of the tourist,
if only by reason of their antiquity, and on account of the old clock
which surmounts them, for though it is the most ancient of all in North
America, this clock still marks the hours with average exactness. Behind
these old walls extends a magnificent garden.

The spectacle presented by Ville-Marie at this time was most edifying.
This great village was the school of martyrdom, and all aspired thereto,
from the most humble artisan and the meanest soldier to the brigadier,
the commandant, the governor, the priests and the nuns, and they found
in this aspiration, this faith and this hope, a strength and happiness
known only to the chosen. From the bosom of this city had sprung the
seventeen heroes who gave to the world, at the foot of the Long Sault, a
magnificent example of what the spirit of Christian sacrifice can do; to
a population which gave of its own free will its time and its labour to
the building of a temple for the Lord, God had assigned a leader, who
took upon his shoulders a heavy wooden cross, and bore it for the
distance of a league up the steep flanks of Mount Royal, to plant it
solemnly upon the summit; within the walls of the seminary lived men
like M. Souart, physician of hearts and bodies, or like MM. Lemaître and
Vignal, who were destined to martyrdom; in the halls of the hospital
Mlle. Mance vied with Sisters de Brésoles, Maillet and de Macé, in
attending to the most repugnant infirmities or healing the most tedious
maladies; last but not least, Sister Bourgeoys and her pious comrades,
Sisters Aimée Chatel, Catherine Crolo, and Marie Raisin, who formed the
nucleus of the Congregation, devoted themselves with unremitting zeal to
the arduous task of instruction.

Another favour was about to be vouchsafed to Canada in the birth of
Mlle. Leber. M. de Maisonneuve and Mlle. Mance were her godparents, and
the latter gave her her baptismal name. Jeanne Leber reproduced all the
virtues of her godmother, and gave to Canada an example worthy of the
primitive Church, and such as finds small favour in the practical world
of to-day. She lived a recluse for twenty years with the Sisters of the
Congregation, and practised, till death relieved her, mortifications
most terrifying to the physical nature.

At Quebec, the barometer of piety, if I may be excused so bold a
metaphor, held at the same level as that of Montreal, and he would be
greatly deceived who, having read only the history of the early years of
the latter city, should despair of finding in the centre of edification
founded by Champlain, men worthy to rank with Queylus and Lemaître, with
Souart and Vignal, with Closse and Maisonneuve, and women who might vie
with Marguerite Bourgeoys, with Jeanne Mance or with Jeanne Leber. To
the piety of the Sulpicians of the colony planted at the foot of Mount
Royal corresponded the fervour both of the priests who lived under the
same roof as Mgr. de Laval, and of the sons of Loyola, who awaited in
their house at Quebec their chance of martyrdom; the edifying examples
given by the military chiefs of Montreal were equalled by those set by
governors like de Mézy and de Courcelles; finally the virtues bordering
on perfection of women like Mlle. Leber and the foundresses of the
hospital and the Congregation found their equivalents in those of the
pious Bishop of Petræa, of Mme. de la Peltrie and those of Mothers Mary
of the Incarnation and Andrée Duplessis de Sainte-Hélène.

The Church will one day, perhaps, set upon her altars Mother Mary of
the Incarnation, the first superior of the Ursulines at Quebec. The
Theresa of New France, as she has been called, was endowed with a calm
courage, an incredible patience, and a superior intellect, especially in
spiritual matters; we find the proof of this in her letters and
meditations which her son published in France. "At the head," says the
Abbé Ferland, "of a community of weak women, devoid of resources, she
managed to inspire her companions with the strength of soul and the
trust in God which animated herself. In spite of the unteachableness and
the fickleness of the Algonquin maidens, the troublesome curiosity of
their parents, the thousand trials of a new and poor establishment,
Mother Incarnation preserved an evenness of temper which inspired her
comrades in toil with courage. Did some sudden misfortune appear, she
arose with all the greatness of a Christian of the primitive Church to
meet it with steadfastness. If her son spoke to her of the ill-treatment
to which she was exposed on the part of the Iroquois, at a time when the
affairs of the French seemed desperate, she replied calmly: 'Have no
anxiety for me. I do not speak as to martyrdom, for your affection for
me would incline you to desire it for me, but I mean as to other
outrages. I see no reason for apprehension; all that I hear does not
dismay me.' When she was cast out upon the snow, together with her
sisters, in the middle of a winter's night, by reason of a
conflagration which devoured her convent, her first act was to prevail
upon her companions to kneel with her to thank God for having preserved
their lives, though He despoiled them of all that they possessed in the
world. Her strong and noble soul seemed to rise naturally above the
misfortunes which assailed the growing colony. Trusting fully to God
through the most violent storms, she continued to busy herself calmly
with her work, as if nothing in the world had been able to move her. At
a moment when many feared that the French would be forced to leave the
country, Mother of the Incarnation, in spite of her advanced age, began
to study the language of the Hurons in order to make herself useful to
the young girls of this tribe. Ever tranquil, she did not allow herself
to be carried away by enthusiasm or stayed by fear. 'We imagine
sometimes,' she wrote to her former superior at Tours, 'that a certain
passing inclination is a vocation; no, events show the contrary. In our
momentary enthusiasms we think more of ourselves than of the object we
face, and so we see that when this enthusiasm is once past, our
tendencies and inclinations remain on the ordinary plane of life.' Built
on such a foundation, her piety was solid, sincere and truly
enlightened. In perusing her writings, we are astonished at finding in
them a clearness of thought, a correctness of style, and a firmness of
judgment which give us a lofty idea of this really superior woman.
Clever in handling the brush as well as the pen, capable of directing
the work of building as well as domestic labour, she combined, according
to the opinion of her contemporaries, all the qualities of the strong
woman of whom the Holy Scriptures give us so fine a portrait. She was
entrusted with all the business of the convent. She wrote a prodigious
number of letters, she learned the two mother tongues of the country,
the Algonquin and the Huron, and composed for the use of her sisters, a
sacred history in Algonquin, a catechism in Huron, an Iroquois catechism
and dictionary, and a dictionary, catechism and collection of prayers in
the Algonquin language."



The smaller seminary, founded by the Bishop of Petræa in 1668, for
youths destined to the ecclesiastical life, justified the expectations
of its founder, and witnessed an ever increasing influx of students. On
the day of its inauguration, October 9th, there were only as yet eight
French pupils and six Huron children. For lack of teachers the young
neophytes, placed under the guidance of directors connected with the
seminary, attended during the first years the classes of the Jesuit
Fathers. Their special costume was a blue cloak, confined by a belt. At
this period the College of the Jesuits contained already some sixty
resident scholars, and what proves to us that serious studies were here
pursued is that several scholars are quoted in the memoirs as having
successfully defended in the presence of the highest authorities of the
colony theses on physics and philosophy.

If the first bishop of New France had confined himself to creating one
large seminary, it is certain that his chosen work, which was the
preparation for the Church of a nursery of scholars and priests, the
apostles of the future, would not have been complete.

For many young people, indeed, who lead a worldly existence, and find
themselves all at once transferred to the serious, religious life of the
seminary, the surprise, and sometimes the discomfort, may be great. One
must adapt oneself to this atmosphere of prayer, meditation and study.
The rules of prayer are certainly not beyond the limits of an ordinary
mind, but the practice is more difficult than the theory. Not without
effort can a youthful imagination, a mind ardent and consumed by its own
fervour, relinquish all the memories of family and social occupations,
in order to withdraw into silence, inward peace, and the mortification
of the senses. To the devoutly-minded our worldly life may well seem
petty in comparison with the more spiritual existence, and in the
religious life, for the priest especially, lies the sole source and the
indispensable condition of happiness. But one must learn to be thus
happy by humility, study and prayer, as one learns to be a soldier by
obedience, discipline and exercise, and in nothing did Laval more reveal
his discernment than in the recognition of the fact that the transition
from one life to the other must be effected only after careful
instruction and wisely-guided deliberation.

The aim of the smaller seminary is to guide, by insensible gradations
towards the great duties and the great responsibilities of the
priesthood, young men upon whom the spirit of God seems to have rested.
There were in Israel schools of prophets; this does not mean that their
training ended in the diploma of a seer or an oracle, but that this
novitiate was favourable to the action of God upon their souls, and
inclined them thereto. A smaller seminary possesses also the hope of the
harvest. It is there that the minds of the students, by exercises
proportionate to their age, become adapted unconstrainedly to pious
reading, to the meditation and the grave studies in whose cycle the life
of the priest must pass.

We shall not be surprised if the prelate's followers recognized in the
works of faith which sprang up in his footsteps and progressed on all
hands at Ville-Marie and at Quebec shining evidences of the protection
of Mary to whose tutelage they had dedicated their establishments. This
protection indeed has never been withheld, since to-day the fame of the
university which sprang from the seminary, as a fruit develops from a
bud, has crossed the seas. Father Monsabré, the eloquent preacher of
Notre-Dame in Paris, speaking of the union of science and faith,
exclaimed: "There exists, in the field of the New World, an institution
which has religiously preserved this holy alliance and the traditions of
the older universities, the Laval University of Quebec."

Mgr. de Laval, while busying himself with the training of his clergy,
watched over the instruction of youth. He protected his schools and his
dioceses; at Quebec the Jesuits, and later the seminary, maintained even
elementary schools. If we must believe the Abbé de Latour and other
writers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the children of the
early colonists, skilful in manual labour, showed, nevertheless, great
indolence of mind. "In general," writes Latour, "Canadian children have
intelligence, memory and facility, and they make rapid progress, but the
fickleness of their character, a dominant taste for liberty, and their
hereditary and natural inclination for physical exercise do not permit
them to apply themselves with sufficient perseverance and assiduity to
become learned men; satisfied with a certain measure of knowledge
sufficient for the ordinary purposes of their occupations (and this is,
indeed, usually possessed), we see no people deeply learned in any
branch of science. We must further admit that there are few resources,
few books, and little emulation. No doubt the resources will be
multiplied, and clever persons will appear in proportion as the colony
increases." Always eager to develop all that might serve for the
propagation of the faith or the progress of the colony, the devoted
prelate eagerly fostered this natural aptitude of the Canadians for the
arts and trades, and he established at St. Joachim a boarding-school for
country children; this offered, besides a solid primary education,
lessons in agriculture and some training for different trades.

Mgr. de Laval gave many other proofs of his enlightened charity for the
poor and the waifs of fortune; he approved and encouraged among other
works the Brotherhood of Saint Anne at Quebec. This association of
prayer and spiritual aid had been established but three years before his
arrival; it was directed by a chaplain and two directors, the latter
elected annually by secret ballot. He had wished to offer in 1660 a more
striking proof of his devotion to the Mother of the Holy Virgin, and had
caused to be built on the shore of Beaupré the first sanctuary of Saint
Anne. This temple arose not far from a chapel begun two years before,
under the care of the Abbé de Queylus. The origin of this place of
devotion, it appears, was a great peril to which certain Breton sailors
were exposed: assailed by a tempest in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, about
the beginning of the seventeenth century, they made a vow to erect, if
they escaped death, a chapel to good Saint Anne on the spot where they
should land. Heaven heard their prayers, and they kept their word. The
chapel erected by Mgr. de Laval was a very modest one, but the zealous
missionary of Beaupré, the Abbé Morel, then chaplain, was the witness of
many acts of ardent faith and sincere piety; the Bishop of Petræa
himself made several pilgrimages to the place. "We confess," says he,
"that nothing has aided us more efficaciously to support the burden of
the pastoral charge of this growing church than the special devotion
which all the inhabitants of this country dedicate to Saint Anne, a
devotion which, we affirm it with certainty, distinguishes them from
all other peoples." The poor little chapel, built of uprights, gave
place in 1675 to a stone church erected by the efforts of M. Filion,
proctor of the seminary, and it was noted for an admirable picture given
by the viceroy, de Tracy, who did not disdain to make his pilgrimage
like the rest, and to set thus an example which the great ones of the
earth should more frequently give. This church lasted only a few years;
Mgr. de Laval was still living when a third temple was built upon its
site. This was enlarged in 1787, and gave place only in 1878 to the
magnificent cathedral which we admire to-day. The faith which raised
this sanctuary to consecrate it to Saint Anne did not die with its pious
founder; it is still lively in our hearts, since in 1898 a hundred and
twenty thousand pilgrims went to pray before the relic of Saint Anne,
the precious gift of Mgr. de Laval.

In our days, hardly has the sun melted the thick mantle of snow which
covers during six months the Canadian soil, hardly has the majestic St.
Lawrence carried its last blocks of ice down to the ocean, when caravans
of pious pilgrims from all quarters of the country wend their way
towards the sanctuary raised upon the shores of Beaupré. Whole families
fill the cars; the boats of the Richelieu Company stop to receive
passengers at all the charming villages strewn along the banks of the
river, and the cathedral which raises in the air its slender spires on
either side of the immense statue of Saint Anne does not suffice to
contain the ever renewed throng of the faithful.

Even in the time of Mgr. de Laval, pilgrimages to Saint Anne's were
frequent, and it was not only French people but also savages who
addressed to the Mother of the Virgin Mary fervent, and often very
artless, prayers. The harvest became, in fact, more abundant in the
missions, and

     "Les prêtres ne pouvaient suffire aux sacrifices."[4]

From the banks of the Saguenay at Tadousac, or from the shore of Hudson
Bay, where Father Albanel was evangelizing the Indians, to the recesses
of the Iroquois country, a Black Robe taught from interval to interval
in a humble chapel the truths of the Christian religion. "We may say,"
wrote Father Dablon in 1671, "that the torch of the faith now illumines
the four quarters of this New World. More than seven hundred baptisms
have this year consecrated all our forests; more than twenty different
missions incessantly occupy our Fathers among more than twenty diverse
nations; and the chapels erected in the districts most remote from here
are almost every day filled with these poor barbarians, and in some of
them there have been consummated sometimes ten, twenty, and even thirty
baptisms on a single occasion." And, ever faithful to the established
power, the missionaries taught their neophytes not only religion, but
also the respect due to the king. Let us hearken to Father Allouez
speaking to the mission of Sault Ste. Marie: "Cast your eyes," says he,
"upon the cross raised so high above your heads. It was upon that cross
that Jesus Christ, the son of God, become a man by reason of His love
for men, consented to be bound and to die, in order to satisfy His
Eternal Father for our sins. He is the master of our life, the master of
Heaven, earth and hell. It is He of whom I speak to you without ceasing,
and whose name and word I have borne into all these countries. But
behold at the same time this other stake, on which are hung the arms of
the great captain of France, whom we call the king. This great leader
lives beyond the seas; he is the captain of the greatest captains, and
has not his peer in the world. All the captains that you have ever seen,
and of whom you have heard speak, are only children beside him. He is
like a great tree; the rest are only little plants crushed under men's
footsteps as they walk. You know Onontio, the famous chieftain of
Quebec; you know that he is the terror of the Iroquois, his mere name
makes them tremble since he has desolated their country and burned their
villages. Well, there are beyond the seas ten thousand Onontios like
him. They are only the soldiers of this great captain, our great king,
of whom I speak to you."

Mgr. de Laval ardently desired, then, the arrival of new workers for the
gospel, and in the year 1668, the very year of the foundation of the
seminary, his desire was fulfilled, as if Providence wished to reward
His servant at once. Missionaries from France came to the aid of the
priests of the Quebec seminary, and Sulpicians, such as MM. de Queylus,
d'Urfé, Dallet and Brehan de Gallinée, arrived at Montreal; MM. François
de Salignac-Fénelon and Claude Trouvé had already landed the year
before. "I have during the last month," wrote the prelate, "commissioned
two most good and virtuous apostles to go to an Iroquois community which
has been for some years established quite near us on the northern side
of the great Lake Ontario. One is M. de Fénelon, whose name is
well-known in Paris, and the other M. Trouvé. We have not yet been able
to learn the result of their mission, but we have every reason to hope
for its complete success."

While he was enjoining upon these two missionaries, on their departure
for the mission on which he was sending them, that they should always
remain in good relations with the Jesuit Fathers, he gave them some
advice worthy of the most eminent doctors of the Church:--

"A knowledge of the language," he says, "is necessary in order to
influence the savages. It is, nevertheless, one of the smallest parts of
the equipment of a good missionary, just as in France to speak French
well is not what makes a successful preacher. The talents which make
good missionaries are:

"1. To be filled with the spirit of God; this spirit must animate our
words and our hearts: _Ex abundantia cordis os loquitur_.

"2. To have great prudence in the choice and arrangement of the things
which are necessary either to enlighten the understanding or to bend the
will; all that does not tend in this direction is labour lost.

"3. To be very assiduous, in order not to lose opportunities of
procuring the salvation of souls, and supplying the neglect which is
often manifest in neophytes; for, since the devil on his part _circuit
tanquam leo rugiens, quærens quem devoret_, so we must be vigilant
against his efforts, with care, gentleness and love.

"4. To have nothing in our life and in our manners which may appear to
belie what we say, or which may estrange the minds and hearts of those
whom we wish to win to God.

"5. We must make ourselves beloved by our gentleness, patience and
charity, and win men's minds and hearts to incline them to God. Often a
bitter word, an impatient act or a frowning countenance destroys in a
moment what has taken a long time to produce.

"6. The spirit of God demands a peaceful and pious heart, not a restless
and dissipated one; one should have a joyous and modest countenance; one
should avoid jesting and immoderate laughter, and in general all that is
contrary to a holy and joyful modesty: _Modestia vestra nota sit
omnibus hominibus_."

The new Sulpicians had been most favourably received by Mgr. de Laval,
and the more so since almost all of them belonged to great families and
had renounced, like himself, ease and honour, to devote themselves to
the rude apostleship of the Canadian missions.

The difficulties between the bishop and the Abbé de Queylus had
disappeared, and had left no trace of bitterness in the souls of these
two servants of God. M. de Queylus gave good proof of this subsequently;
he gave six thousand francs to the hospital of Quebec, of which one
thousand were to endow facilities for the treatment of the poor, and
five thousand for the maintenance of a choir-nun. His generosity,
moreover, was proverbial: "I cannot find a man more grateful for the
favour that you have done him than M. de Queylus," wrote the intendant,
Talon, to the minister, Colbert. "He is going to arrange his affairs in
France, divide with his brothers, and collect his worldly goods to use
them in Canada, at least so he has assured me. If he has need of your
protection, he is striving to make himself worthy of it, and I know that
he is most zealous for the welfare of this colony. I believe that a
little show of benevolence on your part would redouble this zeal, of
which I have good evidence, for what you desire the most, the education
of the native children, which he furthers with all his might."

The abbé found the seminary in conditions very different from those
prevailing at the time of his departure. In 1663, the members of the
Company of Notre-Dame of Montreal had made over to the Sulpicians the
whole Island of Montreal and the seigniory of St. Sulpice. Their purpose
was to assure the future of the three works which they had not ceased,
since the birth of their association, to seek to establish: a seminary
for the education of priests in the colony, an institution of education
for young girls, and a hospital for the care of the sick.

To learn the happy results due to the eloquence of MM. Trouvé and de
Fénelon engaged in the evangelization of the tribes encamped to the
north of Lake Ontario, or to that of MM. Dollier de Casson and Gallinée
preaching on the shores of Lake Erie, one must read the memoirs of the
Jesuit Fathers. We must bear in mind that many facts, which might appear
to redound too much to the glory of the missionaries, the modesty of
these men refused to give to the public. We shall give an example. One
day when M. de Fénelon had come down to Quebec, in the summer of 1669,
to give account of his efforts to his bishop, Mgr. de Laval begged the
missionary to write a short abstract of his labours for the memoirs.
"Monseigneur," replied humbly the modest Sulpician, "the greatest favour
that you can do us is not to allow us to be mentioned." Will he, at
least, like the traveller who, exhausted by fatigue and privation,
reaches finally the promised land, repose in Capuan delights? Mother
Mary of the Incarnation informs us on this point: "M. l'abbé de
Fénelon," says she, "having wintered with the Iroquois, has paid us a
visit. I asked him how he had been able to subsist, having had only
sagamite[5] as sole provision, and pure water to drink. He replied that
he was so accustomed to it that he made no distinction between this food
and any other, and that he was about to set out on his return to pass
the winter again there with M. de Trouvé, having left him only to go and
get the wherewithal to pay the Indians who feed them. The zeal of these
great servants of God is admirable."

The activity and the devotion of the Jesuits and of the Sulpicians might
thus make up for lack of numbers, and Mgr. de Laval judged that they
were amply sufficient for the task of the holy ministry. But the
intendant, Talon, feared lest the Society of Jesus should become
omnipotent in the colony; adopting from policy the famous device of
Catherine de Medici, _divide to rule_, he hoped that an order of
mendicant friars would counterbalance the influence of the sons of
Loyola, and he brought with him from France, in 1670, Father Allard,
Superior of the Récollets in the Province of St. Denis, and four other
brothers of the same order. We must confess that, if a new order of
monks was to be established in Canada, it was preferable in all justice
to apply to that of St. Francis rather than to any others, for had it
not traced the first evangelical furrows in the new field and left
glorious memories in the colony?

Mgr. de Laval received from the king in 1671 the following letter:

     "My Lord Bishop of Petræa:

     "Having considered that the re-establishment of the monks of the
     Order of St. Francis on the lands which they formerly possessed in
     Canada might be of great avail for the spiritual consolation of my
     subjects and for the relief of your ecclesiastics in the said
     country, I send you this letter to tell you that my intention is
     that you should give to the Rev. Father Allard, the superior, and
     to the four monks whom he brings with him, the power of
     administering the sacraments to all those who may have need of them
     and who may have recourse to these reverend Fathers, and that,
     moreover, you should aid them with your authority in order that
     they may resume possession of all which belongs to them in the said
     country, to all of which I am persuaded you will willingly
     subscribe, by reason of the knowledge which you have of the relief
     which my subjects will receive...."

The prelate had not been consulted; moreover, the intervention of the
newcomers did not seem to him opportune. But he was obstinate and
unapproachable only when he believed his conscience involved; he
received the Récollets with great benevolence and rendered them all the
service possible. "He gave them abundant aid," says Latour, "and
furnished them for more than a year with food and lodging. Although the
Order had come in spite of him, he gave them at the outset four
missions: Three Rivers, Ile Percé, St. John's River and Fort Frontenac.
These good Fathers were surprised; they did not cease to praise the
charity of the bishop, and confessed frankly that, having only come to
oppose his clergy, they could not understand why they were so kindly

After all, the breadth of character of these brave heroes of evangelic
poverty could not but please the Canadian people; ever gay and pleasant,
and of even temper, they traversed the country to beg a meagre pittance.
Everywhere received with joy, they were given a place at the common
table; they were looked upon as friends, and the people related to them
their joys and afflictions. Hardly was a robe of drugget descried upon
the horizon when the children rushed forward, surrounded the good
Father, and led him by the hand to the family fireside. The Récollets
had always a good word for this one, a consolatory speech for that one,
and on occasion, brought up as they had been, for the most part under a
modest thatched roof, knew how to lend a hand at the plough, or suggest
a good counsel if the flock were attacked by some sickness. On their
departure, the benediction having been given to all, there was a
vigorous handshaking, and already their hosts were discounting the
pleasure of a future visit.

On their arrival the Récollet Fathers lodged not far from the Ursuline
Convent, till the moment when, their former monastery on the St. Charles
River being repaired, they were able to install themselves there. Some
years later they built a simple refuge on land granted them in the Upper
Town. Finally, having become almoners of the Château St. Louis, where
the governor resided, they built their monastery opposite the castle,
back to back with the magnificent church which bore the name of St.
Anthony of Padua. They reconquered the popularity which they had enjoyed
in the early days of the colony, and the bishop entrusted to their
devotion numerous parishes and four missions. Unfortunately, they
allowed themselves to be so influenced by M. de Frontenac, in spite of
repeated warnings from Mgr. de Laval, that they espoused the cause of
the governor in the disputes between the latter and the intendant,
Duchesneau. Their gratitude towards M. de Frontenac, who always
protected them, is easily explained, but it is no less true that they
should have respected above all the authority of the prelate who alone
had to answer before God for the religious administration of his


[4] Racine's _Athalie_.

[5] A sort of porridge of water and pounded maize.



This year, 1668, would have brought only consolations to Mgr. de Laval,
if, unhappily, M. de Talon had not inflicted a painful blow upon the
heart of the prelate: the commissioner obtained from the Sovereign
Council a decree permitting the unrestricted sale of intoxicating drinks
both to the savages and to the French, and only those who became
intoxicated might be sentenced to a slight penalty. This was opening the
way for the greatest abuses, and no later than the following year Mother
Mary of the Incarnation wrote: "What does the most harm here is the
traffic in wine and brandy. We preach against those who give these
liquors to the savages; and yet many reconcile their consciences to the
permission of this thing. They go into the woods and carry drinks to the
savages in order to get their furs for nothing when they are drunk.
Immorality, theft and murder ensue.... We had not yet seen the French
commit such crimes, and we can attribute the cause of them only to the
pernicious traffic in brandy."

Commissioner Talon was, however, the cleverest administrator that the
colony had possessed, and the title of the "Canadian Colbert" which
Bibaud confers upon him is well deserved. Mother Incarnation summed up
his merits well in the following terms: "M. Talon is leaving us," said
she, "and returning to France, to the great regret of everybody and to
the loss of all Canada, for since he has been here in the capacity of
commissioner the country has progressed and its business prospered more
than they had done since the French occupation." Talon worked with all
his might in developing the resources of the colony, by exploiting the
mines, by encouraging the fisheries, agriculture, the exportation of
timber, and general commerce, and especially by inducing, through the
gift of a few acres of ground, the majority of the soldiers of the
regiment of Carignan to remain in the country. He entered every house to
enquire of possible complaints; he took the first census, and laid out
three villages near Quebec. His plans for the future were vaster still:
he recommended the king to buy or conquer the districts of Orange and
Manhattan; moreover, according to Abbé Ferland, he dreamed of connecting
Canada with the Antilles in commerce. With this purpose he had had a
ship built at Quebec, and had bought another in order to begin at once.
This very first year he sent to the markets of Martinique and Santo
Domingo fresh and dry cod, salted salmon, eels, pease, seal and porpoise
oil, clapboards and planks. He had different kinds of wood cut in order
to try them, and he exported masts to La Rochelle, which he hoped to see
used in the shipyards of the Royal Navy. He proposed to Colbert the
establishment of a brewery, in order to utilize the barley and the
wheat, which in a few years would be so abundant that the farmer could
not sell them. This was, besides, a means of preventing drunkenness, and
of retaining in the country the sum of one hundred thousand francs,
which went out each year for the purchase of wines and brandies. M.
Talon presented at the same time to the minister the observations which
he had made on the French population of the country. "The people," said
Talon, "are a mosaic, and though composed of colonists from different
provinces of France whose temperaments do not always sympathize, they
seem to me harmonious enough. There are," he added, "among these
colonists people in easy circumstances, indigent people and people
between these two extremes."

But he thought only of the material development of the colony; upon
others, he thought, were incumbent the responsibility for and defence of
spiritual interests. He was mistaken, for, although he had not in his
power the direction of souls, his duties as a simple soldier of the army
of Christ imposed upon him none the less the obligation of avoiding all
that might contribute to the loss of even a single soul. The disorders
which were the inevitable result of a free traffic in intoxicating
liquors, finally assumed such proportions that the council, without
going as far as the absolute prohibition of the sale of brandy to the
Indians, restricted, nevertheless, this deplorable traffic; it forbade
under the most severe penalties the carrying of firewater into the woods
to the savages, but it continued to tolerate the sale of intoxicating
liquors in the French settlements. It seems that Cavelier de la Salle
himself, in his store at Lachine where he dealt with the Indians, did
not scruple to sell them this fatal poison.

From 1668 to 1670, during the two years that Commissioner Talon had to
spend in France, both for reasons of health and on account of family
business, he did not cease to work actively at the court for his beloved
Canada. M. de Bouteroue, who took his place during his absence, managed
to prejudice the minds of the colonists in his favour by his exquisite
urbanity and the polish of his manners.

