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Couture, though he had incensed the Indians by killing one of their warriors, had gained their admiration by his bravery; and, after torturing him most savagely, they adopted him into one of their families, in place of a dead relative. Thenceforth he was comparatively safe. Jogues and Goupil were less fortunate. Three of the Hurons had been burned to death, and they expected to share their fate. A council was held to pronounce their doom; but dissensions arose, and no result was reached. They were led back to the first village, where they remained, racked with suspense and half dead with exhaustion. Jogues, however, lost no opportunity to baptize dying infants, while Goupil taught children to make the sign of the cross. On one occasion, he made the sign on the forehead of a child, grandson of an Indian in whose lodge they lived. The superstition of the old savage was aroused. Some Dutchmen had told him that the sign of the cross came from the Devil, and would cause mischief. He thought that Goupil was bewitching the child; and, resolving to rid himself of so dangerous a guest, applied for aid to two young braves. Jogues and Goupil, clad in their squalid garb of tattered skins, were soon after walking together in the forest that adjoined the 224 town, consoling themselves with prayer, and mutually exhorting each other to suffer patiently for the sake of Christ and the Virgin, when, as they were returning, reciting their rosaries, they met the two young Indians, and read in their sullen visages an augury of ill. The Indians joined them, and accompanied them to the entrance of the town, where one of the two, suddenly drawing a hatchet from beneath his blanket, struck it into the head of Goupil, who fell, murmuring the name of Christ. Jogues dropped on his knees, and, bowing his head in prayer, awaited the blow, when the murderer ordered him to get up and go home. He obeyed but not until he had given absolution to his still breathing friend, and presently saw the lifeless body dragged through the town amid hootings and rejoicings.
But the surprise of Antwerp and the destruction of the docks of Flushing were determined upon; and Lord Chatham, rather for his name than for any military talent that he possessed, was appointed the commander of the forces. Lord Chatham was so notorious for his sluggish and procrastinating nature, that he had long been nicknamed the late Lord Chatham; the justice of this epithet had been too obvious in all the offices that he had hitherto held; and yet this expedition which demanded the utmost promptness and active skill, was entrusted to him. At the head of the fleet was placed Sir Richard Strachan, a man of no energy. The commander of the ships on such an occasion should have been Lord Cochrane, for Sir Sidney Smith was already engaged on the coast of Italy. The orders for each commander were extremely loose and indefinite thereby leaving every chance of disputes and consequent delays and mishaps; and, to complete the disgraceful management of the Government, no inquiries had been made as to the healthiness or unhealthiness of the district where the army would have to encamp. Though the island of Walcheren had been occupied by our troops under William III., no record was to be found, or, indeed, was sought for, as to the cost of life to our men on that occasion from the climate. The whole plan was laid in ignorance and carried out with carelessness, and it was no wonder, therefore, that it ended in misery and disgrace.Acte qui prouve que les Sieurs Chevrier de Fancamps et Royer de la Dauversire n'ont stipul qu'au nom de la Compagnie de Montreal, MS.
FEARS FOR TONTY.Having thus arranged with the natives, Clive came to the far more arduous business of compelling the Europeans to conform to the orders of the Company, that no more presents should be received. In his letters home he recommended that to put an end to the examples of corruption in high places, it was necessary that the Governor of Bengal should have a larger salary; that he and others of the higher officers should be prohibited from being concerned in trade; that the chief seat of government should be at Calcutta; and the Governor-General should have the authority, in cases of emergency, to decide independently of the Council. These were all sound views, but to carry them out required the highest exercise of his authority. He exacted a written pledge from the civil servants of the Company that they would receive no more presents from the native princes. To this there was considerable objection, and some resigned; but he carried this through, nominally at least. To sweeten the prohibition of civil servants engaging in trade, he gave them a share in the enormous emoluments of the salt monopolytwo hundred per cent. being laid on the introduction of salt, one of the requisites of life to the natives, from the adjoining state of Madras into that of Bengal.
The American disasters had now to be criticised in Parliament. On the 20th of November the two Houses met, and Lord Chatham rose instantly to reply, and to move an amendment on the Address. He attacked the Ministry with a still more personal and sweeping censure than he had done once before. "Can Ministers," he asked, "presume to expect a continuance of support in their career of ruinous infatuation? Can Parliament be so dead to its dignity and its duty as to be deluded into the loss of the one and the violation of the other? Will they continue to give an unlimited credit and support to Government in measures which are reducing this flourishing empire to ruin and contempt? But yesterday, and England might have stood against the world; now, none so poor to do her reverence! I use the words of a poet; but, though it be poetry, it is no fiction. It is a shameful truth, that not only the power and strength of this country are wasting away and expiring, but her well-earned glories, her true honour and substantial dignity, are sacrificed. France, my lords, has insulted you; she has encouraged and sustained America; and, whether America be wrong or right, the dignity of this country ought to spurn at the officious insult of French interference!" It is certain that Chatham would not have tolerated the presence of Franklin and Deane in Paris for a single day; they must have quitted France, or France would have been instantly compelled to throw off the mask. At this time, when the news neither of Howe's success in the south nor of Burgoyne's fall in the north had arrived, Chatham seemed to see in prophetic vision the disasters of the latter general. "The desperate state of our army," he said, "is, in part, known. No man thinks more highly of our troops than I do. I love and honour the English troops. I know that they can achieve anything but impossibilities; and I know that the conquest of English America is an impossibility. You cannotI venture to say ityou cannot conquer America! You may swell every expense and every effort still more extravagantly; pile and accumulate every assistance that you can buy or borrow; traffic and barter with every little, pitiful German prince that sells and sends his subjects to the shambles of a foreign prince; your efforts are for ever vain and impotentdoubly so from this mercenary aid on which you rely; for it irritates to an incurable resentment the minds of your enemies, to overrun them with the mercenary sons of rapine and plunder, devoting them and their possessions to the rapacity of hireling cruelty! If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I would never lay down my armsnevernevernever!" On the subject of employing Indians in the war against the Americans, willing to forget that he had done the same thing in Canada, he burst forth most indignantly: "But, my lords, who is the man that, in addition to these disgraces and mischiefs of our army, has dared to authorise and associate to our arms the scalping-knife and tomahawk of the savage? to call into civilised alliance the wild and inhuman savage of the woods? to delegate to the merciless Indian the defence of disputed rights, and to wage the horrors of this barbarous war against our brethren? My lord, these enormities cry aloud for redress and punishment. Unless done away, it will be a stain on the national characterit is a violation of the Constitution; I believe it is against the law. It is not the least of our national misfortunes, that the strength and character of our army are thus impaired; infected with the mercenary spirit of robbery and rapinefamiliarised to the horrid scenes of savage cruelty, it can no longer boast of the noble and generous principles which dignify a soldier!" He then proceeded to give the Americans credit still for a natural leaning towards England; believed that they might be drawn from their alliance with France; and recommended, by his amendment, an immediate cessation of arms, and a treaty between the countries, by which he hoped that America would yet be retained in affectionate dependence.THE RETURN.
98 The Onondagas, moved by the influence of the Jesuit and the gifts of La Barre, did in fact wish to act as mediators between their Seneca confederates and the French; and to this end they invited the Seneca elders to a council. The meeting took place before the arrival of Viele, and lasted two days. The Senecas were at first refractory, and hot for war, but at length consented that the Onondagas might make peace for them, if they could; a conclusion which was largely due to the eloquence of Big Mouth.