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      Stood waiting for Sir Richard Strachan;Dumouriez, the new Foreign Minister, advised the king to communicate this note to the Assembly without a moment's delay. There was immediate dissension in the royal council. This was the commencement of the division in the Gironde Ministry, which quickly destroyed it. Dumouriez proceeded, in the presence of the king, the rest of the Ministers, and a number of courtiers, on the 20th of April, to make that announcement which was to decide the fate of France and of Europe. Roland and the more determined Girondists had recommended that the king should himself make the declaration of war; but as the war itself was most repugnant to the king, Dumouriez had advised that he should only consult with the Assembly on the necessity of this declaration, and thus throw the responsibility on that body. There had been division of opinion amongst Ministers, and now Dumouriez read a detailed account of the negotiations with Austria, and then Louis, who looked jaded and anxious, stated that he had followed the recommendations of the Assembly, and of many of his subjects in various parts of France, in these negotiations, and, as they had heard the results, he put it to the Assembly whether they could any longer submit to see the dignity of the French people insulted, and the national security threatened. The speech was received with loud acclamations and cries of "Vive le Roi!" The President said they would deliberate, and the result was that a decree was passed resolving upon war. This resolve the Assembly justified by the declaration that the Emperor of Austria had concerted with the Emigrants and foreign princes to threaten the peace and the constitution of France; that he had refused to abandon these views and proceedings, and reduce his army to a peace establishment, as demanded of him by a vote of the 11th of March of this year; that he had declared his intention to restore the German princes by force to the possessions they had held[400] in Alsace, although the French nation had never ceased to offer them compensation; and that, finally, he had closed the door to all accommodation by refusing to reply to the dispatches of the king.

      When Ragueneau and his party left Isle St. Joseph for Quebec, the greater number of the Hurons chose to remain. They took possession of the stone fort which the French had abandoned, and where, with reasonable vigilance, they could maintain themselves against attack. In the succeeding 427 autumn a small Iroquois war-party had the audacity to cross over to the island, and build a fort of felled trees in the woods. The Hurons attacked them; but the invaders made so fierce a defence, that they kept their assailants at bay, and at length retreated with little or no loss. Soon after, a much larger band of Onondaga Iroquois, approaching undiscovered, built a fort on the main-land, opposite the island, but concealed from sight in the forest. Here they waited to waylay any party of Hurons who might venture ashore. A Huron war chief, named tienne Annaotaha, whose life is described as a succession of conflicts and adventures, and who is said to have been always in luck, landed with a few companions, and fell into an ambuscade of the Iroquois. He prepared to defend himself, when they called out to him, that they came not as enemies, but as friends, and that they brought wampum-belts and presents to persuade the Hurons to forget the past, go back with them to their country, become their adopted countrymen, and live with them as one nation. tienne suspected treachery, but concealed his distrust, and advanced towards the Iroquois with an air of the utmost confidence. They received him with open arms, and pressed him to accept their invitation; but he replied, that there were older and wiser men among the Hurons, whose counsels all the people followed, and that they ought to lay the proposal before them. He proceeded to advise them to keep him as a hostage, and send over his companions, with some of their chiefs, to open the negotiation. 428 His apparent frankness completely deceived them; and they insisted that he himself should go to the Huron village, while his companions remained as hostages. He set out accordingly with three of the principal Iroquois.

