111The 19th we embarqu'd upon the River Ouisconsinc, and being favour'd by a slack Current, arriv'd in four days at the place, where it empties it self into the River Missisipi, which is about half a League broad in that part. The force of the Current, and the breadth of that River, is much the same as that of the Loire. It lies North-East, and South-West; and its sides are adorn'd with Meadows, lofty Trees and Firs. I observ'd but two Islands upon it, though there may be more, which the darkness of the Night hid from us as we came down. The 23d we landed upon an Island in the River Missisipi, over against the River I spoke of but now, and were in hopes to find some wild Goats there, but had the ill fortune to find none. The day after we crost to t'other side of the River, sounding it every where, as we had done the day before, and found nine foot water in the shallowest place.
The 1122d of November we made the Mouth of the Long River, having first stem'd several rapid Currents of that River, though 'twas then at lowest Ebb. In this little passage we kill'd several wild Beeves which we broil'd, and catch'd several large Dabs. On the 3d we enter'd the Mouth of the Long River, which looks like a Lake full of Bull-rushes; we found in the middle of it a narrow Channel, upon which we steer'd till Night, and then lay by to sleep in our Canows. In the Morning I enquir'd of my ten Outagamis, if we had far to sail before we were clear of the Rushes, and receiv'd this anfwer, that they had never been in the Mouth of that River before, though at the same time they assur'd me, that about twenty Leagues higher, the Banks of it were clad with Woods and Meadows. But after all we did not sail fo far, for about ten a Clock next Morning the River came pretty narrow, and the Shoar was cover'd with lofty Trees; and after continuing our course the rest of that day, we had a prospest of Meadows now and then. That same Night we landed at a point of Land, with a design to dress our broil'd Meat, for at that time we had none fresh.
The next day we stop'd at the first Island we saw, in which we found neither Man nor Beast; and the Evening drawing near, I was unwilling to venture far into it, so we e'en contented our selves with the catching of some sorry Fish. The 6th a gentle Gale sprung up, which wafted us to another Island about 12 Leagues higher, where we landed. Our passage to this place was very quick, notwithstanding the great calm that always prevails upon this River, which I take to be the least rapid River in the World. But the quickness of the passage was not the only surprisal, for I was amaz'd that I saw no Harts, nor Bucks, nor Turkeys, having met with 'em all along in the other parts of my Discovery. The 7th the same Wind drove us 113to a third Island, that lay ten or twelve Leagues off the former, which we quitted in the Morning. In this third Island our Savages kill'd thirty or forty Pheasants, which I was not ill pleas'd with.
The 8th the Wind proving unserviceable to us, by reason that 'twas intercepted by Hills cover'd with Firs, we ply'd our Oars; and about two in the Afternoon, descry'd on the left Hand large Meadows, and some Hutts at the distance of a quarter of a League from the River. Upon this Discovery, our Savages and ten of the Soldiers jump'd upon the shoar, and directed their course to the Houses, where they found fifty or sixty Huntsmen prepar'd to receive 'em, with their Bows and Arrows. As soon as the Huntsmen heard the voice of the Outagamis, they threw down their Arms, and presented the Company with some Deer that they had just kill'd, which they likewise help'd to carry to my Canows. The Benefactors were some of the Eokoros, who had left their Villages, and come thither to hunt. I presented 'em, more out of Policy, than Acknowledgment, with Tobacco, Knives and Needles, which they could not but admire. Upon this, they repair'd with expedition to their Villages, and gave their Associates to understand, what a good sort of People they had met with; which had so much influence, that the next day towards the Evening, there appear'd upon the River side above two thousand Savages, who fell a dancing as soon as they descry'd us. Thereupon, our Outagamis went ashoar, and after a short Conference, some of the principal Savages imbarqu'd on board of our Canows, and fo we all steer'd to the chief Village, which we did not reach till Midnight. I order'd our Hutts to be made up on a point of Land near a little River, at the distance of a quarter of a League from the Village. Though the Savages press'd me extreamly to lodge in one of their Villages, yet none 114went with 'em but the Outagamis, and the four Outaouas, who at the same time caution'd the Savages not to approach to our Camp in the Night-time. Next day I allow'd my Soldiers to refresh and rest themselves; and went my self to visit the Grandees of this Nation to whom I gave Presents of Knives, Cissars, Needles, and Tobacco. They gave me to understand, that they were infinitely well pleas'd with our arrival in their Country, for that they had heard the Savages of other Nations speak very honourably of the French. I took leave of 'em on the 12th, and set out with a Convoy of five or six hundred Savages, who march'd upon the shoar, keeping pace with our Canows. We pass'd by another Village that lay to the right Hand, and stop'd at a third Village that was five Leagues distant from the first, but did not dismibarque: For all that I design'd, was to make a Present to the leading Men of the Village, from whom I receiv'd more Indian Corn, and broil'd or dry'd Meat, than I had occasion for. In fine, I pass'd from Village to Village without stopping, unless it were to incamp all Night, or to present the Savages with some Trinkets; and so steer'd on to the last Village, with a design to get some Intelligence.
