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*** Declaration du Sieur de Mzy, 10 Mars, 1664.
THE NATCHEZ. word, and married Marie Magdeleine Charbonnier, late of
Jeune. Relation, 1657, 9.He passed up the lakes to Michilimackinac, and found his destined companion at Point St. Ignace, on the north side of the strait, where, in his palisaded mission-house and chapel, he had labored for two years past to instruct the Huron refugees from St. Esprit, and a band of Ottawas who had joined them. Marquette was born in 1637, of an old and honorable family at Laon, in the north of France, and was now thirty-five years of age. When about seventeen, he had joined the Jesuits, evidently from motives purely religious; and in 1666 he was sent to the missions of Canada. At first, he was destined to the station of Tadoussac; and to prepare himself for it, he studied the Montagnais language under Gabriel Druilletes. But his destination was changed, and he was sent to the Upper Lakes in 1668, where he had since remained. His talents as a linguist must have been great; for within a few years he learned to speak with ease six Indian languages. The traits of his character are unmistakable. He was of the brotherhood of the early Canadian missionaries, and the true counterpart of Garnier or Jogues. He was a devout votary of the Virgin Mary, who, imaged to his mind in shapes of the most transcendent loveliness with which the pencil of human genius has ever informed the canvas, was to him the object of an adoration not unmingled with a sentiment of chivalrous devotion. The longings of a sensitive heart, [Pg 60] divorced from earth, sought solace in the skies. A subtile element of romance was blended with the fervor of his worship, and hung like an illumined cloud over the harsh and hard realities of his daily lot. Kindled by the smile of his celestial mistress, his gentle and noble nature knew no fear. For her he burned to dare and to suffer, discover new lands and conquer new realms to her sway.
Though neither of the shocks had lasted longer than the short time required for a man to raise his arms and let them fall again, the result was terrible; two of the houses in the street sank crashing into the water with the hapless people on their roofs. Fortunately the ruins formed a heap large enough to enable most of the inmates to keep themselves above the tide until the boats could come to their assistance.
Lycon and Dorion now rowed the boat to Simonides277 house. There was only one person to be seen on the roofPaegnion.Suddenly light footsteps and mysterious whispers were heard at a little distance.
"Your chief says it is as if I were in my own country. This is not true; for there I am not so honored and caressed. He says it is as if I were in my own house; but in my own house I am some times very ill served, and here you feast me with all manner of good cheer." From this and many other replies, the French conceived that they had to do with a man of esprit. 235 Lycon started so that he almost upset the little table in front of the couch.