      francs a year, and asking at the same time for more, as he

      La Salle directed two of the men to make a canoe, and go to Michilimackinac, the nearest harborage. With the remaining two, he crossed the Detroit on a raft, and, striking a direct line across the country, reached Lake Erie not far from Point Pele. Snow, sleet, and rain pelted them with little intermission: and when, after a walk of about thirty miles, they gained the lake, the Mohegan and one of the Frenchmen were attacked with fever and spitting of blood. Only one man now remained in health. With his aid, La Salle made another canoe, and, embarking the invalids, pushed for Niagara. It was Easter Monday when they landed at a cabin of logs above the cataract, probably on the spot where the "Griffin" was built. Here several of La Salle's men had been left the year before, and here they still remained. They told him woful news. Not only had he lost the "Griffin," and her lading of ten thousand crowns in value, but a ship from France, freighted with his goods, valued at more than twenty-two thousand livres, had been totally wrecked at the mouth of the St. Lawrence; and of twenty hired men on their way from Europe to join him, some had been detained by his enemy, the Intendant Duchesneau, while all but four of the remainder, being told that he was dead, had found means to return home.Five days after this, February 10th, the matter was made public by Lord Darnley rising in the Upper House, and moving for an inquiry into the conduct of the Ministry. This roused up Lord Grenville, who candidly avowed that, in consequence of their failure to introduce the question of Catholic emancipation, the Ministers had resigned and only held office till a new Cabinet was formed. On this, Lord Darnley postponed his motion. On the same day, in the Commons, a letter from Addington, the Speaker, was read, announcing his resignation of the Speakership in consequence of the king's proposal to nominate him to a situation incompatible with that post. Pitt then rose and confirmed this, and proposed an adjournment till the next day in order to prepare for the nomination of the new Speaker. The House adjourned accordingly, and next day, the 11th of February, elected Sir John Mitford, the Attorney-General, as Speaker. Before the House could resume business, it was announced that the king was illconfined to the house by a severe cold; but it was soon known that it was a return of his old malady, lunacy, in consequence of his extreme agitation on the proposal of the Catholic question and the resignation of Pitt. The report was soon augmented into the startling rumour that the king was dangerously ill, and that a regency must take placeif not superseded by his death. At this news Fox, who had for some time absented himself from Parliament, on the plea that all endeavours to carry sound and prudent measures were hopeless with Pitt's great martial majority, hastened up to town from St. Anne's Hill; and the Whig body was in a flutter of expectation that he would soon be the Minister of the prince regent, or of George IV. But all these hopes were speedily overthrown by the news of the rapid improvement of the king, and on the 12th of March the royal physicians announced him perfectly recovered. He attributed his illness to Pitt's conduct, and the ex-Premier thereupon wrote and promised never to re-open the question again.


      After this the royal sitting was useless, as the king's authority was disregarded by the Third Estate. The Court had to learn that the Tiers tat had remained in their seats after the king and the nobles had retired. The Assembly then, on the motion of Mirabeau, declared its members[362] inviolable, and that whoever should lay a hand on any one of them was a traitor, infamous, and worthy of death.

      * Edits et Ord., I. 370.It was a strange and miserable spectacle to behold the savages of this continent at the time when the knell of their common ruin had already sounded. Civilization had gained a foothold on their borders. The long and gloomy reign of barbarism was drawing near its close, and their united efforts could scarcely have availed to sustain it. Yet, in this crisis of their destiny, these doomed tribes were tearing each other's throats in a wolfish fury, joined to an intelligence that served little purpose but mutual destruction.


      **** Lalemant, Journal des Jsuites, Sept., 1661.This movement of the western Iroquois had a double incentive, their love of fighting and their 75 love of gain. It was a war of conquest and of trade. All the five tribes of the league had become dependent on the English and Dutch of Albany for guns, powder, lead, brandy, and many other things that they had learned to regard as necessities. Beaver skins alone could buy them, but to the Iroquois the supply of beaver skins was limited. The regions of the west and north-west, the upper Mississippi with its tributaries, and, above all, the forests of the upper lakes, were occupied by tribes in the interest of the French, whose missionaries and explorers had been the first to visit them, and whose traders controlled their immense annual product of furs. La Salle, by his newly built fort of St. Louis, engrossed the trade of the Illinois and Miami tribes; while the Hurons and Ottawas, gathered about the old mission of Michillimackinac, acted as factors for the Sioux, the Winnebagoes, and many other remote hordes. Every summer they brought down their accumulated beaver skins to the fair at Montreal; while French bush-rangers roving through the wilderness, with or without licenses, collected many more. [5]



      The Iroquois had not yet found them out; nor did they discover them till they had had ample time to fortify themselves. Meanwhile, on a Sunday, they would stroll at their leisure over the adjacent meadow and in the shade of the bordering forest, where, as the old chronicler tells us, the grass was gay with wild-flowers, and the branches with the flutter and song of many strange birds. [1] 23 Mars, 1665.