As soon as we arriv'd at the end of this Village, the Great Governour, who indeed was a venerable old Gentleman, sent out Hunters to bring us good Cheer. He inform'd me, that fixty Leagues higher I should meet with the Nation of the Essanapes, who wag'd War with him; that if it had not been for their being at War, he would have given me a Convoy to their Country; that, however he mean'd to give up to me six Slaves of that Country, which I might carry home, and make use of as I saw occasion; and that in sailing up the River, I had nothing to fear, but the being surpriz'd In the Night-time. In fine, after he had instructed me in several very useful Circumstances, I immediately 115made every thing ready for my Departure.
The Commanders of this People acquainted me, that they had twelve Villages peopled by 20000 Warriours; that their number was much greater before the War, which they wag'd at one time with the Nadonessis, the Panimoha, and the Essanapes. The People are very civil, and so far from a wild Savage temper, that they have an Air of Humanity and Sweetness. Their Hutts are long, and round at the top, not unlike those of our Savages; but they are made of Reeds and Bulrushes, interlac'd and cemented with a sort of fat Earth. Both the Men and the Women go naked all over, excepting their Privities. The Women are not so handsom, as those who live upon the Lakes of Canada. There seems to be something of Government and Subordination among this People; and they have their Houses fortified with the branches of Trees, and Fascines strengthen'd with fat Earth.
The 21st we imbarqu'd at the break of day, and landed that Night in an Island cover'd with Stones and Gravel, having pass'd by another at which I would not put in, because I would not slight the opportunity of the Wind, which then stood very fair. Next day the Wind standing equally fair, we set out and continued our course all that Day, and the following Night; for the six Essanapes inform'd us, that the River was clean, and free from Rocks and Beds of Sand. The 23 we landed early in the Morning on the right side of the River, in order to careen one of our Boats that sprung a Leak. While that was a doing, we drest some Venison that had been presented me by the Commander of the last Village of the Eokoros; and the adjacent Country being replenish'd with Woods, the Savages of our Company went a shooting in the Forests; but they saw nothing but small Fowls, that they did not think fit to shoot at. As soon as we reimbarqu'd, the Wind fell all of a sudden, and so 116we were forc'd to ply the Oars; but most of the Crew having slept but little the Night before, they row'd but very faintly, which oblig'd me to put in at a great Island two Leagues higher; the six Essanapes Slaves having inform'd me, that this Island afforded great plenty of Hares, which I found to be true. These Animals had a lucky Instinct in taking shelter in this Island, for there the Woods are so thick, that we were forc'd to set fire to several places, before we could dislodge 'em.