It will not be out of place, we think, to give here some details of the
state of the country and its resources at this period. Since the first
companies in charge of Canada were formed principally of merchants of
Rouen, of La Rochelle and of St. Malo, it is not astonishing that the
first colonists should have come largely from Normandy and Perche. It
was only about 1660 that fine and vigorous offspring increased a
population which up to that time was renewed only through immigration;
in the early days, in fact, the colonists lost all their children, but
they found in this only a new reason for hope in the future. "Since God
takes the first fruits," said they, "He will save us the rest." The wise
and far-seeing mind of Cardinal Richelieu had understood that
agricultural development was the first condition of success for a young
colony, and his efforts in this direction had been admirably seconded
both by Commissioner Talon and Mgr. de Laval at Quebec, and by the
Company of Montreal, which had not hesitated at any sacrifice in order
to establish at Ville-Marie a healthy and industrious population. If the
reader doubts this, let him read the letters of Talon, of Mother Mary of
the Incarnation, of Fathers Le Clercq and Charlevoix, of M. Aubert and
many others. "Great care had been exercised," says Charlevoix, "in the
selection of candidates who had presented themselves for the
colonization of New France.... As to the girls who were sent out to be
married to the new inhabitants, care was always taken to enquire of
their conduct before they embarked, and their subsequent behaviour was a
proof of the success of this system. During the following years the same
care was exercised, and we soon saw in this part of America a generation
of true Christians growing up, among whom prevailed the simplicity of
the first centuries of the Church, and whose posterity has not yet lost
sight of the great examples set by their ancestors.... In justice to the
colony of New France we must admit that the source of almost all the
families which still survive there to-day is pure and free from those
stains which opulence can hardly efface; this is because the first
settlers were either artisans always occupied in useful labour, or
persons of good family who came there with the sole intention of living
there more tranquilly and preserving their religion in greater security.
I fear the less contradiction upon this head since I have lived with
some of these first colonists, all people still more respectable by
reason of their honesty, their frankness and the firm piety which they
profess than by their white hair and the memory of the services which
they rendered to the colony."

M. Aubert says, on his part: "The French of Canada are well built,
nimble and vigorous, enjoying perfect health, capable of enduring all
sorts of fatigue, and warlike; which is the reason why, during the last
war, French-Canadians received a fourth more pay than the French of
Europe. All these advantageous physical qualities of the
French-Canadians arise from the fact that they have been born in a good
climate, and nourished by good and abundant food, that they are at
liberty to engage from childhood in fishing, hunting, and journeying in
canoes, in which there is much exercise. As to bravery, even if it were
not born with them as Frenchmen, the manner of warfare of the Iroquois
and other savages of this continent, who burn alive almost all their
prisoners with incredible cruelty, caused the French to face ordinary
death in battle as a boon rather than be taken alive; so that they
fight desperately and with great indifference to life." The consequence
of this judicious method of peopling a colony was that, the trunk of the
tree being healthy and vigorous, the branches were so likewise. "It was
astonishing," wrote Mother Mary of the Incarnation, "to see the great
number of beautiful and well-made children, without any corporeal
deformity unless through accident. A poor man will have eight or more
children, who in the winter go barefooted and bareheaded, with a little
shirt upon their back, and who live only on eels and bread, and
nevertheless are plump and large."

Property was feudal, as in France, and this constitution was maintained
even after the conquest of the country by the English. Vast stretches of
land were granted to those who seemed, thanks to their state of fortune,
fit to form centres of population, and these seigneurs granted in their
turn parts of these lands to the immigrants for a rent of from one to
three cents per acre, according to the value of the land, besides a
tribute in grain and poultry. The indirect taxation consisted of the
obligation of maintaining the necessary roads, one day's compulsory
labour per year, convertible into a payment of forty cents, the right of
_mouture_, consisting of a pound of flour on every fourteen from the
common mill, finally the payment of a twelfth in case of transfer and
sale (stamp and registration). This seigniorial tenure was burdensome,
we must admit, though it was less crushing than that which weighed upon
husbandry in France before the Revolution. The farmers of Canada uttered
a long sigh of relief when it was abolished by the legislature in 1867.

The habits of this population were remarkably simple; the costume of
some of our present out-of-door clubs gives an accurate idea of the
dress of that time, which was the same for all: the garment of wool, the
cloak, the belt of arrow pattern, and the woollen cap, called tuque,
formed the national costume. And not only did the colonists dress
without the slightest affectation, but they even made their clothes
themselves. "The growing of hemp," says the Abbé Ferland, "was
encouraged, and succeeded wonderfully. They used the nettle to make
strong cloths; looms set up in each house in the village furnished
drugget, bolting cloth, serge and ordinary cloth. The leathers of the
country sufficed for a great portion of the needs of the population.
Accordingly, after enumerating the advances in agriculture and industry,
Talon announced to Colbert with just satisfaction, that he could clothe
himself from head to foot in Canadian products, and that in a short time
the colony, if it were well administered, would draw from Old France
only a few objects of prime need."

The interior of the dwellings was not less simple, and we find still in
our country districts a goodly number of these old French houses; they
had only one single room, in which the whole family ate, lived and
slept, and received the light through three windows. At the back of the
room was the bed of the parents, supported by the wall, in another
corner a couch, used as a seat during the day and as a bed for the
children during the night, for the top was lifted off as one lifts the
cover of a box. Built into the wall, generally at the right of the
entrance, was the stone chimney, whose top projected a little above the
roof; the stewpan, in which the food was cooked, was hung in the
fireplace from a hook. Near the hearth a staircase, or rather a ladder,
led to the loft, which was lighted by two windows cut in the sides, and
which held the grain. Finally a table, a few chairs or benches completed
these primitive furnishings, though we must not forget to mention the
old gun hung above the bed to be within reach of the hand in case of a
night surprise from the dreaded Iroquois.

In peaceful times, too, the musket had its service, for at this period
every Canadian was born a disciple of St. Hubert. We must confess that
this great saint did not refuse his protection in this country, where,
with a single shot, a hunter killed, in 1663, a hundred and thirty wild
pigeons. These birds were so tame that one might kill them with an oar
on the bank of the river, and so numerous that the colonists, after
having gathered and salted enough for their winter's provision,
abandoned the rest to the dogs and pigs. How many hunters of our day
would have displayed their skill in these fortunate times! This
abundance of pigeons at a period when our ancestors were not favoured in
the matter of food as we are to-day, recalls at once to our memory the
quail that Providence sent to the Jews in the desert; and it is a fact
worthy of mention that as soon as our forefathers could dispense with
this superabundance of game, the wild pigeons disappeared so totally and
suddenly that the most experienced hunters cannot explain this sudden
disappearance. There were found also about Ville-Marie many partridge
and duck, and since the colonists could not go out after game in the
woods, where they would have been exposed to the ambuscades of the
Iroquois, the friendly Indians brought to market the bear, the elk, the
deer, the buffalo, the caribou, the beaver and the muskrat. On fast days
the Canadians did not lack for fish; eels were sold at five francs a
hundred, and in June, 1649, more than three hundred sturgeons were
caught at Montreal within a fortnight. The shad, the pike, the wall-eyed
pike, the carp, the brill, the maskinonge were plentiful, and there was
besides, more particularly at Quebec, good herring and salmon fishing,
while at Malbaie (Murray Bay) codfish, and at Three Rivers white fish
were abundant.

At first, food, clothing and property were all paid for by exchange of
goods. Men bartered, for example, a lot of ground for two cows and a
pair of stockings; a more considerable piece of land was to be had for
two oxen, a cow and a little money. "Poverty," says Bossuet, speaking
of other nations, "was not an evil; on the contrary, they looked upon it
as a means of keeping their liberty more intact, there being nothing
freer or more independent than a man who knows how to live on little,
and who, without expecting anything from the protection or the largess
of others, relies for his livelihood only on his industry and labour."
Voltaire has said with equal justice: "It is not the scarcity of money,
but that of men and talent, which makes an empire weak."

On the arrival of the royal troops coin became less rare. "Money is now
common," wrote Mother Incarnation, "these gentlemen having brought much
of it. They pay cash for all they buy, both food and other necessaries."
Money was worth a fourth more than in France, thus fifteen cents were
worth twenty. As a natural consequence, two currencies were established
in New France, and the _livre tournois_ (French franc) was distinguished
from the franc of the country. The Indians were dealt with by exchanges,
and one might see them traversing the streets of Quebec, Montreal or
Three Rivers, offering from house to house rich furs, which they
bartered for blankets, powder, lead, but above all, for that accursed
firewater which caused such havoc among them, and such interminable
disputes between the civil and the religious power. Intoxicating liquors
were the source of many disorders, and we cannot too much regret that
this stain rested upon the glory of New France. Yet such a society,
situated in what was undeniably a difficult position, could not be
expected to escape every imperfection.

The activity and the intelligence of Mgr. de Laval made themselves felt
in every beneficent and progressive work. He could not remain
indifferent to the education of his flock; we find him as zealous for
the progress of primary education as for the development of his two
seminaries or his school at St. Joachim. Primary instruction was given
first by the good Récollets at Quebec, at Tadousac and at Three Rivers.
The Jesuits replaced them, and were able, thanks to the munificence of
the son of the Marquis de Gamache, to add a college to their elementary
school at Quebec. At Ville-Marie the Sulpicians, with never-failing
abnegation, not content with the toil of their ministry, lent themselves
to the arduous task of teaching; the venerable superior himself, M.
Souart, took the modest title of headmaster. From a healthy bud issues a
fine fruit: just as the smaller seminary of Quebec gave birth to the
Laval University, so from the school of M. Souart sprang in 1733 the
College of Montreal, transferred forty years later to the Château
Vaudreuil, on Jacques Cartier Square; then to College Street, now St.
Paul Street. The college rises to-day on an admirable site on the slope
of the mountain; the main seminary, which adjoins it, seems to dominate
the city stretched at its feet, as the two sister sciences taught
there, theology and philosophy, dominate by their importance the other
branches of human knowledge.

M. de Fénelon, who was already devoted to the conversion of the savages
in the famous mission of Montreal mountain, gave the rest of his time to
the training of the young Iroquois; he gathered them in a school erected
by his efforts near Pointe Claire, on the Dorval Islands, which he had
received from M. de Frontenac. Later on the Brothers Charron established
a house at Montreal with a double purpose of charity: to care for the
poor and the sick, and to train men in order to send them to open
schools in the country district. This institution, in spite of the
enthusiasm of its founders, did not succeed, and became extinct about
the middle of the eighteenth century. Finally, in 1838, Canada greeted
with joy the arrival of the sons of the blessed Jean Baptiste de la
Salle, the Brothers of the Christian Doctrine, so well known throughout
the world for their modesty and success in teaching.

The girls of the colony were no less well looked after than the boys; at
Quebec, the Ursuline nuns, established in that city by Madame de la
Peltrie, trained them for the future irreproachable mothers of families.
The attempts made to Gallicize the young savages met with no success in
the case of the boys, but were better rewarded by the young Indian
girls. "We have Gallicized," writes Mother Mary of the Incarnation, "a
number of Indian girls, both Hurons and Algonquins, whom we subsequently
married to Frenchmen, who get along with them very well. There is one
among them who reads and writes to perfection, both in her native Huron
tongue and in French; no one can discern or believe that she was born a
savage. The commissioner was so delighted at this that he induced her to
write for him something in the two languages, in order to take it to
France and show it as an extraordinary production." Further on she adds,
"It is a very difficult thing, not to say impossible, to Gallicize or
civilize them. We have more experience in this than any one else, and we
have observed that of a hundred who have passed through our hands we
have hardly civilized one. We find in them docility and intelligence,
but when we least expect it, they climb over our fence and go off to run
the woods with their parents, where they find more pleasure than in all
the comforts of our French houses."

At Montreal it was the venerable Marguerite Bourgeoys who began to teach
in a poor hovel the rudiments of the French tongue. This humble school
was transformed a little more than two centuries later into one of the
most vast and imposing edifices of the city of Montreal. Fire destroyed
it in 1893, but we must hope that this majestic monument of Ville-Marie
will soon rise again from its ruins to become the centre of operations
of the numerous educational institutions of the Congregation of
Notre-Dame which cover our country. M. l'abbé Verreau, the much
regretted principal of the Jacques Cartier Normal School, appreciates in
these terms the services rendered to education by Mother Bourgeoys, a
woman eminent from all points of view: "The Congregation of Notre-Dame,"
says he, "is a truly national institution, whose ramifications extend
beyond the limits of Canada. Marguerite Bourgeoys took in hand the
education of the women of the people, the basis of society. She taught
young women to become what they ought to be, especially at this period,
women full of moral force, of modesty, of courage in the face of the
dangers in the midst of which they lived. If the French-Canadians have
preserved a certain character of politeness and urbanity, which
strangers are not slow in admitting, they owe it in a great measure to
the work of Marguerite Bourgeoys."



The creation of a bishopric in Canada was becoming necessary, and all
was ready for the erection of a separate see. Mgr. de Laval had thought
of everything: the two seminaries with the resources indispensable for
their maintenance, cathedral, parishes or missions regularly
established, institutions of education or charity, numerous schools, a
zealous and devoted clergy, respected both by the government of the
colony and by that of the mother country. What more could be desired? He
had many struggles to endure in order to obtain this creation, but
patience and perseverance never failed him, and like the drop of water
which, falling incessantly upon the pavement, finally wears away the
stone, his reasonable and ever repeated demands eventually overcame the
obstinacy of the king. Not, however, until 1674 was he definitely
appointed Bishop of Quebec, and could enjoy without opposition a title
which had belonged to him so long in reality; this was, as it were, the
final consecration of his life and the crowning of his efforts. Upon the
news of this the joy of the people and of the clergy rose to its height:
the future of the Canadian Church was assured, and she would inscribe
in her annals a name dear to all and soon to be glorified.

Shall we, then, suppose that this pontiff was indeed ambitious, who,
coming in early youth to wield his pastoral crozier upon the banks of
the St. Lawrence, did not fear the responsibility of so lofty a task?
The assumption would be quite unjustified. Rather let us think of him as
meditating on this text of St. Paul: "_Oportet episcopum
irreprehensibilem esse_," the bishop must be irreproachable in his
house, his relations, his speech and even his silence. His past career
guaranteed his possession of that admixture of strength and gentleness,
of authority and condescension in which lies the great art of governing
men. Moreover, one thing reassured him, his knowledge that the crown of
a bishop is often a crown of thorns. When the apostle St. Paul outlined
for his disciple the main features of the episcopal character, he spoke
not alone for the immediate successors of the apostles, but for all
those who in the succession of ages should be honoured by the same
dignity. No doubt the difficulties would be often less, persecution
might even cease entirely, but trial would continue always, because it
is the condition of the Church as well as that of individuals. The
prelate himself explains to us the very serious reasons which led him to
insist on obtaining the title of Bishop of Quebec. He writes in these
terms to the Propaganda: "I have never till now sought the episcopacy,
and I have accepted it in spite of myself, convinced of my weakness.
But, having borne its burden, I shall consider it a boon to be relieved
of it, though I do not refuse to sacrifice myself for the Church of
Jesus Christ and for the welfare of souls. I have, however, learned by
long experience how unguarded is the position of an apostolic vicar
against those who are entrusted with political affairs, I mean the
officers of the court, perpetual rivals and despisers of the
ecclesiastical power, who have nothing more common to object than that
the authority of the apostolic vicar is doubtful and should be
restricted within certain limits. This is why, after having maturely
considered everything, I have resolved to resign this function and to
return no more to New France unless a see be erected there, and unless I
be provided and furnished with bulls constituting me its occupant. Such
is the purpose of my journey to France and the object of my desires."

As early as the year 1662, at the time of his first journey to France,
the Bishop of Petræa had obtained from Louis XIV the assurance that this
prince would petition the sovereign pontiff for the erection of the see
of Quebec; moreover, the monarch had at the same time assigned to the
future bishopric the revenues of the abbey of Maubec. The king kept his
word, for on June 28th, 1664, he addressed to the common Father of the
faithful the following letter: "The choice made by your Holiness of the
person of the Sieur de Laval, Bishop of Petræa, to go in the capacity
of apostolic vicar to exercise episcopal functions in Canada has been
attended by many advantages to this growing Church. We have reason to
expect still greater results if it please your Holiness to permit him to
continue there the same functions in the capacity of bishop of the
place, by establishing for this purpose an episcopal see in Quebec; and
we hope that your Holiness will be the more inclined to this since we
have already provided for the maintenance of the bishop and his canons
by consenting to the perpetual union of the abbey of Maubec with the
future bishopric. This is why we beg you to grant to the Bishop of
Petræa the title of Bishop of Quebec upon our nomination and prayer,
with power to exercise in this capacity the episcopal functions in all

However, the appointment was not consummated; the Propaganda, indeed,
decided in a rescript of December 15th, 1666, that it was necessary to
make of Quebec a see, whose occupant should be appointed by the king;
the Consistorial Congregation of Rome promulgated a new decree with the
same purpose on October 9th, 1670, and yet Mgr. de Laval still remained
Bishop of Petræa. This was because the eternal question of jurisdiction
as between the civil and religious powers, the question which did so
much harm to Catholicism in France, in England, in Italy, and especially
in Germany, was again being revived. The King of France demanded that
the new diocese should be dependent upon the Metropolitan of Rouen,
while the pontifical government, of which its providential rôle requires
always a breadth of view, and, so to speak, a foreknowledge of events
impossible to any nation, desired the new diocese to be an immediate
dependency of the Holy See. "We must confess here," says the Abbé
Ferland, "that the sight of the sovereign pontiff reached much farther
into the future than that of the great king. Louis XIV was concerned
with the kingdom of France; Clement X thought of the interests of the
whole Catholic world. The little French colony was growing; separated
from the mother country by the ocean, it might be wrested from France by
England, which was already so powerful in America; what, then, would
become of the Church of Quebec if it had been wont to lean upon that of
Rouen and to depend upon it? It was better to establish at once
immediate relations between the Bishop of Quebec and the supreme head of
the Catholic Church; it was better to establish bonds which could be
broken neither by time nor force, and Quebec might thus become one day
the metropolis of the dioceses which should spring from its bosom."

The opposition to the views of Mgr. de Laval did not come, however, so
much from the king as from Mgr. de Harlay, Archbishop of Rouen, who had
never consented to the detachment of Canada from his jurisdiction.
Events turned out fortunately for the apostolic vicar, since the
Archbishop of Rouen was called to the important see of Paris on the
death of the Archbishop of Paris, Hardouin de Péréfixe de Beaumont, in
the very year in which Mgr. de Laval embarked for France, accompanied by
his grand vicar, M. de Lauson-Charny. The task now became much easier,
and Laval had no difficulty in inducing the king to urge the erection of
the diocese at Quebec, and to abandon his claims to making the new
diocese dependent on the archbishopric of Rouen.

Before leaving Canada the Bishop of Quebec had entrusted the
administration of the apostolic vicariate to M. de Bernières, and, in
case of the latter's death, to M. Dudouyt. He embarked in the autumn of

To the keen regret of the population of Ville-Marie, which owed him so
much, M. de Queylus, Abbé de Loc-Dieu and superior of the Seminary of
Montreal for the last three years, went to France at the same time as
his ecclesiastical superior. "M. l'abbé de Queylus," wrote Commissioner
Talon to the Minister Colbert, "is making an urgent application for the
settlement and increase of the colony of Montreal. He carries his zeal
farther, for he is going to take charge of the Indian children who fall
into the hands of the Iroquois, in order to have them educated, the boys
in his seminary, and the girls by persons of the same sex, who form at
Montreal a sort of congregation to teach young girls the petty
handicrafts, in addition to reading and writing." M. de Queylus had used
his great fortune in all sorts of good works in the colony, but he was
not the only Sulpician whose hand was always ready and willing. Before
dying, M. Olier had begged his successors to continue the work at
Ville-Marie, "because," said he, "it is the will of God," and the
priests of St. Sulpice received this injunction as one of the most
sacred codicils of the will of their Father. However onerous the
continuation of this plan was for the company, the latter sacrificed to
it without hesitation its resources, its efforts and its members with
the most complete abnegation.[6] Thus when, on March 9th, 1663, the
Company of Montreal believed itself no longer capable of meeting its
obligations, and begged St. Sulpice to take them up, the seminary
subordinated all considerations of self-interest and human prudence to
this view. To this MM. de Bretonvilliers, de Queylus and du Bois devoted
their fortunes, and to this work of the conversion of the savages
priests distinguished in birth and riches gave up their whole lives and
property. M. de Belmont discharged the hundred and twenty thousand
francs of debts of the Company of Montreal, gave as much more to the
establishment of divers works, and left more than two hundred thousand
francs of his patrimony to support them after his death. How many
others did likewise! During more than fifty years Paris sent to this
mission only priests able to pay their board, that they might have the
right to share in this evangelization. This disinterestedness, unheard
of in the history of the most unselfish congregations, saved, sustained
and finally developed this settlement, to which Roman Catholics point
to-day with pride. The Seminary of Paris contributed to it a sum equal
to twice the value of the island, and during the first sixty years more
than nine hundred thousand francs, as one may see by the archives of the
Department of Marine at Paris. These sums to-day would represent a large

Finally the prayers of Mgr. de Laval were heard; Pope Clement X signed
on October 1st, 1674, the bulls establishing the diocese of Quebec,
which was to extend over all the French possessions in North America.
The sovereign pontiff incorporated with the new bishopric for its
maintenance the abbey of Maubec, given by the King of France already in
1662, and in exchange for the renunciation by this prince of his right
of presentation to the abbey of Maubec, granted him the right of
nomination to the bishopric of Quebec. To his first gift the king had
added a second, that of the abbey of Lestrées. Situated in Normandy and
in the archdeaconry of Evreux, this abbey was one of the oldest of the
order of Citeaux.

Up to this time the venerable bishop had had many difficulties to
surmount; he was about to meet some of another sort, those of the
administration of vast properties. The abbey of Maubec, occupied by
monks of the order of St. Benedict, was situated in one of the fairest
provinces of France, Le Perry, and was dependent upon the archdiocese of
Bourges. Famous vineyards, verdant meadows, well cultivated fields, rich
farms, forests full of game and ponds full of fish made this abbey an
admirable domain; unfortunately, the expenses of maintaining or
repairing the buildings, the dues payable to the government, the
allowances secured to the monks, and above all, the waste and theft
which must necessarily victimize proprietors separated from their
tenants by the whole breadth of an ocean, must absorb a great part of
the revenues. Letters of the steward of this property to the Bishop of
Quebec are instructive in this matter. "M. Porcheron is still the same,"
writes the steward, M. Matberon, "and bears me a grudge because I desire
to safeguard your interests. I am incessantly carrying on the work of
needful repairs in all the places dependent on Maubec, chiefly those
necessary to the ponds, in order that M. Porcheron may have no damages
against you. This is much against his will, for he is constantly seeking
an excuse for litigation. He swears that he does not want your farm any
longer, but as for me, I believe that this is not his feeling, and that
he would wish the farm out of the question, for he is too fond of
hunting and his pleasure to quit it.... He does his utmost to remove me
from your service, insinuating many things against me which are not
true; but this does not lessen my zeal in serving you."

Mgr. de Laval, who did not hesitate at any exertion when it was a
question of the interests of his Church, did not fail to go and visit
his two abbeys. He set out, happy in the prospect of being able to
admire these magnificent properties whose rich revenues would permit him
to do so much good in his diocese; but he was painfully affected at the
sight of the buildings in ruins, sad relics of the wars of religion. In
order to free himself as much as possible from cares which would have
encroached too much upon his precious time and his pastoral duties,
Laval caused a manager to be appointed by the Royal Council for the
abbey of Lestrées, and rented it for a fixed sum to M. Berthelot. He
also made with the latter a very advantageous transaction by exchanging
with him the Island of Orleans for the Ile Jésus; M. Berthelot was to
give him besides a sum of twenty-five thousand francs, which was
employed in building the seminary. Later the king made the Island of
Orleans a county. It became the county of St. Lawrence.

Mgr. de Laval was too well endowed with qualities of the heart, as well
as with those of the mind, not to have preserved a deep affection for
his family; he did not fail to go and see them twice during his stay in
France. Unhappily, his brother, Jean-Louis, to whom he had yielded all
his rights as eldest son, and his titles to the hereditary lordship of
Montigny and Montbeaudry, caused only grief to his family and to his
wife, Françoise de Chevestre. As lavish as he was violent and
hot-tempered, he reduced by his excesses his numerous family (for he had
had ten children), to such poverty that the Bishop of Quebec had to come
to his aid; besides the assistance which he sent them, the prelate
bought him a house. He extended his protection also to his nephews, and
his brother, Henri de Laval, wrote to him about them as follows: "The
eldest is developing a little; he is in the army with the king, and his
father has given him a good start. I have obtained from my petitions
from Paris a place as monk in the Congregation of the Cross for his
second son, whom I shall try to have reared in the knowledge and fear of
God. I believe that the youngest, who has been sent to you, will have
come to the right place; he is of good promise. My brother desires
greatly that you may have the goodness to give Fanchon the advantage of
an education before sending him back. It is a great charity to these
poor children to give them a little training. You will be a father to
them in this matter." One never applied in vain to the heart of the good
bishop. Two of his nephews owed him their education at the seminary of
Quebec; one of them, Fanchon (Charles-François-Guy), after a brilliant
course in theology at Paris, became vicar-general to the Swan of
Cambrai, the illustrious Fénelon, and was later raised to the bishopric
of Ypres.

Meanwhile, four years had elapsed since Mgr. de Laval had left the soil
of Canada, and he did not cease to receive letters which begged him
respectfully to return to his diocese. "Nothing is lacking to animate us
but the presence of our lord bishop," wrote, one day, Father Dablon.
"His absence keeps this country, as it were, in mourning, and makes us
languish in the too long separation from a person so necessary to these
growing churches. He was the soul of them, and the zeal which he showed
on every occasion for the welfare of our Indians drew upon us favours of
Heaven most powerful for the success of our missions; and since, however
distant he be in the body, his heart is ever with us, we experience the
effects of it in the continuity of the blessings with which God favours
the labours of our missionaries." Accordingly, he did not lose a moment
after receiving the decrees appointing him Bishop of Quebec. On May
19th, 1675, he renewed the union of his seminary with that of the
Foreign Missions in Paris. "This union," says the Abbé Ferland, "a union
which he had effected for the first time in 1665 as apostolic bishop of
New France, was of great importance to his diocese. He found, indeed, in
this institution, good recruits, who were sent to him when needed, and
faithful correspondents, whom he could address with confidence, and who
had sufficient influence at court to gain a hearing for their
representations in favour of the Church in Canada." On May 29th of the
same year he set sail for Canada; he was accompanied by a priest, a
native of the city of Orleans, M. Glandelet, who was one of the most
distinguished priests of the seminary.

To understand with what joy he was received by his parishioners on his
arrival, it is enough to read what his brother, Henri de Laval, wrote to
him the following year: "I cannot express to you the satisfaction and
inward joy which I have received in my soul on reading a report sent
from Canada of the manner in which your clergy and all your people have
received you, and that our Lord inspires them all with just and true
sentiments to recognize you as their father and pastor. They testify to
having received through your beloved person as it were a new life. I ask
our Lord every day at His holy altars to preserve you some years more
for the sanctification of these poor people and our own."


[6] _Vie de M. Olier_, par De Lanjuère. As I wrote this life some years
ago with the collaboration of a gentleman whom death has taken from us,
I believe myself entitled to reproduce here and there in the present
life of Mgr. de Laval extracts from this book.



