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obliged to stop it entirely, when suspicions of their witchcraft had reached an uncontrollable height. The following, from among several pictures of their home life, will be read with interest:
“ In respect to the commodities of life, the Jesuits were but a step in advance of the Indians. Their house, though well ventilated by numberless crevices in its bark walls, always smelt of smoke, and, when the wind was in certain quarters, was filled with it to suffocation. At their meals, the Fathers sat on logs around the fire, over which their kettle was slung in the Indian fashion. Each had his wooden platter, which, from the difficulty of transportation, was valued, in the Huron country, at the price of a robe of a beaver-skin, or a hundred francs. Their food consisted of sagamite, or “mush, made of pounded Indian-corn, boiled with scraps of smoked fish. Chaumonot compares it to the paste used for papering the walls of houses. The repast was occasionally varied by a pumpkin or squash baked in the ashes, or, in the season, by Indian corn roasted in the ear. They used no salt whatever. They could bring their cumbrous pictures, ornaments, and vestments through the savage journey of the Ottawa; but they could not bring the common necessaries of life. By day, they read and studied by the light that streamed in through the large smoke-holes in the roof; at night, by the blaze of the fire. Their only candles were a few of wax, for the altar. They cultivated à patch of ground, but raised nothing on it except wheat, for making the sacramental bread. Their food was supplied by the Indians, to whom they gave, in return, cloth, knives, awls, needles, and various trinkets. Their supply of wine for the Eucharist was so scanty, that they limited themselves to four or five drops for each mass.
“ Their life was regulated with a conventual strictness. At four in the morning, a bell roused them from the sheets of bark on which they slept. Masses, private devotions, reading religious books, and breakfasting, filled the time until eight, when they opened their door and admitted the Indians. As many of these proved intolerable nuisances, they took what Lalemant calls the honnête liberty of turning out the most intrusive and impracticable, — an act performed with all tact and courtesy, and rarely taken in dudgeon. Having thus winnowed their company, they catechized those that remained, as opportunity offered. In the intervals, the guests squatted by the fire and smoked conspicuous, it was necessary that one or more of the Fathers should remain on guard at the house all day. The rest went forth on their missionary labors, baptizing and instructing, as we have seen. To each priest who could speak Huron (seven in 1638, and three more learning it] was assigned a certain number of houses,— in some instances as many as forty ; and as these often had five or six fires, with two families to each, his spiritual flock was as numerous as it was intractable. It was his care to see that none of the number died without baptism, and by every means in his power to commend the doctrines of his faith to the acceptance of those in health.
“ As among the Spartan virtues of the Hurons that of thieving was
“ At dinner, which was at two o'clock, grace was said in Huron, for the benefit of the Indians present, — and a chapter of the Bible was read aloud during the meal. At four or five, according to the season, the Indians were dismissed, the door closed, and the evening spent in writing, reading, studying the language, devotion, and conversation on the affairs of the mission.”
The influence of the Jesuits upon the Indians was undoubtedly a good one, and was at one time beginning to be consid. erably felt. Mr. Parkman seems to think that it left lasting traces. If that were so, they must have been very slight; for the tribes who had the most generally embraced the doc. trines, and begun to be affected in their lives by the principles which they taught, were almost wholly exterminated, and their remnants hopelessly dispersed, by a hostile people, . who warred against the French and Christianity with almost as much pertinacity as they did against the Hurons. The Iroquois nation, which effected this total overthrow of the hopes and the labors of the Jesuits, might possibly have brought about this result by their superior organization, if no white men had come to America. The feud between them and the Hurons, a nation not unconnected with them in lineage and language, was one of those quarrels, growing out of mutual arrogance and mutual contempt, which appear to have been the occupation of all powerful tribes in the country, at the time of its settlement by Europeans, and as far back as meagre Indian tradition then went. Similar feuds had already depopulated many parts of New England and Canada; and the solitude which the Iroquois made on
the shores of the St. Lawrence was only a repetition, before the eyes of a civilized world, of a drama which had been often played before by these savage races.
But it was the coming of the whites which insured to the Iroquois a triumph, which their superior political organization assisted, but perhaps could not alone have secured. In the years while the French Fathers were attempting to temper the brutality of the Hurons with something of the form, if not the spirit, of Christianity, the Dutch settlers at Fort Orange, now Albany, were supplying the Iroquois with muskets and powder, in ex. change for furs. The result was easily to be foretold. The French, at the first settlement of Montreal, indeed gave away a few guns as rewards to converts; but the guns and converts were both few. The four hundred Dutch muskets and a few swivels in the hands of the Iroquois more than counterbalanced the advice, the assistance, and the prayers that the French priests could give to the Hurons; and this first attempt to carry Christianity to the heathen of the St. Lawrence was defeated by the destruction of the people to whom the message was brought.