Having made an end of our Game, my Soldiers fed heartily, and thereupon fell so sound asleep, that I could scarce get 'em wak'd upon a false Alarm, occasion'd by a Herd of Wolves that made a noise among the Thickets upon the Continent. We reimbarqued next day at ten a Clock in the Morning, and did not run above twelve Leagues in two days, by reason that the Savages of our Company would needs walk along the River side with their Guns, to shoot Geese and Ducks; in which they had very good Success. After that we incampt just by the Mouth of a little River on the right Hand, and the Essanapes Slaves gave me notice, that the first of their Villages was not above fixteen or eighteen Leagues off. Upon this Information, I sent, by the advice of the Savages of our Company, two of the Slaves to give notice of our arrival. The 26th we row'd briskly, in hopes to reach the first Village that day; but being retarded by the huge quantities of floating Wood, that we met in several places, we were forc'd to continue all Night in our Canows. The 27th about ten or eleven a Clock we approach'd to the Village, and after putting up the great Calumet of Peace upon the Prow of our Canows, lay upon our Oars.
Upon our first appearance, three or four hundred Essanapes came running to the shoar, and, after dancing just over against us, invited us ashoar. As soon 117as we came near the shoar, they began to jump into our Canows; but I gave 'em to know by the four Essanapes Slaves, that I desir'd they should retire, which they did immediately. Then I landed, being accompany'd with the Savages of our Company, namely, the Outagamis, and the Outaouas, and with twenty Soldiers. At the same time I gave orders to my Sergeants, to land and post Centries. As we stood upon the shoar, all the Essanapes prostrated themselves three or four times before us, with their Hands upon their Foreheads; after which we were convoy'd to the Village with such Acclamations of Joy, as perfectly stun'd us. Upon our arrival at the Gate, our Conductors stop'd us, till the Governour, a Man of fifty years of Age, march'd out with five or six hundred Men arm'd with Bows and Arrows. The Outagamis of my Company perceiving this, charg'd 'em with Insolence in receiving Strangers with their Arms about 'em, and call'd out in the Eokoros Language, that they ought to lay down their Arms. But the Essanapes Slaves that I had sent in the day before, came up to me, and gave me to understand, that 'twas their custom to stand to their Arms on such occasions, and that there was no danger in the case. However, the obstinate Outagamis oblig'd us to retire immediately to our Canows: Upon which the Leading Officer, and the whole Battalion, flung their Bows and Arrows aside all on a sudden. Then I return'd, and our whole Company enter'd the Village with their Fusees in their Hands, which the Savages admir'd mightily. The Leader of the Savages conducted us to a great Hutt, which look'd as if no body had liv'd in it before. When I and my twenty Soldiers had enter'd the place, they stop'd the Outagamis, affirming, that they did not deserve the priviledge of entring within the Cottage of Peace, since they had endeavour'd to create a difference, and occasion 118a War between us and the Essanapes. In the mean time I order'd my Men to open the Door, and to call out to the Outagamis, that they should offer no manner of Injury: But the Outagamis in stead of coming in, press'd me to return with all expedition to the Canows, which accordingly I did, without loss of time, and carry'd with me the four Essanapes Slaves, in order to leave 'em at the first Village we came to. We had no sooner imbarqued, than the two other Slaves came to acquaint me that the Governor would stop me in his River; but the Outagamis made answer, that he could not do that, without throwing a Mountain into it. In fine, we did not stand to dispute the matter; and tho' 'twas then late, we row'd straight to the next Village, which lay about three Leagues off. During the time of this passage, I us'd the precaution of taking from my six Slaves an exact information of the Constitution of their Country, and particularly of the principal Village. They having assur'd me, that the Capital Canton was seated upon a fort of a Lake, I took up a Resolution of not stopping at the other Villages, where I should only lose time, and lavish my Tobacco, and steering diredtly to the Metropolitan in order to complain to their Generalissimo.