During the early days of the absence of its first pastor, the Church of
Canada had enjoyed only days of prosperity; skilfully directed by MM. de
Bernières and de Dudouyt, who scrupulously followed the line of conduct
laid down for them by Mgr. de Laval before his departure, it was
pursuing its destiny peacefully. But this calm, forerunner of the storm,
could not last; it was the destiny of the Church, as it had been the lot
of nations, to be tossed incessantly by the violent winds of trial and
persecution. The difficulties which arose soon reached the acute stage,
and all the firmness and tact of the Bishop of Quebec were needed to
meet them. The departure of Laval for France in the autumn of 1671 had
been closely followed by that of Governor de Courcelles and that of
Commissioner Talon. The latter was not replaced until three years later,
so that the new governor, Count de Frontenac, who arrived in the autumn
of 1672, had no one at his side in the Sovereign Council to oppose his
views. This was allowing too free play to the natural despotism of his
character. Louis de Buade, Count de Palluau and de Frontenac,
lieutenant-general of the king's armies, had previously served in
Holland under the illustrious Maurice, Prince of Orange, then in France,
Italy and Germany, and his merit had gained for him the reputation of a
great captain. The illustrious Turenne entrusted to him the command of
the reinforcements sent to Candia when that island was besieged by the
Turks. He had a keen mind, trained by serious study; haughty towards the
powerful of this world, he was affable to ordinary people, and thus made
for himself numerous enemies, while remaining very popular. Father
Charlevoix has drawn an excellent portrait of him: "His heart was
greater than his birth, his wit lively, penetrating, sound, fertile and
highly cultivated: but he was biased by the most unjust prejudices, and
capable of carrying them very far. He wished to rule alone, and there
was nothing he would not do to remove those whom he was afraid of
finding in his way. His worth and ability were equal; no one knew better
how to assume over the people whom he governed and with whom he had to
deal, that ascendency so necessary to keep them in the paths of duty and
respect. He won when he wished it the friendship of the French and their
allies, and never has general treated his enemies with more dignity and
nobility. His views for the aggrandizement of the colony were large and
true, but his prejudices sometimes prevented the execution of plans
which depended on him.... He justified, in one of the most critical
circumstances of his life, the opinion that his ambition and the desire
of preserving his authority had more power over him than his zeal for
the public good. The fact is that there is no virtue which does not
belie itself when one has allowed a dominant passion to gain the upper
hand. The Count de Frontenac might have been a great prince if Heaven
had placed him on the throne, but he had dangerous faults for a subject
who is not well persuaded that his glory consists in sacrificing
everything to the service of his sovereign and the public utility."

It was under the administration of Frontenac that the Compagnie des
Indes Occidentales, which had accepted in 1663 a portion of the
obligations and privileges of the Company of the Cent-Associés,
renounced its rights over New France. Immediately after his arrival he
began the construction of Fort Cataraqui; if we are to believe some
historians, motives of personal interest guided him in the execution of
this enterprise; he thought only, it seems, of founding considerable
posts for the fur trade, favouring those traders who would consent to
give him a share in their profits. The work was urged on with energy. La
Salle obtained from the king, thanks to the support of Frontenac,
letters patent of nobility, together with the ownership and jurisdiction
of the new fort.

With the approval of the governor, Commissioner Talon's plan of having
the course of the Mississippi explored was executed by two bold men:
Louis Joliet, citizen of Quebec, already known for previous voyages and
for his deep knowledge of the Indian tongues, and the devoted
missionary, Father Marquette. Without other provisions than Indian corn
and dried meat they set out in two bark canoes from Michilimackinac on
May 17th, 1673; only five Frenchmen accompanied them. They reached the
Mississippi, after having passed the Baie des Puants and the rivers
Outagami and Wisconsin, and ascended the stream for more than sixty
leagues. They were cordially received by the tribe of the Illinois,
which was encamped not far from the river, and Father Marquette promised
to return and visit them. The two travellers reached the Arkansas River
and learned that the sea was not far distant, but fearing they might
fall into the hands of hostile Spaniards, they decided to retrace their
steps, and reached the Baie des Puants about the end of September.

The following year Father Marquette wished to keep his promise given to
the Illinois. His health is weakened by the trials of a long mission,
but what matters this to him? There are souls to save. He preaches the
truths of religion to the poor savages gathered in attentive silence;
but his strength diminishes, and he regretfully resumes the road to
Michilimackinac. He did not have time to reach it, but died near the
mouth of a river which long bore his name. His two comrades dug a grave
for the remains of the missionary and raised a cross near the tomb. Two
years later these sacred bones were transferred with the greatest
respect to St. Ignace de Michilimackinac by the savage tribe of the
Kiskakons, whom Father Marquette had christianized.

With such an adventurous character as he possessed, Cavelier de la Salle
could not learn of the exploration of the course of the Upper
Mississippi without burning with the desire to complete the discovery
and to descend the river to its mouth. Robert René Cavelier de la Salle
was born at Rouen about the year 1644. He belonged to an excellent
family, and was well educated. From his earliest years he was
passionately fond of stories of travel, and the older he grew the more
cramped he felt in the civilization of Europe; like the mettled mustang
of the vast prairies of America, he longed for the immensity of unknown
plains, for the imposing majesty of forests which the foot of man had
not yet trod. Maturity and reason gave a more definite aim to these
aspirations; at the age of twenty-four he came to New France to try his
fortune. He entered into relations with different Indian tribes, and the
extent of his commerce led him to establish a trading-post opposite the
Sault St. Louis. This site, as we shall see, received soon after the
name of Lachine. Though settled at this spot, La Salle did not cease to
meditate on the plan fixed in his brain of discovering a passage to
China and the Indies, and upon learning the news that MM. Dollier de
Casson and Gallinée were going to christianize the wild tribes of
south-western Canada, he hastened to rejoin the two devoted
missionaries. They set out in the summer of 1669, with twenty-two
Frenchmen. Arriving at Niagara, La Salle suddenly changed his mind, and
abandoned his travelling companions, under the pretext of illness. No
more was needed for the Frenchman, _né malin_,[7] to fix upon the
seigniory of the future discoverer of the mouth of the Mississippi the
name of Lachine; M. Dollier de Casson is suspected of being the author
of this gentle irony.

Eight years later the explorations of Joliet and Father Marquette
revived his instincts as a discoverer; he betook himself to France in
1677 and easily obtained authority to pursue, at his own expense, the
discovery already begun. Back in Canada the following year, La Salle
thoroughly prepared for this expedition, accumulating provisions at Fort
Niagara, and visiting the Indian tribes. In 1679, accompanied by the
Chevalier de Tonti, he set out at the head of a small troop, and passed
through Michilimackinac, then through the Baie des Puants. From there he
reached the Miami River, where he erected a small fort, ascended the
Illinois, and, reaching a camp of the Illinois Indians, made an alliance
with this tribe, obtaining from them permission to erect upon their soil
a fort which he called Crèvecoeur. He left M. de Tonti there with a few
men and two Récollet missionaries, Fathers de la Ribourde and Membré,
and set out again with all haste for Fort Frontenac, for he was very
anxious regarding the condition of his own affairs. He had reason to be.
"His creditors," says the Abbé Ferland, "had had his goods seized after
his departure from Fort Frontenac; his brigantine _Le Griffon_ had been
lost, with furs valued at thirty thousand francs; his employees had
appropriated his goods; a ship which was bringing him from France a
cargo valued at twenty-two thousand francs had been wrecked on the
Islands of St. Pierre; some canoes laden with merchandise had been
dashed to pieces on the journey between Montreal and Frontenac; the men
whom he had brought from France had fled to New York, taking a portion
of his goods, and already a conspiracy was on foot to disaffect the
Canadians in his service. In one word, according to him, the whole of
Canada had conspired against his enterprise, and the Count de Frontenac
was the only one who consented to support him in the midst of his
misfortunes." His remarkable energy and activity remedied this host of
evils, and he set out again for Fort Crèvecoeur. To cap the climax of
his misfortunes, he found it abandoned; being attacked by the Iroquois,
whom the English had aroused against them, Tonti and his comrades had
been forced to hasty flight. De la Salle found them again at
Michilimackinac, but he had the sorrow of learning of the loss of
Father de la Ribourde, whom the Illinois had massacred. Tonti and his
companions, in their flight, had been obliged to abandon an unsafe
canoe, which had carried them half-way, and to continue their journey on
foot. Such a series of misfortunes would have discouraged any other than
La Salle; on the contrary, he made Tonti and Father Membré retrace their
steps. Arriving with them at the Miami fort, he reinforced his little
troop by twenty-three Frenchmen and eighteen Indians, and reached Fort
Crèvecoeur. On February 6th, 1682, he reached the mouth of the Illinois,
and then descended the Mississippi. Towards the end of this same month
the bold explorers stopped at the juncture of the Ohio with the Father
of Rivers, and erected there Fort Prudhomme. On what is Fame dependent?
A poor and unknown man, a modest collaborator with La Salle, had the
honour of giving his name to this little fort because he had been lost
in the neighbourhood and had reached camp nine days later.

Providence was finally about to reward so much bravery and perseverance.
The sailor who from the yards of Christopher Columbus's caravel, uttered
the triumphant cry of "Land! land!" did not cause more joy to the
illustrious Genoese navigator than La Salle received from the sight of
the sea so ardently sought. On April 9th La Salle and his comrades could
at length admire the immense blue sheet of the Gulf of Mexico. Like
Christopher Columbus, who made it his first duty on touching the soil of
the New World to fall upon his knees to return thanks to Heaven, La
Salle's first business was to raise a cross upon the shore. Father
Membré intoned the Te Deum. They then raised the arms of the King of
France, in whose name La Salle took possession of the Mississippi, and
of all the territories watered by the tributaries of the great river.

Their trials were not over: the risks to be run in traversing so many
regions inhabited by barbarians were as great and as numerous after
success as before. La Salle was, moreover, delayed for forty days by a
serious illness, but God in His goodness did not wish to deprive the
valiant discoverers of the fruits of their efforts, and all arrived safe
and sound at the place whence they had started. After having passed a
year in establishing trading-posts among the Illinois, La Salle
appointed M. de Tonti his representative for the time being, and betook
himself to France with the intention of giving an account of his journey
to the most Christian monarch. His enemies had already forestalled him
at the court; we have to seek the real cause of this hatred in the
jealousy of traders who feared to find in the future colonists of the
western and southern country competitors in their traffic. But far from
listening to them, the son of Colbert, Seignelay, then minister of
commerce, highly praised the valiant explorer, and sent, in 1684, four
ships with two hundred and eighty colonists to people Louisiana, this
new gem in the crown of France. But La Salle has not yet finally drained
the cup of disappointment, for few men have been so overwhelmed as he by
the persistence of ill-fortune. It was not enough that the leader of the
expedition should be incapable, the colonists must needs be of a
continual evil character, the soldiers undisciplined, the workmen
unskilful, the pilot ignorant. They pass the mouth of the Mississippi,
near which they should have disembarked, and arrive in Texas; the
commander refuses to send the ship about, and La Salle makes up his mind
to land where they are. Through the neglect of the pilot, the vessel
which was carrying the provisions is cast ashore, then a gale arises
which swallows up the tools, the merchandise and the ammunition. The
Indians, like birds of prey, hasten up to pillage, and massacre two
volunteers. The colonists in exasperation revolt, and stupidly blame La
Salle. He saves them, nevertheless, by his energy, and makes them raise
a fort with the wreck of the ships. They pass two years there in a
famine of everything; twice La Salle tries to find, at the cost of a
thousand sufferings, a way of rescue, and twice he fails. Finally, when
there remain no more than thirty men, he chooses the ten most resolute,
and tries to reach Canada on foot. He did not reach it: on May 20th,
1687, he was murdered by one of his comrades. "Such was the end of this
daring adventurer," says Bancroft.[8] "For force of will, and vast
conceptions; for various knowledge and quick adaptation of his genius to
untried circumstances; for a sublime magnanimity that resigned itself to
the will of Heaven and yet triumphed over affliction by energy of
purpose and unfaltering hope, he had no superior among his
countrymen.... He will be remembered in the great central valley of the

It was with deep feelings of joy that Mgr. de Laval, still in France at
this period, had read the detailed report of the voyage of discovery
made by Joliet and Father Marquette. But the news which he received from
Canada was not always so comforting; he felt especially deeply the loss
of two great benefactresses of Canada, Madame de la Peltrie and Mother
Incarnation. The former had used her entire fortune in founding the
Convent of the Ursulines at Quebec. Heaven had lavished its gifts upon
her; endowed with brilliant qualities, and adding riches to beauty, she
was happy in possessing these advantages only because they allowed her
to offer them to the Most High, who had given them to her. She devoted
herself to the Christian education of young girls, and passed in Canada
the last thirty-two years of her life. The Abbé Casgrain draws the
following portrait of her: "Her whole person presented a type of
attractiveness and gentleness. Her face, a beautiful oval, was
remarkable for the harmony of its lines and the perfection of its
contour. A slightly aquiline nose, a clear cut and always smiling mouth,
a limpid look veiled by long lashes which the habit of meditation kept
half lowered, stamped her features with an exquisite sweetness. Though
her frail and delicate figure did not exceed medium height, and though
everything about her breathed modesty and humility, her gait was
nevertheless full of dignity and nobility; one recognized, in seeing
her, the descendant of those great and powerful lords, of those perfect
knights whose valiant swords had sustained throne and altar. Through the
most charming simplicity there were ever manifest the grand manner of
the seventeenth century and that perfect distinction which is
traditional among the families of France. But this majestic _ensemble_
was tempered by an air of introspection and unction which gave her
conversation an infinite charm, and it gained her the esteem and
affection of all those who had had the good fortune to know her." She
died on November 18th, 1671, only a few days after the departure for
France of the apostolic vicar.

[Illustration: The Ursuline Convent, Quebec

Drawn on the spot by Richard Short, 1761]

Her pious friend, Mother Mary of the Incarnation, first Mother Superior
of the Ursulines of Quebec, soon followed her to the tomb. She expired
on April 30th, 1672. In her numerous writings on the beginnings of the
colony, the modesty of Mother Mary of the Incarnation has kept us in the
dark concerning several important services rendered by her to New
France, and many touching details of her life would not have reached us
if her companion, Madame de la Peltrie, had not made them known to us.
In Mother Incarnation, who merited the glorious title of the Theresa of
New France, were found all the Christian virtues, but more particularly
piety, patience and confidence in Providence. God was ever present and
visible in her heart, acting everywhere and in everything. We see, among
many other instances that might be quoted, a fine example of her
enthusiasm for Heaven when, cast out of her convent in the heart of the
winter by a conflagration which consumed everything, she knelt upon the
snow with her Sisters, and thanked God for not having taken from them,
together with their properties, their lives, which might be useful to

If Madame de la Peltrie and Mother Mary of the Incarnation occupy a
large place in the history of Canada, it is because the institution of
the Ursulines, which they founded and directed at Quebec, exercised the
happiest influence on the formation of the Christian families in our
country. "It was," says the Abbé Ferland, "an inestimable advantage for
the country to receive from the schools maintained by the nuns, mothers
of families reared in piety, familiar with their religious duties, and
capable of training the hearts and minds of the new generation." It was
thanks to the efforts of Madame de la Peltrie, and to the lessons of
Mother Incarnation and her first co-workers, that those patriarchal
families whose type still persists in our time, were formed in the early
days of the colony. The same services were rendered by Sister Bourgeoys
to the government of Montreal.


[7] Allusion to a verse of the poet Boileau.

[8] _History of the United States_, Vol. II., page 821.



A thorough study of history and the analysis of the causes and effects
of great historical events prove to us that frequently men endowed with
the noblest qualities have rendered only slight services to their
country, because, blinded by the consciousness of their own worth, and
the certainty which they have of desiring to work only for the good of
their country, they have disdained too much the advice of wise
counsillors. With eyes fixed upon their established purpose, they
trample under foot every obstacle; and every man who differs from their
opinion is but a traitor or an imbecile: hence their lack of moderation,
tact and prudence, and their excess of obstinacy and violence. To select
one example among a thousand, what marvellous results would have been
attained by an _entente cordiale_ between two men like Dupleix and La

Count de Frontenac was certainly a great man: he made Canada prosperous
in peace, glorious in war, but he made also the great mistake of aiming
at absolutism, and of allowing himself to be guided throughout his
administration by unjustified prejudices against the Jesuits and the
religious orders. Only the Sovereign Council, the bishop and the royal
commissioner could have opposed his omnipotence. Now the office of
commissioner remained vacant for three years, the bishop stayed in
France till 1675, and his grand vicar, who was to represent him in the
highest assembly of the colony, was never invited to take his seat
there. As to the council, the governor took care to constitute it of men
who were entirely devoted to him, and he thus made himself the arbiter
of justice. The council, of which Peuvret de Mesnu was secretary, was at
this time composed of MM. Le Gardeur de Tilly, Damours, de la Tesserie,
Dupont, de Mouchy, and a substitute for the attorney-general.

The first difficulty which Frontenac met was brought about by a cause
rather insignificant in itself, but rendered so dangerous by the
obstinacy of those who were concerned in it that it caused a deep
commotion throughout the whole country. Thus a foreign body, sometimes a
wretched little splinter buried in the flesh, may, if we allow the wound
to be poisoned, produce the greatest disorders in the human system. We
cannot read without admiration of the acts of bravery and daring
frequently accomplished by the _coureurs de bois_. We experience a
sentiment of pride when we glance through the accounts which depict for
us the endurance and physical vigour with which these athletes became
endowed by dint of continual struggles with man and beast and with the
very elements in a climate that was as glacial in winter as it was
torrid in summer. We are happy to think that these brave and strong men
belong to our race. But in the time of Frontenac the ecclesiastical and
civil authorities were averse to seeing the colony lose thus the most
vigorous part of its population. While admitting that the _coureurs de
bois_ became stout fellows in consequence of their hard experience, just
as the fishermen of the French shore now become robust sailors after a
few seasons of fishing on the Newfoundland Banks, the parallel is not
complete, because the latter remain throughout their lives a valuable
reserve for the French fleets, while the former were in great part lost
to the colony, at a period when safety lay in numbers. If they escaped
the manifold dangers which they ran every day in dealing with the
savages in the heart of the forest, if they disdained to link themselves
by the bond of marriage to a squaw and to settle among the redskins, the
_coureurs de bois_ were none the less drones among their compatriots;
they did not make up their minds to establish themselves in places where
they might have become excellent farmers, until through age and
infirmity they were rather a burden than a support to others.

To counteract this scourge the king published in 1673, a decree which,
under penalty of death, forbade Frenchmen to remain more than
twenty-four hours in the woods without permission from the governor.
Some Montreal officers, engaged in trade, violated this prohibition; the
Count de Frontenac at once sent M. Bizard, lieutenant of his guards,
with an order to arrest them. The governor of Montreal, M. Perrot, who
connived with them, publicly insulted the officer entrusted with the
orders of the governor-general. Indignant at such insolence, M. de
Frontenac had M. Perrot arrested at once, imprisoned in the Château St.
Louis and judged by the Sovereign Council. Connected with M. Perrot by
the bonds of friendship, the Abbé de Fénelon profited by the occasion to
allude, in the sermon which he delivered in the parochial church of
Montreal on Easter Sunday, to the excessive labour which M. de Frontenac
had exacted from the inhabitants of Ville-Marie for the erection of Fort
Cataraqui. According to La Salle, who heard the sermon, the Abbé de
Fénelon said: "He who is invested with authority should not disturb the
people who depend on him; on the contrary, it is his duty to consider
them as his children and to treat them as would a father.... He must not
disturb the commerce of the country by ill-treating those who do not
give him a share of the profits they may make in it; he must content
himself with gaining by honest means; he must not trample on the people,
nor vex them by excessive demands which serve his interests alone. He
must not have favourites who praise him on all occasions, or oppress,
under far-fetched pretexts, persons who serve the same princes, when
they oppose his enterprises.... He has respect for priests and ministers
of the Church."

Count de Frontenac felt himself directly aimed at; he was the more
inclined to anger, since, the year before, he had had reasons for
complaint of the sermon of a Jesuit Father. Let us allow the governor
himself to relate this incident: "I had need," he wrote to Colbert, "to
remember your orders on the occasion of a sermon preached by a Jesuit
Father this winter (1672) purposely and without need, at which he had a
week before invited everybody to be present. He gave expression in this
sermon to seditious proposals against the authority of the king, which
scandalized many, by dilating upon the restrictions made by the bishop
of the traffic in brandy.... I was several times tempted to leave the
church and to interrupt the sermon; but I eventually contented myself,
after it was over, with seeking out the grand vicar and the superior of
the Jesuits and telling them that I was much surprised at what I had
just heard, and that I asked justice of them.... They greatly blamed the
preacher, whose words they disavowed, attributing them, according to
their custom, to an excess of zeal, and offered me many excuses, with
which I condescended to seem satisfied, telling them, nevertheless, that
I would not accept such again, and that, if the occasion ever arose, I
would put the preacher where he would learn how he ought to speak...."

On the news of the words which were pronounced in the pulpit at
Ville-Marie, M. de Frontenac summoned M. de Fénelon to send him a
verified copy of his sermon, and on the refusal of the abbé, he cited
him before the council. M. de Fénelon appeared, but objected to the
jurisdiction of the court, declaring that he owed an account of his
actions to the ecclesiastical authority alone. Now the official
authority of the diocese was vested in the worthy M. de Bernières, the
representative of Mgr. de Laval. The latter is summoned in his turn
before the council, where the Count de Frontenac, who will not recognize
either the authority of this official or that of the apostolic vicar,
objects to M. de Bernières occupying the seat of the absent Bishop of
Petræa. In order not to compromise his right thus contested, M. de
Bernières replies to the questions of the council "standing and without
taking any seat." The trial thus begun dragged along till autumn, to be
then referred to the court of France. The superior of St. Sulpice, M. de
Bretonvilliers, who had succeeded the venerable M. Olier, did not
approve of the conduct of the Abbé Fénelon, for he wrote later to the
Sulpicians of Montreal: "I exhort you to profit by the example of M. de
Fénelon. Concerning himself too much with secular affairs and with what
did not affect him, he has ruined his own cause and compromised the
friends whom he wished to serve. In matters of this sort it is always
best to remain neutral."

Frontenac was about to be blamed in his turn. The governor had obtained
from the council a decree ordering the king's attorney to be present
at the rendering of accounts by the purveyor of the Quebec Seminary, and
another decree of March 4th, 1675, declaring that not only, as had been
customary since 1668, the judges should have precedence over the
churchwardens in public ceremonies, but also that the latter should
follow all the officers of justice; at Quebec these officers should have
their bench immediately behind that of the council, and in the rest of
the country, behind that of the local governors and the seigneurs. This
latter decree was posted everywhere. A missionary, M. Thomas Morel, was
accused of having prevented its publication at Lévis, and was arrested
at once and imprisoned in the Château St. Louis with the clerk of the
ecclesiastical court, Romain Becquet, who had refused to deliver to the
council the registers of this ecclesiastical tribune. He was kept there
a month. MM. de Bernières and Dudouyt protested, declaring that M. Morel
was amenable only to the diocesan authority. We see in such an incident
some of the reasons which induced Laval to insist upon the immediate
constitution of a regular diocese. Summoned to produce forthwith the
authority for their pretended ecclesiastical jurisdiction, "they
produced a copy of the royal declaration, dated March 27th, 1659, based
on the bulls of the Bishop of Petræa, and other documents, establishing
incontestably the legal authority of the apostolic vicar." The council
had to yield; it restored his freedom to M. Morel, and postponed until
later its decision as to the validity of the claims of the
ecclesiastical court.

This was a check to the ambitions of the Count de Frontenac. The
following letter from Louis XIV dealt a still more cruel blow to his
absolutism: "In order to punish M. Perrot for having resisted your
authority," the prince wrote to him, "I have had him put into the
Bastille for some time; so that when he returns to your country, not
only will this punishment render him more circumspect in his duty, but
it will serve as an example to restrain others. But if I must inform you
of my sentiments, after having thus satisfied my authority which was
violated in your person, I will tell you that without absolute need you
ought not to have these orders executed throughout the extent of a local
jurisdiction like Montreal without communicating with its governor.... I
have blamed the action of the Abbé de Fénelon, and have commanded him to
return no more to Canada; but I must tell you that it was difficult to
enter a criminal procedure against him, or to compel the priests of St.
Sulpice to bear witness against him. He should have been delivered over
to his bishop or to the grand vicar to suffer the ecclesiastical
penalties, or should have been arrested and sent back to France by the
first ship. I have been told besides," added the monarch, "that you
would not permit ecclesiastics and others to attend to their missions
and other duties, or even leave their residence without a passport from
Montreal to Quebec; that you often summoned them for very slight causes;
that you intercepted their letters and did not allow them liberty to
write. If the whole or part of these things be true, you must mend your
ways." On his part Colbert enjoined upon the governor a little more
calmness and gentleness. "His Majesty," wrote the minister, "has ordered
me to explain to you, privately, that it is absolutely necessary for the
good of your service to moderate your conduct, and not to single out
with too great severity faults committed either against his service or
against the respect due to your person or character." Colbert rightly
felt that fault-finding letters were not sufficient to keep within
bounds a temperament as fiery as that of the governor of Canada; on the
other hand, a man of Frontenac's worth was too valuable to the colony to
think of dispensing with his services. The wisest course was to renew
the Sovereign Council, and in order to withdraw its members from the too
preponderant influence of the governor, to put their nomination in the
hands of the king.

By the royal edict of June 5th, 1675, the council was reconstituted. It
was composed of seven members appointed by the Crown; the
governor-general occupied the first place, the bishop, or in his
absence, the grand vicar, the second, and the commissioner the third.
As the latter presided in the absence of the governor, and as the king
was anxious that "he should have the same functions and the same
privileges as the first presidents of the courts of France," as moreover
the honour devolved upon him of collecting the opinions or votes and of
pronouncing the decrees, it was in reality the commissioner who might be
considered as actual president. It is, therefore, easy to understand the
continual disputes which arose upon the question of the title of
President of the Council between Frontenac and the Commissioner Jacques
Duchesneau. The latter, at first "_Président des trésoriers de la
généralité de Tours_," had been appointed _intendant_ of New France by a
commission which bears the same date as the royal edict reviving the
Sovereign Council. While thinking of the material good of the colony,
the Most Christian King took care not to neglect its spiritual
interests; he undertook to provide for the maintenance of the parish
priests and other ecclesiastics wherever necessary, and to meet in case
of need the expenses of the divine service. In addition he expressed his
will "that there should always be in the council one ecclesiastical
member," and later he added a clerical councillor to the members already
installed. There were summoned to the council MM. de Villeray, de Tilly,
Damours, Dupont, Louis René de Lotbinière, de Peyras, and Denys de
Vitré. M. Denis Joseph Ruette d'Auteuil was appointed
solicitor-general; his functions consisted in speaking in the name of
the king, and in making, in the name of the prince or of the public, the
necessary statements. The former clerk, M. Peuvret de Mesnu, was
retained in his functions.

The quarrels thus generated between the governor and the commissioner on
the question of the title of president grew so embittered that discord
did not cease to prevail between the two men on even the most
insignificant questions. Forcibly involved in these dissensions, the
Sovereign Council itself was divided into two hostile camps, and letters
of complaint and denunciation rained upon the desk of the minister in
France: on the one hand the governor was accused of receiving presents
from the savages before permitting them to trade at Montreal, and was
reproached for sending beavers to New England; on the other hand, it was
hinted that the commissioner was interested in the business of the
principal merchants of the colony. Scrupulously honest, but of a
somewhat stern temperament, Duchesneau could not bend to the imperious
character of Frontenac, who in his exasperation readily allowed himself
to be impelled to arbitrary acts; thus he kept the councillor Damours in
prison for two months for a slight cause, and banished from Quebec three
other councillors, MM. de Villeray, de Tilly and d'Auteuil. The climax
was reached, and in spite of the services rendered to the country by
these two administrators, the king decided to recall them both in 1682.
Count de Frontenac was replaced as governor by M. Lefebvre de la Barre,
and M. Duchesneau by M. de Meulles.



Disembarking in the year 1675 on that soil where as apostolic vicar he
had already accomplished so much good, giving his episcopal benediction
to that Christian throng who came to sing the Te Deum to thank God for
the happy return of their first pastor, casting his eyes upon that manly
and imposing figure of one of the most illustrious lieutenants of the
great king, the Count de Frontenac, what could be the thoughts of Mgr.
de Laval? He could not deceive himself: the letters received from Canada
proved to him too clearly that the friction between the civil powers and
religious authorities would be continued under a governor of
uncompromising and imperious character. With what fervour must he have
asked of Heaven the tact, the prudence and the patience so necessary in
such delicate circumstances!