Mr. Parkman believes, that, if the missionaries could have restrained the Iroquois, or converted them, their dream of spreading their religion over the land might have been realized:
“Savages," he says, “tamed, — not civilized, for that was scarcely possible, — would have been distributed in communities through the valleys of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi, ruled by priests in the interest of Catholicity and of France. Their habits of agriculture would have been developed, and their instincts of mutual slaughter repressed. The swift decline of the Indian population would have been arrested; and it would have been made, through the fur-trade, a source of prosperity to New France. Unmolested by Indian enemies, and fed by a rich commerce, she would have put forth a vigorous growth. True to her far-reaching and adventurous genius, she would have occupied the West with traders, settlers, and garrisons, and cut up the virgin wilderness into fiefs, while as yet the colonies of England were but a weak and broken line along the shore of the Atlantic; and when at last the great conflict came, England and Liberty would have been confronted, not by a depleted antagonist, still feeble from the exhaustion of a starved and persecuted infancy, but by an athletic champion of the principles of Richelieu and of Loyola."— pp. 447, 448.
There is probably truth in this suggestion, that the cause of liberty in North America owes its foothold, in some measure, to the ferocity of the Iroquois, who, thus early in the day, foiled the plans of the enemies of liberty, by ruining the trade and threatening the existence of the colony of New France. But it is also probable, and for reasons that Mr. Parkman has well brought forward in other parts of his book, that the methods of colonization and of trade, which were necessarily adopted by the absolutism of Richelieu as well as that of Loyola, were unfitted in themselves, however favorable the conditions, to people and control a region so vast, and so distant from those who intended to domineer over it. Canada was settled, and was to be settled, only by good Catholics, who — for that matter- had no motive to leave their homes for the wilderness. The Huguenots, who would gladly have come, were strictly forbidden. The trade was farmed out to companies, the land was granted in large seigniories.. As Mr. Parkman remarks, the best part of the feeble population of Canada was bound to perpetual chastity; and the fur-traders, who at best hate to see population increase and drive to a distance the fur-bearing animals, for other reasons rarely brought their wives to the new country. The feudal system of sending leaders and soldiers and servants to possess the country, and to send back its products for the benefit of capitalists or rulers at home, was not one suited to the task of making a nation out of a wilderness. The French colony must have been weak from the internal frame and basis upon which it was constructed, even if it had not met the sturdy blows of the Iroquois, which “made all its early years a misery and a terror.”
ART. VI. — REVIEW OF CURRENT LITERATURE.
It is more than twelve years since, in speaking with Mr. John Chapman of the possibility of some portions of Ewald's great work being given to the English public, we learned of a translation already commenced by Dr. Nicholson, the same which makes part of the present publication.* This interval of time gives some hint of the deliberateness with which the task has been done, and also of the circumstances which justify now an enterprise of which the need was felt so long ago.
For it is during this interval that the whole Colenso controversy has had its rise and duration ; that many works have aimed to sketch, in whole or in part, the great field covered by the Hebrew history; that Bible dictionaries have familiarized the public with many details of the learning bestowed upon it; and especially that Stanley's loose and rhetorical, yet popular and captivating, volumes have quickened the desire of deeper and more accurate knowledge than he could himself undertake to give. The name of Ewald, whether as historian or as critic, stands prominent before all others in this freshly opened field; and the student, who needs a first-hand acquaintance with the leading authorities, will be grateful for this very adequate rendering of one fragment of his principal work.
It is the peculiarity of Ewald's dealing with this topic, that he has recast, in his own fashion, not only the historical material with which he deals, but all the preliminary and incidental matter that gathers about it, putting his own image and superscription on every stone of the edifice, before he would build it into his structure. This work is flanked by a whole library of subordinate works of his own composing. He has his own system of Hebrew grammar, chronology, antiquities, and interpretation; his own theory of the age and authorship of every literary fragment; his own versions and annotations of every ballad, song, prophecy, discourse, idyl, or religious hymn, of which the Hebrew Scriptures are composed. Whenever an interpretation or a date is possible, different from that of every existing commentator, this
* The History of Israel to the Death of Moses. By HEINRICH EWALD, Professor of the University of Göttingen. Translated from the German. Edited, with a Preface, by RUSSELL MARTINEAU, Professor of Hebrew in Manchester New College. London : Longmans, Green, & Co. 8vo, pp. 656.