We arriv'd at the Capital Canton on the 3d of November [sic.], and there met with a very honourable Reception. The Outagamis of our Company complain'd of the affront they had receiv'd; but the Head General being already inform'd of the matter, made answer, that they ought to have carry'd off the Governour or Leading Officer, and brought him along with them. In passing from the first Village to this we run fifty Leagues, and were follow'd by a Procession of People, that were much more sociable than the Governour that offer'd us that Affront. After our Men had fitted up our Hutts at 119the diftance of a Cannon shot from the Village; we went in a joynt body with the Outagamis and the Outaouas, to the Cacick of that Nation; and in the mean time the Essanapes Slaves were brought before him by ten of my Soldiers. 1 was actually in the presence of this petty King, when these Slaves spent half an hour in prostrating themselves several times before him. I made him a Present of Tobacco, Knives, Needles, Cissars, two Firelocks with Flints, some Hooks, and a very pretty Cutlas. He was better satisfied with these trifling things, which he had never seen before, than I could have been with a plentiful Fortune. He testified his Acknowledgment of the Gift, by a Counter-present that was more solid, though not much more valuable, as consisting of Pease, Beans, Harts, Roe-bucks, Geese and Ducks, of which he sent great plenty to our Camp: And indeed, we were extreamly well satisfied with such a seasonable Present. He gave me to know, That, since I design'd to visit the Gnacsitares, he would give me a Convoy of two or three hundred Men: That the Gnacsitares were a very honest sort of People; and that both they and his People were link'd by a common interest in guarding off the Mozeemlek, which were a turbulent and warlike Nation. He added, that the Nation last mention'd were very numerous; that they never took the Field without twenty thousand Men at least: That to repres the Incursions and Insults of that dangerous Enemy, the Gnacsitares and his Nation had maintain'd a Confederacy for six and twenty years; and that his Allies (the Gnacsitares) were forc'd to take up their Habitation in Islands, where the Enemy cannot reach 'em. I was glad to accept of his Convoy, and return'd him many thanks. I ask'd four Pirogues of him, which he granted very frankly, allowing me to pick and choose that number out of fifty. Having thus concerted my Measures, I 120was resolv'd to lose no time; and with that view order'd my Carpenters to plane the Pirogues; by which they were thinner and lighter by one half. The poor innocent People of this Country, could not conceive how we work'd with an Axe; every stroke we gave they cry'd out, as if they had seen some new Prodigy; nay, the firing of Pistols could not divert 'em from that Amazement, though they were equally strangers both to the Pistol and the Axe. As soon as my Pirogues were got ready, I left my Canows with the Governour or Prince, and beg'd of him that they might remain untouch'd by any body; in which point he was very faithful to me.
I cannot but acquaint you in this place, that the higher I went up the River, I met with more discretion from the Savages. But in the mean time I must not take leave of the last Village, without giving some account of it. 'Tis bigger than all the rest, and is the Residence of the Great Commander or Generalissimo, whose Apartment is built by it self towards the side of the Lake, and surrounded with fifty other Apartments, in which all his Relations are lodg'd. When he walks, his way is strow'd with the leaves of Trees: But commonly he is carry'd by six Slaves. His Royal Robes are of the same Magnificence with those of the Commander of the Okoros: For he is naked all over, excepting his lower parts, which are cover'd with a large Scarf made of the barks of Trees. The large extent of this Village might justly intitle it to the name of a City. The Houses are built almost like Ovens, but they are large and high; and most of 'em are of Reeds cemented with fat Earth. The day before I left this place, as I was walking about, I saw thirty or forty Women running at full speed; and being surpris'd with the spectacle, spoke to the Outagamis to order my four Slaves to see what the matter was; for these Slaves were my only Interpreters in 121this unknown Country. Accordingly they brought me word, that 'twas some new married Women, who were running to receive the Soul of an old Fellow that lay a dying. From thence I concluded, that the People were Pythagoreans; and upon that Apprehension, ask'd 'em how they came to eat Animals, into which their Souls might be transfus'd: But they made answer, that the Transmigration of Souls is always confin'd to the respective Species, fo that the Soul of a Man cannot enter into a Fowl, as that of a Fowl cannot be lodg'd in a quadruped, and so on. The Okoros, of both Sexes, are fully as handsom and as clever, as this People.
