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"If somebody offered you a fortune would you turn it down?"
Since the middle of the seventeenth century a change had come over the Jesuit missions of New France. Nothing is more striking or more admirable than the self-devoted apostleship of the earlier period. The movement in Western Europe known as the Renaissance was far more than a revival of arts and letters,it was an awakening of intellectual, moral, and religious life; the offspring of causes long in action, and the parent of other movements in action to this day. The Protestant Reformation was a part of it. That revolt against Rome produced a counter Renaissance in the bosom of the ancient Church herself. In presence of that peril she woke from sloth and corruption, and girded herself to beat back the invading heresies, by force or by craft, by inquisitorial fires, by the arms of princely and imperial allies, and by the self-sacrificing enthusiasm of her saints and martyrs. That time of danger produced the exalted zeal of Xavier and the intense, thoughtful, organizing zeal of Loyola. After a century had passed, the flame still burned, and it never shone with a purer or brighter radiance than in the early missions of New France.
The defeated and humbled troops proceeded to reoccupy the ground they had left a few days before in the flush of confidence and pride; and young Colonel Williams, of Massachusetts, lost no time in sending the miserable story to his uncle Israel. His letter, which is dated "Lake George (sorrowful situation), July ye 11th," ends thus: "I have told facts; you may put the epithets upon them. In one word, what with fatigue, want of 115[Pg 276]The constant aim of the Canadian authorities was to keep these western savages at peace among themselves, while preventing their establishing relations of trade with the Five Nations, and carrying their furs to them in exchange for English goods. The position was delicate, for while a close understanding between the western tribes and the Five Nations would be injurious to French interests, a quarrel would be still more so, since the French would then be forced to side with their western allies, and so be drawn into hostilities with the Iroquois confederacy, which of all things they most wished to avoid. Peace and friendship among the western tribes; peace without friendship between these tribes and the Five Nations,thus became maxims of French policy. The Canadian governor called the western Indians his "children," and a family quarrel among them would have been unfortunate, since the loving father must needs have become involved in it, to the detriment of his trading interests.
 Nicolas de la Salle au Ministre, 7 Septembre, 1706.