Two questions, especially, divided the governor and the bishop: that of
the permanence of livings, and the everlasting matter of the sale of
brandy to the savages, a question which, like the phoenix, was
continually reborn from its ashes. "The prelate," says the Abbé
Gosselin, "desired to establish parishes wherever they were necessary,
and procure for them good and zealous missionaries, and, as far as
possible, priests residing in each district, but removable and attached
to the seminary, which received the tithes and furnished them with all
they had need of. But Frontenac found that this system left the priests
too dependent on the bishop, and that the clergy thus closely connected
with the bishop and the seminary, was too formidable and too powerful a
body. It was with the purpose of weakening it and of rendering it, by
the aid which it would require, more dependent on the civil authority,
that he undertook that campaign for permanent livings which ended in the
overthrow of Mgr. de Laval's system."

Colbert, in fact, was too strongly prejudiced against the clergy of
Canada by the reports of Talon and Frontenac. These three men were
wholly devoted to the interests of France as well as to those of the
colony, but they judged things only from a purely human point of view.
"I see," Colbert wrote in 1677 to Commissioner Duchesneau, "that the
Count de Frontenac is of the opinion that the trade with the savages in
drinks, called in that country intoxicating, does not cause the great
and terrible evils to which Mgr. de Québec takes exception, and even
that it is necessary for commerce; and I see that you are of an opinion
contrary to this. In this matter, before taking sides with the bishop,
you should enquire very exactly as to the number of murders,
assassinations, cases of arson, and other excesses caused by brandy ...
and send me the proof of this. If these deeds had been continual, His
Majesty would have issued a most severe and vigorous prohibition to all
his subjects against engaging in this traffic. But, in the absence of
this proof, and seeing, moreover, the contrary in the evidence and
reports of those that have been longest in this country, it is not just,
and the general policy of a state opposes in this the feelings of a
bishop who, to prevent the abuses that a small number of private
individuals may make of a thing good in itself, wishes to abolish trade
in an article which greatly serves to attract commerce, and the savages
themselves, to the orthodox Christians." Thus M. Dudouyt could not but
fail in his mission, and he wrote to Mgr. de Laval that Colbert, while
recognizing very frankly the devotion of the bishop and the
missionaries, believed that they exaggerated the fatal results of the
traffic. The zealous collaborator of the Bishop of Quebec at the same
time urged the prelate to suspend the spiritual penalties till then
imposed upon the traders, in order to deprive the minister of every
motive of bitterness against the clergy.

The bishop admitted the wisdom of this counsel, which he followed, and
meanwhile the king, alarmed by a report from Commissioner Duchesneau,
who shared the view of the missionaries, desired to investigate and come
to a final decision on the question. He therefore ordered the Count de
Frontenac to choose in the colony twenty-four competent persons, and to
commission them to examine the drawbacks to the sale of intoxicating
liquors. Unfortunately, the persons chosen for this enquiry were engaged
in trade with the savages; their conclusions must necessarily be
prejudiced. They declared that "very few disorders arose from the
traffic in brandy, among the natives of the country; that, moreover, the
Dutch, by distributing intoxicating drinks to the Iroquois, attracted by
this means the trade in beaver skins to Orange and Manhattan. It was,
therefore, absolutely necessary to allow the brandy trade in order to
bring the savages into the French colony and to prevent them from taking
their furs to foreigners."

We cannot help being surprised at such a judgment when we read over the
memoirs of the time, which all agree in deploring the sad results of
this traffic. The most crying injustice, the most revolting immorality,
the ruin of families, settlements devastated by drunkenness, agriculture
abandoned, the robust portion of the population ruining its health in
profitless expeditions: such were some of the most horrible fruits of
alcohol. And what do we find as a compensation for so many evils? A few
dozen rascals enriched, returning to squander in France a fortune
shamefully acquired. And let it not be objected that, if the Indians had
not been able to purchase the wherewithal to satisfy their terrible
passion for strong drink, they would have carried their furs to the
English or the Dutch, for it was proven that the offer of Governor
Andros, to forbid the sale of brandy to the savages in New England on
condition that the French would act likewise in New France, was formally
rejected. "To-day when the passions of the time have long been silent,"
says the Abbé Ferland, "it is impossible not to admire the energy
displayed by the noble bishop, imploring the pity of the monarch for the
savages of New France with all the courage shown by Las Casas, when he
pleaded the cause of the aborigines of Spanish America. Disdaining the
hypocritical outcries of those men who prostituted the name of commerce
to cover their speculations and their rapine, he exposed himself to
scorn and persecution in order to save the remnant of those indigenous
American tribes, to protect his flock from the moral contagion which
threatened to weigh upon it, and to lead into the right path the young
men who were going to ruin among the savage tribes."

The worthy bishop desired to prevent the laxity of the sale of brandy
that might result from the declaration of the Committee of Twenty-four,
and in the autumn of 1678 he set out again for France. To avoid a
journey so fatiguing, he might easily have found excuses in the rest
needed after a difficult pastoral expedition which he had just
concluded, in the labours of his seminary which demanded his presence,
and especially in the bad state of his health; but is not the first
duty of a leader always to stand in the breach, and to give to all the
example of self-sacrifice? A report from his hand on the disorders
caused by the traffic in strong liquors would perhaps have obtained a
fortunate result, but thinking that his presence at the court would be
still more efficacious, he set out. He managed to find in his charity
and the goodness of his heart such eloquent words to depict the evils
wrought upon the Church in Canada by the scourge of intoxication, that
Louis XIV was moved, and commissioned his confessor, Father La Chaise,
to examine the question conjointly with the Archbishop of Paris.
According to their advice, the king expressly forbade the French to
carry intoxicating liquors to the savages in their dwellings or in the
woods, and he wrote to Frontenac to charge him to see that the edict was
respected. On his part, Laval consented to maintain the _cas réservé_
only against those who might infringe the royal prohibition. The Bishop
of Quebec had hoped for more; for nothing could prevent the Indians from
coming to buy the terrible poison from the French, and moreover,
discovery of the infractions of the law would be, if not impossible, at
least most difficult. Nevertheless, it was an advantage obtained over
the dealers and their protectors, who aimed at nothing less than an
unrestricted traffic in brandy. A dyke was set up against the
devastations of the scourge; the worthy bishop might hope to maintain
it energetically by his vigilance and that of his coadjutors.
Unfortunately, he could not succeed entirely, and little by little the
disorders became so multiplied that M. de Denonville considered brandy
as one of the greatest evils of Canada, and that the venerable superior
of St. Sulpice de Montréal, M. Dollier de Casson, wrote in 1691: "I have
been twenty-six years in this country, and I have seen our numerous and
flourishing Algonquin missions all destroyed by drunkenness."
Accordingly, it became necessary later to fall back upon the former
rigorous regulations against the sale of intoxicating liquors to the

Before his departure for France the Bishop of Quebec had given the
devoted priests of St. Sulpice a mark of his affection: he constituted
the parish of Notre-Dame de Montréal according to the canons of the
Church, and joined it in perpetuity to the Seminary of Ville-Marie, "to
be administered, under the plenary authority of the Bishops of Quebec,
by such ecclesiastics as might be chosen by the superior of the said
seminary. The priests of St. Sulpice having by their efforts and their
labours produced during so many years in New France, and especially in
the Island of Montreal, very great fruits for the glory of God and the
advantage of this growing Church, we have given them, as being most
irreproachable in faith, doctrine, piety and conduct, in perpetuity, and
do give them, by virtue of these presents, the livings of the Island of
Montreal, in order that they may be perfectly cultivated as up to now
they have been, as best they might be by their preachings and examples."
In fact, misunderstandings like that which had occurred on the arrival
of de Queylus were no longer to be feared; since the authority to which
Laval could lay claim had been duly established and proved, the
Sulpicians had submitted and accepted his jurisdiction. They had for a
longer period preserved their independence as temporal lords, and the
governor of Ville-Marie, de Maisonneuve, jealous of preserving intact
the rights of those whom he represented, even dared one day to refuse
the keys of the fort to the governor-general, M. d'Argenson. Poor de
Maisonneuve paid for this excessive zeal by the loss of his position,
for d'Argenson never forgave him.

The parish of Notre-Dame was united with the Seminary of Montreal on
October 30th, 1678, one year after the issuing of the letters patent
which recognized the civil existence of St. Sulpice de Montréal. Mgr. de
Laval at the same time united with the parish of Notre-Dame the chapel
of Bonsecours. On the banks of the St. Lawrence, not far from the church
of Notre-Dame, rises a chapel of modest appearance. It is Notre-Dame de
Bonsecours. It has seen many generations kneeling on its square, and has
not ceased to protect with its shadow the Catholic quarter of Montreal.
The buildings about it rose successively, only to give way themselves
to other monuments. Notre-Dame de Bonsecours is still respected; the
piety of Catholics defends it against all attacks of time or progress,
and the little church raises proudly in the air that slight wooden
steeple that more than once has turned aside the avenging bolt of the
Most High. Sister Bourgeoys had begun it in 1657; to obtain the funds
necessary for its completion she betook herself to Paris. She obtained
one hundred francs from M. Macé, a priest of St. Sulpice. One of the
associates of the Company of Montreal, M. de Fancamp, received for her
from two of his fellow-partners, MM. Denis and Leprêtre, a statuette of
the Virgin made of the miraculous wood of Montagu, and he himself, to
participate in this gift, gave her a shrine of the most wonderful
richness to contain the precious statue. On her return to Canada,
Marguerite Bourgeoys caused to be erected near the house of the Sisters
a wooden lean-to in the form of a chapel, which became the provisional
sanctuary of the statuette. Two years later, on June 29th, the laying of
the foundation stone of the chapel took place. The work was urged with
enthusiasm, and encouraged by the pious impatience of Sister Bourgeoys.
The generosity of the faithful vied in enthusiasm, and gifts flowed in.
M. de Maisonneuve offered a cannon, of which M. Souart had a bell made
at his expense. Two thousand francs, furnished by the piety of the
inhabitants, and one hundred louis from Sister Bourgeoys and her nuns,
aided the foundress to complete the realization of a wish long
cherished in her heart; the new chapel became an inseparable annex of
the parish of Ville-Marie.

These most precious advantages were recognized on November 6th, 1678, by
Mgr. de Laval, who preserved throughout his life the most tender
devotion to the Mother of God. On the other hand, the prelate imposed
upon the parish priest the obligation of having the Holy Mass celebrated
there on the Day of the Visitation, and of going there in procession on
the Day of the Assumption. Is it necessary to mention with what zeal,
with what devotion the Canadians brought to Mary in this new temple
their homage and their prayers? Let us listen to the enthusiastic
narrative of Sister Morin, a nun of St. Joseph: "The Holy Mass is said
there every day, and even several times a day, to satisfy the devotion
and the trust of the people, which are great towards Notre-Dame de
Bonsecours. Processions wend their way thither on occasions of public
need or calamity, with much success. It is the regular promenade of the
devout persons of the town, who make a pilgrimage there every evening,
and there are few good Catholics who, from all the places in Canada, do
not make vows of offerings to this chapel in all the dangers in which
they find themselves."

The church of Notre-Dame de Bonsecours was twice remodelled; built at
first of oak on stone foundations, it was rebuilt of stone and consumed
in 1754 in a conflagration which destroyed a part of the town. In 1772
the chapel was rebuilt as it exists now, one hundred and two feet long
by forty-six wide.



Mgr. de Laval was still in France when the edict of May, 1679, appeared,
decreeing on the suggestion of Frontenac, that the tithe should be paid
only to "each of the parish priests within the extent of his parish
where he is established in perpetuity in the stead of the removable
priest who previously administered it." The ideas of the Count de
Frontenac were thus victorious, and the king retracted his first
decision. He had in his original decree establishing the Seminary of
Quebec, granted the bishop and his successors "the right of recalling
and displacing the priests by them delegated to the parishes to exercise
therein parochial functions." Laval on his return to Canada conformed
without murmur to the king's decision; he worked, together with the
governor and commissioner, at drawing up the plan of the parishes to be
established, and sent his vicar-general to install the priests who were
appointed to the different livings. He desired to inspire his whole
clergy with the disinterestedness which he had always evinced, for not
only did he recommend his priests "to content themselves with the
simplest living, and with the bare necessaries of their support," but
besides, agreeing with the governor and the commissioner, he estimated
that an annual sum of five hundred livres merely, that is to say, about
three hundred dollars of our present money, was sufficient for the
lodging and maintenance of a priest. This was more than modest, and yet,
without a very considerable extension, there was no parish capable of
supplying the needs of its priest. There was indeed, it is true, an
article of the edict specifying that in case of the tithe being
insufficient, the necessary supplement should be fixed by the council
and furnished by the seigneur of the place and by the inhabitants; but
this manner of aiding the priests who were reduced to a bare competence
was not practical, as was soon evident. Another article gave the title
of patron to any seigneur who should erect a religious edifice; this
article was just as fantastic, "for," wrote Commissioner Duchesneau,
"there is no private person in this country who is in a position to
build churches of any kind."

The king, always well disposed towards the clergy of Canada, came to
their aid again in this matter. He granted them an annual income of
eight thousand francs, to be raised from his "_Western Dominions_," that
is to say, from the sum derived in Canada from the _droit du quart_ and
the farm of Tadousac; from these funds, which were distributed by the
seminary until 1692, and after this date by the bishop alone, two
thousand francs were to be set aside for priests prevented by illness or
old age from fulfilling the duties of the holy ministry, and twelve
hundred francs were to be employed in the erection of parochial
churches. This aid came aptly, but was not sufficient, as Commissioner
de Beauharnois himself admits. And yet the deplorable state in which the
treasury of France then was, on account of the enormous expenses
indulged in by Louis XIV, and especially in consequence of the wars
which he waged against Europe, obliged him to diminish this allowance.
In 1707 it was reduced by half.

It was feared for a time by the Sulpicians that the edict of 1679 might
injure the rights which they had acquired from the union with their
seminary of the parishes established on the Island of Montreal, and they
therefore hastened to request from the king the civil confirmation of
this canonical union. "There is," they said in their request, "a sort of
need that the parishes of the Island of Montreal and of the surrounding
parts should be connected with a community able to furnish them with
priests, who could not otherwise be found in the country, to administer
the said livings; these priests would not expose themselves to a sea
voyage and to leaving their family comforts to go and sacrifice
themselves in a wild country, if they did not hope that in their
infirmity or old age they would be free to withdraw from the laborious
administration of the parishes, and that they would find a refuge in
which to end their days in tranquillity in a community which, on its
part, would not pledge itself in such a way as to afford them the hope
of this refuge, and to furnish other priests in their place, if it had
not the free control of the said parishes and power to distribute among
them the ecclesiastics belonging to its body whom it might judge capable
of this, and withdraw or exchange them when fitting." The request of the
Sulpicians was granted by the king.

It was not until 1680 that the Bishop of Quebec could return to Canada.
The all-important questions of the permanence of livings and of the
traffic in brandy were not the only ones which kept him in France;
another difficulty, that of the dependence of his diocese, demanded of
his devotion a great many efforts at the court. The circumstances were
difficult. France was plunged at this period in the famous dispute
between the government and the court of Rome over the question of the
right of _régale_, a dispute which nearly brought about a schism. The
Archbishop of Paris, Mgr. de Harlay, who had laboured so much when he
was Bishop of Rouen to keep New France under the jurisdiction of the
diocese of Normandy, used his influence to make Canada dependent on the
archbishopric of Paris. The death of this prelate put an end to this
claim, and the French colony in North America continued its direct
connection with the Holy See.

Mgr. de Laval strove also to obtain from the Holy Father the canonical
union of the abbeys of Maubec and of Lestrées with his bishopric; if he
had obtained it, he could have erected his chapter at once, assuring by
the revenues of these monasteries a sufficient maintenance for his
canons. The opposition of the religious orders on which these abbeys
depended defeated his plan, but in compensation he obtained from the
generosity of the king a grant of land on which his successor,
Saint-Vallier, afterwards erected the church of Notre-Dame des
Victoires. The venerable prelate might well ask favours for his diocese
when he himself set an example of the greatest generosity. By a deed,
dated at Paris, he gave to his seminary all that he possessed: Ile
Jésus, the seigniories of Beaupré and Petite Nation, a property at
Château Richer, finally books, furniture, funds, and all that might
belong to him at the moment of his death.

Laval returned to Canada at a time when the relations with the savage
tribes were becoming so strained as to threaten an impending rupture. So
far had matters gone that Colonel Thomas Dongan, governor of New York,
had urged the Iroquois to dig up the hatchet, and he was only too
willingly obeyed. Unfortunately, the two governing heads of the colony
were replaced just at that moment. Governor de Frontenac and
Commissioner Duchesneau were recalled in 1682, and supplanted by de la
Barre and de Meulles. The latter were far from equalling their
predecessors. M. de Lefebvre de la Barre was a clever sailor but a
deplorable administrator; as for the commissioner, M. de Meulles, his
incapacity did not lessen his extreme conceit.

On his arrival at Quebec, Laval learned with deep grief that a terrible
conflagration had, a few weeks before, consumed almost the whole of the
Lower Town. The houses, and even the stores being then built of wood,
everything was devoured by the flames. A single dwelling escaped the
disaster, that of a rich private person, M. Aubert de la Chesnaie, in
whose house mass was said every Sunday and feast-day for the citizens of
the Lower Town who could not go to the parish service. To bear witness
of his gratitude to Heaven, M. de la Chesnaie came to the aid of a good
number of his fellow-citizens, and helped them with his money to rebuild
their houses. This fire injured the merchants of Montreal almost as much
as those of Quebec, and the _Histoire de l'Hôtel-Dieu_ relates that
"more riches were lost on that sad night than all Canada now possesses."

The king had the greatest desire for the future reign of harmony in the
colony; accordingly he enjoined upon M. de Meulles to use every effort
to agree with the governor-general: "If the latter should fail in his
duty to the sovereign, the commissioner should content himself with a
remonstrance and allow him to act further without disturbing him, but as
soon as possible afterwards should render an account to the king's
council of what might be prejudicial to the good of the state." Mgr. de
Laval, to whom the prince had written in the same tenor, replied at
once: "The honour which your Majesty has done me in writing to me that
M. de Meulles has orders to preserve here a perfect understanding with
me in all things, and to give me all the aid in his power, is so evident
a mark of the affection which your Majesty cherishes for this new Church
and for the bishop who governs it, that I feel obliged to assure your
Majesty of my most humble gratitude. As I do not doubt that this new
commissioner whom you have chosen will fulfil with pleasure your
commands, I may also assure your Majesty that on my part I shall
correspond with him in the fulfilment of my duty, and that I shall all
my life consider it my greatest joy to enter into the intentions of your
Majesty for the general good of this country, which constitutes a part
of your dominions." Concord thus advised could not displease a pastor
who loved nothing so much as union and harmony among all who held the
reins of power, a pastor who had succeeded in making his Church a family
so united that it was quoted once as a model in one of the pulpits of
Paris. If he sometimes strove against the powerful of this earth, it was
when it was a question of combating injustice or some abuse prejudicial
to the welfare of his flock. "Although by his superior intelligence,"
says Latour, "by his experience, his labours, his virtues, his birth
and his dignity, he was an oracle whose views the whole clergy
respected, no one ever more distrusted himself, or asked with more
humility, or followed with more docility the counsel of his inferiors
and disciples.... He was less a superior than a colleague, who sought
the right with them and sought it only for its own sake. Accordingly,
never was prelate better obeyed or better seconded than Mgr. de Laval,
because, far from having that professional jealousy which desires to do
everything itself, which dreads merit and enjoys only despotism, never
did prelate evince more appreciative confidence in his inferiors, or
seek more earnestly to give zeal and talent their dues, or have less
desire to command, or did, in fact, command less." The new governor
brought from France strong prejudices against the bishop; he lost them
very quickly, and he wrote to the minister, the Marquis de Seignelay:
"We have greatly laboured, the bishop and I, in the establishment of the
parishes of this country. I send you the arrangement which we have
arrived at concerning them. We owe it to the bishop, who is extremely
well affected to the country, and in whom we must trust." The minister
wrote to the prelate and expressed to him his entire satisfaction in his

The vigilant bishop had not yet entirely recovered from the fatigue of
his journey when he decided, in spite of the infirmities which were
beginning to overwhelm him, and which were to remain the constant
companions of his latest years, to visit all the parishes and the
religious communities of his immense diocese. He had already traversed
them in the winter time in his former pastoral visits, shod with
snowshoes, braving the fogs, the snow and the bitterest weather. In the
suffocating heat of summer, travel in a bark canoe was scarcely less
fatiguing to a man of almost sixty years, worn out by the hard ministry
of a quarter of a century. However, he decided on a summer journey, and
set out on June 1st, 1681, accompanied by M. de Maizerets, one of his
grand vicars. He visited successively Lotbinière, Batiscan, Champlain,
Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Trois Rivières, Chambly, Sorel, St. Ours,
Contrecoeur, Verchères, Boucherville, Repentigny, Lachesnaie, and
arrived on June 19th at Montreal. The marks of respectful affection
lavished upon him by the population compel him to receive continual
visits; but he has come especially for his beloved religious
communities, and he honours them all with his presence, the Seminary of
St. Sulpice as well as the Congregation of Notre-Dame and the hospital.
These labours are not sufficient for his apostolic zeal; he betakes
himself to the house of the Jesuit Fathers at Laprairie, then to their
Indian Mission at the Sault St. Louis, finally to the parish of St.
François de Sales, in the Ile Jésus. Descending the St. Lawrence River,
he sojourns successively at Longueuil, at Varennes, at Lavaltrie, at
Nicolet, at Bécancourt, at Gentilly, at Ste. Anne de la Pérade, at
Deschambault. He returns to Quebec; his devoted fellow-workers in the
seminary urge him to rest, but he will think of rest only when his
mission is fully ended. He sets out again, and Ile aux Oies,
Cap-Saint-Ignace, St. Thomas, St. Michel, Beaumont, St. Joseph de Lévis
have in turn the happiness of receiving their pastor. The undertaking
was too great for the bishop's strength, and he suffered the results
which could not but follow upon such a strain. The registers of the
Sovereign Council prove to us that only a week after his return he had
to take to his bed, and for two months could not occupy his seat among
the other councillors. "His Lordship fell ill of a dangerous malady,"
says a memoir of that time. "For the space of a fortnight his death was
expected, but God granted us the favour of bringing him to
convalescence, and eventually to his former health."

M. de la Barre, on his arrival, desired to inform himself exactly of the
condition of the colony. In a great assembly held at Quebec, on October
10th, 1682, he gathered all the men who occupied positions of
consideration in the colony. Besides the governor, the bishop and the
commissioner, there were noticed among others M. Dollier de Casson, the
superior of the Seminary of St. Sulpice at Montreal, several Jesuit
Fathers, MM. de Varennes, governor of Three Rivers, d'Ailleboust, de
Brussy and Le Moyne. The information which M. de la Barre obtained from
the assembly was far from reassuring; incessantly stirred up by Governor
Dongan's genius for intrigue, the Iroquois were preparing to descend
upon the little colony. If they had not already begun hostilities, it
was because they wished first to massacre the tribes allied with the
French; already the Hurons, the Algonquins, the Conestogas, the
Delawares and a portion of the Illinois had fallen under their blows. It
was necessary to save from extermination the Ottawa and Illinois tribes.
Now, one might indeed raise a thousand robust men, accustomed to savage
warfare, but, if they were used for an expedition, who would cultivate
in their absence the lands of these brave men? A prompt reinforcement
from the mother country became urgent, and M. de la Barre hastened to
demand it.

The war had already begun. The Iroquois had seized two canoes, the
property of La Salle, near Niagara; they had likewise attacked and
plundered fourteen Frenchmen _en route_ to the Illinois with merchandise
valued at sixteen thousand francs. It was known, besides, that the
Cayugas and the Senecas were preparing to attack the French settlements
the following summer. In spite of all, the expected help did not arrive.
One realizes the anguish to which the population must have been a prey
when one reads the following letter from the Bishop of Quebec: "Sire,
the Marquis de Seignelay will inform your Majesty of the war which the
Iroquois have declared against your subjects of New France, and will
explain the need of sending aid sufficient to destroy, if possible, this
enemy, who has opposed for so many years the establishment of this
colony.... Since it has pleased your Majesty to choose me for the
government of this growing Church, I feel obliged, more than any one, to
make its needs manifest to you. The paternal care which you have always
had for us leaves me no room to doubt that you will give the necessary
orders for the most prompt aid possible, without which this poor country
would be exposed to a danger nigh unto ruin."

The expected reinforcements finally arrived; on November 9th, 1684, the
whole population of Quebec, assembled at the harbour, received with joy
three companies of soldiers, composed of fifty-two men each. The Bishop
of Quebec did not fail to express to the king his personal obligation
and the gratitude of all: "The troops which your Majesty has sent to
defend us against the Iroquois," he wrote to the king, "and the lands
which you have granted us for the subsidiary church of the Lower Town,
and the funds which you have allotted both to rebuild the cathedral
spire and to aid in the maintenance of the priests, these are favours
which oblige me to thank your Majesty, and make me hope that you will
deign to continue your royal bounties to our Church and the whole

M. de la Barre was thus finally able to set out on his expedition
against the Iroquois. At the head of one hundred and thirty soldiers,
seven hundred militia and two hundred and sixty Indians, he marched to
Lake Ontario, where the Iroquois, intimidated, sent him a deputation.
The ambassadors, who expected to see a brilliant army full of ardour,
were astonished to find themselves in the presence of pale and emaciated
soldiers, worn out more by sickness and privations of every kind than by
fatigue. The governor, in fact, had lost ten or twelve days at Montreal;
on the way the provisions had become spoiled and insufficient, hence the
name of Famine Creek given to the place where he entered with his
troops, above the Oswego River. At this sight the temper of the
delegates changed, and their proposals showed it; they spoke with
arrogance, and almost demanded peace; they undertook to indemnify the
French merchants plundered by them on condition that the army should
decamp on the morrow. Such weakness could not attract to M. de la Barre
the affection of the colonists; the king relieved him from his
functions, and appointed as his successor the Marquis de Denonville, a
colonel of dragoons, whose valour seemed to promise the colony better



The long and conscientious pastoral visit which he had just ended had
proved to the indefatigable prelate that it would be extremely difficult
to establish his parishes solidly. Instead of grouping themselves
together, which would have given them the advantages of union both
against the attacks of savages and for the circumstances of life in
which man has need of the aid of his fellows, the colonists had built
their dwellings at random, according to the inspiration of the moment,
and sometimes at long distances from each other; thus there existed, as
late as 1678, only twenty-five fixed livings, and it promised to be very
difficult to found new ones. To give a pastor the direction of
parishioners established within an enormous radius of his parish house,
was to condemn his ministry in advance to inefficacy. To prove it, the
Abbé Gosselin cites a striking example. Of the two missionaries who
shared the southern shore, the one, M. Morel, ministered to the country
between Berthier and Rivière du Loup; the other, M. Volant de
Saint-Claude, from Berthier to Rivière du Chêne, and each of them had
only about sixty families scattered here and there. And how was one to
expect that these poor farmers could maintain their pastor and build a
church? Almost everywhere the chapels were of wood or clapboards, and
thatched; not more than eight or nine centres of population could boast
of possessing a stone church; many hamlets still lacked a chapel and
imitated the Lower Town of Quebec, whose inhabitants attended service in
a private house. As to priests' houses, they were a luxury that few
villages could afford: the priest had to content himself with being
sheltered by a respectable colonist.

During the few weeks when illness confined him to his bed, Laval had
leisure to reflect on the difficulties of his task. He understood that
his age and the infirmities which the Lord laid upon him would no longer
permit him to bring to so arduous a work the necessary energy. "His
humility," says Sister Juchereau, "persuaded him that another in his
place would do more good than he, although he really did a great deal,
because he sought only the glory of God and the welfare of his flock."
In consequence, he decided to go and carry in person his resignation to
the king. But before embarking for France, with his accustomed prudence
he set his affairs in order. He had one plan, especially, at heart, that
of establishing according to the rules of the Church the chapter which
had already existed _de facto_ for a long while. Canons are necessary to
a bishopric; their duties are not merely decorative, for they assist the
bishop in his episcopal office, form his natural council, replace him
on certain occasions, govern the diocese from the death of its head
until the deceased is replaced, and finally officiate in turn before the
altars of the cathedral in order that prayer shall incessantly ascend
from the diocese towards the Most High. The only obstacle to this
creation until now had been the lack of resources, for the canonical
union with the abbeys of Maubec and Lestrées was not yet an accomplished
fact. Mgr. de Laval resolved to appeal to the unselfishness of the
priests of the seminary, and he succeeded: they consented to fulfil
without extra salary the duties of canons.