December the 4th, I took leave of this Village, having ten Soldiers on board of my Pirogue, besides the ten Oumamis [sic.], the four Outaouas, and the four Essanapes Slaves, that I have mention'd so often. Here ended the Credit and Authority of the Calumet of Peace, for the Gnacsitares are not acquainted with that Symbol of Concord. The first day we had enough to do to run six or seven Leagues, by reason of the Bulrushes with which the Lake is incumber'd. The two following days we sail'd twenty Leagues. The 4th day a West-North-West wind surpris'd us with such a boisterous violence, that we were forc'd to put ashoar, and lay two days upon a sandy Ground, where we were in danger of starving for Hunger and Cold; for the Country was so barren, that we could not find a chip of Wood wherewith to warm our selves, or to dress our Victuals; and as far as our Eye could reach, there was nothing to be seen but Fens cover'd with Reeds and Clay, and naked Fields. Having indur'd this Hardship we set out again, and row'd to a little Island, upon which we incamp'd, but found nothing there but green Fields; however, to make some amends we fish'd up great numbers of little Trouts, upon which we fed very heartily.
At last, after 122sailing six days more, we arriv'd at the Point or Lands-end of that Island which you see mark'd in my Map with a Flower-de-luce. 'Twas then the 19th day of December, and we had not yet felt all the rigorous Hardships of the Cold. As soon as I had landed and fitted up my Tents or Hutts, I detach'd my Essanapes Slaves to the first of the three Villages that lay before us; for I had avoided stopping at some Villages in an Island upon which we coasted in the Night-time. The Slaves return'd in a great Alarm, occasion'd by the unfavourable Answer they receiv'd from the Gnacsitares, who took us for Spaniards, and were angry with them for conducting us to their Country. I shall not be minute in every Particular that happen'd, for fear of tyring your Patience. 'Tis sufficient to acquaint you, that upon the Report of my Slaves I immediately embark'd, and posted my self in another Island that lay in the middle between the great Island and the Continent; but I did not suffer the Essanapes to be in my Camp. In the mean time the Gnacsitares sent expeditious Couriers to the People that live eighty Leagues to the Southward of them, to desire they would send some of their number to examine us; for that People were suppos'd to be well acquainted with the Spaniards of New Mexico. The length of the Journey did not discourage 'em, for they came as chearfully as if it had been upon a National Concern: and after taking a view of our Cloaths, our Swords, our Fusees, our Air, Complexion, and manner of Speech, were forc'd to own that we were not true Spaniards? These Considerations, join'd to the Account I gave 'em of the Reasons upon which I undertook the Voyage, of the War we were ingag'd in against Spain, and of the Country to the Eastward that we possess'd; these, I say, had so much influence, as to undeceive 'em. Then they invited me to encamp in their Island, and brought me a sort of 123Grain not unlike our Lentils, that grows plentifully in that Country. I thank'd 'em for their Invitation, and told 'em that I would not be oblig'd to distrust them, nor give them any occasion to distrust me. However, I cross'd with my Savages and ten Soldiers well arm'd; and after breaking the Ice in certain places (for it had freez'd hard for ten or twelve days) I landed within two Leagues of one of their Villages, to which I walk'd up by Land. 'Tis needless to mention the Particulars of the Ceremony with which I was receiv'd, it being the same with what I describ'd upon other occafions; I shall only take occasion to acquaint you, that my Presents made a wonderful Impression upon the Minds of these People, whom I shall call a rascally Rabble, tho' at the same time they are the politest Nation I have yet seen in this Country. Their Governour bears the Figure of a King more than any of the other Commanders of the Savages. He has an absolute Dominion over all the Villages which are describ'd in my Map. In this and the other Islands I saw large Parks, or Inclosures, stock'd with wild Beeves for the use of the People. I had an Interview for two hours together with the Governour, or the Cacick; and almost our whole Conference related to the Spaniards of New Mexico, who, as he assured me, were not distant from his Country above eighty Tazous, each of which is three Leagues. I must own indeed, I was as curious upon this Head as he was; and I wanted an Account of the Spaniards from him, as much as he did from me: In fine, we reciprocally inform'd one another of a great many Particulars relating to that Head. He requested me to accept of a great House that was prepar'd for me; and his first: piece of Civility consisted in calling in a great many Girls, and pressing me and my Retinue to serve our selves. Had this Temptation been thrown in our way at a more seasonable time, it had prov'd irresistible; but 'twas not an agreeable Mess 124for Passengers that were infeebled by Labour and Want. Sine Cerere & Baccho friget Venus. After he made us such a civil Proffer, the Savages, upon my inftance, represented to him, that my Detachment expected me at a certain hour, and that if I stay'd longer, they would be in pain for me. This Adventure happen'd on the 7th of January.
