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itso oppressed him, that what was about the
very best passage in his life was the one of all
others he would not have owned to on any
account, and the only one that made him
ashamed of himself.


OF the numerous books that have been
published on the colonisation of Canada by
the French, there are few more entertaining
than a work printed during the last century,
which bears the singular title of Adventures
of the Sieur Lebeau, Advocate of the
Parliament; or, New and Curious Travels
amongst the Savages of North America.*

* Aventures du Sieur Lebeau, Avocat au Parlement,
ou Voyages Curieux et Nouveaux parmi les
Sauvages de l'Amérique Septentrionale.

The Sieur Lebeau was one who, it appears,
had not thriven by his profession, and he
laboured under the additional disadvantage
of having given offence to certain persons of
condition; in consequence of which he
became desirous of leaving France; and, early
in the year seventeen hundred and twenty-
nine, exerting what interest he possessed,
obtained a letter of recommendation to
Monsieur Hocquart, who had just been named
Intendant of Canada, and was about to set
out for that country. This letter, he was
assured, would procure him a situation in
one of the Intendant's offices, and, full of
hope, he set out for La Rochelle, where he
was to embark. On his way to that port, he
fell in with one of those groups which were
at that time frequently to be seen on the
high road of France. It was a chain of convicts
who were being conducted to the vessel
destined to transport them to penal servitude
in Canada. Some of them were poachers,
who had been improvident enough to exercise
their calling on the royal domain; but the
greater part were the younger scions of good
families, whom their friends, in the most
affectionate manner, were desirous to get rid
of. Amongst the latter class were the
Chevalier de Courbuisson, nephew of the
Attorney-General of the Parliament of Paris;
M. de Narbonne, son of the Commissary of
Versailles; the Chevalier de Beauvillé, of
the province of Picardy; and the Chevalier
Texé, of Paris. De Narbonne had been
arrested in his own apartments, just as he
was preparing to dress for the day, and he
now appeared in a splendid chintz dressing-
gown lined with blue taffeta, with slippers
embroidered in silver. Short work had been
made with all these gentlemen; they were
carried to Bicêtre without trial, and then
sent off to the port of embarkation.

On Lebeau's arrival at La Rochelle, he
went on board the vessel called the Elephant,
where he expected to meet Monsieur
Hocquart; but once there, he discovered
that his letter of recommendation was only a
trap; that he was himself a prisoner, and
that he was to proceed to Canada in the same
capacity as the nobleman in the chintz
dressing-gown and his sixteen friends.

The Elephant made a prosperous voyage
until she reached the mouth of the river St.
Lawrence, where she was wrecked; the crew
and passengers, however, escaped, and were
humanely treated by the colonists already
settled there. Lebeau's genteel companions
obtained situations as tutors in families;
"the ordinary resource," he observes, "of all
the well-born rogues who arrive from
Europe;" the others found the means of
existence how they could, for the only care
the French government took of their convicts
was simply to transport them to Canada, and
prevent them from coming back again.

In the eyes of the Paris lawyer the colonists
presented a rather strange appearance.
They followed none of the pursuits of
civilised lifedid not even cultivate the soil
but addicted themselves entirely to hunting
for the sake of the skins of the animals that
were abundant. "Every one," says Lebeau,
"wears a robe of fur crossed over the breast,
and fastened at the waist by a girdle
ornamented with porcupines' quills; these are
made by themselves, as well as their sandals,
which are of kid. or the skin of the sea-wolf."
As it would have been lost time to look for
clients where there were no courts of law,
Lebeau resolved to travel, and, ascending the
St. Lawrence, visited Quebec, the settlement
of the Three Rivers, and Montreal. In the
latter place he enjoyed the spectacle of the
great annual fair, to which the Indian tribes
always came in great numbers to barter their
furs for European manufactures. This fair,
which lasted three months, began in May,
and was held on the banks of the river,
inside the palisades which formed the outer
defence of Montreal. The Indians occupied
huts, which, for fear of quarrels, the
colonists were prevented from entering by a
cordon of sentinels; the sale of spirits was
also forbidden, but it took place nevertheless,
and gave rise to many disturbances. Lebeau
was very much struck with the costume of
the Red-skins, who, in addition to their Indian
attire, arrayed themselves in gold-laced
cocked hats, full-bottomed wigs, and court
suitsthe spoils of Rag Fair. He took a
liking to the aborigines, though perhaps it
was more on account of the service they were
likely to render him than from admiration of
their customs and manners. Lebeau's chief
object in travelling westward was to escape
from Canada, and establish himself in the
English colonies. "With this view he cultivated
an intimacy with some baptised Hurons
who were established at Lorette, near Quebec,
and for once his talents as an advocate appear
to have been turned to account; for he
succeeded in persuading a French merchant to
offer these Hurons the value of a hundred
and fifty livres (six pounds), in European
merchandise, provided they conducted Lebeau

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