By an ordinance of November 6th, 1684, the Bishop of Quebec established
a chapter composed of twelve canons and four chaplains. The former,
among whom were five priests born in the colony, were M. Henri de
Bernières, priest of Quebec, who remained dean until his death in 1700;
MM. Louis Ange de Maizerets, archdeacon, Charles Glandelet, theologist,
Dudouyt, grand cantor, and Jean Gauthier de Brulon, confessor. The
ceremony of installation took place with the greatest pomp, amid the
boom of artillery and the joyful sound of bells and music; governor,
intendant, councillors, officers and soldiers, inhabitants of the city
and the environments, everybody wished to be present. It remained to
give a constitution to the new chapter. Mgr. de Laval had already busied
himself with this for several months, and corresponded on this subject
with M. Chéron, a clever lawyer of Paris. Accordingly, the constitution
which he submitted for the infant chapter on the very morrow of the
ceremony was admired unreservedly and adopted without discussion.
Twenty-four hours afterwards he set sail accompanied by the good wishes
of his priests, who, with anxious heart and tears in their eyes,
followed him with straining gaze until the vessel disappeared below the
horizon. Before his departure, he had, like a father who in his last
hour divides his goods among his children, given his seminary a new
proof of his attachment: he left it a sum of eight thousand francs for
the building of the chapel.

It would seem that sad presentiments assailed him at this moment, for he
said in the deed of gift: "I declare that my last will is to be buried
in this chapel; and if our Lord disposes of my life during this voyage I
desire that my body be brought here for burial. I also desire this
chapel to be open to the public." Fortunately, he was mistaken, it was
not the intention of the Lord to remove him so soon from the affections
of his people. For twenty years more the revered prelate was to spread
about him good works and good examples, and Providence reserved for him
the happiness of dying in the midst of his flock.

His generosity did not confine itself to this grant. He could not leave
his diocese, which he was not sure of seeing again, without giving a
token of remembrance to that school of St. Joachim, which he had
founded and which he loved so well; he gave the seminary eight thousand
francs for the support of the priest entrusted with the direction of the
school at the same time as with the ministry of the parish, and another
sum of four thousand francs to build the village church.

A young Canadian priest, M. Guyon, son of a farmer of the Beaupré shore,
had the good fortune of accompanying the bishop on the voyage. It would
have been very imprudent to leave the venerable prelate alone, worn out
as he was by troublesome fits of vertigo whenever he indulged too long
in work; besides, he was attacked by a disease of the heart, whose
onslaughts sometimes incapacitated him.

It would be misjudging the foresight of Mgr. de Laval to think that
before embarking for the mother country he had not sought out a priest
worthy to replace him. He appealed to two men whose judgment and
circumspection he esteemed, M. Dudouyt and Father Le Valois of the
Society of Jesus. He asked them to recommend a true servant of God,
virtuous and zealous above all. Father Le Valois indicated the Abbé Jean
Baptiste de la Croix de Saint-Vallier, the king's almoner, whose zeal
for the welfare of souls, whose charity, great piety, modesty and method
made him the admiration of all. The influence which his position and the
powerful relations of his family must gain for the Church in Canada
were an additional argument in his favour; the superior of St. Sulpice,
M. Tronson, who was also consulted, praised highly the talents and the
qualities of the young priest. "My Lord has shown great virtue in his
resignation," writes M. Dudouyt. "I know no occasion on which he has
shown so strongly his love for his Church; for he has done everything
that could be desired to procure a person capable of preserving and
perfecting the good work which he has begun here." If the Abbé de
Saint-Vallier had not been a man after God's own heart, he would not
have accepted a duty so honourable but so difficult. He was not unaware
of the difficulties which he would have to surmount, for Mgr. de Laval
explained them to him himself with the greatest frankness; and, what was
a still greater sacrifice, the king's almoner was to leave the most
brilliant court in the world for a very remote country, still in process
of organization. Nevertheless he accepted, and Laval had the
satisfaction of knowing that he was committing his charge into the hands
of a worthy successor.

It was now only a question of obtaining the consent of the king before
petitioning the sovereign pontiff for the canonical establishment of the
new episcopal authority. It was not without difficulty that it was
obtained, for the prince could not decide to accept the resignation of a
prelate who seemed to him indispensable to the interests of New France.
He finally understood that the decision of Mgr. de Laval was
irrevocable; as a mark of confidence and esteem he allowed him to choose
his successor.

At this period the misunderstanding created between the common father of
the faithful and his most Christian Majesty by the claims of the latter
in the matter of the right of _régale_[9] kept the Church in a false
position, to the grief of all good Catholics. Pope Innocent XI waited
with persistent and calm firmness until Louis XIV should become again
the elder son of the Church; until then France could not exist for him,
and more than thirty episcopal sees remained without occupants in the
country of Saint Louis and of Joan of Arc. It was not, then, to be hoped
that the appointment by the king of the Abbé de Saint-Vallier as second
bishop of Quebec could be immediately sanctioned by the sovereign
pontiff. It was decided that Mgr. de Laval, to whom the king granted an
annuity for life of two thousand francs from the revenues of the
bishopric of Aire, should remain titular bishop until the consecration
of his successor, and that M. de Saint-Vallier, appointed provisionally
grand vicar of the prelate, should set out immediately for New France,
where he would assume the government of the diocese. The Abbé de
Saint-Vallier had not yet departed before he gave evidence of his
munificence, and proved to the faithful of his future bishopric that he
would be to them as generous a father as he whom he was about to
replace. By deed of May 10th, 1685, he presented to the Seminary of
Quebec a sum of forty-two thousand francs, to be used for the
maintenance of missionaries; he bequeathed to it at the same time all
the furniture, books, etc., which he should possess at his death.
Laval's purpose was to remain for the present in France, where he would
busy himself actively for the interests of Canada, but his fixed resolve
was to go and end his days on that soil of New France which he loved so
well. It was in 1688, only a few months after the official appointment
of Saint-Vallier to the bishopric of Quebec, and his consecration on
January 25th of the same year, that Laval returned to Canada.

M. de Saint-Vallier embarked at La Rochelle in the beginning of June,
1685, on the royal vessel which was carrying to Canada the new
governor-general, M. de Denonville. The king having permitted him to
take with him a score of persons, he made a most judicious choice: nine
ecclesiastics, several school-masters and a few good workmen destined
for the labours of the seminary, accompanied him. The voyage was long
and very fatiguing. The passengers were, however, less tried than those
of two other ships which followed them, on one of which more than five
hundred soldiers had been crowded together. As might have been
expected, sickness was not long in breaking out among them; more than
one hundred and fifty of these unfortunates died, and their bodies were
cast into the sea.

Immediately after his arrival the grand vicar visited all the religious
establishments of the town, and he observed everywhere so much harmony
and good spirit that he could not pass it over in silence. Speaking with
admiration of the seminary, he said: "Every one in it devoted himself to
spiritual meditation, with such blessed results that from the youngest
cleric to the highest ecclesiastics in holy orders each one brought of
his own accord all his personal possessions to be used in common. It
seemed to me then that I saw revived in the Church of Canada something
of that spirit of unworldliness which constituted one of the principal
beauties of the budding Church of Jerusalem in the time of the
apostles." The examples of brotherly unity and self-effacement which he
admired so much in others he also set himself: he placed in the library
of the seminary a magnificent collection of books which he had brought
with him, and deposited in the coffers of the house several thousand
francs in money, his personal property. Braving the rigours of the
season, he set out in the winter of 1685 and visited the shore of
Beaupré, the Island of Orleans, and then the north shore as far as
Montreal. In the spring he took another direction, and inspected all
the missions of Gaspesia and Acadia. He was so well satisfied with the
condition of his diocese that he wrote to Mgr. de Laval: "All that I
regret is that there is no more good for me to do in this Church."

In the spring of this same year, 1686, a valiant little troop was making
a more warlike pastoral visit. To seventy robust Canadians, commanded by
d'Iberville, de Sainte-Hélène and de Maricourt, all sons of Charles Le
Moyne, the governor had added thirty good soldiers under the orders of
MM. de Troyes, Duchesnil and Catalogne, to take part in an expedition
for the capture of Hudson Bay from the English. Setting out on
snowshoes, dragging their provisions and equipment on toboggans, then
advancing, sometimes on foot, sometimes in bark canoes, they penetrated
by the Ottawa River and Temiskaming and Abitibi Lakes as far as James
Bay. They did not brave so many dangers and trials without being
resolved to conquer or die; accordingly, in spite of its twelve cannon,
Fort Monsipi was quickly carried. The two forts, Rupert and Ste. Anne,
suffered the same fate, and the only one that remained to the English,
that named Fort Nelson, was preserved to them solely because its remote
situation saved it. The head of the expedition, M. de Troyes, on his
return to Quebec, rendered an account of his successes to M. de
Denonville and to a new commissioner, M. de Champigny, who had just
replaced M. de Meulles.

The bishop's infirmities left him scarcely any respite. "My health," he
wrote to his successor, "is exceedingly good considering the bad use I
make of it. It seems, however, that the wound which I had in my foot
during five or six months at Quebec has been for the last three weeks
threatening to re-open. The holy will of God be done!" And he added, in
his firm resolution to pass his last days in Canada: "In any case, I
feel that I have sufficient strength and health to return this year to
the only place which now can give me peace and rest. _In pace in idipsum
dormiam et requiescam._ Meanwhile, as we must have no other aim than the
good pleasure of our Lord, whatever desire He gives me for this rest and
peace, He grants me at the same time the favour of making Him a
sacrifice of it in submitting myself to the opinion that you have
expressed, that I should stay this year in France, to be present at your
return next autumn." The bad state of his health did not prevent him
from devoting his every moment to Canadian interests. He went into the
most infinitesimal details of the administration of his diocese, so
great was his solicitude for his work. "We must hasten this year, if
possible," he wrote, "to labour at the re-establishment of the church of
Ste. Anne du Petit-Cap, to which the whole country has such an
attachment. We must work also to push forward the clearing of the lands
of St. Joachim, in order that we may have the proper rotation crops on
each farm, and that the farms may suffice for the needs of the
seminary." In another letter he concerns himself with the sum of three
thousand francs granted by the king each year for the marriage portion
of a certain number of poor young girls marrying in Canada. "We should,"
says he, "distribute these moneys in parcels, fifty francs, or ten
crowns, to the numerous poor families scattered along the shores, in
which there is a large number of children." He practises this wise
economy constantly when it is a question, not of his personal property,
but of the funds of his seminary. He finds that his successor, whom the
ten years which he had passed at court as king's almoner could not have
trained in parsimony, allows himself to be carried away, by his zeal and
his desire to do good, to a somewhat excessive expense. With what tact
and delicacy he indulges in a discreet reproach! "_Magna est fides
tua_," he writes to him, "and much greater than mine. We see that all
our priests have responded to it with the same confidence and entire
submission with which they have believed it their duty to meet your
sentiments, in which they have my approval. My particular admiration has
been aroused by seeing in all your letters and in all the impulses of
your heart so great a reliance on the lovable Providence of God that not
only has it permitted you not to have the least doubt that it would
abundantly provide the wherewithal for the support of all the works
which it has suggested to you, but that upon this basis, which is the
firm truth, you have had the courage to proceed to the execution of
them. It is true that my heart has long yearned for what you have
accomplished; but I have never had sufficient confidence or reliance to
undertake it. I always awaited the means _quæ pater posuit in suâ
potestate_. I hope that, since the Most Holy Family of our Lord has
suggested all these works to you, they will give you means and ways to
maintain what is so much to the glory of God and the welfare of souls.
But, according to all appearances, great difficulties will be found,
which will only serve to increase this confidence and trust in God." And
he ends with this prudent advice: "Whatever confidence God desires us to
have in His providence, it is certain that He demands from us the
observance of rules of prudence, not human and political, but Christian
and just."

He concerns himself even with the servants, and it is singular to note
that his mind, so apt to undertake and execute vast plans, possesses
none the less an astonishing sagacity and accuracy of observation in
petty details. One Valet, entrusted with the purveyance, had obtained
permission to wear the cassock. "Unless he be much changed in his
humour," writes Mgr. de Laval, "it would be well to send him back to
France; and I may even opine that, whatever change might appear in him,
he would be unfitted to administer a living, the basis of his character
being very rustic, gross, and displeasing, and unsuitable for
ecclesiastical functions, in which one is constantly obliged to converse
and deal with one's neighbours, both children and adults. Having given
him the cassock and having admitted him to the refectory, I hardly see
any other means of getting rid of him than to send him back to France."

In his correspondence with Saint-Vallier, Laval gives an account of the
various steps which he was taking at court to maintain the integrity of
the diocese of Quebec. This was, for a short time, at stake. The
Récollets, who had followed La Salle in his expeditions, were trying
with some chance of success to have the valley of the Mississippi and
Louisiana made an apostolic vicariate independent of Canada. Laval
finally gained his cause; the jurisdiction of the bishopric of Quebec
over all the countries of North America which belonged to France was
maintained, and later the Seminary of Quebec sent missionaries to
Louisiana and to the Mississippi.

But the most important questions, which formed the principal subject
both of his preoccupations and of his letters, are that of the
establishment of the Récollets in the Upper Town of Quebec, that of a
plan for a permanent mission at Baie St. Paul, and above all, that of
the tithes and the support of the priests. This last question brought
about between him and Mgr. de Saint-Vallier a most complete conflict of
views. Yet the differences of opinion between the two servants of God
never prevented them from esteeming each other highly. The following
letter does as much honour to him who wrote it as to him to whom such
homage is rendered: "The noble house of Laval from which he sprang,"
writes Mgr. de Saint-Vallier, "the right of primogeniture which he
renounced on entering upon the ecclesiastical career; the exemplary life
which he led in France before there was any thought of raising him to
the episcopacy; the assiduity with which he governed so long the Church
in Canada; the constancy and firmness which he showed in surmounting all
the obstacles which opposed on divers occasions the rectitude of his
intentions and the welfare of his dear flock; the care which he took of
the French colony and his efforts for the conversion of the savages; the
expeditions which he undertook several times in the interests of both;
the zeal which impelled him to return to France to seek a successor; his
disinterestedness and the humility which he manifested in offering and
in giving so willingly his frank resignation; finally, all the great
virtues which I see him practise every day in the seminary where I
sojourn with him, would well deserve here a most hearty eulogy, but his
modesty imposes silence upon me, and the veneration in which he is held
wherever he is known is praise more worthy than I could give him...."

Mgr. de Saint-Vallier left Quebec for France on November 18th, 1686,
only a few days after a fire which consumed the Convent of the
Ursulines; the poor nuns, who had not been able to snatch anything from
the flames, had to accept, until the re-construction of their convent,
the generous shelter offered them by the hospitable ladies of the
Hôtel-Dieu. Mgr. de Saint-Vallier did not disembark at the port of La
Rochelle until forty-five days after his departure, for this voyage was
one continuous storm.


[9] A right, belonging formerly to the kings of France, of enjoying the
revenues of vacant bishoprics.



Mgr. de Saint-Vallier received the most kindly welcome from the king: he
availed himself of it to request some aid on behalf of the priests of
the seminary whom age and infirmity condemned to retirement. He obtained
it, and received, besides, fifteen thousand francs for the building of
an episcopal palace. He decided, in fact, to withdraw from the seminary,
in order to preserve complete independence in the exercise of his high
duties. Laval learned with sorrow of this decision; he, who had always
clung to the idea of union with his seminary and of having but one
common fund with this house, beheld his successor adopt an opposite line
of conduct. Another cause of division rose between the two prelates; the
too great generosity of Mgr. de Saint-Vallier had brought the seminary
into financial embarrassment. The Marquis de Seignelay, then minister,
thought it wiser under such circumstances to postpone till later the
return of Mgr. de Laval to Canada. The venerable bishop, whatever it
must have cost him, adhered to this decision with a wholly Christian
resignation. "You will know by the enclosed letters," he writes to the
priests of the Seminary of Quebec, "what compels me to stay in France. I
had no sooner received my sentence than our Lord granted me the favour
of inspiring me to go before the most Holy Sacrament and make a
sacrifice of all my desires and of that which is the dearest to me in
the world. I began by making the _amende honorable_ to the justice of
God, who deigned to extend to me the mercy of recognizing that it was in
just punishment of my sins and lack of faith that His providence
deprived me of the blessing of returning to a place where I had so
greatly offended; and I told Him, I think with a cheerful heart and a
spirit of humility, what the high priest Eli said when Samuel declared
to him from God what was to happen to him: '_Dominus est: quod bonum est
in oculis suis faciat_.' But since the will of our Lord does not reject
a contrite and humble heart, and since He both abases and exalts, He
gave me to know that the greatest favour He could grant me was to give
me a share in the trials which He deigned to bear in His life and death
for love of us; in thanksgiving for which I said a Te Deum with a heart
filled with joy and consolation in my soul: for, as to the lower nature,
it is left in the bitterness which it must bear. It is a hurt and a
wound which will be difficult to heal and which apparently will last
until my death, unless it please Divine Providence, which disposes of
men's hearts as it pleases, to bring about some change in the condition
of affairs. This will be when it pleases God, and as it may please Him,
without His creatures being able to oppose it."

In Canada the return of the revered Mgr. de Laval was impatiently
expected, and the governor, M. de Denonville, himself wrote that "in the
present state of public affairs it was necessary that the former bishop
should return, in order to influence men's minds, over which he had a
great ascendency by reason of his character and his reputation for
sanctity." Some persons wrongfully attributed to the influence of
Saint-Vallier the order which detained the worthy bishop in France; on
the contrary, Saint-Vallier had said one day to the minister, "It would
be very hard for a bishop who has founded this church and who desires to
go and die in its midst, to see himself detained in France. If Mgr. de
Laval should stay here the blame would be cast upon his successor,
against whom for this reason many people would be ill disposed."

M. de Denonville desired the more eagerly the return of this prelate so
beloved in New France, since difficulties were arising on every hand.
Convinced that peace with the Iroquois could not last, he began by
amassing provisions and ammunition at Fort Cataraqui, without heeding
the protests of Colonel Dongan, the most vigilant and most experienced
enemy of French domination in America; then he busied himself with
fortifying Montreal. He visited the place, appointed as its governor
the Chevalier de Callières, a former captain in the regiment of
Navarre, and in the spring of 1687 employed six hundred men under the
direction of M. du Luth, royal engineer, in the erection of a palisade.
These wooden defences, as was to be expected, were not durable and
demanded repairs every year. The year 1686, which had begun with the
conquest of the southern portion of Hudson Bay, was spent almost
entirely in preparations for war and negotiations for peace; the
Iroquois, nevertheless, continued their inroads. Finally M. de
Denonville, having received during the following spring eight hundred
poor recruits under the command of Vaudreuil, was ready for his
expedition. Part of these reinforcements were at once sent to Montreal,
where M. de Callières was gathering a body of troops on St. Helen's
Island: eight hundred and thirty-two regulars, one thousand Canadians,
and three hundred Indian allies, all burning with the desire of
distinguishing themselves, awaited now only the signal for departure.

"With this superiority of forces," says one author, "Denonville
conceived, however, the unfortunate idea of beginning hostilities by an
act which dishonoured the French name among the savages, that name
which, in spite of their great irritation, they had always feared and
respected." With the purpose of striking terror into the Iroquois he
caused to be seized the chiefs whom the Five Nations had sent as
delegates to Cataraqui at the request of Father de Lamberville, and
sent them to France to serve on board the royal galleys. This violation
of the law of nations aroused the fury of the Iroquois, and two
missionaries, Father Lamberville and Millet, though entirely innocent of
this crime, escaped torture only with difficulty. The king disapproved
wholly of this treason, and returned the prisoners to Canada; others
who, at Fort Frontenac, had been taken by M. de Champigny in as
treacherous a manner, were likewise restored to liberty.

The army, divided into four bodies, set out on June 11th, 1687, in four
hundred boats. It was joined at Sand River, on the shore of Lake
Ontario, by six hundred men from Detroit, and advanced inland. After
having passed through two very dangerous defiles, the French were
suddenly attacked by eight hundred of the enemy ambushed in the bed of a
stream. At first surprised, they promptly recovered from their
confusion, and put the savages to flight. Some sixty Iroquois were
wounded in this encounter, and forty-five whom they left dead on the
field of battle were eaten by the Ottawas, according to the horrible
custom of these cannibals. They entered then into the territory of the
Tsonnontouans, which was found deserted; everything had been reduced to
ashes, except an immense quantity of maize, to which they set fire; they
killed also a prodigious number of swine, but they did not meet with a
single Indian.

Instead of pursuing the execution of these reprisals by marching
against the other nations, M. de Denonville proceeded to Niagara, where
he built a fort. The garrison of a hundred men which he left there
succumbed in its entirety to a mysterious epidemic, probably caused by
the poor quality of the provisions. Thus the campaign did not produce
results proportionate to the preparations which had been made; it
humbled the Iroquois, but by this very fact it excited their rage and
desire for vengeance; so true is it that half-measures are more
dangerous than complete inaction. They were, besides, cleverly goaded on
by Governor Dongan. Towards the end of the summer they ravaged the whole
western part of the colony, and carried their audacity to the point of
burning houses and killing several persons on the Island of Montreal.

M. de Denonville understood that he could not carry out a second
expedition; disease had caused great havoc among the population and the
soldiers, and he could no longer count on the Hurons of Michilimackinac,
who kept up secret relations with the Iroquois. He was willing to
conclude peace, and consented to demolish Fort Niagara and to bring back
the Iroquois chiefs who had been sent to France to row in the galleys.
The conditions were already accepted on both sides, when the
negotiations were suddenly interrupted by the duplicity of Kondiaronk,
surnamed the Rat, chief of the Michilimackinac Hurons. This man, the
most cunning and crafty of Indians, a race which has nothing to learn
in point of astuteness from the shrewdest diplomat, had offered his
services against the Iroquois to the governor, who had accepted them.
Enkindled with the desire of distinguishing himself by some brilliant
deed, he arrives with a troop of Hurons at Fort Frontenac, where he
learns that a treaty is about to be concluded between the French and the
Iroquois. Enraged at not having even been consulted in this matter,
fearing to see the interests of his nation sacrificed, he lies in wait
with his troop at Famine Creek, falls upon the delegates, and, killing a
number of them, makes the rest prisoners. On the statement of the latter
that they were going on an embassy to Ville-Marie, he feigns surprise,
and is astonished that the French governor-general should have sent him
to attack men who were going to treat with him. He then sets them at
liberty, keeping a single one of them, whom he hastens to deliver to M.
de Durantaye, governor of Michilimackinac; the latter, ignorant of the
negotiations with the Iroquois, has the prisoner shot in spite of the
protestations of the wretched man, who the Rat pretends is mad. The plan
of the Huron chief has succeeded; it remains now only to reap the fruits
of it. He frees an old Iroquois who has long been detained in captivity
and sends him to announce to his compatriots that the French are seeking
in the negotiations a cowardly means of ridding themselves of their
foes. This news exasperated the Five Nations; henceforth peace was
impossible, and the Iroquois went to join the English, with whom, on the
pretext of the dethronement of James II, war was again about to break
out. M. de Callières, governor of Montreal, set out for France to lay
before the king a plan for the conquest of New York; the monarch adopted
it, but, not daring to trust its execution to M. de Denonville, he
recalled him in order to entrust it to Count de Frontenac, now again
appointed governor.

We can easily conceive that in the danger thus threatening the colony M.
de Denonville should have taken pains to surround himself with all the
men whose aid might be valuable to him. "You will have this year," wrote
M. de Brisacier to M. Glandelet, "the joy of seeing again our two
prelates. You will find the first more holy and more than ever dead to
himself; and the second will appear to you all that you can desire him
to be for the particular consolation of the seminary and the good of New
France." On the request of the governor-general, in fact, Mgr. de Laval
saw the obstacle disappear which had opposed his departure, and he
hastened to take advantage of it. He set out in the spring of 1688, at
that period of the year when vegetation begins to display on all sides
its festoons of verdure and flowers, and transforms Normandy and
Touraine, that garden of France, into genuine groves; the calm of the
air, the perfumed breezes of the south, the arrival of the southern
birds with their rich and varied plumage, all contribute to make these
days the fairest and sweetest of the year; but, in his desire to reach
as soon as possible the country where his presence was deemed necessary,
the venerable prelate did not wait for the spring sun to dry the roads
soaked by the rains of winter; accordingly, in spite of his infirmities,
he was obliged to travel to La Rochelle on horseback. However, he could
not embark on the ship _Le Soleil d'Afrique_ until about the middle of

His duties as Bishop of Quebec had ended on January 25th preceding, the
day of the episcopal consecration of M. de Saint-Vallier. It would seem
that Providence desired that the priestly career of the prelate and his
last co-workers should end at the same time. Three priests of the
Seminary of Quebec went to receive in heaven almost at the same period
the reward of their apostolic labours. M. Thomas Morel died on September
23rd, 1687; M. Jean Guyon on January 10th, 1688; and M. Dudouyt on the
fifteenth of the same month. This last loss, especially, caused deep
grief to Mgr. de Laval. He desired that the heart of the devoted
missionary should rest in that soil of New France for which it had
always beat, and he brought it with him. The ceremony of the burial at
Quebec of the heart of M. Dudouyt was extremely touching; the whole
population was present. Up to his latest day this priest had taken the
greatest interest in Canada, and the letter which he wrote to the
seminary a few days before his death breathes the most ardent charity;
it particularly enjoined upon all patience and submission to authority.

The last official document signed by Mgr. de Laval as titulary bishop
was an addition to the statutes and rules which he had previously drawn
up for the Chapter of the city of Champlain. He wrote at the same time:
"It remains for me now, sirs and dearly beloved brethren, only to thank
you for the good affection that you preserve towards me, and to assure
you that it will not be my fault if I do not go at the earliest moment
to rejoin you in the growing Church which I have ever cherished as the
portion and heritage which it has pleased our Lord to preserve for me
during nearly thirty years. I supplicate His infinite goodness that he
into whose hands He has caused it to pass by my resignation may repair
all my faults."

The prelate landed on June 3rd. "The whole population," says the Abbé
Ferland, "was heartened and rejoiced by the return of Mgr. de Laval, who
came back to Canada to end his days among his former flock. His virtues,
his long and arduous labours in New France, his sincere love for the
children of the country, had endeared him to the Canadians; they felt
their trust in Providence renewed on beholding again him who, with them,
at their head, had passed through many years of trial and suffering." He
hardly took time to rest, but set out at once for Montreal, where he was
anxious to deliver in person to the Sulpicians the document of
spiritual and devotional union which had been quite recently signed at
Paris by the Seminary of St. Sulpice and by that of the Foreign
Missions. Returning to Quebec, he had the pleasure of receiving his
successor on the arrival of the latter, who disembarked on July 31st,

The reception of Mgr. de Saint-Vallier was as cordial as that offered
two months before to his predecessor. "As early as four o'clock in the
morning," we read in the annals of the Ursulines, "the whole population
was alert to hasten preparations. Some arranged the avenue along which
the new bishop was to pass, others raised here and there the standard of
the lilies of France. In the course of the morning Mgr. de Laval,
accompanied by several priests, betook himself to the vessel to salute
his successor whom the laws of the old French etiquette kept on board
his ship until he had replied to all the compliments prepared for him.
Finally, about two o'clock in the afternoon, the whole clergy, the civil
and military authorities, and the people having assembled on the quay,
Mgr. de Saint-Vallier made his appearance, addressed first by M. de
Bernières in the name of the clergy. He was next greeted by the mayor,
in the name of the whole town, then the procession began to move, with
military music at its head, and the new bishop was conducted to the
cathedral between two files of musketeers, who did not fail to salute
him and to fire volleys along the route." "The thanksgiving hymn which
re-echoed under the vaults of the holy temple found an echo in all
hearts," we read in another account; "and the least happy was not that
of the worthy prelate who thus inaugurated his long and laborious
episcopal career."