Two days after, the Cacick came to see me, and brought with him four hundred of his own Subjects, and four Mozeemlek Savages, whom I took for Spaniards. My Mistake was occafion'd by the great difference between these two American Nations; for, the Mozeemlek Savages were cloath'd, they had a thick bushy Beard, and their Hair hung down under their Ears; their Complexion was swarthy, their Address was civil and submissive, their Meen grave, and their Carriage engaging. Upon these Considerations I could not imagine that they were Savages, tho' after all I found my self mistaken. These four Slaves gave me a Description of their Country, which the Gnacsitares represented by way of a Map upon a Deer's Skin; as you see it drawn in this Map. Their Villages stand upon a River that springs out of a ridge of Mountains, from which the Long River likewise derives its Source, there being a great many Brooks there which by a joint Confluence form the River. When the Gnacsitares have a mind to hunt wild Beeves, they set out in Pirogues, which they make use of till they come to the Cross mark'd thus (+) in the Map, at the Confluence of two little Rivers. The Hunting of the wild Bulls, with which all the Valleys are cover'd in Summer, is sometimes the occasion of a cruel War: For the other Cross (+) which you fee in the Map is one of the Boundaries or Limits of Mozeemlek; and if either of these two Nations advances but a little beyond their Limits, it gives Rise to a bloody Engagement. The Mountains I spoke of but now, are six Leagues broad, and so high 125that one must cast an infinity of Windings and Turnings before he can cross 'em. Bears and wild Beasts are their only Inhabitants.
The Mozeemleck Nation is numerous and puissant. The four Slaves of that Country inform'd me, that at the distiance of 150 Leagues from the Place where I then was, their principal River empties it self into a Salt Lake of three hundred Leagues in Circumference, the mouth of which is about two Leagues broad: That the lower part of that River is adorn'd with six noble Cities, surrounded with Stone cemented with fat Earth: That the Houses of these Cities have no Roofs, but are open above like a Platform, as you see 'em drawn in the Map: That besides the abovemention'd Cities, there were above an hundred Towns, great and small, round that sort of Sea, upon which they navigate with such Boats as you see drawn in the Map: That the People of that Country made Stuffs, Copper Axes, and several other Manufactures, which the Outagamis and my other Interpreters could not give me to understand, as being altogether unacquainted with such things: That their Government was Despotick, and lodg'd in the hands of one great Head, to whom the rest paid a trembling Submission: That the People upon that Lake call themselves Tahuglauk, and are as numerous as the Leaves of Trees, (such is the Expression that the Savages use for an Hyperbole:) That the Mozeemlek People supply the Cities or Towns of the Tahuglauk with great numbers of little Calves, which they take upon the abovemention'd Mountains: and, That the Tahuglauk make use of these Calves for several ends for, they not only eat their Flesh, but bring 'em up to Labour, and make Cloaths, Boots, &c. of their Skins. They added, That 'twas their Misfortune to be took Prisoners by the Gnacsitares in the War which had lasted for eighteen Years; but, that they hoped a Peace would be speedily concluded, 126upon which the Prisoners would be exchang'd, pursuant to the usual Custom. They glory'd in the possession of a greater measure of Reason than the Gnacsitares could pretend to, to whom they allow no more than the Figure of a Man; for they look upon 'em as Beasts otherwise. To my mind, their Notion upon this Head is not so very extravagant; for I observ'd so much Honour and Politeness in the Conversation of these four Slaves, that I thought I had to do with Europeans: But, after all, I must confess, that the Gnacsitares are the most tractable Nation I met with among all the Savages. One of the four Mozeemlek Slaves had a reddish sort of a Copper Medal hanging upon his Neck, the Figure of which