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· stood enough of French to know that he was being
tried for piracy, and that he might hang. The case ended, and the Judge, gravely considering all the evidence, sentenced him to twelve years' penal servitude in the colony.
In despair, the young convict went out of court, heaving a sigh and, with tears starting from his eyes, murmured:
"Farewell, father, mother and all friends of my childhood. I will never see you again;" and the little chapel bell swung in the church of St. Louis, at Caughnawaga, to summon the people to the worship of God.
THE FAIR ACADIAN.
She never told her love,
-SHAKESPEARE. PRIOR to the French and Indian wars, the French emigrants upon the lakes of the north were principally from Picardy and Normandy, in France. They were mainly at the posts which had been founded for the purpose of extending the dominion and religion of France, and prosecuting the fur trade into the Indian country, from which source the courts of Europe derived their richest and most gorgeous furs. The most marked features of these posts were the fort and chapel, surrounded with patches of cultivated land, and the wigwams of the Indians. Their population was composed of a commandant, Jesuits, soldiers, traders, halfbreeds and savages, all of whom belonged to a system of machinery in religion and trade.
Besides the commandants, the most prominent individuals at these trading posts were the French merchants. The old French merchant, at his post, was the head man of the settlement. Careful, frugal, without much enterprise, judgment or rigid virtue, he was employed in procuring skins from the Indians or traders in exchange for manufactured goods. He kept on good terms with the Indians and frequently fostered a large number of half-breed children, the offspring of his licentiousness.
The Coureurs des Bois, or rangers of the woods, were either French or half-breeds, a hardy race, accustomed to labor and deprivation and thoroughly conversant with the character and habits of the Indians, from whom they procured their cargoes of furs. They were equally skilled in propelling a canoe, fishing, hunting, trapping, or sending a ball from their rifle“ to the right eye of the buffalo.” If of mixed blood, they generally spoke the language of their parents, the French and Indians, and had just enough of their religion to be regardless of both. Employed by aristocratic French fur companies as voyageurs or guides, their forms were developed to the fullest vigor, by propelling the canoe through the lakes and streams, and by carrying large packs of goods across the portage of the interior by straps suspended from
their foreheads or shoulders. These voyageurs knew every rock and island, bay and shoal of the western waters.
The ordinary dress of the white portion of the Canadian French traders was a cloth passed about the middle, a loose shirt, a “ molton” or blanket coat and a red milled, or worsted, cap. The half-breeds were semi-savage in their dress as well as their character and appearance. They sometimes wore a surtout of coarse blue cloth, reaching down to the mid-leg, elk-skin trousers, with seams adorned with fringes, a scarlet woollen sash tied around the waist, in which was stuck a broad knife, to be used in dissecting the carcasses of animals taken in hunting, buck-skin moccasins and a cap made of the same material with surtout.
The pilots of the lakes were active agents in the fur trade. Gliding in their canoes through the upper lakes, encamping with the Indians in the solitude of the forests, they returned to the posts, which stood like light-houses of civilization on the borders of the wilderness, as sailors from the ocean, to whom they were similar in character. They were lavish of their money in dress and licentiousness. They ate, drank and played all their earnings away, so long as their goods held out, and when these were gone, they sold their embroidery, their laces and clothes, after which
they were forced to go on another voyage for subsistence.
Such was the character of the French Canadian at the time of which we write. There were isolated spots where simplicity, culture and innocence ruled; but in most localities the French settlers were hard and brutal. One of the chief exceptions, perhaps, was Acadia. Grand Pre was noted for its mild inhabitants, its people who loved and worshipped God according to their own fashion, but who had little sympathy with the barbarous actions of Hertel de Rouville. One of the chief merchants and most wealthy and influential citizens of Grand Pre was a Monsieur De Vere, who, it was hinted, had powerful friends near the throne.
Monsieur De Vere was a widower with but one child, Adele, a bright-eyed, fair-faced maiden, noted for her beauty and gentleness. She was her father's pride and joy, and, notwithstanding she was badly petted and spoiled by her doting parent, who granted her every wish, her sweet disposition and strong common sense made her a favorite with all.
In the year 1711, Monsieur De Vere went to Quebec to learn if any effort was being made to dislodge the English at Port Royal, and, at her earnest solicitation, Mademoiselle Adele was per