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CONTENTS OF VOL. XII
PREFACE TO VOL. XII
Following is a synopsis of the concluding portion of Part I. of Le Jeune's Relation of 1637,—the first installment thereof having been published in Vol. XI. of our series:
XXIX. Le Jeune commences chap. x. of his Relation of 1637, by describing the character and practices of the medicine men (whom the missionaries call " sorcerers ''), and discusses the question whether these persons really have intercourse with the devil; he inclines to the opinion that such is the case. He goes on to recount certain superstitious beliefs, current among the natives, regarding various matters — the genesis of thunder, eclipses, and other natural phenomena; the condition of departed souls; and the destiny of the human race. The curious legend of Tchakabecha wonderful dwarf, who climbed to the sky, and caught the sun in a net-is also narrated.
The writer then describes the foundation at Quebec of a seminary for Huron boys. After many difficulties, it was opened with three pupils, a number afterwards doubled. The seminary soon meets a great loss in the death of its two most promising lads, Tsiko and Satouta, as the result of over-eating. They, however, passed away in a pious frame of mind, and were baptized just before that event. The
remaining seminarists are doing well in both secular and religious studies, and prove surprisingly apt therein, as well as docile in behavior; they wish to remain always with the missionaries, who hope that these heretofore wild youths may be induced to become tillers of the soil, thus affording a needed example to their fellow-savages.
Le Jeune recounts the hindrances to their work from the credulity of the natives, influenced by various false reports spread among them concerning the smallpox epidemic which, that year, had ravaged all Canada. This and other misfortunes were attributed to the French, and especially to the preachers of the new faith; these are considered by the Indians as sorcerers, who have bewitched them, and the tribesmen have sometimes threatened the lives of the Jesuits. The seminary is for a time in danger of ruin; but a turn in affairs, with a novena of masses in honor of St. Ignace, restores it to safety; and new pupils are sent down from the Huron country.
Brébeuf has sent a letter of "instructions for the Fathers of our Society who shall be sent to the Hurons," which is here given in full. Among these, are injunctions to "never make the savages wait for you in embarking; take, at first, everything they offer, although you may not be able to eat it all,for when one gets somewhat accustomed to it, there is not too much; do not be at all annoying to even one of these barbarians; do not ask too many questions; try always to be cheerful; " etc.
Le Jeune concludes his relation by the usual " Journal" of the year's events. In September he had gone with Montmagny to Three Rivers and the Richelieu River; and in October he had visited Beau