is reprefented in the Map. I had it melted by Mr. de Tonti's Gun-smith, who understood something of Mettals; but it became thereupon heavier, and deeper colour'd, and withal somewhat tractable. I desir'd the Slaves to give me a circumstantial Account of these Medals; and accordingly they gave me to understand, that they are made by the Tahuglauk, who are excellent Artizans, and put a great value upon such Medals. I could pump nothing farther out of 'em, with relation to the Country, Commerce and Customs of that remote Nation. All they could say was, that the great River of that Nation runs all along Westward, and that the salt Lake into which it falls is three hundred Leagues in Circumference, and thirty in breadth, its Mouth stretching a great way to the Southward. I would fain have satisfied my Curiosity in being an eye-witness of the Manners and Customs of the Tahuglauk; but that being impracticable, I was forc'd to be instructed at second hand by these Mozeemlek Slaves; who assur'd me, upon the Faith of a Savage, that the Tahuglauk wear their Beards two Fingers breadth long; that their Garments reach down to their Knees; that they cover their Heads with a sharp-pointed Cap; that they 127always wear a long Stick or Cane in their hands, which is tipp'd, not unlike what we use in Europe; that they wear a sort of Boots upon their Legs which reach up to the Knee; that their Women never shew themselves, which perhaps proceeds from the same Principle that prevails in Italy and Spain; and, in fine, that this People are always at War with the puissant Nations that are seated in the Neighbourhood of the Lake; but withal, that they never disquiet the strowling Nations that fall in their way, by reason of their Weakness: An admirable Lesson for some Princes in the World, who are so much intent upon the making use of the strongest hand.
This was all I could gather upon that Subject. My Curiosity prompted me to desire a more particular Account; but unluckily I wanted a good Interpreter: and having to do with several Persons that did not well understand themselves, I could make nothing of their incoherent Fustian. I presented the poor miserable Slaves with something in proportion to the Custom of that Country, and endeavour'd to perswade 'em to go with me to Canada, by making 'em such Offers as in their esteem would appear like Mountains of Gold: but the love they had for their Country stifled all Perswasion; so true it is, that Nature reduc'd to its just Limits cares but little for Riches.
In the mean time it began to thaw, and the Wind chop'd about to the South-west; upon which I gave notice to the great Cacique of the Gnacsitares, that I had a mind to return to Canada. Upon that occasion I repeated my Presents; in compensation of which, my Pirogues were stow'd with Beef as full as they could hold. This done, I embark'd, and cross'd over from the little Island to the Continent, where I fix'd a great long Pole, with the Arms of France done upon a Plate of Lead. I set out the 26th of January, and arriv'd safe on the 5th of February in the Country 128of the Essanapes. We had much more pleasure in sailing down the River, than we had in going up; for we had the agreeable diversion of seeing several Huntsmen shooting the Water-Fowl, that are plentiful upon that River. You must know, that the Stream of the Long River is all along very slack and easie, abating for about three Leagues between the fourteenth and fifteenth Village; for there indeed its Current may be call'd rapid. The Channel is so straight, that it scarce winds at all from the Head to the Lake. 'Tis true 'tis not very pleasant; for most of its Banks have a dismal Prospect, and the Water it self has an ugly Taste: but then its Usefulness attones for such Inconveniencies; for, 'tis navigable with the greatest ease, and will bear Barques of fifty Tun, till you come to that place which is mark'd with a Flower-de-luce in the Map, and where I put up the Post that my Soldiers christen'd la Hontau's Limit. March 2. I arriv'd in the Missisipi, which was then much deeper and more rapid than before, by reason of the Rains and Land-floods.