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      LA SALLE'S EXPLORATIONS.Myrtale had no brother, but was a so-called inheriting daughter.W As there was no kinsman whom she could wed and endow with her fortune, Simonides had bequeathed his whole property, amounting to twenty talents, to his friend Polycles on condition that he should marry Myrtale. If Polycles was not willing to do this, he was to inherit only two talents and then use his best judgment in choosing a husband for the young girl who, in such a case, was to keep all the rest of the fortune as a dowry.


      The discovery of the "Great West," or the valleys of the Mississippi and the Lakes, is a portion of our history hitherto very obscure. Those magnificent regions were revealed to the world through a series of daring enterprises, of which the motives and even the incidents have been but partially and superficially known. The chief actor in them wrote much, but printed nothing; and the published writings of his associates stand wofully in need of interpretation from the unpublished documents which exist, but which have not heretofore been used as material for history.Lycon and Dorion now rowed the boat to Simonides277 house. There was only one person to be seen on the roofPaegnion.

      In the summer of 1647 the Hurons dared not go down to the French settlements, but in the following year they took heart, and resolved at all risks to make the attempt; for the kettles, hatchets, and knives of the traders had become necessaries of life. Two hundred and fifty of their best warriors therefore embarked, under five valiant chiefs. They made the voyage in safety, approached Three Rivers on the seventeenth of July, and, running their canoes ashore among the bulrushes, began to grease their hair, paint their faces, and otherwise adorn themselves, that they might appear after a befitting fashion at the fort. While they were thus engaged, the alarm was sounded. Some of their warriors had discovered a large body of Iroquois, who for several days had been lurking in the forest, unknown to the French garrison, watching their opportunity to strike a blow. The Hurons 374 snatched their arms, and, half-greased and painted, ran to meet them. The Iroquois received them with a volley. They fell flat to avoid the shot, then leaped up with a furious yell, and sent back a shower of arrows and bullets. The Iroquois, who were outnumbered, gave way and fled, excepting a few who for a time made fight with their knives. The Hurons pursued. Many prisoners were taken, and many dead left on the field. [1] The rout of the enemy was complete; and when their trade was ended, the Hurons returned home in triumph, decorated with the laurels and the scalps of victory. As it proved, it would have been well, had they remained there to defend their families and firesides.

      There was another council, between which and that of the subordinate chiefs the line of demarcation seems not to have been very definite. The Jesuit Lafitau calls it "the senate." Familiar with the Iroquois at the height of their prosperity, he describes it as the central and controlling power, so far, at least, as the separate nations were concerned. In its character it was essentially popular, but popular in the best sense, and one which can find its application only in a small community. Any man took part in it whose age and experience qualified him to do so. It was merely the gathered wisdom of the nation. lviii Lafitau compares it to the Roman Senate, in the early and rude age of the Republic, and affirms that it loses nothing by the comparison. He thus describes it: "It is a greasy assemblage, sitting sur leur derrire, crouched like apes, their knees as high as their ears, or lying, some on their bellies, some on their backs, each with a pipe in his mouth, discussing affairs of state with as much coolness and gravity as the Spanish Junta or the Grand Council of Venice." [49]


      Of the six Jesuits gathered in the refectory for the evening meal, one was conspicuous among the rest,a tall, strong man, with features that seemed carved by Nature for a soldier, but which the mental habits of years had stamped with the visible impress of the priesthood. This was Jean de Brbeuf, descendant of a noble family of Normandy, and one of the ablest and most devoted zealots whose names stand on the missionary rolls of his Order. His companions were Masse, Daniel, Davost, De Nou?, and the Father Superior, Le Jeune. Masse was the same priest who had been the companion of Father Biard in the abortive mission of Acadia. [6] By reason of his useful qualities, Le Jeune nicknamed him "le Pre Utile." At present, his special function was the care of the pigs and cows, which he kept in the inclosure around the buildings, lest they should ravage the neighboring fields of rye, barley, wheat, 6 and maize. [7] De Nou? had charge of the eight or ten workmen employed by the mission, who gave him at times no little trouble by their repinings and complaints. [8] They were forced to hear mass every morning and prayers every evening, besides an exhortation on Sunday. Some of them were for returning home, while two or three, of a different complexion, wished to be Jesuits themselves. The Fathers, in their intervals of leisure, worked with their men, spade in hand. For the rest, they were busied in preaching, singing vespers, saying mass and hearing confessions at the fort of Quebec, catechizing a few Indians, and striving to master the enormous difficulties of the Huron and Algonquin languages.As he drew near the opening of the channel, the Hochelaga again spread before him the broad expanse of its waters. A mighty promontory, rugged and bare, thrust its scarped front into the surging current. Here, clothed in the majesty of solitude, breathing the stern poetry of the wilderness, rose the cliffs now rich with heroic memories, where the fiery Count Frontenac cast defiance at his foes, where Wolfe, Montcalm, and Montgomery fell. As yet, all was a nameless barbarism, and a cluster of wigwams held the site of the rock-built city of Quebec. Its name was Stadacone, and it owned the sway of the royal Donnacona.


      And Lycon laughed again.[244] In the passages omitted above, for the sake of brevity, the Ohio is mentioned as being called also the Olighin- (Alleghany) Sipou, and Chukagoua; and La Salle declares that he takes possession of the country with the consent of the nations dwelling in it, of whom he names the Chaouanons (Shawanoes), Kious, or Nadouessious (Sioux), Chikachas (Chickasaws), Motantees (?), Illinois, Mitchigamias, Arkansas, Natchez, and Koroas. This alleged consent is, of course, mere farce. If there could be any doubt as to the meaning of the words of La Salle, as recorded in the Procs Verbal de la Prise de Possession de la Louisiane, it would be set at rest by Le Clerc, who says: "Le Sieur de la Salle prit au nom de sa Majest possession de ce fleuve, de toutes les rivires qui y entrent, et de tous les pays qu'elles arrosent." These words are borrowed from the report of La Salle (see Thomassy, 14). A copy of the original Procs Verbal is before me. It bears the name of Jacques de la Metairie, Notary of Fort Frontenac, who was one of the party.


      to the seignior. Though these radical measures were not executed, many changes were decreed from time to time in the relations between seignior and censitaire, sometimes as a simple act of sovereign power, and sometimes on the ground that the grants had been made with conditions not recognized by the Coutume de Paris. This was the code of law assigned to Canada; but most of the contracts between seignior and censitaire had been agreed upon in good faith by men who knew as much of the Coutume de Paris as of the Capitularies of Charlemagne, and their conditions had remained in force unchallenged for generations. These interventions of government sometimes contradicted each other, and often proved a dead letter. They are more or less active through the whole period of the French rule.