The virtue of Mgr. de Laval lacked the supreme consecration of
misfortune. A wearied but triumphant soldier, the venerable shepherd of
souls, coming back to dwell in the bishopric of Quebec, the witness of
his first apostolic labours, gave himself into the hands of his Master
to disappear and die. "Lord," he said with Simeon, "now lettest thou thy
servant depart in peace according to thy word." But many griefs still
remained to test his resignation to the Divine Will, and the most
shocking disaster mentioned in our annals was to sadden his last days.
The year 1688 had passed peacefully enough for the colony, but it was
only the calm which is the forerunner of the storm. The Five Nations
employed their time in secret organization; the French, lulled in this
deceptive security, particularly by news which had come from M. de
Valrennes, in command of Fort Frontenac, to whom the Iroquois had
declared that they were coming down to Montreal to make peace, had left
the forts to return to their dwellings and to busy themselves with the
work of the fields. Moreover, the Chevalier de Vaudreuil, who commanded
at Montreal in the absence of M. de Callières, who had gone to France,
carried his lack of foresight to the extent of permitting the officers
stationed in the country to leave their posts. It is astonishing to note
such imprudent neglect on the part of men who must have known the savage
nature. Rancour is the most deeply-rooted defect in the Indian, and it
was madness to think that the Iroquois could have forgotten so soon the
insult inflicted on their arms by the expedition of M. de Denonville, or
the breach made in their independence by the abduction of their chiefs
sent to France as convicts. The warning of their approaching incursion
had meanwhile reached Quebec through a savage named Ataviata;
unfortunately, the Jesuit Fathers had no confidence in this Indian; they
assured the governor-general that Ataviata was a worthless fellow, and
M. de Denonville made the mistake of listening too readily to these
prejudices and of not at least redoubling his precautions.

It was on the night between August 4th and 5th, 1689; all was quiet on
the Island of Montreal. At the end of the evening's conversation, that
necessary complement of every well-filled day, the men had hung their
pipes, the faithful comrades of their labour, to a rafter of the
ceiling; the women had put away their knitting or pushed aside in a
corner their indefatigable spinning-wheel, and all had hastened to seek
in sleep new strength for the labour of the morrow. Outside, the
elements were unchained, the rain and hail were raging. As daring as
the Normans when they braved on frail vessels the fury of the seas, the
Iroquois, to the number of fifteen hundred, profited by the storm to
traverse Lake St. Louis in their bark canoes, and landed silently on the
shore at Lachine. They took care not to approach the forts; the darkness
was so thick that the soldiers discovered nothing unusual and did not
fire the cannon as was the custom on the approach of the enemy. Long
before daybreak the savages, divided into a number of squads, had
surrounded the houses within a radius of several miles. Suddenly a
piercing signal is given by the chiefs, and at once a horrible clamour
rends the air; the terrifying war-cry of the Iroquois has roused the
sleepers and raised the hair on the heads of the bravest. The colonists
leap from their couches, but they have no time to seize their weapons;
demons who seem to be vomited forth by hell have already broken in the
doors and windows. The dwellings which the Iroquois cannot penetrate are
delivered over to the flames, but the unhappy ones who issue from them
in confusion to escape the tortures of the fire are about to be
abandoned to still more horrible torments. The pen refuses to describe
the horrors of this night, and the imagination of Dante can hardly in
his "Inferno" give us an idea of it. The butchers killed the cattle,
burned the houses, impaled women, compelled fathers to cast their
children into the flames, spitted other little ones still alive and
compelled their mothers to roast them. Everything was burned and
pillaged except the forts, which were not attacked; two hundred persons
of all ages and of both sexes perished under torture, and about fifty,
carried away to the villages, were bound to the stake and burned by a
slow fire. Nevertheless the great majority of the inhabitants were able
to escape, thanks to the strong liquors kept in some of the houses, with
which the savages made ample acquaintance. Some of the colonists took
refuge in the forts, others were pursued into the woods.

Meanwhile the alarm had spread in Ville-Marie. M. de Denonville, who was
there, gives to the Chevalier de Vaudreuil the order to occupy Fort
Roland with his troops and a hundred volunteers. De Vaudreuil hastens
thither, accompanied by de Subercase and other officers; they are all
eager to measure their strength with the enemy, but the order of
Denonville is strict, they must remain on the defensive and run no risk.
By dint of insistence, Subercase obtained permission to make a sortie
with a hundred volunteers; at the moment when he was about to set out he
had to yield the command to M. de Saint-Jean, who was higher in rank.
The little troop went and entrenched itself among the débris of a burned
house and exchanged an ineffectual fire with the savages ambushed in a
clump of trees. They soon perceived a party of French and friendly
Indians who, coming from Fort Rémy, were proceeding towards them in
great danger of being surrounded by the Iroquois, who were already
sobered. The volunteers wished to rush out to meet this reinforcement,
but their commander, adhering to his instructions, which forbade him to
push on farther, restrained them. What might have been foreseen
happened: the detachment from Fort Rémy was exterminated. Five of its
officers were taken and carried off towards the Iroquois villages, but
succeeded in escaping on the way, except M. de la Rabeyre, who was bound
to the stake and perished in torture.

On reading these details one cannot understand the inactivity of the
French: it would seem that the authorities had lost their heads. We
cannot otherwise explain the lack of foresight of the officers absent
from their posts, the pusillanimous orders of the governor to M. de
Vaudreuil, his imprudence in sending too weak a troop through the
dangerous places, the lack of initiative on the part of M. de
Saint-Jean, finally, the absolute lack of energy and audacity, the
complete absence of that ardour which is inherent in the French

After this disaster the troops returned to the forts, and the
surrounding district, abandoned thus to the fury of the barbarians, was
ravaged in all directions. The Iroquois, proud of the terror which they
inspired, threatened the city itself; we note by the records of Montreal
that on August 25th there were buried two soldiers killed by the
savages, and that on September 7th following, Jean Beaudry suffered the
same fate. Finding nothing more to pillage or to burn, they passed to
the opposite shore, and plundered the village of Lachesnaie. They
massacred a portion of the population, which was composed of seventy-two
persons, and carried off the rest. They did not withdraw until the
autumn, dragging after them two hundred captives, including fifty
prisoners taken at Lachine.

This terrible event, which had taken place at no great distance from
them, and the news of which re-echoed in their midst, struck the
inhabitants of Quebec with grief and terror. Mgr. de Laval was cruelly
affected by it, but, accustomed to adore in everything the designs of
God, he seized the occasion to invoke Him with more fervour; he
immediately ordered in his seminary public prayers to implore the mercy
of the Most High. M. de Frontenac, who was about to begin his second
administration, learned the sinister news on his arrival at Quebec on
October 15th. He set out immediately for Montreal, which he reached on
the twenty-seventh of the same month. He visited the environments, and
found only ruins and ashes where formerly rose luxurious dwellings.

War had just been rekindled between France and Great Britain. The
governor had not men enough for vast operations, accordingly he prepared
to organize a guerilla warfare. While the Abenaquis, those faithful
allies, destroyed the settlements of the English in Acadia and killed
nearly two hundred persons there, Count de Frontenac sent in the winter
of 1689-90, three detachments against New England; all three were
composed of only a handful of men, but these warriors were well
seasoned. In the rigorous cold of winter, traversing innumerable miles
on their snowshoes, sinking sometimes into the icy water, sleeping in
the snow, carrying their supplies on their backs, they surprised the
forts which they went to attack, where one would never have believed
that men could execute so rash an enterprise. Thus the three detachments
were alike successful, and the forts of Corlaer in the state of New
York, of Salmon Falls in New Hampshire, and of Casco on the seaboard,
were razed.

The English avenged these reverses by capturing Port Royal. Encouraged
by this success, they sent Phipps at the head of a large troop to seize
Quebec, while Winthrop attacked Montreal with three thousand men, a
large number of whom were Indians. Frontenac hastened to Quebec with M.
de Callières, governor of Montreal, the militia and the regular troops.
Already the fortifications had been protected against surprise by new
and well-arranged entrenchments. The hostile fleet appeared on October
16th, 1690, and Phipps sent an officer to summon the governor to
surrender the place. The envoy, drawing out his watch, declared with
arrogance to the Count de Frontenac that he would give him an hour to
decide. "I will answer you by the mouth of my cannon," replied the
representative of Louis XIV. The cannon replied so well that at the
first shot the admiral's flag fell into the water; the Canadians,
braving the balls and bullets which rained about them, swam out to get
it, and this trophy remained hanging in the cathedral of Quebec until
the conquest. The _Histoire de l'Hôtel-Dieu de Québec_ depicts for us
very simply the courage and piety of the inhabitants during this siege.
"The most admirable thing, and one which surely drew the blessing of
Heaven upon Quebec was that during the whole siege no public devotion
was interrupted. The city is arranged so that the roads which lead to
the churches are seen from the harbour; thus several times a day were
beheld processions of men and women going to answer the summons of the
bells. The English noticed them; they called M. de Grandeville (a brave
Canadian, and clerk of the farm of Tadousac, whom they had made
prisoner) and asked him what it was. He answered them simply: 'It is
mass, vespers, and the benediction.' By this assurance the citizens of
Quebec disconcerted them; they were astonished that women dared to go
out; they judged by this that we were very easy in our minds, though
this was far from being the case."

It is not surprising that the colonists should have fought valiantly
when their bishops and clergy set the example of devotion, when the
Jesuits remained constantly among the defenders to encourage and assist
on occasion the militia and the soldiers, when Mgr. de Laval, though
withdrawn from the conduct of religious affairs, without even the right
of sitting in the Sovereign Council, animated the population by his
patriotic exhortations. To prove to the inhabitants that the cause which
they defended by struggling for their homes was just and holy, at the
same time as to place the cathedral under the protection of Heaven, he
suggested the idea of hanging on the spire of the cathedral a picture of
the Holy Family. This picture was not touched by the balls and bullets,
and was restored after the siege to the Ursulines, to whom it belonged.

All the attempts of the English failed; in a fierce combat at Beauport
they were repulsed. There perished the brave Le Moyne de Sainte-Hélène;
there, too, forty pupils of the seminary established at St. Joachim by
Mgr. de Laval distinguished themselves by their bravery and contributed
to the victory. Already Phipps had lost six hundred men. He decided to
retreat. To cap the climax of misfortune, his fleet met in the lower
part of the river with a horrible storm; several of his ships were
driven by the winds as far as the Antilles, and the rest arrived only
with great difficulty at Boston. Winthrop's army, disorganized by
disease and discord, had already scattered.

A famine which followed the siege tried the whole colony, and Laval had
to suffer by it as well as the seminary, for neither had hesitated
before the sacrifices necessary for the general weal. "All the furs and
furniture of the Lower Town were in the seminary," wrote the prelate; "a
number of families had taken refuge there, even that of the intendant.
This house could not refuse in such need all the sacrifices of charity
which were possible, at the expense of a great portion of the provisions
which were kept there. The soldiers and others have taken and consumed
at least one hundred cords of wood and more than fifteen hundred planks.
In brief, in cattle and other damages the loss to the seminary will
amount to a round thousand crowns. But we must on occasions of this sort
be patient, and do all the good we can without regard to future need."

The English were about to suffer still other reverses. In 1691 Major
Schuyler, with a small army composed in part of savages, came and
surprised below the fort of the Prairie de la Madeleine a camp of
between seven and eight hundred soldiers, whose leader, M. de
Saint-Cirque, was slain; but the French, recovering, forced the major to
retreat, and M. de Valrennes, who hastened up from Chambly with a body
of inhabitants and Indians, put the enemy to flight after a fierce
struggle. The English failed also in Newfoundland; they were unable to
carry Fort Plaisance, which was defended by M. de Brouillan; but he who
was to do them most harm was the famous Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville, son
of Charles Le Moyne. Born in Montreal in 1661, he subsequently entered
the French navy. In the year 1696 he was ordered to drive the enemy out
of Newfoundland; he seized the capital, St. John's, which he burned,
and, marvellous to relate, with only a hundred and twenty-five men he
subdued the whole island, slew nearly two hundred of the English, and
took six or seven hundred prisoners. The following year he set out with
five ships to take possession of Hudson Bay. One day his vessel found
itself alone before Fort Nelson, facing three large ships of the enemy;
to the amazement of the English, instead of surrendering, d'Iberville
rushes upon them. In a fierce fight lasting four hours, he sinks the
strongest, compels the second to surrender, while the third flees under
full sail. Fort Bourbon surrendered almost at once, and Hudson Bay was

After the peace d'Iberville explored the mouths of the Mississippi,
erected several forts, founded the city of Mobile, and became the first
governor of Louisiana. When the war began again, the king gave him a
fleet of sixteen vessels to oppose the English in the Indies. He died of
an attack of fever in 1706.

During this time, the Iroquois were as dangerous to the French by their
inroads and devastations as the Abenaquis were to the English colonies;
accordingly Frontenac wished to subdue them. In the summer of 1696,
braving the fatigue and privations so hard to bear for a man of his age,
Frontenac set out from Ile Perrot with more than two thousand men, and
landed at the mouth of the Oswego River. He found at Onondaga only the
smoking remains of the village to which the savages had themselves set
fire, and the corpses of two Frenchmen who had died in torture. He
marched next against the Oneidas; all had fled at his approach, and he
had to be satisfied with laying waste their country. There remained
three of the Five Nations to punish, but winter was coming on and
Frontenac did not wish to proceed further into the midst of invisible
enemies, so he returned to Quebec.

The following year it was learned that the Treaty of Ryswick had just
been concluded between France and England. France kept Hudson Bay, but
Louis XIV pledged himself to recognize William III as King of England.
The Count de Frontenac had not the good fortune of crowning his
brilliant career by a treaty with the savages; he died on November 28th,
1698, at the age of seventy-eight years. In reaching this age without
exceeding it, he presented a new point of resemblance to his model,
Louis the Great, according to whom he always endeavoured to shape his
conduct, and who was destined to die at the age of seventy-seven.

     [Note.--The incident of the flag mentioned above on page 230 is
     treated at greater length in Dr. Le Sueur's _Frontenac_, pp. 295-8,
     in the "Makers of Canada" series. He takes a somewhat different
     view of the event.--Ed.]



The peace lasted only four years. M. de Callières, who succeeded Count
de Frontenac, was able, thanks to his prudence and the devotion of the
missionaries, to gather at Montreal more than twelve hundred Indian
chiefs or warriors, and to conclude peace with almost all the tribes.
Chief Kondiaronk had become a faithful friend of the French; it was to
his good-will and influence that they were indebted for the friendship
of a large number of Indian tribes. He died at Montreal during these
peaceful festivities and was buried with pomp.

The war was about to break out anew, in 1701, with Great Britain and the
other nations of Europe, because Louis XIV had accepted for his grandson
and successor the throne of Spain. M. de Callières died at this
juncture; his successor, Philippe de Rigaud, Marquis de Vaudreuil,
brought the greatest energy to the support in Canada of a struggle which
was to end in the dismemberment of the colony. God permitted Mgr. de
Laval to die before the Treaty of Utrecht, whose conditions would have
torn the patriotic heart of the venerable prelate.

Other reasons for sorrow he did not lack, especially when Mgr. de
Saint-Vallier succeeded, on his visit to the king in 1691, in obtaining
a reversal of the policy marked out for the seminary by the first bishop
of the colony; this establishment would be in the future only a seminary
like any other, and would have no other mission than that of the
training of priests. By a decree of the council of February 2nd, 1692,
the number of the directors of the seminary was reduced to five, who
were to concern themselves principally with the training of young men
who might have a vocation for the ecclesiastical life; they might also
devote themselves to missions, with the consent of the bishop. No
ecclesiastic had the right of becoming an associate of the seminary
without the permission of the bishop, within whose province it was to
employ the former associates for the service of his diocese with the
consent of the superiors. The last part of the decree provided that the
four thousand francs given by the king for the diocese of Quebec should
be distributed in equal portions, one for the seminary and the two
others for the priests and the church buildings. As to the permanence of
priests, the decree issued by the king for the whole kingdom was to be
adhered to in Canada. In the course of the same year Mgr. de
Saint-Vallier obtained, moreover, from the sovereign the authority to
open at Quebec in Notre-Dame des Anges, the former convent of the
Récollets, a general hospital for the poor, which was entrusted to the
nuns of the Hôtel-Dieu. The poor who might be admitted to it would be
employed at work proportionate to their strength, and more particularly
in the tilling of the farms belonging to the establishment. If we
remember that Mgr. de Laval had consecrated twenty years of his life to
giving his seminary, by a perfect union between its members and his
whole clergy, a formidable power in the colony, a power which in his
opinion could be used only for the good of the Church and in the public
interest, and that he now saw his efforts annihilated forever, we cannot
help admiring the resignation with which he managed to accept this
destruction of his dearest work. And not only did he bow before the
impenetrable designs of Providence, but he even used his efforts to
pacify those around him whose excitable temperaments might have brought
about conflicts with the authorities. The Abbé Gosselin quotes in this
connection the following example: "A priest, M. de Francheville, thought
he had cause for complaint at the behaviour of his bishop towards him,
and wrote him a letter in no measured terms, but he had the good sense
to submit it previously to Mgr. de Laval, whom he regarded as his
father. The aged bishop expunged from this letter all that might wound
Mgr. de Saint-Vallier, and it was sent with the corrections which he
desired." The venerable prelate did not content himself with avoiding
all that might cause difficulties to his successor; he gave him his
whole aid in any circumstances, and in particular in the foundation of
a convent of Ursulines at Three Rivers, and when the general hospital
was threatened in its very existence. "Was it not a spectacle worthy of
the admiration of men and angels," exclaims the Abbé Fornel in his
funeral oration on Mgr. de Saint-Vallier, "to see the first Bishop of
Quebec and his successor vieing one with the other in a noble rivalry
and in a struggle of religious fervour for the victory in exercises of
piety? Have they not both been seen harmonizing and reconciling together
the duties of seminarists and canons; of canons by their assiduity in
the recitation of the breviary, and of seminarists in condescending to
the lowest duties, such as sweeping and serving in the kitchen?" The
patience and trust in God of Mgr. de Laval were rewarded by the
following letter which he received from Father La Chaise, confessor to
King Louis XIV: "I have received with much respect and gratitude two
letters with which you have honoured me. I have blessed God that He has
preserved you for His glory and the good of the Church in Canada in a
period of deadly mortality; and I pray every day that He may preserve
you some years more for His service and the consolation of your old
friends and servants. I hope that you will maintain towards them to the
end your good favour and interest, and that those who would wish to make
them lose these may be unable to alter them. You will easily judge how
greatly I desire that our Fathers may merit the continuation of your
kindness, and may preserve a perfect union with the priests of your
seminary, by the sacrifice which I desire they should make to the
latter, in consideration of you, of the post of Tamarois, in spite of
all the reasons and the facility for preserving it to them...."

The mortality to which the reverend father alludes was the result of an
epidemic which carried off, in 1700, a great number of persons. Old men
in particular were stricken, and M. de Bernières among others fell a
victim to the scourge. It is very probable that this affliction was
nothing less than the notorious influenza which, in these later years,
has cut down so many valuable lives throughout the world. The following
years were still more terrible for the town; smallpox carried off
one-fourth of the population of Quebec. If we add to these trials the
disaster of the two conflagrations which consumed the seminary, we shall
have the measure of the troubles which at this period overwhelmed the
city of Champlain. The seminary, begun in 1678, had just been barely
completed. It was a vast edifice of stone, of grandiose appearance; a
sun dial was set above a majestic door of two leaves, the approach to
which was a fine stairway of cut stone. "The building," wrote Frontenac
in 1679, "is very large and has four storeys, the walls are seven feet
thick, the cellars and pantries are vaulted, the lower windows have
embrasures, and the roof is of slate brought from France." On November
15th, 1701, the priests of the seminary had taken their pupils to St.
Michel, near Sillery, to a country house which belonged to them. About
one in the afternoon fire broke out in the seminary buildings. The
inhabitants hastened up from all directions to the spot and attempted
with the greatest energy to stay the progress of the flames. Idle
efforts! The larger and the smaller seminary, the priests' house, the
chapel barely completed, were all consumed, with the exception of some
furniture and a little plate and tapestry. The cathedral was saved,
thanks to the efforts of the state engineer, M. Levasseur de Néré, who
succeeded in cutting off the communication of the sacred temple with the
buildings in flames. Mgr. de Laval, confined then to a bed of pain,
avoided death by escaping half-clad; he accepted for a few days,
together with the priests of the seminary, the generous hospitality
offered them by the Jesuit Fathers. In order not to be too long a burden
to their hosts, they caused to be prepared for their lodgment the
episcopal palace which had been begun by Mgr. de Saint-Vallier. They
removed there on December 4th following. The scholars had been divided
between the episcopal palace and the house of the Jesuits. "The
prelate," says Sister Juchereau, "bore this affliction with perfect
submission to the will of God, without uttering any complaint. It must
have been, however, the more grievous to him since it was he who had
planned and erected the seminary, since he was its father and founder,
and since he saw ruined in one day the fruit of his labour of many
years." Thanks to the generosity of the king, who granted aid to the
extent of four thousand francs, it was possible to begin rebuilding at
once. But the trials of the priests were not yet over. "On the first day
of October, 1705," relate the annals of the Ursulines, "the priests of
the seminary were afflicted by a second fire through the fault of a
carpenter who was preparing some boards in one end of the new building.
While smoking he let fall in a room full of shavings some sparks from
his pipe. The fire being kindled, it consumed in less than an hour all
the upper storeys. Only those which were vaulted were preserved. The
priests estimate that they have lost more in this second fire than in
the first. They are lodged below, waiting till Providence furnishes them
with the means to restore their building. The Jesuit Fathers have acted
this time with the same charity and cordiality as on the former
occasion. Mgr. L'Ancien[10] and M. Petit have lived nearly two months in
their infirmary. This rest has been very profitable to Monseigneur, for
he has come forth from it quite rejuvenated. May the Lord grant that he
be preserved a long time yet for the glory of God and the good of

When Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem to raise it from its ruins, a great
grief seized upon him at the sight of the roofs destroyed, the broken
doors, the shattered ramparts of the city of David. In the middle of
the night he made the circuit of these ruins, and on the morrow he
sought the magistrates and said to them: "You see the distress that we
are in? Come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem." The same
feelings no doubt oppressed the soul of the octogenarian prelate when he
saw the walls cracked and blackened, the heaps of ruins, sole remnants
of his beloved house. But like Nehemiah he had the support of a great
King, and the confidence of succeeding. He set to work at once, and
found in the generosity of his flock the means to raise the seminary
from its ruins. While he found provisional lodgings for his seminarists,
he himself took up quarters in a part of the seminary which had been
spared by the flames; he arranged, adjoining his room, a little oratory
where he kept the Holy Sacrament, and celebrated mass. There he passed
his last days and gave up his fair soul to God.

Mgr. de Saint-Vallier had not like his predecessor the sorrow of seeing
fire consume his seminary; he had set out in 1700 for France, and the
differences which existed between the two prelates led the monarch to
retain Mgr. de Saint-Vallier near him. In 1705 the Bishop of Quebec
obtained permission to return to his diocese. But for three years
hostilities had already existed between France and England. The bishop
embarked with several monks on the _Seine_, a vessel of the Royal Navy.
This ship carried a rich cargo valued at nearly a million francs, and
was to escort several merchant ships to their destination at Quebec. The
convoy fell in, on July 26th, with an English fleet which gave chase to
it; the merchant ships fled at full sail, abandoning the _Seine_ to its
fate. The commander, M. de Meaupou, displayed the greatest valour, but
his vessel, having a leeward position, was at a disadvantage; besides,
he had committed the imprudence of so loading the deck with merchandise
that several cannon could not be used. In spite of her heroic defence,
the _Seine_ was captured by boarding, the commander and the officers
were taken prisoners, and Mgr. de Saint-Vallier remained in captivity in
England till 1710.

The purpose of Mgr. de Saint-Vallier's journey to Europe in 1700 had
been his desire to have ratified at Rome by the Holy See the canonical
union of his abbeys, and the union of the parish of Quebec with the
seminary. On setting out he had entrusted the administration of the
diocese to MM. Maizerets and Glandelet; as to ordinations, to the
administration of the sacrament of confirmation, and to the consecration
of the holy oils, Mgr. de Laval would be always there, ready to lavish
his zeal and the treasures of his charity. This long absence of the
chief of the diocese could not but impose new labours on Mgr. de Laval.
Never did he refuse a sacrifice or a duty, and he saw in this an
opportunity to increase the sum of good which he intended soon to lay
at the foot of the throne of the Most High. He was seventy-nine years of
age when, in spite of the havoc then wrought by the smallpox throughout
the country, he went as far as Montreal, there to administer the
sacrament of confirmation. Two years before his death, he officiated
pontifically on Easter Day in the cathedral of Quebec. "On the festival
of Sainte Magdalene," say the annals of the general hospital, "we have
had the consolation of seeing Mgr. de Laval officiate pontifically
morning and evening.... He was accompanied by numerous clergy both from
the seminary and from neighbouring missions.... We regarded this favour
as a mark of the affection cherished by this holy prelate for our
establishment, for he was never wont to officiate outside the cathedral,
and even there but rarely on account of his great age. He was then more
than eighty years old. The presence of a person so venerable by reason
of his character, his virtues, and his great age much enhanced this
festival. He gave the nuns a special proof of his good-will in the visit
which he deigned to make them in the common hall." The predilection
which the pious pontiff constantly preserved for the work of the
seminary no whit lessened the protection which he generously granted to
all the projects of education in the colony; the daughters of Mother
Mary of the Incarnation as well as the assistants of Mother Marguerite
Bourgeoys had claims upon his affection. He fostered with all his power
the establishment of the Sisters of the Congregation, both at Three
Rivers and at Quebec. His numerous works left him but little respite,
and this he spent at his school of St. Joachim in the refreshment of
quiet and rest. Like all holy men he loved youth, and took pleasure in
teaching and directing it. Accordingly, during these years when, in
spite of the sixteen _lustra_ which had passed over his venerable head,
he had to take upon himself during the long absence of his successor the
interim duties of the diocese, at least as far as the exclusively
episcopal functions were concerned, he learned to understand and
appreciate at their true value the sacrifices of the Charron Brothers,
whose work was unfortunately to remain fruitless.

In 1688 three pious laymen, MM. Jean François Charron, Pierre Le Ber,
and Jean Fredin had established in Montreal a house with a double
purpose of charity: to care for the poor and the sick, and to train men
and send them to open schools in the country districts. Their plan was
approved by the king, sanctioned by the bishop of the diocese,
encouraged by the seigneurs of the island, and welcomed by all the
citizens with gratitude. In spite of these symptoms of future prosperity
the work languished, and the members of the community were separated and
scattered one after the other. M. Charron did not lose courage. In 1692
he devoted his large fortune to the foundation of a hospital and a
school, and received numerous gifts from charitable persons. Six
hospitallers of the order of St. Joseph of the Cross, commonly called
Frères Charron, took the gown in 1701, and pronounced their vows in
1704, but the following year they ceased to receive novices. The
minister, M. de Pontchartrain, thought "the care of the sick is a task
better adapted to women than to men, notwithstanding the spirit of
charity which may animate the latter," and he forbade the wearing of the
costume adopted by the hospitallers. François Charron, seeing his work
nullified, yielded to the inevitable, and confined himself to the
training of teachers for country parishes. The existence of this
establishment, abandoned by the mother country to its own strength, was
to become more and more precarious and feeble. Almost all the
hospitallers left the institution to re-enter the world; the care of the
sick was entrusted to the Sisters. François Charron made a journey to
France in order to obtain the union for the purposes of the hospital of
the Brothers of St. Joseph with the Society of St. Sulpice, but he
failed in his efforts. He obtained, nevertheless, from the regent an
annual subvention of three thousand francs for the training of
school-masters (1718). He busied himself at once with finding fitting
recruits, and collected eight. The elder sister of our excellent normal
schools of the present day seemed then established on solid foundations,
but it was not to be so. Brother Charron died on the return voyage, and
his institution, though seconded by the Seminary of St. Sulpice, after
establishing Brothers in several villages in the environs of Montreal,
received from the court a blow from which it did not recover: the regent
forbade the masters to assume a uniform dress and to pledge themselves
by simple vows. The number of the hospitallers decreased from year to
year, and in 1731 the royal government withdrew from them the annual
subvention which supported them, however poorly. Finally their
institution, after vainly attempting to unite with the Brothers of the
Christian Doctrine, ceased to exist in 1745.

