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La Salle's illness increased. "I was walking with him one day," writes Joutel, "when he was seized of a sudden with such a weakness that he could not stand, and was obliged to lie down on the ground. When he was a little better, I led him to a chamber of a house that the brothers Duhaut had hired. Here we put him to bed, and in the morning he was attacked by a violent fever." "It was so violent that," says another of his shipmates, "his imagination pictured to him things equally terrible and amazing." He lay delirious in the wretched garret, [Pg 369] attended by his brother, and one or two others who stood faithful to him. A goldsmith of the neighborhood, moved at his deplorable condition, offered the use of his house; and Abb Cavelier had him removed thither. But there was a tavern hard by, and the patient was tormented with daily and nightly riot. At the height of the fever, a party of Beaujeu's sailors spent a night in singing and dancing before the house; and, says Cavelier, "The more we begged them to be quiet, the more noise they made." La Salle lost reason and well-nigh life; but at length his mind resumed its balance, and the violence of the disease abated. A friendly Capucin friar offered him the shelter of his roof; and two of his men supported him thither on foot, giddy with exhaustion and hot with fever. Here he found repose, and was slowly recovering, when some of his attendants rashly told him the loss of the ketch "St. Fran?ois;" and the consequence was a critical return of the disease.
All that appears to the eye is his intrepid conflict with obstacles without; but this, perhaps, was no more arduous than the invisible and silent strife of a nature at war with itself,the pride, aspiration, and bold energy that lay at the base of his character battling against the superficial weakness that mortified and angered him. In such a man, the effect of such an infirmity is to concentrate and intensify the force within. In one form or another, discordant natures are common enough; but very rarely is the antagonism so irreconcilable as it was in him. And the greater the antagonism, the greater the pain. There are those in whom the sort of timidity from which he suffered is matched with no quality that strongly revolts against it. These gentle natures may at least have peace, but for him there was no peace. * Carte... des pays traversez par MM. de Tracy et
The expedition of one Le Sueur to what is now the State of Minnesota may be taken as the starting-point of these enterprises. Le Sueur had visited the country of the Sioux as early as 1683. He returned thither in 1689 with the famous voyageur Nicolas Perrot. Four years later, Count Frontenac sent him to the Sioux country again. The declared purpose of the mission was to keep those fierce tribes at peace with their neighbors; but the governor's enemies declared that a contraband trade in beaver was the true object, and that Frontenac's secretary was to have half the profits. Le Sueur returned after two years, bringing to Montreal a Sioux chief and his squaw,the first of the tribe ever seen there. He then went to France, and represented to the court that he had built a fort at Lake Pepin, on the[Pg 349] upper Mississippi; that he was the only white man who knew the languages of that region; and that if the French did not speedily seize upon it, the English, who were already trading upon the Ohio, would be sure to do so. Thereupon he asked for the command of the upper Mississippi, with all its tributary waters, together with a monopoly of its fur-trade for ten years, and permission to work its mines, promising that if his petition were granted, he would secure the country to France without expense to the King. The commission was given him. He bought an outfit and sailed for Canada, but was captured by the English on the way. After the peace he returned to France and begged for a renewal of his commission. Leave was given him to work the copper and lead mines, but not to trade in beaver-skins. He now formed a company to aid him in his enterprise, on which a cry rose in Canada that under pretence of working mines he meant to trade in beaver,which is very likely, since to bring lead and copper in bark canoes to Montreal from the Mississippi and Lake Superior would cost far more than the metal was worth. In consequence of this clamor his commission was revoked.
CHAPTER XII.It is clear enough from what quiver these arrows came. From the first, Frontenac had set himself in opposition to the most influential of the Canadian clergy. When he came to the colony, their power in the government was still enormous, and even the most devout of his predecessors had been forced into conflict with them to defend the civil authority; but, when Frontenac entered the strife, he brought into it an irritability, a jealous and exacting vanity, a love of rule, and a passion for having his own way, even in trifles, which made him the most exasperating of adversaries. Hence it was that many of the clerical party felt towards him a bitterness that was far from ending with his life.
overstep these bounds in any manner whatsoever. Consider this as a matter of the greatest importance, and one to which you cannot give too much attention. * But, the prudent minister elsewhere writes, it is of the greatest consequence that the bishop and the Jesuits do not perceive that the intendant blames their conduct. **
livres, besides blighting the colonies placed under its