Mgr. de Laval so greatly admired the devotion of these worthy men that
he exclaimed one day: "Let me die in the house of these Brothers; it is
a work plainly inspired by God. I shall die content if only in dying I
may contribute something to the shaping or maintenance of this
establishment." Again he wrote: "The good M. Charron gave us last year
one of their Brothers, who rendered great service to the Mississippi
Mission, and he has furnished us another this year. These acquisitions
will spare the missionaries much labour.... I beg you to show full
gratitude to this worthy servant of God, who is as affectionately
inclined to the missions and missionaries as if he belonged to our body.
We have even the plan, as well as he, of forming later a community of
their Brothers to aid the missions and accompany the missionaries on
their journeys. He goes to France and as far as Paris to find and bring
back with him some good recruits to aid him in forming a community.
Render him all the services you can, as if it were to missionaries
themselves. He is a true servant of God." Such testimony is the fairest
title to glory for an institution.


[10] A respectfully familiar sobriquet given to Mgr. de Laval.



Illness had obliged Mgr. de Laval to hand in his resignation. He wrote,
in fact, at this period of his life to M. de Denonville: "I have been
for the last two years subject to attacks of vertigo accompanied by
heart troubles which are very frequent and increase markedly. I have had
one quite recently, on the Monday of the Passion, which seized me at
three o'clock in the morning, and I could not raise my head from my
bed." His infirmities, which he bore to the end with admirable
resignation, especially affected his limbs, which he was obliged to
bandage tightly every morning, and which could scarcely bear the weight
of his body. To disperse the unwholesome humours, his arm had been
cauterized; to cut, carve and hack the poor flesh of humanity formed, as
we know, the basis of the scientific and medical equipment of the
period. These sufferings, which he brought as a sacrifice to our Divine
Master, were not sufficient for him; he continued in spite of them to
wear upon his body a coarse hair shirt. He had to serve him only one of
those Brothers who devoted their labour to the seminary in exchange for
their living and a place at table. This modest servant, named Houssart,
had replaced a certain Lemaire, of whom the prelate draws a very
interesting portrait in one of his letters: "We must economize," he
wrote to the priests of the seminary, "and have only watchful and
industrious domestics. We must look after them, else they deteriorate in
the seminary. You have the example of the baker, Louis Lemaire, an
idler, a gossip, a tattler, a man who, instead of walking behind the
coach, would not go unless Monseigneur paid for a carriage for him to
follow him to La Rochelle, and lent him his dressing-gown to protect him
from the cold. Formerly he worked well at heavy labour at Cap Tourmente;
idleness has ruined him in the seminary. As soon as he had reached my
room, he behaved like a man worn out, always complaining, coming to help
me to bed only when the fancy took him; always extremely vain, thinking
he was not dressed according to his position, although he was clad, as
you know, more like a nobleman than a peasant, which he was, for I had
taken him as a beggar and almost naked at La Rochelle.... As soon as he
entered my room he sat down, and rather than be obliged to pretend to
see him, I turned my seat so as not to see him.... We should have left
that man at heavy work, which had in some sort conquered his folly and
pride, and it is possible that he might have been saved. But he has been
entirely ruined in the seminary...." This humorous description proves to
us well that even in the good old days not all domestics were perfect.

The affectionate and respectful care given by Houssart to his master
was such as is not bought with money. Most devoted to the prelate, he
has left us a very edifying relation of the life of the venerable
bishop, with some touching details. He wrote after his death: "Having
had the honour of being continually attached to the service of his
Lordship during the last twenty years of his holy life, and his Lordship
having had during all that time a great charity towards me and great
confidence in my care, you cannot doubt that I contracted a great
sympathy, interest and particular attachment for his Lordship." In
another letter he speaks to us of the submission of the venerable bishop
to the commands of the Church. "He did his best," he writes,
"notwithstanding his great age and continual infirmities, to observe all
days of abstinence and fasting, both those which are commanded by Holy
Church and those which are observed from reasons of devotion in the
seminary, and if his Lordship sometimes yielded in this matter to the
command of the physicians and the entreaties of the superiors of the
seminary, who deemed that he ought not to fast, it was a great
mortification for him, and it was only out of especial charity to his
dear seminary and the whole of Canada that he yielded somewhat to nature
in order not to die so soon...."

Never, in spite of his infirmities, would the prelate fail to be present
on Sunday at the cathedral services. When it was impossible for him to
go on foot, he had himself carried. His only outings towards the end of
his life consisted in his visits to the cathedral or in short walks
along the paths of his garden. Whenever his health permitted, he loved
to be present at the funerals of those who died in the town; those
consolations which he deigned to give to the afflicted families bear
witness to the goodness of his heart. "It was something admirable," says
Houssart, "to see, firstly, his assiduity in being present at the burial
of all who died in Quebec, and his promptness in offering the holy
sacrifice of the mass for the repose of their souls, as soon as he had
learned of their decease; secondly, his devotion in receiving and
preserving the blessed palms, in kissing his crucifix, the image of the
Holy Virgin, which he carried always upon him, and placed at nights
under his pillow, his badge of servitude and his scapulary which he
carried also upon him; thirdly, his respect and veneration for the
relics of the saints, the pleasure which he took in reading every day in
the _Lives of the Saints_, and in conversing of their heroic deeds;
fourthly, the holy and constant use which he made of holy water, taking
it wherever he might be in the course of the day and every time he awoke
in the night, coming very often from his garden to his room expressly to
take it, carrying it upon him in a little silver vessel, which he had
had made purposely, when he went to the country. His Lordship had so
great a desire that every one should take it that he exercised
particular care in seeing every day whether the vessels of the church
were supplied with it, to fill them when they were empty; and during the
winter, for fear that the vessels should freeze too hard and the people
could not take any as they entered and left the church, he used to bring
them himself every evening and place them by our stove, and take them
back at four o'clock in the morning when he went to open the doors."

With a touching humility the pious old man scrupulously conformed to the
rules of the seminary and to the orders of the superior of the house.
Only a few days before his death, he experienced such pain that Brother
Houssart declared his intention of going and asking from the superior of
the seminary a dispensation for the sick man from being present at the
services. At once the patient became silent; in spite of his tortures
not a complaint escaped his lips. It was Holy Wednesday: it was
impossible to be absent on that day from religious ceremonies. We do not
know which to admire most in such an attitude, whether the piety of the
prelate or his submission to the superior of the seminary, since he
would have been resigned if he had been forbidden to go to church, or,
finally, his energy in stifling the groans which suffering wrenched from
his physical nature. Few saints carried mortification and renunciation
of terrestrial good as far as he. "He is certainly the most austere man
in the world and the most indifferent to worldly advantage," wrote
Mother Mary of the Incarnation. "He gives away everything and lives like
a pauper; and we may truly say that he has the very spirit of poverty.
It is not he who will make friends for worldly advancement and to
increase his revenue; he is dead to all that.... He practises this
poverty in his house, in his living, in his furniture, in his servants,
for he has only one gardener, whom he lends to the poor when they need
one, and one valet...." This picture falls short of the truth. For forty
years he arose at two o'clock in the morning, summer and winter: in his
last years illness could only wrest from him one hour more of repose,
and he arose then at three o'clock. As soon as he was dressed, he
remained at prayer till four and then went to church. He opened the
doors himself, and rang the bells for mass, which he said, half an hour
later, especially for the poor workmen, who began their day by this
pious exercise.

His thanksgiving after the holy sacrifice lasted till seven o'clock, and
yet, even in the greatest cold of the severe Canadian winter, he had
nothing to warm his frozen limbs but the brazier which he had used to
celebrate the mass. A good part of his day, and often of the night, when
his sufferings deprived him of sleep, was also devoted to prayer or
spiritual reading, and nothing was more edifying than to see the pious
octogenarian telling his beads or reciting his breviary while walking
slowly through the paths of his garden. He was the first up and the last
to retire, and whatever had been his occupations during the day, never
did he lie down without having scrupulously observed all the spiritual
offices, readings or reciting of beads. It was not, however, that his
food gave him a superabundance of physical vigour, for the Trappists did
not eat more frugally than he. A soup, which he purposely spoiled by
diluting it amply with hot water, a little meat and a crust of very dry
bread composed his ordinary fare, and dessert, even on feast days, was
absolutely banished from his table. "For his ordinary drink," says
Brother Houssart, "he took only hot water slightly flavoured with wine;
and every one knows that his Lordship never took either cordial or
dainty wines, or any mixture of sweets of any sort whatever, whether to
drink or to eat, except that in his last years I succeeded in making him
take every evening after his broth, which was his whole supper, a piece
of biscuit as large as one's thumb, in a little wine, to aid him to
sleep. I may say without exaggeration that his whole life was one
continual fast, for he took no breakfast, and every evening only a
slight collation.... He used his whole substance in alms and pious
works; and when he needed anything, such as clothes, linen, etc., he
asked it from the seminary like the humblest of his ecclesiastics. He
was most modest in matters of dress, and I had great difficulty in
preventing him from wearing his clothes when they were old, dirty and
mended. During twenty years he had but two winter cassocks, which he
left behind him on his death, the one still quite good, the other all
threadbare and mended. To be brief, there was no one in the seminary
poorer in dress...." Mgr. de Laval set an example of the principal
virtues which distinguish the saints; so he could not fail in that which
our Lord incessantly recommends to His disciples, charity! He no longer
possessed anything of his own, since he had at the outset abandoned his
patrimony to his brother, and since later on he had given to the
seminary everything in his possession. But charity makes one ingenious:
by depriving himself of what was strictly necessary, could he not yet
come to the aid of his brothers in Jesus Christ? "Never was prelate,"
says his eulogist, M. de la Colombière, "more hostile to grandeur and
exaltation.... In scorning grandeur, he triumphed over himself by a
poverty worthy of the anchorites of the first centuries, whose rules he
faithfully observed to the end of his days. Grace had so thoroughly
absorbed in the heart of the prelate the place of the tendencies of our
corrupt nature that he seemed to have been born with an aversion to
riches, pleasures and honours.... If you have noticed his dress, his
furniture and his table, you must be aware that he was a foe to pomp and
splendour. There is no village priest in France who is not better
nourished, better clad and better lodged than was the Bishop of Quebec.
Far from having an equipage suitable to his rank and dignity he had not
even a horse of his own. And when, towards the end of his days, his
great age and his infirmities did not allow him to walk, if he wished to
go out he had to borrow a carriage. Why this economy? In order to have a
storehouse full of garments, shoes and blankets, which he distributed
gratuitously, with paternal kindness and prudence. This was a business
which he never ceased to ply, in which he trusted only to himself, and
with which he concerned himself up to his death."

The charity of the prelate was boundless. Not only at the hospital of
Quebec did he visit the poor and console them, but he even rendered them
services the most repugnant to nature. "He has been seen," says M. de la
Colombière, "on a ship where he behaved like St. François-Xavier, where,
ministering to the sailors and the passengers, he breathed the bad air
and the infection which they exhaled; he has been seen to abandon in
their favour all his refreshments, and to give them even his bed, sheets
and blankets. To administer the sacraments to them he did not fear to
expose his life and the lives of the persons who were most dear to him."
When he thus attended the sick who were attacked by contagious fever, he
did his duty, even more than his duty; but when he went, without
absolute need, and shared in the repugnant cares which the most devoted
servants of Christ in the hospitals undertake only after struggles and
heroic victory over revolted nature he rose to sublimity. It was because
he saw in the poor the suffering members of the Saviour; to love the
poor man, it is not enough to wish him well, we must respect him, and we
cannot respect him as much as any child of God deserves without seeing
in him the image of Jesus Christ himself. No one acquires love for God
without being soon wholly enkindled by it; thus it was no longer
sufficient for Mgr. de Laval to instruct and console the poor and the
sick, he served them also in the most abject duties, going as far as to
wash with his own hands their sores and ulcers. A madman, the world will
say; why not content one's self with attending those people without
indulging in the luxury of heroism so repugnant? This would have
sufficed indeed to relieve nature, but would it have taught those
incurable and desperate cases that they were the first friends of Jesus
Christ, that the Church looked upon them as its jewels, and that their
fate from the point of view of eternity was enviable to all? It would
have relieved without consoling and raising the poor man to the height
which belongs to him in Christian society. Official assistance, with the
best intentions in the world, the most ingenious organization and the
most perfect working, can, however, never be charity in the perfectly
Christian sense of this word. If it could allay all needs and heal all
sores it would still have accomplished only half of the task: relieving
the body without reaching the soul. And man does not live by bread
alone. He who has been disinherited of the boons of fortune, family and
health, he who is incurable and who despairs of human joys needs
something else besides the most comfortable hospital room that can be
imagined; he needs the words which fell from the lips of God: "Blessed
are the poor, blessed are they that suffer, blessed are they that
mourn." He needs a pitying heart, a tender witness to indigence nobly
borne, a respectful friend of his misfortune, still more than that, a
worshipper of Jesus hidden in the persons of the poor, the orphan and
the sick. They have become rare in the world, these real friends of the
poor; the more assistance has become organized, the more charity seems
to have lost its true nature; and perhaps we might find in this state of
things a radical explanation for those implacable social antagonisms,
those covetous desires, those revolts followed by endless repression,
which bring about revolutions, and by them all manner of tyranny. Let us
first respect the poor, let us love them, let us sincerely admire their
condition as one ennobled by God, if we wish them to become reconciled
with Him, and reconciled with the world. When the rich man is a
Christian, generous and respectful of the poor, when he practises the
virtues which most belong to his social position, the poor man is very
near to conforming to those virtues which Providence makes his more
immediate duty, humility, obedience, resignation to the will of God and
trust in Him and in those who rule in His name. The solution of the
great social problem lies, as it seems to us, in the spiritual love of
the poor. Outside of this, there is only the heathen slave below, and
tyranny above with all its terrors. That is what religious enthusiasm
foresaw in centuries less well organized but more religious than ours.



The end of a great career was now approaching. In the summer of 1707, a
long and painful illness nearly carried Mgr. de Laval away, but he
recovered, and convalescence was followed by manifest improvement. This
soul which, like the lamp of the sanctuary, was consumed in the
tabernacle of the Most High, revived suddenly at the moment of emitting
its last gleams, then suddenly died out in final brilliance. The
improvement in the condition of the venerable prelate was ephemeral; the
illness which had brought him to the threshold of the tomb proved fatal
some weeks later. He died in the midst of his labours, happy in proving
by the very origin of the disease which brought about his death, his
great love for the Saviour. It was, in fact, in prolonging on Good
Friday his pious stations in his chilly church (for our ancestors did
not heat their churches, even in seasons of rigorous cold), that he
received in his heel the frost-bite of which he died. Such is the name
the writers of the time give to this sore; in our days, when science has
defined certain maladies formerly misunderstood, it is permissible to
suppose that this so-called frost-bite was nothing else than diabetic
gangrene. No illusion could be cherished, and the venerable old man,
who had not, so to speak, passed a moment of his existence without
thinking of death, needed to adapt himself to the idea less than any one
else. In order to have nothing more to do than to prepare for his last
hour he hastened to settle a question which concerned his seminary: he
reduced definitely to eight the number of pensions which he had
established in it in 1680. This done, it remained for him now only to
suffer and die. The ulcer increased incessantly and the continual pains
which he felt became atrocious when it was dressed. His intolerable
sufferings drew from him, nevertheless, not cries and complaints, but
outpourings of love for God. Like Saint Vincent de Paul, whom the
tortures of his last malady could not compel to utter other words than
these: "Ah, my Saviour! my good Saviour!" Mgr. de Laval gave vent to
these words only: "O, my God! have pity on me! O God of Mercy!" and this
cry, the summary of his whole life: "Let Thy holy will be done!" One of
the last thoughts of the dying man was to express the sentiment of his
whole life, humility. Some one begged him to imitate the majority of the
saints, who, on their death-bed, uttered a few pious words for the
edification of their spiritual children. "They were saints," he replied,
"and I am a sinner." A speech worthy of Saint Vincent de Paul, who,
about to appear before God, replied to the person who requested his
blessing, "It is not for me, unworthy wretch that I am, to bless you."
The fervour with which he received the last sacraments aroused the
admiration of all the witnesses of this supreme hour. They almost
expected to see this holy soul take flight for its celestial mansion. As
soon as the prayers for the dying had been pronounced, he asked to have
the chaplets of the Holy Family recited, and during the recitation of
this prayer he gave up his soul to his Creator. It was then half-past
seven in the morning, and the sixth day of the month consecrated to the
Holy Virgin, whom he had so loved (May, 1708).

It was with a quiver of grief which was felt in all hearts throughout
the colony that men learned the fatal news. The banks of the great river
repeated this great woe to the valleys; the sad certainty that the
father of all had disappeared forever sowed desolation in the homes of
the rich as well as in the thatched huts of the poor. A cry of pain, a
deep sob arose from the bosom of Canada which would not be consoled,
because its incomparable bishop was no more! Etienne de Citeaux said to
his monks after the death of his holy predecessor: "Alberic is dead to
our eyes, but he is not so to the eyes of God, and dead though he appear
to us, he lives for us in the presence of the Lord; for it is peculiar
to the saints that when they go to God through death, they bear their
friends with them in their hearts to preserve them there forever." This
is our dearest desire; the friends of the venerable prelate were and
still are to-day his own Canadians: may he remain to the end of the
ages our protector and intercessor with God!

There were attributed to Mgr. de Laval, according to Latour and Brother
Houssart, and a witness who would have more weight, M. de Glandelet, a
priest of the seminary of Quebec, whose account was unhappily lost, a
great number of miraculous cures. Our purpose is not to narrate them; we
have desired to repeat only the wonders of his life in order to offer a
pattern and encouragement to all who walk in his steps, and in order to
pay the debt of gratitude which we owe to the principal founder of the
Catholic Church in our country.

The body of Mgr. de Laval lay in state for three days in the chapel of
the seminary, and there was an immense concourse of the people about his
mortuary bed, rather to invoke him than to pray for his soul. His
countenance remained so beautiful that one would have thought him
asleep; that imposing brow so often venerated in the ceremonies of the
Church preserved all its majesty. But alas! that aristocratic hand,
which had blessed so many generations, was no longer to raise the
pastoral ring over the brows of bowing worshippers; that eloquent mouth
which had for half a century preached the gospel was to open no more;
those eyes with look so humble but so straightforward were closed
forever! "He is regretted by all as if death had carried him off in the
flower of his age," says a chronicle of the time, "it is because virtue
does not grow old." The obsequies of the prelate were celebrated with a
pomp still unfamiliar in the colony; the body, clad in the pontifical
ornaments, was carried on the shoulders of priests through the different
religious edifices of Quebec before being interred. All the churches of
the country celebrated solemn services for the repose of the soul of the
first Bishop of New France. Placed in a leaden coffin, the revered
remains were sepulchred in the vaults of the cathedral, but the heart of
Mgr. de Laval was piously kept in the chapel of the seminary, and later,
in 1752, was transported into the new chapel of this house. The funeral
orations were pronounced, which recalled with eloquence and talent the
services rendered by the venerable deceased to the Church, to France and
to Canada. One was delivered by M. de la Colombière, archdeacon and
grand vicar of the diocese of Quebec; the other by M. de Belmont, grand
vicar and superior of St. Sulpice at Montreal.

Those who had the good fortune to be present in the month of May, 1878,
at the disinterment of the remains of the revered pontiff and at their
removal to the chapel of the seminary where, according to his
intentions, they repose to-day, will recall still with emotion the pomp
which was displayed on this solemn occasion, and the fervent joy which
was manifested among all classes of society. An imposing procession
conveyed them, as at the time of the seminary obsequies, to the
Ursulines; from the convent of the Ursulines to the Jesuit Fathers',
next to the Congregation of St. Patrick, to the Hôtel-Dieu, and finally
to the cathedral, where a solemn service was sung in the presence of the
apostolic legate, Mgr. Conroy. The Bishop of Sherbrooke, M. Antoine
Racine, pronounced the eulogy of the first prelate of the colony.

The remains of Mgr. de Laval rested then in peace under the choir of the
chapel of the seminary behind the principal altar. On December 16th,
1901, the vault was opened by order of the commission entrusted by the
Holy See with the conduct of the apostolic investigation into the
virtues and miracles _in specie_ of the founder of the Church in Canada.
The revered remains, which were found in a perfect state of
preservation, were replaced in three coffins, one of glass, the second
of oak, and the third of lead, and lowered into the vault. The opening
was closed by a brick wall, well cemented, concealed between two iron
gates. There they rest until, if it please God to hear the prayers of
the Catholic population of our country, they may be placed upon the
altars. This examination of the remains of the venerable prelate was the
last act in his apostolic ordeal, for we are aware with what precaution
the Church surrounds herself and with what prudence she scrutinizes the
most minute details before giving a decision in the matter of
canonization. The documents in the case of Mgr. de Laval have been sent
to the secretary of the Sacred Congregation of Rites at Rome; and from
there will come to us, let us hope, the great news of the canonization
of the first Bishop of New France.

Sleep your sleep, revered prelate, worthy son of crusaders and noble
successor of the apostles. Long and laborious was your task, and you
have well merited your repose beneath the flagstones of your seminary.
Long will the sons of future generations go there to spell out your
name,--the name of an admirable pastor, and, as the Church will tell us
doubtless before long, of a saint.



Ailleboust, M. d', governor of New France, 8

Albanel, Father, missionary to the Indians at Hudson Bay, 11, 103

Alexander VII, Pope, appoints Laval apostolic vicar with the title of
  Bishop of Petræa _in partibus_, 7, 26;
  petitioned by the king to erect an episcopal see in Quebec, 131;
  wants the new diocese to be an immediate dependency of the Holy See, 133

Alexander of Rhodes, Father, 23

Algonquin Indians, 2, 9, 11

Allard, Father, Superior of the Récollets in the province of
  St. Denis, 109, 110

Allouez, Father Claude, 11;
  addresses the mission at Sault Ste. Marie, 104

Anahotaha, Huron chief, joins Dollard, 69, 71

Andros, Sir Edmund, governor of New England, 173

Argenson, Governor d', 29;
  his continual friction with Laval, 34;
  disapproves of the retreat of Captain Dupuis from the mission of
  Gannentaha, 67

Arnaud, Father, accompanies La Vérendrye as far as the Rocky Mountains, 11

Assise, François d', founder of the Franciscans, 18

Aubert, M., on the French-Canadians, 118, 119

Auteuil, Denis Joseph Ruette d', solicitor-general of the Sovereign
  Council, 167

Avaugour, Governor d', withdraws his opposition to the liquor trade and
  is recalled, 38-40;
  his last report, 40;
  references, 10, 28


Bagot, Father, head of the college of La Flèche, 20

Bailly, François, directs the building of the Notre-Dame Church, 88

Bancroft, George, historian, quoted, 4, 5, 152, 153

Beaudoncourt, Jacques de, quoted, 39;
  describes the escape of the Gannentaha mission from the massacre of
  1658, 66, 67

Beaumont, Hardouin de Péréfixe de, Archbishop of Paris, 134

Belmont, M. de, his charitable works, 135, 136;
  preaches Laval's funeral oration, 265

Bernières, Henri de, first superior of the Quebec seminary, 55, 56;
  entrusted with Laval's duties during his absence, 134, 143, 162;
  appointed dean of the chapter established by Laval, 197;
  his death, 239

Bernières, Jean de, his religious retreat at Caen, 24, 25;
  referred to, 33, 34

Berthelot, M., rents the abbey of Lestrées from Laval, 138;
  exchanges Ile Jésus for the Island of Orleans, 138

Bishop of Petræa, see _Laval-Montmorency_

Bouchard, founder of the house of Montmorency, 16

Boucher, governor of Three Rivers, 29

Boudon, Abbé Henri-Marie, archdeacon of the Cathedral of Evreux, 23

Bourdon, solicitor-general, 79

Bourgard, Mgr., quoted, 61

Bourgeoys, Sister Marguerite, founds a school in Montreal which grows
  into the Ville-Marie Convent, 9, 126;
  on board the plague-stricken _St. André_, 31, 32;
  as a teacher, 91, 92, 156;
  through her efforts the church of Notre-Dame de Bonsecours is
  erected, 177, 178

Bouteroue, M. de, commissioner during Talon's absence, 116

Brébeuf, Father, his persecution and death, 5, 16, 62

Bretonvilliers, M. de, superior of St. Sulpice, 88, 89, 135, 162

Briand, Mgr., Bishop of Quebec, 12

Bizard, Lieutenant, dispatched by Frontenac to arrest the law-breakers
  and insulted by Perrot, 160

Brothers of the Christian Doctrine, the, 125

Brulon, Jean Gauthier de, confessor of the chapter established
  by Laval, 197


Caen, the town of, 24

Callières, Chevalier de, governor of Montreal, 214;
  lays before the king a plan to conquer New York, 218;
  at Quebec when attacked by Phipps, 229;
  makes peace with the Indians, 235;
  his death, 235

Canons, the duties of, 196, 197

Carignan Regiment, the, 53, 77, 79, 114

Carion, M. Philippe de, 88

Cataraqui, Fort (Kingston), built by Frontenac and later called after
  him, 84, 145;
  conceded to La Salle, 145

Cathedral of Quebec, the, 84, 85

Champigny, M. de, commissioner, replaces Meulles, 204, 215

Champlain, Samuel de, governor of New France and founder
  of Quebec, 4, 8, 12

Charlevoix, Pierre François Xavier de, on colonization, 117, 118;
  his portrait of Frontenac, 144, 145

Charron Brothers, the, make an unsuccessful attempt to establish a
  charitable house in Montreal, 125, 245-8

Château St. Louis, 112, 160, 163

Chaumonot, Father, 65;
  the head of the Brotherhood of the Holy Family, 86, 87

Chevestre, Françoise de, wife of Jean-Louis de Laval, 139

Clement X, Pope, 133;
  signs the bulls establishing the diocese of Quebec, 136

Closse, Major, 8, 92

Colbert, Louis XIV's prime minister, 52;
  a letter from Villeray to, 77, 78;
  opposes Talon's immigration plans, 80;
  receives a letter from Talon, 107;
  Talon's proposals to, 115;
  a dispatch from Frontenac to, 161;
  reproves Frontenac's overbearing conduct, 165;
  asks for proof of the evils of the liquor traffic, 170, 171

Collège de Clermont, 21, 22

College of Montreal, the, 124, 125

Colombière, M. de la, quoted, 23, 256, 257

Company of Montreal, the, 25;
  its financial obligations taken up by the Seminary of St. Sulpice, 135

Company of Notre-Dame of Montreal, 85, 108, 127, 189

Company of the Cent-Associés, founded by Richelieu, 4;
  incapable of colonizing New France, abandons it to the royal
  government, 40, 41;
  assists the missionaries, 50;
  a portion of its obligations undertaken by the West India Company, 145

Consistorial Congregation of Rome, the, 132

Couillard, Madame, the house of, 58

Courcelles, M. de, appointed governor in de Mézy's place, 51;
  acts as godfather to Garakontié, Indian chief, 65;
  an instance of his firmness, 82, 83;
  meets the Indian chiefs at Cataraqui, and gains their approval of
  building a fort there, 84;
  succeeded by Frontenac, 84;
  lays the corner-stone of the Notre-Dame Church in Montreal, 88;
  returns to France, 143

_Coureurs de bois_, the, 158, 159

Crèvecoeur, Fort, 148, 149


Dablon, Father, 11, 62, 65;
  describes Laval's visit to the Prairie de la Madeleine, 74, 75;
  quoted, 103, 140

Damours, M., member of the Sovereign Council, 158, 166;
  imprisoned by Frontenac, 167

Daniel, Father, his death, 5

Denonville, Marquis de, succeeds de la Barre, 193, 202, 204;
  urges Laval's return to Canada, 213;
  his expedition against the Iroquois, 214-16;
  seizes Indian chiefs to serve on the king's galleys, 214, 215;
  builds a fort at Niagara, 216;
  recalled, 218

Dequen, Father, 32, 33

Dollard, makes a brave stand against the Iroquois, 39, 68-72, 75 (note)

Dollier de Casson, superior of the Seminary of St. Sulpice, 11;
  at the laying of the first stone of the Church of Notre-Dame, 89;
  preaching on the shores of Lake Erie, 108;
  joined by La Salle, 148;
  speaks of the liquor traffic, 175;
  at Quebec, 190

Dongan, Colonel Thomas, governor of New York, urges the Iroquois to
  strife, 185, 191, 213, 216

Dosquet, Mgr. de, Bishop of Quebec, 12

Druillètes, Father, 11

Duchesneau, intendant, his disputes with Frontenac upon the question of
  President of the Council, 166, 167;
  recalled, 168, 185;
  asked by Colbert for proof of the evils of the liquor traffic, 170, 171;
  instructed by the king to avoid discord with La Barre, 186, 187

Dudouyt, Jean, director of the Quebec seminary, 55, 56, 134, 143, 163;
  his mission to France in relation to the liquor traffic, 171;
  grand cantor of the chapter established by Laval, 197;
  his death, 219;
  burial of his heart in Quebec, 219

Dupont, M., member of the Sovereign Council, 158, 166

Dupuis, Captain, commander of the mission at Gannentaha, 65;
  how he saved the mission from the general massacre of 1658, 65-7


Earthquake of 1663, 42-5;
  its results, 45, 46


Famine Creek, 193, 217

Fénelon, Abbé de, see _Salignac-Fénelon_

Ferland, Abbé, quoted, 35;
  on the education of the Indians, 63, 64;
  his tribute to Mother Mary of the Incarnation, 93-5;
  on Talon's ambitions, 114;
  quoted, 130;
  his opinion of the erection of an episcopal see at Quebec, 133;
  on the union of the Quebec Seminary with that of the Foreign Missions
  in Paris, 140;
  on La Salle's misfortunes, 149;
  quoted, 155;
  praises Laval's stand against the liquor traffic, 173;
  on Laval's return to Canada, 220

Five Nations, the, sue for peace, 53;
  missions to, 65;
  references, 217, 223, 234

French-Canadians, their physical and moral qualities, 118, 119;
  habits and dress, 120;
  houses, 120, 121;
  as hunters, 121, 122

Frontenac, Fort, 84, 215, 217, 223

Frontenac, Louis de Buade, Count de, governor of Canada, 16;
  builds Fort Cataraqui, 84, 145;
  succeeds Courcelles, 84, 143;
  his disputes with Duchesneau, 112, 166, 167;
  early career, 144;
  Charlevoix's portrait of, 144, 145;
  orders Perrot's arrest, 160;
  his quarrel with the Abbé de Fénelon, 160-5;
  reproved by the king for his absolutism, 164, 165;
  his recall, 168, 185;
  succeeds in having permanent livings established, 181;
  again appointed governor, 218, 228;
  carries on a guerilla warfare with the Iroquois, 228, 229;
  defends Quebec against Phipps, 129-31;
  attacks the Iroquois, 233, 234;
  his death, 234


Gallinée, Brehan de, Sulpician priest, 11, 105, 108, 148

Gannentaha, the mission at, 65;
  how it escaped the general massacre of 1658, 65-7

Garakontié, Iroquois chief, his conversion, 65;
  his death, 73, 74

Garnier, Father Charles, his death, 5

Garreau, Father, 11

Gaudais-Dupont, M., 41

Glandelet, Charles, 141, 197, 218;
  in charge of the diocese during Saint-Vallier's absence, 243

Gosselin, Abbé, quoted, 35;
  his explanation of Laval's _mandement_, 49, 50;
  quoted, 58, 59;
  on the question of permanent livings, 169, 170


Harlay, Mgr. de, Archbishop of Rouen, opposes Laval's petition for an
  episcopal see at Quebec, 133;
  called to the see of Paris, 134;
  his death, 184

Hermitage, the, a religious retreat, 24, 25

Hôtel-Dieu Hospital (Montreal), established by Mlle. Mance, 8

Hôtel-Dieu, Sisters of the, 33, 210, 236

Houssart, Laval's servant, 250, 251, 252, 253, 255, 264

Hudson Bay, explored by Father Albanel, 11, 103;
  English forts on, captured by Troyes, 204, 214;
  Iberville's expedition to, 233

Hurons, the, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 39;
  forty of them join Dollard, 69;
  but betray him, 70, 71;
  they suffer a well-deserved fate, 72


Iberville, Le Moyne d', takes part in an expedition to capture Hudson
  Bay, 204, 233;
  attacks the English settlements in Newfoundland, 233;
  explores the mouths of the Mississippi, founds the city of Mobile, and
  becomes the first governor of Louisiana, 233;
  his death, 233

Ile Jésus, 58, 185, 189

Illinois Indians, 148

Innocent XI, Pope, 201

Iroquois, the, 2;
  their attacks on the missions, 5;
  persecute the missionaries, 8;
  conclude a treaty of peace with de Tracy which lasts eighteen
    years, 54, 82;
  their contemplated attack on the mission of Gannentaha, 65;
  make an attack upon Quebec, 67-72;
  threaten to re-open their feud with the Ottawas, 83;
  urged to war by Dongan, 185, 191;
  massacre the tribes allied to the French, 191;
  descend upon the colony, 191, 192;
  La Barre's expedition against, 193;
  Denonville's expedition against, 214;
  several seized to serve on the king's galleys, 214, 215;
  their massacre of Lachine, 224-7


Jesuits, the, their entry into New France, 1;
  their self-sacrificing labours, 4;
  in possession of all the missions of New France, 25;
  as educators, 63;
  their devotion to the Virgin Mary, 85;
  religious zeal, 109;
  provide instruction for the colonists, 124;
  at the defence of Quebec, 230;
  shelter the seminarists after the fire, 240, 241

Joliet, Louis, with Marquette, explores the upper part of the
  Mississippi, 11, 59, 82, 146, 153

Jogues, Father, his persecution and death, 5, 62, 65

Juchereau, Sister, quoted, 240, 241


Kingston, see _Cataraqui_

Kondiaronk (the Rat), Indian chief, his duplicity upsets peace
  negotiations with the Iroquois, 216-18;
  his death, 235


La Barre, Lefebvre de, replaces Frontenac as governor, 168, 185;
  holds an assembly at Quebec to inquire into the affairs
    of the colony, 190;
  demands reinforcements, 191;
  his useless expedition against the Iroquois, 193;
  his recall, 193

La Chaise, Father, confessor to Louis XIV, 174, 238

La Chesnaie, M. Aubert de, 186

Lachesnaie, village, massacred by the Iroquois, 228

Lachine, 116, 147, 148;
  the massacre of, 225-7

La Flèche, the college of, 19, 20

Lalemant, Father Gabriel, his persecution and death, 5, 62;
  his account of the great earthquake, 42-5;
  references, 16, 35, 38

Lamberville, Father, describes the death of Garakontié,
  Indian chief, 74, 215

La Montagne, the mission of, at Montreal, 9, 74, 125

La Mouche, Huron Indian, deserts Dollard, 71

Lanjuère, M. de, quoted, 24, 135

La Rochelle, 26, 77, 114, 116, 202, 219

La Salle, Cavelier de, 16, 116;
  Fort Cataraqui conceded to, 145;
  his birth, 147;
  comes to New France, 147;
  establishes a trading-post at Lachine, 147, 148;
  starts on his expedition to the Mississippi, 148;
  returns to look after his affairs at Fort Frontenac, 149;
  back to Crèvecoeur and finds it deserted, 149;
  descends the Mississippi, 150;
  raises a cross on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico and takes possession
  in the name of the King of France, 151;
  spends a year in establishing trading-posts among the Illinois, 151;
  visits France, 151;
  his misfortunes, 152;
  is murdered by one of his servants, 152;
  Bancroft's appreciation of, 152, 153;
  his version of the Abbé de Fénelon's sermon, 160, 161

Latour, Abbé de, quoted, 33;
  on the liquor question, 36-8;
  _re_ the Sovereign Council, 40;
  describes the characteristics of the young colonists, 100;
  on Laval, 187, 188, 264

Lauson-Charny, M. de, director of the Quebec Seminary, 55, 134

Laval, Anne Charlotte de, only sister of Bishop Laval, 19

Laval, Fanchon (Charles-François-Guy), nephew of the bishop, 140

Laval, Henri de, brother of Bishop Laval, 19, 21, 139, 141

Laval, Hugues de, Seigneur of Montigny, etc., father of Bishop Laval, 17;
  his death, 18

Laval, Jean-Louis de, receives the bishop's inheritance, 19, 21, 22, 139

Laval-Montmorency, François de, first Bishop of Quebec, his birth and
  ancestors, 17;
  death of his father, 18;
  his education, 19-21;
  death of his two brothers, 21;
  his mother begs him, on becoming the head of the family, to abandon his
  ecclesiastical career, 21;
  renounces his inheritance in favour of his brother Jean-Louis, 21, 22;
    his ordination, 22;
  appointed archdeacon of the Cathedral of Evreux, 22;
  spends fifteen months in Rome, 23;
  three years in the religious retreat of M. de Bernières, 24, 25;
  embarks for New France with the title of Bishop of Petræa
    _in partibus_, 26;
  disputes his authority with the Abbé de Queylus, 27, 28;
  given the entire jurisdiction of Canada, 28;
  his personality and appearance, 28, 29;
  his devotion to the plague-stricken, 33;
  private life, 33, 34;
  friction with d'Argenson on questions of precedence, 34;
  opposes the liquor trade with the savages, 36-9;
  carries an appeal to the throne against the liquor traffic, 39;
  returns to Canada, 41;
  his efforts to establish a seminary at Quebec, 47-50;
  obtains an ordinance from the king granting the seminary permission to
  collect tithes, 50;
  receives letters from Colbert and the king, 52, 53;
  takes up his abode in the seminary, 55;
  his pastoral visits, 74, 75, 87;
  founds the smaller seminary in 1668, 97-9;
  his efforts to educate the colonists, 97-100, 124;
  builds the first sanctuary of Sainte Anne, 101;
  his ardent desire for more missionaries is granted, 104, 105;
  his advice to the missionaries, 105-7;
  receives a letter from the king _re_ the Récollet priests, 110;
  created Bishop of Quebec (1674), 129;
  his reasons for demanding the title of Bishop of Quebec, 130, 131;
  visits the abbeys of Maubec and Lestrées, 138;
  leases the abbey of Lestrées to M. Berthelot, 138;
  exchanges the Island of Orleans for Ile Jésus, 138;
  visits his family, 139;
  renews the union of his seminary with that of the Foreign Missions, 140;
  returns to Canada after four years absence, 141;
  ordered by the king to investigate the evils of the liquor
    traffic, 171, 172;
  leaves again for France (1678), 173;
  acquires from the king a slight restriction over the liquor traffic, 174;
  confers a favour on the priests of St. Sulpice, 175, 176;
  returns to Canada (1680), 184, 186;
  wills all that he possesses to his seminary, 185;
  makes a pastoral visit of his diocese, 189;
  his ill-health, 190;
  writes to the king for reinforcements, 191, 192;
  decides to carry his resignation in person to the king, 196;
  establishes a chapter, 197, 198;
  sails for France, 198;
  to remain titular bishop until the consecration of his successor, 201;
  returns to Canada, 202, 220;
  ill-health, 205;
  reproves Saint-Vallier's extravagance, 206;
  an appreciation of, by Saint-Vallier, 209;
  a letter from Father La Chaise to, 238, 239;
  officiates during Saint-Vallier's absence, 244;
  his last illness, 249-53, 261, 262;
  his death, 263;
  and burial, 264-6

Laval University, 15, 99, 124

Leber, Mlle. Jeanne, 91, 92

Le Caron, Father, Récollet missionary, 3

Lejeune, Father, 25

Lemaître, Father, put to death by the Iroquois, 8;
  ministers to the plague-stricken on board the _St. André_, 31, 32

_Le Soleil d'Afrique_, 219

Lestrées, the abbey of, 136, 138, 185

Liquor traffic, the, forbidden by the Sovereign Council, 36;
  opposed by Laval, 36-9;
  the Sovereign Council gives unrestricted sway to, 113;
  again restricted by the council, 115, 116;
  a much discussed question, 169-75

Lorette, the village of, 74

Lotbinière, Louis René de, member of the Sovereign Council, 166

Louis XIV of France, recalls d'Avaugour, and sends more troops
    to Canada, 39;
  writes to Laval, 52, 53;
  petitions the Pope for the erection of an episcopal see
    in Quebec, 131, 132;
  demands that the new diocese shall be dependent upon the metropolitan
  of Rouen, 132, 133;
  granted the right of nomination to the bishopric of Quebec, 136;
  his decree of 1673, 159, 160;
  reproves Frontenac for his absolutism, 164, 165;
  orders Frontenac to investigate the evils of the liquor
    traffic, 171, 172;
  forbids intoxicating liquors being carried to the savages in their
  dwellings or in the woods, 174;
  contributes to the maintenance of the priests in Canada, 182, 183;
  his efforts to keep the Canadian officials in harmony, 186, 187;
  sends reinforcements, 192;
  grants Laval an annuity for life, 201;
  at war again, 235


Maisonneuve, M. de, governor of Montreal, 8, 16, 92, 176

Maizerets, M. Ange de, comes to Canada, 41;
  director of the Quebec seminary, 55, 56;
  accompanies Laval on a tour of his diocese, 189;
  archdeacon of the chapter established by Laval, 197;
  in charge of the diocese during Saint-Vallier's absence, 243

Mance, Mlle., establishes the Hôtel-Dieu Hospital in Montreal, 8;
  on board the plague-stricken _St. André_, 31;
  at the laying of the first stone of the church of Notre-Dame, 89;
  her death, 89;
  her religious zeal, 91, 92

Maricourt, Le Moyne de, 16;
  takes part in an expedition to capture Hudson Bay, 204

Marquette, Father, with Joliet explores the upper part of the
  Mississippi, 11, 59, 82, 146, 153;
  his death, 146, 147

Maubec, the abbey of, 131;
  incorporated with the diocese of Quebec, 136;
  a description of, 137

Membré, Father, descends the Mississippi with La Salle, 149, 150, 151

Mesnu, Peuvret de, secretary of the Sovereign Council, 158, 166

Métiomègue, Algonquin chief, joins Dollard, 69

Meulles, M. de, replaces Duchesneau as commissioner, 168, 185;
  replaced by Champigny, 204

Mézy, Governor de, 10;
  succeeds d'Avaugour, 41;
  disagrees with the bishop, 51;
  his death, 51, 52

Michilimackinac, 146, 149, 216

Millet, Father, pays a tribute to Garakontié, 73, 215

Mississippi River, explored by Marquette and Joliet as far as the
  Arkansas River, 11, 59, 82, 146;
  La Salle descends to its mouth, 150, 151

Monsipi, Fort (Hudson Bay), captured by the French, 204

Montigny, Abbé de, one of Laval's early titles, 7, 19

Montigny-sur-Avre, Laval's birthplace, 17

Montmagny, M. de, governor of New France, 8

Montmorency, Henri de, near kinsman of Laval, 18;
  beheaded by the order of Richelieu, 18

Montreal, the Island of, 8, 86;
  made over to the Sulpicians, 108, 175;
  the parishes of, united with the Seminary of St. Sulpice, 175, 176, 183

Montreal, the mission of La Montagne at, 9, 74;
  its first Roman Catholic church, 87-90;
  its religious zeal, 90-2;
  see also _Ville-Marie_

Morel, Thomas, director of the Quebec seminary, 55, 101;
  his arrest, 163;
  set at liberty, 164;
  his death, 219

Morin, M., quoted, 89, 90

Mornay, Mgr. de, Bishop of Quebec, 12

Mother Mary of the Incarnation, on Laval's devotion to the sick, 33;
  on his private life, 34, 254;
  on the results of the great earthquake, 45, 46;
  on the work of the Sisters, 79, 80;
  her religious zeal and fine qualities, 92, 93;
  Abbé Ferland's appreciation of, 93-5;
  speaks of the work of Abbé Fénelon and Father Trouvé, 109;
  on the liquor traffic, 113;
  sums up Talon's merits, 114;
  speaks of the colonists' children, 119;
  on civilizing the Indians, 125, 126;
  an appreciation of, by Abbé Verreau, 127;
  her death, 154;
  her noble character, 155

Mouchy, M. de, member of the Sovereign Council, 158


Nelson, Fort (Hudson Bay), held by the English against de Troyes'
  expedition, 204;
  captured by Iberville, 233

Newfoundland, English settlements attacked by Iberville, 232

Notre-Dame Church (Montreal), 87-90, 176

Notre-Dame de Bonsecours, chapel (Montreal), 176-9

Notre-Dame de Montréal, the parish of, 175, 176

Notre-Dame des Victoires, church of, 185

Noue, Father de, his death, 5


Oblate Fathers, their entry into New France, 1

Olier, M., founder of the Seminary of St. Sulpice, 5, 6, 25;
  places the Island of Montreal under the protection of the
    Holy Virgin, 8, 85;
  his death, 135;
  succeeded by Bretonvilliers, 162

Onondagas, the, 67

Ottawa Indians, threaten to re-open their feud with the Iroquois, 83, 215


Pallu, M., 23

Parkman, Francis, quoted, 34, 35

Péricard, Mgr. de, Bishop of Evreux, 21;
  his death, 22

Péricard, Michelle de, mother of Bishop Laval, 17;
  her death, 26

Peltrie, Madame de la, 92;
  establishes the Ursuline Convent in Quebec, 125;
  a description of, by Abbé Casgrain, 153, 154;
  her death, 154

Permanence of livings, a much discussed question, 169, 181, 184, 236

Perrot, François Marie, governor of Montreal, 89;
  his anger at Bizard, 160;
  arrested by Frontenac, 160, 164

Perrot, Nicholas, explorer, 82

Peyras, M. de, member of the Sovereign Council, 166

Phipps, Sir William, attacks Quebec, 11, 229-31

Picquet, M., 23

Plessis, Mgr., Bishop of Quebec, 13

Pommier, Hugues, comes to Canada, 41;
  director of the Quebec seminary, 55

Pontbriant, Mgr. de, Bishop of Quebec, 12

Pourroy de l'Aube-Rivière, Mgr., Bishop of Quebec, 12

Prairie de la Madeleine, 74, 232

Propaganda, the, 130, 131

Prudhomme, Fort, erected by La Salle, 150


Quebec, attacked by Phipps, 11, 229-31;
  the bishops of, 12;
  attacked by the Iroquois, 67-72;
  arrival of colonists (1665), 78, 79;
  the cathedral of, 84, 85;
  its religious fervour, 92;
  the Lower Town consumed by fire, 186;
  overwhelmed by disease and fire, 239

Quebec Act, the, 13

Queylus, Abbé de, Grand Vicar of Rouen for Canada, 7;
  comes to take possession of the Island of Montreal for the Sulpicians,
  and to establish a seminary, 8;
  disputes Laval's authority, 27;
  goes to France, 27;
  returns with bulls placing him in possession of the parish
    of Montreal, 28;
  suspended from office by Bishop Laval and recalled to France, 28;
  returns to the colony and is appointed grand vicar at Montreal, 28;
  his religious zeal, 92;
  his generosity, 107;
  returns to France, 134;
  his work praised by Talon, 134


Rafeix, Father, comes to Canada, 41

Récollets, the, their entry into New France, 1;
  refused permission to return to Canada after the Treaty of St.
  Germain-en-Laye, 3, 110;
  propose St. Joseph as the patron saint of Canada, 87;
  their popularity, 111, 112;
  build a monastery in Quebec, 112;
  espouse Frontenac's cause in his disputes with Duchesneau, 112;
  provide instruction for the colonists, 124;
  their establishment in Quebec, 208

_Régale_, the question of the right of, 184, 201

Ribourde, Father de la, 149;
  killed by the Iroquois, 149, 150

Richelieu, Cardinal, founds the Company of the Cent-Associés, 4;
  orders Henri de Montmorency to be beheaded, 18;
  referred to, 117

Rupert, Fort (Hudson Bay), captured by the French, 204


Sagard, Father, Récollet missionary, 3

Sainte Anne, the Brotherhood of, 101

Sainte Anne, the first sanctuary of, built by Laval, 101;
  gives place to a stone church erected through the efforts
    of M. Filion, 102;
  a third temple built upon its site, 102;
  the present cathedral built (1878), 102;
  the pilgrimages to, 102, 103

Sainte-Hélène, Andrée Duplessis de, 92

Sainte-Hélène, Le Moyne de, 16;
  takes part in an expedition to capture Hudson Bay, 204;
  his death at the siege of Quebec, 231

Saint-Vallier, Abbé Jean Baptiste de la Croix de, king's almoner, 199;
  appointed provisionally grand vicar of Laval, 201;
  leaves a legacy to the seminary of Quebec, 202;
  embarks for Canada, 202;
  makes a tour of his diocese, 203, 204;
  his extravagance, 206;
  pays a tribute to Laval, 209;
  leaves for France, 210;
  obtains a grant for a Bishop's Palace, 211;
  his official appointment and consecration as Bishop of Quebec, 202, 219;
  returns to Canada, 221;
  opens a hospital in Notre-Dame des Anges, 236;
  in France from 1700 to 1705, when returning to Canada is captured by
  an English vessel and kept in captivity till 1710, 242, 243;
  the object of his visit to France, 243

_St. André_, the, 27;
  the plague breaks out on board, 31, 32

Ste. Anne, Fort (Hudson Bay), captured by the French, 204

St. Bernardino of Siena, quoted, 35, 36

St. François-Xavier, adopted as the second special protector of
  the colony, 87

St. Ignace de Michilimackinac, La Salle's burying-place, 147

St. Joachim, the seminary of Quebec has a country house at, 12;
  the boarding-school at, established by Laval, 100, 124, 245;
  receives a remembrance from Laval, 199

St. Joseph, the first patron saint of Canada, 87

St. Malo, the Bishop of, 6, 7

St. Sulpice de Montréal, see _Seminary of St. Sulpice_

St. Sulpice, the priests of, see _Sulpicians_

Salignac-Fénelon, Abbé François de, goes to the north shore of Lake
  Ontario to establish a mission, 105, 108;
  teaches the Iroquois, 125;
  his sermon preached against Frontenac, 160, 161;
  his quarrel with Frontenac, 160-5;
  forbidden to return to Canada, 164

Sault St. Louis (Caughnawaga), the mission of, 9, 74, 147, 189

Sault Ste. Marie, the mission of, 11;
  addressed by Father Allouez, 104

Seignelay, Marquis de, Colbert's son, sends four shiploads of colonists
  to people Louisiana, 151, 152;
  postpones Laval's return to Canada, 211

Seigniorial tenure, 119, 120

Seminary, the, at Quebec, founded by Laval (1663), 10;
  the priests of, assist in defending Quebec against Phipps, 11, 12;
  Laval's ordinance relating to, 47, 48;
  its establishment receives the royal approval, 50;
  obtains permission to collect tithes from the colonists, 50;
  its first superior and directors, 55;
  affiliated with the Seminary of Foreign Missions at Paris, 57, 58;
  a smaller seminary built (1668), 58, 59, 97-9;
  the whole destroyed by fire (1701), 58, 240, 241;
  its union with the Seminary of Foreign Missions renewed, 140;
  receives a legacy from Saint-Vallier, 202;
  sends missionaries to Louisiana, 208;
  in financial difficulties, 211

Seminary of Foreign Missions at Paris, affiliated with the Quebec
  Seminary, 57, 58;
  contributes to the support of the mission at Ville-Marie, 136;
  its union with the Quebec Seminary renewed, 140;
  a union with the Seminary of St. Sulpice formed, 221

Seminary of Montreal, see _Ville-Marie Convent_

Seminary of St. Sulpice, the, founded by M. Olier, 5, 6, 25;
  enlarged, 90;
  its ancient clock, 90;
  takes up the financial obligations of the Company of Montreal, 135;
  joined to the parish of Notre-Dame de Montréal, 175, 176, 183;
  visited by Laval, 189;
  affiliated with the Seminary of Foreign Missions, 221

_Seine_, the, captured by the English with Saint-Vallier on board, 242, 243

Souart, M., 91, 92, 124

Sovereign Council, the, fixes the tithe at a twenty-sixth, 10;
  forbids the liquor trade with the savages, 36;
  registers the royal approval of the establishment of the
    Quebec Seminary, 50;
  recommends that emigrants be sent only from the north of France, 78;
  passes a decree permitting the unrestricted sale of liquor, 113;
  finds it necessary to restrict the liquor trade, 115, 116;
  its members, 158;
  judges Perrot, 160;
  its re-construction, 165-7;
  a division in its ranks, 167;
  passes a decree affecting the policy of the Quebec Seminary, 236

Sulpicians, their entry into New France, 1;
  become the lords of the Island of Montreal, 8, 108;
  their devotion to the Virgin Mary, 85;
  at Ville-Marie, 92;
  more priests arrive, 105, 106;
  their religious zeal, 109;
  provide instruction for the colonists, 124;
  granted the livings of the Island of Montreal, 175, 176;
  request the king's confirmation of the union of their seminary with
  the parishes on the Island of Montreal, 183, 184


Talon, intendant, appointed to investigate the administration
  of de Mézy, 51;
  his immigration plans opposed by Colbert, 80;
  writes to Colbert in praise of the Abbé de Queylus, 107;
  brings out five Récollet priests, 109;
  obtains from the Sovereign Council a decree permitting the unrestricted
  sale of liquor, 113;
  develops the resources of the country, 114, 115;
  returns to France for two years, 116;
  praises Abbé de Queylus' work, 134, 135;
  retires from office, 143

Taschereau, Cardinal, 40, 86

Tesserie, M. de la, member of the Sovereign Council, 158

Tilly, Le Gardeur de, member of the Sovereign Council, 158, 166, 167

Tithes, the levying of, on the colonists, 10, 50, 51, 54;
  payable only to the permanent priests, 55;
  the edict of 1679, 181;
  Laval and Saint-Vallier disagree upon the question of, 208, 209

Tonti, Chevalier de, accompanies La Salle as far as Fort Crèvecoeur, 148;
  attacked by the Iroquois and flees to Michilimackinac, 149;
  again joins La Salle and descends the Mississippi with him, 150;
  appointed La Salle's representative, 151

Tracy, Marquis de, viceroy, appointed to investigate the administration
  of de Mézy, 51;
  builds three forts on the Richelieu River, 53;
  destroys the hamlets of the Mohawks and concludes a treaty of peace
  with the Iroquois which lasts eighteen years, 53, 54, 82;
  reduces the tithe to a twenty-sixth, 54;
  returns to France, 81;
  his fine qualities, 81, 82;
  presents a valuable picture to the church at Sainte Anne, 102

Treaty of Ryswick, 234

Treaty of St. Germain-en-Laye, 3, 110

Treaty of Utrecht, 235

Trouvé, Claude, goes to the north shore of Lake Ontario to establish
  a mission, 105, 108

Troyes, Chevalier de, leads an expedition to capture Hudson Bay, 204

Turgis, Father, 62


Ursuline Convent (Quebec), established by Madame de la Peltrie, 112, 155;
  consumed by fire, 210

Ursuline Sisters, 33, 125, 154, 231


Valrennes, M. de, commands Fort Frontenac, 223, 232

Vaudreuil, Chevalier de, 214;
  in command at Montreal, 223;
  opposing the Iroquois at massacre of Lachine, 226, 227;
  succeeds Callières as governor of Montreal, 235

Verreau, Abbé, pays a tribute to Mother Mary of the Incarnation, 127

Viel, Father, Récollet missionary, 3

Vignal, Father, ministers to the plague-stricken on board
  the _St. André_, 31, 32;
  referred to, 8, 91, 92

Ville-Marie (Montreal), the school at, founded by Marguerite Bourgeoys, 9;
  the Abbé de Queylus returns to, 28;
  takes precautions against the Iroquois, 68;
  the school of martyrdom, 90, 91;
  fortified by Denonville, 213, 214;
  governed by Vaudreuil in Callières' absence, 223;
  besieged by Winthrop, 229;
  references, 82, 83, 85, 122, 124, 135, 162, 178, 217

Ville-Marie Convent, founded by Marguerite Bourgeoys, 126, 127, 175, 176

Villeray, M. de, writes to Colbert, 77, 78;
  member of the Sovereign Council, 166, 167

Vitré, Denys de, member of the Sovereign Council, 166


West India Company, 81

Winthrop, Fitz-John, attacks Montreal, 229, 231

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